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survival tips thread

 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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In a true SHTF scenario, community will be one of the keys to making it all work.  There will be levels of community.  First, will be your immediate family and friends.  Next will be your nearby neighbors.  Then come city, region, etc.  When everybody is in the same position, life will revert to a style like existed prior to the industrial revolution.  After your family has put up enough tomato sauce to carry you through to the next harvest, you can barter your surplus to your neighbor for their surplus of apple cider.  Since there will be no refrigeration, the deer you hunted will be partially jerked, partially traded for some other commodity.

If we cannot build strong community, there will be dog-eat-dog chaos.
If you are not yet on good terms with your neighbors, yesterday would be a good time to start.  You don't need to like each other, but a little understanding and co-operation will do wonders in eliminating potential future pitfalls.
If we can work together, all of our futures will be easier.
 
                    
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great thread guys, interesting ideas.

one thing i wanted to comment on was the point early on made about three days of food. in the traditional lost in the woods scenario three days of food makes sense. it allows a competent individual three days to find a place to hunker down and survive, or, the 'as stated' wait for rescue. A fit individual should be able to cover almost 60 miles in three days with food, and should be able to find a spot, build a shelter, and hopefully find some more food or catch something.

as for the rest, i have always thought that metal tools are worth hordeing. a shovel in a post economic collapse is worth thousands of dollars IMO. if you can supply your community with shovels you go a long way to a thriving community. shovels are not only useful for gardening, but for building shelters, building dead falls, and MANY other things.

another thing to horde that can be given or traded is canning jars and plastic. any kind of glass, paper, or plastic should never be thrown away and should be stored. if you dont have room dig room with your excess of shovels.

obviously another main thing, dont think i saw it mentioned is seeds, as well as the knowledge of how they work :p

even if you never get around to reading some of them, certain books of useful info are vital. books on medicinal plants and traditional methods of liveing etc are all great. someone in your community can't do much in the way of labor? they can read and learn and share that info with others.

fire bricks are another useful thing. currently im devising a way to build an oven, and tent heater rocket mass stove outdoors. if my power goes out in winter (no wood stove yet) i can sleep perfectly soundly.

other ideas i have (outside of the BOB as you all have been calling it) is to know your local landscape. on unused lands it would be beneficial to know places of forage. particularly large white oak, and nut species. Probably some giant stands of things like cattails too.

for designing an efficient diet for this purpose i would recomend looking at the book 'one circle'. the sample diet has the author eating almost 4 pounds? of potatoes a day. it talks about how most american calories are concentrated so we don't have to eat as much. but in a sort of raw garden diet pounds of food for sufficient nutrients and calories is much harder to come by. things like oils require 5 times? the amount of land to produce. not nearly as efficient as planting several hundred potatoes and harvesting the local acorns and cattails. spoiler alert, Parsley, collards, turnips, sunflower, and filbert are a big part of his 14? plant diet.
 
                    
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one thing no one mentioned is diesel farm equipment. im pretty sure plenty of diesel engines will run on vegetable oil. even if this is not practical for most journeys it certainly could prove useful for certain operations
 
                                  
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People have different ways of surviving and what it means to them. The way we do it is to live mostly as our grandparents did. They owed no one a dime. When the depression came they lived as they always had. My wife and I do everything together. I can still make her laugh after all these years. When she starts to wash dishes I say to her, "Hey, you can't have all the fun, I want to do them too, as I get up to help her. 
We pay cash for everything, no debts. That includes our Ranch. We buy what we need, not so much what we want. Raise most of what we eat, vegetables and meat. We have enough staples stocked in the root cellar to last the rest of our lives, wheat, corn, rice, beans etc. Yes it's a big root cellar.
You know that place in the road where people say," There's no way in H*** they would live out here?" We live 20 miles past there.
A politician showed up last year wanting us to vote for him because he wanted to help people. I handed him a shovel and told him he could start by cleaning out the barn. We didn't see him any more. My grandfather warned me that they are all useless. I think so too.

There is no one size fits all for surviving. You have to decide whats best for you and your family.

We have some recession proof farm equipment that we use most of the time.
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm354/RedDiamondRanch/TrudyBelgians3.jpg

Mike
 
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Location: Sacramento
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one thing no one mentioned is diesel farm equipment. im pretty sure plenty of diesel engines will run on vegetable oil. even if this is not practical for most journeys it certainly could prove useful for certain operations 



What most people don't realize is how much has to be planted to get practical amounts of oil, outside of a few specialty plants.  Survival may very well come down to how your calories are burned--as internal combustion fuel, or human food.  This assumes the worst case.  In such a scenario, it will be much more useful knowing where to scrounge oil, including waste oil you'd find at the local Jiffy Lube.  Seriously, how many looters are going to look at "dirty" oil?
 
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Antibubba wrote:
In such a scenario, it will be much more useful knowing where to scrounge oil, including waste oil you'd find at the local Jiffy Lube.  Seriously, how many looters are going to look at "dirty" oil?



Indeed. Many of the older, non-electronic diesel engines can run on cooking oil, engine oil or automatic transmission fluid. Abandoned cars and trucks that have run out of fuel might still have such fluids in them. I bought a Dodge Pickup with a non-electronic cummins B series engine for reasons like that. They smoke a lot and may have hard starting issues on such fuel though, so it would be wise to rig a secondary tank for starting and warming up the engine (with clean diesel) and put the salvaged fuel in the main tank.
I also bought the truck partly because it can withstand an EMP event. If we get a huge solar flare or a man made EMP event, it would disable nearly every car, truck and train in the country and the few that were left wouldn't be able to keep the infrastructure running (but it gets worse than that). First thing we'd notice is the lights going out, then we'd start hearing explosions as commercial jet planes start falling out of the sky. We wouldn't hear sirens as the fire trucks roll out to fight the fires because their engines aren't EMP proof either. The fire fighters would have to lug hoses by hand to the fire but they wouldn't stand a chance. In a situation like that I'd quickly load some supplies and fire up my old outdated dodge pickup (which would still work) and get out of town. I'd have to dodge people in panic and burning neighborhoods but I might make it if I can get to my safe zone. I have a rural family home where I'm welcome. They cleared out a walk in closet for my use last year and I loaded in about 8 months of staples and a few other things. The odds would be against us surviving more than a year even there however.
It's a scary situation but the chances of it happening are very low. Still, I'm going to need a pickup when I get my homestead so I thought I'd pick one up a couple years back. The chance of an emp is way low but it was still worth shopping for a truck that would survive such an event (just in case).
My-new-truck.jpg
[Thumbnail for My-new-truck.jpg]
 
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Red Diamond Ranch wrote:We have some recession proof farm equipment that we use most of the time.
http://i316.photobucket.com/albums/mm354/RedDiamondRanch/TrudyBelgians3.jpg



Mike, your Belgians are beautiful! Are they mares or geldings? How old? Did you train them yourself? I love all equines but have always been particularly partial to mules & heavy draft horses.

Y'know, if the shit ever does hit the fan hard enough to set us back to pre-industrial, your teamster skills will be a danged good bartering tool.
 
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PC should be about being able to turn the lights off - not waiting for it to happen.
 
                                  
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Location: Eastern Oklahoma
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LJH wrote:
Mike, your Belgians are beautiful! Are they mares or geldings? How old? Did you train them yourself? I love all equines but have always been particularly partial to mules & heavy draft horses



These 2 are geldings, Laurel & Hardy. They were 8 & 9 when the photo was taken. We have 8 Belgians and all are Amish trained, they will do everything we want them to. No bad habits, they will work as slow as I want or as fast. I like slow, I'm getting older. Cars, dogs or children, nothing excites them. As they say, they're bomb proof. My grandfather broke Mules for fun. Mules are sure-footed. But I prefer Belgians, all that power and so very gentle. You can rub 2 tractors together all you want, but you'll never get them to produce a little tractor.
 
Jorja Hernandez
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Eight! I'd be in heaven. Any chance of some more pictures?

I grew up with Thoroughbreds - for the most part the exact opposite in temperament. Great fun for running around & jumping fences but they did nothing to earn their keep.

There was an old-timer a few fields away who had real farm. He made his living with a small dairy herd and used a team of Percherons for everything: cultivation, haying, hauling wood. Even had a sled for winter. He had an old pickup truck but never owned a tractor.

I used to hang out over there when I could get away with it. No doubt drove the poor guy batshit, but he was patient with me. I think he sensed my affinity with the lifestyle. I sure wish I'd paid more attention. 
 
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I would be most scared of people killing me for any food I have more than anything.

I think that survival is mostly about learning what we can do without rather than trying to make everything that we currently use into a survival version. Even for long term survival I think we mostly need to go without rather than finding different fuel sources (whether that be animal, human, oil, whatever).
 
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
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survival has a lot of meanings,
wild crafting skills certainly help
so does being able to build stuff
and work on your own equipment
keeping enough feul on hand to make it to a refuge like my families place in Michigan in an emp proof vehicle makes a bit of sense too and if that fuel looks like used motor oil it's likely that wandering bandits would leave it alone.
 
pollinator
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Red Diamond Ranch wrote:
You can rub 2 tractors together all you want, but you'll never get them to produce a little tractor.



Your babies are beautiful!  And I loved your comment; I am going to steal it and use it.  However.... If you start rubbing two geldings together you might be breaking the law depending on what state your are in and who's religion you are stepping on 
 
pollinator
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hannahransom wrote:
I would be most scared of people killing me for any food I have more than anything.



Most people who would be looking for food, have in their mind fields of monoculture.... to them a poly-culture/permaculture farm would look overgrown and abandoned.... and foodless! even to many farmers/gardeners.
 
master pollinator
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Len wrote:
Most people who would be looking for food, have in their mind fields of monoculture....



Most people who would be looking for food, have in their minds the grocery store. 
 
gardener
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Most people would have in their mind fields of monoculture ... to them a poly-culture/permaculture farm would look overgrown and abandoned



One word. Sunchokes.
Looks like a weed, tastes like an artichoke crossed with a potato.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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There are lots of food plants that will look just like weeds to most people. 

 
William James
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
There are lots of food plants that will look just like weeds to most people. 



I'm listening if you'd care to elaborate, or are you just pointing out the lack of horticultural knowledge of most people? I'm really into lambsquarters right now, but something with a little less Oxalic Acid would be nice. The closest thing to a weed I'm planting now is Flax and oats, but it's not that you get a huge harvest with those plants, unless you have a few acres worth of seed.

Thanks,
wm
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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Here are some links about unusual food plants:

http://perennialvegetables.org/

http://www.pfaf.org/user/default.aspx

http://www.foragingtexas.com/

 
Len Ovens
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wmthake wrote:
I'm listening if you'd care to elaborate, or are you just pointing out the lack of horticultural knowledge of most people?



I was pointing to two things:

1) permaculture is generally not in nice rows and often has "weeds" every where. More trees for food, so even if they pick something at ground level, the trees are full.

2) the plants are not normal farm plants. I was wondering about Vit C as it is pretty hard to grow citrus here, but pine tips taste like sour orange.... and have Vit C. Dandelion has sweet flowers, salad leaves and roots... all good to eat. Just to name two. We also have a thread on nettles. There is lots of food, just have to know what it looks like and how to deal with it.

 
John Polk
steward
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You want specifics?  Here is a list  (probably 1000's) of plants with leaves that have been eaten by humans.

http://www.leafforlife.org/PAGES/ALSPECS.HTM

After "they" have stolen the obvious, you will still have plenty to sustain yourself!
 
hannah ransom
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i think nutritionally we can get a lot from the greens/veggies, but i think that most things that have any significant amount of calories people will recognize as food (except tubers).. I guess I should plant a lot of tubers! Right now I'm planting lots of fruit trees.
 
Brice Moss
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naw most anyone who has a clue what to do with a 55 gal barrel full of hard red wheat will have their own.
 
Len Ovens
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Brice Moss wrote:
naw most anyone who has a clue what to do with a 55 gal barrel full of hard red wheat will have their own.



My hardest thing would be seeing a starving child and not showing them what to eat. The whole "I'm prepared, so I live and you don't" thing would be very hard for me. The hardest would be a child, but any human being would be hard. No matter how well I ate, it would not be a healthy time, the stress and emotional load would be very hard on the body.
 
hannah ransom
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Len wrote:
My hardest thing would be seeing a starving child and not showing them what to eat. The whole "I'm prepared, so I live and you don't" thing would be very hard for me. The hardest would be a child, but any human being would be hard. No matter how well I ate, it would not be a healthy time, the stress and emotional load would be very hard on the body.



you're right. it's very sad.
 
pollinator
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Len wrote:
My hardest thing would be seeing a starving child and not showing them what to eat. The whole "I'm prepared, so I live and you don't" thing would be very hard for me. The hardest would be a child, but any human being would be hard. No matter how well I ate, it would not be a healthy time, the stress and emotional load would be very hard on the body.



I don't see why you couldn't at least show the people you come in contact with what is safe to eat?  You'd be helping them, and not hurting yourself -- and might help yourself.  What goes around, comes around, is the old saying, and there's truth in that.

Kathleen
 
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placeholder to read later
 
gardener
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Scared and hungry people can do scary things. Not everyone in a collapse situation would be a danger but any of them could be.
Logistically an individual or couple would have a difficult time defending a home for an extended time. Here is another reason to develop that commmunity or circle of local friends/neighbors to lookout for each other.
 
                            
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I can't believe how many big city folk come looking for property in my neck of the woods to buy as a bolt hole. Usually 20 acres, occasionally more. Talk with them and they will tell you that if things go to.... wherever.. that they won't have any worries, they'll have their property, plenty of game, wildlife, vegetation on it, they'll be fine. Of course they are usually seeing and purchasing this property in the middle of summer, really are clueless that it's probably going to be under snow, deep snow for 6 months out of the year, that the wildlife tend to move on, hibernate, whatever and that each 20 acre parcel is not stocked with adequate wildlife to support them. Baffles me. Good for the economy though. Usually takes about three years before they realize they can't even get to their property in the middle of winter, that single digits and sub zeros are really cold, that the crackling warm fire in the fireplace has to be built, started, tended and fed and put to bed at night AND it's a good idea to have firewood before the snow flies. OK, done with that vent.
 
                            
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Leah Sattler wrote:
yesterday evening i watched a show on public television about a guy who spends a portion of each winter camping in yellowstone (photographer).



http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/christmas-in-yellowstone/video-meet-photographer-tom-murphy/4456/
 
                            
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Fred Morgan wrote:
I think perhaps one of the things that helps you figure out whether you could make it or not under a certain situation is to try it. One of the most memorable times of my life was when I was 18 and I decided to camp out, by my self, in the forever wild part of the Adirondacks (Around Stillwater lake, if anyone is curious) I was armed to the teeth and I am pretty good with a rifle.

One thing I learned really fast (besides have a 4-wheel drive vehicle when you go off road.  ) was that where I am complete comfortable camping with people, is pretty scary, alone.

And the fish aren't biting when you are hungry... I swear they can smell your hunger. 

I often hear about people talking about how they will raise all their food, and fish and hunt. You would be surprised how many of them have never had a garden, and rarely fish or hunt. The skills you need you don't want to be learning while you are starving - or freezing.



I think self confidence, positive attitude and a sense of humor are the three most essential survival traits. Preparedness would be number four on my list.

Most of us rarely have a minute to ourselves. Seriously, most people rarely get more than a couple hundred yards from the next nearest person. If someone gets in a bind, there is usually someone around who can help. Being alone takes a lot of self confidence and many people are lacking in that these days. Fear is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as it is not incapacitating or life controlling. Some fear is what keeps the human race alive. It protects us.

Sounds like you learned a lot of great lessons at a young age<VBG>.
 
                            
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It does get pretty cold here in the winter. So.. in conventional fashion, I use manmade fabrics for clothing. Works great, I stay toasty warm most of the time and have spent many, many nights without a fire. I haven't found any natural stuff that keeps me as warm as the artificial stuff. To make my choices in clothing "acceptable" to me, the majority come from second hand stores and are someone's discards.  Here are some of my winter clothing choices. If anyone has some great natural alternatives.. love to hear them!

Headwear: Typically one or more polar fleece hats, sometimes include face covering.
Neckwear: Polarfleece scarf... or not.
Helly Hanson Lifa or Pro Lifa undergarments
Layers of polar fleece, (pants/shirts), depends on the weather and my activities how many layers.
Wool socks, over a polypropylene liner (wool itches)
Boots--http://www.empirecanvasworks.com/truenorthboots.htm (I am 100% convinced that there is no better winter footwear than true north boots! Incredibly lightweight, no rubbing/blistering, super, super comfortable) I live in my True Norths several months out of the year and have been known to sleep with them on (okay, that happens.... but the good part about them is.. forgetting they are on your feet and going to look for your boots because of the comfort level). The only downside is..watering livestock. They can get soggy without care. They also work great with my snowshoes.
Hands--those grey or silver thermal gloves with the rubberized palms. Occasionally I'll wear a pair of cheap stretch gloves underneath.
Parka--Helly Hanson, Columbia waterproof parka, again with a fleece liner. With the other fleece I wear I don't have to wear a parka all the time.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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The only bad thing about man-made fabrics is that if exposed to open flame or to high heat, they melt.  So wear them, but use caution around flames!

Kathleen
 
Brice Moss
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Feral wrote:
To make my choices in clothing "acceptable" to me, the majority come from second hand stores and are someone's discards.  Here are some of my winter clothing choices. If anyone has some great natural alternatives.. love to hear them!

Headwear: Typically one or more polar fleece hats, sometimes include face covering.



natural wool has the insulating power you are looking for and lama or alpaca wool is not itchy or heavy, it is however expensive as its a nithch market and hard to find in the thrift stores as folks who go out of their way to buy such things don't often toss them and start over
 
pollinator
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You missed Mohair from that list - it's a fantastic light, strong yarn that is very comfortable and hardwearing.

If you or your friends or family have got some land then it's well worth having a few angora goats. They're easy to shear - even using scissors and the wool spins up easily. I make underwear for us from the yarn and make socks, sweaters, hats, bedcovers and all sorts of things to sell or barter.











The meat is wonderful and the skins are a real luxury too.
 
                            
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Those are really nice!

I... have poodle hair! Lots of it. Supposed to be warmer than wool.... dunno.
 
Irene Kightley
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Try it !

Ask a hand spinner to have a go and see how the yarn come out, you might get some lovely wool !
 
Len Ovens
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
I don't see why you couldn't at least show the people you come in contact with what is safe to eat?  You'd be helping them, and not hurting yourself -- and might help yourself.  What goes around, comes around, is the old saying, and there's truth in that.

Kathleen



Showing them in the wild is one thing, showing them all the food I need for my family on mine is something else. Depends on how many. The good thing about where I live is that there is water between me and most of the population.... I probably could afford to help some people out.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Maybe if we shared information about how to find and/or grow food we wouldn't have to worry so much about people coming to get "our food." 


"It is only when others feel secure that we need not guard our environments, so that the very best preparation for security is to teach others the strategies, ethics, and practices of resource management, and to extend aid and education wherever possible. "  - Bill Mollison
 
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Read Jerry Pournelle, Lucifers Hammer.

This is the problem with stockpiling. Someone comes for it, and it will prob be rouge military.

You should really stockpile a LOT of protein powder, If you do have to bail out, you can't carry much food, but can carry much protein with powder, and can give it out for baby's if you get to keep your stockpiles.

Bic lighters will be tradeable for coinage easily.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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