Survival 203: Prolonged Economic Collapse

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Survival 202: Surviving Temporary Anarchy

If civilization falls apart, be prepared for the worst

  • Don’t expect society to come back together
    • Some insurrections can last decades, so it’s best to make the best of what you have instead of waiting
  • Start stockpiling intentionally for the long-term
    • Seeds for any crops that can grow where you are or where you’re going
    • Paper handbooks on farming techniques

You are going to have to survive in the wild, since a city cannot sustain its population without civilization

  • Learn how to navigate without tools
    • To see without glasses or a far distance, make a tiny hole with your fingers to squint through
    • Make a compass with a watch
      1. Point the hour hand of a watch at the sun
      2. Place a line through the center of the watch between the hour hand and the 12
      3. The side of the line farthest from the 12 and hour hand is north in the northern hemisphere and south in the southern hemisphere
    • If you’re walking a long distance in shoes unfit for hiking, stuff fern leaves inside your shoes as insoles
    • Find the north star during twilight under the Big Dipper constellation
    • Be careful about uneasy terrain
      • Try to avoid getting wet whenever possible, since it increases risks for hypothermia
      • Waddle like a penguin to get across ice
    • Learn how to keep wild creatures away from you
      • Rattle your keys to make noise to scare away most animals
      • Blow on bees or wasps that may land on you
      • Firemaking is a crucial survival skill to keep animals away
  • Learn how to improvise tools
    • Use whatever you have on hand
    • Hammer stone tools out of rocks
      • Create a hammer with rope, a rock and a strong piece of wood
      • Make a mortar and pestle out of rocks
    • Use a smooth stone heated over a fire as a frying pan
  • Find ways to meet your needs for food in the wild
    • Improvise tools for getting meat
      • A broken-off soda can top, paperclip or small piece of bent metal can serve as a fish hook
      • Use a tightly bent piece of very strong wood with a string to make a bow
        • Learn fletching by carving long shafts out of branches with a sharpened stone at the tip for aerodynamic weight
      • Make traps for small game with branches and bait
    • Eat insects if you absolutely need to eat
    • If you’re making a fire for yourself, don’t make it any closer than a meter to your shelter to keep it safe from catching fire
    • If you catch larger game, you won’t be able to eat all of it in one sitting, so learn to preserve it
      1. Trim the good meat off of the rest of the animal
      2. Salt the meat
        • Optionally, you can cure the meat by putting it in a waterproof pouch and turning it over once a day for at least a week
      3. Rinse the meat and dry it overnight
      4. Smoke the meat over a fire and tripod by cutting it into strips, laying it on a rack over coals, draping an animal skin over the tripod and adding damp wood chips to create smoke
  • Learn how to get safe drinking water
    • When wandering, only settle somewhere nearby convenient access to water
      • It can be tempting to reside in a safer place that’s far from water, but there are too many needs that water satisfies for it to be easier
    • If you don’t have much water and are thirsty, rinse your mouth for 30 seconds before swallowing to feel hydrated
    • Rain water is not necessarily good to drink, so test it regularly
    • There are several ways to purify water
      • Put a drop of bleach in for every 10 ounces of water and then let it sit for 30 minutes
      • Boil water for at least a minute, or if it’s highly contaminated for up to 5 minutes
    • If you are in the desert far away from water, then dig up plant roots, cut into thick shavings and squeeze or press to get a little water out
      • Some desert plants are hallucinogenic, so this is best for a life-or-death situation
  • Create a shelter for yourself
    • You need shelter to protect yourself from losing heat at night
      • 60-80% of the body’s energy is used to create heat
      • Wrap up in layers to prevent any heat from being immediately lost
        • Air is a great insulator, which makes layers work well
      • Eat food to increase your metabolism to stay warm
        • Hot drinks, whole grains, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, paprika and pepper are especially effective
      • Stay hydrated to allow your body to store more heat
      • Even with all of the techniques, the weather and moisture in the air can still take away your body heat
    • The quickest shelter is a tarp, waterproof cover or tightly weaving together tree bark
      • Cover it directly over you
      • Make an A-frame for a small tent by propping up two flat surfaces
      • Create a lean-to (a one-sided tent) by tying it to two live tree branches angled to protect against the wind
    • If you’re in a rush and need a quick solution, use the Tipi method
      1. Sharpen poles, sticks or tree branches that are at least 22 feet long and 3 inches in diameter
      2. Stab 3 poles into the ground in a tripod formation, then tie the top together where they meet
      3. Place all the other poles in the open spaces until a cone-shaped structure is formed
      4. Tie everything together with another rope or cloth, then cover with a blanket or other strong material
    • Make a more permanent shelter with the Rammed Earth technique
      1. Find a soil mixture of about 70% sand/gravel and 30% clay
      2. Trace a square outline on the ground
      3. Gather tree branches that can stretch across the length of the structure
      4. Stand sticks up along the traced outline
      5. Moisten the soil and smooth it along the sticks up to about 2 feet high, then wait for it to dry
      6. Repeat the process with mud layers until the walls are at the preferred height
        • When it dries, it can be as hard as sandstone from the clay and water gluing it together
      7. Place the tree branches from end to end on the top to cover the walls
      8. Smooth mud over the tops so that the branches meld with the wall
      9. Wait for it to dry and harden, then fill in gaps with more layers of leaves, twigs, sticks and other debris
    • Find ways to improve your shelter
      • Mix clay dirt and water, then shape it around long grass to make adobe
        • Adobe can be used as bricks or as a protective outer layer
      • Plastic bottles can be made into bricks with dirt with a hybrid of the Rammed Earth technique or concrete
      • If you have any screens for vents, try to take advantage of their bug-repelling attributes
      • If you can make or acquire any paint, it will protect any wood you have from rotting
      • Other people will try to steal from you, so either bury your valuables or create hidden storage compartments inside your shelter
      • Try making a root cellar or smoke house to improve your ability to store food

Learn some of the simplest gardening tricks to round out your diet

  • Learn the best seasons for different plants
  • Find out what plants work best in your climate and ecosystem
    • Pay attention to the soil:
      • soil
      • The more clay, the harder the roots will have to work to grow
      • Loam is best for most plants, but some tropical plants work better in sand
      • Plants are acidic, but their acidity depends on the species and determines their preferred balance
    • Look at the amount of sunlight you receive
    • Pay attention to how much precipitation your area makes
    • Often, finding out what plants can grow is simply trial and error
  • Make a greenhouse to insulate the plants until they can handle the elements directly
  • Overlap wet newspapers and cover with mulch before planting seeds to prevent weeds
  • To make it easier to maintain and harvest, try growing plants in vertical gardens when you can
  • Learn how frequent you’ll need to water and how often to prune for maximum fruit
    • Mix vinegar into the water for acid-loving plants in alkaline soil
  • Pay attention to the leaves of any plants that aren’t a strong green color
    • If bugs live on the leaves and are eating them, spray the plant with neem oil or a soap that kills the insects
    • If the leaves look yellow and wilted then they’re overwatered, replant them or add sand to the soil to leech water
    • If the leaves look faded and are drooping they’re not getting enough sunlight, reposition them or make a greenhouse
    • If the leaves are dry and crunchy to the touch they’re dehydrated, give them at least an inch of water a week
    • If the edges and tips of the leaves are yellow they’re not getting enough potassium, add citrus rinds or fruit/vegetable compost
    • If the tips and center vein of the leaves are yellow they’re not getting enough nitrogen, add organic compost like manure or coffee grounds
    • If the leaves are misshapen then they’re not getting enough calcium, add gypsum to make it more acidic or lime to make it more alkaline
    • If the leaves are showing a discoloration of light between the veins they’re not getting enough zinc, spray the plant with kelp extract
    • If the leaves are yellow and have small green veins they’re not getting enough iron, make the soil acidic and then reduce the amount of phosphorus in the soil
    • If the leaves are showing white stripes along the veins they’re not getting enough magnesium, add organic compost, Epsom salts or lime
  • Observe the best timing for plants to yield
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