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On that “indispensable/irreplaceable” list, you have some things that are replaceable in part by lower tech. Synthetic rubber, artificial fertilizer, smelting and one kind of plastic is lower tech capable. Light bulbs, guns and ammo, antibiotics and all other kinds of plastics are only stockable or substituted. You can substitute a light bulb with a candle ( I call veggie oil lamps problematic due to calorie shortages ) but it doesn’t come close to the same thing. And even some of the Replaceable items aren’t practically replaceable. If Florida isn’t under water, would rubber trees even grow there? If so, how would you go about getting plantings from the original plants down in the tropics? Regular natural fertilizer is actually superior to the synthetic type, but there is the issue of quality over quantity. And smelting is going to be brutal on your tree supply unless you have some coal near the surface nearby. And STILL there is the quantity issue there.
Your “Forever Gun” ( don’t have the book yet? What is wrong with you? I don’t even care for firearms all that much as a survival topic and those make for some of my best books ) goes a long way towards solving the gunpowder issue, if you can conserve the ammo in your semi-auto carbine. Nine mil’s suck giant donkey dingus compared to just about every firearm out there except rimfire and any caliber from a boot gun a pimp might carry, but against crossbows and swords, spears or anything else not chemically powered, they will do very well indeed. So let’s go on from that subject. Light bulbs are a lot easier than they used to be to stockpile, and even if you can’t match the quantity of ammunition, with one to five dollar LED flashlights all over the place you won’t spend the equivalent amount of money either ( “flashlights” to include the garden solar lights that are pretty cool as they include the solar panel, the rechargeable battery and bulb all for the same price as a regular empty flashlight. Of course, you know the quality must suffer a bit but I’ve usually had all of mine last several years which is about right for the claimed “one thousand charges” for those batt types, even if the later charges produce less light output ).
I would include batteries in the category of light bulbs as one is worthless without the other. And while it is certainly possible to salvage nickel and copper and Mason jars to create wet batteries of a primitive type, I would think that those materials would be far more valuable used in other ways, and you would need a lot of them to duplicate the performance of even a single AA battery. The technique is certainly something to keep in mind but it is far better to stockpile the current tech types of batteries. They are inexpensive, not much more than disposable batteries ( disposables are a quarter each bought in bulk at Amazon, rechargeable ones with great reviews are sixty five cents each. The only reason I even consider buying disposables anymore is because I’m a dumbass. I just tell myself since every device I have that uses a battery can go about a year before it needs new ones that the discharge rate on the unused rechargeable would necessitate two or three extra changes. It still makes no sense economically. Over ten years one AA disposable costs $2.25 in replacements. The rechargeable will last another 200 years at three recharges a year, so the cost over ten years is what? Three cents? Over two centuries, what is the cost of a $20 solar charger? Add a cent a year ), so you really have absolutely no reason for not stockpiling a lot.
I certainly would NOT rely on 12v batteries. They are Trash Tech, cheaply manufactured to perform minimally rather than optimally. They are disposable, really, despite that hefty core charge you pay on one to presumably recycle it. I would sooner take a battery and use it for the lead inside for reloading than rely on them for electrical storage. The crappy ones are $100 and the ones lasting ten to thirty years rather than 3 to 5 are insanely prices, like $1500 for a low amp unit. They are for luxury electrical use, modern living, NOT collapse living. The only thing that electricity is really truly good for in a resource poor environment is illumination. And you can get that with AA batteries. Granted, the higher the lumens ( if a lamp/light doesn’t advertise the lumens-the intensity of the light, the brightness-I wouldn’t buy it as it probably is last decades LED tech. LED’s increase in brightness while using less power as their chips improve just like a computers back in the day ) the quicker the draw down and you could get as low as only a week before you needed to recharge ( AA’s are much quicker to charge on a solar unit, cost less and are more universal than D’s or C’s or even 3a’s-stick with them ), so in that case you only have a decade of use out of the battery. And that is a “problem”, why?
A crappy dim flashlight will, kept out of the elements and not beaten like a redheaded stepchild, die from parts failure from moisture long before your batteries are no longer rechargeable. Now do you understand why $50, buying a solar recharger ( I don’t know if an inverter and large solar panel to recharge a 110 charger is better longevity wise than a small book size 12v solar battery charger, so either do some research or get several small chargers in case of failure ) and thirty AA batteries is much better than buying an Edison 12v battery for $1,050? Twelve volts batteries are not needed unless you actually think your middle class lifestyle has a snowballs chance in Hell of surviving long past the initial die-off. And if you erroneously believe that, a grand for a battery is just the start of your investment. Start saving up for buried gasoline tanks, industrial size propane tanks, another TWENTY Edison batteries, tens of thousands of dollars in freeze dried foods, a greenhouse that costs more than a small house, etc. Either pinch your pennies or go “in for a penny, in for a pound”. Continued tomorrow.
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I have one Super Torch that takes 18650 battery (Fenix PD35) that I bought when I was flush with cash and I'm probably going to upgrade that one at some stage when I've got money and had a few drinks whilst on the internet.ReplyDelete
Long term though it's AA torches for me.
As an aside - I have decent chargers that tell you the charge on the battery in mAh. The charge on each battery can vary considerably. A 2,400 rated battery sometimes only can hold 1,900. Sometimes they're 2,600. Very annoying, especially in devices that use more than one battery because the one bad battery lets the whole team down (Slacker)
I think my most extravagant prepper purchase was one of those motorized stoves for camping. The forced air burns the fuel better. With back-up motors, perhaps a $100 or so. Before I understood about rocket stoves, perhaps 12 years ago. Well, extravagant if you don't count all my unneeded land purchases :)Delete
I believe lighting isn't as needed as most people imagine. When the electricity goes off, you will go to bed when the sun goes down and get up when the sun rises in the morning. There are very few totally dark nights were you can't see at all. Moveing around in the dark practiceing your night vision is a good skill to cultivate. Perrifial vision is more light senceitive than depth vision meaning you can actually see a little better in the dark if you dont focus on what your looking at or look slightly to the side of what your want to actually see(if that makes any sence)ReplyDelete
Another thing that should be mentioned is that electric light doesnt just attract insects. Bad people will see your light and come a calling. Being that it takes about 1/2hr (from memory)for your night vision to really kick in and he has snuck up on you in the moon light, he can see you quiet clearly and knows exactly were you are while for you everything else is invisible that doesnt fall within your flash light beem or circle of light.
PSHTF flash lights should be used spareingly, like in 30sec bursts while a tricky obstickle is negotaited or something needs finding in the bottom of a bag, stuff like that. The trick here is when the flash light is turned on for breath periods, shut one eye so as night vission is maintained in the other. I regularly do this if I'm going out in the dark, shut one eye for a miniut or 2 while your pulling boots and jacket on etc and when you step out in the dark open your eye and the difference in night vission between your 2 eyes is amazeing.
PS Been without a computer for awhile so looking forward to a lot of catch up reading. Hope you fellas didnt get up to too much shanadigans while I was away
You have a good point but what you describe is more for during the die-off. Afterwards, lighting after dark is for socializing and relaxation. Falling asleep early during harvest time is easy, but all winter long at 4 pm?Delete
A log cabin (low-tech, renewable) can be made light-tight. Post some guards outside and have a Capo meeting inside with light and maps. A 14W roll-up solar panel can charge a battery to run LED lights all night. Way better than candles, kerosene, or the heavy current draw of incandescent bulbs requiring 150# of lead acid batteries.Delete
Campfires are great for socailizing. Candles as well, romantic dinners by candle light any one?Delete
I once heard a radio intiview of a woman that lived in the wilds of New Zealand and she reconed that her and her hubby would sleep about 14hrs a night in the winter time and would wake up and have so much energy. I dont know if that right or not but its a interesting concept.
Sun going dow at 4pm would kinda suck, doesnt set here till 5pm in the dead of winter and thats bad enough, but just because the sun goes down doesnt mean you cant see. Twilight last the best part of a hourafter sunset and before sun rise so thats a couple of extra hrs that you can do stuff outside.
Longer sleep, but sleeping lighter, is a great defense mechanism but I somehow doubt most people would willingly go back to that. Light is like fire, a ratchet technology.Delete
I agree with Aussie about the whole night vision thing. My eyes are far from perfect but wearing sunglasses every time I am under the sun (even if there is cloud cover), And closing at least one eye for several minutes while preparing to walk into a completely windowless and unlit basement at night, I can still see well enough to navigate the clear lanes without stubbing my toe. Go without sunglasses or keep both eyes open while in the light, I get a stubbed toe every time even with a flashlight.Delete
To me either artificial light is for the room as a whole, or a single document/item I am reading or looking at detail on, or I just prefer to have no light at all and navigate by star/moon light,
Hell, I stub my toes in the middle of the day. At my coordination levels it's a miracle I've never broken anything ( knock on wood ).Delete