Sugardyne-The Poor Mans Antibiotic

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Applying the Nez Perce Survivor Rule of Three’s

The Nez Perce Indian tribe was the first group to fully develop the survivor rule of 3's. Preparedness author Ragnar Benson describes the rule of 3's like this: “The Nez Perce discovered that for everything really, truly important to life, three separate and distinct methods of supply must be developed.” That quote was from Ragnar’s book Ragnar’s Urban Survival: A Hard-Times Guide to Staying Alive in the City. To my readers who do not own a copy of this book, I give it the highest recommendation. You should own this book even if you DO NOT live in the city, as it is a treasure house of practical information about all aspects of preparedness and survival.

Comment: It is my opinion that Ragnar Benson and Duncan Long are the two best survival and preparedness writers on this planet. If you have the money, I recommend you purchase and read every book they have published.

Lets now study how we can apply this rule to the most fundamental survival supplies. Remember, that for each topic covered, you want to have at least three methods readily available.

Water Purification

Method 1-BOILING-This is the most basic way to kill micro-organisms in water. In issue 1 I described a basic, bare bones survival kit. One thing I mentioned was a small stainless steel ceramic coated pot for boiling water. If you boil water for 15 minutes, you will kill virtually all of the micro-organisms in the water. Some say that 15 minutes of boiling is overkill. However, I doubt that any of the people who say 15 minutes of boiling is overkill have ever experienced giardia (pronounced jar-dee-ah), also called “beaver fever” because the organisms that cause it are found in the fecal matter of beavers as well as other animals. Giardia is very unpleasant. Boiling is the bare bones water treatment method, meaning virtually anyone can afford the equipment to do it.


Comment: The drug of choice for treating giardia (beaver fever) is the antibiotic metronidazole, sold under the trade name Flagyl.

Method 2-WATER FILTERS AND PURIFIERS- There are several means of treating water that utilize technology.

The KATADYNE FILTER SYSTEM is one of the best on the market. Most of the Katadyn units will filter micro-organisms down to the size of 0.2 microns. This level of filtration will remove giardia and cryptosporidian, two of the most common causes of waterborne illness. Katadyn makes units small enough for one person and units that can treat water for a large group. The Katadyn website is .

The STERIPEN is a device that purifies water by using ultraviolet light. You put the pen in a glass of water, turn it on and stir the water for around a minute. This device also kills cryptosporidian and giardia. This is an excellent item to put in your personal survival kit, but I do not think this unit is practical for large scale water purification. The Steri-Pen website is . The companies toll-free phone number is 1-888-826-6234.

The MIOX unit is a device that works like this: Place some table salt and a small amount of water in the unit and turn it on. When turned on the unit runs an electric current through the salt solution, causing a chemical change in the solution. The solution is then poured into the water you want to purify. I do not know the specific chemical change that takes place when the electric current goes through the water, however, since table salt (sodium chloride NaCl) is used, it is almost a certainty that the chlorine atom is separated from the sodium atom by the electric current.. The manufacturer claims the Miox unit is effective against crptosporidian and giardia.

The Miox unit and the Steri-Pen unit are very small and easy to transport, but they are expensive relative to boiling. Depending on where you purchase them, these units could cost from one hundred to two hundred dollars. The various Katadyn systems start at prices below one hundred dollars, but larger units can cost more than one thousand dollars

Method(s) 3-CHEMICAL TREATMENTS- There are numerous chemical treatments that can be used to purify water.

CHLORINE BLEACH (CLOROX)-Standard Clorox bleach has 5.25 percent available chlorine. The active ingredient in Clorox bleach is sodium hypochlorite (NaHOCl). WHEN USING CHLORINE BLEACH FOR WATER PURIFICATION, MAKE SURE THE PRODUCT YOU BUY HAS NO SOAP, SCENTS, OR PHOSPHATES IN IT. If it has any of these present, it should not be used for water purification. Many companies add soap or scents to their chlorine bleach since the most common use for chlorine bleach is cleaning.

Warning-chlorine bleach (Clorox) does not kill giardia and cryptosporidian.

If the chlorine bleach you are using has 5.25 to 6.00 percent available chlorine, use 8 drops per gallon to treat water if the water is clear. If the water is cloudy use 16 drops per gallon.

Note: Over a period of a year, chlorine bleach loses about 50 percent of it’s water purifying power. If your bleach is over one year old, you will need to double the numbers from the previous paragraph. IF CHLORINE BLEACH IS GOING TO BE A BIG PART OF YOUR WATER PURIFICATION PLAN, IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO WRITE THE DATE YOU PURCHASED IT ON THE CONTAINER WITH A PERMANENT MARKER. This is not a perfect solution because you will probably not know how long the bleach has been sitting on the store shelf. You can minimize the problem this poses by purchasing your bleach from establishments that sell it in large amounts, where the stock of bleach will be constantly depleted and replaced.

CALCIUM HYPOCHLORITE-Calcium hypochlorite is used mostly for treating the water in swimming pools, but it can be used for making drinkable water. Unlike sodium hypochlorite (Clorox), it is a solid, not a liquid. To disinfect water, add 1 heaping teaspoon of calcium hypochlorite with 2 gallons of water. This mixture will produce a chlorine solution of 500 milligrams per liter. Add 1 pint (16 ounces) of this chlorine solution to every 12.5 gallons of water.

Warning-calcium hypochlorite does not kill giardia and cryptosporidian.

CHLORINE DIOXIDE-This product is marketed by the Katadyn company under the name Micropur Purification Tablets. This product is effective against bacteria, viruses, giardia, and cryptosporidium. I really like this product and I recommend you use it over any of the iodine treatments we will cover next. Chlorine dioxide’s ability to kill bacteria is relatively unaffected by pH values between 4 and 10. It is also effective for washing vegetables. IF YOU CHOOSE ONLY 1 CHEMICAL WATER TREATMENT, THIS IS THE ONE I RECOMMEND. The Katadyn website is Their phone number is 1-800-755-6701. Comment: This product takes 30 minutes to kill giardia and 4 hours to kill cryptosporidian.

IODINE TREATMENTS-A warning about iodine treatments: It appears that while iodine can kill bacteria, viruses, and giardia, IODINE IN THE DOSES RECOMMENDED BY THE MANUFACTURER WILL NOT KILL CRYPTOSPORIDIAN. Therefore, I do not recommend iodine treatments of any kind as a first line water treatment. Iodine treated water can be toxic if the iodine crystals are not removed before drinking, and some people are allergic to iodine.


Fire is so essential to survival I believe you should have not 3, but at least 5 ways of making it. There are 3 items you should have in every survival kit.

1. A BIC TYPE DISPOSABLE LIGHTER. Ideally purchase a pack of 2 or 3 and leave them in the plastic until they are needed.
2. A ZIPPO TYPE WINDPROOF LIGHTER and a bottle of lighter fluid and a pack of extra flints.

It’s a good idea to keep these three items in a zip lock plastic bag. If you store your kit in your vehicle and you park your vehicle in a hot area, you will need to check the Bic type lighters from time to time as the fuel will evaporate over time even if they are in the plastic package. The same is true for the lighter fluid for the Zippo type lighter.

Comment: In survival situations, there is no point roughing it simply for the sake of roughing it. In fact, such action is stupid and has the potential to get you killed. It may be good to know how to make fire by rubbing two sticks together, but don’t plan on using such primitive methods to save your life or the life of your loved ones. When emergencies occur, you will be stressed enough, so don’t make things harder than they need to be by resorting to primitive methods when there are more effective methods available.

Lets look at some other sources of fire.

LIFEBOAT MATCHES-these matches are virtually impossible to blow out once they are lit. However, the downside is that they are very hard to strike. Once lit they burn for 7 seconds or so. They are also waterproof, but do not use these in place of the waterproof matches I mention in the 3 items for every kit. These things are just too hard to light. They do have their place if you live or are traveling to an arctic environment with high winds.

FIRE GEL-also called fire paste, this product comes in a tube a little smaller than a toothpaste tube. It has the thickness close to that of pancake syrup. You simply squeeze the gel onto the item you want to burn and light it. I think this is a very good product, however, you should keep your tube of fire gel in a zip lock bag as if the tube leaks, you do not want it to spill into your survival kit.

CHEMICAL FIRE-There are several chemicals that can be stored separately that will spontaneously burn when combined. One such combination is potassium permanganate (KMnO4), a solid, sugar (sucrose), a solid, and glycerine, a liquid. When these three chemicals are combined, they spontaneously burn. If you choose to use this method, each chemical should be kept in an unbreakable container with a secure top.

THE BIRTHDAY CANDLE THAT CANNOT BE BLOWN OUT-Most of you have probably seen these gag candles at a birthday party. The person blowing out the candles on the cake can never blow these out. If you can find these, GET THEM. A candle that cannot be blown out can be very effective in building fires, especially in high winds.

PARAFFIN/SAWDUST FIRE STARTERS-These fire starters can be purchased or made at home. They contain paraffin wax that is impregnated with sawdust. They are excellent for getting a fire going. One of the benefits of making them yourself is that you can make them in any size or shape you like.

To make them yourself you will need a double boiler. A double boiler consist of two deep pots, one larger than the other. The large pot is filled with water. The smaller pot is placed into the larger pot filled with water. The larger pot is heated and the water in it transfers the heat to the smaller pot, in which you will put the paraffin and sawdust. You DO NOT want to put a pot with paraffin wax in direct contact with a flame, as a fire will result. That is why you use the double boiler.
Once the double boiler becomes hot, place the paraffin in the smaller pot and allow it to soften to a liquid. Once the paraffin is in a liquid state, add the sawdust to the mixture and stir until you get a homogenous mix. While the paraffin and sawdust mixture is still liquid, pour it into whatever mold you have selected. Some people use ice cube trays, but you can use a mold of whatever size and shape you choose. IDEALLY, YOU SHOULD DO THIS PROCESS OUTDOORS. DO NOT OVERHEAT THE PARAFFIN AS IT WILL BURN IF YOU OVERHEAT IT.

PROPANE TORCH-These are the small brazing torches that are found in hardware stores. You simply screw in a cylinder of propane and light the torch. While used mostly for brazing copper pipe, there is no reason they could not be used as a fire starting tool, especially in wet conditions. The small torch and the cylinder would take up little space in a large survival kit, and in wet or snow conditions this item would make fire building much easier.

COMMENT: Don’t be afraid to improvise when it comes to preparedness and survival. If something like the propane torch mentioned above works, USE IT! There are no set rules in this whole preparedness and survival thing. Use what works! If you have an idea that seems crazy, test it! If it works, use it!


You need 3 sources of food. Some of your food will be in the form of stored food, some of it will not.

FREEZE-DRIED FOOD-This is the best food for storage. It is more expensive than some other stored food, but if it is economically possible, this is the best food to purchase for long term storage. Mountain House is the best freeze-dried food company in this writer’s opinion. That does not mean that other companies that produce freeze-dried items are of poor quality. Mountain House cans are made of stainless steel and are coated with a substance similar to nail polish to seal any micro-defects in the stainless steel. Mountain House claims these cans can stay fresh 20 years or longer if they are unopened and stored in a cool, dry area. I believe their claim. Also, Mountain House freeze-dried food is very good. In emergencies good food can make a big difference in the morale of you and your loved ones. Remember to factor in the amount of water that is needed to reconstitute freeze-dried food in your water storage plan.

MRE’s-Meals ready to eat, the standard ration of the U.S. Military. At least one U.S. military man has called them “meals ready to exit”. Also keep in mind that like everything else the military purchases in large amounts, MRE’s are produced by the lowest bidder. If you are going to use MRE’s as part of your food storage plan, I suggest you buy them from many different suppliers, thereby minimizing the chance of getting a bad batch of MRE’s.

DRIED BEANS AND GRAINS-I discussed this in the last issue of the newsletter, and for some of you, this may be an option you will have to go with. If you combine the right beans with the right grains, you can get a complete protein, just like that in meat. If dried beans and grains are going to be a large part of your food storage plan, I suggest you supplement your diet with vitamins, especially vitamin B-12.

DEHYDRATED FOOD-Given the marginal difference between the cost of freeze-dried food and dehydrated food and the fact that both require water to reconstitute the food, I advise that you do not use dehydrated food. The quality and storage life of dehydrated food is less than that of freeze-dried food.

GARDENS-If you have the land to do it on, I advise that you plant a warm weather garden in the spring and cold weather gardens in the fall.. Include vegetables that you like to eat. Some plants I consider essentials include:

hot peppers-for seasoning bland food and for their high vitamin C value-8 times that of citrus fruits
tomatoes-good for stews, soups
potatoes-another source for vitamin C, also a very filling food
carrots-good source of vitamin A

One excellent book on survival gardening is Gardening when it Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times by Steve Solomon.

Fertilizer is important for gardening if you live in an area with nutrient poor soil. In crisis situations, you should work off the assumption that you WILL NOT be able to purchase commercial fertilizers. Therefore, you may have to make your own. The book I listed above has a recipe for making fertilizer.

You can create a simple but effective fertilizer by using wood ashes, ground animal bones, and dried animal blood. It’s a good idea to put such a mixture directly into the soil instead of applying it directly to the plants and the soil surface since it can burn plants due to the high nitrogen content of the animal blood.

GREENHOUSES-If you have a large home in the city, you can easily turn a room in your house into a green house. This will give you the ability to grow fruits and vegetables all year long. You can also make a greenhouse by adding on a section to your house for that purpose. Adding a section onto your home for a greenhouse can be expensive, and it is not for everyone. However, if you love gardening, this is an option worth studying. With a greenhouse you also have the option of using hydroponics, growing plants using water/nutrient solutions but with no soil. Hydroponics is not cheap, but those who use this method for gardening say their produce taste much better than anything grown in soil.

LIVESTOCK-For those of you who live in the cities, this is not a good option. However, for those of you who live outside the cities this is something worth considering. The main issue is deciding what livestock to raise.

Ideally, you want livestock that is low maintenance, but “low maintenance” is relative to other livestock. However, I think it is safe to say that unless you are already in the business of raising them, beef cattle are out. The same goes for dairy cattle.

Pigs are a good option. In times of low food, pigs can fend for themselves to some degree. They are more intelligent than dogs and have a sense of smell better than a dog. Purchase as many as you can comfortably maintain. In determining what is comfortable you have to consider how much money you have to spend for feed and medicine and how much time you have to do all the things that are necessary for the pigs upkeep.

Chickens are another option to consider. Guinea hens provide an intruder early warning system in addition to their egg production and their food value. There are many companies on the internet that sell chickens and all the equipment and medicine to raise them.

AQUA CULTURE-I’m talking about ponds. If you have a lot of rural land, ponds are an excellent option for a reliable food supply.
Fish-There are a large variety of fresh water game fish you can stock your pond with. However, digging and setting up a fish pond is something you will probably need expert help with. Once set up though, you will have a fairly reliable source of food. There is some routine maintenance involved such as water testing.

Turtles-If you have a fish pond and you decide to add a turtle pond, you are going to have to put a fence around the turtle pond to keep the turtles from getting into your fish pond and eating the fish. However, there is not a lot of maintenance required for a turtle pond. Alligator snapping turtles are a good species to consider putting in your turtle pond. They grow very large producing a lot of meat. They are very aggressive, all the more reason to have a fence around the turtle pond. A little known fact: 4 tablespoons of turtle blood have as much nutrition as 10 eggs.

The turtle pond will need to be stocked with some fish so the turtles will have a source of food. Frogs will also naturally migrate to a pond and they will also serve as a food source for the turtles.

WILD GAME-LAND ANIMAL-In my last issue, I wrote an article about a preparedness fantasy some people have. In that fantasy they get their gun and go out and kill wild game to feed their family during a large scale crisis. In that article, I explained why that just won’t work. However, one can look at wild game as a food source of opportunity. If it appears, there is no reason not to take advantage of it.

Taking advantage of it requires the right guns. A rifle chambered for the 30:06 Springfield caliber can take down any animal on the North American Continent when loaded with a cartridge that has a Swift A-Frame bullet. The Remington Safari Grade ammunition is loaded with this bullet.

For smaller game, the 12 gauge shotgun is your best choice. The key here is to get 12 gauge shells of varying shot size so you can kill small game as large as turkey all the way down to game as small as doves. I say it is your best choice because in addition to killing small game with the correct size shot, it can kill larger animals if loaded with buckshot or slugs.

When going after wild game that presents itself, remember the survivor rule of thermodynamics: Never expend more energy to get the food than you get from the food. For example, lets say you kill 2 quails and get 500 calories of food from each of them for a total of 1000 calories. However, you stalked them for 3 hours in the cold and rain and burned 1500 calories. You burned 1500 calories to get 1000 calories. Do you know what you got? Nothing? No, you got worse than nothing. You got 500 calories closer to starvation because you burned 500 calories more than you acquired from your hunt.


If you are not a hunter, it is a good idea to find out what wild game is available in your area and to study the behavior of those animals.
Understanding the behavior of the game will increase your chances of successfully killing it should the opportunity present itself.

WILD GAME-AQUATIC ANIMAL-Rivers, lakes, ponds, and the oceans are full of food-IF you have the tools to take it. A good rod and reel are the bare minimum tools you will need to take fish, but the rod and reel is not the most energy and time efficient means of doing so. Nets are far superior, and you get a much greater return for the time and energy you expend. In most areas, nets are not allowed, but remember, we are talking about emergency situations. If you have the means, purchasing and storing nets is a good idea if you live close to any bodies of water that contain fish.

COMMENT-There is a website called Buckshot’s Camp that sells an excellent emergency fishing kit.

In my state, Alabama, it’s common to see trot lines whenever you are boating in rivers. The trot line is a fishing method that requires little energy. You simply deploy the trot line, leave it, and come back periodically to check it to see if fish have taken the bait.

Fish are not the only aquatic animals. Most survival experts DO NOT recommend hunting alligators or crocodiles for survival food, and while I do not consider myself an “expert”, as a general rule, I have to agree that hunting these animals is more danger than it is worth. But there are exceptions. In areas like Louisiana, Florida, southern Alabama, southern Mississippi, and southern Georgia, there are a LOT of alligators. While I don’t recommend anyone go into the swamps to try to kill one, if the opportunity presents itself in an emergency situation and you have the proper tools, take it. For example, if you live in one of these areas, and during an emergency you find that a gator has wondered onto your property, you have a very good opportunity to get a lot of food with little energy expenditure.

So what are the proper tools for taking a gator? Firearms. Rifles of at least .30 caliber (.308, 30:06) or 12 gauge shotguns loaded with 00 (double ought) or 000 (triple ought) buckshot should be used. Long barreled hunting revolvers in calibers of .44 magnum and above can be used also. Head shots are essential, and you should shoot multiple shots to be safe. However, these animals have very small brains, so multiple shots to the body between the two front legs and the two hind legs are equally essential. DO NOT SHOOT THE TAIL-THIS IS WHERE THE MEAT IS LOCATED. After you shoot the animal, wait for a while before approaching it to be sure it is dead. Before approaching, it is a good idea to throw rocks or large sticks at the animal, again to make sure it is dead. IF YOU APPROACH THESE ANIMALS, AND THEY ARE NOT DEAD, THE ODDS ARE VERY GOOD THAT YOU WILL BE.

When making the decision whether to approach or not, ask the following question: “ Did the animal die in a hail of gunfire?” If the answer is anything other than “yes” you are treading on very dangerous ground.

A few other safety items come to mind when dealing with alligators and crocodiles:

1. If an alligator or crocodile is on land and a good distance from the water, you may try to take it if you have the correct firearms, however, DO NOT TRY TO KILL THESE ANIMALS IF THEY ARE IN THE WATER, AT THE WATERS EDGE, OR WITHIN 50 YARDS OF WATER. Why? 2 reasons. First, where there is one of these animals there will be more. If you get close to the water the animal crawled out of, you will be in danger because there will be more of these animals in that water. Second, these animals move somewhat slow on land, but in water they can move very fast and move in a very stealthy manner. Taking these animals in water is exceptionally difficult even for professionals and requires a group of people. It is simply stupid for one individual to try to take an animal of this type in water.

2. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE FROM THESE ANIMALS. In the above paragraph, I said these animals move “somewhat” slow on land. This does not mean they move so slow that you can be careless. THESE ANIMALS ARE DANGEROUS ON LAND. A swipe from the tail of one of these animals can break the bone in your thigh. Do not get closer than 30 yards to these animals unless you are sure they are dead.

3. Always keep in mind that these animals kill and eat humans on a regular basis.

The tail is the part of these animals you want to take. The meat from these animals tastes like something between chicken and fish.

Comment: If you are going to use a rifle to kill these animals, I recommend ammunition loaded with the Swift A-Frame bullet, such as Remington Safari Grade ammunition.

I hope this article has, if nothing else, started you to thinking about how you can apply the Nez Perce Rule of 3's to your own situation.

1 comment:

  1. If I wanted to eat alligator I would catch it like fish. Large hook, 80# string, baited with a blackbird suspended above the water. The higher above the water the larger the gator. String secured to a tree or post driven into the ground. simply pull on the string and get the gator in range and one shot to the head will do it. I've always found a .357 to be the exact right size.
    Snapping turtles have more meat and thus make your cleaning time more profitable but are not the only edible turtle. locally red ear sliders are also eaten. They are also less agressive to other turtles as snappers will eat all other turtles, even their own young. the best traps are those where the turtles climb out on a sunning perch and then get off into a net. My uncle used one of these to remove over 200 red ear sliders from my dad's 2 acre pond last year.
    If I was looking for livestock for an urban farm I would look at pigeons. Once you raise pigeons at your pigeonnier they should return there to nest after foraging all day. People, city people tend to ignore pigeons. They would be attracted to the sounds of chickens and pigs.
    Love your site. Found it from Survivalblog.