The Apocalypse came on Tuesday, and no one was ready. For us soft city folk, survival was mostly a matter of luck. If you fell in with the right group of people with the right skills and the right equipment, you had a chance to make it. It certainly didn't help that the Tuesday in question was right before winter.
After four bleak months of violence and starvation, spring found us with 30 other families in a well protected valley in the Virginia Piedmont. By fall, things were looking up. The reason we fought so hard for the valley is that it is filled with apple orchards. Potatoes and pumpkins are also surprisingly easy to farm. Best of all, some pigs must have escaped from a nearby farm because they multiplied like no one's business in the hills to the south. By fall they were all trying to find their way into the orchard for windfall fruit and we were practically tripping on bacon every time you went for a walk outside.
Since things are doing better, it is time to think about the future. We have a decent collection of vehicles in the valley, and the scavengers from the old populations centers near the coast are happy to trade a near endless supply of parts (and tires!) for bacon and cider. There were four gas stations in the valley before that Tuesday, so we have nearly 100,000 gallons of gas on hand. That can go a long way at 25 miles per gallon; and we've found a lot of other abandoned gas stations in the mountains with gas still in the ground that we can raid for future use.
The truck we use the most for scouting and long distance trade is a 2007 Toyota Tacoma with a stick shift and an inline four. We have a pretty big stockpile of parts already and a maintenance manual. We figure we have at least 10 years of gas on hand, more potentially hidden away, and we can cut that with alcohol to make it last a lot longer.
What we are really worried about is consumable fluids. The truck will need them, and if they get used up in a decade or so, the scavengers might not be able to trade us more. Which fluids are going to give out first? Which ones can we run without? Which ones will we be able to make a substitute for?
- Motor Oil: 0W-20 or 5W-20 is recommended
- Brake fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Manual transmission/transfer case/differential lube: 75W-90 to 90W-90
- Windshield wiper fluid (maybe we can make do without this one)
Assume 20,000 miles per year of driving in rough conditions; mostly on (obviously un-maintained) roads but some of it off-roading. Temperature conditions are summers in the 90s (F) and humid, and winters down to 20 F and occasionally lower.