Dear readers, most of you already should know my country was a successful oil and derivatives producer until the red plague devastated it. Political facts that led to man-made disasters apart, there are some crucial aspects this fuel crisis has made me more aware than ever.
First, you really need a place with a garden to produce your stuff and the means to defend it. (I think I had mentioned this already). Second, you´re going to need much more than just canned food, guns, and ammo. If you plan for a six months disaster, very likely this can last 5 years. Don´t ask me how I know that.
This being said, you´re going to need much more than just what I have mentioned. Everything we used to have on the cheap just in a few weeks, suddenly is under jeopardy, threatened by the coming and goings of international trade, now under a new and fairly gloomy light. Cheap shoes, clothing, blankets, I start to wonder if they are going to be there in a few more months. Once stocks run dry, prices are going to go up. Given anything is left.
With this situation and everyone´s income diminished severely, the procurement of some basic needs has been delayed. Underwear buying, shoes, and other stuff we need have been put on hold…indefinitely. And yes, these items are as important as the other ones. Maybe not “urgent” but important, yes, they are.
In all-seasons weather, where you need more clothes, one of the solutions is to have tons of good quality clothes. Fashion can wait for better times. You will have to use the same clothes maybe for two or three years, that´s why you´re going to need good quality stuff. Depending on how vigorously you wash it, it should last longer. (One of my “green” devices is going to be exactly for that very same application).
Our weather is normally as hotter, and much more humid, than your average summer. Therefore, we tend to use our same clothes until these are faded and worn, because they are not used to buying clothes for the “new season”. In my case, I´d been buying clothes a piece every couple of months, needed it or not. That was when I had a good salary, but I had already understood that having plenty of clothes and using them alternately should make them last longer.
Same with shoes. Most of my college years I used two pairs of welder´s boots with steel toes (they were comfortable enough and dirt cheap), one pair of cowboy boots, and a pair of sports shoes I used sparely. I´m talking 5 years. My daily driver was the cowboy boots, and they were repaired beyond believing. I used to walk a lot, and the leather held up pretty well. At least in city conditions. In, other soil and terrain, duration surely decreases.
I am looking now to get a pair of jungle boots (terrain at my cottage is rocky, and snakes are abundant) and make some knee-high ankle protection for the kiddo, just like those used in the trench wars. I have been thinking than some soft leather properly treated should work as a good start, but that is material for coming articles once I can produce my own hide from some native species.
For those with more manual skills, I would advise getting some shoes repairing material and I mean the good stuff. Kilometer of thread in diverse sizes, and a good quality leather sewing machine (after a couple of years, polymer-based fabrics may start to show wear, unless they are extremely good quality) is going to be a quite good investment. Experience has taught me enough these last few years, and I´d rather have a few profitable skills than just one specialization in this now confined-by-disease new world.
I would advise quite seriously those in warmer climates to get a few pairs of leather sandals. These can be repaired at home (make sure to look and download for some online tutorials and get the materials you may need) and could last for years without excessive wear. In weather such as Tibet, sherpas use Yak leather sandals, with thick wool socks, and have been using them for a long time. Maybe this would help to make your rubber boots last longer.
What about the fuel shortage?
This being said, I am analyzing how to get around the fuel scarcity we will find once we arrive in Venezuela. One of the possibilities, is generating fuel to burn. A biodigester would be the choice and a very good one. However, until not trying it actively, I can´t but keep an enthusiastic optimism about it. Once I´ve built one, filled up a bottle at 4 bars with a compressor, and drove to my hometown back and forth in my cruiser, I will be able to base my articles on solid facts.
It´s almost 40 kilometers, and using the bike daily is prohibitive. Too much fuel needed for such a large engine, over 1000cc. (75 cu. In.) Even being gentle on the throttle, it would gulp gas. I´m already in the concept and visualization stage of the needed accessories: a “governor” fixed to the right handle and a gas valve attached to this lever, next to the carb, with a fitting and a hose running straight into it. Diameters will be dictated by trial and error, and the gas reservoir will be a small bottle. This will be carried in a bracket inside a small two-wheeled trailer, indispensable to increase the loading capacity of the bike and taking some products to the hometown.
Stay tuned for this project. It´s going to be a real survival essay, on how to actually make something within limited means in a devastated land.
The other alternative is using an electric motor for our already existing bike. There are different designs, but I´d favor the one used on the front wheel, with a pull-behind cart to carry a large battery rack, with a 30 or 50W solar panel on top. In my area, this could be a huge lifesaver. Electric bikes are all but forbidden. No one is going to give a 2nd look at a bicycle with a cart. A real problem could be delinquency, but this could be managed with a smart schedule and without routines. No thug wakes early, at least in my hometown. Anyway, the armed ones have been so active roaming the streets terrifying people that any potential assaulter is going to think twice before leaving out on the open. Once the quarantine is finished, people will start to move more or less normally…without gasoline. I´ve heard about elders and pregnant women walking 7 or 8 km from their humble homes to downtown to buy some food. People is seen walking on the streets, or in all kind of vehicles, instead of cars.
Therefore, the kit to assemble or convert your current bike to an electric bicycle would be a great addition for most people in Venezuela. No matter your country is filled up to the top with fuel. Just assign a low priority but keep it in mind just in case. See what has happened, and use it to prepare your plans B, C, and D. The possibility of a global fuel supply scarcity or some other holocaust, now seems to be more plausible than ever, under this light.
Back on topic, just the possibility to move silently for a relatively long distance without too much physical effort is worth it. It is even possible to make an off-road bug out, if you have experience in off-road cycling. Remember we are not getting any younger, and carrying a load is a completely different experience than just hiking with a small daypack and a few items. That’s why my plans have changed drastically for the next threats. Because I’m sure, this is just beginning. Mark my words.
I will not provide any links this time, and please forgive me this time. There are too many alternatives out there and I cannot check which ones are suited.
Make sure you get your equipment from a trusted source preferably local, and that you are not feeding any beast that has already bitten our (global) backside. We have to make an effort to recover our respective local economies, instead of buying manufactured goods made by slave workers exploited by a despotic regime, just because they are cheaper.
Remember, if you buy cheap, you buy twice. There will arise tons of opportunities, now the global market seems to be reshaping completely. If you have some business idea to execute from a small or medium-sized workshop, I am sure that in countries with a developed economy and stability, it will be taken in account much differently.
Be safe people, and keep prepping no matter what.
Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151
As preppers, you should have included clothing in your preps.
Not everyday clothing that we wear now but some heavy duty, roughing it, clothing.
Most men will have a good pair of boots, Levis type jeans and some shirts.
Woman’s, children’s and teenager’s clothing are more of a problem.
Mostly because they will tend to resist wearing these clothes, do not currently have them and/ or will out grow them quickly.
First off, the clothing should include a full covering, to protect against the sun and dehydration for starters. Long sleeve cotton or flannel shirts are good. Long pants are a necessity( no shorts).
To many people think exposed skin will make them cooler, it won’t.
Breathable fabrics that slowly evaporate sweat or moisture will.
Of course underwear and maybe a undershirt, or short sleeved shirt for indoors.
A couple of pairs of each of the above are recommended, one set to wear, one set to wash and dry.
A good Hat is a necessity also, as are a good sturdy pair of boots and a couple of pairs of good thick socks.
Rain gear and Winter gear are something you might need to add, depending upon your location.
If you have to bug out, you may have to hide, go through rough country, brush, jungle, etc.
At this point you will be thankful for having long sleeves and long pants and sturdy boots.
A bandanna of large size is a good idea also.
These articles deal with a general economic collapse and not a real SHTF, TEOTWAWKI scenario.
Always prep for a worst case scenario. Nothing less than that.
Another thing to consider is spectacles. Your eyes will change over a year and unless you are blessed with 20:20 vision, you’ll need to consider how to stock specs for distance and close work.
I already have extra long sleeved work shirts and extra durable work boots put back for hubby and son. I need to get myself a durable but comfortable set of boots. I already have extra pairs of jeans for all of us, extra socks (nice boot socks) and t-shirts. Have had extras of everything for over two years. Think ahead folks!! And in particular, take care of your feet!!
liberalism is horse shit dipped in a promise of chocolate
socialism is when they admit they never had any chocolate
communism is when they use machine guns to make you eat it
So, if you don’t wanna end up eating shit, don’t vote for communists,
and never, ever give up your guns
Mic, I must respectfully disagree with you in terms of women “resist wearing these clothes” or do not have them. I think most of us who are preparedness minded consider it the most practical thing of all to have sturdy clothing and have probably got a supply of sturdy shoes/boots, and clothing on hand. I have collected for years from farm supply stores clearance racks, thrift stores, and the like. The one thing I have found problematic is clothing with elastic. Even in my climate controlled areas, elastic banded underware does not fare well. Additionally, I am trying to find an alternative to fitted sheets that have elastic running around the entire sheet. While the fit may be good, practically these are not going to make it in a long term situation. I have fitted sheets with elastic just at the corners that is worn out. I have tried ordering Queen sized flat sheets for a Full sized bed to give me sufficient tuck as a bottom sheet but finding them in separates is not easy. I would encourage readers to double check your clothing stash to make sure the elastic is still good.
When I was evaluating my needs for sewing, I realized I may not be able to get elastic. I plan on making a casing and running something through to cinch it up, such as bias tape, self-made bias tape from fabric or paracord.
Before elastic fitted sheets they used flat sheets and Army or Hospital corners to keep them on. Before elastic and with folks having allergies to elastic draw strings like sweat pants worked fine.
In my neighborhood when a family’s kiddos outgrow their two-wheel bicycle trailer, it gets donated to the local thrift store. For the prepper community, such trailers on the cheap make possible an easy conversion to a bicycle cargo trailer.
A bit of history on flex-fuel vehicles: In the decade prior to Prohibition in the US, Henry Ford’s Model-T cars and trucks were capable of running on either gasoline or alcohol. Much of alcohol in that era was either distilled at home on the farm or purchasable locally. (I have a radiator cap my father saved from that era.) There’s a strong case that the Rockefeller grant of $4 million to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union that kicked off the drive to ultimately push the Prohibition Amendment through Congress was in fact a morals cover to shut down alcohol production so that the Rockefeller-owned gas station network (mostly in large cities) could kill the alcohol-for-fuel production so expanding their gas station monopoly into smaller cities and rural communities would face no competition. Ever the obsessive monopolists, that back story was even kept out of the 1950s TV series called “The Untouchables” starring Robert Stack.
Once Prohibition became the law, Henry Ford dropped the alcohol fuel option in his cars since that fuel was no longer available. Then in the summer of 1933 when the Rockefeller family felt their gas station network expansion plan had succeeded, a Rockefeller heir announced to the New York press that “Prohibition was no longer needed,” and by December that year it was gone … at least at the federal level.
During World War II when we put the squeeze on petroleum supplies for Germany, some Germans resorted to alternative fuels for their vehicles. I’ve read of wood-gas powered vehicle conversions. The point is that if the natural resources are locally available, there can be some alternate fuels for converted vehicles. I’ve even seen wood-gas powered bicycles created by the technically ambitious.
About making clothes last longer: 1) most (but not all) clothes last longer if they’re washed in cold water — which requires using some of the newer detergents that are compatible with cold water. 2) Now that the federal prohibitions on hemp fabric are being lifted (given the 1937 law that corruptly was designed to block hemp competition to the Hearst forestry paper pulp business and the new DuPont synthetic fiber business), hemp clothing (which lasts much longer than cotton or synthetics and was once a part of some 80% of American clothing, at least through the 1920s) might again be considered for both longevity and comfort. These two articles are relevant:
Hemp vs Cotton: The Ultimate Showdown, 17 July 2013
18 Fantastic Benefits of Wearing Hemp Clothing
I always keep two solid pairs of combat or hiking boots in my prep. I will wear one pair until they need replacing, then switch to the backup and order a new pair to replace the outgoing ones. So yes, at first you’ll need two pairs, but after that it’s just a replacement type operation.
I also keep a set of grey man clothing, woodland camo, and urban camo in storage because those are the three environments I would find myself in post shtf.
And please people, if you haven’t invested in good socks… do. Darn tough has been my go to brand for years. Made in Vermont, lifetime warranty, and literally the most comfortable things that can go kn your feet. Always have 3 or 4 pairs for hiking in rotation.
@SteveP, thanks for the recommendation. Ordered DH and I each a pair of socks from Darn Tough. Love the lifetime gaurantee, we are both rough on socks. Not cheap, but with that gaurantee, hoping they will be worth it!
Shoes, socks, underwear, pants, shirts are a must, but so is having winter gear. Okay, today is over 100 F here, but clothes for winter is good to have. The solar minimum is here. Weather is changing. That means wool. Cotton is not good for winter weathers, but it is good for summer. Extra pair of glasses and sunglasses is good to have. Work gloves and winter gloves are good items needed.
Needle and thread for sewing is needed for repairing cloths at home. My mother is 82. She remembers the war, even though she was young. Her grandparents had a crotchet bedspread. It was unraveled and redone to make underwear for the children. re-purposing to make clothes is a skill needed for the future.
Sorry Jose, but I don’t do sandals. The rocks, mesquite thorns and cactus needles make walking with them a painful experience. However snake boots are a must. I killed a snake in the barn yesterday. The ground snake was classified as mildly venomous, but I still would not want to be bitten. Everything depends on where you live.
You can buy hand powered leather sewing machines new right now on amazon for 300
Buy 100 needles and synthetic sinew thread.
The total cost is $500 and you have lifetime of repairs as longs as you can get or make leather.
We buy vibram soles in main sizes from 8 from 12 everyone was required to buy 4 per family member.
For clothing a few years ago a military clothing company went out of business, we bought at auction 5 tons of new camo clothing in all sizes for $1000. Took weeks to separate and sort it all.
Same with combat boots bought bulk new ones…. amazing what you can find in auctions and disposal sales.
There are always kiratchi sandals made from tires and leather thongs 50,000 km with Goodyear… lol but weave a straw Mat for the inside to pad and if you get soaked to let water run out.
As for no shoes… was in Australia out back had a native guide walking barefoot. Had to stop because I had a thorn go through bottom of my boot. I stop to pull it out and ask him how he manages.. lift up his feet pulls out a thorn, he had caloses thick enough thorns could not get through. … adapt
As for socks… life time worth of those made from mohair.
I mostly buy men jeans.They’re cheaper than women’s jeans and last a whole lot longer. Shoes and boots,again men’s. I have large wide feet and most Women’s shoes,boots, are small and narrow. For some reason manufacturers believe women are interested in fashion style,and bling,and I find them not to be fit for rough wear.
Too curvy to wear men’s jeans. Ordered two pair of jeans from my standard go-to llbean and had to send them back because they were way too stretchy. I neglected to read the fabric content. Four percent spandex is ridiculous for someone my age.
I do like smart-wool socks. There are some companies out there that have soft thin merino wool t-shirts that I’m saving up for. A little pricey but that’s the way of it if you want things to be comfortable but wear like iron. We wear thin long sleeved work shirts even in the summer here in SoCal. Thin and loose is very serviceable for working in the garden. Great on the trail too.
I’m a big proponent of not wearing flipflops at anytime after I saw a video clip of that bridge collapsing in Minnesota. You could see a lady running away with her flipflops flying off her feet. It made me realize that we really are vulnerable to the elements and even more so, during SHTF.
With all this staying home and eating, check your clothing stash to make sure they still fit. I know I have gained multiple pounds. I am hoping the summer garden work will take it off but just to make sure I have 2 sizes of pants and I need a new pair of cowboy boots.
If the elastic goes out on the sheets put darts in. I have sheets from Grandma that she darted so they would be fitted after the elastic was stretched out. OR they have those clips with elastic on them to help the fitted sheet stay on. Check the Carter catalog.
Bamboo, I am finding is a durable and breathable fabric. It is softer than straight cotton too if you can find it inexpensive.
Boot and shoelaces are always needed. In a pinch they can be used to fix the fuel line. Ya, long story from those teenage years.
All those other suggestions. Thank you for the great reminders. More things for me to check.
Thanks for the article, Jose, and for all the comments, folks. I have tons of clothing, winter coats, raincoats, rain boots, scarves, hats, gloves. But I could use more flannel shirts, more blue jeans and a good pair of hiking boots and heavy socks. So besides my usual Kohl’s, I’ll be checking out Army/Navy stores, thrift stores and yard sales for such items that are durable and in good condition. As for an extra pair of glasses, I hadn’t thought of that, thanks!
The over the ankle/lower leg covers are called gaiters or puttees, for those who have never seen them. Ones that just cover the legs are called leggings.
There’s an in-between option for transporting heavier loads while on foot that most people are not aware of. There is a variety of both retail and DIY versions of hiking trailers, many of which are shown and discussed in YouTube videos. Just for historical perspective, the book “Handcarts to Zion” is about the Mormons pre-Civil War cross-country trip to the American West. Some of them didn’t have the money for horses or oxen, so they loaded up 2-wheel carts with as much family goods as they could pull on foot with muscle power. They had to be in much better physical condition than most of us today. Today, it’s a lot easier to bring along more goods and gear if the weight is on a one or two-wheel trailer than what most people could carry in a backpack. One fascinating example is the YouTube video below that features a high-end hiking trailer made in the Netherlands. One guy from Belgium tells of using one for his 2600 km trip on foot. It is rated at 40 kg in carrying capacity — that’s about 88 pounds, which is not too shabby.
The 8 Benefits of Using a Hiking Trailer | Radical Design
in this 1:22 minute video, from Radical Design on 7 Feb 2017:
There are plenty of other such videos on YouTube about both retail and DIY hiking trailers — if the video above happens to spark your interest…