How to Tan a Deer Hide

I have always had an interest in primitive survival techniques, and I enjoy teaching myself the lost arts of our ancestors.  These days I normally kill three or four deer per year to fill our freezer, and I do what I can to use every part of the animal.  However, I noticed that our deer camp throws out seven to ten deer hides every year.

I made the decision to find a way to use these hides.  The more I thought about it, the more I settled in on an idea.  Every winter I complete a survival challenge during which I spend three or four days in freezing temperatures to hone my winter survival skills.  However, I can never seem to find a warm and comfortable buffer between myself and the ground. Continue reading “How to Tan a Deer Hide”

Treating Chigger Bites with Clove Essential Oil

Summer is drawing to a close soon and many of you are probably dreaming of fall and cooler weather, but those that are still working outside in the woods and brush in this dog days of summer heat may find this treatment for chigger bites helpful.  If you are experiencing multiple chigger bites, you know they feel like the bane of one’s existence!
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Homestead Skills That Transfer Over To Survival Skills

If you are lucky enough to live on a homestead, there’s no doubt you’ve probably learned some very impressive skills. Homestead life can be tough, it can be challenging, but it can also be highly rewarding, especially when the skills that you’ve learned can be put to good use elsewhere.

It’s interesting to note that there are a lot of homestead skills that can be transferred over to survival skills. This means that if you fancy becoming a bit of a prepper, you should already have a lot of skills and knowledge that will help you to get through a survival situation.
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Growing Raspberries Year 2

How wonderful it is to see everything coming alive in the spring. Last year in February we planted 4 bare root raspberry canes. Along the trellis you can see how much our 4 raspberry canes have grown.

Raspberry Canes - Year 2. #SecondYearRaspberries #RaspberryCanes
Raspberry Canes – Year 2

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Clearing Land the Hard Way

Back in January our son rented us a bulldozer to clear an area of the land. As exciting as it was to finally feel like we were making some progress we quickly realized this job was bigger than we had anticipated and we had already anticipated it to be quite difficult. After seeing just how many trees we had to clear after they were dozed over we had decided to try to get someone to come and chip it for us.

One of Four Large Piles of Trees
One of Four Large Piles of Trees

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Smoke Detector Maintenance at Daylight Savings Time

As we spring our clocks forward this weekend for Daylight Savings Time, take a few minutes to check your home smoke detectors to ensure that they are working properly. Using Daylight Savings Time is a great way to remember to perform your routine smoke detector maintenance.

In the US, 2450 deaths and 13,900 injuries resulted from residential building fires in 2011.

US Residential Building Fire Statistics (2007-2011)
US Residential Building Fire Statistics (2007-2011) – US Fire Administration

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Bulldozing a Patch of the Land

Since the purchase of our land in February 2013, we have accomplished a few small tasks. However, we have mostly been in a stalled holding pattern until we could get some of the land cleared. Our first priority is to clear off a tear drop shaped patch of land that is about 2+ acres. There is already a logging road cut that goes all the way around this tear drop. Our goal is to build a permanent deer fence around the tear drop and plant our fruit tree orchard leaving a space for our future garden.

Luckily, our oldest son is a diesel mechanic for caterpillar and is able to rent equipment at a discount. We had planned on clearing this section months ago, but it fell through. Since we are depending on the employee discount we are at the mercy of when the equipment is not in use by other “real” customers. Finally, this weekend he was able to rent a D4K Caterpillar bulldozer.

He started pushing at the “tip” of the tear drop. It was about 20 degrees Saturday morning and there was still some residual snow on the ground.

Bulldozing the Tear Drop Starting at the Tip
Bulldozing the Tear Drop Starting at the Tip


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Making Crab Apple Juice for Pectin

Making Crab Apple Juice for Pectin

There are several varieties of crab apples. Most people do not use the ornamental crab apples because they are so small and tedious to use, but since we had them we thought we would not let them go to waste. Last year we tried making a batch of crab apple juice. I thought it was tasty, but everyone else thought it was just way too tart. Since it was not going to be a preferred beverage in our house, we decided to try making it unsweetened this year and store it to be used for its pectin for later use in making other jams and jellies where pectin needs to be added.
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The can rack in use.

This DIY FIFO can rack can save valuable shelf space.  It only uses up 2 square feet of floor space and holds up to 120 cans.  The concept is simple.  You place the new can on the top shelf.  The can rolls back, falls to the lower shelf and rolls forward.  This way your cans always stay rotated without having to take them all out and place the new ones under or behind the old ones.

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