Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Broomstick » 2016-06-09 03:03pm

Oh, and I think I said emergency toilet upthread, didn't I?

We're all used to flush toilets, which is fine until you don't have one. We're on well-and-septic and if something happens to the septic line or tank, or the power goes out so the well pump stops working and thus the toilet tank won't refill after a flush... what do you do?

First, get a 5 gallon bucket. That's about 18 liters, so let's say either a 5 gallon bucket or a 20 liter bucket. Exact amount not important.

If the problem is no power to run the well, or no water service if you're on municipal water, the typical flush toilet will flush if you pour about half that bucket into the bowl. You don't even need clean water to do this, water from a ditch will do. Kitchen greywater. Whatever. You can also re-load the reservoir tank, too, and that will also work although if the water you're using is in fact from a ditch you probably don't want debris in the inner workings of your toilet so in that case just pour it into the bowl. That's one of the cool things about flush toilets, they don't actually require power to work. The important thing here is that the output is still working fine and not blocked.

If, for whatever reason, the output is NOT working (we once had a septic line freeze - this is not a good thing) then you have a different problem.

For that situation, where you actually have to make a receptable for human waste, you will need:
1) Your bucket
2) 5kg/10lbs kitty litter or sand
3) strong garbage bags - I recommend "contractor grade"
4) old toilet seat (optional but recommended)

You put the bucket on the floor. Get a garbage bag and use it to line the bucket. Squat/stand over bucket as appropriate and deposit waste. Sprinkle litter/sand on the waste. Close up bag tightly until next use.

Is this ideal? No, it's not. In fact, if you can, piss in a can (maybe a spare #10 can after dipping into your food supply) and empty the piss-pot out the door or window. This was pretty much what people did up until the late 19th Century. Keep the bucket mostly for shitting. The bag will stink when you open it, even if the litter/sand helps considerably. It's good for a day or two of shitting for two adults (ask me how I know this....) after which you really, really tightly tie off the bag and dispose of it. Not ideal but relatively sanitary under emergency circumstances.

The old toilet seat? Picture, if you will, two middle-aged first-worlders attempting to balance their asses on the edge of a plastic bucket. Not pretty (and you didn't even get the odor effects). It's a hell of a lot easier to shit in a bucket if the bucket has an actual seat on it, even if the seat is not attached and just sort of set/balanced on the top of the bucket. (Again, ask me how I know this...) If you haven't got an old toilet seat then you could probably make do with a bit of board or something other than that goddamned plastic bucket edge digging into your upper thighs or ass or whatever.

Here's the thing: you can store the contractor bags and some kitty litter/sand in a plastic bucket for emergencies. If you really want to go crazy also throw in some plastic gloves, a small bottle of bleach, scrubbing sponge, some hand sanitizer, and some toilet paper sealed in big ziplock baggies. There, you've got emergency home sanitation and waste disposal in a handy package, including supplies for cleaning up after accidental spills. Lean toilet seat next to bucket. All ready to go.
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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Elheru Aran » 2016-06-09 03:49pm

If the size of one's property permits, the age-old method of digging a hole and doing your business in it also works for deuces. This is probably what you would need to do long term anyway, weather permitting-- the classic 'outhouse', moon cut-out in the door optional.

EDIT: Obviously, in an urban area, this isn't an option, nor in very cold seasons. Nobody wants to go take a dump when it's 20 degrees and 3 feet of snow outside, or 3 feet of flooding.

In a reasonably well set up infrastructure, *most* emergency situations should be resolved within a matter of days. For greater events like natural disasters, odds are the porta-potties are going to come out, and you may have to temporarily or permanently relocate anyway.

If you live in the country, or in suburbs with reasonably large lots, then setting up outdoor 'facilities' for the duration of an emergency might pass muster... as long as you don't get nicked by code compliance, because I'm pretty certain doing your business outdoors is against code in most municipalities. Fortunately, if you're *that* bad off, code compliance will probably be the last thing most people will be thinking about.
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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Raw Shark » 2016-06-09 04:01pm

Back in Boy Scouts, we'd just dig a hole downwind from camp and lash a horizontal beam to some x-shaped supports. Ask me about the time some kids fucked that up spectacularly if you haven't just eaten...

On the subject of oatmeal, I've never tried Mountain House, but I can recommend Quaker based on my experience with it. We used to gobble down those little single-serve packets on the trail, and sometimes for breakfast before packing up camp if the weather was for shit and we didn't feel like cooking, usually with no water at all except a swallow out of a canteen to wash it down. Some of the flavors are pretty good that way.

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Elheru Aran » 2016-06-09 04:18pm

Downwind *and* downstream. Not as much a concern if there's no open water nearby, but IIRC what I've always heard was something like 'at least six meters from any water supply'.
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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Broomstick » 2016-06-09 08:39pm

The first time we did the bucket-for-a-toilet thing was during the Groundhog Day Blizzard back in 2011. Three days of genuine Midwest blizzard, which started with an ice storm that left a 2-3 cm layer of ice on everything followed by horizontal snow, drifts up to 2+ meters, white out conditions, winds in excess of 100 kph, thundersnow, and severe cold that was low enough our furnace was having trouble keeping up with it. And our septic line freezes. Of course. I had prepped for everything else - food, water, emergency lighting, etc. But not for the septic line to freeze. :roll: :lol:

Didn't have kitty litter or sand, I was using baking soda to cut down on the odors. Which works, but you can run out of baking soda real fast doing that.

Definitely a case where even running down the block to a neighbor's house could have be life-threatening. But, as noted, it only lasted a couple days. That's usually the case in modern life. If you can be self-sufficient for 72 hours you'll almost always be OK.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby The_Saint » 2016-06-09 11:10pm

Slightly less environmentally friendly but the common method used (by myself and others in the local region) when multi-day rafting through world heritage area where digging drop loos is not allowed: get a couple of local cheapo brand packets of what we call freezer bags, just a 25cm x 35cm thin plastic bag that normally comes with twist ties.

Hold bag edges with finger tips and invert your hands rolling the bag over your finger tips, then squat over bag for #2's.... afterwards just tie a knot trying not to have too much air trapped in the bag. Dispose of bag in whatever receptacle you are using (for us outdoor guides a plastic drum or 150mm piece of storm water pipe)

Not particularly graceful, and for the squeamish it does require you to basically hold your poo but it does mean you only have to deal with OWN poo. Each is sealed so there's very little smell or mess and add a bottle of hand sanitiser it's quite sanitary.
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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Broomstick » 2016-06-10 06:12am

If I recall, that was basically the method used by astronauts until Skylab.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Zaune » 2016-12-25 12:28am

Apologies for the necro, but I'm in the middle of trying to SHTF-proof my new digs a bit now that I have the freedom (and the money) to do so, and I just found out something useful: 24 cans of orange juice for £20. I haven't checked Amazon.com, but I expect there'll be a comparable offer on there somewhere.

That's just under eight litres of potable liquid, stored in a weatherproof fashion that won't go bad for a long time, and a good source of Vitamin C. It's got about the same amount of sugar in it as an equivalent can of Coke, but in a situation where you're having to stretch your food supply then a couple of hundred extra calories might be a positive.
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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Raw Shark » 2016-12-25 01:12am

This isn't really the sort of thread that you can necro. I'm not really sure why it isn't stickied anymore. It'll always be useful to anybody who doesn't want to die. OJ is always really good for you. Unless, of course, you are Nicole Brown.

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Zaune » 2016-12-25 01:39am

Eh, force of habit I guess.

Anyway, on the subject of fruit juice, I'm trying to come up with a good store-and-forget solution that costs less and generates less waste packaging. Am I right in assuming that freezing the cheap stuff made from concentrate will do really bad things to both its taste and its nutritional value?
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Starglider » 2016-12-25 04:24am

Zaune wrote:Am I right in assuming that freezing the cheap stuff made from concentrate will do really bad things to both its taste and its nutritional value?


No, not moreso than anything else. Freezing mainly impacts texture which is irrelevant if there is no pulp left in the juice.
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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Raw Shark » 2016-12-25 05:01am

Zaune wrote:Anyway, on the subject of fruit juice, I'm trying to come up with a good store-and-forget solution that costs less and generates less waste packaging. Am I right in assuming that freezing the cheap stuff made from concentrate will do really bad things to both its taste and its nutritional value?


Yeah, we always used to get the cheap canned concentrate when I was a kid. Shit lasts practically forever. Even if the power goes out, you've got a few days to drink it. It doesn't make it taste any worse than it already did, and it's packed with vitamin C. Also, if you throw it in a blender with a scoop of vanilla ice cream it's fucking delicious. That's basically all Orange Julius is. It's amazing how much people pay for a cup of it at the mall, considering that you can make yourself a whole pitcher for about two bucks.

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Raw Shark » 2016-12-25 05:42am

I've started to assemble an INCH* bag. Not sure why, just general anxiety about the upcoming regime I guess. The Boy Scout motto, "Be prepared," was originally, "Be prepared to die," but I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel yet. Anybody wants my life, they're going to have to fight a crazy literal bastard for it.

Anyway, I've got bottled water (#1 priority - dehydration will kill you faster than anything besides a bullet), warm clothes, some MREs, and a few tools in my trunk. The first aid kit I already had anyway, because hi have you met me? The company might object to me absconding with a cab, but if the shit really hits the fan Mad Max-style, fuck them, I'm spray-painting it black and taking it. Next stop: Gun shop. A 10mm will blow a hole in a man's chest that you can throw a cat through. Better safe than sorry. My name is Raw Shark and I endorse this message.

INCH = I'm Never Coming Home. It's like a bug-out bag on steroids.

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Zaune » 2016-12-25 09:16am

Starglider wrote:No, not moreso than anything else. Freezing mainly impacts texture which is irrelevant if there is no pulp left in the juice.

Alright, in that case I can just shove a few multipacks in the bottom of the freezer. The cheap stuff lasts surprisingly long at room temperature when it's unopened, even if I'd have to finish the whole carton within 24 hours of actually opening it, so that's a decent way to stretch out my drinking water supply. (Currently stands at 12 litres on order, 20 in the water containers plus whatever the bathtub can hold.)

And I'm going to take a cue from Raw Shark once I have the food, water and power angles covered. I've always fancied a go at target shooting anyway, and while researching air-guns I noticed that the hobby is surprisingly cheap; a used .22LR rifle in good working order costs less than £100.
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
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Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Raw Shark » 2016-12-25 12:35pm

Zaune wrote:And I'm going to take a cue from Raw Shark once I have the food, water and power angles covered. I've always fancied a go at target shooting anyway, and while researching air-guns I noticed that the hobby is surprisingly cheap; a used .22LR rifle in good working order costs less than £100.


A gunpowder .22LR is only firearm that I currently own, and it has served me well for 28 years, but I learned how to shoot and clean just about everything man-portable at camp. My Dad gave me my rifle when I was 11. He told me I could have it under two conditions: Never point it at a human, and kill every squirrel I see. And I damn well tried on the second part. It was like a second hobby. They just never learned. The garden and my Mom's bird feeder are both about 50 yards from the porch, so a lawn chair, a joint, and ammo were everything else I needed. Dad even bought the ammo, in exchange for saving the corn and putting meat on the table.

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Raw Shark » 2016-12-25 01:32pm

Ghetto Edit: If you don't already know how, learn how to grow crops. If the world goes completely to Hell, you're going to need to.

My Dad gave me a quarter of the garden when I was 13. He told me to grow whatever I wanted. The first year, I grew big, beautiful onions, because he hates them and I was a wiseass little shit. Second and third I grew gigantic pumpkins and carved them up for Halloween (including a one-time contest winner) and baked the seeds and pies myself (have I mentioned that I like cooking?) The year before I left for college I grew sunflowers, just because it made me smile.

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Cykeisme » 2016-12-25 01:55pm

Raw Shark wrote:My Dad gave me a quarter of the garden when I was 13. He told me to grow whatever I wanted. The first year, I grew big, beautiful onions, because he hates them and I was a wiseass little shit. Second and third I grew gigantic pumpkins and carved them up for Halloween (including a one-time contest winner) and baked the seeds and pies myself (have I mentioned that I like cooking?) The year before I left for college I grew sunflowers, just because it made me smile.
I think this is pretty cool.

I wish I had space to learn to grow things.
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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Raw Shark » 2016-12-25 04:22pm

Cykeisme wrote:I think this is pretty cool.

I wish I had space to learn to grow things.


Yeah, my parents have some land. 1.5 acres. They got it back when it was cheap and my Dad had some money from Vietnam. About a third of it is for crops. We grew and ate a lot of them. If civilization collapses, there will probably be a lot up for grabs if you can keep it. Start to practice shooting now, or else somebody else will be better at it.

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Rogue 9 » 2016-12-25 04:49pm

I bought a house a little over a year ago about a block from my parents' property. We maintain gardens at both properties (theirs is extremely large while mine is still growing; establishing a plot takes some work) and jointly preserve food, mainly through canning via the pressure cooker and mason jars method though we also store root vegetables and squashes in the old coal rooms of our basements, where they'll stay good almost right up until the next year's crop if kept relatively cool and out of the light. As I posted way back at the beginning of the thread, I still keep a large stockpile of bread flour for baking (bought wholesale in 50 pound bags it's less than 50 cents a pound) and so long as it's kept dry and sealed away from moths it will last nigh-indefinitely. Fresh greens and spices can be blanched and immediately frozen (just a few seconds in boiling water, then straight into a freezer bag and into the freezer), which gives a much better quality end result than canning, though it's vulnerable to power outages.

As for home defense, I maintain a modest shotgun (Mossberg model 910 16 gauge bolt action) and could use my longbow or a sword (medieval reenactment is handy that way) in a pinch, but unless things really go sideways I don't anticipate ever having to use either for that purpose.
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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Broomstick » 2016-12-25 05:02pm

I think most people have lost their appreciation for the utility of a really good knife. A heavy duty pocket knife or belt knife has a multitude of uses.

Let's be honest, having a variety of knives is useful if/when the shit hits the fan.

Buy good quality. Learn to sharpen them yourself. Start practicing on cheap, crappy knives so you learn the technique before going at good ones. If you know how to use the appropriate tools you can sharpen anything with a blade with enough thickness left to grind.

Knife grinder/scissor sharpener used to be a valuable profession, and in some parts of the world it still is.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Zaune » 2016-12-25 05:30pm

Regrettably, I don't have anywhere to grow food; I could stick some planters on the window ledges but that's about it. Maybe I should get on the waiting list for an allotment.
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Broomstick » 2016-12-25 06:29pm

Planters on the window are a start.

There are some really creative ways to grow stuff in a very limited space, even vertical gardens.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Zaune » 2016-12-25 07:01pm

That's an idea. I'd need two windowsills free for my solar panels, but I could fill the rest with shelves full of planters; I couldn't live off it but it'd stretch out the tinned food. Help with light-discipline too.
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Raw Shark » 2016-12-25 10:56pm

Broomstick wrote:I think most people have lost their appreciation for the utility of a really good knife. A heavy duty pocket knife or belt knife has a multitude of uses.


Well, a lot of people aren't Boy Scouts. Once I was the fire marshall, I didn't even have to carry mine. I'd just snap my fingers and say, "Knife," and some kid would hand me one. But I always have one with me now.

I also taught archery at scout camp. If you teach a class you get to go for free, and I like free things. I genuinely enjoy archery, though, and people tell me I'm pretty good at it. There's something about the Zen aspect that appeals to me. I accidentally tagged a kid one time, though. He was beating up a smaller kid, and I warned him three times, and then tried to whiz one by his ear as a warning, and then... I kind of shot him. He was okay; I performed first aid myself. Maybe not the best move, but he probably won't pick on a smaller kid again.

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Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Future

Postby Rogue 9 » 2016-12-26 12:10am

And that's why warning shots are bad ideas. :lol:
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