Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mountainman's Travel Log Part 1

Howdy Folks,

T - 50 minutes and then we hit the road. First camp, Moose Jaw, SK.

I will post an update a little later.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mountainman's On The Road Near You!

Howdy Preppers,

Well the time is rapidly approaching for the start of our family cross-Canada trip. We will be heading East first. All the way to The Rock. Whenever, possible we hope to meet and chat with those in the prepping community. Our first stop will be in Moose Jaw. So, if you are near Moose Jaw and you want to chat face-to-face, this is your chance to discuss things. Send me a PM on Canadian Prepper's Network. I will do my best to check my PM's daily, where wi-fi access is possible. The next stop will be near Winnipeg. We will start the road trip on Saturday 23 June 2012. 

Hope to see you on the road this summer!


Welcome To Our Newest Author

The Canadian Preppers Network is proud to welcome it's newest author, Mountainman.
An experienced prepper, Mountainman has inspired countless thoughtful conversations over at our forum site. He will soon be embarking on a nationwide journey, meeting with several preppers along the way. We look forward to reading about his progress and experiences here as he goes along.

Welcome Mountainman!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

SHTF Retreat - Some Considerations

A great number of preppes have come to the sound realization that in a true SHTF situation, where government and society ave completely broken down, the lone wolf will soon be overtaken. This is where groups come into play. But simply having a network of prepper friends from the internet spread out along considerable distances just won't cut it. Enter the SHTF retreat. Sounds simple enough doesn't it? A predetermined number of families meet at a predetermined spot and begin building a community by performing a set of predetermined tasks. Well, perhaps not all that simple. Here are just a few things that will have to be looked at first.

1 - Land.
Where will you meet? One members vast and rural farm? Perhaps a plot of public land? To be sure, a decent amount of acreage will be needed. Certain characteristics will have to be met such as bodies of water for drinking, fishing, livestock etc. Let's not forget that you will need a fair sized woodlot with mixed trees for building and firewood, not to mention other desirables such as maple trees for syrup making. Oh, and while we're at it, let's not forget about open land for gardening, grain crops for human as well as animal consumption, grazing, the list goes on. Not to mention the fact that it must be reachable by every member of your group with one tank of gas!

2 - People.
Not as simple as you might think. Simply gathering a group from websites and forums can lead to difficult personality conflicts. Also, you don't want to end up with a group of forty guys who all know seven ways to start a fire without a match but can't put together a simple shelter or cook palatable food from storage goods. Diversity is key. Builders, farmers, hunters, security specialists, medics, etc. will be needed. For those areas that are fully manned, some members will have to be willing to try other skills to fill in gaps.

3 - Food.
During a bug out situation, how much food could you realistically take with you? A weeks, a months, a years? Even with members bringing in small livestock and ample heirloom seeds, it could be well over a year before the group is self sustaining. If the poop were to hit the propeller in mid July, it would be too late to get any agriculture going for that season, forcing you to wait until the following May to plant seeds and in to September before the harvest was in full swing.
Sure, WROL, a group can always hunt and fish to get meat, but a meat only diet is likely to have dire health consequences. It would stand to reason then that every member would deposit a just amount of food in advance, which raises issues of storage facilities, pest control, and theft deterents until needed.

4 - Housing.
If bugging out to your retreat in January, will you be able to survive the elements? You may not be able to build permanent structures until spring. Of course, some members may arrive with mobile homes, or at least tent trailers, but perhaps something ready to use is needed. Would you build a series of smaller shelters to house members, or perhaps a larger structure designed more like a barracks would be a better idea. Of course, these structures could be put to use for storage until needed, but that again raises the issue of security. Someone will have to be checking in the retreat on a very regular basis, perhaps even living there full time.

5 - Energy
It is my opinion that such a retreat group would need certain electrical devices to survive well. Refrigeration would be a must during the warmer months as well as battery charging for radios, lights, etc. Mind you, not a great amount of energy would be required. A couple of deep freezers and a fridge or two would probably suffice, along with the usual AA cells to power small objects. Solar, wind or micro hydro are all options here as well as woodgas for generators. All the materials as well as the people with the ability to assemble and run them have to be carefully planed out in advance. Do you deposit these items in advance or rely on members to bring them when the time comes? Remember, having a solar setup for your own use is expensive enough let alone investing in another to sit in wait at a remote location. Also to keep in mind, members trusted with bringing key equipment, may not show up at all for any number of reasons.

These are only a few major points to consider when planning a retreat group. I am sure that if you sit down and give it some thought, the issues involved would astound you, perhaps even keep some of us awake at night wondering if it's even possible. Try starting a list of equipment you would need to keep even the smallest group self reliant for an indeterminate amount of time. Then start thinking of the manpower needed to pull it off. Remember, as manpower increases so does the strain on supplies. Is there a tipping point where thee are simply too many people to maintain? What is the minimum number of people needed to perform all the tasks required?

It's a lot to think about eh?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Home Made Deodorant for Long Term Storage

OK - you may think I've gone completely bonkers with this one!  I made my own deodorant.  After great success with home made laundry detergent and home made liquid hand soap I decided to go step further and try my hand at deodorant.  WHY you might ask...

Well there are actually several reasons. Most over-the-counter deodorants contain aluminium chlorohydrate, parabens, propylene glycol, triclosan, TEA, DEA, FD&C colors, and quaternium 18, among other toxic chemicals. Some of these have been linked to higher incidences of developing Alzheimer's and cancer.  I've tried many "natural" brands over the years with varying  degrees of success - the ones that worked really well were far more expensive than the national brands (for which there are often coupons and sales!)  So if exposure to chemicals and the extra expense wasn't enough incentive - how about long storage life?  You could put the ingredients into long term storage and smell good till 2040 and beyond!

This "recipe" contains only three ingredients, was very simple to make and IT WORKS!  I have had this personally verified by my resident "nose" - my daughter who has the sniffer of a hound dog.  Since I don't have a sense of smell I wouldn't want you to take MY word for it!  Here's a blog post from someone else who thinks it's the greatest: Suzannah Paul  from the Smitten Word (and I checked - SHE has a sense of smell!)

The recipe: 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup corn starch and 1/3 cup coconut oil (or a little more).  Mix altogether in a large bowl.  Tip:  Make sure the soda and the corn starch don't have lumps - it's much easier to mix without them!  The end consistency should be that of thick icing - still spreadable.  It will harden somewhat after it sits.

I used a stick blender because of the lumps - I probably should have used a sifter first.  Since coconut oil has a low melting point if you make this in the heat of the summer the consistency will be more like lotion - try it with less coconut oil - in the cold temperatures it's more like cold butter.  Either way - scoop into some small pretty jars and top with a lid.  This recipe made 2 1/2 - 1/2 pint jars and I used plastic storage lids for them.

Apply a pea-sized amount.  It smells lightly of coconut when you first apply it and it makes your skin feel soft and silky smooth.  I ran the numbers and the conservative price came to approximately $1.88 for the three jars.  That's about 20x cheaper by volume than the "on sale" commercial brand of ladies deodorant I have bought in the past.  I'd say that was worthwhile.  It took about 15 minutes of my time - including the time it took to clean the blender!

My toothbrush is feeling lonely - I wonder if I can find a home made toothpaste recipe!