C5 On A Wheely Good Barrow- Survival Advice From South America- Part 14

barrow 1 c

With your host, Category5.


( Did you miss me?  My brain is slowly growing back but still not all there yet. Last months view count was a whopping 2500 views. Wow. Alot of other sites were referring people to me. Probably alot less this month. Each time I go away for a couple week exploratory trip to learn more stuff, I seem to lose Half to Three Quarters of my readers. Also Wow. I understand why Preppers don’t subscribe to sites. I subscribe to almost no one. I will never give your email address to…ANYONE. PERIOD. Nor send you thinly veiled money generating spam ads. That anyone bothers to read me… is an Honor. I wont betray it. You can feel free to subscribe. That way…if I disappear for a while, you know when I’m back…spouting all kinds of juicy goodness. Sharing the Milk of human kindness…and a tissue to wipe it up )


This is the 2nd to last in the “Things with wheels” from South America, series. This was an interesting find that can easily be adapted to technology you may already own. If you own or find a modern wheel barrow on the side of the road on garbage day, where the bucket is broken or rusted through. This could be partially modified into something that would work similar to the Chinese wheel barrow.    http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2011/12/the-chinese-wheelbarrow.html    . In this post I will also answer a criticism of all these “Things with wheels” presented from one of my favorite relatives, out in Alberta cowboy country.

He writes, ” the chinese wheelbarrow. Although a great invention, and used in various parts of the world over time, I think its a little misleading to think its the be-all, end-all of inventions. Primarily because of hills. This is a great mechanically sound device that uses physics to its advantage; however its works best on level ground. If you live in a really hilly area, you either need to run down a hill to gain momentum to get up a hill or you have to work at pushing/pulling it up a hill…and if its fully loaded, you have a strenuous task ahead of you. So no, it will never completely erase the use of a horse, or ox, or dogs, or any livestock trained to pull. The other bonus of having working livestock is that you can eat them if need be”.

So, I will answer this here and in the next post.

Before we get to the other issues related to animals, let’s revisit our trip to Macchu Pichu or more importantly the small town at the bottom of the mountain. I use the term bottom of the mountain lightly. It’s a very high altitude. High enough up that the 10 km hike along the railroad tracks we took to get there almost killed me. At least I wish it would have had at a few points. The air is thin here and my body didn’t acclimatize even after 2 weeks. Some people, even athletes, have to go straight to the hospital after getting off the plane in Cusco. By luck of the draw, and heavy smoking, I turned out to be one of the people having trouble with altitude. Ten kilometers is nothing. That’s the distance from the farm to the liquor store in the near by town plus another 10 km to get back with a load of beer. “We’re here! We’re beer! Get used to it!” Well this trip turned out to be the second hardest effort I have ever done. The first hardest was a forced march with a heavy pack after 3 days without sleep. That trip temporarily snapped something inside the brain, taking away my ability to communicate, get my legs and arms to function properly, while shaking like an epileptic, hallucinatory waking dreams and being bat shit paranoid. I don’t recommend it. Four hours sleep got me closer to normal. This 10 kms was the second hardest. (and not having to carry a heavy pack is one of the reasons I focus on all these “Things with wheels” series). walk c(C5 survival Quick Tip- A small pack on your front allows you to carry 2 packs. It also balances you out. This puts less stress on your back as you walk more upright. It can be attached with a couple of D rings to clip it on, or…put the day pack on first. The larger pack straps will hold the small pack from slipping off your shoulders)

Any vehicles here would have to be brought in by train. Thus, I only saw two vehicles and one mystery piece of heavy machinery in the whole town. And this town is all hill. Tourist luggage was hauled in by hand truck. Everything else, from construction cement, propane or food was hauled up and down the hills with these. wheel barrow 1 cbarrow 2 c


wheel barrow 4 c

This young buck was a trooper. Over 3 days I saw him several times. This was his job. Up and down the hills, delivering mobile fuel. I saw him set it down once, because his hands and arms couldn’t take it any more. That told me there was a slight flaw in the design. This needed to have a slightly longer front end so the weight could be more evenly distributed over the wheel so to put less stress on the handler. (a note for reverse engineers)

Still, my point being, this is what they know works. This is what they can make and most importantly this is just the level of work expectation they take for granted as normal in a world of limited resources.

Knock. Knock. Whose there? C5 Survival Rule… Stop me if you have heard this one before….

C5 Rule of Survival – If all else fails, lower your standards and expectations.


It’s time for a C5 true story. This is why I put emphasis on things like this. Remember my first quote about myself in the opening lines of my 1st post, Survival Advice from South America Part 1   https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/survival-advice-from-south-america-part-1-the-arrival/   “My single greatest advantage (in a Collapse) is that I had life go terribly wrong early and then had life go terribly wrong on a regular basis. The short form is that I am pretty inoculated to the things that would make most men eat their gun”.

I was in my 20s. I had already been divorced by 23 after being humiliated to the core. I was unemployed. I was on welfare. I was deeply religious at the time so my peers would never accept me marrying again. I was treated with suspicion. I was already written off for having any chance at a regular life… and no amount Bucking Up and Working Hard would solve this. I was already developing light addiction problems and debilitating depression. Basically, I was already kicked out of the world.

But you have probably noticed I am a creative fellow, rather intelligent, with a lifetime interest in Survivalism. How did I survive? I turned my Survivalism into art.

If you have ever been on welfare in a city, you know that it is actually not enough to live on (and getting worse each year that goes by).

To survive, as a single man, you really have no option but to commit some small acts of welfare fraud. If you cannot accept this… you die. But this option forces you even further outside of the system. If you have a problem with this, consider it survival training for the collapse. In the words of Batman from The Dark Knight Begins, “I lost many of my assumptions about right and wrong”.

I was deeply influenced by a draft dodger’s cabin I stumbled upon deep in the BC forest at a fly in, tree planters camp, way north of Williams Lake, BC. They would have had to canoe in with very few tools. A man, woman and toddler had built a life there to hide from an empire gone insane. Logging corporations eventually found and evicted them as they clear cut the surrounding area. But their ghosts remain in the house and furniture they built without nails.

So I built rustic furniture from scrape branches in the city. A couple of days of work for a bag of groceries and a six pack to see me through to the next cheque, derided by the successful and rejected by the wannabe suburban breeder bitch princesses. Confused, I discovered I was an artist, as people went blocks out of their way, often on acid in the middle of the night, to stare at what I had been creating on the front lawn of the shared welfare house. Next thing I knew, I was in galleries and eventually in about 20 movies and tv series… still working for about a bag of groceries and a six pack. I used art to communicate a Malthusian collapse with moss, branches, bones and rusted metal, as religious iconography of a broken future. Art turned to priesthood. In Spiritus Sancti. Spirit Filled.

Either way, I had to move a heavy piece of furniture about my own weight across the city to get to a 2 day free (illegal) market. So I built a trailer of apple tree cuttings on the wheels from a recycled kids bike.

And I pushed. Both ways.

C5 Rule of Survival – Survival dictates.

Or – Needs must when the devil rides.

I sold the trailer itself to some yuppie to use as a decorative plant holder for $20. A bag of groceries.

Why reinvent the wheel. Just like these folks in South America, it did the job. Just like YOU in the future… it will help get your hard job done… hopefully for the equivalent of a bag of groceries.

Like Batman, one of the things I learned is that the poor, not corrupted by power, are far more generous than the successful. Having a deeper empathy for others’ sufferings. They are more willing to share what little they have. I saw it on the streets. I see that all the time down here in South America.

The reason I say this is that in less than a month you will see our property. It’s excessive and a complete change of life. It’s important to me to “Represent”. To share the skills of poverty based prepping… before I forget… or have to block out my past to live in the present.

And we will cover the animal part from my cowboy country relative in the next post, titled, “Eating Cuy- Cunalingus or Cunning Linguist”.

nice corn cWhat mighty big…cobs of corn you have there, Goddess.

Here is a hint to keep you intrigued. It has something to do with…First Rule of Gunfight Club- Bring a Gun.

Stay tuned…



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