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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
Anonymous Coward
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11/14/2012 09:51 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
How to recharge a battery from a scrap solar light, a cordless rechargable drill, and a minimum of equipment (like alligator clips and wire some scrap battery holders recycled from household electronic devices.

Anonymous Coward
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11/14/2012 10:13 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Drinking Coltsfoot tea with honey will quiet the cough.
 Quoting: old guard


There are certain mutagens in Coltsfoot, and as a result it's not recommended for infants to drink that tea. See:
[link to en.wikipedia.org]

[link to www.webmd.com]

The latter is very authoritative. It should be noted that there have been a few isolated cases of toxicity, and as a result some banning of it's use.
Anonymous Coward
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11/14/2012 10:53 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Youtube videos

Whenever you have spare time, learn how to use aps to download youtube videos. Many browsers like Firefox have simple ways of saving the files. Once you do that, watch and rewatch them and use them as practical guides, not mere entertainment.

Watch important ones like Dave Cantebury's survival/bushcraft series.Cherish Paul Wheartons's videos on permaculture and the people who follow it called permies.

These are excellent resources and will be the means of surviving and thriving into future generations.

Dave Cantebury's videos:
[link to www.youtube.com (secure)]

Paul Wheaton's videos:
[link to www.youtube.com (secure)]
Anonymous Coward
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11/15/2012 01:39 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
What's your talent?

Not that long ago, I was at a party. Many of the people at the part were making small talk, but some of them were “working the room”. They'd go from group to group, introduce themselves in a clever way, tell a joke, tell a story, explain what they did as an occupation, tell a story about a successful job they'd done within their occupation, tell another joke, then pass out business cards.

I've done this too. It's a way to get new immediate business, but often as not it's more about making a good impression and potential new business in the future. It is in essence the first meeting you've ever had with someone, and this “tone” sets up trust. If insincere, it will come off as hollow and false, and their BS detector will being going off like a loud klaxon.

Many times we're evaluated in the first 15 seconds of meeting someone. If you haven't made a good impression in the first ten-fifteen minutes, chances are people are not going to really want to be around you or give you a second opportunity.

Think about dating. It's the same way. Sure some people might be easier to date than others, but it's in that first encounter that attractiveness is noticed.

In a SHTF scenario, you'll be planning your own methods of dealing with the collapse. In time, you'll be communicating with your neighbors and forming a tighter knit real community. Whatever experiences you had in the past will carry forward into the future. If you've helped them when their car is stuck in snow, let them inside when they've been locked out, helped their children if they fell and got a scrape, etc then it will be a lot easier. You'll be considered an altruistic “good Joe”.

Many times we don't know our neighbors, and so you'll be “working the crowd” when you meet them in a general way post-collapse. You have moments to make an impression and communicate why they should trust you.

The only way for this to work is to be sincere and have plans and be able to communicate your talent. If you don't have a talent, just an idea, then you'll be labeled a “dreamer”. If you aren't sincere, then no one will trust you. Why should they? If you can't be bothered to speak in slow calm ways with persuasive words and speak clearly and confidently, then why would they listen?

In the absence of authority, people need answers. In the short term, people expect to be rescued. If their level of skills and supplies is very low, then they'll expect being rescued more. The more talents, supplies, and usually the depth of spirituality, then sometimes they perceive the seriousness of a disaster. This group may be willing to listen to a community plan versus the weak notion of being rescued.

Eventually people want answers and direction, because most people are followers not leaders. They want someone to tell them it's going to be alright. They want someone with a plan and confidence and goodness. They want someone with skills and can communicate and is trustworthy. You must be those things even if you don't desire leadership. It might be that you end up as a follower but you temporarily help organize. It might be that you help facilitate the process by recruiting the natural leader and giving them allegiance.

Regardless learning to become a good communicator, learning skills, and then demonstrating them clearly in minimal time is what it's going to take to help people as things decline into a collapse.

Many times, I've given tips over the last year and a half, and it's usually about seizing the initiative. You have a short window in which to organize, and if you miss that window, it could become dog-eat-dog and that benefits no one.

Imagine this. Let's say that you're one of the bug out crowd. You arrive dirty, tired, hungry, with parasites, fleas, and most likely some illness from your journey from your urban center to a small town that's safer. The ONLY way that they'll admit you and your family is if it's in the best interest of the community that has survived and evolved. Can you in those first minutes of contact plead your case?

You'll have to. Many of us aren't good communicators. We grunt at wives or girlfriends. We can be dour. We are used to being well-fed, rested, healthy, fully hydrated, etc. When we feel out of sorts, we naturally get grumpy.

If you are among the bugout crowd, unless you can impress your new neighbors in seconds, then they won't listen to you whatsoever. You'll be perceived as a drifter, and since drifters are known to commit crimes and be problems for the sheriff, then they won't want you around.

Let's say that you're wandering through someone's property. Do you really think you'll talk your way out of it? I doubt it...not post-collapse. The only ones who can make it for a limited time sheltering in the forests will be those who avoid populated areas and hole up in makeshift shelters. Since there's limited food there unless you've got advanced foraging and hunting skills, you'll eventually seek out agricultural towns.

There are many good reasons why civilizations evolved from hunter-gatherer societies into tribal farming. It's too difficult for even good hunters to make it for very long. This means that eventually you'll seek out these towns. By then, if you've avoided them for awhile, they may have had many negative experiences with fleeing city folk. You must impress them with a prepared speech of why they should allow you to be there living among them.

If you don't have skills, then what you should be doing right now is learning them. Not just theoretical, but practical ways of surviving and coping in the short, interim, and long term. This means committing that knowledge to paper and then developing the best persuasive words to communicate it.

If you look different, talk different, act different, well why would you expect suspicious people to believe you. They don't know you and now they can't verify anything that you say. For all they know you're a serial killer or rapist or child molester. You're a big unknown and hence a major security risk. This means that you have to not only say what you can do, but show what you can do. Most people that have talents can do that in ten minutes or less.

If you have mechanical ability, then show them by demonstrating it on a car or piece of nearby equipment. Explain what a gear box is. Point out pulleys and name the parts. Explain that this or that needs maintenance and how you'd fix it.

Let's say you're a medical person. Ask about what sicknesses they've had. What kind of symptoms are usually seen in those illnesses? What kinds of medicines are used to treat them? How long is the recovery?

If you've served in the military, explain about the battles you've been in. What kind of weapons were used? What tactics? How many people did you command?

Whatever your ability, you need to be able to clearly make it known that the skills you have are what the town needs. You won't have long to tell them, and the longer it takes to explain it, the less of a chance they'll believe you.
Anonymous Coward
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11/15/2012 12:04 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The difference between a survivalist and a prepper and someone who bugs out

In the old days, say 1970 or so, a lot of returning veterans saw that there were issues in this country. Their military service was discounted. They were considered evil and tools of a branch of capitalism that exported military armaments around the world. It was shocking to them, but understandable since they'd become enmeshed in limited warfare in Vietnam and Cambodia. It was an idea of opposing communism in 3rd world nations by the intervention of democratic forces from Western nations but supporting brutal dictatorships. It polarized the nation of the United States and was a dismal failure.

In a world that had created nuclear weapons, no one could reasonably use them. The superpowers of the USSR, China, and the USA had them, and so even though the weapons were supremely powerful, to begin an exchange of nuclear weapons would lead to Mutually Assured Destruction. At the time, many military folks felt a deep distrust of any communist, a feeling equally expressed by the other side. It was a stalemate. Some felt that eventually “dominoes” would tumble, a metaphor for foreign nations that accepted communism as an economic system. Since those nations intervened in far flung places, just like the United States, it was inevitable that attrition would eventually mean world-wide communism.

Since many Western nations (NATO) had accepted socialism, and since there were similarities with that economic system and communism, it was felt that they too were prey to eventually becoming communist nations. Of course that's not entirely logical, but bear with me. In addition, these nations also had nuclear weapons, and so the USSR and China began supplying nuclear weapons to Warsaw Pact nations under their aegis. Other nations like Israel and India had nuclear weapons, later Pakistan, and so at some point some of those nations might also begin a nuclear exchange.

Since nuclear exchange was most probably fatal to both sides, other weapons of mass destruction were also invented. Biological weapons which infected the opposing side had been used since medieval days. At that time, trebuchets, which were early siege weapons which hurls rocks as artillery, could also throw diseased cows or dead bodies to either side, and hence cause a plague. Biological weapons could infect the opposite side, but then how could anyone reasonably invade post-attack? Chemical weapons were also invented which released nerve agents to paralyze and permanently cripple or kill the enemy, but of course would create a toxic soup lying around and decontamination would be an ecological nightmare.

Because of that, some military folks felt that it was best to prepare for their survival. The primary concern was nuclear. They termed themselves “survivalists”. They planned ways to live in a post-apocalyptic world that probably was dismal at best even if only a few weapons were launched on either side. Since all computer wargaming proved that once an exchange began, it probably would cascade by allies becoming involved with secondary targets, it seemed improbable that any nation would be left unscathed. The air and water would ultimately be inundated with radioactive isotopes, and what few people didn't die in initial hits to urban areas, would probably die in subsequent pollution as it circled the globe.

Some felt that there would be safer zones away from the primary areas, and so there might be pockets of humanity that would survive. It was terribly grim, but only a means of clinging to life by the most tenuous means.

At the same time, many books were written which dealt with ecology. There was a renewal of people interested in agricultural practices since people felt that “getting back to the land” would solve a lot of society's ills. It became a world-wide phenomena. Some were interested in biodynamic intensive farming(Alan Chadwick). Some felt that not tilling the soil would result in higher yields long-term (Masanobu Fukuoka).

In the USA, many people became attracted to the idea. Some were ex-hippies, who had embraced the ideas of peace and love (by great over-generalization). They originally attempted to use organic gardening to produce their food, a radical idea that proposed not using chemical fertilizers since it caused hard-pan in the soil, but to use long term rock dusts to slowly create strong root systems. They also proposed strengthening the soil by using composts and green manure, an idea of tilling under organic vegetable matter. In addition, they composted their own manure as well.

The idea spread to religious communities. Others were children of farmers, and became attracted to the positive ideas of the movement, and took the ideas and combined the ideas of their ancestors synthesizing this into a homestead movement. All of them experimented with both traditional and organic methods to find a balanced approach.

Magazines like Mother Earth News came into being because there were enough people interested in the ideas. It made sense since there was so much doom and gloom from the idea of mutually assured destruction that an opposite idea of Hope began to bloom.

Simultaneously, there were many people interested in bushcraft. These people were often interested in history, and wanted to learn how people lived long ago during the pioneer and tribal era. Many were already hunters or fisherman. Many were country boys or farmers. How did people start fires? How did they forage for plants and herbs? How did they trap or hunt or fish? How did they build shelters. People interested in preparing, either those who worried about doom or those who wanted to learn more skills and were more optimistic, decided to learn some bushcraft too. See Tom Brown or later Dave Canterbury.

Likewise, some people rejected modern medicine. They saw a lot of people not getting healthier by technology, only living longer into decrepitude. They wondered about how medicine used to be in ancient times. They studied herbalism like Kampo in the East, or simply Native American tribal lore in the West or Ayurveda in India (Chopra). Some preppers decided that in the event of a collapse or disaster, they might become their own doctors and therefore learned medicine and herbalism as new skillsets.

In life, people will take ideas and begin to pick and choose from what's available as an ethos and form their own new philosophy. This became the basis for the modern preppers of today.

They began to see that world governments were not really working for their best interest. Economic intervention by the Federal Reserve meant that all countries were tied together mostly to help a handful of corporations. Because centralized governments spend more than they can ever hope to bring in through taxes, great concern was raised about the eventual stability of nations.

While it was possible for a plague to accidentally be released, or chemical weapons accidentally leaked, or a limited nuclear exchange, the more likely issue would be a global economic issue similar to a Great Depression. This would only concentrate the power of the global corporations similar to the increased power of the elite in the US just prior to the Great Depression. In that event, the rich had sold assets prior to the Crash, and then repurchased assets as bargain prices. Then they'd invested in military armaments as World War II came about.

Some preppers were more concerned with doom. They worried about weather changes which seemed to either be happening cyclically or by design or by “global warming”. They worried about technological issues like Y2K. They saw odd coincidences in the spread of disease like H1N1 and worried about pandemics. Since we'd had major pandemics in history and they seem to go in cycles, then it was felt that another was inevitable. Other increases in earthquakes worried some preppers. Areas like the New Madrid zone and its history made them consider the cyclical issue of another serious quake. The same was true about EMP and the Carrington Event.

As more and more people began to prep for any of the above reasons, others mostly mocked the ideas. Still, there were persuasive and very real historical precedents for the concern.

Some began to see that half-measures might be necessary in order to cope with a disaster. Any of the issues might cause a need to bugout from their locations, and so if they purchased a few items, and placed them in a bag which could easily be carried, then they might be able to move from their urban areas. Since those urban areas might be most affected, and since those areas were the least likely to be sustainable, then they'd buggout to a rural area. Most had a minimum of equipment and skills. They'd synthesized their own thinking of survival to making it for 72 hours longer. Of course this meant ultimately relying upon the grace of rural folks.

This is where we are today. People who prepare, fit somewhere along this long continuum. You have to decide where you are mentally, physically, and spiritually.

To me, the most beneficial place is be optimistic and hopeful and learn deeply with skills and supplies. Becoming this way is not about doom, it's about saving money since times are tough and storing up materials in case things get worse. It's a long term investment of time, talent, and treasure to make my life more rich and full. It's about getting closer to God (the Source) and Nature and trying to get back to living in the Garden of Eden. It's mainly about building community in order to be balanced and live within a better kind of civilization.

Preppers who fit into this ethos also prepare by having offensive/defensive weapons. It's not all benign and Kum Ba Ya. It a reasonable approach to living life to the fullest but protecting your family pragmatically long term.

If all you think you need is to bugout, then make an alcohol stove (for which you probably can't synthesize the fuel), but then don't come and try to live in my neighborhood and forage on my land.
Anonymous Coward
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11/15/2012 12:26 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Essential equipment: Fresnel Lens

Since there's apparent interest in SHTF Cooking and people want to minimize learning the most basic skill of firemaking, here's an essential piece of equipment that is vastly superior to a magnifying lens: a fresnel lens.

This form of lens creates a very intensively hot focal point when the sun's rays are hitting the top of the lens.


They can be purchased as cheaply as $2 US and have their place in sunny climates and take up no room whatsoever but can get scratched or scored.

If placed in a frame, and one has basic carpentry skills, then a long term cooking device can be made which generates considerable heat.




However you can merely cook with it:
Anonymous Coward
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11/15/2012 12:31 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Harvesting a large fresnel lens from a rear projection junk tv

Well, there's been a collapse, and there's no electricty. What can you harvest from junk in order to get a large fresnel lens? A rear projection TV.

Anonymous Coward
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11/15/2012 12:48 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Using an Ipod as an external hard drive

As preppers, we want to use the common items we have in our homes in nontraditional means in order to best utilie what we have post-collapse. It might be necessary to transmit information but we have no Internet, and to write down lots of information might take too long.

A great way to create a portable library is to use an Ipod. Here's how you could place pdf files, youtube videos, audio mp3 prepping guides, etc on your Ipod.


If you had that, and you wanted to transmit a message to someone far away, you could give them the message on a third parties Ipod, then they could deliver the message.
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11/15/2012 01:02 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Contagion and Discernment post-collapse

[link to www.myfoxny.com]

Right now in the worst affected area of Hurricane Sandy, there's a cough going around. Simultaneously there's an epidemic of whooping cough. Historically there are issues with mold in homes, especially when rainwater comes in, or flooding occurs. What is going on in that locale?

This will be a common issue post-collapse. News will spread slowly. We're used to CNN and Fox News and the Internet. Then post-collapse there won't be communication other than locally or if strangers come in, much as occured in pioneer days.

When contagion was suspected, people stayed away in order to better their chance of survival. Strangers were not allowed to visit and were turned away at borders, because they were a primary vector in which contagion spread.

It could be simply a flu locally, but given that people are immune compromised from exposure, lack of adequate diet, dehydration, and being sleepless, then it could grow serious. As preppers you should imagine how YOU would treat it, diagnosis it, and refer to both medical books and herbal books on methods for eradicating it.

The Hurricane Sandy news items are opportunities to independently research prepping. It's not merely to show altruistic concern nor grotesquely act as spectators.
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11/15/2012 02:23 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Heirloom seeds

All long term preppers are gardeners in the process of becoming farmers. The only real security is learning how to grow things or raise animals or fish from aquaculture. You can only eat from a can for so long, and then your supplies run out. One way is not superior to the other. It is both/and not either/or. Because we must preserve food for the period post-harvest until the next harvest (usually early November until early June[8 months!] through early November), then learning canning, dehydrating, and pickling is a necessary step for a diverse healthy diet.

Most seeds today are hybrid. In order for the seed company to make money, they need to create seeds that they alone can sell, otherwise a wise gardener would simply save their seeds from year to year. If one saves hybrid seed, there's a good chance that it will still germinate, but may not germinate as well or the plant may revert to earlier varieties or it may be sterile or it may produce less yields.

A long time ago, our ancestors traveled to the New World. They liked certain foods like chicory or dandelion or a particular variety of squash or wheat or whatever. Since they often came from far away places like Ireland or Italy or Norway or China, they had certain cultural foods which they enjoyed, and so since those foods might be hard to come by in America, then they brought seeds with them from far away. Others began in New England and the Atlantic coast, and then because of Westward expansion, brought tree seedlings, seeds, and transplants and kept them alive until they could be replanted in their new soil. The West began in fits and starts in Kentucky and Indiana (first cowboys and train robberies), and from their spread North and South and ultimately West to the Pacific Ocean.

In some cases, varieties of seeds now called Heirlooms were originally brought from local areas in foreign countries and then over generations were brought into entirely new frontier areas of the USA. To be considered an heirloom, the species has not changed through open pollination, is at least 50 years old but may be as much as 100+ years old, and has been deliberately saved. These are the varieties that were carried by immigrants.

Of course, some people stayed in their respective nations, and they too saved Heirloom seed. They continued the traditions of their ancestors or they decided to plant those good tasting varieties. In many cases these plants taste better, but perhaps since most people purchase their food in grocery stores, plants are more uniformly chosen by the companies that ship them. Grocers cannot carry 10 varieties of carrots, because as one increase the number of species carried, then more inventory will be not be purchased. Other varieties may taste great, but may bruise easier and so since shipping is a concern as well as ripening, then those varieties which meet a happy medium of storing well, shipping well, and taste reasonably good are most often chosen by the corporate farms to grow.

This means as a prepper and gardener, one chooses the best seed to purchased based upon your particular needs. You don't grow what works best for someone else, but based upon logic and personal decisions of taste preference. You do it based upon yields and drought-resistance. You do it based upon speed of growth and plant disease-resistance. You do it based upon whether you want a short bush variety or a long vine variety so it will fit in your garden space. You do it because a certain kind of carrot may “fork” (misshapen formation) in the dense clay of your area, while others may be more suited to it.

Having Heirloom seeds need not be more expensive. It may be that you can trade for them. Many gardeners or organizations may give them away or may charge a nominal fee for shipping and packaging. They want the variety to perpetuate since it tastes good or has some botanical quality or simply for historical reasons too. Other places commercially are setup for large varieties or may prepackage Heirloom seeds for preppers in order to best meet general needs. Do your research and make an informed decision based upon logic and emotional desire.

Please prayerfully consider purchasing good Heirloom varieties since they're non-hybrid. You then need to understand how those plants go to seed, deliberately help them to seed, and then collect the seed, and properly store it so it germinates in the next growing season.

Many gardeners purchase transplants now. They purchase them from a greenhouse since they don't have the time to start seedling, nor have the ability, nor the patience to germinate and tend them. When beginning to germinate the seeds, they make mistakes. Their plants are “leggy” because the seeds are not warm and have adequate sun, and then they grow improperly. Don't assume you understand what the seeds need to germinate, but carefully research this process.

Otherwise you'll lose valuable time. You can't simply plant seeds in a cold garden with inadequate days of sunshine or improper moisture. Many areas have unusual growing seasons based upon typical periods of light, rain, heat, etc. Say you live on a mountain. Maybe you live in an arid environment. Perhaps the soil is poor and doesn't contain the proper nutrients. It might be that the chief cause is YOU and your lack of ability, concentration, and lack of research.

It may be that you deliberately do things like mini-greenhouses in order to germinate them well, or you might end up extending your harvest like building cold frames. Think a little outside the box to have the best growing season for your family. Agriculture is an art as well as a science.

All primitive people could grow crops from seed, it's simply a matter of desire and motivation. In a collapse, you'll be producing food from a garden, or foraging for it. Since a plant may grow only seasonally or only if a particular niche, then foraging is very much like hunting. Don't count on finding enough food from the Land. This isn't how Nature provides, because like it or not, most of us are so disconnected from the Land that we can't or don't see where it grows anymore.

One of the great joys as a gardener is a “volunteer” plant. Seeds will naturally fall upon fertile soil, and may spring up on it's own. I've had many of these, and some were strong and ended up growing just fine until harvest. Others will not be so great and will produce less. Some may grow where it's not ideal or wanted. They may come up later than your artificially germinated plants. Not all plants can be transplanted. Realize that plants will shallow root systems may end up getting “shocked” by the change in climate. Read and see if it possible.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The safe method of acquiring mushrooms post-collapse

Gathering wild mushrooms is very risky. I would hesitate to do this cheifly because several times in history trained members or even leadership in mushroom societies have accidentally gathered the incorrect mushroom type and poisoned themselves. It seems very risky to me that even an expert can make a mistake.

The only kind of wild mushroom that I would gather are morels. You would be lucky to find them.

They are a very unique looking mushroom.

Other than that, the best way is to deliberately cultivate Shitake mushrooms from spore kits onto prepared oak logs. One could hand saw these and soak them and create the holes with a hand drill.
[link to c3.casa.com]



To do this well, you need a source of wax to plug the hole after placing the spore plug in, and by doing this you eliminate cross-contamination from other competing fungus. You still must carefully harvest in case some other species naturally comes up.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Here's are links which compare true morels from false morels

[link to www.michiganmorels.com]
[link to www.ohiomushroom.org]
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Showering post-collapse

A long time ago, people took baths once a week. It might be that they had a tub, but the tub required heating up water on a woodstove, and so since it takes to haul it from a nearby stream and heat it sufficient to be comfortable and lots of firewood and the relative discomfort to be around a hot stove, etc then it was rare to soak in a tub.

They often might rig up a shower outside with a privacy screen, then alternating hot and cold water dumped over head,then they could quickly scrub in between, and clean themselves off faster. People took turns heating the water or drawing it to the shower, and so people again could weekly shower. This method is much better and more efficient, but won't work if really dirty.

Many times people simply washed off in cold streams or lakes. Doing so post-collapse with so many people will result in polluting your fishing hole or ruining the water supply.

How much water would be needed for a six month period for a family of four to drink and to shower once a week?

4 x 2 gallons (drinking and cleaning) x 180 days = 1440 gallons

4 x 5 gallons (short showers 26 times (4.3 x 6 months) = 520 gallons

4 x 10 gallons (regular showers 26 times) = 1040

Total amount needed = 2480 gallons

That's a lot of water. You can buy large containers of water from agricultural companies that provide storage containers. You still need to think about how you're going to support the weight of it.
8.345404 lbs. (Weight of water) x 3,000 gallons (typical size) = 25,036 lbs. Very heavy!

Multiple that times the communities need plus the amount of firewood that will typically be used for cooking and heating water. See the issues?
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Daily cleaning up post-collapse

A pitcher and a wash basin are regular items in most country homes even today.Usually they're dusty and not used, but simply decorative. If you've visited a rural area, you probably have seen them:
[link to lh6.ggpht.com]

This is the primary way that you'll be cleaning up post-collapse.

Most people will slowly run out of soap. They won't know how to make it, and so because of gathering firewood, foraging, hunting, and working outside, they'll get grimier and grimier.

The best way to get clean is to use a little pinch of wood ash in the water. This will create a mild lye solution, but you must teach people how to wash. Getting that in your eye will burn just as much as soap if not more so.

Some soaking pine needles in water can also be used to clean as long as the solution doesn't soak long. Rinse well in either case.

Because most people haven't planned, they'll rarely have water to clean themselves. Many diseases will occur as well as bacterial skin infections and then later serious infections from coliform bacteria like Shigella or Salmonella.

You want a special basin to use only for this purpose, otherwise you'll contaminate any water used in it for other purposes. A smart prepper will have a special area used, or simply the bathtub with the basin sitting on the closed toilet. Probably by then, the sewers won't work anyway, and you'll need the space.

Because the sewers don't work, you must catch the water and not let it drain out the tub. Probably if you have a lick of sense, you'll divert the water from your tub into a grey water holding tank, and then water your garden with it. The mild soap solution won't hurt your plants, but of course it's more basic than normal, so watch your pH levels.

All greywater used to clean dishes or the kitchen area will be utilized in the garden as well.
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11/15/2012 04:10 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Remembering history: The Six Day War

Today we're having a conflict between Israel and Muslim forces. It also happened in history in 1967, and it the brief conflict was call the "Sixth Day War". Here's some information about it.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]


All websites will have their spin on the conflict largely based upon if they support the nation of Israel or Palestine. It's so divisive a subject that it's probably impossible to find a balanced source of information.

It might grow much more serious given money and organization by Muslim forces today.

If one is a Christian, the topic makes people tighten up given the simultaneous issues of Armageddon and on the opposite side the 12th Imam.

Read history and prepare please.
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11/15/2012 05:35 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Swales and permaculture

While digging a cistern is a very worthwhile project, it may be that it happens later as a community project. One way to deal with all of that rainwater being placed into a better area and slowly dispursing is a swale.




This is in effect a form of mass drip irrigation. You must have a hillside that's depositing water on your growing area to build it though.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A very useful collection of recipes

In a collapse, you'll be making a lot of common recipes to most frugally and carefully maintain survival. Here's the very best recipes I've seen in one place on how to make things like hardtack, parched corn, jerky, harvest common animals, etc.

I'd print it out and place it in plastic covered sheets. You're going to find recipes like these and use them often if a collapse occurs.
[link to www.preparednessandsurvival.info]
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
More about rapeseed (canola) oil

It's entirely possible that survivors post-collapse will grow rape as a source of oil. I've discussed it's use before, but to jog your memory, rape when planted will heartily break up clay soils, and then often it's tilled under. Since you won't have a plow and a team, and will be doing things by hand, then planting rape will seriously assist you in breaking sod.

Today, rape is often known by a product that's lower in saturated fat called canola oil. This oil however is most often made by GMO seeds. I don't know if there are non-GMO seeds available. I hope that someone can find a source.

It does produce quite a bit of oil per acre, and so it's likely that this kind of oil will be grown for cooking and for lighting in lanterns. Here's how to express the oil with a press.
[link to www.preparednessandsurvival.info]

NOTE: Rapeseed oil plants were often used after oil was expressed out as animal feed, however I've heard that livestock won't touch the stuff.

As previously discussed, sesame produces a better light (less smoky) and with better lumens emitted and not as flickering.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Non-GMO rapeseed suppliers can be found here:
[link to www.nongmosourcebook.com]

They keep track of many suppliers to non-GMO seed in general.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
All of the Tom Brown books are excellent. He even wrote one on practical urban survival, though it must be out of print since it is so old.

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1496915


I still have mine! I took it out and reviewed it while the power was out during hurricane Sandy!!!
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11/15/2012 09:11 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
wanted to continue to encourage and thank you for all of your valuable posts. i am using this information as my personal go-to guide in addition to my hard copy resources. we haven't been preparing as long as many on here, i am sure, but i feel at least we are making an effort. which brings me to a serious personal concern regarding my immediate and extended family. they aren't contributing their efforts towards planning ahead. there is only so much i can personally accomplish, with an already full schedule. how do you motivate others to prepare? unfortunately, my words of precaution are undermined and ignored, resulting in less security measures being taken by those around me. if and when shtf, how can it be expected that i carry the burden of so many? i simply cannot do it all! thank you again, for all your help!
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11/15/2012 09:16 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
well, for the kids, they'll need some entertainment and stuff to keep them occupied and calm them down -- I suggest learning to do string figures and games, ukulele and/or harmonicas (very portable instruments) and small songbook, and a chess set...along with a few decks of playing cards. If you can, jacks and marbles are also easy to bring around and play anywhere. Storytelling and Singing are also fine skills for the whole family to develop, always portable!
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Information for the Bugout folks: Radius of travel

We don't have much information about long distance hiking, but we can get some understanding from data collected second-hand from folks participating on the Appalachian Trail.

[link to hikinghq.net]

The average through hiker (someone attempting the whole trail, versus a day or section hiker which is someone doing sections of the trail over time) were not in great shape to begin with, only “fair to good” and they “averaged 12.8 miles per day if in good condition and 9.5 if in fair condition”. After a month of getting used to it and the routine, the average per day was “16 miles per day”.

The hikers burned “3076 – 6137 calories per day”. They ate more when they could since they couldn't carry it. Those high calories are probably in-town, mass consumption of calories to make up all the energy expended.

It's impossible to carry everything, so they resupplied. This meant extra side trips that detoured them off the trail. This can be considerable and significantly add to how much you walk. The same is true for foraging or hunting or trapping or gathering water. Calculate how much of your 13 miles (10 if in fair shape) will be actual forward distance toward your goal, and how much will be finding a campsite, putting up shelter or making shelter, gathering firewood, and the above resupply from local materials.

I doubt more than 1% could walk more than a month. Figure in the limitations of weather for one as Winter is coming on. Figure security issues for being on any trail post-collapse as time goes on. Figure fatigue and illness or very likely injury. Even if all of that wasn't an issue, what about supplies and not being able to forage?

The average weight loss was 17lbs. Some lost as much as “fifty pounds” traveling. Most men lost fat and muscle weight. They simply couldn't eat enough versus calories expended.

Only 10-15% of those who attempt the Appalachian Trail complete it.

Average weight carried: 30-50 lbs with half being food and water.

Remember that they burned up on average three pairs of shoes along the journey.

Now, that's a long long trail. Let's vaguely extrapolate based upon that data:

Remember, you probably can't resupply, and you'll certainly have great difficulty finding food. Even what little food you find, it's expending calories, so unless you can reasonably hope to find food in very high amounts (1,000 calories or more) then it may not be worth it to spend time finding food as you may use up more than your gain. If you do kill a large animal, you can't save it, or carry it out either. If you stop to make jerky it will take a lot of effort, green wood fires, and TIME.

If you carried 50 lbs, what's the maximum you could travel based upon 25 lbs of that being food and water? Then calculate how many days from that realizing that it's very strenuous and burning up calories.

Many places won't have water, study your topography for the planned trip and see if there's any water sources along the way. If you haven't planned for that, then look and see, and if it doesn't fit with what you can carry, then replot a new course.

Based upon that information, I think you can see how many miles you probably can go bugging out by comparing average distance (minus supplying) times amount of food carried and thinking about water. That's your effective radius from Home or where you ditch a vehicle because you run out of gas.

If you're bugging out with children or a spouse/girlfriend, then calculate in their limitations as well. Children and many women cannot carry as much weight. Some strong women can carry more weight and or have more stamina and grit, but it's not the norm.

This gives you a more realistic idea of what you're up against.

Personally, I'd go by canoe if possible.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
All of the Tom Brown books are excellent. He even wrote one on practical urban survival, though it must be out of print since it is so old.

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1496915


I still have mine! I took it out and reviewed it while the power was out during hurricane Sandy!!!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 27531391


Good for you! He wrote one specifically on urban survival. In it the person wedged themselves between cushions or matresses to act as insulation. He's a bright guy and still around though getting up in years. I hear one of his sons is teaching now.
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11/15/2012 09:56 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
wanted to continue to encourage and thank you for all of your valuable posts. i am using this information as my personal go-to guide in addition to my hard copy resources. we haven't been preparing as long as many on here, i am sure, but i feel at least we are making an effort. which brings me to a serious personal concern regarding my immediate and extended family. they aren't contributing their efforts towards planning ahead. there is only so much i can personally accomplish, with an already full schedule. how do you motivate others to prepare? unfortunately, my words of precaution are undermined and ignored, resulting in less security measures being taken by those around me. if and when shtf, how can it be expected that i carry the burden of so many? i simply cannot do it all! thank you again, for all your help!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 7091719

Good for you for planning and beginning to prep. My postings are meant as only the beginning of information. You'll want to look much deeper, but over time I'm trying to create a resource for people as a backup information source. Much of it has to do with dealing with building community post-collapse, something few people talk about.

The issue you raise about family is the most persistant concerning one. Those of us in rural areas know all too well that family may "come callin' and give us a holler." Of course if they just show up, and they might if the phones go out, then now you have much bigger issues. I doubt most people will turn away family.

If people call and say, "Hey things are bad here. We'd like to come stay with you since it's safer there..." Then what I would say is, "Of course. Please bring _____ and ____ as that's more calories and I can't feed you all. Please bring ____ and _____ as trade items. We don't have ____ tool since it wasn't important, or because you're coming it would be helpful since you'll be working along side of me."

Something along those lines that implies they're not living off of my supplies. Getting people to prep is impossible unless they want to. The easier tack is saying, "You know things are rough, and I think it's frugal to buy food now since food prices are rising, don't you?" By doing that instead with other things like camping equipment, a good practical knife, a firearm, etc then maybe they'll prep by being "frugal".

Good luck to you and write back if you have comments or questions.
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11/15/2012 10:05 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
well, for the kids, they'll need some entertainment and stuff to keep them occupied and calm them down -- I suggest learning to do string figures and games, ukulele and/or harmonicas (very portable instruments) and small songbook, and a chess set...along with a few decks of playing cards. If you can, jacks and marbles are also easy to bring around and play anywhere. Storytelling and Singing are also fine skills for the whole family to develop, always portable!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 26919383


Yes! Kids will have a strong need and a desire for play, and if you don't maintain some normalcy, then they'll freak out. Many games require no props. I would encourage you to look at The New Games book. Many of these are very popular when kids are introduced to them.
[link to www.amazon.com]

Likewise many simulation games can be used for play as well as to teach a lesson or for homeschooling.
Here's some on World Hunger:
[link to www.brookingsbackpackproject.org]

Many games like Mancala or Chess can be made by using objects in Nature or even using things like nuts and bolts. I've made a chess set like that:
[link to www.designbuzz.com]
That one used spark plugs too

If you have things like musical instruments and ready made games then they'll love you for it. Hopefully most parens will bug-in as I think bugging out is ridiculous for a family, but you should have bug out bags for practically everyone to carry.
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11/15/2012 10:11 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
wanted to continue to encourage and thank you for all of your valuable posts. i am using this information as my personal go-to guide in addition to my hard copy resources. we haven't been preparing as long as many on here, i am sure, but i feel at least we are making an effort. which brings me to a serious personal concern regarding my immediate and extended family. they aren't contributing their efforts towards planning ahead. there is only so much i can personally accomplish, with an already full schedule. how do you motivate others to prepare? unfortunately, my words of precaution are undermined and ignored, resulting in less security measures being taken by those around me. if and when shtf, how can it be expected that i carry the burden of so many? i simply cannot do it all! thank you again, for all your help!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 7091719

Good for you for planning and beginning to prep. My postings are meant as only the beginning of information. You'll want to look much deeper, but over time I'm trying to create a resource for people as a backup information source. Much of it has to do with dealing with building community post-collapse, something few people talk about.

The issue you raise about family is the most persistant concerning one. Those of us in rural areas know all too well that family may "come callin' and give us a holler." Of course if they just show up, and they might if the phones go out, then now you have much bigger issues. I doubt most people will turn away family.

If people call and say, "Hey things are bad here. We'd like to come stay with you since it's safer there..." Then what I would say is, "Of course. Please bring _____ and ____ as that's more calories and I can't feed you all. Please bring ____ and _____ as trade items. We don't have ____ tool since it wasn't important, or because you're coming it would be helpful since you'll be working along side of me."

Something along those lines that implies they're not living off of my supplies. Getting people to prep is impossible unless they want to. The easier tack is saying, "You know things are rough, and I think it's frugal to buy food now since food prices are rising, don't you?" By doing that instead with other things like camping equipment, a good practical knife, a firearm, etc then maybe they'll prep by being "frugal".

Good luck to you and write back if you have comments or questions.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734


thank you for your quick reply! i intend on asserting myself as best as possible, in the near future. they need to heed my warning, since their life depends om it! i just wish i had the ability to make them understand. it's a sticky sitch, but i will persist! thanks!
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11/15/2012 10:54 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Warming your home (not heating) in an emergency

A lot of people that are experiencing Hurricane Sandy found out that their preps were lacking or they simply were cold since they didn't have alternative heat. People think that it won't get that cold indoors without heat, but the reality is that is can approach 5 degs F of outside temperature.

You can't use a rocket stove indoors. It's not what they're made for. The only kind of stove like that is a rocket mass heater, and that requires planning. See previous postings on that subject.

One alternative is a tent wood stove. They sell them to hunters who've cut out a special flap for the venting. In a pinch one could modify an existing window in a room and bring everyone in that room and warm it up reasonably well. It won't be perfect. See places like Cabela's like this one:
[link to www.cabelas.com]
About $170 US

A far cheaper alternative if you have a spot welder would be to make an ammo can stove. You probably could make it for $50, but it'll take about an hour or two to cut the parts and assemble it.

You could braze it with a torch if you didn't have a welder. It's how you do connect pipes on water lines on your hot water heater with solder.

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11/15/2012 11:03 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Ammo wood stove cont.

This company sells them too for about ~$140 including shipping.
[link to www.ammocanstove.com]
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11/15/2012 11:05 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
There are many free homeschooling sites with pdf files. It would be great to have them just in case there are issues.

Get medications that your kids need. See if your doctor will prescribe 3 months supplies for them.

Get some presents tomorrow for Christmas. Little gifts that you could give out not only then, but throughout the year as incentives. They'll really appreciate them.

Children can thrive in the woods as long as they have calm parents. They cannot keep up with your pace up and down tails. You've got to plan adequately if you do have to walk some.

Kids are used to incorrectly using a backpack since kids at school wear them in the wrong fashion, which adds too much stress to their lower back. You'll have to reteach them how to buckle it properly and position it higher than they used to wearing it.

Try to make gathering wood into a game. Teach them as much about nature as possible. Being quiet is as important as talking.

Kids love open fires. Tell stories. It can simply be times when they did wonderful things when they were younger. They love hearing how much you love and adore them. Even teens.

Hug and kiss them often. Be generous with your affection. Lavish it on them
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1496915



Precisely WHAT KIND of SHTF scenario do you envision that will allow the preppers to just merrily roll along . . . such as what you describe in your almost Disney-like description above?

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