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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
Anonymous Coward
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09/19/2012 12:08 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Useful trees for frontier living: Black Walnut

Earlier I've discussed the usefulness of the Black Walnut for bushcraft. It contains both tannic acids and jugalone, two chemicals that allow it to be used to paralyze fish's gills and hence they come up for air to breathe and can be netted easier. It's a trick that the First People employed by making a concoction from their husks.

I've also mentioned that the husks can be used as a dye, and it makes a great brown color, something very useful for camouflage. When your clothing get soiled, and you don't possess great bleaching agents or laundry soaps, then using dark colors is a way to cover the original color too.

But, here's a new twist I learned yesterday. The green hulls when boiled before they blacken contain more of the compounds listen above PLUS they also contain iodine. Now that is a nutritional component that our bodies need in small amounts. It's added to salt since most people wouldn't get enough unless they eat a lot of kelp or seafood. It's important for thyroid production.

That iodine in larger amounts is a great fungicide and bactericide, and very important for first aid. This means that if you only knew one tree, you should know black walnut.

Dave Canterbury is a fine teacher and puts out lots of videos on youtube to teach about the old ways. Here is the one I watched yesterday. Please watch it.


More links:
[link to sites.google.com (secure)]

[link to selfhealthresourcecenter.info]

When you make up a tincture of this kind, it won't last very long. To maintain the integrity of the solution, you need either vinegar or ethanol to be added in. That means a prepper should know how to produce BOTH. All of the skills previously mentioned build on each other. You must become a generalist that can make all kinds of things or live in a community in which people pool their knowledge and talents...or do without.
Anonymous Coward
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09/19/2012 12:25 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Useful trees for frontier living: Elm

Here's an excellent youtube video for tree identification purposes. Many times people have the knowledge, or some are great teachers, or some are good at camera work and editing, but rarely do they have all of those talents. It's why a team created a film usually.


This one talks about three wild edibles: the samaras of the elm (seed pods) contain a good source of protein, the basswood (lime tree) buds which are good, and the maple seeds you probably played with as a kid which are packed with nutrition.

Another video which is solely about the slippery elm:


Elms, like pines, have a layer called the cambrium which has a lot of protein in it plus vitamins and minerals. In Norway, there was a famine, and they ended up eating this and saving a lot of lives. The First People ate it too. Of course, it doesn't taste great, but people noticed that that layer produced a slippery substance, something that is scientifically categorized as mucilagenous. That means it's perfect as a salve, and it's used today in herbal teas to coat a sore throat, and it's so very excellent when aching. It also was used for wounds by tribal people. Today it is useful for people with irritable bowel syndrome, a condition which is caused by stress and scrapes away a portion of the intestinal mucus, and this causes issues irritation in that region.

If one knew how to harvest the bark and seeds, then you'd feed your family plus help them medicinally.

In addition, the way that an elm forms it's wood, it is a whirl of growth, and so it was used to make wagon wheels, excellent bows when yews were not available, or any lumbar that resisted splitting.

[link to en.wikipedia.org]

[link to www.eattheweeds.com]
Anonymous Coward
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09/19/2012 02:58 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Useful trees for frontier living: The Eastern Red Bud

In Spring, the Eastern Red Bud makes a showy color of pink blossoms, people note that and think they're pretty and take pictures of them, but few know that they were an essential food for the First People. Both the blossoms and seed pods which come later are full of vitamins and protein. Not a big surprise since they're in the Legume family, the same one as spring peas.

The Red Bud is also known as the Judas tree since by legend he hung himself upon it. It produces heart shaped easily identifiable leaves.The bark was used to treat whooping cough, and the inner bark and roots were used for fevers.

Good things to know, for in Spring there's little to nibble upon, and tribes were very hungry to the point of malnutrition and disease from Winter.

Another creature likes red bud blossoms, the bobwhite quail. They make a distinctive sound that you probably heard but never knew was their call.



They're delicious to eat, and are raised as livestock.

[link to en.wikipedia.org]
[link to plants.usda.gov]
[link to www.lakecumberlandgamebirds.com]
Anonymous Coward
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09/19/2012 02:59 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Green Dean's info on Red Buds

[link to www.eattheweeds.com]
Anonymous Coward
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09/19/2012 03:29 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Helpful wild edibles: Milkweed

Milkweed is a common plant, but a wonderful discovery as a child. What a shame that we become so jaded as we age. Remember the fun of finding a milkweed pod full of its "silk" and playing with it? That silk is one of the best insulation that you can find, and far superior to goose feathers. Say you've made a hole in your down jacket, well fill it back up with milkweed and stitch that up.

It produces a latex, and that keeps some people from eating it. Taking a few precautions in the videos, you can avoid that mostly. The latex is the milky sap that oozes out from breaking off a leaf. It was used during WW2 to make a usable rubber, but not in any great amount. However for us, this property will help us close up wounds, and that sap somehow kills the virus that causes warts. Its scientific name is Asclepias, the name of the Greek god of healing.

The shoots tastes like asparagus, and like that veggie, as it gets woody, you cut that off and use the higher younger portion. The florets are just like delicious broccoli, and the pods can be eaten too. In all honesty, we probably should cultivate this wonderful plant so we have a steady supply of it.

[link to en.wikipedia.org]
[link to www.annarbor.com]
[link to www.countrysidemag.com]



Anonymous Coward
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09/20/2012 04:52 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Why the terms survivalist and prepper are misnomers

Most people will blithely live their lives as long as they feel minimal stress. Their day to day activities will consume the majority of their thoughts and energy, so since they feel they have no time, they won't prepare a surplus. Because they've become some version of a specialist, they won't learn old skills like their ancestors. That way is old fashioned and seems illogical to them and counter-productive since it means losings some of their free time for watching television or other entertainment. Entertainment is vital to them, because they are enslaved and frustrated.

There are some people who are motivated because they've noticed some terrible things happening, and even though terrible things ALWAYS happen, their focus upon them will unbalance them. They may decide that the best way to cope is learn ways of offensive and defensive actions. They may spend an inordinate amount of time buying the best knife. They may have many varieties of weapons, both short and long range, plus ammunition and spare parts. I can't be too critical about them, for many were former military personnel and they know just how chaotic things can happen in a collapse. These folks often are survivalists, and that's what they're trying to do, survive until the chaos ends.

Other people are preppers. Almost anyone can be a prepper now a days as it seems like every grandma that has a water filter and some seeds and books and a month of food ...and is labeled a prepper. Of course they may be out of shape and can't walk two miles on flat clear terrain without stopping. They have a sense of how bad things can get, but may have no military background, but read a lot, and have maybe two or three skills that they are in the process of learning.

After a collapse, the amount of time to adjust to an entirely new style of living will be for a lengthy period. It won't be short term probably. It won't be about repelling invaders for three months or living off of a month or two of supplies. What it may be about is living for a sustained period of time in a mode of self-reliance. Self-reliance means protecting yourself, growing crops, gathering both animal and plant and water sources, raising animals, making things that you once bought, and living in harmony with your environment.

That last aspect happens because if you don't live in harmony with the community, the creatures and species of your environment, and with your self, then you'll die. The stress, the loneliness, the lack of love and friendship, the loss of a critical resource, no available trade for the things you can't make or lack the ability to learn, or simply theft and violence, will kill you.

Life is not about survival. That is the basic lowest form of living. It is drudgery and attrition will eventually make one lose Hope. It's why being a survivalist is not enough.

Life is not about prepping. You can't prep for everything, because of Murphy's Law, something always happens that throws you a curve ball. Even if you were an excellent prepper, then those supplies will run out.

Life is about living abundantly. How that manifests for you is based upon your level of health. If you are mentally calm and can respond appropriately, then you can live. If you are physically fit and can perform your labors and passions, then you'll be happier, for only doing work will not be enough. If you have friendship and love, then that means that you live in some tribe or community, and there is an exchange of ideas, culture, romance, kinship, respect, honor, and affirmation.

That community is healthy when each of the members is self-reliant and the interplay of their abilities and talents is synergestic. Because of that, the community repels a strong force that invades. The community harvests the abundance when it comes in from the hunt, or the annual harvest of livestock, or the salting and preserving of food sources, or putting up a young married couple's barn. But, all of that happens with skills and talents, and this cannot be ignored.

Don't be like the first two groups, no matter that they both are well intentioned, but walk a little further into the Green of the Forest, and step off the paths of other humans, and learn to live in harmony as every other species does.

Yes, there are some advanced people with high levels of skills, an understanding of the arts of War, and who have inventories or supplies, and they can live alone. Their number is very small, but because of their proficiency, you may have read about one or two that could raise a huge amount of surplus on a small scale homestead. There aren't many that fit into that category, don't fool yourself that you are one of them. Don't exaggerate their numbers.

There are some well meaning folks, often very philosophical, often vegetarian, who live that way in a highly specialized society where their foods are shipped from remote areas. Often they can be very mentally balanced and enjoyable to be around. I have found that some like the lifestyle so much that they intentionally grow crops and consume them. However, I haven't met any locally that could raise enough to feed themselves. Most do not have stores of supplies. Most do not have defensive capabilities, nor what to. They are reticent to living in harmony as the creatures do, but prefer to live in harmony as they think humans should do.

The wolf doesn't think, “Hmmm brother mouse is a sentient species that should be spared..., I'll eat some dandelions and groundnuts”. Nature is not like that. Living in harmony means to find a niche that deliberately settles into a pattern, and because of that, that species can survive and thrive. Should their numbers increase too greatly, they mostly die because they have exceeded the carrying capacity. If they are low on the food chain, then a species higher up that is predatory will eat from their abundant numbers. If the predatory species eats too many, then the dearth of the other species will mean hunger, malnutrition, and death unless the predatory species relocates. Since relocation is an energy intensive activity that is risky at best, that usually fails, and many of them die.

This balancing act maintains all of the species in that region into a harmony. Creatures die and new ones are born, and it's stable. It's a balance that is usually well maintained unless some major keystone species, almost always human enters the environment.
Anonymous Coward
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09/21/2012 11:51 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Formation

This may not seem to be important, but I believe that it's vital, and something that you might not think of in group dynamics. Since a lot of people are imagining surviving by themselves, and not thinking about the entire tribe or community, I hope you temporarily suspend disbelief and consider my words.

Imagine a group walking through the woods. Because our nature is to make trails, these snake back and forth in patterns based upon the ease of constructing a path. Since the trail is narrow, the group thins out. The party of people are all looking at different things they are momentarily interested in: what catches their eye, what they suddenly hear, what they are picking up and touching, what smell is wafting on the breeze, etc.

When the trail is flat, the group tends to cluster together, share stories, and people listen to each others. Still there are lots of side conversations because people like several in the group for some special attribute, and pay more attention to those people.

As a trail ascends, and because trails are usually narrow, then the group gets tunnel vision, and often greenhorns will look immediately to their front and what they are dealing with as they huff and puff with the exertions. Stronger party members, with better constitutions and more physical strength and stamina, will move quicker and sometimes pay less attention to any details. Weaker ones will straggle and slowly move behind. Over time, the group thins out and elongates. Sometimes it becomes more like a race to finish instead of a journey to travel together and experience.

As a trail descends into a valley, the group's distance between each other will shorten, and the group gets closer. The vista will awaken their awareness. The picturesque scenery will make them aware that they've been missing details and they'll renew primarily their visual input as they see something beautiful individually like a flying bird, or hear the distinctive tap of a piliated woodpecker, or the breeze brings fragrant Basswood flowers into their natural senses. Observations are made, the group becomes one again.

Or not, because some groups become more focused on navigating down the hill as some member is struggling to climb down a steep decline, and so it still thins out due to the steepness and each step into the soft earth creates a dangerous chance to pitch forward, and because one can fall, another might fall in the same spot, so people watch to see if that person's struggle may affect them when they get to that loose soil and the big steps downward. They note where that person grabbed on, and so they might benefit from how they navigated, and either employ the same technique for the descent, or do something entirely different.

When this happens, the natural response is not to help the struggling person, because most people don't descend as a group, they do it individually, and so they don't reach out and use each other's strength. Maybe they don't know what to do, so they are silent. Some more altruistic people will help, or offer guidance, and so with minimal assistance, the person in that loose soil will benefit for an instant from helping hands or words.

When a group walks together however on flat terrain, then it develops mass. It's an array of people most often made of leaders in the the front and back and sides. In the center is a group of less strong people with less individual skills. Their mass makes them a force because of their momentum and velocity. It's why a football team or a group of soldiers, can overpower an opponent. If the formation has weak areas, or a lack of discipline, in that pocket will for a gap and that will be where the formation will break under an assault.

There are reasons not to be in close formation. If the group is under ranged weapon attack, if close together, then many more will fall then if spread out a little. If the group is ascending, or moving rapidly, it tends to form a triangle and elongates again, but it doesn't have the same power. If the strong one are fixed and resolute, and the weaker ones close ranks and work in unison with the leaders, then that wedge formation will penetrate the opposition's own weak areas. Then the opposition will break and usually a rout occurs with them losing heart and scattering. In a descent, it is easier to keep a tight formation as one group.

Let's imagine several groups. If the group are made into a line, then one side clashes with another opposing line, then the two will butt heads, and the one with better discipline and order and resolve and strength will finally prevail, but at high losses. It's a head on formation and someone will eventually win out, but the attrition can be enormous. What usually happens is a series of individual battles instead of a group fighting a group.

If instead the group is weighted such that three strong squads are three deep and the rest of the line is resolute in their single squad thickness, then the mass of the three deep when it hits the enemy line, those shock troops will break the enemy line. It looks like an inverted L shape and the second and third squads added mass will overrun the gaps in the enemy's resolve.

If the faster and more dexterous squad members can come from the sides and then get behind the enemy, they can flank them. If the main group stays resolute, then the additional flank will overpower the enemy, because they can't deal with two attacking groups at once. It's strongest when the attack comes from front and back, but if not timed as well, the attack from the front and side will also overpower the enemy. They pin the opponent by this formation.

All of these formations mean coordinated attacks and defense, because the movements are not static, but shifting and constantly dynamic. Which ever ones can stay alert, focused, disciplined and follow commands will usually win. Interestingly, the one who wins is the group that has better morale. That group will usually have more cohesive power, and the enemy senses it and falters.
amywood71605

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09/21/2012 11:53 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Thank you.

I have three boys...ages8; 5 and almost 20 months......scares me to think of anything happening.
"Live each day like it's your last, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching."
Anonymous Coward
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09/21/2012 01:19 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Thank you.

I have three boys...ages8; 5 and almost 20 months......scares me to think of anything happening.
 Quoting: amywood71605


Dear Amy,

I appreciate the thanks. Don't be afraid, but learn and apply the skills if you are grateful.

When I was young and newly licensed to drive, and so I explored every country road I could find to find some privacy and also test my freedom a little. I was was driving along on backwoods roads, and slowly the roads changed from asphalt to macadam and then to gravel. I wasn't nervous at all, since I felt invulnerable. I even found some great little hidden places just off the road and near a river, secret little beaches to enjoy.

But once I had a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, and of course hadn't changed a tire before, but knew how. Any way, moments later, a pickup truck pulled up, and a farmer got out, and we had a great talk while he talked me through it. Even though I knew how, just him hanging around helped. As he left he said, "You know, country people always stop and help each other out, because even if you know how to fix something, something else might happen, and I reckon company is almost always welcome. Pass it on."

Well, it was a little thing, but a huge moment too. So, I always do, and always will. I hope you do too. Pass it on.

You have your own abilities and knowledge. You learned them from friends and ancestors, and learned some on your own. Keep the old ways alive, and add to the knowledge pool. Pass them on.

You're a mom, and the little and big things you do for your sons, they'll ripple through time, for eons really. That's your legacy. Pass it on.
Anonymous Coward
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09/21/2012 03:35 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Useful wild edibles: Kudzu

Kudzu is an transplanted species from Japan. Like honeysuckle, it was brought over to help with soil erosion and to protect the collapse of hillsides. Now it's considered a terrible nuisance because it grow a foot a day, and perpetually trimmed, will take over like an alien from space.

While no one should cultivate kudzu, we all should be harvesting it. Asian people do, all parts are edible except the seeds, and it is full of nutritional value and not bad to eat. In a collapse, you want to find easily available food sources that are abundant, and all along the South, kudzu is free for the picking.





There are so many ways to eat and prepare it, that you should go to the links and impart this to general knowledge, because you could easily make it by knowing this one plant.
[link to www.eattheweeds.com]

[link to en.wikipedia.org (secure)]
[link to www.clarksnutrition.com]
[link to grandpappy.info]

Not only that, but there are scores of medicinal uses too. There's a huge amount of things it can treat like high blood pressure, reduce alcohol desire, help with insulin resistance, glaucoma, etc.

One wonders if Asians used it to get rid of it, or if they were determined to try any way they could!

It can fed to livestock, making it a very important food source for anyone self-reliant.
Anonymous Coward
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09/21/2012 04:03 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Useful wild plants: Bracken Fern

As self-reliant people, we want to use species in a sustainable way by either gathering them or growing them. Making soap is an intensive activity that requires either growing a lot of oil bearing plants and harvesting them and pressing out their oil, or hunting a lot of animals for fat, or raising a lot of animals and harvesting it; since that takes so much effort, in the beginning we want ways to do that easier. Way easier, for in a collapse, those oils may be good for calories to consume for bare minimum survival.

The good news is that many plants contain sapponins, natural soap substances. This doesn't mean that you get a bar of strong soap from them, but it does mean that you can swish around their roots in water, and it will create mild soaps that you can use for your body and hair.

The three main ones that I know of are: yucca which grows in arid places, soapwort which can be found in gardens in America and grows wild in Europe, and bracken fern which grows almost everywhere east of the Mississippi an a bit over that border.

Bracket fern is the same fern from which we harvest fiddleheads. Here are some links to help you identify it:


[link to en.wikipedia.org]

[link to www.pollenlibrary.com]

[link to www.pfaf.org]

Dig up and clean the roots, press the roots to get out the sapponins and mix that with water. It's very simple, and will do a reasonable job of cleaning without using lye from wood ashes. This is a far gentler means of cleaning.
Anonymous Coward
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09/22/2012 03:17 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Being physically challenged in a collapse

There are many people who because of age, genetic conditions, the loss of a limb(s), arthritis, war injuries, etc that have issues which restrict their movements. Because of that in a collapse, those issues which ordinarily they have been dealing with, they may be greatly be restricted because of a lack of supplies, utilities, and the ability to forage or use agricultural means to be self-reliant. This means that if you fit into this category, you have to prepare more by learning skills and having supplies and having offensive /defensive capabilities.

Some people will scoff. They'll say that it will be mayhem and madness and so there's nothing but total doom. Perhaps. That might happen in very congested areas in peak periods if there's a total breakdown of utilities for an extended period. If so, the rest of the people in that region are also most likely to die too. If you're in a very urban environment without access to clean water and a place to grow crops, then naturally the density of the populace plus the other will kill you if rioting breaks out and isn't controlled. The carrying capacity issues will eventually create massive attrition and everyone will die, so there's nothing singling you out.

People have lived with physical restrictions since time began. The reason that they were able to make it is simple: either they had friends and family to care for them or more likely they provided skills of one sort or another in their community or they were self-reliant. I think it's a combination of all three. Even if blind, you can raise crops or animals. Of course people have. Many times in history, say the Black Plague which devastated vast regions, people with physical restrictions survived. Their life span may have been shortened, but still they managed to perform their routine tasks because if they didn't they would die with such a loss of life around them.

It's not that you can't make it, it's that all of us need a community to provide a mixed variety of trade in goods or services, and water and crops and herds, plus wood, clay, rock, salt, etc. This means if you're concerned, you should already be in a healthy community of small density and in a region like that. So should we all.

Yes, rock climbing would be a real effort, but few people would do that without gear and a partner. Anyone might have problems if alone. The same is true for defending a home, or digging a well, or something as simple as harvesting acorns.

So my friends, if you fit into a category above, please find mentors who can teach you, relocate now, collect supplies, and consult and take lessons in the arts of War.
Be Prepared
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09/22/2012 03:39 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
FREE DOWNLOAD OF MANY SURVIVAL DOCUMENTS!!!

Survival Documents folder
[link to www.mediafire.com]

FULL OF FREE DOWNLOADABLE SURVIVAL FILES!!!
[link to www.mediafire.com]
Anonymous Coward
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09/22/2012 04:07 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Making firestarters

Here's something that should be done NOW since winter is approaching. The video details how to cheaply make firestarters from dryer lint, paraffin, and toiler paper rolls. You'll make these yourself to save money, and then cut them in small slices, and then starting a fire is very easy. Then cover the coals lightly with ash, and save that for the next day to quickly get a fire going. This makes keeping a fire going very simple.



Later, you can collect little bits of tinder and then heat up and press sumac berries to get their oil. Then coat the tinder with that oil to make something similar. The point is to save time, and speed things along. Believe me, you'll get good at starting a fire, even your 6 year old can do it, but if cold and wet and freeing to death because you fell into an icy lake, well having a firestarter could save your life. Since it repels water from the oil or parafin, even if damp, it might ignite when you're hands are shaking furiously.

That's not the only time you need one. Say you're exhausted and on a forced march, and you've had to delay setting up camp. You can dig a Dakota hole fire pit quickly, use your firestarter to get the initial fire going, add some twigs, and then go look for nearby wood.

Or say it's 2am, you're bleary eyed, and the fire went out, no coals, and you've got to heat up some tea for a sick child and already been up for a day and half because they've been ill and feverish. Well, you've got to hurry and get back to them as quickly as you can.

Self-reliance isn't about survival techniques starting from scratch, but making things ahead of time to allow things to be done in a rapid manner and efficiently. It's beautiful and can even be efficient to start a flint and steel fire, but until you get there, and even when you do, having a firestarter is common sense.
Anonymous Coward
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09/22/2012 04:21 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
FREE DOWNLOAD OF MANY SURVIVAL DOCUMENTS!!!

Survival Documents folder
[link to www.mediafire.com]

FULL OF FREE DOWNLOADABLE SURVIVAL FILES!!!
[link to www.mediafire.com]
 Quoting: Be Prepared 24240342


Thanks for participating and providing resources.
Anonymous Coward
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09/23/2012 12:17 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Why war between Iran and the US may now be inevitable
[link to theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com]

[link to blogs.voanews.com]

"US Senate Passes Resolution Against Iran’s Nuclear Program
Posted September 22nd, 2012 at 6:35 pm (UTC-4)

The U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly approved a resolution that reaffirms U.S. efforts to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

The senators on Saturday voted 90-to-1 in favor of the non-binding measure, which they said should not be interpreted as an authorization for the use of military force or a declaration of war.

The decision comes a day after Senator Joseph Lieberman, the head of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security committee, accused Iran of sponsoring cyber attacks against major American financial institutions. "
Anonymous Coward
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09/23/2012 06:00 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The real cost of suicide

[link to www.dailymail.co.uk]

When times get tough, people reply, "The tough get going." Yeah, well, sounds nice. Is it reality?

Not usually. The reality is despite a mantra that people will tighten their belts and find a steely resolve, many will decide to actively or passively takes their own lives. Because of that, a suicide death might not be detected. They may die in some fashion, and unless they leave a note, the death may be written off as accidental discharge of a weapon, malnutrition, dehydration, an accidental drowning, etc.

People don't know how to deal with premature death, and because of the stigma of a suicide, they tend to be covered up. In a small town this happens by people denying it happened. In a large town or city, people are so isolated that it's ignored.

But it happens and it's happening more. When someone is suicidal, they've lost all Hope that things will get better. If you were to ask them, "Don't you want to live?" Then they probably would say, "Yes, but I haven't been living for over a year, and every new day is only filled with grief, shame, and loss. I'd rather die so that my suffering ends."

This is why those who are still hopeful cannot understand the hopeless. They have different frames of reference, perhaps different cultures or spiritual systems, and so death by suicide seems the only way out.

But it doesn't just effect them, does it? Their absence means a loss of that person's uniqueness, a loss of them being mentors to someone, often a child or a loved one, a severe change in economic status for the survivors, a loss of their abilities and occupation for the community, a loss of the hours they spent volunteering, etc.

When stress press upon historical periods, then the rate of suicide increases. It is now happening. More will follow. Watch for people that you care about losing Hope.

The Source can fill the darkness, the empty hole in their lives. But handing someone a Bible isn't very helpful and can be hurtful. Lavishing love and affection on someone and giving them Hope because you have deep spiritual beliefs and can share and witness the transforming power of the Source is what we called to do.

Having an alternative way to provide for your family by learning skills that provide sustenance and balance stress is another way. Teach old skills to help the hopeless.

Preparing by having more inventories in your physical needs, but also preparing mentally by meditation and contemplation, reading, having quiet creative activities, these are ways to store up mental positive attitude so when times get tough, you can cope easier. Of course spiritually prepare, by reading the Word, but mostly when lonely to the point of Hopelessness, then participate in some spiritual endeavor and help someone who needs it. Sometimes by helping another, the Source charges up your spiritual battery, just as a solar array does with a battery.

We have a lot of depressed folks, diagnosed or otherwise, and this will get worse. In a collapse, unless you take the the time to become a healer by listening and being with people, facilitating ways that they can get better, find herbals, etc then someone you know will take their life.

Many of the people who commit suicide in a collapse will die not because they intended to, but they commit suicide because they didn't prepare, and then suddenly without supplies and skills, they are alone and cold and in the darkness, and their lives are snuffed out from their previous actions doomed them into death.
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Useful wild plants: Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle, like kudzu was introduced into the US as an erosion fighting plant. Of course, being a non-native species, it took hold, and grew everywhere. Now like its cousin, it's considered a pest species for eradication.

Great! Let's try. For new foragers, we want to learn plants that are easily identifiable, and the distinct smell of honeysuckle and it's abundant flowers means that every child age 6 or older has probably been able to find this plant and suck the nectar from them. The flowers can also be eaten too.


But that's not all. The plant is so useful for Asian medicine, that to list the uses would require about ten posts. Please independently read about it, for like the black walnut, this is an essential medicinal. It is mild and treats infections very well, and tolerated by the very young and elderly.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
[link to medicinewomansroots.blogspot.com]
[link to www.altnature.com]

But wait, there's more! The honeysuckle's abundant vines make excellent and easy to make baskets. No more searching for loads of material, as it makes so much that you need not worry about pruning it too deeply.
[link to sensiblesurvival.org]

And yet, there's more. Honeysuckle easily ignites, so it's very useful as a firestarter.
[link to www.survivalmonkey.com]

When learning to forage, we want to learn the easiest plants to identify that produce the most harvest and that can easily be found and can are multipurposed. I have deliberately done just that, in order to save the most people in a collapse. If you only learned the ones to date, then you could most likely make it.
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Survival shelters: Scout Pit

Thank goodness for the rains, you think. If not for that, we wouldn't be alive. There was lots of it on the rare occasion it fell, mostly wasted as collecting was difficult on rooftops. A lot evaporated and of course it wasn't sanitary unless you collected it immediately, because the birds would drink from it, or rats. You didn't collect from your own building of course, it's madness up there, people fighting over water. Your own buckets are placed on other commercial buildings, and you harvest at odd hours quietly. People don't think to go there as there's little to harvest there, and it's why you deliberately set up a water collection station there.

They were going from building to building, taking whatever food and water they could find. You were grabbing buckets and bleach instead. Now, they're dying of dehydration...even the marauders.

You've bugged out from your large urban environment. You had to...you were conflicted about leaving your apartment building, but the screams got closer and closer, and that was that. The next morning at 4 am, you and your family hastily slipped away in the pre-dawn hours.

You waited too long to leave. Others had left far before, but the mass movement resulted in clogged roadways, and people ran out of gasoline. Those same clogged roads mean that it's impossible for automobiles to navigate past the congestion now. Your family heads out on motorcycles and minibikes and you hope the kids can handle themselves on their smaller versions. They're noisy, but people are sleeping, and you get away. With the congestion and their limitations, you have to operate at a very slow speeds in places. It's so slow, maybe a bicycle would be better, but then if you needed to peel away, someone would get caught. You shudder at those images. Only the very quiet prepared hiding ones, or the feral kind... the dark ones are making it. The latter ones, if they caught one of your family....

The first few nights, you sleep under the stars in whatever "safe" places you can find off highways. There's little traffic now. Little gas to be found. There's occasionally abandoned cars, they are seen less and less as you make your way to the Midwest, but in every case, someone has harvested the gas by punching holes in the gas tank with a wooden dowel, and filling up a container, then putting that gas in the own tank. It's faster. You wish you could find a car to get some gas from.

There's some burnt cars too. You guess that some people caused fires when extracting the gas, as there's bodies in them. You guess they used a screwdriver, and the brief spark ignited the gas vapors. The kids longer scream when they see the stiff prone remnants. “There's one.” That's all they note as they look away.

On down the road, you run out of gas. You can't carry everything, and so luckily it's not a bad area. There's forests nearby, good cover, elevation, nearby hills to climb to see your surroundings, fresh water sources too. No meadows though, but it's Autumn, and planting season won't come for awhile.

The tents are nylon, bright blue, and you wish you picked another color, but you were lucky to have them. They're light, and so fast to erect, but stand out like a sore thumb. They won't hold up to the sun's rays, and the UV radiation will eventually disintegrate tiny fibers in the fabric, and they'll fray and since they're under constant tension, holes will develop.

You and your family have developed a routine. Either you or your wife rises at 4 am while the other has been standing watch. One cooks quickly in a dakota hole fire. There's a chill in the air in the mornings now, and everyone warms their hands by the fire. You don't let it burn long as the smoke and cooking smells carry on the wind. Whatever you cook then, is saved and eaten all day.

Then you bury the hole, and finish packing up. Most things are always packed up in case you had to leave suddenly. Everyone has a backpack, and they have abrasions from them. That and blisters. Luckily you have some corn starch, and you rub that into the areas that chaff, and it helps. You can't keep this up for very long. They're not used to it, and they're complaining. You've snapped at all of them, more than once, and you hate it. Worse, you know that their small cuts will get infected if not treated with medicines and rest. Right now, it's hard to heat up water, except in the mornings, and everyone wipes down with a little very mild soap solution then, and cleans whatever sore places they have too.

You hadn't counted on it happening to feet and the inner thighs. The rubbing of denim pants against your legs..it begins to wear against skin as you walk, it's chaffing theirs too. Of course you've all hiked on simple paths before, but never more than three miles, and now each day, you try to get at least seven in. That won't work. Your wife can make it, but not the kids.

After two weeks of that, someone accidentally makes a tiny tear in the tent. You patch it with duct tape, and realize that you're going to have to stop using them soon, and hole up somewhere. It's getting colder each morning and even in the evening, and you want a fire in the worst way. The allure of being warm would make things so much more comfortable.

You're staying longer and resting in spurts along the journey. You begin doing that to allow them to gain some strength between hiking and allow their tiny wounds to heal. You make your first debris hut, and while it's warm, it means that you have to make two, and the kids like it...for an hour, then they complain about the scratchy leaves and bugs. It's way warmer, and after the first night, no one complains because they're glad not to be walking so much and not being as cold.

You allow a campfire, just a Dakota hole style, and a hot meal in the evening and stories and the firmament of stars, it's all healing. Everyone's tension drops a little, and you fall asleep on watch and wake up at 2 am, and it seems that exhaustion is catching up with you. You splash very cold water on your face in the darkness and wonder how your present circumstances have happened.

You walk less and less, setting the goal to five miles, then four and that's every other day. This won't do at all, as you won't make it to your planned destination. You worry about someone else stumbling upon the cabin you have, and your tools and supplies there, and think, “Will they be living there permanently when we finally arrive, or will they have used up all the supplies and then moved onward?”

Your son twists an ankle. It's not entirely his fault. He was tired and stumbling in the early hours to get some firewood, and you have to wait now until he can walk on it. Sure, he might make it a mile, albeit slowly, but you don't know if you can find water there. Or maybe it's be in open meadow.

This could happen to anyone in a collapse. You have planned some, and then the supplies run out. The situation becomes unstable. Goals made on paper or in your head weren't realistic. You can't drive there. People can't walk enough to get to each way mark that's you'd decided that they could do. People get injured. People get cold. You're tired, and if you're tired, then they're exhausted. Exhausted people make field decisions that are not ideal.

One shelter that you can build that's more permanent is a scout pit. The deeper you go, the more constant the temperature, and if insulated and waterproof and not sleeping directly on the ground, then you can make a disguised one that is warmer. There's issues with it if the rains are falling and coming down a hillside. It will fill up with water quickly if flooding is an issue. Then you've spent a lot of time and effort on a essentially a mud pit. Still, it's worth showing you.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Survival Shelters: a yurt of sticks and mud

If our family might begin to have real issues, say an early winter and being at higher latitudes and due to the weather. The weather will influence everything after a collapse: agriculture, livestock, disease, water, war, foraging, clothing, etc. If so, they might have to skip their goal, not matter how great a remote cabin might be, if you can't get there in a reasonable amount of time, then it won't help you. If so, a semi-permanent shelter can be made of wood and clay soil that is muddy enough to use as building materials. It's one of the most common shelters made of "survival cement" as mortar and branches.
[link to www.handprintpress.com]

Such shelter have many names depending upon their styles and the cultures in which they evolved. Knowing the basic idea, one can build them above of below ground. Both have advantages.

Usually the ones below will end up warmer, but they are built on hillsides that have been partially excavated, and that is work. It also means that you disturb the soil, and could create an erosion issue accidentally, so you must also channel water flow, or else be clever and really look at the land and rainfall patterns. Even then, rare flash flooding may seasonally come, so you must look at drainage and nearby hillsides at higher elevation and if that will get diverted into your path.

Ones built above ground may require more materials for the roofing, so you'll need thatching to wick away rain. However, the sun is getting on your shelter too, and of course everyone appreciates it's warmth and a sunny window. It's not as well disguised usually, as people like to live in meadows, but realistically that means dragging building materials there and it becomes obvious that something is being constructed due to the disturbance in harvesting those materials. A lot of foraging comes from meadows, so it may mean less walking. It'll be drier inside, less mildew, maybe more flies though. Hotter in summers.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Red Flags: Changing police deployment or outright elimination of jobs

As the economy tanks, and as community money is improperly invested and as shortfalls occur due to high unemployment and lower property values, then layoffs will happen in government services. If they're laying off police or eliminating their positions, they have to look to alternatives and that might mean moving them from city services to country services or simply to eliminate positions. You have to wonder at the wisdom of this, for this could create very volatile situations with crime.

No police force can anticipate crimes, only rarely help as they occur in-progress, but mostly visit after a crime has happened. So imagine as bad as that is, but having less response, maybe for a long time, way after the event occurs?

Camden in doing it.
[link to www.zerohedge.com]

Other cities are too. Sometimes it's in other sectors like education, maybe fire services or emergency response.

It's a sign of the times we live in, and a major red flag.

It means that if something happens, something more widespread, then a more military response from the National Guard or others might which are not allowed by our Constitution.
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Dealing with complaining post-collapse

People are spoiled. We are, there's no getting around it. We live in a world of abundance and specialization and that has made us ill-equipped to deal with stress, much less something like a disaster. People don't know what to do, and when that happens, and the supplies run low, and they're cold and tired, and also fearful...then they complain.

It will rise up from the weakest person first. Then others join the chorus, and you might yourself sing along too. Why not, let's let everyone complain and have a pity party? Yeehaw, that'll help.

Teach people to be grateful. They will be eventually. Having a grateful heart will help you deal with stress. Wait until you're starving and you find some bird eggs after not having an egg, a cheap egg that is scrambled or whose yolk is dripping on toast. Toast that anyone can easily make is not easy to make at all with no flour or electricity or even to make into loaves to cook on an open fire. Gosh you'll wish you had an egg so badly. For if you did, it meant a variety of such luxury, almost unimaginable happiness, because maybe you could then add one to beans and rice and make huevos rancheoros.

Imagine no salt? It's so abundant. Yes, well, what if you're not near a coastline? Even if you are, unless you know how to extract it, only the sodium chloride and not all the other salts in sea water, and then how to crystallize it, because it does require some skill believe it or not, then having spare time to collect it and store it for when it's too cold to evaporate, well all the freaking whining about a little thing like salt that you take for granted every single day.

We are so lucky and so well-fed and so rich that it's a sin to complain one whit because it's nonsense now, and it's lunacy in a collapse. Get off your ass and do something instead. Not being harsh, being loving. Make it easier by taking the absence of something as a chance to learn how to gather it, store it, make it easier for yourself and your family.

Criticizing some phenomena in order to educate and communicate injustice is great. Way better to do something constructive and fix it, or at least minimize the effect it will have on you. Insulate yourself from whatever that is.

If there's a hole in your roof, complaining will not make you drier.
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09/25/2012 01:27 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Fuel and water condensation

I wonder if anyone knows why all fuel (automotive or aviation or otherwise) collects water vapor. For some reason, probably based upon the humidity, water vapor will eventually condense in fuel tanks, and if a vehicle has been sitting for awhile, it may be tanked up, but the car won't start because there's too much water in the gas line.

The typical thing to do is add isopropal alcohol or another alcohol with solvents and this will mix with the alcohol and eliminate it. They make automotive products like Heet and you may have used one before to finally get your vehicle moving.

What if you didn't have it? Well I found a great tip at this link:
[link to preparednessadvice.com]

Lot's of good practical advice at that blog in very short articles.

I've recommended purchasing a real chamois before as it's an excellent camp towel since it's so absorbent and so tiny. I've also mention the oft-repeated survival use of collecting dew with it as survival water. It's not a great idea as you're picking up all kinds of contaminant that you can't filter out, but if dehydrated and that's all you have, one is trying to stay alive.

Here, you soak the chamois with pure gas (not what's already inundated with water) and then use the chamois as a filter to remove the water as you pass the contaminated water through it. What pass through should work in a vehicle and the rest is too contaminated to use. It's worth a try in a collapse as you may find gas somewhere that no one else can utilize.

Smart homesteaders at that blog link. It's well worth reading their ideas since they use them every day.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Making a diesel car operate for a short time on cooking grease

Here's a tip which I've seen but attempted. The reason is simple, I've heard that it will bugger up the fuel pump.

In a collapse, you may find abandoned vehicles. Some of these are diesel engines. At one time, farmers could buy diesel at reduced prices but it contained a dye in it. They weren't allowed to use it in their cars, but in their farm equipment. Well of course they did, but if detected then there was a fine. As such a lot of farmers use cars with diesel engines. Others have also switched to them too.

At at lot of restaurants, they use quite a bit of cooking oil as fried foods are very popular. As the grease is used up, then it's stored in a bin located outside, and then when it fills, that grease is hauled away.

This old cooking oil if filtered to remove the food particles and then combined with some kerosene will temporarily work as an alternative diesel fuel, and so get you away from some location, but for whatever portion of a tank you can develop. It might not run later as the food particles might not have been all filtered out, or the kerosene might not have been pure, or the fuel pump might be contaminated or whatever. The point is that you got the Hell of Dodge because of ingenuity when no one else could find fuel or make a car run.



4 parts to this series at that channel
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09/25/2012 01:47 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Mythbusters did a proof of concept for a diesel engine with used cooking oil so I'm including a clip:
Obviously people are doing it, but they critique the process.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Survival car repairs

Here's a good link which describes two very common issues: 1) getting a manual transmission vehicle to turn over by accelerating the car to 5 mph and then popping the clutch, and 2) temporarily patching a leaking coolant hose.
[link to modernsurvivalonline.com]

It's wise to have some Heet or isopropal alcohol in winter time, because locks frequently freeze up. In an emergency, waiting for the locks to open when it's freezing cold outside and water vapor has accumulated and you can't get inside, well you be dead before anyone could finally get inside. You just have to prep some, you can't always MacGuyver it, and many people have isopropal, but heck, just buy one and then it'll be on hand since Winter is approaching.

Other ways:


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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Ack, the second tennis ball method won't work. Sorry for the bad info.
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09/25/2012 02:11 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Alternative way to get inside your car
Here's a video from an expert that discusses using a home made slim jim to get inside, but this is for older vehicles.



In a collapse, you must adapt, overcome, survive.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
An exceptionally intelligent article on preparedness and on saving money

[link to www.survivalblog.com]

Here's an article on prepping that discusses the amount of calories in a serving of food, plus looking at the number of serving, then comparing the cost of it, and looking at the nutritional value of it, and regarding all of that then looking at it holistically. Well done and highly recommended!

Now, let's look a bit further. Each food item works by providing some measurable means of nutritional value. Say a soft drink loaded with corn syrup gives you a big boost of energy from its carbohydrates and their relative ease in being broken down in the intestines. Of course, this is horrible for nutrition as it induces a major insulin spike to deal with that sugar, and so the body tends to say, "Whoa, major food source, can't use it all, make fat instead". Meanwhile, the insulin whines pitifully as it dumps it's reserves. Doing that all the time, that would damage all your organs literally and it causes Type II Diabetes. But in a survival mode, such wonderful carbs could be life saving, but they are wretched for nutrition on an ongoing basis.

Still, there's more. Each vegetable, fruit, grain, milk, nuts, meat, fish, poultry, etc all provide separate building block combinations which require biochemical processes to break them down into simpler building blocks which then through digestion and absolution are recombined into substances. These then using water, oxygen, and energy are made into the structures of our bodies. So, you need variety, for a monodiet of a few times of food sources will not provide all that you need for that process of dis-assembly and reassembly.

Then some foods are rich in say selenium. If you don't get that, then you might get an autoimmune disease.
[link to www.fitday.com]

So, we cannot chose foods solely based upon calories or money value, but mixing it up such that you can maximize those vitamins and trace minerals that are also needed for those biochemically processes.

What's more, we now know that we also need Omega 3 fatty acids (and of course the more common Omega 6 ones) and the former helps in DNA repair since components of them are used for that process to unzip and rezip the strands of DNA that are damaged on an ongoing way.

Then there are antioxidants. These are special phytochemicals that are in many fruits and vegetables. Often these are rated on an ORAC scale.
[link to www.oracvalues.com]

As you can see Sumac bran is extremely high and free for the taking in many areas and as such provides great benefit to a tribe.

Certain exposure to toxins results in the release of oxidative species. These are electrons with radicals in them, and they hit and collide with others and set off a chain reaction. As that cascades, it causes cellular damage, and this is the current model for inflammation.

It may be that all disease has some root in inflammation. The body sends white blood cells to fight as soldiers in disciplined ways. These come in waves, which I won't bore you with, but they fight and then die, and these make up the pus in infections, and then are eliminated by other white blood cells and the release of special enzymes. Tears contain lysozyme, just one of the chemicals made to fight infection.

The point is that you need antioxidants, for their help the body fight inflammation, so that's one more aspect of why variety is important as we don't know enough to know which foods contain the best antioxidants, and which ones will treat that particular disease inflammation.

Please read her article, as it will help you build a surplus inventory of inexpensive food. Still go a little further and learn about nutrition, for that will prevent a lot of illness and hardship for the family treating them through their sickness and convalescence.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Foraging and Land Ownership

In the old days in small villages of tribal people, no one owned the land. Sure, they owned a place they lived in, one that moved around perhaps if they were nomadic and following the migratory patterns of the animals they hunted. Later, the serfs who lived on the lands of a lord, they were tenet-farmers paying back a portion of their income based upon what they could raise on the land assigned to them.

In America, land ownership was a huge deal. It meant for the first time people could own property. Through the Homestead Act, if one took care of the land, built a home upon it, fenced or improved it, then in a set amount of time the land became their property.

As the first villages formed in the 1800's, some common land area existed on the outskirts of these villages. There, people would forage in meadows and forests and locate wild edibles that they couldn't find on their own properties. These included fish and wild game, different species of herbs for medicinals, dyes, sweetener sources, greens, starches, etc.

Today, there isn't a lot of common land. What little there is under government control and has a lot of restrictions and you can't harvest plants from many of these places. Often hunting is allowed and hunters often accidentally enter onto private property that is adjacent to them. In a collapse, with few food sources, such intrusions may be considered acts of aggressive behavior.

When I was younger, I often would harvest along country roads, and to be honest, doing that isn't quite right. On some occasions I wasn't doing any harm, and a farmer would see me harvesting some weeds and stop and ask me a question. They wondered what I was up to, and I'd sincerely apologize for being on their property (only the very outskirts of it), and explain that I was practicing old pioneer skills, meant no harm, spoke to them with the utmost respect, and immediately told them I would leave. In all but one case, they said it was fine and didn't get upset whatsoever.

Now, had I been harvesting something other than dead wood or weeds, say pawpaws growing along their fenceline, well that wouldn't have been ok, you can bet on that. It's their land.

In a collapse, people will cross boundaries and....you'd better use a lot of diplomacy. These farms and woods are very large and you'd have to walk way past the boundaries to knock on their front door, and in doing so, volatile events could occur. People imagine foraging for edibles and herbs and wild game and fish, and well....that's their food and supplies, isn't it?

There are not tons of wild places left True, one might flee to the National Forests and then harvest in a collapse, and well..who's going to stop you? This means that these are just about the only places to forage and even then technically not permitted now.

Along highways there are fencelines of farmers. Just because there isn't a fenceline, doesn't mean it isn't private property. State governments place easements on property for highways and roads, but if you think you're going to just cross the property line and harvest what you need, well some owner's liable to shoot a warning shot at the minimum.

I'm not getting where all these bugging out folks are going to set up homesteads without already owning some cabin somewhere? First, most of them can't identify plants. Second, a lot of them can't hunt or fish. Third, they don't own the land to harvest those things from.
?????

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