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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
Found this pretty awesome offline mapping application for apple iPhone
great for survival as it doesn’t require a data link and the maps are not too big .
Good supplementary mapping system to paper map.
Its been ages ,
been working on loads of things, one of them being Bullet swagging.
when i was still in ZA, I used cast 9mm bullets with Lee precision molds, and resize these with Lee resizing dies. I found these used to smoke when fired quite a bit from my Glock 19, even though they caused no leading.
I found out from a yourtube video how to coat these with an epoxy resin paint with hexan boron nitride powder added for lubrication and had very good results. The bullets smoked way less when fired even though it smelled a little like plastic burning, they were cheaper , I could reload for around 8 US cents a round, so i wasn’t bothered by the smell,
they were also just as accurate as jacketed virgin ammo, and caused no leading or any more fouling then normal.
After emigrating from ZA to New Zealand, i could no longer carry a hand gun, so on getting my firearms license here, I started reloading and casting but this time for .223 Remington.
I have gotten molds for .223 but haven’t been able to get enough tin and antimony to harden the scrap lead I’ve been able to find, so I’m a little nervous to use straight lead without a gas check, with just the coating even though it worked in 9mm.
I’ve been looking into Swagging .22 lr cases into jackets for .223, but the Corbin Dies I’ve found wont ship to NZ or are extremely expensive.
What I’m going to try and do is get a die maker locally to make me a set of dies and see how it goes, I’ll keep you all posted.
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
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
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
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
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
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 theory behind bug out.
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 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
Here is a quick a run down process for those of you looking to get it: Continue reading Getting an NZ firearms license
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
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.
I bought this great little Kit for around US$6 a few months back — its SUPER solid — if a little Heavy … but it fits my bug out gear well … and my lunch .. and with having moved to New Zealand – with a threat of major earth quakes, its always good to know i have a solid cooking system in my bag .
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.
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.
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
after looking at a solution for long term bug out, and after analyzing it to death, and going through costing and various other factors like longevity and ease of setup .. tools required and weight.
( this would be fore vehicular bug out and not for back-pack bug out)
I came up with the following:
Weirdest But Very Cool Russian Motorcycle for Arm…: http://youtu.be/JR3PhLckNwM
Now this is an epic idea…
not too expensive either
How To Make Cheap 100 Hour Emergency Candles: http://youtu.be/FNxj8Mg0BYk
Concrete Tent: http://youtu.be/Vb1pdvvoVoQ
Crochet the Basics of the Skill: http://youtu.be/u7UJigjxerU
One of the best, non lethal, first line defenses against an intruder, is the humble Pot flare set off via a trip wire.
During my military training we were shown extensively how to use them and how effective they can be, at night and even during the day.
I’m going to try very hard not to complain or rant…
Preparing for planned power outages over the last few years has meant I have bought a generator, and many smaller solar powered security devices, and the discussions at the office have lead to load shedding almost exclusively in the last few weeks…
lets face it , it sucks, and shouldn’t be necessary with some planning on the part of the publicly owned power providers, many guys are looking at solar, inadvertent side effects of load shedding is that many are looking to go off grid now .and that’s good for business if you sell that sort of thing and its better for the planet ( well sort of ).
For private use, going off the grid, is actually quite easy, point solutions actually rain supreme, when it comes to cost, and scaling up. a bit of good planning goes a long way. Continue reading Load shedding – off the grid
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
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
Rapid deployment coroplastic tipi shelter: http://youtu.be/E-suiveYYtA
Pigeons are called flying rats but in a real SHTF senario they can be a great food source.
trap them with a mouse trap – or a dead fall cage …
they make great eating – but beware of worms and flea’s.
the younger birds are better … know as Squibs
Sorghum Millet- grains for guerrilla gardening
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
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.
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
the catalan vault is a really great idea and can be manufactured with limited resources, is very solid and can provide very stong buildings.
the tiles used in the vault can be simple clay dried in the sun . and can be stuck together with a simple plaster –
check out some of these links for more info
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 .
Making Quicklime from a Traditional Lime Kiln – C…: http://youtu.be/FlsGoNW20r0
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 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 ..
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/
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.
The MAG will not be a welfare department for the unprepared, but just because a potential new member isn’t prepared, doesn’t automatically mean that they will be rejected, it does mean that they must show commitment, by making progress every month, in getting their food supplies and other supplies in order.
A member must be able to acquire there own supplies, and not rely on the group to provide for them.
The Group operates as a team, trains as a team and plans as a team, attendance to one training session per month is mandatory.
There will be a small monthly membership fee, without this the Group cannot purchase Long-Term supplies.
Members of the MAG will forfeit any group gear and fee’s, should they be exciled from the group, be unable to meet there obligations to the group, or no longer wish to participate.
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.
After many nights of lying awake i have decided the only way to really prep is in a group.
i’ve know this would become neccessary for a while and its finally time to act …
Myself and few others will be meeting monthly, for firearms practise and discussions, in the eastrand area of johannesburg – if anyone would like to join us , then contact me via gmail or wordpress for more details … we would be glad for a few more members.
kind regards Xi0
Wow its been a busy month …work has been crazy
I read Patriots – thanks to a friend .
good book …
some crits … no bunker under the first house … took them too long to build claymores … there BOL was way to far away from most of the members.
Anyway going to stop off at the range tomorrow with one of the group members … reloading ammo tonight …
Cant wait for my garage to get finished .. its been 3 months now – need a new builder maybe?
Bought a lee bullet resize die .. works a charm .. starting to cast projectiles more actively .
found a cool system for coating bullet in epoxy … probably going to start a cottage industry and sell to local gun shops .. just need to build a casting machine …
The sod house or “soddy” 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. 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 .
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
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 …
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
Same method as the one before — just use half whey protein powder to up the protein intake …
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup whey protein powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn flour ( Maizena )
a little salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey – ( or syrup)
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
Continue reading Another take on the survival bar
New Ration bar recipe
I adapted this recipe from another one i found on-line
This recipe makes one days rations and weighs 500g when done
usually I form it into 3 bars for 3 meal, but you don’t have too.
Continue reading New Ration bar recipe for Backpacking or survival go bag
Check out http://zenstoves.net/Stoves.htm
I made a side burner stove that works like this one http://zenstoves.net/BasicSideBurner.htm
just i changed the design – hope to get some pics up later so you can see how i prefer to do it .. works pretty well ..
Continue reading Micro coke can stove side burner
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.
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 —-
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
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
Get SADF / SANDF surplus equipment from http://www.tentpro.co.za/ — just got army boots for R165 — that’s exceptionally cheap … they respond quickly to queries and deliver free in JHB and PTA …
Friendly fast and cheap doesn’t get better than that .
they have more than they list so don’t be scared to ask for more stuff …
best is the Back Pack/Webbing Combo http://www.tentpro.co.za/surplus/Army_back_pack_combo.html
|R570.00 including vat that’s like $60 for everything a soldier needs in a back pack and webbing
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
video of how to tie it up http://sovietarmystuff.com/images/sidr.avi
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…
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
A Scout is:
Boy Scout Motto
In South Africa reloading makes sense and cents
9mm Luger ammo goes for about R3,60 and up , a shot … the only thing cheaper is .22 the rest all cost more …
To reload cost me about R1.20 a shot … so it really makes financial sense
Continue reading Reloading my 9mm ammo
When money is tight prepping can be tough
Weapons are expensive … so is ammo and Food and fuel prices are on the rise, new toll roads and other taxes are crippling the economy.
These are all challenges to prepping.
here are some of my ideas to prepping on a budget in South africa.
Continue reading Prepping on the cheap
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.
Reviewing my Get home bag
This evening, I went through my “get home” bag and decided it needed a review
Readers have requested I do an article on how to build a survival fortification.
So here it is.
-I often hear of people in America living in wooden houses who have storm shutters that cover their windows, made of ply wood-so long as you understand these are only storm shutters and a wooden house wont stop bullets, and in no way make your house a fortress , then go ahead, they may help for storms … but thats not what we are discussing.
Firstly we need to establish your strategy, to determine the answer to the question of fortification.
Are you bugging-in or out, are you planning on building them before or after an event, what are your foreseeable threats, how big will your labor force be to build it and how big is your garrison that need shelter and food stored inside for a siege , what force could you expect to attack you and finally what is your budget ?
Recreation in a post apocalypse should be prepared for.
boardgames like chess or monopoly, packs of cards ( great for a bug out bag), musical instruments (I carry a harmonica in BOB) and books can offer some respite from the boredom that is bound to ensue after TV and other electronic entertainments have faded.
Continue reading Recreation Post Apocalypse
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 :
Continue reading Pistol Carbine System South Africa
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) 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), 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
useful bit of info – must try that next time i’m hiking -ultra light
Sand bags are good but soon rot … i prefer this method
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
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 …
Join the community policing forum in your area and get aware.
We have recently invested in radios that most residents carry to call for help from the community – they go for about 700 bucks and make a good simple radio net for us to call for help should we need it.
Now that brings back memories — dont eat the cheesie’s they give you gypo guts (jippo guts)
quoted from the site link
“Not a whole lot of information available on the current SANDF (South African National Defense Force) ration pack, but here’s what I found out.
Continue reading Rat packs and other stuff
Comparing the Spetsnaz Spade to the Machete to the Kukri to the Hatchet multi tool
When i was cutting down a tree in my yard the other day, i decided to compare the cutting power – comfort and usability of each of the tools pictured above — and found some surprising results – with a mind that i should use one of these in a Post SHTF scenario,
First I tried the machete – ( R40 from Makro, made by Lasher )
on softer wood and thinner (than my thumb) it worked quite well – but after the blade stuck fast in logs thicker than my wrist, and the reverberation of the cutting stroke was not very pleasant, after cutting into the wrist thick trunk for some time i found my arm getting tired and i was not making much progress,
each cut would slice about half an inch into the cut..
Continue reading Comparing the Spetsnaz Spade to the Machete to the Kukri to the Hatchet multi tool
My idea for a survival spade/shovel
You can buy a shovel from lasher – looks for what is known as a “ladies spade” with a square blade LASHER link —product 162—
This spade has a steel shaft made of the same steel as the spade blade, that is hollow and can be welded closed at the bottom. Weld this opening closed. or use “Pratley putty” to close the opening. ( easier than welding)
Continue reading My idea for a survival spade/shovel
Here is a post i placed in another forum some time ago After discussing in another thread the problems with the wooden building that are so often used elsewhere in the world I thought I would post my 2 cents on how its done in Africa at many farms I have visited and read about over the years. Rhodesian Farmers Defensive Arrangements The following is a general overview:
1) Most farmers fitted hand-grenade grills to the outside of all windows and Doors leading outside were likewise security grilled, usually expanded steel mesh used for barbeque’s.
Gel versus Paraffin
gel stoves are less efficient and more expensive to run, but are less smelly, are less of a fire hazzard and quite low tech, the gel is easier to store and not as toxic as paraffin, and produces less soot, over all the use of gel is better and should be advocated over gas and paraffin for emergency short term cooking …
Continue reading Gel stoves to cook on when the power is out
Link to importance of concrete
Concrete has made building what it is today
Make sure you can partly improvise concrete it will help build fortifications and is paramount in the rebuilding of law and order.
Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general use around the world because it is a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco and most non-specialty grout. It usually originates from limestone. It is a fine powder produced by grinding clinker (more than 90%), a limited amount of calcium sulfate (which controls the set time).
Portland cement clinker is made by heating, in a kiln, a mixture of raw materials to a sintering temperature of about 1450 °C for modern cements. The aluminium oxide and iron oxide are present as a flux and contribute little to the strength. The major raw material for the clinker-making is usually limestone (CaCO3) mixed with a second material containing clay as source of alumino-silicate.
Normally, an impure limestone which contains clay or SiO2 is used. The CaCO3 content of these limestones can be as low as 80%. Second raw materials (materials in the rawmix other than limestone) depend on the purity of the limestone. Some of the second raw materials used are clay, shale, sand, iron ore, bauxite, fly ash and slag. When a cement kiln is fired by coal, the ash of the coal acts as a secondary raw material.
Skills will be the most saleable of items should SHTF
Skills and manual labor form the back bone of modern society although many would deny this.
Now is the time to learn a skill.
Continue reading Post SHTF means of trade
A friend recommended this link to me – this might be a necessary item to buy if you intend on growing grains, (I for one am looking at pearl millet – Link to seeds )… might be nice to make Corn bread or porridge with fresh ground corn or whatever grain.
I do need to mention though that this is why the Irish and English cultures were revolutionized by the discovery and importing of potatoes – they don’t need to be milled and made into bread and they produce more per hectare then grain, ( they don’t keep as long as grains do though) the best being red sweet potatoes if you live in South Africa – they grow like weeds – propagate themselves , and you can make a sweet syrup from them to sweeten anything by boiling down the water after cooking them and squeezing out the juice.
pumpkins also make great flour if dried and ground -( or so i hear ) and the yields are good.
Perma-culture VS Aqua-phonics
To feed my family is important to me and i have research many ways to do this.
I was looking at installing an aquaphonics system, as these can be hidden in plane site, and was considering a flotation method may be the easiest and least expensive (float the plants on the surface in styrene) but then the pond has to be really big and the plants have to have really small root systems.
After I did some research i discovered Perma-Culture and maybe its a good ideas to do permi-culture instead of aqua-phonics — they yield is lower but its way lower profile, requires less to setup and is lower tech so the natural balance is maintained, you also don’t have to worry about pumps, tanks etc.
the trade off is the lack of fish protein that would be a nice addition to the table.
Well i bought the book from this site and am working through it – maybe perma-culture is the way to go?
will let you all know how it goes.
In a word … “Boots”
A strong , good set of well worn in boots or shoes cannot be improvised . And any soldier will agree that your rifle and your boots are what make a soldier… I can fight naked as long as i have my boots . Yeah I know it sounds funny but any thing else can be made .. stolen or improvised but good shoes are complex and hard to make… Stock up … And learn the art of cobblering
Potatoes are very productive and produce the best crop for the smallest plot of land, one reason they are so good is that they don’t need much additional processing to make them edible, just wash them and cook and eat , compared to grains that need to be ground and made into bread you can see how potatoes save you time — although, one problem is monotony and storage – potatoes don’t keep all that well, so preserving them is important, I propose making dried gnocchi and using them as pasta.
Continue reading Survival garden Recipe idea’s
I bought some of these tubes the other day – wasn’t to sure what i would do with them but at R10 for 2 at the local Mr Price sport – cause they were “shop soiled” ( which was only the packaging i might add ) it seamed like a good buy.
Initially i had no idea what i might do with them but it dawned on me this morning, the ration bars I have posted on my blog before are not so great to eat because they are very dry and hard .. which in itself is good but with these tubes i though to make them easier to eat and more appetizing, the idea is to put the ingredients in the tubes dry, other than the honey, and add a little more powdered sugar to make up for this, then when needed open the clip, add warm/ hot water, enjoy, well at least thats the theory, will have to test and get back to you all.
I will see when I test, but the tubes may not be big enough for a full ration which wont help much.
The tubes also might work well for peanut butter which is very high in nutritional value – although I have read of people who use this for holding anything liquid having issues with the clips that break or leak , so I would stick to the dry stuff when on the move …
Found this very interesting concept online — a very light simple pack rifle – great for hiking and so on, great for survival, http://www.packrifle.com
Pity you cant buy it in south africa…. yet …
The other day I bought a “nitestik”, just for fun, but I think it may be useful in finding your BOB in the dark and as its actually bright enough to use as a low powered emergency light for illuminating a very dark space,(I have tested this and it works ok for the first hour or two .. then it isn’t much use cause it is too dull, but works fine just to find what ever is tied to it)
The nice thing is, nothing to break and its effectively solar powered,
now I’m not saying it is going to replace a torch just that it can provide a compact light that could help you in a tight situation, even if its just to find something tied to it, like your house keys.
It is a little over priced in my opinion , but with imported things our currency generally are
links to micro hydro generators
Micro hydro is a sustainable energy system that takes us back to the time of the water wheel —
Electric lighting is still the most efficient way to produce light, converting mechanical energy into light is one of the most important developments in human history, lengthening the time people can work , as there is light to work by, and effectively making us more efficient as a species.
Electrical lighting is safer than candles and provides a cleaner and more steady light and doesn’t burn anything, it is also available at the flick of a switch and from a distance, gas lighting and other methods of lighting have many flaws when compared to this .
If used for nothing other then lighting, electrical systems are a very good candidate for hydro power, as it is constant and predictable.
Hydro-power i.e water wheels should be used directly, with gearing, if mechanical energy is needed, (like to run a mill, or lath , or bellows for a forge) as losses in generators are quite large especially in improvised ones, unless power is needed far from water and then you have no choice but to run cables, and use generators. This should be avoided, if possible.
But it is my opinion that using water to power electrical lighting is the best way to do lighting
Fills up usually in one rain … 750 litre tank … Enough drinking water for my family for 2 months … Lucky I have a perenial stream 300m down the road for watering plants and emergency drinking water …. If the neighborhood pools dry up
Drying and dehydrating has long been used as a method to preserver food, the lack of water in dehydrated food stops bacteria multiplying.
When compared to other methods of food preservation , drying wins hands down as it allows most foods to be preserved without any additives, this is important as those additives may not be available anymore after a civil collapse.
Food can be dried in Johannesburg, mostly when weather permits , which is usually best in early winter, and even late summer on days that it doesn’t rain.
Dry in the sun on a fly proof rack in a box, under a pane of glass for full effect, or alternatively in the oven on a low heat , about 60 to 80 centigrade.
When in doubt as to if its ready, dry it for longer,,, longer is better than shorter,,,
Most dried stuff will keep for 6 months once dried and stored in a dry place, away from insects, careful not to use wet/damp containers, and discard anything that looks moldy.
Sun-dried tomatoes are a great way to store your tomato crop, make sure they are ripe, but not over ripe before starting .
I read this article some time back an found that the information was rather inspirational, a move towards sail powered craft with the knowledge of modern nautical maps and charts as well as combining this knowledge with something like the concrete submarine – or a ferro cement hull, and modern refrigeration, possible steam power , might be an option for a post SHTF scenario when the immediate danger has subsided and you need to find a way to feed yourself and your family … fish stocks in the ocean will soar without the fishing trawlers taking large numbers of fish…
Long term, fishing will be a real option .. and as most rivers lead to the ocean . a life there could be better over all rather then inland … of coarse living near the sea pre-SHTF is not necessarily wise with all the possible natural disasters that accompany it .
any way read the article it speaks for its self.
I recently made some security enhancements to my house.
Simple gardening with the 3 sisters can provide all you need in nutrition to feed you family.
The three crops benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other plants utilize, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, helping prevent establishment of weeds.
Maize lacks the amino acids lysine and tryptophan, which your body needs to make proteins and niacin, beans contain both and therefore maize and beans together provide a balanced diet.
Jam Jar light bulbs
Electrical light bulbs were a great innovation simply because they provide light on demand and are safer than candles, they don’t smoke and provide light that doesn’t flicker, this is why they were such an innovation in their time.
Simple homemade light bulbs are useful if you have a source of electrical power, and can be made using a glass bottle or jar ( if using a bottle with a neck then you don’t even need a lid just enough wax to plug the neck ) , some steel wool – or thin wire ,some thicker insulated wire , a match or two and some wax to seal the holes
If using a jar,
Open the jar, make 2 holes in the lid , strip about half an inch or 1 cm of insulation off, of the thicker insulated wire, on each end of each wire , thread 2 of the thicker insulated wires through the holes and seal around them with wax –
Take some of the steel wool or really thin wire and link the two thicker wires that will meet inside the jar, experiment with this a little as to the number of these and the thickness that works best with the voltage you are using, I find 4 of about 1 inch long threads of steel wool, works well at 12 volts, they last about 2 hours, then burn out … this is expected, they don’t really last long., also making them into a coil makes them provide more light.
For bottle based bulbs just use the wax as a plug for the bulb .
Once done light a match and throw it into the jar. And screw the lid with the wires gently, but quickly, back on, the match will burn up all the oxygen inside the bulb and allow this bulb to work,
You should have a working bulb now – turn it on and experiment …
They don’t last long and don’t provide that much light but can help in a pinch
Lock smithing is a skill I picked up some years back- and one of the most useful skills to have is the ability to quietly make a key for something like a pistol safe when you need to get into it without breaking in or making too much noise,
This technique was detailed in a CIA manual that I had access too some time ago and maintained that it was quicker in some instances than picking.
Continue reading Making keys instead of picking locks
It is always suggested, on the forums I frequent, that you should not wear camouflage every day as it attracts too much attention, and that every one should become the “grey man” to avoid looking like a “mall ninja”
Continue reading Improvising camouflage using Bleach and a magic marker
When we formulate plans for survival we often forget that the corner-stone of every civilization is agriculture.
De-evolving into a hunter-gather state is not sustainable, as food stocks within an area soon wither with large populations doing hunting and our ancestors acknowledged this and so developed farming to allow the food to “come to them”, allowing themselves time to do other things like develop technology and arts, learn and develop written and other military skills.
We should all learn from this, hunting takes way more time and effort than farming, and the yields in farming often create a surplus for trade, this allows division of labour and allows specialization making you better at what you do…
Continue reading The greatest step in human evolution was and is agriculture
Hedging is surprisingly simple and our ancestors understood the advantages of a natural barrier –
Hedging, if done correctly, can provide fruit, a thick barrier of thorn ridden, and foothold free cover, that weapons can be fired through,
difficult to climb as it is something thats outside yields but inside is solid. they can also contain hidden razor wire fences.
Continue reading Plant a Hedge to provide a light barrier when fences are not availible
Uses for PVC Conduit
This is a just a few of my idea’s surrounding pcv conduit
1. A good bow and arrow can be made
2. Can be used to make structures like chicken coups and greenhouses
3. Pedal carts for kids can be made with this
4. As a base for working with fiberglass
5. ground up can be added to black powder to make smoke bombs
6. Fencing support for hedges
7. Shafts for spears. Fishing poles
Star forts as i have discussed before seem a logical progression for protecting your community should things degrade to that level.
Fortification plan of Coevorden, laid out in a radial pattern within polygonal fortifications and extensive outer earthworks as reconstructed in the early seventeenth century by Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange
The predecessors of star fortifications were medieval fortresses, usually placed on high hills. From there, arrows were shot at the enemies, and the higher the fortress was, the further the arrows flew. The enemies’ hope was to either ram the gate or climb over the wall with ladders and overrun the defenders. For the invading force, these fortifications proved quite difficult to overcome. Therefore, fortresses occupied a key position in warfare.
When the newly effective maneuverable siege cannon came into military strategy in the fifteenth century, the response from military engineers was to arrange for the walls to be embedded into ditches fronted by earthen slopes so that they could not be attacked by destructive direct fire and to have the walls topped by earthen banks that absorbed and largely dissipated the energy of plunging fire. Where conditions allowed, as in Fort Manoel in Malta, the ditches were cut into the native rock, and the wall at the inside of the ditch was simply unquarried native rock. As the walls became lower, they also became more vulnerable to assault.
Worse yet, the rounded shape that had previously been dominant for the design of turrets created “dead space”, or “dead” zones (see figure), which were relatively sheltered from defending fire, because direct fire from other parts of the walls could not be directed around the curved wall. To prevent this, what had previously been round or square turrets were extended into diamond-shaped points to give storming infantry no shelter. The ditches and walls channeled attacking troops into carefully constructed killing grounds where defensive cannons could wreak havoc on troops attempting to storm the walls, with emplacements set so that the attacking troops had no place to shelter from the defensive fire.
Some technology of yester-year that is not very well know is that of hot plug engines.
These engines use a system similar to long stroke diesel engines and but do not develop the pressure that normal diesel engines do and so require a “hot” plug to be heated to ignite the fuel ,
these engines were common in tractors in the 1890’s and so on, until diesel engines were more reliable.
This technology is interesting to us because it requires less precise machining
These engines were slow running (300-400 RPM) and mostly with cast iron parts including pistons,
the engine uses a carburettor because the charge only ignites when the mixture is compressed into the bulb .
A big attraction with the hot-bulb engine was its ability to run on a wide range of fuels. Even poor-burning fuels could be used since a combination of vaporiser- and compression-ignition meant that such fuels could be made to combust. The usual fuel used was fuel oil, similar to modern-day diesel, but natural gas, kerosene, paraffin, crude oil, vegetable oil or creosote could also be used.
Compared with steam, petrol, and diesel engines, hot-bulb engines are simpler and therefore have fewer potential problems. There is no electrical system, as found on a petrol engine, and no external boiler and steam system as on a steam engine.
Get your fingerling’s and start now farming Tilapia – best parts are they grow fast and are not restricted in urban area’s, so long as you can get a pond going you can have live stock .. even if its just a bath tub size fish farm and some lettuce making up an aquaphonics system.
Today i went to the local pick and pay – they were selling frozen tilapia , very interesting me thinks, first time i have seen it commercially available ready to eat, so i got some, lets see how good they are,
some more info go here
(update) the fish was ok … Pretty tasteless … But pleasant …. Price doubled over night … It was 35 a kg next time we went it was 65 … Way too much …
Simple items can be constructed by using corrugated cardboard covered in resin and possibly in fiber glass if more strength is required – remember resin is poisonous so get a good mask before trying this.
Continue reading Using resin and cardboard for construction – Improvised magazines, trailers and other things.
If you are making a teardrop trailer try look at this link for idea’s as too how to make a tear drop trailer out of cardboard ( yes not a joke)
On browsing the web looking for ideas to build a teardrop trailer for bugging out with my car i found this
a very interesting idea, turn your urban Sedan into a camper by building yourself or purchasing a swiss room box ….
“Thanks to an ingenious modular system installed in the boot of your car, you can cook, eat, take a shower and sleep during your outdoor adventures!”
Instead of using expensive non renewable propane burners create one of these
take a tuna tin can or any can that you can find that is convenient..
preferably with a replaceable metal lid
Roll up some corrugated cardboard, and place inside,
fill half up with molten wax or molten fat … and let it set …
You now have a burner that is inert and wont explode in your bag .. can be refilled from rubbish you can scavenge and be stored indefinitely (even when using fat, rancid fat might not smell nice but it still burns. )
Traps have been used from time immemorial by all civilizations to provide food and safety from animals larger then themselves .
Traps are above all force multipliers and can slow adversaries down to by you time to escape or to take them out .
All those who wish to survive should invest in a little knowledge about trapping and man trapping.
Continue reading Traps for defense of a position
The sun is getting hotter with every passing year and an umbrella makes more sense to carry every time i go out
the umbrella my look silly to some but as a weapon in the right hands it has few equals it forms a good club or an eskrima stick
Continue reading Umbrella survival tool
One of my favorite options for a bugging out vehicle is the URAL side car motorcycle
this is very mobile on and off road,and can be pushed should it need to be by its crew, it can maneuver on foot paths and uses very little fuel but can carry a large number of people and equipment for its size, making it an ideal savaging and scouting vehicle, it can effectively be used for raiding and very mobile warfare.
On a less serious note the best and simplest form of air travel would be the use of a hybrid type aircraft consisting of a semi rigid hot air balloon in the shape of a lozenge , but with small stub wings attached to provide lift …
the simplest engine to build would be the Lockwood-Hiller valveless pulse jet this could also provide the heat for the hot air, as it gets so hot.
Here are some engine idea’s
Works best on hot climates
Bio gas is usually methane that comes from rotting biological carbon based matter
An effective and simple bio gas generator can be made by getting a barrel and cutting the bottom open – (or if the barrel has no lid just turn it upside down)
if using this method there is no need to feed the digester or have a sludge outlet .. cause its setup to use batches.
but this pretty much sums it up
Plumb in some gas fittings with a tap to control the flow so that you can close them for the period needed to start the procedure
Dig a trench (the reason for the trench is to do more then one barrel at a time in the same area to provide enough gas and you can space them apart in time so that you always have some usable gas ) in the ground as big as you need to fit the barrel inside without touching the walls – and almost as deep as the barrel is high (don’t want the plumbing clogged with the slop) – the ditch or trench can be dug to include a number of barrels in a row, line the trench with clay , or plastic sheeting and fill with pig/chicken manure or any other material and water in a sloppy mixture about the consistency of loose oats porridge (experimentation gives results of what works and what doesn’t)
place the barrels open side down into the mixture with the taps open so as to form a seal with the slop,
and close the taps ( the weight of the barrel provides even pressure)
Finding north is useful, but map making is actually more useful. especially in the long term,
-decide the area you wish to map,
-choose a useful scale,
-Draw a grid with the scale on the paper you want to make a map out of i.e 1 block is 100m
-Now decide on where you want to create the map from
-Find 2 points that are the same distance as the grid scale (100m in this case) apart.
-or if you can find them 100 m apart Draw 2 dots on the map that you know the distance between in real life – i e 2 trees that are 50 m apart and make sure they are 50 m in scale apart on your map.
Martial arts training should be mandatory 1 hour a day for all compound members, train now, not only will you learn something and keep fit, but you should learn and teach those around you,
you could even wonder from one compound to another and offer your training services in trade for food and shelter,
here is a free training site for free on-line learning – probably not as effective as doing classes but something is better then nothing http://www.sneaky-ninja-stuff.com/
Trench warfare and the need for field fortification post shtf
Due to the lack of logistics and the complexity of technology, that feeds large artillery and fuel for mobile weapons like Tanks, I believe that in a post SHTF scenario, Bunkers and trenches will become of the utmost importance for fortification.
Continue reading Trench warfare and the need for field fortification post shtf
My Grandfather told me,when I was young, of days when he worked on Electrifying the eastern cape.
The Company ,Eskom , would use the railway to transport the transformers and so required that the engineers also extend the railway at the same time so they spent many years supervising the laying of rail and so on …
During his time he also spoke of how they would weld the track together using Thermite , a mixture of half red iron oxide ( used to colour concrete) and half aluminum powder, and use a sparkler as a fuse, as welding rail track is not a simple affair, and the welding machines of the day couldn’t have managed it.
They used clay to make a mold below the container for the thermite , there was a gap between the tracks and the clay is molded so that the gap forms a cavity and then the container with the thermite is placed above and lit ..
the hot Liquid Iron then falls into the gap and fills it then cools .. forming a good bond
i don’t know if this is useful , as i haven’t tried it but it might be if you have no power and need to Macro weld something large …
I’m sure you could also do some simple casting with this method , there is a lot of labor involved in making powdered aluminum or iron oxide .. but I’m sure knowing this might be useful to some, one day, post shtf .
on editing this post i found this wiki article
Field telephones are one of the best and simplest systems of communication in a base of operations.
communication is Key to early warning and defense strategy.
Field Telephones are best used as a point to point communication solution or a simple “jack plug” switch board can be made with a little skill and then a person to man the switch board – if you require a system with more then 2 points..
They were extensivly used during both world wars and in Vietnam for secure communication.
I am not going to detail exactly how one would create the field telephone — but lets just say its not exactly difficult, the detail i will give is that on microphone and one speaker must obviously be at each end ( plans for making these yourself below although store bought is probably better if you build these before you need them )
I have included a basic circut diagram above I just drew up quickly, this will be what a single phone looks like – that plugs into a switch board, to have a simple phone that only have 2 ends then replace the jack plug with another bell, switch, mic and speaker.
__The Switch Board__
a simple switch board can be made by a few jack plug sockets, low voltage bulbs or leds, and jack plugs , the concept is for each “extention” you need a socket to plug the long line that goes to the phone into – another socket to plug another phone into wired in parallel and an led to indicate that its active, a third socket can be added in parallel to allow an operator to “listen in”, and a Lead with a plug on, this lead will plug into to other sockets to connect phones to others , each phone needs each of these i mentioned, it is best to make the sockets for each in a numbered column
so that you can keep track of the cables.
Levels of Preparedness
When looking at what skills and equipment I need to acquire I found it useful to categorize them in to various levels so that I may address them all equally well. when Preparing it is best to start with the first levels and get them down, and then progress to changing your whole way of life.
can get home from where I am.
On my person, I have:
food and water for the trip and means to obtain more.
Fire making tools
a route map with multiple routes for the possible walk should the roads be too chaotic to drive.
a tool for self defense and know how to use it.
the ability to heal minor aliment associated with walking long distances (sunblock).
Cordless drills can be used for many applications in a SHTF scenario, they are cheap and can be converted to charge batteries with a little ingenuity..
here are a few other idea’s from popular mechanics
Geniuses: Sebastian Auray, Ruben Faber, Nils ferber, Ludolf von Oldershausen
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Moving at 20 mph doesn’t sound so harrowing—but if you’re driving the EX—a tricycle designed by an obsessive team of students at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany—20 mph seems more than fast enough.
Perhaps that’s because the EX positions its driver so he’s sprawled out on his belly on top of the three-wheeled vehicle, with his face the first point of contact for any oncoming traffic. A specially designed, CNC-milled joint tilts the back wheel to let the rider lean into turns. Modified bicycle parts were used for most of the components—and the trike is powered by nothing but a pair of battery-operated Bosch drill drivers. The 18-volt power tools crank the chain ring in the same direction for maximum, if modest, power; to avoid one drill driver blocking the other, overrunning clutch gearwheels are used to transmit the torque. “The torque you get from a screwdriver is pretty small,” Nils Ferber says. “But we wanted the vehicle to look as aggressive and energetic as possible.”
link to popular mechanics — idea 8 of 10
The design team drew inspiration, he says, from the skeletal structure of a big cat ready to pounce, though he agrees that this is one skeleton perhaps best left in the closet—or at least the workshop. Fully charged drill drivers poop out after a few minutes, giving the rig a maximum range of about a mile and making it about the least practical electric vehicle ever. But for those few minutes? “It’s exciting and fun to drive,” Ferber says. “Being that close to the ground and lying on the vehicle headlong, I’m almost glad that I can’t go faster than 20 mph.”
Post Apocalyptic Refrigeration
There are many options to do refrigeration with simple technology
one option is a Hilsch vortex tube — you could use a water wheel to power a compressor to provide compressed air to the cooling system using a Hilsch vortex tube for cooling
Another option is a ice ball cooler — simply 2 containers under pressure with ammonia and water inside heat one container to boil off the ammonia – and cool the other with water … then when you take the heat away the water will freeze around the second container.
link to some info on the Ice ball cooler….. more info on the The Crosley ice ball cooler….link to plans to make one yourself….
When training in the infantry, some years back
in my officership training, some special forces operatives were on the coarse with me who would always carry these 3 chemicals when on operations. usually they would camouflage the bottles and connect them with bungee cords to their battle jackets, i obviously asked them what this was all about , these 3 bottles ?
well the response was,
antiseptic for cuts and abrasions
sore throats – drunk in very small doses in tea.( never tried this, I don’t no how wise it is)
soothe blisters and sore hands
helps with constipation,( South African MRE’s know as “RAT packs” or ration packs are notorious for giving you diarrhea or constipation)
in larger concentrations to make an anti septic
help with snake bites
can be combined with glycerin to make fire (Link to site)
Goats are very useful animals requiring small areas to live in some as little as 9 square meters, as long as enough fresh hay and other food can be provided, they are not too picky when it comes to what they eat but will thrive if fed well.
they can provide transport
-pull goat carts( larger breeds )
-goat hair can be as soft as mohair,
-meat – although not commonly eaten by westerners they are actually very tasty
For the ladies – Personal hygiene and Hair removal for the Post Apocalypse
Threading for Hair Removal
Threading is an ancient method of hair removal originating in the Eastern world. In more recent times it has gained popularity in Western countries.
Practitioners use a pure, thin, twisted cotton thread which is rolled over usually untidy hairlines, moustaches and other areas of unwanted hair, plucking the hair at the follicle level. Unlike tweezing, where single hairs are pulled out one at a time, threading can remove an entire row of hair, resulting in a straighter line. As a larger area of hair is removed at once, however, it can be relatively painful. Continue reading For the ladies – Personal hygiene and Hair removal for Civilizations End
the solar Charger for gadgets ( GPS – torch – radio – Ipod )
Think of adding a flexible solar panel
to your bug out bag or BOB …
here are some instruction on how to mod it…
Also adding Wheels, to your bag can be very useful, even a single wheel can help with dragging a bag on a flat surface, even if you don’t need it when carting the bag cross country.
This can be done by fitting a cheap skate board truck to the bottom of the bag, not to heavy and can help lighten your load when trekking- even allow you to pull the bag behind you like a trailer if you make use of a bicycle.
Adding a Lilo to your bag makes for better sleeping and can be used for flotation and for carting water (makeshift water container) — folds up small and light
Usefulness of flame weapons post civilization
Fire is a powerful ally and a terrible enemy
If it can be bent to your will and harnessed as a weapon it can be unleashed against your enemy to his peril
Home made flame throwers are very effective weapons – especially against crowds of looters
and when combined with simple pumps can be a great deterrent to looters and raiders.
There range is limited and so is their fuel supply, but these can be over come when they are built in enough of a size.
in a nutshell these are base defensive weapons, and can be used in assault but are heavy and short ranged so best kept for teams with access to vehicles
and larger amounts of fuel.
The Fuel itself can be gas, liquid , and even solid, so long as it can be vaporised ( for instance solid wheat flour or coal dust works when combined with enough air)
Other uses of this would be in Fuel Air explosives
this in itself is a complex topic but can be achieved with little technology and is very effective
Hwacha are the perfect force multiplier for base defense in a sub technology world
The television program MythBusters built and tested a hwacha and it worked very well – rockets are not the simplest technology to reproduce Post SHTF but then again with the right skill you might just come right
another Weapon that could be useful is a steam cannon
and the dread cannon centrifugal Launcher
Creativity will always set humans apart from animals
This article relates to every day carry (EDC) items and idea’s how you should use them.
Weather a plastic shopping bag folded up in your pocket, or a proper canvas sling bag. Every person should carry a bag. a laptop bag with wheels is actually one of the best options, as it looks innocuous , and can store many items and if it gets too heavy to carry it can be wheeled around.
If you look at footage from hurricane Katrina you will see most people that are walking are using bags like this with wheels, we should take note of this, when analyzing any human situation the general population will evolve the equipment they carry in line with what works, and soon disregard what does not.
plastic bags help with insulation and water proofing and carrying equipment and should not be under estimated you can even carry water in a humble plastic bag
Marine boat radar can be used to provide watch towers in rural area’s with great long range night capabilities – all you need is a reliable electrical system to power it and a little expertise to set it up.
these can be used for compound defense
Learning how to grow your own food is the only sustainable way that you are going to survive in the long term should society collapse
one manner is via fish farming and aquaphonics
Of coarse you need an effective pump — PUMP ideas
one that can be made from scratch
also you can use a pipe and some rope in a loop – ROPE Pump and threading the rope through will cause watter to rise — nice thing is its very easy to improvise and can be powered with a VAWT wint turbine vawt savonius – they have high torque compared to other designs and are self breaking and can be made with very little knowhow.
Projectile Weapons – explosive impact fuses
Can be used for improvised mortar rounds Mortar rounds
Simple to construct and reasonably reliable …
“L” is the Lead disk that is cast with a pin inside ” N” is the cap (primer) and “F” is the pin —
The pin pushes through the Lead disk on setback from firing — arming the round
on impact the disk slides up with the pin into the primer firing the round
Simple and effective
Small engine Gasifier for the post apocalypse
Gasification was used in World war 2 to provide a petrol alternative to the taxi’s of London and Europe when petrol was unavailable.
Gasification is in its simplest form, a heating of carbon based materials ( wood, coal, charcoal) to produce gases, that will burn in an engine.
This can be accomplished by heating wood in a confined space and siphoning off the gases and piping them into an engine –
I am not sure this will work on a Diesel engine or a 2 stroke engine as they require different things to function effectively, than a 4 stroke Otto engine
With this in mind you should be able to create one with a little research, and i would suggest looking on-line for plans from FEMA
you then should have no issue generating electricity for some time after the fall of civilization.
It occurred to me the other day that in a sustainable energy system the most expensive and nonrenewable part of any energy system is the batteries.
in the search to replace batteries as a power source i made a simple observation that hydro electric power can be scaled down to what ever size you can afford.
This led me to the thought that you could use water as a battery on a small scale>
Continue reading Micro hydro water power
oat survival bars
3 C. raw or 2 minute Oats ( about 350 grams by weight)
1/4 tsp. salt ( to taste if you like)
3 T. honey
2 1/2 C. powdered milk ( about 200 grams by weight)
1 C. sugar ( 200 )
1/2 C. “Jelly” (best is lemon, don’t follow the instructions on the box, complements the honey- 1 packet 80 g) Continue reading Oat Survival Bars
luffa ; ) on a stick …. wash and reuse – roman style ; ) in the army you call toilet paper white gold for a reason ; )
Luffa are edible fruit of a vine that grows well in south african climates . and can be eaten while young or left on the vine to dry out to make Luffa sponges that can be used for all manner of things including to wipe your bum 😉
they are renewable, disposable and bio-degradable