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.

3/04/2010

Why Things Are Seen

What’s going to get you killed faster then anything in the wasteland is not paying attention to your surroundings. Frankly if your situational awareness of your environment sucks your dead that simple. One lesson when I was in the army that was drilled into my head was why things are seen; being able to look at the ground, study it and spot potential dangers. Or in the case of the post apocalyptic world, not only spot dangers but potential supplies, as well. Here’s how you do it.

Divide The Ground

Simply put you take the ground you’re looking at and divide it into three parts near, middle and far ground. This will allow you to take in more of your surroundings and memorize them. If you need to imagine a line dividing the three areas to help you focus do it, there’s no wrong way to do this so whatever works best for you. However you choose to do it though I recommend you start from what’s closest and work to the far ground, the last thing you want to do is be on the lookout for a threat from a distance and not see the one that’s only a few feet away.

Go Against The Grain

When were looking around at something we tend to look from right to left. When your scanning go in reverse (Left to right) this will force you to slow down because it’s generally not something you’re used to. This will allow you to take in more detail.

What To Look For

Shine - mirrors, binocular lenses, rifle scopes

Shape - shapes that don’t blend in with their surroundings round shapes in a field for example

Shadows - either shadows where there shouldn’t be one, shadows that disappear and reappear, or that don’t fit with the object their attached to that could be hiding someone

Texture/Color - a black object against a green backdrop for example or an object that is discoloured or brighter then its surroundings

Size - Look for objects that look out of place such as objects that are using a camouflage tarp or netting to conceal a vehicle

Remember

Don’t just take a long look at your surroundings and then do whatever, memorize them. Remember where the building and roads are, how many windows or doors it has because those could be perfect spots for a sniper. What the road signs said, any graffiti or other signs to show territory or a warning. Here’s a few examples




Your probably thinking this is a pretty obvious one, after all there very easy to see. While that is true remember if you’re in the woods and their even as close as twenty or thirty meters and you’re not paying attention you would probably totally miss them. What gives them away is two things 1. The round shape of their heads. 2. Their hair color stands out from the surrounding background.


Sure this is a cheesy one and not real (I think) but if the circle wasn’t around the alien it would probably take you a few seconds of looking at the picture to find it. Now imagine your in the woods haven’t slept in two days, a little dehydrated and worried about about not finding enough food, you would miss it completely. It’s smooth texture and lighter green color do make it stand out but not that much if it’s perfectly still.



Though this soldier is keeping a low profile by lying on the ground there are a lot of giveaways for you to spot someone like this. The first is the color; his uniform is brighter and doesn’t match the terrain at all. And his weapon is black which doesn’t match the surroundings, remember though he would probably be farther away waiting to ambush so remember to always keep scanning the ground and look for anything that doesn’t fit in with the environment regardless of whether it’s in the woods or an urban setting.






3/02/2010

What Mad Max Can Teach Us (Part 3 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome)

This movie takes place almost twenty years after the first movie, and that world has been turned to dust. And like the other movies in the trilogy there are some unique lessons that can be learned despite its sometimes cheesy moments (It also has one of the most iconic soundtrack theme songs ever).

The First is just how quickly society (What’s left of it) will change. Those with the means and knowledge to gather and organize the survivors regardless of their social standing before will be the future leaders. In the early days of rebuilding things will take on almost a wild west feeling (Example Bartertown) laws are simple and enforced with brutal efficiency. Also don’t expect it to be anything fancy. At the very best it will simply be a re-occupied and fortified pre apocalypse town, at the very worst, some mud huts at the base of an irradiated swamp.

The second is never underestimating human resourcefulness. In Bartertown they managed to regain electricity and fuel cars with pig dung converted into methane, this renewable source would have made Bartertown the beginning of a town that would have become the center of a new trading empire, had Mad Max not trashed the place first. Depending on where people settle and the resources at hand. They may be able to harness wind, solar, or even hydro-electric power from a nearby dam.

The third is never underestimate human stupidity. Humans are capable of doing great things, but in the case of the third Mad Max movie we can’t seem to figure out that greed was the thing that leads to fighting and nuclear Armageddon in the first place, and it’s what leads to Bartertown loosing its source of power. I really don’t think that’s something will ever be able to get rid of, and it will probably lead to our destruction.

The fourth is just how fast our knowledge can be lost. In one generation the world goes from an advanced civilization to a tribal superstitious one. This is represented by the children survivors of a plane crash who rescue Max. Because they were so young at the time they never were able to learn what their parents had and so that knowledge was lost to them. What they did remember was turned into folklore and myth; they even had cave drawings like our caveman ancestors. If you think that’s far fetched play a game of telephone and you’ll see just how fast a message can get distorted through a small group of people. Even if the message makes it through, its meaning may be lost. The same is true for civilizations. If ours was destroyed tomorrow it would only take a couple of generations to go from what we know to legends like the lost city of Atlantis.

The fifth is that even in the worst case scenarios there is always some glimmer of hope, unless of course the world explodes, or those damm dirty apes take over.