The weather has finally cooperated and melted off the snow (and stopped it’s intermittent snowing). Work is now proceeding on the crashstead at all possible speed. I’ve been burning off some huge brush piles which were in the way. Really hate to do that, but it’s necessary. I heard that they’re paying good prices for wood chips, but I don’t have the time or inclination to get somebody out there to do this.
I have also been trying to accumulate more of the necessary supplies and ‘essentials’ I consider “must haves” (or must have more of in my case) while the dollar still retains a shred of purchasing power left. The economic meltdown continues, but you can still find some good deals that will be literally priceless this time next year.
Diesel is well over $4 a gallon here, I think it’s about $4.35 or something like that, but I’m having to fuel some heavy equipment and am paying the going rate. This time next year, it will be around $6 or possibly even higher, so what you can do this year will be around 30% cheaper or so then next year if we make it that far.
This is true for many expenditures and ‘investments’ that must be made right now and not later. Later will certainly be too late and too difficult. The US dollars continues to plunge at break neck speed into the basement and the entire financial system is only function due to sheer momentum. But consumer confidence is shot to pieces.
That incredibly stupid tax rebate offered by the liar in chief isn’t going to make the tiniest dent in our financial situation. Americans are going to spend this on essentials or just blow it on junk they don’t need. But it’s such a paltry amount that it is really rather meaningless.
Still some good deals to be found — ammunition, military surplus, medical supplies, bicycles, hand tools, even food. Most people don’t realize what they’re giving up when they sell these things to pay their bills or unload, in just a short while, these things will be truly priceless.
Miday USA is a major reloading supplier, they are sold out of most bulk bullets and some bulk primers (no back order either). Get what you can while you can.
This is the time of year around here when the garage sales start up, I’ll be buying more hand tools as I find them.
Books are always essential and some really great deals can be found if you shop the books boxes people lay out at their garage sales. I’ve picked up quite a few gardening, composting and even greenhouse books for pennies on the dollar at garage sales.
2008 is the year when you should COMPLETE all of your essential shopping. I’m definitely not kidding here. If we even make 2009 before it falls apart, you will be very glad you did. The slumbering herd has already panicked in some ways (food being one of them), but they’re still not aware of what this really means to them and what kind of future they’re going to need to really be prepared for.
Competition for some essential gear is still thankfully low. Not low in competition is land, water, food, fuel, ammunition, or night vision. I’ve yet to see land prices drop really at all, despite what appears to be a terribly slow and sluggish real estate market. This is pretty much the opposite of what I had hope for. Lots of cars, trucks and useless junk for sale, but land is still commanding a premium despite slow sales and a glut of properties on the market.
2008 will also be the year to get out of the cities if you’re still in one. Not a good place to be. If you’re still there, I hope you’ve figured out someplace else to be by now. Black clad machine gun toting “protectors” are going to be much more common as the fascism cracks down in a desperate bid to retain control and keep a lid on the growing uneasiness.
It’s not terrorism (what terrorism?) that I fear — it’s the police state that is encroaching upon everyone and everything. I’m not interested in tagging my chickens for some bureaucrat and never will. What chickens? I don’t see no stinkin’ chickens…
It’s really weird in an eye-opening way to see your worst fears come true. It’s like writing history before it happens. You need to “be there” at your crashstead now if you can. There won’t be time later on to deal with the myriad of things like you might think. This is the only time you can count on — right now. Do what you can, while you can.
Many people are curious what I’ve decided to do (don’t even bother asking, I will not tell you). It’s already there in the past blog entries and articles I’ve written, but I’ve never felt comfortable enough to advertise the details on this blog. I don’t think any of you should either. But here is a few hints for those who are still struggling like I did with what can be done with limited time and funds.
Focus on gathering the supplies you can while this window of opportunity is still open. Buy used, buy often and learn as much as you can about the things you are actually doing and planning to do. Spend your time wisely, because time really is short. Be aware of limited restrictions and supplies, some things cannot even be bought on the civilian market anymore for example.
If you don’t have the funds to buy land, locate a suitable location that will permit you to live there when the time comes. Since I’m already in the woods, there is a lot of vacant land out there. The Forest Service claims they own it, but the truth is, I do. So do you. They don’t like people squatting on “their land” and have rules and fines against it. I’m not particularly concerned about that. There will be very little they can do about it when things are tough.
Locating water is really important. Site yourself with a suitable water source and make sure it’s either filtered or potable to begin with. Most surface water cannot be trusted and plan accordingly. You can build a water filtration system yourself that can process a fair amount of water using sand and charcoal filters (for taste) or buy commercial filters to deal with sediment and things like giardia.
You will have to invest some time in preparing your crashstead, no matter where it’s at. This is the burning season around here, when the snow melts and there are brush fires being started everywhere, even in the forests. It’s a great time to blend in and look like you belong there.
There is also a lot of private forested land that is owned by timber companies. This land too is rarely used except by hunters and snowmobilers, but there are many thousands of acres of such land scattered around. Land that has been recently logged won’t be revisited anytime soon.
I scored a year or so back on a bunch of plastic food grade barrels. I think I’ve got 40 or more of these things, they’re great for storing things in waterproof containers and they can be buried with some serious effort. Plan their contents carefully. Moisture can be kept out if they have gasketed lids with a rubber seal and each one will hold quite a bit with careful packing. I think they are either 55 or 60 gallons each, I’ve got a couple of different types.
Really important considerations are fuel (heat), dehydration and sanitation (water), transportation (feet and bicycles), security (figure that one out yourself), signature (evidence, including light, heat, thermal, visual, smoke, sign, etc.), and of course, location. Definitely not easily solved by any means, but if you’re going to “do this”, do it now. This is probably your last “summer chance”.
I don’t know what it’s like “there” in your area and cannot offer anyone any specific recommendations. Even the best laid plans oft go astray anyway, and as others have noted, the odds of our survival individually are increasingly slim indeed. There are planetary forces at work that are absolutely stupendous in size and magnitude and there is nothing at all any of us can do about them.
Be that as it may, it’s still behooves me to at least try, no matter what. I’m simply not ready to give up yet. These are things I can’t control or even hope to control, so I’m choosing to focus on the things I can control. And that’s really ALL I can do, the rest is simply not up to me at all. If Monsanto for example, decided to starve the world through genetic manipulation of crops or something even worse — there if nought I can do about it. Move on and focus on what you can control. If your neighbors won’t listen or prepare or make any preparations at all — move on, you don’t have the time to deal with their recalcitrant behavior. They’re on their own anyway, just like you.
Remember, it’s what people do the reveals really where their “at”, not what they say. Hope, if there is ANY to be found ANYWHERE, will only be found in the doing and no place else. But misguided or blind hope (often erroneously called faith) is often found in doing either nothing, or engaging in ridiculous exercises that bring zero returns. Take your pick. Decide what you’re actually going to DO for your crashstead and your preparations and go do it. Give up already on “this” life, because it’s already over, everything except the crying and the dying. Harsh, I know, but coming soon to a theatre near you.
All efforts to save, sacrifice or prevent the coming calamity are misguided or blind hope exercises, based upon a critical misunderstanding of the severity of the problem. I liken this to the same efforts to try to change our political system, it’s so badly abused and perverted today that it would be better to destroy it then to attempt to fix it. All we ever get is more self-appointed and “anointed” monsters ever (s)Election cycle and nothing ever changes and nothing ever will.
We can’t stop climate change either — or the police state, or the march towards fascism, or the food supply problem, or the energy problem or the melting polar caps, or the methane gas release from the permafrost, or the acidification of the oceans, or the two party system, or actually much of anything at all. And every single one of these things, all by themselves spells our guaranteed collapse because our momentum cannot be halted, it can only collapse.
We’re so far into overshoot because of past cheap energy that the crash of our oil-soaked civilization is a foregone conclusion. Plan accordingly. Plan as if your life depends on it, because it does. Plans as if it is “all over” because it is. Plan as if you are trying to survive the end of the world because you are. Plan as if the world’s entire population is going to go absolutely berserk and many of them will eventually try to kill you — because they will for you being smart enough to plan ahead (yeah, you’re going to make many enemies for having foresight and a modicum of intelligence, get used to it).
Crashstead plans. Make them now and follow them through. It’s not rocket science, it’s just common sense. Do it now. Do what works for you.