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Shortwave Radios: Your Best Friend in a SHTF Scenario

Shortwave Radios:  Your Best Friend in a SHTF Scenario

Eton Grundig Satellit 750 Ultimate AM/FM Stereo also Receives Shortwave, Longwave and Aircraft Bands – Black (NGSAT750B)

 

Shortwave radios have been used for decades as a way to transmit information and stay connected before the advent of digital technology.  Broadcasts can be heard for hundreds of miles, thousands if a repeater is used, and they have been considered the “go-to” resource to fall back on during a crisis.  However, many people have simply forgotten about them as the Internet and satellite communication has swept the world.

They Are Still Broadcasting

Many entities still use shortwave radios to broadcast messages, especially in areas where normal radio transmissions may be regulated or blocked by the government.  Spies, yes spies, religious groups, pirate radio stations and government propaganda services still avail themselves of this resource to get their messages out to the world.  Many amateur radio operators use shortwave broadcasts to say whatever they want as well.  In a nutshell, you can find a wide-range of broadcasts to tune into and catch some really interesting stuff.

They Are Still on the Market

Old shortwave radios used to have slide-rule dials and came in portable or base-station models.  Digital variants exist today that allow the listener to have an array of options at their disposal.  This includes being able to tune into a specific frequency, record simultaneous broadcasts over a broad spectrum and automatically tune into broadcasts once they come on the air.

They Are Still Perfect for Post-Disaster Broadcasts

If you think of the communications blackouts that can come from a wide-array of disasters, the world will be plunged into chaos.  Consider how sensitive electronics are to everything from solar flares to an EMP or a short circuit due to flooding from a severe storm.  Governments as well as individuals will most definitely use shortwave radios to communicate to those who are listening, and this could very well be the only way to get current and reliable information in a SHTF scenario.

Antennas Matter

The most important thing to remember about shortwave radios is that the quality of the receiver and antenna will determine how many stations you can pick up.  Your location also influences reception.  If you can put an antenna at a location that is higher than the surrounding terrain, chances are that you will be able to pick up signals from great distances.  On the other hand, if you are using a portable radio with a built in or telescopic antenna, your capabilities will be limited.

Consider getting a radio that gives you the option to attach a coaxial cable and wire it up to an antenna on a tree or long stand.  This will allow you to capture more broadcasts and get information when you need it the most.

A shortwave radio is a very small investment in terms of obtaining equipment and rigging a good antenna system, and it can be easily dismantled and moved from place to place.  While this may be something far from the minds of most people in the modern world, having one on hand can give you a distinctive edge in terms of getting and relaying information to others.  Give some serious thought to getting one just to have as a backup, and you may find yourself in an advantageous position during the aftermath of a major disaster.

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Guide to Best Dog Breeds for Different Jobs

Guide to Best Dog Breeds for Different Jobs

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We all know that dogs are not created equally, and some breeds are better at performing certain tasks than others.  Dogs are also excellent workers, and they can be a tremendous benefit to you as you prepare for self-sufficient or post-SHTF living.  The trick is to choose the best breed that will match your needs and expectations.  Below is a quick guide to some of the more common breeds and the tasks that they excel at performing.

Herding

Sheepdog trials competiton in Scotland, UK.

If you plan on raising livestock, whether sheep, goats or cows, a dog will be an invaluable asset to have at your disposal.  Some of the more popular breeds that are particularly adept at herding include collies,  corgies and sheep dogs.  These breeds have an instinctive knack for rounding up animals by chasing and rounding them up into groups.   

There are also dog breeds that are good protectors of herds.  They will not hesitate to guard boundaries and chase predators away.  This is important because one of the biggest threats to your herd will be from opportunistic predators.  This applies to livestock as well as smaller animals such as chickens, ducks and rabbits.  Protector dogs also don’t generally harm the animals they are guarding.  Good breeds include shepherds, great pyrenees, and maremma. 

Vermin Patrol

If you have problems with vermin such as gophers, rats, field mice, possums, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, or similar animals, certain dogs can chase them all day long and never get bored.  The terrier is one of the best breeds to consider because they were created for this specific purpose.  This includes the Rat and the Jack Russell.  However, any terrier breed loves to chase small animals.  Dachshunds and a variety of mixed-breed dogs or mutts are also adept at chasing and playing with all sorts of pests. 

Hunting

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Hunting dogs can either catch and kill certain prey or retrieve ones that you’ve bagged.  They generally have boundless energy, a keen sense of smell, can run through all sorts of terrain and have a knack for finding animals that are hiding and scaring them out into the open.  Retrievers are probably the best known for their friendliness, ease of training and love of fetching.  Labrador and golden retrievers are the most popular.  They are ideal for retrieving birds that you’ve killed. 

Beagles, foxhounds and pointers love going after small game and they are just as adept at killing them as they are at rooting them out.  Bloodhounds have a keen sense of smell and are one of the best tracking breeds out there.  Coonhounds are perfect for rooting out raccoons and the weimaraner will go after all kinds of birds that are hiding in tall grass and prairies.

Defense

Almost any dog can be trained to be a guard dog, but some breeds have a more notorious reputation than others.  Pit bulls, rottweilers, German shepherds often get a bad rap due to their ability to be trained to be vicious.  However, these breeds are also very docile, intelligent and family-friendly if raised well and given a nurturing home.  Other breeds that are more family-friendly include the akita, great dane, boxer, doberman and saint bernard. 

Training and Care

Remember that these and other dog breeds have an instinct or inclination to hunt, fetch and chase.  However, they still need to be trained in order to perform at their best.  In addition to their talents, it’s important to consider their temperament, dietary requirements and make sure that you are giving them plenty of rest, love and attention. 

At the end of the day, dogs can make the perfect companion on the road to self-reliance and long-term survival.  Just make sure that you do research in order to find the best match for your family, lifestyle and environment.

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