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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Survival Signals - Cold Smoke

One of the most important things you will need to be able to do in a survival situation is to signal for help. Chances are you will only have a few minutes to respond to rescuers when you are lost. You will need to react quickly so that you will have a better chance of being seen and ultimately rescued. A simple way to do this is by using cold smoke!

First of all you will need a good first aid kit. Having a first aid kit handy can help in more ways than you might think. One of the items usually found in a good first aid kit is an instant cold pack. You simply squeeze it and break the inner container of water and this creates a chemical reaction that turns it cold. This makes it easy to apply a cold compress to a sprain even when you don’t have ice available. That instant cold pack also has another use in an emergency.

When the coldness decreases or stops you can still use that instant cold pack to make cold smoke for use as an emergency signal. Nothing gets someone’s attention like a little smoke. The water and chemical (ammonium nitrate crystals) inside the majority of instant cold packs can be used to make an excellent signaling device. It’s simple and easy to do!
Since neither RW, Jr. or myself had a sprained ankle, we opened a perfectly good instant cold pack from one of our first aid kits for use in this demonstration. Simply soak several sheets of newspaper, paper towels, coffee filters or any type of paper you can find in the solution of water and chemical. No water? No problem! There is sufficient water in the instant cold pack to make the solution. You can even use the bag it came in as a container. After soaking it, allow the paper to dry completely and then roll it into a tube sort of like a roman candle. Then when you hear that rescue chopper or airplane getting close, light the end and you’ve got instant smoke signal. Depending upon how much paper you had available for use, your smoke signal tube should last 3 to 5 minutes.

Got cold smoke?

Staying above the water line!



Original Mad Max Interceptor now resides in Ma...

TEOTWAWKI, as many of you know, is an acronym for "the end of the world as we know it." It brings up imagery of Mad Max, post-apocalyptic wastelands and hordes of zombies. Complete societal collapse. Anarchy of biblical proportions.

But really, is that the only way that the "the world as we know it" can end? Some sort of dramatic, disaster-induced collapse? No. And to think of it that way is limiting yourself. 

Expand you thinking. Your "world" is everything that interact with and depend on as you live your life. Any major change can end that world. 

Car crash. Job loss. Your community falls on hard times and crime rates jump. Your kid joins up with a gang. Small, everyday things that have the potential of majorly screwing up your life. 

And bigger things too--D2, for example, has screwed up the lives of millions of people. It's not an apocalypse, but if you're out of a job and lost your home, your previous world is pretty much done and gone. You've got to rebuild.

Of course, the post-apocalypse stuff is more fun to think about. And in some ways, it's easier to prepare for. Stock up on guns, ammo, water and food storage. How do you mitigate your risk of unemployment? Get your kids to hang out with the right crowd? Harder, less escapist questions to answer. But important nonetheless.

You've got a good life and you want to keep it that way. No matter what happens. That's what it's about. 

Prepare for pandemics, zombie hordes, foreign invaders and nuclear apocalypse. Sure. Those are world-enders. But plan for the everyday, higher likelihood stuff that hits closer to home, too. You've been blessed in your life. You have many things to be thankful for. You must protect those things-- your personal world--because no one else will. It's yours. You love it. Work for it. Protect it. Fight for it. 
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On why people may be sheeple

That term--sheeple--has always bothered me a bit. It implies unthinking adherence to assumptions about reality which preppers/survivalists find short-sighted or naive.

I've been thinking a lot lately about why others don't see things the way we (here, and generally), do. That's prompted in part by the "TV instead of preparing" thread, but also I've been cogitating on this a long time.

Here's a (partial) list of reasons why others may not see things the same way we do:
  1. They'd rather live for today than worry about tomorrow; they know they'd be toast in a SHTF scenario, but they get more enjoyment out of living their lives the way they want now.
  2. They believe (rightly or wrongly) that the government will intervene in any SHTF scenario, and save them.
  3. They don't believe things will get that bad.
  4. They don't want to appear loony to friends and neighbors.
  5. They feel the task is too daunting, and so they don't even start.
  6. They don't know what to do, and thus can't start.
  7. They don't want to reign in any of their lifestyle in order to prepare.
  8. They find much of the "propaganda" that things are going to hell in a handbasket to be just that, propaganda from loons.
  9. They've looked at the data and evidence, and decided it means something different than what we do.
  10. They've made a considered decision that they'd rather live well now yet poorly after TSHTF, than less well now, and less poorly later.

Not everyone who disagrees with us is a sheep or can be classified as sheeple; that implies unthinking following of a bad line of reasoning. In fact, the reasoning many who are cast as "sheeple" might simply have reached different conclusions or, perhaps more importantly, they have applied different values than we do.

Let me explain that: What one values determines how one lives one's life. If you value preparedness, you prep. If you value other things over preparedness, like big-screen TVs, full-featured smart phones and phone plans, vacations in tropical isles, then you make different decisions.

Not everybody is a sheep; many, I believe, have simply drawn different conclusions than we have. More power to them. (At least for now : ).