The Importance Of Laxatives

I just got home from having a hernia surgery.  This is my fourth one in the past five years.

After a surgery, it’s very common to get constipated.

Guess when else it’s likely that you’ll get constipated?

That’s right… when you’re eating your long term food storage.  All of those high sodium, freeze dried foods that your body isn’t used to eating.  (Of course– if you’re storing a lot of wheat and you’re not used to eating whole wheat… that might clean you out, too!)

But file under “another one of those things you might not have thought about storing”: Ex-Lax and psyillium husk (Metamussil).  Or flax seed.  Basically, anything to get the internal plumbing moving again.  Add it to your list!


These Mora Knives Are The Best

In last week’s article, I wrote about our backyard chicken processing adventures.  We used our Mora knives and… wow!  These things work great.  Having a good, sharp knife makes all the difference.  These slice through chicken… like butter.

I’m going to order another four, just to keep around the house as spares.  At $15 a pop, these have to be the deal of the century.  Swedish steel.  I get the one’s with the rubber handles so that they don’t slip when you’ve got blood and chicken guts on your hands.

Absolutely phenomenal knives.  I can’t recommend them, enough.  Click here to read more about these knives at


How To Process A Backyard Chicken

A local farm had a seminar last week on how to process backyard chickens.  It was $25 a head, so I took the Missus for an afternoon of fun and frivolity.  Gotta hand it to her for being such a good sport.

I’ve killed chickens before (once with an axe, once with a machete) but I’ve never processed a chicken for consumption from start to finish.  You can watch videos on Youtube, but just like riding a bike… it’s something you need to actually do yourself to really learn it.

And I figured learning how to process a backyard chicken under the supervision of somebody who already knows how to do it — especially when I’m not hungry– is a far better plan.

The farm had seven or eight young roosters that they wanted to dispatch.  I was surprised by how docile the roosters were.  Even our hens aren’t really happy about being picked up.  Supposedly, they get more docile with age.  We’ll see.

Anyway– I was the first up.  The instructor handed me a rooster.  He had a “killing cone” (Google it) already attached to a wall with a bucket underneath for the blood to drain.  In a nutshell: You put the chicken head-first into the cone and then pull his head out the other side.  Then you stretch his neck and use your knife to slice the jugular (hot dang, those Mora knives worked great!  I’ll do another post on those for sure, as I’ll be ordering more myself).

how to process a backyard chicken 1

It’s a very humane process and much, much less stress than using an axe (for both me and the bird!)

After the blood has mostly drained out of the corpse, you cut the head off.

I was worried my wife would be squeamish.  But when you’ve got a half dozen people standing around all doing the same thing, it makes the entire experience seem like not such a big deal.

Then we put our chickens on a table waited for the rest to finish.

How To Process A Backyard Chicken 2

The next step was dunking your bird in a pot of almost-boiling hot water.  You hold the carcass under the water (with a big pair of tongs or a fork) for a minute or two.  Then we took the chicken over to another bucket and pulled the feathers off.  (Tip: Wear latex gloves!)

I was surprised how easy the feathers came off.  It took probably 10 minutes, but some of the others had more trouble.  I think it has to do with how long you keep the chicken under the scalding hot water: It needs to be long enough to loosen up the feathers but not so long that it cooks the chicken.

The difficult part was butchering the chicken.  Fortunately, those Mora knives we had did a tremendous job.  I wouldn’t want to butcher a chicken with a dull knife.  A sharp knife makes all the difference.

Still, not being a chef or having experience butchering a chicken before, it was difficult to know where to cut and where not to cute (the bile sack!).

But we did it.  We got the chickens butchered.  Afterward, you rinse the chicken off under a hose.

I have no idea how people don’t get salmonella?  But apparently, they don’t.  Wash your birds and area, well!

How To Get Accepted Into Any Community, Anywhere In The World

I was talking with some friends recently about the benefits of gold vs. owning a home overseas.  There isn’t a real fail-safe option that satisfies all scenarios.

– Gold can be confiscated (or stolen).
– A house overseas (in addition to all of the regular problems with owning real estate) can be taken or lost. Squatters, title theft, laws banning foreign ownership, etc…

Even having a self-sufficient ranch of your own here in the States: You could lose it in a fire. Or you could be forced to leave it due to an unforseen environmental catastrophy.

So– the question I’ve been asking myself is: In the event of a “Get Out Of Dodge” scenario, what would allow you to be immediately welcomed into a foreign community?  (Foreign being either here in the States or overseas).

The first answer that came to my mind was: Be a trauma surgeon. But I have neither the intellect nor the desire to learn to be a trauma surgeon.

The second idea that came to mind would be to: Become a celebrity within a certain niche. A niche that has a broad international network of people who might be willing to take you in, or at least help you get back on your feet.

Take Jiu Jitsu Master Royce Gracie, for instance: There are Jiu Jitsu clubs all over the world. He could literally go anywhere and get a job teaching, almost instantly.  Because of his celebrity status within the niche, he’d find no shortage of people willing to take him and his family into their home and help him get back on his feet.

Now that’s real security!

I’ll never be Royce Gracie. But I might be able to get good enough at one or two niche specialties that it would afford me access to communities all over the world, more or less.  The secret to doing this would be:

1.  Become really good at something.  I.E.  A champion or expert.

2.  Promote yourself within that niche.  Make friends.  Build networks.  Help other people reach their goals.

StoveTec Rocket Stove Review: When Cooking With Fire Is A Hassle

Vic from came over to the house a few weeks ago to hang out.  It was a good opportunity for me to pull out my StoveTec rocket stove for the first time so that we could mess around with it and get a feel for how easy (or difficult) it would be to use in a disaster situation.

If you’re not familiar with the Stovetec, it’s a wood burning (or “biomass” burning) stove that is popular amongst preppers as well as 4th worlders in sub-sahara Africa.  It’s got a door on the front that you feed with twigs and sticks, as well as an optional heat shield you can use to focus the heat up toward your cooking pot.

StovetecVic tooks some video and did a video review, which I’ll post here once he’s got it up.  So, bookmark this page and check back later.


Pro’s and Con’s of the Stovetec Rocket Stove

As for my impressions of the stove: Both Vic and I agreed: The Stovetec would be far superior than cooking over an open fire, in an emergency scenario.  However– this type of stove would be our last choice, reserved for when we’ve run out of either propane or denatured alcohol (for use with other types of stoves).


It was too hard to get lit, and once we got it lit we had to really “babysit” the stove by continuing to feed it twigs and sticks every five minutes. Nature of the beast, I guess.

We had to resort to the ‘ol “cotton balls dipped in vasoline” trick to finally get the fire going.  This was surprising, since the wood was pretty dry– especially living in the high desert whe

re fire hazards are a constant threat.  Just goes to show that Murphy’s Law is pretty much always in effect: When you need wood to burn easily, it won’t.  And when you don’t want it to burn… well… knock on wood we haven’t had to experience that, yet!

So– should you buy one of these?

Yes.  After a huge earthquake or some other type of disaster, you may either run out of propane or alcohol fuel, but you’ll most likely have an abundance of wood or biomass to burn in this stove.

Will I keep this Stovetec as my only emergency stove?  Yes, I will keep it.  No, not as my only stove.  But yes… I will keep it.   It’s smokey and let’s face it: It’s far easier to start up a Coleman propane camp stove (that you can use inside, if properly ventilated) than it is to use something like this, that burns wood.

But as with all things: You should have backups to your backups.  The Stovetec is my backup to my backup (my alcohol backpacker stove); Which itself is my backup to my Coleman propane stove.

[I’ll do a review on my alcohol stove, soon!]