Preparedness Lifestyle: Starting Out.

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    • #140377
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
      Moderator

        Recently we’ve touched on preparedness in the Coronavirus: Fact vs Fearmongering Thread.

        If your rich let me know and I’ll find a shopping list and you can have at it. ;-)

        For the rest of us, it’s a long term process that builds step by step.

        Remember the basics of survival.

        Air
        Water
        Food
        Shelter
        Defense

        From economic collapse to alien invasion (illegal or extraterrestrial :yes: ) you need these things to survive!

        First stock what you actually use!

        300 lbs of wheat packed to last decades does you no good if you don’t know what to do with it.

        Figure out where you stand right now.

        If your normal water supply was unavailable, what’s your back-up?

        You will need some storage containers (cleaned out 2 liter soda bottles are a cheap start), Sawyer water filter will run under $20, chemical purification (plain bleach and a printout taped to bottle on doses).

        Total cost under $25 if you drink soda on occasion and save bottles.

        Not a fancy solution, but a good start.

        How much food do you have in hand?

        Most will have at best a week’s worth.

        What has the longest shelf life that you already buy?

        Typically we are talking can goods. Get into the habit of buying double what you normally buy in can goods. This adds up surprisingly fast!

        On a really tight budget? But two extra cans every time you buy groceries.

        Start watching for sales and use coupons.

        Yes it’s not Gucci freeze dried, but it will work.

        $20.00 a week will add up quick.

        Shelter?

        Buy a quality used tent for a back-up and learn some basic bushcraft skills.

        Maybe $50.00

        Defense?

        Giving the nature of this forum, I won’t dwell too much on this, but a rifle, pistol, and shotgun in that order will cover all your needs and put food on the table if game is available.

        Ammo is best bought in bulk, but a extra box a month adds up over time.

        Air?

        A gas mask (with three filters) for industrial accidents and some N95 masks.

        In three months you’ll be set for most short term disasters.

        After a year you’ll be in the top 20% of the U.S. population!

        In 5 years you’ll have a years worth of necessities!

      • #140386
        LouF
        Participant

          Thanks for the information Joe.

        • #140861
          Joe (G.W.N.S.)
          Moderator

            So what are you preparing for?

            Everyone will have different ideas and viewpoints. Myself I am not preparing for specific events, but generalities.

            Remember the basics of survival.

            Air
            Water
            Food
            Shelter
            Defense

            The above will cover anything from Hurricane, Ice storm, etc…to the more exotic Alien Invasion (illegal or extraterrestrial).

            Sure there is some jest in that, but come on preparing doesn’t have to be all “doom and gloom.” ;-)

            Something as basic as unemployment is a shtf scenario and not needing to use up cash savings for the daily necessities will stretch out your options looking for a new job.

            Let’s consider some of the least interesting survival items many overlook after being drawn into the latest fancy gizmo!

            The lowly Tarp. :unsure:

            Boring?

            Yes, but it can cover a damaged roof preventing more damage and the dreaded black mold.

            It can be used to build a shelter, provide a wind break, and enclose a carport. The uses are endless.

            How about nails, screws, and other assorted hardware. Bought in bulk from wholesalers will save some money, but I have even bought multiple 5 gallon buckets at yard sales for pennies on the dollar. You can’t build things or repairs things without it.

            Know any building contractors?

            I have lots of assorted plywood, lumber, blocks, etc…collected from roll off debris bins at various job sites (get permission).

            Tools?

            Power tools are great, but don’t overlook quality hand tools as well.

            I have also picked up axes, shovels, hoes, etc…dirt cheap with broken handles, replace with quality handles or even make your own!

            Bicycles?

            Get/keep in shape and have emergency transportation. Get/build a cargo trailer for added training challenge and ability to move stuff. Many people buy great bikes as a New Years resolution that fails. Again pennies on the dollar value.

            Think outside the box!

          • #140894
            wheelsee
            Participant

              Medications – VERY few medications today actually expire (worthless) on the date listed. More information here – https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/drug-expiration-dates-do-they-mean-anything

              OTC (over the counter) meds
              Acetaminophen (Tylenol) – pain medicine; max dose 4 g daily. Even liver patients (except severe) can tolerate up to 2 g daily (according to my facility liver transplant/specialists)

              NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, etc) – we’re learning caution with these. Use as labeled. About 16k die each year from GI bleeds linked to NSAIDS

              Try to buy individual meds versus combinations. This allows you to take just what is needed versus a bunch of stuff (read side effects) you don’t.

              Prescription- fill for 30-day (versus 90). Most pharmacies will allow 3-5 day early fill. Keep doing this (early). At the end of the year, you’ll have a 33-55 day buffer. Always place the new at the back (like stocking your pantry or grocery store). Keep on track and can easily build a 90-180 (3-6 month) buffer. Yes, this will take a couple of years but then it’s there.

            • #140900
              Robert Henry
              Participant

                As Joe said planning for general scenario is most important.

                Bio attack, zombies, economic collapse, illegal aliens from outer space invasion- ALL of these and every scenario has what in common?

                You are going to need to eat, every day or pretty damn close to that.

                You are going to need clean water to drink.

                You are going to need some sort of shelter wherever you are.

                You are going to need all this for ALL your dependents not just the older ones toting guns.

                You are going to need to be 100% self reliant as far as medical issues goes.

                Just starting with these should give anybody a lot to think about/plan for.

                www.jrhenterprises.com

                Lost my MVT class list- been here a time or two :)
                Team Coyote. Rifleman Challenge- Vanguard

              • #141139
                Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                Moderator

                  If anyone has specific preparedness questions please ask!

                  Between myself, Robert, and a few others here, we can answer anything from Nuclear War to how many calories you should plan on “Post-Event.”

                  From on a strict meager budget to high end money’s almost no object.

                • #141149
                  farmer
                  Participant

                    The “how many calories you should plan on” is an interesting topic. Is the average caloric needs still around 2K?

                    What is the minimum needed to sustain basic life? It would probably depend on what kind of “event”. Let’s assume a “Financial/economic collapse”.

                  • #141150
                    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                    Moderator

                      Is the average caloric needs still around 2K?

                      Well the classic “it depends” applies.

                      Here are some links, feel free to ask more questions either here or in the listed links.

                      Calorie use Post Event

                      MRE’s

                      Calories and the daily consumption

                      Cumulative Effects of Physical Exertion: Knowing your Limitations

                      Winter Warfare

                    • #141159
                      farmer
                      Participant

                        Thanks Joe. I started looking at the ” Calorie use Post event “, & quickly realized my food stores are woefully short. I was thinking 1-2 cans of 18 ounce soup daily would be enough, but it only adds up to about 500 calories, +/-.
                        And they wouldn’t last a month.

                        Which brings up expiration dates. I’m sure there is a fudge factor built into them. Anyone got an idea of how much fudge is in them? Being stored in a house, in the common living areas.

                      • #141162
                        First Sergeant
                        Moderator

                          Thanks Joe. I started looking at the ” Calorie use Post event “, & quickly realized my food stores are woefully short. I was thinking 1-2 cans of 18 ounce soup daily would be enough, but it only adds up to about 500 calories, +/-.
                          And they wouldn’t last a month.

                          Which brings up expiration dates. I’m sure there is a fudge factor built into them. Anyone got an idea of how much fudge is in them? Being stored in a house, in the common living areas.

                          Canned goods will last long past their expiration dates if stored in a cool dry space. As with everything else it will depend on each can. Watch for bulges in the cans if that happens, toss it. When you open it and it doesn’t smell right, toss it. I have eaten canned vegetables, soups and stews that were a couple of years past there expiration dates.

                          One other thing to consider, we all have to eat. That leads to other bodily functions. How much toilet paper do you have on hand? Trust me, running out of it and having to use other measures is a very shitty situation. Pun very much intended.

                          Hygiene products for you or your SO? Soap, toothpaste and feminine products are something that you have to consider also.

                          FILO
                          Signal Out, Can You Identify
                          Je ne regrette rien
                          In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

                        • #141164
                          Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                          Moderator

                            Which brings up expiration dates.

                            Just don’t want people to throw out storage food that is all likelihood still perfectly good just because they read some chart somewhere.

                            Agreed!

                            In a post event situation, I’ll be going by the “Look, Smell, Taste, and finally Eat rule.”

                            The oldest “old school” canned product I’ve eaten was a can of WWI Shortbread that was 76 years old with no ill affects. Taste was surprisingly neutral, not great but ok.

                            In 2012 I ate a can of Busch’s baked beans that had an expiration date of 2003, it was fine but had to be stirred a lot since it had separated into layers of of different components. Tasted fine.

                            I currently have a can of refried beans that expired in 1987, I plan on waiting to 2017 to sample that.

                            Obviously this is not for everyone and must carefully follow the “Look, Smell, Taste, and finally Eat rule,” but clearly demonstrates the a arbitrary date based more on liability than any science is not the final word.

                            Know what to look for and understand there are risks.

                            …the bowel issue is more like a clogged drain.

                            I recommend everyone have meds for both constipation and diarrhea with them. Also find out what natural remedies are available in your AO since like everything else, eventually you will run out.

                            I currently have a can of refried beans that expired in 1987, I plan on waiting to 2017 to sample that.

                            So back in 2017 this Taco bell brand can of refried beans I followed the “Look, Smell, Taste, and finally Eat rule.”

                            It passed and I safely consumed this 30 year past expiration date can of refried beans.

                            Note: MRE expiration dates are based on Palatability. They are safe to eat beyond what most could stand to consume.

                          • #141165
                            Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                            Moderator

                              Watch for bulges in the cans if that happens, toss it. When you open it and it doesn’t smell right, toss it.

                              :good:

                            • #141166
                              farmer
                              Participant

                                :good:

                                Leaping over to medical, specifically antibiotics that can be purchased over the counter. I have seen some YouTube videos on “fish Antibiotics” being similar to what is used for humans.

                                Fact /fiction? Little bit of both? If it is compatible, how much/type do you give someone for say a gunshot/ knife wound?

                                I know- it depends. Any reputable books for “bush doctoring”?

                              • #141168
                                Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                Moderator

                                  The following are some PDF’s that should be useful.

                                  Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook is a must have IMHO.

                                  Link to the 1 June 2001 edition in PDF.

                                  The newest version (11 December 2012) is difficult to find online, but is available from the Government Printing Office for $59.00 looseleaf binder format, $9.99 for E-book, and $6.25 for a CD-ROM.

                                  2d edition. A comprehensive reference designed for medics in the field, it is also a must-have reference for any military or emergency response medical personnel, particularly in hostile environments. Developed as a primary medical information resource and field guide for the Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

                                  Defines the standard of health care delivery under adverse and general field conditions. Organized according to symptoms, organ systems, specialty areas, operational environments and procedures. Emphasizes acute care in all its forms (including gynecology, general medicine, dentistry, poisonings, infestations, parasitic infections, acute infections, hyper and hypothermia, high altitude, aerospace, dive medicine, and sanitation.)

                                  Printed on tear-resistant, water-resistant, synthetic paper. A 5.25 inch by 8.5 inch quick-reference guide with a three hole punched ring binding.

                                  I believe the $59.00 format is worth the price, but if you are not familiar with this check out the free 2001 PDF to get a feel for them. The 2012 2nd edition is of course updated much of it from the latest GWOT experience.

                                  Emergency War Surgery is available in MOBI/EPUB/PDF at this link. This is an excellent resource.

                                  Note: [ERRATUM: Please note that Table 31-1 on p. 451 has an error. Hourly volume for children up to 10 kg should be 4 mL/kg, not 10 mL/kg. This has been corrected on the PDF version.]

                                  Hesperian Health Guides publishes many useful books and is most known for “Where There Is No Doctor” and “Where There Is No Dentist.” The “A Book for Midwives” is definitely worth having.
                                  To take advantage of the Free PDF’s each chapter is a separate PDF, not ideal but free. Of course they can be purchased from many sources.

                                  Beware of the very early versions (pre 2000) as they truly outdated.

                                  Dental Readiness

                                • #141171
                                  farmer
                                  Participant

                                    :good:

                                  • #141172
                                    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                    Moderator
                                    • #141209
                                      JC
                                      Participant

                                        As noted in many cases canned food is safe to eat well past its “best use date”. It is usually not a safety issue, but a nutritional issue. In general, the older canned food becomes, the more the nutritional value of the contents degrades. I don’t believe there is a good way to quantify it since each food item will have different nutritional values to begin with, and the rate / severity of the nutritional degradation will be highly specific given the food item and conditions of storage.

                                        Given that, you should develop a rotational plan to try to insure the best grade of food is available during the worst of times.

                                      • #141218
                                        trailman
                                        Participant

                                          The “how many calories you should plan on” is an interesting topic. Is the average caloric needs still around 2K?

                                          What is the minimum needed to sustain basic life? It would probably depend on what kind of “event”. Let’s assume a “Financial/economic collapse”.

                                          Here’s some food for thought “Farmer”. I have an old British series on DVD called Tales from the Green Valley. Historians and archaeologists ran a 16th century Manor farm for one agricultural year. Consider this total SHTF. I remember somewhere in there they said the average person was consuming 4000-6000 calories a day due to the amount of manual labor and work involved from day to day.

                                          Another example closer to real life. I wear a Garmin watch for running and hiking. I did a 5.7 mile hike on the AT yesterday with a light pack and the dog, ~1000 elevation climb at a steady pace. My Garmin said I burned 858 calories in 3 hours, YMMV. Somewhere around 1500-2000 calories is supposed to be your sedentary burn rate.

                                        • #141231
                                          Robert Henry
                                          Participant

                                            :good:

                                            Leaping over to medical, specifically antibiotics that can be purchased over the counter. I have seen some YouTube videos on “fish Antibiotics” being similar to what is used for humans.

                                            Fact /fiction? Little bit of both? If it is compatible, how much/type do you give someone for say a gunshot/ knife wound?

                                            I know- it depends. Any reputable books for “bush doctoring”?

                                            Kraftdrug.com

                                            My “fish” get sinus infections a couple times a year, the Doxycycline is the same exact pill my doc got me and my “fish’s” infection cleared up nicely.

                                            www.jrhenterprises.com

                                            Lost my MVT class list- been here a time or two :)
                                            Team Coyote. Rifleman Challenge- Vanguard

                                          • #141232
                                            SeanT
                                            Keymaster

                                              :good:

                                              Leaping over to medical, specifically antibiotics that can be purchased over the counter. I have seen some YouTube videos on “fish Antibiotics” being similar to what is used for humans.

                                              I buy Amoxicillin, Ciprofloxicin, and cephalexin from here:
                                              Vet Supply

                                            • #141233
                                              Robert Henry
                                              Participant

                                                13 X your body weight = your caloric intake if not doing a lot.

                                                185 X 13= 2,400 calories a day for me to maintain.

                                                Now the reality of it is that survival is WORK and contrary to the prepper idea that we will just be “sitting around playing Yahtzee”, there is a TON of work to do daily for survival, most especially if you don’t have systems in place already, defenses in place already, etc.

                                                IME most people do not take food storage seriously enough. If people STARTED (key word) with a basic year supply of grains they would easily have an “anti starvation” diet wherein if they did nothing else, could last them a year or so (1 person).

                                                This could be as simple as
                                                300 lbs. long grain white rice
                                                100 lbs. various legumes
                                                100 lbs. Hard Red wheat
                                                20 lbs. oatmeal/quick oats
                                                50 lbs. salt
                                                50 lbs. sugar
                                                2 gallons oil
                                                A year’s worth of multivitamins.

                                                Sourced locally, packed yourself this usually ends up not being a helluva lot more expense than a case of ammo.

                                                Add to it as you can to round it out (fruit and veg, FD meats, etc).

                                                We lived off of basics like this for a couple years along with fruits/veg grown here plus rabbits and chickens we raised, occasional deer I dropped, etc. Our “grocery” bills averaged $15. a week or less for some time while we were getting out of debt.

                                                That’s the other plus no one mentions when they discuss food storage- job and income loss. I had one idjit tell me “no one is ever out of a job for more than 2 weeks” online one time. This was about six months before the 2007’ish economic crash and not long after you were regularly hearing stories of people out of work for six months or more. That is food insurance and then money you do not have to spend when your income shrinks simply because you planned ahead.

                                                www.jrhenterprises.com

                                                Lost my MVT class list- been here a time or two :)
                                                Team Coyote. Rifleman Challenge- Vanguard

                                              • #141251
                                                Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                                Moderator

                                                  Something as basic as unemployment is a shtf scenario and not needing to use up cash savings for the daily necessities will stretch out your options looking for a new job.

                                                  That’s the other plus no one mentions when they discuss food storage- job and income loss. I had one idjit tell me “no one is ever out of a job for more than 2 weeks” online one time. This was about six months before the 2007’ish economic crash and not long after you were regularly hearing stories of people out of work for six months or more. That is food insurance and then money you do not have to spend when your income shrinks simply because you planned ahead.

                                                  See a trend here?

                                                  This is a major difference from the flash in the pan of the “Doom and Gloomers” and someone living a preparedness lifestyle!

                                                  Some of us have been at this for decades and our preparations are as common as basic grocery shopping is to the unprepared. This isn’t about the latest “the end is near” fad.

                                                  Yes it is a daunting task to those who don’t know better, but giving some time it just makes sense.

                                                  Now the reality of it is that survival is WORK and contrary to the prepper idea that we will just be “sitting around playing Yahtzee”, there is a TON of work to do daily for survival, most especially if you don’t have systems in place already, defenses in place already, etc.

                                                  On my last trip to Afghanistan I found myself eating more along the lines of a teenager rather than someone approaching military retirement.

                                                  Consider my Afghanistan example I was “eating more along the lines of a teenager rather than someone approaching military retirement.”

                                                  Remember I wasn’t some Grunt or Super Commando! Yes I spent plenty of time outside the wire and worked ridiculous long hours, but even I had problems maintaining my weight.

                                                  So without some serious research you will probably not have as much as you think.

                                                • #141263
                                                  farmer
                                                  Participant

                                                    Trailman, thanks for that link. That’s pretty cool. Working my way thru it.

                                                    Next thought going thru my dirty mind:

                                                    Homemade soap, shampoo, cleaning solutions.

                                                    Has/does any member made their own? Steep learning curve? Likes/dislikes? Experience a bad recipe?

                                                    If you made your own, but went back to store bought, why?

                                                  • #141302
                                                    Robert Henry
                                                    Participant

                                                      We have had the best luck with Ivory soap in storage. It’s cheap as hell. The bars tend to be a little wet still when purchased new but will dry out over time. The paper packaging tends to go to hell after 6-8 years in high heat. You can take a knife and “shave” the remaining paper off that sticks to the soap and the soap is totally fine to use.

                                                      We made soap a couple times. Lots of time, lots of energy involved. You may not have that….

                                                      And it was a lot more involved than trickling rain water through ashes and then mixing in fat. That made nothing but a mess!

                                                      For those that travel regularly, saving hotel soaps and shampoos is a good cheap way to put back some of this stuff- you did pay for them as part of your room rental.

                                                      When we worked with a homeless mission we used to make up little packages with a wash cloth, a bar of Ivory and a new razor with a rubber band holding them together.

                                                      For the guys, keeping the hair short will help with shampoo needs. My wife jokes about going Mad Max/dreds with her hair in the pockey’lips because of the longer hair/need for shampoo deal- hopefully she’s just kidding :)

                                                      www.jrhenterprises.com

                                                      Lost my MVT class list- been here a time or two :)
                                                      Team Coyote. Rifleman Challenge- Vanguard

                                                    • #141305
                                                      trailman
                                                      Participant

                                                        Trailman, thanks for that link. That’s pretty cool. Working my way thru it.

                                                        Next thought going thru my dirty mind:

                                                        Homemade soap, shampoo, cleaning solutions.

                                                        Has/does any member made their own? Steep learning curve? Likes/dislikes? Experience a bad recipe?

                                                        If you made your own, but went back to store bought, why?

                                                        ]

                                                        I’ll second RH. FWIW make soap once with lye or the wood ash method to learn the skill. See how it works. Then stock soap. You can get gallons of liquid castile soap and store it, good for lots of stuff. On the soap making, in SHTF what will you do with chemical burns to your eyes if you get a lye splatter in them.

                                                        On Hair, lol. Cut it or go without soap as in the old days, takes about three weeks for your natural oils to balance out. IF you wash just wash with clean water. Women would brush their hair clean.

                                                      • #141306
                                                        trailman
                                                        Participant

                                                          Just want to say I’m really enjoying this thread. Post divorce last year in many ways I’m starting over again, with, no one to answer to :good: . All my stuff is scattered six ways since Sunday and this is really juicing me to get back into gear.

                                                        • #141358
                                                          Hessian
                                                          Participant

                                                            As far as caloric needs in SHTF situation…. I would visit https://tdeecalculator.net/ Its very useful for figuring out what your caloric needs would be as an “athlete”. I would use that as the minimum….

                                                            nixtamalization – is a very useful process that can help with people who have gluten issues and corn can be had for cheap.

                                                          • #141440
                                                            SeanT
                                                            Keymaster

                                                              Trailman, thanks for that link. That’s pretty cool. Working my way thru it.

                                                              Next thought going thru my dirty mind:

                                                              Homemade soap, shampoo, cleaning solutions.

                                                              Has/does any member made their own? Steep learning curve? Likes/dislikes? Experience a bad recipe?

                                                              If you made your own, but went back to store bought, why?

                                                              ]

                                                              I’ll second RH. FWIW make soap once with lye or the wood ash method to learn the skill. See how it works. Then stock soap. You can get gallons of liquid castile soap and store it, good for lots of stuff. On the soap making, in SHTF what will you do with chemical burns to your eyes if you get a lye splatter in them.

                                                              On Hair, lol. Cut it or go without soap as in the old days, takes about three weeks for your natural oils to balance out. IF you wash just wash with clean water. Women would brush their hair clean.

                                                              I have made Lye soap from home made wood ash Lye… it is not easy and the finished product takes weeks to saponify. I do like Robert, stock Ivory soap. Interesting fact on that stuff, the reason it floats is that they whip air into it to increase volume… which is also why the bars seem to not last very long.
                                                              coconut oil/lye soap makes an awesome lather for shaving but too much work if you can avoid it by buying mass produced stuff.

                                                            • #141444
                                                              Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                                              Moderator

                                                                With this look at soap, consider this Thread Survival Mindset isn’t just for the “Event”

                                                                Part of the “mindset” is making things last longer, the thought that a particular item maybe the last you see of it without making it yourself.

                                                                For example:

                                                                Liquid soaps and shampoos. Get some of the foaming dispensers, but do not buy the foaming refills. If you take regular liquid soap refills and fill foaming dispenser halfway with standard liquid then top off with water you will double the life of product and cut cost in half. (you can dilute even more to find what is acceptable to you)

                                                                Note: Most foaming soap refills cost the same as regular refills for a given size.

                                                                This option is applicable for shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, dish soap, etc…

                                                                Additionally have some reference material to teach soap making; even if you don’t try it know, because it doesn’t matter how much you store some day you will run out if event lasts long enough.

                                                              • #141445
                                                                Spencer
                                                                Participant

                                                                  My wife has been making and selling soap online and at farmer’s markets for the last five years. SeanT is right, saponification takes between 5-6 weeks for the soap to get hard enough to last and not turn into mush if you try to use it too soon.

                                                                  There’s no doubt that the home made stuff is far healthier than store-bought commercial soap like Dove, Irish Spring, etc. One big difference is that the store bought soaps extract the glycerine which they then turn into lotion and sell it to you to counter-act the dry skin that their soap produces. But, price-wise, it’s far too expensive to stock up on hand-made soap in bulk.

                                                                  One other comment concerning hair. Since I’ve began using this soap, for the last several years I haven’t used shampoo, i just use the soap and it works fine. Probably better on shorter hair, but maybe because of leaving the glycerine in, it doesn’t make the hair feel stiff at all like you would expect.

                                                                  If you’re interested though, you can check out my wife’s soap at: http://SingAlongSoap.com

                                                                  She’s got a YouTube channel by the same name where I’m playing some of the tunes that the soaps are named after.

                                                                  But for long term storage, I think the commercial brands make more sense all around.

                                                                  DCH 10/2019
                                                                  H.E.A.T. 1 12/2019

                                                                • #141885
                                                                  DiznNC
                                                                  Participant

                                                                    You know, to back up a little bit, I think if you are targeting folks just starting out in this stuff, or contemplating it, I think you have to talk about a mindset shift. You can do some preps on the side for a hurricane, or whatever, but I would submit that a self-sufficient lifestyle is just a better all-around way of living, period, end of story.

                                                                    So for me, it’s about making a mindset shift, to decide that you are done depending on society’s infrastructure to ensure your health, wealth, and safety. I think by now it’s pretty friggin’ obvious what a house of cards this all is. It takes nothing at all for panic to set in, and shelves to get emptied. So instead of just reacting to whatever the latest crisis is, why not live your life as self-sufficiently as possible, and not even notice it.

                                                                    This seems obvious to most of us, but for all those folks that grew up totally dependent on others, this is a huge shift in thinking. For some just too much to get around.

                                                                    So for me, I would say the first step in getting into this stuff is to flush out your head gear and get your mind right. Start educating yourself on how folks used to live in your area. Find out what tools and skills you need. Get books on this stuff. Yes, books. Talk to the old folks, before they all die out. My grandparents went through a depression. They knew all about this stuff. Do the research. Find out what it takes to sustain a homestead.

                                                                    You know it’s funny, I was probably one of the first generations to get hooked on watching TV. Now you can’t go anywhere without some kind of screen, 24/7. I would suggest that we all get off this stuff, as much as possible. I can’t even watch TV anymore because it has been contaminated with so much political correctness. So I am getting into short wave at night. Just like the folks in the old days.

                                                                    So yeah I think there is a lot to be said, for turning the clock back, before the info age, or perhaps even the industrial age. Perhaps they didn’t have all this new age goodness, but by God, they could take care of themselves. Maybe that’s the trade off that has to be made. I might put me tin hat on for a moment and say this was done on purpose, to make us more dependent on a large, central government. But regardless, this is the sit, and it has to change.

                                                                  • #141894
                                                                    Anonymous
                                                                    Inactive

                                                                      Just my experience living in a SHTF/Boog situation, though we did have logistics to bring in basics:

                                                                      I was about 200 pounds when I went over, I was 180 when I came back, everybody told me I looked like hell. I don’t know anyone who didn’t lose a lot of fat and muscle over there. Between a lack of protein, PT, and operations you weren’t going to get ripped over there. Half of the reason I wanted to go back was to lose the 50 pounds I’ve gained since I got home. :-(

                                                                      Get used to being hungry, I was usually a little bit hungry. In modern America we have this notion of instant gratification with food, over there I learned to live with food as something I need to survive, whether I found it amazing and delicious or not.

                                                                      Handmade soaps are nice, they also take a little more work to lather.

                                                                      Get used to being creative with ingredients to beat repetition – ex. we’d take instant ramen noodles and mix in peppers for seasoning, then use the ramen seasoning packets for the boiled chicken we’d get in. I wouldn’t go around taking stuff from people’s abandoned houses unless I knew it was explicitly an ISIS house but I’m also not above grabbing food or seasonings. (Obviously after the place is has been cleared of IEDs and you know how to look for any the clearing team might have missed.) One of my best finds during the Battle of Tabqa was just a jar of honey. (Side note: if your honey crystallizes, just reheat it and it’ll melt down, honey doesn’t really expire and is also a decent antiseptic.)

                                                                      We had logistics to send us naan, but you can make a basic flatbread quite easily. If you can make it thin enough that it doesn’t taste doughy and add a tinge more salt this is actually quite similar to naan in Iraq and Syria. Still need to take a jab at making my own kebab.

                                                                      How to Make Emergency Survival Bread

                                                                      If you have fresh eggs you can actually store them without refrigeration, which I didn’t know beforehand. Eggs, “cheese” triangles, and canned “mortadella” were the only animal protein we regularly had, beyond that maybe some chicken or a sheep once a week (which we’d have to share with 20 guys), though we got fed better during operations. That was considering we had logistics, which we probably won’t here since nobody is organized. :wacko:

                                                                      Having some junk food as a morale booster is stupid but it works, pretty certain Baghdad Bottling Company doesn’t have a secret ingredient in their Pepsi but it damn sure felt like it.

                                                                      I’m sure everyone knows they should learn to grow their own food. I now know how to grow peppers, tomatoes, mint, and lettuce, also started some pawpaw trees from seed since I got back though I need to find somewhere to plant them. Also just started composting like two months ago.

                                                                      Learn how to cook weird food, I’ve figured out I’m pretty decent at cooking rabbit and sardines if I can’t get chicken or salmon, and that’s just random stuff from “ethnic” grocery stores I’ve bought since I got back. (I’d love to learn how to hunt but I’m a city kid with no friends that do hunt.)

                                                                      A small folding solar panel you can carry in a backpack can be used to charge electronics. You will eventually get bored. Bootleg movie nights on a tablet or our TV (when we had a generator) with the guys are some of my warmest memories of the war. I also saw some folks had rigged LED lights and whatnot up to car batteries to get at least one room lit in ISIS areas where the power had been cut.

                                                                      Boiling water usually seemed to work for me if our only options were what was left in the water tank on the roof (just mentioning that gave me flashbacks of dragging around water tanks and jerry-rigged piping), I only got really sick once in Raqqa with some kind of fever that subsided after a few days (other guys had to go to the hospital for typhoid), after that it was a bad kebab from Hasakeh that messed up my insides my last few weeks before I headed home.

                                                                      Probably would be better to know how to if I didn’t have toilet paper but I never embraced using my left hand to wipe my behind. I do know how to squat out in a field and bury my poo after living in a house with no toilet for four months.

                                                                      Depending on your area it might be more comfortable to sleep on the roof in the summer in a world without air conditioning. Get a mosquito net and thank God you don’t have to deal with sand flies like other parts of the world do.

                                                                      If I had the space I’d want the basic foodstuffs Joe outlined, also a diesel generator and a basic propane oven for when the gas and electric gets cut off. Just because it’s a boog doesn’t mean there won’t be access to fuels somehow, we didn’t charge into Raqqa on camelback.

                                                                      It sounds really rough but honestly after the first month or two it’ll feel almost as normal as your life right now.

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