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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

After 8 months of R&D KI4U has $2 Dosimeters!

Shane connor, owner of KI4U and a good friend of mine, announced this yesterday:

After 8 months of R&D with military contractor, we are today releasing our new, and exclusive to ki4u, product; The RADSticker™.

The RADSticker™ is an inexpensive, as little as $2, peel & stick, postage stamped sized, instantly color changing radiation dosimeter.

More details at www.ki4u.com/products1.php and for a Special Limited-Time Introduction, we are giving one away FREE with any order of our other products.

Another 'don't leave home without it' item for our time!

And, they stick nicely onto a NukAlert!

I'm sticking them all over the place here, in fact, if my kids were still small I'd be
tempted to put up a group photo of both them with one stuck to their foreheads!

Shane Connor

Simple Survival Tips - Passive Solar Lighting

Passive Solar Lighting

One of the easiest ways to save money is by using passive solar lighting. Too many times we enclose ourselves in homes that provide shelter but then need an additional means to provide the light required to see what we are doing. By using the light from the sun, you can have the additional light required for your home to allow you to accomplish simple tasks during the day.

It won't help you very much when it gets dark as the sun goes down but it may help you from flipping that switch during the day that will cause the little dial on your utility meter to spin like crazy.

Got passive solar lighting?

Staying above the water line!


Hiking Tips: Avoiding Unwanted Bear Encounters

Twenty-six years ago, my wife, Mimi, and I took a six-week honeymoon that included camping and hiking. During one hike, she asked me to sing. So, I sang and was flattered that she appreciated my voice.

Black bear in the Canadian Rockies
Image via Wikipedia
I found out later that it had nothing to do with appreciating my voice. She wanted me to sing to scare the bears away! It must have worked. We didn’t have any scary encounters with bears. And, yes, we’re still happily married.
There are other ways to avoid unwanted encounters with bears. Here are a few:
1. Carry bear bells. That’s right. I spelled it correctly. It’s not barbells. It’s bear bells. These noisemakers can take a number of forms: noisy bells hanging from your belt or rocks in a can are two that I know of. The idea here is to warn bears of your approach. Most will get out of your way if warned.
2. Talk loudly. Most bears are not interested in humans unless they have been habituated to them by being fed human food or by being invited to dinner with improper food handling. When they hear humans talking, they simply saunter off with disdain.
3. Buy and take along bear bangers. These extreme noisemakers are not designed to warn bears ahead of time of your approach, but to scare them off if you have an actual face-to-face encounter. Here is a website that that gives a good description of how they work. Check out this Youtube demonstration of this device. Here is another website where you can buy them online.
4. Carry an air horn. You know the kind you often hear annoyingly at graduations. You can buy them at a marine supply store.
5. Carry pepper spray. This is the method I recommend the most highly. Many experts agree that pepper spray is an effective bear deterrent. You’ll find this product online and in your favorite outdoor outfitter store. Also strongly consider buying a holster or belt clip for your pepper spray canister. It won’t do any good in a sudden emergency if you don’t have it handy.
Just make sure you don’t spray into the wind, or you may be the one blinded and not the bear.
6. Take a big tent. That is big enough that you can put your backpack and other equipment between you and the walls for added protection.
7. Include in your backpack proper equipment for stashing your food where bears can’t get at it. This includes rope or parachute cord and an effective bear bag.
8. Use a bear-proof canister. You can buy them online or at an outfitter like REI.
9. Hike with companions. Talk your friends into going with you. The more people you take along with you, the less chance there is that a bear will attack. Being in a group when in bear country is probably one of the best forms of insurance against bear attacks.
Here are two things to leave at home.
  1. Firearms. Any firearm that is light enough for a backpacker to carry is too light to kill a bear. Even if your weapon killed the bear, the dying animal could badly maul you before it expired. More likely, your shot would injure the bear and just make it mad. There are few things more dangerous than an injured bear.
2. Pets. Dogs especially are natural enemies of bears. If you take a pet with you to the wilderness, and it is running loose, it may come running straight into your arms with an angry bear on its tail. I’m not advocating that you never hike with your dog. But, just think twice about it if you are heading into bear country. Always keep your dog on a leash.
Don’t shy away from hiking where bears are known to live. If you did, there would be few places in North America where you could take a hike or go backpacking. Another thing to consider is that bear attacks on humans are very rare. Just look over the suggestions I have provided above, do some more investigation and choose your best method of scaring off bears.
You might try singing. I know that one works.
by Richard Davidian, Ph.D.

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Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...Image via Wikipedia

The GOM oil spill got me thinking.If it rains oil and chemicals along the Gulf there will be a die off.Most folks will die of thirst or poisening. FEMA can't provide fresh drinking water for millions of people,DUH.So if you live north of the Gulf you can expect refugees.I hope those FEMA camps really do exist.Martial Law will be declared. Travel will be restricted and you better expect road blocks.Better hide your food and supplies,I wouldn't take any cross country road trips either,you might not make it home.Buy more food now before the event happens and hunker down.If we're lucky and it doesn't rain chemicals,you can still expect thousands of unemployed angry southerners looking for work, possibly in your area. You think uncle Obammy will increase taxes to help the poor unemployed Gulf State residents? TEOTWAWKI here we come.
The loyal minions living near the Gulf should store as much water as possible.Enough to last them on their bug out adventure.If they stay put,they will die.Fill every container that is available with water.The freezer should already be filled with frozen water in plastic pop bottles.Refugees will not be met with open arms.It's going to get ugly.It would be a good idea to make some arrangements with family members that live up north right now instead of waiting for TSHTF event.Folks living up north better expect family members coming for an extended visit.Got enough gasoline to get you to your bug out location?
I wonder if those expensive water filters will remove all the oil and chemicals from GOM contaminated water? I think the oil would clog up the filters and possibly ruin them.Who knows how agressive the chemicals are that BP is dumping into the Gulf? I don't think the commercial water filter manufacturers have tested their products using the chemicals that are in the Gulf. Nobody knows for sure how much oil is on the bottom of the Gulf,will the oil stay there? Yes,I'm paranoid!
I'd suggest filtering contaminated water in a homemade water filter before running it through an expensive commercial water filter.I did some research(surfing the web) and found out that human hair can be used to remove oil from water. Stuff human hair in some panty hose,tie off the end and throw it into a container with contaminated water,stir it with a stick,after a while the oil will cling to the hair ball,remove hair ball and then sprinkle some hair on the top of the water to get the remaining oil.Maybe using a spoon to remove the hair? That would be the first thing to do. I would go ahead and make a homemade water filter from 6 inch wide PVC pipe.The longer a contaminant has contact with the filter medium the more contaminant is removed,so I'd use a 5 or 6 foot long PVC pipe,maybe an old sewer pipe would work too.I read that sand doesn't do a good job of filtering oil,so that sucks,I'd still use sand in the filter to remove other unwanted crud.So a homemade water filter has,starting from the bottom:charcoal,sand,pea sized gravel,grass clippings or some type of fabric(maybe old bed sheets),you have to put something in between the layers to keep them seperated,old bed sheets would work.Each layer should be about a foot long,the bed sheets layer could be two feet long.The bed sheets layer could easily be removed and replaced,they'll probably get dirty real quick. Pack the layers tight to reduce the flow rate.You'll have to glue a cap on the bottom and drill some small holes in the cap.I'd have several homemade water filters all ready to go if I lived near the GOM.After that I'd use the Rabbit Water filter,that you recommended in a previous post. If that works,then I'd use the commercial water filter.
The Rabbit Water Filter:


Use the Rabbit Filter to see if the oil clogs up the ceramic pores of the ceramic pot before you run the water through the store bought filter.When you use the PVC pipe water filter you shouldn't dump all the water in at once,you want it to filter slowly.It is going to be a slow process.If water runs through the PVC filter immediatly,something is wrong.You should test the PVC water filter with tap water first,to make sure the water flow is slow.I'd dump a cup of water in the filter then wait a minute and dump the next cup of water and so on.

This is really a last ditch effort.The best plan is to store enough clean water.

Everybody needs to think about water storage,even if they don't live near the GOM. When the grid goes down and folks are stuck in the burbs they are going to have to collect rain water. The best way would be with a cistern,that costs too much so they need to be creative.Old bath tubs covered with a sheet of plywood can be used to store water.You can dig a hole about the size of a bath tub near the rain gutter downspout of your home and spread a plastic tarp over it to collect water.If you have some tent pegs and tarps you can harvest water in your yard.