Monday, November 18, 2013

camping special

CAMPING SPECIAL

The other day a minion commented on the cost of building your underground lair, stating that your materials could be cheap but excavation and utilities/appliances/infrastructures was where the real cost could accrue. I’ve already shown how a strong back and a weak mind could overcome the digging cost, leaving the material cost no more than a years worth of book budgeting. And now, to the minimizing of infrastructure cost. Some folks can’t conceive of living primitively. They stroke the black plastic furniture of their semi-auto carbine poodle shooters, putting on fierce Rambo masks to intimidate those proletariats too ignorant of modern tactics to appreciate the effect of the enemies moral of quick follow-up shots yet then start sobbing like a little bitch if you threaten to take away grid electricity, flush toilets, using three gallons of water to brush their teeth or in any other way sacrifice their participation in The American Way Of Life. Live on junk land? The hell you say! Even if I did, I’d need a $600 James Washer, three grand in solar panels to run my deep fryer, a $10k well, a $5k septic system and a two thousand dollar generator charging three grand in batteries to have my fifty inch plasma TV and my satellite reception.

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For the rest of us, those wishing to escape the Rat Race and willing to give up luxuries to do so, things are a lot easier and much more realistic. If you pimp out your camping supplies, you can live pretty easy. And a darn sight cheaper than most off grid companies would like you to. They would like you to have $2k pellet stove. Google “pellet burning rocket stove”. How about that thousand dollar wood stove slash water heater slash oven? Google or Amazon search “pellet stove”. For the cost of a 55 gallon drum and some bricks and mortar, you have a stove. A $25 cast iron Dutch oven takes care of one part, a pot to boil water the other. You want gravity flow water? Fill a bleach jug, poke a hole or two in the cap and hold over your head. Electricity? You don’t need much with almost everything using so little juice anymore. If you want solar panels, it won’t take much more than $200 worth to give you lights, a few hours of TV and the occasional other small appliance use. A marine battery is $60, a charge controller ( if it didn’t come with the panel ) $20 and 12v light bulbs $13 each. You grab a roll of two strand wire, a bulb socket and a cigarette lighter female connector and you are in business. A 12v TV using 13 watts ( seven inch screen ) is $50. Another $50 for a rooftop antenna and you have all the modern luxuries for sitting on your ass doing nothing.

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A propane cooker is $25. A solar hot water heater is free after you find a trashed cooler and a piece of glass. We’ve talked about a $50 bed. A five gallon bucket starts you on a composting toilet ( look up “homemade composting toilet” for free plans ). That saves you a thousand bucks on a factory made one. You don’t need electricity to make coffee- use a camp stove percolator. Get a trashed chest freezer for an old fashion ice box and look up “Sunshine To Dollars” ( or visa versa- dollars to sunshine-not sure where my copy is for a reference ) for instructions making your own ice blocks cheaply. Instead of freezing, use a pressure canner. Have a small soda bottle with a hole in the cap at the sink for rinsing dishes or brushing your teeth. Instead of a sink, get a $2 plastic tub. Put your waste water in a bigger bucket to take out and dump later. Clothes washing is with a Jim Washer ( a bucket strapped to a rocking chair-rock with your leg muscles, not your arm muscles-much easier ) and a clothes line. Nothing about living is expensive or complicated. It just takes a very small amount of effort.

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23 comments:

  1. Lord Bison,

    Why give away all the secrets in one post? New White Trash Irregulars take note.

    Loyal Minion

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    Replies
    1. The trick is to essentially repeat the same article every six months, but in new words. Suckers think its fresh! ( insert Dr. Evil diabolical laugh, not used here in some time )

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  2. A beautiful summary of cheapest and easiest ways to enjoy a home, Lord Bison.

    Admittedly, there are a lot of folks out there who will balk at such spartan conditions. Depending on your income, what you want in life, and what your family will accept; this will culminate into whether your steps become a reality or not.

    For those who object or reject your teaching on this subject, I say unto them, "Lord Bison has lived it."

    It is not so much that I object / reject the teaching (though crapping in a bucket does have its charms, I just want my parents to die before I reach this new level...because I know Mom would worry about me and Dad would question my sense of self-worth), so it may take me a while to get there.

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    1. As I've said before, if your bride doesn't pass the Bucket Crapping Test, she is not a worthy survivalist wife. The only test you need ( besides her cup size ).

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    2. Love the comment and reply -- classic Bison.

      But look again at the comment. It holds the seeds to a blog article. 'How does one overcome the expectations of family and friends and break free from society's norms'.

      A few of us have never given two cents about what people may think. We've always marched to the beat of our own drummer. But most folks live their lives based on the expectations of those around them.

      Hence if they become survivalist at all, it is of the poodle shooter, freeze dried testicles, and super duper bunker variety. It shows to mommy, daddy and the world that while you may be concerned about the future, you still buy into the American way of over consumption.

      Is there any hope for them?

      Idaho Homesteader

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    3. Hmmm. Let me try to wrap my head around that for an article. Not sure if I've beaten that dead horse too much. PS-less than a thousand words to go for the next Gringos chapter. There may be hope for me yet.

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  3. Regarding low cost excavation without breaking one's back. Dy-no-mite! Back when we were kids one could actually buy the stuff in hardware stores for "stump removal". Well, adults could anyway. Sadly no more, but for a few dollars one could dig a BIG hole in a hurry.

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  4. Hey, I don't want to toot the horn of the competition but there is a great idea for a simple rocket stove made from 4 free standing cinder blocks. I imagine if the blocks were wet things could be interesting. They use one "H" shaped cinder block but I imagine you could knock out one side for the same effect. Heck you could get the blocks for free.

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    1. Which competition? I've seen a u-tube for something like this, been meaning to try it out ( so far, just a coffee can type ). I know I'm advertising my ignorance, but why is wet bad? Also, blocks are $1.59 each. I think you could afford new ones.

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    2. heat any wet rock and it may explode. steam cant excape so boom.cinder blocks arent as likley as smooth stone.

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    3. Wet cinder blocks and high heat can mix to shatter blocks. The blocks hold moisture. The competition remark was that it was on MD Creekmores site but I was thinking faster than I typed and must have left it off. Yes buying blocks is cheap but it would be an easy to find salvage too.

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    4. So, if you build cheaply from cinder block, you have to worry about eventually spilling something on it and then waiting for the bitch to dry. Work-arounds? I can imagine building a small fire to do so, then going back to intense fires to heat/cook. But it seems there is a better material to use to stay away from the issue.

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  5. Great description of how to live cheap(ish) finely folicaled Lord of Bison. I dont disagree for short term living.
    BUT- when designing a _permanant_ structure you have to take into account the likelyhood that some one is going to want a bit more than "possum" living. Thus the added expense of systems - or at least the infrastructure for them (you dont have to run wires and plumbing, but you should plan where they will go when you eventually can put them in, including the wiring 'chases' to put wires through, and openings in the structure for pipes and wires).
    There is no reason you cant have gravity fed water from a cistern I got a 250Gallon food grade water tank for $55 to use as a water tank.- fits fine in the bed of a pickup, easily refilled from the top, and drained from the bottom. why not ejoy 'running' water?
    Yes living possum while saving to get the 'little luxuries' (running water, power, communications) makes sense but not planning to get the little luxuries ever doesn't.
    If you can get the spouse to live possum for a while with an achievable plan to work toward the luxuries you can enhance domestic tranquility far above living just possum, or even trying to recreate suburbia living on your junk lot (money stresses hurt as much as not having the luxuries).
    A workable plan, worked toward together, while enduring minor hardships, and discomforts can bind a family together.
    Just enduring hardships that you see no one else enduring, with no end in sight can lead to tensions especially if there are other options (divorce, seperation, renting a money sucking trailer, etc). Until it is obvious to everyone that the collapse prevents the luxuries people are going to want and expect them.
    And finally living without running water /septic /power /phone and raising children is just asking to be thrown into jail for child abuse and loosing your child.
    Even if your children are grown there is a chance you may need to shelter / support your eventual grandchildren. Have a plan now for "suitable" or at least "adequate" housing for children. Only if you have no family, spouse, children etc, should you live possum without implementable plans for those things.
    Also people look less odd at you if they know those things are 'in the works'.
    So I see infrastucture as ESSENTIAL - eventually - a clear plan and measures taken will take care of a lot of the social issues that not having them can cause.

    Not that I think you have to START with those luxuries, if you dont have the werewithal to get them, just have PLANS for how to get them in the strucures you have / will build.

    -Grey

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    1. I don't disagree with any of that. And I imagine all the eventual luxuries can also be substituted with cheap alternatives ( such as the home built 55 gallon septic ). I've started the pit with all primitives. It didn't take much to luxury up ( although still a work in progress ).

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  6. Hey Bison,

    What would you say are the pros and cons of pressure canning versus lacto fermentation? And you know I've been thinking, Why not setup a guerilla camp with a few of these "luxurious" already in place? Who needs to buy land when there is so much already going to waste? Just curious on your thoughts.

    Stay paranoid my friend.

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    1. Fermintation is forever. Canning is until the supplies run out. Canning takes more money. Thanks for the reminder. I think this weeks book purchase will be that book on fermintation I've wanted for awhile. Owning land IS the ultimate in paranoia. You squat legally and don't worry about getting rousted.

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  7. I think wet blocks are bad for the same reason you don't use river rocks to ring your fire pit ... if you create steam from the moisture in the rocks/bricks, they might explode.

    Here's a cheap fire brick rocket stove video. From other sources I've seen mention made of improving efficiency with a taller exhaust but I've not researched it to any depth.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r66jjYdBmg8

    Flying Tortoise rocket stove from cans
    http://theflyingtortoise.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-to-make-your-own-simple-cheap.html

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  8. wet bricks blocks heated make steam then explode... so best not to use wet blocks bricks rocks

    great article

    denny

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  9. One drawback to blocks is after experiencing very much high heat they become very brittle..constructed a "rocket" stove if you want to call it that..i called it a self drawing furnace to smelt lead for pouring bullets..after a couple of sessions i bumped the blocks and they crumbled...

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    Replies
    1. That IS good to know. Thank you. I'll adjust my plans accordingly.

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    2. Yep, for a rocket stove to last, use either your own clay (local so you can replace it easy) or firebrick.

      -Grey

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