[Here is a letter I wrote to a man I have known for damn near 40 years. I wrote it last night before bedtime. He had told me that he was getting a food supply together for he felt like hard times were about to befall us. Maybe this glimpse into my advice to a long time friend will be useful to people. Hope so. Michael.]
Michael, my friend,
The extra things you have mentioned are normally the providence of more experienced preppers. It is considered a mark of distinction to even have a food and ammo stash. I am thinking about a first aid stash myself. I have some knives and household cutlery. You can occasionally buy multitools at Big Lots for very cheap. The wife and I have plenty of them. We also picked up good Schrade belt-holster knife each. It's a folder but it locks back and is sharp as hell. Stainless steel and made in China. If it is made in China it must be good, you know. The Chinese have become artisans in manufacturing. I am not too worried about potable water here in the valley. We are blessed beyond measure with potable water. Would not hurt to get them checked but I think they are okay. And if in doubt, boil. Hitting a temperature of 212 degrees is more that enough heat to kill pathogens. Get it to boil, and get it off the fire. It's ready.
Anti-bacterial soap is a nice thing to have. I have a half gallon and should get some more. Garlic is a good antibiotic and we should plant a BIG patch of it this Fall.
Fire starters are nice, but a few weeks ago when we had a 3 or 4 hour power outage I was smugly resting in bed thinking about all our glorious fire starters and suddenly I realized I did NOT have the means to produce fuel. I have since bought a new axe and two bow saws. Another axe and a couple more bow saws would not hurt a damn bit. Files for sharpening are a must. A dull axe doesn't cut so much as it batters it's way through wood. Kinda rough on the old carcass if you ask me, the bearer of an old carcass. Most people don't even know about fire steels, but they work. Go to http://www.survivaltopics.com/ and order one if you wish. They are reputed to be the best fire steels in the world and are made in Sweden.
I need an herbal substitute for a beta blocker and then I think I can get by without the Rx stuff. People really do need to look out for their medical shit on their own. I think Candy and Patricia and I care all take the same blood pressure medicine. It's what they call a beta blocker. The heart has what is called beta receptors on it that will accept adrenaline and react accordingly. A beta blocker keeps adrenaline from getting to the receptor. It was discovered by a man named Black from Scotland back in the 70's. Pretty handy if you have a rapid heart problem.I need to start a first-aid kit and I haven't. Most necessary, and a laxity on my part. I may get one going here pretty soon. The word out on the blogs is that commercial one-size-fits-all kits ain't all that good and buying your shit separately is where it is at. We shall see. We shall need thread for stitches and some sutures for doing the sewing. Disinfectants and topical antibiotics would be glorious. Benadryl is good stuff. The list of emergency medial supplies can be endless. God have mercy on us.
Clothing and bedding are critical. I think we are going into a cold period of 35 to 50 years and good, stout, warm clothing will be prized. Some of the arrogant will be more careful of the clothes in the future, I think. I was taught to take care of my clothes when I was a kid and it don't hurt to teach others the same tricks.
Boots are more critical that clothes, maybe. And I only have one pair of work boots that fit and they ain't broke in as yet. I have work to do. I only have one belt, also. I should get 2 or 3 more. A leather punch would be nice for when a fella loses weight from the more rigorous lifestyle.
Utensils are very important. Group use utensils are demanded to be heavy duty.Tools are most important.
Shovels, hoes, push plows, all mechanic's tools, picks and mattocks. Three to five pound hammers will be very popular. Something no one ever thinks about is the 8" nails we use to make cabins. Big ol' nails, really spikes. And it takes a mess of them to build a cabin. We will need nails like a rabid bunch of motherfuckers when the people start coming to the valley and needing places to live. Ready made mortar is nice also. Helps to chink log walls.
You can always mull over the idea of where to go in case of a tornado. You have several options where you live. The kids play house on the hillside by the road would be an excellent place to hide. And it don't take much of a stash to make it through a tornado. They go by pretty quick.
You can get a hand cranked radio if you give a damn what it will have to say. I reckon that if the Internet is wiped out I will just get my news from the same gossip that others get. FUCK THE MEDIA.
Blocking the road and pulling guard duty will be an adamant task in the event of a sudden downfall in the social infrastructure of this nation. If something is worth having it is worth protecting. Trees fell across the road will be mostly insurmountable for vehicles. Folks can walk around the blockages but they can be met with force, if necessary.
It's real simple: People will come in and steal the food out of your garden. Our food will be going to those who work for the common good. The thieves must be stopped. If and when the grocery stores shut down, those gardens will be important. I think the dams at the Central Lake and the North Lake should be breached and the lakes allowed to drain. Perfect places for big gardens. I can pull security on the Central Lake easy as pie. Scrape the bottom dirt off to the side and doze the dam dirt right back in to the garden site. Then put that duck-enriched bottom scraping back down and you are ready to go. Don't say anything about this because it will not be popular. But it will increase our food productivity in areas that can be protected.
Trout lines will be a nice thing for protein. So will Tweety Birds shot and cooked right in the beans. Protein will be a big issue in the days of hardship. So vital for human existence and productivity. A big jug of multi-vitamins will be nice.It's time for bed and I will get off this rant.
Hope you enjoy it!