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Monday, July 25, 2016

frugal survivalist digest version 8 of 10


FRUGAL SURVIVALIST DIGEST VERSION 8

 

SHELTER

Shelter is really the least of your worries prepping.  Food is first because while you can improvise defense ( by, say, for instance, not being around other people at the very least ) you need calories every day.  You might last a month before all your extra fat is gone and you start cannibalizing yourself, but long before then the lack of calories will be having negative effects which will impact your survival.  Any survival plan relying mostly on trapping, hunting and edible foraging is not a very good plan at all ( all of the above are a supplement to stored calories, not a replacement ).  And while you can improvise defense you can’t always count on that being successful, so arming yourself is not the worst idea around.  Food first, then arming yourself ( no, Tactical Tommy, you don’t need semi-auto weapons.  They are not the magical talisman you believe ).  Water doesn’t need all that much in the way of preparation ( something I wish I knew prior to spending $200 on a brand name camping filter pre-Y2K ) and all the other crap like fancy camping gear and down sleeping bags and gold and silver are just expensive consumer items you can do without.  They don’t relate to survival as much as they do to status symbols.

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And don’t get me started with the thirty year mortgage suburban home with a bug-out vehicle in the driveway with a plan to flee to a concrete bunker atop a mountain out in the boonies.  I’m certainly no fan of town or city bugging-in, but neither am I one of unaffordable country retreats ( I advocate a small city near junk land-near as in a days walk optimally ).  Shelter is way overdone in most folks minds.  Why, you would think that without banks and a grid, our forefathers lived in mud huts and were covered in lice.  You can live in a shelter that cost one months rent, on a piece of land that cost only several months wages, if you would embrace a meager amount of roughing it.  And prepping shelter is even easier.  Then, you just build with the residue of our failing civilization, akin to the survivors of Rome using paving stones for foundations.  Only this time you’ll have far more refuse to use.  Retreaters THINK they are escaping the cities populations but their weak spot is their unnatural lust for automobiles which require roads which are a pretty good map for barbarian hordes to follow.

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And they spend $150k for that?  Shelter should cost you nothing, given scavenging, or at most $100 for a mattock pick, a shovel, a saw and a roll of thick plastic.  You don’t need an expensive retreat when you can walk off the road a small ways ( near water, of course, although not too close ) and build your dug-out shelter where you desire ( yes, it is a bit more complicated than that, given the need to escape and hide during about a month for the die-off, but only in detail ).  For those old and weak survivalists who are going to die soon anyway, here are some ideas for ready made shelter so as not to break out in a sweat.

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VEHICLE

Cars and trucks and delivery vehicles will be all over the place.  They are a bit difficult to hide other than if you plan on mostly burying one as a form of dug-out, but they are better than nothing.  And the end shelter for most poor misguided souls who bug out because they will never get to their destination due to TSA goons, gridlock, no transportation of gasoline and other factors. 

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TENT

A tent isn’t very good protection against wildlife, but at least it gets you off the roads and beaten path.  In my opinion they are good for getting away from insects and not much else ( and not for very long as they are poorly made ).  But with a wool sweater and cap, a $20 wool blanket ( buy them at Sportsman’s Guide online-make sure they weigh a minimum of three pounds or they are near worthless ) and if really cold a $40 ( at Amazon ) synthetic down comforter, they are probably the go-to option for most poor folks.  Just make sure you can transition over to a local materials shelter before the tent becomes worthless from use.  Yes, you’ll probably have to pre-cache food to make this viable.  Just don’t pre-manufacture any shelter.  I’ve heard of asswhore volunteers for the park service and other Federale agencies confiscating and wreaking any supplies they find.  Bury well.

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LOCAL MATERIALS ( not for the old and weak )

Research whatever shelter your local decimated Native American tribe used for shelter, and duplicate that.  That roll of plastic might really make a difference in performance as well as other old timey manufactured materials such as lime.  Stucco walls and floors eliminate infestations more unfinished materials allow.  And a word on that old favorite hippie shelter, yurts and tepees.  They were for nomads following the meat herds.  They aren’t necessarily the best for a sedentary camp.  Usually the best shelters outside swamps are earth sheltered, in part or in whole.  Study the Indigs-you don’t need reinforced concrete.

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RV

Having lived way too many winters in the high mountain desert in an RV, I’ve lost most of my previous enthusiasm for recreational vehicle living.  They are a great turn key solution if you add an enclosed porch at the entrance, so as to heat with solar and heat/cook with wood.  But unless you got a good deal financially and have a good place to go with it ( just prior to being a bug-out, if you know you can time it correctly ), I’d instead recommend building a shack yourself on your own land ( junk land, the cheap stuff on E-Bay or through county tax sales-stuff nobody else wants-but that is part of your larger financial collapse preps rather than the focus of this book which is bare bones prep supplies ).

END

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23 comments:

  1. I've been pleasantly surprised so far that what people can't see from the road gets left alone. Seems thieves don't want to carry stuff more than about 50 feet.

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    1. Thieves don't want to work at all, and almost any activity needed to get money to buy crack is too much effort. Poor bastards.

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    2. If you are even in moderately decent shape, you're already ahead of the game. The good news being that the majority of Americans are like the fat bastard Winston in the commercial below. Making his elderly grandmother go and fetch his fat, lazy, ass another grape soda, sheesh :roll:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UntdGA7gH3Q

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    3. OMFG!! Laughed my junk off! Thank you.

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    4. Glad you liked it James. Never saw that one before huh? Well, that's the good news if you're a poor, but somewhat fit survivalist, and can't afford a place of your own. Just be sure and go somewhere that the Winston's of the world can't reach with their RV's or 4x4's.

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    5. It is amazing the stuff I'm not aware of. Like when Kuntstler mentioned the Honey Badger.

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  2. “and all the other crap like fancy camping gear and down sleeping bags”

    A good synthetic sleeping bag might not be all that bad of an idea James, particularly if you don't have the best shelter in place already.

    “A tent isn’t very good protection against wildlife, but at least it gets you off the roads and beaten path.  In my opinion they are good for getting away from insects and not much else ( and not for very long as they are poorly made ).”

    That's probably true of practically all modern tents which are probably all imported, and not of super high quality. You could probably find a good surplus tent from an older era when products were still quality made in America. A tent is not a great shelter, but some people have lived in them for years. Not recommended of course, but some will have no choice. This is where the good sleeping bag mentioned above really comes into play.

    “synthetic down comforter, they are probably the go-to option for most poor folks.”

    Synthetic quilted comforter, or down comforter? Down is very warm, but if it gets wet you're in big trouble. If we're talking about a cabin where there is little danger of that happening, then they're great, but I would never rely on down while out in the woods. Up until not too many years back (1960's) down was all that you could get that would keep you warm in very cold weather. Now with modern synthetics, there are better choices, but again, this is irrelevant for your bug out lodge. Agreed on the heavy weight wool blankets. Probably can't have too many of those. If you're ever in a thrift store and come across a genuine Hudson Bay, Woolrich, Pendleton, or Filson wool blankets, do not let them get away.

    Agreed about living in an RV. Terrible shelters for both winter and summer (But particularly in winter) unless you're rich enough to be able to heat them all winter with hundreds of gallons of propane. In which case, there is probably little advice at a site like this that would apply to you.

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    1. Synthetic down. The puffy, light weight one. If applicable, much better deal price and performance wise.

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    2. If you had a tent, and then a tarp suspended over it, that should alieviate most issues of soaking the interior.

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    3. Rugged custom oilcloth tarp: Get a canvas painters tarp (white) at the Home Depot, with a fabric weight of 8 ounces or heavier. You also need 1 quart of mineral spirits, 1 quart of boiled linseed oil, and powdered concrete pigment to match the terrain you'd like to blend into. First wash and dry the tarp, thoroughly mix the liquids 50/50 along with your desired color match. Hang the tarp over a rope, fence, etc. and paintbrush the mixture onto both sides, making sure the tarp is saturated. Leave the tarp hanging until dry. The tarp will be waterproof, color matched to your specific area, but still flammable.
      Peace out

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  3. There's nothing wrong with down sleeping bags except yuppie price. Buy used, buy mil-surp. I've got both for under $10. In the cold-dry desert or at some cold altitude, nothing is better for weight-size/warmth. Fluffy down is magical in a $40 (mil-surp) Gore-Tex bivy cover for the sneakiest stealth nap! Hammock is also okay for less-sneaky relaxing off of the scratchy-infested-cold ground. If this is at a sheltered spot, even better.
    If you are in winter camping Hell, like a PNW forest, where temp's cycle above and below freezing with each dawn/dusk while dumping 60" of precipitation on you, spend as much as you can on the best-lightest modern synthetic bag that dries super-fast, and wool. Wool is for being around open fires, to protect silk or synthetic underwear. Drainage of all sites is a real issue. 4x area tarp over tent is double-plus-good. "Ditching" around your tent is old-school (baaaad, but not actually a crime), but keeps you dry from traveling ground puddles.

    Remoteness from paved roads, well off of "improved" trails, far (uphill!) from scenic lakes, will serve the escaper well. Stop and listen for people - they are loud.

    RV's can be disassembled into excellent cabin parts, and flatbed truck of great capacity.

    Land first. Physical fitness as much as you can manage.

    pdxr13

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    1. I didn't think about that. Separate the RV from the truck. Haul heavy supplies in. Then sell to recupe costs while still having the shelter.

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  4. I'd rather live with several good tarps than a tent. Even when I did use one I always used a tarp under and over it. If you close it up in the cold it sweats from your breath. You're right on it only being good to keep bugs off and bug netting or smoke will do that.

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    1. Even tarps suck for longevity, but they are an improvement.

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  5. Canvas tarps + cement = Longer term decent structures .
    Look it up on google cement impregnated canvas structures are being used by some militaries and their contractors (british ones IIRC).

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    1. Hmmm. That sounds promising. You can get a good size military canvas tent under a grand.

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    2. Good for temporary structure. They list a10 year lifespan for the stuff

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    3. Well, in the Apocalypse, isn't ten years a lifetime or two? :)

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  6. The I saw a primative camp done was an elevated sleep platform (about 8' X 8' X 4' tall, the floor approximately 4' off the ground), with 4 X 4 corner posts. 1 X flooring, with plywood panels at the corners, leaving 4'empty wall space between them for air flow. During winter time, a tarp was installed over it to block out wind. All of this was set under an aluminum two car carport for shade / rain protection. Not the Taj Mahal, but for an individual or couple, something to look forward to rather than sleeping on the ground.

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    1. Granted, but a bit above our pay grade for this discussion.

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  7. Okay - old suggestion. A salvaged (often thrown out after developing leaks) above ground swimming pool thrown over a metal cattle panel frame. Creates a short 'yurt' of sorts. Material is pretty strong and with a center pole to create slope to edges, should drain fine. Short walls should be easy to camoflauge or paint, and round shape should be less conspicuous in woods where vertical / horizontal lines are rare.

    A 12' diameter pool has a circumference of 37'-8" so three 15' long panels should provide plenty of room to join ends together to form the 37'8" length. This space is approximately 113 sq. ft. Air flow - not sure, maybe battery powered fan to draw air out when door is opened ?

    Just spit balling here - hope this helps stimulate better ideas.

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    1. If nothing else, a good idea when the Hillaryvilles are built.

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