Use Old Tires, Culverts To Grow Vegetables

I attended a community garden tour about a month ago. I was very impressed with a garden that was completely made from used tractor tires and culverts cut to the height that the owner could garden standing up and did not need to kneel or stoop down. This garden was so impressive that I decided to share what I learned.

Recycling Old Tires And Culverts

Using old tires and culverts is a great way to recycle. It is a way to have a raised bed garden in a small space. Tires can be put anywhere that there is an empty space in your yard or flower bed. The tires are not pleasing to look at but can be hidden into dirt to make a small garden plot that will increase your vegetable yield. Think of the tires as rubberized hotbeds. Because they are black, they hold the heat and warm the soil. This gives the plants protection as well as a jump-start on growth. Some seeds such as garlic, onions, spinach, lettuce and Jerusalem artichokes can be planted in the fall; they will come up in the springtime.

Tires propose little risk when used as a raised bed. Because tires are made of a rubber compound that is tightly bonded, they do not leach poisons into the soil. This is great because it takes a tire that otherwise would end up in the landfill and uses it for a much higher purpose, that of producing food with a minimum of effort. Rubber is much safer to use in your garden than railroad ties or treated lumber that may have chemicals such as copper and arsenic soaked into them. Rubber will not rot, which makes tires very durable; once you get them in place, they will last for decades.

Rubberized Hotbeds

It is good to get started on the tire hotbeds now because it takes time to prepare them with soil and compost. If you prepare the tires in the fall, they will be ready for the next spring. Planting fall crops that come up in the spring gives you fresh greens as soon as the snow melts. It is so exciting to have fresh greens after a long winter of eating canned and frozen vegetables.

Container GardeningPlanting In Culverts

A culvert is a drainpipe that allows water to flow under a road, railroad, trail or similar obstruction. If you can find used culverts from construction sites or from your local city or county, you can get them much cheaper than new ones. Once you find a length of pipe, you will need to cut the culvert 2.5 to 3 feet tall. This is the perfect height for planting herbs such as chives or onions or any other plants.

Container GardeningPlanting In Tires

Before placing the tire on the ground, dig up the earth beneath the spot to loosen the soil, then place newspaper in thick sheets under the tire. Once the tire is filled, the weeds will not grow where the newspaper is laid. The newspaper will naturally compost itself. It is best to use only the black ink newspapers and not the colored sections. Put a circular wire cage made of fencing material on the plant so it can climb. Attach it to a pole on each side of the tire.

The Benefits Of Raised-Bed Gardening In Tires And Culverts

  • One of the best ways to grow an abundance of organic vegetables is to grow them in raised beds. The tire method takes up less space and is great for cooler climates because it acts like a hothouse with the black rubber warming up the soil.
  • The black, heat-absorbing compounds in the tires will raise the temperature at least 10 percent to 15 percent. This extends the growing season by about an extra two months by warming up the soil.
  • You can add to your soil each season by filling the tires with better soil mixed with compost and other organic matter.
  • Tires and culverts are tall and provide deeper soil for the roots. They drain the moisture much better than traditional gardens.
  • Tires are raised up off the ground so that people with knee or hip problems can sit on the edge of the tire and do their gardening and weeding without bending down, stooping or kneeling. This is great for older people because the plants are within easy reach.
  • Raised-bed gardening produces more vegetables in a smaller area.
  • You can plant earlier and harvest later in the fall. Wire cages can be placed around the plants and a heavy plastic covering put over the plants similar to a little greenhouse, which will extend the growing season. Just tape the plastic in place and take it off when the danger of frost has passed.

Preparing Tires For Raised-Bed Gardening

The sidewall can be removed by using a chainsaw or a very sharp utility knife. Cut the top and bottom sidewall off the tire. Drill holes in the bottom of the tire to allow water to drain properly. After you have removed the sidewalls of the tire, place the tire where you want it to go and proceed to fill it with prepared soil mixed with a little sand and compost material. Make wire cages to fit around the inside ring of the tire after the plants start growing. This will prevent the deer from eating the plants inside the tires.

Sidewalls Can Be Very Useful

Keep the sidewall that has been cut out from the top of the tire and use it to plant squash, melons or other plants that get large and spread. The ring will keep the weeds from growing and the black rubber will produce heat so the plant will grow faster.

Container GardeningGrowing Potatoes In Tires

First, take the seed potatoes and cut them into quarters, making sure that there are at least two or more eyes per quarter. I like to cut them up and spread them on the patio table and let them sun cure for at least 24 hours before planting them. They turn dark and scab over as they dry out.

Fill the first tire with soil and plant the seed potatoes about 6 inches apart. Let them grow until they are about 8 inches tall. Then place another tire on top of the first one. Add more dirt until the plants are covered up to two inches from the tops.  Let them grow again until they are 8 inches tall. Add another tire and put soil around the stems up to 2 inches from the top. The potato stalks will send off roots and grow more potatoes in the tires. One plant will produce four times the amount of potatoes it would normally in a regular garden row.

A stack of four tires on top of each other filled one by one with soil and planted individually with 2 pounds of seed potato, cut into quarters and planted about 6 inches apart will produce about one 25-pound sack of potatoes per tire stack. Four stacks of tires will produce about 100 pounds and will feed a family of four for the winter. When harvesting the potatoes, take each tire off one by one and find the buried treasure inside each one.

Container GardeningRecycle Large Tree pots

Any large plastic pot can be used to plant herbs. This is a good way to recycle the pots that trees and shrubs come in. These can be moved indoors or to a greenhouse when the weather turns cold. Herbs as well as vegetables can be used and enjoyed year-round.

ION Stabilized Oxygen ION (Stabilized Oxygen) Can Be Used To Help Plants Grow

I like to mix 20 drops of ION stabilized oxygen with one gallon of water and water my plants with the ION water. It kills anaerobic bacteria, fungus and some viruses that might be causing the plant to deteriorate and not be as healthy as it should be. ION will help build the friendly flora and it oxygenates the plants. Vegetables will grow so much better with stabilized oxygen in the water.

Some of the information in this article came from the book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton. Check it out here.

–Peggy Layton

Wildfires Cause Emergency Evacuations

The seasons and the weather are changing from region to region. The World Meteorological Organization reported that 2001-2011 was the hottest decade on record. The hot, dry conditions are creating a tinderbox that is ideal for out-of-control wildfires.

This is what happened to a small town near my home in South Central Utah. Thieves stole the copper grounding wire from a power substation, setting off a chain of events that turned deadly. Dry lightning hit the substation. Because the copper grounding wire was gone, the transformer short-circuited, causing it to spark, which set the dry grass on fire. The extremely hot, dry weather coupled with high winds took the fire up over the mountainous ridges and out of control. Left in its wake were entire subdivisions reduced to ashes. There were only minutes to get out as the inferno engulfed trailers, outbuildings, vehicles, SUVs, permanent residences and beautiful vacation homes.

The wildfires that recently ravaged Colorado left piles of rubble and ashes where beautiful homes stood before the flames engulfed the region, leaving more than 30,000 people homeless and destroying more than 300 homes. Some of the lucky people had less than 30 minutes to grab their most valuable possessions and flee the inferno. Others got out with only the clothes on their backs.

What would you do if you were told to evacuate your home now?

Towns were evacuated. Roads were closed. Power was shut off. Soon after the towns were evacuated they heard loud booms as home propane tanks exploded one by one. People were freaking out as they drove through smoke, pitch black with ash and slowly following everyone else in vehicles, trailers and cattle trucks.

Volunteers went house to house and let people know that they needed to get out now. One 72-year-old resident drove through about 50 feet of flames to evacuate. He said the fire was so hot that he could feel it on his face inside his car. It was something out of a horror movie. One person either did not get the word or refused to leave his home and he was found dead the next day. Many ranchers were airlifted out by helicopter while they watched their livestock succumb to the fire. Neighbors helped each other evacuate their sheep, horses and cattle. Many people tried to get their vehicles, trailers and SUVs out. They were just lucky to grab what they could and go. They felt extremely lucky to have made it out alive.

The Red Cross set up an evacuation site for refugees fleeing their homes. Many families were camping out, watching the fire and waiting to get the word to be able to get into their property. The interviews on the news were very sad because people did not have time to get their valuables, they just had to evacuate.

72-hour 1-person pack72-Hour Backpack

In this case, 72-hour backpacks or grab-and-go packs were absolutely critical. Things the residents needed the most were: money, face masks, a flashlight, a change of clothing, a sleeping bag, personal-hygiene items, medications, a cellphone, food and water.

The purpose of the 72-hour backpack is to help you survive an emergency that could take up to three days to get help. Evaluate the backpack to make sure you have everything you need for basic survival. If you have children, pack one for them also and keep it in a vehicle or near the front entrance to your house so you can quickly grab it and go. Backpacks should be kept up to date and accessable. Extra gasoline is important to grab if you are a long way from a gas station.

Hybrid FlashlightSolar Flashlight

The best flashlight I have found so far is the Hybrid Solar Flashlight. Less than 9 inches long and weighing only 7.5 ounces, this solar flashlight will provide 120 lumens of power on a full charge and will do so for six hours. It is waterproof, it floats, and it is incredibly durable. This flashlight can be recharged using any light source (the sun is best) but ambient or artificial light works too. There’s no need to ever buy or store batteries.

ION Stabilized OxygenION Stabilized Oxygen

I keep ION (stabilized oxygen) water treatment in my 72-hour pack just in case there is no potable water available. ION kills bacteria on contact from any water source.

Fire Protection And Prevention Tips

The Governor of Utah speaks out on fire prevention. He is urging people to use common sense and much caution while target shooting, lighting off fireworks and building campfires. Making sure that the campfires are built in approved parks and areas designated for fires. The State of Utah has restricted the use of any open flame as well as all fireworks for the entire summer. Colorado and many other States are following suit.

Many fire departments dedicate weeks to fire prevention and protection because it is so important to be aware of the things we can do to prevent fires and protect our loved ones from fire. Thousands of fires occur each year that could be prevented.

The most important fire prevention and fire protection tips are:

  • Never allow children to play with matches, lighters or any other fire igniting apparatus. Keep these things in places where children cannot reach them, such as the top shelf of a kitchen cabinet.
  • Place lit candles in areas where, if an accident happens, like the glass jar bursts, the fire will not be able to spread. Candles are the leading cause of accidental house fires.
  • Check your fire extinguishers. It is important to know if your fire extinguishers are out of code. They may not work in a time when you need them.
  • Test your doors and windows. It is important to know if they open easily, and whether your windows open wide or tall enough. If you have second-story windows, you will need emergency ladders in the room that can be hung out the window so you can climb down them.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors work. Test them monthly and change the batteries right away if they do not work. This tip could help protect you and your loved ones by alerting you if there is smoke, and this can lead to protecting your home from a spreading fire.
  • Have the electrical system of your house tested yearly; the chance of a fire happening because of an electrical system short is much greater in an older house.
  • Always remember to turn off the stove when you are done cooking. Food left cooking on the stove can burn and cause a fire.
  • Keep all space heaters away from flammable materials.

Emergency Food Storage & Survival HandbookThe most important thing about fire prevention is to take personal responsibility for your actions, be cautious and use common sense.

To purchase ION or a packed 72-hour-backpack, click here. To learn how to put together your own 72-hour backpack, buy my book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook. There is a whole chapter that will walk you through packing your backpack step-by-step.

Emergency Meals When The Power Goes Out

What we learn from our parents and grandparents from yesterday helps us to be more prepared for today as well as the future. Learning the old-fashioned skills of the past is very important: skills like chopping wood, building fires, using kerosene lamps, gardening, preserving or bottling food, root cellaring for the winter months, fishing, raising and butchering cattle, pigs and chickens.

Our grandparents knew how to preserve their meat by smoking, bottling or drying it. Our ancestors knew how to survive off the land. It was a necessary skill and everyone did it.

Back then, everyone had family farms with chickens. Every morning they gathered the fresh eggs and milked the cow or goat so they could make breakfast. They knew how to bottle meat and turn it into strips of dried jerky for the winter months. Food and water storage was a necessity, and most of the daily activities centered around staying warm and gathering enough food to make meals to feed the family. Many times the older children had the task of gathering and chopping wood, keeping the fire and wood-burning stove going, lighting the kerosene lanterns and helping with the younger children.

What Would We Do Without Electricity?

I do product research for my business. I own every gadget and product I can find that will make life easier in an emergency situation. I use them and evaluate them and pass this knowledge on to my readers.

If the power grid goes down I will be using these items along with many of the skills passed down from my grandparents. We need to think ahead and have items on hand that we can use in our daily lives that do not require electricity. These include a non-electric can opener, a hand-cranked food processor, a hand-cranked wheat grinder or grain mill, an old-fashioned egg beater or wire whisk, a solar oven, a non-electric food dehydrator, and cast iron Dutch ovens. We will need hand tools and gardening equipment, bicycles and ways to get around.

What would we do if the power went out for a week or two? We would not be able to get gas because the pumps run on electricity. The grocery stores would not be able to sell products because the computers wouldn’t work. We would all be greatly inconvenienced. It would be overwhelming and very stressful.

It is a good idea to have alternative cooking methods such as camping stoves, with propane or white gas. Any recipe calling for food to be cooked on a stovetop can easily be cooked on a camp stove, in a pot, pan or on the griddle. Backyard grills are also great as a backup when the power goes out. Be sure to store enough fuel for at least 2 weeks.

In my previous articles I have listed many of the other items that are necessary for being prepared. I am listing a few of my favorite products. They are available on the web and in most sporting goods stores

Sun OvenA Solar Sun Oven is a great way to bake and it uses the power of the sun. You can bake anything in the sun oven that you can bake in a conventional oven. It comes with a dark enamel pot with a lid and is similar to a roasting pan. You place your pot of food in the oven and point the oven toward the sun. It heats up to 375 F quickly and cooks your meal without electricity. There is a cookbook that you can purchase with recipes designed for the sun oven.

Dehydrated And Freeze-dried Foods

Food and water storage is very important in an emergency situation. The types of foods that you will not have access to include fresh produce, breads, meats and dairy products. You will need to have canned meats on hand to make meals that contain protein. You will need bread-making ingredients and the skills to make your own bread. The meals you make in an emergency will be much different than what you are used to cooking.

Dried food will store much longer than wet-pack canned food. I suggest that you store a wide variety of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. I recommend storing individual gallon-sized cans of dehydrated fruits, vegetables and dried dairy products. A variety of grains, such as wheat, oats and rice, as well as beans and legumes are great storage items because they last a long time on the shelf. They only require water and simple heat to prepare.

Pre-made Meals (Just Add Water)

In an emergency situation we will need simple meals that are easy to prepare yet nutritious. I like to store meals that are already pre-made and dehydrated or freeze-dried and contain all the ingredients. These are so simple to make because you just add water and cook for 15 minutes and the meal is done. The pre-made meals that I have been storing are called Go-Foods. These are so-named because they are ideal for families that are busy, on-the-go and need fast, easy and nutritious meals. When choosing meals to store, keep in mind that they need to be packaged for long-term storage. GoFoods have a shelf life of 15 years. These meals can be rotated and used for everyday cooking as well. This helps prevent the food from expiring and getting thrown away, which is a waste of money.

I research all the different food storage companies and their products and I am in the business of helping people become self-sufficient. I have now found a program that I am very impressed with. You can set up a monthly auto-ship to receive a box of food per month to store away so that over a year’s period of time you will have a one-year supply of emergency food. This company has new concepts in storable foods that are delicious, nutritious, affordable and convenient for daily use as well as for storing for up to 15 years.

3 Cheese Chicken Alfredo PastaGoFoods pre-made meals are dehydrated from premium-grade fresh raw foods.

They have no genetically modified food items (GMOs). The food has no hydrogenated oil or monosodium glutamate (MSG). And it is not imported from countries using illegal fertilizers and insecticides. Just click here to learn more.

The meals ready to cook include soups like cheddar broccoli, Italian chicken, vegetable beef, tortilla soup, corn chowder, minestrone, chicken noodle, chili and potato cheddar. Entrées and other baking items include chicken pasta alfredo, cheesy chicken rice casserole, Santa Fe fiesta rice, creamy Tuscan pasta with sundried tomatoes, beef stroganoff, au gratin potatoes, instant seasoned potatoes, pancake mix, corn muffin mix, cornmeal dumplings, granola, powdered milk, wheat bread mix and buttermilk biscuit mix.

Each package of food is ready to go with everything except the water. It only takes 15-20 minutes to cook and the meals are delicious. The packages feed two to four people and come packed in Mylar® bags for long-term storage of up to 15 years. The cooking instructions are on each package. The company offers samples of their meals for people to try before they buy. All they ask is that you pay the shipping.

Hybrid FlashlightIf The Power Goes Out

If the power goes out it is always a good idea to have several flashlights around. I keep one in all my vehicles as well as my home. I love the solar-powered hybrid flashlight that recharges itself in any kind of light. It can be recharged each day by exposing it to sunlight or indoor lighting. It has a very bright light with 120 lumens of power and is waterproof. It floats, is non-breakable and works in extreme hot or cold temperatures. You never need to purchase batteries and it holds a single charge for three years before it needs to be recharged again by simply exposing it to sunlight. It is the best solar powered flashlight I have found so far.

Being prepared for whatever life’s emergencies might bring means, not only storing prepping items, but also having the skills to use them. Knowledge and skills will help us to be more emotionally balanced as well. If you are prepared you will not panic.

–Peggy Layton

What To Do When There Is No Doctor

In the past two months, my family has been hit by several medical emergencies that could have been very serious and even fatal without medical help. Because my husband and I are both self-employed, we have no medical insurance. We pay for everything out of pocket. I have tried to get insurance three times and been denied because I had gestational diabetes 20 years ago. This was a wake-up call for me to figure out alternative ways to take care of our family in case of a disaster. What would we do if we needed medical help and there were no doctors available? That’s a scary thought.

It started off with my 33-year-old son going into surgery for what we were told was a goiter and found out was thyroid cancer. His medication has been changed several times to level out his thyroid levels. The worst part of it is the depression and mental side effects from the removal of his thyroid and the medication he is taking.

Our 2-year old grandson got strep and needed medical attention. He lay on the couch and cried for days. He was so miserable until I took him to the doctor and got antibiotics. I am a firm believer in toughing out colds, the flu and fevers. This episode was too serious.

My 20-year-old daughter spent a couple of months in the Philippines. When she returned home, she had strep and an E. coli infection. She needed antibiotics also.

About a month ago, I went to the doctor because I hadn’t been feeling well for about a year. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and I am now taking the pills recommended to bring my blood sugar levels down.

My husband, a licensed plumber, was fixing a pump in a creek that pumps water to a log cabin in the mountains. He moved a very large boulder off the lid of the pump and it slipped, smashing his finger so hard that a half-inch of it was cut off. There was no one else around, so he drove himself down the mountain to the hospital. He said his EMT skills saved his life. He was passing out while driving, so he used deep-breathing techniques he had learned. He needed antibiotics and pain meds as well as plastic surgery.

Plan Ahead

Someday, you may find yourself without the ability to get medical care. Perhaps a life-or-death situation comes up. Prepare for this type of situation in advance by getting much-needed medical supplies and information as well as honing related skills. The medical kit on my husband’s plumbing van was inadequate for the blood loss he experienced. One accident could wipe out the entire medical supply kit. We must think out the worst possible scenarios and stock the medicals supplies necessary in case there were no doctors available.

I have several medical kits for our family. I am re-evaluating the kits and am going to add to them. What do we need to stockpile that is available and can be purchased ahead of time to be prepared for a medical emergency of any kind? I suggest you consult a doctor, physician’s assistant or a nurse on this subject. Ask what the most common accidents and illnesses are.

Emergency First-Aid Skills

We never know when an accident will happen to our loved ones or us. The most important thing you can do is learn first aid skills. Take a first-aid course or become an EMT.

Medical Kits

Medical kits should include splints for broken bones, suture supplies for stitches, thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial salves such as Neosporin and a good supply of bandages, gauze and medical tape.

ION Stabilized OxygenION (stabilized oxygen)

ION should be included in every medical or first-aid kit. ION can be applied straight on a wound to clean and prevent the spread of bacterial infections. ION (stabilized oxygen) kills bacteria on contact. ION can be used medicinally as well by mixing 20 drops of ION in an 8-ounce cup of water. Drinking ION water will help knock out a cold or the flu immediately. ION goes into the bloodstream and gives the body the extra oxygen it needs to fight physical problems that might occur.

Stock Up On Over-The-Counter Medicines

When my grandson got strep we spent a lot of money at the clinic to learn this remedy.

For children as well as adults with a high fever, wipe them down with rubbing alcohol or apple cider vinegar to reduce fever. Bathing in a lukewarm bath and taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen alternately every four hours will reduce a high fever also. It is important to stock up on over-the-counter medications.

Redmond ClayRedmond Clay

The Redmond Trading Co. packages a mineral-rich clay product that will detoxify the body. To pull toxins out of the body, get a tub big enough to soak both feet in. Fill it with hot water and add 2 tablespoons of Redmond Clay to the water. Mix it up well and soak your feet in it for half an hour. The clay will pull toxins out of the body and into the water. It really helps when someone is ill and needs to detoxify.

I like to mix the clay with a little water into a mud-like paste and use it on bruises, wounds, scrapes, cuts and especially burns. It takes the pain and sting out of burns instantly. I have used Redmond Clay for years and would not be without it in my medical kit. To learn more about Redmond Clay products, click here.

Kitchen Cupboard Medicines And Old-Fashioned Folk Remedies

Salt And Baking Soda Bath

A good old-fashioned salt and soda bath helps fight illnesses. Mix 1/4 cup each together and dissolve in a bathtub full of hot water. Soak for at least half an hour. This is not only a detox but is for relaxation also. The Redmond Trading Co. packages Real Salt, which is mineral rich and is a great salt, not only to consume but to use in salt baths and toothpaste as well.


A mixture of half baking soda and half salt can be used as toothpaste in an emergency. My grandmother and my mother brushed their teeth with baking soda and salt. It polishes the teeth and makes them pretty and bright. Add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to the mixture, and your teeth will sparkle.

Bee Stings And Mosquito Bites

Mix a small amount of salt and soda together with a drop of water to form a salt paste. Put this mixture on bee stings and mosquito bites. Let it stay on until it dries. It takes the sting out of the bite. It also works on poison ivy abrasions and rashes.

Muscle Cramps

Real Salt by Redmond Trading Co. will take away muscle cramps instantly. Just put a pinch of the mineral-rich salt in a small cup of water. Mix it and drink it. Redmond Trading Co. also has a product called Re-Lyte™ that is especially formulated for muscle cramping. I take liquid minerals when I feel a muscle cramp coming on. Taking calcium and magnesium together helps also.


Baking soda can be used as a deodorant. Just pat some of the powder under your armpits, and it will absorb and neutralize perspiration.

Alkalize The Body

Studies have shown that if the body is in an alkaline state that disease in the body will be neutralized. Mix baking soda and water together and drink. This helps with acid reflux and indigestion as well.

Magic Mustard Plaster Recipe

When someone was suffering from a chest cold with congestion and sore throat, my grandmother mixed up a mustard plaster and put it on the person’s chest, covered with plastic wrap or a rag.

1/4 cup flour
1.5 teaspoons dry mustard
3 tablespoons olive, almond or vegetable oil

Mix a small amount of water into the dry ingredients. Add more water until it is thick like mud and spreadable like a paste. Plaster it on the sick person’s chest, covering it with plastic wrap or a rag. Have the person lie still while the plaster does its magic.

Itching Bites

Rubbing alcohol mixed with a little crushed aspirin will make a paste that takes the itch out of bites. The aspirin takes the pain away, and the alcohol soothes it.


Honey has antibacterial properties and will promote healing. Cool then apply the honey and cover the area with dry dressing.


Honey also has mildly laxative properties. Start by taking a tablespoon three times a day or add to foods or drinks.


Combine 1/2 cup honey and 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a small bowl. You can slightly warm it up to get it to dissolve. Take 1 tablespoon every time you feel like coughing. It will soothe the throat and stop a cough.

Or take rubbing alcohol from the medical kit and soak a lightweight rag in it. Wrap the rag around the neck of the sick person to relieve cough and cold symptoms. My grandmother use to make us go to bed with this on our throats. It reduces fever and cools the body as well as knocks out the cough.

Sore throat

Honey and lemon in equal portions mixed together will sooth a sore throat. Combine 1 tablespoon of each and gargle with it.

Or make a solution of 1 teaspoon salt to ½ cup water. Dissolve and gargle with the salt water. It helps a sore throat.


Put honey on a burn and put a bandage over it or use plastic wrap to keep it moist.


Cayenne pepper is also known as capsicum. Put 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a glass of hot water and drink it. It is hot and might be hard to swallow, but do it anyway. This works because the cayenne travels through the entire circulatory system and regulates blood pressure. Cayenne pepper is noted for its ability to stop both internal and external bleeding.

When used as a poultice, it will stop bleeding. Just take a small amount of cayenne pepper and put it right on a wound that is bleeding. If taken internally, it can help someone that is having a heart attack or stroke symptoms because it dilates the blood vessels and helps open up the blood flow. (Note: The person still should go to the hospital.) This must be taken internally as a drink.

If someone is in shock, they may not be willing to take cayenne pepper. Try to get it down the person. I keep cayenne pepper oil in my medical kit because it can be used under the tongue and is easier to take. 

Cayenne Lemonade

This drink is used to cleanse the body. Drink this every day and your health will improve.

6.5 cups water
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup maple syrup (grade B) from the health food store
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Mix well and sip on this drink all day. This recipe will make 7.5 cups. Drink 2.5 cups per day. This recipe will last for three days. Keep refrigerated.


Make a poultice with chopped garlic and onions. Put them on the bottom of a sick person’s feet, wrapped with plastic wrap to hold it in place. Leave it on all night so the poultice has a chance to pull the toxins out of the feet. Feed the sick person soup made with lots of onions and garlic. This will help them feel better.


Using a garlic press or a blender, mix 2 cloves of garlic in a blender with a drop of water or smash it. Put the garlic juice on a cotton ball and stick it in the ear that is hurting. Garlic has antibacterial properties.

Boost The Immune System

Eating yogurt will put friendly bacteria into the intestinal track. These active cultures are friendly to the gut and are needed to boost the immune system and ward off bacterial infections such as colds and flu.

Abdominal Cramps

Add 1 teaspoon powdered ginger to 1 cup boiling water. Drink 1 cup of ginger water to stop abdominal cramps.


Soak the outer leaves of cabbage or lettuce in warm water, then wrap several layers around the sprain and tie it up with a rag or plastic wrap. Go to sleep with it wrapped. It helps the sprain heal faster.

Upset Stomach

I always have peppermint tea leaves on hand to make herbal peppermint tea for an upset stomach. Take a heaping tablespoon of peppermint tea leaf or one tea bag of peppermint tea and steep it in boiling water then add a little sweetener. Seriously diluted peppermint oil also helps with an upset stomach and with colic in babies. Put 1-2 drops in an 8-ounce baby bottle of purified water. Let the baby sip the peppermint water or the tea and it will help an upset stomach within minutes.

Electrolyte Balance

Combine 1 cup of raw rice or barley and 1 quart of boiling water. Let it steep for 20 minutes. Strain the water and drink it. This will help restore electrolyte balance and feel good on the tummy. Barley water is a great substitute for coffee and does not have the tannic acid.

Food Poisoning

Eat a piece of burned toast and drink a cup of black tea. This may absorb some of the food poisoning and help settle the stomach.


Clove oil helps with toothache. Soak cloves in water. When they are soft, chew them up a little and pack them between the tooth that hurts and the gum for at least a half hour.


Combine the following ingredients together and make an electrolyte drink to restore the body fluids lost with throwing up or diarrhea. Drink 1/2 cup at a time every few hours until you feel better.

4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons of honey or sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cookin' With Home StorageTo learn more about kitchen cupboard medicine and old-fashioned folk remedies, check out the book Cookin’ With Home Storage as well as information on how to purchase ION, Redmond Trading Co. products and many other great emergency-preparedness products. Click here.

–Peggy Layton

Editor’s Note: Information in this article is for educational purposes only. Always consult with a qualified medical physician. ION has had many great results and has testimonials from many satisfied customers; however, is not intended to treat any medical condition. It is sold only as a dietary supplement or water treatment.

Juice Your Way To Health

It’s time to plant our gardens so we can reap the wonderful benefits of eating fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Planting a garden is the one way to ensure that there are no chemicals, pesticides, additives or preservatives in our food. Most people do not get enough servings of fruits and vegetables per day; juicing your excess produce is one way to ensure you are getting the vital nutrients you need.

I have a Growing Dome® Greenhouse from a company called Growing Spaces. I grow vegetables year-round, and I juice the excess that would have gone to waste. My chickens are well fed on all the peelings and pulp left over from the juicing.

I decided to get into juicing fruits and vegetables as a way to become healthier. About a month ago, I found out I have type 2 Diabetes. My father died of diabetes when he was 54 years old, and I am 55 now. I believed I could beat the family curse by just eating well. I was in denial most of the time until I had an overload of stressful issues in my life, which resulted in me feeling worse and worse. I went to the doctor and, sure enough, I had developed diabetes.

Joe CrossI was inspired after watching the movie “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.” Australian Joe Cross made this amazing movie. Like many Americans and Australians, Cross worked very hard, played hard and ate too much. After years of self-abuse, Cross tipped the scales at more than 300 pounds. The extra weight caused serious health problems for which he took medication. He had no energy, he didn’t feel well and he was at risk for a heart attack.

One day, Cross was inspired to start using fresh organic fruits and leafy vegetables to juice his way to health. He realized he needed to change his routine in order to change his life.

Cross enlisted the help of his doctor and began a 60-day juice fast. He traveled across the country with a juicer in the back of his car to share his newfound love of juicing and talk with people about their lifestyle habits and hopes for the future. The inspirational journey was documented in his film.

Remarkably, Cross lost 82 pounds on his juice fast and helped many others to do the same. His documentary has circulated the Internet, and many people are asking him how he did it.

Cleanse the body with juicing

What I decided to do is every time I get a craving for chocolate, soda, cakes, treats or carbs of any kinds, I make a green juice drink — enough for the whole day. I keep it in the refrigerator and grab a glass four to five times a day. I started doing so, and my blood sugar readings started to improve. I actually feel so much better after drinking a glass of juice. I have a boost of energy and can think much more clearly. I am going to continue this routine as my health improves. I am still eating a healthy meal once a day and drinking juice the rest of the time. Some people go on juice cleanses without food.

One-day cleanses will help you get in the routine of juice fasting for an entire day. Then you can increase to a three-day cleanse, then a five-day cleanse, then a seven-day cleanse. You drink the fresh juice for the entire time. Do not eat any meat or other food. This will cleanse your body of harmful toxins and assist your own body to rebuild healthy cells.

The reason for not eating during a juice cleanse is so that the colon does not use energy to digest new foods entering the body. This gives the body nutrients and removes the built-up foods, fecal matter and toxins that have not previously been absorbed by the body, thus resulting in weight loss. Juices also strengthen the healthy cells, neutralize acidity and alkalize the tissues in the body – all of which boosts the immune system. Juices give you the live enzymes that the body does not get from fast food or nutritionally dead food.

How To Make Green Drink

To make green juice, use 60 percent dark green leafy vegetables and 40 percent other vegetables or fruits. It is best to add only 25 percent fruit. You don’t want too much fruit because it will spike your insulin. The fruit is just to sweeten the greens and make them palatable.

The most common vegetables for juicing are: spinach, wheat grass, green cabbage, parsley, romaine lettuce, celery, chard, beets and beet greens, mustard greens, collards, kale, cilantro, cucumber, green peppers, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, various herbs and dandelion greens. When taken in juice form, the nutrients of fresh green drinks quickly absorb into the body, giving it a quick energy boost. Green leafy vegetables contain the most vitamins and nutrients, and you’ll feel almost instantly better after drinking a glass of green juice.

You can try variations of any of the green recipes until you find one that suits your needs and tastes. For a juice cleanse, drink about four 16-ounce drinks per day. If you are making a whole day’s worth of juice at one time, keep the extra juice in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.

Hints For Starting A Juice Fast

  • If you are on any medications or have any health problems, consult a medical doctor and have him or her monitor your progress.
  • Start out with a small goal of one to seven days. This makes the task more manageable mentally, and it makes it easier to chart daily progress. Cross went on a 60-day juice fast and did not eat any other food. He made fresh juice every day and lived on it for two months.
  • It is best to prepare mentally and physically for at least a week prior to cleansing.
  • Your health comes first, so take it easy. If you have something stressful coming up, wait until it is over. You must be 100 percent prepared for this challenge. Take a few days off work and lighten up on your responsibilities. Your body will be cleansing during this period, so you will need to be home near the bathroom so it can detox and eliminate. Light exercise or walking is all you need to do to assist your cleanse. I love to do stretching exercises like yoga. It makes me feel so much better to do this at least 30 to 60 min per day.
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you need to drink 100 ounces of water per day. Water has an important function of flushing out the toxins and waste. If you cannot drink that much, drink as much as you can and work up to it.
  • It is normal to experience diarrhea, light headaches and fatigue in the first few days.
  • Purchase organic produce whenever possible.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before making juice.
  • Peel or slice off lemon, orange and grapefruit rind, leaving some of the white pith on the outside.
  • When juicing small leaves such as parsley, cilantro and herbs with stems, chop them into smaller pieces or roll them up into a ball to compact the leaves. The stems contain more juice than the leaves so use them all.
  • Take all hard pits out of the fruit before juicing.
  • It’s good to use different recipes of mixed vegetables and fruit so you get a good variety of nutrients during the fast.
  • Spinach and broccoli have protein in them, so they can be used to replace your daily protein intake. If you are concerned about not getting enough protein, you can add a tablespoon of dried wheat or barley green drink powder.
  • Juice should be made fresh every day; it will last up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Keep it in a mason jar with a lid or an airtight container of some kind.

Using A Blender

A blender is different from a juicer. It does not remove the fiber from the juice; therefore, your body is still digesting food. The point of a juice cleanse is to relieve the body from digesting for a few days. I recommend buying a high-quality juicer. If you do not have a juicer, you can use a blender, Ninja® or a Vitamix® to blend your foods, then strain them through a metal strainer or cheesecloth to manually remove the fiber.

Huron Slow JuicerUsing A Juicer

I have been researching different juicers on the market, and I have decided that I like the HUROM® Slow Juicer. I purchased one and am very satisfied with the results. Here’s what the company has to say about its juicer:

The HUROM® Slow Juicer is a juice extractor that uses the patented Low Speed Technology System (LSTS) to extract juices. It is called a “Slow Juicer” because it operates at only 80 RPM and uses a mere 150 Watts of energy, instead of 1,000-24,000 RPM and up to 1,500 Watts of energy like a typical centrifugal “High Speed” juicer.

But don’t let the name fool you. The Slow Juicer actually juices faster than most typical juicers and expels significantly more juice from the same foods, with much drier pulp. The method of extraction is masticating and pressing, using the screw-like auger as a mortar and pestle. The action crushes and presses the food, releasing its deep-seated nutrients and enzymes. It also breaks up more of the phytonutrients, resulting in a richer colored juice that retains more vitamins and minerals. The slow RPM ensures that the cellular structure of fruits and vegetables is kept intact, eliminating oxidation and separation. Thus, it preserves the precious enzymes and nutrients that are closest to its natural form, as well as your food’s delicious flavor.

Huron Slow Juicer
To learn more about the HUROM® Slow Juicer click here.

Recipes For Making Healthy Juices

Green Juice No. 1

This is the official recipe used by Cross in “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.”

  • 6 kale leaves
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 2 green apples
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 piece of ginger (1 inch in length)

Green Juice No. 2

  • A handful of spinach
  • 3 stalks of kale
  • 2 golden delicious apples
  • a small handful of parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cucumber

Green Juice No. 3

  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 1 stalk green chard with leaf
  • A bunch of cilantro
  • 5 kale leaves
  • A handful of spinach

Fruit Juice

  • 1 cup watermelon and cantaloupe cubes
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1 slice of pineapple
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 apple

I go through my refrigerator and take out all the fruits and vegetables that have not been eaten. If they are starting to dry up or wilt or go bad, I cut the bad spots off and juice them. You can make your own recipe using what you have. Just remember the rule: 60 percent green, leafy vegetables to 40 percent sweet vegetables and fruits.

ION Stabilized OxygenAdd ION (Stabilized Oxygen) To Juices

I like to add 8 drops of ION stabilized oxygen to my juices because it kills any bacteria that might be on the food. This is especially important if the food comes from foreign countries. It also oxygenates the blood which is very beneficial to boosting the immune system and cleansing the body. Fruits and vegetables can be soaked in ION water to cleanse the produce and to kill pathogens.

To order the HUROM® Slow Juicer, Wheat Grass Live Greens Powder and ION to add to the juices click here.

–Peggy Layton

Keeping Water Safe With ION Stabilized Oxygen

Stabilizing oxygen is a proprietary process in which sodium chloride is added to purified water to increase electrical conductivity. The sodium chloride helps facilitate the process of manufacturing ION, a product that stabilizes the oxygen in the water by separating the oxygen molecules from the water. The electrolysis process starts with a saline solution similar to that used by most hospitals. This saline solution is made up of seven different salts collected from around the world. The entire process takes about 30 days. The end product is called ION (stabilized oxygen). It has a very high concentration of oxygen, safe pH levels, with very little sodium chloride remaining in the product.

ION (Stabilized Oxygen) Very Effective For Water Purification

ION stands for Ions of Oxygen Negative. It is the negative charge of the ion oxygen molecule that attracts and steals away the positive charge of any anaerobic bacteria in the water. It acts like a magnet attracting and attaching to the bad bacteria or foreign free radical, thus killing them. Anaerobic oxygen cannot live in an oxygen environment thus the ION treatment kills, and eradicates bacteria, some viruses, toxins, fungus, mold, parasites, toxic chemicals and inorganic substances that are either added to or leaches into our drinking water.

ION is great for wilderness water treatment. I take it with me when I travel to foreign countries or anyplace where the water is questionable. When ION is used in water that will be stored for emergency purposes, it will keep the water safe for at least five years. I believe every medical kit and 72-hour bug out bag should have a bottle of ION in it at all times. One bottle of ION will last for three months for one person. Every person in the family needs to have at least one bottle of ION for an emergency situation.

Dangers Of Non-Purified Or Untreated Water

When people drink untreated water, even from a stream in the mountains, it can be dangerous and even deadly if the following bacteria and parasites are present: cholera, typhoid, dysentery, flukes, leeches, giardia, cryptosporidium, hepatitis A and E. coli. The pathogens can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, fever, abdominal cramping and extreme pain. Typhoid can cause extremely high fever and illness. Some of them are waterborne and get into the water through fecal matter. Giardia is a parasite that attaches to the intestines of humans and animals. Symptoms include severe headaches, inflamed liver, weakness, anorexia and jaundice. It can be fatal.

Filter Dirty Water Before Using ION

When you are filtering water, it is a good idea to remove as many large particles as possible to prevent clogging your filter system. If you do not have a water filter, you must use the clearest water you can find.  If you can’t find clear water, then strain the water through a bandana, cheesecloth, pantyhose or just a piece of cloth.

Another effective way to filter water is to use a 2-liter soda bottle and a coffee filter to filter out large particles and sediment. Cut off the top third of the soda bottle. Place the pour spout upside down inside the bottom of the bottle. Place the coffee filter in the top and filter the water through the bottle. After the water has been filtered use ION stabilized oxygen to kill bacteria in the water. ION and coffee filters should be in everyone’s emergency kit or 72-hour backpack.

Dosage Of ION Stabilized Oxygen

  • 8 drops in 8 ounces of water to purify water
  • 20 drops of ION per gallon to purify water
  • 20 drops in 8 ounces of water for flu, infection or illness
  • Halve the dose for children
  • Double dose for athletes in competition
  • 3-5 drops directly on wounds to kill bacteria
  • ½ bottle (1 ounce) of ION for a 55 gallon drum of water storage
  • 1 (2-ounce) bottle will treat 110 gallons of water storage

Is ION (Stabilized Oxygen) Safer Than Other Products On The Market?

It has a mild taste similar to sodium chloride (salt) without the harmful side effects of chlorine. ION (stabilized oxygen) is non-toxic to the skin or body and works very well for water purification. That is why it is so much safer to use than chlorine bleach, iodine, colloidal silver or hydrogen peroxide. All these products can be toxic when taken in large doses. ION (stabilized Oxygen) is non-toxic and will never harm you in any way.

ION Can Be Taken Internally

ION (stabilized oxygen) is well known for killing bacteria in the human body when taken internally and used medicinally as a health supplement. It should be taken at the first sign of flu, cold or any other bacterial infection. All you do is put 20 drops of ION in an 8-ounce glass of water, stir, let it set for a minute and drink it. It has been tested by many labs and has all the documentation to prove its effectiveness against harmful pathogens (disease-causing microbes).

Use ION to sterilize cuts, scratches and bruises; end tooth decay; stop pain and infection of wounds; treat emphysema; fever blisters; herpes; cold sores and first and second degree burns; alleviate headaches, back pain, arthritis and joint aches. ION has been used for bladder infections, kidney infections, sore throats, strep and food poisoning. ION detoxifies insect bites, spider bites, bee stings and mosquito bites. ION will not kill friendly flora or good bacteria. In fact, it stimulates the growth and development of beneficial bacteria.

ION is great for plants, root cuttings, transplants, sterilizing cooking tools and surfaces, extending the life of milk and juices, and making yogurt.

Our Bodies Require Oxygen To Rebuild And Repair

Our bodies are amazing in that they require oxygen in every process and function involved in the absorption of nutrients, the reproduction and repair of the healthy cells and the elimination of unhealthy or dead cells. Stabilized oxygen goes into the cells and gives them the much-needed oxygen to rebuild and repair the cells, which helps the body’s natural defenses of the immune system.

ION Has An Alkaline pH

The process of making ION is a 30-day brewing process, which removes the acid from the product and makes it an alkaline base. Alkaline base products are better for your health because bacteria and disease cannot grow in an alkaline environment.

Shelf Life of ION Stabilized Oxygen.

ION stores indefinitely on the shelf if kept in a cool environment and out of direct sunlight.

Water Storage Tanks

I own a 185-gallon water tank. I really like it, and it fits the needs of our family perfectly. This large, cylinder-shaped water tank is ideal for storing water. It tucks away into a corner of a room or garage. It easily fits through doors. It is gravity-fed and has an opening at the top to fill the tank. It has a drain at the bottom and a spigot-type faucet about a third of the way up from the floor to fill smaller containers. I always keep several 5-gallon containers close by just in case I need them. I use a bottle and a half of the ION for the 185-gallon tank and two bottles for the 250-gallon tank. I like to put the ion in at the beginning of the fill so it will mix properly with the water as it fills the tank. If you wait until the end, the ION will not get mixed in properly. ION will keep the water safe for up to five years.

These tanks come in 185 gallon, 250 gallon and 500 gallon sizes. They are tall and stand upright so there is no need to stack water containers on top of each other. This tank takes up less space in a garage or room than any other water storage tanks. Because it is gravity fed, it does not need a pump to get the water out. There are indentations in the tank so it can be strapped to a wall for extra strength in an earthquake.

The tankers are shipped from Utah. The shipping costs between $200 and $250, depending on where it is shipped. If you ship two tanks together to the same location, the shipping cost is cut by about 40 percent. Please call for a shipping quote.

This water storage tanker, ION water treatment, emergency medical supplies, 72-hour backpacks, sewage treatment, wheat grinders, food dehydrators, as well as many other self sufficiency and survival products can be found on my website

Information in this article is for educational purposes only. Always consult with a qualified medical physician. ION has had many great results and has testimonials from many satisfied customers; however, is not intended to treat any medical condition. It is sold only as a dietary supplement or water treatment.

Food Storage Meals In Mylar® Pouches

These ready-to-cook meals can be stored long-term and cooked quickly. Everything is in the pouch. You just add water and cook for 20 minutes, and the meal is done. The food comes in Mylar® pouches; each pouch makes four servings. The meals are sealed with oxygen absorbers in the pouch, which makes this a long-term food product that will last on the shelf for 15 years. To get three sample meals, click here. You pay only the shipping cost of $9.95.

–Peggy Layton

Be Prepared For A Blackout

During emergency situations, you may find your home and community in the dark. That can be a very frightening thing — especially for children. We have all experienced a power outage. We need alternative sources of light during blackouts.

Learn how to use sources of light such as candles, kerosene lamps, propane lanterns, etc. Practice with the family — especially the children — before a power outage occurs so that everyone knows how to use alternative light sources when needed. Become educated about the hazards of using these items and learn what to do in case of a fire. Your family must be protected from any accident that might occur from the use of fire in your home. Never go to sleep with any unvented oil, propane or kerosene lamp burning in your home, and never leave a candle burning unattended.

It is good to have several different types of alternative lighting in your home.

The following are items that are great for your emergency preparations.


Every family should have a year’s supply of individual candles. Candles that last a long time, such as 50-hour or 100-hour candles in solid or liquid form, are best. You will need candle holders or candle lanterns with a broad base and handle for the solid candles. I like to store a large supply of butane lighters as well as stick matches along with the candles. To increase the light from your candles, place them in front of a mirror or put some sort of reflective material such as aluminum foil behind them.

Kerosene Lamps

Kerosene, or paraffin, lamps can be purchased in any outdoor or sporting goods store. They are excellent sources of light and will burn about two days on one quart of fuel. Be sure to store plenty of extra wicks and wooden matches. Wicks need to be trimmed and maintained or they will put off excessive smoke and dim light. Keep a window cracked to allow ventilation in the room with a burning lamp. Be sure to purchase extra fuel for your lamp.

Propane Lanterns

These lanterns are for outdoor use only. They are an excellent source of outdoor light. They require mantles, so store a good supply of them along with wooden matches.

Solar-Powered Flashlights

I like the Solar Flashlight because of its features.

It works in extreme temperatures, hot or cold. It is fully charged right out of the box. There is no need to ever purchase batteries. It works for more than 100,000 hours. It is powered by the sun and natural and artificial light. It holds a single charge for three years without being exposed to any light. It is 100 percent waterproof, and it floats. It is made of 50 percent polycarbonate and 50 percent plastic. It is unmatched in durability with a one-piece construction so there is no chance to split at the seams. It withstands a strong impact and has a lifetime warranty. Check out the Solar Flashlight at


Headlamps are extremely useful for any emergency. They can be strapped around the head, which allows the hands to be free. Headlamps should be in every vehicle and in every emergency bug out bag.

Solar-Powered Yard Lights

These are nice for outdoor lighting. They are charged by the sun during the day and can be taken inside when they are fully charged. They give off a dimmer light than candles or lanterns but will work in an emergency.

Cyalume ChemLight Light Sticks

These light sticks are the safest form of indoor lighting available. These sticks can be purchased in most sporting goods stores. They are cased in plastic and must be bent to be activated. The sticks will glow a bright green color for up to eight hours.

The information in this article came out of the book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton. Check it out along with the Solar Flashlights at

–Peggy Layton

Pack A Bug-Out Kit And Conduct A Practice Drill

Every family should practice emergency procedures and conduct regular emergency drills, especially with their children, friends, neighbors and church or group members. Belonging to a like-minded group is very important. Meeting often to plan strategies is important, as is taking into consideration the elderly, young children, neighbors and other community members.

It is a good idea to conduct two separate practice drills by simulating being cut off from utilities such as heat, electricity, water, food, etc. for a weekend or a 72-hour period of time during which you do not go to the grocery store or purchase gas for the car. The first drill would be one in which you survive in place at your home; the second one would be one in which you leave your home and flee to a safer place (go camping to practice bugging out). Keep a notebook of all the things you wished you had and how difficult it was to stay warm, cook food and produce light. You would need to decide the most likely disasters that your family would face in your community. Some areas are more prone to tornados and hurricanes. Others would be more prone to earthquakes. Still others might be more prone to economic situations such as job layoffs. These practice drills will show you how well you would do if the grid went down.

What It Takes To Survive A Short-Term Emergency

Prepare a bug-out or 72-hour kit for the practice drills. Afterward, note of all the problems that you encountered and restock your 72-hour kit accordingly. Each family member should have a personal kit that can be carried with the items specifically organized for that person. Remember any special needs such as medication, baby formula, etc.

I suggest that you pack all these supplies either in a backpack, duffel bag, plastic tub with handles or a suitcase on rollers. Make sure it is a good suitcase with heavy-duty rollers or wheels because if you need to evacuate and have to roll the suitcase in gravel or on pavement, the rollers might break. With a backpack, your hands will be free to carry other items or even young children.

Basic Items For A 72-Hour Kit Include

  1. Food for three days that requires no refrigeration or cooking: things such as tuna fish in foil pouches, granola bars, dried fruit and meals ready to eat. I look for food that is lightweight and can be opened and eaten right from the can. Don’t forget the can opener.
  2. If you are using GOFoods premade meals, click here. If you can boil water, you can cook GOFoods meals with a small stove.
  3. Water (a minimum of 3 gallons). Use a 3-gallon container with a handle for water because you can just grab it along with the 72-hour kit and go.
  4. ION water treatment to kill bacteria. Click here.
  5. A lightweight water filtration unit such as the Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter.
  6. One change of clothing for each family member, plus several pairs of underwear and socks, a warm coat, a hat and leather gloves.
  7. A first-aid kit along with a first-aid book with basic instructions.
  8. Medication required for all family members. Extra insulin, aspirin, etc.
  9. Sleeping bags and blankets.
  10. Lightweight shelter such as a tube tent. Nylon rope or cords.
  11. Battery-powered radio with extra batteries.
  12. Flashlight (I prefer a solar powered flashlight click here, hand warmers, light sticks, candles, matches and butane lighter.
  13. Copies of all-important paperwork such as passport, driver’s license and credit card information.
  14. Tools such as a pocketknife, small shovel, ax, duct tape and hammer.
  15. Child- and infant-care items.
  16. Sanitary items such as garbage bags, toilet paper, diapers if needed, wet wipes to clean up, hand sanitizer.
  17. Pen and notebook.
  18. Money in small bills and change.

72-Hour Pack For Young Children And Babies

If you have young children, pack a bag with items such as;

  1. Disposable diapers and small trash bags to dispose of the diapers.
  2. Wet wipes or towelettes.
  3. Baby lotion and diaper rash ointment.
  4. Baby formula and water for mixing.
  5. Bottles and nipples.
  6. Baby food and utensils.
  7. Any medications.
  8. Warm clothing, hats, gloves shoes and warm socks.
  9. Blankets.
  10. Small toys.

This list is a basic list of items that will be helpful. You need to add anything else to your kit that you need. Tailor this kit to your family. The goal is to be able to carry these items, so prepare lightly and make sure you are preparing the correct items for your family to have their basic needs met during a time of stress. This is why it is so important to practice the drills with your family so you are prepared.

Products I Have Been Testing

I have been testing some items for my 72-hour pack, and I feel like they are worth telling you about:

Solar powered flashlight:

  • Works in extreme temperatures, hot or cold.
  • Fully charged right out of the box. No need to ever purchase batteries.
  • More than 100,000 hours of use.
  • Powered by the sun, ambient and artificial light, indoor and out.
  • 100 percent waterproof, and it floats.
  • Holds a single charge for three full years without exposing it to light.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Mono Silicon Solar Powered with battery backup. Will charge using any light source. Alternative energy saves money.
  • Always ready to use, eco-friendly and can be stored anywhere.
  • Super-bright LED. Provides bright light with spot and wide path.
  • Made of 50 percent polycarbonate and 50 percent plastic. Unmatched in durability.
  • One-piece construction. No chance to split at seams. Withstands strong impact.

Jetboil Cooker:

Jetboil’s Group Cooking System (GCS) brings versatility to fast, efficient outdoor cooking. Throw in a can of fuel, snap on the lid, and you have everything you need for backcountry cuisine in one convenient, lightweight package. The pot heats quickly and evenly, so you can enjoy perfect scrambled eggs, rice, GOFoods and pan breads. Foldout rubberized wire handles and an insulating cozy make for safe and easy handling.

  • 1.5 Liter FluxRing® pot with insulating cozy and fold-out handles.
  • Adjustable burner with push-button igniter.
  • Insulating lid and bottom cover.
  • Quick-lock universal pot support.
  • Canister stabilizer.

Jetboil Hot Water Cup

 The ultra-compact 1-liter unit is ideal for dehydrated meals, coffee or tea on the go, remote worksites and emergency kits. Travel light and prep easy. The Personal Cooking System (PCS) is a complete food and beverage multi-tool you can hold in your hand that weighs about a pound. It lights with the click of a button; within two minutes, you’ve got two cups of boiling water ready for coffee or a quick meal. Pack components, fuel and accessories into the cup for convenient transport.


  • Liter FluxRing® cooking cup with insulating Cargo Cozy.
  • Adjustable burner with push-button igniter.
  • Insulating drink-through lid.
  • Insulating measuring cup bottom.
  • Fuel sold separately.

Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter

  • The Katadyn Hiker Pro comes with a removable filter protector to extend cartridge life in challenging conditions.
  • Thanks to quick-connect fittings, the installation and removal of input and output hoses are easy.
  • It also connects directly to hydration packs with ¼-inch drink tubes. Includes prefilter, bottle adapter and carry bag.

ION (Stabilized Oxygen) Water Treatment

  • ION is a stabilized oxygen product that I have found to be very effective in water treatment. Studies show ION will kill giardia, cholera and dysentery within a few minutes.
  • It doesn’t have any of the harmful side effects that are associated with chlorine or Iodine. ION has a high concentration of oxygen. High levels of oxygen will kill harmful bacteria.
  • The name “ION” stands for ions of oxygen with a negative charge. By removing the positive charge from the water, the process creates stabilized nontoxic oxygen.
  • Anaerobic pathogens or infectious microorganisms in the water cannot survive in the presence of oxygen. ION will not harm the normal flora in our bodies.
  • ION can be taken every day (five drops per 8-ounce glass of water). This will kill all harmful bacteria in the body such as the flu bug. It also oxygenates the blood which boosts the immune system so your body will fight infections. To purchase ION, click here. If you purchase 10 bottles at a time, you can get a discount. If you purchase 25 or more bottles, you can buy it wholesale.

GOFoods Meals Ready To Eat

  • As long as you have a way to boil water, you can cook GOFoods meals.
  • The company lets you try 12 free servings before you buy. Just pay $9.95 shipping and receive three free meals that serve four people per pouch.
  • These non-GMO foods do not contain MSG, trans fats, harmful chemicals or insecticides, and they have a 15-year shelf life.
  • GOFoods are for on-the-go families because they can be eaten today, stored for the future or shared with family, friends or neighbors.
  • It is dehydrated, not freeze-dried, so the prices are very reasonable. Each package of food is ready to go with everything except the water. It takes only 15-20 minutes to cook, and the food is delicious. The packages feed two to four people.
  • The Mylar® packages include breakfast items such as pancake mix, oatmeal, granola and powdered milk.
  • They also include soups for lunch like cheddar broccoli, Italian chicken, vegetable beef, tortilla soup, corn chowder, minestrone, chicken noodle, chili and potato cheddar.
  • Entrées for dinner and other baking items include chicken pasta Alfredo, cheesy chicken rice casserole, beef stroganoff, au gratin potatoes, instant seasoned potatoes, corn muffin mix, cornmeal dumplings, wheat bread mix, buttermilk biscuit mix and more.
  • Click here to check out this great food with a 15-year shelf life.

To purchase any of the seven books I have written or purchase any of the products I have featured in this article, please check out my website at

–Peggy Layton

CPR For Your Food Storage

Food can be dead or alive. Foods that sprout are considered live foods, and processed food is considered empty and dead.

Most dehydrated fruits and vegetables sold in gallon-sized cans for the purpose of long-term storage are still alive because the drying process is done at a low enough temperature that the enzymes remain intact. Dehydrated and freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and legumes can be purchased at

Enzymes, the biochemical catalysts in each cell, orchestrate complex biological processes. Every transformation — every nutrient breakdown and transfer — involves enzymes. They are life.

Killing Enzymes

Canned food has no enzymes because, during the canning process, the food is heated to kill bacteria. Unfortunately, the process also destroys what is needed to digest it.

Fresh produce from the grocery store also might be dead. Produce, grain and foodstuffs that are shipped from areas outside of the United States often are irradiated to kill bacteria coming in from the country where the food was grown.

What is irradiation? Purdue University’s Department of Animal Sciences describes the process as such: “Irradiation is a method of preservation which uses ionizing radiation to destroy or inactive many of the microorganisms which cause meat to spoil and cause food-borne illnesses. Because irradiation does not destroy all microorganisms, food treated by irradiation must still be refrigerated or it will spoil.”

That’s a good thing, right? We don’t want meat that will spoil and go rancid. But other foods are irradiated, too. The premise is that this will protect the consumer from harmful bacteria, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, Shigella and E. coli O157:H7.

The Texas Agricultural Extension Service notes that such bacteria are commonly found on many raw foods. Food irradiation kills harmful bacteria but also kills live enzymes in the food. It’s a double-edged sword. That is why it is vital to purchase organic food, locally grown or homegrown, and make sure it is chemical- and pesticide-free.

Enzymes Keep Your Body Running

Enzymes keep you going. The minute food is harvested or an animal is killed, enzymes jump into action to start breaking it down. That is not good if your food must be shipped a long distance. Most food breaks down within 12-36 hours.

Why is it important that enzymes break down the food? Enzymes start to break down the sugars and carbohydrates so that the food is easier to digest. Without this digestion process, your body has to produce its own enzymes to break down the food.

Chewing food well begins breaking it down for digestion, and the process is aided by enzymes in your saliva.

When we eat mainly processed, cooked and irradiated foods, we place the responsibility on our bodies to produce all of the enzymes to process the food.

The pancreas does the brunt of the work, by producing the enzymes and processing sugars that weren’t broken down. If we overtax the pancreas, what happens? Diabetes.

Dr. Edward Howell, who pioneered enzyme research, notes that when we don’t take in enzymes from their natural source (unprocessed food), the result is: shortened lifespan, illness and lowered resistance to stress.

Humans and animals that mostly eat cooked food have enlarged pancreases because this organ tries to increase its function. What decreases in size because it’s not being used or is not being given the correct amount of nutrition? The brain! Your brain actually shrinks when you eat a diet high in cooked foods.

Some enzymes such as proteases contribute to anti-inflammatory responses. They assist in reducing swelling and reactions to foreign invaders. Our autoimmune responses depend on adequate amounts of enzymes being on board.

Dr. Howell also found in his studies that most animals have digestive enzymes only in the passageway from the stomach down, but not in the mouth. The exception? Humans.

Why? Because animals in their natural environments eat raw food. When the animals chew raw food, the natural enzymes in the food are released.

Because humans don’t eat only raw food, nature helps them with oral enzymes such as amylase, which breaks complex carbohydrates down to sugars that can be available for the body. Lactase breaks down milk sugars. Protease breaks down protein. And sucrase digests sugars.

Columbia University’s Dr. Max Wolf and Dr. Helen Benitez discovered that using both animal- and plant-derived enzymes has a potentiated effect in healing.

New research by Michael W. Loes, M.D. reveals that oral enzyme supplementation may be the new aspirin alternative. Imagine the idea that giving your body naturally occurring enzymes in live food can heal your body.

In times of stress (like now) it is vital that you give your body the enzymes it needs if you want to be able to survive even more devastating and demanding times. The time to boost your body is now, before a crisis!

Get The Enzymes You Need

While almost 3,000 enzymes have been identified, it is estimated that more than 50,000 exist. Plants naturally contain just what we need in order to digest them. So how do we get enzymes into our systems?

  1. Grow your own food. The only way to ensure that you are getting all the enzymes a plant or animal has to offer is to grow it yourself. Carefully research the grain and animal feed that goes into your chickens, ducks, goats and cows. Consider your pets’ needs. If they eat enzyme-depleted food, their bodies will have the same problem.
  2. Shop organically. Organic meat and produce have many benefits, the main advantage being reduced chemical spraying. There are more enzymes in food grown organically.
  3. Take supplemental enzymes. Live greens will provide needed enzymes. If you don’t have live greens, the best thing to do is to add Live Greens Powder to your food storage. Keep it cold in a basement or in the refrigerator or freezer to extend the storage life. You can make a Live Green Powder drink or breakfast smoothie that will have high nutritional value.

Live Green Powder Drink

In a blender, mix:

  • 20 ounces of rice or almond milk, fresh milk or reconstituted powdered milk
  • 2 frozen bananas or ½ cup of frozen berries, freeze-dried fruit or frozen fruit
  • 2 teaspoons Live Greens with Peppermint for digestion support (Click here to learn more.)
  • 1-large scoop of your favorite vegetable protein powder
  • 1-small scoop of Sunfood powdered Organic Cacao Powder Raw Chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • 20 drops of ION stabilized oxygen, to boost the immune system and oxygenate the blood (Click here for more information on ION. I have amazing testimonials on my website of people getting better from all kinds of ailments because of stabilized oxygen, which helps the body’s immune system fight infections.)

The Live Green products sold at are processed at a very low temperature. At an organic farm in the western Rocky Mountains, young plants are grown in high altitudes that are protected from lower atmosphere pollution access. The soil the greens are grown in is nutrient- and mineral-rich from previous volcanic deposits. Add the clean water from the Rocky Mountain reservoirs, and you have a high-quality product that is nutrient- and enzyme-intense. The Live Green Drink contains peppermint essential oils to aid in digestion. The included greens — alfalfa, barley, wheat, oat grass, spinach and yucca — are probiotic-cultured to add healthy bacteria to your gut to further promote digestion and bioavailability of enzymes. This 100 percent organic product has no chemicals, preservatives, fillers, artificial additives, coloring or flavorings.

I keep protein powder and greens as well as health supplements in my food storage. I rotate them and restock so they don’t expire.

The Live Green Drink costs $29.95. The ingredients in this pint container has 90 servings

One pound of Cacao Powder costs $16.99 (recommended for daily shakes to last about 2 months).

I am the author of seven books on the subject of food storage and survival. If you are interested in any of the books, the Live Greens Powder, Cacao Powder or ION stabilized oxygen to boost the immune system, click here.

–Peggy Layton

Lack Of Skills Can Create Fear During An Emergency Or Disaster

The better prepared you are and the more skills you have, the less fear and anxiety you will experience in case of an emergency or disaster situation.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the American Red Cross and the U.S. Department of Agriculture developed the brochure “Food and Water During an Emergency” that warns: “If an earthquake, hurricane, winter storm, or other disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, and electricity for days or even weeks. By taking some time now to store emergency food and water supplies, you can provide for your entire family.”

To protect yourself and your loved ones, learn how to stay warm, build a shelter, find and filter water, and build a fire. Also, be sure to stock emergency food and other fundamental items in your vehicle and bug-out bag.

One time, my husband and I were caught in a terrible blizzard 150 miles from home. We were outside for more than two hours trying to load a trailer. Luckily, we had a flashlight, gloves, hats, rope and a tarp. I thought I was going to freeze to death. We had to keep going until we could get out of there. I vowed never to leave home without an emergency backpack filled with items that would enable me to have warmth, shelter, water, fire and food — in that order.

Stay Warm

It is very important to keep warm clothing in your vehicle as well as in a backpack that you can easily grab as you head out the door. Pack warm socks, a hat, a sweatshirt, waterproof gloves, a waterproof jacket and snow pants. Also pack a tarp, a sleeping bag and wool blanket. If you have these items, you can bundle up and stay warm if you get caught in a storm or natural disaster or if you get stranded inside or outside your vehicle. Even when the weather is warm, sometimes it gets chilly at night; so keep these items packed year-round.

Build A Shelter

You should always find water and build your shelter before you build your fire. A good shelter is important for several reasons. Not only does it shield you from the elements, it can also hide you from scary animals and provide comfort. If an emergency comes up in the middle of the night, your main concern should be to make it through the night until you can properly assess your situation and get help. It is important to remain calm and in control. Depending on the situation you find yourself in, you will need to find a way to build an emergency shelter.

  • Use fallen trees as a sleeping area that you can crawl into to get out of the weather. Use branches, leaves and other debris on top of the shelter so it stays dry like a thatched roof.
  • If there are no fallen trees, find one that has thick tree branches that provides a canopy-like covering to shield you from the elements.
  • Stack boulders and large logs as high as you can to break the wind.
  • Put branches and pine needles down to lie on and keep you up off the cold ground.
  • Get inside a cave or under an overhang to provide shelter from wind and rain. Stay close to the mouth of the cave so you don’t get lost, and be very aware of animals seeking shelter also.
  • Stay in your vehicle if possible. If the vehicle is wrecked and unsafe, find shelter somewhere near it so you can be seen and rescued.

Find And Filter Water

  • Carry water with you in your vehicle and in your bug-out bag.
  • When drinking from a stream, be very cautious. Never drink from stagnant water. Always find a free-flowing stream or water source. Do not drink the water unless it has been boiled or filtered.
  • If you cannot find a water source, look around for moss growing on trees. Because moss holds moisture, you can squeeze the moss and drip water into your mouth to stay hydrated.
  • A hiking water filter is the best way to filter water. A Katadyn water filter is small so it doesn’t take up much space. This filter should be with your emergency supplies in your vehicle or backpack at all times.
  • If you don’t have a filter, you must boil any water you drink or cook with. This kills the bacteria and makes the water safe.
  • I always carry a product called ION water treatment in my vehicle and bug-out bag. ION stabilized oxygen kills all anaerobic bacteria on contact. It is lightweight and comes in a 2-ounce bottle. Put eight drops in a glass of water and stir. ION should be in every medical kit, car kit and 72-hour emergency bug-out bag.

To purchase ION, click here.

Build A Fire

There are many methods you can use to start a fire without a match. Some are easier than others, and they all require a bit of practice. Practice building a fire when you go camping; it will help build your confidence.

Build your fire on dry ground that is flat and protected from the wind. Gather a large stockpile of tinder, kindling and larger branches and logs. The fire should be close to your shelter and close to a water source, if possible.

  • You should have alternative methods of building a fire with you at all times. Carry newspapers, waterproof matches or lighters in your vehicle and bug-out bag. Other items might include long-lasting candles, a long fire starter, flint and steel. And always have a flashlight and waterproof gloves with you in case you need to find wood in the dark.
  • A fire will not only keep you warm and dry, but it will give you a way to boil water to kill any anaerobic bacteria.
  • A fire can calm you down in a stressful situation. It brings comfort and peace knowing you can stay warm and dry.
  • Cooking emergency food over a fire is very important.
  • A fire keeps insects and animals away.
  • A fire can act as a signal for search and rescue.

Stock Emergency Food

  • Prepare two bug-out bags with food, water and a pot to boil water in. Keep one in the house and one in the vehicle. This will help to sustain your life until you can get help.
  • The “Food and Water During an Emergency” brochure advises: “As you stock food, take into account your family’s unique needs and tastes. Familiar foods are important. They lift morale and give a feeling of security in times of stress.”
  • Pack dried fruit, beef Jerky, drink mixes and other easy-to-open types of foods. I keep tuna in Mylar® pouches in my vehicle. If you have a cooking pot and water, you can cook ready-made emergency meals such as the ones I have talked about in other articles. They are called GoFoods. Everything is in the pouch except the water. They are easy to make and taste delicious. Check them out here.

This information came from my book Emergency Food Storage And Survival Handbook. Check it out here.