Monday, February 28, 2011

When the economy crashes - getting things done without power

Too many people just assume their single solution is to generate their own power. Then come what may, you flip a switch and keep living life as usual. The truth is that even if you do have a sufficient alternate power source available at TEOTWAWKI, for whatever reason it may be impractical or unwise to make use of it when the time comes. In that circumstance, having non-electric alternatives will be crucial. Here are a few labor saving devices that might make the difference between just barely surviving and living.  You can even barter good and services for your goods and services.

1) Treadle Sewing Machine. Clothing is perhaps one of the things that we take most for granted in the modern western world. We rely not only on a vast array of technical machinery, but also a huge pool of low-wage workers to fill our closets. A treadle, or foot pedal operated, sewing machine was a coveted luxury item just before the turn of the last century, and for good reason. The time savings were huge, and meant more time for other important tasks in the home. Surprisingly, these are still around in abundance, and can be had for as little as $50 in many areas of the country. Estate sales can be one of your best sources to get a used machine for little money. Look at several ads before purchase and see what brands are common in your area. The more of a single type there are the better, as you will need to find non-working or partial machines in order to get cheap or free replacement parts.  There aren't going to be many clothing stores so clothes will have to be mended.

2) Hand-Crank Grain Mill. Whole wheat berries are one of the most versatile and long lasting food stores for your pantry. Lasting up to 30 years when stored properly, these are a wealth of nutrition. However, though the whole berries (raw or toasted) are a yummy snack, you need to have a way to grind them into meal or grain. Though you are able to find these as antiques, you may want to consider purchasing a new one to ensure the blades are sharp and clean. Shop around, and read user reviews in order to get a feel for which mill will give you the most choices of textures in your price range.

3) Solar Oven. Building a fire takes time, and uses precious and consumable resources. Even in cloudy and cold climates, you should get enough sun to at least bake all your bread once a week. A solar oven also will not send up a smoke signal to alert passersby of your presence if your cooking activities need to remain clandestine. You can purchase completed ovens for a couple hundred dollars, or experiment with various plans to fashion your own. Make sure you have a thermometer so that you can see what temperatures you are actually reaching and how long it takes your oven to attain that heat level.  You can even use it to boil many people do you know who enjoys taken cold showers or baths?

4) Tool Set. Because electric hand tools are so much faster and easier, many of us find that these are the only tools we have. A good sharp axe, several saws, hammer, simple farming tools like a potato planter, and a sharpening stone will become critical. If you don’t believe that these are labor saving devices, try hammering a nail using a rock! Make sure these tools are well cared for and stored in a safe place. They may just save your life one day.

5) Hand-wringer washer. Laundry is one of my most time-consuming chores, even with a modern washer and dryer! While you may think that with a wash tub and clothesline you are all set to launder clean clothes off grid, you have forgotten the difficult task of squeezing out the water that your washer does for you on the spin cycle. Hand-wringers are crank-operated, taking a huge job and turning it into just a large one. There are full setups with wooden forms to place your wash tubs, or small handheld ones that would fit in a laundry room cupboard. Again, antique stores and estate sales are good places to find a great deal on these. If you get lucky, you will find one that is fully functional but doesn’t look that pretty (they were for laundry after all), and find very little competition to purchase it.

6) Wine press. If you have all the above covered, you might want to start thinking beyond the essentials of life to the luxuries. An item like a wine press not only gives you something enjoyable, but potentially a valuable item for creating commodities you can trade. A good wine press can be used not only for wine, but juice, cider, and potentially even oil if you are in an area where olives are available. Though you can find these used as antiques, they are typically very rusted and thus not usable for anything other than a decorative piece. Thanks to the growing interest in home-brewing, you should be able to find these online and at specialty stores. Again, shop around and read user reviews to find one that meets your needs.

7) Worms.  It's easy to begin your own worm farm.  When chicken feed runs out, how are farmers going to feed their flock?  How many fishermen do you know that can actually catch fish with fake bait?  Garden soil is going to be in short supply.  If you have a tub o' worms, you have instant soil...after a while.

8) Chicken pluckers.  Those plans are easy to find online and make.  If you have neighbors, and they have chickens, you can rent out your equipment or even barter for goods and services.

Use this list to start thinking, then analyze what your individual needs would be and how to meet them. Visiting estate sales, antique shows, or perusing the antiques section of Craig’s List, can give you a wealth of ideas. We must not forget the solutions of our forefathers, or we will be stuck reinventing the wheel and losing valuable time in rebuilding our society. When choosing which off-grid machines are the most essential for your family, think about what parts of your daily life would take you the longest without electricity. Also think about things that you would miss the most, such as ice-cream or juice, and consider providing a way to make those things as well. Sometimes it is the little things, as much as the big ones, that make all the difference.

Live well and practice, practice, practice your skills whenever you can.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Here is a link to all the Kurt Saxon & Military Manuels you may ever want or need

Steves Pages - Link to Military Manuels ... all the Military Manuels you may every want or need.

Also... a reader of the blog, " I love this Guy", sent in this link for all Kurt Saxon's "Poor Man's James Bond" all in one PDF.  Kurt Saxon's Poor Man's James Bond series in one PDF.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another GREAT prepper site - What if IT is today?

A reader left a comment which had their link to their site.  I read some of the articles and was impressed.  Check it out at What if IT is today.

Also, if any one knows how to post Ebooks on this Blogspot service, please let me know.  I have a bunch of Ebooks which I want to share, but don't know how.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I found this site My Grandfathers Earthworm farm.  It's about earthworms, how they helped create a profiitable farm, care and feeding suggestions, and techniques on how to raise your own worms...for fun or for profit.  Hell Yea!  Run a search for worm farms and see what you come up with...if they can do it...WE can do it too.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gold or extra food?

One thing has always intrigued me about the preparation we all go through for surviving the end of the world. While there is no disputing the logic of stocking up on food, guns and ammo, and the other sundries of everyday life, lots of article have been devoted to the usefulness of gold in these TEOTWAWKI scenarios. Indeed, these pundits would have us believe that gold is all we need to survive any calamity.

Not surprisingly, most of these articles have been written by a man with an interest to sell you gold and numismatic silver.

Let us look at a hypothetical situation. We're a few years into the future, four years after the disaster of your choice. It doesn't matter what brought us to this strait, just that civilization as we know it today no longer exists. You, like those around you, survived. Unlike some others, you took precautions; like Aesop's ant, you laid in enough to see you through the lean years. Some of your neighbors weren't so foresighted, and one of these benighted souls, cold and hungry, has shown up at the door to your retreat. He has a box of 9mm that he scrounged somewhere, but owns a .38 special revolver. Your Browning can always use a little more ammo, so you ask what he wants in trade.

At this point, let's ask ourselves what we would want in the above scenario. A box of .38's, and maybe a can or two of beef stew? Or a two ounce bar of 99% pure, shiny, worthless, gold?

Gold, like most things man has based an economy upon, has no intrinsic worth beyond what we assign. While it is quite handy in the electronics industry, and the jeweler's of the world wish us to believe it's the only way to buy true love, it has no other real uses. In a collapsed society, items of real worth will be those that we can use. Unpolluted water, food, ammunition, any number of manufactured goods such as soap and toothpaste will be much more in demand than gold. It will be many years, if ever in our lifetimes, (depending on the severity of the situation) before gold is used again as a currency. Fishing weights and musket balls will be about all that gold would be good for.

But wait, you say. What about something other than a system-wide collapse, say a hurricane or other natural disaster of limited duration? Surely a stash of gold or pre-1965 dimes and quarters will come in handy then?

Possibly...but to what extent?

While it is true that unscrupulous shop owners will charge many times the going rate for goods and services in such a situation, how many of them do you suppose will take your word on how much a Krugerand is worth? How many people, outside of coin collectors and survivalists, even know about the value of pre-1965 silver coins? And even if they do, how do you propose to buy a loaf of bread with a two ounce bar of gold? Take a wheelbarrow along to cart home your change in greenbacks? Far better, if you live in flood- or tornado-prone areas, is to have a wad of bills to supplement your food and fuel reserves.

Which brings us to the meat of the matter. Now that I have hopefully dispelled the notion of gold being a wise investment (besides, how many of us can afford to have gold on top of everything else we need to put in our larders and lockers?), I'll give you some idea of what would be handy to have on hand for trade purposes.

As I said above, anything that you use on a daily basis will likely be in demand after a disaster, whether man-made or otherwise. Soap, paper towels, toilet paper, vitamins, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and female personal hygeine items; all common, everyday items that we take for granted now which may be impossible to scavenge. And there surely won't be any more being made.

What I do, so as not to break my budget but still lay in supplies that I myself will use, and possibly barter with, is this: Every month, while doing my regular shopping, I buy an extra bar of soap, roll of paper towels, toilet paper, a bottle of analgesic, three big boxes of strike-anywhere matches, Q-tips, extra pads and tampons for my wife.

These are all things that I use on a daily basis, and wouldn't want to be without. While the toilet paper and Q-tips might seem to be pure comfort items, the soap and toothpaste are not. Basic hygiene is going to be more important than ever in a world without pharmacies and doctors. And those garbage bags may well prove to be the most versatile thing in your stock of survival goods. While they can be used for their intended purpose, they will also do yeoman service as emergency rain slickers, waterproofing the roof of a shelter, disposing of diseased animal carcasses or human waste, waterproof sandbags to shore up a leaking dike... While they might not be ideal for some things, you'll at least have them to improvise with.

Other trade goods you might wish to lay in follow the same basic principles. What do you use on a daily basis, or see a possible need or use for in an emergency? If you can see a need for it, someone else will too. Only maybe they didn't have the foresight to have it on hand before the world went blooey!

What about extra ammo, preferably in a caliber you use yourself. That way, if you can't trade it (not too likely), you're not out anything. Food would be good, but remember, you need to eat, too. It's unlikely that you could have such a vast stockpile of stuff that you could trade away canned goods. But what about raising your own meat and trading that for something you don't have?

Having a few fifty pound boxes of nails around wouldn't be amiss, either. People might be able to scrounge plywood and boards from other structures, but they won't find nails so easy to come by. Anything that is comparatively cheap today, and versatile or indispensable, would be a fine trade item.

A few cheap knives, such as those seen in catalogs, would be good, too. A stout fixed-blade knife of a bowie design would be much in demand in a world where we have to butcher our own food.

And don't forget services, either. A mechanic or general handyman would be a good man to know in an emergency, where there will be no manufacturing of new parts. An old-fashioned blacksmith would be a boon right about then.

So think about the possible future we're planning to survive, and what might be entailed in that brave new world. And gold won't figure prominently at all.

I'm NOT a racist...I'm a PATRIOT...and don't ever forget it

This was forwarded to me by one of my to  you.  It's just something to think about.

I Am the Democratic Liberal-Progressive's Worst Nightmare.

I am an White, Conservative, Tax-Paying, American Veteran, Gun Owning Biker.

I am a Master leatherworker. I work hard and long hours with my hands to earn a living.

I believe in God and the freedom of religion, but I don't push it on others.

I ride Harley Davidson Motorcycles, and drive American-made cars, and I believe in American products and buy them whenever I can.

I believe the money I make belongs to me and not some liberal governmental functionary, Democratic or Republican, that wants to share it with others who don't work!

I'm in touch with my feelings and I like it that way!

I think owning a gun doesn't make you a killer; it makes you a smart American.

I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to anything. Get over it!

I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac or any other item, you should do it in English. I believe there should be no other language option.

I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.

My heroes are Malcolm Forbes, Bill Gates, John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers, and Willie G. Davidson, who makes the awesome Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.

I know wrestling is fake and I don't waste my time watching or arguing about it.

I've never owned a slave, nor was a slave. I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted by the Turks, and neither have you!

I believe if you don't like the way things are here, go back to where you came from and change your own country!

This is AMERICA ...We like it the way it is and more so the way it was stop trying to change it to look like Russia or China, or other socialist country!

If you were born here and don't like it... you are free to move to any Socialist country that will have you. (And take Barack Hussein Obama and his group with you.) Massachusetts started the ball rolling. Keep it going.

I believe it is time to really clean house, starting with the White House, the seat of our biggest problems.

I want to know which church is it, exactly, where the Reverend Jesse Jackson preaches, where he gets his money, and why he is always part of the problem and not the solution.

Can I get an AMEN on that one?

I also think the cops have the right to pull you over if you're breaking the law, regardless of what color you are, but not just because you happen to ride a bike

And, no, I don't mind having my face shown on my driver's license.

I think it's good.... And I'm proud that 'God' is written on my money..

I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don't want you deciding who should be running the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.

I dislike those people standing in the intersections trying to sell me stuff or trying to guilt me into making 'donations' to their cause.... Get a job and do your part to support yourself and your family!

I believe that it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes two parents....

I believe 'illegal' is illegal no matter what the lawyers think!

I believe the American flag should be the only one allowed in AMERICA !

If this makes me a BAD American, then yes, I'm a BAD American.

If you are a BAD American too, please forward this to everyone you know....

We want our country back!

My Country.....I hope this offends all illegal aliens.

My great, great, great, great grandfather watched and bled as his friends died in the Revolution & the War of 1812.

My great, great, great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Mexican American War,

My great, great grandfather watched as his friends & brothers died in the Civil War,

My great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Spanish-American War,

My grandfather watched as his friends died in WW I,

My father watched as his friends died in WW II,

I watched as my friends died in Vietnam, Panama & Desert Storm.

My son watched & bled as his friends a have died in Afghanistan and Iraq .

None of them died for the Mexican Flag. Everyone died for the American flag.

Texas high school students raised a Mexican flag on a school flag pole, other students took it down. Guess who was expelled...the students who took it down.

California high school students were sent home on Cinco de Mayo, because they wore T-shirts with the American flag printed on them.

Enough is enough

This message needs to be viewed by every American; and every American needs to stand up for America .

We've bent over to appease the America-haters long enough. I'm taking a stand.

I'm standing up because the hundreds of thousands who died fighting in wars for this country, and for the American flag.

If you agree, stand up with me. If you disagree, please let me know. I will gladly remove you from my e-mail list.

And shame on anyone who tries to make this a racist message.

AMERICANS, stop giving away Your RIGHTS !

Let me make this clear! THIS IS MY COUNTRY !

This statement DOES NOT mean I'm against immigration !

YOU ARE WELCOME HERE, IN MY COUNTRY, welcome to come legally:

1. Get a sponsor !
2. Learn the LANGUAGE, as immigrants have in the past !
3. Live by OUR rules !
4. Get a job !
5. Pay YOUR Taxes !
6. No Social Security until you have earned it and Paid for it !
7. NOW find a place to lay your head !

If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone, then YOU'RE PART OF THE PROBLEM !

We've gone so far the other way . . . bent over backwards not to offend anyone.

Only AMERICANS seems to care when American Citizens are being offended !

WAKE UP America ! ! !

If you do not Pass this on, may your fingers cramp !

Made in the U S A & DAMN PROUD OF IT!!!!!