Tag Archives: shelter

The clock is ticking, time is running out

(News & Editorial/ The clock is ticking, time is running out.)

news-desk[1]A.  Will America make it to 2018 before the largest depression in history strikes?
July 2013, Answers.Yahoo.com, by Deusche
Pasted from: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130626135336AACi7MV

Economic collapse is now a mathematical fact for the future of the western nations, the only question which remains is when. Every chart points to the 2018 period where we hit completely unsustainable figures in debt/income rations, 0% savings rate, and facing a deficit of 2X the taxable capacity. In other words, despite all the blind hope many people have, the US government can not raise taxes 100% and maintain a healthy economy, nor can people continue to spend 110% more than they make with $0 savings. It just simply isn’t possible. The trends will not reverse either, these trends have not changed since 1960, and would amount to a complete cultural shift of not spending anything and converting that money to debt and savings. This clearly is NOT going to happen before 2018.

So the question remains, will we slip into the depression prior to 2018, or will we do like everything else and wait until the last second and go off the cliff?

The days for disagreement and debate for whether the dollar will collapse are over. If you think there is a chance it will NOT then you lack the knowledge of our current economic system and I have no interest in your opinion because it is based on propaganda and complete ignorance. If you chose to ignore the blatantly obvious facts staring us in the face then you won’t matter soon anyway because you’ll lose all of your money on deposit and starve to death before 2020. (The FDIC currently only holds enough reserve for 40% of the nation’s current depositors, which is pointless anyway since the dollar will have no value)

Will enough people see the future and begin to withdrawal from the US dollar and cause the depression to begin early, or is this country too filled with the mindless and irresponsible that it will actually make it to 2018?

So out of curiosity,
How many here have at least 2 years worth of equity in non-dollar based wealth?
Who here has 3-6 months of access to food and water?
Who here has the ability to maintain these conditions > 100 miles from a major city?
Who here has NO debt, and a second trade which will be useful in a micro economy?

If you answer yes to all of these, congrats, you will survive to see 2020, if you answered NO to any of these, then your odds are incredibly small.

You have up to 1 year and 2 months remaining to make these things happen. You will not be warned by CNN, Bloomberg, newspapers, goofle, or any other media outlet, just like every other time in history when an economic crisis hits and they are blinded by normalcy bias. It puzzles me still why people think the news is going to warn them of a depression, they never have and never will. By the time you hear a Moody’s downgrade, the market dropping 1000 points in a single day, or the Fed doubling QE after an emergency session in DC it will be too late.

Many people tried to stop the great depression, dumping billions (trillions in todays inflated currency) into the systems hoping to stop it, but in the end the market and the collapse is not something anyone can stop.

This is the only Warning you will receive. It’s up to you whether you chose blind faith and financial data based on best case propaganda, or whether you do the research and realize the facts. Even common sense tells you a society completely based on financing there is something seriously wrong. Remember, the markets always surge before the crash. We’ve had the surge, so we know what comes next.

Additional Details
What you can do is stock up on basic living needs. Normalcy Bias tends to leave people with the false impression that we will always have access to cheap food at the grocery store. The average travel your food makes is 1500 miles, so it won’t take much to stop that flow. People need to remember, this past 50 years of success have been a FLUKE in human history. Starvation and suffering has been the normal for 99% of human history. We’re about to enter a NATURAL cycle of a major downturn. The reason is quite simple. The average person consumes more than they contribute. This adds up, and today our society is at its breaking point. Taxes can NOT rise and produce more, it will only shut down businesses and increase unemployment. Taxes lowered or remaining the same will definitely lead to US defaults. Either way it’s coming.

There is no “Which one” you idiot. The entire western civilization and their governments are completely broke. What part of this do you not understand? Which chart can’t you read? What part of 100% broke is so hard to figure out? These are not standing figures, these are ratios. Do you know what a ratio is? Probably not…

100% debt/gdp
110% consumer di debt/income
3:1 deficit increase

This means the entire western civilization is spending MORE than they bring in. So when people say there is nothing wrong, the economy can continue they are not only wrong, they are completely and utterly clueless.

1 – 2 does not equal + numbers. You can’t barrow out of debt, you can’t continue spending more than you make. At some point the lenders STOP, and what do you think interest rates will do?? We can barely afford the debt service now at practically 0%, so just how exactly are people and the governments going to afford 2X 4X 9X the payments???

B.  Celente Warns: “If You Don’t Have Your Money In Your Pocket It’s Not Yours”
22 Oct 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Mac Slavo
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/celente-warns-the-collapse-of-2014-if-you-dont-have-your-money-in-your-pocket-its-not-yours_10222013

clock ticking

(Image courtesy Dees Illustration)

If there’s one thing that should be clear, it’s that nothing the government or their banking partners have done to solve the economic crisis has been for your benefit. They’ve enriched themselves, yet again, on the backs of the American people.

All the while, they’ve told us that everything is getting better. But anyone who’s paying attention know that nothing of the sort has happened.

We continue to shed jobs. Hundreds of thousands of people are still losing their homes. Personal debt is rapidly approaching 2007 levels. The U.S. government has borrowed more money than what we can ever hope to repay.

We are still in the middle of it and it’s only going to get worse.

If you think it’s over, that they saved us and we’re out of the woods, then you’ve got a lot of pain coming your way.

And if you think you still have plenty of time to prepare, that it’s decades or years away, you’d better think again.

Trend forecaster Gerald Celente predicted the collapse of 2008 in remarkable fashion. And now he’s warning of a similar crisis to come next year.

There’s fear and hysteria running through the entire global financial community, because as everybody knows all they did was postpone the inevitable.

[They’re going to] turn more of America into Slavelandia as well, where people can get those part-time jobs, have no insurance, no benefits, and not enough money to live on, and they’ll have to go on food stamps and other assistance…

I’m saying to everybody out there, If you don’t have your money in your pocket it’s not yours.

Any self-respecting adult that hears McConnel, Reid, Boehner, Ryan, one after another, and buys this baloney… they deserve what they get.
And as for the international scene… the whole thing is collapsing.
That’s our forecast.
We are saying that by the second quarter of 2014, 1) we expect the bottom to fall outor 2) something to divert our attention as it falls out.

It’s the militarization of the United States… because of the grand scheme. And that is, these people may be stupid – the people running government – but they’re very shrewd. And they know… that there’s no way to solve these economic problems.

The mayhem that went on at Walmart when people couldn’t cash in their food stamps.
Multiply that by tens of millions. Multiply that by a breakdown in society. 

Look what they did in Boston. To me that was a test. They closed down a hundred square miles… to hunt for a 19-year old kid.
Look at America’s most feared criminal of this last year. A 19-year old kids, Snowden, and Bradley Manning. Now there’s three faces of disaster you never want to meet in a dark alley.
So, you can see how this society is being controlled because they don’t want anyone to get out of line.

YouTube

Watch Gerald Celente and Alex Jones discuss the coming trends and our future at YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SEgd8t339gU

.

Make no mistake. It’s coming.
And when it hits, it’ll make the crisis of 2008 look like a picnic.
We survived that one, barely, but it took trillions of dollars just to stabilize, not fix, the system.

This time around, our creditors and the people as a whole may well lose confidence. And once that is lost, look out, because as Gerald Celente notes, the happenings at Walmart when the EBT system crashed were just a prelude.

Imagine that next time around it happens to not just EBT cards, but ATM’s and bank accounts, or that the U.S. dollar itself crashes to such an extent that it is no longer feasible as a mechanism of exchange.
In such a scenario you can fully expect disruptions to food supplies and the normal flow of commerce.
The only saving grace you’ll have are the physical assets in your possession – your arable land, long-term food stores, gold and silver ( http://www.jmbullion.com/ ), and the post-collapse labor skills you’ve developed.

The time to prepare is now or you may well experience the horrific effects to come.

.

C.  Shadow Stats Founder On Hyperinflation: Disruptions to Food Supplies, Normal Flow of Commerce
5 May 2010, SGTFplan.com, by Mac Slavo
pasted from: https://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/shadow-stats-founder-on-hyperinflation-disruptions-to-food-supplies-normal-flow-of-commerce_05052010

Many of our readers are familiar with John Williams of Shadow Stats (http://www.shadowstats.com/ ). We often refer to his economic analysis to get the real story about GDP growth, unemployment and most matters of government accounting.

In previous articles, we’ve discussed the threat of Hyperinflationary Depression – No Way of Avoiding Financial Armageddon and What is Money When the System Collapses?

Mr. Williams was recently interviewed by The Gold Report and the discussion revolved around the real possibility of hyperinflationary collapse of the US Dollar and an economists view of what the effects of such a collapse would be. If you haven’t read our previous articles, we’d recommend reading those now as they may provide some ideas, tips and strategies to help you whether the storm in the event that it does happen as Mr. Williams suggests it may.

The following excerpts are just snippets from an excellent interview that is worth your while to read in its entirety.

There’s strong evidence that we’re going to see an intensified downturn ahead, but it won’t become a great depression until a hyper-inflation kicks in. That is because hyper-inflation will be very disruptive to the normal flow of commerce and will take you to really low levels of activity that we haven’t seen probably in the history of the Republic.

Again, if you start to see,  1) a great depreciation of the U.S. currency or, 2) a tremendous increase in lack of confidence in the soundness of the government’s fiscal condition, there is a problem. You mentioned Greece, for example. The sovereign solvency issues there are minuscule compared to what we have with the United States, which is the elephant in the bathtub. The markets know it’s there. The central bankers know it’s there. Again, with the downturn in the economy, all the issues are going to be brought to a head. 3) As they come to a head, there will be that effort to dump the dollar. I would expect that, indeed, it will be decoupled from its reserve status, although it could follow after the fact as opposed to before the fact.

Beyond income issues, the problem with the hyper-inflation is that very quickly the use of cash will cease. Let me contrast our circumstance here with a very popularly followed hyper-inflation case that’s now run its course in Zimbabwe. There you had probably the worst hyper-inflation that anyone’s ever seen. After devaluation upon devaluation, they successively lopped the zeros off the bills. If you took a $2 bill that they first issued back in the ’80s and then tried to come up with the equivalent of a $2 bill in the last form of the currency, it would be very difficult to do because it was so worthless. If you put a pile of those together to equal the original $2 bill, it would actually stretch from the earth to the Andromeda Galaxy. We’re talking light years. There are not enough trees on earth to print them. Yet the Zimbabwe economy survived and functioned. They had a lot of problems, but they operated. The reason they functioned was because they had a back-up system, which was a black market in U.S. dollars. People switched out of the Zimbabwe dollar to U.S. dollars. They could live with that. In the U.S., we don’t have a back-up system.

In terms of preserving the purchasing power of your assets, the best thing I can think of is physical gold. That’s worked over the millennia. I’m not per se a gold bug. It just happens to be a circumstance in which it’s the cleanest asset around for that. You don’t need to put all your assets into gold, but hold some. Hold some silver. I’d look to get some assets out of the U.S. dollar and look to get some assets out of the U.S. When I say outside of the U.S. dollar, again, I look at the Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, Swiss franc in particular. I think they will tend to do particularly well, whereas the U.S. dollar is going to become effectively worthless.

As the dollar breaks down, you’ll also likely see disruptions in supply chains, including shipments of food to grocery stores. People should consider maintaining stockpiles of basic goods needed for living, much as they would for a natural disaster. I sit on the Hayward fault in California. I have a supply of goods and basic necessities in case something terrible happens-natural or man-made-that will carry me for a couple of months. It may take that long for a barter system to evolve, which I think is what you’re going to end up with; at least until a new currency system is reorganized and you get a government that’s able to bring its fiscal house into order. No currency system in the U.S. is going to work unless the fiscal conditions that drove it into oblivion are also addressed.

I like physical gold and silver. I look to gold as a primary hedge. If you can come out of this holding gold, you’ll be in a position where you’ll be able to take advantage of some extraordinary investment opportunities that will follow.

It’s coming, and top (non-mainstream) economists are telling us to get ready.

Contrary to what we hear from Mr. Bernanke, Mr. Geithner, and Mr. Paul Krugman, the economy will not continue to grow indefinitely and we have not completely recovered yet. This is all part of a greater depressive trend in the economy and if Mr. Williams is right, the real numbers will show economic contraction in the latter part of 2010. What will the stock market and bond markets do once global investors and US debt buyers realize that the so-called recovery was nothing more than a mirage?

The Federal Reserve is printing trillions of dollars, and when it becomes apparent that the plans put forth by President Bush and President Obama have failed, we are going to be in serious trouble.

We are going to side with Mr. Williams on a coming hyperinflationary destruction of the US Dollar at some point in the near future (timeframe: +- 5 years), and we hope that Mr. Williams’ assessment of a brief period of disruption to commerce is accurate. Because if it is anything longer than that, then the shit will most certainly be hitting the fan in the style of The Day the Dollar Died or Patriots,, and that will not be in any way pleasant, even for those of us who are ready for it.

Leave a comment

Filed under News & Editorial

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.

.

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.]

..
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”.
.

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

.
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!
.

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!!!

Leave a comment

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]
.

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.]
.

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

Leave a comment

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.

.

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

tent sunrise 11

[Eureka Sunrise 11]

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

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

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

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

Specifications:

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

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

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

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

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

tent big horn 12x14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tent and frame weight is 72 lbs. Imported.
.

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

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

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

coated polyester fabrics are durable and long lasting.

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

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

rooms.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

Emergency Tent Living, Part 1 of 4

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

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

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

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

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

tent BH III close up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 .DSCF7931

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 DSCF7165

Leave a comment

Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

How to keep warm at home

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles/ How to keep warm at home)

A.  Ice Storm Survival Preparedness
Posted on 14 December 2012, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, Submitted by: Ken Jorgustin (MSB)
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/weather-preparedness/ice-storm-survival-preparedness/

warmathome ice storm
An Ice Storm is a unique weather phenomenon that immediately paralyzes a region, much more so than a major snow storm. An ice storm is so debilitating that you risk your survival and life simply by walking out your front door.

Just prior to nearly any forecast of a major storm, people rush out to the grocery stores, which quickly run out of lots of food and supplies. How does this happen? Its pretty simple really… just think about your own habit of going to the grocery store… you probably go on the same day of the week, right? Let’s say you normally go Friday, someone else goes Saturday, yet another always goes on Tuesday, etc. When a storm is forecast, people disregard their normal schedule and many of them run out to the store during the same day just before the storm. Bingo… the store shelves go empty. The lesson is to NOT have to run out – keep enough at home to begin with. Not only that, but an ice storm will completely prohibit you from running that errand as soon as the fist liquid begins to freeze into ice.

EXPECT more dumb decisions. As it is, a certain percentage of people make dumb decisions, but for some reason just prior and during a storm, there are more of them making poor choices. There will be more accidents (automobile and otherwise). People rushing around, nearly panicked. Out for themselves. It’s really quite amazing to witness. So the best advice is to stay out of their way, and better yet, stay at home!

If you are stuck at home for days with the rest of your family, it will become increasingly likely that you will all get bored or stressed out. Think ahead of time for things to do. Have books to read. Games to play. Projects to accomplish. Be extra nice so as to reduce the possible stress around everyone.

Ice will quickly bring traffic to a crawl or complete halt. Cars may become abandoned and roads completely impassible. Even though you may have a 4×4, keep TIRE CHAINS in your vehicle. A 4-wheel drive will do no good on ice, just like a 2-wheel drive vehicle. Chains however will add biting grip to your tires (even 2-wheel drive vehicles) and may be the difference to get you home. They are easy to get… just ‘size’ them according to the tire model/size that you have. Oh, and once you get them, be sure and familiarize yourself with putting them on one time in your driveway, when the weather is nice, so you know how to do it!

One major danger and risk is that the power often goes out during an ice storm. The weight of the build-up of ice on the power lines and tree branches is enormous (more than you may think). Once a critical point is reached, these lines and limbs will start crashing down. Even worse is that it will be nearly impossible for repair crews to do their job until AFTER an ice storm. This means that you may be without power for a LONG TIME.

During the winter, being without power is an entirely different deal than a summertime power outage. Even a relatively short term power outage in the winter can be deadly. Your home will likely lose its ability to heat. Pipes may freeze. You may freeze. It is crucial to consider an alternative method for keeping warm. Safe portable indoor heaters are available. Of course a wood stove is a no-brainer.

Remember this, whereas during a power outage resulting from a snow storm may allow you to drive to another location which has heat or power, during an ice storm you will NOT be able to safely travel. This makes it all the more important to have a means of keeping warm in your home during a power outage.

Plus, there are all of the other aspects that go with getting along without power…

For your vehicle, keep tire chains, tow strap, salt/sand, shovel, ice scraper, snow brush, a safe gas can, extra gloves, extra hat, blanket, 72-hour kit with food (or at least some power bars, etc.), road flares, LED flashlight, car charger for cell phone, and whatever else you think may be good to have just in case…

A few additional preparedness items for home include LED flashlights, extra batteries, solar battery charger, portable battery powered AM/FM Shortwave radio, a weather radio, a safe indoor cooking stove, enough food, some stored water in case municipal tap water pumps go dead, generator, extra fuel in safe gas cans, car charger for your cell phone, and most important of all… enough hot chocolate!

If you have large trees or limbs over or near your home or roof, be very aware of this. A falling tree can easily slice into a house and kill you. Consider trimming large limbs that may be a risk. At the very least, I would not sleep or spend much time in a room underneath such a danger zone.

Conserve the power on your cell phone. Shut it off except for when you are going to use it. Cell towers are often repaired well before the power comes back on, so bear that in mind.

If you are ‘out’ and you hear a forecast of icing, do your best to get where you are going to go, BEFORE the event. Your ears should perk up when you hear the word, ICE.
Be prepared.

.

B. How to Winterize Your Home
15 Dec 2012, The Ready Store,
Pasted from: http://www.thereadystore.com/diy/5657/how-to-winterize-your-home?utm_source=rne_mon_20121217&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=monday&utm_content=main

Previously, we talked about what you could do to prepare for a power outage during the winter. But how can do you winterize your home to be ready for the snow and cold weather?

Here are a few points to consider as the winter weather descends upon us. Check out these points and then add your insights below. Your tips could save people money and time as they prepare.

Reverse the fan
One thing that most people don’t think about is reversing the ceiling fan. Hot air rises and you’ll want to make sure that the warm air that is collecting around your ceiling is being pushed back down into the room to heat everyone.

Clean the gutters
The last thing you’ll want to do in the middle of the winter is climb up on your frozen roof on a cold ladder and take out soggy and frozen leaves from your gutters. Cleaning your gutters allows cold water to quickly get off your roof and not collect.

Insulate
Besides making sure that your house is well insulated, make sure that there aren’t any large cracks or leaks in your home. Those cracks can let hot air out and drain your heating bill.

You’ll also want to make sure that the seal around your windows and doors is tight. Many people even consider putting bubble wrap or other clear plastics around their window during the winter to allow light to come in and cold air out. You can even sew your own door draft stopper.

Planting a windbreakers
This probably isn’t something that you can do quickly or easily but you should consider planting evergreen trees close to your home. This keeps a buffer of tree between your house and the cold wind outside. The evergreen trees will also force cold winds up and around your house.

Programmable gadgets
One new trend is consumers who are installing timers on their heating systems or water heaters in order to only run during certain times of the day. This allows you to only heat when you need it – saving you money!

Shut the door
Many times it’s just more efficient not to heat a room. If there is a storage room that you aren’t using – just close the vent and the door. That allows you to focus your heating on the rooms that you use on a regular basis. You’ll have to make sure that without the vents open the room doesn’t get too cold that you have a busted pipe.

Use your large appliances
When it gets cold outside, clean the house. The heat that the washer, dryer, dishwasher, oven and other appliances put off will heat your home when it’s cold. That means you’ll want to make sure that your appliances are in working order.

Make sure you have an auto emergency kit
While you’re out and about during the winter time, make sure that you have the proper equipment in your car. That means having jumper cables, food, water and other items that will be necessary if your car breaks down in a winter storm.

 . 

C.  How to Stay Warm with Less Heat
4 Dec 2012, TheOrganicPrepper.ca, by Daisy Luther
Posted from: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/how-to-stay-warm-with-less-heat-2-12042012

warmathome cold day

I live in an older house.  It’s not too fancy, but it features things like wood heat, an independent water supply and a million dollar view with a frugal price tag.   In the Northern winter, however, I notice exactly how drafty and chilly our little house is!  The breeze off the lake also increases the nip in the air.  With an older wood stove as our only source of heat, the rooms more distant from the stove move from chilly to downright COLD.

From a prepping point of view, using less heat allows you to extend your fuel supply. If you are totally without heat, greater measures would need to be taken than the ones listed here.  For some SHTF heating ideas, this article has some fantastic and inexpensive tips.

I rent so it isn’t feasible to insulate or replace the windows and wood stove with more efficient models. So, in the interest of non-tech solutions, here are a few ways that we keep warmer without plugging in the electric space heaters.

warmathome dress warm Keep your wrists and ankles covered.  Wear shirts with sleeves long enough to keep your wrists covered and long socks that keep your ankles covered.  You lose a great deal of heat from those two areas.

Get some long-johns.  Wearing long underwear beneath your jeans or PJ’s will work like insulation to keep your body heat in.  I like the silky kind sold by discount stores like Wal-mart for indoor use, rather than the sturdier outdoor type sold by ski shops.

Wear slippers.  You want to select house shoes with a solid bottom rather than the slipper sock type.  This forms a barrier between your feet and the cold floor.  We keep a basket of inexpensive slippers in varying sizes by the door for visitors because it makes such a big difference.  Going around in your stocking feet on a cold floor is a certain way to be chilled right through.

Get up and get moving.  It goes without saying that physical activity will increase your body temperature.  If you’re cold, get up and clean something, dance with your kids, play tug-of-war with the dog, or do a chore.  I often bring in a few loads of wood to get my blood flowing and get warmed up.

Pile on the blankets. If you’re going to be sitting down, have some layered blankets available.  Our reading area has polar fleece blankets which we top with fluffy comforters for a cozy place to relax.

warmathome sleep warm

Use a hot water bottle.  If you’re just sitting around try placing a hot water bottle (carefully wrapped to avoid burns) under the blankets with you.

Use rice bags.  If you don’t have the readymade ones, you can simply place dry rice in a clean sock.  Heat this in the microwave, if you use one, for about a minute, or place in a 100 degree oven, watching carefully, for about 10 minutes.  I keep some rice bags in a large ceramic crock beside the wood stove so they are constantly warm.  You can put your feet on them or tuck them under the blankets on your lap.

warmathome warm room

Insulate using items you have.  A friend recommended lining the interior walls with bookcases or hanging decorative quilts and blankets on the walls to add an extra layer of insulation. It definitely makes a difference because it keeps heat in and cold air out. If you look at pictures of old castles you will see lovely tapestry wall-hangings – this was to help insulate the stone walls, which absorbed the cold and released it into the space.

Layer your windows.  Our house has large lovely picture windows for enjoying the view.  However, they’re single pane and it’s hard to enjoy the view if your teeth are chattering.  We took the rather drastic step of basically closing off all the windows but one in each room for the winter.  We insulated by placing draft blockers at the bottom in the window sill (I just used rolled up polar fleece – I’m not much of a sew-er.)  This was topped by a heavy blanket, taking care to overlap the wall and window edges with it.  Over that, we hung thermal curtains that remain closed.

 Get a rug.  If you have hardwood, tile or laminate flooring, an area rug is a must.  Like the blankets on the walls, this is another layer of insulation between you and the great outdoors.  We have no basement so our floor is very chilly.  A rug in the living room protects our feet from the chill.

Wear a scarf.  No, not like a big heavy wool scarf that you’d wear outdoors – just a small, lightweight one that won’t get in your way and annoy you.  This serves two purposes.  First, it covers a bit more exposed skin. Secondly, it keeps body heat from escaping out the neck of your shirt.

Burn candles.  Especially in a smaller space, a burning candle can raise the temperature a couple of degrees.

Cuddle.  Share your body heat under the blankets when you’re watching movies or reading a book.

Leave a comment

Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Survive the Collapse

A.  How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization
Nov 2012, SecretsofSurvival.com, by James Roberts
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.secretsofsurvival.com/survival/collapse_of_civilization.html

survive

“…Priorities considerations in the event of total social breakdown (the order here doesn’t matter, as it could conceivably change greatly depending on the situation)

 Find food and water – If you are someone that believes the world is on the doorstep of Armageddon or could be in for some tough years ahead, you may want to plan for this one in advance. If everything breaks down, one of the first things you’ll need is an immediate supply of food and water.

Best case scenario: you thought about this before the problem and have emergency supplies on hand at your home and / or office. This will help you get through that first week or two.

If not, this could conceivably become the first order of business. Sustain yourself for long enough to come up with a plan. By the way, in speaking of a long term plan…

Find a group ( if there is one available to you )- Under circumstances where complete social chaos is reigning, you might not want to be by yourself. First, there’s physical safety in numbers (on Jericho there have been several situations where outsiders have come to the town intent on doing folks harm; on Lost, of course, there’s the Others).

Regardless, a group will help you protect your family and yourself when and if further danger arises.

Beyond that, group membership will help to meet your need to belong later. That’s right, like the world famous psychologist Abraham Maslow has indicated, all human beings need to feel as if they belong and are safe.

Regardless, look to those you can trust: people within your own neighborhood, for example. Further, if the availability is there – as in the case of Jericho, Kansas – look to your town.

Pick a leader – Football teams need a head coach and some assistants. Without this, any player or coach will tell you that chaos would reign. Every form of government also has a set of leaders. Don’t believe – even for a second – that you can survive chaos without installing some kind of power structure. Everything that is civilization tells us different. Further, by implementing a power structure of sorts, you’ll have in essence brought some order to the chaos, even if only within your own group.

Therefore, small groups would be wise to elect a leader early on (this will be easier within groups that truly know one another). Further, plans regarding the future power structure should be made at this time ( will there be voting?). Such discussions might serve to quell the jealousy of those who are not elected to lead.

Bigger groups could go the democratic route and have mini parliament of sorts, if they chose. Or perhaps an elected official might serve the purpose (like a town mayor).

Protect yourself from the elements with a shelter – Do you still have a house? If so, great! If not, look for natural shelters (like the caves in Lost). Or if no manmade or natural shelters are available, consider building some (like the contestants always do on the hit CBS show Survivor).

By the way, do this quickly. Further, if total social breakdown occurs in an area where the elements are a big problem, this may need to be your first order of business.

Heating and cooling – Is the electricity working (not in Jericho, Kansas, it isn’t)? Are there any heat sources available? If not, we’re talking fire. Which of course requires something to burn.

It would be smart to have a plan for dealing with this.

Can you defend yourself?

Are you in danger? – In other words, are people walking down your road with guns intent on stealing or otherwise doing harm to you? Obviously, if this is the case, then defending yourself becomes first priority.

Perhaps it’s an opposing military; perhaps it’s our own citizens trying to better their own situation. Regardless, here are some ideas to consider.

Fortify your area – There are all types of things you could try. You could line cars, busses, or trucks around you for protection. You could try to build a wall if time permits. You could even attempt to build a fort of sorts. Here’s the problem with all of those ideas.

They let people know where you are.

Thus, the best course of action would likely depend on the situation. If you’re a relatively large group that has weapons and capability, doing some fortification work may not be a bad idea. However, if you’re a small group that wants to remain nameless, the last thing you may want to do is line a bunch of trucks around four houses, particularly if there are groups out there to fear. After all, fortification strategies like that tend to scream, here we are!

In such situations, search for natural barriers to live near (lakes, mountains). These won’t bring any obvious unwanted notoriety. However, keep in mind that if you live near fresh water, expect others to eventually come calling (food and water would, of course, be of paramount important to survivors of social breakdown).

Collect weapons – This is an obvious one. Just remember that if someone wants to be a part of your group, their weapons are too. It can’t just be a band of individuals.

Remember the power structure – When it comes to military maneuvers, a power structure is absolutely of paramount importance. In fact, when you’re electing or deciding on a group leader, their ability to lead you in a military sense should be high on the list.

This leader, if they’re worth a grain of salt, will devise a guard schedule. If there is any truly conceivable danger at all, a watch should always be put into place along with a way for the guard to contact others without alerting attention to him or herself.

Finally, think long term when it comes to food – How are you going to sustain yourselves in the long term? If there is true social chaos that could go on indefinitely, this needs to be considered in great detail. Some things to think about are:
a) Rationing the food you have.
b) Freezing food that might go bad (if you have the means). If not, then eat that first.
c) Farming possibilities (present and future).
d) Cattle availability.
e) Winter rations.

In sum, total social breakdown has never happened in the United States. During periods of specific social unrest, this country has always been able to recover. Regardless, there could be any number of situations that could change America’s luck.

Terrorists, a nuclear war, the consequences of global warming, etc.

Further, total social breakdown can occur in other ways (think Lost). So are you ready? Would you know what to do? Here’s what’s certain.

This article is only meant to get you thinking in the right direction. If the real thing were to ever hit, survivors would have to do a lot of thinking on their feet. Of course, if you thought some of this through before the event, that might save some time and effort…

That’s for you to decide. “

.

 B.  Long-Term Security, Perimeter Defense and Lethal Tactics
5 October 2012, SHTFplan.com, by Max Velocity
http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/long-term-security-permieter-defense-and-lethal-tactics_10052012

This article first appeared at Ready Nutrition as part of the 52 Weeks to Preparedness Series and is written by Max Velocity of Max Velocity Tactical.

Max Velocity has been kind enough to dedicate his time and professional insights to our preparedness community. He has an extensive military background, having served in both the British and the U.S. armies and also as a high threat security contractor. He has served on six military operational deployments, including to Afghanistan immediately post-9/11, and additionally he spent five years serving as a security contractor in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During his career in the British Army he served with British SOF (The Parachute Regiment), to include a role training and selecting recruits for the Regiment. More recently, he has served in a Combat Medic and Civil Affairs role in the US Army Reserves. He is the author of two books: Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival and Rapid Fire! Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations. With his vast military background and real world experience, Max provides the kind of information that every prepper needs to learn, understand and integrate into their long-term security and home defense plans.

defenseIn this article for the final week of ‘52 Weeks for Preparedness’ I will discuss long term security and defense of your retreat location. We cannot predict now exactly what conditions will look like after a collapse and as such I urge you not to make too many assumptions based on your particular idea of what such a post-SHTF situation will look like. The purpose will be to give you the general principles and techniques of defending a location, which you can tailor and apply as necessary and appropriate. It is best to adopt a mindset of flexibility and gather mental and physical knowledge and ‘tools’ in order to be able to develop your response and put some of these measures in place as you find them necessary and appropriate. For the article I will assume a broad post-SHTF situation of societal collapse with a general absence of law and order.

What is the threat? As a prepper hunkered down at your home, with food stores, the most likely threat will be from looters and marauders. These could take many forms from a simple beggar, through starving neighbors, mobs, tricks and deceptions, to a tactically organized group with weapons and equipment. The worst case is some sort of organized paramilitary style force with heavy equipment bent on forced redistribution. Therefore, remain flexible and have an emergency rally point and extraction route should you be overmatched. Know when you have no alternative but to bug out. You can make this decision if you have the information before the threat arrives and conduct the bug out in good order. Alternatively, you may be forced to make the decision as the attack progresses and have to ‘break contact’ and withdraw under enemy fire; this is one of the most difficult tactical maneuvers. Work on your leadership, decision making and decision points so that your response under the pressure of both time and enemy is optimal. Tied in with this is the need for clear rules of engagement and for the use of force appropriate to the threat.

This short article is mainly concerned with defense of a single location and as such will not go into techniques such as mobile and area defense, which could be useful for a larger community. Remember, the best form of defense is to avoid the fight. But that may not be possible and you have to always plan and prepare for that fight. You can better avoid the fight by adopting a lower profile at your location, attempting to conceal your supplies and capabilities. The opposite of this is to have a high profile and try to use threat of force as a deterrent. But remember that a good rifleman could sit out at long range and simply shoot your defenders in their sentry positions. In my opinion, the best approach for a small survivor group is to adopt a lower profile while maintaining the capability to defeat threats as they are encountered. The following are some principles of defense that you should consider and apply to your location and plan:

  • All Round Defense, in order to anticipate a threat from any direction.
  • Depth, in order to prevent penetration of your defended position.
  • Mutually Supporting Sectors of Fire, in order to increase the strength and flexibility of a defense.
  • Concealment and Deception, in order to deny the adversary the advantages of understanding.
  • Maintenance of a Reserve.
  • Offensive Action (where appropriate), in order to seize or regain the initiative.
  • Administration, to include:
    • Appropriate numbers of trained personnel.
    • Appropriate weapons, ammunition and equipment.
    • A watch system for early warning.

Most modern family homes do not lend themselves to defense. The structure is vulnerable to high velocity rounds which will pass through multiple frame, wood and plasterboard walls, and also simple mechanical breaches are possible with tools and even vehicles used as rams. They are also very vulnerable to fire. If you try and defend your house from the windows, then you will not be protected by the walls framing those windows and the room can be filled full of high velocity rounds by an attacking group. There is a real danger of being suppressed by superior firepower. If you stay back from the windows as you should, then you limit your fields of fire and unless there are enough of you defending then the enemy will be able to take advantage of blind spots to close with and then breach the house. You need a basement or other ballistic protected safe room for your noncombatant personnel (kids etc.) to shelter in; otherwise they will not be protected from the violence and from the high velocity rounds ripping through the walls.

One of the key things for a prepper defense of a location is to have an appropriate number of trained personnel with appropriate firearms, ammunition and equipment. You will also have to take measures to harden the building to slow down attempts to breach. You need to consider whether or not you want your property to look derelict; this could be good or bad in the circumstances. It would be worthwhile to consider boarding up or shuttering at least the ground floor windows and think about putting up door bars or even board up some of the doors. This will also help with light discipline. External boards can make the place look derelict, but looking derelict could also encourage approach by potential squatters. You could put up the boards internally, or something similar, in order to maintain a low profile and slow any breaches. There a lots of pros and cons each way. When boarding up doors, ensure that you have at least two independent exits that can be used both for routine tasks but also for egress if you have to escape. Boarding up your windows and doors does not make them ballistically hardened. You could have sandbags ready to go, and you will need to consider a big pile of dirt to fill them from. Consider the benefits of simple mass of soil in protecting you from high velocity rounds, and for the construction of fighting positions. Sandbags need to be at least two deep to protect against high velocity rounds. If you try stacking enough of these on a modern upper floor, or even a ground level floor with a basement beneath, then the weight of a constructed fighting position may cause a collapse. You could stack sandbags externally around designated window fighting positions on the ground floor, but you will need a lot of them. Other alternatives would include filling a chest of drawers with soil to create firing positions, or maybe even material such as steel plate that will weigh less but will provide ballistic protection.

From the principles of defense it is clear that we need to establish a plan which provides early warning, all round defense and mutually supporting sectors of fire. We also need to create depth, which is best utilized outside the building rather than with fall back positions inside the house. We can create depth using external fighting positions to keep attackers away from the house, which will also aid mutual support. A key thing that will really help defense of a house is to have a second or more positions outside of the main building that can provide fire support, thus these positions support each other by keeping enemy away from the house and each other. This position(s) could also be another house or cooperating neighbor if it works out that way. This creates a ‘cross-fire’ so you must enforce fire discipline and allocate sectors of fire to ensure you do not cause ‘friendly fire’.

A very important concept is that of ‘stand-off’. This can be created with a combination of fighting positions in depth and cleared fields of fire with obstacles. If you have an obstacle, such as wire, it must be covered by fire to be effective. Utilize stand-off distances to keep enemy away from the property, combined with obstacles to slow vehicle and dismounted approach. Examples like wire are good for dismounted personnel and also vehicles if it is correctly laid concertina wire. Obstacles such as steel cabling, concrete bollards or planter boxes and felled trees will work well against vehicles. This will also have the effect of reducing the risk of attackers getting close to set the place on fire, which they are likely to try if they can’t get in to get your stuff. If we expand this concept we can see how a mutually supporting neighborhood with checkpoints/roadblocks and observation/fighting positions will provide a great advantage. Stand-off is also important in terms of engaging the enemy with accurate effective fire at the longest range that is physically and legally possible. If you are competent and have the equipment for long range effective suppressive fire, this can have the effect of keeping the enemy at arm’s length and reducing the accuracy and hence effectiveness of their fire, which will prevent them successfully suppressing you and subsequently maneuvering onto your position to breach or burn the property. In addition, consider the presence, placement and potential hard protection of any flammable sources on your property and close to your buildings, such as propane tanks and fuel supplies. Ensure they cannot be repeatedly fired upon by the enemy to cause a fire or explosion. The ability to generate accurate effective long range defensive fire depends on skill, equipment, positioning of fighting positions, your policy for the use of force and also the way the terrain affects weapons killing areas and ranges. To engage at long range you have to reasonably fear that the enemy presents a threat of lethal force against your defended location. However, if you are in a closer urban or wooded environment you may find some of your fields of fire are limited and you will have to plan and position accordingly.

Administration is a key factor. While you are maintaining your defense you need to look after the welfare of the team, equipment and the site itself. Administration is what preppers usually concentrate on. This is your “beans, bullets and band-aids”. This is an area where those that are non-combatants can really pull their weight and make a difference. You must maintain a watch system which will be tied in to ‘stand to’ positions and maybe some form of ‘Quick Reaction Force’ or reserve, depending on the resources and numbers available to you. Your watch system can be augmented by other early warning sensors such as dogs and mechanical or electronic systems. Day to day you will need to keep the machine running and this will be the biggest challenge as time goes on. Complacency Kills! Depending on the extent of your preparations, stores and the resources within your property, this will have a knock-on effect to your ability to remain covert and the requirement to send out foraging patrols. People will also start to get cabin fever, particularly kids, and you will need to consider how to entertain them. Consider that while mundane tasks are being completed, there is always someone on watch. People that are not on watch need to have weapons and ammunition carrying equipment close or on their person while doing other things. Consider carrying long rifles slung as well as handguns everywhere you go on the property, with at least a light bit of web gear with some additional magazines in pouches. Rifles should never be out of your arms reach if there is any kind of threat of attack. You should put rifle racks or hooks/nails on walls in key rooms, out of reach of kids, so that rifles can be grabbed quickly if the alarm is sounded.

Regarding your noncombatants or protected personnel; what you do with them depends on who they are. The younger kids will need to be protected in the safest location you have. Others will be useful to do tasks such as re-load magazines, distribute water and act as firefighting crews. Note that you need to have fire-extinguishers and buckets of water and /or sand available at hand during a defense to put out any fires. The more tasks you give people during a crisis, the more the activity will take their minds off the stress of the situation and the team will be strengthened. Ammunition replenishment, water distribution, casualty collection point, first aid, watching the rear and looking after the younger kids are all examples of tasks that can be allocated to make people a useful part of the team when personnel resources are tight.

Firearms and equipment has been covered under the home defense article. For this kind of defensive situation you will be well served by the ability to detect, observe and accurately engage enemy at the longest range possible by day and night. This is easily said, but would take throwing money at it to get all the equipment you need to best do it. In terms of firearms, I would recommend tactical type high capacity magazine rifles for the main work, backed up by handguns and pump action 12 gauge shotguns. The shotguns are good for close work and if the enemy gets in to the building, last ditch stuff. Long range hunting type rifles are good for observation (scope) and longer distance engagement. You would be best served with good optics for your weapons and also observation devices such as binoculars. Think about night vision and even thermal imaging if you can afford it. You will also have to consider that even if you can afford a night vision device, it will only work for whoever has it so how will the rest engage? What type and configuration of these night vision devices, on weapons as sights or not? Without night sights you can fire at muzzle flash or use whatever illumination is available, white light or whatever. A good option is to have parachute illumination flares. Loose barking dogs on your property are perhaps the best low budget early warning system; however consider that they may give away your position if you are trying to be totally covert. Decide on your priorities and strategy and tie that in with what money you have to spend on equipment. You can get expensive systems such as ground sensors, lights and alarms, but these cost money and you have to consider their use in a long-term grid down situation. I would prefer to spend money on optics and night observation devices which will last without grid power (but will require batteries) and can also be taken with you if you have to move locations. Here are some basic suggestions for equipment to augment such a defense:

  • Appropriate tactical firearms & ammunition
  • Web gear and magazines
  • Ear and eye protection
  • Body armor and helmets, NIJ level IIIa or Level IV
  • Barbed wire, coiled (concertina) and for low wire entanglements
  • Sandbags or other ballistic protection options
  • Night vision devices
  • Binoculars plus optical rifle sights
  • Black out curtain and pre-cut plywood for windows
  • Parachute illumination flares
  • Trip-flares
  • Trauma medical kit incl. CAT tourniquets
  • Range cards
  • Two way radios and/or field telephones
  • Multiple fire-extinguishers and/or buckets of water

If you have put a group together for such a defense, they need to be trained on not only tactical shooting and basic small unit tactics and movement, but also briefed and rehearsed on the defensive plan including fighting positions and sectors of fire. Consider that depending on your circumstances and the terrain, you may be benefited by running periodic clearance patrols around the property to mitigate against surprise attack, and to do this your team need to be able to patrol and move tactically, as well as respond to any enemy contact. You will preferably have a medic with a trauma bag. You do not want to ever run out of ammunition, so make sure you have as much as you can reasonably purchase. Like tactics, ammunition quantities are a subjective argument with many solutions. I recommend a personal load of six to eight thirty round magazines on the person, with at least as many full magazines for resupply. And once you have used that, you need another resupply! In a real life contact you will likely use less ammunition than you may during training and you must concentrate on effective accurate fire rather than simple quantity. Train your team to engage positively identified enemy, or suppress known enemy positions. A rapid rate of fire is 30 rounds per minute; a deliberate rate is 10 rounds per minute.

Practice and rehearse the command and fire control procedures at your location, including the communication of enemy locations and actions. Use range cards to tie in sectors for mutual support and to prevent ‘friendly fire’. Run ‘stand to’ drills like a fire drill by day and by night and be able to call out which direction the enemy threat comes from. Be aware of diversions and demonstrations intended to distract you from the main direction of attack. Always cover all sectors, even with just one observer looking to the flanks and rear in a manpower crisis. Keep unnecessary noise and shouting down, allowing orders and target indications to be passed around the position. Every team member is a sensor and a ‘link man’ to pass on information.

Having said all that, you are not going to open fire on just anyone coming to your location. Any actions that you take should be justifiable as self-defense. Do be mindful of tricks and the potential for snipers. However, don’t give up on morality and charity and don’t illegally open fire on anyone that comes near your defended location. You need to agree on rules of engagement for your sentries and you should apply escalation of force protocols to meet a threat with the proportionate and appropriate force necessary to stop that threat. Have the ability to warn anyone approaching, whether you have permanent warning signs or something like a bullhorn that you use as part of your escalation procedures through warning to non-lethal then lethal force as you begin to identify them as posing a threat. Remember that escalation of force is a continuum and you can bypass the early stages and go directly to lethal force if taken by surprise and faced with a lethal threat that must be stopped.

Max Velocity is an author and trainer providing tactical instruction and advice for those preparing for disaster survival and high threat, protection and combat operations. He is the author of two books on security issues: Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival and Rapid Fire! Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations .
Visit http://www.maxvelocitytactical.com/

 (Survival manual/ Prepper articles/ Survive the Collapse)

Leave a comment

Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual