Thursday, March 24, 2016

12 Tips for Hunting Morel Mushrooms


Are they elongated walnuts? Wee, tiny brains on a stalk? Nope, neither. These strange-looking but delicious-tasting wild mushrooms are called morels. They grow across most of the United States. But, while they grow plentifully, they’re so popular that hunting spots are kept as well-guarded family secrets. Use these 12 hunting tips to score a few of your own.
  1. Hunt in the spring. The best time is during the two months that are the height of spring in your area. Morel mushroom season begins as early as February in southern states and as late as April in the midwest. It lasts through May in most of the U.S., and into June in the northwest and Canada. 
  2. Take your kids along. Morel hunting is a great family activity. And, since kids are lower to the ground, they often have a better chance of spotting the morels.
  3. Hunt after a warm, spring rain. If morels are in season in your area and you have a warm rain followed by sunny days, morels will crop up quickly.
  4. Take cues from the habitat. Morels thrive in forests, particularly in burn sites and other disturbed areas. Downed trees, river banks and flood planes are potential morel grounds. Loamy soil and certain trees (including ash, tulip, apple, aspen and elm) also attract morels.
  5. Sweep and then focus your search. Spread out your search initially. Once you find morels, slow down and search thoroughly in that area. Then search in similar habitats nearby.
  6. If you don’t find morels early in the season, look again. It takes years for a morel spore to establish itself in the forest. Yet the fruits of the morels grow quickly. While you might find zilch one day, you could find dozens in the same area mere days later.
  7. Keep the plant intact. Cut the fruit of the mushroom off with a knife, leaving the root of the plant undisturbed. If you do, the plant can produce another morel.
  8. Use a mesh bag for collection. An onion or orange sack works best since it allows you to redistribute morel spores through the forest while you hunt. Paper sacks are OK, too, since they’re breathable. Air circulation is important. Never use plastic or sealed bags.
  9. Don’t crush your ‘shrooms. If you find the morel mother-load, keep your collection sack relatively small (a 10-pound onion sack is about right). Too much weight on the morels at the bottom of the sack will crush them.
  10. Properly identify your morels. False morels and other look-alikes can make you ill or even kill you. So, be sure you know how to identify morels as true morels before you eat them. False morels are mushrooms with dense, cottony insides. If you aren’t sure, cut the fruit open to ensure it is a hollow true morel.
  11. Soak morels in water. Since morels are hollow, the mushrooms tend to collect sand, bugs and debris. To clean, soak the morels in water for a few hours. If you hunted in a particularly sandy area—like a creek bed or riverbank—you may want to slice the morels in half lengthwise before soaking. 
  12. Cook them simply. Once your morels are ready, try them sauteed in butter or battered lightly with cornmeal to bring out the morel’s naturally rich, meaty taste and texture. 
For more information, on mushroom hunting see our guide on foraging for mushrooms.
Follow Kristi on Twitter @VeggieConverter

Top 13 Uses for Pine Trees in Woodcraft and Self-Reliance

Posted on by Survival Sherpa    

by Todd Walker
Feel the nip in the air? Summer fades and autumn arrives to transform the forest canopy into an artist’s palate. Hunters, campers, and hikers are gearing up to enjoy the great outdoors.
Winter is on the way and many of your favorite edible and medicinal plants will fade into the landscape. But trees, they’ll stick around all four seasons. Now is the time to locate these valuable resources before their foliage covers the forest floor.
You may have a favorite season to tramp in the woods. For me, it’s Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer! Journal the location of these valuable resources. With the exception of evergreens, the only obvious identifying characteristics in the winter months will be the tree bark.
In this 5 Part Series, we’ll cover my top 5 useful trees found in the Eastern Woodlands; more specifically, in my home state of Georgia. These may be in your neck of the woods too. First up, a tree that is ease to identify year round.


Pine (genus Pinus)

Let’s start with North America’s most familiar and successful conifer, pine trees. Whether you’re from the south or not, you know a pine when you see one.
There are 36 pines in North America to choose from. To narrow down the species, count the needles. The Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) is the only species with 5 needles in the fascicle sheath (the paper-like sheath surrounding the base of the needles). I’m just south of their natural range and haven’t had much experience with this variety. This tree is touted as the king of Vitamin C. But all pines are useful medicinally.


Medicinal Properties include: antiseptic, astringent, inflammatory, antioxidant, expectoranthigh in Vitamin C for colds – flu – coughs, congestion, and even scurvy. Shikimic acid, the main ingredient in Tamiflu, is harvested from pine needles in Asia.
A.) Pine Needle Tea: Drink a cup of pine needle tea to extract the useful stuff when you feel flu-like symptoms in your body. More research can be found here.

How to Make Pine Needle Tea

Add a few pine needles to a cup of boiled water (Don’t boil the needles in the water as this will release un-tasty turpenes). Allow to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Add natural sweetener if you like. I prefer pine needles only for a Vitamin C boost!
B.) Pine Bark Band Aid: The inner bark can be fashioned as an antiseptic Band Aid for cuts and scraps. Apply to wound and secure with duct tape, bandana, or cordage.

Inner bark Band Aid from the pine tree

Inner bark Band Aid from a pine tree
C.) Pine Sap/Resin: This sticky sap can also be used to cover wounds, blisters, and burns. Collect hardened sap from a wounded tree and heat it to make it pliable.

Mowers scared this tree on a power line. The white streaks are pine sap. Older sap is easier to collect when it forms a amber "ball" at a wound.

Mowers recently clipped this tree on a power line. The white streaks are pine sap. Older sap is easier to collect when it forms an amber “ball” at a wound.
D.) Pine Pollen: The yellow pine pollen that blankets the south in the spring is actually beneficial, not only for pine tree reproduction, but also for boosting our energy levels with small levels of testosterone.
Arthur Haines describes on his YouTube channel how pine pollen provides multiple avenues of protection against radioactive cesium. The endogenous antioxidants that are promoted by pine pollen are protective of DNA against radioactive particles.

Woodcraft Uses

E.) Bug Dope: “Nussmuk” (George Washington Sears) described his effective insect repellent in the North Woods with its main ingredient being pine resin. Once applied, a bronze protective film gave his skin weeks of protection from pesky biting insects.

Woodcraft and Camping by "Nessmuk"

F.) Firecraft: Fat lighter’d (fatwood, lighter wood, fat lighter, pine knot) is in every fire kit I own. It’s plentiful in Georgia and hard to beat as a natural fire starter/extender – especially in wet conditions.

Shavings from fatwood will ignite with a ferrro rod.

Shavings from fatwood will ignite with a ferrro rod.
G.) Pine Bark Bacon: Inner bark is edible . Check out this woodsman at Survival Topics frying pine bark like bacon!
H.) Core Temperature Control: Debris shelter roofing, pine bough bed for insulation against conductive heat lose, shelter construction,
I.) Pine Pitch Glue: Used for hafting arrowheads, fletching arrows, patching holes in tarps, seal containers, fire extender, waterproofing equipment – really, any stuff that needs adhesive.

J.) Illumination: Fat Lighter’d torches are simple to make and adds light to your camp or night-time trek.

Fatwood torch | www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

K.) Hugelcultur: Dead wood in hugelcultur beds acts as a water retention sponge to help build food independence and self-reliance. Want to build one? One of our Doing the Stuff Network members shows you how Here.
L.) Signaling: To alert rescuers, a pre-made signal fire built with green pine boughs on top will generate enough white smoke to be seen for miles.
M.) Firewood: Burning pine on your campfire won’t produce BTU’s like hardwoods, but will keep you warm and cook your coffee. Plus, piney forests are littered with an abundance of dead limbs for fuel. The carpet of dead needles can be gathered for tinder material.
The lowly pine is listed first in our series for a reason. As you can see, its uses are many… too many to list here! Please add to the list in the comments anything I missed (I always miss something) to help us learn from each other.
Next up in the series: White Oak.
Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


Books Of Interest:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How to Make Dandelion Salve

This post my contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! 
We’re only about a month into our gardening season here in Montana and already my hands are dry and chapped. I’ve been using a variety of lotions and skin creams to replenish the moisture in the rough skin on my hands but have had little success in finding a lasting solution. I decided to create my own skin nourishing dandelion salve. This stuff is simply amazing! It is easy to make, low cost and leaves my hands feeling soft and nourished for hours. I’ve also used dandelion salve and infused oil on my achy lower back after a long day of gardening and it helps soothe my sore muscles. The best part? I was able to use a little beeswax from our new honey bees!

Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use

How to make homemade dandelion salve
The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook: 148 recipes for dandelion leaves, flowers, buds, stems, & roots

I’ve read quite a few articles this spring about foraging and eating dandelions. One article I read listed the health benefits from the various parts of a dandelion plant. I was intrigued that the flowers have pain relieving properties and can also be used as a massage oil. I started making infused oils a few years ago but had never tried dandelion infused oil. We have plenty of dandelions around our property so foraging would be easy.
There are a lot of recipes floating around the internet for homemade balms, salves and lotions. My frustration with a lot of them is that they include a lot of ingredients I don’t have on hand. I’ve almost invested in some of these products but couldn’t ever bite the bullet and do it. Often these products can be expensive and not something I’ll use often enough to make the investment. What I love about this recipe I created is that it includes some pretty simple ingredients that most people already have at home or can purchase for a low cost. Making and using all natural skin care products doesn’t have to be expensive!

Making Dandelion Infused Oil

Making infused oils is fairly simple. To make dandelion infused oil, you need to harvest a bunch of dandelion flower heads. I cut them off the stem as high as I could to minimize the amount of green foliage being harvested. I wasn’t quite sure how many to harvest, so I filled a large bowl. This ended up being about four cups of fresh dandelion heads.
I read several different articles about making dandelion infused oil and one thing everyone mentioned was being mindful of the high water content in dandelion flowers. To minimize getting a bunch of icky sludge in your infused oil, dry the flower heads out for a day or two. I spread them out on a cloth inside a cardboard box lid and sat them on top of our chest freezer for two days.

drying dandelions for infused massage oil and homemade salve

Once the dandelion flowers have dried a bit, pack them into a glass jar. I used a pint size canning jar and had just enough space for all the flowers. Next pour olive oil into the jar. Make sure the dandelion flowers are all completely covered with oil. Place a lid on the jar.

There are two ways to infuse oil. The way I first learned several years ago was the slow infusion method that I learned from this amazing book.  This method requires sitting the jar of oil out of direct sunlight for four to six weeks. If you want a speedier process, you can heat the oil in a jar on the stove. I opted for this method since I was anxious to make some salve and heal my dried out skin. 
I put a small pot on the stove with a few inches of water in the bottom. Then I sat the glass jar of oil and flower heads in the pan and turned it on medium. Once the water heated up but not boiling, I turned it off and let the jar sit in the pan of water until it all cooled off. Then I put the jar in the cupboard to continue infusing.
My jar infused for well over a week. This was mainly because I was so busy working in the garden I didn’t have time to make the salve!  The infused oil could actually be used after two or three days. After it is done infusing, strain the flowers from the oil. I use a small fine mesh sieve and press the flowers down into the sieve to press out as much oil as I can. Compost your flowers and the infused oil is now ready to use!

Making Dandelion Salve

Making salve is an easy project if you have the supplies handy. I have a lot of the supplies on hand since I’ve been making homemade lip balm and selling it in our Etsy shop for the last couple years. This recipe will make a large batch (a little less than 1.5 cups). If you want a smaller batch, reduce the quantities but keep the proportions the same.
This salve can feel a bit greasy when you first put it on. I’ve found that after 15-20 minutes the greasiness goes away and my hands just feel so soft. I put a generous scoop of dandelion salve on my hands before I go to bed and just love how soft my skin feels when I wake up!


-16 oz of infused dandelion oil
-2 oz coconut oil (this is the kind we use)
-2 oz of beeswax (I bought these since they were lower cost and easy to shred, but now we render our own beeswax to use)
-OPTIONAL: 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil (or whatever scent you prefer!)

Step 1: 

Place the beeswax and coconut oil in a glass jar or measuring cup. Sit a pan on the stove with several inches of water in it. Sit the glass jar down in the pan and heat on low/medium.

easy DIY dandelion salve

Step 2: 

Once the beeswax and coconut oil are melted, carefully stir in the infused dandelion oil. Our house was cool when I made this, so when I poured the dandelion oil in some of the wax started hardening up. If this happens for you, keep heating the mixture until it is all melted again.

Step 3: 

Add in essential oil if you prefer and stir well.  The dandelion oil does have a dandelion scent but I I love the scent of lavender so chose to use this essential oil as an added scent.

Step 4: 

Carefully remove the glass jar from the pan. I wanted one big jar of dandelion salve so the jar I mixed it in was the jar I let it cool off in. If you want smaller containers of salve, pour the mixture into smaller containers. Allow the salve to cool.
This dandelion salve has a firm consistency. Since there is coconut oil in it, as soon as you scoop some into your hands it softens and melts. This creates an easy to spread salve. I started out using this just on my hands but then started using it for rough, cracked skin on my feet. I also use it to nourish dry skin on my arms and legs.
After making a big batch of dandelion salve, I had some dandelion infused oil left over. Since the infused oil is  to help with pain relief, I filled an empty amber glass bottle to use for massage oil. When we have aches and pains in our back or feet, I can use this massage oil to naturally help with pain relief.
After spending the whole day transplanting seedlings into the garden on Saturday, my lower back was so achy I could hardly walk. I rubbed dandelion infused oil on my lower back and felt some relief. It didn’t make all the aches and pains go away, but it did lessen the pain. Whoever said dandelions are weeds and should be destroyed must never have tried a dandelion salve or massage oil. This stuff is amazing!


Books Of Interest:

Simple Living Manifesto: 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life

simplify fb

A simple life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. For me, it means eliminating all but the essential, eschewing chaos for peace, and spending your time doing what’s important to you.
It means getting rid of many of the things you do so you can spend time with people you love and do the things you love. It means getting rid of the clutter so you are left with only that which gives you value.

However, getting to simplicity isn’t always a simple process. It’s a journey, not a destination, and it can often be a journey of two steps forward, and one backward.
If you’re interested in simplifying your life, this is a great starter’s guide (if you’re not interested, move on).
The Homesteading Handbook: A Back to Basics Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine, and More (The Handbook Series)

The Short List
For the cynics who say that the list below is too long, there are really only two steps to simplifying:
Of course, that’s not terribly useful unless you can see how to apply that to different areas of your life, so I present to you the Long List.
The Long List
There can be no step-by-step guide to simplifying your life, but I’ve compiled an incomplete list of ideas that should help anyone trying to find the simple life. Not every tip will work for you — choose the ones that appeal and apply to your life.
One important note: this list will be criticized for being too complicated, especially as it provides a bunch of links. Don’t stress out about all of that. Just choose one at a time, and focus on that. When you’re done with that, focus on the next thing.
  1. Make a list of your top 4-5 important things. What’s most important to you? What do you value most? What 4-5 things do you most want to do in your life? Simplifying starts with these priorities, as you are trying to make room in your life so you have more time for these things.
  2. Evaluate your commitments. Look at everything you’ve got going on in your life. Everything, from work to home to civic to kids’ activities to hobbies to side businesses to other projects. Think about which of these really gives you value, which ones you love doing. Which of these are in line with the 4-5 most important things you listed above? Drop those that aren’t in line with those things. Article here.
  3. Evaluate your time. How do you spend your day? What things do you do, from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep? Make a list, and evaluate whether they’re in line with your priorities. If not, eliminate the things that aren’t, and focus on what’s important. Redesign your day.
  4. Simplify work tasks. Our work day is made up of an endless list of work tasks. If you simply try to knock off all the tasks on your to-do list, you’ll never get everything done, and worse yet, you’ll never get the important stuff done. Focus on the essential tasks and eliminate the rest. Read more.
  5. Simplify home tasks. In that vein, think about all the stuff you do at home. Sometimes our home task list is just as long as our work list. And we’ll never get that done either. So focus on the most important, and try to find ways to eliminate the other tasks (automate, eliminate, delegate, or hire help).
  6. Learn to say no. This is actually one of the key habits for those trying to simplify their lives. If you can’t say no, you will take on too much. Article here.
  7. Limit your communications. Our lives these days are filled with a vast flow of communications: email, IM, cell phones, paper mail, Skype, Twitter, forums, and more. It can take up your whole day if you let it. Instead, put a limit on your communications: only do email at certain times of the day, for a certain number of minutes (I recommend twice a day, but do what works for you). Only do IM once a day, for a limited amount of time. Limit phone calls to certain times too. Same with any other communications. Set a schedule and stick to it.
  8. Limit your media consumption. This tip won’t be for everyone, so if media consumption is important to you, please skip it (as with any of the other tips). However, I believe that the media in our lives — TV, radio, Internet, magazines, etc. — can come to dominate our lives. Don’t let it. Simplify your life and your information consumption by limiting it. Try a media fast.
  9. Purge your stuff. If you can devote a weekend to purging the stuff you don’t want, it feels seriously terrific. Get boxes and trash bags for the stuff you want to donate or toss. Here’s a guide on decluttering. Here’s a post on starting small. More on purging below.
  10. Get rid of the big items. There’s tons of little clutter in our lives, but if you start with the big items, you’ll simplify your life quickly and in a big way. Read more
  11. Edit your rooms. One room at a time, go around the room and eliminate the unnecessary. Act as a newspaper editor, trying to leave only the minimum, and deleting everything else. Article here.
  12. Edit closets and drawers. Once you’ve gone through the main parts of your rooms, tackle the closets and drawers, one drawer or shelf at a time. More here.
  13. Simplify your wardrobe. Is your closet bursting full? Are your drawers so stuffed they can’t close (I’m talking about dresser drawers here, not underwear). Simplify your wardrobe by getting rid of anything you don’t actually wear. Try creating a minimal wardrobe by focusing on simple styles and a few solid colors that all match each other. Read more.
  14. Simplify your computing life. If you have trouble with too many files and too much disorganization, consider online computing. It can simplify things greatly. Read more.
  15. Declutter your digital packrattery. If you are a digital packrat, and cannot seem to control your digital clutter, there is still hope for you. Read this guide to curing yourself of this clutter.
  16. Create a simplicity statement. What do you want your simple life to look like? Write it out. More here.
  17. Limit your buying habits. If you are a slave to materialism and consumerism, there are ways to escape it. I was there, and although I haven’t escaped these things entirely, I feel much freer of it all. If you can escape materialism, you can get into the habit of buying less. And that will mean less stuff, less spending, less freneticism. Read more on how we paid off more than $46,000 of debt in less than a year
  18. Free up time. Find ways to free up time for the important stuff. That means eliminating the stuff you don’t like, cutting back on time wasters, and making room for what you want to do.
  19. Do what you love. Once you’ve freed up some time, be sure to spend that extra time doing things you love. Go back to your list of 4-5 important things. Do those, and nothing else. Read more.
  20. Spend time with people you love. Again, the list of 4-5 important things probably contains some of the people you love (if not, you may want to re-evaluate). Whether those people are a spouse, a partner, children, parents, other family, best friends, or whoever, find time to do things with them, talk to them, be intimate with them (not necessarily in sexual ways).
  21. Spend time alone. See this list of ways to free up time for yourself — to spend in solitude. Alone time is good for you, although some people aren’t comfortable with it. It could take practice getting used to the quiet, and making room for your inner voice. It sounds new-agey, I know, but it’s extremely calming. And this quiet is necessary for finding out what’s important to you.
  22. Eat slowly. If you cram your food down your throat, you are not only missing out on the great taste of the food, you are not eating healthy. Slow down to lose weight, improve digestion, and enjoy life more.Read more.
  23. Drive slowly. Most people rush through traffic, honking and getting angry and frustrated and stressed out. And endangering themselves and others in the meantime. Driving slower is not only safer, but it is better on your fuel bill, and can be incredibly peaceful. Give it a try.Read more.
  24. Be present. These two words can make a huge difference in simplifying your life. Living here and now, in the moment, keeps you aware of life, of what is going on around you and within you. It does wonders for your sanity. Read tips on how to do it.
  25. Streamline your life. Many times we live with unplanned, complex systems in our lives because we haven’t given them much thought. Instead, focus on one system at a time (your laundry system, your errands system, your paperwork system, your email system, etc.) and try to make it simplified, efficient, and written. Then stick to it. Here’s moreAnother good article here.
  26. Create a simple mail & paperwork system. If you don’t have a system, this stuff will pile up. But a simple system will keep everything in order. Here’s how.
  27. Create a simple system for house work. Another example of a simple system is clean-as-you-go with a burst. Read more.
  28. Clear your desk. If you have a cluttered desk, it can be distracting and disorganized and stressful. A clear desk, however, is only a couple of simple habits away. Read more.
  29. Establish routines. The key to keeping your life simple is to create simple routines. A great article on that here.
  30. Keep your email inbox empty. Is your email inbox overflowing with new and read messages? Do the messages just keep piling up? If so, you’re normal — but you could be more efficient and your email life could be simplified with a few simple steps. Read more.
  31. Learn to live frugally. Living frugally means buying less, wanting less, and leaving less of a footprint on the earth. It’s directly related to simplicity. Here are 50 tips on how to live frugally.
  32. Make your house minimalist. A minimalist house has what is necessary, and not much else. It’s also extremely peaceful (not to mention easy to clean). More here.
  33. Find other ways to be minimalist. There are tons. You can find ways to be minimalist in every area of your life. Here are a few I do, to spur your own ideas.
  34. Consider a smaller home. If you rid your home of stuff, you might find you don’t need so much space. I’m not saying you should live on a boat (although I know some people who happily do so), but if you can be comfortable in a smaller home, it will not only be less expensive, but easier to maintain, and greatly simplify your life. Read 8 reasons why a small home is awesome.
  35. Consider a smaller car. This is a big move, but if you have a large car or SUV, you may not really need something that big. It’s more expensive, uses more gas, harder to maintain, harder to park. Simplify your life with less car. You don’t need to go tiny, especially if you have a family, but try to find as small a car as can fit you or your family comfortably. Maybe not something you’re going to do today, but something to think about over the long term.
  36. Learn what “enough” is. Our materialistic society today is about getting more and more, with no end in sight. Sure, you can get the latest gadget, and more clothes and shoes. More stuff. But when will you have enough? Most people don’t know, and thus they keep buying more. It’s a neverending cycle. Get off the cycle by figuring out how much is enough. And then stop when you get there.
  37. Create a simple weekly dinner menu. If figuring out what’s for dinner is a nightly stressor for you or your family, consider creating a weekly menu. Decide on a week’s worth of simple dinners, set a specific dinner for each night of the week, go grocery shopping for the ingredients. Now you know what’s for dinner each night, and you have all the ingredients necessary. No need for difficult recipes — find ones that can be done in 10-15 minutes (or less). Check out these weekly meal plans that I love. 
  38. Eat healthy. It might not be obvious how eating healthy relates to simplicity, but think about the opposite: if you eat fatty, greasy, salty, sugary, fried foods all the time, you are sure to have higher medical needs over the long term. We could be talking years from now, but imagine frequent doctor visits, hospitalization, going to the pharmacist, getting therapy, having surgery, taking insulin shots … you get the idea. Being unhealthy is complicated. Eating healthy simplifies all of that greatly, over the long term.
  39. Exercise. This goes along the same lines as eating healthy, as it simplifies your life in the long run, but it goes even further: exercise helps burn off stress and makes you feel better. It’s great. Here’s how to create the exercise habit.
  40. Declutter before organizing. Many people make the mistake of taking a cluttered desk or filing cabinet or closet or drawer, and trying to organize it. Unfortunately, that’s not only hard to do, it keeps things complicated. Simplify the process by getting rid of as much of the junk as possible, and then organizing. If you declutter enough, you won’t need to organize at all. More on decluttering.
  41. Have a place for everything. Age-old advice, but it’s the best advice on keeping things organized. After you declutter. Read more here.
  42. Find inner simplicity. I’m not much of a spiritual person, but I have found that spending a little time with my inner self creates a peaceful simplicity rather than a chaotic confusion. This could be time praying or communing with God, or time spent meditating or journaling or getting to know yourself, or time spent in nature. However you do it, working on your inner self is worth the time.
  43. Learn to decompress from stress. Every life is filled with stress — no matter how much you simplify your life, you’ll still have stress (except in the case of the ultimate simplifier, death). So after you go through stress, find ways to decompress. Here are some ideas.
  44. Try living without a car. OK, this isn’t something I’ve done, but many others have. It’s something I would do if I didn’t have kids. Walk, bike, or take public transportation. It reduces expenses and gives you time to think. A car is also very complicating, needing not only car payments, but insurance, registration, safety inspections, maintenance, repairs, gas and more.
  45. Find a creative outlet for self-expression. Whether that’s writing, poetry, painting, drawing, creating movies, designing websites, dance, skateboarding, whatever. We have a need for self-expression, and finding a way to do that makes your life much more fulfilling. Allow this to replace much of the busy-work you’re eliminating from your life.
  46. Simplify your goals. Instead of having half a dozen goals or more, simplify it to one goal. Not only will this make you less stressed, it will make you more successful. You’ll be able to focus on that One Goal, and give it all of your energy. That gives you much better chances for success.
  47. Single-task. Multi-tasking is more complicated, more stressful, and generally less productive. Instead, do one task at a time.
  48. Simplify your filing system. Stacking a bunch of papers just doesn’t work. But a filing system doesn’t have to be complicated to be useful. Create a simple system.
  49. Develop equanimity. If every little thing that happens to you sends you into anger or stress, your life might never be simple. Learn to detach yourself, and be more at peace. Read more.
  50. Reduce your consumption of advertising. Advertising makes us want things. That’s what it’s designed to do, and it works. Find ways to reduce your exposure of advertising, whether that’s in print, online, broadcast, or elsewhere. You’ll want much less.
  51. Live life more deliberately. Do every task slowly, with ease, paying full attention to what you’re doing. For more, see Peaceful Simplicity: How to Live a Life of Contentment.
  52. Make a Most Important Tasks (MITs) list each day. Set just 3 very important things you want to accomplish each day. Don’t start with a long list of things you probably won’t get done by the end of the day. A simple list of 3 things, ones that would make you feel like you accomplished something. See this article for more.
  53. Create morning and evening routines. A great way to simplify your life is to create routines at the start and end of your day. Read more on morning routines and evening routines.
  54. Create a morning writing ritual. If you enjoy writing, like I do, make it a peaceful, productive ritual. Article here.
  55. Learn to do nothing. Doing nothing can be an art form, and it should be a part of every life. Read the Art of Doing Nothing.
  56. Read Walden, by Thoreau. The quintessential text on simplifying.Available on Wikisources for free.
  57. Go for quality, not quantity. Try not to have a ton of stuff in your life … instead, have just a few possessions, but ones that you really love, and that will last for a long time.
  58. Read Simplify Your Life, by Elaine St. James. One of my favorite all-time authors on simplicity. Read a review here.
  59. Fill your day with simple pleasures. Make a list of your favorite simple pleasures, and sprinkle them throughout your day. List here.
  60. Simplify your RSS feeds. If you’ve got dozens of feeds, or more than a hundred (as I once did), you probably have a lot of stress in trying to keep up with them all. Simplify your feed reading. See How to Drop an RSS Feed Like a Bad Habit.
  61. But subscribe to Unclutterer. Probably the best blog on simplifying your stuff and routines.
  62. Create an easy-to-maintain yard. If you spend too much time on your yard, here are some good tips.
  63. Carry less stuff. Are your pockets bulging. Consider carrying only the essentials. Some thoughts on that here.
  64. Simplify your online life. If you have too much going on online, here are a few ways to simplify it all. Article here.
  65. Strive to automate your income. This isn’t the easiest task, but it can (and has) been done. I’ve been working towards it myself. Article here.
  66. Simplify your budget. Many people skip budgeting (which is very important) because it’s too hard or too complicated. Read more here.
  67. Simplify your financial life. Article from a financial planning expert here.
  68. Learn to pack light. Who wants to lug a bunch of luggage around on a trip? Here’s an article on using just one carry-on.
  69. Use a minimalist productivity system. The minimal Zen To Done is all you need. Everything else is icing.
  70. Leave space around things in your day. Whether they’re appointments, or things you need to do, don’t stack them back-to-back. Leave a little space between things you need to do, so you will have room for contingencies, and you’ll go through your day much more relaxed.
  71. Live closer to work. This might mean getting a job closer to your home, or moving to a home closer to your work. Either will do much to simplify your life.
  72. Always ask: Will this simplify my life? If the answer is no, reconsider.

Books of Interest:

How To Make Water Drinkable

Make Water Drinkable | Why and How to Purify Water | Survival Skills, Tips And Tricks by Survival Life at http://survivallife.com/2016/01/19/make-water-drinkable/:


LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Solar Charger On Sale!!!!!

I had to post this.  For a limited time on Amazon, This solar charger is on sale for $24.99!  That's a savings of $71.00!  Regular price is $95.99!

Get one here before the price goes up!

DIY Rocket Stove


Books Of Interest: