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Message Subject Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
Post Content
Practical Strategic Thinking

What are the chances in your area of a disaster? Has your area ever experienced drought, floods, hurricane, earthquake, heavy rains, dust storms, ice storms, etc.

Start by pulling up Google Earth, and do a quick search for 300 mile radius, and note water sources, roads, cities, elevated areas, uninhabited areas, forests, and grasslands. All of those things will help you decide on an extraction strategy based on an increasing need or desire to bug out. Hopefully it's not ever necessary, but looking now is the best way to plan a "run to Aunt Sally's farm" now while things are stable, then say trying to do this from a road map with no elevation markers (like a topo or relief map), and no satellite imagery from the Internet. Having it all printed, clipped, and in a folder would be superior planning and vital intelligence to help your friends and family who haven't planned.

Then do progressively smaller analysis getting down to your immediate area. Know where the closet wood, water, hunting, and gathering areas are crucial. Thinking like this can be an alternative strategy game versus playing a computer war game that is simply entertainment.

Think how you would send a minor expedition to gather from an area 2 miles away and return in the safest manner by routing on the map. How long would it take? What would you need to carry? What would be some useful items? What's the minimal gear, and how could you most safely go and when?

If people are traveling more than 2 miles, then it's very possible for an overnight situation to occur, based upon a minor accident like a sprain, a broken bone, arriving too late to harvest animals or plants. Is there a way to make baskets in the area to transport it back? Is there a way to make a sled to haul it back?

Two miles may sound very close to home. In reality, on good roads in safe condition, you can run two miles in sixteen minutes. If sedentary it could take more than twenty minutes. If hurt, it could take an hour. If two people are carrying a third, it could take two hours.

If crossing up and down trails, or worse traveling cross country and trying to walk carefully at night, it could take much longer. Traveling at night in unfamiliar area in the woods with no lighting is not at all recommended.

Thinking about this, imagine a much more densely populated area with higher safety issues and many more people stripping out local firewood and water. This can mean traveling much further than two miles. See? Five and ten miles might be necessary, and both of which might mean having shelter based upon weather and temperature and natural materials to make them out of and carrying shelter.

These kinds of things are ways to prep mentally, now while it's stable, rather than later with almost no intelligence on local availability.

For example, while you might no a place where a vital medicinal herb grows, it might not be safe to travel later, and hence multitasking and gathering it while also in the area for something else.

Let's say you wanted to gather delicious persimmons. They grow, but you cannot harvest them until they mature AND have a strong frost to remove the tannin. Persimmons are full of glucose, taste good, the seed can be stored to replant, and it's a fun activity. Never neglect opportunities for a teachable moment in family life if it's safe to have an outing and give everyone a breather.

Most of the gathered fruit will be high, and mean a good long branch to gather them. A tool can be made by attaching a basket to the branch to scoop off many and catch them, else you drop them onto a blanket and possibly bruise them. This means having to either make the tool before, or making it on-site with local materials. Almost certainly this means needing cordage which you made prior to make the basket section. Almost certainly you'll need a basket to bring them back to prevent bruising too.

While there, it would make sense to gather other medicinals, pine needles for tea, cordage plants, wood for bowls and tools, etc. See? Tool making and gathering and cordage making all takes time and elbow grease. Your two mile journey could easily become an overnight stay.

If you didn't harvest the persimmons and other materials, they might go to waste and fall as humus for the forest soil, or eaten by birds, or be gathered by someone else while you're family is hungry and needs edibles and materials.

It takes quite a bit of planning to move a family through to a destination of five miles, in order to get back in a day, and considering eating, drinking water, and safety. All of these things like knowing the terrain, what plants or animals are available, how to harvest them, how to get there, how to carry them, etc are things you can plan and learn now.
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