“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Finally quiet and not so cold.

I went to town today.  There were signs in the stores saying not to drink the water from the county water system. It is contaminated.  Don't eat the ice, don't wash dishes in it, don't even wash your hands in it until it has been boiled. I won't know what happened until the paper comes out this weekend but clearly it was related to the hideous cold.  I don't use county water anyway.

The new American Survival Guide was on the stands, and it was pretty good. There is a great article about adopting donkeys. I have been thinking about doing that very thing. Donkeys are good guard animals, and they can carry packs if you have the right harness and gear. Although I have said many times I am too old to bug out, the big fires in Australia have made me very uneasy about forest fires here. A forest fire could burn everything I own right down to the ground. But I can't carry much on my back, even lugging a loaded .45 around in a shoulder holster is getting aggravating. If I had a few donkeys I could pack out a minimal bit of gear. The magazine has greatly improved and I think it's worth the money now, although the first issues weren't too hot.


Ragnar and Rowena had their medical chip implants yesterday. I could have bought a good rifle for what it cost but my ferrets are my companions and I couldn't just let them die. They are sleeping a lot today, it was a very traumatic experience for them, but I have high hopes they will fully recover. The medicine had to come from Arizona and the roads were all messed up by the terrible cold, so they were delayed in getting their operations.

After the huge consumption of propane this past week, I am going to have another 500 gallon tank put in.  More than anything else, I was influenced by reports of propane shortages in Oklahoma. If I keep my tanks topped off, I could get through several months even at the usage rate we experienced this past week. Yes, I have two wood burning stoves and a stone fireplace, but the logistics of cutting, hauling, splitting, and stacking wood are so difficult when there's just one person.  I have been buying wood already split and just hauling it home, and I will continue to keep some emergency cords around, but I really think propane is cheaper unless you can do all the wood processing yourself.

The second Les Stroud show was on last night, and again it was very good. I have seen the first two now, and they are head and shoulders above the rather trashy shows like "Naked and Afraid" or even worse "Dude, you are screwed."  I wish Stroud would write another book, his first was very useful.  I wouldn't mind seeing Cody Lundin do another survival series, he knows his stuff.  His books are excellent but he hasn't written a new one in some years now.

So, life goes on.....

14 comments:

  1. When I get together with my backpacking crew, we will often collect deadfall along the back roads. I image that you pass a few along your travels, and a few minutes per trip could greatly improve your wood situation. The lowest hanging fruit was always the best wood for the campfire!

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    1. K, I have literally tons of good wood in blow downs all over my land. The problem is I have to cut them up in the forest, haul the wood to the truck,drive to the house, cut the wood to the proper length for stove or fireplace, split it,haul it around to where I stack it, then stack it. If anything goes wrong I am up there by myself and it could be several days before anyone figures out something is amiss. On top of all that my doctor says the days of strenuous labor are past for me. That's why I started buying wood already cut to size and split. I guess I could do an hour a day once good weather comes if I go easy.

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  2. I don't find wood cutting all that strenuous. Now if I tried to cut it as fast as I did say 15 years ago I would but these days I take it slow and easy. If my back starts hurting from running the saw I set it down and load a bit. I will also sometimes take the splitter out with me and just split as I go but typically I use the stuff that needs splitting for emergencies or when I can't get out. Usually two hours is all I need to fill my truck.

    Now of course I can just back said truck up to my furnace and load straight from the truck to the burn box as well. Nothing to carry inside.

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  3. All the lifting and carrying is hard. I have ten acres and only the jeep trail going through it. Cutting wood in a blow down is inherently dangerous. Some bent limb snaps back on you and you are gone. I will still use wood for back-up but I think I will leave using it as a primary source of heat to younger people.

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  4. Let's hope the medication works well for the ferrets and they are soon back healthy again :)

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  5. I am hoping they will be well. I have had Ragnar a long time and Rowena is so sweet. She comes to be held when she feels poorly. It hasn't been that long since Iost Chloe but she passes away peacefully in her sleep at a very old age.

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  6. Glad to hear that normalcy is beginning to come back, the deep freeze is still being felt with burst plumbing pipes now thawing out - Wow! Remember that most home owner policies do not cover that unless you have a specific flood insurance rider. Water damage from a hole in your roof / wall is covered, but ground water coming inside or burst pipes (I think) is not included - check your policy!

    Good to hear of that Survival Guide issue - I'll check to see if its worth it. Most of the problems I see with magazines is too much advertising, I know they pay the bills but I can get that from the web site. It is nice to know it exists though so . . .

    We had a donkey on our property. Pretty trouble free, just need an occasional check from the farrier to be sure the hooves are being worn down properly. In rocky soils / rocky areas, not a problem, but soft grounds allow the hooves to grow and they get problems. Ours was not for transportation but for eating a noxious weed that became a problem in our pastures. The cows would not touch it and the weed was choking out buffel grass, the cattle feed. The donkey ate it without a hitch and kept it down. He passed away last year, he was old and we are beginning to search for another.

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    1. This new magazine has a number of points of contact for finding a donkey. Apparently there are a great many who need homes. I don't mind the advertising, I actually kind of enjoy it. This particular issue had an article on charging electronic gear by using a solar powered charger. That was very useful to me .

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  7. Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I'm getting caught up on things around here after the 'butt kicking cold weather' we had the past month.
    Working on vehicles and equipment today and tomorrow, oil changes, etc.

    Glad your doing ok. It would be wise to have another propane tank. I would do the same.

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    1. If it's going to start getting colder consistently, I don't want to worry about the county running out of propane. I haven't done much today, mostly I just slept the day away.

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  8. Glad your ferrets are on the mend. That is crazy about the county water. We have a well and a spring.

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    1. We just are not set up here for deep cold. This past week the cold literally shut the state down.

      Like you we are well fixed for water but very many people here in the mountains have no back-up at all for water or heat. It is a poor part of the state.

      I am doing all I can for Ragnar and Rowena. I place great hope in the implants.

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  9. A friend of the family is a big time hunter up in Alaska. He guides some and does lots of pack in, shoot a moose and pack out type stuff. He swears by Mules, says they are stronger, smarter and more sure footed than horses.

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    1. Mules are outstanding but maybe a little more than I need to take on right now. I knew a man here who was killed when his mules spooked and pulled his wagon over him as he adjusted the harness. Donkeys are free after you pay transportation costs and not so overwhelming. If I was thirty I'd opt for mules though.

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