Wednesday, July 9, 2008


The your ability to get through the cold times will depend on your access to energy.

Food energy, heating energy, cooking energy, transportation energy. All of these will be required. Now what you have to do in come up with alternatives and options for the types of energy you will need.

Food energy will be the diciest. Gardens are fixed and depending on your ability, probably insufficient. Food storage is good, but you have to have energy to execute this as well, as refrigeration, freezing, and canning all require significant energy inputs. Salting is not so intensive, and sun drying is good, but these are real skills that you had better start practicing. You will be able to buy food, but prices will be high and supplies will be fitful.

Cooking energy is also needed. Propane and coleman fuel offer good bang for the buck and are storable, but how secure is the supply. Natural gas and electricity might be available but intermittent, you might have to create a series of backups, where you use electricity and natural gas if it is available, then drop back to coleman fuel and propane as a first backup and then a rocket stove as a final backstop.

Heating will be a little less critical. If you are out of the rain and wind and you are dry, sweaters and coats can keep you happy. Spend your time trying to figure out how to heat as much as possible with solar and passive means. Keep your options open here, propane and catalytic heaters are great, and even those little electrical heaters are efficient as hell for heating the room you are in. The main trick here is to get over the idea of heating your whole house. Heat the room you are in and keep the rest of the house cold. Blankets don't require any external power source.

Transportation power is critical. I doubt that I will have to bug out, but I would be a stone cold fool not to have something in place in case I have to. Keep your tank full. Fill it every two days or when it drops below 7/8ths. Keep a rack for your bikes, if you are going to bug out, you will need transportation where you wind up. Don't plan on having friendly smiling people offering to fill you tank at the Shell station.

In other words, keep your options open. If you can ride it out where you are, do it. Have a plan if you can't, and keep your energy needs in mind.

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