6/04/2010

Effects Of Starvation

In the post apocalypse world the most important things are the things that we take the most for granted today, food and water. With the collapse of agriculture and the distribution networks that deliver those supplies many of the survivors will quickly face starvation and malnutrition. Most of the human population lives in urban centers and depend on a few small stores or bulk foods stores for food. The majority of those in urban areas have no clue in regards to even basic gardening or other means of gathering food such as hunting or fishing.


Even without a collapse of civilization more then one billion people around the world are currently starving (Approximately one person in every six) and that’s with an operating though grossly inefficient agriculture and distribution network.

The first signs of starvation is the loss of fat and muscle mass, which you’re body, will begin to break down for energy it needs to maintain vital body functions such as the nervous system and heart. The average male for example burns approximately 2500 calories a day (Depending on physical health and activity level) In a post apocalyptic world it’s easy to imagine the survivors burning well above that due to lack of transportation and having to rely on physical labour rather then using machines to do the heavy work. This process of the body breaking down body mass for energy is called Catabolises. On top of that this condition can also start to cause diarrhea, skin rashes, edema, and even heart failure. Starving individuals will also become irritable and lethargic from a lack of energy.

Atrophy is the next sign of starvation. This is where the starving individual starts to loose the perception of feeling hungry or thirsty because their senses are much weaker and the brain is not as able to function properly. At this stage all body movements become painful as the remaining muscles become extremely weak. The individual’s immune system will start to break down meaning that diseases that the body could normally fight off will start to appear. Fungi and other bacteria can also form on the individual’s body such as under the oesophagus making swallowing extremely painful. In women you can also expect irregular menstruation cycles.

Without food this condition can last for weeks before the individual dies. In the case of those in prisoner or war camps and concentration camps in World War 2 this can take years if given good that is low in nutritional value.

5/16/2010

All Alone

In many of my past posts I talked about the importance of being in a group, not just for the shared security and increased firepower if needed, but for basic human companionship that we all need. Humans after all are social creatures, that’s what helped make us the dominate species, and what has built all our civilizations including the present one. We thrive in groups, and constantly long to be part of new and better ones, which explains the current popularity of social networking sites.
But what happens after the apocalypse and you’re alone, either everyone around you is dead, or far away and you have to be by yourself for several weeks or longer?

First you need to identify what type of person you are, and for that most of us fall into two groups extroverted or introverted. Extroverted are individuals who get their energy from social interaction. They like to be out in the crowd and the center of attention. Introverted are the opposite they don’t require as much social interaction and draw from themselves rather then groups, this isn’t to say that introverts don’t need social interaction they just find it overwhelming at times. Of the two groups introverts have a distinct advantage.

So how do you cope when you have to be alone for an extremely long time? For this there are a few things you can do to keep yourself going. First keep busy, have things you need to do and set up a routine. Think of movies such as I Am Legend, or castaway where the main characters have to deal with extended isolation for years. One of the ways they copped was to have a routine and projects to keep their minds busy, remember down time leads to thinking, thinking leads to your thoughts wandering usually to things you miss, which leads to depression, which leads to suicide.

Another thing that will help you when dealing with isolation is exercise. The better shape you’re in the more positive you’re attitude will be. This is because when you’re lifting weights or running for example the body is realising chemicals called endorphins which make you feel better, kind of like a natural high if you will. On top of that the healthier you are the clearer and more positive you’re mind will think. And if anything else it gives you a tool to vent you’re frustrations out on but in a healthy way.

Talk to yourself, I know this sounds kind of odd, and others would find this crazy if you did this in public, but when you’re alone the sound of your own voice can help ease the tension of isolation. If anything else this will break up the quiet that you might experience. Remember there won’t be any background noise from cars, pedestrians, or anything else you can expect to hear when living in an urban area.

Find a pet, if you are near a pet store or you find a stray one take in a dog or dog’s or another domesticated animal. Dogs are preferred because of their pack mentality and will be more keen to bond with you. This is in turn will give you a loyal companion; it also gives you something to talk to.

These are just a few ideas to help deal with extreme isolation. If the apocalypse comes and you find yourself alone, you need to be mentally prepared before hand as this will be one of the hardest things you may have to deal with.

5/09/2010

Fallout New Vegas Update

If you’re a fan of the Fallout games like I am then you’re eagerly waiting for the release Of Fallout New Vegas coming out this fall. Awhile ago I had a post that showed the new trailer for the game, and today I found some new videos that give a sneak peak into some of what you can expect to see in the new game. Hope you enjoy, and I’ll keep updating as new information comes in.



5/03/2010

How To Throw A Punch

In the post apocalypse defending yourself is paramount to you're survival. Ideally you would do this with a firearm or some form of melee weapon. Chances are though that you will be caught without a weapon and will have to resort to hand to hand combat. However most people don't know how to do this properly. In this post I'll show you the basics of how to throw a punch. However it's important to remember that this is to be used ONLY AS SELF DEFENCE and not to be used to attack or hurt others.



Before you can learn to punch you have to understand how you're hand works. For a punch you're striking surface will be you're two knuckles closest to the thumb (trigger and middle finger) If you make a fist you'll notice that these two knuckles form and almost straight line with the bones in you're forearm all the way to the elbow, giving them the support needed for a powerful blow. You're other two knuckles are known as "floaters" as these have no support and can be driven back into you're wrist with enough force.


To do a basic punch you need to first adopt a proper stance. Your feet should be shoulder width apart, any farther apart or closer together and you risk being unstable and easy to take down. Your heal of your front foot (depending on if your right or left handed) should be aligned to your toes on the other foot. Again remember to keep your feet spaced about shoulder width apart to give yourself as solid of stance as possible. Slightly bend your knees to allow your body to be flexible and loose, this will allow you to better withstand blows and keep yourself from being too rigid.


For your arms you’re going to need to have them in a ready position to defend against an attackers blows. To do this have your arms up to protect your sides and face, keep them spaced far enough from your face so that an attacker can't use your own arms against you. Also whichever foot is in front the same arm will be out in front, for example if your right foot is out front your right arm is out front too. This will be your jabbing arm, but I'll get to that a little later in this post.


For your hands there is no set way to have them, obviously you want them to be in position ready to strike your opponent, how you do that is up to you. Some prefer having your hands closed, others open, I prefer having my hands open as this leaves your options open. You might find it better rather then hitting them to grab your attacker and force them to the ground, or strike them in another way other then a punch.


Now it' time to punch, many think that the hitting power from a punch comes from the arms alone, this is partially true. What gives your punch extra power is your core muscles (torso) and triceps. Think of baseball when you draw power from your hips up through your arms and twist the motion you can drive the ball very far and much harder. The same applies when throwing a punch, except you don't want to swing your arms out wide this is what's called a "haymaker" and can leave you very exposed to a counter attack. You want your arms to be as straight and as fast as possible when striking your opponent while drawing power from your core. For your front arm you’re not going to be able to draw as much power due to its position, so with this arm you jab or light punch to keep your opponent on their toes. The same rules apply to jabbing as they would for your main arm. You can also use your jabbing arm to grab an opponent and hold them in place.


This is not something that you can learn in one go, remember that practice makes perfect. Start out slow to get the form down right and practice, practice, practice, until you think you understand how it’s done, then practice some more.

4/27/2010

Trust Issues

First I have to give kudos to Kelly over at Psycho Carnival ( It's in my link section to the right ) go check it out it's very twisted and funny as hell.



In our present world were allowed the luxury of trust. We generally don't feel threatened or need to be on guard when dealing with others in our day to day lives. Fast forward to the post apocalypse and it's a different story, where if you’re not on your guard at all times you could be dead. This becomes even more paramount when you encounter other survivors who appear friendly and even offer to help you. So what should you do in the event you encounter other survivors who appear friendly who might not be.

1.Stay armed

The survivors you encounter might look like normal decent people, they cold even look like your grandparents, regardless always have a weapon on your person and be ready to use it at all times. This weapon you want to keep concealed keeping the upper hand if things get ugly.

2. Sleep with one eye open

If you’re alone and encounter another survivor don't let yourself sleep too soundly as they might use this opportunity to attack. Keep your weapon ready to use in a place where you can grab it quickly such as under your pillow or in your sleeve.

3. Keep them in front not behind

If you’re on the move keep them in front of you as much as possible, especially later on in the day if you’re walking. You will be more tired as the day passes and your guard may begin to lower. If their behind you they might take this as an opportunity to attack you when you least expect it.

4. Don't fall for what they say

Over time you will start to talk to these other survivors, were social creatures after all and communication is a primary part of that. Just because they might be friendly and easy going they could be using that to lure you in. Think of used car salesmen for example, their trained to communicate a certain way to make the potential buyer feel at ease and more comfortable in buying a car. A really good one may even convince you to buy a car you initially didn't want or was more then what you were willing to pay at first. The same applies in the post apocalypse, a really smooth talker can easily wear your guard down. You may start to think their alright and befriend them, and that is when they strike.

5. Go with your gut

If all else fails go with your instincts. Even if they seem okay and are friendly and offer to help you with whatever you need, if your instincts are telling you not to trust them believe your gut. Nine times out of ten your gut won't lie.
Remember the post apocalypse will be a desperate world; be on your toes at all times.

4/22/2010

Searching For Food

You’re supplies are only going to last so long until you need to find food, if you are in an urban environment in the post apocalypse this means one thing, you’re going to have to forage for it. Foraging is a fancy way of saying stealing or looting, but since those original owners will be gone or worse, their supplies are up for grabs. This doesn’t mean however that you can just bash in any door you want and wander around like you own the place. There will be other survivors doing the same thing, some of them may be living in those places you’re considering looting. Here are some guidelines to help you find supplies while staying alive.
1. Observe

Before you go into any location looking for food, take the time to scout it out first. You obviously don’t want to wander into a location that’s already inhabited unless you’re planning on making contact with them. From a safe location and under some cover to avoid detection look for visible signs of human life. These will include but won’t be limited to

- Recently moved items

- cleaned up debris and repairs

- Vehicle traffic

- Sounds (generators, voices, gunshots etc)

2. Stealth And Speed

These are you’re two best friends in the post apocalypse world. With no background noise coming from traffic or construction sound will travel farther, so smashing in the front door will be heard over a greater distance. Keep as concealed as possible, stay along the edges of buildings, and in shadows as much as possible. When it comes time to move do it fast and move from cover to cover staying as low as possible. If you’re cover is separated by some distance zig zag when you run, meaning move to the left and right rapidly. This will make it harder for a shooter to get a fix on you.

3. Entering

Now that you’re beside the building you want to enter you have to figure out how to get inside. Instead of trying to pry open the front door look for an alternative such as going through a window or another available entrance. Remember to treat each location as if it’s being defended, doors and windows may be rigged to traps.

4. Once Inside

Now that you are inside the building or home, the same rules for outside apply indoors, keep a low profile and move as quietly as possible. If you have a flashlight use it sparingly as light will make you visible. One way to help get around that is to have a red lens as this will reduce how far the light travels, but will make red letters invisible. Remember once inside to allow you’re eyes to adjust to the darkness before you start to move, this will take approximately a minute, this will also give you time to listen for movement to indicate if you’ve been detected or not.

5. Be Quick

Don’t screw around once inside move from room to room as quietly and quickly as possible to avoid detection. Be cautious around blind corners and when entering rooms as there could be additional traps or a potential ambush waiting to happen.

6. Signs Of People Means Get Out

Things such as lit candles, fresh food, are just a couple signs of recent human activity. If you see something that looks like people are still there GET OUT ASAP (As fast as possible). The choice is up to you whether or not you keep any items you grabbed or drop them on the spot. Personally I would keep them and get out fast, because if they catch you they will probably treat you the same regardless if you have anything of there’s or not so you might as well take the chance.

4/17/2010

Quest For Fire

Fire, it’s one of the key ingredients for your survival after a disaster or the post apocalypse. The obvious way to start a fire is with matches or a lighter, possibly some gas or another combustible liquid as well. But what happens if you have none of these, how do you get a fire started? Fortunately there are many ways to get a fire started without every striking a match, here are a few that I’ve used in the past that work.


An important note to remember when starting any fire is that no matter what method you choose to use you should have all your fuel ready to go before you try to get a fire going. You might only have one chance so don’t waste it by having to run around looking for fuel. Also you need an escalation in the fuel you use, what this means is that once you have fire start with small fuel such as dry leaves and twigs, then as this burns start adding larger sources of fuel until the fire is hot and large enough to burn regular sized wood.

Another important note is that many of these techniques require something called a “bird’s nest” this is simply a bundle of dry easily burnable fuel such as grass, bits of paper, small twigs, or whatever you can find that you bundle together to resemble a bird’s nest. To keep this material dry you should always pack it in your bug out bag in a plastic bag to keep it separated from your other kit.

1. Magnesium Fire Starter

If you’re using a magnesium fire starter you won’t need to necessarily make a bird’s nest, but there are a couple extra things to consider when using one. First find a flat piece of cardboard, bark, or other easily burnable material, this is what you will use to place your filings on, don‘t just have the filings fall into the dirt because they will get buried in there and become ineffective. Using a saw blade or file not a knife blade (This will quickly dull your knife unless you have no other choice) starts shaving the flat side of the fire starter. Make sure to avoid injury that the saw blade is moving away from your fingers not towards it. Continue this motion until you have a pile of filings a little larger then a quarter (Loonie if you’re Canadian), of course you can also go a little bigger if you feel that isn’t large enough. Remember to keep those filings together, what your essentially doing with them is creating kindling, magnesium burns very hot and fast (About 5000 degrees), and keeping them together will allow them to burn longer.

Now using the flint side of the fire starter scrap, don’t strike the flint. The filings will go up very quickly so remember to have your kindling very close by. Once its lit start adding your kindling, don’t heap it on top all at once but add a piece at a time allowing the fire to start burning each piece. Throwing everything on all at once is a good way to kill your fire before it has a chance to catch.

2. Magnifying Glass

Another way to get a fire going is with a magnifying glass. I recommend using a smaller one as this will take up less space when travelling, and many of the smaller versions come with their own protective cases built in to protect the lens from scratches. To use a magnifying glass to start a fire, first build your bird’s nest using dry grass, paper, whatever you can find. Then placing the bird’s nest on the ground align your magnifying glass to the sun. The glass will concentrate the sun’s rays into a much smaller focal point causing that area to heat up very quickly. Once you see smoke starting gently blow on the bird’s nest until you see fire, then start adding you’re kindling on top.

3. Beer Can

In the post apocalypse world discarded pop or beer cans should be very easy to find. To use this you’re going to need a can, something to polish the bottom of the can with, a small piece of flammable material such as paper or cloth, and a roach clip or small object to hold the paper or cloth such as a small twig. First you need to polish the bottom of the can, it’s important that it’s not scratched as this will act as a mirror to collect the sun’s heat. One way to polish it is to use tooth paste and some toilet paper since neither one is abrasive enough to really scratch up the can. After polishing the can for about 45 minutes to an hour you then want to align the can so that the sun’s rays are running parallel and will allow it to collect heat. To ensure its parallel you want the shadow of the can to be as small as possible, the smaller the more in line to the suns rays it will be.

Once your can is aligned you want to find the focal point, or where the sun’s rays will be most concentrated on the can, you can check this by moving your finger a couple of inches above the can until you find the hottest point. Then take your flammable material (paper, cloth, etc) place it on your twig or small stick and position it at the focal point, remember that you want the twig, roach clip or whatever you decide to use as small as possible to reduce the amount of shadow cast onto the can, obviously the more shadow means the less heat will be collected. If this is done right your flammable object should start to smoke fairly quickly, once it does place it into your bird’s nest (Which you should have made already) and gently blow until it catches fire.

4. Steel wool and a 9 volt battery

One of the easiest ways to start a fire is with a 9 volt battery and steel wool. I’ve used different brands of steel wool such as S.O.S pads, but the generic brand I found works the best because it doesn’t have the added cleaning agent in it. To do this simply take a piece of steel wool and start opening it up, the goal is to turn it into a bowl like shape. Once this is done fill that bowl with easily burnable material such as dry grass, leaves, paper etc. Now taking the 9 volt battery touch the top end of the battery (The end with the positive and negative ends) to the steel wool. Very quickly the wool will catch on fire, allow a couple seconds for the fire to spread and start to burn the dry kindling before you add more, again adding too much will choke the fire causing large amounts of smoke and possibly killing your fire before it starts.

There are lots of ways to get a fire started, these are just a few of them. Like many things in the post apocalypse world you need to think on your feet and use what you have around you and don't be afraid to experiement, you never know what will happen.

And The Award Goes To……..Me!

A couple days ago I was given the beautiful blogger award from Jessica over at Ghost Stories And Haunted Places ( http://ghoststoriesandhauntedplaces.blogspot.com/). First I want to say a big thank you, this is the first time I’ve ever received any award for a blog of mine so this is very cool. The second is that if you haven’t visited this blog before go check it out you’re going to find a lot of interesting and informative posts on the subject of ghosts and the paranormal.


4/13/2010

How Much Radiation Can You Take

We all know radiation is dangerous and can have severe effects on the body; we only need to look at the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster or the atomic bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki to see their horrific effects. But how much radiation can a body take? Can you recover? And what are the signs and symptoms of radiation poisoning?
The first thing you have to understand about radiation is you can’t see it, smell it or taste it. The only time it will be visible is the fallout after a nuclear blast. This dust will have the appearance of dusty snow. Apart from that you won’t have any idea your in a radioactive zone without proper detection equipment.

So just how much radiation can the human body withstand? Here is a list giving you a basic idea of what to expect at what levels. All measurements here are calculated in RADS which is short for radiation absorbed dose.

5 RADS and under - No visible symptoms

5 to 50 RADS - Temporarily decreased red blood cell count (you’ll survive but will fee pretty ill)

50 to 100 RADS - Decreased production of immunity cells, you will be susceptible to infections, nausea, headache, and vomiting are common. With treatment you will survive.

150 to 300 RADS - Up to 35 percent of those who are exposed to radiation up to this level will die within 30 days. They will suffer nausea, vomiting and will lose all their hair

300 to 400 RADS - At this point your chances drop to 50/50 fatality rate after 30 days. Like the last level all the same symptoms will happen but with the addition of uncontrollable bleeding in the mouth, under the skin, and the kidneys

400 to 600 RADS - You have a 60 percent fatality rate after 30 days, symptoms like those at the 150 to 300 level starts to become visible in a couple hours after exposure

600 to 1000 RADS - Almost 100 percent fatality rate after 14 days. Your intestinal tissue will be severely damaged and almost all bone marrow will be destroyed

1200 to 2000 RADS - 100 percent fatality with immediate symptoms after exposure

2000 RADS and over - Symptoms set in instantly upon contact then will cease for several days, giving the victim a “false hope” that they are recovering. Suddenly gastrointestinal cells are destroyed and death will begin with delirium since the brain can’t function normally and starts to shut down.

If your interested in learning more about radiation poisoning I found this documentary on YouTube made by the BBC about the Chernobyl disaster and the following cover up the Soviet government used to try to try and down play the disaster.

4/10/2010

Tips For Taking Care Of Your Feet In Post Apocalyptia

In the post apocalypse world your feet are going to be your primary mode of transportation. I cannot stress enough how important taking care of your feet is going to be, if you go down with a foot injury your mobility is compromised, your ability to gather and find the resources you need to survive is hampered. And your life is put in danger not just from other survivors but from animals and other dangers. However taking care of your feet is a relatively simple task, by following these simple tips you can avoid unnecessary injury.


1. Proper Footwear

One of the easiest ways to avoid injury is to ensure your footwear fits properly to your feet. Regardless of if it’s a pair of running shoes or hiking boots your toes should not rub or feel “pinched” at the front. Your footwear should feel comfortable and supportive especially around the ankle to avoid twists and sprains. As important as the shoes fit is the treads which should allow as much grip as possible. Remember to pay attention to the wear pattern on your shoes to determine what kind of insoles you’ll need.

2. Change Your Socks

In your bug out bag you should always keep a few pairs of socks which should be placed in a sealable plastic bag (Ziploc) to keep dry. Changing your socks on a regular basis with clean ones helps keep moisture and bacteria away from your feet which can lead in injuries or infections. You can never have enough socks and they weigh virtually nothing so pack lots in your bug out bag. They also serve a secondary purpose of insulating more breakable items in your kit bag.

3. Keep Your Feet Dry

While this is not always possible you should dry out your shoes and feet as often as possible. Your situation in the post apocalypse will determine where and when you can do this. The longer you go with wet feet however the better your chances are of developing trench foot. In milder cases the skin on your feet will crack and bleed. In severe cases the entire sole of your feet can rot off leaving the flesh underneath exposed and extremely sensitive, meaning you won’t be able to walk at all. This also leaves you exposed to infection which can result in gangrene, at that point amputation will be required or you’ll die it’s a simple as that. And with the lack of medicine and trained medical professionals a very real possibility.



Mild Trench Foot                                                       Severe Trench Foot

4. Air Them Out

When you have downtime you should always remove your foot wear and socks and let your feet breath. This will allow them to dry out. Use this time as to inspect your feet for any blisters, cuts, or infections.

5. Keep Them Clean

This is common sense, but too often then not common sense is forgotten in times of extreme stress such will be the case in the post apocalypse. Use whatever resources you have available to keep your feet as clean as possible as this will help eliminate harmful bacteria and prevent cuts and blisters from becoming infected. If soap and water isn’t available wet wipes or anti-bacterial hand sanitizer will work as well.

6. Blisters

Blisters can be extremely painful to walk on, especially when you’re not accustomed to walking for long distances. The best way to avoid blisters is to condition your feet before the collapse. Make sure your footwear is broken in so it doesn’t rub your skin raw and feels comfortable. As well spend some time going on long distance, runs, walks, or hikes as these will help develop clauses on your feet and get you in better shape at the same time.

If you develop blisters while on the move there are two methods you can use to treat them. One is to invest in something called “second skin” which is a cool gel bandage that cushions the blister allowing you to walk almost pain free. They can also be cut to size so you don’t waste any for later. The second is to pop the blister and drain it. I highly recommend if you do this to cover the blister in a bandage to prevent the skin from being worn off. Also use some anti-bacterial cream to keep the blister from getting infected. I only recommend popping the blister if it’s compromising your mobility, you’ll have to judge for yourself what works best.

7. Spare Shoes

If you have the space in your bug out bag or a place outside your bag that you can securely attach another pair of shoes I recommend you do it. First having a spare pair of footwear will allow you to switch up shoes if one pair is soaked. Second this will reduce wear and tear on both pairs and extend the life of both shoes. And third switching up your footwear on a regular basis will help air out your shoes preventing bacteria from setting in.

Remember in the post apocalypse you are your own doctor; take care of yourself as best as you can given the situation.

4/09/2010

10 Signs Of The Post Apocalypse

Here's a funny pic I found when surfing the net I thought I would share


4/06/2010

Canned, Rationed, Or Dried

For your bug out bag one of the most important items you need is food. But what type of food should you pack? The choices you have when packing your bug out bag are canned and rationed food, you can also go with dried food, but which is the best for you? All three are excellent choices and can be used together to help keep you alive after the apocalypse.
Canned Food

This is probably the most easily accessible type of food to find, not only in your home but anywhere where you need to loot for food. Canned foods can range from soups, to meat, and fruits. The benefit of canned food is two fold, one is the food packaged itself which can last for years. The second is the water used to keep that food moist, which can be drunk to help keep yourself hydrated.

When choosing canned food there are two things you have to keep in mind. First many canned goods such as soup contain high levels of salt; this is to give the food flavour and to help preserve it. Consuming food high in salt will result in you becoming dehydrated, and unless you have access to water this could prove fatal in the wasteland.

The next thing you have to remember is to check the cans themselves for signs of air leakage or contamination. Obviously you want to avoid cans that are rusted as those foods will be contaminated, but what won’t be as obvious is cans that have an air leak. They may look fine right up till the point you crack them open only to find your dinner covered in mold. So how do you check for an air leak, simply push down on the top of the can. If the cans lid is firm and doesn’t move then no air has penetrated inside, if the cans top feels flimsy and can move easily then it’s compromised and should be left alone.

Rations

Rations like the ones I had while in the military are excellent for survival and can last for years. While these aren’t as accessible as canned food they have a couple advantages over them. The first is their size; a ration meal can be broken down into its separate components. The rations I had in the military contained two meals (One the meal, a second as a desert), bread, gum or a chocolate bar, and fruit drink crystals. All these items can be taken out of their original packages and placed in something like a clear plastic bag. This will allow you to store far more food then you can with canned food, a pouch in your bug out bag may be able to hold 4 or 5 cans, but can hold 2 or 3 times that of rations.

They have two disadvantages compared to canned goods and that’s the packaging itself. While it does allow you store more food if you break them down the packages themselves can be punctured much easier, resulting in food getting everywhere unless their placed in a plastic bag, I recommend a clear bag to check for any leaks without having to actually tear through everything. The second is constipation, in my experience the rations I ate caused many people to become constipated usually for a few days at a time. This can become an extremely painful condition, so make sure you drink lots of water when you can when consuming rations.

Dried Food

Another route is dried food; this is excellent for snacks in-between meals to keep your strength up. Foods such as dried fruit or granola bars are both excellent choices when it comes to dried food. Another option is jerky which can be made from every type of meat imaginable. Again be careful in regards to salt content as this will cause you to dehydrate faster.

Foods To Avoid

Gum - Chewing gum though it will keep your mouth busy when you can’t eat or find food will mask some of the tell tale signs of dehydration

Junk Food - Realistically you might not have any choice in the post apocalypse and food is scarce. Keep in mind though that food like chips are empty calories that will leave you feeling hungry.

Pop - For every can of pop you drink you need the same amount of water to keep from getting dehydrated. In the post apocalypse while pop can give you a quick boost of energy it will drain you faster. Also the high amounts of sugar can attract insects which only adds to your problems.

Remember like anything involving the post apocalypse use your head, stupid moves will result in things happening to you that you don’t want to happen.

How To Use A Compass

While a GPS is a pretty cool device that can tell you within a few feet what your position is, these devices won’t do you much good after the apocalypse. These devices require batteries or a charger to power them. And with no signals from ground control the satellites those GPS require to locate their position will start to drop out of orbit. So how do you navigate without a GPS, in the post apocalypse you’re going to have to go old school and that means using a compass for navigation. Pictured below is a typical orienteering compass and a list of it's parts. It's important to understand what each of these parts does to help aid you with your navigation.


Baseplate - can be used as a ruler to measure distance on a map

Scales - each compass has 2 different rulers for the two main scale measurements used on maps

Direction Of Travel Arrow - this is what you point in the direction you want to travel

Index Pointer - opposite end of direction of travel arrow and where you take degree readings

Dial - the ring around the housing that has degree markings engraved

Declination Marks - used to orientate the compass in an area with known declination

Orienting Lines - parallel lines marked on the floor of the housing and on the base plate

Needle - magnetized piece of metal that is painted red on one end to indicate North, unless the compass is damaged it will always point magnetic North

Housing - the main part of the compass, it is filled with liquid and contains the needle

Bubble - an air bubble is added to the housing to allow the user to know the compass is level

Mirror - lets the user see the compass face objects while navigating and can be used for emergency signalling

Sight - allows the user to aim the compass at distant objects

Basic Compass Reading

No matter the compass, one end of the needle always points north. Almost every compass made has the magnetic end of the needle colored red, but it’s always a good idea to check to ensure you know what end of the needle points to magnetic North.For example if you are north of the equator, sun around  whichever end of the needle points towards the sun is south and the end that points at you is north.
If you're in a location such as Australia, the North end points towards the sun and the South end points at you.



To read your compass, hold it steadily in your hand so the baseplate is level and the direction of travel arrow is pointing straight away from you.

Keep it at about half the distance between your face and wrist so you can see the compass dial and the point your trying to navigate to.

Turn while keeping the compass in front of you.You'll see that as the compass rotates, the needle stays pointing the same direction (Magnetic North). Keep turning until the needle points in the direction you wish to travel.


(Tip) A common mistake many make is that if the needle is pointing east for example that you must be facing east. Remember to find your direction, you must turn the compass dial until the North mark and the "Orienting Arrow" is lined up with the North end of the needle. Then you can read the heading that is at the Index Pointer spot (the butt of the direction-of-travel arrow).
Since the Orienting Arrow is usually two parallel lines on the floor of the compass housing, a good thing to memorize is:

Take a Bearing

By moving your compass with your body and using the North, South, East, and West markings, you can get a pretty good idea which way you're going. This is often all you need, but, you'll probably notice on your compass, there are numbers and lines. These numbers and lines represent the 360 degrees in a circle that surrounds you no matter your position (Think of it like a clock and your in the center). When you need to find your way from one location, you need to use these numbers to find your bearing to that location. The direction you are going is called your heading. Heading and Bearing are pretty much the same thing. The image above is a heading of about 250 degrees.

Using your compass, take a few bearings. Move your body until the direction of travel arrow points at the following items and then turn the dial until the needle is in the arrow marker.Then read the bearing at the Index Pointer

Determining the bearing is like finding your heading, you turn to face the object, pick an object in the distance and one that stands out from the rest of the terrain. Remember this is the post apocalypse so you’re going to be tired and dehydrated so you want something as simple and obvious as possible to avoid confusion.

It’s important to keep a feel for general directions in your mind. If it's early morning and the sun is in your face, you are heading east with north on your left and south on your right. Remember, right and left are relative to your current heading. If you're in the northern hemisphere and the sun is at your back, you are heading in some northerly direction. In the southern hemisphere, the sun at your back means you are facing southerly.

This gives you a basic idea of how to use a compass, like all things this will take practice to master. Try taking some simple bearings on your next hiking or camping trip to get a feel for how it works. When travelling the wasteland remember to take several bearings as you travel to your destination as many of us have a heavy left or right foot which will lead us off course.

4/04/2010

The Rosetta Project

For centuries the written language of ancient Egypt was lost, their hieroglyphics which consist of shapes, pictures and designs was untranslatable due to no comparison being available to translate. That all changed after the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, a stone tablet dated back to the Ptolemaic era (about 190 B.C). This tablet contained three languages two are Egyptian languages hieroglyphics and demotic the other classical Greek. This stone provided enough information to allow scholars to translate the long dead Egyptian hieroglyphics to understand how the ancient Egyptians lived worshipped their gods, and their history.


After the apocalypse our collective knowledge will be lost, everything from how to build an airplane, to our language could be lost to the descendants of those who survive. One way to help preserve our language and knowledge as well as languages that are nearly extinct is the Rosetta project’s mission. Their goal is to create a library of languages that can survive the apocalypse and be passed down to future generations. To do this they’ve created disks containing 1500 languages, many of which are nearly extinct and over 13,000 pages of language documentation.

The disk is meant to be a physical archive, it requires no computer to turn on or upload, many of the words can be seen with the naked eye the rest can be seen with a magnifier, something that a much less advanced civilization could easily accomplish.

What is written on the disk is a collection of phrases such as the UN declaration of human rights and the beginning chapters of the book of genesis. The disk also contains information on the individual languages themselves, including the location on the planet, information on their writing systems and literacy, and grammatical information which includes a description of the sounds of the language to properly speak it.

This disc could be a key factor for our descendants learning lost technology from being able to translate and read surviving books and instruction manuals, though I doubt it will help them better understand how to program a DVD player.


The Rosetta Disk (Top)

4/03/2010

Should You Stay Or Should You Go

I recently watched a video on YouTube from some guy who lives on the east coast. The guy was apparently pissed about how people seem to be bug out crazy, and that those people are preparing to fail. Needless to say it got me thinking on the subject, and while I still hold true to my stance that everyone should have one in case of the unexpected, it did make me think that there are times when staying put at home may be a better option for you. Here are some examples why boarding up the windows instead of hitting the road will be a better option.

Well Water

If your home has its own separate well system, meaning it’s not connected to a city then you have a constant supply of water even if the power goes out, provided you can keep the well running. You might need a generator to do this but as long as theirs ground water you will have all the water you need.

Government Response

When you look at some of the worst disasters in history there have been times when the government has fallen on it’s face in regards to helping it’s citizens promptly (Think hurricane Katrina for example) In a global disaster the government will be all but absolutely useless to help. Going to a government shelter may put you in a far worse situation then what you want to be in.

Isolation

If you live in a rural area then staying put makes sense as the area you live in probably won’t get a lot of visitors and leaving you safer from marauding gangs of thugs and looters.

Food Supply

A bug out bag may hold a few days worth of food, but your home may hold weeks or months of food depending on how much you prepared in advance.

You Know The Terrain

Unless you just moved in and the apocalypse happens, chances are you know the area very well. This will make it a lot harder for a would be attacker to sneak up on you, and a whole lot easier for you to set up traps and ambush points for those attackers. This also means you know what resources you can use to survive. For example you might have a trail nearby that leads to a river to catch fish, or an abandoned shed that can be used a storage facility.

Less Trauma

What I mean by this is that staying at home will give you a certain degree of comfort when things go to hell. The radio and power will go out for sure, but being at home will give you some sense of comfort because it’s familiar.

More Resources

Like food and water there will be other things you can use from home to survive. Chances are you’ll have access to tools, a garage, a car as an escape vehicle (If it runs), flammables to start fires, and scrap materials to build traps and weapons to defend yourself.


So what would you do? Would you decide to stay at home, or do you feel your residence is too vulnerable you feel you need to leave it when the apocalypse happens?

3/30/2010

Where To Find Food And Supplies In The Post Apocalypse

For most of us getting food and supplies in the post apocalypse world will be no easy task. For starters most of us live in cities and urban centers, these places require a complex network of delivery systems to bring food, medicine, clean drinking water, and all the other things we take for granted everyday. A major disruption in services means that very quickly store shelves will become empty. Those affected in those areas will have to rely on other means of getting food, especially if those services aren’t coming back.

Like in any situation you need to know what’s in your local and immediate area. Where I live for example there are no less then 5 grocery stores that range from high end to discount bargain food. There are 4 convenient stores like 7-11 or clones like 7-11, 1 gas station minus the car wash, 5 café’s, and one pet food and supply store. All of these are excellent starting points to find food in the post apocalypse. Of these however I recommend starting at the pet supply store, why? Because all the major grocery stores will be looted first, followed by the convenient stores. Stores that sell dog or other pet food won’t be a first target for looters because they simply won’t have starved enough to realize that dog food is still food.

Depending on where you live in there world there are any number of resources you can use to acquire food to survive, here are few your location might have

1.Sea Containers in train yards or harbours
2.Rail cars since they transport supplies across land
3.Abandoned homes (make sure nobody is home first)
4.Boats in a harbour from fishing boats to luxury liners
5.Strip malls
6.Food courts in office buildings
7.Warehouses and distribution centers

Sea Containers

Everything that comes to one continent or another be it cars, computers, or food comes by the sea via a freighter. If you live in a city that is connected to the ocean and has a port these places make excellent locations to find food that many would miss. Try to find any kind of documents or lists that indicate what items are located in what container, otherwise you could be spending a very long time searching through them all.

Rail Cars

Those same supplies that are shipped out or in are usually transported over land by train. Finding abandoned rail yards is a great source of resources that are now available to you. Like sea containers in ports try to find some form of documentation to help cut down on your search time.

Abandoned Homes

This is a tricky one, while many in the event of a collapse will flee their homes, many others will simply board up the windows and doors and prepare to ride it out. As well other survivors may have squatted in previously abandoned homes, either way your not going to be sure of what to expect, so be cautious. When searching abandoned homes make sure to do your homework and check for signs of human activity before you take anything. Things such as lit candles, fresh unfinished food, and human waste are pretty good indicators that somebody has either just left, or is still around.

Boats

Many people will overlook the various fishing boats, pleasure yachts, or even ferries that will be docked at various ports. There is a very good chance that many of these vessels will have food and other supplies you can use to survive. Another overlooked resource that almost every boat will have is some form of radio equipment. If the boat still has power these radios can be used to try and make contact with other survivors.
Strip Malls

Many small malls may have generic clothing stores, dollar stores and other run of the mill type stores. Chances are also good that many of these stores will be ignored by many looters. While not a great source of supplies places such as dollars stores for example carry cheap canned soups, dehydrated noodles and other food packed full of MSG which in the event of the post apocalypse you won’t really care about.

Food Courts

In many cities that I’ve travelled to it’s been a common practice to see some form of food court at or near the base of an office tower for all the office types to grab a snake before returning to their work. Most of this food will be nothing more then fast food or really bad Chinese food. They will have several canned and packaged items that will be of use to you. Remember to avoid foods that were frozen as they will have thawed out and gone bad.

Warehouses

In every major town and city there are places where food is collected to be distributed to outlet stores, and again places like this will be overlooked by many survivors at first who will hit the grocery store instead of its distribution warehouse that supplies it. And like those grocery stores you will find everything you would there only in bulk. Expect to see things packaged in crates ready for delivery, so you’re going to have to spend some time reading what the items are inside.

Again it all depends on where you live in the world which will determine your resources that you get to choose from.

3/27/2010

Facts About The Flue Virus

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper (T.S. Eliot)

When it comes to describing pandemics I don’t think there is a better description then the quote above. The reality is that pandemics are a real threat; the recent swine flu is proof of how fast a virus can spread around the globe. While the death’s related to swine flu are low when compared to other pandemics such as the Spanish flu of 1918, the occurrence of major outbreaks is rapidly on the rise. With travel restrictions decreasing, and the amount of travellers increasing we are in a prime position for a major deadly virus to wreck havoc on civilization. But how much do you know about the flu virus and how it can become such a deadly pandemic. Here is some information to help you understand just how real this threat is.

What causes the flu virus to change from a seasonal flu to a killer pandemic variety occurs when there is a notable genetic change or genetic shift in the circulating strain. Because of this huge numbers of the population will be vulnerable to the new strain because their bodies simply haven’t encountered this virus before. There are 3 types of flu virus simply referred to as types A, B, and C. C strain flu virus’ are considered to be the mild forms of the virus, it’s the A and B varieties that can rapidly spread due to human contact, air, and contaminated surfaces that pose the biggest threat of becoming a pandemic.

The flu virus has an approximate incubation period of 1 to 4 days for the infected individual will show signs of being sick. (The virus itself can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours by the way). The average Adult once infected will be susceptible to transmit the virus usually 1 day before showing the first signs until about 5 days after initial onset. This means that an individual say for example on a business trip can become infected overseas, spend a couple days in country without any noticeable signs. Then come home just before the onset of the illness and infect hundreds of people including friends, family, and coworkers.

Now take this to a global scale where millions of people are travelling all over the world each month. Imagine a handful of individuals become infected and travel home to their perspective countries. Within a week their families and those who came in close contact with them are now sick and dying. Now add the fact that even with new flu virus that were developed to combat the swine flu (H1N1) may not work for a new strain. It also generally can take a month or longer to develop a vaccine, and 5 to six months for enough vaccine to be made to vaccinate small numbers of the population. You have to also remember that most drug manufacturing plants are not located in North America but in places like South East Asia or other third world countries where labour is cheap. If workers at those plants become infected the production of drugs will cease.

Another important note to remember is the number of new outbreaks of flu virus that have been reported. Between 1997 and 2009 there have been 6 outbreaks or new strains of flu virus (More then half of all major flu virus outbreaks in the last hundred years) while these virus have had low death tolls it should be remembered that the flu virus can easily mutate.

3/25/2010

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Otherwise know as PTSD is a severve anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to an event that results in psychological trauma. This also seems to be a topic that is missed by many blogs and websites that deal with apocalypse topics, and one I feel should get a lot of attention given the fact that the apocalypse or collapse or whatever you want to call it will be the biggest most stressful and guaranteed most traumatic event that those who survive it will ever experience.

PTSD is commonly associated with soldiers who have seen terribly things in combat which is totally true but only covers a fragment of those who actually suffer from it. Victims of rape, abuse, or other life threatening events could potentially suffer from PTSD. For the apocalypse and post apocalypse this will come in the form of watching everything you love and worked hard for go up in flames. When the electricity goes out, when the internet goes down forever, and when you see people dying in the streets are huge changes that most of us simply aren’t used to.

There is no on switch meaning that no two people who see and experience the same event will suffer from PTSD. There is also no time frame when it kicks in. It could happen minutes after a traumatic event, or a person could be fine for days, weeks, even years until a trigger is set off in that individuals mind and sends them over the edge.

When the collapse comes you need to be mindful of the mental state of those who are in your group (If you have one) to spot PTSD here are a few of the symptoms

Persistent
-Re-experiencing of the event such as flashbacks or severe nightmares

Avoidance
- The person tries to avoid anything that’s similar to the event. An example would be veterans who don’t walk on grass or lawns for fear of stepping on a land mine

Numbing
-Unable to recall major parts of the trauma, and or decreased involvement in significant life activities, and a decreased capacity to feel certain emotions.

Increased arousal
-Problems falling asleep, anger control or hyper vigilance

These are just a few of the symptoms it should also be noted that if these symptoms go on for more than 1 month that it’s PTSD

In the post apocalypse world you’re not going to have the resources and trained professionals who can help with the situation. It’ll be up to you as a group leader or the one who suffers from this to take action. Doing things like social interaction, changing your mind set to be more positive, and keeping busy by exercise and activities that you can focus on to keep your mind away from those sorts of thoughts are all options one can do.

For additional information about PTSD here are some sites that offer information on the subject as well as contact information for those who may be suffering from this already.

http://www.medicinenet.com/posttraumatic_stress_disorder/article.htm
( U.S residents )

http://www.cmha.ca/bins/content_page.asp?cid=3-94-97&lang=1
( Canadian residents )

3/22/2010

Mad Max Highway To Hell Video

A couple days ago I made a little music video to The Road Warrior It only feels right to make one to Mad Max as well, this one is centered around the opening car chase. Hope you like it and let me know what you think. I'll have another one to Beyond Thunderdome in a few days as well.



My Immediate Survival Plan

The last post and the comments made by others got me thinking about what my immediate survival plan in the event of a collapse. I thought to myself “Hey if I’m going to ask others about their survival plans and the resources they have I should show them mine” I am suppose to be the expert at this after all when it comes to post apocalypse survival so I better have a rock solid plan.


The first two stages of my plan since moving to Vancouver were to gather intel on the city and prepare an appropriate survival bug out bag, for myself and my roommate. The bug out bag I created in Edmonton before moving here, mostly because gathering the materials there would be easier and cheaper (Vancouver with taxes and cost of living is between 15 to 30% more to live then Edmonton) I bought a good size military style canvas bag which has two main pockets and two large side pockets, then I included the following kit


2x wind up flashlights with power adaptors for cell phones, radios, and even Ipod

50 feet of paracord, 100 feet of nylon cord, and 30 feet of climbing rope to be used as a “Swiss Seat” for repelling

1x tarp to build a shelter with

2x multitools

Water purification tablets

Waterproof/windproof matches and 2x magnesium fire starters

4x glow sticks

1x large first aid kit and 1x smaller first aid kit for extra supplies including pocket CPR masks

1x windup or battery operated radio

2x pocket survival kits, this include fishing line snacks, matches and even a compass

6x emergency blankets and 6x emergency rain ponchos

40x tea lights

1x blanket

1x air mattress

spare socks and clothes


Total cost $125.00 mostly on the first aid kit, and most of my supplies were left over from the army.


I also have a second bug out bag I keep empty this is for food and water only. My place has on hand a two week supply of bottle water and canned food at all times and this bag can hold most of it. Using timed drills I can have both bags ready to go and be out of the building via the stairs in under 4 minutes (That also includes getting the dog and running down 12 flights of stairs)


The second stage is still ongoing and that’s gathering intel on the city itself. This involves understanding the roads, alleys and major highways of the city. Also understanding the terrain of Stanley Park, the local navel reserve base, and the location of and useful stores, police and fire stations.


My third stage is what I call my “Immediate action plan” this is what you need to do in the first few minutes to first couple days of the collapse. This plan needs to be extremely flexible as variables you can’t predict will unfold leaving you to react on the moment. You should also have more then one in case your first plan goes down the toilet. This also depends on how things collapse if it’s a pandemic my plan is to hold up and isolate myself after looting the local coffee shops and small café’s. Even though there are 5 grocery stores near my apartment all of them will be the first targets for looters. Coffee shops and café’s located near my apartment are packed full of food and could easily sustain me for weeks. Also there is a pet supply store that is another option for food, yes I said it dog food it is food after all and I’m not a fussy eater.


Also tactically holding up in my apartment until things calm down a little makes sense. If there is no fire or immediate danger like an aircraft crashing into the building it offers 180 degree view of both the seawall and parts of Stanley Park and the main highway that leads into North Vancouver. If my security is compromised I have no less then 5 escape routes by car, 8 by foot, plus all those fancy yachts in the harbour.


As for people I could count on, that’s pretty limited. My roommate is a tiny Chinese woman so physically she will be dependant on me. She’s also not very prepared to deal with the stress and trauma that a collapse will have on a person and she’s slower then myself because she’s out of shape. As for the rest of the building, mostly retired or semi retired office type workers, people who have spent decades behind a desk making loads of money but have no skills of any use in the post apocalypse. There are a couple who are handy with tools and building things that are useful. And those who work behind the front desk have some skill sets that would come in handy as well as strong backs for any manual tasks required.


As for what my plan is I have two options. My choices are to get to Vancouver island (If it still exists) where I know people who have better skill sets, where there is a smaller population so less chance of roaming gangs, and where I know the terrain better in terms of fishing, growing food, and hunting. The second option if the island becomes unavailable is either travel inland to a town such as Hope ( Where they filmed the first Rambo movie ) which has a good sized river for fresh water and space that can be eventually converted to growing food. Or north along the coast until I find a suitable location.

Like I said above have backup plans and be flexible, I fully expect one or all my options to be unavailable for whatever reason, and there will be factors I can’t control or predict. This is where my ability to think calmly during high stress situations and the ability to think on my feet come in handy.

So that’s my plan so far, and like any plan it will change over time as I become more accustomed to Vancouver and the people here. Now it’s your turn what’s your immediate survival plan? Do you have a bug out bag or what kit do you have available to use for your survival? Do you even have a plan? Either way let me know.

3/21/2010

The Colony Survivors

First if you haven’t seen this show, go out and watch it, it’s pretty amazing (Click here to view it on my website or check the top left to view links to The Colony and other videos). Anyways getting back on subject, The Colony is about a group of survivors trying to rebuild and survive after a pandemic collapse. This is a 10 week controlled experiment to get an idea of what to expect after the apocalypse. While the show offers some really great insight to possible post apocalypse life, and how creative people can be when forced to be, it does have one flaw. The flaw is this, those picked to be in the colonists.


I don’t care where you live or who you know, there is no way in hell unless you have a golden horseshoe up your ass that you will have a scientist, contractor, ex soldier, marital arts expert, handyman, and machinist all under one rusted roof. If you’re lucky you might have one of those mentioned, two if you’re really lucky. Chances are pretty good your group will consist of burger flippers with more zits then life skills, type A office workers and pencil pushers, and the most annoying idiots alive.


Take a look around at your neighbourhood of the city or town you live in, how many people you know have skills that would be an asset in the post apocalyptic future. Chances are good most of you won’t know more then a couple. Someone like me who is new to their city practically knows nobody; this will make organizing a group in the initial outset a little harder, which is okay for me because I like a challenge.


If you come across a group of strangers who decided to group up the first thing you should do is find out what their skill set is. Figure out immediately who knows what and who is the most useful. If no one wants to step up and be a leader be prepared to take control, just remember not to become a dictator they have a tendency of getting overthrown.


So I’m going to finish this post with a question, how many of you know people who can be of assistance to survive after the apocalypse and what skill set do they bring.

3/20/2010

A little video I made of The Road Warrior

The other day I downloaded one of my favorite movies of all time The Road Warrior onto my computer. While I was waiting for it to download, I decided to make a fan made music video for it. The song I chose is Shoot To Thrill by ACDC one of my favorite bands, let me know what you think of it.


3/19/2010

Some Of my favorite videos by neckisstiff

I use a lot of videos from YouTube and other video sources, both on here and my website (The Razors Edge). There is one user on their in particular who in my opinion stands out with their creative fan made music videos, that user is neckisstiff (his channel is http://www.youtube.com/user/neckisstiff ). I've used a couple of his videos on different pages of my website but I though I would share a few of my favorite videos on this blog

















A Tale Of Two Cities

Vancouver and Edmonton are two very different and distinct Canadian cities in western Canada. I’ve spent considerable time at each one, so I got to thinking what would the advantages and drawbacks of these two cities offer in the post apocalypse world. What could a survivor expect to see in either one. So here’s a comparison of the two.
Edmonton



Edmonton is the capital city of the province of Alberta, and has a population of about a million if you include all the surrounding areas such as St. Albert, and Sherwood Park.



Advantages for post apocalypse survival


1. This city has a high number of trades people, be it welders, pipe fitters, carpenters, or oil workers it seems like everybody and their dog is a tradesperson here. If the apocalypse happens you have a huge knowledge base of people to help rebuild.


2. Alberta’s economy is fuelled by oil and gas, in the city there are a number of refineries or and storage facilities located in and near the city. This makes fuelling vehicles easier, making transportation easier


3. The city is surrounded by good farmland that in the right hands could be cultivated


4. The largest military base (land forces) is located just north of the city, complete with a military prison, runway, and rifle ranges.


5. The west Edmonton mall is a giant complex complete with indoor gun range, hotel, and tonnes of shops making it an ideal location for a large group of survivors to hold up


Disadvantages


1. Edmonton typically has 5 to 6 months of winter where the temperature can drop below minus 40 Celsius


2. The North Saskatchewan river which divides the city in two is the close source of water. Along the river are such things as a land fill, and sewage treatment plant making the water in locations unsafe. And being the only source of water in the area, a potential battleground.


3. Edmonton is one of the most spread out cities I’ve ever lived in or visited, having a vehicle is necessary to be able to look for supplies. The poor road conditions also mean that vehicle has to be a 4x4; roads almost deteriorate before your eyes from the freezing and thawing during the last months of winter and spring.


4. There is an unusually high concentration of fat chicks



Vancouver



The city hosted the Olympic and now Paralympics games, this city is a rapidly growing with a population of almost 2 and half million (Including the surrounding areas) it’s located beside the ocean, and is a one of the largest trade and tourist hubs in North America


Advantages for post apocalypse survival


1. The warmer climate means the temperature rarely drops below 0 Celsius, this is ideal for growing food all year long.


2. Vancouver has an unlimited water supply source not only from the ocean if you can filter out the salt, but from the amount of rainfall the city gets


3. The waterways themselves can serve as an alternative way to get around the city if the roads and highways are clogged. This also means that cargo ships, and cruise ships are also in port throughout the year, giving the survivors access to more supplies.


4. With the amount of movies, T.V shows and independent films constantly are shot in the city there are a number of warehouses and studios suitable to hold up in, in the event of the apocalypse. There are also many large arenas downtown or near downtown that could make suitable base for larger groups of survivors


5. Those who live in Vancouver are some of the healthiest people in the country, making medical problems easier to deal with in the post apocalypse.


Disadvantages


1. A smaller number of trade’s people, Vancouver has almost 20 % of the countries cooperate headquarters meaning a number of the population are office workers, which translates to no practical skills other then some organization type skills for the post apocalypse.


2. While scavenging for food will be easier in terms of distance, they will be harder because of the amount of survivors.


3. Access to firearms other then the reserve base and police stations will be harder to acquire.


4. A number of survivors will be “Type A” personalities making organizing them more difficult, especially if they look down on you because of your pre apocalypse status


5. Vancouver is a very multicultural city, when the apocalypse happens, it will become harder to communicate with some of these groups if they don’t speak the same language. This could lead to a backlash or racial tension between survivors.

3/16/2010

This is just a quick slide show video I made on movie maker it's my first time using it so I thought I'd put it out there to share, let me know what you think.


Could A Tank Be Used In The Post Apocalypse

On my website (The Razors edge) I talk about various vehicles civilian and military that a survivor can use to get around the post apocalypse landscape. One vehicle I haven’t covered (Yet) is tanks. I was watching the show Jericho the other night (Check it out if you haven’t seen it, it’s pretty good), near the end of the first season the town survivors manage to get a hold of a tank to help defend the town against another town’s militia who are bent on stealing Jericho’s resources. The question I asked myself was “Would a tank be a practical idea for the post apocalypse?” The answer to that question is yes and no, like most things in life there is no definitive black and white answer, only a shade of grey.

A tank offers a huge advantage to any survivor, the sheer size of one of these machines range anywhere from 45 to 56 tonnes or more of armour, and weapons. The average tank’s gun barrel alone is approximately 14 tonnes, which can be used as a stand alone weapon in itself should you have no ammo. Most modern tanks fire between 120 and 125 mm cannon either smooth bore or rifled that can hit targets over 2 miles away, and are backed up by pintel mounted and coaxial machine guns that can reach targets at over 1800 meters. The tanks armour can withstand all small arms, some rockets, and are even resistant to other tank rounds with the help of add on armour and reactive armour (Armour that explodes outward to repel the blast)

While those numbers sound impressive the drawbacks are big as well. Oil and fuel will be in short supply, and tanks are generally pigs on gas. Imagine the worst gas guzzling car you ever had, times that by 6 and it would look like a hybrid when its gas consumption is compared to a tank. A tank such as the M1A2 for example uses jet fuel to propel itself around the battlefield, something your going to have an even harder time locating. On top of that tanks are tracked vehicles, when it comes time to fix the track if you have no experience in doing this your screwed; it’s a pain in the ass even when you do know what you’re doing. Replacement parts are another major issue not only in repairing your tank, but getting those parts to your location.

Next is the crew situation, a tank requires a minimum on average of 3 to 4 people, one to drive, one to load and or shoot, and one who runs the show. You can’t operate a tank solo and do everything its simply impossible. Remember that guy who went nuts a few years ago and drove a tank through the streets. There was never any threat of him using the turret or trying to arm it, he simply couldn’t reach them and drive at the same time.

So if you can’t get the parts, the oil or fuel for your tank but you have the ammo what do you do? You do what the Iraq army did in the first gulf war; you turn them into a bunker. If you’re defending a town you can partially bury a tank to turn it into the ultimate expedient bunker. While the work it takes to bury a tank will be enormous without some kind of excavator, it’ll be worth it in extending the use of your tank.
Just some stuff to make you drool and want to blow some stuff up










3/12/2010

Camouflage For The Post Apocalypse World

Like Why Things Are Seen (Older blog post of mine) protecting yourself with the use of camouflage to conceal your position is vital to your survival in the post apocalypse world. You might be armed with only a sharp pointy stick, or your own stench from not having a hot shower in a week as your only weapons, both won’t accomplish a whole lot against someone who has a gun looking for an easy steal. Here are some ideas you can use to help conceal your position when roaming the wasteland.

Urban Setting

In a city you are in a 3 dimensional environment, you’ll have those above you in high rise buildings, on ground level hiding around a corner, and those travelling below you in the sewers. Your best defence in this type of environment is to stay in the shadows of buildings, keeping a constant lookout for potential threats. In this environment darker clothes are better, shades of dark blue, grey, black are best, remember the darker the better. You’ll also need to cover your face and hands as these will stand out considerably against a dark space. A mask of dark cloth, an old shirt or sock for example will work for your face. If you don’t have that use dirt or ash and smear it on your face, anything to break up the pattern of your face and help to blend into your surroundings.

To help blend in avoid travelling in cities during the day, not only will travelling at night allow you to blend into your environment better, but you’ll be able to hear at greater distances. The drawback will be that you can’t see nearly as far. Allow your eyes to adjust to ambient light before moving out so you don’t stumble into any objects and make noise. The cities won’t be lit up like how they are now they will be extremely dark. An option you can use to get around is with a flashlight with a red plastic lens over the bulb. This light won’t travel as far. Just don’t start waving it around thinking you’ll be invisible only use it when you need then turn it off.

Rural Setting

While you don’t have to worry about confined spaces or blind corners like in a city, you do have to contend with open spaces, and changing landscapes. The ground will help determine the type of camouflage you’ll need. Again use dark or neutral colors; wondering around in a bright hot pink Wham T-shirt and bright white short shorts is probably not a good choice. Many of the same principals that you would use in an urban setting will apply in the rural landscape as well. Avoid open areas such as fields as they will leave you visible for miles, instead stick to wooded areas or “skirt” tree lines (Walk along the edge of the tree line)

Travelling at night will be easier then in cities because the buildings won’t get in the way of the night sky. You still have to be extremely careful as moonlight can light up an area almost as bright as it would be during the day.

The other thing you need to be aware of to camouflage yourself is smell, sure your going to stink from sweat and a lack of soap, but keeping reasonably clean will help hide you. Also avoid the use of perfumes, colognes and other products that have artificial scents. The scent from these products can like sound travel for miles on the wind. Humans may have poor smell but animals have excellent senses. Other gangs may be using dogs to sniff out easy meals, or there may be packs of wild dogs in the area. Your only defence against these is distance. Water or using other tricks seen in movies to confuse dogs won’t work.

Here are some good and bad examples of camouflage.





I think this is a pretty clear indication of what not to wear to try to conceal yourself. Unless your trying to escape a city overrun with giant "Man-Chickens" you should probably avoid this.....which brings me to my other point don't smoke crack
















This sniper is using whats called a ghillie suit to conceal his location. From a distance this would be almost impossible to spot unless the sniper had to move suddenly. To learn how to make a ghillie suit check out the video below

3/06/2010

Apocalypse Man Got It Wrong

The other day in my quest to find good content for my website and blog I found Apocalypse Man. I was immediately excited having heard a lot of people talking about this show and how great it was. After watching it however I was pretty disappointed, while there is some useful tips and information on the show, overall it was packed with a lot of nonsense and bad ideas that will get the average person hurt or killed. By the way if you haven’t seen this video I do have it up on my website (The Razors Edge Apocalypse Man Video) Here are just a few examples of  some things you will see on Apocalypse Man that either won’t work, or are just plain ridiculous.

1. On The Move

While it’s an extremely good idea to stay mobile after the collapse, running around like a chicken with your head cut off will tire you out FAST. The average male (Depending on age and health of course) will need on a regular day between 2000 and 2500 calories a day (Women about half that). That’s on a normal pre apocalypse day. After the apocalypse you’ll need more to compensate for the constant moving, so running everywhere while you’re dehydrated and starving is not a smart move. A better alternative is to conserve your energy and walk until you need to start running. This will also keep you aware of your surroundings better and avoid injury from trips or falls. Not to mention your shoes will last longer.

2. River Crossing

On the show they suggest you don’t swim across the rivers due to contamination (Makes sense) instead they suggest using a small crowbar and rope and use it like a grappling hook to swing across and then climb up. While this idea does work, the chances of getting the crowbar to latch on in the first attempt are slim. Second you then have to climb up the rope to get to the top of the bridge, a feat that will tire you out in itself if you’re not in good shape to begin with. Save your energy and keep close to the rivers edge, eventually you’ll find an easier way to cross, or come across a boat or materials you can use to make a raft.

3. Breaking And Entering

The show suggested that you smash your way into any locked house when you need to loot for food and supplies, by using speed and aggression to gain entry. This works when you have numbers and are armed. If you are alone and possibly unarmed this is just plain stupid. Never Never Never give up your main advantage when you’re alone and that’s stealth. Kicking in doors to houses you don’t know is an excellent way to get killed. First you don’t know if anyone is inside, and second there could be traps such as a shot gun rigged to the door. If the house has something valuable and is owned by someone they will take means to defend it.

4. Backup Generator

At one point the host decides to head to the hospital to utilize the backup generator, I still don’t understand why he went their in the first place. Anyways he discovers that the diesel generator is empty, which is no surprise so he sets out to get some fuel. Now getting the fuel is one thing and he does have a somewhat effective method of getting it, the amount he gathers though is not nearly enough to keep that generator going for more then 15 minutes (Not anywhere near the 4 hours the show suggests) and that’s if you manage to get the generator to start. Chances are very good it’ll be seized up from being bone dry and may not start at all. Also don’t use the same hose to get fuel to suck up water with, and definitely not some stagnant puddle that a bird probably crapped in, that’s another good way to get sick and or die.

5. Hotwiring A Car

This one made me laugh, while he did make a good point to go after an older car (If you can find one). And he correctly as best as I could see hotwire the car properly, he forgot one tiny bit of information. That little bit of information is that there is a steering wheel lock that prevents the wheel from being moved without the key in the ignition, a kind of anti-theft device if you will. In order to get the wheel to turn you need to remove this and possibly the ignition depending on the make and model of car. By doing this you don’t even need to fiddle with the wire you can start the car or truck with a screwdriver.

6. Bio-Diesel

No he needs to fill up his ride, what does he use, grease from the grease vat of a fast food restaurant. This will actually work, just not the way they teach you. First off the antifreeze you put in your radiator won’t work to make bio-diesel, and second using a heavy shirt to act as a filter won’t work either. Other options for alternative fuel can be things such as rubbing alcohol or the drinkable kind such as Vodka, Tequila, even Whiskey will work. Just don’t use beer or those fruity drinks you find at some club, sugar in the gas tank is something you don’t want.

That being said don’t disregard Apocalypse Man as complete crap, there are some good lessons to be learned such as how to use steel wool to start a fire for example. Check it out and decide for yourself if the show has information you can use. At the very least it will give you something to think about when making your own plans to prepare.