Tuesday, April 3, 2012

rust, starvation, west

I was reading Rawles this fine morning ( Monday ) and I guess I had drank enough coffee because I actually paid attention and got an article idea.  I’ll be responding to his comments on Western retreats, the duration of starvation and for good measure I’ll throw in some observations of rusting cans.  First, the cans.  Last week I had read someone recommending empty paint cans for food storage.  This morning I read on further steps to take to protect your #10 cans against rust.  Nearly six years ago I wrote an article on the paint can storage.  I bought a cardboard flat worth, which I believe was four cans, and filled them with wheat berries in a shopping bag.  Recently I pulled them out of storage to discover they were wicked rusted.  Nothing else metal in the storage van had rusted, but those paint cans sure did.  And remember, this was quite a while before the can manufactures started cutting back on quality to boost profits ( canned food is no where near as sturdy as it used to be ).  Hell, I have thirty year old metal cans stored outside under a tarp that have less rust on them ( a particularly awesome trash picking score, those containers of wheat ).  Do NOT, repeat NOT, follow my original advice on paint cans as food storage.  Too easily rusted.

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Rawles says, move out west to retreat.  The east is way too crowded and you will die a horrid lingering death. Well, words to that effect.  He just thinks it’s a bad idea all around.  Creekmore and STHF dude both live in the east, Tennessee and Maine respectively, and think they have found the exception to the rule.  They are all correct, because there is NO totally safe retreat location.  Yes, some are far better than others.  But all have serious issues.  Sure, the east is seriously overcrowded.  As I’ve said before, one or two boroughs in NYC have more people than all of the original thirteen colonies.  But here is what I’d like you to take away as the point  today.  The West is vastly overcrowded for its resource base, and given the limited sources of water, come the collapse you will face just as ugly a refugee problem as if you were back east.  Once the grid is down, every swinging dingus not living near a natural body of water will lose his well water and will gravitate towards the only water available.  The reason Idaho is not the cat’s meow as advertised for survivalists ( most every area sucks in one way or another, I’m just focusing on the legendary area.  Today it is Idaho, thirty years ago it was coastal Oregon ) is the funneling of arid region populations up that way.  LA, San Diego and SF will bypass the Mohave and move up into the Sierras.  Once those are too full, about ten minutes after the general panic should do it, the extra refugees move into Oregon.  The few farming valleys and coastal regions will also quickly fill up with warring factions from the urban areas, so the flow  continues up into Washington.  The eastern portion of both states is too arid.  The flow tries to make it up into British Columbia or turns into Idaho.  And even with a good thinning out, plenty of folks make it.  Even if none did, the city right across the border ( is it Spokane?  Sorry, no recall and no handy atlas ) has plenty of surplus population to send that way.  Obviously, this is worse case, and perhaps too paranoid.  Most refugees shouldn’t be able to make it several states over.  But the general flow of refugees is towards resources ( else, why would they be on the move? ) and Idaho has resources.  The L.A. basin has none.  As far as the water issue, it will be more like a localized reaction.  For instance, the surrounding twenty miles from a river are drawn down to the water.  What makes California so dangerous is so many people so far away from limited water.  90% of the population, or close enough, needs pumped water.
Rawles estimates that if you are going to hunker down, within 18 to 24 months all food is gone and you can emerge from your hide.  I don’t know where he gets his figures, but I can’t imagine things taking that long.  Yes, there are warehoused foods, foods on railcars, etc.  But a year and a half’s worth?  The entire globes food system is intertwined.  If a wheat silo in Nebraska doesn’t get filled up, the wheat comes from Argentina when needed.  But does it sit very long in the silo?  Inventory is evil, and no business wants it.  No bank likes to see a potential interest payment not made.  Obviously there has to be some inventory, but I’d wager the stuff is usually moving to other needed areas, earning money, rather than sitting around.  I question if in our entire country there is more than a few months worth of food.  Certainly it isn’t in peoples homes.  I think the whole cycle of hoarding, fighting over the hoards, fighting over existing inventory, stealing from the original thieves and eating each other will be all completed in a very short period of time.  I could be wrong, but following the lead from every other business where oil is burned for profit, I can’t see stationary inventory.  I’d best guess a month or two, and that includes the fat most folks cart around on their ass being burned up.  I’d say six months is a safe enough hideaway period. 
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  1. thanx for the bad advise. how many more mistakes are you going to admit? some survival expert.your full of it.

    this blog sucks. go to rawles blog folks. dakin is a wash up. he doesn't know sqaut. he will not survive.

    to the minyuns: inhale deep, stick head further up dakins poop chute,inhale deeper.ahhh you minyuns love it.

    1. Jim, glad to see you are still allowing dumbasses to post.

  2. Su-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-r-e, Anonymous...go to Rawles blog IF you have half a million to invest in real estate and a perfect bunker plus livestock, guns, ammo, reloading equipment, etc.
    For the rest of us peons that I am sure Rawles would be more than happy to enslave after the collapse, we learn by trial and error. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
    Dakin gives his advice to the 99% that don't have the financial resources to be a "Yuppie Survivalist".
    We prep *on the cheap* because we have jobs and families and old beater cars that need repairs. We don't have that much "disposable income", we barely keep our heads above water in this economy. The majority of us cannot afford to buy perfectly sealed buckets of freeze-dried wheat and rice from an online retailer. We prep because we care for our families and worry about the future. But we don't have the funds to go all out like Rawles and his brain-washed minions!
    Rawles minions and followers add to his already considerable financial resources by buying his books, purchasing anything and everything he endorses, etc. Except for an Amazon link now and again, Dakin doesn't pimp anything. How many ads are on Rawles site?
    Rawles and his "American Redoubt" will fail in a SHTF situation. Why do I say this?
    Well, the government already tracks visitors to his site. That's number one. Number Two? The government knows where Rawles lives and where his followers into the "American Redoubt" live. All nicely gathered into one area. Yes, gives the followers strength in numbers...but also makes it easy for a military group to lob in a few "daisy cutters" to winnow out their numbers!
    I don't "follow" anyone. I don't plan on surfing through a collapse on some "leader's" coat-tails. I have my own plans and preparations. I read Dakin for common sense advice, interesting political discourse and damn good entertainment. He doesn't tell me that Baby Jesus is only going to allow me to survive if I promise to follow him. He doesn't expound on his expertise and he admits his mistakes. Something I never saw Rawles do.

    1. @ Lamb,

      Take it easy on us Idahoians in the Redoubt. I was Idihoian and in the Redoubt years before Rawles published his first blog post announcing the Redoubt. I could suture the bastards mouth closed and take a ball peen hammer to his testicles for doing so. When I got here, there were maybe 100 families in the 100 sq mile area I live in. Now there are thousands. Bastid CSMF, (excuse the language but I have no doubt you've heard it b4.)

      I saw this coming from in late 1999 and retired with a modest self saved pension @ 52 and bugged out here to prepare. SHTF has taken longer than I thought but I do something every day regarding preparedness. It will come, when I dunno, I quit predicting years ago.

      As I understand, Rawles lives somewhere near the Boise area, probably East or up in the Grangeville area as it has the best farming/population ratio. Central Idaho mountains are the least populated areas but I think he has a farm now. I rarely visit his site due to his idiocy of advocacy spending hundreds of thousands on preps. The guy is in it for the money he can make off the ads, books, ect.

      I live far North, near the border. I'm currently looking for less populated dreggs in ID, MT. Funny I've got to bug out to less populated digs. Prices have shot up due to I don't know what. Just goes to show you, ya always gotta think about the long term future.

      As an aside, I've lived in Elko, where James currently resides, a wonderful $hithole of a place. A perfect place to be imho, if water wasn't an issue, which it is. If I had no where else to go, that would be a very good place. I do recall a river near the Freeway but that was because of the Wh0rehouse on the Eastern back road that I think had a river nearby, but I just don't remember as it has been so long. I wasn't thinking about fishing when I went there. lol

      Sadly, James hasn't relayed his wonderful knowledge to us Bisonian druids on where he plans to get his water once the collapse goes down. That and -20 F. degree temps convinced me Elko was not where I wanted to be. Eureka, perhaps but not Elko. I did enjoy the Horseshoe (?) lounge on many occasions and the Star (Basque restaurant) is to die for. I do loves me a good tittay bar though. Those and cheap land keeps my weather eye toward Elko. lol

      Your always loyal minon,


  3. Doesn't the Druid Dude live in the SE somewhere too? Or is he in California? Matt Savinar is in California, he tells horoscopes now LOL.

    Very good observation on how the arid West is already grossly overpopulated for its resource base.

    Also, tons of people out here in CA think it's Heaven out there. I dunno why. Heaven for meth-heads maybe.

  4. Some of Rawles' scenario seems to stem from the nuclear armagedon days, which started shifting to an economic collapse in the 1980s.

    A lot depends on how long people have gasoline for their cars as to how far they get. I think you are overs estimating how far people will get. If it was that bad, most will have no clue about getting safe water, little less any food.

    The big problem - where ever you are- is going to be your neighbeors and local authorities. They know who you are and can guess at what you might have. The meth-heads in the country are just as dangerous as the urban-suburban gang bangers.

    I agree with you on the supply assessment. If you had 3 months of food, you are probably going to outlive 90+% of the people. But Rawles may be counting on the fact that some areas will not completely collapse all at once: a reasonable assumption.

  5. Previous poster was out sick when the spelling bee was held :)
    Jim, your comments re: migration patterns from populated areas are reminiscent of the history of old West settlement (1870s) The folks on the wagon trains came across the plains, some turned South, but as the good land was taken, others split off into Oregon Territory, filled up the Willamette Valley, then moved on up into Washington country to settle. Perhaps history does repeat itself...

  6. Jim
    I really appreciate your take on things. You tell everything like it will be or is right now. I like Jim Rawles also, but most people probably don't have the money to do things the way he advises. Best guess would be for the lion share of the people would to do what you advise first and then work on what James Wesley advises. I have been reading you for about six months and have read your back posts. Your writing with out a doubt comes off the crudest of any one I have read to date and sometimes makes me cringe, but you tell the truth the way I see things going down in the future and that makes your crude seem gentle. So, please don't change a thing about the way you write or don't stop writing. I like the truth even if it is crude. The PEOPLE out there in reader land have no idea of the freight train coming at them and are like deer in the headlights. Frozen in place. Maybe you can wake some up, maybe.

    Golly Gosh

  7. @anonymous 7:17

    I understand your anger, being let down by somenone you trust isn't very nice. Shame on you Mr. Dakin. What can I say? Free advice, you get what you pay for. Maybe Mr. Dakin should do more research?

    Look on the bright side, if President Obama is reelected you won't need to store food anyway, he will take care of us. President Obama is someone you can trust, he keeps his word. Things are already getting better. He has done an amazing job so far, cleaning up the mess that GW Bush left behind.

  8. Fair haired one, We have plenty of fresh water in Michigan and a fleeing population. Perhapse you may consider a post-collaspe career as a freshwater pirate instead of herding goats. Been following your blog for almost a year. Great work thanks for all your info and I loved reading Lucifers Hammer. Ragnar

  9. Jim,

    Nice to see the trolls have followed you to the new site.

    I read the Rawles post when it came out. Reaction #1 was "only 18-24 months in the high risk areas out east?!!". If people are trying to shift to self-sufficiency almost anywhere, this seems like a modest larder. Precious chain saw runs out of gas. Solar pump for your well goes out; back-up does not work either. Plowing by hand is harder than you anticipated, etc, etc. East or west I doubt most people or regions could become self-sufficient for food in 18-24 months. Reaction #2: A major collapse will doom most people, most places. Sure, you might increase your odds slightly one place or another, but you also have to live in the here-and-now and also be prepared for surviving things other than a rapid societal collapse.

    Rawles adds lots of caveats, though, if you read his full writings. I don't think he is as rigid as he comes off at times in his writing. He just plainly states what he thinks is the best solution.

    -Loyal minion living east of the Mississippi and certainly doomed

  10. Apparently trolling has been outsourced to China along with everything else.

  11. As an unofficial Dakin Minion and being so for the past four years, I can at least see with my own eyes and my pocketbook, that word for word, Dakin has given me a whole lot more mileage per gallon than that Idaho-Hack, with his kowtowing to the corporate elite. In that vein, Lamb is absolutely correct, with her assessment that, the "American Redoubt" crowd are positively salivating over the prospect of enslaving the rest of us, who were fortunate enough to outlast the competition during the 18-24 month window. 18 to 24 months my eye, ruthless people are made of sterner stuff, in so much when and if you emerge from your fortress of solitude on day 730 and expect a depopulated wasteland out of T.S. Elliot, and for your effort you get a 320 grain broad-head point through your dome-piece, while the cannibals are fanning out for the "fresh-meat" maybe you should have stayed above ground, teaching, coaching and mentoring those without the skills, instead of opting out polishing your 5.56 X 45 MM Rounds for your overpriced, under-ranged, piece of junk battle-carbine like some miser in a Charles Dickens novel. Use your mind, don't rely on the minds of the slavers!

  12. A good trick that the salt water sailors use on #10 (and all other) cans: just coat them with varnish. Triples their lifespan.

    You have a very unique blog here. Ignore the critics/trolls. You are seriously unique to anyone else I've read in the survival web-o-sphere.

  13. Jodie, re :"Maybe Mr. Dakin should do more research?"

    He just did that. He tries several things, and lets us know about the outcome. He's one of the very few who walks the talk.

    Rawles, FerFAL etc are very nice and stuff, but ultimately they live the Upper Middle Class life (if not higher) and are not in the slightest in a SHTF situation. James is close enough o the real deal.

    James' epic reloaction to his place, with tires bursting and replacement tires *for trailers* and whatnot is not glorious, but it genuine. He DID bug out, and he already had more of his share of problems. Mind you, it was in peace time and with the economy functioning.

    This is real research, folks. Yuppie Survivalists did not bug out, James did and confirmed what we suspected : bugging out sucks !

  14. Just for the record- I don't hate Rawles, I hate what he teaches. I admire the man for all he's accomplished, even if I don't agree with it. Plus, his first novel was darn good

  15. Great post today...

    "The West is vastly overcrowded for its resource base, and given the limited sources of water, come the collapse you will face just as ugly a refugee problem as if you were back east."

    I could not agree more...