Sunday, April 17, 2011

Repair and Recycle- Steps in Survival

I read an interesting article in Country Woman about Creative Junking-making awesome home furnishings by using "junk" or what I call found objects. I was glad to see the author recommend looking in your own stash of junk first, and cautioning people not to pick up stuff randomly. After all, have we not seen hoarders, or Buried Alive?

The mission I'm on is downsizing, minimalizing my collection of personal belongings. I did several films on showing simple hand sewing techniques for repairing gear. Replacing buttons, adding drawcords, modifying exisiting stuff to prolong its life are all important skills.

Then I did a whole series of hobo gear ideas, from backpacking wood stoves, making cordage from plastic bags, survival in a can systems, and more. The idea here is to practice recycling otherwise useless items into things I need. Not that I need them now. These projects provide skills and useful knowledge about how raw materials behave under heat, cold, and stress.

For instance, I tested the idea of bringing water to a boil in a soda bottle over a camp fire, using cordage made entirely of plastic bags. This could become a survival tool in a SHTF scenario.

I tested the idea of various lamps using motor oil, cotton strips from a bandana, and tin can. This worked better than I anticipated!

As I repair stuff, or decide its not worth repairing, I look for ways it might be recycled into useful Other Items.

A lamp, a fuel starter, a stove, a boiling water apparatus, all made out of typical landfill, side of the road junk are items that a person would need if the world no longer functioned as we're used to.

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