Letter Re: Chlorine Bleach and Its Uses

Chlorine bleach is a great multi-use item to store.  It can be used to treat water, disinfect/clean, deodorize latrines, and probably lots of other things. Here are some quick numbers:
Water purification:
16 drops (1/8tsp) per gallon/4 liters.  Let stand for 15 minutes, retreat if water does not smell of Chlorine.  

CDC recommends a fresh 1:10 to 1:100 solution for cleaning up blood spills

FEMA recommends 8oz of  bleach to 5 gallons of water for killing mold and 4 oz to 5 gallons for disinfecting flood-contaminated articles:
(That’s 125ml / 20liters and 250ml / 20 liters for metric folks)

Bleach does have some problems – it has a limited shelf life (6 months to 2 year depending on who you ask).  It’s also messy and nasty to clean up if spilled.
Taking a trip to Costco today, I discovered that they have Calcium Hypochlorite pool shock in stock.   This chemical may be used to make your own bleach solution. (See the EPA Web site.)
Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (approximately 1/4 ounce) for each two gallons of water. The mixture will produce a stock chlorine solution of approximately 500 mg/L, since the calcium hypochlorite has an available chlorine equal to 70 percent of its weight. To disinfect water, add the chlorine solution in the ratio of one part of chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. This is roughly equal to adding 1 pint (16 oz.) of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water to be disinfected. 
To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the water as described above.
In metric, you need to mix in approximately 7.5ml of powder (by volume) for every 8 liters to get a 5% bleach solution.
In short, 1 kilogram of pool shock can be mixed to make almost 1,400 liters of standard bleach solution.  [Which is enough to treat many thousands of gallons of water!] A one-pound box makes just under 165 gallons.
You must be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN to get the pool shock that only contains Calcium Chlorite.  The other types of Chlorine, Tri-Chlor and Di-Chlor are not suitable for this. Be advised that this stuff is a powerful oxidizer, and should be stored in dry container, sealed away from moisture.  It can also catch fire violently if put in contact with brake fluid and similar substances, so be careful.  But the increased shelf life and mess-free storage, in my opinion, outweigh any negatives. – JN

JWR Replies: I concur wholeheartedly that bleach is important to store for family preparedness. One important proviso: You want to buy only plain bleach–not bleach with scent or any other additives that could be poisonous. Be sure to check the label before buying liquid bleach. It must have ONE, AND ONLY ONE ingredient: Calcium Hypochlorite!

Letter Re: Banking a House for Winter

Memsahib Rawles::
Banking a house for the winter is a fairly common practice where I grew up in Canada. Often the leaves were raked and bagged in the fall and placed along the house for the winter. Other times square bales were stacked against the house to insulate for the cold winter months. The only drawback from this way of insulating was the fact that you would often get a large amount of unwanted house guests (mice and voles) who were attracted to the warm shelter! Keep up the informative writing, – T.S.

Odds ‘n Sods:

One of our major advertisers is auctioning a very hard to find P-10 shelter on eBay, on behalf of an acquaintance. These rarely come up for sale in used condition, so don’t miss this chance to buy one for less than half of what it would cost to buy one new. It is being sold “on site”, so you would have to pay for hauling.

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As previously mentioned, Microsoft’s president Bill Gates has publicly declared that he’s Short the U.S. Dollar.  

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From Steve Quayle’s Site: Scientists Warn of Immense Solar Storm Threat

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It was recently mentioned over at The Claire Files that the 177-issue compendium CD of The Mother Earth News magazine (1970-2000) is now on sale at a reduced price. It is a great resource for all manner of self-sufficiency topics.

#1 Son’s Quote of the Day:

“Probably no’east to sou’west winds, varying to the southard and westard and eastard, and points between; high and low barometer, sweeping round from place to place, probable areas of rain, snow and hail and drought, succeeded or proceeded by earthquakes with thunder and lightning.” – Mark Twain

From The Memsahib: Alternative Home Heating Fuels and Banking a House for Winter

In the event of TEOTWAWKI, fuel will become very important in regions where the winters are severe and long. We can learn some survival ideas from pioneers in on the treeless prairies. Some used alternative fuels such as cow chips, corn cobs, ears of corn, twisted grass, or a mix of straw and manure manure called “mist.” (The German word for Schumer.) In 1881 the magazine Warren Sheaf said that three acres of corn would provide the average house of the time with fuel for the year. Straw burner attachments were designed for cook stoves. These were oblong tubes 18 inches in diameter and 28 inches high. The covered tube was placed over the stove holes. If properly packed they had enough fuel to burn an hour. The draft was regulated by shifting the tube off or over the stove hole. Larger ones were available that attached to the rear of the stove. Another innovative idea of the time was “banking.: In the fall the pioneers would start insulating the outside of their houses by banking up straw, leaves, dirt, hay, corn stocks all the way up to the window sills. In a severe winter one pioneer banked his home all the way up to the eaves!

Letter Re: Backup Generators and Well Pumps

The following is probably more than you want to know about pumps!!
There is a finite limit to how far one can “lift” water with a pump.  It is based on the fact a pump does not really “suck” a fluid but rather creates a vacuum and atmospheric pressure forces the water up the pipe.  On a standard day at sea level that pressure is equal to just under 34 feet of water column.  Therefore a PERFECT vacuum (which does not exist) could “lift” water a shade less than 34 feet.  At higher altitudes, or low atmospheric pressure the distance would be less.  The rule of thumb at 1000 feet elevation is a little less than 25 feet of “lift” with a good pump.
A sump pump is designed as a “flooded suction” or high Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) pump which has almost no practical suction capability.  It will “push” water to it’s head limit (which isn’t all that great either) but that is all.  A submersible pump is also a flooded suction type pump that “pushes” water to it’s head limit.  The distance from the surface of the water to a line equal in elevation to the point of use is the head distance.  Pressure seen on the gauge is in addition to this.  As an example, a well with a water level while being pumped of 100 feet (3 atmospheres) and a pressure gauge reading of 59psi (4 atmospheres) at the tank has a pump that is producing about 230 feet of head (7 atmospheres).  The pump will produce maximum pressure (and minimum power requirement) at zero flow.  As flow increases, pressure decreases and amps go up, as with any centrifugal pump.   Pressure drop in the pipe comes into effect when water is actually flowing and will reduce the available pressure. 
A jet pump is an above ground pump that uses TWO pipes down the well.  The pressure pipe (smaller one) pumps water DOWN the well to a JET.  The water from the JET is forced through a venturie where it creates a vacuum, draws in water from the well and forces the total of the new water + what was pumped DOWN the well back toward the above ground pump via the larger pipe.  In order to work, these have to be primed and ALL air eliminated.  (Some times that can be a challenge!)  Because far more water is recirculated DOWN the well than is delivered for use, the energy consumption of a JET pump is far higher, per gallon delivered, than a submersible pump.  HINT:  I often make use of the fact you can only “draft” or “lift” water about 25 feet with most pumps.  I place the foot valve 30 feet below the jet.  That way, if the water level in the well drops, the pump keeps it’s prime as it can not lower the water level more than 25 feet below the JET and therefore won’t draw air into the system.  The pump will just deliver exactly the amount of water the well can produce up to the maximum capacity of the pump.
With a submersible pump a low capacity well should have a flow restrictor installed that limits delivery to a bit less than well capacity.  That prevents drawing the water below the pump and allowing air into the system.  Far MORE important is the fact submersible pumps are water cooled and will burn up rather quickly if the water level is reduced to pump level.
Ever wonder why most pumps are 240 volt rather than the 120 volt many survivalists might prefer?  Well pumps run from 1/3 to several horsepower in size depending on depth to the water and pressure and flow desired.  Higher horsepower means higher amperage required.  Submersible pumps are often a long way down, particularly out west, so have a LOT of wire.  For best motor performance voltage drop in that long run of wire needs to be minimized and that is most cheaply accomplished by doubling the voltage to 240 volt and cutting the amps in half.  Retrofitting a well to the less desirable 120 volt pump will require twice the breaker size, maybe a change of pressure switch and almost certainly increased wire size.  While the difference is not large, the 120 volt motor WILL use more energy due to I squared R losses. In all of the electrical devices involved.  (Amps X Amps X Ohms)
For those wells where one can pull the pump by hand, a homemade “baler” consisting on 3” PVC pipe, a foot valve and long rope will get you enough water to drink if TSHTF.  More water requires a more complex solution.  A generator has many uses and is my preference but DOES require fuel.  Wind power has been used for the purpose for eons.  Human powered pumps require a fair amount of effort but have certain obvious advantages.  Hand pumps for deep wells are not cheap but they are available from places that cater to the Amish, among others (Lehman’s comes to mind.) Hope some find this useful! – Mike G

Odds ‘n Sods:

I recently added a few DVDs and another 19 U.S. Army and USMC manuals from my personal collection to my Mail Order Catalog. Some of the manuals were “restricted distribution” titles and hence quite scarce!

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There is now talk of another increase in the U.S. federal government debt ceiling. My precocious #3 Son asked: “Daddy, why do they call it a ceiling if they can keep raising it?” Hmmm…Why, indeed?

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The recent Robert Kiyosaki article is evidence that silver gaining popularity with mainstream investors. The first silver exchange-traded fund went live in late April.(Symbol SLV on the AMEX). SurvivalBlog reader S.H. suggests that these two factors may combine to make silver the darling of the investment community and lead to a hot summer for silver.

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If you aren’t already concealing your trail of web site visits, then you should. Not only will you avoid cookies and the associated marketing gadflies, but you will also avoid leaving attributable lists of search phrases. (Google now keeps them for decades.) This data might come back to haunt you, many years in the future. The service that I recommend using to protect your identity and surf anonymously is Anonymizer. By doing your web surfing through the Anonymizer gateway, you will leave no record of your home domain. Presently, the company is allowing a seven day free trial. Check it out. IMHO, using Anonymizer is cheap insurance.

Note from JWR:

Our apologies about the page display problem that we experienced from Wednesday afternoon to Friday afternoon. During this time, the blog page displayed fine with Firefox, Safari, and Netscape browsers, but it had problems with some versions of the Internet Explorer browsers. If you still see any problems, please hit your browser’s “reload” button. Our profuse apologies!

The American Indian Way of Reading Deer Tracks, by "C++

My secret for hunting deer is to hunt them based on trails and tracks. Learn what a buck track looks like. Get yourself a pick and a shovel. Soften every trail, so that you can really read the tracks. These soft-areas need to be about three feet long by one foot wide. You need about a half of inch of soft dirt. read the tracks, after studying the tracks and movement (direction) you’ll begin to see a pattern. Use a broom to wipe out the tracks so that you can see the next set of fresh tracks a day later… Some bucks travel the same trail every X number of days, it’s like a circuit that they travel. Log this stuff in a note book. Bring along a tape measure and a ruler. Measure the print size, the stride length and width. A big buck print will spread out and he’ll leave his dew claws when he’s walking. The longer and wider the spread and the longer the stride the bigger the buck. I saw a buck that left a track so big that I couldn’t believe it myself. He was old and gray, even the younger buck that was with him was magnificent… I’m sure big-old-and-gray died of old age.
Tracking is a Lost Art. A lot of what I learned was from an old Indian friend. I was very thankful to meet him and all that he’s shared with me over the years. I am hoping to share this Lost Art with my children. Every time I take them out, I try to teach them something. It’s amazing how much we overlook!
In the off-season (and I mean off-season) walk all the trails and build yourself a map. The best time is right at the end of deer season and probably a month before. Study the land. Be as low-impact as you can. Based on track directions you can figure out where they’re going to bed down and where they’re going to feed. For this you’ll have to read your track in the early morning. Reading tracks during the late evening has never worked for me. I think Blacktails are just too dang nocturnal. I like to do most of my reading of tracks in the middle of the day in full sun light (I can read tracks better that way). When I’m in a really good spot I’ll use survey tape and run it every 40 yards or so, it really gives you a perspective of the right place to hang a stand. Then I’ll go there early in the morning and study the wind currents. With three foot strands bright flagging tape you can really see wind currents. I study wind currents from 15 minute before shooting light to eleven and then from 4 PM until dark. Those are my prime times (although my Indian friend swears that the middle of the day is when he’s done best on the biggest of all bucks. He says that he believes that they don’t really suspect any body to be out hunting them at 1 PM. BTW, I saw the big guy and his friend on a secondary trail at 1 PM in the afternoon. Go figure.) After finding “the place”, I take all of the flagging tape off, since I don’t want to attract other hunters. I even park my vehicle in an unnoticeable place and walk in so I don’t attract any attention. I even try to keep my boot prints hidden.
NEVER forget wind direction. (It must always be right, if it’s wrong pack up your bags and hunt some place else!) Work on your setup based on trails, tracks, bedding, feeding, watering areas and wind-direction. Your draw must be undetected. Deer can see 270 degrees, if they see you draw they’re gone. If they’re traveling in threes then its really difficult because you have at least six set of eyes to fool.
Like I said before, putting it all together is half the fun. I’m looking forward to hearing other peoples input. I have a lot more that I would like to learn and pass on to my children. My Grandfather always said to “learn to walk like an Indian”. I have so much respect for both nature (God’s creation) and the old-way’s and I know so very little. – “C++”


Odds ‘n Sods:

The price of gold appears to have established a new floor at around $675 per ounce, and silver ditto, at around $13.10

Note from JWR:

Yowza! We just surpassed the 400,000 unique visits mark. That is a fantastic number. I had only expected 100,000 unique in the first year, and now we’ve logged four times that in just the first 10 months! Thanks for making SurvivalBlog such a rapid success. Please keep spreading the word. A brief e-mail to your friends, and/or adding a linked SurvivalBlog banner on your website would be greatly appreciated!

Letter Re: Survivalist Matchmaking?

Can you recommend a place, business, web site, that offers the equivalent of Match.com, eHarmony.com, etc for preparedness minded folks? There used to be a place called patriotmatchmaker, but no more. Any suggestions? If you cannot find such a place, you might want to consider starting one as a income producing web site. Why not? You have the perfect target audience to do so. Thanks, – Boosters

JWR Replies: Because our society is so litigious, I’m not inclined toward setting up such as service. I formerly directed folks to the Survivalist Contacts page at www.SurvivalistBooks.com, but that page doesn’t seem to be working at the present time. Hopefully it is just a short term glitch. Perhaps someone out there knows of other similar sites.