Monday, September 18, 2023

Some Articles of Interest to Preppers/Survivalists

  •  "The Science of Survival: Wool Blankets" by Aden Tate, Organic Prepper. Fall is almost here and temperature are starting to cool off in the mountains. I was up hiking this weekend at a place that pretty much has the same temperatures in the summer as Boise, but this weekend, as the sun dropped below the top of the mountains, the temperature dipped into the 60s whereas it was still in the lower 80s once I got back out to a main road, even though the elevation drop was probably less than 100 feet. It was a good reminder that cold weather is just around the corner. So I thought this article on why wool blankets are so good for prepping--actually, wool generally as a clothing material. As you probably already know, one of the key advantages for using wool is that it retains heat even when wet, unlike many other other materials. But it is, as the author discusses, just a much better insulative material than those used in most blankets, which he backs up with some informal tests. 
  • Speaking of fall weather, hunting seasons are upon us: "How to Field Dress a Deer: A Step-By-Step Guide"--Athlon Outdoors. Not a bad article, although I wish it had been illustrated.
  • James Taylor, at Watts Up With That, writes: "MSN Pushes Rice, Sugar, Tomato Crises – Despite New Crop Records." For instance, he points out, "according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO), global tomato production is faring quite well. In fact, the UNFAO reports that global tomato production has set new records an amazing 10 years in a row." Likewise: "According to the UNFAO, 2019 saw the largest global sugar crop in history. All 10 of the largest sugar crops in history occurred during the past 10 years. During the past 15 years, global sugar production has increased by more than 33 percent." And as for rice:

    ... According to the UNFAO, global rice production set a new record in 2021, the latest year for which data is available. All three of the three largest crop years occurred during the past three years. All five of the five largest crop years occurred during the past five years. All 10 of the 10 largest crop years occurred during the past 10 years.

    The article focuses special attention on rice yields in India, China, and Myanmar. However, the growth in India’s rice production is even more impressive than the growth in global rice production. India has absolutely smashed its rice production records six years in a row. In China, 2021 was the second-highest rice crop in history. All six of China’s highest-ever rice crops were produced in the past six years. Myanmar rice production is declining – an aberration compared to the global trend – but that is because of Myanmar’s horrible domestic political situation, not climate change. As reported by Human Rights Watch, “Since staging a coup on February 1, 2021, the Myanmar military has carried out a brutal nationwide crackdown on millions of people opposed to its rule. The junta security forces have carried out mass killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, sexual violence, and other abuses that amount to crimes against humanity.” Blaming climate change for Myanmar’s declining crop production is giving a pass to political brutality and human rights abuses.

It's almost like the MSN wants us to believe that increasing food prices are due to something other than inflation caused by the fiscal mismanagement of the government.

  • Over at the Survival Blog, guest writer Rick S. writes about his experience with the Bluetti AC180, a charge controller/battery bank/inverter to use with a small scale solar system. (Part 1) (Part 2). Part 1 goes over more general issues with solar power and figuring out how much you need (not want, but what will get you by in a grid-down situation). Part 2 discusses the Bluetti AC180 and his experience with it. Briefly, however:

The heart of the AC180 is a bank of Lithium Iron batteries with an advertised life of 3,500 charge/discharge cycles and is warranted for five years. Integrated into the package is a charge controller capable of charging from a number of sources: 120 VAC house supply, car charger, or solar panels. It then is capable of supplying that stored power in a number of ways: various USB connections, a 12 volt DC cigarette lighter plug, a cordless charging capability, and four 120 VAC receptacles. The inverter necessary to convert the direct current stored in the batteries to the alternating current at the 120 VAC receptacles is integrated into the package as well.

It apparently has a full power discharge capacity of 1,152 watt-hours, which matches with his tests. He also discusses using solar panels with it and some tips and warnings about certain panels.

  • Speaking of electricity,  Ken J. at the Modern Survival Blog writes about the "Best Rechargeable Batteries AA Size." He doesn't mince words: the best are the eneloop (which he indicates are currently made in Japan by Panasonic). He notes that "[t]he eneloop will recharge up to 2,100 times! That’s a big reason why (in my opinion) they are the best rechargeable batteries AA." And, he adds: "Let me put that into perspective. If you used up and recharged this battery once a week, its lifetime would be 40 years! Once a day? Almost 6 years!" They also retain a charge well: 90% after one year, according to the information the author provides. He also gives a recommendation as to a battery charger.
  • Heading back to the Survival Blog, guest writer "J.M." has a 5-piece article setting up a local network using a Raspberry Pi, router, and NextCloud cloud server software. (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) (Part 5). His goals for the project were:
    • Moderate technical knowledge – I wanted something that didn’t require extensive expertise of things like networking, Linux, etc. – just a moderate level of technical computer skills like plugging into the Internet, downloading and installing software, navigating around your computer using a file explorer and working with files. It also helps if you’re reasonably skilled at searching the web for help when you run into problems.
    • Options – The infrastructure should support a wide range of standard technologies such as Windows, MacOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iOS, WiFi, Ethernet, etc.
    • Flexible cost – The core infrastructure should be under $150 USD, with both higher and lower-cost options based on your needs and budget. Note that this cost doesn’t include mobile devices/cell phones or a laptop computer, since I assume most people already have those.
    • DC powered – The ability to power everything from a 5V DC USB port or a 12V outlet.
    • Compact – The core components (excluding the laptop) should fit into a .50 cal ammo can that’s been modified for EMP protection.
    • Ease of use – The network and supporting components should be fast and easy to set up and use.
    • Expandable – You should be able to add more capabilities in the future.
    • Independent – The infrastructure should be able to function entirely on its own without any connection to the Internet, other than during the initial setup and occasionally for updates and upgrades.
    • Reliable – Something that can run for years.

The author's purposes for such a network are:

  • Mapping
    • View and share detailed maps among team members
    • Add notes, pictures, etc. to maps and share them
    • Plan and share routes
  • Share and manage documents/photos/videos
    • Reference materials
    • Manuals/Standards Operating Procedures (SOPs)
    • Reports
    • Intelligence
  • Entertainment
    • eBooks
    • Videos
    • Games
  • Collaborate
    • Notes, thoughts, observations, experiences, etc.
  • Manage schedules and events
  • Create, assign, and track tasks
  • Communicate
    • Text, voice, video

    Although not mentioned above, education would be another purpose of such system. There are numerous e-books, software, and video for teaching not only academic subjects, but all sorts of skills; and these would work well for kids (or adults) with the ability to use multiple computers at a time to access the data.

    Part 1 is an overview of the purposes of such system (why you might want one) and some of the hardware you will need to buy. Part 2 is mostly about physically setting up the Raspberry Pi. Part 3 is about plugging together the equipment and connecting to the Internet. Part 4 is about setting up the Cloud Server. And Part 5 goes over the final steps to setting up the software for the Cloud server as well as some other applications that you might want to use.

    Both Libyan and international officials said the deaths were difficult to count because the city of Derna was so heavily damaged, the security situation in Libya remains perilous, the country has no national government, and many of the dead may have been washed out to sea.

    The health minister of the eastern Libyan government, Othman Abduljaleel, told reporters that divers have been deployed to find bodies offshore. Other teams are searching for bodies in the rubble of Derna, having largely given up hope of finding survivors.

And then there is the fingerpointing:

    The day before Mediterranean Storm Daniel struck Libya, Mayor al-Ghaithi told a news conference that the area around Derna’s rickety dams should be evacuated, but the Interior Ministry of the Tobruk government ordered curfews instead.

    The mayor’s office said the dams, which were built in the 1970s, had not been maintained in years, even though audit reports found millions of dollars allocated for maintenance. Tripoli-based PM Dbeibah cited the poor maintenance record in his call for an investigation.

    The attorney general for the western government, Mohamed al-Menfi, threatened consequences for “everyone who made a mistake or neglected either in abstaining or taking actions that resulted in the collapse of the dams in the city of Derna.”

    The speaker for the Parliament of the eastern government, Aguila Saleh, insisted that no one should blame Tobruk for the horrific death toll.

    “Don’t say ‘if only we’d done this, if only we’d done that.’ What took place in our country was an incomparable natural disaster,” Saleh said.
  • "How To Survive An EMP Attack"--Athlon Outdoors. Some basic information on how to survive an EMP attack (essentially something requiring a high altitude nuclear detonation, although more local EMP effects could come from more typical nuclear detonations nearer the surface).
  • "Prepping For Widespread Major Disaster With Little or No Budget"--Modern Survival Blog. This is more than just a "baby-steps" plan as the author discusses some of the water filtration systems available and prices, cheap food to store (focusing mostly on rice and beans), advising that your best and most cost effective shelter will probably be where you are currently living.
  • And speaking of food storage: "Tuna in Oil vs Water – Which One is Better"--Modern Survival Blog. Short take:
    The main difference is this.. Tuna in oil has about four times as much fat as tuna in water. Consequently, tuna in oil contains more calories than tuna in water for the same size can.

    If you’re here viewing this from a calorie-conscious point of view (e.g. watching one’s calories), then tuna in water is your likely better choice. Though you probably instinctively already knew that.

    From a prepping and preparedness point of view, in my opinion, tuna in oil is a better choice than tuna in water. That’s because one factor we’re looking for is calorie density for what’s on our shelves (storage efficiency). Unfortunately for me, my issue here is that Mrs. J prefers tuna in water. Oh well.. Happy wife, Happy life..

 The author goes over calories in more detail as well as some other reasons to pick one over the other. One of the comments also points out that you might want the tuna oil for other reasons/uses.


  1. Replies
    1. I prefer water, but I have to admit that there isn't much you can do with tuna water.


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