Category Archives: Thoughts

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


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

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

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


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:
and Reverent.
Boy Scout Motto

Be Prepared!

How to build survival fortifications

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 ?

Continue reading How to build survival fortifications

Comparing the Spetsnaz Spade to the Machete to the Kukri to the Hatchet multi tool

Comparing the Spetsnaz Spade to the conventional Machete to the Kukri machete 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.

First I tried the machete – ( R40 – or $3US from Makro, made by Lasher in South africa )
on softer wood that was thinner than my thumb it worked quite well, but the blade stuck fast in logs thicker than my wrist, and the reverberation of the cutting stroke was not very pleasant,

while cutting into the wood that was as thick as your wrist, after 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

Musings on staple foods

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

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.

Survival garden Recipe idea’s

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

Making keys instead of picking locks

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

The greatest step in human evolution was and is agriculture

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

Plant a Hedge to provide a light barrier when fences are not availible

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

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 Fortresses

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.

Continue reading Star Fortresses

Hot plug Diesel engines

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.

Wiki info on hot plug / bulb engines

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.

Tilapia farming in africa

link to buying fingerling’s for Tilapia in Gauteng

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 …

Budget Bug out vehical idea

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!”

SHTF transport Bug out vehical considerations

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.

high tailer go anywhere vehicle 1967

Continue reading SHTF transport Bug out vehical considerations

Map Making after SHTF

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.

Continue reading Map Making after SHTF

Trench warfare and the need for field fortification post shtf

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

Welding With Thermite

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

Home made Field telephones in a survival situation

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.

Continue reading Home made Field telephones in a survival situation

Levels of Preparedness

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.

Level A
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.
basic sanitation.
the ability to heal minor aliment associated with walking long distances (sunblock).
portable shelter.

Continue reading Levels of Preparedness

Cordless Drill Hydro Generator

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..

Link to a PDF detailing the procedure to create a Cordless Drill Hydro Generator

here are a few other idea’s from popular mechanics

Drill Driver
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

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….


Iodine, Glycerin, and Potassium Permanganate, the holy trinity of survival chemicals

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,
Iodine –
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)

Glycerin –
Chapped lips,
soothe blisters and sore hands
sweeten coffee,
helps with constipation,( South African MRE’s know as “RAT packs” or ration packs are notorious for giving you diarrhea or constipation)

Potassium Permanganate-
purifying water
in larger concentrations to make an anti septic
help with snake bites
can be combined with glycerin to make fire (Link to site)

—EDIT i have just learned that you can even light thermite with this reaction EDIT—

Sustainable live stock for SHTF – Goats, Chickens, Pigeons, Rabbits, Pigs, and Fish

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

Continue reading Sustainable live stock for SHTF – Goats, Chickens, Pigeons, Rabbits, Pigs, and Fish

For the ladies – Personal hygiene and Hair removal for Civilizations End

For the ladies – Personal hygiene and Hair removal for the Post Apocalypse

Threading for Hair Removal
From Wiki

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

Mod to your bug out bag

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 in post civilization

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

Getting home After an Apocalypse event

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

Continue reading Getting home After an Apocalypse event

Aquaphonics for sustainable food sources

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.


Micro hydro water power

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