Friday, June 28, 2013

Barn Water Collection System

Barn Roof
Gutter and Downspout
Our home is on a cistern collection system, so we are familiar with rain water collection... But, most of our animals are out in the new barn down the hill a bit. The least fun part of the chores around here is filling water jugs and carrying them down the hill every day for the animals.

Downspout and Gutter into Tank
Our barn has a large metal roof on it (I need to get an exact measurement later), so we realized it would be a great source of water with its large surface area.

The other day we were at Lowes picking up materials for another home project (basement shelves), and we remembered that we were planning on adding gutters to the barn. So, we
grabbed some gutters and downspouts while we were there. (gutters are surprisingly cheap!)

Tank Outlet
It was pretty straightforward mounting the gutters, besides the fact that my bandboard is curved, lol. (the barn was built without all those fancy tools everyone else uses; mostly just a chainsaw and eyeballing it, lol) Basically you just hold them up there and screw them on in a case like this, then pop rivet them together. (just make sure that there is a downward slope to it; water ALWAYS runs downhill!) To locate the best location for the downspout, I took two 2-liters of water down to the barn and poured it in the gutter. I located the lowest spot by seeing where the water went to and sat. It ended up in a great location.

From there, I cut the gutter with a utility knife and mounted the downspout; I had to saw off a bit of one board to gain entry, but that only took a few minutes with a small hand-saw.

After looking around for solutions I saw a couple of old gutters we still had around from when we replaced gutters on another house. One of them was a PERFECT length. It has worked great and there are no leaks at all.

Note: I know I need to add a screen/filter to the water entering the tank, that is something else I did not have on hand today.

I mounted the tank securely (this is very important), on a platform in the barn, this way once water is in the tank gravity will give me good pressure. I didn't want to mount it any higher, as water from the gutters had to flow down-hill to get into the tank.

Water Pressure!
Once the water is in the tank I made a custom outlet valve from PVC with a 2" ball valve to completely shut off water, and a regular garden hose spicket on the
end to connect a small length of hose to. (we're going to use an old washer hose, since the watering dish is underneath the spicket.

This should make daily chores much easier! It could even allow a "day off" without worries if we put the water on a slow drip into the water dish... now I'm thinking of even more ideas!

(Article Submitted by SLC-360 Contributing Writer)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Not 200 years too late

If you’re reading this blog more than likely you fall into one of a few categories: A prepper,  survivalist, bushcrafter or homesteader. You may even be a combination of all of them. You might be a tracker or a modern primitive. You could have hit the wrong key making a Google search and be none of these. One thing all of these above groups have in common is a way of thinking that is not common in today’s world.

Each of these have a mindset closer aligned to people years ago than most of those today. People in these groups say things like “I was born 200 years too late” truth is you were born just right. People like us were born now, to show the rest what it was like, what it could be like, and that there is another way.

Take anyone who gardens. Most think you’re nuts, why cause if you want tomatoes go get them for $1.39 a can. It’s crazy to start seeds, then water them, then till ground and prepare it, transfer the plants and water and weed. That’s like work. That’s crazy if you add all your time up, your tomatoes in time alone could be upward of $5. Ever hear of the store?

 Preppers. You stock water and food. You prepare for emergencies you devote time money in training for something we pay the government for. Ever hear of fema? They take care of those things.

 Survivalist there is a bunch for you. I’ve seen the shows- you got your camo and your guns. You know how to live in the desert and in the deep forest. You can sew your own cuts with fishing line and you have those gadget knives that do everything. Ever hear of the Rambo?

 Bushcrafters, you're making stuff out of wood and leather. You act like you're part animal spending so much time in nature living in the wild. You Go around starting fire by rubbing together sticks. Building places to sleep with debris off the ground. Ever hear of parks and RVs?

 Homesteaders. Its 2013 nobody has to live that way anymore. We have electric, we have stores you can buy whatever you need. There are schools to teach your children.

 Modern primitives and tribalist. You have no tribe. You’re a mixed bunch with no common ground. Get a job go to school, and be productive…..

 NO common ground you say!

 While everything listed above are Not my thoughts or feelings. We have all heard these and going by Tribal Hawk and fitting nicely into most of these groups; I’ve heard them all.  I beg to differ with the common beliefs about us. While we were born in just the right time, it may not feel like it. Because what these groups have in common is not so common any more. We believe in self reliance, not needing someone to take care of us. We believe Nature is more important than the mall. We believe in putting sweat and love into the things we grow and make. People matter to us, not things and if you’re going to do something you make it count.

 Standing all day in a line pushing a button may pay the bills and it may be called work but, there is no labor of love involved with it. We do what we do because of the love we have and the passion that burns in our souls. The world has become just like those old cities in movies, they have a pretty front but there is nothing behind them. They have no substance, No soul. We do what we do because we have heart. We believe in doing things that matter. Most of the world we live in is held together by illusion. As long as that illusion is reinforced and believed by the masses it stays in place, but we have seen behind the curtain, we know it’s empty there. We have seen the heart and soul of this world. We have seen the beauty in nature, in each other and we step away from the lie that empty things have value.

 Value is in making a difference, it’s in Nature, and it’s in the heart and soul of every one of us “who were born 200 years too late”
Tim Clifton 

“Putting the Power in your Hands"
SLC-360© 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

I have nothing to eat!

One of the Groups we are in on Facebook had a Challenge, Go outside and walk around where you live and post pictures of five edible plants. Amanda found these in our yard.
Wood Strawberry

Rumex Crispus, Curly Dock
Broad-leaf Plantain 

Wood Sorrel
It’s Amazing the amount of food people step on, cut down, or worse yet spray weed kill on. Once you start learning, it’s surprising the amount around you that you never saw before. I highly recommend:

 The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants by Samuel Thayer 

WildMan Steve Brill’s app
Wild Edibles Full By WinterRoot LLC.

With these guides and training from an expert you will never have to say I have Nothing to eat ever again.

So what’s in your yard? Feel free to post your pictures to our Facebook page at

Warning! Never eat anything that has not been positively identified, always consult local experts. 

The recommended items from this blog can be found at the following links.

Happy Foraging
Tim Clifton 
SLC-360© 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Ima Lost" The Art of Staying Found

"Ima Lost" The Art of Staying Found

Ever been lost? Your pulse races, you vision tunnels. The best thing you can do when you get lost is to STOP! My father used this in a lot of his classes “Stop Think Observe Plan.” Take an inventory of the items you have with you. See each item as an asset. Don’t mourn the forgotten or lost items. Once you’ve calmed down and taken inventory, determine where you think you are. Have you crossed any major highway? Have you crossed any major waterways? Can you determine the directions. Can you see the sun? Do you know how long you have been walking? All these things will help determine where you are.

Can you see me?
I spent many years in Search and Rescue, now I teach Primitive and Survival Skills and I noticed something. There are classes for just about every primitive and bush craft skill, but very little about what you do if you are lost. If you watch Survival style TV shows or the movies about the people lost in the wilderness, you will see a lot of “don’ts” when it comes to the Search and Rescue (S&R) aspects of being lost. Trail running is one “don’t” often seen and is common among young kids when lost and frightened. 

From a S&R standpoint it’s nice if the victim stays put. I once was on a search where a lady was constantly on the move. This extended the amount of time it took to find her. So staying put is always nice, if you know they're looking for you. Another thing that’s helpful is if the victim is easy to spot. So while requiring everyone who may get lost to wear fluorescent is a Search and Rescue (S&R) persons deam, there are things you can do to help.

Can you See me now?
Lets face it Most experienced primitive skills people and experience bushcrafters won’t normally get lost. Lets look at who does. 

Very young children general up to the age 3 are unaware of the concept of being lost. They tend to wander from one focal point to the next without a care, if they get tired they tend to lay down wherever  convenient. Ever see the cute pics of the kid asleep in some strange place. These children “tend” not to travel as far. Although my little one can make it across the ridge tops pretty fast.

 Children up to about age 6 get lost for the same reasons they tend to follow animals and trails. Once they realize they are lost they try to return to some place they know. This group will likely try to find shelter in bad weather or at night as opposed to the younger ones who will lay down where ever when tired.

Children up to about 11 often become more upset when they realize they are lost. These kids are the take a “shortcut” or I think its this way and end up getting lost. This age group also begins your trail runners. They will find a trail of any sort and take off running to get back to people fast.

Teens often will become lost as a group following a leader whom has gone too far trying to impress their friends. This group will revise plans for finding their way back or finding know landmark. They also will try to seek shelter in bad weather or darkness.   

Adults, Depending on what the adults are doing when they get lost has a great deal of bearing on getting found. Most of the time when an experienced outdoors man gets lost they have simply overestimated their ability. Ranging from having enough daylight or gas to get back ,to having problems with gps or compass. Even the greatest of navigators get misplaced from time to time “I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks” (Daniel Boone) . Sometimes people get injured and are unable to make it back on their own.

So what can you do to Help? Follow the tips below and if you're an Instructor add these tips to you classes.

 Tips on staying Found. 
  • Always tell someone where you're going and how long you plan on being gone.
  • Pack A whistle
  • Always take some form of brightly colored material (use bandanas so they can be placed in pack for when you don’t want to be found)
  • If you are lost stay put, while its ok to get into a clearing for better visibility, and if you have to move leave markers; place arrows of the ground in direction of travel, break limbs in directing of travel, drag feet in leaves, dirt or mud.
  • Use commonly known Signals: signal mirror, lights, smoke, flagging, arrows placed on the ground.
  • Pack a map and compass

Take classes in navigation, Pre Plan your trips using up to date topographical maps. Know the limits of your equipment and your own limits. If you're going to test either do it in a controlled situation with back up. Knowledge will help  you overcome fear. If you become lost “STOP”. Do an inventory of the items you have. Items that can be used to help you.  Putting your skills to use to keep you safe.

Information about lost people came from various lost person behavior reports as well as my own observations from years of S&R.

Tim Clifton 

SLC-360© 2013