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Last week’s call for questions was amazing. There were over 100 of them which will surely keep me busy for awhile. There were so many that I actually hired an assistant to help me categorize and compile them into an organized list.
With that type of interest in what I have to say, it seems fitting that I answer one question right away. This question comes from the winner of the LifeStraw Go and it is a good one.
I would like more information on alternative transportation in an EMP situation.
What might still run? Motorcycles, golf carts, ATV ? Bicycles and horses are slow
and can’t carry much.
Let me preface my answer with this: I am not an EMP expert and have no firsthand experience with an EMP. Furthermore, anyone who claims to have a definitive answer of what the impact will be on our transportation system is a “prepper catfish”.
So what do I think? I believe that modern vehicles whose operation is dependent upon silicon chip technology are going to become the equivalent of huge boat anchors. Plus, even if they could be operated, traditional sources of fuel would be scarce. No electricity means no power to the gas pump.
Anyone who owns a Harley Davidson Motorcycle will tell you that it too will not be operational for basically the same reason. This applies to all late model motorbikes.
Setting all of that aside, there are battery operated golf carts. With an adequate number of solar panels, the batteries can be charged again and again by the sun. Not only that, you can retrofit a golf cart with a rooftop solar panel. By integrating the solar panel on the cart itself, you increase the range of the cart, provided you have adequate sun, of course.
Additional Reading: Will Solar Panels Survive an EMP?
I do have a golf cart in my garage but rather than add solar panels to the roof, I plan on purchasing a large solar generator and extra golf cart batteries. This way I can use the generator for purposes other than just getting around. The Goal Zero Yeti is on my bucket list for later this year.
Other choices of transportation are bicycles, foot-powered scooters, roller skates, and of course, walking. All of these options require a reasonable level of fitness which is why I expound on prepper fitness more often than you might like.
Side note: Being away from home for six months has been a blow to my personal fitness level. Weight is good, blood pressure is good, BMI is good. But overall stamina and the ability to hike great distances? Not so much. It will be good to get home to those 700 foot climbs through the forest!
Something to keep in mind is that an EMP, when and if it happens, could vary widely in magnitude and scope. An EMP may be localized or regional. Or, in a catastrophic disruptive event, it take down an entire country if not a continent. Will this happen? Who is to say. Some believe it was a massive EMP killed off all the dinosaurs. Will humans be killed off in the same way?
I am afraid that I have not provided much of an answer to this question. That said, what I have done personally is keep a stash of electronics, including an old eBook reader, laptop computer, emergency radio, and a wide variety of other items in a DIY Faraday cage. Twice a year, I update the reader and laptop to include all of my digital reading material and a copy of the documents folder from m main computer.
Additional Reading: How to Build a Simple Faraday Cage for EMP Survival
In addition, I have a couple of heavy duty hand trucks and a wagon that may be useful for hauling water. I also keep a bicycle in good working condition although it just occurred to me to get some spare parts, including tires. Finally, I do my best to stay prep-fit.
Additional Reading: What is the Baseline of Prepper Fitness?
Survival Buzz: Thoughts on Alternative Transportation Following an EMP
Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips
Earlier this year, Bill S. passed along this tip for using a FoodSaver (or other) Vacuum Sealer.
I would like to respond to someone asking “does anyone know how to turn the heat setting up on vacuum sealers”. I didn’t respond at the time because I don’t have the correct answer but as I was sealing up some meat I bought on sale last night, it occurred to me you may want to at least get my spin on it this way.
I have found (so far) a work around. I actually seal both ends twice and about ½” away from each other. I have had occasions like you whereby the one seal doesn’t seem to take completely as I find the vacuum has been lost over time. To that end, I started doing a double seal as mentioned and so far, so good.
Let me echo that. Double sealing really does help, especially when repurposing vacuum sealer bags a second or third time. This also works if you want to cut up larger bags in order to make your own small packets for such items as spices.
In response to the post Clean Your Toilets Naturally with DIY Toilet Bombs, JJ offered this alternative solution to icky toilets.
Since I moved here 8 years ago, I have had the most horrible time with the toilets—never before, and married for 46 years. I started using a DIY cleaner found online.
It works; I now do NOT have dirty toilets that need cleaning every day, just spray. Also, the nasty ring that showed every few days is no longer a problem–non-existent.
1/4 cup peroxide
1/4 cup alcohol
5 drops of dish washing liquid (or Dawn if you use that)
2 TB jet dry (or generic)
Mix in spray bottle with about 2 cups water.
You will love this. Ingredients we all have at home. I hate DIY with baking soda–it is hard to rinse.
Reader Dan, needs your help. Is there anyone out there with experience raising quail?
I wanted to try raising quail, after having chickens for years. I bought10 eggs.
They act like they are happy and energetic, but they are dying off one at a time, and I can’t imagine why. I’ve done research, and I am doing all that I have found, but I’m down to5 chicks now, and I don’t want to lose any more. Please help!
Additional Reading: City Farming with Backyard Quail – An Alternative to Raising Chickens
An Update on the Oil of the Month Club
There is some exciting news for essential oils enthusiasts. Spark Naturals has introduced a Premium Oil of the Month Club that features the higher priced oils at the bargain price of $24.99 with free shipping. To give you an example of the savings, the May oil is a 15ML bottle of Frankincense, normally $70. That is a discount of almost 65%.
If you would like to learn more about the Oil of the Month Club, visit the page I created for you (shown below) or head on over to Spark Naturals web site.
Additional Reading: Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club
Behind the scenes I am working on a new web design. Nothing drastic, mind you, but an improvement in the way you navigate and find archived articles.
That is where you come in. I need to come up with eight to ten categories that best describe the topics I write about and the topics you are interested in, Any takers? When you go to a preparedness website, what are the broad topics you are looking for? Survival? Food Storage? DIY? Product Reviews? Something else?
Please do share you thoughts via email or in the comments below.
The Final Word
Things are pretty busy as I wrap things up in Arizona in preparation for my return home to the Pacific Northwest. I have learned a lot in the experience, not only within the context of prepping, but in terms of regional nuances in culture and mindset. Last week there were some questions about desert living and be assured that they will get answered.
Something else that has been taking up time is the process of testing an Aladdin Lamp (very cool!) as well as an EnerPlex Solar Panel and external battery. This solar charger will charge a laptop and will be coming up in a giveaway as soon as I get my notes together. You are going to be impressed.
And finally, I am working on those DIY Miracle Salve samples I wrote about last week. They will be available on a first come, first serve basis for free although I will charge for shipping (which will not be much).
That’s a wrap for me this week. How about you? What did you do to prep last week?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!
The Survival Buzz Almost “Free” Department
10 Pack Mini LED Flashlights: What a great deal on 10 mini flashlights on a key ring - button batteries included. I happen to like a more sturdy ring so I remove the one that comes with and use a small bit of tie-wrap (zip tie) instead. The included battery seemingly lasts forever and at this price, you can stash them in the car, purse, pocket, tool box and by the circuit breaker box, and still have some left over for other uses.
As of this writing, all 10 are under $4.00 in black although from time to time they are available in colors as well.
Bargain Bin: Today I offer up a mixed bag of items related to today’s Buzz as well some current favorites.
LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Integrated 1000-Liter LifeStraw Filter: The Lifestraw Go integrates the fantastic LifeStraw Personal Water Filter with a sippy-type bottle. It is like getting two for the price of one. The included carabiner hook makes it easy to attach the LifeStraw Go to your pack.
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer: As long as the unit has an accessory port (and this one does), an in expensive FoodSaver will work just as well as the fancier models. That is my two cents, at least.
FoodSaver Wide Mouth Jar Sealer: Already have a FoodSaver? If so, check out this jar sealer which can be used to vacuum seal your Mason jars. This is a great option for short to mid term storage of items such as beans, rice, sugar and salt. Store your jars in a cool, dark place and you are set with the added advantage of removing a small amount for current use without having to disrupt your large Mylar bag or bucket of food. There is also a version for regular sized jars. See Fast Track Tip #4: How to Use a FoodSaver for Vacuum Canning.
Ultra Bright LED Lantern – Collapsible: I admit to now owning 3 of these collapsible lanterns. It uses 30 different LEDS and is powered by 3 AA batteries, including rechargeables. Instead of a switch, you turn it on by extending the lantern from its collapsed condition. With a lifetime warranty and over 1,350 close to perfect ratings, I can see why this is popular. With free Prime shipping.
Color Me Calm: 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation: Those of you that follow Backdoor Survival on Facebook know that I have become a coloring maniac. This book is my latest splurge and what a fantastic adult coloring book it is! This is another one of my favorites: Balance (Angie’s Extreme Stress Menders Volume 1) Yes, I am totally addicted.
Colored Pencils 36-color Art Drawing Pencils: This is the first set of pencils I purchased and they have served me well. I can also recommend this set of 72 colors from Prismacolor. Expensive, yes. But really worth it for coloring scenes where you want to do a lot of shading.
LolliZ Gel Pens 48 Gel Pen Tray Set: I have also branched out to gel pens which are great for use on Mandalas or for highlights. The glitter pens are awesome. So far, they are lasting quite a long time and there is no bleed through.
Are You Interested in Essential Oils?
The Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club is the best value out there – all oils are 15ml bottles – shipped out to you once a month (on the same date you ordered the product). The price is $15.99 a month and includes shipping and tax. This is a great way to collect oils at a discounted price.