“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Sunday, October 5, 2014

When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!


The new Survivors Edge (issue 2) was on the newsstands this week in town.  I picked up a copy in the midst of the gyrations we have been going through here, and though I've only read part of the magazine it was pretty good so far. One particular article on the progression of events after a significant periods of "societal down  time" I thought was very interesting.

We got some very cold weather this week, temperatures near freezing with icy winds blowing . This followed in a massive storm front with spectacular rain and lightning.  Saturday morning I went into town very early, before dawn, and nearly froze myself because I hadn't anticipated the wind being as cutting as it was.

Today we built the annual dog winter bunker.  I've never had to build one this early in the year, not even last year.  Wheat straw has gone up from $4.97 last year to $5.97 this year (plus tax) so it cost us nearly $100.00 for the straw.  We had to buy more bales because my wife insisted we add on a compartment for the cats. Last year one of her cats went out into the meadow during all that sub zero weather, sat down in the snow, and just froze to death.  The cat could have stayed in the barn, in the hay there, or gone into the dog bunker. Maybe she was senile, she was a very old cat. At any rate, this year we built the bunker on the front porch, instead of out under the eves on the barn. The cats get fed on the front porch, so the hope is they will just go into the straw house.  I'll try to take a picture and post it tomorrow, I do think this one looks a lot more efficiently built than last years.

I spent two days of this last week doing repairs that needed attention.  I've spent a bundle on lumber, deck screws, etc but I have a feeling the good working days are about over.

We are about ready.  The supply rooms are well stocked, the propane tanks are full, the generator is tested and I have plenty of off road diesel, plus I am keeping my 38 gallon tanks full on the truck (with the more expensive on road, but it's still there.)  I have plenty of oak wood, split and stacked. I think we are about as ready for the onset of winter as we can be, and if it does come early and stay, it won't be fun but it won't be disastrous.


18 comments:

  1. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    Yeah' I have been working on last minute projects around here. I missed a lot of good surfing days but I gotta take care of business.

    Our winters are generally no where near as harsh as your winters' Harry. I still got extra fuel for the generator, extra supplies and everything on one vehicle squared away. I still got a windshield wiper issue with the truck I need to work on as well as a couple of other small projects on the truck.
    We are predicted to have a cold wet winter here so having properly working windshield wipers is imperative.
    I drive one vehicle for a week, top off the tank. Then I drive the other one for a week and top off that tank and so on.
    Since this Ebola thing has the potential to really, really get outta hand. I am much more vigilant about refueling fuel in vehicles topped off.

    Down here in South Texas more people have been buying more food for food storage, supplies, guns and other stuff since this Ebola thing has taken off. Lots of new prepper, survivalist's types out there. Mostly normal people who use debit cards and drive late model cars and are not 'right wing extremists types' that are the stereotypes of the past.

    On another note; I have been upgrading the knives I have and I ordered a Ka Bar Becker BK 22 knife.
    I got the knife in from amazon and the damn thing's so thick and beefy it unreal. The hilt of the knife can used to smash glass car windows or mash on wood, rocks etc. The blade is super tough, a full tang construction made of co95 or something steel that's better than 440c.
    I wanted a beater knife to use for bushcrafting, camp knife, etc. One that can take a beating.
    Yeah' I like old things and I thought about a Bowie Knife, but I would destroy a Bowie knife so I got this Ka Bar.
    The knife was $72.00 from amazon. I wish I had a camera so I could take pics, but trust me on this one. If you buy this knife, you won't be disappointed.

    One more thing on the knife, its American made and the quality shows. The sheath is Chinease made and the lack of quality shows. I read the reviews on the knife. The BK 22 knife is the same as the BK 2 knife, however the BK 22 is supposed to have the upgraded sheath and the sheath still sucks!
    I bought BK 22 for the knife and not the sheath so I was not let down.

    One word of warning. The hilt of the knife will leave big marks in your kitchen table if you mash it down on the kitchen table. This is a knife a Viking would be proud to use in battle. Hell' if you don't stabbed them to death, you can mash the hilt down on some bad guys skull and cause a catastrophic skull fracture and send chunks of skull into the brain.

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  2. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I found that article on the Mosin's on survivalblog. I will fix the bayonet at the range today if I take the mosin and see if that helps. I'm sure it will look strange with a two foot 'pig sticker' at the range:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CC: I have a buck sheath knife, and some military issue knives from my time in the USMC. For the rest, I buy field knives from BUDK. They are much cheaper and not brand names, but I have always had good luck with them.

      I am keeping the Jeep and the F250 at minimum levels of half full. I try to keep the truck as close to full as I can all the time.

      Sounds like the knife you got is a good one. For that kind of money, it had better be!

      Delete
    2. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      I don't mind spending some good money on a good knife (or someother tool) if its well made. I think $70.00 is a bargain for a big survival type knife after what I've seen on the internet.
      A great many knives start about $120 and go up to $500. Those knives are so pretty that I could not use them so I got this ugly bastard, Ka Bar BK 22 and I plan to use and beat on it a little.

      Delete
  3. Sometimes, animals go off by themselves deliberately when they know they're going to die.

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    Replies
    1. That's true. This old cat just went out in the middle of the meadow and settled down in the snow, and froze. She wasn't lost. Quite the scandal though, as far as my wife is concerned, so now they have their own compartment in the wheat straw house.

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  4. Do the dogs sleep on the front porch normally, or are they also in the barn?

    Looking forward to seeing the pics :)

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    Replies
    1. Dani, in warm weather they sleep on the porch. I've always built their winter house under the eaves on the barn, but this year we built it on the porch. For one thing, it's better for the cats. For another, I like having the dogs closer to the main house. I am going to take some pictures as soon as it warms up. Just above freezing out there right now. Only 5 October and we are already heating the house and the climate controlled spaces in the shop, apt, and barn. It's going to be a long winter, I think.

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  5. It has been cold here, too, with temps getting down toward the freezing mark some nights. Those of us who are into preparing are busy getting those ducks in a row. I don't have nearly the work to do to get ready for winter that you do. Mine is mostly making sure that I have what I need in the way of food and supplies so that if the winter gets as ugly as the predictions, I won't have to go out. It is a good feeling to see the holes in my food storage being filled.

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    1. I really thought I would have another three to four weeks before cold weather got here. That's how it should be, but last winter, and apparently this winter, "used to be" doesn't mean much. We are in pretty good shape now though. To be honest, keeping these buildings up in the middle of the woods is always tasking, but in winter it is much more difficult.

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  6. Doing any Ebola-specific preparations or activities?

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    Replies
    1. Not really. I was already filling in the existing gaps in my organization and planning because of the onset of winter. I'm not hanging around any places where people congregate, but I hadn't been doing that either.

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  7. I've a few jobs to do but we've got oil ready and firewood. Over the next year I'm going to get a generator installed that will run the house if needed in case we have any power cuts, once I get my food storage shed built we will be much better prepared.

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  8. Kev, I built a full on off the grid solar power system in 1999. It had solar panels, a generator, a purpose built battery bank, inverter, the whole nine yards. What I found out was that I would have been a lot better off just getting a generator and a transfer switch. The real weak link was the batteries, which had to be replaced every three years and required a lot of work to keep them in order.

    Be sure you get a transfer switch to isolate your generator from the grid. Otherwise you can inadvertently back charge the grid line and kill a lineman. That happened here in my county years ago, and now it's against the law to run your house off a generator without a transfer switch. That doesn't mean you can't fire it up and just run extension cords. It means you can't power up your breaker box direct without the switch. There will be a lot of people who disagree with me, but I like my diesel generator better than a gas one. They last longer than gas and diesel will store longer, with the proper additives.

    I think you are making a lot of progress. You can do things I can't. I've been at this full time since 1986 and I still am "epic fail" on raising my own food and canning.

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    1. I've got the transfer switch waiting to go in - no electrician here would fit it with out one. The generator will probably be petrol to start with until I can afford a better one, The plan is for it to have it's own little shed to store it in along with some fuel (possibly with adative so it keeps longer. I've just brought & installed a 32ft by 10ft vandal proof portacabin I'm using as a temporary workshop as well. Slowly I'm getting there with setting this place up. Food was always my first priority. My post tomorrow (Tuesday) might interest you and I'd be keen to hear what you think.

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    2. Nothing wrong with a good gas generator, especially coming out of the gate for the first time. They are easier to start in cold weather and they cost less initially.

      Glad you have a transfer switch. I wasn't sure if they were in common use over there.

      Sounds like you are building up a good compound there. Outbuildings are important, you can never have enough storage space and some things you don't want to store together. Having some separate buildings lets you "combat load" your most important supplies, so if you lose one building you don't lose all your store of a single commodity.

      I look forward to reading your post.

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  9. I am looking forward to photos of your bunker. For years now I have asked my husband to build a cat house for me (yes, I hear you snickering). Last year we put straw in the horse troughs and covered them with boards with enough room for the cats to jump in and out. Looking for other ideas too since not all of the cats like to share quarters.

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    1. I never really worried about the cats. There are plenty of places for them to get in out of the cold, where they can burrow in between sacks and boxes. But this past winter it was so cold here, sub zero for many days, that we did worry about them. This winter, they can get into their own separate compartment , or they can go into the unheated spaces in the barn. Some of our tomcats won't share space at close quarters, but they tend to go in where the dogs are sleeping. The dogs don't mind, maybe they are all warmer if they cram in there together.

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