Bug-out Bag Fail…

Last weekend, I had an eye-opening experience.  Without any notice, I found myself overnight in a hospital with a family member.  The next morning, (knowing I had my bug-out bag in my car,) I went to grab a fresh change of clothes, a toothbrush, etc.  Going through my bag, I came to realize I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was.  I had a toothbrush…but no toothpaste.

Now, I don’t believe this to be a big fail.  Indeed, if the apocalypse would have hit, I wouldn’t have really cared about not having any toothpaste in this bag…but here’s the realization that I had: The purpose of this bag was to be prepared for many kinds of emergencies…not just the TEOTWAWKI kind. Continue reading “Bug-out Bag Fail…”

Why You Should Know How to Program Your Own Radio…

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Ham radio is amazing! I’m a very big advocate for it when it comes to emergency communications, and I am always very happy to see people investigate and jump into the hobby.

However, there are two related mistakes I often see new (and even not-so-new) hams make when planning to use amateur radio for emergency communications.

What are they, you ask? Continue reading “Why You Should Know How to Program Your Own Radio…”

Homemade Stamp Ink Pads

A few weeks ago, I discussed how storing a variety of rubber stamps could be beneficial to preparedness and homesteading efforts.  To follow up with that, this post will instruct on how to make your own stamp pads to use with those stamps.

Now, if you have stamp pads already, great.  No problem, then.  But this post assumes a scenario when you would have to come up with your own supplies.  This could be due to an emergency situation, supply constraints, or just simply household budget concerns.  On another note, maybe you just wish to use all natural ingredients.  Whatever the reason, if you wish to learn how to make your own stamp ink pads, then read on. Continue reading “Homemade Stamp Ink Pads”

Heads Up!!! Are You Trying to Program that Baofeng of Yours???

Have you heard of CHIRP?  It is an open-source software which is designed to be used for amateur radio.  I have used it to program my Baofeng UV-5R, and in doing so, I had saved a lot of time and effort.   (Programming directly with the radio is possible, but in my opinion, it’s a bit of a chore.)  Besides Baofeng radios, CHIRP can be used to program many makes and models of other ham radios out there. (Go here for the website and the complete list of supported radios.)

I can say firsthand that CHIRP is very useful in programming your radio, especially if you have a large number of desired repeater listings as I have.  I have to say, though, the software does take a little to get used to in using it.

Thankfully, the ARRL is hosting a FREE webinar on CHIRP.  The webinar will discuss accessing, using, and troubleshooting the software.   It will be held on Wednesday, October 19th at 8:00 pm EDT (Thursday, October 20th, 00:00 UTC.) For more information and to register, click here to access the arrl.org website directly.

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The Usefulness of Rubber Stamps

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This time of year has a lot going on.

For one thing, it is “back-to-school” season, and many who have children at home are in the throngs of hoarding school supplies for the upcoming year. This could be true whether their children go to a public school, a charter or private school, or if they are educated at home.

For another, it is also canning season. That, by itself, can make this a busy time of year. Many are preserving harvests from their gardens.  Others are trying to fill their pantries for the coming months.  Really, canning is one self-sufficiency skill you shouldn’t do without.

Finally, if you have been shopping anywhere lately, you probably have also noticed that the holiday season is just right around the corner.  Depending on how important the holidays may be to you, you may have gift-giving, parties, and card exchanges here shortly.

If you are anything like me, you use a computer to help organize and complete many of the above tasks. Printing labels, cards, etc. is a very easy thing to do with technology, but did you ever stop to think what would you do if technology was no longer available? Continue reading “The Usefulness of Rubber Stamps”