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Thursday, July 21, 2016

frugal survivalist digest 5 of 10


FRUGAL SURVIVALIST DIGEST part 5

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note: The classic "Life After Doomsday" by Bruce Clayton is available on Kindle Unlimited.  Also, on Netflix is the superb "The Big Short".
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TREATING WHEAT

There are several ways to treat wheat ( to kill any bugs already in there ).  You can freeze, gas, dry ice or diatomaceous earth ( DE ) it.  I only recommend the latter.  Freezing is free but it takes awhile, can only be done in small batches and I don’t trust it not to retain some moisture.  That is the same problem with dry ice treating-the kernels near the dissolving ice will get very cold.  Gas treatment is flushing each container with nitrogen-the tube going to the bottom is hooked up to a tank and you keep the gas on until a flame on top of the container is depleted of oxygen.  Needless to say, very expensive.  DE is the way to go.  Buy food grade DE, not pool filter grade or any in the insecticide section of Home Depot.  It MUST be food grade.  Try the feed store for a source.  If you have to order through the mail it is double the cost due to postage.  DE are just ground up minerals, fossilized ancient little sea dudes.  You can eat the stuff, as can your pets, but insects are killed by it. 

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You can also use in carpets or cabinets if you get an infestation, and you can mix a good slug in some water and consume it a few days in a row if you get intestinal parasites.  Use one cup of the powder per five gallon bucket of wheat kernels, shaking and rolling the sealed bucket around to distribute.  Goodbye bugs.

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GRAIN AND BEANS

The classic claim to mixing legumes and grains to provide a complete ( animal protein equivalent ) protein comes from the book “Diet For A Small Planet”.  Beans are filling and contain fiber, but they must be cooked completely or they will pass through your system with no nutritional gain ( the same as raw meat ).  If they won’t boil to softness, or you don’t have enough fuel, grind them up and toast the bean flour on the stovetop or in the oven.  The problem with beans is that they are really expensive now, in a lot of cases more than what chicken is selling for.  Pressure can any meat you find cheaper than the beans, or buy as much non-fat dried milk as you can afford to get animal protein.  At the very least, trapping snares MIGHT get you some meat.  Protein for survival food is problematic.  Acquire it AFTER everything else is in place.

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WHITE FOODS

White rice, white flour ( which includes pasta ) and white granulated sugar are what I call White Foods.  They are great calorie sources, and that is all.  ALL nutrients left with the hull ( with the grains ) or never had any to begin with ( the sugar ).  Don’t discount them as a survival food, they are cheap and very few pests bother them and they seem to last decades in storage.  But do NOT rely on them solely for your diet because they will kill you pretty quick that way.  I would say, if you are eating a whole grain, consume a white food with it but try to limit those to half the weight of the real food.  At most, equal parts. 

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COOKING

No need to spend money for cooking your storage food.  Solar is as simple as a pit at a tilt facing south and a sheet of glass, then with four foil covered sheets on all sides to reflect the solar into the box ( as such:  _/ ).  Just look for some expensive ad with oven units for sale and note how they are laid out and duplicate.  Non-Electric slow cooking is bringing the food item in water to a boil, boiling for five minutes, then wrapping the covered pot in insulated blankets and leaving for several hours.  The trapped heat continues the cooking ( see Hay Cooker online for further materials to use ).  Wood is self evident, but don’t just use an open campfire.  Use a Dakota Hole or a Rocket Stove.  The DH is just two holes in the shape of a U with sticks fed in one hole to the fire in the other with the pot on that other holes opening.  The chamber receiving wood draws in air and sucks it up to the pot ( have a grill or several rocks to raise the pot to allow the air to travel ).  A RS is similar but uses red fireplace bricks above ground ( or other materials you can get for free-for goodness sakes, don’t spend $100 on a commercial unit ).

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WATER

Water is pretty important as you die when you don’t get enough and that doesn’t take long, but at least it is far more abundant than food in a lot of places ( and some places such as the desert you don’t belong without careful planning so the lack of water should be avoided by most.  If you live in the desert and rely on the modern Oil Age infrastructure to bring you water, well, you are a moron ).  The problem with water is it will make you sick far more easily than food will ( most food we recognize as food-which I contend does NOT include mushrooms ), smell or taste usually alerting you to spoilage.  You must treat all water to be safe ( rain water might contain lots of chemicals, and they can kill you, but here we focus on biological threats, which you don’t have with rainwater ). 

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Solar purification is the neatest new trick, placing a water filled bottle in the sun for hours for the UV to kill the bugs.  Research this carefully as it might be limited to the tropics rather than higher up in longitude.  You can use chemicals, but I would only advise doing do if you have no other choice.  Fifteen drops of bleach ( unflavored ) in a gallon of water, allowed to sit overnight, should do the trick.  They have powdered bleach all the survival gurus tell you about and that isn’t the worst idea, but that also ages and loses potency as does liquid bleach.  You are better off with a filter.  You can get a Sawyer brand for only $20 and they claim tens of thousands of gallons of use.  If you don’t want to struggle to filter every ounce, spend $60 and buy a Katadyn brand filter element ( the ceramic rod put in the filter machine ) and build your own filter.  You can see the photo ad to the Amazon item on my blog.  Take three plastic buckets ( like you store your wheat in ), two with lids.  The bottom bucket collects the clean water-place a hole in the lid for the water to run into.  The middle one set atop the bottom lid, with a hole in the bottom of the bucket.  Take the element and stick the nipple through the hole and tighten the nut to secure the element.  The gasket on the inside of the bucket stops any leaks of dirty water into the clean ( have back-up gaskets, they are the same as a garden hose size ).  On top of that bucket, the middle one with a hole in the lid, place another open bucket.  On the bottom, have a hole.  Cover with cheese cloth or some kind of fabric.  Pour in water and the cloth pre-filters the large particles out to elongate the life of the element.

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If you are poor, just boil the water.  Contrary to most advice out there, you don’t need to add boiling time to account for elevation.  Once it is at a rolling boil, it is purified.  The time between when those little bubbles start to rise and when the water roils is above the temperature needed to kill biologics and for the correct length. 

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12 comments:

  1. That 15 drops of bleach per gallon sounds like a lot, but then I don't know how much a drop is.

    A year ago I started saving tap water in cleaned 1 gal milk jugs and put 1/2 teaspoon of unflavored bleach in each. Couple weeks ago we were under a boil water notice and I pulled some of the year old stuff out and it wasn't really drinkable as the bleach smell was very strong. (The other day I heard that you can pour the water into another container, back and forth a few times, to aerate the water and eliminate the smell.)

    Currently I'm looking for a small container (< 16oz)that I can put bleach in that has some sort of small nozzle thing so that I can pour counted drops. Then I'll put water in jugs, and 5 drops in one, 10 drops in another, etc., and write the number of drops on each. Then in a year try them out and see how it works.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Use a eye dropper from the baby section.

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    2. Found an old Visine bottle in the kitchen drawer.
      I'm max-frugal man, why buy when I can re-use?

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    3. Do not use milk containers, they are designed to quickly biodegrade

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    4. GS-that's the way to do things. Hell, I never got my $1 worth out of the dropper as it got ,lost in a move after using it not too often.

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    5. Spud-I couldn't even keep all my water bottles from dripping after just a few months in those kind of jugs ( I knew the jugs went bad quick but had thirty or so of them just for the immediate aftermath of Y2K )

      Delete
  2. I posted here before James on a really simple solar oven. Basically it was an old tire set a top a piece of plywood painted black with a sheet of glass laid over the top. It might have also suggested that it be tilted at 45 degrees towards the sun. Real easy.

    For water, every family member should at least have their own life straw. This isn't meant to be on a more permanent level as you're suggesting, but something to start with, or to be used while making your way to the retreat. I think they're only $20 and they filter quite a bit.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Without reflectors the temps don't get hot enough to cook. Heat water, yes. Cook bread, no. Don't use a Life Straw, but a Sawyer. Same price, but far less gals on the straw.

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    2. The life straws are more designed around use as a backpack or bug out bag tool.
      I have both. Life straw in the Bob and Sawyer's in the preps.

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    3. I was gifted a straw and bought two Sawyers ( plus 2 Katdyn elements plus a Katdyn camoing unit plus bleach powder ). I can't see buying any straws just because of the gallon difference at the same price. Your point is taken but I feel it is too much for too little. Surely to get 20 to a 100 times more volume you can carry something a bit bigger? Now, if you were going super small in your bag, every single thing minimized like say an airplane ride bob, okay. I guess I'm just spoiled by Sawyer now that it is the new standard.

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  3. ( I'm just spoiled by Sawyer now that it is the new standard.)

    I have 2 Sawyer filters ($20.00 at Wally World)

    I don't think I would call them the new standard, they don't feel that well made to me.

    My Katadyn Pocket filter is the standard, not the Sawyer.

    But for a get home bag they are OK but I really wonder and question them for long-term use.

    Chuck Findlay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, standard as far as cheap, entry level filters. Katadyn is of course the best, period.

      Delete

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