The topic I will cover is one I have not seen on SurvivalBlog. Everybody is caught up in the equipment side and not concentrating on the training. I have two examples several months back our dryer started squeaking & we had to stop using it. I am a trained air conditioning technician. At first I thought about going out and purchasing a new dryer and then I had a thought: I have fixed multi thousand dollar air conditioning units, how hard could it be? After two days it was back up drying clothes and for a lot less money than a new dryer would cost.
The other example was Saturday night a week ago I killed a feral hog and with some help from the friend that owns the land where I killed the pig, we quickly had it in the chest freezer. You ask, “how do these two examples apply to TEOTWAWKI preparedness?”
I am 50 years old; things I take for granted younger people do not understand or do not have the ability to do. Can you sharpen a knife? Can you tune a small engine? How about sharpen a chainsaw? I have been trained as an equipment mechanic and then trained as a HVAC tech. I have also taken first aid training, I am not an EMT but I know the basics. I have fixed several small appliances. My father was a carpenter. He taught me the basics of construction, such as how to build a wall and how to hang sheet rock. I had a small business that repaired rental properties in Texas.
Do you hunt? And are you planning on hunting to supplement your meat supply if not how do you expect to put meat in the freezer after TSHTF? By hunting you learn where to look for game. Small game hunting can teach you where to find rabbits and squirrels are at certain times of the year. Also when you make your first kill you will have a hands-on butchering class. You can not make a mistake that can not be repaired before it gets to the table. I remember the first feral pig a friend killed I was at my parents' house when a friend called and ask if I had butchered a hog? I said no but I have sure put enough deer in the ice chest that a pig could not be that hard.
I have also gar
dened quite a bit. When I was a child some of the first memories are of working in the garden. We did not raise all of our food but we raised a significant portion. We had a cow and chickens. I helped my mother can vegetables from the garden. I have caned tomatoes I have raised in my back yard. I can make my own soap. I also know where to get the lye with out going to the store. (Wood ashes).
What do you read? Back Home, Backwoods Home, and Mother Earth News magazines--although Mother Earth News is not as good as she once was. I keep all the Back Home and Backwoods Home that I pick up. I also found several books that will be passed on once I go to my final reward. I have books on a variety of topics from engine repair to gardening and other topics.
Do you reload the ammo you practice with? You can store more powder, primers and bullets in a given space than loaded ammo. Then when you shoot some you can reload to re-supply. Shotgun ammo is very economical when you reload. I would not suggest that you use reloaded ammo to defend yourself. Use store bought. I talked about the pig I killed a couple weeks back I used a Savage model 40 in 22 Hornet. The cartridge I used was reloaded and in fact was a case that had been reloaded several times. I have reloaded a variety of calibers and presently I can keep my guns shooting for awhile. I also cast lead bullets for a number of my guns and I am planning on getting a few more molds for different calibers. Also think about this I have in my gun safe a. 22 Hornet, .223 Remington and a .22-250. They all take 223 caliber bullets. I have bought a lot of .223 caliber bullets, mostly 55 grain weight. I can use the same bullet in all three. I also I am going to purchase a shot maker and will be able to produce shot for my own use and barter. I am stocking up on primers and bullets.
What do you watch on television? I watch Discovery and the Science channel. People talk about gas powdered tractors gasoline has a shorter shelf life than say diesel or propane for that matter. I have not seen propane discussed much on the blog for a motor fuel. Propane has a "forever" shelf life. Also, you can still find Ford Model 8 or 9N tractors that were powered by propane. As long as the propane did not leak out it was good and the tractors could sit idle for a long time and did not have to have the carburetor cleaned.
The reason I mentioned television shows is this one program I watched 2 to 3 years ago had a teams on an oceanic island. The team had to do some projects, one of which was they had a diesel powered go-cart. Both teams were given some sesames seeds and a machine that could make oil out of the seeds. The first team to start their go-cart and get it to run a course distance won the event. This got me to thinking that all trucks, generators, tractors should be diesel powered. You can make your own fuel!! The inventor of the Diesel engine was Dr. Rudolf Diesel, a German who envisioned a system where German farmers were not dependant on fuel sources that came from outside Germany! Remember the pig I killed? If it had been a survival situation. I would have rendered the fat to oil and could have used it in my truck and drove 20 or so miles or used it in a generator or plowed the garden with a tractor.
The upshot of the foregoing is that what you have in your hands is not as important as what you have between your ears. Learn all you can. Take classes at your local community college. Read all the preparedness’ magazine’s and books you can. Concentrate on survival skills. Learn to start fires without matches and to build a temporary shelters. Learn to maintain your car or truck, local community colleges are great places to learn vehicle repair and you can save money in the short run. Imagine if something broke and you needed it to survive. Could you fix it? Stockpile spare parts for the most important items. Ford 8 of 9n tractors are great and look simple. But if the clutch went out, could you replace it? I have done that and it’s not as easy as you might think. Repair manuals are not an option, in my thinking. They are a must.