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Old 08-13-2010, 02:53 PM
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Default Simple and complicated survival plans



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When I was thinking about posting this thread, I was going to title it "reverse osmosis with a permeate pump VS Berkey water filter, an analysis of the survivalist mindset" - but some people would expect to read some kind of review of water filters, instead of the mindset that surrounds them.

So lets do this, what kind of survivalist are you:

Reverse osmosis with a permeate pump - lots of complicated plans with lots of failure points.

Berkey water filter - simple and straight to the point.

When talking to survivalist, it becomes clear that some of them have no idea as to what they would do if a long term disaster set in. For the sake of argument, lets say that some kind of new virus came out of the Amazon. Loggers are cutting in areas that mankind has not seen in 10,000 years. While moving the logs, a worker is exposed to some kind of virus. He goes about his daily routine for a few days, walking around town, going to the local stores, spreads the virus. And just like with the swine flu, in a matter or days its spread all over the world.

When the Swine Flu broke out in early 2009, the US government refused to close the borders - citing that companies would lose too money.

The virus moves from city to city and country to country with nothing to stop it. People become sick, die, social services breaks down, the trucks stop rolling, supplies and food shipments stop to the local grocery stores, panic buying sets in, and in a matter of days the shelves are empty.

From there, certain groups of survivalist plan on grabbing their bug out bag, and head to the nearest national forest where they and their families will live in safety and seclusion. That is, until some kind of dysentery sets in and members of the group needs medical attention.

For those of us that take our survivalist mindset a little more serious, we have secured provisions, and have tested plans in place for such a situation.

While testing a Berkey water filter at the camp - which included filtering 3 from a creek for 3 days - a lot was learned and the plans will be changed to reflect what I learned.

Here is the video about the 3 day Royal Berkey water filter test.


Someone on youtube posted the following comment to the video:

Reverse osmosis is much much better. I would use a reverse osmosis system with a permeate pump.

The problem is, reverse osmosis with a permeate pump requires electricity. In a total break down of social services - which means no electricity, no running water, no natural gas,,,,, no nothing, exactly "how" is a reverse osmosis with a permeate pump system "supposed" to work?

That is what the test of the Berkey was about - no electricity required. Nothing was required except for me to walk down to the creek and get the water.

For electricity, I'am pretty sure someone is saying - setup some solar panels with a battery bank, or a wind generator, or make some bio-diesel to run a diesel engine so that the alternator can be run, then take that DC voltage from the alternator and run it through an inverter to power the water pump,,,,,.

The first thought that comes to my head is "why?" Why make things more complicated then they need to be? Why not keep things simple.

How much more simple do you want a gravity flow system? Pour the water into the holding tank, and it flows through the filter. The only moving part is the spigot that you get the water out of.

I dont know what planet some survivalist live on, but in my world, supplies do not just magically appear out of nowhere. If you need a solar panel, its not just going to appear out of nowhere as a gift from the solar panel GOD. If you need a water filter, its not going to magically appear as a gift from the water filter GOD.

Here are the facts:

Your plans need to be laid out and tested before hand.
From those test, corrections need to be made.
The corrections then need to be tested.
Keep the plans simple.
Keep the plans realistic.

Simple Plans: Why makes things more complicated then they need to be? If someone ask you what time it is, do you hand them instructions on how to build a watch? Why even thing about using a complicated water filter system, when you can use a simple gravity flow system?

Realistic Plans: Over the years I have seen people talk about everything from bugging out to a national forest that is a 14 - 18 hour drive - under normal situations. Exactly "how" they were going to get fuel for the drive, exactly "where" they were going, exact plans on food and other supplies,,,,, had never been thought out, much less tested.
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:40 PM
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Great video Kev,

I don't know why but everytime I watch the video's of your cabin I want you to go over and fire up the BBQ!!!

I can just taste those ribs
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:42 PM
Lowdown3 Lowdown3 is offline
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Good post +1,000

Any "plan" that has not been tested isn't a "plan" it's an idea. I wish more people understood that.

So often people on the net talk about things they don't have or things they haven't done in absolute terms. "A wood gasifier is better than solar panels." Really now? Have you lived off a wood gasifier for an extended period of time? Do you even have the logistics in place to supply something like that running constantly? Have you considered the SECURITY implications of a noisy generator running plus all the residual smoke? Let's get to the bare bones, have you ever even built a wood gasifier? LOL Yet folks will talk like that is their "plan". Usually it's not, it's their VAGUE IDEA.

Ideas are a good starting point, but let's be real, that's all they are until they are implemented, tested and refined. Then AND ONLY THEN could it be consider a feasible plan.

Great post Kevin, thank you.
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Last edited by Lowdown3; 08-13-2010 at 03:45 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:23 PM
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For me its always been the simple plans seems to work out the best, the less things to go wrong. I have the same opinion when it comes to tools and machines, the less things to go wrong/break the better.

For those who plan on depending on something that needs to be built ie. gasifier. If you don't build it now when it would be the easiest. Why would you bet your life that you can when life is at its worst?
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:49 AM
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The principle of KISS is what should be followed in all the things we do. From this it becomes habit and this leads us to economy of motion and energy. Murphy's Law will always rear his head but id you have the habit of KISS you just reorient and drive on. I've seen so many complicated plans fall apart in the military. Our failed attempt at rescuing the Iranian Hostages is just one account. "No plan survives contact with the enemy"

Excellent article and post. That why I like the site.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:53 AM
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The only problem I found with that filtration system is how many times can you reuse those filters? When or do you need to replace them? I'm assuming so but their site was a little vague on that. Just wondering your thoughts. I mean damn if they last a year, or even a few months then hells yea!
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:54 AM
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In the military there is an old adage: No plan survives contact with the enemy. I believe that this also applies to survival planning. You plan for a general set of conditions which may or may not occur. Even if you get all of the conditions right they may not present themselves in the way you anticipated. In short, plans need to be test to the extent that they can, skills need to be improved and expanded, and you need to be flexible. Whatever happens it most likely will not be the way you expect it to happen.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:38 PM
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All survival plans should be tested in different situations, weather and conditions to learn if it is practical and will actually work. Then make adjustments if necessary.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:27 PM
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Agreed. Any plan should be tested multiple times, like running fire drills at schools.
Me, I have a wilderness bug out idea (haven't tested it yet so i can't call it a plan, good differentiation lowdown3 ^_^) that's simple and requires no long term reliance on modern tech. I'm packing my bag, grabbing a mule (mules are more sure footed, hardier and require less food, water and maintenance than horses of similar size and most are also smarter than either parent) and following a river to Apache natl' forest (tentative location, I have to do some more research to make sure there are enough resources around first so i may change my location later). From there i can hunt, trap, and forage for food.

As for water, I know of an even simpler method than that gravity filter; they've been using it to purify well and creek water for third world villages with no power. It requires nothing more than a clear container, a sheet of metal and sunlight. You put the water in a glass or plastic jar/bottle and lay it on the metal sheet out in the sun for at least 6 hours, preferably 10 or more. The sunlight and the heat kills the nasty things in the water ^_^ no tech required and no replacing filters or anything (and with the sun in arizona being so intense, I have no doubt it would work). How's that for KISS? lol
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:37 PM
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I have to say I agree. A simpler plan allows you to easily shift to plan B or plan C or plan D if need be.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:46 PM
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We have the Katidyn, Gravidyn three filter.. Looks like Berkey but ours is plastic... Like the stainless look and the Berkey is probably tougher than the plastic too..

Ours will be inside if needed and we have a well so should be ok.. It is just a back up..

thanks for info and thought on the number of people 2 filters may be able to sustain...
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:53 AM
Andy woodsman Andy woodsman is offline
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Quote:

As for water, I know of an even simpler method than that gravity filter; they've been using it to purify well and creek water for third world villages with no power. It requires nothing more than a clear container, a sheet of metal and sunlight. You put the water in a glass or plastic jar/bottle and lay it on the metal sheet out in the sun for at least 6 hours, preferably 10 or more. The sunlight and the heat kills the nasty things in the water ^_^ no tech required and no replacing filters or anything (and with the sun in arizona being so intense, I have no doubt it would work). How's that for KISS? lol
I have seen this done in South America and suggest that for best results paint the metal black. If your doing this long term it would be wise to change plastic containers fairly often
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:49 AM
richis7 richis7 is offline
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I'd say follow the principle of ochams razor.

The simplest plan that works should be the one used
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:31 PM
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Great post I totally agree Kev. Everything should be done in it's simplest form first and once you feel comfortable with your sustainibility the maybe some luxury like solar or a gassifier can be added. Many people here seem to be consumed with the high tech survivalist virus. Personally I'm still in the KISS phase and still fond myself spending quite a bit of cash. My BOLs are tied to the family but I do plan on having my own personal property and camp. I intend for it to be self sustainable and and am not so
ignorant as to think it will not be costly for what I want. Many just need to realize that all the fancy gadgetry you can own still requires parts, maintenance and fuel to operate not to mention the reliance on that equipment that caused you to overlook more reliable preps such as hand rather than power tools.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:45 PM
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I say KISS. First and foremost most of those methods have been tested and proven to work. If after everything is done you still have extra money that you just need to spend then buy something more complicated for some luxury, but just make sure that when it breaks, and it will, that you have the means necesary to still survive with more primitive and basic means. One idea that I can think of is having a nice axe and hand saw, but then having a chain saw also. Sure use the chain saw for somethings but just make sure your axe and saw are ready for use when the chain saw quits on you. great post.
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