Posts Tagged ‘post-apocalypse’

So I haven’t been working on my skills too much in the last couple of weeks.   The CERT class being cancelled got me off-track a little because I had planned to get a lot of skills to practice from that class.  I still got skills I can practice that I learned at the Ancient Pathways school but every time I go outside to practice I about die from the heat.  I did manage to make it to the summer solstice before I turned on the air.  But lordy it is getting hot in AZ, maybe not as hot as the end of the world, but definitely too warm.  I also got off track because I got distracted by all the post-apocalypse television and books.

In the last couple of weeks I have read “The Day of the Triffids” by Edmund Morris, the short story collection “Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse” a bunch of “Walking Dead” graphic novels, and “Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the coming collapse” by James Wesley Rawles.    While this has been fun, it was not that practical for learning real skills.

Anybody got a suggestion what I should work on next?  Preferably something inside.

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When I first began this blog I was trying to figure out the best place to loot after Law&Order no longer plays on reruns.  My thought process was looting is not criminal when it is a matter of survival, I mean, everyone does it.   After reading the prepper blogs I have come around to way of thinking that looting is not a good plan for the apocalypse for a host of decent reasons.  First, you will be surrounded by other looters.  Looters, as a rule are a desperate and unethical bunch.  You are more likely to be stabbed with a screwdriver in a mob while stampeding out than getting enough food to survive.  Why associate yourself with these people?

So looting is out, but then a friend suggested the value of looting the dump.  This is not as bad as an idea as it sounds on first instinct.  There will be food for the chickens.  There will be things to smelt.  There will be spare parts.  The problem is that your average smuck would not know what to do with the random parts one would find at the dump.    I should take in a load for research.

Anybody been to dump recently?

I added two more songs for the Post-Apocalypse playlist.

Higher Ground by Stevie Wonder

Tuesday’s Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd

A report on what the Pueblo Ruins look like has already been commented on in a previous post.  This post is more about getting to the ruins and comments on the surrounding area.

The ruins I went to 7 years ago were NOT Pueblo Canyon, they were the appropriately named Devil’s Chasm Ruins.  The two sets of ruins are relatively close to each other (I would need to consult a topo map to determine how far, but the drive to the head of each trail is 2.9 miles apart.)  Devil’s Chasm is a much more difficult, even though a shorter hike.

We met a Park Ranger in the ruins and spoke with him for a while.  He mentioned another set of ruins called Cold Spring Ruins, which is his favorite, but according to the Ranger they are hard to find and many people don’t find them.   The fact that there are separate awesome places for a post-apocalypse desert bunker so close to together emphasizes how the area is a decent place to start rebuilding.

The drive in is around 24 miles down a dirt road off of HWY188 (the road between Globe and Roosevelt Lake).   On the dirt road you cross a river three times.  The fact there is such easy water to find in the area is awesome.  You pass (I think) two ranches and multiple cow pens.  I would assume the family’s that live in these two ranches are a hearty bunch.

Below: Crossing a river on the drive in.
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Despite the fact you cross the river three times I think my Honda civic could make it the first 20.5 miles.  However, I am not sure what the parking would be like.  The last 4 miles on most definitely needs 4WD, even better if you have high-clearance.    Here is the link to what I thought were the best directions to Pueblo Canyon.

As part of my research on how I should spend my vacation time, I have been checking out what survival schools I could sign up for.

The one I ended up settling on is the Ancient Pathways’ Complete Survivor class near Flagstaff, AZ. The class covers edible plants, deadfalls, snares, and game preparation. What I am most excited about is making jerky, I love jerky! Who doesn’t? (I mean, besides vegetarians. Sidenote: How do you find a vegetarian at a cocktail party? Don’t worry they will find you. ) At first the cost for 4 days of instruction seemed a bit steep but looking at other survival courses it is not so much. I have to get a hunting license for the class.

There are other options out there.  Here is what I have found so far:

Cody Lundin in Prescott, AZ is famous from being on the cover of Backpacker magazine, Discovery Channel, and Dateline NBC which has also added to the tab for his courses.   If money was no object I would take his Self-Reliance Symposium class, 7 days at $1790 which covers all sorts of stuff, and prepares one for living off the grid.

Another good option available for folks in AZ is the Reavis Mountain School, run by Peter Bigfoot.  The prices are more reasonable.  I took his wild medicinal, edible and useful plants class a couple of years back and enjoyed it.  Over many years Peter has experimented with about every type of plant one could find in the Superstition Mountains.  Years of trial and error (and he has plenty of error stories) made it so he knows what each plant’s nutritional and medicinal uses are.     My favorite quote from the weekend was someone asked “Peter, what plant confused you the longest?”  His answer, “MJ.”

He also has classes on “off the grid” living and other survival skills.  Bring your own coffee, he doesn’t believe in it.

Another local is the AZbushman.  I have not taken any of his classes, but I really like his videos on youtube.

The person probably best known in the United States for wilderness survival skills is Tom Brown.   For example he was the technical advisor for the film The Hunted starring Tommy Lee Jones.   His Tracker School has the longest list of classes, but his website could use a little work.   It was tough to figure out which classes were actually happening.  Plus the classes are in New Jersey, which I also find a little funny.  I figure I should take classes in AZ, because that is where I will be when the SHTF.  Wikipedia has a good links of articles he wrote for Mother Earth News.

I ended up going with the Ancient pathways because their site does not emphasize one man.    Wilderness survival should be about how anyone can do it, and by empasizing one person detracts from this in some subtile way.  Plus I am a little jealous of how manly all their names are.  My parents told me that they were going to call me “Adam” and my grandmother responded, “What?!? Adam!  As in Adam and Eve?  What else you got?”  In the moment of panic they said “Kevin”.  I think I would have been taller if they had stuck with Adam.

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Above: Kindling I tried to use at my first attempt and building fire with two pieces of wood.

 When I first moved in AZ 8 years ago I did a lot of hiking.  I stumbled across a hiking group that made was made up of a bunch of retired people and me.  Despite the fact I was looking more to meet some ladies my own age I kept going back because they took me to some pretty amazing places.
One of those places was a set of native American Ruins in Pueblo Canyon near Globe, AZ.  It is not an easy place to get to.  It is about 2 hour drive time from Phoenix on paved roads plus 2 hour drive time down a 4Wheeldirt road, and finally a 6 mile hike with a whole lot of bushwhacking to get through.  The exact directions are possible to find on the internet, but I am not sure if I want to link to them.  The ruins are amazing, but they are fragile.  I vaguely recall there being two springs there.
Below: Shot taken in the ruins, the ceiling was still intact in multiple places.
If the apocalypse hits my first choice is to stay hunkered down in my own house/compound.    FEMA and others recommend that you have an escape route planned and mapped out for emergencies that make you leave your home base.  Preferably your destination should be family or friends that live about 1.5 or 2 hours drive time away.  Unfortunately for me, my Mom and Dad are in North Carolina, my brother is in NYC, and all my friends in Arizona live in Phoenix.  However, I know a place in an old boarding town of Miami, AZ where I don’t think they would refuse me.
But if the giant-life turd hits the fan hard enough and it’s a good idea to escape all of uncivilization, I am heading to the ruins in Pueblo Canyon.  I figure I won’t be the only person heading there.  I would hope the only people who would know about this very hard to find place would be like-minded individuals.
I am trying to organize a mock-exodus/scouting mission over the April 30th weekend, but I need to find somebody willing to go with high clearance.

#1 Brock Samson–  No one, and I mean no one, not Chuck Norris, not Bruce Lee, not John McClane, not even Rambo, can deliver a beat down quite like Brock Samson, bad-ass bodyguard of the Venture brothers.

#2 MacGyver Kind an obvious one, right?  The man could fix a solar panel system, engineer a communication device, and defeat cancer using only duck-tape and other random stuff in the compound.

#3 Andrew Weil We are going to need a doctor who doesn’t rely on modern medicine.  But lordy, this guy is cheesy.  Anybody got a better suggestion?

#4 The Existential Detectives from I Heart Hucklebees The survivors of the Apocalypse are going to have some tough questions about God, the meaning of life, Humanity and why we should even keep going.  Best to have some fast acting philosophers/psychologists to get us through the hard times.

#5 Les Stroud from SurvivorMan –  Brock is our bad-ass.  Mac-Guyer is good for surving in the broken down suburbs but we need help for when we have to flee into the wilderness.  Originally a Canadian who cut his chops in the great cold north, Les Stroud has traveled the world and learned all kinds of tricks.  So no matter how the weather changes after everything changes he will be ready.

#6 Myth busters crew MacGuyer’s back up team.  I figure the more engineers the better.  They also excel in coming up with ingenious ways to figure stuff out.

#7 Thomas Jefferson (Organic Gardening)  I went way back in history, but the man knew how to raise an organic farm off the grid, because you know, he didn’t have a grid.

#8 Kaylee the mechanic from Firefly to keep whatever motors we manage to get up and running to keep running.  She knows how to nurture a tired-old machine to keep working.

#9 The A-Team Mostly for the skills of Hannibal Smith, the man knows how to put a plan together.  We are going to need someone who can lead our tribe through uncertain times.  Who better than the man that could get Murdock and Mr. T to make peace to unite us?

#10 Bob Villa for construction.  The man knows how to fix old houses.  And old houses are most likely to remain standing after the first couple waves of disaster.

#11 Joan Holloway from Mad Men –  She is good at keeping an organized office.  We are all going to have to do lot’s of daily chores.  Who better to manage the tribe’s day-to-day needs of surviving?

#12 Groundskeeper Willie to help out old Thomas Jefferson in the garden.

# 13 Sanjay Gupta the CNN Doctor, is not only a doctor but has seen medicine or the lack of it all over the globe, so he will have an idea of how to get ready before the entire modern-medicine system collapses.