Letter: My Current State of Readiness

Mr Rawles,

I listened and read as much as I could of the good advice of blogs like this and other sources of inspiration. I got myself an older 4X4 diesel pickup– an ’86 6.9L. Just the other day the original alternator went, but the engine didn’t seem to care as long as it got started. When my car alternator died, I was off the road in minutes. I’m starting to see the value of these old rigs. I’m considering taking off the turbo to eliminate an oil leak and simplify the system, because the turbo increases heat and can endanger the longevity of an otherwise running engine.

After I sold my home (thank the good Lord), I wanted to pull my good but not cherry ’58 Airstream into a RV park close to work. While I respect the business proprietor’s prerogatives, they did not want that old junk in their park. Even if I had a new Airstream I wouldn’t take it back to them, so I parked it in an RV storage yard for 40 dollars a month instead of $300 a month. That was the best thing to ever happen. I still have visitation rights till 9:30 pm at the Airstream. It seems I need a 400 watt and 1000+ watt inverter based on my power needs. One yellow top optima battery powers the system, but I’m done with their “special” charging needs and will increase my battery capacity with good old marine batteries. Heated water is produced from an Ecotemp l-5 unit. Since I have worked in the waste water treatment industry and have a background in the sciences, I am taking the water system on the Airstream to a true NASA ISS level of tech. I can’t wait till I can get some Graphene from Lockheed Martin; I can tell you that. Hopefully, I can give you a further report, as it is a work in progress. Overall, I perplex at the ten times cost of living when you have water, electric, and sewer hookup at a RV park. Mainly that society does not afford an alternative. You are either a bum or an indebted mortgage holder. Anthropologically, we are evolving as a species. Technology is pushing us forward, but we are now holding ourselves back. Governments regulate; humans innovate.

So the real news is my electric bicycle in the back of the pickup. It is a 48 Volt geared hub motor with 12AH battery. I use about 2-4 AH of charge to ride seven miles of graded terrain. Four of this being on the way home using it to fully augment my pedaling and to get home ASAP. It goes as fast as you want to go on a bicycle. I carry in a saddle pack a Shangri-La 5 tent, Tyvek ground cloth, a neoair sleeping pad, two “casually tarps”, and a Tennier industries orange down sleeping bag. The sleeping bag is proving to be too big, so I’m scaling back to lighter bags and emergency blankets. Along with other “no-brainer” supplies, like a multi-tool, this set up is quite liberating. When I curl up inside a handswen casualty tarp taco, I think of the irony of being a casualty of the financial crisis. In reality, I feel sad for all the others that will be caught unaware. I won’t feel sad, however, for those that scoffed, those that chose to consume a lion’s share as if it was their birthright, or those that will try to take from me what I have prepared.

I try to keep my diesel tanks full, so I can hook up to the trailer and roll out to my bug out location. If I must abandon the pickup, the electric bike will get me to my bug out. Unfortunately, my bug out location is currently just vacant land, and I will really need my Airstream base camp for prolonged survival. One other thing, I was putting my lathe into my storage unit (also sad) and needed something out of a gig bag. Haphazardly, I left a mayday bar and some cranberries in the bag. A mouse took up residence and destroyed the zip-up hoodie, socks, and food that was in the bag. The bag itself needed to be cleaned and disinfected. What a lesson! Imagine struggling your way to your supply cache only to find it corrupted and destroyed. So far, using the gear and failing is the best teacher.