Archive for April, 2011

Today

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Good morning all

I wonder if anyone reads my blog sometimes, my analytics are confusing, and spam is overwhelming, but if nothing else, I hope that my experiences and thoughts are helpful to someone out there. And if I can get this stupid spam thing fixed, if I have any readers they can post :)

I was reading the rounds this morning and came across a great one on gardening that I find very helpful to the Apartment Dweller. Mostly it is about plant yield, and that is very important when you have to make every square inch of dirt do its most. It is over at TheSurvivalistBlog

I also got to work on the trailer yesterday, and will again on Saturday. I have the frame up, and it is actually coming together. I am a little concerned about the weight, but there is no way to tell for sure until it is all done, so we will see. The tip I would add here, is to be working toward SOMETHING that will help you if you have to bug out, even if it is just a backpacking tent.

Blessings of Christ on all, have a good weekend!

Guest Post: Bug Out

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Hello all, another guest post today. enjoy;

Practicing or “dry-running” everything it takes to organize, prioritize, and load everything you “intend” to take in the unfortunate event of having to leave your apartment can teach you alot… especially what not to do. I have done dry-runs to the point that my neighbors are sincerely convinced I’m addicted to getting the best camp site on a weekend. This, however, occurred entirely by accident.

My first attempt was chaos. Not only did my “estimations” prove horribly inaccurate due to unforeseen realities, I discovered that even though I live in a community where wearing camo and carrying firearms is common… it can cause your neighbors undue stress and concern when you load EVERYTHING YOU CAN CARRY while acting like your place will be nuked in 10 minutes. Fortunately for me, every law enforcement officer in the county knows me… we all got a good laugh! Here is what I learned.

1. Act calmly. If it looks like your only going on a long camping trip, perfect! If you act as though TS just HTF, you may notice your neighbors staring at you, or calling the sheriff as in my case. Acting in an obvious hurry could also (in a real life scenario) cause neighbors to interrupt you. Most importantly, if you aren’t calm, you’re probably forgetting something (like Survival Tool #1).

2. Have everything you intend to take prioritized and pre packed into easy to carry containers. It is also wise that such containers be stored where they’re easily accessible. For items you don’t want pre packed, plan how you would do so efficiently.

3. Do a thorough inspection of the vehicles you load. Weight and balance can be VERY important. You will definitely appreciate taking your GOOD vehicle, fully loaded for a test drive so you can feel how it handles when loaded. An overly loaded or unbalanced vehicle can likely break down, blow a tire, or tip. Remember that a real “bug out” may involve abnormal driving especially if there is widespread civil unrest. If you can, get a really, really tough bumper that can take more than 1 hit.

4.Make darn sure your vehicle has emergency “jury-riggin” tools like: fix-a-flat, spare radiator hose and clamps (can be used for other things), duct tape, spool of single strand heavy wire, jack, spare tires (I recommend at least 2), spare coolant, brake and steering fluid etc.
5. Think about what you would leave behind… could your neighbors use it? Keep in mind who could benefit and have a plan to give it to them upon departure, so no one ends up fighting over it.

God Bless
-Tony the Tennant

Today

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Morning all!

I was over at SB this morning and read the letters to LN about her limited space living, and it reminded me of something I did back in my dorm days, and thought it would be a great thing to share here.

Putting stuff under your bed is a grand idea, but it doesn’t really provide much space, and who knows what actually goes on down there, besides the monsters that steal my socks. There was one guy who talked about lifting his bed with 5 gallon bucks, but then how do you get into them, and they may not really provide the support.

So when faced with this problem, I did the most obvious thing I could think of. I built a 62×82 inch (queen size) standing bed frame. I made it about 3 feet high, so I could get lots of stuff under it. In addition, I made it out of 4×4’s, 2×4’s and 10×2’s (see pic) and it also made for a great place to be if there was an earthquake. Because it was so high, it allowed easy access to anything we put there. Yes, I can hear you saying, how do you get in and out of bed. Really, it was easy to add a step stool. And getting out was a simple hop.

Think about it. You never use your bed for other then sleeping. In fact, the bedroom is probably the biggest waste of space, as all you do is change and sleep there. For a long time I have though about giving the kids the master bedroom, as they actually use the space, and I would if I thought I could fit our queen bed in the kids room. But still, the bed is even worse, as all you do is lie there with 6 feet over your head. by lifting your bed up only 3 feet, you still have plenty of head room, and add nearly 100 cubic feet of space.

One note of caution, beware of the windows and where you are placing your bed, you don’t want you break one, or worse have one of your little ones fall out a window. We keep all the windows that the kids can reach, closed or only open a few inches.

If I do this, I will post how it goes, or if you try it, drop me an email and let me know how you did it :)

Today

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Well, I saw a nice article over at SB about space issues faced by Apartment Dwellers, it was kinda nice seeing something that was aimed at us. I have mentioned all her tips before, but still, they are good ideas.

Interesting revelation I had yesterday. I was watching TV and thought, if we ran out of aluminum foil, that would be bad. In prepping, I really haven’t considered some of the non-food supplies yet. So I guess next shopping trip we will be picking up some foil and tp.

Today

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Hello all,
I hope all had a great resurrection day. It is a time to reflect on yourselves, and your walk with Christ. I hope that I can continue to work toward the glorification he has for me, and my family.

Not much prepping this weekend, enjoying the holiday. Although it was a time to review some of my OPSEC, as I had guests over to the apartment for dinner. While it was not a big deal, I did take special measure to make sure some things were out of sight, and I forewent the house tour, simply letting them know where the bathroom and kids room was.

It did make me think a bit, about what I would say, and I find that letting people know that I am an organic earthy hippie is easier and more acceptable then saying I am not to optimistic about the future.

Anyway, this is an easy prep to make. You should know what you are going to say, and what doors to close when you have some guests over.

Today

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

I got to work on the trailer last night. It is exciting to see it come together. It is only a small trailer, but it opens up a world of possibilities. It will allow a ‘retreat’ of some minimum form, and also allow for camping experiences, and storage value. The design is ever changing, but here is a picture of the general idea. Oh, for those who would like to know, the building parameters are very strict. Our little car can haul only about 1500lbs, so that means the trailer is being built to not exceed a max of 1000lbs. Also, it must sleep 2 adults and 2 children in a hard sided camper. This is the design so far;

Spam

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

All,
I have been getting a bunch of comments, and I just don’t know how to filter out all the spam. They have all been positive and encouraging, but many appear to be spam. Please don’t be offended if I don’t let it through, I am trying to keep the spam bots from infecting my site. If you want me to pass a comment through, make sure your comments are specific, and any web addresses you have are not to store sites.

Today

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Well, yesterday and today, I have been kinda sick, but still working my way forward. As already mentioned, the garden has been started again, and now I am considering moving the square foot boxes off the ground, but that is going to take more then a few 2x4s, and some OSB flat board.

Another note, is that we have been trying to get our hands on some bulk dried corn. From a dietary point of view, it is a great food to have, high in calories and vitamins, and relatively cheap and very flexible. But it seems to be in short supply. I have ordered it twice now and when my order came, they were left out, as they were outa stock. I see that honey-ville has it, but it is not to cheap, so I am still on the look out. Other things I am looking to add or expand are spices (Franks Red Hot sauce) and canned vegetables. Also waiting on some friends who will be making a run down to their LDS store for some dried fruit, they prices are pretty great there for that.

Looking forward to summer, to fill the freezer, and see how the Lord is going to work in the world. Blessings on all!

Storage

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Apartment dwellers face many challenges from lack of dirt for any type of prep, to lack of understanding of how to best utilize us in a community. One of the greatest, though, would have to be the simple lack of space. In an apartment or condo, there is just no extra space, and innovation is the call of the day, to be as efficient as possible with what is had. There are many store-bought solutions, from simple shelving, to all the 5 gallon bucks that you can store. Let us examine some of the options that an Apartment Dweller can use when facing the challenge of storing what is needed.

First, as already mentioned is the store-bought solution. There are many shelving systems for closets, drawers from plastic to wood, and even whole cabinets. These are all excellent solutions, and should be used when funding may allow, and in some cases may even be the best solution. Depending on the situation, it also may even be the most budget friendly.

Closets are the best place to start applying this method, but you can expand into the other rooms. One option that I have found effective is to make my own hallways, or walls. No, not like stick and frame, but making a wall of cabinets about a foot from another wall, and you can use the cabinets for space, and even store some things behind it. Another option is to have a large wardrobe. Place it strategically to extend an existing hallway, or otherwise shorten a room. These methods allow the room to remain mostly intact, and not too obvious that it is mass storage, but a decorating solution easily explained to curious bystanders.

Recently there was a comment over at Prepping for the Rest of us – Apartment Dwellers, that went a step further. If the means allow, interior walls can be made into shelving space by removing one side of sheet rock, and placing shelves between the studs, and then decorating accordingly with either trim or the like, or maybe even a more sly method and try to hide it behind a mirror or something. Remember though, nothing permanent can be done that is not first approved by the owner, other wise you will have to stick with temporary solutions. A 6 inch deep cabinet hanging on the wall would serve just as well, and allow for quick and portable storage for a medicine cabinet, or other smaller items. The point is, don’t neglect all the free wall space, if it won’t hang direct, make a cabinet to hang there instead. Even in front of windows is a great spot for planting.

When all else fails, you will want to go outside your apartment, and this is a great idea in any case, even if you have your own retreat, so that all your resources are not invested in just one place were a single event like a fire or flood can wipe out all your efforts. For an Apartment Dweller, your community should be your first stop. In other posts for Apartment Dwellers, it is clear that your stay in an apartment during an event would only be temporary anyway, there is only so much your apartment can do. So you should plan to support a community that is like minded, and store resources there accordingly. This invests the Apartment Dweller in the community, and makes their contribution a meaningful way to add to the group, and not be a burden of someone showing up with hat in hand.

Another option for those with the opportunity and means may be a climate controlled storage unit. Here as much caution with OPSEC would not be needed, and you could stack what you need. This has the minus side that it may be far away, and expensive. In addition, rotating out supplies could become cumbersome. But this does give back a great deal of space, and a location controlled solely by the prepper.

Another great option is a trailer, or popup camper. The difficult part of this is you would have to buy or build one, and then find someplace to store it. On the plus side is that it could be more then just extra storage, and could actually provide living space that you can move around, something that could come in very handy.

Space is always a concern for the Apartment Dweller, but with some innovation and thought, many things can be done. Don’t forget every little space, like the space beside a refrigerator where slide out shelves could be, small shelves above a doorway, or large cabinets that you can put side by side to extend a hall. The important part is to get outside your box, and realize that there is more space than there may appear.

Brought to you by Prepping for the Rest of Us – Apartment Dweller

Today -Gardening

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Hello again,
Well it is about that time to start on the garden, as the snow is gone and things are starting to come together. Seeds should be started by now, and a plan should be in place. Most of the best gardening tips you can find in local gardening groups for your specific area. For us, the last couple years we have had problems with our vegetables growing, so this year we went to one of our local clubs, and found out something new. So here are 2 fast tips for your gardening on a budget;

As an Apartment Dweller, you will probably have to get your own dirt, or at least supplement what you can find. Best place I have found is to check at Home Depot every day for their broken bags. Just yesterday we got 10 bags of top quality potting soil for 20 bucks. Lowes will do the same thing sometimes, just keep your eyes out.

When using the above method, you will likely have the problem of your dirt being TOO rich. This is seen by the top getting good an muddy, but the water will not penetrate very deep. This is where the Club came in handy. They were saying that the ratio should be 30% sand (or other draining material) and 70% dirt.

This year, I will be adding a lot of sand/bark/perlite to our Square foot garden, and will also try to lift it off the ground, to keep the weeds out.