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  #61  
Old 10 October 2018, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
My father grew up on a series of small farms in upstate Wisconsin during the depression.
This reminds me of a comment I saw following a Walton's reunion show that I saw a few years ago.

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I do remember that my mother - a true child of the Great Depression - scoffed at any mention of hardships in the story. The Waltons owned a farm, house, livestock, multiple cars and their own business, and we were suppose to believe they were poor?
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  #62  
Old 10 October 2018, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post



I know... I mean what am I supposed to do with 12 expired emergency ration bars?
Halloween is in a few weeks. Just sayin'.
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  #63  
Old 10 October 2018, 12:45 PM
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Re: The Waltons, my mom had similar thoughts. She always said her family did "fine" during the Depression, because my grandfather never left his job, and he hunted for meat (for his immediate family and some non-hunting relatives.

Some cousins of her lost their home to a fire in the summer of 1929. They were insured, but when the insurance paid out, they deposited it in the bank, and the bank failed. She said they spent the winter living in their root cellar, eating onions and potatoes and whatever meat my grandfather could spare.
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  #64  
Old 10 October 2018, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I know... I mean what am I supposed to do with 12 expired emergency ration bars?
Give 'em a quick taste--there's got to be a margin for error built in. That said, even if they are still "good" don't be surprised if they taste like compacted dung. It's tough finding good-tasting energy bars (especially if you want some level of vitamins and other nutrients too). Although I suppose it's not THAT hard if you're willing to just settle for some calories (in which case, Hershey's and just about everybody else's chocolate candy is delicious!).
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  #65  
Old 10 October 2018, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
For at home emergency supplies, I've heard recommendations that you just keep stock of shelf-stable normal foods like canned beans, veggies, and other things that you consume on a regular basis anyway. Rotating through the stock helps keep it from getting too old, and if you eat it regularly you won't get the shock to your GI system that suddenly switching to emergency ration bars or MREs can cause (there's a reason those things are sometimes called Meals Refusing to Excrete).
That's definitely what I'd recommend for the stock in the house; but, depending on what you usually eat, it may not work well for a car emergency kit, at least anywhere that might freeze (or if you ever drive to anywhere that might freeze), because canned goods are likely to burst and just make an inedible mess in the car; and some other things that will last a reasonable time in the kitchen won't in a car, which usually gets either quite hot or quite cold while it's parked. And which, come to think of it, may be vulnerable to mice and other critters.

A version of energy bar that you do ordinarily eat (packed in a mouse proof container) would work better. I find nearly all of them unpleasantly sweet -- I like sweet in some things, but not in everything. I was reasonably happy with Cascadian Farms for a while, but now all the ones I can find have a layer of sweet chocolate added to the bottom. I like chocolate bars just fine, but don't really like mixing them with the rest of a basically cereal/nut type bar, and I don't much like the particular chocolate they're using.

I'm not sure how much use matches would be in a car kit that includes nothing you're going to burn. If you're expecting to be lost in the woods, and you know how to manage fires in the woods, then they'd make sense -- but if you don't know what you're doing you may well either not manage to get a fire lit, or light one that causes a disaster on its own. But if you stuck a Sterno stove and/or a candle lantern in the kit, then you'd certainly want matches.

(Can I nominate matches for a trade good for after the The End Of The World As We Know It™?)
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  #66  
Old 10 October 2018, 03:03 PM
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I have read a good chunk of post-disaster fics (there are a ton on kindle unlimited). I believe I have read one where someone is running around grabbing supplies at a store (deadly plague premise) and grabs every seed packet he can find.

But yeah, to get back to an earlier point, I took an introductory soil science class in college and was astonished at how much soil types and erosion types and how missing/too much elements like zinc matter when it comes to growing plants. As a side note, it was a fascinating class.
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  #67  
Old 10 October 2018, 03:04 PM
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Matches wouldn't be bad as they are light and needed, but I would think most people would figure out ways around them pretty soon. Plus, a trade good that can't be verified without destroying it would lose value as time went by. I think the vices are your best bet as most of them would have a gradual decline of usefulness rather than a go/no go point. The downside is most of them would be considerably heavier than matches.

To sum up: For the short term post-apocalypse, matches would be an excellent trade item, especially for a traveling peddler. For the long term post-apocalypse fixed trader, a working still and the knowledge to run it is your best bet.
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  #68  
Old 10 October 2018, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Re: The Waltons, my mom had similar thoughts.
Heck, they had indoor plumbing. My father wrote his autobiography, and some of the information about his childhood is amazing. One of his great uncles gave his mother a cow (because she had 7 children and no source of milk), and when the county mowed the sides of the roads, my dad and his brothers would go collect the grass to feed the cow. Things like that.

There were times, though, when all they had to eat was whatever was in the charity box. My Grandmother would make oatmeal, then take the congealed leftovers, slice it and fry it in lard for dinner.

Seaboe
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  #69  
Old 10 October 2018, 03:40 PM
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There are seed companies that will sell you a mix of seed supposedly suitable for your area, packed for long-term storage. How well the seed actually stores I don't know. And knowing what you're doing about growing it is indeed a whole other issue, much more complicated than most people think. Some kits I think include a book giving at least some of the more important basics.

Many home gardeners have some collection of seed around in any case; and farmers are likely to also, though some people who only grow one or two crops may only have seed of those -- around here such growers probably also have a home garden, but there are large parts of the country where this may not be true.

Yes, if I were raiding that hardware store I would definitely be taking seed, even though I've usually got a fair collection. You'd want to keep all the diversity you could manage. And seed would useful as a trade good, also -- though storage of course becomes an issue, that hardware store seed may only be good for a year or two even if properly stored after you rescue it.

For most crops it would have to be a pretty long disturbance for this to be an issue. Anything other than sprouts is going to take at least several weeks to produce anything worth eating, and most of the more nutritious stuff needs a full season, or even several years.
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  #70  
Old 10 October 2018, 04:17 PM
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I always buy a few extra seed packets of stuff we like at the end of the season when everything goes on sale. The oldest ones can probably go or maybe I'll left my kids do a craft with them. Any tips on preserving a hops rhizome Thorny Locust? In case I need to move my post-apocolyptic brewery.

Needing water - Once as I was dyeing my hair our water went out. What are the odds? I got most of the dye out with water from the toilet tank and then drove over to my mom's to take a shower. I never not have a few gallon jugs of water around.

I mentioned how our freezer was being repaired. In anticipation of that I had stopped buying anything that needed freezing since I had limited alternative storage space. Coincidentally, we had few can goods because of a food drive (free entrance to the Renaissance Faire if you donated 5 cans (or gave blood.)) This was probably the last amount of food we'd had on hand since moving in. This thread scared me in to shopping. LOL
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  #71  
Old 10 October 2018, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
A version of energy bar that you do ordinarily eat (packed in a mouse proof container) would work better. I find nearly all of them unpleasantly sweet -- I like sweet in some things, but not in everything. I was reasonably happy with Cascadian Farms for a while, but now all the ones I can find have a layer of sweet chocolate added to the bottom. I like chocolate bars just fine, but don't really like mixing them with the rest of a basically cereal/nut type bar, and I don't much like the particular chocolate they're using.
I assure you, I am not on the payroll, but may I recommend the Chocolate Chip Clif Bar, available at your local supermarket?

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  #72  
Old 10 October 2018, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Aud 1 View Post
This thread scared me in to shopping. LOL
I know you are joking, but g-you shouldn't think about it as being scared, but just another thing you prepare for. It's like having life insurance, fire insurance, or a living will. You hope it will never be needed (or the need is a long way off) but it is better to have and not need that to need and not have.

Also, as said above, it is good when you are too sick/lazy to go out and buy food.
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  #73  
Old 10 October 2018, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ASL View Post
I assure you, I am not on the payroll, but may I recommend the Chocolate Chip Clif Bar
Thanks for trying, ASL.

But a) 21 grams of sugar is twice as much as a Cascadian Farm bar that's already borderline for how sweet I want this sort of thing (its third and fourth ingredients are sweeteners, which I suspect means if they were added together they'd be at least the second ingredient) and b) I like chocolate chips in my cookies; but I don't want them in a protein/nutrient bar.

I think of these things as a fast lunch substitute; and I don't want to eat dessert for lunch; at any rate, not unless it's only part of the meal.

-- a high percentage of standard commercial packaged stuff is just plain too sweet for me. If I want baklava (which I sometimes do), I'll eat baklava. But I don't want everything like that! Often the rest of the ingredients are tasteless, I think (flavor in food crop varieties often declines as yield and/or shipping and storage ability goes up, though there are exceptions), and "No Fat" is supposed to be a huge selling point, so everything seems to get filled up with salt and sugar instead.

Sorry -- end hijacking rant!

-- whoops, ETA: I don't know all that much about hops except that a) there's a big resurgence in growing them in this area and b) they are very expensive to put in [in any commercial quantity], in large part because c) they need to grow up a really tall trellis. As near as I can tell from a fast look, you can store rhizomes briefly in a refrigerator (which ATEOTWAWKI™ you probably wouldn't have a functional example of available), or, probably a better bet at least for moving them, you can plant them in a 5 gallon or larger pot, which they can grow in for a while or if it's the season stay dormant in. If in a really cold climate don't let the pot freeze too hard; even crops that survive winters in a given area in the ground may not do so in a pot, because the pot gets a good bit colder than the ground unless you bury it. And use potting soil; regular garden or field soil usually cakes into unusableness in a pot. If you have to use garden soil, cut it with a lot of compost and sand or vermiculite -- basically you'd be trying to make your own potting soil; but this is trickier than it sounds, at least if the plant's going to stay in the pot for a significant chunk of time.

Last edited by thorny locust; 10 October 2018 at 06:11 PM.
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  #74  
Old 10 October 2018, 06:10 PM
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The first November we had our house, we lost power for 5 days. As we are on a well, we immediately were out of water, but luckily had relatives a few miles away who had power (and city water.) We a large pile of wood for the woodstove, and my wife learned to cook on that. Since then, we have kept about 15 gallons of water on hand (with a creek and bleach nearby), food enough for a couple of weeks, and fire wood enough for at least a month. I know that in the event of a real emergency we would not survive for a long time, but we are aiming for the "power out for two weeks" range. Also, we got a generator that runs off propane, as propane doesn't go bad (and can be used for our grill, too.)
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  #75  
Old 10 October 2018, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
... But I personally would find the daily upkeep to be a chore.
Well, yeah, that's why they're called "chores".
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
When I was kid, I was so sure I'd live off the land, I must have read the Foxfire books front to back three times and once back to front for good measure. Never expected to become a city dweller.
When I was a kid, we had a book kicking around the house called "My Side of the Mountain", about this kid who basically goes and lives off the land for a year. He burns out the inside of a HUGE tree, and that's where he ends up living - building his own bead, etc. There were times when I dreamed of doing the same thing.

As for power outages, we're lucky. Our house is on the same grid as the local fire house and police station, so if there is an outage, it's short. We've had power out for days on three sides of our house, and we never lost power.
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  #76  
Old 10 October 2018, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Wildabeast, I'd add some more water to the kit /bag. Recommendations are usually at least 2 quarts per day, 1 gallon if you will be exerting yourself. Most kits I've seen have way less than that.
I'm guessing that's why there are water purification tablets as well.

As for power outages, I've been through two really long, as in multiple days without power, in my life. The first was after Hurricane Hugo hit North Carolina in 1989. It seems like we were without power for something in the neighborhood of two weeks. I remember the first day or two was pretty much "use up everything we can salvage from the freezer and cook it on the grill." Turns out a frozen pizza cooked on the grill isn't all that bad, although the crust got a little charred. And then we flushed the toilets with buckets of water from the creek, as we had well water and the pump required electricity. And we filled up jerry cans of potable water at a friends house in town where the water still worked.

The second time was when I was in college in December 2002, when a major ice storm hit Raleigh. The apartment I lived in at the time had electric heat and hot water, so I ended up sleeping the way I would it I were camping in cold weather -- in a sleeping bag wearing thermal underwear. I guess I was lucky that I was still a student, so I could go to campus and shower at the gym, and get food at the dining hall, and use the internet in the computer lab. The campus was on its own substation or something like that, so it wasn't affected by the power outage.
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  #77  
Old 10 October 2018, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Winston O'Boogie View Post
When I was a kid, we had a book kicking around the house called "My Side of the Mountain",
Classic book. See also The Other Side of the Mountain (sequel). He was in the Catskills.

Note that you're highly unlikely to find a tree large enough to have a open center unless you're in the Redwood parks in California. Plus, the tree has to have a dead center in the first place, and enlarging the space may well kill the tree. But hey, it sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Seaboe
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  #78  
Old 10 October 2018, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I'm guessing that's why there are water purification tablets as well.
That will work if the only contamination of the water is microbiological. During most disasters, chemicals such as gasoline, pesticides, or coal ash seem to get into the water. Nothing wrong with water purification, but a known supply of clean water is even better.
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  #79  
Old 11 October 2018, 05:19 PM
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As a camping enthusiast, I like to think I would not be the first to die in the great non-zombie apocalypse.

IF there is a breakdown in society, I have plenty of skills that will allow me to make it on my own. Whether I can drag others with me is another story.

During the tornado caused blackout in my neck of the wood, my gast was flabbered to find out my wife did not know that our hot water heater relied on electricity. "Isn't that why we pay for gaz?" she said. I also found plenty of others had the same idea... the gaz apparently catches fire on it's own, through divine intervention.

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  #80  
Old 11 October 2018, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
During the tornado caused blackout in my neck of the wood, my gast was flabbered to find out my wife did not know that our hot water heater relied on electricity. "Isn't that why we pay for gaz?" she said. I also found plenty of others had the same idea... the gaz apparently catches fire on it's own, through divine intervention.
My water heater has a pilot light, so as long as the pilot stays lit is should work fine without electricity. Is it possible your wife was accustomed to that style of water heater and didn't realize yours didn't have a pilot light?

My stove uses electric igniters to light the burners, but they can by lit with a match if there's no power, which I have done at times when the power was out, or the igniter was broken. The oven requires electricity though, as does the furnace.
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