Monday, May 2, 2016

15 Skills That Will Make You Priceless In A Post SHTF Barter World



The concept of private barter and alternative economies has been so far removed from our daily existence here in America that the very idea of participating in commerce without the use of dollars seems almost outlandish to many people. People sometimes forget that the smallest and most convenient storage space is in their own heads. If you find yourself in the midst of a disaster and you need to either build or fix something, having the necessary knowledge and skills in your mind instead of in a book will hugely benefit your ability to survive.
There’s no way of telling quite how different life after a major disaster or serious collapse of society could be, but humans are remarkably resilient, so life would certainly go on.
One thing is certain, though: in the aftermath of a widespread disaster or the collapse of civil society as we know it, you’ll want to have useful skills and items that you can barter or trade with. Once society collapses, bartering will become a business, a black market business if you will, likely run by criminal elements. Individuals will have items they can barter with, but in most cases, a person would not be able to afford to part with the items they do have. Anyone not prepared will have nothing to barter with, so looters will be active as well as desperate.
Looters and other criminals will steal so they can then use the stolen items, or just to barter with for other goods. Real trading will be based On ‘long term’ items. Seeds, not food. Arrows, not ammo. Tools, not filters. See, once the ‘short duration expendables’ are consumed, you won’t be re-supplying, you’ll be making your own or doing without. From turning your own arrow shafts, to cutting arrowheads from old license plates; from building filtration weirs to filter water, to needing copper tubing to make ‘wood-fired-water-heaters’. Knowledge and durable supplies (axes, hammers, spoke shaves, saw blades, etc.) will be the real money.
He who has stocked dozens of saw blades will be king. He who sits on a case of toilet paper will be sad he didn’t learn how to replace it with what they used 200 years ago, instead (FYI, toilet paper is only about a 100-year old concept – ask yourself, what did they use before that, and get a real clue – because THAT is VERY valuable in the long term!)
So, forget stocking for that 2-week event, it’s not that difficult. The hard part is stocking for the total paradigm shift, that few remember how to do much of. You won’t be making your own saw blades anytime soon. Now, ask yourself, what else will you NOT be making, that you need to learn how to make, or replace with older technology, before you need it (or need to trade it).

Here are the invaluable skills that will likely help you sustain yourself in a hand-made local world:

Organic Gardening and Seed Saving:
Skills involving food production will be the most valuable in a post-collapse society. Learning to grow your own food is a must.  Obviously, it is necessary to feed your family, but you will also be able to trade your abundance for other items. Additionally, learning to save seeds will also provide another excellent means of trade.  Understanding permaculture design for your garden can help reduce water consumption and use the lands natural resources. Aquaponics can provide plants, fish, and store water. Watch this video to understand how aquaponic sistems work.

Aquaponics2

Food Processing and Preservation:
Learning to process and preserve foods will be another huge skill in a post-collapse world. Taking seasonal abundance and preserving it for future consumption or trade will be vital.  Remember, learning to do this with limited electricity is a must. One necessity for every homestead is having someone who knows how to butcher animals and preserve them for future consumption by smoking, salt curing, or dehydrating. This can also include learning to brew beer, mead, vinegar, or other alcoholic beverages from meager ingredients.
Hunting, Fishing, and Gathering:
Learning to fish and hunt is essential to survival. Having the proper gear and training will be priceless after the collapse of modern civilization.  Having reference guides for edible plants in your region, repairing weapons, trapping wild game, and fishing are great tools to have if you haven’t the time to learn them now. You should also take the time to learn or refine your skills on hunting using quiet weapons like bows, slingshots, knives, and spears.
Animal Husbandry:
Knowledge of animal husbandry can provide endless amounts of sustainable meat, eggs, and milk to you and your tribe.  Your farm animals are the most valuable food source you have since they can reproduce. Knowing which animals to breed and when is an important part of farming and should not be learned through mistakes.
Cooking:
Knowing how to cook without using your time-saving, electricity driven appliances may not be as easy as you think.  Practice cooking with your stored food supplies using no or very little electricity.  You will soon realize how much more time and preparation it takes to do what once was a simple task.  Learn to cook using a dutch oven, a sun oven, an outdoor fire pit, and whatever means you have for cooking.
Foraging:  Someone who knows how to forage for wild edibles and can increase your food supplies, becomes an asset to any group. There will be a high demand for this skill.
WATER
Water Purification: Since it’s difficult to pump well water without electricity, unless you have a hand pump, and with surface water likely to be contaminated, clean water will be in very limited supply.  Learning to purify water will allow you thrive during this time. You can also purchase water filters for your go-bag and you can have back-up tablets should you need them.  However, the skill and knowledge to purify water should be the goal as that can never run out.
Collecting and Storing Water:  Do you have enough stored water for you to survive through the first 30 days post disaster?  Most do.  How about for 3 months….or 9 months?  Now, do you have enough for your family members?  If you have a family of five and want to store a one year’s supply of water you would need to have over 1800 gallons, and that’s just for drinking.  Now, how about the extended family members who show up on your doorstep?  Your animals?  Your garden?  Your sanitation, hygiene and cleaning?  Whew! Now you understand how it can be very difficult to store all of the water you would need, so knowing how to collect water to replenish your stored supplies is invaluable.

COMMUNICATIONS
Ham Radio: Do you have your ham radio license or at the very least own and know how to operate a ham radio?  Having a skilled ham radio expert in your group is a necessary key component to keeping up on communications and knowing what is going on in the world around you.  Remember, tv, cell phone, the internet, will all most likely be down.  Understanding how to make and set up an antennae to improve your radio signal and knowing morse code are other valuable skills to include in your arsenal.
Communications: Not all people know how to truly communicate well with others.  During stressful and hazardous times, people with great communication skills will be valued for their abilities.  Knowing how to handle and calm down people and even groups on the verge of fighting can save lives.
Languages: Knowing a second language is a great skill to have.  If you were to know a second or even third language what would you choose?  Hopefully you would choose the language of your most dangerous threat.  Knowing what others are saying over radio communications can be a very valuable piece of intel.
SELF-SUSTAINABILITY
Self-sustainability is one of the most important skills to learn.  You can store food, water, and everything else you may need for survival but when those stored supplies run out, and they will, how will you replenish them?  Knowing how to live off the land, grow a garden, raise animals, store seeds, hunt for food, or make your own clothing can prolong your survivability. A very important skill is knowing how to cure meats and butcher animals. This might take a little while to show its merit, but if you’ve got the guts and knowhow to slaughter and butcher a variety of animals for consumption, demand for your skills will gradually return and rise as society starts to regulate again. Even during the hardest of times, if you can find work as a butcher it is usually sufficient to allow you to keep food on the table, as you can at least trade your skills as a butcher for a suitable share of the meat, if nothing else.
Word of the day: Prepare! And do it the old fashion way, like our fore-fathers did it and succeed long before us, because what lies ahead of us will require all the help we can get. Watch this video and learn the 3 skills that ensured our ancestors survival in hard times of famine and war.
PRIMITIVE SKILLS/WILDERNESS SURVIVAL
Take away all electricity and go back to the old ways of living.  What did your grandparents or great grandparents do?  How did people survive during the great depression or dust bowl? If we don’t understand our history we are doomed to repeat it.  Some skills that will be useful are: fire making, camp cooking, basket weaving, pottery making, animal tracking, tool making, tanning hides, rock climbing, knot tying, etc.
Other useful skills include teaching, knitting, piloting an aircraft, sailing, music, etc.
The only way to understand how we can live without our electricity driven modern conveniences is to live without them.
Test #1  Turn off your electricity for a few hours.  Take notes on how it affected you.  What did you learn?  What did you need that you didn’t have and what wasn’t necessary at all?
Test #2  Turn off your electricity for a weekend.  Take notes again and see how your answers changed or stayed the same.  How did you cook?  How did you get water?  What would you change?
Test #3  Turn off your electricity for a week.  Sounds hard?  Try doing it for a few months or a few years, because that is what can happen after a large scale disaster.  Be uncomfortable now knowing that you can flick the switch back on whenever you want.  Learn from your mistakes now while you can make them.  Appreciate the fact that these are just tests we’re putting ourselves through and not the real thing.  The more you practice the easier it will become and you may come to realize how little you miss the modern life.
SHELTER
Shelter building can really fall under two categories.  One being outdoor wilderness survival and the other would be construction to your current home and property.  In this section we will focus on the later.
Construction:
Construction skills will be very important in a shattered civilization.  These skills, especially without power tools, are not something you learn overnight.  If you have some basic skills it may be worth learning a few techniques for building small structures with crude hand tools.  There are many books teaching anyone how to build basic cabins, sheds, and composting outhouses.

MEDICAL
First Aid and TraumaThis is another skill that can take years to develop and learn, but that will be crucial when supply lines of pharmaceuticals are cut off and hospitals are over-run.  You will need an emergency medic who can perform appendectomies, c-sections, and set broken bones. If having a nurse or doctor in your group is not an option, then learning basic procedures for stitching wounds, CPR, and more will be an absolute necessity for every adult and teenager in your family group.
Veterinary Skills:
Your farm animals are vital to your survival.  Horses are a tool for transportation, your goats are your milk supply and your chickens and rabbits are your protein.  Heaven forbid that they have any health issues that require immediate veterinary care.  Learn at least the basics about the animals you are caring for because they are depending on you as much as you are on them.
Dental:
Knowing how to pull a tooth, fix a filling, and manage pain during dental procedures will come in handy.
Natural Medicine:
Knowledge of growing herbal gardens for making medicine at home will prove to be very important.   Being the tribe’s shaman with a natural medicine chest is a prestigious position.
HYGIENE & SANITATION
I know this may not sound important compared to food and water but if you think about it, it is. When a disaster strikes, whether it be natural or man made, the creature comforts that people have grown accustomed to throughout their lives will no longer be there. No more daily showers and washing your hair with apple scented shampoo. No more flushing the toilet 10 times a day. Sanitation services that require power will no longer be functioning. This will quickly lead to diseases being spread rapidly.  Learning how to build a composting toilet, a solar hot water heater, or a sewer drainage system is important.  It is good to know how to make your own toothpaste, deodorant, soap and shampoo and stock up on the supplies necessary.
SECURITY
Home and Property:
Regardless of the threat, an ideal home is one that is secure and can keep you safe from a person or people who mean to do you harm.  Take the time now to learn how to protect your home, land, and everything on it as best you can.  This includes farm animals.  Your animals are a valuable asset and must be protected from hungry predators, including man and beast.
Personal Defense:
Learn how to protect yourself through hand to hand combat.  There may be times when you’re in the garden or tending to the property and are caught off guard by a lone stalker or a group of marauders.  I know this sounds Mad Max but when the SHTF it can happen.  Learn to use your tools as weapons.  Nunchucks were originally used to harvest rice.
Weapons/Combat:
If you are going to own a gun then get the training necessary to know how to properly use it.  Know how to clean it and store it as well.  Someone that has the knowledge and can train others on weapons and strategies will be a valuable asset. Gun smithing is another important skill to master.
POWER
Alternative Energy and Fuels:
Having the knowledge to implement alternative energy systems will make you a wealthy survivor in a “dark” world. You can learn to build your own alternative energy systems through solar, hydro, and wind power. Knowledge of how to create energy would be invaluable when oil is scarce.
In the event of a grid failure, all life as we know it will change. The ability to build or do anything without power will become a life-saving skill in itself – but it will make sure you have a steady supply of either cash or barter goods coming your way. Most other folks – even if they have some of these things – don’t have any skill in using them. Your skills and services will not only be in demand, but may just be the thing that keeps your family or tribe thriving.

Here is a list with the best items you can stock for trading:
  • Tools (saw blades, hatchets, axe heads, hammer heads – many sourceable from auctions, garage sales, etc.)
  • A simple still (or the components to assemble one), as this will make your alcohol for drinking, cleaning, medical use, etc. (don’t forget to learn how to make the corn mash itself, or to have extra parts put back)
  • Bows,arrows and bowstrings.Learn to make alternative bows (PVC bows are excellent, weather-proof), and how to turn arrow shafts, as well as how to lace and tie bowstrings – not all string will suffice for it – dacron works well.
  • Barrels. Learn to make filtration weirs for water. Forget store filtration units, understand how rain barrels work, how to purify water with boiling, and how settlement works to remove metals. Extra barrels are highly tradeable.
  • Seeds. Forget trading foods, long-term you will have far more demand for trading seeds. Those with the most-seeds and largest fresh selection will draw the best trades.
  • Salt,sugar, pepper and spices.Long-term storable items are great (salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, some cheeses, dehydrated or cured foods possibly). He who can build a primitive dehydrator, and had the parts to trade to others, will be king. Dried beans and salt-cured hams can last 24 months, these will be in demand as well. Jerky was used and looked-at differently 200 years ago (the jerky was used as a stew meat with the salt extracted to flavor soups and stews – knowing this extends the use of your stocks – and IS TRADEABLE INFORMATION!)
  • Survival information is valuable, and in a time when it is desperately needed, being able to have a few copies of condensed information on-hand and barter-ready will be very valuable, indeed. Type up and print a dozen copies of general information that others may not readily have.
  • Ferroceramic rods and striking steels. Fire-making will ALWAYS be critical, and having a dozen extra ferroceramic rods and striking steels will be worth their weight in gold, if it all goes south.
  • Containers. Enough can’t be said for water containers. Seems simple now, but if things go wrong, one of the hardest things to usually find is a good canteen or water jug. Put enough back for yourself, but put more back for trade. The harder to break, the better. I’ve got a dozen military 1-qt canteens laying around here and there, in a pinch, I have 2-3 I’ll use, but the rest can be had – for a price.
  • Blankets.Everyone needs a warm place to sleep. Funny thing is, linens wear out pretty fast – as do blankets. A good blanket is like a good coat. We’ve all planned for clothes (I hope), but when’s the last time you heard someone brag about having a couple of good wool blankets put back? I’ve got two good wool blankets. I paid $40 each for them. Let the power go out, in November, and you not have one. I don’t know how much you’re willing to pay for them, but I know what you’re going to trade me for them, if you don’t want to freeze at night. I won’t trade both at all, but I’ll be looking for what would be several thousand dollars worth of trade for the one I can ‘spare’.
  • Tabacco will have a great demand. Cigarettes, cigars, loose tobacco; supplies may be limited or altogether unavailable after whatever catastrophe has occurred, so tobacco products would become even more valuable than they already are. Tobacco doesn’t keep forever, but properly stored loose tobacco, cigarettes or cigars can last several years.
These three old lessons will ensure your children will be well fed when others are rummaging through garbage bins. Click here to learn all about the 3 skills that will help you thrive in any crises situation.
See, barter comes down to how desperate (or how much does your life depend on it) you are, as to how critical it really is to have for barter. Can you live without toilet paper, versus that last wool blanket? THIS is how barter REALLY works.
Barter is far scarier than you can even understand, if you are UNABLE to assess ‘critical need’ from ‘whimsy want’ right now. Fire, water, shelter, warmth – yeah, you’re going to pay dearly for what you didn’t see fit to pack now. Think about critical needs, before you think all that ammo is so important. I bet my wool blanket is worth AT LEAST all of your ammo, if you’re cold and we’re both armed. Again, don’t plan on thuggery, stock what you can’t afford to trade for. Have extras to trade yourself, in regards to those critical things we MUST have.
Toilet paper? LOL, Davey Crockett didn’t have toilet paper and he did just fine. HE DID have a weapon, a knife, a fire flint, a good blanket, and good clothes and boots. He traded horses, burros, saddles and whiskey. Take a 3-year, 1,000 mile trip in your mind, and imagine only meeting others on the road like yourself. Each packed differently, not all are nice, not all are passive. Now, prepare for the trip in your mind and take it. What do you see yourself needing, each day, as the seasons change, as the environment changes, and as bad and good people cross your path?
Once again, toilet paper is like a good cigar or stick of chewing gum. It might give you ‘modern comfort’, but there are far more important things you need first.
Did you pack them?

Source:
http://www.bioprepper.com/2015/11/18/15-skills-that-will-make-you-priceless-in-a-post-shtf-barter-world/

Books Of Interest:



Sunday, April 24, 2016

How To Build 15 Survival Traps



In a survival situation, traps can capture animals that provide us precious calories from meat and fat. Think of them as little hunters that you put out to do your work for you while you are off accomplishing other tasks. There are seemingly as many different traps as there are creatures to catch, but we’ve selected 15 for you to try and master. Click here to see them all.

Ancient House Designs - Virtually Free To Build

Want to learn how to build a cheap house? Look no further. Let me ask you; how would your life change if you never had to pay rent or interest on a mortgage again? I bet it would take a significant weight off your shoulders. It sure would for me.
You’re not alone, in fact today most people in “civilized” parts of the world don’t own their homes but are indebted to banks or rent from a landlord. But it has not always been this way, as Henry David Thoreau so truthfully writes in his book Walden:
In the savage (Native American) state every family owns a shelter as good as the best, and sufficient for its coarser and simpler wants; but I think that I speak within bounds when I say that, though the birds of the air have their nests, and the foxes their holes, and the savages their wigwams, in modern civilized society not more than half the families own a shelter. In the large towns and cities, where civilization especially prevails, the number of those who own a shelter is a very small fraction of the whole. The rest pay an annual tax or this outside garnment of all, become indispensible summer and winter, which would buy a village of Indian wigwams, but now helps to keep them poor as long as they live.

Is this the best humanity can do?

Is it impossible to imagine a future where humans, just as other animals, own their shelter free and clear and don’t have to pay a “tax” their whole lives just to stay protected from the elements?
Of course not. This is crazy!
In the list below you’ll find examples of homes that “savage” people throughout the world built with their own hands using locally available materials that Nature provided for free. No mortgage or rent required.
Most of the examples on this list are small house designs. They are small because a small house takes less fuel to heat, less time and building materials to build, and for some of the more portable designs a small home is much easier to move.
What you take away from this list is up to you, but I have no doubt there’s a lot to learn from how our ancestors lived in harmony with their surroundings and adapted perfectly to their environments, no matter how harsh.

1. The Tipi

The Tipi
Tipis (also spelled Teepees) are tent-like American Indian houses used by Plains tribes. A tepee is made of a cone-shaped wooden frame with a covering of buffalo hide, and originally they were up to 12 feet high. Like modern tents, tepees are carefully designed to set up and break down quickly. As a tribe moved from place to place, each family would bring their tipi poles and hide tent along with them.
Plains Indians migrated frequently to follow the movements of the buffalo herds, and it’s said an entire Plains Indian village could have their tipis packed up and ready to move within an hour.

2. The Lavvu

The Lavvu
Sami family infront of their lavvu, 1900
The Lavvu has a design similar to a Native American tipi but is less vertical and more stable in high winds. It’s a temporary shelter used by the Sami people living on the treeless plains of northern Scandinavia, and it’s made of wooden poles which are covered in reindeer hides or, more recently, textile.
Modern designs of the lavvu have replaced the wooden poles with aluminium poles and heavier textiles with lighter fabrics. Today some people choose to heat the lavvu with an oven instead of an open fire and that has the benefit of producing less smoke, but it also produces less light making it quite dark inside.

3. The Wigwam

The Wigwam
Wigwams, sometimes also known as birchbark houses, are Native American houses used by Algonquian Indians in the woodland regions.
These shelters are small, usually 8-10 feet tall, and they’re formed with a frame of arched poles, most often wooden, which are covered with some sort of roofing material ranging from grass, bark, brush, mats, reeds, hides or textile. The frame can be shaped like a dome, like a cone, or like a rectangle with an arched roof. The curved surfaces make it an ideal shelter for all kinds of conditions, and while wigwams are not portable they’re small and easy to build.
A first hand account from 1674 of Gookin, who was superindendent of the Indian subject to the Massachusetts Colony, says…
“The best of their houses are covered very neatly, tight and warm, with barks of trees, slipped from their bodies at those seasons when the sap is up, and made into great flakes, with pressure of weighty timber, when they are green….The meaner sort are covered with mats which they make of a kind of bulrush and are also indifferently tight and warm, but not so good as the former….Some I have seen, sixty or a hundred feet long and thirty feet broad….I have often lodged in their wigwams, and found them as warm as the best English houses.”

4. The Hogan

The Hogan
A hogan is the primary, traditional shelter of the Navajo people. It can be round, cone-shaped, multi-sided, or square; with or without internal posts; timber or stone walls and packed with earth in varying amounts or a bark roof for a summer house. Anything goes really.
The hogans of old are also considered pioneers of energy efficient homes: “Using packed mud against the entire wood structure, the home was kept cool by natural air ventilation and water sprinkled on the dirt ground inside. During the winter, the fireplace kept the inside warm for a long period of time and well into the night. This concept is called thermal mass.”
In 2001 the Hogan began seeing a revival with a joint-venture of a partnership involving the Navajo Nation, Northern Arizona University, the US Forest Service and other private and public partners.

5. The Burdei

The Burdei
The burdei dates back as far as 6000 years and it’s a type of half-dugout shelter somewhat between a sod house and a log cabin, usually with a floor that’s 1 – 1.5 meters under ground level.
This type of shelter is native to the Carpathian Mountains and forest steppes of eastern Europe but has seen use in North America as well by many of the earliest Ukrainian Canadian settlers as their first home in Canada at the end of the 19th century and by Mennonites from Imperial Russia who settled in the Hillsboro region of Kansas.
The March 20, 1875, issue of the national weekly newspaper Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper described the structures:
…is the quaint brand-new village of Gnadenau, where there are some twenty small farmers, who have built the queerest and most comfortable cheap houses ever seen in the West, and with the least amount of timber, being merely a skeleton roof built on the ground and thatched with prairie-grass. They serve for man and beast, being divided on the inside by a partition of adobe..

6. The Barabara

The Barabara
A barabara were the traditional shelter used by the Alutiiq people and Aleuts, the indigenous people of the Aleutian Islands. Similar to the Burdei, the barabara lay partially underground like an earth lodge or pit-house so they could withstand the high forces of wind in the Aleutian chain of islands.

7. The Clochán

Clochan
A Clochán is a dry-stone hut with a corbelled roof, commonly associated with the south-western Irish seaboard. Dry-stone is a building method where you use stones without any mortar to bind them together, and these structures get their strength from compressional forces and the interlocking of the stones.
Clocháns are most commonly round beehive huts and the walls are very thick, up to 1.5 metres. Some Clocháns are not completely built of stone, and may have had a thatched roof.

8. The Log Cabin

The Log Cabin
Some of the first log structures were built in Northern Europe many thousands of years ago, and they’re most commonly associated with Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
They’re built out of logs laid on top of each other horizontally, with notches at both ends to form weather tight corners. The thick solid wood provide much better insulation over a timber frame covered with skins, boards, or shingles.
With suitable tools and logs, a log cabin can be erected (and disassembled) from scratch in days by a family but it can stand for potentially hundreds of years. In fact, not far from where I live you’ll find one of Sweden’s best preserved old farms with log structures built in the 1700’s that’s still in good condition.
Just as with the Clochán, the log cabin gets its structural integrity from compressional forces, and a log cabin tends to slightly compress as it settles over a few months or years.

9. The Long House

The Norse LonghouseReconstructed long house in the Vikingmuseum in Borg, Vestvågøy/Lofoten, Norway
Longhouses have been built all over Europe, Asia and the Americas, but may be most commonly associated with the Iroquois tribes in North America, as well as with the Norse (better known as the Vikings) in Scandinavia.
They are built similarly to wigwams, with pole frames and bark covering. The main difference is that longhouses are much, much larger. Longhouses could be 200 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 20 feet high.
Smaller longhouses housed one or several multi-generational families while larger ones could house an entire clan– as many as 60 people!

10. The Bamboo House

Bamboo House
Tahitian bamboo house, c. 1902
Not a house design but rather an excellent building material, bamboo has a high strength-to-weight ratio useful for structures. It grows fast, it’s light-weight, and is a sustainable source of building material.
In its natural form, bamboo as a construction material is traditionally associated with the cultures of South Asia, East Asia and the South Pacific, to some extent in Central and South America,

11. The Pueblo

Pueblos
Pueblos are adobe house complexes used by the Pueblo Indians of the Southwest. They’re modular, multi-story houses made of adobe (clay and straw baked into hard bricks) or of large stones cemented together with adobe.
A whole pueblo housing comples can house an entire clan, with each adobe unit being home to one family much like a modern apartment. These houses can last for dozens of generations or longer in a warm, dry climate.

12. The Earthen House

Earthen House
Turf house in Sænautasel, Iceland.
In the old days you’d find several types of earthen houses around the world, including Native American houses such as the Navajo hogans, Sioux earth lodges, pit houses of the West Coast and Plateau, as well as subarctic sod houses in Alaska, Canada and on Iceland in the Atlantic.
These are all semi-subterranean houses, sheltered by the surrounding earth on three or four sides with a roof on top. The main benefit of the earthen house is that you’re sheltered from both cold and wind by the earth, and if you face large windows towards the south you can potentially heat your home 100% passively from the sun.

13. The Igloo

Igloos
Igloos are snow houses used by the Inuit (Eskimos) of northern Canada. Igloos are dome-shaped shelters built from the snow, with large blocks of ice set in a spiral pattern and packed with snow to form the dome.
You’d be surprised how warm an igloo can get when it’s freezing outside! “On the outside, temperatures may be as low as −45 °C (−49 °F), but on the inside the temperature may range from −7 °C (19 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F) when warmed by body heat alone.” – Cornell University, 2003

14. The Yurt

The Yurt
The yurt is a portable shelter used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia for at least three thousand years. You read that correctly. 3000 years. Wow.
Traditional yurts consist of an expanding wooden circular frame carrying a felt cover, and complete construction takes as little as 2 hours.

15. The Walipini

The Walipini
© Neo-farms
Not as ancient as the other shelters on this list, the walipini is still worth a mention because it’s such a simple yet brilliant idea, and it can be built for as little as $300.
A walipini is an underground greenhouse that lets you grow food year-round, and the idea was first developed in Bolivia, South America. It uses the same earth sheltering principles as many of the ancient house designs on this list.
What makes the walipini better than hoop houses and green houses? First, by locating the growing area 6’- 8’ underground you take advantage of the constant temperature of the earth below the frost level. Second, you can capture and store the daytime solar radiation in the surrounding earth which then radiates back into the greenhouse during the cold winter nights.

What Can We Learn?

You might not want to move into a tipi any time soon, but there are still a lot to learn from our ancestors.
These ancient house designs are better than modern homes in many aspects because they were adapted specifically for their environments. The homes in the Arizona desert looked much different from the homes in the Alaskan tundra, and nomadic people had different needs than agricultural people.
The point is that our ancestors were as One with their environments and co-existed with Nature. These people were native to the land, while modern man is more like an invasive species that does not know its place in Nature.
But, maybe most of all, these homes illustrate that the builders knew when enough was enough. They were clear about the purpose of building a home, i.e. to stay protected from the elements and have a safe place to sleep, rather than constantly expending their life energy on trying to build bigger and fancier homes.
Here’s a closing thought from Henry David Thoreau:
It is possible to invent a house still more convenient and luxurious than we have, which yet all would admit that man could not afford to pay for. Shall we always study to obtain more of these things, and not sometimes to be content with less? Shall the respectable citizen thus gravely teach, by precept and example, the necessity of the young man’s providing a certain number of superfluous glow-shoes, umbrellas, and empty guest champers for empty guests, before he dies? Why should not our furniture be as simple as the Arab’s or the Indian’s?
Source:
http://waldenlabs.com/ancient-shelters-you-can-build-cheap/

Books Of Interest:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

24 Lost Survival Tips from 100 Years Ago – with Illustrations



Artwork Courtesy http://www.patriciacoatesreflections.com/pen--ink-on-canvas.html


When we’ll have no running water, no hyperactive emergency services, no electricity… we are going to turn back to what people did 100 years ago. Here you’ll find some “little” survival tricks popular in the early 1900’s and (some of them) useful even today.
100 years ago Gallaher Ltd printed a short “How-To” series, with clever hints for emergency situations. The cards were distributed with packs of cigarettes. All the pictures bellow are part of the George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library. Please enjoy the article.

1. How to Extract a Splinter

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Take a wide mouthed bottle and fill it with hot water nearly to the brim. Now press the affected hand or foot tightly against the mouth of the bottle.
This will then cause a suction and pull the flesh down. The suction plus the steam will help pull out the splinter.

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2. How to Make an Emergency Water Filter

A handy and efficient water filter can be made out of an ordinary bucket.
First make a hole at the bottom of the bucket.
Instructions: “The water percolates through the layers of fine and coarse sand, and clean picked gravel and stones, with which the pail is filled, filtering through to the bottom in a clear state.”
One of the best layers you should add to this bucket is one made of charcoal. Here is an 100-Year-Old Way to Filter Rainwater Directly in a Barrel

3. How to Engrave on a Knife

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This method was widely used during the Middle Ages and all the engravings in swords or armors. Here are some armors engraved using this traditional way: example 1, example 2, example 3.
Instructions: “The steel to be worked upon should be covered completely with a coating of beeswax. The lettering or design to be engraved can then be drawn with the point of a clean quill pen. This lays bare the metal. A strong solution of sulphate of iron should then be repeatedly poured over the exposed surface for about ten minutes. The more prolonged the action of the sulphate the deeper will the steel be engraved.”


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4. How to Make a Fire Extinguisher

Although is good to know, probably none of us will make these old fashion extinguishers since is much easier to buy one. And because the new ones are more effective (I guess) and definitely safer.
Dissolve one pound of salt and half a pound of salt-ammoniac into two quarts of water. Then bottle the liquid in thin glass bottles holding about a quart each.
Should a fire break out, dash one or more bottles into the flames, and any serious outbreak will probably be averted.

5. How to Purify Water in a Cistern

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Easy! Stir in a tablespoon of powdered alum.
After 30 minutes the alum cause the particles and the bacteria to bound together and cause them to drop to the bottom leaving a clear purified water.
A tablespoon or half an ounce of alum will purify from sixteen to twenty gallons of water.
Related: H2O Dynamo: The Awesome Device That Turns Air Into Water 

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6. How to Treat an Animal Bite

First tight a ligature round the limb above the wound. This will stop a little bit the bleeding and it will give you a better visibility to evaluate the wound.
The next advice given back then was: “Thoroughly cleanse the wound and if there is any suspicion of madness in the attacking animal the place should be well sucked and cauterized with luna caustic, or a white hot iron, after cutting away the surrounding flesh with a sharp clean knife.”
The advice was really good for that time, when there were no vaccines. And even today doctors recommend thoroughly washing the wound as soon as possible with soap and water for approximately five minutes (to reduce the number of rabies particles). Povidone iodine or alcohol is then recommended to reduce the virus further. When SHTF and we’ll no longer be able to access vaccines this is your only option available.
Related: This Bug Will Kill Most of the Americans during the Next Crisis (Video) 

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7. How to Detect Escaping Gas

Gas leaks can be caused by faulty appliances, or by those that have been incorrectly installed or poorly maintained.
Some of us don’t even use gas anymore (like me) or some may have gas detectors, but either way, after an earthquake, or a hurricane or a tornado there will always be gas leaks.
This 100 years old method is risk free and quite reliable.
“Paint strong soap solution on the suspected length of pipe and the gas will then cause bubbles at the escaping point, which can be dealt with at once.”

8. How to Light a Match in the Wind

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Instructions: “The familiar difficulty of lighting a match in the wind can be to a great extent overcome if thin shavings are first cut on the match towards its striking end, as shown in the picture.
On lighting the match, the curled strips catch fire at once; the flame is stronger and has a better chance.”

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9. How to Find a Lost Trail

If a trail is lost, there isn’t much to do but to search for it.
A very good way to do that is to mark the last foot-print or sign you notice as the center of the circle and go round it at a distance of anything from 30 to 100 yards.
The trail should be discovered somewhere crossing the circular track you are following.
Related: The Dirty Secrets of a Real Life James Bond (Ad)

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10. How to Cure Chilblains

“A simple and homely remedy, which immediately relieves the irritation and pain caused by chilblains, is salt and fresh apple juice.
The affected parts are rubbed gently with a slice of apple dipped in common salt. A good juicy apple should be used.”
Related: SHTF Medical Survival Guide (Video)

11. How to Secure Loose Hammers and Axe Heads

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After wedging the handle of hammer as tight as possible, drill two holes at the end of wood and drive in two large screws.
An axe-head can be secured by boring a hole through the haft just bellow head and wiring through the hole and over top.
The wire should be twisted and staple driven into a hold position.

12. How to Tell the Points of the Compass with a Watch

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Take the watch of your hand. Point the hour hand at the sun and then lay a piece of wire or a blade of grass crosswise between the hour hand and the figure twelve.
The end of the wire between the twelve and the hour hand points south.

13. A Simple Cure for Catarrh

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Treatment for catarrh may not be necessary because it often disappears within a few days, after your body has fought off the infection. But in some cases it doesn’t go away and it can be a health problem, especially for the underfed. In food crisis when people are poorly fed, these low-risk diseases kill more people than starvation itself. (Read more about this: Ingenious Foods People Made During Famines)
Instructions: “Take a pinch of ordinary table salt up the nostrils, just as you would a pinch of snuff.
Then gargle the mouth and throat with warm water, being careful not to swallow it.
Do this each morning before breakfast.”

14. Three Useful Knots

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No. 1 is the Timber Hitch, which is especially useful in lifting all kinds of heavy work, such as huge beams.
No. 2, the Fisherman’s Knot, shows a good method of joining two ropes tightly together.
No. 3 is the famous Clove Hitch, which becomes tighter the harder it is pulled.

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15. How to Bandage a Foot

A traditional method used to make the inflammation heal faster (especially for sprain ankles) was to place a leaf of cabbage between the bandage and the ankle.
In the picture: “Rest injured foot on operator’s knee on a clear towel.
Commence bandaging in manner shown by the lower diagram, the bandage being bound over and round the back of foot in spiral fashion, and eventually fixed by means of a safety pin, just beneath ankle, as shown in upper illustration.”

16. How to Make Roller Bandages

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Instructions: “A roller bandage must be rolled evenly and tightly, so in the absence of a machine a chair will serve this purpose.
The picture illustrates procedure. Whilst one person carefully rolls another pulls tight opposite end of the bandage, and at the same time sees that no folds or creases are allowed to form.”
Related: The Only 4 Antibiotics You’ll Need when SHTF

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17. How to Fell a Tree

Having decided which side you wish the tree to fall, cut alternatively a downward and inward cut as you can see in the picture – in this order.
When about half through, proceed to cut the other side a few inches higher, and finally pull tree down with the help of a rope.
In a survival situation (and not only) you can use trees for their nutritious sap. Here are the Trees That Can Be Tapped For Sap And Syrup.

18. How to Build a Simple Shelter

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Instructions: “A simple shelter can be made by driving two forked sticks into the ground and connecting these by a pole resting on them.
Branches are then laid resting on the pole. The right angle should be around 45 degrees, and the screen fitted up with smaller branches, ferns, etc.”

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19. How to Make a Water Fountain for Chickens

Instructions: “A simple water fountain, ensuring a supply of fresh water for the chickens, can be made from a pint wine bottle, supported by wire loops to a wooden upright as shown.
The bottle is inverted over an earthenware pan, with the mouth of the bottle about half an inch above the bottom of pan.”
I see that now there are even some “rodent resistant chicken feeders” which can be used together with the water fountain if you leave for 2-3 days.

20. How to Remove Foreign Particles from the Eye

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Few things are more irritating than having something in the eye.
“Drop sweet or castor oil into the corner of the eye. Picture shows a ready method of allowing drop of oil to fall into eye from the poim of a paint brush.”
If the particle is of mortar or lime, bathe eye with weak vinegar and water.

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21. How to Make a Chair to Cross a Stream

If your group has one or more people who cannot (maybe there are wounded) or don’t know how to swim, you might want to find a simple solution to help him cross a river. If there are nearby trees – and usually near rivers there are – all you need is a rope.
Fasten a strong rope to a tree and let somebody (who can swim) go across the stream and fasten the other end to a tree on an opposite bank.
Use another rope to improvise a chair fastening it into a running loop. “By means of a light rope fastened to the middle of (the) chair and held by someone at each end, those unable to swim are safely passed over.”

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22. Keeping Plants Watered While Away on Holiday

There are many simple and cheap DIY tricks to keep your green friends properly hydrated so that you don’t return home to a house full of wilting and yellowing plants.
A traditional method is to fill a large bucket with water, and place it a little above the level of the plants.
You can group round or near as many plants as you want. Place one end of a strand of wool in the bucket and the other one to the plant.
You can place as many yarns as you want.
Related: H2O Dynamo – The Awesome Device That Turns Air into Fresh Water (Video)

23. Rescue from Fire

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If it is necessary to enter a burning house in a search of unconscious persons, or to save a family member, first place a wet bandage over your nose and mouth and crawl in on all fours. You do this because the only Oxigen you may find is on close to the floor. (and the visibility is better)
Place a rope around his ankles. The other end of the rope around your chest or shoulders.
Then turn your back on him and drag him out. (you’re going on all fours with rope underneath)


24. How to Preserve Eggs

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Preserve only eggs that are newly laid. Bury them in a box of salt.
This traditional way of keeping eggs has been almost forgotten. The eggs last about an year when they are totally buried in the salt. No air whatever must be allowed to get at the shells.
This way you’ll have eggs and salt for survival.
Related: How to Make Survival Powdered Eggs

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25. How to Treat Sprains

Elevate the injured joint and wrap in cloths wrung out in cold water. The picture shows how to keep the cloths constantly wet without having to change them.
Place a jug of water higher than the injured limb and a strip of linen with one end in the jug and the other end resting upon the wrapping of sprained joint.
The water will pass from the jug to compress keeping it constantly wet and cold.
Definitely, a hundred years ago people knew how to do a lot of things – that we now take for granted. Learning how to do stuff on your own is one of the most important things that one can do to prepare… And in time of crisis he might be able to support and sustain his family without much outside aid. This is one of the things that I’ve learned from a well-known army officer vet Steve Walker, for whom I have all the respect in the world. Watch his video and learn quite a few efficient (DIY) fast-tips about protecting your family in time of war or social chaos.

Source:
http://www.askaprepper.com/24-lost-survival-hacks-from-100-years-ago/


Books Of Interest: