Discussions
Home heating sans electricity?
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Hey Josh, as others have mentioned, you will need to consider disease, but also pests and animals, if your hope is to have edible fruit.  I have several fruit trees, and when left alone they do “fine” and produce a lot of fruit, but without a lot of water and soil maintance the fruit doesn’t taste good at all. And without intervention, bugs, deer, racoons, squirels, and other critters will eat it all long before it’s ripe enough for you to eat.  I have all but given up on my pear tree – it produces plenty of pears, but they taste terrible and are almost always maggot infested before they’re close to ripe.  That is, the ones the racoons don’t eat! Also, judging by your photos, I’d like to suggest checking your “compost mulch” which looks like it might be some recent food scraps from your kitchen.  You need to let that stuff process first and actually turn into compost, otherwise it will just rot and not do much good.  Plus, it will likely attract deer or racoons, who I promise will be smart enough to figure out how to get into your tree tube after their appetites have been perked with the snacks you’ve left them!  Get a bag of real mulch or compost from your local gardening store- you can get a couple cubic feet for just a few bucks. Also, if you want an unstoppable and hardy fruit plant, try blackberry bushes.  They are nearly indestructable, so much so they can be invasive and will take over your yard/hillside before you know it.  But boy do they produce with little to no maitainance.

PrimeDay prepping deals
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I like the way you are thinking, but my guess is that 250+lbs for a bike trailer might be too much.  Starting would be incredibly difficult, and stopping would be extremely difficult and likely quite dangerous if you don’t have brakes installed on the trailer. A couple things to consider.  First, try dispearsing some of the weight over your front and rear wheels (handle-bar baskets, bike bags, and such).  Dispearsing the weight will make the physics work more in your favor.  Also look into trailers and accessories designed to haul infants around.  You won’t find anything that will carry 250lbs, but you might find something that can work for you.  Finally, there are companies and individuals that make custom bikes and trailers, and that might be the direction you need to go.  There’s a company in Portland called Clever Cycles that produces great stuff, their cargo bikes might be in line with what you are looking for: https://www.clevercycles.com/bicycles/cargo-bikes/ Another approach might be looking at something like a rickshaw: you’d be on three wheels instead of two, and sacrifice a lot of manuverability, but you could definitely haul 250lbs: https://www.pedicab.com/ That all said, I think it’s great that you are looking into this.  I don’t think bikes are discussed enough in the prepper community, but I believe they’d be an invaluable asset in a SHTH scenario.  No need for gas, no worries about gnarled traffic, road blockages would be much easier to navigate, etc.  If you’re in decent shape it’s not hard to cover 50+ miles a day if it’s not too hilly.  

I appreciate the work that goes into an article like this, and I don’t want to come accross as dismissive, but I believe the suggestion of an AR15 or AR10 as a first gun is not sound.  If the discussion was hypothetically concerning the only firearm one could have, than I’d fully agree, and I understand that you allude to this a bit in the comment that a first gun is often the only gun someone purchases.  But even in that context it’s still something I’d caution against. Assuming the first time gun buyer is also a total newbie at firearms, starting off with an AR is like learing to drive on the freeway during rush hour.  Sure, if you have an amazing instructor and you will be dedicating a lot of time and energy into training it could work.  But that’s the rub- learning, and practicing with an AR, or any rifle, is difficult.  Most ranges, especially indoor ranges, don’t allow them, so the hours of practice that are required to master such a weapon are far more difficult to come by.  Now again, if a potential buyer has easy access to a location where they can spend hours of time practicing, then perhaps.  But that is simply not the case for most first time gun buyers, especially those living in urban and suburban areas. I am a real advocate for the idea of a training gun; a firearm purchased solely for the intention of learning how to own and operate a gun, especially for those who have zero background with guns. Safety and ease of use should be prioritzed, as well as opportunities for training and instruction. Once said purchaser has grown confident in their skills and comprehenstion, then make the bigger purchase of something like an AR.  The training gun then becomes a backup weapon, and something the shooter can use to help introduce other newbies to shooting.   That all said, thank you for the article and all the great work that goes into the site.  This truly is a valuable resource.

Hey Josh, as others have mentioned, you will need to consider disease, but also pests and animals, if your hope is to have edible fruit.  I have several fruit trees, and when left alone they do “fine” and produce a lot of fruit, but without a lot of water and soil maintance the fruit doesn’t taste good at all. And without intervention, bugs, deer, racoons, squirels, and other critters will eat it all long before it’s ripe enough for you to eat.  I have all but given up on my pear tree – it produces plenty of pears, but they taste terrible and are almost always maggot infested before they’re close to ripe.  That is, the ones the racoons don’t eat! Also, judging by your photos, I’d like to suggest checking your “compost mulch” which looks like it might be some recent food scraps from your kitchen.  You need to let that stuff process first and actually turn into compost, otherwise it will just rot and not do much good.  Plus, it will likely attract deer or racoons, who I promise will be smart enough to figure out how to get into your tree tube after their appetites have been perked with the snacks you’ve left them!  Get a bag of real mulch or compost from your local gardening store- you can get a couple cubic feet for just a few bucks. Also, if you want an unstoppable and hardy fruit plant, try blackberry bushes.  They are nearly indestructable, so much so they can be invasive and will take over your yard/hillside before you know it.  But boy do they produce with little to no maitainance.

I like the way you are thinking, but my guess is that 250+lbs for a bike trailer might be too much.  Starting would be incredibly difficult, and stopping would be extremely difficult and likely quite dangerous if you don’t have brakes installed on the trailer. A couple things to consider.  First, try dispearsing some of the weight over your front and rear wheels (handle-bar baskets, bike bags, and such).  Dispearsing the weight will make the physics work more in your favor.  Also look into trailers and accessories designed to haul infants around.  You won’t find anything that will carry 250lbs, but you might find something that can work for you.  Finally, there are companies and individuals that make custom bikes and trailers, and that might be the direction you need to go.  There’s a company in Portland called Clever Cycles that produces great stuff, their cargo bikes might be in line with what you are looking for: https://www.clevercycles.com/bicycles/cargo-bikes/ Another approach might be looking at something like a rickshaw: you’d be on three wheels instead of two, and sacrifice a lot of manuverability, but you could definitely haul 250lbs: https://www.pedicab.com/ That all said, I think it’s great that you are looking into this.  I don’t think bikes are discussed enough in the prepper community, but I believe they’d be an invaluable asset in a SHTH scenario.  No need for gas, no worries about gnarled traffic, road blockages would be much easier to navigate, etc.  If you’re in decent shape it’s not hard to cover 50+ miles a day if it’s not too hilly.  

I appreciate the work that goes into an article like this, and I don’t want to come accross as dismissive, but I believe the suggestion of an AR15 or AR10 as a first gun is not sound.  If the discussion was hypothetically concerning the only firearm one could have, than I’d fully agree, and I understand that you allude to this a bit in the comment that a first gun is often the only gun someone purchases.  But even in that context it’s still something I’d caution against. Assuming the first time gun buyer is also a total newbie at firearms, starting off with an AR is like learing to drive on the freeway during rush hour.  Sure, if you have an amazing instructor and you will be dedicating a lot of time and energy into training it could work.  But that’s the rub- learning, and practicing with an AR, or any rifle, is difficult.  Most ranges, especially indoor ranges, don’t allow them, so the hours of practice that are required to master such a weapon are far more difficult to come by.  Now again, if a potential buyer has easy access to a location where they can spend hours of time practicing, then perhaps.  But that is simply not the case for most first time gun buyers, especially those living in urban and suburban areas. I am a real advocate for the idea of a training gun; a firearm purchased solely for the intention of learning how to own and operate a gun, especially for those who have zero background with guns. Safety and ease of use should be prioritzed, as well as opportunities for training and instruction. Once said purchaser has grown confident in their skills and comprehenstion, then make the bigger purchase of something like an AR.  The training gun then becomes a backup weapon, and something the shooter can use to help introduce other newbies to shooting.   That all said, thank you for the article and all the great work that goes into the site.  This truly is a valuable resource.