Common Knowledge

Electronics. Freeze Drying. Material Sciences. Today’s modern-day technologies have made being prepared for short-term and long-term survival easier than ever. Unfortunately, electronics need a constant energy source, freeze dried food is not always on hand, and lightweight materials eventually wear out.

Note: In the event of and EMP (Electro-magnetic pulse) due to a localized nuke, and or a created pulse – your electronic phone, lap top, PC, etc will not work AT ALL. Alternate means of survival and communications are preferred.’

Though today’s sciences have made survival easier, it would behoove us all to keep in mind the survival skills learned and implemented by our forefathers.

A group of resilient individuals who were skilled at surviving the harsh elements with little rations and supplies were the men who fought during the American Civil War: both Union and Confederate.

During this time, a world run on electricity was left to the realm of science fiction. The men on the front lines during the various battles had not computers, GPS, or digital anything. It was an analog world. Even though this sounds archaic in today’s hi-tech world, the durability of a brass and clockwork world has extended to modern times; whereas, many electronics do not last longer than a few years.

Learning to use an analog compass could be one of the most important skills you could acquire.

Additionally, an analog watch would be another common tool that our forefathers carried. The most common style was of course a pocket watch, but a wristwatch works just fine. What is important is the fact the watch is a wind up and does not rely on batteries to operate. There are many wind up watches from the Civil War era that are still in use today. All you do is remember to wind it up every day and you are set.

Tools should not be the only focus when looking for survival tips from the past. Food is another important aspect of survival and again we can look to the rations of the Civil War soldier for ideas. The Confederates and the Federals had very similar diets in the beginning, which consisted primarily of salted pork and dry goods such as beans and rice.

Two main staples of a soldier’s diet were hardtack and desiccated potatoes. Hardtack is a type of hard, dry biscuit made from flour, salt, and water. The ingredients are mixed together and slowly baked until hard. The shelf life of these little briquettes was remarkable so long as they were kept dry.

It was even rumored the U.S. issued hardtack made during the Civil War to soldiers fighting in the Spanish American War.

Another food item soldiers were issued were desiccated potatoes. Once again, the starch laden food was relatively cheap to come by and seemed to have kept the men feeling full. Desiccated is simply another word for dehydrated for all intents and purposes. The potatoes were thinly sliced and dried until all the moisture was removed and the slices were no longer pliable. Like hardtack, desiccated potatoes have an incredible shelf life.

When it came time to eat both, they were commonly boiled in broth or in water with salt pork until the potatoes or the biscuit became tender.

It is common knowledge the most versatile modern-day material is the polyethylene tarp. These tarps can be used as a shelter, water collector, ground cover, or rain fly. Just has the polyethylene has a variety of uses so does its ancestor, the canvas tarp.

The canvas tarp can be used for everything a polyethylene tarp, plus a few extras. Canvas tarps are better suited than polyethylene to fashion replacement packs or totes to carry supplies.

Canvas tarps are also better for being turned into ponchos, jackets, and other clothing items. During the Civil War, it was common to draw field maps on canvas instead of paper because of its water resistance and durability.

There is no doubt modern technology has made survival and emergency preparedness much easier. However, this does not mean should not look to the past for tips and techniques for successful survival.

Always Safe, Always Prepared

Credit: Frank M.

*Thanks Frank!!

Top 10 Survival Tips

Basic Survival Skills (LINK)

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Mr. Belzer

*Shared story

A young man learns what’s most important in life from the guy next door.

Over the phone, his mother told him, ‘Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.’

Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

‘Jack, did you hear me?’

‘Oh, sorry, Mum. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,’ Jack replied.

‘Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,’ Mum told him.

‘I loved that old house he lived in,’ Jack said.

‘You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,’ she said.

‘He’s the one who taught me carpentry,’ he said. ‘I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important. Mum, I’ll be there for the funeral.’ Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away. The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mum stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture. Jack stopped suddenly . . .

‘What’s wrong, Jack?’ his Mum asked.

‘The box is gone,’ he said.

‘What box?’ Mum asked.

‘There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was the thing I value most.’ Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

‘Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,’ Jack said.

‘I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mum.’

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. ‘Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,’ the note read. Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention, it read from ‘Mr. Harold Belser’. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

‘Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.’

A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

‘Jack, Thanks for your time! – Harold Belser.’

‘The thing he valued most was . . . my time’.

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. ‘Why?’ Janet, his assistant asked.

‘I need some time to spend with my son,’ he said.

‘Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!’

What’s better than money? Time. It cost you nothing to give time to others. Make time today for someone else; you never know, later on down the road when you need time it will come.

Rev 3:2 “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.”

How valuable is your time?

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Subject: Present Value

Value the Present

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.

What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!!!! Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME.

Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.

There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow”. You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success!

The clock is running. Make the most of today.

-To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.

-To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.

-To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper. .

-To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

-To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.

-To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.

-To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics

Treasure every moment being a good steward of your free time! Treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time. And remember that time waits for no one.

 
Ps 77:5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.

 
Eccles 3:17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

 
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

 
Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

 
1 Jn 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

 
Jud 1:18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

A Missing Watch

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There once was a farmer who discovered that he had lost his watch in the barn. It was no ordinary watch because it had sentimental value for him.
After searching high and low among the hay for a long while; he gave up and enlisted the help of a group of children playing outside the barn.

He promised them that the person who found it would be rewarded.
Hearing this, the children hurried inside the barn, went through and around the entire stack of hay but still could not find the watch. Just when the farmer was about to give up looking for his watch, a little boy went up to him and asked to be given another chance.

The farmer looked at him and thought, “Why not? After all, this kid looks sincere enough.”
So the farmer sent the little boy back in the barn. After a while the little boy came out with the watch in his hand! The farmer was both happy and surprised and so he asked the boy how he succeeded where the rest had failed.

The boy replied, “I did nothing but sit on the ground and listen. In the silence, I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in that direction.”

 

Moral of the story? Of course! A peaceful mind can think better than a worked up mind. Allow a few minutes of silence to your mind every day, and see, how sharply it helps you in your life and see things the way you expect it to be! Praise God!

Reciprocal Love

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The following is an odd little story, but it has a lot to say…. maybe it will say something to you.

Once upon a time ….

A very poor man lived with his wife. One day, his wife, who had very long hair asked him to buy her a comb for her hair to grow well and to be well-groomed.

The man felt very sorry and said no. He explained that he did not even have enough money to fix the strap of his watch he had just broken.

She did not insist on her request.

The man went to work and passed by a watch shop, sold his damaged watch at a low price and went to buy a comb for his wife.

He came home in the evening with the comb in his hand ready to give to his wife.

He was surprised when he saw his wife with a very short hair cut. She had sold her hair and was holding a new watch band.

Tears flowed simultaneously from their eyes, not for the futility of their actions, but for the reciprocity of their love.

Moral of the story: To be loved is nothing, to love is something but to love and to be loved by the one you love, that is everything.