Archive for the ‘plan’ Category

Update on Fry’s electronics

Posted: January 2, 2011 in plan, tribe

I went to fry’s electronics to find a part to adapt the solar power water pump I have and while there took a scouting mission of the store.

In general, Fry’s Electronics does has not a lot of useful stuff for the post apocalypse. However, what they do have might be come in very useful. It is stuff more for long-term survival (such as protecting the compound) rather than for immediate survival.

Useful things there.

  • Portable Solar Panel Systems (Sidenote for future research: Check out company sites for Sunforce, Sunsel, and Tamiya.)
  • Locks
  • Batteries
  • Entry Defense Alarms (run by batteries) Doberman is brand name.
  • Handcuffs
  • Pepper Spray
  • Metal Detectors
  • Gold panning kits
  • Very life-like toy guns (to be used for training purposes)
  • Praying mantis kit (for growing insects for fishing)
  • Binoculars
  • Telescope
  • Night vision goggles

I am sure there are also a bunch of other electronic widgets and plug-ins that would be useful to have if one had basic electrical skills, which I do not.

And of course The snuggie for warmth and security.


Escape from Phoenix

Posted: January 2, 2011 in plan, thoughts
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Phoenix is one of those towns that gets a bad rap when people are figuring out how to survive in the after times.  The lack of water is a true Achilles Heel.  However, one of the things Phoenix has got going for it, is not likely going to freeze to death.  I am typing this on a Sunday morning while it is 32 degrees, rare for the AZ desert. A nice reminder that I hate being cold.  Plus living in a cold place and surviving will be much much more difficult once the grid collapses.

As a reflection on the cold, worth watching is Idiot with a camera. A youtube video that Roger Ebert thinks should win an academy award.

Raid Fry’s Electronics?

Posted: December 31, 2010 in brainstorm, plan
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Would Fry’s electronics be good to raid?  I mean it is counterintuitive right? Electronics, meaning video games, VCR’s, DVD’s, computers and Washing Machines seem like silly things in a land without electricity (or at least the Grid’s electricity).  But Fry’s Electronics has got a lot of crazy shit.  Plus I live close to there, which makes it good for raiding.  For those who don’t know what Fry’s Electronics is imagine some weird Target without the clothes, gardening stuff, non-prepackaged food, camping stuff but all that space replaced with a giant Radio Shack. Its worth at least a scouting mission.

I need to go there anyway to help me figure out something I am stuck on with the portable solar power system, which is what got me thinking in the first place.

Let all the ignorant masses try to pillage Wal-mart, the place will be filled with idiots whose entire plan is to raid Wal-Mart.  Like grabbing cheap-shit made in China that will not stand the test of time is a plan.

Gun stores and grocery stores will also be a lot of competition.

What will people not think of first to raid but will have tons of good stuff?

How about Petsmart?   I am thinking Petsmart will be  a good place to raid and pillage, but this is coming from a man who has never been there, so it’s all guess-work at this point.  Maybe worth a scouting trip?

Why I think Petsmart would work.

  • First off I would imagine there is lots of bird seed.  Protein, easy to carry,  already dried.  It’s the post-apocalyptic version of gathering nuts and berries.
  • Dog food.  I bet that shit is canned to last forever.
  • Lots of good materials to build traps with.  And pre-limanary research shows building the trap looks to be the hard part when trying to trap an animal.
  • Cages in which to keep, feed and transport animals.
  • Animals = Food.
  • Medicine for animals. I bet there is a lot of anti-boditics that are good enough for a human in a pinch.  Plus who couldn’t use a horse tranquilizer or two when everyone has got a bad case of PTSD blues.

On the list of places one might be able to raid without too much trouble is the large big box Hardware stores. I assume after all of society burns down we all will have to build again at some point.

Some would obvioulsy already have these tools in their workroom. I probably don’t. While doing tasks as simple as building a ladder and changing out my garbage disposal I have learned not only do I have very few tools, but I am not entirely familiar with the few that I have.

So I need to consult an expert on this. To get me started I have been skimming through the Reader’s Digest: Complete Do-it-yourself Manual Circa 1973. I found it in a used bookshop.

What I like about it, is it has a list of the “Job to be done” with a corresponding “Appropriate Hand Tools” column and a corresponding “Useful Power Tools” column. I assume I can ignore the “Useful Power Tools” column. Power Tools, as a rule, are heavy and also need power. Which I assume we won’t have much after the power plants all implode.

Here are some of the tasks and the corresponding tools. I have selected the tasks one should be able to do to build a basic fortification and shelter, without use of the Grid.

Installing a door

Installing a door lock

Securing loose brick
cold chisel
mortar (Sidenote: Can one build their own mortar?)
whiskbroom (Which I am sure one could build themself.)

Repairing rotted clapboard
nail set
pry bar
paint and brush

What is not in the book, is how to build a fence. That is worth learning as well.

Next step would become familiar with these tools and look for opportunites to use them around the house.

Below is a list of the skills one should have to survive after the Apocalypse. My goal for 2011 is to learn as much as I can in one year (2012 it all ends, right?) while holding down my day job. I don’t expect to learn every skill below. However, I thought I should first brainstorm all the skills I should learn and from there pick the most important and most likely ones I would be able to acquire in one year.

Two notes about the list below:

  • First, the lists is loosely organized around Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, starting with the most fundamental.  Within each sub-category skills needed for the short-term (or immediate survival) are listed before skills needed for more long-term survival.
  • Second, while I wrote the original version of this list on Dec, 16, 2010 the list is being constantly added to and edited. I add items as I think of them, and also build links into particular subjects as I find links that I particularly like for specific subjects.

Physiological Needs


How to purify water

Get water out of a cactus

How to gather rain

How to dig a well


How to start a fire without a match

How to pick a survival knife

How to skin an animal

How to hunt an animal

How to shoot an arrow

How to make a bow and arrow

How to use a gun

How to pick a gun

How to clean and maintain a gun

How to make a bullet

How to trap an animal

How to track an animal

How to make beef jerky

How to gather food

How to raise an animal

How to grow corn, beans, squash and other southwestern foods

How to can foods

How to dry beans

How to dehydrate food

How to read the weather


How to build a shelter

How to use a leatherman

Basic construction knowledge

Basic electrical knowledge

How to raid a home depot store


How to sew a button

How to repair shirt/pants

Safety Needs

Personal Security

How to use a gas mask

How to swing a golf club as a weapon

Same weapon skills needed for hunting listed above

How to build/repair a fence

How to build a perimeter

How to make a cannon

Basic chemistry

Financial Security

How to raid a pharmacy

Bargaining skills

How to siphon gas

How to start an abandoned car

How to build a solar power system

How to build a wind system

Health and well-being

How to fix a wound

Basic medical care for the short and long term

Basic psychology or counseling skills

How to swamp cool the natural way

Love and belonging needs

How to build a commune

How to make a plan

How to communicate long distance without power

How to play the harmonica

How to navigate using the stars