Bell tent’s for Emergency accommodation


The military use two broad categories when going into a camp ,offensive and defensive:

  1. Defensive- usually in trenches and dugouts, and offensive is characterized by mobility and concealment. The military will use large tents and bunks when they are camped for a long stay – and defend these with sand bags.
  2. Offensive – when on the move, they use small tarps and ground sheets, because these are lighter and can be setup when and where they are needed.

Bell tents are, in my opinion, one of the best long term tents for emergency accommodation, and long term stays for defensive situations.

So, what this means is when I go camping, I class my equipment into two broad categories,

  1. Ultra-light, hiking, bug-out, and “escape and evasion” style gear with low comfort and high mobility and concealment with a small foot print
  2. Heavy weight, base camp, Car camping, homesteading type gear with higher comfort and lower mobility, mostly when camping with the family.

A bell tent very much forms part of the second category, due to weight and how long it takes to put up and take down (which doesn’t take very long, but still is not super quick)

Bell tents withstand Wind which is very important in New Zealand , as wind is very strong here for a large amount of the year. also because we have many earthquakes, if my primary residence is damaged to the point it is no longer safe to live in, a large long term camping tent is a good idea.

Bell tents are quite heavy as they are usually made in canvas or a blend of canvas and polypropylene, and canvas is a great material for long term camping, as its way stronger then other materials and breathes well while staying waterproof.

Canvas is much nicer to stay in, long-term, as its also more soundproof and sun-proof than many other fabrics.

So why not add a long term shelter to you plans? I picked one up for $350 on a fluke 50% off special at the local camping store, they usually go for $700.

History channel alone season 6


Here is what I would take if I were invited :

Let’s hope they open it to international people, I’d go in a heart beat,

here are the 10 items I would take – depending on the location

1. Sleep bag -15 centigrade depends On location and season

2. Kukri – Smith and Wesson outback bush hog – its what I have,  don’t judge

3. Ferro-rod, of course.

4. Thick Wire, 16 gauge high carbon steel/ high tensile steel ( about 88m of it in the allowed 3.5lbs /1.6kg’s ) for trapping making hooks, nails, springs for traps and other stuff.

5. Hammock – large double net type Home-made from para-cord if they would allow it, it is a hidden source of cordage.

6. Rations -2.2 kg /5lb’s of Biltong as I’m a South African – but considering Pemmican as it has more calories

7. Multi-tool – Leatherman Rebar

8. Dutch oven Pot and lid – 2quarts/ 1.9 liters

9. Saw- large cross cut bow saw

10. Cold steel Spetznaz spade

So one thing you will probably notice is no axe, the saw should do the big work and the Kukri is perfect for battening wood to split, the leatherman will do the rest and it’s got more than one blade and a file to sharpen tools with.

The pot lid is also a good shallow pan.

The pot is nearly indestructible.

the ferro-rod is a no-brainer- ( updated might just got with the  Trench lighters i have recently discovered )

The hammock can be used as a hammock, but can also provide loads of cordage if required, and isn’t bad to sleep in, I can use parts of it to catch birds and fish with if i break it down and re-weave some of the strands.

The wire is good for snares and for making traps, making nails and tying things up. Improvising hooks with cord from the hammock for fishing, arrow points and fishing Spear points, I’d go with a high carbon steel – thats soft annealed, so it can be fire hardened by quenching to make springs if needed. and even forge small items if needed.

The spade is good in managing fire and for splitting wood, digging scat holes, digging for bait, digging turf in grasslands for walls and fire pits  and digging out traps elsewhere .

The Kukri, I just prefer them over smaller axes.

first thing i would do is scout the area … and find the best spot possible.. that why I would take the rations, setup a temporary shelter each day and move around till I found evidence of game and the best fishing / hunting spots.

Then I would first build a simple drag travois https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travois, To carry all the gear and move it to the best area … somewhere not so close to the water and further up cause it’s generally warmer,  and has less bugs .

Then assess from there

I’d build more than one “lodge” if possible and move between them as trapping and fishing allowed, and food stocks dwindled.

I would essentially try to be nomadic.

again this is all dependent on the area, climate and season. 😉

 

New Dutch oven


Hey guys

Just got my new Dutch oven … can’t wait to break it in , it weighs about 3 kgs and hold about 1,8L of liquid , perfect for a small family of 4 ,

its much lighter than my older potjie, but its also way smaller in volume. Its  nice to have both but this one is much more … mobile .

Its got a great handle that stands on its own, and has a spring around so that it doesn’t burn your hand. but lacks the three feet and the round bottom of a traditional potjie pot.

It has a lid that can hold coals , and be flipped over and used as a pan, as it is slightly domed.

all in I’m very happy with the purchase .

it was about $30 US  including delivery.

Anyway here is a pic

Boat bug out


I have long contemplated using a boat as a bug out transport vehicle , as i now live near the ocean, this is a real option.

this should really read, “using a boat as a bug out location for the short term”

Boats have some obvious advantages:

  • They can generally hold quite a bit of gear, large boats can carry very heavy loads
  • They may move slowly but they have no need to go off road,
  • water covers a large amount of the earth and often contains a large amount of wild life that can be harvested,
  • They can be powered by the wind
  • They don’t require much technology, but can be enhanced with it
  • Repairs to small craft are not difficult,
  • They can be very quiet,
  • They have good ranges,
  • can use steam engines, Stirling engines, and low grade fuels.
  • navigation by sun and stars is well established and can be revived.

and some disadvantages:

  • Affected by weather,
  • Slow, when wind powered,
  • Obvious at a range,
  • Can be expensive to buy and maintain,
  • Relatively easy targets for Pirates
  • Limited to coastal areas,
  • a home port, with resupply is still required,
  • not all vessels are created equal – size and crew have a big baring on range,

The most important crop you can grow


If I were to ask you what the most important crop you can grow is. what would your answer be?

Some might say maze, but maze doesn’t produce much and is quite difficult to grow  in small spaces, if you have a few hectares of land maze isn’t a bad option. It is portable and requires very little preparation to eat, and is very dense,and who can forget the smell of fresh salted popcorn? they need good soil and need a full season to grow properly.
Continue reading The most important crop you can grow

DBEIF D2016 Survival Mobile Phone


UPDATE : Please note this only works on a 2G network – which means it wont be able to work for long anymore

the Dual Flashlight, FM, Dual Sim, Power Bank, TV, Mobile Phone everyone should have in there bug out Gear,

I don’t really often do gear reviews but this one stands out for me as an epic buy for your bug out bag, get home bag, or earth quake pack ,

Firstly it replaces 5 main items in your bag.

Its a torch — with a pretty long battery life,

an FM radio, we should always have one of those in a disaster ,, and having this in one package makes it lighter and takes up less space. i dont think you should completely remove a spare from the pack but its way better then using a cell phone and has a separate button for turning it on and off,, way awesome

its water resistant and impact resistant, and that equals heavy.. not a bad thing.

,It has a removable  battery , so a spare can be carried, epic…
Continue reading DBEIF D2016 Survival Mobile Phone

Thinking about building some Tracks for my Car


When speaking with some of my friends from the 4×4 community, they were rather scathing of my choice of off road vehicle.

I have a 2001 RAV4 4WD as my hunting/general day to day car.
and apparently this isn’t very good in “real off-road” bashing

car

But, the thing is ..
I already own it.
Its paid off.
its in great condition and has done low mileage.
They are common as dirt and parts are still easy to get and cheap.
Its lighter on fuel than many others.

some down sides
no diff lock, only limited slip EBD/abs
not great ground clearance.
Tyres are more for road then off road as its in use mostly on road
Continue reading Thinking about building some Tracks for my Car

Surveillance of a homestead


Ultimately surveillance is about using ears and eyes to gather information about a possible enemy and your surroundings, to get forewarning, to give you the largest tactical advantage, to plan an ambush or evacuate with as much warning as possible.

Extending coverage of these senses gives a longer warning, and more time for reacting to, or preparing for, a security threat.

In a scenario where our security is left up to ourselves (Without rule of law or WROL) we need to find

Continue reading Surveillance of a homestead

Nuclear War and Pandemic Survival tips


First off

get a Gieger counter NOW …. you can get cheap ones that will do well enough that plug into the audio jack of a cell phone  .. and cost under $35.

Decide whether you will  bug in and convert a basement room into a bunker, or setup a bug out fall out shelter far from your home either way Continue reading Nuclear War and Pandemic Survival tips

Are You Obsessed with Bug Out?


Do you have 5 bug out bags and keeps of bug out vehicles?

Ever wonder why you felt the need to do this?

I found one reason the other day …
the training manual for Nuclear survival from FEMA suggests that you should have them.

The main reason would be that, in case of nuclear war, you would need to move out of the cities to build a fall out shelter to survive, as Rural areas were less lightly to be bombed.

This seams to drive a lot of the arm chair warriors theory behind bug out.

Continue reading Are You Obsessed with Bug Out?

Lessons in First aid for Bullet Wounds during the past World Wars


Treating large Puncture wounds/shrapnel and bullet wounds  in the past was a rather difficult affair.

I went to the war museum the other day, and I paid careful attention to the past medical procedures, looking at how things were done in the past, because the more “low tech” you can go, the more sustainable your method will be.

what I noted was the following: Continue reading Lessons in First aid for Bullet Wounds during the past World Wars

Why you should buy a “Potjie Pot” or a three Legged Dutch Oven


Why should you buy a “Potjie Pot” or a three Legged Dutch Oven?

I finally had some time to put pen to paper ( or finger to keyboard lol ) and give a little info why you should get one.

these are heavy three-legged cast iron pots used in south africa to cook food …

here is why you should get one and have it as a Bug in tool : Continue reading Why you should buy a “Potjie Pot” or a three Legged Dutch Oven

Maps


One very important prep that is often overlooked are good area maps on Paper …. everyone should maintain a map and you would be wise to create an overlay made of clear plastic with a permanent marker and a dry wipe marker with notes on areas on interest .

the local military bases,

Food supply caches ,

hardware stores ,

and civil services in your area …

Create a map using https://inkatlas.com and print it out — preferably in no more then 1:50000 resolution

 

Update: Inkatlas is no longer doing free maps like they used too ; ( but its still a great service and not too expensive

 

 

Trapping and Fishing vs Hunting


The progression from hunter/gatherer, to formal agriculture is a major reason for man’s success,

Hunting, however, is a great start when agriculture fails.

Hunting is a great sport but ultimately trapping and fishing are going to feed a family a lot for longer and with much less effort, as they multiply the effort of a single person and could provide for a surplus of food for trade.

Trapping of birds is the simplest of affairs, and ,while rather cruel,can be done with fish hooks and bait,

or possibly nets, and other falling traps, even mouse traps.

Continue reading Trapping and Fishing vs Hunting

How good is an Air rifle for long term Survival?


Air rifles are often seen as weak, and not very effective hunting weapons, and  while the smaller caliber modern air rifles ( under .25 ) are not great against human targets, they have some merit.

Firstly I’m talking exclusively about single shot spring / gas piston guns.

Air rifle pellets are cheap and light.

Air rifles are relatively cheap – but a cheap .22 rifle is still cheaper, and a good powerful air rifle will be much more expensive.

Continue reading How good is an Air rifle for long term Survival?

Its time for an update on NZ


Hi Everyone

Its been ages since I found the time to Blog, so here goes.

Life here is very different to what I am used to, but not in a bad way.

Loads less crime, and first world problems, no loads shedding, but the cost of food is astronomical, compared to South Africa.

a meal at the Mac Donalds will set you back around R100 a head.

Essentially there are no big malls, but the city is like one big mall. a real change from JHB.

Continue reading Its time for an update on NZ

Bugged out


ho guys it’s been a while but it’s mainly cause I’ve bugged out … I’m sitting in New Zealand … A 10 year plan in the making … Family to follow in the next few weeks … Missing them excessively and ready for the whole new adventure … I’ll pop in from time to time but prepping here is a whole different ball game and I have much to learn .. When I get a chance I’ll write an article about the process of leaving my home behind for new pastures

Seed bombs


My first post for a long time.

Ive been very busy with many projects, tiling and loads of DIY at home and its also the Year end rush, at my day job, to get things done before year end , so I’ve been too busy to prep.

the general Idea with a seed bomb is to find all the open land in area’s around where you live and make an investment in your own survival, buy a bag of popcorn kernels, a bag of gem squash ( or a big pack of gem squash seed), a bag of broad beans ( or a big bag of Bean seeds), Continue reading Seed bombs

Solar cooking for SHTF


Hi all

I’m going to be building a solar cooker, it feels like a good idea.

I will never be able to grow enough wood or produce enough gas to boil water and cook food indefinitely, the solution is to use that for lighting and heating, and use the sun for cooking. Its good for stealth, because it doesn’t smoke, the sun is very strong here in southern Africa so it should work well…

I’m going to get an old DSTV dish and coat it with foil as the reflector. that setup with a potjie or dutch oven which is already black , and I already use quite often … should make cooking simple…

I will post picks here when done .. as always

Sorghum Millet- grains for guerrilla gardening


Sorghum Millet- grains for guerrilla gardening

Hi Everyone

As some of you know, I often advocate responsible guerrilla gardening,

guerrilla gardening is planting on land that isn’t really yours – crops that someone can eat, that are not obvious to all, that are edible …

my favorite for jhb is pearl millet — or sorghum – they are really cheap – R20 a bag for 200g from these guys

www.sproutingseeds.co.za/products-page/other-seeds/millet-seeds/

Straight from Wiki

Sorghum bicolor,native to Africa with many cultivated forms now, is an important crop worldwide, used for food (as grain and in sorghum syrup or “sorghum molasses”), fodder, the production of alcoholic beverages, and biofuels. Most varieties are drought- and heat-tolerant, and are especially important in arid regions, where the grain is one of the staples for poor and rural people. These varieties form important components of pastures in many tropical regions. Sorghum bicolor is an important food crop in Africa, Central America, and South Asia and is the “fifth most important cereal crop grown in the world”.

Sorghum grows really well here and can provide grains for bread and other things, and is not immediately recognizable to most of the population as food , so its a good back-up crop.

Plant the crop on open land and let it grow, and reseed itself . Obviously don’t choose invasive crops and be responsible.

 

 

Building techniques for a post modern culture


In my searches on the internet i often stumble across info that is new to me and might be useful to other in the prepping community

One of these such items is the catalan vault

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_vault 

 

the catalan vault is a really great idea and can be manufactured with limited resources, is very solid and can provide very stong buildings.

 http://architecture.mit.edu/class/guastavino/features/ramage/index-ramage.htm#

http://block.arch.ethz.ch/

the tiles used in the vault can be simple clay dried in the sun . and can be stuck together with a simple plaster –

http://www.notechmagazine.com/2011/12/sustainable-urban-dwelling-unit-sudu.html

 

check out some of these links for more info

 

 

 

Calcium carbide – and its uses


Calcium carbide can be produced by cooking Quick lime  and charcoal together at a very high temperature – approximately 2000 °C

CaO + 3 C → CaC2 + CO

It was invented in 1888, when wet with water it produces acetylene, that can be used for many purposes – even to run a  car, an engine or a generator, and provides a portable source of uncompressed gas for lighting and cooking.

it is hot enough to be used for welding with the hot flame it produces when mixing the gas with pure oxygen.

the process of producing Calcium carbide is of great interest to those prepping simply because it is sustainable, using very basic ingredients, and quite low technology.

 

you can get a hot enough flame to make this by using an arc welder with a carbon rod .

Air Rifles for survival


In the last few years in south Africa the law regarding Air rifles has changed , and they are no longer required to be licenced,

so long as they are under .22 calibre and ( I maybe wrong here ) under 9 foot pounds of muzzle energy.

so a nice powerful .177 calibre rifle is well within the reach of most people.

While this isn’t much good at protecting a household from anything , its a very effective weapon to hunt small animals and birds, and while it is illegal to hunt with an airgun, in South Africa, if the SHTF , they could be used to take pigeons, and other birds, rabbits, cats, and other smaller animals or scare off dogs, and other predators. Continue reading Air Rifles for survival

Green laser Pointers


Green laser pointers are excellent signalling devices and should be included in any emergency survival bag, they are light and can signal aircraft and even others on the ground much like a flare gun.

when combined with Morse code you would even be able to send messages to others simply by shining it upwards in the sky at night and coding out the message.
obviously everyone would be able to receive the message and would see where it was sent from, but this is not always a bad thing, and for messaging over a few kilometres, would be better then a flare gun with only a few flares ..

Old tech for a new use, the ww2 german army zeltbahn Poncho


Creating one of these is really easy and if done well, can replace poncho tents

Being a “grey man” is great but sometimes you also need camouflage.. the german army used these poncho’s to provide soldiers with rain protection and camouflage.. they can also be adapted to form tents and sheltars when used in groups

check out http://www.zeltbahn.net/

http://www.zeltbahn.net/tent.htm

Zelt31

a few notes on SHTF firearms


Hi all

Ive been reading the forums lately and have seen some posts on SHTF firearms that really make me smile.

One guy has 3 weapons and ammo along with a Kevlar vest… but only 3 days food, in his bug out bag.

this really doesn’t make sense to me

for bug out you are probably going to need to have as much food as possible, and if you are moving you wont get time to hunt,  so what would you do with all that ammo and that many guns?

the person in question said they have a shotgun , a pistol and a .22 rifle in semi auto.

without knowing the persons plans i am not able to say too much, but thats seams a little over kill for any situation  to the point that carrying all three will make you inefficient at combat or hunting in any case.

my 2 cents worth is simple — loose the long guns – if you are moving through urban areas .

take the shot gun if you are going short term in the wilderness.

and the .22 if you are going to stay long in the wilderness.

if you have ever served in the military you should know that carrying more then one weapon is going to be a pain , during my service I realized that the lighter the better, now I only carry a pistol, and would prefer a pistol caliber carbine over anything.

Pistols are not great weapons, but the reason I advocate this is simple, they are lighter, and you really need MUCH more food then you think and WATER is extremely heavy.

Officers use submachine guns rather then a rifle, most of the time, simply because it is lighter and has more compact ammo with good accuracy. leaving space for food and water, when resupply is uncertain.

rather have 15 days food and water and a pistol that you will probably not need then dehydrate.

bottom line is you cant eat shotgun shells.

Issues with 9mm casings —


Without really looking I reloaded 100 rounds on the week-end , at the range i had 6 casings where the primers fell out in the magazine . failing to allow the weapon to go into battery and messing powder everywhere.

I was lucky that nothing blew up …

I picked up the casings at the range and hadn’t properly checked them – but it looks like “durapoint” (or somthing like that) reload’s, in the orange box, has been reloading berdan primed casings with boxer primers .obviously drilling out the old primers anvils which works just fine with the primers they use, once … but when reloading the primer pockets are stretched.

My winchester primers seem a little small and they were falling out … while they felt fine and looked fine on the press.

Needless to say I ditched all the berdan primer casings from my brass stash and now will sort my range brass a little more closely.

Sod house


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sod_house

The sod house or “soddy”[1] was a corollary to the log cabin during frontier settlement of Canada and the United States. The prairie lacked standard building materials such as wood or stone; however, sod from thickly-rooted prairie grass was abundant.[2] Prairie grass had a much thicker, tougher root structure than modern landscaping grass.

Construction of a sod house involved cutting patches of sod in rectangles, often 2’×1’×6” (600×300×150 mm) long, and piling them into walls. Builders employed a variety of roofing methods. Sod houses accommodate normal doors and windows. The resulting structure was a well-insulated but damp dwelling that was very inexpensive. Sod houses required frequent maintenance and were vulnerable to rain damage. Stucco or wood panels often protected the outer walls. Canvas or plaster often lined the interior walls.

Sod houses can stop bullets and can be made for next to nothing …they may no last forever but can be made quickly and last for many years if done well…

sod houses require only hand tools to construct and would make a great bug out location temporary structure as most of Gauteng is covered with grass lands ..

my ideal bug out location would include a house of brick, sod or sandbags , in the form of a court yard house .. these are usually constructed with windows facing inwards and a central pond for fish and drinking water … with all roof run-off going into the pond in the middle … all windows face inwards and fruit tree’s are grown in the court yard providing shade and food.

the outer walls are at least 3 meters high and very thick – only very small windows set high on the wall would face outwards

– 2 sets of gates- with inner and outer gates. and a dry mote to stop vehicle rams, complete the setup .

below grounds storage and underground safe rooms – or bunkers provide a last line of defense .

obviously, inline with my other posts, a number of  lines of fences and trip flares .

My new pri-bar tomahawk project


image image Hi guys … Been very busy but just a quick note … Here is a glimpse of the chisel I’m turning into a pribar tomahawk … It’s also a hammer and a knife … Got the concept of the idea from red scorpion six Mohawk … Look it up on the web for more details .. any way Gtg bye … From my mobile i started off with a brick cutting cold chisel … its very tough .. and heavey … about 2 pounds or 1 kg when i began, it should take a good edge cause its a good quality steel… cost me R80 or about $8 US … and when im finished it should be a really good axe, pribar, knife, hammer and chisel combo. nice thing is its smaller and lighter then the tools described put together and much cheaper then the Mohawk

 

—–progress update—–

 

works really well … even without a handle attached .

still allittle left to do to make it look nicer .. got loads of filing to do and a little paint wont hurt but i cant wait till its done …

 

2013-12-27 10.45.46

Investing in silver and gold


In the case of localised economic disasters
Gold and silver are excellent ways to preserve your purchasing power, when the economy crashes your silver will still be worth something to someone and so even when the Rand slides against the dollar physical precious metals still hold value.

Paper money and coins with a face value can easily lose value when inflation hits and can be devalued by the central banks — silver and gold bars cannot be.

Coins like the Mandela coin are based not on the value of the metal but the value people are prepared to pay for the face value – this is highly inflated.
Continue reading Investing in silver and gold

Shooting challange


Shooting challenge — post you results in the comments if you like.

Went to the range yesterday and started my new training program

Drill – to learn to draw and change mags correctly.
Rounds – about 100
Action – load 2 round into your pistol and 2 rounds into each additional magazine ( minimum 1 normally 2)
Target – man-sized, stationary
Distance – 20 m / +-60 feet
Method – address target , draw, Fire 2 rounds, change mags, let slide loose, fire 2 rounds, change mags to empty mag, dry fire, change mag to other mag with ammo, fire 2 rounds, change mags to empty mag, dry fire, make weapons safe,
reload and start from scratch.
Objective – to draw and fire and reload accurately, then speed up as you become better at this, then work on accurate fire, when quick.

– my results were quite good …
all shots on central mass, no fumbles, not exceptionally quick, need to review my holster setup, its slowing me down.

Home made MRE in South Africa


While reviewing my Get home bag, and after doing some research I found some great idea’s on homemade rat packs .

While the oat survival bars in one of my older posts are great, they can get boring,
so I started out with dehydrated stuff
so now the pack has:

1 instant oats
1 instant soup
1 pack Oros powder
1 small pack of instant mash – Smash
2 tea bags
4 pre-packed sugar packets
75g of compressed Dates
125g of Knorrox Savory Soya mince – re-packed from the 400g packs
1/3 oat survival bar listed elsewhere

total – 7200 kilojoules – probably a little light at 1720 calories —-

“Get home bag” issues


I have once again reviewed my get home bag as i do a number of times a year to get optimal performance out of the bags contents as I learn new techniques and discover new ways of doing things

For one my original bag is over-stocked with medication and ammo, and could probably have sustained me almost indefinitely,
but it weighted in at over 12 kg’s, and was a pain to carry (even though it was kept in the boot of my car I would still need to carry it if SHTF.)
Continue reading “Get home bag” issues

My Idea for an improvised backpack


veshMy Idea for an improvised backpack would use a pair of old pants and some rope

Cargo pants or BDU pants work well as they will have external pockets you can use for smaller things

the idea is to make a pack similar to a Veshmeshock http://wp.me/p1Ff3c-h3

Take the pants and lay them out legs facing down

tie the legs together and closed with a small piece of rope

Tie another longer rope that will form the straps to the  first small piece with a large gap

Fill with stuff …

tie top like Vesh ….

and now you have rope and a spare pair of pants for no extra weight

 

 

 

Soviet Army veshmeshok back pack


Soviet Army veshmeshok back packs are really cheap and a nice big pack for those on a budget . they are low tech and very tough .

 

I found them for sale for only R210 at http://tacticool.co.za/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1560

http://www.rusmilitary.com/images/soviet_rucksack.jpg

video of how to tie it up http://sovietarmystuff.com/images/sidr.avi

 

vesh

 

 

so I came up with idea to make my own will post it soon … Should be free to make as its all from old scraps most guys will have at home…

 

Scouts


Scout Oath or Promise

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
To help other people at all times and to obey the Scout Law

Scout Law

A Scout is:
Trustworthy,
Loyal,
Helpful,
Friendly,
Courteous,
Kind,
Obedient,
Cheerful,
Thrifty,
Brave,
Clean,
and Reverent.
Boy Scout Motto

Be Prepared!

Hail in the vale


On the 20th of October  at 14h30,  Johannesburg time, my house was hit by hail the size of tennis balls and some up to the size of  a Cricket ball, breaking most of my north facing windows  ( about 15 in total ) and breaking straight through my roof tiles and my roofing boards in some places, luckily no one was hurt, and my cars were under cover so they were not damaged.

Firstly I must mention that i was shocked at how powerful the hail was, and how vulnerable the roof is , even on a relatively strong  building, it made me very aware of how fragile houses actually are, South African houses are not designed for extreme weather as it isn’t something we get very often. our windows are thin and not safety glass, our roofs are tiled but the tiles are not as strong as you would believe. and the impact of hail is much more dramatic then one would expect.

Fortunately being prepared for natural disasters is something I try to do and I had about 40 spare roof tiles that the previous owner left behind when he moved out ( he was also the builder of large sections of the house), so my friends and I climbed on the roof and fixed the majority of broken or cracked tiles. ( once again thanks for your help, I hope you enjoyed the potjie )

This was a great opportunity to see who I can rely on in an emergency, and it was interesting to see how people react to needing to help others, or themselves.

Link to pics of the hail.

Pistol Carbine System South Africa


Licensing a firearm in South Africa can take anything up-to a year and so many don’t bother and few gun shops survive the lack of  cash flow.

According to the new law you may only have one hand gun and only one gun under section 13 which is for self-defense

this is also the only semi-auto weapon you are allowed, under conventional circumstances.

This dictates, that if you need a firearm for self defense, you should buy the best and most versatile handgun you can.

the 3 most common weapons i see purchased are the following 3 :
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High intensity lighting using gas.


 Useful retro tech to make search lights and other light types to illuminate fortifications — dont forget to read my other article on how to apply this  ie use a reflector and harden your lighting

…or elsewhere in my blog where to get gas from I.e methane from a biomass digester .

“Limelight (also known as calcium light)[1] is a type of stage lighting once used in theatres and music halls. An intense illumination is created when an oxyhydrogen flame is directed at a cylinder of quicklime (calcium oxide),[2] which can be heated to 2572 °C before melting. The light is produced by a combination of incandescence and candoluminescence. Although it has long since been replaced by electric lighting, the term has nonetheless survived, as someone in the public eye is still said to be “in the limelight.” The actual lights are called limes, a term which has been transferred to electrical equivalents.”from wiki 

The role of Ferro-cement for Fortifications


Sand bags are good but soon rot … i prefer this method

Ferro-cement is a method of construction ( there are many ways to do it but here is mine) where you make a frame of steel mesh (about 2 inch mesh) … and attach chicken wire to it every few links. 

or start with EMPTY  Gabion’s   , ones of the right dimensions,  — preferably a thinner type like 1 a foot thick or less  – they are made in many sizes — 3 foot by 4 foot by 1/2 a foot and use them as you would bricks .. tying them together with wire, obviously with the 1/2 foot being the width of the wall.

kinda like this (please excuse mspaint art)


Then attach the chicken wire to the outside of the wall and what will form the inside and plaster .

Plaster with a very fine plaster mix on the chicken wire — let it set and re-plaster until its quite thick .. maybe 1 inch

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Garrison


I said it a hundred times, get a garrison together — community rules … western military doctrine always maintains that only troops can hold ground…

This is idealistic and not my plan exactly but its an idea that can be applied elsewhere.

I would say the ideal in suburbia is the close off your street at both ends with a barricade ( we have this already ) .. get everyone in your street on board … link all the houses with radio or field telephones … establish a central meeting hall and guard house to coordinate everything, and provide a central kitchen, and central alarm should everyone need to wake up at once .

Dig the road up around the block to about 2 m deep and pile the rubble on the inside to form a parapet … use what you can to make a wall … cars … sand bags .. roof sheets with gravel whatever .. this is really just a trench to defend from. make a single entrance where the road is OK …

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