Friday, May 6, 2016


WHAT NOT TO BRING TO THE APOCALYPSE 13 ( post 1 of 2 today )
note: as you read this, I'm on the way to go visit my folks.  I'll be gone through the weekend, so I won't be able to respond to comments or e-mail.  As this happens once a year, now, I don't expect this to be too much of a hardship.
Let’s wrap this bad boy up.  The last batch of tools not to bring to the collapse.

22) gardening equipment.  Similar to gardening tools, but such things as boards for raised beds, fencing, watering/irrigation.  That sort of thing.  You don’t need expensive or purpose built equipment for organic, permaculture gardening, but rather a few how-to books and lots of experience ( which is why you need lots of storage calories-for the learning curve ).  The tools and equipment can be jerry-rigged and improvised. 


23) bicycles are everywhere.  Not the kind of bikes I recommend, for ease of maintenance and fewer spare parts ( and fewer parts are needed when trade stops ), but the ambiguous cheap mountain bike.  Hey, better than nothing.  Now, granted, if the period leading up to the collapse includes a problem with the gasoline supply, your future bikes are going to need a Universal Key ( bolt cutters ) to get to.  If gasoline becomes scarce, 90% of the population is going to be frantically jiggling their rolls of fat up and down the streets on bikes, and it won’t take long before everyone realized even the crappiest bike will be stolen.  So everyone will start locking them up, once again ( let this be an early warning for you-should these events occur, you won’t be able to buy a bike, any spare parts, or locks for months on end as the supply chain is swamped and the JIT inventory system breaks down ).  Just be forewarned.  It also won’t be the worst idea to have tubes at a minimum.  Most chains can be soaked in kerosene to de-rust, then soaked in oil ( thin motor oil works just fine and lasts much longer than other types ), but tubes will be the weakest link.  Those puncture proof strips will keep all the Goat Head plants from giving you flats.  Just stocking the strips and tubes will allow you to keep salvaging bikes for a long time.  Don’t forget the chain de-linker to salvage chains.   You can also stock rubber cement, cut up punctured tubes, and salvage other tubes with those patches, if you don’t even want to bother with stocking the tubes.  So, at a minimum, the puncture proof strips, a de-linking tool and rubber cement.  Even if you just resign yourself to walking everywhere, keeping bikes operational will give you military advantage, as well as portaging. 


24) wheelbarrows can make everyone’s life easier, but I strongly doubt most people would think to take them if they bugged-out.  Wheelbarrows save your back and muscles, but they also are a gold-plated bitch to carry too much in, as they wobble and tip over.  The two wheeled types might disappear, but not the regular one wheels.

25) fencing materials was just covered.  More for just using in the garden, can also be used just for livestock, as well as military fortifications.  And nobody is going to bother with the work needed to salvage it, not right away.

26) sewing supplies.  Who doesn’t have sewing supplies in their home, if only for emergency surgery?  I’d recommend stocking upholstery thread and leather needles, for far better materials, but chances are the fabric you work with will be cheap and regular thread and needles you salvage will work just fine.

27) leather will eventually be widely used again, once plastic and synthetic materials run out, but until then you shouldn’t need all that much.  Until its return, just salvage from couches, car seats and some found clothing.


28) furniture isn’t really something folks think to stockpile for the apocalypse, but there are many modifications you’ll realize must be done.  We’ll go into smaller homes, for energy efficiency, making that in our possession obsolete.  And/or, we’ll be expanding the number of folks in our houses ( going back to communal and three generation arrangements ).  Crappy Wal-Mart pressboard furniture will break.  Luckily, furniture will be the last thing salvaged, other than idiots burning treated wood in the winter.

29) Plastic bags.  Everyone wants to stockpile plastic because, well, they won’t make anymore after the apocalypse.  And, it is invaluable for several things such as food safety and storage.  That said, in the last twenty years or so, mainly due to the building of Wal-Marts in any population center over, say, ten thousand people, those plastic grocery bags are everywhere.  I for one save them for small trash can liners and wrap all my meat portions in them ( and they don’t freezer burn, either ), if nothing else.  I can’t believe I’m the only one.  Plastic bags should be everywhere.  Not the super deluxe heavy duty freezer Ziplock, perhaps, but Good Enough bags.


30&31) plastic sheeting and plastic tarps.  I kind of thought this would be a marginal one.  Any sheet or tarp you find will be beat to crap.  Road hard and put up wet.  Beat like a red headed step-child.  Tore up like a whore on payday.  And yet, thinking on it, what do you need with plastic anyway, for building?  It is temporary and poorly suited.  Whatever sheets or tarps you find are only good for a short period, as they are worn down, and then you can replace with longer lasting material.  So why waste money on the new stuff?  The sun and wind will ruin it anyway. 

32) last up, we have camping equipment.  Camping, as a survival strategy, blows monkey testicles.  Those that attempt it will die quick enough.  And they won’t go far from the road, as is peoples wont.  You’ll have plenty to pick from to pick up.  Tents for military patrols, water filters ( the Sawyer filter, good for tens of thousands of gallons-and only $20!!!!-is now at Wally in the camping section.  I’d prefer you buy through my Amazon links, but everyone should have at least one of these.  They are too useful and too cheap not to ), sturdy boots, none of it helps too much in the wild foraging, but works well for folks provisioned at a base camp.  And you can help yourself to it, soon enough.  Most likely, after about three weeks.  The freeze dried foods ran out the first two days, and they eventually got weak enough to die.  Silly buggers.


And there we have it-you can now focus on the bare basics, now that you understand how easy it is to get all the other crap you are told you must have.  Another hearty thanks to the minion who helped with the idea conception and the second half list.


Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon ad graphics at the top of the page.  IF YOU DON’T SEE THE AD, DISABLE AD BLOCK ( go to the Ad Blocker while on my page and scroll down the menu to “disable this site” ). You can purchase anything, not just the linked item. Enter Amazon through my item link and then go to whatever other item you desire. As long as you don’t leave Amazon until after the order is placed, I get credit for your purchase.  For those that can’t get the ads because they are blocked by your software, just PayPal me occasionally or buy me something from my Amazon Wish List once a year.  Pay your author-no one works for free.  I’m nice enough to publish for mere Book Money, so do your part.*** 
*Contact Information*  Links To Other Blogs *  Land In Elko*  Lord Bison* my bio & biblio*   my web site is
*Link To All My Published Books
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there


  1. I really can't see using a bicycle to much post-collapse.
    Too easy a target with no way to respond quickly.
    Walking is where's it at.
    At night.

  2. Don't know if this has ever been mentioned, but a cheap plastic tabogin to haul supplies in the winter would be invaluable.
    Don't know how many would be layin around though.

    1. We have a couple of those plastic tabogins. We use them to haul everything from firewood to hay to 500 pounds of wheat that I found on a good sale and needed to sled back to our snow-bound cabin one winter.

      Good ones can be expensive - $50 to $150. But they are well worth it.

      Idaho Homesteader

  3. Wheelbarrow - consider the Chinese wheelbarrow instead of a standard wheelbarrow. Carries a heavy load with less strain and much better over rough terrain due to its large wheel. I don't know where to buy one but about 20 years ago I built one using a light dirt-bike wheel. It lasted 15 years before I gave it to a neighbor when I moved.

    "The Chinese wheelbarrow ... was of a different design than its European counterpart. By placing a large wheel in the middle of the vehicle instead of a smaller wheel in front, one could easily carry three to six times as much weight than if using a European wheelbarrow."

    Read about it here:

  4. The Sawyer filters are must. I have three of them. They are the older style, solid black. Not the pretty style they have now. I have two of the 7 log (99.99999%) and one 6 log (99.9999%) BTW life straws are 6 log, which I have two of those. Read the direction for back flushing them, so that you can get those thousands of gallons capacity. The 6 log came with a bucket adapter kit. Drill a hole in the bottom of a five gallon plastic bucket, put screw in valve, attach Sawyer making sure the arrow point away from the bucket. Put filter material (old T Shirt) on the top of the bucket and pour water into it from another and let the filter do it's job. OF course you want to get as many particles out of the source water as possible before doing this, to lengthen the times between back flushes. Long term water filtration system would call for pool filter sand and charcoal. Get that scum film on top. May need an aquarium pump, continuously pumping small quantities of water for this to happen. (Scum eats the bacteria in the water) Do NOT use Play Sand, for a sand box. The grains are too big. If that is all you have then, you still may need to run through a Sawyer just to be sure. Anyhow do the research on sand filter.

    1. Be advised, the cheap $10 aquarium pumps pump air not water. A cheap water pump is gonna cost as least $30.

  5. Ok camping equipment I use at present every month. On the plastic sheeting its cheap and to versatile to depend on salvage. Not a bad series you got 26 or 27 right out of 32.

  6. For raised garden beds, once again the old auto tire comes into play, ala Kurt Saxon tire planter style. For those that haven't read the article, you're simply cutting out the sidewalls, and turning the tire inside out for slightly more room. You might also wish to paint them white if they're in direct sunlight and you're in a scorching hot area. Place some old wire underneath to keep the gophers out. I tried it this year for the first time, and the tires are working out great.

    For a composting bin, take some tires, say around 4. They must be identical in width. Same thing, cut the sidewalls out. Fill one, place another on top and continue to fill, and so on. To mix the compost, repeat the process in reverse. That is, remove the top tire, place it on the ground, shovel the contents from where it sat into its new position, and repeat until all tires have been moved to their new position.

    It's also real easy to take a wire basket, and with a little of the plastic sheeting, create a nice portable little greenhouse around the tire planters that's easily removed.

    So far the tires have served the purpose of planters, compost bins, and footwear. And I'll bet that I can come up with some more great uses given time.

    The one exception to your advice on not bothering with storing the plastic sheeting James, is if you plan on going underground. The visqueen has a half life of; well, to be honest, I forgot, but it's a god awful long time; something like 150 years, so long as it's not exposed to UV, which in an underground application, it's not.

  7. There is a fencing material that is so good it can last a few hundred years and is all over the place free for the taking. All you do is build a hedgerow, it worked / works for France and England. There are a few U-Tube videos on building them.

    Leather is expensive as heck today, I wish it was less expensive. And large pieces of it is hard to find. I get it from a few mountain men / 1840’s era events I go to every year.

    Tarps (and big ones at that) can be found for free if you pay attention when driving about. Two times I stopped and asked a guy that was putting up new billboards up if I could have the old ones. Both times I walked away with 4 10-foot by 24-foot tarps. All you do is look for a truck parked under the billboard and stop and ask.

    Chuck Findlay