Look to the Past to Prepare for the Future, (Part 2)

As we discussed recently, it’s possible that a “pioneer retro” approach might be the best way to deal with a future crisis that involves hunkering down in our homes rather than bugging out.

Today we’re going to take a look at more on this subject.

When the Lights Go Out…

Should the storm outlast our modern backups, we can again take a retro approach, this time in the form of a Canaanite lamp, a design that dates back as far as 1500 B.C.

It is the simplest light source imaginable: a vessel that won’t burn, oil and a wick. Anchor the wick to the bottom of the vessel, leave a short length emerging from the oil and light it.

Some vessels to consider are:

* Glass bottles

* Glass or porcelain bowls

* Used tuna cans or pet food cans

* Fruit peels with the pulp removed and cut in half (citrus fruits work very well)

* Hollowed-out potatoes

* Wide-mouth glass jars

* Terra cotta containers.

A few ounces of olive oil or other cooking oil can burn for several hours. Olive oil in particular burns cleanly. It is much safer to use compared to candles or kerosene. Because of the oil’s high flash point, it will stop burning if spilled or knocked over. Canola or corn oil may produce smoke and odor, so use care.

Alternative wicks

One cannot have enough wicks. Stock up on this low-cost item from craft stores while you can.

Eventually, one can make wicks from cotton materials like old towels or even socks torn into strips. Some alternatives to candle wicks can be:

* Cotton string or twine

* Paper towel

* Torn pieces of cloth

* Shoelaces

Wicks can be made to burn longer by salting them. Place the wick in a bowl with a little water, then cover with table salt. Squeeze out excess moisture and let the wick dry overnight. Remember, a braided flat wick emits more light.

For however long we find ourselves in “hunker down” mode, there are basic tools and supplies needed to get the job done. They include:

  • Battery-powered/hand crank radio. Stay current on developments.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries. Look for a hand-crank version as well as a solar recharging version.
  • First-aid kit. Don’t forget prescription medications.
  • Whistle. Use to signal for help or communicate over distances.
  • Dust mask and duct tape. Filter contaminated air and insulate shelter.
  • Food storage containers. Include jars and sealable bags.
  • Blankets. Plus large pieces of assorted fabrics.
  • Stoves. Solar, fuel-burning camping stove and wood burning versions.
  • Collapsible Water Bottles. Lightweight and reusable.
  • Hunting and Fishing Gear. Living off the land can add variety and nutrition to your diet, as well as extend the life of your dry food supplies.
  • Fire Starters/Lighters. A fire starter kit is the best long-term solution.
  • Survival Knife/Multi-Tool. Survival knives offer cutting power, while a multi-tool will fare better against screws, nuts and bolts.
  • Contractor grade trash bags. They will serve as a poncho, ground cover, tarp, carryall or sleeping bag.

There’s more on this subject coming soon.

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