Dave Hakes' – Maui Life


"I must do something!" will always solve more problems than "Something must be done"

“Island Mode” Responses

Posted by delta on November 19th, 2022

OK…. OK…. To respond to a few emails I received last week. What do I recommend for…? What do I really want to check out? Here ya go…

The first thing you want to do is get yourself notebooks and pencils – ALOT. When “Islanding”, or prepping to go into “Island Mode”, you need to write a detailed logbook of what was done each day, what was seen each day, the weather and anything else that may seem relevant. Having everything in your brain is great, but what happens if you become indisposed? Another person, or group of folks, may need the insights of your logs…

Second thing, unless you have a good source of salt for meat storage you have to realize that all electricity you produce will go toward food storage – charging batteries for water desalination/purification or other specific tools may be a distant second – charging your cell phones, or other digital devices, will not even make it on the list (they are expensive paperweights without something to connect to anyway)…

Third thing, look at everything as a finite resource – once it is gone, it is gone – so always keep it in your head that “three is one, two is none”…

Here’s just a few things to get yourself started on the road to “Island Mode” (you can also look to the links on the right hand side of this page for more – no one pays me for any of this, this is all personal “likes”):

Bates Boots – there are many other brands, but I’ve been wearing Bates since the 80’s and have never found anything negative with any Bates footwear I have worn.

BBQ Pits. These will be very important at your home base (or your kids games in the meantime). Try to keep the elements from them so they last. The best I’ve found are Pits by JJ and Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers – I love the idea of hooking the “BBQ trailer” up to my truck and just BBQ’ing wherever I may roam. I’m a charcoal/wood guy, but my next purchase will be something that has a small propane grill on the side – so someone who doesn’t know how to start a proper BBQ fire, or have the patience for the perfect temperature, can just kick on the small propane grill on the side and “get ‘er done” while the rest of us wait for perfection from the wood grill…

Berkey Water Filters – we’ve been using these for almost twenty years now and they are awesome – be sure to get plenty of filters – we clean our filters and have six kids but find the filters to last at least 6 months before needing replacement. But that is with faucet water – think river water, solar still or catchment water – I would suspect the filters would last longer or shorter depending on the water source (as well as how many people are using it daily)…

“DeLorme Atlas & Gazatteer Paper Maps” are very detailed, colored, state-by-state topo map books. You will need them. You can find them at places like Bass Pro Shops, Garmin and REI. At “home base” I have the old topo maps from the USGS rolled up (never folded) in a bin (they should be laminated but are not), but these books are what travel with me (in the vehicle). Get the actual books – digital maps are dependent on more than your device for accuracy and if there’s no power to all of these devices then the weakest link is what you are dependent on. Digital devices are also dependent on cloud cover and terrain for a signal. Get yourself a compass and learn how to orienteer – I learned when I was around 8 – it’s not rocket science we are talking about. I usually get topos from the USGS for 100 miles out from home base as well as between home base and hunting and fishing areas – I get the DeLorme Atlas Books whenever I see them (for any state I do not already have). I do not take the originals with me in the field (when on foot). I will scan, print and laminate from the originals to keep the originals in good condition (bring a small magnifying glass in case you need it – good to start your camp fire with as well)…

Grain Maker – self explanatory…

Flow Hives – the best way to extract honey without disturbing the bees and without doing all the processing on the back end…

HAM Radio – there may be a time when you want to get the news from other parts of the world directly from someone who lives there. Don’t go crazy and get something too expensive. Keep it simple. You’ll want a base station as well as a few handhelds. Most important is your antennae setup – you’ll want to do a lot of research on this – and again, this can get expensive, so don’t get carried away! You will find that antennae placement is very important! The more analog you can go with the radio/s the better – none of that digital crap is going to work if you’ll be needing this in a serious situation…

Hybrid Light – I have a few of these, and plan to test and use more. One thing I really moved away from the the last few years is perpetually buying batteries for my flashlights. It’s nice to put my flashlights in the window sill during the day and let the sun charge them up. I have also used them to keep my cellphone charged on long trips – so I know that works as well. I tend to have one charging while I’m using another one for a day and then swap them the next day…

GoSun – ok, I only have the “Fusion”, but I want everything these folks put out. Solar charging tables, solar ovens, just fun stuff – fun stuff that can actually help in a survival situation. Be sure to read the paperwork that comes with what you get – there’s some good info in there. As always, use it and get to know it well – don’t wait until you “need to”…

KABAR – My favorite carry is my short Tanto with a serrated edge on the topside – incredible tool – the serrated edge is a great cutting tool for all types of wire/cable. I also have a very small “skeleton” pocket knife with a sweet small scabbard that is insanely handy. I stand by every KABAR I have – and I have many…

Nova Knife P50 – this is simply as cool as it gets. They also sell the “Nova P50”, which is everything but the knife, for those of you with a KABAR on your hip already…. Solar charging flashlight and fire starter with a battery that can charge your phone. It also has a “glass shattering tool” on one end and a “seat belt cutter” in case you get stuck in a car…

Patriot Supply and Ready Wise – get your MRE’s. Get in small lots to start so you can test them to find what you like and then buy big…. We like to mix our MRE’s with fresh stuff – meat and veggies mostly…

Pure Pollination – seeds

Rainman – makes portable water desalinators. I’ve used a few older versions and they were awesome – can’t wait to pick up the newer version ASAP…

Sun Kettle – this is sweet. It boils your water in about 20 minutes with the sun. No smoke to give away your position because you don’t need to start a fire – and it fits in your backpack…

Sun Oven – these use the sun to cook – more like a BBQ than the GoSun Fusion. I’d use the Fusion to bake and the Sun Oven to BBQ…

Vermont Wood Stoves – self explanatory…

Victorinox – I’ve had the good ole fashioned “Swiss Tool BS” (multi tool) on my hip everyday since 1993. Same tool. What else is there to say…? I’d probably get a matte black one if I were to get another one today – mine’s a little too shiny – but I use it daily and it’s my number one “go to” for everything…

Wilkinson Tactical – if you’re ever in a REAL LIVE survival situation, these guys make guns in which you can change out the barrel and firing mechanisms in just a few seconds for different ammo. So you’re not dependent on just what you’ve been hoarding and you don’t have to go out there and buy multiple guns…

Things I’d like to test:

BluMobile Off-Road Trailer by BluOasis – This is the ultimate small trailer. Can load everything needed and put it behind my K5.

Blue Oasis – these folks make battery units to power your base camp as well as provide water. The units can be solar charged and they have a special feature that grabs water from the air. I really want to test one of these units out…

Dome Guys, FDomes and Pacific Domes – temporary structures that can withstand hurricane winds, are easy to setup and tough enough to last a while. I’m thinking of putting one of these over the tilapia pool so I can control the environment…

Solar Trailers – Can’t wait to get my hands on one of these. Thinking of putting one out by the workshop just to power the workshop…

Living Vehicle – if you have to leave home base, and it’s safe to use the main roads, this looks like something I’d like to check out…

Get a nice crossbow (and bow) and get proficient at it – get to know the ins and outs of the gear and become an accurate shooter (in case you may come across some gear on your travels). To hunt without sound may be important in some circumstances, but when it comes down to it, you’ll have a hard time finding bolts in a survival situation – once you’re out, you’re out. Bullets will be much easier to come by – and you can always reload yourself. So think on it a bit before going all out one way or the other…
In any situation, while hunting, always strive for conservation of ammo/bolts – one shot, one kill. Every resource is finite – whether ammo or bolts, which will be easier to come across and/or trade for 6 months down the line? A year…? …and so on…. Don’t “hope for” or “wish for” in your estimate – be realistic in your local area (or the area you have picked for your “site”….

How remote are you? Do you know anyone? Do you have a group of folks with you? Are they close? Do you know the back roads? Are there any? The more remote you are the farther you’ll have to travel for resources – the distance between the two point equals more “points of potential peril” as it increases…

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!  Do not be one of those “Ready…. Fire! Aim…” people – do not fire before aiming.  Look it up and ask questions (Ready), Think and Test (Aim) and then purchase (Fire)…. Get to know your gear well.  Have an alternate plan if it goes down.  Keep it simple.  The less tech you depend on the better.  For every step, plan three ways out/through an obstacle – and so on, and so one, and so on.  Three is one, two is none…

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