Some assorted prep ideas : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Some assorted preps ideas:

1) The (approximately gallon-sized) plastic bottles of fruit juice sold at Wal-Mart have enough elasticity to expand as needed when their contents freeze. This means that they are safe to buy for prepping GIs concerned about freeze ruptures spoiling them. My preference is for the ones with lower pH's (so will keep longer) and containing intrinsic biologic-origin Vitamin C such as orange, grapefruit, and cranberry. Incidentally, don't buy orange juice with added calcium; the pH was raised (is less acidic), so will go bad sooner.

2) I recently built a doghouse good for extremely cold weather. The cheapest way to insulate it I found was this: after building an outer shell of marine plywood and an inner one of linseed-oil treated interior wood (that the dog(s) actually sleep(s) in), I poured styrofoam dunnage ("peanuts") into the created space. It is light in weight, won't decay, was free, and has a decent R-value. 4' x 8' sheets of the 2" thick pink extruded styrofoam insulation are as expensive as good-quality plywood, and this saved me a lot of money.

Another way to increase insulation (I came up with it for the doghouse, but can work anywhere): put sawdust or loose fiberglass debris into trashbags, and put them under, atop, or beside what you want to insulate. Shapes good for stacking can be obtained by placing them in sturdy cardboard boxes, which you then place inside a second, larger plastic trash bag so that moisture will not quickly harm them.

I have heard people repeatedly mention using space blankets to make infrared devices aimed their way less effective; why not provide this to a doghouse? For a real surprise, put in a layer of steel and make it bullet-resistant...

3) Here is a cheap psychological warfare ploy that may discourage some uniformed looters from stealing your family's hard-earned food next year: if time permits, simply nail a copy of the U.S. Constitution across your door on the outside so that anyone coming in that door will be forced to tear it to use the door for entrance. WARNING: This is not certain to work, and undoubtedly will not be at all effective on FEMA/BATF types. A U.S. flag might work also, but IMO would be less likely to have any effect.

4) Some potential sources of meats to stockpile: a) stores catering to Latins often have cans of sausages canned in lard. These would give variety, and would not have freeze-rupture risk. b) Oriental food stores often have dried chopped cuttlefish. This is a relative of squids. It has only a little "fishy" taste, weighs very little and takes up little space (it's dried, remember), and is high-protein. c) Oriental food stores often have bulk seaweed as well. It is a good mineral source, as well as protein and vitamins. Get the purple kind, not the green kind, and you want it in thin sheets (avoid the thick green kelp hunks). Japanese stores seem to average the highest quality of seaweed.

5) When using sticky traps to kill rodents, if they are plastic-backed, there is no need to throw them out after they have caught a pest. Just hold the pad underwater until the animal drowns (use pliers so animal cannot reach you to bite you), pull the pad out of the water, wrench the corpse off the pad (use paper towels to do this), and the pad is ready to catch another potential food thief.

6) A couple of tricks to kill rats/mice: place a plank (with grain on it) leading up to a tub of water that has grain floating on the surface so that it looks like a solid surface. Also, if you have problems with smart rodents repeatedly tripping traps without getting caught and subsequently eating the bait, try putting 9 set traps in a square (so one is in the middle), with only an inch or so between traps, and only baiting the center trap. When a rodent jumps after setting off the center trap, guess what he is likely to land on?

7) Wood ashes are more useful than salt or sand for getting traction for vehicle wheels dealing unsuccessfully with ice/packed (and slick) snow.

8) Cans of oven cleaner should be useful for partial removal of creosote in stovepipes/chimneys.

Hope this is new and potentially useful to someone.

My website: (Some new stuff will be on it by Sunday, I hope.)

-- MinnesotaSmith (, December 01, 1999


Thanks Minnesota Smith.

-- Stan Faryna (, December 01, 1999.

Straw is also an excellent insulator. To prevent it rotting I suggest covering with plastic. You can usually locate it under the classifieds by looking under horses or livestock. Any hay will work the same way. Also most feed and farm stores carry big bags of sawdust for stalls fairly cheap. I suggest any prepper visit a feed store, you'd be surprised what you can find very cheaply, such as lime, corn, blocks of salt etc.

Rats can and do chew thru plastic containers (been there done that). They don't chew thru metal tho. So if you're having a rat problem aluminum foil glued around the bottom of your buckets should stop that problem. I also have grain stored in foil bags I got free from a bag mfg as they were misprinted. I have had no problems with mice or rats getting in them at all. (We have TONS of mice).

Thanks for the tips Minnesota.

-- Stacia (, December 02, 1999.

Yank the mice out of the glue traps! EEEEUUUHH! Use Cheap nail polish remover. (Acetone) {Acetone is HIGHLY FLAMMABLE!! FLASH POINT 0 ! } Just drizzle a little polish remover on the little, moving (or not) feet and use the trap again! Don't pour it on the glue!

-- kathy (, December 02, 1999.

Kathy, all that happens is that they may leave a little hair from their legs behind. Their bodies don't rip apart in a revolting fashion; I know, as I have done this thing that I suggest. Acetone is not something you can come up with easily post-rollover if TSHTF. You can grab some wastepaper, or even some leaves, and wrench a dead mouse or shrew off a sticky pad, though.

-- MinnesotaSmith (, December 02, 1999.

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