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Scrounging is the art of looking for supplies in improbably places, in junkyards, in the trash blown about by hurricane force winds during the pole shift, in cars that can no longer run on gas that is no longer available, on roads that have been heaved and buckled into disuse during the pole shift.
I went scrounging for examples in the Toubled Times pages, and found many examples which I'm going to share with you this hour.

So if scrounging is an art, can the skill be acquired?
I quote from a description by Mike, a long time Troubled Times solution set contributor:

Scrounging is the ability to determine a need and to spot-use locally items that will produce the intended functional result. It helps to first understand the problem or how the intended result should work. Let's take an example: It is after the pole shift and you need to move some valuable items (a bit too heavy to carry) though mud and slush to higher ground. The problem could be defined as how can I build a simple lightweight pull cart that will work in mud out of the available junk found in the local environment?

You recall the most mud vehicles have wide base tires. So with the idea of wide base wheels in mind you start you're scrounging (looking around). You happen to find 4 empty 5 gallon cans (plastic or metal doesn't matter) and this gives you an idea. You could make wheels out of these by cutting a hole in the center of the lid and bottom with your knife. Now you now need an axle. You keep looking and find an old broom stick and a section of rebar. One will be used for the front axle and the other for the back axle. You find a couple of short wood boards that you put between and on top of the axles. You find some old electrical wire that you use to hold the boards to the axles. You find a short section of PVC pipe and put a wire though this and back to the cart as a pull handle so that it will not cut into the hands.

So, we're waiting until AFTER the pole shift to do this junk collecting, right?
Else, we're considered eccentric at best, and messy.
Well, it's all in the salesmanship!
As Mike says.

Once one gets good at this, one finds oneself collecting all kinds of things that others might think are totally useless. This can be frustrating to those significant others who think it is junk. To you it has many valuable future uses. After a pole shift there will be no corner stores to get all you need. Scrounging will be your corner store. The bigger the junk pile you have to choose from the more possibility of success.

And Keith, another Troubled Times contributor, reports success even in the present day!

My spouse would get upset at the "junk" I brought home. From the "junk" came my still. A methane digester. parts to build a semi-portable battery charger (tiller motor and car alternator) now the scrounging is netting me parts for a small windmill. I also pick up stuff to make chicken and rabbit hutches. The cost in all this? Time. When the power was out for 4 days the battery bank supplied power to the freezer and some lights, with an inverter that was made from more "junk". The old adage is 'One mans trash is another mans treasure'.

Lets step through the Troubled Times pages and see how many examples of scrounging we can find.

For instance, making a slingshot in a pinch.
One of those items where a stone is at the end of a rope, swung round the head and then released in the direction of dinner.
Or to rephrase, what can someone make out of old shoes and shoelaces?
One gentleman's tale, posted on the Usenets:

When we kids made slingshot pouches out of leather (invariably castoff shoe leather and hence a bit stiff) we cut two slits in them, about one-half of the distance between the center of the pouch and the attachment points for the rubbers. This made the pouch fit more closely around the rocks or marbles we used for ammunition. Sometimes we connected the two slits with a third slit, creating an H-shaped slit in the middle of the pouch, to allow a rock, especially an irregular pebble, to settle even deeper into the pouch. The split pouches on traditional slings undoubtedly are meant to do the same thing: contain a missile snugly and securely until the instant of release. You could even gauge the size of missile the slingmaker customarily used by measuring the gap in the pouch.

And from another, on construction of a slingshot:

When I was a wee lad my dad made a sling for me. The pouch was from leather. The strings were woven cord. The pouch was elliptical in shape around 4.5" major axis and about 2.5 " on minor axis. A small hole about the size of a dime or nickel was cut into the center of the pouch. The length of the strings were the length of my arm. A loop for the middle finger and a large knot that was held between the thumb and index. As I recall, the hole helped hold rocks in place and made it a little easier to load. Must have been something he learned as a kid. He was born in 1897.

Or making a trawl in a pinch, to collect crawfish, or yabbies as they are called in Australia.
Down there in the mud, just wagging their feelers at you, but can you catch them?
Per Jan in Australia, you can if you scrounge for a bit of junk, like chicken wire and rope.

In Australia we don't use bait when fishing for freshwater crayfish (yabbies), we trawl for them. To make a basket to trawl them, you just need to shape chicken wire into an open basket and strengthen the top with heavy duty fencing wire in a rectangular shape (to stop it from collapsing while dragging it), attach two ropes to corners, like crossover handles, then attach a long rope to the center of these handles and it's finished. Throw the basket out into the pond and wait awhile then start pulling the basket slowly over the bottom towards you. The basket picks up the yabbies out of the mud.

Needing a bow and arrow, and not having a long sturdy piece of wood that will do?
After all, the ability to flex, while not breaking, is inherent in a good bow.
Per Brian, if one has smaller pieces of wood, or several canes, this can be accomplished!

Quickie bows can be constructed in less than five minutes from a variety of materials. And can have the added advantage of being a takedown (taken apart again for easy transport). Take just two branches whose cut dimensions are about 40" long, 1/2" in diameter at one end, and 1/8" or so at the other. Taper the wider ends and lash the limbs together overlapping the tapered faces to thicken the handle. Straight knot-less branches yield safer more efficient limbs. Steeply tapered branches will permit 59" to 70" bows, an effective length range. Another alternative is a simple garden cane, or bamboo. With bundles of these you can raise the draw weight by increasing the number by using more cane mid bow, fewer canes towards the tip. Unlike a normal bow, each cane is strained independently. Strain on a single cane is the same whether bent alone or incorporated in a multi-cane bundle. A good effective bow can be constructed from four 1/2" diameter, bamboo, garden supply bean poles. Wrap every five inches. At 28" this bow will draw a staggering 58 lb. and cost practically nothing to make. This information is from the book, The Traditional Bowyers Bible.

Desperate for distilled drinking water?
Scrounge about for a bowl and some clear plastic, and voile!
Per a Usenet article, from the heat of the Sun, you can even turn salt water, sea water, into potable water.

The simplest systems feature a closed area with sea water in it. The top is made from clear plastic. The sun shines in and causes fresh water to evaporate off the saltwater. Since the air inside the still is now warmer than the surrounding air, the fresh-water vapor will condense on the sides of the apparatus. These parts of the apparatus are designed to let the condensate run down into a separate holding area for collection and consumption. This sounds complicated, but can be fashioned simply: Suppose you find yourself washed up on an island without a fresh water supply. Simply dig a hole in the beach until you reach wet sand (but not actually water, that will cause your hole to collapse). Put a bowl in the center of the pit. Cover with clear plastic. Seal the edges with more sand and place a small weight in the middle of the plastic right over the bowl. You'll get fresh water as long as there's daylight. Keep the system set up overnight though: It's also a great rain catcher.

With a couple of pots and a pie pan, a highly efficient distiller can be made.
This one requires a fire, however.
Mike of Troubled Times made this from a schema he found on the Internet, and tried it out.
Send me the rig, and even mechanically challenged Nancy could see how this works, instantly.
There are two pots, one larger than the other, the smaller one requiring a lid.
The bottom pot sits on the fire, the water in this boiling away to become steam to be condensed into distilled water.
The pie tin and the lid for the bottom pot are fixed together, by
1. removing the handle of the lid and making a hole in the center of the pie pan, bolting and/or welding these together.
2. Hammering the pie tin to fit the pot lid so it is raised in the center, like the lid, but the edges drop down a bit to collect the condensing water.
3. Poking a hole in the side of the pie tin for the water to drain out, and welding this drain tube in place.

Now put the larger pot on top of the pie tin, filled with cold water to cool the distillate as it rises from the bottom pot, through the hole, to condense into the pie tin, and drain out the side hole in the pie tin. Mike explains:

When in operation depending on the heat source it produces about a glass of water every 10 minutes. Designed for batch production, the water in the top and bottom pots will need to be changed approximately every 40 min. This time would depend on the amount of heat supplied to the bottom boiler pot. The water in the top cooling pot increases about 30 degrees F for each 10 minutes and after 40 min is up to about 180 degrees F. One should end off when steam starts to come out around the bottom of the top pot. This occurs around or above 180 degrees F. At end of the cycle after about 40 minutes if one uses some of the hot water from the top to replace and refill the bottom water then one can get back into operation in minimal time. At this rate one could produce a gallon on the average of every 2.5 hours.

Well, and the byproduct is warm washing water in the top pot when all is done!

What if the issue is a sudden shelter need. You're out in the woods, no tent, and darn if it isn't starting to rain again!
Per John, you can easily make a teepee from what you find in the woods.

12 long pieces of wood of similar thickness and length make a teepee. The length of the wood determines the diameter of the teepee. It can be tied together at the top with rope, and or strong vines depending on availability. The outer casing is historically animal skins sewed together, but could easily be a tarp, the thicker the better. This naturally will give you a hole at the top for allowing smoke to exit the teepee.

Well, what if you don't have a tarp or animal skins?
Thatching, gathered in the woods, can work just as well if the footings of the poles are well secured.
And per Ron, the American Indians had an ingenious way of making a temporary shelter.

A good Indian trick for temporary shelter is to find a cluster of saplings and bend them over and tie them to each other without cutting them down. They are already anchored down and after being bent can be thatched, to provide reasonable cover. When you leave just remove the rope you used to tie them up and everything is restored to its original natural state.

When the fuel for powering ocean going vessels runs out, shipping containers will be considered junk.
But are they?
Sturdy and with doors that close firmly, they'd make ideal temporary homes.
Clipper expounds on the idea he presented to the Troubled Times group.

Connex containers are the 20 foot and 40 foot steel shipping containers used by shipping industry to send goods over the seven seas. The manufacturer puts his goods in these and puts them on the backs of semi-trucks to go to the ocean liners where they take them of by crane and put them on the ship. After they get to their destination, they take them off by crane and put them on other semi-trucks where they are taken to the wholesale outlets. These shipping containers are sold as used in many places such as ship yards. We can buy one locally for about $2000.

Speaking of housing, what about building a houseboat?
After the pole shift, sea level will be rapidly on the rise, inundating coastlines and pushing inland.
Some people will find themselves on virtual islands, as the water gradually surrounds the land they are perched on.
This island will get smaller and smaller, with land on the other side of the new inland bays disappearing from sight.
What to do? Build a houseboat and anchor along the new inland coastlines, leaving your island behind.
As I state on the Troubled Times pages:

Houseboats are in use in one form or another all over the world, particularly in cultures that rely upon fishing or where land is scarce. In an era when the melting poles will be forcing pole shift survivors back from the coasts, increasingly creating new inland bays, having a floating home that can be moved along with the new shoreline is practical.

Houseboats normally have either floatation under them, as in sealed air filled metal tubes, or are built of material that would normally float, as wood, like a raft, or operate by displacement, by displacing water as the boat sinks down.
In this regard, a houseboat built on a concrete slab, with raised edges, can float.
But I think that would make me nervous, as what happens when the houseboat meets some large waves and gets swamped.
Down it would go.
So how would scrounging help one build a houseboat?
Plastic bottles, not yet recycled, filled with air and held under the boat by a net or chicken wire.
As Keith says:

I like plastic 20 ounce bottles, water storage, fishing floats, fishing net floats, Storing small parts, Even in shelter construction use, they can be filled with water in the south wall for capturing solar heat. Can make windows with them.

Apparently, water soaked wood becomes water tight, and this can work both ways.
When making a wood barrel to hold water, or wine, or vinegar, or whatever, one allows the wood to become water soaked, thus sealed.
Steve describes a Shaker community, where this art can be seen in action:

If you ever find yourself in the Lexington area of Kentucky (interstate 64) check out the Pleasant Hill Shakertown Village, though there are many Shaker villages in Kentucky. The restored Shaker religious community has live exhibits of people making barrels and furniture, spinning yarn, and broom making to name a few. During the 1800's it was a thriving religious community that was self sufficient and sold many goods that it made around the country. The barrel making was particularly interesting as well as the tools they used.

And Kentucky is not the only such site, per Ivy, who reports:

Doing this type of trade is called coopering. You might inquire at Willaimsburg, Va. They do this as a show for the old village.

And Jan describes the technique:

I have watched a cooper at work when we visited a tourist village called Old Sydney town. The craft of cooperage is a highly skilled craft. The wood they use for the staves is air dried for at least 1 year and then kiln dried for around 3 weeks, the staves are then shaped with a long curved blade with handles at each end. When the staves have been shaped, narrow top and bottom, wider in the middle, and the edges beveled to fit together in a ring the staves are fitted into a metal hoop then a temporary hoop is placed further up the staves, the barrel is then steamed in a steam tunnel to soften for final shaping, the barrel is then dried in a kiln. This of course is an overview and does not address the complexities of the craft. They are not coated with anything as the liquid they hold swells the wood and makes them waterproof, there are other barrels made called loose casks for storing dry goods which are not waterproof.

So, got pieces of wood laying around, strips of metal that can be formed into hoops?
Hey, make wooden barrels!

But what if you're in an area that has clay soil, lack housing, lack wood, and are thinking nostalgically about the adobe villages that Indians in the Southwest US constructed.
Can you get there by scrounging?
Got any of those milk cartons, the ½ gallon waxed paper kind? The kind that are considered garbage?
From the Troubled Times pages, on the recipe for adobe bricks.

Recipe for Adobe Bricks, and History
August 21, 1996
San Francisco Chronicle
The consistency of the brick mixture should be halfway between pancake batter and stiff cookie dough. Recipe for six Adobe Bricks. Time required: about one month (most of it waiting for bricks to dry). Cost: little or nothing.

* One five-gallon bucket
* One mixing stick or old wooden spoon
* 1/2 bucket of adobe clay
* 1/4 bucket of sand
* 1/8 bucket of straw cut into two-to-three-inch pieces
* Enough water to make a doughlike consistency
* Six empty half-gallon waxed milk containers
* Waterproof tape

* Thoroughly mix the adobe clay, sand and straw in the bucket; add only enough water to create a workable consistency
* You can use the waxed 1/2 gallon milk cartons. Cut one side from the carton (which becomes the open top of the brick mold). Cut and flatten the folded spout end and tape the carton firmly into a rectangular shape.
* Pack the brick mixture into the cartons, filling each about two-thirds full. In 15 minutes to 24 hours, the brick will be firm enough to tip out. Each batch is different' you will have to judge when your mix will maintain a brick shape.
* Place shaped bricks in a sunny location and turn repeatedly as they dry. (A completely dry brick is uniform in color, inside and out.)

But say you have wood, but lack wood working tools.
The best place to scrounge for manual hand tools after the pole shift might be old homes or farms, where they often get tossed into the corner of the barn, or near an old work bench, or in the basement.
But in the meantime, if your looking for these tools, Clipper has some advice:

I might add that pawn shops and yard sales are an excellent place to find these kinds of tools. I guess those that sell or pawn their tools, get rid of what they consider the most useless ones first. I saw lots of hand tools just the other day at a local pawn shop.

Per Ron, estate sales are another good source.

Another place to find a "treasure throve" of late 1800's hand tools for wood and metal working is estate auctions. My ex-mother in law decorates her house with this sort of thing. We once went to one of these auctions and brought back a couple hundred pounds of excellent and hard to find wood working tools. They were all just thrown into a few boxes. She spent about $25 for them all!

And, per Eric, garage sales:

The papers usually have garage sales which list tools as their item. One can collect quite a group of these if one frequents these sales, and looks in the paper before hand.

And if, despite everything, you are missing certain tools, don't despair!
You can smelt them!

I built my forge out of a truck brake drum, a 55 gallon drum some 2X4's, and some plumbing fittings. I scavenged a vacuum cleaner out of the garbage that still worked and the plumbing fittings I had to buy. While power would be hard to come by after the pole shift, hand crank blowers and other ways to move the air over the fuel works. I use propane because it is easier on the neighbors, but low sulfur coal is really good to get that deep down "burn the metal" heat. My first forge was more like a coal fired jet engine because we did not have a good way to control the air blast. I met a woman this summer who smelts her own iron. She takes iron rust and turns it into metal - really neat but very very expensive in fuel and in the work it takes to refine the bloom of metal into something you can really use for anything. The tech is very low - clay and straw for the smelter, charcoal to fire it and an airblast. The trick is getting it all to work correctly because the airblast has to just right so that there is not too much air in furnace.

A vacuum cleaner worked in reverse as the air blower, and I've also heard a hair dryer works well.
But if one does not have electricity, the old fashioned method of a leather hand worked squeeze worked back then, and will work in future.

Speaking of electricity, can wind and water power be acquired out of scrounged materials?
Listen to some of the inventive ways windmills have been constructed.
This, from Darrell.

I was born 1946 in east S. Dakota and the farm area there was quite late getting hooked up to the power lines. About 1960 my dad's farm was the last and furthermost customer north of the power co-op. We survived using kerosene lamps for light and a windmill water pump to water livestock. We had a 6 volt tube type Radio and charged the battery for a while with a homemade wind charger that my dad made with a top of a Model T engine block. The Model T (Ford) engine was junk because of a broken crank shaft. It had a cam shaft with a large gear at the front of the engine driving the 6 volt generator from the engine. Dad just bolted a prop to the large gear with 2 bolts. No pistons or oil pan or other moving parts. He climbed up there and oiled the moving parts regularly with an oil can. Today's engines are a lot different. You might be able to do something similar with a lawn mower engine. I understand a lot of them have been junked. Some of them, 8-10 horse, use a generator/starter combo to start the engine and charge the battery after it is running.

Car parts to augment a windmill?
Of course, what Darrel was describing was the part of the windmill that would convert the turning motion into electricity, and for that one needs an alternator or generator, ie something with a permanent magnet so that the turning action incites the movement of electrons.
And these guys are just getting started!
A report from Jay:

I just recently helped a gentleman put together a system. He had several novel ideas and used only hand tools except for an electric saw and drill. He took the rear axle from a front wheel drive 1982 Chevy Citation and cut it in half with a hack saw. He said it was easy and only took a few minutes. He kept the emergency brake cables intact for later use. He then mounted one half of the axle to a length of thin wall tubing (from a recycle center at about $6.00), using three U bolts made from all-thread as his yaw bearing. Next he made a rotating table out of scrap 5/8 inch particle board flooring material salvaged with permission from a job site. He cut his table to a rectangle, reinforcing the underside at both ends and both sides with scrap angle iron salvaged from an old bed frame, also cut with a hack saw and drilled for bolting to the table.

When he got this far he decided to call on me, as he drives by our place most every day and sees our machines flopping around in the wind. He had read the "LeJay Manual" so he had some sense of wind. He decided on a two blade rotor for simplicity and reliability. His alternator was from a Volkswagon Jeta. Sprockets were removed from two 27 inch ten speed rear bicycle wheels, of course they were a match. What he did was use a jackshaft. On the brake hub he used two sprockets of 30 teeth attached by chain to a jackshaft with two of ten teeth. Again on the other end of the jackshaft two sprockets of 36 teeth. Now Finally on the alternator two sprockets of 12 teeth. This is not an unusual configuration for a homemade wind generator. In each stage there is a ratio of 3:1, 3 x 3 = 9:1 . A gear ratio 9:1 allows the machine grater ease of starting in low wind regimes. The reason that the sprockets were separated with washers, was to make room for two chains (redundant reliability). This approach works very well as less force against the bearings are required than if belts are used.

A car axle, angle iron from a bed frame, particle board, hack saw, board scraps, alternator from a VW, sprockets from a bike, washers and bolts, some chain.
What next!
This thing was made from scrap!
Note the mention of the LeJay Manual, considered a must have book on windmill building from scratch.

The best place to research old plans is Popular Mechanics from 1900 to 1950. Reprints are available in paperback book form called The Boy Mechanic vol 1, 2 and 3. Lindsay of Chicago also has the LeJay manual for sale. Before you consider the construction of your own wind power devices you should read the LeJay Manual, published by Lindsay Publication. The cost of the LeJay Manual is $8.95 plus $1.25 for shipping.

An integral part of windmill operation is some means to convert the motion to electrons running down a wire, the permanent magnet with wire loops intrinsic in an alternator or generator ideal for this conversion.
Here we go with car parts again!

I saw a water pump driving a generator about 15 years ago. I only drove past it a few times and noticed it. He was using a radiator fan blade for the wind blades. This may have been a truck fan blade and water pump. The fan was the symetrical type, 6 blades I think.

Of course, windmills must have paddles to catch the wind, and here we go again!
A radiator fan was mentioned above, but Darrell reports on hand-made paddles made from wood.

A lot of fan blades look like they would be off balance if used for power. I saw a wind propeller carved from a 2 by 4 board. The problem was the blade was a little off balance and made a whop whop sound much like a helicopter. It was mounted on the roof of the house on a wood tower. He had to shut it off manually by turning it out of the wind and tying the prop with a rope. It worked really well for a while. Then the wind got really hard one day when it was running and the off balance problem greatly increased, snapping the cam shaft off. I saw many homemade windmills around those days, as everyone around there was in the same boat with power.

So what does making a paddle involve?
Per Darrel, if you're using a car axle to convert the turning of the paddles into turning a generator or alternator, you need big paddles.

4 ft. by 8 ft. paddles may not develop enough torque to turn that car axle, drive shaft and transmission. You may need paddles on the order of 8 x 16 ft. to turn all of that. You can carve a propeller from a 2x4 like my Dad did. Remember the longer the prop the more horse power. It's really a rotating lever. 6 or 7 ft would be OK for what we are discussing. Keep the angle slight to start in slower wind. The leading edge will be rounded to the backside and tapered to the following edge like an airplane wing, which in effect each half resembles somewhat.

And the cost of building a windmill from car parts?
Remarkably cheap, even if you assume purchasing the car parts from a junkyard.
Of course, post pole shift, car parts will be laying around, just asking to be used.

Yes, it's true! You can build a very reliable, and fairly efficient wind generator from used auto parts. We do it quite often. For a reliable 1250 watt machine (modest but useful) using used auto parts plan on spending from $150 to $250, that's bolts, nuts, belts, pulleys, bearings, generator, or alternator, tower, just about everything.

The Nebraska windmill is a mill that does not stand up on a tower to catch the wind, but is laid out on the ground, like the paddles of a water wheel on the back of a boat.
The paddles are below ground part of the time, in a hole dug in the ground, so air traveling along the surface of the land catches the paddles.
Easier to maintain, no climbing required.
But if you have small children or animals about, best to put a fence around it.

I had a book no longer in print called Windmills of Nebraska, which was very good. Loaned it out and never got it back. It was a reprint of a 1880's manual put together by an agricultural agent who was fascinated by the ingenuity of the local farmers and their homemade windmills. In the 1950's when I grew up there were many working around the neighborhood. The Nebraska Windmills, Circa 1870, originated in the middle ages centuries ago. They were used in castle towers for the purpose of pumping water. They had bucket pump type systems that was a continuous chain of buckets on a rope type belt that dipped into a well or cistern and on up to pour into a water tank run over wood pulleys. To shut down the windmill you can apply a brake system to one end of the axle or enclose the windmill with doors that can be opened to allow wind through, or shut to stop the wind. They would be cheap and easy to build from scrap lumber with a little imagination. The paddles could be as simple as 2x2 board frames covered with cloth like canvas, etc., which would cut costs. I estimate about 200 dollars to build it.

Short on wood?
Per Darrel, canvas is an alternative, for the paddles, like sails!

You can build it from canvas and run the sails at an angle instead of straight across and it will look like a large screw shape. There are many variations of this design.

The ability to shield a windmill from air turbulence is addressed by Darrell,
who states that the Nebraska, type, on the ground where turbulence is often greatest, can be shuttered.

A few years back I looked around to see what windmills were still up working. I remember one that was up 80+ feet and it stood well above the farm buildings and trees and the owners always had a hard time getting the help to climb the steel tower and check the gearbox and add oil if needed. Sometimes it went long periods unchecked. It was still there then, working. It never blew over in storms. I wondered why. Now I know. Ground turbulence causes destructive forces. It is high enough to be above that. The Nebraska type is at somewhat of a disadvantage there since it is usually on the ground. But, they were built on and in buildings at the top floors also, but of course at more expense. One much resembles a merry-go-round of the kind found in school playgrounds in the 1950's, the one where the kids kicked the ground to make it go around in a circle with kid power. The better versions built in buildings did have shutters or sliding doors with which to shut off the wind to protect the mill during storms, and a water tank above so the same building served as a water tower as well so that water could be piped under pressure.

Not in a position to take advantage of wind power?
You can recharge your batteries with a bike gen.
Scrounge for bike parts, especially bikes lacking inner tubes or tires, the part that wears out most often.
Bike gens need the frame, the foot pedals, and humans pumping away on a bike frame suspended in the air.
Don't toss those bike frames, scrounge for them, and setup human powered bike generators!
A Troubled Times member from Australia describes how efficient this can be.

A 100 watt Solar panel will probably only average 2 amps at best even if it is rated three times or more higher, due to sun angles, latitude, and cloud cover. Whereas a bike gen with alternator can output 30 to 50 amps or even even more. The output depends on your strength and endurance. Output can be gotten at any time of the day and in any location (cave, capsule, survival shelter etc.), irrespective of sun, wind, or water. If we accept 12 volts D.C. as a standard then focus from that for all the other considerations, I cannot think of a cheaper way, a safer way, an easier way, a more flexible way, a more readily available way, or a more reliable way to generate electricity. I do have an exercise bike driving a car alternator, it is a proven thing too, able to bring a good charge to the batteries in the dead of night.

Don't have a car alternator or generator, but have all those useless electric tools laying about?
Mike states the permanent magnet in a electric drill is just the thing for bike gen'd electricity capture.

If one takes out the variable speed trigger switch and uses a diode (one way flow device) in series with the permanent magnet motor then we have a unit that can stay hooked up to a battery without acting like a motor. When one cranks, it charges the battery. This becomes a dedicated one direction DC generator without the added losses of the small amount of resistance of the variable speed trigger switch.

I must confess, I get a bit lost in all this techno babble electric speak, but I suspect you get the idea.
There are photos aplenty available on the Troubled Times web site to show what Mike is talking about.

The Zetas highly recommend looking into a bike gen rig.

ZetaTalk: Generating Electricity, written Dec, 2002
Modern man is much dependent upon electricity, though only having arrived there within the last hundred years or so. In primitive countries, communities work hard during the day, sleep at dusk, rise at dawn, and have little need of lights except for the occasional lamp or campfire. In pre-industrial days, this was likewise the mode, even the interiors of castles and palaces lit only by lamps, and then dimly. Modern man expects labor saving devices, entertainment, communication with the world, all at the press of a button. Modern man will have to do a mega-mindshift after the shift if he thinks this will continue, as his life will be less than communities a century ago, for the following reasons:

1. Where in the past, sunlight even on gloomy days could be anticipated, after the shift for most parts of the world the light available will seem like going from dawn to dusk, skipping the mid-daylight entirely.
2. Oils and materials to burn, for light, will be scarce or water soaked, what with continuous drizzle in much of the world, so fires will be a treasured occurrence from carefully dried materials.
3. Batteries and generators will wear out within months, after continuous use by the desperate, with the shock of what has descended only coming late to these, not avoided.
4. Petro fuels, or fuels from vegetation such as corn or wood gas, will run out without the means to pump, refine, or grow in the gloom.
5. The lack of parts for mechanical repair, lack of skills in those isolated, and lack of success with crops, will doom all plans for fuels to be burned in the Aftertime.
6. Skills to build generators collecting power from wind and water will be spotty, and the missing link theory applied endlessly such that a single link, like battery storage, dooms the plans.

In light of all this, what can mankind expect? Nancy has been practicing, walking about her hour for months now, in the dark such that she must grope to steady herself, and use touch, not sight, as a guide. Lights are used only when absolutely necessary. Practice this, and see how little you need light to walk through your day! Story telling, group singing, eating and washing, enjoying the sounds and smells of the evening, none of this requires more than light enough to make out dim shapes. Those who are used to electric lights, and in groups where the lack of this has plunged the group into depression, have avenues to generate this. Exercise is one of the great depression lifters, and racks of old bicycles, with the complainers pumping away, is not only a means of generating lights during the session, it is a group activity! Group therapy, thus, becomes an exercise session where the 12V batteries are replenished. And perhaps the children would like to put on a play, practiced in the dark when they are put to bed and should be sleeping, whispered plans to surprise the adults. The bike gen's can provide a flood light for their stage! Thus, it is not so much a loss, as a challenge, an opportunity to be resourceful, as all of life is.

Darrell laments about moving parts wearing out, gear oil and the like.
What about the oil replacement?
You can scrounge around and find those oil cans, drain car oil pans, but what to do when scrounging no longer produces results?
Per Gus, citing an article, canola oil is a perfect substitute.

Imagine a motor oil that cuts automobile pollution by 40 percent. Duane Johnson developed a lubricant made from canola oil, a seed crop grown in Colorado. The canola-based lubricant drastically reduces automobile engine emissions compared to emissions from traditional motor oils. Canola oil is traditionally used as a cooking oil, especially in Asian foods. However, with processing adjustments, it is as effective an engine lubricant as any traditional motor oil.

For those at a site where water is rushing down hills, moving water, a water wheel can be constructed.
These can produce electricity in the same manner as windmills.
But the ram pump fills your water tank, from low ground to high ground where you want it for proper water pressure, like a silent robot who never rests.
No electricity involved.
All you have to do is scrounge for some pipes, and a piece of an old and now useless inner tube from a bike.
Ram pumps have been around for many decades and are popular for two main reasons:

1. They need no external source of power -- the force of moving water gives them the power they need.
2. They are extremely simple, with just two moving parts.

The basic idea behind a ram pump is simple. The pump uses the momentum of a relatively large amount of moving water to pump a relatively small amount of water uphill. To use a ram pump, you must have a source of water situated above the pump. For example, you must have a pond on a hillside so that you can locate the pump below the pond. You run a pipe from the pond to the pump. The pump has a valve that allows water to flow through this pipe and build up speed.
* Once the water reaches its maximum speed, this valve slams shut.
* As it slams shut, the flowing water develops a great deal of pressure in the pump because of its inertia.
* The pressure forces open a second valve.
* High-pressure water flows through the second valve to the delivery pipe (which usually has an air chamber to allow the delivery pipe to capture as much high-pressure water as possible during the impulse).
* The pressure in the pump falls. The first valve re-opens to allow water to flow and build up momentum again. The second valve closes.
* The cycle repeats.

The delivery pipe can rise some distance above both the pump and the source of the water. For example, if the pump is 10 feet below the pond, the delivery pipe might be up to 100 feet above the pump. You can see that the one big disadvantage of a ram pump is that it wastes a lot of water. Typically, only about 10% of the water it consumes actually makes it up the delivery pipe. The rest flows out of the pump as the water builds momentum. The idea of using the energy of flowing water has been around for a long time!

Here's another instance where a diagram would be handy, a picture worth a thousand words.
I found a web site with such a diagram, virtual clemson.
Beyond listing the plumbing parts needed, it describes the use of the inner tube for the air chamber.
Plumbing parts needed are valves, tees, unions, nipples, check valves, bushings, couplings, and a pipe cock.
Houses ripped to pieces in hurrican force winds, with survivors using an outhouse instead of flush toilets, and the city water supplies long dead, will provide a lot of plumbing parts to be scrounged.
A bicycle or "scooter tire" inner tube is placed inside the pressure chamber as an "air bladder" to prevent water-logging or air-logging. Inflate the tube until it is "spongy" when squeezed, then insert it in the chamber. It should not be inflated very tightly, but have some "give" to it.
Best of all, get your hands on The Complete Hydraulic Ram Manual by Tom Moates, listed at $14.95 plus postage.

And in closing, if for no other reason, scrounge to have something to barter, as bartering will be the medium of exchange after the pole shift.

ZetaTalk: Barter System, written Dec 15, 2001
In that one's skill sets can be considered a bartering item, one should examine their own skill set by the following exam. If you were in the middle of a wilderness, alone, what steps would you take to survive? What is the first skill that you would need, and not have? Whom do you know that you would wish about you, in such as circumstance? What is that skill that they possess, that you perhaps could develop? Imagine a group in such a setting, having arrived at a land dump where various pieces of junk are about and could provide mechanical devices or shelter, if utilized creatively and resourcefully. How would you go about creating a comfortable home for yourself, and others, in such as situation? If you are clueless on how to use junk to structure a home, recycle and hook up, then perhaps you should work with a junk man, in his yard, and take lessons!