An Herbalist’s Library: Miscellaneous

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An Herbalist’s Library: Herbal Education Books

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Survival Tips: Adventure

Preparing for Adventure

Planning a trip outside, even for a short daytime hike, should always include some essential planning and prepping steps to ensure your well-being and safety. Print off this handy checklist for yourself, a friend, or that teenager in your life to ensure that the next adventure does not go awry. It’s always better to be overly prepared for a little journey than to be underprepared for an unexpected, big adventure.

Make a Plan: It’s best to travel in pairs, or more. Buddy up and then tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back. Check in with them once you are home to let them know you made it safely.

Make a List:

  • Hiking shoes or trail shoes to get you there and back
  • Backpack to hold all the essentials
    • Try ours! It comes pre-equipped with many of the items listed here – we offer two styles, Bug Out Bag (longer excursions) or Day Trip (short daytime hikes/trips)
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses and hat to protect yourself from the sun, even on cloudy days
  • First Aid Kit for any scrape or injuries*
  • Knife or multi-purpose tool*
  • Waterproof matches, flashlight and whistle in case of emergency*
  • Food and water, including a portable purifier or purifying tablets* if you run out of water
  • Rain gear* and some spare dry clothing
  • Map and compass, because cell phone reception and GPS may not always be available
  • Camping gear for overnight trips, including shelter and sleeping bag

Make No Mess: Leave no trace as you trek your way through the woods. In fact, try to leave Mother Nature more beautiful than how you found her. What you pack in, you should also pack out.

To cover some of your day trip essentials, check out the Day Trip Survival Bag or Watertight Survival Box from my company Southern Belle Products. It covers many of the essentials above, so that you are ready for just about anything Mother Nature brings your way. Great for all day hikes or quick trips into the backcountry. For extended trips, the Bug Out Bag and First Aid Kit together will help cover your ass(ets) so that you are ready for almost anything in the great outdoors. An * means those items may be included in one of the hand packaged kits from my company!

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Becoming An Herbalist

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An Herbal Academy Mini-Course

  • Lesson 1 looks closely at certification and regulation for herbalists and explores some of the educational options that are available to those interested in herbal careers.
  • Lesson 2 will take a look at the language that herbalists use: words you can and cannot use legally, regardless of education, due to the state of herbalism as an unlicensed practice.
  • Lesson 3 dives deep into the ethical considerations of becoming an herbalist. The Herbal Academy will five you the lowdown on scope of practice, confidentiality, informed consent, and full disclosure. For those interested in clinical practice, you’ll go over basic red flags, safety concerns, and referrals.
  • Lesson 4 will outline key aspects of starting your own herbal business and the many details that go along with each.
  • Lesson 5 discusses the importance of keeping your finger on the pulse of herbalism. The way that herbalists use herbs is constantly evolving, with new clinical research being published all of the time and practicing herbalists discovering novel ways of brining balance to human physiology with herbs.

Southern Inspired Soy Candles

Burning the Midnight Oil with Soy Candles

An Herbalist’s Library: Recipe Books

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100 Uses for Paracord

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  • Tie a tarp to trees for shade or cover – good idea whether its summer or winter
  • Make a lanyard or key fob to hold items, such as your keys! We can custom make them for you too, just send us a message!
  1. Craft an emergency, and fashionable, paracord bracelet/wristband – or have one custom made by sending us a message!
  1. Build an emergency snare from a single nylon strand – or seven strands!
  2. Create a fishing line from a single nylon strand
  3. Make a fishing net
  4. Use as an extra lace for your boot or shoe
  5. If you’re in a pinch, you can use the inner strands as floss
  6. Make a dog collar, or have one custom made for you!
  1. Create a dog leash (or lead) or have one custom made for your K9!
  1. Use an inner strand as an emergency suture
  2. Wrap your knife, or axe, handle for extra grip – my husband has done this before and it works!
  3. Create a bow drill to start a fire via friction
  4. Drape clothes between two trees or poles to dry by making a clothesline
  5. Improvise a seat by lashing a long log horizontally to 2 trees
  6. Emergency repair for a sail while out on the water
  7. Use as a belt for your pants
  8. Hang a kettle or cooking pot over a fire – careful that the rope doesn’t get too close to the flames!
  9. Use a single inner strand as an emergency sewing thread
  10. Make into a net hammock
  11. Improvise a rifle sling or have us custom make one for you, just send us a message!
  1. Tie your horse – or doggie – to a tree or fence post, making sure they have plenty of room to move into the shade or graze on grass
  2. Use as perimeter trip wires with tin cans or bells attached while camping – great way to know if a bear is snooping around, or worse – a skunk!
  3. Make a watchband, or message us for a custom made one!
  1. Rig up a quick bow stringer if you’ve forgotten yours
  2. Carry gear on you back when you don’t have a rucksack, or backpack – just mind your neck and shoulders
  3. Make a knotted hose cleaner by tying granny knots in the paracord and pulling it through
  4. Have forgetful children, or husband, tie their house keys to their backpack or belt, or even loosely around their neck (think lanyard!)
  5. Use several strands to craft an emergency tow rope
  6. A pulley line for dragging big bits of wood up to side of a hill – or anything heavy really
  7. A standby strop for polishing a razor to make it cleaner or shaper
  8. Tie a heavy knot in the middle and make a jump rope for kids
  9. Hang mesh frames for propagating plants in a greenhouse
  10. Tie up your food and trash items our of reach of nosy bears
  11. Make a simple swing for kids
  12. Abseil down a cliff edge – like a rock climber does
  13. Make a quick headband or hair tie – try using the inner strands for this; I’ve had to do this quite a few times and it works fairly well!
  14. Bundle firewood together for easy transport
  15. Tie onto a sled so you can drag it through heavy snow
  16. Hang a light over the bathroom for nighttime use
  17. Replace a snapped pull string on older lights or ceiling fans
  18. Improvise a fuse to start a fire
  19. Hang a mirror or other large objects
  20. Use as a strap wrench or Spanish windlass
  21. Make a halter and leads for your horses
  22. Improvised bore snake for cleaning a firearm
  23. Make a tire swing
  24. Hang your hammock or repair a hole in one
  25. Hang an emergency whistle loosely around your neck (think lanyard!)
  26. Make a pull cord for a chainsaw

Halfway there! Have any uses for paracord in mind that we haven’t included?! Feel free to shoot us a message. We’d love to hear any creative ways to utilize parachute cord you can come up with 🙂

  1. Use as a pull cord for a boat engine
  2. Fix a pull cord for a lawn mower or a weed-whacker
  3. Use as an emergency tourniquet
  4. Tie down straps and belts of rucksacks when traveling
  5. Replace a drawstring cord in a rucksack or on gaiters – or sweatpants and sweatshirts!
  6. Use as tent guide lines – don’t want your tent tipping over or flying away!
  7. Make a monkey fist for defense – just use a marble or ping pong ball for the support! Want a custom made one? Send us a message!
  8. Make an improved stretcher by crafting a net between two poles
  9. Bind poles, or tree branches, together to make a shelter
  10. Tie a blade to a long pole, or tree branch, to make a hunting spear
  11. Wrap a mini Maglite handle for grip
  12. Use to help lower equipment and packs down cliff edges – can also aid in helping an injured person or a puppy down the cliff too
  13. Make handcuffs for bad guys
  14. Use as a zipper pull
  15. Make a rope ladder
  16. Use for mooring your boat to a dock
  17. Replace a broken water ski rope – or any other water sport that requires a rope
  18. Teach yourself to tie life-saving knots
  19. Use it to collect water, along with a mylar blanket or poncho
  20. Help climb a tree
  21. Improvise snow shows
  22. Make a sling shot
  23. Create a bullwhip for defense
  24. Tie a scope to a rifle
  25. Use to tie night vision to a rifle
  26. Hang tools from your belt
  27. Make emergency suspenders
  28. Replace a broken bra strap
  29. Tie garden plants to stakes, such as tomatoes or green beans
  30. Make a camera strap
  31. Use as a walking rope for kids when out on excursions, simply tie one end around their waist (belt area and not too tight) and the other around yours
  32. Identify members of your group with matching bracelets – remember to message us for custom made ones!
  33. Use as trail markers so you don’t get lost
  34. Use to measure distance, just make sure you know how much paracord you have first!
  35. Knot into a hacky sack for entertainment
  36. Make a pit trap by lashing the cord across the mouth of a hole in the ground before placing loose plants on top – just make sure you remember where you set it!
  37. Tie pant legs closed to keep out bugs and ticks on hikes – or try our Quit Buggin’ Me Spray and Oil
  38. Hang a solar shower for easier use
  39. Make a scale balance
  40. Work out aid for sit-ups
  41. Tie to luggage handles when traveling for easy bag identification – I chose two colors and knotted them before tying to my suitcase and it helps a lot!
  42. Wrap around iPhone, or other phone, charging cords to repel cats from chewing on them
  43. Seal punctures in broken metal appliances, just melt the nylon and let it seal the hole – use caution!
  44. Wrap a hammer to absorb shock, and for better grip on the handle
  45. Stake our an area or grid of space
  46. Tie a broken door or window closed
  47. Repair broken flip flops
  48. Use it to train a horse or dog via lead or leash – just probably not a cat!
  49. Secure weights to a pop up tent – my husband and I had to do this before the incoming hurricane got stronger!
  50. Use as a guide when crossing a stream, just be careful if you’re the first one across to attach the cord to the other side

That was quite the list, don’t you think?! Let me know what you think by sending me a message or leaving a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions, plus any other uses you can come up with for paracord. Look forward to hearing from you!

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Hurricane and Flood Preparedness

  • Gather needed supplies while keeping everyone’s medical needs in mind, as well as any other specific need each person may have. Don’t forget about your pets!
  • Gather supplies for at least three days.
  • You will want to make sure that all of your important documents are in a safe and secure location, a safe way is by transferring all important documents and family photos to digital copies with password protection on them.
  • Remember to always stay up to date on your insurance policies.
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The most important advice I can give is to always evacuate. The best way to know that you and your family are safe, is to leave the dangerous areas and stay ahead of the storms. If you stay behind after the government issues evacuations, you can get trapped and it will become harder for you to get out later on down the road. Not only would it endanger your lives, but also the lives of the first responders that would be sent in to rescue you. Once flooding starts, it becomes more and more dangerous for you, so always remember the following:

  • Do NOT drive or walk through flooded areas
    • Remember: “Turn around, don’t drown
  • Stay away from moving water because you never know when the water will speed up and wash everything in its path away
  • Your best chance, if you do stay behind, is to get to the highest ground possible and wait for emergency response teams and rescuers
  • If flooding in your area is possible, you should always be prepared to move to higher ground or leave at short notice

While we get into more of flood and hurricane season, it is always best to be prepared, never rule out the possibility of a natural disaster hitting around where you live. Stay safe and always be prepared!

Learn About Natural Disasters and How to Prepare for Them

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  • Power Outages (Unexplained): when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. They can occur at any time, last for any length of time and can have a serious impact on you personally; as well as your community and the economy.
  • Wildfire: an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, the grasslands or a prairie. They can happen anywhere, and at anytime, with a risk factor that constantly increases within a short amount of time. Additionally, they can cause flooding, disrupt transportation, gas, power and communications.
  • Hurricanes: a massive storm that forms over warm ocean waters and moves towards land with potential threats of powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, flooding, tornadoes and landslides. They can occur along each United States’ coast line, whether that be the east coast (Atlantic Ocean), the west coast (Pacific Ocean) or the gulf coast (Gulf of Mexico).
  • Floods: a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. They come with little to no warning, can cause power outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides. Floods are caused by rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, overflows of dams and/or other water systems.
  • Winter Storms: range from freezing rain, ice and moderate snowfall over a few hours to a blizzard that lasts several days, or a combination of the two. Normally they come with dangerously low temperatures. Winter storms can immobilize a whole region and can shut down heat, power and communications services, and can last for several days. Roadways and walkways become very dangerous due to icy conditions, thus leading to residents needing to stay home or at work without utilities until it is safe to drive, ride and/or walk outside.
  • Tornado: a rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground and, though not always, is visible as a funnel cloud. Lighting and hail commonly occur in storms that produce tornadoes. Damages caused by tornadoes range from unsubstantial to catastrophic; and injuries ranging from minor to serious and even life threatening. It can disrupt transportation, power, gas, communications and other services both in its direct path and in neighboring areas. Tornadoes, and the storms they accompany, can produce heavy rain, flash flooding and hail.
  • Earthquake: a sudden shaking of the Earth caused by the breaking and shifting of underground rock from either volcanic or tectonic origins. They can cause structures and roads to collapse and heavy items to fall, leading to property damage and serious injuries. Earthquakes can also cause fires, tsunamis, landslides and avalanches.
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  1. How will I/we receive emergency alerts and warnings? Text, phone call, radio, etc.
  2. What is my/our shelter plan? Stay in place, public shelter, underground, basement, etc.
  3. What is my/our evacuation route? Make sure to laminate a map with a highlighted route – or try invisible ink.
  4. What is my family/household’s communication plan? Walkie talkies, glow sticks/flashlights, morse code, etc.

Botany and Wildcrafting: An HA Course

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Begin Wildcrafting with Confidence!

In spring, as days get longer and longer and the temperatures rise, the sleepy heads of new plant life begin to emerge and we experience the green world’s revival. There is no better time to get into the woods and poke around for the many wild edibles and herbs flourishing in your area.

While foraging and wildcrafting are certainly hot topics nowadays, the idea of trekking into the woods to forage for your own food and herbs may have you feeling intimidated. Or you may even be a little scared, which is to be expected if you don’t know what you are doing, especially when trying your hand at it for the first time.

If you fall into this category, I have some exciting news to share with you!

  • Name all the parts of a plant, including the parts that makeup flowers, leaves, fruits, and stems.
  • Identify new plants anywhere in the world using a dichotomous key.
  • Understand how to decipher plant part differences such as leaves, flowers, and fruits of separate plant species.
  • Decode patterns in nature and gain insight into plant relationships and herbal and edible use by understanding these patterns.
  • Sense of the vast number of relationships that exist between plants and other organisms that are required for pollination, seed dispersal, and survival.
  • Understand how and when to use a plant’s binomial name and discover why a plant might have more than one name.
  • Dry plants in a way that maintains their vitality, aroma, color, and flavor.
  • Create your very own herbarium of pressed plant specimens.
  • Get to know plants on a deeper level through keying, drawing, coloring, and organoleptic identification.