Archive for the ‘Post Apocalyptic’ Category

Whether you are prepping for a zombie apocalypse or a weekend camping trip, packing multi-use products is important.  And Baking Soda is miraculous.BakingSoda

1) Heart burn from that rattlesnake chili you had last night? Baking soda is alkaline and when taken as a mixture with a little water will help neutralize the acid irritating the esophagus.

2) Body odor getting a little out of control? First you’re going to need to wash up; either in the river or the camp ground showers but when you are clean and dry you can pat some baking soda into some of the smellier places to help keep your freshness longer. Or maybe you caught a fish and just finished preparing it for dinner, but can’t get rid of the smell?  Scrub your hands with a little baking soda and water paste.

3) Getting a little fuzz on your teeth? Just wet your toothbrush (or your finger) and dip it into the baking soda. The soaked baking soda will create a paste which will both polish your teeth and help freshen that funky morning breath.

4) Walking across the post-apocalyptic country side by day will probably give your lily-white computer-geek skin a lobster-red burn. Or maybe that nuclear winter wind gives you a bad case of windburn. Mix a little baking soda into a cup of water, then soak some cloth in it.  Laying the soaked cloth on the sunburn will help take the sting out of the burn.

5) Bug spray is a luxury item you may not have with you. So WHEN you get bitten and feel like you may go mad if you can’t stop the itching then mix up a paste of some baking soda and a little water and cover each of the bites.  The alkaline nature of the baking soda will neutralize the effects of the bug bites in 10 to 15 minutes; just hold on to your sanity for a little longer. Works just as well if you inadvertently walked through a patch of poison ivy or swim through a school of jellyfish, too.

6) Have you had to break into that 25 pound bag of dried beans?  Add a little baking soda to the water when soaking them overnight and your digestion will be thankful come dinner time.

 

Whether you are trying to start a campfire for s’mores or to fend off hypothermia in the midst of a post-apocalyptic nuclear winter, knowing how to start a fire and keep a fire going are super-duper important. This weekend I was awakened to how little I know about starting, building and tending to a fire. I fear for my, and my family’s, survival should a fire become a necessity and not a luxury. I need a fire tutor, so any advice you may have would be incredibly helpful.

Here are a few tips I picked up. These tips may seem like common sense to you, but I suppose sense isn’t common if you were never exposed to it before, eh?

Lesson 1 is in Preparing
Do not get excited and just jump right into trying to get a little bit of tinder lit, because you will burn through it faster than you think and then you’re screwed. Collecting the little twigs and branches is incredibly important; and when you think you have enough keep collecting. Take the time to break the branches down so they can easily be fed into the fire.

Lesson 2 is in Preventing
When a storm is moving in, cover the wood.

Lesson 3 is in Patience
Fire is a chemical process, the flame is just the visible portion of this process but of course this is what we all really want out of our campfires. The flame, though can’t do it’s flame-y thing when you keep poking at it. So just stop poking at it.

I don’t expect to learn how to start a fire with friction, or how to carry an ember across country. But I would like know how to keep a nice little camp fire going.

I recently made my final car payment, and I hope to get another 5 years out of it, at least.

In my Valuable and Practical Skills article I mentioned my lack of automotive understanding. I wasn’t exaggerating, I knew how to pop the hood and add windshield fluid. An example of my ignorance: I had no idea that you can hose all that stuff under the hood down to clean out the dirt and grime. Keeping it clean in there then helps you to see if/when you have leaks. After a couple hours with my cousin today, I feel fairly confident that I can help extend the life of my Toyota. He was patient and respectful as he walked me through everything from the Alternator to Water pump; explaining the function, symptoms to watch for, and how to care for it.

Aside from the practical application of the knowledge I gained today, I feel empowered. I drive this machine everyday, and now I have an  understanding of how it works. Keeping up with the regular oil changes and services is of utmost importance, but knowing that I can detect a minor issue before it becomes a big issue and I am left stranded somewhere gives me peace of mind. Especially in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

A BIG SHOUT OUT TO MY COUSIN NATE!

Inspired by Colin M. Drysdale’s post entitled Preserving Knowledge, my imagination really took off.

In this world I live in today, I have hundreds of skills, some are common and some are not: writing SQL queries; setting up shows to record on my DVR; using a washing machine; make coffee with just the right amount of cream and sugar; I’m sure there are more, I just can’t think of any right now. Anyway, my point is, I got from Point A to Point B and accomplished XYZ today because of these skills. If the world goes bonkers tomorrow, I have nothing. Right now, I am in the magical world if IT, we make things work…things with code. When the oil rig roughnecks, hunters and mechanics become the elite, I will become useless…and uselessness leads to extinction.

I love learning. So, why don’t I put that passion to use learning skills? Not just how to survive, skinning a rabbit and building a fire, but how to live. I thought I would gather a list of skills that will be valuable should the need arises and cross reference it with practical skills I can utilize in my real life.

Mechanic
I will be honest with you, I should probably have my lesbian card revoked…I have never even seen the underside of my car. I haven’t even changed the tire, although I think I could do that if I never needed to (knock, knock, knock on wood).

I would like to start with the basics, changing the oil. It’s so easy and quick to stop at the closest lube shop, and they have an established disposal system. Perhaps one day in the cooler months I will bribe my mechanic cousin to come and give me an entry level introduction.

Another skill that could be important if I had to jump into the first available vehicle is how to drive a stick shift. Ages ago I tried, for about 4 minutes…I was like 12, don’t look at me that way. I don’t think I know anyone at present that drives a stick to help learn. But I think there might be schools for that…I need to investigate this a little more.

Gardening
Vegetation dies when I touch them; grass, flowers, plants, trees. I killed a cactus once. Animals? Now I am great with animals…but just can’t get vegetation to come around. It would be nice if I could step into my back yard and pick a bit of broccoli, or pluck a juicy apple. My grandmother could plant a rock and a raspberry bush would pop out. I love my grandmother dearly and I know she would love to pass along years of experience if I only ask.

Aside from learning how to successfully plant my own’stuff’, be it a corner lot or a flower pot, knowing what is edible when walking through the woods is a skill every GeoCacher (discussion for another time) should have in their bag of grey matter. I’m sure there are some sort of guides that can help me learn, I need to look into.

Fishing
I used to go fishing with my grandpa (miss you grandpa), but it really just consisted of me holding a pole and watching its bobber and talking. I have never liked fish, but not liking something is different than not eating the only thing available. I wish, I wish, I wish. I wish I had embrased the time I had with him. 

Which bait for what fish?
What fish are found in different regions?
How do I clean all the fish I’m going to catch?

I have cousins that enjoy fishing…I’m not sure I can trust them to not dump me out of the boat. I also have a nephew in some sort of fishing club through school and he keeps winning tournaments, and he wouldn’t intentionally dunk me…that sounds like a better plan.

I will say that there are plenty of skills that I don’t possess and don’t really see myself pursuing. Do I need to know how to fire a gun if the world goes crazy? Maybe, maybe not. As the all wise Xena to Gabrielle “the moment you pick up a weapon you become a target.” I’m not going to lay down and die, but a gun isn’t my style.

I like this topic. I would love to hear you practical skills list.

You have the perfect escape plan. Your family has a well stocked bunker. Your odds of survival are higher than most of your neighbors and you sleep easy night after night for years.

You wake up one morning, excited for your family vacation to Disney and off you go. For 3 days you laugh and make great memories. And then “it” happens. You are stuck in Florida with sunscreen and flip flops.

What do you do?

Do you:
* try to get your family home to your own shelter and hope no one else has taken refuge in your bunker
Or do you:
* scrap all of your plans and scramble to survive where you are?