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#291647 - 01/16/19 11:56 PM Home prep for renting a room out in the sticks
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 853
Loc: Southern California
Long time no post. I need some advice. I've had to sublet a room on a cattle ranch, and commute 30 miles into town for work (Long story). The structure is a prefab, with no interior access to the crawl space underneath.

My main challenge is I am entirely dependent on the car. The nearest population center is a 2.5 hour walk. My other challenges are that the power periodically goes out with heavy weather, and stays out till the repair crews can get to us.

The main hazards are high winds (the shed next to my side of the house just got knocked down), wildfires, and seismic soil liquification.

I've got food, water, flashlights, AM/FM radio, and batteries.

Any tips or suggestions? And, any tips for driving a crossover(Honda CRV) through gale force wind?
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#291651 - 01/17/19 03:18 AM Re: Home prep for renting a room out in the sticks [Re: Mark_R]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6894
Loc: southern Cal
Quite a challenge! How is the cell phone reception along your normally traveled routes?

I would be sure your vehicle is equipped with enough supplies to spend a night or so if you ever get bogged down en route. If there is apace, I would consider having a bicycle along as supplementary transportation.

How are you fixed for camping gear? Small, light camp stoves come in handy in power outages. Our power was out within the last twenty-four hours, and I was brewing tea on my canister stove. there are all sorts of small, fairly cheap stoves and cook sets to choose among, and they can make a big difference.

I have come to prefer electric lanterns and lights over the traditional liquid fuel (Coleman) items. Much safer and they can be recharged in power outages with portable solar panels.(or from your vehicle).

In high winds, about the best you can do is to drive slower and be alert. It can be rather touchy.

Just a start. I am sure others will have helpful comments.
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#291656 - 01/17/19 06:57 PM Re: Home prep for renting a room out in the sticks [Re: Mark_R]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3133
Loc: USA
Make darn sure that the vehicle is well maintained. In the case of a wildfire particularly youíll be really glad when it starts and keeps running.

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#291671 - 01/19/19 04:10 AM Re: Home prep for renting a room out in the sticks [Re: Mark_R]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2748
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Sounds like you're living through a challenging time. Hang in there.

In addition to the advice above, I would add: get to know your neighbours. Make a point of becoming, in a respectful way, a known quantity, a person who can be trusted, and a genuine asset.

At a certain distance from town, in farm and ranch country, community becomes a tangible thing. These people have deep skills and capabilities, and while take quiet pride in their self-sufficiency, they are quick to help each other when someone faces a situation they can't handle on their own.

It will take some quiet effort on your part; these people are not social butterflies. The secret is to demonstrate quiet competence and common sense in some things, and to ask their advice as you get a feel for their areas of expertise.

Words written here are cheap, and all of this is easier said than done. But good neighbours beat 9-1-1 by a country mile. And it adds a powerful layer of resilience to your situation.

My 2c.

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#291672 - 01/19/19 04:51 AM Re: Home prep for renting a room out in the sticks [Re: dougwalkabout]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 853
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Quite a challenge! How is the cell phone reception along your normally traveled routes?

Not bad. There are a couple of dead spots in the canyons (no cell or radio), but overall it's reliable
Originally Posted By: hikermor

I would be sure your vehicle is equipped with enough supplies to spend a night or so if you ever get bogged down en route. If there is apace, I would consider having a bicycle along as supplementary transportation.

I should add a blanket, boots, and water bottles to my car kit. Bikes aren't going to work for me. My knees are too shot. It's car or foot power.
Originally Posted By: hikermor

How are you fixed for camping gear?

Pretty minimal. I have my mini-kit for day hikes, but everything that's been converted over to emergency supplies is still with my family.
Originally Posted By: hikermor

I have come to prefer electric lanterns and lights over the traditional liquid fuel (Coleman) items.

Concur, and already implemented
Originally Posted By: hikermor

In high winds, about the best you can do is to drive slower and be alert. It can be rather touchy.

Good advice
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
Make darn sure that the vehicle is well maintained. In the case of a wildfire particularly youíll be really glad when it starts and keeps running.

QFT. I normally carry spare oil, water, bulbs, and basic tools.
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
Sounds like you're living through a challenging time. Hang in there.

In addition to the advice above, I would add: get to know your neighbours. Make a point of becoming, in a respectful way, a known quantity, a person who can be trusted, and a genuine asset.
...

Words written here are cheap, and all of this is easier said than done. But good neighbours beat 9-1-1 by a country mile. And it adds a powerful layer of resilience to your situation.

My 2c.


That could be a little interesting. I haven't even met the ranch owners.
_________________________
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane

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#291673 - 01/19/19 09:18 AM Re: Home prep for renting a room out in the sticks [Re: Mark_R]
albusgrammaticus Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/18/17
Posts: 59
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Mark_R
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Quite a challenge! How is the cell phone reception along your normally traveled routes?

Not bad. There are a couple of dead spots in the canyons (no cell or radio), but overall it's reliable


Spotty reception and cold temperatures could drain a cell phone battery pretty quickly.

I would keep a small power bank in your vehicle at all times, to ensure your phone has always enough juice to call for help in case your car breaks down along the route.

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#291674 - 01/19/19 02:58 PM Re: Home prep for renting a room out in the sticks [Re: dougwalkabout]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6894
Loc: southern Cal
a hearty +1 to Dougwalkabout's comments about rural communities. I have fond memories of my time dealing with ranchers in southern Arizona and with Navaho in Canyon de Chelly (NE Ariz).

I became very good friends with one couple whose ranch was the start of one of my favorite climbs. They aided me on my misadventures and we helped them. Sadly, but inevitably, I was one of Shorty's pall bearers at the very end.

In Canyon de Chelly, when I began to work there, the best advice I ever received was, "Don't worry about getting stuck in the Canyon. You will get stuck." That was absolutely true. Sometimes I would unstick the locals and sometimes they would unstick me. We just helped out when we could.

Get to know your neighbors. you will be glad you did..

On another topic, you mentioned soil liquifaction as a potential problem -the consequence of a big eathquake. If we get hit by The Big One, there will be many problems. Stock up on basic necessities and help your neighbors, as they help you.

There are definite advantages to living in the sticks....
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#291675 - 01/19/19 04:32 PM Re: Home prep for renting a room out in the sticks [Re: dougwalkabout]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3133
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
Words written here are cheap, and all of this is easier said than done. But good neighbours beat 9-1-1 by a country mile. And it adds a powerful layer of resilience to your situation.


This is some of the best advice Iíve ever read on this forum.

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#291679 - 01/21/19 12:02 AM Re: Home prep for renting a room out in the sticks [Re: Mark_R]
Tirec Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/24/07
Posts: 49
Loc: Rocky Mountain West
I'd make sure to add a shovel, tow rope, bailing-wire, pliers, jumper cables, a tarp, ropes, face mask/bandana, goggles (that allow glasses, if you need them, like I do). If there's a bad dust storm, you can tie the rope/twine to the steering wheel and to your belt before venturing outside. People have gotten lost when they slipped and fell while trying to navigate from the front of the car to the back door during a dust storm or blizzard.

If your local emergency services has reverse-911, you should register your cell phone with them so they can notify you if there's an emergency.

You may want to look into amateur radio. That isn't dependent on the interconnected cell towers. A cell phone is great as long as the system and power is up, and it isn't overloaded, as has been seen when there's an emergency.
With a mobile, or hand-held, amateur radio, you can listen to, and converse (if you're licensed) with other operators to stay updated, or request help if other methods of communications are down. Some who prepare for emergencies include amateur radio as one of their steps. If there are some in the area, that can help as well.
Some repeater clubs publish coverage maps that can help to see where you can hit a repeater. http://www.levinecentral.com/repeaters/google_mapping.php?State=CA or http://www.scirainc.org/repeaters.php

Depending on the type (class) of license you get, and equipment used, you can communicate within your county, state, portion of the country, or even across the country. You can get your license and a fairly inexpensive hand-held radio for under $100. A mobile radio with an entry-level magnetic mount antenna can be had for under $250. With an entry-level handheld radio I've hit a repeater almost 20 miles away, adding a magnetic mount antenna, I've talked to someone 75 miles away (simplex, direct radio to radio), and when a higher powered mobile radio with the same antenna, I've hit a repeater over 100 miles away.
With the basic hand-held radio, I hit a repeater about 15 miles away, and the repeater was linked with other repeaters across my state. I talked to my brother who was connected to a repeater 200 miles away.
Even an old CB radio may be useful.

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#291680 - 01/21/19 12:20 AM Re: Home prep for renting a room out in the sticks [Re: Tirec]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6894
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: Tirec
I'd make sure to add a shovel, tow rope, bailing-wire, pliers, jumper cables, a tarp, ropes, face mask/bandana, goggles (that allow glasses, if you need them, like I do). If there's a bad dust storm, you can tie the rope/twine to the steering wheel and to your belt before venturing outside. People have gotten lost when they slipped and fell while trying to navigate from the front of the car to the back door during a dust storm or blizzard.



really?? Could you please cite some actual occurrences, especially in desert conditions.

Old desert hand here -sixty years kicking around Arizona and California and I have never heard of such an event. There have been some bad dust storms definitely obscuring driving visibility between Tucson and Phoenix in recent years, but visibility was reduced primarily because of the intensive cultivated fields in that region.

If visibility were to be that bad, exiting the vehicle would be a very bad idea.

Extreme blizzards might be a different story....but especially then, stay in the car.

I do agree rope is handy. Sam Gamgee (LOTR)"You will always need a bit of rope..."


Edited by hikermor (01/21/19 12:21 AM)
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