Bicycle power can help you maintain self-sufficiency when SHTF

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One of the persistent myths about prepping is that it requires spending lots of cash on fancy survival gear. However, much of what may prove to be extremely useful in a big disaster/SHTF scenario might already be lying around the house. Those old bicycles collecting dust in your garage are the perfect example. Not only might a bicycle represent the ultimate stealth bug-out vehicle, pedal power can also be utilized in a number of other useful ways if and when the power grid goes down.

First, let’s consider the use of bicycles in a survival situation in terms of what they were originally designed for: transportation. When you consider that gasoline can only be stored for a few years at the most and that there likely won’t be any gas stations open after a societal collapse, the lowly bicycle becomes more and more attractive as a survival transportation solution.

Add to this the fact that bicycles are virtually indestructible if maintained properly and boast a potential lifespan of several decades, and you’ll begin to see the practical potential of bicycles in a long-term survival scenario. Bicycles are easily repaired and maintained, requiring only a few tools and a bit of technical knowledge along with some spare tires, chains, chain grease and oil to keep them functioning properly.

The stealth aspect is a huge advantage as well. Bicycles produce virtually no noise, which could be a lifesaving advantage if you need to travel undetected. Silence is also crucial if you’re out hunting game, and that brings us to another great advantage of bicycles: they can go many places other vehicles cannot. A solid mountain bike is capable of traversing some of the roughest terrain imaginable at quite respectable speeds.

If you’ve got deep pockets, there are several manufacturers making bikes designed specifically with survival scenarios in mind with lots of cool attachments and features such as camouflage paint, but a decent mountain bike can be customized at home for a lot less money. It is easy enough to add a rack that can carry a fair amount of extra gear or supplies, and if you want camouflage, just grab a couple of cans of the preferred colors of spray paint.

The potential of pedal power in a survival situation goes far beyond mere transportation. Bicycles can be converted to drive all sorts of machinery in situations when there is no electricity available from the grid. In fact, bicycles can be used to generate your own electricity. With the new, longer-term storage capacity battery technology now emerging, it is conceivable that pedal power could could supply all of the electricity you will ever really need when the SHTF.

Many of the devices that require an electric motor can be driven by human pedal power. A water pump, for example, can be relatively easily modified to be powered by a belt connected to a bicycle frame and pedals. The possibilities are quite broad; sewing machines, weaving looms, grain threshers, and wood and metal lathes can all be powered by pedals.

There are plenty of DIY plans available online for these types of uses of pedal power. I have included several links below, and once you understand how to convert a bicycle to drive one machine, you’ll have the basic knowledge to come up with your own ideas for harnessing this marvelous, non-polluting, highly efficient form of power generation.

Perhaps you’d like a pedal-powered ice cream maker, for example? Since you’ll be burning all those calories while making your own delicious post-apocalyptic homemade ice cream, you’ll be able to thoroughly enjoy eating it, free of guilt!

Source : www.naturalnews.com

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Electrifying developments in bicycling!

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Electrifying developments in bicycling! Bob Howkins “APN Report” Audio in player below! Throughout the bicycle industry two trends have created a bright future in bicycle development, an aging customer base, and the rise in popularity of electric powered vehicles. In some ways, both are joined at the hip. With more people re-discovering their health by … Continue reading Electrifying developments in bicycling!

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Alternative Transportation!

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Alternative Transportation Bob Hawkins “The APN Report” Listen in player below! Being prepared in this day & age means more than preparing your habitat for crisis, it also means prepping your mobility. Our entire lives revolve around the automobile, our towns & cities accommodate it, or livelihood depends upon mobility, even the food we eat … Continue reading Alternative Transportation!

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Using a Bicycle for a Bug Out Vehicle: Some Pros and Cons

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Police use them and the military has used bicycles, (bikes) for decades, as well, so why not you. As the saying goes, you are not someone on wheels, but someone with wheels and wheels may be just what you need when you cannot drive a motor vehicle and also need the stealth that can only come from a bike that doesn’t make noise.

There are updated civilian versions of a “Paratrooper Bike” that was used by the U.S. military.

Consider a mountain bike before you would a bike designed for speed, such as a racing bike. A mountain bike, of course, is designed for rough terrain and would get along nicely on city streets as well, unlike a racing bike that simply could not stand up to the rigors of a rough trail.

You can buy folding bikes that can be transported by car so if the SHTF fan while at the office and you cannot use your vehicle you do have wheels.

paratrooper bike

Pros: Using a Bike for Bugging Out

1.) Quiet, so you can move around at night or during the day without leaving a noise signature.

2.) No fumes, from an exhaust system, so it again can be used when stealth is important. People sometimes forget that your nose is important in a survival situation and gas fumes can linger for hours indicating someone is or has been in the area.

3.) Portable and even more so if you have a folding bike, which would make it ideal as a get home bike if at work or even to escape work for parts unknown?

4.) Help keep you in shape, as well.

5.) Can weave in and out of stalled vehicles, go off road and use hiking trails to get around, get around literally the entire country if need be using well-marked trails. A mountain bike can be used on city streets as well. You can go where cars simply cannot, so you can escape the urban sprawl if you need to.

Cons

1.) You have to be in relatively good shape because remember you will be carrying supplies in most cases.

2.) Cannot carry a lot of gear, but more than you can on your back if you load it right.

3.) You are exposed. You have no protection from the weather or gunfire and you cannot use a bike for a shelter unless you use it to drape or attach a tarp.

4.) You need to carry spare parts, in particular tubes, tools, and a patch kit.

We mentioned before that you need to be in decent shape. You cannot just start out on a mountain trek without working up to it. When the SHTF, however, it is too late to work up to anything, you have to be ready, so start now getting in shape for bike riding.

You can modify your bike by adding brackets to attach a shotgun or rifle, for example, but make sure you do it right. You do not want to lose a weapon because of faulty brackets. You may not be able to stop and retrieve it, in some cases.

Experiment with packs, baskets, and maybe even small carts that can be pulled behind, to better carry your gear.

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Recent Prep Related Acquisition- SHTF Bicycle

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I purchased a Specialized Hybrid bicycle. Could have gotten a cheaper one but they often have issues and in a weird way spending more makes me feel like I really need to use it often. Honestly I purchased it primarily for recreation. However it has signficant benefits if gas becomes prohibitively expensive or something like that. You can move faster/ further or carry more weight (loaded and pushing it or in a trailer) than otherwise.

I need to do a couple things to it at some point. A water bottle holder, a pouch to hold a few little things and a seat made for cruising not going fast. Also a basket or some panniers to put some stuff in.

Since it has gears and such this bike is more prone to long term issues than a fixie but in the mid to short term it is a lot easier to move around on. With a few spare tubes, a set of tires, some brakes, etc you could probably keep a bike going for a real long time. If I was going to buy a bike strictly for preps the fixie would be the way to go but having a spare bike just for that seems redundant for now.

I am enjoying the bike and try to ride it every day possible. It is relaxing, good for me and (excluding the initial cost) free.

Other than that not much has been going on. I have been traveling for work and my energy outside that has been spent on fitness and generally working on myself.

3 Off-Road ‘Bugout Vehicles’ That Will Get You Out Of Dodge … Fast

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3 Off-Road 'Bugout Vehicles' That Will Get You Out Of Dodge ... FastI’m positive that there are quite a few of us who look upon our plush suburban surroundings and deep down, we know that if things go bad, then we’ve got to roll.

I know this, because I’m also in such a situation. While I don’t necessarily live near any major cities per se, I do live in an area that’s going to swell with refugees if the unthinkable were to occur. Of course, the refugees themselves aren’t necessarily the issue. It’s the fact that these droves of refugees will be low on survival resources, coming to an area that will be low on law and order.

To further explain, a single high-altitude EMP – or a major solar storm – could take out the grid and effectively render all emergency service communications devices into high-tech paperweights from coast to coast. This alone is going to have most officers headed homebound to look after their loved ones (and I sure couldn’t blame them for doing so). But even the ones that stick around are going to have a tough time coordinating crime-fighting efforts without so much as a working walkie-talkie to throw in their cruiser’s passenger seat.

And that’s IF the cruiser’s electrical systems haven’t been fried by the energy wave.

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Thus, the word “chaos” comes to mind if I were to describe the unfolding hypothetical scenario. Even if I could pop the clutch in ye olde Chevy to get her working, then how exactly am I going to weave my way to wilderness freedom with the countless road-blocking variables that could possibly be standing between me and my retreat?

If, in the 50/50 chance that I’m unlucky, and I don’t have access to a working set of wheels, then am I really going to attempt this trek on foot? I had to leave my home because it was too dangerous, and now I expect to take the next week, meandering through the same chaos that ousted me from my home in the first place?

There’s got to be a better way. So, here’s a quick list of what we need in a fast transportation option:

  • Lightweight and low-profile
  • Fast
  • Fuel-efficient
  • All-terrain capability
  • Carrying capacity for a bag
  • Operator able to maintain or repair in the field

Well, my friends, I’ve come up with three that meet the above criteria … and these options will give you a little extra speed and agility to get you on your way …  in a hurry.

No. 3: Multi-Passenger ATV

I’m not the only survivalist who believes ATVs are one of the most versatile forms of transportation.

Passenger and towing capacity has long been the crux of the ATV in this regard, but there is a market solution to this problem. Since the multi-passenger ATVs tend to have more power and additional space for boarding your gear and compadres, I feel like this would be the better option for families undergoing a forced, rapid evacuation.

However, if everyone in your company has access to their own transportation, or you’re traveling alone, then you might be better served with a two-wheeled option of some kind. With ATVs, they don’t exactly possess the optimally low mpgs, as the other options out there. But its three best strengths are readily identifiable:

  • Agility
  • Terrain handling
  • Multi-passenger/storage capable.

No. 2: Motorized 66/80cc Bicycle Kit

A good friend of mine who happens to be an outside-the-box-kind of thinker, showed me this absolutely intriguing concept … and I’ve been stuck on the idea ever since.

It’s especially handy for those of us who don’t exactly have a couple grand to dump on a mechanized bugout transport. But if you’ve already got an existing bike, and $150 to burn, this project might just get you by in a pinch.

These kits will actually allow you to slap a 66/80cc two-stroke engine on that bicycle that’s currently suspended in your garage. Apparently, they’ll do a whopping 55mph. (Not loaded down with gear, of course, but so long as you’re doing more than a human sprint, I’d still take it.)

If you want one, even for just a tinker project, just hop on eBay. Of course, it’s not necessarily the easiest install in the world, but you don’t need to have a certification from a mechanic school in order to figure out what you’re doing.

The cons for this system are going to be rather obvious, given its limited power. However, I’ve heard the two-liter tank’s mpgs can range anywhere from 100-150 (even 250, but that’s not without some highly sophisticated mods), and again … you just can’t beat $150 for a fun project. Just be careful with taking her on the road after you’ve put it together, because many-a-municipality hasn’t exactly accounted for them yet. I’ve heard of riders running into a tiff or two with local troopers over the required paperwork.  And be smart with these kits, folks. Wear a good helmet while you’re riding.

No. 1: Kawasaki KLR 650

As I mentioned before, we’re going to need a way to weave through chaos, and depending upon the nature of the crisis at hand, the surrounding suburban countryside could look eerily similar to a warzone. But that’s why I couldn’t help but think of the Kawasaki KLR 650.

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In fact, this particular “touring” motorcycle has been used by the Marine Corps for years, so it’s got a history of handling the unpredictability that’s inherently associated with warzones. Take a look at this diesel-powered variant that’s served us since 1999:

 

According to Popular Mechanics, the Kawasaki KLR 650 is essentially a mechanized pack-mule. And while I might disagree … they say it’s about as attractive as one, too. However, they also laud praises to the two-wheeled beastie, saying:

Its comparatively lightweight made it the easiest to wrestle through tight, rocky trails. It has just enough power to cruise at 80 mph, but don’t ask for more.

Hey, if the KLR 650 is the go-to bike for a long journey across the Australian Outback, then I don’t think it’s going to have issues handling the rigors of Appalachia — and at an average 53.3 mpg, I can’t exactly complain for doubling that of my current mode of transportation.

(I should also mention that it runs on a carburetor, which will naturally resist an EMP surge far better than its younger fuel-injecting cousin. Food for thought.)

What transportation options would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:

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Post-EMP Survival: What If You Can’t Get Home?

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Post-EMP Survival: What If You Can't Get Home via The Survival Mom
One of the most haunting emails I’ve received this year is from Mallory:
I recently started reading your blog (love it!) and have your EMP First 15 Steps PDF. I have a couple more business trips planned for the rest of 2015, and some are quite a distance from home. I wondered if you could give any advice at all on what I should prep for, gear-wise or even mentally?
The thought of an EMP happening when I am NOT at home, maybe not with my spouse and children, it scares me.  I just want to be as prepared as I can be, because who knows when something like this could happen — 2 minutes from now or 2 years from now?
Once you’re aware of a power grid failure due to an EMP, cyberterrorism, or a solar event, you can’t help but share Mallory’s worries.
This past month I’ve been reading Ted Koppel’s newest book, Lights Out, and, frankly, it has done nothing to ease my concerns. In fact, in this book, he clearly lays out how our nation’s leaders have done virtually nothing to protect our power grid from any type of attack, nor are there effective plans in place to help the millions of citizens who will be completely unprepared.
He knows because as part of his research, he interviewed those who should know, such as Janet Napolitano, Leon Panetta, and Admiral William Gortney, who provided a Pentagon news briefing earlier this year on the topic of power grid vulnerability.

You can never get home, or can you?

One memorable example from Lights Out that might provide at least one solution for Mallory and others in her position is Craig Kephart’s plan.
Craig is an avid bicyclist and a prepper. They live in an upscale area of St. Louis and his business requires that he make frequent business trips around the country. From the book:
“Craig worries that he may be trapped out of town and that all conventional forms of travel could be shut down. He always carries enough cash so that, no matter which city he’s in, he would be able to buy a bicycle, biking shoes, and whatever other equipment he would need to take him back to St. Louis.”
“Craig assumes that he could ride 150 to 200 miles a day. He’s thought about this a lot. “Last place I want to be is in a major metropolitan area during a time of national crisis.”
Craig’s plan might be a very effective one for him, in the case of a cyberterrorist attack. This type of attack on our power grid would disable the grid itself but wouldn’t be as devastating as an electro-magnetic pulse.
Craig has realized that getting home from hundreds of miles away when the world has erupted into chaos won’t be easy and he’s come up with a plan and is training for that possibility. If this should happen, there will be countless scenarios which he may not have anticipated, but at least he has a plan for getting home. Your plan should include:
  1. Transportation. Planning on hoofing it home? Better start getting into super-shape now!
  2. Water. Where you’re stranded and the terrain between you and home will determine if you will be able to find a plentiful supply of water on a regular basis. If you’re not sure you can, stay where you are.
  3. Food. Can you set traps? Hunt and fish using alternative methods? Can you identify edible and medicinal wild plants? Do you know which parts are edible and which are poisonous? Do you know how to start a small fire for cooking and purifying water, and, if so, what will you use for a cooking pot? These are just a few of the issues to consider.
  4. Shelter.  Putting up a lean-to is one thing, but surviving the elements within that shelter is quite another.
  5. Security. You may be surrounded by people more desperate than you. More fit, more strong than you. Can you survive on your wits alone? What self-defense skills do you have?
  6. Weather and terrain. Those will both change as you travel. Are you ready for all possibilities? Do you know of alternate routes that might be easier or would allow you to avoid populated areas?

5 Possible ways to survive post-EMP when miles separate you and your loved ones

In my view, being stranded from home in a post-EMP world would leave you with few options. As part of my own research into EMP survival, here are a few viable options in case the worst really does happen and you are dozens, if not hundreds, of miles from home.

  1. Head home regardless, carrying with you the basics for survival, or whatever you can acquire. Survival novels are full of tales of determined men, making their way home to their families over hundreds of miles. This option might work if you are in good physical shape, have no health issues, and are blessed with an enormous amount of luck. It wouldn’t hurt if the terrain between you and your family has multiple supplies of water. Forget it if you have more than just a few miles of desert to traverse.
  2. Stay put and lay low. If you have the skills and knowledge, set up a wilderness camp and use your ingenuity and Boy Scout skills to live off the land. You’ll end up dying a pretty quick death, most likely, but this is an option.
  3. Stay put and try to become an indispensable part of another household or group. If you have a bank of life-saving skills, such as knowing how to grow and preserve food, medical training, or can help guard your new group of fellow survivors. When the infrastructure begins to be rebuilt, you can then begin heading home.
  4. Stay put and start a new life. This option isn’t necessarily pessimistic. Given the circumstances, you may have no other choice.
  5. Do a little bit of both. Combine stints on the road, always heading homeward, with time spent staying with a community or with a family. They might be grateful for the additional help with physical labor and whatever practical skills you possess may help get them through a difficult time until you’re able to travel again.
A number of my readers mentioned seeing Ted Koppel on various news shows discussing his book and the very likely event of a significant cyberterror attack on the power grid. My guess is that this weekend there are thousands of new “preppers” who suddenly realize their comfortable lives are built on a very shaky foundation and that the very government they pay taxes to, has no plan to save them if the worst happens.
I recommend Lights Out as an informative and very well researched book on the topic of grid failure and the likelihood of cyberterrorism.
Direct link to Lights Out on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Hl7Jw4 (affiliate)
Here’s a free excerpt from the book: bit.ly/KoppelExcerpt
Post-EMP Survival: What If You Can't Get Home via The Survival Mom