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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
12/26/2012 06:05 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Since much of the USA got snow, it's a good opportunity to find clear animal tracks. Seldom do you find them except by the edges of water, but luckily with the snow it's very easy to find animal prints. Why not take the kids out with a camera and a good guidebook and see how many species you can identify?

You'll note the spacing will change as they change their gait, and a good book will explain the different names for the spacing. One thing you can also see is something that Tom Brown Jr. calls pressure releases. It the shifting of the body weight of the animal as they look to their right or left and unconsciously lean on one limb more than another. Try it see yourself as you look in that direction and note how you move your body as you pivot on your hips and lean more on one leg than another. It's a very cool thing to show children, with practical application for tracking and hunting.

Try to facilitate and help your kids imagine how the animals moved and what was the motivation. Sometimes they were playing just as children and adults play, but often they were looking for water. Seldom are they looking for food in Winter as there's so little of that. Explain to them about hibernation and the need to conserve heat and calories versus the scant amount of calories found. It's a teachable moment to discuss the importance of supplies and preparing food for storage.

At Christmas time, it's common for kids to veg in front of the TV or electronic game player, but most kids desire to actually do something novel and active. Taking them outside to feel the cold and imagine trying to build a shelter from available materials, building a fire, trying to collect water, etc are all good activities.

Even though it's cold, playing capture the flag is still a fun activity. The rules are simple, and if you organize the kids in the neighborhood into two teams, they'll likely be grateful for a change. It's a way to build up community with your neighbors too.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 1110734
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12/26/2012 06:09 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
If you like these sort of tips, please send some karma my way. I'm hoping to use that for ban immunity to keep writing, otherwise it's only a matter of time before I get banned again...I guess due to long posts.
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/26/2012 06:19 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The Survival Mom is a good website for prepping tips. Here's one on Winter Survival and children.
[link to thesurvivalmom.com]

Read back to my previous post on fanny packs for kids. Kids should always be prepared and a fanny pack can carry a lot of useful items so they're always prepared. It's a good way to introduce kids into preparedness from a scouting perspective rather than from a "prepper" perspective and that tends to be more acceptible.

I'll bet some of you have portable fire pits you purchased and then only use in early Spring and Autumn. Why not fire one up this Christmas season to make it warmer, and do a demonstration of a brick rocket stove (see previous posts) and show the neighbor kids how easy it is to build a very good fire using the principles of rocket stoves and the low amount of fuel needed. Then cook up some hot chocolate on the stove. They'll think it's fun.

If you have a copy of New Games
[link to en.wikipedia.org]

it has a lot of very simple games to play in any weather.
Ultimate (Frisbee) is a great sport and can played even in the snow.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 1110734
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12/26/2012 06:29 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Because someone always thinks that you can produce a lot of water from snow melt, since there's snow on the ground in a lot of the USA, why not try to collect some and melt it by bringing it indoors in a container and seeing how little water is actually produced. To produce much at all in a short period, one would need to heat it up and this requires quite a bit of effort is using fire. Then of course you'd need to purify it because you're gathering it directly off of the lawn, so imagine all of the contaminants especially if pets are nearby. Not a great idea, is it?

Sometimes demonstrating it will help people to process the difficulties and challenges of faulty thinking.

Don't get me wrong, there was a case of a woman who made it by staying in her car and filling up a water bottle with snow melt and because of the sunshine she was able to melt enough to make it until help arrived. That doesn't mean that she wasn't dehydrated since the humidity is very low in Winter and only by luck she had some candy bars.

Then if you're teaching the neighborgood kids, explain the importance of preparing in Winter when traveling in the car. A lot of parents don't make their kids pack gloves and hats, much less take water and some food, so telling a story like that gives you a chance to discuss those issues as well.
Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 1110734
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12/27/2012 08:50 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Recharging your vehicle's battery

Have you considered how you're going to recharge the battery in your vehicle? For many of you, long after the gasoline is expended, the battery will serve as a power source. If you have an inverter you can even power up small devices with low current load as well. An inverter changes the dc power into ac power.

The simplest solution is a solar trickle charger with a charge controller. That's about $60-100 today and money well spent since even on cloudy days you could get enough ambient light to get the solar panel to operate. However many of you won't spend the money thinking that you'll never need it. If you don't start your vehicle so often the battery will go dead. It's why car dealerships have a battery charger on-site, but with no electricity, it is of little use.

The charge controller is important otherwise you'll eventually overcharge the battery without it.


If you had an exercise bike then you could MacGuyver that to spin the car alternator to recharge the battery, but it's a LOT of work since the one turn of the pedals to spin the wheel results in a poor turn of the alternator's gear. An alternative is to use a common mountain bicycle mounted on an inexpensive frame but using a better gear ratio to spin the alternator. See these links for a better way to do that.
[link to fromthetrenchesworldreport.com]



Imagine manually spinning the alternator, and how many times you'd have to do that work to charge the battery....daunting isn't it?

If one lived in a windy area you could spin the alternator with wind power too.

The weakest link in the system is a car battery doesn't last long. A marine deep cycle battery has much more longevity.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/27/2012 08:51 AM
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/27/2012 09:14 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Here's a couple of videos describing basic topographical maps. Realize that most maps DON'T contain topographical information, just roadways so someone quickly departing or bugging out won't know the terrain very well. Someone looking at a topographical map must interpret the map, something that takes a little bit of time to ascertain.




Here's a good link below that features an additional link to free topo maps.
[link to modernsurvivalblog.com]

The best map is a relief map of your area since it actually shows the terrain instead of an interpretation. Many map software programs can generate relief maps and would be money well spent.

Imagine if you were navigating through that region and how valuable this map would be!

Using Google Earth, you can pick your map location and turn it on it's side so you can get a vantage point view of the terrain. That's free and very valuable if you were navigating across the region and looking for water sources.

Note: If you live in a region with tough terrain, you can pretty well guess the most likely path of people navigating through based upon the relative ease of movement. Their path will most likely be the simplest way based upon available roads and minimizing effort. That's one way you can anticipate them. Of most importance is availability of water which is in the lower regions so between the two you have most likely paths.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/27/2012 09:32 AM
Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 1110734
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12/27/2012 09:23 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
I've previously discussed how great dental floss is as a prepper tool. Here's a video which has some good ideas in it.



I once was demonstrating to some kids how to make Native American dream weavers and bracelets and found that dental floss was strong and easy to use since it's waxed. Since then I've used it to repair a tent and some clothes in a pinch in the field, and I really never camp without several containers of it. You can buy a spool of waxed thread in craft stores like Hobby Lobby, and that's probably less expensive that way.
Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 1110734
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12/27/2012 09:59 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Pit Cooking

This is one of the oldest and most wonderful means of baking your meal in a practical way. No doubt much of your cooking will occur this way as it slowly cooks, uses less fuel, cooks evenly, and is less trouble than cooking directly on top. It's an ideal way to cook if you're staying in one area for a time. You can set it up the night before and have your meal ready and cooked in the morning to take with you for the whole day, or do like most people and bake the evening meal this way by preparing it before lunchtime.


You would be blessed to eat this way and with so much richness.

[link to www.wildwoodsurvival.com]
[link to www.cooks.com]
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
[link to cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com]

Cooking this way allows the cook some freedom to go out with the others looking for ingredients and doing the other chores, then returning to a prepared meal.

Lots of great videos at BushcraftOnFire's channel. I previously included their video on sourcing clay for pottery.
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/27/2012 06:54 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Your honey is probably missing pollen and that “maple syrup” isn't maple at all

A lot of people understand that honey has some healing properties, but did you know that there's an excellent chance that what you're purchasing isn't “honey” by definition at all? In most cases, if you're buying a brand label of honey, it's probably been ultra-filtered and so all of the collected pollens by the bees has been removed. It's even possible that your honey has ultimately come from China and isn't produced domestically at all.

One of the health benefits of honey for allergy sufferers is that by dosing themselves with locally produced honey they weakly stimulate their histamine response by the pollen collected. This results in a lesser case of hay fever. If there's no bee pollen in it, then it's not doing anything.

The best way is still to buy local honey whenever you can find it. Join a food cooperative if you can as they're very careful about what bulk foods are purchased.
[link to www.foodsafetynews.com]

People who weren't raised on maple syrup often use fake maple-flavored syrup or even simply corn syrup. Open your cabinet and read the label on your pancake syrup. Chances are you're dosing yourself with one of the most harmful substances known to man. In a survival situation, when growing corn you want to harvest as much food as possible, so you allow the stalks to stand and harvest the syrup from them. Otherwise, you avoid corn syrup as much as possible. A good pecan pie is made from corn syrup, but you're not eating it all the time.

If you have the time and maple trees, why not actually purchase a spile this year from a local farmer's supply store and harvest some maple syrup at the proper time for your area as the sap rises from the roots? It takes awhile to reduce the water content, but then you know you're getting true maple syrup plus adding in some needed humidity to your home.

There's simply no substitute for the delicious taste of maple syrup. I urge you to try the real thing on some homemade french toast or pancakes (add in some wheat germ for a treat) and you'll never eat that fake maple-flavored corn syrup again.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/27/2012 06:55 PM
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/27/2012 07:36 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Start a garden this year especially if on food stamps

If your food security is threatened, why not learn how to garden this year? If you're wasting time cutting grass, why not dig up some of that turf that not providing you with any nutrients and grow some of your own food instead?

Many first year gardeners make lots of mistakes. They don't send their soil in for analysis. They don't add the soil amenities to get the pH to the level that's needed to best produce vegetables. They assume they know how to best weed, water, fertilize, do pest control, and harvest the plants. They assume that they just broadcast seeds any old way and it'll produce food. Nope.

Even though January is coming, now is the best time to start thinking about that new garden. Use this time to read through community resources at your local library. Network to find mentors to help you plan a garden. Find out the best ways to preserve any food you collect. Chances are that will mean dehydrating food as well as canning. Food stored in freezers is great since it preserves flavor, but if you lose power, you lost it all.

There are some classic texts on gardening like “Square Foot Gardening”. It's deliberately written for novices and details simple ways to begin learning.





Reusable canning lids are available. They're more expensive, it makes good sense to purchase them.

Herbs are very expensive to buy from the spice aisle. Fresh herbs make recipes taste wonderful, and you can easily collect them and dry them to use throughout the year.

Plan now how you will best water your garden. Explore inexpensive ways of drip irrigation. The simplest means is having some water diverted to rain barrels and using drip hoses to slowly water your rows of plants. This means reducing a need to rely upon city water. Check your local laws to see if it's a possibility. A lot of people don't like to water their gardens, and the cycle of dryness and soaking results in poor root growth. You don't have to spend a fortune on a professionally installed system. Make do with something simple that works but isn't an eyesore.

In many places there's hard clay soil and this makes gardening tough. The easiest thing to do is add river sand. The more you work it into the clay, the more it will break up and allow the roots to penetrate.

Mulching saves you loads of weeding, keeps the water from evaporating into the hot weather, and creates an even climate for your plants. Try to do things that minimize your time in the garden in order to best manage your time.

A lot of novice gardeners end up getting a rash from handling nettles. Buy some good gardening gloves and learn to identify those nettles to avoid it. Find a comfortable way to weed that doesn't hurt your lower back. It's a frequent complaint.

Don't buy everything at once. It's daunting to spend lots of money on tools and garden carts. Buy a little every year. A lot of times you can buy gently used equipment at rummage sales off-season. Maybe it needs a new handle and it's not hard to replace it, or maybe a little TLC and you can fix that cart.

Watch some youtube videos to get excited about planting time and to see how other master gardeners raise their crops. Learn from their successes and failures.

Don't try to raise everything this first year. Raise the most common things you like to eat. Remember that a lot of the crop comes in at once, so stagger your planting of vegetables (succession planting) and ask gardeners what they do in your area. Trade produce as much as possible. Read up on recipes to best utilize your harvest. Otherwise your family will complain about eating the same vegetables over and over. Even the best tasting zucchini bread gets tiresome to some people. Not me! I love it!

Read about the seed varieties that best suit your local climate. If you're way to the South, then you need to worry about the heat-resistance and bolting. If you're way to the North then you need frost-resistant species. You can't grow everything well the first year, but it's a joy to grow something that others have trouble with.

Many new gardeners make mistakes on starting seedlings. The light levels are too low and so their seedling get leggy and so they fail. Not everything can be transplanted, but you can get a jump on cabbage family plants in the Spring by starting seedlings, and later tomatoes, pepper plants, etc. Visit your local garden center and see what they offer in early Spring. If you have some grow lights and some simple shelving then you can raise your own. Watch some youtube videos which show EXACTLY how people do it. Don't assume anything.

The alternative is to continue to pay high prices for your food and see smaller and smaller portions for what you purchase.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/30/2012 12:46 PM
MzTreeChick

User ID: 30620831
Australia
12/27/2012 08:35 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Hi D.B.A cool2

Glad you have decided to hang around.

* Several months ago I purchased a heavy duty jump starter for less than $100 from the local auto store AND a solar panel to recharge for less than $30. The jump starter has LED work lights, cig lighter input and extras to recharge phones and laptops etc. It is usually in the boot of the car but due to Queensland storm season its up stairs in the kitchen.

Every 3mths I just hook it up to the solar panel to keep the battery fully charged. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.



About to start Vege garden 3.0.



hf rockon
* Eat recycled food, it's good for the environment and O.K for you. (Judge Dredd)
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/27/2012 10:27 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Hi D.B.A cool2

Glad you have decided to hang around.

* Several months ago I purchased a heavy duty jump starter for less than $100 from the local auto store AND a solar panel to recharge for less than $30. The jump starter has LED work lights, cig lighter input and extras to recharge phones and laptops etc. It is usually in the boot of the car but due to Queensland storm season its up stairs in the kitchen.

Every 3mths I just hook it up to the solar panel to keep the battery fully charged. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.



About to start Vege garden 3.0.



hf rockon
 Quoting: MzTreeChick


GREAT! I'm glad. This kind of preparedness offers you more security. Note that a charge controller is recommended if you end up using it frequently. That keeps it from overcharging the battery.
Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 1110734
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12/27/2012 10:27 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Understanding the term “prepping” as a phenomena
[link to www.google.com]

Here is a Google Trends chart showing the relative stability of the search term “prepper” throughout time until is suddenly took off in 2012. My theory is that the sudden concern about the Mayan prophesy of 2012 resulted in boatloads of people becoming interested in the phenomena and deciding they'd better “do something”. In addition to that, I think that overall people are worried as they get older and realize that the global economic situation has become untenable.

People arriving late to the game are naturally the ones who have least prepared and have invested the smallest portion of their lives in the movement. It'll be very interesting to see how many much the trend falls away now that the moment of the great worry of the Mayan Calendar has come and gone without a hitch.

Fear is never a good motivator. It's akin to hearing a fire and brimstone sermon and fearing Hell and so attending church to “get right with God”. This never lasts, and that's why the churches were packed after 9/11 and why even a few weeks later those same folks had moved on to other things.

What are good motivators? I think saving money is a very good motivator. Who doesn't want to preserve wealth as best they can especially during times of uncertainty. Knowing we have inflation in food prices, but a decline in market value of hard assets like real estate, it only makes sense to find ways to save money by growing things yourself.

I think getting in better health is a good motivator too. People who spend more time outside, as long as they use sunscreen to protect their skin, get more fresh air, exercise, and often eat better because they've noticed that eating prepared food comes with a lot of additives that they really don't want in their bodies. Drinking more pure water is like that too. It results in a better hydrated state with clearer skin, a healthy glow, a state of calmness and serenity, and better overall health. Growing fresh produce results in eating more salad, using the delicate taste of baby vegetables and fresh herbs and so a more delightful diet. It facilitates better and more varied cooking.

Setting priorities on living things that sustain us, being in touch with our position in the Grand Design of the Source, and more at one with the complex ecosystem we live within, these are excellent motivators. A feeling of overall connectedness with God and Nature is far more affirming versus the selfish pride of considering only ourselves.

So forget the fear of the unknown. It's not going to keep you interested. But life and learning about the rich connection that you share with the simplest lifeforms, these things cannot help but excite and thrill you. There is joy to be found in that journey into the Green.
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/28/2012 12:23 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
61.8% of the USA under drought conditions
[link to www.wunderground.com]

If you're not planning on ways to deal with gardening under these conditions using drip irrigation, then you're not being wise at all. I've been preaching about this for months. Please make plans now as it's singularly the worst threat to basic survival.

You still can use drip irrigation without rainfall by slowly drizzling city water to your garden. It's really a good idea as otherwise the water will simply evaporate off.

Store water now. Research ways to put water in containers and using some homemade bleaching solution from pool shock, purify it longterm, but rotate it.

I would not be at all surprised if we exceed the Dust Bowl conditions of the Great Depression.

Low rainfall will end up having an effect on crops, animal life, economics, the supply chain, employment, just about everything.

Even if we receive tons of snow this year, chances are it won't be enough to make a significant effect.

Since we export a lot of grain, this affects world grain prices and subsequently affects livestock prices.
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/29/2012 12:23 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Prepping begins with deep introspection

Most people begin to notice things about the world that disturb them. They get some insight into the inner workings of the real world, and in that epiphany is the seed of change. When they begin to see more and more evidence of future issues, they alter the course of their journey to minimize the effect that outside influences play on their lives.

It's akin to riding in a canoe on flat water. You look ahead and see rapids. If you are fairly near to the shoreline, you can pull into a safe cove, examine the stream ahead for rocks and currents, maybe make a meal, calm down some, and then when ready, navigate the rapid. Maybe the trip upstream is not essential, and since there's a spring melt, the stream is faster than normal and simply waiting will alleviate much of the issue. Maybe you're not up to the rapids yet, not being in adequate shape, and unless you really like putting that to the test, you avoid dealing with it for now. Or maybe you can portage around that difficult place, carry your canoe and supplies around the rapid even though it takes more time. This is the essential process of preparedness.

However new people to the movement, they buy the best equipment for rapids even when there's no rapids around, just the threat of them. Rather than exercise to get stronger and eat right to reduce the boat's load, they think that a better canoe, even a bigger one is a better way to cope. In some cases they don't have much in the way of assets so they simply buy a better shinier paddle. Maybe they prepare an essential bag of goodies they think they need, but other than that, they haven't prepared much at all.

You can almost bet that they don't have a life jacket. It doesn't have any coolness factor whatsoever even though it's the one essential item that would most likely help them since it's directly applicable to their situation.

Fear often is their motivator, and if you've been reading along you know that it's really not a very good coping mechanism for survival, much less for living life in abundance. Since they know in their hearts that they aren't strong, or skilled, they throw money at the problem, and like most times in life, that doesn't work at all.

Fear can overwhelm us. A close examination of the rapids of life can paralyze us. They are always there, it's just we've been distracted by other things, mindless entertainment usually, because to allow ourselves to be distracted is easier than coping. Then suddenly aware of every rapid around us, we think we'll drown. The reality is far different. Though we think things are bad, and we were in fact slowly drowning, we weren't immediately drowning, but clinging to a rock and waiting for something to change.

Sometimes the wisest course of action is to pull yourself out of the stream when wet and struggling, sit down on that rock, and THINK. This is a tough choice for some, because it seems like thinking is not doing. Of course jumping back in the water and trying to swim through that rapid seems like madness, but a lot of people will do that rather than spend the time to develop a plan.

Others have it very rough. They have no rock to cling to: family, friends, God, the Church, education, skills, strength, constitution, tenacity, mentors, etc. Almost always if you look for allies, you can find them. They can help you since once they were also drowning, but the cold water splashed in their face, and they were forced to cope. For some it's a vivid memory and if they're altruistic, they don't want you to have to struggle as much as they were forced to.

If you find yourself alone and alienated today post-Christmas, then the best way to begin is to start over. Start with the least broken thing in your life and work on that to make it better. Most likely it's your physical endurance and strength. Fix yourself first.

Despite seeing the buff action heroes in action films, and thinking that it was easy for them to get healthy because of _______, in reality most of those people who look so slim and muscular got that way by patience, training, discipline, deprivation, and hard work.

One of the amazing aftereffects of physical training is that it also sharpens the mind. All of that time lifting weights and running could be spent in a vague fugue state, but probably the person training starts to think about the events in their life and how they wish things were different. Seeing the weight peel off of them, and the renewed tone in their muscles builds optimism though. And what happens in that transformation? Usually people notice the change in your life, compliment you, and the flickering flame of Hope is ignited.

The flame might never be built up if you quit, or if you get bored, but if you stick with it and keep exercising and eating right, then inevitably you start thinking about journaling. Maybe writing down some ideas, committing to a plan, listing what worked or didn't work, will help you to keep succeeding.

The more you do that, the more the journal is not about yourself, but about ways to change for the better. Usually you begin to see deficits in what you know, and the natural way to cope is to read and learn.

You see prepping is not about the best sharpest knife, though that is a valuable tool. Hone your mind, spirit, body into the strong tools that you most need.

Get back in the canoe. Those rapids that once were rough will seem more tame. You'll be stronger, more deft and agile in your movements, less afraid, wiser. Even though the canoe and your equipment is the same, you are not. You've allowed dynamic change to occur, bettering yourself, believing in yourself and maybe have found some foundation to cling to when troubled.
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/29/2012 08:57 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Moving heavy objects

When organizing your new tribe, you're going to come across very heavy logs that need moving when constructing or when cutting down trees. Other times you may need to move something very heavy and hopefully fairly regularly shaped. There's a couple of principles mentioned in this video which illustrate how to best handle heavy objects using a fulcrum.


If you happen to have pieces of pipe, you can place those underneath, and then moving the weight along, then replace the pipe as you inch it forward.
[link to dart2.arc.nasa.gov]


Another simple way is dragging an object on a carpet.


Here it's demonstrated...


This dragging method works well with rocks, but the difficulty is getting the rock on the carpet, so that's where the fulcrum and dowel rods or pipe comes into play.

Remember, it can take weeks to get over a pulled back, so use your head and organize the folks moving the object so NO ONE gets injured.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/29/2012 09:05 PM
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/29/2012 09:02 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Appropedia's public domain books link

[link to www.appropedia.org]

Here are tons of resources from Appropedia on lots of homesteading resources. It would be wisdom to download the pdf files, and even print some of them. Maybe you don't need a book on Hogology today :) but you might in the future be raising some free range pigs and need the knowledge. It wasn't uncommon to raise a pig during wartime Britain, that is if you wanted some pork.
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/29/2012 09:14 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Using a cheater bar

The longer the handle of a wrench, the easier it is to apply downward force to turn a frozen nut. Since you might be the only one around and maybe aren't that strong, you have to use your noggin to figure out how YOU can turn that nut for disassembly.

For that purpose, but not for regular use, a cheater bar is made to extend the handle.
[link to pontificatingnobody.com]

This makes it way easier to turn, but be CAREFUL. Make sure there is no slop in the tightness of the wrench for if so, you could round off the nut and make it impossible to remove.
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/29/2012 11:50 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Tapping a hole for proper threads




Many times you need to attach a bolt into a piece of metal, and so you need to tap the hole first to prepare it for threads for the bolt to screw into it. Here's a video which demonstrates the process, but in actuality it is far better craftsmanship to use a tap wrench and slowly create the threads. Why? As you hold the drill, it's oscillating and vibrating and almost impossible to hold perfectly straight. That means you will be making it “wallered out” from the slop in your work. That means a less than perfect tightness.

In time, perhaps someone over-tightens a bolt and buggers up the threads or the bolt is loose and under vibration and wallers out in the process. That means redrilling the hole for a larger size bolt and using a different tap for that size.
[link to store.curiousinventor.com]
[link to www.wikihow.com]

I've also attached directions for the complete process and another link showing the proper drill bit size to initially drill the hole prior to tapping. Making it too small will make the tap too tight and probably make the sharp but brittle metal to snap. Making the hole too big will create shallow threads and create a less than perfect thread for the bolt to screw in.

This is a very simple thing to do, and chances are at some point you'll be doing small repairs like this on your equipment.

Sometimes it's far better to actually drill on through and attach a nut, washer and lock washer to the other end rather than simply screwing the bolt into the metal. Of course that means doing routine maintenance to see that the bolts stay tightened otherwise they're prone to vibrating off.
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/30/2012 12:05 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Removing a broken bolt


There are two ways to do this. Either use an easy out bit, or working on the rounded off bolt use a special socket head (Bolt-outs) that essentially grabs on to the metal.

I guarantee you that you're going to have some rounded off bolts as you work around the house, so purchasing some tools now anticipating that will save you lots of time later.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
I've got 4 water filters that vary in size from 2oz on up to a table top unit. I wasn't planning on buying the 4th one but found a Katadyne Exstream bottle/filter on sale for $20. Couldn't pass it up....
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/30/2012 10:23 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Understanding why cars overheat while stalled in traffic jams

In today's economy, a lot of people are not doing routine maintenance on their vehicles. Since the car is operating decently while on the highway for commuter traffic, or in short runs to the grocery store, and not usually tested on a long journey, the car owner has no idea of the limitations of their vehicle.

However in a collapse, all of that changes. Suddenly as everyone is attempting to leave one area of instability and trying to relocate to an area of stability, the sudden exodus results in numerous mechanical phenomena.

The normal behavior for car or truck owners is to spend a lot of time packing up a car, taking longer than they anticipate, and waiting for the passengers to assemble with lots of delays while the driver is goading them to hurry. It's analogous to herding cats. Horrors really. When everyone finally is seated, someone no doubt didn't use the restroom, neglected to bring water or food, forgot their pack or a need medication, whatever. Can I get an amen? You know it's true.

If it's Summertime, the driver may operate the car to air condition it, and notice that the engine is operating at a higher than normal temperature.

Now that everyone is in the vehicle, the driver most likely heads to the local gas station for a fill-up, possibly checks their tires and oil and maybe fluids, then head to their destination. Of course if suddenly there's ten times the number of drivers on the road then normal, you've got long lines at the gas station, possible issues with people running out of gas while waiting in line, or simply forestalling the issue by getting on the road and planning on taking an exit while further down the line and putting some distance between the urban center and the danger.

Now there's lots of issues that might cause problems while on the highway. Ordinarily there's high flowrates on highways because of the distance between vehicles and the smooth steady flow between the destination points. However since many of the vehicles may need fuel, higher than normal exits will be occurring and possibly last minute purchases in lesser known areas of town, and maybe picking up passengers at another location. This translates into more people exiting and reduces the normal distances between vehicles and makes driving perilous.

Some of these people may have issues with refueling. It's highly likely that less fuel stations will be open and many will not be accepting plastic cards for payment, and since less than one in a hundred transactions are cash, you can bet that there will be a lot of people who will run out of gas on the highway, on exits, or immediately afterward in perhaps bad or unknown parts of town.

The most common issue will be backed up traffic directly on the highway. This will lead to some collisions in the front, but mostly in the rear as people are not expecting the delays. Some lane will be stalled, and others seeing trouble ahead will take chances and merge into another lane and cause secondary collisions. This could become nightmarish.

Here's a video which explains the normal flow of engine coolant within your radiator system. It's less of an issue in Winter at first, but the engine is so hot that it must have water/coolant flow as well as wind in order to maintain its ability to operate.


The primary reason that these poorly maintained vehicles are still running is that they move at high speed and maintain airflow through the radiator and are able to wick away heat. Or the driving distance is so abbreviated that not much heat builds up, then the engine cools while the person is shopping inside, then they return home a short distance away, and hence there is little demand on the coolant system.



When sitting in traffic, the vehicle has way less airflow. If the car is low on coolant fluid, if the fan clutch is faulty, if the thermostat is broken, if the water pump is faulty, if there's a leak in the radiator, then there's a high probability that the engine will overheat while in the traffic jam. Multiply that times numerous vehicles and you have a very volatile situation.

Unless you're one of the 1% of folks who are mechanically minded and can repair those simple problems, then you're sidelined and your flight to safety is over. Meanwhile everyone around you is delayed and possibly stuck, for chances are extremely low that someone can assist you. It's why bugging out is a remote possibility because most people are unprepared even if you think you are.

Even if you know how to fix it, unless you have tools, and are close to an open auto parts store, then you're SOL.

A good prepper learns how to maintain their vehicle by checking fluids, watching for coolant leaks and inspecting hoses, learns how to do basic mechanical work, understands the operation of car subsystems, and can troubleshoot and repair them.

If you own an unusual vehicle, then there's an even worse proposition that you won't be able to source the correct parts after a collapse. While fuel is the main concern, since you can't find the part, your best bet is finding a junkyard that has a vehicle like yours, and salvaging the part, or else finding a downed vehicle and salvaging from it. Of course, those are not new parts and whatever parts you find maybe quite worn from operating.

If the radiator overheated, the oil could be ruined in the engine, and there's a high probability that the head gasket could be blown. Not only blown, but it might need to be remachined. Here's how to test if combustion gases are leaking into your radiator system and hence determining a blown head gasket.


As you can imagine, in a collapse situation, armed vehicle owners may become desperate and may hijack other vehicles to get away. There are high consequences for living in densely populated urban areas.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/30/2012 12:55 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Blown tires on the highway

The next most common issue during a bugout situation will be a blown tire. Many people today don't rotate their tires. You can do it yourself; it's not rocket science.


Obviously you don't need all of this equipment, but can do it with far less by using your head, but it will be more difficult and take more time. Big deal.

Since the average person drives about 10,000 miles in a year or less, then figure on rotating at least 2 and probably three times a year. That's not that big a deal, and get some help just to give your tribe members some mechanical experience. The more they practice, the stronger their confidence level. Saying things like "righty tighty, lefty loosey" as a mneumonic helps them to remember how to twist the wheel nuts or even crank on other nuts or bolts later. It's far better to learn now the limits of one tribe member's strength, and purchasing them a better tire wrench so they can use both hands to twist off the nuts, then for them to be stranded.

If you don't rotate them, there will be premature wear on your tires. Many of these folks will have issues while on the highway, and have to pull over and replace their tire. Most likely they'll have a “doughnut” tire, strictly a very short term replacement, because most people don't have a true spare tire anymore. It would be wisdom to purchase another wheel and a tire and have that as a true spare, besides the common donut tire that comes with your vehicle. That's right, the wheels are different, so there's some expense involved.



While the ideal way to balance a tire is done at the mechanical shop with their high spin device, you can wing it by watching this video. If you're doing this in the field, there's a high chance it won't be perfect and you'll have uneven wear on the tire because it's not perfectly round and balanced. This means clipping a less than perfect weight on the wheel.

Hopefully everyone in your family can change a tire. You taught them...right? The first time I changed a tire I was very young and helping my dad on the road. Preparedness only works if everyone in your tribe can do multiple things otherwise if something happens to you then the whole tribe is doomed.

It's possible that you might have to use some tire sealant in order to continue on, as maybe the tire is blown, and the donut tire gone, but you have to keep moving. Remember that there are limitations on using a donut tire (less than fifty miles and at less than 50 miles per hour and never using a donut on the front wheels). In a collapse, you might have to exceed that range easily, and so hobbling along until you can find a replacement particularly if in a remote area.


Note: If you collide with a curb suddenly, it's possible to deform the wheel such that no replacement tire will conform to the roundness of the wheel. This means finding a wheel to fit your vehicle, plus a tire to continue your journey.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/30/2012 11:24 AM
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12/30/2012 11:46 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Are you getting the idea about prepping? It's not so much about bugout bags, the latest novelty knife, or gun, or an alcohol stove. It much more about simple common homesteading ideas like gardening, making simple repairs, storing food, and common sense.

While some of the former things are interesting, and believe me as a guy I'd like to have an infinite amount of money to spend on such things, the things discussed by some wannabee preppers or survivalists is of such limited use that it's really a disservice to concentrate too heavily on them.

While it's very cool to discuss the latest greatest crossbow, the reality is that most of them are very expensive not only to purchase but to maintain and continue to use the bolts that are fired from them. It's far more practical to think about hunting small game with a homemade sling bow (see a previous posting with a video by Dave Canterbury). The goal is not to fight zombies, but to put meat on the table by learning frugality, practical use of ranged weapons, and simple mechanical skill.

Wise up. In a world with limited funds and issues with full employment, it makes far more sense to discuss things like the next topic (hanging heavy objects on walls), then it does on endless discussions on ammunition.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/30/2012 11:47 AM
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12/30/2012 12:33 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Hanging heavy objects on walls

Believe it or not, being able to put up an extra set of cabinets or shelving is just as important as hunting. Since food can be raised or grown, it's of little use unless you can also store it in a cool dry place. Since most homes have a lack of storage space, particularly in kitchens, you need to spend some time planning to create new spaces within your home. Shelving is the natural way, but cabinets look much better.

If you are putting up something small and on drywall, then most likely you should use threaded drywall
anchors. These are ridiculously simple to do with a drill, a stud finder, a level, a tape measure, and the smallest amount of skill.
[link to www.naturalhandyman.com]



A stud finder will locate the most likely wooden studs that the drywall is attached to. Some modern construction uses metal framing. A stud finder will approximately determine where the 1.5” thick stud are to be found. If you're mounting something heavy, then it's just good old common sense to screw into a strong wooden stud versus using a fastener like an anchor or toggle bolt. A threaded drywall anchor really shouldn't hold more than 25 lbs of downward force. A heavy toggle bolt distributes the force which a spreading mechanical part, and can hold up to 50 lbs.

Cabinets must be mounted on the studs themselves, as most likely you're using this method since you've got the weight of the cabinet plus its contents of heavy food or other storage items. It's possible though that with shelving that the length may end up beyond the closest stud, and so using both methods is likely to happen.

Even if the cabinet is free-standing, then it makes good sense to fix the cabinet to the wall due to earthquakes. The last thing you want is your valuable supplies to tumble over.

Wire shelving is a common and inexpensive way to put up something fast, and also a means of organizing a closet such that it contains many cubbyholes to place items. Believe me, your family will appreciate having you do this. It's also a teaching opportunity to demonstrate and have them do part of the work, but guiding them so that it's largely successful.

Most young people grow up not knowing any basic skills, and that means being basically helpless. You really don't want that, do you? Don't worry, repairing drywall is simple, and if they make a mistake, then you can easily patch the wall. In fact, that should be part of the lesson. See the next posting.
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/30/2012 01:28 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Repairing Drywall

Drywall is the most common wall that you'll need to repair. It's put up fairly inexpensively and mounted on typically wooden studs. If you're working on the wall in order to mount a shelf or some cabinets, it's possible that at times you end up making a mistake and create a hole that needs patching. Other times maybe moving around heavy furniture, you scuff a wall and need to repair it prior to repainting it.


A small hole can be patched using spackle. Clean the area, apply just enough to fill it, let it dry, most likely apply a second coat of spackle, then use fine grit sandpaper to buff away the area, then repaint. Not a big deal. Helping your child to hang some things on their walls using the previously outlined details, then also teach them to fix the small imperfections they made to the wall, and then once that's dry, repaint the area.

A larger hold needs to be repaired. While you could put in progressively larger amounts of wallboard spackle, it's not a good idea. It won't dry correctly and you'll be unhappy with the job. You can either put in a section of wallboard to replace the imperfection, or the simplest thing to do is put a plate over the hole.

Joint compound is usually used instead of spackle.

Note: one could create a hidden hole inside of a wall using this method to store items, then it's invisibly placed inside and the wall removed later to remove the contents. While you can go to the trouble of creating a fake outlet, one could simply create a box within a wall, then patch over it.
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/30/2012 04:34 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Dehydrating frozen vegetables or fruit

Dehydrating is one of the best ways of preserving food. Since space is always a limitation, and since refrigeration requires energy to constantly be operational, and since even the largest refrigerator/freezer has limits on space, dehydrating can avoid most of those issues. It produces delicious food with delightfully concentrated flavors too.

When gardening and food is coming in, you can be overwhelmed by the process of canning. Consider dehydrating some, as a remarkable amount of food like tomatoes can be dehydrated into a few canning jars and sealed, and make delicious tomato stock later.

Off-season, or when you notice a sale on frozen goods, then you can purchase those supplies and dehydrate them. This is a very common prepper project, and it ends up saving you money from less trips to the store, less items in the freezer, and avoiding purchasing fresh produce which is always the most expensive way to eat.



You don't have to spend a fortune on a dehydrator either. Note the small size of the one used in the video and the brief one day period used to dehydrate. If you read previous postings, in the hot summers you can dehydrate some outside, but having an electric one only makes sense for year round usage.

Because the food is lacking moisture, it makes mold difficult to affect your food.

According to the literature I've read, the vitamins and minerals are preserved for the most part by the process.

One of the main websites that discusses dehydrating food can be found here. She has numerous tips on the best recipes and ways to dehydrate.:
[link to www.dehydrate2store.com]

She also has a youtube channel:
[link to www.youtube.com]

Here's the first part of one of her video series. There are ten parts to the series.:

Some general tips can be found here:
[link to thesurvivalmom.com]

Why not give dehydrating food a try in 2013? It will end up saving you money, but will require making some small modifications in how you prepare meals. I think you'll benefit from it nutritionally as well as economically while also learning a valuable skill that will improve your food security in case of bad weather. All of these aspects are important as we enter most likely another year of drought in the USA.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/30/2012 04:35 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Scorpions

While most people assume that scorpions are only found in desert climates in the Southwest, the reality is that scorpions probably exist in your state, but perhaps in smaller numbers. As a small child playing with toy soldiers in the dirt, I came across the desiccated exoskeleton of a small scorpion and was quite amazed. Dumbfounded really. Rather than tell my parents or even my best friends who played in that dirt pile with me, I clammed up. I dug a hole some distance away, for I knew enough that the stinger contained venom that could seriously hurt someone, and then never spoke about it to them.

Here's a website that lists scorpion species by state.
[link to www.angelfire.com]

Since that time in many decades of my life, I've only seen one other specimen while in Southern Illinois. They are skittish creatures that prefer to inhabit the areas that crickets and centipedes like, for that's among the food that they hunt. As such, unless you disturb areas looking for them, chances are you might never see one in your lifetime.

People always say, “Gosh, you're pulling my leg. You're not serious, ______.” But then I show them a picture or a video, and their eyes bug out.

Kentucky Southern Devil Scorpion

[link to www.ca.uky.edu]

Most people are so disconnected from the Earth because they've spent so little time in the meadows and forests, and they truly have no idea about countless species that share our world. I have literally watched river snakes slither by swimming in the water, completely unseen by nearby swimmers. Thank goodness, for it would have set them to screaming in terror.

Unfortunately, if bugging out in warmer weather, if you were to leave your boots outside the tent, as I have seen greenhorns do to avoid the smell, there's a chance that one might crawl into your boot. It's wisdom to bring your boots inside the tent, but still to carefully and with some degree of force rap the boot upside down to ensure that not only is there no critter inside your boot, but what's more likely, no spider in there. A brown recluse is far more likely and tiny, but a hard intentional upside smack is liable to dislodge any visitor to your shoes.

If stung by a scorpion, most likely it was done out of self-protection. The most likely cause was it nestled within your sleeping bag if sleeping directly outside, but possibly in the lower floor of a rustic cabin especially if there's an issue with crickets. Otherwise they crawl into boots.

If stung you want to clean the area with soap and water, elevate the limb to heart level, use cold compresses, and visit the ER. If you're the kind of person that's very allergic, there's a potential for anaphylactic shock. Keep the person as calm as possible as you don't want them to elevate their breathing or heart rate. I know, pretty darn tough.

When in the woods or really anywhere unknown, keep an eye out for species wiggling around on the ground. The reason you don't see them is your eyes are too glued to the TV. They're there coexisting. Because of that, if you leave them alone and go your way, you're likely safe from harm.

Addendum: Here's a good website showing some varieties from Georgia. They are quite large. They also show how the young cling to their mother until they molt.
[link to gregsnaturalhistory.com]

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/30/2012 11:14 PM
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12/30/2012 11:29 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
By the way, it's relatively easy to catch a snake. Most are not aggressive, not really. Mostly they want to get away. Here's a seven year old catching one. It would have made a fine meal especially if stewed so the meat came off the bones.

All you really need is a forked stick that's not flimsy.



Catching one gently to teach your children and giving them an opportunity to catch one helps them cope with the fear of wild creatures and also to appreciate their beauty.

Rat snakes can be quite large. Compare the the two videos as well as the response of the second person. You have to admire her though for helping out.


Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/30/2012 11:39 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
I've got 4 water filters that vary in size from 2oz on up to a table top unit. I wasn't planning on buying the 4th one but found a Katadyne Exstream bottle/filter on sale for $20. Couldn't pass it up....
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28870983


Thank you for participating in this topic. It's good to have some redundancy in order to anticipate equipment failure. Things will definitely fail in the field for a variety of reasons. With water filters, read the lable carefully to see the shelf life of the unit based upon the chemical components expiring due to oxidation. Each filter has a maximal amount of filtering based upon an ideal amount of gallons passed through the device. That's entirely contingent upon pre-filtering the filter to remove things like silt. A pre-filter greatly lengthens the actual life of a filter. Whatever amount is stated as the lifetime filtering use in gallons is probably suspect and wishful thinking. In addition, if some tribe member isn't trained, then may actually contaminate the filter by using soap which might clog the filter and prevent chemical filtering from working.

Besides that issue, with an essential piece of equipment like a water filter, it's possible that a member of a hunting party might need a portable unit, or a member of the tribe visits a local town for supplies and won't be back for up to a week. During frontier days, as the local tribes and families competed for hunting and trapping resources, animals retreated into wilder areas away from civiliation. That meant that it was necessary to send hunters out to get game and then to safely return with the meat. Travel too far and the meat would spoil. It also was security risk since it was less people around to protect the tribe. And in addition the possibility of providing food was weighed againt the loss of labor from the departing hunters. Likewise in certain areas merchants had set up that received supplies via the river mostly and sometimes by incoming covered wagon. This meant going to town a couple of times a year to resupply. All of that meant having portable equipment to take with you as you traveled by horse. This is why having some extra and small water filters is essential.

All of that has to be balanced based upon your limited money.

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