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First Things First: Key Questions Facing The Beginning Prepper
SHTF Plan ^ | 5-15-20124 | Mac Slavo - Norse Prepper

Posted on 05/16/2012 4:47:01 PM PDT by blam

First Things First: Key Questions Facing The Beginning Prepper

Norse Prepper
May 16th, 2012
SHTFplan

The following article has been generously contributed by Norse Prepper.

SHTF Plan Editor’s Note: While there may be three million Americans preparing for a paradigm shift which promises to change our very way of life, that leaves roughly 99% of our population that has failed to take any serious steps to insulate themselves from catastrophe. Earlier this week we asked “How Horrific Will It Be For the Non-Prepper?”, in which we detailed the disastrous consequences that await those who will get blindsided by a widespread natural or man-made disaster. Hopefully, that article will be enough to convince some “non-preppers” to start putting their well-being into their own hands by developing personal and familial preparedness and response plans for far-from-equilibrium scenarios that may strike at anytime.

As Norse Prepper points out in the article below, one of the key motivators for ramping up your personal larder, supplies and skill sets is to avoid ever putting yourself and family into a situation where you are left with no choice but to tell your loved ones that you’re, “going to get us some food and will return with it or die trying.” In a scenario like that your odds of survival diminish significantly.

If you’ve turned the corner, or been ‘awakened’ as we like to say in alternative media, then the notion that the system as we have come to know it could fall apart around us without warning can be very overwhelming at first. So, too, is the daunting task of determining what steps to take next and how to go about creating your own personal preparedness plan to shield you from whatever may befall us.

The following questions, suggestions, considerations, and topics of discussion are a primer for those who have chosen to take control of their personal safety and security, and may help to point beginning preppers in the right direction.

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First Things First: Key Questions Facing The Beginning Prepper

by Norse Prepper
May 16, 2012

Inspired by the article regarding how horrific it’s going to get for the non prepper, I thought I might also submit the following article on what it is like to be a new prepper. The purpose of this article is not to tell my story, but to give perspective on how overwhelming it was for me as a beginning prepper.

With the amount of knowledge that readers at this website display, what could I possibly add?

My answer to that is perspective.

Many on this site and others have been preparing for years and are prepared. I know one of the first replies will be that you can never be fully prepared and it’s a journey more than a destination and I subscribe to that 100%. I personally will never be done prepping. One thing that I have found in my years of work is that after someone has done something for some time, it’s hard to remember what it was like in the beginning. I work in an engineering field and things that are very simple and seem like basics can be complicated and not easily understood by someone who is new in their engineering career. Hopefully this article takes you back to when you first began prepping and helps you relate to us newbies.

Think back to when you first felt the tugging of something in the back of your mind leading you to do more research and eventually coming to the conclusion that you must become a prepper. It may have been as blunt as a Katrina event, or possibly it was just little things here and there that eventually and gradually led you to where you are at today. Regardless of the journey, I believe it to be important to remember your roots and by doing so you will be more armed to help other people to come in to the light of what is going on in the world around us and help them get more prepared.

How I was first awoken from my state of unpreparedness was when I watched the End of America video produced by Porter Stansberry. What I saw scared the heck out of me and after watching what he had to say and showing the facts of our economic system, I went from being a SHTF ostrich with my head in the sand, to fearful that time is running out for our country as we know it. Even after seeing the End of America video, I still wasn’t aware of what it was to be a prepper. I focused more on investing in silver and things like that to hedge against the coming hyperinflation. It wasn’t until about six months ago that I came across the term prepper and dug in to see what this movement was about and frankly, I found it extremely overwhelming.

Below is my top ten list of the thousand questions that came flooding in to my head upon my awakening as well as what I am doing to answer these questions. I believe these are all questions that every new prepper should answer as fast as possible and take steps to prepare for immediately.

What am I preparing for?

I needed to identify what it is that I’m going to try to protect myself from. If I was going to prepare for a one week loss of power in a winter storm then there isn’t much to prepare for. If I am preparing for a global collapse of the financial system or EMP that would send us back to the early 1800’s I’ve got some work to do. At a minimum I would suggest that new preppers start with a plan for being self reliant for 3 months. By the time you are prepared for this, you will have learned much and can then set out on whatever your phase II duration will be. I live in a northern climate with harsh winters so my phase I goal is to be prepared for six months. Personally, I am still in this stage of prepping, but phase II will be for preparing for a multi-year grid down scenario.

Am I going to bug in or bug out?

I agree with the opinion that bugging out should only be considered if you have somewhere to go. Heading out to the woods is not an option unless you are trained in surviving under these conditions. I’ve got a wife and three kids, heading to the woods is not an option for me. If you are going to bug out, it needs to be earlier in the collapse rather than later or you will find yourself stuck at a road block. Read the book One Second After for a detailed description of what happens to refugees attempting to flee to already starving communities. Personally, I have chosen to bug-in. It is where my preps are located as well as familiar neighbors.

Can I defend my family, property and preps?

Let’s face it, when the SHTF, my preps will be viewed as “their” preps to the golden hoard. Is a stranger more likely to watch their children starve or are they more likely to tell their wife “I’m going to get us some food and will return with it or die trying.” The prepared need to ask a different question. When they arrive at my doorstep, what will I do? Will I give them some of my preps as charity? Every meal I give out gets me closer to the time when I will be telling our family, as I head out the door, “I’m going to get us some food and will return with it or die trying.” This is a huge decision to make because we need to have resolve in our minds what we are going to do when this day comes. In a SHTF situation there can be no indecisiveness. I won’t go in to any detail on how to defend yourself as there are novels of information on this subject. I believe a defense plan is more important than a food plan because if you can’t defend it you might as well not have it. Do I have enough to feed my family until order is restored?

That is assuming order will be restored. Personally, if it gets as bad as it can, I do believe eventually a new nation or nations will form and there will again be public services. I had to figure out what my comfort level is for the amount of time that I will need to eat from my preps, supplemented by gardens, hunting, fishing…etc.

How will I heat my home?

Since my plan is to bug-in in a northern climate, I need to figure out how I will heat my home. I live in suburbia and it scares me to see that relatively few people have wood burning…anything. I have a fireplace in my house and will secure enough firewood this summer to heat my house for two winters. All of my neighbors depend on electrical or natural gas for heat. I personally have seen the temperature in my location get to -60 degrees below zero with a wind chill of over 100 below. Many in my surrounding area will die of exposure unless they can be in my living room. I honestly don’t know the answer to the question of what will I do when people in my area are freezing and there is smoke coming out of my chimney. Anyone who has driven past a house burning wood in the winter knows it is fairly impossible to not alert people to a nearby source of heat. To me, this poses one of my greatest threats. Suggestions here would be helpful.

How will I keep clean?

Personal hygiene will be a huge issue in a SHTF scenario. I realized quickly that I need to stock up on toothpaste, TP, laundry/dish/hand soaps, medical supplies, and everything else needed to keep sanitary conditions in an unsanitary world. I made lists of lists of all of the things I will need. [Lists and more lists]

How will I provide light and electricity?

In an EOTWAWKI situation having some rechargeable batteries to use will be a luxury that we currently take for granted. I plan on getting a stockpile of rechargeable batteries and solar equipment. I have a basement with a sump pump, when the grid goes down what will keep my basement from getting inundated with groundwater? I picked up a secondary battery powered sump pump that runs off of a deep cycle battery. Solar rechargers can be purchased to ensure that the batteries can be kept charged. How great would it be to be able to watch a movie on a laptop? With respect to light, when there is no power, it will be very dark. Children (and some adults) can get spooked easily when there is 14 hours of darkness per day in the winter. I am going to stock some solar powered garden lights. These can be placed in the light during the day and provide for a night light during the hours of darkness. Radios, flashlights and other things can be hand cranked for power. Anything that is sustainable and will produce light or energy will become extremely valuable. How will I keep up on information and communicate with the outside world?

Obviously my TV will become useless. Who knows if there will be radio stations transmitting, and if they are, what is the source of the information? Personally I plan on eventually getting a HAM radio and learning the trade. I believe this will be the best information available as it will probably be filled with info from other preppers in the nation.

What do I have to offer others?

In a collapsed society, skills, knowledge and items for trade will pay off in a huge way. The only thing that will help me acquire supplies that I don’t have or want will be the ability to offer something to someone who has it and they find the value of my goods or services to be more than what they have. If they don’t, then they will not be willing to trade. I have personally chosen to stock up on more of the convenience things for these situations. I plan on stockpiling coffee and lighters. People will trade for a hot cup of coffee and from my perspective, coffee is a convenience. People will need to be able to start a fire for cooking or heating their homes and a source of fire will be invaluable in a SHTF scenario. Personally I won’t be bartering away guns or ammunition because the person who I just armed would also realize that if I can spare these essential items I probably have other essential items and now they have a way to get them from me.

How will I fight off boredom?

One thing that has haunted me is when the SHTF, how can I pass the time without going completely stir crazy? Obviously, there will be many chores and a lot of labor involved in daily life after a collapse, but there will also be hours upon hours of sitting in a quiet house. My kids will be involved in chores of the day, but what can I do to reduce the monotony of a grid down situation? I plan on stockpiling books on many different subjects. Fiction and nonfiction. How to’s and stories. A bow and arrow can provide hours of target practice as well as developing a survival skill. Decks of cards can provide entertainment as well as bartering potential. If you go to a casino, you can get decks of cards for 50 cents. Puzzles, board games, pads of paper and plenty of writing utensils. Anything that can hopefully make life more fun for the family to escape reality, even for a moment. Don’t forget the most important book of them all, the Bible.

How do I pay for all of this?

OK, I know I said top 10, but this question needs to be taken care of pre-SHTF where as my top 10 deal with issues post-SHTF. Most are living paycheck to paycheck, so how can preps be paid for when we are in survival mode? My plan is to sell off anything that I don’t feel is necessary. Have a garage sale and go to garage sales – you would be amazed at what you will find. I recently found three oil lamps for 50 cents each! Sell things on Ebay and Craigslist. Get a second job and dedicate all income from it to preps. Don’t worry, if the SHTF doesn’t happen and you are prepped, you can always go back and replace these items, but get prepared first. I would rather have a stocked supply room than shares of Google.

What am I preparing for? Will I bug in or bug out? How will I defend myself, family and home? What will I eat? How will I heat my home? How will I keep clean? How will I produce light and electricity? How will I get information and communicate with the outside world? What skills do I have and items can I use to barter? How will I fight off boredom? These are but the tip of the iceberg of questions needing to be answered for when life as we know it comes to an end. When talking to and dealing with anyone new to prepping, please remember that they are entering a large and complex world where their decisions on what to do next could mean the difference between life and death. Help them to make a list of priorities and offer them advice on what the list should contain. This article is just a primer, but is more than what 99% of people have done to prepare themselves and their families for what is coming.

Also, please let me say thank you to Mac, the contributors and people who comment on the SHTF Plan web site for helping me and my family prepare. You truly are today’s patriots. God bless.

Norse Prepper


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: collapse; preppers; prepping; survival; survivalist

1 posted on 05/16/2012 4:47:14 PM PDT by blam
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To: Kartographer
Correction Fighting: How Feds Prolong Economic Depressions
2 posted on 05/16/2012 4:51:53 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
How will I fight boredom? Don't worry, there won't be any idle time.

How will I heat my home? Wood, obviously.

How do I provide light and electricity? Candles or kerosene lamps...a solar panel to charge batteries and to power the ventilation fan to exchange the air in your (hopefully) earth-sheltered home.

What do I have to offer others? That won't be a concern for quite awhile, assuming you live that long.

How do I pay for this? Your problem. No time like the present to start planning.

3 posted on 05/16/2012 4:57:30 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: blam

Granpappy has good info:

How to Start Preparing for Hard Times
on a Very Modest Budget:
Part One

http://www.grandpappy.info/hstart.htm


4 posted on 05/16/2012 5:15:12 PM PDT by dynachrome ("Our forefathers didn't bury their guns. They buried those that tried to take them.")
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To: blam

I don’t know if this is possible, but if a person could negotiate with their mortgage-holder to transfer the next two months of mortgage to the end of the mortgage then that might free up some much-needed $$$ to purchase essentials.


5 posted on 05/16/2012 5:48:56 PM PDT by The Duke
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To: The Duke

A low interest rate loan to be repaid in (probable) cheaper dollars?


6 posted on 05/16/2012 6:00:14 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

ping for later...not much later.


7 posted on 05/16/2012 6:09:48 PM PDT by TheRobb7 (Remember, JimRob called a truce....not a surrender.)
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To: dynachrome
Granpappy has good info:

http://www.grandpappy.info/hstart.htm

Agreed.

Probably the best overall, well thought out collection of useful prepper info I have found in one place on the net.


8 posted on 05/16/2012 6:13:49 PM PDT by Iron Munro (If you want total security, go to prison. The only thing lacking is freedom - Dwight D. Eisenhower)
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To: blam

bttt


9 posted on 05/16/2012 6:15:58 PM PDT by netmilsmom (Romney scares me. Obama is the freaking nightmare that is so bad you are afraid to go back to sleep)
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To: blam
How do I pay for all of this?

_________________________________

If you are just starting and have a limited budget - begin at the beginning. I grocery shop once a week, using a list of the things we need.

But my eyes are open to those other things not on the list.

A canned chicken (expiration 2014), a bag of rice, a gallon of drinking water, a dental repair kit, a pack of band-aids or rubbing alcohol on sale. I toss these extras into my cart. It does not inflate the grocery bill by more than a few dollars.

Do this and soon enough you will have the essentials.

That “little voice” seldom speaks without giving you the time to respond - even minimally.

10 posted on 05/16/2012 6:20:53 PM PDT by KittenClaws (A closed mouth gathers no foot.)
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To: blam

We’ve kicked the can so far down the road that we are running out of road and the can which was once the size of a soda can is now the size of an oil drum (Try kicking that!)

For those who are just starting or are old hands at prepping you may find my Preparedness Manual helpfull. You can download it at:

http://tomeaker.com/kart/Preparedness1j.pdf

NOTE! THIS IS A FREE DOWNLOAD. I DO NOT MAKE ONE CENT OFF MY PREPAREDNESS MANUAL!

For those of you who haven’t started already it’s time to prepare almost past time maybe. You needed to be stocking up on food guns, ammo, basic household supplies like soap, papergoods, cleaning supplies, good sturdy clothes including extra socks, underwear and extra shoes and boots, a extra couple changes of oil and filters for your car, tools, things you buy everyday start buying two and put one up.

As the LDS say “When the emergency is upon us the time for preparedness has past.”

Or as the bible says: A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
NIV Proverbs 22:3

Lastly this for the doubters and the scoffers.

“There is no greater disaster than to underestimate danger.

Underestimation can be fatal.”


11 posted on 05/16/2012 6:30:26 PM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: appalachian_dweller; OldPossum; DuncanWaring; VirginiaMom; CodeToad; goosie; kalee; ...

Preppers’ PING!


12 posted on 05/16/2012 6:31:20 PM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: Kartographer
Kartographer’s preparedness manual is extremely helpful and I encourage everyone to download it. Having said that, I do not believe we are yet past the time to prepare, though it feels as if time closes in.

Sure, some may be more prepared than others, but we all live within God's own plan.

13 posted on 05/16/2012 6:38:59 PM PDT by KittenClaws (A closed mouth gathers no foot.)
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To: Iron Munro

bump prep


14 posted on 05/16/2012 6:39:59 PM PDT by Taffini ( Mr. Pippen and Mr. Waffles do not approve and neither do I)
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To: blam; All

If you have not read it yet, check out the book Earth Abides by George Stewart.

This book should be a guide to what you can expect as a “new” prepper.


15 posted on 05/16/2012 6:40:53 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: blam

BUMP!


16 posted on 05/16/2012 7:29:04 PM PDT by AlligatorEyes (Iactura paucourm serva multos)
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To: gorush
All of my neighbors depend on electrical or natural gas for heat. I personally have seen the temperature in my location get to -60 degrees below zero with a wind chill of over 100 below. Many in my surrounding area will die of exposure unless they can be in my living room. I honestly don’t know the answer to the question of what will I do when people in my area are freezing and there is smoke coming out of my chimney.

I would strongly suggest heating with propane for the first week or so - then switch to wood. If it's -60 degrees - within a week anyone without wood or propane will be dead.

17 posted on 05/16/2012 7:37:03 PM PDT by GOPJ ( "A Dog In Every Pot" - freeper ETL)
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To: blam
A low interest rate loan to be repaid in (probable) cheaper dollars?

Good thought. Also, the biggest reason to buy gold is if you have debt today. If/when the dollar sinks in value you can cash in that gold and pay off a ton of debt.

18 posted on 05/16/2012 8:08:22 PM PDT by The Duke
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To: blam

Two things I’ve been thinking about -
black construction trash bags, to put over the windows from the inside so no one can see your lights,

small, portable car starter type battery setups. I have a larger one, and a smaller one, the small one, when fully charged will run a 75 watt florescent (hooked up to a 225 W inverter) for over 12 hours.

Silent lights.

They can then be charged during the day when the generator is running.


19 posted on 05/16/2012 8:15:52 PM PDT by djf ("There are more old drunkards than old doctors." - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: djf

Solar walkway lights....


20 posted on 05/16/2012 8:19:47 PM PDT by SCalGal (Friends don't let friends donate to H$U$ or PETA.)
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To: blam
I personally have seen the temperature in my location get to -60 degrees below zero with a wind chill of over 100 below. Many in my surrounding area will die of exposure unless they can be in my living room. I honestly don’t know the answer to the question of what will I do when people in my area are freezing and there is smoke coming out of my chimney. Anyone who has driven past a house burning wood in the winter knows it is fairly impossible to not alert people to a nearby source of heat. To me, this poses one of my greatest threats. Suggestions here would be helpful.

I'm glad I only have to heat down to -20.

My suggestion is to get a good catalytic wood stove insert for the fireplace. A good description can be found at Catalytic Wood Stoves vs. Non Catalytic Wood Stoves.
21 posted on 05/16/2012 8:36:38 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Time to beat the swords of government tyranny into the plowshares of freedom.)
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To: djf
"They can then be charged during the day when the generator is running."

Try these for daytime charging, silently. They can be bought for $149.00. (And, they don't use gasoline either.)

22 posted on 05/16/2012 8:45:06 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Something to read

Online survival fiction

"The Union Creek Journal - A Chronicle of Survival"

http://unioncreekjournal.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/the-new-normal-november-2-2014/

Sample:

November 2, 2014: The New Normal

I’m looking out the window and the first snow of the season is falling. The flakes are nearly as large as the tip of my thumb; they’re slushy and coming down hard and fast. It’s early November and the snow bespeaks the promise of a long, hard winter. The Farmer’s Almanac on my kitchen table suggests as much – a winter colder and wetter than average.

The one thing the Farmer’s Almanac didn’t predict is probably the single-most important thing in our lives these days – the fact that this will be the first winter in modern history where hundreds of thousands or millions of people could literally freeze to death in their homes. I know that may sound strange. Given all of the modern conveniences of the twenty-first century, how in the world could the majority of citizens of the northernUnited Statesbe at risk of freezing to death?

Technically, I suppose it’s not just the citizens of the United States that are at risk. I’m pretty sure that nearly anyone who lives anywhere in the world where the temperatures drop to freezing or below is at risk as well. I have to assume, though, as we really don’t have much contact with the world outside of North America. For that matter, we really don’t have much contact with people, period. Air travel, automotive travel – travel over any significant distance at all – is pretty much out of the question. Electronic communication is all but gone too, with the exception of a few short-wave radios and Ham operators. We’re living in a virtual stone age. The skeletons of modern conveniences are a constant reminder of what used to be. The harsh reality is that the world has devolved to a point on par with the early nineteenth century in many ways.


23 posted on 05/16/2012 8:51:52 PM PDT by Iron Munro (If you want total security, go to prison. The only thing lacking is freedom - Dwight D. Eisenhower)
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To: Jet Jaguar

I wondered if I would ever find another who has read “Earth Abides.” I think the fellow in the book had it a bit easier as most of the population had died first. If things break down for us, it’s going to be messy!


24 posted on 05/16/2012 9:03:32 PM PDT by Ladysmith (The evil that's happening in this country is the cancer of socialism...It kills the human spirit.)
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To: djf
small, portable car starter type battery setups. I have a larger one, and a smaller one, the small one, when fully charged will run a 75 watt florescent (hooked up to a 225 W inverter) for over 12 hours.

Silent lights.

They can then be charged during the day when the generator is running.

Look into the solar battery charging stuff they sell at Harbor Freight - you can recharge a car battery or equivalent with one or two of those, silently.

Another thought is the various home-built DC-AC generators that can be built from garden edgers, power washers or lawnmowers - pretty clever and made of extremely abundant components. I first saw the design on www.TheEpicenter.com, which is an informative site to have bookmarked.

25 posted on 05/16/2012 9:20:33 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: blam

I see we’re on the same page regarding the Harbor Freight solar panels. I’ve been trying them out and am very pleased with the performance. I’m currently building a mobile radio box with PV panels and battery for my mobile Ham rig.


26 posted on 05/16/2012 9:27:13 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: Charles Martel

Bookmark


27 posted on 05/16/2012 10:55:40 PM PDT by publius911 (Formerly Publius 6961, formerly jennsdad)
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To: GOPJ
Propane is a good idea for that early period in that harsh of a climate. The good thing is that few zombies will come your way and many will leave. I too have several 15 pounders in the shed (many bought at garage sales).

One fairly easily obtained fuel is Coal. Search the web for “bulk coal”. A pallet of bagged anthracite is not crazy expensive and burns hotter than most other fuels. It won't degrade as quickly as wood and takes up a lot less space.

If wood is available in your area you are lucky but it is a lot of work to store up a large enough supply for a long winter.

28 posted on 05/17/2012 3:34:17 AM PDT by outofsalt ("If History teaches us anything it's that history rarely teaches us anything")
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To: outofsalt
"Propane is a good idea for that early period in that harsh of a climate. The good thing is that few zombies will come your way and many will leave. I too have several 15 pounders in the shed (many bought at garage sales)."

Excellent.

I must have 25 of the 20 pounders (I think that's what you mean too) bought at garage sales.

It is amazing how much prepper 'stuff' can found at garage sales on the cheap. I'm probably up to 30 cases of canning jars to @ about $1.25 per case average. Even if I never use or have to use them, they'll still be good barter items.

I've read an estimate that all the cooking for a month for a family of four can be accomplished on one 20 pound propane cylinder.(that's pretty good, if true)

29 posted on 05/17/2012 5:55:10 AM PDT by blam
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To: outofsalt
If wood is available in your area you are lucky but it is a lot of work to store up a large enough supply for a long winter.

You're right. I heated a log cabin with wood one winter - years ago. People who think it's easy have absolutely no clue...

30 posted on 05/17/2012 5:55:40 AM PDT by GOPJ ( "A Dog In Every Pot" - freeper ETL)
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To: Kartographer
(Ahem)

File this under:

It's Always Something (IAS)

There Are About 4,700 Asteroids Close Enough To Smash Into Earth

There are roughly 4,700 asteroids — give or take 1,500 — that come close enough to Earth to pose a hazard, new estimates from NASA reveal.

31 posted on 05/17/2012 6:17:05 AM PDT by blam
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To: Ladysmith
I wondered if I would ever find another who has read “Earth Abides.”

I read it many years ago and have re-read it a few times in recent years. I have also shared it with a number of people over the years.

With the exception of a few changes in technology it reads as if it could have happened last year - or next year.

The basics of life are immutable.


32 posted on 05/17/2012 6:52:12 AM PDT by Iron Munro (If you want total security, go to prison. The only thing lacking is freedom - Dwight D. Eisenhower)
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To: blam

Ping for later.


33 posted on 05/17/2012 6:54:54 AM PDT by samiam1972 ("It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."-Mother Teresa)
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To: blam
While there may be three million Americans preparing for a paradigm shift which promises to change our very way of life, that leaves roughly 99% of our population that has failed to take any serious steps to insulate themselves from catastrophe.

Not entirely accurate. One person could equal an entire household.

34 posted on 05/17/2012 9:17:02 AM PDT by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: blam

Some time ago the EPA lowered the capacity of the 20# cylinder to a max of 15# due to expansion of the gas if exposed to heat. They still call them 20 pounders but, all propane tanks, regardless of size, are subject to rules based on safety and can only be filled to about 80%.
Also the tanks need to be recertified so if your tanks are older than 2000 you might wish to do an exchange. Here is a good site for propane info.
http://www.propane101.com/propanecylinderfilling.htm


35 posted on 05/17/2012 9:32:33 AM PDT by outofsalt ("If History teaches us anything it's that history rarely teaches us anything")
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To: GOPJ

Was it Ben Franklin who said “He who chops his own wood is twice warmed”?


36 posted on 05/17/2012 10:11:37 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: outofsalt
So...because of tradition, we still call the 20 pounders but they're really 15 pounders, eh?

Thanks, I didn't know that.

37 posted on 05/17/2012 10:52:41 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam

I don’t know about the “weight” rating, but when I get mine filled they take about 4.5 gallons.

Also, once they are 12 years old, they can’t legally be refilled, but if you find one that’s 11 years old, you can probably get it for a good price (”It’ll be unfillable in a year - only good for scrap metal - give ya a buck for it.”), fill it one last time, and store it.


38 posted on 05/17/2012 12:56:06 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: outofsalt
Some time ago the EPA lowered the capacity of the 20# cylinder to a max of 15# due to expansion of the gas if exposed to heat.

That is not accurate.

The "20 lb tanks" have expansion room even with 20 lbs of gas inside. What happened was that the government requires all tanks be equipped with an overfill prevention device (OPD), which is a new valve that prevents the tank from being overfilled. These devices are simply floats that stop the inflow of propane at a certain point. Since that point can vary from tank to tank and valve to valve, it turned out that in many cases you could no longer get 20 lbs into a tank before the OPD stopped you.

Once that was realized, the propane industry could no longer sell them as 20 lb tanks because that would violate weights and measures laws (shorting the customer). The propane industry now (typically) says they are 17 lb tanks so they can't be accused of short changing the consumer. If the valve allows a full fill to 80% (20 lbs) the tank could still get that much when it's filled.

As background, I spent a year working in the propane industry while between (career) jobs back as the OPDs were coming in and the non-OPD tanks phased out. I have personally filled thousands of tanks and performed valve replacements and/or re-certifications of hundreds of others. The tanks themselves haven't changed and they have always had room for 20 lbs of propane when filled to 80%, which allows for expansion.

39 posted on 05/17/2012 1:35:29 PM PDT by BlueMondaySkipper (Involuntarily subsidizing the parasite class since 1981)
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To: DuncanWaring
Also, once they are 12 years old, they can’t legally be refilled,...

Exchange it.

The propane company that refills it can re-certify it and keep it in the stream. IIRC, visual recertifications are good for 5 years. When I worked in the industry we would scrap the junkers (broken feet, excessive rust, dents, etc.), re-valve those in need of an OPD or with leaking valves, and sandblast/paint those that started to get surface rust.

If you start inspecting various tanks you encounter, you will likely see some with hand-engraved dates in addition the the stamped manufacturer dates. That indicates they have been visually re-certified and are good for another 5 years. You might see multiple engravings on older tanks indicating they have been re-certified more than once. This engraving is more common with the larger tanks (100lbs for example) because they are generally much older than those for grills.

40 posted on 05/17/2012 1:46:04 PM PDT by BlueMondaySkipper (Involuntarily subsidizing the parasite class since 1981)
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To: Charles Martel; blam

Check out the youtube channel of “LDSPrepper”.

He has some stuff on the HF solar panels.


41 posted on 05/17/2012 1:58:01 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: DuncanWaring
"Also, once they are 12 years old, they can’t legally be refilled, but if you find one that’s 11 years old, you can probably get it for a good price (”It’ll be unfillable in a year - only good for scrap metal - give ya a buck for it.”), fill it one last time, and store it."

That's my MO.

42 posted on 05/17/2012 2:01:41 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

The author asked about the problem of the definite smell of woodsmoke from his chimney making him a target.

There are a couple of wood burning configurations that minimize the smell and smoke, because they burn the smoke, and leave an exhaust temp at less than 200 degrees.

The “rocket stove” (see permies.com) and the masonry heater (mha-net.org) both use the same principles of high draft, high temperature burns to get huge efficiency out of the wood (low smoke), then the flue gases are routed through heat absorbing material and exits cool.


43 posted on 05/17/2012 2:04:09 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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