Investing in precious metals 101

Tool Recommendations For the Prepared Household

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  • Sun, Jul 15, 2018 - 05:44am   (Reply to #17)

    #21
    TechGuy

    TechGuy

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    DC Appliances

“The only high tech appliance I would consider is a small DC freezer that could be powered from a solar panel.”

FWIW: I wouldn’t recommend going all DC for appliciances. Like every appliciance they will fail. That said in a full collapse, There are likely to be lots of abandoned AC applicances that can be salvaged. It would be more prudent to have the means to generate AC power (inverter with spares) and Generators. Generators can always be powered using a wood gas via Gasifier. 

Any “High Tech” tools are useful even in a grid down or long term collapse. Manual labor consumes large amounts of food calories, and if your injuried and reliant on manual labor to feed yourself, you make be in trouble. Cheap cordless hand tools may not last long, but quality models do. In a pinch you could convert Cordless to work as corded using a DC power source that can provide simular voltage as the old battery.

” super well insulated coolers are now being made pretty cheaply and they are reasonably well made”

I don’t know which models your referring to, but I suspect they use vaccum insulated panels, that leak overtime. They probably only work for a couple of years before failing. You can make your own coolers using Rigid foam insulated panels. You can increase the efficiency of some Freezers by adding rigid insulation to the sides and freezer door. 

“I wish someone would make an off-the-shelf set up with solar panel and DC freezer.”

You can make your own by purchasing freezer components from R-Parts.com (using a DC compressor or use a DC motor with a Belt driven compressor), Or you can buy a MarineRV freezer designed to work with DC power. The Icebox could be made using rigid foam insulation panels. You can also buy solar DC freezers, but they are generally considerable more expensive, and there are no gaurentees that they won’t breakdown when you need it the most. Thus my recommend to consider using AC appliciances and focus on methods of generating AC power. Any DC appliciance would stil need a battery bank to function properly (although it may be possible to use a a SuperCap bank for small appliancies instead of batteries). If you set up a AC generator with a Gasifier you wouldn’t need a battery bank to run a freezer. An Woodgas powered AC generator is probably the lowest tech power source, which can operated daynightovercast conditions. It also more tricky to find other devices that are DC powered. For instance your Well pump (Yes there are DC well pumps -but if it fails & you cannot get spares your up a creek with out a paddle). Circulation pumps for your heating system, Heatpump, household fans, Most power tools, household lighting. We live in a AC powered world, and if there is a collapse, There is likely going to be lots of abandon homes to salvage from.  You can bet everyone of them will only have AC applicances or tools.

“Fire is very basic technology but still…… we will need matches.”

Old school lighters will work fine. You can fuel them using alochol or ligher fluid ( few pints of lighter fuel will probably last decades if you don’t spill it – Alochol can always be fermented & distilled). Spare Flints for the lighters too.

  • Sun, Jul 15, 2018 - 06:42am

    #22
    TechGuy

    TechGuy

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    Re: Getting from Place A to Place B

If there is no fuel to be had, its probable thtat there will may big problems preventing any long distant traveling:

1. Riots and Thugs making it risky to travel near any population centers. I am sure the locals will deperate for food, water & fuel will have ambushes set up for any travellers. 

2. Road blocks, clogges roads with abandoned vehicles, fires, debris on roads, etc. I think most small towns will put up road blocks for there own security. Major roads will likely be blocked with abandoned vechicles that ran out of fuel. Presuming no fire fighters operating Fires will be wide spread as people set up makeshift stoves or camp fires, that cause large fires. Arson is another likely possibility. I believe this summer a dozen US states are battling very large forest fires. Debris on road, Fallen trees, collapsed building (due to fire or other natural disaster).

3, Snipershiway men looking to prey upon travelers. 

The risks for refugees is enormous. Plan A should be to shelter-in-place at a homestead that which you can be self reliant. At best have some prepreations in your vehicle for getting home when the crisis hits is a good option. I keep a several bags in my vehicles at all times: A bag with emergency supplies: first Aid kit, clothes, water, coats, Towels, sleeping bag, etc, This way if I am ever stuck I, I have some supplies. I also keep a tool bag with basic mechanic tools (Wrenches, Pliers, Screw drivers, etc), Jumper cables, Fire extingisher, Tape, Paper Towels, RopeString, MechanicsNitrile Gloves, Hand Warmers, Engine Oil, WD-40, Flashlightlantern, Small tarp (Incase I need to laydown in snowmud for repair work.. etc. Hand warmers are extremely usefully in cold weather if you need to do repairs. Nothing is worse than trying to do repair work when you need to perform tasks when you cannot wear gloves (working in tight space or need sensitivity of touch). I also keep some cash in my car for emergencies. ie when a credit card or debt card won’t work because of a power outage or data outage. Most likely if there is a sudden crisis, business will continue to accept cash for at least a few days if not longer depending on the nature & extent of the crisis. Cash will provide you the means for food, water, and repairs needed to get yourself home. 

I don’t recommend packing an emergency rifle since if you pulled over in a no-gun zone, or travel through an anti-gun state, you likely be arrested. Pepper spray may be the best option since most states & countries permit it. (Although I believe its illegal in the UK and some other nations: Check your laws first!). A knife is another option but even that can get you in trouble in some states & countries. In a crisis, gov’ts are likely to enact marshall law, and arrestable offensives could become immediate death sentences (ie LEOs shoot & kill you on the spot rather than arrest you due to lack of resources to incarcerate you).

In some situations, it may be best to appear to have nothing of value. and just be a poor refugee.  If you go marching through an urbansuburban street with a big rucksack, nice boots and other gear, you will most certainly be painting a big target on your back. 

 

  • Sun, Jul 15, 2018 - 07:17am   (Reply to #17)

    #23
    David Allan

    David Allan

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    Re: Matches?

You are quite right rheba, the ability to start fires is vital. I recently investigated fire starters – manufactured rods with strker to generate sparks. There are many types available at camping stores, some capable of several thousand strikes. I bought quite a few as I figure they could be good items to trade or give to neighbours,

And you’re right about the scythes, it’s the Austrian scythe I favour. Hey, I was close,  Austria and Scandanavia are half a world away from me  – and they’re only half an inch apart on my globe!

  • Sun, Jul 15, 2018 - 11:22am

    #24
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Farms

In my area are, with few exceptions, multi-generational. Every tool and a lot of the know how in these lists is there and isn’t leaving. After consulting my partner, the historian, I witnessed 4 WW2 die in three years who farmed within 2 miles of my farm. A family member bought their farm in each case but one where I bought their farm. There is a wealth of knowledge im rural America. However, there are extremely few tanners and Millers. We need skilled millers and tanners.

  • Sun, Jul 15, 2018 - 02:12pm

    #25

    David Huang

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    A few more items

Some things I’ll add to this list are:

5 gallon plastic buckets (b) – I find I’m constantly using these for all sorts of things.  I feel like I should get some more myself that I keep set aside just for food stuff.

A multi-meter for testing electric currents and such. (a?) – I find this very handy for troubleshooting all sorts of electrical issues when things need fixing.

A nice pair of pruning loppers that can handle branches an inch or two in diameter. (b) – I’ve found these to be very nice low tech tools for maintaining the trees/shrubs around my yard.  As an added bonus if the rocket mass stove I’m planning to build works out as hopes they might even be all I’d really need to harvest the winter heating fuel.  (Though I think I’ll still be happy to have a bow saw, and electric chain saw.)

A good dolly/hand cart with solid wheels that can’t go flat. (b)

A food dehydrator. (b)  I’ve got an electric one I use a lot, but I really should build a solar one sometime.

I’d mention the Austrian scythe but see in a great group like this it’s already been noted!

  • Sun, Jul 15, 2018 - 02:25pm

    #26
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

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    KISS

Go with tools that are as good today as they were yesterday and just as good, tomorrow! I used mine yesterday.

  • Sun, Jul 15, 2018 - 04:56pm

    #27

    sand_puppy

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    Lathe relocation vehicles

Getting from Point A to Point B (part 2)

As pointed out above, (ha ha), the Prius is not the ideal heavy equipment moving vehicle.

The particular collapse scenario I was looking at was moving my parents from their suburban condo in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to our more resiliant home in Virginia, in a situation where the electrical grid is suddenly down.  They have about 10 gallons of stored water in their condo and wouldn’t last 1 week without a relocation.  (Grid down implies:  No water is being pumped to the tap, no airconditioning, no gas station pumps working, the refrigerated food section of the grocery stores about to fail, etc.)  The problem was to get two bodies out of an unsurvivable setting to someplace safer.

My parents own a Prius, and we calculated that 8 of the military style 5 gallon gas cans could stack side-by-side into their car and be able to power the Prius the 1,790 miles without refueling from external supplies.  A small fuel siphon hose would be needed.  (40 mpg x 5 gal x 8 cans = 1,600 miles)

Yes there are lots of problems with this plan.  The Prius can’t go off road.  Won’t work on flooded highways, blizards, huricaines, crossing mountains in icy conditions, ramming through road blocks, and high speed chases evading highway bandits……

And they will have to leave their 2,000 pound Bridgeport Milling Machine behind!  

An ex-military friend who took a SERE (survival, evasion, resistance, escape) course (and several novel that expanded on the theme) advises that there are a couple of stages we collectively move through during a sudden disaster.  One is the denial and disbelief stage where the bulk of the population still imagines that things are “basically normal” or will “promptly be restored to normal” –probably by tomorrow morning.  The police are still on the job.  Respect for private property boundaries still apply.  The new situation and its new rules and new imperatives have not yet sunken in.  A person who gets it early has advantages.  One of which is that they can travel to a safer location in the denial and disbelief stage window of opportunity the first 1-3 days offer.

Your weapon. 

It seems to me that there might be a couple of stages.  Prohibition, confiscation, chaos.  In the chaos stage, the risk of being without a weapon overshadows the risk of being caught by authorities with one.

  • Sun, Jul 15, 2018 - 06:31pm

    #28

    Adam Taggart

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    Flea markets

Excellent input so far — I knew you tool mavens would come through!

It’s going to be a bit of a challenge to segment all the great submissions into a “starter set” vs “advanced toolkit” as I’ve got so much material to work with now. But that’s a high-quality problem  🙂

One addition to the dicussion so far: in addition to Restore and the internet, local flea markets are a great place to pick up quality pre-owned tools at great value. My axe, sledgehammer, digging bar, push mower and garden rake all came from one. Each cost under $15 apiece.

Please keep the recommendations coming!

  • Sun, Jul 15, 2018 - 07:02pm   (Reply to #27)

    #29
    TechGuy

    TechGuy

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    Re: Locating Parents

“The particular collapse scenario I was looking at was moving my parents from their suburban condo in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to our more resiliant home in Virginia”

Why not just have them move now? Beat the Rush! & bring the Bridgeport too 🙂 Pretty much any place south of Richmond is ideal for retirement. 

  • Sun, Jul 15, 2018 - 07:33pm   (Reply to #25)

    #30

    Grover

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    Scrounging

David Huang wrote:

5 gallon plastic buckets (b) – I find I’m constantly using these for all sorts of things.  I feel like I should get some more myself that I keep set aside just for food stuff.

If you want 5 gallon plastic buckets, get the food grade ones. Home Depot type buckets become brittle quickly. I picked up some free pickle buckets at fast food restaurants (just for asking) over 20 years ago and they are still working. They’re great for carrying water, tools, weeds, compost, whatever … and they stand when you set them on a level surface. A full bucket of water weighs about 40 pounds. You don’t need to fill it full if you can’t carry that much comfortably. The buckets stack when not in use.

I appreciate the lists that everyone has provided. It helps me see what’s missing in my arsenal of tools. Garage sales are a great place to get many of these currently out of favor items. The people who are having garage sales are just trying to get rid of stuff so they have more room to fill up with new stuff. I’ve picked up several high quality pressure canners very cheaply. My strategy is to go on Sunday afternoon. By then, the “good” stuff is gone and the people holding the garage sale are usually ready to quit. I mill around looking at stuff until one of the owners ask me what I’m looking for. Then, I tell them that I’d like to get some canning equipment or whatever else I think I need.

It doesn’t work always, but sometimes the folks respond that they have an old one that they haven’t used in years. I never make an offer. Instead, I ask them what they want for it. If it is too much, I pass. The garage sale mentality usually kicks in and I get them on the cheap. Then, the folks usually have empty jars and canning gadgets that they throw in for free.

Pressure canners can be used on an open fire, propane burner, etc. (Extra full propane cylinders are really valuable!) If you’ve got a freezer full of produce and the power goes out for long enough, your food will spoil. If you’ve got pressure canners and a heat source along with mason jars (and lids,) you can can your food rather than let it spoil. They’re also great for precooking beans.

I’m rough on garden tools. I don’t know how many wooden tool handles I’ve broken. Usually, the tool has a tang that gets inserted into the wooden handle or a hole the wood inserts into. I found that spiral wrapped rebar can be easily welded onto these tools for a more or less permanent solution. The thicker the wooden handle, the thicker the rebar. My favorite is a sledge hammer with a #8 (1″ diameter) spiral rebar handle welded on it. It is great for splitting wood with a maul or breaking concrete. Use thinner rebar (or pipes) for rakes (#3 or #4) and shovels (#5 or #6.) They’re more flexible and lighter. It keeps me from applying too much force to the working end of the tool. I can attest that shovel blades break when I get too impatient.

Thanks to all for providing your insights! Hope this post gives you some ideas.

Grover

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