Guerilla Survival

Guerilla Survival

Saturday 27 August 2022

Winter of Discontent.

We have already been told by energy companies that there will be yet another massive rise in prices in September, and maybe more after that. This was known some time ago when they announced it to us. What then do we do? Do we follow the state-reliant 'collective' and wait until it happens, start moaning and groaning about it, and blame everyone else for our plight, or do we get on and get ourselves prepared for the coming 'Winter of Discontent'? I know what I am doing, and I would like to share some thoughts on this with you. Please don't take this as 'self-promotion' since the aim here is not to boost the individual ego but to try to help others of our Folk where possible. These are my own ideas and my own stance on this.

Throughout the spring and summer months I have spent more and more time in woodland camping in preparation for harsher times to come; yes, this was throughout the warmer and dryer time of the year but I do this through the harsher, colder and wetter months too. However, due to the ever-moving Global Agenda it was necessary to stay for longer periods of time to get used to this, and this will continue into the colder times this year. 

One of the major changes that seems now necessary is to swap from using state-energy to using one's own sources of energy - as far as that can be done. Living in a council house this is not as easy, and if a complete switch was made the standard charges still need to be paid. But the aim is not a complete change but to switch where possible so as to save money, and be able to heat the house, light the house, and cook food. In other words to try to be less affected by these massive charges, and in the process to give less money to the state-system, as well as to become more self-reliant.

Over the past few months I have cut down drastically on the use of gas, which is the major 'hike' coming; also, to some lesser extent, on electricity which will probably not be quite so affected since they wish people to switch to EVs. Gas is used for heating water and central heating in the winter; obviously the latter is not used in this period. I have a cold shower every day, and so do not need hot water for this, and for making tea, coffee etc. and washing up I have switched over the past few weeks to using a Coleman Stove or Kelly-Kettle to boil water. To do so I have built a small shelter on a paved area which keeps the rain out, and allows the stuff to be left where it is used. So far this has worked out fine, but we have had warm, dry weather so things will not be so easy soon. Also built is a very small wooden box to put the petrol generator in; this will power small electrical appliances (if necessary) or as a back-up in case we have power-cuts this winter (which are on the cards). 

Near to the back door (not too near) are two fire-bowls, the larger one here used for cooking. Sausages have been placed in an old pan and cooked; these are for Sam (my dog) who, in his old age, has become rather fussy about eating some dog-foods so I give him such things as sausages or chicken etc. Here some sausages are being cooked up, which saves using the cooker-oven and using electricity in the house. Of course, it has been a dry day, but as when woodland camping a tarp-cover can be put up to shelter under whilst doing this, and it will be warm by the fire. 

After cooking the sausages a Dutch-Oven was used to cook some pieces of chicken for Sam (I stock these up so that he can have them cold). 

As you can see here the chicken pieces are well-cooked; indeed, in accordance with our 'Wodenic Enrichment Program' they are a true example of 'diversity' - black, brown and white in the middle. In the future, when we hold our own 'Equality and Diversity' seminars this will be used as a fine example. On a serious note, this could probably have been avoided using a wire-mesh stand on which the meat is kept from the base. Next time. But here is the point, since doing these things now means that lessons are learned before having to do so in the future by necessity. This brings me to another point.

Obviously, I don't know how experienced you are with camping and cooking without the usual household gadgets. For those starting out in this it seems wise to do so in these rather warmer and dryer times, so as to get used to cooking like this, and to learn by the mistakes that always happen. Starting in the cold and wet weather will be much harder, unless you have a large shed or shelter which can be used to do this under a roof. And this, again, is another idea for those who have a shed, or can afford to buy one suited to do this, for it would make things so much easier. I'll not go into this, but safety issues would be the concern in doing it this way, but they would be easy to get around with some careful thought.

All that is needed with this fire-bowl is a piece of wire-mesh on which to place the cooking pot or pan; ideally, this would have been better on bricks or something that does not burn, but I had to use wood having none at hand. It is necessary to make sure the fire-bowl is not near to anything that can catch fire, of course. It may be wise to have an old wet blanket ready, or a bucket of water, just in case of an accident. (It is not advisable to get cold water on a hot Dutch Oven since cast iron will crack when this is done.)

Another experiment has been the use of solar-panels that charge 12-volt batteries, one in the SUV, one in the house, and one in the new shelter. From these anything from a mobile phone or a pad, and then to a laptop, rechargeable power-tools etc. through a Power-Convertor can easily be charged, remembering that these are the sunny months of the year, when solar-power is possible. Work is being done to use a wind-turbine for the winter, but this may create unsurmountable problems (with neighbours), in which case the generator will have its part to play. Of course, using wood-burning means we are using fossil-fuels, meaning that rather than the 'end of the world' being a week on Tuesday as predicted this has been brought forward by a week! Can't do much about that!

As an experiment I have been using rechargeable LED Lights in some places in the house, rather than using the 240 volt lighting-system. Modern technology, in this respect, has come on leaps and bounds and these are not dear and easily and quickly charged by a 12-volt battery system through a port on the light to a USB on the battery-system. LED lighting can be too bright in some ways, but they can be positioned to light against a wall or the like so as not to get blinded by the lights - which is no doubt very unhealthy for the eyes. 

Really, the main problem ahead is in the heating of the house in the cold months of autumn-winter. It gets colder in the late afternoon, evening and night, and then again in the early morning, so the plan is to use a smaller room - one of the bedrooms - as a 'living-room' in these times, heated by either a small propane heater, or small electric fire (which should be cheaper than the gas central heating), with the central heating on only in a really cold spell, and for a short time so as to heat the whole house. We shall see how this plan works out this year.