Archive for the ‘protein’ Category

tracking animals

Posted: June 15, 2011 in animals, arizona, protein

As mentioned in a previous post, we learned how to track humans as part of the Complete Survivor Class from Ancient Pathways. During the weekend we also discussed tracking animals.

Most books center of what the impression of the animal looks like. This is not so useful because the print will quickly deteriorate so there are no details left to identify the track. Tony emphasized one should think about the “stride and straddle” of the animal to figure out what type of animal it was.

The stride is evidence of  if the beast was walking or running. Stride  would be how long is the step, and straddle would be how wide the animal is. Identifying this takes practice. I am planning on making a “tracking box” in my backyard and study the feral cats impressions and later compare this to a coyote sized dog. Cats and dogs have different tracks.  Most of the wild animals that can hurt us were originally cats or dogs.

Below: Hard to read prints. My guess is coyote.

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One of the rules or expressions among the preppers is “eat what you store and store what you eat.”  Another sentiment is “practice is better than just reading,” which I totally agree with.  With those two sentiments in mind the Survival Mom is challenging her readers this month to cook rice and beans seven days in a row.

So, I bought some dried black beans (instead of the canned ones) to see what I could do with them.  I soaked them for three and a half days, instead of overnight, because I read somewhere that will help cut down on the cooking time, which will be helpful when wood is scarce.   I did replace the water they were soaking in every day.  The water would be dyed a little less black with each replacement of water.

Soaking them so long led to a funky smell, and some scum-like stuff floating on the top of the water.  I am not sure if this would make them unsafe to eat.    An internet search gives a unclonclusive answer.

Some say that I have fermented the beans and this is good, because it makes it easier to digest the nutrients while others say that I should throw them out.

I ate them.  They tasted very bland.

Lesson learned: Stockpile spices for the apocalypse.  Because who doesn’t like a little flavor once life has become dreary!

Gopher update

Posted: February 17, 2011 in animals, animals, backyard, cooking, gopher, gophers, pets, protein
Tags: ,

I have yet to kill much less catch a gopher. I will spare you the details because otherwise you would think I am cruel.

Last weekend, I built a solar over and tried to make sun-dried tomatoes in them.


  • Two cardboard boxes, one slightly smaller than the other.
  • Aluminium foil.
  • A piece of glass or clear plastic. I used clear plastic because I figured for first attempt best to learn on something that does not break easy.
  • Glue.
  • A knife.
  • Old issues of the New Times, specifically the ads for the strip joints in the back, because this is going to get hot!
  • Some other stuff that will be obvious.

Step 1: Figure out the angle you want, generally 30% in summer and 70% in winter.

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Step 2: Cut larger box at that angle desired.  Fold flaps back and cover with tin-foil, the flatter the better.  Be generous with the glue at the edges.

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Step 3: Cut smaller box at same angle. Smaller box is to fit into larger box eventually.

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Step 4: Line inner box with tin-foil.

Step 5:  Place smaller box in larger box, use old New Times to insulate the oven by placeing crumbled snewspaper sheets between the boxes.

Step 6: Place box at angle to get sun, best if box is portable.  Cover box with clear plastic.

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Step 6: Watching a pot boil in the sun takes forever.

Lessons Learned

First time around I hit about 150″, it was about 70″ degrees outside. I cooked tomatoes and tried to boil water. Water never even came close to boiling, but would have made a nice tea.

solarovenattempt1 027

In four hours the tomatoes were slightly dried out but not dried out for preservation.

Temperature wise it did not seem to matter if I use glass or a sheet of clear plastic.  Some videos I had watched said they had gotten the temp. to 250 degrees, so I have a lot of room for improvement.   The glass was not flush with the box, so that is where I would begin working on improvements.

Despite the fact I have yet to even coming close to catching a gopher, much less killing, skinning, cooking and eating one, at some point I am going to have to think about cooking.

If I lived in the Appalachian’ foothills of my youth then wood would not be a problem.  But here in Phoenix it might be, the desert wants for lack of enough wood for multiple fires.  The wood is good for starting fires, but not good for keeping one burning for hours on end days in a row.

There would be wood to burn from abandoned buildings, but it might take a while for people to abandoned buildings wholesale, and even if they did, a constant pillage of smoke would advertise you to the roaming pillagers, gangs and exiles.

So next experiment will be building a solar oven, goal is to boil water, that would be two birds one stone.  And one stone for two birds is a good rule of thumb to follow after Armageddon.

I am not sure if one can actually boil water in a solar heater, I hear tales of Ray Reeve’s doing experiments with a TV screen, but I plan to try.   From what I read, I need 5 walls of tinfoil, a glass wall, a door to go in and  out, and some way to hold the pot.

In the meantime, anybody got some black sheets of metal I can have for the stove?

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.