Monthly Archives: August 2010

I was wrong

This might be my last post on this blog. I say might because I’m not a predictor of the future. It just seems that this blog has skinned it’s knees long enough on the analytics highway. It’s pretty easy to spot a trend these days.

There are plenty of great blogs around doing a much more thorough job of warning and informing us of the coming “TEO….” I thank them all for what I know is a lot of hard work and for doing it for free. We are all in their debt when it comes to how much we’ve been helped with everything from Band-Aids to bullets. I believe we are living in those “perilous times” mentioned in the 2nd Tim 3:–> Actually I have proof; having seen it first hand. ( It occurs to me I might add one more “page” to this blog to provide that one “ultimate survival” technique )

While I think it’s prudent to take personal responsibility for our own well being it may also be counter productive to run around yelling “the sky is falling” Yes there are real problems with dire consequences. As I shake my head at the misguided souls who have led us down this path; I am trying to keep a level head about the whole thing. God, after all, is still in control; regardless of what it may look like.

For those who are feeling the effects of unemployment and the losses that go with it, the news of double dips doesn’t resonate much. If you have nothing, it’s pretty hard to take something away from that. ( creditors take note: thousands of people would love nothing more than to pay off their debts but it can’t be done when the economy is in the tank and there is no way to generate an income. ) What’s wrong with the world? That’s a long discussion and the reason it won’t be answered is that we don’t agree on what the answer is. Actually the answer is knowable if you read history but mankind has the tendency to ambitions and motives that don’t have anything to do with what is wise or prudent. Good and evil have always been with us.


Nothing motivates like food

Everyone I know loves to eat. Not only that, they have very specific ideas about what they want to eat. This drama can be expertly demonstrated at meal times in various kitchens and restaurants around the world. Let the service fall a little behind schedule and the hungry patrons can become unhappy.

Now imagine it’s meal time, the stores have been cleaned out and you are stranded. Not being able to return home from an out of town service call and the highways are jammed due to a yet unnamed disaster. At this point it’s not what’s in your wallet but what’s in your bag. You know, that “get out of dodge bag”, “get home bag”, or whatever you call it.

You go down the list of options: Do I try to make it home, pull off and camp for the night, call for help, what’s the best option. Oh and by the way I’m HUNGRY. If your bag has a supply of readily edible stuff you can make it for a little while. If you have nothing, you only have two options; find someone who will share or try and forage on your own. Depending on your local foraging may or may not be an option.

There are a number of things you need to do to survive in a situation like this but we’re just dealing with the hunger issue. We are not used to going hungry and if we are busy with tasks like building a shelter we “need” calories to keep us going.

We also need to build fire and gather safe water to drink but the loss of one thing will tend to overwhelm us and that’s a lack of food. Going without food is both physically and psychologically debilitating. While it’s important to be able to make fire, shelter and collect water the one thing that can help us keep a positive mental attitude is to know we have made provision for food.

What kind of food you decide to put in your bag is up to you but remember that it must be easy to preserve, high in calories and in sufficient quantity for you and your group. When it comes to food prep for trail and home I would refer you to a couple of people that have been a great help in that area. The Survival Mom and Common Sense Survival’s Leon Patenburg.

Which comes first? Problem or Solution.

In these modern times we tend to look at technology to solve many of our problems. After all, we have a gadget for almost everything these days. In the pre industrial development of the world most folks started with a problem and set about to find a way to solve it since by and large there was no machine available to solve it for them. That’s how invention was born.

As we look at the subject of ” ” let’s call it sustainable living we tend to focus on the gear, while giving credence to the need for proper training etc. For the most part though, we think if we have the tool, we’ve solved the problem. Actually the opposite is really the case. Even though I lived the all natural, off the grid [ not sure there was grid back then ] lifestyle as a child; I am acutely aware that my biggest deficiency is a lack of proficiency in those old ways.

Rather than look at that super, well designed, mil spec piece of gear I want to take a look at it the other way around. State the problem and then look at how it might be solved in several ways with differing reliance on technology.

The next series of articles will be from this viewpoint. A small case in point happened this morning which made me think about how we evaluate our needs and our gear. The map light that hangs on my key-ring came off because the plastic loop snapped. Mental note, plastic is cheap and lightweight but also can fail unexpectedly.

Saving the “print” news media [ off topic ]

I can save the print news media. I know that’s a bold statement but it’s a matter of common sense. The “secret” is to change the format. Forget the old days of desperate journalists and editors trying to craft the perfect heading that will hook the reader. People don’t like being tricked into reading something. You know the ones I mean; those cliff hanger questions, inquiring minds want to know. The fact is there is a lot of interesting but inconsequential news. For all the stuff people can’t seem to live without break out the facts into easy to scan lists or bullets. Put the fluffy news into twitteresque bites and for the gossip hounds offer an “expanded addition”.

The “real news” should be dispensed with brevity and clarity. I would say without bias but that’s probably not going to happen. The point is simply that you are competing with digital media but at the same time you have a readership to serve that aren’t a part of the digital age. There is a market for paper based, quick easy to read news.

Oh and by the way use good design to make things pop. No one want’s to wade through a sea of gray. USA Today has figured that out.

Sorry for the blunt style. It’s time to get ahead, not get even.

Twenty Million Homeless

Southern Pakistan; according to primer minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, twenty million people have been displaced from their homes due to the recent flooding. Those displaced are scattered everywhere, some living in the open with nothing to eat. The natural disaster caused by heavy monsoons of record proportions has also brought economic instability as well as affecting the political climate.

If you need a reason to think about being prepared for “any” sort of disaster this is a grim reminder of what can so easily happen anywhere in the world at any time. Prepare now, while there is time. The more people that are prepared the better it is for everyone.

Talk about Survival

Ed Stafford from the UK just ended a two year journey to walk the entire length of the Amazon river. The 4000 mile journey was truly an amazing feat and Ed was the first person ever to do so. You can read, watch video at Walking The Amazon.

No doubt he could share a few things about surviving outdoors and in the jungle.

Before Disaster Strikes

The time to be prepared is “before” disaster comes calling. Here are a few observations of late. Some people who probably have more to lose are more prepared because they have the resources to do so. The most prepared person though, is the one who has the greatest insight into what is coming. I finally met someone who is actually cheering the meltdown on and hopes to see it soon.

After analyzing the gear aspects perhaps the one thing that will be most useful is water and food. Without those things you won’t have much ability or energy to use the rest of it. Many things can be improvised but you can’t make a hamburger out of old tires.

Before the disaster, make a gear / clothing / shelter, list and then a food list / plan. Where will you get all these things and will they be ready when the time comes? Next make a plan, who, what, where, when and how, taking into consideration all persons and pets. Last of all, go to the refrigerator put some ice in a glass and get a drink of water from the door. While you’re drinking that be thankful and pray you won’t need all those plans you just made.