The Sunday Buzz – Volume 8

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The buzzWelcome to this week’s roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web.  But first, an update on my own preps.

This week I organized my travel preps; things like first aid items, emergency contact forms, updated copies of key documents on a flash drive, a small, but powerful flashlight and and more. Over the years I have learned to go over board with my travel kit since there is nothing worse than to be stuck in a hotel somewhere without a pair of scissors or a band aid.

I had a travel preparedness kit before I even knew I was a prepper.  This had a lot to do with spending one week a month flying cross country for work and then later, taking off on a boat to the middle of nowhere for recreational purposes.

So, with that said and dispensed with, let’s get on to the Sunday Buzz.

Oh So Sweet Kershaw Knife

Last month I wrote about my Personal Pocket Survival Kit. A key component to that kit was the Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife. As I said at the time, the“oh so sweet” knife is a solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It pretty much cuts through anything the price, at less than $25, is amazing.

Well since then, my knife has disappeared. More specifically, Survival Husband stole it from me and now I have to get another one. Okay, I can deal with that but in fair trade, I asked him to write up a brief review.

pocket survival kit_4

I just received my knife – well, I guess I should say Gaye’s knife – an am very impressed.  The blade is 3 1/2 inches long and razor sharp from the get go.

It does take a little bit of getting used to when opening but after practicing for 5 to 10 minutes, it became second nature.  The blade is not spring-driven.  Instead it appears to be a lever but anyway, it is very impressive and fast.

One thing to note is that I am left handed and am having no problem with this knife even though some others are difficult for me to use.  Also, to close the blade you need to slide the notched tension bar over to release the blade.  Now in all fairness, Gaye is the one that figured this out.

The Kershaw OSO Sweet is great for everyday use, carrying around town, or out in the wilderness.  For me, it is not only the best knife out there at this price point, but the best knife out there for my needs regardless of price.

Hey, thanks Survival Husband.  I guess I will let you keep the knife and get another one for myself.  Jeesh. 

Water Purification versus Water Filtration, Huh?

Last week I wrote about water in my article, Back to the Basics: Water for Survival.  While for some, this was a refresher in the basics, there was still the lingering question of sorting our how water filtration fits into the overall scheme of water purification.  To find the answer, I asked the water experts over at Directive 21, a very specific question:

How does a filtration system, such as the Berkey, supplement more common water purification methods such as boiling water or disinfection with bleach?

Good question, right?  Here is their very detailed answer:

Berkey® Water Purification systems are stand-alone gravity fed systems. You simply add water to the top chamber where the primary purifying elements (the Black Berkey® Purification Elements) are housed and allow the water to flow into the bottom reservoir. The optional PF2 Fluoride & Arsenic reduction elements address fluoride, arsenic, and further heavy metal reduction. PF2s are housed in the bottom chamber and screw on to the Black Elements.

You can use a Berkey® system to supplement two common methods of water treatment. It is important to remember that water filtration addresses particulate and chemical properties of water, while treatments aim to address pathogenic microbes. I don’t consider boiling water or chlorination to be actual “purification” treatments of water. These methods are simply treatments aimed at removing common pathogens.

Boiling Water: Although boiling water does a great job of killing pathogenic microbes, you’ll lose a percentage of that “good water” to evaporation. Boiling water is taxing on resources because it takes a bit of energy to realize, something you want to conserve if resources are scarce circumstantially. But if you have fuel, a fire starter, and a cooking container, you can take advantage of boiling your water.

A Berkey® system will finish the job that boiling water will not. Boiling water creates a hostile environment for pathogenic microbes, killing them. Contaminants such as heavy metals, salts, and other chemicals (see FEMA table) will not evaporate or be removed through boiling. In fact, their concentration will increase as water turns to vapor.

Black Berkey® Elements are designed to reduce heavy metals, allow beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium to stay in the water, and remove other chemicals.  After you have boiled your water, allow it to cool. Then pour it through the Berkey® system to address the additional contaminants missed in boiling.

Effectiveness of Water Treatment Methods

Methods

Kills Microbes

Removes other contaminants (heavy metals, salts, and most other chemicals)

Boiling

yes

no

Chlorination

yes

no

Distillation

yes

yes

 

Chlorination: Kills disease causing microorganisms. Similarly, chlorination will not address heavy metals, salts, and other chemicals. In fact, I recommend using a Berkey® in conjunction with chlorine treatment for the simple fact that you’ll want to remove the chlorine and any by-products of its effect from the water before you drink it. Trihalomethanes (THM) pose known health risks and should be removed from water before consumption, if possible. Berkey® Elements will remove THMs.

Summary:  Clean drinking water is a fundamental human need which does require effort to achieve at times. In the pursuit of safety, redundancy provides an added measure of security. This is why I recommend Berkey® Water Purification systems as a supplement to boiling water and/or chlorine water treatment.

Now I don’t know about you, but I personally now understand how the three processes (purification, chlorination and filtration) can work together to create the very best water for health and safety.  That said, it bears repeating that I love the taste and the smell (none) of the water coming out of my Royal Berkey and Sport Berkey bottle.

Today on Strategic Living

In this week’s article, George and I get into the issue of working in your 70’s.  It is not secret that we are both in our 60’s and still working.  So what does the future hold for us grays?

One of the ugliest questions an American worker can ask: “Do I have to work until death?”   In this week’s article, George and I get into the issue of working in your 70’s. It is no secret that we are both in our 60’s and still working. So what does the future hold for us grays?  Read more at Strategic Living: Working to Death.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Gaye

From the Bargain Bin: The items featured in my Personal Pocket Survival Kit have proven to be extremely popular. In cased you missed it, here they are along with a few handy extras.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife:  This “oh so sweet” knife is a solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing. About $23.

Streamlight Nano Light Keychain LED Flashlight:  extremely small and light weight yet it will throw off a decent amount of super-bright light. At just .36 ounces and 1.47 inches long, the Streamlight Nano Light Keychain Flashlight will take up a minimum of space in your pocket or bag. About $7.

Paracord Survival Bracelet:  Why a Paracord Bracelet? So you always have some of this useful cord on your person!  About $7.

Windstorm Safety Whistle:  This particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds. About $7.0

Swedish Firesteel:  Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version. About $11.

Pepper Spray:  It is always good to have some form of defense that will temporarily halt a bad guy that is in your face.  About $7.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets:  These come in compressed packets small enough to fit in a pocket or wallet.  You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. About $8 for a pack of 10.

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Comments

The Sunday Buzz – Volume 8 — 1 Comment

  1. The white ceramic Berkey filters are also quite useful compared to most alternative filtering methods. I think that the main difference between the black and white filters is that the black filters are better at removing heavy metals and such.

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