Friday, January 11, 2013

The List (part 2)

 Before I get into part 2 of “the list” let me thank everyone who has taken the time to send an email or comment on a post. I don’t always get around to a reply but please know that I do read every single one. So let’s go ahead and continue.

10.  Radio. Although not as important as food and water, or personal protection against the elements, you need to know what the hell is going on with the outside world. A means of acquiring information about the movement of zombies is pretty damn important. A small AM/FM radio will provide you with news and entertainment, and is certainly better than nothing, but for as little as $30 you can purchase a multi band disaster radio that can be powered either with batteries, solar, or hand cranked. Reasonably cheap and a good investment to have on hand.

11.  Two way radios. Having a couple of hand held “walkie talkies” around will allow you to communicate with members of your family if you need to leave the house in search of supplies. During a natural disaster or true SHTF scenario cell phones will not work, either because everyone is trying to use the network at the same time or because the whole system has become completely inoperable. Keep in mind however that your communications are not private. Also take into consideration the fact that a lot of other people could be using two way radios for the same reasons you are. Lots of traffic to be sure but still useful and worth having.

12.  Batteries. There’s no reason to have L.E.D lanterns and walkie talkies if you can’t use them so take inventory of all your survival gear and get plenty of batteries for everything. Personally I just buy the cheapie dollar store batteries for my everyday use but cheap batteries do not store well, long term. Cheapie batteries will start to discharge and corrode if not used within a short period of time, whereas, brand new, name brand batteries like Duracell have a shelf life of several years.

13.  Solar Battery Charger. If you are serious about long term SHTF situations and not just localized natural disasters it’s probably a good idea to invest in a solar battery charger. I have seen them on eBay and Amazon for less than $30. The reviews I’ve read were mixed but even if it took you a couple of days to get a full charge then you will still have flashlights and radios that work. Don’t forget to buy a couple of sets of rechargeable batteries for each device you need to power. A bit on the expensive side with the charger and batteries but pretty damn useful for extended and wide spread Disasters.

14.  Grill. Unless you have a five year stash of emergency M.R.E’s you will need a means of cooking your food. A small “Hibachi “type of grill can be put away and forgotten about until needed. Small, cheap grills can be had from the dollar store for less than $15.00 and are great to cook with when the power is down. Most people reading this probably have some type of grill on their balcony or in their backyard already, and if so the cost of this survival item is zero.

15.  Camping stove. Cooking out on the grill is relaxing and will get the job done in most cases but using a grill produces smoke, and in certain situations you will not want to alert the zombies of your presence. A small two burner camping stove will not only allow you to cook without producing smoke but it will give you instant fire to heat up water, etc. You can buy one that uses either liquid fuel or propane. Personally I like the propane models. Thirty to forty bucks for this item but well worth it.

16.  Fuel for camping stove. Just like a radio with no batteries, a camping stove will do you no good if you have don’t have any fuel for the thing so stock up on this item. The small bottles of propane seem a bit expensive when you start thinking about a large emergency supply, but you don’t need to run out and purchase a whole years’ worth all at once. A couple of bottles every week or two won’t cost a whole lot and after a few months your emergency supplies will start to really add up.

17.  Solar oven. Another piece of equipment you should think about is a solar cooker. No smoke and free fuel from the sun. In fact you will have free energy to cook with for the next billion years or so- give or take a few centuries. The only problem with a solar cooker is the fact that you can’t use the damn thing unless it’s reasonably warm outside and the sun is shining. It’s still useful however and will help stretch your supplies of propane and/or firewood much further. You can build one that works reasonably well out of little more than cardboard, a sheet of glass, and a bottle of glue. There are numerous plans for solar cookers and other related information floating around the internet. This should cost you very little money.

That’s it for now but please come back for part 3 of the poor man’s survival list.

Tex Dakota


  1. More good stuff Tex! Looking forward to installment #3.

    A note on the grill/camp stove/stove fuel sections. If not already familiar with them, people should do a quick google of "TLUD stoves". A TLUD (Top Lit Up Draft) stove can be built for next to nothing using scrap tin cans and a really good one can be built for a few bucks more. These things burn very cleanly and efficiently and can use just about any solid fuel including wood pellets, sticks and twigs, even dry leaves. A neat feature is that in addition to producing clean heat for cooking, they can also produce bio-char (charcoal) as a side product. I got my feet wet by building one using only a soda can and a soup can. Very instructive and even useful. Since then I've built a number of bigger ones and routinely use them for outdoor cooking. Haven't bought charcoal or propane (for cooking) in a couple years. The "soup and soda can" stove is described in this pdf:

    A thorough discussion of TLUD technology along with lots of links are included in this pdf:

  2. Also take a look at concrete block rocket stove designs on the internet. Here is one from the Instructables:

    Neat thing about them is they can be taken apart and thrown in the brush if you leave for long periods of time. Nothing to steal.

  3. Durn, forgot to mention an idea read on another blog.

    Solar sidealk lights, those post thingies you stick in ground along your walk so you can see it at night. An idea was put out that removing the bulb changes the function to a solar battery charger.

    Be sure to select a model that has removeable batteries in the 1st place, some are built in and can't be removed.