Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Increase Your Chances Of Survival By Learning How To Filter Water In The Wilderness

 Increase Your Chances Of Survival By Learning How To Filter Water In The Wilderness

New Orleans, 1907: Advertisement for water fil...
New Orleans, 1907: Advertisement for water filters by Crescent Filter and Specialty Co. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Outdoor survival skills are extremely important if you should become lost or stranded out in the wilderness. Finding water is a valuable skill but so too is knowing how to make that water safe for you to drink. It is important to learn how to filter water. It is also important to know that filtering water is not the same as purifying water making it safe for drinking, but in an emergency, this outdoor survival skill can be extremely useful.
 If all you can find is muddy water you will need to create a filter which will clean it of all the sediment and debris. Filtering the water simply means removing all visible dirt and debris which will help make it safer for drinking. Harmful bacteria and microbes will still exist in the water but the filtering process will make it taste a little better. To begin filtering water you will need to have container to keep it in. A bottle will work well. By cutting the bottom of the bottle off you will be able to use the top as a makeshift funnel. For the best results using this method stuff some cloth material into the funnel to trap debris. Using a can will work, too. For the water to be able to run through you will need to punch a few holes into the bottom of the can with your pocket knife. Then it's just a matter of letting the water fall through the holes trapping anything else inside the can.

Filtering water in the wilderness can be achieved several different ways. Without a bottle or a can you can consider this method in an emergency. You can place an item of clothing or cloth material directly over the container as a filter. You should be able to get rid of some particles with this method. Use what nature provides. Rocks and sand in alternating layers will make an excellent filter. Using more layers will create a better filter. Bark made into the shape of a cone can be used in place of bottles and cans. Layer the rocks and sand inside the cone. To hold it all together use a piece of string at the bottom of the cone. By thinking ahead and putting small rocks at the bottom you will be able to stop it from all falling apart. Use both fine and coarse layers in the filter, alternating between the two. Sand pouring out of the bottom of the cone needs to be avoided. This isn't as hard as you might think. Use a non-poisonous grass, small pebbles or some cotton material. When your filter is finished start pouring your collected water into it. Catch the water in a container after it has gone through the filter. Check the filtered water. If it's not clear you will need to filter it again.

Keep doing this until you have some clear water. Even though you now have clear water there are still little nastiness in there that need to be gotten rid of. The water still needs to be purified. The filtered water will still probably contain bacteria that could make you sick. Purifying water is simple. Boil it over a fire for five minutes or use a water purification tablet.

 Learning how to filter water in the wilderness is an essential outdoor survival skill. You can keep yourself alive by knowing how to make your water fit for drinking. This will keep you hydrated while you wait for the rescue party. Make sure you can filter water by practicing when you don't need it. It's a simple skill that is literally a life saver. As an avid camper I choose to acquire the skills I might require to keep my family and myself alive if things go wrong.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

US: collapse of the currency

Various Federal Reserve Notes, c.1995. Only th...
Various Federal Reserve Notes, c.1995. Only the designs of the $1 and $2 (the latter not pictured) are still in print. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With many talks on the US debt ceiling, a good cause for concern has arisen, currency collapse.  Watching the US dollar index is a good way to keep informed. I wont be going over hard details of how a major collapse happens. In short it falls down to printing money to get out of debt or spending your way out of debt. Money in the US is printed or created digitally, what this means is that "By printing the money to pay for the bridge, and putting that money into general circulation, you have simply devalued the money in everyone else pocket to exactly the same amount as the cost of the bridge."  you can read more here. The problem is: The currency is losing value on a daily basis.  This is why you hear or see so many gold commercials. The federal reserve is creating money from nothing, the money is not backed by anything. My concern is more with how to survive in a possible currency crash. In the event of a crash or even if the US dollar index hits 70 I would suggest you have somewhere safe to move. Avoiding the major city's can keep you alive or in better health for much longer. Stores that you go to for food purchase can easily be cleaned out of food in about 8 hours. Gas stations can run empty in less. Keep in mind that the money you hold in your pocket or the credit cards would be essentially worthless in an event like this. This is not meant to scare you or start a panic, just information most people are not aware of.

Awareness can help preparedness. 

 Anytime the US dollar value goes down, commodity values go up.  People love to blame "the rich" or "evil gas corporations" but, they are not the ones devaluing the currency thus causing the prices to inflate. Remember this, if the currency collapses, the rich, if invested solely in the dollar will now be broke. Again I refer to the mass amounts of gold sales pitches you hear. Blaming the rich for being rich is not a solution. Making sure your family survives is. As a US citizen you must remember,  when dealing with our currency we are talking about Non-interest bearing debt notes. "The U.S. Constitution effectively defines "money" as gold and silver - Article I, Section 10: "No State shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts." The law agrees: "The terms 'lawful money' and "lawful money of the United States' shall be construed to mean gold or silver coin of the United States." (12 USC 152.) The Federal Reserve Note is not money; it is counterfeit currency. Hence receipts in Federal Reserve Notes, having no legal value, are not taxable." See this article and Section 10: Limits on the States. I recommend fully that you just read the entire US constitution. Look for part2 and how to asses resources you have and that are around you that you may be completely unaware of. Id like to thank Roger Tolces for information and an understanding of the US dollar. 

Facebook is cool for sharing yeah? Well you can add a link to SecWh Directory and then share it!

Knowledge: The lightest thing to store and carry

P psychology
P psychology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The main concern in any survival situation is to be prepared before something happens so you can mitigate the risks. One thing that people really need to start doing more to prepare for any kind of survival or disaster situation is to learn more. I don't mean learning which stuff to pack away or which gun to carry (although these can be very important too). I'm saying people need to learn more applicable knowledge that can really help them out in an emergency situation. Too often people rely on technology and public systems to support them, and are then completely confused as to what to do when those things aren't there to help. Just think about all the different things that you could learn to provide for yourself in better ways. Would you need a GPS in hand at all times if you already knew the area like the back of your hand? Would you need to carry that book on edible plants if you were already familiar with the local plants and where to find them? There are numerous things that one could teach themselves (or take a class on) to better prepare themselves. Think of lock-picking, hunting, camping, fire making, foraging, building a shelter, social engineering, fishing, gardening, land and sea navigation, first aid, cooking, marksmanship, and self-defense as some of the helpful skills you could acquire. You could go out and find actual classes that are presented in your area or you can just learn on your own with trial and error (don't eat any suspicious plants). I'll post a few book recommendations if I find some that are helpful in this quest for knowledge.

SAS Survival Handbook, Revised Edition: For Any Climate, in Any Situation

Primitive Skills and Crafts: An Outdoorsman's Guide to Shelters, Tools, Weapons, Tracking, Survival, and More 

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times

Old papers can get lost. Backup or convert to digital

Going over a lot of my old college papers today. Here is one snippet I found. Funny how things turn out. One might think "maybe I should have prepared better." What ever the case me be, always keep digital copies and backups of your old papers and files. Physical paper can burn, get lost or stolen, while it's fun to have ( and I have loads of it) try converting your texts to digital to store for safe keeping.  Here is a post about how to help prevent data loss.
This is a half of a paper I submitted to my professor on the FED and monetary policy. References are at the bottom.
 (original response)
Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Board of Governo...
Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Board of Governors, The Federal Reserve Board, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are three tools of monetary policy that the Federal Reserve controls. These three tools are operations of the open market, discount rates, and the requirements of the reserve. The Federal Open Market Committee is charged with the open market functions, while the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is charged with discount rates and requirements of the reserve. “Changes in the federal funds rate trigger a chain of events that affect other short-term interest rates, foreign exchange rates, long-term interest rates, the amount of money and credit, and, ultimately, a range of economic variables, including employment, output, and prices of goods and services” (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System). The functions of this system was effective on some level, however the open market did cause dramatic fluctuations that caused an enormous economic downturn in recent years. As the article states, changes in federal monies set into motion a “chain of events” that significantly impact other parts of the economy, including short and long term interest rates, credit, employment, etc. The changes that were allowed freedom caused detrimental outcomes in the American economy which has resulted in the current situation we are in.
(new addition)
In regards to the Press Release dated 4/28/10, it appears as though technological and household spending is increasing. However there is a decrease in employment, pay raises, and investments in businesses. By the Federal Reserve closing out all but one of their special liquidity facilities it raised many questions about the depth of the current economic status. These special facilities are designed to assist businesses during economic crisis. A logical conclusion would be that since these facilities were created and designed to assist during the economic downturn, the act of closing all but one must indicate that the economy is on the mend and is improving significantly. The remaining special liquidity facility is scheduled to close on 6/30/10. Many individuals supported this landmark event, however there were still several who believed it was far too soon to believe the economy was on a destined path to recovery. 

References: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. “Federal Open Market Committee.” January 27, 2010. Internet: http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/ fomc.htm. Collinge, Robert A. & Ronald M. Ayers. Economics By Design: Survey & Issues, 3rd Ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004.
The Federal Reserve: The Biggest Scam In History
The Federal Reserve: The Biggest Scam In History (Photo credit: CityGypsy11)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Don't forget to prepare your vehicle

ready.....draw! (Photo credit: Gandroid)
A lot of survivalism focuses on preparing your home and self for a disaster or SHTF situation, but some attention needs to be given to your vehicle. I'm not saying you need to go buy a badass off-roading truck to escape into the hills (unless you have the extra money...), but consider some of the following things to carry in your car/truck just in case you could need them. The most obvious would be the necessities for your vehicle. It couldn't hurt to have extra parts or tools on hand for when something breaks or wears out. These could include a spare tire (everyone should have that), spare headlight bulb, jumper cables (for if you forget that dome light), portable jack, small tool kit, and even a small gas can. I also like to keep roadside emergency supplies like flares,  a flashlight, a CB radio, quarters for a pay phone, and a charged cell phone. My vehicle emergency kit also has all the essentials to survive for 72 hours.

It may not be a bad idea to keep a weapon in your vehicle, but unfortunately for me and some others out there, it is against the law in our state to have a firearm or deadly weapon (wide open to interpretation) in your vehicle while on certain properties. It just so happens that I work at a medical clinic where it is there policy to have no firearms on campus. This does not stop me from having a few non-lethal weapons in my truck and I still carry my multi-tool as it is not usually viewed as a deadly weapon if
Female Gun Fighter
Female Gun Fighter (Photo credit: Gr8tFate.com - Andrew Perreault)
people see it. DO NOT try to take a multi-tool into a court house or jail though. Don't forget to keep up on your vehicle maintenance so that your vehicle will run as smoothly as possible for as long as possible if you do need to get away for an extended period of time. For the people that do off-road out there, I would suggest looking into a shovel, winch, GPS, and a satellite phone. The shovel can really save your ass if you're out in snow and need to dig down for traction. GPS is optional for most people, but you can always carry a road atlas under your seat to figure out where you're at. Basically try to be as prepared in your vehicle as you could be at home, because for at least 8-10 hours of the day I'm not at home.
If you own a website and submit to a web directory you're gonna have a good time.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Survival Food: Research and buy food wisely

A Thick Forest
A Thick Forest (Photo credit: Jon Person)

Survival and  Environmental Issues: Modern day treats

Looking at what candies contain coming from outside of the US, specifically Mexico, you will find a surprising answer. Lead. Not only do we have to worry about lead in the soil, in paint, and in toys, but also candy? According to the Orange County Register, information has been gathered that not only suggests but confirms that there are toxic levels of lead in candies, including ice-creams, imported from Mexico. According to the Register, “the California Department of Health Services has documented more than 1,500 tests of Mexican candy since 1993 – and one in four of those results has come up high for lead.” If this is the case, then why is Mexican candy still able to be imported without any changes in their production methods? Not only is Mexico permitted to produce candy laced with lead, but when California finds lead in test results they make no effort to notify the source companies. In addition, this article states that many of the lead test results were kept confidential.

Forest lake in summer
Forest lake in summer (Photo credit: Axel-D)
There are many sources of lead and many ways for lead to get into candies in Mexico. The chili mills were investigated by reporters from the newspaper who wrote “Toxic Treats.” The reporters found astounding results. The “makeshift factories…where unsafe manufacturing practices are routine; to the dirt-floor poverty…where a village has become contaminated making packages for candy.” The risk is very real and the damage that has yet to come is frightening. There are many examples already. One example is a little girl named Diana. Diana often went to the ice cream truck and picked out her favorite ice cream, one from Mexico that contained lead. Like many parents, for a long time Diana’s mother did not know about dangerous levels of lead in her daughter’s favorite sweet. Diana became very ill and the lead peaked when Diana’s blood-lead level reached 25 micrograms. This is a dangerous level, especially for young children. “At 25 micrograms, lead has the potential to stunt growth, affect hearing and damage the nerves” according to research conducted by reporters for the Orange County Register. Diana’s story doesn’t stop there. It took more than two years for Diana’s blood-lead level to decrease from dangerous levels and drop to 8 micrograms. The long term effects are still not known for this young girl at age six. For Diana’s parents, and many others, these are concerns that will never be settled.

  References: McKim, Jennifer et. al. The Orange County Register. “Toxic Treats.” April 25, 2004. Internet: <http://www2.ocregister.com/investigations/2004/lead/ part1_printable.html>. Withgott, Jay & Scott Brennan. Essential Environment: 3rd Ed. Pearson Custom Publishing: San Francisco, 2009.

 Survival Food: Research and buy food wisely survival tips modern day food. This insight was brought to you by the phrase Web Directory and it's brother Blog Directory, thank you for reading.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Understanding Environmental Issues

Petroleum-Zuid Antwerp
Petroleum-Zuid Antwerp (Photo credit: LHOON)

Environmental Issues

When will crude oil run out?

The costs of energy have been increasing since they were first explored and exploited to fulfill daily needs. Speaking specifically about crude oil, the use of this limited resource has been increasing in use and cost in the last several decades, and even quite dramatically in the last fifteen years or so. People are driving larger, less gas efficient vehicles, more technology is being produced and need additional electricity, more people travel via airplane, take cruises, sail boats, and drive for sport. Not only is the fundamental source of fuel, crude oil, a limited resource, but it is also very costly to refine it into a usable substance. The discovery process for crude oil can be a hit or miss journey. Once a source has been located, then the drilling begins. The equipment is expensive and so is the labor. And, as we have seen in recent weeks, the costs of any and all “accidents” are also financially, and environmentally, costly. 

  So now it has been established that the main source of fuel in the current world is limited and costly, it is imperative to understand why the search for an alternative renewable source of energy is imminent and much needed. Many different sources of renewable energy have been explored, but none have fully taken root in the United States. Other countries, such as China, have taken an interest in some of the technologies discovered and harnessed here in the US. According to one American business owner “many of these technologies were invented in the U.S., but they have since migrated overseas because there has never been much of a market in the U.S.” (Heim). This could very well be what separates the “thinkers” and the “doers” in regards to implementing a mainstream renewable energy source. According to the recent Shanghai Expo, China is displaying a very competitive edge in regards to a clean energy source. “Environmental disasters and China’s reputation as a prime polluter have driven some of that urgency” (Heim). China has become the world’s largest consumer of energy as well as the largest carbon emissions location in the world. 

Petroleum-Zuid Antwerp
Petroleum-Zuid Antwerp (Photo credit: LHOON)
As a result of these facts, China is looking at new ways to get ahead of the game by investing large sums of money into eco-friendly renewable energy sources. One question many people have is why is a new source of energy needed? The first thing that comes to mind is that gasoline prices have skyrocketed in the last several years, which has been costly to many individuals as well as countries. In addition, crude oil is not a renewable source of energy. There is only so much oil on earth and it is being used at a much faster rate than it is being formed. Also, the current main source of energy is very environmentally unfriendly. There are many pollutants that are caused by the current source of energy that can be eliminated if the primary source of energy is changed (Crump). There are many risks associated with the locating, drilling, manufacturing, and use of crude oil. One of the current media frenzies surrounding crude oil is the Gulf Coast oil leak. According to CNN, the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill has released 4.9 million barrels of oil into the gulf coast region and only 3.3 million gallons have been recovered. The costs to BP are drastic however the economic impact to those who reside in this region will suffer more. The entire gulf coast relies on fishing, crabbing, oysters, recreational tourism, and other sources of monetary revenue. It is expected for the negative impact of the oil spill to impact this area for approximately the next three years. According to studies collected by CNN, the tourism travel source of revenue is estimated to be $7.6 billion within the next fifteen months. In searching for a new source of energy there are many factors that must be requirements. The replacement source of energy must be renewable. In order for the new source of energy to be a benefit, it must be able to be renewed and not a finite source. 

The new main source of energy must also be eco-friendly. The main reason why a new source of energy is being searched for is because the source of energy currently used, crude oil, is harmful to the environment. Looking for a replacement must have improvements, including being environmentally friendly. This also means that there must be minimal or zero pollutants as a result. If the renewable energy creates byproducts that are harmful to the environment, then it is pointless and counter productive to utilize that source. The new energy source must also be effective and reliable. If the new source cannot be relied upon to be consistent and effective in its delivery, it is not a viable substitute to what is already being used. And last, but not least, the replacement source of energy must be cost efficient. Part of the problem with crude oil is that it is far too costly to continue to maintain. Not only is it finite in its availability, but it is also very costly environmentally and financially. The byproducts created by processing crude oil causes harm to the environment and the cost of manufacturing the oil and transporting it harms the pocketbook. 

Renewable Energy
Renewable Energy (Photo credit: SEDACMaps)
There are many alternative methods to fuel today’s modern world. Some of the more popular renewable sources include hydro-electric power, wind power, all electric power, and solar power. Hydro-electric power offers a multitude of benefits including cost-efficiency and eco-friendliness, however not all geographical set-ups have fast enough running water to utilize this potential resource. Wind fueled electricity is cost efficient and wind is available all over the world. However, not all areas are suitable for building wind turbines on them. Converting to all-electric power requires an initial power supply. Essentially, switching to an “all-electric” source of energy requires it to be coupled with another source of energy in order to make it work. It is far too reliant on another component. And last but not least, solar power is very popular in eco-friendly conversations. Solar panels are quite costly in the onset of setting up solar energy as a renewable source however it pays off in the long run. Also, there are some areas on the globe that are not viable places for this type of renewable energy, such as far north and far south on the globe due to shortened daylight hours (Withgott & Brennan). 

Wind power utilizes kinetic energy that is then converted into electrical energy, which can be used as a replacement to nonrenewable sources of energy. The use of wind power is dramatically increasing across the world. Germany, the United States, and Spain account for more than half of the world’s wind energy usage. Denmark is the leader in wind power output with 20% of power supplies coming directly from wind turbines. (Withgott & Brennan). Within the US, both California and Texas produce the majority of wind energy. This could be because both Texas and California are amongst the top five largest states as well as financial ability and space to place turbines. As wind speeds are significantly greater over water than land, there are prospects of building wind turbines in the ocean to help maximize the amount of energy that can be produced and harnessed. Turbulence is also lessened over water. However, the cost to build and maintain a turbine in water is much greater than if they were built on land. At the current time, “offshore wind farms are limited to shallow water, where towers are sunk into sediments singly or with a tripod to stabilize them” Withgott & Brennan, p. 368. As with many sources of energy, wind power comes with pros and cons. In order to make an educated decision on whether or not this type of energy source can provide value and help protect the environment or not requires people to understand the benefits and detriments. The people of Atlanta, Georgia, for example, were informed of the pros and cons regarding wind energy as a viable source and made their decision based off of the information provided to them. Given the location of the city, the industrialization of the area, and the lack of spare fields, Georgians are not yet convinced that wind energy is a viable solution for them (Keefe). 

Renewable Energy For The Earth ?  Abstract Art
Renewable Energy For The Earth ? Abstract Art (Photo credit: bterrycompton)
However, there is growing interest in this area of renewable energy and more research needs to be conducted to figure out how to make the turbines more efficient and area friendly. Wind has no by-product emissions once the equipment is in place. In addition, wind power is more efficient than previously relied upon resources. The return of energy versus the amount of energy that goes into producing wind energy and harnessing it is much higher, thus resulting in a higher return rate. It is believed that wind turbines create 23 times more energy than is consumed to harness that energy. An economical benefit in favor of wind energy is that those who own land can lease their property for the use of wind turbines, thus creating additional personal revenue (Withgott & Brennan). With all of the benefits for wind energy, there are some negative avenues to explore. The main setback for the argument in favor of wind energy is that wind is not constant. Being that wind is a natural occurrence, it is impossible to have any control over how often the wind blows and how hard it blows (Cape Times). If wind used in conjunction with another type of renewable energy source then this issue is moot. The second energy source, such as hydrogen fuel for example, could store the energy that is generated by the wind and permit it to be ready for use at a later time. Also, some places on the globe are much windier than others. The Great Plains would have greater success regarding wind energy than a densely forested area. In addition, wind turbines can be costly to maintain and repair when needed. The turbines are subject to damages from birds and bats, as well as the birds and bats being damaged or even killed by the turbines (Withgott & Brennan). As a replacement for fossil fuel combustion in the average US utility generator, the US Environmental Protection Agency has calculated that running a 1-megawatt wind turbine for 1 year prevents the release of more than 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide, 6.5 tons of sulfur dioxide, 3.2 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 60 lbs. of mercury” (Withgott & Brennan). Looking at those numbers alone can sway most to put their energy into producing wind turbines to replace limited resource energies. There have been many pieces of legislation put forth in encouraging and discouraging the use of alternative forms of energy. Recently, a law regarding cleaner energy won over the voters in the city of Aberdeen, South Dakota. According to the recent article written by Emily Arthur-Richardt, the city councilmen and women wish to encourage alternative eco-friendly energy, but they also wish to minimize any hindrances on the community. Specifically speaking, wind turbines would have a height limit and noise restrictions imposed on them in order to decrease any issues with property values and inevitable noise pollution. The various areas surrounding this city would also be zoned for turbines or not, thus ensuring that not all acreage would be subject to having turbines built on them. Also, there would be set distances from highly traveled, highly populated, or frequented areas of the city in order to maintain safety of its population (Arthur-Richardt). One can conclude from the actions taken by just one city, the use of wind turbines to create and harness wind energy is a feasible, viable solution for an alternative form of renewable energy. With the right restrictions, planning, and incentives for the people who reside around them, it is possible to get community members to vote in favor of wind farms. In summary, the only way a renewable form of energy to take root in modern culture is if the communities impacted are on board. Without the support of the population, no alternative source of energy will replace fossil fuels. 

English: a collage about renewable energy. see...
English: a collage about renewable energy. see at the source images' descriptions for details. Euskara: Energia berriztagarriak (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Changes in how energy is produced and provided will cost money initially, however the savings will pay off long term once the preliminary costs are made. Also, there are many arguments in favor of wind energy as a viable replacement to crude oil, as much as there are arguments against it. Looking at the totality of circumstances, it is logical to conclude that the pros outweigh the cons, thus drawing the conclusion that wind turbines are a cost efficient replacement to current methodologies.   References: Arthur-Richardt, Emily.  (29  June). Energy law approved: Wind, solar ordinance gets final adoption. McClatchy - Tribune Business News.  Retrieved July 3, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand. Cape Times. “Everyone enjoys the idea of renewable energy, but there are obvious practical problems. A wind farm gives zero energy for, perhaps, 30 percent of the time.” (2010, July 2). Cape Times,8.  Retrieved July 4, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand. CNN (August 2010). “Gulf Oil Spill is Worst Accidental Spill Ever.” CNN US. Internet: <http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/08/03/gulf.oil.largest.spill/index.html>. CNN (July 2010). “Gulf Spill Could Cost Region $22.7 Billion in Travel Dollars.” CNN US. Internet: < http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/07/22/ gulf.oil.travel.impact/index.html>. Crump, C. (2010). From coal to wind, energy has become cleaner, more efficient. Crain's Detroit Business, 26(18), E54. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database. Heim, Kristi. (2010, August 7). “Clean energy: China charges ahead of world.” Seattle Times. Internet: <http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/ businesstechnology/2012565355_chinatech.html>. Keefe, Bob.  (2010, June 28). Georgia not sold on wind energy push. The Atlanta Journal - Constitution,p. A.1.  Retrieved July 3, 2010, from ProQuest Newsstand. Withgott, Jay & Scott Brennan. Essential Environment: 3rd Ed. Pearson Custom Publishing: San Francisco, 2009.

Understanding Environmental Issues for more visit our main blog @SecWh Directory Blog

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Building a quick structure: Using scavenging methods to build shelter

road work ahead
road work ahead (Photo credit: theinvisiblewombat)
I'd like to talk about a material that can be used to build a simple structure and that is easy to scavenge. We've all seen the roadwork ahead signs or the signs that suggests there's construction work being done. These signs are typically square and can be used to fashion together makeshift huts or small and sealed buildings.  Let me explain a little bit. When I was about 11 years old growing up in the city I always had a very hard time finding a good place to building Fort. The more I looked or searched the harder it was to locate large amounts  of wood and/or building supplies. It was by chance I happened on an idea that led to some of the best forts I've ever built (I have no idea if I am the only one who ever thought of this, I doubt it, but I was 11 at the time). 

Walking home from school I noticed several signs along the way that would inform me that there was roadwork being done up ahead. The signs were square and for the most part easy to carry, now as 11 years old I found I could only carry one of  them at a time, but with enough trips I was able to get a few dozen of these. Now the only thing I had to figure out was where do I build my structure so I grabbed my nails and hammer along with my brother and we set out to find the perfect fort building location. We ended up settling inside of a Briar patch, just so happened that it was right in berry season so we would get to enjoy a snack as we built our Fort. With a simple machete we were able to hollow out inside one of these patches I can't remember the exact size of the of the patch, but we were able to make a tunnel that led into four rooms. Once inside you can actually set up several sleeping quarters for general places to get out of rain, because the brush set over the top of the structure it was actually quite possible to remain dry for a period of time. So if you're a city dweller, and you find yourself in need of a structure and you have no preplanned location perhaps take a look around you.

There are literally thousands of pre-built signs just lying around it wouldn't take long for you to find a location to set up your hut. Here's a few things I learned as a child. When clearing out a blackberry bush don't clear out too much too fast try to bring some of your boards inside and see if you can use the brush as a natural seal. What I mean by this is to save yourself the need for nails or any adhesive, you simply use a tight space to force the boards together. Always put the colored side down. Always. As you will notice if you leave the colored side up that any holes with inside the blackberry patch will show outside. This will allow people to see your structures if you try to use the colored side. The inside typically is Brown or darker color and it will blend in with the surroundings much easier. Don't worry about walking. If you have to make a journey of a mile or more that's not a big deal don't be tempted to make your structure right next to the location where there are hundreds of signs. If there is a better location farther away be willing to use that. Well I hope this helped you a little bit, as with any scavenging method: always be prepared ,  ready and expect setbacks.

 Building a quick structure: Using scavenging methods to build shelter
This childhood adventure was brought to you by the letter S and D as in SecWh Directory