1999 Survival Seeds, will they sprout?

I found a can of survival seeds from 1999 and decided to see if we would thrive or starve if it was all I had to plant. Kind of surprised at the resu

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A way to help in these trying times.

With the Covid lockdowns and subsequent mass layoffs and tremendous financial pain so many are currently enduring, I believe resurrecting my older site , The Recycle Ranch could help people move forward in the form of self sufficiency, making things go farther, and taking advantage of every opportunity to help ourselves and others.

Please visit http://www.therecycleranch.wordpress.com and subscribe. Also do me a favor and let your friends know about it as well. One of my first uploads which will be a fun project on how we built a sled for 8 kids out of old barrels.

When you watch it, please subscribe and like the video so we can get more good ideas out there.

A future apost will show you how to get all the free 18650 batteries you want, for FREE.

Thanks for looking and God Bless.


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The Top Texas Takeaways

D. Evers

It was truly stunning to see how quickly Texas devolved into the dark ages due to a short but powerful storm, and the widespread suffering it caused was a tragedy of epic proportions. 

What the past week has shown us or should have shown us (but the lesson will be incredibly short lived), is how tenuous things really are, and how we have come to place our very survival in not just other people’s hands, but often into the hands of totally inept bureaucrats. Don’t get me wrong, emergency services did a great job, but poor decisions like limiting shelter space to allow for “social distancing” causing people to freeze to death, came from some bureaucrat somewhere, just following orders, not thinking of the consequences, or even more staggering, not allowing people to spend the night in a warming center in bitter freezing weather due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

The events of Texas are full of teaching moments, and while painting a wide swath with a broad brush is often problematic and unfair, simply look at the images in the news and the sheer number of people waiting in the line to get food, water, propane, firewood, and a myriad of other items that were readily available a scant few days earlier is a good indicator of the inability of people to realize the seriousness of the situation.  The staggering thing is that this was forecast, There was plenty of time and people were warned, yet it was widely received with a yawn. 

We are spoiled. We turn on lights and they work, we go to the store, and the shelves are stocked, often with a half dozen different brands of the same product. We go to the gas station and fill up with what recently was reasonably priced gas. All that went away and some of it will stay away for a while. 

The absolute first and most astounding one was how many people didn’t have enough extra food for a few days. How hard is it to lay up a few packages of Ramen, some extra canned goods, and some cookies and crackers? Quarter mile lines and fifteen item limits were the norms, to get into a store that was fairly wiped out.  

Water, a case of water at the gas station or big box store is dirt cheap, often under five bucks. Yet, how many people didn’t have the foresight to fill some jugs beforehand and get a stash of water to see them through this dangerous weather event.  

Heat. This one’s a little dicier. Most people rely on electricity to power their electric and gas heaters, and there wasn’t either. As I mentioned before the bureaucrats at The Electric Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT in their wisdom felt it necessary to keep lights on in parking garages and skyscrapers but shut down power to homes.  

While a generator is a great tool, having enough fuel to run it for 4-5 days is problematic, it’s inefficient to turn gas into electricity, then electricity into heat and the noise might draw some unsavory types. An indoor rated propane heater would be a good option, and they are inexpensive, readily available online, and from big box stores. If they are properly rated, they can be safely used indoors, and a couple of extra barbecue bottles will run it for a long time, even if you just want to keep the room from freezing. 

Also, if you want to heat just one room, choose an inner one and all that camping gear in the garage should come out and be put to work. A tent in a room will provide a modicum of warmth as opposed to the open air. 

Lights are also essential, and while propane lanterns put off light and heat, LED’s are very efficient and have incredible run times. Just make sure you keep enough batteries on hand to run the lights for an extended time. 

Make sure you have extra meds for an emergency. If you talk to your doctor, and explain your concerns, they should oblige. 

While there is a plethora of other items, self-defense, security, radios, and on and on, people should use this bad experience as a steppingstone to become better prepared, who knows what surprises the future holds. 

The one thing people should have realized given the fact that Texas is prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, and wild weather is that they are on their own, period.  

While preppers who have been maligned as greedy hoarders by the MSM instead of the prepared visionaries they are, ride this out without a hiccup, people need to realize that the bigger the machine gets, the more wasteful and inefficient it becomes, to the point of implosion.  

Establishing a group to stay with during a crisis is essential, if you have family, you need to see who’s best equipped and most capable of captaining the ship whilst you ride out the storm. If that’s you, you need to offer help to your most vulnerable acquaintances. Make it a point to get to know your neighbors and discuss possible scenarios and how you can mitigate them individually and as a group.   

Most will forget this episode, very few will prep for the next one. 

Sign up for serious prepping projects and information

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Avoiding the Prepper Con

We’ve all seen them, survival battery packs the size of a phone that will start a jumbo jet with power to spare, flashlights that are so powerful they will burn your retinas and start fires from a mile away. How about the family survival food package that will feed a family of five for a month, and it all fits in a 5-gallon bucket.

The old adage still applies, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I know that there are going to be a lot of “prepper” websites that will either pooh pooh what I have to say or not run it at all, however, the sites that are genuine, won’t have an issue with it.

There is a plethora of high quality, genuine prepper equipment out there. Great battery packs, super bright flashlights, emergency rations and so on, but how can you discern what is the real deal, and what isn’t?  It isn’t easy, and one good way to start is to do your homework. Between the star rating system on Amazon and other sites, and forums, you should be able to track down serious prepper gear and flush out the junk.

Just because someone sez it’s great, don’t make it great. Beware of endorsements as opposed to genuine product reviews, and even when reading a review, if it’s too sugar-coated, dig deeper.

In my heyday as a tech editor of a very large magazine, I tested numerous products, and while the vast majority were good quality, none of them were absolutely perfect, and I would say so. Beware of terrific reviews that slobber on and on about a product and don’t point out its shortcomings.

If you spend money on a product, make sure it has a guarantee, If you order a Chinese hand crank radio and the plastic arm snaps off when you unwrap it, you might want to get a refund. If a company doesn’t offer a guaranty, find another company, and another radio.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK! The prepper market has become so ubiquitous and in many cases, hi-tech, and that’s great for preppers, but remember a few simple rules:

It has to work under adverse conditions, whether rain, sleet, snow, EMP and on and on.

It has to last. I believe WTSHTF it will be prolonged simply due to the complex nature of our society, and the sociopaths in Congress.

It has to be affordable, that said, it’s better to have a good basic product than none at all.

It has to be serviceable. If you buy a product that will wear out, make sure you have replacement parts.

It has to follow the 3 is 2, 2 is 1, 1 is none rule. One power supply is good, but if it croaks, where is your backup, and your backup’s backup?

TRY it OUT! Don’t buy all this junk and put it on the shelf thinking that WTSHTF you will seamlessly transition into an off-grid lifestyle without issues.

I strongly recommend you have an “Off Grid” weekend to see what your gear does, and I guarantee you will have changes after you have tried your lights, cooking and sanitation systems in real time.

We are in uncharted territory due to the fact that during the great depression, people were “hands-on” and very self-sufficient. Now you get 911 calls because someone didn’t get their chicken nuggets.

There are a lot of other things to take into consideration when purchasing, mine are just some of the basics.

Prepping is a lifestyle, and for many of us, it is a daily way of life, chickens, cows, goats, gardens and all the other things that make life so enjoyable.

If you haven’t started, get going, it’s never too late to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on others.

The “Godfather  Prepper” is the best selling author of the Pocket Partner, an emergency response book for law enforcement, emergency services, and the military, with over 250,000 sold worldwide. A former police chief and guest on Nat Geos Doomsday Preppers, his website http://www.proficientprepping.wordpress.com is loaded with “hands-on” projects.

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The Ranches New Bulldog


Bought this UTV last summer, and I am really impressed with it. Take a minute and see why HERE.

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Growing up a Boomer



photo courtesy of GM


Perhaps one of the greatest aspects of being a baby boomer was growing up in a country that wasn’t just exceptional, it was spectacularly exceptional. The common thread that united all of the varied ethnicities was the English language. The sense of unity in the community was tangible. Almost everyone in the classroom and on the block knew each other.

Violence in school was virtually unheard of, gum chewing was the big problem. We were taught things like manners – to open the door for the girls and let them enter first, saying please and thank you was a given. If a student used bad language, it was off to the principals’ office for a reprimand.

Most of us kids owned a BB gun at some point, and dad would take us to the country and teach us to shoot with his shoulder breaking 30-06 that he purchased as war surplus.

God was still part of life and prayers were common. Religious carols were sung, school Christmas programs depicted the birth of Jesus. The Ten Commandments were taught, and then came Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

We went to church every Sunday, and most businesses were closed out of respect, and to allow employees time for God and family. On Friday, fast food restaurants served fish out of respect for Catholics.

It was an honor to be bestowed the duty of leading the pledge of allegiance at school, facing the flag that our dads, neighbors and family members had recently fought and died for. My dad rarely talked about the war, most soldiers who saw real action didn’t.

When it came to sports, everyone played outside, every moment they could, like in “Sandlot”. We kept score and if you or your team sucked, too bad. I always dreaded being called last when the classes’ most popular students chose sides for dangerous games like “Dodgeball” but you learned early on that life was full of disappointment.

The playgrounds had actual steel equipment, things like towering swings and slides, and merry go rounds and teeter-totters, death traps all, but what a ride.

Growing up, there was one big threat, atomic weapons the “commies” had. We had regular drills and practiced getting under our desk in the event of a nuclear war, I felt confident a ½” thick Plywood desktop would prevent me from being crushed when tons of flaming irradiated rooftop, ceiling, and 200 pound light fixtures with monstrous 250-watt bulbs came crashing down.

In those days, and since the dawn of humanity, it was simple and scientific. There were two sexes, male and female, not the 71 genders Facebook claims. It was the American dream to fall in love, get married and then have a family, buy a house and enjoy this great country.

Detroit was some faraway wonderland, a place with plenty of great jobs and even greater cars. Gas-guzzling monstrosities with steel bumpers that had bullets built right into them (often called Dagmar bumpers). Bumpers then weighed more than most foreign cars do now. Smog was unheard of. Muscle cars had muscles.

I remember my dad bought a 57 Plymouth station wagon that held 8 for us to go to grandmas some 2500 miles away with all six kids. The back seat faced rearward and the entire rear window rolled down, leaving half of the back wide open so my little brother and I could breathe those lead rich exhaust fumes for weeks on end. There were no such things as seat belts, and the dash was soft steel, loaded with pointy metallic knobs. In the event of a crash, mom would stick her arm out to prevent you from flying through the windshield. I remember roughhousing with my brother once and the door opened up and he rolled out, fortunately, we were only doing 35 so mom pulled over and went back and retrieved him. At the gas station, you were greeted with a smile, and at .28 cents a gallon, you would cheerfully get your windows washed, oil, radiator, and tires checked, a free map and some S&H green stamps, that you could save (and eventually lick) so your mom could get a new iron or mixer. Sodas and large candy bars were a nickel, and I remember when a new place called “Taco Bell” opened up and everything was .18 cents.

Entertainment consisted of 3 TV channels, all at the whim of the antenna. Often, the 200 pound, 19” black and white television set would be on a TV tray with spindly metal legs or teetering on some other piece of furniture. Cartoons were great, had heroes and villains, and a moral. Comedy was funny, not dirty. In fact, the married couple in the Dick Van Dyke show slept in separate beds.

Crime wasn’t an issue; you could go downtown anytime day or night and not worry about it.

Patriotism was a good thing. We were proud of America, proud to be Americans.

We were taught to remove our hat when the pledge of allegiance was recited. We were taught to cover our heart with our hand when the flag presented itself in a parade or other patriotic ceremony. We gave thanks before every meal.

Astronauts were heroes, and the space race was awesome.

As a rule, politicians were respected, and you felt that they really did have your best interest at heart. They knew you were their employer and any scandalous behavior would have them looking for a new job. Policemen were friendly and could be trusted. Teachers taught things like math, reading, and writing, and if you didn’t meet expectations, you went to summer school or repeated a grade. High school graduates knew how to read had a good grasp of history and math with hands-on skills learned in wood, metal or auto shop.

Gambling was seedy, you worked for your money. If you did want to gamble, you went to Vegas with all of the mobsters. The thought of a state taxing casinos and lotteries to acquire revenue, then using the proceeds for “education” was absurd. Drugs were a taboo, and marijuana was terrifying to those of us who listened in health class. The thought of a state allowing dope to be sold and taxed, then using the proceeds for “education” was again, absurd.

Sports heroes were just that, these were real people who would spend time with fans after a game, signing, laughing, telling stories, grateful they had a job that allowed them to do what they enjoyed.

I am saddened that my Children and grandchildren will not experience what an exceptional, wonderful, powerful, inventive, creative,  generous country America used to be, not always perfect or right, but always trying to be better. I am truly grateful for the fact that I did grow up in a time when America was at its best, and can only pray that we will once again experience it.

From the blog “preparedness is fundamental”

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The Prep Money Can’t buy

It’s Ironic that for several years now, individuals and families that have felt the need to prepare with extra food and other necessities have been maligned by the MSM as fringe, radicals, doomers, extremists, and numerous other pejoratives.



If you get kicked by a mule once, it’s a teachable moment, twice, you lack common sense.


Yet, when the elite from silicone valley, Hollywood and Wall Street feel the need for prepping and buy missile silos, apocalypse-proof bunkers, and farms in New Zealand; they are hailed as enlightened progressives and other smarmy accolades.

There is one absolutely essential intangible, however; that all of the money in the world can’t purchase WTSHTF and that is quite simply common sense.

Common sense is defined as good sense and sound judgment in practical matters.

Mark Twain said “Common sense is very uncommon,” and that was over a century ago.

For many “preppers”, it simply makes sense and is a lifestyle that affords you peace of mind that the “herd” doesn’t have. Preparing for natural and man-made disasters, Acts of God, and the like requires a lot of forethought and common sense planning. In my seminars, I have found that the absolute VAST majority of preppers are very hands-on, capable, common sense people.

Now let’s get one thing straight, this is not a blanket indictment of these elitists. I am sure there are some that are quite grounded, but they are few and far between. In my business dealings, I have worked with millionaires and billionaires, and while most of them are nice guys, they haven’t a clue. And being clueless WTSHTF will not be an asset.

Over a decade in law enforcement taught me that in general, people lack common sense. It has been gradually bred out of us by a government that has policies to handle everything from cradle to grave, requiring only a compliant society.

A fantastic example of a total lack of common sense was when a propane truck driver on main street drove off with the hose attached, pulling the valve off the huge bulk tank. The ensuing high-pressure stream of volatile raw propane, several hundred gallons a minute, shot well over 150 feet across the main highway. When I arrived on scene to block the highway, there were people, some with kids, driving through the cloud, completely enveloping their cars. Thank God, the stream didn’t ignite, but it was incomprehensible that anyone could have such a dearth of common sense.

Can everyone learn common sense? Probably not, but if one has even a modicum, and wants to sharpen their skills, it needs to be practiced and used regularly. Common sense can help in almost every area of your life, from what not to say to your spouse when you are angry to what to spend your last buck on (No not a lottery ticket).

If you get kicked by a mule once, it’s a teachable moment, twice, you lack common sense.

If you look on YouTube, you can find thousands of examples of people lacking common sense, one being a guy intentionally jumping into a cactus.

Perhaps the easiest way to start working on common sense is to think before you act.

Run scenarios in your mind; if this happened, what would I do? What action or reaction on my part would have the best outcome? Sometimes common sense could be as simple as deciding not to drive through a flooded roadway,

One of the best assets a prepper, or for that matter, anyone could possess is a well-developed trait of common sense, it just makes sense, doesn’t it.

Thanks for your time.

Please sign up for my blog, I will be starting to have regular giveaways in the near future, and please feel free to share this article.




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No Cost to Low Cost Tractors and Yard Equipment



The Case 444 pulling my wife’s stock trailer, which she picked up on a yard sale site for $400.00


One of the many facets of self-sufficiency and prepping is having the proper equipment to get your tasks and chores done effectively and efficiently, however for those of us on a limited budget, some creativity and elbow grease can get you the equipment you need, or a reasonable facsimile.

Over the years, I have been able to collect a vast assortment of either free or dirt cheap tools to help with tasks around the property. From light garden tractors to Stihl chainsaws to rototillers, there are deals out there that, given enough patience, anyone can take advantage of.

One of the benefits of the Web is the proliferation of recycling and freecycle types of websites. I placed an ad on Craigslist for a “Garden Tractor, working or not” and ended up purchasing an LGT145 Ford tractor for $75.00! It had been sitting in the back forty and he wanted to get rid of it. It came with a working PTO, rototiller, front blade, mower deck and vacuum attachment with a separate engine.


After getting it home and cleaning out the carb, I was driving it with only a couple of hours of work. To this day, it is the tractor of choice for tilling our gardens.

Just last summer, I was driving on a back road when I passed a really nice looking wood chipper with a sign that stated “free, hard to start, but runs good”


I got it home and realized it was a carb issue, so $23.00 later, a new eBay replacement carb showed up and “presto” I had a killer chipper shredder. I had some old tires from a junked John Deere garden tractor that I installed along with a hitch, and now I add amendments to my garden, pulled by a Craftsman Lawn tractor that was given to me because it didn’t have a deck. (note the new feedbag tractor seat cover).

My son called me last spring to tell me that he had seen an ad for a Case 444 tractor on a local “Facebook Yard Sale” site so I gave her a call. She said she wanted $300.00 for it and sent me a photo. I told her sold, and drove 55 miles to pick it up. When I got there she showed me a bucket of spare parts and told me it had a plow and rototiller as well. My wife said it was “in a million pieces” and didn’t want it rusting behind my shop. I tackled it that weekend after downloading a manual and within half a day had it up and running and it is a snow pushing beast.

One simple note, the lady said she had numerous calls for it, and for a lot more money, however as I committed over the phone and was on my way, she would hold it for me. The moral is, don’t delay on a bargain, other people will snap it up if you don’t.

Granted, most but not all of the items I get do require some work, however, in the vast majority of cases, it is carburetion, due to the addition of ethanol in today’s’ fuels.

I floated an ad in freecycle saying I was looking for a chainsaw (as mine had finally died) and was given not one, but two 18” Homelite saws, both like new. When a friend gave me a Stihl, I gave the working saws away.

Keep your eyes open for equipment that just has weeds growing up around it. If you are respectful and ask the owner, a worst case scenario is a simple “no”.

Find and join local sites like Craigslist, Freecycle, trash nothing and the free section of the local paper. Remember, you have to be timely and follow through. Before I got my Case to push snow, I saw a freecycle ad for a running Craftsman riding garden tractor with a blade, mower and snow thrower. The owner was moving and didn’t want to hassle with selling it. It was gone in a heartbeat and he had dozens of calls before he could remove the posting.

There are deals to be made, and I have done my share of bartering as well, with much success. I’ve also been able to repair and donate mowers and other equipment to people that needed it.

Another tip, wait for the right season to start looking. In the spring, when people can’t start their weed trimmers and mowers, they often prefer to get another out of frustration.

As far as wheelbarrows, shovels and other hand tools, they are everywhere. I have several barrows and found they usually simply have a flat tire. Wal Mart has a super heavy duty tire for $10.00 (or at least they used to) and in several cases, I simply replaced the tire with a marathon flat free tire.

For shovels and rakes, I simply replace the broken handle with a steel tube that I tack weld in place. It’s a lifetime repair.

As I stated earlier, gas equipment, mowers, tillers and the like will probably have a carb issue. To find out, just give the air filter a squirt of starting fluid and give it a tug. If it fires then dies, it’s probably the carb. Brand new knockoffs are available on eBay for $10.00 up, depending on the type.



 It’s remarkable that a new carb is so inexpensive. In some cases, it is less costly to buy a new carb than to rebuild an old one.


Swapping out a carb is easy, and usually, it fixes the issue. To keep your carbs from getting damaged, get some non-ethanol gas before you put them up for the winter, and add a shot of sta-bil or another gas preservative. Chances are when Spring rolls around a couple of pulls and you’ll be on your way.






Let me know if you’ve ever gotten a piece of equipment for a deal or if you have any tips.


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Emigration versus the USA

Some of you have noticed my absence for a while, and one of the things keeping me busy was some travel. When I travel, I talk with a lot of people. During my last trip, I gave away 80 flag pins to Australians I struck up a conversation with. Funny, how I found many if not most of them liked Donald Trump and asked me my opinion on him. After watching their news I could see the effects our corrupt news companies had on theirs. I also had a chance to see a lot of ground and the bottom line is, the good ol USA is still great. take a minute and see why I think hanging around for the fireworks is the way to go. See the video HERE

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Gold is Good, But Peanut Butter’s Better

(*This is a post that I made in October of 2011. It was prescient then and even more so today. )

It’s the doomsdayer’s perfect storm. On the same day the Dow crashes, a small asteroid hits the earth just as an earthquake triggers a tsunami … you get the idea. It doesn’t look good.

A few weeks have passed, the cupboards are bare and you’re hungry – really, really hungry. So hungry you could almost bring yourself to eat Tofu.  Someone sees your plight and makes you an offer. You can have a pound of gold or a pound of peanut butter, what would you do?

It’s a no brainer. Unless you were Ebeneezer Scrooge, you’d be all over the peanut butter.  I’m not saying gold isn’t a terrific investment, but in the scheme of things, everything needs to be prioritized. If you’re like most Americans, and are having trouble making ends meet, you need to look at the big picture. You can go weeks without food and just a few days without water, so the top priority becomes obvious.

You need to take care of you and your family’s physical needs first.

The Survivors Mindset

First and foremost, you need to come to the complete realization that we are just entering an era of unbelievable hard times. Years of failed government programs, half the citizens on some sort of assistance, toxic bank loans, corrupt, inept and out of touch elected officials, oppressive business regulations and unrelenting taxation has all come together to form the Perfect Meltdown Storm.

While most people don’t even know where to start, the thought of “prepping” is totally daunting, yet not taking any action and placing your faith in the same people that helped create the problem to turn things around is far, far worse.

Winston Churchill said it best “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning”.
You need to create an action plan, commit to it, and get started.

Determine what kind of a supply you wish to have, week, month or whatever. Start with the basics; food and water. If you become overwhelmed at the thought, start out with a simple short term supply to get the feel for it. You can build the supply as you go.

Understand that economic collapse is only one possibility. Natural disasters, terrorism and civil unrest are all possibilities. In any case, having food and water just makes sense in these uncertain times. If something really goes South, It might take a few weeks to see just how good or bad things are shaping up to be.

In the event of a true disaster, food and water will be as scarce as a politician with scruples and all the gold and silver in the world won’t satiate your hunger.

After you have taken care of food and water and have some left over money, go out and buy some more food and water. Then buy gold.

Dennis Evers is a former police chief and best selling author, visit his blog at http://www.proficientprepping.wordpress.com


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