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Saturday, January 10, 2009

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First Things First: What’s This TEOTWAWKI I’ve Heard About?

Posted in Getting Prepared, Survival Culture by Rob Taylor on August 20th, 2007

TEOTWAWKI is an acronym which stands for The End Of The World As We Know It. Most folks agree it was coined in the 1990’s by a guy named Mike Medintz on a survival forum. That’s the short answer.

The long answer is that TEOTWAWKI is both a concept and a bit of an ideology. TEOTWAWKI is literally a society changing, and likely world changing, apocalypse. When a survivalist talks about TEOTWAWKI he or she is talking about a scenario where there is total break down of civil order, where society ceases to exist and anarchy reigns. They may believe that TEOTWAWKI will happen in the context of massive natural disasters, World War III (or really the aftermath of it) or some believe that the world is slowly, inexorably sliding into a new dark ages. No matter how it’s envisioned, from a massive meteor strike to a suicidal conflict between nuclear armed opponents, TEOTWAWKI scenarios imagine the total destruction of our civilized world and the birth of a savage post-apocalyptic wasteland.

As a concept, it is actually quite useful even if you have faith that society can rebound from any disaster, natural or otherwise, because it gives you a standard of preparedness to shoot for that will take you through almost any disaster you can imagine. If you’re prepared to live through the absolute end of the world, a bad hurricane should be a breeze. When you put together a disaster plan, don’t just think about what you’d do in a blackout after a storm, don’t just plan on spending two or three days indoors after a blizzard. Instead imagine a world where you can’t buy groceries or gas, where there is no electric grid and no police force to protect you. Imagine that feeding, clothing, sheltering and protecting yourself and your family was up to you and you alone for an indefinite period of time.

Suddenly a few candles and some canned beets doesn’t seem like such good preparation, huh? That’s why TEOTWAWKI is such a useful concept for anyone wanting to be prepared for whatever life throws at them, because it sets the bar high enough that once you’ve gotten all your gear and plans together, you will literally be ready for anything.

As an ideology, I have mixed feeling about it. The idea of TEOTWAWKI has taken on an almost religious tone amongst some survivalists, and similar to the Y2K panic of the 90’s it’s easy to believe while reading some of the survivalist websites out there that people are not so much preparing for TEOTWAWKI as wishing for it. TEOTWAWKI is the survivalist version of the rapture in some extreme cases, the ultimate punishment met out by the survival gods on those who didn’t prepare for the worst.

But more importantly the TEOTWAWKI scenario envisions a very different kind of America than I do. I have seen community after community pull together after a disaster to help each other, from 9-11 to the big blackout a couple of summers ago, and I don’t see a time when barbarity will rule over us all. Anarchy in the legal sense may take place after some great disaster, but your neighbors and friends will still be your neighbors and friends, and those relationships are the foundation for civilization, and the keys to its survival.

I however am an optimist. I expect the best, but prepare for the worst.

Original: http://survival.red-alerts.com/survival-culture/first-things-first-whats-this-teotwawki-ive-heard-about/

Gold: The Sucker’s Bet for Long Term Survival

Posted in Getting Prepared, Survival Culture by Rob Taylor on December 10th, 2007

With the survivalist community increasingly based online, misinformation and panicky predictions of impending doom have the potential to spread faster than ever.

The “buy gold” phenomenon now sweeping the net is the best example of rumor based marketing aimed at vulnerable groups of people willing to accept sometimes preposterous claims due to their ideological or cultural views. Gold retailers are have been marketing their services to Americans by playing on the financial fear mongering of a left leaning MSM whose anti-Bush tax cut agenda is best served by convincing people that things are worse than they actually are.

Six years of propaganda, a chaotic middle east gearing up for World War III and China’s manipulation of world currency has substantially weakened the dollar, which is not all bad news by the way, though it does often make stock holdings more volatile. Congress demanded that credit be extended to poor people a decade ago or so, and now all that lending has led to a high default rate, which also hurts stock holders, causes market turmoil and basically makes people panic.

So is gold the answer to that?

Gold can be a wise investment for investors betting against the dollar or worried about long term dollar devaluation, but for the survivalist planning for TEOTWAWKI gold is not the answer. I know, gold prices are soaring and that makes what I’m about to tell you counterintuitive, but the fact remains that survivalists who put their savings into gold are playing a sucker’s bet that will haunt them well after they emerge from whatever apocalyptic scenario they envision.

First things first. Gold is like anything else, it’s only as valuable as long as the demand for it is. Gold prices are soaring in part because of good marketing by gold dealers and affiliate marketers. Many of the sites you’ve recently visited extolling the virtue of gold are what are called M.F.A. websites.

M.F.A. stands for “Made for Adsense” and they’re a powerful money making tool for web marketers. Google’s Adsense program is popular with web marketers because you make money anytime a visitor to your site just clicks an ad; they don’t have to buy anything. Different ads pay different amounts and the best way to guarantee high payouts is to write articles containing keywords that bring up high paying ads.

Guess what term has some high paying Adsense payouts. The payout for just one click can be $1 or more. Compare that to payouts for most subjects, which are often in the pennies per click.

Putting up a site with plenty of content discussing buying gold will bring up high paying ads. Thus site developers have an incentive to put up these sites. As more of the sites crop up, more people link to them, read them and begin internalizing their message, which the developer may or may not even buy into.

If you’re getting your info from a site that looks like this, consider the source.

Consider the message too. Gold sellers want you to believe that all currency is essentially valueless (which in a certain sense it is) but that gold has a value that transcends societal instability or world wide civil unrest. To prove this they point to gold’s wild climb in value, which if anything should prove to you that the gold market is as volatile as any other market.

Gold is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it, nothing more, nothing less. Gold popularity stems from its ability to be easily worked into various forms, like rings or bracelets, making it one of the first forms of portable wealth civilization had. If you’ve ever read the old Epic poems like Beowulf or The Niebulungenleid you will find that ancient lords and ladies were called “ring givers” and similar. That’s because gold rings were used as payment to vassals for their loyalty.

But times have changed. People don’t purchase farmland and cattle with a gold earring anymore, and modern money is a state monopoly. There is no way to be 100% sure that after civil unrest or worse, collapse, that people will trade gold at the levels you bought it at, if at all.

Imagine yourself in the closest America had to a TEOTWAWKI scenario, post-Katrina New Orleans. As the days go on and people emerge to trade you grab your trusty gold coins and hit the makeshift market. You plunk down the ounce of pure gold you bought for $800 and change (you bought at a premium) at the table of some enterprising fellow and then … what?

He gives you roughly $800 worth of goods and services for a coin he may or or may not get $800 bucks for when things normalize? He takes your word for it that it’s worth at least $796 or so?

Or he gives you less for it than if you traded in something he could really use?

People are nowhere near as far sighted as you think and unless you live in a community of gold hoarding survivalists, Ron Paul supporters or maybe Ren Festers, the chances of you trading gold coins for services post-TEOTWAWKI and getting anything near their value is a sucker’s bet.

Gold is a good investment in general, though profit wise currency trading seems as good as gold, pardon the pun. But gold isn’t guaranteed to keep its value any more than any other material. As a survivalist I’m all about the guarantee. I use my wealth now to prepare for worst case scenarios by stocking supplies and trade goods. Things like long storing foods, blankets and candles will have value no matter what the situation.

I have no idea, if civilization really collapsed, what the local economy will look like but I think the safest bet is having goods and a set of skills people will pay for. I’m not willing to bet my family’s lives on gold.

After a short term crisis when the banks reopen your gold will be valuable. But so will your check book. Any disaster in which gold would preserve your wealth would probably not be severe enough that having a diverse portfolio would hurt you either. Gold is a good buy, as long the demand keeps the prices going up, but like anything else the bubble will burst eventually.

But that’s just my two cents. Double down on gold if you want, just give me time to set up a site with plenty of Adsense.

Original: http://survival.red-alerts.com/survival-culture/gold-the-suckers-bet-for-long-term-survival/

Link of the Day

Very interesting article in the New York Times


Use a Prius as an Emergency Generator

If you happen to be the owner of a Toyota Prius, or any other battery-packed hybrid car, you can use it as a surprisingly effective emergency generator.

After a storm knocked out power in his neighborhood, John Sweeney did some characteristic things to keep warm in the chilly Massachusetts winter weather. His family bundled up, they burned wood, but for lack of an emergency generator to keep the lights on they took advantage of the battery based design of their Prius. The Harvard Press reports:

Sweeney ran his refrigerator, freezer, TV, woodstove fan, and several lights through his Prius, for three days, on roughly five gallons of gas.

“When it looked like we were going to be without power for awhile, I dug out an inverter (which takes 12v DC and creates 120v AC from it) and wired it into our Prius…These inverters are available for about 0 many places online,” he wrote.

The device allowed the engine to run every half hour, automatically charging the car battery and indirectly supplying the required power.

While using a car with an inverter as an emergency source of power is no new thing, the combination of the large battery capacity of the hybrid car and it’s modest fuel consumption as a generator is genius.

Original at: http://www.82123.net:80/update-news-use-a-prius-as-an-emergency-generator-clever-uses

Baby, it’s cold outside

Stay warm, safe and healthy with these winter weather tips
By Kelly Moyer

Tip No. 1: Cover up and know your body’s warning signs

• Layers are key to preventing over-exposure to the cold weather, says Anne Parrott, Columbia County’s health preparedness coordinator.

“It’s much easier for our bodies to handle cold weather if we layer our clothing,” Parrott says. “If we get too hot we can peel off layers.”

The outer layer needs to be made from a tightly woven fabric to “resist wind, water and the cold more effectively,” Parrott says.

• Cover your extremities with water-resistant gloves, two pair of socks, a warm hat and scarf to retain body heat and stave off cold weather injuries like frost nip or frostbite.

Avoid frost nip (or the more extreme frostbite) by paying attention to your body’s signals.

If your fingers, nose or other body parts feel numb and the top layer of skin feels hard and rubbery, you’re experiencing frost nip, which is a freezing of the top layers of skin, Parrott says.

If you continue to stay outside in the cold temperatures and aren’t properly covered, you could get frostbite or even go into hypothermia, Parrott cautions.

Frostbite is when ice crystals freeze inside the skin, causing the area to turn white and giving it a hard, wooden feel. If someone is experiencing frostbite, move them indoors and soak the affected area in water that is warm but not hot — between 105 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit, Parrott sys.

“You need to gently warm the area until the skin is flushed,” she says. “Once the area is warmed, wrap in a sterile gauze and if it’s fingers or toes, wrap them separately. That will help keep the area warm and protected.”

An extreme risk of cold weather is hypothermia, which is a general cooling of the body’s core temperature. Symptoms of mild hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering and the hands will be numb. It is important to get professional medical help at this point, Parrott says, because re-warming of the body must be done gradually as to not shock the heart, brain or other organs. If you don’t have immediate access to a hospital, wrap the person in blankets, coats or other materials to gently restore heat to the body and avoid jostling the person, Parrott says.

• Jeans aren’t the best material to wear in the wet snow because they absorb moisture, but if you layer them with long johns and don’t get too wet, you’ll be OK. Just make sure they’re loose-fitting jeans, says Parrott, otherwise you’ll constrict your blood flow, making it more difficult to stay warm.

“Tight clothing restricts the blood circulation and we need good circulation to stay warm,,” Parrott says.

• Wear two pair of socks, water resistant shoes or boots and make sure you have a decent tread on your soles to avoid falls. If you carry a walking stick or cane for assistance remember that the stick is only as good as the rubber tip on the end of it, Parrott says.

“Wooden walking sticks are going to slide on the ice and won’t help you avoid falls,” Parrott says.

Tip No. 2: Stay hydrated

Anne Parrott, Columbia County’s public health preparedness coordinator, says one of the best things people can do to avoid winter weather-related health concerns is also one of the easiest — just drink more water.

“One of the things people don’t realize is how dehydrated they’re getting in the winter,” Parrott says. “We don’t drink enough fluids during this time of year and, when we do, we tend to focus on fluids that might be more dehydrating.”

Staying hydrated helps the body regulate its internal temperature. But dehydration can wreak havoc on our systems, causing us to lose energy and feel tired.

Think about it. What’s the first thing you want to reach for when the weather gets cold and you’re feeling tired? Coffee or tea. But caffeinated beverages don’t replenish our body’s lost fluids, Parrott says.

“We perspire in the cold weather, so we’re losing fluids, but when it’s cold and especially when the wind is blowing, it evaporates so quickly we don’t notice it,” Parrott says. “So it’s important to drink plenty of water, fruit juices and some herbal teas.”

Some herbal teas act as diuretics, flushing water from the body, Parrott cautions, so stick with plain water when you can or drink a warming tea like ginger, which helps the body increase blood flow, Parrott says. Other warming foods include garlic and cayenne pepper. “That’s why chili is so appealing in the winter,” Parrott says. “People like the spiciness of it.”

Drinking more fluids and keeping your body hydrated can help ease other winter weather complaints such as chapped lips and dry skin. “Chapped lips can be a sign of the body’s overall hydration status,” Parrott says. “But lips are also affected of course by the cold and the wind.”

And in the season of revelry, remember that alcohol is a big dehydrator. Increase your water intake if you’re going to drink wine, beer or liquor and stay away from really cold beverages, Parrott says.

“My husband and I keep a Brita filter with water in it on the countertop so we have cool, but not cold, water to drink,” Parrott says.

Tip No. 3: Use extra caution with infants in cold weather

Unlike adults and older children, infants cannot regulate their body temperatures by shivering, so cold weather can be especially dangerous to the youngest members of our community, Parrot says.

“Infants lose heat more quickly and they can’t regenerate heat through shivering like adults can,” Parrott says. “So it’s very important to not have your infant sleeping in a cold room.”

At night, make sure your baby is sleeping in a warm room and don’t hesitate to bundle them up when you go outside, Parrott says. “Put on multiple layers of loose clothing on your infants and make sure they have a good hat on, preferably one that ties under their chin,” she says. “I’m not sure if they still make them, but the mittens on a string are a good idea too, so they don’t loose them while you’re out.”

For children out playing in the snow, remember to bring them inside for at least 10 minutes every hour to warm up and drink warm fluids.

And don’t let your little ones eat un-melted snow, Parrott cautions. “Eating cold snow will drop the core temperature of the body, it’s not good for you.”

Tip No. 4: Don’t forget about your pets

The Oregon Humane Society offers the following general advice for keeping your pets safe during inclement winter weather:

• Keep all pets inside when the temperatures drop below 30 degrees to keep your animals from getting frostbite on their ears, nose and feet.

• If you absolutely cannot bring your pets indoors make sure your pets’ outdoor houses are dry and elevated with dry bedding and a flap over the door to keep cold wind out.

• Use plastic food and water bowls instead of metal. Just like ours, your pet’s tongue can freeze to metal when it’s cold outside.

• Give indoor pets less food when they’re not getting as much outdoor exercise, but give outdoor pets more food during the winter months because their bodies will need extra calories to produce more body heat.

• Wipe your pets’ paws when they come in from an outdoor walk to remove salt, antifreeze or other harmful chemicals or ice that may be stuck in their paw pads.

• More dogs get lost in the winter because dogs lose their scent during snowstorms and can’t find their way home, so remember to keep your dog on a leash during walks in the snow and make sure your pets have their ID tags on them at all times.

• Don’t leave pets in the car during the cold weather. Just like in the sun, when cars heat up faster than other spaces, cars cool off quicker too, and can cause an animal to freeze to death in this type of winter weather.

• Watch out when you get in your car in the morning — cats sometimes crawl under cars to keep warm.

Tip No. 5: Be prepared to go it alone

Columbia County experiences a “wide range of winter challenges,” says Parrott, the county’s public health emergency preparedness coordinator.

“In one year we can see ice, snow, rain, freezing rain, windstorms and landslides as a result of all of it,” Parrott says.

And the way the county is structured, with several cities and towns located in remote, hard-to-access regions, can make dealing with winter emergencies extremely difficult for first responders.

When the first snowstorm hit our area last week, a Scappoose water tanker assisting Columbia River Fire & Rescue slid off a slippery road into a ditch. Luckily no one was injured in that accident, but it demonstrates the peril first responders sometimes face in remote regions of Columbia County.

Therefore, Parrott cautions, people in our neck of the great Oregon woods should be ready to go it alone for several days — and in some regions like Mist and Jewel, for up to a week.

“Downed trees, downed power lines, ice, snow, flooding. All of those things can sever our communities,” Parrott says. “So people need to be prepared for winter weather for a minimum of 72 hours and, in the more remote areas, for seven days. Because that’s how long it may take rescuers to reach you.”

Emergency Checklist

Packing emergency kits for your home and car is a good idea no matter where you live, but for Columbia County residents, it can be critical during the winter months. The following emergency kit is from the U.S. Center for Disease Control, which operates “one of the best websites on preparedness,” according to Parrott:

* Water - three gallons for each person who would use the kit and an additional four gallons per person or pet for use if you are confined to your home

* Food - a three-day supply in the kit and at least an additional four-day supply per person or pet for use at home. You may want to consider stocking a two-week supply of food and water in your home.

* Items for infants - including formula, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, powdered milk and medications not requiring refrigeration

* Items for seniors, disabled persons or anyone with serious allergies - including special foods, denture items, extra eyeglasses, hearing aid batteries, prescription and non-prescription medications that are regularly used, inhalers and other essential equipment.

* Kitchen accessories - a manual can opener; mess kits or disposable cups, plates and utensils; utility knife; sugar and salt; aluminum foil and plastic wrap; re-sealable plastic bags

* A portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra, fresh batteries

* Several flashlights and extra, fresh batteries

* A first aid kit

* One complete change of clothing and footwear for each person - including sturdy work shoes or boots, raingear and other items adjusted for the season, such as hats and gloves, thermal underwear, sunglasses, dust masks

* Blankets or a sleeping bag for each person

* Sanitation and hygiene items - shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, comb and brush, lip balm, sunscreen, contact lenses and supplies and any medications regularly used, toilet paper, towelettes, soap, hand sanitizer, liquid detergent, feminine supplies, plastic garbage bags (heavy-duty) and ties (for personal sanitation uses), medium-sized plastic bucket with tight lid, disinfectant, household chlorine bleach

* Other essential items - paper, pencil, needles, thread, small A-B-C-type fire extinguisher, medicine dropper, whistle, emergency preparedness manual

* Entertainment - including games and books, favorite dolls and stuffed animals for small children

* A map of the area marked with places you could go and their telephone numbers

* An extra set of keys and IDs - including keys for cars and any properties owned and copies of driver's licenses, passports and work identification badges

* Cash and coins and copies of credit cards

* Copies of medical prescriptions

* Matches in a waterproof container

* A small tent, compass and shovel

Original at: http://www.spotlightnews.net/news/story.php?story_id=123013958605503900

Quote of the Day

There was a time when we were considered kooky survivalists. Now perceptions have changed. Greg Moeller


As I have opined previously, besides lawyers and politicians most of the nations evils can be traced back to Vermin Yuppie Scum. And where is the place most Yuppies hang out, practicing their Snooty French Sneer and compensating for undersized genitalia by showing off their shiny new cars? Why, Costco, of course. Now, perhaps this isn’t the fault of Costco. Perhaps the good people at Costco were taken over by an advancing hoard of unstoppable evil lemmings. Perhaps the Yuppies drove twice the speed limit ( “It’s my road, peasant, all mine!!” ) swerving ahead of any Ford or Chevy pick-up ( used of course, their kissing cousins the building contractors only buy new pick-up trucks since it is a tax write off and they can fool the unsuspecting that they aren’t part of the evil cabal ) and pulling into the store first, pushing aside the less unfortunate as if their money was somehow less good.

But, it is not to be. The corporate controllers are well aware of the demographic group they are targeting. They want Yuppie mobs to wake up at 10 a.m. after a wicked ten martini hang over, swing by the store quickly to bark at the employees and get a shopping list for the day. They use their Double Secret Entry Pass to get in an extra hour ahead of the great unwashed masses and buy dirt cheap booze and overpriced food. As most have hangovers, the only prices they are concerned with are those where the stop first, the alcohol isle. It must be a loss-leader where Costco gives away the rot-gut at below cost to entice the Rummies into the store. After their hootch selection at happy prices, they finish their shopping not giving a care in the world as to the prices.

A year ago I was awash in filthy lucre and decided I would start buying storage food in bulk. I went down to Costco and spent $50 for a membership card. I made one purchase after carefully looking at all available products. I felt violated. I felt ripped off. I felt as if a grave injustice had been perpetuated upon my person. Costco is, in short, a rip off. If you only buy name brand products, and you buy in bulk at Costco, you will save a little money. If, on the other hand you shop at Wal-Mart and buy generic brands you can actually buy much less in size and still save money. My current job is delivery driver for a food charity. I go around and pick up food donations. The food bank gets its cleaning supplies at Costco. And are they getting ripped off. Even with a discount using a Costco branded American Express card they are paying a premium of 10 to 20% over buying generic. I tried giving them a list of items and the savings but of course, who am I? I’m just a driver. A near minimum wage earner. What the heck do I know?

Don’t get me wrong, I already knew that Costco was a rip off, that’s why I stopped shopping there. I remembered enough prices shopping at Wal-Mart to know Costco was charging way too much. I had thought a non-profit organization would be interested in saving money. But they weren’t. I almost think they are getting a lot of funding from government. Now, I realize that in effect I am comparing apples to oranges here. Why compare name brand to generic? Why indeed. The last time I had a bad experience with generic was when they first got popular in the mid 1980’s. Some items were not even food they were so bad. Now, you can’t tell the difference between name brand and generic. I mean, sure, Trader Joe’s doesn’t compare to Wal-Mart house brand, but for items available in the same store there is often no difference. I fail to taste the difference between Folgers and Wal-Mart brand coffee, and the price difference is substantial.

On some items it is cheaper to buy at Costco. Their twenty five pound sack of pinto beans is about 35 cents a pound, far cheaper than the fifty cents a pound at Wal-Mart. But you would have to buy four hundred pounds just to pay for the membership card. Rice is about the same, as is flour. Meat is about the same but you must buy more at Costco to get the savings. The large rounds of toilet paper are more expensive than the small packs at Wal-Mart. Unless space is at a premium there is no need to buy them ( although, truthfully the price difference is small on this one item ). You save almost half by buying generic disinfectant compared to Pine-Sol. Unless you are buying for a large family while also storing food for your survival group it is a complete waste of money to buy a Costco membership. Just shop at Wal-Mart and buy smaller packages at a cheaper price.

Original: http://bisonsurvivalblog.blogspot.com/2006/11/costco.html

primitive weapons

Every once in awhile I will spray a bit of venom towards Yuppie Survivalists, perhaps at times saying something a little bit too harsh such as they are the great unwashed evil. And the blog www.survivalblog.com might come under fire. But Jim ( with a name like Jim you’ve got to be good ) does provide a valuable service. He assembles the bulk of survivalists and provides them with a forum. The amount of information these guys have available as a whole is amazing. My only personal problem with it is that most of the times it is the wrong kind of information, being of the Big Bucks kind. But by reading it every day you get those gems of useful information. Just don’t be too tight. Throw him some kind of bone to keep him in business. At least shop with his advertisers and let them know where you found them.

The latest heads up I really enjoyed was the ongoing thread about weapons after a severe collapse. The logic is that after technological and industrialized society has collapsed, what kind of weapons could be used. The detail as far as swords and bows was incredible. Metal composition, manufacturing technique, tactics, etc. was all discussed. It was very interesting. Of course by the time black powder was mentioned the discussion had pretty much run its course. That is another good thing about the blog. A moderator. Endless flame wars and petty bickering and too long of threads were the problems of the old discussion groups. Even a good one that is moderated doesn’t have the mass appeal of Jim’s blog and thus doesn’t have the meeting of minds to solve most problems.

Bows and swords are great weapons. As long as they are practiced with for a lifetime. You start young and you keep at it until you are killed. A valuable resource years in the making and needing constant practice has just been eliminated. When you need years to learn a skill and then hours a day to keep it, you are a very valuable resource. There are very few of you. You are an elite. And then you die in battle. This is very inefficient as a way to wage war. As soon as something like the crossbow was available that could be learned much quicker and didn’t need as much practice, it was readily adapted. And gunpowder allowed you to churn out soldiers in weeks. Yes, you still need to practice. At marching. That doesn’t cost much.

It is doubtful that we will ever go back to rank and file formations shooting as one to achieve a giant shotgun effect. For one thing, even primitive cannon firing grapeshot is an effective counter. Tanks can be manufactured quite crudely. And even a hand cranked black powder machine gun can disperse a formation. Plus Americans are indoctrinated with the myth of the heroic Minuteman ambushing the Redcoats from cover. No way they are going to line up for slaughter. And how many will willingly wield a sword or bow or even crossbow when black powder weapons can be made using the most primitive methods ( remember the Idaho hermit that made his own black powder rifles all from scratch? )? I wager that while interesting, the study of making or using those weapons is a waste of time.

This is even assuming that we could only make black powder muzzle loaders with flintlocks. Surely we could do better. Breechloaders. Straight cased rimmed brass ammo. Even paper cartridges. Not to mention the possibility of smokeless powder and non-corrosive primers. If primers were made in the mid 1800’s and the French made smokeless powder in the latter part of that century and the Mauser was designed before the twentieth century, doesn’t it stand to reason that it is possible to replicate some or all of that technology? Even if the national infrastructure with coal and petroleum and chemical factories and train transport was not available, couldn’t we reproduce at least some of it locally? Why would we go back to swords? The appeal of hacking at an opponent three feet away can’t match the thrill of being several hundred yards away and knowing mathematically your chances of being hit by a lead ball are pretty low.

So rather than concentrating any time or effort into learning the art of crafting swords or being able to hit anything past 25 yards with a bow, put that effort into metals and chemistry and arms making. And tactics. Did the American Indians stick with bows because they could manufacture their own? No, they bought firearms and became some of the best light shock troops seem since the Mongols. Their downfall was mostly lack of disease resistance, but also the elimination of their food source and the need to protect their camps. Keep these in mind as you plan on protecting your town or tribe. Offensive warfare, ringed defenses, arming all civilians, food storage. And have something tradable for the newest weapons or develop your own defense industry.

Original: http://bisonsurvivalblog.blogspot.com/2006/11/primitive-weapons.html


Salt was so important throughout history that until 100 years ago wars were fought over it. It was the only thing preserving food. And most trade was for food not grown locally. In essence salt was the entire trading economy. It was just as important as petroleum is today. Or housing to the American economy. In the 1600’s in Germany a typical tradesman expected to spend half of his income on food. Housing was cheap compared to food. Salt taxes was the mainstay of government revenue. Of course wars would be fought over something so vital to all parties involved. Just as wars have been fought over oil. As the oil disappears and electric grids fail, salt will once again become very important. It will once again become the main food preservative. And farmers will once again become the new middle class as food becomes more expensive.

Evaporation of salt water will return to favor as the means to cheaply produce salt. If you live near the coast you can mine the sea for cash. If you live near a salt mine that can be productive using primitive production methods you will find yourself in a prosperous region. Just as some areas will be blessed by good farm land that is not dependant on irrigated water, others will be blessed with salt. Others will have clay deposits. Etc. If your area has little or no salt, stock up extensively for yourself. You will need more than the usual table shaker full. Research restaurant supply stores to buy in bulk. Research preservation methods. And containers. Without plastic containers, what will take its place? Plan around that also.

Some areas can produce coffee. Others beef. Some metal. But the common, lowly salt just might trump them all after a large system wide collapse. Centuries of economic behavior prove the importance of salt. Empires went to war over it. Fortunes were made with it ( the cod fish industry for example ). Gandi fought the British Empire over a salt tax ( the march to the sea was to defy the tax ). Certain cities were founded because of the location of salt. Do not underestimate its importance in your plans.

Original: http://bisonsurvivalblog.blogspot.com/2006/11/salt-review.html