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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Jackson View Post
    I just spent far too much money on importing an All American 941 pressure canner. It is a behemoth. I've just worked out how many canning jars I'll need, and the space required to store them (also the empties). Probably should have done that before buying the thing.

    Do you recommend just going with loads of pint jars? I'm struggling to see that many uses for loads of the bigger sizes.
    If you're referring to the 41.5 quart, then you might have an overkill situation. For most of us, the 15.5 quart is large enough. I think that's about the size my grandmother had, and she put up over 500 quarts a year. Also, you don't need a pressure cooker for a lot of canning. Most fruits, jams, and anything pickles or with vinegar in it, can be water bathed. The book Ball canning back to basics : a foolproof guide to canning jams, jellies, pickles & more. is a good starter book and all the recipes can be done in a water bath.


    Pints are good for a lot of stuff, but if you do any amount of canning, you're going to start using quarts. I put all my salsa and such in pints, but stewed tomatoes and juice go in quarts. For pickles, pints look like a good idea, but you can get about three times as much in a quart and it's not like they're going to go bad in the refrigerator. I do half pints for jams and hot sauce/chile paste.

  2. #22
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    Left out, jams don't need to be bathed, just spoon hot into the jar and seal with paraffin.

  3. #23
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    Something other than internet or cellular. Probably a minimum of a basic AM or multi band receiver.

    I managed to get a ham license right before the Covid lockdown. My intention was both to have a hobby and develop a useful skill. While a license is (obviously) not required in a real crisis, it is very useful for figuring everything out and to practice talking to people, ultimately, all over the world.

    A license test is maybe $10 and is easy enough. Understanding and proficiency is very involved and not easy.

    I didn’t get anywhere past the license as I was overcome by events. I do intend to pick it up again.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Boggs View Post
    If you're referring to the 41.5 quart, then you might have an overkill situation.
    Thanks for the tips. I've just picked up a copy of the Ball book you mentioned. I went big to offset all the fakakta import fees and custom duty (you can't get All American cookers here at all), and also my thought process was that bigger would be better come harvest time as I'm finally getting the hang of gardening. This is insanely huge, thought. You're right! Should be useful for my wastelander grandchildren when they're putting up a whole long pig for the winter, though.

    Should we start dropping useful book titles here? I think a good library is equally as important as all the fancy gear in the world.

    On the subject of gardening, Charles Dowding in the UK has developed this idea of "no dig" gardening which involves building up a bed of various materials, including cardboard and compost, which then decomposes over the course of the first growing season. It takes a bit of forethought. By the second season, you will have rich soil with a perfect structure for planting right into. It improves the soil condition, as the microbial life isn't unturned and exposed to the elements and also saves your arse from having to dig like a fool. Most importantly it cuts down on weeds, as they can't penetrate the lasagne-like layers of material during year 1, so if you're not particularly a gardener and don't enjoy spending time with maintenance - but still want to get prepared for uncertain times, this is a great way to go.

    No Dig: feed the soil not the plants for many, easier harvests and few weeds - YouTube

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  5. #25
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    One thing that helped us out when Hell froze over last week was canned goods and some way to heat it up. Small camping heaters to home stove, we heated water and food with both.

    Another item that really helped that was kinda funny was how useful my cheap yard solar lights came in. I bought these things at the end of fall at Walmart on clearance and they lit up the house really well. Have standby candles and buy some of these when they are cheap. I like Rip’s list, everyone gets the water and canned goods, but axes and wheel barrels are really important too. We live on the coast, (directly hit by Harvey) so I am prepared for hurricanes, not a winter storm... so expect the unexpected

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Boggs View Post
    You need to think outside the box. You can't have a firearm for self-protection, but you can have as many shotguns and as much ammo as you want, if you become a "Hunter" I believe, but don't know, the same rules apply rifles for deer stalking.

    Skills to make yourself "Useful".
    A metal game I've played, "How would I make myself useful to a community, if modern infrastructure collapsed or was stressed to the point of dysfunction.” I have many basic skills; Trained welder, have worked as a carpenter/handyman and during the course of fixing up two old houses, taught myself plumping and electrical work, wilderness first responder, familiar with firearms, and most of the skills of homesteading, in short a jack of all trades, but with the except of WFR, none of those skills are uncommon and in my opinion, sufficient to gain me entry to a community. In part, because any community I would want to join, would already be flush with those skills. So what skills/hobbies could I learn that would give me value? Increase my medical skills, but if I don't work in the field, the skills would quick decay. Perhaps start volunteering as a EMT with my local fire station, I know some places will pay for your EMT training. Gunsmith skills and equipment, that sounds like it might be fun as a hobby and would certainly be of value. Volunteering at the vets to develop animal husbandry, especially a clinic for large animals. These are a few of the ideas that have run through my mind.
    It is a long process to get such a license and I doubt the police will be issuing them right now since the ranges are all closed. Indeed, learning the old ways of preserving food for when your machines break.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Jackson View Post
    Should be useful for my wastelander grandchildren when they're putting up a whole long pig for the winter, though.

    Should we start dropping useful book titles here? I think a good library is equally as important as all the fancy gear in the world.

    On the subject of gardening, Charles Dowding in the UK has developed this idea of "no dig" gardening which involves building up a bed of various materials, including cardboard and compost, which then decomposes over the course of the first growing season. It takes a bit of forethought. By the second season, you will have rich soil with a perfect structure for planting right into. It improves the soil condition, as the microbial life isn't unturned and exposed to the elements and also saves your arse from having to dig like a fool. Most importantly it cuts down on weeds, as they can't penetrate the lasagne-like layers of material during year 1, so if you're not particularly a gardener and don't enjoy spending time with maintenance - but still want to get prepared for uncertain times, this is a great way to go.
    I had to read that twice and then I smiled. Long pig indeed :-)

    Maybe, but I wouldn't know where to start. Most of what I know, I learned as a kid or figured out later, wishing I had paid more attention when I was a kid. Mostly it's a matter of learning and doing, a little bit at a time. Get the skills going before you have to survive on them. It's like having an axe, better to learn now how to use one, while a trip to the hospital is still an option :-)

    I'm old-fashion, I'm still adding compost and turning the soil.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdcoast_slope View Post
    One thing that helped us out when Hell froze over last week was canned goods and some way to heat it up. Small camping heaters to home stove, we heated water and food with both.

    Another item that really helped that was kinda funny was how useful my cheap yard solar lights came in. I bought these things at the end of fall at Walmart on clearance and they lit up the house really well. Have standby candles and buy some of these when they are cheap. I like Rip’s list, everyone gets the water and canned goods, but axes and wheel barrels are really important too. We live on the coast, (directly hit by Harvey) so I am prepared for hurricanes, not a winter storm... so expect the unexpected
    The canister stoves are ubiquitous in many parts of the world for cooking, so much so, that discarded canisters are trash problem. I have one for hiking, but have a proper propane kitchen stove for home cooking. I was 13 days without power during the Maine ice storm of 98, and one of the things that made it liveable, was a propane stove. It was then I decided I would always use a propane stove and having one has made the many times without power, tolerable. On that subject, a lot of new propane kitchen stoves will not work if the power is out. So if you're thinking about getting a propane stove, a good source for rough living situations are the “Off the Grid” stores, plenty of them on-line. lehmans.com would be a starting place. I don't know much about them, but they do carry a lot of stuff that fits with this conversation.

    I've had three of these for a couple of years, so far so good. They're suppose to hold a charge for 12 mouth and will work for 24 hours on low. You can also get one that will also recharge your phone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sib View Post
    It is a long process to get such a license and I doubt the police will be issuing them right now since the ranges are all closed.
    Well that sucks, back to the battle axe and pike or if you're English or Welsh, the long bow.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Boggs View Post
    I was 13 days without power during the Maine ice storm of 98, and one of the things that made it liveable, was a propane stove. It was then I decided I would always use a propane stove and having one has made the many times without power, tolerable. On that subject, a lot of new propane kitchen stoves will not work if the power is out. So if you're thinking about getting a propane stove, a good source for rough living situations are the “Off the Grid” stores, plenty of them on-line. lehmans.com would be a starting place. I don't know much about them, but they do carry a lot of stuff that fits with this conversation..
    We have a Kucht KNG301. Does not require electricity to operate, since you can light the burners with a lighter if there is no power, and there are no digital timing features to be interrupted. Nice piece of equipment.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sib View Post
    It is a long process to get such a license and I doubt the police will be issuing them right now since the ranges are all closed. Indeed, learning the old ways of preserving food for when your machines break.
    If you're in the UK, don't forget you can acquire a shotgun on a "shotgun certificate" very easily. Just need the coppers to verify your building and gun safe ticks all the security boxes. The gun is limited to 2+1 cartridge capacity.

    Anything requiring a fire arms certificate is indeed more of a long winded process.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    We have a Kucht KNG301. Does not require electricity to operate, since you can light the burners with a lighter if there is no power, and there are no digital timing features to be interrupted. Nice piece of equipment.
    I've admired it watching your food videos

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