Monday, January 30, 2012
India has started buying oil from Iran using gold instead of dollars. This accomplished three things other than oil for India: it end runs the embargo Europe is trying to impose on Iran, puts enormous downward pressure on the dollar and leads the way for other countries to follow (like China and Russia) to upset the European-USA economic applecart. Iran is threatening to close off the Strait of Hormuz which will upset the flow of oil incredibly and, naturally, the people who will suffer the most will be the little guy. You already know that you can supply yourself with food and the means to make clothing; but what about fuel? Good question. The most basic fuel is wood and, if you aren't in a position to use wood, you should consider fixing that. If you have land on which you can grow stuff, you might want to consider biodiesel. My favorite source for that is flax (Linum usitatissimum). Flax yields linen fiber which can be woven into cloth (for obvious uses) and the flax seed is 40% oil by weight. According to statistics, the expected flax seed yield per acre is 1,200 to 1,400 pounds. So the estimated oil (linseed oil) yield would be about 50 gallons. Converting that to fuel will depend on your skill and information (click here for a book idea). OR, you can get a system complete and ready to go here. Consider this carefully, it can make all the difference for you.
Friday, January 27, 2012
There probably isn't really enough time to build a castle and you really should have more than the minimum shelter. On top of that, it should be fairly inexpensive and easy to build. Some years ago I came across a unique dome home design that incorporates the best of the geodesic dome design and greatly simplifies construction. The book is available at Amazon and it's worth checking out. If you are at all handy with tools (and I suspect you are or you wouldn't be reading this), you'll see that as really solid shelter goes, this is amazingly simple. It was written by an architect named Gene Hopster (who unfortunately is no longer with us) and is written with the do-it-yourselfer in mind. For a look, click here. There is another really fast shelter (though not as sturdy as the dome) that has been in use for centuries called a yurt. This can also be made by a do-it-yourselfer and it can be transported fairly easily to remote areas. Click here to see. They won't last as long but, if you're in a hurry, they just might be life savers. You are smart enough to decide so all I can do is make the information available and wish you the best.
Posted by Ken Shields at 5:58 PM
Thursday, January 26, 2012
In light of the incredible increase of laws and abuses in the US, you need to think seriously about where to hide yourself. I know the US is huge but the laws needed to control everything are in place and the people who will mindlessly obey those laws are available. Never mind Nuremberg, "zee peeple vill haf to obey!" The environmentalist movement has successfully managed to create large "human free" zones that will mean you will be arrested if you try to move there. People who are interested in reading this blog will, by definition, not be interested in moving to the big cities. So, moving out to the countryside is probably not a really good option. It may be but I have a suggestion. Look at Chile. I have. And I have moved there. I'm going to be scouting out country property this year with the plan to get there soon. I may even find a large tract of land that needs many people to get together to buy and divide up. Whatever, consider leaving the US. The innumerable laws wrapping you up are much like all the fine thread the Lilliputians used to tie the giant Gulliver down successfully. Any one would be easy to snap but all together they were almost impossible to escape. The same goes for all the laws in the US. There are so many you don't even know what could be used to arrest you. The so-called Patriot Act and the recently enacted NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) give the government unlimited arrest powers over US citizens using the excuse of suspected terrorist activity. If you don't leave soon, you may not be able to at all. Learn about Chile at www.escapeamericanow.blogspot.com . Don't delay. At least make a positive decision instead of landing somewhere by default.
Posted by Ken Shields at 6:39 PM
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
There are a lot of people out there creating web sites and blogs (maybe even wikis) with advice on emergency preparation. I've been surfing some of the sites and they look really good. You probably can't read enough about this unless you end up in inaction as a result. Do something because anything is better than nothing. I found a real beaut about survival nutrition that you should go see and do it soon. I will be making permanent links to things that I've found that you may be interested in. Maybe I'll have a clearinghouse of survival blogs that you can use to find various bits of information that will help you prepare. Remember, the government won't take care of you...you have to take care of you. Don't wast time.
Posted by Ken Shields at 5:32 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
I just stumbled across a very neat little website that demonstrates what can be done with a little imagination and some determination. Check out Simple Solar Homesteading and look over Lamar's simple home. No, it's not great shakes but when things really get tough, as they are bound to do in the good ole' US of A as a result of rotten monetary policy and empire thinking, his idea could just make things a lot easier for you. My only difference with him is that I would learn how to make my own wood burning stoves for heat and forget the propane. There is a really great book on how to make your own wood stove at Amazon: click here. They also have a kit that lets you make your own stove from 55-gallon metal drums: click here. This little exercise will let you both expand your thinking and gain new skills. That's what it's all about isn't it?
Friday, January 20, 2012
There are other survival blogs out there and they have some pretty good stuff. My difference with them is that they only address the fortress angle of preparedness. I believe you have to have mobility, too. Face it, you may not be able, literally, to hold the fort down. You may just have to go. Somewhere. Anywhere. I believe that you are able to make the best decisions about WHAT to take and probably WHERE to go. I'm about helping you discover information and skills you may not realize exist. Train your mind on how to do things and the location becomes less important. There is a publisher that has reprinted hundreds of books that teach you how to do things from 70-80 or even 100 years ago, before computerization or any other really modernization changes. YOU are the skill owner and learn how to do things. The outfit is called Lindsay Publications and I have only been delighted with what I have purchased. Imagine that you think you need some training in ceramics (who knows you may be making bowls for cooking..). They had a book in one of my catalogs entitled "The Compleat Potter" (I hope they still do) which tells everything about ceramics including how to grade the clay you dig from stream side. Talk about down to earth! Lots of other books about technology for living from long ago. If things get really bad, hi-tech will not help you. Low-tech will. Check 'em out.
Posted by Ken Shields at 12:43 PM
Sunday, January 15, 2012
As you continue to prepare for the worst, maybe you can find others who are like minded. There is a lot to be said for teaming up with others. You can look out for each other, help when there is an emergency and in general, just support each other. You may have a neighbor who is a chemical genius and can mix chemicals to make ice, heat or even medical supplies like ether. Someone like that would be a valuable asset and can trade those skills for things like food and clothing. Realize that I am not suggesting you advertise your preparations only that you be alert for allies. Believe it or not, you may have to try to grow crops in secret. I remember reading about a fellow who had 6 (yes, six) cotton plants in his garden and was harassed by someone from the Department of Agriculture because he didn't have a cotton allotment. Unless something big happens in the next election (like Ron Paul getting elected) the Department of Agriculture will try to control all food production and that may mean hiding what you are growing. Check out "Square Foot Gardening" to see what can be done in a little bit of space. It's a really nifty concept whose time has come. Using this idea, you can have a community with each person producing something different and have plenty to trade. Check it out.
Posted by Ken Shields at 6:43 PM
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Now you have the mindset and, maybe, you have stored some seeds. Good start. Just as an aside, the seeds can be used as currency as well as growing. OK. Now, what would be a good starting point in skills acquisition. My choice is blacksmithing. If you learn blacksmithing, you will be able to make your own tools from iron. That means real independence. Years ago, if you needed a plow or something along those lines, a blacksmith made them. Learn what hand tools or horse drawn tools can be made. Use your own imagination as to what you may need. You certainly could make your own knives, probably arrowheads, too. You are your own limit. You can get blacksmithing training (and a whole lot more) at the John C. Campbell Folk School for starters. Think about what you would do (in the worst case you can think of) to provide for your family and friends. Then seek out the training. Low and medium technology is the place to start. We'll add to this list each week (maybe more often) and hopefully you'll have fun, expand your mind and never need to deal with "the worst".
Posted by Ken Shields at 5:40 PM
Monday, January 9, 2012
There are a few things that cannot be replaced by skillsets and I want to point out one today. Whatever skills you have, you need to be able to produce food. Hunting MAY be a good option but growing crops is the best way to plan to go. That means you need to store SEEDS. Whatever you do, DON'T store hybrid seeds. The best way to go is with open-pollinated and/or heirloom seeds. These produce seeds that can be saved and used again the next season. You can't do that with hybrid (at least not easily) and sure can't with the sterile crops you get from Monsanto seed. Make a list of what you want to be able to grow and look for heirloom or open-pollinated seed suppliers. Buy the seeds and, if they are not stored in nitrogen, you need to do that yourself or using carbon dioxide (from dry ice) to make sure they store for the longest time. Of course, maintaining a continuous crop cycle so you always have new seeds is the best way and I encourage that. If you do this, keep it a secret. No telling what the US Department of Agriculture will outlaw someday.
Posted by Ken Shields at 6:25 PM
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Skillset should be next. Who knows how bad things may get? It may be natural disasters. It may be rioters run amuck or even government gone bad. Do you have any training in low or medium technology that will let you function in a limited resource environment? Can you knapp an arrowhead from flint? Build a bow? Make arrows? Trap food? Think about it. Do you know how to get water from the air? How about dig clay from a riverbed and make ceramics for living from them? ALL these skills are available to read about at least. Practice would be much better but at least reading about it causes you to think in different (read "better) patterns. There are numerous publications that will help you get those skillsets. I really like Kurt Saxon's stuff because he finds out how things were done 100 years ago before high technology. Have a look at his stuff here. I will be listing several places to acquire information that could keep you alive in a disaster. Everything can be taken from you but your skills. Do your best to make your skills better.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Preparing for the worst means a lot of different things to a lot of people. I submit that the first thing you have to acquire is a new mindset. The mindset I refer to is, "How are we going to make this work?" Whatever "this" is. Think of what you NEED most in life and start there. You NEED air, water, food, clothing and shelter (in that order). It seems kind of silly to list "air" but don't leave any consideration out in your planning. You may want to pack gas masks or oxygen tanks. It just depends. Having said that, how do you supply those needs. I plan to address those kinds of things in this blog over a period of time. There is a lot to it. I would like to mention that my own mindset changed when I started learning how to get along in the woods with just my knife, so that colors my ideas. In fact, I suggest you start learning just that. We have to start somewhere and that is a real fine place to start. Scenario: You are lost in the woods. You only have what you are wearing and a knife. What do you do? This is the beginning of planning for all sorts of problem situations. I recommend a book that will help a lot: Wildwood Wisdom by Ellsworth Jaeger
This is a great starting point to using materials at hand to take care of yourself.
This is a great starting point to using materials at hand to take care of yourself.
Posted by Ken Shields at 2:09 PM