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Letters To The Editor

August 23rd, 2010

Dear Editor,

Dakota Alert makes a great motion detector for roads. I have four sensors, about 500 feet out, on my property. You can’t get to my home without tripping them. We’ve taken a 20-foot steel container and have it buried in a hillside. Inside there is at least a year’s worth of food and several thousand rounds of ammo. I’ve also installed eight closed-circuit TV cameras on the property, and a solar system with a backup generator and 500 gallons of diesel. Missing anything?

Steve

Dear Steve,

It sounds like you’re off to a great start. I trust all the equipment is dual-wired to run on the grid, as well as by solar and diesel. Is everyone in the house (plus those who you might give shelter too) prepared to help with defense? In the course of your preparations, you may have attracted some attention and people might come looking for help. What about renewable sources of food? Do you have chickens, pigs or cattle? Have you started a garden? Have the other members of your household practiced hunting big game, as well as field dressing and storing it?

If you’ve got a year’s worth of food stored, you’re doing great. Make sure you’re rotating that food into your normal diet so it doesn’t go bad. You’ll also figure out what you like and don’t like about it. You might want to take some precautions with the humidity level inside that container as well.

The Editor

Dear Editor,

You can make a single 16-ounce propane bottle last all winter if you use this tip.

If you’re depending on those little 16-ounce Wal-Mart propane bottles for your off-the-grid cooking adventure,(and the winter is just beginning) it’s VERY important that you get the most cooking time out of each bottle, or you will be eating cold, wet rice and hard beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

There is a way to trade time for propane. Instead of setting your pot of rice and beans in water on your Coleman stove and boiling it for 40 minutes (like you used to do back in civilization), you first let the hard, dry rice and beans soak in the pot in a couple inches of clean water for three or four hours. This puts you way ahead of the game because now they’re soft, and you didn’t need to use any energy to get them soft.

Next, dump in your favorite seasoning – garlic, salt, Tabasco sauce, ketchup, or whatever. Mix thoroughly. Cover the seasoned beans and rice with a little more fresh water (they’ll absorb this water overnight) to about 1/2 inch depth; fire up the Coleman stove and bring your pot to a rolling boil. This should use only about five minutes of propane to accomplish.

As soon as the pot comes to a full boil, immediately turn OFF the propane. (Tight!)

Cover the pot. (Tight!)

Take the hot pot off the Coleman stove, wrap it in a space blanket, and immediately place it in your summer beer cooler. (You know, that big Styrofoam box you used to take to the beach.)

Dump in a load of plastic packing peanuts and fill the beer cooler right to the brim. Make sure that you get a bunch UNDER the pot and OVER the pot. Or you can wrap the pot in bubble-wrap – you know, those clear plastic shipping blankets with the little compartments that go “pop” when the kids squeeze them.

Close the cover of the beer cooler. Get the cooler off of the cold concrete and onto a table or chair, to help keep it warm.

Go to bed. When you wake up tomorrow morning and unwrap the pot, you will have piping hot beans and rice for breakfast – and you only used five minutes of your precious propane! An added plus—the seasoning has had time to work its way through the whole mess overnight, and you end up with the most delicious stuff you ever tasted.

Even better – there were no cooking smells to alert the nosy neighbors….

Works every time.
Doug K.

Dear Doug,

Great idea! We love the adaptation!

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