18th Century Skills That Will Become Life-Saving When SHTF

Charl M
By Charl M February 19, 2021 08:26

18th Century Skills That Will Become Life-Saving When SHTF

What will you need to know if you want to survive in a post SHTF world?

This article will answer that question by referencing skills that were common amongst our forebears living in the 18th century. But before I give you a list of skills you need to master, I need to talk about the 18th-century survival mindset.

You will often hear someone say that people nowadays are soft. And that we couldn’t survive out in the wild on our own. That may be partially true, in particular, as it refers to mindset.

You probably know more about surviving than you realize, but do you have the right mindset?

The loss of knowledge about how to survive is real. But what I see today is a loss of common sense, a lack of daring, and an absence of initiative.

Home Alone

18th Century people didn’t harbor the expectation that someone else was on their way to save them. They were on their own and understood that they were responsible for their survival.

Related: 12 Pioneer Skills We Can’t Afford to Lose

Common Sense

18th Century people lived by common sense. Any animal can be eaten, including dogs, cats, snakes, and even bugs.

Modern people rarely apply common sense. Believing if they don’t have access to modern solutions, then there is nothing to be done.

Let’s suppose you need to treat a cut but have no antiseptic? What about whiskey, salt, bleach, or even a searing hot piece of wire to sterilize and cauterize the wound?

Lack Of Daring

If you can only do what you have been taught, you will be in for a rough time in a world where you can’t call someone or Google for a solution.

In my mind, lack of daring refers to trying things that no one has taught or shown you. Can you find your way? Can you figure something out? A pioneering spirit is all about finding a way where none currently exists. A willingness to keep failing but also keep trying is required.

Absence Of Initiative

18th Century people knew that no one was coming to save them. They understood that surviving was their responsibility, and as such, didn’t wait around for instructions.

There was no one to tell them what to do. 18th Century people had to seize the initiative and assume responsibility for themselves.

It’s your fault if you freeze to death or have nothing to eat. You need to set the ball in motion.

18th Century Skill Set

Here are a few suggestions on what every prepper should learn or have.

#1. A Practical Walking Staff

18th Century Skills That Will Become Life-Saving When SHTFYou must have a walking staff. The most practical solution is a staff that has a sharp point on one end, and a Y shape on the other. This is the most useful staff possible.

Firstly, both the sharp point and the Y-shaped end can serve as a defensive weapon, protecting against both people and animals.

Animals that have been wounded or trapped can be pinned to the ground with the Y section.

The sharp end can be driven into the ground and used as a tentpole. You can also push it into soft soil and hang a satchel or small bag on the Y section, keeping food or clothes off the ground.

The staff can also be used as a shooting stick while hunting, or rested against a tree and covered with a camo cloth to create a small shelter or hide.

Your walking stick can be used as a flagstaff if you need to signal someone. Another practical use is as a crutch that can support your weight in case of a serious leg injury. A cloth wound around the y-section will enable the stick to be placed under the arm, supporting maximum weight.

The ideal thickness is around 1″ to 1,5″ inches. The ideal height is just below your arm. (If you want to use it as a shooting stick or crutch.) Fire can be used to harden the sharp point.

#2. Estimating The Time Till Sunset

If you are out in the wilderness you need to know how much time you have till it gets dark.

The best technique is to use your hand at arm’s length, palm toward you. Your fingers must be held horizontally. Now measure how many hands/fingers between the horizon and the bottom of the sun.

18th Century Skills That Will Become Life-Saving When SHTF

Every full hand is about one hour, and every finger about 15 minutes. This is only a rough estimate, as the time of year and width of hands differ.

But still, if the sun is two hands and two fingers above the horizon, you have roughly two and a half hours till sunset. I would work for two hours just to be safe.

#3. The Distance You Can Cover In An Hour

On a flat surface, along a reasonably well-maintained path, the average person can walk between 3 and 4 miles per hour.

Forests, mountains, deserts, and even alongside the sea on the beach will be slower going. Thick forest or rocky mountainous terrain can slow you down to between 3/4 to 1 mile per hour.

Related: Edible and Non-edible Mushrooms you Find in Forests

Use this in conjunction with estimating time till sunset when moving around outside.

#4. Maintain Direction While Walking In A Forest

I write this assuming you have no compass, GPS, or watch and that there is no sun by which you can navigate. Maintaining direction when you can’t see the sun and have no navigation tools is more difficult than most people think.

Some would say it’s impossible. But if you have to try, this is the best advice.

Don’t trust your inner sense of direction. Rather, have a sound strategy based on reason.

Method 1 – Marker To Marker

18th Century Skills That Will Become Life-Saving When SHTFTry to move from marker to marker. Gauge the direction you want to move in. Look ahead and find a tree, rock, or landmark to focus on. Walk to that tree or landmark.

Then, using your starting position and current position, mentally trace a line and identify a new focus point ahead.

This will be tedious and slow going but will keep you in an approximate straight line. You can use broken branches at your starting point and waypoints to help you maintain a straight line.

Method 2 – Navigate With Moss

Another way of doing this is to use moss to navigate. In the Northern Hemisphere, moss grows on the north side of trees. This can keep you going in the approximate direction that you want to head.

If you want to head east, the main growth of moss on trees must consistently be on your right-hand side, etc.

Method 3 – Use The General Slope

This will work on mountains, and also only if you know the general lay of the land.

If you follow the slope straight up or straight down, you will be walking in more or less in a straight line or general direction.

Slope

Walking horizontally along a mountain will take you in the direction that the mountain lies, east-west or north-south, or in whichever direction the range stretches. Don’t try this on a round outcropping, as you will end up where you started.

If you find yourself walking downwards, then level, then later you’re heading upwards, then down again, the chances are good that you are walking in a circle or a curve.

Related: How I Survived Alone for 10 Months Living Off the Land

Method 4 – Passing Left Then Right

The last method is speculative at best but may keep you from walking in circles. The theory is that while walking in a forest, there will often be a tree directly in our path.

If you keep on passing to the left of every tree in your path, you will trace a circle. But, if you alternate passing to the left and to the right of trees that lie roughly in your path, you would trace a straighter line than when passing every tree on the same side.

The best is to try and navigate using the sun or moon or large visible beacons.

#5. Sling

This easy to make object can be used quite successfully to propel stones at high velocities, and can be used to hunt birds and small animals.

In the bible, David killed Goliath with the sling he used to drive predators away from his flock of sheep. A sling is easy to make.

You Will Need

A length of rope or twine, even animal hide can be used. A length of between 4 and 6 feet will work best.

You will need a leather patch to put hold the stone. The size of the patch should be about half the size of your palm.

Next Steps

SlingCut the patch into an oval shape. Then cut two small slits close to the thin/sharp ends of the oval.

Run the rope through the tow slit of the patch, positioning the paths roughly in the middle. You need to tie a loop onto one end of the rope. Make sure that the loop must is large enough to insert your last two fingers through

How To Use

To propel a stone, you insert your two fingers through the loop and place the other end of the rope in the same hand. Now make a fist and hold both ends tight.

Next, enclose the stone within the patch, ( rope on the outside, stone cradled inside) and then slide the patch until it’s in the middle of the rope (The furthest position possible from your hand.)

You can now start swinging the rope in a circular motion above your head. To “Fire”, just open your hand to release the loose end.

Aiming with the sling involves letting go of the rope a few instances before the stone points in the direction you want it to go in. You will need to practice this.

Lastly. You don’t need to twirl the sling tens of times. Keep it in motion while you find the object you want to throw at. Once you have it spotted, speed the sling up vigorously and release it. Two or three spins overhead should do.

Trial And Error

Lastly, it’s never prudent to field test skills for the first time when your life depends on getting it right. Try and put the above into practice whenever the opportunity presents itself.

You may also like: 

5 First Aid Skills Every Senior Should Know

Do You Know Why You Should Never Put A Tall Fence Around Your House? (Video)

How To Make Clarified Butter With 12-Month Shelflife

Did You Pass On These Skills To Your Sons When They Were Young?

How to Survive the First 24 Hours after the SHTF

Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram
Twitter
Charl M
By Charl M February 19, 2021 08:26
Write a comment

95 Comments

  1. Jake d February 19, 16:18

    I would be willing to bet that the last 2 weeks of weather has changed the minds of many people that thought being prepared was a waste of time. I have always tryed to explain to the naysayers that prepping was not necessarily for the end of the world. Prepping is simply a matter of being a responsible adult, taking care of yourself and your people. .. Millions have been left without heat, power, water and food and perhaps now more people will take their heads out of the sand.

    84
    Reply to this comment
    • Joe February 19, 17:34

      I wish but unfortunately not

      11
      Reply to this comment
    • poorman February 20, 14:58

      Yeah I agree with Joe. If the shortages from the original covid scare didn’t do it it’s not going to happen. I have a person I work with that I convinced to buy extra food , They hit a spot where they needed it but when I asked them the other day if they were replacing what they had used up they couldn’t understand why I thought they should

      Reply to this comment
  2. Dr Bill February 19, 16:36

    Perhaps the most important survival skill is the characteristic of humans-cooperation. Fierce independence will result in competition, and emphasizing those skills seems short-sighted to me. We work better when we work together.

    14
    5
    Reply to this comment
    • The Duke of Texas February 19, 18:26

      Dr. Bill,
      I would suggest that humans-cooperation is a strategy more than it is a survival skill. Although, I admire your moral compass, what you suggest is in conflict with all of my experience with natural disasters. The Arabs have a saying: In the desert, no man meets a friend. I would suggest that Ronald Reagan’s strategy is more appropriate; “Trust but Verify”. During the recovery period after Hurricane Harvey, I had to fight off looters four times, twice with a firearm. Each time they came in my house with weapons and came in as pairs. They were of all races and with a common intent. To steal anything they could find. They came in at all hours of the day, even with people in the house. In my neighborhood, women alone were particularly targeted. In my experience, Good Will usually lasts about 72 hours. The predators realize immediately that they are in a WROL event and start taking advantage of the situation immediately. During this Ice Storm event in Houston they were posing as Power Line employees wearing yellow vests and seeking entry into homes by saying they were there to hook up the power. This was within 24 hours of the beginning of the Grid Down Scenario. Supermarkets had to hire armed guards to patrol their parking lots. Yes it is important to know and support your neighbors but there is a saying here in Texas: “The most dangerous person in the world is a ‘Good Christian Woman’ with a sick, injured or hungry or thirsty child because she says to herself, “God will forgive me”. That may be true but the Sheriff won’t.”

      35
      1
      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck February 19, 22:25

        Duke: A well-reasoned and thoughtful post. Thanks. Also, once more, someone who has actually had hands-on experience with home looters, not some dreamy, kumbaya singing theorist whose motto is “Cogito ergo est.” If I remember my first year Latin correctly. I know, the famous line is “Cogito ergo sum.” This is “I think, therefore it is.”
        We might wish that the world were a better place but to quote my Grandmother, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. If turnips were watches, I’d have one by my side.”

        Obviously before the ubiquitous cell phone even though an iPhone costs considerably more than turnips the last time I priced them at Safeway.

        Within 48 hours of the fire that swept through this area 3 years ago looters were into the burned out area, many of them dressed as workers. It also seemed that the city was more worried about covering up their malfeasance of office and the concomitant lawsuits than they were about protecting the homes. It took a couple of confrontational situations between the homeowners and looters before the police established regular patrols — you know, driving around in their police car while texting wifey or girlfriend.

        Reply to this comment
      • Dr Bill February 19, 23:17

        I don’t recall no nobility down in Texas- we didn’t really like those who thought they was better’n us. But if you wanna called yourself a Duke, go ahead.

        The intruders were surely not neighbors. Such horrible people deserve almost as much condemnation as the snake Cruz. Yeah there are Texans who can afford $300 a night for a hotel, or even $3000 or $30,000 but not if they are in a position to help their constituents whom they have pledged to serve at a time of great need.

        As for a mother with a starving child, I would readily give such a person (whether Christian or not) whatever they needed to protect her children. As for the sheriff who arrests her, I would have about as much regard for him as for Ted Cruz.

        4
        24
        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck February 20, 04:08

          Cruz is in congress. He is not a member of the majority party which at this time is busily engaged undoing all the good work that Trump did in blocking illegal immigration, shutting down the Iranians, quitting the silly green plan sponsored by the sheep in Europe most of whom are not following the green plan at all, putting the screws to China who are not our BFFs. Cutting back on useless federal hierarchies which only serve to interfere with the natural rights of the citizens and all the while fighting spurious attempts by the dimokratz to unseat him and fighting off borderline libelous attempts by the communistic media to impugn his attempts to get America back on track.

          So, back to Texas. The Governor seems to be doing all that is humanly possible to ameliorate the situation in Texas which to some extent is magnified by folks not taking simple steps to protect themselves against the effects of bad weather.

          Is it unrealistic to think that the electricity might go out when there is a snowstorm of the magnitude which Texas and other southwestern states experienced? I think it is highly realistic to expect to spend some time in the dark and because of that expectation to take steps to keep the house warm, keep the pipes from freezing, have food and water in the house for an extended period. Perhaps be able to make very hot water in large quantities to thaw out the sewer pipe so that the toilet can be flushed. You know, the little things we preppers have been urging for so many years and getting at best yawns and at worst being labeled crackpots or worse.

          So what is Cruze supposed to do besides get in the way of folks who know what they are doing? He is not some recovery expert. He is not a favored son in the majority party who can weasel extra bennies for his state. Why hang around. He is going to be gone on Friday night to come back on Sunday ready to try to do something on Monday morning. So he should be criticized for not having hung around on Saturday when you know that D.C. is hunkered down behind all that barbed wire and sorta armed troops. Nothing is going to be done. Even Ole Two-Shot cancelled his speech to the State Department with two inches of snow on the ground in D.C. and all he had to do was ride in his limo across the street.

          The hate that is engendered from the left toward folks whose political bent is more conservative is truly amazing, disheartening and discouraging that we will ever bring the country back together on some kind of middle of the road basis.

          With all the bad weather, how did some idiots manage to get to his house to shout and scream and generally make nuisances of themselves? Who paid them to go stand out in the freezing cold weather to make asses of themselves? Just patriotic fervor? Give me a break. They only did it because somebody with bucks furnished them with warm buses with hot snacks on board and gave them bucks to do it is my guess. You know the old saying, “Follow the money.”

          28
          1
          Reply to this comment
          • City Chick February 20, 18:29

            Right on LCC! My father use to say “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make em drink”! I believe in helping folks out as best I can. After which, I like to see them help themselves. If they don’t, it’s all on them as a learning experience! Those folks targeting Cruz in Texas are wasting their time! They should be here in NY targeting Cuomo!

            19
            2
            Reply to this comment
        • Omega 13 February 21, 20:43

          My guess is that Dr. Pepper is more of a “doctor” than you, Willie.

          Reply to this comment
          • Dr Bill February 21, 23:03

            Omega 13:
            There are many people who disagree with you. If we actually had a communication you would realize (as did HW and later Joe Biden) that this Dr Bill is one of the smartest and most highly educated people alive. You might make comments about issues on which you have at least a tiny clue what you’re writing about.

            Dr Pepper is a trade name of a beverage which has no academic credentials. But as a young’en in Texas I liked that drink (although not as much as root beer).

            Reply to this comment
            • Omega 13 February 24, 18:24

              A legend in your own mind, eh kiddo?

              Reply to this comment
            • left coast chuck February 26, 18:10

              Wow! Nothing quite like being totally and completely in love with oneself. “Smartest and most highly educated”
              I am unduly impressed. Have strong feelings of inadequacy, Bill? Or are you one of those really stupid folks who is just too dumb to realize it? Give me a guy who is a little slower than the rest of us but realizes it and relies on others whom he knows are faster on the mental uptake for advice versus the complete idiot who instead of remaining silent and being thought a fool brays like a jackass and proves it to one and all.

              Reply to this comment
              • red February 27, 03:51

                LCC: do you think he wears a big belt buckle, like rodeo buckle? Cow-persons (gender neutral term for cowboy 🙂 call them a tombstone over a dead dick. niio

                Reply to this comment
        • Jim February 21, 20:55

          So, are there no telephones in Mexico? Sen. Cruz could do as much on a phone as being in Texas, on the ground, and in the way. Biden is going to visit Texas, just a politician making points. Nuf said.

          Reply to this comment
      • Mailpouch February 20, 06:54

        A little after 5:00 p.m. June 8,1974 a tornado hit Drumright, OK. Twelve people were killed that afternoon, 22 eventually died from their injuries.
        I’d guess that in less than 5 minuets after the wind stopped we were getting out of the storm cellar. After assessing the damage to our homes, maybe another 5-10 minutes, and accounting for neighbors who weren’t in our cellar I heard a woman crying for help to find her husband. She was about 1/2 a block away. A neighbor & I was running to her and saw a pickup truck with 5 men in the back, driving down the street, who had already started looting anything they could find that wasn’t destroyed and loading it in the back of the pickup. I was told the police caught them a few blocks away.

        I told all of this to say that after a disaster it may not take days or weeks or months for low life predators to take advantage of a very bad situation. It might be just minutes before they strike. They have no conscience…they think about nobody but themselves…they will not be thinking about the consequences of getting caught or who they might hurt.

        The woman we were trying to help…lost her husband and son-in-law that day.
        The looters in the pickup…drove down the street right in front of her house while we were trying to find husband and son-in-law.

        14
        Reply to this comment
        • Dave February 21, 10:13

          They’ll be three types of people in a disaster. One will be the helper, one will be the criminal and the last will be the lost. Be the helper. I think the good will vastly outnumber the criminal.

          Reply to this comment
      • Woodsman101 February 20, 15:18

        There will always be those who have no morals or ethics even when there is no problems. There is however safety in numbers. No one can stand alone for a long period. you will need to sleep at sometime. You do need to be prepared to be self sufficient for a time and mentaly prepared to do whatever is necessary to survive which may not be plesant or satisfying. When it comes to strangers, trust must be earned not just given freely. There should always be compassion as at sometime people will have to answer to a higher authority. Concequences for every action is relity both good and evil. Evil hearted people rarely travel alone so even thieves know there is strength in numbers.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck February 20, 18:54

          True there is strength in numbers. Selco Bergcovic (don’t know if I did the spelling of his name justice) recommends a group of about 25. If you can join others groups he recommends a maximum of 150. Inasmuch as he lived through the siege of Sarajevo, his comments carry much gravitas with me other than some liberal dreamer who believes because he or she thinks things should be the way they believe they actually are. Or on the other hand, the lone wolf who believes he can go it alone. Perhaps for a while he can but if he is ever really sick or has a significant injury, then what? No 911 to save him. No helicopter to pick him off the cliff that he fell down. No one to drive him to the ER to set the leg he broke when the ledge he stepped on wasn’t as sturdy as it looked. Or the broken leg because of a bullet wound. Do you really want to try to set your thigh bone and treat a bullet wound to the thigh that caused the break yourself? I sure don’t. I’m no orthopedist but I think I have read that it usually takes two men to set a thigh bone due to the musculature of the thigh. That’s two men other than the guy with the broken bone, although I guess he could apply the upper torsion needed by strongly grasping some upright with both arms. Thanks all the same. I’m pretty stoic when it comes to handling pain having had my share over my many years, but that strikes me as really testing the limits of stoicism.

          Reply to this comment
      • Dave February 21, 10:08

        Working together will always get you further but your right about being Wary of strangers. Use common sense.

        Reply to this comment
    • Jackson February 20, 19:39

      Yes, in an idealistic world or in an ideological rigid mindset that might seem possible. Yet think about it. We are the richest nation in the world. In good times people can not get along, or help each other, or work together. The last decade or so some people have been active about separating us, being divisive, So when the things get bad and life is terrible do you really think they are going to be able to work together and be trusted? The time to prepare is now and the clock is ticking. It actually takes years to prepare properly for long term. Many people do not have the resources to prepare for a bunch of other families that are not related to them. It is to expensive to do that. It is hard enough to do for yourself. I have been through numerous hurricanes since 1975. No one ever came to help me rebuild. Ever.

      Reply to this comment
      • City Chick February 20, 22:36

        Jackson – I am sorry to hear that no one ever came to help you. Sometimes even just a word or two of encouragement is all the help we really need in a bad situation. Never that expensive to share and doesn’t take that much time either. I would suspect that you are all to self reliant and resourceful that folks around you don’t think you need any help. In situations like that, I suggest you speak up and ask for the help you need. Don’t wait around for folks to ask or to volunteer. In the meantime, offer help to others when you have the chance to establish a mutual relationship.

        Reply to this comment
  3. left coast chuck February 19, 16:51

    This isn’t my idea of 18th century skills. This is fieldcraft skills for beginners.

    You should cauterize a wound only if you can’t stop the bleeding any other way, say a severed artery in the thigh. If I had a choice of salt or sugar in a wound to act as a bactericide, I am pretty darned sure I would choose sugar. Did you ever hear the phrase “rubbing salt in the wound” meaning to aggravate a pre-existing injury?

    Whiskey won’t act as a bactericide. It doesn’t have enough alcohol in it to kill bacteria. It will wash a wound that has dirt in it, but don’t count on it killing bacteria. We hashed that over endlessly at the start of the plague. If you want to use ethanol for wound sterilization you have to buy Everclear which is 90% alcohol. They used to sell 180 proof rum but in the PDRK at least, they don’t want the serfs to have such highly alcoholic drinks. Might make them rebellious. After all, without rum and madeira we might not have had a Revolutionary War.

    Moss on the north side of trees is an urban legend generated by folks who have never been in the woods. It is just plain wrong. Moss will grow on all sides of a tree under the right circumstances.

    Skills we will really need in an 18th century setting are: barnyard animal husbandry. Boy scout first aid as taught up through the 1950s. Sewing, weaving, patching, darning, leather working tools and the skills to use them. Sheep, goat and pig husbandry. Large animal handling, how to catch, harness and ride large animals — oxen and horses. How to kill, butcher and preserve hides and meat. How to make sausage without the fancy electric sausage machine. How to fell trees safely. How to turn a tree into a log or sawn wood. How to measure, cut and hammer nails into wood. How to build and service a privy. How to make compost from human waste. How to assist at childbirth. More women will be having babies after the end of the world and the disappearance of birth control pills and devices. The list is staggeringly long.

    How to make a walking stick? Not so much if you can’t figure that out already, I am afraid you are dead meat.

    How to fire harden wooden implements would be a handy skill. I recommend that you go on line and look at the numbers videos on how to do it and read some of the written comments about it. You might print out how to fire harden wood and put it in your survival binder. You do have a survival binder started, don’t you?

    Gotta run. Lots of errands to do this morning.

    46
    Reply to this comment
    • JES February 19, 18:59

      Thank you SO MUCH for your very expert advice! I appreciate greatly that you know moss can grow on more than one side of a tree, too! Yes, I would like to know how to create and service a privy. My Amish friends use one all of the time, and they are still alive! No, I don’t love those, but they’ve got to be better than my 5 gallon bucket and camp toilet seat I bought!!! 🙂

      Reply to this comment
    • Amandah February 19, 20:28

      having lived on a farm for 30+ years, I fully agree, you need skills and if you don’t have them, animals die, and sometimes people die. Go to a farm in the wilderness and learn basic skills, gardening, animal husbandry and then go to another farm with different knowledge and learn from them, and it would be wise to join the farms for a minimum of a year, you can’t get this stuff in a visit of a month or two, you need a complete year to learn the seasons and what needs to be done.

      Reply to this comment
      • Mailpouch February 22, 18:55

        Actually experiencing something and repetition are the best teaching methods. Being on a farm will certainly teach you a lot…every day life skills…work ethic…dedication…finish what you start and not quitting no matter how hard it gets or how unpleasant…survival skills…being part of community…just to name a few things that can be learned from farm life.
        My grandpa had a dairy farm most of my childhood and young adult life. He had been a pipeline welder so he was used to hard work and long hours. He bought 80 acres in the early 40s and his dream was to have a dairy farm. He finally made that dream come true. He started small…20 registered Holstein cows. He soon learned dairy farming is a 24 hour…8 day a week job. He eventually grew the milking operation to 160+ cows. Back then it was milking twice a day. I understand dairy farms now days milk three times a day, every 8 hours. He mostly grew and put up his own hay. He had a neighbor that lived about 10 miles away that also had a dairy. They worked together some in the hay. I loved going to grandpas and grandmas “helping” on holidays and summers. I don’t know how much help I actually was but he always made me feel like I was helping. I think going to their farm is what prompted me to get in Vo-Ag and FFA in high school. Although there’s no substitute for actually living farm life Vo-Ag and FFA teach the basics and are very good teaching tools too.

        Reply to this comment
    • TMTracy February 19, 21:31

      I am new to all this so i thought it was a good beginning, sounds as if it is not. So where would a beginner go for trustworthy information that graduates according to need?

      Reply to this comment
      • red February 23, 00:29

        TMT: Stick around, ask questions, and put in your 2c worth. You’ll learn and then test, study, and see what works for you. niio

        Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck February 26, 18:27

        If you want to start with a good book, either this year or late last year Claude and I reviewed a book by a husband and wife homesteading couple who have opened three undeveloped land homesteads so far in their lifetimes. It has a treasure trove of not only what works but what doesn’t work and why. I won’t do the research for you as doing research is the first step in becoming a prepper searching out information relative to prepping. Go to the heading “All Articles” at the top of the page and search for the review of the book. You might also try Editor’s Pick since Claude reviewed the book himself, I think it likely he would have picked his review as one of his favorites.

        I have talked to Claude about reviewing prepper books on this website as I have a fairly extensive library of good books and some stinkers. While there are more books that are a waste of money than there are good solid books, even in the sleaziest knock-off books I have gleaned a morsel of knowledge that I didn’t know before.

        For example, the recent article on guns to avoid. I had never heard of the Mars-Webley pistol. While it is not information that I will ever use in in an End of the World scenario, it is a tidbit of knowledge I didn’t have before because the article compelled me to research the Mars-Webley. It was an interesting read and now I have the bit of trivia tucked away some place in my memory banks.

        Even Claude agreed that the article was generally useless for the prepper community. However, by virtue of the discussion the article started, I was able to give another follower of this list some points to consider in seeking fire arms training and selection of the first firearm. So the article provided a vehicle of some value.

        Follow this list. Not every article will prove valuable to you. Some articles are less valuable than others. But most important read all the posts to the article. Again, some of the posts are totally useless but almost invariably someone will post valuable information from their life experiences or from their acquired knowledge. The best advice is School of Hard Knocks learning which some of us who are slow learners have had more of than others.

        The president of Motel Six is quoted as saying “The difference between school and life is that school teaches you a lesson and then gives you a test. Life gives you a test that teaches you a lesson.”

        Reply to this comment
    • Big Dave February 20, 02:09

      Moss tends to grow on the shaded side of a tree. depending on topography that may not be the north side.

      Reply to this comment
      • mbl February 20, 06:52

        For 18th century things, I suggest looking at Townsend’s on You tube. The company’s earlier name was Jas. Townsend and Sons.

        They cover a lot of different things.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck February 20, 19:24

          mbl: My wife is going to sue you for alienation of affection. I already spend too much time on the computer. Townsend’s videos just jumped my computer time by double.

          1
          1
          Reply to this comment
          • Mailpouch February 22, 17:48

            I wouldn’t want to add to your computer time LOL but you might want to checkout Lehman’s Hardware Store if you’re not already familiar with it.
            I can spend hours looking at their website and the products they have.

            Reply to this comment
        • City Chick March 1, 04:25

          Mbl- It’s a great series! Been watching one or two episodes every night! Going to try some of those early Dutch oven recipes on the weekend! It’s my favorite way to cook and I always like to try something new! Thank you for posting. Much appreciated!

          Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck February 20, 19:02

        Exactly. Might not even be close to north. And in the arid regions of the Southwest you might find that all the trees are completely free of moss.

        That’s another urban legend that keeps getting passed around that I would like seen put into a grave. Even folks who claim to be knowledgable in survival spout it. Which always casts significant doubt on the rest of their supposed expertise.

        Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty February 23, 04:14

        And it depends on how damp the area is, too, and the overall health of the tree. Here on Beautiful Cape Cod, I’ve seen some trees completely covered in mosses and lichens from ground to branch tips. The more or less constant humidity in coastal areas and along other water can lead to moss all over the trees and rocks.

        Reply to this comment
    • Dave February 21, 10:22

      When I read that moss only grew on one side of a tree I knew this was not researched before saying. Anyone with outdoor experience would know this was false.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Rick February 19, 18:26

    One of the things you need to do is PRACTICE the skills.
    I havent had water for 4 days because of broken pipes.
    I had drinking water saved up but water for toilet i didnt have. I couldnt find bulk water 1, 2 5 gallon jugs at the store. I walk the dog past the community pool for a day and a half before i saw someone getting water from it. that was when it finally clicked

    Reply to this comment
    • City Chick February 22, 17:26

      Rick – Hopefully there won’t be a next time, but if there is when you shut off the water and drain your pipes fill up your bathtub and any other suitable containers you may have on hand. Chalk this one up to a learning experience and remember to share here so we all can benefit too!

      Reply to this comment
    • red February 23, 01:13

      Rick: FB marketplace usually has water barrels and tanks up to 500 gal for sale. If you want to go to the expense, you can put in a large cistern to save all this rain and snow. Most states also allow emergency outhouses to be dug. You’d have to find local regs, but AZ allows it, so long as it’s buried when the emergency is over. BTW, FEMA is advertising in AZ. Now that sounds like a real thrill. I wonder what planned disaster they’re plotting. niio

      Reply to this comment
  5. Dr Bill February 19, 18:42

    Having grown up in Pasadena TX I have my own view of the recent cold in Texas. During the 1970’s when I was a graduate student in Indiana, there were these bumper stickers in the “whole other country” when there were the Arab Oil Embargo’s. The US passed a national speed limit of law of 55 to conserve energy, and the bumper stickers read, “Drive 70- freeze a Yankee”. Kinda nasty, I’ve always felt. Made me somewhat ashamed of being a Texas schoolboy, even (despite having gotten about the greatest public education in our country).

    Texas owes an apology to the USA given all the help which our current national government is rushing down to them (although many of today’s Texans are actually what we used to call “damned Yankees” – like the Bush family, referring to Yankees who came down and decided to STAY).

    Americans definitely need to help each other, which is what has me so disgusted with the Texas Republicans of today (and we all know who they are- Abbott, Cruz etc.) who are NOTHING like the wonderful Republicans down there we had during my childhood.

    2
    19
    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck February 19, 22:32

      Neither party has even the faintest resemblance of the parties from earlier decades. In my opinion neither party represents any constituents other than themselves. They so similar in their overriding drive to remain in office and continue to enrich themselves at public expense that it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference what party you vote for you are going to get the same kind of selfish pig, feeding at the public trough — as long as we are going to pull politics into the discussion.

      I will say for Trump, I was impressed with the fact that he turned his salary as president back in to be used for a charity. It may be a small thing in the overall scheme of things, but It was the kind of gesture from a politician that I appreciate.

      18
      Reply to this comment
      • City Chick February 21, 02:17

        LCC- They say we get more credit up above for our good deeds if they are done without being acknowledged or seeking any publicity for them. Our former President is one of those most charitable people, a real unsung hero. The only reason why you know he donated his entire salary is because as president, it had to be part of the public record.

        Reply to this comment
    • City Chick February 19, 22:38

      Dr Bill – You have nothing to complain about with Abbot and Cruz! We have Cuomo and DeBlasio. Every day they are out to screw us! Instead of help, they give you the last thing you need! Now that’s something to complain about!

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck February 21, 18:45

        Abbot and Cruz; Cuomo and DeBlasio. A couple of comedy teams or a singing duets?

        Or road bandits a la Bonnie and Clyde? Personally I would put them in the road bandit category. The gang that couldn’t shoot straight? I am sure no one ever accused Cuomo & DeBlasio of being straight shooters in the sense of doing good and what is right and proper.

        Can’t say much about Abbot. While I am not a big fan of Cruz, I think he is getting a bum rap on the Mexico trip. I question the wisdom of spending time in a hotel in a foreign country where sanitation is always questionable. But hey, no one ever said you need brains to be a politician. According to even the communist press he was going to be back in Texas for business first thing Monday morning.

        Didn’t Barry Obama fly off to Hawaii on a planned vacation while folks on the other left coast were still struggling with the results of a hurricane?

        Reply to this comment
      • Dr Bill February 21, 23:20

        CC:
        Here in the northeast we expect our politicians to be crooked and self-serving. But especially across the Hudson River, where we got a US Senator who was indicted for corruption and then re-elected.

        But your comment about DJT sort of mocks itself. You seem to be suggesting that the 45th president was too stupid to know that his public announcements that he would donate his salary should he win, would make that statement a piece of cake to check out. The biblical congratulations for anonymous charity was also completely lacking in that instance since he had announced it to the entire world in the summer of 2015 (over a year before his “accidental” election). His entire life has been about cheating and fraud, so whatever tiny amounts he so publicly “contributes” is hardly any payback for his continual exploitation and criminality. But I would not wish prison for that (because how would the secret service protect him in Attica?). It was of course telling that he had not made the promised donations to veterans, and his record of charity is extremely in-generous.

        On the other hand, a sitting president who plans, organizes and encourages an insurrection even against his own Vice President seems like someone who does need to serve some prison time. After the events of early January, I am no longer suggesting to my friend Joe Biden that he give a full pardon to his successor.

        1
        8
        Reply to this comment
        • City Chick February 21, 23:55

          Dr Bill – let me quote you on that last sentence “After the events of early January, I am no longer suggesting to my friend Joe Biden that he give a full pardon to his successor”. How is Biden able to grant a pardon to his successor when by having a “successor” he will have already left office? Questions your reasoning here Dr Bill as well as your judgement! Leaves little doubt that you are either very much ill formed or just down right stupid.

          Reply to this comment
          • Dr Bill February 22, 03:51

            You did catch me in a rare moment of stupidity. I had meant “predecessor”, and even when I was looking over that post I read my incorrect word the way I meant it. I work on many issues of great importance and this site is a casual diversion. It is a good idea to have independent eyes check over what one writes to avoid stupid errors like that. Mea Culpa.

            But a president could certainly pardon his (or her) successor. Obama could have easily pardoned his (generally presumed) successor by pardoning Hillary Clinton late on Election Day 2016. Or (anticipating the worst) he could have pardoned Donald J Trump for all his sexual assaults (perhaps not), (federal) tax evasion and any Russian collusion. But that speculation heads into a really silly arena, since knowing who your successor is would be difficult. Except so many presidential pardons occur during a lame duck presidency.

            You are also correct that I am “ill formed”. For your cruel Trumpite compatriots, I am deformed from the polio which our federal government gave me in the mid 1950’s. Or you can just call me a “cripple”. All true physically. Have your fun- I’ve been hearing it all my life from your kind of people.

            Reply to this comment
            • red February 22, 10:36

              Bill: Are you insinuating that the federal government injected you with polio?while I find that a little farfetched, it might be plausible. Look at the Tuskegee Experiment. For that matter, AIDS and now corona. But, these things only start in liberal states, dem property.

              If you want crippled, you need to add me. To add a number of people who are part of Preppers. Some are blind. Some crippled by old age. The last one I’d blame is Trump, who was born in the 50s. who took a dying economy and put millions back to work in good jobs. Who dismantled a great deal of liberal bull and freed slaves.

              America currently has over 400,000 slaves, most of them women and children. Prior to 3 Nov., the number was 400,000. I believe the estimate is now hundred over that number.

              Trump made an effort to get Penn to reestablish the school for the blind in Philly. Dems refused to. Former Governor Redell closed the Philly school, meaning all blind kids had to go to Pittsburg. No one knows where the money went, the majority of it donations, but you know rendell was grinning.

              Me, I wasn’t expected to be born. Then doctors told my parents it was unlikely I’d make it to kindergarten. But I’m stubborn and made it all the way to high school and Army, and well beyond. Eventually, the dems will order both of us to our doctors for that final shot just as Hitler did. It’s how they operate. Remember, Cuomo was given a nice award for killing all those elderly and people on social sec., using the chicom flu to kill them.

              You can use what you have or die hating yourself. I chose to use what I have and live with an open mind. My bag, daddy-o, is help where I can, encourage and lift up people. As for polio, many of mine died or it and worse things, and the dems, never lifted a finger. If you want crippled, try growing up redskin in a dem state. Or Jewish. Or poor. And I have the scars to prove it.

              Reply to this comment
            • City Chick February 22, 16:17

              Dr Bill – Me thinks you are full of yourself. Me thinks you are a poor little troll. Me thinks you might be a Foreign one too!

              Reply to this comment
          • Miss Kitty February 22, 03:53

            Unless “Dr. Full” knows what Kama -lalala has up her bespoke sleeve and is… anticipating.

            Reply to this comment
            • red February 22, 10:39

              Miz Kitty: She has nothing but contempt for the poor, for non-whites, and is a sister to hillary the genocidal beast. Those are said to be her good points. She appears to be perfect perfect for making die-hard liberals hate the dnc. Carter did that, and compared to her, he was almost nice. niio

              Reply to this comment
            • City Chick February 27, 02:26

              Miss Kitty – Just love the word “bespoke”! Thank you for using and choosing it! It sounds so cultured; so refine, and at the same time applies to just about any ole homemade thing! Can’t top that!

              Reply to this comment
        • red February 22, 05:50

          Bill: Trump gave away his salary and millions more. Because so many liberals are wealthy and still grasping at every nickel they can suck out of the DC sewers, he thumbed his nose at their greed. News about his other, much greater giving never made the news till after the dnc tried to destroy him by claiming he owned massive amounts of back taxes. the only friends biden has are all pictures of dead presidents. He was ready and willing to throw away his son so he could enough all the wealth and little kids his family supplies.

          Reply to this comment
  6. left coast chuck February 19, 19:07

    I counted ten written entries on the first page that showed up when I put in how to fire harden your spear. That did not include 3 selections of videos on how to accomplish the task.

    The article from Outdoor Life was interesting, He was leading a group of college men in an outdoor experience and someone asked about using a wooden pointed spear and suggested that it wouldn’t penetrate deeply enough to take a deer. They had two deer hanging, cooling. That prompted a contest. All the boys/men on the college trip immediately set to making a spear and fire hardening it.
    The author reports that several of them were able to throw the spear hard enough to penetrate the thorax to a depth sufficient to reach vital organs. He does point out that these were all male college students in good physical condition.

    In the past this list has carried articles in detail on chicken raising, including the various types of chickens ideal for which circumstances.

    If I recall correctly we have had the same for ducks. I don’t recall one for rabbits although readers have posted suggestions about rabbits when rabbits were discussed.

    Goats would be a good topic as would sheep and pigs. All of those small barnyard animals have unique needs and problems. I didn’t know pigs got sick but apparently they get the flu just like humans — can anyone say swine flue? Remember that big todo?

    Even running those old articles for the benefit of newcomers to the list and as a review for some of the old times might be welcome instead of what might be most charitably described as fluff pieces.

    Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty February 22, 04:07

      If you can stomach the soap opera plots and the “earthy, crunchy, Gaia worship” of Jean Aule’s “Clan of the Cave Bear” and “The Valley of Horses”, these two volumes especially in the “Earth’s Children” series contain some useful nuggets of survival information. While she doesn’t go into detail, she does give some good descriptions of how prehistoric weapons and tools were made and used.
      Check also for books about Native American weaponry and agricultural practices for further information.
      As to fire hardening a wooden spear, if my memory serves, I believe you char the end you are sharpening, then scrape it into a point. Repeat at least twice and you should get a stick with a “cooked” tip that is not only sharp but will resist dulling and breaking and will somewhat repel moisture and blood. I can’t remember if you use green or seasoned wood, probably seasoned, so the handle part doesn’t split when it dries. Wrap the handle with wet rawhide for a tight fitting grip once it dries.

      Reply to this comment
      • red February 22, 10:51

        Miz Kitty: Top o’ the mornin’ to ya! I read both Clan of the Cave Bear” and “The Valley of Horses” several times. She used info gleaned from all over the world and did a fair job in writing. she turned the series into a soap that should have been called as the stomach turns, but the first two were all right.

        Use cured wood for a javelin. Green will dry out and crack. Green also makes the hands blister more readily.

        Stretch that hide! Any leather will stretch, but rawhide is the best for that, then bind it hard and it shrinks right to the wood.

        Gaia is World destroyer in American Indian lore. She’s in the form of a rattler at Cahokia, trying to swallow the earth. In Mexico, she has two heads, rattlesnakes. According to Nazis, the earth is man’s only god, and that’s why liberals worship nature.
        niio

        Reply to this comment
  7. Mailpouch February 19, 19:09

    Copied from healthline:
    How, When and Why Honey is Used for Wound Care

    People have used honey for thousands of years for wound healing. While we now have other very effective wound-healing options, honey may still be good for healing certain wounds.

    Honey has antibacterial properties and a unique pH balance that promotes oxygen and healing compounds to a wound.

    Before you reach into your cabinet, know that wound-care professionals use medical-grade honey for healing chronic wounds and other injuries.

    According to a literature review published in the journal Wounds, honey offers the following benefits in healing wounds:

    Acidic pH promotes healing. Honey has an acidic pH of between 3.2 and 4.5. When applied to wounds, the acidic pH encourages the blood to release oxygen, which is important to wound healing. An acidic pH also reduces the presence of substances called proteases that impair the wound healing process.
    Sugar has an osmotic effect. The sugar naturally present in honey has the effect of drawing water out of damaged tissues (known as an osmotic effect). This reduces swelling and encourages the flow of lymph to heal the wound. Sugar also draws water out of bacterial cells, which can help keep them from multiplying.
    Antibacterial effect. Honey has been shown to have an antibacterial effect on bacteria commonly present in wounds, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE). Part of this resistance may be through its osmotic effects.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck February 19, 22:37

      Good post, Mailpouch. thanks for the comment and the backup documentation.

      Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty February 20, 09:15

      I had a burn blister on the back of my hand the size of a half dollar from an accident while boiling spinach. (That’s what I get for trying to eat healthy, lol!)
      I could have gone to the hospital, and likely would have if the skin was broken, but after running it under cold water and trying various home remedies to relieve the pain, I found the only thing that worked for me was putting honey on it and covering it with clean bandage gauze. It drew out the pain even after the blister broke and it healed completely, not even leaving a scar.
      I just used regular real good quality clover honey, not the fancy manuka honey that costs $15 a jar. It worked fine for me.
      To my way of thinking, if you use honey produced locally to your home area, it may contain qualities from local plants that will tailor it to local germs and bacteria. I don’t know if that’s true, but it would seem reasonable. Plus it may help you with allergies.
      Honey and wine were commonly used in history to dress injuries, and it was mentioned in the parable of the Good Samaritan.
      It’s also good for colds and upset stomachs.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Graywolf12 February 19, 19:17

    The sling shot shown is not the type sling David used. It is hard to find good rubber for sling shots. Bike tires seem to be made of something less elastic than when I was young ,, in the 40-50’s.

    Reply to this comment
    • Big Dave February 20, 02:15

      Best thing I know of for a rubber powered sling shot is gum rubber surgical tubing but I don not know if it is even made anymore.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck February 20, 04:13

        Lyumo 6X9mm Rubber Tube Tubing For Slingshot Catapult Su…
        $9.24
        Walmart

        Ask and Ye shall receive.

        It also is the yellowish tubing the phlebotomist puts around your arm just before she jams the needle in your vein to withdraw blood.

        Reply to this comment
    • Sophie February 21, 14:18

      My washing-up gloves are made of rubber. Could this material be used?

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck February 26, 18:38

        I think household gloves are not useful for making a slingshot. I don’t believe they have the elasticity that is required. Why not bite the bullet and spend $10 and get real slingshot tubing?

        Reply to this comment
  9. left coast chuck February 19, 22:42

    Does anyone have any idea what the five stooges in the photograph are doing? I don’t know if they have dug up some major UXO or are trying to figure out how all five of them are going to fit on that log raft.

    At first glance I thought they might be combat CBs whose uniform dress code during WWII did not quite meet the dress code of the other branches of military service, but the guy on the right is definitely wearing sneakers from the late 40s or early 50s. Definitely not 18th century dress.

    Reply to this comment
    • City Chick February 20, 04:11

      To me it looks like they are in the tropics on an island, trying to make a prototype for some kind of raft. Then again, I could be giving them too much credit!

      Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty February 20, 09:20

        Poor things…they look sooo confused! 😅

        “But I HAVE looked at the directions… they’re written in Chinese!”

        Reply to this comment
        • Wysacre February 20, 15:38

          I thought the fellow in the middle looked familiar. The pic is of 4 of our astronauts attending jungle survival training in Panama in the 60’s. L to R — trainer, Armstrong (1st on the moon), Glenn (1st to orbit Earth), Cooper (last to fly Mercury), Conrad (3rd on the moon).

          Reply to this comment
          • City Chick February 22, 17:19

            Wysacre- Thank you! Thank you! Oh my! Looks like I was right about the tropical part but oh so wrong on not giving them any credit! Amazing men! I will forever be in utter awe of their incredible accomplishments! There have been quite a few interesting photos accompanying these articles, but this one is now takes one’s. Death away! Thank you so much for setting the record straight!

            Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty February 20, 19:32

        An alternative title to the picture could be:
        How many people does it take to assemble a table from IKEA?

        Reply to this comment
    • HomesickTexan February 21, 03:32

      1960’s jungle survival training. The last names are Armstrong, Glenn, Cooper, and Conrad. The fifth (guy on the left) is the trainer. Wonder if the two that walked on the moon used any of their training up there?

      Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty February 23, 04:05

        They left the partially assembled bamboo table on the dark side of the moon with a note reading “Free – Please Take – Needs 3 Screws and One Foot Insert”.

        Reply to this comment
  10. Irene February 19, 23:21

    Would you please recommend any good books on the subject?

    Reply to this comment
  11. Between Three Centuries February 20, 14:38

    A sling can be made without a leather pouch by taking enough strands of grass or other cordage to make a braided rope of three strands. Start by making a loop for your finger then braid the three down to the length of one half of the sling. Then divide up the fibers to make two separate smaller ropes of three braided bunches of grass essentially making the rope fork. Then take the strands of grass and make them once again into three bunches of grass and braid them together to make the other half of the sling. Tie a knot in the end of the rope to hold on to. What you now have is a rope with a split in the middle of it to hold the rock. The length of the split will determine how big a rock you can throw. For those of you that are really well versed in cordage and braiding could weave a round rope and divide up the cordage at the split into three or more smaller ropes making a rope with two or more splits to hold the rock. Or weave a pouch. Attaching the sling to a staff to make the infamous David staff sling will improve the power immensely. This sling was show to me by Moroccans and I was able to throw a fist size rock almost a quarter of a mile off a mountain side with one woven out of wheat straw.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck February 20, 19:12

      Sort of an atlatl for slings. I can see where the extra leverage of the staff would give the sling a tremendous boost in velocity. Good informational post. Thanks for sharing.

      This is the type of information that makes this list so valuable. No matter how poorly written or lacking in correct information, the article always stirs comments from followers of this list, a huge community able to pass on actual hands on skills that might have never occurred to us individually.

      Putting a sling on the end of a staff to give it extra velocity very well might have never occurred to me as an individual by myself. BTC has actually seen such a device and used it to good advantage. Seems like it would be a lot more useful in an EOTW situation than my old slingshot with two pieces of bike inner tube, some string and a forked branch I cut myself. Plus a lot easier to repair or replicate in an EOTW situation where rubber tubing may have disappeared along with the last standing Walmart.

      Reply to this comment
  12. Wysacre February 20, 15:33

    I thought the fellow in the middle looked familiar. Turns out the pic is of our astronauts in the 60’s at jungle survival training in Panama. L to R — trainer, Armstrong, Glenn, Cooper, Conrad.

    Reply to this comment
    • left cost chuck February 26, 18:42

      Thanks for that. Now I know what they are thinking, “What bureaucratic fool thought up this exercise for a shot to the moon?”

      “What does building a bamboo life raft have to do with space walking?”

      Reply to this comment
  13. Miss Kitty February 20, 19:30

    LCC;
    I read an alternative history series a long time ago about what if Christianity didn’t “take” amongst the Vikings. It was Hammer and the Cross series by Harry Harrison & John Holm.
    One of the things I remember about the series was they talked about using ancient Roman weaponry like catapults and a giant spear thrower that used torque from twisted ropes to hurl the spears.
    If you can find the books, they’re interesting reading, but the point I’m making is that ancient history can give us some ideas and practical solutions going forward.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck February 21, 02:19

      Miss Kitty: Those are great siege weapons. You can get plans for making various types of catapults on line. I am sure you can find the giant spear launcher plans on some utube video also.

      If I am going to bug in and the guy across the street is going to bug in I am going to try to persuade him to build a ballista for neighborhood defense. I plan to hurl burning armsful of bound weeds to discourage Vandals. He is a skilled machinist and should be able to, with physical help, build small scale ballista capable of hurling 50 pounds at least 100 yards.

      That said, while the Romans did move them on the march, they usually had a considerably larger work party for the task, including slaves. While using slaves to do the grunt work doesn’t violate my sense of whatever, with food most likely being very scarce we won’t be able to afford the luxury of slaves. Have to do the grunt work ourselves. That puts mobile ballista and mobile spear checkers out of practical reach. Good to know how to put them together for neighborhood defense though in fixed or semi adjustable positions.

      Reply to this comment
      • red February 21, 03:54

        LCC: Donno. You could knock together a light catapult that could throw a pound or two a considerable distance. Car springs, a good frame, a crank, and trigger.
        One SHTF scenario was a small group was attacked by a much larger group. They used the catapult to throw small sacks of beans. The mob broke apart trying to get as much as they could and many wound up dead, killed over a few pounds of beans. Next day, they threw jars of old oil, grease, and so on, and then fire arrows and jars with burning rags. niio

        Reply to this comment
      • Uncle Dave February 21, 06:14

        I made a small scale trebuchet (sp) to launch golf balls.
        Not hard to scale up to bowling balls, or pumpkins.
        Thanks for the good reads…

        Reply to this comment
    • Between Three Centuries February 21, 15:05

      The Romans also used a long flexible staff with a short pin straight up in the end of it that they would place a doughnut shaped lead weight. When the staff was whipped it would throw the weight like a bullet. Japanese kids would make something similar using a piece of springy whale bone with a bamboo or metallic tube at the end that they would fill with lead bird shot or small stones. When whipped it throw out the shot. They could knock down and stun small birds with them.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck February 21, 18:37

        BTC: Since your first post I have been thinking. Lacrosse sticks. Here on the left coast lacross is not as popular as on the left coast and when I lived on the the other left coast it was too long ago for minor sports like lacrosse, so I have never examined a lacrosse stick up close and personal.

        I think that even a short handled lacrosse stick would enable one to reach Bob Feller’s fast ball speed with a baseball sized projectile. The device you described in your first post reminded me of lacrosse sticks. (Bob Who? Just a reminder of how old I am. Bad Feller was a fast ball thrower back eons ago)

        You have posted some really valuable tips. I hope you will continue posting and sharing you knowledge with the followers of this list.

        I am going to have to investigate lacrosse sticks immediamente as some of us say here on the left coast where English will soon to be a secondary language.

        Reply to this comment
        • red February 22, 05:42

          LCC: Long xistera, the hollow, curved ‘bats’ Basque used in war. It replaces the sling in forests. I don’t know if it’s as deadly, but Basque settlers were supposed to have used it to good effect on the way to Kali with their grapes. niio

          Reply to this comment
  14. red February 21, 02:55

    Right now, the distance I could walk is probably a lot less than that 3/4 mile 🙂
    Method 4.2 The sun is reliable. Knowing star positions the same. Those are your street signs because moss grows on the darkest side of a tree. In warm, wet lands, if the shade it good it can grow on all sides of a tree.
    #5 Sling, the pix of the sling is wrong. The one you describe is great!
    My parents survived FDR’s Depression and these skills were vital in a time when most rural people had electric only if they made their own (and it was these same people who had electricity long before folks in town). One set, in WV, used an old Stanley Steamer and coal they mined on their property to make electricity, and the other set (Penn) put up a windmill. It was that or no radio.
    Skills here and many more were passed on by me and the kids’ elders. One thing leads to another. A cousin taught the kids how to hide in plain sight. The five-year-old excelled at it. When she was asked how she did it, she said she taught herself to sleep on her feet. niio

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck February 22, 00:01

      Long, long ago and far, far away I worked for the continuation company of the Doble Steam Car Company.

      I don’t completely understand the workings of a steam car but I was told that the Doble was superior to the Stanley because the Stanley had to be warmed up and build up a head of steam before it could move off. The Doble had a flash steam chamber so that as soon as the fire was lit, there was enough steam generated to move what was a really impressively long convertible automobile, silent except for the sound of the tires running on the pavement.

      They still had one model of the Doble at the factory and about once a month they would bring it down from the third floor where it was stored and the president of the company and the operations manager would take it for a spin. What a beautiful piece of machinery, all gleaming brass and chrome and polished wood. Wonder what happened to it when Besler Corporation closed its doors for the last time?

      Reply to this comment
      • red February 22, 05:58

        LCC: The car is still running. George and William Besler of Davenport, Iowa, the sons of William George Besler, acquired much of Doble Steam Motors plant and patents. William also acquired a Doble E series Phaeton, engine number 14, from a Dr Mudd.[19] This car was still in existence in 2010.

        Reply to this comment
  15. Ron Brown February 21, 22:44

    Great article and great comments! Skill-wise, I think knowing how to improvise emergency lighting is very important. Being able to find that dropped car key or deliver a baby who insists on being born at midnight ranks pretty high on the list of important skills . . . especially if TSHTF when you are far from home and all your preps. The book “Olive Oil Lamps &c.” from The Non-Electric Lighting Series can help. Vegetable-oil lamps have been around since biblical times. Call it proven technology. Here’s a link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KB7F9SU/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

    Reply to this comment
View comments

Write a comment

<

FOLLOW US ON: