Sierra Survival

Don't wait till it's too late, Are You Prepared for Survival?

   Nov 02


Let me begin by asking a question; how many of you have applied OFF THE GRID LIVING to your daily life now?  As you know, it is fall. A new change in season.  A new Presidential election is upon us. Our economy has not recovered. Millions of people are out of work. Our crops are drying up.  Food prices are soaring. Food banks are closing.  Gas is up and down. The stock market is being played with.  People can’t afford to stay in their homes. Foreclosure signs aren’t going away they are increasing.  The internet is being monitored. Wars are continual. Need I go on? I don’t think so. Over the past year we (Sierra Survival) are trying to apply what we have read about, into something we can say we know. We believe if we learn these things now we will be able to survive when we need to.  Let me bring you up to speed. In February it was about 25 degrees in the high sierras, during this cold spell we decided to leave the comforts of home and see if we could survive a week in the great outdoors. Well, I am still here! During this little adventure we put some of our reading to use and started learning. The first thing was; I needed to learn the art of dutch oven cooking. I had read some books, watched videos and bought my first three dutch ovens. I found out that they are indeed an important item in a survival situation. In the week that we camped, I put them to use every day. You do not need much fuel to fuel a fire for your dutch oven.This is a good thing.  They take very hot coals. You can use any type of wood, but hard wood works the best. They cook at an even temperature. The meals that I cooked also tasted every bit as good as my meals cooked in my oven at home. I am sold on them. If you have never used one you should give them a try. I now understand why the  pioneers carried them where ever they went; even though they are so heavy. This is a survival tool I will continue to use for the rest of my life.  Another tool we used in the great out doors was a wood framed tent. These tents proved to be invaluable. They are called yurts. They remind me of tepees. They are portable, can be put up in under an hour; and totally weather proof.  We had a fire going in the middle of ours. This helped keep us warm, but we needed to gather more wood for the entire night. A hard lesson to learn in freezing temperatures.  I have also been on many survival sites looking up the best ways to start a fire.  As a survival store we carry many different fire starters, but its one thing to sell them and another to use them. The first one we tried was a magnesium fire starter. Took some getting used to, but works great!! This is something I will have with me at all times. They burn up to 5400 degrees. In wet conditions this can save your life. If you have the ability to start a hot fire in less than desirable conditions your chances of survival increase.  The other fire starter that we tried was the flint.  After a lot of trial and error we found we need to use this with very dry tinder. Starting a fire with this alone takes a lot of patience and practice. (get your flint out and start practicing)  It works best with the magnesium. I will carry both with me at all times. Between the two fire starters we will be able to make a fire in  almost any situation. We haven’t tried all of our fire starters but give me some time.  I am sure I will be writing about what works best and in what situation to use them in.   Another thing that we learned, we did not have the right degree of sleeping bags and our mats where not comfortable. We did not have thick enough clothes or enough dry socks.  While you are planning for outdoor living there are things that you need!! A good mat!!!! A warm enough sleeping bag. Plenty of warm clothes and socks.  If you do not have a good mat and sleeping bag you will not sleep well and that is a very bad thing. You need sleep, we do not know how long we will have to survive in the woods. So get a good mat and bag. It was so cold outside that the water we were storing turned to solid ice!! I learned that you can become miserable very fast and your mood can and will be affected!! In a survival situation you need to have a good outlook. If you don’t, you will affect everyone around you. Your survival depends on a positive outlook.  So let me recap. You need a good fire starter, something to cook in, warm clothes, a good sleeping mat and sleeping bag. We happened to be by a running creak so we boiled our water that we needed, to prevent any illnesses. This was our first survival adventure. The reason I am writing about this is to let each and every one of you know a little about what it takes to survive. You can’t store food and bug out bags without learning to use the contents in them. So, find a weekend that you too can try out some of your supplies. You will be glad you did. You will be able to learn what you need, the value in what you have, and what you need more of.  Learning to live off the grid isn’t something we just know.  You learn by doing. You can live a full life, fuller than now. Learn to get back to the basics.  When disaster hits you will be glad you learned the value of using your stored tools and with it, a new-found knowledge.  If you wait for a disaster to happen and you can’t figure out how to use your stored supplies it might just be too late!!!! Don’t let this happen to you. We have no idea how bad things can get. Make the right choices and learn to take care of your self and your family without our government controlling what we can do. Learn to stay alive, aware and awake before the rest of our freedoms are taken away.
survival seed vault

   Nov 01

Holiday breakfast skillet

I decided to add an autumn breakfast to my daily post today. I was happy to find that when I headed outside it was a crisp cold day. It is this time of year when we start to think of warm comfort food for the cold mornings ahead. We wake up put on our slippers and rope, and walk down stairs for our first cup of coffee. This skillet is delicious and warms you up on a cold autumn morning.  So open up your refrigerator, pull out your skillet and lets get to cooking. You will be happy you did. If you like this recipe you will enjoy many more on my recipe page.

12 oz package maple flavored sausage

1/2 cup diced ham

2 cups sliced mushrooms

4 potatoes diced

1 green bell pepper thinly sliced

6 slices bacon

6 or 8 eggs

2 tablespoon mayo

1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese

Make sure you cook in a skillet like cast iron, you will be putting it in the oven.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop  sausage and bacon, brown in a skillet over medium heat,now add ham, mushrooms and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are fork tender. Mix eggs with mayo (yes mayo)!! Add bell pepper. Now add eggs to skillet. Top with cheese and bake in oven until eggs are set and cheese is slightly brown. Serve with cresents or biscuits. Enjoy!!

   Oct 18

You can eat a Pine tree!!

How many of you knew if you were in a survival situation you could eat a pine tree? There are many different wild edibles that you can eat safely!! I have never heard of eating a Pine tree though. This is new for me.  First off you probably knew that pine nuts came from the inside of a pine cone. I never realized that until recently. I have loved pine nuts my whole life. I use them in salads and make my own pesto. I just didn’t really put two and two together. I guess that is why a little jar costs so much. There are many different pines, but the best pine to get nuts out of is the Pinyon pine. They are the biggest nuts. You will find these nuts in the late season cones, around late September and through October. You will want to look for the round open cones. Before eating raw or roasting you need to remove seeds and shell. You can also use the needles off of any pine tree for making tea. Take out your survival knife and cut off a handful of fresh green needles.  Now cut them up coarsely and put into some boiling water. Boil for about 2 mins. This is an excellent source of vitamin C. Great for warming up your cold body. If you are lucky enough to have  some honey add it to your tea and you have a great nourishing drink. In the spring time the pollen off of the small male pine cone can be used as a stew thickener. It is a great source of protein. Just shake your pine cones into containers and you have a thickener.The pollen can also be used as a flour substitute.  You can also eat bark. Choose a large mature tree. A mature tree has the most inner bark and cutting it won’t harm the tree. A large mature tree will be able to heal itself. A small tree might not and could die.  If you have white pine consider yourself lucky since it is the largest and tastiest out of all pines. You will want to use your trusty knife to make a hole in the tree and make a rectangle through the outer layer of the bark into the soft inner layer, called the cambium layer.
You will want to scrape away the inner layer that is stuck to the tree. This is the sweetest part. You can boil or fry it.  If you fry it,  you can add salt and it will taste like potato chips. A pine tree is a great source of vitamin C and protein. You can eat your tree and also make glue from the sap, but that is another posting.

   Oct 13

Alternative Cooking

Today I would like to share with you several different ways of cooking outside. Our world has forgotten the basics of cooking out doors. Most of us have a BBQ with every gadget, cool smoker, and gallons of propane to keep our BBQ going. I would like to first introduce you to a solar oven. This is a great way to cook food without any propane or electricity.  The one that I have researched is called SOS. Sport solar oven. It comes with 2 3.4 quart black pots, thermometer, pasteurization indicator, reflector, and instruction booklet with recipes.  This oven is light weight and does a great job of cooking delicious meals with the Sun.  You can use this oven all year around except for cloudy days. This is great for saving money!! This oven is used for any meal that you would cook in the oven. Cookies are great.  Another great invention is the Rocket Stove. This little stove is great with little pieces of wood. The design of this stove makes cooking a breeze. It stays really hot and you do not need much wood to fuel your fire. The design makes it so it has the perfect combination of air with fire allowing  the flames to climb up the inside of the unit.  This is easy to make and very inexpensive. You need 1 #10 can, 4 soup cans, insulation material like sand, dirt, perlite. You can find instructions on how to make this great little stove on the internet. The other source of cooking I would like to introduce you to is the old tried and true art of Dutch oven cooking. This Cast Iron Pot was used by pioneers, and our grand parents. It has recently been making a come back. A well seasoned Dutch oven is a treasure. You just need your black pot, and coals. Your Dutch oven needs to have a flat top and legs. I use mine every time I camp or when the electricity is out. It makes wonderful meals and really tastes better than my meals cooked at home. You will find that learning these alternative cooking techniques are fun and are essential for any emergency survival situation. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to create delicious meals even in survival!!

   Oct 04

Corning Wild Game

It is hunting season and I would like to introduce to all my readers an old way of preserving meat. This is not a new idea it is an old one. Many people have forgotten how to preserve their meat without a freezer.  Corning was invented by a chemist named John Wilson around the 1700′s.  The process of corning meat was named for the corn sized chunks of salt used back then. It was a way for hunters and farmers to preserve their bounty. John Wilson came up with a salt-sugar brine to coat his game. This mixture of  sugar, salt and spices made for a great way to keep meat from spoiling. It was also great to store your meat for long periods of time. The salt acts like a preservative. Making it impossible for bacteria to grow and creates a tough rind on the outside of the meat while keeping it nice and soft on the inside. This method is also used for the smoke house. ( If you were not putting your meat in a liquid it would have a tough rind on the outside.)  Sugar develops flavor and also will tenderize your tough cuts of meat. Corning was done on the tough cuts of meat like, shoulder roast, flank meat, and the brisket.  You can corn most any meat, beef, lamb, venison, antelope, moose and elk to name a few.  Your meat is best corned at 38-40F.  In a cellar or even out in an enclosed garage.  Higher temps will ruin your meat!! For every 15F degrees above 40F add one-third more salt.  The following recipe will make about 2 gallons of the liquid medium used for the corning of the meat.  Adjust the recipe up or down as your own specific needs dictate.  1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt peter, 2 cups kosher salt, 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 2 bay leaves, hand crushed, 2 tablespoons of pickling spice, 1 small onion, sliced then, 1-2 cloves of minced garlic. As with most spices you can vary the amount of each to suit your own tastes. This is an old tried and true recipe though and it has been used for many many years.  Mix all ingredients into a pickle, crock, or glass jar, adding enough water to make a total of 2 gallons.  Loosely pack your meat into any non-reactive container.  Set a plate or some other non-reactive cover over the meat to hold it down, as its going to want to bob up and float if unrestricted.  Cover well!! Allow to corn for 15 days.  On the 5th day and 10th day, stir the liquid up and move the pieces around to ensure enzyme activity.  At the end of the 15th day you have beautiful homemade corned meat.

   Sep 20

Building a snow cave

I haven’t written in a while. I have been really busy setting up our store for the winter season ahead. I know you might have a hard time thinking of winter in the middle of this Hot Fall Weather, but it will be here before we know it. I would like to let you in on a great way to stay warm and alive in the middle of a snow storm, or rugged- winter-terrain. Have you ever decided to take a walk in the woods on a snowy day, only to find out an hour into it you have lost your direction? Or, have you ever taken off in snow shoes, only to find out you can’t remember how to get back to your car? The fear of being lost in the woods is very real and scary. What used to look so beautiful, suddenly becomes terrifying. You find yourself wondering if you will ever find your way.  You look up into the sky, night time looks to be approaching, and with it comes cold and another storm.  This has happened to many a person. If this happens to you, you will want to be prepared. First you need a good light-weight shovel.  They call these avalanche shovels. So before you head out for the great unknown make sure you have one on your person. It would also be good to have an avalanche probe. They fit into a backpack with your shovel and extend into a full size walking stick.  Now look for snow that will bear your weight. It needs to be soft enough to allow a probe to be inserted evenly through it.  Dig into the drift of snow to make a comfortable shelter. Remember hot air rises and cold air sinks.  You will need to create three levels.  Level one is the highest level.  This is for your fire to keep you warm.  Level two is for your sleeping bag. Make this flat and level.  Level three is for the cold air to drift downward and into this level.  You need to drive a hole in the top of your snow cave for ventilation. Make one above your fire, and one more for added ventilation.  Cut a block for a door. Put your block of snow in front of the door loosely. You do not want it too tight or it will freeze shut.  Smooth the inside of your cave with your shovel. You want it to stay solid. Make sure to pack it well. Make a channel on the inside, along the walls, for any drips that might form. You now have a shelter that will save your life. You will stay nice and warm until help arrives.

   Sep 08

Himalayan Pink salt

I wanted to write a little information about Himalayan Pink salt. Himalayan salt has 84 minerals that our body already has. It is free of bleaches, preservatives, chemicals and additives. You might say, it is the purest salt known to this day. Salt is essential for life. Without it you cannot live. If you want your body to function properly, you need pure salt complete with all natural elements.  The table salt that we use has nothing in common with natural salt. It is bleached and full of chemicals. Table salt is 97 % sodium chloride, and 2.5 % chemicals. It is also dried at temperatures of  1200 degrees. This alters the natural chemical structures of the salt. Himalayan Pink salt is free of contaminates and toxins.  This salt is also known as White Gold.  Anything referred to as Gold deserves a second look. Together with pure spring water, this salt offers all the natural elements exactly identical to the elements found in the human body.  The benefits of using this salt are as follows.

1) Regulating the water content throughout your body.

2) Promoting blood sugar health and helping to reduce the signs of aging

3) Promoting a healthy Ph balance in your cells, particularly your brain

4) Absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract

5) Supporting respiratory health

6) Prevention of muscle cramps

7) Regulating sleep

8) Promoting bone strength

9) Promoting sinus health

10) In conjunction with water it is essential for regulating blood pressure

Aside from all the benefits it offers, it tastes great. So if you have never tried this salt you can find it at your local health food store.

   Sep 07

Preparing a better meal

Yesterday, I met a lady who helped me connect the dots. She opened my eyes to several books that I needed to look into. Because of her,  I ended up ordering them. I also learned about sprouting. Sprouting is the practice of taking dried beans, grains, legumes and nuts and making them sprout. The reason for doing this is for easy digestion and added nutrients. By sprouting you can have these delicious little gems, without the problem of digestion. I know for a long time, I would not even eat them in mixed company. I had to buy tums or something to ease my stomach. Well thanks to her, I can have some of my favorites without discomfort and pain. Sprouts are chalked full of nutrients. By awakening these seeds, you are actually eating all of the live potential energy of the sprout.  Because of the higher water content in sprouts, as opposed to dry seeds and beans, they contain higher nutritional values.  Sprouts have protein that the body can break down easier. More calcium, potassium, iron and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C. Keeping dried seeds and beans for sprouting is a great way for you to be prepared. All you basically need is water. Beans are worth their wait in gold. Well, you can use your cash to buy your beans now but if you are hungry and gold has lost its value, you can’t eat it!  Here is one of the ways to sprout your own.. Soak seeds overnight in a large mason jar, by filling 1/4 way with beans and the other half with water. Put a fine wire mesh screen on top. Screw on mason lid.  The next morning drain water from the jar. Rinse well, fill with fresh water again and rinse. Every morning and night fill jar with water(through the screen) and rinse well. Make sure to dump out water. You want the beans to remain moist. Do not keep in water. Continue to do this until you have the desired length of sprout. Serve on salads, bake in breads, cook in your favorite dish. Enjoy.

   Sep 06

Electricity from the sky

Last night I spent the evening in Angels camp. We had a lighting storm. Very little rain,  a lot of light. So much so, it lit the sky up for hours. Lighting is beautiful, but also dangerous in very dry conditions.  Out here it has been so dry that the threat of a wild  fire is just a spark away. All of California is in a drought. Most of the country is dry and brown. A wild fire can burn thousands of acres in a very short time. It doesn’t take much to start a fire. When lightening strikes a dry spot or tree,  it goes up like a Roman Candle.  Last night, we watched lighting while it ignited dry brush which led to a fire raging in the distance. It sure happens fast. Fall is on its way,  but with fall, and the change of seasons, cool dry winds cause more fires. So, it would be a good idea to have debris removed from around your house. Anything dead and dry should be removed. Do not keep piles of dry leaves around. Always keep a hose ready just in case something happens. Also have an escape plan ready. Practice ways out of your house and area just in case fire strikes your neighborhood. Have a 72 hour bag ready, just in case you have to leave your home. It’s better to be prepared for the unexpected,  then not to have a plan in place and be caught with no plan or emergency supplies or food or water. It is my recommendation to have a 72 hour emergency kit for each member of your family. You should have food, water, clothing, first aid, camp stove of some kind, important documents, sleeping bag, and some sort of shelter. If each family member has their own bag ready, you will be ready to leave in a moments notice. Better to be safe than sorry.
Free Solar Book

   Aug 30

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend is the last official summer Horrah. It is the last weekend that we see droves of cars and boats heading to the lakes and camp sites. Well, this weekend is also a great time to have our end of the summer 25% off sale at our little store. If you are new to our site we have a store located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is called Sierra Survival just like the name on this web site. We will be having a parking lot extravaganza. So if you are in the neighborhood of Sugar Pine CA this is a great time to stop in. We are looking forward to seeing new and old faces. Hot Dogs will be free to all who come by. You can wash it down with one of our cold sodas, Sobes or Izzie drinks. This is our fall and winter kick off. Our store will be a pleasant surprise to all who have never had the opportunity to visit. This fall we are looking to expand our lines. We would like to get more winter products and add a line of hunting gear. Our store is not just a store. It is a survival store. We carry what you would need in every day situations and extreme emergencies. We have solar ovens, freeze dried foods, water purification (Aqua Rain) Hand held water filtration bottles (cleans 100 gallons) tents, sleeping bags, natural antibiotics, fishing, emergency lights
and How-to books. We also carry a
line of cast iron cook ware. We are hoping to help out our families located in our community and others. Being prepared all starts with a frame of mind. What will I do in case? In case of anything. So this labor Day we are hosting an outdoor camping and emergency preparedness extravaganza. Hope you won’t miss this opportunity to prepare for the unexpected. Let us help you be prepare.