Tag Archives: preppers

Bug Out Bunker for Preppers

24 Jul

I don’t know why I waited so long to tell you about this structure, I drive by it every week during the summer.

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This is a solid concrete bunker house that a man (let’s call him John) built after the Arab Oil Embargo of 1979. John was so convinced that OPEC was going to strangle the US economy by cutting off the oil supply for years and years. He said the price of all fossil fuels would go through the roof. Consequently, the price of not only gasoline would skyrocket, but the cost of producing electricity would be so high most people would not be able to afford to run air conditioners in the summer or heat in the winter. That is when he had this concrete bunker house constructed. All of the walls, floors and ceilings are solid concrete, not only for the insulating factor, but also as a secure fortification from intruders. The front has too much area to be glassed in for either purpose in my opinion, but I guess that could be corrected if the need ever arose. Before he finished the house, the embargo was lifted and things got back to some semblance of normalcy and the bunker sits there unfinished. The locals mockingly refer to the structure as Crazy John’s Bunker, but if TSHTF somebody might just finish it and move in! How would you like to live in a bunker? Keep prepping everyone.

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Homestead Update

4 Apr

The weather has really warmed up this past week. We had several really nice days and unfortunately I had to work so I didn’t get as much done around here as I would have liked.

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I put two coats of grey paint on the new addition to my shop and I think it looks good now. I also added 10 shelves on the back wall of the open bays. The shelves are each 2 feet wide by 10 feet long so I should be able to store lots of junk excess material on them.

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I was passing through town and watched a crew tearing down an old motel. The doors to the motel opened to the outside and I noticed they had removed the big plate-glass from each room. I don’t know if they hauled it away to melt and recycle or to sell as used sheet glass. If you will look closely at the picture, you can see doors leaning against the walls inside the rooms so I guess they are not going to salvage those since they were tearing it down as I watched. Seems like a real waste, that would be close to 100 metal doors that could be resold and reused. I could use a couple of those myself! I realize when you are figuring salvaging something for resale on a commercial scale, you have to figure in the cost of the labor involved. That probably makes it more profitable to just tear it down and load it on the truck and bury it somewhere. It still pains me to see that though. I am just too much of a prepper, scrounger, and pack rat to throw all that stuff away.

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I also had to was privileged to attend a wedding last weekend. The theme colors were black and white, and I didn’t know they used black at weddings. I thought they reserved black for funerals, but as I think of it, black is entirely appropriate for many marriages I see!

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The grooms cake was decorated to resemble a corn field at harvest with toy tractors on it for decoration. It was quite tasty as well. Maybe I can get some more projects done in the coming week, I’ll keep you posted. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Preparedness

14 Feb

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I wanted to make a few more comments about my recent trip to Jamaica. I took this picture from the bus as we were speeding down the highway. These two young men were herding their goats down the side of the road, taking them to a fresh feeding spot. One of the goats was on a leash, the others were just following along. I really like this picture, I wish the picture wasn’t so blurry, otherwise I might print it out and hang it in my office.

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There was some construction going on around the resort, and the workers used these scaffolds made of wooden poles lashed together with hemp ropes. Definitely not OSHA approved I would guess.

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I noticed the workers were building some new structures in this area, and although they had some electric saws, I watched them use non-electric tools like hammers, axes, handsaws, and bracing bits. I have all those tools myself, and they do the job just fine, but the electric versions sure speed up the process.

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Whenever I go somewhere, I am always poking my nose into places where it is not expected. I climbed up and looked over the back wall at the resort and took this picture. It is not a place where many people look, you can see some power lines, sewer lines and the barbed wire topped security fence to keep the riff-raff out. It is hard to see in this picture, but that blue tarp is a poor-mans tent situated in a clearing in the underbrush. Underneath it I saw blankets, lanterns, cookware, food supplies and water. Apparently some of the construction workers were living there while they worked at the resort. It just goes to show how lucky most of us are here in our cozy homes, and should serve as a reminder for us to be thankful for what we have.

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I took this picture out of my window of the plane. That land mass you see below is Cuba. I bet Castro really doesn’t like the US flying directly over his island. I’m glad he didn’t decide to shoot off one of his missiles at us to make a last grand gesture before he passes away!

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Sweet Thing took this picture of me as I was lounging in the pool. I have never seen myself from this angle, not even when I look in the mirror. So, looking at this I think WTH! What is that big, bare, shiny spot on the top of my head? I bet it is caused by rubbing against those chemical company hats I wear all the time. I wonder if I stopped wearing those hats, would my hair grow back? What do you think? Keep prepping everyone!

Tips For Preppers

31 Jan

Back in December, I attended one of the many educational and informational meetings held each winter, and this meeting just happened to be in Jamaica.

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We stayed at Sandals Resort, and don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with a lot of vacation pictures. Although I do have a lot of nice pictures because Jamaica is a tropical paradise if you can overlook the fact it is a third-world country. We stayed in a little bungalow nestled in the garden, surrounded by tropical foliage, and we awoke to the sound of parrots squawking outside our window each morning.

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We had our own private pool behind our  room where we could relax in peace and quiet.

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We even had some kitties to keep us company. The maid said they keep the cats around to help hold down the mice and lizard population. But I want to point out a couple of things I noticed with an eye toward prepping. After we arrived at the airport, we took an hour and a half bus ride to get to the resort. Some people complained about the ride but I really enjoyed seeing the country from the comfort of an air-conditioned bus. As you ride along the coast, you realize that even though Jamaica was a British Colony until 1962, Jamaica is a very poor country.

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All along the way, you see homes like this one.

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You see entire communities like in this picture I lifted from the internet. I was keeping a sharp eye out as we traveled along our route, and I did not see a single chicken the entire time, which I thought was strange.

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What I did see a lot of was goats. Everywhere you looked you would see goats just like these, and they were mostly nice, healthy looking goats. People would bring them down to the shoulders of the highway and tie the goats and let them graze on the lush vegetation. I guess if times get hard, goats would be something fairly simple to raise and would provide you with milk and meat. I did see a couple of places where people had hacked an opening in the jungle brush and had some cattle, and they were really small, scraggly looking beasts. I don’t think they were a miniature breed, I think they were just interbred and malnourished.

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I also noticed a lot of houses like this. Houses either under construction or with one story finished and rebar sticking up through the roof. Our bus driver, Charles, explained it to us. He said people in Jamaica are poor and they don’t have mortgages on their houses. They save enough money to buy the land and start building the first floor, then they wait and save enough to complete the first floor and move in. Then while they are living there, they save enough money to expand and build the second story. That is why there are so many homes with rebar sticking out of the roof. That might be a lesson we might learn from here in America would it not? When the house is finished they are living in a home that is paid for, mortgage free. He also said most of the homes are constructed with concrete for several reasons. One, if they try to build with wood, the termites eat them up faster than they can build them. Two, the concrete holds up to the hurricanes better. Third, concrete is cheaper because the entire island of Jamaica is one gigantic mountain of limestone rising up out of the sea and ground up limestone is the primary ingredient in concrete. I think I will have more to say about Jamaica in the future, but for now, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update.

25 Oct

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I have been trying to get my local dump truck driver to bring some dirt for a month and today he finally came through. He found a source of dirt from a construction site, and the dirt had some bricks and gravel in it so he gave me a discount. Usually he charges $100 for a load but this was only $75, so I had him bring 6 loads, which was all he could get. I needed the dirt to finish installing my big culvert so I could get to the back of our property. Those six loads will also give me a lot of left over dirt to use in the future on other projects.

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I finally had enough dirt to get the culvert buried so I crossed over and began to clear out a path to the back. I had to quit before I finished today, but I got within 50 feet of being to the back fence line.

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Oh, the truck driver also brought this load of stuff to me for free. They are constructing a new building on an old parking lot and they are digging up the pavement. This is a mixture of old asphalt and gravel and when the driver said he would bring it for free I said absolutely! I will use the gravel on the trail across the culvert, and pick up the asphalt chunks and lay it on the side slopes to help control erosion.

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Prepping wise, I discovered the carburetor on my generator was varnished up and it wouldn’t start. So I took it apart and cleaned it up, especially the needle valve and float. After a good cleaning it fired up and ran like a champ. Success! All this Ebola talk also got me thinking about our food supplies. We have enough canned goods to last 3 months, and we have some Mountain House freeze-dried stores set back for real emergencies. But I wanted to add some more and I discovered Sam’s Club has recently started selling long-term food supplies. I was not familiar with this brand of food so I bought a sample kit to try out and see if it is worth storing.

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Sam’s is carrying two different brands of long-term supplies, so I am trying them both.

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This is one of the packages in the plastic tub. You can see the best by date is Sept 2034. That’s 20 years! But if it doesn’t taste edible, it doesn’t matter how long it lasts does it? I’ll let you know how it tastes after we get a chance to try them out.

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I also bought a bee suit! I am going to a local bee keepers association meeting next week and I am hoping some kind soul will invite me to come look inside his hives. Maybe I can hold a frame in my hand and find some eggs and larvae. I would also like someone to show me the difference in pollen, nectar, water, and uncapped honey. Just in case I get an invitation, I wanted to have my suit ready. Keep prepping everyone!

Burn Barrel

21 Jul

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This is a picture of my burn barrel I made from rabbit hutch wire. I think I have about $6 worth of wire in this project. The barrel seems to burn that garbage just fine doesn’t it? It will get about half full of unburned items such as glass and cans in about 3 months, then I will pick it up with my front end loader and dump that stuff in the back gully on the homestead.

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Well, if you don’t like my home-made model you can buy this spiffy-looking super-duper factory model from DR Manufacturing. It looks like it should work just fine. It should because this one is on sale for ONLY $459.99 plus shipping. No way baby, no way! I think I will keep my home-made version and if it burns out I can build another one for $6 and I will still be $447.99 ahead. Keep prepping everyone!

Old Coleman Stoves

8 Mar

Stephen, over at dixie critter, is a connoisseur of old camping stoves and lanterns, and I thought he might enjoy seeing my old stove.

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This is my old lantern I bought sometime around 1971, and as you can see I still have the original box it came in although I have added some duct tape to keep the bottom closed.

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At the same time I bought this two burner stove to go with it.

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I also have the original box and instruction manual to go with it.

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The price sticker shows I paid $29.88 at Magic Mart. That seems like a pretty steep price for 1971!

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I also had a Sears&Roebuck 8X12 canvas tent similar to this one. I had this gear because my friend and I spent a lot of time camping and fishing in our younger days. We started doing this when we were 14 years old. Of course, we felt like we had to have all this equipment to go camping  just like the stories we read in Outdoor Life and Field&Stream magazines. My friend’s brother-in-law had an old Chevy pick-up he would let us borrow and we would load all of our gear in the back and head to the local lakes and rivers in the area. Yes, we were driving at 14 years of age with our parents admonishment to not be driving around in town because the        po-lice knew weren’t old enough to have a driver’s license. Of course, we did go into town anyway, but that is probably a few stories that would best be left untold. Devil Anyway, we would find a good spot and set out Yo-Yos and trot lines and fish most of the night. We kept our own families and several others supplied with fish all the time. Eventually, we only used the camping stove about 3 times and we decided it was too much trouble to carry the stove and the pots and pans and utensils and grease to use with it.

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We ended up retiring the stove in favor of a portable charcoal grill we used to cook steaks and hamburgers. We also cooked big hot dogs over the campfire we always made so we had plenty to eat without the Coleman Stove. I still have the Lantern and the Stove so I am prepared to use them if I need them. As I was taking the picture of the Lantern, I noticed the mantles had crumbled so I headed to Wally-World to buy some replacements. There are some replacement mantles stored underneath the lantern in a snap-on compartment, but they are at least 20 years old as well because it has been that long since it has been used!

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While I was there I bought another gallon of fuel and I noticed this lantern on the shelf. It is the dual fuel model which uses Coleman fuel or unleaded gasoline. Right now the Coleman fuel costs $12 per gallon and Gasoline is just over $3 and if times get hard, it will be easier to find gasoline than Coleman fuel so I decided to pick up this lantern and put it back with my preps. What did you add to your preps this week?