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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/09/2012 07:15 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Winter Foraging: Mussels

One of the few things you can harvest in wintertime is fresh and salt water mussels. I hesitate to mention this as it's not allowed in some states. There's a good reason for that: they're filter feeders and are rivers are polluted. Of course, those same rivers are fished in, and if the SHTF and you're starving, then you'll probably attempt it anyway.

Mussels pack a lot of nutrients in a small package. I like them steamed in a little chicken broth with garlic and maybe a little diced onion and some wine. To me, it's an inexpensive meal if I have some good chewy bread with that, and I'm perfectly satisfied.

Mussels have little beards on them. Here's how to deal with them:
[link to allrecipes.com]

One of the best sites is Eat the Weeds. Green Deane did an article on them:
[link to www.eattheweeds.com]

Mussels were commonly harvested back during the frontier period. The shells were used for making buttons. The First People used them for jewelry:
[link to www.museum.state.il.us]

It was also used as a tempering agent for making pottery. Look here for a plethora of uses for sea shells of all kinds.
[link to www.manandmollusc.net]
Anonymous Coward
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11/09/2012 07:40 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
i really appreciate your writings, and have been archiving most of them during the last year.

thanks!
Anonymous Coward
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11/09/2012 08:06 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A short range (1/2 to 3/4 Mile or 1.21 kilometer) am radio station

SSTRAN AMT3000 AM transmitters sell as a kit for about $100. They are not complex. You can easily make them with common tools and a soldering iron.


If you had one, then you could legally broadcast to your neighborhood on the AM frequency. This would be a huge help post-collapse, but of course it's not secure. This would mostly be a means of communicating for fires, security, education, etc.
Anonymous Coward
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11/09/2012 09:20 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The GiraDora: a $40 washing machine

The GiraDora was developed to create a simpler means of washing clothing in 3rd world nations. You probably don't think about washing clothing post-collapse, but it would require lots of water and lots of elbow grease to scrub the clothing and wring them out. It also results in a lot of carpal tunnel and lower back pain as well.

Here's a video which describes it. You merely pump the pedal and this creates the agitation for washing, and then later to spin the drum to use centrifugal force to remove the water. It can wash more clothing than similar devices.


[link to www.dellchallenge.org]

If you're hauling a lot of water to wash clothing and trying to conserve your rainwater, then it's also helpful for those reasons too.
Anonymous Coward
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11/09/2012 10:13 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
AMAZING thread! i have printed out almost every single page since i first discovered it! i am so thankful for you taking the time to inform the uninformed! prepping has become my other full-time job! lol. i can only hope that we have more time to continue preparing and educating ourselves as best as we can. i can empathize with you, as i have my own family to care for. thank you so much for all of your insight! your family is very lucky to have such a great man in their life! keep posting! you have followers!! :)
Anonymous Coward
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11/09/2012 10:23 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
AMAZING thread! i have printed out almost every single page since i first discovered it! i am so thankful for you taking the time to inform the uninformed! prepping has become my other full-time job! lol. i can only hope that we have more time to continue preparing and educating ourselves as best as we can. i can empathize with you, as i have my own family to care for. thank you so much for all of your insight! your family is very lucky to have such a great man in their life! keep posting! you have followers!! :)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 7091719


Thank you for your very kind and sincere response. It's one of the kindest remarks I've received here. I feel humbled by your high praise.I'm just an average guy.When I think of ancestors and all they could do, I feel like a greenhorn by comparison.

Hurricane Sandy action reports from preppers:
[link to www.survivalblog.com]

If you'd like to see what happens to society from actual reports from well prepared people, then look at the link above. They explain how things unfolded; what worked and what didn't; what things they should have done differently; what they neglected to prepare for.
Anonymous Coward
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11/09/2012 10:25 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
AMAZING thread! i have printed out almost every single page since i first discovered it! i am so thankful for you taking the time to inform the uninformed! prepping has become my other full-time job! lol. i can only hope that we have more time to continue preparing and educating ourselves as best as we can. i can empathize with you, as i have my own family to care for. thank you so much for all of your insight! your family is very lucky to have such a great man in their life! keep posting! you have followers!! :)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 7091719


Thank you for your very kind and sincere response. It's one of the kindest remarks I've received here. I feel humbled by your high praise.I'm just an average guy.When I think of ancestors and all they could do, I feel like a greenhorn by comparison.

Hurricane Sandy action reports from preppers:
[link to www.survivalblog.com]

If you'd like to see what happens to society from actual reports from well prepared people, then look at the link above. They explain how things unfolded; what worked and what didn't; what things they should have done differently; what they neglected to prepare for.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734

you're very welcome! i will check this out! hf
Anonymous Coward
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11/10/2012 07:14 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
[link to www.app.com]

Self-Assessment: What kind of person are you?

Prepping is about thinking strategically. It's about evaluating your skill levels, finding deficits, and then readjusting by most likely learning from a mentor or friend. Sometimes there aren't local authorities on an subject, and so we read books to learn the old reliable means of learning skills.

If one doesn't have skills, then one must be rescued once a disaster happens. It can happen to everyone and often based upon extreme weather or disasters. It can happen based upon your stamina and strength or lack of them. It can happen if injured. It can happen if you don't have supplies.

Most people have not ever roughed it. What I mean by “roughing it” is a long period of severe hardship. During this period, you don't eat for a minimum of a week. Maybe you stay up without sleep for 72 hours. Maybe you are freezing cold and huddling around a weak fire. Maybe you don't have adequate clothing, but you've learned skills and so you build a fire and a debris hut and get dry and warm. Then you find water and purify it. If you need a container, you burn a bowl from wood that you find, and using coals, blow on it slowly, then shape it with a knife and sandstone. You make a trap and then eat animal flesh to survive. You forage for plants to get enough glycogen and carbohydrates to survive.

I have lots of sympathy for people who haven't “roughed” it. No one desires to live at this level of existence. It's the lowest form of Maslow's Hierarchy of Need: pure survival. In order to live more fully, one learns skills to thrive. This means learning even more and planning and building up an inventory of things. Tribal hunter/gatherers discovered that pottery would enable them to store food items. They also needed to learn how to make jerky from their meat in order to eat during time periods of low animal activity. It was necessary to avoid spoilage anyway.

They learned how to treat wounds and illness because if they didn't then they died. The ones that mentored others and healed them became shaman. Being one was of limited use unless they also had the ability to teach others. If not, then once they died, then the knowledge was lost forever.

Education is a prepping skill. For the good of the tribe or community, it's vital to strategically think how to best prepare the next generation how to survive and thrive. If not, then in even the shortest amount of time, those others will die without life skills. They may rely upon whatever resources others provide for them, but once that supply is cut off, then they perish. It's the fishing pole analogy versus providing fish.

When you rely upon FEMA to save you, you must not think that living in a refugee camp is going to be easy and perfect. If you do, then you'll be sadly mistaken and upset. You think, “We're Americans darn it. We deserve better!” Why?

If you really expect to be taken care of, then I feel sorry for you. That philosophy is so very limited and based upon the sympathy of either the government or non-government aid organization. Even if it occurs, it will never be perfect and it will only last for a brief period.
Anonymous Coward
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11/10/2012 08:16 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A use for mussel shells: a knife or scrapper

The first half of the video shows how simple it is to put an edge on a mussel shell and use that as a tool for scrapping say a deer hide and then using it to cut the deer hide too.



Of course it will lose it's edge, but then you merely re-edge it again. As preppers we want to use whatever Nature gives us. We don't waste it.
Anonymous Coward
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11/10/2012 08:25 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
For a long time, I've wondered about the best way of making a bowstring. Scott at the Living History School has made a yew or osage orange bow from scratch, but here he makes a bowstring from a deer hide. First it's scrapped, then treated with lime. If you didn't have lime on hand (most gardeners keep it), then you'd use wood ashes. You could also use the leached tannins from acorns as well. Then you tack it and dry it into rawhide. Afterward, you cut it into a spiral pattern and twist it rudimentally twist it together using the rope method previously detailed (see earlier postings). Then you spin it even tighter into a bow string.





All of his videos are great!
Anonymous Coward
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11/10/2012 08:57 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Help for Diabetes Patients: Garlic and Onion juice

Two of the simpliest plants to grow are onion and garlic. All gardeners regardless of ability will grow these. They will be among the most basic plants you'll utilize for mealtime.

Garlic
"Aqueous homogenate of garlic (10 ml/kg/day) administered orally to sucrose fed rabbits (10 g/kg/day in water for two months) significantly increased hepatic glycogen and free amino acid content, decreased fasting blood glucose, and triglyceride levels in serum in comparison to sucrose controls [23]."

Onion
Various ether soluble fractions as well as insoluble fractions of dried onion powder show anti-hyperglycemic activity in diabetic rabbits. Allium cepa is also known to have antioxidant and hypolipidaemic activity. Administration of a sulfur containing amino acid from Allium cepa, S-methyl cysteine sulphoxide (SMCS) (200 mg/kg for 45 days) to alloxan induced diabetic rats significantly controlled blood glucose as well as lipids in serum and tissues and normalized the activities of liver hexokinase, glucose 6-phosphatase and HMG Co A reductase [18, 19]. When diabetic patients were given single oral dose of 50 g of onion juice, it significantly controlled post-prandial glucose levels [20].

[link to www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]

You'll always use a multi-modality approach when trying to assist diabetics post-collapse. There are limited options to help control type 1 Diabeters without insulin. Realize though that finding natural sources of sugar are very limited post-collapse too. It won't be like today with sugar being a primary additive in many foods.
Anonymous Coward
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11/10/2012 03:41 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Planting garlic

Here's a link to planting garlic. It's one of the easiest plants. It's too late to plant this year, as typically you plant it around the time of the autumn equinox.
[link to www.motherearthnews.com]


Don't plant it where you planted onions before. There's a onion pest called onion thrips. If you find them, apply diatomaceous earth in the Spring.

Garlic likes apple, pear, cucumbers, lettuce plants. Use companion planting as much as possible in a supportive role to get the best yields and naturally protect plants from pests. Many give off natural peticides through their roots or when they degrade.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
You should print out that chart as it's extremely valuable.

Here are ways to preserve garlic. Never attempt to preserve garlic in oil as that a definite way to get botulism.
[link to www.vegkitchen.com]
Anonymous Coward
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11/10/2012 04:19 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Medicinal uses for garlic

People don't know much about medicine nowadays. They rely upon trained personnel, and that's fine as long as civilliation exists in an organized manner. Tribal people had to be generalists because the distance to a large urban area might be extremely far away, and by the time someone might be able to seek medical treatment, it would be too late. It also might be too expensive.

Post-collapse, we'll have very few medicines available. This means that we need to understand a handful for basic needs. Over time more and more knowledge can be accumulated, but most people will resist learning with a passion. They don't want to bother learning, so as effective shaman-in-training, we want to understand this human dynamic, and then wait (or better create) teachable moments in which to impart that knowledge.

I've previously talked about many many herbs that can be foraged or grown. Had I written a long missive detailing all of them at once, less than 1% of you would have bothered to read it. Isn't that correct? Take this to heart, because you'll be using the same technique to teach and pass it along in your own style.

Garlic is an extraordinary healing plant. Most people have a theoretical knowledge that it helps reduce blood pressure due to lessening fatty deposits of inflammation in the arteries (athereosclerosis). When you say a word like that, most people get a vague bored look, and you immediately lose their interest. That said, over their lifetime 100% of Americans and those on Western diets in which animal saturated fats will be consumed will have some amount of this disease. Isn't that a conundrum? Even young children on a Western diet will show traces of the inflammation. It doesn't matter much until the body wears down or is in a depressed state with lowered immune response.

Besides that property, garlic is an extraordinary wound healer. In the absence of antibiotics, it will be the primary means of eliminating infections. It kills many bacterial infectins, many fungal infections, and helps with parasites too.

[link to www.backwoodshome.com]
[link to www.yourmedicinalplants.com]

Take it raw, as cooking destroys the chemical compound which is believed to be the chief one that gives it healing power.

I believe, and I don't have evidence of this, but most healing plants have synergistic ways of healing by many phytocompounds within them. I believe that the Source placed these healing compounds in the plants as a gift. We think that one is the active ingredient, but I believe that it all works together for healing.
Anonymous Coward
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11/10/2012 05:01 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Thank you MzTreeChick and old guard. You two have thanked me before, and I'm grateful for your continued support. Thanks you Vic-chick13. I like your avatar. I haven't seen Space 1999 in ages. Amazing isn't it what we imagined by the dawn of the new millenium? Thanks Anonymous Coward User ID: 4079433 for your praise as well.

I'm sure that all of you that read this topic have had your own experiences. Those are equally valuable. I'll bet you've learned things that work in your region, as well as things you attempted.

New prepper comments are welcome. They add freshness to a topic since they're discovering things for the first time, and challenge old assertions. There may be reasons for prepping a certain way, but oft as not people prep a certain way because it was how they were taught. That doesn't mean it's the best way.
MzTreeChick

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Australia
11/10/2012 07:13 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Thank you MzTreeChick and old guard. You two have thanked me before, and I'm grateful for your continued support. Thanks you Vic-chick13. I like your avatar. I haven't seen Space 1999 in ages. Amazing isn't it what we imagined by the dawn of the new millenium? Thanks Anonymous Coward User ID: 4079433 for your praise as well.

I'm sure that all of you that read this topic have had your own experiences. Those are equally valuable. I'll bet you've learned things that work in your region, as well as things you attempted.

New prepper comments are welcome. They add freshness to a topic since they're discovering things for the first time, and challenge old assertions. There may be reasons for prepping a certain way, but oft as not people prep a certain way because it was how they were taught. That doesn't mean it's the best way.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734



cheer I really like how you explain beyond the usual 'ground-level' prepping.

On a personal note, have been slowly prepping for almost a year, the last several weeks $$$ have been very tight - what has made things easier is having food/toiletries/pet food etc as 'spare' downstairs.
Whilst we are not currently in DOOM it sure did feel good not having to stress about feeding the kids or cats!!!

(also listing what is used to make sure I replace what I use.)


hf rockon
* Eat recycled food, it's good for the environment and O.K for you. (Judge Dredd)
Anonymous Coward
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11/11/2012 01:55 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
cheer I really like how you explain beyond the usual 'ground-level' prepping.

On a personal note, have been slowly prepping for almost a year, the last several weeks $$$ have been very tight - what has made things easier is having food/toiletries/pet food etc as 'spare' downstairs.
Whilst we are not currently in DOOM it sure did feel good not having to stress about feeding the kids or cats!!!

(also listing what is used to make sure I replace what I use.)


hf rockon
 Quoting: MzTreeChick


Thanks. It's important to rotate stock, so using up from supplies and replentishing if a normal part of prepping. Most beginners think of prepping as a one time purchase of stock and then don't use it. It's why you hear people say that they don't prep anymore since they ended up throwing it out when it expired. We use our supplies like you do. That cushion means purchasing the goods when they come on sale versus when we simply run out of things.

Dandelion

Previously I've discussed using dandelion as a coffee substitute. The roots can be roasted, and particularly if blended with roasted chicory, then a very good tasting drink can be made in a French press.

Dandelion is an extremely common meadow plant and easily identified by its distinctive yellow flowers and seedhead. Every child can identify it, which means as shamans we want to teach about it. It produces great nutrition since it's high in Vitamin A and C, and a whopping 535% of vitamin K. This means that it's a valuable ally to prevent scurvy, but also night blindness and bleeding issues.
[link to nutritiondata.self.com]

Post-collapse, you won't be drinking milk unless you have goats or cows. Raising a cow is an intensive activity versus the much easier task of raising goats. This means you're looking for calcium sources, and eating three helpings of it a day would give you 30%. You'd need other sources, but you'd get some this way.

Medically, dandelion is a very good diuretic. That's important as hydrochlorothiazide(HCTZ) is one of the most common drugs for people post-40. It's helps reduce blood pressure. We want to teach overweight people plus people with pre-existing issues how to manage their blood pressure by taking it.

It's been used for liver issues. Many people have been chronically using alcohol and have damaged their livers. Since the liver is regenerative, by taking things that are liver tonics, we can help guide them back to health.
[link to www.yourmedicinalplants.com]

Most people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome can greatly benefit from taking it as it helps eliminate pain. See: [link to www.motherearthliving.com]
This will take some teaching as they've been told to avoid salads. Well yes, pre-collapse in general they should avoid eating tons of salad, but post-collapse they must eat salads to survive.

Note: don't collect it from roadsides as it absorbs toxins from the passing car exhausts. Find a good source from a meadow further away. Pick baby leaves since they're less bitter.

It actually should be cultivated. It was deliberately brought to the USA from Asia since it was a very useful plant. Any plant that isn't harvested will spread, and that's why dandelion is so prolific here. Never plant it in your garden as it's a nuisance, but the same could be said for fennel or mint as they also shouldn't be planted directly in gardens either.



Yes you can make dandelion wine, but the recipe requires lemons and oranges, so unless you live in a state that produces them like California or Florida, then I doubt you can precisely produce it. One could however approximate it by using a decoction of sumac berries to create the tart citrus notes.
[link to allrecipes.com]
Anonymous Coward
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11/11/2012 02:34 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Recycling and prepping

We'll all be homesteaders post-collapse. We'll be using agrarian skills like post-modern day people on a suddenly created frontier. Being isolated from our normal supply chains, we'll need to either produce the things we need, trade for them, find them in Nature, or scrounge around in junk yards and debris to recycle them.

Recycling this way is far different than gathering up aluminum cans to sell or donate. Recycling means to actually use those materials for other uses.

Say for example those aluminum cans I mentioned. The cans can be fashioned as batteries as previously detailed in earlier postings. The aluminum could be cut and used as a conductor of electricity. The can can be used as a candle lantern base since it's reflective. Lots of them can be assembled into a solar air heat exchanger, but only if you can find black paint too. The malleable of the metal means it can be reshaped into another tool . The tabs can be made into crude fish hooks.
[link to cache.lifehacker.com]
What can you think of using them for?

Plastic jugs like tough large orange juice containers can be made into water jugs that last a bit. Small water bottles make great asthma inhaler extensions, but only until the primatene lasts.
[link to cdn3.kevinmd.com]
Strong plastic bottles can be used with the SOLDIS method to purify water on rooftops or with intensely focused mirrors or parabolic lenses.

But think outside the box. If you had a solar backup generator, then you could briefly power up a garbage disposal. This means that you could divert the mash into a container and then quickly compost the debris which greatly facilitates the process. In a more complex setup, the mash can then be used ina biodigester to make methane. This means using the garbage disposal that isn't powered up post-collapse in a new way.

Everything in your home now become important since they're irreplaceable. Old clothing will still fit someone and can be traded. Old tires become roofing shingles or shoes (see precious postings).
[link to webecoist.com]
Old bicycle tires or worn belts may become the pockets for slings.
[link to www.survivalbill.ca]
Maybe a bicycle tire works as a crude belt replacement for a fashioned motor to turn a gearbox.

You won't have spare parts from a store anymore. You have to find ways of making them. Foraging isn't just in the woods and grasslands. It happens inside your home too.
Anonymous Coward
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11/11/2012 03:35 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Shepherd's Purse: Help for bleeding

Chances are Shepherd's Purse grows in your yard. It's so very common but missed by most people unless they're looking for it. It's one of several plants which can be used in place of black pepper, but peppergrass works better for that culinary purpose.

It has been used by the ancients as a means of controlling bleeding. There's nothing more frightening then a delivery that turns into a hemorrhage situation. You can pulverize the entire plant (topside half) dried or fresh for that purpose.

It can be taken internally for stomach bleeding (ulcers). It can be applied as a poultice externally on a wound, but you should apply garlic as an antibacrial and or soldier's herb (common plantain) as well. The latter will reduce the stinging and relieve some pain.



When a woman stops taking oral contraceptives, then her monthly flow returns. When this happens, a heavier than normal flow will occur as her endocrine system tries to balance out her normal hormone levels. Shepherd's purse tea help limit that, which is very helpful should you be bugging out through the woods or hunting when it occurs.

It's easily indentified, and so you should be teaching these kinds of plants to your children as well. They may be out doing chores and get hurt and then they can learn how to treat an injury quickly. Sometimes handling it immediately helps deal with it better. This is one of those skills that you'll be teaching as parents and educators in lieu of regular school post-collapse.

All of the skills I am trying to get you to learn build upon each other.
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11/11/2012 04:16 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Repairing a Coleman stove

Here is a link to detailed images and explanations on how to fix a coleman stove. Trust me, if you use it long enough, you'd better know how to maintain it.

[link to www.oldtowncoleman.com]


The most likely issue is a dried out leather cup that's not pumping. The video explains how to get it to work again. In many decades, I've seen this happen many times, and helped a lot of campers out who were puzzled why it wasn't working.
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11/11/2012 04:55 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Basics: Getting water from your hot water tank

[link to www.wikihow.com]

I like this brief article. While many people know that the water is there, many don't know how to get the water out. It has some important tips in it which explain how to practically remove the water and avoid contamination issues. The most likely issue you'll have is sediment in the bottom of the tank.



You should be checking to see if you have sediment issues NOW, not when you need that hot water.

Do you know where your electrical panel is? Do you know how to shut off the gas to your hot water tank? It will be one or the other. Do you know how to shut off the incoming water line?

Flushing a hot water tank often has to come from the top not the bottom if it's severely clogged with sediment.

Obviously if you wish to drink that water, you need a pristine hose. New hoses might have a rubbery taste, so they need to be flushed prior to using them for this purpose.


Would you drink that? This is why you need to check your tank for sediment today, not later when you need it.
MzTreeChick

User ID: 27008450
Australia
11/11/2012 07:45 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
[link to www.aloe-vera-and-handy-herbs.com]

I started with one small plant a few months ago, from that 1 I now have approx a dozen in pots spread around the backyard. I even have one upstairs that my daughters use, 15yr old uses aloe vera for her pimples - works amazing! Younger daughter uses it all the time for her cuts and scratches, they just help themselves now.

Hubby has also been using it on his arms and face, he gets radiation burns from the sun if he is not careful, I also no longer have to prompt the family, they see and feel the results for themselves.



hf rockon

Last Edited by MzTreeChick on 11/11/2012 07:47 PM
* Eat recycled food, it's good for the environment and O.K for you. (Judge Dredd)
Anonymous Coward
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11/11/2012 08:18 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
[link to www.aloe-vera-and-handy-herbs.com]

I started with one small plant a few months ago, from that 1 I now have approx a dozen in pots spread around the backyard. I even have one upstairs that my daughters use, 15yr old uses aloe vera for her pimples - works amazing! Younger daughter uses it all the time for her cuts and scratches, they just help themselves now.

Hubby has also been using it on his arms and face, he gets radiation burns from the sun if he is not careful, I also no longer have to prompt the family, they see and feel the results for themselves.



hf rockon
 Quoting: MzTreeChick


Aloe vera is a very useful plant for healing. I know that some dermatologists and plastic surgeons encourage their patients to se just that as a healing balm post surgery. It would be wisdom for several plants to be grown in your home to towards this purpose. Post-collapse, burns will be much more of an issue since more people will be working over an open flame.
Anonymous Coward
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11/12/2012 01:57 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
How to determine the value of an item or occupation post-collapse

People think of things as having some intrinsic value. Take for example diamonds or gold. We all assume that these items have a worth because people desire them. In truth they are valuable since they can be utilized as money since they're universally desired, and so they act as a medium of currency. While gold has a high value as in electronics conducting, this will probably have little value post-collapse. It has been however a jewelry material as have diamonds historically. Still both are not really essential for 99% of people post-collapse who are barely eking out an existence in the short-term.

Some items can be reproduced. Think agricultural products first. Food items, particularly complex carbohydrates and animal flesh are essential to 100% of people, and so learning how to grow and preserve them are essential and hence make them have a very high trade potential. Soybeans produce valuable protein. As hunting diminishes from over-predation, and as trapping plays out from the same, then protein will post likely come from this and animal husbandry. Both require skills, seed, weather, and luck to generate.

Making a quern is a very valuable skill. Bread can't easily be made without a means of creating flour. It takes a lot of work to create flour, and one can easily use up more calories than generate by consuming bread in the process. Millers will end up making money in the long-term. These operations were usually one per village. We don't need lots of stone masons to make querns, most likely this will be a family operation.

Some items can be constructed from Nature's bounty. Tools are essential items for 100% of people, and many tools can be fashioned from wood or bone or shells with only a modicum of skill and effort. Some tools can't be easily fashioned because they need forging, but some enterprising person will have that skill, and most likely will harvest scrap and or railroad spikes to produce knives. Other people will repair tools by replacing handles. Some people will sharpen tools.

There are two most common vices in society: tobacco and alcohol. Tobacco can be grown, harvest, and hung to dry, then packaged for sale. Paper constructed from plant fibers, but more likely will pipes be made from wood or corncobs. Low concentrations of ethanol can be made from apples, but it takes awhile for orchards to be planted and grown. The same is true for grapes, but they require even less time. Corn and potatoes can be fermented and used in distilling operations, but in history many people who drank these products went blind from other chemicals likewise produced from similar distillation temperatures. Since chemical testing will not be in use, but since people will drink regardless, ethanol operations will flourish.

There will be a great need to distill rubbing alcohol for medicinal reasons. Both kinds of still can easily catch fire since heat is used for distillation.

Items which involve fire generation will have high value. People who can produce chert and steel kits; people who can make torches; people who can make tallow and candles from most likely animal fat; people who grow wood will all have trade items of high value.

People who can dig wells will be able to trade their skills for goods. People who can set up biosand filters will too.

Many things will be extremely difficult to replicate post-collapse. Either parts will not be available and difficult to fabricate, or impossible to fabricate. The only way to acquire them will be by cannibalizing old equipment and having the know-how to assemble them and ensure their operation. Still, many of these will likely be luxury items, and 99% of people won't be able to afford them, not in the short-term.

Making gloves and shoes will be necessary items. Both can be made from leather. Shoes can be made from discarded tires. So can roofing shingles and those will be essential.

As preppers, you must think, “Can I learn skills to do these things? Can I replicate them? What is the lifetime value of something? What would someone be willing to trade for them?” What is valuable today, might have very little value in the future.

Think much longer than a bugout bag. That's looking to the first 72 hours of life. What will you do later? If you're not think way down the line, then all you have done is postpone death for three days.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Books

Books in history were extremely expensive prior to the printing press. In the old days, scribes were educated people who created books by hand. They knew the skills of making scrolls from animal skins or paper, then they carefully recopied existing books using inks which they fabricated themselves. Owning a book was rare and only the very wealthy had them. The reason was simple, it took a learned person perhaps a year to reproduce a single volume.

It wasn't until people like Gutenberg created the printing press that pamphlets and books were available for purchase. A scribe was no longer needed since a machine could produce the reading material far faster.

While many cities have libraries, post-collapse it's very likely that books will be burned for a variety of reasons. Some will no doubt be burned to provide heat. Some people will burn books for use as cigarette paper. Both have happen previously in history in wartime and during collapses. Religious fervor often creates censorship during those dark times, and book burning is common.

Books are among the most valuable items you possess today in your preps. No one can easily memorize the information inside them. Because they take up so much space, many preppers have gone to electronic books as a way to store them. It is possible though that due to EMP or natural disaster or lack of power that you'll be unable to utilize ebooks. That means a prudent prepper will have BOTH.

Regardless, having paper and ink is essential for prepping. Besides the knowledge we have now, you'll be journaling things by hand on a daily basis. You'll be recording how the crops are doing based upon changes you've made by soil amenities like animal manure, wood ashes, different kinds of humus, crop fruit rates, germination rates, yields, etc. You'll be writing down how well some animal feed or reproduce, or how often they get sick and what are the symptoms and what seems to help them thrive.

You'll be journaling about how your children are getting along with homeschooling. What lessons seemed to excite them? Which lessons didn't inflame their desire to learn? What should be changed when a younger child gets older?

Knowing how to make paper and ink will be important. Existing paper will most likely be burned by a lot of people. You can recycle yours into new paper. Inks can be made by things like pokeweed. All inks can fade, so understanding how to make them last is essential. Imagine writing many copious notes and then they become lost.

In ancient societies, information was often handed down from one generation to another by this means. Scrolls and books preserved old wisdom and information. The newer generation might not value that until they got older and re-read the books. Because of experience and maturity, they reassessed that information and grasped the value in it.

Please take this to heart.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
How long will it be until things return to normal?

After a collapse of society most people assume that things will return to normalcy in a matter of days. When that doesn't happen, they still are fairly calm as long as they can feed themselves and have water. If not, then a state of panic begins. If the population density is high and if the disaster is widespread, then based upon leadership and supply chains, that population at risk may see weaker members begin to perish.

In a protracted disaster, the deaths of society members and increasing hardship of its community will produce anger and resentment. As it continues, then riots are common, for while people are naturally somewhat calm when supplied with basic necessities, they have no reason to maintain that facade when threatened with declining health and death.

Rioting will ramp up as vocal members and natural leadership begin to fill the void of the leadership from the non-affected or less affected areas. If there are people with supplies within the same zone, and there is a high existing criminal element, then most likely people will steal in order to survive. When both groups combine you have a conflagration.

In a systemic collapse, it's very possible that it could take a year to return to normal, if at all. If the systemic collapse exists outside the natural boundaries of a country, then it might take a decade to return to normalcy.

Since some countries have more supplies and produce more goods easier than others based upon ability and natural resources, those countries may maintain order easier. It mostly depends upon their level of security, armaments, supply chains, and leadership. If a country isn't stable, then civil war is always possible. In times of combined collapse and civil war, most likely the ethos and organization will radically evolve into something new.

Consider the American Revolution compared to the French Revolution. The American Revolution occurred in a newly established group of colonies far away from the central organizing autocrats. The French Revolution occurred within the same area of the autocrats. Both occurred during the time of the Enlightenment in which church and nobility were rejected for the rights of the common man. After a repetitively short period of revolution in the newly created USA, some normalcy was reestablished. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, great violence seized France with some of the very same revolutionary leadership imprisoned during the time of Robespierre. Many were executed.

How do you think a collapse and revolution would play out in Western nations today since there isn't isolation anymore as colonies?

Probably, out best example of what to expect in the USA would be to study the Civil War.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Toxoplasma gondii

Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoa parasite which is usually spread by the fecal matter of cats. The cats deposit their animal waste in litter boxes usually, and then their owners get the material on their hands as they clean the boxes or aspirate minute amounts of it as they transfer the material. Outdoor cats may deposit their fecal matter in the soil and during rain the protozoa spread. If the contaminant get into garden spaces, then vegetables and herbs can become contaminated with them too.

I know there are good uses for cats as mousers. I agree that this is helpful, and that some people enjoy them as pets. In a collapse, it is very unwise to own a cat, particularly if you're pregnant or can get pregnant. Regardless, anyone particularly immune compromised people can get this illness.

It's believed that one third of the world population has the parasite. In a collapse, 90% or more of the people living in the zone will be immune compromised after a month's duration.

All vegetables must be thoroughly washed and all meat fully cooked in a collapse. Since soap will be in short supply, it's vital that you understand how to make soap (probably from wood ashes and animal fat), store soap, and know how to harvest soap from plants with sapponins in them like bracket fern roots. No matter what, you can wash in a mild wood ash solution with a water rinse, and most probably kill the parasite (along with many others and bacteria too).

A fetus is particularly prone to getting a host of insults from this parasite. It would be foolish to think in a post-collapse world that having a cat indoors in a reasonable aspect of life. Personally I wouldn't allow one on my property, and I realize that this position will anger many readers, something I am absolutely unapologetic about.

Toxoplasma gondii manifests as flu-like symptoms in the short run, and in the long run leads to depression and suicidal tendencies. There is a very high rate of accidental death in affected people and an association with a manifestation of schizophrenia behavior too.

In a post-collapse, many pet owners will release their pets into the wild because they won't be able to feed them. Expect high populations of feral dogs and cats. It is gruesome, but some pet owners will end up eating their pets, and so this poses a high danger of contamination from this practice.

The typical treatment for it is pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine, plus folinic acid. You won't have them.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Making ink from walnut or pokeweed

Here are some links and videos on how to identify pokeweed and how to make it into an ink after it is fermented. Often vinegar is used as a mordant (a fixative for the dye) after fermentation, but vinegar is a natural result of fermentation too.
[link to www.soyouwanna.com]
[link to www.greatstems.com]


One could use some sweetener from Kentucky coffee bean trees, raisins, dried apples or persimmon to produce the yeast and vinegar too. All topics which I have previously mentioned in past postings.

A quill may be easily made by using a feather.

It will initially be purple but will dry and age into a brown.

Walnut ink doesn't require fermentation and produces a strong ink. It will stain hands for a long time. It can be used as a good way to produce a dark brown dye for clothing, a very useful property for stealth and for hunting.

[link to denevell_books.home.insightbb.com]

It takes time to cook, 20 hours or so, so this takes planning and perhaps partnering with another tribe member to keep it going.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Recycling paper

Making paper that is white is very difficult and beyond the capability of most people. Making paper from flax and hemp is as well. Most people will recycle their existing paper for use for journalling and making things like funnels or whatever. This means that your paper will come out grey or colored based upon the kinds of paper pulp that you create.

Here is a link and a video which describes the process. The better organized you are with tools for screening, pressing, and shaping the paper, the better the end result. During drying it will pull so you can't expect perfection and uniform thickness, but you can produce something that will work.

[link to www.pioneerthinking.com]



This kind of paper will most certainly not be acid free unless you know the origin of the original paper. That means that it won't hold up more than 100 years.
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11/12/2012 05:15 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Recycling glass bottles

If you talk to anyone who lived through the Great Depression, you'll find that they saved all their glass bottles and reused them. You will as well in a collapse.

Here's one method that is probably superior to any other method for cutting glass bottles. It cleanly cuts the glass such that minimal buffing is necessary. It uses the principle of using hot water and cold water to fracture the glass along the etched line.



You now have a replacement drinking glass and a glass funnel. A glass funnel is very useful since you'll be using it for things like wood ash lye solution.
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11/12/2012 05:31 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Bookbinding: the Coptic Stitch Method

The most likely means of bookbinding will be the Coptic Stitch method. It only requires having some basic tools like an awl to drill uniform holes in the paper and covers, some waxed thread like floss, a sewing needle of sufficient size, and patience. Of course if one had a papercutter, then you'll have uniform paper sizes, plus a good way to line them up carefully. I'd recommend having a good sharpener in order to maintain the papercutter, plus all your other tools.


The chief benefit is that book produced this way open FLAT. What a concept! Don't you wish all of your books did that so you could refer to them while continuing to work with your handtools or cook?



Making an oversized one would make an excellent Christmas gift for people to draw in as a sketchbook or to journal or to paste in ideas. Journaling is just about the best prepping tool to impart to children as it allows them to make realistic short and long term goals and dream about a better future.

Prepping is not about doom, it's about Hope, but to get there you need to plan. One cannot plan without writing things down and doing self-assessments about your ability or lack of ability.