50 Low-priced Items That Will be Invaluable when SHTF

Chris Byrne
By Chris Byrne May 12, 2017 11:10

50 Low-priced Items That Will be Invaluable when SHTF

When you are ready to prepare for any SHTF situation, there are particular items that are absolutely vital. These items often fall into a few categories. The four pillars of survival are food, water, fire, and shelter. These are four priorities that must be secured to survive in any situation. In addition, other priorities might be first aid, self-defense, land navigation, and signaling for help. If you can cover these categories, you can survive just about any scenario.

In addition to covering these categories, you want to be as efficient as possible. This means that items covering more than one need are especially valuable. It also means you want your survival items to be small, lightweight, and inexpensive. One of the other priorities in prepping is redundancy. You never want to have to rely one just one item for fire, or just one item for purifying water. You want several layers of protection to ensure that your needs are covered. Here are the items I suggest for your prepping kit:

  1. Full Tang Knife: One of the most valuable items you can have is a quality knife. It is one of the items that is most difficult to recreate with only natural materials. A full tang knife means that the blade extends all the way to the end of the handle. This ensures that is will not break when put to the test. I prefer a heavy, long blade if it is the only blade I bring. Here are some tips on how to make your knife as sharp as the devil himself.
  2. Folding Saw: When processing wood, there are several products you can use. A large knife will work, but a good saw is better.  A small, flexible folding saw is ideal for cutting logs and branches up to about six inches thick.  It is lightweight, safe, and effective.
  3. Hatchet: Having a second way to process wood is a good idea, and a hatchet gives you another option. Hatchets are ideal for splitting firewood once you have it cut down.
  4. Ferro Rod: This small fire starter is waterproof, windproof, and never needs additional fuel. It is the most reliable fire starting tool you can have.
  5. Zippo lighter: The Zippo is windproof and can stay lit without having to hold down a button. It can also be refilled with several different flammable liquids.  This makes it ideal for long term use.
  6. Bic lighters: These disposable lighters are reliable and very inexpensive.  You can easily afford to have several lying around.
  7. Wetfire cubes: These waxy cubes are great for quickly starting a fire in adverse conditions. You shave some of the wax off of the corner and light the pile with just a few sparks. Then you can put the rest of the cube on top and it will stay lit for several minutes. In addition, you can also learn how to make waterproof matches at home in 5 minutes.
  8. Firesticks: These fire assistance products are very helpful in windy and wet conditions. They can be doused in water and still will stay lit in strong winds for around 20 minutes.  This product can allow you to skip over tinder and move straight to your kindling and larger wood. This is how to make firebricks (fire logs) and wood stove logs for free!
  9. 550 Paracord: Cordage is vital in a SHTF scenario. 550 paracord is strong enough to hold a grown man, but also has several strong interior strands.  You can remove these strands and use each one separately.
  10. Emergency Blanket: Not only can these reflective blankets be used to wrap up and stay warm, but they can also be used for a quick shelter. The reflective surface sends 90% of your body heat back to you, and the thicker tarp-style blankets will not rip and have grommets at the corners for cordage.
  11. Filter Bottle: If you have a bottle with a water filter built into the lid, then you can purify water on the go. Just dip it in a stream and keep going. Also, here’s a 100-year-old way to filter rainwater in a barrel.
  12. Straw Style Filter: This filter takes up little space and allows you to dip down and take a drink whenever you need.
  13. Iodine Tablets: These take up almost no space and allow you to chemically purify water. The only downside is that they take around 30 minutes to work.
  14. Fire Lens: If you have a sunny day, a fire lens works well to get a fire started. It is waterproof, windproof, and requires no fuel.  All you need is direct sunlight.
  15. Char Cloth: This substance will catch a spark or the heat from a lens and hold an ember for several minutes. You can buy char cloth or you can make your own by poking a small hole in an Altoids tin.  Just add some small strips of cotton cloth and throw the tin in the fire for 20 minutes.
  16. Flashlights and headlamps: Having light at night is vital in a SHTF scenario. Having a good LED tactical flashlight and a headlamp to keep your hands free should be a top priority.
  17. Butane Stove: The stoves can be large enough for several pans or small enough to fit in your pocket. They allow you to quickly cook food or boil water without building a fire.
  18. Lantern: To light a room or campsite you will need a device that emits light in every direction. You can buy a gas lantern or an electric lamp. Another good idea is the strikelight, which can be also used as an anti-theft device.
  19. Batteries: Having a supply of batteries for your electrical devices is very important. I suggest a variety of sizes.
  20. Water Storage: Having ways to purify water is important, but having large amounts of water on hand is important as well. Be careful about the containers you use as some can affect the taste or quality of the water.
  21. Wool Blankets: Wool is the only substance that can keep you warm even when wet.
  22. Fishing Tackle: Having a rod and reel can be a great way to provide more food for your family.
  23. Gill Net: Another way to catch fish, but you can set it up and forget about it until you collect your catch.
  24. Various Animal Traps: Trapping is another way to collect food without having to actively hunt. Having snares and other traps gives you a huge advantage versus building primitive traps.
  25. Shotguns: These weapons are great for hunting birds, small game, and large game at close range. They can also be used for close quarters combat. Here’s how to conceal weapons in your vehicle.
  26. Rifles: These are primarily for longer shots on big or small game. They are also ideal for long range shots to defend your home. Related: The AK-47 vs AR-15: Which Rifle is Better When SHTF?
  27. Handguns: Pistols are easy to conceal and may be the best option for defending yourself or your home. Learn how to deal with the most common handgun malfunctions.
  28. Compound Bow and Crossbow: These weapons are silent ad good for hunting or self-defense. You can also make more arrows if you run out.
  29. Copper Wire: This material is great for several projects and is ideal for homemade snare traps.
  30. Zip Ties: These can replace cordage if you want a quick and simple solution. They are also good to secure the hands of captives if needed.
  31. Duct Tape: There are dozens of different uses for this strong and sticky substance.
  32. Candles: These are great for both light and heat if you want to conserve electricity. Here’s how to make 30 hours survival candles with soy wax.
  33. Fire Extinguishers: Controlling a fire without access to a fire department can be difficult. Having supplies on hand is vital.
  34. Smoke Detectors: This will alert you if your home catches fire.
  35. Carbon Monoxide Detectors: If you plan to have open flames in your house for cooking or heat, you will need to ensure that this toxic gas does not build up.
  36. Solar Battery Packs: These can be recharged with the power of the sun to charge various devices.
  37. PVC Pipe: Having various sizes of this plastic piping will help with plumbing and other projects.
  38. Seed Bank: You will want to have seeds for gardening stored up in advance so you can plant when the time is right.
  39. Ammunition Bank: Firearms are great, but they are worthless without ammo. Stock up on your most needed rounds. Here’s how and where to store ammo.
  40. Lumber: Two by fours, four by fours, and plywood are all good to have around for various projects including boarding up windows and doors.
  41. Hand Crank Radio: This will allow you to hear what is going on in other areas.
  42. Hardtack: These dry biscuits are easy to make in advance and can be stored for years.
  43. Jerky and Pemmican: Both of these foods can be made from almost any kind of meat and will last a long time when kept dry.
  44. Canned and Dry Goods: This type of food will give you some variety in your diet. Here are the 10 long shelf-life canned foods every prepper should consider stockpiling.
  45. First Aid Kit: You will likely have to perform your own medical care, so having a thorough kit with some first aid knowledge is a good idea.
  46. Sewing Kit: There will be plenty of ripped clothing to mend when you cannot buy more.
  47. Toiletries: Hygiene will greatly affect health in SHTF scenarios. Having soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper will go a long way.
  48. Generator: Having electricity for specific needs is important, and a cheap gas generator is a smart buy.
  49. Map and Compass: Having a way to navigate is important, especially if you need to bug out. So, you’ll need to learn the lost art of reading nature’s signs.
  50. Signal Mirror and Whistle: These come in handy if you need to get somebody’s attention for rescue. Here are 10 ways to signal SOS.

You may also like:

Tools You Will Need When SHTF

You Will Not Survive An EMP Strike Without This Device (watch video)

50 Prepper Items To Shop For At The Thrift Store or Yard Sale

I Asked a Friend What I Should Stockpile for SHTF: The Great .223 Remington Or The Stalwart .308 Winchester?

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Chris Byrne
By Chris Byrne May 12, 2017 11:10
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68 Comments

  1. Jess May 12, 13:56

    In addition to the above. I have invested in trade stock and a little home industry for after the chaos.
    I have 36 pounds of iodized salt in one pound containers and five boxes of “meat rub” For the home industry I’ve stocked up on leather and canvas sewing materials.
    Hope this sparks some ideas for others.

    Reply to this comment
    • PB- dave May 12, 15:56

      To piggy-back on Jess’ post, don’t forget your skills as a stock in trade also. Having the right tools and being able to drill & tap a hole, thread a pipe, solder, braze, weld with a torch…. just might be of value in a situation.
      You may get paid in jerky, eggs, and taters, but heck country Doctors did it for years.

      Reply to this comment
    • localgringos May 21, 01:31

      You need sea salt, it comes in course and fine and will not raise your blood pressure like iodine dalt.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Wannabe May 12, 14:46

    Be sure to get a good file to keep hatchet and machete sharp. Sharpens quickly and easy. Of course sharpening stones for knives and if you have a portable hand chain saw get a chainsaw file to keep it honed. Dull equipment is worthless.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Wannabe May 12, 14:56

    Don’t forget the survival rules of threes. Three minutes for air, three hours for shelter, three days for water and three weeks for food. Ofcouse the above said items in article make it a lot easier to follow these rules. Happy prepping my friends.

    Reply to this comment
  4. left coast chuck May 12, 14:56

    In addition, non-iodized salt can be used for meat preservation. Sugar is a trade item. Instant coffee for yourself and to trade. I keep the brown paper that comes in some boxes as packing. I cut it into 6″ or 7″ squares depending upon the dimensions of the original sheet. I pack it tightly in boxes and wrap them in plastic that clothing sometimes comes in. This is trade toilet paper. The list of trade items is long.I’m not saving gold. I think things like that will only be useful long after the event when civilization starts to return.

    Reply to this comment
    • Wannabe May 12, 15:36

      I love your resourcefulness chuck. Use everything God has given us. Everything can have a purpose.

      Reply to this comment
    • Older prepper May 12, 20:55

      Left coast; You know for years I had this desire, for buying salt on sale! I did not know why, but I knew, salt can be used for cleaning, and throat gargle. Then I thought, it could be saved very well, for future use. I guess somewhere in the back of my mind, it could be used to barter with. I never understood, the need for GOLD SAVING. I said, if things get that bad, food would be better, No one can EAT GOLD. I have all kind of food storage. I am guessing, I could live one whole year or more with what I have stored. Most of my cans,number 10 say, good for 30 years. A few for 10 years, and some 5 years. I live in the desert, so things are dry and cool in my home. I keep these things in my bedroom. Just some musings. It seems I am doing the right things by instinct? Salt, is so needed for food flavoring.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Mike May 12, 15:01

    NEITHER. The best semi-auto DEPENDABLE rifle is South Korea’s Dae Woo K-1 I prefer The K-2 with post stock.

    Have had all three the Dae Woo does not need a forward assist.

    Who would want a weapon that at any moment you may waist a second OR 2 rounding a chamber. The ar;s and m16’s are JUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply to this comment
    • Consco May 13, 14:23

      Way to many quality rifles out there to say one is better, or best. I have an AR15 made by HK. Has never failed once. Even with cheap steel cased ammo. Have in Israeli Tavor and a Steyr AUG and can say the same thing about both. Have fired all kinds of crap ammo and no failures. Have 3 Ruger ARs and all feed everything perfectly. Fired 3500 rounds and did not clean the rifle and still no failure. After 40 years of owning these types of rifles and my M1A, not sure why you are calling them junk.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Wannabe May 12, 15:21

    One other thing, it’s a good feeling to have peace of mind that most items mentioned in article are already secured. Been working on these things since summer of 2011. It is a slow process for working people but possible. A little at a time, catch sales at stores, thrift shops, garage sales, etc. For example, every time you buy toilet paper for regular family use, set aside two rolls for prep supply. And the supply serves two purposes. One of course for shtf, and two for everyday needs. When running a little short on daily living cash, you can cut corners on things already stocked up on and pull from those. Uh oh, out of toilet paper and quite broke because my son needed work on his truck. No problem, I have it in storage. You see, it is a win win.

    Reply to this comment
  7. dp May 12, 16:21

    As mentioned by others: Trade goods…

    Salt – used as a preservative when there is no refrigeration.
    pepper, and other spices, coffee, tobacco, common medicines, tea, dry beans rice etc, band aides, crop seeds, miracle grow, bic lighters, butane, vitamins, batteries. All of these things are cheap right now, so stock up.

    Stock up on the dog food as well. Once word gets out to the thieves and trespassers that source of dog food will be gone. lol

    Reply to this comment
  8. Hammer May 12, 16:23

    “ar’s are junk” This speaks to inexperience and lack of knowledge. As a Combat Vet I can’t disagree more. Not only is the ar a great rifle which is combat proven but .223 or 5.56 ammo is among the most common caliber available. As for operation, lock and load is really simple. A little training, which should always be done with any firearm, learning the rifle is all it takes.

    Reply to this comment
    • Consco May 13, 14:33

      My problem with a das woo would be spare parts. LOL this from a guy with Steyr AUGs and Israeli Tavors and FN SCAR17s as well as ARs. Unlike most however I have the skill set, tools, and enough spare parts to rebuild any and all of our firearms. Firing pins, springs, trigger groups, operating rods, gas tube, stocks etc. good skill set to trade. Also agree about gold or silver. We have some silver but Ammo and food and water worth WAY more than gold in a grid down scenario. Magazines for all firearms as well. We have put away 100’s. Also 22LR will be worth its weight in gold. Small game is good eating. I agree with Hammer. ARs are great. Steer clear of exotics or off brands unless you invest serious amounts of time (and money). My wife is a small build and a bull pup. gives her every advantage that a normal AR does not. Point here is put away something of value and a skill set that is usable and you should be able to trade for stuff you need.

      Reply to this comment
  9. Glennt May 12, 16:49

    People should take a basic first aid class. Their are many times you should not move a patient.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck May 12, 23:09

      I took a Red Cross sponsored first aid class. I can summarize it in about five sentences. 1. Make sure the patient is breathing. 2. Talk to them to see if they are conscious and ask them what happened. 3. Control bleeding. 4. If they are not breathing, do chest compressions. (In the old old days we called it artificial respiration. Same technique, new catchy name) 5. Call 911. Everything always ended with “Call 911”. That’s great as long as everything is working but in the scenario that we are talking about on this site, nothing is working. In fact, if you drag your victim to a hospital the chances are you are going to the scene of a major riot and unless you know somebody on staff personally, your chances of getting treatment are nil. I considered it a monumental waste of time and money. I learned more first aid when I was a boy scout half a century ago. When, if you were lucky you got thrown in the back of a pickup or station wagon and hauled to the doctor’s office. The hospital was too far away and they would have had to call a doctor anyway.

      Reply to this comment
  10. CassandraCursed May 12, 20:22

    #23 Gil net – PLEASE DO NOT USE unless it’s a total emergency. These things kill unintended victims and in a less than SHTF situation are NOT GOOD for living things. No need to hasten the destruction, right !?!?

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck May 12, 20:39

      Come on, Cassandra, this is an end of the world situation. You will be eating the “unintended victims.” They are food. almost anything animal is suitable food for humans — maybe not the best tasting, but nourishment. You will be licking your plate to get every last smudge of food off it. You will be sucking the marrow out of bones. During the siege of Moscow and Leningrad during WWII the Russians were scraping the wallpaper off the wall to get the wheat glue on the back of the paper. They were boiling the tongues of their shoes and belts to get some kind of nourishment from the leather. Do you think you are going to do catch and release if the fish isn’t legal size in an ETOW situation? A gill net is the perfect survival fishing instrument due to the fact that it does catch everything.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Kurmudgeon May 12, 23:43

    Chuck – really appreciate your posts. You should consider writing some of these articles yourself rather than just responding to them. Thanks, and much obliged.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck May 13, 00:59

      Thanks for the kudos. I work better when I know what questions need answering rather than trying to come up with original thoughts. When I see something that I know is wrong or poor advice, I can respond. Don’t know what questions people have until they ask.

      Now to go on with something I have thought about in this article. A fishing pole and reel is great if you have been fishing all your life and know how to cast and reel. When I was a kid we used much more basic equipment. We used window screen with bread balls in it as a net. We used a trot line. That’s where you tie a fair weight to the end of the line so that you can toss out the whole length of the line. Then at intervals along the line you have lines going out with hooks and bait. Trot lines are illegal in many states because they are fish killers. You bait all your hooks, perhaps every two feet along the line with a side line and hook on each side of the main line. If you have a 50 foot trot line, you will have anywhere from 30 to 50 baited hooks in the water. Unless you are a commercial long liner, I am pretty sure that is illegal on most inland waters. We used to use the cotton twist cord that carpenters used to use to snap a line to mark a long line to match up pieces in construction. Or bricklayers use to lay a line to build a wall. That’s awkward but the best I can explain it for those who don’t know what a snap line is. It was heavy enough to pull in a line with five or six fish of varying sizes on it. We didn’t have treble hooks in those days, just single hooks. We used a fair sized hook but these many years later, my memory is hazy about the exact size. You threw the line out in the morning just about dawn and pulled it in at dusk so that you could throw it out again and leave it overnight. It was all illegal, but law enforcement was more involved with real criminals in those days than in going after kids who were subsistence hunting and fishing for their families. I never saw a game warden until I moved to California. I suspect that Pennsylvania had them somewhere but I never saw one. So, in place of a nice rod and reel, I would suggest a trot line which rolls up nicely on a paper towel core or a kite spool which is what we used and stows away inside your overalls. It is easier to carry in a bugout situation, is almost invisible if you use black line and is a lot easier than working a rod and reel all day with no results. If I happened to camp at night or during the day in a bugout situation, the trot line would go in the water right away to be pulled out before I left the site the next day. Keep the guts of any fish and of any small animals you kill for bait. You will get mostly catfish but they have lots of meat for their size and in some parts of the country are considered fine dining. Even this many years later, I don’t care for catfish but, hey, if you are hungry enough crow will taste good. That’s another post.

      Reply to this comment
      • JB May 15, 20:03

        Chuck, loved your idea and will take it a step farther. As a former kid who did the same thing but am likely much younger I’ll add to your idea. Put your set line out at nightfall and get it in the morning– you’ll have much better success and it will be camo’d by the night. Also, floating hooks or Inline floats are a good idea as it gets your worm (easily found in a SHTF situation) a little bit off of the bottom and is easier for the fish to find. If you don’t know how to catch creek chubs, learn how to. Not only can they be used as food but they will also stay alive longer on a set hook

        Reply to this comment
        • Wannabe May 15, 20:51

          Easy way to find worms. Take two pieces of rebar( metal used for reinforcing concrete) about three feet long each. They have to be ribbed metal and not smooth. While holding one in your hand touch the end of it to the ground and take the other one and rub it on the one touching the ground. Vibration brings worms right up to the surface and have someone else to pick them up. You can do it by yourself just easier with two.

          Reply to this comment
  12. Harry May 13, 03:42

    I can’t believe that nobody has recommended alcohol. Having a supply of vodka can be used for tinctures for medicine and also for barter.

    Reply to this comment
    • dp May 13, 09:30

      Alcohol can be made from many things. It is not a trade good… anyone can make it on short notice.

      No one can make salt. Enough said…

      Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck May 14, 02:19

      If you are going to buy alcohol for external medicinal use, make sure it is more than 120 proof. Alcohol that is less than 60% isn’t effective as an antiseptic. It must exceed 60% before it starts to kill nasties. Hard to find here in the Peepuls Republik but it is out there. Look hard. If you dump 100 proof Wild Turkey on a wound, you have just wasted some fine drinking liquid. 100 proof is only 50% and while it makes an excellent wound wash (better than that murky stuff in the ditch) it doesn’t kill those nasty tetanus germs lurking in the deep gash.

      While dp is correct that alcohol can be made from lots of stuff, I don’t know if you can get the medicinal strength without a still. If you live near the ocean, you can make salt. People are spending big bucks for French sea salt these days. The old salt flats in San Francisco Bay area being reclaimed for wildlife (no, not hippie pot parties) refuges. Producing salt was a major industry in the early days of San Francisco. Even the salt mines where there are miles and miles of underground salt were at one time ocean. Of course, if you live in Topeka, Kansas, you are going to have to find a salt mine somewhere.

      Reply to this comment
      • Harry May 14, 03:15

        I was talking mostly for tinctures, many wild plants and herbs can be tinctured to make anti fungal or antibiotic solutions and those will be in big demand after a shtf situation.

        Reply to this comment
      • dp May 14, 04:34

        Many good points, but as far as making salt, especially if you live on the left coast, you have to keep in mind that Fukushima has polluted the entire Pacific with radiation.

        At first it was mostly the northern hemisphere, but the fish carry it down south over time. It is a true crime against humanity that this has been allowed to go on for so long. Salt flats and salt mines should be fine, but yes, it takes a lot of salt to cure meat.

        I can’t recommend alcohol as a disinfectant, not because it doesn’t work, rather it is hard on the wound. Iodine works well, so does honey, and as mentioned elsewhere, herbal tinctures. You can often buy iodine in powder form at feed stores. It is mixed up and used as an antiseptic wash for horses and cattle. It is not good for dietary use. For that you need Lugol’s Solution. Stock up, as you should be taking that daily right now anyway.

        Another useful item is pool shock. Extremely concentrated chlorine for disinfecting water, etc. Just be sure to let the chlorine evaporate out before drinking.

        Good point about the still. I need one on my shopping list. lol Also, lots of sugar, and brewers yeast…

        Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck May 15, 03:09

        I take back what I said about finding salt in Kansas. I am reading a book called “Lost Skills of the 19th Century.” The chapter I am reading now deals with building a sod house. I didn’t realize that the plains indians used sod houses. I thought most of the plains indians used easily transported temporary housing. However, the Kaws used permanent sod homes. The author talks about them using rock salt that was obtained near the “Arkansa” River. The account was written in the early 19th century, somewhere around 1820-1830. It would appear that at least in the early 19th century natural salt was available on the central plains. I also know how to prepare a ship for attack at sea using muzzle loading black powder cannons thanks to this book.

        Reply to this comment
  13. PatrickM May 13, 15:19

    Salt can easily be stored via 50# salt licks from the feed store. Get the white, plain salt ones. An ice pick to break of pieces, a clean cloth bag to hammer into smaller particles, or a cheap grinder like a corona type. A supply of iodized salt for the kitchen should be separate of this.

    Reply to this comment
    • dp May 13, 18:09

      That is one way to do it. Or, you can buy salt which is specifically made for eating and curing in 50 lb bags from the Mennonite store, like I do, and buy your iodine separately.

      I buy Lugol’s solution from Ebay. 2 drops per day give you all the iodine that a normal person requires. It can also be used to purify water, treat infection, and the dosage can be increased in the case of radiation exposure without having to eat a ton of salt – which would probably kill you from salt poisoning.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck May 14, 02:09

        Or you can by it from Smart & Final stores in the western states or at Costco. You can’t have too much non-iodized salt. Salting meat takes lots of it. Don’t need much iodized salt for table use as a little iodine goes a long way.

        Reply to this comment
  14. Oakeydokey May 14, 19:09

    I thought the name of the post was “low priced items” and shows a picture of a “$” store!!
    Very few of the essential items on this list can be found at a dollar store…candles, matches and batteries. Maybe tape and small quantities of the food items. But guns of any kind, do not qualify as low priced.

    Reply to this comment
    • dp May 15, 02:08

      Oakeydokey,

      Dollar tree in my town has squirt guns for a dollar, that along with ammonia and bleach will allow you to fight off stray dogs. They also have tarps, and string – for your low budget prepper shelter. Food goods, water, magnifying glass, towels, socks, signal mirror, lighters, flashlights, dirt, crop seeds, air horns, and a ton of other cheap crap that I don’t see how they sell for a dollar and make money.

      Good luck with your dollar store prepping. If you ever find a $20 bill, or win the lottery, then maybe you can step your prepping game up to include Harbor Freight.

      lol

      Reply to this comment
  15. left coast chuck May 15, 03:18

    The chapter I am starting now is “Cooking a bison hump in the traditional manner” from 1823.

    Step 1: Kill a bison.

    It should be interesting, especially since I am completely ignorant of any manner of cooking a bison hump, let alone the “traditional” manner.

    Reply to this comment
    • dp May 15, 05:15

      Left Coast Chuck,

      LOL!

      Also, I have got to get a copy of that book. I have been collecting books all of my life, but since I started prepping I have been collecting paper books covering all kinds of subjects. I probably have several hundred so far, which I will use to set up a personal library.

      I’m pretty sure that this Internet thing is just a fad that will eventually pass away, or stop working…

      Reply to this comment
  16. left coast chuck May 15, 17:52

    @dp: I also collect books on what I consider useful topics after TEOTW. Some are more useful than others. Survival books oftentimes contain useless info. For instance I have one by Outdoor Life that tells me how to survive a plane crash in the high Andes. What to do if stranded in the Amazonian jungle and other tidbits of interesting but useless info. I suppose I will pack it if I am ever embarked on an a/c that is scheduled to fly over the Andes mountains, but otherwise not. I do not trust electronic media to last. I have some great info on 5 1/4″ floppy discs. Anybody have a CPM operating system computer that can read 5 1/4″ floppy discs? I also have some great info on 3.5″ discs. Anybody have a working computer that reads MacWrite? On the other hand, I have my Manual for Courts-Martial, 1951 that I used back in the service in the mid to late 50s. It still reads fine and looks like it is good to go for another 60 years. Don’t use it much any more, but it might come in handy for military tribunals after TEOTW. My brother has the family bible that goes back into the 1850s. Some of the handwriting is kind of hard to read. Apparently bad handwriting runs in the family. The printed text, however is still legible. After TEOTW, books will be quite valuable for the knowledge they contain and the entertainment they provide.

    Reply to this comment
    • Consco May 15, 18:47

      Yes the wife and I have numerous books as well. Don’t trust electronics either. I would recommend putting away several useful books. We have Dr Joe and Nurse Amy’s medical book as well as a physicians desk reference that we bought used. Not cheap, cost us a 100 bucks but wow what info. Have taken several first aid classes like Chuck. All of this will be very valuable in a SHTF scenario. Dr Joe and Nurse Amy have the fish med equivalents in their book which are very handy. Have my old Ranger handbook from the early 80’s that still looks almost perfect. And the Army’s field hygiene book as well. Almost all of these are available online for very low prices. Gun shows, military surplus stores etc have a lot of great gear for reasonable prices. Mess kits, machetes, water purification tablets and military manuals. A lot of low dollar cost items can really increase your family’s chances of survival. Obviously as someone pointed out to one of my earlier posts, guns are expensive and so is quality night vision. BUT investing in the right firearm and the right piece of night vision equipment can be a real game changer.
      Salt, sugar or better yet honey with no shelf life, yeast, noodles, canned goods, rice are all fairly inexpensive items that you owe to yourself and your family to put away. Don’t forget the spices to keep the food tasting good as well.
      Life straws or their equivalent are another game changer. We always buy 2 when we see them on sale. We have the family size one as well.
      Water is critical (duh), food and the means and will to defend it are all critical to you and your families success. Prepping without taking these things into account are really a waste of time.

      Reply to this comment
  17. dp May 15, 20:44

    Chuck,

    I agree 100%. I have a ton of electronic books which I copy over to an external drive regularly, and keep inside a Faraday cage along with a laptop to access it with.

    My most valuable books are the ones written from the 1800’s to the 1960’s. Everything from hunting and animal husbandry to gardening, health care, construction, herbal medicines, etc, etc, etc.

    Many of the newer books also contain useful information.

    I have a couple of old Apple computers around here somewhere, and could probably build you a CPM system if I can find the parts. I would be more than happy to give them to you, but you would need to provide a way to get them to your location.

    Reply to this comment
    • Consco May 15, 20:48

      Guys am a commercial/industrial electrician by trade. TEST your faraday cages to be sure they work.
      One method anyone can do is put you cel phone inside and call it. If it rings it may not be sufficient. Wrap everything in tin foil inside of the faraday cage and that should cure the problem.

      Reply to this comment
      • Wannabe May 16, 12:19

        So please help me to understand. I have a shop behind my house of which all the walls and the roof are tin. I have zero cell phone reception yet the radio still receives reception and so do hand held Walkie talkies. Does this mean items in here are protected? I have heard that if radios still work it is not protected

        Reply to this comment
        • Consco May 16, 14:53

          That is probably because there are gaps under doors etc.
          windows perhaps? Plus you will want to make sure that nothing is touching the metal building that you want to save. You would need to plywood or Sheetrock the walls.
          Think of it this way. You have a shipping container that the doors seal tightly on and there are no windows. Hang plywood up to keep everything in it from making contact with the steel itself. This would be an excellent faraday cage. Hope this helps

          Reply to this comment
          • Wannabe May 17, 21:10

            Well then things are hopeful. The inside is wall to wall plywood and a plywood floor so no direct contact to any metal outside. Plywood ceiling and well insulated walls and ceiling. No windows but a metal exterior door. There is an air conditioner though which might be a problem.

            Reply to this comment
            • dp May 17, 22:01

              This is because of the gaps in the cage as mentioned by Consco, but also because the frequency of the radiation are different. Cell phone signals are in the microwave spectrum and are basically line of site radiation. Radio waves tend to be longer waves which will bounce off of the ionosphere, etc.

              Any shielding helps, but to be most effective it needs to be completely enclosed in metal. No gaps or holes. HTH

              Reply to this comment
      • Wannabe May 18, 17:16

        Any idea what size solar panel I need to keep a twelve volt battery charged?

        Reply to this comment
  18. dp May 15, 20:48

    I wanted to add that the chances of the information on those floppy disks still being good is highly unlikely, but another option may be to carry them to an older, independent, computer repair store and see if they can pull up the info.

    Reply to this comment
  19. dp May 15, 20:56

    Consco,

    My own experience performing the test that you mentioned is that the Faraday cage needs to be grounded.

    Reply to this comment
    • Consco May 15, 21:08

      Yes I am guilty of not giving out 100 percent of the info! You are correct dp. Am now learning of new info that actually contradicts it. Myself and our engineer were discussing last week. Grounding in some circumstances may be another path for electricity to travel TO faraday cage. Will let you know as ai learn more and then field test myself.
      All of our night vision and other sensitive stuff is in faraday cages. Completely insulated. Also wrapped in 2 layers of tin foil with a cloth cover on the outside for further insulation and padding!

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck May 16, 16:53

        Get “Disaster Preparedness Handbook” by A. T. Bradley, PhD. He actually conducted experiments with various levels of electric fields to see what was required in order to block the field. If my terminology is not correct, you will have to realize that my knowledge of electricity is limited to the fact that if you put a paper clip in a hot socket you will get a nasty shock. Anyway, back to Dr. Bradley. He actually conducted studies on how to shield various electronic devices from a current field. I won’t go into them here, but would highly recommend his book and his experiments in regard to shielding from EMP/CME generated fields. My take away from his experiments is that it is not necessary to block every bit of current, just enough shielding is required to drop the force of the field to below damaging levels. The more basic your electronic device, the less shielding may be required. HOWEVER be advised. Do not accept my interpretation of Dr. Bradley’s experiments. Read them for yourself.

        I don’t think tin foil or aluminum foil will shield anything. It is a conductor. I think wrapping in plain paper is a more effective shield. For those of you who are old enough to remember fabric wrapped cords on appliances, the inner core was wrapped in paper to insulate the wires. But, again, remember, this is from the guy whose expertise in electricity is limited to changing light bulbs. I’ll be right at home after TEOTW. Electricity? We don’t need no stinking electricity. Candles was good ’nuff for my grandpappy, good ’nuff for me.

        Reply to this comment
        • Consco May 16, 17:30

          Left coast chuck
          Yes foil is a conductor but if you read the rest of my post you will see that it can and does work as a shield for low levels that get through. It will dissipate it, something akin to grounding. My faraday is sealed extremely tight. The foil works for the last bit of dissipated current that may pass through. Since any EMP is going to vary in strength from your house to mine, and there is no hard science that has been recently conducted to conclusive results due to disinterest from the governemet, private industry won’t take it up as there is nothing in it for them. I am taking every last precaution. I have studied this for 30 years and worked with nukes and as I mentioned earlier, I am an electrician by trade, as well as discussing this with one of my companies electrical engineers. Dr Bradleys book is informative but not new and there have been changes in nukes as well as electronics LOL since it was written

          Reply to this comment
          • Consco May 16, 17:37

            The latest science is not conclusive as to which cars will and won’t work as well after an EMP. Safe to say that the fewer computers the better.
            In contrast to what Left Coast Chuck is saying, the most effective faraday cages are steel. Then lined with a non conductive material, preferably something that is non porous, like plywood, the wrap sensitive electronics in cloth, foil, cloth and you have an addition layer of protection. As close to airtight as you can get is the best for sure. And a basement is better than no basement. Concrete encased in earth etc. you get the idea. Hard to respond while at work and herding 100 cats …..

            Reply to this comment
            • left coast chuck May 18, 19:44

              Consco: You are right. The lack of inquiry into this topic is shocking. The only test I can find wasn’t really a test. They quite testing when some of the vehicles stopped running as they were using personally owned autos and didn’t want to wreck somebody’s car. Wow. That’s really impressive testing. “Oops the rat died. Okay, let’s quit here. We don’t want to lose any more of our valuable rats.” As a result a lot of us are left like the five blind men feeling an elephant for the first time. The only thing I am sure of is that if we are attacked by an EMP device, it will be designed to inflict the most damage at the most damaging time. I have my own ideas about those times which I will keep to myself so as not to give anyone an idea that has not yet occurred to them — unlike our blabbermouth media which seem to delight in exposing all weaknesses, perceived or real.

              Reply to this comment
              • Consco May 18, 21:11

                Yes I think of this all of the time. Why the libs won’t allow us to get on with it. We need a real testing agency like UL or better yet JPL or NASA in conjunction with engineers who are independent of any agency to revue the findings. You are 100 percent correct Chuck when you say the lack of testing is shocking. The EMP report was released the same day as the 9/11 report. Guess which one got no attention? The one that could theoretically leave up to 90percent of us dead! Potiental casualties of upwards of 250m versus the 3K from 9/11. The problem with our government is they want to react and not prevent. In all of the research I have done, and speaking repeatedly with electrical engineers young and old, all of the data being used is as old as I am, 56. From what I can glean and my own testing, most electronics can be shielded from the resultant voltage spike fairly inexpensively. Seems like for about 3-5 billion our government can protect most of the grid which is a start! Others would jump in to make their products more resistant and before you know we are pretty much EMP proof! LOL maybe if the government would cough up a low yield nuke and an Island we could do our own testing Chuck!

                Reply to this comment
  20. dp May 16, 23:11

    Technically speaking, the Faraday cage is not there to protect items from electricity. It is meant to guide RF energy around the items inside. Any openings need to be smaller than the wave size. The ideal cage has all solid sides with a nonconducting inner lining.

    The EMP is simply RF energy which induces destructive voltages in the electronic gear.

    My experiments using a cell phone inside of a solid steel box, seemed to indicate that the cell signal was being re-radiated inside of the box. This is why I suggested an earth ground attached to the box…

    I have been busy with other projects, so I have not resumed my Faraday cage experiments yet.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck May 18, 19:54

      dp: I think you are right. I think grounding is the answer. Some “authorities” have suggested perforated steel makes a satisfactory faraday cage. Well, if one must guard against small openings that allow leakage, how can perforated steel make a faraday cage? If the perforated steel is founded, the current would flow into the ground much like an electrical ground for a house. If your container is grounded, small openings wouldn’t matter. If not, then they do. That’s the tentative opinion I hold but other than intuitive thinking I have nothing to point to as a basis for that opinion. It would be so helpful to each of us and to the country as a whole if some reliable testing organization conducted some meaningful experiments which could lead to instructions to the country as to how to build working faraday cages. The country would survive an attack in much better shape. Too bad the news media and the leftists have their panties all in a twist about whether Donnie told the Russians that ISIS is trying to build a laptop computer bomb. I’m sure the Russkis’ reply was, “Yeah, we know. We found out last year. We read it in the Washington Post AND the New York Times.” Maybe if his administration wasn’t so distracted by all the uproar by the losers he could actually get on with doing more constructive things. I read John Wayne’s comments at Jimmy Carter’s inaugural gala. For those of you who didn’t know, John Wayne was almost as conservative as I. He was not a fan of Jimmy Carter. If no one objects, I will post them on here. It is what the losers should be saying. They are the remarks of a true American and Patriot.

      Reply to this comment
  21. dp May 18, 22:44

    Chuck,

    there have been numerous studies done about shielding electronics in cars, and the results depended on the strength of the EMP, the number and dependence on computer control, and other factors.

    Of course the older cars with points, etc, are the most durable, but many of the older computer controlled cars would start up after a relatively weak EMP.

    Here is the problem with just shielding the computers… the EMP induces current into the car wiring, and the wiring is attached to the computers, so the wiring harness also needs to be shielded. One of the easiest systems to shield would probably be the old GM HEI electronic ignition, as it is basically, self contained within the distributor. There is a power lead going in, a ground, and often a tachometer lead to carry a signal out of it.

    BTW, I wouldn’t mind seeing that JW quote – Yah gotta love the Duke…

    Reply to this comment
    • Consco May 19, 00:15

      Would be interesting to see what type of insulation someone like JPL could come up with so the wire itself does not act as a collection point or antenna so to speak.
      Also would love to see the Dukes quote!

      Reply to this comment
  22. handtalker May 19, 01:21

    Cant forget liquor as a barter item. Agree?

    Reply to this comment
    • dp May 19, 05:39

      Handtalker,

      It depends on the liquor I suppose. Beer and wine are easy to make, as is moonshine if you have a still, and materials. I could see some good single malt scotch, or premium bourbon bringing high value. Unfortunately, good liquor is quite expensive. Good Scotch on the lower end currently runs around $75 – $100 per fifth…

      …that will buy a lot of .22 ammo for trading. Also, if you like good scotch, and you know there won’t be any more, will you want to trade it off?

      Everyone knows, that a monkey can’t sell bananas, especially if bananas are in short supply. lol

      Reply to this comment
  23. left coast chuck May 19, 01:31

    To
    Sally McNeilan
    Message body
    John Wayne’s speech at Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Gala, January 1977:

    “I have come here tonight to pay my respects to our 39th President, our new Commander-in-Chief and to wish you, Godspeed, sir, in the uncharted waters ahead. Starting tomorrow at high noon, all of our hopes and dreams go into that great house with you. For you have become our transition into the unknown tomorrows. And everyone is with you.

    “I am privileged to be present and accounted for in this capitol of freedom to witness history as it happens — to watch a common man accept uncommon responsibilities he won ‘fair and square’ by stating his case to the American people — not by bloodshed, beheadings and riots at the palace gates.

    “I know I am considered a member of the opposition — the Loyal Opposition — accent on Loyal. I’d have it no other way.

    “In conclusion, may I add my voice to the millions of others all over the world who wish you well, Mr. President.

    “All we ask is that you preserve this — one Nation under God — with liberty and justice for all.

    “And we have no doubt you will, sir.”

    The difference between a true patriot and someone like Nancy Pelosi or Maxine Waters or any of the other sniveling, hateful losers.

    Reply to this comment
  24. dp May 19, 05:25

    Chuck,

    Amen, brother. John Wayne was a true American patriot, and a real class act.

    Thanks for the post.

    Reply to this comment
  25. DMONIC May 19, 23:35

    NEVER trade a firearm for ANYTHING. It can, and will be used against you! Seriously people????????

    Reply to this comment
  26. left coast chuck May 22, 03:41

    I have a Rhom( sp) .22 short that has to have the cylinder turned manually. Strangely enough, after you have turned it by hand, it locks up tight. I guess the hand is messed up but the locking lug is okay. I’ll happily trade it for two cases of fresh MREs. I’m waiting for the local sheriff to have one of those buy backs where I can get a gift card for $100 for it. The guy I got it from wanted to sell it to me for $10. I told him that was too much, so he gave it to me. I can’t tell if it was rust blued from the factory or the patina of rust coloring on the gun is just from age.

    Reply to this comment
  27. dp May 22, 04:11

    strangely enough,

    I would buy that gun. I would just use it for parts, or fix it as a curiosity, but I love .22 short only guns.

    Contact me here and I will give you my personal email. Let’s make a deal…

    V/R,

    dp

    Reply to this comment
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