New Member Looking To Learn Bush Skills

Discussion in 'New Member Introduction' started by Blitz, Jan 9, 2020.

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  1. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Hi all, I'm a widowed woman living in a bush area at Billys Creek, NSW, Australia. I don't have too many survival skills myself under my belt but keen to learn now my husband is gone. Specifically interested in mapping and compass usage. Oh, and also bush tucker.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
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  2. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
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    Welcome to this forum.
     
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  3. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the welcome Sourdough!
     
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  4. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    welcome to the forum. The Australian bush is awesome.

    if you can watch youtube here is a link to the bush tucker man.

     
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  5. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Thanks randyt. I love Les Hiddens! I bought an ex-Army Series III Land Rover from watching his videos years ago.

    Thanks for the reminder. I've actually got all his videos somewhere. I'll see if I can dig them out.

    The problem is, his bush tucker tends to concentrates on northern Aus. I've just moved from south to northern NSW though, so will revisit his videos.

    He's a legend.
     
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  6. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    he's awesome, would love to have a land rover
     
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  7. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    She was an absolute beast. Had front and rear diff lockers. Wasn't many places she couldn't go.

    Tried to post a pic but image is too big and don't know how to reduce it. Maybe later, once I've worked it out.
     
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  8. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Warm Welcome from the Arizona valley folks. USA
     
  9. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Thanks TMT Tactical. Really glad to be here. Loving all the info from members. It's awesome.
     
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  10. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Blitz,

    My welcome to MSF.COM.

    Can you narrow down - just to start an outline - what your objectives are in re survival ? It's a huge field. What are your anticipated perils ?

    Map and compass use are a specific skill and not necessarily the best for emergency evacuations. I rely on celestial navigation. The center of the Sun at dawn and dusk gives more accuracy than magnetic compasses.

    The FIRST survival skill is personal health. Are your immunizations current ? Do you have records of this in a waterproof pouch ? Do you have an ample supply of RX medications next to you ? Consider the non-prescription ointments, creams and balms. Adjust to your situation. We have a large supply of this stuff here plus large tubes for cargo vest if/when Madam and I must evacuate.

    Again, a warm welcome !
     
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  11. Alaskajohn

    Alaskajohn Expert Member
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    Welcome to the forum! I look forward to your posts!
     
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  12. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Howdy Do from the East Texas Piney Woods.

    What you mentioned about learning the possible food sources specific to where YOU live is so important. Too many generic books on eatable plants and such don't make their local distribution clear and you can end up "looking" for something that doesn't grow where you are looking. When possible if you can find a locally written guide or even get to know someone local that knows the available sources you will save time and effort.

    Sometimes you can look at the local animal life. You can't always eat what they do but then they will guide you to POSSIBLE local sources of things that you can eat. You then gather the plants and after making a definite identification you can research their eatability by humans.

    Keep an open mind and shed your prejudices about things like insect life. In most any ecosystem the "bugs" outnumber the other local life in both numbers and physical volume. They are truly the ultimate opportunistic feeders and will find the eatable possibilities in every environment. Survival can often just mean finding enough calories in the hard times to keep you alive until the next good feeding opportunity.

    400 calories a day will keep you going for a LONG time and then when you find a food source you can fatten back up. Every day does not have to be a feast.
     
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  13. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Couldn't agree more. Books are all well and good, but it's local knowledge that really nails it.
     
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  14. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    So sorry Pragmatist, I completely missed this post earlier. I've only just noticed it.

    My objectives re survival. Good question. Initially, surviving in the bush. I do a reasonable amount of remote 4WD'ing and it occurred to me the other day as I was exploring some burnt out bush area after the fires, how I would cope if I (a) got lost, (b) suffered an accident (broke something, got bitten by a snake, that sort of thing), (c) got caught in a bushfire, (d) broke down.

    On a bigger scale, I'd like to develop the skills in case of the SHTF. I won't go into specifics on this particular thread, as it is for another and would divert from this one, however, I do have concerns regarding future foreign take-over.

    Personal health. Yes, immunisations are current. We don't get issued with records of immunisations here. I do have ample supplies of RX medications. Correction. I used to have ample supplies. Having recently moved, the doctors here won't prescribe any more than a month at a time. I can't believe how different doctors' attitudes can be from one area to another. My previous doctor always prescribed 5 repeats, plus antibiotics and painkillers to be kept for emergencies. Unfortunately the doctors here frown upon that practice.

    What do you mean by "plus large tubes for cargo vest"?
     
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  15. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Well-Known Member
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    Hiya'! I know a bit about cartography and compass (must have from my days up in Glacier, MT), as well as other bushcraft skills....
     
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  16. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Great, thanks Justin. Have you done any posts? I'm still reading up on the beginners section mostly and haven't got to the mapping yet.
     
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  17. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Well-Known Member
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    I did a post on the easiest shrooms to identify for beginners and a query about a bushcraft webinar
     
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  18. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Thanks. I'll check out the post.
     
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  19. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Well-Known Member
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  20. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    That's brilliant thanks Justin. Will save me trying to find them. I'll check them out tonight. :)
     
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  21. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Well-Known Member
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  22. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Well-Known Member
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    I still have another week before they will let me post a blog on here....
     
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  23. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    I'm from Southern Appalachia, enormous forests, mountains not too tall 3000 to 5000 foot tall, but rather rugged. Deciduous trees of all variety, some pine forests about. I hate pines (they snap in our weather; forever cutting-up fallen pines). The weather is wet in S.Appalachia, forms streams, rivers and lakes.

    So I get up on the satellite map and fly over your NSW. Tell me, is it a dry or rainy land there? Are you having fires? Do your roads cross creeks? How tall are your trees?

    When mapping, can you see mountains known to you? I recognize the mountains surrounding me as I travel. My SUV has built-in compass on dashboard. Poof!, I know where I am. I carry maps and have hand-held compass, yet only use them now and again. So y'know, you're driving in a valley at say 1300 ft. there are these 3k' to 4500', even 5000 ft. mountains to the sides of you. I mean, hey, you know where you are! Fog is WAY bad sometimes, however. Every week, I hit fog. Lately it's been snow and ice.

    I see that there are few towns where you live.

    There's plenty of map-reading sites on the web for you to study, but think about taking a class or learning from someone who is known to your friends and family. And scout, always be scouting for alternate routes. I drive all over God's creation around here to learn the roads and to see if the maps are correct. Me I see roads on the map, go check them out and discover that those roads grew-over or the roads are actually trails where you could hike or bike, but you sure aren't going to be able to get any vehicle down through there. Maps can be seriously wrong and/or violently out-of-date.

    Topographic maps are neat. Yes, I'm talking maps that not only have altitudes written, but which are actually molded to scaled heights -- Helen Keller could find her way ... at least on the map. (Gosh, that was insensitive.)

    One thing to always prepare for is getting stuck in your truck. Knew a guy got trapped in a mid-winter snow storm at 6500 ft. ... in a sports car. Unwise, him being where he was. He lived. No, that guy was NOT me. I have pulled a stupid before and gotten stuck in the snow on forested mountain in balmy springtime ... it was springtime in the valley, anyway. There are always people up there; lot's got stuck, 15-20 people were helping each other get back down off that mountain; gravel forest road; huge trees don't let sunlight get down to roads & forest floor.

    I've run out'a thoughts. Not difficult as I get older.
     
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  24. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Well-Known Member
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    Your thoughts are gold, however many you have @Old Geezer !
     
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  25. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Great video on your website/blog Justin. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  26. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Well-Known Member
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    You are very welcome. On a personal quest to live with more Joy & Health!
     
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  27. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Blitz,

    Re load-out in cargo vest(s); Vertical axis plastic tubes of 4 ox / 6 oz of eg white petroleum, zinc oxide (rashes), etc pack very well in vest pockets. The larger plastic tub-like jars are too bulky for a comfortable load. There's enough bulky stuff to carry in other vest(s).

    It is the same here in the States in re immunization records. There is a transition going on. The plans are for a "rice chip" implant(like used on pets now) coupled to biometric data and all cross-referenced to medical facility data bases. With this transition, I still teach, via my NGO, to properly us the yellow pamphlet endorsed by WHO for the treaty immunizations eg Yellow Fever (I had YF; unpleasant). The pamphlet's misc section allows for recording other health info. Staple a business card of each of your health care providers. If, for example, you had a flu shot a week ago and during a mandatory wildfire evacuation, you got hurt and unconscious, the Responders can learn that your immune system is weakened fro the influenza vaccine.

    SHTF skills and land navigation in the bush with a 4X4 have overlapping skills but more differences. A vehicle has limited range and endurance unless a crew involved with ample fuel/spares. Topographic and road maps are inadequate unless annotated with important information: What roads are closed ? What areas have abundant reports of roaming rats? Where are the masses of evacuees mostly accumulating at ?

    Future concerns of foreign take-over, at the private citizen level, is just the same as what a Prepper does: prepare for realistic, worst case emergencies. If the Obama administration was still in the White House, learn how to play Mah Jong.
     
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  28. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Awesome post thanks Old Geezer.

    Crikey. I don't know where to begin in my reply. I might have to do this in two parts, because I've got to start dinner in a tick.

    Firstly, trees. Yes, we have massive, very tall eucalypt trees all around this area. They range in height from around 30 or 40 ft to 200 feet. I'll post some photos on my media page later for you to have a look at. I haven't had any success being able to post photos on a thread for some reason.

    I use topographical maps, which I'm pretty good at using. I also always carry a GPS (just in case). Can't remember how to orientate a compass though. The topo maps are generally at least 10 years old, so you come across tracks that are no longer there, or new tracks. I always scout around the area. I've just come back from a recce with the pup.

    Yes, we had severe bushfires in September and October. We were asked to evacuate twice. I spent a lot of time doing recces checking for alternative ways out as there is only one "main" dirt road, which at one point had a fire to the north of it. There's a lot of forest around generally, most of which is now burnt out. We had fire to the east, west and north, closing in. The closest the fire came was about 1 kilometre (which I think is a bit over 1/2 a mile). At night you could see the glow on the ridge of the mountains.

    Yes, getting stuck in the 4WD is a worry.

    Apologies, I'll have to continue this later. Some visitors have just dropped by.
     
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  29. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Well-Known Member
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    oh wow! That's right! you have eucalyptus trees! very VERY useful!
     
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  30. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Ooooooh, tell me more!

    When I went 4WD'ing at the rear of my property the other day, some of the eucalypts are coming back after the bushfire. It's amazing to see how the rejuvenate. When I get a chance, I'll post some photos on my media page.

    We also have Lemon Myrtle. My son works in a nursery and is tree mad. He bought some home and I made lemon myrtle tea and lemon myrtle biscuits. Also used some for a roast chicken. Freaking delicious! Apparently has good anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

    I started watching the video on your site but got interrupted and haven't had a chance to finish it yet. What I've watched so far is really good though. I subscribed as well :)
     
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  31. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Apologies for the interruption. This is a follow-on reply.

    It's extremely hilly where I live. I'm about 850 metres above sea level. It's one of the few places that still gets rainfall, as the general area is severely drought stricken. Hence it's a good area for cattle. Not so good for sheep or goats, which are rare, as they get too many parasites due to the high level of rainfall. The area where I live is famous for potatoes. They grew spuds here for years before using the pasture for cattle.

    My house is an old dairy farm that is perched on a hill. It gets incredibly windy. An hour drive west was like a desert during winter, but where I am it was still relatively green, although it did dry out a fair bit. I've got a dam on my property, as well as legal access to a creek at the bottom of the property. I have three 25000 litre tanks which are all full at the moment. And yes, that's correct. There's no town nearby. I have to drive 45 minutes to pick up the post, which can be a real pain in the butt.

    During the fires, the roads were closed for a considerable length of time. In fact, they've only just re-opened one of the roads due to bridges collapsing. I did some 4WD'ing to find a creek in Ellis State Forest the other day, but all the tracks were blocked with either fallen trees or collapsed bridges over dried out creek beds. (Not proper bridges, but sort of "bush" bridges, if that makes sense).

    Regarding getting stuck, I always carry recovery gear and have a CB on the vehicle (although the aerial broke not long ago, so I have to replace it). I usually have a shovel as well, but it sometimes gets taken out of the vehicle and I forget to put it back. I took the pup exploring in the forest this afternoon and it started to piss down with rain. Needless to say, the tracks started to turn to mush and I kicked myself for not checking to see if the shovel was in the back. Also some of the tracks are covered in ash and dead leaves from the fires. When they get wet, it's really slippery and increases the chances of getting stuck.

    My husband and I frequently got "stuck" when we did extreme 4WD'ing, but he always managed to get us out. As a paratrooper he had a "who dares wins" mentality and nothing phased him. I remember one occasion we went down a severely rocky track and couldn't get back up. We had to use a Tirfor winch. It took us a lot of sweat in the middle of summer and around 5 hours to get back up. We also had many instances of rolling down hills from snapped front prop shafts, or taking a wrong line and ending up on our side, and many broken axles. One time the A frame snapped so my husband used some chain to get it together sufficiently so we could get home. One trip took 3 days to get 600 metres back to the main road.

    As I'm on my own now I obviously can't risk doing such extreme trips so I have to be very mindful of where I'm going, the state of the track, weather, etc. It's very boring but as I don't have my husband's skills and aren't likely to acquire them, there's not a great deal I can do, other than adapt.

    The temperature varies considerably here. Today for example, it was 35 and extremely humid at around 70 - 80%. Now at nearly 10pm, it's 17 degrees and absolutely freezing (I've got a jumper on).

    The joys of remote living :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
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  32. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Thanks Pragmatist. Geez you've got a lot of useful info :) Yes, I agree regarding a vehicle having limited range and endurances. I wanted to buy a horse, but decided against it because they're so damn expensive to keep. Topo maps are still very useful though I think, but you have to be prepared to come across "obstacles" to overcome. When I first moved to the area and started exploring trails, a lot of them were so overgrown that you could only go a short distance before having to machete your way through. I had a bit of a whinge to the locals exploring some "fire tracks" but they obviously hadn't been maintained. A week later, the fires broke out ...
     
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  33. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    That you are mostly on your own, don't try the paratrooper thingy. Don't engage in risk-taking. My dad ran gambling machines. House wins. In life, the Fates win.

    Sounds like you have many involuntary challenges without taking on any voluntary stuff.

    Reading about the downed trees, I was going to recommend Mr. Chainsaw, however that you are on your own, only use a chainsaw in emergencies and have an observer with you for safety's sake.

    Give thanks to God that your immediate area is blessed with rain. Your water storage is the stuff of living in the Promised Land. Keep water filters, both charcoal type and ceramic microfilter type, like Katadyn. That company is out Switzerland, but has global presence. The make everything from hand-held, to camp, to industrial sizes. They are expensive due to some having silver lined components. Silver holds down bacterial and fungal growth.

    You got national park near you named after Guy Fawkes -- I love it!

    Don't give out your map coordinates on the web. Keep the jackboots in the dark to the degree you can. Never give too much detail about your survival preparations either. Human rights are not high up on your government's socialist agenda. We here in America are getting our Liberties attacked by the psycho-control-freaks and international elitists.

    You mentioned your temperatures down there. I keep forgetting that you all down under are in the middle of summer. We are freezing. In Appalachia, temperatures vary wildly and especially with altitude. Where I live is five to ten degrees Fahrenheit cooler than from where I work, plus I must cross a mountain gap where the trees freeze with ice crystals -- tree limbs simply snap off. Heavy wet snows rip the limbs off trees also. Every other tree will have white sticks aiming to the sky where the limbs were torn off and the bark ripped away. You'll top the gap sometimes and be met with gale-force winds. There are several ski resorts within 30 miles from us. In summer, it gets up to 35 C here also. Due to all of the broken limbs about, we are surely to get some forest fires when we get a drought -- droughts are rare, however they do sometimes present themselves.

    How tall are the trees around where you live? What kind of trees do you have. We have maple, oak (red and white), hickory, locust, mountain ash, ... deciduous trees. Older forests have tree-trunk diameters of three to five feet. There's no shortage of shade. At altitude and heading towards the coast (150 miles away) the coniferous trees kick in. At altitude, you got your red spruce, white pine, Fraser fir, ... . I loathe Piedmont regions and will simply not live near coastal areas.

    I hate that you all have so many poisonous insects and and spiders and snakes and trees with poisonous barbs, and and and. Were I an Aussie, I'd have me some tall boots and leather gloves and leather coats and leather pants ... goggles, did I mention goggles.

    Hope you have friendly neighbors. Got any mean people about? Where I'm from, there are rednecks that rednecks call "rednecks". They are base-ignorant and like to fight. Now with the drug trade everywhere, crystal meth & oxycodone, multiply the crazy factor by 10x. Far out into the sticks there is / has been a proliferation of meth labs -- these folk will simply shoot you.

    The information you provided was great reading!
     
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  34. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    Thanks Old Geezer.

    Yes, I know. It's very difficult not to take risks, being used to not having to worry about it. But of course you're right.

    I do have a small chainsaw that my son is going to teach me to use. The "big sucker" my husband used to use is just too large for me to use. I'm lucky that my son and his girlfriend are living with me at the moment, which won't be a permanent thing, but has certainly helped, as he does all the "men's" work on the property. It's 10 acres, which isn't that big but there was a lot of work to do when the fires came through. It would have been very challenging on my own physically.

    Water is a major issue here. I've had neighbours who literally ran out of water during the bushfires. Not far from us, people are having their water on their properties stolen. When I first moved here less than a year ago (from outer Sydney, some 7 hours drive south), the previous owner did some really cheap and dodgy plumbing with the existing water tanks. Despite the massive downpours, no water was actually getting in the tanks. I had to buy three lots of water - 7000 litres for $350. Very expensive indeed. My son has redone all the pipe work so now we don't have any issues and the tanks are all full. Everyone has billboards on the gates here "Water More Precious than Gold".

    I had 3 massive charcoal filters installed, as well as a massive UV light filter installed, which basically kills all bacteria having buy so much water, a neighbour who runs cattle and has massive dams let us pump his water into our tanks, which is a lovely brown colour. The cattle use it as well, so it's contaminated with excrement. The filters completely transform the water from the horrid brown to purified drinking water, better than bottled water you can buy. The filters also get rid of chemicals such as "Round Up" which have been used extensively in this area prior to cattle being run and which leaches into Yellowbank Creek, which is where we have water access rights.

    I didn't know silver inhibits fungal growth, that's interesting.

    Yes, Guy Fawkes Nat Park is where the fires in Aus first started in October, due to a lightning strike. On that day, we were headed to a place called Urunga on the coast to take the pup to the beach, but the road down the mountain was cut off from a fire. When I got home and checked how the fire was progressing (how bad it was, etc to try and determine how long the main road down the mountain would be closed), I saw the fire at Guy Fawkes, which at the time was about 30 kilometres from us. From then, the fire continued to spread until it affected our area as well.

    Thanks for the advice re the co-ords. It's doubtful anyone would be able to find exactly where I'm located, but I've deleted them just in case.

    I can't imagine living in such cold conditions that you have to endure. I did live in the UK for some years, which gets snow, but I don't think it gets as cold as where you are. The winds are always the worst factor. You can tolerate the cold, but the winds seem to chew through everything, making the cold so much worse.

    I think you may have missed my initial post before this one, when I had to stop due to visitors. In that post I mentioned about trees I think. We have mainly Eucalypts here which range anywhere from around 30 ft to 200, depending on the species and age. You certainly have a lot of different species where you are. I live near some plantations at a place called Dundurrabin where there's a woodmill. Tallowwood is very prolific here, which is a hardwood Eucalypt tree from which Koalas eat the leaves. It's called Tallowwood because when it's cut the wood is quite greasy. We also have pine plantations but they got wiped out in the fires.

    Yes, the insections, spiders and snakes are a pain in the rump. I killed two Funnel Web spiders in the house recently, which are extremely venomous spiders. When it rains they get flushed out and seek shelter inside. We've also had a few snakes where the chooks are which my son deals with. When driving, you frequently see them on the main road. They seem to like to lie on the black bitumen, I think because it gets so hot and they like the heat.

    We have a variety of different types of people here. Most are extremely friendly. Everyone pulled together and helped each other out when the fires were on our door step, so there's very much a community feel.

    We can't use guns like you can over there. After some nutter went berserk in Tasmania, they completely overhauled the gun legislation. It's more difficult to get a licence now and you are very limited as to how you use them. I had a pistol licence when my husband was alive, but since his death have given it up as it's so expensive and you can only shoot at a designated range. You aren't allowed to use a pistol anywhere else, ie on your property, or to defend yourself. I still have my longarms licence and my lever action Winchesters, but I don't shoot that much now. I shot a few rounds to test out the ammo my husband had reloaded, which immediately brought the neighbours enquiring as to who had shot a gun. You have to be careful, as people ring the police who have a computer generated list regarding who has a licence, then they knock on your door. It's very easy to lose your licence here too. There are very strict rules you have to abide by. You can't use a gun here to defend yourself. They have to be stored at all times in an approved safe. Meaning, if you had an intruder and got your weapon out and shot them, there would be a major investigation and you'd end up losing your licence. I read an article about some bloke a few years back who shot a burglar. He ended up getting charged and got sent to prison.

    I'll put some pics up on my media page some time day which may help give a better perspective regarding the area :)
     
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  35. Justin Baker

    Justin Baker Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for the sub!
     
  36. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member
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    No probs Justin :) Looks like it will grow to be a good site.
     
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