Preparing for impending oil crisis

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mpillow, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well there has been alot of talk around here about the impending oil crisis/shortage/price hikes......

    So what are you doing to prepare or adjust to this possible/likely scenario?

    I am planning to do the CANCAN...from the GARDAN !!! Extra garden being planted.....

    I am hoping to do some broilers and get some layers...we already have goats and I plan to stockpile feed this summer and grow some (mangels, corn, pumpkins)

    We have purchased 3-4 years worth of wood as well.

    I am expecting to have my job cut out as part of school budget cuts...I could "bump" someone but not sure I will....our finances are not dependent on my employment.

    I am going to purchase a perc coffee maker for the woodstove, already have lots of cast iron pots and skillets.
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    To tell the truth, I've already been acting like there is an oil shortage for the past couple years due to the necessity of belt tightening and having a sense that prices are never going to be lower on fossil fuels.
    I just take fewer trips into town and if it has to wait, then so be it, so that I don't take unnessary trips. It also allows a better attachment to the place I prefer to be...in the country and I don't mind it whatsoever. I'm more aware also of oil based products and recycling as much as possible, waste less, and do more manual things outside rather than use motorized machinery such as tillers or string trimmers. Pruners, grass clippers, and manual weeders like garden claw will do the job with a bit more time and effort. Buy much fewer prepackaged convenience foods, Time to get on the 3 R bandwagon...Reuse, Regenerate, Recycle. Even if there is no impending crisis, I'll not waste money on burnable fuel and buy a few more garden implements or animals! :D
     

  3. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    I put up a clothesline to save propane. We are planting more garden this year, too, & I just stocked up on extra jars & lids. We already have a 2 years supply of wood, but we're working on a bigger woodshed so we can store more. We bought a large tank to store diesel for the tractor. We have started combining our trips to town as much as possible.
    This is a good thread, I hope to get lots more ideas.
     
  4. glenda

    glenda Well-Known Member

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    Great thread...

    For us we are making sure we have at least 1 year of food for the animals. That includes hay and feed. We are also making sure we have at least a years food for the pets.. We have stored enough food if need be we can live off of for 1 at least. Mostly 2 years. I have stocked up on shampoo, deo, bath tissue everything you can think of. If something bad was to happen we could live nicely for over a year. And not have to run to town.

    I also have a wash board, tubs and a ringer for my washboard. Just in case. We have a outside clothes line and a inside clothes line.. We have stocked up on water to drink and have a system sat up to catch water for our animals. In the hot summer we have a homemade stove built outside to do cooking on. If we had to we could loose power today and make it just fine. We have also stocked up on some oil for our lamps and we have made candles in jars just incase. i have made sure i have over 100 of them.

    As far as cooking we already use a perk coffee pot and we have two of them.. I have enough cast iron to last me and my five children a life time so that is not a problem. We have a hand grinder to grind our coffee beans so that will not be a problem.

    We already do not use our one truck any more than we have to. I hate going into town and I have my husband pick up as much as he can when he is in town. I only go to town when I have to. Something you might want to think about it a stocked medical closet. We sometimes forget about things like that. And also having extra things like extra clothes pins, extra clothes line and don't forget all of those out there that are canners like myself to make sure you have extra canning seals for you presure canners. During the great dep. It was hard to get these little items.

    I also have stocked up on material that I can if need to make clothes for my family. I have extra thread and also I have my grandmother treddle sewwing michine. I have made sure that I also have extra belts for it.

    Well anyway that is what we are doing..
    glenda
     
  5. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We started being concerned about this back in the 1970s with the "gas crisis". Bought our first place, put up a wind generator, had a hand pump on the well, were off grid with a super insulated, passive solar, wood heated house, and I rode my bicycle 5 miles to work as often as possible. The family car was a 1969 VW bus that got 28mpg on trips, loaded for a vacation, and the other car was a 1970 VW beetle that sometimes got 40mpg, usually 30 to 35. We had a large garden, raised chickens for meat and eggs, and know how to butcher and can it all.
    Our current place isn't off the grid, but has more solar electric than the old place, and the wind generator still works fine. We still garden and have chickens and an orchard, etc. We have always been concerned about the "long haul" and always try to buy the best quality and longest lasting products, like the All-American brand pressure canners that don't use gaskets, and heavy duty restaraunt quality kettles for canning (bought on sale years ago). We have grain mills and most all kinds of household machinery to do the processes that might not be readily available if the transportation system broke down. The Y2K "scare" made us reconsider what we were doing and make a few changes or adjustments, such as improving our first aid kit and getting and studying more references on herbs, etc.
    We built a solar food dryer that works quite well (even here in Wisconsin), and had a group of interested friends over so that we got materials for a half-dozen of them, and then shared the labor and got them all done in a day, for about $125 each, if I recall correctly. I think that the stainless steel screen that the food sits on was the most expensive part, and hardest to find at a good price.
    Most of the food related items that we do buy, we get in bulk through a co-op buying club that orders once a month. Case lots or large bags of good organic products, gallons of concentrated dish and laundry soap, also toilet paper, etc.
    We have grown and saved seed of many kinds of vegetables in the past to get the experience, even though we may buy new seeds many years, so we don't have to depend on outside seed suppliers.
    We have a wood cookstove that works well, and an extra wood space heater that we could hook up if the wood furnace didn't work--but our solar/wind electric system should provide electricity no matter what happens. Our super efficient Sun Frost (brand name) refrigerator works well with the system and uses very little electricity. We can both walk or cycle to work if needed.

    Jim
     
  6. MichelleB

    MichelleB Well-Known Member

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    It's something to be seriously concerned about, as oil prices are going to wiggle up and down but overall, go upward. The short version of the story is that we've reached the peak of the bell curve (or we're mighty close) and the downhill slope will be a LOT steeper than the ascension--our consumption has grown exponentially.

    That being said, it's a good idea to look into hedging your investments with stock in emerging companies that are developing consumer hydro, solar and wind turbine products. (talk to your broker).

    And perhaps think seriously about investing in those units for your own use if you haven't already. Prices have come down in recent years, and household energy costs are only going to rise.

    I won't have my land for a few months, but I've been "practicing" here in the city by working on my black thumb (I have a garden) collecting and using rainwater (we're about to have a drought, and I have a half-finished, 3500-gal, lined koi pond in the backyard full of last winter's rain) and breaking the habits of convenience--buying in bulk, learning to preserve food, using my car less and less, combining errands, reducing unnecessary spending in general, etcetera.

    I've also spent considerable expense in making this house more energy-efficient, as I plan to rent or sell it soon and I'm convinced that efficiency will be an issue for more buyers/tenants now than ever before.

    We're planning on building the most energy-efficient home possible, utilizing passive solar and thermal mass approaches. Check out http://www.cobcottage.com to see what we're looking at. My beau's a bit of a hippie, so he's all over this plan! :D .

    My mother and her retired husband are about to build a 3000sq. foot house in a development that doesn't allow either recycling or solar panels because they're "unattractive". His kids and grandkids are on the opposite side of the country, and they want to be able to have them visit once or twice a year. (Tell them to get a hotel! I'll sleep in a tent in the yard!) I don't know how to convince them otherwise without sounding like an alarmist, but it bothers me to no end that she doesn't see the folly in it. And worse, she sees my plan to move to the country as ridiculous--she spent her youth trying to escape rural life, herself. I guess I'm just a throwback.
     
  7. Lrose

    Lrose Well-Known Member

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    Because we have lived basically self sufficient for years we always have make sure we are stocked up on the things we can't produce ourselves. Like stocking the firstaide cabinet not only with normal supplies but with medicine like aspirin, tylenol, antiseptics etc.
    We also have a handpump and cook on a wood stove.
    A solar dehydrater and plenty of canning lids, and don't forget toilet tissue !
    We live with out income from Oct to May so have to plan carfully. One year we actually ran out of toilet tissue and I promised that would never happen again. !!
    Animal feed is important and we have trained our cats and dogs to eat other things than commercial food.
    We also have extra sewing supplies and sheets,towels etc. extra shoes and boots and underwear!
    Extra blankets; also flashlights that don't use battreries, extra bycycle tires and parts as we don't have a vehicle'; also candles. We don't use kerosene lamps because of my allergies.

    Lehams at countrylife.net has all kinds of non electric things for home and farm.
    We keep plenty of seed for planting and raise some of our own also. Storing wheat in tightly covered barrels will keep it a long time; then you can grind it with a hand mill as needed.
    We also keep a wide assortment of hand tools, nails, screws and nuts and bolts.
    We recycle everything that can be used for something and barter and trade services and goods.
    The way the North American ecconomy is going it is good to be prepared for anything.
    Where I live during the Depression of years ago people were ok because they weren't dependent of buying to get what they needed so my mother-in-law tells me.
    Considering all things; if one has shelter, heat, food , clothing a loving family and friends what else is really important? Linda
     
  8. goodlifefarmer

    goodlifefarmer Member

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    MichelleB. We will be investing but, that investment will be in OUR OWN ventures, as we don't trust the blood suckers that have us in their grip.good luck.
     
  9. MichelleB

    MichelleB Well-Known Member

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    Goodlifefarmer,

    I hear you on that one. Any newly-generated savings that I might otherwise have diverted to mutual funds is going to the kind of things mentioned in this post, or to maintaining my property and learning valuable skills. That, to me, is good investment.
     
  10. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    I lucked out and found four hundred gals. of kerosene in a tank I bought. I still have it all. I also stocked up on diesel when the price was under a dollar. Both fuels will last virtually indefinitely unlike gasoline.

    This summer I'm going to put in a pipeline to get the free gas we're entitled to from one of the wells on the farm. Once that's in, I'm considering converting one of the vehicles to natural gas (NG). You can buy a setup to fill the NG tank from your gas line at home. That vehicle would be used for the few trips into the local towns. If we do that I don't see the need to buy any gasoline except for use in chainsaws and the like.
     
  11. Well they say that in about 5 - 15 years that half of the worlds oil supply will be used up. From there own we could all possibly slip back into the old times before automobiles. So with all that in mind I'm going to start buying old farm implements and tools such as crosscut saws, wood chisels, hand crank drills, harnesses, etc. Then I'm also going to stock up on ammo such as shotgun shells, high powered shells, 22 shells, and lots and lots of bb's and pellets to go along with my new pellet rifle's I will be buying. Between now and then I'm going to buy lots of how-to books. Build all my fences up real good so maybe I won't lose any animals to domestic dogs and cats (which might become food also). Try to become a better gardener using heirloom seeds. Better myself at husbandry. Learn how to can foods over wood heat. Stock up on lots and lots of new canning lids. Buy canning jars at every yardsale or auctin I find, plus new jars at walmart. Stock up on lanterns and kerosene oil and lots of salt and alum for fur on hide tanning. Get some buildings built such as pole barns, outhouses, smoke houses, cellars and hope to build a new home or remodel the one I'm in so that it will last another 100 years.

    The way I look at it is that the next 5-15 years is our trainning and preparation time.
     
  12. John_in_Houston

    John_in_Houston Well-Known Member

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    You might consider learning how to distill ethanol for use as a fuel. It is legal as long as you jump through the ATF's hoops.
     
  13. Orville

    Orville Well-Known Member

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    Perspective. As one Saudi oil man once said, The stone age did not come to an end for lack of stones. Technology.
     
  14. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wow lots of good ideas here!

    We have always had a garden and continue to enlarge but I still rely on the grocery store way too much. I expect prices to go thru the roof as the price of fuel goes up. And I wouldnt be surprised if some farmers plant but dont harvest all their crop if prices get too high.

    I purchased more apple trees and apricot and some asparagus roots. Seed saving is going to be on the top of my "learn" list this year...I may even do the dehydrating thing too.

    I found this interesting for food economy...www.kurtsaxon.com
    lots of good ideas on that website

    I am afraid like some of you mentioned for my extended family members lack of concern with this issue. I just keep dropping hints and trying to include them in bulk purchases (like the wood). 6 people got together bought 120cord tree length at $70 a cord...which is cheap but the minimum purchase was 120cord.

    Did you know that you can reuse mayo jars for canning? and also I have reused pickle jars (save original lid) for canning tomatoes in water bath.

    I am hoping to get a small solar array even if it is just a small panel for light in the house because I really hate the fumes from kerosene/lamp oil lanterns eventhough we have 6 of them. I have lots of candles too.

    In the past I have grown tired of canning before "every jar was filled". I will try to overcome this....

    We have an old wood cookstove that is quite large but not suitable for inside and would be expensive to fix but we may use it for an outdoor kitchen just build a canopy over top. I have a small "bun-oven" cookstove for inside.

    I also want to cook outside in a pit as well with blow down wood and branches trimmed from trail.

    Salt is important too. Sugar and flour in greater quantities.

    Solar ovens anyone?

    Snowshoes and snowscoops for us northerners.

    My 10yo wants to learn to tan hides....r.h. any ideas? resources?
     
  15. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    VERY good point!
    History records that the world, not merely this country, once faced an oil crisis of immense proportions. Not only did the global economy NOT crash, but advances in technology created higher standards of living for many folks.
    The oil?
    Whale oil.

    Is the science behind the idea of peak oil valid? Maybe.
    But, maybe, the idea of 'Abiotic Oil' is correct.

    Here's something else to read on the subject:
    http://www.geotimes.org/june03/NN_gulf.html
     
  16. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Don't yet have a true homestead-but I do plan on it in a few years, and will use wood heat, have a cellar for storage, etc. right now: lamps, plenty of fuel whenever the price is lower so I have enough when it is higher, I've managed to get my antique Coleman table lamps to burn denatured alcohol, so I know they can burn non-petroleum fuels. I'm gonna do a little experiment sometime on making gas out of wood-I've never tried before so it should be fun to see if it works well. Working on getting whale oil burners for my kero lamps-whale oil burners are being reproduced today and can burn a variety of vegetable oils, and castor oil burns well in them too, I've been gathering canning supplies as I can, plan to do container gardening this summer with open pollinated heirloom type seeds instead of the hybrids, and have worked on getting various homestead tools-mostly antique stuff, which I can find cheaply. Ginna try my hand at making soap this spring or whenever it warms up outside. Also have a nice collection of junk silver that I got cheap-not worth too much now, but you never know about the future...
     
  17. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Oh, whale oil? That is just my subject-antique lighting! Was expensive for a long time-but by the time it truly was a crisis, it had already been largely replaced with burning fluid-and keep in mind that we only needed it for lamps and a few industrial uses-not the same as petroleum is today. Oh yeah, various veggie oils and especially castor bean oil, will burn nicely in whale oil lamps. The wicking for them is another story though---at least, for the more unusual lamps. Can make wicking for them though.
     
  18. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    You can cut down a soda can, stick a strip of old sock thru the detached pop top ring, put it in the bottom of the can, add any oil and it will suffice as a lantern. Nothing has to be fancy. I have a burning pit, cast iron tri-pod and dutch oven and skillet. I have child sized washboards so my kids can do their own laundry if needed and a clothes line runs along the back porch posts. We catch rainwater for gardening and washing. The hurricanes trained us well. I need to get a rifle & a wind-up radio and flashlight then we'll be set. A smoker and a solar dehydrator would be nice, though. Manual farm tools are always on my list for garage sales anyway. I need container herb gardens for medicinal purposes...also a still...for medicinal purposes, of course. Would the revenuers come after me for one of those?
     
  19. Danny

    Danny Active Member

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    Don't mean this to sound antigovernment but why have they not gotten involved in alternative energy more.
    We need leaders that will stand up an say by the end of this decade our nation will be energy independent.
    If you remember President Kennedy, by the end of the decade we will put a man on the moon. We need that kind of movement toward energy independence.
    They seem content to be dependent upon other nations for energy.
    I believe people should demand our elected officials do something about this.
     
  20. TnTnTn

    TnTnTn Well-Known Member

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    Our whole society, economic system, and resulting lifestyle are based on relatively cheap oil. The days of cheap oil are over barring discovery of large new reserves and/or a fantastic technological breakthrough. Unfortunately neither is likely imo but I hope I am wrong. For more info for those who haven't read more about this visit the PeakOil.org website and read some of the basic info. Unfortunately I can't find much fault with their arguments.

    In the meantime we need to prepare by getting out of debt and learning to become more self sufficient. Preparing and learning how to protect yourself, your family, and your property should be a priority. I think we have 10-20 years before it really gets rough, so we have time to prepare mentally, financially, and physically.

    Maybe the sky isn't falling but it is getting shaky. TnTnTn