Monday, June 9, 2008

Simple Life – Dry Run

The week following the Memorial Day holiday allowed me the opportunity to test some of the systems and find any glaring omissions before my actual move to the cabin later this year. Over the ten day stay I had to exist on items stored at Bear Ridge.

What follows is a very rough day to day diary of activity. This of course does not cover all activity but gives a good understanding of what a day will look like after moving or bugging out. The cabin has an XM Radio as well as internet access and most mornings I read the news over breakfast. The cabin does not have a refrigerator or real good running water. I apologize in advance for the choppy structure it was constructed from notes.

Saturday – Loaded up my greenhouse lumber, packed 52 gallons of water and 24 gallons of gas into the truck. Drove to the cabin, inspected, unlocked and aired out the building. Grabbed my rifle and walked the land looking for out of place prints, animal or human. Unloaded and stored the drinking water under the house and hid the four 6 gallon gas cans. Checked the cistern noted that it was very low on water. Re-inspected the cabin noted a leak in the gutters and problems with east deck sagging. Rigged the power system storing the charged batteries in the power box. Made sure the dogs had plenty of food and water. Unloaded and carefully stacked the lumber and supplies for the greenhouse. Boiled some water for dinner on the propane stove, Mountain House Beef Stroganoff and instant potatoes mixed together. Put a cup of black beans in water to soak overnight. Took the dogs on a walk along the ridge, cleaned up, watched the sun set, finished reading Atlas Shrugged, then went to bed. Woke up 2:30 a.m. noticed music and a strange popping noise from the other side of the ridge. Walked up to investigate, got on top of the ridge cabin and surveyed with binoculars, saw nothing would explore in morning.

Sunday - Got up fixed pancakes and coffee on the propane stove. (first time I have not burned the pancakes) Walked the dogs. Checked, changed then used the bucket in the composting toilet. Put together the solar oven placing the beans inside to cook. Locked up, drove to town and filled up truck. Went to storage unit to fetch my cheap (very) Chinese ATV and a couple of solar panels. Driving home passed a couple of guys on dirt bikes coming from somewhere behind my place, will go look for their camp later. Unloaded everything and gassed the ATV. Cleaned up and boiled water for my Ramen noodles mixed with tuna. Inventoried food supplies and checked cabinets for rodents. Walked the land noticed fresh boot prints along the ridge. Probably just someone down for Memorial Day weekend out for a walk, followed them to the edge of my land they did not stray towards the cabin, just passing through. Walked the dogs. Packed some water, the binoculars and my .22 pistol then took off exploring on the ATV. Found several camps but nothing occupied. Made some rice to mix with the beans and had dinner. Took boys on a hike. Put a cup of lima beans in water to soak overnight. Watched the sun set, showered with hot solar water went to bed. Top of feet itching very badly, probably a psoriasis outbreak.

Monday – Woke up fixed coffee and some oatmeal for breakfast. Walked the dogs. Put the beans in the solar oven to cook through the day. Installed the solar panels to get the batteries charged back up. Fried some spam and fixed some instant mashed potatoes for lunch. Fixed the gutter on back of the house. Took off on the ATV for about an hour exploring. Spent several hours on the ridge cutting brush and thinning out the sage brush. Started marking dead trees to cut up for firewood. Mixed some spam left from lunch with the lima beans had dinner. Getting ready to walk the dogs when a dozen or so white tailed dear bolted down the road in front of the cabin. Something greatly spooked them. Put one cup of red beans in water to soak. Set up the hot tub and used some of the collected rainwater. Enjoyed a good soak under the stars and went to bed

Tuesday – Woke up at 6 am there were four white tail deer about five feet from the front window. My great watch dogs were happily asleep on their window seat right at eye level with the deer. I let them sleep but will speak harshly with them about this lax security later in the day. Fixed a breakfast of pancakes and coffee. Boiled some water and shaved head with a cheap razor, very painful. Put the beans in the solar oven to cook. Walked the dogs. Changed the front sprocket on the ATV, fewer teeth equals more climbing power. The swap was necessary if I am to pull a cart loaded with firewood. This simple thirty minute project took all day. Made some elbow pasta and mixed it with powered cheese had mac and cheese for lunch. Finished up the sprocket project tested the ATV great improvement. Went to the ridge to clear more brush. Made rice and fixed red beans and rice for dinner. Took a nice hike. Put one cup of lima beans in water. Heated the hot tub and soaked under the stars. Watched a movie then went to bed.

Wednesday – Fixed breakfast of carnation milk mixed with an instant breakfast powder, it was wretched. Coffee was good. Inverter goes out, will just use 12 volt lighting backup tonight. Walked the dogs the started beans in solar oven. Started repairs on east deck. Couldn’t get the Pointer Sister’s song “she works hard for the money” out of my head and decided to go pick up a new inverter in Alamosa to remedy the problem. Had beef ramen noodles for lunch then went down to visit the neighbor. Ran to Alamosa with the dogs for new inverter, 72 miles round trip cost roughly 36 bucks. Finished the deck repairs had a couple of beers (hot) then took a nap. Fixed dinner fried span and lima beans actually very good. Took the boys on a hike. Put more black beans in water to soak. Heated the hot tub, water getting kinda skunky, and enjoyed a great thunderstorm off to the south. Actually it sprinkled slightly but nothing usable. Read for a while and went to bed.

Thursday – Got up and fixed oatmeal and coffee for breakfast. Walked the dogs, put beans in oven. Started framing on the greenhouse. Simple “A” frame design covering an area 12x24. Finished a few of the 12x4 foot section frames. Fixed simple lunch of Mountain House Beefaroni and instant mashed potatoes. Feet hurting will need prescription filled at Walmart. Set up water filter (5 gallon bucket with holes, paper towels and sand) for hot tub took off for town again. Prescription 12 dollars gas 36. Prepped and baked a loaf of bread in propane oven. Shut down the filter, water crystal clear. Took the boys on a hike. Fixed dinner, black beans and rice with fresh bread. Went for a ride on the ATV. Put pinto beans in to soak. Heated tub, soaked and went to bed.

Friday – Woke up and fixed pancakes and coffee. Walked the dogs. Put beans in solar oven to cook. Removed covers and sleeping bags from the bed and placed them over the fence to sun wash. Also put the dogs bedding in the sun to air out. Checked the cabin for any indication of mice, none found. Boiled water to wash socks and pillow cases. Used 5 gallon bucket with a special stick to wash and rinse the laundry. Hung the laundry out to dry. Made some elbow pasta and mixed it with powered cheese for a mac and cheese lunch. Started clearing brush where the greenhouse will be. Flipped the blankets and sleeping bags brought in the laundry. Built a couple more greenhouse frames. Crawled under the cabin to fully inspect the floor joist and support beans. Noticed a sag under the woodstove will need to reinforce the beams. Brought in the laundry and blankets. Washed and cleaned up. Walked the dogs over to the neighbors house to visit. Fixed soup beans and bread for dinner. Watched a movie, went for night walk along ridge. Put red beans in to soak. Went to bed.

Saturday – Got up and made oatmeal and coffee. Walked the dogs, started the beans in the oven. Took ATV to top of ridge to clear some trails. Set up a bulls-eye and did some target practice. Moved a couple of 6”x6”x8’ post to the top of the ridge just to check the pulling power. Made some elbow pasta, mixed it with tuna and poured powdered cheese on top. Good lunch. Went for a hike with the dogs, to warm for the boys. Rode back up the ridge and started cleaning out the top cabin. Removed several large nests and a ton of mouse crap. Repaired the observation deck and tightened the rungs on the ladder. Had a few beers. Cleared more sage brush for the greenhouse. Took a long ride. Fixed some rice and mixed with the red beans for dinner. Put some lima beans in to soak. Took a nap woke up about night fall. Grabbed my binoculars, drove up the ridge and camped out on the observation deck to star gaze and watch for UFO’s…didn’t see any by the way maybe next time. Went back to cabin, cleaned up and went to bed.

Sunday – Made breakfast of pancakes and coffee. Walked the dogs, put beans in the oven. Went to work on the greenhouse frames. Noticed massive chemtrails in the clear blue sky. Over the course of the day they thickened enough to noticeably lessen the energy output from my solar panels. Fixed lunch of fried spam (love the stuff) on the rest of the bread. Went on a long hike. Bummed around and played with the dogs. Started picking up and organizing lumber and packing up alittle in the house. Fixed dinner of spam and lima beans with cheese sauce. Rode over and visited the neighbor. Heated hot tub and soaked. Took walk up on ridge then went to bed.

Monday – Walked the dogs. Loaded ATV, solar panels and other stuff and took to the storage unit. Grabbed a breakfast at the diner. Packed, locked up everything and headed out.

Over the next few days I will be looking at the problems encountered and where I need to focus my attention.


Anonymous said...


Those 36 dollar ( for now ) trips to Alamosa are going to hurt the budget severely. Maybe a 250 cc scooter with a trunk would be worth it. Not so much in winter but maybe useful 8 months a year.

A small Waeco type 12 volt freezer fridge can freeze 1/2 gallons of water into ice blocks then transfer that to a marine ice chest with 4 inches of foam around it will give you 2 good units( a freezer and a fridge )

Good report !
Keep the faith

Jon said...

very impressed with your blog. I am planning the same eventuality, I have afew sugeestions as Ive been preparing my cabin in the NC mountains for 5+ years. You need to get some mouse baits first, the green granular kind in the little plactic pouches, just leave them in/ under corners, and attics, foundations and away from the dogs, the rodent will make you sick and poison your food/water supplies. Chickens, or some guinea hens, they supply eggs and eat ticks and bugs, and they are entertaining!you can leave for a few days and they will be fine. find local fishing spots, all this makes for a high protien diet and keeps you from eating beans 3 times a day! Also, get big terra cotta pots and put one inside the other with wet sand between, its like a fridge! the water evaporates and makes the inner space cool enough so you will never have to drink a warm beer again! (keeps eggs cool also) My blog is at:

riverwalker said...

I'm a coffee "freak" too. Gets my engine going in the morning. Love that oatmeal...really sticks with you!

MJ said...

I am in love with a product called the Rat Zapper. Simple and the sucker works. But you do need to be there to empty the thing out. No poison, no touching mice/rats/whatever. The web site has a zillion testimonials and I thought, yeah right. Well, here is mine,.Between it and the feral cat I feed, no more rodents (and they were dancing on the beams in here, seriously hideous).
Since then I've loaned it to friends and they are convinced as well, bringing it back in a week or so with no more rodent problems. 30 bucks a pop, no worries to pets or the environment and you don't have to touch or smell them?
You need to widen your solar oven recipes!! A friend of mine who lives on a boat cooks bread, roasts, chicken, fish etc with his. There are lots of great recipes online, or just a slow cooker book. That other stuff can get old in a hurry...survivor mode doesn't mean you can't eat great food. Sounds like you have venison in your future as well. The greenhouse will be a wonderful addition.

mockum said...

Hey man, thanks for the info. Sounds idyllic.

You last mentioned your solar oven last December and had some problems. Could you give us an update on what modifications you made to it?

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you posting again Bigbear, and this was a very enjoyable and interesting post. Thanks!

squire said...

You might want to consider an small enduro motorcycle for you trips into town. I added a medium size trunk to mine trunk to mine, but a larger one could also be added.