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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
Anonymous Coward
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07/18/2012 06:09 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Don't put any faith in predictions

If I could imagine one aspect that has most harmed the Prepper community, it would be those false prophets who predicted a date and time when something was “happening with all certainty”, and then of course didn't.

Prepping is about learning practical skills that our ancestors utilized to live in harmony with the Earth. It was not the City of Eden, but the Garden, and ideally we would live in a manner in which we were intimately aware of the interconnectedness of all creatures, ourselves included. By doing so, we would not shit where we eat, but live intentionally in ways that made us and our environment thrive.

It is when we think that we can live the postmodern way, and then as a hedge buy a few things and weakly have a theoretical knowledge of tribal methods, that we fail. That dichotomy means we have not invested ourselves well.

Because people tend to prep this way, and because they see that we are declining in our connection with the Earth and each other, that it creates conflict and constant fear. So, some new prophet comes around, often to peddle a book, a religion, some supplies for 99.95, and that segment of the population buys into it.

Prepping is about living in the eternal Now. We practice and do these things now, because if things do get dire, then we cannot rush and get ready. Everyone who is weakly prepared will rush to get ready. We are ready now, at least reasonably so.

It is a big commitment to live like that, either choosing a weak attempt to prep, or a major attempt to prep, as either means committing to lifetime learning of skills, or choosing to mostly ignore reality.

What you say? Disasters don't happened! Look at all the failed predictions! I put it to you that disasters happen every day, and those who have an abundance of love, friendship, faith, and supplies will cope in silent ways with weather, divorce, death, unemployment, and illness...and because they have prepped in earnest in some ways, then they make it. Many others do not. The ones who do not have a lack of families and friends and supplies and a foundation, and they have to rely upon an often hostile government...a system that has failed us since the Great Depression.

Prep now, not because of being afraid or the latest prediction, but because if you did learn the old ways, then it will only enhance your life now. Learning about them now, makes you more affectionate, caring, believing, and hopeful. It is only when we become wrapped in fear and dread that we become tormented and afraid. Those are not preppers, but with followers of Thanatos (Death) as a Master.

"And there the children of dark Night have their dwellings, Sleep and Death (Thanatos), awful gods. The glowing Sun never looks upon them with his beams, neither as he goes up into heaven, nor as he comes down from heaven. And the former of them roams peacefully over the earth and the sea's broad back and is kindly to men; but the other has a heart of iron, and his spirit within him is pitiless as bronze: whomsoever of men he has once seized he holds fast: and he is hateful even to the deathless gods."
Hesiod 8th Century BC

When people get wrapped up in the latest prediction, they may be serving Thanatos without knowing it. It may be that they see the doom around them, and in all sincerity they cannot imagine surviving, and in that desire, they reach out to affect change. Often they speak of more guns and ammunition and little else.

Some are genuinely persuaded that the prediction is true. It may be true, but mostly those kinds of dire predictions have not happened, but lots of minor doom has. If they would switch to teaching skills and knowledge and affecting change, then how better off we would be.

Some are plain lazy, and think that they can throw money at problems in a hurry when doom is at the door, and that never works. We did that consistently during the Great Depression and after, but it was only because we became merchants of Death and Destruction and world policemen that our armaments pulled us from the brink of economic disaster, but at a terrible price and burden.

If all people had the ability to grow their own food, build the things that they need locally, and could pass that skill and freedom to the next generation, then how secure and wealthy we would all be.

We are selfish, and unless we feel immediately threatened, seldom will we act. Don't fall into that fallacy, but prepare because it is wise to know how to purify water, grow crops, gather herbs, perform first aid, hunt and trap, and protect ourselves by arm, foot, or ranged weapons.

Motivate yourself and others by positive encouragement and teaching skills, not by spreading fear that statistically will not happen. If the worst doesn't happen, then I have lost nothing by learning skills, and may become a more fully actualized human being in the process. If bad things happen and I can cope, then I may have a cushion to get my bearings and travel forward on my journey.

We are all in it together. Almost all of what I have written is about the vitality of community. Few brilliant souls know all the skills, and no one can be eternally healthy. We need each other.
Anonymous Coward
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07/18/2012 08:00 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Useful Barter Post-Shtf: Making charcoal

Uses for Charcoal:
Black powder
Water purification
Forging metals (Charcoal will burn up to 2700 degrees F.)
Sweetening distilled ethanol
Medicinal uses like removing toxins, treating wounds, brushing teeth, treating gastric distress
[link to www.drugs.com]
Deodorizer
Art and writing


You will not waste charcoal for grilling, but will utilize previously detailed means of efficient burning in small fires or solar ovens. The remnants of cooking fires that don't burn efficiently can be used in a similar manner as charcoal, but these will not usually be true charcoal.

Wood ash and a bit of charcoal and an aluminum can can be used to make a crude electrical battery. Wiring several in series ups the voltage (potential). Wiring several in parallel increases the amperage (flow). This has been previously discussed and forms the basis of a critical need post-collapse. Everyone will need batteries. See the link for a discussion of that very important barter item.
Thread: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF (Page 6)


A brief overview of making charcoal
[link to www.youtube.com]

A detailed four part video series on making charcoal
[link to www.youtube.com]


Next up: Making pine tar and birch oil
Anonymous Coward
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07/18/2012 08:11 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Note:
I shouldn't have to explain this, but charcoal brickettes are not the kind of charcoal listed above, but charcoal combined with chemical binders. You must not use this form in the manner listed above. That would be foolish and dangerous.

Some hardwood charcoal is made, but not knowing that process, I wouldn't use that kind either.

Try making a small batch of your own. Very small batches can be made in metal canisters as long as you vent the wood-gas that is forming. A small batch means improving the taste of water that has been purified.

[link to www.youtube.com]

Note the flammable wood gas coming out, a primary reason that tribal charcoal makers had to constantly watch the process as if that ignites, then the whole stack of logs could suddenly burn and the entire process was ruined.
Anonymous Coward
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07/18/2012 09:19 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Nobody ever mentions cannabis as a prime SHTF essential crop. Not only will the flowers be one of the best barter items you can imagine but the seeds provide one of the most complete and nutritious natural foods. The fibers of the hemp stalk will yield cloth and rope that is stronger than cotton and makes excellent clothes. Leaves can feed animals like cattle and goats and sheep. Any leftover scraps of stalk and stems you can burn for warmth.

Seriously, if there ever comes a time when our worst fears about SHTF are realized cannabis is going to prove to be a literal lifesaver. It's not just a drug. . . But that aspect of the plant will make you wealthy even in the worst economy. Not many natural medicines are better for psychological distress or physical pain. People who stocked up on cannabis seeds are going to be ruling their local areas after the first harvest no doubt. There is no other crop that can provide as much for people as cannnabis can.
Anonymous Coward
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07/18/2012 11:32 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Nobody ever mentions cannabis as a prime SHTF essential crop. Not only will the flowers be one of the best barter items you can imagine but the seeds provide one of the most complete and nutritious natural foods. The fibers of the hemp stalk will yield cloth and rope that is stronger than cotton and makes excellent clothes. Leaves can feed animals like cattle and goats and sheep. Any leftover scraps of stalk and stems you can burn for warmth.

Seriously, if there ever comes a time when our worst fears about SHTF are realized cannabis is going to prove to be a literal lifesaver. It's not just a drug. . . But that aspect of the plant will make you wealthy even in the worst economy. Not many natural medicines are better for psychological distress or physical pain. People who stocked up on cannabis seeds are going to be ruling their local areas after the first harvest no doubt. There is no other crop that can provide as much for people as cannnabis can.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 15959056


Thanks for participating, offering practical information, and making people smile. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew cannabis(MJ) and hemp. Separate plants by the way for anyone who doesn't realize though from the same family.

Because hemp was widely planted for making excellent cordage (rope), it is prevalent still in the Midwest in agricultural areas. There is a long list of it's uses, and should the SHTF, we will need hemp for making cloth as well as flax.

I encourage anyone with practical skills and insight here, particularly to encourage people to learn practically and not just as an academic exercise. There is wisdom in learning skills in a down economy that will provide new revenue streams too. Obviously for legal concerns, any discussion of growing cannabis is theoretical only.
Anonymous Coward
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07/19/2012 04:45 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Committing to a plan

If you have been reading this for very long, I am assuming that you think it is wise to plan ahead. How do you best do that?For me, I think that it's about intentional planning.

I scout around my area and look and note places where this or that can be found, and over time I note if it's consistently in that area too? Nature isn't that fickle. Usually a species can be found in the area unless there's a disturbance to explain for it. And something like the presence of a resource will remain unless it is harvested. When something is available, then there is a potential cache to draw from, and if it's a species, unless I overharvest, then I can probably continue to harvest from it next season.

This regularity is what allowed tribal people to move from cache area to cache area, and by managing their resources, they could stay for a season, but possibly would strike the camp and relocate in Winter. Small villages grew over time, and unless people left to form new ones, then the village would get too large and unwieldy.

Dense forests with clearings for the village can become meadows if not carefully managed. Taking resources will always come from close by, but taking resources too close to the homes will mean an inability to do that when the weather is bad. Much planning will have to occur to eat enough, but not abundantly, and to preserve extra for that time when things cannot be gathered. Using it up quickly in Summer could mean the death of fragile tribe members from hunger in Winter. Taking firewood from too close could mean an inability to gather it and walking in the bitter cold and dying from simple sicknesses.

Disease, malnutrition, famine, starvation, old age, and war would all drawn down on the tribe, and this would allow Nature to build back up its resources too. Most often the resources played out, and it meant that migration was ultimately necessary.

No tribe does well unless there is a sense of history and a plan. Often those roles fell upon the chief, the shaman, and the elders. Culture was maintained by art, religion, hunting styles, gathering resources, and myth.

Your family will be your tribe initially. Chances are if the SHTF that some people will get adopted into that tribe too. Over a long period, the tribe grows and each member must work within the plan in order to maintain survival and thrive under less than ideal circumstances.

This means that all tribe members have a sense of Vision and a common ethos and work toward that goal. If they don't, then they aren't tribal members and usually will move on to locate a tribe that they do align with.

If there is no plan, then there is no idea of how to do things, and the least adversity will disrupt and damage the tribe.

Sanitation, water resources, agriculture, gathering places, clay, lumber, rock, livestock, trapping areas, hunting spots, fishing, etc must all be intentionally managed. Much of the day is full of routine and work. It is a constant struggle, not an eight hour a day desk job. It is no wonder we get restless when inside. It is not our natural way.

We are lucky in some ways, as many homes have a lot of resources that cannot easily be recreated, but we can cannibalize some things to make others. A radio will fail, several may fail, but by assembling parts from those, you may make one that operates. These items will be very valuable, even strategic because of assisting with intelligence gathering.

No doubt trade will occur from a lack of a resource. That happened among the First People as they traded goods from remarkable distances despite their distrust of outsiders. Salt cannot be easily harvested unless there is an ocean nearby, a mineral lick, or a salt mine. However, it may be that a certain local stone, a pigment, or a craft was prized, and that in turn created a suspension of suspicion. Trade will happen again, but it must be carefully planned and negotiated after a collapse.

War is extremely expensive in supplies, but more in hands to bring in the harvest. Even if you could take territory, you most likely can not hold it for very long for logistical reasons. Then, you have to defend that new territory too, or maintain control over the subjugated members. Occupations rarely work in history. This is why pillaging was more common, and it's a major concern with defense. Often places were raided seasonally, but allowing time to pass and resources to accumulate.

There is always a chance that one group will steal or raid from another tribe, but often that resulted in either a keystone species at the top of the food chain, or death to the interlopers. This meant that careful study of the martial arts, ranged weapons, cavalry, edged weapons, tactics, intelligence gathering, and strategy had to be planned too.

You will never rely solely upon one area for a resource, for if it's critical like water, then you must have an alternative in case of trouble. Whoever controls that resource, can control the tribe, and you must not allow that to be the interlopers. Simply cutting off salt, game, water, lumber, etc can stymie the tribes ability to persist.

When tribe members waste a resource, they are in effect taking the role of the interlopers. This is why education is a crucial aspect and this training was imparted through the cultural methods listed above. If education is not fostered in some manner, then you doom the tribe's future after a single generation. We're seeing this play out now.

No tribe can create a big enough surplus for all disasters. A previous harvest may have been abundant, but most likely that will be traded for goods not found within, and counting upon a regular harvest in the upcoming season. Few tribes could handle multiple years of bad harvests without severe loss of life. Few tribes had sufficient capacity to store goods for multiple years with any reliability of preservation. A large animal can easily be wasted if you cannot preserve it successfully even though you took it down.

Have a surplus and tools, that is all well and good, but have a centering plan for that is BEST.
Anonymous Coward
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07/20/2012 01:38 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
There is some good and usefulness in most people

We have been led to believe that beauty and usefulness appears one way. That paradigm of course is spoon-fed to us by merchants selling goods, so any intelligent person must consider the falseness of that process. It is an evil means of artificially raising up one type of people, and discounting the vast majority of the rest. What is amusing is that it works consistently and steals from that vast majority.

Miyamoto Musashi, a samurai who lived in the seventeenth century wrote:

“In the construction of houses, choice of woods is made. Straight un-knotted timber of good appearance is used for the revealed pillars, straight timber with small defects is used for the inner pillars. Timbers of the finest appearance, even if a little weak, is used for the thresholds, lintels, doors, and sliding doors, and so on. Good strong timber, though it be gnarled and knotted, can always be used discreetly in construction. Timber which is weak or knotted throughout should be used as scaffolding, and later for firewood.”

There is a use for all kinds of wood since the value of its strength and appearance can be utilized in various ways. Likewise he goes on:

“The foreman carpenter allots his men work according to their ability. Floor layers, makers of sliding doors, thresholds and lintels, ceilings and so on. Those of poor ability lay the floor joists, and those of lesser ability carve wedges and do such miscellaneous work. If the foreman knows and deploys his men well the finished work will be good.”

The foreman should take into account the abilities and limitations of his men, circulating among them and asking nothing unreasonable. He should know their morale and spirit, and encourage them when necessary. This is the same as the principle of strategy.”

This is the well worn path of way of being a leader. There is beauty and value in just about everything you will find in Creation. That is true in the woods and meadows and creatures and species who live there. That is true within the tribe and those who desire to live among them.

People are so very different, but they often have strengths (and weaknesses), but we can learn and change. This means that we are not better because of comeliness, for that is surely transitory, but we are able to be of great value.

Some people may seem to be a burden and a hindrance more than helper and a leader. Trust me that many people came to the West seeking freedom, but knowing almost no skills, but they learned from old hands and by listening. Some had come with heavy burdens, checkered pasts, and many mistakes. Despite this, they sometimes succeeded and found new communities who accepted them, adopted them, and welcomed them.

This may be what happens in a collapse. Those around you may have few skills that will be of little benefit to a fledgling community that is trying to cope with disaster. With a lot of hard work, mostly listening, seldom talking, and courtesy, those neighbors may end up saving you.

There are many things that need to get accomplished. If we don't work together post-collapse, then it is guaranteed to degenerate into anarchy and destruction and death. Even the best armed person defending a redoubt cannot repel a mob. But a good leader can motivate, teach, and pass on skills to save as many as will listen, and by doing so, perhaps work for the cure of their own soul.

Creation is so nuanced by different species, that there are wonderful discoveries to be found. These are gifts from the Source placed in each rock, tree, shrub, herb, fish, bird, mammal. Look for it. Find the value. Find the good medicine. Find the Way.
Anonymous Coward
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07/20/2012 02:45 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Reframing what is food and filling your belly

Please don't say you are starving until you've gone three days without food. Up until then, you simply have not been able to find food and still can easily make it. I highly recommend you try fasting for that long to experience what the sensations are like, and then when faced with it, you'll cope better.

When this happens, your blood sugar drops, and you feel a sense of frustration and weakness. If it persists then you usually cope by a lower awareness of hunger, but a numbness and vacancy in mental alertness. The longer it occurs, the weaker you get, but as long as you have water, you can easily make it two weeks based upon the standard fat reserves that the average adult has. It is annoying, but it won't kill you. Low blood sugar coupled with high caloric demand through work will kill you, so that's why we eat. Most people are sedentary, and if not expending loads of calories can manage.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and this certainly applies to a varied diet. Fasting teaches us that in remarkable ways, and it's another good reason to fast. It makes you reevaluate what is important and vital, and what is not.

Our diet is incredibly varied by spices, salt, plant and animal and fish sources, textures, and ways or preparing all of that into a heart meal. A good cook is acutely aware of this, and deliberately uses a plethora of ingredients and methods to make a meal taste delicious.

In a post-SHTF situation, you will not have a varied diet at all unless you grow, gather, harvest, and preserve it. The hardest aspect is waiting to eat it as you may be very hungry. Reframing your level of hunger and what you consider food will assist you with that process.

A very ready source of protein is mice. Mice have always been around since Humanity chooses meadows and clearings to dwell in. They were there first. They will probably be there afterwards too since they are prolific in reproduction, and can locate food easier than you can.

Because of this, they will be commonly found, and should be a part of your survival diet. Of course, no one will like it. If you've ever seen Never Cry Wolf, the Arctic film about studying wolves, then you know that the biologist ended up eating mice to see the importance of them for sustainable nutrition. He did just fine.

It is easy to catch mice, but you'll never catch them all. They are a nuisance and a disease vector, so eliminating that is helpful. Ideally it wouldn't include consuming them, but in a post-SHTF scenario, we can't be fussy. Fussy people will starve.

Here are two methods. They work. Even if you didn't eat the meat, your cats and dogs would, so while they might be able to catch enough, given a large pet mass, if you love your animals, you'd set this up towards that purpose.



Anonymous Coward
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07/20/2012 06:20 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment

I highly recommend that you watch this program with anyone who will be in your tribe. This can be far more persuasive that your voice to communicate the urgency of preparing and learning skills NOW. Really it is too late, but some of you will make it if things accelerate, and you earnestly accumulate a surplus.

The first season is the only one that I have seen, but it impressed me. The people you think will make it, may not in the end be who does. People have histories or experiences and as a result they bring whatever training that have to the community.

If you don't have an adequate level of physical strength and endurance, then commit today to your personal best on a training regimen, today. Great changes can occur in six to eight weeks. Trying to achieve that in a hostile environment with inadequate nutrition equals death.

Sometimes people have few practical experiences, but they have mental toughness. It is an enormous equalizer as those with greater physical strength may do just fine early on, but will falter later. Mental toughness makes you get off your ass and do something to help yourself. Thee most likely will be no one to help you. Anger is no good of itself, but doing a self-assessment and reaching down deep for courage, or finding that from the Source will win the day.

Many times it's easier if you have family or loved ones as they are counting upon you to fulfill some role, and you giving up means that they will perish. It's pretty unforgiving in some environments, and with a parent as a role model, or a partner to help carry their burdens, translates into them taking your responsibilities on their shoulders for the rest of the tribe.

Personally I think it's equally important to be a person who has deep sincerity and a willingness to learn. As stress increases, they have those coping mechanisms to pull from, and often it's the result of remembering mentors who helped them cope. They decide that they are not losing anyone on their watch, not if they can help it, and though some will inevitably die, they will minimize the casualties as best they can. They will adapt in order to preserve the community, and therefore they don't focus on themselves.

If you only cared about yourself in the past, then you'd damn well adapt and learn that this will not help you in the wilderness. 'Might as well not prep at all. Focusing on yourself, your inner voice will say, “You are inadequate, not good enough, might as well quit.” We are our worst enemies because we cannot shut out that awful suicidal voice inside when faced with stress. But...if you see that in others and can encourage and motivate them, they tend to reciprocate and do likewise and synergy takes hold. We are not armies of One!

Great battles have often been heroically won by the actions of a wise electrifying leader who motivated the troops to rally when the odds were horribly against them. Sometimes you only must persist in the battle to survive and wait for the enemy (whatever that is) to falter. Those who find courage may yet win.

[link to dsc.discovery.com]

Please watch this and see the mistakes that are made every day and think, “Yeah, I can honestly see myself making them too. Now, when faced with that situation, I will not commit those errors.”

Realistically there will not be berries on every bush in all seasons, nor nuts, not seasoned firewood, nor game, not fish, etc. Please do not merely bug out and die less than 30 miles from when you run out of gas and get lost in the woods.
Anonymous Coward
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07/20/2012 08:04 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Drought and Dehydration


Dehydration is a serious issue that seldom is well addressed in prepping. People discount that it can happen to them. They always say, “I drink plenty of water.” Right. The problem is they base this upon sitting in their comfy chair and under no work load and grabbing their chilled water bottle in a perfectly regulated 70 degree F home. That is highly unrealistic for a collapse.

Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS)
There are essential ingredients that you must have on hand. You of course need a reservoir of water, salt, sugar, and a little salt substitute (potassium chloride). To improve the taste, you can add an instant flavoring. In effect what you have created is your own sports drink. I used to make this all the time rather than spend a small fortune on ready made electrolyte solution. A lot of folks will consistently drink more fluids when flavored.

If you don't have those things on hand, then you're sunk. Think, if you are dehydrated and suffering and hoping to go haul very heavy water back that is sloshing around when you're weak, I got news for you.

We rely upon our thirst mechanism to tell us when to drink. That is WRONG. We are so disconnected with our body's needs that we consistently fail to administer self-care. Instead you build new routines based upon what has been calculated by authorities like the military or Red Cross, and follow their guideline to the LETTER. Then you raise this under workload.

Many times after 7-10 days of greatly increased workload and exposure to the outdoors, we lose more fluid than normal and most often lose 10 lbs. Under drought conditions, you could lose twice that. Much of that initial loss is water due to the body converting glycogen in muscle tissue for energy use. This happens since the muscles store glycogen immediately close to the area that needs it the most when performing work. We wish we would burn fat, but that is NOT what happens.

This causes a noticeable change in the face and arms in slender people. Athletes have a higher amount of glycogen in their muscles from training so many times, that they will be better off from their bodies adapting. Unfortunately they tend to do more work since they are stronger and the tribe relies upon them. They can wear themselves out shouldering the community's burdens. You must be vigilant as the tribe's medical person to prevent that. They themselves will probably discount it until it is too late.

Dehydration can also assert itself by happening through vomiting or diarrhea, and then you usually have a terrible problem getting the patient to drink ORS as they feel nervous about throwing it up or having to run to the bathroom. Usually it's better to let the vomiting or diarrhea pass as it eliminates the bacteria that is causing it. With hot conditions like the drought, that will be unwise. You could get into a vicious cycle.

Serious dehydration results in salts being unbalanced in the body, and loss of consciousness and heart problems. Someone who has a history of kidney or heart issues is particularly prone. The kidneys operate by working with your hormones and thirst response to regular this to maintain blood pressure. The heart pumps harder when the blood pressure drops. You can get into a place where there is almost no control of blood pressure mechanisms and fainting occurs.

Lay them down and elevate their legs. Much of the blood supply is in the legs due to gravity. Make them rest, drink the ORS, and try to stay calm. They can get disoriented and you need someone to watch over them as they might fall out of bed easily. It could become heat exhaustion. That can be lethal.

Obviously if vomiting and diarrhea is an issue too, then this designated person will be attempting to care for them, and will get contaminated by bacteria exposure through proximity to this. You all will.

As much as possible have tribe members keep a running tally of how much they drank that day and ask them about it. When the weather is hot and people are low on nutrition, then a state of altered perception occurs and they will not drink enough. Often you're dealing with low blood sugar, and this is partially why the sugar is in the mix.

We are used to consuming a lot of salt and sugar in our diet and that will suddenly be curtained. It's often added in to preserved food, but when you're eating game and fish, your seasoning has dwindled and your normal salt balance is off. Yes we all need less as it is healthier, but not necessarily when in a collapse.

If you've watched Frontier House or Out of the Wild series, then many of the participants went through both low blood sugar and dehydration and this weakness puzzled them. Couple that with their inner voice constantly telling them to “give up” they falter into weakness and illness.

There is one negative aspect of ORS. All of those salts result in weakening the teeth. Because many adults do not get enough calcium, and because when under strain your bones are remodeling the scaffold of the skeleton, then the body is screaming for calcium to continue to build. It must come from somewhere, and it's usually the teeth. ORS drank all the time will accelerate calcium leaching from teeth as it liberates it. This is why you must find calcium through leafy green herbs in the meadows.
Anonymous Coward
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07/20/2012 10:09 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Drought levels animated to show an absence of moisture in the soil since Jan 2012



Another version simply constructed another way which shows the estimated health of the plants too.


Some area like Florida and Texas had been in a long lasting drought and have had some relief.

This will give you some sense of scale as to the disturbing extend of the drought. Pray for slow and persistent rain as that will allow the water to soak in and not run off.
MRoot

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07/20/2012 10:27 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Excellent Thread.

I think the most underrated teaching to our children, especially useful in dangerous times/conditions, is
silence.

To be quiet when instructed to do so and remain quiet under stress is critical. This is challenging even under the best conditions, especially for very young children.

Just my 2 cents.

Very valuable thread. Thanks OP.

rose
"Betimes must rise who few reapers has, and see to the work himself; much will miss in the morn who sleeps: for the brisk the race is half run."
Har

"Time is but the stream I go fishing in. I drink at it, but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. It's thin current slides away, but eternity remains."
Thoreau, Henry David
Anonymous Coward
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07/20/2012 10:29 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Excellent Thread.

I think the most underrated teaching to our children, especially useful in dangerous times/conditions, is
silence.

To be quiet when instructed to do so and remain quiet under stress is critical. This is challenging even under the best conditions, especially for very young children.

Just my 2 cents.

Very valuable thread. Thanks OP.

rose
 Quoting: MRoot


Thanks.

Here is a link to a PBS special which details the historical significance of the Dust Bowl, and the decade long effects from it. It would be well worth watching to see what happened then, and what could happen again.
[link to video.pbs.org]
old guard

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07/20/2012 07:51 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
bump
Anonymous Coward
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07/20/2012 09:43 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Already we are hearing about the effects of the Drought upon corn, wheat, and soybean prices. Some corn is being fed to attempt to hogs rather than simply let the crop die.

During the Dust Bowl period, the dryness devastated the topsoil. There were few windbreaks, lines of trees to reduce the velocity of the wind from blowing across the plains. As a result, these winds tore off the topsoil and carried it from the regions of Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. Eventually these dust storms permeated everything and everyone, and caused dust-pneumonia as the particles infiltrated as grit into the mouths and lungs of everyone. There were many deaths, both from hunger and from illness. Eventually the dust storms traveled to Chicago and Washington D.C.

Because the same trees that were planted as windbreaks after the Dust Bowl use a lot of water, some folks in these same areas are talking about killing those trees. Seems foolish.

Many livestock died. Some suffocated in the worst of the blasts. As the drought continues and feed prices rise due to speculators, then it may be that a lot of livestock will be killed since it may not be worth it to attempt to bring them to market since they may die any way. It happened back then as the government created a program to kill the adult cows and calves and receive a subsidy.

Anyone who worked in those industries back then headed West in search of jobs. Other than fracking, what jobs are there now? What states are hiring?

I truly believe that the Drought of 2012 will have a major impact upon the economy, but because it's agriculture, and people don't think of themselves as connected to the Earth, most people will not consider it as integral to their lives.
Anonymous Coward
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07/20/2012 09:52 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Having grateful hearts

It will be tough post-collapse. Many people are obese and terribly out of shape. Their muscles are not developed and neither is their skeletal structure made to withstand harsh physical labor. The body is very dynamic however, and will under stress and adequate nutrition transform into what the person needs.

For this to happen, many little successes are necessary to gradually improve. It takes the will to commit to ceaseless discipline, else slacking off will result in having to double up efforts on other days, and this is very difficult to do with routine chores like gathering water, firewood, resources, and food.

Minor setbacks are to be expected. No path is perfectly smooth, and we are used to coasting most of the time by driving somewhere in our vehicles instead of riding our bikes, walking, canoeing, or riding a horse. Each new challenge can either be an opportunity or an irritation unless you do a mind-shift and see the beauty around you, the chance to live in community, and be at one with the Earth's natural rhythm and song.

If you give in to complaining, then others in your tribe will join that chorus instead. Misery loves company. It is unwise and will tear down fragile community that the leader facilitated and that the group synergistically built up. It is a voice of the Destroyer that adds to the discordant notes and breaks the harmony of your choir.

It is why I have spent so much time discussing ways to build up the group's morale. Tribe members will give up, even though they have been succeeding. It's because of boredom, lack of play, adequate rest, dehydration, hunger, and irritation.

Every little thing will seem like a nuisance, and rubs people the wrong way, like a stone inside your boot that you can't remove. It wounds the tribe, then it festers.
The only thing that you can do is improve morale through humor, understanding, sympathy, kindness, and love.

Everything can remain the same in your logistics, caloric intake, and muscle soreness, but if morale stays high then you can achieve those success milestones and gradually make things easier.

This fosters grateful hearts. If you can help people reframe their perception of consensual reality, then you can push onward on your journey. If useless complaining persists, then self-doubt will too, both in leader and follower alike. Self-effacement can have a purpose, as no one is perfect. Self-sabotage though helps no one.

Here's an example. All that work will take it's toll on the body. The most likely place it will become noticeable is the back. The vertebrae are separated by little cushions called discs. When you get dehydrated, these discs shrink a little, and this leads to pain from a lack of shock absorbers and pinched nerves. Hamstring muscles in the leg tighten under an increase of work without stretching. This tautness leads to pulling on the spine.

People stooping over instead of sitting down and taking care will strain the intrinsic (inner) back muscles. Tiny muscles act as supports for the spine and connect to the torso through the rib cage. Your tribe will be doing a lot of repetitive motions, some that are pounding, some that are grasping, some that are reaching in unusual ways, and they can “throw out” their backs. Usually this is a result of tiny tears in these internal back muscles and are often largely preventable.

Because you may have on backpacks, and it's a nuisance to take them off since they are unwieldy, then people rush and arch their backs in abnormal ways. You can almost see it on their faces as they intuitively think, “Man, I shouldn't be doing this...” and just then they hurt themselves.

Massages to hamstrings, upper and lower backs, insisting on everyone not being heroic and straining their muscles needlessly, and drinking plenty of water...these things are common sense and will reduce complaining. Sometimes if you can't give massages due to size differences, some smaller person can walk on your back and release tension too.

Your back is shaped with multiple natural curves. Often due to being overweight and literally having a counterweight (large breasts, a potbelly, or because of a backpack), then this pulls or pushes against the normal curves.

Try some self-care. Lie down flat and place two feet on the floor and press down at the same time and lift your hips. This relieves pressure on the lower back. Most often the issue is at lumbar vertebrae 4 and 5 which are right above the sacrum. Alternatingly pushing with your legs will temporarily reset the vertebrae and you may hear popping and a pleasant sensation from the relief.

Likewise lying on your side, you can press back and down with one leg, lift your hips, and get relief from back strain. Then you alternate the other side. Lying on a curved surface will also restore the natural curve of the back, and that will help too.

If you have prepped well, and have good anti-inflammatory medicines, those will be more valuable than gold or even food at times. Having things like a wrap or a back brace for heavy lifting will really help.

Either community care or self-care and judicious actions will prevent a lot of griping. Or if you don't take a leadership role in this, then you can watch your tribe slowly get injured and far less work will get accomplished.
The loss of several people means the suffering of those who are not injured and further griping.

Community care will result in true gratefulness. Whomever is benefiting will comprehend that it means that people sincerely care and are looking out for them and each other. This builds cohesiveness and esprit de corps.

Conflict is normal and expected. When people disagree, it is healthy to do it constructively. Many times both sides have valid issues. The idea is not to shut them up. When people are wrong, a quick sincere, “Yeah, you were right. I messed up. I'm sorry. Can you forgive me?” will defuse the incendiary. That takes seconds versus a festering personality conflict.

There is a tendency for a leader to become autocratic in these situations. The tribe will usually resist that tooth and nail since they aren't used to it. You can be decisive, disciplined, and still compassionate and understanding. They are not mutually exclusive.

Most people will move heaven and earth if they simply are thanked and recognized for their worth. This straightens up their spine, posture, and bearing, and helps them to cope. It helps them find strength and resolve. Honestly this is the leader modeling a grateful heart for their tribe members showing initiative and following direction.
Anonymous Coward
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07/21/2012 12:44 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Daily Routine

Pre-collapse, we have concentrated inventories of resources that we can purchase from within 15-30 minutes of our dwellings. We trade our very specialized skill sets for those resources and with what is left over, pay for our dwelling, maintenance, and the perpetuity of our lifestyle. Since we often are unloved and unfulfilled, we purchase the latest shiny toy to make us temporarily happier. No wonder we are so sad and depressed. It is a only some vague sense of Life, a Shadowlands, truly a kind of Slavery.

Post-collapse, we will spend every waking moment (and some dream/nightmare time) in planning or locating water, food, tool, shelter, and controlling our environment (usually temperature and repelling rain). This will be very bleak for many people at that point because they don't have a surplus, tools, and skills. They will die.

The real joy of Life is not to be found in either scenario. The real joy is found in Love. Ultimately it is the only meaning for our existence. In either case, without a tribe that supports, nurtures, and loves you, then you won't make it.

When in a post-collapse, we will ultimately return to an agrarian lifestyle with some organization and trade in larger villages, but in the interim, we will eek out a life of bare subsistence. Routine will consist of finding secure caches of resources, managing them, and slowly making tools to make using them easier. Storing up caches will insure that food, water, and firewood is available for periods when it cannot be harvested.

The higher the amount of a population in an area, the lower the chances that the resources from the surroundings can support it. The other tribes in the area will use them up.
Even in areas with abundant resources, in inclement weather and malnutrition, then the combination of increased caloric used up coupled with trudging through snow and hibernating animals = enormous difficulty to survive.

Because we think, “Well, there's plenty of firewood, why chop more? The stream is right there. I see lots of squirrels. I have ample amounts of canned goods. I'll just pick more in Summer. Blah Blah Blah.” well, NOPE. If you have learned anything at all, please stop thinking that way now.

The days were filled with hard grueling labor in the pioneer period. It's why a brain drain happened among younger generations who sought escape from it. They didn't want that kind of life as they were encouraged to find a life that was easier and offered more shiny toys.

We are lazy. We tire easily from routine. When faced with difficulty, we sleep more to hide from our problems. It is self-sabotage. We say, “I'm tired. I'm knocking off early. Let's let everyone sleep in. How about a late start tomorrow?” This kind of thinking will kill you. Don't knock off early. Learn skills and use them; don't just buy tools and a few canned goods.

It can be done rarely for certain tribe members as a means of community care, but never for the entire group unless absolutely necessary (like major illness).

Food or whatever you need is NOT immediately available. Try finding firewood and chopping it in winter time and trudging through the snow. Wood won't burn unless it is seasoned and allowed to dry. Food grows in order to create a surplus and seed and then it falls off the vine and decays and new life rises in the Spring. Water is heavy and must be carried and filtered and possibly heated.

Food and game is not always available. Animals know this from instinct. If they survive into a new year, it is because of fat stores in their bellies, or surplus food, and lower physical activity. Some animals like the Spring Peeper frogs enter into a state of suspended animation until it is warm enough for activity. They are not foolish like most humans who have not prepared and struggle for survival.

If you only attempt to find enough for today, then you'll starve to death, get dehydrated, and freeze. Because your body is not strong, you will gather until you feel pain and weariness and routine and return to your dwelling, and attrition will wear you down. Malnutrition sets in, coupled with injuries and lowered immune systems.

Instead you'll be building up a surplus every waking moment for those times when the inevitable things happen to slow you and your tribe down. You will hibernate like our brothers and sisters in their burrows.

The corollary to this is simple but profound. Using less of a resource may add to your surplus. Let's look at firewood. I've detailed why using some technology is more efficient. If you wastefully let the heat escape, then all your hard work was in vain. (Most of the heat will escape up your chimney. Likewise, most of your heat is escaping through your uncovered head.) If instead, you heat up mass in a stone that in turn releases heat, then for nothing you saved firewood and still stayed warm. Insulating the shelter reduced heat loss and required less to heat it too. Using a reflector near a fire protects you and the fire from wind and pushes the heat towards you. Everyone huddling together and placing a covering with dead air space immediately around them, will mean less firewood consumed during the night. Something as simple as dried grasses and placed around each other will do this. Most of these things are easy to accomplish, but it takes planning and looking for them in your daily routine.

Bugging out is very bad. You most likely will not have a resource surplus of any appreciable size and must literally pillage your surroundings each day to find water, food, tools, firewood, and shelter. Then when things get settled, you move on. It's ridiculous.

Most often, you won't know where the best game animals can be found for that season, what local plant species can be harvested (if at all), or have the tools to do it. Let's say you were blessed with tons of acorns. Unless you have a vessel to heat up many batches of water to leech off the tannic acid in them, then despite having loads of protein, calories, fat, and vitamins, they will do you no good.

Worse, the food source is there, and you will continue to pass on your journey since you have no means of storing them. If you had prepared acorns and maple syrup and stored plants for vitamins, and some jerky, then you could stay put and make it until Spring, albeit skinnier.

Routine will create discipline and efficiency. Most people don't do repetitive things without improving the action over time. A surplus of firewood means less inefficient shivering and high amounts of camaraderie and humor and storytelling. Eating regularly from routine means less sleeplessness from worry and hunger. Having enough water means less dehydration and clear mindfulness. Adequate carbohydrates means higher glycogen stores and maintenance of blood glucose. Successful hunting and trapping usually translates into high praise and grateful hearts.
MzTreeChick

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07/21/2012 06:03 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
bump


Regular reader of this thread, really good tips and ideas. Please continue as your efforts are appreciated.





hf rockon
* Eat recycled food, it's good for the environment and O.K for you. (Judge Dredd)
Anonymous Coward
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07/21/2012 06:05 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Help for already dysfunctional families

Many family are currently in very stressed states of existence. Money is tight. Employment is sketchy. Maybe additional family members like college students have moved back in and are not producing income. The amount of luxury dwindles and simpler food is consumed due to high prices. All of this is livable and we can endure it because we assume that “this storm will pass”.

On the other hand, many families still have adequate income and luxury, but they don't like each other's company. Too many errors in building relationships have resulted in people being withdrawn and largely living separate lives while still co-existing in the same dwelling.

Other families have no centering focus. Other than genetics, they all believe different things, have different goals, and outlooks. They are families by circumstance only.

When a collapse comes, then their issues will seem magnified because of new adversity. It will be compared to the “straw that broke the camel's back”. The lack of resources, connection, love, and beliefs will tear them asunder.

When people live under stressful conditions, it's an opportunity. Your suffering will be communal. Your ability to survive means you must work together. Or you will not.

One way to begin is to have intentional and sincere renegotiation with your tribal members. Chances are there were times when you did feel connected during some family event. Talking about those moments and honestly explaining your lack of resources then, you have a new chance to start over.

Recognizing the groups needs and recalling those times when you did feel connected, you can say, “There were few moments when we did work together and enjoyed each other's company. I am glad for the memories of _____. I cherish those memories. I know we have problems, and it's scary to consider how real they are. I love you and I want you to make it. You are important to me, and although we have our differences, I respect you. I know it has been a long time since we've talked about feelings and connection. Despite that, I'm going to tirelessly work to help you. I hope you can try to. Even if you don't, I will.

Because of our differences, we won't always agree, but right now I'm going to commit to understanding what you believe anyway. This dwelling is small, and we will be spending a lot of time in it, or searching for food, water, tools, and firewood to bring back to it. Let's slowly make it into a comfortable environment. If we do that for a while, it might actually become a home for us.”

If you think about it, this is covenant living. It is how the Source dwells among us and constantly tries to work with us.

In a survival situation, most often one person, usually male, attempts to become the leader and dominate. While it may work for a short time, it won't last. Respect is earned and usually it is because of similar beliefs, order, resources, sincerity, and kindness. If you earn it, then the best possible leadership can happen.

When a tribe is dysfunctional, then all of that has to be renegotiated if you're staying together. Otherwise, it will be bleak and miserable. Perhaps you have little resources and skills and your time will be very brief together. If that is true, and that is the case for many of you, then how much better it would be to spend it in tenderness in those last moments.

Mutual respect and toleration are two milestones on that journey of making the tribe functional again. Insisting that your beliefs are correct, and that the other person's beliefs are nonsense, is the height of stupidity. If the goal is to survive and rebuild, then don't use the Destroyer's tool kit.

In all honesty, they don't have to gel entirely with your ideas. All tribe members must work together to create a resource pool and defend them. Because of previous anger, it will create sullenness especially in teenagers, and if you can't find commonality and a way to motivate them, then life will be wretched.

Sincere praise and affection is deeply desired by most children. For some reason, some people of the same gender, often mothers and daughters, don't get along. Likewise a father and son may be at odds. If that happens, it may be that you can speak up for your partner to intercede in their behalf and greatly facilitate reunion. Because of this mystical connection, it is vital for mothers to praise their sons, and fathers to praise their daughters, and often they will eat that up. It is nourishment for them. If you are lucky, and you do get along with each other, then sincere praise, especially when done in front of the whole family, will be treasured. It isn't you trying to get along with them. It's the whole family coming together to deal with adversity and conflict and survive.

A couple arguing makes the whole family tense up and be fearful. Don't do this in front of children. Get some privacy and talk it out. Deliberately whispering, you may find induces tenderness. Tenderness breeds understanding. Sympathy and gentleness creates attraction. It shows them that they are valued, respected, and loved.

If they can't get it from you in a meaningful way, they will seek it from strangers. Many of those strangers will abuse them.

Each person has passions. If you can figure out what the tribal members' passions are, and can find ways to catalyze them, or find the resources they need for their passions, then often friendship, companionship, and love will begin a fragile coal of Fire. Like all fire, you must continuously feed it with fuel and oxygen, else it will extinguish.

When resources are scarce, and still you made the effort to find them luxury resources, then people notice that in primitive conditions. We are no longer distracted by the noise of the world, not when confronted with survival.

Conflict is normal in a very small space. Most of the time, we can sneak off as a means of getting some privacy. You will be able to do that some if near woods or meadows while hunting, but as light fades, most of the time will be spent indoors.

Such close proximity will lead to minor irritations at the lack of sanitation and body odor and cleanliness. If people snore, laugh in some irritating way, have ill habits, you will be acutely aware of them. Either you can reframe and think, “I'm lucky to have a companion.” Or the intimacy will drive you insane.

It's natural for people to lose their cool. It's not healthy for two people to lose their cool at the same time. In ordinary circumstances, you can manage that. If you start bickering, and there's lots to blame others for, then you'll create such a terrible place to live in, and it will interrupt sleep and badly affect gathering resources. Don't let the sun go down on your anger. Never! Either let it go based upon low importance, or freely enter into the conflict in a healthy way.

Sometimes people get lazy when they get surly. They can't openly refuse to work, but they just won't work as hard. It's better to deal with that early in the day and presume that people don't know how to gather, and use humor and support to motivate. Otherwise, it will fester in the evenings, and become openly hostile.

Saying, “We're low on this resource. It seems like your angry. It would be better to talk about it honestly and calmly, instead of letting it affect our supplies. I respect you and need your help. How can we creatively solve this?”

Many times a little kindness will hold back resentment. Many times it's not you that they are angry with. They may be mad at themselves, their hopeless situation, and unrelenting work.

If it is you, you have to do a realistic self-assessment. Maybe you are short-tempered, snore, need to bathe more, say supercritical things, etc. It may be that they are justified. You've got to be extra sensitive with so much stress going on, since you need their participation. Wouldn't you rather flex a little, and have their respect, admiration, and love?

If you feel that conflict, breathe and use that energy when chopping wood. It is very therapeutic.

Don't be a doormat. If too yielding, then people unconsciously take advantage. Stand tall, model good healthy behavior, but stand tall. It is not about pride. Pride is the beginning of sin, which is missing the target. Standing tall is about creating an environment of mutual respect. Respect yourself and them, and in turn, most people will ultimately respect themselves and you.

Speaking to the Source, either alone or together will make things easier. Maybe you don't believe. If so, you can skip this part, but I'll bet when in the wild, you'll feel the Presence of the Source. Talking to God is very helpful, natural, and wonderful. God listens to us. Thankfully we don't get what we want, for many times what we desire is terrible. God will act in your life for your benefit and for Creation's benefit. God is not out to get you.

Some tribal members cannot live together. Too many differences exist sometimes and people need to leave. You have to come to terms with that. It is the normal way of things. Even so, if you are family, and things are terribly unstable, it may be that you will never see them again if they leave.

If this is the case, then it is wisdom for people to let go of anger, talk, sleep on it, and try to ensure that resources are best split up to help the departing members make it. Then, even if it ends, try to end it as best as you can.

Saying, “OK, I'm sorry that you need to leave. I still care about you, and I hope to hear from you. Let's go through what we have and see what you can take so that things are best for your journey.

Please try to find a way to communicate someday so I know you are safe. I will regardless because you are important to me. Why not sleep on it so you get as much rest as possible?Lets do a sweep of the local area tomorrow and find you things to take for the trip. It's difficult to travel because of ____ so, maybe leaving with the day will better your chances.”

This delaying tactics gives you 24 hours to help persuade them. Tomorrow you may find another resource they need, or harvesting a supply together will help both, or security changes may preclude them from leaving. Maybe the weather will stop them. It offers an intentional “pause”. Maybe both of you can work it out?

Be at peace with your decision and theirs. Don't leave things on a bad note. Doing it this way means a slim chance of reunion.
Anonymous Coward
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07/21/2012 06:33 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
bump


Regular reader of this thread, really good tips and ideas. Please continue as your efforts are appreciated.





hf rockon
 Quoting: MzTreeChick


How kind of you. Thank you so much. The smallest praise will keep me writing.

If anyone has interest in some topic, either experience or is seeking information, I'll be glad to write about it or glad to learn from you.

I am sorry that I deleted so much useful information. I am slowly putting up pertinent information as I try to recall some of that information, as well as topics which I think are pertinent.

I am planning on writing about more trade goods that people can easily make. As I see it, this is essential to rebuilding and creating trust. Pine tar and birch oil topics are coming up. Historic means of finding salt, as that is essential.

Then a posting about essential nutrients, how to get them, grow crops that have them, find herbs that produce them, and recognize signs of deficiency.
Anonymous Coward
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07/21/2012 07:07 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Most importantly... never, ever put your baby on the ground and run away.
ahhhahhhahhhahhh
Anonymous Coward
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07/21/2012 07:08 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Being Melodramatic

It's important to have realistic ideas about your situation post-collapse. It's also important not to foster an environment of rumor and fear when you slowly realize that it's happening. This requires careful evaluation of what is going on, and it is difficult to do by analysis, and not by wild theorizing with little intelligence gathering. You also need to evaluate your personal situation and scale it.

Most people haven't experienced sustained hunger for more than a day. Many have only missed a meal before as a result of being busy and unable to sit down and eat. Despite that, we routinely say, “I'm famished or I am starving.” No, you're not. If you continually say that in your mind, or to your tribe, then you'll cut each other off at the knees. If you're famished from missing a few meals, then what will happen when you miss several days of food or more? Don't break morale by weakening other tribe members this way.

The same is true about saying you are dehydrated. Yes, this is the most important aspect of maintaining alertness and ensuring proper biochemical reactions. Yes, in a very dry winter environment or in severe heat, then dehydration can occur rapidly. However, most of the time, you are a little low on water levels, and can deal with it immediately.

Yes, you are doing intense work each day and for many hours. You may “feel exhausted”, but you aren't. You are being taxed more than usual, and especially if your occupation is sitting at a desk job, then it's a big change in caloric usage. Still, unless it is sustained over many days, then you probably aren't to the point of exhaustion.

This is why you need to calibrate your inner scale along what are the states of exhaustion. Many people when stressed will see this as either, “I am fine or I am exhausted.” This makes it binary and incorrect, and studies have shown that doing that consistently creates a poor mental outlook that can easily put you into a state of depression.

As you continue to work harder, and eat less as a result of rationing, or maybe it hasn't rained in a long time and clean water is an issue, then it usually affects sleep patterns. That's the typical way we translate our concern...by getting less sleep. You may feel sleep deprived if you ordinarily get eight hours of sleep, but only got six. Don't bemoan the fact at every meal and make your children lose sleep too.

While it's unpleasant, you can get by on four hours of sleep for a sustained period. This is common in folks as they get older since they have more interrupted sleep. People exaggerate. They may have slept four hours, woke up, then tossed and turned and fell back asleep. Total sleep time: 6 hours. Total interrupted sleep : 4 hours. Guess which number is reported? The lower one.

Think of pain on a scale of one to ten. Ten would be screaming in horrific agony. One would be a splinter. When you mash the scale together, then your mind could create a false sense of how bad a pain is, and as a result you overreact.

With pain, if you do that, then each new exposure to pain makes you fool yourself into a stronger response to the pain than is truly happening. This typical human response is exploited under torture as the person becomes fearful of any inflicted pain.

However, if someone is constantly administered intense pain, then it loses its power over them to cause fear. Somehow, when that happens, we become numb to it. This happens with hunger too. The body shuts down the response to protect us.

...
After a collapse, while it's possible that things are unstable in densely populated areas, chances are that people won't immediately turn into mindless zombies. Riots will most likely occur in one part of a metropolis based upon dire economic situations coupled with angry hungry desperate people. It won't happen everywhere at once, but it can degenerate quickly.

This probably means that as the city sizes decrease in size, and places with less issues with stress and crime and uncertainty, that they will be less likely to turn into full scale anarchy overnight.

Don't be melodramatic. If you do that, then when you predict it, chances are that your prediction will fail. Even though there is merit to being concerned, you'll lose credibility with your tribe. If you become Chicken Little, then when the time comes for serious security changes, then you'll have a terrible time convincing them.
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07/22/2012 12:05 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Perception

If you know someone in law enforcement, ask them about the reliability of witnesses in a crime. No doubt, while many of them genuinely like people, are protective of citizens, and honorable, I'll bet that they'll chuckle.

Witnesses are terrible about actually being observant. They see just fine, but their experiences, upbringing, beliefs systems, and attention all get in the way. They don't realize it, but they filter what they see, and this analysis gets immediately processed and placed into short-term memory. Even a brief amount of time will alter that memory even more.

Few witnesses are reliable. Some people however are more observant than others. Maybe they were directly looking at what was happening, and intentionally trying to remember (active observation). Maybe because of their occupation or interests, they are also actively observing the phenomena or event.
...

In the Wild and while using primitive tribal skills, you need to change your perceptions and try to open them. A green horn cannot “see” well. They aren't used to it, they vaguely look around, kind of pressured by what's happening, and feel stressed even in a test situation with no real danger. Stress blocks perception.

What we see is very limited with our eyes. We see only that electromagnetic part of the spectrum that is between the book ends of infrared and ultraviolet. It's very narrow.
Lots of things are going on and we can't see it. We can however learn to perceive lots of things going on by using our whole body to see. I want you to learn to see with your heart, mind, and soul.

Let's say you need a certain plant. That plant grows in certain niches, but it can live elsewhere. When it grows, it changes as it ages. Knowing this, and what its seedlings, leaves, flowers, fruit, bark, smell, look like in your mind...when you set out, call out to it with your heart and soul. Send your mind's eye to it in the meadows or forest places it likes and try to home in on it.

Imagine that your whole body is awake and alive and in tune with that plant. Think of what you will create with it, much as the Source created the plant in order to make our lives beautiful. See the plant as a living being that has spent its life connected to the Earth, drinking from the Earth's blood, feeling the warmth from the Sun and helping it's photochemical process to create it's own energy source.

Now that you are in tune with it, imagine that you are one with the Green. Enter into the forests and meadows as another species who has come home. Where is that brother/sister plant? What does your sight say?

Before you come to it, you will have some awareness of it. Some “gut hunch” will tell you to go here or look there. Maybe that is nothing mystical, just common sense and science. Some people will say that you are simply reading tiny signs from your experiences in the Wild. I personally doubt that. I believe that there are few things that are more mystical than this.

The Source made us to be at one with the Garden of Eden. When we enter the Green, we return to Nature. If you think like a city dweller, and resist the call, then you will have a harder time hunting and gathering.

Likewise, when we seek an animal for the hunt or to trap, we will do the same thing. We honor the animal for its life. It is sacrificing for us in the natural cycle. It is no trophy, no meat, instead it is Life giving Life to sustain us. It is long lasting tools from its body to keep us alive. This is sacred.

Feel the path. Where is the Earth tender? Where are her bones? Is the soil rich, clay, loose, rocky, muck, sandy, or dangerous?

Feel the wind sighing. What direction does it come from? Where is it going? What scents waft upon it?

Hear all of the sounds at once in harmony. Tease out certain voices just as you do when tuning in to one instrument in an orchestra.

When we enter the Green and work with our tribe, they too should be one with the Green. Try to perceive them. Sense them in the woods walking. Try to feel their presence and awareness. Later as you return to your dwelling, let the Green stay. Continue to see your tribe. You are all connected. If you learn to live this way, you will treat them differently and respect them.

When you think this way, and really see your tribe members, then you will come to love them. Hurtful words that wound them, wound you. When they prosper and are life-filled, then you will perceive it. You will feel the energy of it.
If you work at it, then you all will feel connected.

Something palpable will happen. When working as a team in the forests, then you will “know” that they are in sync with you. Sometimes an eerie and wonderful connection will occur. Chances are a deep communion with the Source (God) will happen.

You may feel stunned by the epiphany.

When someone who is not your tribe is around, you will feel disturbed. You will sense something has changed. If they are not connected to the Green, then you will notice the disturbance is greater.

This is true perception and sight.
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07/22/2012 08:49 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Signs of the Drought Affecting the Economy

Have you ever wondered how so things get transported in the US? It's a mundane topic, so more than likely, unless you're in the transport industry, then it's not something that's within your awareness.

A long time ago, many items were transported by trucking. Of course as oil prices rose, and hence fuel costs rose, then this added on the cost of the goods that were sent to market.

To cope, research was done to create an additive to fuels that would reduce the costs: ethanol from corn. 1/4 of the corn crop is used for ethanol production.

One alternative was to send out more barges instead. A barge can take a significantly larger payload down the river, reducing traffic on highways, and hence in theory should reduce road maintenance.

However this is subject to river levels. Ordinarily rain finds it's way back to these water reservoirs, and maintains or raises their levels. As barges carry heavier loads, then using the Archimedes effect, they displace water and the barges sit lower in the river, but all is fine as the water levels are higher.

If the water levels fall significantly, then the barges can not carry as heavy a load on the same trip. Reduced tonnage means about the same costs in fuel, but far less carried supplies. This can break the normal supply chain as the drought persists, and the only alternative is to fall back upon traditional trucking methods.

We're going to be assaulted by multiple ways, by a lack of ethanol from corn, lower water levels for barge traffic, and a renewed demand for trucking.

[link to www.npr.org]
[link to www.huffingtonpost.com]
[link to www.suntimes.com]
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07/22/2012 09:11 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Cooking times, fuel sources, and alternatives

In another topic on prepping, someone made an off-hand comment about preparing food. Many times, since dried foods store well (like beans and rice), and because of their low cost compared to canned goods, then these are normal means of preparing a surplus.

Dried goods require rehydration, so that has always been an issue. In prepping, this means that you must have a source of water in addition to your normal amounts for maintaining fluid balance and sanitation.

In a drought, this is a significant issue. The most likely candidate for a water source has been rainwater catchment. Not everyone has a well, or proximity to a river or lake (clean or otherwise). If it ain't raining, you're out of luck.

Knowing this, means that some reservoir methods must be created and rotated. You can quickly exhaust your water supplies in a drought. It's evaporating from heat and low humidity too.

Dried beans are soaked in water, most often overnight to make them softer and reduce cooking times. Cooking a food product for extended periods over an open fire is foolish. If you do this for any length of time, and in a neighborhood of folks who are struggling, then the wood usage will be extremely high.

Not only does food have to be cooked, but it must be watched and stirred when using this method due to the food burning. Few people will have the patience to control the cooking rate when it's hot or cold outside. The fire must be adjusted with additional wood, or the coals moved around to get the simmering beans prepared correctly.

Propane? Coleman Fuel? Bags of charcoal? Really? In a collapse after even two weeks, those things will be gone. Were talking chopping wood, and freshly chopped wood must be seasoned to burn well.

The only logical way to cook food in any efficient way is a solar oven. Here is one method:
[link to modernsurvivalblog.com]

Note that they are using a typical black cooking pan used when camping. Black absorbs solar radiation and will enhance the process. Many people have shiny metal pans. You have to have some various black pans on hand.

[link to solarcooking.wikia.com]

Here is an alternative method in three parts at the same channel:
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07/23/2012 08:58 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
I have limited amount of money, what do I do?

I have heard this question so many times that I have become too numb to it. At times, I have simply rolled my eyes, and that is wrong. Once I knew very little, and no doubt people rolled their eyes, but were always kind to my ridiculous questions.

It isn't that the question is foolish. After all, we all have limited resources. We must be somewhat frugal in our approach, so it makes sense to some novices that this is where to begin.

Money doesn't solve problems. I guess that's the first part of the question that irks me. It presumes that one can buy some things and fix something. I doubt that has ever worked.

I can answer the question kindly and politely. The first thing you do is look in the mirror. What kind of person are you? Prepping is about self-assessment. Once you realize what you do not know, then you can assess what you need to know.

Most novices know nothing. Worse, what they think they should do, is almost always a product of mass media. Sometimes you would think it's made by well meaning people. It's not. Programs are made to be entertaining and sell commercial time. The goods used are specifically placed by advertisers. The scenarios made are done to create a story arc, to create a crisis, and usually to offer a pleasant ending that makes the viewer feel empathy and justification for the hero's journey.

At one time, there was a noble purpose for it, through Viking saga, through myth, through tales to help the starving find hope, etc. Now, it's about letting people feel that they have an understanding of that fictional character's situation, and that if they would be in that situation, they would be heroes too.

The first step is the epiphany that we do not know anything that will realistically help us. There are mentors who do know. They almost always are experts because of real life experiences. We mostly cannot learn those by reading a book, but most children age 12 or so can learn the skills if they have character, grit, humility, and intelligence. Wisdom will come from applying these consistently in a natural setting.

The best equipment is fine as long as you actually practice using it, can maintain it, and don't bugger it up, or lose it. Most of the time in true bushcraft, it's about making things from scratch, so that kind of equipment can really save your ass since you can usually make it again.

Still, there are compassionate and passionate people, mostly spiritual in some way, who see that living with Nature is part of the way of the Source. Many of these people, because of altruism and wanting to serve the Source, will attempt to pass on the old skills.

They often will make special websites, offer classes (sometime free), and are only too glad to teach you. Well, if you can listen, practice the arts for a bit, then ask the questions, then practice more, and ask better questions.

Lots of times, they actually have free ebooks available that volunteers have spent hundreds perhaps thousands of hours writing. These books are intentionally made in an order that builds upon previous chapters, and logically and emphatically explains a good strategy for prepping.

Much prepping can be done on a limited budget. It's all about priorities. It would be fine to have ____, but mostly you need some essential things only. If you have more money, then yes there are some optional things. Remember this, people in history traveled by wagon to remote places, carried little, and created new lives for themselves. You don't need everything to make it.

Don't be fooled by this. You can't live off the Land. That presumes you know a lifetime of skills, the seasons are correct for harvesting, you don't get sick or injured, have a community with you, reliable horses, etc.

Take a self-assessment, read a book at the same time, and see what YOU need. It won't be what I need. It won't be what your neighbor needs either. If everyone would gather what they need, then more than likely things would be more stable.

Having a resource library to fall back on would be wisdom. Yes, you can't learn every skill since you don't have the time right now. Yes, practicing would be great. Since some things don't happen all the time, say how to treat a snake bite in the wild, then one is left with gathering the materials and knowledge and praying it doesn't happen. If one has a lick of sense, and uses safety, then you may have scares, but more than likely you won't get bit. Someone in your party may have a close scrape, and if you know what to do, then you can save the day. It may be that a neighbor saves you, or you save them because of your prepping too.

Realistically a lot of people died by accidents, panicking, war, infection, malnutrition, etc. Even if you know what to do, maybe you don't know the exact bacteria or parasite, can't treat it, gangrene sets in, and they die despite your best efforts. Much of the time, people will die of things that will shock you since it shouldn't happen anymore. This happens routinely in some 3rd world countries. Maybe if we were exposed to that every day, we'd be more compassionate.

If you're not a social person, it would be wisdom to learn some way of coping socially as post-collapse you will be constantly talking to neighbors to rebuild. Lone wolfs seldom will make it.

Combining all of this, you will synthesize what you need to do. It will take the rest of your life. The journey is the reward.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The wonderful sycamore tree

One of the easiest trees to identify in the woods is the sycamore tree. It is often found near river banks and streams, places where there is an excellent water supply. Even if not much else is growing there, once the sumac crowns have work the soil with their runners, the sycamores will sprout up.

It has marvelous mottled coloration on it's bark. You've probably seen it, or played with its fruits as child. It grows through the Eastern US. It is drought resistant as it can find water with it's deep roots.

[link to www.etsu.edu]
[link to www.etsu.edu]

Sycamores have many uses for people wanting to start over. It will naturally create a hollow, something that would ordinarily require a lot of careful burning and chiseling out, so as such it is freely given to us to create things we need.

You could use the hollow for a smoker, for a place to pound grain (hand-mill), and some early pioneers used big ones to crawl in for a temporary shelter while erecting a cabin. Because they can be up to eight hundred years old (1212 AD), they can be quite large (over 12 feet in diameter but rare due to logging) and some Native Americans had small wigwams in them.

[link to farm8.staticflickr.com]

[link to upload.wikimedia.org]

[link to farm4.staticflickr.com]

It is an extraordinarily useful property and one you should gladly accept from the Source.
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07/23/2012 11:00 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Drought and Flash Flooding

What you say? Why in the world is he talking about flooding when we have a drought?

Well, history mostly. That and common sense. If you've ever been in an arid region, then you know that as the soil dries it creates a hard surface, and if it's one that has clay in it, when dry for a long period and then suddenly a downpour finally comes, then it becomes slippery and the soil can not absorb water in any useful way, unless it comes trickling down in slow shower.

Flooding often happens as the rain pelts the hardened soil, and the dry stream bed gets overwhelmed at once, and low lying areas are inundated with water.

The most common way of dying is being trapped in a vehicle that is suddenly swallowed up by water. The storm drains cannot handle so much water at once, and it backs up and swirls creating very dangerous conditions for people who attempt to drive through it.

Because dry stream beds are hard, it might be a way people are traveling, and if caught in it, then you could get seriously inured.

The dry sloping sides of hills can rapidly wash out since they become channels.If you're standing there, you can take a spill down into the slippery slope of it. Likewise roads can collapse from this occurring. It's not the asphalt that collapses so much as the either side of the road.

With a serious drought, when it finally rains, then people often rush out into it because they're so glad. Prudence must be used. I've been on an elevated hillside in a forest under such conditions, and it was every bit as dangerous as being on wet rocky cliff in a thunderstorm. When the torrent comes in one place, then suddenly it come crash down around you when you think you're in a safe spot.

Imagine traversing an area with heavy backpacks and many people traveling. Severe injuries could occur.
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07/24/2012 08:13 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Wildfires





When sustained drought occurs, of the plants begin to lose the ability to absorb water and perish. Meadows are chiefly affected as those plants have shorter root systems. Scattered trees in the area will pull water up and offer shade, and some plants will continue to make it due to the reduced heat exposure and lowered temperature under it's leaves.

But as the drought goes on, then everything in the area begin to also suffer from wind. Winds will wick away moisture by evaporation. Everything becomes a tinderbox, and the smallest spark will set it off. Anyone who carelessly burns outside, throws away a cigarette, or spontaneous combustion will cause a brush-fire.

The fire is not simply spreading at the surface, but burning is going on at the root level, and this passes on the coals to nearby plants. Winds will pick up and accelerate due to the rising heat thermals and carry sparks and burning debris.

If not detected quickly, and firefighters cannot deploy immediately to the area, then in drought-ridden locations, a wildfire can happen. If it's over a large area, and realizing that a fire is very dynamic, the fire can catch trees also. The water vapor within them will cause it to explode from rapid burning.

Smoke obscures the control of it. This and fumes causes the need for respirators and these have limited amounts of oxygen and are very heavy. Special equipment must be worn, making it difficult to respond quickly.

At this point, planes will come in carrying fire retardant and water. Lots of it will help, but it's very heavy, requires special equipment, and a deployment zone with the water and chemicals. On the group the troopers will create their own fires to burn to eliminate the fire spreading.

What can happen though is the fire can cross over from the wind. Try this at home. Light a candle with a match, blow out the match, then raise it above the lit candle. It will soon reignite. That's the same principle when a fire jumps across a burned zone created to control it.

The firefighters and anyone located within, can be trapped by this process. Exits may be terribly clogged by evacuees, and with poor visibility, and a lack of egress, and confusion, or someone's stalled vehicle from overheating, well it makes for complete chaos and death.

You may have everything you need at home, but a wildfire may flush you out of your house. It would be extremely dangerous to travel on foot under these kinds of conditions as heat exhaustion, suffocation from the oxygen being sucked up by the fire, and foolish heroics kill those caught in it.

Volunteers are often used in rural regions where it would be logistically and economically infeasible to have dedicated services. Many of them will be fleeing. All of the volunteers are using what equipment that have personally acquired, and have spent their own money to train sporadically. It's far less than ideal.

Imagine economic collapse conditions, coupled with drought, and then weather related issues like this. It progresses frequently like that.
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07/28/2012 02:34 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
[link to phys.org]

[link to torka.unl.edu:13581]

Look at the size of D3 Drought conditions (Red Extreme Conditions). This number has TRIPLED in a week.

Please prayerfully consider planning for a severe drought. No one can doubt the academic web link listed at the top.

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