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Cagliostro's Catalogue of Post-Apoc Life Hacks

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posted on Jun, 7 2016 @ 11:58 PM
We all know what life hacks are. Simple shortcuts to ease some of the burden of our modern lifestyles.

But what happens when society breaks? How do we wash our clothes when the power goes out? How do we get the most out of every single resource at our disposal?

The answer: Life Hacks

First and this one should be obvious. If you are in a position of relative security (say you are in a camp with a number of survivors) you can use a long stick, such as a discarded hockey stick, to carry multiple gallons of processed water from your water processing site, which, ideally, is located near a source of (preferably) running water.

Candles can be an excellent resource during a SHTF scenario. So, what happens when you run out? Easy, raid your local arts and crafts store and pick up a box of these bad boys:

Yes, crayons. These nifty little unsuspecting survival tools are bound to become invaluable to any post apocalyptic survivor.

Steel wool and a common 9volt battery are two apocalyptic companions that will help you get that tinder bundle you collected up and smoldering. Both of these items should be relatively easy to acquire in your new world.

So what happens if it rained last night and all the kindling you found got wet? Well, a bag of Doritos should do the trick. Just set up your tinder bundle and light 'em up!

This is the apocalypse. People get hurt. Shot, sliced, STABBED! What do you do when you are out of bandages? Well, if you're desperate enough to journey into the "women's hygiene" aisle at your local drugstore, you could pick up some tampons and a roll of tape. Tampons are sterile (relatively speaking) and can be stretched out into a gauzey substance perfect for staunching your latest cool wound, preventing it from causing an untimely death via exsanguination.

Another nifty craft, turning soda tabs (or beer tabs if you're into that sort of debauchery) into makeshift fish hooks can lend a helping hand when you need to fill that rumbling belly before the roving bands of flesh eating mutants hear.

If you're short on fishing line, dental floss might serve if you are desperate and should be easy to acquire.

Its all but inevitable that, during your forays into the destroyed remains of civilization, that your clothes will become soiled. Zombie blood, mud, acid rain, YOUR BLOOD! So why not give them a quick wash in your 5gallon bucket washing machine?

It works. I've tried it.

So, what have we learned, survivors?

Well, our world is just positively brimming with hidden and inconspicuous survival resources. It's just a matter of putting mankind's most important survival tool to good use. What is that tool?

Why, our infinite ingenuity, of course.

Please contribute your own post apocalyptic life hacks to this repository. Who knows maybe what we learn here could save one of our lives.

edit on Cam12Wednesday0320165030Wed, 08 Jun 2016 00:03:50 -05002016 by CagliostroTheGreat because: FNORD

edit on Cam12Wednesday2420163830Wed, 08 Jun 2016 00:24:38 -05002016 by CagliostroTheGreat because: Added steel wool yvid

posted on Jun, 8 2016 @ 12:06 AM
Better print this off, I don't think there will be Wi-fi if the SHTF. The steel wool + battery trick is brilliant.

edit on 8-6-2016 by Konduit because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 8 2016 @ 12:11 AM

I thought so as well. I tried it once or thrice and each time my tinder bundle caught just like that *digitally snaps fingers*.

Printing it wouldn't be a bad call. But just in case, I have been committing as many of these life hacks as I can to memory.


posted on Jun, 8 2016 @ 12:49 AM

posted on Jun, 8 2016 @ 05:58 AM
Cool thread and with very helpful tips.

posted on Jun, 8 2016 @ 12:58 PM

Thanks. I will likely update it with more Life Hacks as I find ones thst I feel would be particularly useful in a SHTF scenario.

posted on Jun, 8 2016 @ 01:53 PM
You may not always have the luxury of a Compound bow in the apocalypse. It might break, get lost or stolen or any number of things. You may just need a way to get yourself a ranged weapon. Follow the steps in this video to learn how to make a bow out of everyday resources common to any post apocalyptic scenario.

posted on Jun, 8 2016 @ 10:45 PM
I like the washer tek. The plunger design works, although I recommend the "Amazing Washing Wand" (cheap on Amazon). The thing is wicked, and is the most sturdy plastic anything I've ever encountered. A bucket of small light items like socks and underwear are whooped in 3 or 4 good swoosh motions!

So it's his bucket pre-dry methods I like the most. Otherwise you're hand wringing your items, which makes thick heavy items like jeans out of the question.

But you better have a lot of water on hand! And I recommend have 3-4 buckets involved in the rinse process. The way I figured it out was to do the soap in the first; this water you fill 1/4 high (and dont use too much soap). This one exhausts fast, gets nasty fast. The second one you want to fill 3/4 clean water. Have one next to it half way full, and then next to it the final wash bin you want 1/4 full and rinse in fresh several times. Basically the less water the rinse buckets have the more you want to flush and keep fresh (you'll understand once you try it).

When replenishing the wash bucket use water from the first rinse bucket (its going to get nasty no matter what). You do this with all the buckets: last bucket gets poured into 2nd bucket as it darkens a little, water from 2nd bucket goes into the first rinse bucket as it darkens. The further down the line the cleaner you want to keep them throughout the process. Of course witht he rinse buckets you want to add in fresh to each one also as you run the daisy chain.

So you do the wash on a handful of items, then dunk fast pull out and wring them, do it again in this bucket, now step to the second rinse bucket (1/2 full) and repeat the same rinse & wring process (again about twice). Now you do the final rinse. You'll know when its done as little grey will leach when you do the dunks. For the small / light items I would stick to this method; its gets them very clean and soap dirt residues nearly free.

But for the thick heavy stuff you're pretty much screwed without something like his bucket compress & spin methods. Me in FLorida, working on plants all day, small and light is about all I possess / wear. But to wash towels...

A basket of clothes will end you up with about 4 buckets of grey water (getting them well rinsed while using minimal water), so you'll want more than the ones just for the rinse stages.

Mixed methods between my dunk & wring and his compress & spin could probably sorted out (the type of cloths involved each sessions being the issue). It really comes down to how much water you have vs. how much soap scum residue you can tolerate vs. how tough / motivated you are.

If you had plenty of water figured out, and then say 3 plastic laundry sinks, you could save a lot of steps vs. using little 5 gallon buckets.

edit on 8-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 8 2016 @ 11:20 PM
Dig a hole with a post hole digger. Take a bucket and cut the bottom out. Place over hole, and pack the unearthed dirt around the base. For the lid use the $1.50 black pop-on pop-off lids from Home Debit.

If you have a well place it at least 100' away!

Don't make the top of the post hole opening too big, yet cavern it out down low as much you can without compromising ground stability.

Don't cut the entire bottom of the bucket out, instead leave about 1/2" rim ring around the bottom (for stability).

You really wanna use the pop-on lids, where a lid is absolutely mandatory.

Keep another bucket handy to 'flush' (er rinse). Add a little dish soap and I recommend "Fabuloso" as well (for the "stink pretty" lol). You can also dump in fire pit ashes as you fill it up to buffer the smell etc.

When it fills too much just make another post hole!

It helps to air it out sometimes, but when you do spray insect repellent in there.
edit on 8-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 10 2016 @ 12:05 AM

Yes. I was quite impressed with this little hack when I first came across it. So simple a technique to accomplish such a vital aspect of modern hygiene.

posted on Jun, 10 2016 @ 12:10 AM

That is a brilliant hack. Now, this is a VITAL aspect of human hygiene that modern man has taken quite for granted.

Thank you for the addition to the catalogue. If TSHTF I will almost certainly be employing this technique. That is, if the zombies don't get me first.

posted on Jun, 10 2016 @ 12:29 AM
a reply to: CagliostroTheGreat
Great ideas there. I think everyone should be ready in case of the alpacalypse.

Damn alpacas.

posted on Jun, 10 2016 @ 01:09 AM
a reply to: Skid Mark

You didn't tell us how to make the llama apocalypse video. This being a DIY thread and all. We'll still need entertainment (believe me on this).

posted on Jun, 10 2016 @ 06:40 AM
a reply to: CagliostroTheGreat

Great thread, instead of recycling your roll, turn it into a speaker.

edit on 6 10 2016 by Quantum12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 10 2016 @ 08:09 AM
a reply to: CagliostroTheGreat

Instead of 4 shots of vodka in your cocktail not all you need is one.

posted on Jun, 21 2016 @ 06:19 AM
So, in the apocalypse we may not always have the luxury of can openers. Thankfully, there's a hack for that.

My go to can opening hack:

Another method:

posted on Jun, 21 2016 @ 06:26 AM
This one is time consuming but if you have nothing else, go primitive. It could make the difference between thriving and surviving.

posted on Jun, 21 2016 @ 06:29 AM
This should be a technique in any survivalist's repertoire.

posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 03:03 PM
Let us not forget Natural Insect Repellents. In a SHTF situation, being able to survive a roving hoard of zombie-mozzies is extremely important.

To the above, I would add Neem tree/plants. Neem has a variety of medicinal uses, and the leaves can be boiled into a tincture which is an excellent mosquito/insect repellent. We have several of them growing near our house, and just the presence of them keep a great number of mosquitoes away (as compared with neighboring houses.)

If a person is planning on camping for a while, a very cheap and effective mosquito trap can be made by filling a bucket half full of water (say, a 5-gallon bucket) and adding one tbsp. liquid soap. That's it. The soap acts as a surfactant, and decreases the surface tension of the water. When female mosquitoes (the biters) attempt to land on the surface of the water to drop their eggs, they fall in and drown. We've been using these with great sucess for more than 15 years.

I believe that darker buckets tend to attract mosquitoes more than lighter ones. Perhaps they emulate the wavelength of stagnant water found in the wild.

posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 08:36 PM

Thanks for this excellent addition to the catalogue. I love the mosquito trap hack. Obviously, getting some horrible mosquito borne illness would be the last thing you would want in a survival situation.

Having inspect repellent in general would not only boost morale but protect from nasty bug bites that could put a strain on your resources.

Also, the fact that the bug repellent hacks are all natural is a huge bonus. Being able to find resources in your natural habitat is always a plus.

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