Poll: How long would you survive 'off the grid'

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Thread: How long could you . . .

  1. #1
    Chief Sniffer Senior Member ichi's Avatar
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    Default How long could you . . .

    live without power, tap water, phone service

    What would happen to you if your society could no longer provide you (or those around you) with the suppor infrastructure all good civilized people come to depend upon?

    Whether its a natural or civil disaster (think earthquake or plague or economic collapse), if tomorrow you had no power from the grid, no fresh food from the grocer, no water fromn the tap (and all those around you suffered similarly)

    how long would you last?
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  2. #2
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    It would really depend on where I was. I'm an Eagle Scout, and actually, I have this crazy romantic fanstasy about quitting my job, buying 100 acres up in very northern Maine and living the Jeremiah Johnson life (I love that movie) only, w/out the Pawnee raid at the end. I'd be sure to keep my ass out of their burial grounds.

    Anyway, to your original question, as long as clean water and decent soil, hopefully some game were around, I think I'd be okay. Access to gunpowder would be good, but not necessary. How catastrophic are we talking? Nuclear winter?
    Last edited by Don Corleone; 07-14-2005 at 02:43.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
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    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  3. #3
    Chief Sniffer Senior Member ichi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    How catastrophic are we talking? Nuclear winter?
    Not necessarily nuclear winter, just imagine there was no power or water or food being delivered to the local grocer

    ichi
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  4. #4
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    But clean water supplies, fertile soil and relatively available amounts of game nearby?
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  5. #5
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    You should have made the poll responses viewable. When I say I'd form a new community, perhaps I should say I'd go pioneer style. My family would be rather clannish, but the one thing this patriarch would institute would be 'get your women from the other side of the mountain, bring your sister along to trade, not use'.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  6. #6
    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Water- Gah! I lived without running water for five years. There was a natural spring about 200' back of the house and the water was very good. In the winter it could be a bit of a drag to walk through the snow, crawl into the oversized doghouse that covered the spring and then chip through a foot of ice to get to the water, but you got used to it. Always, always terrible to have not saved enough water from the day before to make your morning coffee. Waking up at sunrise and having to trudge out there at -20 just to get enough to have coffee and make breakfast is horrid. Doing it when you have the flu is right up there with sticking your head in a blender.

    Phone - Off and on for years. It can be a drag. You get used to it though. Makes for a very quiet house when you live alone.

    Electricity - Close to a year. (No water or phone either.) You get used to no electricity very quickly. You cook outdoors in the summer or on a propane stove inside. You keep your food fresh in a cooler that you fill with cold water from the spring everyday. You put your food in bowls that float in the cold water. In the winter the house did get dark fast, but you had your propane lamps and you read a lot. The wood stove was a lifesaver. Breakfast on the wood stove is beyond comparison. Hint: cook potatos inside the wood stove, not on top. Put the pot right into the stove on the coals and close the doors most of the way. You get a mean boil very quickly.

    Also, one gallon of boiling or very hot mixed with two gallons of ice water water makes for three gallons of water that is hot enough to wash with and enjoy.

    Once you get the hang of it, living without the "essentials" is a breeze. Mind you, after five years with no running water, when I moved into a house that had it, I took three hot showers a day, every day, wether I needed it or not.
    Unto each good man a good dog

  7. #7
    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Damn ther aint much game to hunt around here. Well there is now but not if we all started hunting. Im still a good shot and nothing makes me quit , just incase you hadnt noticed ,Im a suvivior. I really hate eating gross food though. Thats the only thing I fear on Fear Factor yuk!!!!!
    Fighting for Truth , Justice and the American way

  8. #8

    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    I could last a long time. Ive got some gas saved up and plenty of bullets so I would take my Rover and get the hell out of this city.

    What really scares me is the type of thing that happened in War of the Worlds. Mobs should be avoided at all cost in such a situation.

  9. #9
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Just out of curiosity, Ichi, are you asking this cause of War of the Worlds, or are you contemplating making your Utah existance a little tougher?

    I find it interesting we're all assuming 'pioneer' style, not truly w/out contact. Beirut's coffee, Panzer's non-reloadable shells (unless you're planning on taking enough gunpowder & lead to reload all your brass), and such. What are you contemplating, Ichi-san?
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  10. #10
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Bah, Gawain. There's probably more rabbits in the suburbs now then there were in America for the past 400 years. Those alone could fill you right up. You add all the deer that now, instead of needing birth control would need to re-up their survival skills, yeah, i think I'd do okay. Again, I need more information on what scenario we're discussing.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  11. #11
    Things Change Member JAG's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    If I am honest, probably not that long. A week? Month? A few months? I dunno. Not that long.
    GARCIN: I "dreamt," you say. It was no dream. When I chose the hardest path, I made my choice deliberately. A man is what he wills himself to be.
    INEZ: Prove it. Prove it was no dream. It's what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one's made of.
    GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds.
    INEZ: One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.

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  12. #12
    Vermonter and Seperatist Member Uesugi Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Probably a pretty good amount of time. We have a feed store we could go to to buy some seeds and we are fair gardeners with some nice arable land nearby. Also live out in the country so we could hunt, have two shotguns, lots of shells and a fair number of Pheasants and Deer nearby. We could also probably team up with nearby farmers and work for them as manual labor to replace their soon to be gas-less tractors with human power. It would be a big change, but we would probably survive.
    "A man's dying is more his survivor's affair than his own."
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  13. #13
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Jag
    If I am honest, probably not that long. A week? Month? A few months? I dunno. Not that long.
    Dude, you got less time than you think. It's Lefties like you I'd hunt first... thin out the predatory pool and what's more, I'm sure you've got a few tasty parts on ya. Finally, I wouldn't have to worry about you shooting back, as you don't believe in guns, so I don't imagine you'd be able to work one

    Just kidding, I'm sure my tribe could use a philosopher. If you didn't find a way to keep morale HIGH through the winter though, I wouldn't hold out hopes for seeing the next Groundhog Day though. If you know a lot about home brewing or distilling, you just might make it till Spring.
    Last edited by Don Corleone; 07-14-2005 at 03:36.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  14. #14
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Grew up on a farm in NZ.

    Worked in the Jungle of Indonesia.

    Worked in the Outback of Australia.

    I would survive all of a week maybe two. The fifth story of an apartment block is not ideal for growing your own food in at short notice.
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  15. #15
    Member Member bmolsson's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Would we still have room service ??

  16. #16
    Feeding the Peanut Gallery Senior Member Redleg's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Grew up in the rural area on farms and ranches -

    As long as I had access to some water - be it a dug well, a stream, or any other vaible water source - I would do all right for a long time - depending what part of the country I am in. Its a little harder to survive in the north without having time to prepare for it - being the growing season is shorter - but game should be available (hopefully)
    O well, seems like 'some' people decide to ruin a perfectly valid threat. Nice going guys... doc bean

  17. #17
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    I would actually head north. Yes, growing season is easier down south but in the north 1) no need for refrigeration from October till April & 2) less chance of infection when you get cut/scratched. Bugs live better in the warm south too.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  18. #18
    Chief Sniffer Senior Member ichi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    What are you contemplating, Ichi-san?
    A junction box for the city went out and we lost all power for a few hours. It brought lots of people outside that I never ever see, but it made me think what would happen if the power didn't come back on.

    After all, my laptop only has about 2 hours battery power, hardly enough to start a campaign.

    and no, I haven't seen War of the Worlds (at least not since the original was last shown on TV)

    I think a lot of people would have a very hard time after only a few days.

    ichi
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    CoH

  19. #19
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by ichi
    A junction box for the city went out and we lost all power for a few hours. It brought lots of people outside that I never ever see, but it made me think what would happen if the power didn't come back on.

    After all, my laptop only has about 2 hours battery power, hardly enough to start a campaign.

    and no, I haven't seen War of the Worlds (at least not since the original was last shown on TV)

    I think a lot of people would have a very hard time after only a few days.

    ichi
    I would MISS a lot, but I would get along without it. What would bother me most is lack of adequate medical care. Also, without centralized communications, law enforcement breaks down. I guess it really matters on what scenario you're describing. If you mean 'no electricty again, for.... let's say 30 years' I think we'd do okay. But if no gas, no running water, no modern medicines such as antibodies... well, I don't hold out a lot of hope. I think I'd do okay, but I'd be miserable. I think a lot of people would die.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  20. #20

    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    If there was no concievable society to rebuild, i would probably join a right wing militia when my gas and ammunition ran low. I could do quite well for myself in a right wing militia, and in a no-government power vacuum, who would be more powerful than a paramilitary organization?

  21. #21
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJager
    If there was no concievable society to rebuild, i would probably join a right wing militia when my gas and ammunition ran low. I could do quite well for myself in a right wing militia, and in a no-government power vacuum, who would be more powerful than a paramilitary organization?
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  22. #22
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    One big variable in the equation would be our knowledge of the extent of the trouble at the time of the trouble. If somehow, people knew 'that's it, we're going back to 1550 in terms of technology', they'd probably do better. If they didn't know they'd been deprived, permanently, well, they'd waste precious time waiting for the power to come back. By the same token, one can't head for the hills w/ everything they own every time the power goes out...
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  23. #23
    Chief Sniffer Senior Member ichi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone
    One big variable in the equation would be our knowledge of the extent of the trouble at the time of the trouble. If somehow, people knew 'that's it, we're going back to 1550 in terms of technology', they'd probably do better. If they didn't know they'd been deprived, permanently, well, they'd waste precious time waiting for the power to come back. By the same token, one can't head for the hills w/ everything they own every time the power goes out...
    This is an interesting point, because one of the things I thought about while sitting in front of a dead PC was that if, or when, it happens, accurate information on the true situation might be hard to come by. I think a lot of people would hang on to the hope that all would be restored.

    ichi
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  24. #24
    Minion of Zoltan Member Roark's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    I have good bush skills, several non-firearm weapons, access to food animals, and a pretty damn productive vegie patch with plenty of seed supplies.

    I reckon I'd be alright, if I could adapt within a couple of months, and if my food wasn't interfered with by marauding gangs/militias/whatever...

  25. #25
    The Blade Member JimBob's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Mad &(*#ing Max . Just kidding. I do alot of the volunteer disaster relief stuff (CERT courses), do the Boy Scout thing and think a good idea is to throw some gear in a pack and spend the weekend in Kettle Moraine. I think I'd be fine, probably grab the people who are important to me and their families form a little community and live in the urban ruins, that's assuming apoclypse. But if the power's out for a while I just grab my guitar(acoustic) and jam out back till the power returns.
    Sometimes I slumber on a bed of roses
    Sometimes I crash in the weeds
    One day a bowl full of cherries
    One night I'm suckin' on lemons and spittin' out the seeds
    -Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Lemons

  26. #26
    boy of DESTINY Senior Member Big_John's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    i voted "Many years- I'd team up with my neighbors and start fresh"

    but what i really mean is "i would become local warlord, propelled to power by my impressive size and strength, keen intellect, and uncommonly brutal demeanor". assuming i have at least average stock in my area, i think i would establish a fairly strong dynasty.
    now i'm here, and history is vindicated.

  27. #27
    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Hard to say, plenty of parameters. Many survivors? Join or start up a local community. Very few survivors? Alot of looting to begin with.

    Plaugue and avoid getting sick?
    Hardest scenario as I would have to avoid looting, so I describe that. Although I haven't hunted I know enough eatable plants and stuff to survive until I've gotten some hunting skills and I know how to grow food, so the big problem would be the winter and how close I would be to it when this starts. Unprepared equals dead within weeks, but prepared possible survival.

    Voted several months, but as described, much parameters to consider.
    We are all aware that the senses can be deceived, the eyes fooled. But how can we be sure our senses are not being deceived at any particular time, or even all the time? Might I just be a brain in a tank somewhere, tricked all my life into believing in the events of this world by some insane computer? And does my life gain or lose meaning based on my reaction to such solipsism?

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  28. #28
    Lord of the House Flies Member Al Khalifah's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    I could probably survive for months eating all the random tinned horrors that have accumilated in the cupboards of my house.
    Cowardice is to run from the fear;
    Bravery is not to never feel the fear.
    Bravery is to be terrified as hell;
    But to hold the line anyway.

  29. #29
    Oni Member Samurai Waki's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    one word. Cannabalism. No one would be safe around me.

  30. #30
    Dragonslayer Emeritus Senior Member Sigurd's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long could you . . .

    Let the dawn of the new Viking age begin!!! Who shall we raid first?
    Status Emeritus

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