Category Archives: Survival Manual

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Pandemic

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Pandemic)

 Humans often tend to forget that they are not the only living species which adapts to and exploits the populations of other living beings.
A virus, such as one of the influenza variety, would have  a field day in our global, highly inter-connected society, especially in the midst of an economic depression (remember, H1N1 killed 50 million people in the early 20th century).

 1.  Overview: Surviving a deadly  pandemic
•  The duration of  a medical crisis  is usually 14-21 days depending on the disease and its method of movement through the country. There may be another 2-3 months before things swing back  to normal, but the worst will be over in 3 weeks.
•  Today we understand that a 30-40 day break in a human borne diseases cycle will stop most from spreading, except in the case where there are vectors such as rates, mice, pigeons that continue to harbor, carry and spread the disease.
•  Successful medical survivors will need to be news junkies, learning all there is to know about any threatening disease. What is it, how is it spread, why is  it here, what hosts are involved, and how long lived outside of human/ animal hosts?
•  Things to watch for: Look for signs that diseases are spreading than the experts normally expect, that the strain if disease is especially difficult to treat, that it is being spread by means not previously observed by those in the medical profession, that there are observed multiple /simultaneous outbreaks, that the disease is strangely affecting plants and /or livestock.

Diseases characterized as being ‘a far more virulent strain’ and/or that ‘are attacking our agricultural production’ are especially cautionary.
•  The basics of survival need not include anything more than provision for food, water, shelter, energy, medical and sanitary and self actualization.
•  Own a full face respirator (HEPA=high efficiency particulate air) with HEPA filters capable of sorting out particle down to about 0.3 microns. That size includes TB and smallpox organisms. Smallpox is one of the largest viruses known. You will need to store 4-6 extra sets of filters for each apparatus per
person. (see Disaster/Biological warfare document)
•  When an outbreak reaches the 30-50% rate victims will be whisked away to a central location if for no other reason to get them out of sight to die.
•  If  the epidemic is raging in your community or the neighbor have contracted it, you may be faced with wearing your mask continuously indoors.  (safety people who currently use masks claim,  “You get use to them”). In any event, city survivors might wish to wear at least a model N95 HEPA disposable filter during any infrequent time they leave the retreat to replenish supplies.
•  Remember that irregardless of the promises and issued statements, government never has done well at medical or any other enterprise. There is no penalty for government workers who fail to produce or who make wrong decisions.
•  The best survival defense is total obscurity. Another iron rule of survival is that you should never, never become a refugee. Worldwide, throughout history, refugees have always been as good as dead.  Refugees are characterized as being hopeless people with absolutely no control over  their lives. All of lives necessities are provided by others—always at their whim. Crime is rampant. In refugee camps, private property ownership is always nonexistent. Any necessity of life comes from the will of an often-disinterested, corrupt, arrogant, bureaucrat. Food, shelter, warmth, family stability, sanitation and personal safety are all in the hands of another person—who usually doesn’t give a damn.
•  Another rule of survival is that as much energy as possible should come from renewable or scrounged sources, ie firewood, burnable scrap, , peat dug out of a nearby bog, etc.
•  Effective shelter absolutely must provide for a place to safely store food supplies, prepare food, provide access to water, answer to one’s need for cleanliness and sanitation, and provide protection and security.
•  The deployment of tents means more than one tent, as there should be one tent for kitchen and food supplies, and another for personal shelter and maybe a 3rd for sanitation and porta-pottie.

How a pandemic might look (synopsis)
Some effects that a pandemic might have:
First off, people might not go to work, either because they’ve got the disease, they’re  too scared to show up, their workplace has been closed, or they’ve got to stay home because their kids are out of school.

The results of this might include:
•  Utility plants (power, gas, water, sewage) left untended, and maintenance and routine chores neglected until they cease tofunction.
•  Nobody available to fix things that break: powerlines, water mains, etc.
•  Public transit closed, either because there’s no employees around to run said transit (or for quarantine reasons)
•  Farmers who can’t farm, because they’re sick or they can’t get gas, diesel, propane, or supplies.
•  Items stored in warehouses can’t be distributed,including, potentially, food and medication and parts to fix things
•  Gasoline and diesel shortages
•  Retail and grocery stores closed
•  Additionally, local authorities may institute quarantines and closures. Either you may be unable to
travel to get your groceries, or the groceries themselves may be stuck inside or outside of a quarantined area. (One would assume that the authorities will figure out how to safely get supplies delivered; one would also assume that there would be some chaos and bureaucracy involved. I’d rather not go hungry
for a few days while they wrangle out the details.) It’s the rare grocery store that stocks more than enough food for a day or two for a given area. And areas where large groups gather, including schools, retail stores, movie theaters, and nonessential businesses of any kind, may simply be closed to limit spread.
•  Quarantine is a real possibility. Some of the families of the infected patients in the US have already been told to stay home until the authorities are sure they’re not sick. (See above: contagious before symptoms.) I’ll assume that, since there are only a few of them, having food and supplies delivered to the sick and quarantined won’t be a problem. However, if there are tens of thousands of families sick,
and all their friends, family, and the local pizza delivery drivers in the city are sick? Yeah. That could be logistically a little bit more of a challenge.
•  Finally, a pandemic will put a huge stress on the economy. Businesses will go under. It’s kinda hard to keep a cash flow going if you can’t sell anything because both your customers and your employees are unable to buy anything because of illness, quarantine, or unwillingness to leave the house. And if people can’t work because of quarantines and closures, they won’t have money to buy things.  Our economy is already a fragile house of cards. A pandemic would yank a few supporting aces out of the base, in unpredictable and potentially disastrous ways.

So. You need to prep in a hurry. What do you do?
First off, consider the basics. (See topic, Preparing for a Pandemic, below
1)  Water
2)  Food
3)  Shelter
4)  Health care
5)  Personal protection

First, cover your “water supplies” first. This is fairly easy, but also rather important. You  could see either shortages or contaminated water if water treatment plants break down, and if you’re on a well, you’ll need a power source to pump the well.
Get some jugs, fill them up, set them aside somewhere in your house. Figure a couple gallons per person per day. (You’ll need water for cleaning, drinking, and cooking.) How many days worth of water you feel you need to store is very situation dependent, of course. I’m probably going to need have a lot more water stored in Arizona than a guy living on a lake somewhere in the Pacific Northwest where it rains every day.
Also, if you don’t have some in your laundry room, get a couple jugs of chlorine bleach,and set it aside for water purification. For unscented chlorine bleach at 4-6% strength add 8 drops per gallon of water. If water is contaminated (see: water treatment plant breakdown) or you need to resort to natural sources of water such as rainwater or rivers and creeks you’ll have something to purify it with.
If you don’t need to purify water, you can use it for sanitation or for your laundry, and an extra jug of bleach is cheap enough that it shouldn’t be a budget breaker.

Second, figure out what you’re going to do for food. A few weeks, or even a month or two, of supplies is a good idea.
If you buy basic staples, you probably won’t break the bank. Buy food that you’ll actually eat and know how to cook, or can easily learn. Also, buy food with an idea of how you’ll cook it if the power goes out. If you’ve got a large home propane tank that’s been recently topped off or a wood burning stove you may chose to stock different types of food than someone who’s living in an apartment with just an electric range. If the power goes out, cooking a big pot of dry beans is not easy … but you can still eat a cold can of soup.
Go for the most calories for your buck if you’re short on money. Also, do not overstock on items that need to be frozen or refrigerated.  If the power goes out, or your freezer simply breaks down (See:  Murphy’s Law), you’re going to be eating a lot of meat in a hurry if your preps included half a cow.

Severity?
The severity of the next pandemic cannot be predicted, but modeling studies suggest that its effect
in the United States could be severe. In the United States, a pandemic influenza outbreak similar to the 1918 strain, could result in:
•  2.25 million deaths
•  90 million falling ill
•  60% absenteeism in the workplace
•  An economic impact of $310 billion reduction in GDP

Bird flu poses no great threat to humanity. This disease is simply too lethal to its victims and  too fast in killing them to ever pose any significant threat to mankind. With a 50% or so mortality rate  occurring in about 5 to 7 days after infection this disease cannot live long enough to spread. It also assures prompt detection.
Quick effective countermeasures can be applied. It may be a problem, but H5N1, as this virus is known, is not going to be a mass killer.

A pandemic disease of great danger has a unique pattern for its transmission and lethality. A dangerous pandemic disease will only have a moderate mortality rate in the order of 1% or 2%. This
will allow the disease to survive and infect. It will spread slowly and incubate for fairly long periods of time. This provides effective transmission to large numbers of victims. H5N1 simply doesn’t fit the bill. Even in a fairly mutated form this disease has little or no prospect of ever being a serious threat. The high rates of morality for bird flu and its fast transmission will make great headlines. It will not make a great epidemic. This bird flu will die out too fast to amount to anything. This is why the disease after 7 years has only produced a few deaths.

The flu is truly a dangerous disease.
In any given year the USA will lose between 10,000 and 50,000 people to the flu. It will make ill in varied degrees of seriousness between a million and 5 million persons. A truly serious flu epidemic could kill millions and make sick large parts of the population. We definitely need much more effective measures to deal with the flu in whatever form that arrives each year.

Pandemic Self Quarantine (Influenza)
•  10 days for personal infection = 1 incubation period
•  21 days minimum, more likely 8 to 10 with 12 weeks maximum for the community = 3 to 5 incubation periods
•  The disease may have run its course after the initial wave, if not may return in 3,6 or 12 months with a second wave. While the initial wave will most likely occur during the normal flu season, November through March, subsequent waves may arrive for a few individuals in June, but no new community outbreaks occur until August. with a wave peak in October (see below–to get chronology right).

2.  Preparing for a Pandemic
An expert discusses the ‘Must-Haves’ if Bird Flu (or ‘fill in the blank’) cripples the country.

The Red Cross says that if there’s a pandemic, we need to prepare for 10 days of being stuck in our homes, and that we may be without power and water during that time. In the event of a bird flu pandemic, Americans should plan for interruptions or delays in other services: Banks might close, hospitals could be overwhelmed, and postal service could be spotty. Experts also say that people need to begin stocking up on extra food and supplies like protective masks, flashlights, portable radios, batteries and matches.

“When you go to the store and buy three cans of tuna fish, buy a fourth and put it under the bed.
When you go to the store to buy some milk, pick up a box of powdered milk, put it under the bed,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. “When you do that for a period of four to six months, you are going to have a couple of weeks of food. And that’s what we’re talking about.”

Previous pandemics occurred in 1918, 1957 and 1968, and the worst waves of illness seem to pass
through communities in a matter of six weeks to eight weeks. Computer models suggest about 30 percent of people could be infected, but not all at the same time.

In the event of a pandemic, people must practice what the health officials call “social distancing,” or keeping away from other people’s germs. Schools and day-care centers could be closed, sporting events and other large gatherings could be canceled, and shaking hands could become socially unacceptable, at least for a while.

Darlene Washington, the director of disease prevention education at the American Red Cross, points
out some of the must-haves in the event of a bird flu pandemic.

Have 3 sources for each of the following necessities
•  Water–(utility, potable water storage, rainwater catchment, local fresh water supply/ treatment).
•  Food–(store, stocked cupboard, food storage program)
•  Shelter–(Home, camper, tent, 2nd home, relative or friend living away from the area)
•  Energy–(Utilities, Propane and propane appliances, firewood, solar appliances, battery backup/ photovoltaic

Water
“We recommend that each member of your family has a gallon of water for each day, so a family of
four needs to have 40 gallons of water available for a 10 day emergency period, that water needs to be stored because there’s a chance that your water will get cut off if there’s a pandemic,” Washington said. “Workers may not be able to make it, and plants may stop operating. Your family will need to drink water and for hygiene, for brushing their teeth and washing their hands.”

Food
In previous centuries, people had no means of  accumulating and preserving enough food and water to see them through a 3-10 week crisis. Fortunately, this is no longer true today. Modern technology
allows us to store food and water and to separate ourselves from disease  organisms.
You need foods that will not spoil, so you need canned foods like tuna. You also need to get foods that you don’t have to heat, because just like your water, your powers may go out, too. In addition, to things like canned tuna, you should start storing peanut butter, protein, bars, crackers. Again, foods that have a long shelf life and that don’t need to be heated. Make sure you have enough formula and baby food to get through that 10 days. You have to plan for every member of your family and that includes your pets. So get extra dog food or cat food, and make sure you have extra water for your pets. You need a 10-day supply for everyone.”

In spite of the apparent violation of the Rules of Three: Food storage alone is the best single recommendation for epidemic  survivors.

Some common sense:
•  If there is a avian type disease around, don’t  eat pigeons.
•  If yellow fever, malaria or any other mosquito borne disease is pandemic you may not want to wade into the swamp or hang around the lake collecting cattails.
•  If some mutant form of bubonic plague, spread by natural causes or bio-warfare is around, don’t consider rats as an emergency food.

Power Outages
It’s reasonable to believe that the grid will mostly  stay up during an epidemic and that emergency may be short lived.
“Stores are going to run out of what you need, too,” Washington said. “So that’s why you need to stock up now. And we encourage families to have supplies on hand like flashlights and batteries, matches. Hand-cranked or battery-operated radios, and a manual can opener, because you are going to need to open all those cans of food. And this may not seem important, but you must get activities for your children and yourself, games, coloring books, cards.”

Cleaning Supplies
“You have to have all those on hand to keep your home clean and to have receptacles for all your
trash,” she said. “You probably won’t have trash service and you need to account for that. You need to make sure to have paper towels, toilet paper and soap. Everything you need to keep your home clean and practice good hygiene.”

Medication
“You need to get an additional 10 days of all your prescription medications,” Washington said. “You
should also have over-the-counter, fever-reducing medications; medications for upset stomach; and cold and flu medication. You’ll also want to have fluids like Gatorade and Pedialite, which have electrolytes and will help a family member rehydrate if they get sick. Also, keep a few thermometers around in case someone gets sick.”
Taking refuge in a travel trailer or tent is OK for medical survivors, as long as you  don’t become refugees.

 If a Family Member Gets Sick …
“The first thing is  to strengthen your hand washing and to have the infected family member cover
his mouth when he coughs,” she said. “You should also keep that person isolated in a certain part of the house and identify a family member who will help him. You may have to take turns.”

Concepts to consider when preparing for a pandemic & self quarantine
•  Flu spreads in waves of 3-5 months with 3 months in-between.
•  Self-quarantine for 90-120 days per wave.
•  Government efforts to supply food and water are 10% effective at best.
•  Outside dirty, inside clean; Boy in the Bubble concept
•  Maintain household shelter with a good seal.
•  Clear brush and undergrowth 100 feet parameter around the house.
•  Preferable: Heat pump with forced air cooling/heat to filter out virus/microbes.
• Have a water reservoir, i.e., covered, pool, tubs and barrels, then disinfected.
•  Any source of standing water or body of water is a contaminate. Remove birdbaths,  old tires and/or fill puddles. Virus lives in water for days, influenza lives on hands 5 minutes.
•  Don’t have  bird feeders or chicken in your yard
•  Food supply; Have 1year supply per person.
•  Vacuum with bags that filter for allergens.
•  No eating from outside gardens, only preserved food.
•  Indoor sprouts, fluorescent lights for indoor growing plants vegetables.
•  Bleach for water disinfectant (10 drops/gallon) and medicinal wound care (½ sterile water ½ bleach).
•  Hand cleaners- soap and alcohol based.
•  Running water for washing hands, not standing water.
•  Face masks N-95 and goggles for outside.
•  No individual contact less than 8 feet (NO handshakes etc) social distancing.
•  Animals inside space and same social considerations.
•  Dogs and cats immunizations kept up (any stray dog will be shot).
•  Water repellent clothing w/ hood when outside (large garbage bags)
•  Toilet bowl cleaner tablets for inside standing water (tidy-bowl etc).
•  No contact with people within 8 feet, viruses jump 5+ feet.
•  If an exchange is required drop item in spot i.e. porch and leave then the receiver can pick up the item i.e. soup, firewood etc. (This was the practice during the 1918 influenza)
•  Keep dust to minimum, dusters, wet wipes. Sneeze into your elbow.
•  Keep surfaces clean with disinfectant.
•  Bake items coming into house for 20 min at 325F+ degrees (Microwave is best)
•  Good hygiene; Wash hands thoroughly and frequently after contact from outside world.
•  Once one individual leaves and breaks quarantine, they cannot return to re-infect rest of household.
•   No group meetings parties’ weddings, funerals, church, etc.
•  Only burn wood that is stored under protective covering and dry, if wet consider it contaminated.
•  Wallpaper the ceiling, walls and windows with foil in one safe room to insulate and retain heat.
•  UV lighting on surfaces (can cause skin cancer).
•  No washing cars by hand.
•  Flies and mosquitoes out must be kept out, don’t leave windows, doors open, screens are not an option. Bug Zappers are either a really good idea because they kill bugs or a real bad idea because they attract bugs.
•  Handling mail, wear gloves and bake mail before opening it (e-mail best).
•  Analog phone for when power goes out.
•  OTC medicine supply for diarrhea and cold remedies.
•  Homemade ‘Gatorade’: 1 tsp Lite Salt (source of potassium) + 1/3 tsp Baking Soda + 10 tsp sugar + 1 qt water OR 1 tsp salt + 3 tsp sugar + 1 qt water.
•  Turnips, clover and potatoes are good crops for cold weather.
•  0.4 rads / min acceptable after nuclear fall out.
•  Mice- use copper wool stuffed into holes around plumbing to keep them out.
•  Garbage bags to wear punch holes in sides and put arm through, good for warmth and as a disposable barrier from the outdoors.
•  Have a supply of Vitamins.
•  Wash down entryways w/ bleach or cleaner.
•  Keep shoes outside of living quarters (on enclosed pourch).
•  Use a pressure cooker and/or microwave to disinfect food.
•  Food from the outside- root veggies only (microwave and wash).
•  Cage animal, not range free (rabbits)
•  Dishwasher sterilizes
•  Remember your dishcloth is the dirtiest item in household
•  Shopping cart handles are the dirtiest item in public
•  Magazines  are the dirtiest item in doctor’s office
•  Your purse is exposed to everything, same with the morning coffee mug that follows you around at work
•  Do not share pens, combs, etc.
•  Tarp and duct tape corpses, bury deep at home if possible
•  Remove moss from roof as it harbors bacteria and virus.
•  Streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, rivers are sources of contamination.
•  Keep the outside yard dry, no watering lawn.
•  Rain, Snow, Mist, and fog are also carriers for the virus…
•  The Plague never returned to London after London’s Great Fire

3.  Flu Pandemic Mitigation – Social Distancing
 “It’s not like a ‘snow day!”
The so-called social distancing measures they studied would dramatically alter the life of the city for a period of months — long enough, Eubank said, for vaccine makers to develop a vaccine.

Schools and day-care centers would close. Theaters, bars, restaurants and ball parks would be shuttered.
Offices and factories would be open but hobbled as workers stay home to care for children. Infected people and their friends and  families would be confined to their homes.
“We are not talking about simply shutting things down for a day or two like a ‘snow day’. It’s a sustained period for weeks or months,” he said. “You wouldn’t go out to the movies. You wouldn’t
congregate with people. You’d pretty much be staying home with the doors and windows battened down,” he said.

While those measures seem draconian, Eubank said they are steps many people would take on their own in the face of a deadly flu outbreak. “In the context of a very infectious disease that is killing a
large number of the people, I think large fractions of the population won’t have a problem with these recommendations,” Eubank said.

 Two ways of increasing social distance activity restrictions are to 1) cancel events and 2) close buildings or to restrict access to certain sites or buildings. These measures are sometimes called “focused  measures to increase social distance.” Depending on the situation, examples of cancellations and building closures might include: cancellation of public events (concerts, sports events, movies, plays) and closure of recreational facilities (community swimming pools, youth clubs, gymnasiums).

Closure of office buildings, stores, schools, and public transportation systems may be feasible community containment measures during a pandemic. All of these have significant impact on the community and workforce, however, and careful consideration should be focused on their potential
effectiveness, how they can most effectively be implemented, and how to maintain critical supplies and infrastructure while limiting community interaction. For example, when public transportation is cancelled, other modes of transportation must be provided for emergency medical services and medical
evaluation.

In general, providing information to domestic and international travelers (risks to avoid, symptoms to look for, when to seek care) is a better use of health resources than formal screening. Entry  screening of travelers at international borders will incur considerable expense with a disproportionately small impact on international spread, although exit screening would be considered in some situations.

Although data is limited, school closures may be effective in decreasing spread of influenza and reducing the overall magnitude of disease in a community. In addition, the risk of infection and illness among children is likely to be decreased, which would be particularly important if the pandemic strain causes significant morbidity and mortality among children. Children are known to be efficient transmitters of seasonal influenza and other respiratory illnesses. Anecdotal reports suggest that community influenza outbreaks may be limited by closing schools. Results of mathematical modeling also suggest a reduction of overall disease, especially when schools are closed early in the outbreak.
During a Pandemic Period, parents would be encouraged to consider child care arrangements that do not result in large gatherings of children outside the school setting.

There is some evidence that big gatherings of people encourage spread of flu, and measures to flatten the epidemic curve can helpful in easing the most intense pressure on health services. Limiting public gatherings can be an effective preventive measure for diseases that are transmitted through the air [unlike flu] – especially for diseases that are transmitted by individuals with no symptoms [such as flu]. Often, public health experts recommend limiting exposures to others-such as frequently occurs during influenza season. There is a big difference between recommending limited public gatherings and enforcing a more specific and uniform requirement. In making a decision to close gathering places, the impact on economy, education, and access to food / water / other necessities needs to be balanced with the ability to effectively protect the public through such means.

During the 1957-1958 pandemic, a WHO expert panel found that spread within some countries
followed public gatherings, such as conferences and festivals. This panel also observed that in many countries the pandemic broke out first in camps, army units and schools; suggesting that the avoidance of crowding may be important in reducing the peak incidence of an epidemic.

During the first wave of the Asian influenza pandemic of 1957-1958, the highest attack rates were seen in school aged children. This has been attributed to their close contact in crowded settings. A published study found that during an influenza outbreak, school closures were associated with significant decreases in the incidence of viral respiratory diseases and health care utilization among children aged 6-12 years.

Given a pandemic strain causing significant morbidity and mortality in all age groups and the absence of a vaccine, the WHO consultation on priority public health interventions before and during an influenza pandemic concluded that authorities should seriously consider introducing population-wide measures to reduce the number of cases and deaths. These would include population-wide measures to
reduce mixing of adults (furlough non-essential workers, close workplaces, discourage mass gatherings). Decisions can be guided by mathematical and economic modeling.

The Center for Biosecurity of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center [UPMC] argued that idea that the cancellation of public gatherings or the imposition of travel restrictions might limit the spread of disease are scientifically unfounded, and that presenting them has the potential to create false expectations about what can be accomplished by government officials and their proposed containment measures. The UK Government, for instance, has concluded that closing schools and other
educational facilities would have a limited effect on the epidemic. There would be a major reduction in the numbers of students affected. On the other hand, there would be little reduction in the number of cases in the rest of the population. The UK Government concluded that there was little evidence that
cancelling large public events would have any significant impact on the course of the epidemic.

Flu Pandemic Home Care
Home care will be the predominant mode of care for most people infected with influenza. Most patients with pandemic influenza will be able to remain at home during the course of their illness and can be cared for by other family members or others who live in the household.  Anyone residing in a household with an influenza patient during the incubation period and illness is at risk for developing influenza. A key objective in this setting is to limit transmission of pandemic influenza within and outside the home. When care is provided by a household member, basic infection control precautions should be emphasized (e.g., segregating the ill patient, hand hygiene). Infection within the household may be minimized if a primary caregiver is designated, ideally someone who does not have an underlying condition that places them at increased risk of severe influenza disease. Although no studies have assessed the use of masks at home to decrease the spread of infection, use of surgical or procedure masks by the patient and/or caregiver during interactions may be of benefit.

The term “flu” is much used and abused.
Some people use the term “stomach flu” as an informal way of saying “gastroenteritis of unknown etiology.” Sometimes people confuse cold and flu, which share some of the same symptoms and occur at the same time of the year (cold and flu season). However, the two diseases are very different. Most
people get a cold several times each year, and the flu only once every several years. Others think that “flu” is any kind of illness with aches and fever with or without respiratory symptoms. In reality, influenza is none of these things. Influenza is a specific, often severe, respiratory viral infection caused by influenza viruses. The whole body suffers from it.

Typical symptoms include:
• 
The flu usually begins abruptly, with a fever between 102 to 106°F (with adults on the lower end of the spectrum). Other common symptoms include a flushed face. Some people have dizziness or vomiting. The fever usually lasts for two or three days, but can last 5 days.
•  Somewhere between day 2 and day 4 of the illness, the “whole body” symptoms — chills, weakness, lack of energy, loss of appetite, and aching of the head, back, arms, legs — begin to subside, and respiratory symptoms begin to increase.
•  The virus can settle anywhere in the respiratory tract, producing symptoms of a cold, croup, sore throat, bronchiolitis, ear infection, or pneumonia. The most prominent of the respiratory symptoms is usually a dry, hacking cough. Most people also develop a sore (red) throat and a headache.
Nasal discharge and sneezing are common. These symptoms (except the cough)
usually disappear within 4-7 days
•  Sometimes there’s a second wave of fever at this time.
•  Often the person continues to feel sick for several days. Cough and tiredness usually last for weeks after the rest of the illness is over.
•  Sometimes the person can have complications, such as dehydration or pneumonia.The disease is characterized by abrupt onset of constitutional and respiratory symptoms, including fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, malaise, nonproductive cough, sore throat, and runny nose. Upper respiratory and constitutional symptoms tend to predominate in the first several days of
illness, but lower respiratory symptoms, particularly cough, are common after the first week. In children, nausea and vomiting and, occasionally, ear infection are also symptoms.
•  Since several other respiratory pathogens (including adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, para influenza virus, rhinovirus, corona virus, human metapneumo virus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Legionella) can also cause a similar clinical picture, definitive diagnosis of influenza requires laboratory confirmation. However, laboratory testing is not necessary for all patients. In the presence of a community outbreak of respiratory illness, a presumptive diagnosis can be made based on knowledge of the predominant agent causing the outbreak. Uncomplicated influenza gets better with or without treatment, but may cause substantial discomfort and limitation of activity before getting better.
Complications of influenza can include bacterial infections, viral pneumonia, and cardiac and other organ system abnormalities. People with chronic medical conditions may have increased risk of complications when they get influenza.
Many other diseases, including serious infections such as rapidly progressive bacteremias, may start with symptoms that resemble influenza and may need to be considered in treatment decisions. Many people with uncomplicated influenza use over-the-counter medicines to help lessen their symptoms.Here are some tips to keep from spreading your germs to others, and to keep from catching someone else’s germs.

Keep your germs to yourself
•   Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
•   Throw out used tissues in the trash as soon as you can.
•   Always wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing, or after touching used
tissues or handkerchiefs. Wash hands often if you are sick.
•   Use warm water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers to wash your hands.
•   Try to stay home if you have a cough and fever.
•   See your doctor as soon as you can if you have a cough and fever, and follow their instructions,
including taking medicine as prescribed and getting lots of rest.
•   If asked to, use face masks provided in your doctor’s office or clinic’s waiting room; follow their instructions to help stop the spread of germs.

Keep the germs away
•  Wash your hands before eating, or touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
•  Wash your hands after touching anyone else who is sneezing, coughing, blowing their nose, or whose nose is running.
•  Don’t share things like cigarettes, towels, lipstick, toys, or anything else that might be contaminated with respiratory germs.
•  Don’t share food, utensils or beverage containers with others.
•  Especially during a pandemic or disaster situation you are best served by not visiting the hospital if you can help it, where you are more likely to sit or stand next to a person carrying incurable TB, flu, smallpox, or whatever epidemic disease is ‘going around’. Remember, the doctor’s office and hospital’s
waiting room is where the sick congregate, it’s this infected group that you are trying to avoid! You are much more likely to encounter contagious people in hospitals than anywhere else, even though the facilities are generally much more sanitary. Survivors will try to avoid contact with anyone while outside.

4.   Plan  Ahead
People should plan ahead and think about what they need to have in their house in case someone in their household were to become infected with influenza and need to receive care at home. If you live alone, are a single parent of young children, or are sole caregiver for a frail or disabled adult, it would be a good idea to have some items stored in your home in case of illness:
•  Have enough fluids (e.g. water, juice, soup) available to last for 2 weeks.
•  Have enough basic household items (e.g. tissues) to last for 2 weeks.
•  Have acetaminophen and a thermometer in the medicine cabinet. Do you know how to use/read a thermometer correctly? If not, ask someone to show you how.
•  Think of someone you could call upon for help if you became very ill with the flu and discuss this possibility with him or her.
•  Think of someone you could call upon to care for your children if you were required to work and their school or day care was closed because of the influenza pandemic; discuss the possibility with them.

A.  Infection Control Measures in the Home
•  All persons in the household should carefully follow recommendations for hand hygiene (i.e., hand washing with soap and water or use of an alcohol-based hand rub) after contact with an influenza patient or the environment in which care is provided.
•  Although no studies have assessed the use of masks at home to decrease the spread of infection, use of surgical or procedure masks by the patient and/or caregiver during interactions may be of benefit. The wearing of gloves and gowns is not recommended for household members providing care in the
home.
•  Soiled dishes and eating utensils should be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with warm water and soap. Separation of eating utensils for use by a patient with influenza is not necessary.
•  Laundry can be washed in a standard washing machine with warm or cold water and detergent. It is not necessary to separate soiled linen and laundry used by a patient with influenza from other household laundry. Care should be used when handling soiled laundry (i.e., avoid “hugging” the laundry) to avoid contamination. Hand hygiene should be performed after handling soiled laundry.
•  Tissues used by the ill patient should be placed in a bag and disposed with other household waste. Consider placing a bag for this purpose at the bedside.
•  Normal cleaning of environmental surfaces in the home should be followed.

B.  Management of Well Persons in the  Home
•  Persons who have not been exposed to pandemic influenza and who are not essential for patient care or support should not enter the home while persons are actively ill with pandemic influenza.
•  If unexposed persons must enter the home, they should avoid close contact with the patient.
•  Persons living in the home with the pandemic influenza patient should limit contact with the patient to the extent possible; consider designating one person as the primary care provider.
•  Household members should monitor closely for the development of influenza symptoms and contact a telephone hotline or medical care provider if symptoms occur.

C.  Management of Influenza Patients
Persons who have a sudden onset of influenza-like symptoms (e.g. headache, fever, chills, cough, chest pain, sore throat, muscle aches, weakness, exhaustion) should do the following:
•  Remain at home at least until all symptoms have resolved (approximately 4-5 days)
•  Take medication as needed to relieve the symptoms of the flu.
•  Decongestants, such as phenylephrine, and pseudoephedrine, produce a narrowing of blood vessels. This leads to clearing of nasal congestion, but it may also cause an increase in blood pressure in patients who have high blood pressure. OTC drugs to relieve stuffy noses often contain more than one ingredient. Some of these products are marketed for allergy relief and others for colds. They usually contain both an antihistamine and a nasal decongestant. The decongestant ingredient unstuffs nasal passages; antihistamines dry up a runny nose. But some of these products may also contain aspirin or acetaminophen, and some contain a decongestant alone. Closely related products with similar names may have different ingredients. There are other medications in the form of nasal drops and sprays sold OTC for this purpose. As with pills, some of these are long acting (up to 12 hours) and some  are shorter acting. And, as with pills, most have some side effects. Many of the products contain a nasal decongestant such as oxymetazoline or phenylephrine. When used for more than three days or more often than directed by the label, these drops or sprays can sometimes cause a “rebound” effect, in which the nose gets more stuffy. Other nose drops and sprays are formulated with a saline (salt) solution and can be used for dry nose or to relieve clogged nasal passages.
• Dextromethorphan, an antitussive, is used to relieve a nonproductive cough caused by a cold, the flu, or other conditions.
Dextromethorphan comes as a liquid or as a lozenge to take by mouth. It is usually taken every 4-8 hours as needed. Do not take more than 120 mg of dextromethorphan in a 24-hour period. Refer to the package or prescription label to determine the amount contained in each dose. The lozenge should
dissolve slowly in your mouth. Drink plenty of water after taking a dose. Follow the directions on the package or prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
•  Antipyretics are fever-reducing medications; the term comes from the Greek word pyresis, which means fire. Ibuprofen (Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are generally recognized as safe and effective single analgesic-antipyretic active ingredients. These two antipyretics can be taken
together or on an alternating 4 hour schedule. Ibuprofen provides greater temperature decrement and longer duration of antipyresis than acetaminophen when the two drugs are administered in approximately equal doses.
•  Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms (and particularly fever) without first speaking to your doctor. Giving aspirin to children and teenagers who have influenza can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome. Reading the label becomes especially important when it comes to products containing aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) or their chemical cousins, other salicylates, which are used to reduce fever or treat headaches and other pain.
•  A person’s fluid needs are greater when that person has fever. Drink lots of fluids (water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages) to avoid becoming dehydrated. Start with sips of any fluid other than caffeinated beverages. Drinking too much fluid at once can bring on more vomiting. Electrolyte solutions available in drugstores are usually best. Sport  drinks contain a lot of sugar and can cause or worsen diarrhea.
•  If you have diarrhea, it’s a good idea to rest, eat only small amounts of food at a time, and drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Avoid over-the-counter diarrheal medications unless specifically instructed to use one by your doctor. Certain infections can be made worse by these drugs. When you have diarrhea, your body is trying to get rid of whatever food, virus, or other bug is causing it. OTC products marketed to stop diarrhea may contain loperamide (Imodium A-D), or attapulgite (Diasorb, Kaopectate and others), or bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol and others).
•  Use either a traditional glass thermometer for each person [don't cross-contaminate patients], or a digital thermometer with lots of  disposable sleeves. The thermometers are a few dollars. The sleeves are a dollar or so per hundred.

  • Get plenty of bed rest
  • Do not smoke
  • Restrict visitors to their home
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or
    sneezing.
  • Keep at least 3 feet away from others.
  • Patients should not leave the home during the period when
    they are most likely to be infectious to others (i.e., 5 days after onset of
    symptoms). When movement outside the home is necessary (e.g., for medical
    care), the patient should follow cough etiquette (i.e., cover the mouth and
    nose when coughing and sneezing) and wear procedure or surgical masks if
    available.

To protect the patients infected with influenza, individuals having contact with the patient, and the community in general, certain infection control measures should be practiced:

  • Wash hands often with warm soap and water, scrubbing for 15-20 seconds
  • Family members should wash hands or use waterless hand sanitizer after contact with the patient
  • Do not share eating utensils or drinks
  • Do not rub eyes, touch nose or mouth
  • Patients should cover their mouths and noses with tissue when coughing or sneezing, dispose of used tissues immediately after use and wash hands after using tissues
  • In general, wearing goggles or a face shield for routine contact with patients with pandemic influenza is not necessary. If sprays or splatter of infectious material is likely, goggles or a face shield should be worn as recommended for standard precautions.
  • In the absence of visible soiling of hands, approved alcohol-based products for hand disinfection are preferred over antimicrobial or plain soap and water because of their superior microbiocidal activity, reduced drying of the skin, and convenience.
  • Physically separate the patient with influenza from non-ill persons living in the home as much as possible.

In a pandemic influenza event, some individuals who are cared for at home may develop complications. Should complications develop, these individuals should seek medical care immediately, either by calling the doctor or going to an emergency room. Upon arrival, the receptionist or nurse should be told about the symptoms so that precautions can be taken (providing a mask and or separate
area for triage and evaluation).

D. Warning Signs to seek urgent medical care
In children, these include:
1.  High or prolonged fever for more than 4-5 days
2. Fast breathing or trouble breathing
3. Bluish skin color
4. Not drinking enough fluids
5. Changes in mental status, somnolence, irritability
6. Seizures, confusion or seizures
7. Influenza-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
8. Worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions (for example, heart or lung disease, diabetes)
9. Cough becomes productive of yellow sputum

In adults,  these include:
1. High or prolonged fever for more than 4-5 days
2. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
3. Cough becomes productive of yellow sputum
4. Pain or pressure in the chest
5. Near-fainting or fainting
6. Confusion or seizures
7. Severe or persistent vomiting [2 to 3 times in 24 hours] (vomiting is usually present in young children and elderly persons with influenza infection)
8. Skin color changes (lip and hands)
9.  Persons should seek medical attention at their physician’s office, urgent care facility or hospital emergency department if they are at high risk for the development of complications:
•   People age 65 and older, people of any age with chronic medical conditions and very young children are more likely to get complications from influenza.
•  Pregnant women also have an increased risk for pneumonia, lung insufficiency, and death after an influenza infection.

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Filed under __1. Disaster

Excuses that doom & a last day reprieve

(Survival Manual/ Prepper Articles/ Excuses that doom & a last day reprieve)

A.  Life or Death Choices: 35 Excuses That Will Doom The Non-Prepper
5 May 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Be Informed
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/life-or-death-choices-35-excuses-that-will-doom-the-non-prepper_05052013

Tlast min4he following article has been contributed by Be Informed.
As of today it is estimated that ONLY 1% of the population actually goes to much of any effort to prepare and store up enough of what they need to survive a true calamity.  This means a huge majority of the population fails, yes fails, to have much of anything if and WHEN what they need each day to live evaporates quickly.  Most people have no clue what life will be like after the grocery stores close. They simply cannot grasp the horrors that will befall those people that have not put away for tomorrow or prepared contingencies for life threatening emergencies.

Instead of taking some time, effort , and money to safeguard themselves and their families, they have a wide array of reasons (excuses) for why prepping is crazy and not at all necessary.

There exist a magnitude of what are called TRUE civilization altering or world-as-we-know-it ending events that could happen. Many have already occurred throughout history, as well as within just the last decade. The fact is , it’s only a matter of time before these catastrophes happen again.

People who choose not to prepare for their families will be faced with life and death situations that few have ever experienced before.

Without water people will die within a few days.  Without food people will die within a few weeks.  Without everyday necessities people will die in hordes from varying ailments and diseases.  Without what they are accustomed to on a daily basis, people will suffer and most will die.  This absolutely does not have to happen to such a high percentage of the population, but sadly it will unless more people understand there is no real excuse for NOT preparing.

The following are 35 of the most common excuses and causes cited by the 99% of the population who don’t prepare.

1.  Oh come on, it is never going to happen, my area is safe, I am safe.
Fact/Answer:  The overall odds increase of having a mega or even a lesser catastrophe as the population grows and cities grow in size.  Just like increasing the size of a target, it is easier and more likely to get hit.  Even if your area doesn’t get hit, your location can be cut off from getting vital supplies from areas that DID get hit.  Every single spot on the planet is a target, from natural disasters to terrorism to war to pandemics to a black swan event that no one expects.  No one is invulnerable anywhere and living this way is delusional and totally unrealistic.

2.  I am convinced that everything is recoverable and my area will get back to normal quickly.
Fact/Answer.  The media and government have longed ingrained into people’s minds that no matter what happens, it is repairable.  Fortunately up until now there has not been a type of event that is so severe and widespread that recovery is very long or requires massive clean-up involving millions of people and trillions of dollars.  There are potential disasters that occur on regular time frames that could easily be ranked as hundreds of times worse than anything we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes.  The New Madrid fault zone and San Andreas fault are a couple of examples. A solar induced super EMP (electro magnetic pulse) which occurred in 1812, 1857, and 1859 is another.  Fukushima is a recent example how bad things can get almost in a matter of just 24 hours.

3.  No matter how horrible it is, help will eventually come, I just have to wait it out.
Fact/Answer.  Help can come IF there are people and resources available.  All of the recent disasters have been fairly isolated and allow the majority of the unaffected population to come to the rescue of those in need.  What happens when an entire country is affected – or most of the world?  Assuming that your government or someone will reach your area with help and supplies no matter what is dangerous.  The government is going to spread help to areas of the highest priority FIRST.  Your area could be weeks or months away from help and you could be long dead before help and supplies arrive.

4.  Even if something happens, there are plenty of food and supplies for everyone in my city.
Fact/Answer.  Ever seen towns and cities cut off by winter storms?  Food in supermarkets, food warehouse stores, and restaurants, are extremely limited – perhaps one to seven days at best.  To prove this take your population where you live and divide this by the number of grocery stores in your city or town.  Now go into one of these stores and look around and consider how fast a few hundred or a few thousand people could empty that store.   You see all those trucks coming in each day carrying food and supplies for these stores. Imagine those deliveries stopping.  Food will disappear faster than anyone can imagine.

5.  My state government, my community, my neighbors will not abandon me and let me starve.
Fact/Answer.  It’s a pure numbers game. If food and other necessities are not there for the state to distribute, then everyone who has failed to put away for such a disaster will go hungry.  Your neighbors are likely to be in the same boat as you if 99% of the people don’t prep.  Those that did prepare are likely to not share with a bunch of people that choose not to.  Taking food from those that did store up will not be an easy task, as they will likely be well armed.  It is extremely selfish to expect your neighbor to sacrifice their family because you determined that preparing was too much effort.  Simply don’t be the 99% that don’t prepare.

6.  I have a 3 day supply of food, the government and others tell me that this is plenty.
Fact/Answer.  Three days go by awfully quickly, and as we saw in Hurricane Katrina help took much longer than that to arrive.  If it is possible, a bare minimum of 30 days worth of food, water, and other supplies should be considered for all families.  In the past, during “lightweight” SHTF events, help arrived 1-2 weeks after the disaster occurred  such as areas hit by a great earthquake or mega hurricane.  Severe disasters require much longer times for real help to arrive.

7.  I have lots of credit cards, I will purchase anything I need in my city or nearby cities.
Fact/Answer.  First of all, credit is something that ONLY works when systems connected to the outside world function properly.  People think that these little “magical”  pieces of plastic will save them in all circumstances.  This misconception is something that will flatten those who go out and try to buy food because the banks are not allowing or are simply unable to process any credit or debit cards.  Cash is necessary for buying what you need – have a fair amount in ALL denominations from 20′s down to 1′s.  Additionally, if your backup plan is to drive to another city to purchase emergency supplies you may not be able to get out of your area due to lack of fuel or closed roads.  Again, have your own supplies BEFORE it happens.

8.  My water faucets will have water, even if it is temporarily shut off, they will not let us go thirsty.
Fact/Answer.  Water pipes that bring water to your home require power, without power there is no water.   Those expecting water trucks to bring drinking water to their neighbor should not count on it.  Those who plan on drinking unsafe water from ponds, lakes, and other catchment basins are just asking to become very ill.  If someone doesn’t store much food, at least there should be water stored for drinking.  1/2 gallon per person per day minimum, not to forget the household pets either.  Water could be down for weeks.  Cases of bottled water are one way to store water for longer terms and can be neatly stacked in a small corner of your home.  Many stores sell safe water storage units that can be filled up with plain tap water.  A good water filter is something that all households should have for outside water should city supplies be inoperable or contaminated.  Learn how to catch rainwater and dew.  Dehydration is something that will kill scores of people because they have not taken water storage seriously. Without clean water you’re dead in 72 hours.

9.  There is no room to store supplies that will never be used anyway.
Fast/Answer.  Vertical storage is one way even very limited amount of space can be used to put away what someone’s needs.  There are all sorts of “dead spaces” around the home. Under the bed, closet shelves, or your garage are a couple of ideas.  Square footage of a home is 2 dimensional, as there is usually about 8 feet of space up to down between ceiling to floor.  Even people living in tiny apartments find room to store up emergency needs.

10. I can’t rotate supplies, everything will get old and have to be thrown away.
Fact/Answer.  Many items can be consumed way past the ‘best by dates’. Those that feel that they still can’t store up items even in cans because of some use by or best by date, can store up a lot of other items that don’t have to be rotated.  There are everyday items that can be forgotten about and will still be just as good as when you first stored it.  Sounds crazy, but there are items that will fetch a high barter value that people need and want.  Toilet paper is one key supply that can be traded for food and other items because it will never lose its demand.  Other barter items such as cigarettes and alcohol have extreme value just about everywhere.  It would be wise to always store up what you eat each day in cans, as canned foods have a very long shelf life so long as they are kept dry, cool and undamaged.

11. I don’t have extra money to store up anything for disasters.
Fact/Answer.  There are many coupons online, in newspapers, and in stores. Manufacturers want to attract new customers to try their product so badly that they often offer food for free or near free.  People live on coupons with very limited money sources using coupons.  Stores also offer reduced pricing on overstocked items.  Collecting these supplies will add up if one is willing to start doing so.  Never pass up an opportunity to get something for free, especially if it can be stored for later use or barter.

12. It is too much work to bother with.
Fact/Answer.  Even a person that is hardly an expert prepper who has stored up something will fare far better than the 99% that have not.  Simply picking up extra food and other supplies at the market each time and putting these into boxes in some isolated part of the home will add significant reserve supplies.  This is very limited effort that will reap huge results WHEN you need it.  You don’t have to work that hard to put away a decent amount of what you will need someday.

13. I have absolutely no idea what to store or how much.
Fact/Answer.  What do you use each day and every week?  This is what you want to store up. Buy your regular household staples in jars, bottles, or well sealed packages for longer term storage.  How much can be determined simply by asking yourself, ‘how long do I want to be self sufficient during a disaster?’  Have a time frame – a month, two months, etc.  You should be able to easily determine how much of something you will use in a certain amount of time.

14. I don’t need any protection after a disaster, the police, national guard, military will protect us.
Fact/Answer.  Even those that don’t like firearms should consider owning one.  The larger the distance between an attacker and your family, the less chance that someone you love will get injured or killed.  A firearm gives you this distance.  At least have something to defend your family with.  There are some real psychos out there that will certainly take advantage of the lawlessness that will come with no police or military force.  How many police does your city have per citizen?  This ratio is one golden reason to have self protection before, during, and after a disaster.  There may be no way of reaching law enforcement even if they are available after a true disaster as all cell towers and phone lines may be fried for whatever reason.

15. The power grid will come back on, until then I have LED flashlights that last forever.
Fact/Answer.  First of all when they say on commercials that the light will last for 100,000 hours they are referring to the bulbs. Batteries run out of energy.  You should have many extra batteries to avoid the dark with LED lights.  Many accidents happen in the dark and flashlights should not be the only source of lights.  Candles are cheap and last several hours and can be used to warm up food and a small heat source.  You don’t want to live nights without some source of light – it will get so dark sometimes that you won’t even be able to see your hand in front of your face.  Besides light, the power grid may not come back up for weeks, or ever if something catastrophic enough has happened.  Another grave consideration is what is called temperature control of your environment as excessive cold or heat kills hundreds or thousands of people in stable times every year.  You will likely lose the ability to stay cool or warm in the event of a power grid failure.  Weather insulation of your surroundings before anything occurs is a preparation that many should consider doing NOW.  A back-up electric generator with back up fuel is one option. For those who can afford it or know how to build it themselves, a solar or wind driven electric system is a viable long-term solution.  You may have to live a long time without power, as the grid is a lot more frail than people realize, so consider alternative energy supplies now.

16. Again and again I hear these fear mongers exaggerate the threat level, another false alarm.
Fact/Answer.  While Y2K, the Mayan calendar and many others have been wrong, there have been many times when a disaster has been a lot worse than anyone could have predicted.  Two of the most powerful tsunamis caused calamities that rank the worst of all time – one is widespread radiation release in Japan, and event that is likely killing people as you read this.  Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, and recently Sandy were far worse than predicted.  Tornadoes have destroyed entire cities.  Deepwater Horizon caused the worst oil disaster on record.  Many wars and terrorist attacks have brought untold suffering in this century alone.  These are still lightweight disasters and are dwarfed in comparison to what has happened before and will happen again.  Preparedness is the only answer for the common person to help survive what is eventually coming.

17. I have a good car and family in other areas, if anything happens I will just go stay with them.
Fact/Answer.  One of the worst assumptions is that family or friends will openly accept you and yours and let you live with them.  Even if they do, you may not be able to get to them.  Your car or vehicle may be disabled for any number of reasons, or the roads may be unusable  because law enforcement will not allow ANY travel or because they have been destroyed.  Planning on how to stay safe where you are should be your foremost option. Bug out only as a last resort (unless you have a complete bug out strategy and destination already in place).

18. I work all week long and I am going to spend my extra money on fun rather than fear.
Fact/Answer.  Self indulgences seldom have much or any lasting benefits.  People often blow their money on something that was nothing more than fleeting fun. In the end it is often expensive and worthless.  A good plan is to do anything that will bring long time enjoyment and help you live your life with less stress.  The amount of stress you and your family will suffer after a true disaster strikes and you have nothing to feed yourself and your family will be well beyond what any job or most of life’s agonies can bring.  Entertainment can help live life better.  Not storing up for emergencies can help end your life in true anguish.

19. Survival supplies taste bad, I can’t live on this for long at all.
Fact/Answer.  Some supplies have high sodium contents, others are near or at goumet levels.  Practically everything that someone enjoys can be found in a can at the supermarket or other food retailer.  Just because food is stored up, doesn’t mean that it has to taste bad.  Most of what people cook for everyday meals – rice, beans, flour, oatmeal, etc. – can be stored for quite a while.

20. If a true catastrophe occurs we are going to die anyway, besides that I don’t want to live through it anyway.
Fact/Answer.  To each his own, but when you look at the faces of your family or your own face in the mirror, this feeling kind of changes its tone.  Even during the worst disaster there are going to be survivors, why should it not be you and your family?  Here is something very few people understand –  after a very bad catastrophe the planet and the life, vegetation and animals, have a remarkable recuperative ability.  In other words, times are likely to get better each day after a true disaster.  There are of course exceptions, but in all likelihood there will be slow to moderate improvement as time goes on.  The main objective to have enough of what you need to get through the worst parts of it.

21. Survival and prepping for the worst is negative, as long as I stay positive, only the positive will happen.
Fact/Answer.  One of the most positive things is to have what you need when the situation presents itself.  Too many people live like the proverbial ostrich with its head buried in the ground.  Not being realistic with worldwide situations that are way beyond your control is negative. It is denial.  Wishing that the economy will not collapse, a mega earthquake will not hit an area way overdue, that war will not develop in the Middle East and so on, will most likely not work.  Prepping and being ready for such an event(s) will work to help better safeguard you and your family and increase your chances of surviving it dramatically.

22. Preppers/Survivalists are radical, paranoid, conspiracy driven out of touch with reality, I don’t want anything to do with them.
Fact/Answer.  Out of touch with reality is depending on the government to come to your rescue when they simply can’t because of the magnitude of a particular disaster.  Preparing and storing up food, water, and other needs has nothing to do with associating with anyone but your immediate family and friends.  If you don’t like preppers and their way of thinking, no one is saying you have to become friends with anyone to store up what you need for later.  Letting your personal views of people that prepare influence your family’s well being for the future makes no sense.  Buying insurance in the form of what your family will need after it becomes no longer available for an undetermined period of time makes excellent common sense for everybody.

23. I don’t know why everyone is so worried, times are better and safer now than ever in human history.
Fact/Answer.  The old doomsday clock put out by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists puts the clock at 5 minutes to midnight.  Since 1960 the clock has only been closer to midnight between 1981-1988 during the height of the cold war.  In 1991 it was set at 17 minutes to midnight.  Most of the time it was set 7 minutes or higher.  As competition grows with increasing population, resources grow less plentiful.  While it can be argued that the earthquakes, volcanoes and other natural disasters are all part of a regular cycle, man-made conflicts and needs are something never experienced with 7 billion people trying to get what they need out of limited resources of water, food, arable land, energy and much more.  If anything, times are becoming a lot scarier and gives even more support to the notion of preparing to what the future may hold for us.

24. There is so much to prepping, I’ll take my chances that nothing will happen.
Fact/Answer.  There is a lot to knowing what to do after a disaster, but it takes little no know to simply put away what you need every day in life.  Just the simple act of putting away canned food and water and other necessities like toilet paper will put you into a better situation that most of the people you know.  Those people that even put away a month’s worth of what they need will likely survive better than at least half of the population after a mega SHTF event.  Just start putting away and continue it and someday you will probably be grateful you did.

25. All my investments go right into what makes me money and gives me security for the future.
Fact/Answer.  Many people cannot find a better investment for the future than to have what they need within arm’s reach.  Banks are closed most of the time, and online trading is only good if the internet and phone lines are up.  While having a stable portfolio is important, especially if nothing happens, not having an investment in the things you use each day to live life with ease makes no sense.  Buying stocks in precious metals is equally worthless compared to actually having the precious metals in your hands or your safe in a situation when the stock and commodities markets collapse or are inaccessible.

26. Why bother storing up that much food and supplies, mobs will just come in and take it.
Fact/Answer.  If you tell everyone that your house is a grocery store, then when something does happen you can expect big problems. If no one knows you have food, it is much less likely you will have any mobs come after you.  Good self defense is essential to guard your supplies as many people are cowards and just don’t have the gall to try to force themselves in while being shot at, many times people will back off just because there is a gun aiming at them.  Also something to consider is that many people will become quite weak after lack of food and water and after a few days the threat level will diminish significantly.

27. I have a refrigerator and a cupboard full of food, 2 cases of water, a 12 pack of toilet paper, I am all set.
Fact/Answer.  So many people are totally clueless to what they DON’T HAVE.  First of all the water of 2 cases will be used up in 3-4 days by a family of four.  If the power goes off everything in the refrigerator will have to be eaten within a couple of days.  A cupboard full of food is not a bad start, but most pantry sizes would store about a week’s worth of supplies.  Something is always better than nothing, but people need to see just how much they actually need for a certain amount of time.  Exaggerating what you actually have is very counterproductive – and poses a risk to the well being of your family should disaster strike.

28. If something happens I will just run to the grocery store and stock up before it closes.
Fact/Answer.  This is not a bad idea  if you see a crisis is imminent. For many preppers, heading to the grocery store at the first sign of trouble and adding goods to what they already have, such as fruit and vegetables that will perish within a short time, may help reduce psychological and physical strains of the initial impact.  Depending on this as a plan to stock up because you have nothing in your current supplies, however, is not a good idea and quite dangerous.  What will you use to purchase what you need? Do you have cash on hand to purchase these last minute supplies or are you planning on using your possible inactive credit or debit card?  Even with a wad of cash, the stores might not be open.  Your best course of action is stock up before anything happens, you cannot depend on any store to provide what you need after a disaster.

29. If we become sick after a disaster we have good medical treatment centers that will care for us.
Fact/Answer.  Medical response could be overwhelmed and could takes days or weeks to come back online.  It is likely that the number one killer after a calamity will be disease.  Extreme preventative care of yourself and your family is all too essential.  Germ control and ‘hand awareness’ of germs is top priority here.  Storage of anti-bacterial soaps, bleach, and other disinfectants are something no home should be without.  Investment in a really well stocked first aid kit is an excellent survival item for everyone.

30. Nothing is as bad as it ever seems, stop over blowing everything as doomsday
Fact/Answer.  Tell that one to Hurricane Katrina and Sandy survivors that were told it would not be that bad by the mass media.  Tell people in Haiti or people devastated by the two killer mega tsunamis about it not being all that bad.  Ask people who went through World War 2, the Korean or Vietnam war, or in Syria or Iraq how much less worse it was.  Preparing for the worst means that you can much better handle those worst-case scenarios that have occurred regularly throughout history.

31. If disaster strikes everybody will band together and save the day.
Fact/Answer.  Nice sentiment, but throughout history this idealism has proven to be less than reality.  Take away the hope of recovery with a bad enough situation and people revert back to the survival of the fittest.  Depending on the good will of human nature can and does lead to vast disappointment and individual disaster.  Depending on your own self and what you can put away is a lot more stable and reliable.

32. People have become way too civilized to wage a world war and take what you have and act like savages.
Fact/Answer.  There are too many examples to disprove this of people’s nature.  Given the severity of the circumstances, people are capable of anything as long as most of them can JUSTIFY their actions in their minds.  Trust in yourself and then others.  Trusting in society’s self righteousness to not act like criminals is a true stretch.  Good self defense and a cautious nature will take you far.

33. There are food banks and emergency preparedness places nearby to me, they will take care of us.
Fact/Answer.  It is all about volume, these places are meant to feed people on a SHORT TERM basis to keep people from starving to death immediately.  You will likely have to exist on a snack size package of crackers and maybe an energy bar per day.  You might get a couple of bottles of water if you are lucky.  Depending on these places for handouts is a losing proposition with any disaster that is even moderately tragic.  You could store up way more from a couple of weeks worth of extra items bought at the store than what these places are likely capable of feeding you with.

34. FEMA , the Red Cross, and other government agencies are huge and have the whole country backing them.
Fact/Answer.  Even if these organizations and government agencies can get to you, their supplies and what they can give out is severely limited, much like local and state run emergency preparedness centers.  Think about just how many people one million is and how much daily food that means.  Try to think of tens of millions of people needing all sorts of food, clean water and other supplies.  The logistics of distribution on this scale is a nightmare for any planner.  Even if there was enough food, imagine standing in 4-10 hour lines to get some crumbs and a drink of water.  Now imagine going into a room of your house and simply getting what you need.  Kind of makes the idea of prepping sound a lot better doesn’t it?

35. I can always wait until tomorrow to start prepping, there is always time.
Fact/Answer.  No there isn’t always time. Eventually that tomorrow does come.  When world or national events have deteriorated enough to scare many more people into prepping it is probably too late.  The best time to start preparing was yesterday, the next best time is right now.  Every day that goes by without putting away what you need is going to make it that much more difficult to store up enough of what you need for survival.  Time runs out quickly, start preparing today and find out how rewarding it is when you have what you need right there in your own home.

It is not an overblown statement that says 99% of the population could perish during the next mega calamity based on the sole reason that they did not prepare.  Without food, water, means of keeping yourself clean and disease free, and the many other necessities that people have become way too dependent on to survive everyday life, people cannot live and won’t.  Those rare 1% that choose to prepare and sacrifice those everyday pleasures and expensive distractions will have what they need as flocks of those unprepared will die in massive numbers because society can no longer support them.  Those 99%, though, have the conscious choice of not becoming a statistic and truly doing something about it with a lot less than they realize. All it takes is some time, effort and dedication to spending any available extra money and resources on living “life insurance” such as food, water, and everyday needs.

When a true mega-scale cataclysm strikes, your choices today will determine your probability of  death or survival.
Which choice will you make?
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[OK. Suppose you used one or more of the excuses above and when things actually went south you realized your assessment was wrong. Even while the breakdown is occurring and systems are in the process of unraveling, you want to know, "How to personally maximize the last hours of opportunity before situational sunset?" The next two articles will help, but some of the strategies/ products suggested may have by that time, already become unavailable. I wish you good luck and health on the path you take.  Mr. Larry]

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B.  Preppers List : 10 Things To Do Now!
5 Mar 2013, thesurvivalistblog.net, by M.D. Creekmore
Excerpts pasted from:  http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/survival-food-storage-walmart/

No matter how much I beg, some of you, no doubt haven’t done anything to prepare (you know who you are). I don’t know what else to do. All I can do is give you the information, it’s up to you to act. No one can do it for you.

No doubt some of you are intimidated by my repeated suggestions of storing and using whole grains. If it doesn’t come from the supermarket shelf it’s strange and unfamiliar and you want no part of it. Fair enough.

But you still need to prepare. Here are ten things that you can do right now that will make you better prepared than probably 90% of the population.

And everything is available at your local shopping center – so it’s easy. You can do all ten steps at once or divide each into a separate week and shopping trip. But you need to get it done as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that this is only a starting point and isn’t presented here as a completed list.

1.  Head to the nearest Wal-mart, Kmart, Costco or whatever and pick-up 20 lbs of white or brown rice and 20 lbs of pinto beans. White rice has a better storage life while brown rice has more nutritional benefits – your choice.

2. While you’re there grab 5 lbs mixed beans, 5 lbs of white sugar, 5 lbs of iodized salt, one gallon of olive oil (can be frozen to extend shelf-life), 5 lbs oats, 10 lbs each of white or wheat flour and cornmeal.

3. Now head over to the canned foods and pick-up 20 cans of canned fruits and 20 cans of canned vegetables. Be sure to buy only those brands and contents you normally eat and nothing exotic. No need to shock the senses.

4. Now over to the canned meats. Pick-up 20 cans of various meats, salmon, stews, spam and tuna. Again buy only those brands with contents you normally eat and nothing exotic.

5. Okay. Now to the to the peanut butter shelf and toss two 40-ounce jars in the cart. The listed shelf life is just over two years and each jar has over 6,000 calories. Peanut butter is an excellent instant survival food.

6. Over to the powdered drink mix – go on I’ll wait…Okay, pick up two 72 Ounce Tang Orange drink canisters (provides 100% of the US RDA vitamin C requirement per 8 oz. glass). Also grab six 19-Ounce Containers of Kool-Aid Drink Mix.

7. Off to the vitamin and supplement aisle, pick up 400 tablets “one a day” multivitamin and mineral supplements. I buy this brand at the local Wal-Mart – comes in 200 count bottle for $8 each.

8. Now to the department we all love – sporting goods. Go to the camping aisle and pick up 4 five gallon water containers. Fill with tap water as soon as you get back home.

9. While you’re there buy 250 rounds of ammunition for your primary defensive weapon. More if you can, but this should be a good start. Also a good universal cleaning kit.

10. And lastly pick up the best LED flashlight you can afford, extra batteries and bulb. Also grab two boxes of wooden matches and several multi-purpose lighters.

Don’t forget to date, use and rotate – remember first in first out. Let’s get started.

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C.  Prepper List : Ten MORE Things To Do Now
8 Dec 2010, thesurvivalistblog.net, by M.D. Creekmore
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/survival-gear-list/

Prepper List : Ten MORE Things To Do Now
[Continued from previous article]…Now let’s go back to the shopping center with another survival food and gear list and ten more things to do now. Ready? Great.

1. Go to the grocery department and pick up 5 lbs of powdered milk or the equivalent of canned, now go over to the next aisles and throw in 5 lbs of rolled oats and a case of Ramen noodles. Ramen noodles aren’t the most nutritional food but they are cheap, add bulk to the diet and store well –  just don’t rely on them to provide all your nutritional needs. And don’t forget a good manual can opener.

2. While you’re in the grocery department be sure to pick up an assortment of spices to taste, such as Basil, Chili powder, Cinnamon, Garlic, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme and Black Pepper. Spices can go a long way toward making unfamiliar foods palatable. Also, while you’re in that area add 5 or more lbs of salt to your shopping cart, as you know salt has 101 uses.

3. Okay, counting what you bought during our first trip to the shopping center, that should do it for the grocery. Now go over to the area near the pharmacy and pick up 3 large tubes of toothpaste, 3 brushes, 100 double edge razor blades, (note: if you don’t have a razor you’ll probably have to order one from Amazon.com and don’t forget a brush and bowl), I’ve used this type razor for years and think it is a cheaper long-term solution than disposable.

While you’re there, add the most comprehensive first-aid kit that you can find to your cart and don’t forget over the counter pain meds (Tylenol, aspirin etc.). If you’re a woman (or have one in your life) go over a few shelves and pick up enough “feminine” supplies to last three months or longer.

4. With all that food in your pantry its only a matter of time before you have to poop. I know, it’s shocking but we all do it.  If you have a water source such as a stream or lake nearby you can still use the toilet in your bathroom, all you have to do is manually fill the tank in back and flush as usual. If this isn’t an option, you’ll need to look for other alternatives such as the Portable Toilets sold in the sporting goods department or making a  sawdust toilet from a five-gallon bucket.

5. What’s next? You guessed it toilet paper. If you poop you need to wipe, if not you probably need to start. You could use a corncob, cloth, Roman sponge on a stick or paper from discarded books or newspapers but I would wager most of you prefer the softness of Angle Soft. Get enough to last at least a month, more if possible and remember women need more than men so plan accordingly.

6. While you are in that area of the store pick up a supply of disposable plates, bowls and plastic utensils. Don’t go overboard here but having a small stockpile of these items on hand can save a lot of water that would otherwise be used to wash dishes. Also add two or more gallons of regular, unscented bleach to your cart.

7. This is a biggie and can’t be done (legally) at the department store pharmacy without the signature of a doctor – that is stocking up on prescription meds.  Getting more than a 30 day supply, at least in the U.S., can be difficult if not impossible. But there are ways to get most of what you need for long-term survival.

8. Now push your cart (man this thing is getting heavy) over to the hardware department of the store and pick up a carpenters hammer, vice grips, adjustable wrench, screw driver set, duct tape, electrical tape, axe, pry bar, crosscut saw, hacksaw and large can of WD-40. This is your bare minimum survival tool kit.

9. After you get your tool kit, go over to sporting goods and in the camping supply aisle pick up a propane camp stove and 5 or more 1 pound propane cylinders or a bulk 20 lb tank and hose adaptor – yes the pressure in the small bottles is the same as a 20 lb cylinder or even 100 lb tank, just be sure to get the proper adapter and hose assembly. Another alternative and the one I prefer is the Volcano Stove because I can use propane, wood and charcoal.

10. Okay, we are just about done for today – only a few more steps pushing the cart and you’ll be out the door. You’ll need a way to keep in touch with your group so go to the electronics department and pick up the best two-way radios that you can afford. Don’t forget a battery-powered radio and extra batteries for both. While not necessary, I prefer a radio capable of receiving AM/FM and shortwave broadcasts.

This shopping list will have you better prepared than probably 90% of the U.S. but it should not be signify the end of your preps only a good start. There’s always something to do and learn never become complacent – remember the quote “On the plains of hesitation lie the bleached bones of those who on the very threshold of victory sat down to rest, and while resting died.”

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

EMP Part 2 of 2: What to store in your Faraday cage

(Survival Manual/ Prepper Articles/ EMP part 2 of 2: What to store in your Faraday cage)

Faraday cage 1

Faraday cage 2[Photos above from Mr. Larry's personal research and experimentation. Note: The latest thinking is that the Faraday cage does not need to be grounded, there fore the red grounding wire seen in the top left photograph can be eliminated.]

A.  What’s in YOUR Faraday Cage? A Common Sense Guide to Preparing for an EMP
28 Jul 2012,SHTFplan.com, by Lisa Bedford (The Survival Mom)
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/whats-in-your-faraday-cage-a-common-sense-guide-to-preparing-for-an-emp_07282012

An EMP can be caused by the detonation of a large bomb, nuclear or otherwise, in the atmosphere, miles above land. [Actually, an area the size of the US could be crippled by a small nuclear device detonated at the edge of space over the target region. Mr. Larry] Its pulse wave can easily cover a continent and destroy electronic components in computers, engines, power plants, and solar panels alike. An event like this has never happened on a large scale, and there are differing opinions as to the exact consequences, but one thing is certain: In a matter of moments, life as we know it would be gone forever. Our closest star, the sun, could also do extensive damage in the form of a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The results would be similar.

Excerpted from: Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios
emp solar flare

Massive solar flares have been in the news recently, along with vague warnings of how a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) might affect us here on earth. The dangers of a man-made Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) was outlined in excruciating detail in One Second After by William Forstchen.

We rely on electronics way too much to ignore the potential of these events, and although even the experts aren’t always in agreement where details are concerned, it makes sense to have a plan to protect important electronics in either event.What experts do agree on is that many items with any type of electronic component may become inoperable by either a CME or EMP.

From Survival Mom: “How to prepare your family for everyday disasters and worst-case scenarios”: I don’t have a plan to turn my garage into a giant Faraday cage in hopes that our vehicles would be spared, but I have made plans to protect other, smaller items that would make a huge difference in our survival following a CME or EMP. Here is a list of some of those items.

  1. Mp3 players filled with music.  Also, every spare set of earphones I can scrape up around here.
  2. An old laptop computer with downloads of eBooks and stored personal information
  3. One or more digital cameras.
  4. A set of walkie-talkies that run on rechargeable batteries
  5. Solar battery chargers
  6. A Kindle containing more than 150 books, many of them reference and survival books but also dozens of classics and a couple version of the Bible
  7. One  or more digital watches and clocks
  8. Small DVD player (a backup player would be good also)
  9. Any and all digital photos stored on a DVD and/or a thumb drive
  10. Scanned documents stored on a DVD and/or thumb drive (See Grab-n-Go Binder.)
  11. Computer hard drives
  12. Ham radio equipment
  13. A small generator
  14. LED flashlights
  15. Shortwave radio
  16. Inverters
  17. Electronic medical equipment

And what should these be stored in? Well, again, most every expert has differing opinions. We have a few Tech Protect Bags and a metal trash can. Here are some other options:

  1. Tech Protect Bags – The owners of this company recommend nesting Faraday containers.
  2. A metal garbage can
  3. Ammo cans
  4. An old microwave (mixed reviews on this one)
  5. Heavy duty aluminum foil wrapped around individual items, wrapped in plastic, and then again with aluminum foil.
  6. A  tool box
  7. Gun safe
  8. A cardboard box or other container that has been “Faraday-ized”
  9. Holiday popcorn tins

If/when an EMP or CME occurs, there is no going back for a “re-do”. Whatever works, works. Whatever doesn’t, doesn’t, and there will likely be no way to make repairs. Because of that, I highly recommend taking these precautions.

First, if you have more than one of an item, 2 digital cameras, for example, don’t store them together in the same container. If the metal trash can proves to be effective but the microwave doesn’t (and you will only know following the EMP/CME), at least you’ll have one item that operates.

Next, pack small Faraday containers into larger Faraday containers. If you are using a Tech Protect Bag, store it inside a larger Tech Protect Bag, an ammo can, or another (hopefully) EMP-safe container. This layering could include a clothes dry, metal filing cabinet, or metal drum.

If you have emergency kits that contain electronic items, package them in an EMP-proof box or bag, so you’ll have your most important survival items protected when you may need them most.

True, we could survive just fine without music, photos, probably most documents that are important today but may not be, “one second after,” but since the exact results of a CME/EMP are so unknown, I would rather protect even just a few of these items than face a future without anything at all containing an electronic component.

One final thought. No one knows if or when either a CME or EMP will happen, and if it does, what the intensity will be. Whatever you pack in a Faraday container will be safest if it remains there. For example, don’t pack your laptop if you use it several times a week. Instead, pick up an older laptop on Craigslist, store your information, and then pack it away.
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B.  What To Store In Your Faraday cages? 
30 August 2012, ThePreparednessPodcast.com, by Rob Hanus
Pasted from: http://www.thepreparednesspodcast.com/what-to-store-in-your-faraday-cages/

Here is a list of suggested items that you may want to consider placing into a Faraday cage or Faraday Protection Unit (FPU) to protect them from the destructive effects of EMP.

Note: There is a two-part podcast series that explains all of this in great detail. Be sure to listen to it by starting with the first part of EMP and EMP Protection.

podcast-iconBe sure to check out the videos I did that demonstrates shielding against a 50,000 watt AM signal, and the Surviving EMP Mini-Guide:

The Preparedness Podcast Mini-Guide: Surviving EMP [Kindle Edition] E-book is for sale and download from Amazon:

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First, the items I list below might not be affected by an EMP if unprotected, but why take the chance? If there’s an electronic item that you deem important for your survival, then you should have it protected.

Second, you need to get your head wrapped around what life will be like without power and concentrate on storing those things that will give you a tactical and strategic advantage.

  • Things like radios, for both personal communications and gathering information.
    • For example, CB, FRS, GMRS, Ham and short-wave radios. The gear to do digital communications, like Digital HF, would be good, too.
    • A short-wave radio is important to hear broadcasts from other countries that weren’t affected by the EMP, as it may be a long time before there are any local news sources broadcasting.
  • Flashlights – What? you didn’t know that modern flashlights have electronics in them? If you have an LED flashlight, chances are that is has circuitry in it.
    • Not to mention, the LEDs themselves are very sensitive to EMP.
    • The old type of flashlights which are basically a battery-switch-incandescent bulb aren’t at risk.
  • Power generation equipment: generator parts, inverters, charge controllers, battery chargers, etc. It’s currently thought that solar panels would survive an EMP because there isn’t micro-circuitry in them.
    • However, if they are small, wrap them in foil and nest them inside a steel garbage can.
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  • UPDATE September 1, 2012: I may have muddled this and want to clarify: we do not know for certain whether solar panels will survive an EMP, thus you should protect them like any other electronic device if your post-EMP plan relies on them.
  • Repair parts for cars, trucks, tractors, ATVs, etc.
  • Night vision and other electronic optics.
  • Perimeter monitoring gear.
  • Computers (preferably laptops and tablets), PDAs, smartphones, ebook readers (Kindles, Nooks, etc.). If you have old stuff laying around, might as well as try to protect it. Don’t underestimate the force multiplier of having these things. Most of the tablet stuff (smart phones, iPads, Kindles and other ebook readers) are pretty rugged and will most likely last a long time. Imagine having the power of massive amounts of stored information at your fingertips.
    • Don’t forget to load these up with your survival info, documents and PDFs! In addition to reference material, you should also put a lot of novels on these. Without TV or radio, reading will be a huge pastime.
    • Use USB thumb drives to store backups of your reference materials, books and photos. These are very rugged and are very easy to wrap in foil to protect.
    • Make sure that the small devices you have can be updated from the computers you have. This is important in case they lose their info or you want to change the info.
    • On a similar note, WiFi components like wireless routers allow people to stay connected with these devices. This wouldn’t be at the top of my list of things to store, but if I had extra stuff laying around, why not protect it? It only costs a little foil and some space.
    • Ink-jet printer. Hey, why not. Printing information could be very important when the lights go out forever. Choose a printer that uses very common ink cartridges. Though you can store some of these cartridges, you should be able to find these readily, as no one is going to be needing them.
    • Many of these devices have internal batteries that need to be recharged fairly often. You’ll need to account for that and set up a schedule that allows for you to pull these out and recharge them on a regular basis.
    • One simple solution would be to export all of your preparedness and survival information as PDFs and store them on several USB flash drives. An old, used PC laptop should be able to read these just fine.
  • Solar battery chargers – these are those complete kits with the charger and solar panel integrated.
  • Medical devices – if you have any electronic medical equipment, either for rendering aid or because you need it to live (blood testers, O2 machines, etc.), make sure to have spares.
  • Cordless tools – drills, saws, Dremel tools.
  • Calculators – solar calculators would be best, as they don’t need batteries.
  • Batteries – Although small batteries weren’t affected in the 1962 tests and car batteries seem to survive EMP testing, why take the chance? Put some in your FPU.
    • Energizer makes lithium batteries that have a long storage life.
    • Energizer Advanced Lithium will store 10 years, and Energizer Ultimate Lithium will store 15 years.
    • Even regular Alkaline batteries should have a shelf life of 5 – 7 years.
    • You can even store rechargeable batteries, though you should probably run them through a charge-discharge-charge cycle at least once per year.
  • SPEAKING OF BATTERIES – Make sure to remove the batteries from all gear before storage. There would be few feelings worse than opening your cache of EMP-proofed gear, only to find that the batteries that you forgot to take out had leaked and destroyed the equipment.
  • CFL or Compact Fluorescent Lights – If your home or retreat has its own power source and you plan on using CFL lights because of their efficiency, know that they have electronics in them to control the voltage to the tube. When not connected to a light socket, they’re probably not susceptible to EMP, but if your power plan requires these, then stick a bunch in a steel garbage can to be sure.
  • A Throw-Away set of equipment. Open this first to check on radio signals. Include some ear buds and batteries. Keep this in a separate Faraday protection unit, away from your main stuff. Of course, this is also good for other things that need power, too.
  • Have analogue backups for everything. GPS units are nice, but even if they worked after an EMP attack, the satellites will rapidly drift off course without constant correction from ground control.
    • Maps; compass; manual can opener; writing stuff like paper, pens, pencils; whistles instead of radios; candles and kerosene lanterns instead of battery operated and LED ones.
  • Not In Podcast- Some things that I’ve thought of after the podcast:
    • Multimeters, circuit testers, repair equipment.
    • Audio or music players, like MP3 players or iPods/iPhones, including any active speakers (speakers that have their own amplifiers).
    • Radiation meters – actually, these should be EMP proof already, but again, why take the chance? At the very least, wrap them up in foil while they’re in storage.
    • Welders
    • Digital camera. Not really a high-priority, but could come in handy if you had a computer and were doing some recon.
    • Clocks – if you have old digital watches and clocks, why not put them in your Faraday cage? It would be better if you had a set of mechanical, wind up clocks and watches, but if you have the room, include the digital ones.
    • DVD players. If you have a lot of movies on DVD, might as well have a way to play them. But, you’ll also need something to play them on, like a small monitor, so you’ll need to store this, too.

This list is not prioritized, but you should prioritize your list before you start, as not everything on this list is necessary for survival. Those critical items, like medical devices needed to sustain life, power generation, flashlights, batteries and communication gear, would have the highest priority and should be protected first. Anything else that would give you an edge, like computers, night vision, powered scopes, perimeter monitoring, and items that make it possible to repair other items, should be the next highest on the list to protect.

Other things like DVD players, cameras, and handheld games should be the lowest priority. They’re nice to have, but not critical to your survival. That isn’t to say that you can’t have them, just concentrate on the needed items first. Just in case you run out of foil.

One note about storing electronics for use after an HEMP or CME event.

Keep in mind that without the infrastructure to make replacement parts and devices, what you have may be all you have. Ever. All the digital information that you have is to help you start a new life and give you an edge on learning all the new skills you’re going to need, now that there is no more electrical grid. Don’t plan on being able to access the information in digital format forever, or even for very long. If you don’t have paper backups of everything in your computers (and you should), then your post-HEMP/CME plan needs to include a way to start printing out all that info. Paper might be archaic in this digital age, but you can still read it after the power goes out.

Some Other Things To Consider About Post-EMP Conditions
Once people realize that the power is going to be off for a long time, possibly forever, things will probably get ugly and fairly soon. Be prepared to defend yourself and make sure you have all the needed items that go along with that (like magazines, slings, cleaning kits and plenty of ammo). Hopefully, at this point in the podcast, you’ve realized that as soon as we’re hit with an EMP, there won’t be anything made anymore. [In the area affected, elsewise, it will take time to ship replacements and you, like everyone else in the area will be near destitute by the time supplies arrive. Mr. Larry]

If you are not living on your retreat property when it happens, you should have a plan that calls for you to bug out to it immediately. It will probably take 1, 2 maybe 3 days for people to realize how bad it’s going to be – use this time to get to the location that you plan on staying in. Since we don’t know what vehicles will survive an EMP, you’ll need a plan for acquiring one that still runs, but you can store the fuel you’ll need to get there now.

And, just to be clear, you need to have stocked up on everything. Because not only won’t there be anything made for long time, but once people realize how bad it is, it will likely become a dog eat dog world. To me, one of the best ways to get ready for this is to become part of a community, preferably one that can grow food and has access to clean water and natural resources, like trees.

It’s been said that an EMP attack would be like time-traveling the entire country back to the mid-1800s. But it will be worse than that. In the mid-1800s, we had people that knew how to grow food and make things by hand. We will have to re-learn those skills.

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EMP Part 1 of 2: How it works

(News and Editorial/ EMP Part 1 of 2: How it works)
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YouTubeFor a brief discussion of Electro Magnetic Pulse effects and preparedness, click the following link:

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Surviving the Aftermath of an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack
March 23, 2012, Prepping To Survive, originally posted by Luke Lichterman
Pasted from: http://preppingtosurvive.com/2012/03/23/surviving-the-aftermath-of-an-electro-magnetic-pulse-emp-attack/

emp1 sun

Sunspots are Electro-Magnetic Pulse events
The earth has always been subject to electro-magnetic events called “sunspots,” which are created by storms in the sun’s atmosphere and result in pulses of electro- magnetic energy being ejected into space.

Recently, NASA probes have made sunspots observable while forming, and predictable in their magnitude and estimated day of arrival on earth. When news media outlets learn of an impending sunspot arrival they sensationalize the event and breathlessly report that a major disaster and possibly the end of the world is about to happen. A recent sunspot event was hyped in this manner and passed with only minor disruptions and inconveniences because the earth is protected from sunspot damage by the depth, density and reflectivity of its atmosphere.
What the media never talks about is the debilitating wide spread damage which would be caused by an EMP (1) weapon detonated at high altitude within the earth’s atmosphere.

Starfish Prime
It has been known since the earliest tests of nuclear weapons that the high levels of Gamma radiation generated by nuclear explosions ionize air molecules producing electro-magnetic pulses of positive ions. (2) Theory held that while a 1 megaton-range surface weapon would produce severe damage within the radius of the burst, the same megaton-range weapon, when deployed at very high altitude would inflict damage to electronic devices over a wide area.

On July 9, 1962 a 1.4-megaton bomb, (codename: Starfish Prime (3) was detonated 250 miles above the mid-Pacific Johnson Island. The effects of this test were felt 898 miles to the East, in Hawaii, where telephone switchboards were disabled, civilian traffic control signal systems went dark and power system fuses and circuit breakers failed, causing blackouts in some areas.

On July 16, 1997 the U. S. House of Representatives Committee on National Security held hearings on the, “THREAT POSED BY ELECTRO-MAGNETIC PULSE (EMP) TO U.S. MILITARY SYSTEMS AND CIVIL INFRASTRUCTURE.” (4) In summary, testimony was given that, …Based upon the unintended and unexpected consequences of Starfish Prime; a similar 1.4-megaton bomb detonated 250 miles above Kansas would destroy most unprotected microprocessors on the entire continent.

Nuclear Warfare Doctrine (5)
The image most people have of nuclear war is of hundreds of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) deploying thousands of Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicle (MIRV) warheads, raining down death and destruction; leaving behind uninhabitable radioactive wastelands. Indeed, during the “Cold War” years, stalemate and “peace” were maintained between East and West by the doctrine of “Mutually Assured Destruction” (M.A.D.).

This old doctrine held that; to defeat an enemy, his economy, infrastructure and population must be completely destroyed. Modern nuclear warfare doctrine acknowledges almost total dependence upon microprocessors and their vulnerability to EMP destruction. It is no longer necessary to build and maintain huge arsenals of weapons, since even one high-altitude EMP burst could effectively paralyze an enemy’s ability to function. [Read that again. Mr. Larry]

This explains why major nuclear nations have reduced their nuclear arsenals. It is not because they have become “anti-nuke”, but because they have shifted strategic focus from Mass-Destruction to Mass-Incapacitation. An EMP attack by any nuclear-armed nation upon another, would involve only a handful of high yield weapons deployed strategically, at high altitude over enemy territory, to ensure complete electronic incapacitation. Among the major powers, M.A.D. continues to be applicable.

Rogue regimes like North Korea (6) and Iran however, could simultaneously each launch a single medium range ICBM, (North Korea has announced plans to launch a long-range rocket mounted with a satellite.), from a ship 50 miles off shore of the East and West coasts. These missiles could easily reach 250 miles altitude and get close enough to Kansas to destroy a large portion of our military and civil infrastructures. Missiles of this type, launched so close to our shores, would be impossible to intercept because recent political decisions have prevented development of missile defense systems for the Continental USA. [Please understand the implications of this last sentence...its not how big an Army or how powerful your navy...1 just one rather small nuclear missile over the continental USA, in particular, a supposedly "harmless  communications satellite" carrying a suitcase sized nuclear device. Mr. Larry]

Hundreds of Millions (of Microprocessors) Die Within a Second (7)
How many microprocessors do you own? How many do you interact with directly? How many indirectly? Is that airplane overhead kept aloft by dozens of them? Do you have one on your wrist, in your pocket, on the desk in front of you, under the hood of your car, your television, radio, cell phone or anything emp1 keyboardelse around you? Most of them would die within a second of a rogue-nation EMP attack.

The refrigerator in your kitchen has a microprocessor and is energized by electricity, generated in a facility full of them, and routed to your home by the National Electric Power Grid, which would shutdown within that same second. Most vehicles of any description produced after 1980; cars, trucks, busses, motorcycles, police cruisers, fire engines, ambulances, locomotives and almost everything else would either stop in place within that second, or never again move from where they sat.

Airplanes would fall out of the sky, vehicles traveling at 70 MPH would lose control, implanted pacemakers would no longer regulate heart function and every manner, type and description of high tech medical equipment would fail.

Those microprocessors that were not destroyed immediately would be rendered useless because their companions were destroyed. Vehicles not disabled immediately might continue to operate, if they could escape dead-vehicle gridlock, but would soon need and be unable to be refueled because the power grid no longer energizes pumps. Freezers and refrigerators in supermarkets and food processing plants would no longer function, and store shelves would be stripped bare within hours.

Hundreds of Millions (of People) Die within a Year
Even though an EMP is not radioactive, it is estimated that 5 to 10% of the entire population would become casualties within 24 hours, due to vehicular crashes, medical support failures, industrial malfunctions, other loss of power and control incidents and panic. It is further estimated that up to 90% of the entire population would perish within the first year as a result of crime, rioting, starvation/dehydration and of course disease, injury, untreated major medical emergencies and suicide.

Those who survive the initial 24 hours stand a fair chance of surviving the first year, if they had been smart enough to make survival preparations, were lucky enough to be able to get to their hardened position and supplies; and are able and willing to defend their supplies and the remnants of their families without hesitation and with whatever level of force is necessary.

The first year will be a time of savagery, darkness and desperation unprecedented in human history. Within a few days after water has stopped flowing and the last scraps of food have been consumed, the cities will have largely become ghost towns. Entire populations will have fled to the countryside in search of food, water and comfort. Millions upon millions of desperate, starving people will become like swarms of 17-year locusts, but with intelligence, cunning and malice. All pretense of civility will have been discarded and three-week survivors will appear and act very much like “zombies” depicted in recent “B” grade movies.

It will be ugly beyond imagination and challenging almost beyond endurance. The only people who will survive until some kind of order is restored, some level of commerce resumes and whatever “normal” becomes, will be those who were prepared, and hard-headedly willing, to survive.

Survival Preparedness for an EMP Attack
There is no preparing to survive the aftermath of an EMP attack, as a specific type of preparedness. Survival preparedness is the same for whatever disaster aftermath you are preparing to survive; it is nothing more than providing that which you know your family needs, in sufficient quantities to support survival for up to a year after the event.

Your Family will need:
•  To be water self sufficient, because nothing will come out of your faucet or what does come out will be unsafe to drink.
•  Long Term Bulk Food Storage, because the food supply chain will have ceased to function and there will be no deliveries to stores.
•  A survival stove and lights, because the National Electric Power Grid will no longer brighten the darkness, cook your food nor keep you warm.
•  First Aid Kits, because there will be minor injuries which must be prevented from becoming major problems.
•  Survival Garden Seeds and hunting weapons, because there’s a limit to how much food you are able to buy and store.
Your family will need more, much, much more; including guns of substantial caliber and firepower to defend against the attacks which are guaranteed to be launched against you. As important as having guns is training every member of your family how, when, (and to be willing), to use them.

Being prepared to survive the aftermath of any disaster, but especially an EMP attack, does not guarantee that you will survive. What is guaranteed is that if you are not prepared, you will not survive. No one will prepare you to survive! You must do it yourself and you must start now. If not you, who? If not now, when?

Footnotes:
(1)  
www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/cst/bugs_ch12.pdf
(2)  http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/rp/factsheets/factsheets-htm/fs41elecpuls.htm
(3)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse + www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/cst/bugs_ch12.pdf
(4) http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcommdocs.house.gov%2Fcommittees%2Fsecurity%2Fhas197010.000%2Fhas197010_1.htm&ei=8f9lT6H8D4musgLqjNy2Dw&usg=AFQjCNHAXLLMaVK40RH_3nlz3_bmLrEOnA&sig2=tHv4OVxZ3b923lpUgZYATA
(5)  http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2005_09/Kristensen
(6)  http://www.newsmax.com/KenTimmerman/super-emp-emp-northkorea-nuke/2011/06/16/id/400260 + http://abcnews.go.com/International/electronic-warfare-north-korea-nears-completion-electromagnetic-pulse/story?id=13081667#.T2YEAY5qNdg + http://www.news.com.au/technology/emp-bomb-ready-for-war-says-south-korea/story-e6frfro0-1226018432287
(7)  http://www.williamson-labs.com/480_emp.htm

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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

.

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.
.

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.
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_ 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!

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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

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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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