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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2012 10:03 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Solar Dehydrated Foods chart and a caveat

Here's a link which describes some issues with dehydrated foods. At the end it describes how to convert the original to the dry measurement, something that a cook will need for sure.
[link to peaceofpreparedness.com]

Is there any problem with doing this? YES. Dehydrated foods always trim the fat out, so that's an issue with meat. In a collapse, you'd save that fat, and use it for cooking and render it too for candles. However you don't always want to trim off the fat, because then you've got far less calories, don't you? We cut calories now to try to prevent weight gain. In a collapse, food can be scarce. This is the advantage of canning meat most of the time. The fat can also be preserved and hence valuable calories.

I reckon someone could dehydrate the meat, and then can the fat using regular presser cooker canning methods, and this might be a good idea and something not usually talked about. It really is a function of how many animals are in your area from trapping and hunting versus how many you're raising as livestock. Then it depends upon planning when to harvest and butcher them versus preserving them.

These sound like simple decisions, but really it's based upon the harshness of the Winter versus keeping them alive with feed and disease issues. Many animals in a collapse might be dying based upon the intensity of the weather. If there's a drought for example, or what if the animal feed is running low because of seasonal issues with raising it. That's right, you're raising all of your animal feed as well. In Winter, their immune system is also depressed just like yours gets. If an animal gets sick, then there's always a chance that others could get sick too based upon proximity. It might mean harvesting more and canning them since you're not certain they can survive, but trying to keep some livestock for the next season. If they get ill, then it might be dangerous to eat them.
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2012 10:10 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
In reading these extensive suggestions for what people would need to be prepared for, expect, anticipate . . . all the horrible fears and potential dangers . . . it is simply amazing and rather disturbing to me that ANYONE with sense would want to be one of the remaining survivors in such devastatingly awful scenarios.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 25125906


A disaster need not be widespread, does it? What if it happens along a coastline, but not in the interior? What if the disaster lasts for a brief time? Don't assume the worst, but rather assume that most of the time, disasters are survivable.

Read more postings. In them, I've discussed low grade disasters. When Argentina had their financial crisis, did their country end as we know it? Of course not. If one had prepped and knew skills, and had seed or livestock, then you could simple go on living.

Because some portion of people are always doing agriculture, trade continues. Don't think that people in cities can do small scale urban farming, because it happens world-wide. In fact it always has happened in history, we're just used to grocery stores and convenience.

Don't assume the worst. The worst seldom happens despite all out worry. The preponderance of the time, people go on, despite mini-Ice Ages in Western Europe and the far northern areas like Norway, they did adapt. Despite the Black Death, people lived.
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2012 10:25 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
How to preserve fat or I need my bacon...

Bacon was the primary way that country folk had grease to add to meals for cooking and for adding flavor and salt into their meals. This means you need to be able to cure pork and other mammals. One can't ever cure poultry, it's not possible to do it safely.

Here's a link which describes how to harvest nitrates from Instant Cold Packs. Now, honestly nitrates are good for you, but it will ensure a good cure of the meat, and you're trying to avoid spoilage. Most people won't know how to do this, so this gives you a trade item to harvest many months after a collapse when a few of us might still be around. Otherwise if it's not that bad a collapse, most people won't know the value of them, and you can trade for them. It certainly is possible to buy “cure” from suppliers today.

This is the best way to save that animal fat versus having to cut it out for making jerky or canning it.
[link to www.survivalblog.com]

Making bacon with pickling salt and smoking it:




Making bacon with maple cure:


If you've ever had a country ham, you know that a mold can develop on the outer rind, but you merely cut it off. For those who've never had a cured ham, it's very salty, so you adjust your cooking to deal with the intensity.
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2012 10:39 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Mold and Country Ham (or other cured meats)

Here's a couple links which describe the molds which can grow on country ham or whatever you end up curing. As it forms, it may cover a section or the ham, but then sometimes it's reabsorbed into the ham as it "hang to cure" and this imparts a flavor into it. It's normal, and actually helps preserve it too. [Sounds weird, but then there's special cheeses in Germany that are made using cheese mites to impart a flavor (Milbenkäse) so different strokes for different folks.]

[link to www.newsomscountryham.com]
[link to www.countryhams.com]
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2012 11:29 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
bump
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2012 11:45 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Jugged Meat

If you'd lived in medieval time up until the early 20th Century, it was difficult to preserve meat. One method to use when without flour as a thickener and without salt to cure it, was to jug the meat. The liver of the animal was pounded to produce a thicker and not waste anything, and the animal was stewed in an earthenware (clay) pot in its own blood to utilize the salt. Naturally the liver is full of blood as well since it filters it.

The earthenware pot was placed in a water bath inside a pan and this preserved the flavors and combined baking with steaming and cooking.

While squeamish folks might find such think extremely strange, it was a common dish, for it meant you could keep the meat a bit longer from the added salt.

In England, a common dish was Jugged Hare. A hare is a jackrabbit and it has dark meat versus a rabbit whose flesh is often like chicken. Here's a modern recipe for it:
[link to honest-food.net]

Here's a tradition recipe hare royale which is similar:
[link to books.google.com]

A pretty close to traditional recipe:
[link to www.blackface.co.uk]
Anonymous Coward
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11/23/2012 12:38 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Simple dishes to help heal us: Kimchee

Kimchee is a Korean dish of fermented Napa cabbage. It's stored in a dark place for three days or more, and it develops a Lactobacillus culture, the variant of what's used in yogurt. Our digestive system needs healthy bacteria in order to overwhelm harmful ones like Shigella, E coli, and C dificile and many other anaerobic (doesn't need oxygen to survive).

Some people think that it helped people during the SARS epidemic, and chickens infected with H5N1 recovered after eating kimchee.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]

All of the most common ingredients can be grown in your garden, and I've discussed making vinegar from grapes and apples (see earlier posts).

To ferment garlic:
[link to www.deliciousobsessions.com]

This creates the Lactobacillus culture for dosing the recipe.

Kimchee recipes:
[link to www.insanitytheory.net]
[link to www.deliciousobsessions.com]

It contains a lot of vitamins and minerals: A, C, B1, B2, Calcium and Iron. I know it smells, but it tastes good!

If you've gotten sick, and you had to take antibiotics (maybe some of you sourced some pet ones), then you know that many of those broad spectrum kinds kill ALL bacteria, which is bad because that's why some of you got or will get C dificile. That's all bad because it so very hard to eliminate and will colonize your digestive tract. This is why you need to eat kimchee especially when something like antibiotic use happens even now.
Anonymous Coward
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11/23/2012 12:49 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Making rice vinegar and dandelion vinegar

We can't always rely upon apples and grapes to make vinegar, because most likely as their seasons come and go, we didn't make enough. It was a common complaint because vinegar was so useful for so many things that people on the frontier ended up using it up. “Heck! I need some, what to do?”

Well the easier thing is to make rice vinegar. No doubt you bought tons of it, because it's cheap and most people will be eating a lot of rice and beans. Here's a recipe for making it using only water, rice, yeast, sugar. Remember, you can find sugar in diverse places. You can get the yeast to naturally collect in time as well. See previous postings.
[link to www.ehow.com]

Now on the prarier, people wanted some ways to vary their meals, and so people would flavor their vinegar. One delicious kind is dandelion. You need roots and leaves.
[link to www.eatweeds.co.uk]

Many kinds of your culinary herbs will also flavor your vinegar. Make more than you think you'll need and flavoring some means you'll be more likely to use that for cooking and the other for other uses.
Anonymous Coward
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11/23/2012 04:09 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Simple dishes to help heal us: Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a similar category as kimchee. It also produces Lactobaccilus, but also two other cultures of bacteria. It takes quite a bit longer (up to a month based on fermentation and developing flavor), but it's made with common cabbage (versus Napa which many don't grow). I like it that way with fennel seed or anise seed. Other recipes are made with sweetened red cabbage, another common variant that's German. All of these have unique flavors and the sour bite of regular Sauerkraut is quite different than pickled red sweet cabbage which to me tastes wonderful with brautwurst. Mmmm. Makes me hungry and I just ate a huge Thanksgiving meal.

It does contain vitamin C, like kimchee, and so it was traditionally used by some English sailors. You need pickled vegetables of many kinds since you want to extend your harvest. Consider doing this with green beans. They're delicious.

If your climate will tolerate three growing seasons, then often cabbage plants are raised indoors then transplanted into the garden in early Spring (one of the first to go in along with broccoli) and then again in the fall. Some varieties will hold on in cold frames. You can't get the seeds to germinate when it's cold, so you start them inside for Spring. In late Summer, it can be too hot, so you can start them from seed and then put them out in the Fall.

[link to www.wildfermentation.com]


Not fermented, but has a vinegar addition. Great when the apples come in or later to add to it from your supplies.
Sweet German Red Cabbage...simply delicious.
[link to allrecipes.com]

Pickled Green Beans....adds some basil too for variety.
[link to allrecipes.com]
Anonymous Coward
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11/23/2012 04:30 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Since we're talking cabbages...I hate cabbage worms

You've probably seen these pretty “butterflies since you were a kid....
[link to nwkidsmagazine.com]
Guess what it's a moth! You never probably knew that before, but chased them happily thinking otherwise. Well that seemingly benign creature produces eggs that hatch into one of the worst pests: cabbage moth worms. I hate 'em with a passion.

I wish they were edible, because I'd stir fry 'em, I hate them so much. They'll gnaw and gnaw so many kinds of plants, not just cabbage family plants like broccoli. They're quite annoying, and many people pick them off and smash them.

Another solution is to spread Bacillus thuringiensis. It's a bacteria that they get in Nature and it kills them in a day or so, as long as it's not in too much direct sunlight. The bacteria won't harm beneficial insects either. It's commercially known as Dipel.
[link to www.ext.colostate.edu]

Sevin works equally well, but of course it's pesticide.
[link to www.gardentech.com]

They'll chop your transplants down if you let them. You'll see the moths around maybe and then hastily attempt to check each plant for the eggs and worms.
[link to www.waldeneffect.org]

They can also look like this:
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
Note the long list of veggies and fruit that they like. Crud.

You can use row covers (sometimes called Cloches) to prevent the moth from laying the eggs so easily.
[link to www.thegardencloche.com]
Anonymous Coward
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11/23/2012 01:07 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Making Lard

The animal fat that you see packaged as lard in the grocery is not lard as your ancestors would have used. That form of lard is a bizarre concoction of transfats that are hydrogenated in order to be more shelf-stable. Real lard has less saturated fat than butter and more monosaturated fat than it too.
[link to www.foodandwine.com]

But let's be honest. Why would anyone use lard for health benefits? It's not the primary reason at all. The primary reason is sustainability and probability for typical agricultural areas. Animal fat from livestock or game animals is far easier to locate than finding plant oils. Does that surprise you? While we have many kinds of plant oils for culinary purposes (and some are multi-use for lamps), the difficulty is expressing the oil and collecting it in sufficient amounts by a small operation. Sure, corn, soybean, sunflower, are all oils to be sourced, but those products are better used by simply eating them. If you were to use a small hydraulic jack and a press to extract the oils(see previous postings), then you'd get very little from this activity, and then have something left over that's not very edible. Try it and see.

There are two candidates that could be grown: rapeseed (canola oil) and sesame, and both of these have been previous discussed as long term projects that produce good oils for cooking and creating oil lanterns that create light with high amounts of lumens and for culinary use.

Many animals produce grease from animal fat. We need to eat high calorie meals in a collapse scenario to get enough to sustain us because we'll be working so much harder each day. If you study any history or talk to any survival expert, you'll discover that the normal amount of food we consume is far less than you'd need from normal activity for rural life. It's just that we can purchase enough food and have many labor saving devices with the utilities coming in now.

Yes, there are game animals that have some fat on them, and yet many of these animals do not do well as livestock for they have special requirements or don't breed well in captivity. Pigs have historically been raised by many cultures. Roman soldiers raised them on the move because they provide a meat, grease, and other products, and they don't have high requirements for care. We've actually been using them as a source for over 10,000 years of human civilization, so when we made the move from being migrating hunter-gatherer societies into localized agriculture, we domesticated feral hogs into the ones used today.

[link to www.sfgate.com]

The reason we have feral hogs again now, is that they were raised prior to the early 1800's on farms and allowed to free range. Penning them up and wallowing in mud creates bad sanitation. Pigs prefer to move about and will be far healthier if allowed to do so within reason. It's an on-going argument. See:
[link to blogs.nicholas.duke.edu]

Regardless of these issues, like Britain in the midst of WW2, we'll be rural and urban homesteading and raising a pig for meat and lard, because we'll need sources and it's practical. Use proper health precautions and fully cook all meat, not just pork.

How to render it? Here's some instructions of how to create your own lard today. The hardest part of sourcing the fat as much is trimmed and because many of today's pigs have been bred to be leaner.

[link to www.howtobaker.com]
[link to homesicktexan.blogspot.com]
[link to www.thenewhomemaker.com]

You may prefer to do it outside, as it creates an aroma that you're not used to. I think you'll end up liking it as an alternative to butter, as it produces good oils for baking and creates a crisping that is very difficult to produce otherwise.

And yes, one can use lard to produce a survival candle, but you'll most likely never do this short-term in a collapse. You need those calories far more than light. The First People made survival candles from soaking cattails in animal fat from buffaloes (see previous postings), so perhaps some of that will happen, but as most people struggle to create a homestead, then mostly you'll be working by daylight and firelight until you get things organized.

This method is more likely than rendering fat into tallow for candles. That activity will probably be an organized community activity based upon many animal kills which result in a lot of oils being generated, rendered, made into tallow, wick operations, candle dipping, etc. Besides that hams being smoked, lots of seasoned firewood, hickory gathered, smokehouses made, etc will also being going on. We take for granted these things, but they are the result of many people, truly craftsmen (or technicians to if you're politically correct) working intentionally in an organized way to produce them now. [To be honest, a craftsman is any person who has elevated their talent into an art, not just doing a craft anymore, and a technician is anyone doing a technical ability.]

As a prepper becoming a homesteader, think in complex ways about all of the sustainability issues. We have a historic opportunity to create harmony from the chaos that will be generated. Either you can be part of the solution, and stabilize the community like your ancestors did, or you'll be fending off urbanites who will attempt to wrest away your supplies in an endless struggle. Which is better long-term?
Anonymous Coward
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11/23/2012 01:54 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Free SHTF Fiction

Here's some free online novels published on the web for people to read. The authors have done an exceptional job.

I particularly like Susan Smith's (CanadaSue) two efforts. She's a Registered Nurse that's written extensively about pandemics. Her two novels deal with complex issues of survival for a homesteader's viewpoint about coping in comprehensive ways that are ultimately practical. Compare this with the very short-term weak methods in most apocalyptic fiction that deal with looting,wanton destruction, and doom.

[link to www.survivetheflu.com]
[link to awilltosurvive.blogspot.com]

Here's two more:
[link to ed-day.blogspot.com]
[link to www.gutenberg.org]
Anonymous Coward
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11/23/2012 02:30 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Some economic charts that will make your stomach hurt

Here's some recent charts put out by Marc Faber that show the past boom in China, and why it's flattening out, and what that might mean coupled with other global economies.
[link to www.zerohedge.com]

Don't think that one day of herd madness akin to 28 Days Later equates to market recovery. These same folks are practically nine meals and two paychecks from complete poverty.


Got to get that essential stuff not lingerie!
Anonymous Coward
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11/23/2012 03:14 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Invest in yourself and in the Source as a loving relationship

Black Friday makes me nauseated. It has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. It is the antithesis of creating a loving memory of the man from Bethlehem and Galilee (the son of Man) and the moment that the Source (God) came to dwell among us (the Son of God).

Christmas is not about presents. We don't need more shiny toys to distract us from living life in abundance and completeness. We need to live in harmony with our surroundings in the ways that God intended in the Garden of Eden.

This means knowing what Christmas is about and realizing it's about the Presence of God in the lives of humanity as one species of the grand scheme of all of Nature (all species) and truthfully in the infinity of the Universe.

It's not about selfishness, but selflessness and creating a relationship with God that ultimately leads not to an exclusivity, but an inclusivity with a community. Since we know about love because God first loved us, then we want not to beat people over the head with it, but be tender and compassionate and build schools, hospitals, improve their sanitation, grow better crops and livestock, and then if they see our intentions and good works, they might ask why we're helping them. Only then can any talk about spirituality begin.

Talk is cheap. Action is louder than words. Read the book of James.

Real communities that are created by living in harmony results in peace and prosperity especially when focused on relational living with God and Nature, and not attempting such high specialization that we end up not knowing anything practical whatsoever.

Invest in yourself and your family this Christmas. Acknowledge the omniscient and omnipotent Source, and not think that whatever your puny singular mind knows is the basis of reality. Think about ultimate Reality instead.

Can you honestly tell me that investing all that time, talent, and treasure in goods that you can't even remember that you purchased or received... made your life any better for more than a moment? I'll bet that most are collecting dust.

Stop the insanity. Invest your time in nobler efforts that improve your ability to love, honor, and cherish your family. Being able to cook, provide clean water, dig a garden, raise healthy animals, create items like the Creator does, make art that is useful and beautiful...they are the real GIFTS.

These ways make you peaceful but not subtract from your humanity. They don't “domesticate” you into a sheep, but bring you to fullness, self-confidence, and filled with radiant light.

We express our love with a gift. How much more powerful it would be to share our love, true friendship, honest affection for no expectation or goal. Isn't that what you wish to give and spread?

And those who already believe...are you spending a lot of time trying to convert, and spending not enough time modeling a worthy life? Why would you imagine that anyone wants to be like you, if they see someone who believes and isn't any better and maybe worse?

Most “churchtime” is one hour on Sunday. Real spirituality is about the other 99% of your life. Yes, teaching your children by naming the trees and what comes from them by walking in the woods ultimately leads to the wonder of Nature and perceiving Creation. How many young people intuit naturally the wonder of God because of seeing Nature truly? There are few doubters in the meadows and woods. They see the connectedness of all species in a grand design. It causes epiphanies.

I challenge you now to sit down and reexamine the Jesus story. It's so often told that you've forgotten the power of it. Then prayerfully purchase presents for your family and friends to facilitate them into a life of fullness.

Offer to teach a friend a preparedness skill like knitting, sewing, carpentry, gardening, hunting, trapping, fire-making, mechanics, foraging, biology, medicine, chemistry, history, tactics, etc. Then maybe when they see your sincerity and mentoring, then maybe you can talk about God (the Source) after.

That's a long lasting lifetime gift.
Anonymous Coward
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11/23/2012 04:04 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Broomcorn

After a collapse, things will wear out. That broom that isn't used very often, will become a primary way to removing dirt and debris that gets tracked in by your shoes. Have a care, and create a place for your boots, and learn to take them off, much like has become a Japanese custom. There's a very real practical side to removing shoes as well as a hospitable side to relaxing for you and your guests.

Less dirt also means less bacterial and parasite infections. There's health benefits for sure for using a little preventative care.

“An acre of broomcorn will yield enough brooms for 150-350 brooms.”

It also produces a useful seed product that can be eaten as a cereal. The stalks of broomcorn can be used is cut immediately for forage for livestock, and also for making paper.
[link to books.google.com]

Making a simple broomcorn “cobweb broom”. It's like a handheld smaller cousin of a broom like a dustbroom.
[link to friendswoodbrooms.com]

Some useful links:

[link to www.hort.purdue.edu]
[link to www.uky.edu]

Note: How wise it would be to purchase an inexpensive carpet sweeper now. If you use it frequently, it can be very helpful, and of course that nice electric vacuum will be of little use later.
Anonymous Coward
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11/23/2012 04:34 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Average Rainfall versus Tree Population

Trees need water. The only way that a tree can survive is either the average rainfall is high enough that the tree can find enough ground water, or the area is surrounded by mountains and possible snowmelt to provide water, water flows naturally from high elevations or from rivers and finally gets to the area the tree needs, or water is piped in from less arid regions.

Look at these two maps, and you'll see that I'm right:
[link to inhabitat.com]

[link to www.nationalatlas.gov]

If I was living in these arid regions, and also expecting a collapse of any duration, then I'd by necessity need agriculture and forestry. I must be able to grow crops, raise animals, and build tools and shelters from lumber. While I can build sod shelters for some things, my animals need water as do my plants.

Soils are rich for two reasons. Either the soil has slowly built up humus from dead or dying plant material and decaying animal manure, or it's chemically added. If there has been a disturbance in the soil by agriculture that doesn't renew the soil, then it won't be fertile very long. That process cannot happen without water.

If I lived in the Great Plains, I'd sure have supplies, perhaps three times the supplies of other preppers/homesteaders....otherwise I'd simply be gambling.
itsamadmadworld

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11/23/2012 04:53 PM
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In reading these extensive suggestions for what people would need to be prepared for, expect, anticipate . . . all the horrible fears and potential dangers . . . it is simply amazing and rather disturbing to me that ANYONE with sense would want to be one of the remaining survivors in such devastatingly awful scenarios.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 25125906



clappa
Anonymous Coward
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11/23/2012 05:20 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Cleaning dishes

Now this will seem silly to anyone who's not been camping and not actually experienced a small amount of water for use in cleaning. Now we have lots of water, almost a seemingly endless supply at the tap of not only cold but hot water. These were an incredible technological advance by any civilization in history.

While I've offered many kinds of heating methods, you must boil some water for cleanliness. Maybe you can forgo a shower for a bit, but you still need to wash your hands in hot water. You still need hot water to wash dishes and clean up. You especially need hot water when gathering wild edibles or harvesting meat or fish.

This means probably using a rocket stove outside to boil it, since that method produces a small intense fire with minimal wood necessary. If you're advanced in technology and skill, then boiling it inside on a rocket mass heater.

Here's one method that minimizes hot water use, and then the water is collected and used in the garden. That soap won't hurt the plants and may repel bugs. It definitely will organic refuse from the plates, pots and utensils.

A temporary scouring device can be made from the bristly pine tree in your neighborhood. Switch it out often and burn it, because it is loaded with bacteria.



Nothing was wasted on the frontier especially time. Let dishes soak and let the hot water and soap do the trick.

For rinsing, fill up the other side, and place a drop of bleach in it. Your cleanliness has diminished, and you want to ensure no bacterial residue. This will sanitize it.

The old original way of drying dishes was to open up the cabinet above the sink, and then place them on wire racks vertically so they would drip the water back into the sink. Like this:
[link to 4.bp.blogspot.com]

It can be freestanding too like this:
[link to 1.bp.blogspot.com]

You sure don't want more laundry, so you don't want to mess with dishtowels, do you?

Next, you'll open up the drain and funnel all the water into a bucket. If the toilets (sewage) are working, then you could use that wash/rinse water for flushing. If not, it's into the garden.

This is way faster and uses far less water. Otherwise you can spend and endless amount of time hauling water from your well or some distant river, chopping tons of extra firewood, and waiting for it to boil. It's up to you. Personally, I'd like some time to go trap a squirrel.



Washing dishes in a camping situation, most likely on a hunting/trapping expedition overnight, will be a little different. Bring two bins and a large cooking pot for boiling your water. If not cooking on a well burning fire, you will make a lot of soot from its inefficient burn, and make work for yourself. A lot of smoke too. Dumb.

Using a little wood ash first and coating it wet on the pan, will make it easier to come off. That wood ash will also generate lye when a tiny amount is mixed with the hot water.

Use a little fine grit sand to scrub pots. What this means is that you screwed up and let food burn (and go to waste) on the fire that was too hot.


There's always some dingdong that will try to wash the dishes directly by the water. Your water goes somewhere downstream. This is a stupid idea. Ever see the scene in Kingdom of Heaven. The priest/Hospitaller Knight is trying to brush his teeth. The Moorish Crusader Knight is trying to wash up, and the dingdong squire is urinating just upstream. Someone very dim-witted person is always upstream dumping into the river.

You want to bury your rinse water and disguise your activity, for you'll attract others to your site after you leave if you don't do this. Leave as little a trace as possible.

If you don't put away your rinse water, then of course a raccoon will come callin' since he/she wants to rinse off their food. Many a camper has discovered this.
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11/23/2012 05:39 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Rotating food

This video shows you a much better shelving system that makes rotating very simply. You can make these yourself, there's no reason to purchase it other than time and talent. It would be a good way to learn.




There are many shelving systems to choose from. The main thing is whatever went in first, comes out first, and replentishing goes to the back. Other flat standard methods of shelving results in a lot of effort to endlessly pull things forward.
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11/23/2012 06:07 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Rotating people

If you've ever played volleyball, you know that if the other team has the serve, but your team won the point, then this is called a side-out. Your team “won” the right to serve, so they rotate. Why? If you didn't rotate, the same people would specialize in that position and never get good at other positions.

In a tribal society, we need a lot of generalists. They know a lot about how to do many tasks. One person might be a craftsman or artisan, and they know the task very well. They might “ramrod” the others to help them stay on task and perform efficiently. [ A ramrod is a tool in a muzzleloading firearm that tamps down the material.]


If you don't rotate, but rather live in a community in which you specialize then you literally don't know how to do basic things that your ancestors knew as common knowledge. This little aspect that changed is why most of you can't make it on your own.

In a tribe that rotates, many eyes begin to see inefficiencies in flow or methodology. People get used to doing something the old way. This is how traditions get started. At some point people forget why they did it that way; they just do it. Without introspection there is no innovation.

Without rotation, if the one who heals becomes sick, then all will suffer. If you don't know what a hickory tree is, then how will you know which to gather to cure hams? If you rely upon the cook to always cook, then how will you fare when she is tired and needs a break?

Rotation means passing on old skills, because it's easy to watch, but hard to do. We learn by doing not watching.

Rotation means more people can do lots of things on a solo journey to scout/hunt/camp/trap/fish and then return safely.

Rotation means higher confidence levels.

Imagine all of the different skills it took to fire a muzzleload rifle. Metallury, mining, hunting, bone work, sewing, carpentry, and finally teaching. The ramrod is the one who's teaching the other people and then ensuring safety and doing the final tamp down of the whole process before firing.
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11/23/2012 06:39 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Is the world going to end?

Is the world going to end? You betcha. Should you be worried? Heck no.

The world will someday die because our sun is a G type, Population one star. It provides heat and light radiant energy to our planet. This provides habitable zones for climates that are suitable for life. Not just human life, but all species of plants and animals. Too hot or too cold, and liquid water could not condense, and hence no life (as we know it) would form. Photosynthesis needs this energy.

At some point the star we call Sol will gradually change. As it does, life will adapt. Some species will die. Our species will certainly die at some point because of this.

Should you be worried about a sudden change in our Sun? Nope.

Are you going to die? Yep. We're not immortals, not in this current body. This topic is not about being overly concerned with our own survival as an individual. This topic is about helping a community (your personal tribe) to survive, however you define that.

Life may form in unique ways on other planets. Who knows? Maybe new lifeforms will be created as they have on those planets that are remarkable different than ours. It may be that humankind is a short lived species on planets as they change due to the changing radiation from stars and their position in a solar system.

Think past shallow ideas like, “Man, got to learn survival techniques cause I'm doomed from _____.” I have zero interest in that kind of response. It's partially why I left GLP once.

Seldom in history did people live long-term using that kind of reaction. That way of thinking is so gloomy. Why not just crawl into a garbage can, and save your family a lot of trouble with attempting to feed, raise, educate, find a job, and bury you?

Have a rich, diverse experience of living life to the fullest like your ancestors did. They obviously were thinking about more than survival. They might have been selfish to your way of thinking, but as a group they were attempting to offer you better experiences that they had, and wanting you to have more opportunities.

Those ancestors were studying science, finding practical use for it (technology), then creating art, which often was of a utilitarian form that increased the beauty of the practical items they fashioned. Much of this topic is about that subject.

Your ancestors were learning ways to live in a community, otherwise they were hermits and therefore could perpetuate the species and died. Many survivalists are hermits. 'Nothing wrong with being solitary, but there's good looking people to meet and romance, and goodhearted people to make friends with.

It seems to me that being a hermit helps no one really. There's benefits to living alone. It's doubtful that most wives will want that kind of life. No children will. Eventually they'll want a spouse of their own, won't they?

PROSPERO
You do look, my son, in a moved sort,
As if you were dismay'd: be cheerful, sir.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vex'd;
Bear with my weakness; my, brain is troubled:
Be not disturb'd with my infirmity:
If you be pleased, retire into my cell
And there repose: a turn or two I'll walk,
To still my beating mind.
The Tempest Act 4 Scene 1 William Shakespeare
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11/24/2012 01:24 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A pellet/bb gun for quiet small game hunting

The vast majority of hunting post-collapse will be taking small game. After firing even one shot, the relatively loud sound will alert many creatures you're hunting. This means less of a chance for a second shot. Firing many shots will allow other people to triangulate your position.

An economical means of small game hunting is to use a Crosman Classic 2100 Air rifle. It's pumped for the shot, not charged with a CO2 cannister. It can fire pellets or bbs, but of course each will have their own ballistics. It is relatively quiet. They cost ~$60-70 US. A bb will probably not do anything but sting an animal. You need special pellets, and you can only hunt as long as you have them.

“But you'll shoot your eye out...” A Christmas Story 1983

Had to say it before someone else commented....

These air rifles are very light weight and will hold up reasonably well. Yes, game animals can be trapped, but squirrels are not dumb, and you'll make mistakes when de-scenting and baiting the trap, and often they'll get away. Sometimes you see one, or a rabbit, or a pigeon in the early morning sitting very still, and it's not that difficult to take one, as many a young person has discovered.


Of course, this is not a regular rifle, and you can't take large game with them since it doesn't have much take down power from the small mass and velocity. While it can fire very far based upon high elevation, without a scope, you can only expect 25 yard accuracy unless you practice a lot. It does produce around 5 ft-lbs of energy to knockdown not penetrate the creature. (Multiple strokes of pumping). The video talks about having ~10 ft-lbs of energy to take down a rabbit or squirrel such that they don't suffer. There's wisdom to that. More energy 10-30 ft-lbs might be needed for larger game.

A Crosman Titan GP .22 Caliber Air Rifle will develop up to 12 ft-lbs. Do some research. Like all postings, this is a springboard for you to consider and discover more about the subject

[link to www.airgununiverse.net]

Dave Canterbury of the Pathfinder school likes the Crosman Phantom 1000 Air Rifle, however they are out of stock and you could only purchase one used in all probability. They retailed for ~$150 US (used about $80)


A long article about them:
[link to www.survivalblog.com]

The manuals in pdf form:
[link to www.crosman.com]

[link to www.crosman.com]
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11/24/2012 01:43 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Hunting Pellets for an Air Rifle

Hunting Pellets are the only kind of ammunition you should attempt to utilize in an air rifle for hunting purposes. The small amount of velocity generated ( we'll end up using acceleration but wait for it) and the small mass of the bb will only produce a small force. That's Newton's Second Law of Motion that your science teachers kept going on and on about in school. Had you listened, you might have understood it, and become a good hunter/homesteader. See, they actually do teach some things in school that are important.

A hunting pellet will have differing shapes and mass and will produce a different ballistic pattern, but of course more mass means the pellet will need more pressure generated (pumping more) in order to create a smooth shot to the end target.

Lewis and Clark actually used the first created air rifle, so don't discount something as a toy that others are actually hunting with. Because the pellets are very inexpensive for even the best pellets, they're a wise way to save money to take small game.

[Some people doubt the veracity of this story.]

Remember though that most of the time, if in a rural zone, you'll most likely take more game animals regularly by trapping. This is the historic means of successfully acquiring meat for the table.

The least expensive have the least accurate ballistics and cost $0.016 a pellet. Super cheap and come in tins of 500

The most expensive have superior ballistics and cost $0.02 a pellet, not much difference and come in a box of 1250. I would transfer the pellets into an old tin Altoid can or similar if purchasing the more expensive ones. You sure wouldn't want them to spill on the ground, and then end up introducing the abrasive dirt into the barrel.

There are many kinds of scopes from $30 on up, and you can end up doubling the price of the rifle based upon this. Remember, this is truly a short range weapon. Don't get carried away.
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11/24/2012 02:01 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Mob behavior



Out of control people, even when happy, can turn into a mob of unruly angry dangerous people, even if they merely trample one person. Their actions are much like dogs. A dog can be very benign when one on one. When they form into a pack, they can large mass mammals like a human or even a moose into shreads.



They won't just riot, they'll use their vehicles to penetrate the structural integrity of buildings.



They'll attack people caught in the midst of the riot.



They'll attack anyone criticizing them or perceived enemies


It's a glorification of violence and an idea about equalizing due to poverty.

It happens regardless of race, culture, age, or gender. Do you really want to be urban areas when these unprepared folks decide that the only way to survive is to loot?

The most dangerous creature on Earth is man.
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11/24/2012 02:55 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
What not to do

I've been writing some 780+ posts, and some of you may wonder, “What the heck is this guy's goal? Why does he obsessively write these insights and techniques on living more fully as a human species? What is his intention? What's the catch? What's in it for him? Why bother?”

Some of you may have guessed or theorized that I'm writing a book to sell or some gear. You might think this is about conversion to Christianity. Nope.

The goal is to free your mind and my intentions are altruistic.

People in history mostly follow others. They get caught up in day-to-day drudgery and think they're powerless. They think they have zero autonomy.

They think that life is so hard because they're bored. Their lives are routine. They don't know enough to do other things, only what they've been taught by others in order to acquire a job. Then they throw away their learning and only focus on the activities which put food on the table.

Learning is a good thing. It's about the transmission of information. Because your learned how to do something that an ancestor learned from theirs, then the species in general can perpetuate themselves.

Learning is a function of intelligence. It's only one step on the ladder to enlightenment. We learn from the ideas of others.

Wisdom is something else entirely. Wisdom is the discernment of that learning to perceive the value and truth of that learning. It's an advancement of the process of enlightenment. Wisdom cannot be learned from others, but it is usually modeled by others. We see something that know and their lives are in sync with a truth and so we call them “wise”.

There are more steps to enlightenment, but I digress. What is my goal? I want you to think for yourselves.

The reason you feel bored is (sshhhhh, don't tell) you're a slave. You are not freemen or freewomen. You sold your mind, body, and souls for regular money to purchase necessities and shiny toys.

It isn't satisfying, is it? It's why many of you feel listless.

In a disaster, people wake up after only 24 hours. They realize, “Say, I'm on my own. I can't get to my job. I can't rely upon what's in my home. A lot of the things I thought were important, have zero value now. I can't do the most basic routine activities that any human in history could do. I have less technical ability than the earliest hunter/gatherers who were cavemen, and I obviously have less technical ability than the first agricultural people. I have devolved.”

In that epiphany, you will become FREE.

Because there are a lot of resources, you can re-learn what is important, but if you simply revert to this, you'll be no better off than someone at the time of the colonization of North America.

Is is well to gain wisdom from watching mentors. Still this is not what you should solely do.

What you should do is THINK. A thinker is able to create their own ideas. They take the ideas of others(learning), they consider the validity of the ideas of many (wisdom) and then they think of their own ideas. Then they create something new. This is freedom. It's a freedom to decide yourselves.

Real freedom exists when people become thinkers. If you only do what you're told, you can become a slave. At worst you'll become a robot and lose your humanity entirely.

Don't just read my posts and think, “Hmmm that's a good idea. That might be useful.....” and then drift off into being a slave again.

If we had not sold our souls after the Enlightenment, but had kept progressing as a species and not specialized to the point of becoming cogs in a machine, then we'd be far more advanced than we are today. Henry Ford even called it “automation”. He created a system that creates automatons(robots) who do a limited activity to produce shiny toys.

Think for yourselves. Become freemen and freewomen.
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11/24/2012 03:50 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
In the absence of authority, slaves either become free or they look for authority

If you have ever watched a disaster unfold, what do 99% of people do? They don't know how to cope, or they have been injured by weather, or they have been injured by their lack of ability or supplies, and....(wait for it), they sit around, “until the authorities arrive with food, water, utilities, and health assistance.”

They even say, “Sit tight until help comes. Wait for emergency personnel to rescue you.” The idea is benign but assumes a lack of knowledge, learning, wisdom, and thinking. You might indeed have injured yourselves so deeply that you can't extricate yourselves.

Now, authority is not a dirty word. We need authority because we are not freemen and freewomen. Even if we were, most of us prefer to be followers, not leaders. A leader is a person who has natural ability, or has been elected to lead, or has charisma and is chosen by the will of the people, or has power and assumes leadership.

Authority can be a good thing. It organizes. It deploys resources and people to problems to be solved. Authority figures may be benign and want the community to improve.

Healthy forms of authority promote learning to allow people to not only do their tasks more efficiently, but also to gain wisdom from learning from those mentors and emulating them. It might even, when at its best, create people who think of their own ideas. It's why a school can be either merely a place to create automatons, or it creates wise people, or it can create critical thinkers.

If you think about it, the only way to create a new leader is to create schools. Otherwise one brutal dictator is supplanted by another brutal dictator.

Many authority figures today have become slaves themselves. They like the power. It become a hunger in them.

To get that power, they sacrifice their principles to get money to get elected or share power from other authorities. Since that power comes from wealth (abundance of valuable supplies) then those other authorities really are the ones leading a country. It's become an oligarchy.

[Note: money is not wealth. Money is a representation of wealth.It can be currency or precious metals.]

By definition, an oligarchy is a form of government by a few who command over the People. That few may be nobility (feudalism or a monarchy), the military (often a dictatorship becoming a Fascist state), the wealthy (could be like nobility, but today with capitalism it's about corporate control by a handful of businesses.

[Note: the nobility were herditary people who had education and wealth(abundance of valuable supplies), property, and military power.]

This is the form of oligarchy that has assumed control today. Sometimes this is labeled the military-industrial complex, for it's the fusion of corporations who originally had money, sold assets right before the beginnings of the Great Depression, bought them back for pennies on the dollar, then invested money in providing armaments in WW2 to raise us out of the Great Depression, and then supplied these armaments to the military to exert control over the People. Now they sell the People junk to enslave them.

Since a leader who assumes authority by the actions of the People and the other authorities who make up the oligarchy, he really only has that authority “on loan”. Is he/she is not careful, they may become slaves due to their need for power.

Guess what this means? Power comes from the People. It's the original idea that people have natural rights, and that the People are the true sovereign. It's called Republicanism and for it to work, “the people MUST be independent of their civic duties and vilify corruption.”
[link to en.wikipedia.org]

We are a far cry from Republicanism today. The idea though is a noble one. Please read that article. It is a belief that all rights are inherently given at birth.

"John Locke believed in three fundamental natural rights:
Life: everyone is entitled to live once they are created.
Liberty: everyone is entitled to do anything they want to so long as it doesn't conflict with the first right.
Estate: everyone is entitled to own all they create or gain through gift or trade so long as it doesn't conflict with the first two rights. "
[link to en.wikipedia.org]

This means that no one has authority unless it's loaned to them.

Don't make me an authority figure. I'm glad to mentor you and help coax you to be free. Don't rely upon an authority figure, but be a leader of your own self and possibly of your tribe. That's ultimately based upon YOU and not me.

Rescue yourself from the real disaster that's happening at this moment: your enslavement.

If you do that, and start re-learning what is important, then you'll become free and freer.
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11/24/2012 05:12 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Coping with low rainfall: Hugelkultur

Rain must fall for there to be life. Water is the basis for life for all living creatures. We need it biochemically for our internal processes to continue.

Water can supply the drinking needs for people and animals to stave off dehydration. Those wells cannot though provide enough water for agriculture. For that you need cisterns that save up rainfall and snowmelt and possibly divert from rivers to create reservoirs of water.

What then to do if there isn't sufficient rainfall in your region? What can a smart person do to cope? Probably the best response is to build hugelkultur raised beds.


Here's some information from permies.com. They've been experimenting with it as a means of reducing the need for irrigation. This is vital especially due to cyclical droughts, the huge need for water, and to lessen the need to pipe water from one portion of the country to another.
[link to www.richsoil.com]

In hugelkultur, wood debris is buried. Some wood as it lies there collects rainfall and is covered by soil then rots, and this acts as a sponge not only of water, but bacteria. Then it oozes out the water slowly and keeps the soils moist instead of draining to the ground water below.

Now if you were to place certain woods in the ground and bury them, then they would also ooze phytochemicals, just as tea or coffee oozes chemicals when prepared. Walnut as we have previously discussed produces jugalone, and that will inhibit plants from growing well. Other wood also release chemicals or they may not rot well, or they may bind the nitrogen in the soil.

One of the mistakes a beginner does as a gardener is to chop up debris for use as mulch, and then apply it directly to the garden. Because of the leaching process of tannins, they just ruined their garden for four years since they bound up all of the nitrogen. They accelerated the natural process of decay, and then they pay the price of their error. It's fine to mulch, just let it sit a long time before using it. Truthfully without fuel, there are no wood chippers anyway, so mulching by this means in a collapse is impossible.

For some unknown reason, putting whole chopped branches and trunks into the base of the hugelkultur doesn't result in this process of decay. Read the article carefully and then do your own research.

After the wood is placed, earth is mounded up such that a hill seven feet high is created. Branches are placed and locked by branch-hooks to hold it into place, then seed is planted, along with transplanted plants and trees and shrubs. The result is a hill that is very resistant to drought, and if you can grow the plants quickly enough that wind doesn't wick away the moisture (so probably straw is placed to hold it together), then the wind will not cause erosion. If you think about it, the mound creates a natural windbreak. It's a fantastic idea! The base of a carely constructed mound creates a potential swale (see previous postings) and that will also channel water but mostly allow water to stop and soak into the soil. This is probably the most incredible idea I have ever encountered in many decades of life.

Only time and a lot of research and critical thinking will determine its usefulness.

In many cases, the sod that is usually thrown away or composted, is actually placed within the hugulkultur mound and also decays and structurally holds the hill together.

Why is any of this important? We need ways of gardening that use less water. This method might be a great way for people in arid region in the West or the Great Plains adapt to the current Drought. It allows a greater self-reliance upon local water supplies and results in less need for water to be brought in.

If I lived in those areas mentioned above, I would particularly consider using this method. It is ingenious. It results in not only healthier plants, but supports a very mixed culture of plant species as in Nature. It actually creates zones of climates based upon the sun position, and this will impart a change in the taste of the vegetables grow in it.

Please study this revolutionary technique. It is even more important than Biodynamic raised beds, and may directly assist the no-till method proposed by Fukuoka. I am very enthusiastic today after watching and reading about this method as I believe that practically all areas of the country (save desert regions) could use it.

Why not desserts? When agriculture is attempted in those regions, ultimately they create salt deposits. They can surely feed people, but the high salt content eventually poisons the carefully created humus that was amassed. Sometimes there is little one can ultimately do to terraform.

What is the downside? It requires enough wood to create the hugelkultur. It is work to grow a forest and then to chop it down and then to place it. This also means that the wood is not available to use as fuel, provide crops from fruits, maple syrup, tools, lumber, oxygen, etc.

It makes you realize the need to replant forests all the more, but if you have the wood, say downed by a ice storm or tornado, then here's a good use for it versus simply firewood or having someone haul it away and expense.
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11/24/2012 07:45 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A laptop is a tool to think, but you can use a journal instead

Many preppers think about food and supplies, but don't think about tools as much, until they begin to transition into homesteaders. A tool is just as important, because it would take a long time to construct one, if possible at all(think foraging metal and mining it), and will save you time which is your main-most worry.

You probably don't think of a laptop as a tool, but merely as a computer to surf the Web or to play games or to write papers or do calculations or to watch a film or ….hey it is a tool isn't it?

A laptop is a very helpful tool to help you become a critical thinker. It allows you to store information, access it again as you get old and fuzzy thinking (where the heck are my glasses?). You will forget things unless you write them down. It has programs like a spreadsheet to not only plan but calculate in one place. It helps you focus your thoughts in a journal to outline your ideas, transition those into sentences and paragraphs, and then create a document.

[In my case, a hastily constructed one with poor spelling, dropped words, and grammatical errors galore. There's some benefit to being a GLP member for you can correct those things.]

Now I've discussed journals, and yes, in a grid down condition, those are great. If you have power backup like I do with a solar battery charger, then you could still use a laptop for brief periods of time. That's all you'll have anyway because of being so busy. They emit light so you can work in the dark without a flashlight which is pretty terrific.

Yes, a journal will do the trick for most things for recording and retrieving and portability. That would be invaluable in an EMP collapse. See previous postings on ink, paper, bookbinding, and journalling.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Malaysian Fire Pistons: Api Lantak

Here is a novel fire starting method that you most likely haven't heard of. All indigenous people have ingenious ways of creating fire. Some critical thinker came along and discovered a way to create fire, then they taught it to their family and friends, and then it was passed along in time to future generations. They took a novel idea and made it a routine way to create fire. The only way this can happen is if the idea is a time saving creating invention, is practical, can be replicated, and is taught. Then wise ones can transmit the information on and on through Time.

The Malaysian people discovered a fundamental process in physics known as adiabatic compression.
As pressure is generated, molecules are compressed and heat is created by the friction of this molecular activity. When those molecules impact against a combustible substance, then a coal is formed. Other cultures (either from trade or cultural drift) learned how to do it in other Southern Asian regions like the Philippines, India, Burma, etc.



[Note: Adiabatic heating result in Chinook winds in nature, and adiabatic cooling results in those pretty lenticular clouds that look like UFOs.]

Now in a way, this method is superior to flint (or chert or any other rock that will cause sparking in steel) and steel. It protects the coal in it's chamber from wind and quickly ignites, versus the transfer of a metal flake as a spark to a bit of punk wood to ignite into a coal.

[Note: most people in history didn't use charcloth as cloth was expensive and difficult to weave. They used punk woods like tulip popular that would easily ignite and for a coal. Wealthy people used charcloth.]

However, the process was facilitated in Southern Asia since bamboo is prevalent as a naturally occurring species there. Still they can be constructed from a few inexpensive items, and then placed in your kit to start a fire as long as you have some punk wood to use for coal forming and can find wood to use as fuel.

The issue with steel is that you need steel. You can't make it easily. Using a steel rod will eventually wear. Some people use their knives and honestly that's not good for the tool, is it? Most people can source a rock to spark some steel if they've been trained.

Anyway, the point is have alternatives for fire-starting, and this is a very good alternative. Many of us come from Western nations, and so because of familiarity and tradition, we hold Western ideas in high regard. In all honesty, our ideas really come from world-wide sources like the Middle East, Africa, Asia, as well as Europe and North and South America. The ideas slowly were learned by merchants and soldiers as they passed through those regions.

Consider making one like this:




Here's one being used:
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The incredible kindness of preppers like T Joseph Miller Jr. author of Beyond Collapse

[link to docs.google.com (secure)]

T. Joseph Miller Jr. has his heart in the right place. He's written a book about how to deal with collapse, but has made it free (for the moment) as a pdf online. It is for sale as well; see this article.
[link to www.shtfplan.com]

It's a long comprehensive book on a variety of skills you would need to rebuild civilization. It's such a magnanimous gesture to make it freely available. I urge you to download it and learn it and then practice it.

All preparedness books will include information that is filtered through the personality of the author. If you don't agree with him, still look at the information presented, and absorb what you need and find useful. If you don't know much, I think it's safe to say that you don't understand what is useful until you need it. Take all of that to heart and be a critical thinker.

Practice the gift of “passing it on” to anyone who needs help. See previous postings about helping strangers with mechanical car trouble. That's partially why I am still helping all these years later. This and the Source are my inspiration.

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