Making Your Own Ink

Ink Header

Some of you may be wondering if making ink has anything to do with preparedness.  Well, it does, although the reasons may not be so readily apparent.

Why make ink?

We need to communicate all of the time.  We speak to others by voice, we send electronic messages by computers and texts, and we even continue to write messages on paper.  In a grid-down scenario, it is still possible to communicate by all of these methods, but many will still find the old-fashioned pen/pencil and paper to be very convenient, especially if operational security is a concern.

Besides sending written communications to others, one may wish to keep their own written records, to label foods, supplies, etc., or to otherwise write down information to remember.  Home education is another area of preparedness where homemade supplies may be needed due to a scarcity of materials, and having something unique to barter with may be another use as well.  Really, for any situation that you can think that you may need to write something down, the need for something to write with arises.

Of course, one can use pencils, and that is a great option.  The only requirement here is that it would require you to store as many as you would think you would need for a long-term scenario.  Again, that probably would not be a big deal if you planned ahead, but it may be helpful to know that one can make their own pens, paper and ink just with some natural materials found around them.  In addition to this, there are also some times that ink may be preferred over pencil anyway…especially if permanency was desired.  Although pencils can store indefinitely, ink does not.  So in order to avoid the disappointment of dried-out ink, knowing how to make your own could be an answer.

Natural ink has been around for centuries, and in many ways, it is a lost art for most people.  However, recipes for making natural inks are still around, and it is not too difficult to do.  Furthermore, different plants can produce different colors, so variety is easily obtainable.

Here are some links to recipes for various inks:

Black Ink

Brown Ink

Blue Ink

Red Ink

Purple Ink

Green Ink

Pink Ink

Invisible Ink

Blackberry Ink
Blackberry Ink

Different situations may call for knowing how to make different kinds of inks. For example, knowing how to create black, brown, or blue ink could be useful in recording “binding agreements” between parties.  In addition, the ability to make multiple colors could be advantageous for different purposes, especially for home education.  Furthermore, how to make and read invisible inks may be especially interesting to the survivalist for opsec reasons. The uses for homemade ink could be many.

In reality, making your own ink may not be a top priority, (nor should it be,) but having this knowledge may help you if you had the need to write something down in a scenario when resources were scarce.  Others may wish to make their own inks for other reasons such as the desire to avoid chemicals, or to be more environmentally friendly.  In any case, making your own ink is just another example of a self-sufficiency skill that one can learn.  It could also become an enjoyable hobby as well.



An Example of a Disaster: The Flooding in Louisiana

I have often heard it said by some that preppers are paranoid fanatics who always think the sky is falling.  It is only after these skeptics experience some kind of terrible emergency that they change their tune.

The recent flooding in Louisiana is an unfortunate example of this kind of experience.

I feel sadness for those in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities in Louisiana who have suffered so much from the recent flooding.  There have been at least 13 lives lost and up to 110,000 homes damaged or destroyed.1  That accounts for roughly 31% of the homes in that community.  Surely, the need is great.  There are many people, charities, and so forth that are helping, but those affected need so much more. This all serves as an illustration for the need of personal and community preparedness.  One never knows when a disaster may strike, and I’m sure many in Louisiana were caught unprepared.  To see just how bad the flooding was, just take a look at the videos below.

If you have the means, please consider visiting websites such as the Red Cross to see how you can help.  The New Orleans newspaper The Times-Picayune also has a website with multiple ways you can assist.

As I said before, one never knows when a disaster may strike.  This is why the time to prepare is now.  If you believe preparedness is only for the paranoid, please reconsider before it’s too late.



Back-to-School Security

Back-to-school Security Header

Yes…it’s back to school time.

For many parents, this occasion can bring both sighs of relief or pangs of anxiety.

Although the anxiety can come from a variety of reasons, one common source of parental angst is based on concern over their child’s safety.  Sending children to school when there have been so many crazy stories about violence at or on the way to school can be unnerving.  However, one cannot shelter their children forever.  Sooner or later, children need to be equipped both physically and mentally to face whatever they may encounter.  Hopefully, they will experience far more good than bad, but just as we can’t totally control our own lives, we can’t totally control what they may face as well.

So what is a parent, grandparent, or guardian to do???

When we think of protecting ourselves, many of us have the option to arm ourselves with some kind of concealed security weapon, but that’s not so for school children.  In this day and age, a child can be suspended for just eating a pastry into the shape of a gun, so obviously carrying a firearm, knife, or other weapon is a big no-no.  I don’t know this for sure, but I’m guessing school administrators would not welcome a mace canister either.

Truth be told, their best defense that they can carry with them to combat violence at or on the way to school is found between their ears…and it is up to us as parents to make sure they have stored in there what they would need to help themselves.   Here are a few of those things that they should know:

  • Situational Awarenessan absolute must!!! … Pokémon Go may be fun, or texting friends may be their whole social world, but a child who is just staring at a phone screen is an easy target…period.  Please, please, please teach your child about the necessity of situational awareness.  It should go without saying it is vastly easier to avoid a dangerous situation rather than to escape one.
  • metal whistle
    A whistle is something that children can carry with them that could help call for help if needed.

    Calling for Help/Attracting Attention – Some situations could be ended just by calling attention to it. Having your children know who to call in an emergency (such as 9-1-1) is a start.  Knowing how to approach school or community authorities is must as well.  In addition to these first methods, everyone should also have additional means to attract attention and call for help.  For example, I have my children carry a metal whistle when they go to school.  Since a whistle carries farther than voice, they would have another means to draw attention to themselves for help if they were ever threatened.

  • Basic Self-Defense Maneuvers – Hopefully, your children will never need these, but unfortunately you may never know. However, children are capable of learning some basic self-defense moves which could help save their lives. Recently, I just attended a youth camp as an adult leader.  There, an instructor had taught some simple self-defense moves that even small pre-teen girls could manage.  Basic defensive maneuvers such as breaking someone’s grip, kicking an attacker “where it counts,” or otherwise putting up a fight to make things more difficult for an attacker are all things that children could employ in an attempted assault.  Also included in this set of skills are instructions on how to best escape an active shooter situation, how to deal with a lock-down, how to best hide if necessary, and any other information which can increase your young ones’ chances for survival.  If you think all this information sounds a bit too scary to bring up with children, you should know that such drills are already taking place at many schools. They are hearing about this kind of stuff already.  Wouldn’t it be better if basic survival skills were also being reinforced by you as well?

It’s true we don’t ever want to picture our children in a threatening situation.  It’s enough to keep parents up at night.  However, it is far better that our children be prepared to deal with potential violence rather than to just bury our heads in the sand insisting that it couldn’t possibly happen. Unfortunately, in our world…it does…far…too…often.   So, just as it is important that we be prepared to deal with dangerous situations ourselves, our children need to have the means to do so as well.

If you have any additional suggestions on how we can better prepare our children to face potential threats at school, or on the way, please share.  I would welcome it!





A Good Find…

A few weeks ago, I was passing some time rummaging around a thrift store when I came across a good find.

What was it?

It was just an old cookbook.

Why was it such a good find?

In it, I found all kinds of recipes for cooking things such as basic breads, different kinds of game, and other recipes that could really be useful in a grid-down or homesteading situation.  Many of these recipes are somewhat lost for most people now, and many are not typically found in today’s cookbooks since most people just buy their basic foods at the store.

However, just as I said in my post last week, one who wishes to be prepared should not always count on being able to go to the market.  Ideally, one should make the effort to gather basic recipes now when it is much easier to do so rather than waiting for a disastrous event to occur.  Collecting old cookbooks can be a great way to start.  They can be found just about everywhere, and they can be purchased for dirt cheap.  (I think I only paid a dollar for mine.)

In any case, old cookbooks can be another resource you may wish to add to your prepper library.

Now is the time since it’s possible that you may not have the time to prepare later.

Some Things to Consider When Planning Your Food Storage…

colorful food in bags

I love looking at online recipes, picture-perfect Pins, and colorful cookbooks.  The meal ideas I get from gawking at food seem to be endless.  However, there is one disadvantage to most of these recipes when it comes to preparedness…

What would that be?

It’s that most recipes found online and in cookbooks require ingredients that may be hard (or even impossible!) to find in a long-term emergency.

If you are truly seeking to be self-sufficient, you must either collect simpler recipes for what you would want to eat, or plan to store, grow, or produce what ingredients you would hope to be able to use.

Consider this… Continue reading “Some Things to Consider When Planning Your Food Storage…”