Oil and Lubricant Storage in Retreat Planning

Several of the recent letters on barter and charity items mentioned motor oil and chain saw fuel mixing oil.  That reminded me about a subject that I’ve meant to address on the blog: key considerations of oil and lubricant storage.  It is important to think through all of your oil and lubricant needs–everything from motor oil and transmission fluid to firearms lube. Figure out what you use in a three year period, and stock up.  Then anticipate what you might need for barter and charity, and stock up even more. Because most families do not store any substantial quantity of …




Letter from Mr. Lima Re: CONEX Containers

Jim, Per the letter from the Blog reader regarding CONEX containers- Yes they are a great way to store bulk supplies at your retreat. I’ve been using them for almost eight years now and have noticed several things when using them. First, try to get one made of “COR-TEN” steel. My father has years of metalworking experience and pointed out one of ours that is made of COR-TEN. It reputedly holds up better. I’ve seen a noticeable difference in the one COR-TEN we have compared to several others not made of it. You might want to weigh the difference in …




Letter Re: CONEX Containers

Jim, I’ve recently been shopping around for used sea containers [Continental Express or “CONEX” transoceanic shipping containers], primarily to replace the weathered sheds that came with our property. While I haven’t sold my wife on the idea yet, we have been looking at metal sheds, which are more expensive and much less durable. You can purchase sea containers for a fairly reasonable price (approximately $1500 for a 20’ unit). Naturally, I started thinking about other possible uses for them (shelter, fallout shelter, etc.), and wanted to see if you, or any other bloggers, had any experience with using them in …




Archives of JWR Radio Interviews on Pandemic Preparedness Available

For two successive weekends, I was interviewed by Dr. Geri Guidetti of The Ark Institute on her shortwave/webcast radio show. The topic of both of these two hour interviews was family preparedness for a potential influenza pandemic. These interviews are available for free download from Republic Radio in a variety of audio streaming formats at: http://mp3.rbnlive.com/Geri05.html




Two Letters Re: The Importance of Using Non-Hybrid Seeds

In a recent post, you said: “…we will be discussing how to collect (“save”) and store seed stock in detail in some upcoming blog posts. – The Memsahib” When it comes to storing seeds long term, I think you will find this article of interest. See: http://www.echotech.org/network/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=84 This describes a safe and easy-to-create liquid that greatly increases the long-term viability of seeds. I bought both chemicals from http://www.chemicalstore.com/ , but after checking this morning, they apparently no longer sell glycerol. It is a safe and widely-used chemical, so it should still be easy to obtain after doing a bit of …




From JWR and the Memsahib–The Importance of Using Non-Hybrid Seeds

Modern agricultural science is a two-edged sword. Hybrid vegetable and row crop varieties have tremendously increased crop yields in the past 50 years. Along with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, this has allowed the Earth’s population to double in the past 45 years without mass starvation. Unfortunately because the seeds from hybrid plants do not breed true, it makes farmers captive to the seed companies an dependent on modern chains of supply for seed distribution. Any seed that is saved from crops typically produces less yield than traditional non-hybrid progenitors. In the event of a global TEOTWAWKI, I anticipate that catastrophic …




Commercial Storage

One compromise approach is to leave you retreat house unoccupied and rent a commercial storage space in the town nearest your retreat. I have one friend who leaves his retreat cabin virtually empty. All that he keeps stored there is some second-hand furniture, four cords of firewood (in a locked shed) and a pair of underground gas and diesel tanks, which have their filler and dispenser necks camouflaged by a rusting clothes dryer and water heater–part of a junk pile. He rents a 12 foot x 25 foot commercial storage space that is crammed full of all of his gear. …