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Monday, February 27, 2017

your own infrastructure 3


YOUR OWN INFRASTRUCTURE 3
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note: if you want one, don't wait.  Since I ordered two weeks ago most offerings are out ( I tried ordering in January from another company-which was my bad, Sportsman's is the only way to go-and never even got a notice the item was permanently out of stock ).  As per our discussion on leather rifle ammo pouches:
surplus ammo pouch
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You’ve super insulated the best you can on the largest size you can afford, built some kind of south facing passive solar gain ( I purposely didn’t cover thermal mass as a heat battery, assuming here we are short on cash.  Want the best, free, temperature battery?  It isn’t black metal water filled drums or something similar, but simply the ground itself.  Building a dug out, then covering that hill with liner with the edges as far away from the structure as you can afford and the minimal openings well insulated, does wonders for regulating the temperatures inside all year long ) and discovered the beauty of cob and rocket stoves for nearly free efficient heat.  The last items are illumination, water and sewage.  With food storage, a frugal lifestyle, a well insulated structure of whatever kind, passive solar, rocket stoves, PV power, rain catchment and composting, you are very close to a complete personal infrastructure only overwhelming armed force or the ravages of Mother Nature ( a vicious syphilitic whore if there ever was one ) can screw up.  You aren’t dependent on other people to somehow have it in their own interests to not screw you.

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And it certainly doesn’t need to be expensive.  I could have buried my travel trailer for just a few hundred bucks in lumber if I had so chosen, rather than building much more than just a roof over the pit.  Had I planed it better, I could have had south facing solar gain if I hadn’t just gone straight down in my digging ( for some reason it didn’t occur to me, and that was AFTER I had set up my trailer for solar heat.  Instead, I placed most of the fill dirt on that side.  In my defense, I busted my ass at work, pedaled home, then dug by hand, so perhaps my brain was shut off as the blood flowed to my muscles ).  Solar gain is just a little glass and some lumber, another few hundred.  Sheet metal for rain catchment is $80-$100 for a eight foot cube porch.  A composting toilet is very little glass and lumber if placed in another pit.  You needn’t even spend $1k.  Food storage, in generous five year increments with some variety is under a grand, as is a decent arsenal.  $3k is barely over two months minimum wage.  I’m living in town paying rent now, still stockpiling a minimal amount, working twenty hours a week on minimum, and I’m STILL saving almost half of my take-home pay.  I could do all the above in less than a year.  And, your excuse is…

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Illumination we have covered numerous times.  Decide what is best for you, 12v or AA, and buy a VERY cheap system to provide plentiful light for many years ( a few bucks could easily see you in light well past your food storage ).  With LED’s, the survivalist is being handed a near free source of near-forever light.  Too bad that doesn’t make up for all the cheap guns disappearing and the grain prices tripling, eh?  Lanterns for internal lights, headlamps for hands free.  Flashlights for nighttime.  All very affordable and you can buy in multiples, plus have plenty left over for rechargeables by the dozens and more than one solar charger.  Enough about that.  Let’s move on to water.  There is nothing wrong with a shallow well with a manual pump, but if you are out West, I would seriously consider only using rain catchment.  The deeper the well, the more expensive it is and far more to break.  You want that kind of exposure?  If you live in Oregon and rain catchment is illegal, you had better be well hidden or packing a U-Haul.

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I always thought a ground catchment might be a good idea.  Pick the steepest slope on my property, leave the sage brush, lay chicken wire attached to stakes around each bush ( with perhaps a slight up swell to channel the water to each side, right next to the trunk so well hidden ), color the cement brown and construct ferrocement.  At the bottom would be a cement trough leading to a buried barrel or a covered cement basin.  Camouflaged and cheap.  Camo because I don’t want to pay property tax on a permanent structure and cheap because that is how I want to roll.  If I went conventional I was just going to construct a screened porch in the back of my junker pick-up truck so I’d have a summer hang-out and a rain catchment ( I’m not going to place metal sheeting atop my trailers as you can NEVER seal holes on a roof well enough.  Which is why my solar panels are on the ground ) with a barrel buried nearby.  Buried for antifreeze and camo.

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A compost toilet used to be just like a pellet stove.  Hard to find and expensive.  You used to have the choice of buying a huge two story unit from Sweden, or buying one small unit ( such as for a boat ) that needed electricity.  And not much else.  Luckily for us, just as there will always be someone who is stronger than you and smarter than you, or prettier than you ( such as myself, with my glorious hair ), there are plenty of people out there who are MUCH more frugal than you.  Without states full of cheap-ass rednecks experimenting with rocket stoves, you’d need two grand for a factory stove rather than under $20 for a BBQ metal grill and a bit of welding ( another $5 to your buddy for beer, to use his rig ).  A solar composting toilet came to me from one such tight ass frugal bastard.  His $20 book was one of my best investments, chock full of passive solar plans.  Simplicity itself.  A hole, with a trash can inside, and glass covering the hole.  Throw in your sawdust toilet contents ( turds, TP and sawdust-available as hamster bedding at Wally for cheap-and NO liquid.  Your urine should be diluted and used for plant fertilizer.  About ten to one water/pee.  Your urine is mostly water to begin with-the dilution is not for health’s sake as much as it is to avoid burning the plant ).

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If you are dumping two partial five gallon buckets in a week, even a small can should last you some time ( it compacts ).  When the sun goes down or it is winter, the microbiological process can stop, but once warmed again it starts right back up.  If you had an insulated cover for the glass at night you could probably speed up the process.  Nonetheless, once full, you stop adding to it and let it sit a year undisturbed, just to be safe.  Start a new hole before that happens.   Easy, peasy, just like everything else on your journey towards off grid everything ( well, mostly ).

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14 comments:

  1. Do make certain the humanure composting pile is out of any flood zone and downstream from any water sources you might want to use (or on an entire different watershed if you can.) use the compost on things you wont eat directly after letting it age for a year or two. While you are digging in the first pit for it, why not dig and set up the second and third pits too? Might as well right?

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    1. To save even more money, I suppose you could just dig a hole and NOT line it, use/fill, wait the year and then plant something in that hole such as a tree. Loose compost should see anything flourish there.

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    2. That's the idea behind outhouses, and why the good ones are one skids. But if you dont line at least the top couple of feet and have a cover you attract all sorts of pests, and run the risk of spreading the 'compost' all over the place.

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    3. If no liquid, would a compost hole be as problematic as an outhouse?

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  2. Where we live, the water table is very high which is easy to access, but very saline. Solar distillation, using plastic bottles and pvc pipe connection between them might be an option for creating sweet water from that. You would need a few bottles to make this work for each family member, but it is worth it. Off the grid, unless you are driving out often, hauling water from a source to your residence will hurt you.

    Another option - wood platform. Round wood deck with pvc hoop frame and tarp cover. Remember that post mentioning above ground swimming pool inverted over cattle panel sides for a short yurt ?

    Why round - shows up much less than right angles in satellite photos. If built near trees and colored the same, might be able to hide from imagery, at least casual glances.

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    1. For distillation I'd go with a trough with glass over. Should last longer, and with scrap and used glass is really cheap. No plastic to crack and cloud up.

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  3. The name and how to get 20 dollar book on passive solar? Thsee type of projects interest me... I think the sun isn't nearly as exploited as it should be. Thanks... and as payment --- Fantastic hair !

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    1. Here is the authors website:
      http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com/
      You can buy the old book for $5 e-book, or there is newer stuff.

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  4. Inspired by the Bison Plan I managed to illuminate the front of my house for the equivalent of 90 minutes @ min wage.

    Local supermarket had solar powered (recharges AA batteries) gutter mounted down lights that come on when it gets dark. 90min wages bought 6 of them which lights up the entire front of my house enough that at night, well there's nowhere for a bad guy to lurk, but not to bright either.

    I'm going to go off and buy another 90 min worth which will illuminate the rest of the outside of my house (no lurking places around the rest of my house - just straight walls).

    I'm so pleased with the result. If I'd done it Yuppie Scum way it'd have cost me significantly more. Eventually, all being well, I will go Yuppie Scum but that's a long ways off. A long long way off.

    Thanks Lord Bison with flowing locks of Golden hair

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    1. Just doing my part to slay the Mammon Beast.

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  5. Rainwater ground catchment... Some things to consider are that the first summer the sagebrush inside your catchment area will be killed off due to the roots undergoing a type of suffocation and the extreme radiant heat off your brown concrete/ferrocement upon the leaves. You'd then have a large square area of dead sagebrush not matching the surrounding area. Also, it'll be about impossible to filter sediment and debris out of your storage reservoir. It'd be inappropriate to have a pipe to access from the bottom of the reservoir since the sediment will block the flow from the pipe and/or damage your valve. You'll need to access your water from above and have a large enough opening that you can enter the reservoir once you've emptied it at the end of the season to remove that years sediment deposition.

    Many years ago while I was exploring the desert, I found a water storage area in a dense cactus (grove?) that I assumed was built by the locals for emergency use. They had a ferrocement pit that was completely covered with a brown metal roof, maybe 10'x10'. The roof was on a platform about 6" above the ground and one section was beveled out so you could reasonably comfortably reach under and draw out a pot of water. It was the middle of summer and when I first saw it I didn't understand what I was looking at. As I approached, several birds flew out from underneath, and there were several lizards hanging out there as well. It was so hot out I was surprised to find there was enough water there to last me for about a week if I needed it. Of course I remember where it is in case I'm ever traveling through the area during an emergency.
    Peace out

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    1. Okay, that makes sense. Thank you, that would have been a lot of work for very little.

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  6. For some time I have thought rain catchment systems were illegal in Oregon. However, I recently read something that made me think "maybe not." A search for 'rain catchment system' on the state of Oregon website pulled up PLANS for building one! I have to do more research.
    NW Senior

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm. Could be a vicious rumor from someone who doesn't want you to move there and share the rural areas with him.

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