Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Scrounging is kind of an aftermath skill, I guess.

Yet, if you don't clear tens of thousands of "extra income" after meeting your needs, scrounging is a skill that will serve you well.  In the 80s, I really embraced resaling and pawnshopping.   Always great fun and an adventure.  Got nice suits for work.  Great deals on firearms at pawnshops.  Lots of cookware, cheap books/records, outdoor gear, and anything else I could find.

Resaling would have horrified me as kid, but when I first went to the old Purple Heart Thrift Store and found lots of "treasures" for cheap, I was hooked.  I visited every thriftstore I could find, and had a regular route.  Certain Goodwill or Salvation Army stores would have more of certain items, I noted.  Regular visits enabled me to hit the motherload on occasion.

As the American Middle-Class has been ruined by outsourcing jobs overseas, payments to industry to relocate abroad by our Gov't, and union-busting industrial decimation; more and more formerly middle-class folk are resaling.  If you haven't got the habit yet, you ought to.  Nothing wrong with buying Nearly New stuff at a fraction of regular price.  Even better is getting gear on Discount Day...

Pawnshops are especially productive for tools and gear.  Always pay cash at a pawnshop.  Always offer 1/3 less than merchandise is priced, and tell them you're paying cash.  If you pawnbroker won't deal on used goods, find a pawnshop that will.  NEVER BUY UNLESS YOU GET A DISCOUNT...

Considering a "Food Storage Plan"???
Before you shell out thousands for not very nutritious freeze-dried meals in a can or pouch, pay a visit to a few of your local healthfood stores.  Very easy to store whole grains in new, 5 gal paint buckets with gasket lids.  Use Dry Ice you buy at the grocer's to preserve your food.  In 2009, we opened a bucket of organic short-grained Brown Rice bought & put up at home in 1995.  The rice was Perfect!

If you are going to eat, may as well eat food that is High In Nutrition and Builds Your Immune System.  None of the foodstorage junk in a can will do this; you have to cook from scratch and use quality ingredients.

A Survivalist needs lots of tools for Food Processing and Cooking.  Buy them at your resale shop.  An old pressure cooker will work as well as a new one; just buy a new gasket set at local real-hardware store or order online for $10.  Quality cookware, knives of all sorts and gadgets are all at the Resale very cheap.  Got a nice 10" chef's knife, made in Japan for Fifty Cents recently.  Thrilled because it really takes a nice edge and carves very finely.  Better than the $30 Chicago Cutlery 8" knives we already owned when comes to fine slicing.

Got plenty money?  Suit yourself, but as for me, I'll take $5 Levis in new condition, $3 moleskin shirts, $1 T-shirts and socks and even decent shoes or boots if can find them.  Rarely buy anything at retail if can get it at a resale or pawnshop.

Doing home improvements?  Habitat Re usually has a resale shop.  They get donations and resell to renovators/builders.  Always a fun visit.

Some people love garage-saling.  Never had the time.
Craigslist.com is also worth perusing for gear you're looking for cheap, or maybe even free!

The more you conserve your assets, the more you have to work with.
Buy a Nordstroms dress shirt for $4 or $75.  Not like you will know there's a difference after its been laundered...

On-line forums are also great places to shop.  Lots of these allow WTB want-to-buy listings.  Gun forums are quite active for almost everything.  Gunbroker.com is a good resource for accessories and handloading/optic stuff.  Shop the used listings, and look for individual sellers; guys with hundreds of listings don't usually deal...

Ebay is still out there.  Might find some gear priced low and use a bidsniper to win the auction if you have the patience.

Lots of ways to scrounge stuff up that you probably can use and save your serious funds for those items absolutely must have...   All the best!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What's New?

Been a while since the last post.  Have been pretty busy acquiring some gear, selling some, and am recently into a building/adding-on phase.  We've decided to add a GREENHOUSE, and also connect our home to our outbuilding garage.  Doing this myself.  Built the 2-story 24x36 garage and first addition to the house in Winter with Big-Help from a young-ish carpenter and two Ace Drywall guys.  Work is underway.

Lots of focus on "Survival" these days.  Mostly seems to be about gimmicks & guns.

Real focus I've always had has centered on FOOD, WATER, SHELTER, CLOTHING, HANDTOOLS, REFERENCE LIBRARY, FOOD PREP GEAR, AND CAMPING GEAR.  Have always been a gun-person, began handloading in 8th grade.  Rarely ever bought commercial loads for any of my shooting needs.

In 1988, wife saw Kurt Saxon on Donahue Show.  We ordered his books and subscribe to The Survivor.  Took us a couple years to move from The Big City, but we did.  Saxon was the first to coin the term "Survivalism" and define it.  He defined the term to effectively mean Self-Sufficiency.  Saxon's books are mainly references for DIY skill acquisition.  Some sections a bit hokey, like making wooden toys and puppeteering, but so much info is there.  The Survivor series and the Chemistry book are very worthwhile.

"Survivalism" is a self-sufficient way of life.  Those who foresaw the collapsing social structure we are now coping with, took Action; they moved out of the line of fire.

Figure you gotta have a level 4 vest and souped-up AK with 20 magazines to make your way through the chaos?  You have already failed...

This blog is not about gimmicks or  videos.  Too many will watch and conclude they understand but never practice.

Food is a BIGTIME failure for most who seem interested in these topics.  They conclude that freeze-dried meals are viable for longterm planning.  They aren't.  Might be tasty for a while.  Might be fast and easy to prepare; just add boiling water...  But "nutritious and healthful" they aren't.  Costly, they are...  Got money?  The freeze-dried stuff is spendy.

The real ticket to food independence is in Quality Bulk Foods, mainly whole grains and organics if you can afford them.  Need The Basics and food prep gear to adapt your meals for variety of taste and style.  Chinese, Mexican, Italian, American, Cajun, Japanese are all cuisines you can adapt menus from with basic Beans, Brown Rice, Wheat, Corn, Oats and variety of seasonings, oils, and condiments.  Doesn't take a lot of meat to deliver Big Nutrition and Nourishment.  Brown Rice & Beans yields Complete Protein.  Meat in small stir-fry portions laced with lots of small-chopped vegetables & sprouts is excellent way to feed a lot of people or use limited resources most wisely.

Survivalism is not about buying your way to see self through the chaos, but being far from the chaos and able to live self-sufficiently.

Not many interested in working their way to independence though...

Time, Ability, and Money are three variables.  If you have the time and ability, plus access to materials; likely you can make much of what you need yourself.  Money frees up your time and enables acquisition of gear immediately.  Your commitment and two more of the three variables forms a Triangle Of Preparation.  Time though is fast drawing to a close.  Pretty doubtful that you have Time to build a self-sufficient homestead from scratch.  Maybe you have time to get property closed-on and move-in with construction underway; but takes a couple years after your home is up & functioning to get gardens, fruit trees and other productive mechanisms in place...

We will all have to work with what we have very soon...

Money might give you an edge; IF you Know How To Deploy It and aren't afraid to commit your funds.

Best laid plans need ACTION to bring them into reality.
Hope you and yours are taking action NOW...

God Bless!