Friday, March 10, 2023

Bits and pieces

We are missing another "Mom" day.

I got up several times to use the toilet. No excitement but it is better to not trust a fart, especially when diarrhea is working its way through the house. My belly hurt.

I have come to the conclusion that the universe is expanding and that I am getting taller. The ground is MUCH farther away than it used to be. It is almost not worth bending over to pick up a penny. The other thing is that it takes twice as long to stand up. Obviously, the only logical answer is that I am taller now.

Mrs ERJ points out that the measuring tape doesn't support my hypothesis. I pointed out that if the entire universe was expanding, the inches on the measuring tape would get farther apart and we would never know.

I love science.

Bank crashing

A pretty good sized bank in Silicon Valley is crashing. The Fed is probably trying to rescue it with a shotgun wedding.

This is reminiscent of the Savings and Loan crisis in the oil-patch in the mid-80's.

Fiat currency is based on the faith that those who use in it have. Destroy that faith and you have no money.


One of the folks who comments here on a regular basis asked (on a fellow blog site) "How much in preps?"

Ethnic Germans fleeing the Red Army's westward advance, 1945

Refugees, India/Pakistan partition. 1947

There are events where lots of preps are a handicap. Suppose the Pickering Nuke plant on the north short of Lake Ontario suffered a containment breach. If you lived in Vermont or New Hampshire you MIGHT have 30 hours to evacuate.

Remember, you will have to contend with other refugees, empty gas stations, uncertainty of safe places to go. Imagine you dither and leave late and then a shift in the wind sends the contamination toward NYC. You would get all tangled up.

I think the question "What would I stash in two, five-gallon buckets that I could grab-and-go and be able to land 600 miles from my current location?"

  • Meds/eyeglasses
  • Fresh socks
  • Work gloves
  • Work clothes and warm clothes
  • Cash ($100 bills)
  • Security devices
  • Cans of sardines. Instant rice, lentils, vegetable oil
  • Soap
  • A camp stove that runs on gasoline
  • A couple of pans
  • Spare vehicle keys
  • Comfort items like playing cards, chocolate, condoms, sanitary napkins, favorite spice blends
  • Backpack (increases the amount you can carry to three-thousand cubic inches)
  • Stuff for your kid(s)

It is your two-thousand cubic inches. Own it.


  1. Smaller bills as well. 5's and 20's.
    Small towel (they make compressed ones...bath towel is the size of a hockey puck until wetted)
    Duct tape.
    Small water filter.
    Decent concealable knife.

  2. Darlington to Pulaski over 125 miles. X/Q is your friend - dilution is often the solution. Worry about something else. East Palestine and the RR tracks within 10 miles of my house comes to mind. Or the delay it took to stop interstate traffic from driving thru the orange cloud, and to get an evacuation started from the high school 600 ft from a fuming acid spill in Arizona a couple weeks back.

  3. If you're on foot, well......

    If, on the other hand, you have a vehicle, depending on the vehicle, a few Plano Sportsman's Trucks (56 qt) can hold a lot, and some Sceptre cans for water is good, too. You can't take everything, do the planning now.

    Speaking of planning, a generic small laptop and thumb drive with all the important stuff as PDFs - house inventory (list AND photos), bank account numbers and passwords, PDFs of copies of deeds, titles, insurance policies, something for comms, and keeping the comms charged, etc., etc.

    Throw the kids out for a few hours, pour a couple libations and you and the spouse sit down and do the skull sweat on it.

    Let it age for a few days, then lather, rinse, repeat, because you'll think of new stuff. You can't take everything, do the planning now.

    Pro Tip: Set a Rock Hard Deadline, as in "what we have by X date & time is what we're going with" And. Do. Not. Miss. The. Deadline.

    You can come up with Ver 2.0 later but not having completed Ver 1.0 is a death sentence for survivalibility, finances, etc.

  4. Also depends on whether you're going to fort up or run for it...

    1. Hard to know in advance because chaos does not respect planning. It is good to have the ability to go either way.

      Personally, 19-time-out-of-20 bugging in will be the right answer for me. That might be reversed for an affluent enclave in an inner-city.

  5. Jeezz! What prepper hasn't been down THIS rabbit hole??? How much can you carry? How much do you WANT to carry?

    Nix the century notes. A lot of businesses and even more individuals don't want them. Go with $20.00 bills instead. If you can, break this down even more to tens and fives. Remember that you may have to MAKE change instead of asking for it.

    Don't be the one carrying both sets of keys unless you're alone.

    Don't forget some kind of sleeping accommodation; a sleeping bag or blanket. Sleeping on the ground sucks when you're young. It doesn't get any better with age!

    First aid kit with OTC meds, one of them being anti-diarrhea pills. Food is going to be dicey at best. Diarrhea sucks in the best of times. In a survival situation it can be deadly!

    Flashlights. Your cell phone is NOT a flashlight! There are a bunch of good LED headlamps out there. I prefer these. I use ones from a brand called "Goforwild." Yeah; I know... Chinese... What isn't these days? These are "daily drivers" for me here at Rancho Whybother, and have worked well. They're also USB rechargeable. No changing batteries every few hours.

    ...I could go on all day...

    Keep boiling this down!

  6. If you have to bug out, I hope you pre-planned a few options where to go.

    Every year I hear the same stories from Florida's yearly event THE HURRICANE. Folks waiting until it's within 24 hours of landfall (hoping I assume it turns away) and then traffic jams, NO Hotels available that take their pets, gas stations limiting purchases or out of gas.

    I'm a bug in soul as I've seen Real Refugees in collapsing countries. I know my HAZMAT issues around here. That's why I bought here. I know my neighbors within easy bicycling distance (Great way to meet folks) and a few of us have discussed what few streets need an accidental tree or three fall.

  7. What do you grab if you have five minutes to evacuate, thirty minutes, four hours. Do drills.

  8. 600 miles is 10-11 hours of straight driving
    I do it often, from mid Mich (north of you) to East Tennessee -- 98% freeway.
    In a crunch, that time could double/triple
    list suggestions:
    -multi tool (with can opener to open the sardines)
    -Bic lighters (to light the stove)
    -container/some means of storing the stove gasoline
    -cooking utensils (spoon/spatula/etc) for use with the stove/pans
    --bottled water (to wash the taste of the sardines away (sic))
    - aluminum cup/instant coffee/etc (to keep alert covering 600 miles)
    -good flashlight/headlamp (some of the travel time will be in the dark)
    -flash drive with important documentation on it (concealable and data won't be lost if you "lose" your phone)
    -battery powered pocket size radio (AM/FM minimum- with S/W better)

    No where a full list, but you stipulated 2 buckets.



  9. Two 5 gallon buckets Joe? I've a couple of them within eyesight of my computer. Not a lot of volume there.

    However it IS accurate to a small car a lot of us have to bugout with Space wise.

    I've bike camped for 10 days living out of my bicycle panners (lots of GORP) and know that's a tad harsh for wives and children.

    Spare clothing? Like a pair of jeans, a shirt and such? Wow, I'm pretty sure the first bucket is full now.

    As I mentioned before HAVE A PLAN where you're going to Bugout to. A trusted friend is my first suggestion. I have three such arrangements. They can bugout to my place and vis versa.

    We have stored clothing, FOOD and such at all out bug out points. I've SEEN in other countries that refugees get robbed of everything valuable and assume that kind of bad luck might happen to me.

    A wildfire would be the most logical reason for my bugout. I have a solid firebreak and my area isn't known for wildfires due to ample rain.

    People need to look around at their preps and ask that question.

    If my house was destroyed by fire, what preps do I still have and what is my plan B.

    1. I am looking at the pictures. Walking is the default after the vehicle runs out of gas or is impounded to "control outside elements".

      See Backpack Fever by Duncan Long

  10. Too obstinate (and old!) to bail. Spending time and resources to strengthen local relationships and build personal resiliency. I'll sit on my bucket, trust In my God, and enjoy the adventure,
    A little east of Paris ..

  11. Using a suck-bagger - sorry - a vacuum sealer - can help fit bulky items like clothes, as well as secure things you don't want spilling, or items you want to keep together.

  12. The ‘problem’ with most peoples “bug-out” bags, from my perspective, is that they mistake ‘what would be nice to have’ with ‘what do I really need’. This isn’t a camping trip we’re talking about, but basic survival (the ones who go the other way and go all ‘bushcraft’ are just as bad).

    Firstly (preaching to the choir I know) bugging-out (to some mythical empty wilderness, where you will survive indefinitely – but in reality die within a week or so when your food runs out, or all the other starving ‘refugees’, which is what you just made yourself, decide to kill and eat you) is a chumps game, unless you are bugging ‘to’ a pre-arranged or pre-supplied/set-up location (it may be friends, a cabin or nothing more than a rented storage unit two towns over, stocked with necessities, but you aren’t relying on FEMA et al). But … sometimes staying is not an option, so saying that, what you ‘need’ is the absolute minimum to get you there and no more (a couple of days 'hardship' wont hurt, but carrying too much may kill you).

    The usual list is shelter, water, food, navigation/signalling, protection (both passive first-aid, and … more proactive). How much, and what type, depends entirely on you, the terrain, the season, the weather, the threats, urban/rural, etc., there’s no one-size-fits-all menu for this.

    I have multiple locations arranged/set-up ‘now’. I have a truck based kit (which is basically my ‘luxury’ bug out system including, yes a kitchen sink). I can downsize if the vehicle is no longer viable to … my folding ‘paratrooper’ bicycle (with or without trailer), and if that is lost or unworkable, I have a standard three-day pack with everything I need to, not particularly comfortably, survive to get to my safe locations. But ... Like most, i intend to bug-in if that's even vaguely possible.

    So? Almost everything you listed (and a lot more) should ‘already’ be stashed/cached where you might be forced to run to. What you need at hand is then only what will let you survive to get there (a much easier list and load).

    [The basics might include tyvek suits and respirators if living next-door to a nuke plant, or smoke-hoods if wildfires are a local ‘thing’, but whatever they are they aren’t to survive ‘there’ but just enough to get you off the X and safe].

    Climbing carefully off my (“I really spend too much time thinking about this stuff” labelled) soap-box. I'd blame having lived and worked in every third-rate sh*thole in the world (just once I'd like to have been deployed somewhere with bikinis and drinks with umbrellas in them. Sigh!), or it might be just be that I'm weird.

  13. just a thought if earthquakes our multitude of bridges may collapse
    or be held by those evildoers taking advantage who will demand plunder to let you pass, or do worse to you esp if you are female
    know where ferries and fords are, and alternate bridge free routes

  14. Only one thing i see GLARING often.
    $100 vs $20's same as silver vs gold. The gold and the $100? Dont even think you will see "change" from any transaction.
    When time is critical- the change is lost cause !
    Being able to throw a few 20's is better than 5 at a time.
    If they think you got more 100's you got PROBLEM!
    Having small grab of 20's is plenty normal- THAT is what ATM will give out.
    Those 100's came from a BANK! You are giving yourself away bad.
    What that first poster said- small bills!!!! 5//10//20...
    (yeah- hundreds too- NEVER show those- they are for CIVILIZATION on the far side of the problem you are ditching.)
    Thats my experience!
    Carry on y'all- Best regards ERJ!


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