On Dogs And Dying

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on May 29, 2019

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C5 On Dogs And Dying


Dino, the older of our two dogs passed this week.

That’s not quite right. We helped him pass. It must always be remembered that this is our final responsibility, in our joint symbiotic relationship of human and canine.

It would generally not be a public topic I would share, but it seems to me that writing about our relationship is part of grieving and saying goodby to one of our life partners.

Dino (seen on the left, back when Harley was still with us and Shogun was a new pup) was 15 years old. He had come close to dying several times, but each time it was looking like That Time, I could tell that he wasn’t ready to go.

It’s not unusual for a blogger to post a memorial post when an animal is gone. They are our family members. But you honor me by coming back, to learn from me, on the subject of Survival and Adaptation in a declining world. You have chosen to share part of my life. And I would like to share some of my thoughts on dogs and Adaptation. Historically, it is an epic story of adaptation, whether you have a dog or not. You are who you are today, all of us together as a species,  because of our ancient relationships with dogs. They have changed us as much as we have changed them. We didn’t chose them. They choose us.

Dino was close to blind and near deaf, but he still went for walks. He was much more MrsC5s dog, since he had been around before I showed up. In his final year, he began to cling to me though. As his mental state began to deteriorate, I think he needed the security of the Alpha. It’s probably anthropomorphizing to think he may have been counting on me to see to his end. He also counted on Shogun, the younger dog that is definitely my dog. It helps to understand dogs in realizing they need a hierarchial pack and to know their place in it to be happy. Shogun demanded to be the alpha dog from a young age and tolerated no dissent. It was a pain with an aging dog that would get knocked over by Shoguns youthful exuberance. But as Dino needed to be left inside with age, he would whine by the door, not wanting to be separated from from his alpha.

It was my job today to be the stoic one. To allow MrsC5 to grieve. To help hold him up to the sound of, Good Boy, as he drifted into breathless sleep. To shed tears, but not too much. To hold it together. To grieve later. After the shoveling was done. I am not of the, men don’t cry, cult. That is a good path to mental illness. Still, with the years, I have had to butch up some. My own survival demanded it.

I am thankful to the vet that helped, so it didn’t have to be my finger pulling the trigger. That my final memory of him would not be taking out part of his brain.

It’s not that I could not do that. I prepared myself mentaly from a young age, that this is my responsibility. I think far fewer people would have animals, if before the gleeful purchase of a puppy or other young animal, was a firm talk about that your final act will be to kill that same animal. They will count on you for that, as much as food and relationship. You will have to consider firearms safety and ownership for the task along with the puppy, at the same time.

So, lets talk about Dogs (and cats for that matter) and how they relate to our survival. Our Adaptation to a world in collapse.

I’m not here to tell you to get a dog for survival. That would be a dis-service. It’s far more complicated than that. As a single person, facing long periods of solitude (and trauma) I was too broken to care for a dog or child. I couldn’t even take care of myself. Years later, in this place, the dogs have made me stronger. We are part of a stronger unit. A pack. This includes cats. They have a job. I have a job. It’s a unit on a doomstead. The dogs are my second set of eyes and ears. They are my defenders at times, and I theirs. They set territorial boundaries that the wildlife must not pass, or at least they watch my cues as to what those territories are and they communicate that to the other critters we share the world with. The cats keep the mice and rats in check. A necessity. Too bad they kill birds as well. They can be a disaster to ecosystems. Another subject.

Lets go back into ancient history. We may have this idea that we tamed wolves. That someone captured a cub and trained it to our will. Man conquerors animals. Not so.

Wild dogs followed us. Homo Sapiens came to prominence because of this. Neanderthals didn’t develop the same relationship with dogs. They just ate them (as they also did their own dead). Lets go back. Dogs probably started following us because they wanted to know if we were food or not. We passed by, leaving food scraps, but lets not sugar coat this. They ate our shit. Lots of yummy, partially digested, calories there that they don’t have to chase. Plus their leftover hunting scraps. As their packs followed our packs or tribes, a sort of homeostasis set in. They would scare off the bigger predators that we didn’t have much defense against. Especially at night. This worked in our interest. Over time, when killing each other  didn’t seem in anyone’s best interest, and semi trust built, they moved closer together. I figure it was the dogs that first started to see us as their extended pack. A human Alpha arrangement was happening because they were getting our leftover food. The evolution of specialization was also happening. Dogs had their noses to the ground and hunted by sent and sound (we would eventually lose this because they did it for us). We stood upright and grasped distance, first because we were once hunted, then to become the hunters. And because we were becoming hairless. Our bodies could cool. We could not beat animals in a sprint… but we could exhaust a sprinter that even a dog/wolf could not catch, by running an animal to exhaustion, over a period of days or weeks. We could cool our bodies. They couldn’t. We don’t have fangs or claws, but the animals had nothing left when we finally caught up to them. The dogs got the leftovers. They were cool with this arrangement.

Even if you are a cat person, or don’t like animals, you are homo sapiens, not because of your superiority… but because of dogs. Over time, we would eventually lose our tracking noses and hearing and core strength. Neanderthals had all this, but they didn’t play well with others. They were superior in every way, but they never evolved past family groups without specialization. There is a lesson here for rugged individualist survivalists. Survival goes to the most social.

I grew up in a house of mid sized big dogs. I get them. I am a bit rougher on dogs than some people are comfortable with. I’ll talk about that later. It’s not to beat them into submission. Fuck that and all who do it. Animal abusers, like any feral animal, need to be put down. Our dogs are well adjusted and happy because they know who the uncontested alpha is. I don’t get cats so I can’t speak for them.

I observed an unusual behavior in cats though. I don’t know if there is an alpha cat. When Dino was getting dementia and struggling with where he was, sometimes Juan, the oldest cat, named after Hurricane Juan, the year he was born, noticing Dino was confused and distressed, would sometimes intervene, nudge him and lead him a bit in a walk around the room. Dogs were never comfortable with the cat that would rub up against them, but I did notice when Juan stepped in, realizing Dino needed someone to lead him. Don’t know what to make of that. All the other cats are wary of the dogs. Shogun must have sled dog in him, because part of him doing alpha with the always upright tale, would not let Dino in or out of the house unless he understood he was to follow Shogun. It made us uncomfortable… but it made Dino secure in his place and wanting to be with Shogun. Shogun, on the other hand, is confident because of me. Dogs are mirrors of their owners. I’m exposing myself a bit in saying this. Shogun is needy and constantly needing attention and affirmation. A bit of a pain. He is also the most LOYAL dog I have met. He is a Defender at his core. He knows his role is defense. He Likes to stay on the porch at night to defend the house. I open the door to let him in and he communicates to me that he WANTS to stay out and defend the door. He is the right kind of scary if you approach the house. The moment he realizes you are OK, he instantly sees you as family. He loves you. He is a big suck. Dangerous bluster on the outside. Big suck on the inside. Me in dog form.

A tale of two dogs. Dino was fast. A sprinting dog. I had had one like him before. A speed dog. After the big husky mix, Harley, had passed in my arms, under similar circumstances, Dino took up the alpha role. Like Harley, one day he was OK. An aging dog. Then he had some kind of stroke and could not stand. That was the day I had to fulfill my role. My part of the bargain. Killer of the ones I love. Dino was the second dog to die in my arms. We are evaluating if there will be a fourth. We are aging.

Dogs in survival. It’s a big subject. Back in the old survivalist days, there was much talk of big scary dogs. German shepherds. Dobermans. Rhodesian Ridgebacks. And eventually, Pitbulls. People wanted big scary WEAPONS. The end result is that all those popular dogs are badly inbred, physically week and mentally unstable… like the people that want them. Popular consumer capitalism destroys dogs.

In the 80s/90s, yuppy breeders wanted Labrador Retrievers for the idealistic picture of suburban family life in the land of plenty. Fast forward to the age of consequence. Labrador retrievers are far to dangerous to have around children. Puppy farms for profit. Nightmares for those most trusted to us. I can’t even go there without wanting humans to be done and gone.

Personally, all our dogs have been mystery mixed breeds. After a half a century of life, my experience is that they are much smarter and much healthier. No hip displasia. No broken legs. No eyeballs popping out of their sockets. No temper issues. No need for muzzles.

I hope my readers see me as a combination of deep empathy, perhaps too much for this world, and hard edge, sometimes dark, survival realism. Hard earned. I want to give good dog advice to those radical optimists willing to face a harsh future head on. Survival dogs. Not pets. They are a mentally challenging mix of farm animals… yet tribal members. Family members that you would kill to protect, till death do us part… yet you would eat them if you had to. Perspective is everything.

It seems odd that my best send off for my family dog is to talk about the necessity to shoot dogs. Your dog and other dogs. A subject that should rightly put a check in your heart. If you can kill a dog with ease and without empathy, you need to be forced out of the human race. Period. But in a world in collapse, with declining resources or financial means, it’s no longer a subject that we don’t look at and pass onto a professional.

Declining financial means, translates to, that you can’t go to vets very often. Either for surgeries, medicines or to have your dog put down. This puts it in your hands. I don’t talk about firearms often on this blog because of people fetishisation of weapons. But this is one of the primary reasons for a gun.

More importantly is the mental preparation and will. Acceptance. This takes years to think about. To make that mental shift of responsibility.

I had HOPED to take Dino to the vet for his final shot that put him to sleep.

I was PREPARED to do it myself.

This takes me back to a story I heard in younger years. It’s also a lesson in self governance. I heard a story about some people living way out in the bush. They all had dogs as is the necessity of the lifestyle. Unfortunately this group of dogs had packed up and began running down deer. Their ancient instinct was triggered by being a pack. Unfortunately domesticated dogs are not ancient wolves in waiting. They weren’t killing the deer for food. They were killing for fun. The deer were a toy to be torn apart. When this switch happens, they also become a danger to people.

The people got together and decided that each owner must put down their own dog. They all did, except one person who could or would not.

That person was ostracized from the community. From that day on, no one would talk to that person, hire him, do business with him, sell to him. Anyone who would do so would find themselves in the same position. He was out of the pack. He had no future.

There is a lesson here in Anarchism or community self governance, separated from the hierarchical  State. Once you are rejected by the pack, your survival chances drop dramatically. A Lone Wolf is not really a wolf anymore. This is a human trait, for good or ill, that was also enforced by our intermixing with dogs into the species we have become. The lone wolf goes nuts from the solitude and weakened by not being able to hunt as a pack. A lone wolf can’t get elk. It must settle for mice. If it wants to survive, it must present itself to a pack, on its back with it’s ball in the air, willing to be killed, starting at the very bottom of the pack, until it has earned his place again through years of trust building.

Dogs and humans.

With Dino gone, and the pack shifted, I can tell Shogun, insecure in his place, is thinking of challenging me. I want to give him a bit more mourning time. Soon, I will have to wrestle him down again, till he shows his absent balls in submission. After that, he will be happy again, knowing the pack is secure.

The local pack of coywolves, challenge me about once a year. They challenge the boundary line. I learned this by living right in the middle of a wolf pack’s hunting zone, once. It’s different here because the coywolves are sketchy. They should not exist. Man did this with hunting and habitat destruction. Wolves and coyotes are part of a healthy ecosystem. The deer are not strong, swift and healthy because they are a deer. They are strong, swift and healthy because of the wolf. Now the herbivores are diseased.

Wolves will not suffer a coyote in their territory. They would run it down and kill it, as they would a dog. But some desperate lone wolves made their way into the territory.

I can just picture what was going on in that wolves head, looking at a coyote. “Do I kill and eat it… or do I fuck it?…. I’m so lonely”. The rest is history. And I suppose I know all about “Coyote Ugly”. Any port in a storm, for a lone wolf adrift on troubled waters. Budupt tupt.

They have mixed with dogs as well. So, their natural behavior is all screwed up.

MrsC5 hates when I tell my holding off a pack of wolves story, armed with a katana. Its one of my best life stories. We were having a territorial dispute. The next day, with the help of a six pack, I marked my territory. This far and no further. I communicated in wolf. Problem solved.  We were good after that.

Fast forward to the farm on the other coast. The local pack decided to pick a fight. There was clearly a wolf in charge and about a dozen yipping coyotes. They were at the disputed boundary to tell me, “Sure, you have got big dogs… but we have got a wolf”. The dogs were looking at me and saying, “Yah…. we are not barking at that”.

So, I fired a few rounds over the packs heads and gave the “This is my boomstick” speech, mixed with the “You wanna get nuts? Lets get nuts”, Michael Keaton gone crazy, thing. “You don’t worry about my dogs. You worry about me….Bitches. I will fuck your corpse while your pups watch…”. Good thing I don’t have neighbors to call the cops. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Then I led the dogs into a motivating howl off at their retreat, to communicate that we are not lone wolves. We are a pack. A threat to one dog is a threat to us all.

Next day, I wandered down the hill to the challenge spot. The wolf had scraped up some grass to piss on. The dogs sniffed it… and were having no part in marking it. It wasn’t a fight they could win. I had some communicating to do. I kicked over its pile and pissed on it. Then I pushed back the boundary to where I chose. Pissed some more…. but I angled up to piss on the trees as high as I could. I was communicating to the rest of the pack to to weaken his authority. I was saying, “Your big assed wolf can only piss this high. I can piss much higher”.

Balance restored. All good. Lasted several years. Had to do it all again last year.

It can also be said I have done the same with the yokels, on quads with guns and beer. I had some problems. Then I marked my territory. I put up no trespassing signs that could not be missed, showing how much I controlled. I wrote on the signs as a bonus, “Active Game Cameras” and left it to their imaginations as to where they might be. I upped my scary factor. No more problems. Lessons learned from dogs. I had to communicate in Yocal.

Enough Macho-dome. Lets get back to dogs in collapse.

During the many natural/man made disasters, animals get left behind. The other humanitarian disaster. We have all seen the abandoned animals after Hurricane Katrina and other disasters. People pored much more money into rescuing animals than people. I suppose it is because, pet people empathize with innocent animals. It’s a shame we have lost the ability to empathize with suffering humans. All our prejudices have been coming forth as a sign of that other disaster. Social collapse. “Faith is lost that our people will take care of us. Families disband to compete as individuals”. (Orlov) A nation of lone wolves. I suppose the next  level of societal collapse is when we cease to empathize with animals.

I did have an insight though, because of my travels to Cuba, Jamaica and Peru, where feral dogs are everywhere. (Not as many in Cuba because most dogs were eaten during “The Special Period” when they lost oil shipments). They are pretty rough looking, disease ridden, scarred and skittish. Limping from broken bones or infected bites from other dogs. They are starving… but they keep breeding on mass because no one neuters them. People consider them more like rats. The human/dog relationship has broken down. The dogs are still around but they are in a world of hurt.

Spay and neuter programs would help as do rescue organizations. That’s big money though. You could say it’s very 2007 of you. A cull would be the humane choice. I don’t see the will though. Over time, people just got used to feral dogs as a pest animal. They would try not to hit them with their car… but that was about it. Sad.

But the reason I am bringing it up is because, what I observed is a bit different than the standard theory by survivalists that after the collapse there would be dangerous packs of wild dogs that would hunt humans. I’m not sure that is true anymore. I think the abandoned dogs are just as likely to just be pest animals that get smaller, adjusting to malnutrition, hanging out on the peripheries of humans, once again eating our garbage. Either way, the constant barking will drive us all nuts. It did me in those places.

Speaking of smaller dogs. This is also one of the options in Adaptive survival. I don’t like small dogs, especially overly inbred lap dogs. Another human travesty of capitalist consumerism run amuck. Small dogs can have their place though as alarm systems that require a lot less food. Cheaper to maintain. Another reason, is rat dog breeds. they replace cats by being essential rodent killers. That is why we breed ridiculous things like “Rat Terriers” in the first place.

Personally, I need a dog with more brain. Spastic dogs are more likely to kill farm animals. When Shogun was young, he wound up Dino into a pack, hunting frenzy and they killed a couple of chickens. I was harsh on them. Very harsh. I was trying to save Shoguns life. He only had one shot to learn. If not, he would have had to be put down. Period. They spent three days on a 4 ft chain with nothing but water…and the dead chicken hanging around Shoguns neck. He learned. He lived. He is still a happy dog. No more dead chickens.

Dogs and goats have to be kept apart and watched though. They may start out fine but… goats like to play by head butting in their own dominance rituals. If the young goat, playing with the dog, head buts him, this may set off the dog into attack mode.

Another word of warning for those newly deciding to leave the city for farm country. It is standard practice in cattle country, that if a dog is off its property, it’s to be shot on sight or run over by truck. The reason is because of losses from cattle farmers. I had one friend from an organic small farm that had a number of damaged goats and chickens from a couple of local dogs. They were shot. Then their tags were called and the owners were sued for the damage. A dog or dogs can do THOUSANDS of dollars or damage very quickly… and you better be able to pay it… or risk your house being burnt down as standard bush common law.

Because of all this, I was looking for a puppy with Rottweiler in his mut mix. I wouldn’t recommend anything even close to pure breed/ inbred. But we wanted it in the mix, because they were bred to stay close. To stay with you. To not wander and potentially set off a chain of unpleasant events.  Because we live in cold country, we also want husky and Shepard in the mix for the winter coat. Either way, always try to remember that a dog is sort of like having a two year old kid that never really grows up. They just slow down with years.

I think that is all I really have to say about dogs and survival/prepping/adapting, from my own dog experience and travels, near and far.

Dino, like Harley before him, passed in my arms.

It has been my goal to die on my feet. Defiant. This is highly unlikely though.

We enter the world crying. We leave it weeping.

I can only hope that when it is my time, that someone will be there to tell me, “Good dog. You are a very good dog.  Good dog.”

Dogs & motorcycles SM









The Final Apocalyptic Wood

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 25, 2019


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C5 Gets His Final Apocalyptic Wood- P-II and 2/3


With your Host, Category5.

Fear Not. I’m not dying…yet… other than the existential, we are all dying, thing. My wood still works just fine.

This is just the final episode of the C5 Gets Wood series. How many cryptic penis jokes can I continue to come up with anyhow?

For those still impressed with the size and longevity of my Zucchini, I put the photo above. As of April 15, I think it is finally tapping out. It’s going soft. Soon to deflate into a drippy mess. But that would be the one to get seed from. Longest survivor.

That’ll do Zuke. That’ll do.

The butternut squashes are all fine though. MrsC5 has been bringing them as house gifts when we go visit one of our produce deficient friends..

Speaking of my tool… or tools, size isn’t always better. I’ve hung on to those couple of big antique Simonds saws forever.  They are way better quality than anything you will find today. Scour garage sales or antique shops for those. Hold those for your children.

But based on real life experience, the smaller 30 inch bowsaw is the one that gets actual use. The bigger modern bowsaws are flimsy in use (with a risk of stitches from broken blades) and it really only stays strong in the 30 inch version. That’s just my experience Plus it can be tossed in a pack.

Go small or go home.

Going even smaller, the one that has served me the best, and I have used for 35 years, is the folding Gomboy saw from japan. (I should clarify. That’s my third one)

Here is an italian Peraso billhook used in conjunction with a Gomboy saw. I notice the little things.

Now before I forget, I have another important firewood technique to share. I like to think my firewood is done for the year… but its never really done. I think I will be doing more soon. I think I will still knock down some big trees. Lets say you are late to the game and only thinking about your firewood now.

At this point, Its best to cut your larger trees down… and just leave them. Here is why.  They are about to go into heavy growth mode. Its sucking up water for the big growth push. If it is cut, all the budding and leaf growth will begin sucking the water out of the tree. The capillary action. Once you notice those leaves have dried out in the summer, then it is time to buck it and split it. Don’t say I never taught you anything.

Besides firewood, this has been the other way I have been collecting life saving energy from trees. Sugars.


I spent yesterday sitting by my homemade rocket stove boiling down maple syrup like a good little canuckster. Some day, I need to rebuild a better rocket stove. There are only so many things I can build in a life. But the next attempt definitely needs a J-Tube (look it up) so I don’t need to be constantly pushing in sticks. (Or dropping them down the top for a hotter burn. Lessons learned by doing)

One of the reasons I built this was for that day when propane for our gas range is no longer available. A rocket stove is the fastest way to cook… using small sticks (or hotter burning split hardwood when needed). I will leave you to scour all the assorted versions on youtube, if you are not familiar with this technology. Now you know what to look for. The term is “Rocket Stove”

Remember how I have continuously said, A- there is no such thing as a survival expert. Anyone claiming to be is just trying to sell you something,  And B- I’m not an expert on much of anything? This is a prime example. Tree sugar as energy. I didn’t grow up around this. I’ve only made about 3 years of attempts in the last 6. So far, I would say my Energy Return On Energy Investment has been in the negative. What I mean is that I have most likely burned more calories than I will receive (calorie deficit).  I really should not count on this for survival, but I look at it as “Getting through the learning curve”.

In our case, what I have learned my problems are is, though I do have maple trees, they are quite far apart and quite a distance from the house. Where there is a bunch close enough together, Its pretty much swamp. Cutting trail also used up a lot of calories. Next issue I am seeing  is that, we only had one really good day this year for sap. The rest has just been a dribble. Temperatures need to be bellow freezing at night, and above freezing, preferably with sunshine, during the day. Our particular climate zone sort of jumps from deep winter to late spring very quikly. We would have to travel to a slightly higher altitude to make it worth wile.

There is only one reason I continue to pursue this as a survival skill. There is really nothing edible growing this time of year. NOTHING. Historically, people don’t starve over the winter. Between now and mid summer is when people start to die of malnutrition and related illnesses. The added carbohydrates in the form of tree sugars may be the essential calories to push through till fresh foods start showing up in enough quantity.

It’s not so I can poor maple syrup on pancakes.

That would assume I had mastered growing and processing grains by hand in sufficient quantity. I haven’t. In my one feeble attempt at growing wheat, I learned that first I must master animals. I had decent enough soil. There just wasn’t enough food in it for the wheat to feed on. It would need manure… but I am getting off topic.

Since this is the Dark Green Mountain Survival RESEARCH Centre, and you are here for that research, here is what we have learned… and how can we use that for better Adaptive survival chances.

I had about 12 buckets up over a three week period, checked each day . The end result is a bit less than 1.5 liters of syrup. Not good. Little more than a calorie deficit treat for later in the year.

Part of me sharing this is for “Expectation adjustment”.

Now, If I am going back to that Adapters game of  “How do I keep 4 extra families alive over the first winter?”, what I have learned is that the only way to make this useful is, A- I would substantially need to ramp up collection, at least ten fold, and B- (this is my big insight) I would completely bypass processing to syrup.

We would directly drink the slightly sweetened tree water, as if it were juice. This way we get the carbohydrates, with the bonus of any live nutrients not killed by the boiling. You have to drink water anyhow. Might as well get nutrient fortified energy while doing it.

(as a bonus, deer have started to use the paths I cut, so this helps direct them where I want them or at least know where they will be. Do your trail building in the late fall, when you are at your healthiest. Oh joy. One more fall job)

Speaking of which, RE passed this old gem along to me when we were first chatting about billhooks. Worth a look.

A Lot of the same tools we have been talking about for low tec wood energy production are there. They’ve been in use for quite a while… and I just happened to have a few of them around the farm


The Rare item worth scouring the antiques stores for is the Forester, Heavy Duty Brush Cutters. I put the PowerGear 2 beside it for comparison. The Fiskars have been working great. The complex gearing really takes the damaging torc off the bars. Still, it cant handle what that Forester can, by a long shot. From the days when people made Real Tools and not cheap disposable consumer products. If your life depends on it to cut small diameter firewood in bulk, which would you trust your families life with? Someone get to work, building those two tools into something new.

One last though on getting energy from tree juice. Maples aren’t the only ones producing this.

22 Trees That Can Be Tapped For Sap And Syrup

I think I will experiment with birch next year. I hear you tap them after the maples are done. One more, one last though. Since I would have to substantially ramp up production, its best if I experiment with creating improvised taps from tubing or pipes, since their is plenty of that scrap around.

With all that said, I think that’s all of my apocalyptic wood people can fit in. Phrasing. 5 articles is enough. We shall now bask in the afterglow.

But I do have a tendency to spoil the moment…

Anthropomorphic climate change is messing up tree sugar production. A lot of Canadian maple syrup producers went belly up last year because there weren’t those essential temperatures for production.

I hummed and hawed about using this guy. He’s a Suburban Yuppy Prepper. Not an Adapter. Still, he is one of the few that doesn’t really deserve my full usual wrath. Manly because he is not a Dick. He’s a moderate prepper. We just navigate differently. I suppose he has the distinct disadvantage of being an Albertan and deserves my pity. Budup Dup.

I’m letting him off way too easy, but sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my friend. That and the whole Canadian manners thing.

What to pay attention to is the 3% compounding interest. Tighty Whitey Rightys have already been trained in this. Compound interest over time. 3%, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192%, etc.  I also agree with him that Carbon Taxing is Greenwashing. It’s still, pay to pollute. The rich still get to pollute at will while monopolizing wealth. Everyone else gets too poor to live. Nothing changes. We all die as a result.

Many people will think I am a Negative Nelly because I wont back the “Hope and Change” crew or the “Solar and Wind and Technology will save us” so we can keep driving to business as usual, growth is progress, Kumbia Land.

We have the technology. All we need to do is back peddle  on the whole industrial revolution. Keep the ancient carbon in the ground. No more oil. No more coal. No more strip mining resources. No more shipping stuff around the planet. Period. Done. It’s that simple.

No government is going to do that because the moment they go back by even a few percentage points, the whole house of card crumbles and 90 percent of the people starve to death, slowly, painfully and revolutionally. No government is going to voluntarily put their head in the guillotine. So just get that idea out of your head.

If governments actually gave a shit about you, I have some recommendations for what they “could” do with your tax dollars that would be a realistic disaster plan. They would have to start a mass breading program of draft horses and oxen. Maybe even lamas and donkeys. And they would have to do it in TOP SECRET because NOBODY would be willing to fund this. They would have to start secretly buying up all the failed malls and rural school building and start filling them with wheat as a strategic grain reserves, just like in the days of the Pharaohs or medieval kingdoms. Maybe fill up some of those retired missile silos. Aint going to happen.

And this weeks Bonus Read from Gail Tverberg at Our Finite World-


One last thought. Canadian Prepper had also recommended that the best way to avoid being a crazy prepper… is to go dancing occasionally. It aint just me. Speaking of which, for those that missed it in the title, last article, I borrowed the title from feminist, atheist, anarchist,  Emma Goldman, from her famous quote somewhere around 1931..

If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.
A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having.
If there won’t be dancing at the revolution, I’m not coming.

Sooo…… How does DJ-C5 top the music already presented. Dead Can Dance comes to mind. That song they always use in apocalyptic movies, the moment people realize just how fucked the reality of it is.

Well, that’s a bit of a downer. How about something more danceable.

Double Tap

This is C5, Transmitting to you from the Dark Green Mountain, bringing to you essential skills for you and your children’s future.

If you are receiving this broadcast, YOU are the Rebel Alliance.


The Tip Jar is at the top of the page, where it says “Giving Just The TIP”. Tips get used to improve, learn more through trial and error,  and then share that knowledge.


Hang on Bitches. I’ve got a last minute bonus video by one of my favorite news sources. Hum? Where have I heard this before?











If I Cant Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Apocalypse

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 19, 2019

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With your Host, Category5.


You come here for Survival Skills. Wrong word. Skills for Adaptation. For essential Apocalyptic Adapter skill sets.

My advice and homework assignment today is …. Go dancing.

Coming out of this winter, I have been feeling like a car wreck. Winter started at least a month early and is ending at least a month late.

I’ve just finished the years firewood. Its bucked, split and stacked under cover to begin drying. Since you know when I started the C5 Gets Wood series, you’ve got a pretty good idea of how much of life this takes up… and that you will have to perform that every single year of your post apocalyptic life. Speaking of which, I better get up on the roof the next decent day and clean the creosote out of the stove pipe… again.

Going from a winter full stop, to a spring-ish, lift, carry, stack, buck more, repeat… you get the idea, pretty much I have used every muscle group. Ive got that burning sensation over my entire body. I’ll muscle up over the next few months… then lose most of it over the winter. You are never going to catch me in a gym. Creepy places for people that aren’t Adapting. If you have to cut your own wood, dig your own garden, do repairs and, goddess forbid, put in a winters worth of hay with a scythe… you get the idea. No need for lifting weights and doing squats. All this stuff called Adapting, you are going to have to do it all again next year and the year after that.

Enough intro. Go dancing. Its fun. It makes your body feel good. People have been doing it for ever. It’s part of being human. In many traditions, it is worship. It’s a group unifier.

Theology joke coming right up. Why don’t Baptists have sex standing up? Because it might lead to dancing. Budupt dup.

I’m going heavy on the DJ-C5 this round. Lets go back into the past for the majic age of dancing through the apocalypse. I mean the 80s. Stick with me here. I’m going some place.

Before everyone became addicted to the internet, they needed something to do with their evenings. Long before our parents became addicted to TV, deep into our past, people would come together to stare into the fire for warmth. There they would share news, connect with the tribe as to what had happened that day, retell the ancient epic stories. They would sing the shared songs… and dance.

I hear millennials staring at their smartphones cant even be bothered to Fuck anymore. And everyone is facing profound loneliness and disconnection.

Todays Bonus Reads come from Chris Martenson.  Your electronics were designed to get you addicted-

Double Tap

For all you Bitch Boomers complaining about Millennials, kids nowadays, this sums up their demotivated lives. This part two is behind a paywall… but reading the free intro is really all you need to sum it up-

As a Gen-Xer, heavy on the X, we were just a bit ahead of the curve. From Johnny Rotten singing, “No Future! No Future Now!” to The Ramones singing, “I wanna be sedated”.

The “alternative music scene” was a dark reaction against fluff music being pushed by corporate sponsors. It encouraged you to dance… and you didn’t even need a partner. It was a good workout. And it was cathartic. You could be angry, depressed and dance at the same time. The endorphins would keep you going for a few days, facing shit jobs and poverty and no future.

Funny how it is classic rock now, for people that weren’t even there. Why do people even know who Trent Reznor is?

My health hasn’t been good this winter. There. It’s said. Oldish age has hit hard as well as the consequences of past trauma and addictions. My lungs are pretty fucked at this point.

MrsC5 has been feeling the same but for different reasons.

I’m getting to the Adaptive Survival advice. Be patient whipper snappers.

There are two things I miss from city life. Good ethnic food… and dance clubs. Sure, bush folk do have a tradition of dancing to stay connected, healthy and happy. And sure, there is the whole hippy ecstatic dancing thing and the much more traditional to this region, celtic, ceilidh, Kitchen party. Heavy on the fiddles.

Personally, I’ld rather jam chopsticks into my ears than dance to any of that stuff. Either way, I have realized, that to stay here… and not die, I need to dance again. Beyond the cardiovascular. To stretch out the muscles that atrophy over the winter, especially crouched over a computer. For those, head bowed to the smartphone with couched shoulders… posture leads depression. Stand tall, throw your shoulders back, lift your chin and look around. Your mental and physical state will return, with the bonus of that this posture of confidence is subconsciously attractive to the opposite sex. If you have to, fake it till you make it. It will eventually become a habit.

Some of you will remember my very non prepper traditional statement… to confound,  amuse, and enrage the dimwitted survivalists-

C5 Rule of Survival- The single greatest survival skillset is… envelope please… the Dinner party.

That has been paying off well. I have a group of friends… that I like to party with. Bonds have been made. Now it’s time to go to the next step of Adaption. Luckily friends were coming to the same conclusion. A friend said they want to clean out the garage and start regular dance parties. This has my C5, Adapters seal of approval. We may be getting old… but it seems to me that the best way to face the apocalypse is on out feet. Together. Reinforcing trust and social bonds. You can be mourning for the state of the world or you can be dancing. Your choice. Which do you think will make you better psychologically prepared to live in it. Bring on The post apocalyptic dance parties.

Do you know why I started this post with that video at the top of the page. Sure, it’s got the creepy but cool factor. And sure, I have been feeling like a car wreck…. but if you full body dance like that, its going to stretch out any tense muscles restricting blood flow and oxygen.  Fuck yoga or martial arts stretching or massages. Dancing will get you limber wile having fun. And it will keep you from being a crazy, antisocial survivalist. BING.

So, How did I get to this post. In the previous post, I ended it with the song  UMAI by Shireen. Someone new to me. I found myself listening to it several times to catch the words of this post apocalyptic song. The words that caught my attention were , “And you will pray… Instead I will give you my storm. I will give you hell. I will tear out your trees, Sweep up the seas and destroy your fields…”. Well that sums up what this blog is about… and the hugely damaging winds happening at the time reinforced it. Plus I had been thinking we need to translate some of the old industrial goth metal to be able to be played acoustic around a fire, for collective post apocalyptic singing and dancing, to get through the collapse of the industrial age…

Then this showed up in my music feed. I gave it a listen, mostly for the goth apocalypse garb… and was shocked. How did I miss this? Gary Newman? Not cool. But the old geezer hooked up with TRENT FUCKING REZNOR from Nine Inch Nails and totally recreated himself. This had been going on for a while. That’s what I get for leaving society. If this old guy kicked back from the retirement home… I guess there is still hope for me… if I get my sorry ass out of this seat and dance out my rage.

Well he won’t be the first. Bowie also hooked up with Trent Reznor before he died for this very apropos, prophetic song.

I was sold on Nine Inch Nail from the unbowed rage, on first hearing Head Like A Hole. It was dance and worship music for me. Prayers of confrontation against the ancient god Mammon, that controls industrial capitalism. “I’d rather die than give you control”. I’ts the song I would crank up each time I quit a pathetic slave job and drove off in search of an apocalypse survivable location.

So, GET UP! GET ON YOUR FEET! You can stay crouched over if you want to. You can stay bowed… or you can move.

And in the fashion of this blog, my thoughts, telling the Survivalist Prepper movements to repent and get their shit together because it has been stolen by Moloch and Mammon worshipers and made useless to Actual Survival.

Get up on your feet and lets pray together.

Hallelujah!, brothers and sisters of the apocalypse. Shout out that old devil.

And if my music tastes aren’t your cup of tea, or herbal modifier, find what you love and dance to that.

Lets sum up. Cut fire wood. Dig gardens. Repair and build against storms. Dance when you can. Find others to dance through the apocalypse with.


This is C5, transmitting on the Dark Green Mountain. Still un-bought. Still un-bowed.

If you are receiving this broadcast, YOU are The Rebel Alliance.
















This time it’s personal…

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 12, 2019

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With your host, Category5.


Do you ever find yourself feeling like this guy?

No? I guess it’s just me.

I could have been much more well known if I had stayed on Youtube… or not. What’s going on in my brain and what comes out of my mouth are two completely different things.  C5 dont talk good.

You wont be able to count on me for an inspiring motivational rallying speech to the troops. Or to be a public teacher  of my thoughts and skills. The simple act of opening my mouth is generally enough to repel people.

So, it has come as a surprise to everyone that this form of communication has sort of worked for me. I get a bit more time to think about what I am trying to say. It slows down my thought processes enough that I can communicate in Human.

I’m far less likely to have the first words coming out of my mouth be ‘Poop Train’.

For me, it’s just best to stay out of the worlds way… and see civilization occasionally as a twisted tourist destination. A Dystopian Disney Land. If I stay too long, I generally want to release the Ebola virus and let nature take its course.

But for most of my readers that haven’t already, it’s just best to find that middle ground. With that said, Irv Mills put out his latest, Part 8, in the Responding to Collapse series. There is really good stuff in it. Ive got to throw in my big C5 seal of approval on this one.

On our end, the weather has finally made that change. Good thing because I was definitely at wits end.   It’s once again that time of  year when we step outside, look around and say… “What a shithole” and begin assessing all the winter damage that needs to be repaired.

Its that time of year to say the C5 Doomsteaders Prayer-

To whom it may concern, please don’t let me have a heart attack this year.

Lead us not into debilitating power tool related injuries, nor have any falls off anything that might break bones.

And deliver us from Cancer diagnosis.


Fuck it. I’m not in a very Typey mood lately. I’m going to pass on giving any survival advice this round. All I have been doing is Bucking, Splitting, Hauling and Stacking next years firewood anyhow. Not very interesting.

Curiously though…. I do wonder if this recent post had anything to do with my Apocalyptic Wood series. Things that make me go hum. Billhooks and Pollards and Coppice, Oh My!

I’m just going to be presenting others work this round in that mixed media reporting you have gotten used to… about stuff I have previously talked about… and has been on my mind lately, generally ruining my mood.

To start, I would say it is now confirmed that the US caused the Venezuela power outage. Good, full report here.

“The first stage, according to Dominguez, was the hacking the main computer and control systems. These systems would have been electronically assaulted, “leaving all computer screens black,” said the President. On Monday the 11th, Maduro also indicated that the attacks were made from Houston and Chicago, reaffirming that the US government itself was responsible for the cyber attack.”

“The second stage, Dominguez said, consisted of the use of electromagnetic pulse devices. Highly sophisticated devices of electronic warfare were aimed at the transmission systems and the control platform, disabling them and inducing the system to overload and fail.”

“The third stage was a direct physical attack to the intermediate platforms of electric distribution. There were five attacks on four substations, with little time between each one them; they were carried out simultaneously to stabilize the general electricity supply.”

And just in case you missed it, Chinese troops have arrived  in Venezuela this week, following Russian troops the week before. (edit a few hours later. This turned out to be fake news. Link removed. Solved)

Soooo…..How did we get here?

And how did Right wing  Fascism and all these acts of Terrorism happen so quickly?  It’s these douche canoes. The Koch Brothers and an underground group of billionaires that did a stealth coup of the US… and too a lesser degree Canada. Bring out the gimp.

part 2

part 3

You all know this quote. Maybe not.

and my favorite smart guy of the moment.


Favorite line “Three Nazis walk into a BAR. They don’t get up”. That is MY position. Period.

People philosophize all the time about, How did Nazi Germany happen?

One third of the population dehumanized one third of the population while one third of the population did nothing. And here we are again, watching it in real time. Or ignoring it in real time.

There is only one way I can think of to stop it… and unfortunately… it’s not gun control.

A few years old but you get the idea.

With that unpleasantness said…

Lets end this with a piece of music passed along from Mythos.

This is C5 on the Dark Green Mountain, transmitting from Koch Brothers/US Occupied Canada. If you are receiving this broadcast, YOU are the Rebel Alliance.



Just Another Day on the Farm – A conversation with FarmGal

C5 Serves Up a Triple Decker Collapse Shit Sandwich

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 4, 2019

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Deck 1 ↓

C5’s Incredibly Boring Food Storage

food 1

With you Host, Category5.


Come on inside today for a tour. Shake off your boots and warm up by the fire.

It’s been a LONG and psychologically challenging winter. Still, I can feel the sun creeping back with my improving mood. Even with the cold, we are getting a few hours of heating from the greenhouse being pumped into the house.  Our wood supply should run out in the next couple of days. No worries. We keep an extra years supply of 5 year seasoned hardwood for just this reason. Next winters wood is piled up out front to begin drying. I think I will top it up a bit more. I hear, people are crying out on crackbook to find seasoned wood because they ran out. Winter started early, here.

In the same way, our food storage is shrinking this time of year… but it is worth a look, just to de-mystify the idea to others. To make it seem less weird.

I have mentioned several times, C5’s F5’s of Adaptation. Food Storage. Food Production. Firewood. Fuel Storage (short term) and Friends (long term)

We sort of have our own grocery store in the back room that we pull from and re stock when loss leader sales show up. Hold that thought. We will get back to that at the end of the tour.

Might as well start in the kitchen…  walking to the fridge. Quick grab stuff. We are not the most organized people. The glass containers keep mice out and are not air or moisture permeable. I’ll grab any commercial sized pickle jars when I can find them.

food 2

I was looking in the fridge and that made me say, WOW, it must be getting close to the end of winter. Its not as packed as it usually is. This is MrsC5s domain. It’s always a mystery as to what is in there and I can never find anything… but nothing goes to waste. We continue to use what others would throw out. There is still veggies in there from last falls small harvest. They might not look pretty but they are still cookable.

food 3

Its a barren wasteland in there. LOL. A full fridge uses less energy, BTW. I had hopped to show you what a fully utilized fridge looked like but I missed the opportunity. Take this, then cram another third into it.

With the returning light, the chickens are really pushing out the eggs at this point after the winter of being squeezed shut. About 6 a day. I will be sick of eggs very soon.

The photo up top of the article is the guest bedroom. I cant believe we actually have a guest bedroom, considering my past of living in a van and such. Still, it’s not exactly Martha Stuart living. I think of it as emergency refugee housing. Lets head there next.

But before we can even get there we have to get through the hallway.

food 4

Home canned stuff is really light this year since we lost much of last years harvest. Just dismal. We will see how this year goes… but I am expecting it to be challenging.

Now lets go see the refugee room. Its a little tight. If you come here as a refugee, all you can expect is a bed. Curtains flip down over the food though, to make it a bit more nice in there. Plus it keeps light down which degrades some food nutrition.

food 5

Now, the guest bed is a bit higher than most beds. That is because it sits on top of these.

food 6

Not a good shot but you get the idea. This is the long term storage stuff. Properly stored in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, in food grade buckets to keep the mice out. Rice. Beans. Animal grade wheat berries. Spaghetti.

Now, before anyone says anything, we are going to be eating all of this. We generally don’t need stuff with a 25 year shelf life because we are rotating through it. Except for the long term stuff, most of this is cycled through with 2 years.  I would love a bunch of freeze dried stuff that just sits there and looks pretty…but it is outside our price range.  Very little of this was bought at full price. Most of it was AT LEAST half price. We got it when it was on sale. We will eat it. Then we will replace it when we find it on sale again. It only seems odd because you have been paying some other corporate fuck to be storing it for you, in warehouses to be doled out by “Just in time, delivery”. What could possibly go wrong?

The days of having a larder, root cellar, butcher and cool room, smoke house, spring house or ice storage house are now gone,  lost arts, and are slipping out of human memory… though that was once just normal life. We gave that all away for the illusion of wealth and “progress”. How is that working out for you?

The best WE personally can pull off  is what you see. I’m sort of proud of it. It might seem excessive but it really wasn’t all that expensive. We built it up over time and got good at spotting sales. It was way less than one of your vacations or house renos. Way less. We simply missed one vacation and bought food security instead. That is not quite true. We didn’t throw the money away. We just got ahead of the game a bit. The grocery money is still right there, waiting to be eaten, in its cycle.

The next freak out I might hear would be someone screaming, “HORDING!!!!! Don’t you know that other kids are starving in Japan?”


Oh please. We didn’t build this during a food shortage, taking it from others mouths. You just decided to buy some other expensive things on credit instead, while we squirreled away a few cans here. A few jars there. And if things go tits up, we are one less person you need to get food to. We can be proactive and help others.

Speaking of the proactive part. Some people Game out in their heads, how they will feed themselves in a collapse. Because we have at least a year covered, I play a much more advanced game in my head. Hold that thought.

I mentioned in a previous post, that this is our buffer against a failed harvest or collapsed food system inputs. This buys us a year to substantially ramp up other food systems we have been growing in experience with. But if we take on even one more couple, that halves our time… and becomes untenable. We would all die slow.

With that said… I have a plan. I like to think it’s what you would be expecting from me and how I use my experience and grey matter. I have been Gaming this out in my head for years. It’s my mental popcorn.

In my Game, I work through, in my head, how to keep 4 other families alive… indefinitely. And in this mental game, I don’t start in the spring. I start at the beginning of winter. Worst case scenario. 6 months of winter before we can even get at production.

It’s my rubix cube. Just in case you ever wonder what is going on in that unusual head of C5. I try to solve impossible problems and I have been doing this for ever. As a teen, I survived school internment by Gaming out how to survive a nuclear war without a fallout shelter or supplies. That makes feeding 10 people on 2 peoples food much easier. Difficult… but it’s what I do.

That is what I mean by being proactive.

Lets move on with the tour. We are not done yet. To the laundry room.

food 7

Oh, My poor onions. We are defiantly going to run out of them before next harvest comes in. I suppose it’s important to tell people, I am writing this on March 7 so you understand where we are in the storage cycle. And the bigger totes are for bulkier foods, once again to keep mice out. Plus they stack well. A pain to get access to, though.

I just had Mythos over and he went, “WOW. You still have Zukini”. This is the value of proper sun hardening them, setting them in the greenhouse to finish instead of leaving them in the field.

food 8

Well, I guess the last ones are coming up on 5- 6 months of storage. That took some practice.

Potatoes are also light (and small) this year because of the mid summer heat wave and drought. Squashes are just tucked into any available crevice. I just discovered these.

food 9

Butternut squashes are the food of the apocalypse, dudes and dudetts. Trust me on this. During all the mid winter parties we went to, it was becoming a joke. Some version of squash soup showed up at every single one of them. I am sick of squash soup… but I heard the peanut satay squash stew was to die for. I passed on it because I was already squashed. We usually still have a few as the next harvest is ready to be gathered.

Almost done. Back to the mysterious no go zone of MrsC5. I hear there is still a lot of Mr Woo, the giant pig, still in there. I wouldn’t know. I have been kicked out of the freezer.

food 10

Always packed, every inch… and if you look carefully, anything store bought in there has a 50 percent off sticker on it. You will also notice the second mini freezer. We only use that late summer to fall when we have abundant solar. Part of food processing. Frozen tomatoes and grapes and such. A freeze helps get skins off before canning. Plus we can hold off some canning until we have more time.

And if, for some reason, electrical is taken out, we have more than 100 canning jars ready to go and much of this can be saved. I just noticed we still have a lot of last years corn harvest in there. Must eat that.

Soooo…..When I am talking about the Adapters Principle, MAKE FOOD FIRST AGAIN, you can see I am not talking out of my ass. I prefer to show instead of just tell.

And this concludes our post apocalyptic food tour. Please come again. Tell your friends. Pick up some eggs from the gift shop on your way out. Don’t forget to put a TIP in the donation box by door, where it says,”Giving Just The Tip”. And bundle up. It’s only minus 17c with the wind chill, outside. I’m glad for the late dump of snow though. When spring hits, it will hit fast and I want that water to store in the soil for as long as possible. I am expecting more drought this year.

One last thought before you go, to take with you. A few months back, Farmgal put out a warning to her readers. She mentioned that she hadn’t been finding the loss leader sales as much this year, and it was time to give up, break down and buy food at regular cost. I agree. It’s what I have noticed as well… and I was just waiting for the right opportunity to tell people. Thus, this tour. I am still pulling off 50% off deals in the perishables. We are kick ass at that skill. But on other non perishables, the sales haven’t been all that good, while regular prices rise and purchasing power lowers. Just in case you forgot about all that heat and drought last year, reducing crops. And while we have been freezing because of the Northern oscillation faltering, on the other side of the planet, Australia was getting cooked…then flooded… then cooked again. Fish dying. Even the Kangaroos…and Camels were dropping dead… and not in small amounts.


Bonus reads are a little lite this post. This one is just to badger a previous point-

This one is also a bit lite. But it is also to badgers a previous point. I like the cover photo though… and the sub title. “Food System Adaptations to the Great Simplification-

And how about ending this episode with another DJ-C5 song… once again from the Danish symphony, taking me way back to the original Blade Runner soundtrack. A fave. Obviously someone else’s as well.

And I missed the opportunity, last post, for some Bob Marley, with the Jamaica, The Yard and Trench Town reference. I never liked Marley before that. But After… I found a huge respect for the man, that he could find so much positivity wile living in such a rough place. And that is why Marley gets his place in the Post Apocalyptic soundtrack.

Movie scenes I can relate to. “I’ve seen things… ”


My Thoughts Have Been Dark Of Late

With your Host, Category5.


Where does one begin a post like this. Might as well jump right in. Roll the video.

This one is worth blowing up to full screen.

On first glance, this video might appear as a dark image of some future dystopia. Take off the soft filter, separated from the retro artistry and you realize we are already living in that world. We just got used to it.

Another week. Another mass shooting by another right wing terrorist.

Sucks to be right all the time.

Expect more of that going forward.

Readers have gotten used to my ability to find humor in the face of our rather dark future. To stand in front of the Gods, chuck an empty beer bottle at them and say, “Did you come to take me or are we just going to stand here and jerk each other off. Get on with it”.

I deal with a lot of what other people consider too scary to look at. It doesn’t get me down when I talk about a future of mass starvation. A climate too fucked up for regular agriculture. Failing Economic structures. Mass migration. Water too polluted to drink. Fish too polluted to eat. Air too polluted to breath. Jobs too immoral to work. Multi generational dept slavery. Oceans too acidic to support the bottom of the food chain. Topsoil devoid of life that washes or blows away. Deserts where there was once forest. Having to walk past starving children with distended tummies, knowing they will be dead in a few days. Deliberately not helping, for survival nessesity… and having to learn to live with the mental illness, PTSD and constant desire for suicide in the years that will follow that necessary hard choice…

And I speak of all this matter of factually. None of this phases me because it is simply the world I saw coming since childhood. Since I first grasped how exponential growth worked.

But I have been struggling this year as the spring approaches. I just cant find the inner gumption to get on with all the hard work that goes into building the next years upgrades to the doomstead.

If you were to ask me, what got under my skin, what made me depressed, it would be watching the U.S. coup of Venezuela. The sheer audacity and blatantness of it. So soon after the lies of Iraq, Syria and Libya. And they cant even bother to come up with good war propaganda this round because the know they don’t need to. They can blatantly say say they are going to invade because they want the oil. And in true corporate gangster fashion blatantly say,  What’cha going to do about it?  They can look me in the eye and call me Bitch to my face. And do you know what? They are Right. Figuratively and Literally. When did Canada, Europe… and most of the rest of the world become the U.S.’s Bitch?

I have even thought of ending my articles from now on with, “This is C5, coming to you from Koch Brothers/U.S. occupied Canada. If you are receiving this, You are The Rebel Alliance.”

And this blog is sort of my post apocalyptic, mixed media, radio show, to keep you informed, keep your spirits up, and give out practical Adapter survival skills to help people through all this. It’s not so I survive. That ship has sailed. My prime has passed. I am a heart attack or cancer diagnosis waiting to happen. I’m only doing this to give a few of the younger generation a fighting chance.

We cant beat them. All we can do is Dig Deep, Grow Food and Outlast Them. Hold Fast until the Empire has bankrupted themselves. Pre-position yourself and stay out of the way of the lumbering giant. Fight if you have to.  Adapt to the Chaos that follows.

make us great agan sign of beast

It seems that the Empire’s war strategy is Economic Sanctions to starve the populations of anyone that says “No”. So I suppose, it needs to be added,  “And they shall not buy or sell unless they have the mark of the beast”.

Being that starving a population is a WAR CRIME, The Empire has declared that  they will now punish anyone starting a war crimes investigation of them. I wish I was making this up. I wish this was conspiracy theory… but they are blabbing about it openly, to our faces, as a threat.

I guess it’s time to start the Bonus Reads early this round and you will want to read them all.

And if you have fallen for any of the corporate media story being pushed about Venezuela (… You know, This is what Socialist do, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Funders of Terrorism, Bringing Democracy, They are tossing Babies from incubators…shit)  its time for you to get caught up.

I’m surprised this was so hard to find. I couldn’t even get this for you with visuals. One of the most profound, predictive, dystopias from early Sci Fi that is coming true. From Rollerball. (1975)

Lets get back to that latest blood letting by the Koch’s aryan army and Terrorist for Trump brigade.

For your next bonus read, I need to introduce you to Surly over at The Doomstead Diner. I’m glad others have been getting the way I have been feeling. “A Bloody Week In Doom”-


You can find more dailyish Surly News here.

And just in case you think I am unfairly taring every righty leaning moderate with the same barrel cleaning brush, lets here from the other angle of the dangle. “Now is the time of Monsters”-

And tighty whitey righty Douche Canoes, immediately came out with conspiracy theories that this was a conspiracy, false flag attack by lefties “because they are crazy like that”(Rush Limp-bah) to discredit conservatives… that go right back to talking about killing minorities and lefties. How stupid do you need to be? This isn’t free speech. It’s complicity. It’s enabling. It’s truly embarrassing that those of us in the know, even have to put out an article like this … or a video like this

Double Tap


Well, lets move on to some of those practical Adapter skills to keep you going during the dark days ahead. This one is by Reader Request. I’ll never really know what articles will resonate with readers in advance. I thought the “C5 Gets Apocalyptic Wood From Faggots” article was really practical stuff. But it was the “C5’s Extremely Boring Food Storage” that instantly had people racing to send a donation… just so they could send a note with it. Demands were made as to, how the heck do I still have Zucchinis. I suppose this merits a photo. Hang on. Ill go haul out some gourds and grab the camera.

life and death

(before I forget, A big thanks CR ,JT and TM, for the donations. I put it towards a lite electric chainsaw for all that coppice wood and removing combustibles near the house. As Smokey the Bear would say, “The ass you save might be My Own”)

One Tipper wrote, “You did it- you went ahead and showed us yours ;)…I don’t know if you do reader requests,  but I would love the details of how you cured the zucchini for storage”.

For those missing the joke, I have long since threatened to go full frontal on this blog if I need to. It’s nice to know that strange women still want to see my penis. Probably a few men as well. I was about to mention peoples fascination with Zucchinis… but, inapropes, dude.

Another Tipper wrote,”cant comment so doing this. Don’t leave us hanging! 1) explain how you harden your zukes. 2) explain your feed four families on two people game plan. Very interested in your thought process on that! Others of us enjoy similar mental exercises”.

Oh, good. It’s not just me. Inappropriate comment on what mental games  harden my zuke.

I’ll pass on the feeding 4 families game, this time, since we are getting too long already  and still have much to cover.

Hardening my Zukes. Keeping my Gourds engorged. First off, its important to point out that I am not an expert… on much of anything. I don’t know the right heats or moisture. I can only tell what I have done and observed. To start, in the past, we couldn’t save Zukes much past chrismas. They are softer than other squashes or pumpkins so that is why they go faster… and thus people interest on why I still have some on March 19. Lets walk through it.

To start, I don’t understand why people eat the small ones. It’s the same Zucchini as the small ones. This is just what they grow up to be. Once it is big, its more clear that it is a gourd or squash. I have even had a few cross pollinate with pumpkins for a hybrid. Keep that in mind when deciding what and where you are going to plant, if you wish to keep a seed strain. We have unpredictable frosts here and that is only going to get worse as heat pushes cold air out of the arctic, and regular northern oscillation goes haywire. Every possible frost event, I am out their tossing plastic sheets and old bedding sheets over the plants. If you want your gourds to last, you dont want frost damage. Their leaves may absorb some of the damage and die to protect its seed balls. That is what a gourd is. A protector and feeder of the seeds, so it can live again. To avoid frost damage, any worry of a frost has me cutting the stem (as long as possible) and bringing them inside the greenhouse. That is just to get them out of the frost and off the dirt with all its active decomposing bacteria.

Fist thing to understand about hardening, is that the squash or pumpkin is still alive and growing. Not in size, but its skin is healing up any nicks or damage like a scab. It’s trying to close off any place that bacteria will enter, causing it to rot. A bonus is happening in the greenhouse in that solar radiation is nuking that bacteria dead. I want to leave them there as long as possible… until  I get to the next period of fear. That moment when I fear it might freeze in the greenhouse. Then they come in the house and are left by the windows. I want grow time for as long as possible. Then they go into a cool dark room to hibernate.   One last thing to keep in mind, because they are still breathing out moisture. You do not want them to be touching each other or even sitting  on an unbreathing surface. These are the places where bacteria may re establish. Over time, gords will become less sweet as they are feeding on the sugars to stay alive.

One more, one last thing. You want to be able to regularly observe your gourds. As soon as you see a blemish, that is when its time to use it. If you miss it, it will quickly go to mushy, drippy mess.

And one, one more last thing. Dont forget that the reason its a gord is because it is basically a ball sack. The seeds are good to go for next years planting. Sploosh.


I realized, last post, that I’ve got a good little scam going… by accident. You folks know I am allergic to commenters. Sooo…. If you want to talk to me… or at least At Me, the only way to do it is to send me a TIP. LOL. It makes me feel like one of those greasy tel-evangelists. “If you sends a donation today, I will take your beseechments directly to the gods of C5 and pray’a protection from the dark lords of apocalypse, over ya!” Yeesh. That made me feel dirty enough for a shower.

I’ll never feel fully comfortable with the donations part, but I am working my way into that, if I am putting this much effort into typing, that it is ok to get paid for it. Then reuse that into appropriate upgrades. Speaking of which, The electric chainsaw I mentioned above, showed up since I started this post 8 hours ago. I’m sure I’ll have something to say about it. I had meant to do starter reviews on those two cleavers in the photo with the zucchinis… But there is already a full article here. Another time.

Noooo, cant do it. The Cold Steel Bear Bowie Machete (not to be confused with the cheaper model) was awesome in use. I was blown away. Right tool for the job. A couple reservations to talk about next time but more than good enough to recommend for brush clearing.

Stepping past the darkness of Douchey McMassMurderer and his corporate and state sponsors. This writing about something useful has temporarily lightened my mood…

and this happened yesterday. I’m spreading the Woo Woo.

real hope and change

Coming right down on the other urban refugee housing I put up their at the top of the hill. Teeny tiny trailer home… with a million dollar view. Plus the deer are sometimes up there so it will make a great hunting blind as well with no shortage of comfort. I’ll just have to get a covered salt lick up there and slowly start moving it closer to the trailer as a reserve food, meat source, while they last. Wandering the over hunted woods, right at the moment the deer are the most freaked and wary,  using up calories, right when you need to be conserving calories… not a great survival plan.  That’s one of my tricks in the Feeding Four Families through the first winter, game. More later.

Don’t forget the bonus reads I added…lest I stop adding them

Light up the darkness. If that doesn’t work Track em down, knock em down and lay the boots to their head. Trumps biker army, brown shirts? Pfft. My grandfather hit the beach in Holland, The Last Time that problem needed to be solved. Didn’t talk about it after. He would roll over in his grave, seeing it so close to home.

Sticking with last weeks theme, Marley deserves a more Dark Green Mountain appropriate encore.

This is C5, broadcasting from……..

If you are receiving this signal, YOU Are the……….


Deck 3 ↓




C5 Still Gets Apocalyptic Wood-It Just Takes More Imagination And Effort- P-II and 1/2

work 3

With you Host, Category5…

…and more inappropriate  double-entendre  blog titles. There’s a 3 dollar word to look up.

We continue the Double Penetrating look into getting wood during energy decline. Phrasing. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I am talking about. We are getting in the middle of staying warm during the EROEI apocalypse. (I could keep this up all day… if I only had the stamina. Phrasing. Boom)

This is the fourth article in the “C5 Gets Wood” series. Here is the, sort of, part II and you can find your way backwards from there.

And to think, all of this started because of an online discussion on Billhooks. A European  wood cutting tool that never really got traction across the pond. We will continue to look at some Adult Tools you may not have thought of before for getting wood, when a gas powered chainsaw has ceased to be an option, either because the gas is gone or you cant afford it any longer.

work 4

But before we get there, I want to re visit Mythos and Logos homestead. Remember this?

inside 3 doc

This is an extremely simple rocket mass heater. (Stay tuned to the end. I have a surprise give away for a couple of people)  They heat their very small home… with sticks. Not logs. A rocket mass heater is a much more efficient burner of wood than a woodstove. Plus it has the bonus of being able to be made by hand. Double plus, it burns the stuff that loggers wouldn’t even bother to pick up. The stuff people just make burn piles of.

tiny hot 4 docThis is Mythos and Logos wood pile. They mainly use up all the forest wood they clean up, while reducing forest fire combustible material near their home. Old forests rarely burn and when they do, the big trees usually survive. Its all these second, third and fifth cutting, clear cuts, that are raging infernos waiting to happen that kill everything, all the way down to soil life.   One last past photo.

tiny hot 2 doc

And this is their incredibly impressive oven, that also heats the mass using those same waste branches.

Now, I mentioned I had some product reviews that needed to be done. I chose very specific products after long careful consideration. It took me months before making a purchase. Years in some cases. I want to share my reasoning on each purchase. The last thing Preppers/Survivalists/Adaperts need to hear is, “buy more stuff”. I have spent about 500 canadian bucks lately, and, lets face it, an ever increasing percentage of people cant afford to come up with 500$ to cover an emergency, let alone buy consumer goods. And each consumer good, destroys our life support system just a little bit further.

(I wanted to slip in this Bonus Read here because I needed some place to put it and I didn’t want you to miss it. By the, beyond reproachable and very likable Richard Heinberg. One of my heroes of the apocalypse. I got a few good chuckles from this post –  The House Is On FIRE!)

Flooding in the US, Hurricanes in several countries, heat records being broken up north… all in the last couple weeks.

And that new abnormal is permanent. It aint going away. It only gets worse…

….and I needed to buy a few things on Amazon. Boy, It took a “special kind of evil” to think up a monopolistic, local economy destroying, company that is even worse for us than Walmart. Good Job Evil. At least at walmart you get to walk a bit.

Before we get to the hacking tools… I’m fully aware of the irony of in that in attempting to get away from chainsaw dependence… I bought another chainsaw. A CORDED electric chainsaw. Hear me out.

I’ve shown you all the hand cut-able wood carried up to the house. We also have solar and wind power. The most efficient way to buck all that up to stove size is to wait for a sunny day, put the wood into some gathering device like this, and whip through it.

cut 5

3-4 minutes later

cut 6

Most people don’t have solar… but they do have a car or know someone that does. Inverters that attach to a car battery are also easily available now days. Cars now days are much more efficient than a two stroke engine. My Stihl chainsaw is still indispensable,…

…but two is one and one is none.

cut 2

Also, I’m going to croak at some point. No denying that. The big chainsaw is too much for MrsC5 to handle (it’s starting to get too much for me) but a girl will still need wood (Phrasing). The electric is much lighter and easier to handle. Same issue for all the older folks reading this.

You can see, it’s still a substantial saw. I only reduced about a third the weight. In retrospect, I could have gone for the next size down for our purposes. Too late now.

Its much easier to improvise alternative electrical systems than alternative gas. And nearly impossible to come up with improvised 2-stroke mix. Either way, we have got both covered now.

We, personally,  could not justify the cost of a Stihl electric saw. If you can only spend 100+$, recommended best choice is the Worx WG303.1 14.5 amp.

But we wanted a mid range saw for reliability… and the gem in that range is the Makita UC4051A. Its been going on sale lately for 300$ canadian on Amazon. Deal of the century.

Being cheap ass’ed is an essential Adapters skillset. Following Yuppy Scum Survivalists is a great way to go bankrupt.

“The Best” is the enemy of The Good.

(bonus survival tip- A car and inverter is a much more reliable generator as gas generators often sit unused for years then wont fire when needed)

cut 4

Billhooks have been difficult to get in Cana’ duh. Logos lent me hers for a photo. The only reasonable one we can get here is the one from Lee Valley Tools in the 50$ range which doesn’t seem like a good price for the product. But that’s just me. I wanted some replacement options that do a similar job. Hacking in tight spaces. Cold Steel has done a grand job at low priced, good quality hackers. People can afford these. C5’s cheap ass’edness to the rescue.

C5 Rule of Adaptation- Go small or go home.

The shocking surprise was…

Now, doesn’t that make you feel all manly. Too bad they weren’t thinking about that the best way to not die is to avoid Hypothermia or become a frozen meatsicle for the Donner Diners next party. If it can handle the abuse of cutting though a leg bone without damage, then getting through 1-3 inch green firewood, hedge laying or clearing combustible material near you home…?…Right tool for the job! Plus it is lite enough for MrsC5 to handle, I can swing it all day without getting tired and in its sheath, its not hanging below my knee, so that means it doesnt get in the way when working in the garden or similar jobs on your knees. Phrasing. Boom.

My only problem so far is that the rivet on the snap strap that hold it on the sheath, popped off on the second  wear. Its very sharp and I dont want to accidentally cut myself by it falling out of the sheath. I’ll need to do some tactical sewing like a real man, to re attach it. Good thing I have a sewing awl.

Next, we move onto the Cold Steel Heavy Machete. Even cheaper. Big cut in a small package. Here we see bucking that wood into stove size. You can see the depth of that cut and I didn’t swing hard. This is hardish wood.

cut 1

I Like. I think I will keep it as is, but you can tell from the photo below, that one of the reasons I took the risk of this purchase was that if it didn’t live up to my needs, that I would use it as a blank and cut it down into a much more French or Italian style Billhook. I might even sharpen the back side so I have two different cutting options. With hook for small branch gripping or without for larger chopping.

cut 3

Someone, tell Cold Steel to get on this.

And if it needs to be said, the wood will cut easier when green, but even though it is small wood, you will still need to stack it (covered) and let it season for a year if you want it to burn efficiently. You will also notice, I cut at an angle. It wont cut deep  if you just cut straight into it.

And, if their are issues with these items going forward, I’ll let you know.

It seemed like a smaller post in my head. This has gone on for several days. Looks like I have to come back some other time for… I can hear the groans…. Part 2 and 2/3s- C5 SAW Something That Gave Him Apocalyptic Wood……. Phrasing. Boom.


Continuing last weeks depressing post…

I mentioned in in one of those Bonus Reads… that you probably didn’t read, buy Greg Palast, is that the Venezuela situation can be summed up as….

“People don’t know the Kochs have these giant refineries, some of the biggest in the world, on the Gulf Coast of Texas, in the middle of oilfields. They can’t use Texas oil because it’s not heavy and filthy enough, so they have to take almost all their oil from Venezuela, one of the only places where you get this super heavy oil…. The Kochs have been going crazy – they were losing money at their refinery because of the price.”

Period! Lets continue with that, this Bonus Read- Turning Low EROI Oil Into No EROI Oil.

Top lines- “The second problem with fracking is that the oil recovered is of a lower quality than most conventional crude oil.  Refineries are set up to handle “goldilocks” oil – not too light, not too heavy – in order to optimise production of mid-range fuels like aviation fuel, diesel and kerosene (with petrol/gasoline as a useful waste product).  The trouble with fracking is that it produces too much light oil (including natural gas condensates) and too little of the really useful mid-range oil.  The – apparently unsatisfactory – work around has been to blend US shale oil with Canadian and Venezuelan ultra-heavy oils in an attempt to create something – at additional cost – akin to the sweet crude”.

and- “In the brain-dead commentary sections of the mainstream media, the reason Venezuela is in crisis is simply “socialism;” although those making this crude analysis would reject the similar claim that the crisis in Haiti is “capitalism” or that the travails of Somalia are “libertarianism.””

It’s all about the EROEI folks. All of this. This is why I continue to bring you important Adapter skills like the ones on WOOD above.

Lets sum up. That whole Fracking “MIRACLE” and amerikas fake oil independence. It’s all basically useless oil… unless they control Venezuela and Alberta Canada.

And they have a shit load of money to spend on the best spin doctors, the best media money can buy, the right politicians they bought into office and a zombie population with short memories of their dead or traumatized loved ones and painful anus’s from the last time they were bent over with the right smooth talk of patriotism and the promise of jobs, jobs, jobs.

The only good news is that the human race might be dead soon by their own hands and all this suffering will come to an end. I can picture Buddha and Jesus sharing a joint and trying to figure out how to end this insanity.

…And speaking of progressive Jesus… or Lee Camp… here he is covering…..

….Pretty much, EVERY subject I just talked about a few days before in the last post. Plus he slips in a Dick joke… and a BITCH  joke. Spooky. I had been waiting on the Blackout subject till better info came in… though it seemed pretty obvious to me.

Shall we end this with one of DJ-C5s (and Mythos’s) favorite songs of all time… because of the dip shits in charge of industry and government and monopolized media. In the last post we played “War Pigs”. A great quote was, “I don’t listen to Black Sabbath very often… but when I do, so do my neighbors”. I don’t have neighbors… but on more than one occasion, when I play Industrial Metal… wolves have shown up to listen. True stories.

And don’t forget to stay till the end for the give aways



This is C5 at Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre. Transmitting from Koch Brothers/U.S. Occupied Canada.

If you are receiving this broadcast, YOU are The Rebel Alliance.


The TIP jar is at the top of the page, if you found this helpful, want to support the cause or were simply entertained by my weird one of a kindedness. You can’t get any of this in your nightly corporate news.

But I mentioned something about a give away.  Nicole Alderman from donated 4 codes to give 4 people access to a video  based on a course on Rocket Mass Heaters.

She wrote, “A while back, Paul (Wheaton) gave me some gift codes to the Cob Rocket Mass Heater video (it’s a full-length film). Here’s a link to the video If you want to watch it, I can send you a code.

“Baring doomsday, the code gives the person permanent access. The person does have to make a permies account and be logged in to use the code. To have an account, they’d end up getting an email from us once a month[ish. We don’t share email addresses with anyone, and they can unsubscribe/close their account at anytime, and open their account to watch the video again”.

Thanks, Nicole and Paul.

Here is how this will work. I will leave the comments open. If you send me an Email address, I will send 4 people the code. It will come to me but I will not press the Accept Comment button, so your email isn’t made public. I’ll ignore and erase it after because your email address is none of my business or anyone else’s.

To keep this fair for my readers across the globe, some of which might be asleep at posting,  I’ll write down 4 times, and closest to the time gets it. After that, or if there is a problem I didn’t anticipate, I will then close the comments. No commenting several times allowed.


Category5 Double Feature

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 28, 2019


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Post Apocalyptic Hand Jobs

With your relieved Host, Category5.

Thank goodness, that whole Adapters article is over.

I’m once again taking a mental break from writing for a while until I am re inspired and the mental juices have built up once more till they are ready to explode outwards. I need this winter to be over to get back to working with my hands again and seeing what comes up.

But I am not going to leave you all empty handed.

Here is a series to help get you all through to the end of the winter. Not a hand out but a hand up. The lost arts of post apocalyptic hand jobs from the Irish series “Hands”.

Like the books, World War Z or Dies The Fire, Preppers or Adapters may also know Howard Kunstlers, World Made By Hand. In it, the cult leader negotiates with the town to build clay pipes to get the failed water system running again. This is what the job would look like.

And lets say, we ever get those Draft horses instead of having to eat them during times of starvation, this is what it take to build the carriages.


Or learning transport by water again.

And other stuff

And the real tough job of reclaiming all the old car metal.


And the off shoot series, Patterns

And if that is not enough for you, Survival Acres seems to have got his mojo back and is at it again. Here he his, basically saying a lot of what I had been saying in The Adapters series. Especially him saying, “Survivalism is dead. It doesn’t exist anymore”.

And considering the MAKE FOOD FIRST AGAIN adapters principal, you should all probably sign up for this

And one last thoughtful bonus read in that subject

Not sure when I will be back but all this should keep your hands busy…till I can catch my breath and get it up again. Sharing the milk of human kindness. Budumpt dup ding.



C5 Gets Apocalyptic Wood From Faggots-P-II

Oh, You poor, gullible readers.

A_Man_Carrying_Faggots 3

With your mischievous, bratty Host, Category5. Shock Me, Shock Me, Shock Me…

We are here today to talk about “A bundle of sticks”. I mentioned in an earlier post that with energy decline, we will all become much more comfortable with using the term “Faggot” again, in it’s historical context. I guess it is easy to see where the insulting term came into the english language. (FYI, if you are visiting this site from abroad, calling someone a faggot, here, is a way to de-humanize someone).  I wonder if Survivalist will take on the same meaning over time. You know, rubbing two sticks together. Hanging out with Bears in the woods. Never mind. Well today we will all be getting in touch with our inner faggot. The classical painting at the top of the page is called, “Man with faggot”. You will also notice the billhook, cutting tool he carries with him. (or not. I almost missed it)

In fact, we will be covering three very important, post apocalyptic wood gathering techniques. Faggot wood, Coppice wood and Pollard wood. We will even brief on Tree Hay. HUGE subjects… that most North Amerikaners will never have even heard of before. The reason we are covering this deeply interesting subject, under the Post Apocalyptic title, is because we are covering firewood… without a chainsaw.

Plus, I get to say Faggot a lot to make some of my readers deeply uncomfortable. That is always a bonus.

Once again, what we call Post Apocalyptic Adaptation, others around the world and our ancestors would have simply just called LIFE.

Just in case you missed it, This article is part II (sort of) of the C5 Gets Wood series and you can find part one here.

Part I and 1/2 here

(Hang on. This is C5 coming to you from the future, after I had already, almost finished the article. I had a real scare today. I’m still trying to find my ground. My equilibrium. I almost lost everything today… and it deserves its own future article… probably called “C5 Is The WORST Survivor, EVER”. Something called me away from the house today while I was still foggy… and I ran out the door in a rush. I was an hour and a half away when I suddenly realized I had filled the stove… then left the house with the stove air intake open. I had to wait for hours to find out if I had just lost everything. Got lucky this time. Sometimes, I am really good in a crisis. Other times… Not so much. Today was one of those days I was struggling to hold it together. Well, I’ll leave all that for another article. The IRONY of having my complete survival system potentially burn to dust… while talking about apocalyptic fire wood for survival, is not lost on me. It’s rather difficult to be an atheist at moments like this. Do I thank the Gods for my temporary privilege… Or drink some beer and tell the Gods what I really think of their shenanigans.  I’m on beer 3…of..?.)

Getting through a Canadian winter in a collapse setting will be pretty darned scary once the chainsaw is fired for the very last time. This may happen because the gas is gone. It may happen because you are simply too poor to afford the chainsaw or the gas or the vehicle. It may even happen because you become too poor to even afford your electric bill.  It’s a big enough job each year, even with a chainsaw and a big fossil fuel powered vehicle. An ax and an ancient loggers saw just wont cut it. Far too much calorie output during a time when you will be struggling to get enough calorie input. Ether way, it’s going to be a huge job each and every year, and you are going to want to do it during the cold months. Late fall, after harvest, early spring, before garden prep, and during any non lethal freeze time to take advantage of the snow to be able to sled stuff out of the Forrest.  And you want to have the entire summer or two for the wood to dry, cure or season.

But wait. We cant start here. We have to go back in time to my first experiences of deep realization that wood equals survival. You would think this would date back to snow camping as an early teen, trying to keep from freezing, huddled in a snow pile. Or maybe as a homeless older teen, without gear, having to sleep in a lean-to, on heated rocks covered with cedar branches. Or maybe my first winter in a cabin on Cortez Island in my twenties, grossly inexperienced with a wood stove and the amount of wood it would take in a completely uninsulated rental.

But no. Two incidents in my travels, imprinted deeply on my brain. The first was in Kingston, Jamaica. Yes. I have been to The Yard in Trench Town, under deeply unusual circumstances. This included Community Elders as guides and protection. You do not want to go randomly walking around Kingston. But that is a story for another time. Either way, at breakfast time and dinner, the city would fill with smoke. This was from the cooking fires.

I looked out the car window to see a boy, maybe twelve, pulling a large tree branch down the street. It had obviously been pulled off one of the public trees and it was green. He was clearly pulling it home so his family would have cooking fuel. I hadn’t understood at the time  that Jamaica had gone through an economic collapse but a lot of my early Prepper writing was based on insights I attained based on what I observed there.

Like the incredible value and irreplaceability of sheet metal roofing, from people living in metal shacks and using it as defensive barriers during neighborhood gang conflicts. Or the value of maintaining bicycles from scrap and how to carry loads on them.

But it was the boy pulling that heavy tree limb home that is worth remembering. My thoughts were that there were not a lot of trees in the middle of this city. Where did he get it from. Would he risk arrest from the high police presence. That this was the pre teens “Job” while he had a younger sibling in tow. But mainly that the wood was green and not efficient for burning but it must be all the family has in the way of energy for cooking.

The next moment was in Mexico. I learned the government had handed out Bicycle “cabs” to rural towns. Just a cheap chinese mountain bike with the front forks removed and in its place, a seat with two front wheels. Once again, I was looking out the window of a bus as we passes an older-middle aged man pushing one of these bike cabs down the highway. But it was being used as a Truck. Piled on it were branches, piled high above the pushers head. He was pushing this load of what appeared to be dead fall branches from a wooded area, maybe 10-15 miles away from a town. It was my first observation of a trike being used for heavy transport. I never had the opportunity to ask if it was his job. Was it for his families use? Did he sell bundles in the town for cooking?

In both these places, people didn’t need heat to stay alive over a winter. This was just for cooking. To make food edible.

I started to picture in my head a time after resource depletion or economic collapse, anywhere withing walking distance of a city or town, being stripped of all trees and bushes. People having to stand armed guard to protect fruit trees, having to make the decisions of food or hypothermia. And to what age can a person continue to gather wood.

Which gets to another story I read about the Bosnian conflict. In it, the interviewee was needing to cut down a tree in the yard of an apartment building. As he began to cut it, an old woman yelled from the windows of the building above, “Get away from my tree. That is not yours”. Undeterred because of the sheer survival necessity, he cut the tree up, then carried a portion of it, up the many floors of the apartment building to be brought to the elderly woman that was alone, so that she had heating and cooking wood.

I guess it is the job of an Adapter educator to put my mind to such subjects.

Before we get onto the real education part, time for some photos from my doomstead.

When most people picture in their heads what a wood stack looks like, I am guessing they are probably thinking this.

log pile 1

A few big trees, later to be split down to stove size with an ax, splitting maul or power splitter.  But I decided, just for you fine sketchy folks, to do part of next years firewood as a visual aid. A post apocalyptic wood pile will look much more like this…

log plile 2

Why would I do this. Yes, I very intentionally cut this wood, just so you could look at it. My point being, if you are going to have to cut your firewood with a hand tool… and then haul it buy leg power…. it is going to look more like this.

Now, full disclosure, I didn’t cut this with hand tools. I used the gas powered chainsaw. I hauled it up to the house with a gas powered engine. I’ll most likely buck up the rest using an electric saw powered by the solar panels when I have excess electricity.

log pile 3

I was using energy slaves. I was only willing to put so much energy in just to teach a few things. I only put that photo up to show the value of a light trailer. As light as possible. You want to pull stuff. Not trailer. It’s one of my more handy possessions. I suppose, some day, it could be re purposed as a horse wagon.

Mainly for you folks, I decided to cut my wood from this mess.

rat wood

That there is some ratty assed shit land. I cant walk through it. Even the deer don’t come in here. But worse, its a huge fire hazard. The farmers refer to this invasive species as a field destroyer. This was once field. It will never return to actual forest  because it chokes out the taller trees that would get up above this shit wood, get a proper woodland canopy over it and kill off and eat these trees, eventually returning this to a more forest fire resistant wilderness. The only thing I would be able to do to reclaim this area would be to cut everything. With the sunlight, weeds and grasses would grow, then get cows in here to woodland graze… and I am way too old to learn cattle at this point. I’ll never get this shit out, So my only option is to turn this to Coppice production. Let me show you. I cut some fence posts out of here a few years ago to do dead hedging with. This is what came back from the stumps.

rat wood 2

Now it is coming back long and straight instead of a ratty mess. This material can be used for woven fences or what is known as Hurdles, for keeping animals contained. Over time, it can be cut again for post apocalyptic firewood, but now able to be cut with a billhook or sheers, instead of needing a chainsaw.

This is a much better example. This is a Service Berry tree. A decent hard wood. Plus it produces berries. The only problem is that they are way up at tree height so only the birds can get them. Not any more.

berry tree

This was cut 5 or 6 years ago. Its pretty much ready to be cut again. Its a working tree now. Its a tree with a job. I have staggered the cutting of this tree type around the property  so their are different trees at different stages. Food and firewood. That can be cut with a billhook, bow saw or heavy machete or hatchet.

Now for that whole mixed media part, lets turn to more edumicated folks that really know their stuff.

Now that you know what coppice wood is, that it is a real thing, and that this is how Europeans survived in a relatively small area… since we were using stone tools, without need of chainsaws… now you know there is a full world of info on coppicing on youtube for you to look up yourself. This is one of the few examples where mans involvement in resource extraction is actually beneficial to the environment.

Before we introduce the next subject, I now have to show you another very exiting….stump. I wont be insulted if you call me “Dumb as a stump”. I wish I could grow my head back when someone cut it off.


This was an experiment I tried before I even heard of the word Pollard. Once again, this is a service berry tree I was trying to turn into a working tree. Use the chainsaw now so I don’t need one once the gas is gone. I mentioned, I was experimenting with the different heights.  The taller one is looking pretty good, even though they were cut at the same time. So…. what happened to the shorter ones?

Deer happened. The deer love this. Some of the living willow fence I planted is struggling as well because of the deer. But it keeps deer close to my freezer. So I learned this subject… by accident. Who knew it had a name… and ancient history. So. let me introduce you to Pollarding. Heavy production, fast growing, hand tool possible, firewood. Why replant… when there is already well established roots and it already got through the difficult part of being a young tree

I’m also throwing this one in. Its not as flashy and sort of dull… but watch it anyhow for a better historical perspective. We have been turning trees into meat for a very long time.

One last youtube clip. Now watch someone that really knows what they are doing. I felt privileged to watch this young fellow work, using a billhook to create a faggot bundle.

OK. This post is long enough… so I guess I am going to come back for…C5 Gets Apocalyptic Wood from Faggots- Part II and1/2.

Sooooo, Why not bring in a song from DJ-C5 to end this. Did you trust me to do the right thing when you saw that title. This is Category5, the one and only, coming to you with Adaptive survival advice. Who do you trust”? (stick to the end of the article)

( I have a backlog of people I need to thank for donations since the new year. My bad. I was so mentally  focused on the Adapters article that I wasn’t being socially responsible to those backing my play. Let me solve that now. A BIG BIG thanks to SR, TM and CD. Also to AT, JT and JD. You folks really helped with getting some alternative, fire wood cutting tools for evaluation. Anything left over will go into metal from the scrap yard for future projects. I am truly honored that people from OTHER countries, are interested in what I am doing in this one)

If you would like to give a “Tip” for writing  services rendered, you can pretty much guarantee I will use it on other projects and experiments to write about. It’s what I would have beeen doing anyhow. You can find the paypal link at the top of the page where it says, “Giving Just The TIP”

Bonus read- Us Canadians have un-deserved respect in the world. Its called the Canada Corporation for a reason. It’s a bit late, but this is my Shout Out to the other Nations I share land with. The whole world is watching-


And Bonus C5 Music… from the Danes. Not sure if I am the Good, the Bad or the Ugly.

The Adapters Movement 4: Triage

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 21, 2019


Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table Inside the Diner


With your host, Category5

(This was originally written as one article. Peer reviewers have asked me to break it down into 4 parts. The 5th part will be the complete article presented as one)

Part I can be found here-

Part II-

Part III-



The second Major Defining Principal is…


Triage is where we circle back around. The connection back to Acceptance. The snake grasping its tail. The Yin-Yang symbol being revealed as a whole. The lion laying down with the lamb. All esoteric symbols without my intention to make any of this esoteric. A simple completion of the circle.

Triage is a term usually used by disaster  first responders.  Paramedics, Fire fighters and Doctors.

Wikipedia has this to say about Triage. The term comes from the French verb trier, meaning to separate, sift or select. This rations patient treatment efficiently when resources are insufficient for all to be treated. Those responsible for the removal of the wounded from a battlefield or their care afterwards would divide the victims into three categories:

  • Those who are likely to live, regardless of what care they receive;

  • Those who are unlikely to live, regardless of what care they receive;

  • Those for whom immediate care might make a positive difference in outcome.

I simplify Triage in this context as to determining what can be saved and what can not… and must be abandoned. What parts of society, civilization… and people, can be saved and what can not and must be abandoned.

I find myself coming back, again and again to two fiction books. The most unlikely of Survivalist Fiction, based around impossible scenarios that could never happen in the real world. World War Z, by Max Brooks. Do not confuse this with the movie. They have nothing in common. The other book is Dies The Fire, by S.M.Stirling but we will set that aside for now. I find the other prepper fiction out there as lightweight and simply ideology driven excuses for adventure stories, lacking any deep insight.

World War Z  is a bunch of mini stories spread out over the planet. I will be mentally drawing from it, with “The Redeker Report” story in mind, as I get into the Triage Principal.
Principles of the Redeker Plan:

Step 1: you can’t save everyone; don’t try. Instead, create a safe zone, preferably one where natural obstacles like mountains and rivers work to your advantage.
Step 2, evacuate the civilians. Not all — Just enough to keep the safe zone supplied with a labor force and to rebuild after the war.
Step 3, throw everyone else into isolated zones. Their mission is to act as human bait, drawing off the zombies away from the safe zone. These people are to be resupplied as needed. After all, the longer they fight the zombies and the more they kill, the less the safe zone will have to deal with later.

Spoiler Alert. I recommend reading both books as a homework assignment (most doomers will have already) but I cant get around revealing the shockers of the short story.

In this story, those who first view his plan respond with revulsion. “God, Help you man”. “God, help us all”. The shock changes when the fictionalized Neslon Mandela steps in and says, “This plan will save our people… This man will save our people.” “Then he embraced the White Afrikaner”. The story ends with the realization that the result of the  implementation of Redeker’s plan has cost an emotionally detached Redeker, his detachment. He dissociates mentally and becomes a different personality to cope, a reviled man hidden away in a mental institution.

Hopefully we can avoid this fate by the implementation of  Grow It And They Will Come and Build Social Capital Principals. PTSD can be managed or repaired by being part of a group in the same way that addicts draw strength from group in AA or NA.

There is really no need to put any effort into Redekers shocking third plan. That is outside of personal Adaptation and perhaps outside of a fiction story.

It has been common in my writings to quote the more Morally minded preppers creed, “Save as many as you can”. It is borrowed from the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” and it is also a moral stopgap against some of the extremes of survivalist thought that could lead to what returning soldiers and psychologists refer to as “Moral Damage”. This moral damage is a large contributor to Veteran Suicide.

In this story, A line is drawn, about half way through the U.S. with those below the line evacuated and those above abandoned. You might look at it as Trump’s wall but in a more reasonable place that wasn’t clearly based on avarice and racism.

Of course the direction is reversed. You abandon those south of the line, saving those in moderate northern climates with some chance of agriculture by precipitation.

If that sounds insane, I repeat the other line from that movie. “You didn’t listen to the science when it could have made a difference”. We are all responsible and these are the options left to us.

There is simply no scenario I can envision on our present course that does not leave large swaths of the planet as uninhabitable, what is left struggling to provide crops and a death toll that would leave the 4 horsemen going, “That’s harsh man. Chill out”.

“Save as many as you can” can not become an abdication from making tough choices. Life and death choices.

IMG_2236 c2

I have been meaning to write an article with the provocative title “C5 Explains Why Preppers Are Such Dicks- The Lifeboat Principal”. Perhaps it is best if I do a short, summed up version here. Preppers can seem sociopathic from an outsiders point of view. From the inside, you realize it is a Deep Morality. Those that can not handle that level of deep morality, judge it. It’s one of the stumbling blocks for some that may have Adaptation tendencies… but think they are better than that and thus refuse to go there. For others, it becomes the cop-out clause, allowing them to mentally abdicate responsibility for their future survival and that of others. An Immorality that springs from a false sense of morality.

So, This is the lifeboat principal in a nutshell. The Titanic is going down. You find yourself in the water. There is an empty lifeboat. You swim towards it and climb on board. You then begin pulling others on board. With others on board, you can now row towards others and help them onboard. You have now filled up the boat but the mass of people are still in the water and they are swimming towards you as the only floating object around. Arms are grabbing at the boat. You come to realize that if you take on even one more person, the boat will sink and everyone on board will die as well. So what is the moral or ethical solution? You can not force someone out of their seat. That would be murder. You can give up your seat to someone else and re enter the water to die. Very noble? Not really. You have abdicated responsibility and abandoned those on board to be overwhelmed by those in the water and all die. Once again, your noble, pacifist action is an act of murder. There is only one  truly ethical or moral option left to you. You must all pick up the oars and begin smashing the people trying to get on board, lest everyone die. Then you must paddle away from the masses still in the water and leave them to die. Then you all have to learn to live with the painful choice you have made, and perhaps help the others on board as well that have to live with the same choice. The Survivors.


If you can not make that deep ethical decision, please stay out of the boat as you put the others in grave danger. This is why I quoted Orlov in my blog introduction, “collapse is the worst possible time to suffer a nervous breakdown, so please get your blubbering over with ahead of time.” A bit of humor softens the blow.

But please be honest. Some off you have abdicated your ethical responsibility to others by actively choosing not to Adapt. It puts those around you in danger. It’s an ethical or moral FAIL.

Let’s give an example. Food Storage. The first F in C5’s F5’s of Adaptation.

I have been open in sharing with you that we keep on hand at least a year of food. This seems outrageous to those that live hand to mouth or those that rely on consistent re-supply chains like a grocery store. For other experienced preppers, that amount seems laughably lightweight. For Farmgal who has experience hunger and deprivation before, even in Canada with a semi-functioning social safety net, she doesn’t feel comfortable allowing her stores to dip below two and a half years. Other readers have a decades worth of easily storable wheat berries.

In spite of what I said about the survival necessity of sharing food and actively growing enough food to cover many for the sheer security necessity, here is the math reality.

For easy math, we will say MrsC5 and myself have exactly one year of food. If we take in one other couple, this means the four of us can last six months. If we take in three couples, we can only last three months. But it was already untenable the moment we brought in the first couple. We don’t have enough to get us through to the next harvest. That is assuming climate chaos allows the next harvest to even happen. Everyone would die slow instead of MrsC5 and myself surviving and the second couple not.

Here is the associated problems though, that helps to explain why their are so many “Dicks” in the prepper and survivalist worlds. This hard edge is attractive to people that were sociopathic Dicks to start with.

They found a home in the Survivalist/Prepper fantasy world and are now entrenched like ticks. Hard to dig out. They have now overwhelmed the host. The poisonous virus  has spread through the body like Lyme Disease. Thus, a few experienced people declaring that Prepping and Survivalism is dead.

So, this gets to our first minor sub principal under the Triage Principle.



Sure, I understand that is a bit of the Pot calling the Kettle black. I’ve developed an online personality that mirrors Dick behavior back at Dicks. It’s very intentional. It’s meant to shock dicks back into ethical behavior… and if not, to teach them to be very afraid of the consequences of their behavior. Do not think for one moment that I will not S.S.S. a survivalist Dick that is a threat to others during a collapse. That is, Shoot, Shovel and keep my mouth Shut. I have an ethical responsibility to do so. It is well within my skill set.

The Adaptive skillset to avoid being a Dick and attracting the consequence, is to develop a heightened sense of MANNERS. Excess oil wealth has allowed us to discard this. We have allowed police and government and distance to shield us from the consequence of rudeness to others. Most people will understand that what has happened on social media has gotten out of hand and is damaging society. We have created a monster we can not get back in the genii bottle. “Free Speech” mixed with anonymity… has revealed just how evil humans truly are.  Full disclosure. I have certainly lost control and let loose with lethal bile before and suspect it will happen again.

But I have presented this question before. “Do you think a collapse will give you less consequences for your actions… or more?”. I think many Dicks long for collapse and fantasize about it so they can walk away from consequence, or worse, release their inner beast. Their inner Viking. This will get you and those around you killed. Its that simple.

We see this historical Adaptation in truly exaggerated ways in both the English and Japanese cultures. Deeply ritualized Manners and codes of conduct. These evolved because those that hadn’t evolved this Adaptation technique were already dead because someone offended put a sword through them or removed their head and maybe those of their family members or village members as well. You see this in European Court behavior and in more modern times you might see it among Texans. Southerners brag about it. Canadians are known for this behavior, especially by Americans, but we are also known for “dropping the hockey gloves”when it is not recipricated. Organized Crime, Biker or street Gang violence breaks out because someone “Dissed” or Disrespected them. Proper Etiquette in these circles is to say “Respect”, a shortening of, I am not disrespecting you and your ability to bring lethal violence into play if not respected. There would be no greater insult.

So, start developing an exaggerated sense of etiquette as if you life and those of your family depends on it… because it does.

Please. Thank you. Can I give you a hand. Let me get that for you. I apologize. I was in the wrong. Oh, no, You go first. I insist. Respect.

It sounds silly to even point this out but these are all conflict de-escalation techniques and build social inclusion or cohesion.

Hold the door for a stranger. Let someone into traffic.

This is how we avoid the “Make Me First Again” attitude that communicates to others that you can not be trusted and are a threat.

This gets us to our final, Minor Sub Principle.



Yes, there are forces plotting against you that hold you down, rob you and unequally distribute your efforts to those at the top… But focusing on that is not going to get you where you need to go. You need to be smarter and more focused to work your way around these obstacles.

It’s a trap.

There is a danger in any declining culture to find scapegoats. Someone to blame for what went wrong in our life. More so, during times of stress or fear, it has been scientifically documented that the human mind has a tendency to see patterns and connections that are NOT THERE. This is the mind trying to bring order back or find meaning in a chaotic time or after a catastrophic life event.

From Nazi Germany after Hyper inflation to Rwandas aftermath of colonization dividing the genetically same people into Hutu and Tutsi, to Alex Jones calling for armed insurrection against anyone that doesn’t believe his bipolar conspiracy insanity.

I hadn’t intended to but I might as well throw in an example. There is a stubbornly persistent conspiracy theory called Agenda 21 where a secret world government is depopulating the world by chem trails, spraying chemicals out of every commercial aircraft in the world and the like. (This is a more PC version of the Jewish Conspiracy theory where it first started floating around). All of this is to make Strong White Americans week so they can be rounded up into FEMA camps to be given the number of the beast. Somehow the believers of this miss the very obvious conclusion that if this secret world government Illuminati exists, then they are the most incompetent people in the world as world population continues to increase exponentially, as are increased world life expectancies. If this conspiracy was real, with the technology we have today, it could have been accomplished over a couple of weeks.

It’s a TRAP.

I see it over and over. There is a lot of people wasting a lot of time on this type of thinking and a lot of collapse commentators that are just regurgitating stuff to others that already believe….. instead of fundamentally ADAPTING there lives to those beliefs.

It all starts by putting some of the principals mentioned above into concrete action.

It starts by putting a shovel in the ground and turning soil. It starts by picking up a hammer or saw to build shelving. It starts by Moving to a location where Adaptation is possible. You are the one responsible for Adapting and you are the one responsible for not.

I want to bring Farmgal back in her before we hit the final Principle. She writes,..

“I have been mulling it around myself.. Talking it out with hubby and a few close friends. I came to understand that one of the biggest issues to me about prepping is that you are always buying/hoarding now in fear of what the future could bring and that the more you have, the more you fall down the prepper hole that says, I will do this and this and own that, so MY family will be able to live a life that is still comfortable when SHTF happens.”

“Adapting in place(to me) is all about living in the moment, understanding that its about your mental head space that is dealing with what is here and now.. right in front of you!  Can you find the balance right now to understand what is happening, to make the choice to see it, to make the choice to deal with it in a positive way that will leave you settled. Learning how to function during a slow eating away of our living conditions, or dealing with the here and now when life is ripped out from under your feet.”

“I was listening to CBC the other day and they were talking about the fact that new comers to Canada do not like to camp. They had a refugee come on and talk about that there are no safety nets in the woods, no witnesses… but they had someone who came from a third world country and they said, when you lose your home and you have to leave with what you can carry, you are housed in a tent. To live in a tent is the very proof in front of you that you have lost your home. No one would choose to go live in a tent in the woods, after you have lived in a tent because you had no choice.”

“Hubby asked me what the biggest difference between the two are, and I said.. it does not matter where you live… that is the biggest one to me… if you want to be a effective prepper, you MUST have land to grow food, you must have water and you need, at least in Canada, enough fuel to not freeze to death..  I think the reason preppers love their BUG OUT is because they know.. that when they look at it even just slightly hard that they are humped if they try and live a major crash in the cities.. they will never be able to keep up that “cover” of.. MY family, MY group will do better then yours.”

“However Adapting in place applies to everyone. It means the little grandmother who babysits the little ones so the mothers can work, has value. It means that hippy chick that has turned every space or bit of land into food production has value.”

The last Major Action Principle…



Time and time again, those I asked for advice on the subject, kept bringing up the statement by “That Crazy Arch Druid Guy” John Michael Greer. Their words. Not mine. The person that came up with that  particular pop statement. Before I stumbled onto him, I had been using a similar meme, “Mutate Now and Avoid the Post Apocalyptic Rush” which I had stole from an 80s comic cover I passed, which was stolen from street graffiti in England which was adapted from the Great Depression/Dust bowl era as “Get Poor Now. Avoid The Rush”

You have to get out in front of it.

If there is one thing you take away from the concept of “The Adapters Movement” and this article, This Is It.

Live TODAY as if the apocalypse is at hand… because it is. It’s actually now being seen in the rear view mirror. WE ARE HERE. It’s not a future event to “Prep” for. And if you haven’t Already started Adapting, you have a long learning curve ahead of you to get through. You are going to have to make a lot of costly mistakes and you want to do this NOW while there is still a semi functional society to make up for your mistakes. It’s that simple. It’s that hard.

My favorite statement of all time by John Michael Greer is that, in the future, people will get used to finding empty, garden in a box kits next to overgrown garden plots and the skeletal remains of preppers, where the learning curve lasted just a little bit longer than they did. Funny but profound.

You are going to need a plan and then, Get To It. Now is a good time to start. 20 years ago would be better.

So, What does this look like in practical actions? I want to bring in Nicole Alderman. She writes…

“Adaption is for me:

    • Using what resources I have available NOW (gas, electricity, TIME) to set up systems that are more easily sustainable/ For example:

    • Building garden beds NOW. Those things take time to become productive, and they’re a big pain to make in a rush. If you sheet mulch and start the bed now, it doesn’t take nearly as much time, and you get a better product

    • Scrounging for fencing and investing in galvanized fencing now. Durable, predator-proof fencing is hard to make in a hurry!..Figuring out how/where/why/what to scrounge

    • Getting all those plants that multiply now, so that in 5 years my place is taken over by sorrel and strawberries and chives and other edible things.

    • Insulating the house/adding more mass to the house, etc.

  • Taking the time NOW to meet my neighbors and become friends and form bonds. Time is at a premium when life gets hard. Use it now while you have it!

    • Changing my perspective. Thinking about what I NEED and getting in the habit of not wanting so much. Big, forced changes are HARD.

    • Start eating what you can grow, and figure out what foods you like to eat and how to grow them. If you plant tons of daikon radishes, and they grow great and are pest resistant, but you can’t stand to eat them, then you really shouldn’t plan on surviving on them.

    • Get used to driving less. Get used to waiting longer before you can buy something

    • Learn to work hard now. Get used to spending all day working your tail off and not having time to watch netflicks.

  • Start living without your wants. You may want to sleep in but don’t need to. You may want to buy your kids lots of toys, but you don’t need to. You might want to eat out or go for drives, but you don’t need to. At some point, you might not be able to do those things–if you’re used to going without them by choice, it’ll be easier when you DON’T have the choice.

    • Everything takes MORE time when life gets hard. The end of the world isn’t playing boardgames inside to pass the time because there’s no electricity. It’s more like all your worst days put together: you get sick, you have less money, more bills, the weather is worse and more crops fail, your kids are screaming, you can and you have NO time to juggle all the balls you NEED to juggle, let alone time to learn those skills you hoarded books for. Get good at things now, because you’re not going to have time to do so when life goes nuts.

  • Learn skills and get good at them now, so they are second nature and you get most of the kinks out before your life really depends on it. Figure out gardening, figure out raising lifestock, figure out mending and building, etc. Get past the worst of those learning curves–those can be steep!

  • Use less. Reuse more. Our world is so wasteful. It’s ingrained in us to use more reseouces than our world can sustain. Make your life more “closed system” where you don’t need as many outputs and can reuse more of what you do have

  • Help as many people move up the “Eco-scale” and be less wasteful, grow more food, and gain more skills. Why do you think I write?”

Nicole also adds about the importance of teaching Adaptation techniques to children, as they will be the ones inheriting this new world, and much of what we will be building is multi-generational in nature. We don’t plant an Oak Tree for ourselves. We do it so the survivors have acorns.

One last thought from Nicole,
“One way I like to think about it is: ‘Live like it’s the end of the world, because in many ways it kind of is almost there!’ For me, this is a really helpful mentality. I always liked dystopian novels. Now I can just think of myself as a character in one of those novels, and it’s suddenly more epic to be maintaining my tools or eating squash I grew!”

With that in mind, do you remember the 70s piece of music I started this article with? If you are going to be the hero of your own apocalyptic novel, I thought you might like an epic version for your personal soundtrack to get you motivated and remind you of optimism in the face of overwhelming odds.

So, lets revisit the Adaption principles to help commit them to memory.













Before I bring this to an end and open the door to the peer reviewers, I wanted to bring in one more commentor from when I first floated this idea. They wrote,

“An ‘Adapters Movement’? That’s just another label for Permaculture.

“According to Mollison and Holmgren: Permaculture is an ‘… integrated, evolving system of perennial or self-perpetuating plant and animal species useful to man.’ ”

“Integration and evolution = adaptation.”

This post is not meant to be the Be All and End All of the Adapters Movement. This is simply the sum up of a life’s work in the survivalist world, wrestling with what works and what does not. My life. This is the best of my life experience to offer to the world to help. I find that I am still mentally held back by my old school survivalist thinking. Where the real work begins is when the next generation, unsullied by old survivalism, take up these principles… and begin to expand on them, evolving creative Adaptive solutions and implimentation. This movement is theirs. Not mine. I simply gave it a name. They are the ones that will have to live in this new world.

I now open the floor.

Farmgal adds, “I am so very pleased and excited that C5 has taken on the very heavy job of working though this and has taken the time to create this project as the jumping off point for those that agree. I will be bringing a version of it to my own blog and sharing it

Adapt in place.. Focus on the here and now..”


Nicole Alderman adds- Today I was driving with my husband though a rapidly-growing suburbia and city, and I turned to him and said, “I don’t know which is worse to live in, a slow collapse that takes over 100 years, with the continual expansion of suburbia destroying our environment and society crumbling though social media and more invasive technology…or a quicker collapse that happens in our lifetime with more forest fires and extreme weather and lots of starvation. Both are ugly dystopias…” He responded, “We’re living in it right now.” He’s right.

When I read Category5’s writings, his ideas makes sense. C5’s principles for adaption are good principles for living even if there isn’t a collapse, but are vital if there is one. But, honestly, I think “collapse” isn’t some distant event; it’s right now,  and we’ve done it to ourselves, and the longer it goes on, the worse it will become. I hope and I pray that we can halt it before it becomes a total nightmare. I try to teach people how to use less resources and grow more food. To be better stewards of the resources we have. To adapt today. I try to, as Paul Wheaton says, “Build a Better World.” Will we succeed? I don’t know, but I sure will try–for my children, for everyone around the world, and for future generations.


Michael Jensen adds- There’s a bunch of great in these four posts. Rational realism meets hardnosed futurism. Pragmatic practicality. And a recognition of the community as key to the survival of any individual associated with it.

I just got back from work-related travels in southern India. I visited as many rural small villages as I could. There, thousand-year-old cultures of localized survival demonstrate many of these themes. And there, I saw how unlikely a “recovery” scenario is — they will have their scooters, and motorcycles, and transport, no matter what. I paid closest attention to the smallest villages, where self-sustainability might actually be possible, if there’s still water over the next decade….

I think my favorite Principle is ‘Don’t be a Dick.’ Being a not-Dick goes a very long way towards being an Asset to Your Community. If you can become an AYC (Asset to Your Community), then your chances of success in the new Adapter economy are dramatically increased.

Crazy times we’re living in — yet we may be able to pull a sane civilization out of this insanity. May that be so.


De Nob, Administrator of the Canadian Preppers Network and the International Preppers Network adds- “Let’s just say that I’ve been frustrated lately with the established “prepper leadership” in general.

Way too much product promotion, dishonest product reviews, useless political posturing, and don’t even get me started on all the idiots comparing survival knives like frat boys laying their junk out on the table to see whos is bigger.

It’s long past time to shake that tree.”


Irv Mills adds  “Category 5 has put forth some serious good ideas here on the subject of adapting. Ignore them at your own peril.”

Irv Mills, from  The Easiest Person to Fool–a reality based approach to life in the age of scarcity


Bonus read-  To be edited out later. Major storms are hitting most of North America as I post. Enough said. I thought I would put this out in case we lose internet and people need more to keep their minds occupied. Guard your mind.


This is where I usually pass the hat… but stick around for a bit and continue reading.

This took my all… and it did mentally burn me out some. I really reached deep. I did consider putting it behind a pay wall… for about 15 seconds. This is meant for the world. The most valuable “Tip” you can offer me here is for you to share this post. Re post it. Spread it around. Talk about it with people. If not, this has been a big ol’ waist. It dies in the dustbin of the internet.

I should also mention Farmgal gave me an ear full. She wrote, “STOP IT! LOL.. you are allowed to find a way to charge for your work! Yes, I fully agree that the principles and the overall needs to be free (with a request for give the tip) but this was a shit load of work and you have the right to value your time, your knowledge and your words.”

So, there you go. The paypal link is at top of the page where it says, “Giving Just the Tip”.

In the future, once I am over the shock of wrestling this piece into existence and am willing to look at it again, then I can go back and make an expanded version of this post as a short E-Book and charge for that one. I can live with that. It’s just not high on my priority list.

The Adapters Movement 3: Make Food First Again

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 8, 2019

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(This was originally written as one article. Peer reviewers have asked me to break it down into 4 parts. The 5th part will be the complete article presented as one)

Part I can be found here-

Part II can be found here-



That gets us to our first Minor, Sub Principal.



(Like Santa Clause, Bigfoot, Trickle down economics or Agenda-21)

Have you ever actually met a person that is self sufficient or even self sustaining?

Me neither. (And I have had a much higher chance of having met one) I’m sure there are a tiny few anomalies out there who have done it but it is the exception that proves the rule. So why do we perpetuate this myth or even self identify with it?

20 armed, organized and combat hardened men that decide to take all that you have worked for and that your family needs to survive, or that simply sees you as an enemy, will knock that right out of you.

Lets put a pin in that and come back to it later.

On second thought, lets not. I need to put an exclamation point on this and this is the video to force yourself to watch to learn this lesson.



The next Minor, Sub Principal is…



That would fit more into the realm of religion or psychology. Subjects I chose not to cover much on this blog. Indeed, it is a central part of the human experience. Finding our place in the world. Our search for meaning. You wont find it in Adapting. I only bring it up, in the context of LOCATION, because no matter where you go, there you are. People often go to new places because they are looking for something. We think we will find happiness around the next corner. I have traveled a lot and lived in many places. It’s not there.

I bring this up as a warning. You will have to war against your instinctive drive to keep looking. Choose your location wisely because once you are there, you are there for life and the life of your decedents. What you will be building for sustainability and community may take multiple generations. This is outside of most North Americans experience. Europeans are more likely to get this if they are connected to multi generational farming communities where the land itself has been sculpted for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Back to Location. If a person finds an area they want to move to, I recommend renting for at least a year in the area. That way, you are not locked in. It takes a while to find the problems of an area. Also to find the land deals in the area.(Those aren’t found by real estate agents who have no interest because it doesn’t make them money. Plus they prey on city folks seeing them as a cash cow)  Word of mouth can help. I have seen a lot of homesteaders bankrupt themselves or get into an area they decide they hate and are trapped. I have heard a good term called “Y2K refugees”. These are folks that ran away from the city after abandoning everything for Y2K, then came back to the city broke and destitute. More so, personally, I have had several failed rural living attempts. I didn’t know enough at the time. I even swore not to do it again… until being back in a city and realizing how fruitless it is. I found myself missing the cold and painfulness. Even though I had failed, I found that I had become tougher and wiser and the comfort of urban or suburban life now seemed obscene.

Plus, you need time to find out things like the quality of the water, what poisons were left by  hidden industries of the past or what level of nepotism, crime or old family rivalries you may face. Rent for a while. Don’t move in all your stuff. Put it in storage or sell it. Living in a moterhome is even a good idea if you can find a place to park it. Its good training anyhow. I spent a decade doing that. Nothing will teach you more about living off grid in a world of failing infrastructure, than doing it for a year in an RV. You learn about poop, water, garbage disposal, heat, insulation, what you need and don’t need, classism you will face and the insecurity of being landless. It is Adaptation University.  You may find that you found the right area but the next town over is the better choice. You are talking about making it to the place your descendants will be stuck, once easy motoring comes to an end. Get on the task ASAP because it is a multi year task and time is running out.

An after thought on this. There are many failed towns that went downhill simply because a highway bypassed them. They may even have had past water transport routes before the heyday of road building. All of this is good because it will be cheaper to purchase and easier to secure in the future. Its easier to secure an off ramp than a thoroughfare. I am thinking Medievaly  here as that may be our future. That is not a bad thing.

potatoes 1 sm

Now for our next Action Principal


C5 Rule of Survival- People may try to kill you a few times in life. I KNOW. But you have to eat every single day. Often more than once.

I may have to switch those to the C5 Rules of Adaption soon.

This should be obvious. It should be so obviously obvious that people start calling me Mr. Obvious, being obviously agro obvious. Yet somehow it is not. It should be your first thought in the morning. Do I have enough food to get through the year? How can I increase my yield of food? Will anything interrupt my food supply? What can I do to better insulate myself against food interruptions?

We have lived in a spoiled bubble for so long that we take it for granted. Our food is now grown by only 2 percent of the population. Some prepper minded folks will understand the vulnerabilities of our Just In Time delivery systems and they may hedge against it with food storage. I certainly recommend doing so. But it can act as a placebo or inoculation against the urgency of the next step. We recently faced an unseasonable, climate disruption related storm that took out power to much of the Provence for about 3 days. Forgetting all about those in the cold because they had electric heat, this is what we observed. In town, the grocery store was closed. Even though the lot was empty, elderly folks were driving right up to the door or interrupting traffic flow to get into the obviously empty lot. I wondered how many would be hungry today. I wondered how many couldn’t even cook because of electric ranges. We stopped into the one restaurant with a generator. It was packed. People came to charge their tablets and phones and eat. That is a rural town. Could they even get home because the gas station was closed? The other building with a generator was the drug store so seniors could get their meds. There was a sign that said cash only, since the internet was shut down.

We went to the city the day before. Half of it was down. The line up into McDonalds was blocking the road. By the way, I brought a can of gas, just in case. I should have brought the chainsaw, having thought of it before leaving. Some roads were blocked by trees. The irony was, we faced driving into the storm because we had an appointment to have studded tires installed. Luckily, this part of the city had power. While waiting, we decided to treat ourselves to a breakfast chain restaurant. The line up was out the door. The place was also filled with Lineman teams, waiting to be sent. Hold that thought.


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Without internet to occupy our brains, we visited friends the next day. They had a wood stove so they were OK. Their main concern was the freezer full of food they might lose and they were kicking themselves that it was in the house instead of the garage which would have stayed cold. I mentioned that this was a good experience for evaluation. As storms increase,  and infrastructure gets old, and there is less money for linesmen crews dew to the economy, and fuels for electric generation being interrupted, and wind or solar cant mathematically fill the void, if we could afford it anyhow…. interruptions will happen more often for ever increasing lengths of time… until that final day where universal electrical distribution is abandoned as the silly idea of a spoiled and delusional people that it was.

I hadn’t meant to go on this rant, considering the topic is food production, but the reason I did was because, EVERYONE had one question. When will WE get OUR power back? Like it is a RIGHT and the natural order of things.

Sort of like them saying to the 2 percent of the population involved in farming, “When will We get OUR food”.

Anthropomorphic Climate disruption. Resource disruption. Energy disruption. Economic disruption. Social disruption. All these things affect whether food can be grown and whether it can make it to your region. Without food, all is lost.

We are speaking about this as conjunction with LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION because your primary concern is being someplace that food production at a local level is possible and will continue to be possible as the climate changes, AND independent of the 2 percent of industrial farmers that may be bankrupted by loss of harvests due to drought, heatwaves, fire, rain deluges, unseasonal frosts, high winds, loss of cheap diesel, chemical fertilizer, unrepayable or unavailable  banking loans, devalued commodity prices, unstable markets, societal wealth decline, foreign trade tariffs and lack of government assistance.

Your primary concern is moving to an area where food can be grown or raised… then your primary concern will be learning all the necessary skills to do so and to continue to do so once industrial machines, fuels and feeds become harder to access.

It also needs to be pointed out that the area you find, may not continue to do so due to rapidly changing weather patters. There will be research and guess work involved. You will have to do guess work, predicting HOW the weather will change. Doing the right actions is no guarantee. You want to make predictive choices to be where you stand the best chance, fundamentally trying to avoid becoming a climate refugee yourself, facing total loss and limited  future survival chances.

Food production is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. Everything else is Extra.

The next minor sub Principal is…..



It has been my experience that once you have achieved the skill set to provide the minimum for your own sustenance, that it is not too difficult to expand production. Every year, we have to do TRIAGE, deciding what food sources must be abandoned to rot because we do not have enough time to harvest, process or store it. More hands would exponentially increase production. Certain food production simply can not happen, solely based on that there are not enough hands to do it.

Our society is our very enemy here. For immigrants from third world areas, doings so would be a given. They understand food production by hand with little in the way of financial reward. Every year in Canada, we fly in lots of foreign workers to pick our crops because we cannot get locals to do the same jobs. Necessary Jobs. “White people problems”. We think we are above manual labor for less than minimum wage. We think our education or social class makes us too good for that. We have lost the ability to work that hard. The myth of “Progress” has crippled us. It will be our undoing. Even those of the poor “Red Neck” class that are used to doing painful but productive outdoor work with their hands, familiar with mechanical work and rural living, are more apt to leave the farm, putting their skillset to higher paying work in “The growth economy”. By this I mean construction work in the housing Bubble, Oil workers in the shale or tar sands, or simply in car mechanical work or road works. All industries that have no future, by the way.

So if food is the Alpha and Omega, and, by necessity, we must Make Food First Again, and, doing so will be very labor intensive, how do we attract people to the job…especially for almost no pay?

To start, It must be done at an individual level for individual consumption… and it must be visual. It must be seen.

And this completely goes against standard prepper thinking.

Standard prepper thinking is that having any part of their prepping known will get you robbed. “Trust no one” is standard survivalism. Be the Grey Man. Shoot anyone coming for your stuff.

In doing so, survivalists and preppers have created a Self Fulfilling Prophesy. They trust no one… and can not be trusted. Really. You can not trust a survivalist.

More so, the rest of society sees this. They see Survivalists are dangerous, armed and committed to killing you. They are mentally unstable and paranoid as shit. They build ideologys and religions based on worship of the self and having dehumanized others, have become a danger to their neighbors and perhaps need to be disarmed by the police….and locked up for psychological evaluation. A Self Fulfilling Prophesy.

Here is another Self Fulfilling Prophesy. The Predator Prepper. This is a real thing. I have met them. People may not know this but there is a sub genre of preppers who have bypassed self sufficiency and jumped straight to being thieves and murderers. This is the end result of building an ideology and attitude of the moral superiority of the self, while dehumanizing anyone who isn’t them. People were worried about a mob of  raiders. Now they have real raiders to worry about. A Self Fulfilling Prophesy.

Preppers and Survivalists need to Own This.

Only they created this and only they can fix it. That is one of the reasons I am doing this. It can be fixed… but it is the harder path… and it is the only path with a viable, sustainable future.

Which leads to the next Minor Sub Principal.


This is going to be a shocker to most preppers. This goes against everything they have ever been taught. I’m saying your prepping or Adaptation must be public and it must be seen. Your neighbor should know what you are up to. The cops should know what you are up to. Is there risk to this? You bet’cha. Buck up, cowboy. But it is much safer than the previous, secret squirrel, spy mentality, once you work it through.

Look. I get it. Secret Squirrel thinking is actually my natural tendency. At heart, I am an old school survivalist with old school ways. The majority don’t store food. We keep about a year of food on hand (our real food store is in the land, production and knowledge). In a system collapse, people will be hungry and desperate enough to think of stealing from us. As my friend, Flightmedic once said, “If someone says, ‘If the collapse happens, I’m coming to your place’, my response is that, that’s great and I will be coming on your next Caribbean vacation. When can I expect you to buy me a ticket”.

Here is the deal though. The reason Flightmedic became my friend is because I came out of  “secret squirrel” mode, made myself public and reached out to others. Part of the reason for this was me coming to grips with that this solo survivalist thing would not work.

 Farmgal shared a story, where she recently found out one of her relatives was prepper minded and she shared the awkward dance that is usually involved in such a conversation. She said,…

“I was having a family gathering and a cousin that I had not seen for a while started asking questions about the Shuttle Chef cooking pot we were heating hot apple cider in. I noticed they asked a few questions that others would not and realized they were doing the ‘Prepper Probe’. I finally just looked at hubby and said, ‘may I?’ Then I just get it out there”.

Its always an awkward dance because of years of Secret Squirrel thinking. It’s also an awkward dance because once someone comes out of the prepper closet, sometimes you find out the prepper advice they have received may put them in danger. Either that or you find out the reason they are preppers is because they fed on some dangerous loons propaganda. If it all had been out in the open, it would have been talked about with experience friends that you respect, someone would have said, “That’s silly. Here is why”. That works in reverse as well. Sometimes when hanging out with other preppers, I will see them doing something I was doing. Outside of my own head, seeing someone else do it, it suddenly becomes obvious how silly they are and I clearly need to change my ways. Some times I will be doing something survivaly and my experienced buddy will give me the look that tells me, that I just discovered that I am a dumb ass.

True story. Flightmedic was over for a visit. After a few beers, I decided to put on and show him the tactical load support system I was working on. Flightmedic, who has been there and done that, dryly said “Yes. Very sexy”, turned his head and went back to the conversation he was already engaged in. I immediately realized I’ld had a dumb ass moment, and the tac vest has pretty much been in the back of the closet ever since, amongst bad fashion choices and adult toys I don’t want anyone to know about. It seemed like a good idea at the time in my old school survivalist mind… until it was brought to light by public scrutiny. Openness and Accountability.

Farmgal continued, “I told them i don’t like the prepper label I have been given and prefer homesteader. I then answered some of there questions. Its turned out that they had a Bug Out location and it was better thought out than most I hear, but still I shook my head and went, its just NOT that easy and started the process of creating trust in regards to talking about our front plans, our back up plans and the flaws in them.  It will be wonderful to work towards giving each other a helping hand in a number of ways over the coming years.”

My point being, if all of this is done in secret, there is no opportunity for Adapters to become leaders in their communities and set an example for others to mirror. No opportunity to bring people together, and thus mitigate some of the worst problems associated with collapse that Secret Squirrels fear.

So, How can we do this in a concrete and practical way. We are back to the Make Food First Again  and  Grow It And They Will Come principles. The best way I can think of to put your Adaptation principles into practice, is to very visually show what you have been growing or raising. It’s counter intuitive. Speaking of that other collapse issue, Social Destabilization, nothing can bring people from diametrically opposed world views together more than chatting about gardening or small farming.

It bridges social gaps. It bridges generational gaps. Giving away excess produce also builds loyalty amongst strangers.  It’s an excuse to visit your neighbors.

We are closely tied to one of our neighbors that we wouldn’t have much reason to know, because randomly, he drove up the driveway (setting off all my Secret Squirrel, oldschool survivalist paranoia) and asked if we would like some chickens because he had too many. I had just built a chicken coop a few days before. Does this fellow have my loyalty? You bet’cha.

If people are apt to compete instead of cooperate, best to compete over your gardens. By making it visual, it encourages others to do the same. Compete over your water catchment or solar panels, etc. Learn from each others.

What we are really talking about is LEADERSHIP here. If leadership is not your natural inclination, the more important roll is getting behind someone that is doing something great. Backing their play. It’s a much more important roll. Leadership is over rated. I want you all to watch this.

Secrecy inspires fear which inspires more secrecy that inspires more fear and suspicion. It’s cult-like behavior and makes a person more susceptible to cult personalities that will offer inclusion but feed on  and encourage your fear. There is a whole industry of news sellers, religion sellers, politics sellers,  product sellers and gun sellers based around this…. and you are its Mark. It is a self fulfilling prophesy.

I can’t over emphasis the words, mind control  “Cult” enough.  (Alex Jonestown massacre, anyone)

If it has to be done in the dark, in secret, chances are, it’s The Dark Side. And the irony of this is that people pick up on your behavior, if only on a subconscious level. If you are doing something secret, people will pick up on it, see you as sketchy and a potential threat and are more likely to fear you on some level and watch you. Self fulfilling prophesy.

This puts you in more danger. Not less.

I’m one of the few preppers that proudly shows off my food storage when having visitors over. It’s nothing special but I am proud of it. Doing so de-mystifies it to others, to hopefully encourage others to do the same.

Putting my money where my mouth is, this is me. Flab and post winter pastiness included. the photo is 8 years old. I’m  much greyer now.

exposed doc

C5 exposed.


If people now recognize me and want to chat about all this, I’ll do my best to share what I know. To answer question. To LEAD. (or Follow if that is the more appropriate choice)

So lets get to the next Major Principal.



The single greatest survival commodity is…(envelope please)… Other People.

It’s also the most difficult and requires the most effort. More than food production or firewood.

I talk about social disintegration as being one of the great disasters of our time, up there with anthropomorphic climate chaos, economic disintegration and resource scarcity or depletion. Our temporary bonanza of cheap energy didn’t give us plenty of free time to build relationships. Instead, it gave us the ability to not need each other, as has been part of our evolution since before we even walked upright. We are evolved to be part of a tribe. Rejection by the tribe leads to death, alone against predators and madness.

This energy and wealth abundance has allowed us to go where we want and do what we want, without consequence. The end result has been existentially profound loneliness that is quite literally killing us. This has lead to the epidemic of deaths from despair. Turned inward to depression, the opioid epidemic, obesity or credit card consumerism for a world of polluting junk that we don’t need and does not fulfill. Full disclosure. Like many collapse commentators, I drink too much and am pretty self destructive. Turned outward, to RAGE and mass shootings, riots and terrorism, right wing extremism, racism and the advocation of violence against “The Other”.

Part of me doing all this is that I believe it is within our means to mitigate some of the worst and most frightening aspects of societal collapse. Part of that is to actively rebuild what was lost. We MUST build social connections. We MUST build inter-dependencies. We MUST reach out to strangers and we MUST do it with the URGENCY of realizing Our lives depend on it… because they do.

If you want a Principal that distinguishes us from the prepper or survivalist world, this is it. I have been beating this drum for quite a while.

Now…Are you ready for the plot twist?

There is no altruism in this.

If you have read any of this as, “It’s nice to be nice”, you are mistaken. I am only presenting cold, hard, dispassionate truths.

I’m not the hero of this story. Merely a protector by inclination. I’m the soldier you send into an impossible situation in a last ditch effort to fight a path out of utter defeat and annihilation.

And that is the cold hard fact of where we find ourselves. We are at the point of utter defeat.

The best way I have heard this presented was by the late Micheal Ruppert, who said,  “We may be forced by necessity to live the way we probably should have been living in the first place. ”

I’m going to flip that statement a bit. The way we probably should have been living in the first place,  we may be forced into by necessity, to simply LIVE.

The second Major Defining Principal is…



To be continued, next episode

Bonus read- To be edited out later- We have found ourselves screaming at CBC radio lately, at the last round of weapons of mass distraction propaganda. We have to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq, er… Libya, er… Ukraine, er…. Syria, er….., Nicaragua, er…. Hang on. Its on the tip of my tongue…. Venezuela. Then we can bring democracy and freedom to Cuba, Iran…. and the illegitimate, socialist dictatorship, Canada. Haven’t you heard about the humanitarian crisis in Alberta. Oil sands workers are fleeing the Provence in fear for their lives. Those that remain are starving, forming gangs to scavenge the ruins for bits of food in the trash. Russia and China have been meddling in in their elections. The US and its allies recognize Rob Ford as the legitimate president of Canada after putting sanctions on maple syrup producers and marijuana drug cartels  . All options are on the table and they are moving troops into Montana to…. bring in humanitarian aid and arm moderate rebels. Mr and MrsC5 are being held on an extradition request from the US for spreading Fake News.

Venezuela and declining EROEI coming to a neighborhood near you.










The Adapters Movement- In Four Parts. Part II- Acceptance

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on February 14, 2019

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Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner







With your Host, Category5

(This was originally written as one article. Peer reviewers have asked me to break it down into 4 parts. The 5th part will be the complete article presented as one)

Part I can be found here-



So, the first major Defining Principal is…


Acceptance is the final stage of the Kubler-Ross stages of grief. Wikipedia says, “The Kübler-Ross model is popularly known as the five stages of grief, though more accurately, the model postulates a progression of emotional states experienced by terminally ill patients after diagnosis. The five stages are chronologically: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.”

Our society and life support system ( The environment, economy, resource base and social bonding ties) is the terminally ill patient. Most folks in our society are in the first four stages. A simplistic analogy would be, the majority of the population are in the Denial Phase. Many people still know an apocalyptic future is coming but because it is not affecting them, they intentionally try not to look at it. They look with suspicion or mockery or fear at anyone actually doing something about it. Once this is shaken and people are seeing their lifestyle threatened, mostly those on the political Right, people swing into the Anger phase. Scapegoating, threats, shootings and bombings follow, weaving complex conspiracy theories in an attempt to bring their shattered inner world under control. People say they have been “Red Pilled” but they have only “Woken” from one control system and don’t realize they are now in the second control system, using The Matrix imagery. This is where a lot of new and inexperience preppers find themselves. An insightful fellow that I dont remember the name of, mentioned that for those that wake up into the second Matrix, that is where they will meet all the Adolf Hitlers. Though not exclusive, those on the political Left and the techno progressive utopians are in the Bargaining phase. They think we can solve all this with the right governmental modification. They think we can solve all of our problems or we can solve technological problems with even more technology. See my discussion on declining EROEI in a previous articles.   Now for those of us that have been doing this for A LONG time, we may find ourselves slipping in and out of the Depression phase a lot. (I just want to point out here that we already have the necessary technology to get through this and we have had it for a very long time. Hundreds of years. It’s just not the the answer that people want to hear. In fact, people reject it as unacceptable)

Acceptance means staring the reality strait in the face and actively deciding to move forward. Either to get on with the job of Living in a fundamentally changed world or getting on with dying.

In the conversation with Farmgal that started all this, it started with her sharing that she had shared my Windapult article with her readers… and 7 readers promptly unsubscribed to her. She laughed because she gets me. She then shared about recent death threats she has received. She asked “Have you been noticing that as all these disasters are happening, Denialism is increasing with it” (and I don’t just mean global warming deniers though they are a prime example). I replied, “People’s identities are wrapped up in their excuses. As reality slaps them in the face, they will not change their minds and confront their excuses. Instead, like a drug addict, they will DOUBLE DOWN on their dose. All truth goes through three phases. First, it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Then it is accepted as self evident. The NEXT phase is the “Violently Opposed” part.

I previously posted this but it is worth bringing back for a second read because of the context of this post.

12 reasons why people refuse to address the idea that we’re headed for near-term societal collapse

(Press on that to go to article. This is from the fellow that independently came up with the term, “Deep Adaptation”)

Another more recent article of the psychological side of Acceptance is here.

It’s all in your head: dissonance

(You will have to cut and paste this title into your search engine as it will not allow us to link) Though worth the whole read, the part of it I want to emphasize is as follows.

The people I talk to aren’t idiots. On the contrary, they can keep two thoughts in their heads, they’re able to see that two courses of events can be parallel, that what creates prosperity also erodes what it’s based on. That situations can be ambiguous — alternately symbiotic and parasitic. And yet I can’t talk about this. The discomfort is too great.”

“There are people who choose the doomsday narrative because they feel it’s a more correct description of reality. The price they pay is to some extent no longer being able to take part in society. It’s impossible to be happy about your colleagues’ foreign holidays or consumption. You can no longer view increased growth as something desirable and natural. The things that form the foundation of your interaction with other people no longer function. For these people, playing along means a betrayal of themselves. But speaking up makes them so difficult that those around them can’t stand to have them near. There are also many people who wholeheartedly live the progress narrative, who reject every threatening signal or feel confident that every threat can be conquered, just like everything else that once stood in the way of progress. But the majority of us live with our heads down, trying to find a way to avoid the discomfort.”

“When I began to write this essay it was winter. An unusually late, cold and snowy winter, following a period with an unusually high amount of rain. Now, as I finish the text, an extreme heatwave has just finished. Around me people are talking worriedly about the heat, only to go back in the next instant to discussing their holiday plans and renovation projects. We move in and out of these two major narratives, but never stop in the place where they meet. We don’t stop in the dissonance.

MrsC5 sent that article to me because this has been her experience over the last few years. She has started to avoid old friends because there is simply nothing realistic to talk about anymore. Friends are dropping her because she is too difficult. We find ourselves longing for people that actually “Accept” so that we can talk about the practicals of day to day adapting. For me, This has been the loneliness of my entire life. Superficial friends that I keep light hold of. MrsC5 is the first Keeper.

This effects every aspect of LIFE. How we spend money. Our views on employment. What vacations not to take. What vacation destinations to take for education. What news to view. What objects to own. What skills to learn. How to act. WHERE TO LIVE.

That has been a big one for me. I kept moving from place to place trying to find a suitable destination where Adaptation was feasible. It was a lonely road. I certainly appreciate having found it. Now to build roots.

So, what is acceptance. Lots of preppers say, “It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when”. But if they really were in the Acceptance phase, it would be obvious because of their radically altered lifestyle. If a person is living in an unsustainable city or in an unsustainable location or practicing an unsustainable lifestyle, while just collecting stuff, there is clearly a disconnect. Denial.

Adapting is not the destination though. I dont expect people to have it all together before they can call themselves an Adapter. We certainly haven’t. But it is the path. And it starts with Acceptance.

Some preppers will say, “Prepping is like insurance. I hope I don’t have to use it but it is there if I do”. Unfortunately, we are not on the same page. We are not even playing in the same ball park.

These are the unavoidable disasters of our time. The reality we must face.

-A fundamentally destabilized climate that We All caused, that potentially will end the human race. That is happening NOW. Not some future event and is happening far faster and far worse than we allow ourselves to face.

-A fundamentally unstable Economic, life dependent base, teetering on the edge of collapse that Can Not fix itself. It must simply play out. This will not happen all at once, everywhere… and it will not be evenly distributed.

-A fundamental decline in resources that simple belt tightening or technological advance Can Not solve. The low hanging fruit has already been picked. The big money in extraction and Energy Return has already been made with nowhere left to go but down. And we have become totally dependent, to stay alive, on an ever increasing need for more resources that are simply in decline. This will continue until it is no longer economically viable to extract… and then IT WILL STOP.

-A fundamental Fracturing of social bonds, inter dependencies and social cohesion. From the family level to the community level to the state level  to the international level. The Hobbesian war of all against all. That Is Not a future event in a post apocalyptic world or Something to expect when the SHTF. That is what we have NOW. It has only been kept in check by the tolerance that comes from abundance where peoples lives are not directly threatened by resource and economic sharing and has, in the past been moderated by religious discipline, Charity and social institutions.

So,  the Acceptance Principle starts with acceptance that Anthropomorphic  global warming is real and it is A Lot worse than we have allowed ourselves to face. As I write this, (at the time of writing) the California fires are still beyond control. They are trying to find the bodies now. We have already forgotten about Florida, Puerto Rico, or Fort McMurray. We don’t even pay attention to Peru, The Dominican Republic, the Northern Mariana Islands, etc. etc. etc. Climate change deniers may have trouble using the Adapters moniker and there is not much I can do about that. It is a Cult and you can’t argue with cultists. You can systematically  go through each of their arguments and junk science and who wrote it and how much they got paid by which corporations or their hired ad agencies or professional spin doctors, and it does not matter because they simply can not hear it. To do so would shatters their Self Identifying Mythologies. An addict must hit rock bottom first. Before that happens, they usually double up their dose, embracing the most ridiculous conspiracies. You would be amazed how many people think all the disasters are caused by the Jews using supper technology blue beams, to take over the world and usher in the antichrist and all the palio-climatologists around the world (in countries that hate each other) are all part of a global satanic conspiracy to cover up that the earth is actually cooling and we are going into an ice age, and all the dead people are crisis actors. It is an addiction and it is best to look at it that way. As things get worse, I expect to see MORE of it. Not less. And people will be murdered for disagreeing with them.

We cant even begin to discuss The Triage Principal until we are well into Acceptance. And to be clear, Triage means Abandoning California, Florida, parts of Spain, northern South America and I can’t even speculate how far the next Dust Bowl will stretch.

Global warming of a few degrees may even sound nice on a cold day like today. But the reason it is cold today is because (at the time of writing) heat is pushing cold air out of polar regions towards us. Since the fall, we have been getting about 2 storms a week. Acceptance for me means I have to think about wind barriers, strengthening structures, increasing insulation, improving drainage, removing combustibles, ground moisture retention, adding storm proof greenhouses for season extenders, Accepting warming will also push unseasonable frosts and lethal cold snaps or lethal humidity and heat towards me, etc.

In the same way, we also have to look at Economic Dependence. These issues are not separate.  Preppers often focus on one issue while denying the others (often as a conspiracy). We have been through the biggest Economic Bubble in human History. Even with minor fluctuations, most people can not picture it all falling apart, even temporarily. It’s been growing for so long that it almost seems steady state and the natural order of things. If I were to say, “The worst Economic contraction in human history is about to happen and is happening as we speak”, most people have no reference point for this.. It seems crazy and alarmist. The realm of conspiracy nuts. Of political extremists.

All bubbles burst. That is the nature of economic bubbles.

Still, you may notice, I rarely use the term, “Economic Collapse” as is frequently used. I usually say, Economic contraction. A stock market crash or sell off is not a collapse. Hyper inflation is not a collapse. A “Bank holiday” or closure and stopping or limiting  withdrawals is not a collapse. These are all common occurrences. They happen all over the world.

Resource Depletion. Once again, people jump through incredible mental hoops to deny this, decrying anyone pointing it out as being part of a satanic conspiracy at worst, or uneducated Luddites at best. They celebrate each new reported fossil fuel “discovery” as proof. At the moment, fuel prices are at record lows because of a temporary glut. People can’t wrap their heads around that it is because oil companies were simply pumping as fast as they can, often much lower grade quality that can barely be called oil, often losing money while doing it, producing fuels that no longer provide society with economic excess energy return capital and a decline in consumer growth due to economic hollowing out when the pendulum swings back into high fuel costs. How people can not see that when you use something up, it is then gone, is beyond me. And it ain’t just fossil fuels and its many byproducts. It’s potash, copper, rare earths, uranium, soil nutrients, top soil and aquifer water itself. ETC. ETC. Even pollinator insects. That is an extinction level event on its own, right there. I live surrounded by wood lots, much of it on its seventh cutting. There is nothing Forrest like about it anymore. It is now just one great big mega fire waiting to happen.

Social Destabilization. It’s been going on for so long that people now believe it is the natural order.

In Dmitry Orlov’s 2013 book,  The Five Stages of Collapse, he talks about, in Stage Four, “Social Collapse. Faith that ‘your people will take care of you’ is lost, as local social institutions… run out of resources or fail through internal conflict”. In Stage 5, “People lose their capacity for ‘kindness, generosity, consideration, affection, honesty, hospitality, compassion, charity’. Families disband and compete as individuals for scarce resources”.

If we can take a mental step back and look, we are sort of already in stage five.


So the first Action Principle is…


If someone was wanting an original thought to define the adapters movement, something that makes it different from the established prepping or survivalist movement, this principal separates the wheat from the chaff.

I certainly won’t be the first person to talk about Strategic Relocation. It is a common theme, whether it is relocating to the Idaho or Montana Redoubt for political or racial reasons, finding a Bug Out Location, buying a farm, moving to “The Bush” or moving to a homestead and starting a permaculture farm.

Nicole Alderman pointed out that there are levels of preppers and survivalists. From those that have “3 days of food and flashlights and are prepared to adapt to a small power outage.” to those that have  “ taken a wilderness course, has cool gear and can ID some edibles…knows how to make a debris shelter and a bow and arrow and has backpack camped ” to those that “have some tactical tools, a month of food, and some guns“, to those “who have a garden, maybe some livestock and are trying to learn old-time skills.” to those at “bunker level! They have a buried shipping container filled with guns and freeze dried food and MREs and lots of money spent on all this cool stuff”. (personal note. Never bury a shipping container) ” They all start out pretty similar, and similar skills are revered, but they diverge at the higher levels, because of their differing values and priorities.

I see that less as levels and more as the progression of prepper/survivalist thought. The degrees of commitment. Almost all of them are heading towards “I must get some land”  (except for the backpack batman bush ninjas). It’s the end goal. Most don’t make it that far. “I must get out of the city” is as far as they get. After interacting with hundreds of “Preppers” on and off line, reading the posts, books and comments of thousands more, I have found myself thoroughly disappointed with the caliber of 99% of them.

Many of them think they will survive…. and that they are morally superior to non preppers, simply because they call themselves a prepper. It sounds silly when I put it that way, doesn’t it? But that is the vast majority of preppers. The shear contempt and dehumanization of non preppers, while they are so minimally “Prepped”. Even if they have accumulated tens of thousands of dollars of stuff.

Well here is my “Original or Feasible” thought. If you have made it though the Acceptance phase, taking into account those four unavoidable disasters, Climate Chaos, Economic Contraction and Dependence, Resource Depletion and Social Destabilization,  it would seem to me that your FIRST “Prep” or Adaptation would be to go outside and begin making a clear assessment of, if where you are… has any future. If the answer is NO, then you must begin the long process of examining areas that stand the best chance as these changes occur and begin the processes of moving there.

You will want to start this NOW. Not “After the collapse” or “When the shit hits the fan”. This is your first action or prep.

The rest is just fluff and self masturbation with sexy gear and camping trips until you get this one thing worked out. Your tens of thousands of dollars of preps will actually be difficult and expensive to move and that money might have been better used getting you into a location where sustainability is actually viable. A place of  increased safety. Your stuff may even keep you from moving. Its counter intuitive but your preps might kill you. I suppose you can pawn them for pennies on the dollar when you lose your job and need to pay rent so the state doesn’t take your children. Not a great long term plan. A refugee can only carry so much.. We have to stop calling this the romantic or patriotic sounding Bugging Out, and start calling it what it is. Being a Refugee or self made homeless person.

At this point, I want to introduce you to Irv Mills.

Irv shares the doomershere with me and is regularly presented at the Doomstead Diner. I also noticed he was my 50th subscriber. That is not quite true. I piss off a lot of people that unsubscribe. It’s a badge of honor. I don’t regurgitate the regular prepper prejudices, creating an echo chamber. I tell people what they need to hear. Not what they want to here. They may go away… but the seed will remain rattling around in their brains.

Irv is also a person that, independently started using Adaptation as a better discriptor than prepping. He recently wrote a 4 part series that started with the title ” Preparing For Collapse”… then changed title. His words…

“The title for this series of posts started out as “Preparing for collapse”, but in my last post I immediately went into a rant about how I see a hard, fast, world-crippling collapse as pretty improbable. What I’m observing instead is a slow collapse that has already been happening for several decades and will continue for several more, albeit with much the same end result as a fast collapse. KMO, one of my favorite podcasters and a follower of this blog, suggested a better title would be Responding to Collapse, and that’s what I’ll be using from now on.”

Soooo… a lot of these radical changes I am presenting are not so radical. Others are coming to the same conclusions, independently. It ain’t just me acting all narsasistic. Others have hit the same wall. People have been accumulating the same knowledge set and the transition of thought was an organic change. All change goes through 3 phases. As mentioned before, First it is ridiculed, then violently opposed, then accepted as self evident.

What does Irv Mills have to say about Adaptation, Acceptance and Location?

“things will be much worse in some areas than others and if you are clever you can arrange to be where you’ll miss the worst of it.”

“This is already starting to play out in some parts of the world where things are getting bad enough politically, economically and/or climate-wise that many are leaving in desperation. I am talking about places like the Middle East, North Africa, Venezuela and to some extent even Puerto Rico… As the numbers of refugees mount the welcome they receive gets less enthusiastic…A timely move, before things get serious, can put you on the right side of things.”

“So, you’re looking for a place that is, and will continue to be:

  • well above sea level

  • not at the top of a bluff overlooking the sea that is being gradually eroded away

  • not situated so as to take the full brunt of tropical storms

  • not in the floodplain of a river

  • not in a desert or semi-desert that relies on water from fossil aquifers that are being depleted faster than they are replenished or rivers fed by glacial melt water

  • not subject to hot season temperatures or heat waves that are not survivable if the power goes out or you can’t afford air conditioning

  • receiving enough rain to allow for agriculture

  • with a growing season and soil that will support agriculture”

(I love the succinctness of this. I would have droned on and on on each, especially  fossil aquifers and rivers fed by glacial melt. I would add, avoid any place with a dam upstream or heavy industry that use chemicals, upstream of your water supply)

“In addition to the problems caused by climate change, the other two main concerns of this blog (resource depletion and economic contraction) are going to see most of us becoming quite a bit poorer, and not relying on anything that uses much energy, including shipping things in from far away. Most of our own food will have to be grown locally”

“I’ll be talking about coping with the challenge of finding and fitting into a community that can survive under these conditions. For now I’ll just say don’t assume that collapse will relieve you of the necessity of earning a living in the growth based capitalist economy. It’s going to take a long time to switch over to a low energy, low consumption, non-growth economy and in the meantime, most of us will have to keep a foot in both worlds, and initially mainly in the currently existing world. So any plan for a move will have to take into account the necessity of earning a living where ever you go. You may well find that the pressure of earning a living pushes you in the opposite direction from what collapse related planning would indicate is best.”

“The good news is that there are many rural areas where:

  • adequate energy can be had locally in the form of firewood which can be cut by hand

  • potable water can be accessed from already existing wells that can be converted to hand or wind driven pumps and surface water that can be used with fairly simple filtration or treatment

  • sufficient food for the local population can be grown on existing farmland within walking distance of town, without fossil fuel powered machinery”

“Sure, it will require some degree of advance preparation and a willingness to adapt our lifestyles, but it is all quite doable. This is not the case in the city, where local resources for self-sufficient living are simply not available.”

“When I speak of rural areas, let me make it clear that I am talking about small towns of a few hundred to a few thousand people, surrounded by farmland, not isolated farmsteads. It will take more than a single family or two to make this work. Indeed isolation is one of the most debilitating conditions that you can find yourself in as a human being.”

(Yup. I agree. I live on a secluded farmstead. More than most, I know its shortcomings and dangers. Its counter intuitive.  You should move towards people. Not away from them. It may not be an option though. Many will only be able to afford land that others don’t want, at which point you have to think more like a fortified frontier post. Seclusion does not provide you with safety. Quite the opposite.)

“This is more than just a matter of getting out of the cities before things get really miserable there. It’s going to take some time to get set up where you are going and to become integrated into your new community. (C5 addition-Multiple years if not decades) At the moment, people are still leaving small rural towns to find work in the city, but the day will come when that flow reverses. You want to be seen as a relatively old hand in your small town when that happens.”  (C5 addition- many rural areas have already reached collapse. Its a buying opportunity. People want out. This is how we have a large farm, instead of a shack. More so, old, small farmers of Boomer age are giving up, retiring or dying without an heir willing to bankrupt themselves continuing farming. Industrial farming doesn’t want the small farms. It is counter intuitive but move towards collapse. Just don’t expect a traditional wage when you get there. Expect to be resented for a long period)

“Your remote location should ensure you won’t be overrun, (and) that a manageable number of refugees show up. Your aim should be to treat these folks as well as you treat yourselves and, without abusing them, to turn them into a resource rather than a burden. You will be switching over to a lifestyle where people are needed to replace automation, so that shouldn’t be too hard.”

You can find more from Irv Mills here.

Thank you Irv. You saved me a lot of time awkwardly re writing the same thing. I would have droned on and on more about each point. We are going so far on our doomstead as to create low tech housing for urban refugees because we know we will need them…or we will FAIL.

I would like to add more to Irv Mills work. When considering the long term viability of a location, the new Rain Bombs and flash floods must be factored in. Not on a flood plane is the important one but there is more to that. You cannot be near anything that is a water flow area. A nice gully with a trickling creek becomes a water, mud and debris channel when a years amount of water shows up in 24 hours or all the snowpack melts in a week. You have to ask whether the ground you are on will stay in place or other ground is now heading toward you. You will want to ask if your road way will channel water towards you like an artificial river. You will need to know everything upstream from you like, is there an industrial feed lot, where a breach in a manure lagoon will send it into everyone’s well water. As with the Romaine lettuce,  E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, diseases associated with feed lots can include poop related infections, antibiotic resistant super strains of bacteria and even spread or mutate viruses, including jumping to humans.

My only critique of Irv’s work would be to point out that much of the agricultural land around small farming towns is entirely based on central irrigation practices, Diesel heavy machinery reliance and imported heavy chemical fertilizer input as well as toxic pesticides. In most cases, the soil is already dead and simply a sponge for fertilizer. Much of it was nominal land to start with, only made viable by the not so Green Revolution (oil revolution) (Hang on. I need to add in, The new same “Green Revolution” of solar and wind is the same oil revolution. No oil, no solar and wind power). Any interruption in these inputs  will cease to make them viable. More so, there are very few farmers left and the ones that are left are geared to industrial agriculture. They don’t have the skills to switch back. Any attempt to would mean they couldn’t pay their debts and would lose their land to banks as is happening now. Also keep in mind that a farm is not a magic supply of diverse food. In most cases, it is monoculture. Farmers get their food from the supermarket like everyone else. Rarely do they have their own truck gardens. They are too busy and in most cases they have already lost the skill set or it was lost with the previous generation.

I want to bring in Farmgal here for a horror story she faced.

She shared, “Four years ago, I got a call from a fellow garden guru who asked if I would go on a farm consult. I knew the new land owners as they had bought lamb from my farm over the years. So I said I would love to. Who does not want to see the start of new permaculture based farm. We did soil samples, hiked around, looked things over and talked about what they wanted.”

“Skip ahead three years and Hubby and I went for spring visit. They wanted to show us what had gotten done. LOTS of work was done. It was  by the book. There were hugelbeds, raised beds and so much more.. and it was all under producing and or dying or had died. I walked around with a puzzled look on my face for a couple of hours.”

“They were doing everything right, but if they truly had to live off their garden/land, they would be in trouble and they had spent thousands on setup and plans, they had added compost, created compost, they had deep bedded. They had plants that I had gotten at the same time on the same buy in that were producing in some case hundreds of pounds and had made many babies, where on their land, they were stunted things if still alive.. Finally I looked at the edge of a garden bed and smiled as I found some “weeds” that would be good eating”

“Finally I called in the big guns, I put in a request for a Skype call to Becca in the states and we went over it. It clicked for both of us when I said, the land will not even grow enough “weeds” to feed them.. and my hubby who had been listening said, did you notice that the top of the gentle swale’s while struggling were still alive, where the downsides were dead, did it truly click. Four years, that land had never seen a spray.. but before that, it was hay land for 25 plus years… and that land was still “poisoned”… and they can have up to a ten-year recovery time.”

“TEN BLEEDING YEARS.. so much for the idea that we can just take over crop land and add compost, add permaculture gardening principles. Even in their raised beds with imported soil and imported wood chips used as soil cover, they would get a good first year, a poor second year and they were having enough leaching on the lower areas that they could have death in the 3rd year! Think about that. The movement of the water in the pasture was enough to kill off a well created RAISED BED. If food is life… this was death.”

“At least we had a plan for them. You see they have lots of bush land and that land is uphill and never been sprayed. The idea was to use their clean bush as the compost builders.  I pushed hard to grow on the edges as that was the only place in our walks that we had some natural wild foods growing. When we sat down for a visit late fall after their first summer with this knowledge, they were pleased to tell me that indeed the edges will produce food when planted, that they moved over to planting on the higher ridges, off set from the way the water drained from the biggest hay field and they had been able to get returns. They also admitted that they thought about selling the land and moving to a different farm that didn’t have this issue as it would be a long coming six plus years to correct this issue.”

“The moral of the story? We can read it in the books. We can have the knowledge. We can have the seeds and the skills to make it but the soil itself can hold the failure. How many years will it be that the water movement though those hay fields will still limit their ability to grow the plants of their choice.”

My moral of the story. Just because you are surrounded by farmland or even purchase a farm, doesnt mean it can sustain the local community or even yourself. It can require years of work, not to grow food… but to grow soil.

That gets us to our first Minor, Sub Principal.



To be continued, next episode

Bonus Reads- To be edited out later- At the time of posting, one more lethal Polar Vortex is happening. For half a decade now, I have been warning folks that this is the new abnormal now. To understand why, go here-

For those that need to understand why solar and wind electric power will not save us and why any “progressive environmentalist” should be outraged, go here-    A must read.


This is where I usually pass the hat… but stick around for a bit and continue reading.

This took my all… and it did mentally burn me out some. I really reached deep. I did consider putting it behind a pay wall… for about 15 seconds. This is meant for the world. The most valuable “Tip” you can offer me here is for you to share this post. Re post it. Spread it around. Talk about it with people. If not, this has been a big ol’ waist. It dies in the dustbin of the internet.

I should also mention Farmgal gave me an ear full. She wrote, “STOP IT! LOL.. you are allowed to find a way to charge for your work! Yes, I fully agree that the principles and the overall needs to be free (with a request for give the tip) but this was a shit load of work and you have the right to value your time, your knowledge and your words.”

So, there you go. The paypal link is at top of the page where it says, “Giving Just the Tip”.
















The Adapters Movement 1 – In Four Parts

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on January 30, 2019

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C5 Defines The Adapters Movement- In Four Parts. Part I- Introduction

“Survival does not go to the fittest, the strongest or the biggest. Evolutionary Paleontology shows this over and over. The same can be said for the human history of empires. Like the Brontosaurus or T-Rex, this may run for a while but then it hits an evolutionary dead end when rapid change to the ecosystem comes.

Instead, evolution and survival goes to the most adaptive.”    C5

With your host, Category5

(This was originally written as one article. Peer reviewers have asked me to break it down into 4 parts. The 5th part will be the complete article presented as one)


I needed to start this post with a soundtrack. One of those cheesy, sappy 70s songs, that taken out of context makes a great backdrop for a horror film… or in this case, a post apocalyptic story.

For those that have been reading my works, here at the The Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre, since the beginning, I have alluded to something called The Adapters Movement or being an Adapter, that what we do is Adaptation. I tell people, I am not a Prepper anymore. I am already Prepped. What I am now is an Adapter. I am ADAPTING my life NOW to the Apocalypse That Has Already Arrived.

I have said, this theoretical Adapters Movement Does Not Exist. But that it needs to happen. It coming into existence would fill a hole in our culture and solves a problem.

But in saying the Adapters Movement does not exist….. well, that might not be true anymore.

A few people have heard the term. More so, a few people have started using the term. It’s now out there.

Farmgal gave me a phone call from a few Canadian Provinces over. She said, “The reason I called is because I was talking with a colleague and we discussed the Adapters Movement. Next thing I knew, she wanted to hire me to come in and teach a course on the adapters movement. Dont worry. I am going to give you credit as the person that came up with it. The problem I am facing is that Im not sure what to talk about”.

I told Farmgal we would work it out together. More so, I would reach out to some others. Wisdom comes in the council of many.

One person responded, “Which brings me to this idea of a new label. That is in essence what prepper was. It was folks tired of the survivalist label who wanted a label with less baggage. Now prepper has a new set of baggage, mostly due to the horrible “reality” TV show. But how long before this new label Adapter becomes corrupted by elements that don’t represent the intention but take over due to being the loudest voices?”

What I am NOT doing here is sticking a flashy new label on an old radioactive product. What I am doing here is starting over from scratch and putting in clear checks and  balances and boundaries so that it cannot be co-opted. Clear, defining Principals will be its base so that old Preppers, Survivalists, conspiracy peddlers, Racist or Christian Reconstructionist militants ( ) cant just start saying “I guess we are called Adapters now”. This is exactly what we saw happen to the Preppers movement somewhere around 2008.

This will be less of the entertaining style folks have gotten used to here. It will be long. A short thesis. Being that a new “Movement” can not be all about me or what I am doing to adapt, I am bringing in 3 independent and experienced voices to act as a sort of Peer Review. You can think of them as a Board Of Directors or Council of Elders. To put checks and balances on myself  I will be giving them 100% authority to EDIT, critique or even ADD input. Once again, Wisdom comes in the council of many.

First Council position, since she brought it up, will be Farmgal. Long time Moderator at the Canadian Preppers Network. Seed breeding Specialist. Permaculturalist. Food Specialist. Animal breeder. And all round “Smartgal”.

Second Council goes to Nicole Alderman. Moderator, Master Steward  at Permaculturalist. Homesteader. Prepper. One of the reasons I have brought her in is because I have observed that she is very good at self criticizing her experiences and her reasonable long term thinking. I’ll have her soon for a full interview.

Third Council goes to Doc Michael from Apocadocs. Part of the reason for this is his Transition Town experience. A second reason is because he had to abandon his homestead and  Community Supported Agriculture business a few years ago. This had to do with age, injury, health and financial issues. I bring this up because he has deeper experience in things that can go wrong with good ideas and the things rarely talked about on this subject. Even more important Michael has known me personally for several years… so he knows my personal quirks and the man behind the blog. More so, he can hold me to account. Openness and Accountability is one of the “Principles” I will be presenting later.

All three of these folks, I consider actual Peers. A lot of the more well known preppers out there, I do not.

Now, I had high hopes for the preppers movement. Back in the day, it was more of a skills sharing movement. It was more about people digging up hard to find information and spreading that knowledge around. It had become very Inclusive. Anyone could become a prepper. Strangely, this would become its downfall. It was the Wild West.

It would be tempting to start this discussion about becoming an Adapter by just calling it Advanced Prepping. I realized that would be a huge mistake. That would just let the advanced rot fester under the surface. Better to cut the root and plant something new. I had seen some online prepping forums, facing the chaos, institute strict, “No politics. No religious proselytism. No conspiracy theories”, but unfortunately it was already too late. People took this as limiting free speech and went off to the darker web, congregating in echo chambers where extremism festers and the angry try to out compete others there for status and social advancement.

The recent swath of Extreme Right, hate and racial mass murders and assassination attempts is no surprise to me, whatsoever. They simply did what they said they were going to do.

But before we can talk about Adapting, starting something new with checks and balances and defining principles, first we have to talk about the the history of the preppers movement. The simplest definition of a Prepper is “Someone who prepares” for some future event. There is a lot to say in a defining title. It could be, “some one who prepares for war” as much as “someone who prepares for the next ice storm” or “someone who prepares in case they get lost in the woods. But at its core, prepping is a word focused on some future event.

Let’s look at the word “Survivalism”. “Someone who intends to survive” an event. One of the creepiest things I hear from Survivalists, and a clear warning sign, a point at which I wont let them get to know me or any of my friends, is those 5 toxic words, “I’ll do anything to survive”. The more self deceiving version of this is, “I’ll do anything so that my family survives”. That way a selfish and dangerous, predator douchebag, or “The Purge” type of person can spin theft and murder into some kind of  martyr  morality high ground… instead of being an antisocial criminal. This is the type of person that will say “It’s Survival of the fittest” and focus on WROL or Without Rule Or Law. These folks mainly have a lot of guns and combat gear, or at least they have given themselves moral permission to embrace their baser instincts. It will probably take a sucking chest wound or seeing a family member with the side of their head missing or the inside of a jail cell before a person like this sees the error of their ways.

On the flip side of this is the person that won’t make even the most rational and modest preparation or Adaptation to a changing world by saying, “If it is going to be like The Road Warrior, I don’t want to SURVIVE”.

Others have seen the problem associated with THAT word. There was a sub genre that said they were Survivor Thrivers.  Call me a pretentious Gen-Xer but that term was just far too dorky sounding to ever be a rallying call. Nor was it chopping out the underlying rot.

Here is another reason why words matter. Have you noticed a lot of Survivalism is about Bushcraft. The Boy Scout factor. Building traps. Staring fires. Building lean-tos or debris huts. Primitive hunting and fishing. This can follow the path of either pioneer inspired, black powder and trappers or First Nations, “primitive Survival”. The Fake Indian factor. This is all somehow important to the “Bug Out” phenomena. The term “Bug Out” is the dead give away. A military term. Pre-prepping days, if someone was interested in “Survival”, generally the only books they would find with that title would be about, “Wilderness Survival”. In many cases, that would include Ex Military guys teaching, “Survival, Escape, Evasion and Resistance”. There is that word again. “Survival”. Survivalism  evolves from Boy-scout to Militarism. From squirrel traps to human traps, bomb making, improvised guns, lock picking and break and entering. Camouflage and hiding. Tracking, stealth and assassination.

All of this then becomes very interesting for those who’s main focus is “Race Survival” or eliminating Other races. Or Christian Reconstuctionists with plans to make their countries a Theocracy/ Theonomy (if not by the ballot box, then by the cartridge box)  and others with fear based conspiracies.

The Military man then becomes the most important person to learn from. This fills up the survivalist world with alot of ex military guys that are offered a position of importance and the opportunity to only be around other military guys that have been through what they have been through. Now days, most people teaching about survivalism or prepping won’t get any real respect unless they give their rank and “service” history, or will be attacked and belittled for not having it.

Now, I cant be the first or only person to point out what should be obvious. Can I? That they have nothing to teach about Actual Survival. NOTHING. At least nothing practical. Well, maybe if they learned electrical engineering or if they were a mechanic in the motor pool. Maybe. But the level of baggage, and cult like brainwashing and trauma doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest, when considering group association. In fact, they are often a clear and present danger.

Some of you long timers out there will chuckle when I bring up the Survivalist Show and Tell moment. You know what I am talking about. That moment when some survivalist guys get together and decide to show off something cool they have. Now, consider me there in that bunch. I pull out a U-Bar for breaking sod and soil and hand it to the military guy, explaining why this is in the top ten “Preps”. The military guy is handling this big awkward garden tool and his brain is shorting, sparks behind the eyeballs. Then I go Full Shock and Awe. “Come check out this awesome SHTF, apocalyptic extension ladder so I can clean the creosote out of my woodstove chimney. It’s #6 on the list of the most important survival items to own”, at which point the military guys head explodes and the headless corpse attacks me. I don’t fit into his world view and am thus, an existential threat to his self identity and place in the world.

I recently checked into Wikipedia for their history of Survivalism. I was there to pass on some info about the early influences of Reconstructionists, Racist groups and the Militia Movement in Survivalism. All that info has now been edited out of Wikipedia. I was shocked. Someone came in and completely “White Washed” it. What I was less shocked about was that Wikipedia had lumped Survivalists and Preppers under the same title saying they were the same thing. I had already seen them edit out the history of preppers. In many ways, it is true. Now days, preppers and survivalists are pretty much the same thing. Not so in the past. Preppers were a reaction to the excesses of the survivalist movement, in the same way as Protestants (protesters) were a reaction to the excesses of Catholicism. (FYI. I’m not picking on Catholics here)

As I have mentioned before, first use of the term “Prepping” in reference to the subject matter came from the Foxfire book series. I suppose I am foolish to think modern preppers or survivalists are already familiar with these books so here are some links.

For those of us that grew up with the Foxfire book series, You will already know it was a documentation of historical Appalachian homesteading practices.

Foxfire Vol. 1  (14 mb)
Foxfire Vol. 2  (18 mb)
Foxfire Vol. 3  (17 mb)
Foxfire Vol. 4  (14 mb)
Foxfire Vol. 5  42 mb)

The earlier prepper movement was much more of a homeschooling movement. Arguments were less about politics or gun culture and more about childhood education methods. Though mainly a christian movement, it was not exclusive. I guess folks that grew up with the sunday school hymnal of “Jesus loves the little children. All the Children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight”, were less inclined to hate and exclusion. (I wish I could still say the same today but no)

With this inclusiveness, now-days it’s not unusual to find Black preppers or even Gay preppers, and more and more you find preppers moving towards Permaculture. The permaculture movement, turns out, is now filled with preppers, prepper light or prepper friendly folks, even if they disagree with the prepper movement.

Now, part of the reason I have taken you through this short history lesson is that as I intend to define The Adapters Movement, or to START The Adapters Movement, my deliberate intentions are to make it Exclusive. Not to exclude any group… but to intentionally make it difficult to use that name.

A guy in an apartment with a gun and a few boxes of MREs, obsessing about conspiracy theories on the internet wont be able to say he is an Adapter. A Field and Stream, hunting and fishing person with a seasonal cabin and a quad, wont be able to say they are an Adapter…, unless they have much more backing up the claim. A suburban housewife, planing for an ice storm or earthquake with a week of food, flashlight and a generator, definitely not an Adapter. A city guy into camping trips, justifying it as “Bug Out Training”… where to even begin with that one not being an Adapter. I put out a whole 5 part series on that.

Most importantly, a Survivalist in a large truck, clutching the Bible, the Constitution, a copy on Ayn Rand and The Turner Diaries,( )  unable to tell the difference, won’t be able to say, “I guess we are called Adapters Now. What ever. And by the way, we are better than Adapters… and we are claiming the name as our own” as happened with the preppers movement. You will be able to look them strait in the eye and say “The 80s called. They want their Booney hats, Fu Manchu mustaches, 1911’s and Soldier Of Fortune magazines back. You say you are an Adapter? Prove it Buzz Light Beer. If you are not practicing the Adaptation Principles, written down by the Adapters Movement founders, go play plastic survivalist man somewhere else.

The question then follows…. What is the Adapters Movement

Instead of breaching the subject to traditional preppers or survivalist, that I thought may be too trapped in their own ways of thinking to consider a complete tear-down and rebuild from the ground up, I decided to reach outside of the box a bit. I presented this job to folks over in the permaculture world for public debate as I knew they would be (to some degree) more outside of the box thinkers. My guess was that there would be less “self identification” to feel threatened or feel attacked buy a complete tear down of a system. Less “I Am a”…prepper or “I Am a”…survivalist or “I Am a”…Christian, where self identity and direction can be mixed up. Less PREVIOUS INVESTMENT and The Self to defend.

There was some real push back… and a few harsh words… but on the whole, my query was overwhelmingly greeted with enthusiasm, thoughtful participation and  several people went out of there way to thank me for bringing this up and taking on this labour.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Like going into a book store and finding out the post apocalyptic fiction section has been moved to current events.

Though it may seem like a nothing issue and easy to dismiss, one person wrote about their discomfort in the regular use of Apocalypse. You will notice that I use that term to describe our predicament more than other terms though it comes with inherent religious overtones. Sometimes Collapse does not do. Collapse from what to what? Banks closing or limiting withdrawals? Is that a collapse? Not really. That happens periodically in history. Life goes on. Generally, when I use SHTF or WROL or TEOTWAWKI, I am using the term sarcastically. Even mockingly. I use Apocalypse often because its a better discriptor and what we are facing is truly Apocalyptic. The commenter rightly  pointed out that most people read Apocalypse as the end of the world. The term means Revelation. The truth is Revealed.

Now, I am fully aware of this, being the wordy fellow that I am. It’s a subtle joke in my writing. Apocalypse is the moment the veil has been pulled back and the truth is exposed. It’s the moment people see that they have followed a lie, their suburban middle class lifestyle was a false god, weeping and nashing of teeth to follow. But it is not the end. When people use the term TEOTWAWKI or The End Of The World As We Know It, They generally only see The End Of The World part. I jump up and down waving my arms to point out the As We Know It part. This may seem a strange place to start my description and principles of The Adapters Movement, but it is good to point out, folks from other countries often point out and criticize that what North Americans call prepping is simply just called LIFE in most of the world.

And now the veil is pulled back and the truth is revealed of why I chose that incongruent piece of music to start this article, with the lyrics…

-“We’ve only just begun… to live…. So many roads to chose. We start out walking and learn to run… Sharing horizons that are new to us. Watching the signs along the way. Talking it over, just the two of us. Working together, day to day, together. And when the evening comes, we smile. So much of life ahead. We’ll find a place where there’s room to grow. And yes, We’ve just begun.”

The Adapters Movement- Pinciples and Directions

At its core, Adaptation is about living. It’s about Life, today and tomorrow. I wrote at the beginning of all this, “I tell people, I am not a Prepper anymore. I am already Prepped. (I am not living in the future) What I am now is an Adapter. I am ADAPTING my life NOW to the Apocalypse That Has Already Arrived.”

This may seem like a Don Quixote like jousting of windmills, so it was good to hear from others. One replied,

“your quest resonates with me.  Your observation that the apocalypse has already arrived and that we are living in it resonates with me.  Of course, as with anything else in this oddly-globalized world, it’s far from evenly distributed… Nor will it ever be evenly distributed…  But every time I turn on the news the horsemen are getting closer to my house.”     (I should ad that Malibu California is burning today.C5)

Another wrote, “It is more and more an apocalyptic place we live in. I agree. Maybe almost post-apoc. Communication is key… With communication comes information to save lives. Most people take it all for granted that we can talk to anyone anywhere, but what do they speak of?”

Still another wrote, “Wow, so many good thoughts on here! Thank you for starting this! My health crashed HARD in1996, I lost my health, my career, my friends, my money, everything. I am living the back side of SHTF…Anyone who has read my dumpster diving threads will know how I coped with a lot of that. I learned to adapt. I’m GOOD at adapt. I had to be. I KNOW I will have to adapt again at some point…What I’m doing with my life right now is putting into place what I wish I had the first time the world crashed around me, using the currently available resources to set up a life that doesn’t rely on needing that. I beat the rush! But hey, I have experience points now! I know more of what doesn’t work. “

To keep this all from becoming just a C5 love fest, I thought I would add a detractor. She wrote, “ your presentation reads like a Youtube motivational or real estate commercial.  Your aggressive dismissal of everyone else out there who is not using your vocabulary is a turnoff.    I got tired about half way through so I’m out. …and if spirit doesn’t give me enough to survive then, so be it.”

Well, I cant please everyone and I don’t make any attempt to. And clearly one of my defining principles is that I can’t save everyone. See Triage. Another Detractor wrote,..

“It appears this new “Adapters” movement can be simply defined by three traits: 1) We are not like survivalists or preppers . 2) We have a name for our movement but no original or feasible ideas/concepts to base a movement on. 3) Our defining group characteristic is our mutual desire to mock and ridicule survivalists/preppers”.

See my comments on people that would have there personal identity wrapped up with their self identifying titles, previous investment and actions. Now, lets move on to some of those “original or feasible ideas/concepts to base a movement on.”

So, the first Major Defining Principal is…



To be continued, next episode

Bonus reads that I will edit out later. I started writing this, mid October. Since then, many others were catching up with my thinking, often using the exact same words.









C5 Says, I Like Big Knives And I Can Not Lie

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on January 16, 2018











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With your Host, Cabin Fever Category5.

I am SOOOOOOOOO Bored. I really hate winter…and there is not thing one I can do about it. I’m just not a winter guy. I’m also suffering some severe writers block.

All the snow had melted away since my Happy Snowed In Day post.

It came back with a vengeance last night. This is our drive way this morning. I’m glad I was able to push through it with the newish Subaru Forester or we would have been stuck till spring. I’ll have some cutting to do. Thus the post.

I’m Lying. I’m Just bored and in writers block…but that is an excuse to put up a BS post for entertainment only that was already floating around in my head and just required some photos. I pored some warm water on the internet receiver, antenna thingy to melt the ice off it for this. It’s not my usual type of post. Jesus on a snowplow. Who needs to hear another survivalist talk about knives.


Who am I kidding. It was really just an excuse to post this.

I’ve watched that dozens of times. Always makes me laugh.

I was trying to send a photo to The Diner and it wouldn’t load…. so I decided to to show some of my collection of sharp and pointy things and this would be the easiest way to do it. I have been collecting for years.

These are a few of my home made one of a kinds.

home made

The lowest quality is the makeshift Gladius that was the result of other bored winters. Its just a piece of pig iron I shaped with a file. It used to have a dog scull on it and was part of a two sword set that got rented out for movie props. I figured my art collectables weren’t worth keeping anymore, Apocalypse and all that, so I fired it in the wood stove with a hair dryer, dropped it in water then oiled it for the blackened finish that I like. It barely holds an edge but it is worth knowing in the improvised sword category. It will cleave. My next attempted will be done with a car leaf spring. Straight out of the book, Dies The Fire. A recommended read

The post apocalyptic, bearded ax started as a broken, rubberized  splitting ax handle. Having it say, “Warning- Wear Safety Glasses” was for dark giggles. I ground down the head from a different broken ax.

A friend was so impressed with the Ontario Knife Co, tactical Machete, one of my finest, beloved possessions, that he tried to recreate a primitive version. It didn’t work very good, so I re worked it and fired it into what you see above. This hangs on the woodstove and splits all my kindling.

While the camera was out…I got carried away. Soooo bored. Plus I needed to do some dusting and organizing of the knife shelf.

collecttion 1

I started out in life as a small knife guy. Still am. I made fun of “Survivalists” with Rambo knives. Still do. Most real work gets done with small knives. Besides work related jobs, I can easily open arteries in 6 places near the surface, with a 2 inch blade. I trained for that. It changed later in life when I wanted to be able to take an arm off that was reaching for a gun. Now days…and alot of what we will be talking about this year, I need to be able to cut through 2-3 inch branches. You can visually tell, which blades gets the most use. My beloved Ontario SP8, 10in machete. Biggest blade in the smallest package. I cut the head off a sheep with this baby. It gets in tighter spaces than a hatchet.  The only problem was the useless saw on the back. I eventually ground it off with a sander. It had to go because I use this as a draw knife for stripping bark. You also couldn’t Baton with it, for splitting large wood. It can now. OKC needs to re make this classic chopper without the saw… and just for me, one inch longer.

There is a , That’s not ten inches, joke in there somewhere but I’m getting nothing.

The one beside it is my daily carry around the farm. After the other one, I find it a bit lite. But visitors sure notice it right away.

Now lets go bigger.

collection 2

Some day, the bullets may be gone. Heck. Some day the guns may be gone. I wanted one quality sword to hand down.

collection 3

Always the showman. Post apocalyptic chic. Accessories make the man.

Not so much.

For a woman or smaller framed man, The rapier in one hand, the bayonet in the other, is a good house clearer.

What is the quickest way to to a persons heart? Straight through the fucking rib cage.

That leg bone sword was another of my creations and has been used in a couple episodes of The Outer Limits. It always gets a lot of attention when I wear it strapped to my back for SCA events. Its really just a big pointy stick.

This was only supposed to be a Me So Bored, BS post to keep me from doing this. Cabin Fever. Long winter to go. A house full of weapons. What could possibly go wrong.

Luckily, there was plenty of food in the pantry.

I can see that I will have to come back to this post another time, With actual Knife Related adaptation techniques. It will probably be “I Like Big Knives And I Can Not Lie- Redux- Addendum”. Same article… but with more info.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.





































C5 Snowed In For The Winter

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 22, 2018

a northeaster

(photo from 2016 noreaster)

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C5 Snowed In For The Winter And The Snow-plow-pocalypse-End Day


With your snug as a bug Host, Category5.


It’s minus 12c below freezing out there. Feels like minus 22 with the windchill. An extra foot of snow fell last night. More importantly, MrsC5 got the newish Subaru up the hill last night… and almost bogged down. Knowing more snow was coming, I gave her the disproving finger point as to the where the car should be. The bottom of the hill. Its that time of years again. From here on in, we walk up the hill through snow mounds.

It’s THAT day of our calendar. It’s a symbolic day and a day of contemplation. Are we ready for the winter shut in. Did we get everything heavy in before this point. I also go over my accomplishments of the year… or mull over what didn’t get done. This was a good year for accomplishments. Our winter will be much easier this year. I feel pretty good about myself.

And I now have time to write a simple article like this.

I’ve got two other articles on the go… but this one I can write just because of the inspiration and available time. It’s sort of like a Holiday post. Happy Snowed in day.

It just dawned on me that it is also Amerikan Thanksgiving day. Pfft. Pure coincidence. But there is a reason for the feasting season.

As the collapse continues to pick up steam, there will come a day when the snow plows stop running. The day the Truth is revealed. Apocalypse or Revelation. The tearing open of the veil. The day you realize you are snowed in till spring… and you hope you have enough food and firewood to get you and your loved ones through it.

That feast day… is about using up food that will soon go bad and an opportunity to fatten up the ones you love most to give them a better chance. To stare across the table…

…knowing half the people around it will be dead by next year.

We have lived in a bubble of fossil fuel wealth for so long, few understand that this is not the natural order and that natural order will re-establish itself.

Snowed In Day is the reminder.

I doubt that the last Snowplow Day that clears the roads will happen equally all at once everywhere. Instead, collapse begins at the peripheries. Amongst the already poor. Our road will be one of the first to be abandoned. Cities will demand they keep the diesel and tax money.  Pension pay outs are abandoned because road maintenance is deemed more important . The peripheries have no power to make demands. The Burbs will get fewer plows. Their purpose of providing workers for the cities will be untenable and will begin to be abandoned. Those that stay will start reclaiming it for micro farming, knocking down abandoned houses  so fire doesn’t spread to those still standing. Those trees amongst houses for the semi forest suburban experience, all cut for firewood and to prevent fire.

I haven’t done the first climb up the hill yet. I remember the sweat. The panting. The fear of an injury or heart attack. The contemplation that some day, we will become too old and our bones will become too brittle. When we realize we may not have made the right choice. I’m reminded that a small town would have been a better choice than a secluded homestead, where it would still be possible to walk to neighbors or the store or medical assistance. A place where neighbors would check in with the elderly.

But our lot has been cast. Too late to start again. We must attract young people to take over. We must become elders, to teach what we know about the land to keep the young alive, that we may earn our bowl of soup and share of firewood.

Some day, one of us will be injured and require the care of the other. I am reminded of the scripture, Ecclesiastes 4,

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken”

Today is also a day to celebrate our success. Yesterday, I just finished the final chore of the year… just in time. Re-plumbing our water pressure pump tank, getting it away from a cold air intake under the house that always caused our water to freeze each year. This also eliminated a major draft. I talk about the major builds like the Windapult of the living fence build… but the other stuff isnt worth an article. I Skirted the house this year, using recycled vinyl siding. No more wind drafts under the house. I fixed wind and heat loss problems in the greenhouse. MrsC5 jumped through all government paperwork hoops, for us to to access a winter efficiency grant for low income households, since we had less than 10 thousand dollars come in this year. They graciously pumped in a bunch more roof insulation. (I’ll take it, knowing it is highly unlikely we will ever receive the full pension we payed into, knowing it will all be consumed by the retired Boomers)(Survival tip coming up)  I fixed the gaskets on the wood stove. I was crafty. I didn’t replace it. Instead, I stored our new one. I took out the old gaskets, beat it on a pole to soften it up, cleaned out creosote build up… and glued it back in place. The old glue worked and wasn’t solid because, I guess, it is heat activated instead of oxygen activated. The newly fluffed up gasket is working just fine, and we will see just how many times I can get away with that “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mantra. All the wood and kindling was in early and well seasoned.

All of this little stuff has paid off. We are used to being cold in this house. We live in hoodies and caps and layers and sleep under thick blankets. All that has changed this year. Its deep cold outside and I am in single layers, no cap… and my penis hasn’t turned from an Outy to an Inny,… making it far easier for me to write. My Apocalyptic Adaptations are really paying off. My house is full of food. I’m warm. We got water. We can even house someone that didn’t make the snowpocalypse cut off date. Life is good.

If Snowplow End day comes this year… We are good for one more year. This is what REAL survival looks like. Its why we Prep. This is Adaptation.

Happy Snowed In Day, everyone.

May your wood piles stay high and your food pantries stay even higher.


My bad. I was negligent last post. I forgot to thank S.R. and J.D for the donations for future experiments. I do so now. Also, thank you C.H. and J.D for the last donation, and allowing me to spend it on myself for the first time, as payment for my writing. It was nice. I got to spend 30 bucks on something silly with “tactical” in the title, that I didnt really need for practical survival. It was like mini christmas and I was getting a toy. I’ll keep this up for the next few articles, but after that, it all goes back into the future experiments Tip Jar. If you would like to give a Tip for writing services rendered, go to the top of the page and press, Giving Just The Tip. Always good for a gratuitous chuckle.

C5 Gets Wood- Part I- The Blue Pill Moment

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 13, 2018

dog and sled

Suckers. Nope. I’m not here to get my kink on or talk about sexual disfunction. I’m here to talk about the other wood.

“There is not enough liqueur and therapy in the world to undo that” Archer


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With your host, Category5. Budumt dup.

It’s early winter. We all know what time of year this is, Right? Its time to start cutting NEXT YEARS firewood. For those even further ahead of the game than me, it’s really time to be cutting next, next years firewood, since the most efficient firewood has seasoned for two full years. That aint me. I’m rarely that far ahead… though I do have an extra years firewood in the barn in reserve. Its about 5 years cured. Its there in case I ever get injured, have a heart attack, the saw dies… or I die. MrsC5 will have an extra year to figure out what to do next. She has my permission to replace me as quickly as possible. And I recommend doing so. I am a pragmatist.

But before we get there…

I’m working on my Big, Big, Big article, C5 Defines The Adapters Movement- Acceptance and Triage. It will take a few months. Its my semi- thesis and I will be bringing in others to peer review it. Its the most I can offer the world. The blog is all down hill from there.

Re, over at the Doomstead Diner  was pestering me, saying if I don’t get out an article, I’ll lose all my viewers. Fair enough. So… while I’ve got wood…I’ll slip in for a quicky.

We will do this in Two parts. The pre-collapse, Viagra, chemical assistance, wood getting.

Part two will be on post-collapse getting wood. Alot more manual assistance and…um…smaller wood. They say it’s how you use it… but I wouldn’t know.

a fire

If I may quote the U.S. Marine corp creed…

“This is my Wood Stove. There are many like it, but this one is mine.My Wood Stove is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.Without me, my Wood Stove is useless. Without my Wood Stove, I am useless. I must fire my Wood Stove true. I must burn hotter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I will… My Wood stove is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its stove pipe and its cleaning brushes. I will keep my Wood stove clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will. Before God, I swear this creed. My Wood stove and I are the defenders of my country.”

What? That’s not what they say? Well, clearly they don’t know shit. And you probably shouldn’t look to them for survival advice.

You will notice, four of the rodent control Cats have taken up residence by the fire for the winter when they are not hunting.

Notice also, my use of metal shelves to increase surface use. Transportable hot water is also on the go storing excess heat, (not for canning. Don’t do that. We have other outdoor fire for that)  Behind the pots are high density rocks. Also a store of movable heat. Wrap in a towel to be moved into bed or put under your feet. I have survived outdoors without blankets by sleeping on heated rocks. Notice paper and cardboard recycling. Its heaping by fall. Also notice the hand made cleaver and log buy the door for splitting kindling. We will upgrade this over the winter by putting some hooks in the ceiling and hanging removable chains. Into the chains will fit metal dowels. These dowels will hang drying laundry or food dehydrating racks. Very Tacticool, don’t’cha think.

While other useless “Survival Experts” are pawning Tactical shit that ends up in the back of the closet amoungst bad fashion choices, porn and sex toys you don’t want others to know about,(we all have them. I like…um…tactical stuff) this is something that actually gets used and produces “Actual Survival”.

While others “Experts” are promoting Tactical toys and arguing about guns, I am the guy stepping up and going, Ehc-hem…

The Number 1, high ticket item in the top 5 must have items…(envelope please) is a Wood Stove.

I actually have 4 others as backup in various stages of disrepair. They will end up in outbuildings, including greenhouses. I will continue to collect them, when I find them cheaply disposed of as a store of wealth, far more tradeable than gold or silver.

If you are not allowed to use a woodstove where you live… you have much bigger problems… that a bunch of tacticool stuff wont solve. Your First Prep will be to move.

If you live in an area where heat is not an issue… You have much bigger problems. See Florida and California at the moment. No sign of partisanship here. Both the right state and the left state will be ass fucked by mother nature with a HUGE strap-on.  Also see Refugees escaping climate change. Your FIRST prep will be to MOVE.

To my detractors, please move there. It’s a great buying opportunity at the moment. Its a good investment and will help secure your wealth and the future of your descendants. Beach front property is going cheap. Its just a fixer upper. Trust me.

Have I mentioned yet? C5 Rule of Survival- Never trust ANYONE that says, Trust Me ( I wrote a book about it that you will want to purchase. Trust me)

So move. If you do not get that, Just Stop. Stop reading me. I don’t need fans. Just stop.

Thus follows,  The Number 2, high ticket item in C5’s top 5 must have items is…(envelope please) a quality chainsaw. (and a cheaper spare)

Don’t fuck around. You want a Stihl’s or a Husqvarna. I chose Stihl. Life is fill of compromises. I like compromise. Not in this case. Its ten times the cheap saws. Its pricey but not ten times pricey.

I expect push back. It’s part of the unpaid job. I don’t make money doing this. Its a short term, temporary fuel based solution. I’ll cover non engine solutions in Part II. FYI, those wont include Ax’s and old logger saws. I’m not that shallow.

Though it is… a blue pill moment… in the short term, a chainsaw is indispensable. It does what no other tool can do. Even if you live in California in front of that fire storm, wouldnt you have liked to have cut all those trees and shubs away from your house. Even if you lived in Florida, wouldn’t you like to be able to cut the trees blocking the roads or about blow onto your house.

That is sort of what I have been doing at home lately. I am cutting the problem trees. The ones that put me in danger. The ones that will become a future problem. And I am turning survival problems into survival solutions. Heat.

As a bonus, this year we started puling all the scrub wood and branches into the garden to be used for future Hugelkulture mounds, instead of burn piles . It hadn’t been an issue before. Water had never been a problem… until this summer. I got spooked. Now I wish to store ground moisture is hugel mounds. The waste branches, under garden soil, retain moisture for growing plants

Now this was only supposed to be a short, filler post. As usual, once I get started, its a long post. I haven’t even covered WOOD yet. I am losing my erection…proverbially speaking. You were expecting a part two….but instead, I think it best if I come back with a “C5 Gets Wood- Part 1 And A Half, Addendum… Touch wood.

One last thought before I go. Remember this?

SHTF car 4

What I am hear to report is that The SHTF Honda Civic has been totaled. We got rear ended. We are not injured beyond a few days of discomfort and shock and a few weeks of inconvenience and hardship.

I put that clip up because of the next touching lines from her confidant, while he was tending her wounds, as I sort of did to MrsC5 in her shock…

“Sabu is bleeding. She does not have this ox. This lion is hungry. She does not have this ox. This wagon is heavy. It does not have this ox. God is happy, Sabu. He plays with us”.

It seems the gods kept that vehicle alive, only long enough for me to write that article… and now it has served its purpose and went onto carbon collapse heaven. Go into the headlights. Go into the light

Speaking of Stoicism…. while MrsC5 was in shock and freaking out, I was able to switch mental gears and go “YES! We just won the lottery”. We were going to need the next disposable vehicle soon and the beat up civic would have returned no value to us except in parts for another civic. Instead, we get 2500$ for it.

We have upgraded to a 2009 Subaru Forester, manual transmission, since we don’t trust automatics on older vehicles. Supposedly, its the other option for reliability. I wont comment on that until we have had it for a few years.

FYI, back to back to back storms have been disruptive here for the last month and a half. The next hits tomorrow then again latter in the week. Climate change blows.

Now I better get out there to cut next years firewood. Tis the season. I am mainly taking out the trees near powerlines. Preemptive adaptation before the winds take them down. Im using ropes to pull the trees away from electrifying lines. ZAP.

FYI, The reason for the season is because….for anyone involved in their own food production… The spring and the fall are booked. There is no time for anything else. The lazy days of summer are too hot… for swinging a saw or hauling wood. You wait for the cool season. If you cut it early, it has a full year to season before you have to burn it again. And if you have to haul it… light snow has uses for moving heavy objects. See the photo at the top of the page, Get’er done before deep snow… and then again before ground thaw when it all turns to mud.

Because of recent crashy cost over runs, I hope you don’t mind if I cut my usual ending of saying, “All Tips go towards future experiments”. I have been honest and diligent about that. It’s been a long time since I just bought myself anything for my efforts though. I’ll keep this new ending until I finish my “C5 Defines the Adapters Movement” thesis. Then back to the “experiments” Tip Jar. If you would like to give a tip for writing services rendered, go to the top of the page and press “Giving just the Tip”. Always good for a chuckle

Make Canada Great Briton Again

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 24, 2018


(I have no rights to that photo. See bill c-42 article 29 on fare use for education, parody or satire),,,

Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner







…(I have also been told, no one is getting the Briton joke. See nonsensical statement comment. If you want to tell one really good joke, you have to be willing to tell 10 bad ones. I’m leaving it as is)

With your host, Category5.


I am soon going to be working on a very serious article that will be my most challenging yet. I am feeling mildly overwhelmed by this but impossible tasks is what I do. You may or may not hear from me for a few months as I pull this off.

In the face of that… I needed a little levity.

I had a face palm moment yesterday. I saw an article about someone selling “Make Canada Great Again” hats. Didn’t read it. There is only so much  enraging stupid human tricks I am willing to put into my brain. But it immediately brought my mind to…

C5 Rule Of Survival- Always keep in mind that half the people you have to deal with are below average IQ.

The title, Make Canada Great Briton Again (or America for that matter) is, of course, a nonsensical statement. That masted ship has sailed. The British Empire came to a close with the loss of India as its bread basket, and on the whole, the English are generally happy that this failed experiment of world domination is over, just like the less stuffy of Canadians are rather happy that pot prohibition has ended and they no longer have to fear being anally raped in prison as a government and police standard policy of control and punishment. I believe that is referred to as a war crime. Just saying.

“Make America Great Again” is just as nonsensical, so I guess it is time to re discuss EROEI or Energy Return On Energy Investment for new readers. Or more importantly, the declining rate of Energy Return On Energy Investment. EVERY part of western decline is tied to that. EVERY PART.

When I think of  nonsensical statements by empire building enthusiasts, George Bush comes to mind with “The American way of life is non negotiable” statement.

I thought, WOW! Now that there is some delusional wishful thinking. Its sort of like saying “Two cars and a unicorn in every pot is a Right imbued by the creator… and we will kill any traitor that says otherwise.” I suppose it helps for keeping the unwashed masses in check and it is helpful for thinning out the excess males. See the C5 Rule about half the people you meet.

(another time the Simpsons predicted the future… about another Viet Nam)

Of course, Math and Physics didn’t get the memo. God must have forgot to send it. I’m sure she is busy.

Decline was baked into the cake. People facing their shattered and desperate lives may want to return to Leave It To Beaver times or even Strong Males in red viking helmets that say “Make America Rapey Again” , but no political tweeking by either the Right or the Left can get us there because that experience was based on a One Time In The Lifetime Of A Planet, resource consumption event.

Time for DJ-C5 To put on his cowboy boots for a song.

I’m surprised I haven’t used that one before but it’s probably because I disagree that oil will suddenly stop and I disagree with his survival methods. Then again, someone may point out that I have already gone to ground on the Dark Green Mountain. I am of the “Collapse Now and Avoid The Rush” mindset. Also, a moment can arrive when the oil stops because the industry throws in the towel, having bankrupted themselves, like its present trajectory with shale.

What got me noticed in the doomerspere was my first article, here at DGM-SRC, with a quick mention of EROEI. Many had never had this explained before though there is nothing new about it.

I wrote,

“The Energy Return On Energy Investment ( EROEI ) of oil, the lifeblood of our society is sitting at around 5 to 1 for unconventional oil. We should just start calling this stuff, things that vaguely resemble oil that are pretty much corrosive sludge that you have to sell to another country because no one that actually paid attention in auto shop class would want to put it in their personal vehicle.”

“EROEI of 5 to 1 or there abouts. That means it took the energy of one barrel of oil to get 5 barrels. Just so everyone gets the predicament we are in, back in the heyday when we built our own Mamon backed auto-Molock industrial society with all the accoutrements of highways, bridges, dams, social institutions and milk delivered to the door, the EROEI was theoretically somewhere around 100 to 1. The road ahead was bright. The Star Trek future awaited. Now let’s flash forward a bit shall we. The minimum to keep an industrial society powered is somewhere around the theoretical 30 to 1 mark and you can cancel all those tractor pulls. Not to mention maintaining, repairing and replacing all that infrastructure a few times a lifetime while birthing in the next generation to keep the monster running. Something vaguely resembling the the milk that used to be delivered to the door now comes in Tetra Packs, shipped in from from hundreds of miles away. Yuck!”

“What a stupid fucking system. What absolute fucking moron would think this is a good idea and be emotionally invested in keeping the idea going?”

“For those of you whose eyes are widening a bit and your mouth is beginning to make that circular O or ‘Oh’ or ´Ohhhhhhh!´ shape, congratulations. You are finally getting with the program. The failing dams, falling bridges, potholed highways, undrinkable civic water and crumbling social cohesion, program. For just about the full length of my lifetime the Western world has only continued to grow by accounting fraud. It was subtle at first. It’s less than subtle now. Now the pitchforky populi are rather miffed at the diminishing returns of their lives and they voted for the exact guy I figured they would. They always vote for a guy like that in times like these.”

“Well, Caesar can’t save you now.”

That there was a pretty darned good rant so it was worth using again, now that I have a larger and more divers readership. Plus it saves me some time re writing it all. I only like you folks so much and it is not like I owe you anything, or not have anything better to do.

But I always meant to give a bit more on EROEI. The first thing to point out is that we will never run out of oil or oilish substances. There is enough oil to cook the planet. What there is not though, is the high EROEI oil that we used to be able to get by sticking a straw in the ground. The stuff that “Made America Temporarily Great”  No body would be turning Alberta into Mordor or poisoning productive farmland and aquifers and people if this wasn’t the case. They are scraping the bottom of the barrel and calling it ice-cream. The next “Miracle” they will sell to gullible investors desperate for yield, any yield, will be burning the barrel. I believe that has started. Coal flavored ice-cream anyone.? Anyone? It’s what you need on a record hot day. Come to the Dark Side. We have Ice-cream.

I believe the declining EROEI  narrative goes back to Buckminster Fuller but don’t quote me on that. But most will think of Charles Hall. Many have challenged Halls science with good reason. But to discount the concept, you do at your own peril. One of the things his presenters brought forward was “The Red Queen” principal. Lines from Alice in Wonderland. See the picture at the top of the page. If my memory serves me correctly…

The Red Queen says to Alice, “To stay in one place, you must run as fast as you can. If you want to get anywhere, you must run twice as fast. If you run too fast, You die”.

If that statement resonates with you as it does with me, it’s because this is where we are in this story. This is where we are in collapse. You have followed me down the Rabbit Hole.

The next thing you will notice is those numbers are quite different than what fracking enthusiasts will quote. Energy Return on Investment, something completely different, is measured differently. That is the money infused from when the fracking crew arrives to what hits the top of the wellhead.

The EROEI numbers include all the steps along the way, From Exploration to Extraction, Road and Pipeline infrastructure, Oil processing mega structures, and the trucks and roads to get it to its Distribution end, The gas stations. None of the social infrastructure costs are added into that but probably should be. Either way, what is left over, is the energy profit that makes our society run. That excess energy return is the EVERYTHING. The Economy? Excess energy return. Products? Excess Energy Return. Stock Market? You got it… well, not quite. Most of that is fictitious money, dept, ponsie schemes and fraud. Different subject.

Speaking of which, This your bonus read of the week. With good concience I have to sound the ALARM. Red Alert! Wooooo Woooooo! Ding Ding! Danger, Will Robinson! Amerika being Great Again!  What can possibly go wrong?   To be read and not bypassed unless you are comfortable with being homeless.

But the most important issue is… envelope please…. FOOD. Everything you are eating from the grocery store is basically OIL. You are eating oil calories. It doesn’t naturally, magically, pop out of the ground to be collected by happy farmer elves. Oil is involved in every step with Absolutely no way to back out of that faustian bargain that doesn’t involve large swaths of the earths population starving to death in the dark. And that is one of many reasons I am the life of any party… or at least part of the reason I drink so much.

If I were to wear an unstylish slogan hat meant to intimidate and pick a fight , It would be “Make Food First Again” or “Make Superstorm Bunkers Great Again” or maybe a red hat that says, “I’m Not Getting Laid Again”. Hum. I see swag coming to DGM.

Some lefty friends burst out laughing when I said, “Make Red hats Communist Again”. FYI, no promoter of that either.

Well. Enough educational commentary. No C5 article is complete without Adaptive survival advice. This time of year, our dining room table has a tendency to accumulate. Things. Edible things. On their way to any space we can fit them into. This was one of those moments in the ebb and flow.

a table

If you only grow one thing… it should probably be those Butternut Squashes in the back. That there is only from 2 plants. We grew light this year since we were busy with other things. It grows in most climates. Properly hardened, we have had some last as long as a year as the next batch was coming in. Its a bit sweet and not too dry, so it is not too psychologically hard to adjust your taste buds to as you are transitioning from one food source to another. One of the things we like to do with it is cube it up with a roasting chicken. It absorbs some of the oils making it more flavorful. The seeds are fry panned up at the same time for a protein and fiber filled, salty snack.

How it finds itself on the table, is that we thought a hard freeze might happen, so we moved it out of the greenhouse. The reason they were in the greenhouse is because that is where I take them from the feild so they have as long as possible for the outer skin to harden. They are still alive and growing. Not in size, but they are healing up any nicks or cuts or soft spots on their skin, where bacteria might enter, causing it to rot. If you don’t have a greenhouse, this can be done on a window sill. Getting it in the greenhouse early is a defense from damaging surprise frosts.

Next thing on the table is the Zucchinis. For those that have not seen one, outside of the store, this is what they grow up to be. I don’t see the point of the little ones. I once offered some to a neighbor. He declined and said, that is just pig food. That is a statement you should contemplate. We can get these to store for about half way through the winter after sun hardening. Growing up, this was a holiday meal addition. It is cut in half, with the seeds scooped out and baked. Butter and brown sugar is added and continued to bake. No one seems to have heard of this. My guess is that it is a poor french canadian invention and that makes sense… and why you should pay attention. Farmgal also put out this recipe for Mock Pineapple. We are going to try this.

Zucchini Fruit

Last to mention is the tray of beans on the table. As I sat down in front of some Netfluff and started this job, I chuckled and called it “Survival Training”. This is what REAL survivalist Manly Men buck up and face up to. Not jacking off to gun porn. The reason it is “Survival Training” is because it is about Adjusting Expectations.

C5 Rule of Survival- If all else fails, lower your expectations.

I was shocked to the core the first time I did a job like this. Now it is an old friend. I could have just bought those beans for 10 bucks. First time I did something like this, MrsC5 scolded, “Now that is not a very good use of your prepping time, is it?” I flashed her my best Han Solo smirk and replied, “This is survival training. It’s not just a job for ‘Brown’ people Any More. Get used to it, Princess”.

And BING! C5s culturally inappropriate comment  of the day… but damned fine survival advice you will all remember. Just try washing that one out of your ears.

How did we get here? Earlier in the year MrsC5 said, “Beans are your job”. No biggy. She plants. I harvest. While walking back and forth doing other jobs, I would observe. When beans dried. I’d pluck them off and stuff my pockets and dump them in a pot for fall work. Ones that were getting there would go onto a drying rack in the greenhouse. As the year progressed, it was TRIAGE time. Any of them touching the ground would just rot before they could dry. This fall I was proactive. I ripped the entire plants out of the ground, bundled them with sting and hung them in the greenhouse to finish before frost or fall rains would rot them. That is skipping over the whole green bean phase. MrsC5 cans up some wicked, hot pickled beans.

And all three of these on the table are pretty self explanatory in getting seeds to go seed to seed. I don’t need to buy them again unless I want to.

Why would I do this? I find this strangely empowering and mildly arousing.

Fuck you, big box grocery store and oil industry. Fuck you banking cartel and chemical industry. Fuck you, you fucking fucks.

That feels damned good to say.

Sooooo…… Lets sum up

The Red Queen… is in the oval office. The pitchforky populi are running as fast as they can to stay in the same place. HeShe is commanding, “Make America Great Briton Again” and demanding everyone run faster to get there… until they and the earth die. And Her followers are just itching for the “Off with their heads” command. The Black Queen/ White Queen seems just as loopy and head choppy.

So, How do we get off this treadmill of running as fast as we can until we die.

It seems to me that the answer is to stop running and live with the consequence. If you cant stop, slow down and see what happens.

“Oh, No guys. I’m fine. Don’t stop running. I’ll catch up latter… Have fun. Say high to the finish line…….Bye……………………….. Douche Canoes. ”


And with that, DJ_C5 leaves you with two competing pieces of music. Chose wisely.


And now I want to do a REALLY Big shout out to the folks over at  PERMIES! Seriously. Go poke around there.

A specific shout out to Master Stuart, Nicole Alderman who did me really well, promoting The Windapult.

It brought thousands of viewers and hundreds to Dark Green Mountain.

I think We found a kindred spirit there an we will have her soon for an interview.

A shout out as well over to RE at The Doomstead Diner who got it up right away.

Make sure you check out NearingsFault’s Charcoal Tractor.

YouTube, on the other hand, seems to be fucking me over. I think some algorithm or employee is trying to bury me. Over several days, I watched the view count actually go down, over and over. Just saying.

If you would like to give a Tip for writing services rendered or to support the cause, go to the top of the page and hit, “Giving just the Tip”.  All “Tips” go towards material costs for future experiments.

(Thanks AT and JD for the donation)











Windapult: The Hurricane Resistant Wind Tower

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Published on Dark Green Mountain Project & Doomstead Diner on October 7, 2018

Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table Inside the Diner

C5 Builds A Category-5 Hurricane Resistant Wind Tower-The Windapult

a storm 2

With your host, Category5.


” For most people, adapting to climate change isn’t the result of a long-term plan. It’s done in rush: a buzzing text message, an evacuation warning as the rain starts to fall, the National Guard humvee rolling up to your door, and the realization that you must leave home, if you can. “
Eric Holthaus


This is a long and epic read today. Sit down and pore yourself a glass. It should make up for and explain my lack of presence lately.

I’m starting to write this today, just as the remnants of Hurricane Florence finally rambled its way all the way to Dark Green Mountain in Nova Scotia. It’s the Fall equinox this eve but will be much later before you read this. Nothing dramatic to report here as the storm has already shot its load, and like a selfish lover, once it has caught it’s breath, will put on it’s pants and leave without much fanfare. (Hold on, This is the ghostly apparition of C5 coming to you from the future. The storm remnants came back less than a week later to dump a bunch more water and if I read the signs right, we should get more of it later in the week. Ah, The returning 2AM booty call)

I had been pushing hard to get to this moment, worried that a deluge and winds would topple all my work before I could get it all held up and strapped down. Its been a mentally and physically exhausting experience. More mentally exhausting. Every step of the job confronted me with an unforeseen problem, usually impossible to fix and requiring me to pull off a C5 miracle, every single fucking day.  I generally say, I can only perform one miracle or impossible task a month. But no rest between miracles for C5 this round. This is the nature of building, stream of consciousness, with salvaged materials and limited resources… at the end of the Empire, in early stage Economic, Environmental and Energy collapse. Hold that thought.


I noticed by the stats that people kept coming to check in with this blog, assuming that the latest disaster would force my pen and that I would have something to say about the matter. I felt, at this point, it was sort of redundant. Plus, I was rather busy. Instead, I decided to Show instead of just Talk.

That, and people saw the start of the tower in the previous article and wanted to know more. Woe there, folks. I could write or I could build. I chose to build.


Maybe, some of you have heard the colloquialism, “Women and cats rule the world… and Men and dogs should just get used to it”. That is far too uncomfortably true for any of us manly men to admit publicly. MrsC5 hit me with a lefty uppercut this year that I didn’t see coming. As Mike Tyson explained, “Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the face”. I had a hearty plan for how this year was going to work out… but it didn’t include this.

Now. I am pretty good at looking her straight in the eye, with my best Han Solo smirk and saying, “O.K. Princess. Did your daddy not spank you enough?”. But when she said she wanted the wind tower put up this year….

I dont remember who said, “War is rarely fighting. It’s moving troops around to convince the other guy that any fight would be too costly”. I realized that if I did not do this, I would probably end up doing dishes, vacuuming and laundry.

I’m still good. She doesn’t realize I out maneuvered her (until she reads this). Any time she complains about the slovenly nature of maleness, I will simply point to the monstrosity on the front lawn that I wrestled from  the gods, with a good amount of being punched in the face, to be wrenched from non existence out of the tentacles of Cthulhu, like an anarchist Prometheus.

If I was going to be conscripted into this job, I had a few requirements of what the end result would be. #1- It needed to be able to be raised by one person alone, without a tractor or mechanical assistance. #2- It needed to be able to survive a Hurricane or Bomb Cyclone. #3- It needed to be able to be taken down for maintenance or repair and most importantly, It needed to be able to be taken down right in the middle of a storm if things get too much and it had to be able to be done by one person without mechanical assistance.  No biggy. I can pull that off….. cough.

I decided the materials I already had on hand would allow me to base this on a Medieval Trebuchet.  When telling people what I was up to, I would say trebuchet and they would blank. That glazed over stare and nod that says, I am listening to you but have no idea what that nut bar C5 is talking about. So I dummed it down a bit and said catapult. I was, basically,  building a “Wind-apult”. Catchy name… but technically, it is not a catapult. Not anything like it. Oh well. I’m stuck with it cause I cant come up with a catchy name that has trebuchet in it.

I will save my thoughts on wind power, till further down the article, some of which you have heard me say before in previous articles. But a word to the wise…

C5 Rule Of Survival- Any essential project will cost twice as much and take three times as long

wind 1

When I got to this next point, after weeks of misfitted parts, cursing, swearing and several periods of complete despair, I called Mrs C5 outside to be there when the hinge point either succeeded or crumbled into bent metal and broken concrete.

After several years of just staring at materials, last minute modifications, and completely Micky Moused materials, the moment that hinge worked, and I felt the strength, realizing it was three times as strong as I had hoped, I said to MrsC5, “Just so you know, there will be absolutely no living with me tonight”. I was so fucking awesome that even I would hate me and not want to be in the same room with me.

That high was good because their was a world of fuck ups to come.

wind 2

Now, finding an appropriate counterweight was really working my nads.  After a week of trying to fit several heavy objects in from my scrap collection, I finally realized  I could reshape some old duct pipe in there and fill it with concrete. By complete and utter fluke… it turned out to be close to the right weight. No, really. It surprised the hell out of me. But none of this went smoothly. I pored the counterweight then let it set for a week in its upright position

wind 3

Notice the ominous clouds building in the back ground. I had made my goal to get this far before the hurricane…stared at it and then said, “Ah, Hell. Fuck, No. Those cables wont do if a meter of rains fall, turning the earth to slurry and winds rocking cement back and forth to be ripped out of the ground. Cables wont do. I want any sway to be met, not just by pull, but also push. That brought me here. I’m not too humble to say, once the storm passed, that looks way too cool in a Transformer, Star Wars Imperial Walker, Mechano Set, sort of way

wind 4

As we got to the final cable anchors, I tweaked the balance weight and saw it go up and down with ease…..

…Well, a photo just wouldn’t do.

It was time to re invent my YouTube image.

Now to wire it all in. That is turning out to be the priciest part. Costs! Now, THAT is the part I really want to talk about. There is no getting around that. All of this is pricey…. Even with me doing all the fabrication work  and using recycled, repurposed metal.

A good percentage of our culture and growing, can not come up with 1000$ to to meet an emergency car repair or medical expense. I have been one of you. Most are so far in debt that any further debt into “Adaptations” is not just a pipe dream but is possibly an existential threat. So I try to keep in mind at all times, here at DGM, that just because I can do this doesn’t mean everyone can… if they just try harder. That window has closed. We know live in the Age Of Consequence. Collapse is not a theoretical future event. Its here and will simply play out as it will in accordance with the laws of physics, math and biology. Throw in some Chaos Theory and at least you can say it is going to be the most interesting period of human history.

The metal was CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP. I have truly learned to LOVE our couple of metal recycling yards within an hour of where we live. It was just labor and travel intensive, not always finding what we needed, figuring out work arounds, and being surprised by incredible random finds. I recall an online prepper friend once saying, “If you control a scrap yard and a Value Village (a large second hand store), you are a king during the apocalypse”. How true. All for metal cost alone. Any aluminum is really expensive though. If this is outside your social world, I recommend you do a visit to a metal recycling yard and consider it “Survival Training”. Its far more valuable “Training” than something ridiculous like “Bug Out Training”.

But concrete got very expensive, fast. Where it also got really expensive fast was all the little fasteners, nuts and bolts , tension wires, U-bolts, tension adjusters and of course all the trips back into town each time I figured out what I didn’t have but needed before I could move on to the next part of the job. I kept looking down at the little bag of hardware doohickeys and realizing we were a hundred plus dollars poorer with each trip to town.

Considering this, I’m glad I let MrsC5 pressure me into doing this job now instead of after the theoretical collapse, where it no longer would have been possible.

Perhaps, that could be a defining principal of what I am coming to call “The Adapters Movement” as opposed to the Survivalist or Preppers movement. An Adapter accepts the future and adapts there life NOW to flow through it. It’s a full time gig. There is no last minute running away while continuing to live BAU or Business As Usual. If you do have to Bug Out, that means “YOU FAILED”.

Welding would have cut down on some of these costs but that was not in my skillset or tool collection.

But, lets get to the wind generator itself. Now, this article is all about the tower. Not the generator…. but it is part of the story.

One day, MrsC5 showed up with with a wind generator. I could not fault her in that she had got a once in a lifetime deal. It was about a three thousand dollar model, that she had got used for Six hundred dollars. I have lived in vehicles cheaper than that. As a prepper, you would think I would be happy… but no. I saw an expensive and time consuming chore to be added to my list of “Honey Do… before the apocalypse” chores that was way beyond my skillset. We had already just spent a good chunk of our retirement saving putting in solar.

Now, for those drooling and fantasizing about our set up, it’s time for a big reality check.

That is what, Yours Truly, The Warrior of The Wasteland, God of Prepping and all round spiffy dresser, is here for.

C5 Rule of Survival- There is a big difference between KNOWING in the biblical sense and KNOWING in the porn sense.

There is this general idea in our group consciousness, that if you can simply come up with the money for solar and wind power, that it is free power forever. That it is sustainable, clean energy. We have the technology. We can rebuild it.

Now, picture the 6 million dollar man, 20 years later.

He is in a wheel chair. Electronic systems have worn and shorted. Medicare doesn’t cover being rewired. He is riddled with cancer from leaking batteries and heavy metals. All the joints have worn and need complete replacement. His spine and other organic parts are just fucked because the two technologies were never meant to work together. He is addicted to opiates, in constant pain and anger at how he was used by corrupt, corporate governments that used him to stay in power. The government considers him a disposable asset that they might have to make disappear  and they have unplayable dept obligations. The energy and replacement parts are now much more expensive and harder to get due to declining EROEI and all their credit is tied up in huge armies to steal that stuff from others. And with inflation due to a monetary system designed to steal financial wealth from the masses… 6 million dollar man?…PFFFT! Try 6 Billion adjusted to inflation, paying share holders of military contractor industries and graft for elected officials to look the other way while calling this scam, contributions to the next election and healthy democracy.

Or, a simpler way to put it would just be to think about it like your last car. It seemed like a good idea at the time… but how long did you really think that car was going to last you.

Moving parts ware out. Plastics break down. Solar radiation cooks and rust never sleeps.

Not to mention storms. All of this, hopefully wont be burned… or blown away.

All we have really done is take the retirement funds associated for future electric use and put it into our own hands. We are taking all the risks… and we are stuck with it now. We will also not make our money back. This is very expensive electricity.

But it is ours. And it is a temporary buffer against interruptions. So, I am of two minds on this. I’ll get to that in a bit

So! Lets say it now, just encase no one has ever explained this to you. Solar, Wind and BATTERIES is NOT a replacement for fossil Fuels. It is simply a store of Oil, or the excess energy left over and then either financialised or manufactured into product.

Solar panels are quite cheap at the moment. When people are considering this, they miss that it is the cheapest part of the system. Wind and solar have two Achilles Heels. Batteries… and everything else. Remember what I said about The Six Million Dollar Man. It’s two systems that were never made to go together. To solve our problems of pollution associated  with Too Much Complexity, we are trying to solve it by adding even more complexity. What can possibly go wrong.

Lets start with the batteries. Turns out, you don’t just wire it in and walk away to business as usual land. We have found it to be like caring for a child. Its not as simple as checking the water occasionally. There is regular equalization, as well as testing the acid in each cell of each battery and heat control. Its also constantly monitoring your system and  learning a completely new knowledge base. If you don’t get that all right, very expensive batteries stop functioning and need to be replaced far sooner than advertised. We have been waiting for affordable Lithium Batteries. Here is the problem though. Remember what I said about trying to solve problems associated with complexity by adding even more complexity. The is no shortage of Lithium at the moment. Getting it is becoming a major environmental disaster though. Go figure.

So, here is your first bonus read today. The Spiraling Environmental Cost Of Our Lithium Addiction-

The next problem I mentioned was… everything else.

The panels produce DC current. The turbine produces DC current. The batteries, you got it, DC current. Our entire electrical infrastructure, house wiring,  and appliances… AC current.  To add insult to injury, most of the electrical products we use actually run on DC but have converters built in to accept the AC. Now, the powers that be decided a long time ago to build their entire infrastructure on AC because it pushed electricity long distances.

To run your house on on DC, it requires huge inverters to turn it into AC. That processes waists a good chunk of your electricity. Its very expensive and inefficient… and this was the system, god luv her, that MrsC5 wanted. Women and Cats….

Well, She paid for it so what can I really say in the Matter. She was smart enough to realize banks were not a trustworthy store of wealth and she may never see the majority  of the pension she had paid into for life and wanted to divest a percentage into tangible assets… so she gets mondo brownie points for that. I, on the other hand, barely had a pot to piss in. Living on rage and Adaptive survival skills.

I guess I am one of the Haves now. I have electric, pumped,  fresh drinking well water to flush with. I can communicate via the internet with all you fine, sketchy folks, watch Netflix and have all the porn I can possibly watch. Good times.

And this is a great moment for DJ-C5 to share a local Atlantic cana’duh, punk roots band with something to say worth listening to. I had been saving this one for my New Years predictions but it seems to fit here. Feel free to hit pause often and read what is said in the background.

Some of you have heard me say before…

“C5 Rule of Survival- If you want to know how to prepare for the dark future I see coming, it all starts by coming to grips with that Refrigeration is a privilege and not a right. If you can fully wrap your head around and accept that, all else follows.”

This is another inspirational quote from Chris Martenson that we both like-

“So I guess I could be an optimist….. by telling them that I have 99% confidence that humans will someday be powering 100% of their energy needs from the sun. I’ll just leave out that what I mean is that, in 100 or 200 years, humans will have painfully reverted back to a 1600’s-style subsistence farming lifestyle.”

I find that overly optimistic. I give us a 20 percent chance of not going extinct as a species in the next 100 years. I’m working for that. Cheers to optimism.

Where I can get behind solar and wind power is as a psychological buffer to help people not blow their heads off while they get used to the idea of those two quotes. Something to help them Transition mentally while they come to grips with that we will not be able to fully keep our lifestyle by simply changing technology. We will eventually come to realize that we wont be able to live, work, farm, heat, get water or find a spouse from anywhere further than we can walk… and that is a big mental shift.

It does seem that technological solutions will rest in Do It Yourself guys hands. If you really want to create Environmentally Responsible technologies,  beyond the worn out cliches, here are some of my suggestions to save the planet, making use of technologies we already have and don’t need to wish into existence.

That fridge thing. A complete redesign of refrigeration units. I have wanted to build one of these but it is beyond my skillset. No more stand up fridges. It would take up much more floor space and it would be wise not to keep it anywhere that you actually heat like a kitchen. Inconvenience. Get used to it, suburb rats. It would load from the top like a chest freezer so cold air doesn’t flow out of it each time the door is opened. It would be hyper insulated (at least a foot and a half of high density insulation and reflective material)… and it would work on the principle of an Ice Chest buy freezing a chunk of ice then turning off. It would use a DC or Direct Current Motor, hooked into your solar of wind power, and only need to work during sun or wind while storing that cold. No need for batteries to be used up getting you through the night or interruptions. It could work just the same with grid tied AC current, only using power when it is available. Yes, get used to interrupted power, either from super storms or brown outs or black outs in our over taxed, vulnerable and aging grid… or simply, poverty, no longer being able to afford unlimited electricity. This is already what it is like in less “developed” countries I have been to. The power goes off all the time. Its no big deal. People stop what they were doing and socialize for a while or go for a walk. Or they learn to store energy for when they need it.

How about old school DC motors and power tools converted to work as such (like an electric chainsaw or woodmill that only works when when your panels give you enough juice and don’t work when they don’t. Or how about putting a DC motor in an already existing Generator to convert DC to AC for tools on demand as solar is available.  Ill get to that in a moment.

As pointed out by others, solar heating water is a technology we already understand and have since the 1800s. Water can be heated to steam for energy generation. Simple tech. No need for batteries, solar panels or complex wind turbines. Speaking of which, physical wind power. We have been doing that A Very Long time. Go Dutch. There is a finger in the dyke joke in here somewhere but I am getting nothing.

I am going to point out something obvious. Key Survival Products that you should purchase Now while they are cheap and available. This is called, “Prepping”. Its also where Me and the prepping/ survivalist world started to go our separate ways. Faced with some of the short sighted lunacy of the survivalist world, I decided to point out my top 5 prepper items, non of which you carry in a Bug Out Bag or strap to your combat harness. (Sigh****. And you guys are consider experts for what reason?)    #3 and #4 are below.

a tool

The reason I made this proclamation  was because I knew from first hand experience what products actually got used. These were Real Force Multipliers and indispensable. A reason to store oil in the form of a solar system. If there is any doubt, the vast majority of that tower was built with these two tools. The greenhouse in the backdrop was screwed together with a drill. I wouldn’t want to pull off that job with a screw driver. I can just hear experienced construction guys in my head, helping me to confirm to memory, “Nail the ones you love. Screw the ones you don’t”… but that was a loving screw job that nailing would not do. Well, that unsavory construction principle is now stuck in your head as well. I believe in sharing.

Look, I had to shoot a skunk a couple of days ago that had moved in under our house and was making our lives and pets miserable. I was conflicted about this because I consider the skunk my spiritual power animal. Even a grisly bear does not fuck with a skunk. You might try it once or twice but then you learn. But for every round I have needed to fire to actually kill something, I have had to use these two tools HUNDREDS of times. And that should give you your perspective of priority change. Don’t say I never taught you anything.

When I first pointed this out, MrsC5 recalled an experience when she was doing volunteer work in Costa Rica. A fix it job came up that required a drill. There was no drill in this town so a runner was sent to the next town where there was one. When it came back, the drill bit was a nail. Put that story to memory. Internalize it. I broke or wore out 6 drill bits on this job. One killer 22 caliber bullet was fired. 6 drill bits.

The grinder was also used to cut this recycled water tank. This is what we  mixed the large amount of concrete in for the windmill base, with a common hoe. Hot water tanks are common, free and handy. My friends Mythos and Logos have an advanced version of this they mix all their Cob in.

a cement

This was another chore I used these two tools for this year. Getting those windows in.The metal I cut out will go back over the windows as storm shutters. This is our fireproof, storm shelter (at least once I get it anchored to the ground like the tower). One of the reasons for the window on the end is if a storm blows it on its side, we can break our way out.

a shed

While you are looking at that photo, I want to point out two subtle things that tie into things I mentioned earlier in this post. I also had to lift the rear end of this container this year. The ground had settled it on a minor slant. I had to rent a couple of two ton bottle jacks for the job. I kicked myself because I always saw them in garage sales, but thought to myself, why would I need a large bottle jack. Since we are getting two more of these containers soon (divesting  more retirement saving into tangible assets. One for a goat barn. One for a rental cabin) a bottle jack will become an essential part of my life. A true Force Multiplier that is indispensable. Here is the tie in. I saw a rack of them at the scrap yard… to be purchased for metal cost alone. Now if you look even closer, you will notice a once in a lifetime find, leaning up against that container, that we found at the scrap yard. Its a Sulky horse racing buggy. Believe it or not, such an item had been on MrsC5’s and myself’s list of must find items. But never in my wildest imaginings did I think I would find one that is stainless steel, in newish condition, light enough, I could pick it up over my head and carry it home by roping it onto the roof of our Honda Civic. And never could I imagine I could get it for metal cost. 60$. By the way, we don’t have a horse. I think I will save my reasons for this build for a future post.

Here is your next bonus read of the day- 12 reasons people refuse to address near term societal collapse-

I noticed, the term he came up with, independently, of what was necessary to survive all this, was something he has called “Deep Adaptation”. Hundredth Monkey thing going on here.

One final Bonus read is this. If you are all readed out at this point, scroll down to his personal photos near the end and  his explanation of them for an eye opener as to where we are right now in collapse.

Ah, heck. I’ll through in one last C5 practical survival adaptation as a, Thanks for playing the Adaptation game, parting gift. This upgrade mod made me very happy each time I walk past it.

a tub

Unlike that other build, this one was so quick and practical. There is a zen like simplicity to it. Even considering the near drought conditions and heat this year, we were able to catch enough rain water to keep the greenhouses watered. Next year I may add window screens to keep mosquitos out. Unlike rain barrels,  I have never had one of these crack when the water froze. And C5 likes free. This one goes out to all the poor men that have heard, “Honey. We should renovate the bathroom”. My heart goes out to you.

And with that, Lets end this with a song. A rather unusual remake I stumbled upon of one of my favorite “Angry” songs. How, oh how did my dirty, tiny,  underground music scene become GenX classic rock?

“And that is why I wont do two shows a night, any more.”

If you would like to give a Tip for writing services rendered or to support the cause, go to the top of the page and hit, “Giving just the Tip”.  All “Tips” go towards material costs for future experiments.

(FYI- No donations were used in this project)      (And thank you, R.T.  and S.R. for the donations. I was truly honored and touched to get a donation from all the way over in Germany. It gave me a moment of remembering we all share this ball floating in space and face the same future)

The Doom Loop

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Published on Dark Green Mountain Project on August 26, 2018

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Just a time sensitive quicky today  A few articles showed up that were worth reading… if only to show how far we have gotten into The Doom Loop.

Its chilly out there this morning. Sort of a premature fall. Its sort of nice after that blistering heat wave. There lies the problem. The sigh of relief and subconscious desire for things to return to normal. A time to forget. A return to slumber. To apathy.

Its chilly because smoke from the west coast made it all the way to the east coast, a rather large continent away.

… But before I get there. A special hello and welcome to anyone trickling in from Peak Oil News They posted my last article. People seem to like my rants more than my survival advice. I noticed my article was shoe horned in between Ugo Bardi at Cassandra’s Legacy and John Michael Greer. That was flattering. I guess I am now sitting at the grown ups table.

The real reason for this article was just to re-post another article which was definitely the best read of the month. -When I woke up this week, the sun was blocked out by smoke.

Now, both MrsC5 and myself have been much more depressed than usual, this summer. I realize it had a lot to do with the heat. A weakened body leads to a weakened mind. Less resilience. No used getting into that here. But alot of where our minds were going to, is just how awful humans are. The shear, Evily Evil Evilness of 7.65 billion people and growing, being evil. The planet used to be able to absorb our evil. Not any more. Ugo Bardi pointed out a quote by Gandhi,

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

Ugo then points out the problem with this thinking is that, back when Gandhi said this, the world only had 2.5 billion people in it. That was before we entered the doom loop.

Its not the super villain, Jeffrey Dahmer, Trump, type of evil that gets to me. Its the banality of human evil. The mom and pop, middle class, soccer mom evil. The little compromises and purchases and shortcuts and genocides happening somewhere else and intentional blindness. Little evils… with 2% compounding interest.  That is the real evil. We don’t see it because we don’t want to see it, and we tell ourselves little narratives to justify why we are not really evil. Its other people. Where the story really picks up though is when supper villain meets soccer mom.

Which leads to the number two read. -Why is it so easy to deceive people?

( My answer. Because they want to be deceived to avoid all that uncomfortable introspection. He shows you the how. I tell you the why )

The good news is that all that heat and now smoke has been shaking more of the soccer mom evil types of people. The subject of hothouse earth, feedback doom loops, finally went mainstream media news over the last few months.

Soooo. Lets do a subject jump. Another banality of evil… with two percent compounding interest…

Preppers have been getting on my nerves lately. Don’t get me wrong. People have been calling me “Super Prepper” lately. Its the weird obsessive compulsive fantasies that they secretly hope for to justify their banal evilyness… like “Martial Law is coming” or “Collapse is coming”. Like man made climate chaos, they have trouble seeing that it is already here and they just got used to it. Its just not nearly as exiting as the movies.

The more paranoia inclined, less mentally stable, drone on and on about secret FEMA camps.   FEMA camps are actually real. They are called “PRISONS”. And they are generally filled with poor people. Cough…

So, here is your next very insightful read. -Battle Field America

Now, I live in cana’duh. I wont even visit the States anymore. Won’t even do a plane change there. I’m done with them. Far too Sketch.

But it has been on my mind since seeing the Mounties got their assault rifles. Now they have high capacity magazines proudly on display on their ever increasing tactical vests. Disgusting. I recognize an occupational army/ organized crime group, when I see one. I don’t want to hear about the dangerous job they do. Statistically, its a far safer job than any of the jobs I have done. You are far more likely to die in any labor related job. Most cop deaths are from driving accidents, health or suicides. But its the cult like brainwashing and the shear banality of evil that makes this particularly dangerous. As I age, its the groomed, fresh, pimply faces behind all that tactical gear that spires my mind towards hitler youth posters.

Soooo…. if you really want to be scared about something, mix that last article with this article…

The depressing thing is that I have always known that was coming since my pre teen years. I’m not surprised. Its matching my timeline. Sucks to be right all the time. There is no mystery to life anymore.

On a personal note, I saw this future in a fever dream. In it, I was an old man, beyond warrior years to resist. I was forced to serve these fuckers. It stuck with me. With that said, Metalica comes to DJ-C5s mind.


For everyone’s information, if you ever wonder what I was going to do with the donations from this page and how I would use it for future experiments, You Readers gave enough to purchase this small motor.


And this small upgrade that comes from Australia. Pull the pins and it works like a regular bike again, albeit a much heavier bike.

donation 2

1 liter should get 100 kms. That is the point. It gives new meaning to the idea of being a 1% motorcycle club

Here is the reasoning. Our nearest grocery store is about 50Km away. That means a liter should get us there and back. Gas is about 1.25$ a liter at the moment. So we can do a supply run for 1.25. As the economy breaks down and people can no longer afford the costs associated with a vehicle, we are trying to figure out if this will be helpful. And if gas supplies are promptly shut off, a 20ltr gas can from my fuel storage, might provide 20 supply trips into town…. or 20 commutes to a low paying job.

I will do a full article once it has had some hard work under its belt to judge whether it is practical for actual work. I have to work it hard for months before giving my thoughts on it. I set the rest of the bike up for grocery\cargo hauling. I call this rear set up “The poor mans long tail”. That is part of what this is about. The engine and upgraded parts cost less than 300$ canadian. This will be a Part Two of this article from South America.

Now, this is MrsC5’s experiment of the year. She got her HEMP growing license this year.


I was not impressed with this idea. See the article on militarized police. My experience with cops… is incompetence (I am being very generous there. I see the world bottom up) . To avoid me or my dog getting shot because “I was resisting” or they “Felt their life was in danger”, first job of the year had me dangerously climbing on the roof of the barn and painting the permit number in REALLY BIG FUCKING LETTERS and then hanging a copy on the door. By the way, you would have to smoke a telephone pole of that to get high.

Speaking of which, Canada has now ended pot prohibition. You can now buy it at the government liquor store. Thank gods that evily evil clusterfuck is finally over. Its one of the only reasons that could get me to stand to sing Oh Canada. Still, don’t be fooled. As I predicted, It was not legalized. It was corporatized. This does nothing to help poor, small, mom and pop farmers in rural communities. The profits go to the 1% instead of 1% motorcycle gangs. That”s all.

So, that was a small test plot for MrsC5 to experiment with fiber. I lost my reticence once I saw the chickens go parahna over those fat filled seeds. I may have finally found an easy to grow source of chicken feed. Now I just have to figure out a how to harvest it.

You can also see we screwed up the test plot. It grew so successfully that it was choking itself out. We have to hand cast much  lighter so they have less competition. We now have to harvest this week because the chickens, in feeding frenzy mode, are getting over the fence to pull down the stalks to get to the seeds. Its all part of getting over the learning curve.

Speaking of which, we finally had some corn success… using the Three Sisters method. Corn, beans and squash together. (Beans grow up the corn. Corn moderates temperature by providing shade. Squash shades out weeds and slows soil moisture evaporation)

3 sis

We put it where the pigs used to be. It needed the fertilizer. What that means is, SHTF, if you don’t have animals for fertilizer, forget all about corn. Its a heavy feeder.

Further thoughts on the disaster of this years weather. All plants, wild or planted, are looking rough this year. New diseases have swept through that we haven’t had to deal with before. Stressed plants are more susceptible to disease. Healthy plant would be able to fight those infections off. That is the short form. There were secondary knock off, unanticipated problems as well. We got very few sour cherries this year and lost them all. The birds took them because they were starving. The wild service berry trees didn’t produce and that is the heavier fruit they would prefer. I also cant believe I would ever complain about the lack of bugs here. But less bugs means less pollination and less birds. There was alot of strange birds I hadn’t seen before, here in the spring. They aint here now.

One last photo. We finally got the windmill base cemented in a couple of days ago. Not much to see but I will fill in the blanks.


Its for the base of what I am calling a Windapult until I come up with a better name. From the mind of C5. The future tower should go up into place like a catapult. There will be a counter weight. I want me to be able to take the entire windmill down in a storm, by hand, without a tractor or mechanical assistance. We have wicked winds here. I have a Friend that lost his during a hurricane.  Another, where this blades just shattered when it spun apart. An ice storm is also a destroyer of wind engines because the blades go off balance and destroy internal parts. Plus, I want to be able to easily take the turbine down  for maintenance or repair. I’l ad a second base to act as a catchers mit so if the tower lines break in a storm and it comes down, that the turbine wont smash on the ground. As a bonus, the tower parts are from recycled material since we cant afford a commercial made tower. I was given an impossible task… but that is what I do. It’s all I do.

Mythos, and someone new to the crew, I will just call Jesus, came over to help me mix concrete by hand for the first time. It was quality boy time… with beer. Practical social male bonding. We work well as a team and I have sort of finally founds a group of equals. I’ll continue the man party next week, over at Mythos place because he needs help with mixing large quantities of Cob mix (Article to follow) and the week after that over at Jesus’s  Mini home build.(He looks nothing like jesus)

I bring this up because Jesus recounted a story of him talking with the boys at work in the warehouse where he lifts heavy objects. When asked what he was doing this weekend, he said he was exited about helping on a wind tower build because he had no experience in that and wanted to learn. On Que, the corn poned  worker of the group ranted, “What. Why are you doing that hippy shit”.

And those words stuck in both myself and MrsC5. It keeps rolling around in our heads. A psychic assault. A reminder of those 4 article I re-posted above.

The shear banality of evil.

I don’t talk about it on this blog, but there is a reason MrsC5 and myself are armed to the fucking tits. It’s because we know, when we do the right actions and adaptations, others that have not will project their weakness outward and that banal, shear Evily Evil Evilness will , instinctively, want… Need…. to stomp it out.

Lets end this with one last practical prepping update. My living fence is doing very well.     Root taking is at least a 95% success rate. I did learn some stuff though. I had some failures in other parts of the property. The big mistake was the smaller cuttings I put in. They grew just fine. Then the deer said, “Thanks for the fresh browsing greens”. Deer keep forests at bay by eating fresh shoots more than grass. We have plenty of self seeded fruit trees around the property that may be decades old but never get past knee high. Some day I will put fences around them so they can get past browsing height. Same goes with the willow. We learned that when we do season two of willow planting, all willow spikes must be taller than deer head browsing height. Lesson learned for next springs continuation of the job to surround the house and get old watching my palisade grow.

willow growth

So much for this being a quick article. I’ve been at this all day. I better get out there and do something. I think I will begin harvesting the hemp seeds before the chickens get it all.

If all of this gets you down, tomorrow we have to do this with one of our hens that we noticed was on the edge of death and needed rescue. BTW, 12 chicks born this year. Culling to follow.

If you would like to give a Tip for writing services rendered or to support the cause, go to the top of the page and hit, “Giving just the Tip”.  All “Tips” go towards material costs for future experiments.

Its Not The Heat. It’s The Stupidity

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on August 8, 2018


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C5 Says, Its Not The Heat. It’s The Stupidity


With your sweaty host, Category5.

(Thanks, J.T., J.S. and T.M. for the donations. Its been put to good use for a future article)


There is only one subject worth talking about. THE subject. The Heat.

Ya. I know I said I wouldn’t be back till the winter once all the chores and Honey, Do before the Apocalypse, lists of the year.

Much of those tasks haven’t been getting done though. It’s TOO FUCKING HOT. I have been bogging down. It has been like trying to build things while dog paddling through a swimming pool of humidity. I feel like Golom. “The light. It Burns me, Precious”. I have been hiding out in the house to avoid dying. I work in 15-20 minute spurts, then come back into the house drenched in sweat. Sweat that does not evaporate. That does not cool the body.

More so, there is almost no wind. The irony is, one of those, Honey, Do tasks is to build a short tower to put up the wind generator that has been sitting in storage for the last 5 years. We live on a wind path… but no wind.

Stationary weather fronts. The jet stream bogs down. It is the exact same issue that made last winter, fucked up cold.

It was nice that people kept revisiting my epic drunken rant, C5 Explains Why It Is So Fucking Cold,

I only bring it up because I pointed out how that cold was related to last years heat and hurricanes. This year is no different. It is connected. The weather didn’t magically appear from the sky god. WE did this. We all did it. I did it. I accept responsibility for my part.

Still, some of the things I have heard said make me face palm. Its not the heat. Its the stupidity.

One of those epic face palm moments, was a popular article that got around that said something like, “We cant fully attribute this heat wave to global warming. Its also about the warm oceans and the jet stream…To early to tell…”

ARE……..YOU………..FUCKING………KIDDING ME! Well, bend me over and fuck me slowly. Clearly, the human race is too stupid to live. It takes “A Special Kind Of Stupid” to not be able to connect the warm ocean to heat or jet stream to warm air and ocean.


Its not even worth me wasting my time to complain about the tighty whity righty, man made global warming deniers.

The Super Face Palm inspiring moments are coming from the denialist LEFTIES. You heard me correct. The lefties. The progressives. The ones who’s personal identity of moral superiority comes with the idea that they believe in global warming and they are fighting those evil capitalists. Yup. They have a different type of denial. going on… but it is just as lethal… if not more. The devil is in the details.

Denial- Wind and Solar power will save us. Electric cars will save us. Revolution against the capitalists or nationalists or republicans will save us. The right type of government will save us. Technology that doesn’t exist will save us.

I call this DENIAL, not because of the impossibility of those things happening, but because its deceptively passive. They are not doing the needful because… the devil in the details… they are waiting for someone else to save them while doing NOTHING. Its in the descriptive parameters of the phrasing.

Scientists aren’t going to save you. The technology doesn’t exist for a reason…because it doesn’t exist. Worse, by repeating this shit over and over, its teaching others to be passive…waiting for salvation, while putting all their focus on blaming others and politicing.

And that gets us to our first read. Other than that the heat is present constantly in my thinking as I wade through my own survival adaptions… and just strait up survival, the reason I decided to do this post… instead of just waiting for the winter to write… was to post this article-

Time For Some Climate Honesty-Half Truths Are Doing No Good- once again, by Chris Martenson

Another Honorable Mention read, encase you missed it.

(Finally, Civilizational collapse is tied in… but he ruins it at the end with the worn out “Solution”)

Before I get to the final read, there is one other face palm moment I hear from The Denialist Progressives. Its, “We cant address Climate Change till we address inequality”.

Though, it is a logical position, it’s sort of like saying we will wait until Jesus returns and the Kingdom comes down to earth. Inequality aint going away. Its baked into the cake. In fact, it’s about to get a whole lot worse with climate change.

Hey, “Save as many as you can” is one of my catch phrases. But once you have saved as many as you can, if you take just one more person, everyone dies. You row the lifeboat away from the drowning before they overwhelm the lifeboat. You close the gate and put armed guards in the towers. Its hard to hear…but it really is the only “Moral” option left.

So, this next awkward read goes into the, “I am trying to scare the shit out of you”, category, to shake you from DENIAL. Consider it an intervention.,11419.msg159010.html#msg159010        (Scroll down once you get there)

Top lines to pay attention to are- “Just like that….. there’s hundreds of millions on the way when things get bad enough.

They will overwhelm the borders, and “society” will double in size over a few short weeks… collapsing all infrastructure – water, sanitation, roads, housing, police…..

The police were stretched with the 60 million people of the UK, they are completely ineffective at 110 million.

The UN can only drop aid by air, and gangs form, most people getting no food, the gangs hording everything.

The army can’t enter due to world condemnation of military involvement.

People starve, crime is rampant, disease everywhere.

And in one short month, society is reduced to the level it would be after a nuke attack.”


And that’s just scratching the surface. Consider the social chaos we have recently seen as people freak out over a few million refugees. Now change millions to billions as large swaths of the earths surface can no longer sustain life, and what can sustain life, can’t feed them without being stripped of future life or  regenerative sustainability. The real issue isn’t really carbon input. Its too many humans. Humans that cannot survive… if not for all that carbon input.

And that is why no body is in any big rush to halt Anthropomorphic Climate Change.

Just a reminder. The heat this year is the result of carbon inputs from  30 years ago. This is as good as it will ever be. If you cut off all industrial society today, ALL of it, You still have 30 more years of warming to happen (not including the feedback loops of methane… and ozone depletion)  just to stop from getting worse and it will remain that way for umpteen thousands of years.

All the worst parts of the Book of Revelations comes to mind.



So…what am I doing to save my own life, back on my doomstead. Back to the irony of me putting up this wind tower. I haven’t been all that exited about doing this job.. One of the down sides of wind power (besides the battery storage issues) is that it is a mechanical device. That means, they wear out quickly. It will require lots of upkeep and replacement parts. Parts mined, shipped, industrial manufactured, shipped again, warehoused and shipped again. Its nothing remotely close to renewable or carbon friendly. Lets not fool ourselves. I don’t. But it will make a cool lawn ornament that will be the envy of our morally superior progressive friends and  paranoid, tighty righty survivalists alike. I just wont tell them when it breaks down and it’s really just just a huge lawn Whirly Gig. Hopefully, it doesn’t launch itself into our, also very sexy, solar panels or greenhouse, during the next hurricane, super storm or micro-burst…. or burst into flames from lack of oiling, spewing burning plastics into the tinder dry grasses, right at the point of high winds.

This year has all been about upgrades to do with super storms. Next year, I have decided to completely change direction and fully put my mind to FIRE STORMS… because that is also coming. That is even more daunting.

So….What have I really been doing to save my own life? Yesterday, I began opening a hole in the floor of our house to get underneath. I can only belly crawl to a few places. I have been digging on my belly, hopefully getting to the place where I have a place to sit upright in the cooler earth. I’ll dig a small test hole to see if it just fills with melt water next spring before risking digging further. We’ll see.

Well, back to my hidey hole. See you in the winter unless some other disaster forces my pen.




SHTF Driving- Or, C5 Turns A Honda Civic Into A Truck

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on June 28, 2018

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shtf 1


(Special welcome to the regular reader coming in from Ecuador. You know what I’m talking about).  This should be a fun read today with lots of twists and turns.


I thought I would toss up these couple of Glam Shots to make a point. This is how MrsC5 first found me. I had some of these shots taken just in case I ever decided to tell the whole story

The reason I put up these “Me so manly. I’d do me”, shots is to provide myself a bit of Gear Head Cred… because I know some truck and NASCAR guys are going to have a bit o’ trouble hearing my Survival Training, philosophy and advice here. I get it. Most things that get people miffed are because of “Previous Investment” or our self identifying “Sacred Mythologies”.

So, I have a new survival rule for you.

C5 Rule of Survival- People ask me, What is “The Best” survival product  to deal with (insert your apocalypse here)? That is easy to answer. “The Best” item is the item you have on hand when you need it.

I have stole this rule from my first Ninjutsu instructor when I was 17. I have a Bad Ass side that I keep carefully muted. Like Bruce Banner, it doesn’t serve me well but I bring it out when I need it.


I cant say that I learned a lot from him… and yet he was one of my most influential mentors that turned me into the person I became. He taught with a lot of self deprecating humor, making fun of himself. He cast off all the cultural trappings associated with that martial art. He didn’t treat himself as some type of master that his students needed to defer to. There was a practicality to it and it was his WORDS that stuck with me.

One of those was, “People ask me, What is ‘The Best’ survival knife or fighting knife. That is easy to answer. ‘The Best’ knife is the one you have on you when you need it”.

Because of his words alone, a knife is permanently welded to my body. From the moment I put my pants on to the time I take them off, it is there. Its not a very high quality knife. Its not very big. Its rarely very sharp. But it is there when I need it.

So, how do we get from the self aggrandizing  photo at the top of the page and yet find ourselves here?

shtf car

Or here

shtf car 2

Or here

shtf car 3

Where, o where to begin.

When you saw that title I chose, what came to your mind?

Did you think I was going to talk about, the bootlegger maneuver, the pit maneuver, drift steering, high speed judgment training, where to hit a vehicle, person or animal, off roading or mud bogging, hot fueling while moving, alternative fuels or wood gasification, or perhaps “The Best” Road Warrior, SHTF vehicle.


Seeing that rather impressive zombie apocalypse vehicle I built in the first photo, you might have been thinking to yourself, C5 has a cool, over the top mod to transform a Civic into a Road Warrior, Twisted Metal, Zombie Apocalypse vehicle.

Nope, we are talking ninja philosophy here. Philosophy leads Technique. Before the how comes the why.

By now you are thinking, “That C5 ripped me off”. (another line I have shamelessly stolen from the for mentioned instructor)

Other C5 Rules of Survival I could have used would include…

C5 ROS- If all else fails, lower your expectations.

C5 ROS- Go small or go home.

C5 ROS- Take all the old Survival advice and, pretty much, do the complete opposite… and your chances of survival increases substantially.

C5 ROS- Needs Must when the Devil Drives

C5 ROS- If you want to know how to prepare for the dark future I see coming, it all starts by coming to grips with that refrigeration is a privilege and not a right. If you can fully come to grips with and accept that, ALL ELSE FOLLOWS.

(That magic line came from one of the first conversations I had with MrsC5. She asked me what I thought about the SAS Survival Manual. I looked across the table to where it sat in my book collection, then replied, ‘It’s a false sense of security.If you want to know how to prepare for the dark future I see coming,  it all starts by coming to grips with….”. I realized later, it was one of the smartest lines to accidentally roll past my lips. And I am not talking about refrigeration in this context)

Do you notice a theme here? A general theme that consistently underlays my thinking in previous posts.

I could also have used one of the Murphy’s Rules of Combat… from which I gratuitously stole the concept of the C5 Rules.

Murphy’s Rule of Combat- Always remember, your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.

(You may be noticing all the vehicles in the backdrop of those photos. They are done and gone to meet their maker. Our place is starting to look like a real farm with the slow accumulation of dead vehicles)

or… The side with the simplest uniform wins.

or… (in the case of this post)… If it is Stupid but it works, It is not stupid.

SHTF car 4

The photos are getting redundant but I was making a point. Its not theory or a one off. This is how I use it to get shit done. All my firewood of the year is in and I did it with a 14 year old Civic. I’m rather proud of myself for that one.

And a mystical, magical, timing synchronicity happened while doing this post. When I  first sat down to write this post, I was greeted by a randomly paused movie on the computer. It made me chuckle because the gods might be involved.

SHTF car 5

In the rest of the world, this is just how people get shit done. Its just that First Worlders are at a distinct disadvantage in a collapse…

…because they are insane…

and the rest of the world sees this.

Back to Ninja Philosophy. The ninja consistently kicked samurai ass because they saw that the samurai culture had the distinct disadvantage…. of being insane. More on that latter. My point being, is your Survivalist strategy underpinned by a philosophy of Samurai thinking.

There were a couple of things that happened recently that spurred me to write this post and say, we have to have this conversation.

The recent one was while I was getting willow for my live fence. (see the first Civic photo with willow on top, above)  By the way, it is looking good, in spite of the worst weather I have ever seen here, as predicted.

A lot of farmers and CSA growers just got wiped out here. They will have lost everything. Some of them, their farms as well. In a proverbial SHTF world, there might be starvation here. This is exactly why we store food. This is exactly why we should never trust debt… and it is why I have been building greenhouses like crazy. (see the second Civic photo of me recycling large windows. The third and fourth photos are self explanatory)

FYI, If you have been observing world temperature maps over the last few years, you will have observed the entire world in various shades of red representing higher temperatures. Red. Slightly deeper red. Ridiculously dark red. There is only one tiny place on the world map that is blue. We are right in the middle of that blue spot. It may turn out to be the last habitable place on earth but that is too early to call. In the mean time, it is a bit of a pain in the ass. (as of the writing date, june 12, we have had killing frosts most days for the last couple weeks, the real killer being a well below freezing kill off. The day before it happened, it was a record breaking 36c for that day of the year)

So, I am driving home with this load of willow on my roof. Every vehicle that passed me was a newish pickup truck. F-150s, Silverados, Dodge Rams. Every single one of them. Each one of them single occupancy.  Not a single one of them carrying anything. All of them pretty shinny. The only one doing what a truck was designed for… was ME… in a Honda Civic. And I suspect, I was the only one of them with no debt.

Now, someone is going to come along and say, “You could accomplish so much more with a truck. Look at what you are hauling and how you live. You are who a truck is made for”.

My response would be, “OF COURSE!!!… Well duh. Of course”…. but that leads to story number two.

I have to be careful here. This guy is in my circle and I have a handy arrangement with him that makes my life easier. Nice enough guy. He works hard in a decent paying job, (ironically in road maintenance), then farms some cattle as a second job. He rolls up in a shiny new mondo truck. I mention that we will have no money coming in this year but it is OK  because we have paid for land and this gives us a lot of freedom. He mentions that he had finally just paid off his house. A bit later, he talks about all the bells and whistles on his truck. He then mentions it was an impulse buy and he is now 25 thousand dollars in debt. He then says he guesses he will just have to keep working. There is a lull in the conversation and not much else to say afterwords.

One of the best phrases I have heard over the last few years is “That is very 2007 of you”.

Its pretty obscure and most people wont get it. I use it a lot. My point being, 2018 problems can not be solved with pre- 2007 thinking. For those that do not know what I am talking about, I think future historians will call 2007 as the year western civilization had reached its peak and began its slide into “The Age of Consequence”. Oh, it was already long since bancrupt by this point. But it was hard for Average Joe Douchebag and Spandex Jane Soccer Mom, Prostitute Lite, to see this because upward mobility was still happening, the dough was being raked in and  Negative Nellie’s like myself were lumped into the category of crazy Y2K false prophets  that needed to be medicated.

It was rather hard to be prophet of doom during those boom years leading up to 2007. It left me scratching my head and my nuts, not in any particular order, trying to figure out how we were floating on thin air. It made no sense. Now we understand that it was all financial fraud causing a bubble. But before that, jobs were plentiful and even a bottom of the social ladder, dirtbag like myself could find work that paid more than minimum wage. So I did. Thus the toys in my sexy glam shot at the top of the page. This was a one time in my lifetime event. Then BAM! 2008 hit and shook the world.

So, what has Samurai Joe and Jill Jackoff learned since then. Absolutely nothing. Sweet fuck all. Backdoor bumpka. Neurotic Na’da.

Because they are insane. Batshit crazy, jello pudding, Koo Koo for Coco Puffs, NUTS.

The Commodities Crash (caused by a lot of broke people that could no longer afford to buy things made with commodities) sent gas prices into the basement. Being as gas was so cheap, those still employed, took out huge loans to buy big trucks. Go figure. And now the gas price is creeping back up, so oil workers are racing back to the bottom of the barrel oil, tar sands and fracking fields. At least the ones that didn’t commit suicide after they lost their financed trucks, houses and wives, during the crash. They have to get back to work, fucking up the planet to finance new trucks, houses and wives. The fuel prices will continue to climb until it sets off the next Liemans Event or commodities crash. The next time will be much worse. Then “The Crazies” will do it all again and again and again. Because they be crazy.

I’ve given up arguing with insane people because when you crack their delusion, they tend to get violent, vote for crazier people and start civil wars. Best to pull a Ninja and try to stay out of their way.

The first sign of crazy is people identifying themselves with the products or name brands they own or wish to own. If you find yourself asking “what vehicle defines me?”, well, “That is very 2007 of you”. Please go talk to a mental health professional before making any large purchases.

So, lets get to the meat of the matter. ANY vehicle is the Absolute Worst investment you will ever make. There is no getting around that. I don’t remember who said vehicles are now designed to last 5 years… but are financed for 7 years. It is a losing proposition. I know of no good vehicles. They are all walmart cars now days. Cheaply made and designed to be thrown away. Period.

So, if you are asking, what is “The Best” vehicle for when the SHTF, you are asking the wrong question. Its probably the one you have right now. Whatever it might be. Hopefully its paid for and isn’t a big drain on your resources. If you face that final handshake and pink slip and no more jobs are coming, bye bye truck, one way or the other.

The right question to ask is, What vehicle drains my resources “The Least”?

What is my least worst option?


{ This is the ghostly apparition of C5 coming to you from the future. That means I got to the end of my post and realized I  hadn’t put in the the practical advice I intended. Here is a good place to put what I forgot.

-Aftermarket roof racks are expensive so try to find uses. Detachable are better because racks affect the aerodynamics of your car, reducing gas mileage. Keep them in your trunk for when you find that item you may have to carry. Don’t forget ropes or ratchet straps. A blanket may help to avoid scratching paint. Also, some of these attach into your door roof so the door might not fully close. This may let water in or cause a whistle while you drive.

-The Civic doesn’t have the power for a trailer. Most cars do though. Just get the smallest and lightest trailer. You want to pull gear, not trailer. Most trailers are designed to be pulled by a large truck. That aint you. Adding an aftermarket tow hitch is a VERY good idea… but it can be pricey… and subject to rust. Keep your slide out ball hitch out or it will permanently rust into place. Keep grease in the receiver tube. Only invest in a trailer hitch if you are keeping your car along time. It ain’t working out for the old vehicles we cycle through.

-Some racks aren’t useful so you can modify them like this

SHTF Car 10

-Don’t overwork your vehicle. I have had 2 vehicles burst into flames in my life. Oh ya. Carry a fire extinguisher within reach. Keep all your liquids topped and watch your heat gauge. Carrying large loads (on roof or trailer) can catch wind and affect your steering. Go as slow as you have to. If you need to travel 30kph…travel 30. Put your blinkers on and make people go around. Pull over to let people go by if several people are behind you. Stick to the back roads or do the job at night to reduce other vehicles.

-Flat roofs are easier to use than curved roofs (why aren’t they making station wagons anymore?)

-Recheck all your ropes and straps regularly because they will loosen and your load shift from movement. Definitely check it after your first few miles.

We now return you to the real time article. Best to not alter the time line by going to meet myself and causing a temporal explosion }


Who’ld of thunk, C5 (and my local backwoods mechanic down the road) would say the Honda Civic or the Toyota Corolla would turn out to be the road warrior vehicle of the apocalypse. Its the least worst option. Its the best chance at throwing away the least amount of money on an older used car. Money that has much better uses, preparing you for when there is no money at all. If you need a high paying job to pay for your truck and gas, to get to your job, you are caught in a vicious cycle.

By the way, I also have this, for when the gas, the functioning infrastructure, the jobs and the money are no more.

SHTF car 6The bikes. Not the bus used as dry storage. There is 7 of them in there. All recycled or second hand rebuilds.

SHTF car 7This is my favorite. A long tail  on an early Stump Jumper. For when I have to do stuff like the first bike guy in the photo nearer the top.

Lets get back to a little Ninja philosophy.

Might as well start with, whatever image you have in your head from pop culture is probably wrong. Assassins with primitive weapons and masters of killing. Even that whole black clad in masks was a make believe creation that came about during the kabuki theater age where the set movers wore black outfits and you weren’t supposed to notice them in the backdrop. Now I am going to be the first person to ever say this. The ninja were sort of the Hippies of Medieval Japan. The back woods counter culture that were hiding in the least hospitable parts of Japan. They were there to “Tune in, Turn on and Drop Out. It was a mix of many cultures and traditions, but they were primarily there to avoid all the crazy turns of constant war happening around them, while seeking enlightenment from direct exposure to nature. The dominant warrior culture saw them as sub human, without honor, to be killed when possible. The true, underdog story. But being the outcast, they could see strait through the Samurai shit and all that crazy.

Masaaki  Hatsumi is the 34th generational grandmaster of the nine schools of Ninjutsu and is designated by the Japanese government  as “Living History”. What is meant by that is that part of the history of Japan is stored in this mans body.

Once again, the image you might have is completely different to this cheerful and playful person. He will say things like,” Its no great thing being the Grand Master of Ninjutsu. I still have to take out the garbage. My wife still yells at me”.

But we are getting to my point. He will talk about “Intention” or “Intention to cut” and to make his point will draw a razor sharp sword across his face without being cut. There is nothing metaphysical about it. Its a highly skilled circus trick. He knows what the blade will and will not do. But he is teaching about your intention and focus.

So, what is your “Intention” here. Are you a Do’er or a Talker.

This all isnt about learning nijustsu or getting a 14 year old honda civic.

Facing necessity, the only thing keeping you from doing this…

SHTF car 8

or this…

SHTF car 9

…is your “Intention to Cut”. Your will to do it. You can work out the how as you go.

Now you may look at that car and think it is filled with garbage and say, “Eww. Dirty poor people! I would rather die than do that…”


…do you think, ” Those fucking batshit crazy Samurai breeders. No wonder we are on the edge of extinction. First they destroy lives, demanding to drive to awful jobs to get money to buy this stupid shit. Then they throw it away. Well I better figure out how to get it home…”

That there is a mondo pool and one of the stupidest products they sold to the rubes. Its garbage in a couple of years, usually with mouse holes chewed in the bottom… but I will grab any one of them I can find. Its fantastic, rubberized tarp material. Once you cut it down, it is one big curricular rubber tarp, two or three long, thin  tarps that conveniently cover a stack of firewood and usually one good quality rope. We just use the tarps for weed control and mobile mulch lately. If you want a lazy mans garden without tilling or simply to hold garden space for future apocalypse growing, put this on your lawn and simply come back to it in a few years. Nothing will grow under it and the worms and moles will till it for you. Plus you get some valuable poles for other projects and a ladder to be used for….a ladder. Lately I am just using them for the grapes to grow up.

Grape vines climb

It all comes down to intention. The will to do the needful. Fuck what the samurai think.

Remember that bus at the top of the page that I used to live in. I used to have people come up to the door all the time and say, “I always wanted to convert a bus like that” or “some day I am going to do that” or “I always wanted to live in a bus”.

It was flattering at first. Oh, good. I’m not nuts after all. I made the right life choice.

But after hearing it for a few years, I would roll my eyes because I eventually figured out they were lying to themselves and me. If they really wanted to do it, they would have already done it. There are Do’ers and then there are Talkers. 99.9% are talkers. Talkers wont survive.


Oh..My…God! Is it physically possible to be any more pretentious. Love it. Total Rock Star moment.


Oh, yah. I am supposed to give practical survival advice about SHTF Driving. O.K.

Drive it like your grandmother stole it.

Get into the habit of driving under 80kph. That is 50mph for the U.S. and 2 other third world countries. Sound silly and backwards? There is a point of diminishing returns in vehicles. When you jump up to highway speeds, you can used up to a third more fuel for the same distance. When things get tough, what fuel you have is All You Have and might be all you will ever have again. Memorize all the routs you can do that on.  Even in short  term emergencies, the first thing to run out is fuel. If you must highway travel, try to do it at nigh where you can slow down to that level without bugging  all the samurai. Ninja driving. Your struts and alignments will thank you. Especially if it is the last vehicle you will ever be able to afford and you are watching the nations infrastructure crumble, one pothole at a time.

If you can’t except any of this advice, keep in mind the old farmers truck advice. “The guaranteed way to destroy a truck is to put a winch on it”.

You see, without the winch, you would never say to yourself, “Oh, I can get through that. I have a winch”.

One last thought. During recent disasters and conflicts, trucks and 4x4s get confiscated or appropriated  by governments for disaster relief. They also get confiscated by local militants or stolen by organized crime groups. Anything Green or military looking can get you killed or questioned with a set of jumper cables. That bus colour was a bad idea. Recently, I cant even find my car in a parking lot because there are a dozen that look just like it.

Totally Ninja.

Its that time again. Its DJ-C5, your Wolfman of the Wasteland. Howooooo! Spinning secret ninja survivalist tunes. This one goes out to one of my home boys who I ran into today, working at the local country store… proudly wearing a Public Enemy T-shirt. Very stylish. I Want. He gets a Triple play for that fashion statement

Now, other than my soft spot for Public Enemy, I’m not a big fan of hip hop or rap… and certainly not Wanksters. But I got my big boy pants on and can acknowledge when someone hit a nerve. A survivalist nerve… and this song Represents.

This is what My blog is all about…. “You’ve only got One Shot. Do Not miss your chance and blow This Opportunity comes Once In A Lifetime”. plus I can really relate at the 3:25 mark

Staying with the personal survival theme. “I Wanna Get Out. Had To Get Out. Got Out!”

Well, Lets lighten the mood. As an equal opportunity Survivalist, lets bring out some Prepper Elvis, AuHauh.

Feel free to get up and dance. I know I will…..










Farmgal, Farmgal, Farmgal

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on June 7, 2018


Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner





With your host Category5…and guess who? Could it be Farmgal?

I have been getting some press and respect lately. Its been a nice ego boost. I have accomplished most of what I set out to do. Doing a slight adjustment to the prepper world to tweek it into something that is a little more Real, Relational, Relevant… and Rational.

Then I had a mini, introspective, self revelational attitude adjustment. That, “Wow! Do I Ever Suck or what” moment, evaluating just how little I actually know. People might look to me for their survival. In reality, I simply stumble from one problem I’m forced to solve and this leads me to the next problem to solve. Each time, I am dumbfounded at the shear lack of knowledge society has equipped me with to achieve my own survival in a world, presently imploding. I figure most people find themselves in the same place… or will find themselves there the moment they try to enact their own survival.

Then along comes someone, unassuming, on the periphery of the prepper world that can honestly say, “I know stuff”.  That person should be exalted into the Limelight.

It is my privilege to do that today.

I recently wrote in another article, “Farmgal is a top tier prepper. Some people have Fantasy Football teams. If I had a Fantasy Prepper Team, I’d make Farmgal the Captain of the team. If she showed up at Dark Green Mountain, I would say, “Thanks for coming to my apocalypse. You are in charge now…. “.

So, what does a Top Tier Prepper do? Not alot of running around in camo. She grows food.”

She also Forages food, Stores Food, Raises animals as Food, Saves her own seed to grow next years Food, Prepares all this Grown, Foraged, Stored and Raised Food in creative ways.

And she teaches others her expertise about FOOD.

Do you notice a theme here?


C5-    Farmgal, Farmgal, Farmgal! Thanks for coming to my apocalypse.

Farmgal-    First I would like to say Thank you to C5 for inviting me to do a post or posts. I go by the handle Farmgal on the net and I have adored reading C5 back to when he was called that the very first time.

I have been very interested in the tidbits of background that have been shared on the Green Mountain Blog about both Mr. and Mrs. C5  So for those that know me from my blog, you are going to get more background then you normally do and for those that are new to me, you might get a glimpse of what happened in the past to bring me to the present point.

C5-   Welcome Farmgal. Im honored to have you here… and to be my guinea pig for my very first ever attempt at an interview.

As a long time voice in the prepper movement, you have seen every shade of paranoid nut job, extremist and strait up racist. You have also seen great steps forward in people embracing there own resilience, safety and food growing.

What are your thoughts about the state of the Prepper Movement at this point of its evolution?

Farmgal-  Wow, I didn’t expect that question.. LOL, this could be interesting.

Well, the first thing that I feel is worth noting is that the overall prepper movement has been split into three factions. Survivalist Preppers, Permaculture Preppers and Tinfoil Hat Preppers.

The main reason’s for this is all due to Media.. The Survivalist’s didn’t like the backlash of being called a Survivalist and so many of them turned to the “softer side” and became a prepper.  I personally find there are two main types of Survivalist that use the prepper name. A) they want a split from the neo-Nazi White Supremacist angle that is tided to that movement. B) They use it as a humor shield.

That Humor Shield comes directly from Doomsday prepper.. it makes what they do seem lighter, funnier and more garden and fewer guns.

The core of what the prepper movement was trying to make happen shifted very heavily towards homesteader or permaculture.  This has led to where we are right now. A major slow down on “official” Prepper boards.

Which is going to bring me to what I personally see as the biggest thing happening in the past few years and it just keeps growing bigger..  The split in the prepper movement between the “male” vs “female” prepper.

I know this is a touchy subject but the divide was always there but its grown so wide in the past years. When I got into the prepper movement, we heard time and again from the prepper women that they didn’t feel that they could have a voice on the boards, that they were overwhelmed by the much more vocal males.  This lead to the biggest Canadian Prepper Board to create a women only area.. (I want to give a big old THANK YOU and nod to Denob for being willing to do this).

Its been many years since but the reason that this was a issue then, is very much still a issue today. We have a large group of male preppers that are “last man standing” that are ” we are going to bug out and live in the bush”.. They are the loudest voices.. Ooo Raaa!

Then we have a smaller amount of men who are some of the best prepper’s and we are darn lucky to have them.. they are family men, they are working side by side with their partners. They are the ones that are doer’s.. they show you how to weld this or build this with solar panels or will talk about 100 subjects that will help to create a better life for their family and those around them.

Then we have the women in the movement.. They are exploding in numbers.. they are a underground grass roots movement.. they are the driving force behind the homestead blogs, the permaculture blogs, they are the driving force behind community gardens, school gardens, Permaculture food forests, chickens being allowed into urban area’s, beekeeping on roofs, Canning being taught in local community halls, a booming push at farmers markets and CSA.   Its not just local to me (which is huge) its across Canada, and I have connection with thousands and thousands of women doing the same in the states.

C5-   Nice answer. You go, FarmGalfriend.

Now Mrs C5 is going to read this and tell me, “You ass! I could have been talking to women preppers all this time and you diddnt tell me.” Hey, I claim computer incompetence. I only came on grid a few years ago.

I hear ya. Last Man Standing types have severely fucked up prepping, or Last Man On Earth, types ironically referred to as LaMOEs.

If you will indulge me a little Megalomania, you had my back right from the start and have always been one of my biggest backers. Just like The Doomstead Diner, I carefully chose posting on the International Preppers Network. It was a very intentional, strategic gamble. I bypassed the big boards on purpose. I’m clearly no family man. I came crashing into IPN like a drunk bull in a china shop, telling a story of how I had just rode home with a few gallons of Sodium Silicate perilously dangling off the sides of my motorcycle, cruising down the highway and realizing I had just graduated to the next level of prepper. I came in thinking, “Wait till some of these LaMOE fuckers get a load of me. I better be prepared for a fight”. You were a board Moderator at IPN who’s voluntary job was to Moderate. So, why did you back me considering I was there to intentionally Shit Disturb and piss off the Survivalist Preppers, and the sometimes, even more dangerous, Everything is a conspiracy, Tinfoil Hat Preppers.

Farmgal-   A couple reasons.

One, you are always willing to admit when something didn’t work.. and you are always willing to try this or that and see if it will or will not work in real life. Its a personal pet peeve of mine when folks will only talk about “the perfect” it all worked so well.. because that is total bullshit in real life.. you can be the best gardener or with a chain saw or rifle.. and you are still going to have crop failure.. have your chainsaw do a kick back at some point and have a misfire..

C5-   Yup. Big pet peeve of mine as well. There is lots of “Survival Advice” and even “Pemiculture advice” out their that doesn’t pass the real life test. People post their grand ideas and builds  but they never seem to come back later and say, “Well that was a big ol waist of my time and money”. That is one of the points of the DMG Survival RESEARCH Centre. Honesty is important about failures. Boy, have I ever accumulated some.

Farmgal-  Two, You talk about a lot of things I do but never post.. dumpster diving, figuring out how to take some thing common and make it useful again, bringing home others “junk” and more.. I so often nod along when I read your writing.. (not all of it mind you) but a good portion.

Three, you are respectful to the ladies, its not that you don’t speak your mind but you are not rude in the same way as other and while I know that some would consider the way you speak about your wife as crude, I figure Mrs. C5 is cool with it, or she seems strong enough that she would tell you.

C5-   He, He , He. Yes. I use MrsC5 as the strait man in a lot of my comedy. She is a seething polecat though. She would have tracked some of these guys to their homes (lets just leave it to your imagination). Its actually Mrs Dr.C5.

Farmgal-   Four, your funny.. sorry but its just true.. your writing is fun to read.. I like to think that same sense of both adventure and humor blends into who you are in real life. I have found most folks that are willing to try new things, are willing to admit when something didn’t work out and are willing to laugh at life or themselves are some of the best kinds of folks

Five, You at times get to pick the fight that I as a mod would choose not to do. My motto was walk soft but carry a big stick.. Most of the time I read the posts and even if I have a strong reply, I ask myself.. walk soft.. or Big STICK time.. if you really look, I give advice, encouragement and information.. I rarely give my own thoughts on subjects.. It makes me as a mod far more Balanced, then I would be if I was just me

So there you.. and if I have to answer this.. so do you! LOL What made you like Farmgal..

C5-   “Quid pro quo. Clara”. You knew who Permaculture practitioners were (the OTHER preppers).   You actually knew who Transition Town were (the OTHER, OTHER preppers). You even knew the SCA (the ones I refer to as the OTHER, OTHER, OTHER preppers). Most Manly Men go limp at that point… or whine about socialists because their manlyness is threatened. AND you obviously know SEED SAVING which is a science in itself. Lets talk about that. Biannual seeds consistently kick my ass and make me question my manly survivalistliness. No seeds? No second harvest. No future.

I picked some serious fights… and then showed my own serious problems that they didnt even know were the problems they would face because they were too single focused and inexperienced to even know what questions to ask… Then Farmgal would magically appear and say, “Its a common problem. Perhaps you might try this. Here is where to go…”


Abrupt Stop

Now, if you have read this far, you are about to get into the Meat of the matter. There is a reason Farmgal knows something worth listening to about food.

I asked a question…. and then she answered honestly and deeply.

Her answer is none of your fucking business. You have heard me say the same about some of my past. She shared it with me because we have known each other for a while and built trust. You, not so much. I expose myself a lot on this sight because we have to be honest about realistic preparedness as opposed to, fantacy, invincible warriors of the wasteland, absolute bullshit. I have been around somewhat. If someones Survivaly Expertlyness starts by the credentials of their rank and regiment and what war they got sent to, their expertlyness immediately goes into the questionable file but I will always let them “earn it” from there. The people I look for are those who have been through shit without a regiment and a nations worth tax dollars for resupply backing them.

The only reason I have anything to teach you is because fucked up shit happened. I fell through the cracks of our society. I got first hand, SHTF experience. Farmgal has had fucked up shit happen. Most likely, more than me. She didn’t become a food expert because its nice to be nice and gardening makes happy tie died rainbows. I’ll only share one line from her intimately shared response.

“I remember my mother sitting at the table crying because she was so happy that she found a case of kidney beans that she had bought and tucked behind the stairs and she had found them.  It meant protein for the table..  That was the year I added in a small snare trap line of my own to look after..”

That was as a pre teen.

She was heavily motivated to know food production, inside and out.

Now, this is why I have chosen to embarrass you, The Reader, and often come off contemptuously. This is what the Tighty Whity Righty that see poverty as some type of moral failing or weakness need to hear. Its your future and the future of your children as resource depletion and economic contraction bites. Coming right up. The Lefty Looseis don’t get off the hook either. A bankrupt, overextended government cant fix injustice and subsidized renewable energy to run electric cars. There is nothing renewable about that.

Farmgal knew hunger and fear and homelessness and outcast status… and here she is, A Proven Survivor. Just like me. So, who do you want to get survival advice from. I thought so.

Lets continue the interview


I said to Fgal, I recently had a good friend, doomsday blogger and one of the more influential local proponents of Transition Town implementation, hanging out for one of our dinner parties. He said he would be willing to do a similar interview. During the hang out, someone asked, what was the moment You Knew? What moment? What book? What decision or experience, made you decide to “prepare” or decide the world was going to implode? It is a peak moment in a persons life. You and I started much younger that the gen pop and I know your learning curve was better taught than mine from a young age. What moment convinced you, it aint a hobby, this is why I am doing this.

Farmgal-   Its never been a hobby, it never had a title or a movement to me until I was labelled with it as a adult. It just was the way to live.

(C5s interjection. This is not a story from The Great Depression. Fgal is younger than me. I was still comfortably in the burbs at this point)

So I was born in Alberta, Canada to parents that were both raised on the poor side of town, married young and were what was called Back to the Landers in the 70’s and 80’s. What that meant was that I was raised without power, by wood heat, with a outhouse and that it was a huge deal when we got a well instead of hauling water. That we moved a lot to follow work for my dad is a understatement.. I had moved 47 times before the age of 18 following my parents from small farm, bush cabin and in some cases what can only be called shacks.

I was running a small trap line (for helping bring food onto the table) by 8, which is the same age I got my first 22, my mom gardened, we wild harvested and we put up food and we ran limited animals, horse’s were a staple (the horse’s might have come and gone over the years) I had my own little milk goats by the age of nine.

But before that…

My grandfather (mom’a side) bought a farm and my grandmother and their children worked hard on that farm. They were poor but getting by nine children plus two extra (cousins that were brought in an raised because the dad had passed way and the mom split out the older children to their relatives) There was never  really enough but the worst was to come. It would turn out that the man they bought from kept the money they paid him and didn’t pay the person he bought the land from.. and in the end they lost it.

Not because they didn’t work it, or pay, themselves but because trust was placed in the wrong person…

First lesson to learn in life.. Never trust a person’s word.. look to their actions. Hard work and honesty does not mean that it can not be taken away from you.

Second Lesson in life.. Never EVER trust that the good times will last! they can be gone in a split second. You can get by without a lot.. but you can not live without food, water or a form of shelter (and in Canada winter.. heat!) The rest is gravy!

Third Lesson in life.. Sometimes you need to do things you don’t want to do and you had better be able to deal with it. The second part of that lesson is that you can have those shakes, those tears as a release.. it allowed.. but when you are done.. you get back up and keep moving forward.

That’s it C5.. the gut of it.. those three things added up to why I am who I am.. Never trust debt, always try and own your own land, always be willing to let go and move on, don’t hold onto anything other then those you love , everything else can be replaced if need be, shelter, water and food are #1 needs.

Feast or Famine..  Feast or Famine.

Every time you prepare, you hedge off that Famine just a little bit more..

Feast or Famine..  Feast or Famine. That is what I want people to take away.

C5-   Hey Farmgalfriend. That’s all the prepper Cred I will ever need to hear, right there. Not survivalist theory. First hand experience. Lets talk about your Learning Curve. John Michael Greer mentioned that in the future, survivors would get used to finding over grown garden patches and empty garden in a box kits next to the skeletal remains of preppers where the learning curve lasted just that much longer than they did. Tell us about your learning curve.

Farmgal-  My parents loved Black Powder Shoots and I have great memories of sitting with my dad melting lead and doing reloading, working in the shop making knives and training for the kids Ax throwing.. you get the idea.

It all changed to a point when I was 12. My dad got a steady job (that took him away from home for about 10 months of the year and they moved us to town..  across the tracks in the trailer court town, I hated it, I spent as much time out in the gravel pit with handmade huts to hide in. Spring, summer, fall and in the winter, I had a special hiding spot in a frozen culvert under a road that I would snow pack in and bring gear with me and heat with a candle.

Then as I hit 14 my parents started worrying about the three B’s, Booze, Bordom an Boy’s so I got shipped off in the summers to a family friends farm. I was back to hooking a line from a running tractor to run the well, and hauling water, having no power. Just a propane stove and a outhouse but I didn’t care. I traded working with four 2 coming 3 year old horse (halter breaking, sacking, ground work and ponying) for a bit of cash and a riding horse for the summer.  I learned how to run a team to haul logs from the bush, how to switch out summer wagons to winter sleds and how to cut hay with horse’s. It was always just enough but rarely more. I would disappear into this world during the summer for five more years..

Then collage and city living came while still working hunting camps in the fall for outfitters and taking this and that job in the country. I then meet my hubby and moved to Yellowknife NWT and spent as much time on the land as we could and still keep a job. Making due and only packing in what you point in fact need and of course learning even more about wild forage. O it was a grand time in NWT!

Then we got transferred to Iqaluit, Nunavut Canada. Conditions in many ways was very much 3rd world. Suddenly I was above the tree line, I was on a massive learning curve..

So C5 says show me your sheet metal? Here is the first lesson I learned up there and its stuck with me.. and is reflected in so many ways on my own place and when it comes to the prepper’s talking about being prepped and ready..

Show me your Worm Bins!

Within the first four days of arriving in Iqaluit, I was offered worms by three different folks and had chats on worm raising over coffee.

There is no soil up there.. there is no bush up there.. you can’t compost when 10 months of the year are too cold do so, you have a limited time for fishing and even more limited time for other sea food or caribou hunting.

You can get protein and fat but what you can’t get very easy is greens but you can compost all your extra’s in worm bins, you can get worm castings with is a rich potting mix and you can worm tea to feed seed planting’s.

You can get a very limited amount of soil shipped up in your sealift order but its going to cost you (if you are smart, you will bring up peat moss, its much better bang for your buck as it will expand massively in amount, its just that you have feed it to keep it producing year after year)

Remember that for X amount of months you have 24 sun but the highest temp it ever gets to in summer in the years I lived there was plus 8c..

C5-  That is important for some of our readers further south where the soil isnt conducive to growing much or has already been stripped of nutrients, or they can only afford to buy “Junk Land” on rocky hillside. Same for forest homesteaders. Forest soil isn’t conducive to gardens . You have to, quite literally “Grow Soil”. I recall Chris Martenson saying he wasn’t really a gardener. He was a soil farmer.

Farmgal-  The second thing that has to be done, was unless you wanted to be held hostage to the local store and their insane prices, you needed to order in by sealift a 12 to 16 month household supply once a year. And because you paid by both space and weight, you had better learn to like and use dried foods, get creative and figure out real fast that you can not eat willy-nilly..  because if you eat all of one food in the first three months you will NOT have it again for another 9 to 12 months!

So here is my Next show me.. Show me your copy of the Food Substitute book.. If you have long term food storage and you don’t have this book.. I am going to give you the eye.. the sideways eye that says, you have never lived it.. you have never worked it.. because if you had you would have done some thinking and found this little gem on your own..

So if its in your books, you get a cookie and a gold star! That’s were we end of Part one.. It made me who I am in many ways.

C5-  OK, Farmgal. Give us all a quik tip on how to better improve our survival.

Farmgal-   Show me your pumpkins…  Everything on a pumpkin plant can be eaten on the top side, the young leaves cook up like tender greens, the bigger leaves can be dried, crushed and used as green powder, the flowers can be eaten, the young fruit can be eaten and those rare few that you are going to let finish will give you the flesh but more important, it will give you the rich fatty seeds.

C5-   Nice. I’ve long time promoted my own joke, “Shit Hits The Fan, Tactical Squashes” to take the piss out of useless tactical guys that seem to think they are survivalists for some silly reason I have never been able to figure out. MrsC5 points out, its not funny if I am the only one laughing at my jokes. These posts are some of my least read but most important articles. No one looks at a squash or pumpkin and thinks, “Oh My God. We are saved”.

Give us a bit more on that.

Farmgal-    Give you a bit more on that.. well then lets talk about a few things in regards to the food front..  So it will not surprise anyone that I am going to say that you should be growing potato’s, I mean come on.. its darn near the perfect food. If you can grow it, it should be a staple and you had better have plans on your homestead on having a way to store a huge amount of them.  If its to hot to grow regular potato’s then I expect to hear that you are going sweet potatos (and you lucky dogs that get to do that, you are also eating those greens right?).
But lets get back to our spuds.. you are not just growing Yukon gold or any of those other really popular ones that you can get in the store.. right??  You are growing some of the older heritage ones because it means that they are also producing seed balls and like a really good little prepper, you are collecting and learning how to save, start and grow TSP right..
Right, I know you are, because all you need is one bad summer, some freak winter or you need to eat those potato’s in storage to save the life of your kids.. you have TSP in your seed storage and you have the ability to start over on year two, three or four???
Show me your True Potato Seed Collection? I want to see at least five kinds, and even better, I want to see the ones that you have breed though to the next generation!
The other thing worth noting is that everyone is so concerned about breeding pure strain of heritage seed and I get it, I do.. I mean I work with programs and I grow pure seed to send back as a seed grower that then sends that seeds across Canada to local gardeners.
However as a prepper.. Landrace breeding should be very high on your list for your own personal garden turn out.. I am in year five working with others in a three hour area on breeding a land race for the butternut squash that thrives in our climate. Some of the things I breed for are not what others do, but we have been successful at not only creating one that matures early for our season, averages 3 to 5 pounds for a average family’s needs but holds for up to 18 months with proper storage.
The reason given for the storage was to be able to provide local food a steady winter supply of locally grown produce but flip it for a prepper and bang, we have bred in the trait to hold a extra six months to go from harvest to harvest in zone 5, some thing that was unheard of six years ago!
Get out there and order from every seed house you can find and mix it all up and start working your landrace plantings.. they will be a saving grace in our new extreme climate gardening culture.
C5-   Then I will finish with one last question. So. I present you with my soap box. What do you really want to tell the prepper world, that you wouldn’t say as a moderator or on your own blog. Lett’er fly. Be a contrarian. Be Alpha Fargal”
Farmgal-  I have already answered and been more open in this post in many ways then I have on my own blog over the years, or at least shown another edge or side to myself.
Lett’er fly.. Alright you asked for it but I don’t think you will be surprised.. All that stuff you are sinking money into, all those toys, everything you are packing away, buying and planning to live “in a somewhat similar manner” as you or your family or the rest of us who live in 1st world countries..
Its a fool’s game..  you really can’t take it with you.. and those skills, they are great, train for them, work them.. you can have the best gear, the best training and simple infection can and will take you down.
The truth that I always think and never say out loud.. IF or when SHTF where to happen in a real way.. all this talk, all this will mean nothing.. not really.. break this or get sick with this or freeze to death.. all the Rambo talk.. blah!
As Mr. FG or Dear Hubby says to me. .” talk to me about how to work around climate change or job loss or reduced health, talk to me about energy crisis or peak oil or water wars
 Don’t bother trying to talk to me about the BIG EVENTS because if those happen.. nothing we are doing will truly prepare us for what would be coming. If it goes down like that.. we be fucked!”
It always makes me sigh and ground my feet again when he reminds me of that cold hard truth..
C5-   Thanks Farmgal for taking time out in what I know is your mega busy season of planting. A big shout out to Mr FG as well.





We will try to have Farmgal back as soon as she can fit us back into her schedule for a part two where she will tell us the rest of the story about here farmlife.
I am going to be a presumptuous ass and assign a homework assignment task for Farmgal to take some time formulating.
Farmgal pointed out the lack of bees this spring on here blog. I promptly went out to the flowering service berry trees. Almost no bees. I only counted 9 bees. Holy Apocalyptic Shit Storm Batman. Now, I know what hand pollination is… and have long predicted there will come a time that if you want to eat, we will be forced to hand pollinate. Its an epicly daunting proposition. I have zero experience in it. I might be able to handle hand pollinating squashes.
I hope Farmgal can take some time to think about what hand pollination of what foods would be beneficial to preppers or Adapters and what would just be trying to grasp the wind. Speaking of wind, what wind pollinated plants might be better to focus on. I think we could all use an Adapter specific tutorial from a seed expert. Hopefully Farmgal signs up for the task…. No pressure….


You can read much more Farmgal Here-

And check out her 31 day Self Reliance Challenge and the other bloggers she spotlights.

31 Day Self Reliance Challange

Lets end this with a little ditty from DJ-C5, your Warrior of the Wasteland. The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla.

This song has been on my mind alot lately while out in the garden or cutting firewood. I’ve played it a dozen times this week. It goes out to the rubes that fell for Washington’s latest  Bait and Switch. “What. No chemical weapons. And we just fired upteen millions of taxpayer dollar missiles. Quick, declare war on Iran before anyone notices… What can possibly go wrong?”

Bonus reads of the week… since we are getting in touch with our inner Amish…

and, why Iran?

No wonder the Amish rejected TV… and cars. Silly English.

High, high marks go to this one as well as a last minute entry, if you have ever got stuck in a gardens VS food storage VS hunter gatherer foraging argument, instead of all complimenting each other for a complete system of “Resilience”









The Post Apocalyptic Permaculture Pig- Redux

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on May 17, 2018

digging strawberries 4

Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner


C5 and The Post Apocalyptic Permaculture Pig- Redux

Thus ends the life of Mr Wu. All that is left to do is tell the story. I have been avoiding thinking about this all year. Putting down my 600 lb pound friend and filling a freezer. On the way to the abattoir, tears started to come but I choked it back. Maudlin by nature, its easy for me to only focus on my failures or the experiments that didn’t live up to my expectations. This miffs MrsC5 sometimes. She says I don’t focus enough on my successes. Its true, of course. One of my skills is that I consistently do the impossible with nothing. Its my only real skill. Nothing motivates me more than to be told it cant be done. My usual response is, “Just watch me. If you don’t have any helpful advice, get the fuck out of my way”. But today, my thoughts were that we will most likely never try pig breeding again. We may have a pig again to do field clearing and tilling and freezer within the year. Having a bakers dozen plus a huge boar overwhelmed our abilities. But without the ability to breed ongoing generations, this was a survival Fail for me. It was not an experiment I could afford to fail in. I’ll explain why latter. More so, we lost friends in this endeavor. We also learned the people that had moved onto our land were not the right fit and had to go.

I had been psyching myself up to shoot Mr Wu and attempting a piss assed butchery. I had already culled one of his siblings as well as one of his offspring…but this would be different. He was my friend. MrsC5 would have nothing of it. She demanded a proper  abattoir and butcher. It seemed I had dodged responsibility but I was relived. When he stepped off the trailer and into the final pen, the abattoir was preparing for the usual potential chase. When Mr Wu followed MrC5 out the trailer and into the pen, the abattoir commented, “Wow. That is not something you see. You must have been very hands on with him”. Other than seeing he was OK, I didn’t want to spent any farewell time with him. That would have been too much. As I turned away, My final thoughts were the cheezy Babe movie lines, “That’ll do pig. That’ll do”.

It was the Abattoirs words that made it easier on me because I realized he had had a very good life. Now every body says that but in Mr Wu’s case, it was definitely true. The proof  was in his graceful end. He had spent his last year getting strange pussy and having many piglets on another farm while we were away in Peru. More so, he was totally free range, wandering the hills as he pleased (Not something I would recommend, by the way. Feral pigs are an environmental catastrophe).

When he was with us, after his harness phase, he was left in an orchard we wanted to reclaim surrounded by our ancient dead hedge experiment. This was mainly a Failed experiment. (Another Post…) Torpedo shaped, Pig Headed, little eating machines can push though or rip out of the ground, just about anything you can build, (including buildings) yet word was getting around about this huge pig behind a stick fence and they came miles out of their way down a dirt rode to park their car and stare at this pig.

But the BIG number of people that knew about Mr Wu came from an article I wrote first at and repeated over at the International Preppers Network. Someone from Permies recently asked for More to his story. I said yes….but it should really start by re-posting the original article…and tweaking it into a Redux, more polished version. Its an important article. So, without further Adue. (He looks so tiny in these photos)

The Post-Apocalyptic Permaculture Pig

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If I croak tomorrow, I owe the Prepper and Permaculture world a brief synopsis of what we have learned about raising a pig on a harness. This is outside of most North Americans idea of how to raise a pig. I won’t try to sell you folks that this is “The Way” to raise a pig. Just “A Way”. This was a problem solving experiment, mainly to deal with the incredible expense of fencing or lack thereof in a wold of diminishing resources, both materials and financial. If we screwed up this experiment, we simply would have filled our freezer early and “eaten” the loss.

O.K. That’s way too serious of a way to start one of my posts. I’ll start again with the words of one of our farm sitters. “Taking the pig for a walk was the high point of all my farm experiences. I was frightened at first but then it was fun.” Mr Wu (bonus points go to anyone that guesses why we named him that) grossly outweighed her at less than a year of age. At this point, I don’t even leash him when taking him for a walk around farm with the dogs. It’s something to see, a huge pig, galloping across the fields with the dogs. It’s a little more intimidating when he is charging towards you like a small buffalo. I’m sure glad he likes me. This is one happy pig. Clearly we did something right…in spite of that certain people told us that we were doing something bad and this might even be cruel for the animal. I had worries, myself. These worries began to flow away the first few times he rolled over onto my feet to have his belly scratched…or when, one time, he broke out of his pen, he didn’t run off into the forest but sauntered up to the front door with a “What are you guys up to” look on his face.

Now, I take great pride in that I could beat most large dogs in a fight if they attacked me. I trained myself for that. I’m a little rough around the edges. A couple days ago, I came to the conclusion that I would not be able to win in a fight with this pig. Just like the dogs, he was born to fight. Just like the dogs, he likes to rough house as play. A couple of days ago he hit me with a sneak attack. He likes to drive himself between my legs from behind in an attempted to knock me over. My usual defense is to sit on him and ride him around for a while like a bronco buster. This time, he caught me off guard and after a few seconds on the ride, crashed down into a bush in a winded huff without any of my secret ninja pride intact. I looked over to him and realized if he attacked me now…I was done. Instead, I could tell he was doing the piggy equivalent of at laughing at me and his triumph. My point is that this is a happy pig that likes me and has a way better life than most animals we raise for food. At the moment, he is harnessed to a large tire in the garden, tilling up the garden and weeding or working in mulch. He is a pig with a job. A permaculture job. A post-apocalyptic permaculture pig.

Week 1 doc

pets looking towards Mr Wu doc(What is this alien creature? Are we supposed to kill it?) touch training doc(Touch training. He did not like me. I was the big bad wolf. To eat, he had to risk me touching him)

So, how did we get to this point of me on the ground with a pig laughing at me and why should you consider this option, especially in a survival, prepper, permaculture, collapse of western, business as usual, society context. And why should you listen to me besides that I am so charming? I have no pig raising experience. I have no farm experience other than the last few years. I am something of a Survival Expert though that means little. A C5 Rule Of Survival is- “There is no such thing as a Survival Expert. Anyone claiming to be is just trying to sell you something”.
Like I said, I had been trying to figure out a way to deal with small livestock raising without the expense of easily sourced or debt financed fencing of our fields. We just can’t afford to fence our fields. We can afford electric fencing and solar batteries as a mobile option…but these are a short term solution to a much larger problem. If you need to feed yourself but the money is gone or that fencing or batteries are no longer available…well, that whole C5 survival expert status means I have to solve that little problem for the next generation of have nots. People have probably seen tethered goats. One online friend had faced the same problem with her cow. She solved it by tethering it to a tire. The cow could eat its pasture and pull the tire further into the field for fresher grass…but couldn’t run off down the road to run amuck.

The big Lightbulb moment for me was visiting Cuba. For those not familiar with the subject, Cuba is often referred to as “The mini Peak oil” With the embargo in place and the collapse of the Soviet Union ending their oil supplies, Cuba had to adapt to non-Big Ag, mass production food systems coming to a complete stop. When we arrived, it was the end of the dry season, the rains hadn’t arrived yet and grazing was withered. Lots of animals were looking pretty thin. They were also all tethered, tied to anyplace there was grass. Instead of bringing food to the animals, they brought the animals to the food. Oh good. It wasn’t just me waxing all survivalist with this little problem.

Then we saw a pig out in a field. A couple of piglets were hanging out with it. Why was this pig so far away from people? Did it escape? Was it wild? Then I pointed it out to MrsC5, “Are my eyes deceiving me? That pig is on a leash. I didn’t know that was possible. The little ones aren’t even running off. They are all staying with the big one…unattended.” Then the little wheels started spinning in my head. Might I have just solved our pig fencing dilemma. A day later I explained to MrsC5 that we were going to have a pig on a leash. Luckily, she was immediately on board. Whew. Thank goodness I didn’t have to explain this nutty idea to her. It would be a hard sell to most people. The next insight while walking around in the rural hinterlands of Cuba is that all the houses had fenced yards…but the fences were often hodge podged together from any scraps they could find. A rusted piece of metal from the beach was wired in with scrap wood, boulders, cactus’s, whatever could be scavenged. Most likely to keep pigs out…or in. I never asked. But my theories about fencing in a world with severely limited resources was there in front of my eyes. It was the small, excessively rusty beach metal, carefully woven into the fence that sticks with me to this day. Week 3 with harness docputtem to work doc(Put’in him to work young, tilling in the garden)

There is another C5 Rule of Survival- “There is a big difference between KNOWING in the Biblical Sense and KNOWING in the Porn sense” Unless you have first hand experience in it…assume it doesn’t work…no matter what you saw on youtube…or what you read in my self proclaimed survival expertlyness bloggeryness

We wanted pigs because pigs were going to be the only way to get the necessary fat intake to survive a Canadian winter without slowly starving to death. We had already learned that chickens weren’t sustainable here, in spite of just assuming we could raise chickens as a survival assumption. A belief I’d had all my life. Knowing in the biblical sense knocked that right out of me. I can’t grow the food they need to get through a winter in this location with limited machinery. I tried. I failed. But I could grow rabbit or pig food. Perhaps you have read the old stories of people that had all the rabbits they needed but starved to death anyhow. Rabbits don’t have the necessary fat. Neither do deer for that matter. Bear, geese and beaver, yes…but we had already given up on the idea that any wild food source would still be around in a collapse setting. Most of the wild animals we take for granted almost went extinct during the Great Depression. It will be worse now. Think of hunting on the very last day of hunting season. Your chances are slim. So that leaves domesticated pigs. If you want cooking oil, it’s going to be lard.

But with everything else going on around the prepper farm…it had moved into the category of “Next Year” jobs. Next year became next year the next year and so on.

Then one of our Prepper friends made the decision for us. We got a call, “Guess what? I Just bought three pigs. Berkshire, Tamworth cross”. I jokingly replied, “One of those is for us. Right?”
I didn’t actually think he would say yes. OK. It took a few weeks. He was using the old reasoning. If you raise three pigs and sell two that pays for your own pig in the fall. But I think he got curios about how we were going to raise him with this whole tethering idea. We were caught off guard because we wanted to start with a much cheaper breed. It was after all, a practice pig. If we screwed it up the first time, we would just eat what we did wrong. But our friend had already chosen the friendliest and least skittish of the three for us. The one that was most curious and didn’t mind being scratched. The more Berkshire of the three. This put us into a panicky scramble. I had a day to whip up a small enclosure out of recycled fence material I already had on hand. I had to make sure he couldn’t dig underneath. I don’t know how to raise a pig. I butted it against the chicken coop to break the wind.

O.K. Less story telling. Just the facts. Lets start with what I did wrong right off the bat. You have to start this process at a much younger age than we did. Your pig needs to be touched, scratched and handled as young as possible. Our relationship started with me having to wrestle him down. It turns out I was good at this because of the dog fighting I mentioned above. Just pin it to the ground, pick it up and put it in the truck. I had to do it again a few days later to get the harness on him. Big mistake. To a pig, the only thing that pins it down is a predator in the process of killing it. It didn’t trust or like me again for quite a while. Pigs never forget. MrsC5 hadn’t been the one to pin him so she had to take over trust building with the pig. I was the big bad wolf.walking young Mr Wu 1 docwalking young Mr Wu in summer 2 docputting Mr Wu in pen dock

Trust got rebuilt as he realized there was benefits to this arrangement. In fact, we are onto a new phase of his training. While I write this, he is off leash outside. This is new and has had its own problems we are working out. He gets a few hours of wandering free now.

Back to early raising. He started in a small enclosure. Two days later, the entire enclosure had been tilled. We were amazed. This little pig was a tilling machine…and the wheels in my head started to turn once more. Anyone who has ever tried to till a garden by hand knows that is not as simple as first envisioned and your first real fear of possibly having a heart attack. People try to get around this back breaking work with deep mulching or cardboard mulching on any other way to avoid tilling. We suddenly had a non gas powered tilling machine. A single minded eating machine. The implications were huge.


tilled doc(this new enclosure was tilled in about a week…but he was much larger at the time)

Then came the next training. Getting a leash on the pig was the next problem. Remember, he didn’t trust me now…and I once again had to wrestle him to get the leash on. But I did and then walked him over to the new enclosure. He went right in and started tilling. Pigs are smart. He knew the enclosure was his safe place. We had to leave the leash on him and he just dragged it around for several months because it was easier to grab the leash than try to pin him to get it on. What a change to today. Now he comes up to the fence to say, “Please leash me because I want to go out. He is easier to leash than my dogs. It only took about three days for the pig to figure the leash thing out. He figured out that I was taking him to a new place for him to till. Let the healing begin.

Slowly his leash got longer when we tied a rope to it. He got attached to the fence or a tire. Unlike most pigs, he got to go places. It wasn’t long before the next big experiment. After a few beers I decided it was time to walk him to the top of the property. The pig, the dogs…and the cat. The cat had already embraced these walks. She knew if she walked in the fields she was hawk food so to explore further she would have to chase the dogs for safety. This was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. A small multi species commune on a walk, bound together for mutual support. The pig was curious enough to follow on this new adventure. It was going fine…until the kitty decided it would be fun to stalk the pig. Understand, the pig had grown fast…but even with this huge size difference, the pig’s instincts kicked in. Instinctualy, pigs seem to know that big cats are its major predator. This tiny kitty was death incarnate….and he yanked me home at a run to the safety of his safe enclosure.

As spring turned to summer and heat increased, we knew we had to get him out of the sun as leaving him tied in the field was cruel. Apple tree training had begun. We wanted some of the undergrowth under the trees cleared out. Air flow for tree health, a soft place for apples to land and ease of access, and eventually the goal – bring the pig to the food instead of bringing the food to the pig. As a bonus, interrupting the worm cycle of them surviving in the ground again after the apples fall. We still had to trim out all of the undergrowth to keep him from getting tangled…and boy, can that pig ever get himself tangled.pig in the orchard doc(its hard to see but he is attached to a branch )

Which gets us to one of the down sides of this type of pig raising. It’s way more labor intensive. A pig is a social animal. It’s sort of cruel to have a single pig unless YOU are willing to be its social pig herd. You have to be around. You have to check up on it regularly. You have to adjust his harness every few days because they grow so fast. If you don’t…that harness will strangle him or chafe his skin causing cuts and lesions so you really have to invest the time of touching and handling him.

And you have to be there to hear him squeal when he gets himself tangled, which he will. If we go out someplace, he has to go back in his stall so we don’t come home to a strangled or panicked, traumatized pig.

Your main garden will need a sturdy fence because the pig is going to escape occasionally. Pigs are uber smart and driven by hunger. Mr. Wu learned how to open the fence gate within a short period. He pushes open doors, lifts raised gates, tests every possible escape route. I’ve even seen him try to lift the rope that ties the gate shut because he knows it slides into place.

Your pig WILL escape. Getting him back in his pen takes some simple training that is easy. Tie a bear bell to the feed bucket. He knows if he hears that bell, glorious food awaits and food is his single driving force. The bell sends him frothing.Walkies doc 2Solar Pig 1

Now, the next big problem. All this hands on relationship completely changes the relationship. It had always been, I pop this guy in the fall and he goes in the freezer. Then that day came when he plopped down onto my feet and rolled over to have his belly scratched, exposing himself in the same way my dogs would. The second time he did it…I went, “You Bastard. You are going to fuck me up. How can I shoot you?” Now that was always the intention. He was always food and had a time limit. I am “Survivalist enough” that I could shoot and eat my dogs if I had too…but doing so would hurt my soul and I would have to carry that. I carry too much already. Now the pig trusts and loves me as if he were one of my dogs. I can do it if I have to…but don’t ask me to. I need a friend that is not invested emotionally in him to pop him for me. I can handle the rest. I just can’t handle betraying him. This is a common problem for pig farmers. Because of this, a common practice is to trade pigs with another farmer. Killing and eating a pig is fine. Killing and eating the one you became emotionally involved with can be difficult.

Then Mr. Wu got a lease on life. An execution reprieve. The same prepper friend that we got him from was so impressed with his size and personality…that he encouraged us to keep him for a few years as a breeder. He had decided to go purchase a sow and together, we would breed our own pigs. To cover our loss of winter food, he would share half of his own boar. Now we are going from zero experience to pig breeder. There will be much more to learn.

Speaking of learning…or our lack thereof, we found out just yesterday that our pig is not suitable for rotational grazing. We would need a different type of pig for that. Grazing pigs will eat grass. Mr. Wu has never been interested in eating grass. He is a rooter. If you want to have grass fed pigs…you need a pig that eats grass. Ours isn’t it. Grass is just in the way. He wants the worms, grubs and field mice. Rotational Tilling…probably. We are really disappointed by what he won’t eat. Our intension had been to winter him on carrots and Jerusalem artichokes. He is not interested. The experiment continues. So know your pig. Until then he will partial winter on apples and squashes we have stored all over the house. And pig rations but the goal is to get him fully off pig feed. We need food that we don’t have to drive to. Food produced right here on the homestead.

Ours roots so we are using him as a rooter. He is a cold weather breed so he will be out for the winter with a shelter he can go into as a dry place to sleep and escape the wind. We fenced a temporary winter enclosure that our intention is to be an extension to our garden. We wanted to move the garden closer to the house so we have to walk less which really does take up a lot of our farming time. Walking back and forth really does consume time when added up over the year so we have to streamline our calorie and time expenditures. Of course that means expending more time to build him a new area next year.

Born free 1Born free 2(Running free with the dogs. This is where we break out into a rousing chorus of Born Free, As Free as the Wind Blows…..)

I wanted to give a word of warning. Safety stuff. Remember, I said I am an amateur at this pig stuff. Not an expert… and we are talking about a Boar here…so you do have to keep in mind that it is sort of like making friends with a bull… or me for that matter. We are complex bundles of ancient instincts, hormones and luggage.

We also learned what the term, Pig Headed means. When he is at something he wants…he is all instinct and cannot be dissuaded. Slaps, punches or kicks will not change his mind. He is just too solid to feel any of that…and he will only get bigger.

So it is important for us all to not “Babe, The Pig” this story too much. There is a reason why pig farmers bring a pointy stick when interacting with there hogs…and occasionally a pig eats a farmer…or a child.

Someone sent a note that is worth you all reading as a cautionary tale to put some balance into my story. It read,

“Hey, really enjoyed your post about MR Woo
I have a friend who had a very very nice boar who would do the roll and scratch thing
Mine did that too.
But one day his pig went into “rut” (that’s what they call it)
And his friendly li’l 80-90kg pal sent a tusk UNDER his KNEECAP and chased him up a pecan tree
he escaped, eventually and spent 10 days in hospital
He advised me to dispatch my uncastrated boar, and I did, once he got scary (which was after his lady friend gave birth)
Maybe if you never breed with him, he’d be ok, I don’t know.
But I just wanted to give you this heads up.I have a four month old uncastrated boar which I am going to swap with another neighbor who has the same
and after I’m sure the work is done, I’ll dispatch him, which will probably be in six months.I’ll be sad, but me and my kids will be safe”

Well, My public service announcement is done. Like most things, You have to weigh the risk to benefit part. You have to assess your own abilities and manage risk. A chainsaw is extremely dangerous. Its also damned useful. So, it has to be used with caution and respect.

When I first started writing this, I was in the middle of a health crisis. I figured I had a responsibility to pass this on fast. C5 Rule of Survival- If your only goal is Survival…You have a ZERO percent chance of success. Live a good life. Its far easier to live with.

Rumors of my demise were greatly exaggerated.

Soooo. I still have a responsibility to continue this post. Good news. Mr. Wu cruncher on some Jerusalem Artichokes or Sunchokes recently and…finally…decided he liked them. With winter approaching, I guess a complex carbohydrate and starch became appealing. Double good news because sunchokes are highly invasive. They are an ultimate survival food for guerilla gardeners. Old School survivalism. Plant and forget. But highly invasive. You will never fully dig them out.

Now that he recognizes sunchokes as food…he IS digging them himself. Pig to the food instead of food to the pig. Still, I’m storing them in buckets, for the winter, of half sunchokes and half dirt.

Now, another commenter had written,”This is where, as a permie, I would take a serious look at the dietary diversity and history of the native cultures of your region. Somehow, all of those indigenous cultures were grooving along just fine without Euro foods.” I will add that many survivalist leaning “A’hunin and A’fishin like granpappy and the brave frontiersmen” types will say, “Why bother with all this work?”

I thought I would nip this in the swollen, unwashed anus.

Goddess bless the First Nations. In My Blessing the First nations…we really have to ditch the myth of returning to ” dietary diversity and history of the native cultures of your region. Somehow, all of those indigenous cultures were grooving along just fine without Euro foods”. I have written about this recently enough but should badger it again. Those food sources ARE GONE…and have been for quite a while.

Example. The First Nations in my recently adopted region…in pre colonial invasion days…a staple food source was the passenger pidgin. I bring it up because most people recognize the name and that it is now extinct….but that doesn’t really paint the real picture. Try to imagine the sky so thick with passenger pigeons and other fat filled foul that it would occasionally block out the sun. Imagine Fish stocks so thick that they would occasionally stop fishing boats against a wall and fishermen reporting they could walk on them. Seals in the billions…etc

Those day are gone. Trying to return to those days is a false narrative. The forests are now mono cultures…ad a shitload of people. I’m not dissing traditional skills…just pointing out the obvious. Most of the species we take for granted almost went extinct or actually did go extinct in areas during the Great Depression and had to be reintroduced with the hunting rules we have today. There is ALOT more people today. I use American Numbers to get my point across.
C5 Rule of Survival- “30 million Deer in America. 350 million people. One deer per person per month strictly rationed. You do the unworkable math and Prep accordingly.”
I’m not trying to be an argumentative dick. Im trying to save peoples lives that are looking at …being a fake indian…as a survival fall back option. The First Nations have plenty to teach us. Philosophy. Community. Endurance. Unfortunately they can also teach us about starvation…and the near death of a culture because of it. The invaders destroyed the food source to destroy the culture.

Now imagine 350 million hungry people deciding that going after 30 million deer is a good idea. In a real modern crisis….Ild give the deer about two weeks before they were extinct….forever. Other species follow.

Another commentor added, “I see your point, but the way I see it , after I look around at most of those 350 million folks, I am betting that 3/4 of them will be gone within a couple of months as they have no idea how to live without everything being delivered to their front door. Maybe the deer will stand a chance after all”. I have heard several versions of this excuse before. Its sort of like the “I want to be under the bomb” excuse.

Humans are tenacious. That’s how we find ourselves at this piece of history, finding ourselves the victims of our own success. Consider the Syrian Refugee crisis. They didn’t go quietly into the deep. They moved!

Its only the beginning. Future climate refugees will make this look like some boring historical subnote that most without history professor credentials will yawn at. We are really only getting started.

I’m not the only one that figured out the wilderness calorie problem. Hey. Most of my early survival studies were solely based around historic First Nation lifestyle arrangements… But about the same time I was beginning to question this (can my survival experience produce Actual Survival)…other random people were coming to the same conclusion. There was a “Hundredth Monkey” thing going on. While I was pointing out the C5- 300 million problem…others put it better…and I wish I could take responsibility for the far better way of looking at it that floated around several preparedness communities. …and it was directed at Hunters that were very good at hunting. Not the rest of the people with a gun or bow or pointy stick that plan on hunting for survival . “Consider Hunting on the very last day of hunting season. Your chance are slim”. Now add everyone else with the same plan.

So……Pigs……and community or villages. Its why I make my life harder than it has to be.

A pig on a leash. A pig with a job. A pig I can take places. A pig I can release to intimidate trespassers. A pig that produces life dependent winter fat. A Post-Apocalyptic Permaculture Pig. That’s all I got. I hope you can make use of this information

Colour 3 ender


And that ended the article…but it didn’t end the story.

Then the Girls showed up.

With those words, many a man has been destroyed. “And Lord, I know I’m one”. Sure, they seem soft, warm and inviting….Then you find out the cost. By then you are usually already trapped. The simple and straight forward bachelor days are over.

Mr Wu was a chick magnet…3 pigs walking in snow follow

Clearly, so am I. This girl piggy used to be soooo sketchy, trusting no one. Now that is gone completely. She looks at me with loving eyes and is first up to be scratched. Mr Wu taught her how to like humans, now that she sees that Mr woo loves me. Mr Wu taught her how to like humans.

And he taught her what to do. She now follows me. If not me, then at least the feed bucket when she is less interested.

He taught them to dig sunchokes

(He teaches them to dig sunchokes)

pigs & dogs in row doc(just a great shot, hiking with the dogs)

The second female was more problematic…and would eventually sow the seeds to the loss of a friendship…but I am not going to use my pulpit to point fingers. The second sow was stunted, bit us, didn’t breed, wasn’t  smart and instigated breakouts. The general rule with pigs is to cull deep and often. You slaughter the pigs with traits you don’t want before they breed those traits into a new generation. That, and an unproductive animal just consumes costly food. In this case, Mr Wu didn’t like her much either.

But the simplicity of tethering was also coming to an end. Too many animals. especially when the piglets would arrive. It wasn’t even worth considering. That sent me scrambling onto the next experiment. A huge experiment. An experiment that failed monumentally. The Dead Hedge. An ancient fencing method. Not really a failure. As MrsC5 points out, its too easy for me to only focus on things that didn’t turn out to be a miracle cure. It did work. the area looks great now. This would work for sheep. Just not for pigs…as they can tare through almost any fence. headge wall doc 2

hedge pigs We were un prepared for pigs shear tenacity. As mentioned, we will cover dead hedging another post. I’m just pointing out that our main experiment was not just going from zero pig experience to having a consistent source of pork. It was to do this without reliance on financed  industrial consumer products. Products that wont be around one day… like electric fencing or cement or brutally expensive steal wire fencing. Or even lumber for that matter.  What is the point of putting in 20 thousand dollars of dept financed infrastructure and risking your land to foreclosure for a couple thousand dollar return. I see this happen all the time. Our food system is broken to the core. Only multi millionaires can afford to farm now days and they don’t do it by small holding happy, healthy pigs.

But before I tell you my woes, This is a good place to give a shout out to Permies or Permaculturalists. They have been diligently trying to find work arounds or re inventing old technologies, here at the end of the empire. The best news is that they share what they learn. Like here.

And this is the most impressive thing I have seen anywhere. EVER! Using pigs to make ponds.

Permaculturalists have done some good work in rotational grazing pigs. This is usually done with with a mobile electric fencing. Its best if you only keep them in the same place for about 2 weeks, then move them to the next spot so the old spot can re grow. We could do that…and next time we probably will.

But here at the Dark Green Mountain Research Centre, our focus is always on a wold in collapse where you cant just BUY your way out of troubles. So, you can say we took one for the team. At least I feel better if I look at it that way.

But before our crash and burn, there definitely was a honeymoon phase. We birthed piglets without a single death. Eleven of them. MrsC5 was right in there pulling off placentas and moving them towards the tits so they didn’t wander off and freeze to death.just after birth docfirst piglets doc11 piglets suckling 3 doc

There is certainly something to say for the Tamworth sow. She was extremely good at not crushing the babies while laying down. This isn’t the case with other breads that flop themselves down, killing a large percentage. We had done it. We were officially pig breeders.

Then it all went to hell….

one piglet awake in sleeping puddle doc(so cute like this…)

dig training 1(and this….)

pigs in a blanket doc(and this….but who am I kidding. By this point they were already becoming a nightmare mob of hourly break outs)

dig training 2(I putt’em to work early tilling the old compost pile into garden space)break out dock(Of course, this is what we began to wake up to each day. They would break out and we would be having to assess the damage before we could even get in the morning coffee)

It went to hell in a hand basket.

Well, not so dramatic. It was the slow accumulation of 100 things. Death by 100 cuts. They required our entire effort. We were trapped. If you looked away, they would break something. Boy, could they break shit. Shit that I had built. Shit that I needed not to be broken…like my greenhouses. Like our garden fence. Like the garden for that matter. Like the pig fence. Oh the pig fence. That became a daily occurrence. They got under it.  They got over it. If that didn’t work they just busted it. We kept reinforcing it. We then watched in amazement as they destroyed all our work. Mr Wu was pretty big at this point so if he got bored, he would just put his nose under the fence and rip the posts out of the ground and we would find him in the mud room with his head in the feed bucket eating a weeks worth of food. Slaps wouldn’t dissuade him. Even kicks wouldn’t work. He felt nothing when he was in feeding frenzy. I can now see the value of an electric cattle prod…though that is not a good idea to use regularly if you want a happy relationship. We would have to yank him out the door by the ears with one person pushing from the rear, with every ounce of both our strienth. As time went by and we were slow being broken, on more than one occasion I was ready to shoot the fucker and be done with him. All of them for that matter. They ALL found ways to find my last nerve and jump up and down on it. Our farm had become our prison and the inmates were running the asylum.

Part of the BIG problems was keeping them separated. Pigs are heard animals. They don’t want to be separated. Separating Mama before she gave birth was the start. She kept busting her enclosure. She tried to dig through the barn wall. Those outside tried to do the same to get to her. Their winter enclosure had now become one big mud pit. I had to expand fast, thus the excessive dead hedged orchard. That was my next all consuming task. Though they liked this new freedom, all the same fence busting problems continued. I could no longer continue the experiment. I eventually needed to run electric wire around the hedge. They still found ways to break out but they eventually figured out the electric fence. Yet they found other ways to piss me off. No matter how sturdy I built there water trough, they would figure out how to flip it, forcing me to to make watering them twice a day a huge job by wading through the mud surrounded by demanding pigs. I was constantly covered in mud and pig shit.

And we were right back to the problem of how to keep them separated. Mr Wu didn’t want to be separated from mama. Mama didn’t want to be separated from babies. The babies were escape artists. All of this involved alot of breaking of shit. Shit I had built. Shit I could not afford to have broken.

For those considering electric fencing, we missed an important step with the piglets. Electric fence training. While they are young, they have to be kept in a small but fully enclosed area with the fence wire around it. They learn very quickly to avoid the wire. Well, we missed that step so they just ran through the wire…which would panic Mama so she would face being zapped or break shit to get to the piglets. It kept going on and on.

It all came to a head when Mama came back into heat. This sent all the males into a drug induced orgy like fucking frenzy. At one point, we found one of the kids successfully plowing mama. This was a major disaster. If she got pregnant now, she would not have built up enough fat to get through the next canadian winter. She would give birth in the winter, with most likely, all of them dieing, including the mother. In desperation, we called out for help from the people we were supposedly sharing this pig breeding arrangement with. We didn’t get that help. Instead we got blame. The two sow’s owner had worked up a paranoid fantasy in his head that somehow we were abusing the animals. Nothing could be further from the truth.  It was us that was being abused.

Where to go next. This isn’t all about me whining about what went wrong. I will get around to lessons learned and problem solving near the end.

Friends were lost. Attempts at money making was lost. Attempts at community building was lost. Our garden fence was breaking down. Our deep mulch gardening method wasn’t giving us results. And now the pigs. The failures were starting to accumulate. Our successes were harder to celebrate. I was feeling like a fraud. I was feeling like I had failed. We were burnt out.

But as friends were lost, new relationships were beginning. Mythos and Logos entered the scene as well as a few others. What a contrast. While others wanted to tell us everything we were doing wrong or taking this opportunity for some dog psychology, a weak dog attacking a wounded dog to place themselves in a better pack placement position, Mythos came in, took a look at what we had been doing and said, “This place is awesome”. They got what we were doing here, them being permaculture specialists. They had gone through some of the same problems. And it turns out, we were inspiring them as well as them inspiring me.

So, fall came and the pigs went off to slaughter. Relief. Just one problem. One of them had escaped and a whole Keystone Cop episode ensued that included me flying through the air in football like tackles, getting his feet, then me being dragged along and repeatedly kicked in the face until I let go. Escaped pig had won this round. He wasn’t going…but this did impress the hell out of the friends that were helping. I would never have to prove my generally aging warriornesslyness to anyone again. The little torpedo shaped ball of muscle had won but I still walked away with my manliness intact. Facial bruises and all.

Suddenly the farm became alot more peaceful again. Only two pigs to deal with.

I saw this break out as an opportunity for further learning and community building. I had killed a few animals before and been there at the skinning but I didn’t really  have much experience at butchery. Al least not butchery that gave you anything that looked like a steak. Believe it or not, European style butchery is not the only type of butchery out there. Now, I was inspired by a dear carcass I once found near a reserve. All the meat had been taken off without cutting through one bone. It was impressive. Skeleton filly intact. I figured this was my future. But a different opportunity presented itself. I had met a new person recently that I wanted to fold into the tribe. He had raised a pig before but wasn’t  involved in the slaughter…but he had some meat cutting experience. I had killed animals before but don’t know cuts. It was an excuse for a man date. Another  person came by for the  learning experience.

This is my theory on the best way to build prepper community. Just figure out ways to get diverse people to hang out together. If you click, you click. If not, you now know. Introduce them to other friends. They might click. You might lose friends someday but like any good prepper, you know the rule- Two is one. One is none.- Built in redundancy. Have plenty of replacements. As I have said before, preppers are over rated. I have met plenty of people that self identify as preppers but few are actually prepared in the slightest. Most come with baggage that makes them have a hard time working together. I wanted to reach further afield, to those that would not identify as preppers and it would lead to one of my best C5 rules.

C5 Rule Of Survival- The single greatest survival skillset is…(envelope please…)The Dinner Party.

Just get people that are somewhat involved in food production, in the same place. I’ll cover this another time.

So, I shot him in the head and slit his throat.

The pig. Not the friend or dinner party participants. I’m just making sure you didn’t drift off.

Its never so crass or straight forward. I have an empathy for animals. Under no circumstance would I ever want an animal to suffer. A few people I have known, maybe. Hum… Should I delete that or not. How about that local sports group….

But an animal is my charge and best I can do is to make it happen as fast as possible. I had seen a pig kill go terribly wrong once. Somehow the bullet missed the essential part of the brain and it ran off terrified and in pain. I grabbed the rifle out of the hands of the person that suddenly realized he had fucked up and went after the pig, eventually finishing the job with one more to the head but from a challenging distance. I didn,t want something like that to ever happen again.

I determined that with my own pigs, I would double tap. One to stun so he dropped. One to make sure their was no mistake about it. I also decided to use the BFK I carry around the farm for daily tasks. For those unfamiliar, BFK stands for Big Fucking Knife. The moment the pig went down, I used the BFK to open the arteries in the neck. I didnt want to diddle fuck around trying to find the artery. The insertion and downward cut halfway took off his head. With a cut that size the body instantly drained of blood and he was gone. Three decisive forces of will. Those watching commented on how it happened so fast that they had almost missed it. One moment he was there. The next, gone. I had to do something ugly but left proud I had done it right. If only my death would be so fast. I find that hope highly unlikely.

cutting meat doc 1


So, lets go over the list of my mistakes, find some solutions, especially in the context of trying to handle all this in a world in the midst of collapse. Most articles you read tell you rosy stories, whether that is the Better Farms And Gardens, Harrowsmith, Martha Stewart fantacy world or Fake Frontiersman in raccoon cap sillyness.  They never seem to go back to their Youtube clip and tell you how it all went sideways clusterfuck. Well, not here at the Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre. Research means being honest about mistakes and failures and not giving people false hope by prettying shit up.

The first mistake is obvious. All of this happened before we were ready…so we were always playing catch up. We were always reacting to each problem as it was thrust upon  us. We were never ahead of it the entire time.

Now, this is the normal survival learning process. You only learn from your mistakes. You adapt. That is why you want to be living your survival plan NOW. Nothing makes me roll my eyes and think, “Dead survivalist walking” more than hearing someone say, “When the SHTF, I am going to…..”. You have already failed. Go play more Call of Duty, watch porn and live a happy life  while you can but please don’t call your self a prepper. You can tell a successful man, not by his success but by the number of failures it took . I am a remarkably successful man…… cough, hold on.Wahahahaha…… Let me get my breath. I think I pee’d a bit.

There were too many mistakes this time though. Part of the problem is that we were trying to make money. MrsC5 was trying to make money by small farming. I think she has FINALLY given up on that idea and got it out of her system. I always knew that was a fools errand but never stopped her because I justified the financial loss as not a total loss. She learned to work for a dollar an hour or less…and any trade still taking place as First World countries become Third World countries, is probably going to be a small return of that level. She now has post apocalyptic business experience. Plus, she was thinking in larger production for that inevitable day when we would have to feed a bunch more people.

If you were doing this for personal consumption, You would have eaten most of the piglets at a very young age. Have you heard of the term Suckling Pig. That means it was a weekend meal…while the piglet was still suckling on mama. One meal pig. You would have kept doing this until you had a manageable number of  pigs. No worries of boar taint because the males would never make it to fucking frenzy stage. Most north amerikans would freak because it was baby pig shaped. Not a nondescript slab clearly grown on Styrofoam.

Next problem. Here in the not so new, New World, people wanted european farming. But over in Europe, old farms had STONE FENCES. A field was made by clearing all the stones and turning that into fences that a pig was not getting through. Same with their stalls to keep them separated. It was a multi generational job to move all that stone. I don’t have stones on my farm. Who knows where they ended up. Probably filling a hole somewhere. Pig enclosures would probably have to be built here with big, heavy, split rail logs. That is a huge job…and a temporary job. Wood rots fast where I live. Sunken log posts rot even faster here. Sunk in concrete so the pigs couldn’t yank the post out of the ground would be helpful as would concrete bases so they couldn’t dig underneath. Concrete is also damned  expensive now days and sort of defeats the purpose. I have no solution. Just pointing out the problem.

This brings up another catastrophe we faced. When the pigs were eventually  successfully contained behind the combination of of dead hedge and electric wire, they successfully tilled the entire area. I now have a cleared out orchard where once I could not get through it and all the apples were wasted and trees were being out competed by wild trees. They saved the orchard…once I put cages around the apple trees in a panic because the started to strip the bark off the trees I wanted to keep. But once it was tilled and the rains came and they sloshed though it all day, it suddenly became one gigantic mud pit.   One day, once again in a panic, I realized they were standing in deep muck and couldn’t lie down so they couldn’t sleep. I got them somewhere else. Oh joy. More work. A concrete slab where they can get out of the mud would be a must. They had already trashed my mobile pig shed because they liked to tear out the walls and Mr Wu liked to flip it like a play toy. A shipping container, opened up for plenty of ventilation  would work well as a pig barn because they couldn’t trash it and it would be easy to muck out but it seems a waste of a good shipping container.

Another insight that calls towards pig raising as not being a solo venture but a tribal or village or post apocalyptic group task. Back in the Ol’ Days… real old, like goats or sheep, Pigs would have a full time pig herder. That pig tending person would have saved us from all the damage the pigs did.  I remember from those Hollywood world war II movies, the germans would insult people by calling them Swineherder. I have no idea if this was a true insult or merely a Hollywood characture. But I can see this job as being given to a slow person…or someone with no other survival skills to justify keeping him fed.

Now, after all of that bad news, here is some epic GOOD NEWS. In Peru…. almost ALL the pigs we saw on small farms or in back yards…were TETHERED!!!! That’s right. It was normal. But only one pig at a time. Bad C5 that I am, I have no photos. We were always being driven past with no chance to see how they did it up close. A metal stake was pounded into the ground and they were attached to it. Same with cows. I don’t think they were harnessed like Mr Wu. I think they were hobbled like you would do to a horse that you didn’t want to run off. Only one shot to give you an idea.pig to market c

This may work better because a harness can be pulled against with great strength. A hobble, not so much. Thus the name. Hobble. But you would have to figure out how to do it right so you don’t hurt the animal.

I think that is all I got. I still haven’t figured out how to do it without electric fencing or excessive log builds. I’ll keep trying to find work arounds.

Only one friend ever got Mr Wu’s name. He went, “That’s Dark… but funny”. Mr Wu was a character in the Deadwood, TV series. Dead bodies in town were disposed of by going to Mr Wu’s pigs. It was my playful way of communicating to visitors or trespassers or poachers that if they fucked up on my property… that they would go to Mr Wu. Buduptup.

So, I guess this is Mr Wu’s Eulogy.  All I can do is raise a toast to his memory and say, Thank you for the survival adaption lessons you have taught us all. Me the most, my giant, gentle friend.

That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.









Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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