Sunday, October 13, 2019

camp ideas

So I've been wanting to get a bit more social with my prepping and thought it might be nice to arrange a camping skill-share, where we could get together, make camp, share some ideas and knowledge and practice some skills and test out gear. In thinking about this I got to thinking about skills and ideas for discussion topics.  My thoughts around it revolved around the bug-out decision and what could or would be needed in those situations. 
So here is my brainstorming list of ideas around topics to cover both philosophical topics surrounding TEOTWAWKI scenarios and situations where wilderness bug-outs might be beneficial, and also covering skills and techniques I feel might be worth sharing for a SHTF situation.

 The idea would be to put into practice some of the skills and preps people have gathered and learn new ways of doing things in a relaxed, pressure-free environment.
I don't claim to be super knowledgeable or skilled but I think it would be a valuable experience and a great way to socialize mindsets as well as test out gear. 

To bug in or bug out
- when (depending on the event, there may or may not be a warning, sheltering in -place may be advantageous) (traffic, unrest, martial law, fuel restrictions, road clearance, security)
- how (on foot, in a vehicle, daytime, night-time, overt or covert)
- trigger points (depends on the situation, essential services, social markers (rioting, mobs, looting)
- prep (depending on the situation there may be time to do last minute preps (storm proofing windows, shopping, water storage)
- Where:

Should the decision come to bug-out, one of the first thoughts I think worth discussing was that of site selection. Given the variety of threats that could trigger a bug-out, such choices would need to be suitable for the situation at hand.
As I see it, a site selection depends on four basic elements: 
- access (can you hike to it, does it have road access, do you need ladders, ropes or a boat to reach it?)
- resources (food,  water, firewood, materiale on site)
- physical security (distance, isolation, cliffs, dense forest, rivers, fences, buildings, walls)
- obscurity (is it a commonly known or popular location, does it get plentiful visitors in normal times)

Having settled on a bug-out location and making it there, you are faced with some choices around camp layout that will need to be considered, these apply to any camping situation.

- shelter
- wind
- local hazards (rivers, cliffs, marshes, wildlife)
- areas (sleeping / cooking / fire / toiletries / craft)
- distance to water 
Shelter building. Depending on your situation and expected duration of your stay you may need to take into consideration a variety of elements such seasonal weather and both convenience and comfort. Do you need to build  a log cabin to winter in or stilt house to monsoon in?
- natural
- salvage
- portable
Foraging: Bugging out is usually a limiting idea when it comes to resources. There will be only so many meals you can pack and take with you ,and after that you'll have to fend or yourself. 
- bush food
- salvage (neighboring residences / "abandoned" towns, risks of venturing out)
- hunting
- caching
- farming (crops  & livestock)
Fire craft: Cooking, water purifying, heat, light, craft and security. Fire brings all thee things and there are fewer things that say "survival" more than being able  to start and maintain a fire. But it can be dangerous, time and energy consumptive (fire wood is hard work to chop and haul)
- bow drill
- fire steel/ flint / Ferrocerium
- smokeless buried
- fuel (harvesting and storing)
Water: essential for life, for crops, for hygiene and  sometimes remarkably difficult to come across.

- sand charcoal filter
- evaporation still/plant harvest
- streams, billabongs, springs, rain harvest

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!
-My Country, Poem by Dorothea Mackeller

Food: Ok ,so, you've got your crates of MRE, your boxes of ramen and cans of beans, and lugged it a ll out to your bug-out location. Now you have to eat it. as a limited resource you want to ensure you waste as little as possible, maximise caloric content and avoid meal-fatigue. 
- - cooking/food/MRE's/rations
- - storage
- - hobo stew

Camp craft: There are all manner of skills to learn and things to make to improve camp living. Some are purely outdoors skills, others are wilderness survival and others just useful.
- travois building
travois building
cleaning/ hygiene/ latrine
first aid
sharpening tool/knife
rope, knots, cordage, nets
Security: having arrived at your site, you'll want to establish a perimeter and put some kind of security in place, if the situation calls for it, based on the level of threats expected, you may need to deploy all manner of security to protect your location, your supplies and yourselves.  
traps / tripline alarms / noisemakers
- light/noise discipline
- snares, traps and static defense
- hiking/stealth
- tracking/stalking

The 5 c's of survival - combustion/cordage/ containers/ cover/cutting tool

Camp stuff aside, there's the whole "when is enough's enough", when to pack up and big out or board up and bug in. Some scenarios are better for bug-in vs bug out and would take some debating to determine what constitutes what kind of risks or benefits. 
Situations leading to a bug-out.
- social collapse: fabric of society in tatters, no law, no services, reliant on pre-established community goodwill if it exists. 
- economic collapse: mass unemployment and poverty, starvation and resource scarcity. law and order stretched thin, but government still operates in some capacity. Profiteering rampant. Currency irrelevant. 
- governmental collapse: formal government dissolved essential services operate on volunteer basis only. Free market economy continues but currency may be unstable .

- natural disaster: devastating and dangerous. depending on the nature of the event the damage may be narrow or widespread, limited or long term.
- - floods
- - dust bowl
- - fires (bushfire, urban wildfire, pipeline / refinery )
- - mega storms (hurricane, typhoon, tornado)
- - geological (earthquake, volcanic, impact events)
- disease  / plague

climate change: I don't need a 16 year old Swede to shame me into being concerned. Climate change could lead to a variety of cascading disasters.
- global warming
- - sea levels coastal shifts inland
- - droughts
- weather patterns
- - flooding
-- EL nino, La Nina
- - crop failures
- armada storms ( if one butterfly flapping its wings can cause a hurricane, imagine a whole swarm or an armada of butterflies and the storm they might create (thanks Peter F Hamilton))
water supply
- Drought
- -domestic water restrictions
- -crop  failures
- - bee pollination collapse

solar flare / increase (Circuitry Man) the day star is an angry friend and can do us harm in more ways than sunburn and drought. A burp of the sun could drop us back to the steam age and we lack the infrastructure to support it.
- grid down infrastructure failure, comms out
- emp
- radiation
- heat

Yellowstone super-volcano
Pacific Rim ring of fire eruptions/quakes
- ash
- tsunami
- plate shift
- reactor meltdowns

polar flip: i'm not convinced this one is really an issue worth listing as a disaster, rather a significant inconvenience and nuisance. 
- navigation
- Van Allen belt holes

power / fuel ( no oil, coal):  Fuel crisis might dramatically cut transportation, distribution and essential services. prices may skyrocket to compensate or they may simply halt
- electrical power grid down
-- water and sewage pumping cut / digital economy / comms
-- transportation / food distribution

international terrorism
- local infrastructure disruption

domestic terrorism :social unrest and instability, cultural shifts and revolutionary. All are disruptive and might warrant  a"get out of Dodge"  to avoid being caught up in or being on the wrong end of.
- religious extremism
- jihad vs crusade
- hate crimes/race war

plague: global Pandemics, sweeping through countries , killing or incapacitating people could lead to infrastructure and societal collapse as well as the direct threat of infection.
- Spanish flu
- red flu ( the Last Ship)
- crop blight (Interstellar)
- livestock blight

war: woah, woah, woah, what is it good for? Not property values that's for sure. Time to Wolveriene's out!
- invasion
- thermonuclear fallout

Crazy Supernatural disaster: I'm not going to shirk from addressing the very dear threats to the movie-going preppers lists even if it's not a credible threat. Worth it for fireside discussion with  a few drinks at the very least.
- zombies
- aliens
- trifids
- kaiju

Would some kind of camping trip with workshops appeal? If you're in my geographical region and would like to hang out do drop me a line. We'll chop some wood and char some food, rig some traps and get our hands dirty.
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