Archive for the ‘plan’ Category

Once our bomb shelter’s food supplies run out and we crawl out to make tribes will it be better to be a jack of all trades or master of one?

After the weak are gone I would expect those that are left roaming will have certain basic skills; how to start a fire, how to build a shelter, how to trap, skin, prep and cook animals in the wild, and how to fish to name a few.
However, those with more specific skills will be in greater demand and will be able to pick the tribe they want to belong to.

Based on hours of movie watching, along with reading one of the Godfathers of the survivialist movement, Mel Tappan, the most obvious answer for the most useful skill needed is someone who knows how to use a gun. However, is it really that hard to use a gun and know how to clean it? I suspect any military trainer would tell you that using a gun on the firing range and using it in an actual combat situation is a far different thing. After all, that is why all that time is spent on military training. 

Two comments, I bet bullets will be scarce after the apocalypse, so we won’t be inclined to fire willy-nilly.  Plus, those who survive the first couple of gunfights will have the skills to know how to use a gun in a gunfight. So my thinking is someone who knows how to use a gun, while being extremely useful in the apocalypse, will be one of those skills that everyone, or at least many people have, and it won’t be a skill that sets one apart.

So what will be the skills that makes one more valuable? Obvious choice is doctor. Would it really be that hard to be a doctor in a post-apocalyptic world? I mean we are not going to be able to treat people for cancer, or perform triple heart bypass surgery, or take x-rays or a thousand other things. Would a doctor just be anyone who happened to stockpile a pile of antibiotics. Note to self: stockpile antibiotics. What is the expiration date for antibiotics? What else could a doctor treat after the end of the world?

MacGyver would be also awesome to be. But chops like that would take a lifetime to gain, no? One can’t just go out and become a whiz at figuring out how to make a high dense bomb out of baking soda, ritz crackers, and toothpaste overnight.

Back to my original question, master of all trades of master of one? Master of one will make you more valuable for a tribe, and secure your position among the tribe you like. However, you got to survive long enough first to find the tribes that are out there. Plus master of the skills that will be the most prized are skills that must be gained over many years  So master of many is the way to go for now. Or maybe I should become a quack medicine man.

Below: My neighbor working a pinata, is a great example of a man with both many and specific skills. Primarily, he can fix anything with wheels. Here he is working a pinata.
1yearold 131

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The last temporary visit of the local library yielded some useful videos on how to prepare for Humanity’s waterloo.

There were two decent videos on how to build an enviromental house.  From what I have seen so far, the community of people preparing for civilization’s curtains tend to be a conservative bunch.  One place where the preppers and the far left overlaps is Extreme Pro-Green Building. After all, surviving on your own is the goal of both groups. And I tend to like it when extremes meet.

Back to point of this post, the library had two decent videos on how to build green, a lot of the techniques might be good to know once the giant wire spider stops giving us it’s venom. They were a good start for me on how to approach the learning construction task. I really have trouble with hammers.

Building with awareness the construction of a hybrid home is a good overview of the considersations one might consider.

Building Green Hosted by Kevin Contreras goes into much more detail.  With four discs he walks through multiple aspects of building green during all stages on construction.

Thank you Phil Freedom for putting the following in the Conspire Community Calendar.

With our well known Achilles Heel, lack of water, Phoenix gets a bad rap when people are discussing post-Apocalyptic hang-out spots.  But, Phoenix has got a lot going for it.

First, you are not likely freeze to death. Here in the desert we forgot how a constant cold blast makes it hard to live.  When we are all riding motorcycles around in our underwear, the constant sun will be a blessing.

Second, a betting man might say the most likely Great Cataclysm is global warming.  It is also the most likely to be the slowest, even slower than an Al Gore lecture. California and the East Coast are screwed. The problem will be too much water.  I hate to get all Lex Luthor but I wouldn’t mind if California falls into the ocean. Personally, I hope the tropics move north and we have beach volley-ball all the way to Tucson.

This leads us to the third reason, the water issue. Hopefully, this won’t be the problem, see second reason. Yet if it is, I don’t think it will be as bad as people make. This city was founded on canals, and supported 20,000 people. Now, if the 4 million that are currently here, stay alive and here, then we are fucked.

Fourth, people with real skills will be hanging out on 5th street. We got people who can fix bikes, makes clothes and grow plants here. And three skills are better than none.

Kevin Patterson

Insert Irony Here.

Posted: February 4, 2011 in plan, research, water
Tags: , ,

So in all of my preparations for the end times, I somehow overlooked paying my water bill for 4 months in a row. So the city shut off my water last night, today I got it turned back on.  I have no excuse for not paying my bill.  I find it funny that I spent so much time researching and experimenting on how to survive when the grid fails that I forgot to pay the bill and the grid, therefore, failed me.

I had to go to work without taking a shower, I suspect people noticed. I did have a 2.5 gallon plastic container of water that I had bought recently. I have been buying them to avoid drinking non-city water and also planned on using the empty containers for prepping seeds. So I had water to drink and rinse that night’s dishes, but it got me thinking how I bet it would have only lasted me two, maybe three days if I stretched it. If there had been no easy way to gather new water I would have been screwed.

So I think a good experiment would be to see how I would survive a weekend without any grid water. I am going to prep a little for the experiment. I am going to gather containers for water, first.

In a couple of weekends, the plan is a Friday afternoon after work, I am going to pretend that I would know the water was going to go out, so I will have two hours to gather as much water from the faucet as I can.  After that I turn the meter off and for the rest of the weekend I will only wash, clean, drink, or cook with water I gathered. I am curious to see how much water I will need. I am also curious to see how much more cleaning and cooking will be a pain in the ass without grid water.

I can tell you in my one night without water, I found cleaning dishes a surprising pain in the ass, and as I mentioned, earlier I had to go to work without taking a shower, and I think people noticed.  Awkward.

One the last places people would think to raid is their local library.  But there is a whole shit load of knowledge there.  Probably best if you read the books first, however your tribe will have people who have an immediate desire to learn but no repository of knowledge to pull from.  Library raiding is more beneficial for the mid and long-term survival rather than the short- term.  But, as I said, this will be one of the last places people think to raid.

The problem is the library’s card catalog system will be down.  So here is the Dewey Decimal System of places on the bookshelves to hit first.  Print this list for your bookmaker. The subjects you probably learned in high school will the least useful and there is no need to scanvager them first.  Once the inital shock has jelled for a while you will probably be able to roam the literature section.

180 Ancient, medieval, Oriental philosophy
500 Natural sciences & mathematics
508 Natural history
550 Earth sciences
581 Botany
582 Plants noted for specific vegetative characteristics and flowers
600 Technology (Applied sciences)
610 Medical sciences; Medicine
611 Human anatomy, cytology, histology
612 Human physiology
613 Promotion of health

613.69 Survival Guides

614 Incidence & prevention of disease
615 Pharmacology and therapeutics
616 Diseases
617 Surgery & related medical specialties
619 Experimental medicine
640 Home economics & family living
645 Household furnishings
646 Sewing, clothing, personal living
647 Management of public households
649 Child rearing & home care of sick

I might edit this list as I come across new numbers when I check out books, which is like raiding a place with the safety wheels still on.

As noted in previous posts, I have been brainstorming through what would be the places that folks would be less likely to think of to raid but would have useful stuff none-the-less.

I think pharmacies could be at the top of the list.  However I bet anyone who has to take medicine for one reason or another might also think of this as well, but would they by-definition be a little easier to defeat in a struggle?

Pharmacies have lots of pills for lots of different aliments. Pills are easy to carry. So would pills would be good thinks to negotiate with. But what beyond antibiotics would be good to gather?

Off to the internet!

The Hesperian group has a pdf copy of their book Where There Is No Doctor. This book’s goal is provide communities with instructions on how to provide medical care in third world situations, would be useful in the apocalypse as well.  Particularly Chapter 6, “Right and Wrong Uses of Modern Medicines.” “green pages” which is their list of “The Uses, Dosage, and Precautions for Medicines” mentioned throughout the 504 page long book.

Also worth printing out before the grid finally collapses is the World Health Organizations list of essential medicines.  They list about 200. But it has a whole bunch of terms (such as “Antianginal medicines” that I am not sure what they mean.  On a side note,  getting someone who had served in Doctors without Borders would be a good member for one’s tribe.

So raid the pharmacy, grab whatever you can, and get home and study the list, of course you won’t be able to google the terms after Armageddon.

Like most Zombie Movies, Zombieland does not have a lot of particularly useful tips or insights to survive the apocalypse.  The one thing I did like was a list of rules to help guide one through the end of life’s trials and tribulations.

In the movie, the main character creates his rules based on past mistakes.  With that spirit in mind, I am going to start creating rules as I figure everything else out.   In the movie, the main character listed the rules in the order of when he learned them.  I think I will organize mine around importance.

For now, only one rule comes to mind.  Which is “Always do the look back.”  When in the desert gathering wild plants, one will stop from time to time and lay down a bunch of tools.  It is easy to forget something and therefore lose it forever, or at least have to walk back.  This would be greatly inconvenient if one was near the point of starvation.  So based on past-experience of leaving cameras, water bottles, and cell phones on  previous hikes I am establishing the “Always do the look back” rule.