Saturday, October 31, 2015

TEOTWAWKI Australia. Practicle Primitive Survival. Part One.

This series of articles will mainly focus on pre 19th century equipment & methods, but may include some modern gear where practicle.

1) Where best to start. Probably the best place to start is getting things clear in our minds about what we intend to do if life as we know it now changes. If the economy falls into a depression, then we will all probably be staying at home IF we can still afford to pay the rent. Home owners will still be expected to pay the local council tax/rates. IF you can’t afford to pay rent or rates, then you will have to find somewhere else to live. Hopefully, as illegal as the local council is in assuming it is in fact a local government, it will see fit to lower the cost of the tax/rates or cancel them all together until the depression is over. Either way, there will be a lot of people out of work, & these people need to have shelter, food & water. These things may still be available in the cities & towns, but these areas will increasingly become more dangerous to live in the longer the depression lasts, so we can now add a fourth need, safety.
 Keep these priorities in mind when looking for a place to settle in the bush. Water will be the most important; water will provide game & other foods. Look for a place where Cumbungi grows if possible. 

Keeping the above in mind, we will continue with material needs. If you are to leave the city or town, or if you have to hunt & forage, you will need some form of backpack. This can be a simple sack with rope straps tied to the lower corners & gathered around the top, to an inexpensive knapsack purchased at an op-shop. There are plenty of alternatives. I have made several different types of carriers from converted haversacks to 18th century market wallets & snapsacks.

Image from Diderot.

 This is what the French call a Havresac Double. It is similar to the pack known as a Rucksack, & is also much the same as the simple sack method I mentioned above with the straps attached to the lower corners & the gathered top. If you have the time & a sewing kit, you can sew cloth straps top & bottom instead of having to attach the straps at the top to the gathered neck. Now you may be thinking that this knowledge is of little use to you because you already have a good back pack, but remember, every member of your family or group may need to have a back pack each, & it is also possible that you may lose the one you have in some incident along the trail. 

This is a knapsack I made from converting an inexpensive “made in China” old school haversack. These come in a couple of different sizes.

Here is the smaller version of the above with blanket roll & oil cloth secured to the carry straps.

 Here is my own personal knapsack which is also a converted haversack that my wife made for me many years ago. I found that as a haversack it simply did not perform well on the trail carrying more than any haversack was intended to carry, so I cut the carry strap & added more length to turn it into a knapsack. This one also has a chest strap attached. As you can see my oil cloth is secured under the flap closure, & my blanket roll & spare moccasins are tied to the carry straps. Try & avoid zippers on packs, they are usually the first thing to break. If you have buttons, keep them handy so you can repair these packs when the zippers malfunction.

The Snapsack. This one is made from lined. One strap, carried on the back or by your side. The opening can be tied closed.

The Market Wallet. No straps, can be carried over the arm or shoulder. I use mine secured under the flap closure of my knapsack to carry extra light goods.

My haversack, made from a piece of old stockman's coat. Good for foraging or carrying water bottles or food.

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