Mountain House Freeze Dried Neapolitan Ice Cream Review

Mountain House Freeze Dried Neapolitan Ice Cream Review:

By Jason Wagner

Mountain House always does an admirable job at glossing their packaging.

Mountain House always does an admirable job of glossing their packaging.

Taste – 10/10:
Ah, 10/10! You might be asking why I would give out a 10 out of 10…than again you probably aren’t asking yourself that; why would you? Anyways, you will almost certainly love this ice creams bold, creamy flavor so long as you understand that it won’t taste like a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. First of all, it’s definitely not cold, it does not melt and there are no ice crystals to be found. It helps if you remember that while this is similar to frozen ice cream, it is (clearly) a different entity altogether. So long as you don’t buy this with unrealistic expectations, you will be happy with your Mountain House Neapolitan ice cream.

The chocolate flavor is the most bombastic of the three, the vanilla is the most subdued and my personal favorite is the rich, but subtle strawberry bits. Overall, Mountain House’s freeze dried Neapolitan offering is a worthy addition to any survivor’s palette.

Texture – 10/10:
In short, the texture is hard, but crumbly. In theory that may not sound too appetizing, however, this product has a luscious way of slowly melting, or dissolving, if you prefer, in your mouth.
Shelf Life – 10/10:

Eh, another 10/10? I am starting to feel like an apologist…Still, if a product merits admiration, who am I to say otherwise? As with virtually all freeze dried pantry foods, Mountain House’s Neapolitan ice cream should keep fresh for 5 – 7 years, depending on the environment in which it is stored. Now, if you buy the canned version (a bunch of ice cream packs stuffed into a can, I believe) it could easily keep for 25 years…in the right environment.

The paper is a surprisingly effective defense against excessive crumbling.

The paper is a surprisingly effective defense against excessive crumbling.

Filling Factor – 1/10:
See, I am not a total Mountain House fanboy! As far as sticking to your ribs goes, this product fails in virtually every respect to the point that it’s nothing short of pathetic. Buy these as a moral boosting ends to a meal, not as a meal in of themselves.

Portability – 9.2/10:
As the picture clearly illustrates, this item is the near-epitome of portable. Stuff it in your BOB, stuff it in your backpack, stuff it in your face – it’s easy to keep on your persons at only 0.75 ounces.

Storability – 8/10:
As far as storing it goes, it stores as well as any other emergency dessert, I suppose.
Nutrition – 2/10:
Okay, so these are basically nutritionally dead. You get 120 cheap caloric units per pack, mostly from sugar and that’s about all you can expect from this. Of course, if you’re eating freeze dried ice cream for nutrition, you should probably reassess your outlook.
OpSec (Operational Security) – 10/10:
There is no cooking process for this what-so-ever, which means that there is no smoke or fire or scent. Those pesky raiders will never know that you’re enjoying freeze dried ice cream 20 years after the nuclear apocalypse. Hell, you don’t even have to chew! Letting it melt in your mouth is the tastiest method of consuming this Neapolitan delight, anyway.

Final Review – 8.5/10:
So long as you can accept the underwhelming facets of Mountain House’s Freeze Dried Neapolitan ice cream, you will absolutely love this product. To summarize, Mountain House’s freeze dried Neapolitan ice cream is a delicious treat that succeeds in nearly every single area except nutrition and portion size.

Tragically, the milk is not included.

Tragically, the milk is not included.


How to Stockpile Water, How to Purify Water:

How to Stockpile Water, How to Purify Water:

By Jason Wagner

Just some plain old bottles of water on the rocks.

Just some plain old bottles of water on the rocks.

Stockpiling Water:
If you’re of the wealthier slice of humanity, mountains of bottled water is the best option. Unfortunately for most of us – bottled water is far too expensive to store in the quantities that we would need for a protracted disaster. Humans need at least 8 cups of water per day, but realistically we will need over a gallon for drinking, cooking and add another gallon or two for personal hygiene…water can really add up.

Why is bottled water so ideal? The long and short of it is that bottled water is delicious, completely safe, easy to move, convenient and it is almost impervious to expiration.

This wouldn’t be much of an article if I all I had to say was to stockpile bottled water, now would it?

Selecting a Container:

In order to store water, it takes more than just you filling up some old Pepsi bottles with water…no, no – that will not work.

The best choice is to buy brand new specially made water storage containers. Any water container worth its weight is opaque, food grade, simple to store, easy to move and clean. Speaking personally, I prefer the 1 – 10 gallon containers; they’re big, but not so big that they’re troublesome.

A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds…is that 250 gallon super tanker sounding unappealing yet?

If you want to be all frugal-like, you can use old soda bottles and milk jugs, but only after you’ve thoroughly cleaned them with 3/4th cups of bleach to a gallon of water followed by a rinsing with clean water. Again, when your water is on the line it really doesn’t pay to be cheap…but if it comes down to using recycled containers or no water at all, then do what you must.

Building your own store of water is fairly basic. Simply fill the container and add a water preservative in the required amounts. A low tech water preserver is sodium hypochlorite AKA common household bleach. Steer clear from scented or otherwise modified bleaches. Also, don’t forget that bleach that’s over six months old can no longer be reliably depended upon.

For clean tap water, which is what you will be filling your containers with, of course, add four drops of bleach per gallon of water. A drop of bleach is generally recognized as 0.05 milliliters; that’s 20 drops per milliliter. A drop of bleach could also be quantified as 1/100th of a teaspoon.

The water should last upwards of 5 years when treated with bleach; however I think that cycling it every two – three years is a good policy. Many commercial water preservers guarantee 5 years of safe water.

Storing Water Without Chemicals:
So long as you wash out the containers with 3/4th cup of bleach per gallon of water followed by a good rinsing, you can safely store plain tap water for six months; it has to be tap water, though; non-tap water doesn’t have the same storage properties. Make sure to dump it and re-clean the container every six months.

Whether you used chemicals or went the more liberal route, be sure to store the water in a cool, dark area; basements are usually a fine choice.


Water Purification – Four Easy Methods:
If the water was harvested from nature, you need to purify it. Even the cleanest looking stream water could be a catalyst for all kinds of nasty organisms.

Boil the water for ten minutes to purge it of all viruses, bacteria’s and parasites. Boiling does not eliminate contaminants (chemicals, dirt) at all. In practice, as soon as the water hits a boil it should be safe to drink, but keep it at a boil for at least two minutes…ten is best. Note that boiled water tends to taste flat. If the water is polluted with sand, twigs, debris – anything physical, a nice little trick is to run the water through a coffee filter before the boiling.

This is done via an electricity consuming machine. If the power is out, you will have to use precious fuel and trust me – distillation machines run for a very, very long time. To give you some perspective – in 24 hours you will be lucky if you have 5 gallons of water. On the bright side – distillation will render water that’s free of chemicals, particles, viral, bacterial and parasitical contaminations.

Adding chemicals to contaminated water doesn’t sound like much of a solution – it isn’t, but in the apocalypse or an extended disaster sometimes the best solution is whatever is available. Questionable water can usually be made safe by adding up to 1/4th teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water. Let it sit for 30 minutes then it should be relatively safe for drinking.
Iodine is a common alternative to bleach that produces similar results with 1/2th a teaspoon per gallon of water. Whether you use bleach, iodine or one of those fancy water purification bottles (usually just easier to use bleach or iodine) chemical purification will not guarantee that all the potentially harmful organisms are gone, nor will it address any of the other problems that may or may not be plaguing the water.

Unless the water is chemically contaminated – the filter will give you good, potable water. Good models are made using filters with pores no larger than 0.3 microns; at that level, no harmful organisms (viruses, bacteria’s, parasites) will be able to pass through into the filtered water. The main drawback with using a filter is there high initial cost and that they do not remove chemicals all that well.




Hardening Your Home for Uncertain Times Today and The Apocalyptic Tomorrow

Article by Jason Wagner

Need I say any more? Harden your home so people like this guy only seem fairly terrifying.

Need I say any more? Harden your home so people like this guy only seem fairly terrifying.

Hardening your home, also known as reinforcing or fortifying, is the practice of making it more difficult for an intruder to invade your home. As with all things in life, nothing is ever simple. This applies to house hardening, too! Properly fortifying your house is one part retrofitting, one part improvising, one part planning/strategizing and another part knowing the laws. To put it another way, hardening your household isn’t just about the house – it is also about the inhabitants.

If you’re (understandably) asking how hardening your home applies to preparing for disasters, a home that’s more secure today will be safer tomorrow. Besides, if someone came into your house and stole your MRE’s, what would you eat in the Armageddon?

Making your home more defensible is something that should appeal to just about everyone. So many covet safety, yet so few of us seem to take the necessary steps needed to, well, make ourselves safer. But I know that you fine people, my readers, have an elevated sense of self-preservation!

If you live in one of the seedier parts of town, a little household hardening is downright necessary. If you’re a resident of one of those creepily idyllic places, it still doesn’t hurt to increase your home’s security.

The Gateways to Your Home –

Not all doors are equivalent. A design that I have a particular disdain for are those aesthetically pleasing glass doors; especially the ones that are mostly made of metal, with glass paneling. These glass/metal hybrid doors provide a false sense of protection. For the majority of lock types, all the intruder has to do is reach in through the broken glass and unlock the door.

To make matters worse, the main entryways are by and large the sturdiest doors of the entire house. If the perpetrator can get through that door, it’s usually only a matter of kicking down the rest.

If you’re adamant about having the damn glass door, consider making some modifications to them. Polycarbonate panels are similar in appearance to glass, but they lack glass’s brittleness; Lexan is a popular form of shatterproof polycarbonate that can be bought at most home improvement stores.

Glass is hardly the only problem.
Check your door for overall structural integrity. For instance, a wooden door with glued on panels are quite weak compared to solid doors. Be especially wary of hollow doors. You can get a pretty good idea if you door is hollow in the inside by knocking on it; does it sound hollow? If it does, you have got a weakling of a door.

Even if your door is sturdy, it’s only as strong as its weakest link.  In the spirit of eliminating the weakest link, you ought to consider buying one of those DIY door reinforcement kits. If you want to do something yourself, respectable enhancements can be made by adding additional strike points and hinges. Extra-long six inch screws can really help to hold a hinge together.

Check your Locks:

Deadbolt style locks are a nice upgrade over the more common spring bolt locks. It makes for good sense to equip the entry/exit doors with deadbolts.

Not all locks are created equal. While the price is not a definitive indicator of quality, those five dollar locks you’ve no doubt seen at the store are cheap for a reason.

Don’t keep a spare keep under your flower pot. Every single criminal and their cat know to look under your damn flower pot or your stupid door mat.

Having more than one lock on a door is nearly always a good policy. What might be a minor inconvenience to you (using two keys) might be what makes a would-be burglar bugger off. Half of hardening your home is dissuading burglars by projecting well-laid out security.

Double cylinder knobs are an uncommon type of lock that has a keyhole on both sides of the knob. In effect, the double cylinder lock system makes it impossible for an intruder to punch through a glass door and unlock it from the other side. If it weren’t for the inherent fire risks of such a system, double cylinder locks would be a superior choice for most people. In many settings, such as an apartment, double cylinder locks are highly discouraged.

Use some good judgment when inspecting your locks. For the sake of example, if you see that the lock can be removed, from the outside, with a screwdriver…replace that useless lock.

If a criminal(s) wants to take the loud and dumb approach, they’ll either kick down your door or burst in through your windows. If your doors are fairly secure, what do you think they will go for? I would never urge you to remove your windows…that would be weird of you, but rather you need to place some increased security around those areas.

If you have your house wired with video cameras, as you should, windows should always be in their field of view. Try not to back yourself into a corner with a window. If your house is being robbed, chances are somebody isn’t going to burst through it and grab you, but like I always say – don’t tempt fate.

There are ways to fortify your windows without significantly altering their clarity. One newer method is to apply something called window security film. Some of the better quality window films have the added benefits of adding insulating and/or UV-blocking characteristics to the windows.

Because of the web-like qualities of the film, instead of the window shattering all over the ground, the shattered glass (good movie) is loosely held together by the film. While the film is unlikely to make your windows impervious, it should buy you at least a few seconds.

Like with the doors, some people have opted for polycarbonate materials as a replacement for windows.


Barricading is important for one vital reason – it buys you time! Barricading is a simple thing that usually requires no structural modifications. The last thing you want to be doing in a home defense situation is desperately trying to think what will be effective at barricading your door while in a panic; worst case scenario, you will fail to barricade your door in time.

Ideally you will be able to set up an effective barricade in a matter of seconds. That means you need to have all the important components by the door. Dressers are one of the best barricades, but they’re but one example. Whatever you use to barricade, it should be heavy, but not so heavy that you cannot move them.

Whatever you’ve designated as your instrument of barricading, verify that it is acceptable for the task. I’d rather have something that took slightly longer to set up, but I was sure of its strength, than something that a strong intruder can just ram out of the way.

Always keep the barricading object near whichever doors you want to barricade. If something happens, you do NOT want to improvise at the last second.

Remember, that barricading is most effective when you’re barricading a reasonably well-built door. Otherwise the intruder can just break the door and climb/push over most barricades.

A Duty to Retreat:

As moronic as it may be, most states have made it so you have a duty to retreat in your very own home. If your life is in extreme danger, you may discharge your weapon in an effort to eliminate the threat, but with the laws being what they are – let’s just say that the gun is your last resort.

In theory, a duty to retreat actually makes sense for you. If you can avoid entanglements, nobody has to die, you don’t have a body on your conscious, your house isn’t damaged and everything is good; like in Genesis! If the intruder keeps prodding you, well, you know what they say about the bulls and the horns.

While there is no one size fits all plan for home invasions, most of my in theory strategies involve me falling back to what I consider the strongest, most defensible part of my house. If the criminal wants to tread any further, I’ve got a little double barreled surprise waiting for him. Just kidding, I use a pump-action shotgun.

Establishing a Safe-Point:

The safe-point, or plural, is where you make your stand. I call safe-points, safe-points because they offer reasonable protection, most people can designate at least one room in their house as a safe-point and they are different from the specially-made safe rooms. A safe room is nice, very nice, but a good safe-point should be effective enough to keep you quite safe until law enforcement arrive.
In my opinion, a walk-in-closet is probably the ultimate safe-point. The walk-in-closet typically has a sort of corridor setup, which gives you plenty of time to aim and take fire at a charging intruder, it can be barricaded, you can set up cover, there’s no worry of being flanked and there’s usually no window.

If you have a good walk-in-closet, perfect – otherwise, just pick a reasonably defensible looking room in your house.

Because the safe-point will be your preferred defensive position, you should keep a concentration of your valuables located there. If there’s a gun safe there, too – all the better; can’t let those criminals take our guns! More importantly, the safe being there ensures that you can get yourself to a safe place first, and then grab your firearm. Speaking of safes – all of your valuables should be in a strong, sturdy, static (immovable) safe that can’t just be pried open. You and your belongings only need to hang on for a relatively short period of time.

If you aren’t there to protect your safe, you better hope that the safe is resilient. Again, remember that the laws only protect YOUR LIFE; if you kill somebody that’s running away with your belongings, you could potentially be in a legal maelstrom for killing or otherwise harming the thief.

Tie your life with your belongings or (figuratively and literally) bolt them to the ground…or both.

Whether you choose a bedroom, bathroom, walk-in-closet or other for your safe-point, check the following checklist:

If a criminal cut off service to your phone, the cellphone will be your link to law enforcement. Remember, batteries lose their charge and must be recharged fairly regularly. Make sure that the cellphone is available at all times.

Can it be barricaded? If the room cannot be properly barricaded, pick another room to serve as your safe-point. Bedrooms are almost always relatively good choices

Having a stocked gun safe in the safe-point can be of great assistance. Depending on how fast the intruder moves, you may have little time to even get into your safe-point and barricade it. If the unwelcomed guest see’s you readying a weapon they will either attack you or flee. Get yourself somewhere safe, first, then arm yourself.

If you have a concealed carry permit, then that changes things a little bit. You can buy a code activated gun safe to put on your nightstand which basically gives you access to a loaded gun in ten seconds.

Formulate a Plan:

If you live alone, defending your house is pretty easy. Sure, you don’t have any wingmen to help you out, but then again you don’t have any children to round up, either. If you do have a family, children or not – they should all know the plan. If everybody doesn’t know exactly what to do, things could go shaky at best and deadly at worst.

The best plans usually involve no panicking and everyone regrouping and/or falling back to the safe-point. You do not want anyone’s best defense to be hiding under the sink while some maniac ransacks your house. However, given how a home invasion is as fluid a situation as fluid situations gets – make sure everyone is well briefed on contingencies.

Here’s a generic battle plan:
Under ideal (as far as home invasion scenarios go) circumstances, everyone should regroup and fall back into the designated safe-point of the house. Those that can’t make it should attempt to grab a weapon and make their way to the nearest, safest location. If someone doesn’t make the rendezvous and you suspect that they might be in significant danger, you should carefully seek them out.

As is always the case, melee combat is way too risky; carry a firearm, preferably a short barreled firearm such as a 4 inch handgun. Avoid the intruder as much as you can without delaying help to someone that you feel to be in extreme danger. Once you have found the person in question, make your ways back to the safe-point and hold out. If the path is blocked off, create a defensive position and hold it.

Remember – most burglaries don’t result in any physical harm to the occupants and even the dreaded home invasions usually leave the occupants alive. If you surprise an intruder by jumping out in front of them, the vagabond could very well light you up. Avoid running into the intruder, but should you unwittingly run into a dangerous situation – be ready to react quickly.


A good canine is nearly as helpful as a fantastic gun. I admit, I have a preference for big rough and tumble dogs such as the noble German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Irish Wolfhounds and Newfoundland’s, but nearly all dogs are useful. A small dog isn’t much in the way of an offensive weapon, but they still have that strange, keen canine sense that can alert you to an intruder. Also, an intruder might retreat if they hear a bark of any kind. And if they don’t run upon hearing the bark of a big Shep, I hope that they’re eager to meet their lord because the dog would be happy to oblige them.

It goes without saying that if you get a dog, take care of it, train it, love it – a dog is not a tool to be senselessly thrown at a problem.

When you’re done with the fortification/hardening work, check that it complies with the following guidelines:

Principally above all else – your objective is to make your home defensible against real world home invasion scenarios. Let’s keep those fantastic stories of heroism against all odds in the books. Do you feel like you and your house are reasonably well prepared for a home invasion? If the answer is a yes, good work.

Make periodic inspections of your house. Even if you aren’t an expert on home security, you might notice glaring weaknesses. Identify any weaknesses and address them.

Once done, your home should still feel similar to how it did pre-hardening. I mean, you still want your house to feel like a home.

In the event of an emergency, in particular a fire, a quick escape is paramount. Ensure that your household enhancements don’t significantly slow any escapes.

Don’t go overboard! No matter how hard you try – if enough people decide they want to take your house, they will seize it. Don’t act like you could take on a contingent of marines by nailing in some metal rivets to your walls! If you want to live in absolute security, try squatting in one of those NORAD bunkers.

Closing Words:

Home security is an immensely complex topic that could easily fill several books. This article merely touches on some good ways to enhance your homes security, while maximizing your safety. I recommend that you also investigate security systems, cameras, lightning solutions and anything else that will help to deter criminals. If this article gets a good response, I’ll write some more pieces on home defense.

Thanks for reading my article. It’s my hope that it will make your home a little bit safer!

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