Water. In case of aquifers running hundreds of feet below surface, how to get it without electricity (Springs and rainwater - see below)
Grow food. There's only so much canned food you can store (don't forget winter - need to preserve what you grow)
Cooking. I really like rocket oven. But anything else? (Wood stove, dutch oven, clay oven, solar oven, thermos cooking)
Maybe electricity? In case of a nuclear war/asteroid strike/volcanic eruptions it will most likely result in a long nuclear/impact/volcanic winter in which case solar panels will be useless. But do you even need electricity? (Sure is nice and solar will survive some situations - even a small 12vdc set up for LED lighting is nice btdt)
Air conditioning in high humidity and temps over 100 during the day and around 80 during the night. (well if you don't have electricity... - Actually we survived two heat waves with humid, over 100 degrees - miserable but we lived)
Heating in the winter. I like that rocket heater doesn't produce smoke and so it doesn't attract attention from miles away. (overrated imho - the equivalent of having a warm rock in the room - get a small efficient woodstove with a flat top you can cook on - have extra stove pipe in stock)
Hygiene (overrated in a strictly survival situation - if you have the water, go for it but if you're toting water by hand then sponge bath as needed, where needed)
Entertainment (shooting zombies of course - cards, boards games but mostly you'll be working)
Animals? How many chickens can you raise with paddock shift design? In case of nuclear/impact/volcanic winter? (rabbits are quiet and don't take up much room - you need added fat though)
Root cellar that doubles as shelter in case of war/natural disaster? (kinda different as root cellars are a bit moist to live in - could build them together with a wall between - dirt floor for root cellar, concrete for shelter - 3 foot of soil over you and hepa filters for fallout)
Rain water collection (well not if nuclear fallout but in all other cases)
Radioactivity testing? Heavy metal testing? When you're on your own, you don't have access to these things probably unless you prepare beforehand. (they can be had - oh, look into iodide pills)
Lamps for growing food in case of impact/nuclear/volcanic winter? Then you'll need electricity. LOTS of electricity. I'm guessing building a sizeable green house. (store 2 years of food - look at wheat kernels - rice - beans)
How to harvest wind power? (wind is not very good alt energy in most places but pumping water to cistern like Amish is good)
Alternative fuel for your car? Diesel? You can make a fortune selling it to others I presume. (car in zombie apocalypse? maybe a little diesel tractor or draft animals)
They say it takes a football field worth of garden to feed one person for a year. Can you squeeze that into a much smaller space? A food forest where food grows vertically?
How to obtain salt? (it's cheap and lasts forever - 5 gal buckets and use food grade desiccant -sugar too)
Anything else I didn't mention? (foraging - learn the wild edibles in your area)(clothing, shoes, hand tools, weapons, animal feed, ham radio, toilet paper, soap, medicine - pretty much all the stuff you use now but a year's worth, plus some other things)
Eat bugs? Which bugs? How to grow them? How to cook them? I mean if you're hungry I guess you lower your "ew" threshold. (I think most are edible but I don't know if I could - maybe mash them up in something else)
In case of a nuclear war, can you keep bees underground?
John Schinnerer wrote:I love how these topics go around and around and after 20 years the same guesses and assumptions live on and nobody seems to know about resources equally old.
Some actual research (whoever posted there's no science is incorrect) from University of Wisconsin, a compilation of a bunch of stuff, all under the heading "Use of scrap tires in civil and environmental construction" is here:
There was one major report - probably included in this compilation, and I have a hard copy somewhere still I think - that was pointed to by the Earthship folks back in the day. It basically said that used tire material buried in the ground doesn't seem to leach much of anything and since it's buried there's no offgassing and no UV-destabilization. The use case was chunked up tires as part of a subsurface earthen fill and/or embankment material for civil engineering. Any buried tire application is essentially similar, unless there are also solvents in the ground that degrade tire material, in which case the tire is probably the least of the problems.
What might be of major concern is the use of tires on actual cars, where they are a major non-point pollution source spread all over the country and emitting whenever they are driven on, spewing out tiny particulates that move with the air and water.
So for anyone concerned about reducing pollution from tires, the place to start is cars. Forget that old tractor tire planter in Grandma's yard. Minor issue. Do something about all those cars!