Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gardening For Survival


Author: Lynn  Grail

Have  you ever thought about where you are going to get your food when
the emergency supplies you have stored away  are  depleted?  Will  you
forage  for  wild  edibles? How much of that will you be able to do if
you are hungry and weakened by having to  defend  yourself?  or  doing
everything  by  hand.  .  .  Foraging  for  foods  takes a lot of time
knowledge and energy.

Bartering is good.

Game hunting might be feasible, if you have a weapon and the skill.

Stealing food is another possibility but you could get dead.

Maybe you figure that the emergency will only last a  few  years,  you
will then be able to waltz into your favorite supermarket for food and
pick  up  what  ever you need. Ha ha ha . It will take a few years for
the farmers to get their farms back into production, that is  assuming
that  they  still have them, the fuel to run their equipment, the fuel
to get produce to market. If perchance the  markets  do  reopen;  what
will we purchase the goods with?

I  think  by  now  you have the direction that I am hinting at. If you
guessed gardening you are definitely on the right track.

BUT, Do you really want to put  together  a  garden  that  looks  like
something  straight  out  of  a garden magazine? Do you really want to
advertise that you have a garden overflowing with food? You  might  as
well  put  a  sign  advertising  FREE  FOOD FOR THE TAKING, out by the
street.

I think I may have at least a partial  answer,  part  of  it  involves
container  planting,  and the other part involves planting lots of the
green or root crop vegetables on the southern side of buildings,  tree
stands,  or even trying to create a naturalistic type of free growing,
untouched by a survivor type of garden.

Naturally the bright eye catching types of vegetables, like  tomatoes,
pumpkins,  ect., will have to be either camoflaged while still getting
plenty of sunshine. Or  they  will  have  to  be  planted  in  movable
containers,  potatoes  can  be grown in garbage cans with holes in the
bottom. Take a look at Burpee's, or Parks, ect.  seed  catalogs;  they
have  a  few  container  growing idea's. (Look at Burpee's Patio Tower
Garden, maybe you could come up with other ideas too) You might  think
this  is  more  trouble than necessary; but I would rather put in some
extra time, than to have my children go hungry for even one day.

I also feel that storing an unknown quantity of commercial  fertilizer
and pesticides is not only monetarily unwise but who wants to put more
chemicals into contaminated soil, water and air?

Pick up some good books on organic gardening and check out some of the
natural  pesticides  and  fertilizers.  Look at some of the books that
talk about growing your garden in squares rather than rows, (this type
ought to burst some of your preconceived ideas about gardening)

Start a compost  pile,  throw  all  organic  materials;  food  scraps,
weeds,  hay, manure, garden surplus or rotten food in a pile, ((DO NOT
ADD meats, bones or petroleum based products)) add dirt, stir once  or
twice  a  week  and you'll get some organic fertilizer, to enrich your
garden soil.

Try using onion tea as a spray pesticide. Also use  some  liquid  soap
mixed  with  water  and spray that on your plants. Don't forget to use
companion planting. Plant marigolds, zinnias and nasturtiums  in  your
garden  to  control  other  pests. I read somewhere recently, that you
could hang those  perfumed  hotel  bars  of  soap  (I  think  it  said
deodorant  bars) in your orchard trees, to discourage deer from eating
the trees. Hang the small bars with copper wire, still in the wrapper,
from a branch about 4 - 6 feet high.  There  are  many  other  natural
pesticides that only add to the good soil.

Mulching  around  your  plants  with  hay, compost, shredded paper, or
other organic mulches, should help to reduce the  amount  of  watering
that you have to do. Some people will tell you to use black plastic as
a mulch, but I would watch that there is no rotting since the air cant
get  to  the  soil.  There  is  a  new  plastic on the market that has
"microscopic holes "punched in it.

The best suggestion that I can give any would be gardener is to DO  IT
NOW.  There  are  plenty of people out there that will gladly give you
free advise on how to garden. Some of  it  will  come  while  you  are
digging  up  the soil. Some of it will come when you put in your first
plants. Some advise will be given while you are weeding  (check  those
weeds they might be edible). I got almost as much advise on gardening,
as  when  I  brought  home  my  first child. But I remembered the best
advise I was given then, "Listen to all of the advise you were  given;
but   only   use   what   you   think  is  good  advise".

Gardening For Survival


Author: Lynn  Grail

Have  you ever thought about where you are going to get your food when
the emergency supplies you have stored away  are  depleted?  Will  you
forage  for  wild  edibles? How much of that will you be able to do if
you are hungry and weakened by having to  defend  yourself?  or  doing
everything  by  hand.  .  .  Foraging  for  foods  takes a lot of time
knowledge and energy.

Bartering is good.

Game hunting might be feasible, if you have a weapon and the skill.

Stealing food is another possibility but you could get dead.

Maybe you figure that the emergency will only last a  few  years,  you
will then be able to waltz into your favorite supermarket for food and
pick  up  what  ever you need. Ha ha ha . It will take a few years for
the farmers to get their farms back into production, that is  assuming
that  they  still have them, the fuel to run their equipment, the fuel
to get produce to market. If perchance the  markets  do  reopen;  what
will we purchase the goods with?

I  think  by  now  you have the direction that I am hinting at. If you
guessed gardening you are definitely on the right track.

BUT, Do you really want to put  together  a  garden  that  looks  like
something  straight  out  of  a garden magazine? Do you really want to
advertise that you have a garden overflowing with food? You  might  as
well  put  a  sign  advertising  FREE  FOOD FOR THE TAKING, out by the
street.

I think I may have at least a partial  answer,  part  of  it  involves
container  planting,  and the other part involves planting lots of the
green or root crop vegetables on the southern side of buildings,  tree
stands,  or even trying to create a naturalistic type of free growing,
untouched by a survivor type of garden.

Naturally the bright eye catching types of vegetables, like  tomatoes,
pumpkins,  ect., will have to be either camoflaged while still getting
plenty of sunshine. Or  they  will  have  to  be  planted  in  movable
containers,  potatoes  can  be grown in garbage cans with holes in the
bottom. Take a look at Burpee's, or Parks, ect.  seed  catalogs;  they
have  a  few  container  growing idea's. (Look at Burpee's Patio Tower
Garden, maybe you could come up with other ideas too) You might  think
this  is  more  trouble than necessary; but I would rather put in some
extra time, than to have my children go hungry for even one day.

I also feel that storing an unknown quantity of commercial  fertilizer
and pesticides is not only monetarily unwise but who wants to put more
chemicals into contaminated soil, water and air?

Pick up some good books on organic gardening and check out some of the
natural  pesticides  and  fertilizers.  Look at some of the books that
talk about growing your garden in squares rather than rows, (this type
ought to burst some of your preconceived ideas about gardening)

Start a compost  pile,  throw  all  organic  materials;  food  scraps,
weeds,  hay, manure, garden surplus or rotten food in a pile, ((DO NOT
ADD meats, bones or petroleum based products)) add dirt, stir once  or
twice  a  week  and you'll get some organic fertilizer, to enrich your
garden soil.

Try using onion tea as a spray pesticide. Also use  some  liquid  soap
mixed  with  water  and spray that on your plants. Don't forget to use
companion planting. Plant marigolds, zinnias and nasturtiums  in  your
garden  to  control  other  pests. I read somewhere recently, that you
could hang those  perfumed  hotel  bars  of  soap  (I  think  it  said
deodorant  bars) in your orchard trees, to discourage deer from eating
the trees. Hang the small bars with copper wire, still in the wrapper,
from a branch about 4 - 6 feet high.  There  are  many  other  natural
pesticides that only add to the good soil.

Mulching  around  your  plants  with  hay, compost, shredded paper, or
other organic mulches, should help to reduce the  amount  of  watering
that you have to do. Some people will tell you to use black plastic as
a mulch, but I would watch that there is no rotting since the air cant
get  to  the  soil.  There  is  a  new  plastic on the market that has
"microscopic holes "punched in it.

The best suggestion that I can give any would be gardener is to DO  IT
NOW.  There  are  plenty of people out there that will gladly give you
free advise on how to garden. Some of  it  will  come  while  you  are
digging  up  the soil. Some of it will come when you put in your first
plants. Some advise will be given while you are weeding  (check  those
weeds they might be edible). I got almost as much advise on gardening,
as  when  I  brought  home  my  first child. But I remembered the best
advise I was given then, "Listen to all of the advise you were  given;
but   only   use   what   you   think  is  good  advise".

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Feed Yourself First



Somewhere along the line farming became less about the land and more about
making money.

To me a lot of this happened during the thirties and forties when more and more
books began to talk about making farming more "businesslike".  Today most of our
Ag schools teach a curriculum simply about the business end of farming. The land
itself becomes a means to an end. Similar to the way that college has become a
means to an end. Rather than learning for the sake of learning, our children are
now taught to learn for a future income.

To me farming must start with the very simple maxim of "Feed yourself first".
The growth of the chemical age and the attitudes of business agriculture has
allowed farmers to become as distanced from the source of their food as the
consumers to whom they sell their chemical laden food. Most farmers, including
those in my family buy their food at the grocery store.

The distance from the farmer to his food allows the farmer to more easily ignore
what he applies to both his own food, and the consumers he caters to. Secondly,
the distance created by chemical agriculture also keeps the farmer from
observing in his own crops the results of his use of chemicals. In my orchard, I
walk out everyday, and just look at my trees during the growing season. I
observe the health of the foliage cover, the presence of pests, the reaction of
my trees to drought and wet weather, etc.. I do this, because I can most easily
stop trouble before it starts.

However chemical farmers have the magic spray schedule. Rather than seeing their
crops, they spray on a schedule. They are unable to see the reasons they have
problems. For instance in a sprayed orchard it is likely that bee activity will
be greatly reduced. This results in crops becoming smaller and smaller over the
years. My grandfather 's orchards have become so denuded of bees, that he
arranges to have bee-men bring bees to him. Never mind that in a healthy organic
orchard, bees will naturally come (assuming that others in the area aren't
killing them).

 When we moved onto our place a little over a year ago, it was winter. When
spring came I was appalled at how few bees were here. I had lousy crops last
year! However, after a year of organic culture, this year I had loads of bees.
Of course I didn't spray any poison this last year (I suspect it was used here
before) I am also planting a lot wider array of plants with lots of flowers to
encourage bee activity, including seeding the orchard with wildflowers this
year.

I pray Frank is right about returning to a more agrarian culture, however, I'm
not holding my breath. Nevertheless, it is my belief that in the final analysis,
change happens one person at a time. So I do everything I can to make my little
corner of the world as healthy as I can. I figure with farmers like me and each
and everyone of you chipping away at the granite face of chemical farming and
gardening, then eventually through sheer tenacity we're bound to make headway. I
think that there is ample evidence it is already happening. People are becoming
more and more concerned about what goes into their mouths. A very good thing!
The biggest thing I know is that when I reach my hand under a little hen for a
fresh egg, or drink a glass of our fresh goats milk, or brush a little bee away
from the fruit I am about to pick, life is really good! I love to grow things!
Little bit Farm

Author:   "Dee Ann Guzman"

Feed Yourself First



Somewhere along the line farming became less about the land and more about
making money.

To me a lot of this happened during the thirties and forties when more and more
books began to talk about making farming more "businesslike".  Today most of our
Ag schools teach a curriculum simply about the business end of farming. The land
itself becomes a means to an end. Similar to the way that college has become a
means to an end. Rather than learning for the sake of learning, our children are
now taught to learn for a future income.

To me farming must start with the very simple maxim of "Feed yourself first".
The growth of the chemical age and the attitudes of business agriculture has
allowed farmers to become as distanced from the source of their food as the
consumers to whom they sell their chemical laden food. Most farmers, including
those in my family buy their food at the grocery store.

The distance from the farmer to his food allows the farmer to more easily ignore
what he applies to both his own food, and the consumers he caters to. Secondly,
the distance created by chemical agriculture also keeps the farmer from
observing in his own crops the results of his use of chemicals. In my orchard, I
walk out everyday, and just look at my trees during the growing season. I
observe the health of the foliage cover, the presence of pests, the reaction of
my trees to drought and wet weather, etc.. I do this, because I can most easily
stop trouble before it starts.

However chemical farmers have the magic spray schedule. Rather than seeing their
crops, they spray on a schedule. They are unable to see the reasons they have
problems. For instance in a sprayed orchard it is likely that bee activity will
be greatly reduced. This results in crops becoming smaller and smaller over the
years. My grandfather 's orchards have become so denuded of bees, that he
arranges to have bee-men bring bees to him. Never mind that in a healthy organic
orchard, bees will naturally come (assuming that others in the area aren't
killing them).

 When we moved onto our place a little over a year ago, it was winter. When
spring came I was appalled at how few bees were here. I had lousy crops last
year! However, after a year of organic culture, this year I had loads of bees.
Of course I didn't spray any poison this last year (I suspect it was used here
before) I am also planting a lot wider array of plants with lots of flowers to
encourage bee activity, including seeding the orchard with wildflowers this
year.

I pray Frank is right about returning to a more agrarian culture, however, I'm
not holding my breath. Nevertheless, it is my belief that in the final analysis,
change happens one person at a time. So I do everything I can to make my little
corner of the world as healthy as I can. I figure with farmers like me and each
and everyone of you chipping away at the granite face of chemical farming and
gardening, then eventually through sheer tenacity we're bound to make headway. I
think that there is ample evidence it is already happening. People are becoming
more and more concerned about what goes into their mouths. A very good thing!
The biggest thing I know is that when I reach my hand under a little hen for a
fresh egg, or drink a glass of our fresh goats milk, or brush a little bee away
from the fruit I am about to pick, life is really good! I love to grow things!
Little bit Farm

Author:   "Dee Ann Guzman"

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tire Sandals



I'm hard on shoes. It's not uncommon for me to go through half a dozen pairs of shoes, or
more, each year. I maintain an active lifestyle, hiking, playing, camping, and working.
Water wears out a shoe quicker than anything else. A few trips in and out of the creeks,
puddles, and swamps, and they just come unglued.

If I do not happen to dissolve my shoes in water, then I wear out the soles on gravel. It has
always amazed me that tire companies can manufacture a tire and warranty the tread for
some 50,000 miles, yet I can wear out the sole on any ordinary shoe in less than a year.
How come we cannot buy a shoe with a 50,000 mile warranty?
Really, I have never been quite satisfied with conventional shoes, and it's not just because
I wear them out so easily. Mostly it is because I do a lot of camping, and ordinary shoes
have a lot of drawbacks for this type of lifestyle. For one thing, I tend to rot my feet out
each summer. Shoes are like incubators, holding in the dirt and sweat at warm
temperatures, and culturing all kinds of fungus and bacteria. Walking through a little bit
of water once or twice a day just compounds the problem, making it nearly impossible to
dry out the shoes. My feet even rot when I take care of them, washing and drying my
crusty socks each day.

While I am at it, I have other complaints too. You see, I do a lot of primitive camping,
building my own shelters, starting fires without matches, gathering wild foods--that sort
of thing. To me this type of camping is a way of getting close to nature, by participating
in nature, instead of merely camping in it. I like to touch nature, and I feel so removed in
a pair of ordinary shoes.

I go barefoot as much as I can, but like most people, I have tender feet--because I don't go
bare foot all the time. Moccasins are ideal for camping, at least to a point. I can really feel
the earth through them, and it has a profound psychological on me, making me feel so
much more in tune with my surroundings. The trouble with moccasins is they wear out--
fast. It takes me about eight hours of physical labor to tan a deer hide, several more hours
to stitch a pair of moccasins, and generally one or two days of hiking to wear the first hole
in them. The holes always start at the toughest points on your foot, so they are not initially
a problem. You can get several more days of hiking in before you have to stitch in a new
sole. Still, that is not a very long time at all. I have heard that some Native Americans
carried multiple pairs of moccasins on journeys and spent each evening around the
campfire fixing them.

I may practice primitive camping, but I also have to face the modern realities of the clock.
My camping trips are typically short, and full. I always have a lot of things I want to do
while I am out. Fixing my moccasins every day is not one of them.
To solve that problem, I have tried over the years many marriages between buckskin and
rubber to make lasting soles on my moccasins. The "paint-on" sole, a mixture of ground
up tires and Barge Cement glue, does not work all that well. It helps, but even that wears
through quite quickly under harsh conditions, and the rubber coating makes it difficult to
dry out the leather of the moccasins. More so, they are not very patchable once a hole gets
started.

I have also tried working with the "crepe soles", a thick sheet of rubber cement that you
can buy, cut, and glue to the bottoms of shoes. The problem I had with these is that my
foot no longer stayed in the right place on my moccasins. My foot was typically sliding
off the back edge of the sole.

After all these life-long problems with shoes, I was ecstatic to learn of something that
actually did work. My friend Jack Fee and I were preparing to go out on a three-week
expedition in the mountains. He made a new backpack for the trip, and I made some new
moccasins. The best idea I had left to try for protecting the soles was a mixture of pine
pitch, charcoal, and dried manure. I figured I could easily dope a little fresh material on
the soles each night at camp to keep them from wearing out. I thought I was on to
something, and the finished sole even looked good. Unfortunately, I wore completely
through the pitch in two short city blocks, on a test run. I was out of a plan before we had
even begun our expedition.

Jack then told me a story about Indians from Mexico coming to the United States and
winning foot races in sandals cut from tires. I've been interested in using tire soles before,
but it seemed like I would have to glue or stitch the tire to the moccasins. I had reason to
doubt that it would work. I also once had a pair of tire sandals, made in Mexico, where
the leather lacing was nailed to the tire soles. Those came apart within a couple of days.

Jack had never seen the tire sandals that were reportedly used by the Mexican Indians, but
decided to see what he could do anyway. I have to say I was quite impressed with the
final product, a sort of Teva-style sandal.

I was most impressed with the fact that there was no glue, and no stitching or strapping
on the bottom of the sole where they would be exposed to the ground. Instead he cut the
sole with some side tabs out of the tire as one contiguous piece. The first model was a
little crude in appearance, but was amazingly comfortable. I too had to make a pair for the
expedition.

The field tests of our sandals were quite exciting. The tire sandal and moccasin
combination meant we had "modular" shoes. We wore both the moccasins and the soles
when hiking, and then just one or the other around camp. We could use just the
moccasins for stalking, or just the tires for walking in water. We climbed 10,000 foot
peaks twice and generally just put on the miles. I did not wear socks, and never washed
my moccasins, but my feet were in healthy condition for the duration of the trip-- a first
for me.

We did find that we would get blisters if we wore just the tires for any significant hiking,
but we seemed to have no problems when the tires were worn in combination with
moccasins, or with a couple pairs of heavy socks. I was amazed at how comfortable these
sandals were, particularly because I once wore conventional hiking boots on a 500 mile
walk across Montana, with severe blistering for the first 250 miles of the trip. Our new
type of footwear gave me a freedom and comfort I had been searching for for a decade.
Our prototype sandals were crude, but effective. Since then, I have developed the idea
some more, into the tire sandals shown in these pictures. The most significant
modification was the addition of the tab at the very back of the sandals. That tab is not
normally necessary, except in water. Without it your feet tend to slide forward off the
front of the soles when the tires are wet. That back tab holds your foot securely in place. I
also added the rubber buckles, and did away with the rope and buckskin ties of our early
models.

Also for our prototypes we just traced around a pair of conventional Tevas onto a tire, and
started from there. I have since developed a system for creating a pattern to match your
own foot. Plan on spending most of an entire day making your first pair. You will get
faster as you make more.

Making Your Tire Sandals
First, place either foot in the center of a large piece of paper, at least an 8 1/2 x 14. Trace
around your foot, being careful at all times to keep the pencil straight up and down. Next
make a mark on each side, directly down from the point on your ankles. Also make a mark at the point along the inside of your foot, directly back from your big toe.

Remove your foot from the pattern. Now sketch a bigger outline around the tracing of
your foot. Add about 3/8 inch for the toes and sides, but not to the back. Then use a ruler
and bisect the pattern lengthwise, extending the line three inches past the heel. This
serves as a guide to help you sketch the rear tab accurately. Now connect the marks you
made by your ankles, extending a line three inches beyond each side of the pattern.
These tabs will be sketched in front of this line. Also draw a line for the front tabs,
extending from the single mark across the pattern, perpendicular to the line that
bisects the foot lengthwise.

The positioning of all these tabs is quite variable, and you can choose to move them
forward or back, or at angles to one another, and all usually work, although the
arrangement I have suggested may work more consistently. Problems usually arise with
the front set of tabs. When at angles across the pattern they can twist a little and dig into
your foot. If the tabs are moved forward or back then the edges can dig into that point
on the inside of your foot. That point is more pronounced on some people's feet than on
others.

Now sketch in the five tabs, as shown on the pattern. These tabs are sized width-wise for
3/4 inch wide strapping, and should be made according to the approximate dimensions
I've written in on the pattern, regardless of how big or small the foot. If anything you
might make some adjustments length-wise, adjusting for particularly large or small feet.
Finally, sketch in the holes that you will cut out to thread the strapping through. This just
helps you remember to cut them the right direction when you get to that stage. Cut the
pattern out, and it can be used for both sandals, assuming your feet are fairly similar to
one another.
As for tires, I would recommend truck tires, rather than car tires. The "corner" of any tire,
where the sidewalls and tread come together, is always much thicker than the rest. You
can work with that thickness in the tabs of the sandals, but not in the sole itself. Pickup
tires are typically wide enough to work with, and you can make about three pair of
sandals from one tire.

Most importantly, always use tires that do not have steel cables running through them. All
tires have some kind of fibrous reinforcement in them, typically nylon or rayon threads.
Most of the newer tires also have a layer of steel cables, which is not workable at all.
Still, there are a few billion of the older tires around without steel cables, so you should
not have to look too far to find some. Just look on the sidewalls of the tire and it will be
printed there how many plies of nylon, rayon, or steel are imbedded in the rubber.

We used simple utility knives to cut out our first sandals. Doing it this way you can trace
around the pattern on the outside of the tire and start cutting. However, I must say this is
very laborious and not much fun. It is hard work, and you could easily slip and cut
yourself with the utility knife. Along the way I have discovered that it is much easier and
more enjoyable to cut tires using sharp wood chisels or a bandsaw.

To do the chisel or bandsaw method you must first remove a section of tire. This allows
you to run the piece through the bandsaw, or to put it on a wooden block, where you can
chisel from the inside out.

A circular saw works fairly well for cutting tires, except that it creates a lot of blue-black
smoke, and binds frequently. Cut out a piece that is at least a half inch longer than your
pattern, and save as much of the sidewalls as you reasonably can. These are useful later
for making the buckles. Do not try cutting through the inner edge of the tire, which has an
imbedded steel band to fit the tire snug against the rim.

Now, trace the pattern on the inside of the tire, being certain that the pattern is centered
and straight on the tire. Even a slight 1/2 inch angle along the length of a sandal can cause
problems when you wear it.
I've done separate tests, cutting out the sandals with chisels and with a bandsaw, and the
bandsaw method is only a little faster. A good set of wood chisels works just fine if you
do not have the bandsaw.

I would suggest making only one sandal at a time, and completing it. Finish the one and
try it on; you might think of some modifications to improve the next one. Few of my pairs
of sandals are exactly identical, as I usually find some new idea to try on that second
sandal.

The next step, after cutting out the sandal, is to thin the four side tabs. The tabs are
generally cut from that "corner" on the tire, where there is a thick lump of tread. These are
easiest to thin on a bandsaw. You can, however, do a crude but adequate job by cutting
the lump down with some careful chiseling or with a sharp knife. Thin down as close as
you can to the nylon/rayon plies, without actually cutting any of them. This step is not
easy by any method I have found, and I typically leave 1/8 to 1/4 inch of rubber covering
the plies, for a total thickness of up to half an inch. That is still quite thick, but thin
enough to work.

Now, to make the tabs flex upward, take a razor blade and slice straight into the tread of
the tire at the joint where the tab attaches. Slice in all the way until the plies inside are
exposed. Be careful not to cut into those fibers.

Chisel out each of the eyelets, where the strapping will be threaded through. For this I use
a 1 inch chisel and a 1/4 inch chisel. Be careful to not cut too close to the edge. If you
break out the side of a tab, then you generally have to start all over. Also cut a set of
buckles from the sidewalls of the tire. These are easy to do.

For strapping, I use a sort of a nylon harness strapping, available at farm and ranch supply
stores. 3/4 inch wide strapping works well with the one inch slots. Cut pieces that are
extra long, you can trim them off after you thread them through. Use a match, and melt
the end of the nylon strap to secure the threads. To do the back strap, thread through the
hole marked point on the pattern and stitch an inch or so of the strap back on itself.
Thread around through the other eyelets, through the buckle, through the other hole on the
first tab, and once again through the buckle. The front strap should be threaded through
the buckle, through both eyelets, and back through the buckle again. This system is a little
hard to adjust, but once set, I find I can slip my foot in and out, without having to tighten
or loosen them.

The finished sandals should be comfortable to wear, although you may need to do some
fine-tuning to get them right. For any serious hiking you should wear a couple heavy pairs
of socks, or moccasins, or bring along some moleskin.

I am not sure who wrote this how too, but let me and I will give them the credit.

Tire Sandals



I'm hard on shoes. It's not uncommon for me to go through half a dozen pairs of shoes, or
more, each year. I maintain an active lifestyle, hiking, playing, camping, and working.
Water wears out a shoe quicker than anything else. A few trips in and out of the creeks,
puddles, and swamps, and they just come unglued.

If I do not happen to dissolve my shoes in water, then I wear out the soles on gravel. It has
always amazed me that tire companies can manufacture a tire and warranty the tread for
some 50,000 miles, yet I can wear out the sole on any ordinary shoe in less than a year.
How come we cannot buy a shoe with a 50,000 mile warranty?
Really, I have never been quite satisfied with conventional shoes, and it's not just because
I wear them out so easily. Mostly it is because I do a lot of camping, and ordinary shoes
have a lot of drawbacks for this type of lifestyle. For one thing, I tend to rot my feet out
each summer. Shoes are like incubators, holding in the dirt and sweat at warm
temperatures, and culturing all kinds of fungus and bacteria. Walking through a little bit
of water once or twice a day just compounds the problem, making it nearly impossible to
dry out the shoes. My feet even rot when I take care of them, washing and drying my
crusty socks each day.

While I am at it, I have other complaints too. You see, I do a lot of primitive camping,
building my own shelters, starting fires without matches, gathering wild foods--that sort
of thing. To me this type of camping is a way of getting close to nature, by participating
in nature, instead of merely camping in it. I like to touch nature, and I feel so removed in
a pair of ordinary shoes.

I go barefoot as much as I can, but like most people, I have tender feet--because I don't go
bare foot all the time. Moccasins are ideal for camping, at least to a point. I can really feel
the earth through them, and it has a profound psychological on me, making me feel so
much more in tune with my surroundings. The trouble with moccasins is they wear out--
fast. It takes me about eight hours of physical labor to tan a deer hide, several more hours
to stitch a pair of moccasins, and generally one or two days of hiking to wear the first hole
in them. The holes always start at the toughest points on your foot, so they are not initially
a problem. You can get several more days of hiking in before you have to stitch in a new
sole. Still, that is not a very long time at all. I have heard that some Native Americans
carried multiple pairs of moccasins on journeys and spent each evening around the
campfire fixing them.

I may practice primitive camping, but I also have to face the modern realities of the clock.
My camping trips are typically short, and full. I always have a lot of things I want to do
while I am out. Fixing my moccasins every day is not one of them.
To solve that problem, I have tried over the years many marriages between buckskin and
rubber to make lasting soles on my moccasins. The "paint-on" sole, a mixture of ground
up tires and Barge Cement glue, does not work all that well. It helps, but even that wears
through quite quickly under harsh conditions, and the rubber coating makes it difficult to
dry out the leather of the moccasins. More so, they are not very patchable once a hole gets
started.

I have also tried working with the "crepe soles", a thick sheet of rubber cement that you
can buy, cut, and glue to the bottoms of shoes. The problem I had with these is that my
foot no longer stayed in the right place on my moccasins. My foot was typically sliding
off the back edge of the sole.

After all these life-long problems with shoes, I was ecstatic to learn of something that
actually did work. My friend Jack Fee and I were preparing to go out on a three-week
expedition in the mountains. He made a new backpack for the trip, and I made some new
moccasins. The best idea I had left to try for protecting the soles was a mixture of pine
pitch, charcoal, and dried manure. I figured I could easily dope a little fresh material on
the soles each night at camp to keep them from wearing out. I thought I was on to
something, and the finished sole even looked good. Unfortunately, I wore completely
through the pitch in two short city blocks, on a test run. I was out of a plan before we had
even begun our expedition.

Jack then told me a story about Indians from Mexico coming to the United States and
winning foot races in sandals cut from tires. I've been interested in using tire soles before,
but it seemed like I would have to glue or stitch the tire to the moccasins. I had reason to
doubt that it would work. I also once had a pair of tire sandals, made in Mexico, where
the leather lacing was nailed to the tire soles. Those came apart within a couple of days.

Jack had never seen the tire sandals that were reportedly used by the Mexican Indians, but
decided to see what he could do anyway. I have to say I was quite impressed with the
final product, a sort of Teva-style sandal.

I was most impressed with the fact that there was no glue, and no stitching or strapping
on the bottom of the sole where they would be exposed to the ground. Instead he cut the
sole with some side tabs out of the tire as one contiguous piece. The first model was a
little crude in appearance, but was amazingly comfortable. I too had to make a pair for the
expedition.

The field tests of our sandals were quite exciting. The tire sandal and moccasin
combination meant we had "modular" shoes. We wore both the moccasins and the soles
when hiking, and then just one or the other around camp. We could use just the
moccasins for stalking, or just the tires for walking in water. We climbed 10,000 foot
peaks twice and generally just put on the miles. I did not wear socks, and never washed
my moccasins, but my feet were in healthy condition for the duration of the trip-- a first
for me.

We did find that we would get blisters if we wore just the tires for any significant hiking,
but we seemed to have no problems when the tires were worn in combination with
moccasins, or with a couple pairs of heavy socks. I was amazed at how comfortable these
sandals were, particularly because I once wore conventional hiking boots on a 500 mile
walk across Montana, with severe blistering for the first 250 miles of the trip. Our new
type of footwear gave me a freedom and comfort I had been searching for for a decade.
Our prototype sandals were crude, but effective. Since then, I have developed the idea
some more, into the tire sandals shown in these pictures. The most significant
modification was the addition of the tab at the very back of the sandals. That tab is not
normally necessary, except in water. Without it your feet tend to slide forward off the
front of the soles when the tires are wet. That back tab holds your foot securely in place. I
also added the rubber buckles, and did away with the rope and buckskin ties of our early
models.

Also for our prototypes we just traced around a pair of conventional Tevas onto a tire, and
started from there. I have since developed a system for creating a pattern to match your
own foot. Plan on spending most of an entire day making your first pair. You will get
faster as you make more.

Making Your Tire Sandals
First, place either foot in the center of a large piece of paper, at least an 8 1/2 x 14. Trace
around your foot, being careful at all times to keep the pencil straight up and down. Next
make a mark on each side, directly down from the point on your ankles. Also make a mark at the point along the inside of your foot, directly back from your big toe.

Remove your foot from the pattern. Now sketch a bigger outline around the tracing of
your foot. Add about 3/8 inch for the toes and sides, but not to the back. Then use a ruler
and bisect the pattern lengthwise, extending the line three inches past the heel. This
serves as a guide to help you sketch the rear tab accurately. Now connect the marks you
made by your ankles, extending a line three inches beyond each side of the pattern.
These tabs will be sketched in front of this line. Also draw a line for the front tabs,
extending from the single mark across the pattern, perpendicular to the line that
bisects the foot lengthwise.

The positioning of all these tabs is quite variable, and you can choose to move them
forward or back, or at angles to one another, and all usually work, although the
arrangement I have suggested may work more consistently. Problems usually arise with
the front set of tabs. When at angles across the pattern they can twist a little and dig into
your foot. If the tabs are moved forward or back then the edges can dig into that point
on the inside of your foot. That point is more pronounced on some people's feet than on
others.

Now sketch in the five tabs, as shown on the pattern. These tabs are sized width-wise for
3/4 inch wide strapping, and should be made according to the approximate dimensions
I've written in on the pattern, regardless of how big or small the foot. If anything you
might make some adjustments length-wise, adjusting for particularly large or small feet.
Finally, sketch in the holes that you will cut out to thread the strapping through. This just
helps you remember to cut them the right direction when you get to that stage. Cut the
pattern out, and it can be used for both sandals, assuming your feet are fairly similar to
one another.
As for tires, I would recommend truck tires, rather than car tires. The "corner" of any tire,
where the sidewalls and tread come together, is always much thicker than the rest. You
can work with that thickness in the tabs of the sandals, but not in the sole itself. Pickup
tires are typically wide enough to work with, and you can make about three pair of
sandals from one tire.

Most importantly, always use tires that do not have steel cables running through them. All
tires have some kind of fibrous reinforcement in them, typically nylon or rayon threads.
Most of the newer tires also have a layer of steel cables, which is not workable at all.
Still, there are a few billion of the older tires around without steel cables, so you should
not have to look too far to find some. Just look on the sidewalls of the tire and it will be
printed there how many plies of nylon, rayon, or steel are imbedded in the rubber.

We used simple utility knives to cut out our first sandals. Doing it this way you can trace
around the pattern on the outside of the tire and start cutting. However, I must say this is
very laborious and not much fun. It is hard work, and you could easily slip and cut
yourself with the utility knife. Along the way I have discovered that it is much easier and
more enjoyable to cut tires using sharp wood chisels or a bandsaw.

To do the chisel or bandsaw method you must first remove a section of tire. This allows
you to run the piece through the bandsaw, or to put it on a wooden block, where you can
chisel from the inside out.

A circular saw works fairly well for cutting tires, except that it creates a lot of blue-black
smoke, and binds frequently. Cut out a piece that is at least a half inch longer than your
pattern, and save as much of the sidewalls as you reasonably can. These are useful later
for making the buckles. Do not try cutting through the inner edge of the tire, which has an
imbedded steel band to fit the tire snug against the rim.

Now, trace the pattern on the inside of the tire, being certain that the pattern is centered
and straight on the tire. Even a slight 1/2 inch angle along the length of a sandal can cause
problems when you wear it.
I've done separate tests, cutting out the sandals with chisels and with a bandsaw, and the
bandsaw method is only a little faster. A good set of wood chisels works just fine if you
do not have the bandsaw.

I would suggest making only one sandal at a time, and completing it. Finish the one and
try it on; you might think of some modifications to improve the next one. Few of my pairs
of sandals are exactly identical, as I usually find some new idea to try on that second
sandal.

The next step, after cutting out the sandal, is to thin the four side tabs. The tabs are
generally cut from that "corner" on the tire, where there is a thick lump of tread. These are
easiest to thin on a bandsaw. You can, however, do a crude but adequate job by cutting
the lump down with some careful chiseling or with a sharp knife. Thin down as close as
you can to the nylon/rayon plies, without actually cutting any of them. This step is not
easy by any method I have found, and I typically leave 1/8 to 1/4 inch of rubber covering
the plies, for a total thickness of up to half an inch. That is still quite thick, but thin
enough to work.

Now, to make the tabs flex upward, take a razor blade and slice straight into the tread of
the tire at the joint where the tab attaches. Slice in all the way until the plies inside are
exposed. Be careful not to cut into those fibers.

Chisel out each of the eyelets, where the strapping will be threaded through. For this I use
a 1 inch chisel and a 1/4 inch chisel. Be careful to not cut too close to the edge. If you
break out the side of a tab, then you generally have to start all over. Also cut a set of
buckles from the sidewalls of the tire. These are easy to do.

For strapping, I use a sort of a nylon harness strapping, available at farm and ranch supply
stores. 3/4 inch wide strapping works well with the one inch slots. Cut pieces that are
extra long, you can trim them off after you thread them through. Use a match, and melt
the end of the nylon strap to secure the threads. To do the back strap, thread through the
hole marked point on the pattern and stitch an inch or so of the strap back on itself.
Thread around through the other eyelets, through the buckle, through the other hole on the
first tab, and once again through the buckle. The front strap should be threaded through
the buckle, through both eyelets, and back through the buckle again. This system is a little
hard to adjust, but once set, I find I can slip my foot in and out, without having to tighten
or loosen them.

The finished sandals should be comfortable to wear, although you may need to do some
fine-tuning to get them right. For any serious hiking you should wear a couple heavy pairs
of socks, or moccasins, or bring along some moleskin.

I am not sure who wrote this how too, but let me and I will give them the credit.

Friday, November 16, 2012

How Indians Tanned Buckskin



By: Michael Y. Ammons

Part 1

Buckskin was tanned in several ways and by different substances according to the tribe. It is always well to keep in mind that Indian tribes were different and that many of them had their own style of doing things.

My information comes from Indians that I have known, and if followed, a well-tanned buckskin will result. It may be in order to state right at the beginning that Indian buckskin is NOT tanned at all. It is just worked soft.

A fresh skin is soaked in water for several days, usually from 3 to 6. Sometimes the hair is cut off, or at least as much as possible, and then the hide is soaked. A lye made of wood ashes is used for removing the hair from the pelts of elk & moose In some cases the ashes are sprinkled on the hair, rubbed in, and then the moist hide is rolled up to await the loosening effect of the lye.

The next step, and this is often a woman's step, -- is to take the skin from the water and put it over a graining log. This is a log from which the bark has been removed. It is stuck obliquely into the ground so that its upper end is waist high. Once draped over this beam the particles of flesh, fat and sinew are scraped off. An implement specially designed for this purpose is used. In olden days it was a heavy handle of elk horn with an end like a small hoe.

To this a flint scraper was tied, but in later times a steel blade was substituted.  When this had been done the skin was reversed and the hair removed with a beaming tool. This was once made from the cannon bone of a deer, and it had two sharp edges. When the stone and bone age vanished, as the settlers came in, this tool was made of wood and a long iron blade. When the hair stuck, it was wet with moist ashes which loosened it so that in a short time it could be removed.

Part 2

Most skin workers took the hair off first and then turned the hide over for the fleshing process but whichever way used, great care was taken not to work a thin spot in the skin. A good skin is of uniform thickness, though perhaps we should say thinness, for soft skins were considered the best.

When the skin is thoroughly scraped, de-haired and clean, it is washed in clear water, wrung out and then stretched on a wooden frame, being laced to it by leather thongs or bark cords. The skin should be almost as tight as a drum head.

Now comes the trick of mixing brains with this tanning business,--and the old Indian actually thought it took brains to do it right. A batter of brains is now rubbed into the skin until it is thoroughly saturated. If the skin has been worked and twisted before "framed" the process does not take long.

Brain paste is prepared by splitting the skull, removing its contents and then dissolving them in warm water. Sometimes the water is quite hot, but at all events the mass is crushed in the fingers and worked into a fluid paste. If brains are lacking, liver paste is added; the two go well together. When there is too much of this solution the brains are mixed with moss and dried near a fire.

The moss is formed into cakes and kept for future use. To make ready for use the moss was wet and rubbed on the skin in the ordinary way.

Once the brains were in the skin and the hide was removed from the frame, it was soaked again and wrung out. The wringing process is IMPORTANT, and it consists of twisting the skin length wise and then looping it about a tree only to twist it again by means of a stick thrust through the loop. When dry it is stretched out, pulled in all directions thrown back in the water, wrung again, twisted again, pulled again, only to be thrown in more water to have the process repeated.

The work applied to the skin is necessary for removing the cellular filling, and to produce a clean sheet of pelt fiber. When this is achieved, and the skin is soft, pliable and white, it is seamed up in the form of an irregular bag with crossed sticks thrust in the mouth to keep it open.

Part 3

A smoke pit is now dug and in it a fire is built. Rotten wood, punk, cobs, chips of oak, beech or corn cobs are thrown in upon the coals and a smudge is started. The bag is now inverted over this. A cord holds the bottom of the bag to a limb or a pole. Care must now be taken that the fire underneath does NOT blaze, and that the smoke fills the bag evenly. To guard against an uneven flow of smoke, ALL holes must be sewn up. Inspection must be constant, and when the pelt is of the right color, --yellow, tan or brown, it is taken from the smudge and laid away, the smoked surface being folded upon itself. A few days of this sets the color and finishes or "osawi 'ksua" as the Menomini called it. This is the so-called "Indian Tan", though more properly it is simply "Indian Worked", as no tanning solution such as is used in leather making having been employed.

Buckskin is warm and pleasant to wear, and it outlasts any cloth ever made. It is the ideal material in the wilderness for it does not tear or allow thorns to puncture it. Its one drawback is that it wets easily, but even so it is soon dried and with a little rubbing, is restored completely.


How Indians Tanned Buckskin



By: Michael Y. Ammons

Part 1

Buckskin was tanned in several ways and by different substances according to the tribe. It is always well to keep in mind that Indian tribes were different and that many of them had their own style of doing things.

My information comes from Indians that I have known, and if followed, a well-tanned buckskin will result. It may be in order to state right at the beginning that Indian buckskin is NOT tanned at all. It is just worked soft.

A fresh skin is soaked in water for several days, usually from 3 to 6. Sometimes the hair is cut off, or at least as much as possible, and then the hide is soaked. A lye made of wood ashes is used for removing the hair from the pelts of elk & moose In some cases the ashes are sprinkled on the hair, rubbed in, and then the moist hide is rolled up to await the loosening effect of the lye.

The next step, and this is often a woman's step, -- is to take the skin from the water and put it over a graining log. This is a log from which the bark has been removed. It is stuck obliquely into the ground so that its upper end is waist high. Once draped over this beam the particles of flesh, fat and sinew are scraped off. An implement specially designed for this purpose is used. In olden days it was a heavy handle of elk horn with an end like a small hoe.

To this a flint scraper was tied, but in later times a steel blade was substituted.  When this had been done the skin was reversed and the hair removed with a beaming tool. This was once made from the cannon bone of a deer, and it had two sharp edges. When the stone and bone age vanished, as the settlers came in, this tool was made of wood and a long iron blade. When the hair stuck, it was wet with moist ashes which loosened it so that in a short time it could be removed.

Part 2

Most skin workers took the hair off first and then turned the hide over for the fleshing process but whichever way used, great care was taken not to work a thin spot in the skin. A good skin is of uniform thickness, though perhaps we should say thinness, for soft skins were considered the best.

When the skin is thoroughly scraped, de-haired and clean, it is washed in clear water, wrung out and then stretched on a wooden frame, being laced to it by leather thongs or bark cords. The skin should be almost as tight as a drum head.

Now comes the trick of mixing brains with this tanning business,--and the old Indian actually thought it took brains to do it right. A batter of brains is now rubbed into the skin until it is thoroughly saturated. If the skin has been worked and twisted before "framed" the process does not take long.

Brain paste is prepared by splitting the skull, removing its contents and then dissolving them in warm water. Sometimes the water is quite hot, but at all events the mass is crushed in the fingers and worked into a fluid paste. If brains are lacking, liver paste is added; the two go well together. When there is too much of this solution the brains are mixed with moss and dried near a fire.

The moss is formed into cakes and kept for future use. To make ready for use the moss was wet and rubbed on the skin in the ordinary way.

Once the brains were in the skin and the hide was removed from the frame, it was soaked again and wrung out. The wringing process is IMPORTANT, and it consists of twisting the skin length wise and then looping it about a tree only to twist it again by means of a stick thrust through the loop. When dry it is stretched out, pulled in all directions thrown back in the water, wrung again, twisted again, pulled again, only to be thrown in more water to have the process repeated.

The work applied to the skin is necessary for removing the cellular filling, and to produce a clean sheet of pelt fiber. When this is achieved, and the skin is soft, pliable and white, it is seamed up in the form of an irregular bag with crossed sticks thrust in the mouth to keep it open.

Part 3

A smoke pit is now dug and in it a fire is built. Rotten wood, punk, cobs, chips of oak, beech or corn cobs are thrown in upon the coals and a smudge is started. The bag is now inverted over this. A cord holds the bottom of the bag to a limb or a pole. Care must now be taken that the fire underneath does NOT blaze, and that the smoke fills the bag evenly. To guard against an uneven flow of smoke, ALL holes must be sewn up. Inspection must be constant, and when the pelt is of the right color, --yellow, tan or brown, it is taken from the smudge and laid away, the smoked surface being folded upon itself. A few days of this sets the color and finishes or "osawi 'ksua" as the Menomini called it. This is the so-called "Indian Tan", though more properly it is simply "Indian Worked", as no tanning solution such as is used in leather making having been employed.

Buckskin is warm and pleasant to wear, and it outlasts any cloth ever made. It is the ideal material in the wilderness for it does not tear or allow thorns to puncture it. Its one drawback is that it wets easily, but even so it is soon dried and with a little rubbing, is restored completely.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Coded Matrix Block



by Ssg Donald "Mumbo" Mumm from Ranger Digest 5
To help cut down on radio transmissions, our unit uses a CODED MATRIX SYSTEM to help send messages. It's nothing more than a set of blocks containing pre written words or messages you would commonly use on a military operation. The table can be as large as 14X12 blocks leaving 26 squares for each letter of the alphabet. And another 168 empty "blank blocks" for filling in whatever you need to write inside of them. Of course depending on the type of unit you're assigned too, each table matrix needs to be tailored for every mission or operation.But before you can successfully use this matrix system, you must fill in all the empty blocks across the entire top and left side of the page with a letter. Do not repeat none of the letters! Then fill in the words or messages inside the blank blocks.
To send a coded message - First, locate the word(s) or message you want to send  then write down the letter that appears to the immediate far left and directly above it.
For security reasons and just like a military CEOI,you need to change the 26 blocks containing the 26 letters of the alphabet every so often. Maybe not as often as a military CEOI (every 24 hours), but at least every few weeks or so until you suspect it has become compromised. Then simply just rearrange the 26 letters of the alphabet, NOT THE ENTIRE 168 BLOCKS
TR's tips
Here is a blank one. Fill in the blocks except for the top and right side, then copy it and reduce in size as small as you need.
Print your matrix block onto clear acetate and then you can put "cats eye" tape on the back to read at night. Also make a couple different ones with blocks filled out differently so even if the enemy gets your training one it will be 100% useless even with a super computer. Keep several blank copies for later.


WXYZABCDEFGHIJ
Vabcdefghijklm?
Unopqrstuvwxyz&
T0123456789+#oddeven
SunitpatrolteamsquadpltCOBNLDRCDRDETATTFOMEDICMed evac
Rreportdate timecoord locperswpnsammofoodwatereqptKIA deadWIA hurtMISS unknPOW capradio freq
QopnsraidreconAMBmove contassem blefort ifiedATTKDEFDOFFPTL Baselink upLP/OPmeet ing
PmissionHQsSECSPTASSALTjunctionbuilding/scross ed/ingroadtrailforcescivilian/senemyfriend
Ostatusexecut startterm finhalt stopprep readymove go tohelp urgentsucce ssfulfailedaborteddetectedwaitingyesno
Ndispositionradio freqchange newwe myyou yourtheir they aresend needspot obsvin-poslostfoundeasydifficultunknown
MtransptanktruckwheeltrackheliplaneGRDairwaterfootVEHparahelo
Lmilt termobjtIRPRPORPLDPLCParea of opby passen rtedig incon tactbreak rest
Kmilt termsignalDPTRTNoccu py/IDE&Ewatch outcheck/ ck-outsilentdelaycancelimmediateconductwithdraw retreat

Coded Matrix Block



by Ssg Donald "Mumbo" Mumm from Ranger Digest 5
To help cut down on radio transmissions, our unit uses a CODED MATRIX SYSTEM to help send messages. It's nothing more than a set of blocks containing pre written words or messages you would commonly use on a military operation. The table can be as large as 14X12 blocks leaving 26 squares for each letter of the alphabet. And another 168 empty "blank blocks" for filling in whatever you need to write inside of them. Of course depending on the type of unit you're assigned too, each table matrix needs to be tailored for every mission or operation.But before you can successfully use this matrix system, you must fill in all the empty blocks across the entire top and left side of the page with a letter. Do not repeat none of the letters! Then fill in the words or messages inside the blank blocks.
To send a coded message - First, locate the word(s) or message you want to send  then write down the letter that appears to the immediate far left and directly above it.
For security reasons and just like a military CEOI,you need to change the 26 blocks containing the 26 letters of the alphabet every so often. Maybe not as often as a military CEOI (every 24 hours), but at least every few weeks or so until you suspect it has become compromised. Then simply just rearrange the 26 letters of the alphabet, NOT THE ENTIRE 168 BLOCKS
TR's tips
Here is a blank one. Fill in the blocks except for the top and right side, then copy it and reduce in size as small as you need.
Print your matrix block onto clear acetate and then you can put "cats eye" tape on the back to read at night. Also make a couple different ones with blocks filled out differently so even if the enemy gets your training one it will be 100% useless even with a super computer. Keep several blank copies for later.


WXYZABCDEFGHIJ
Vabcdefghijklm?
Unopqrstuvwxyz&
T0123456789+#oddeven
SunitpatrolteamsquadpltCOBNLDRCDRDETATTFOMEDICMed evac
Rreportdate timecoord locperswpnsammofoodwatereqptKIA deadWIA hurtMISS unknPOW capradio freq
QopnsraidreconAMBmove contassem blefort ifiedATTKDEFDOFFPTL Baselink upLP/OPmeet ing
PmissionHQsSECSPTASSALTjunctionbuilding/scross ed/ingroadtrailforcescivilian/senemyfriend
Ostatusexecut startterm finhalt stopprep readymove go tohelp urgentsucce ssfulfailedaborteddetectedwaitingyesno
Ndispositionradio freqchange newwe myyou yourtheir they aresend needspot obsvin-poslostfoundeasydifficultunknown
MtransptanktruckwheeltrackheliplaneGRDairwaterfootVEHparahelo
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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Evolutionary Redundancy in IT Part I


First off redundancy in Information Technology is not a new concept. It is an integral part of our disaster recovery solutions and plans. Redundancy in information systems is a must in everyday life IT life. If one server or application goes down there can be repairable damage to your company or maybe even your clients.

“It takes years to build up trust and only seconds to destroy it” Author Anonymous

In today’s technologically driven world a standard redundant system is no longer enough.  The days of one to two hours of down time is no longer acceptable, companies and people now think of data services “email, websites, online banking and etc.” like electricity. Everyone wants to flip a switch and it is there almost like it was waiting on them “the user” to request it.

We in technology know that this is not always the case; we in IT understand there are problems that sometimes cannot be foretold or prepared for.  If everyone knew everything that was going to give issues the world would be a better place and I would be out of a job.  There are controls that can be put into place that would help us recover with little down time, but you cannot prepare for every situation.

So with that in mind you should not just have a plan that covers A,B,C, there needs to be a D,E,F and so on.
The best way to circumvent any issues is to be able to react evolutionary to problems as they arise, this means thinking outside of the box and addressing situations in a in the moment mind set.

Evolutionary Redundancy in IT Part I


First off redundancy in Information Technology is not a new concept. It is an integral part of our disaster recovery solutions and plans. Redundancy in information systems is a must in everyday life IT life. If one server or application goes down there can be repairable damage to your company or maybe even your clients.

“It takes years to build up trust and only seconds to destroy it” Author Anonymous

In today’s technologically driven world a standard redundant system is no longer enough.  The days of one to two hours of down time is no longer acceptable, companies and people now think of data services “email, websites, online banking and etc.” like electricity. Everyone wants to flip a switch and it is there almost like it was waiting on them “the user” to request it.

We in technology know that this is not always the case; we in IT understand there are problems that sometimes cannot be foretold or prepared for.  If everyone knew everything that was going to give issues the world would be a better place and I would be out of a job.  There are controls that can be put into place that would help us recover with little down time, but you cannot prepare for every situation.

So with that in mind you should not just have a plan that covers A,B,C, there needs to be a D,E,F and so on.
The best way to circumvent any issues is to be able to react evolutionary to problems as they arise, this means thinking outside of the box and addressing situations in a in the moment mind set.