2017 11-15

Even the Mountains Get the Flu

When you live on the outskirts and outside the city limits, it is even more important to be up to date on all of your health-related issues. I recently received a request from a reader regarding how to best care for yourself and others when you get the flu when living off the grid. What I have experienced since living so far out are less occurrences, but they still happen from time to time. I have made a list over the years for the best remedies you can get from home that can cure what ails you and help you to overcome the flu.


Staying at home and lying in bed isn’t fun, but that’s exactly what you are in for when the flu invades your body. With the combination of fever, body aches, nasal congestion, and chills, it is more than enough to make anyone feel their absolute worst. Fortunately, there are some flu remedies out there that actually work. In just a few days, you can be back to 100% as all symptoms are alleviated and you can get on with your normal life.


If you experience symptoms after a few weeks, then you should of course make an appointment to see your primary healthcare physician. And if you should happen to experience rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, dizzy spells, or other symptoms, you should seek out medical attention as quickly as possible. What many people forget is that there are remedies for the cold and flu that are literally sitting around your house.


Not only does it taste good, but chicken soup has been proven to heal what ails you when you are sick. Research has shown that chicken soup packed with vegetables can slow down the movement of neutrophils (white blood cells) that keep your body protected against infection.


The slower these neutrophils move, the more concentrated they remain in areas of your body that need them the most during the healing process. Studies have proven the power of chicken soup to reduce infections of the upper respiratory tract, while the sodium content in soup is packed with nutritional value and keeps your body hydrated. No matter what your health condition is, chicken soup is always a healthy option to consider.





Ginger has been used for its curative powers for centuries, and now there is scientific proof to back up the claims of many of this root as a natural healer. You only need a few slices of ginger root in hot water to soothe a sore throat or a cough. Studies have also shown that ginger root can keep influenza at bay as well. One study even discovered that ingesting just one gram of ginger can reduce clinical nausea.





Honey possesses several antimicrobial and antibacterial properties – drinking tea with honey and lemon is a great remedy for a sore throat and studies suggest that honey acts as an effective cough suppressant as well. Children that receive up to 10 grams of honey right before bedtime can reduce the symptoms of coughing and sleep more soundly. For those children that are under the age of 1 year old, honey is not advised.





The compound allicin has several antimicrobial properties, and as an additive in garlic, it can help reduce cold symptoms. It should be supplemented to your diet to avoid getting sick and to increase your body’s cold-fighting abilities. At the end of the day, adding a bit of garlic to your diet is easy to do.

2017 11-17

Gotta Keep Warm

I love camping more than the average person, but it is truly shocking to me how many people are unable to build a campfire in the woods. But aside from being just able to build one, there are reasons why I believe that everyone should be able to make one in case of an emergency or near your camping site at night. It’s a step by step process that is not as difficult as you may think, and my mission now is to give you the guidelines for building a fire that keeps you warm.

camp fire and tent


Camping is one of my favorite things to do with friends as I love being at one with nature and seeing creatures that live outside the city limits. Even just a drive through the woods sometimes can do me a world of good, but nothing beats a weekend camping with friends over a weekend. Luckily for me, most times when I go camping, there are more than enough people in the group that can start a fire. But there have been a few times that I have been the only one able to, and it began to boggle my mind since so many of my friends love to camp. I figured that it would be easy to build one and that a ton of information would be available in books or a website. But in reality, you probably should have someone teach you how to make one and go through the trial and error of it all before you fully learn how to make one properly.


One of the cornerstones to building a proper fire is having adequate airflow to build the fire in stages using the proper amounts of fuel. If you have not grasped these key elements yet, you should not start. To get started, it is important to learn how fires actually start, as there are several ways to get one going using various types of wood and techniques from cultures throughout the world.


Fires are chemical reactions that make light and heat, sometimes with smoke. The combination of two chemicals trading electrons leaves a bit of excess energy to get rid of. To start, you will need an oxidizer and fuel for a campfire, with the air functioning as an oxidizer, and the wood as fuel. There’s more to it, of course, For example, if the wood is left in the air and nothing is added, it will not just catch fire. There are also other combinations that can be used like glycerine and potassium permanganate to start a fire.



fire on rock


Starting a fire on a rock is fairly difficult as the reaction needs a specific amount of heat in order to get started. A few of the fuel/oxidizer combinations react to temperature more than others. As evaporation needs energy, the wood you use should be as dry as possible for efficiency. Wet wood is not the best way of getting wood to burn as the energy ends up creating steam instead of fire.


The more air you have, the better as it is a big component of getting the fire you really want. You should always remember to leave gaps between the wood so that oxygen can flow throughout and begin to emit fire. A well-constructed fire will have layers of not only dry material but also plenty of airflows.