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02/06/18 01:50 PM Radios, gas, and first responders by chaosmagnet

Yesterday, I was stopped in my car for several hours behind a big pileup crash, and as I was stopping witnessed a car go hurtling off the road into a steep, deep ravine.

A trucker and I were able to get the driver of the car up and out of the ditch uninjured, which was good because the first responders were totally saturated for many hours and the motorist could easily have been injured or killed by the cold.

I got some good reminders out of this.

First and foremost, make sure you have not less than a quarter tank of gas at all times in the cold, with half a tank being preferred. It was really cold and windy, and we were far more comfortable inside the car with the heat on than with any of the other options available.

Second, if you do carry a radio (FRS, GMRS, MURS, ham, CB, whatever) as part of your kit, maybe carry two. I was able to hand off a radio to one of the other self-activated civilians checking up on people. Thank goodness he didn't need me, but I had medical gear and training available for those whom the first responders couldn't get to. He had appropriate outerwear and enthusiasm, which was far from nothing.

Third, when you can safely and responsibly solve your own problems and the problems of the people around you, the first responders can stay focused on the people who need them the most.

Fourth, and as always, there's a reason I picked "chaosmagnet" as my nom de plume here. I sure wouldn't have minded if yesterday had been more boring.

747 Views · 11 Comments
02/03/18 10:09 PM Calling 911 Effectively by hikermor

The local TV has been airing recordings of recent 911 calls made during the recent Montecito floods. Many are garbled, vague, and not helpful at all. People were obviously panicked, not surprising with a houseful of mud and slime...

So what constitutes an effective, helpful 911 call?


The guidelines presented seem pretty clear. Comments and additions? Beforeyou dial, pause,take a deep breath, and get your act together.

896 Views · 15 Comments
01/27/18 12:38 AM All of us live off the land: unsustainable? by Bingley

I came across this article with the following conclusion:

Complex societies have collapsed many times before. It has not always been a bad thing. As James C Scott points out in his fascinating book, Against the Grain, when centralised power began to collapse, through epidemics, crop failure, floods, soil erosion or the self-destructive perversities of government, its corralled subjects would take the chance to flee. In many cases they joined the “barbarians”. This so-called secondary primitivism, Scott notes, “may well have been experienced as a marked improvement in safety, nutrition and social order. Becoming a barbarian was often a bid to improve one’s lot.” The dark ages that inexorably followed the glory and grandeur of the state may, in that era, have been the best times to be alive.

But today there is nowhere to turn. The wild lands and rich ecosystems that once supported hunter gatherers, nomads and the refugees from imploding early states who joined them now scarcely exist. Only a tiny fraction of the current population could survive a return to the barbarian life. (Consider that, according to one estimate, the maximum population of Britain during the Mesolithic, when people survived by hunting and gathering, was 5000).In the nominally democratic era, the complex state is now, for all its flaws, all that stands between us and disaster.

From "Is this the end of civilisation? W...an, 24 Jan 2018. Note that much of the article offers political analysis -- not really the subject of discussion on this forum. However, I do think the claim that the world today cannot sustain all of us trying to live off the land is worth considering. This would especially be important for people who do long-term preps to live off the grid or be completely self-sufficient. If a large-scale disaster forces many people in a big region (say, an entire country or continent) to do that for years on end, will that mean many deaths just because the ecosystem cannot sustain so many people?

I always wonder about people who look to hunting as a means of survival when they live in or around major cities. If millions of people have the same plan, the woods will turn into a desert within hours.

618 Views · 6 Comments
01/26/18 05:28 PM Shovel with scope/chainsaw bayonet/flashlight rail by clearwater

Halfway down the page.

"Yes that is a section of Picatinny molded into the handle."


Oh and a pry bar etc.

1272 Views · 16 Comments
01/25/18 11:21 PM Tactical Survival Sharpened Prybar by hikermor


This is representative ofa pry bar set which is readily available at lots of outlets. I am putting it up because having one of these can save a good blade a lot of grief. They are quite cheap and weigh very little,if that is a factor. My experience is that they are worth having around.

I do a fair amount of digging, going after archaeological materials and the occasional fossil and I find tese handy, especially the largest in situations where I might other wise be digging with a perfectly good knife in the dirt, prying up lids, and similar tasks. The smaller ones are quite handy around camp, again saving wear and tear on a nice knife.

If I could have just one tool, it would be a good sturdy, tough knife but if I am not so restricted, one of these would find it way into my pack...

This is inspired by Montanero's post in the "new knife" thread in which he discusses really extreme knife usage and the brands that stand up to such usage. An actual prybar can save you a lot of time and money...And of course they can be modified for specific purposes very easily and cheaply.

1630 Views · 21 Comments
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