On July 30th, 2010 my family and I headed to the camp for 3 days for a little get away. One of the things that I like to do on these little “get aways” is to take notes, and figure out ways to improve – what went right, what went wrong, and what can we do differently.
One thing that I wanted to test on this trip was the Royal Berkey water filter from Directive21.com – this will be covered in another article, its just too much to go into right now.
One thing that happened, was while the guys were washing off the 4-wheelers, the water hose was left on and the well was drained. So we were without water for about 12 hours – 8pm, until a little after 8 am. By turning off the water pump, the well had time to fill back up.
The propane tank is down to about 40 percent, so it needs to be filled back up. If you wait until the winter to fill it up, your probably going to be put on a waiting list.
In all, there were 7 people staying at the camp – and everyone had a place to sleep with a little room for more.
We had a 128 quart ice chest in the kitchen that was helping keep the food cold – but we also have a refrigerator and freezer.
One of the big issues was the heat – the day time high temps were in the high 90s and low 100s. Any time of physical activity in the direct sun light resulted in instant sweat and fatigue. After only a couple of hours of working in the sun, it felt like I had been working for 8 – 10 hours.
One of the projects was to work on the shed – water had been getting around the door jam for several years and the boards had rotted away. It just so happened and the door of the shed faces east – straight into the rising sun. Even though work was started around 8 – 9 am, it felt like I was working in an oven.
This brings up an interesting topic, lets say that some kind of long term SHTF situation occurs, a lot of people are not going to be up to the physical labor needed to start a working farm. Lets say that a family has access to a 2 acre field that they can plant crops on. First the land has to be cleared – which can take days, if not weeks. And what about the physical demands that its going to take to work the land? Can most people of this current generation work a field with hand tools – in the hot sun – for 8, 10, 12 or 14 hours a day?
Some of the common problems with using hand tools includes injuries to the hands and feet. Why the feet? Because people that do not know how to use hoes and rakes my hit their feet by accident. People who do not take foot safety seriously, may learn their lesson the hard way.
So here I am, on the lawn mower, cutting grass that is almost 2 feet deep, wondering “how” this would be going if this was a SHTF situation and not a relaxing trip to the camp. Would it be better to burn the grass, and put the fuel towards a tiller, or save it for the truck in case I needed to go somewhere.
Food for thought – Lets say that you have 2 – 3 weeks worth of food at the camp – SHTF – its going to take a few days to get the crops planted, and several weeks before anything starts to grow. So what do you do between the time your food preps run out, and your crops come in?
July and August are the worst months for the Texas heat. You step out of the door, and it feels like your stepping into an oven. The physiological and physical effects that can have one someone can be very profound. When you working outside, it feels like a weight has been attached to your body, and the heat feels like its sucking the life out of your body. Even with shade and plenty of water, expect very little relief.
Some of the big issues that I see:
Fresh food – within a few days people are going to be living out of cans. With eating a lot of canned goods also increases your sodium intake.
Keeping food good – even though you might have a freezer full of food, its going to do little good if the power is off and the food spoils.
Physical demands – most people today are not used to physical labor for 6, 8 or even 10 hours a day.
Transportation – your camp might only be 100 miles from your location, but its not doing you any good if you dont have fuel for your car or truck.
This video was posted to youtube on February 22, 2009. I think its related to the subject of this article.