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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
Anonymous Coward
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07/28/2012 09:06 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Putting in a sand point or wellpoint well

In most states, it is permissible to put in a wellpoint for "agricultural" use. This is a type of well that is created by driving in about 25 feet or so, and using that resource to water a garden. The cost is less than $250 for the parts to make a shallow well.

This video by the "houndsman" is very well done. The "joiner" is actually called a coupling. The "sealant" he's talking about is usually Teflon tape that is placed on plumbing to prevent leaks.

[link to www.youtube.com]

[link to www.extension.umn.edu]

Of course, if you have bedrock in your area, then it won't be possible. You'll be inquiring from your extension service to see where the water table is as this only goes down to the lower ground water layer.

If you had this as a backup water supply, you'd be able to use it to water rabbits you were raising or your garden in case of drought. Of course this water source is not intended for human consumption given it's so close to the surface, and hence it may become contaminated by runoff. This water would need to be filtered using previously discussed rock, sand, and charcoal filtration, then purified using the soldis method to eliminate pathogens.
Anonymous Coward
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07/28/2012 09:20 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
This video shows actually driving the wellpoint, and how sometimes you get lucky and hit water without going very far down. After driving in the initial section (the screened part that sieves the water), then he added the first coupled section and hit water (about 8 feet). I think it would smarter to drive it on down as you might have difficulty getting water as a drought persisted.

[link to www.youtube.com]

You should insulate the well as if you don't it can freeze in winter time, or it might crack and burst.

He's pounding with a fence post driver. Folks add a coupled section below the pounded section, and hence you won't bugger up the threads of that top section of pipe.
Anonymous Coward
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07/28/2012 09:34 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The Baptist method for putting in a well with minimal technology

Paulcloesen has many videos showing how to do the entire project from start to finish. Many of these wells are 80 or more feet down and require a lot of people to take turns and rotate during the production. Digging a community well is an intentional process of planning, acquiring or making equipment, feeding everyone, educating about sanitation, etc.


Paul's channel
[link to www.youtube.com]
Anonymous Coward
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07/29/2012 07:44 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
[link to www.angelfire.com] Excellent tips
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 19820052


I have no idea about that link within your quote. It is not anything that I could agree with.
Anonymous Coward
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07/29/2012 09:03 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Estimating time

We are used to being in control of time. Because we have mass transit, vehicles, interstates, and regular exits, these adaptations all us to travel faster than normal speeds. In a collapse, the transportation infrastructure will decline as many of the roads become congested. Fuel may be commandeered as critical resources that are needed by the military. Restrictions may be placed on egress and limitations on movement. Bridges may be turned into checkpoints. Re-routing will certainly be done to get from point A to B.

That's not all. Because of these road systems, unscrupulous folks might deliberately set up their own checkpoints, and with such a huge network, and a lack of control, they might prey upon solitary travelers too.

Often, you may have to zig zag to get to your destination, and in doing so get lost even in urban environments. Suddenly being in an unknown location, any of the indigenous people living in that area will assume you and your party may be a threat or may be a resource to exploit.

What's more, if may be necessary to travel across rugged terrain. Anything less than flat asphalt or macadam will mean a commensurate reduction in the efficiency of your travel time. As you leave cities and enter into less dense population zones, this issue will be a primary reason for not achieving transportation goals.

Believe me, this will screw you up every time. Sand dramatically lowers speed. So does attempting to cross loose rubble in any season as you can twist an ankle in each step and especially with a 60lb backpack. Muck can suck down each footstep and it becomes an effort to travel and you can get stuck while the rest try to help you get out, and this will slow the entire party. Dense foliage or clusters of alders or reduced visibility from fog or dense rain or blinding snow. The list goes on and on.

You have to assume that you will seldom make a straight path, as some obstacle will make you have to double back. Maybe 90% of the party can go that way, but someone is injured or not physically able to withstand the rigors of traveling this way.

Unless you have a topographical or relief map(better), a compass, many hours of daylight, good morale, and a high level of physical fitness, chances are slim that your estimated time of arrival will be correct. In most cases, it would be better to double your estimated time.

Think of the issues.

First off, people don't travel every single day. Their bodies can't handle it. Even regular people with zeal during the time of the medieval Crusades traveled about 5miles every other day when on foot. You won't have horses and carts, not unless very fortunate. Even if you did, chances are that horses would get foot sore if pressed for many days and carts will break down and accidents will happen along the way.

Supplies are a major concern. It takes an enormous amount of time to hunt, trap, gather, and harvest. Some portion of your party will be doing that, so this means that you must alternate days of traveling. Food, fuel for fires, water, Calcium and Vitamin C sources, gathered medicinal plants, etc will all need to be replenished. This dramatically adds to travel time.

Likewise, injuries will slow down some. Many of these can be prevented, but they are inevitable. Only one person with a broken toe will make your travel time increase and perhaps make you miss travel milestones. People will tire and get physically drained even when food and water supplies are abundant. They will slow down unless coaxed along at a pace to make the next location within a prudent time span.

People will not be considering if the path is defensible, which means if caught in the open, then ranged weapons can injure tribal members.

In the mountains and descending into valleys, sunlight can suddenly disappear, and you have to rush to find shelter. It's that or sleeping in a cold spot with little cover. Maybe that place doesn't have supplies to pull from too. Maybe there's no place to dig a Dakota hole fire to mask your campfire. Maybe there's no insulation or lots of wind reducing the temperature. Maybe it's suddenly cold in the desert and you feel like the rapid temperature drop is freezing you.

If you don't have a manual wind up watch of some kind, then at some point the batteries in your digital will fail. When that happens, you'll note the sun's appearance in the sky, but vegetation, clouds, bad weather, can obscure that. You can lose track of time from being in a dehydrated malnourished state and stumbling along mentally altered too.

Not having a watch, means real practical issues like when to wake up someone for a change in the watch. Knowing how to estimate the time by looking at the movement of the Big Dipper rotating, or estimating from increasing sunlight and bird activity will help. If one person fails in the watch, then everyone can oversleep from exhaustion and then get late starts to preparing breakfast and it accumulates.

Having an almanac, with the estimated time of the sunrise and sunset based upon the passage of the Sun to the Earth, will suddenly seem important again. The days get longer and shorter and this means planning activities based upon this phenomena.

Few of these affect us now. All of them will affect us then.
Anonymous Coward
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07/30/2012 09:10 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Harvesting Crayfish

Crayfish, mud bugs, crawdads...it's all the same thing. Crayfish are a form of fresh water crustacean that is commonly found in any of your local streams. While you've probably seen small ones up close, they can get quite large and can provide a good protein source to supplement the diet.

No doubt you've noticed their tunnels along streams or lakes:
[link to s2.hubimg.com]
[link to www.isledegrande.com]

Of course, this is a great way to see if you have an active location. An old way of trapping was to wrap bits of offal on lines, drop them within, and then pull these out and remove the critters. It's a slow process usually and too energy intensive in a survival situation. Well unless you get very lucky.

A better means is to harvest them from streams with a basket trap. Here's some videos from JoeandZachSurvival's youtube channel. They've empirically tested a variety of bait and placement to see what will work consistently in their region.

[link to www.youtube.com]

Crayfish have a tough exoskeleton to help them survive the rocky streams in which they dwell in. Of course it also helps them from being eaten or attacked by other crayfish too. In fast water, they can be buffeted by the rapids, so look for slow moving fairly shallow streams in which to place your basket traps.

They're nocturnal (coming from their dens to feed at night), so ideally you'll place the baskets in the evenings, and then recover them in the mornings to get the most amount from one location. Otherwise it will be hit or miss during the day. Mostly the scent of the offal (usually something that fell into the water and died or a fish kill) will draw them, and of course like all fauna they are opportunistic at finding prey. Several can easily devour bait, so most often it's placed within a fine screen material to keep it from being taken too quickly and to extend the bait scent.

[link to www.terrybullard.com]
Since crayfish live in nooks and crannies among rocks, then of course you want to examine the banks where you're placing your traps to see if the area provides a niche where they can hide. Then they dig into the soft earth and make nesting areas for their young, otherwise they'd be eaten by adults.

Despite the common practice of immersing the crayfish in salt water, the reality is that it's merely used to remove the grime from their exterior. The idea was that it made them “purge” their digestive tract. Mostly this can be avoided by removing this and utilizing the tails and claws, the most readily available source of flesh. As you'll quickly run low in a collapse event, you won't waste salt this way.

These sections can be partially boiled and then frozen, and used when you have an accumulated amount. Of course, that's not useful in a collapse, so you can either eat a handful in a stew, or use the following recipe to pickle them. Then of course can the product. Typically they are boiled in spices and served with lemon.
[link to articles.latimes.com]

Save any minnows you catch to eat or for bait. The same style of basket can be used in other areas to catch larger fish, but used during the early mornings, and adjusting the opening to catch particular species.
MzTreeChick

User ID: 20685686
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07/30/2012 09:14 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Appreciating this thread.


clappa



hf rockon
* Eat recycled food, it's good for the environment and O.K for you. (Judge Dredd)
Anonymous Coward
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07/30/2012 09:27 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Crayfish boil

You don't need to salt the water to purge. It doesn't make them vomit their digestive tract or poop put either. That's an old wives' tale.You may find though that the salt water scrubs away the exterior mud from their shells. It depends upon the crayfish you caught.

Salting and spicing the boil will of course make them taste better.

When you pull them out of the water purge, then see if each one is active. It may easily have died from the shock. After the boil, the exoskeleton turns red and the critter will curl up. If not curled, it was dead and shouldn't be eaten. Save that one for bait.

Anonymous Coward
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07/30/2012 10:21 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Footwear
If you've ever talked to anyone who's done a major hike of the Appalachian Trail, they'll explain the vital importance of footwear. Greenhorns will sometimes prepare by purchasing boots, but they won't break them in. This is a criminal thing to do to your feet, as you WILL get foot sores within the first ten miles from the stiff leather rubbing on tender feet. There's a very realistic reason that the term “tendefoot” was used. It happened all the time.

Because boots and feet will be abused by greenhorns, they will get alternatively dirty and wet, filled with mildew plus other fungus and harbor bacteria. Mixing wounded blistered feet with a filthy rich environment and add in malnourishment and depressed immune systems and you've created a rapid means of crippling yourself.

There is a very practical means of avoiding these issues: a little common sense. Pack a pair of stout aqua socks and/or a good pair of river sandals like Tevas. They hold up well, and can be patched with silicon sealant. Anytime you're going into the water, keep your dang boots dry! People can be idiots about this. “I don't wanna stop and take off my boots.” Foolishness!

There is a very good chance that someone will take a spill and go down river, and it's easier in river sandals. They dry far easier then heating boots suspended upside down for hours on a stick placed close to a roaring fire. What a waste of time, fuel, and effort.

It is far easier to dry off your feet with a camp towel or a piece of good chamois, then put your boots back on. There's probably a hundred and one things you can improvise chamois cloth into. Chamois is cheap, light, tough, and hugely water absorbent. If you consistently do this, you'll avoid trenchfoot. Trenchfoot has hurt more soldiers in cold or jungle environments than being shot.

You have soft fat pads in the base of your foot. Yes, after a long time, you'll earn calluses on your feet, but in the interim, with malnourishment you'll use up the fat pads from lots of hiking, and you must care for your feet carefully.

One simple and effective way is moleskin. This product helps cushion and protect wounded areas. Liquid bandages work well too. A regular bandage on a foot is almost
useless as it will fall off from sweat and activity.

Your feet need to breathe in order to help wounds to heal and to keep from getting fungal infections. Each night, take a little of camp ash, add to clean water, and wash your feet off, removing debris and dirt. Then a little tea tree oil (which is a perfect anti-microbial) mixed into a little jojoba oil (a perfect emollient), can be applied to sooth crackling, a constant issue for people on extended hikes. It takes maybe 10 minutes to do all that. It is well invested time for self-care.Once a week, use a fine grit sand to buff your feet off too and this will help prevent issues. This takes 30 seconds or less.

Never ever try to rapidly dry out boots by placing them too close to the fire. In effect you are firehardnening the leather and ruining them. They are irreplaceable on the trail. Chances are that your soles will crack, and having the silicone sealant, you can patch them. It cures in an hour and dries well in several. Meanwhile since you packed some river sandals, you can do a lot of work in meadows or along river banks in them. Never do any heavy lifting in sandals or make tools in them, as you can easily injure you feet. You don't want a broken toe, and that can happen when splitting firewood.

Buy insulated boots. Yes they will make your feet sweat in the summers, but invaluable in colder weather. Most people are not used to minor cold weather, and even 55 degree F can seem cold at first until you get used to it.

Ankle support is definitely needed. No half boots. I know lacing seems like a chore but the support prevents twisted ankles, or buckling from heavy packs.
Anonymous Coward
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07/30/2012 10:25 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
You people are fucking hilarious . Ha how do you come up with this shit? Lol
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2012 01:08 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Out of the Wild: Venezuela
[link to dsc.discovery.com]

I highly recommend that you watch this program. Rather than have backpacks and use typical camping gear, the participants used equipment that the locals would have utilized, and so it's a bit more realistic than the norm.

The people who have been chosen have a variety of skills, with some clearly having some experience, but many have zero experience.

One person who made it to the end, has remarkable mental drive and the kind of spiritual glue that holds a community together. She is delightful, and carries her weight as well as saying and doing things that help everyone. Her actions within the program are all ways I have described of coping in these many hundreds of pages.

Whoever has the most experience, often in a military setting, will have an enormous amount of burden on their shoulders. You'll seem them literally use up all of their strength to maintain cohesion and keep themselves going too.

Anyone who watches this will see the tremendous difficulties of foraging from the land. Nature provides but it may not taste good, may use up more calories gathering than consumed, may not give you adequate carbohydrates to maintain blood sugar, or may be too difficult to capture. Anyone who thinks you'll bug out and live this way for more than a month will get their eyes opened.

Highly recommended.
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2012 08:19 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Useful Barter Post-Shtf: Extracting Birch Oil (or Birch Tar)
[link to www.primitiveways.com]
[link to www.nativetech.org]

The birch was an extremely useful tree for the First People of North America. Because of the chemicals stored in it's bark, and it's relative malleability (flexibility to shape it), the material was ideal for making waterproof clothes and shoes. They would beat the bark in order to soften it, and still it retained the oils which made it repel water.

This also meant they could make baskets from strips taken from the tree, and that was a common way the people of the Frontier used it.

However, most people don't know that the oil is also flammable. By extracting it, then permeating some other wood, then you'd have a torch that would last awhile. Because oil is difficult to create for lamps on the prairie, it was vital to create a means of casting light when alerted to danger. Candles don't illuminate very far.

Nowadays something like a torch seems superfluous. In a collapse, in the absence of batteries, a torch will be vital. Believe me, everyone will need them, but few will know how to make a renewable one. No one will be wasting flammable liquids like gasoline to make a torch. What little oil remains for oil lamps will be used up for that purpose, and then once gone, it's down to torches.

Here's a video which shows birch bark wrapped up in a tin. That winding up of the bark helps the oil to drip towards the center. Underneath the bark is a hole and oil falls down into a container as it's heated. Wood gas is released, and of course is flammable. You'll see the occasional flame, but the more frequent venting of it from the lid.

Any videos by phreshayr are excellent


Once you have the oil, a common way to make a torch is detailed in this video. It's applied to a combustible material like heartwood from pines, or gathered birch material that is wrapped in chicken wire around a club.


Birch oil is also used as a waterproofing material. You spread it on whatever you wish to repel moisture from. Many boots are not waterproof, so having this will really help. It's combination of properties made it ideal for an adhesive for roofing shingles. Tar is simply birch oil that has solidified in a harder sticky substance.

It's useful as a wood preservative too so it can be applied to canoes and paddles. Or course it's been used as caulking.

If birch oil is distilled, then it can be made into methyl salicylate, which is found in wintergreen as well and both are called wintergreen oil, which is used medicinally for rheumatism (arthritis). Few pain relievers will be around post-collapse. Likewise simply heating the bark gives off this substance to open the sinuses. The oil was used to treat skin ailments like psoriasis and eczema too.

'Don't think you can extend your lamp oil by mixing it with birch oil. I've seen it tried. It can be burned by itself, commonly done in dried bracket fungi bowls.

Snails and slugs hate birch oil. But then, the most effective method is eatin' em with wild garlic.

While birch tar was used as a fletching for arrows, it's far better to use a melted deer hoof towards that purpose.

[link to books.google.com]

[link to books.google.com]
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2012 08:43 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Bartering post-collapse: A rushlight

Rather than a torch, the Native Americans and people of Western Europe used rushlights. They would find a plant that burned for a set amount of time, and place it in a holder, then switch it out as needed.

Some Native Americans took dried cattail heads, and dipped them into melted fat (tallow in effect) and the impregnated cattail was then burned for light. It is smoky and not intended for indoor use, especially when someone has respiratory illnesses.



Likewise one could dip the cattail in birch oil to do the same thing. It lasts far longer than a torch.

Cattail heads produce a very important food substance: pollen flour. This is used as an extender for you flour as it contains no gluten, so that means it won't rise on it's own. Still, you won't collect them all, and can use the others as rushlights.


Most people collect cattail pollen in the WRONG way. This is the most efficient way.
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2012 09:16 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Cattail root flour

Why would you wish to eat cattails? Well, as Euwell Gibbons used to say, many parts are edible. It's better to know ten plants well that grow in your region, know how to harvest them, and preserve them, then have a theoretical knowledge of wild edibles of the US. The cattail provides food from literally 90% of the plant, so this is maximizing efficiency.

Does it taste good? Not really. BUT it provides starch. All starches when masticated (chewed) combine with the saliva to make simple sugars. This is vital for maintenance of blood sugar. There are many times when you might have wild game, but not times when sugar sources are available. Since they can be dried, it's an efficient means of saving them for later.



Almost all books mention the former method in his video. Drying them separately in the sun, is a much better way but gives a coarser product. Personally I think it's easier to simple eat the dried roots as a starch, but variety is what good cooks are always looking for.

Most people like clover flour better although some people like acorn flour too as the alternative flour additives.
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2012 09:22 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
I feel so bad for people w/ kids if/when TSHTF.

Very grateful mine is a young man now and can take care of himself and others!
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2012 08:10 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The odds are against us, but then miracles happen

[link to www.foxnews.com]

We think we are weak, and so... we are. We think we can't, and so... we don't. We think it's impossible, and so we die.

Despite all tv docudramas to the contrary, CPR (outside of a controlled medical environment with medicines to administer plus equipment) ...rarely works.

The car pinning her father weighed 3000 lbs, and Laura is a typical 22 year old woman. She shouldn't have been able to lift it.

But Lauren Kornacki didn't give any of those ideas a chance to affect her choices. She acted, and because she did, her father is alive today.

What will you do to prove that statistics and science are not always right?

Will you find courage and strength, or will you give up?
Anonymous Coward
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08/01/2012 08:02 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Water Assessment

Right now, we merely turn on the tap to get any volume of water we need, and a fairly reliable water source for purity, thought of course contaminated with additives like Fluoride. In a collapse, if there are supply chain issues, or loss of critical infrastructure personnel, or both, then the reliability of volume and purity will decline. If chlorine is not available, they may be tempted to reduce amounts to control purity. Since some areas have higher demands, and may be transportation hubs, then smaller municipalities may suffer more as supplies are rerouted based upon exigencies.

If you considered any of that in the past, then you've probably looked at a weather chart for your area to see what is the typical rainfall within the normal weather seasons, and then estimated the amount you could conceivable catch, then compared that to your family's water needs. While a huge amount may fall normally, given the drought we have to assume that this will continue, and normal rainfall will not resume.

Even if you did get normal rainfall, most people don't have a means of storing any large volume of water and maintaining it's purity and rotating it easily. Those vessels are likely to be outside unless you've got a concealed cistern system in an older home. Of course, that would be subject to theft right away by desperate neighbors.

Still, some people may try to directly catch the water off their roofs, and using downspouts, channel the water into makeshift vessels. Of course, that water would be contaminated with bird fecal matter, molds, all kinds of bacteria, and chemical residues from the breakdown of whatever shingles you have on your roof. Not good, and will certainly make you sick without extraordinary filtering.

Some people have a lake or river nearby, and probably are considering ways to gather that water. Entrance of those water sources will have to be negotiated with whomever lives on those access points. Believe me, a constant mob of strangers walking through private property will not continue unless some kind of plan is agreed upon. Imagine merely several hundred people walking on your property and the security risk, not to mention people harvesting other materials as they see fit, using the restroom in the area, and destruction to the land from walking upon it.

Because those area are likely to be ideal for trapping animals, especially in a drought, you may be harming a vital food resource unless properly managed.

Traveling with water is very difficult. It is heavy, sloshes around, spills, and must be placed in a cart of some sort that can withstand the weight, plus be maneuverable, and of course go off road. Then filtering will have to occur once home, for filtering it at the site will certainly cause arguments over neighbors wishing to use your equipment plus filtering devices.

This means that you need to consider alternative water sources. While there's tons of ways to extract water from Nature, all have issues with either purity, volume, or seasonal use.

For example, while a plastic sheet over a hole in the ground and caught into a bucket will distill some water from plant materials, it is a scant amount. It isn't realistic given the volume of plant materials gathered and the calories burned towards that process.

A well will give you water, and of course in the long run this is the best way. I've discussed both sandpoints and deep wells. The later takes a lot of planning to execute. Sanitation and run off and planning agriculture, burial, paths for access, sanitation, etc all are part of that process.

Transpiration is the sweating of water from plants. Plants use turgor pressure to maintain water flow in their capillaries for biochemical processes. Yes, you can place a bag over some leaves, then the terrarium effect will cause water to seep out, and kill those leaves if sustained, but the amount of water is very small. Once the water is extracted, it isn't pure. All plants have some phytochemicals plus some dirt will come through too from the plant's surfaces, and most likely fecal matter from birds and squirrels. This means all the normal steps of purification, with subsequent water loss in each filtration.

If the weather outside drops below freezing at night, but rises above freezing during the day, then a very useful sap water can be tapped. This is subject to the local weather patterns and the kind of tree being tapped. Maples are typically done early in the Spring, with Birches following a month later. This water need not be boiled down (to concentrate it)to be useful, but rather used as drinking water. It's been said that some people tap from sycamore trees. I can't personally verify that this sap water is good tasting or if doesn't have some phytochemicals that would make it unpleasant. Birch will have a hint of wintergreen taste. Maple is of course pleasant.

Because tree roots go down to deep depths, and can be commonly found on properties, and because of relative ease of use, then this is a great way to get water. Unfortunately by doing so, you're missing out on a great source of sugar to supplement your diet and maintain your own blood sugar. I'll discuss this in detail later. These kinds of sap water are ideal not only for sugar, but also fermentation (birch or maple wine (sometimes called mead). Then of course using some mother vinegar(starter), these sources can be used to make more vinegar.

Solar stills have been used to convert water using distillation, but the volume produced is low. It is a slow process. More will follow about this.

Now is the time to consider all of these issues, and purchase equipment, and practice using it, rather than later. I would assume that demand for such equipment would increase over time as the drought increases in severity and in public awareness.
Anonymous Coward
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08/01/2012 08:35 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Solar Water Distillation
[link to practicalaction.org]

Here's a technical briefing which is a compilation from experts who have attempted a variety of methods, which were then field tested, and the devices were often assembled from local materials whenever possible. Then maintenance issues and cost versus savings were taken into account too.

In most cases, solar stills are used to eliminate salt from the water. Otherwise, a well is the preferred solution, then rainwater catchment, strictly from a cost-benefit ratio.

As previously discussed, one the of the main issues is that the distillation of water occurs as a set temperature, but other chemicals within the water may also come over, so you can't verify the purity of the water without constant testing.

Good luck with this method.
Anonymous Coward
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Survival Water versus Sustainable Water

Many people have read books about ways to find water in a survival situation. Typically this is to stay alive long enough to find civilization and ready sources of water. Or, it might be to stay alive long enough for help to arrive.

Other people have had military or survival training from experts. Again, the idea is similar, they're looking for short term method to locate water in order to survive until such time that a water resource can be located from which to draw upon. In a war zone with many active soldiers, or as a guerrilla fighter, then there must be many water sources, otherwise war is impossible to be waged.

This is not what you will be doing in a collapse. At that time, infrastructure is winding down, hit or miss based upon intensity, or it's entirely absent. You're looking for short and long term solutions to acquire the two quarts minimum to sustain life. Truthfully, your body will be undergoing rigorous biochemical processes as a result of lower than normal nutrition and possible starvation and coupled with intense physical activity. It's very probably that you'll need up to a gallon a day.

You may read somewhere that you can last longer than three days without water. That is true, but in an altered state of consciousness or in a mode of very low metabolism. This is why miners who are lying sedentary in a cave-in situation can go longer because they are deliberately trying not to use up energy. This is not realistic under a collapse scenario.

Now the problem is most people are not trained to find sustainable water, but very short term water from the odd source. For example, while you can take a chamois and gather dew from local surfaces, and then squeeze that into your mouth, if you do that for any length of time, you'll get enough to make it, but constantly in a water deficit and introducing foreign material and pathogens into your digestive tract. If you stopped to purify it, you'd lose a lot.

The same is true of gathering tubers from ferns and squeezing the juices from them. It offers a scant amount of liquid plus carbohydrates, and you're being opportunistic to get as much nutrition and water as possible. Still, even if you come along a huge cache (possible), then you're also burning up calories and water from your activity.

A solar still is not a realistic means of gathering water. Most people don't pack one, and it would be difficult to find a piece of surgical tubing at home. This means opening and closing the plastic sheet and allowing the chamber to release water vapor. If you did have everything, you'd have to find plant material or water to distill, and there's no guarantee that you're not also having chemicals in the water that have similar distillation temperatures.

If you did have the materials to make a complex solar still, then most likely you'd have to have tools, advanced skills in fabrication, adhesives, and keep it pristine in order to ensure good distillation. People on the coasts with large access to salt water might attempt this method.

This is why iodine or chlorine tablets are added to water from local sources. Obviously, the easiest way to find water is from a large reservoir and then to chemically treat it. As you cannot create these items to purify water in a sustainable way, then either one must have a cache of these (or pool shock from which to make bleach on demand), or do without chemical treatment.

Yeah, you can get water from some cactus, or you can tap a tree (maple and birch), but both methods mean locating that kind of tree or species and doing so at times when they will produce water. They don't always produce water. Doing this consistently in a small area will ruin other products you can get from those resources. Simple tapping doesn't hurt a tree as it takes less than 10% of the sap, a low trickling volume, and then only within a short period of time.

As I've discussed earlier, the bug out method implies continually pillaging from local resources and moving on for an indefinite time. Seems more and more ridiculous if you consider the logistical issues. Few nomadic people can survive as inevitably they happen upon indigenous villagers. Then a battle would ensue over the competition of those resources.

Why not just boil it? An inadequate amount of seasoned wood for cooking fires is the main problem. There is an abundance of wood...until everyone needs it again. If you visit any 3rd world village that is operating on a subsistence level, then you'll encounter the terrible problems they have with locating these resources.

An alternative is using a solar oven to do a modified soldis method. This is effectively done in rural villages to supplement drinking water. Google water pasteurization.

Another method is ultraviolet purification. UV light is cast from special bulbs which release radiation in that wavelength range, and this is destructive to the DNA and RNA of the pathogens. Of course this means electricity and access to these bulbs and so, highly unlikely to be sustainable.

This means the only way to find water and use it in a sustainable way is a well or capturing rainwater and/or filtering from local sources. All other methods will not work in any appreciable way. Consider that anyone who is trying to find water will be doing the same thing. In the US, we have something like 308 million people. All of those folks looking for water will be disruptive and taking any kind of water that is easily available and not being careful of the consequences. Well, not without leadership.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Indications of Drought Severity: Livestock Sales and more

[link to www.pressconnects.com]

[link to www.cnn.com]

The US Congress closed their session and went off on break but didn't come up with a comprehensive package to add folks in agricultural business.

Now over 60 percent of US counties have moderate to exception range, and it's affects soybeans.

With increases in feed prices, those who raise livestock have to consider whether they can continue to attempt in vain to keep their animals, or whether it's better to sell them. A lot are biting the bullet and selling off their herds.

This means that for the interim, you'll see cheaper meat prices. If someone were to purchase canning equipment, and can that meat now, then you'd have a good safe inexpensive source of protein.

Given the extent of the drought, and that we're going into the August heat, there's a very good chance of BROWNOUTS. Brownouts are due to exceptional demand of electricity and cause lower voltage to occur. When this happens, it makes your motors run with lower voltage and higher amperage and could cause your freezers and refrigerators compressor to fail. It would be very expensive to lose lots of meat stored this way.

Expect more and more articles about no outdoor burning and wildfire prevention. I would expect several accidents to occur, particularly in lower population density areas.

Low corn yields and high demand due to ethanol production means routing corn to food companies and not for gas additives. It translates to higher gas prices all around.

Expect to see articles about Coccidioides immitis (and also called Coccidiomycosis). It's endemic to some areas of the country. It's a very dangerous and difficult to detect and a seriously harmful fungus. Because of the drought, we'll see more and more wind picking up and carrying dust storms. If you're caught in one, or notice particulate matter on your vehicles or clothing, you're being exposed to it. Check your area for warning signs.

Having disposable dust masks will be important for anyone in those areas. There are tons of pictures of school children wear dust masks during the Dust Bowl. Many died of dust pneumonia. If you start seeing public service announcements about sealing windows with tape, and purchasing masks, then you'll know that public health officials are concerned.

Many people historically living in those areas developed valley fever and had to be treated with azole medicines to deal with it's effects. See this historical accounting. Expect shortages of medicines to treat it.
[link to cid.oxfordjournals.org]
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Indications of Drought Severity: Barge Payload Reductions
[link to www.cbsnews.com]

As I indicated last week, persistent drought will affect river levels. That shows you just how long the drought has been going on, as even the Mississippi River is now affected.

This article details a 20% reduction in payload for coal. Imagine what that will do for utilities that use coal-fired boilers for electricity generation. It's going to affect full circle many aspects of our lives that people don't consider at all.

"The river is a superhighway for the nation's commodities. Barges transport 60 percent of U.S. corn for export, 45 percent of soybeans, 22 percent of gas, and 20 percent of coal. And one barge can move as much as 70 trucks."
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Preserving Meat and Fish

[link to journeytoforever.org]

In a collapse, there will be enormous hurdles to preserving animal protein sources.

Salt will not be easily available. You should be looking for historical ways that salt was used in your area. Unless you're near the ocean and can dry it, then there must have been either a mineral lick source or a mine somewhere in your state.

Finding meat will be scarce based upon drought, overhunting and trapping.

What meat is found will most likely be immediately consumed. It is almost impossible to gather enough calories from the Wild without eating meat. Research this by logically looking at local wild food sources and their calories.

Smoking and drying it in a solar oven will be the two most common ways. Jerking it means slow heat and green wood for fuel. That's borrowing from Peter to pay Paul since that's probably your unseasoned potential winter firewood.

Most canning lids are one time use. They do make reusable lids, but they're 5x the price. It might be a good investment now.
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Historical Fermented Beverages

[link to www.oocities.org]

Here's some recipes for historians wishing to know about beverages that Frontier folks made in the US and in other parts of the world among indigenous people.

The most common beverages had very simple ingredients that could be either grown or gathered. Yeast of course is in the air, and most easily acquired by dried grapes (raisins) but in lesser amounts from other items like persimmons.

Sometimes in wine recipes, lemon was called for, but impossible to acquire. One recommended way to get the citrus notes needed is to use sumac berry infusions. Sumac is one of those species that will begin to change a meadow back into a forested area, and it's hardy and virulent, so there's always some near by.
[link to www.herbcompanion.com]


The top link has information about maple wine and birch beer. Both of those were commonly made. Maple wine often has multiple decanting and fermentation cycles. Good in about a year.

A low ethanol beer is Tiswin, which is a Corn beer consumed by many Native Americans, most famously by the Apache.

Persimmon and honey locust bean beer was also a common drink.
[link to books.google.com]
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Demonstrating why transpiration is not sustainable water

Here's a well meaning video which shows the principle of transpiration. This is the opening of the stoma in plants which all water to flow into leaves (from the ground) and carbon dioxide to flow into the plant and oxygen to escape from photosynthesis. Because of that "sweating" of water, covering a plant will create a terrarium effect and you'll note water droplets. It will produce survival water just fine. As you'll see in the video however, it takes time, produces less than a cup of water, and so it isn't sustainable water.



Don't get me wrong. It is useful, just not very helpful in the long run. You'd have to do this a minimum of eight times to get the minimum amount of water for one person alone. It's possible, but would obviously mean lots of trees, plastic sheeting, filtering all of that, and then disinfecting it to remove contaminants. Still wouldn't deal with the issues of animal contaminants on the leaves too that might not be able to be easily cleaned.
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Survival water from trees

At certain times of the year, the sap is rising more than others. By definition, this occurs when the temperatures fall below freezing at night, but rise above freezing during the day. This sap water contains a higher than normal amount of sugar stored in the roots and is carried upwards into the tree to sustain it since photosynthesis is not active. Obviously these deciduous trees (leaves that are seasonally lost versus evergreen conifers) can't undergo photosynthesis since they're absent leaves to do so.

The sugar content usually governs tapping trees with sugar maple offering the most carbs per sap volume, then other maples, then birches. The sap time varies in that time order, so you can harvest the birch trees later. Some people claim that you can tap sycamore trees, but I can't verify the quality of the water for taste or content. Birch tastes like wintergreen (which I don't like that much) but it's a personal preference. Maple tastes wonderful.


The phreshayr video shows how to make a spile. They typically are made of willow, sumac, or elderberry wood . Of course they can be purchased and would be great to have on hand as they take up little room. The metal ones are about $2-3 a piece and of course can be pried out and reused. These metal spiles have hooks on them to hang your container which is helpful.It takes about a year to heal from a spile, but can take up to three. Can't recommend plastic spiles. Lonnie who made the video is a good man with a great heart.



Here's a second way of acquiring water, however it won't produce as much water at a time. It is far simpler though.

So, this would produce some drinking water from tapping multiple trees in an area without a water source, but only at a seasonal window of opportunity. It takes time for the flow to accumulate, and it is giving you essential carbs at at time when nothing may easily be harvested from Nature. It was a survival technique used by the First People, and of course if added to harvested acorns (free of tannins) then you have an excellent food source.
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Useful skills post-shtf: maple or birch wine

(For theoretical and historical use only)

Since there were not an abundance of grapes or other known fruit in the New World, and grain distillation into ethanol is more difficult, settlers tapped trees to acquire sugar sources which could then be fermented.

Here's a FAQ on maples sap.
[link to maple.dnr.cornell.edu]

Here's an article from 1842 which discusses maple wine.
[link to books.google.com]

And another from 1805 which discusses the process (pg 116)
[link to books.google.com]

Here's a video (several at that channel) which details the process of utilizing maple sap water from tapping and then creating a useful wine from it.


Another one:


And the full recipe from the upper source
[link to the2mckees.com]

Likewise birch mead can be made using a similar process. True mead is from honey.

And a recipe for it too:
[link to www.bushcraft.survivalbill.ca]

This would be a very useful skill to know especially if you had access to an abundance of maple trees and could produce a surplus of the wine.
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Useful skills post-shtf: Making vinegar

Most of the time we hear about wine or apple cider vinegar based upon local orchards and availability. But other vinegars can be made from sugar producing plants that were then fermented and allowed to undergo the chemical process to acetic acid (vinegar).
[link to www.thekitchn.com]


The recipe calls for a mother vinegar which has a live culture inside, not using regular vinegar which has had this stripped out by filtration.

If you knew how to do this as a skill, it would be a very useful barter item. Vinegar had many uses on the frontier. It is essential for making cheese and of course pickling but also a super cleaning agent and has laundry uses too.
[link to www.vinegartips.com]

Of course if close to an apple orchard, then you could make a press and convert the cider into vinegar simply by waiting. A simple press could be made by utilizing a car jack.
[link to www.instructables.com]
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Useful skills post-shtf: Making soap

In this video, he describes the process of making soap from start to finish. He recommends using hardwood ashes as of course softwoods contain resins. In some cases it may be useful to utilize pine as pine soap has useful properties. Many videos at that channel which detail the whole process.

To determine if the lye solution is the correct concentration, a potato was typically floated and when it floated a coin distance below the surface, then it was sufficient to produce soap. How's that for a cool pH detector?

Lye is a caustic and hard on the skin and difficult to wash off (with plain water) as it feels slippery. It can easily cause a chemical burn as it doesn't immediately hurt like acid does.



[link to www.i4at.org]

Because animals were sacrificed at a certain time of year, then you'd have an abundance of fat to render into tallow. Since fat doesn't store well, this is a good use for it. At other times of the year, you're probably adding those drippings into your stew to maximize calories. This meant that you need to carefully prepare enough soap to last a year, and then trade excess for other goods.

Of course that tallow meant the possibility of making soaked impregnated cattail rushlights or candles too. Plant waxes from sumac and barberry would be added to change the burn times.

Only certain animals like geese, some parts of the deer, and bear offer usable fat from hunting. Really this is a harvesting process from having livestock. All of these skills would be best done as a community project.
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[link to www.youtube.com]
Here's the correct wood ash lye video.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Here's a video which discusses some issues with making a tallow soap.


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