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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

WNTBTTA 11


WHAT NOT TO BRING TO THE APOCALYPSE 11

6) at the risk of aggravating the holy crap out of myself by even skirting close to the chainsaw issue once again, a can of worms I’ll of course recklessly rip open but not until I’ve rested my brain for a bit, I’d suggest to you that under the fast collapse scenario that forms the whole basis of this series of articles ( fast as in Waterfall Collapse, the slow decline followed by a rapid plunge to the bottom, not fast as in all normal one day and then suddenly out of the blue we have an asteroid strike or nuclear war or alien invasion or Rapture which are the kinds of possible but improbable collapses Greer uses as an excuse to discount survivalists and doomers and hence to bolster his The Three Century Collapse All Permaculture Hippie Preppers Can Enjoy argument ), firewood would be another item under the umbrella of “you can manage without owning any in your stockpile”.  I am NOT saying having seasoned protected proper type wood stores isn’t a good idea.  I am NOT saying it is a good idea to burn building lumber you could use for shelter later.  What I AM saying is that if you never got around to stocking wood, there will be a butt ton of it all over the place ready for salvaging in the decaying suburbia surrounding you.  It isn’t an instant solution but a Better Than Nothing one.

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7) glass for solar cooking or water distillation or greenhouses or passive soar heat in your dwelling is very important.  And glass, being a bit high on the energy requirement scale, might take some time to be manufactured again ( people weren’t ignorant about the benefits of windows, they simply didn’t have the energy surplus to be able to afford them.  Never confuse our ginormous Oil Age luxury-as-necessities economy as the historical norm ), if ever.   It certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a surplus, for all those solar projects plus the inevitable theft or damage.  But if you can’t, there will be plenty of surplus windows in abandoned houses and in automobiles.  With almost one auto per person in the US, and each vehicle having several windows, and with an inevitable depopulation, you should see a window surplus for a time.

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8) copper tubing isn’t cheap anymore, what with most of the global building moving from the US post 2007 to China.  And China being in a better position to pay for all they needed.  So there isn’t really a strong incentive to stockpile it, unless you are a Rich Bitch Prepper who already owns everything.  You’ll want it for solar water heating ( active, rather than passive ) or distilling or piping the hot water heater to the woodstove [ see #20, to be published ] or whatever, and that should be another suburbia salvage item you most likely will find without to much problem.  As will

9) PVC tubing and gutters.  Gutters, obviously for water catchment for those cool places you thought was a good idea to live in for the relative solitude but which are pretty dry.  I’m not sure how much you’ll need piping.  Probably not too much as you’ll be drastically downsizing the housing square footage due to heating concerns, but kept out of the sun it should keep forever and you can always turn it into weapons if nothing else.

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10) garden tools are going to be far more important than they are now, but how many homes with yards are going to have most of what you’ll require?  Almost all of them.  Not specialty tools, but at least most of the basics you can improvise with.  Which is the same for

11) hand tools.  Again, not specialty tools, but the basics.  Some Yuppie Scum will gay it all up and have Tim Taylor power tools for everything.  One piece of wood needs cut and they whip the cover off the ChinaTurbo Deluxe Carpenter Ten In One Tool Center.  But most guys would have owned the basics like a hand saw and ratchet set and what not.  Yes, you’ll want to prioritize the salvage tools needed most others wouldn’t own.  A pry bar comes to mind.  Perhaps bolt cutters.  But most tools will be available for purchase on the Apocalypse Survivor credit card ( as in, salvaging ).

END

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27 comments:


  1. If I could paraphrase what I think you are saying, it would be "beginning, intermediate, and advance intermediate preppers should spend their time, money, and resources on the basics. When you have that done, focus on more basics. Only after reaching the upper pinnacle should you even consider looking at yuppie and specialty survival items."

    And I agree with this thought. Most people want to skip the boring, unsexy part of prepping and skip directly to the cool toys. (IMHO This is what gets most women grumpy about their husband's prepping -- men use it as an excuse to buy expensive not-very-realistic toys.)

    Don't worry, Jim. Overall, I agree with your wood and chainsaw advice. In the scenario you describe, not much in the ways of supplies would be needed to survive (simple shelter hovel, water filter, wheat).

    However, the problem comes down to betting on this one scenario and placing all your money on only one number on the roulette table.

    There may be a slower decline that what you are betting on. Heck, I've been expecting the collapse for over twenty years already and it looks like it still may be a little way off into the future.

    My personal survival scenario is based on a repeat of the Great Depression - only worse. After researching this time period it seems to me that a few things helped people make it through:

    1) A piece of paid for land -- that means no mortgage and low taxes.

    2) The ability to grow/make/acquire some of the basic things needed to survive.

    3) Have a community, friends, or extended family that you can count on.

    A slow collapse calls for more tools and supplies -- mainly because there will still be rule of law and scavenging opportunities will be slim due to competition.

    Ultimately, flexibility will be the key to being the last one in the stew pot.

    Idaho Homesteader

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    1. I agree that over reliance on one scenario is problematic. I purposely ignore a too slow collapse in my prepping, doing away with alternate retirement or a small business. Not because I think that wise, but because I had to triage my miniscule budget. So I went worse case, but still trying to hedge my bets whenever possible. For instance, a very fast collapse means you don't need to own land. Yet I do. So, while I'm planning for fast AND slow, it can't be TOO slow or I am screwed. I grant you that. Prioritizing and minimal budget leave a lot out.

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  2. A decent hand saw is invaluable.
    I'll suggest a 20" cross cut model, which can easily be carried around. Don't forget that triangle file to keep it razor, and most importantly, a set tool.

    What, you thought simply having pointy teefs was enough? Silly knave. It is the set in the teeth that makes all the diff. The set is how the teeth are angled out to the sides, and creates the widened kerf that allows the sawdust to sort of self extract itself out of your way. Without set, sawing will be an all day horrendous experience. Expect a set tool to cost as much as the saw, maybe $20 or so. I've had a fat max for 25 years and have cut at least 10,000 bf with it, and it shows.

    Here's the current version: http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-20-047-20-Inch-Length-Coating/dp/B000BP7YQM/ref=sr_1_2?s=power-hand-tools&srs=2530512011&ie=UTF8&qid=1462373955&sr=1-2&keywords=saw&refinements=p_n_feature_keywords_two_browse-bin%3A7066428011

    Here's a set tool: http://www.amazon.com/Great-Neck-Saw-5-11-Point/dp/B0002YQRZ6

    And here's a handled tri-file: http://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-6691-6-Inch-Triangular-Taper/dp/B000NPPBJC/ref=pd_sim_469_4?ie=UTF8&dpID=31n%2BJs0d6yL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=05EZ8F1X4GFMGJKH2TQ1

    There ya go, now go make some tinder (sawdust).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, crap, another tool to need!

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    2. Vintage saw set should be found at estate sale before they throw it away as "strange tool" that looks like pliers. I have one from grandpa, and one found. Saws work MUCH better when set for the kind of wood to cut fast and not jam.
      pdxr13

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  3. Of course this whole series presupposes a FAST die off. Something on the order of no more than 5 years to <20% of current population and rule of law NOT continuing as is. Once the die off takes longer than 5 years, most things will be used up/destroyed/claimed by heirs or banks... And if the rule of law continues as is, you will only be able to trash pick/steal a little - and probably be able to afford less.
    Counting on either type of collapse (fast or slow) instead of both can leave you lacking an essential for the other.
    A slow collapse will allow for greater security as at least nominal rule of law will probably continue for most of that sort of decline. But resources of all sorts will be used up/claimed before you have any chance to claim it as salvage.
    A fast collapse with die off, will allow for little if any security, but may leave many goods and resources for a scavenger to salvage.
    My guess is we will get the worst of both worlds.
    Slow enough everything you need gets claimed/used by others, fast enough their is no security or law and order.
    So if you think you might NEED something in the coming decades, you should have it now.
    If you are just hoping for trade goods to stockpile, assume that most things wont be worth enough to have made it worth while or that 'taxes' will eat any profit such goods could produce.

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    1. I'm sure you are right on the Worst Of Both Worlds. This does cause me to lose some sleep, but I try to ignore it out of necessity. Last thing I need is a long civil war before the resources run out. I'm betting on a Normalacy Bias until suddenly the whole thing collapses. I'm not saying it is a sure bet, by any means. Hence, my reliance on the Kill As Many Before I Go Plan.

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  4. 3 centuries or 3 years.
    Prepare for the worst aspects of both, and don't count on the good aspects of either.

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  5. Oh yes, the cursed chain saw. We had a little storm here and I needed to cut up some large limbs. Dragged out my up till now reliable 11 year old saw, started right up then promptly died. Investigation found ethanol rotted fuel lines. I have fixed it but if there had been a real grid down situation I'd be SOL. Wish I was young and strong and able to use my back instead of depending on power tools. Getting old sucks.

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    1. I can understand old age and using power tools to build against hard future work. Like a back-hoe to build underground to cut down on cutting. As for trees by the house, on the road...? I guess cut back on the one and don't worry about the other once cars aren't useable anymore???

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    2. I meant cut back as in clearing trees further from the dwelling, using a porch to replace shade trees.

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    3. Rotted fuel lines. We've all been there. 5 years ago I stumbled upon a new type of fuel line that is resistant to all the stuff they add to the fuel. I don't recall the name of the lines but they have a distictive look, a bright sort of fluorescent yellowish green. I put it on my machines as the old stuff fails and none of the yellow has failed yet. It's a little more expensive than the std black stuff.

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    4. Ah, ethanol. 8% cut in power, for a higher price. And dangerous to your engines, as a Hump You Very Much bonus.

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    5. Run non ethanol gas in all your small engines. Trust me. Stops alot of problems.

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    6. For the last, oh, four or five years, NOBODY in town sold non-ethanol. Finally a new station offers it. Regular gas is $2.35. Non-ethanol $2.65. That's a premium for the added BTU's, but well worth it.

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  6. (Copper piping should be another suburbia salvage item you most likely will find without to much problem.)


    Much harder then you think James, PVC and PEX are the norm and have been so for 20-years.

    And what copper pipe you do find in homes is somewhat hard to use for projects. It’s all plugged up inside, is also hard copper not the soft flexible kind that lends itself well to being bent into shapes for projects. And the hard copper needs, tubing cutters, solder, fittings and a torch to make it useful.

    Not nearly as easy as you think it would be, in fact it will be hard to find it in a useful condition.

    Over the last few years I have stocked a bit of copper tubing and I can tell you it’s not so easy to find. Buy it now if you think you are going to want it later. Or better yet live the lifestyle now .

    Living a normal life now and then planning to suddenly to become Grisly Adams post-SHTF is going to fail.

    As far as hand tools, better to get a basic set now. Shop garage sales and you can find them at low prices.


    Chuck Findlay

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    1. I've never worked with copper. Can you heat to bend? I only know enough to heat and dunk brass ammo cases to extend the neck life. That is the extent of my knowledge. You'd know far more, living the life.

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    2. No you can't heat and bend, the outside wall will collapse and inside walls will break. The walls need to stretch. An (electricians) conduit bender might work though. Conduit is aluminum, so I'm not sure if it will work on copper. What Chuck said is true. Pipe is hard, and not bendable like tubing. You can put the pipe in the bender, bend slightly, maybe 10 degrees, then move the bender about 8" and bend 10 degrees again, rinse, repeat, til you get the desired radius. Just don't go to far or the copper pipe wall will break, then you're done. A solder torch fixes all. Now, if you have say, 30 degree elbows and pipe cutters, you can go that route - sort of the stop sign effect. Just depends on what you're trying to do. Don't forget that flux and some emery cloth for prepping them joints.

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    3. I have about 200 feet of 3/4 & 1/2 copper pipe laying by the garage and several rolls of soft copper, it's all waiting for a use.


      Anything can be heated to bend it. But tubing will kink if bent making it useless. To get around this you can fill it with sand and cap the ends. Then bend it and then empty the sand out. But you don’t really need to heat it to bend it, it bends easy enough with a bit of force.

      But considering the sharp bends a solar water heater would use (I have one I made) it would be hard to get the sand out, and some of the bends are going to stress the copper too much. Better to use soft copper or 90’s, L’s and T fittings on the harder copper.


      Chuck Findlay

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    4. Soft copper, think LP gas installs and heating/cooling split units.

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    5. Sounds like I hope I never need copper pipe. Hey, one dud out of thirty on the list. Not too bad.

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  7. "...the Apocalypse Survivor credit card ( as in, salvaging )."
    You caught me off guard. i though you were going to say (as in, three oh three)
    I guess i'm not right in the head...
    -eviltwin

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    1. Don't blame yourself- I try to keep everyone guessing, somehow.

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  8. Ok I will point out the elephant in the room.

    We all know how to survive a slow collapse, we have been in one since 1970-72. All things are available new or at flea markets/yard sales .Price's, taxes and LEO powers have increased as we get further into it. The homesteading and prepper movements are responses to a slow collapse.

    A die off event is what we talk about as "The Apocalypse" this is when salvage is possible but there will always be area's with rule of law. Now that said flea markets will become the Wal-Mart of the time.

    The best way to prosper is power be it solar, veggie diesel, hydro or horse, mule. One man can only do so much the one that lightens his load will be his best buddy.

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    1. Surplus energy is the military force multiplier. Plan for that and everything else falls in place. Of course, the trick is WHAT surplus energy.

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  9. While it's hard to say for certain just how rapid the collapse is going to be, I'd say that it's safe to say that we are in for some rather hard times, and soon, as within the next 5 years. I recall that Kurt Saxon spoke of his time on his Grandmother's (Or was it his Aunts?) farm during the great depression, and that it was a pretty comfortable time for his family. So many people at that time that lived on paid for homesteads actually fared pretty well compared to their city brethren. That's not going to be the case this time around. Gone is practically all self sufficiency, and replaced with government as the solution to one's problems, as was the case with many of the asshats that I used to work with.

    I also came across the link below, that explains how the already too few jobs that are out there, are soon going to become even fewer once robotic automation kicks in.

    Bill Gross: What to Do After the Robots Take Our Jobs

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/bill-gross-what-to-do-after-the-robots-take-our-jobs/ar-BBsDEXg?li=BBnbfcN&ocid=mailsignout

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    1. Robots are the wet dream of any capitalist. But here is where we already are: Not enough jobs exist to keep enough money in circulation ( after the ruling class take their cut, not much remains )to keep the retail we have. If we automate further, severe cannibalization in that sector. Will it be a race to the bottom? You must invest in robots, which is gambling you can take your competitors customers to pay for that investment. Will businesses shoot themselves in the foot this way? Probably. Nobody looks to the future if it gives their competition a decisive edge ( has been that way all though our species evolution ). Really, we had better just count on no jobs, ever, real soon. The only thing saving us will be further banker troubles constricting loans-but if that happens it is all over anyway.

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