Looking around the cargo space of my CUV (another downsize of my simplified life) I was amazed at all the space I had free. While logic dictates that you should be trolling around with your boot empty, its not really a smart choice for the kinemortophobic, someone who fears zombies, in us all.

What amazed me was what I have stored in all the little niches and pockets that were designed to hold things that so needed to be upgraded from the manufactures kind inclusions.  This post would be long enough to put you to sleep even during a zombie apocalypse if I listed everything, so today is just about the jack cabinet.

The jack is a prime example of what any hopeful survivalist should replace if they have a prayer of making it should the dead rise form their graves, or they get a flat on some deserted highway during a blizzard. Have you seen that small flimsy thing that passes for a cure all if you should have a flat tire? I remove the included version and replace it with a 2 ton or better upgrade, which fits nicely in the spare wheel compartment with the full size spare. This gives me a nice cubby to store goodies without taking up much needed luggage space for when fleeing for your life with just what you can carry.

My staple that claims the first space is a Leatherman wave multi-tool, because you need to be able to saw through a 2 x 4 in 30 seconds or less in an emergency (as proven by Adam from Mythbusters, see 29:45 in the below video). Tire sealant, not only due to the fact that when escaping from a hungry hoard of shufflers you don’t have time for a tire change, but because if you can get someone else to do it why not? Six emergency blankets, I always match seating to blankets and water kept in the vehicle.  A full size Philips head and flat head screw drivers, a small, but heavy, ball-peen hammer round out the converted tool cabinet. The last insert is a magnesium fire starter keychain that I keep as a standby, my lighter I keep stored well away from flammable contents in the glove box.

After the tools are organized for maximum use of space, I cram protein and energy bars to fill in any empty spots. Depending on your individual space that can be as little as one to a half dozen. Since this sits on the outside of my car near the wheels I make sure that nothing that can freeze or melt is in the ingredients. They may be dry as sand because of that, but in a dire situation they taste like nirvana itself.

After just revamping this one corner of my cargo hold, I have all the tools I need to deal with most everyday emergencies that can occur on the road. That I can also build a shelter, make fire, and fashion a couple of weapons, all  without going hungry, should something a little more Earth shattering occur just makes the pessimist in me smile.


Holy Cow Patties!

Posted: August 13, 2015 in Editorial

I was cleaning up all my old writings and found a little note to myself about my relaxing writings here. Hmmm Zombies, the End of the World and living like today is the last day of retail torture in the good ol’ U.S.A. I’m so excited!

Okay excited and the end of civilization as we know it shouldn’t be in the same thought, but what can I say I’m one strange duck in a pond of dressed up swans. After all my day job is writing romance and erotica, yet this is where my heart of hearts beats the hardest. Get me talking about self-sufficiency and b-rated zombie feast and I am on cloud nine just waiting for my chance to use the flat nut wrench the size of my arm I have mounted next to my office door.

That's one big wrench

Yup this baby will twist a head right off a zombie or two!

Seeing how my romantic muse likes to run off for a night (or dozen) I decided it was kismet that I found this again. Nothing will clear the mushy HEA (happily Ever After) doldrums like a good roll in the muck. So be ready for tidbits about my garden, ingenuity I found perusing Amish country, and just about anything I can think of to report from my life here in the mountains of Ohio.

About the cow patties, all were dried eco-friendly with Mr. Sunshine and then donated to a local bonfire. Believe me  after the first hour or so you can barely smell them anymore, but the BTU output is amazing :P.

Plan(t)ing Ahead

Posted: March 13, 2012 in Foods, The End
Tags: , , ,

Being able to have a ready supply of food is an important survival need.  Now you can have tons, and I do mean tons of ready made packaged food but besides it usually tasting like the packaging they come in, they are only a temporary measure at best and a slow death sentence at worst.  That is not to say that the food is going to kill you but watching a dwindling supply off food will make people do things they come to regret and increase the stress of already living on the edge. So of course the simple solution is to know how to grow food, not as simple as it sounds sorry to say.

About this time of year the plant catalogs  are rolling in both digital and physical so planning this year gardens is top of my list.  It won’t be as easy as it has been as I have moved to not only a new home but a new zone so it will be research intensive for a few more weeks.  Also I am reminded that it took years to get my gardens not only in the perfect locations but yielding just what I needed and wanted. Thinking on that it seemed important for those of you who are either planning on digging in or have a safe haven already set aside to get to know what can and cannot be grown there. Research will only get you so far as each plot is different in soil, water, shade and sun conditions so actual investigation, if not an outright trial is important. Now for those of you who wish your endeavors to be under the radar there are some nice gadgets that can test the soil and sun for your chosen spots. There are sun calculators to let you know the amount of sun a spot gets and soil testers, both chemical and electronic, that can give you a good idea of what can be grown in your chosen area.

There are also clues in what is currently growing in that spot. For swampy areas look for willows, any species, as a good indication.  Wet but not marshy will have birch trees growing tall and proud. An indication of well drained soil will be home to hearty  hickory and apple.  As you can see after some intense studying you could be able to look at the plot you are interested in and have a good idea whether to test for more accurate results. This will be a helpful skill for after the fall of civilization as testing supplies may be in short supply, if available at all.

Click to buy Homesteading in the 21st Centuary from Amazon

A great book to add to your survival library. It's available at most bookstores and of course Amazon.

The book “Homesteading in the 21st Century” by George Nash and Jane Waterman is a good guide to have for an inclusive look of homesteading starting with finding a location through what to do with it and how being self-reliant now can be a fulling lifestyle.  This book is not about survival in the event of a doomsday event but for living in the world today. This type of lifestyle will have little upheaval when a crisis occurs, so it’s a good goal for those of us preparing for the end. Plus books such as this are a great addition to any library you are keeping as growing food yourself is really the only long term solution if you don’t want to spend the rest of your days hunting and scavenging to just get by.

Tip of the Day the closer to self-reliant you are today the easier your life will be when the world ends.

Avaliable at Amazon.com

A nice 80s mix or comedy, romance, zombies, and the end of the world

Found an old, and admittedly cheesy, movie on the television and was amazed that even in the best style of the unrealistic 80s plot line there could be solid doomsday advice to be found. Now the sound advice may only pop up in unexpected scenes of imaginative grandeur that was the hallmark of the time, but if it was there.  Plus if you have to think about different ways the end of the world can come about you might as well do it while laughing your way through memory lane, or if to young for that seeing what we once thought was cool. This movie was actually one of my favorites when it came out, so that tells you I am older then some, and that my taste has hopefully improved with time.

Now one of the first and few logical parts of the story is that the two main characters, sisters, had defensive and small arms training from their military father.  That lends some credence of them, while only teenagers, being able to defend themselves and having access to  firearms.  That is the first advice that the movie can give anyone preparing for the end of the world.  Know how to defend yourself. It is basic and is a skill that everyone can benefit from in their everyday lives.  The first step to not being a victim is to know that you can handle yourself if trouble finds you.  That does not mean you need to be a human weapon, but knowing some basics defensive moves can help you better defend yourself. If you think you don’t have any knowledge in this check your local community centers and colleges for course that are usually cost effective and designed to fit into a busy schedule.

Tai Chi DVD from Amazon.com

An easy to follow DVD that can make learning easy on your own home

My personal favorite is T’ai chi ch’uan, though commonly touted as an exercise and meditation regiment in the West, it is a martial art.  There are schools out there that teach the martial art version, the simplified difference is that they explain and focus on how each movement can be used to defend yourself. I embraced this because not only can it be used for defending myself, it has shown many health and mental benefits from its use. You can learn this from a DVD such as the one to the right but personal instruction is best as form is important to reap the best health, mental, and  defensive boon for you.  Even if you just use T’ai chi, as it is best known in America, as an exercise it requires nothing but enough space to move, so can be used anywhere, anytime and is extremely budget friendly.  Though I must admit that there was nothing as graceful as this used in The Night of the Comet.

The next thing they did to was to try and find other survivors by going to a radio station.  They used that to broadcast where they were and how to contact them.  Communication with other survivors is an important key to doing more then basic survival after the end of the world comes.  We as humans are social animals and surviving alone or in a small group will add problems later on. So have a plan on how you plan to connect after the world has turned into a free for all.  Some preppers have their survival group picked out ahead of time so that they know and trust the individuals they will be rebuilding their lives with.

So you need to come up with a safe way for you to “broadcast” that you are a survivor and a safe way for you to be contacted.  Short wave radio has always been a choice as it does not require outside equipment, such as satellites or phone lines, to be used. I have fond memories of sitting with my father as he talked on it during his nights off.  Most plans do not include this part as they are more concerned with listening for when help arrives using the radio  and listening for emergency broadcasts or holing up in a remote location until the world rights itself.  I feel that including how to be contacted is also essential for long term survival as you wouldn’t want your world to be rebuilt without you being in on it.

Today’s tip is know how to defend yourself and have a plan to connect with other survivors after the world begins again.

The Colony Season 1 originally aired in 2009 on The Discovery Channel

A novel idea for a reality series showed up on the Discovery Channel back in July 2009.  It was called The Colony and it followed a social experiment of what would happen to a group of strangers if they had to band together to survive after the end of the world occurred, or in their reality the end of Los Angeles, CA.

This first season was the most realistic and informative of the series, in my view at least. The cast was comprised of 10 survivors who came from varied backgrounds and brought different perspectives on how to survive. By the end the survivors were no longer sure if it was an experiment or reality, which lent a creditability to the show that is rarely seen on today’s TV. Not only was the show informative about it taking a group to survive but that ingenuity is alive and well in the modern day person. Different episodes had them making a washer machine out of a broken bike and a 50 gallon drum, another making a large water filter out of sand and charcoal, another making a wood gas generator to fuel their tractor engine. These were by no means the only “inventions” they made during their 60 days of surviving, but the fact that they invented things that they sometimes only had rudimentary knowledge of impressed me. They had surprises and outside disruptions that they needed to deal with as a group making the reality even more believable.  Luckily this made the group ban tighter and realize that disagreements happen but don’t need to divide them if they were to make it through. I highly recommend this season not only for the knowledge that can be gleaned  off the tools they used and invented to survive but the knowledge that group survival is the most effective if done properly.

Season 2 of The Colony began July 2010 on The Discovery Channel

Season 2 was moved to  Chalmette, Louisiana and used a development that had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Once again there was a diverse selection of survivors.  Though this one included people who had an active interest in survival and had prepared for it. The premise was of a biological disaster so they began their time in isolation which seemed to make it harder for them to bond as whole group. Also this group seemed to never forget that it was an experiment.  These two factors made me less impressed with this installment as it seemed to never leave the mentality of me first. Though I did think it helped to inform those that thought they were prepared that they had some more work to do.

This was more of a a season of what shouldn’t be done and if looked at from that perspective I would recommend it. They had a large complex to work with yet never seemed to figure out that safety is important if long term survival is to be possible.  Also letting preconceived ideas of what should happen overshadow what was actually happening was a running theme in the survivors mentality. I was impressed enough to think there should be a third season but at this time that seems to be shelved.

Finding the right balance between complete immersion and playacting has to be a delicate balance that even the most experienced experts must find challenging. At the end of season 1 we had a survivor go back to “save” any other survivors left and in season 2 they never really left the safety of knowing it was all an experiment.  Each season has a use in your preparing and learning, but remember that knowledge and expectations can only get you so far.  It is your willingness to continue to evolve after your known social and physical environment is gone that decides your fate.

Today’s tip is that being set in your ways is no way for someone to survive in a group setting, and surviving outside a group setting is just that survival.