Jul 29, 2012

Thrift Store survival gear and finds

Thrift Stores
As we all know the dollar is already tight. I have always shopped at the thrift store for clothes. (we have a by the pound one, but you have to wrestle with the masses when they wheel out a new bins).
I also go to the regular ones (less stress) and always makes sure to go through the household area. I am presently on the lookout for canning equipment and cast iron pans. I just got a 20 pound box of brass light chains for $2.00. If I brought it to the junk yard I could get around $60 for it right now.

• Backpacks (I can get a bunch at the pound one for a few bucks)
• Pots and Pans (think campfire when looking at them)
• Spandex pants and shirts (I would never pay more than a buck for these) great for rash guard and heat when hiking long distances. 
• Winter wear and boots! and rain gear.
• Extra blankets and sheets
Battery-operated appliances- so many people buy these thinking cool, but end up never using them. We as preppers know the importance of having these (and rechargeable battery's(solar charger).
Medical equipment, crutches are always plenty, slings, braces. 
• binoculars, telescopes
• sewing and knitting supply's
• candles cheaper than the dollar store
• Bikes and bikes parts
• Oil lamps
• Sharpening stones and knives 
• If you have a By the Pound store it is worth stocking up on Levi's and Lee Blue jeans (different sizes they never go out of style) or some stores have the color tag sales.

When looking also keep in mind motors of ceiling fans can be used for your windmills
•and jumper cables to help build a battery bank when your windmill is up and running
 --jumper cables and a battery can also be used as a primitive soldering tools (if you have rods)


Yard Sales
• Now tents and camping gear are not big in the thrift stores, but I have seen many at yard sales in suburban areas.
Sterling silver flatware,  at yard sales you can get this for pennies (thrift stores have caught on to this). sterling silver is known to have antimicrobial properties. In years past nickle and dime and quarters use to be used as a water purification tool.
• Tools (same as above thrift stores rarely have these now a days)
• Fishing equipment- all my fishing gear came from yard sales.
• keep your eyes open for short wave radios

Remember Estate Sales are different than yard sales, Look for them in your local paper. And also remember to be respectful to the family doing them because they are selling a loved ones belongings

Other Places

Right now I am trying to get my Alderman (statesmen in some parts) to do a junk shop at our local dump. He is a major green and eco guy, who is actually trying to make this happen. So much great stuff gets trashed in the dump. Worth see what your city allows at your dump. (I know some think this is to much work but if you can save a few hundred, why not?)

Craig'sList and freecycle are two other options. Both have free stuff listings. Many people just leave the stuff on their curb so you just drive up and grab it! FREE. My kid does this and consignment shops some of it so she can get stuff she really wants in trade.

Storage company's - call your local ones, they all do auctions on bins (like on TV) only issue is you have to remove everything from the unit that day. And most do not cost as much as the ones on TV. But alot of them are junk. Worth a shot, depending on were you live. 

Perfect song for this post! Just a fun song!

Jim Croce - Bad Bad Leroy Brown

Jul 24, 2012

Rain Rain go away(surviving in the rain)

SIDE NOTE*** As I re-read this a few days later,  I can see I just got back from vaca.... a bit cheesy, but still some useful stuff

I am a person that approaches prepping on a few different levels. First one I live in the city. Second one is never rely on a major stockpile. I have one, but I just like to be capable with the minimum. Now with that said, I did my annual music festival camping trip. Anyone that has gone to these knows the weather is ALWAYS unpredictable. Last year temps reached 110 degrees. This year was actually great...all but one day. That one day was heavy cold rain. We were right on the beach so the winds made it so cold that we had smoke coming out when we breathed. And the tent let us down and was leaking  before we could do anything, all our bedding was wet! 

If this was a shtf situation what did I do right and what did I do wrong.

Having a proper go bag would help you here. Or a Coffee can survival Kit (soon to post)

Finding shelter
We had shelter that blocked the wind and rain to sit under. We had a canopy with sides.
(this is the first thing you must do when the rain comes down!)
In a SHTF situation: In the city the city this can be under a bridge or in an old building. or under a tree (evergreens are the best). You maybe home  but with no power, that would just mean stay in side and dress warm (and you are all set)

And set a container up to catch water to drink, a plastic bag tied to branches can do.

Rain gear
Some of us had rain boots, dry socks and rain gear. If you do not have this,  garbage bags and duct tape are a great stand by for boots and coat. These two thing you should always have in your go bags. Not to mention it keeps your body heat in. (one person I was with did not have rain gear and I told her to do this and it made a world a difference! It kept them warm!

Tom Hanks Starting a Fire Without Matches

Get a fire going in wet weather
Keeping and or getting DRY is a must so getting a fire going is very important. The longer it rains the harder that will be to do. Gather wood that is dry...under trees, under depree you can find wood to burn and get a bunch because once settled in you will not want to leave your shelter area.

Make sure to get stuff for a fire starter as well.
 Some ideas:
cotton balls with Vaseline or rubbing alcohol
pringles chips :)
small slivers of bark from a tree, dried leaves or grass
paper, tissues, book
Now build a tinder nest. Your tinder nest will be used to create the flame you get from the spark you’re about to create.
You get the idea.

And hopefully you have matches, lighter or flint with you. But if you do not...your work has just started.

If it was sunny you can use glasses and the sun. If you had a car battery you can use jumper cables or wire to create a spark.

Batteries and steel wool
  • Pull the steel wool into a thin length about 6 inches long and 1/2 inch wide.
  • Get a 9-volt or a couple of "D", "C", or "AA" batteries.
  • Touch the steel wool to both contacts of the battery and the steel wool will begin to glow and burn.
  • It does not burn long, so get it into your tinder quickly.
Or a friction fire like the boy scouts learn Click here to see several ways .

And BAM you have fire, to dry off and get your head together.

If you have that handy piece of tin foil you will be able to make some pine needle (vitamin C) tea in it once you get a fire going and have collected some rain water.

Song for this post HAS TO BE one of my favorite songs


Was on Vacation will be back in the swing and posting in a few more days. Learned some stuff camping at the music festival Camp site in the rain! Will do a post on it. 

Jul 16, 2012

Earth battery (some basics about it)

 OK remembering that every little bit of knowledge we can have about the basics in creating energy will greatly be valuable. Remember that even one light bulb that can be ran with out light, wind, or fuel may be a very valuable thing.

 Basically you fill a bucket with soil, add some water to make mud. Then you but a copper pipe in the mud on one side of the bucket and a zinc (or galvanized) pipe in the other side of the bucket.  Add a little salt (will address how to get salt from the sea in another post) and a little vinegar (around a cup each, but it is not needed it just ups the watts) and you get around .20 watts per bucket. The more buckets the more watts.  4 buckets generate as much as a 2 AA batterys. Now I realize big f'n deal. But if there is not power and you can light a bulb with buckets of dirt....That is a big deal.

Here are a few videos

This one is directly in the ground

Ok this is a 7 part one I will just post the first one. Click through to you tube to see the rest of them
ok end song for this post is a beatnik type song ....

Earth Wind & Fire - Energy


Jul 13, 2012

Uncommon things for your shtf Stockpile

 Survival Gear 

 Tin Foil – When first starting out all the the lady's would go crazy when there was a sale on Aluminum foil . Why I wondered. One explained it to me

-You can use it to cook food in on a fire
-You can make cups and bowls from it.
-you can sharpen you sissors and knifes with it
-it is a make shift Faraday cage
-you can attach it to tree branches to collect morning dew for water
-it attracts heat in the winter and keeps it in the house
-It enhances antennas
-You can make a solar oven with it
-steel wool to clean pans
-keeps things dry and is reusable
-rust remover
-repairs strippers treads on screws
-electrical repairs (wrap around blown fuse to get circuit going again)

the list goes on but needless to say this washable reusable product is worth having on hand.

Bicycle and Pump, Extra Tubes, etc
Depending on the situation a working bike may be the only form of transportation and being able to keep it going will be an important thing. You can get some of this stuff super cheap..and grab a few of those bulk trash bike to keep for parts.  

 Duct Tape
Every womens best friend 
-Use for emergency repairs to gear (tents, tarps, backpacks, rain gear, etc.
- Use for the emergency water-proofing of most items
 -Use in an emergency as a temporary restraining device.
- Use to seal an emergency shelter to help make it water-proof
- Use for emergency medical treatment (make splints, wrap sprains, secure bandages).
-Home Repairer- Roof, screens, drains, window  
- Making emergency temporary repairs to you vehicle
- Wrapping plastic water bottles to prevent cracking and leaking
-Mend shoes, help to insulate shoes
-Blister care
- Rope and a Clothesline 
- Survival arrow fletching Click here how to

 And tons of other things I am sure you can think of

Wire Saw
Here is a how to. I would make a few in put them in your go bags
Click Here

Dollar store knifes
Pick up a pack or two of these. They can be duct tape to a stick and be used for self defense, hunting and fishing 

Super Glue

-Vets use it to repair bones
-In Vietnam it was used to slow major wounds till they could get help
-It is water proof so the boat and fishing applications are endless
-In combination with duct tape you can repair tires and rafts
-rock climbers use it on their finger tips for a better grip and to protect them
-glueing a loose crown back in until you can get to the dentist (this I have done, make sure to clean well and dry the area)

a few other things worth grabbing if you can get them cheap 
 -Glow Bracelets/Sticks
 - pack of balloons ( water storage and floatation )
-cheap pie tins - make light weight pan for cooking

 -old school razor blades 
 -carry at least one mouse trap
- Axe heads
 -Signal Flare
-flip flops to wear to allow feet to breath and shoes to dry. 
 - petroljelley (waterproofer) and sorry but it is also a lice removal product with a small comb (truth it will happen in shtf situation
-dollar store inflatable rafts. (they are small you can sleep on and use for walls of make shift shelters and take up little room

Now the end of post song is.....DUCT TAPE!