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Author Topic: urban myths, misguided notions, and mistakes about prepping  (Read 4163 times)


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An urban myth is bs that gets popular because it fits into commonly held fear, ignorance, and assumptions. When such an idea is backed by a corporation that's going to make money off of it, it's called marketing...
One such marketing idea was Nike's shock-absorbing running shoes in the 70's. Now, decades later, that marketing strategy has turned into mainstream wisdom that is what it ever was: bullsh*t.
Christopher Mcdougall's book Born to Run offers 2 great prepping pointers and one has to do with the above myth. The greatest runners in the world run barefoot because the human foot is perfectly designed for running. A quarter of all the bones in the body are in your feet and for good reason. There is therefore no need to stock up on shoes for after TEOTWAWKI; all you're interested in is staying warm and protecting your feet. However, that's more about conditioning and a layer of leather or rubber, more than that it's about buying $ 200 Nikes. A few quick and interesting facts:
- each year 90% of long distance runners (wearing mainstream footwear) will develop running-related injuries
- a good runner should be able to run down a deer in 3 to 5 hours [people sweat and stay cool, deer heat up cause they don't]
- before Nike's introduction of shock-absorbing running shoes, more people ran better long-distance running times

Stocking up enough food for survival doesn't need to take up much space or be (prohibitively) expensive. The second useful tidbit from Born to Run is that the Tarahumara indians, capable of running a marathon over rugged terrain and in scorching heat EVERY DAY, can accomplish their seemingly superhuman feats due to their diet of nixtamal, tesquino, and chia seeds [next to squash and beans]. Their diet is not only capable of offering great stamina and health, but it is dead cheap, easy to stock up in great quanities, and keeps very well. Nixtamal is corn that's been cooked in high pH conditions, usually by adding sodium hydroxide [lime]. Tesguino is a corn brew. Together they offer a good energy source, loads of minerals, and the probiotics and enzymes to make it work in the gut.

It is commonly assumed that there's no protection against radiation, but there's actually much to be done to prepare against radiation poisoning or to come back from it. One hospital one mile from ground zero Hiroshima saw everyone survive whilst another hospital at the same distance saw everyone, patients and personnel, die. The hospital where everyone lived was serving fermented foods [a staple of the Japanese diet back then] and it turns out that particularly the miso is what saved them. Fortunate point: miso keeps very well.
Other things to stock up on and eat, now and after TSHTF, are: clay, seaweed, glutathione [in raw whey], sulfur, algae, and more. Radiation in air is not a problem, because it's particles in the air that are dangerous, not the air itself. A good air filter will therefore protect you.
The only radioactive element that gets transported far from the source is iodine. Though 99% of folks nowadays are iodine deficient and will therefore absorb radioactive iodine, if you are not deficient, it can hardly hurt you [i.e. you will have done away with the only real danger of global radioactivity].

People may think or feel that bunkers will protect them but air filters in bunkers will not keep out CO2. Also, CO2 is heavier than air and will tend to come down into an underground bunker. Local disasters like those in the famous Lake Nyos disaster show that vast amounts of CO2 lie at the bottom of bodies of water and when geological disruptions occur, they can come up (like opening a bottle of soda) and spread over the land in a quickly killing fog. This fog suffocates everything on land and kills in minutes to seconds.

Small islands do not attract tsunami destruction like large land masses do and they are safer than being on a continent or large island. Just like a boat is not subject to tidal destruction, small island allow waves to go around them, thereby avoiding the greatest destructive force. The smaller the island, the deeper the water it lies in, and the higher up you are the better.

You don't need factories for basic construction. Cement is really nothing more than 80% limestone and 20% shale, both of which are found in great quantities all over the world. Though the shale is very hard, limestone is easily pulverized. After you heat the powder, you pulverize it again and that's your cement.
An even better (but not well known) option is a mix of limestone and hemp hurd. There are 2 definitions of "hempcrete" and the most popular one is little more than cob. However, 3000 years ago the Egyptians were using a hempcrete that used the chemical properties offered by hemp, rather than the structural strength thereof. It is therefore not about tensile strength of hemp (like straw is used in cob). This kind of hempcrete is stronger than mainstream cement and 6 times lighter!
Glass, as well, only comes out of factories nowadays but is not too chemically challenging. All of the ingredients are also common and can actually be found on any beach: sand, shell, and seaweed will do it. Burned shells offer the lime needed and seaweed can be burned to acquire the sodium inside. It may have taken millennia to figure out this basic equation but once you know it, Bob's your uncle.

Perhaps the greatest debilitating assumption of all concerns farming. Mainstream farmers and city slickers alike think that farming is hard work. The common paradigm of using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and GMO seeds,, however, has served to give our generation ideas that have nothing to do with efficiency and quality but only serve the modern paradigm.
All kinds of permacultural techniques not only offer solutions that make hard work and investments moot, but they can also easily be scaled up, i.e. they should be applied in large scale today, let alone after TEOTWAWKI. Hugelkultur is a good permaculture example that allows one to grow plants in regions where rainfall is absent most of the year. Other extremely interesting options include seasalt fertilization, wet pots [27 times more water efficient than drip irrigation], hydraulic ram pumps [a technology that's been around 300 years], and many many more.
(Also and in particular, see my previous post not commonly known roles animals play on the farm.)

Good housing and heating do not require vast investments and resources. Strawbales make excellent building blocks for housing and when covered in cob, they are extremely protective against fire. The mechanical hay baler was invented in the 1850's and that's when the first strawbale houses appeared, but the principle of strawbale building is simple: collect dried organic mass and tie together tightly into a block or bundle, then cover with cob [clay + dirt + straw].
You won't be using much fuel to keep a strawbale home warm, since it insulates very well against both heat and cold, but you'll never need to use much fuel if you build a rocket mass heater. Rocket mass heaters burn 5 to 10% of what regular heaters do. Modern people have used them to heat their house on junk mail only! The 'Duke of Permaculture' Paul Wheaton offers much information in this area, including free designs for building a house for $ 50...

You don't require much land, nor does it have to cost money to use it. The U.S. gov. offers this statistic:
The productivity of some lands has declined by 50% due to soil erosion and desertification. Yield reduction in Africa due to past soil erosion may range from 2 to 40%, with a mean loss of 8.2% for the continent.
This land degradation is about poor management related to the modern agricultural paradigm that is water wasteful, intensive, polluting, and destroys the land with heavy machinery. For this reason a lot of potentially good land is being abandoned all over the world. All it takes to bring such land back is knowledge. As soon as destructive practices cease, soil can come back much faster than most people think possible (though mainstream thinking is that they are lost forever). Goats, for instance, are a great challenge because too many cause desertification but too few herding animals also creates poor soil! Knowledge of permaculture,, including (non-mainstream) animal husbandry, foggage farming, and good species is essential. Once you have such knowledge, though, any desert can be brought back from the brink. (Just see Geoff Lawton's examples [YouTube] of turning utterly dry and desolate areas into food forrests again.)

Mainstream drugs or medical practices are typical of the corporate paradigm and many health challenges that are considered incurable today could be dealt with 100 years ago. However, when corporate entities like the FDA pass legalities that determine that anything that heals is a drug [fact!], you create a generation with very warped ideas of medical reality. The truth is that entire Pacific nations have successfully used coconut oil, just to offer one example, for almost every health need, including first aid. Then there's colloidal silver, MSM, all kinds of healing oils, etc. etc. etc.
The mainstream idea is that such so-called alternatives probably don't work as well as modern drugs, but when one does diligent research it turns out that not only are the 'alternatives' usually better than the ones that make doctors and the pharmaceutical companies rich, but they offer solutions at all [where mainstream 'medicine' just lets you die, suffer, or applies a cut-and-burn doctrine]. Frankly, i consider one of the main useful applications for electricity the ability to make colloidal silver. Having said that, Roman soldiers used to put silver coins in their drinking water. This is also the reason why rich people used to eat with silver cutlery, i.e. just bringing silver into contact with water is beneficial. Boil down such 'silver water' and one might be able to create a healing liquid akin to electrically produced colloidal silver.
There are so many good options when it comes to healing and first aid that one can only suggest others do their due diligence and look into the matter themselves. You'll find a reasonably comprehensive list at my board (linked below).

One military study showed that people will turn to cannibalism after just 15 days of starvation. When we add such data to Maslow's Pyramid, it quickly becomes clear that the greatest danger one faces during and after TEOTWAWKI is other people. Other people are to be feared, not sought out. Ancient accounts of global cataclysms also mention brothers killing brothers and parents eating their own children. "When the going gets tough the tough get going" is a popular saying but there's a good reason why people live in separate units in modern culture, rather than family or clan units as was once the human norm (according to Charles Darwin's research). People will get worse, not better, when calamity strikes. Biologically speaking, survival is a self-centered amoral condition in which all legalities, intelligence, and morality become temporarily suspended. When we add this basic fact to research that points to 75% of the modern generation being willing and able to torture strangers to death when so compelled by an authority figure [the famous Milgram Experiment], one can only imagine with horror what these billions would be capable of when compelled by starvation and the threat of death.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 05:55:03 AM by SocratesR »


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Re: urban myths, misguided notions, and mistakes about prepping
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2014, 06:10:29 PM »
Knowledge of permaculture,, including (non-mainstream) animal husbandry, foggage farming, and good species is essential. Once you have such knowledge, though, any desert can be brought back from the brink. (Just see Geoff Lawton's examples [YouTube] of turning utterly dry and desolate areas into food forrests again.)

SocratesR I see you put a reference to these concepts such as permaculture. That's good.


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Re: permaculture
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2014, 10:45:08 PM »
ah, Barb, permaculture is so much more than a "concept". Actually, it is 3 things:

Permaculture has to do with everything that brings about "permanent agriculture", so then you're talking about results that don't require permanent management. Geoff Lawton's Palestinian endeavour is a good example of this; due to lack of funds [the government dropping the program], the site was abandoned, but the fruit forrest that he established in the middle of a region where there is otherwise only desert is still there!
So permaculture is also, for instance, about practices that don't require the felling of tree. Bill Mollison, the founder of Permaculture, says that he was actually working as a logger when he started to develop permaculture and that he hasn't seen a need to cut down a tree since.
It incorporates in it anything that supports permanent agriculture, ranging from rocket mass heaters that allow one to heat a house or green house with just fallen branches, to the use of species and tactics that allow one to establish biological systems that require little to no maintenance.

Permaculture, if one reads the permaculture 'bible' Bill Mollison wrote, is a philosophy with quasi-political ideals. Particularly it focuses on how agriculture should connect community and make it possible to acquire as much locally as possible. It's about independency,  community, environment, and more.
Personally, everything about such things sounded preachy to me as i read (parts of) Mollison's book and it rather made the book hard to read. It has so much information contained in it's pages already that i found the philosophical ideas contained therein overkill and irritating.

Permaculture is also a kind of waste basket word that's used for just about any agricultural practice or idea that promotes environment-friendly and off-grid practices, as well as just about anything that is contrary to the mainstream agricultural paradigm that is based on the use of heavy machinery, pharmaceuticals, GMO, fertilizers, etc.
Purists sometimes point out that there's a difference between for instance "environmentally responsible agriculture" and "permaculture". Because of the politically powerful and culturally pervasive concepts of industrial/corporate agriculture, the permaculture community, philosophy, and competence becomes a de facto magnet for everyone who's sick of mainstream practices and is looking for alternatives for them.

Having said all that, there is no 'permaculture police' or 'permaculture legislation' to enforce anything. Even Geoff Lawton employs drip irrigation sometimes. Actually, while permaculture plots get established, there's a lot more that gets used than after a few years. For instance, the use of heavy machinery is common to establish terraces, but then it's never used again. Often irrigation is necessary at first, only to become obsolete once trees and plants have established themselves.
Paul Wheaton is a good source for all kinds of permaculture practices. He's been called the Duke of Permaculture.
Permaculture Keynote - S. California Permaculture Convergence - Paul Wheaton is a good introductory vid for anyone interested in how far-reaching permaculture practice and philosophy is. I also have many [though carefully selected] links to sources and info on my own TEOTWAWKI board.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 07:55:46 AM by SocratesR »


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Re: permaculture
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2014, 06:02:55 AM »
ah, Barb, permaculture is so much more than a "concept".

SocratesR when I used the word "concept" it was referring to a specific subject about which you were posting, in that case, permaculture. You don't need to sell me on permaculture it is a very useful body of knowledge.

Previously, I had posted a permaculture film and some info as part of a "Survival Summit" Board. Permaculture definitely needs its own current Topic. I did start one but perhaps your info is more in depth
. You can add it to the existing topic or start a new one, either way is fine.

Starting a One-Acre Permaculture Food Forest, from Chet Womack, Survival Summit
started by Yowbarb
« on: February 25, 2014, 09:19:38 PM »

At any rate - SocratesR you are posting good info, very much needed - so please continue to share your knowledge and experiences with it,


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agricultural myths
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2014, 10:27:27 AM »
As i mentioned in my original post, ignorance and misconceptions regarding agriculture are a prime prepping issue. Because of mainstream ideas about farming, people mistakenly assume that prepping will take a lot more knowledge and experience than is necessarily the case. I'm sure a lot of people opt out because they assume they're not able to survive anyway, when the truth is simply that it's not possible to succeed with so-called modern tactics. But then, if one were aware of agricultural truths, it is clear that farmers can ALREADY not succeed with modern tactics. Hence the 25% desertification of the world's arable soils so far. Farmers have both poor quality and quantity to show for themselves applying mainstream tactics. They not only cannot be emulated, they SHOULD not be.

The matter of gardening/farming/permaculture is therefore a central prepping issue. I may get around to posting more on the matter. For now i can only link to what information i have already collected and made available online, including links to wonderful sources i've run into in the course of my years of interest in this matter.


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Re: urban myths, misguided notions, and mistakes about prepping
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2019, 10:45:53 PM »
To our readers, we are keeping this topic. SocratesR returned to us as Socrates and he is a Moderator.

Here is his category:

Socrates & R.R. Book - PERMACULTURE, and methods for gathering food and water


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