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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pick Me Up Value

Today we are going to talk about the benefits of having some kind of pick-up truck available to you. You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a pickup truck, get a well maintained used GM pickup for $2000-$5000 but make sure not to go into debt to get it! These tools can be invaluable in all kinds of emergency circumstances but also in everyday life. Kymber talks in her blog posts about using old tires to make container gardens. It's a good idea you should check it out! If she didn't have a pick-up to get all those tires home she would have had to pay someone to do it! Often you can save money by picking up or delivering stuff on your own instead of paying for it to be delivered to you. All it will really cost you is the gas in your pick-up truck!
Now some of us don't want to have a big gas guzzler around the homestead and probably don't need a full size half tonne or ¾ tonne pick-up truck. Well, you can get the same utility from a simple Ford Ranger or Chevy S-10 just on a smaller scale! These pick-up trucks may be the kind of truck that looks like a truck saying "when I grow up I want to be a real truck!" but the sure have some utility depending on what they need.
Some features I'd look for in a pick-up is 4x4, this is good for if a major storm hits your area and you need to do some urban style off road driving to get the kids from school when most roads are impassable to a basic 2 wheel drive car or truck. In our Canadian winters 4x4 can be handy to get the kids to school if the busses aren't running and a bit snow storm hit. Or even just to get to the store to pick up a prescription for a loved one. I'd also look for an extended cab, this will allow you to transport more people and also lock some items inside the truck and keep them more out of sight than if you had them on the bench seat of a regular cab truck.
Now you might be thinking about insurance for the truck, maybe your just scraping by and don't have much room in your insurance budget to add another vehicle. I'd suggest a seasonal or casual driving insurance program and make sure to tell your broker that you won't be driving it to work. If you have anything resembling a farm you may be able to get farm plates and farm insurance which can be cheaper. Make sure to get the bare bones insurance since this vehicle is not a primary vehicle and just for use when you may need a truck. (Unless you do plan on using it day by day. I'm talking mainly to those who don't want or need a truck day by day and how they can take advantage of a pick-up truck in the few times they actually can use it) Sometimes I wished I had a truck are when I found a great deal on some furnature at a local discount house that buys stuff from Sears catalogue order returns and sells them dirt cheap but doesn't supply delivery. It would be nice to have a truck just to bring things home from that store. Even a small Ford Ranger could do the job decently.
Some things you can use a truck for if you had one (and possibly save money) are:
  • Transporting firewood (if you have a fireplace and a neighbour has a tree fall down, you can clean it up and take the wood, often the neighbour will not charge you and just be glad to get rid of the fallen tree)
  • Emergency transportation (if you need to do some sort of off road driving or just manoeuvre around a disaster zone and over objects in the road with the 4x4 option and higher ground clearance will let you go where most other vehicles can't)
  • Save on delivery charges (If you can pick up furniture at Leon's or the Brick you can save on their delivery costs)
  • Hook up a plough to clear snow
  • Get a friend out of the ditch
  • Transport dirt onto your property for gardens without paying the delivery fee
There are many more things you can do with a truck; these are just some options for you. If you really think outside the box I'm sure you can come up with plenty of things you can use a pick-up truck for if you need to and be glad you have it!
We do need to talk a bit about maintaining this vehicle that might be sitting much of the year. Some things I'd suggest are to put fuel stabilizer in the tank or even pump the tank into a gas can so that you can protect the gas. If you leave the gas in the tank you might want to syphon it out and change it once a year, maybe every 6 months syphon it into your day to day vehicle and put new gas into the truck so that you have fresh gas in it for when you need it. Something else I think would be handy is putting small solar panel and put it into the cigarette lighter jack so that you can keep a good charge on the battery so it will start up when you go to turn the key after not using the vehicle for a couple months. Even if you only use the truck once or twice a year while society is still functioning you might want to give it one oil change minimum a year under those conditions so that you can be sure the oil hasn't gone bad or something so that you don't kill your truck after letting it sit for a while. Even if you haven't put the standard 2000 km on it that year, you may not need to do it every 3 months but it does need an oil change at least once a year!
    I hope you look into having a pick-up truck of some kind around your homestead; they offer great utility and can be a valuable tool if society breaks down!

 

[What is your 2010 preparedness plan?]

 
Frazer,

 
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Cross Posted from my personal blog found at www.rooftopeagle.blogspot.com

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration


Mountain stream
God’s Beauty
Author:superninja12r
While backpacking and hiking, proper hydration must be of premier concern. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of hydrating your body with appropriate fluids. Even before you feel thirsty, your body could already be on the road to dehydration.
Here are some possible consequences of improper or inadequate hydration:
1. Electrolyte imbalance,
2. Heat exhaustion,
3. Heat stroke,
4. Kidney failure,
5. Death.
Here are additional important points to remember with regard to proper hydration while hiking and backpacking.
1. If you want to effectively avoid any of the above dire consequences of improper or inadequate hydration, avoid thirst. Don’t let yourself get thirsty while hiking or backpacking. Keep swigging continuously on your water bottles, electrolyte drinks and/or hydration pack.
2. The rule of three states that you can live three minutes without air, three weeks without food, and just three days without water.
3. Hydrate before you start your trip.
4. Hydrate continuously during your hike.
5. Hydrate when you have finished your trip.
6. It is a good practice to map out your water sources before you start your hike or backpacking trip. Consult your topographical map and the Rangers or other authorities in charge of the area where you will be hiking. Also consult other hikers to find out what the availability of water will be along the trail. Let this research help you decide how much water you need to carry.
7. Hiking in the desert makes proper hydration even more critical.
8. Include in your gear water purification equipment such as iodine tablets or water filters.
9. Consider all backcountry water undrinkable without purification.
10. Avoid, before and during your hike or backpacking trip, caffeine and alcoholic drinks. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics and will contribute only to depleting the water that you already have stored in your body.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
by Richard Davidian, Ph.D.

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