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Friday, October 28, 2011

Guest Post: Chances, By Northern Raider

Two campers with gear hiking through Bear Moun...Image via Wikipedia
© 2011Northern Raider
Some of our community have a somewhat romantic idea on how they are going to survive after TSHTF, Many envisage grabbing their BOB and heading for the hills to live as bush-crafters until things blow over.
That got me thinking about their odds of survival, primarily because even though I was a very experienced Infantry Sergeant with a very strong interest in wilderness and combat survival, my own experiences and those of many other well documented cases from various nations soldiers showed us that even fit young well equipped soldiers were normally in a fairly terrible state of wellbeing within 14 days.  Cold, Wet, Tired, Dirty, Hungry, Exhausted and Stressed were often the norm and it was difficult for me as a soldier at the peak of my personal fitness to do much more than just survive.
Often going days without sleep because you dare not let your guard down in case you are discovered or your only camp fire may go out, you cannot take your boots off for days on end in case you have to flee at a moment’s notices, not even having the luxury of changing your socks or undies or wipe yourself over with a wet cloth. I’ve never met anyone on such expeditions or exercises who was not constantly hungry as well, your hair is filthy your eyes red raw because of the smoke from your camp fire IF you dare light one. You are often hot other times cold wet and tired but can’t lay down because it’s not safe to do so.
That makes me think just how well would just an ordinary every day prepper fare  in a similar position, nay how would a prepper and his wife, two kids and possibly a grandparent fare in that situation.
Odds on its 50 / 50 it could be raining, equally there is a 3 in 4 chance that it’s not high summer when you bug out. Its 50/50 it could be windy, equally it could be windy and cold or even windy wet and cold.
You perhaps are a healthy fit youngish person who could survive living in a basha in the woods near your home, maybe even for more than a month if your trapping and fishing skills are good.
BUT what could your extended family do in that same position, or what if hostile other peoples were operating in your area preventing you from hunting, trapping, fishing or cooking?
In the UK we in theory have 4 seasons and at best only one of them makes for a comfortable environment for rough camping or bushcrafting, We generally rarely get two days alike, how will you or your family take to staying away from home for weeks on end without the benefits of healthy food, hot water, clean clothes, comfortable beds and no stress.
Be honest with yourself  there is a pretty good chance that it could be during the November, December, January, February and March period with god damn awful weather to contend with as well as millions of panic stricken sheeple, bad guys and government officers to crap your best laid plans.
I don’t think the urban prepper will be any better off overall because even though he may find it easier to find some place dry to shelter, he also has 100 times the amount of people who may harm him, rob him, infect him and compete with him for food, fuel and water.
I think the bush-craft BO plan needs much more real world consideration.

Wind Power for your House, Home, Retreat

Original Article

Wind power may be a good choice for some, when considering alternative energy sources for house and home, for either emergency preparedness or part-time power.
Some parts of the country (world) are much windier than others, with steady breezes just waiting to be harnessed. Geographical location is important while attempting to harness wind power, the best places being those with often steady breezes. For example, those who live along the ocean, breezy conditions are often part of daily life. Much of the open plains, or locations where winds are funneled through valleys are also often windy.
The following map of the United States shows favorable locations for wind power generation.
This next map of the US shows average wind speeds at a height of 80 meters, which is the common hub height of the ginormous wind generators (turbines) of wind farms that you may have seen along the landscape.


Global Wind Power Map
Looks like it’s pretty windy for you folks in the UK region! (lots of ‘red’, more than I thought)

Much of Australia is in the ‘yellow’ too.

The following 1,000 Watt wind generator (turbine) appears to be ideal for the home, and is much less costly per watt when compared to solar panels. Of course, the wind has to be blowing for it to generate electricity…
Windmax 1,000-Watt 24-Volt 5-Blade Residential Wind Generator Kit
1,000 watts could keep a bank of specialized batteries (heavy duty deep-cell for alternative energy storage) charged up for usage during periods when the breeze diminishes. Two of these wind generators (turbines) (2x $1K) would be equivalent to having ten 200-watt solar panels which themselves would probably cost you between $7K and $10K !
I currently enjoy the benefit of solar panels but do hope to add on a wind generator (turbine) at the new Retreat one day, and report back on the result.

The more you can do to become LESS dependent upon the grid, the better for you and your ‘risk insurance’.

How does a wind turbine work?
Incoming winds brush past the curved edges of the propeller, turning it as they go. The turning propeller rod connected to a gearbox translates a slow but high-torque turning motion into a very fast but low-torque motion which is connected to a generator, generating a continuous electrical charge.

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