AuthorTopic: I Spy Doom RETURNS!  (Read 792 times)

Offline RE

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I Spy Doom RETURNS!
« on: July 19, 2017, 02:08:23 AM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 19, 2017






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It's been quite some time since I did an episode of I Spy Doom on Diner You Tube.  I am renewing the series now however in conjunction with my blogging series on Boondocking the Last Great Frontier.  The vids will be appearing in the middle of the week on the Diner, while the articles are published on Sundays for the Diner Sunday Brunch collapse meal.



The first videos are concerned with STAYING WARM and heating your mobile living arrangement in an economical fashion.  One of my greatest FEARS and a source of many nightmares since I became disabled was that I would end up as a Homeless Cripple Freezing to Death on the Streets of Palmer, Alaska. ©



There are many ways to do it and many choices possible beyond just idling your engine, which was how I mostly did it when I was living the OTR life as a professional trucker.



In our first installment of the series, we will cover what comes BEFORE adding auxiliary heating systems, which is self-insulation, aka dressing for the cold.  I live in ALASKA, so I know about cold. lol.  If you were trying to do Van living in the tropics, you would have a whole different set of problems, trying to stay COOL.  That is actually harder to do and more energy intensive than heating.  I would never choose to live in such an environment year-round, I can't stand sweating all the time.  I will touch on means to keep the van cool in temp ranges that go up to around 90F during the day though without resorting to air conditioning.  If you have a source of electric power and can run an air conditioner inside the van, you can survive just about any outside temperature.



For now though, we are just concerned with the COLD and how to prepare for that type of weather.  In this video, I cover how to dress yourself so you can withstand temperatures well below 0F for extended periods, if you are fairly active and have plenty to eat and burn the calories.  Following episodes in this part of the series will include various heating techniques utilizing various fuels and equipment, from very simple arrangements to more complex ones using modern appliances currently available to purchase from Industrial Culture, usually these days manufactured in China.



Parenthetically, you should get a laugh out of watching a cripple try to get his jackets on.  This is a HOOT! lol. 😀


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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: I Spy Doom RETURNS!
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2017, 08:10:18 PM »
I thought u were on about day 4 boondocking. I didnt watch it all, but u said it needs a storage unit. Why?
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Offline RE

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Re: I Spy Doom RETURNS!
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2017, 09:23:37 PM »
I thought u were on about day 4 boondocking. I didnt watch it all, but u said it needs a storage unit. Why?

I personally am finished with the week.  The articles are coming out in weekly installments.

If you are a full timer, you need a storage unit because you have a lot of stuff you don't want cluttering up your van space all the time.  Extra clothes, extra long lasting foods, heating equipment you don't need in the summer, etc.  If you pull a trailer you can probably do without the storage unit, but it would still reduce your living space significantly.

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Offline Palloy2

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Re: I Spy Doom RETURNS!
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2017, 06:52:28 PM »
-40F = -40C   :icon_sunny:

"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

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I Spy Doom Vol 2 Issue 2: Small Scale Heating
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2017, 05:05:19 AM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 26, 2017






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In the first episode of Volume 2 of I Spy Doom, we discussed ways to Self-Insulate, so you personally can stay pretty warm even in Freezing temperatures just by conserving body heat.  This is the MOST important thing to do if you live in a cold climate!  Your Preps MUST include good cold weather clothing, in layers you can wrap on as the temps drop, or strip off as they rise.  You NEVER want on so many layers you start to sweat.  That makes you uncomfortable, and makes the clothing start to stink also.  Then you need to wash it more often, which beats it up faster.  Your goal in self-insulation is to stay just warm enough you are comfortable.  As night falls, this usually means adding one or two more layers before you crawl into the sleeping bag.



Here in Episode 2, we discuss the most simple, cheap and "primitive" ways to make personal heaters good for very small spaces like a 2-3 man tent or refrigerator box for a Homeless person.  I went "on location" to do this shoot at one of the nearby State Parks with a nice Lake.  Apologies for the first 3 minutes or so of the Vid, the ICE powered motor boaters showed up to launch off the ramp nearby where I parked and so I had to talk over them.  When I started setting up at a little before 9AM it was nice and quiet.  By 10AM when I was set up and ready to shoot the fishers were launching into the lake.  Anyhow, after the first 3 minutes, most of the background noise of Industrial Civilization fades out.  I won't be using this location again though for vids, and not just because it's too loud.  They fucking charged me $5 just for DAY PARKING over 1/2 hour!  No camping, just sitting at a picnic table!  That is fucking RIDICULOUS!  There are tons of quieter, nicer locations around to park for FREE!  Here's the list of Fees for Alaska State Parks:






In the video opening I SAID it was one of my "favorite" locations.  It USED to be, before I had to pay $5 just to fucking park for the day!  I haven't been there for a few years.  It has now dropped way down on the list.



A "Regular" spot here gets you NADA for $25!  No water, no sewer, no electricity.  At my favorite For Pay campsite not on the State Parks system, I get the same type of site for $15.  For $25, I get electricity too!



Besides the daily camping fee of $25, if you are coming here to fish (why else would you come to a lake for camping?) it's going to cost you another $15 to launch your boat every day you are out there on your holiday.  Now you are up to $40/day!  I asked a couple of boaters dragging their ICE powered water rigs out of the lake how they did for the day with fishing.  One of them got nothing, the other got about 4 puny size lake trout I could buy for less than $20 at 3 Bears, and I don't have to clean them either.  This is NOT a good way to feed yourself on the cheap while BAU is ongoing!  When they stop collecting the fees at the parks, then you might do OK.



In the upcoming episodes of I Spy Doom, we'll be expanding on and refining the basic priciples of heating for your OTR living, and doing some scaling up and measurements as well for efficiency.  Tune in to I Spy Doom here on the Doomstead Diner to get more techniques to keep from ending up as a Homeless Cripple Freezing to Death on the Streets of Palmer, Alaska © ,


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Offline Eddie

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Re: I Spy Doom RETURNS!
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2017, 06:22:37 AM »
Most of the campgrounds here now don't even have park rangers anymore, just unpaid docents. Retired people who get to camp for free for the summer in exchange for taking care of the fee collections and making sure the campsites are clean.

I noticed a few years ago when I was camping with my kids, that some nomadic types (or homeless people in cars, if you prefer) slipped in in the evening (after the ranger station closed and the docents were inside in front of their TV's), made camp, had dinner, went to bed early, and then jetted out in the morning before the docents made their rounds to collect money. These things happen on a regular schedule, and if you're savvy, you can get around the fees.

I expect this is an acquired skill for van dwellers.  ;D
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: I Spy Doom RETURNS!
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2017, 06:46:26 AM »
Most of the campgrounds here now don't even have park rangers anymore, just unpaid docents. Retired people who get to camp for free for the summer in exchange for taking care of the fee collections and making sure the campsites are clean.

I noticed a few years ago when I was camping with my kids, that some nomadic types (or homeless people in cars, if you prefer) slipped in in the evening (after the ranger station closed and the docents were inside in front of their TV's), made camp, had dinner, went to bed early, and then jetted out in the morning before the docents made their rounds to collect money. These things happen on a regular schedule, and if you're savvy, you can get around the fees.

I expect this is an acquired skill for van dwellers.  ;D

It's the same around here, they call them "Camp Hosts".  You can get away without paying pretty easily if you drive in after around 10PM or so and leave by 6AM.  You do get a nice $60 fine if you are caught, but the percentage of times you will be caught is very low.

I'm a very legal Boondocker though in general.  If there is a fee attached to parking, I pay it.  I know enough spots that are legal to park for FREE that I don't need to try and skirt the rules at the for pay sites.  I do realize these parks require maintenance.  My favorite campsite has a very nice bathroom with running and heated water that is kept clean.  It has showers you can buy for $2 that give you 10 minutes of nice hot water.  It has parking spots with electricity.  As soon as you have electricity, Van Dwelling is very EZ.  All heating, cooling and cooking tasks are solved with the JUICE.  An Electric Space heater will easily heat a Van, a small portable 8000 BTU air conditioner will cool it, and you can cook with an electric hot plate, toaster oven and microwave.  You have your shelter, the only other things you need are water and food.  The campsite also provides potable water, so now you are down to just food, and you can acquire some by fishing from the edge of the river or from the bridge, and you can also launch small boats for free as well into the river.

BUT, it costs $10 Xtra per night for the electricity, which usually I do not need, particularly this time of year.  It just doesn't get that cold I need to run a space heater.  The campsite shuts down mid-September so I couldn't use it over the winter anyhow.  That's why if I was doing this full time, I would snowbird down to the Lower 48 from Oct to April.

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Offline azozeo

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Re: I Spy Doom RETURNS!
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2017, 07:22:04 AM »
So RE, do you have the physical abilities to drive 400 miles in a day ?
If you were to relocate to the lower 48 for the cold months what would be your transit time ? A week ?
Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face
And stars fill my dream
Im a traveler of both time and space
To be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race
This world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait
All will be revealed

Offline RE

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Re: I Spy Doom RETURNS!
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2017, 07:47:22 AM »
So RE, do you have the physical abilities to drive 400 miles in a day ?
If you were to relocate to the lower 48 for the cold months what would be your transit time ? A week ?

I probably could drive 400 miles/day still.  It's a sitting job.  I am still OK at sitting.  That is what I do all day Admining the Diner.  lol.

I doubt I would do 400 though, more like 300/day on a big transit like the Al-Can, which is around 2500 miles with very little but some nice scenery along the way.  So call the transit time from the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley to Seattle about  8-9 days.  I would leave in mid-September, before there is much chance of snow in the Yukon territory dropping down on me and SaVANnah.  This would entail being at the wheel approximately 6 hrs/day for the 8 days, which I would do in two 3 hour segments or maybe 3 2 hour ones.

October-November is still quite nice in the north of the Lower 48, so I would probably hang out in the northern states for a bit enjoying the Fall Colors before moving on south for deep winter.  Possible destinations for the real cold months would be the Florida Keys (Margaritaville!), Baja California or even Mejico.  I know an Ex-Pat who has a Doomstead in Mejico.

I pretty much have my systems worked out for this and for working around my disabilities.  If I can get the SS Case resolved, there is no obstacle in my path, unless I get worse problems health-wise.  I WILL go OTR one more time, and I will die on some stretch of the Eisenhower Interstate at the End of the Age of Oil.

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« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 08:19:59 AM by RE »
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Offline azozeo

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Re: I Spy Doom RETURNS!
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2017, 07:52:54 AM »
I know me, & I'm good for 100 mile stints....

I like to get out & stretch at hundred mile intervals.

I non-stopped Colo. Spgs. to LaLa land once. Did it in a MBenz 450 sedan. 19 hrs. I was in my late 20's.

Yeah, that's a nice plan. Close up shop in rocktober in Ak & mosey on down the trail & follow the  :icon_sunny:

Use it or loose it  :coffee:
Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face
And stars fill my dream
Im a traveler of both time and space
To be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race
This world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait
All will be revealed

Offline RE

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Campfires in Collapse 1
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 05:35:16 AM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 10, 2017






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This is the first video in a series of 4 about how to use a typical campsite fire as a means to warm up your Mobile Domicile, in this case my Stealth Van SaVANnah.  All the same techniques could be used in many other types of mobile dwellings of course, besides such dwellings as Geodesic Domes, Yurts and TeePees.



In the series, we also discuss Cooking Techniques for working over an Open Fire without burning the shit out of your food if you make one big enough to also do the heating task besides the cooking task.  Generally speaking under ideal circumstances, cooking fires should be small ones using small wood, while heating fires should be big ones using big wood.  But when Boondocking, you can't always get both or have the ideal situation.



Your Tools and your Knowledge are the most important things in terms of making the best use of the fire you make, and getting the most out of the Energy that is released in the Combustion process.  Many of these tools will not be available after SHTF Day arrives, so it's a good idea to prep up with them NOW and practice with them.


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Offline Rheba

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Re: I Spy Doom RETURNS!
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2017, 04:02:43 AM »
Hi RE - I haven't been to the DD for awhile and Economic Undertow appears to be gone forever. So I haven't kept up with your progress. Sorry to hear about your health issues but really looking forward to your eclipse photos. I don't live in a place where the eclipse was 100% but I do have a friend who fitted out his telescope with a filter so I could watch the partial eclipse.
Re heating: I just got a Sliverfire Hunter online with an extended chimney support. I am going to use it for canning this fall. It could be used as a heating source using much less wood than an open fire. Not too pricey compared to the fees for campsites in Alaska. I have been looking into rocket stoves and gassifiers for a long time. This one is working well for me so far. You could take it along in Savanna as you head south this winter. Maybe some Florida sunshine would help whatever it is that is hurting you? Anyway, warm good wishes to you.

Offline RE

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Re: I Spy Doom RETURNS!
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2017, 04:18:20 AM »
Hi RE - I haven't been to the DD for awhile and Economic Undertow appears to be gone forever. So I haven't kept up with your progress. Sorry to hear about your health issues but really looking forward to your eclipse photos. I don't live in a place where the eclipse was 100% but I do have a friend who fitted out his telescope with a filter so I could watch the partial eclipse.
Re heating: I just got a Sliverfire Hunter online with an extended chimney support. I am going to use it for canning this fall. It could be used as a heating source using much less wood than an open fire. Not too pricey compared to the fees for campsites in Alaska. I have been looking into rocket stoves and gassifiers for a long time. This one is working well for me so far. You could take it along in Savanna as you head south this winter. Maybe some Florida sunshine would help whatever it is that is hurting you? Anyway, warm good wishes to you.

Unfortunately, it does appear Steve has Burned Out as far as Blogging Doom is concerned.  :(

However, glad to have you join us here on the Diner!  :icon_sunny:

I didn't get real good pics of the Total Eclipse, but the video I got is entertaining.  Surly got good images though in South Carolina.

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Offline RE

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Campfires in Collapse 2
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2017, 02:37:14 AM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 6, 2017






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Here in the second installment of the Campfires in Collapse series, we look at the issues ofr acquiring fuel for your fire on the cheap, as well as making a campfire suitable for cooking on, which really big bonfires generally are not too good for other than roasting marshmallows.  A big Bonfire makes tons of heat, but for cooking you need a controlled heat which is stable over typical cooking times, usually in the 1/2 hour to 1 hour range for most meals besides stuff you slow cook, which can be much longer and generally take other methods to accomplish out in the field where you don't have a working electric slow cooker that will deliver just the right amount of energy when you set the temperature so you don't have to go over and mind the fire every 5 minutes to make sure it's not burning too hot or too cold.



http://www.oinkety.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/DSCN45881.jpg Back in my main camping years which went from about the age of 11 until age 30 or so, I did most of my cooking at campsites over open fires, not using campstoves of either the old pump style pressure stoves or the more recent version of propane fired camp stoves.  In this period, I always made a separate cooking fire from the larger campsite bonfire we would sit around after dinner and before bedtime and swap Ghost Stories or sing Folk Songs and roast marshmallows.  lol.  Good cooking fires are made with much smaller diameter wood pieces, generally from downed branches no more than about an inch thick.  Once the fire is going, you feed these in a little at a time to keep the temperature fairly constant while you cook.  When settling down in our campsite for the evening, after getting the tents set up the next priority was to gather wood, both for the cooking fire and the bonfire.  Bonfire people got to find big downed trees (you weren't allowed to cut them down and besides green wood sucks for making a fire) cut them into manageable chunks and split the wool.  Cooking fire people got to collect lots of twigs and small branches and cut them into smaller chunks to fit the cooking fire surface.  The Bonfire job was the more physically demanding one because of all the chopping and splitting you had to do, but the cooking fire job took a lot more trips over a wider area so also had it's physical demands.  This was all particularly annoying after an exhaustng day hiking over Mt. Katahdin and just about the time you hit the campsite it starts to rain.  Setting up old fashion Pup Tents in the rain and getting your fires going in the rain is no fun at all, and neither is collecting and chopping up wood.



So usually we would quit the hiking or canoeing around 4PM or so to get going on setting up camp for the night.  It usually took around 30 min to get the tents up and then another hour collecting wood for the night and for cooking the next morning.  I became Head Cookie (what a campsite chef is usually called) in my 2nd year at the Primitive Skills camp at the age of 12, very young for a Head Cookie at this camp, usually they were 14 or 15.  This because cooking became an interest of mine very young, and I practiced year around out on my porch over a small cast iron charcoal hibachi.  In fact I snubbed Propane as a cooking fuel for years because it just doesn't deliver the flavor that charcoal does.  However, I got lazy after around age 30 and went to mostly propane. lol.   Head Cookie was a great position to have, because once enough wood was collected to begin the fire, you didn't have to go out searching for it anymore, your job was to start the fire and make it ready for cooking, which takes some time and tending to, especially in the rain.  It usually takes around 30-45 minutes to get a wood fire ready for cooking, charcoal is a bit faster, especially if you are liberal with how much kero you will pour over it to get it going. lol.



Cooking over a Bonfire is something I only started working on in the later years, and takes a whole different set of techniques and equipment.  In the videos, I only discuss a few of them.  The main way I do discuss is simply to wait for the fire to burn itself down to coals until it is at the right temperature for cooking.  However, with a big fire you have to wait a while for that.  Dinner comes pretty late if you go with this method.  Another way is to raise up your cooking surface, a Camping Tripod is a good way to do that, I have one of those.  However, you are limited mainly to stews and soups and other stuff you can do in one big batch in a Dutch Oven.  You generally can't get close enough to the fire to do stuff like sauteing or even just flipping your burgers.  You can roast weenies on long forks though with this kind of fire.



The advantage to doing this is you get dual use out of the Bonfire, not only does it provide heat for the campsite (and it can get quite cold at night in NH, VT & ME even in the summer), but you get cooking heat out of the same fire, conserving both wood and human effort.  In recent years, I developed a 3rd use for the same heat, which is to heat thermal mass (rocks) to keep your temporary domicile warm overnight too.  If you follow the series here, you will find more information on those techniques.



The most important thing here to consider is that in all mobile living arrangements, fuel for heating and cooking is an important consideration, and often will cost you money.  You CANNOT do outdoor fires if you are Boondocking a Walmart parking lot!  If that is where you park for the night, my main advice is to eat cold food like cheese and maybe some hard boiled eggs and fruit, or just a Subway Hero that night.  That is no muss, no fuss.  If you insist on having something hot for dinner in this situation, use a kero or propane fired stove inside your Bugout Machine to heat a can of Chunky Soup.  Also no muss, no fuss.  For Gourmet Road Cooking, wait until you are in a location you can set up your full 9 yards of equipment.  If I put out all my portable cooking gear, I can cook up OTR any thing I ever did at Capsuto Freres, and in some cases better because I had no Smoker there at the time.  For myself though these days, I never do that.  I am happy if I can munch down 1/3rd of a Subway Spicy Italian for dinner now. Roll Eyes


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