thoughtful rambling part 4

A bit of  a break between 3 and 4.  garden, have a package of bees coming, and the usual alligators

=======================================================================A few other recommendations:

  1. Learn first aid. In my two favorite modern post apocalyptic stories (The Jakarta Epidemic and Perseid Collapse by Steven Konkoly) no one gets a serious injury without there being some sort of professional medical aid at hand. Even in the big shoot out scene, the marines show up in time to render first aid for a number of gun shot victims. There were medical emergencies in Earth Abides and people died. And neither book had dental emergencies. These will happen. People will fall and hurt themselves. People will make a mistake when using the axe to chop wood. A tree will fall in the wrong direction. Someone will eat something that wasn’t properly canned, or wild harvest something they shouldn’t. Worst case scenario, gun shots and broken bones. You may be lucky to have medical care and supplies available. You might not. This is a case of Be Prepared! Dental emergencies: A tooth with break, cavities will form, a crown will come off. There are some OTC products to help cope with pain, re-attach a crown, pull a tooth. Learn and acquire and be prepared. There is nothing wrong with buying a good first aid kit to keep in your car. But for your home, go through the list of what’s in that first aid kit and buy full size packages of the contents and keep them in one place in your home. Get a small bag at the thrift, or check through your old pocketbooks or backpacks and make this your major first aid kit. Keep it stocked and in one place. If you ever have to “bug out”, just grab and go. Even if you are staying in, it will be in one place where it can be easily accessed. When you need bandaids, that’s where you go. When you need antibiotic ointment, an antihistamine, an antacid. It’s all in the bag. Just be sure to keep it stocked, just as you would your medicine cabinet.
  2. Storing oils for cooking, making cosmetics. Most vegetable oils will go rancid. Not sure about the shelf life of Crisco solid shortening. Ghee (refined butter) and Coconut oil have long stable shelf lives. Ghee is expensive to buy but easy to make and store. Coconut oil is also expensive, but buy on line or on sale when you can. Both can be used for cooking, both can be used to make skin lotions and lip balms and other such products. You really don’t want to be using rancid olive oil or other for your cooking or skin care products. Stinky, stinky, stinky. BUT rancid oil can be used to make oil lamps – look that up on line to see what I’m talking about for easy oil lamps.
  3. String. Cotton twine, or jute, but cotton is good for making wicks as well as tying things. Shred it to make Firestarter.  You can even knit cotton twine to make storage bags, cloths, weave it into cloth to make clothes if you have enough! Cotton twine is biodegradable and useful in the garden. Rubber bands dry up, stretch out, eventually break. String and twine existed long before glue and rubber bands. It’s the original and still the best.
  4. Money. It’s hard to put together cash, but despite what many of the pundits tell you, cash or metals will still be useful. If it’s a temporary SHTF scenario, people will take cash over plastic or checks. Prices might be up 800%, but they’ll take cash. If the world is starting to tumble, you might want to make that last crazy run to the hardware store or the camping store for some last minute supplies (you don’t need the grocery store, you’re prepared, right?) and cash will be king! When we start to come out of the apocalyptic haze, having cash on hand will put you to the front of the new supply line. AND personally I believe that we will continue to use cash at some level for barter when you need something from A, but have nothing else that A wants.   It will have a different value, but the purpose of cash money was to create a common denominator for barter and it can become that once again.
  5. Think of practical things like bleach and contraceptives. Unless you are cleaning up after little kids or sick adults, you probably don’t use bleach from one year to the next. SHTF, even for two weeks, and you will have messes that need real cleaning. You may have to prepare containers for holding water, or even purify water (that rainwater off your roof is full of bird and squirrel pee and poo!). Bleach to the rescue! And yes, contraceptives. There is always a mini baby boom about 9 months after any black out. If it’s a longer SHTF scenario, a flu outbreak say, this is not the time for pregnancy. And yes, you may find other uses for that stuff too. Always think outside the box!
  6. Keep everything together. If you have some camping equipment, make sure it’s in good shape and keep it with your other stuff. First off, even if you want to go camping for fun you know where everything is and you know what condition it is in. Secondly, should an emergency mean you have to bug out, you know where everything is for grabbing in a hurry. Keep copies of your insurance, our driver’s license, your important ID papers like birth certificates and passports in the same place along with some extra cash. Always keep your vehicles at last ½ full of fuel. Why you have to leave in a hurry could be as simple as a neighborhood fire. You’ve seen them on TV, families huddled under blankets on cots in some gym, being fed by the Red Cross. A little prepping on your part and you are in a hotel, with hot and cold running water, and real food in your belly.
  7. Keeping fit. This is not go on a diet and lose a bunch of weight. This is keep fit. If you have to shovel snow, inches of it, can you? If you have to walk carrying a gallon of water (8.54lbs) plus another 20 lbs of gear, how far can you go? If you have to cut and carry wood for your stove, will you be able to do it? Just the bending to plant, weed, and harvest the garden requires a fair amount of fitness. Are you there? have you ever picked up and moved a full canner?! Washing clothes by hand and then carrying the wet laundry to hang is WORK. Our pioneer ancestors worked hard and it was mostly physical labor. SHTF, that’s where we’ll be again. If you are stuck in a snow storm, you need to dig out your exhaust pipe so you don’t pull Carbon monoxide into the car. You may have to shovel out your tires, you may have to push your car. Power down for a week, you’ll be carting, shoveling, carrying, working. Be fit!
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