Prepping Tip: How To Start A Fire With Wet Wood

By Mac Slavo

As preppers, we like to share important tips when we come across them.  One trick that could help us all immensely when the SHTF is knowing how to start a fire with wet wood: one of the most frustrating things on Earth.

When it comes to a SHTF situation, one of the most critical survival skills you can learn is how to start a proper fire. With this skill, you can cook your own food, dry wet clothes, warm yourself up, and even signal for help. Anyone who’s gotten a campfire going probably thinks they have it all figured out.

Let’s face it, it is rather simple: when we are wet and cold, we want to be dry and warm and we’ll need a fire to do that in an emergency. But making a fire out of wet wood isn’t the easiest thing to do. Even if you can get your tinder burning, the logs can stubbornly remain unburnt. So I’ve found a few tricks I’d like to share and maybe they’ll help the next time all you’ve got is wet firewood.

First, water usually only penetrates the outer layers of dead wood, so your best bet is to use a knife or hatchet to strip away the damp outer layer. You could also split the wood into smaller pieces exposing the dry inside. Once you’ve got your wood ready, employ one or some of the following and you should have a fire in no time!

Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)Cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly burn at extremely high heat and are a great low-cost alternative to commercial fire starters. Each ball will burn for about three minutes which is long enough to dry out the wet tinder and ignite it. If you try this, make sure you pack them in a sealed plastic bag.  They can get messy but are invaluable. Stock up on these! You can make about 200 of these yourself for under $10.

Steel Wool – This one is usually the most surprising and unknown. Steel wool is actually highly flammable and rather inexpensive. A few sparks from a Ferro rod will get a clump of steel wool burning at over 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of seconds. Steel wool also has the advantage that it can be lit electrically. If you rub the terminals of a 9-volt battery against the wool, it will heat to its ignition point in a couple of seconds.

Doritos Chips – Say what? Doritos chips are actually flammable. (It kind of makes you wonder what’s in them now, huh?) As it turns out, the chemicals, powdered flavors, and oil in the chips make the perfect combination for combustion. Almost any chip will do, actually, so if you dislike Doritos, don’t worry, experiment with chips you do like as most other chips are flammable as well. And if you get your fire started with steel wool or petroleum jelly soaked balls, you won’t need to light your chips on fire. You will have a crunchy snack to munch on as you warm up.

There are more options if you’re really in a pinch, but I chose to share these with you because of the low cost and effectiveness of them. Also, stocking up on all of these items is a good idea because they have several uses and could come in handy when the SHTF.

This article was sourced from SHTFplan.

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The Benefits Of Manuka Honey And Why You Should Consider Storing Some!

By Mac Slavo

Manuka honey is unique to New Zealand, and to obtain pure Manuka Honey is a specialized task for beekeepers. It’s produced by bees that pollinate the flower Leptospermum scoparium, commonly known as the manuka bush, and its antibacterial properties are what set it apart from traditional honey, and why it might be a good item to store in your prepper pantry.

Manuka honey is more difficult to extract and has a limited harvest period as it is only collected at certain times of the year. The therapeutic applications of manuka honey are well understood by consumers around the world, thereby creating a continually high level of demand.

Honey doesn’t really expire as long as it is stored properly and not exposed to too much heat. If you choose a room temperature, dark spot, then your honey will be good for several years making it a decent food and medicinal product to add to your supply. There is no need to refrigerate honey unless you live in a hot climate. Consume manuka honey at room temperature, as heating it could destroy some of its wonderful properties.

Here are a few good reasons to consider grabbing some manuka honey!

  1. WOUND HEALING – Multiple studies have shown that manuka honey can enhance wound healing, amplify the regeneration of tissue and even decrease pain in patients suffering from burns. Manuka honey helps create an acidic wound environment, which favors healing.  Manuka honey has also been shown to be effective at treating wound infections caused by antibiotic-resistant strains, such as Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It will also help create a more moist environment aiding in the healing process. Its most notable attribute is its effect on wound management and healing.
  2. SORE THROAT SOOTHING – Its antiviral and antibacterial properties can reduce inflammation and attack the bacteria that cause pain. Not only does manuka honey attack harmful bacteria, but it also coats the inner lining of the throat for a soothing effect.
  3. IMPROVE DIGESTIVE HEALTH – Digestive health is important all the time, but especially when you want the most out of your food, like after something catastrophic occurs. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is associated symptoms include constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and irregular bowel movements. Researchers have discovered that regularly consuming manuka honey may help decrease these symptoms by improving antioxidant status in rats.

For most people, manuka honey is safe to consume. However, it is important that some people consult a doctor before using it, including:

  • People with diabetes. All types of honey are high in natural sugar. Therefore, consuming manuka honey may affect blood sugar levels.
  • Those allergic to honey or bees. Those allergic to other types of honey or bees may have an allergic reaction after ingesting or applying manuka honey.
  • Infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend giving honey to babies younger than one year due to the risk of infant botulism, a type of foodborne illness.

All things considered, manuka honey is likely an effective treatment strategy that may accelerate the healing process when used in conjunction with more conventional therapies.

This article was sourced from SHTFplan.

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Prepping: Water Bath Canning With Vinegar

By Mac Slavo

After the post about vinegar went up, there were quite a few questions on some things, and I will attempt to tackle them one at a time.  Many had asked for a more detailed explanation on water bath canning with vinegar to preserve food.

First of all, water bath canning is a bit easier to master than pressure canning, according to most seasoned canners. But keep in mind, water bath canning works well for fruits and pickles, but can’t be used for low-acid vegetables like cucumbers (unless you have a lot of vinegar). Whether food should be processed in a pressure canner or boiling-water canner to control botulinum bacteria depends on the acidity of the food. Acidity may be natural, as in most fruits, or added, as in pickled food. Low-acid canned foods are not acidic enough to prevent the growth of these bacteria. Acid foods, on the other hand, contain enough to block their growth or destroy them more rapidly when heated.

*NOTE: You should NEVER water bath can meats for safety reasons! Invest in a pressure cooker for meat!

The term “pH” is a measure of acidity; the lower its value, the more acid the food. The acidity level in foods can be increased by adding lemon juice, citric acid, or vinegar. Bumping up the acidity helps prevent the growth of dangerous food-borne bacteria.  Cucumbers, for example, contain very limited acidity and typically have a pH of 5.12 to 5.78. Making sure that enough vinegar is added to the cucumbers is important to make safe pickles. Clostridium botulinum can grow in improperly canned, pickled foods with a pH higher than 4.6.  It is critical to use scientifically tested recipes for making pickles to ensure their safety, according to Clemson.

Most mixtures of low-acid and acid foods also have pH values above 4.6 unless their recipes include enough lemon juice, citric acid, or vinegar to make them acid foods. Acid foods have a pH of 4.6 or lower. They include fruits, pickles, sauerkraut, jams, jellies, marmalades, and fruit butters. –National Center for Home Food Preservation

The point is to be safe! No one wants botulism (a deadly form of food poisoning) after the SHTF! But not everyone has a fancy pressure canner and water bath canning could be the only option in a survival scenario.  In this case, again, ensure the pH is below 4.6 before you begin the process. You can use pH test strips, which aren’t too expensive and small enough to add to your prepper gear.

The below video guide is about the most thorough I could find to help you if you’d like to learn more about canning and safety.

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Essentially, to make your low-acid food safe, you’ll be “pickling” it.

NOTE: The only method recommended safe by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for canning vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood is a pressure canner. There are many on the market, and they won’t break the bank entirely.  You can get one from Amazon for under $70.

A pressure canner will add that extra peace of mind for certain, but a low enough pH should do the trick too. The reason vinegar is suggested to acidify food for preppers, in particular, is because of it’s many other uses. Lemon juice and citric acid could get the pH low enough to make the low-acid food safe to water can too.

*This article is for informational purposes only.  The USDA suggests pressure canning all low acid foods. Please be safe, and don’t risk botulism! **Caution: Never eat food from a jar that has an unsealed or swollen lid or that shows any signs of spoiling! Take all necessary precautions to ensure your food is safe to eat!

This article was sourced from SHTFplan.com

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5 Reasons You Should Consider Adding Chia Seeds To Your Food Supply

By Mac Slavo

We’ve all heard of chia seeds, but they are spoken and written about sparingly when it comes to adding them to your prepper supply. But there are several incredibly good reasons to consider storing chia seeds for when the SHTF.

The Mayans loved chia seeds so much that “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” So if you’re looking for a food item that will provide you with energy, nutrition, and the strength to make it through a catastrophe, look no further than chia seeds.  Grown in Mexico and South America, chia seeds are said to have been used by both the Mayan and Aztec cultures for supernatural powers.

1.Nutrition

Despite their teeny size, chia seeds pack a punch when it comes to nutritional content. Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, iron, and calcium, according to Medical News Today.

2. Egg Replacement

Although most people use chia seeds soaked in water as an egg replacement in vegan meals, they could be used similarly after the SHTF.  If all of your chickens die off or you’re unable to get to the store for eggs chia seeds could make a decent replacement for foods that need some binding.

3. Digestion and Detox

A diet with adequate fiber prevents constipation and promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract. Digestive concerns are very real for those who consider themselves to be preppers, and chia seeds will be a huge help! Regular bowel movements are crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool, and we will all need our health to remain stable if we expect to make it through a disaster less dinged up than the average person.

4.Greens via Sprouts

Chia seeds can also be grown into sprouts, which will add a little more green to your SHTF diet. Because they quickly absorb lots of water, traditional sprouting methods using a jar are not advised.  If you put chia seeds directly into the water they will turn into a gooey gelatinous mess. That’s fine when using it as an egg replacement (as suggested in #2) but they just won’t sprout that way giving you nutritious greens. But using a terracotta dish, you’ll be able to effectively sprout delicious and wholesome chia seeds.

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5. Easy Storage

Chia seeds are incredibly easy to store, making them almost perfect for the majority of preppers to add to their stockpile of food. The antioxidants in the chia seeds allow them to be stored for months in a dark, cool place, like your cupboard, but because they will keep for up to 5 years, it is not unreasonable to add them to your SHTF food supply. Preparedness Mama suggests putting your chia seeds in plastic Ziploc baggies and pushing as much air from the bag as you can. Toss your baggies of chia seeds into a 5-gallon bucket and store them in a cool, dry place like most of your other dehydrated foods in storage.

NOTE: Because chia seeds can absorb 27 times their own weight in water, they work well for healthy digestion; however, they should be mixed with other foods or liquids before consuming, especially for people with a history of swallowing problems. Small children should not be given dry chia seeds.


This article was sourced from SHTFplan.com

Image credit: Pixabay

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Prepping Tips: How To Prepare Your Dog (Or Cat) For Survival

By Mac Slavo

Your dog is most likely not going to be forgotten when the SHTF, so why not have a contingency plan for him? Your beloved pet might be able to help you get through a catastrophe, as long as you make plans in advance.

The most important factor to consider is water.  If you have a well, you only need to have a method to get water from it in the event there is a power grid failure or malfunction. If you store your water, make sure you store extra for your four-legged friend. Dogs are often fine drinking water from a stream or a creek, and may not need as much as you think if a water source is readily available, but it is something to keep in mind.

Dog food will probably not be readily available if the country or globe is plunged into a primitive survivalist environment.  So obviously, the basics of food and water should be dealt with first. You should stockpile canned dog food and kibble if you find it on sale.  Oftentimes dollar stores a great place to find bulk, hugely discounted dog food.  It won’t be premium-quality food, by any stretch of the imagination, but it will keep your dog alive when society is crumbling around you.

Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to store kibble for your dog or cat. Try to find a food-safe grain storage bin to keep out the rodents and save about a one year supply.  This is handy for those who may want better quality dog food.  Saving it in advance is the way to go!

But there’s one suggestion that I have found personally helpful.  If you hunt and know how to kill your own food, you’ll have a leg up when the SHTF.  Instead of tossing out that chewy hock (the bottom part of the elk or deer’s leg) save the meat and boil it.  Dogs love this and as it approaches one year of being in the freezer during normal times, (it won’t keep forever) toss it in some boiling water with a little salt. Doing this is a simple way to help keep your dog fed and eliminate waste after a hunt.  Any other part of the animal that is not fit for human consumption, such as some of the organs (dogs particularly like the liver), could be saved and prepared in a similar manner for your dog (or cat, to each their own.)

The Happy Prepper also suggests making your dog its own bug-out bag!  Not only could that be a fun project, but it could help your furry friend and yourself if you wake up to a disaster.

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Try not to overload your dog with too many items, but things like paracord would be excellent additions to a doggie bug out bag.


This article was sourced from SHTFplan.com.

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3 Things To Consider BEFORE Going Off The Grid

By Mac Slavo

Have you ever wanted to go off the grid? Are you wondering if it’s the right thing to do for you and your family? Many ponder this idea and the implications, so if you’re one of those, here are three things you should take into consideration before making your decision.

1 – Make Sure You Can Meet Your Needs FIRST, Then Evaluate Costs

Before going off the grid, you will need to make sure you can meet your energy needs with alternative sources. If you cannot meet your needs, make sure you cut down on your energy usage so that it will be possible to make the switch to off-grid living. This will also help you make the right decision about which system could be the best choice for your situation.

You will also want to take the cost of these new systems into account. For the most part, the costs will come down to what you’ve decided your energy needs are. Most people can go off the grid for under $20,000 and most homesteads can get away with spending a lot less than that, but that’s still a large chunk of money for the average American. Consider your budget and save up before purchasing your system to avoid debt and interest payments.

You could even try a DIY wind turbine. You can make one for around $32 and it may give you an idea of whether this is the right lifestyle decision.



2 – Understand Your Systems and Know Their Weaknesses

Every system has a potential pitfall when you attempt to go off the grid.  Some of these will include the unexpected maintenance costs and the need for backup energy systems in case your primary system fails. Knowing how to operate and maintain these systems will be vital if you want to take yourself off the grid. Take the time to research and learn everything you can before making the switch so you’re comfortable with the decision about the system you’ve chosen and how to maintain it. Each system has advantages and disadvantages and you’ll need to understand them before making a choice.

You should also keep your energy sources diverse.  Diversification all but ensures you’ll have enough energy for your needs.  For example, don’t rely solely on solar power especially if you live in a place with limited sunny days.  Try using both solar and wind, and maybe add in a backup generator, just in case.

3 – Know Your State’s Laws

Some states have made it illegal to go off the grid.  California, for example, requires single-family homes to be connected to the power grid. Those who would like to take their homestead off the electric grid in Pennsylvania are required to contact their local government for an ordinance, pay some fees, and obtain licensing for them to operate within the law. In contrast, going off the grid in Hawaii is not only legal but often encouraged due to the limitations of the existing grid system.

It is important to consider your location, as some states may not even allow you to live off the grid. Perhaps you could consider a move if you live in California and going off the grid is important.

If you have decided to go off the grid, congratulations! It’s a big decision, but one that will come with freedom and sustainability.

Happy Homesteading!

Helpful hint: you could try a wind turbine kit from Amazon. While there are several options, choosing the right one for your budget and energy needs might be possible. Amazon also offers highly rated solar kits as well if you have decided solar power is right for you!

Click here to subscribe: Join over one million monthly readers and receive breaking news, strategies, ideas and commentary. You can read more from Mac Slavo at his site SHTFplan.com


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Can You Be A Minimalist AND A Prepper?

By Mac Slavo

Minimalism is having a moment, and a quick perusal of YouTube will have you wondering why you haven’t tried it before, other than it seems like it is diametrically opposed to prepping.  But why can’t you be both?

Minimalism and prepping can actually go hand-in-hand. There’s really more overlap in ideas than most will admit. On the surface, minimalists and preppers look very different, but all you have to do is dig a little deeper and you will find that the methodologies both employ are actually very similar.

Serious preppers understand that survivalism is not just about the hoarding of stuff, but about carefully selected items that will give them a leg up during an apocalyptic event.  Minimalists also usually only keep items that are useful to them, making them not only unburdened by the baggage of “stuff”, but capable of distinguishing from wants and needs, overlapping the area into the “prepper’s mindset” quite easily.

Minimalists are used to living with less. They don’t need designer handbags and extravagant body washes to get through. Because of this, they often save a good portion of their income, freeing up more money for those needs (like a water filtration system) by saving on the wants.

Minimalists also often choose smaller homes (the tiny house movement is having a moment) since they have fewer items they need to store. But those small abodes are easier to take off the grid in a SHTF situation too. They require substantially less power than a standard-sized American home.

Just like prepping, minimalism is not for everyone.  Many will have trouble giving up their beloved possessions and the public is often skeptical of both.  Many look down on preppers, too, for taking their survival into their own hands and storing extra food and water while average people hoard things like shoes. Others tend to look down on minimalists for wearing the same few shirts in rotation and never replacing them until they are worn out.

Minimalists and preppers also share another common thread: those who practice one or both are above the rampant consumerism ravaging the lives of and indebting most Americans. Both avoid buying up every sale item in sight just to have it and both really evaluate every purchase made making certain it’s necessary and “the right one.”  The truth is, neither prepping or minimalism is “normal” to the average overspending, deeply indebted American who has no idea why they can’t make ends meet.

Additionally, most preppers and minimalists reject the very idea of waste—food, perishable goods, and money. Both have learned to tailor their lives (whether it’s prepping or minimizing) in a way that allows the use of literally everything (composting, for example, is a great way to eliminate food waste.)   Minimalists often employ this strategy too and eventually grow their own food decreasing their reliance on others.

Minimalists don’t “go without;” rather, they’ve learned to live with less. They simply narrow their focus and really home in on what is truly a necessity just like preppers do.  After all, there’s only so much you can fit in your bug-out bag.

You can be both! The key is to find balance and do what’s right for you. There is no right or wrong way to prep, just like there is no right or wrong way to be a minimalist.

Hang onto the joy and peace you get from not being weighed down by excessive belongings while maintaining the comfort and confidence you get by knowing you are prepared to be self-sufficient in the event that any ordinary support systems break down. –Off Grid News

Another great article on the similarities between preppers and minimalists can be found by clicking here. Off Grid News did an excellent job highlighting how you can be a minimalist and a prepper at the same time.

Click here to subscribe: Join over one million monthly readers and receive breaking news, strategies, ideas and commentary. You can read more from Mac Slavo at his site SHTFplan.com

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Japan’s Medical Freedom: No Vaccine Mandates And Healthier Children

By Mac Slavo

As politicians in the United States do their best to remove Americans’ freedom of choice when it comes to vaccines, Japan has medical freedom.  There are no vaccine mandates in Japan and their children are growing up healthier than ours.

Officials in California are desperately trying to take away the rights of their residents by seeking to override medical opinion about whether or not a person is fit for vaccination, while politicians in New York are mandating the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine for 6-12-month-old infants even though that vaccine’s safety and effectiveness “has not been established.” (Link to Merck’s website – the creator of the MMR vaccine,) By Merck’s own admission, this vaccine is probably not safe, especially for infants.

Care to purposely give your 3-to-4-month-young baby gastrointestinal illness and upper-respiratory distress? Up your chances of sickening your child with these serious health crises by 40 – 60 percent, simply by getting a nurse or doctor to inject the so-called “safe and effective” MMR vaccine. Yes, the Measles, Mumps & Rubella shot, or choose any of them separate too, and the results are virtually the same.

This is according to the FDA and a vaccine trial run on American kids. A shockingly high percentage of the children tested suffered extreme illnesses just days and weeks after receiving the same vaccine New York’s Governor (Bill “Adolf” de Blasio) wants to utilize in order to force-vaccinate all the Orthodox Jews (who all know better and opt out using religious exemptions).

The insidious CDC has been fully exposed only thanks to an FOIA request (Freedom of Information Act), and now the MMR may be considered the 3rd most dangerous vaccine known to mankind, running close behind the deadly HPV vaccine and the infamously defective and mercury-laden flu jab (influenza vaccine). –Natural News

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Instead of using force to vaccinate, perhaps scientists and doctors should take a quick look at what’s been going on in Japan. With a population of 127 million, Japan has the healthiest children and the very highest “healthy life expectancy” in the world. The country also boasts the least vaccinated children of any developed country. Now let’s compare the good ole USSA. The U.S. has the very highest infant mortality rate of all industrialized countries. More American children are dying at birth and in their first year of life than in any other comparable nation. Oh, and more than half of those children who do survive, develop at least one chronic illness, reported the Children’s Health Defense.

You can’t handle the truth about vaccines (Ad)

The U.S. government, in bed with Big Pharma, is sacrificing our children for profit. What you won’t hear from vaccine advocates or the mainstream media, is that Merck is in court over MMR-related fraud. Whistleblowers have alleged that the pharmaceutical giant rigged its efficacy data for the vaccine’s mumps component to ensure its continued market monopoly. The evidence has given rise to two separate court cases. In addition, a CDC whistleblower has alleged the MMR vaccine increases autism risks in some children. Others have reported that the potential risk of permanent injury from the MMR vaccine dwarfs the risks of getting measles.

All of these risks involved with getting vaccinated are being covered up by government agencies (FDA and CDC) and the politicians simply don’t care.  The vaccine industry is for profit and until safety and saving lives is more important than money, the government and Big Pharma will continue to sacrifice our children to line their own pockets.

Children’s Health Defense

You can read more from Mac Slavo at his site SHTFplan.

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FDA Approves Controversial GMO Salmon For Import

The United States Food and Drug Administration has decided that their previous ban on genetically modified salmon can be lifted.  In 2016, Congress said the salmon could not be sold in the United States until the FDA finalized labeling guidelines to inform consumers the product was genetically engineered. That’s when the FDA implemented the import alert.

But all that has changed now. In 2015, the FDA deemed the AquaAdvantage Salmon safe, marking the first U.S. approval of a genetically engineered animal intended for food.  But the 2016 import alert prevented the salmon from being sold in the U.S…until now.

According to CNN,  Congress passed a law directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set a national mandatory standard for disclosing bioengineered foods. That standard was issued last December.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said because of the 2016 law and the USDA’s new standard, the FDA “no longer has the authority to issue labeling guidance,” CNN reported. “However, the FDA believes this Congressional mandate has been satisfied by the USDA’s issuance of final regulations implementing that law in late 2018 because the law and regulations require that human food containing GE [genetically engineered] salmon bear labeling indicating that it is bioengineered,” Gottlieb said in a statement.

This will allow for the importation of genetically modified salmon eggs into the U.S. to be raised for human consumption.

For some, GMO, when used for food, is a blessing.  The ability to feed many more people than possible with strictly organically raised animals. Many feel that in order to sustain the constantly burgeoning population, GMO foods are a necessity. But for others, the health risks and long term unknown consequences are a curse.

Many claim GMO foods are safe; however, most of the research used to claim that GMOs are safe has been performed by biotechnology companies – those who stand to profit from proclaiming GMOs as “safe.” Still, “several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified (GM) food (AAEM 2009),” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.

Will you be trying some GMO salmon?

Click here to subscribe: Join over one million monthly readers and receive breaking news, strategies, ideas and commentary. You can read more from Mac Slavo at his site SHTFplan.com

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