Ramen Noodles In My Back Yard
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Why I Cooked Ramen Noodles In My Back Yard

No, our stove in the house still works. In fact, it’s less than a week old. Yep, the gas and electric are still on. So why would I go through the trouble to build a small fire and cook lunch outside?

I’ve been moving toward a more self reliant and independent lifestyle. Sure, I bought the stove and pay for the utilities but what if I don’t have those for a period of time? If the electric goes out I do have a very nice generator. But that would run out of gas in just two or three days – and that’s if we were very conservative.

It can happen because it has!

Anyone remember the Northeast blackout of 2003? I do. We live in S.E. Michigan and were without electricity for close to four days. Hey, when I say “we”, I mean EVERYONE. I was lucky enough to have a generator and enough gas for a couple of days but there was no getting more gas.

The gas stations were closed. The stores were closed. Local government declared a state of emergency and closed the roads to everyone other than emergency services.

Lessons Learned

Family and Community can help

I had a generator and a little gas. Family members had plenty of food and a couple of neighbors pitched in with gas they had on hand. We powered the essentials for three houses and our family all pilled up at my Father’s house.

Gas is a short lived resource

I had, and still have, a pick-up truck with duel gas tanks. I wasn’t in the habit of keeping them topped off back then but I certainly do now. Still, it won’t last more than a week or so even if I pumped it out for the generator.

Quick Story: I hate to admit it but I actually used up the little gas I had in one of my tanks trying to find gas before it was no longer available. I knew from the news that the situation was serious, widespread, and long term but I was sure I’d find a gas station running a generator – probably charging a huge premium for the go go juice.

Nope, nothing I could find. I had to head back home with what I had left in my tanks or hump it back home on foot.

Living week to week for food is stupid

We were okay for food due to our family, mainly my father. I was the typical consumer living week to week and check to check. Every Friday we got paid and that’s when we ran low on groceries. Well, the power went out on Thursday and lasted throughout the weekend. That was bad timing for such a risky lifestyle. What if it was out for 2 weeks? Two months?

Back on track

Okay, back to self reliance and independence. I’ve been steadily accumulating camping and outdoor supplies, among other things. I imagine I’ll blog about much of this in the near future. Hey, I may even start another blog because I need another one. LOL

Cooking Soup In The Backyard

Outside Camp Fire Soup
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So, hopefully you understand the reasoning by now why I would go through the trouble. Having the equipment on hand doesn’t mean I can pull it off, right? It would be pretty risky to wait until the SHTF to see if that little fire starter works. Or if I can find enough dry tinder after it rained all night long.

Starting a fire
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As it turns out, I have a lot to learn. It took me half an hour to get a consistent smoke. Where there’s smoke there’s fire, right? I wish that were true. I couldn’t get a fire started to save my life.

Note: I was trying to ignite cloth’s dryer lint. After a little YouTube watching, I should have layered some dry tinder as a base or floor and built the fire on that. The way I had it the moister from the cold damp ground was preventing a fire from starting.

I have fire-starter logs I’ve used to get my fire pit started in the past. Well, to get my soup cooked I actually ended up grabbing one of those from the garage AND a stupid lighter. Even then it took me a while. Hell, I was tempted to go in and grab my propane torch. LOL

Oh, the Ramen noodles were amazing despite the fire challenge. Stuff seems to taste better outdoors, am I right?

It’s all a fun lesson and I’ll be back on YouTube looking for fire starting tips later today. Funny, we love to think we’re alright with things like building a fire but take away our lighters and matches and we’re in trouble. Can you start a fire with a couple of sticks? Build and use a Bow Drill Fire Starter? On wet ground? How about in the snow or rain?

I plan to become very familiar with everything I have when it comes to survival equipment. Not only is it irresponsible to wait for an emergency to wish I knew what the hell I was doing, it’s pretty fun learning when failure is just a quick way to learn.

Next weekend? I think I’ll make some bacon and eggs on a cast iron skillet with nothing more than what’s in my rucksack. Stay tuned. 🙂

Brian D. Hawkins is a late-blooming thought leader in his mind. So please don't disturb his happy thoughts. It's all he has.

Brian D. Hawkins has been a blogger for over twenty years, having written thousands of public articles on dozens of websites. He currently blogs for NextStepSurvival.com and his personal blog at brianDhawkins.com

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