Category Archives: Survival Manual

A place where we don’t take for granted, what we’ve taken for granted.

Emergency Tent Living, Part 4 of 4

(Survival Manual/ 4. Shelter Issues/ Emergency Tent Living, Part 4 of 4)
How to live in a tent
tent interiors1

A.  How to Live in a Tent
Part One: It’s Not the Same as Camping
8 Mar 2013, Yahoo! Voices, by Tina Gallagher,  Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-live-tent-12031705.html?cat=7

Why and Where
There are many reasons that a person will decide to live in a tent. In many parts of the world today, people do just that. Some examples include:

  • People in Mongolia and in many parts of the world live in yurts, which is a circular type of tent with a solid front door.
  • Military troops on deployment to different areas will live in tents.
  • Refugees fleeing economic, political, natural disasters or other circumstances live in tents.
  • Those attending week-long outdoor festivals such as “Burning Man,” will live in tents.
  • People on retreats and sabbaticals will live in tents.
  • Those building houses in wilderness areas may live in tents during the construction process.
  • Homeless people may live in a tent if they are available.

I have lived successfully for weeks in a 7-by-7 foot, four-foot tall tent. I had permission to live on the land where I pitched it. Always make sure the landowner is okay with you being there. Trespassing is against the law; you could go to jail.

My choice of tent was basically made by my finances. You can choose the tent you need.
You will be surprised, as I was to find out how much “stuff” you really do not need.

To begin my sabbatical, I obtained permission to camp on a stretch of land. I will not give the exact location. I do not have the landowner’s permission to do so.

I chose the date that I would begin and took everything I owned to the place. It was nearby several businesses; the employees could not see my camp. I was not far from a public library. This would become very important during the sabbatical. Approximately a quarter mile from the library was a grocery store. I could buy what I needed.

The beginning of my sabbatical was in January 2013. Choosing the middle of the winter wasn’t all that dumb. The weather here can vary from mild to harsh. I was prepared for almost everything.

I pitched my tent and clipped my cat’s leash to one of the tent poles. She could run around in her harness in a 10-foot diameter. She loved it.

Since space was limited inside the tent, I had to choose what to put in it carefully. Here is a list of the various items:

  • A single-wide air mattress. I blew this up with my mouth. No, it wasn’t easy, but it can be done with patience.
  • A sleeping bag, blankets, comforter and pillow.
  • My cat’s carrier, water and food dishes along with a small broom and dustpan and her litter scooper.
  • My backpack which was filled with different things.
  • A bag containing toiletries and necessities.
  • My clock

A second tent was given to me, but I decided it was too tall (six-feet). I also discovered the door’s zipper was broken. I pitched it, staked down the corners and placed the rest of my belongings inside. I weighed down the rain cover with rocks. It worked fine.

Now I was set to begin my sabbatical. I learned several things about myself and the world around me.

The second article will discuss water, cooking, shopping and living without refrigeration.

Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse subjects and skills such as DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.

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B.  How to Maintain a Campground
4 Apr 2013, Yahoo! Voices, by Tina Gallagher, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-maintain-campground-12048160.html?cat=7

When I decided to live in a tent, I also decided to share what I knew and what I learned along the way. Those who live in a tent should always obtain permission from the landowner before attempting it. If you own the land, you can camp on it if your local ordinance or state law permits it.

This is the third article in the series, “Living In A Tent.” This article will discuss:

  • Maintaining the camp
  • Personal hygiene
  • Pet hygiene
  • Wild Animals

Maintaining The Camp
There are a number of ways to maintain your camp. The best is to follow eco-friendly practices. The following tips will help your camp stay pristine so that you do not cause any damage to your surrounding environment.

  • Remove all of your trash daily and place it in a proper receptacle.
  • Never leave a fire to burn itself out. This ludicrous practice has been responsible for numerous campfires over the years. If a fire starts, your tent and belongings will go with it.
  • Choose a place to dump out wash water; always use bio-degradable soap for baths, hair-washing and dishwashing.
  • Remember the old adage: “You pack it in, pack it out.” It should be self-explanatory.

Personal Hygiene
Staying clean can seem like a major issue when you live in a tent. If you have a gym membership, a friend’s house you can visit regularly, have a shower at work or school, you pretty much have it made. If not, it’s really not that hard.

Heat water in one of your pans. My Sterno stove does just fine heating a quart of water in a blue enamel saucepot. Pour that into a clean bucket and add a little liquid soap and your washcloth. Add just enough cold water to make it the temperature you like. Swish around a little, and wash inside the tent, wringing out the cloth before washing. Frequently dip the cloth into the soapy water and squeeze it out. You can have a separate bucket with warm water and a clean cloth for rinsing, but I’ve found this unnecessary.

For washing hair, heat water and pour into another bucket. Lean over and use a cup to get your hair wet. Your goal is to clean your scalp. Use just enough shampoo to get your hair clean, dipping the cup into the water and pouring it slowly over your head while you wash. It takes a little practice. You won’t have a head full of lather unless you want to pour water over your head for quite a while to rinse. You can use a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner or use a leave-in conditioner.

For ladies, we have to deal with feminine napkins every month. Do not bury these or toilet paper anywhere on the camp ground. Place these items in a trash bag and take it out of the camp daily.

If you do not have a toilet, a porta-potty is a great answer. Do not dig a latrine in the campground. There is a porta-potty that uses bags called “doody bags.” You do your business in the bag, close the bag and dispose of it in the trash. It contains gel to take care of liquid and solid waste.

If you have leftover food after cooking, put it in a plastic bag and into the trash. Do not dump it on the ground; you will have to deal with bugs and wild animals if any are around.

Pet Hygiene
If you have a dog in your camp, prepare to “scoop the poop.” Do not allow your pet to mess anywhere just because you are camping. You will have to deal with flies, stink and bugs. The landowner or campground will ask you to leave. Clean up after your pet.
If you have a cat, the same advice goes. Use a box with cat litter and scoop the waste into the trash bag.

Wild Animals
If the land you are camping or living on has no wild animals, don’t worry about this. Of course, anywhere near a residential or urban area you could be dealing with stray domestic animals. There are a few rules to follow for the safety of your camp, yourself and your pet(s):

  • · Do not leave human or animal food out overnight.
  • · Keep all food in a container that cannot be opened by an animal- a Sterlite storage container with the lid locked in place will do.
  • · Although this has been mentioned before, do not pour food bits out around the camp. This attracts pests and animals as well. Raccoons are not “friendly Disney creatures,” they are incredibly dangerous.
  • · Ensure your pets have their vaccinations up to date.
  • · Do not attempt to track, pet or feed wild animals.
  • · Do not allow your pets to run free or to chase anything.

It is not hard to maintain a clean camp, keep yourself and your pet safe and clean. It does take effort; after a few days it will become a habit.

tent eureka copper canyon collage

 

C.  Frugality, Making a Living and Living Without Electricity in a Tent
18 Mar 2013, Yahoo! Voices,  by Tina Gallagher, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/frugality-making-living-living-without-electricity-12049380.html?cat=7

I decided to live in a tent during 2013. I learned a lot about living without different luxuries and things we often take for granted. It is a truly different way of life. I will share what I learned with you. Before you begin, make sure you have the permission of the campground or landowner.

Frugal Living
It is not expensive to live in a tent. If you have a pet or other belongings with you, you will soon discover what you can and cannot live without. You do not need refrigeration for some foods such as peanut butter, honey, most condiments and fresh vegetables. If you have limited space, you can shop for what you need for the day or the week. If you do not have an ice chest which requires frequent additions of ice, you can still have healthy meals.

Condiments, peanut butter and honey as well as other foods do not need refrigeration. Only use clean utensils to scoop out such items as relish or mustard.

Purchase meat in cans; it will keep for several months. It must be used within a couple of hours of being opened. Fresh meat should be cooked and eaten within a couple of hours. Only cook what you will eat; leftovers will not keep and waste will cost you too much money over time.

Earning A Living
Some people who live in a tent go to regular jobs during the day and return to their campground in the evening. Others make handcrafts that need storage space until they are sold.

I make a living as a freelance writer. I had no electricity in the camp, so I put my laptop in my backpack and carried it to the local public library every day and worked. The library allows customers to use their wi fi without any time limits. Before I had the laptop, I worked on the library’s computers; they have a two-hour time limit every day. I saved the money and ordered it; friends allowed me to use their address and they accepted it for me.

Living Without Electricity
Noting some of the panic in my neighborhood after hurricane Hermine, my neighbors and I tried to educate children about living without electricity. It is not as hard as it sounds; millions of people around the world do it every day.

The first feeling is one of a mild panic; at sunset the sky and everything turns dark. The first few nights I used a battery-powered lantern. After a few nights, my eyes learned to focus with the available moonlight to move around at night. Of course, with some of my wild neighbors such as raccoons and skunks, I did not go far from my immediate area. The ground was also very uneven; staying on familiar footing was also safer.

I used the laptop at the camp every night until the battery went low. I noticed quickly that in colder temperatures the battery would drain faster. I simply used the time I had to work or watch an entertaining program.

It should be noted that entertainment is a necessary part of a human being’s life. While I did not go out to movies or restaurants during this time, I still watched favorite television shows on HULU.com and other sites.

tent solar panels


D.  Make Your Next Camping Trip a Solar Experience
Let the Sun Power Your Camping Gear
22 Feb 2013, Yahoo! Voices,  by Tina Gallagher, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/make-next-camping-trip-solar-experience-12016869.html

I love camping. I hate to carry charcoal, firewood and batteries. Many campgrounds are not allowing people to bring in firewood anymore because the practice spreads diseased wood and bugs that are detrimental to the forests. When a burn ban is enacted, barbeque pits with charcoal are sometimes not allowed either.

So, what am I supposed to do? Sit in my camp eating cold beans and franks?

I won’t. With today’s technology, I am collecting new items for my camping gear. The sun will power my camp, cook my food, heat my water and provide a hot shower. I don’t have to run a generator or carry fuel.

All of these items can be found online and in various big box stores. Shop around to find the brand you like the best and obtain the best price.

They will also make a great addition to your disaster preparedness supplies or bug-out kit.

Hot Water
To have hot water for showers, you can buy solar showers in five or 10-gallon bags, either with or without spray nozzles. You can make your own pressurized solar shower as well. [See: http://voices.yahoo.com/diy-own-pressurized-solar-shower-11151012.html?cat=16%5D

To have hot water for drinking, washing dishes or cooking, you can heat water over a stove, in a solar oven or by setting a glass jar painted black in the sun.
If you take your car, there are 12 volt water heaters that plug into your cigarette lighter outlet. [Search, “12 volt water heaters” at Amazon.com]

Security Lighting
In a campground, you might not think about having a small sized solar powered security light. It may bother other campers. Then again, it could discourage a bad person from entering your camp and taking something. Lights suddenly coming on could scare off animals that could cause harm to you or your gear. A wide variety of designs are available; they could mount on a PVC pole that can be included in regular camping gear. [Search, “solar security light” at Amazon.com]
While they are not standard equipment on an RV or car, having them attached could also help you see if you have to step outside at night.

Solar Battery Charger
Some things just have to have batteries or to be charged. IPods, cell phones, laptops (for entertainment, of course) need power to operate. For standard batteries, there are several models for using the sun to charge regular batteries. Some models also charge cell phones. [Search “Solar battery charger” at Amazon.com]

For a laptop, more power is needed to charge the batteries. I carry a spare battery for my laptop in case I can’t get to a place I can plug the charger in. While the first battery is charging, I can use the 2nd. This solar panel will charge the laptop battery while I’m fishing, hiking or just having fun. Search, “ SUNPACK 16W Portable / Foldable Solar Charger for Laptops” at Amazon.com.

Solar Cooker
Solar cookers abound on the market. You can also make your own; many different designs are listed online. It depends on what you will be cooking, the size of cooker you want to carry and the size/type of pans you will use. Your home made model can be any size you wish. Currently, I use a Sterno stove and a single qt.-sized enamel pan for cooking in my camp. My solar oven won’t be very big at all. [See Global Sun Oven at: http://www.sunoven.com/   This is my personal favorite. Mr. Larry]

Solar Lantern
If the moon isn’t out, I need to see where I’m going at night. A solar lantern will light my way. Each model on the market has different charging/lighting times and may provide light for a specific amount of time. I’ll carry two. If one dies down, the other will work fine. I think I’ll find a model that uses both solar and batteries. With rechargeable batteries, I won’t run out of lighting.

Solar Radio
Several companies offer radios that have solar charging panels, use battery power, AC power or can be charged by turning a hand crank. This will not only provide entertainment, but could come in useful in an emergency.

There are models that can charge a cell phone, have flashlights or emergency flashing lights, sirens and more. There is a model for everyone.

Solar Flashlight
If I want to go outside without waking everybody up, I can use a solar powered flashlight. I can carry one in the car, have one in the house and anywhere I need one. It can sit in a place where the sun can charge it. In an emergency, or when I need a flashlight, I’m not looking for batteries or wishing the store was open.  [Search “solar powered flashlight” and “solar powered lantern” at Amazon.com]

My new camping gear won’t take up a lot of space. With the sun powering everything, I won’t need to carry batteries, fuel or haul a generator everywhere. My travel trailer will be a little lighter, which means I save on fuel. My backpack will be lighter as well- yippee!

tent battery bank

[Above Left: Steve Harris Emergency Home Battery Bank. See,  www.Battery1234.com This demonstration photograph shows the type of small appliances- personal electronics that can be powered by a deep cycle battery with an inverter.
Above right Mr. Larry’s “mobile power unit” shows a 125Ahr (70 lb battery) and outlets mounted on 2 wheel luggage dolly. Power is taken from the battery in bottom box, fed up to the inverter and 12 volt receptacles in the top box. An orange extension cord runs electric power to an appliance at a “remote” location. This is a very simple “plug and play” electrical system, no special electrical knowledge is necessary. The deep cycle battery is set in a Minn Kota Power Center  (bottom box); the top battery box houses a 4-way 12volt receptacle and a 400 watt inverter with USB,  also providing area for extension cord storage. A very simple system.]

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E.  The Gear You Need for a Completely Solar Powered Camping Trip
27 June 2011, Yahoo! Voices, by Mrs. Renee, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Excerpts pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/the-gear-completely-solar-powered-camping-8688841.html?cat=11

When it comes to camping there are many different ways that you can go about planning out your trip. If you are looking to really benefit from all that nature has to offer then you may want to consider camping with solar power. Solar power also comes in handy when you are at a campsite that does not offer electricity. One of the best ways to add solar power to your next camping trip is to get the right kids of gear. The first step to planning your solar powered camping trip is to stock up on solar powered camping supplies. Once you have all of the solar powered supplies you can then put them to good use. Below are some of the tp solar powered items to add to your camping shopping list.

Solar powered flashlights
Having solar powered flashlights, can really help when it comes to saving money on batteries for flashlights. A solar powered flashlight that comes with a back up batter will make sure that you stay charged through out the day. What is great about these lights is that they do not require direct sunlight to charge. So you can let them charge during the day, and then get them when you need them at night.

5 Gallon Solar Shower
Even though it may say solar shower, this is perfect for cleaning dishes as well as using as a shower. Or you can just rinse off the kids hands when you need to. Just leave the bag in the sun and it will warm itself up. When you are ready to shower you will get at least five nice short showers out of the bag. You can just get a tent that is made especially for showers, and use this bag with it. You can find these items at most Wal-Mart’s. [Search, “Camp showers” at Amazon.com]

Soul Cell Solar Powered Lantern
Having a solar powered light to brighten up the nights is really what you need on a camping trip. You don’t have to worry about bringing along tons of batteries for an extended camping trip. With less to carry this item is really a must have. Search Google for, “Barefoot Power Firefly 12mobile Super Bright LED Lamp”, or comparable models]

Cordless Bug Zapper
The cordless bug zapper just needs to sit in the sun to be recharged. There are mosquito bug zappers, or the all in one bug zapper. Do a simple search on Google and you are sure to turn up plenty of options. Just allow the bug zapper to charge during the day, and let it rest at night. Search Amazon.com for: (mosquito control) “INADAYS InaTrap Electronic Insect Killer and Elegant Night Light” or (fly control) “Fly Web Glue Board 10 Pack”.
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F.  How to Maintain Your Safety in a Campground
Part Five in the Series, “Living in a Tent”
5 Apr 2013 , Yahoo! Voices,  by Tina Gallagher, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-maintain-safety-campground-12070185.html?cat=4

I camped on a friend’s property in 2013 as a sabbatical. I had permission to be on the property, but my location was near a busy highway and two very busy roads. I was concerned for my personal safety not only during the day, but at night when I slept. When I left the camp every day to go to the library to work, I was concerned for my campground, my cat and my belongings.
Maintaining your safety is not a difficult task if you follow some tips.

Step One: Noise
If you make a lot of noise with a CD player, TV, DVD player or musical instruments, you will likely be heard by people passing by. Since a tent has no lock on the door, a nefarious person may begin to watch the area to find out when you leave. On large pieces of land, the owner may not have the ability to keep an eye on you or your tent all the time.

Choose your campground wisely; walk beside the property to see if you can spot your campground from the road. If you can, move it to a more secure area. The taller and more brightly colored your tent is, the more chance you have of being spotted. Shorter and smaller is better.

To eliminate noise, do not bring musical instruments with you. Use headphones for electronic devices. You might not sleep well the first few nights because of unfamiliar noises. You will get used to hearing the sounds of the area around you and will sleep through the night eventually.

Step Two: Light
I seldom turned on my battery operated lantern at night. I became accustomed to using the available moonlight to move around my camp. After the roads died down and the businesses in the area closed for the evening, I might turn on my laptop and watch a show for a little while. I had the screen turned away from the road and used earphones.

Needless to say, I did not go exploring in the area at night. In rural Texas, that’s not a good idea. Critters come out at night; not all of them are friendly and a few have no sense of humor about being stepped on by clumsy humans who can’t see in the dark.

I never started a campfire; the smoke and flames would attract attention in the area because a burn ban was in effect. My little Sterno stove flame could not be seen from the road; I had hot coffee, food and bath water every day.

Step Three: Protection
If you believe in the power of prayer as I do, pray for your campground’s safety every day.

I also had a 15-inch long Maglight in my tent as well as a piece of rebar for self-defense. The heavy metal flashlight can readjust someone’s attitude. Of course, the best protection is non-detection. I did see trespassers on my friend’s property one night; they came near my campground in the night. I was terrified. They came to a point on the trail that dropped off sharply and would have caused them to crash if they had continued; subsequently they turned around and went away. I informed my friend about them; she watched the area as well. Her hired help caught up with them and I did not see them again.
A cell phone can be a lifesaver; practice ahead of time to let the police know where you are and how to find you quickly.

Step Four: Travel Carefully
If you walk or drive to your campground, do not take the same path every day. Most people do not notice a car or truck turning off the road. If you walk, do not call attention to yourself. I was leaving from an area that did not have a house or road close by; most people on the road took no notice of me.

When I returned to my camp every day, it was a little after dusk, just as the light was leaving the sky and the night was turning dark. I was never followed. People on the busy street were more concerned about getting to their homes than paying attention to someone walking beside the road.

Step Five: Be Careful Who You Talk To
Do not walk around telling everyone you know what you are doing. A well-meaning friend or someone who overhears you could call the police, the health department or other authorities. Although I had permission to be on my friend’s property, someone could have made trouble for her and me because I was living in a tent.

Living in a tent can be a rewarding, relaxing experience. Taking care of your security is a daily task that takes a little effort in the beginning; you will develop the habit quickly.

[Note:  Consider “Household Alert” motion detecting alarms or other light/alarms installed inside/outside the tents greatly enhances security. Plug the  four way control unit into your inverter. The “Household Alert” remotes  each run and transmit off two AA rechargeable batteries. My home motion detection alarm batteries need  recharging about every two months. Mr. Larry]

tent interiors2

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G.  Extended Tent Camping
Considering Life on the Road in a Tent
26 Jul 2010, Yahoo! Voices, by Carrie Hetu, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/extended-tent-camping-6433286.html?cat=7

While it may not be highly popular and certainly not highly publicized, there are those who choose a lifestyle involving extending tent camping. Basically a choice to live in some type of tent while either traveling or staying put in the tent on somebody’s land for an extended period of time. For some, it may be more of a forced option after foreclosure, eviction or job loss. Yet for others it is very much a conscious choice for whatever personal reasons they may have such as a desire for sustainable living or simply the pleasure of traveling and life on the road. Whatever the case is, there are several things to consider, especially if it will involve full time traveling.

Choice of tents will be something to devote a lot of thought on as most nylon tents are really not made to be living in and lack durability. Reinforcing the seams may help aide in a longer lasting tent. The attraction to nylon tents is that they are quite reasonable in price. They are also fairly easy and quick to set up. Rain tarps will also help tremendously in keeping the tent, you and your belongings dry in rainy weather. Of course size is always a consideration as well for it must be able to comfortably sleep the number of people who will be staying in it.

Canvas Wall tents while pricey may be the best choice if you can readily afford them. They are roomy, can have a wood stove fitting on them, extra ventilation windows and were made more durable for miners and hunting campers that typically stayed for lengthy periods of times in them. Of course you will also then have the added expense of purchasing a wood stove, as when traveling you are never sure if you may get caught on a few wintery or just plain cold nights.

If you have a car, then most likely you will need to purchase a pull behind trailer to store all your belongings, especially if you have several people in your group or family who will be coming. These typically can run from $300 to $700 for a good used one and again durability is a big consideration in purchasing one. An all metal one would most likely be your best option here as wooden ones can fall apart and will not last near as long. The length you would need would depend on how much you really need to take with you, depending on the number of people that will be with you. Make sure your vehicle will easily be able to haul it without due stress on the engine when going up and down really steep inclines. If you have a suitable Truck, a trailer may not be necessary then.

Of course money always must be a top consideration as money makes the world go round and you will need some. You will have to figure out how much you will need a month to cover camping fees, although there are places you can camp for free, you will most likely want some paid camping sites that offer showers, water and other amenities. You will need to consider how much you will need for gas, food, car insurance and perhaps other things like cell phone and mail service. On a low side it may run a family around $600 a month yet on a high side perhaps around $1500 depending on the quality of life you are looking for and the things you typically like to spend money on.

Once you get an idea of how much you need a month, then you need to figure out how you plan on acquiring this money to supply your needs. Will it come from money you have saved or will have once you sell everything off if you plan on giving up your residency for life on the road? Will you work along the way or have work you can do on a computer from anywhere? Do you plan on having an emergency fund to cover auto repairs or to get another place to live if you find you do not like life on the road? This may be a wise thing to have in place before you plan on embarking on your journey!

If you plan on giving up your residency then downsizing will have to be considered as it will be a MAJOR downsizing undertaking. You will need to sell everything you do not absolutely have to have, sticking to the items you will have to take with you in order to cover your basic needs. This can cause a sense of stress for those who are attached to material possessions yet can be a liberating experience to cross over to sheer simplicity.

4 seasons must be considered when purchasing the things you will need on the road. While you can tend to follow weather when traveling, you cannot always guarantee you will be in pleasant, dry weather. Weather is unpredictable and yet your lack of knowledge of certain areas may catch you in less than desirable weather as well. It is best to be prepared for any weather conditions and purchase items and pack accordingly. It would not be much fun to be in a tent in negative zero weather, with no heat and only short sleeve shirts, not to mention that would be a tad dangerous!

Dreams and ideas must be considered as well as they rarely live up to what our mind holds in conjunction with reality. Expect the unexpected and really try to look at the reality aspects of things that could happen. Lengthy rain periods may have you dealing with mold, lack of jobs may leave you financially strapped, broken down vehicles are never a pleasant experience. Wildlife may rampage your food supplies if you are careless or even try to enter and tear up your tent. It will not always be that romanticized image of a perfect life you may see in your mind. Be prepared for the worst but expect the best may be totally appropriate for this endeavor.

Besides a tent, consider what other equipment needs you may have such as an actual spare tire on a rim and full of air rather than just a doughnut. Other things you may need, want or should consider yet not a complete list would be:

  • First aid kit
  • Sleeping gear
  • Coleman stove
  • Cast iron cookware for cooking on open fire
  • Flint and steel for starting fires in wet weather when matches or lighters would not work
  • 5 gallon bucket with a loo cover for a toilet
  • Solar shower
  • Water jugs to fill with water before going to some free camping areas where water is not available
  • Fishing gear
  • Axe and shovel
  • Flash lights
  • Solar weather radio with cell phone charger
  • GPS system or atlases
  • Emergency glow sticks and flares
  • Extra tarp covers
  • Clothing for all weather types
  • Hiking boots
  • Basic tools such as a hammer, saw, wrenches and screw drivers
  • Lap top computer if you can work from computer for pay
  • Batter cables for car
  • Jack for car
  • Cooler for cold food storage
  • Emergency food bar packs
  • Emergency thermal blankets
  • Pocket knives
  • Tent fans
  • Tent heater or wood stove depending on type of tent you purchase
  • Silicone seam sealer

While extended tent camping may not be for everyone, for those who are considering it, hopefully this will aide you in making some wise choices to get you off to a good start! Have fun and be prepared!
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H.  Would You Live in a Campground?
5 Nov 2007, Yahoo! Voices, by Carmella Mae Dunkin, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/would-live-campground-638794.html?cat=16

If you wouldn’t live in a campground, why wouldn’t you? I know up until a year or so ago, I could not picture myself living in a campground, but now I see it, and I’m doing it, along with my husband and kids.

When you think about living in a campground, you probably think of a tent, no bathrooms, no showers, at this time of year it is cold at night, so you think of staying warm. The reality of it though is this, people who live in campgrounds, (yes people really do live full time in campgrounds), live either in an RV, a trailer, or a cabin. There are probably almost as many Americans living in campgrounds as there are living in “houses”!  [In some parts of the country, during the winter in : FL, TX, NM, AZ, CA. and during the summer, across the northern tier of states. Mr. Larry]

Despite popular belief that camping means pitching a tent and “roughing it”, many campers now days, (AKA RV’ers), live year round in campgrounds across the Country in their RV’s, 5th wheels, and travel trailers. In fact, full time RV’ing has become quite a trend, and many families are now selling their homes, storing their belongings, and taking to the road and living full time in their RV’s. A lot of these families are even working on the road. Many work in campgrounds in exchange for space rental and a little cash. Most campground jobs require 20 hours per week, and the work is easy enough that someone with a mild disability could do the work with little to no trouble.

Many who live in campgrounds year round do so just because it is a fairly cheap and easy way of life. Monthly rates in many parks here in Colorado are under $400.00 per month, plus your electric and propane, and phone if you do not have a cell phone. There is no lawn to mow. Your home is small, so repairs will be easy for the most part, and not huge. You can replace an RV roof for about $1000.00, and a day or two work. Try replacing the roof of a house for that price! RV parks, (campgrounds), have full bathrooms with showers. They also have laundry rooms with washers and dryers. There are a few that do not have laundry rooms, but we only found two between Indiana and Colorado that did not have a laundry room. Some RV parks have swimming pools, hot tubs, rec. rooms, playgrounds, and a lot more. RV park/campgrounds are like small communities of people who enjoy living in the RV or 5th wheel.

Living in an RV is actually a lot of fun. Many RV’s and 5th wheels are made for full timing now, and are quite spacious. They have slides that can double your space depending on how many the RV has. They are fully furnished, and many of the newer models have fireplaces in the living rooms!

Living in an RV park can be just as much fun as living in the RV itself. Depending on the state you choose to live in, and what park you choose, you can have a wildlife wonderland just out your back door. We live in the high mountains in Colorado, and it is a wildlife park right out our door! We have a fox that comes to visit us often, and he is so adorable. There is a momma bear and her baby cub that come and wreak havoc on the trash dumpster up front almost every night, and the deer are in great abundance right out our bedroom window.

Our family loves living in an RV park/campground, and not one of us want to live anywhere else right now. We love our RV, it has just enough room for us, and is very cozy and our home. We all look forward to when we can own a Fleetwood Regal 5th wheel, that is our dream RV, and it is a beauty too. Don’t believe me on that one though, you can see for yourself how awesome this rig is, just click here. As you can see, it is a real beautiful home, and is our dream rig!

So the next time someone asks you if you would live full time in a campground, you’ll have a whole new picture of what they are talking about, and may even consider it. It’s great!!!

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Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

Emergency Tent Living, Part 3 of 4

(Survival Manual/ 4. Shelter Issues/ Emergency Tent Living, Part 3 of 4)

Living off-grid in a tent

A.  Why we’re living in a tent – in winter
10 February 2012, The Guardian, by Patrick Barkham
Pasted from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/11/family-living-in-tent

tent2 cookingWhy on earth would Matt and Lily Gibson give up their house and take their baby daughter to live in a tent in the countryside? Patrick Barkham finds out…

The stove has to be topped up with logs every two hours to keep the tent warm.
A white frost clings to the fields and the mud on the farm is frozen hard. In a secluded paddock behind the stone farmhouse stands a small bell tent, a curl of smoke rising from the metal flue poking out of the canvas. The temperature dropped to -7C the previous evening but inside the tent it is surprisingly warm, which is just as well because since the middle of January this octagonal dwelling, 5m wide and mounted on old pallets above the mud, has been the home of Lily and Matt Gibson and their nine-month-old daughter, Louise.

As unpaid bills mounted, and the couple struggled to pay £625-a-month rent for a dilapidated house, they made a drastic decision: they believed they would be better off, and happier, trying to survive in a tent. When their tenancy agreement expired on 15 January, they pitched a tent they had bought for £370, borrowed from Lily’s mother, on a farm in the west country.

“The mud and rain may be depressing, but the cold is scary,” admits Lily. “But we’re glad we’ve done this, even though it is frightening sometimes thinking about our responsibility for Louise and how we must keep her warm.”

The wood burning stove inside the tent is their life. Everything is focused on keeping the fire burning. Every two hours at night, Matt must get up to feed it more logs. So far, it is working. It may be freezing outside but under a single layer of canvas, the couple have created a snug and idyllic-looking – if minuscule – home. The tent smells of wood smoke and a delicious beef and vegetable broth is bubbling on the stove.

Matt was working in retail, spending wages on an expensive commute to a nearby city, and Lily, a freelance graphic designer, had stopped work when Louise was born. “Matt wasn’t getting home until 7pm and we still couldn’t afford to live properly,” says Lily. “We paid all our rent but we weren’t ever going out. We weren’t buying new clothes. We didn’t even get our hair cut. We’d occasionally get a coffee with friends in the town, but we were living very frugally. There was no way we could save at all and we wanted to do something for Louise’s future. We tried to be positive and we wanted her to have a happy home, but it was really quite depressing.”

Then they chanced on a press cutting about Simon Dale, who built his own eco-home for £3,000. This inspired them to take the first steps in their dream of buying a plot of land and building a low-impact home on it. “For me it was also inspired by the Occupy movements across the world,” adds Lily. “I don’t know what they might achieve but they have shifted consciousness in some way.” Previously, she assumed that “if we could not afford our rent it was because we were not budgeting properly. The Occupy movement made me see it wasn’t my fault – that it was the system that was not working.”

Matt and Lily began by finding a farmer, a friend of a friend, who generously allowed them to pitch the tent on his land. Matt has quit his job but the couple are not claiming unemployment or housing benefit – Matt does farm work between cutting wood for their stove. It may sound romantic but the challenges of living simply under canvas are daunting.

“A lot of people would go mad in a tent at this time of year. People could find a million and one things to burst into tears about,” says Lily. This morning, she hung her one warm jumper on the stove flue to warm up for a minute, got distracted by Louise and singed the jumper. “You definitely need a sense of humour and you can’t be vain – you’re just going to get upset by the mud or lack of running water.”

Inside the tent are nice rugs, plants and homely trinkets the couple have picked up on their travels. “It’s got that nomad feel to it, which I love,” says Matt. It has been a steep learning curve, however. Because the sides slope inwards there is far less space than they anticipated – no furniture can be allowed to touch the canvas or the rain will come in. They have been flooded already, and after they failed to secure the stove flue, it blew down in a gale. It is now firmly screwed in place.

To begin with, they lived off tinned food heated on the stove top. “We were sat there for three hours wondering why things wouldn’t come to the boil,” says Lily. Since then, she has mastered slow cooking – Turkish meatballs with rice, pot-roasted chicken with roast potatoes and even omelet’s in tin foil – while Matt has learned how the type and size of log can radically alter the stove’s heating power. Although he is doing less paid labor now, he says his days seems fuller. “There are not enough hours in the day now.”

Washing is done with a Wonderwash, a hand-cranked machine Lily imported from the US for £80. Clothes are cleaned with six jugs of hot water and two minutes of vigorous cranking, followed by 30 seconds of cranking in cold water to rinse. As the tent is a temporary measure, they borrow the downstairs loo at the farm and pay to have an occasional shower and charge their phone. “There is more drudgery, like hand-sweeping the floor, but it is more liberating and empowering as well,” says Lily. “The simpler things are, the less alienated you feel from your own life – the more in control you are.”

They have had to learn to prioritize certain jobs in the precious daylight hours. After dark, they light the tent with candles. There is no television, although Lily gets the internet on her phone. “We like talking, we sit around the fire and I sing to Louise a lot,” she says. “We haven’t felt bored, not for a moment. We don’t miss having loads of TV channels showing things we don’t want to watch anyway.”

As they explain how they are coping with living in a tent, Lily and Matt are clear that their priority is Louise. They are meticulous about sterilizing her bottles and ensuring that she is never cold. She and Matt may exchange nervous glances when the wind howls outside, but Louise loves it. For her, it seems that the tent is a secure home, where she can be physically and emotionally close to her parents. “So far she seems to be flourishing health-wise,” smiles Lily. “She is very happy, alert and engaged with what’s going on.” Their concerns about Louise are assuaged by the knowledge that, in the worst-case scenario, they can seek a warm refuge in the farmhouse, as they were forced to on the night a storm destroyed their stove flue.

Their parents have been very supportive – “They get concerned when it’s cold and ring to check we are OK,” says Lily. What would they say to people who would see them as reckless for living with a small child in a tent in midwinter? “What we’re doing might seem irresponsible,” says Lily, “but if we stayed where we were with unaffordable rent we would have ended up in so much debt that we wouldn’t have been able to feed Louise properly or get her warm clothes. It was terrifying. We would have been very depressed and therefore not able to produce a positive home environment for her and we would have ended up more dependent on benefits as well. We’re trying to stand on our own two feet.”

Living in a tent places them at the mercy of the elements, but Matt and Lily feel they have taken control of their own lives. By staying temporarily in the tent, they hope to save up to buy a piece of land on which they can build their own eco-home, a roundhouse with straw bale insulation. They are not just surviving: they are learning off-grid living skills they hope to teach to other families who want to live in a simpler, more sustainable way. Ideally they want to build their eco-home this summer but so far have been too busy keeping warm to find land. They admit their hope of buying a secluded half-acre on a south-facing slope, with a stream, for a few thousand pounds is probably unrealistic.

They may have chosen to live like this but, like other hard-pressed families, Matt and Lily have found that economic pressures made their old way of life intolerable. They believe more working families will be forced to live like they do, as rents and bills rise and first-time buyers are permanently priced out of the housing market. The government, however, seems unwilling to help people like Matt and Lily to help themselves. To get planning permission for a low-impact house on rural land requires navigating an impenetrable planning maze.

Lily would like to see reforms to encourage more self-built, low-impact housing. “There should be assistance to help people do this, not obstacles,” she says.

The reality of life in a tent in the middle of a British winter is far from bucolic but there are unimagined benefits. Sustained by their dreams of a self-built home, Matt and Lily are determined to accentuate the positives. Lily has noticed how well Louise sleeps at night in the tent. In fact, they all sleep much better than they did. On clear nights, the moonlight shines through the canvas and they hear the hoot of owls and the barking of foxes. Are they woken by the cockerel in the morning? “There are about 15 of them, which Louise loves,” says Matt.

“I love the sound of rain on the canvas, the candle light and the wood smoke. I like everything being simplified,” adds Lily. “It might be a cliché to talk about being in harmony with or close to nature but an element of that is very true.”

[Note: How do you heat the tents during a cold winter?
Answer: We recommend using space heaters, propane heaters, or a centrally ventilated heating system (easily run in through a deck vent). We DO NOT recommend using open flame to heat the tent. Canvas is a fabric material, and even though we do have customers who do use open flame in their tents and we’ve never encountered a problem, you are more prone to fire accidents if you use fire.
(Pasted from: http://www.exclusivetents.com/faq.htm#platform) Mr. Larry]
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B.  Living Off-Grid in a Tent
March 2011, By Bob Wells
Pasted from: http://cheapgreenrvliving.com/Tent_Living.html

[The following example of tent living is provided just to show what one can do, its not the life style I would suggest for long term tent living, being way too Spartan for my comfort. Kudos to “Desert Rat” for setting up a generator-deep cycle battery-inverter- power system. On a higher initial budget this operation would have been better with a larger tent, more amenities and solar power. There is a lesson to learn in the life stories people tell, this story speaks to the possibilities of Internet connectivity while in a remote or possibly, regional “grid down” situation. Mr. Larry]
tent2 eureka cu canyon 12

[Looks like the Eureka Copper Canyon 12 (12′ x 14′) Mr. Larry]

No matter how small a house or apartment you live in, it is hard on the environment. First, the huge amount of material required to build a house has to be produced, at an enormous price to the planet. The raw materials (ores, minerals, wood and oil) have to be extracted from the earth, transported to  be processed, be processed, then transported again to wholesalers, then transported to retailers, then transported to the job site. You read that last sentence really quickly, but it represents a great deal of damage and pollution to the planet. Once the house is built and you move in, you must buy furniture and lots of “stuff ” to fill it.
All of those things do more damage to the earth. The house has to be heated and cooled to make it comfortable. You can’t sit in the dark, so the house needs lots of lights to keep it bright. For cooking you need a stove/oven refrigerator and dishwasher. You can’t possibly stay clean without hot water, so you need a 50 gallon hot water heater. The lawn and landscaping has to be watered, mowed and tended to. All of those utilities require huge amounts of pollution to produce electricity, bring you water, and process your sewage. One more way houses damage the earth: a long commute to and from work. Nearly all of us have to work, and the majority of us work in cities. So five days a week you drive to and from work in your car, often crawling along in miserable  traffic.

Contrast all of that to a friend of mine I will call Desert Rat. I met Desert Rat in the desert of the Southwest where he was busy working from his tent. He was sick of the rat race so he decided to chuck it all and move to the desert. He was fortunate that he could work from home via the Internet. He didn’t know for sure where he was going, he just knew he wasn’t going to be living in a city any longer. He had heard about dispersed camping on BLM desert land and National Forests, so he decided to give that a try. He had a plan, in the winter he would live in the warm desert and in the summer he would move up to the cool National Forests. Since nearly all BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and National Forest land has a 14 day stay limit, he knew that all he had to do was carry 14 days worth of supplies, and then he had to move anyway.

He got a Verizon data card and cell phone so he could work from anywhere. His pattern is that he goes out to a place where he gets a good Verizon signal (which is an amazing number of places) sits up camp and stays there for 14 days without starting his car again until the 14 days are up and he is out of supplies, then he breaks camp, gets supplies and moves on to the next camp spot. He gets the seclusion he needs and does just about the absolute minimum damage to the earth that a human can do in the twenty-first century.
Everything he has is as small, light and fold-able as he could find in order to fit it in his small economy car.
tent2 coleman white gas and gasoline stores
When he was preparing for his new life, he decided that essentially, he was going on an extended camping trip (for many years he hoped), so he went to an outdoor store and outfitted himself. He needed something to live in, so he bought a large, high-quality tent made by Eureka. It is a great tent! In the two months we camped together we had several storms blow through that brought winds well over 50 mph. The tent weathered them like a champ! He needed to
cook so he bought a Coleman 2-burner, dual fuel stove. He got it instead of a propane stove because he was already carrying gas for his Yamaha generator and he didn’t want to have to carry a second fuel.

He needed consistent power in the middle of nowhere, so he bought a Yamaha Generator which (along with the Honda) is famous for its reliability, quiet running and low gas consumption. I found it interesting that he set it up on a 5 gallon bucket to keep dust and dirt from coming in through the air filter when running. I thought that was a very good idea. He carries 10 gallons of gas which easily lasts the 14 days for running the generator and cooking.

He has deep cycle batteries he leaves on the floor-board of his car since they are too heavy to be carrying around.  He runs an extension cord from the generator to a battery charger in the car which charges the batteries. From the batteries he runs cables into the tent. In the picture below, top- right, we see the inverter and cords that run the many electrical items he uses for work.
tent2 interior power & inverter
In the picture above, lower- left, we see his office. Having a comfortable chair is important, so he bought a good folding recliner. A portable table holds his laptop and he uses five gallon buckets for tables.

His bed doesn’t look like much but, he has the highest quality self-inflating sleeping pad that Thermorest makes which is very comfortable. He is a cold sleeper so he has two sleeping bags so he can sleep inside both of them when it is cold, or just one when it is warmer. The desert can be surprisingly cold at night!

His tent is 12×14 feet and over 6 feet tall. That is a huge amount of room for one person, and would be more than enough  for a couple as well. He finds it very comfortable.

He carries a total of ten gallons of water in his two Coleman five gallon jugs. That’s enough for 14 days as long as he is conservative in its use.  Notice the spigot which makes getting water out and washing/rinsing easy. [If you plan to use a small utility trailer to carry your gear, I recommend increasing the water supply by bringing a 30 gallon potable water drum. The extra 250 lbs./30 gallons of water will keep you clean, bathed, keep your porta-pottie flushing, wash your dishes and laundry, as well as keeping your mornings coffee pot filled– without “cutting corners”. Mr. Larry]

All in all, it is a wonderful life! There is something magical about the desert that starts to get in your heart and changes you. Inevitably the strain and constant stress of city-living starts to fall away and a peace and contentment take its place. Desert Rat wasn’t sure if he would like his new life, but it has far exceeded his expectations. Already, he can’t imagine going back to his old life in the city.

It wasn’t his primary purpose, but a side effect of living this way is that it is one of the greenest, most environmentally friendly ways you can possibly life. He is completely off-grid except for the small amount of gas he uses to cook and for the generator. And that is much more than offset by the fact that he no longer commutes to work. In fact he only drives once every 14 days and that is in an economy car.
He is a true minimalist with nothing more than it takes to survive. His entertainment and joy come from nature.

tent2 alt solar additions

[Above, solar panel photos added by Mr. Larry, a recommended addition or alternative to the aforementioned generator.]
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YouTubeC.  See the 5:04 video, “Off Grid: The tent in pictures,” at YouTube, click-or paste the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGOS_XRkGVo

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YouTubeD.  See  the 4: 47 video, “Off Grid: The ultimate bug out location,” at YouTube, click or paste the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9HisSpOFkM

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Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

Emergency Tent Living, Part 2 of 4

(Survival Manual/ 4. Shelter Issues/ Emergency Tent Living, Part 2 of 4)

Tent size and type

A.  What Size Wall Tent Should I Get? Size Comparisons & Layout Diagrams
Published at Back Country Chronicles
Pasted from: http://www.backcountrychronicles.com/wall-tent-size-comparison/

The size of a wall tent you need depends on several basic factors.

  1. How many people need to sleep in the tent?
  2. Are you sleeping on the floor or sleeping on cots?
  3. Are most of the people adults or children?
  4. Will the tent be for sleeping only or do you need space to congregate or to cook?
  5. Is the tent going to be for your family, a group of scouts or a group of unrelated adults?

Before we bought our wall tent, we read that we should consider 20 square feet (sq ft) per person for sleeping and 30 sq ft per person if more space was needed for cooking or other activities. The tent we bought (12 X 14) has 168 sq ft, so using those numbers, the tent should sleep 5-8 people. Table 1 shows the number of people that various sized tents can sleep using the 30 and 20 sq ft calculations.

Table 1. Tent Size, Square Footage and Number of People each Tent can sleep.

Tent

Total

Number

Number

Size

Square

Tent Sleeps

Tent Sleeps

(Feet)

(Feet)

@30 sq ft

@20 sq ft

   8×10     80         2         4
  10×12    120         4         6
  12×14    168         5         8
  12×16    192         6         9
  14×16    224         7        11
  16×20    320       10        16

If people were sleeping on the ground, especially if some of them are children, the larger numbers based on 20 sq ft per person is reasonable. You might get away with packing teenagers in like chord wood, but paying customers will not be very impressed. Even very good friends wouldn’t be able to sleep very well and might not stay good friends for long.

If the tent is going to be used for kids at camp or even as an emergency shelter, bunk beds could be built two or three beds high, to accommodate more people. This may not be the most comfortable situation, but everyone would be inside out of the wet and cold.

Cots add Comfort, but Take More Space
Cots may be more comfortable than sleeping on the ground, even on good pads, but cots take up more space. The average sized cot is about 32 x 76 (inches) which is 16.9 sq. ft. and XL sized cots are about 40 X 84 (inches) which is 23.3 sq. ft. So a 12 x 14 foot tent should hold 9 regular sized cots or 7 XL cots. But unless we plan to use wall tents for temporary shelter following a disaster, we are not trying to jam as many people in them as possible.

It might be mathematically possible based on square footage, to fit a certain number of cots into the area of different sized tents, but it may not be realistic. Mathematically, we should be able to fit 9 cots into our tent (12×14), but I cannot visualize but six cots fitting into the tent. Even then, some cots would have to touch each other and there would be very little space between cots. It would be possible to sleep close together, then pile cots on top of each other after everyone rolled out of the sack in the morning, to create more room to move around.

Wood stoves
Most people buy wall tents with the intention of camping during the Winter. Part of the appeal of the wall is the ability to heat it with a wood or pellet stove. Obviously, if there is a hot stove in the tent, there will be less room for cots.
Wood Stove Requires 36-40 square feet

Wood stoves come in several sizes
Small stoves are sufficient to heat small tents and larger stove are needed to keep larger tents warm.  It is recommended that some of the largest (16×20) tents may need two stoves. Our stove is a mid sized stove, 14 inches wide and 24 inches long. Based on where the smoke stack is placed in the front corner of the tent, and buffering the stove by 3 feet into the tent space, I assume the small and mid-sized stove take up 36 square feet. [About the same area as 1 person. Mr. Larry]  I assume that larger stoves take up 38 square feet. You can obviously move around and stand closer to the stove when necessary, but you should never leave cots, tables or anything else that may catch fire within three feet of a hot stove.

Before we bought our tent, I drew floor plans to see how many cots and tables would reasonably fit into different sized tents. We also plan to use a wood stove during cold weather, so the stove and a safety buffer around the stove has to be considered. These floor plans helped us decide the size tent we needed.

Generally, for tents, bigger is better, but size adds weight, costs more and it takes a larger stove and more wood to heat a larger tent. In the end, I think we got the best sized tent for the two of us.
Table 2 below was created from the scale diagrams. The table includes various tent sizes, the space required for the stove and the safety area around a hot stove, the Maximum number of cots I could fit into the area and the area, the number of cots I recommend be used in that space and the actual square footage that the recommended number of cots use.

 Table 2. Tent Size, Space for Stove, Maximum Number of Cots, Recommended Number of Cots and the Space per Recommended Number of Cots.

Tent Size(feet) Space (sq ft)for stove Max no. of cots Rec no. of cots Space (sq ft)per cot
8×10 36 2 2 22.0
10×12 36 2 2 21.0
12×14 36 6 4 33.0
12×16 38 6 5 30.8
14×16 38 7 5 37.2
16×20 38 10 8 35.3
16×20 76 10 7 34.9

 

Wall Tent Floor Plans and Headroom Diagrams
All Diagrams (Figures 1-10) are all scaled the same, with one foot equal 3 squares (4 inches per square). The human silhouettes are all 6 feet tall. All cots and tables are 32 inches wide and 76 inches long. Cots are 20 inches high and tables are 28 inches high. The black areas of the floor plans represent the wood stove. The red areas represent the safety buffer around the wood stoves and the gray areas represent cots or tables. Where there was room, notice all cots and tables are four inches away from all tent walls.

12 x14 Wall Tent
With only two of us using a 12×14 foot tent, we have plenty of room, including the table and the stove. There is room for a third cot, but the floor space is drastically reduced (Figure 1). Figure 2 shows the scale drawing from a side view to see the headroom of our 12 foot wide, 8 foot tall tent.

tent 12x14

[Figure 1. Floor plan for 12×14 ft Wall Tent]

8 x 10 Wall Tent
An 8×10 wall tent is small (Figures 3 & 4). If using a wood stove, I don’t see any way of putting more than 2 cots in the tent. In fact, one cot is within the three foot buffer that is recommended around the wood stove. When not using the stove, there will be room for a cot on each side of the thent, but there will not be room for two people to walk past each other (Figure 4).

tent 8x10

Floor plan and headroom for 8×10 ft Wall Tent.

 10 x12 Wall Tent
The 10×12 Wall Tent (Figures 5 & 6) is also small, but is able to hold two cots without invading the safety buffer around the stove. If  necessary, as many as 6 cots could be fit  into the tent if not using the woodstove. At least the 10 foot wide tent is large enough for two people to pass with cot or tables on each side when not using a stove (Figure 6).

tent 10x12

Floor plan and headroom for 10×12 ft Wall Tent.

 12 x 16 Wall Tent
A 12×16 Wall Tent may be able to hold five or six cots when using a wood stove (Figure 7), but the tent would be more comfortable for everyone if the tent were limited to four cots . Without the wood stove, as many as seven cots could be fit into the tent. The headroom of the 12×16 tent is the same as the 12×14 tent shown in Figure 2.

tent 12x16

Floor Plan and headroom for 12×16 foot Wall Tent.

 14×16 Wall Tent
A 14×16 Wall Tent easily holds five cots even with the wood stove (Figure 8). If necessary, seven cots can be fit into the tent with the stove. Without the wood stove, as many as eight cots can be fit into the tent. Figure 9 shows the 14×16 tent is wide enough to fit three rows of cots or tables if necessary. The roof of the wider tents are starting to get lower, but a 6-foot person’s head will not touch the roof unless they are standing at the edge of the tent.

tent 14x16

Floor plan and headroom for 14×16 foot Wall Tent.

 If you are considering buying a wall tent, we hope these diagrams help you make the decision about what size tent you need. When we bought our wall tent, our decision was between a 10 X 12 or 12 X 14 foot tent. We decided on the larger tent and have never regretted it. Our advice on tent size is if in doubt, choose the larger size you are considering.
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B.  A few tents  that  you could live in rather comfortably

Tent Size (ft) Square Feet (with vestibule) Cost (with vestibule)
Eureka Sunrise 11 11 x 11 121          – $300          –
Cabela’s Alaknak 12×12 12 x 12 144      (216) $747      ($997)
Cabela’s Big Horn III 12 x 14 168      (240) $550      ($800)
Eureka Copper Canyon 12 12 x 14 168  (39%>ES) $450          –
Cabela’s Alaknak 12×20 12 x 20 240      (316) $1,034  ($1,284)

* Cabela’s vestibule (entrance room) for the Alaknac and Big Horn models cost $250.

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_ 1.  Eureka! Sunrise 11  (11′ x 11′)
Cost $300 at Amazon.com

tent sunrise 11

[Eureka Sunrise 11]

  • Spacious square, dome-style tent sleeps up to six (11 by 11 floor; 121 square foot area)
  • Heavy duty bathtub floor made of 4-ounce 210D oxford polyester
  • Multicoated StormShield polyester fly won’t stretch when wet and resists UV breakdown
  • Includes corner organizer, wall organizer with mirror, two water bottle pockets
  • Center height of 84 inches; weighs 23 pounds, 15 ounces

Spacious enough to comfortably sleep up to six campers, the Eureka Sunrise 11 dome-style family tent is easy to set up and very well ventilated with four large hooded windows and no-see-um mesh panels in the ceiling. It has triple-coated fabrics and a heavy-duty bathtub floor made of 4 ounce 210D oxford polyester that repels water.

The fly is made of Stormshield polyester, which won’t stretch when wet and resists UV breakdown. It has a shockcorded fiberglass frame (two poles) that features a pin and ring as well as combination clip and sleeve system for quick assembly. Other features include:

  • Twin track D door with window for easy exit/entry
  • High/Low door vents top and bottom to aid air circulation
  • External guy points help secure the tent in high winds
  • Hanging gear loft/organizer
  • Two water bottle holders
  • Corner organizer and wall organizer with mirror
  • Tent, pole, and stake bags included

Specifications:

  • Area: 121 square feet
  • Floor size: 11 feet by 11 feet
  • Center height: 7 feet
  • Wall fabrics: 1.9 ounce Polyester Taffeta 1200mm coating/1.9 ounce breathable polyester
  • Floor fabrics: 4 ounce 210D Oxford Polyester with 1200mm coating
  • Fly fabrics: 1.9 ounce 75D StormShield polyester with 1200mm coating
  • Pack size: 8 by 33 inches
  • Weight: 23 pounds, 15 ounces
    .

_ 2.  Cabela’s Alaknak Tent  (12′ x 12′)
Cost $747 at Cabela’s.com
tent alaknak 12x12

[Top left: Alaknak 12′ x12′ model, Top right: with the optional vestibule]

  • The next generation in the Outfitter Series tents has enhanced safety features and user-friendly updates that take it to a whole new level.
  • Sidewall condensation vents now have hook-and-loop closures all around the perimeter for better ventilation control.
  • Three large multi-panel windows each have a zippered cover, a clear vinyl window that zips out of the way, and a mesh screen for added ventilation.
  • The stove jack is covered by a storm flap that now rolls down to avoid contact with the piping, so it won’t melt the material.
  • This 12-ft. x 12-ft. tent has 4-ft. walls and an angled roof window which will comfortably sleep six, with plenty of room for a stove.
  • Rugged, waterproof 250-denier polyester oxford X-Treme Tent Cloth has a high tear strength and resists punctures for lasting reliability. 10 perimeter tent poles keep the sidewalls from blowing in and add rigidity in high winds, so you can camp comfortably knowing you’re protected.
  • The heavy-duty No. 10 YKK® zippers and inverted T-style door makes entering and exiting the tent easy. Plus, it’s backed by a screen door, so you can let cool breezes in while keeping bugs out.
  • The attached awning boasts a frame that comes down from the peak of the tent and directs runoff away from the door for superior protection in the wettest weather.
  • The interior sidewalls have unique fold-down shelves that sport cup holders to eliminate spilled beverages and gear pockets to hold gear.
  • The floor has a zip-open panel for safe placement and stove use.
  • Tent sets up quickly and easily. Includes 12″ steel stakes, guy ropes and a large zip-close storage bag.
  • Tent body dimensions: 12 ft. x 12 ft. (144 ft2)
  • Overall weight: 31 lbs.
  • Frame weight: 23 lbs.
  • Stakes weight: 13 lbs.
  • April 2013 cost approximately: $747
  • Optional vestibule (11 ft Lx 9 ft W O.A., with about  72 ft2 real area) which provides a sizeable “under cover” area  for storage/ cooking. About  $250 cost
    .

_ 3.  Cabela’s Big Horn™ III Tent (12′ x 14′)
Cost $550 at Cabela’s.com

tent big horn 12x14

  • Sturdy enough to take on extreme conditions
  • XTC fabric repels rain and snow with ease
  • Heavy-duty steel frame ensures support
  • Hexagonal design maximizes interior space
  • Three large multiple-panel windows
  • Zippered opening in the sewn-in floor for a stove

This is a new and improved version of our already popular Big Horn II tent, and we made it sturdy enough to take on extreme conditions encountered on extreme adventures. It’s a roomy single-wall tent made of XTC fabric that repels rain and snow with ease, and is tough enough to handle harsh foul weather. A heavy-duty steel frame ensures support to withstand wind and precipitation.

The tent measures 12 ft. x 14 ft. with an 8’6″ roof tapering to 5’6″ sidewalls.

The hexagonal design offers room for cots, gear and a stove around the sides while leaving the middle area open. We moved the stove area to keep the wall near the stove cooler.

Three large multiple-panel windows include zippered covers, a clear-vinyl zip-out window and a mesh screen. There are three fold-down shelves that have mesh cup holders.

There’s a sidewall stove jack, a storm flap and a heat-resistant insert, as well as a zippered opening in the sewn-in floor for a stove.

The inverted “V” door is outfitted with a heavy-duty zipper. Includes 12″ steel stakes, guy ropes and zippered storage bag. The stakes weigh 11 lbs.

Tent and frame weight is 72 lbs. Imported.
.

_ 4.  Eureka! Copper Canyon 12  (12′ x 14′)
Cost $450 at Amazon.com
 tent cu canyon 12

[Eureka Copper Canyon 12 tent (12′ x 14′)]

  • 9-pole cabin style tent with 14 x12 floor space and 7′ center height will sleep 12 with 168 sq ft of sleeping area.
  • Removable divider curtain creates two rooms for privacy, or roll back to reveal one large room
  • 2 large D-style opposing doors, with half windows, allow versatile entry
  • Windows on each side offer visibility and ventilation
  • Full mesh roof allows circulation of air and reduces condensation
  • The Eureka Copper Canyon 12 is a 2 room, Cabin style, straight walled family tent that will sleep 12 people.
  • 2 large ‘D’ Style doors simplify exit or entry.
  • 6 large windows and a generous roof vent allow for excellent ventilation. Windows feature ‘Quick Stash’ feature – stows window flap easily without loops or toggles.
  • Complete with a zippered removable Room Divider so you can have 1 or 2 rooms.
  • The hybrid steel/fiberglass frame is sturdy and reliable.
  • Factory sealed floor and fly seams mean you will stay dry and comfortable in summer storms. The

coated polyester fabrics are durable and long lasting.

  • Set up is a breeze with shock-corded poles that attach with a combination of clips and sleeves and

that makes set up faster and easier.2 Rooms – Zippered Room Divider can be removed for 1 or 2

rooms.

  • Poles attach to tent body via pin and ring for fast and easy set up.
  • Combination of clips and sleeves make set up fast and easy.
  • 2 mesh gear pockets for internal storage, clothes line loops and flashlight loop.
  • Poles are sturdy chain corded Powder Coated steel and shock corded fiberglass.
  • Cabin style straight walls maximize interior living space.
  • Twin track zippers for separate operation of the window in the door.
  • External guy points on the fly help secure your tent in high winds.
  • Guy Out Pockets store and secure guy lines when not in use.
  • E! Power Port – zippered flap allows for an extension cord to be run into the tent.
  • 2 Gear lofts included.
  • All carry bags and stakes included.
  • Fire retardant. Import.
    .

_ 5.  Cabela’s Alaknak Tent  12′ x 20′
Cost $1034 at Cabala’s.com
tent alaknak 12x20

[Top left: Alaknak 12′ x 20′ model, Top right: with the optional vestibule]

  • Sidewall condensation vents now have hook-and-loop closures all around the perimeter for better ventilation control. Three large multi-panel windows each have a zippered cover, a clear vinyl window that zips out of the way, and a mesh screen for added ventilation.
  • The stove jack is covered by a storm flap that now rolls down to avoid contact with the piping, so it won’t melt the material.
    This 12-ft. x 20-ft. tent sports all the room of a traditional wall tent with extra-tall 5-ft. walls for more headroom around the edges.
  • Equipped with two large doors for easy entry and exit, and two center support poles for added stability.
    Rugged, waterproof 250-denier polyester oxford X-Treme Tent Cloth has a high tear strength and resists punctures for lasting reliability.
  • 10 perimeter tent poles keep the sidewalls from blowing in and add rigidity in high winds, so you can camp comfortably knowing you’re protected.
  • The heavy-duty No. 10 YKK® zippers and inverted T-style door makes entering and exiting the tent easy. Plus, it’s backed by a screen door, so you can let cool breezes in while keeping bugs out.
  • The attached awning boasts a frame that comes down from the peak of the tent and directs runoff away from the door for superior protection in the wettest weather.
  • The interior sidewalls have unique fold-down shelves that sport cup holders to eliminate spilled beverages and gear pockets to hold gear.
  • The floor has a zip-open panel for safe placement and stove use.
  • Tent sets up quickly and easily. Includes 12″ steel stakes, guy ropes, 10 perimeter tent poles add rigidity in high winds and a large zip-close storage bag.
  • Tent body dimensions: 12 ft. x 20 ft.
  • Tent body weight: 49 lbs.
  • Frame weight: 41 lbs.
  • Stakes weight: 16 lbs.
  • April 2013 cost approximately: $1034
    .

* Optional vestibule (11 ft Lx 9 ft W O.A., with about  72 ft2 real area) which provides a sizeable “under cover” area  for storage/ cooking. About  $250 cost.
tent cabelas vestibule

 

YouTube.
See a family living with apparent comfort and style in an Alaknak tent at YouTube, click the following link. The video demonstrates that with a little forethought a larger tent can be made quite habitable:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhgeF9dbJp8

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Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

Emergency Tent Living, Part 1 of 4

(Survival Manual/ 4. Shelter Issues/ Emergency Tent Living, Part 1 of 4)

You never know when you might be forced out of your home by a disaster or need to leave in order to preserve the safety of your family in an emergency situation. When that time comes – the main thing you need to have in your gear is a good, sturdy tent. Be sure to choose a tent that is appropriate for your family size and the geographical region where you live . Don’t wait until it’s too late – protect yourself now by purchasing a quality shelter you can use in a worst case scenario.

Post Disaster Emergency Shelters
Exerpts pasted from: http://shtffood.com/shelter.htm
Emergency temporary shelters are places for people to live temporarily when they can’t live in their current residence due to a SHTF situation. An emergency shelter typically specializes in people fleeing a specific type of situation, such as natural or man-made disasters, civil unrest, or somewhere to stay at a tent logotemporary destination. A post-disaster emergency shelter is often provided by governmental emergency management departments such as FEMA or the Red Cross. Tents are the most common temporary structures for a single family. After Hurricane Katrina FEMA provided dislocated families with small white trailers. These settlements may be inhabited for the entire duration of the reconstruction process and can be thought of more as settlements than shelter. Unfortunately, planning for water / sanitation is often inadequate.

Ideally, if you are in a bug-out situation, you will bring your own shelter.  While a tent is sufficient in warmer climates, it may not work well in winter. In that case, a motorhome or trailer you can pull with your own vehicle may be a better option. Like a permanent bug out location, a movable shelter needs to be stocked with the necessities you’ll need to get by for as long as the emergency lasts. This can be difficult with a tent, but when no other options exist, at least it provides a dry, warmable place to wait. Cooking will have to be outdoors as will the latrine – not for everyone.

Family Tent
Excerpts pasted from: http://procurement.ifrc.org/catalogue/detail.aspx?volume=1&groupcode=111&familycode=111001&categorycode=TENT&productcode=HSHETENT01
The standard tent for a family of five conforms to the recommended minimum-standard living area for hot and temperate climates (37 sq ft per person). Improved insulation for family tent is recommended for cold climates. The tent is not a long-term habitat solution. It is meant for emergencies. It has a minimum 1-year lifespan, irrespective of climate. It has a minimum shelf-life of 5 years under normal warehousing conditions (in a dry, clean and ventilated warehouse – not in containers or tented warehouses – and stored on pallet racks or pallets elevated off the ground, not piled). The tent is vulnerable to rain and moisture when packed. The tent design was developed by shelter specialists to ensure a product fit for human use, ensuring the minimum required outdoor lifespan in all climates, at minimum cost.

tent BH III close up

A.  Extended Tent Camping
26 Jul 2010, Yahoo! Voices, by Carrie Hetu, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Pasted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/extended-tent-camping-6433286.html?cat=7

Considering Life on the Road in a Tent
While it may not be highly popular and certainly not highly publicized, there are those who choose a lifestyle involving extending tent camping. Basically a choice to live in some type of tent while either traveling or staying put in the tent on somebody’s land for an extended period of time. For some, it may be more of a forced option after foreclosure, eviction or job loss. Yet for others it is very much a conscious choice for whatever personal reasons they may have such as a desire for sustainable living or simply the pleasure of traveling and life on the road. Whatever the case is, there are several things to consider, especially if it will involve full time traveling.

Choice of tents will be something to devote a lot of thought on as most nylon tents are really not made to be living in and lack durability. Reinforcing the seams may help aide in a longer lasting tent. The attraction to nylon tents is that they are quite reasonable in price. They are also fairly easy and quick to set up. Rain tarps will also help tremendously in keeping the tent, you and your belongings dry in rainy weather. Of course size is always a consideration as well for it must be able to comfortably sleep the number of people who will be staying in it.

Canvas Wall tents while pricey may be the best choice if you can readily afford them. They are roomy, can have a wood stove fitting on them, extra ventilation windows and were made more durable for miners and hunting campers that typically stayed for lengthy periods of times in them. Of course you will also then have the added expense of purchasing a wood stove, as when traveling you are never sure if you may get caught on a few wintery or just plain cold nights.

If you have a car, then most likely you will need to purchase a pull behind trailer to store all your belongings, especially if you have several people in your group or family who will be coming. These typically can run from $300 to $700 for a good used one and again durability is a big consideration in purchasing one. An all metal one would most likely be your best option here as wooden ones can fall apart and will not last near as long. The length you would need would depend on how much you really need to take with you, depending on the number of people that will be with you. Make sure your vehicle will easily be able to haul it without due stress on the engine when going up and down really steep inclines. If you have a suitable Truck, a trailer may not be necessary then.

Of course money always must be a top consideration as money makes the world go round and you will need some. You will have to figure out how much you will need a month to cover camping fees, although there are places you can camp for free, you will most likely want some paid camping sites that offer showers, water and other amenities. You will need to consider how much you will need for gas, food, car insurance and perhaps other things like cell phone and mail service. On a low side it may run a family around $600 a month yet on a high side perhaps around $1500 depending on the quality of life you are looking for and the things you typically like to spend money on.

Once you get an idea of how much you need a month, then you need to figure out how you plan on acquiring this money to supply your needs. Will it come from money you have saved or will have once you sell everything off if you plan on giving up your residency for life on the road? Will you work along the way or have work you can do on a computer from anywhere? Do you plan on having an emergency fund to cover auto repairs or to get another place to live if you find you do not like life on the road? This may be a wise thing to have in place before you plan on embarking on your journey!

If you plan on giving up your residency then downsizing will have to be considered as it will be a MAJOR downsizing undertaking. You will need to sell everything you do not absolutely have to have, sticking to the items you will have to take with you in order to cover your basic needs. This can cause a sense of stress for those who are attached to material possessions yet can be a liberating experience to cross over to sheer simplicity.

4 seasons must be considered when purchasing the things you will need on the road. While you can tend to follow weather when traveling, you can not always guarantee you will be in pleasant, dry weather. Weather is unpredictable and yet your lack of knowledge of certain areas may catch you in less than desirable weather as well. It is best to be prepared for any weather conditions and purchase items and pack accordingly. It would not be much fun to be in a tent in negative zero weather, with no heat and only short sleeve shirts, not to mention that would be a tad dangerous!

Dreams and ideas must be considered as well as they rarely live up to what our mind holds in conjunction with reality. Expect the unexpected and really try to look at the reality aspects of things that could happen. Lengthy rain periods may have you dealing with mold, lack of jobs may leave you financially strapped, broken down vehicles are never a pleasant experience. Wildlife may rampage your food supplies if you are careless or even try to enter and tear up your tent. It will not always be that romanticized image of a perfect life you may see in your mind. Be prepared for the worst but expect the best may be totally appropriate for this endeavor.

Besides a tent, consider what other equipment needs you may have such as an actual spare tire on a rim and full of air rather than just a doughnut. Other things you may need, want or should consider yet not a complete list would be:

  • First aid kit
  • Sleeping gear
  • Coleman stove
  • Cast iron cookware for cooking on open fire
  • Flint and steel for starting fires in wet weather when matches or lighters would not work
  • 5 gallon bucket with a loo cover for a toilet
  • Solar shower
  • Water jugs to fill with water before going to some free camping areas where water is not available
  • Fishing gear
  • Axe and shovel
  • Flash lights
  • Solar weather radio with cell phone charger
  • GPS system or atlases
  • Emergency glow sticks and flares
  • Extra tarp covers
  • Clothing for all weather types
  • Hiking boots
  • Basic tools such as a hammer, saw, wrenches and screw drivers
  • Lap top computer if you can work from computer for pay
  • Batter cables for car
  • Jack for car
  • Cooler for cold food storage
  • Emergency food bar packs
  • Emergency thermal blankets
  • Pocket knives
  • Tent fans
  • Tent heater or wood stove depending on type of tent you purchase
  • Silicone seam sealer
  • (Add a 12 volt deep cycle battery, 60-150 watt solar panel, solar charge controller and 275-400 watt inverter. Mr. Larry)

While extended tent camping may not be for everyone, for those who are considering it, hopefully this will aide you in making some wise choices to get you off to a good start! Have fun and be prepared!

.

B.  How to Live in a Tent
Edited by Minuteman, Celeste, Puddy, Jack Herrick and 11 others
Pasted from: http://www.wikihow.com/Live-in-a-Tent
tent copper canyon

So maybe you want to prove some kind of point, maybe you’re camping for an extended period of time, maybe you’re stranded on a deserted island (unlikely but possible), maybe you are very poor and have lost your house, but the bottom line is, maybe you have to live in a tent for a while. This is a step by step guide to comfortable living in a tent!

1.  Buy or find a 2 or 3 rooms tent. I would recommend if more than one person a five room, a big one. This provides space for a bedroom, living room, and bathroom. You will also need storage place for kitchen stuff, food, clothes and some other possessions. Feel free to adapt any of the rooms into a space that better fits your needs, you may consider replacing any of them with one of the following: Kitchen, spare bedroom, storage room, or hallway if it’s too small for use.
2.  Use a thick blanket or rug remnants for carpeting. This will help keep out the chill on a cold night and also provides extra cushioning when you need to sit or lay down.
3. Buy a fan and/or a heater to use. Do Not put these near walls as they may tear or set fire to your tent. Make your choice of fan or heater depending on the location and season.
4.  Use pillows for a couch, and you can also use pillows for the bed, making things more comfortable in your temporary living space.

5.  Attach a light in each room. Make sure it will not catch the tent on fire by stringing them in the middle of the room and keeping them off as often as possible.
6.  Consider hooking a lock onto the zippers. This will keep out any unwanted guests and help ensure safety from the “bad people” of the world. (Look at the small, light weight, luggage locks sold through Walmart or Amazon.com. Mr. Larry)
7.  Buy a solar powered kettle. That way you can enjoy a hot drink!
8.  Make sure you have a mini gas stove or cooker. That way you can have a warm meal.
9.  Make sure you have a warm, comfortable sleeping bag each. That way you will be comfortable during the nights.
10.  Consider buying an air bed each. The bare ground can be very uncomfortable and cold, even in the height of winter. Or instead of an air bed, find a thick fold up air mattress, there are tri fold ones that are about 3″ thick, that way you don’t have to deal with the air mattress deflating.
11.  Consider buying small shelves for any items likely to be used sparingly or books.
12. Enjoy nature!
13.  If you are using nature as a toilet, make sure you bury and waste. Or you can Buy a potty or bucket and bury after.

Tips
•  Buy a durable, maybe even 4 room tent to ensure a comfortable, enjoyable experience.

Warnings
•  Make sure there are no ant beds nearby. [If Fire Ant nests are found locally, carry appropriate ant poison. Mr. Larry]
•  Make sure you are not on rock ground or a slope.
•  Check if you can have a campfire in that area before you do because if you don’t, you could end up with a large fine to pay.

 .DSCF7931

.
C.  Thread: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
Aug 2012, CampingForum.com, by excerpts from the Forum member discussion
Pasted from: http://www.campingforums.com/forum/showthread.php?4430-full-time-tent-living…anyone-doing-it

_1.  Re: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
I’ve lived in a tent for up to six months at a time and done it several times. Each time, I was traveling cross country and staying anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks in each spot.
The hardest part is controlling expenses. Everything is more expensive. Laundromats are more expensive than owning a washing machine. Cooking with propane bottles is more expensive than cooking in a house. Groceries, and keeping food cold is expensive without a home refrigerator. At $20 a night, campgrounds are not cheap rent! There are a million examples like that. Cost control is going to be a constant issue for you, especially if you are maintaining a real home somewhere that you’ll eventually go back to.
If you can keep the expenses under control, then the payoff is in the places you get to stay. Long term camping can be a wonderful experience.

Here’s a few tips I’ve learned…
•  Tint your windows dark enough that a thief can’t see any gear in the back. Don’t keep any gear in the front where a thief can see it.
•  Make sure you have theft insurance on the contents of your vehicle, not just the vehicle. Camp security and vehicle security are going to be issues for you no matter where you go. I recommend you carry a firearm, but that’s up to you of course. A firearm is the ultimate equalizer when it comes to a confrontation with a robber.
•  It helps if you have a rock solid, well maintained vehicle. I always carried AAA Plus for towing.
•  Solar power is your friend. Get a solar panel for your roof and a 12V sealed battery, like an Optima Yellow top to power all your electronics.
•  Have a support person. This could be a relative who is far away. Someone who will answer your phone calls at any time of day and do everything from give you a weather report to taking your mail.
•  Use a mail drop service. RV’ers have a lot of experience in this area. Search around for RV and mail and you’ll see all the options out there. Most run around $250 a year and will forward your mail to you at campgrounds. South Dakota is a favorite location because their residency rules are very lax and you can renew your car tags by mail and there is no state income tax there.
•  Arrive at campgrounds on a Tuesday or Wednesday and stay through the weekend. Most campgrounds are empty on those days. Show up on Friday and good luck getting a prime spot or any spot for that matter.
•  Try ‘dispersed camping’ as much as possible – you’ll save thousands of dollars.
•  Living in a tent is very isolating. Don’t become a recluse. Meet new friends. Spend time with people. Get out of the campsite as much as possible. Spoil yourself with a hotel stay once in a while.
•  Don’t break the rules. Your gear will get confiscated (and they’ll destroy most of it when they confiscate it), they’ll tow your car and charge you for towing and storage, and you’ll be facing a judge in a strange town where the prosecutor’s first words to the judge will be: “Your Honor, this transient has no fixed address”. It’s all downhill from there. Follow the rules, even if they sometimes seem ridiculous. I’ve never had it happen to me, but we all hear horror stories.
•  Start with the absolute minimal gear you need. As time goes on, you’ll figure out what’s critical and what isn’t and you can slowly add gear that you need, not just gear you want or think you need. You’ll burn through a lot of camping gear too. Most camping gear isn’t built for use day after day after day. Getting your gear right is going to be an ongoing challenge.

That’s all I can think of for now. I’m sure a thousand more ideas will come back to me but at the moment I can’t think of any.
Good luck and get ready for an awesome time! You don’t need an RV to go full time!!!

_2. Re: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
Another area I thought of that might be helpful is with water storage. I realize you said that you will stay in campgrounds, but even there you can get some pretty bad tasting well water or you might be 100 feet from the spigot. You might want to think out a good water system.

Here’s what I do to give you an idea. I carry two 5-gallon Reliance water jugs. These weight about 35 pounds each when full. I also carry a several MSR Dromedary bags in the 10 liter size (10 liters is about 2.5 gallons). These store flat when not in use. I also carry an MSR Miniworks EX water filter. With this system I can stay quite a few days in dry areas or indefinitely in wet areas.

I also own a Berkey water filter which makes the best tasting water in my opinion. Even if you camp in campgrounds, you might want to look into getting a Berkey system to clean up all that sulfur and iron taste that a lot of campgrounds have. It will flat out turn ditch water into pure good tasting water better than any other filter I’ve used.
I also carry a 50 ft drinking water hose. Make sure you get one that is for drinking water – not a green garden hose.

_3. Re: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
If I had it to do over again, I’d get two 25′ hoses. A lot of places, 25′ is enough and there would be less hose to clean and coil up on the last day but you’d still have that other 25 footer in case you need a longer run.

I haven’t looked into putting a filter on the hose. Most of the hose use for me is for washing gear, showering, washing hands, etc. and doesn’t need to be filtered. Only the cooking and drinking water needs to be filtered which is only a couple gallons a day. A good filter, like a Berkey, is not cheap so I only use it to purify the water for cooking and drinking and try to preserve the filter as long as possible.

_4. Re: full-time tent living…anyone doing it?
Our setup so far:
•  9×12 kodiak canvas tent,
•  separate shade canopy,
•  several tarps for both ground cloth and rain fly/shade
•  coleman 2 burner propane stove—several small propane cylinders/ 1–20# cylinder
•  Reliance 4 gal. beverage buddy,
•  6–1gal. water bottles/jugs, all refillable
•  for sleeping: a cot and sleeping bag, extra blankets, etc for housemate
•  I am using for the time being an air mattress, with a 3 inch foam mattress-(due to joint problems) on top of that,
•  emergency blanket between the layers, sleeping bag with fleece insert and a few extra lightweight blankets if needed…haven’t found a cot that’s comfortable for me yet…I’m picky…
•  we’re also bringing a box fan,
•  oil filled radiator type heater for chilly nights, when needed…
•  cast iron cookware, general cooking utensils/enamelware dishes, etc.
•  2 mid-sized coolers (lighter weight for us to carry),
•  round cooler for drinks(can double for water storage, if needed)
•  solar powered lantern,
•  NOAA radio (multi-function),
•  a couple of solar-powered yard lights,
•  couple of flashlights
•  personal gear (clothes/summer/winter) shoes/boots etc…
•  Still need to get some water hoses/filters, and a shower setup… have a luggable loo already.

If all goes according to plan, we should be starting this adventure sometime in October, camping in So. Texas, then maybe into New Mexico or Arizona during the winter, then work our way to Tennessee come spring…can’t wait to get started…

 DSCF7165

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Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

Dry foods and their long term home storage

(Survival Manual/  3. Food and Water/ Dry foods and their long term home storage)

A.  The Survival Food Pyramid
Survivalcache.com
Pasted from: http://survivalcache.com/survival-food-pyramid/

From personal experience I know, when you first get into surviving/prepping the information thrown at you can be overwhelming. The Survival Food Pyramid will get you started stocking food in a logical, simple, and economical way.
Everyone who has a basement full of canned goods and a survival garden started somewhere. We will help get you started.

The Concept
The top of the pyramid is for stocking the smallest amount of food for the shortest amount of time. The idea being that someone who is completely new to prepping can start with a cheap and easy goal and build (downward) from there.

This pyramid will keep you from spending time and money on preps that, while they may be useful overall, are pointless to you right now. How much of a 50 pound bag of flour or rice will you use in a 3 day long power outage? Prepping in complete, logical steps is the smart way to go.
dryfood pyramid1

Immediate
If you are new to prepping, or you are experienced but find your supplies jump all over the map, start by stocking enough food and supplies for a 3 Day Emergency. This can be as simple as a single trip to the grocery store. Buy a 3 day supply of food for you household (be sure to get things with a long shelf life) and place it somewhere other than your pantry. (See our selection of Mainstay Food Bars – they have a 5 year shelf life and come in 1200, 2400, 3600 calorie packages)

If you have a typical local situation, such as a major snow storm or power outage, you won’t be one of the people raiding the grocery store.
Be sure to include at least 1 gallon of water per day, per family member, and something to cook on, like a MSR Whisperlite stove, with fuel. 

Extended
The extended food preps simply build on the immediate preps. On further trips to the store, add a few food items to your 3 day cache each time and you will soon have enough to survive for several weeks. Perhaps choose a dedicated closet or other area to stock your preps.

Remember that the extended survival food supply is going to need regular cooking supplies to be stocked, such as oil, flour, sugar, spices, etc. You will also need larger water containers to support not only drinking and cooking, but hygiene.

Long Term
Long term food preps mean there has been some type of major disaster and there won’t be any trips to the store for months.. This step moves on from basic stocking, to self sustaining.

You will have to have stocked bulk supplies of staple foods for cooking, like flour, wheat, sugar, and canned goods. A large fuel supply, or alternative cooking method will have to be used, and hunting if it is available. You will also have to have an alternative water source such as water collection, filtration, and recycling.

Perpetual
The perpetual food supply is for total collapse from which there is no coming back or voluntary off grid living indefinitely. You must have a self sustaining food supply, like a garden with heirloom seeds and large hunting area. You must also have a natural water source other than anything you have stocked.

*Take Note
All of the time periods and recommendations in the pyramid are general. There are no specific rules. You immediate preps might last you a week. Your extended preps might run out in a month. It all depends on your situation, and what you have stocked.

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dryfood pyramid2

B.  Bulk Food Storage 101: Using Plastic Buckets and Mylar
25 Apr 2013, AmericanPreppersNetwork, By Ann Weinstein
Pasted from: http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2013/04/bulk-food-storage-101-using-plastic-buckets-and-mylar.html
dryfood pkg4

New to prepping?  Wondering how others use those large buckets and Mylar bags for food storage?  Wonder no more.  The mystery that is Mylar will be revealed in three easy phases.

Phase 1) Plastic buckets are generally used for bulk storage because they’re fairly rodent proof.  They tend towards water impermeability, but they’re not always great at that.  What they really do is keep the mice and rats out of your food.  Important thing, right?

Phase 2) The second layer of the food storage is a plastic Mylar bag. Mylar evolved out of the NASA space program and is a really cool material which is used everywhere.  It’s an interior layer of polyester and an exterior layer of evaporated aluminum that has the ability to keep all moisture out of the things you store inside it.  It is not, however, strong enough to be used on its own – you need an exterior layer.

Phase 3) The third thing that goes into many Mylar bags is something to kill bugs.  I use oxygen absorbers.  You can purchase these purpose made, or you can simply buy off the shelf hand warmers at the end of the winter season.  Either way, the iron filings/powder will reduce the amount of oxygen left in the bag after it is sealed, thus reducing the ability of vermin to live in your stored food.  Alternately, you can look at a food grade diamatacious earth to add to the bag.  This product gets into the shells of insects and sucks the moisture out of them, causing them to be incompatible with life; read as, not eating YOUR food.  These should be used only in food stuffs that are biologically reactive; this means that if  moisture gets into it, will it get wet & hard (like salt & sugar) or will it mildew?  If it mildews, toss one of these puppies in there.

dryfood pkg1

Instructions:
Step 1- Get plastic buckets.  I get mine free from my local grocery store bakery.  These are food grade.  However, when you are using Mylar, you have the choice to use other materials that are not, such as dry-wall buckets.  Food grade plastic will not leach any chemicals into your stored food.  Other buckets might.  Use these at your own risk and with your own best judgment.
Step 2 – Purchase Mylar bags and insert into the bucket.  Fill with what ever food product you are storing.
Step 3-  Open O2 absorber and toss into bucket.

dryfood pkg2

Step 4- Press all the air you can out of the top of the bag.
Step 5 - Have, on hand,  a hot iron and a board.  Flatten out bag at its seams and use iron to seal the bag.  Mylar adheres to itself with heat, so just iron it shut dryfood spoiled riceand double-check that no air is able to get in and out – I do this by flattening the whole thing down as I fold the extra material into the bucket.  If there is a little bubble of air pressing back at me, it’s a good seal.  Alternately, you could pull the extra material up and see if it sucks air back down into the bag.
Step 6 – Put lid on bucket
Step 7 – Label and date so that you can rotate the stock.

Other handy tips:  A bucket wrench is your friend when it comes to opening these puppies back up.  Mine lives in my tool drawer.  It cost about $5 at the hardware store.  It looks like this:

If you choose not to use Mylar, sometimes you get moisture in a bucket.  It will mildew and cause rot.  It looks like this on rice.  Use of Mylar will prevent this problem in most cases.

YouTube.

To see how the sealing process works check out, “Sealing mylar bags for storage” at YouTube, click the following link:

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Filed under Survival Manual, __3. Food & Water

Why NOT to have food storage, but if you’re wrong…

(Survival Manual/ Prepper Articles/  Why NOT to have food storage, but  if you’re wrong…)

 why not little red henA.  Top 12 Reasons Not to have Food Storage
9 April 2011, Country Survival.com, by Country Survival
Pasted from: http://www.countrysurvival.com/top-12-reasons-not-to-have-food-storage/

Most people do not have a year’s supply of food storage. I hear it all the time….my neighbors will help me, the Church will provide for me, the government will give me food. Sorry, but you can not put your family’s temporal salvation in the hands of other people. No one else is going to store food for you. You have to do it yourself.

Here are the Top 12 Excuses I Hear for not having a food storage:

12. My neighbors have a TWO year supply!
I seriously doubt it. As a emergency preparedness coordinator in a previous stake, I created an extensive emergency preparedness survey. The results were that 94% of our stake did NOT have a year supply, and 82% had no food storage at all. If your idea is to beg for food from someone else, well, that’s a really bad plan.

11. I’m moving in with my parents (or my children).
Really? There’s a bright idea. Guess what, they don’t have food storage either.

10. I’ve paid tithing for 20 years, the church should be able to give me some food.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Tithing is “fire insurance”, not “food insurance.” In fact, the church storehouses and welfare farms would feed less than 5% of the members of the Church. The prophets have been telling you to have a food storage for over 75 years. Have you followed the prophet’s commandment?

9. I have a gun!
I have seen on several forums and websites that people say that don’t store food because they have a gun and they know where the nearest Mormon is located. Guess what! You idiot, most Mormons have guns too. If you don’t already have self-defense options as part of your year supply, you should.

8. We pay taxes; If something does happen, the government will take care of us.
Some might even say, “they have to help us; our taxes pay their salary; if we die, they will have to take a pay cut.” Government aid worked out so well for people in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, right? With most all states in a severe budget crisis, and the federal government with a $14 TRILLION debt, the government will not be able to help. In fact, the government has been urging people to store food, water, medicine, etc. Check out http://www.ready.gov

why not darwin7. Wide-spread national catastrophe will never happen.
You might think that nothing happened with Y2K, but every prophecy given by the Lord will be fulfilled, and probably when you least expect it.
[Re. photo at left: Why think or plan ahead? Now you want others to risk their lives and assets to cover your “malfeasance”? If you don’t  take personal responsibility to look after yourself by preparing for the chance of an emergency – ones that are common to mankind, then you may earn the Darwin Award for allowing you and yours to be eliminated from the gene pool. Mr. Larry.]

6. I have a 2 year supply of wheat; that should be sufficient.
You need much more than just wheat. Unless you are eating that wheat on a daily basis and your body is accustomed to it, it will literally tear up your digestive system. You need to store other food items to go along with the wheat.

5. It takes up too much space!
This is utter nonsense. It doesn’t matter where you live, you can find space if you want to. I put a full year supply of food storage for 2 adults and 4 children in the closet under my stairs. I was able to store over 650 of the #10 cans with easy access to any of it at any given time..

4. It doesn’t taste good and you can’t make adequate meals.
Having a food storage means that you have to cook rather than go out to a restaurant or visiting the frozen food isle of the grocery store. Find the right recipes, and you can make your food storage into a delicious and nutritious meal.

3. I’ll store up gold and silver to trade for food.
So, are you planning on eating those gold and silver coins? If you were starving, and you had a choice between a bag of gold coins and your neighbor’s cat, which would you choose? When people are starving, they are not going to trade away their valuable food for gold or silver. If they do, you will be buying the most expensive bowl of soup you ever ate.

2. I can’t afford food storage.
The average food storage for an adult can cost as little as a dollar a day. We live in the wealthiest society in the history of the world. If you do not have food storage, it is because you have your priorities reversed. If you choose to purchase expensive cars, an extra large house, LCD televisions, computers, vacations, etc. before getting food storage, then you need to re-evaluate your priorities. Are those items more important than food storage?

1. A year supply??? I thought I only needed 72 hours!
The recovery period for emergencies and natural disasters is much more than 72 hours. I lived in Houston when Hurricane Ike hit in 2008. Yes, a 72-hour kit helped…for the first 72 hours! Then we were left with the damage to recover from. There was no electricity for 3 weeks! Many places didn’t have running water (or sewage) for several days. Most all grocery stores were closed; the ones that could be open did not have anything to sell. Large pine trees blockaded roads and downed power lines. There was no cell phone reception; the towers were knocked down or destroyed.

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B.   SHTF – T Minus 2 Hours
Survival Cache, by contributing author Captain Bart
Pasted from: http://survivalcache.com/shtf-t-minus-2-hours/

If you have a limited time before the SHTF, What do you do? What are your priorities? Recently we saw this first hand with Hurricane Irene (see article). The actions of the unprepared raises good questions for all of us.

By Captain Bart, a contributing author to SurvivalCache.com

There was a science fiction short story (also an Outer Limits episode) called “Inconstant Moon” by Larry Niven based on the actions of an astronomer who noticed the light changes on the moon and deduced the sun had gone nova. Then he realized that it was ONLY a massive flare and survival MIGHT be possible. The story was of his attitude and preparations during the night.

In “ALAS, BABYLON” the hero is given approximately 24 hours to prepare from nothing. It is interesting in what he gets both right and wrong. In both these stories, SHTF was also TEOTWAWKI. In the case of Hurricane Irene it was the SHTF but not TEOTWAWKI.

So, to repeat the question, if you have limited time before the SHTF, what action would you take? It depends in large measure on what form the SHTF event takes. I heard a story of an older lady (70 something I think) who felt the earthquake in Japan. As soon as the quake stopped, she got on her bicycle and rode for the hills. She didn’t go back home for anything or take anything, she just rode and she survived the tsunami that claimed her town and most of the town’s people. The quake gave zero warning and the tsunami gave warning of only a few minutes. In Texas, hurricanes give hours to days and wild fires give minutes to hours. A terrorist strike or earthquake might give no warning while a Carrington Event might give hours to minutes.

For the sake of this article, we will assume a SHTF that is not necessarily TEOTWAWKI. Further we will assume that you have 2 hours notice. This actually happened when I was a growing up. A hurricane made up about 90 miles off the coast of Galveston and came ashore as a strong Category 1. Under the wrong conditions, it could have been a Category 3 or 4. Remember Hurricane Andrew was a weak Category 2 storm at 2200 before hitting Florida as a strong Category 4 at 0200 hours the next morning.

SHTF Approaches
Like you do every morning, you’ve just checked your local news sources and you’ve discovered that in 2 hours, maybe a little more, there is going to be a major event.

why not empty shelf

SHTF – T Minus 2:00
First things first. Start topping off your water supply. Bathtubs, sinks, buckets, storage bottles, everything should be full. Double check the inventory for the supply cache/pantry for any holes. These may have to be filled before the event or you will do without. Turn all refrigerators and freezers to maximum cold settings. Set house temperature to extreme cold (summer) or high heat (winter) to precondition the house for the season. Call in any pharmacy refills you can get for 1 hour pickup. If you are going to GOOD (Get Out of Dodge) double check the BOB (Bug Out Bag) for completeness.

SHTF – T Minus 1:45
If you have help at your house then you can start for the stores now. Your help will finish the top offs and inventory. Make sure you have your credit cards and debit cards. Once your help has finished here, they can notify those important to you of the issues. This is a notification only. No arguments or recriminations. Just the warning and move on. When that is done, your helpers can jump to SHTF – 0:30 list (See below).

SHTF – T Minus 1:30
Going to the grocery store is probably a waste of time unless you absolutely MUST have something from there. If you must fill any holes in your prep supplies think about a sporting goods store or Sam’s Club. You are less likely to run into panicking mobs there than at the grocery store. Remember paper products may be worth their weight in gold if you already have your food stuff squared away. Plates, cups and napkins are nice; toilette paper and tissue may be indispensable. Sun burn and insect bite treatments may be useful as will analgesics and antihistamines. If you have pets, increase your stock of pet supplies. Also batteries will go fast, get more. Get cash from ATM if possible. In fact, unless the power is already down, get cash from the ATM period. Charge all your supplies to maximize your cash availability. Get aluminum foil if you need it. Pick up long term storage items (zip lock bags, mason jars, etc.) if needed. If available get more fuel for your cooking and lighting systems. If you have no firearms, now would be your last chance for arms and/or ammunition for quite a while.

why not pharmacySHTF – T Minus 0:45
Go to pharmacy and get any refills you can pick up. Go inside and restock any OTC (Over the Counter) medicines you might need (think Imodium, antacids, analgesics, vitamins, sleep aids, masks, etc.) . Get insect repellant, burn cream, sunscreen, and chap stick type items if not already purchased.

SHTF – T Minus 0:30
Place BOBs (Bug Out Bags) near doors in case of fire and an immediate evacuation is needed. Preposition supplies and weapons in proper locations for use. Searching through your gun safe for your shotgun in the dark while looters are kicking in your front door is a bad plan.

SHTF – T Minus 0:10
It is now close enough to the SHTF that no further outside work should be attempted. Set up a security watch in the house and wait. Use an emergency radio to keep track of news if power is lost in the house.

SHTF – T Minus 0:00
Now that the event has arrived, maintain a solid fire watch for at least an hour after all flames are extinguished. It would really be annoying to survive a SHTF event only to be burned out by your lighting or heating prep. After an hour, the risk that anything will re-ignite diminishes greatly. If you are using wood or gas stoves or heaters, maintain a watch during any operation time, including night time heating. Remember Carbon Monoxide is a poison and it kills.

why not newsSHTF + 1:00
Turn on one of your radios and see if there is any broadcast station still on the air. Attempt to find news and status. Try cell phones, land lines, TV, text messaging and computer/internet links. Some of these are very low power and might still be up. Plan your future actions based on your assessment of the situation.

This is just a rough outline of what might be done. It assumes that there is no long distance travel involved. Obviously if the store you need is an hour away, you don’t go. For events that give days notice, it should never be necessary to go out within two hours of the event, but we are not always in command of our priorities. During Hurricane Ike, my mother-in-law called for help from a nearby town. I ended up driving through tropical storm weather over a rather large bridge to bring her to our place to ride out the storm. Without my 4 wheel drive Suburban the trip would not have been possible. Black Swans can always happen and last minute ‘monkey wrenches’ will need dealing with but if we prepare for the most likely, the unexpected can usually be dealt with successfully.

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C.  After TSHTF – Uncommon places to find supplies
18 November 2012, Modern Survival Online, by Rourke
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalonline.com/repost-after-tshtf-uncommon-places-to-find-supplies/

In a significant TSHTF incident—there may be a need to obtain additional supplies. This need may come from having to replenish your stocks over time. Also—you may be caught away from your cache or traveling—and need to access these valuable items.

Once the “event” occurs, grocery stores will be completely out of food within hours. If there is power—lines will form and gas stations will be out of fuel quickly. The most obvious sources for certain items will already be picked thru. There are a couple of places that may get overlooked. These are Office Buildings and Manufacturing/Industrial Facilities.

1. Office Buildings—Take a look as you drive around your area and thru your town. There are lots of office buildings of varying sizes. If TEOTWAWKI has occurred—there are certain supplies that are common in offices that many will not think of. Here are a few examples:
Food via vending machines, employee refrigerators, and desk drawers.
Water via office supply rooms, employee offices, and possibly large plastic water jugs for office pure water dispensers.
First Aid supplies via office first aid kits. Some prescriptions may be available in employee desk drawers.
Incidentals such as pens, pencils, paper may be available as well. Cups and paper plates, napkins as well as coffee and coffee filters most likely can be found.

why not warehouse

2. Manufacturing/Industrial Facilities—Often overlooked, many manufacturing and industrial facilities are a gold mine packed with supplies. Many of these businesses are located on the outskirts of towns in large warehouses—away from neighborhoods. Here are some of the items that can bee found at manufacturing and industrial facilities:
Fuels such as gas, kerosene, and propane are often stored. Propane is commonly used by fork trucks—so check the shipping/receiving departments. Gas is utilized in a variety of tools such as gas powered water pumps as well as generators.
Batteries are often in large quantities for us in flashlights and some small tools.
Generators were just mentioned and could be a great find. Often used for powering tools in locations where power outlets are not available.
- Tools of course should be available and in great supply.
Food, water and first aid supplies should be available much like in office buildings. Many manufacturing facilities have larger well stocked first aid kits—and often in multiple locations depending on the size of the building.
Vehicles may also be available as company cars/trucks are sometimes found at these facilities. Finding the keys would be the challenge however I would check the shipping office first.
Communication Equipment may also be found. Quite often the maintenance departments use walkie-talkie’s to communicate. You may find these radio’s sitting on their chargers in the maintenance shop.

Note: I am in no way suggestions theft is ok with this posting. What I am talking about is in a true life-threatening situation where it is justified to obtain supplies by pretty much any means possible

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Women’s issues when SHTF

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Women’s issues when SHTF)

women jobs

A.  SHTF Survival: Women’s Health
13 Jan 2011, Ready Nutrition, by Tess Pennington
Pasted from: http://readynutrition.com/resources/shtf-survival-womens-health_13012011/

Typically, in a post SHTF situation, sanitation conditions are going to be at a minimum (at the very least). Therefore, a woman’s personal hygiene is essential to her health and should be considered a priority. When sanitary conditions are not up to par, there is an increase of diseases such as cholera, typhoid and diphtheria. Typically, women and children are the most affected by poor sanitation conditions. Taking proper precautions and stocking up on sanitary items will help eliminate most issues regarding poor sanitation.

Tampons to the Rescue!
Did you know that tampons and sanitary napkins can be used for medical care? Due to their high absorbent nature, both items make good wound care dressings. In fact, the U.S. Army Medics have been using both items in combat situations. Luckily, since pads and tampons are considered a paper item, they have an indefinite shelf life, thus making them a good prepping investment. Remember to store sanitary items in a dry spot away from direct sunlight, heat and humidity.

Getting caught without a pad or tampon while on your period is not way to survive (or even get by) in an emergency situation. A great way to be prepared for a disaster is to make a personalized woman’s sanitation kit that will fit your monthly needs. Some items you can include are:

  • Midol or pain relieverwomen fem case
  • Disposable pads or tampons
  • Disposable towelettes or toilet paper
  • Soap
  • Disinfectant gel
  • Trash bag
  • Instant and reusable heating pad

Personal Hygiene Makes a Difference
A basic understanding of proper sanitation for women are necessary to ensure that diseases and illness do not occur. Taking time to clean yourself daily will help reduce the growth of bacteria, infections and diseases.

  • Cleansing – Using mild soap, completely clean the genital area. Clean the genital area every day, and more frequently during menstruation and after intercourse.
  • Menstruation – Change any sanitation item at least every 2-4 hours. And keep the area clean. Remember to wash your hands frequently as well.

Disposal of Feminine Sanitation Items
It is important to properly dispose of sanitary napkins, as they contain bodily fluids that could pose a health hazard to others. Methods of disposal may differ according to where you are and what you have available. However, tampons and feminine napkins do not decompose quickly. Therefore, the best way to dispose of used feminine napkins tampons is to burn them. The fire must be very hot in order to thoroughly destroy the used items. Incinerate any pads or tampons, as well as any paper items used to clean yourself with (disposable towelettes, toilet paper, etc).

As many of us are already aware, feminine napkins and tampons are quite costly, and take up a lot of space in the storage closet. However, as convenient as they are to have around, there are some alternative and less costly ways to deal with our visitor.

Alternatives to Disposable Sanitary Items
Diva Cup – The diva cup is a sanitary and efficient way to go without the typical pad or tampon. In fact, according to the website, this product is made from top quality, health care grade silicone, which is 100% latex-free, plastic-free, BPA-free and odorless. Consequently, due to it’s non-absorbent nature, it does not disrupt one’s natural vaginal environment. This is also very cost efficient, as well. A women typically spends $150-$200 a year on sanitary needs. Making the diva cup’s $30 cost point a cost effective alternative.

Cloth Sanitary Napkins - Another cost efficient way to maintain good sanitary means is with cloth menstrual napkins. Cloth sanitary napkins can be made from soft fabrics such as flannel or soft cotton, or can be sewn from worn fabrics. The cloth sanitary napkins can be cleaned after each use and put away for the next month’s use. Typically, a 3 pack set of cloth pads can be bought online at store sites such as Amazon for around $25, but inserts must also be bought for around $10. Or, if you are handy with the sewing machine, make your own.

If you choose to use any of the alternative methods, remember to thoroughly clean them for future use.

Sanitation is an often overlooked area of preparedness, and very well could be one of the most important components to survival. Maintaining proper sanitation during an emergency situation will ensure that you, as well as those around you will stay healthy.

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B.  Survival of women during SHTF
9 April 2012, SHTFSchool_Security, by SELCO
Pasted from: http://shtfschool.com/security/survival-of-women-during-shtf/

JL is a female member of my survival course and she asked a lot of woman specific questions about my SHTF experience. I decided to interview women because of that. I can talk about my experience but women live often in different world of feelings and emotions.

women despondant

I spoke with first woman named Una, now 52 (so was in her 30s back then) who took care of her family during that time. I asked JL to send me some questions she had on her mind and she did. If you have more women specific questions, write in comments. I recorded interview and translated to English (sorry my English not proper English).

Una started to describe her situation:
” My first and worst concern was what is gonna happen with my kids, I had two toddlers, and I did not have any clue what is gonna happen, or even what is gonna look like when hell broke lose. We did not want to believe it could happen. We heard the sound of big guns miles away and stories of violence, rape and murder but everything looked so peaceful.

At the beginning, actually right before everything started during my meetings with my friends and colleagues at work we discussed the deteriorating situation, and pretty soon I found myself faced with important decision: is it worth to send my kids to some more “secure” region or to some relatives to neighboring country, or keep them with me, and wait what happens.

I never had question am I going to leave this place, I found it normal to stay in my city, with husband, in my house. Looking back now I know it was big mistake.

If I want to describe my worst feeling trough all of that, it was not hunger, danger, fire, cold or anything like that. It was definitely the feeling of uncertain future, complete absence of feeling that I control coming events, I was helpless and just like a leaf in a storm. Anything could happen.

Anyway I choose to keep my kids with me, still do not know if it was right decision. Survival was tough even at places I planned to send them before everything started. I found out after everything was over.

Anyway they survived, but with some mental trauma like everybody else who survived.

Some of my friends who send their kids through some organization to other countries, had kids getting lost and disappear, and in some cases they found place somewhere else but the kids lost connection with parents. If parents survived they became strangers with each other.

Q: How did things start to change in your city?

A: Some very new emotions came up during that time, I was watching how city was dying slowly, together with normal behavior of people.

In the beginning people tried to stay together, I mean in the terms of neighbors helping each other. They had “normal” way of communication in the beginning. But as more bloody details, murder, rape and other crime became common trust faded and was replaced by fear.

Slowly people started to move away from each other and there was just us or them. Groups were not open anymore. No more welcoming.

I thought of myself as strong woman before, but that was before being without food and losing normal control of my life. I was teacher before everything, and of course I lost my job just like almost everyone. Nothing worked like it was supposed to work. I did not even have idea to continue to teach my kids at home, or try something similar, to survive took all my energy.

Q: Did you have any ideas of how you would survive if you were alone or not?

A: I was with my husband and family and I think I would not have survived alone. Not because I’m weak spirited woman lacking will to survive but simply because what I saw and experienced was so different and “out of this world” that I would have not been able to handle it alone.

Being in family or group makes you part of something, if other depend on you and you have other who go through same unreal situation it makes you fight harder. I understand those people who gave up and locked themselves in to die.

Q: Did you feel being a woman gave you any advantages or disadvantages?

A; For me I think it was better because I was a woman, I mean I was in a way protected from some of the hardest things, like finding food, resources or fighting. Hardest jobs were done by men, it was matter of luck for me. Woman are just more useful for certain kind of job like taking care of kids or wounded or sick people. Woman also have more feelings so some things like using violence does not come easy.

Q: Did you realize how bad it would get?

A: No, definitely not, many times I thought this can not be worst and then it got worse.

Fighting for survival can reduce people to animal that we all are. Sometimes it was hard to still see that they or we are human. So much that we think makes us human is removed and then there is something very basic and brutal left. It comes as surprise that people can act without emotions like compassion that make us human. Since that time I never thought about humans like before.

Q: How did the close people around you treat you?

A: I was protected, guarded in a way because I was a woman. It was not matter of some kind of gentlemen thing, I believe it was mostly about fact that I do my part of duties, like taking care for kids, food, trying to keep things clean etc. When I had to shoot, nobody would tell me: you are a woman you can’t do that. Everyone in group had to function and people treat you good if you do.

Q: What was your situation meaning how many people did you have as support, if any?

A: I spent that period in a group with 6 men, 3 woman and 4 kids.

Q: What are you doing today that prepares you for any similar event or how did that change the way you live?

A: I have food in my house for several months, weapons and I am ready to leave everything at the first sign that something similar gonna happen. Everything.

Q: Did anything happen that you handled differently than you assumed you would?

A: I was thinking a lot about that, and whatever I am gonna say it could be wrong. You get into situations that you cannot imagine so there was no way to predict what to do. I saw hard man break and weak man be strong. Many people who showed off strength to the outside world before things got really hard were those who broke first. I think they build up a mask to hide their inner weakness.

I broke too but people still relied on me so I had to do my part. I kept myself together but the whole situation left big scars inside of me.

There were quiet and normal people like you [Selco] who managed to come out of all this stronger and who got used to situation faster and without much suffering. Maybe you were born for that I still do not understand people like you.

Q: Were you concerned about hygiene and feminine body issues or would you say the lack of food water etc caused this not to be a concern?

A: How could lack of water etc not to be a concern? It was the opposite.

But over the time we learned that hygiene is not most important thing on the world, as dirty as that sounds. Other things occupied my mind, like with what to feed my kids, or how to make any kind of meal from very few things.

Q: What did you notice that women did differently to handle the situation, if anything?

A: I know for myself that special way of thinking helped me. I just close myself in my own world, I mean with my thinking and worrying, and it helped me. When my husband was worrying about when everything would come to end, and what are the chances for that, or trying to find some useful information about that, my biggest concern was how to make dinner, or to warm kids.

It was not about “men in the house” thing, that he thinks about the big issues and I do not.

I am educated person, but worrying about small, everyday things I think helped me trough all of that, without going crazy maybe. My concern was for example when kid asked me “can you make pancake?” how to answer him and make something that only looked like pancake, and tell him something like “those are special pancakes”. Those were the little missions that kept me from completely losing myself like others did.

Q: Did anything at all go the way you would have expected?

A: Nothing went as expected, actually I did not know what to expect. You cannot expect too much when you find yourself in a completely new situation, deadly situation.

I lived day by day without too much hope or expectation, at some point you stop caring. I survived, my family survived, and that’s it. I do not know what happens next time everything goes to hell again but I’m ready now to accept whatever comes. I easily could not be here anymore like many people I know. This stays with me for life so I appreciate every day.

Q: Did you have a source of spiritual strength?

A: I changed all phases, from completely not believing to completely believing and hoping that God will do something. I lost and gained faith many many times in that period. But yes, I think my kids and care for my kids gave me some will and strength to survive and live somehow normally. I think point of taking care for someone is really important in all this.
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C.  A Woman’s Life in a Post-SHTF World, by Skynome
Survival Blog.com, by James Wesley Rawles
Pasted from: http://www.survivalblog.com/2011/01/a-womans-life-in-a-post-shtf-w.html

Being a woman in TEOTWAWKI presents special challenges that many times in survival literature aren’t touched upon. So I’d like to talk about a few things that are specific to being female.

Menstruation
Let’s face it, that monthly visit creates a lot of waste from pads and tampons that in a SHTF scenario will be very difficult to dispose of.
Imagine if you will, that our infrastructure has broken down and trash is no longer being collected, you have to find a way to get rid of your own trash without creating a world where garbage floats in the streets when it rains. You’re doing okay though because all food scraps go to either the animals or the compost, paper is used as tinder, and jars are reused for whatever purpose you can find. However, synthetic pads and tampons, much like baby diapers, must be disposed of in a way that doesn’t become toxic for your family. So, what do you do?

My suggestion is go for reusable.
I know, in our modern society that reusable pads may be considered “gross” but as long as you wash them after every use they’re just as clean as single use synthetic, and some argue that they’re actually healthier for you.
A major plus to reusable in a SHTF scenario is that you can make them out of any fabric you have available as long as you have some needle and thread (though cotton and flannel work best). You can find patterns and suppliers online; just do a quick Google search.
Another reusable option is a diva/moon cup. A single one can last up to a year so it would be simple to stockpile a 5 year supply just in case. If the thought of reusable supplies still grosses you out just a bit and you don’t think you’ll ever go that route unless you’re living after TEOTWAWKI then you’ll want to keep a stock of single use pads or tampons for your short-term preps.
The best way I’ve found to do this is a combination of couponing and freebies. Almost all companies that make feminine products offer free samples through their web sites, and all of those free samples come with a collection of coupons. Simply go to the manufacturer’s web site, order your free sample (some will let you order a free sample once every 6 weeks), and then use the coupons combined with sales to lay in a large, almost free stash of your feminine products.

Birth Control
I consider this a female issue because females are the ones who get pregnant and therefore need to know what to do with their bodies to prevent pregnancy (besides the obvious). Now, in a TEOTWAWKI life even though you are happily married a recently collapsed society isn’t exactly the ideal place for a newborn.

women BCMaybe after the first year or two your survival retreat group will all be working well together, the gardens will be producing well and you will have mastered the art of hunting under slightly different conditions. At that point, you may want to try and have children but until then, you’ll probably need some birth control.
I personally am not a fan of condoms for long-term storage, they’re bulky, expensive, have a short shelf life, and you have to find a safe way to dispose of them. I would recommend either laying in a years worth of the pill or (if you have someone in your household/retreat group that knows how to administer this) the depo-provera shot. Though, with depo you have to find a safe way to dispose of a used needle. It’s a decision you have to make based on what exactly you’re preparing for and what you feel most comfortable with using as birth control now.
One thing I do not recommend is storing birth control that you have never personally used. Every woman reacts differently to the hormones used in birth control and the time to find out that your reaction is negative is not post-SHTF.

Another option for birth control is using natural family planning. This form of birth control helps you to fully understand your body and its cycle and how to know when you’re fertile and when you’re not. This is something highly encouraged by the Catholic Church so you’ll find a lot of literature about it put out by the Catholic Church. You can also receive training on NFP at most parishes throughout the country. If you’re not comfortable learning about NFP through the Catholic Church you can do an Amazon search for natural family planning and should be able to find books non-catholic books about it. I’ve read quite a few articles on survivalblog relating to pregnancy and nursing so I won’t go into what to do if the birth control fails.

Health Issues
Though both men and women can break a bone, suffer a heart attack, or end up with cancer there are certain diseases that affect women more often or more severely than men, those are the ones I’d like to briefly discuss.

Osteoporosis makes your bones weak and therefore more likely to break. If society collapses you can bet women will be doing a lot more manual labor which will be harder on the bones, and if those bones are weakened by Osteoporosis and break, life will suddenly become much more difficult. The best way to combat Osteoporosis is with a diet full of calcium and vitamin D and by keeping in shape.

Regular exercise is pretty easy to maintain, the calcium and vitamin D may not be. It’s important to not only take calcium and vitamin D supplements now but to be sure you have a good stock of them in your long-term storage. You’ll also want to lay in a good supply of freeze-dried foods high in calcium and vitamin and seeds for foods you can grow fresh.

women vitsSome great sources of vitamin D and calcium include: milk, cheese, yogurt, collard greens, kale, bok choy, broccoli, soybeans, white beans, and almonds.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US; I don’t imagine the stress of living life after TEOTWAWKI would lessen that number.

Luckily some of the heart healthiest foods out there are also wonderful for long term food storage including olive oil (which [if it is in plastic bottles] can be frozen for long term use), beans, peas, and lentils, fish (if your retreat is near a water source good for fishing), and whole grains. Of course regular exercise is also helpful.

Depression is much more common in women than in men for a variety of hormone reasons. Because of this if you have ever suffered from depression, post-partum depression, have a family history of depression, or currently suffer from mild depression it is a good idea to stock up on anti-depressants. Because I suffered post-partum depression with my first child it was easy for me to stock up on anti-depressants through my other two pregnancies.

If you don’t have a doctor that will prescribe you anti-depressants find one who will, survivalblog has a lot of good advice on stocking up on prescription medications so I won’t go into that. Be sure you are fully aware of all side effects of whatever anti-depressants you decide to go with, and if possible use it before SHTF. An example on why you should know exactly how it will affect you, the same anti-depressant that helped me recover from post-partum depression caused a friend of mine to have a psychotic break, everyone reacts differently to medications.

Menopause happens to all women so it’s a good idea to store some supplements that help make the transition easier. Even if you’re still young, they’re good to store for any older members of your family. It’s also a good idea to talk to your mom about the average age women in the family start going through menopause that way you can prepared for it.

Also, make sure you know your family history relating to all uterine conditions. For example, if ovarian cysts run in the family start getting checked for them now and know the symptoms if a cyst ruptures because if that happens post-SHTF you could bleed to death.

Being Girlywomen girlie
This is the section that to some may seem frivolous but the fact is women are different from men and just like men need to do things that make them feel manly, girls need to feel girly. Feeling girly is different from being high maintenance.
I’m about as far from what most would consider girly as possible, I get my hair cut once, maybe twice a year and never do more to it than run a brush through it. I rarely shave my legs, I haven’t worn makeup since my last school dance (which was quite a few years ago), and I only wear dresses to the really important church holidays.
However, while I was in Navy boot camp my drill sergeants (Recruit Division Commanders or RDCs) did everything they could to strip away our femininity. We were required to use men’s body wash, shampoo, and deodorant, no makeup allowed, no lotions; we couldn’t even shave our legs. Because of this what I looked forward to the most after getting out of boot camp was not better food or no longer being yelled at, it was being able to use a really nice lotion.

I began to really understand how different women are from men, yes, we can get any job a man can, and we can work just as hard when doing manual labor but we are female and females were made differently and we need to feel like females every now and then. In a post-SHTF world shaved legs and a pedicure really don’t matter when it comes to survival but what it can do for morale is huge.

If you have the chance to stock up on some fun feminine items on the cheap do it. I tend to find razors, pretty smelling lotions, shampoos, and conditioners, nail polish, and hair dye for free to almost free at CVS or Walgreen’s when combining manufacturers’ coupons with in-store coupons and sales.
If you are stowing away basic patterns so you can make your own clothes when the clothing stores are no longer stocked it would be a good idea to throw in a pattern or two for dresses.

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