Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by PatriotSurvivalist, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. PatriotSurvivalist

    PatriotSurvivalist Patriot Survivalist

    Getting Prepared:

    * Ensure your house is well-insulated, especially the loft. Insulate pipes to prevent freezing and insulate the hot water heater to prevent heat loss. Don't continue loft insulation under a cold water cistern; the small amount of heat beneath it may keep it from freezing.

    * Check for drafts around exterior doors and windows. A heavy curtain over the front door can make halls warmer. Plastic sheeting taped over windows is a simple, cheap alternative to double glazing.

    * Service central heating; it has a habit of going wrong when it's most needed.

    * Kitchen foil, fixed shiny side out on walls behind radiators, will reflect heat.

    * Check electrical wires are in good working order. Many winter deaths are caused through occasionally used electrical wires which prove to be faulty.

    * Electric blanket should be serviced annually.

    * If you have an unused fireplace, get it cleaned and unblocked and stock up on fuel. It could prove a last resort heat source when nothing else is available.

    * Check emergency kit and supplies. A camp stove could be vital, especially if you have an electric heater or oven.

    * Food is fuel for the body. Ensure you have enough supplies for at least three days, but resist the temptation to stockpile. You don't really need 15 loaves of bread to see you through a winter emergency in a town or city and you could cause hardship for other people.

    * Make sure you have enough winter clothing.

    During Bad Weather:

    * Listen to radio/TV for weather reports and emergency information. Call social services if you need help for yourself or a relative living alone.

    * Have emergency supplies at hand in case of power failure.

    * Live in one room if you can't keep the whole house heated.

    * Do not block all ventilation; avoid build-up of potentially toxic fumes from fires and heater.

    * Drink plenty of hot drinks to make you feel warmer.

    * If your pipes freeze, shut off water at the mains and turn on all taps to drain the system in case of burst pipes. Drain water into containers to ensure an adequate supply.

    * If there is power failure, do not open freezer. A closed freezer should stay frozen for up to 48-hours.

    * If central heating does fail, turn it off as a safety measure.

    If You Must Go Outside:

    * Dress accordingly. Several thin layers are warmer than one thick layer. Mittens are warmer than gloves, and hats will prevent heat loss. Frostbite and hypothermia are serious hazards.

    * Avoid over-exertion. The combination of excessive physical activity and cold can KILL.

    * Do not drink alcohol. It lowers the body temperature.

    * Do not dry wet clothes on or too close to heaters as it's a major fire risk.

    You can find this and much more at my website:
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  2. zorro

    zorro Well-Known Member

    Put vaseline in the 72 hours kit

    It usually goes down to -22 F a couple of days each winter here. All the tips & tricks you wrote here are true and tried.

    I would add this, learned the hard way : Hands, feet and head are what you need to keep warm. Especially if you have to sleep or stay inactive in a cold place. Or if it's windy.

    If you have to go outside when temperature is below -22 F, rub some plain vaseline (or any fat) on your hands and wear thin gloves + an up sized pair of leather & fur mittens. You can also rub some on your nose, cheeks and even feet if they don't usually sweat too much.

  3. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    Also, drink plenty of fluids. (Not just hot drinks.) It's very easy become dehydrated in cold weather. If you're outside have someone with you and check each other often for signs of frostbite.
  4. Sonnyjim

    Sonnyjim Prepping

    I would probably still drink alcohol anyways, unless I was dying of hypothermia. Gotta get that homebrew down range ;)
  5. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    How would we know if we were in a "big freeze?"

    We never have two winters that are the same. I've lived in northwestern Montana for quite a few years now and I still don't know what an average winter is. Forty-below is not unheard of and -25 is common. We've had years where it snowed over ten feet total snowfall and other years where we had hardly any snow. (These are at the lower elevations, not the mountains.) We've had blizzards in March and killing frosts in July and August.

    Last year we had lots of snow. This year hardly any.

    I keep the woodshed full and prepare for the worst every year. Is there some prediction about a bad winter that I'm unaware of? (Probably wouldn't matter. There's only two kinds of people who try to forecast the weather in Montana, fools and newcomers.)
  6. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?


    Same here in Alberta from the really deep cold to the insane warm (in the middle of so-called winter) as well as the freezing in summer, there is no real set pattern to the weather here - we just go with the flow.
  7. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    So if you guys don't mind my asking ... how do you plan for a garden ???:dunno: (killing frosts in July and August) WOW!!!!

    How many days do you have for a "growing" season?
  8. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    We have about a 90 day growing season. We usually have our first killing frost sometime near the end of August. I broke ice on the dog's water dish one time on July 4th but that is unusual. If we can keep things alive through the first one in August we might have another month before the next....maybe:D One year we had about a week straight of hard frosts in mid August. We lost our garden in mid August one year because we didn't get home in time to cover things up before it got dark. It gets cold quick when the sun goes down. We've had times the frost has burned the potatoes to ground level three times in the spring but they keep coming back up. We let some of our carrots go to seed the second year and now have carrot patches that never need replanting. We have onions that come back year-after-year also (but they don't get big bulbs on them).

    Our soil is very poor. We probably mix in about three tons of compost every year now. We get horse manure for free from local ranchers and horse owners and buffalo manure from the property next to us. (We feed the buffalo all winter long because the owner lives about a hundred miles away for now. He also shares the meat when he butchers one.) We expanded the garden fence last year so we'll have about twice as much room as before but it will take several years to get the soil in good shape. The garden fence is five foot high chicken wire with one strand of electric wire near the bottom and three strands at the top. (To keep bears out.) We haul water for the garden. I have a gas powered pump and pump it out of the marsh below the house into barrels then bring the barrels up and siphon it into a tank. We have an electric pump to get it from the tank to the garden. That keeps me pretty busy during the dry time of summer!

    We purchase seed designated for a growing season two grades colder than those recommended for our area. We used a greenhouse until the wind destroyed it. Now we use frames made from 1/2 inch PVC pipe coverd with plastic. We grow mostly carrots, potatoes, onions, peas, turnips, celery, broccoli, and asparagus for our main crops. They are all cold hardy plants. We have raspberry bushes, strawberries, blueberries and apple and cherry trees (the trees are still small so we don't get much from them yet). We also grow squash, (zuchinni, spaghetti, acorn), and green beans, tomatoes, and peppers under the row covers. We usually plant some wheat, oats or soybeans every year. We have a small patch of alfalfa growing too. We forage for huckleberries, strawberries, oregon grapes (wild grapes make wonderful jelly, and juice), thimbleberries, raspberries and mushrooms (boletes, puffballs, shaggy mane, morels and a couple of others). There are some berries that grow on bushes around the house we use too but I can't think of the name of them. We hunt deer, elk and bear and sometimes turkeys. Deer are abundant (you can get one "A" tag and up to six...I think... "B" tags for does per hunter per year), elk and bear are more difficult. We fish for perch, pike, bass, salmon and trout.

    Gardening is a challenge but overall, food isn't really a problem. We can and dry those things we can't store in our root cellar. We're moving more toward drying/dehydrating food instead of canning it. Dried food takes up a lot less space and we don't have to worry about jars freezing if we leave for awhile in the winter.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  9. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    WOW!! That is one tough growing season. :eek:
    I'll be a little slower to complain about ours after hearing this.
  10. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    I agree! WOW!:eek:
  11. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    Outside Helena MT in 1988, my outside thermometer recorded - 62 , the Helena Airport said it was -44.. I beg to differ...regardless, I followed my plan to a T..turned up the heat, put more coffee on and watched a movie, nothing moved for 3 days, finally a buddy got his truck going and came over and pulled my old 71 4x4 which after about 2 miles fired up.. still no place to go so I took it home and made more coffee...:D..I did go out and start it every few hours tho....

    point being, yes had the gas gone out I woulda had a problem, but I would have over come it...even out in the mtns with shelter and a fire your good to go with the minimum gear...bad things man,

    you can not plan for everything you can only do what you can with what you have and hope it's enough.. none of us are going to sit on the curb wailing for FEMA to come with the ATM cards... if your in here your not that type.

    And by the way the OP....haven't you heard that Global warming is coming??? put another log on the fire and wait..
  12. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    MtnMan and Hozay have it about right - there is lots that can / will grow, but, it also needs to be natural growers for our environment. I can have large bushes of Saskatoon and Friesen berries (Friesen berries are a special natural blend of several berry-bushes that are based on the Saskatoons, but, larger and juicier), strawberries, raspberries - rhubarb grows well as does many herbs (including chamomile and honey-suckles).

    I can grow potatoes, carrots, corn (but not quite as good as Taber-corn - a local favorite), tomatoes (they normally do amazing here) ... and such.

    Yes - we have to be a fairly careful with our plantings and many of us make great use of hot-houses (green-houses).
  13. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member


    Which is one of the main reasons I'm down here in the friggin jungle lol... it ain't a matter of getting anything to grow, it's a matter of getting it to stopped!!!

    I will be the first to admit that I miss my Mountains, and my friends, but with the net and net cams I can sit here and chat with my friends all we want, and in the summer I can go up and shoot the match's with them ( so far that is ), I never had a problem with winter, I can take that fine, but if you truly believe in a future SHTF event, with or without Zombies or just your everyday BG trash you need to think how your gonna make it.

    I have to admit that my days of going out in the mtns all day with my chain saw and cutting cord after cord of wood just to get thru the winter well them days are gone..."could I" ? sure, slowly and I'd get it done,but it's really hard up there to grow a garden big nuff to feed you all summer plus have enough to can up for waiting for spring so you can start all over...

    No, life is easier here, even with no power at all we can make it just fine.. there are things yet to be done, like a root cellar..a big one! good for food storage and tornado and "other chit" shelter...

    So, to try to do what it is I need to do, I find being here best for me, and my being here with the Fam is best for them... survival here in the woods will be much easier then up in those Mtns... I know Mtn Man knows what I'm saying even if this ain't his cuppa tea... I'd rather hoe the garden 9 months a year then shovel snow the same amount of time...:D

    I'm sure when there is a shtf event that we will be faced with a share of the stampeding herd out of DFW and coming up from H'ton..but I can deal with that...

    Plan to survive where your at when the door slams, makes life easier that way...
  14. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:


    I like cutting wood! My major problem down south is allergies. We have kicked around the idea of moving if we can find the right location. The winters are lllooooonnnggg here and it would be easier to survive farther south. But, I like hunting, trapping, fishing, cross-country skiing, bicycling, hiking, camping and snowmobiling (just to name a few). I love the abundance of public land and the attitude of the people. (Although there are some liberal meccas in Butte, Bozeman and Missoula.)

    We get a lot of people asking about moving here to live. Our main response is that you have to really want to live here to make it here. Between the climate and job situation it's a tough place to make a living. Our second piece of advice is to bring a job with you. People come here from California and Washington where they made $25.00 an hour and learn that the same job here (if you can get one) pays $10.00 an hour. We joke that about every ten to fifteen years we get a winter that clears out all the "Montana wanna-be's."

    In a pure SHTF situation it will be tougher here but we'll make it.
  15. SaskBound

    SaskBound Well-Known Member

    I'm in Alberta now, and heading to Saskatchewan soon enough, and i have to say, as beautiful as the tropical areas are (I've traveled quite a bit in Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, and Mediterranean Europe), I wouldn't want to be there when the SHTF...because that's where everyone will be headed in droves. Being here will be hard, and our diets will be seriously adjusted - from spinach and peppers in January to root veggies, canned goods, dried stuff, and grain. Plus the winters have always sucked and will continue to do so. We know all that, but think it's a decent trade-off for no hurricanes, earthquakes, major endemic diseases (think malaria, typhoid, yellow fever), or golden hordes. Also, in Saskatchewan, land prices are quite depressed, even for good farm land.

    You can grow a shocking variety of stuff here, though. Most people don't realize how many fruits are hardy to zone 2 or 3, especially if you cultivate a taste for native / wild food. We planted 15 fruit trees last fall - plums, apples, hazelnuts, apricots, cherries...apparently there's a kiwi that is hardy to our area, too, though we haven't got one yet. For berries, we'll have chokecherries, saskatoons (serviceberries), raspberries, blueberries, highbush cranberries, wild grapes, strawberries (they grow wild here), dewberries, and rosehips.

    While I haven't much experience gardening, I do know of a lot of wild greens that are tasty and safe, like lamb's quarters and dandelion. People have survived here for thousands of'll be a huge amount of work, and will require a lot of knowledge, but it is certainly not impossible...

    ...and as for staying warm, i think the biggest trick is to not try to heat too much space. Make your cookfire do double duty heating the teepee, and you'll be okay...
  16. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    As far as a "big freeze" it's all relative. We had what turned out to be the worst snow in 17 years here in the Pittsburgh area this past February. The whole area was crippled. Roads were impassable, the grid was down, cars were abandoned along the roads. For those of you in the Northern areas, it would just be another big snow-nothing out of the ordinary. We did fine here-I posted a big write up of the week when I got back online. Others who were less prepared fared worse. Most of us don't have to worry about frost in July or August- to us a freak frost is in September. Bob wears flip flops in February but he deals with earthquakes. It's all just what you're used to.
  17. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    I agree with Jason, it's al relative, and I'm glad Bob can wear flip flops in Febuary, but I can too. I just put wool socks on first, it makes me feel like I'm Canadian.:D. Hopefully Bob will have ocean front property when the big one hits. I want to go to a red neck beach party.:D
  18. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    I assume you'll be taking your boat.
    On your way, would you mind making a detour into the Chesapeake Bay and up the Susquehanna River? I'd like to go to Bob's party too! :D We can tow my canoe in case he doesn't have a dock ready. :D
  19. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    I have a .pdf file (that I can send to anyone that requests it via PM) that tells me that we are heading into a little-ice-age that is expected to last 3,000 years (predicted). The .pdf is filled with graphs based on actual temperature recordings and sightings and such - 30 pages of information which is way too much for me to copy here.

    I don't know if someone like Jerry would like to read through the document and create a new story for us to read ...
  20. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Great, now instead of stocking up on freeze-dried food I should stock up my freezer, then as it gets colder move all of it outside to store in the BIG FREEZE!!:D