Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fun with Search Queries

Note: Last week, I suggested making lists of the “little things” that you might overlook when you add to your stockpiles. My family added some interesting things over the last few days: shoelaces, for example, and small sewing kits. We also realized that you really can’t have too much duct tape.

Fun with Search Queries

Today, as a bit of a break from the usual routine, I decided to see what search terms people are using to find this blog. Because I’m the helpful sort, I’ll also try to figure out what these folks want, and come up with an answer or two.

Bad toothache; antibiotics not working
How long have you been on the antibiotics? They don’t do away with the pain the first few days, especially if you’re hurting a LOT. Oh, and see a dentist: that bad tooth needs treatment, unless you want to pretend that you’re in “Castaway” and knock it out yourself with an ice skate and a rock. Having never done anything of that sort, I have no advice for you about it, but I imagine that removing your own, infected tooth would be a bad idea, considering that you would be spreading an infection around. That could be, you know, bad.

What are four sources of water?
Let’s see: The magical tap in your kitchen; the stockpiled barrels or jugs of water in your cache; the creek or river if you have a way of purifying the water; and the toilet tank or water heater if you’re in a bad way.

Alternate answers include: Rainfall; the magical tap in the bathtub; the water well, provided that you can access the water (no electricity means no pump, unless you have a backup plan); and the bottled-water section of the grocery store. Not all of these sources will be available all the time, of course, so be sure to have backup plans for your backup plans.

Natural pest repellents
My family and I have had success with horse apples, as I’ve said before. We’ve also learned that ground cinnamon, sprinkled around the area we want to protect, repels everything from roaches to scorpions. Bay leaves also repel a variety of critters as long as you remember to grab said leaves every week or so and crumple them a bit between your hands (keeps the pungent smell vivid, it seems).

If you’d like a solution that you can spray directly on anything that you’d like to kill – black-widow spiders, scorpions, etc. – go find cold-press orange oil. We get ours at the feed store, but we’ve also found the stuff at organic nurseries. Mix one part of this with two or three parts water (either mixture works fine, I’ve noticed) in a spray bottle and you have a nice-smelling firebomb for those nasty critters. It’s even better than dousing them with Raid – trust me.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of organic pest control: roosters and chickens eat all sorts of critters, including the dreaded scorpion. Our rooster roams near the house. This works out because he has plenty of room to move around and because he eats things that we don’t want around the house. He LOVES scorpions. Loves them. Good, good rooster!

How to avoid taking the swine-flu vaccine
Just…um…don’t take it? But seriously, if you’re in a position where you could be required to take this shot, you’re going to have to weigh the consequences of refusing against the consequences of being vaccinated, and then make a decision.

Alternatively, you and a whole bunch of other people in the group can collectively refuse, seeing as there’s usually some strength in numbers. When I was in the Army, that sort of attitude would get you into deep trouble, but most of the rest of us can refuse. Just say no, folks.

Can you boil an MRE in a pot?
Yes! Take the entrée out of its cardboard box and drop it in a pot of boiling water: a few minutes later, you have a piping-hot meal. You can also heat the MRE in the sun, which works best if you put the food on a dark surface (still sealed in the bag, that is). Ideally, though, you’ll have the MRE heater, which requires only a tiny amount of water to operate.

However: I don’t stock up on MREs, at least not at this point, because they’re a bit overpriced. If you’re in a place where you can boil a pot of water, you can make all sorts of inexpensive, but nutritious and filling, foods: oatmeal; rice; noodles, that sort of thing. None of those foods take up much room, depending on how much you pack and how, so why not?

Survivalist scams
Well…I’m not exactly sure of what this means, but my first thought is “overpriced gear.” Folks, you don’t have to have an AR-15, Mountain House freeze-dried food, or ten thousand acres in the middle of nowhere. It’s entirely possible to work within your budget, whatever that may be, and come out ahead in the end. Survival is more about the preparedness mentality, which includes acquiring knowledge and skills, than about the gear anyway, as evidenced by the fact that more than one “adventurer” has died despite having a pack full of crap.

That being said: I highly encourage you to buy good books about the things that you’re learning to do. Oh, sure, most information is free if you have Internet access and decent search skills, but there are times when a “real” book is best. I love books anyway, so this isn’t a burden or a challenge for me.

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“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
-George OrwellAnimal Farm