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.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Useful prepper skills to learn before SHTF

Some of these skills are necessary, some not, all are useful


* backpacking, hiking, camping
- wilderness survival skills
- endurance
- carrying necessities with you
- hiking and hiking related problems
- camping

* shelter
- build a temporary shelter
- portable shelter – tents, ponchos, tarps
- build a house
- construct all the necessary small buildings at your homestead, from rabbit coops to silos
- without powertools
- making everything you need yourself, from planks to nails, from cellars to roofs
- maintaining this

* water skills
- finding water
- well engineering and care
- water purification
- collecting and storing water
- greywater
- hygiene/sanitation without water
- saving water
- dealing with drought and flood
- filtration weir
- rain barrels work
- building a still

* fire
- 101 ways to start a fire in all circumstances and environments
- how to extinguish fire; fire fighting, wildfires, home fires
- making charcoal and briquettes
- making wastepaper logs
- charcloth
- making firemaking tools, like matchsticks

* energy
 - sun, wind, water as power source (don't forget steam!)
- harnessing man- and animal power
- making man-powered machines
- making clockwork-powered machines
- alternative fuels. Learn to make biofuel. Biodiesel?
- lubrication?
- making oil of plastic! That would be really handy.
- how to deal with power outage
- generators
- heating, light alternatives
- making batteries, how can you make a battery rechargeable by sunlight

* light
- making candles and candlewicks
- making lamps and lamp fuel
- lanterns

* beekeeping
- beeswax processing and crafts
- honey processing

* hunting and trapping - knowing the local game, their lifestyle
- tracking
- how to kill an animal
- how to prepare, butcher, cut and clean an animal
- how to preserve the meat
- hot to prepare all parts of an animal for use and how to use them
-- hide tanning
-- leather work
-- scrimshaw
- hunting using quiet weapons like bows, slingshots, knives, and spears
- hunting with dogs, hawks?

* fishing
- different fishing methods and tools
- cleaning the catch
- preparing the catch
- preserving the catch
- don't forget fish leather!
- don't forget amphibians and reptiles
* insects, amphibians and reptiles- edible insects, amphibians and reptiles
- poisonous insects, amphibians and reptiles
- preparing and cooking
- what to do with the inedible things - things like snake skin and bones and insect wings - is there any use for these things? Can you use them to make for example fishing lures?

* foraging - the act of searching for provisions of any kind
- food, wild food, gathering
- maple and birch syrup and sugar - collecting and processing
- obtainium, urban foraging
- reusing, recycling, upcycling, repairing and repurposing things
- ways to use common garbage, like cans, glass, paper

Hackett is great with urban foraging
* herbalism
- all the uses of the local plants
-- food
-- medicine
-- flavoring
-- fibers
-- dyeing
-- basketry
-- construction material
-- other uses

* gardening
- permaculture
- aquaponics
- windowsill garden (you can grow coffee beans, some spices and exotic fruits like lemons in your home)
- container gardening
- vertical gardening
- hanging gardens
- organic gardening
- composting
- seed saving
- tobacco plant and how to prepare it for smoking
- sugar beets and how to process them into sugar (you can also grow sorghum for sorghum syrup and stevia)

* animal husbandry
- rabbits and other small meat animals
- goats
- sheep and other fiber producers (There are rabbits and goats that produce fibers, too)
- horses and other pack and draft animals
- chicken and other poultry
- shelter, feeding, health care, proper care
- preparing and using the resources; eggs, milk, meat, leather, workpower...
- training
- breeding

* cooking
- with and without electricity
- in home and outdoors
- urban and wilderness
- alternative cooking methods
- extract salt from salt water
- how to make gelatine and what can be used to replace it

* food preservation
 - canning, both in glass and tin (learn to make tincans and seal them)
- charkuterie (salting, smoking, curing, drying, sausagemaking)
- dehydrating
- salting
- preserving in sugar or honey
- smoking
- pickling
- canning (learn both the canning in glass and the canning in tins)
- jellying
- jugging
- fermenting (you can make pretty good tea substitute by fermenting raspberry leaves!)
- other ways like lye and burying
- learn to make vinegar

* baking
- especially bread
- milling
- baking without electricity
- how to make sourdough

* dairy
- butter
- cheese
- other milk products, like yoghurt, sourcream etc.

* home brewing
- beer
- ale
- mead
- cider
- wine
- distillation of spirits

* security
- how to protect your home, land, crop, animals, family, yourself and everything you have
- against other people, wild animals, weather, catastrophes and accidents
- learn to use, maintain and store weapons
- learn martial arts
- learn hand-to-hand combat and self-defence
- mantraps, snares, pepper spray and security dog training? Mace, stun-gun, club? swords?
- evasion
- hiding
- defence
- prevention
- alarm, securing the perimeter, watch
- ability to improvise weapons

* archery
- hunting
- making bow and arrows, arrow points and bowstrings

* firearm skills
- proper care of guns
- marksmanship
- knowing guns and ammunition
- gunsmithy;
- being able to make ammunition and reload it
- making weapon cleaning equipment, lubricants, holsters etc.
- making gunpowder
(additional skills here; making explosives and fireworks)

* blade skills
- using knife
- using axe
- using tomahawk?
- making blades; tools and weapons
- maintaining, repairing, restoring blades

* medical skills
- first aid, CPR, trauma
- preparing the first aid equipment 
- home and wilderness pharmacy
- emergency medic
- nurse
- midwife
- broken bones and open wounds
- allergies
- army medic skills
- EMT (emergency medical technician)
- preventive health care
- antibiotics
- veterinary skills
- dentist skills
- pharmacy skills

* hygiene and sanitation
- how to clean everything without water
- how to make soap, detergents, cleaning supplies, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant...
- human waste management
- what to use in stead of toilet paper
- "Learning how to build a composting toilet, a solar hot water heater, or a sewer drainage system is important."
- soap making
- making other cleaning substances agents and equipment
- learn to shave with a straight razor (also other people - I bet people will appreciate a good shave - as they did 100 years ago...)
- how to make feminine hygiene products
- how to make and use cloth diapers
- learn to make cosmetics and make-up - can be used in trading, as luxury items, that make people feel normality. Don't underestimate people's need of luxuries and normality!
- another luxury item that isn't that hard to learn to do if you learn to do cosmetics and cleaning agents - it's just simple chemistry - is perfumes

* navigation - orienteering
- map reading
- using compass
- wayfinding

* communication
- HAM radio
- electrics, small appliances, technician skills, broadcasting skills, signalling, antennas...
- morse code
- backup communication – CB, walkie-talkie, ham radio
- smoke signals
- how to talk to anyone
- non-violent crowd control methods
- how to handle and calm down people
- how to stop a fight before it begins, and how to stop it after it had began
- negotiation
- languages
- coding and decoding

* transport
- ability to drive any vehicle, from bicycles and horses to planes and helicopters. Cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractor, of course
- hotwiring
- maintenance, fixing things, repairs, mechanics
- how to harness an animal, shoeing a horse etc.
- water transport, like sailing, canoeing, boating
- physical transport - climbing, running, walking, swimming, parkour

* fitness skills
- strength, flexibility, endurance
- callisthenics and using what can be found as exercise equipment
- correct ways of running, climbing, swimming, lifting
- how to save your energy and spare your body

* handyman, jack-of-all-trades
- ability to use tools
- ability to improvise tools
- ability to make tools
- repairing, restoring and maintaining tools (you can start collecting old tools from garage sails etc. and restore them, to have something to sell when SHTF)
- fix-it
- fencing; making fencing and fencing equipment
- plumbing
- electrical skills
- woodworking, carpentry, whittling
- woodturning
- making barrels, vats, buckets of wood
- basket weaving
- pottery
- paper crafts, paper making, paper mache. cardboard constructions
- making glass, blowing glass, cutting glass, setting glass, melting glass
- making glues and adhesives for different uses

* metal skills
- precious metals
- coin collecting
- collecting gold, silver and copper
- melting and casting metal
- blacksmithy
- welding
- tinning, tinsmithing - making household items, like buckets
- how to melt and form aluminium - how to make water canteens and cooking pots of aluminium?
- drawing wire
- wirework
- learn to make hardware like nuts, bolts and nails

* fiber crafts
- mending, patching, fixing clothing and textiles
- making clothes
- making underwear like bras and jockstraps (items often forgotten but very important)
- making accessories, like bags, hats and shoes
- making home textiles like covers, cushions, curtains and towels
- rag crafts, rag weaving, patchwork
- quilting
- waxing and oiling fabric (for example coats and tarps)
- preparing plant and animal fibers for use
- different methods of preparing cloth
- plant dyeing and printing
- other ways of decorating
- making, maintaining, repairing the sewing equipment
- using and maintaining the sewing machine

* leather work
- preparing the hides for use
- shoemaking

* rope and string skills
- knotting
- braiding
- twining
- making string, twine, rope, cords

* entertainment
- storytelling
- music; instruments and singing
- circus, varietée, carnival skills
- games, board games, card games, ball games, party games, games that don't need any equipment
- sports
- toys - mechanical toys use a lot of physics that can be used in making other things. The basic mechanics, like levers and pulleys, clockwork and steam power are useful elsewhere as well

* teaching

* writing
- mainly for you to be able to put knowledge on paper, so that you can store it, collect it, sell it
- making writing supplies; pens and pencils, ink, paper

Things that sound interesting, but might need too much work for it to work

* how to turn plastic into oil
A Japanese man has invented a machine that turns plastic into oil that then can be refined into gasoline and other such oil derivates, and they say it should be commercially purchasable within years.

* lens making, optician skills
- a lot of use for this - like binoculars and glasses

* cutting and storing ice
Yes, I know it's Disney. And? 
It's quite ok presentation of ice harvesting and entertaining as well.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Bartering, trading, dickering, swapping, haggling, the beloved child has many names.

This is a skill, and you really should start doing it. It might not be possible to haggle when you are buying things from a dollar store or a chain with fixed prices, but try it anyway. I had a friend who got things always cheaper, or who got something extra, when she was buying things, because she was haggling. Yes, in our modern Western first world world. Remember that every merchant is a used car salesman at heart. He wants to SELL. He want to make a deal with you. He wants you to buy his things. So - shop around, ask, inquire. Ask for extras and benefits.

Also, learn to use the "green money" as it's called - trading and swapping. "Buy" things and services with your own things, services and know-how. Ask your friends and neighborhood first. Often you can get things for free or for the price of taking it away. Some times they ask for a nominal price of "you can bake me a cake" or something else small like that. Well, it is small to me :-D I can fix your jeans or patch your jacket or knit you socks as payment for something I need.

If the economy fails, everyone is going to turn into bartering to meet their needs.

Now, there are lists of bartering items you can buy and have ready for the SHTF situation, but most of those are pretty short-sighted. Use your intelligence to imagine the situations and what YOU would need to manage. Like toilet paper and fabric softener. These items are modern luxury we have learned to believe we need, when in fact we don't.
During the first weeks people will be paying ANYTHING for things like this, but after months NO-ONE will be having any, and the price will be too high, so people will be cutting out those needs.

So, as with everything else, plan for future, not for the near future. 
Collect skills, materials, equipment, tools and resources to 

Another thing to consider is that people will be quickly getting rid of everything they can barter and when they have nothing left, it doesn't matter what you have to sell, they can't buy it any way.
But if you "widen your repertoire", and start accepting things that don't have any survival value, you will be in business longer... How do you do this?  

Learn to recycle and upcycle and repair and repurpose things. 

I mean, cardboard and scrap paper are basically worthless...
except that you can make new paper of it.
You can make furniture and things of cardboard and papiermache.
Paper is pretty good isolation.
It also used to be wood, so it can be made into fire briquettes.

Old clothes have a lot of use in them, too
They can be made into rag weave or patchwork
They can be made into rope and string
They can be made into filling of duvets and cushions and quilted clothes
They can be used as isolation or land filling.
Natural fibers can be used to make paper of.

Anything made of metal can be melted down and used to make other things. Even if it's "just" tin or aluminium.

Anything made of glass can also be melted down and used to make other things.

There's a lot of plastic crap lying around in people's homes, from things made of "resin" to softer plastics, kitchen gadgets to toys, knick-knacks and "decoration".
Some of that can be turned back to oil, if you have the know-how or the Blest machine invented by Akinori Ito, which will probably be commercially available in the 20s.
Hard plastic is probably harder to deal with... unless it is usable as it is, you can probably use it as landfill... perhaps as filling in cement.

What ever the situation, don't start chopping antique furniture into firewood, burning books, destroying artwork or any such things. Don't start looting museums, libraries and galleries. How ever bad the situation might look, there is always hundreds of alternatives to such things and you will survive without needing to destroy our history or the beauty in the world.

So - to the items: what to buy NOW and store for future bartering purposes?

- salt - can be stored forever if kept dry. Pack it in a clean, dry, watertight container, like a large canister or bucket. But, just in case, learn to extract salt.

- spices - no, because they get bad. But find out way to replace the exotic spices with local plants, and see what you can grow in a flower pot on your windowsill... surprising many exotic plants do well on a windowsill.

- condiments - learn to make them, so that you can sell them!

- baking soda - difficult to make oneself, can be stored indefinitely, has thousands of uses, going to be VERY desirable in the future

- yeast - learn to make sourdough

- tobacco, coffee, sugar, candies, and other such "pleasure substances" - don't store well, except for sugar and instant coffee, but better if you learn to make surrogates or the actual product at home. One can grow tobacco quite high up and coffee in flower pots (Yes, you can grow your own coffee.)

- honey and beeswax - learn bee-keeping. That is extremely important now-a-days, as bees are getting more and more rare, and most of our food depends on bees... So keep bees if for nothing then to have very precious trading item.

- corn starch - can also be stored indefinitely if stored correctly. Dry, cool, dark place, so store in plastic canister or bucket. Can replace baby powder, so it's very desirable.

- preserves and charkuterie - don't store indefinitely, so learn to make these. Now, the chemicals, tools, equipment etc. is going to be desirable.

- Tools (saw blades, hatchets, axe heads, hammer heads, etc.), and equipment to care for them, like sharpening tools and lubricants. Learn to make them, and source second hand - can be found at very reasonable prize at garage sales, estate sales etc. Learn to restore old tools. Vinegar takes care of rust like magic, and you can make your own "penetration oil" (like DW-40).

- A simple still (or the components to assemble one) - things needed to purify water and make alcohol.

- Weapons - not firearms, because that's not sustainable, but bows, arrows, arrowheads and bowstrings; knives and other bladed weapons, sharpening stones etc.

- Barrels

- containers, especially water canteens

- Seeds

- information, books

- firemaking tools (ferroceramic rods and striking steels), non-safety matches, safety matches, lighters, lighter fuel

- blankets - thick good, wool blankets.

- "feminine products", bras

- baby items, like diapers, baby powder, milk bottles, pacifiers etc.

- optical aids, like eye glasses, reading glasses and magnifying glasses

- ice (Yes. the guy who builds a huge barn and fills it with sawdust so that he can fill it with ice during the winter, will have customers in the summer.)

- antibiotics, OC medicine, painkillers, allergy medication, insulin...  things like this are heart-wrenching.

- first aid supplies

- good quality clothing, socks, shoes

- parachute cord, duct tape, fishing line, sheet plastic, wire, fencing material, tarps, garbage bags, ziploc bags, plastic bags, pails and buckets

- sewing supplies, especially tools, like needles and scissors

- candle wax, wicking, candles, beeswax

- entertainment, like games, playing cards, books

- soap and other cleaning detergents etc. - materials and equipment needed to make these

- cosmetics, chap-sticks, moisturiser etc. - materials and equipment needed to make these

- bleach

- flash-lights, torches, lanterns and fuel/batteries

- shoes, shoe repair supplies, shoe laces

- hunting and fishing gear

- good quality clothing

- solar lights and panels

- hardware, like nuts, bolts and nails

- contraceptives

- writing supplies

- one thing that I would be ready to pay quite a lot is rubber gloves...  rubber and latex will be quite valuable, I think. Of course, it's a renewable resource, so there will be rubber producers and manufacturers, but will we be getting these items? The problem with this is that rubber deteriorates quickly. Perhaps one could make waxed gloves? Nevertheless, for a housewife, rubber gloves are invaluable.

Less interesting items:

- toilet paper... people will VERY QUICKLY learn to do without. What did they use to clean their asses before TP was invented?

- batteries - even rechargeable batteries have end-date. Also, the things batteries are used to power up has a "best before" date. Now, if you can make analogue devices or gadgets that are solar or man powered (like hand-cranked) to replace the things batteries are used to power up, wonderful!

- alcohol - it's really not difficult to make, so people will be focusing on things you need to make alcohol.

- the fuel and lubrication for things like chain saws and camping kitchen and lanterns - again, very desirable at the first stage, then people will learn to use hand saws, wood fire and plant oil powered lanterns.

- firearms, ammunition, cleaners and lubricants and holsters etc. Because when the ammunition is used, there is no use to the guns either. Now, if you become a weapon smith and learn how to make gunpowder and ammunition, then you would be in high demand and basically be able to tell your own prices...

Luxury items

Every now and then there are things that are totally useless, but make wonders when it comes to mental health. So have a little things like this in store...

- canned fruits
- hard candy, jellybeans
- jello powder, gelatine powder (store in dry, cool, airtight, dark area, like everything else.)
- drink powders
- nylon tights and stockings
- razors
- perfume (this stuff won't store forever, though.)
- toys
- make-up


- people who have not, and who get desperate and will murder to get their hands to your goods
- people who have, but think it's better to take than barter
- people who think you have, want to have it, and are not afraid to do anything to get it
- people who cheat - either they barter things that are not what they seem to be, or promise things they don't have or go through the exchange but try to take back what they gave you
Just be careful
- people who see you exchanging things and try take what you just received

Monday, December 14, 2015

How to become a prepper?

1) Define "prepper". 

I think a prepper is a person who is prepared for any possible future catastrophe or crisis.

2) What are these "possible future catastrophes or crisis"?

I live in Sweden, and I am Finnish, so I am going to focus on the situation here.

The catastrophes I should prepare for are
- winter storms
- electricity outage or some other infrastructure failure, like roads/tunnels/bridges being cut off
- landslides, snowslides, mudslides, rockslides are possible. Not very likely, though.
- flooding
- snow related problems
- large scale accidents, like chemical  or gas leak, or large traffic accident
- terrorism (not very likely, but can happen)
- human, animal, plant disease and illness outbreaks / pandemic
- excessive heat or cold
- draught

I am somewhat worried about the global warming and the consequences of that, and a little worried about a possible nuclear war or a huge volcano outburst on the other side of the world making it snow ashes all over the planet. That I see as having the most shaking effect in my life.

Nevertheless, I think it's good to be prepared.  After all, I CAN be, so why wouldn't I?

3) What do I need to do to prepare myself for this?

I need to make sure that I have shelter, water, food and fire, and that I can be sure I have it tomorrow, too, and next week, and next year.

There has been talk about "areas of survival", and this is a list of those:

- first aid skills, practical health care, nursing, medics, preventive means (sun protection, insulation, insect repellents), allergies, rashes etc.

- food - gardening, animal husbandry, hunting, foraging
- food preparation from living animals and growing plants to meal
- foor preservation and storage

- make-do and mend - fix-it - reuse, reduce, recycle
- be able to fix EVERYTHING one needs and uses, from clothes to small machines, power generators, appliances, plumbing, carpentry etc. etc.

- sanitation
-- water purification
-- cleaning
-- hygiene
-- waste management

- defense and safety
-- self-defense and hand-to-hand fighting
-- firearms and other weapons
-- safety perimeter, watchout, locks, snares and dogs

- bushcraft, primitive crafts, wilderness skills, scouting, hiking, camping, backpacking
- wilderness skills

- shelter, home, home maintenance

- fire
- energy
- lighting

- emergency communication

- navigation/orienteering

- transport
-- vehicle maintenance and equipping
-- fuel

- special plans for each individual situation

4) Make a prepping notebook or binder. 

Have a paper copy of everything prepping related, because you don't know if you can access the electric information in the time of need.

Have those above mentioned areas in your binder, but also
- list of resources you have and need
- list of skills you have and need
- list of equipment you have and need
- instructions, recipes, patterns and tutorials

So you want to prepare your life for what is coming

So, you want to become a prepper, but get tired with all the conspiracy theorists and fanatics out there?
You have come to right place. This blog is totally free of politics and religion.

I am fascinated by the simple life, sustainable life, self-sufficiency, being able to support myself on my own work, living on my piece of land in my house. I am interested in living off-grid.
Not because I think someone's out there to get me, or because "you can't trust them", who ever "they" are.
I love homesteading, bushcraft, survivalism and things like that. Already as a kid I wanted to become a scout. It wasn't possible where I lived, and when it became a possibility, scouting wasn't what I wanted it to be. What it was in the beginning...
I have been reading survival guides and self-sufficiency guides my whole life.

So, when I was first introduced to "doomsday preppers" I got really interested.
I suppose I should have known better. It's already in the name!
I don't believe in "doomsday".
I don't believe in "the end of the world as we know it".
I don't believe in "shit hits the fan".
I don't believe there is a war on our freedoms, or there are "they" who want to "take what is ours" and "take away our freedoms" and other such crap.
That in my mind is hysterical conspiracies that has no what so ever reasonable, rational, sensible, intelligible, logical, understandable base.

If you disagree with me, go ahead. I'm not blocking anyone, or going to talk about this again in the future, and I don't care if you follow me or not, or if you like me or not.
I started this blog to collect the information I find useful online without needing to get frustrated with hysterical people.
Yes, I call them hysterical. The people who are talking about Fema camps and Obama's war on religious freedom and how "they" want to take away "our" guns and Jesus and all that. All these people are mad by fear, scared of their own shadows, clinging on their guns and covering in a bunker somewhere, afraid of aliens and lizard people and illuminati and other imaginary spooks.
So there won't be any of that crap here.