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  • End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

    [Introduction]
    In many generations, there have been threats that suggest an end-of-the-world or doomsday events are near. Various kooks or eccentric people (depending on how much money, power or influence they had) have claimed, "the end is near," and so far, none of these predictions have come true, because we are still here. :-)

    During The Great Depression, people did have to struggle to break-even and some suggested it would never end, but only get worse.

    During World War II, there were threats in many countries which came true as they changed governments by force, concession, or agreement. Other countries waged war to retain sovereign rights, or to aid their allies. Proximity to risk increased a level of urgency for many as a personal, or local "end of the world" seemed more likely.

    After World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis and nuclear escalation between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. caused many to grow up in the shadow of, "the bomb," and nuclear warfare. Schools and literature provided commentary on how many times we could destroy the world, over and over again with the weapons that were presently available.

    Over the last 2 decades, topics of so-called, "holy wars," were suggested as possible trigger to nuclear escalation between countries that are willing to emphatically push an agenda through any means necessary.

    Now, there are people talking about destruction of central banks around the world as fiat currencies face devaluation through excess inflation and this tied with energy and resource exhaustion with the so-called, "up-hill side," of diminishing returns means hoarding of resources as people perceive a coming shortage, real or not.

    Whatever your generation, there has been some sort of doomsday scenario.

    [Meat of the discussion]
    What skills have you learned partly because you considered an, "end of the world," scenario might come true? What actions have you or your family completed to prepare for such an event? Did you grow up in a family that constructed a bomb shelter? Have you ever stocked up on K rations, or other military surplus foods that last a long time? Ammunition? Reload? Caps? Shells?

    Have you bought or picked up any books related to this. If so, what books? Which did you find the best for you? why?

    Have you ever joined groups of other people to learn more? Cults? Did you ever leave ;-) ?

    [Me]
    I'm looking to pick up some skills as a hobby away from computers. I'm thinking of asking the oldest members of my family to walk me through the preservation process for making jams, jellies, and preservation of fruit in mason jars, and maybe reviewing old technologies for such simple things as washing bins with rollers, and learning how to properly butcher animals and preserve them through drying, salting, or other methods.

    [you?]
    What about you?
    Last edited by TheCotMan; January 5, 2009, 22:30.

  • #2
    Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

    Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
    [Me]
    I'm looking to pick up some skills as a hobby away from computers. I'm thinking of asking the oldest members of my family to walk me through the preservation process for making jams, jellies, and preservation of fruit in mason jars, and maybe reviewing old technologies for such simple things as washing bins with rollers, and learning how to properly butcher animals and preserve them through drying, salting, or other methods.
    [you?]
    What about you?
    Been watching the market too, I see.
    PGP Key: https://defcon.org/html/links/dtangent.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

      In a very similar vein...

      Back in December, I went "primitive" camping (yes, it was December) on the first of several trips of which I hope will be the basis of a talk I'm already working on this year that suggests that "hacker skills" are largely compatible with "survival skills" necessary to survive in the wilderness and/or in the midst of a natural disaster.

      It was 23 degrees F, there was snow and ice on the ground, and it had rained and/or snowed for about a week prior. But my son and I were able to start a fire without matches or a lighter. We even constructed a rudimentary shelter. I videotaped the experience and plan to do several more in the coming months. Did I mention it is very cold in December? ;)

      I have a few ideas in mind but if others have suggestions about other places to visit I'd appreciate the recommendations (preferably within 3 hours of Baltimore!).
      Last edited by theprez98; January 6, 2009, 04:35.
      "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

        Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
        In a very similar vein...

        Back in December, I went "primitive" camping (yes, it was December) on the first of several trips of which I hope will be the basis of a talk I'm already working on this year that suggests that "hacker skills" are largely compatible with "survival skills" necessary to survive in the wilderness and/or in the midst of a natural disaster.

        It was 23 degrees F, there was snow and ice on the ground, and it had rained and/or snowed for about a week prior. But my son and I were able to start a fire without matches or a lighter. We even constructed a rudimentary shelter. I videotaped the experience and plan to do several more in the coming months. Did I mention it is very cold in December? ;)

        I have a few ideas in mind but if others have suggestions about other places to visit I'd appreciate the recommendations (preferably within 3 hours of Baltimore!).
        23F, cold, hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!


        I need to pick up a welder, so I can weld big ass spikes to my car, and get a leather zipper mask. Should be set after that.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

          Originally posted by barry99705 View Post
          23F, cold, hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!


          I need to pick up a welder, so I can weld big ass spikes to my car, and get a leather zipper mask. Should be set after that.
          Comparatively speaking, 23F is not cold. But when you're outside with only a small fire to keep you warm, and you're sleeping on the ground, it's pretty damn cold!
          "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

            My mother has learned not to go with me to Lowe's anymore. "Really, when the zombie invasion happens, a long-handled hoe's going to do you more good than your standard chainsaw..."

            In all seriousness, I've always been interested in how things used to be done, and the distinct possibility of having to fend for oneself in the wilderness. When I was growing up, the Little House on the Prairie series was big for me; laugh if you want to, but it covered a lot of what you've mentioned, and it got me interested. In my mind, one of the most important things to learn about is how to identify edible vs. poisonous plants, where to find them, etc. You're also going to want to learn how to cultivate said plants, or at least not strip the area of them to the point where they can't return on their own; not only are the plants food for you, but they're food for the animals that you'll undoubtedly be hunting down. Unless there's some radical change in the earth's climate, the chances of you suddenly finding yourself stranded in the middle of a hostile environment with little to no protection from the elements are somewhat slim.

            Not that knowing how to shelter yourself in that situation is a bad thing, mind you. Just not terribly high on my personal list of priorities.
            She understands, but she doesn't comprehend...

            The day I stop learning is the day they put me in a box.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

              Originally posted by Sereyna View Post
              in my mind, one of the most important things to learn about is how to identify edible vs. poisonous plants, where to find them, etc.
              This is important, but also incredibly difficult, and extremely dependent upon location. Without learning from a local expert, trying to identity wild edibles is a tough row to hoe.

              I'm actually very glad Cot started this thread. I was hesitant to put more effort* into these wilderness trips unknowing of whether the community would be interested, but it appears my concerns were probably unfounded...I hope!

              *Effort not in the sense of the trips themselves, but taking the time to film.
              Last edited by theprez98; January 6, 2009, 06:41.
              "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

                Actually during hard times like the ones mentioned above family and extended family are you best options for survival. The old safety in numbers. Plus when it comes to manual labor the more the merrier. It's an everyone has to pitch in scenario.

                I don't see the end of the world coming. Perhaps some nukes will be tossed around. Basic services could be interrupted. If basic services are interrupted chances are you aren't going to be going to work. So you don't necessarily need clean clothes, daily bathing, and the like. You will of course have to eat. Learn to dig a hole; ahhh use your imagination for that one. Holes have many uses.

                xor
                Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

                  Originally posted by barry99705 View Post
                  I need to pick up a welder, so I can weld big ass spikes to my car, and get a leather zipper mask. Should be set after that.
                  Toady: "Greetings from The Humungus! The Lord Humungus! The Warrior of the Wasteland! The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla!"

                  Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                  ...
                  [Meat of the discussion]
                  What skills have you learned partly because you considered an, "end of the world," scenario might come true? What actions have you or your family completed to prepare for such an event? Did you grow up in a family that constructed a bomb shelter? Have you ever stocked up on K rations, or other military surplus foods that last a long time? Ammunition? Reload? Caps? Shells??
                  While I've tried not to live in fear that the 'world might end tomorrow', it's always been something that I'm aware might happen. It isn't really that the 'world might end' per se, but an understanding that civil authority and the food infrastructure might come to a grinding halt in short order, and both might take a long time to be re-established. My parents moved to a rural area in 1970 in large part because of the deterioration of large cities in the 1960's and 70's. In my case, it's more like what skills haven't I learned. In my early teens, I learned to raise livestock and a vegetable garden, how to shoot, reload ammo, etc., all with an eye toward survival of both short and long term crisis's. In my late teens and early 20's I took classes, and worked for a time, in emergency medicine.

                  By the way, an awful lot of this is nasty, and there is no other way to describe it. Raising livestock is not fun, and they aren't pets. You raise them to kill them, slaughter them, and eat them. Plus it's a LOT of hard, backbreaking, smelly work. Ditto in learning to perform emergency medicine. Learning to keep your wits about and save a life you while someone is puking up blood and screaming at you to help them, just isn't what you can describe as a good time. But in both cases the skills do last a lifetime.

                  Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                  ...
                  [Meat of the discussion]Have you bought or picked up any books related to this. If so, what books? Which did you find the best for you? why?
                  Five Acres and Independence: A Handbook for Small Farm Management
                  by Maurice G. Kains
                  ISBN: 0486209741

                  This is, in my opinion, the single most important book ever if you are planning on any kind of long-term survival strategy. It has almost everything you need to know to be self sustaining, from raising livestock to building a spring-house.

                  Survival Guns
                  by Mel Tappan
                  ISBN: 9780916172008

                  Tappan On Survival
                  by Mel Tappan
                  ISBN: 091617204X

                  Tappan's books are somewhat dated on the specifics of gun models, since Tappan died in 1980. However, the core information on the selection of weapons and other equipment from a survival standpoint (of both the apocalyptic and non-apocalyptic views) is still very valid.

                  There are plenty of other books in my personal library that touch on survival in one way or another. Aside from Tappan's books, most of the books are not directly 'survival' in the fend-off-the-Russian-army-just-like-in-Red-Dawn way. Rather they cover subjects from first aid and emergency medicine, to small engine repair, to books on creating small wind and hydro electric plants in order to have off-the-grid power.

                  Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                  ...Have you ever joined groups of other people to learn more? Cults? Did you ever leave ;-) ?
                  Please. Most of these people I've encountered over the years are either dreamers or are just plain nuts. They stock up on ammo or guns, but wouldn't have the skills to actually survive on a day today basis if things went to hell.
                  Last edited by Thorn; January 6, 2009, 07:25. Reason: Typo
                  Thorn
                  "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

                    The closest I got to any of this was when i was in the scouts around 10 or 11.

                    But i think this guy may be of interest to you, I'm not sure if you've seen him on the Discovery Channel.
                    This is a horrible font

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

                      Originally posted by artoir View Post
                      The closest I got to any of this was when i was in the scouts around 10 or 11.

                      But i think this guy may be of interest to you, I'm not sure if you've seen him on the Discovery Channel.
                      Les Stroud ("Survivorman") is another good one. I am reading his new survival book now.
                      "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

                        Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
                        I have a few ideas in mind but if others have suggestions about other places to visit I'd appreciate the recommendations (preferably within 3 hours of Baltimore!).
                        I can highly suggest the Pine Barron's of Southern New Jersey. There is a whole dynamic of survival in that particular terrain and learning the many many many uses of pine needles in survival situations. Many locations are set up for you to use as a launch point into the forest, usually these are state parks like Batsto. I spent many a childhood weekend backpacking through those woods. Of course I'm sure you thought of the obvious ones such as the Appalachian.

                        This may come off as lame but I will highly suggest the resources surrounding the Boy Scout merit badge Wilderness Survival. The skills I learned completing that were very practical and things I can remember to this day. The initial questions may seem like obvious ones to ask but it is the idea behind them that is so special. Use them as a spring board to learn other avenues of approach. I will say this: a friend of mine who is currently serving abroad in the US Army is a member of the Special Forces High Altitude or Mountain group (can not remember the technical name). He once wrote us and said that the training he received in scouting was the basics for most of his survival training. Ever since then I took the training a bit more serious and recommend it to all who are interested. Learning even something as simple as creating alcohol stoves for personal cooking can be useful, doomsday apocalypse or not. A lot of the suggestions are for learning highly specialized techniques however I suggest just starting with the basics...
                        afterburn

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                        • #13
                          Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

                          Originally posted by afterburn188 View Post
                          I can highly suggest the Pine Barron's of Southern New Jersey. There is a whole dynamic of survival in that particular terrain and learning the many many many uses of pine needles in survival situations. Many locations are set up for you to use as a launch point into the forest, usually these are state parks like Batsto. I spent many a childhood weekend backpacking through those woods. Of course I'm sure you thought of the obvious ones such as the Appalachian.
                          Awesome! I will add that to my list of places to check out.

                          Yes, my first trip was to the Appalachians in Pennsylvania. I am also looking for a beach area.

                          My primary requirements are; being allowed to "primitive" camp (which is surprisingly limited in many places), being allowed to build fires (usually not a problem if you're not in fire season), and staying away from "prepared" campsites with fire rings of which I have no interest.
                          "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

                            Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
                            ....a talk I'm already working on this year that suggests that "hacker skills" are largely compatible with "survival skills" necessary to survive in the wilderness and/or in the midst of a natural disaster.
                            Exactly. This its why I brought this topic here. An element of hacking includes being able to factor items to constituent parts, and re-combine them to provide something you desire, or need. (MacGyver did it, so can you!)

                            As suggested in the original post, "end-of-the-world," scenarios need not be global, but can be localized , as the world that a person knows could be destroyed. Other examples could include being stranded on an island with or without other people as a result of a plane crash or boat sinking. Survival skills could then be desired.

                            Here is an example idea of a modern technology converted through old skills to make baskets from telephone wire:
                            http://www.africatradingstore.com/Af...0/default.aspx (This came up in a message from BobCat on the DC-Stuff mailing list)

                            How many other such things could you see coming into being as existing infrastructure is hacked away to create something needed? The same thought could be applied to the wreckage and parts of a car, aircraft, or boat. If you have seen SurvivorMan or to a lesser extent, Man vs. Wild, you've seen other examples where tourist items a person might have with them while traveling can be broken to make something useful for survival.

                            A, 'Hacker process,' to find more usefulness could make you very popular in a survival scenario.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: End-of-the-world skills, books and planning...

                              Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                              Exactly. This its why I brought this topic here. An element of hacking includes being able to factor items to constituent parts, and re-combine them to provide something you desire, or need. (MacGyver did it, so can you!)

                              As suggested in the original post, "end-of-the-world," scenarios need not be global, but can be localized , as the world that a person knows could be destroyed. Other examples could include being stranded on an island with or without other people as a result of a plane crash or boat sinking. Survival skills could then be desired.

                              Here is an example idea of a modern technology converted through old skills to make baskets from telephone wire:
                              http://www.africatradingstore.com/Af...0/default.aspx (This came up in a message from BobCat on the DC-Stuff mailing list)

                              How many other such things could you see coming into being as existing infrastructure is hacked away to create something needed? The same thought could be applied to the wreckage and parts of a car, aircraft, or boat. If you have seen [url=http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/survivorman/survivorman.html]SurvivorMan or to a lesser extent, Man vs. Wild, you've seen other examples where tourist items a person might have with them while traveling can be broken to make something useful for survival.

                              A, 'Hacker process,' to find more usefulness could make you very popular in a survival scenario.
                              Les Stroud/Survivorman is really the inspiration for my project. My trips are not week-long, and I'm not going in without any food/water/etc., but I am hoping to demonstrate the same sorts of techniques from a hacker mentality.

                              Now if I can convince someone to let me demonstrate some fire-starting methods on-stage.
                              "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

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