Tuesday, April 10, 2018

who's on first?


WHO’S ON FIRST?
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note: a hearty high-ho and thanks a million, J.R., for the wonderful snail mail donation.
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Not too long ago, in an article far away, I made the comment that Food Is First.  Minions disagreed.  They said that shelter comes first.  It isn’t that I disagree with this correction, but the record must be set straight.  What is more important?  Food or shelter or protection?  Most prepper might say any number of things, but their actions clearly state that protection is first, as the size of their arsenals clearly establish.  Most minions seem to have their priorities better established, having just as many guns BUT also stocking other non-firearm accessories to go along with them.

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Most minions seem to be better prepared in shelter rather than in food, and that should be no surprise.  You are living in your shelter already, as a non-survivalist worker bee.  Turning that into a dwelling better able to withstand Grid-Down Peak Oil Economic Depression, doing that survivalist thang, is a lot sexier than food storage.  It has immediate payback, such as lower heating bills from insulation or non-chlorinated water for the garden from a rain catchment system.  Then followed by guns, because they are fun and you need to protect your dwelling and any food you happen to have.  So food usually comes last.

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Now, look, when I say Food First, obviously it does little good to have a pile of five gallon buckets that you turn into a fort underneath the highway overpass as you are homeless and cold.  Shelter does seem to command your undivided attention first.  You can’t eat your food if you are frozen to death ( or in Spud’s case, since he is always warm, eaten by a alligator first ).  And the priority here and now is shelter first.  You can always get Food Stamps, so a place to cook that free food and staying warm is a priority currently.  My main contention when I state Food First is that as far as prepping, food becomes far more difficult with time, while the shelter and defense gets easier.

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Obviously you need all three at the same time.  You need a place out of the weather where you cook and store your food, and you need to protect both your food and shelter.  And on a severely challenged budget you can provide all three for well under a thousand dollars each.  Shelter can be as simple as a piece of junk land and a ferrocement dome.  If you are really poor you find a remote corner of uninhabited land and dig a hole and cover it with a ferrocement roof, then cover with dirt.  Under a hundred bucks.  Protection can be as cheap as a $100 shotgun, or as luxurious as a $400 bolt action hunting rifle.  And food is as affordable as wheat at $22 a hundred pounds, stored in discarded plastic food containers.  Well, throw in a $44 Corona grinder.

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If you are homeless right now, just panhandling would provision you with the wire and cement, a couple of bucks at Home Depot for wood for a bow and arrow ( or, a garage sale fiberglass bow, or turn that into a prod for a crossbow ), and the wheat in whatever quantity.  Prepping supplies is NOT the problem.  All three of the basics are beyond cheap right now ( if you avoid the rush prior to the panic.  Once that happens, it is Good Night Irene.  Everything I’ve written, almost, at least about stockpiling, becomes null and void.  You simply MUST panic early.

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Yes, you could prioritize strangely, such as thinking you need $60k in land and too big of a home ( to appease the wife and to appease your delusion that you can grow enough broccoli in denuded soil to feed yourself after the grocery stores close ), or believing that eight grand in semi-autos is just the start of an arsenal, and then you have trouble completely all three basic areas ( which I think is what happens to most folks ).  My personal prioritizing is to go bare bones arsenal and shelter and then go all out in bare bones food.  But that is just me.  But even that ( favoring one of the three ) ignores the base issue.  Which is that defense and shelter is easy and food is not.

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Do you remember the book “Pulling Through” by Dean Ing?  It has been many years since I last reread that one, but I seem to recall the character had a limited time to prepare for a nuclear attack for whatever reason.  He had a backhoe dig a long trench, and then roofed it over.  Details elude me here, other than it was very narrow, but the point was you didn’t need money, per se.  It wasn’t the ideal of poured concrete bunkers.  It was a Better Than Nothing that did little except get the immediate job on hand done. 

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It was thinking outside the box, replacing money with creativity.  Shelter is always easy, unless you look at it through stick built mortgages.  But the reason I say shelter gets easier is because even if you start out small and improvised given time you always improve it with just sweat equity.  Again, remember, I’m NOT saying do one over another.  I’m acknowledging you need all three at once.  But you don’t need much shelter now, as it can be improved on later.  Cheaper.  Going minimalist now, in the face of finances and zoning, then becomes easier with scrounging and the ability to claim free land later.  Shelter gets easier.

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In theory, with protection, as more people die off and more people use up all their ammunition, it becomes easier to defend yourself.  Rather than spending all that money up front on semis and mags and ammo, you can minimize that expense by planning on hiding out rather than fighting ( let’s face facts-the more ammo you need and the more you need to fight makes you more vulnerable.  Don’t move now at your own risk ).  Using your ammo later rather than sooner means you need less.  And planning from the start to use less ammo than the Spray And Pray boys, you increase your odds of survival since He Who Runs Out Of Ammo Last Wins.

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Food now, that does NOT become easier with time.  I know all the Post-Apocalypse novels assume great trapping or hunting yields with population decline, abundant farming and an idyllic living once we return to the Constitution with all the pesky Other Races eliminated ( or, Other Religions, as your preference might be ), but that is all a load of domesticated animal feces, isn’t it?  The Constitution was an instrument of government centralization, organized religions are an instrument of organized control, and food is going to be harder rather than easier to produce in the near future.  Which, we’ll get into tomorrow.

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40 comments:

  1. Also, food can spoil much easier than shelter or ammo, and taste fatigue makes it more complicate to plan for.

    There is also the added self-discipline aspect of eating what is available and not what you would like (comfort food etc.) and the whole health aspect.

    Food is a much more complicated matter than guns or shelter (which in itself boils down to "location location location" for most survivalists, to be fair)

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    1. You make fair points on fatigue ( and really good ones on location ). But most MAKE it more complicated than it needs to be. "Hunger makes the best sauce", after all. They assume you cannot live with fatigue. I submit to you that the oft repeated claim the young die from taste fatigue is erroneous, only possible in a nation of glutonous surpluses, never having seen true famine outside the South during the War Of Northern Oppression.

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    2. Of course you're right about how taste fatigue can be overcome with hunger. However, taste fatigue adds yet another source of stress, at a moment when people already accumulate too much of it already.

      As a side note, in our pre-collapse times we are getting crushed by stress as it is, and not seldom a yuppie survivalist hopes for a collapse so he can get a relief from al that pre-collapse stress.

      In my neck of the woods there has been a surge of personal stories about problems with refugees, welfare people types and gypsies.

      There is no solution to that now, so these are just people who are going to destroy us until eventually lack of ressources kills them (all these types don't produce food not anything else - this is why they don't exist in long-term post-collapse societies).

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    3. Okay, but which kind of stress do you want? Stress of taste fatigue or stress from not enough to eat. Preppers want NO stress, their cake and eating it too. 99% of the time, you'll get one food stress or the other, because too few of us can't deep larder the high order calories.

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    4. Well NO STRESS is a good goal :) We should try for that if we can.

      Another issue I find with food, and that I believe a lot of prepper have, is that the relation of volume to use is horrendous. 40 rounds of rifle ammunition sound big, but they take as much space as a few days worth of rice (or a big can of soup...)

      Stockpiling food in variety takes enormous amoutns fo space. Also, there is the fear that it will spoil (whereas ammo in eternal) (eteranl in the sense that it will remain useful beyond my own life expectancy...°

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    5. Of course, as bad as the food volume is ( one 330 gallon tote should fit five years of grain, although I realize even that can be problematic ), water is far, far worse.

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  2. "What is more important?"
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    It's sort of a retarded question.

    If you have no air then you will die pretty quick, maybe 3 minutes or so.

    No water means you will die in a few days.
    No food = death in a couple weeks maybe sooner.

    No shelter when it is zero degrees out? You will die in hours no matter how much food and water you have.

    Same if someone attacks you and you can't defend yourself.
    Especially if you have water, food and shelter, cause then they have your stuff.

    So the question of which is more important is invalid as all of them are equally important.

    In a car, which is more important in getting you to the mall, the engine or the transmission? If either one is inoperable you better get the bike out of the crawl space otherwise you ain't goin' no where.

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    1. Semantics. I could have said, what needs more emphasis. I thought I was clear enough you need all three.

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    2. Yes, but always shelter first.
      All that stored food can easily disappear.
      This is why survival woodcraft skills are a high priority. Along with foraging knowledge.

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    3. You were clear, and I was agreeing with you, maybe I wasn't clear enough. My negativism was about all the prepper places posing that same question for a long time. It gets to the point that the monotony is more than I can bear. A little of everything is better none of everything I guess.

      Food fatigue? Start practicing now. It's been my on-going goal on the road to simplification. Variety is alraight and preferred but each person has to determine how much variety is required. Frankly, for years now we here have been placing less and less emphasis on everything food. It's just not the social party bizarre most people attribute to it. It's just food after all.

      Simple food, simple storage, simple life.
      Leaves more room for stuff that matters.
      Strive for balance and harmony in all things and be ready to blow the head clean off anybody that forcefully disagrees. :-)

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    4. I was a bit abrupt. Sorry. Yesterday was a bad day to try to think. The Captain Crackhead in the apartment above is getting kicked out but until we get rid of him he makes a hell of a lot of noise some nights. I call it "throwing the furniture". That's what it literally sounds like. I was up at 3am and a zombie. I had to exercise for an hour, pound coffee, mainline sugar coffee, drink soda, eat extra protein and I still barely got through writing for the day. Then I passed out for a nap ( through more of his noise ), which was just long enough to take away the pain. I can handle the occasional five hours of sleep-it was getting up in the middle of the deep sleep part that screwed me up. Anyway-apologies. I know how important it is to be extra civil in comments sections or anarchy descends.

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  3. Had to laugh at the Gator reference !
    Reminds me of the time once , out bow hunting. I had just gotten back to the truck, after hiking about five miles. It was pitch assed dark by then...low and behold the wife was not waiting there for me. She always got back sooner than
    I ! Luckily we both carried two way handhelds. So I gave her a buzz. Where the hell are ya, says I ? ...pause...honey I think I'm lost...
    SHIT ! Thinking quickly I asked her to think back her exact route coming back. Turned out she had turned right at a point where she should have went left ! Asked her approximately how far and what direction she went after the wrong turn...
    Knew from her description, she was about three miles due east from my location.
    Told her to stop where she was and prepare to spend the night...I'd be on the way there... meanwhile told her to blow her lifeguard whistle every five minutes, so I'd know when or if I was getting close.
    All the time I'm imagining a big assed gator chomping on her little juicy ass !
    The woods are so dense here that I didn't hear her loud whistle until about a quarter mile away.
    She had set up a shelter with her poncho and space blanket , nice and comfy.
    Asked if she was getting worried about having to spend the night alone in the woods...nope she just smiled and said I'd taught her well...
    My reply...well we need work on your orienteering skills lol

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    1. Now, see, you tell me I need better firepower, then you go out amongst the gators with just a bow! :)

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    2. Well yes I do...but I also have that Ruger Blackhawk .45 with 325 grain magnum boolets in reserve.
      She carries a .357 Ruger security six, when bow hunting.
      No fear here !
      I also make her carry a compass and handheld GPS now.

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    3. Okay, that sounds much better. I'm sure you've mentioned it before, but with my memory...

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    4. He sed "little juicy ass" LOL

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    5. Well...to a gator it would be lol

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    6. I hope she doesn't read this-her ass is supposed to still be juicy, to you :)

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    7. Hell, after forty years with her, she says I done wore that thing out ha ha.

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    8. Or, at least you are trying :)

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  4. I agree there is not enough priority or emphasis on food in the pretty pony prepper community. Understandable one needs defensive items and shelter accomodations. I make note of how the homeless can squat-camp, and in some what defensive group arrangements. A vagabond can live in vehicle, stay in rural outland areas and exist. They will need food stocks and resupply (from caches-ideally) to limit contact-interactions with other people whom will be the threat. Practice now never having food waste end up in the trash, always eyeballing anything with nutritional value (neighbor dogs,pigeons,assessing contents of vans and box delivery trucks,etc) gotta eat and feed the machine or die!

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    1. Bums don't have any nutritional value, just FYI :)

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  5. Yeah, of the three I would be quite a bit more heavily invested into the food stocks. Using shtf scenarios depicted quite clearly and currently on t.v. (bbc/france24/utube foreign media is best) the refugees and seige residents are getting by with some order and structure established in absence of official gov't. The short spots always seems to be food past extended timelines. Most minions will be stuck or just stay in place, conditions being viable in lieu of a worse unknown place. Best to at least have decent chow in your version of collapse/shtf.

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    1. Is France24 in English, like RT? Not sure how much I trust BBC after all the Brit gov. SJW backing.

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    2. Yep better english than bbc! it is free tv channel 18-1 in vegas. May get it there too. Rescan t.v. for channels off of antenna, may pick it up unless signal jammed by cyberdyne systems.

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    3. The web page is good enough.
      http://www.france24.com/en/
      I had no problem scanning in digital channels off the air with my trucker 12v TV. Then, I moved here in town and the NOL has a smart TV, which is great for Netflix but which now won't let me scan TV signals ( it did at first, now I have no luck. Stinking computers. You're right-Cyberdyne Systems Inc. indeed )

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    4. I hate computers where once I loved them. It's neat being able to communicate with people across the globe. I wouldn't have had the wisdom of Ave and your many minions to draw on if it weren't here. However the spying & manipulation of the internet & smart phones is making me very weary

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    5. Back in '85, they were cautioning against subscribing to Soldier Of Fortune magazine, and there was the issue of the feds both opening mail and checking your library book check-out's. The only thing that has changed is that it is easier for the feds to spy. And I wonder if they aren't buried under kitten video's and Facebook likes.

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    6. >> I wouldn't have had the wisdom of Ave and your many minions to draw on if it weren't here.

      https://pics.me.me/iam-sorry-i-cant-hear-you-over-the-sound-of-19416651.png

      :D

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  6. Food is # 1 when you are starving it is all you think about. It is 3rd behind water and shelter but like you said most have shelter and here in Bama lakes ponds streams rivers springs. Water is harder to avoid than find. I spent 6 months starving being IV fed. food will consume your mind. I went from 260+ to 141 now back to 181. Once I was able to eat again I drank sweet tea and ate buttered bread Food is #1 trust me.

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    1. Actual voice of experience-thank you.

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    2. A quote I read a while ago springs to mind "A well fed man has many problems. A hungry man only has one"

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    3. Ha! A much better way of putting it than "white people problems".

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  7. Nearly every modern disaster scenario clearly shows that obtaining food and water are major obstacles in surviving if you are unable to evacuate.

    For some of us - critical medicines are just as critical, a couple of days can make all of the difference in the world.

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    1. Ah, meds, keeping us alive long enough to give the kids inheritance to the medical industry.

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    2. People on chronic med's should build a stockpile of them to allow for tapering-off when no more are available. Cold Turkey on lots of things will drop you dead, not-restartable out of a major hospital. Herbs & behavior may save some, but most are soon-dead. A bunch of my favorite grumpy old people are hooked on forever-med's for heart/bp/rejection, and worse is the 10%+ of people who take SSRI's and will go violent-NUTZ(!)when they are cut off.

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    3. Ah, okay, I was wondering. For some reason "tapering" eluded me.

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    4. 11:44 great insight, many thanks.

      In the town where I live, there is a massive alcoholism problem, this might explode into ugliness if supply is unsufficient or uncertain (or non-existing).
      Apparetly booze was always around in the Yetlsin years but it was costly and bankrupted many people.

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