Showing posts with label Berkley Filters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Berkley Filters. Show all posts

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Justifying New Gun Purchases


 There are some valid points here. Assuming a gun is purchased at a reasonable price and sold in roughly comparable condition in a non fire sale 'got to sell it today' way they hold their value quite well. Do however note there are a few qualifiers there.

 I think this decision is a lot easier for gun enthusiasts/ tacticly minded type folks than survivalists or their toned down better dressed cousins 'preppers'. A shooter can buy the cool new gun they want and assuming it's not a financially ruinous move (buying a SCAR-H on a credit card, etc) then rock on. A survivalist on the other hand has different stuff to look at. It's not just 'do I need this gun' or even 'do I want this gun' anymore.

For a survivalist it's more like 'Do I have enough ammo for the guns I own now?' All the guns in the world are useless without ammo. From a utilitarian survivalism perspective a pair of good fighting rifles or even better one per family member of either something AR-15 based or AK-47's then lots of ammo is probably the right answer. (If your pockets are deep I guess .308's are fine) Stocking deep on 5.56 or 7.62x39 to keep the guns you own fed is more important than buying a SCAR/ Steyr-Aug/FN-2000 for fun.

Even aside from ammo should that money be going into food or fuel or a Berkey water filter, or a Titan Ready Water barrel rack system to hold a couple hundred gallons of water or training to use the guns you have?

In short for survivalists you cannot have too many guns but can certainly short yourself elsewhere to get a new toy.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Economic Crack Binge and Coming Effects

The best comparison to our countries economic situation and coming problems I can think of is Charlie Sheen. Our problems with massive deficits are like Charlies problem with crack cocaine and alcohol. Lets call derivatives the Charlie equivalent of prostitutes/ porn stars.

Now I cannot predict the specifics of Charlie Sheen's next breakdown/ meltdown/ fail. I can however confidently say 100% that there will be one. Maybe he will shoot his celebrity fiance, hold a knife to the wife's neck at Christmas dinner, manage to mess up staring in the top rated sitcom on tv, who knows. (These are all things Charlie has actually done;)

 Disturbingly our upcoming economic problem is like Charlies upcoming breakdown/ meltdown/ fail. Just maybe we will manage to kick the proverbial can a ways down the road. Maybe it will be 70's era stagflation. Could be the standard South American currency devaluation/ hyperinflation or an all out Argentina like economic collapse. The old adage that big powerful countries do not go broke, they go to war (a la Germany) could prove accurate again. Maybe a combination of crumbling infrastructure and weakened defense makes an attractive time for an old enemy to attack or just use an EMP to keep us distracted internally. Maybe one of the dreaded black swans pops up in the time we are able to handle it the least.

What can we do about this? Well the usual advice to buy bullets, silver , gold and emergency food is always sound. Things like water filters might become important as infrastructure crumbles or breaks and standards just plain drop. (Yes that is a lot of linkeage in a paragraph. Got to keep the bill payers happy.)

Being as healthy as possible is prudent. Get fit, take care of lingering issues you may have, go to the dentist, order a couple spare sets of glasses and stock extra medication.

Buy food. Yes it is getting more expensive but basic staple food, even the long term stable stuff, is still a great deal. Right now food is ridiculously cheap by historic percentage of income. Most people here can probably make some choices to put a few bucks into food and fill up the pantry.

Learn skills. Specifically learn skills that will let you do things yourself instead of paying somebody else to do them.

Get ready to protect yourself. Things aren't getting better. Have realistic and sustainable (if it's not comfortable you will not do it) plans to carry weapons while still going through your normal life.

Most of these things are not new. In fact they are generally the same stuff I talk about. Best get too them before they are more expensive and harder to do.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

RE: Bags in EDC Contest

Received a comment about the rules for our EDC Contest today that is worth addressing.

 First lets review the full rules:

The broad strokes are this. I want to share and discuss the stuff we carry around every day AKA EDC. Taking pictures of our stuff and talking about it is my goal. Looking both at broad tools (pistol, folding knife, light, multi tool, etc all) and specifically digging into the this vs that of a Wambanger 29 vs a Doohickey A3.

The prizes will be as follows:
1st Place: 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles donated by LPC Survival ($69 value)
2nd Place: 1 Blackhawk Holster donated by LuckyGunner.com ($50 value)
3rd Place:  1 Snare-Vival-Trap cough garote cough donated by Camping Survival ($17 value)

Wildcard: This one goes to whoever I want to give it to for whatever reason I feel like. It will be a grab bag donated by yours truly. The exact makeup is TBD depending on what I have lying around  and may include books, gear, medical stuff or even a couple silver dimes. ($30+  value)

The Details:

The contest will run from today until 31 January. Typically I would have it run for a month but I want to give a bit more time since lots of folks are doing other things from Christmas through New Years. Still I wanted folks who might be off work and have some spare time to have the opportunity to knock out their entry thus the extra week.

As discussed above a submission will be a picture of the stuff you personally carry around on a normal daily basis with high regularity as well as a blurb/ essay discussing the stuff and it's role. I'm talking on your belt and in your pockets not in the car or some bag that generally travels near you but actual on body cary.

[Edited at 9:22 on 12/24 to include. Received a good question. Purses can count for women. They are a terrible way to carry defensive weapons but that is another topic. Honestly just didn't think that through when writing the rules. Guys I am still not including the Murse/ man bag/ Jack Bauer satchel or whatever. Life is not fair and you can call it sexist if you want. The reason is that women have their purses a pretty much all the time out of the home, probably at a higher percentage than active CCW holders have guns, while guys have some awkward bag that might go into the car occasionally.]

Note that I said a normal day and with high regularity. Don't try to impress folks by exaggerating. I do not want to know what your ideal hypothetical EDC is but what actually goes with you to the grocery store, movies or mom's for dinner. It would be a real upward battle to convince me you carry a Glock 34 with 3 17rd mags plus 4 33rd mags, a snubby .357 with 4 speed loaders, a 12" bowie knife, boot knife, a swiss army knife, an IFAK, a GPS, a lensastic compass, a pocket survival kit, a USGI poncho, an IFAK, an extendable baton, a mace, a taser, 3 of those lifeboat rations, binoculars, a multi tool and some other stuff on your person every day. Ethical issues aside I will call it like I see it if somebody seems to be exaggerating.

I'm not going to be specific about format for the picture or blurb/ essay. If the stuff doesn't open on my windows PC I will reply saying it needs to be changed to something that works on my computer for it to be entered into the contest.

I usual edit guest posts for OPSEC, spelling and grammar. To help contestants out I can (if they want) help with editing by looking a submission over and sending it back with some thoughts to help in the editing process.

Submissions will be made via email to theotherryan@yahoo.com. 

Winners will be picked by voting in early February. Details will follow as I firm this part up in the coming weeks.

I reserve the right to change prizes, contest dates or whatever else for any reason. Also I reserve the right to disqualify a contestant or even a winner for any reason, can't see why I would do this but things happen.

If there are any questions or I need to clarify something please let me know so that can happen.

Onto the comment:

 "I read the rules and understand that purses are allowed for women but I would recommend rethinking about men possibly carrying a backpack or even a shoulder bag. I have a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old and for the past 6 years I have always had on me a daddy shoulder bag that carries all of our gear, to include EDC. And when I travel to work, all my EDC gets transferred to my day pack which is sitting right at my feet at work. Just some thoughts."

After thinking about this all day I  have got to stick with no man bags. The first reason which was my original reason is that most men who have these bags do not really carry them around with high regularity.  Women carry their purses at a higher percentage than the most serious CCW holders pack heat. Guys just don't do this with their murses or whatever sort of maxpedia tactical whatever. Check discretely on a guy who supposedly carries a man bag all the time randomly and he likely will not bat enough to be in the big leagues. You may be the exception but that still doesn't disprove the rule. Also women's clothing and fashion is such that they have a harder time fitting this stuff into their pants and shirt pockets so it ends up in the purse by default.

The second reason I thought of today is that would be a different contest. My observation is that prepared women usually have the things a prepared man would have in his pockets in their purse full of normal woman stuff. A prepared mans bag is a whole nother topic.

I have a EDC/ get home bag and it is chock full of great stuff. There is a pathfinder trade knife, a leatherman, a knife sharpener, a steel bottle and cup, an IFAK, a boo boo kit, water purification tablets, 550 cord, a compass, a headlamp, a small led light, lighters and a fero rod, about 2k in calories, a survival blanket, a boonie hat and probably some other good stuff. The point is that comparing that as well as things I could keep in my assault pack vs what another guy keeps in his jeans or cargo pants really isn't apples to apples.

So no man bags are not allowed. The EDC/ get home bag could, or even probably will, be a different contest down the road. Honestly I do not have a way to know if this stuff lives in your pockets or takes up a small part of a diaper bag/ whatever. If the stuff fits in your pockets and for whatever reason occasionally goes in a bag take a picture and send it in to my email theotherryan@yahoo.com. Hope that seems reasonable to everybody.



Sunday, December 23, 2012

EDC Contest: What's In Your Pockets?

I've been hinting at a super sweet contest for awhile now. Some things ended up delaying it but no matter, here we are.

The broad strokes are this. I want to share and discuss the stuff we carry around every day AKA EDC. Taking pictures of our stuff and talking about it is my goal. Looking both at broad tools (pistol, folding knife, light, multi tool, etc all) and specifically digging into the this vs that of a Wambanger 29 vs a Doohickey A3.

The prizes will be as follows:
1st Place: 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles donated by LPC Survival ($69 value)
2nd Place: 1 Blackhawk Holster donated by LuckyGunner.com ($50 value)
3rd Place:  1 Snare-Vival-Trap cough garote cough donated by Camping Survival ($17 value)

Wildcard: This one goes to whoever I want to give it to for whatever reason I feel like. It will be a grab bag donated by yours truly. The exact makeup is TBD depending on what I have lying around  and may include books, gear, medical stuff or even a couple silver dimes. ($30+  value)

The Details:

The contest will run from today until 31 January. Typically I would have it run for a month but I want to give a bit more time since lots of folks are doing other things from Christmas through New Years. Still I wanted folks who might be off work and have some spare time to have the opportunity to knock out their entry thus the extra week.

As discussed above a submission will be a picture of the stuff you personally carry around on a normal daily basis with high regularity as well as a blurb/ essay discussing the stuff and it's role. I'm talking on your belt and in your pockets not in the car or some bag that generally travels near you but actual on body cary.

[Edited at 9:22 on 12/24 to include. Received a good question. Purses can count for women. They are a terrible way to carry defensive weapons but that is another topic. Honestly just didn't think that through when writing the rules. Guys I am still not including the Murse/ man bag/ Jack Bauer satchel or whatever. Life is not fair and you can call it sexist if you want. The reason is that women have their purses a pretty much all the time out of the home, probably at a higher percentage than active CCW holders have guns, while guys have some awkward bag that might go into the car occasionally.]

Note that I said a normal day and with high regularity. Don't try to impress folks by exaggerating. I do not want to know what your ideal hypothetical EDC is but what actually goes with you to the grocery store, movies or mom's for dinner. It would be a real upward battle to convince me you carry a Glock 34 with 3 17rd mags plus 4 33rd mags, a snubby .357 with 4 speed loaders, a 12" bowie knife, boot knife, a swiss army knife, an IFAK, a GPS, a lensastic compass, a pocket survival kit, a USGI poncho, an IFAK, an extendable baton, a mace, a taser, 3 of those lifeboat rations, binoculars, a multi tool and some other stuff on your person every day. Ethical issues aside I will call it like I see it if somebody seems to be exaggerating.

I'm not going to be specific about format for the picture or blurb/ essay. If the stuff doesn't open on my windows PC I will reply saying it needs to be changed to something that works on my computer for it to be entered into the contest.

I usual edit guest posts for OPSEC, spelling and grammar. To help contestants out I can (if they want) help with editing by looking a submission over and sending it back with some thoughts to help in the editing process.

Submissions will be made via email to theotherryan@yahoo.com. 

Winners will be picked by voting in early February. Details will follow as I firm this part up in the coming weeks.

I reserve the right to change prizes, contest dates or whatever else for any reason. Also I reserve the right to disqualify a contestant or even a winner for any reason, can't see why I would do this but things happen.

If there are any questions or I need to clarify something please let me know so that can happen.

Now I am going to do an example of what a submission could look like based on my EDC. Not saying you have to stick to it exactly the goal is just to give a better description of what a submission might look like.

Submission XX: Ryan from Arizona

From the top.

Pistol- Glock 19 with Trijicon night sights. I think it is a great carry option because it is concealable but shoots almost like a full sized handgun. Other than the night sights it is bone stock. It holds a Glock 19 mag with 14 rounds of JHP in the mag and 1 in the chamber.

Holster(s)- I showed two because they both get regular use. The Galco paddle holster typically gets used when I will be wearing a vest or some sort of sweatshirt/ jacket that covers it up. This holster sits at about 2 o'clock just in front of my right hip. I really like that it is easy to put on and take off but attaches securely to a belt with these little plastic ridges on the paddle.

The one on the left is a Bianchi 100 Professional and it sits right about 12:30 Appendix Inside Waistband (AIWB). This holster is typically used when I will be wearing lighter clothing. Both are fine options for their place.

Mag Pouch- Blackhawk single mag pouch. They are available from Lucky Gunner and Airsoft Atlanta for a bit under $20. It is a bit bulky but retention is good, the clip is solid and it seems quite durable. Inside the pouch is a second Glock 19 mag. Some folks carry a G 17 mag as a reload because it holds 2 more rounds. I've tried that and the extra length hurt in terms of concealment which I dislike.

Knife- Benchmade Griptillian. I like this knife a lot. It cuts like crazy and holds an edge very well. The customer service is head and shoulders above any other knife maker I have dealt with. May get a new knife (probably for my next birthday) but it will probably be a Benchmade.

I have tried carrying a second knife on my weak hand side as a 'get off me blade' but don't really feel it is needed for my everyday life. Am already about as close to a batman belt as I want to be.  Also I do not carry a multi tool. Probably use them 2-3 times a month which does not justify it being on my person. Do however have one in my EDC/ GHB backpack and another in our primary vehicle.

Light- The light is an LED Lenser AAA. I like that it is small but dislike that it seems to run through batteries like Charley Sheen through hookers and cocaine. Have regularly found it dead despite very rare use (probably less than 20 minutes ave) and weekly battery rotation. Probably going to replace it with a Streamlight.

Lighter- A bic lighter with a few ranger bands wrapped around it. It gets used very rarely as I am not a smoker but I think a lighter is essential to carry. The knife and lighter are really the core of my 'survival' type stuff in terms of EDC. With them I can do a lot.

Chapstick- Self explanatory but important in very dry Arizona.

Phone- A China Mart Tracphone. It does everything I need (calls/ texts) and has no contract. If I talked on it a lot the slightly higher cost of minutes would matter but since it's rarely used that isn't an issue.

Wallet- The usual ID and cards as well as cash. I try to have at least a hundred dollars cash on me all the time.

Not shown:
Keys- Dunno why they missed the pic but nothing special there.

Belt- A good belt makes carrying a pistol much more comfortable than it can otherwise be. I use a heavy nylon 'rigger belt'. Many folks make these and they are mostly the same. The one I'm using was made by Spec Ops; no particular attachment there it was simply conveniently available when I needed a belt.

Clothes- I am sure to have a hat and decent shoes when leaving the house. Generally I wear pretty functional clothes but obviously that varies based on what is going on.

The End.

Hope that helps clear up what sort of thing I've got in mind.  Yours doesn't need to be exactly like this.  Just wanted to give an idea and talk about my EDC.

Of course you are welcome to ask anything about my EDC and I'll do my best to answer. Now get to work on your submissions.

Merry Christmas,



Friday, August 31, 2012

Sawyer Water Filter: Initial Impressions


I got to fiddling with the Sawyer Water Filter. Not sure why it took so long but here we go. Do bear in mind that these are just initial impressions. Maybe the thing will fall apart in a month and I will write that it sucks, who knows. (Though they have a  million gallon manufacturers guarantee. I do not think anybody has really put that to the test but it is definitely a positive sign.) Anyway here we go.

The Good: Two words; small and affordable. They cost somewhere around $40 and the dimensions of the filter are about 4"x2"x2". Weight is around a half pound. If those numbers do not illicit some interest I am not sure what would.

The Bad: The arrangement where you have to fill a bottle with questionable water and then filter it by squeezing it through the filter requires some getting used to. It isn't really bad, just different. The need for bladders are definitely the weak link in the system. That being said water filters are a fairly fragile item anyway. They have lots of little pieces like hoses and gaskets. The setup comes with little bladders to use. They seem fine but I would probably look at other options for serious use. Available bladders like those made by platypus might be a good option. I really like that the threads on the filter are compatible with 1 and 2 liter soda bottles which are readily available and almost indestructible. This is how I will probably use the Sawyer Water Filter.

You do really need to squeeze the bottle or bladder for it to work. Not a big deal as pumping the little handle on most filters 1,000 times to get a liter of water is probably more of a hassle. It is however a consideration. Filters like this are not what you would want to use to provide clean water for a family of 5 when the power is out or for a base camp kind of situation. While you could do it that would suck. I think you really want a small compact filter for hiking or mobile emergency use and a larger gravity flow filter like a Berkey water filter for a cabin/ base camp or a bug in type situation.

The Ugly: Please note that this is a filter vs a purifier. The significance is that the system does not eliminate viruses such as Hepatitis or Rotavirus. This may or may not be a concern for you depending on where you live and what you are looking for it to do. Admittedly I am not as educated on the topic as I could be. My  semi educated guess is that for areas that have all sorts of nasty diseases like sub Saharan Africa or the 3rd world in general this would be an issue. Also for situations where you might need to make water that could have co mingled with sewage (like a fairly populated area during a hurricane or flood) this could be problematic. I suppose you could boil and filter or something but I am not exactly sure.

My overall (initial) assessment is that these filters are pretty cool and a darn good deal. They would be great for a lot of situations. Given the price of the Sawyer there are a lot of possibilities. For the price of a Katadyn Pocket Water microfilter with a spare element we could get Sawyer water filters for ourselves, our parents and all of our siblings! Storing filters in all manner of kits, having a filter per group member or whatever is realistic given the affordable price point of the Sawyer filter.



Monday, May 21, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Winning and Losing: Eating Well, Couch to 5k, Berkey Water Filter and Solar Power

We have been making some changes lately. We have started eating a lot better. More fresh fruit and veggies, lean protien and better carbs. Less eating out, just plain junk and carbtastic blah meals. Most of it is pretty intuitive. If there are not chips in the house you won't eat chips. Having some discipline and not going out to eat every time we feel like it and that sort of thing. The carb thing is kind of a grey area with lots of folks taking different views. We have both tried the super low/ no carb thing before and it doesn't work for us. She just hates it and I am tired and weak all the time. Instead we are trying to eat more reasonable portions of wheat bread or tortillas and brown rice. Just avoiding the huge bowl of white rice or plate of pasta kind of meals. We both feel a lot better and are getting healthier.
Wifey has been doing Couch to 5k. She is midway through week 6 right now. While she, like many people, does not currently and probably never will like running it is working for her. She noticed that dragging the kid up stairs has gotten easier. I would say this is a real good program for lots of people to seriously look at. If you are a fairly healthy person who is of a reasonable (like not morbidly obese) body weight but have not been very physically active this is a great way to get back to it. Toss in some sort of weight training program and you will be good to go. If you are seriously overweight or woefully out of shape it might be wise to do some sort of build up to this program, like eating reasonably and walking 1-2 times a day several days a week for a month or two to build up some conditioning and drop some fat. As always everybody should consult a general practice doctor, a dietitian, a cardiologist and a physical therapist before any sort of change to their diet or beginning any exercise program.

Personally I am cutting back to 2 times at the weight pile a week and upping my conditioning. Still doing the big lifts, just a bit more geared toward holding what I've got while conditioning gets tightened up. The human body only has so much work capacity and most of us only have so much time so there is a sort of push/ pull relationship. If you add or up the intensity in one thing you are going to almost inevitably lose ground in some other. Also inherantly between weight training and running/ cardio/ conditioning there is an inherant trade off. It isn't a bad thing really, especially for someone without many sport specific goals. Unless you plan to be a competitive marathoner or powerlifter it really isn't an issue.

On the downside our Berkey water filter is currently deadlined. I couldn't get it to seal and pass the dye test then (maybe while slightly frusterated;) I broke one of the white plastic nut/ bolt combo's that seal up the holes without an element in it while putting it back on. So I am not sure what exactly was wrong but now there is a new problem to deal with. Talk about not moving in the right direction!

This happened about three weeks ago and I put it away in frustration. I am going to get a replacement nut/ bolt and some more elements (either to replace the faulty ones or as spares) then go from there. On the bright side the good folks at Directive 21 have been great in helping me trouble shoot things and have just been a huge help with this. If I weren't such a slacking procrastinator this problem would likely already be fixed. Had I bought our Berkey from some no name fly by night folks who knows where I would be.  There are no problems that money (hopefully not very much, I really want it to be just the washer, not the element(s)!) and time can't fix. It hasn't been a huge concern because we have another water filter. Maybe there is a lesson there.

On a nice sunny day recently I busted out my little solar charger. I fiddled with it until I had a decent idea how it was supposed to work and then plugged in my kindle. After several hours in direct sunlight nothing happened and my dead kindle was still dead. This lead to a good amount of not very nice language.

 I realised a few things from this. First of all I do not know anywhere near enough about electricity. Second since we have added all sort of stuff, some pure entertainment and some useful since picking this charger up we may have already outgrown it. Third I need to test it at it's primary purpose which will be charging AA and AAA sized batteries. I am waiting for a sunny day when I have time to mess with it. Another more substantial (probably 15-26 watts) portable solar charger and maybe some sort of battery bank could be in order. However I have to do some more testing and become a more educated consumer before putting something else onto the wish list. If anybody has good resources to check out on this front I would be interested. Specifically good primers on electricity in general and a good breakdown of what watt/ size pannels can charge what sort of stuff and in how long would be great.

These two events were pretty frusterating for me. Nothing like having to go back to the drawing board or adding something else to the shopping list in an area where you thought things were good. Then again testing stuff is a good thing, even if you don't get the answers that you would like. Far better to have issues now, with the worst case being spending a little bit of money (water filter) or adjusting my expectations and maybe searching for a new piece of gear (solar charger), then some time down the road during an emergency when I need this stuff to work.

I guess the closing point is to look at eating healthier, getting into better shape plus alsp really start testing and retesting your equipment. Odds are something that should work might not.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Good For Them

Our friends LPC Survival got some huge linkage and all kinds of hits recently. http://www.naturalnews.com/030070_Big_Berkey_water_filter.html. Over 8000 people visited their site, and thousands of people were looking at berkey's and thinking about prepping. If it is at all possible, please post a link to the story on the blog.

Thanks so much,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Berkley Filter Product Review

I have had my Royal Berkey for awhile now. The biggest surprise about these is that to "prime" the elements you really want to have clean water that comes out of a faucet. Kinda like how you need a knife to open a knife in one of those crazy plastic packages the Gerbers come in. I guess you could do it with some sort of a squeeze bottle or something. Also the unit is really big. I read the dimensions but maybe didn't fully grasp how big the thing is. It takes up a lot of room in the kitchen.

Also you need to periodically clean these things out. I noticed when I was pouring water into the top part that it was kinda gross. I took the filter elements out and washed then rinsed out the whole thing. In hindsight I recall reading somewhere that you're supposed to clean them monthly.

We use the Berkley regularly because the tap water we get is pretty nasty. Also it will be useful for brewing. For someone who wants to regularly filter water in a stationary position these things are great. Just pour the water into the top and wait a little while.

I am glad I purchased the Berkley. It looks nice and sits in our kitchen. I use it to fill up a couple containers of water we keep in the fridge to drink from. A great preparedness item that also has a valuable everyday life role is a hard thing to find.

Got Berkley?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Oregon Trail series #3 You Have Died of Cholera

This is part two of the Oregon Trail series. Awhile back I talked about dysentery. While dysentery comes from a lack of proper hygiene; cholera comes from unclean water used for drinking or cooking. There are bacteria and or viruses with long names with long Latin names involved but for laymen like me they don't matter.  Cholera is the other half of what could be called the "shit yourself to death" illnesses. Almost unheard of in modern nations but very common in developing countries.

Prevention is fairly easy. Start with a plan to provide your family with clean potable drinking water. Our friends Directive 21 and Our Happy Homestead sell Berkley filters as well as smaller more portable options. I am preferential to them because they keep the blog going. However you can find quality water filters all over the place. Big name brands like Berkley and Katadyn as well as a couple others are the way to go.

Be especially careful when  dealing with or treating people who have cholera. Their butt pee is highly contagious. Wash clothes, bedding and anything that gets messy separately and clean the washer or whatever afterwords. It is prudent to segregate the sick to avoid spreading the problem. If possible only have those treating them interact with the sick. Bleach water and rubber gloves are your friend.

Treatment is largely the same as dysentery with re hydration being the main push. Oral re hydration is followed by IV re hydration in extreme situations if they can't keep fluids down. Antibiotics can shorten the course of the virus.

Have a plan to be able to reliably provide clean water for drinking and cooking so you don't die of cholera.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oregon Trail series #1 You Have Died of Dysentery

Alternate title: 3rd World Living Conditions: Water Filtration, Sanitation and OTC Meds
 Yesterday Wifey and I drove a long way. We don't listen to the radio and instead talk to each other while driving. What a novel concept. Anyway we passed a car with a trailer and a single horse somehow we got to talking about how it would be cool to have draft animals and a wagon and go camping Oregon Trail style. I said we would need an extra kid because one of them would die of dysentery. It is sort of a funny joke and I have been meaning to order the T shirt.

We both got a good laugh. Wifey then said we would also need lots of oxen to replace the ones that would die and 3 times the amount of food we actually need because it always seems to fall out of the wagon and get washed downstream at fording sites. After a second of silence I thought of something. People still die of dysentery. Almost never in America or western Europe or pretty much any other country that doesn't suck but by the thousands in Africa, less developed parts of Asia and South America. I would wager it will get some folks in Pakistan and China because of the recent flooding.

Dysentery is caused by poor hygiene. Basically you ingest some nasty stuff. In any case you catch it and start shitting your guts out. You then dehydrate massively and keep shitting and eventually you die. Dysentery spreads like wildfire because people are in close quarters and it is an environment with poor sanitation and hygiene. If 12 people are living in a little shack/ hut with poor sanitation and hygiene and one gets massive diarrhea it is going to spread.

Part of the reason that dysentery is so sad is that it is so avoidable. A bit of common sense sanitation and decent hygiene are enough to prevent dysentery all together. Prevention is as simple as regularly washing your hands, especially after going #2 and before cooking/ eating. Treatment is super simple. Re hydration and good cleanliness are usually enough. For worse cases a course of antibiotics are necessary. Simply keeping some pedialite or gatoraide around as well as soap, etc and having a plan to deal with waste is sufficient.

Our life patterns have changed dramatically in the last 100 years or so. In particular population densities in urban areas have increased and this whole suburb thing popped up. These work because almost limitless clean water is piped in and waste is piped out. However it doesn't take much to at least temporarily break those systems. Especially in densely populated areas such as the Gulf Coast all it will take is a hurricane to bring back a primitive standard of living in a hurry. If you exclude medical personnel and those with primitive outdoor experience via rugged camping or the military knowledge of primitive sanitation is woefully lacking. You can't take care of everybody but should certainly have a plan to take care of your own.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I cleaned out my Royal Berkley water filter. Also I am finally getting moving on the brewing. More to follow on that later this week. I am starting to look at rifle plates and plate carriers. More to follow on that one. I got another CAG tourniquet also.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

An Announcement From Our Advertisers

Our friends at Directive 21 would like you to know that they now stock replacement elements for the cool new Sport Berkley. Also they publish a news letter. Just go to their website and it is on the top right.

Our advertisers support us so we can keep bringing new and interesting stuff to you guys. Product reviews, give away's and the like just don't happen. Click on an advertisers link and check out what they have to offer today.

Friday, April 2, 2010

First off, I would like to thank Berkey, TOR, and the TSLRF blog for
the Go Berkey Kit.  Thanks a million!  :)

Appealing aspects of the Go Berkey Water Purifier Kit:

1.) very portable - won't take up much room
2.) the carrying case/bag is great because it has separate
compartments that are padded
3.) fairly light - easy to grab and go
4.) easy to conceal when in its carrying case - if clean drinking
water is a hot commodity you could easily get thru a crowd of people
with this device and it would remain undetected
5.) attractive stainless steel  - this thing will probably last
forever so make plans to put it in your will
6.) only a few components - not complicated or cumbersome
7.) removes just about everything under the sun in order to make water
drinkable - microscopic pathogens, toxic chemicals, heavy metals,
tastes, odors, cloudiness, etc.
8.) simple design
9.) replacement parts can be reordered - they are pricey but worth it
10.) comes with a limited warranty
11.) water is tasty and refreshing after being purified
12.) comes with a Sport Berkey Portable Water Purifier
13.) proven - has been used by several well known worldwide disaster
relief organizations
14.) relatively easy to clean

Areas of concern:

1.) priming the filter requires a faucet - in a TEOTWAWKI situation I
don't know if  water will come out of faucets - Berkey suggests using
a Sport Berkey or clean bottled water to overcome this obstacle - I
don't know, it sounds kind of complicated and it requires a second
person to assist you
2.) it takes questionable water a while to get through the filter
system - if you are pressed for time this could be an issue
3.) wet purification elements should not be allowed to freeze - we
live in New England and if the power goes out and TSHTF this could
pose a problem to us
4.) water purification elements must be allowed to air dry - if we are
forced to be on the move this could be an issue especially in foul
weather conditions
5.) the price - yes, it is pricey but clean water saves lives - I
would consider it "an investment"

Overall, I give the Berkey water "gravity filtration process" a 9 out
of 10.  The most appealing aspect of the Berkey is the fact that it
filters out an impressive amount of nasty stuff.  If you are hard up
for money start saving up a few dollars a week in order to buy a
Berkey (they come in many sizes).  Like I said, it's a life saving
investment.

Thanks again to Berkey, TOR, and the TSLRF blog!

Samantha In The Trailer Park

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Note From Our Advertisers

Just wanted to let u know that we are having the Royal Berkey special at 262.50 for just 2 more days or the price will change to 275 on Thursday.


-Thanks

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Got Berkey?

Directive 21 just put up a special for the Travel Berkey, the new price is 205 dollars for a limited time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Writing Contest Winner: How To Wash Laundry After TSHTF

 Laundry is an evil necessity of life.  Your clothes are going to have
to be washed even after TEOTWAWKI.  Prepare now!

Back in July, my husband and I bought a single wide trailer that
included all of the appliances.  After a week of living in the trailer
the washer broke.  I refused to get another one because I was sick of
buying modern appliances that broke 6 months later.  I decided to wash
clothes by hand.  My family thought I had lost my mind.

Here are the steps to wash clothes by hand.  There are several
methods, this is just one:

1.) Buy three 6 gallon plastic buckets from Emergency Essentials (or
some other company like them.)  My preference is to do 3 buckets at a
time.  Other folks may want to only do one bucket.
2.) Buy Free and Clear Ultra Laundry Detergent (or some other
detergent like it). I buy mine at Costco's.  It's cheap, it's perfume
free (no scent to give away your location!), it's relatively compact
so you can buy a bunch and not take up too much room, and it lasts
forever because it's HE (high efficiency) which means a little bit
goes a long ways,
3.) Buy a Lehman's rapid washer.  (More on this topic later).
4.) Place all 3 plastic buckets into the tub, next to the lake, or
some other sources of water.
5.) Fill each bucket about 1/3 - 1/2 full with dirty laundry.
IMPORTANT: Pre-treat stains with something like Spray and Wash of
possible.
6.) Pour laundry detergent over laundry.  Remember!  A little bit goes
a long ways of it's HE!  If you put too much detergent in then you'll
be rinsing forever.  I suggest starting with about 3 - 4 tablespoons
per bucket of wash.  Adjust if necessary.
7.) Fill each bucket with water to about 3 - 4 inches over the top of
clothes.  If possible, wash light colored clothes in hot water and
dark colored clothes in cold water.  If heating up water is not a
possibility then oh well.....move on.  There are obviously bigger
issues to cope with.
8.) Take out plunger.  Plunge each load of wash in each bucket 20
times vigorously.
9.) Pour out dirty water from each bucket. Wring out clothes loosely
to get out dirty water.
10.) Put clothes back into bucket.
11.) Refill each bucket with clean water. Plunge 20 times vigorously.
12.) Pour out dirty water.  Wring clothes out loosely. Put clothes
back in bucket.
13.) Refill each bucket will clean water.  Plunge 20 times vigorously.
 Repeat this cycle until clothes are clean and free of suds.  I have
found that one "wash" cycle and two "rinse" cycles do the trick.
14.) Dry off Lehman's metal plunger thoroughly and immediately.
(Again, more on this topic later.)
15.) Wring clothes by hand with everything ya' got.  If it's the
summer time then dry clothes on a drying rack outside.  If it's winter
time you can either dry clothes on the rack while the rack is standing
in the tub (major hassle) or throw them in the dryer (if electricity
is still available.)
16.) Dry out inside of buckets to cut down on possible mold and mildew.

So more on the Lehman's plunger issue........I found that the Lehman's
plunger rusted extremely quickly (approximately after one month) even
though I dried it off religiously.  There are so many nooks and
crannies in the Lehman's plunger and they are virtually impossible to
get to. Overall, I love Lehman's as a company but I suspect that this
washer/plunger was meant for emergencies only - not daily use.  I even
coated the Lehman's plunger with three hefty coats of clear Rustoleum.
 It didn't help.  My husband recently purchased a similar looking
plastic plunger from Emergency Essentials company (www.beprepared.com)
but I have not tried them yet.

Happy washing by hand!

Sincerely,  Samantha in the Trailer Park

TOR here: First I want to thank everyone who contributed. It was really a hard decision! In the coming days I will put out the second and third place articles. Samantha, please send me your address so we can get a Go Berkey Kit sent to you.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Resolutions

My goals for next year.

Personal:
1. Pay more attention to my wife.
2. Travel a lot.

Personal Stuff:
3. We can use a few smaller things like a new TV and another laptop. The main push however is to get a reliable second car which we pay cash for. The first car is still plugging along but I think when we get a better second one and it is relegated exclusively taking me to work and back its life would be greatly extended.

Financial:
4. Stash some more Euro's. Say E400 or so.
5. Contribute 10% of our total take home to retirement.
6. Stash at least a half an ounce of gold  and 40 ounces of silver. If things go well 1.5 times that could be possible but this is a minimum.
7. Continue to not make stupid choices.
+I do not have any direct goals when it comes to saving money aside from those above. Depending on how Wifey's job goes (how many hours she gets) saving for the much needed reliable car might take 2-3 months or as much as 8 months. If the car gets purchased earlier we will be able to save more, in part because it means we would be making more.

Skills:
8. Take an automotive class.  They offer them on base and I need to know more about car repair.
9. Be able to setup and trouble shoot a small solar setup.  

Preparedness Stuff :
10. A good radio that can pick up everything. Probably a Grundig.
11. Maybe a Berkey water filter and maybe some spare elements for it and the portable filter.
12. A basic solar setup. 

Gun Stuff:
12. Buy a full case of .223
13. Half cases each of 7.62x39, 9mm and just maybe .38. Full ones if I am feeling rich.
14. Glock 9mm mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.
15. Some M1a mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.
16. A few more spare parts and at least one AR15 full bolt carrier group.


Food Rotation:
Edited to include: These goals sucked. Talked with Wifey and now we have new ones.  Sucky old goals are lined through and new ones are below them.
17. Continue to eat real staple foods.
17. Get a pressure canning setup and can something. In reality we will almost certainly can more than one thing but it is a very clear is you is or is you ain't goal all the same.

18. Get to the point where we never run out of normal stuff. 
18. Get a dehydrator and dehydrate something. Jerky is good and so are banana slices.

And Just To Get To An Even 20......
19. Get a subscription to Backwoods Home Magazine and otherwise work on my self sufficiency/ preparedness library.
20. Join a gun rights organization.

I would say my goals start at the top in terms of priority and work more or less downward from there. I put more small stuff on here than last time. I tried to outline everything I would like to purchase which costs over a couple hundred bucks. That is mostly because I am trying to purchase stuff in a more dispassionate manner and plan ahead.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Get Writing and Win A Free Berkey Filter!

Just wanted to take a minute to remind you all of our writing contest. I know it is a busy season but it is worth your time to take 20 minutes and write something for submission. The Go Berkey Kit is a pretty awesome prize and well worth a few minutes of your time. You have nothing to lose and were going to just spend that 20 minutes idly fiddling on the computer anyway so write something and have a shot at winning great free stuff.


Some folks may be put off because they are more of a reader/ commenter than writer. You are all smart folks and I know you have some real skills and interesting stories. Writing about what you know is a sure way to get a great product.

In closing I just want to thank Our Happy Homestead for stepping up with a great prize for one lucky writer/ reader.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Season Writing Contest




Well folks, I am pleased to be able to have a writing contest with a great prize. Our Happy Homestead was nice enough to donate a super cool all new Go Berkey Kit to make this contest worth entering. I am really proud and happy to be able to offer a great prize to a lucky reader/ writer. Anyway the details are as follows:

1. The first rule is that to win you have to write something.

I am not going to put any constraints on what type of a post you can enter. It could be fiction or nonfiction or whatever you want. [My personal advise is to write what you know. For example I am a lifelong outdoorsmen, a guy who experiments with eating cheap, and an Infantrymen. You will not catch me writing about how to convert a 1998 Ford F250 Diesel to run on Coca Cola but I can probably write about load out gear or camping or close quarters marksmanship.]

2. The second rule is that the contest ends at New Years Eve. If you send something a couple hours late it will probably make it it but more than that is doubtful.

3. To enter a submission just send your submission to theotherryan@gmail.com and eagerly await the results. 


4. The results will be announced 10-15 days after the contest ends. I will judge the contest personally and in the event of a close finish I will illicit the assistance of my wife and our friendly sponsor.



* Articles submitted may be used as future guest posts on TSLRF. 


I just want to take a second to thank the good folks at Our Happy Homestead for making this possible.
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