Archive for October, 2012

Wild Edibles: How to Identify and Eat Field Garlic

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Disclaimer: Eating certain wild plants can be deadly!!

Be certain to consult a professional (or a really good field guide) in order to positively identify this plant before trying this for yourself. The owners of this site will not be held responsible for any lapses in judgment or stupidity when handling or consuming wild plants.

Field Garlic (Allium vineale) is a plant that I smelled long before I actually identified and used. I remember as a young boy cutting my the grass and smelling the distinct odor of onions (or what I though was onion) and wondering where it came from. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered it was in many cases field garlic (some were actually wild onion as well).

How to Identify Field Garlic

The first step before eating any wild edible is to positively identify it. Since Field Garlic has some poisonous look-a-likes (most notably Star of Bethlehem), it’s very important you learn to positively identify this plant before attempting to consume it.

When you first start successfully identifying this plant you’ll begin to notice how often you mistook it for grass — and then you’ll begin noticing it everywhere. Here are some key features to look for in order to positively identify Field Garlic:

Long, narrow leaves growing in bunches: Since the leaves emerge from layered, underground bulbs, you’ll usually see the leaves in bunches. They average around 1 to 3 feet tall.
Hollow leaves: From a distance it may look like grass but upon close inspection when torn you’ll notice that the leaves are hollow and tube-like similar to chives.
Underground bulbs: When you dig around the base and pull up the plant you’ll see it attached to a bulb (this picture shows multiple plants and bulbs).
Umbrella-like flower clusters: In late spring and summer you can find the purplish flower-heads containing clusters of tiny six-petaled flowers.
Smells “onion-like” when bruised or broken: This is the best way to distinguish the Alliums from its poisonous look-a-likes. If there’s no smell or doesn’t smell like onion IT’S NOT AN ALLIUM!!

Where to Find Field Garlic

You can find Field Garlic on lawns, in backyards, on disturbed soil, and in open woods throughout its range.

Here’s the range map indicating where Field Garlic has officially been found:

How to Eat Field Garlic

There’s really no special preparation for Field Garlic other than cleaning the bulbs/leaves and peeling the papery sheath of the bulb as you would any onion or garlic for that matter:

After cleaning, you can use Field Garlic’s bulbs in any recipe that calls for garlic or onion and the leaves can be chopped like and used in the place of chives.

I like adding both chopped bulbs and leaves to an omelet with chopped bacon — yummm đź™‚

Prepper Academy is Now LIVE!

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Just wanted to let you all know that Prepper Academy is now open.

Thanks again for all your interest and support! It’s much appreciated.

You can sign up at this link: Prepper Academy

A Sneak Peak into Prepper Academy

Monday, October 15th, 2012

For those who have read the last post, I shared with you all how and why I got into prepping. Many of you also shared your own personal stories.

Thanks so much!

At the end of that article I mentioned how I’ve been working on developing a resource that will be very helpful to the prepper community — especially for those who are struggling with knowing how and where to begin.

This resource is a members-only community that I call Prepper Academy and I’m excited to finally tell you what it’s all about:

Prepper Academy is THE online “university” for preppers of ALL levels.

Prepper Academy is an online resource that helps you get prepared. The central focus of the academy is a set of guided courses that are designed to take you step by step from being utterly unprepared to the ultimate goal of self-reliance — accommodating even the most modest of budgets.

Prepper Academy is broken up into five modules with multiple courses per module. Each month you’ll receive new courses that guide you through the various modules bringing you closer to the goal of personal freedom and independence.

As you move through the various modules your ability to effectively survive a wide variety of disasters will increase as shown in the following graphic:

Here’s an example of what you’ll learn in Module 100:

MODULE 100: The Prepper’s Foundation

What you’ll learn:

Course 101: Building a Bugout Binder

After completing this course, you will have created a highly-customized emergency binder that is designed to be quickly taken with you if you were forced to evacuate your home. By having this binder, you will…

  • Have peace of mind knowing that you have all the vital documents you would need to rebuild your life in case your home were destroyed
  • Have a solid bug-out plan in place telling you what to do, when to leave, where to go, and how to get there, and…
  • Be way ahead of the mad rush of people exiting your area by knowing the “pre-cursor signals” that tell you it’s time to leave.

Course 102: Building your Disaster Kits

After completing this course, you will have a set of disaster kits which are custom designed for a variety of emergency situations. You’ll learn…

  • How to build a Bug-Out Bag (BOB) that will help you survive your journey from ground zero to a safe area.
  • How to put together an Emergency Car Kit that will keep you warm, safe and comfortable until help arrives or you can get on the road again.
  • What a Get-Home Bag (GHB) is, how to put one together, and why it’s crucial to carry one whenever you’re away from home.
  • How to build a proper Emergency Medical/Trauma Kit
  • The importance of Every-Day Carry (EDC) kits and what should be in yours.
  • The different types of Specialty Kits there are and which ones are essential for you and your household.

Course 103: Battening Down the Hatches (Sheltering-in-Place)

Before disaster strikes your home, it’s absolutely essential that you know how to prepare ahead of time. and what to stock up on is of primary importance. But that is only half the story, knowing how to deal with emergencies during and after the emergency are just as important. In this course you will…

  • Have peace of mind knowing that in a minor crisis you will never have to join the flocks of people rushing to the stores before the shelves clear
  • Have enough supplies to ride out a minor crisis that would affect your power, water, and food supply.
  • Learn what types of fuel you should have on hand and how to store it
  • Learn how best to purify and store water…even if you live in a small apartment
  • Overcome disaster paralysis by learning what to do to prepare your home BEFORE a disaster strikes
  • Determine the most likely disasters to affect you and how you can prepare for them

Course 104: Cooking Off-Grid

Knowing how to cook during an extended power outage is crucial for comfort, morale, as well as avoiding food-born illnesses. In this course you will…

  • Know the best off-grid cooking options available that work with big or small budgets
  • Discover which off-grid cooking methods are best fit for sheltering-in-place or bugging out
  • Know how to make your own off-grid cooking stoves with common every-day items
  • Learn how to use an often overlooked but highly effective primitive fire method that is easily built by a 4-year old, can be used in rain, snow or shine, and easily ignites with only one match

Course 105: Survival Sanitation in a Grid-Down World

Even during short-term grid-down situations, major sanitation issues and devastating health problems can erupt. Sanitation may not be as sexy a topic as firearms, bug-out bags, or fire making, but knowing how to keep clean and properly deal with waste and sewage during a grid-down situation is one of the most important pieces of knowledge to have as a modern prepper. In this course you will…

  • Learn a simple homemade cleaning solution using items already in your home that is powerful enough to kill Anthrax spores
  • Know how to deal with trash when the garbage man stops coming
  • Discover the single most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases
  • Learn how to properly and safely dispose of human manure – whether you’re in the city or the country.

And that’s just the first module!!

The remaining modules are also chock full of courses that will take you to that next level of preparedness:

MODULE 200: Building the Prepper-Mart: Your In-Home Convenience Store

In this module you’ll learn how to build a reserve that will get you through longer-term emergencies from a job loss to larger scale disasters lasting at least 3-months.

You’ll also learn how to preserve your own food to extend shelf life and for those with limited budgets, you’ll learn how to build up this reserve without breaking the bank.

Module 200 also gets you started on establishing your Survival Library. You’ll learn why it is crucial and what should be in yours.

Module 300: Going the Distance – Long-Term Food Storage and How to Use It

Module 300 is in many ways a continuation of the previous module, except this level is focused on long-term, bulk food storage. It will teach you exactly what to store, where to buy it, how to store it, and most importantly how to use it.

There are far too many preppers with buckets of long-term bulk food just sitting in their basements with no idea how to use them. A major portion of this module then is teaching you how to integrate them in your every-day life so that when the SHTF you and your family will already be accustomed to using and eating it.

Module 400: Securing What’s Yours

Module 400 is all about securing what you’ve worked so hard to build.

When tough times loom, social unrest and crime increases. It’s important during these times that you know how to secure your home and keep your family safe. This module will help you to put in place active and passive protections for your home and loved ones.

You’ll also learn about home caching (for hiding valuables in your home), mindset and awareness training, defensive/offensive tools available for preppers, as well as recommended and inexpensive sources of self-defense training and much more.

Finally, when uncertainty is in the air, you’ll want to know how to communicate with your loved ones as well as keep your “ear to the ground”. Module 400 goes into detail about the various types of communication options available to preppers when the grid is up or down.

Module 500 and Beyond: Developing Self-Sufficiency

Up to this point in the academy (Levels 100 – 400) you’ve been mostly accumulating stuff to get you through tough times. You could stop at this point, working only on storing more and more stuff (which many do). But to really get beyond SURVIVING and moving into THRIVING and ultimately entering self-sufficiency, you’ll want to move on to these higher levels.

Level 500+ is all about skill development. The benefits of learning skills over accumulating stuff is that the more capabilities you learn in these upper levels, the less you’ll be dependent upon what you’ve already accumulated.

As a good friend of mine often says, “Training Trumps Gear” — the more you know the less you need. And best of all as you develop self-sufficiency, your stores become less of a necessity and more of an insurance policy.

A ton of thought, research, time and collaboration has gone into Prepper Academy to make it THE go-to resource for a variety of preppers with diverse backgrounds, means, and needs.

And as they say in those cheesy infomercials…

Wait! There’s More!!

By becoming a member of Prepper Academy you’ll also have access to the following:

A Private Community Forum (with benefits)

At the Prepper Academy forum you’ll find a safe place to share, free of spam and disrespectful anonymous people. Our forums are fully moderated, assuring you a relaxing and rewarding experience.

In addition, you can earn “forum bucks” which reward the top participants every month with fantastic prepper gear like Leatherman multi-tools, water filters, medical kits, books, knives, campstoves and more!

Video Columns

We feature a growing list of video columns from some of the best prepper-videos available on the web. Videos include Survival Medicine, Analytical Survival and the Personal Defense Network.

A Downloadable Survival Library

A fully-downloadable digital library containing HUNDREDS of documents that you can add to your survival library immediately. With documents in various categories such as general preparedness, heat and energy, homesteading, urban survival, wilderness survival, personal protection, and personal health/medical there is plenty of information for you to work through for those looking to go above and beyond.

Incredible Discounts

Prepper Academy has teamed up with some of the best vendors of prepper-related supplies and training to provide you with a number of fantastic discounts. Just the savings alone will pay for your membership many months over!

Here are just a few examples of the growing number of vendors and discounts:

OnPoint Tactical

$100 off your class of choice

School of Natural Healing

$100 off the online Family Herbalist Course

50% off all eBooks

All these including discounts to many more vendors such as:

So, How Much Is All Of This Going To Cost Me?

Given the amount of information you get, and the option to win free prepper gear, as well as the incredible discounts, I could easily set the price of membership to be $30 a month.

However, since the community is just beginning and this is a brand-new launch

I’m going to offer membership to those who jump on early to be only $7 a month.

Guaranteed. I WILL BE raising the price.

Since I’ll be releasing this on Wednesday (today is Monday), anyone who signs up this week will be GRANDFATHERED in at $7/mo for as long as you retain your membership. So any future price increases will not affect you.

That’s about the cost of an extra value meal at McDonald’s!

So why not skip the meal and save your health and your future at the same time?

Is there a catch?

Nope. No catch. No commitments.

When you sign on, you will be charged monthly at a flat rate of $7 per 30 days and you can cancel at any time. If you do decide to cancel there are no hard feelings and you won’t need to talk to anyone over the phone or hunt far and wide to end your membership. It’s as simple as clicking the “Unsubscribe” button in the membership site and following the easy directions.

Do I get access to all of the content upon joining?

On your first month of joining you’ll get access to the following courses from Module 100:

  • Course 101: Building a Bugout Binder
  • Course 102: Building your Disaster Kits
  • Course 103: Battening Down the Hatches (Sheltering-in-Place)

After that, on each 30-day anniversary of your joining, a new course (or courses depending on the module) will be “activated” automatically for you.

There are around 17 courses in Module 100 – Module 400 and it will take around a year to get you through those. Since each of the courses are intended to be completed sequentially and are fairly involved, you will need the time to work through them before moving on to the subsequent courses and modules.

After that Module 500 is for those willing to go beyond just “Prepping” and into self-reliance. If you continue as a member at that point, you will continue to receive more courses that further your self-reliance skills such as gardening, wild edible and medicinal plant studies, wilderness survival and more.

In addition, when you join you will be given unrestricted access to all of the other content and features such as the discounts, forum, libraries etc.

Got Questions?

So that’s Prepper Academy in a nutshell. Sorry it took so long to explain but I’m super excited about this and I wanted to make sure you had a full understanding of the depth of what I’m offering here.

With that, if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.

thanks guys and stay safe,

 – Erich


Why I Started Prepping…And Why Eating Squirrel is NOT a Solid Prepping Plan

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Every prepper has a story.

I’ve had this blog since 2009 and what’s amazing is up until now, I’ve never shared mine. It goes like this:

My Story

During my early twenties I was big into wilderness survival. I’d received some fantastic training from some of the top instructors in our nation and really had a passion for practicing and perfecting the skills I was taught. I don’t claim to be an expert by any means but I certainly felt (and still feel) that on my own I would make it out in the bush with nothing but the clothes on my back and (ideally) a knife in my hand.

Although I was well aware of the concept of prepping, I never worried about it or thought I needed to do anything like food storage since I figured, if there ever was a time that things went south I could always just run to the woods and survive on my own.

Fast forward a few years…

I get married and have a kid (yes, that’s her to the left there. She’s beautiful isn’t she? :)).

In that moment my priorities changed.

It suddenly dawned on me that it just wasn’t practical to “run off in the woods” anymore. And it wasn’t realistic for my wife and I to be living out of a leaf hut feeding my new daughter a freshly-caught squirrel with a side of cattail and acorn bread (despite one of our first dates spent gutting, skinning and quartering a deer. Look at those lovebirds there…aren’t we a sweet couple? lol).

And with the way the world was going it was then that I realized just how unprepared I was.

So that sent me off on my journey to becoming a “prepper”.

And man, was I overwhelmed!!

There was SO MUCH INFORMATION out there in the form of blogs, books, YouTube videos and forums that I didn’t know how to begin or where to start.

On top of that, as a young father barely starting my career I just didn’t have the resources to buy those freeze-dried, made-for-you, multiple-thousand-dollar food storage supply kits (let alone a remote, fully-stocked retreat up in the mountains somewhere).

I needed to learn how to prepare with the limited funds and resources I had at that time.

It wasn’t until after a long time of digging and reading and consuming articles, forum entries, and book after book that I finally got to the point where I figured out what I needed and where I should to begin.

So slowly but surely I built on my food storage and preps with only $25 extra a month to the point where we are now with enough supplies to last us for a year (and I’m still prepping ;)).

As I was learning and prepping, to show others what I was doing and to help others on their journey I also started this blog. Since then it has become one of the go-to blogs on preparedness with close to 10,000 subscribers as of this writing (I’m SO grateful by the way for all your support).

But even after creating this blog, I would still get the same questions from people time and time again…

  • Where do I begin?
  • What should I be focusing on for preps?
  • What types of disasters and events should I be focusing on preparing for?
  • What do I do if I don’t have much money?
  • Or much space?
  • What if I live in the city and don’t have a bug-out location, how do I prepare?

Questions like these kept coming and I’d try to answer them as best I could with emails and blog posts but blogging didn’t seem to be the answer.

I started the blog with the intention of sharing my journey as well as helping others get better prepared but despite that I still felt many people were not making much progress or worse, were still just as confused as I was when I began.

The biggest drawback to what’s out there now is that since forums, YouTube videos, and blogs are made up of random topics, there is no real DIRECTION in how to begin, what to do, and what steps to take.

There’s nothing wrong with those media — they are fantastic resources. But for someone who doesn’t have a ton of time to decipher what is most important, or wants to know where to begin, or even someone more experienced that wants to know what else they need to take it to the next level, it’s not ideal.

It was then that I realized that blogging, YouTube, forums, or even a book was not what was needed.

What is lacking is a format that takes you through an easy-to-follow, step-by-step process of becoming prepared — no matter where you live or what resources you have.

Given this need, I decided to come up with something I call Prepper Academy.

And if you aren’t already, this WILL get you prepared.

It uses a process of guided modules and courses in combination with a rich, multi-media experience – to give exact direction and to drive learning.

I’ll be talking in detail about this in the next article in a couple of days (I think I’ve taken enough of your time today) so look out for my email and if you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe below to get these updates.

Now it’s your turn, so WHAT’s YOUR STORY?

I’d love to hear how and why you began prepping so please let us all know in the comments below!!

Until then, stay safe guys!

Something is Coming: Will You Be Ready?

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Everywhere you look, the masses are struggling. And unless you’ve got your head in the sand I’m sure you see it too:

  • The increase in natural disasters
  • The escalating crime and lawlessness
  • The 100 million Americans dependent upon the government to survive
  • The millions of Europeans rioting in the streets and…
  • A world-wide economy in turmoil

And it’s not just on the TV anymore, it’s happening all around us.

On top of that there’s this underlying feeling that most of us can’t shake…a feeling that…


In total agreement with this is Charlie McGrath of Wide Awake News who warns that what’s on the horizon is a catastrophic implosion — leaving all of us to suffer in its wake:

We’re destroying currencies around the world. And if you think it’s for a glorious reason of rebuilding economies and strengthening growth you better look at reality and see where we’re at right now and understand what’s coming next.

Because what’s coming next has played out in history before. You have a situation where very few institutions on top wage financial war against countries of the world, and when economies fall and when civilizations in a lot of cases fall, they swoop in and garner even more power. But we’re doing it on a global scale, digitally.

You are not sovereign if you have a group of bankers who can dictate the financial policy of your country. You are not sovereign. You are not in control of anything.

Understand, these guys are all in. You’re not going deeper than zero in interest rates. You are not going more easing than forever.

It is at the end of the road, and we are circling the drain ready to be let into this total global financial toilet bowl.

And at the end of the day they’ll be standing there with the solution.

They’ll be standing there with a solution when you’re paying 40%, 50%, 60% of what you earn to put food on the table for the kids who moved back into the house.

Our politicians are not working for us. They’re working for the people that make the money. Unfortunately in the United States of America it’s not Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution where Congress coins money, it’s a bunch of central bankers that just happened to collapse the economy and are just going to be happening to sit there with the solutions.

For a long time now I thought this could all be turned around but now I feel we are fast approaching the tipping point where we can no longer go back.

The sad fact is, the majority are far from prepared…even for minor disturbances in power or supply.

For most it’s ignorance (or denial) that prevents them from prepping but for the few — like you — who are awake and want to be prepared, the common frustrations seem to be:

  • not knowing where to begin
  • being overwhelmed with the ton of information out there or…
  • feeling you don’t have the resources to properly prepare

Believe me. I get it. I was once there myself.

An Announcement

I wanted to give you guys a heads up. Next week I’ll be releasing a unique resource (I’ve been working on it for a while now) that will be of great help to many of you who are struggling to get prepared. I’m really excited about it and think you will be too.

Whether you’re thinking you don’t have the resources or you don’t know where to begin, or even if you’re a more seasoned prepper and want to go to the next level, I think you guys will really dig what I’ve developed.

So do you guys feel you’re ready?

I’d love to hear in the comments about how you’re doing, or some of the things you are struggling with when it comes to prepping or what the next plan is for your prepping goals so leave a comment below!

P.S. In the next post I’ll be sharing with you guys a little bit about my own prepping journey. Basically what I struggled with and how I’ve gotten to the point where I am today. This is something I’ve never shared up to this point so until then, stay safe…