Monday, April 25, 2022

Surviving Super-Inflation

By Tim Gamble

Unless they are in complete denial, and some folks are, everyone realizes that we are in a sustained period of very high inflation and supply chain problems. In today's article, I want to examine a very important question: How can we survive an extended period of super-inflation and the accompanying shortages of various commodities and consumer goods? The following is a list of some of my ideas. 

1- Get your finances in order. Reduce your living expenses as much as possible. If you are in debt, try to pay it off. Refinance larger debt (such as mortgages) into low fixed rate loans if possible. Look for ways to increase your income. See my article Financial Preparedness: Back to the Basics for many specific ideas including two major debt-busting ideas. 

2- Don't add to your debt. You cannot "keep up with inflation" by pulling out the credit cards. Even with inflation as bad as it is, most credit cards have even higher interest rates. Besides, debt is slavery. "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender." -- Proverbs 22:7

3- Stock up on canned & dry foods, medicine, soap, toothpaste, first aid supplies, matches, firewood, shoes, clothing, and any other necessities you might need that will store for at least a year without spoiling. The phrase "Stock it to the rafters" has become popular in prepper circles recently for good reason. See my article Survival 101: Stockpiling as a Preparedness Strategy for more ideas. 

4- Raise a portion of your own food by planting a garden. Consider planting fruit & nut trees and berry bushes if you have the room. If you live in an apartment or condo, consider participating in a nearby community garden (or starting one). Consider getting into the popular hobby of backyard chickens. As the hobby of backyard chickens has grown in recent years, many municipalities have adjusted their rules to allow for small non-commercial flocks inside the city limits - check to see what is allowed in your city. Two articles you may be interested in:

5- Make improvements to your home’s energy efficiency to reduce the impact of high energy inflation. A few years ago, I wrote an article explaining how I was able to reduce my home's energy use by about 60% on a month-by-month basis compared to the same month of the previous year. Energy efficiency is the name of the game, and can save you LOTS of money over the long-term. 

6- Take steps to improve your vehicle’s mileage to reduce the impact of rising gasoline prices. Consider trading to a more fuel efficient vehicle. See my article Three Things You Can Do To Save Big At The Pump

7- Take care of your health so that you are less likely to need expensive medical treatment. Check out this very interesting article (even if I am saying it) on taking care of your health in the fullest sense of the word: Achieving Menos - A Goal For All Preppers.

8- Consider becoming a farmer pr homesteader. There is a lack of farmers in our country and agriculture is likely to be the hot industry over the next few decades. This could also be a major step in your own journey to "Get out of Babylon" or "Come Out Of Her My People (COOHMP - hat tip to Pastor Joe Fox of Viking Preparedness) 

9- Think about you and your family’s personal security. Crime and civil unrest are likely to increase. Take steps now to protect yourself and your family.  Check out my article Some Thoughts on Self-Defense.

10- Investing in gold, silver and other commodities could be quite profitable during a period of very high inflation. Gold and silver investing should be on your “to do” list, but it should be near the bottom after you’ve taken care of other fundamental areas first. Remember, wealth is not wealth if you owe it to someone else. More thoughts on this: Precious Metals and the Prepper.


AD: Some food categories to explore on Amazon!
          *** Canned Meats
          *** Canned Soups
          *** Canned Veggies
          *** Canned Fruits
          *** Dried Beans and Peas
          *** Rice and Grains 
          *** Oatmeal
          *** Augason Farms Long Term Foods (the brand I buy for powdered butter, milk, cheese, etc.)

*** Like this article? Find it useful? Never miss out on future articles by following Dystopian Survival

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Bird Flu and Swine Fever Updates: More Birds and Now Pigs Destroyed

By Tim Gamble

This article briefly updates my earlier articles on the spreading Bird Flu in both wild birds and commercial flocks worldwide. Links to the earlier articles: March 20April 3,and April 11. This article also reports on a resurgence of African Swine Fever in Asia. 

Bird Flu Update: Spreading

The ongoing Bird Flu epidemic continues to spread, with new cases in the US (commercial flocks in Colorado and Pennsylvania) and in Canada (commercial flocks in Quebec and wild snow geese in Manitoba) being reported in the last few days. The Bird Flu is also spreading in Europe, with Hungary being the latest country to report Bird Flu in commercial flocks. 

There is no treatment or vaccine for Bird Flu. Infected commercial and backyard flocks must be destroyed to prevent the spread of Bird Flu. This has lead to about 30 million chickens and turkeys in 29 states being destroyed in the USA this year.

African Swine Fever (ASF) Is Back

Remember the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in Asia during 2018 and 2019 which resulted in over 100 million pigs being destroyed? Unfortunately, it seems to be making a comeback. Multiple farms in India have suffered ASF outbreaks in the last month, and now there are confirmed cases in Bhutan. There is no word yet on the number of pigs destroyed in the recent outbreaks.

African swine fever is a viral disease of pigs and wild boar that has almost a 100% mortality rate. There are no vaccines or treatments for ASF, which means that infected groups of pigs are typically destroyed to prevent the spread. Humans cannot get ASF.

Impact on Food Prices and Availability

The larger and most immediate threat is the Bird Flu epidemic, which is already impacting prices for poultry and eggs, as well as other products containing them. Depending on the ultimate length and severity of the epidemic, which currently shows no signs of slowing, prices and availability will likely be increasingly affected.

It is too early to predict anything about the length and severity of the new African Swine Fever outbreak in parts of Asia. The major outbreak in Asia during 2018 and 2019 did have a considerable impact on pork prices worldwide, as many Asian countries began importing more pork from other parts of the world, straining global supplies and driving pork prices higher.

Continue to be aware of these situations, and prepare accordingly.


AD: Some food categories to explore on Amazon!
          *** Canned Meats
          *** Canned Soups
          *** Canned Veggies
          *** Canned Fruits
          *** Dried Beans and Peas
          *** Rice and Grains 
          *** Oatmeal
          *** Augason Farms Long Term Foods (the brand I buy for powdered butter, milk, cheese, etc.)

*** Like this article? Find it useful? Never miss out on future articles by following Dystopian Survival

Monday, April 18, 2022

Three Things You Can Do To Save Big At The Pump

Tim Gamble 

Looking for ways to save money at the pump? Considering today's prices, and the likelihood for even higher prices in the near future, most of us would like to find some savings. Here are three major changes you can make that will mean savings at the pump. 

Change the way you maintain your vehicle. A properly-maintained vehicle can easily use 10% to 20% less gasoline than a poorly-maintained one. Instead of thinking about vehicle maintenance as a chore that is easily put off, look forward to it as an opportunity to save big money. Here are some things you should be doing on a regular basis, being sure to check your owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendations for your specific vehicle:

   1. Make sure your tires are properly inflated (check weekly). 

   2. Check tire rotation & balance (every six months). 

   3. Change oil & oil filter (typically every 3000 - 5000 miles). 

   4. Change the air filter (yearly or as needed). 

   5. Service the fuel injection system (yearly or according to owner's manual). 

   6. Change the fuel filter (yearly or as needed). 

   7. Get a tune-up (yearly or according to owner's manual). 

   8. Service transmission (yearly or according to owner's manual). 

   9. Replace faulty emissions components and oxygen sensor (as needed). 

   10. Have the front end aligned (as needed). 

Change the way you drive. Be more peaceful and relaxed in your driving style, confident that doing so will save you lots of money. Fast and aggressive driving results in significantly lowered gas mileage. Also, the less weight and wind resistance you drive with, the better your gas mileage will be. Here are some tips:

   1. Leave early enough so that you don't have to rush to get where you are going. 

   2. Don't speed. The faster you drive, the more gas you burn.

   3. Use cruise control whenever possible (this one can make a huge difference). 

   4. Drive evenly. Avoid jack-rabbit starts & sudden stops. Don't weave in & out of traffic. 

   5. Whenever possible, coast downhill and don't accelerate uphill. 

   6. Avoid rush-hour traffic to avoid time idling. 

   7. Clean out the trunk. Less weight means better gas mileage. 

   8. Remove rooftop carriers. Less wind resistance means better gas mileage. 

   9. Generally speaking, use the air conditioner only for highway driving (over 45 mph with few stops) and instead roll your windows down when driving around town (under 45 mph with lots of stops). 

Change why you drive. Don't think about driving as a wonderful convenience, instead look on it as a means of last resort. Enjoy the fact that whenever you don't drive, you are saving lots of money. Driving less is simply the best way to use less gas. Here are some tips for driving less:

   1. Avoid driving whenever possible. Instead walk, bike, or take a bus or train (easier in urban areas than in the country - one of the few advantages city folk have over country folk). 

   2. Join or start a car pool to work, or consider telecommuting if it is possible for your job. 

   3. Share a ride with a neighbor to the market, church or school. 

   4. Don't fall for society's obsession with being constantly "on the go." There is nothing wrong with staying at home, and your kids don't have to be enrolled in organized activities every day of the week. 

   5. Learn to get much of your entertainment at home. Start a family game night. Get together with the neighbors for a weekend cookout or a video night. 

   6. Plan ahead and combine errands so that you make fewer trips. 

   7. Use lists and stock up on items you frequently use so that you don't have to make a special trip just to pick up something you forgot or unexpectedly ran out of. 

   8. Long commute? Consider getting a job closer to home or moving closer to work. 


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Monday, April 11, 2022

Bird Flu Pandemic Update

This article briefly updates my earlier articles on the spreading Bird Flu in both wild birds and commercial flocks worldwide. Links to the earlier articles: March 20 and April 3.

4-11-2022  The UK government confirmed last week that avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, has been detected in the UK. According to the government, 94 cases have been detected in England, 2 cases in Wales, and 2 cases in Scotland. No estimate on the number of commercial birds destroyed was given. 

4-11-2022  News reports out of Montenegro in Southeastern Europe state that the Bird Flu has been detected in flocks of wild pelicans at Skadar Lake, which straddles the border between Montenegro and Albania. In March, a bird flu outbreak in Albania forced the killing of over 300,000 chickens. 

What the ongoing Bird Flu pandemic means for you and your family

Watch for poultry and egg prices, already hard hit by inflation over the last year, to continue to rise due to the outbreak. Actual shortages could happen if the outbreak gets worse. And it is not just poultry and eggs. Think of all the products on store shelves that contain eggs as an ingredient, such as many pastas, baked goods, battered goods, breaded goods, various sauces, mayonnaise, puddings, ice cream, pancake and waffle mixes, and even some hair and beauty products. Chicken is the meat in many canned soups and frozen dinners. All of these and more could be affected.

Be aware of this situation, and prepare accordingly.

AD: Some good categories to explore on Amazon!
*** Oatmeal
*** Augason Farms Long Term Foods (the brand I buy for powdered butter, milk, cheese, etc.)

*** Like this article? Find it useful? Never miss out on future articles by following Dystopian Survival


Sunday, April 10, 2022

Surprising Facts About Expiration Dates / When Food Actually Goes Bad

By Tim Gamble

Did you know that all food is safe to eat until it goes bad? The "best by" or "expiration" date does NOT matter. If the food hasn't gone bad, it is safe to eat even after that date. If the food has gone bad, it isn't safe to eat even if it hasn't yet reached the date printed on it. 

That statement may sound obvious to many of us, but there are a lot of Americans who have a false understanding of so-called "expiration dates." And with many people starting to store up food for the first time due to world circumstances, there is a lot of concern with how long food lasts. Well, it lasts until it goes bad, regardless of any dates stamped on it.

"Except for infant formula, product dating is not required by Federal regulations." -- USDA Website 

In fact, most foods you will buy at the store do NOT actually have expiration dates. In most cases they have "best by" dates. A best buy date is about the freshness of the item, NOT about safety. A best buy date is the company's estimate for how long the item will be at its freshest and tastiest. It is not an estimate of when it will go bad. Most foods, properly stored, will be safe to eat long after they have passed their "best by" date. Some foods may lose some of their nutritional value over time, but they will still be edible and provide calories and some nutrients for years to come, as long as they haven't gone bad. 

Surprising Facts About Expiration Dates
  • Expiration dates are NOT required by federal laws or regulations, except for infant formula (state laws and local regulations may vary for all these).
  • Expiration dates are NOT determined by the government or by government scientists, but rather by the individual companies.
  • It is NOT illegal to sell food, except for infant formula, without expiration dates.
  • It is NOT illegal to sell food after its expiration date (except for infant formula). 
  • It is NOT dangerous or unsafe to eat food past its expiration date, as long as it has not spoiled or "gone bad."
  • It IS legal to donate food past its expiration date.
  • According to the USDA website: "Except for infant formula, dates are not an indicator of the product’s safety and are not required by Federal law."

So, how do you know when food goes bad? 

But if government doesn't tell you what is safe to eat, how are you supposed to know?* It is about common sense and awareness. Here are some clues to when food has gone bad:

  • The can, bag, or container is leaking, cracked, or bulging.
  • The can is severely dented, especially near the top, bottom, or seams of the can.
  • The can has a noticeable amount of rust (rust may create holes large enough for  germs to enter, but small enough that the product doesn't leak out).
  • There are signs of insects or mold, including dead insects, insect parts, webbing, or insect poop.
  • The food is badly discolored or "smells funny".
  • The texture of the food is wrong.
  • The food tastes bad, wrong, or odd.

A Real World Test

I've been going through my food storage the last few weeks, and have taken the opportunity to "taste test" many foods I purchased years ago, and I haven't died or even gotten sick. Some of the foods I've safely eaten in the last few weeks:
  • Can of spinach purchased in 2015
  • Cans of black beans purchased in 2016
  • Can of green peas purchased in 2015
  • Can of salmon purchased in 2016
  • Dry popcorn purchased in 2011 (stored only in the plastic bag it came in).
  • Brown rice purchased in 2018 (stored only in the plastic bag it came in).
You may also be interest in another brown rice experiment I did a few years ago.  The bottom line is: I ate old food and lived to tell about it. You don't have to live in mortal fear of stamped dates. Use common sense and awareness. 

* The sad fact is many Americans these days are unable to think for themselves. This is intentional, an instilled situation called "learned helplessness" - a behavioral term for when an organism (animal or human) has been taught through external stimuli to NOT help themselves, but to depend on outside factors. In this case, some people fear food unless they think the government or some other "expert" tells them it is safe to eat it. Interestingly, the term "learned helplessness" appears in declassified CIA documents. The CIA defines learned helplessness as a type of instilled "apathy" which it is very difficult or even impossible to overcome.

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Friday, April 8, 2022

You Need To Pay Attention To These Developing Threats (other than Russia-Ukraine)

By Tim Gamble

Folks seem to be (understandably) fixated on the Russia-Ukraine War, but there are plenty of other ongoing and emerging threats. Here are 10 threats to watch, in no particular order. 

1) Ongoing Inflation and Supply-Chain Problems - Been to a store recently? Notice that there are still empty spots and thin shelves? Yes, things have gotten somewhat better, but the supply-chain problems are far from over. And, China is starting to shut down again as they are experiencing a new wave of Covid (I'll talk more about this later in this article). Inflation is also an ongoing problem. I've noticed, as I am sure you have too, that every time I go shopping prices seem to have gone up again. Because they are. And it isn't over. Both the supply chain problems and inflation will continue, and probably get worse, throughout 2022.  Inflation. Shortages. 

2) The Ongoing Bird-Flu Pandemic - As I've been reporting on Dystopian Survival, there is an ongoing Bird Flu epidemic in the United States which has resulted in over 27 million chickens and turkeys being destroyed in the last month. Most of these have been egg-laying hens (think about how many food products contain eggs), but also a lot of meat birds. And it is not just in the US, as flocks have also been destroyed in Canada, Romania, and The Philippines in recent weeks due to Bird Flu. Inflation. Food shortages. 

3) The Fertilizer Shortage - China appears to be experiencing a new surge in Covid cases, and the CCP ordered factories in some regions to completely shut down again. This is affecting the price and availability of fertilizer in the USA, since we unwisely import much of our fertilizers from China. This in turn is affecting corn production (typically very fertilizer intensive), as many farmers are planting soybeans (less fertilizer needed) instead. This will drive up the price of corn, ethanol, and corn-syrup (a sweetener that is in almost everything it seems). Inflation. 

4) The End of Cash and The Great Reset - The Biden administration is taking steps to move us away from cash and towards a new digital currency. The end of cash is a long-desired goal of the Elites and their technocrats. It is all about control. Going all digital means they can monitor ALL your transactions, decide if you are using your money in a way they deem appropriate, and even stop you from spending money in ways they don't approve. Think I'm crazy? There are already credit cards that monitor the "carbon impact" of your purchases and will disallow purchases once you hit your "carbon allowance" for the month. Think of how many other areas this can be expanded into... This is also part of the so-called Great Reset (link to article by Michael Rectenwald).  Loss of privacy. Loss of control over your own money. Loss of economic freedom. Loss of liberty. Slavery to the State.

5) Vaccine Requirements / Vaccine Passports - The war between Russia and Ukraine may have pushed vaccine insanity out of the headlines for now, but they (government, Elites, technocrats) have in no way given up on the idea. In fact, as I write this news is breaking that the Federal Appeals Court has reinstated the mandate for federal workers. Why are they still pushing vaccines mandates and passports. One word - Control. Check out this article which The Epoch Times published yesterday: Vaccine Passports Pave Way for Digital ID and Globalist Control.  Loss of privacy. Loss of economic freedom. Loss of liberty. Slavery to the State. Limits on freedom of movement. 

6) The Escalating Border Crisis - Massive uncontrolled illegal immigration is being allowed, even encouraged, and it is getting worse. Hundreds of thousands of new illegal immigrants are currently on their way to our borders and expected to arrive within the next month or so. Weakening America. Destroying national identity. Crime. Potential terrorism and disease. Potential election interference. Straining of federal and state budgets. Creation of a permanent underclass. 

7) Critical Race Theory (CRT) / LGBT Indoctrination - The Elites are remaking civilization and are seeking to destroy those things that stand in their way. CRT destroys patriotism, and it is in our schools, in Big Business, in pop culture, in government, and even in the military. The LGBT agenda destroys the traditional family model, and it is also being actively pushed in schools, businesses, pop culture, government, and the military. Weakening America. Weakening the traditional family. Undermining Biblical values. 

8) Election Integrity - We have a major election coming up this November. Right now everyone is predicting a Republican landslide, with the GOP taking both the House and Senate. But wait, we just saw the Deep State and the Left steal a Presidential election, so why do you think this election will be different? Yes, some states have passed election integrity bills, but frankly most of what passed was cosmetic changes rather than substantive changes. Just enough to say they did something, but not enough to correct the situation. Besides, the few substantial changes that were made have all been overturned in court. My prediction: The Dems will keep control of both the House and Senate after another obviously stolen election that no one will be permitted to talk about... Political and economic turmoil. Bad policies. Weakening of America. Loss of liberty. 

9) Technocracy - This is a much bigger threat than most folks realize. The emerging technocracy, which I discussed in detail in another article back in January, is at the root of our problems. Technology is the tool that is being used by the Elites to drastically change our world to their benefit at our expense. Most people have no idea how drastically their lives will change for the worse over the next several years. And, no, living on your remote homestead will not completely protect you from the coming changes. After all, part of their plan is to force country folks off their land and into the big cities. And they will do it without having to fire a shot, for the most part. They will simply make rural life untenable for most folks, unless you are ready for what is coming. Loss of privacy. Loss of economic freedom. Loss of liberty. Slavery to the State. 

Bonus Threat: I haven't even mentioned this, but there is still the threat of China attacking Taiwan. Now would be a good time as the world is distracted by what is happening in Ukraine. It would be extremely difficult for the US and allies to engage in two major wars at the same time, so China might not have a better opportunity than what it has now. Watch this situation closely. 

Bottom Line: The point I am making is to not get distracted by the flashy headlines regarding the Russia-Ukraine War. Yes, we need to be aware of that situation, but there is lots of other developing and ongoing threats to be aware of, too. Preparedness and self-reliance is more important than ever. Do the things you need to do to protect yourself and your family. 

AD: Some good categories to explore on Amazon!
*** Oatmeal
*** Augason Farms Long Term Foods (the brand I buy for powdered butter, milk, cheese, etc.)

*** Liked this article? Never miss out on future articles by following Dystopian Survival

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Survival BTS: What I Did Yesterday

By Tim Gamble

In addition to discussing what people should do (theory) to prepare for the future, I think it is important to occasionally discuss what I actually do (practical) to put the theory into practice in my life. Hopefully, this will give you ideas about how you put preparedness and survival theory into actual practice in your life. In today's article, I want to give you a behind the scenes look at what I did yesterday.


Yesterday early morning I went to Walmart and my local Ingles supermarket. It was just a normal shopping trip where I picked up my usual groceries, rather than a "stocking up" trip.

I did notice that Walmart had in stock cans of Turkey Spam (both stores have been out of the Turkey Spam for a couple of weeks). Since this is one of my main meats to stock up on for long-term storage, and since it is not always in stock, I decided to buy another 10 cans (about half of what they had on the self). I like Turkey Spam, it is just turkey meat with sea salt, especially fried with eggs for breakfast. It also makes good sandwiches. As a long-term option, Turkey Spam can easily last more than 5 years on the shelf as long as the can remains unopened and undamaged. 

I also used the shopping trip for reconnaissance - checking prices and seeing what was and wasn't in stock. This sort of awareness is important. I did notice more empty spots on the shelves. At Walmart, the frozen veggies section which was 3/4 empty, and the rest of frozen foods was about 1/2 empty. The mac-and-cheese and other boxed pastas section was about 80% empty. The pet foods section was also more than 1/2 empty once again.  These were the lowest-stocked sections, but there were empty spots and thin shelves throughout the grocery section. I also noticed that the prices for various dried beans, peas, and lentils have gone up across the board in the past few weeks.


The rest of the morning I spent in the garden. I've already planted 2 kinds of loose-leaf lettuce, onions, early peas, and a few early tomato plants this year. Much more planting to come as we move into spring. Most of my backyard is now garden space, and I am trying to maximize my food production. I also have a herb garden in the front yard, which I am expanding again this year.

Buckets of Food

Yesterday afternoon was spent putting up 12 five-gallon buckets of dried foods to add to my long-term storage. I already had the buckets, food, and oxygen absorbers, so it was just a matter of actually packing it up. The count from yesterday:
  • 3 buckets of black beans 
  • 2 buckets of black-eyed peas
  • 2 buckets of regular lentils
  • 1 bucket of red lentils
  • 1 bucket of lima beans
  • 2 buckets of oatmeal
  • 1 bucket of cornmeal 
As long as they remain dry and insect/fungus free, all these have a potential 25+ year shelf life stored this way. 

Affiliate Links:

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Sunday, April 3, 2022

More Bird Flu - Over 27 Million Chickens and Turkeys Destroyed

By Tim Gamble

There are more cases of the bird flu in US flocks to report, as Iowa is being especially hard hit. Outbreaks on three more Iowa farms last week lead to the killing of an additional 5.3 million chickens and 123,500 turkeys, according to state officials. 

Since the bird flue outbreak began last month, a total of 25.7 million chickens and 1.9 million turkeys have been destroyed nationally in an attempt to to the spread of the bird flu, which is highly contagious. According to the USDA, the bird flu has been found in commercial and backyard flocks in 23 states. The CDC reports that no human cases of the bird flu virus have been detected in the United States.

It is safe to eat cooked poultry products, as cooking poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees kills bacteria and viruses.

Watch for poultry and egg prices, already hard hit by inflation over the last year, to continue to rise due to the outbreak. If the bird flu outbreak worsens, we could even see some shortages in coming weeks. Prepare accordingly. 


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