note: a cool booklet on crossbow construction click here
By a company that sells old timey crossbows and parts, crossbows.net
Yesterday we talked about what constitutes a realistic windfall and left off stating that if you are a novice prepper, food is first. Refer back to a previous discussion of Better Than Nothing weapons if you don’t have a firearm ( garage sale archery set, or watch a YouTube video on making a PVC one, and anyone can have a bow for $10 ). You cannot improvise food like you can weapons ( every other swinging cheese dingus out there is going to be hunting, trapping and eating edible weeds. There is a reason hunter/gatherers need to have exclusive territories. If you can find a desolate area without competition, these strategies work. Otherwise, sorry silly survivalist stories ).
Yet, you probably also need more food if you are even the average Super Loyal Minion. When you can buy a years supply of bare bones calories for $100, sorry, one years food is a sad and sorry benchmark. What? You spent more on a cheesy .380 back-up pistol ( seriously, check out Sportsman’s Guide for their $150 pistol. The better size ones in Deluxe Glock-like plastic are only $200. As much as I poo-pah pistols and semi’s, you would be a damn fool to NOT use this buyers market to your advantage while it lasts. Just don’t be a Yuppie Scum about it and be all guns and no ammo-that’s all I’m asking ) than your entire apocalypse food stash?
Yes, yes, I understand. You spend $1,000 on super num-num foods like meat and cheese and you only have three months worth of food because of that. Fine, you don’t particularly like wheat and wheat accessories. So? I can guaren-damn-tee you that once you get hungry it will taste a whole lot better. Get the wheat. Even if you don’t consider it food worthy of you, get it in case you never get around to getting more Super Deluxe Tasty Dead Animal Foods. Like if, say, suddenly the economy blows out its ass like it was about twenty-four hours away from doing in 2008.
( I understand some of that was hyperbole by the bankers to Get Paid, but understand that bankers don’t REALLY need the government as much as the government needs them. There could very well have been lots of individual profiteering going on, but to think that any government bail-out, no matter how monstrously humongous, ever even comes close to the money central banks make from day by day credit and currency creation, as well as fractional reserve practices, is silly propaganda most likely pushed by the very banks themselves. The public didn’t much care to hear of a single near trillion dollar bail out. Can you image their reaction if they added up the centuries worth of looting? )
No one is asking you to live on wheat. Good gravy and tar and feather me for even hinting at that. I’m just saying, go look at your pathetic and sad food stocks, and imagine them being ten times what they are now, for less than the cost of a cheap guaranteed to blow up soon generic AR. You add “real” food to that later. If you can’t, you still survive handily. If you can, after the crash use the wheat for barter or a post-apocalypse emergency food stash. Wheat doesn’t go bad, unless you really work on it. Everyone should have five to ten years worth of calories. Armies clash and empires fall over food. I don’t think you are placing enough emphasis on it.
Assuming you have already found a legal squat that is paid for or will soon be, because you can bet your last daughters virginity that the bankers will lose last and anything attached to debt is going to revert to them prior to the streets running with blood, I know you don’t have enough ammunition ( again, the average minion. And since we are so much better than the average scumbag prepper, can you imagine the sorry state of their stores? ). In order, food, debt free squat, then ammunition. I know it is arbitrary but I look at five thousand rounds as a minimum for bolt actions. Ten to fifteen for hard to load semi’s like the SKS. Ten thousand for the Forever Gun arsenal. If you don’t have a minimum of twenty thousand for a semi-carbine, you won’t be using it as envisioned ( spray and pray, African militia style, attributing magic to the mechanisms cyclic design because WAY more ammo and magazines is so much efficient and cheaper than a scope ).
And, I hate to disappoint you if you were thinking I’d come up with something else, that is about it. You don’t need any kind of expensive equipment like a FLIR scope. You don’t need to fill the roof with solar panels. You don’t need a bigger tank for propane. What you need are simply more basics. More stashes and more caches and more of all the daily mundane boring stuff. You could certainly survive the apocalypse without underwear, but why would you want to? It is more sanitary and helps cut down on laundry as you can stretch out the time between cleaning outerwear.
You think you need solar panels and propane, but think about what that is doing. It is just increasing the amount of supporting infrastructure you need for them, and keeping you from adopting renewable resources sooner. The guideline should be, if it keeps you wallowing in luxury longer, it really isn’t a great idea. Bad enough we are forced to keep firearms going past their pull date, but there is little choice. You engage in that arms race or you die. Not having 110 AC power won’t kill you unless you are on life support anyway, and if that is the case why are you hanging on?
The other issue with splurging on luxury items is that you’ve blown your wad on one or two items and at the end of the day, it simply doesn’t look like you’ve gotten anything for that rare windfall. Buying a lot of smaller items seems to be more satisfying, consumption wise. I know you want sexy. Settle for practical.
END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2zRGAaf )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
Another way to look at it is, if you build your level of luxury real high without going into debt to do so, that is that much further you will have to fall before you hit rock bottom. That is, when everyone else is down at the bottom of the barrel the luxuriest will still be tumbling down, grabbing cracks in the cliff wall the whole way.ReplyDelete
I didn't have time this year to get involved with solr like I planned because the cold came on fast and hard. But in the spring I expect my over-the-winter cash flow to build up and I will delve into it in the spring.
The building I spend most of my time in each day is the one I mentioned in another comment, that I built with my own hands entirely 11 years ago at a total cost of around $14k. It is 36' long x 24' wide, nothing fancy, 2x4 walls, 6/12 pitch roof trusses, R30 in the ceiling and R19 in the walls, OSB sheathing, white vinyl siding, galv ribbed metal roofing. 24'x24' is my workshop, completed but not heated, and it has (2) 8'w x 7' high garage doors and (2) 3'x3' windows, full electric and plumbing. The 12' x 24' office is fully complete with a small bathroom (no shower) and a 6' long kitchen along the back wall with a 16cf fridge and microwave, toaster oven, and Mr Coffee. The office has water and septic. It has a 8k btu wall unit ac and a Procom 8k btu propane radiant heater and both are more than adequate and relatively inexpensive. I also have a futon in here which I have crashed on numerous times. My office is essentially a 1 br open concept efficiency apartment. If I die my wife can rent this out to a college boy that can also be her pool boy. heh-heh
I want to get my off off the electrical grid. Becasue of my power tools the workshop would take quite a bit of solar to make that happen. Because of the trees I cannot get 12 hours of sun, ever, so I need more panels and batteries to compensate. I will do all of that in the spring and then the rest of the year will be spent in testing the system to find flaws and ways to improve. Then I will start trying to take the whole house off grid. This solar stuff is like eating a horse...one bite at a time.
I look at luxury as unsustainable because of the exponential infrastructure increase requirement. For instance, a geared bike is why more complicated, just for the luxury of getting up hills easier. But then again, at our age luxury probably will last our whole lives so why the heck not? If I had to go back to the B-POD, you can bet I'd start adding luxury items to it to make life easier ( although my idea of luxury is still most other people's idea of roughing it ). If not easier, more luxurious. Like painting the wood walls white and getting a recliner down there instead of a throw pillow on the bed. A bigger food prep counter. Still raw lumber cheap, but bigger. Little stuff does make the medicine go down smoother.Delete
My retirement plan is some sort of eco-pod single room with ensuite(sp).Delete
Basically it's to turn my house into a duplex with my wife and I having a small yard
Just beware the problem of getting renters-otherwise a very wise plan. I see the housing bubble issue as such. Houses cost so much, or apartments have such a huge loan payment, that everyone goes in with a high ceiling for their minimum rent. Then jobs are lost, hours are cut, medical costs skyrocket. No matter the need, too few people can afford to rent. If the mortgage is paid off you just need incidentals covered ( repairs, a supplement to your pension ) it might be okay as you are the cheapest around. Otherwise...Delete
I've been on solar for a good many years now. The panels seem to last; some of mine have been running for at least ten years.Delete
The batteries (200 amp AGM) are a problem. They last, at best, five years and are increasingly expensive.
As to 'forever' anything, I plan for a year of absolute self-sufficiency; thereafter I'll come up with something working with then-current reality. Can't predict that far ahead in any case.
On 12v batteries, you are simply humped. The Edison batteries are $2k each-and no electrical appliance is worth that. My long term plan is solar chargers with AA and AAA batt lighting. I can run my hair clippers and my computer library straight off the panels.Delete
Anonymous November 24, 2017 at 5:55 AMDelete
There are a number of other ways to store electricity, but the easiest is to separately store the necessary electrolyte acids and some dry batteries. You should be able to get a couple decades ahead that way if you have the $$. You can also get battery 'reconditioners' that also cost $$ and volts, but can largely restore a battery back to a decent percent of what it was originally.
Really though long term (more than about 50 years) there is no good plan without ongoing industry.
I'm 100% with you Lord BisonReplyDelete
Food should be the #1 concern for any prepper / survivalist. Guns are the fun side for sure but as you correctly mentioned. Ammo is food for firearms. Just think about that depressing movie "the road". He has a revolver with two rounds in it. Some guy wrote that made him buy a semi-auto (so bad guys can't tell it's not loaded). I was thinking "Or you could buy ammo"
Article Idea based on a one line comment you made a little while ago. You asked rhetorically about how the preppers of Porto rico were basing their preps on a week or two outage.
I'd love to follow up on PR and Houston. And I can't find any information. Search engines are getting as bad as mainstream media "info-tainment" coverage. I think the old Pravda had better news. Except about Cherynobal, obviously :)Delete
some days the web logs i try to read pop up 'insecure connection' or 'get me out of here'.Delete
the antifa filth and their ilk are apparently on duty at those times. cannot get through anyhow.
wonder how long before the interference is total, not just spotty.
Of course, one good thing is the possibility of mailed periodicals returning, improving quality and importance.Delete
I suspect mail and package delivery is going to go down relatively quickly after the internet.Delete
Everything we know and love is "going down". The timing is the question. I'd wager the Post Office could last a little bit longer if periodicals went from electric back to print. That should generate a lot of profit for them. Lack of e-mail will increase first class postage again. So, yes, deliveries will eventually stop but I see physical goods replacing a lot of Internet businesses for a short while, out of desperation for no other choice. What is killing the Internet could be a few articles on its own, but I think it is hard to argue with "fallacy of the commons" playing some part. Going from Internet back to mail is a quality rather than quantity move, and as we all have less money to spend, quantity is a sucker move anyway.Delete
Good find on the crossbow link. The older models are easier to maintain and replicate if you ever had to.ReplyDelete
If you don’t have a firearm, you could also get a $20 Slingbow as a temporary substitute. Compact and lightweight, as well as deadly on game up to deer and boar sized. Something like this with a few take down arrows will easily fit into a pack as well.
In some ways I actually prefer primitive weaponry. The silence factor is an important feature in a post collapse scenario, where every gunshot is akin to “ringing the dinner bell” whilst in grizzly country. I’ve thought about getting one of those new fangled super duper pellet guns. You know, the one’s that shoot a massive pellet, and can take large game. But I prefer to keep things on as basic of a level as possible, so I’ll probably stick to primitive archery or Slingbows primarily.
I like how he said he discontinued the fiberglass prods as they lacked quality and were inherently unreliable anyway. I've always had my doubts, but it was a good "gateway" bow. You can buy the steel prods for just $60, then make your own pretty easy I would imagine ( there is a lot of grinding on a leafspring, lot of needed tools ). Even better? They offer an aluminum prod, making me think that if you had some propane ( not sure about the feasibility of charcoal ) you might be able to turn beverage cans into a stockpile of prods. Of course, then you have sand casting and the like to learn. "The Slingshot Channel" is the crazy German guy that does all the homemade bows, like the magazine fed crossbow and the motorized ratchet and such-might be some great ideas to explore. But, definitely focus on primitive for longevity. I actually prefer archery over crossbows to stay primitive and renewable but with my skill level I'll stick with crossbows as long as possible.Delete
I actually have a pretty nice Crossbow. It’s the Excalibur Vixen, made in Canada. While I like it a lot, it’s fairly heavy, and I’m not sure if it’s something that could be maintained in a post oil society. For me, making a low tech crossbow is probably beyond my personal skill set, so I will probably stick with something much simpler.Delete
I purchased a Samick Sage, take down recurve bow, a few years back. I like it, and it’s pretty compact, but no where like that of a Slingbow. At this point, I think that I’m going to focus primarily on the Slingbow, mostly due to the effectiveness of the weapon for it being so compact. The weak point though is that the rubber tubing is not a post petroleum age product. You would need to stockpile and store the tubing in a way for it to keep long term, but once it’s gone, it’s gone. That’s why you also want to have spools of Dacron stored as well, for primitive bow making.
I’m familiar with the dude that you’re talking about. Nothing quite like a bald German dude with a sinister sounding accent to illustrate the art of deadly weapons 😀
The guy is so busy chuckling at his own visions of slain enemies it is hard to sound too sinister, though :) He tried a hollow tube ( interior vanes ) with the end points like a crown for multiple gouging. I think he called it "the flesh thirster". I was laughing along with him.Delete