Training Day….. or do I have the foggiest idea how to use all this stuff I’ve bought?

“This is a guest post by Tom Tinker and entry in our non-fiction writing contest – where you could win $100 cash. (This contest ends on June 5 2011 so get busy)”

A stream of thought examination of the preparations I have made and skills I have, or truly hope I do.

Where to start? Ah yes…. I tend toward the run on sentence. Tag along… like I said its ‘stream o thought’. What are we talking about here! We are talking about the scary lack of.. or the actual ton of.. Food you’ve got stored away, the Camping Equipment, the extra 20 sets of cotton sweats in the closet, that hardware store we paid for and stuffed in our one care garage or.. the Mini-ER room you have tucked away in food saver bags.. The extra generator, Solar panels.. The cord of wood.. and you don’t have a fireplace.. Yea.. Need I say… the Guns & Ammo! We have this ‘stuff’. All this stuff… but can we put it to it’s intended uses? To start the argument off, lets limit the ‘stuff’ in question cause MD has limited space in here! Lets also agree… to disagree and cut and paste the general drift here to fit you.. Me.. and what we know.. Or don’t.

The Food

Not so much… ‘how much’ but What! Balanced basic food groups… Ok! Fine in the long run. Boring as all shucks up front. Long term, post-event, storage is a subject for a posting of it’s own. Here and now… ask yourself an honest question! Do you really think your going to jump from the standard American modified junk food diet to whole grain, freeze dried beans, powdered milk and Tang bliss? What will that do to your bowels and how big is you stock of TP.. clean water and ‘Handy Wipes’? Would stocking a growing supply of ‘wet packed’… canned… food be in order first? Freeze dried? Food you eat. Food the Kids eat….. Have you… we…. looked at the serving sizes on the labels of what we stock… the Calorie count per serving! What mix of protein, carbos, vitamins …. minerals are in the stuff? How many cans-o-what make a meal we will eat? Can I keep an Eight year old alive on what I have stored….. a healthy… brain active… burns calories like a firestorm ‘ 8 ‘ year old? Crappolla… calories! 2000, 2500, 3K a day… a week..a month. Oui.. Gotta get busy.

Get a load of the ‘food’ calculators at the web sites posted on your left and right. Find a Mormon Relief Society Sister. Is there going to be Chocolate if TEOTWAWKI comes to pass or you get laid off? You are right if you are thinking I’m talking about the preps of a city dweller. (Enter fracktured quote of the Bard here) ..We few.. we happy few… we happy band of.. preppers do not all own the dirt to grow much of anything do we? Me.. I build pine boxes, compost and stack old tires. (See the smiling lady with the carrots to your right) The right or wrong here is, if you know you cannot grow ‘it’ ….. are you storing what somebody told you to or what your Going To Eat when the Schumer is flung from the fan blades? Do you have three (3) methods of cooking, heating, baking what you have put in stock? The fuel(s)…? Is that what the cord of wood is for? ( see, Rocketstove.or! g )

The Water

This is the right blog and Choir box to ask….. How much? Where is it? How do I store that much? How do I filter, clean, boil, treat what I can get? Ask yerself, are you the one that has enough ‘Pool Shock’ on the back porch to sterilize Lake Erie…. but no extra coffee filters are ya? Do you own more than (1) bedded & scoped 300 Winchester Magnum but nothing called Britta or Berky?  Can you Google “slow sand water filter systems of the third world”? (, ) Do your down spouts cycle through a rain barrel? (see, google rain barrels. ) How many “WaterBricks” will fit under the bed in your apartment? There is a fella on the YouTube blogs that loves his Rum & Coke… and stores water in the empties along his wall! Water… the questions… What do I need? How many sources do I have? Filters, commercial or home made, 3 of em… humm? Do you have 3 sources and filter systems?! Why am I stuck on 3s? Cause you’ve heard this one before. “One is none and two will do but three will see you through.” or something like that.


Right where your at…. Few of us live in the location we know we would need to be…. Few of us could make it ‘there’ with even close to what it may take to be… allowed… to stay.. where.. we ran out of gas. And now for the good part. Some of us can only see the distant glow of the city. For those of us living in the glow… Shelter is what you live in now. Have you considered networking with in your church group? With your extended Family? Do you have room for the family that shows up at.. your door? There is a ‘self storage’ site east of my town that rents ‘man caves’ by the square foot, inside a chain link and barb wired fence….? Bugging in… is a prepper term for ‘shelter in place’. Bugging out… is a subject better covered in one of M.D.s older posts ( look to your right.. Yep MDs house trailer and )

Health and Sanitation

Yepper I bought M.D.s CD ( MDs TEOTWAWKI and I feel fine ) and I printed out the part on the what, where, when, why and how of… poop! (Have I mentioned the 36 roll packages of TP and CostCo. Nice deal!) I agree with M.D. Keep the poop as far away from the water as you can. What do you have in your stores to clean yourself… the kids… Grandmother! Do you wash before meals or when treating minor cuts? Ladies… Are you still… enrolled in Mother Natures, Gift of the month Club?

Did you know that many a Hollywood Actor and Actor..ess use “Preparation H” to subdue crows feet and… other things? Do you have an in depth first aid bag at the house? ( see suture kits.) Heres a thought, In Ohio, EMT-1 training is twice a week, 4 hours a night for 16 weeks plus assorted ‘OJT’ as assigned. The Red Cross does not actually teach ‘first aid’ so much as they suggest who to call! Check it out for CPR for sure… You will… have to seek out true training and understanding of how and what to do to ‘treat’ yourself and others.

I have collected a fair selection of ‘instruments’ and learned what to do with them. I have ‘nurtured’ good relationships with my primary care givers and have somehow found a source for Rx ‘none pain’ meds. I have four Tractor Supply stores around the belt way of my town… they all have a fair supply of Vet grade meds. and equipment. Note: Ragnar Benson is not a Doctor or…an Idiot.. and Paladin press says so. (Again.. Look to your right.. Yep See “…Where there is no…” Dr. or DDS, etc. See also on YouTube. Click logo, click courses, click EM MED ) Ask the Choir down in the comments below!


Ah yes me Orcs and Orcses…. the Guns&Ammo. When, in the course of human events, I hold this truth to be self evedent. That what you choose to arm yourself with is as personal a thing as are the reasons why you drive a GMC and not a Fiat, wear high top boots or paint your nails… odd colors! Do me a favor… please. Look to your left and boot up one of MDs old posts on the subject. Ask… Oh Gawd…for an opinion on ‘fire arms’ in here and yehaw… you will hear us up in the Choir loft sing out! Consider the advise that has been posted in here already… Hey now, this is me talking not Jeff Cooper’s ghoast… start simple… start when you can afford quality. Caution: A wasted… ‘choice’.. of arms can cover the cost of an entire years supply of rice, wheat, or canned spam for a good number of humans and pets. Get training… Here is a loaded… question: Would you say a half an hour every few weeks… 7 yards away from a nice …motionless… piece of paper.. is honest weapons training?

State mandated CCW classes have a point to them. They are.. designed to provide the minimum class and range training required by you State legislature to obtain the ‘Permit to Carry’. In no way should any of us begin to think or ‘feel’ we are trained in the use of deadly force having only completed CCW training. ( got endless cash, see and should you have more time and money… or google the folks that bought out Blackwater North.) Train with what you have chosen, then train some more. Yepper I hear ya…. Whozz got that kind of cash?? IDPA has you ‘covered’. Attend or Join an IDPA outfit in your state and practice with what you carry. Warm up to a two or three gun event! ( ) Train as you will fight and you will… fight as well as you trained.

Oh yes and ever so important… ‘know’ Yea understand… the legal ramifications of using the ‘arms’ you own… for the very reasons! you own them! SHTF means more than a break down of the social / economic order. Hear me now, believe me later… every time a round leaves the muzzle…. a lawyer’s cell phone rings. Why!? Cuz in the real world there is no free fire zone as long as there is one… Barney Fife that can call for back up. (Insert humorous one liners) … You have the right to remain silent… do that! You have the right to call the number on the back of the phone book in the holding cell… and you had better before you open your mouth. If you have any money now you will have much less of it if you need to call the smiling face on the back of the phone book. Don’t let my rye humor prevent you form aquiring the skills and tools you may need to save your skin or the skin of those you love…. Post event… or in a Wal-mart parking lot this week end.

In conclusion……

Yes, I am somewhat abstract but M.D. said I could be.. and besides…. you guys in here are the ‘Choir’ for Gawds sake. If your new to this blog dare I Quoth the Bard… “… what is it thy would seek? If ought of woe or wonder cease thy search..” Relax…chill… You Are in the right place, read on, ask the question, no matter what, down in the comments section…. If I have not supplied a web link or a broad enough hint in my prose, beat me and kick me… twaz not my intent! Juz tryen to shake the bush.

This TEOTWAWKI / SHTF stuff can get serious. Prepping for what our perceptions of IT will demand of us, can be put down on paper.. and prepped for to the best of our budgets and abilities. Many a time the Host of this Blog has scribed to the effect..affect… “… if you’ve done only this ( see his old post, 10 things to do now) you are well ahead of the herd..” Nothing may happen but a prudent soul prepares…Or words to that end. Visit often. Take notes. Ask in here and ye shall likely get answer(s). Set your… ‘Nail’ in the prepping culture and lay on MacDuff.

And so ends this tome of Tom the Tinker. If there are any questions, comments, requests for resume or death threats, please feel free to list them all in the comments section below.

( Did I mention that in grade school I thought ‘grammar’ was a sweet brown cracker and that ‘Spelling’ was the last name of a TV producer in Burbank?:-) )

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Well my mother in law always said “if we didn’t have to eat and buy toilet paper we would all be rich”.
    When the SHTF who cares if you have a carry permit. I ain’t going to stop and ask if you are legal. I know for sure you ain’t.
    I would not talk to the lock up officials and request a lawyer and hope they come to break me out, and that they didn’t want to sell me down the river as I can’t swim.
    Buggin in is the only shelter that I have, remind me to get some running shoe’s that build up my BUTT cause I know someone will be looking at my back if I have to crawl out, sorry knee pads is what I need.
    Water is in every container I own and I have nothing left to put my food in but don’t worry you will eat it up soon enough.
    Where you poop is a concern, mine is that I don’t do it in my pants. Have to get that bucket out and wash the things for the second time. And the smell will give your location away.
    I would like more toilet paper but there is no way that I can store it with all the water jugs taking up the room.
    I am going to have to start sleeping in the living room as my bedroom has been taken over by the few supplies I have. Not a problem I was going to start a regime and schedule of standing post.
    I have no medical training and seems the pro’s don’t either. Have bandades and some gift of the month club cotton. Wish they made the old fashioned one’s they were fluffier. No tape so the wounded will have to persevere and hold it.
    I have searched the internet and learned a lot and forgotten more. My printer doesn’t have ink so have to write stuff down. Forgot to buy paper and pens they weren’t on my list because I forgot.
    Is my notion foggy, not in the least. I know what to do with all the stuff I have collected. If I can remember where I put what. And you know the direction’s to that new gizmo I bought just where the heck are they? I hate to lose something in the house.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Oh my golly that was a funny comment. I especially liked the part about not pooping in your pants – I hear that!

      • Glad your having fun.
        The poop theory is serious. Nothing like a mess in the pants. I have thought of wearing diapers. But don’t want to have that rustling sound as I walk around. Besides I already buy toilet paper that should be enough. And I do have soap for the occasional bath. Just get disturbed when I have to take one before Saturday.

        • HeyMickey59 says:

          Ellen…hehe…don’t forget to save your phone books….and pay attention when they get dropped at your mailbox, because even empty houses will get them. And even some of your neighbors will ignore theirs, grab ’em up before anyone else beats you to it! I’d much rather have ink on my butt than poop! The “TP” they have in public toilets in England is like onion skin paper (“old school” typing paper) and you have to crumple it several times in your hands before it is effective.

          🙂 ps…good for starting fires too! I wonder how many uses for phone books we could come up with…..Anybody else have ideas? And how many alternative “toilet papers”?

          Uses for Phone Books
          1. toilet paper
          2. Fire starter

          Alternative forms of “toilet paper”
          1. phone books
          2. kleenex
          3. paper towels(duh!)
          4. used dryer sheets
          5. washable fabric squares, I’m going to make mine from white flannel! (stitch around the edges to keep from fraying! Even a handstitch will be okay. Wally world has 100% cotton flannel for $4 a yard in my area. Or you can use muslin, also cheap! A good project for being productive while watching TV in the evening. Or old fabric diapers, cut in smaller pieces, but for me my old diapers are treasured (and 22 yrs old, but I still have alot of them since I had twins!) and I use them much like some use bandanas!

          anybody else…….

          • Well I can’t see my butt so wouldn’t know if I got ink on it or not. But there is never the mistaken idea you didn’t poop yourself.
            And to think I got irritated when they threw umpteen of those phone books out on my porch. (I remember using patterns at times when no money and not toilet paper as a kid. Talk about slick, the manuver (spelling) would get away from you.)

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Lady you waz peekin when I wrote this mess or you have as warpped a sense o humor as meself……. odd….. you can spell! is warpped spelked write? I mean the same thing that they do on Star Trek with go to that drive thing…..nwim?

  2. I think we’re doing pretty well at covering all the bases and I’m not the least bit concerned about the legality issue with regard to using my firearms if needed. In MA, we have what’s known as the Castle Doctrine and in a post SHTF scenario, where to find a good attorney?


    • Tomthetinker says:

      Castle Doctirne may well cover you in criminal court. As long as any Idiot with twenty buck can file a ‘Civil Suit’, you are quilty until proven otherwise in a Civil Court….. SHTF thangy! is that a forever thing? otherwise we all need half a ton of quick lime and a ‘secret’ place to store evidence.

      • Tomthetinker says:

        Quilty…… quilty…. geezo quilty! oh yeah…. I must have guilts on my bed… Gawd help the kid that didn’t give a crap in public schools…… should there be another vowel in there?

  3. Tom I love your style. I agree we have a tendency to get far to serious as a group. I like a little humorous respite to kind of clear my head of the cobwebs. As for the lawyers and Barney Fife, he still has to come out and arrest me and in a SHTF scenario I don’t think I am going to let that happen. We will all have holes in our prep’s and will learn from our mistakes or die. As always food and water are my two main concerns and probably always will be. As for the security thing I pretty much have that whole situation under control. It is the least of my worries. Bugging in is not a problem but I sure wish I had a little piece of land out in the middle of no-where to go to if needs be but I can make things work out where ever I land. Great post . I always look forward to when you stop by.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Ya know Voodoo….. as to Lawyers and LEs in what ever form and authority they appear in history, ya never see any lack of them when its time to mix it up with the general public. In the worst of times I have found that there are those that will step up to the mark……. if…… you give em a badge of authority. I train with LEs every year and they to say the same thing more… or less. A sworn peace officer…. has only sworn an oath to a Govt. body you may not have voted for at the least…. lets hope for the best.

  4. Lets see, while I might not have the greatest variety of food I have enough to last six months from cereal, rice, and canned foods. It could last longer I am sure but I am going off the top of my head what my preps are. I have several guns from shot gun to rifle to hand gun both automatic and revovler. All of them I have ammno for. I have a three draw first aid kit to hand whatever problems show up from sprained wrist, sprained ankle or sprained shoulder, to antibiotics. I know how to treat a staph infection without antibiotics and I have a bottle of antibiotics stored for the kids.

    We plan to go to my father’s (should shtf fan before we buy a camper or trailer to place on our land) and have enough gasoline in the garage to fill up our gas tanks to get from here to there if we both started with an emptied tank. I have bottled water for a 3 day emergency and I have at least a weeks worth of water stored in the house. I have water purification tablets in my BOB. I have a pop up camper at my dad’s property that sleeps six so I have a bed there in the event of an emergency.
    We have started gardening in our back yard. And we know that where we are going we need a tractor and other equipment to level some land so we can farm. I am learning my way around my 5 acreas. It is wooded and has a bunch of hills.
    I have a solar panel, 1 watt night lights, a portable dvd players, kids that know how to use their imaginations that play with dolls and cars and will collect rocks and check out the different colors, shapes, and roughness. That like walking/hiking and exploring.
    I have paper and pencils and knowledge to how to teach them how to read write and do math should shtf and schools shut down. Easiest way to enslave someone is to uneducate them.
    I don’t have all the answers and I might not be as prepared as I should be. But thats okay because survival mainly depends on mind set. mind over matter. Those that say they can’t do it, won’t. I know in my heart all the suffering and hell I lived through has prepared me for what is coming. I see all the tornando warning drills, lost of electric, and other changes as practice runs. It helps me see what I am missing and what I need to improve on.

  5. mountain lady says:

    I will be staying here and will muddle through. Have food for at least 1 year and garden seeds for this and next year. Have two generators for drawing water into the 2400 gal. tank and plenty of supplies. Should be okay, depending what is thrown our way. Cannot do more than I already have and have deep suspicions that it will happen sooner than later.

  6. my biggest fear/gaping hole in my survival is the fact that i still owe 8 more years on my house. if “it” hits the fan and im not able to make my house payments,,,,,,, what then?i do have one tiny ray of hope in the fact that i own the land (1 acre) across the street from me outright.i suppose if i had to,i could put all my preps under a tarp and live like a cavemen on that leaning more and more towards buying a little camper and parking it on the land i own,just to have a little more peice of other gaping hole is the fact that i havent yet purchased a berkey water filter. ive got redundancy in my drinking watetr. i have a 75 gallon tank,a 250 gallon tank,and 140 2 liter bottles all filled with purified drinking water. ive drilled my own well by hand ,but since its a shallow well, i wouldnt dare drink it without either boiling it or running it thru a berkey filter. i just made my mind up while typing this. im selling a gun and using the proceeds for a berkey filter.(ill buy it through MD of course)

    • riverrider says:

      bc, after the war in bosnia whole villages were bombed out. a lot, i mean a lot of houses were masonry but the roofs burned. now bosnia is cold as crap, but you could see blue tarps strung up over the 4 masonry walls of the houses. they lived that way while they gathered scrap wood enough to make a makeshift roof. i’m sure its do’able, seen it done. now, the water, oh the water. see, they had communal springs and municipal taps. the kids gathered in line w/ jugs to get enough for the family to drink. thats when the serbs hit them. didn’t shoot at the soldiers nearby, just the kids gathering water……thats why water is my number one. two and three.

      • dubrovnik is a walled city in croatia. it is beautiful and has been around for a very long time minding its business. they did however have a very good hospital that served everyone,serbs,croats,bosnians. well serbia knowingly and repeatedly bombed the hosptal in dubrovnik killing hundreds of patients who where not involved in the war. i have a diffacult time keeping my mouth shut around serbs in this country.

        • riverrider says:

          amen, in sebronicha(not spelled correctly) the u.n., don’t get me started, set up a “safehaven” for Bosnian day the serbs rolled in w/ tanks. the u.n. pulled the british troops guarding the camp out and let the serbs have at it. thousands of old men, women and children gunned down. britains most decorated officer resigned in protest. this is why i will never, ever become a refugee. this is how nato took over. we spent our tour tear-assing all over the balkans hunting the butchers. they had a french informant tipping them off to our objectives. caught the informant, all we could do was send him home. thats just tip of the iceberg on the u.n.and serbs 🙁 i hate serbs, hate u.n., and i don’t hate easily. don’t care for the french much either. its bad karma. oh, i heard the serbs turned one of the butchers over a couple days ago. the unit relieving us caught the other major one.

  7. Nice to laugh at ourselves now and then.
    Boy, my biggest problem is not being able to find anything. I have things in 5 different places and I forget what is what after awhile.
    I think I am strongest in my storage food and ability to cook it under different conditions.
    My other weakest point is water living in the desert. There is water within an hrs walking distance so don’t worry too much.
    It just depends on what comes down the pike. I think we would be hard put to defend our place by ourselves, sos that is another weak point.
    We have plenty of quality weapons and ammo but there are only 2 of us. I meant to say I have 400 gallons of water stored but have no idea how long that would actually last. I mean it takes 4cups to boil 1 cup of hulled barley so I don;t think it would last to long.
    I am stopping now. Bye, it is worrying me too much.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Ya know Ma-am… even with Lake Erie next door, water is an issue anyways….. gotta get to it! Storage….. what I can. The use of it….. none… on my dried stores. My ‘wet stock’ is what I will use until I have filled my planned storage spaces. Even with Lake Erie next door I cannot think of using ‘stored’ water for anything but personal consumption…. not cooking, not cleaning, not sanatation.

  8. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Rolling on the floor laughing my butt off! That was the funniest guest post I ever read! Thanks for the laughs, Tom.

    Completely agree: store the food you will eat. Store water now, while it’s easy to do and it’s clean. Filters and all that are fine IF you can find a source for water. Look at the droughts in Texas and Georgia right now, not going to be easy to find water during a drought – so store some NOW. And rotate it.

    I know how to use everything I’ve got right now, but absolutely must learn how to grow veggies. This is now my biggest concern – growing some vegetables in this location. Thank goodness I’m a carnevore and not a vegetarian.

    And finally, on this Memorial Day, let’s remember our war dead – the men and women who sacrificed their lives for us. And to all vets – living and dead – thank you so much for what you do/have done for America. May God bless each of you. Thank you!

    • im a vet as are both my sons(iraq). thanks from all 3 of us lint.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Lint: I cheated on the water thingy….. I bought a house next to lake Erie…… and as I cannot rest with an unanswered question…. I gotta ‘know’ the what, when, where, why and…… How of everything I do. OP said something that rings true like an anvil…….. “… skills are perishable…” I would add that ‘knowledge’ unused and refreshed often… will be lost as certian as how much you tipped the paper boy 6 months ago…….

  9. well tom,,,, you just made me spend 300 bucks. i just ordered my berkey water filter though this blog. thats one more worry eliminated. i guess i should thank you. ,,,,,,,,,,thanks for making me spend 300 bucks!!! 😉 now im looking for a cheap camper to park on my land and i can stop worrying,,,,,,,,,,so much.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Blame the Camper on MD! The lack of worry….. come when one has attained the Knowledge and skill sets to perform.

  10. Last Monday a friend & I presented a 2 hour preparedness seminar to a local group of interested folks. From the perspective of someone who frequents this forum, there would have been mostly nothing new, but for the general concerned public, it was interesting. One of the biggest things had to do with definitions of some very basic concepts. Once we went through the typical preps list, including books, tools, food and water supplies, etc. I asked a very simple question. How much knowledge is contained in this big pile of books or on the entire internet? The responses came back as “tons” or “gigabytes” or other indicators of large volume. I then brought the room to total silence when I said they were all wrong & that there was absolutely no knowledge on the internet, or in any book or video. There were a lot of puzzled looks, but then I explained, and I think most everyone got the point. The internet and all of those piles of books contain only information. Knowledge is an active concept where a thinking person ingests that information, correlates it and thinks about it until the little bells ring and the little lights go on, and then there is knowledge. Knowledge is derived from information, and likewise skills are derived from knowledge by practicing the concepts. Too often people seem to think that prepping is basically acquiring ‘stuff’. I find a really good list, and I acquire everything on it, guns and ammunition, a year’s supply of food, the ultimate first aid kit, etc. and I declare that I am now prepared. I do a lot of firearms training, both as an instructor and as a student, and the one maxim that rings true on all areas of knowledge and skill is the following: “When TSHTF occurs one does not rise to the occasion, but sinks to his highest level of training”. This is true of all skills, many of which a perishable. Make a plan, and plan to practice it. The more critical the outcome of the plan is to your survival, the more practice is required.
    Toms question: “or do I have the foggiest idea how to use all this stuff I’ve bought?” is probably one of the most succinct questions any prepper can ask himself. Be honest with yourself when you answer, and you’ll be able to plan a future that will be successful.
    On acquisitions, I try to follow “Two is one, and one is none, so buy three”, except possibly for flashlights and good quality knives, and we won’t even tread onto that subject.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Was wondering where you went, OP. Good point about knowledge v. information.

      • Lint,
        The basic concept here comes from my instructor training. When I train new instructors or people in a basic course, we define successful training as a change in one or more of the following: Attitude, Knowledge, and Skill. The information (books, charts, photos) and equipment (firearms, ammunition, and other training aids) are only a means to that end. Changing attitude, Knowledge, and Skill is an active thing that must be performed by thinking individuals who internalize and apply the information and concepts.

  11. Great article !
    You can buy some very good gear that is cheap . You can also get gear that is cheap because its junk . Sometimes until us actually use it , you find out the difference . Out in the woods , I carry a heavy machete instead of a hatchet , just seems to work better with less effort . I have had one that looked solid enough break on the 5th swing . It was less expensive and that was why . The one I have now works like a champ but I did have to pay for quality . Well worth it . Same for food and anything else , test before you have to rely on it . will it keep you going or let you down ? Survivalism is also an industry , lot of crap out there people tryin to sell us playing on peoples fears . Hopefully everything we do and all the money we spend will be a waste of time , like the backyard bomb shelters of the 1950s cold war era . Lets hope WE are wrong .
    AMEN !??

  12. riverrider says:

    i got a little caught up in the buy, buy, buy. have a good long term plan, but the short term was weak as heck, as evidenced by last weeks outage. i made no plan for a day or 2 w/out power. sure, i have a genny but didn’t plan on using it. i got solar, only it was missing a vital connector. i have a 550 gal tank for water, only never hooked up the valves or lines to the gutters or the new hand pump. didn’t need to yet i figured. it goes on…lesson learned. use what you plan, eat what you plan, live like you planned..oh, and know wher all your “stuff “is:)

  13. SrvivlSally says:

    Tom Tinker…
    Your article…I am nearly at a loss for words. Your difficulties…your triumphs…all of the meat that you have provided…awesome.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Sally: My good lady….. meat or pulp…..? I suppose MD just let me rattle off the questions I ask myself every time I walk in to my ‘prep’ rooms and look around….. Like being half way to Las Vegas and wondering if you really unpluged the coffee maker or turned off the stove. I always come out and reread the ‘List of Lists’ and ……… ask myself…………

  14. I liked this Humorous and Introspective post, thank you.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Tiz because I am….. a Humorous and Introspective fellow. Life is a joke on us all…… I’d like to ‘get’ all the punch lines God has.

  15. We bought 3 ceramic water filters outfitted to 5 gal buckets,, It never dawned on me until I read this , to utilize the sand filter on my pool. I just rebuilt it 3 yrs ago and replaced all the sand. Have a 30,000 gal pool but the filter is sized for 50,000 gal,, that is per day under 10 psi pump pressure. Ought to filter at least 1000 gal in gravity fed mode. It keeps the pool crystal clear, then just add 8 drops of chlorine to the gal. , good to drink. It even filtered lake water when we had the pool re-plastered and refilled.

    Our concern here where we live , northern area of south Florida, 25 mi. from the beach , is with the 3 million people so of us that will head north at TEOTWAWKI time and how to properly hunker down.

    The whole family are hunters or fishers, we all are CCW, we have plenty of water resources ( lake in back yard, 30000 gal pool, 60 mile long x 100 ft wide x 14ft deep canal across the street) and a well with pitcher pump, we have all prepped food for 12 mo. supply ,including chocolate, sugar,salt,lard,bean,and more beans, buckets and more buckets of grains, my son is a trained EMT, between the three local family we have about 5 acres we can plant, but none of us have done serious farming or husbandry work, we have tons of hand tools of all types . We do have plenty of barter “products”, and barter skills, two ex-military members, all of us have “camped” off the land at one time or another for a week at a time as a team or alone ( difficult at best).

    Still don’t have a “meds” source, and still feel too unprepared for that, but we are about done for now.

    One other thing, stay fit , you may need to run occasionally , you won’t survive an out of breath because I am out of shape situation either.

    • For med source, watch this video.

      Look at green banner that flashes up when the video starts.

      We ordered some from there. We’ll use them ONLY in an emergency.

    • Only Me says:

      Thanks for the post – I hadn’t thought of my sand filter as a possibility. Which mode is the “gravity fed” mode? Is that the standard mode when the pump is on? Wouldn’t it be just as easy to use the pool water and add the 8 drops? I’m sorry but I’d like to know more if possible. Thanks!

      • The gravity fed idea was due to power being out and such. What you would do is take the top off the filter, cut the output pipe, pour water in and out of the bottom comes clean water. The filter will take out dirt, bugs, algae, parasites ,etc,etc, not chemicals or toxins though. You can’t afford to chlorinate a 30,000 gal pool with limited supplies, just the water you need. Pool strength chlorine is twice the strength of household bleach, so if you have that it is 5 drops per gallon. It takes about 2 1/2 gal. of pool bleach per week to keep 30,000 gal of pool water algae and bacteria free.

      • Tomthetinker says:

        Only… You: google ‘sand fitler systems’ or the like and the sources and links are huge.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Earl: England and Ireland ( whats the name of that Island of the left coast of England and how do you spell it?) use ‘sand’ filtration exclusivly for fresh water filtration. A ‘sized’ right sand filter plumbed to an existing pool….. crappolla fella, you would become a ‘go to’ name in your hood.

  16. sheri (IN) says:

    Another topic to get us thinking. Everything may look good on paper, but to actually play out in reality can be a totally different outcome. I think we can only prep the best we can for our individual needs. I know there are so many things I’m lacking, but I’m not giving up. I know I’m not alone. We are only human and we will make mistakes as we go, but it’s nice to have other LMI here to keep reminding us of the realities of what we are all trying to accomplish. It’s nice to hear we can all laugh about this very serious topic. We need to enjoy the fun while we can….

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