Saturday, September 24, 2011

Home Improvement: Rainwater Harvesting

I've been quite busy these past few days doing some important housework.

We upgraded our water tank and retooled our old one for rainwater harvesting. The shiny new tank is connected directly to the water company's pipes and can hold up to 23 gallons. In case of service interruption, it is good enough for 48 hours of household needs. For drinking & cooking, we've got various filtration systems.

My Situation
In a tropical country such as ours, we are visited by about 18-22 typhoons per year. It also rains most of the darn time. With my new system, we'll never be thirsty!

About 3 of these storms would hit our city directly, and maybe just one or two of these would knock out electricity & water for 1-2 days.

Its only a minor nuisance. The time spent in the dark with family is a good opportunity to actually try your survival gear. Mosquito nets, monopoly, candles & lamps, food, extra water, and medicine will all be nice to have for that short period while the power company fixes things. 

Now once in a while something as big as Katrina or a screwed up nuclear plant would happen. A royal mess such as this would certainly put a strain on your life span. The living dead rising up to eat us all? I'm talking about that too.

This is where preparedness comes in. 

This is my old tank. It can hold 40 gallons of skyjuice.

The Strategy of Water Storage
Water is life. If you have a lot of it, you could stay barricaded at home for extended periods. WTSHTF, one of the worst things you could do is to bug out at a time of great panic. What most survivalists don't get is that bugging out can be extremely dangerous! If you've built a strong home defense, then perhaps it would be better to hunker down during the early phases of the crisis. 

Rainwater harvesting will definitely reduce the amount of time spent outdoors. Let me repeat: doing anything  outside the safety of your home is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Especially if thousands of walking dead are out there. With a good rainwater harvesting system, you have one less reason to go foraging.

If you need to drink your stuff, make sure you have a sure-fire means of purification. More on that later.

My home has a stone perimeter wall that is 6 feet high. I've got lots of food, ammo, medicine, and a box of monopoly, crayons & musical stuff for my daughter to play with while the world outside goes nuts. So there's got no immediate need to bug out because of the preparations we've made. If we must escape, my emergency map will do the trick.

Stay vigilant!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bug Out Gear: Cradle's Portable Hammock

I got a mighty fine deal while shopping at a small army supply store at Fort Bonifacio. The cute little thing is a  a portable hammock made by a company called Cradle's and I got it for about USD $12.

Why a hammock?
Survivalists in tropical countries will be exposed to a lot of rain, flooding, and mosquitoes. The portable hammock like this one will let you stay above water and protected against the cloud of mosquitoes that can infect you with Malaria or Dengue.

Staying elevated will also keep you out of reach from the hungry arms of the undead. According to studies, zombies are found to be very bad at climbing. Out of 100 zeds, only one will be able to get halfway up a tree or ladder. The good news is that it will take a lot of time before this is achieved. Probably half a day. This is enough for one survivalist to catch some much needed rest before finding a more secure location.

I recommend a height of at least 18 feet. This is in case a zombie Yao Ming tries to reach up for you. 

unfolded, and then rolls downward 6 feet

Cradle's is a small company that supplies products to shops that cater to members of the armed forces as well as outdoor enthusiasts. The hammock is made of nylon, however when it is folded up, the outer layer uses a cloth-like material for added protection from scratches & light abuse. 

It weighs approximately 4 ounces, measures 3 inches thick, 12 inches long & 8 inches wide. Its quite soft so you can squish it even further in your backpack to nearly half its size.

  • adequate strength to hold a single adult survivalist
  • the mosquito net works perfectly without being suffocating
  • light weight & doubles as a squishy pillow
  • easy to repair
  • partially water repellant

  • does not come with a warranty
  • does not have a rain hood, so you need to devise your own covering
  • durability is questionable without preventive maintenance after 6 months. Reinforce the nylon rope with duct tape to prevent fraying
  • it is not a heavy-duty product. this must be relegated to a backup system when you find a higher-quality product for long term survival requirements
  • if you're 6 feet tall, this won't fit you

PROTIP: Pay attention to the seams holding the rope after each use. 
You don't want it to rip while you're sleeping!

Rating: 6/10, adequate
I am giving this portable hammock a passing grade if used for short-term assignments. If you are on the move, this will help you stay out of reach. Keep in mind that this is best suited for scouting missions and not for long term accommodations. 

The little one at Outpost 2 reports "all quiet  on the western front".  

Stay vigilant!