10 Nuclear Survival Gear Items You Need To Get For SHTF
Here is the latest from the world of prepping...
Let’s Talk about Nuclear Survival Gear today. I hear a lot going on about nuclear war with Russia. I would like to say up front that I do not think that is going to happen. Nuclear war with any of the big world powers is very unlikely.
If any world power launches a nuclear attack on anyone the rest of the world will retaliate. Putin may be many things but he is not a Nihilist. No one wants to scorch the world.
If we ever see a nuke set off It will be a lone wolf bomber. Or a group that is not affiliated with a country that doesn’t care about the outcome. I see the likeliness of a dirty bomb being set off in strategic locations to be more probable.
With that said having preps for a dirty bomb makes sense. If I’m wrong and Russia hits us with some nukes then the same gear will work. At least if there’s anything left. If you are in the area that gets hit it’s game over. No prep can save you from taking on a nuclear bomb.
Nuclear Survival Gear
Some of these you will probably know. Lists of nuclear survival gear are always going around. My buddy Matt sent me a link recently to one. It was bad. They had soap on the list. Yes, It can help but I’m sure you have soap anyway. I wanted ones you might not know.
I’m sure you’ve seen this one and might already have it in your preps. Potassium iodide pills are the first nuclear survival gear people think of. The price has come down significantly on the iOSAT pills since Fukushima.
Iodine pills are not a magical radiation pill, though. It only prevents radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland. It won’t help once the thyroid is damaged.
In the event of a nuclear attack, you want to begin immediately taking Potassium Iodide. You need to fill up the thyroid with stable iodine so no radioactive iodine gets in.
No, not the artist or laundry kind. The CDC says it is not that same. I can’t find any sources to either prove or disprove this.
Prussian Blue is a pill, by prescription, that can help remove radioactive cesium and thallium from people’s bodies. It traps radioactive cesium and thallium in the intestines and keeps them from being re-absorbed.
The radioactive materials then move through the intestines and are passed in bowel movements.
Prussian blue reduces the biological half-life of cesium from about 110 days to about 30 days and thallium from about 8 days to about 3 days.
You will need to either ask your doctor about getting a prescription or poke around on the internet for a source to buy.
DTPA (Diethylenetriamine pentaacetate)
DTPA (Diethylenetriamine pentaacetate) is a medicine that can bind to radioactive plutonium, americium, and curium to decrease the amount of time it takes to get radioactive plutonium, americium, and curium out of the body.
It works by tightly binding to radioactive materials then passing them from the body in the urine.
It is best to take right after radiation exposure to reduce the time that the material is inside your body.
This too is by prescription only. Which makes no sense since it, not Prussian blue have off-label uses.
Radiation badges are carried by first responders and people that work in and around radiation. These badges are a calmative indication of radiation exposure. So the meter will never reset. It, however, does not require power. It will fit in a wallet so you can carry it everywhere you go.
They will work great to check your exposure after an event. It will also show you how well you are avoiding radiation.
There are a ton of Geiger counters on amazon. Many of them are well over $100 though. I know y’all don’t have tons of money floating around. Neither do I. There are some affordable smartphone ones. You just plug them into the headphone jack.
Or you could go the DIY route and make one. Here is a link to an Instructable on building a Geiger counter. It might be a project for the more experienced of you.
Radiation hazmat suit
Chem suits are pretty cheap on Amazon. Here is one for $12. I would not recommend getting a cheap one and deliberately going out in radiation.
I would use them for emergencies. Only use them when you have to. Best practices would be to stay inside.
I have also seen hazmat suits at army surplus stores. I would trust a mil surplus one. They overbuild everything.
In a nuclear event, you want to seal up your home. Cover the windows, vents, and doors. You do not want radiation to get inside.
The more radiation you keep from getting inside the less you have to worry about removing. Only physical barriers will keep radiation from entering the body.
Not much to add to this. You need stored water in your Nuclear Survival Gear preps. If you follow the rest of the advice I’m giving you and drink radiated water you’re screwed.
I almost left it off the list because you need to have water storage covered in basic preps anyway. Since water is so important I’m telling you again.
Sea Salt And Baking Soda
This is where the list of Nuclear Survival Gear gets weird. I like weird. And hopefully, you do too.
I came across this article on using sea salt and baking soda. It is kinda out there and suggests using diet for radiation and cancer (which I agree with).
One of the gems learned from this article is that Sodium bicarbonate binds with uranium. Yup good old baking soda binds with uranium.
It recommends soaking in a bath of sea salt and baking soda to draw out the radiation. Although it does seem like pseudo-science it may just help out. And both items should be in your preps anyway.
This one was a bit harder to track down sources for. I remember hearing Dom D’Agostino on the Tim Ferriss show mention ketones effect on radiation exposure.
Basic science supports the idea, that nutritional ketosis could preserve the cellular, tissue and physiology of people exposed to radiation. He talks about this concept for astronauts but also for Japanese near Fukushima.
I like to be in at least mild ketosis the majority of the time. So I will be fine. If you don’t want to eat a ketogenic diet you have options now. This science paper stated that:
The invention relates to methods of using ketogenic compounds to protect against the adverse effects of radiation exposure, including ionizing radiation tissue damage. NIH inventors have discovered that ketone esters can be used to reduce tissue damage if administered before or after exposure to radiation. Specifically, the invention relates to esters and oligomers of (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate that are capable of elevating blood levels of (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate to sufficient levels to reduce cell death caused by radiation-induced damage of DNA and RNA. The development of effective radioprotectant molecules such as these is of great importance in reducing tissue damage following intentional or accidental radiation exposure. This discovery can also increase the therapeutic efficacy of radiation therapies by protecting non-target tissues from incidental radiation damage.❞
So by having some exogenous ketones as a prep you can start taking it as soon as you are exposed. New products are coming out all the time if the price on KetoCaNa is a little steep. With the benefits from it though I would say, is will easily pay for itself. Fasting will get you into ketosis fast too.
There are probably more herbal remedies out there for radiation. And I encourage you to go look and research on your own. With the Nuclear Survival Gear, I recommend in this post I feel that you will survive a radiation exposure event.
In the case that you are not a direct target. Nothing I can recommend for that. The best advice I have is to not live in a city that is a desirable target.
If you live in a town with a small population at least some distance from the larger cities you will be better off. We preppers often gravitate to smaller towns anyway.
The big key is to minimize exposure. So the less exposure to radiation you have the better off you will be.
Next is that most of the nuclear survival gear items need to be used ASAP. The sooner you treat radiation sickness the better your chances of survival is.
Combining any or all of these will raise those chances more.
20 Wilderness Uses for Aluminum Foil
by Bob Rodgers
Many hikers and survivalists carry aluminum foil in their backpacks as they’ve learned how useful this item can become in the wilderness. Over the years, I’ve discovered ways you can use aluminum foil while exploring the great outdoors and the versatility of this item never ceases to amaze me.
In every household you can find a roll or two of heavy-duty aluminum foil and it is one of the items that have many uses in an emergency situation. Regardless if you are in the wilderness or in the city, aluminum foil is a versatile item to have and its uses are limited only by your imagination.
Here are my top wilderness uses for aluminum foil:
Makes cooking cleanup easier when time is of the essence – If you line your Dutch oven or cast iron with foil, it will keep sticky food residue to a minimum. This is especially useful in the evening when you don’t have the time or resources (water may be scarce) to clean the cooking pots. If you use aluminum foil you will avoid letting your dirty pots sit overnight and attract unwanted guests.
Improvise a frying pan. You can improvise a fork from a long branch and use a piece of aluminum foil wrapped around it to fry the goodies you manage to forage or hunt.
Improvise all sorts of cooking accessories. You can make a serving platter or a cup from aluminum foil and pretty much anything you can think off depending on your cooking needs.
You can make a solar oven using your aluminum foil. If you have a cardboard box available you can easily improvise a solar oven to cook your food. Even if you do not have the luxury of using a cardboard box in the wild, you can still improvise a cage from sticks and line it up with aluminum foil to create a solar oven.
As you will see in this video, improvising a pot from aluminum foil can be done by anyone. You could use the pot to boil water, warm your food and pretty much anything you can think of.
While learning to make the right type of fire suited for a specific survival situation is a valuable skill, you can also use aluminum foil to keep your fire going. You can block the wind and protect the flames by making an aluminum wall using a few branches.
Related article: Various types of fire you can make in the wild
Use it to collect rainwater. You can improvise a funnel to divert rainwater into your container or you can improvise a large pot and place it in a spot with abundant rainfall.
Improve your outdoor lighting needs. All you need to do is add a piece of aluminum foil to one side of your lantern and you can focus the light in the direction you need.
Use it for rescue signaling purposes. You can use it just as a signaling mirror and the reflective surface of the foil can be used to signal a rescue plane or vehicle in the distance for help. You can also tie multiple strips of foil to a branch and make a signaling flag.
Use it to mark the road to camp. Getting lost in the wild is easy, especially if your orientation skills are not sharpened. To make sure you always find your way to camp, you cut strings from of aluminum foil and tie them to branches to make sure you don’t get lost. This is especially useful if you have to travel at night and the since the foil will reflect light from your flashlight and even moonlight.
You may be forced to cross a river and things will get wet faster than you would expect. If you have a waterproof bag, you are in luck, but if that’s not the case the foil you brought along can save the day. Items such as wooden matches, cellphones, socks and pretty much anything you want to keep dry can be wrapped tightly in aluminum foil.
Use it to make drip rings. If you sleep in a survival hammock you can improvise drip rings to keep water runoff away from you sleeping area. This is a useful trick if you don’t want to wake up in a puddle.
Aluminum foil can help you warm your sleeping bag. This is something I’ve learned while visiting the UK. Besides teaching us how to make a hot bed, the guide also taught us how to warm our sleeping bags using stones and aluminum foil. You will need to heat some stone in the campfire coals, wrap them in foil and place them by your feet. This will help you keep warm on cold nights, providing an extra level of comfort.
If you sleep on the ground, you can use aluminum foil to keep your sleeping bag dry and warm. The foil will protect moisture from reaching your sleeping bag and will reflect the heat emanated by your body.
Recommended article: Survival hammock trips and tricks you should know
Make a fishing lure from your foil. You can use a knife to create feathered edges for your fish hook. The shiny edges will flutter in the water and will convince fish such as bass to bite on your lure.
Improvise a container to carry the sticky/mushy goodies you manage to forage. You can line your pocket with aluminum foil or you can improvise a container to safely store the things you manage to forage for. It will prevent berries and other moist items from making a mess in your backpack.
Protect your berry shrubs. If you are forced to forage for food while being stranded in the wild, chances are you could find some berries. Seeing how there is a great competition for these wild berries, you will need to protect the bushes from birds and other critters. Tie strips of foil to the branches if you want to make sure there will still be berries available when you return the next day.
You can make a food cache using aluminum foil to prevent unwanted guests from raiding your supplies. All you need to do is dig a hole, line the bottom with rocks, wrap your items in aluminum foil and put them in the hole. Before covering your supplies with dirt, make sure you mark the spot or acknowledge the available landmarks. This will save you from digging multiple times to find your supplies.
Fire starting aid. Many survivalists use petroleum jelly firestaters but few of them know that they can improve the duration of the flame by placing the firestaters on a piece of aluminum foil. By doing so the jelly won’t melt into the ground below and you flame will last longer. This is a neat trick if you need to start a flame in cold or wet environments.
Use it to make repairs or improvements. If your water bottle gets pierced or your water canteen gets cracked you can use the foil in conjunction with pine sap to seal the container. You can also use it to enhance the signal of devices with traditional antennas if you wrap a ball of foil around the end of the antenna. Even more, you can fix the lose springs from your devices and hold batteries in place by folding a small piece of foil and placing it between the battery and the lose spring.
Your survival bag doesn’t have to contain expensive gear to become useful and as you can see, even cheap items such as aluminum foil can prove useful during an emergency situation. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: In a survival situation, improvisation is the mother of necessity. The versatility of aluminum foil makes it an ideal candidate for your survival bag and you should really consider buying a roll or two for emergency situations.
5 Life-Saving Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric, also known as Curcumin, is a medicinal plant that has been used to remedy a number of diseases for over 4,000 years. Commonly used as a spice in Southeast Asia, the turmeric root is growing in popularity internationally due to recent discoveries of its healing potential. With over 9,000 papers published on the life-saving benefits of turmeric, health advocates are now recognizing the immense medicinal benefits derived from this plant.
(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get healthy living tips, gardening secrets, and more delivered straight to your inbox!)
Here are five reasons why you should include turmeric in your diet:
1. Inhibits the Growth of Cancer Cells
A recent study found that pancreatic cancer (PC) cell growth was inhibited with the introduction of curcumin to cancer cells. In the study, there was observed suppressed cell growth, cell cycle arrest and induced cell apoptosis, meaning programmed PC cell death. This means that turmeric taken daily could prove to be an effective measure to prevent cancer or mitigate the growth of cancer.
2. Very Good Source of Vitamin B6
Turmeric is a great source for vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), as well as Iron, Potassium and Manganese. B6 assists in the process of generating usable energy for the body out of food and helps to fight infection. Adding turmeric to your daily diet will ensure that you do not suffer a deficiency of vitamin B6, which can lead to anemia, dermatitis or a number of other maladies.
3. Potent Anti-diabetic Properties
An April 2015 study showed that turmeric powder exhibited potent anti-diabetic, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. All three properties would be helpful in alleviating complications associated with diabetes, such as for anti-hyperglycemic therapy. It was also shown to impede molecular complications of type 2 diabetes milletus.
Curcumin extract was found to be effective in preventing type 2 diabetes in prediabetic patients. Following 9 months of treatment of a prediabetic population, 16.4% of test subjects in the placebo group were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but nobody in the curcumin-treated group was found to have type 2 diabetes. Those suffering from type 2 diabetes and those who are prediabetic should consider adding turmeric to meals to relieve their symptoms.
4. Treatment for Depression
A study published just this month suggests that curcumin may be helpful in treating depression. When given active drug treatments comprising variant doses of curcumin and combined curcumin/saffron, patients with major depressive disorder experienced an effective reduction in depressive and anxiolytic symptoms.
Curcumin has also been found to enhance nerve growth in the the sciatic nerves in mice, which may be the reason it is said to enhance nerve growth in the frontal cortex and hippocampal areas of the brain. This could be one of the mechanisms contributing to a reduction of depression among patients. Patients may experience relief from depression with the addition of turmeric in their daily intake.
5. Improves Vascular Endothelial Function
A study comparing the benefits of exercise to those derived from turmeric found significant improvement to vascular endothelial function, suggesting that daily curcumin ingestion may help to prevent against cardiovascular disease. The curcumin group showed a slightly greater improvement when compared with the exercise group. It would be best to combine daily endurance exercise with turmeric ingestion to obtain the maximum improvement of endothelial function in order to effectively protect against heart disease.
If you are interested in preventing cancer and diabetes, improving cardiovascular function, relieving depression and ensuring that you are not deficient in vitamin B6, then you should certainly consider adding turmeric to your diet today.
52 Plants In The Wild You Can Eat
52 Plants In The Wild You Can Eat
We all know our market vegetables and fruits are safe to eat, but what about other wild edibles? Here are a few common (North American) goodies that are safe to eat if you find yourself stuck in the wild… first of all, please note that you need to know with certainty the identity of what you are finding and collecting as survival food. If you are not sure – leave it alone.
Many wild berries are not safe to eat, it’s best to stay away from them. But wild blackberries are 100% safe to eat and easy to recognize. They have red branches that have long thorns similar to a rose, the green leaves are wide and jagged. They are best to find in the spring when their white flowers bloom, they are clustered all around the bush and their flowers have 5 points. The berries ripen around August to September. Avoid berries grown in what could be post-industrial / polluted soil, also those close to roads have essentially been fumigated with engine fumes all year round.
The easiest to recognize is the dandelion, in the spring they show their bright yellow buds. You can eat the entire thing raw or cook them to take away the bitterness; usually in the spring they are less bitter. They are packed with Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and beta carotene.
The vegetable that makes your pee smell funny grows in the wild in most of Europe and parts of North Africa, West Asia, and North America. Wild asparagus has a much thinner stalk than the grocery-store variety. It’s a great source of source of vitamin C, thiamine, potassium and vitamin B6. Eat it raw or boil it like you would your asparagus at home.
RELATED : 8 Wilderness Survival “Rules” That Are Actually Myths
An elderberry shrub can grow easily grow about 10 feet and yield tons of food, their leaf structure is usually 7 main leaves on a long stretched out stem, the leaves are long and round and the leaves themselves have jagged edges. These are easiest to identify in the spring as they blossom white clustered flowers that resembles an umbrella. Mark the spot and harvest the berries when they’re ripe around September.
Elderberries are known for their flu and cold healing properties, you can make jelly from them and are very sweet and delicious.
These are also common in the woods in northern Missouri, the branches are grey and have long red thorns, and the leaves are bright green and have 5 points, they have rounded edges and look similar to the shape of a maple leaf. The flowers in the spring are very odd looking, they are bright red and hang down, the berries ripen around late May early June.
Mulberry leaves have two types, one spade shape and a 5 fingered leaf. Both have pointed edges.
There are over a hundred different species of pine. Not only can the food be used as a supply of nourishment but, also can be used for medicinal purposes. Simmer a bowl of water and add some pine needles to make tea. Native americans used to ground up pine to cure skurvy, its rich in vitamin C.
Pretty much the entire plant is edible and is also known for medicinal values. The leaves can be eaten raw, steam or boiled. The root can be eaten as well. (like all herbs, pregnant women and breast-feeding woman should consult a physician first before use)
You can find this plant in many parts of the country, These are not tigerlilys or easterlilys (which are toxic), a daylily is completely safe to eat. Daylilys have bright orange flowers that come straight out of the ground, their main stock/stem has no leaves so that’s your confirmation that it’s a day lily, if you see an orange six-petal flower like this one that has a bear stem (no leaves) it’s a daylily. You can eat them whole or cook them or put them in salads.
RELATED : 3 Deadfall Traps That You Should Know How To Make
The trees mature around 20-30 ft, some can grow up to 100 ft tall. The leaves are bright green and long, smooth edges and the peacans themselves are grown in green pods and when ripe the pods open and the seeds fall to the ground.
Hazelnut trees are short and tend to be around 12-20 ft tall, the leaves are bright green and have pointed edges, the hazelnuts themselves grown in long strands of pods and generally ripen by September and October.
Walnut trees are the most recognisable and the tallest nut tree in North America, they can range from 30-130 feet tall. The leaf structure is very similar to the peacan, the leaves are spear like and grow on a long stem 6-8 leaves on both sides. The leaves edges are smooth and green. The walnuts tend to grow in clusters and ripen in the fall.
Acorns can tend to be bitter, they are highly recognisable as well, they should be eaten cooked and a limited amount.
Hickory nut trees can grow about 50-60 ft tall, their green leaves are spear like and can grow very large, they have pointed edges. The hickory nut is round and ten to ripen in September or October.
Known as cattails or punks in North America and bullrush and reedmace in England, the typha genus of plants is usually found near the edges of freshwater wetlands. Cattails were a staple in the diet of many Native American tribes. Most of a cattail is edible. You can boil or eat raw the rootstock, or rhizomes, of the plant. The rootstock is usually found underground. Make sure to wash off all the mud. The best part of the stem is near the bottom where the plant is mainly white. Either boil or eat the stem raw. Boil the leaves like you would spinach.
RELATED : Old Skills Revived: How To Tan a Deer Hide
Edible parts: Flowers, leaves, roots and seeds. Leaves can be eaten in any season, when the weather gets hot, the leaves will have a taste bitter. Flowers can be chopped and tossed into salads. The roots can be collected in early spring and again in late fall, when no flower stalks are present. Garlic mustard roots taste very spicy somewhat like horseradish…. yummy! In the fall the seed can be collected and eaten.
These usually appear May and July, you can eat the leaves raw or boiled, they’re high in vitamins and minerals! (pregnant women and breast-feeding woman should consult a physician first before use)
Herb Robert :
Edible parts: The entire plant. Fresh leaves can be used in salads or to make tea. The flower, leaves and root can be dried and stored using it later as a tea or herbs as a nutrient booster. Rubbing fresh leaves on the skin is known to repel mosquitoes, and the entire plant repels rabbits and deer which would compliment and protect your garden. (like all herbs, pregnant women and breast-feeding woman should consult a physician first before use)
Use the leaves raw in salads or salsas, or cooked in soups, with rice, or in mixed cooked greens. Beach lovage can have a strong flavor and is best used as a seasoning, like parsley, rather than eaten on its own. Beach lovage tastes best before flowers appear, and is also called Scotch lovage, sea lovage, wild celery, and petrushki.
Is another one of those plants that seems to thrive right on the edge of gardens and driveways, but it’s also edible. Pick the green, rippled leaves and leave the tall flower stems. Blanch the leaves and sauté with some butter and garlic just as you would with kale or any other tough green.
Garlic grass (Allium vineale or wild garlic) is an herbal treat often found lurking in fields, pastures, forests and disturbed soil. It resembles cultivated garlic or spring onions, but the shoots are often very thin. Use it in sandwiches, salads, pesto or chopped on main courses like scallions.
Cresses (Garden cress, water cress, rock cress, pepper cress) are leafy greens long cultivated in much of Northern Europe. They have a spicy tang and are great in salads, sandwiches, and soups.
Use the leaves raw in salads, or cooked in soups, in mixed cooked greens, or in any dish that calls for cooking greens. Lamb’s Quarters are susceptible to leaf miners; be careful to harvest plants that are not infested. Although Lamb’s Quarters are best before the flowers appear, if the fresh young tips are continuously harvested, lamb’s quarters can be eaten all summer. Lamb’s Quarters is also called Pigweed, Fat Hen, and Goosefoot.
RELATED : 17 NATURAL ANTIBIOTICS OUR GRANDPARENTS USED INSTEAD OF PILLS
Use the young leaves raw in salads, or cooked in soups, in mixed cooked greens, or in any dish that calls for cooking greens. Goosetongue is best in spring and early summer, before the flowers appear. Goosetongue can be confused with poisonous Arrowgrass, so careful identification is essential. Goosetongue is also called Seashore Plantain.
Edible parts: The whole plant – leaves, roots, stem, seeds. The Amarath seed is small and very nutritious and easy to harvest, the seed grain is used to make flour for baking uses. Roasting the seeds can enhance the flavor, also you can sprout the raw seeds using them in salads, and in sandwiches, etc. Young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach, sautéed, etc. Fresh or dried pigweed leaves can be used to make tea.
Use the leaves raw in salads, or cooked in soups, mixed cooked greens, or any dish that calls for cooking greens. Monkey flower is best before the flowers appear, although the flowers are also edible and are good in salads or as a garnish.
“Self-Heal” Prunella vulgaris:
Edible parts: the young leaves and stems can be eaten raw in salads; the whole plant can be boiled and eaten as a potherb; and the aerial parts of the plant can be powdered and brewed in a cold infusion to make a tasty beverage. The plant contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as flavonoids and rutin. Medicinally, the whole plant is poulticed onto wounds to promote healing. A mouthwash made from an infusion of the whole plant can be used to treat sore throats, thrush and gum infections. Internally, a tea can be used to treat diarrhea and internal bleeding. (like all herbs, pregnant women and breast-feeding woman should consult a physician first before use)
Mallow Malva neglecta:
Edible parts:All parts of the mallow plant are edible — the leaves, the stems, the flowers, the seeds, and the roots (it’s from the roots that cousin Althaea gives the sap that was used for marshmallows). Because it’s a weed that grows plentifully in neglected areas, mallows have been used throughout history as a survival food during times of crop failure or war. Mallows are high in mucilage, a sticky substance that gives them a slightly slimy texture, similar to okra, great in soups. Mallow has a nice pleasant nutty flavor. One of the most popular uses of mallows is as a salad green. (like all herbs, pregnant women and breast-feeding woman should consult a physician first before use)
Parts: Flowers, Leaves, Root. Leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. A fairly bland flavor with a mucilaginous texture, it is quite nice in a salad. The young leaves are best, older leaves can turn bitter especially in the summer and if the plant is growing in a hot dry position. Although individual leaves are fairly small, they are produced in abundance and are easily picked. Stalks and flowers can be eaten raw. A nice addition to the salad bowl. Bulb also can be eaten raw. Although very small and labor-intensive to harvest, the boiled and peeled root has the flavor of chestnuts. Another report says that the plant has a fibrous root system so this report seems to be erroneous.
RELATED : The Top 10 Survival Recipes from the Backwoods
Sweet Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) :
This plant is often mistaken for Phlox. Phlox has five petals, Dame’s Rocket has just four. The flowers, which resemble phlox, are deep lavender, and sometimes pink to white. The plant is part of the mustard family, which also includes radishes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and, mustard. The plant and flowers are edible, but fairly bitter. The flowers are attractive added to green salads. The young leaves can also be added to your salad greens (for culinary purposes, the leaves should be picked before the plant flowers). The seed can also be sprouted and added to salads. NOTE: It is not the same variety as the herb commonly called Rocket, which is used as a green in salads.
Wild Bee Balm:
Edible parts: Leaves boiled for tea, used for seasoning, chewed raw or dried; flowers edible. Wild bee balm tastes like oregano and mint. The taste of bee balm is reminiscent of citrus with soft mingling of lemon and orange. The red flowers have a minty flavor. Any place you use oregano, you can use bee balm blossoms. The leaves and flower petals can also be used in both fruit and regular salads. The leaves taste like the main ingredient in Earl Gray Tea and can be used as a substitute.
Mallow is a soft tasty leaf good in fresh salads. Use it like lettuce and other leafy greens. You may find the smaller younger leaves a tad more tender. Toss in salads, or cook as you would other tender greens like spinach. The larger leave can be used for stuffing, like grape leaves. The seed pods are also edible while green and soft before they harden, later turning woody and brown. I hear they can be cooked like a vegetable. I’ve harvested and eaten them raw, and want to try steaming, pickling, fermenting, and preparing like ocra.
Edible parts: Pineapple weed flowers and leaves are a tasty finger food while hiking or toss in salads. Flowers can also be dried out and crushed so that it can be used as flour. As with chamomile, pineapple weed is very good as a tea. Native Americans used a leaf infusion (medicine prepared by steeping flower or leaves in a liquid without boiling) for stomach gas pains and as a laxative.
Milk thistle is most commonly sought for its medicial properties of preventing and repairing liver damage. But most parts of the plants are also edible and tasty. Until recently, it was commonly cultivated in Eurpoean vegetable gardens. Leaves can be de-spined for use as salad greens or sautéed like collard greens; water-soaked stems prepared like asparugus; roots boiled or baked; flower pods used like artichoke heads.
Prickly Pear Cactus:
Found in the deserts of North America, the prickly pear cactus is a very tasty and nutritional plant that can help you survive the next time you’re stranded in the desert. The fruit of the prickly pear cactus looks like a red or purplish pear. Hence the name. Before eating the plant, carefully remove the small spines on the outer skin or else it will feel like you’re swallowing a porcupine. You can also eat the young stem of the prickly pear cactus. It’s best to boil the stems before eating.
Mullein Verbascum thapsus:
Edible parts: Leaves and flowers. The flowers are fragrant and taste sweet, the leaves are not fragrant and taste slightly bitter. This plant is best known for a good cup of tea and can be consumed as a regular beverage. Containing vitamins B2, B5, B12, and D, choline, hesperidin, para amino benzoic acid, magnesium, and sulfur, but mullein tea is primarily valued as an effective treatment for coughs and lung disorders.
Wild Grape Vine:
Edible parts: Grapes and leaves. The ripe grape can be eaten but tastes better after the first frost. Juicing the grapes or making wine is most common. The leaves are also edible. A nutritional mediterranean dish called “dolmades”, made from grape leaves are stuffed with rice, meat and spices. The leaves can be blanched and frozen for use throughout the winter months.
It tends to grow in damp places such as hedges, stream banks and waysides and comes into flower from May to August. Yellow Rocket was cultivated in England as an early salad vegetable. It makes a wonderful salad green when young and the greens are also an excellent vegetable if treated kindly. Lightly steam or gently sweat in butter until just wilted. The unopened inflorescences can also be picked and steamed like broccoli.
While considered an obnoxious weed in the United States, purslane can provide much needed vitamins and minerals in a wilderness survival situation. Ghandi actually numbered purslane among his favorite foods. It’s a small plant with smooth fat leaves that have a refreshingly sour taste. Purslane grows from the beginning of summer to the start of fall. You can eat purslane raw or boiled. If you’d like to remove the sour taste, boil the leaves before eating.
RELATED : 10 Reasons Why a Dog is a Perfect Companion for Bugging Out
Wild Black Cherry:
Wild black cherries are edible, but you shouldn’t eat a lot of them raw, only use the cherries that are still on the branches and are deep black in color, not red. If you see cherries on the ground leave them alone, when cherries wilt they contain a lot of cyanide. It’s only best eaten when cooked, it negates or destroys the cyanide.
Sheep sorrel is native to Europe and Asia but has been naturalized in North America. It’s a common weed in fields, grasslands, and woodlands. It flourishes in highly acidic soil. Sheep sorrel has a tall, reddish stem and can reach heights of 18 inches. Sheep sorrel contains oxalates and shouldn’t be eaten in large quantities. You can eat the leaves raw. They have a nice tart, almost lemony flavor. (don’t take in large amounts, pregnant and breast-feeding women consult your physician before use)
Wild mustard is found in the wild in many parts of the world. It blooms between February and March. You can eat all parts of the plant- seeds, flowers, and leaves.
You’ll find wood sorrel in all parts of the world; species diversity is particularly rich in South America. The flowers can range from white to bright yellow and its greenery are clovers. Humans have used wood sorrel for food and medicine for millennia. The Kiowa Indians chewed on wood sorrel to alleviate thirst, and the Cherokee ate the plant to cure mouth sores. The leaves are a great source of vitamin C. The roots of the wood sorrel can be boiled. They’re starchy and taste a bit like a potato.
The term “fiddleheads” refers to the unfurling young sprouts of ferns. Although many species of ferns are edible as fiddleheads, Ostrich Ferns are the best. They are edible only in their early growth phase first thing in the spring.
Blueberries are familiar to most people in Canada and the USA. They do grow wild in many places, and the blue berries are delicious when ripe. The flowers are said to be edible as well.
Jerusalem Artichokes have small tubers on the roots that are delicious. It is a native plant, with a very misleading name. It is not at all related to artichokes, nor does it grow in Jerusalem.
Large deeply cut leaves. Single large white flower under the leaves. Single yellow fruit. One of the first plants to come up in the spring. They are found in the forest, their fruit is covered by their large leaves. The ripe fruits are edible. CAUTION: Do not eat the fruit until it is ripe. Ripe fruits are yellow and soft. Unripe fruits are greenish and not soft. They are slightly poisonous when unripe: green fruits are strongly cathartic. Mayapples are among the first plants to come up in the spring.
Also known as dogtooth violet, adder’s tongue, these bright yellow flowers are the first to bloom in thr spring, they have small pointy leaves. They are found in the forests, they are edible raw.
Wild Leeks are onion-like plants that grow in the deep woods. They come up in the spring, usually before much of anything else has come up.
The leaves and bulbs are edible. Please only collect when abundant, and then only collect scattered patches or individual plants. Ill effects may be experienced by some people if large amounts are eaten. If they don’t smell like onions, they aren’t Wild Leeks.
RELATED : 30 Most Popular Herbs for Natural Medicine
Black Locust Flowers:
Black Locust is native to the Appalachian Mountain area, and is considered an invasive tree in other places. It grows quickly, and often in clusters, crowding out native vegetation and aggressively invading fields. The roots alter the nitrogen content of the soil. Most parts of the tree are toxic, causing digestive system problems. It is only the flowers that we gather and consume.
Along the fringes of my lawn in the shady areas are violets-several varieties. Violets are cultivated in France for perfume. This is an incredible edible. The leaves are high in vitamin C and A. I use both the leaves and flowers in salads. Keep in mind that late season plants without flowers may be confused with inedible greens. Play it safe. Forage this plant only when it is in bloom.
Wild onions and wild chives grow in fields or