Mugwort: A versatile herb with many survival uses

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[Nyerges is the author of “Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and other books. His schedule of outings is available from School of Self-Reliance, P.O. Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041 and can be viewed on-line at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com.]

Mugwort is an aromatic plant with species found all over the world. It is perhaps one of the few herbs widely steeped in lore and mythology. Mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana and other closely-related species) is a multiple use plant, having been used for food, medicine, fire-starting, dreaming, and more.
I have known people who ate the raw mugwort leaves in salad and added to sandwiches, in much the same way as you’d add a pickle or a piece … Read More

In a Grid-Down World

dudeandyuccaBy Dude McLean

“Grid down” is a rational fear. China is perfecting their device to use EMP on Taiwan, and if we interfere, it’s likely to be used on us, or at least the ships we might have in the area. Put that aside for a moment. China has called for the dollar to be replaced by a world currency, again. Given that the vast sum of money the money the U.S. owes China grows by the minute, could they be growing tired of waiting.

The “grid” is very fragile in the first place. We have three grids that are linked—Eastern, Western and Texas (that always struck me as strange). We really have no control of the grid. We are … Read More

Get To Know Your Neighbors

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Real Survival is not a sport. It is not a computer game. Survival is not a “reality” TV show. Survival is not a concept that intellectuals discuss over latte. Nor is it a topic for science fiction novels.

Survival is that live-or-die feeling that emanates from our deepest desire to continue our life. It is the deepest instinct of human kind and the entire animal kingdom.

We joke about “the apocalypse” and zombies and “the end of the world,” and yet, due to our ability to adapt and to condition ourselves, we live all the time with factors that threaten our very survival. But we address those factors, and we modify and change, and hopefully, we survive.

Human society stands … Read More

Survival Value of Coins

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We’re all so busy, rushing around from place to place in our modern world that we forget things have not always been like this, and – if history is any clue – things will not always be like this either.

Money makes our day-to-day life go forward, and most of us handle most of our transactions these days electronically, or with plastic. (Does anyone write checks anymore?)

With even a simple blackout, most businesses are unable to function. They couldn’t take your money if they wanted to, because their registers are all requiring electricity.
With a severe blackout, credit cards would be useless, though some merchant (and fellow traders) might accept paper currency. At least for awhile, regular coinage would … Read More

Learning about Mushrooms

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Recently, when my “Foraging Oregon” book was released, one person criticized that it did not include mushrooms in the book because “mushrooms are part of foraging.” Obviously, the person didn’t actually read the book, and so he missed my reasons for not including mushrooms in the book. Yes, some mushrooms are easily identified, like chicken of the woods, yet there are many lesser-known related species in the “safe” groups can cause sickness if not processed right.

Mycology was the science that obsessed me the most, before botany, and back in the early ‘70s, mycologists were few and far between. Besides getting every book on the subject, I also joined the Los Angeles Mycological Association, and spent many weekends in fields … Read More

“Survivalist,” “Prepper,” “Bushcraft,” “Minimalist,” etc. — what the hell are we?

Christopher with Catherine at Hollywire TV

Christopher with Catherine at Hollywire TV

Recently, I did a little segment for a show called Hollywire TV and they introduced me as a “prepper.” I did a little segment showing survival skills for L.A. Korean TV recently, and they called me a “survivalist.” Back when Ron Hood was alive, I was occasionally paired off with him in newspaper articles – I was called a “soft survivalist,” and he a “hard survivalist.” I have been called these things and more, such as a bushcrafter, a nature man, a wilderness survival expert or teacher, a re-enactor, someone lost in the past, and many more names and titles, both “good” and “bad.”

As survival skills in general have gotten so popular, partly … Read More

Earthquake Toilet Test

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[This is an excerpt from my “Squatter in Los Angeles” book, available from Kindle, or as a pdf from www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com. It has received the highest accolades from Dude, more or less.]

The reason I was living there in Highland Park was because I was attracted to the work of the non-profit, whose stated goal was to research and share all aspects of “survival.” I took on a project of experimenting with the practicality of using an alternate toilet, such as would be necessary in the aftermath of a major Los Angeles earthquake.

We purchased an inexpensive RV toilet from Big 5, and it consisted of a simple 3 gallon plastic bucket which fit into a larger bucket, which had a … Read More

How One Man Uses the 99 Cent store for his First Aid Needs

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061415ArtTujungaMktWTIetc 082PUTTING TOGETHER YOUR OWN FIRST AID KIT
ON THE CHEAP!

[Nyerges, a member of the Dirttime team, is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere” who has been leading survival classes since 1974. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com].

Art Lee, a man with an engineering background from Southern California, found that he could make a better first aid kit by purchasing all the components himself – even purchasing many of the items from the 99 cent store!

He has put together two do-it-yourself kits, one for backpacking and one for home use.

“I made my own because I felt I could get it all cheaper with precisely what I want,” stated Lee. “Too many of the pre-packaged first aid … Read More

Automobile Survival Kit

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One Veteran’s choice of items

[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere” and other books. He has been leading survival classes since 1974. To learn about his books and classes, contact School of Self-Reliance, Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.SchoolofSelf-Relance.com.]

Everyone has an opinion about what constitutes a “survival kit.” Most backpacking stores provide you with a very specific list of what you should have in your personal survival kit, but that list is based upon what they want to sell you, not necessarily what you need. In fact, there is no “final word” on survival kits. The best ones are custom-made to fit your personal needs, in the situations dictated by the weather and your … Read More

The Year of “No Christmas”

121714Ogam&Mush 139[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Self-Sufficient Home,” and other books. His blog can be read at www.ChristopherNyerges.com. He can be contacted via his site, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041]

When Christmas rolls around each year, numerous memories flood in – some good, some not good, some different. I suspect this is the way with everyone. Over the years, a lot has happened during this December time. Here’s one memory from my early years.

When I was around 10, my brothers and I were particularly bad, belligerent, and misbehaving one autumn. My mother gave us several warning and threats and a few “beatings” in her ceaseless attempt to get us to obey. I don’t recall … Read More