Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Guns and the Apocalypse

Since the 'quake in Japan several people have asked me to take to take them out shooting and many more have asked to go hunting with me this fall and to go on plant foraging walks. Inevitably there are some questions arise about what is the best firearm to have in case of a SHTF/Black Swan event. A few points immediately come to mind.

  1. Any firearm is better than no firearm.

  2. Pistols are over rated

  3. Be legal

  4. Simple firearms with common calibres are cheaper

  5. Guns don't equal food.

  1. Any gun will be useful in discouraging an attack. The damage for a .22 calibre bullet is roughly the same as being stabbed with a big hunting knife. Having any gun puts a person far far down the list of potential targets.

    Quite frankly there are a lot of guns in Canada. Upwards of 11,000,000 by some estimates but these guns are not evenly distributed. (I will exclude the Yukon and the north because you all already own a gun 880 per 1000 people in Dawson City itself even higher in the rural sections) On average in Canada is 1 in 5 households has one or more firearms. It is much lower in the downtown cores: 1 in a 100 households in downtown Toronto, and an average of 1 in 20 in most Canadian downtowns. That said there is a much greater chance that they will be pistols or military style rifles. Basically that is a lot of other people to choose ahead of you.

  1. Over the years I have taken various people out pistol shooting. With a .22 pistol it was difficult for people to place their shots a piece of paper only 25' away. Almost everyone can consistently hit a popcan 150' away with a rifle with open iron sights. The experts conclude that under stress your grouping sizes are 3x to 4x the size of your practise groupings. Then add a backpack, no sleep or proper food for days, a bruised shoulder. What is the real chance you'll be successful using your pistol to do anything other than making noise.

  1. Travelling routinely with any sort of unregistered firearm or even registered restricted weapon will result more trouble then it is worth. It is difficult to prepare from a jail cell, and the fines cut into your budget for food storage. Did I mention pistols are kind of useless anyway.

  1. .22 calibre bullets are the most common round followed closely by 12ga shotgun shells. Any common hunting calibre is fine 30-30, 30-06, 270 for the smaller framed still recommended but less so .308, .303 British, 7.62 Russian. .410 shotgun. Avoid anything weird 7mm Magnum, .338 Lapua 8mm Mauser they maybe great guns but if you can`t find anything to shoot with they are just an awkward club. All but the cheapest rifles will shoot better than most casual shooters so the real money should be spent on a good scope and practise at the range.

  1. Lastly Guns do not equal Food. Hunting is a very unstable way to provide for your food source and anything that walks, flies or swims is going to have tremendous hunting pressure on it, Game will quickly become scarce near any centre of population. Putting aside any moral questions concerning robbery theft and what would have to be considered murder by starvation the simply fact of the matter is: The people you can rob are not going have what you need and those that do are going to be armed and organized.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Invest in Gold and Silver - Yes and No

Gold and silver maintain there value during times of localized crisis; by which I mean up to nation wide disaster. Yes it is also a solid hedge against inflation and it is also easy to carry away if you want to flee and start a new life in a safer better place.

In the case of epic failure of society in a larger scale (insert TEOTWAWKI here) in the sort term it will likely have almost no value. You can not eat your money. Your money will not protect you against the golden hoard. G&S has had value through out history and the value will have value again as soon as there is any surplus of anything to be traded or stored.

So what would it be worth? I suggest that it will be worth a lot less then it is now. The practical technology of 1850s-1870s could rapidly be reestablished. You can see that an ounce of gold would buy 190lbs of rice in 1872 where as today it would purchase more than a ton of rice even at retail prices.

What Did Things Cost in 1872?

In 1872, the U.S. population had grown to over 38 million people, and Ulysses S. Grant had just been re-elected for a second term as President. Luther Burbank developed the Idaho potato from a single seed ball, much of Boston burned during a three-day fire, and an American cargo ship called the Mary Celeste was found drifting in the Atlantic Ocean with no crew aboard. On average, horses cost $60, pigs $5, milking cows just over $20, and goats only $2. A farm worker earned $23 per month, a place to sleep, and meals.

More 1872 prices:

Wheat flour — $12.75/barrel
Corn meal — 1 cent/pound
Rice — 11 cents/pound
Beans — 9 cents/quart
Roasted coffee — 42 cents/pound
Brown sugar — 10 cents/pound
Granulated sugar — 10 cents/pound
Molasses — 70 cents/gallon
Soap — 8 cents/pound
Starch — 12 cents/pound
Roasting beef — 19 cents/pound
Soup beef — 7 cents/pound
Beef rump steak — 29 cents/pound
Corned beef — 10 cents/pound
Mutton chops — 15 cents/pound
Pork (fresh) — 12 cents/pound
Pork (salted) — 11 cents/pound
Smoked hams — 13 cents/pound
Sausage — 12 cents/pound
Lard — 13 cents/pound
Butter — 39 cents/pound
Cheese — 17 cents/pound
Potatoes — $1.02/bushel
Milk — 8 cents/quart
Eggs — 30 cents/dozen
Hard wood — $10.19/cord
Pine wood — $7.00/cord
Room and board for men — $5.69/month
Room and board for women — $3.75/month


As quick math the USD was roughly $20.67 to the ounce.

The pound was slightly less then 1/4 ounce of gold. (sovereign) worth roughly $4.70 USD

There were 12 shillings to a sovereign or roughly 0.391 USD
66 in a troy pound of silver bullion. So 4.125 per ounce or 1.61 an ounce.

Ha ha so your face value silver coins you have bought will likely be worth face value ha ha ha.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

20% the supplies do 80% of the work

Every survival blog seems to have a what did you buy stickied to the top. “What did you put away today.” There is a blog post from survivalblog.com http://www.survivalblog.com/2011/04/paretos_law_and_how_i_survived.html

The short form is a guy goes to Quebec to winter camp with his friends January 1998. His only job is to bring many cases of beer in addition to these he has a warm sleeping bag and a small bag of trail mix. His friends never arrive because of the Ice Storm. He is left stuck 160 miles from the nearest gas station, and 90 miles to a nearest civilization. He spends 4 days in his car waiting before he decides to walk out.

After a few hours of walking his cell phone rings and he has a short phone call from a nearby but absentee land owner. Then his phone then dies. His friends have tried to get him help by calling everyone in the area the police never search for him. The owner has a cache of goods buried it consists of:

“The thick plastic garbage can top came off with surprising difficulty, revealing a strange spicy smelling sand that covered a thick black melt-sealed garbage bag with the following contents, the names of which I would later learn; 5 lbs of pemmican, 2.5 lbs of parmesan cheese, 1.8 quart Kelly Kettle, quiviut socks, ziploc freezer bag of birdseed, single shot crank pellet gun with about 300 pellets, 5 large rat traps, a large blue tarp, a green wool blanket, a compass, a whistle, a fixed blade knife and a medium sized ferrocium rod. I brought it all back to the car like a child wanting to be alone with a new toy. “

He then spends 16 days walking 146miles. Killing many squirrels with the traps and a few birds with the air rifle.

Basically a couple hundred dollars allowed him to travel far and in good enough health in very rough conditions. I am never been in much of a fan of Bugging Out the other term of bugging out without a place to go is being a refugee.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The following is a list of ebook resources:

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page Project Gutenberg contains tens of thousands of books which have passed there copywrite dates.

http://www.pfaf.org/user/default.aspx The Plants for the Future. This an amazing site for all kinds of edible and medicinal plants.

http://www.journeytoforever.org/ This has a lot of practical manuals attached to it from people trying to do stuff on limited resources in distant lands.

http://www.cd3wd.com/cd3wd_40/cd3wd/index.htm This is the endless list of 3rd world development resources, relevant to anyone trying to do stuff for themselves. The BF Better Farming files are quite good.

http://stevespages.com/page7.htm This guy has many, many, many Army Field Manuals, Firearms owners manuals and individual firearm breakdown guides.

http://hesperian.org/publications_download.php This has a large number of useful medical herbs.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

4 level of misery and how to prepare

The first section are the 4 levels of misery. They offer time frames, probable causes, and what I think the chances are of any of it coming to pass. The whole thing seems a little overwhelming which is way I have been a little haphazard in my preparations process. It is localized to where I am living mountains near the sea.

Okay here are three standard lists. There are several variations to them. The first is a general you should stock up on this. The second is a personal experience list of a fellow in Bosnia for the war. The last is a food list which counts by calories. Calorie wise is roughly what a 190lb man needs to eat working a physical job like carpenter, bike courier landscaper etc. It is a little lean on Vit C, D and has lots of stuff which does appeal to me taste wise. It is only a sample

1.Life Interruption 12 hours to 72 hours

A heavy rains cause a landslide. It shuts the highways down for a couple of days power is out for a similar amount of time. Although we have so many hydro projects I can't imagine that it would be much worse than that. This almost certain to happen at some point.

2.Local Disaster 3 days – 3 weeks

Massive flooding forces evacuation of large sections of the lower mainland. Friends from flood prone areas are displaced. Your own basement is flooded upper floors livable. Small medium earthquake. Power is off for a long period of time. Maybe hurricane Katrina like small scale looting, certainly fist fights over gasoline and water. This nearly happened in 2003 and it could happen within our life time

3.Regional Disaster/Single Acute Event 3 weeks – 3 months

This could be an earthquake causing the local dams to burst and wipes out the low lying areas. Large earthquake in near by city with a resulting tsunami with a huge unexpected exodus from the city. Possibly the solar flare causing all electronics to crash through out a lot of north America. Maybe related to the Big One an earthquakes that causes California to slide into the sea. No planned evacuation hungry/cold people maybe large scale looting we are forced to share our food with friends and family to keep them from going hungry. Somebody awake with a loaded gun at home at all times.

4.Global Disaster/Misery unending 3 months – 1 year

Complete break down of the financial system. Military coup and resulting civil war in the USA or real war like with China. Society unravels quickly or slowly but with a finally resulting in a mess which can be rewoven. Once the initial wave of looting and fighting is over people form collectives for farming, medicine returns to 1860s standards. People certainly starve to death in North America a bad crop year means people might starve again. 10 or 15 years to recover to the 1950s tech level but with satellites, 30 years and there are liver transplants, wireless internet on your cellphone. This could go either way if it doesn't happen by 2014 I think we are good but by 2014 it will be too late to prepare.

5.TEOTWAWKI – The End Of The World As We Know It

Asteroid strike War which climaxes in Nuclear exchange. The insert worst case whatever fucking dead rise up from the graves. The threads of society are torn forever. 30 years on people are hunting with bow and arrow, people are breaking rocks with other rocks. The Dark Ages most people will never use a bank card, drive a car, turn on a tap for water, we never see or hear from a friend of family member who lives more than a 3 days walk ever again. I don't think this will happen and no amount of preparing will prepare anybody for this.

This list is common all over the net so I can attribute to anybody.

1.Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy...target of
thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 - 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice - Beans - Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR
PLASTIC ONLY - note - food grade if for drinking.
16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.
17. Survival Guide Book.
18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is
19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
22. Vitamins
23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous
without this item)
24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.
25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).
30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels
31. Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)
33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
34. Coleman's Pump Repair Kit
35. Tuna Fish (in oil)
36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)
37. First aid kits
38. Batteries (all sizes...buy furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies
40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)
41. Flour, yeast & salt
42. Matches. {"Strike Anywhere" preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first
43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators
44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)
45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
46. Flashlights/Lightsticks & torches, "No. 76 Dietz" Lanterns
47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience;
Historic Times)
48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting - if with
49. Men's Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc.
50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
51. Fishing supplies/tools
52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
53. Duct Tape
54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
55. Candles
56. Laundry Detergent (liquid)
57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
58. Garden tools & supplies
59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
64. Bicycles...Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
75. Soy Sauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soup bases
76. Reading glasses
77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
78. "Survival-in-a-Can"
79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog
81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
85. Lumber (all types)
86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
87. Cots & Inflatable mattress's
88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
89. Lantern Hangers
90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts
91. Teas
92. Coffee
93. Cigarettes
94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)
95. Paraffin wax
96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
97. Chewing gum/candies
98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs
100. Goats/chickens

From a Sarajevo War Survivor:
Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war - death of parents and
friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

1. Stockpiling helps. but you never no how long trouble will last, so locate
near renewable food sources.
2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.
3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war
quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold's.
4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity - it's the easiest to
do without (unless you're in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)
5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without
heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy - it makes a lot of the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs enough heat to "warm", not to cook. It's cheap too, especially if you buy it in bulk.
6. Bring some books - escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more
valuable as the war continues. Sure, it's great to have a lot of survival
guides, but you'll figure most of that out on your own anyway - trust me, you'll have a lot of time on your hands.
7. The feeling that you're human can fade pretty fast. I can't tell you how many people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.
8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches

This 2nd list in greater detail from Grandpapa.info I think it bears repeating.


Item (Number In Parenthesis = Total Calories per One Bag, Jar, or Can)
70 Pound Long Grain White Rice in 10 or 20 pound Bags (15,000 Calories per 10 lbs.)
70 Pound Whole Wheat Berries or Flour (Not self-rising) (7,500 Calories per 5 lbs.)
30 Pound 5 lb. Bag Corn Meal (8,040 Calories per 5 lb. Bag)
36 Boxes 16 oz. Box Spaghetti Noodles (Angel Hair or Thin) (1,680 Calories)
36 Boxes 7 oz. Box Macaroni and Cheese (260)
4 Boxes 42 oz. Box Quaker Quick 1 Minute Oats (4500)
4 Boxes 5 lb. Box Quaker Quick Grits (7930)
4 Boxes 32 oz. Box Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Complete Pancake/Waffle Mix (3200)
48 Cans 5 oz. Can Bumble Bee Brand Tuna in Oil (Water pack has fewer calories) (187)
24 Cans 12.5 oz. Can Chicken (360)
12 Cans 16 oz. Can Dak Brand Canned Ham (No refrigeration required) (800)
24 Cans 12 oz. Can Spam (1020)
24 Cans 5 oz. Can Vienna Sausage (375)
24 Cans 12 oz. Can Roast Beef (375)
48 Cans 15.5 oz. Can Sloppy Joe Mix (210)
48 Cans 24 oz. Can Armour Brand Beef Stew (with Potatoes & Carrots) (630)
48 Cans 15 oz. Can Chili with Beans (700)
96 Cans 15 oz. Can Beans (Assorted Different Varieties) (370)
180 Can 15 oz. Can Mixed Vegetables (Note: Green Beans have few calories) (140)
12 Box 32 oz. Box Instant Potatoes (Add water only preferred) (3440)
48 Cans 15 oz. Can Fruit Cocktail (315)
24 Cans 6 oz. Can Tomato Paste (125)
36 Cans 26.5 oz. Can Hunt's or Delmonte Spaghetti Sauce (420)
12 Cans 4 oz. Can Sliced Mushrooms (not pieces) (40)
12 Cans 10.75 oz. Can Cream of Chicken Soup (To eat if you get sick) (300)
12 Boxes 64 oz. Box Powdered Instant Non-fat Dry Milk (6,400)
24 Cans 12 oz. Can Evaporated Milk (480)
3 Boxes 32 oz. Box Velvetta Brand Cheese (short shelf life) (2,560)
4 Jars 34 oz. Jar Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (8,040)
4 Cans 3 lb. Can Crisco Shortening (12,430)
12 Boxes 1 lb. Box Butter (Shelf Life is short unless Frozen) (No Margarine) (3,200)
12 Cans 8 oz. Container Hershey's Cocoa Powder (900)
8 Cans 16 oz. Can Hershey's Cocoa Syrup (1200)
6 Boxes 16 oz. Box Corn Starch (1,680)
25 Pounds 5 lb. Bag White Granulated Sugar (8,500)
12 Pound 1 lb. Box Light Brown or Dark Brown Sugar (1,700)
12 Pound 1 lb. Box Confectioners Sugar (1,800)
12 Boxes 20 oz. Box Brownie Mix (or Cake Mix) (2,200)
6 Jars 18 oz. Jar Light Corn Syrup (1,920)
6 Bottle 36 oz. Bottle Log Cabin Syrup (3,600)
9 Jars 16 oz. Jar "Sue Bee Brand" Clover Honey (1,280)
12 Jars 18 oz. Jar Peanut Butter (3,040)
12 Jars 16 oz. Jar Jelly or Preserves (1,300)
24 Pkgs. 5/16 oz. Package Hodgson Mill Brand Yeast (Store in Ziplock in Freezer)
12 Cans 10 oz. Can Baking Powder (Store in Ziplock Bag in Refrigerator or Freezer)
12 Boxes 16 oz. Box Baking Soda
6 Bottle 2 oz. Bottle Vanilla Extract
48 Each Beef Bouillon Cubes
48 Each Chicken Bouillon Cubes
24 Pound 4 lb. Box Salt (Morton Brand Canning and Pickling Salt) (Pure Salt)
12 Jars 2.6 oz. Ground Black Pepper (or Whole Peppercorns) (Walmart)
12 Jars 3.12 oz. Onion Powder (Walmart)
2 Jars 0.9 oz. Oregano (Walmart)
2 Jars 2.5 oz. Garlic Powder (Walmart)
2 Jars 2.37 oz. Cinnamon (Walmart)
1 Jar 0.4 oz. Parsley Flakes (Walmart)
1 Jar 1.75 oz. Cayenne Red Pepper
2 Jars 2.62 oz. Cream of Tartar
2 Bottle 15 oz. Bottle Lemon Juice (Short shelf life)
1 Jug 1 Gallon Jug Apple Cider Vinegar

One-Year Emergency Food Supply for One Adult

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ecomonic tight rope

Last year I theorized that the government couldn't find buyers for its T-Bills given the amount that they wanted to sell plus the low, low interest that they are offering.  Apparently the Federal Reserve is the biggest purchaser in a quantitative easing attempt.

/ http://www.pimco.com/LeftNav/Featured+Market+Commentary/IO/2010/Let%E2%80%99s+Get+Fisical+January+2010.htm.

I you will have to copy paste the address for now sorry I can't directly link

The Federal Reserve is buying the T-bills to cover the money that it is giving to the government. I think the plan is to gradually devalue the American dollar which has some merit. Having recently studied the economic revival in Argentina from having its crash peso I can see some similarities. Notably the USA is agriculturally self sufficent, and is capable of producing a number of its own practical and luxury items.

It goes of course it is a crash then it is game over for the civilized world. Great Depression II except without the soup kitchens. Huge numbers squatting in the the homes they once owed. Well bad.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Preparing for the new world

It didn't actually take much convincing to get my significant other SO to agree to disaster preparations. Not wanting to break the budget we have both agreed to put $50.00 a month towards preparing to make the best of the worst. Together we hike climb and hunt so we already have quite a bit of gear in the locker.

Our first purchases
A spare filter for our portable water filer 35.00
2 packets of disposible lighters 5.00
Vitamins Centrum + Ca,Mg,D comb.
An extra bag of dog and cat food.

My goal is to put aside 10 bags of cat and dog food. As is the bag of dog food will feed my dog for 6 weeks it would do for me and the girl for a week. Basically that is 20 man weeks of food.

History has shown that people tend to hate the hoarders. In the event that things go badly the dry food gives us an option for trade or something to give away charitably. In this way even if we are living on better food it may well seem we are living on dog food. I also quite like my dog and the cats although I would eat them if push came to shove. A survey of the shelves show 2 weeks of freeze dried camping food 2 weeks of dry and canned food on the shelves maybe a month or more in the freezer. We hope to bring the dry foods up to 3 months soon but inside a budget.