my dad and I spent three days at his property in East Texas to
clean up and prepare for a future foundation for a structure that
we would like to place on site. Weve been wanting to go
for a while now (when it was cooler), but we were waiting for
the well to be finished up. The property is totally off-grid,
with no electricity, propane and even the well needs the generator
because the pump is so deep, so I knew that there would be some
lessons learned as these city folk spent three days out roughin
I over estimated my physical ability to work out in the heat.
Im not a wuss. I work hard and Im not afraid to get
my hands dirty. But most of my day, nowadays, is spent inside
in the AC. The heat just drains you and I was constantly thirsty!
On the way
up to the property, I was looking forward to stopping at Whataburger
(only in TX I think) to have a big hamburger before getting to
the property and eating camp food. Dad wasnt
hungry, so I told him not to bother stopping. As soon as we arrived,
we started unloading the tractor, clearing a path for the truck
and trailer and setting up the tent and shade cover. By the time
I knew it, it was late and I had lost my appetite. I was thirsty
though. It seemed like I couldnt quench my thirst. I had
water and Gatorade, but I was always thirsty. I did monitor myself
and my dad. I made sure we were drinking, using the restroom,
So we werent in danger, but it was hot.
as sore as I thought I would be afterwards, but the heat did take
a lot out of me. I weighed myself at home, even after eating a
hamburger on the way back home, and I lost 5 pounds! Im
sure it was all water and Ill gain it all back!
generator was started and hooked up to the well, I had all the
cool water I wanted. But this situation did cause me to reflect
on the fact of what if I had to bug-out and the water
I had in my BOB ran out. You can only carry so much water. In
hot climates, this needs to be really thought out!
One of the
items that we both thought were invaluable were those neckties
that cool you when you soak them for five minutes. I have purchased
one for each member of my family off of eBay, but the two that
I had with us were from Walmart. I found them in the sporting
section for under $4. We used them constantly.
I forgot some important items. I feel like Im a pretty organized
person. I also have a pretty good memory. But there was so much
that I was trying to remember that I forgot some important items.
I dont usually have to make lists, but I can see how they
insure that you dont forget important items.
my camp stove, sun screen and table. The table wasnt a big
deal. Dad had one that we could take up there, although it was
a lot smaller than what we needed. For the rest of the items,
we stopped at Walmart. I hated to buy another camp stove, but
thats what we were using to heat up water, etc
have made a fire, but Im glad that I didnt go that
route. When youre tired and hot, spending the extra time
and effort to build a fire isnt what you want to do unless
you absolutely have to.
always going to be items that you forget, making an effort to
minimize your forgetfulness is very important.
the Sporting Goods section in small town Wal-Marts
suck compared to those found in the big city. The
Sporting Goods section was about 1/3 the size of the one that
Im used to.
Things broke and didnt work. My sunglasses, bic lighter
and generator broke or didnt work as I thought. Im
bad with sunglasses. Actually, I never take my sunglasses out
of my truck. They stay clipped to my visor when Im not driving.
sun was so bright that I thought I should wear them. I dont
know how it happened, but somewhere along the line they broke.
I can still wear them, but nevertheless, sunglasses are important
for eye protection and eventually, the small crack that developed
will give way and I wont be able to use them.
that freaked me out was the lighter that was fairly brand new,
didnt work. The wheel was bent and wouldnt strike
the flint. Thank goodness I had backups.
I lit the
stove with my Primus Fire Steel. If that didnt work, I had
the fire steel on my Gerber fixed blade sheath and also the fire
steel on my paracord bracelet. I could have ultimately used the
flint in the lighter and the car lighter too.
the generator didnt work just as I thought. This is my first
generator. Weneed it to run the pump on the well. I dont
like this, so Im working on a way to make sure we can have
water, even if we dont have gasoline. But I digress
I purchased the generator the week before and left it in the box.
I assembled it on site (wheels and handles) and started it. It
wouldnt stay on! I pulled the string, checked all that I
knew, but it still wouldnt stay on. I breezed through the
manual, looked at the troubleshooting section and still no luck.
After about an hour, I figured it out. Basically, it was not enough
oil. The automatic shut-off was not allowing the generator to
get going due to the lack of it. At the store, the salesman sold
me a bottle with enough oil for two changes. So, with that information,
I put in half of the bottle, right? It wasnt enough! After
putting in more, it was fine.