Sidetracked! How to make ink in case of, you know, SHTF.

Sidetracked! I was planning a post on building a compost bin. I’ve been researching that but came across an interesting post.

Okay, perhaps I’d have a bit of a problem surviving, but I can’t help the fact that I love to write. One day an EMP comes and WHAM! No more computer. I don’t own a typewriter. It’d be back to pen and ink. So…

How can I make ink? Can you? Of course you can! Once pens and pencils run out, and eventually they will, how will we write down our stories, our recipes, our directions? We might go back to a verbal history. It’s quite probable. But newspapers were printed before electricity ran things. Books were made. Music was sung. All before electricity.

So, pen and ink. Paper. It would all become precious eventually. So you’d have to make it. I don’t know what I was looking for when I found this post. It might have even come in an email.

I checked. It did. 🙂 From the Prepper Project. Here is the link. I’m not going to repeat it word for word. It involves Huckleberries, though other berries and even wood barks can be used instead. Especially if like me you wonder what a huckleberry looks like. I have tons of elderberry trees in my yard so I’d try with them, at least those I didn’t eat. I’d have to see if it worked. You also need vinegar, and egg whites and tons of elbow grease for the hand whisk! I thought at first he was making meringue. Very, very similar.

Very, very easy to make.

You can make your own quill out of a feather and straw. Cut the straw down and slip the feather into the shortened, sharpened straw. Though if you sharpened the tip of the feather you should be able to use that. It is what quills were originally made from.

Okay, that was on a children’s site but cute! (the straw)

On another is shows how to make invisible ink. Use lemon juice and water. Write on the paper. Hold it up to a light and the heat from the lamp turns it brown so you can read it. Or a toaster. I imagine a fire would also work if there were no electricity. Awesome!

Here are a couple of recipes I found on Home Science Tools.

Berry Ink. Use 1/2 cup fresh berries or thawed frozen berries; push them through a strainer so that you get pulp-free juice. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar (to hold color) and 1/2 teaspoon salt (as a preservative) and mix well. You can use a glass baby food jar as your ‘inkwell’, if you have one.

Walnut Ink. Crush the shells of 12 walnuts by putting them in a sock and hammering them lightly. Pour the shells into a saucepan and cover them with water, then let them simmer for 30 minutes. After that, remove them from heat and let them soak overnight. Strain the shells out of the ink and add 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar to help preserve the color.

Invisible Ink.  You can make invisible ink from equal parts baking soda and water. Brush grape juice over your secret message to reveal the writing–the acidic grape juice reacts with the baking soda, which is a base.

There are quite a few ways to make ink, so even if SHTF I’ll be able to continue to follow my passion. Once I survive that is!

www.beverlyovalle.com

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