Sunday, October 26, 2014

Good Compilation Website for Preppers

I just found The Prepper Website.  I was very impressed with the breadth of articles it carries from different prepper blogs.  Granted, they only provide links to the articles, but it still will be a valuable resource when looking for new material to read.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Make A Black Out Bag!

Jenna of Cold Antler Farm posted a good video about how to Make A Black Out Bag.  In the text she also has a good introduction to The Survival Podcast.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tales of an Exiled Citizen #7: Buried Treasure

Beginning of story
Previous part

I was sad, of course, to see my saplings had been cut down that first night, but it was no surprise whatsoever once I knew that they had discovered the Shelter.  I was actually also relieved.  My worst fear had been that they had dug them up, or at least completely obliterated them.  But there was a tiny stump left revealing where they had been -- not enough to grow back from, mind you, but enough for what I needed them for that next day.

Someone watching me set to work might have thought I had actually expected and prepared for being exiled.  They would soon learn how unprepared I really was, but it would be quite a bit later before I let them know just how much it had caught me by surprise.  In my youthful arrogance, I believed I would never be caught.  But I was arrogant, not naive.  I was well aware of the danger of being found out, I just thought I would always be able to outsmart them.

One problem criminals have had since time immemorial is what to do with their ill-gotten gains.  In the Crazy Age they would actually wash their money to hide its origin.  In the City it wasn't so easy.  My Beans provided a method for other criminals to accumulate wealth in an easy to hide manner.  For me though it made little sense; I could pretty much always get more.  You can only spend so many Beans on "personal services" when you only have 7 Free Hours a week.  While I had figured out how to free up more time for myself, no one else could join me during the times I was supposed to be be working.  With the periodic but random health and cleanliness inspection of everyone's personal living space, it was difficult for anyone to accumulate any kind of luxury goods. So, for the most part I ended up getting practical stuff with my Beans, stuff that wouldn't draw any attention if someone happened to get an extra one.

I didn't just want some form of wealth other than Beans, however.  I couldn't afford to draw any attention to myself by getting the equipment necessary to process the Beans myself.  I had to start with basic tools and raw materials and build everything I needed myself.  It was really rough at first, when my tools were simple and my end product was crude.  It took a long time to get everything set up to run smoothly, with a lot of careful trading.  Like I said, I was not naive; I was aware of the possibility of getting caught, and I did not want to have to start from scratch again.

So, using the Bean tree seedlings as markers, I followed the example of the pirates and buried my treasure.

Part 8: A Hard Day's Work

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tales of an Exiled Citizen #6: In Morning

Beginning of story
Previous part

That first night Outside I dreamt I was back in the City, living the life of crime I had had before I got caught.  So when I finally did wake up, for a little bit it seemed like being Exiled was the dream.  Then as the reality sunk in, there was nothing I wanted more than to go back to that dream world.  And believe me, I tried.  But my body was having none of it.  The pile of twigs and branches may have been softer and warmer than the ground, but they were nowhere near the bed I had been accustomed to sleeping in.  What warmth that had been gathered from the previous day had dissipated, and my clothes would only have been adequate if I had 2 or 3 layers of them.

The discomfort of the cold on my body finally won out over the depression over my situation, and I moved to the other corner of the Shelter where the sun's rays were starting to warm things up.  Sitting there I took stock of the situation.  Thankfully, the Citizens had been very logical and methodical; they only took what they could use, and they only destroyed what they saw as a threat.  Of course, the roaster I had made, falling into both categories, was completely missing -- no surprise there.  Most importantly, the cistern and biofilter appeared untouched.  Of course, there no longer was any roof to feed water into the cistern, and who knew how long the biofilter would last with the shelter no longer fully intact to protect it.  For the time being, though, I didn't have to worry about fresh water.  Which was good, because I suddenly realized how thirsty I actually was, having not had anything since before my sentencing.

The Shelter was designed primarily for growing plants, not for people to live in, so there were none of the amenities like sinks I was used to having in the City.  The output of the biofilter drained into a small covered reservoir, as much as the plants in the Shelter would use in a couple days, which was plenty for my purposes.  I carefully brushed off an access panel so no debris would fall in.  Then I opened it up, took a little water to wash off my hands as best I could, and wiped them on a clean spot on my clothes.  Finally I cupped my hand and drunk my fill of the water.  It definitely tasted strange to compared to City water, which really had very little taste.

The cistern was massive, taking up the entire north wall, as it needed to be to store the winter rains through the summer heat.  It also helped moderate the temperature to prevent occasional frosts from killing plants inside the Shelter.  With the glazing gone, both those functions would soon cease.  Still, checking the hatch, the level was pretty close to full, so it would be all I needed well into summer.

When the water system had been fully intact, it was quite a testament to the Founder's genius.  The angle of the collection grate encourage debris to wash down while the water ran in.  The first few minutes worth of rain was shunted off so the roof was relatively clean by the time the water started filling the cistern.  Everything worked by gravity or capillary action, no moving parts were involved.  In addition to supplying the needs of the plants, the water worked with the passive ventilation system to keep the temperatures moderate during the summer.  I wonder how long the Founders had to work with that to get that balance just right.

With my thirst slaked and the chill of the night burning off, I decided it was time to stop admiring the handiwork of the Founders and start the work of the day.

Part 7: Buried Treasure