SOS Episode 22 – Updates from my homestead

Just because I haven’t been posting doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping busy. I just wanted to get you guys up to date on some of my homesteading efforts.

Episode 21 – HarvestEating.com

Today we talk to Chef Keith Snow from HarvestEating.com

I forgot to mention on the Podcast that you can get a nice little discount on his membership program over at The Survival Podcast website by just clicking on the banner there.

We talk about why we think eating seasonally and locally is important including

  • Selecting the right culinary tools
  • How to buy quality ingredients and avoid junk
  • Why seasonal eating will be more important in the future due to rising fuel… build your skillset now
  • How to mix eating with a busy lifestyle
  • and much more!

Make sure to also check out Harvest Eating on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HarvestEating

 

 

Craigs List searching FINALLY done right

I have not abandoned Save Our Skills. Massive Baby Preps and working on some other ventures at the moment, so I hope you will forgive a temporary dearth in content.

Guys, I’ve been working hard on making a new webiste called GrabTheDeals.com

I’m convinced this is the best and easiest way to search Craigs List. Simply put in a location, search term, and search radius and hit “search”. You can search up to 75 miles from any location. Our advanced software will automatically pull results from any Craigs List that is in that search radius.

But that is not the best part!
What really sucks about using craigs list other than not being able to find all of the local deals without going to multiple websites? Well it’s having to check the results every day!

We have solved that problem! Your free membership to our new website allows you to save an “alert” and get an email with all the new search results updated hourly. That’s right, don’t miss out on that cheap iPod or Honda Accord you were looking for but just missed. Get an email right when they are posted to Craigs List so you can be the first to Grab The Deals.

We are currently in the beta testing stage of our website, however if you go now to http://grabthedeals.com/ you can sign up for our mailing list and get notified when the site goes live!

Check me out on the Preparedness Radio Network with Dr. Prepper

I was interviewed by James Talmage Stevens

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/doctorprepper/2011/04/19/doctor-prepper-show-04-18-2011

Nick’s EDC list for Bike Commuters or Mountain Bikers

EDC list for Bike Commuters or Mountain Bikers

I covered this list in my “mountain biking primer” podcast, however I took the time to share with you guys the links to the specific products that I use.

There are many excellent products! If you favor a different brand/flavor of the same tool that doesn’t mean I think you are wrong. If I missed something essential add it to the comments, but don’t be a troll!

  1. Cash
  2. Food: What I bring depends on the length of the ride
  3. Tire Levers: Park Tool Tire Levers
  4. Derailleur Hanger


    This is specific to your Derailleur. It is designed to break in the event you get it caught on something

  5. Patch Kit: Park Tool VP-1 Vulcanizing Patch Kit
  6. Cell phone in waterproof bag
  7. Duct Tape (wrapped around handle of pump)
  8. Bike Multi-Tool / Chain Tool: Park Tool Rescure Tool – MTB 3



    A pretty good deal and has many more tools on it than other tools I have seen. A bit bulkier than other tools I have owned. Comes with a nice canvas carrying case.

  9. Hand Pump: Blackburn Mammoth CF Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike Pump


    Most people I know have this pump so I just followed suit. I have had smaller and more compact pumps before but they don’t move air as easily as this pump. It is worth the extra size.

  10. First Aid: Adventure Medical Ultra Light .3 Kit



    I’m sure you could make your own cheaper, but adventure medical has a nice little lightweight kit. I have used parts and replaced them as need be. Comes with a heavy duty waterproof bag.

  11. Plyers / Knife: Leatherman Skeletool CX


    One of the lightest full sized leatherman tools. Worth the extra money over the normal Skeletool due to the knife blade being much more high quality steel than lesser models.

  12. Spare Tubes 29er tube

    I buy them in bulk from Price Point… and stock pile them. I only carry one in my EDC though. Please note: most people will need 26″ size

  13. Power Link: Sram Power Link for 10 speed chain

    I run a SRAM drive train, you will have to get the one appropriate for your bike.

  14. Spare Cleat: Shimano SPD Cleat

    I have actually had a cleat come off on a ride. Having a spare seems likea good idea.

  15. Hydration: Camelbak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack


    Mine is way old and ragged, might even be the original “M.U.L.E.”

  16. Water Backup: Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets

    I’ve run out on epic rides before and had to drink straight from local springs. I have never gotten sick from this, however I tossed these in my pack for the next time this happens.

  17. Camera: Pentax Optio W90 Waterproof Digital Camera


    A nice durable, and waterproof camera

  18. GPS Garmin Foretrex 301 Waterproof Hiking GPS


    A nice value for the price. Battery lasts a decent amount of time too (like 12+ hours)

Bonus Lists

Before the ride

  1. Pedro’s Syn Lube Bicycle Chain Lubricant
  2. Park Tool PFP-6 Home Floor Pump
  3. RockSHox HP Fork/Shock pump

Other Essential Bike Tools

  1. Part Tool Home Mechanic Pedal Wrench
  2. 10 piece metric color coded T-Handle Hex Key Set
  3. 4 piece pick and hook set (great for getting mud out of stuff)
  4. Pedro’s Pro Brush Kit

There are many other tools to get, but that is a basic set every serious biker should own

Heritage Log Cabin Restoration in 5 Steps

The Original Cabin
Back in the late 1990s I came across an old homesteader’s cabin about to fall into a state of ‘beyond saving’. As a heritage architecture buff, I instantly wanted to restore it. Only one problem – it was sitting on someone else’s property. So after some negotiation with the out-of-town owner, a hand-written bill of sale and $150 cash, I found myself in possession of an (at that time) 70 year old hand-hewn log cabin made from old growth western red cedar and trimmed with old growth Douglas fir. To say we didn’t know what we were in for in the restoration is an understatement, but with a remarkably sound building (even after 50 years of sitting abandoned) and much ingenuity, we were able to bring it back to it’s original glory, and then some. Now, 12 years or so later, it is my home.

Here’s the story: 5 Steps to restoring a log cabin

If You Want to Fix Things – You Are Going To Need Some Tools

I am going to try and give some guidance to those out there that do not have a basic set of tools. In this post I am talking about fixing and maintaining mechanical things, everything from your car to a lawn mower to a washing machine. First and foremost you need a set of screw drivers, some pliers and an adjustable wrench. This will let you do some very basic repairs and maintenance such as tightening loose screws, changing some filters and things like this.

My recommendation for buying these things are:

Screwdrivers – You need at least three sized of both slotted and Phillips. You can often get a package of 15-20 screwdrivers of different sizes and lengths for about $20 and this is the best value. Make sure it has Phillips sizes 0, 1, and 2. I don’t think you need the larger sets as you will get a bunch of items you will not use. In time you will find that you need special screwdrivers such as square or torx, but you can then buy them as needed. At this point I would avoid the driver with the interchangeable bits as it doesn’t work as well as a plain old screwdriver. You can add it in the future as you build your tool collection and it is a way to have the more specialized tools by just buying the bits.

Needle-Nose, Linesman & Grooved-Joint Pliers and adjustable Wrench

Pliers – I recommend a pair of needle nose, linesmen and arc or grove joint pliers. Again you can often get these in a set but the sets will usually include a set of slip joint pliers (which I consider useless) and pair if diagonal cutters (which you don’t need unless you are doing a lot of electrical work). A pair or two of locking pliers, commonly called vise grips, are also very handy. You should plan on spending $10-$20 per item, the bigger it is the more it costs. I want to caution against trying to go cheap on the arc or grove joint pliers, commonly called channellocks. The cheaper ones will slip out of joint when you are putting pressure on them which can damage what you are working on, or worse your hand.

Adjustable Wrench – This is commonly called a Crescent Wrench and is used for turning nuts and bolts. I recommend the 10″ size if you are buying one and a small 4″-6″ one if you want to get two or find a good deal on a set.

 

These tools will only let you do the most basic of repairs. To really take something apart to work on it you will need a set of sockets and combination wrenches. Most of the stuff I’ve worked on that has been made anytime in the last 25 years has been a combination of standard (inch) and metric sizes, so you will need both. If you can afford it spend $125-$200 and get a set that includes 1/4″, 3/8″ & 1/2″ drive sockets and ratchets. This will give you a large range of sizes so you can select the appropriate size for the work you are doing. If you cannot buy all three drive sizes as a large set, start with the 3/8″, then 1/2″ and finally 1/4″. Over time you can add specialty sockets as you need them for specific jobs.

Tools are an investment that everyone should consider. Good hand tools never wear out, there are many of my hand tools that I have had my whole adult life. The biggest problem is losing them, so make sure you get a tool box to store them in as well.