Materials At Hand Preps : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Some of my preps have been deliberately left as what I call Materials -On-Hand preps. I have everything I need to build the item ready to go, just not assembled. One item is a water distillery. The reason I'm doing this is because I know I'll need some activities that feel constructive, to keep me busy. When things first go down, I know it'll be a while before I can get calm enough about the situation, to sit down and play a game of Parchesi or read a book. It also saves me some time now, to use for other preps.

Just a thought I wanted to pass along, as your doing your preps, and thinking, "Oh my god, I don't have time to do all this!"

-- Bokonon (, August 29, 1999


Good thought,Bokonon-

Basic materials in an unfinished condition might be of less interest to any "requisition for the greater good" groups,also.

-- Sam (, August 29, 1999.

Bokonon, Can you post your water distiller plans or tell where you got them? Been wanting a good set of directions for a while. Thanks, Shadetree

-- Shadetree (, August 29, 1999.

Excellent approach! Gary North has repeatedly emphasized in his "Reality Check" series ( that it is important to acquire what you know that you will need, especially if it might become scarce later in 1999. Then you can prioritize its becoming operational. "It is better to have and not need than to need and not have."

-- Jack (, August 29, 1999.

Speaking as Bokonon's wife...sometimes I think he's planning on trying to rebuild all of society with the amount of junk in his garage.

Couldn't resist... ;)

Don't flame me...I'm goosing my husband.

-- Mabel Dodge (, August 29, 1999.

Interesting post. Good suggestion to have on hand. It is end of month, no more money until SS arrives. Spent last three days revamping shop..used old paint to clean the place up, gathered all the tools and put 'everything in place' and built shevles (from stored wood and old dresser drawer fronts) to store more stuff. Making a list of things to get next month and put plans for items to build (create) in shop file. Found it amazing how much we already have when place began to be in order. Must have enough nails, screws, bolts, hinges and tubing to last ten families a lifetime. If I were asked,"What preps did you make this week?", I would have said, "none". Now I realize we made plenty. What we have extra is always good for barter. Amazing what one collects over 30 years!

-- old gramma (, August 29, 1999.

Bokonon, I'm still in the acquisition phase.

When I think of things which will be scarce when Just In Time distribution chokes, I allocate future funds for them.

Presently I realize the need to acquire more How To books.

If I become unemployed, I'll have plenty of time for reading...

-- Randolph (, August 29, 1999.

Got a long roll of copper tubing like you use to run water to a refrigerator that makes ice, and the attachments to hook it up to an old pressure canner I got for 50cents at a garage sale. Fill canner with water, put on fire, let steam run throough copper tube to cool into distilled water. Easy.

-- Ann Fisher (, August 29, 1999.

From someone who just started a vegetable garden this spring, to anyone who thinks they might want to next spring, acquire and store these things now:

(For your perimeter fence, to keep out those critters) 4' high wire mesh fence rolls, and metal stakes to hold it up at 3'to 4'intervals. Bag(s) of those plastic cable ties to secure mesh to metal stakes (about 4 or 5 ties per stake). A good shovel, hand trowel and hoes for smoothing out surface and weeding (one narrow, one wide if you can afford it). All the cheap buckets and watering cans you can get your hands on. Seeds for crops that grow in cool spring and fall weather, and seeds for warm weather season. Save clean milk jugs which can be used as mini-greenhouse shelters for seedlings that can't take frost or cold breezes (cut out the bottom and pop them over the young plants) 2 x 4's to make a cold frame(s) to start seeds early and/or grow crops longer. These need to be topped by an old glass window or door, or plastic sheeted lid. Start a compost pile now with yard clippings and kitchen scraps. A really good, exhaustive gardening book, or as many as you can affford. Make sure it discusses traditional methods that use fewer chemicals. Good pictures help alot, too. "Bird Netting" roll to protect strawberries (from birds, chipmunks, rabbits, etc.) Floating row covers (rolls) to protect seedlings and extend growing seasons. Invaluable for shading them from too hot or too cold conditions when seedlings are trying to get established.

This may sound like alot, but everything can be reused from year to year, to grow alot of food, for less than buying it already processed. I'm no expert at this, but learned alot this year, and will share names of resources I used heavily, if you email me.

If the hardware stores and nurseries are short on supplies, it will help to have a garage like Bokonon's or my husband's, but some things, like the fencing materials would be really essential to get now. Don't shortcut around putting up a fence, or the wildlife will eat better than you do. If my family is hungry, I want a fence around my garden so that the only rabbit I find near my veggies is in the stew pot.

If you live somewhere really cold or really wet in the spring, buy a few plastic shower liners from the Dollar Store, and lay them over the veg beds to help warm up or dry the beds so that you can plant sooner. Just weigh them down with rocks to keep them in place.

If you have time on your hands now, till the garden in the fall, to make it faster to do your planting in the spring, and easier if you have to rely on a shovel then. I like the wide row/intensive method alot, which is recommended by many good gardening books. And Buy Seed Now and store it cold and dry til Spring (probably need to mail order because Christmas stock is replacing gardening stock in these stores, for the most part.) If distribution networks are messed up in Feb/March, the stores might not get new seed shipments by the time you could begin planting spring (cool weather) crops in your area.

All this may sound like a huge undertaking. But once you get the beds in and the fence up, the rest gets much easier. What have you got to lose, especially if we all have more time on our hands.

-- Kristi (, August 29, 1999.


Sorry i took so long to get back to this thread, it's been a busy day. Ann beat me to the punch, with the answer. I have a pressure cooker, some copper tubing and some plumbing fittings to attach the tubing to the lid. I'm sorry I don't have any more detailed plans to pass on to you, but I just came up with this out of what I know about the distillation process.

Basically, you need some way to heat the water, something to catch the steam and condense it back into water. The length of the coiled tubing (which is your condenser) should vary according to the outside temperature - shorter in cold air, longer in warm air. If you make the coil to long in sub-freezing temperatures, the steam could not only condense, but freeze, before it comes out the other end. If you make the coil to short, in warm weather, a lot of what comes out the other end could just be steam and lost to you.

I should say, though, the reason I'm willing to go into this with a lack of specifics and lots of experimentation, is that we anticipate having enough water in storage, by the end of the year, to float a small yacht. The distillery is just something, of practical value, for me to fiddle with, because I'm the type who always has to have something to do, or I get kinda moody and irritable.

Another thing to remember, if you go with this type of home grown distillery: VOC's (Volatile Organic Chemicals), like benzene and toulene, tend to boil at lower temperatures, than water. Let the water in your distillery come to a boil, then attach the lid. You do waste a little steam that way, but you'll also gas out the majority of chemical contaminents, too.

-- Bokonon (, August 29, 1999.


Thanks, hon, for lettin' everyone know what a slob, I am(G). But it's like I always told ya, when TSHTF, the packrats will inherit the earth...

-- Bokonon (, August 29, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

Yes, keep things disassembled, and separate stuff that goes together, so that folks won't get the idea of how useful something could be. Try to make everything look as though you've had it forever, and not like something you went out and got to help you survive. (but don't carry this to such an extreme that you yourself forget why you have something, or where it can be found) For example, I'll have lots of collapsed cardboard boxes apparently ready to be taken to the recycling station. Elsewhere, like in the kitchen, and also hidden, will be aluminum foil. Somewhere else a bottle of wax, and some tubing in another place. I'll be able to use these ingredients to make solar cookers and purification puddles.

Another advantage to waiting until later to assemble things is that neighbors see you working to make something work. I don't want it to appear to them like I'm Kevin Kostner, pressing a couple buttons and instantly turning my home into an amazing fighting machine.

Another idea is to get materials that will allow your neighbors to make themselves some goodies. The more people catching rain, the less they'll need yours.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage.neener.autospammers--regrets.greenspun), August 30, 1999.

Here's a passive low-tech (but slow) water distiller. It works.

Take a fruit box or similar size - 1 to 1.5 feet on each side. Line it with a black plastic garbage bag (bring the bag up the sides), put a cup in the center. Put a couple sponges standing on edge around the cup, if you have them handy. Pour half an inch or so of water in the bottom, the sponges will wick it up and help evaporate it. Put a clear garbage bag over the top, and seal it. If the box is small enough, seal by just closing the clear bag. If the box is too big for that, seal by making a chain of rubber bands. Put a small rock on the top of the clear bag, to make a deep dent over the cup. Water evaporates, hits the top, runs toward the rock, drops into the cup.

Efficiency depends on location. Put on the south side of a wall, protect from breezes. Group several of these together, and they will shield each other from breezes. You can put a big sheet of clear plastic over the whole bunch, to increase the heat.

You can do the same kind of distiller with a wading pool, you name it. Get fancy and put a tube from the central cup, so you can suck out water without opening it up. Put the rig up a few feet, and you can siphon water out into a container.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), August 30, 1999.

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