Why you Still Need Food Storage Even Though You have a Garden

20130729_12401120130729_123958A few weeks ago, I wrote about the apartment garden “hanging in there” in spite of the summer heat.  Well, just a few short weeks later, it’s not doing so well.

The plants have been attacked by these black caterpillars that eat through all the leaves and even soft branches.  They grow big and fat then turn into these ugly moths.  Ugggh!!  Between the 106 heat and the caterpillars, my poor garden is now looking scraggly: the chocolate mint is gone, and the peppermint has had it.

20130729_124316The tomato plants’ leaves are yellowing.


If I was relying on this garden for food, I’d be in trouble.  That’s why I believe even if you have a garden, even a more successful one, you still need a backup food storage plan.   Any number of things can wreck a garden:  insects, animals such as rabbits and deer, bad weather, lack of water,  etc.  That’s why families in the old days preserved part of their crops by drying or canning.

I haven’t given up on the garden yet.  Some of the plants survived, such as the lavender, basil and green onion.

To combat the worms I filled a spray bottle with water and added a teaspoon of Dawn dish-washing liquid.  I sprayed the soap spray to every caterpillar that I found.

20130729_124922They fall off and die.

20130729_124304Lastly, I collected cuttings of the bigger branches to see if they can sprout roots when left soaking in water for a few days.

20130729_123823I’ll let you know which plants manage to sprout in a week or so.
Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Uses for Mouthwash

Uses for Mouthwash

Most households have mouthwash in their medicine cabinets so I thought it would be interesting to find emergency uses for this common item.  These uses are only for alcohol-based, sugar free mouthwash, such as Original Listerine.

Itch Relief

I had a really itchy mosquito bite that was really bothering me.  I ran out of itch spray, so I reached for a Q-tip, dipped it in Listerine and dabbed it on the bite.  Instant relief!


Because it stops itch, mouthwash can also help with rashes caused by poison ivy or poison oak.  It can also help clear up some of the redness and inflammation.

Anti-bacterial spray

Mouthwash can be used as anti-bacterial cleanser for your hands, or even small cuts and scrapes if you have nothing else.

Anti-fungal remedy

Mouthwash can be used to as a remedy for nail fungus and athlete’s foot.  For athlete’s foot, mix equal parts of water and mouthwash and soak the feet for a few minutes.  For stubborn nail fungus, mix mouthwash and vinegar and apply to the area.


Because of the cleansing properties, it can be used as an underarm deodorant substitute, but don’t do it after shaving!

It can also help with foot odor, by spraying it directly on the feet.


Moisten a cotton ball with mouthwash, dab on the scalp to relieve dandruff.

Facial cleansing

You can use mouthwash as an emergency facial cleanser – just a small amount on a cotton ball will remove dirt and grime.

You don’t need the name brand mouthwashes, you can stock up at the dollar store, as long as the mouthwash is sugar free and alcohol based.  If you have other uses that I missed, please share!


ReadyMade Resources is a trusted source for your preparedness supplies:



Summer Reading: Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck and Harriet Parke

Agenda 21 by Glenn BeckI didn’t originally have Agenda 21 on my summer reading list until I saw the post about it on Survival Common Sense.

I got interested and decided to read it for myself.  The story starts slowly as a description of the world inhabited by the characters enfolds.  We are following Emmeline, a young girl who has just reached puberty and is now required to “pair up” with someone so she can reproduce for the good of the republic.  We learn that the citizens no longer have control over anything in their lives:  they are given nutrition cubes and a set amount of water to drink; they spend their day generating energy for the State, on a stationary bike.  Every move they make is monitored by local “gatekeepers.”  It’s the “nanny state gone wild” scenario, where  even the choice of partners and the raising of children has been taken over by the government in the name of efficiency and universal welfare.  Emmeline does give birth and the baby is immediately taken away.  Piece by piece she comes to realize the truth about how their freedoms got taken away, and her horror in finding out happened to her family is unrelenting.   Can she find a way out?  You will need to read the book to find out.

I was pulled into the story very quickly and I read the book in a couple of days.

What is Agenda 21?  In a nutshell, Agenda 21 is the U.N. grand plan for “sustainable development,” to be implemented at local, national, and global levels.  It is voluntary, and seeks to control behavior, land and home ownership, natural resources, transportation, food and water.  In short,  anything that impacts the environment will be regulated.

You can’t help but wonder, “Can this happen here?”  I am the practical sort and normally not given to conspiracy theories and speculation.  It seemed a bit far fetched at first, but if you read the Afterword, you will understand what Agenda 21 goals are about, and notice all the small but notable actions that are being taken all around us.  This is a long term plan, and every change is started with very small steps.

I don’t want to give away any more details,  you will just have to read it.  At last check, the book is available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble as well as at the public library.   Agenda 21 is definitely a page turner and is a great summer read.


First Aid Kits: The Understated Necessity

Guest post by Frank Nielson.

An essential tool in everyone’s emergency preparedness arsenal is the lowly first aid kit. Although considered important, too often little thought goes into it. This may be because so many prepackaged kits are available in all shapes and sizes.

Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of basing our purchase more on the size and price and less on the contents. Then the kit is placed on a shelf or in a bag and not thought of again. It becomes just one more item we can check off our emergency preparedness list.  Part of the problem lies in our mindset.  We know it is one of those tools we need but we hope to never use.

Everyone should have at least a small first aid kit that contains the essentials necessary to respond to common injuries and emergencies. A larger more comprehensive kit should be kept in the event of a drawn out disaster where medical assistance by trained professionals is not readily available. Both of these are discussed below.

Small kit

Your basic first aid kit for your home or apartment can be purchased at a store or assembled by you. The important thing is that you make sure it contains the items you will likely need. Don’t just assume that a kit you purchase at the store is sufficient. Below are some basic supplies to include:

  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Sterile gauze pads along with adhesive tape
  • Tweezers
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Latex gloves, several pair
  • Thermometer
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Aspirin or over the counter pain reliever
  • First aid instructions
  • Safety pins
  • Space blanket

Large kit

Instead of your first aid kit, think of this comprehensive kit as your only aid kit. This kit should contain your basic first aid kit plus enough supplies to allow you to treat substantial injuries during a longer disaster where medical assistance is not available. Your training and comfort level in treating emergencies will dictate what you include here.  Aside from buying individual supplies online or at drug stores, these larger kits can also be purchased at many outdoor stores for individuals going on extended adventures such as river running. The basics of this kit should include:

  • Duct tape
  • Elastic wrap roll
  • Instant cold packs
  • Small plastic bags
  • Scissors
  • Water purification tablets or filter
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine, antihistamine(like Benadryl), EpiPen
  • Soap, hand sanitizer
  • Large gauze pads in a variety of sizes
  • Adhesive tape
  • Turkey baster or bulb suction device for flushing out wounds
  • Hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, sunscreen, bug spray
  • In depth instructions on caring for medical emergencies

In addition, leave room for any personal medications. Store an extra bag in your large first aid kit specifically for storing your medications.

In an emergency, knowledge is your best friend. It’s been said that in a stressful environment you don’t rise to the occasion, you drop to your level of training. Following that advice, it is in your best interest to educate yourself on the sort of emergencies you may be dealing with. For example, can you recognize the difference between heat exhaustion and heatstroke? Do you know the early signs of hypothermia? What is the best treatment for a concussion?

The string of recent disasters should convince us all of the importance of being prepared for an emergency. The kits described above should be used as a basis for your own kit. Your circumstances, needs, and level of expertise will determine what you include in each.

About the Author:

Frank Nielson is a retired medical researcher who now spends his days writing. Through his writing, he is keen on helping consumers find the best medical supplies and orthopedic supplies at an affordable price.

Find products that are equally functional for wilderness survival as well as urban preparedness:

DebtProof Living

5 Easy Things You Can Do in One Weekend to Become Better Prepared

Getting started with preparedness can be overwhelming.   Most people immediately focus on how much gear they need, and how much they don’t have.  Then you worry about how much this is all going to cost and where the money is coming from.  It does not have to be like that.

Here is a list of five easy and free activities you can do this weekend, and you will instantly be a lot better off in terms of preparedness than your were last weekend:

1.   Go “shopping” in your own home.  Take a small box or laundry basket with you and go through your home.  Look at all closets, and boxes in the garage.  Pick up all items that will come in handy for the next emergency.  Find flashlights, matches and lighters, camping lanterns, sleeping bags or even just extra blankets, old battery operated radio, extra toilet paper, trash bags, etc. Even forgotten gift cards with a few cents left can help with your prepping efforts.  All too often, people forget what they already have lying around.  When going through this exercise, I myself have discovered items I had forgotten about including gifts I may have received, gift cards I could actually use then next time I need something.

2.  Clean empty soda bottles and start filling them with water.  To disinfect a bottle, just add a teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of water.  Rinse the soda bottle with this, then rinse well with tap water.  Fill it up with tap water, use a permanent marker add a date on the bottle.  This way you will remember when the bottle was filled.  You can also partially fill some of the bottles (leaving a few inches room for expansion) and freeze them.  You will have ice to keep the freezer cold at the next power outage.

3.  Backup your Cell Phone Address Book with a Hard Copy   I used to store all phone numbers in my cell phone, except for a few that I had memorized.  One day I was talking to my brother and the cell phone ran out of battery life (I know, I wasn’t very prepared that day).  I wanted to call him on a land line when I realized I could not remember his phone number, and the cell phone would not turn on until it was sufficiently charged.  Luckily it was a short term situation.  I backed up all my contact numbers into an old address book the next day.  I know it’s a chore but one day you’ll be glad you have it.

4.  Plan multiple routes out of your city and write them down.  Most people rely on the phone for directions, or on GPS devices.  In an emergency, you may not be able to access the electronic maps.  Why not plot out various emergency routes out of your city or town now, while there is nothing going on.   Find routes via car, or on foot or bicycle.  Get familiar with the street maps and write down directions to get out.  Or better yet, try and get a free paper map from your auto insurance or roadside assistance company.  Keep the maps in your car’s glove box or emergency kit.

5.  Choose one survival skill and practice doing it.  You can try filtering and disinfecting water,  making a fire, assembling a tent, learning CPR by watching an instructional video, etc.

There are lots of things you can do to be prepared that are not too time-consuming or expensive.  It just takes a willingness to learn and a commitment to prepare consistently.



Monday Musings 7/29/2013

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share blog updates and interesting links.

Who won the Spiraling Downward Giveaway?  Reader Ron G won the giveaway and has been contacted.  He wrote the following comment:

I think it is very likely that an economic collapse is very likely. Our debt is so out of control, our government is propping the dollar with quantitative easing and too many freebies are being given out. We have been fortunate enormous inflation has not occurred. I have been preparing by purchasing food, reading survival information, purchasing silver as well.

Thanks to everyone who entered – I am already planning the next giveaway, and it will be announced next week.

Free information is good.  Self Reliance magazine contacted me about a nice offer: They are offering a free digital copy of the magazine.  Readers can can choose any of the 15 copies that are currently available.  All you have to do is send an email to: info@selfrelianceillustrated.com and request the copy that they want.  They can see all of the magazines at http://www.selfrelianceillustrated.com/backissues.htm

When you don’t know where to start.  You want to get rid of junk but it’s too overwhelming to start.  Check out 10 suggestions for where to begin uncluttering

Is it safe to be in the spotlight?  Interesting discussion here The Concept of Gray Man

Don’t take shortcuts when canning  This could have been a lot worse.  It’s a rare occurrence, but still worthy of attention.  See Home Canning Hobby Leads to Near-Fatal Medical Emergency  

Some expenses should be re-evaluated.   Many people consider these expenses to be necessities and some may truly be.  But it doesn’t hurt to know what they may be costing you.  See  The Surprising True Costs of 9 Common Expenses

Take care and have a great week everyone!




For beginning preppers


Survivalcave Food Taste Test

Survivalcare Food

I recently made the Creamy Potato Soup entree from Survivalcave Food, one of our sponsors.  I never know how a dish will turn out and I always assure any companies that send me a sample that I will give a fair and honest review.

Survivalcave Food Creamy Potato Soup Mix

Close-up of dry mix – you can see vegetable pieces and spices

Preparation is simple:  Just add water.

In this case, the ratio is 1/4 cup of Potato soup mix to 1 cup of water.  Because we were having it for lunch, I added the entire package.

I waited until the water was boiling then added the soup mix.  I lowered the heat to medium and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.  I stirred it a few times to make sure nothing gets stuck to the bottom of the pan.   After about 10 minutes, the soup was smelling really good and the family was looking forward to trying it.  (I’ve had to be “persuasive” on some of the stuff we’ve tested, but this time they were actually waiting to try it!)

Survivalcave Food Creamy Potato Soup-cooked

Survivalcave Food Creamy Potato Soup

The soup also thickens as it cools -  I added a bit more water as the soup got thicker, but this would be according to your preference.

The family and I tasted the soup and it is delicious.  It has a good balance of spices, and enough potato chunks and carrot pieces that it tastes hearty.  It is a filling dish, with generous portions.  Although it’s a 5-serving pouch, there was enough for six servings:  Three people had a bowl of this soup for lunch, plus and we had enough soup left over for the next day.

We had Survivalcave Food Tropical Fruit – dried bananas for dessert and they were quite tasty as well.

I recommend you try them out – this long term storage food will last for 20 years, and now we know their food is tasty too.  Survivalcavefood

If You Spend any Time Outdoors You Need to Know about This

We just found out a friend of ours who who took his family on a camping trip had to cut his trip short – he ended up in the hospital.   As he was hiking, he brushed against a bush that was infested with hundreds of ticks that imbedded themselves all over him.  Apparently it was so bad the family could not get the ticks off fast enough and he had to go to the emergency room at the nearest hospital.

Prior to hearing this story I had not given ticks a lot of thought.  But as I read more about it, I realized ticks can really hurt people and animals.

  • They can easily attach to clothing and pets from the outside and infest your home.
  • Ticks are active in warm weather – late spring and summer.
  • They survive by feeding off animal or human blood.  They transmit disease while feeding off the host.
  • Ticks are found all over the country and spread many diseases:  Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis and many others.  I am not a medical professional so for more information, check here
  • Ticks can be found in grassy, wooded areas that have dense vegetation
  • Female ticks can lay up to 11,000 eggs!

How to Avoid becoming a Host or Carrier

  1. Walk along the middle of trails
  2. Avoid high grass and heavily wooded areas.
  3. Choose light colored clothing to allow you to easily spot ticks that get on you.
  4. If you cannot avoid it, take precautions by tucking your pant legs into your boots and tuck you shirt into your pants.
  5. For extra protection, wound duct tape around any vulnerable areas.  Wound around once then twist and expose the sticky side.  I know, not very attractive but I am willing to try it.  See photo above.
  6. Use insect repellants containing 20% DEET on exposed skin.
  7. Spray gear and camping equipment such as tents and backpacks with products containing permethrin.
  8. When returning from wooded areas, inspect clothes and shoes before heading indoors – inspect yourself, children and pets for any “hitchhiking” ticks. Take a shower as soon as possible.
  9. If you have pets, discuss tick prevention programs with your vet.

How to Remove a Tick

  • Use fine tipped tweezers.
  • Grab the tick with the tweezers as closely as possible to the skin.
  • Pull upward firmly but do not twist.  Twisting may cause pieces of the ticks mouth be be left on the skin.  If anything gets left behind, pull out with the tweezers.
  • After removal, cleanse the area and your hands with alcohol, iodine wash, or soap and water

Seek Medical Attention if:

  • You are unable to remove the tick.  This is what happened to the friend I mentioned.
  • Worsening rash
  • Persistent headache
  • Fever
  • Lethargy/Confusion
  • Paralysis
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart palpitations

This summer is turning out to be quite a bug-infested season.  If they can cause this much misery during “normal” times, imagine how much worse it could get during a disaster or emergency.


Get the real deal. Whether bugging out or sheltering in place, you can never have enough clean water for survival: For your water purifier needs, please visit:

 For beginning preppers

Good ideas for building a food storage plan can be found here:

DebtProof Living




Stock up on these Emergency Storage Items Now

Summer is a great time to boost your food storage and emergency supplies, while the schedule is a bit slower and you have more time to comparison shop.  With the warm weather,  it is also prime yard sale season in many areas across the country.

Now is the time to shop end of summer sales on camping equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, outdoor lighting, outdoor cooking accessories, summer clothes and footwear, and backpacks.

Here are a few deals I’ve come across:

Condiments: Ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, relish and other condiments, salad dressing

Outdoor cooking:  Barbecue accessories, charcoal

Snacks:  Potato chips, canned dips (Don’t forget comfort food!)  Back to school items such as pudding cups, canned lunch meat, juice, hot and cold cereal will soon go on sale.

Seasonal Produce:  If you can or dehydrate foods,  take advantage of plentiful and inexpensive fruits and vegetables such as pears, berries, corn, garlic, grapes, onions, peaches, bell peppers, plums, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans.

Toiletries such as insect repellant, sunscreen, hand sanitizer

Other supplies:  Paper plates, cups and disposable utensils, Clorox wipes.  Even though I do not normally use disposable dishes and wipes, these supplies come in handy in an emergency such as a hurricane, when water may be scarce.

Don’t forget to check out the weekly flyers at discount stores such as Walmart or Target, CVS and Walgreens so you can combine the weekly sale items with coupons from the paper or found online.

With gas prices on the rise, prices on a lot of necessities are sure to increase.  It makes sense to take advantage of good deals while they’re available.


ReadyMade Resources is a trusted source for your preparedness supplies:



Sponsor and Giveaway Updates

Life Straw Winners chosen

We had lots of interest in the Life Straw Giveaway – winners were “Cynthia” and “Monica” and they have been contacted.  So far I heard back from one  – if response is not received within 48 hours then another winner will be chosen.  Thank you everyone for joining – please check out our new giveaway this week!

Now for sponsor events…   I truly appreciate y’all visiting our sponsors – they help “keep the lights on” at Apartment Prepper, ensuring the site remains free for everyone.

Camping Survival Backpackers Pantry Sale

Camping Survival is having their first ever Backpackers Pantry Sale, starting today, 7/22 until July 28th.  Backpackers Pantry is an excellent line of food storage entrees so the sale is a good time to stock up.


LPC Survival Royal Berkey Giveaway

Monday July 22nd is the last day to enter the Give-Away of a Royal Berkey® Water Purification System!

Royal Berkey On Discount
To Enter, simply click the link below & follow the instructions.

The Royal Berkey® is valued at $283 and comes with (1) pair of Black Berkey® Elements which are rated to produce up to 6,000 gallons of purified drinking water!