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Jerry's writing challenge and give away

Discussion in 'The Main Board' started by Jerry D Young, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Jerry D Young

    Jerry D Young Active Member

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    I will toss in some of my published books of which I have paper copies.

    How about either must leave to get to, or get home from, a location that includes having to travel across a large lake, up/down a large river, with six adults, 3 women, 3 men, including yourself, and four children, aged 3 months to 15. You and one of the women (or men if you are female) are fairly adept preppers, with significant supplies of good value supplies and equipment (at either end of the trip). One person is a born troublemaker, probably a drunk, but not drugs. Abusive when the person can get away with it.

    Since this has been a known possibility for several years, caches can be in place for travel either way. Also, you are not a poor person, have a good paying professional job, and have done well for yourself, with the preps in place, a good mix of PMs as well as trade goods, weapons and alternatives. Capable vehicles, and, since this is a known possibility, and you have an interest in fishing, and know how to survive on and around water, you may (or might not) have a decent boat or other water craft. No aircraft that can carry a person.

    It is looking like WROL (world without rule of law) is well into the final stages, but it is not a given, therefore you may have to answer for your actions later on. Others do not feel that way and believe they are now at liberty to do pretty much anything they want, to any person, with any mechanism, without fear of repercussions from legal authorities, only other survivors.

    Non-nuclear event, an 85% rate of death from crop losses and contaminated food the result of a very widespread terrorist attack on staple food sources such as wheat, rice, corn, potatoes, turnips, oats, and a few others. Many of those dying are simply afraid to eat the food that is available, not able to tell if it is contaminated or not. Others are eating and coming down with the illnesses associated with the various rusts and other deadly infections spread to the crops.

    Which way do you have to go, and what is the rush? What do you have cached? Do you have a vessel of some kind? What weapons in addition to a normal prepper battery? Any other special equipment, supplies, plans, etc.?

    Just my opinion.
     
  2. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    This will be the first giveaway challenge by another member besides me. We are going to let this one run until midnight on November 1st.

    Jerry will donate some printed books to the winner, and I will add some gifts as well.

    Is there anything else you would like to add @Jerry D Young ?
     
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  3. Jerry D Young

    Jerry D Young Active Member

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    No, not really, Atlas. I was kind of figuring this as an exercise to get people to look at some things that while they might not be able to afford them right now, given the right circumstances may in the future, so the ideas and concepts need to be addressed now, so if/when the time comes, the person/people will know what to start looking for when/if the opportunity comes up. Not every prepper is poor and working on a beer budget. Some have a wine budget. And quite a few, actually, including some I know, are bringing in over $250k a year, with a good piece of it going to preps now, and has been for several years. So, they are quite well set up.

    I would suggest keeping the total amount spent over the last 15-years at or less than $750k - $1m for everything prepping related.

    Believe me, that will not go all that far, when you are using $100k a year out for prepping of $250k a year earnings and still have to maintain a lifestyle suitable for a well known, local, professional person. Doctor, attorney, dentist, judge, major business owner, tenured professor at a major university, lieutenant or captain in the police force or fire service, a GS-13/Step 8 government job, and similar positions with a good investment package pulling in the rest to be making the $250k after taxes.

    I will do an entry, but do not expect to be eligible for the prize.

    Just my opinion.
     
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  4. WolfBrother

    WolfBrother Active Member

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    Jerry - IMNTBHO - you're eligible like ebber boty Lse. A pseudo-random number generator picks the winner. It's an honest system. We're all, at the very least, internet friends.

    I've ordered this:
    4 in 1 Shovel Utility Survival Tool
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0744LWFC8
    It looks like a correct sized variation on the ejection seat shovel, hand ax, saw survival tool thing I had at one time.

    When I get it:
    IF it's the correct size, I'm going to do a backyard (actually green belt behind the back yard) comparison evaluation of the shovel, hand ax, and saw. I will also evaluate the knife part of it.
    THEN IF it's very close to, the same, or better than what I had, I'll kick it in to the pseudo-random picked winner's booty.

    There is a second one that costs more but looks significantly better built AND adds a pick-ax attachment. After I get it, I will also do a comparison evaluation and post it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 12:32 PM
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  5. Jerry D Young

    Jerry D Young Active Member

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    I do like the idea of those, particularly the one you had at one time. I finally figured out how I can do something similar (I think) using a couple of things I want to have with me anyway. They came up when I was working on my response to your Air Cargo company crewman survival kit. That is what has been holding me up. I believe I have it now, though. Just need to do some measurements on the various heads that I want to use (shovel, pick/mattock, axe/chopper, and two or three others) that use wooden handles.

    As far as winning, we can wait and see how the number of entries is looking and decide then, I suppose. I just generally do not compete for things I contribute.

    It does sound like there is some interest in this one, so hopefully we will have quite a few participants.
     
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  6. Russell Williams

    Russell Williams Active Member

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    I am more of a contributor, or was back with TOM and Fleataxi, than a writer. Having a budget like that to prep with isn't even anything I can comprehend. TOM and I used to discuss this often and I did finally got him to write some articles where the character did not have an inheritance and large bank account.
     
  7. WolfBrother

    WolfBrother Active Member

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    Low budget prepping - not fun. It’s more of changing your lifestyle to accommodate integrating what you can prep with what you use every day.

    I had a couple of email/forum discussions with TOM. I never had the privilege to do so with FleaTaxi.
     
  8. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

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    Given how few of we Preppers have that large inheritance or are independently wealthy, I'd like to read about how Joe and Sally Sixpack manage to survive in this scenario.
     
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  9. WolfBrother

    WolfBrother Active Member

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    Luck, stretching supplies till they break then stretching some more, hard work, a knowledge of how to do stuff, luck, hard work, luck, a sense of humor, a deep abiding faith, hard work, and luck.
     
  10. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

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    And don't forget: luck.
     
  11. Russell Williams

    Russell Williams Active Member

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    I had to bust my hump and give up vacations and other so-called luxuries to work on prepping and try to learn and teach others all of my adult life. My work with multiple agencies was all volunteer so that didn't provide additional income. It has been a quest.
    Tom, Fleataxi and Jerry were and are great friends. I spoke to TOM several times a week and exchanged emails daily, like I still do with Jerry. Flea was fun also we talked, not as much as TOM and Jerry (giggle), and I was privileged to help him with some data, especially in Castaways. Don't ask how I ended up as a character is several PAW stories. It was always a surprise to me also.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019 at 9:03 PM
  12. WolfBrother

    WolfBrother Active Member

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    I like all 3 authors writings. Each has a different style and all are entertaining as well as educational.

    Jerry and Flea Taxi have stories where Luck is illustrated.

    Example - Flea Taxi's "North To Alaska" story, Roy survives the plane crash, then happens on to the long abandoned trappers cabin. The cabin had a ax head in a stump. The cabin had a flint lock and fixing's in it. Roy winds up toe to toe with a Grizzly and wins. He also joins up with Oliver the wolf. You know - Luck.
     
  13. Jerry D Young

    Jerry D Young Active Member

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    I do try to write some stories where there is a tight budget and a short timeline. However, I know, partly from personal experience, that there are scenarios, many of them, where a shoestring budget prepping plan is not going to be adequate to accomplish many tasks, and even survive many situations.

    This is the way I am looking at this scenario. The two preppers have had a long time to prepare, with this exact scenario in mind for part of it. The writer will be responsible for 10 people, including small children, and will have an abusive drunk to deal with. The trip requires crossing the large lake or going down or up a large river. There is no land or air alternative due to circumstances. With many people believing there is no law enforcement, nor will be, whether true or not, are going to be preying on everyone and anyone they think might have something, and will be willing to do some very heinous things to get those items from you.

    Unless, as was said, everything is simply sheer good luck and the poster simply happens to find everything needed at just the right time at just the right place to accomplish a task, then having preparations is going to be imperative. I simply do not think a Huck Finn log raft is going to be suitable for the trip.

    It boils down to the fact that someone on a tiny prep budget is simply not going to be able to accomplish the task as outlined.

    Just my opinion.
     
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  14. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

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    No problem Jerry, I see your point of view.
     
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  15. WolfBrother

    WolfBrother Active Member

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    Jerry,
    I have an group scenario that I sometimes put on.
    Some of the rules I do with that is:
    If I say you have it - you have it whether or not you do in real life.
    If I say you DO NOT have it - you DO NOT have it whether or not you have it in real life.
    If you have it in real life, you have it in the scenario unless it's been listed in the "you DO NO have it" list.

    You may want to consider a set of rules you think will help focus your scenario.
     
  16. hypnos

    hypnos Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll excuse myself from the contest portion but jot down a few of my opinions related to the scenario. The reason for this is because I simply don't agree that a group with a small budget would be exempt from surviving the scenario, to me this sounds like character development for a book with at least one of these characters making a very respectable 6 figure income. The problem with that in my mind, is how unrelatable that will likely be for everyday working class people, who also likely make up the majority of preppers.

    It's fun to fantasize what I would do with $100,000 in disposable income a year, but even for the people earning amounts like it, it's probably a very rare thing for them to be more prepared than any other prepper that takes it seriously. So I'll opt out of the contest for that reason.


    About two years ago I was a chaperone on a church youth group 3 day river canoeing expedition on the flambeau river.

    About 12 of us in total if I remember right. 4 canoes, three people to a canoe.

    The river had sections of fairly rough rapids and lots of rocks and turns to navigate from very shallow to deep water.

    I realized very quickly they had no plans for emergency medical evacuation if someone was injured or sick on the trip.

    Also, they seemed to be opposed to having a symmetrical loadout of equipment for each canoe, instead things were simply loaded as convenient, and instead of personal shelters, most opted for a few very large shelters. Communal cooking and chores etc were also in place. Which is very time and resource efficient, but turned out to be very foolish when one of our group overturned a canoe in some Rapids and lost the cooking stove. Also some of the food was lost, among a few personal items.

    Many people went to bed in wet sleeping bags, and wet tents, experiencing minor hypothermia when night time temps reached the 50s.

    I carried all of my own personal gear, a hammock and sleeping bag, 72 hrs of food for myself, among other things. This proved to be very smart, because I was able to find better camping areas farther away from the group who attracted allot of mosquitoes, and made quite a bit of noise late into the evening. If they burned the food, I didn't have to eat it, if the gear was wet I didn't have to sleep in it. When cooking gear and food was lost, it was no issue for me.

    One very important piece of equipment I brought with me was my rain gear. The first day it rained for about 4 hours, enough to soak everyone before a cold front settled in on the first night.

    Some forgot their sleeping bags.
    Or didn't have enough extra clothing. Its frustrating to watch people fail to recognize the reality of the situation.

    The trip was fun and a great success, but, it could have ended in disaster at any point along the way very easily.

    The main takeaway for me is to be prepared at a personal level, and if you can, have a few extras for people who do not.
     
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  17. Jerry D Young

    Jerry D Young Active Member

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    I did not want too many rules. The object of the exercise was to stimulate people to think about difficult scenarios now, so they can think through how they would deal with the situation with what they have, and how they would deal with the situation if they could add resources, and what those resources would be.

    It is not likely any of us would have that exact situation come up as it was written. However, each part of it could come up, in other real life situations, and having thought through that part of this scenario, and having purchased when possible a specific item or two after running the scenario, a person would much more easily deal with the real situation if/when it occurs.

    What would you do if you had to cross a lake, now, while under possible observation and likely under someone's gun, to get your child to the only medical care that can treat whatever it is. The child only has eight hours or less to live if the medical care is not reached.

    Or, say, you have a relative visiting with two small children, and neither parent is a prepper. The husband is a drinker and abusive to his wife when drunk. She will not hear of him not coming with them, and her sister, the other woman, though she hates the guy, insists that he go, because if he does not, her sister, the guy's wife, is going to have a breakdown. And the first hour of the journey, the mother falls and breaks her arm when her husband pushed her when no one was looking. Why do you not just walk away and let them die. Because there are the two children that couple has, and he is your brother. How do you handle it? What do you have that would enable everyone to continue, fast enough to not get caught by the people wanting your stuff, and the women, after the drunk bragged about how well prepared you were?

    Each individual factor in the scenario can be used to help plan for something similar that might actually happen to some of us, even if the complete scenario is pretty much not a possibility.

    A 72-hour basic kit is not going to get it done for either of those single scenarios.

    Now, I accept that I will not survive some things. I am not, however, not going to plan the best way to not die, if there is a way. And I will even stock up on Spam to have something to eat and use the money I would normally use on canned beef with gravy, to purchase that $250 breathing apparatus that can get me out of a burning building that is outgassing all sorts of things that will kill me in a few minutes, if the high heat does not. With the breathing apparatus I can move fast enough to get out before the heat builds up to a point it kills me.

    It is a matter of perspective and priorities. In the scenario I stressed a couple of times it was something the person has known for a long time could come up. So why would the person not have made preps for it, if it was likely, and all it took was some planning and giving up renting a vacation cottage in Hawai'i a couple of years.

    Just my further explanation of the goals I was hoping to see met, and my opinion.
     
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  18. hypnos

    hypnos Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok, thanks for the explanation Jerry. It's such a strange scenario for me that I'm not too sure how I would approach it. I'm such a loner I have a hard time actually knowing and being with that many people at one time. To me it sounded like maybe you had a little writer's block on some plot points you were working on.

    If I was that wealthy I suppose a few flatbottomed boats with boat motors specifically built for shallow water wouldn't be too much of a stretch. In the BWCA where I grew up, these type of boats are very common for transporting canoes and people to the entry of the boundary waters. At that point no motor access is allowed. But, being so stable with the flat bottom, they can carry 3 canoes and a a week or two worth of food and equipment for a group of campers.

    If possible I would buy a fiberglass/plastic boat. They flex on impact and rebound and if run aground can flex around sharp rocks and not puncture. Probably easier to fix with whatever you have on hand if you should take some gunfire.

    They aren't light, but a set of Portage wheels made to attach to the same location as the emergency oars to row the boat would be a good idea.

    A large rack, with a enclosure for the driver at least would be a great option. Additionally, a canoe on each one full of gear to function as a escape system for the crew if it isn't possible to continue with the boat.

    There are electric trolling motors used on mini pontoon boats, one of these with a few solar panels will keep you silent and moving, and power anything else you may have on board.



    As far as the drunk bugger in the scenario, a group ass beating usually does the trick. If someone opposes the group beat down, beat their ass also. To hell with the consequences.

    That may seem harsh, even evil, but really, it's the fastest surest and most efficient way I know of to deal with abusive people.

    As far as 72 hr bag not being enough. You can go a month with no food. And I survived a few months backpacking off of very little, while being very active, putting on roughly 20 miles per day on foot. If you have water and shelter, you'll find something eventually to keep moving.

    I ate termite larvae, dumpster food, a few things people were nice enough to hand me and that was all, as I traveled from northern MN (known as the end of the road, ely MN) to Colorado springs Colorado. I went from a very fit 195 ish, down to about 140lbs. It was hard, I remember someone gave me a few dollars and I soaked a hamburger bun with tears because I was so grateful to eat. Very hard. But, absolutely doable. If I had a firearm, I would have had many opportunities to hunt and or fish, but I feared the police so I didn't do it. Looking back on the situation, it would have probably been easier to survive without society, not harder in that situation. The rules, regulations, and societal limitations is what make primitive survival difficult. They are two different, and very incompatible worlds. If you know how to do it, you won't have allot of competition because most people simply don't know how, they'll starve before they can get access to their six figure savings, they'll be more worried about getting their phones working then making a net to go fishing. You'll have more than enough time to do what you need to do to survive without a working smartphone and internet.

    If you have the skills to procure your needs by other means, the sky is the limit where that is concerned. It is better of course to buy, for your soul and for what society remains, but in a "you or me" survival mentality situation to think we will all do something contrary to what is best for ourselves is probably wishful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019 at 6:53 PM
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  19. WolfBrother

    WolfBrother Active Member

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    I’m thinking on my response

    I will get serious about it when the official scenario is posted.
     
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  20. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    I'll work on a write up as well, but it's going to take a little time.
     
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