Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Stuck on the Interstate?

Privacy with Auto

I wrote about the plastic bucket and it's uses but not about privacy and how to get it.  If you are stranded on the interstate or a busy parking lot with lots of folks around here's what you should have on hand:

- 2 sets of covers for each of your car windows.  Black plastic for winter to heat, reflective mylar for summer to cool.  Precut allowing 1/12" around the edges.  Label each piece for easy access and place in zip lock bags.
- magnetic strip or refrigerator magnets - enough to hold the shades both top and bottom.
- telescoping pole
- 2  pinch clamps
- Tarp, blanket or opaque plastic or cloth sheet

Cover the outside of the windows of car with appropriate material.  Secure with enough magnets to hold in place depending on weather conditions.   Open both front and back door of one side.  Clamp telescoping pole to top outer edge of car doors, throw the blanket over the pole and use your bucket in complete sitting privacy.  (nothing I can do about the tall guy in the next car)  You will be the envy of all your new found stranded friends.

For two-door cars and pick-ups - have strong magnet to attach sheet to roof of cab in rear and tie other end to top outer door window and it's almost as good as a four door.

Comfort during Adverse Conditions

Supplies:  Refrigerator magnets
                Mosquito netting
                Damp Rid
                Hot or cold window treatment packs (see Privacy with Auto blog)
                Bags for holding waste
                Bunge cord to hold bag on bucket

I talked about black or reflecting Mylar for hot or cold weather in my Privacy blog so will skip that.

For ventilation in hot weather with excessive bugs you can open car windows and use mosquito netting on side windows.  Cut pieces to fit windows, label them and secure them outside with magnets.  Open windows as wide as you wish.

For rain, close windows except for small cracks for ventilation and use Damp Rid to reduce condensation and moisture in a confined space.  Can be bought at Walmart.  Buy the bag with salts not the tub.  Uses less room in the bucket and really lowers the humidity.

Keep all items for car comfort and privacy handy at the top of your bucket if possible.  However to use the bucket you will have to empty it so take out what you'll need - stove, fuel, cooking and eating gear, books or Kindle, cards, etc and stuff the rest in the mesh bag ready to be replaced easily when you're ready to move.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hooks, line and sinkers - emergency fishing gear

Real fishermen will have a tackle box complete with everything they need and a pole already in the car.  This is not for them.  I need a large assortment of hooks.  Lots of line - different weights and a pile of lead sinkers - maybe a bobber or two.  Or I found a great product called paracord used in parachutes that is strong, made of many smaller threads and easily taken apart for different grades of fish line.  This would give you 1 multipurpose item rather than several to keep track of.  Keep it simple is my goal.

Also I need a fishing "how-to" book. 

My pole will be multipurpose.  A plastic telescoping mop handle.  Use it as a Tom Sawyer willow fishing pole with string tied on the end. I never could master a rod and reel.  Being left handed didn't help.  More on this mop handle later.

I never fished much but did learn a few survival pointers:

- Bait can be found anywhere.  food scraps, caterpillars may flies, bees, corn, fish eyes and guts, grasshoppers and dough

- Most docks have sunfish and garbage fish swimming in abundance around them.  These fish are small -3"to 5".  and need to be scaled but are fairly easy with a pliers and scaling knife.  Clean, cut off heads and fry like trout.  lots of bones but they are fairly soft - and it takes 7 or 8 for a mess. Put a piece of corn on a small hook.  You will have a fish almost as soon as you drop it in the water.  Use all parts of the fish.  Leftover bones and head can be used for chowder.

- Eat carp.  In my bucket will be a pressure cooker.  Cooked that way it tastes like tuna and all the small bones are softened enough to eat.  There is a "mud line" that should be removed but my book will give directions on how to do that.  Smoked is always a great way for these oily fish.  Haven't thought of having smoking equipment in my bucket.

- Trade.  Others won't be as prepared as you.  Trade hooks, line (you'll have enough to spare) and fish.  We got several nice steak dinners by trading grouper that my son caught while living in the Bahamas..

- Fish can be cooked on an open grill, baked in foil, turned on a spit, shish-ka-bobs or in desperation eaten raw.  It can be dried in the sun, smoked or canned in pint jars for future use.  I must keep in mind that there will be no ICE.  Couldn't I get a small 12  volt boat refrigerator to fit in my bucket?  I doubt it.

Survival Bucket

This is the bucket that you will put all non-perishable gear - keep it in your vehicle filled with all the necessary items. 
The main use will be as a potty.  The right size plastic bags tied on the outside with a bunge cord will make a great holding tank.  You can buy flip toilet seats to fit on the buckets.  Down it served as a camp seat.  Up it's a potty.  The bags should be heavy duty so the inside of the bucket should be fairly clean and reusable.  It can be used to carry wood to the campsite, water for washing.  Keeping fish alive temporarily, carrying ice when available and of course storing everything in when not in use.  Sturdy enough to be a step stool.   Carrier for small animals.  Decorating fun for kids and adults  Turned over it could hold a candle, be a small table, or a flat surface to use cutting board.  Without a hatchback, flat surfaces are hard to find.

Monday, August 29, 2011

How we started thinking "survival"

Mary said she grew up in a family with a survivor mentality.  She's right.  But so did I.  I joke that we were so poor that we were the charity for the store called "Cheap Food for Poor People" and got their leftovers.  Instead of giving me an envy of the wealthy, I developed a challenge to see how well I could do on as little as possible.  By the middle sixties I had five children and was a stay at home mom.  As my husband got raises, I would add only two extra "luxuries" to our lifestyle.  The first raise we switched from margarine to butter and the second we got shirts professionally laundered.  Otherwise the raises went in the bank.

We raised rabbits, had a big garden and one peak year canned 1500 quarts of vegetables - corn, beans, beets, pickles and tomatoes.  Another year I found a very sad fruit vendor whose employee had left a truck full of peaches in the sun all day.  I bought the entire truckload for $10.00, called a friend and we had an all night canning party - 1200 quarts. 

As the sixties eroded into the later sixties we became disturbed about living and working in a large metropolis and made plans to build and live on a boat.  We had bought an old house, remodeled it, and built another on the lot next door.  We sold the old house, moved in the new house and started building the boat in the garage and moving it to the back yard when it got too big.  We built a 41' Trimaran- big enough for our large family, moved the boat to water, sold our new home, loaded the boat and motored down the Illinois River, Mississippi to the Gulf, the Bahamas and back to Florida for a wonderful year long trip.  We have a great slide story of building the boat and the trip if anyone knows how to put slides on the computer.

I'll save how we loaded the boat and what we learned for future blogs.  We learned so much from that trip it changed the direction of our lives.  When you're out away from shore with just the water, sky and you with no protection except the boat you realize what is really important for your life.  Seven people in a space the size of a dining room table makes you very aware of the effect you have on others and forces you to be polite and respectful of the space around yourself and everyone else.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Simple organizers

Inexpensive plastic door hanging shoe racks make great organizers at the campsight.

Emergency kit to leave in car

This is an e-mail that my mom sent me as a list of emergency items that can pack into a 5-gallon bucket - most items can be bought at a dollar store or Walmart.
Mostly small stuff or compact - to be used when you have your car - not for wilderness backpacking.  Food and clothing is separate.  This is designed to be kept in the car as emergency get out.  Nothing perishable. 
Just a brief outline of stuff I thought of

5 gallon bucket
Potty lid and seat
Stainless mirror
Fishing supplies
telescopic pole (for multi purpose uses)
Multi purpose tools
     Spoon fork
     gerber multi
     coleman multi
     Pocket knife with filet
     flashlight. radio, compass, charger, etc crank
     6 in one - shovel, saw, ax, hammer pry
space blankets
2 gallon water bags
fire starter kit (magnifying glass, flint, cotton and vaseline
Wire, screws, nails, bolts pins hooks
Sewing kit
flares and alarm
chammois cloth
2 quart and smaller stacking pots
Frypan lid and plate
turning fork and spatula
green scouring pad
5 home made metal rods with point for tent stakes, cooking frame length of bucket
boy scout or army mess kit
cutting board
small grill
personal hygiene
colloidal silver
poop bags with bunge cord
twist ties
rope, nylon
First aid kit
plastic bag asst
playing cards and rules
blow-up air pillow
Permanent marker
pens, pencils, paper, sharpener sticky notes
kindle with many books
ear plugs and eye patches
pepper spray
super glue
patch kit
dust masks
wet wipes
toilet paper
plastic storage boxes
sticky back velcro  for car windows
misquito net
fanny pack or day pack
magnesium stone - what is it?
manuals and how tos survival book

Mostly small stuff or compact - to be used when you have your car - not for wilderness backpacking.  Food and clothing is separate.  This is designed to be kept in the car as emergency get out.  Nothing perishable. 

My first blog

This is a blog that my mother, Ruth, and I are going to work on together.
I was raised with a survivalist mentality. We lived on a sail boat 2 separate times when I was growing up. Each trip we were living very frugally for a year. My mom and dad spent a lot of time planning what food and products to bring on the boat trips that would stay relatively fresh for the entire year. I am sure my mother will write a post regarding this.