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How would you advise someone that wants to start prepping...

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posted on Jul, 6 2019 @ 04:05 AM
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Where I & my people now live, we rely on wood for our heat.

I've learned that when you heat with wood, and have to build a lot of fires from scratch, you need to invest effort in good tinder and kindling as well.

If you plan to start a fire with wood matches every morning or even every few days, you'll be surprised how quickly you run through boxes of them. Unless you have a quality stove/fireplace with matching chimney, you'll be dealing with a serious downdraft of cold air every time you start a fire with a cold flue.

In a survival situation, one of my second-order activities to get going, is once I have a fire established in a safe area where I will be fore a couple of hours, I make char-cloth or some kind of char material. I use pine needles, but prefer cotton char-cloth made in an altoids tin. Flint and steel (or even a ferro-rod and steel, which is what most people really mean when they say "flint and steel") hardly gets a spark hot enough to light mediocre tinder on fire. But it will catch a flame from char-cloth or pine needles on a single spark, even in damp or windy conditions.

So I prepare enough char material for at least my next 5 fires.

I prefer fatwood. I either buy some, or make my own from the taproot of a pine tree. I cannot always get a fire going in a cold, drafty fireplace from a single match; but I can build fire from a single match and a stick of fatwood.

It isn't automatic, and you have to allow time for it in your plans. Even with all your supplies ready, it can take 20 minutes from striking the match to having a fire you can cook over. And an hour to heat a cold room to toasty.




posted on Jul, 6 2019 @ 04:15 AM
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I would advise the person to do a lot of camping, and learn to build fires reliably, and to cook over wood. It is a lot more difficult to cook over wood for a group of people, because wood fires can develop cold spots, and have different heat in different areas and times.

I would advise the person to work on a skill and stockpiling materiel for that skill at the same time. So learn 3 ways to start a fire, and build a fire kit or "tinderbox" as our ancestors would have said, which was a kit for preparing tinder and not just a box with fuel in it.

Or learn 3 methods of purifying water and then stock enough for every one of your people for 3 days then a week then 2 weeks usw. Don't skip this just because you have your own well. Thinks like an earthquake or nuclear fallout can poison your well. You don't want to be the guy who died of thirst simply because his rope snapped and dropped down the well.

Somebody mentioned skill with a firearm, but I would advocate learning to hunt instead---two very different things. Learning a gun is not the same as learning to stalk wild game. Hence, I hunt with a bow as well as a gun. Stalking is a skill that can be applied to whatever tool you have, whether snare or pistol or bow or nets.



posted on Jul, 6 2019 @ 04:24 AM
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a reply to: Irishhaf

If you have a stash of any consequence how are you going to stop others getting it off you? Its not going to take long for others to notice that you dont look like you've not eaten for days and drank water for 1-2 days. One could not act that convincingly.

Some one is going to start following you sooner rather than later, then what ? Hungary people will conjour up a correct or wrong ideas about what you've got some where sooner or later and they will start following you.

I know a bloke who grew up on a cattle station in Australia that had aboriginal people living on it.

He once told me saw an aboriginal person pick up a small roo that had been dead for about 4-6 days. The aboriginal bloke wiped off the remaining fur, squeezed all the green gunk out of it and ate from it, no worries at all.

How many people reading this could do that ?? because it would come to that sooner or later unless your prepping has been going on for some time.



posted on Jul, 6 2019 @ 05:22 AM
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a reply to: Irishhaf

First, you are exactly right about people getting "fire hosed" whenever they try to seek out advice on a reasonable starting point for some form of disaster preparation.

There are two main points of advice I give to people who ask me. The first is, you need to divorce (in your mind) the notion of "prepping" equaling "doomsday". Preparedness can be for anything from a simple power outage, to a storm or nature event. Beginning with planning for the apocalypse is the wrong starting point, and will only result in wasting a bunch of money and effort.

The second point, kind of in conjunction with the first, is to start small and USE what you do put up. One of the key things people don't understand is, if you're going to prepare you also have to cycle through what you put up in order to prevent waste. Otherwise, you might as well just throw money directly in the trash and save yourself the effort of going to all the prepping in the middle.

Also important is to pick a starting point with something you can do, and something you enjoy doing, at least initially. I think people get into this mindset that survival has to equal 'hardship' so they immediately go there mentally. An example of this is a lot of these emergency supply companies who market long shelf life, high protein, food bars. First of all, they taste awful (most of them) and you're going to have to be practically starving to death to eat one. And secondly, they're expensive, and if you're not going to eat them then what's the point?

For us, for example, survival doesn't look that much different from regular life for the first 2 to 3 months. There's no rationing or hardship at all. It's life as usual. Sure, some things are different like no internet maybe, but there's always books and games. There's power, water, and flushing toilets, and plenty of food. There's even A/C and heat. We'll still sit in the living room, watch movies, etc. We're not going to go hunker down in the basement and start eating the Ultra-Bar 1000's and drinking recycled urine on day #1. And, if this is your mindset, what prepping you do wind up doing will be in vane because you'll never use it. For us, life doesn't really begin to change until out around 5-6 months (which is a very long time, far longer than most real-world survival situations would take).

I could write a book on this subject (and probably will), so I probably should restrain myself here to keep it simple. I have a thousand suggestions for following the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) when it comes to survival preparation, so I'll just cite a couple generic examples. I'll use food first...

This is probably a bad example, but I'll use it because it will be one most should relate to. Let's say you decide that military MRE's are going to be your survival prep food (note - I don't recommend this as a go-to solution, but that goes beyond this post). The first thing you should do would be to go out and buy a couple MRE's and actually eat them in the place of your daily diet. Don't eat anything else, and consume them fully (not just part). Eat the entree, the side, the drink, the cookie, the jam or peanut butter, the drink...everything.

The first thing you'll notice is you probably liked one, and didn't like the other one. Okay, you've just learned something; some I like, and some I don't. Don't buy the ones you don't like. (simple, right? Well, not so fast..) So you go out and buy a case of (24) MRE's. MRE's have an average shelf life of about 5 years if stored correctly (longer with degradation). In the span of 5 years you will need to plan on substituting (24) of your daily meals with MRE's so they don't go to waste and wind up in the trash. Seems easy, right? Well, sure...IF you plan on only surviving for 24 days. When you scale this equation up to longer periods like say 3 months (90 days), then you have to plan on eating (90) MRE's in 5 years (because the shelf life didn't change, but the quantity did). If you scaled this up to a couple years worth of supplies you'd be eating MRE's every other day of your daily, non-survival mode, life. Otherwise, you're just going to throw them away and this is wasted money.

Bottom line - survival preparation has to be sustainable if it is to be meaningful. It's not something which only gets used in an emergency and just collects dust otherwise. It has to be integrated into your lifestyle. So, it's not doomsday, and start small (and use what you do put up).



posted on Jul, 6 2019 @ 05:45 AM
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Water is probably the single most important survival supply. Fortunately, for us, water is readily available. In any case, access to clean drinking water is critically important. I think water is kind of a no-brainer for most though. However, there are some other items which aren't so apparent.

One of these things people don't realize so much is fuel, in particular gasoline, does not store well at all. In fact, most modern gasoline in North America anyway, has ethanol added to it (thanks government!). Ethanol gasoline breaks down after a while and renders most of the fuel useless. And finding non-ethanol fuel is very difficult, not to mention expensive. So, even though you may have a gas powered generator, storing any amount of fuel for it is actually pretty difficult. And, much like food, it needs to be used so you have to cycle through it all the time. Yes, there are Ethanol fuel stabilizers like Stabil and others, but they only work for a limited time, after which they actually contaminate the fuel even more.

Worse, Ethanol fuels are corrosive has hell. So Ethanol can never be left to sit in an engine for longer than a couple months without harming the engine and its parts. This just adds to the survival work load by having to drain fuels from engines which aren't run regularly (which can be a major PITA). Remember, you won't be draining fuel when you're in survival mode, but rather when you're not. If you don't, then said engine won't run when you need it to.



posted on Jul, 6 2019 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

excellent posts.

My generator and almost all of my equipment is propane powered (cheap and plentiful where I live, plus I have a friend who works at 'Strickland propane.'). Propane can be a pain to work with in really cold weather, because the liquid part can freeze. on the other hand it will store for a year or more without a problem.

Further, I really liked your paragraph:




There are two main points of advice I give to people who ask me. The first is, you need to divorce (in your mind) the notion of "prepping" equaling "doomsday". Preparedness can be for anything from a simple power outage, to a storm or nature event. Beginning with planning for the apocalypse is the wrong starting point, and will only result in wasting a bunch of money and effort.



I have started thread on here about that the two most immediate dangers to prepare for are:

1) becoming involuntarily unemployed for 6 months

2) experiencing a house fire

Neither of those is particularly sexy; but they ARE real threats that could happen to you in the next decade. And preparing for those two scenarios will prepare you for other possible scenarios that you might not think of, like a toxic chemical spill in your neighborhood, or being sued out of a job. Or a flood. Many of your fire preps will help you plan for floods or civil unrest or God forbid a pandemic or war.

I'll just take the opportunity to point out to many Americans who are ignorant of recent history, that 100 years ago right now, the so-called Spanish Flu killed millions, especially infants and young adults. You can go to any cemetery in the USA that was open at the time, and you will find an "infant's corner" of all the babies that died of the flu. In a large metropolitan cemetery, it may be more than a hundred infants that died 1918-1920.

It has since been proven that the "Spanish Flu" is the same virus labelled H1N1 today.



posted on Jul, 10 2019 @ 05:16 PM
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posted on Jul, 10 2019 @ 05:17 PM
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a reply to: Irishhaf

rule #1 don't tell anyone what you are doing.



posted on Jul, 12 2019 @ 04:44 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

2 questions:

First...other than drinking water, how much per person would you need to cook/reconstitute freeze-dried or dehydrated food?

Second...first aid...I think I would make up my own kits. How would one get hold of antibiotics, and in a form that would keep? I tried to ask my doctor about a supply of synthroid and blood pressure meds, but I didn't push it when he looked at me like I was paranoid!



posted on Jul, 13 2019 @ 04:43 AM
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a reply to: justmeonly

1. How much water to re-constitute food depends on the recipe. Do the math for the product you like. If your Ramen takes 2 cups per package, and you're going to eat it once a day for 2 weeks, that's 30 cups of water....

2. Antibiotics? This is toeing the line of acceptable posts on ATS. But people who don't know much about veterinary medicine are sometimes surprised to learn that the antibiotics given to animals are identical to that given to humans. enough said.

3. Synthroid and blood pressure medicine. Tell your doctor frankly what your concern is. Neither of those has a potential for abuse, so she should have no problem giving you some in advance. What's the worst he will do, say "no"?
There are other doctors, especially if you move or change health plans at work. Or plan to spend the summer touring Southeast Asia. You'll be gone for 3 months, and will need and extra 90 days. Does Synthroid ever really expire? I thought it was just basically a kind of fancy salt... Some scrips you can get filled online through pharms in Canada. I used to travel in Mexico on business. $114 of amoxycillin here cost 9$ there, and was available over the counter, in unlimited quantities. Keflex was an especially good deal as well. They didn't ever check an American coming north, especially when I traveled with coworkers and our families. That may have all changed lately.



posted on Jul, 13 2019 @ 07:29 AM
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a reply to: Graysen

1. Actually, ramen doesn't take ANY water to 'reconstitute'. Contrary to popular belief, it's not dehydrated. The water in ramen just makes the broth and softens the noodles (not rehydrates the noodles). You can eat ramen straight from the package.

2. I can't speak for availability in Mexico, but doctors here in the US are increasingly apprehensive to give out prescriptions for antibiotics. I asked my GP about this and he said it's because there are industry wide concerns that over prescription of antibiotics is leading to a society with antibiotic tolerance and they're losing their effectiveness.

For my part, I don't worry too much about keeping antibiotics in a FAK. Instead, I focus on proper wound management (as a former EMT). Consequently, I have a pretty extensive FAK/Trauma bag which I keep well stocked. This includes topical antiseptics and topical applications to keep pathogens away from a wound. Most internal maladies are virus based anyway and antibiotics have no significant effect on them anyway. Plus, even with antibiotics, external wounds still require wound management so if you start there you're 99% of the way there anyway.



posted on Jul, 13 2019 @ 07:48 AM
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a reply to: Quantumgamer1776

Are you really sure that YOU are just one murder away? I have found
that most preppers have also prepped for your type of invasion.



posted on Jul, 13 2019 @ 07:51 AM
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a reply to: justmeonly

1. This is the #1 negative with freeze dried foods, they require quite a bit of water to re-hydrate things. The other thing is, precious water gets wasted in the re-hydration process. As noted above, things like ramen noodles don't need re-hydration (but they also don't provide any food value either). Freeze dried foods do keep for an exceptionally long time, but the trade out is the water required. Specific to your question, I would think a person should plan on at least a half a liter of water per day for re-hydrating foods if this is what they've put up for supplies. Personally, I try to stay away from dehydrated foods for supplies, unless it's a last resort.

2. See my response above for antibiotics in particular. As for meds for conditions such as blood pressure, etc., the problem with most GP's is they're under the belief these meds lose their effectiveness over time (at least this is the excuse they use). I personally believe they are really more trying to keep you tethered to the medical system. One sure way to fail getting survival prescriptions is to tell anyone you'll be storing these meds for a long period of time. As Graysen notes above, the better path is to just request prescriptions for a "long trip" out of the country (particularly a 3rd world country). That way at least your GP will think you're going to use them up fairly quickly. This also has another very big benefit as a side effect...it will also likely lead to your doctor recommending vaccinations for various things like typhoid, denge/malaria, hepatitus (A, B and C), cholera, etc. All of these things are likely to rear their ugly heads in a true survival scenario if it goes on for any length of time. Being vaccinated against these things is just good medicine anyway. (although, some will make you feel pretty crappy for a while after you've run the full course of vaccinations, AND it does require some time because many of these are more than one vaccination, they're more of a series.)

Note: I have to travel to 3rd world countries on a fairly regular basis, so for me these vaccinations weren't really an option. I had to get them.

One option for longer term prescriptions for things like blood pressure and the like is to get your prescriptions via mail order instead of at the pharmacy. The reason is, you can usually get several months worth at a time, versus a pharmacy which will normally only dole out 30 day supplies at a time.

Those are my suggestions.



posted on Jul, 13 2019 @ 07:55 AM
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a reply to: mamabeth

Yeah, that would be a really (really) bad plan for my neighbor's were they ever to base their planning on that notion!! Just a REALLY bad plan!

Of course, 'neighbors' out here are miles away at the closest, and pretty much everyone is highly self sufficient and more than capable of defending their property. It goes with the territory.

ETA - I always chuckle when I read that theme on some survival blog or board. You'll see these guys in the big cities saying they'll just go out to the "country" and start looting stuff from the "country folk", and how easy it will be to stick up all these "country bumpkins". Boy, are THEY gonna' get a big surprise!!!
edit on 7/13/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2019 @ 11:30 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Your points are spot on, and better than my responses. Thanks for your input.

I don't eat Ramen noodles personally. A lot of our storage is either food canned by us, or food dehydrated by us. Most of my effort goes into "hunker down" strategy rather than "bug out". So the high water content of our canned stores doesn't bother me. I just realize that they are more succeptible to damage (like earthquake or freezing). So I also invest in systems that I can maintain while hunkered down (manual well, barnyard in the back yard, greenhouse, etc). My bug-out plans are short-term only.

I am prone to lung infections; but I have a relationship with my doctor (who is familiar with preppier concerns) who works with me on the issue. As is often the case in disaster planning, the best answer is a positive human relationship. Other people in need should definitely pursue online pharmacies. They WANT to ship you a large package 4 times a year, because that's how they save money.



posted on Jul, 13 2019 @ 11:35 AM
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originally posted by: Quantumgamer1776
Just convince your neighbor to start prepping, that way you save money and if the SHTF your supplies are just one murder away.


Attacking a prepper?

It's not the same as attacking a preppie.

"The early bird gets the worm. But the second mouse gets the cheese."




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