Duplicate, actually, (http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 93&t=77084
) but thank you for bringing up again.
Since I can only imagine so much from looking at the tools and their descriptions, I'm super curious about your observations from Sarajevo, blackdog, about "how to get by in a city with no running water, electricity or heating." I think that would be a great thread for this subforum, since knowing how to deal when the normal systems of civilization break down and/or dissappear is kind of a core curiosity of ZS.
ETA: For anyone looking at the site, a list of the tools discussed is on this page
Duplicate, yikes. Sorry I am the biggest meat head I know. Being a stone cold hick I don't cruise the urban forum too much.
When I first started traveling to Bosnia I was lucky to be able to stay in the Holiday Inn. My first room had a hole in the wall and the lighting fixture was hanging off the ceiling. Meals were available but it was kind of "hey what's for dinner tonight" with a little of," I wonder what this stuff is" thrown in, picky eating was a no go. A room at the inn was I believe $200 (or maybe $300, kind of foggy now) a night cash only. Everything was cash only. This entailed muleing large quantities of cold hard cash to get anything done. The logistics of getting to and from was pretty iffy so I moved to Sarajevo and then made an occasional run to Croatia for $$ resupply. My good finance guy was very cool and always seemed good to go with getting a packet of hand written receipts for such things as fire wood (for what it is worth, I knew several people who burned thru their life savings just to have some fire wood) and stove. Just being able to do this put my life style at a much higher level than my neighbors.
I know that there is not a lot of high speed stuff in this site but to boil it all down, high speed stuff doesn't get you thru the winter really. I managed to get one of the homemade stoves and I have to say that the guys who could score the materials and had the skills to knock a nice stove together were stars of the neighborhood. Think you can heat your whole house?, forget about it. Heat one room during working hours. Think about which room to live out off, the sun will play a big part in this. Your summer room most likely won't be you winter room. The house I lived in was never designed to have AC. I don't wish to think about doing this in a suburban North American house never designed not to have AC/central heating with no thought given to the direction of the sun. Ask your self how many of your neighbors have the ability to heat even one room long term (in the case of Sarajevo, the siege lasted for over a 1000 days) with out killing themselves? A nice fairly efficient wood stove along with the ability to make a chimney is a ++.
I doubt there was one unbroken window (and not a whole lot of unbroken walls) in the city when I arrived. Plastic sheeting ++. Like 550 cord, you really can't have too much of it, same could be said for real live water storage and transport
containers. We always see the nice plastic water bottles in the tough luck zones, this is not always so. You might have the tools to haul water to you house from a central water source, but think about how many of your neighbors don't have a transport container. Now throw in the fact that this may have to be done on foot.
Sometime later on I got some large water storage tanks (don't forget your bleach) and this made a big difference but early on you would leave the tap on with a container under it. The sound of running water was a good reason to get up at any hour and do something. I spent a winter in Bosnia (3 winters actually, but the first one was when the lessons flowed fast and furious) with no running water or heat and later a year in Kosovo with about a hour of electricity and about a hour of running water a day (never it seems at the same time), no schedule, at some point you would hear gurgling or the lights would come on and it was time to do something.
A couple of things that made life good were a nice sleeping bag and a cook stove that burns just about anything. My older school mult-fuel stove worked great, you can keep your canister stoves because the canisters are of limited use unless you have a zillion canisters for them. A week for a canister stove OK, a year not OK. Burning gasoline, diesel, kerosene or what ever is good, not breaking is good and simple is good. My wife and I would take turns every couple of days takings "showers". This entailed catching enough water, heating it on the camp stove and running it in to the lucky clean person of the day. Think about a garden watering can full of warm water. Clothing still had to get washed, in the bathtub and with cold water and basic sanitation had to be taken care of (you know what I mean, flushing the toilet with your water stash after every tinkle was a no-go). My water filter is not plastic, again long term use makes simple, cleanable and not easily breakable a double plus. English language books were gold.
Figure 4 deadfalls work just fine for cleaning the rodents out of the pantry, later I learned to knock together a Paiute deadfall which works even better for little animals I think. Never ate the little buggers, but nice to know. Back to food, picky eaters get over it. Cooking from what is at hand is important as is a good sense of humor. One Christmas I managed to score a canned duck and some potatoes, man that duck sucked and my wife and I still get a laugh from the 3 course CF that turned into. Can't cook from scratch? learn quick. Cooking oil is something we don't think about really, but there is a reason that you always see this stuff as a part of aid packages.
What I really could have used was a small solar panel to charge a radio. These days I have 2 packable panels for just this purpose. LED headlamps if they existed would have rocked. Technology is great in limited ways.
All and all I had it easy
but still tried to soak up what there was to soak up. Urban crash, man they suck and that is a fact. We had quite a lot of interaction with our neighbors. One of the first was when my wife went into out "back yard" to clear junk and the local ladies had a cow. "Get out of there nit wit". Turns out there was a abandoned fighting position up in the weeds and the local fear was of UXO. I never saw any in our yard but saw just about plenty all over. Other interaction was my wife relearning how to cook and a brisk trade of what ever I muled back for useful things. Lots of other interaction that I am afraid I don't really want to talk about that really put us in good with our neighbors. Needless to say, with out the good will and cooperation of the neighborhood life would have been much different. All this time was pre-digital and all the photos are in storage. To tell you the truth we really didn't take a whole lot of pics at the time. Just didn't seem that important.
I developed habits that still hang on today. Going to bed early was one of them. Candles, chill and no TV is a great reason to jump in the sack early. Another habit is that there is not a whole lot of food stuff that passes thru this house uneaten. Something turns out not quite right, it gets eaten, meals are made with very little waste and tossing leftovers in the bin just doesn't happen. We still have no AC, still have water tanks with pump but now living fat with a diesel generator.