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Preparations update

936850 Views 7421 Replies 420 Participants Last post by  zimmy
Preparing for when the SHTF is something that we are all planning and implementing. Some of us are further along than others who are just getting started. I know some of us are willing to share everything that have done and some will share just enough to let others know that they are doing something.

What I would like to do is have a thread for people to list off recently acquired items that they make or buy or trade-for that are normal "everyday" items that have a use in their preparations. I would like to keep guns and ammo out of this thread if at all possible.

For my partner and I, we have just purchased another set of 12-volt based communication devices, also known as CB-radio. One CB will be mounted in each of our vehicles and one will be mounted in our travel-trailer. The reasoning behind these is because we like to talk to each other. Yes, we have cell-phones and text-messaging, but, with the crack-down on cell-use in vehicles, we would like to have another form of communications. Personally, I believe that the crack-down on cell-use is warranted due to the fact that my dad's arms are screwed for the rest of his life due to an idiot on his cell-phone while driving caused an accident with my dad on his Harley.

Next everyday type of item is a matched set of fire-proof, water-proof, security-based safes. In the safes we have copies of all important papers (vehicle registrations, birth-certificates, credit-card contact information, banking information, drivers licences, insurance-photos to prove that we own what we say we own, insurance policies, etc). The SHTF-scenario we are planning for is break-n-enter theft or fire.

With the safes, I purchased a laminator to create another level of protection for the important documents. With the laminator I have a Dymo label-maker to label anything that needs to be labeled. The reason behind that is no-one can read my hand writing, not even me. I can type fast-n-furious, just, please don't ask me to write with pen-n-paper.

The next everyday type of item is books. We have purchased a few more story-books to read. If the power goes out and I can't get the 'net to run for any reason (even with my UPS systems running all my computer-based equipment), turn to books to read. Candle-light, flash-light and lanterns are great ways to read.

Found a great deal on solar-powered with hand-crank AM/FM radios. There are lots of normal battery or AC-powered options, and the radios in our vehicles and in the travel-trailer - but - sometimes it is nice to have a radio that doesn't ever need fresh batteries and sometimes the current-bush doesn't have holes to plug in the power-plug.

Finally, an everyday type product is DVD movies. The only reason for that is because I don't have a portable BluRay player and that is because they are not on the market from what I can tell. Portable DVD-player's battery is charged via solar or 110vac so I can watch on the mini-screen or plug it into my (soon to be ordered) 12-volt 22" TV (located on
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We plan on getting a tower built for our solar panels to get them higher for more efficiency.

Garden expansion is in the works again for this year including working over some unfenced land for growing grain. (If there's no fence around the garden to keep the deer and bears out you they will destroy it.)

Another root cellar is also in the works. The first is too small for our increased garden output and it wil also be set up for better use as a fallout shelter.

I just finished my first self-bow this week. (A self-bow is a wooden bow without any backings. A purely primitive bow.) I enjoy bowhunting and have gone from recurves to compounds then back to recurves and logbows and now to a self-bow. I love bowhunting because of the challenge. The home-made bow is also part of our effort to be self-sufficient.

My wife and I are working on weight loss and getting in better shape. We've both shed some pounds this winter but outdoor activity has been difficult due to our unseasonably warm winter and lack of snow. It's been more like spring breakup this winter than real winter. I've lost about 85 pounds over the last few years but the last 40 is coming off hard.

We feel an urgency this year that I've never felt before. With the world economic situation so unstable I believe this is the worst year I can remember where I've been concerned with world-wide stability. We are fairly well prepared overall and now are concerned primarily with expanding upon what we've already done.
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The ancient Greeks and Romans used sponges dipped in buckets of wine vinegar in their public outhouses (20 seaters!) You used the sponge then rinsed it out in the wine vinegar and left it for the next person. On the home front you can use rags and wash them in bleach or boil them to sterilize and re-use. Sounds gross but you do the same thing with cloth diapers for your babies. In a long term SHTF situation many changes will have to be made in things compared to the way they're done now.

When using an outhouse if you put the toilet paper in a plastic bag after using it and burn it or dispose of it in other ways the outhouse will take a lot longer to fill up before you need to dig a new pit.

Or better yet make a composting outhouse and shovel it out when full. Use sawdust or lime to cover your "leavings" and it will have little odor and compost down to very good fertilizer. If you build a "double" outhouse with two composting chambers you can use one while the other breaks down into compost.

In a SHTF situation do not neglect sanitation. Be ready with primitive methods. Poor sanitation leads to diseases and related problems.
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How many of these kits do you think I would need to power a small (2 bedroom) survival home off the beaten path:dunno:?
Just a quick method of computing here. There are more complicated/more accurate ways but this will give you an idea.

Assuming you have maximum solar output for five hours a day a 60 watt panel will produce 300 watts of electricity in five hours. That will power a laptop computer that draws 50 watts for six hours, a hundred watt lightbulb for 30 hours, a 300 watt television for one hour, or ?????

You'll have to figure up what you want to run, how many hours per day you want to run it, how many hours of direct sunlight you'll average, and then be able to store the excess electricity in batteries for use at night or on cloudy days. You'll also need and inverter to convert the 12 volt DC current to 110 volt AC current used by most things electrical.

When figuring the power usage of refrigerators you figure 1/3 of the watt rating. The reason is that they only run about 30 percent of the time during normal use. (This too varies!)

This is overly simplified but will give you an idea of what you're looking at.
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There's a lot of differences between inverters. The best I can say is that you get what you pay for. That being said we have several "low cost" inverters on hand here. The first thing to wear out is the fan. We threw a couple away when the fans started squeeling like a banshee then thought about just cutting the wires to the fan. If the inverter overheats it just shortens the life of the invereter. They still have shut-down switches if it gets too hot to be safe. So I cut the wires to the fan (some dissassembly required). The stupid little inverter is still working two years later.

I have an article in the current issue of Modern Survival Magazine (online) that gives the basics of setting up an off-grid system if you can access it.

RV refrigerators will often run on 12 volt DC, 110 volt AC, and propane.
Going up to Bridgeport,CA about 6-8 hours north of here for a couple of days of camping and fishing.
I spent some time around there in '73 at Pickle Meadows, the USMC mountain warfare training center. Beautiful country. Enjoy!
Looks like I will be getting divorced so am totally rethinking my preps and plans. I will nolonger have to worry about a wife and step kids. They all thought I was nuts anyways when it comes to being prepared for what ever. This is a major sense of relief and hopefully I will have things worked out the way I want them before:shtf:.
Sorry to hear that. Divorce is seldom a pleasant experience. Just remember you're among friends here. Also remember that her loss might very well be someone else's gain. I regret the pain gypsysue went through but her ex's loss was definitely my gain.
Looked at the thermometer outside ... It's at -3 F. Threw more wood in the stove!

Got our first snow yesterday. I spent the day out hunting and checking deer activity. Had shots at seven deer yesterday ... not an antler on any of them. It's bucks only this year. (And every year since the wolves showed up.):mad:

Found some scrapes too so the rut is picking up steam.

I wonder if making a wooden disc with holes in it (on a stick) would work, too.. . Going to try it since I have wood (and don't have the $23!)
A wooden disk with holes or even just two sticks crossed at the bottom would be okay. The advantage of the rapid washer is that the air escapes from the top of the cone and pulls the water/detergent up through the clothes. Not a perfect solution but better than anything else we've tried.

The crossed stick or disk/w/holes would be the next best solution because they'll do a better job agitating the clothes.

Toilet plungers don't work well in our experience.

The real clincher for hand-washing clothes is a wringer! Your hands get tired and blistered if you do a lot of wringing by hand.
Been pulling stumps and fixing the brakes (bled brakes ... can't find the leak yet because it leaked down over the winter) and charging system (bad regulator and blown fuse link - replaced with a 50 amp breaker) on my pickup.

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Got back from several weeks in Kansas yesterday (stepfather died) and noticed that all of our raspberry and blackberry plants had died. They're easy to replace and we'd planned on moving them anyway but it would have been bad news in a SHTF situation. (We still have a several year supply of them canned.)

Ground squirrels moved in big time too while we were gone. Be sure to have some traps on hand for garden pests. (We do.)
just got me a nice lil toy it for $10.00..they also have pistol cross bows.gonna have to wait after christmas to get one of them,...i've already tried it out as is,and with 5 pecans..i first shot one at a tree a 25-30 feet away.a good solid hit with 1.then i shot 3 at one corner of the fence line behind my which it's somewhere around 100 feet away.the pecans went well past the to start buying ball bareings,marbels..and what ever else i can get to use with it..
Would you let me know how you fare taking small game with that? I've shot rabbits with mine and just watched the projectile bounce off of them. I've used marbles, steel ball bearings and lead balls. Same result every time.

Using one to throw arrows has been even less effective. They're very slow and the trajectory is about as flat as a rainbow.

Using a sling (like David used against Goliath) I've killed rabbits, squirrels, and grouse easily (body shots). I think it would kill midsize and larger game as well with head shots. Golf ball size rocks work very well IME.
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