Friday, December 25, 2015

Off Grid

In my mind it is great that so many people are interested in finding alternative energy production methods and ways of using our waste instead of just producing it. Green is cheaper. :-)

* solar energy
* wind energy
* water energy
* geothermal energy
* biofuel and ethanol
* biogas
* biomass energy (biopower)
* hydrogen from water and urine

It is not easier, though. When you get off grid, you also take the responsibility of maintaining the energy production and electrical appliances.
There are people who know more about this than I do. At least now.

Here's a great article about this: So you want to go off-grid

A word for the suspicious people, to whom getting off-grid is a step in "becoming invisible to government and electric media". I don't recommend this.

1) There are some benefits and privileges of being a listed citizen. For example, if you don't exist, you won't be able to own anything, so basically anyone can come and claim your property in their name and there's no damned thing you can do. If you start defending what's yours, YOU will be the criminal, and YOU will be the "illegal alien".
Your identity is still out there, for anyone to use for their own purposes.
There are situations when you need help, like medical emergencies and wildfire and other natural catastrophes.

2) "They" will be able to find you if "they" want to... but no-one will know about it. Now, if you have neighbours and are active in the village life, people will remember you and start asking questions if you disappear for real.

It really is wonderful if you want to become totally self-sufficient and independent of other people, but don't cut the social ties. Even when people are often bothersome and annoying, there is "comfort in numbers". A community is harder to destroy than a family. It's harder to see a couple of people disappearing from the group of 100 than 10.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Water economy

I am also interested in the water economy, especially after having read Dune and about the Fremens and how they collected every tiny drop of moisture. Water is precious and we are wasting enormous amounts of it in the Western World with plenty of water. We are not only wasting it by using it thoughtlessly, but we are also contaminating and polluting it.
I think we should become more conscious when it comes to water use.

An average Western person uses some 100-150 liters of water EVERY DAY.
We could actually collect, filter and distil the waste water.

It is not difficult to collect the greywater and build a water toilet that uses the greywater to flush it.

Dishwashing water is great for watering plants if biodegradable soap was used, as it is. All the "dirt" is organic nutrition.

It's not difficult to filter the wastewater and then let the sun make it clean, drinkable water again. (It just takes quite a lot of space - 1 square meter solar still cleans about 4-6 liters a day, so to clean 100 liters, you'd need 15-25 square meters solar still.)

If you have a water tank on the roof, you have your own tiny waterfall in your house, to get water power from.

If you clean your own waste water, collect the rain water and have a well, you could fill your personal water tower with human power every morning, use a solar water heater

Instead of running on an electrically powered treadmill, 
why not run in a treadwheel and use your power to do other things? 
Like lift water from the well?

Saturday, December 19, 2015


One of the best ways to prepare for survival is camping. I'm not talking about glamping or campervans, but the scout style camping.

The scouts have decades of experience of this, and they have adapted the camping to children, so it's a good idea to follow their plans.

The boy scouts start by camping at the "cub scout resident camp". It's a place where it's safe to practice getting the tent up and living outside, but with the safety backup in place. There are also adults and older scouts who are responsible for seeing that all the kids' needs are met.
You might not have the luxury of accessing this kind of "practice camp" facilities, and it's not necessary either. You can find the closest camping site and practice getting your tent up there. Don't ever go out camping over-night without having built up your tent at least a couple of times!

Then they advance to camping trips in the wilderness, still accompanied by adults. One by one these "safety wheels" are cut out, until the boys - or young men - are able to take longer hiking trips living in a tent all by themselves.

You should go by the same way.

You start by hiking and making short day trips, to get used to moving in the wilderness and carrying a backpack.
Then make a fire, enjoy a meal prepared by that fire, and extinguish it properly and carefully, and go home.
Then you spend a night or two outside.
Then a weekend, a week, a month even.
You add time a little at a time, and get used to the first level before you advance.

The same with everything else.

When you are comfortable in your home forest camping a week in the summer, start expanding the seasonal camping - first autumn, then spring, then winter.

First you will carry all your water and food with you, and then start gradually adding some "wild food" and "wild water" to your practice, , until you can live off the forest during the summer.

First you'll take with you all the necessities and reasonable comfort and cut it gradually, slowly, until you have only the essential necessities with you. What that is, is yours to decide.

Always have a backup plan. Don't go "cold turkey". Be sure to have enough clean water with you before you try purifying "wild water". Be sure that you have enough food, if your foraging and hunting doesn't work. Have a tent with you the first times you plan building a shelter, to have a backup reserve if it doesn't work. Leave these out only when you are 100% sure of that you can purify the water, find yourself enough to eat and build yourself a shelter.

It is not necessary to go that far, but if you wish to be a survivalist and not "just" a camper, you might want to at least try surviving with nothing but your field axe and a fire steel :-D

(Don't count on the fire steel before you are 100% certain that you can use it. Having seen a couple of videos doesn't count. Start some 100 fires with it, outside, in shine, in rain, in wind and sleet...)

The goal is a total self-sufficiency living without modern luxuries and be able to satisfy your four most eminent needs - and IN THIS ORDER: SHELTER, WATER/FIRE, FOOD.
(Many survival shows are extremely focused on food.)

This is some good advice about that

Then you need to become very apt about
*first aid and health care in wilderness and
*navigation and communication in the wilderness.

You need to know quite a lot about how to act in an emergency situation, how you will find your way, how you will signal to rescuers where you are etc. etc.

Female survival tips

It's a Woman's World: A List of Female Survival Tips

Another slightly stupid list.

"As a woman, my list has a few differences. I know the first thing on my mind after a disaster hits will be, “Where is my family? Are they ok?” The second is, “How do I care for them and myself?”"

No. You are a mother, and a traditional USonian mother at that.

My first question is "what is happening?"
I need to be aware of the world enough to be able to judge the situation and to know when it's time to stop assessing and start acting.

The next question is "how can I save what is important to me?"
#1 on that list is me.
Everything I want to save is something that is important to me. Like my children, my husband, my family, my pets.
Then comes my home, my material property, my community, in ever widening circles, me being the center.
I don't believe anyone who says anything different.

1) If you can't apply your survival tips to EVERY MEMBER OF THE GROUP, it's worthless.
It's not the mother's job to see that all members of the group are safe and well taken care for. It's the job of the leader of the group.
Also, one of the most stated prepper mistakes is assuming you are going to make it alone. The need of community, networking and team is often ignored and neglected and the rules of the team survival are the same, whether it is just the closest family group, a village or a team of well-trained military.

2) Every member of the group should have a BOB and the rules of what to pack are the same, whether you are 1 or 101, male or female, human or animal.
Every member of the group who cannot carry his/her own BOB needs to have his/her BOB items divided within the group, so that one single person isn't responsible for carrying her BOB, the baby and the baby's BOB, too, because this limits her chances of survival. Any team leader who allows this is a bad leader.

"For children, a small toy. For ladies, tampons! For babies, washable diapers, and baby bottles. Maybe a binky!"
Uh. I'm going to talk about that later.

3)- 12) These are not some "female tips". The rules apply to every member of the team, females and males, humans and animals.


Children and pets are the responsibility of their caretakers, not just mothers. If you are planning survival without considering EVERY MEMBER OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD, you don't deserve to survive.

Every member of the team needs to learn how to entertain themselves and others without toys, games and hobbies that need any equipment. Sure, it's great if you can knit, but knitting needles and yarn doesn't belong in your BOB or 72 hours kit.

Every member of the group needs to learn to obey orders, stay quiet and leave the objections to a peaceful situation.
Everyone who is responsible for taking care of the babies, toddlers and pets needs to learn how to make them quiet without killing them, or to be able to kill them quickly and humanely if they can't...

Every member of the family needs to learn to take care of their toilet hygiene without toilet paper. It will be one of the first things that's vanishing when SHTF.

Every member of the team also needs to learn to take care of their personal hygiene without water, soap and toothpaste.

The only thing that's "female" on this list is menstruation.

You need to deal with your menstruation in a sustainable way. The best would be learning to use a cup, but that's not possible for some women. If you are one of them, find the way.

Also, women need to be able to dispose of the blood and stains in a way that doesn't attract predators. Having blood stained clothes is like sending an invitation to predators.

Survival "experts" in television

The point with this blog entry is not to trash these guys, but to remind people of that THIS IS TELEVISION, NOT REALITY. You don't see the hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades of preparing, training and practice. You don't see most of the mistakes. You don't even see most of the footage. You see an edited version of a filmed script in a set. 

What's wrong with survival tv

Special Report: The Dangerous Side of Survival TV

 And 10 survival myths that could get you killed

Now, watch your favorite survival shows, on television and on YouTube again with this in mind!
But - to share with you some information I dugg up after the "Dual Survival" soup.

Extreme Survival
Ray Mears... not much is told about how he learned the craft, but it seems he has learned from others. He's been taught by "primitive" people, natives living the lifestyle of their ancestors, I appreciate that highly. I also like his style.


Les Stroud, as far as I know, is mostly self-taught. "Stroud has extensive experience with survival and primitive living skills, initially training with expert David Arama. He went on to study with many others including John "Prairie Wolf" McPherson."
David Arama... Doesn't say much of HOW he learned the stuff. "Environmental studies", "Outdoor Recreation" and "Wilderness Emergency Care" doesn't say that much... so I assume he's also "self-taught"

John "Prairie Wolf" McPherson seems to be much self-taught as well. "John's first "real" hands on practicing of primitive skills began in 1973 - motivated after reading OUTDOOR SURVIVAL SKILLS by Larry Dean Olson."

Larry Dean Olson is also self-taught. "Larry’s training came as he experienced survival at its most primitive level. He emulated the Anasazi or “Ancient Ones” and carefully replicated the lifestyle of the Primitive Paiutes of the Great Basin Plateau areas of the western United States. Using tools and weapons of stone and bone, digging roots and trapping game, suffering cold nights without bedding, and hot days without water or even shoes, Larry gained a unique understanding of man in harmony with nature."
In my opinion Les does a lot of stupid things, like drinking water straight in the nature, or intentionally risking hypothermia to get something that isn't very edible, but at least he's sincere.

Man vs. Wild

Bear Grylls is a scout with survival related hobbies, and he's being into this all his life. His show is much just that - a show. There are staged events and some special effects put in place to make it more entertaining. There isn't anything wrong with his skills, though. Nevertheless, he's a boy scout at core, and some of the things one learns from Man vs Wild are not applicable or sensible things to do or think about when it comes to survival

Dual Survival

Cody Lundin is also self-taught, by experience, about the same way as Larry Dean Olson. I like his style as well.

Dave Canterbury... I don't like him at all. The first time I saw him he was mostly whining about Cody's style and he seems to be superfocused on hunting. He whines about needing to eat anything but cooked meat.

I haven't seen Joseph Teti, but by the critique of the people who have seen him, he sounds like a Dave, except that Dave is probably better in actual survival techniques.
In early October, Teti's membership in the Special Forces Association was revoked following questions about whether he, like Canterbury, exaggerated his military experience. Only 10 people in the last 50 years have been similarly dismissed from the group

"Mykel Hawke, who served 24 years in the Army, agrees. "There's a myth that military people know a damn thing about survival," he says."

I haven't seen Hawke in action either, so I say nothing about him, except that "top 10 fake tv survivalist" opinions are mostly about Joseph Teti. Internet quarrels say nothing about the skills of a person, and in my opinion, pretending to have credentials you don't have, is worse than having a bad temper and bad manners.

Now, why are there so few female survivalists?
There are female survivalists and not just a few of them. People just aren't interested in watching female survivalists.
The archetype is a "lone ranger surviving by HIS wits and skills alone in a hostile world". Females are expected to be the nurturing mothers and passionate lovers, and that's it. The only way for you to get females in survival TV is either by them tagging along with their man (like Ruth Hawke) or getting naked in the process.

A woman survivalist in a man's world

"Girls inherently have a motherly instinct, especially after puberty." What utter bullshit! There's no "motherly" instinct that's in some mysterious ways different from the "parental" instinct that's inherent in all mammals, males and females alike. The "motherly instinct" spoken about in this article is 100% taught behavior.

Also, all those photos look staged. Why is she having long, loose hair and smiling in every f-ing photo? (Except the first one that looks like a Katniss photoshoot.)

Not saying Kellie Nightlinger isn't a survivalist expert, but saying that article is a little stupid.

Some prepper abbreviations

72 hour kit – A survival kit that contains all of the items you would require to survive an emergency for 72 hours.

ABAO - All Bets Are Off

BIB - Bug-In Bag

BOB - bug out bag

BOL – Bug out Location

BOV – Bug out Vehicle

CDC - Centers for Disease Control

COMSEC - Communications Security

CQB - close quarters combat

DHS - Department of Homeland Security

DLP - Defense of Life and Property

EDC – Everyday carry

EMP – An electromagnetic pulse

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

FIFO – First In, First Out

FNG - fucking new guy = rookie = noobie (also noob, nub, nublet, nooblet - "new guy")

FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

Genny – a generator

GHB - Get Home Bag

HAM – amateur radio

HEMP – High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse.

IFAK – Individual First Aid Kit

INCH – “I’m never coming home”

JIC – Just In Case

M.A.G – Mutual Aid Group

OPSEC – Operational Security

P.E.R.K  – Personal Emergency Relocation Kit.

PSK – Personal Survival Kit

SERE - Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape.

SHTF - shit hits the fan

SIP - Shelter in Place

TEOTWAWKI - the end of the world as we know it

WROL – Without Rule of Law

YOYO - You're On Your Own

What professions would be the most valuable in an apocalyptic world? Really?

What professions would be the most valuable in an apocalyptic world?
and could that profession be done with limited supplies?

Your Answers ITT:

1) Medical Professional
2) Engineer
3) Soldier
4) Farmer
5) Fisherman
6) Gunsmith
7) Wilderness Survival Expert
8) Prostitute
9) Dentist
10) Leatherworker
11) Hunter
12) Blacksmith
13) IT
14) Electrician
15) Carpenter
16) Welder
17) Shoemaker
18) Distiller (for disinfecting dirty water)
19) Miner
20) Soap Makers
21) Butcher
22) Translator
23) Their Father
24) Librarian?
25) Midwife

People Listed ITT:

1) Bear Grylls
2) Les Stroud
3) Holmes (Construction show host?)
4) Daryl Dixon (Fictional Character from The Walking Dead)
5) Rednecks
6) Amish People
7) Boy Scouts/Eagle Scouts
8) Gang Members

This is sad. :-(

Prostitutes? Seriously?

Also, only rednecks and gangsters can trust rednecks and gangsters. That is, as long as they belong to the same fraction. 

I'd pick a witch or two. They probably know more about foraging that most of those aforementioned people. Bear might know more. Might. They also most likely know quite a lot of alternative healthcare and herbalism. I know I do. Quite a many of them are also midwives.

I'd pick some of the re-enactors, who live like the Vikings did or how they did during the stone age. There are some iron age re-enactment settlements or villages. Those people have actually lived the life and learned the skills of a NORMAL life. A bit like the Amish, without the religious baggage.

Scouts... as long as they are like Bear Grylls, sure, but when they are the homophobic badge collectors, no. I'd rather have people with long experience of hiking and backpacking and not so much of following the rules and performing in tests.

Only the Amish of the above-mentioned people know anything about animal husbandry and farming. Rednecks MIGHT know something, but... they aren't very well known by their appreciation of land and sustainable methods, are they?

If I had to pick a fictional character, I'd choose MacGyver, and I'd rather have Hackett than Holmes.

"IT" wouldn't even get to my list. (Not prostitutes either)
I'd take a mechanic before an electrician.
I'd take a carpenter before an engineer
Building a still isn't difficult or complicated. Anyone can build one and use it, too, so - "distiller"?
Making soap is very easy as well.
Librarian? I'd rather have a storyteller and a teacher.
And what do you do with a miner?

Also, I like Ray Mears and Cody Lundin better than Les Stroud and Bear Grylls.