August Survival Sweeps

It seems like there’s always more survival gear to buy and never enough funds. Sweepstakes offer a way to dream big without spending a fortune.

If you’re new to sweeps, you will have to pay taxes on winnings over a certain amount. Also, be sure to review the fine print to make sure you know the rules of entry. Some will disqualify you if you accidentally enter twice, have requirements for certain states, and so forth. Most of the sweeps listed below are for people living in the US and most don’t expire until the end of the month. I’ve tried to note all of those that allow daily entries. I keep a list of those in a Word file and visit back each morning just in case I get lucky. So far, I personally have only won a couple smaller sweeps, but a good friend of mine is a devoted daily sweeper and wins so often that he sells many of the goodies he wins and banks the cash.

Without further ado, here are this month’s finds. I’ll try to post more each month. Feel free to list any more you find in the comments below!

GEAR

augsweepsWin a Rocket Stove or Fire Scout Stove from PrepperBroadcasting.com Ends 8/16.

10-Day Duro Lantern from Ultimate Survival Technologies Ends 9/3.

Ultimate Bass Package from Plano Ends 8/27.

WindBurner Personal Stove System Ends 8/17.

Outfitter XXL Camping Cot from Teton Sports Ends 8/31.

Ryobi 2200 Watt Inverter Generator Ends 8/31.

Win a VSSL Outdoor Utility Tool Ends 8/20.

The Ultimate Western Hunting Package valued at over $7,000 Ends 8/31.

Enter to Win an ATN X-Sight HD 3-12x Night Vision Rifle Scope worth over $800 and more Ends 8/16.

Win A Homemade Gin Kit Ends 8/31.

Win a Custom Multitasker + B5 + Tactical Distributors Multitool Ends 8/17.

21 Dystopian Best-Selling Paperback Books Giveaway Ends 8/31.

Win a 5-day Moab to Rocky Mountains Adventure for Two + $5k in gear (I don’t normally post trips, but the gear in this one is phenomenal.)

Weekly Prizes, each an Adventure Package worth at least $500 Ends 8/30. Enter daily.

Fishing Gear: Ultralight Spinning Reel and Rod Combo with Case Ends 8/17. Weekly prizes, so check back.

GUNS

Springfield Armory® introduced the M1A™ SOCOM 16 Ends 12/31.

Enter to Win a Ruger LCR .38 Special Ends 9/30.

Ruger Precision Rifle in the caliber of your choice: 308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor or 243 Win Ends 8/28.

Ruger American Rifle – Predator plus weekly prizes Ends 8/30.

Colt 1911 Pistol Ends 8/31.

Enter to Win a T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool

TRANSPORTATION

Polar Sport Off-Road ATV Trailer (or 1 of 5 $50 Northern Tool gift cards) Ends 8/28.

Walking Dead Snap to Ride Sweepstakes: customized motorcycle like Daryl’s one year supply of Slim Jim snacks, various Walking Dead weekly prizes. Ends 4/10/16. Enter daily.

Win a 2015 Ford F250 4×4 Crew Cab XLT Truck Ends 8/31.

Enter for a chance to win a 2015 Nitro Z-6 Boat Ends 10/16. Enter daily.

CASH/CARDS for buying gear, guns, or transportation

$500 Amazon gift card Ends 8/31.

$300 Target Gift Card Ends 8/31.

$250 Cabela’s Gift Card Lots of additional prizes including a GoPro Hero and a DeWalt cordless drill. Ends 8/18.

 

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Review: Saratoga Farms Butter Powder

sarpic

We’ve had a #10 can of Saratoga Farms Butter Powder in our house for a few years now. I was able to pick it up on sale from The Ready Store, but it’s also available through Amazon for a little less (at the time of this writing) if you prefer. I was both intrigued and a bit frightened at the idea of powdered butter, but decided it would be nice to have some sort of butter substitute in food storage even if just for cooking. But I also know that you need to taste test items before you decide to rely on them for food storage.

I found myself making mashed potatoes with no butter in the house and decided it was time to be brave. First, no one noticed a difference with the mashed potatoes. So I have no doubt that this product would work well in most cooking.

After I made my mashed potatoes, I decided to also make up a batch of butter for other uses. Namely, I wanted to know if it would taste good spread on bread. Bread is a great filler and easy to make, but we don’t necessarily enjoy it dry. We can dip it in soups or spread jam on it, but there’s something about buttered bread with a meal that would make the hard times seem a little less rustic.

This butter does not solidify. It stays in a porridge-like state, even when chilled. I also wasn’t able to get it completely smooth and creamy. It still retained a little bit of its gritty appearance, though it didn’t taste gritty. My initial taste test, spread on bread, wasn’t great. It didn’t quite taste like butter. Yet, after a couple bites, the taste grew on me. It tasted like butter the way Chef Boyardee tastes like spaghetti. You like it or you don’t, but for many, there’s a strange appeal. I feel this is the case with Saratoga Farms Butter Powder.

cookieAnd the big test? Will this work as butter in baked good. Yes! But the best use I’ve found for it since my initial taste tests: cookies. Every so often, I cheat and whip up a batch of cookie mix for the kids. The package mix calls for softened butter. Reconstituted butter powder is so perfect that cookie mix is now part of my food storage. Sure, I store the individual ingredients as well, but for ease and speed, these packages will make for great mood boosters. Just add some egg powder to your food storage too if you don’t have chickens and you’re all set. The dough is decent as raw cookie dough or as baked cookies.

The Verdict: This is definitely something I plan to keep in my food storage. As a butter spread on bread, it’s decent and even somewhat addictive, though it doesn’t taste like butter. But when you have dry homemade bread, it will make a welcome change to sweet jams as a spread. It also works in stovetop foods like mashed potatoes and makes a decent butter substitute in baked goods. It’s a winner in my book.

 

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Survival Sweeps Week of 3/8/15

We are always looking to add to our stockpiles. Free preps are a glorious thing. Here are some sweepstakes going on now that might be of interest.

Gear:

solarWin a SunJack 7 Watt portable solar charger with 4000mAh battery ($100 value). Ends 3/30.

Win a The North Face sweatshirt from Appalachian Outdoors. Ends 3/21.

Win a Gardening Basket and $500 Lowes gift card. Ends 3/31.

Win a Mountain Ultra 2 Tent from Teton Sports. Ends 3/31.

Enter to win a Fieldline Tactical waist pack.

Guns/Weapons:

Win an AR-15 from The Minority Report. Ends 3/16.

And another AR-15 from Aero Precision. Ends 3/31.

Win a Parker Compound Bow (monthly giveaway, single entry). Ends 3/31.

Transportation:

Enter for your chance to win a Cannondale F-SI Carbon 2 or a Scalpel 29 Carbon 3 racing bikes. Ends 6/27.

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REVIEW: H.I.R.T. Home Invasion Response Tactics from 2A Tactical Group, LLC

233985856Survival Colony was recently contacted by 2A Tactical Group, LLC and asked if we would do a review of their H.I.R.T. Home Invasion Response Tactics manual, and of course we said ‘yes’. Manuals are a double edged sword for me.  On the one hand I love manuals. Manuals tell you how to do things. Just having a manual makes you smarter, even if you don’t read it. When people see your cache of literature and knowledge they are like, ‘whoa! This cat has it all!’ The other side of this sword is that I am a guy. Guys rarely read manuals, we just collect them. Why? Manuals oppress our natural curiosity and desire to figure things out through trial and error. Manuals tell us what we are doing wrong. Manuals are like pulling over and asking a stranger for directions on a road trip when we have inadvertently decided to take an alternate route. That and manuals are usually a very dry read. Which is why when Jackie asked me to read the H.I.R.T. Home Invasion Response Tactics manual by telling me to read the manual I did the angry zombie stomp over to her and took it from her hand, but I did so like a boss. Continue reading

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4 Basic Tools to Protect Yourself from Ebola

The world is in the midst of it’s largest ever Ebola outbreak. The first ever transmisson of Ebola within the United States was just confirmed this week. Two days later there was another confirmed transmission within the US and who knows how many people were infected before they sought treatment for symptoms. As of this writing, the CDC is saying two airline flights were potentially at risk, as would be anyone who came in contact with either nurse in the early symptomatic stages of the disease.

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So what do we do? How do we prepare in case the worst happens? Continue reading

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Review: Growing Up – The Ins and Outs of Up and Down Gardening by Survival Life

growing-up-250When I was looking for other reviews of the 4 Foot Farm Blueprint by Crisis Education (I found none by the way), I stumbled upon what looked like a similar eBook called Growing Up: The Ins and Outs of Up and Down Gardening from Survival Life. It’s advertised in much the same way, with a PowerPoint online infomercial, also touts the ability to grow enough food to “feed a family of 4 in just 4 square feet of space,” and is also $7. The pitch was so similar that for awhile I actually thought they might be the same product.

So, as with the 4 Foot Farm Blueprint, we went online and purchased the eBook. Continue reading

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Couponing For Preps

(written by Jackie)

IMG_2076You’ve probably caught an episode of Extreme Couponers and seen the beautiful stockpiles some of these couponers accrue and wondered if you could do the same.

I’ve been couponing for a while, and while it’s becoming more and more difficult (especially thanks to this show), you can still get something for nothing…or nearly nothing. But it’ll be more difficult than Extreme Couponers portrays.

Why? Well, from what I’ve read online, the show is at least partially fake. The show calls stores ahead of time and makes sure that they’ll be allowed to tweak store policy to allow for bigger, grander purchases. You won’t have this advantage. This couponing style also doesn’t work in every store in every town. Some stores double coupons, some don’t. Some stores have a 4 coupon per item limit, some don’t. And now, some coupons themselves are setting limits. The rules list grows with each passing season, so couponers have to keep on top of these rules.

So then the question is: Is it worth it? That’s up to you. I coupon, but not to an extreme, and still manage to get free items every now and then. I’ll share the easiest ways to do it that don’t require the full-time hours some devoted couponers claim to spend on research and prep. But, of course, you can then extend these methods to more intensive couponing if you choose. Continue reading

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Review: 4 Foot Farm Blueprint Ebook 2014 Edition

4ft-farm-blueprint-smaller

(written by Jackie)

Full Disclosure: After my original review of the 4 Foot Farm Blueprint by Crisis Education, I was contacted by someone from the company. I fully expected them to ask me to soften my review or to take it down, but surprisingly, they did not. They asked me to preview their 2014 version of the 4 Foot Farm eBook before it went live to the public. I agreed. Once I gave them my pre-market notes, they sent me the final product for review. So we did not pay for the 2014 edition of the 4 Foot Farm Blueprint by Crisis Education. We were not compensated for our review and our opinions remain our own, as always.

Crisis Education and I emailed back and forth a bit. I spotted a few simple grammar and spelling issues, but knowing that wasn’t the point of me previewing the product, I tried to focus my attention on the content of the eBook itself. If you recall, the 2013 edition focused on vertical gardening using either garden towers or a wall of recycled plastic bottles used for vertical container gardening. This would work most easily outside, but they suggested you could also bring it indoors if you were able to provide artificial lighting and so forth.

The 2014 version is two-fold, with both an indoor and outdoor system.  The indoor system focuses on a hydroponic wall for growing greens and herbs year-round. The outdoor system focuses on square foot gardening, companion planting, and succession planting for everything else you may want to grow. Continue reading

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Gear Review: Fieldline Tactical Alpha OPS Internal Frame Pack – Second Use

pack 2I have always heard that in order to get a true feel and assessment of a restaurant that you should give it at least two dining experiences at the establishment. Why shouldn’t the same be true for gear?

I thought about the first experience I had with the Fieldline Tactical Alpha OPS Internal Frame Pack. Perhaps I just bought a bad one, though I dislike the thought of that. To me, when it comes to a quality item, every one of the lot should be the cat’s ass when you pull it off of a store’s shelf. But there were so many positive reviews that I read about this pack, so many super-duper videos about it on YouTube. Maybe it was the proverbial crap item of the lot. Maybe I had too much weight in it. Maybe it was made on a Monday or a Friday. Maybe this is what was foretold in the Mayan Calendar. Maybe it came into contact with Kryptonite. I finally talked myself into giving it yet another try. Continue reading

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