Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Stockpiling Seeds For a Doomsday / SHTF Event

Doomsday Survivalist Seed Stockpile

Interested in stockpiling survivalist seeds for a doomsday / SHTF event? Then you have arrived at the right place. This article will cover various aspects of stockpiling survivalist seeds for doomsday.

The purpose of this article about stockpiling survivalist seeds is to help the first time seed buyer. If someone has never bought their first seed, this article is to help that person make an informed decision.

Heirloom / open pollinated – Bear true to form. Meaning, if the seeds are saved and planted, the resulting plant will be just like the parent.

Hybrid Seeds – Cross pollinated between two related plants. The seeds can be saved from the cross pollinated plant, but the child may or may not be like the parents. Saved seeds from hybrids may or may not be like the parents, may be sterile… chances are will not bear true to form.

There is a misconception that stockpiling hybrid seeds are bad. Hybrids can sometimes be more drought, pest and disease resistant than their parents. It is perfectly fine to stockpile hybrid seeds, just realize saving the seeds is a gamble.

GMO Seeds – Modified on the genetic level. For example, some scientist may take a gene from a puffer fish and splice it into a corn seed. The corn plant would then produce a toxin which would kill bugs.

Stockpiling Seeds For Doomsday / SHTF – YouTube

Growing Period

Canning Home Grown Jalapeno Peppers

Canning home grown jalapeno peppers

This article about canning home grown jalapeno peppers has been two months in the making. We started in May of 2018 with planting the peppers, taking care of the jalapeno pepper plants in the backyard garden, then finally harvesting, and now canning.

  • Plant peppers after the last chance of frost has passed.
  • Visit a local farm supply store and pick out the types of peppers you want to can.
  • Work the ground and break up and clumps of soil
  • Use a balanced fertilizer, such as 13-13-13
  • Consider mixing manure into the soil production through the summer months
  • Plant peppers where they get plenty of sunlight
  • Keep pepper plants watered

Cinder Block Grill At a Remote Cabin

Cinder block grill

Looking for a quick, easy and low cost grill for a remote cabin (bug out location)? Look no further than a cinder block grill.

After looking through various pictures and videos about cinder block grills, I decided to build one here at the farm. Long story short, am very happy with how well the grill worked and how easy it was to build.

Over the years a number of cinder blocks built up around the farm. Some were in the chicken yard with traps connected to them for opossums and raccoons. Other blocks were here and there spread across multiple projects. A wheelbarrow was used to round up six blocks where they were brought to a spot under a nice pine and oak tree. The blocks were arranged two high with a design similar of a horseshoe.

Several years ago a smoker was built out of a 250 gallon, and a 150 gallon tank propane tank. One of the grills was taken from the 150 gallon vertical smoker and placed on the cinder block grill.

One cinder block was placed on top of the expanded metal grill taken from the smoker. Then a commercial grill was placed on top of the cinder blocks. This gave us two grills. One close to the fire and another grill higher up.

Flashlight Review: Jetbeam WL20 Hunting Flashlight

Jetbeam WL20 Flashlight close up picture

The Jetbeam WL20 is marketed as a multicolored hunting flashlight. The purpose of the colors is to help blood droplets become more visible. This helps hunters track wounded game animals, such as deer.

In all honesty, I have never used a hunting flashlight to track deer. Typically, the red blood droplets stand out well on leaves and pine straw. It also helps to understand how animals react when they are injured.

For this review, the Jetbeam WL20 hunting flashlight we will be looking at typical, everyday usage. Which means will the light survive being dropped several times, how easy is the light to use, and how bright is the Jetbeam WL20?

Jetbeam WL20 Specifications

Tips For Planning a Safe Hiking Trip

Hiking in Southeast Texas

Let’s take a few minutes and talk about tips for planning a hiking trip. Someone posted a comment on one of my YouTube asking for some hiking and or camping tips. So I thought, “Sure, why not?”

One of the things I talk about in my videos is my age and how long I have been doing certain things. When my brother were maybe 4 or 5 years old our dad started taking us squirrel hunting and walking through the woods. As of when this article was written I am 50 1/2 years old. So I have been doing stuff in the woods for around 45 years or so.

In the past 45 years I have developed various things I do when planning a hiking trip. Before I head out on the hiking trip there are several questions that should be answered.

For example, what is the purpose of the trip? How long is the trip going to be? Water sources. Last but not least is letting someone know your route.

Purpose of the Hiking Trip

Tips on Growing Jalapeno Peppers in a Backyard Garden

Pepper plants sitting on the tailgate of a truck

How to grow jalapeno peppers in a backyard vegetable garden. Jalapeno peppers are an excellent crop to grow in a backyard vegetable garden. They do well in a range of soil conditions and tolerate the summer heat fairly well.

Fertilizer For Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeno Peppers do best with a well balanced fertilizer, such as 13-13-13. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers such as 21-0-0, or even 16-6-12. When taken care of Jalapeno Peppers will produce through the summer months and into fall. Unless killed by a winter frost, the plants may survive through the winter and into the following spring.

Because Jalapeno Peppers have such a long growing season they benefit from a slow release fertilizer, such as manure.

We are going to start off with tilling the garden rows with a garden tiller. Then mix in some well balanced fertilizer, such as 13-13-13, and some kind of manure or compost. Till the fertilizer, compost, and / or manure into the rows. Remove clumps of soil, rocks, or tree roots.

The 13-13-13 fertilizer will provide the Jalapeno Peppers with plant food to get started, then the manure / compost will provide a slow release fertilizer to help the plant thrive over the course of several months.

This should be enough to help the plant produce through the summer months.

Planting Jalapeno Peppers

Cleaning Evinrude Outboard Spark Plugs

Evinrude 30 hp outboard motor

Still getting the boat ready for a day long fishing trip on the Angelina River and Steinhagen Reservoir. Today’s project was the remove and clean the spark plugs in the Evinrude 30 horsepower outboard motor. The spark plugs are probably 5 or 6 years old, and have not been cleaned since they were put in.

Somewhere around 2012 the boat was put in the shop to have a new powerhead installed. With the tuneup also came a a new water pump, and spark plugs.

Before the brutal Texas summer heat kicks in I want to launch the boat at Bevil Port, then head south on the Angelina River to Steinhagen Reservoir. Once I reach Steinhagen, turn north and head into the north end of the lake. The north-west area of Steinhagen is full of cypress trees. Hopefully, there will be some good fishing, or at least some good nature photography.

However, before the trip takes place, the boat needs to be gone over with a fine tooth comb. A couple of days ago I changed the oil in the Evinrude lower unit.

Evinrude Outboard Motor Lower Unit Oil Change

Evinrude lower unit oil change

Time to change the oil in the lower unit of my Evinrude 30 horsepower outboard motor. The last time the oil was changed was probably 6 or 7 years ago when the water pump was changed and a new powerhead was installed.

While my wife and I were in Jasper, Texas taking care of some business, we stopped by the Evinrude dealership and got some gear oil. The guy behind the counter handed me a package with a bottle of oil and a pump. The oil was Mercury brand name, SAE 90. I asked the guy if it was ok to use on Evinrude and he said yes. The shop is an authorized Evinrude dealership, so I took his word for it.

The drain the oil of the Evinrude lower unit there are two flathead bolts. An oil drain pan was grabbed from the shed and placed under the lower unit. The bolts were in so tight, I had to put a pipe wrench on the screw driver to break the bolts loose. Top bolt was removed first, then the bottom bolt.

Good news, the old oil did not have any signs of water or metal shavings in it. Nor were their any metal shavings on the drain plug.

How To Spot Fake Prepping Websites

Bass fishing on the Angelina River

In a previous article we talked about how fake prepping websites are diminishing the prepping community. So let’s take a few minutes and talk about how to spot a fake prepping website.

First, let’s define what makes a prepping website fake. The vast majority of the articles will be along the lines of:

  • 5 best of
  • Stockpile these items now
  • 5 foods that last forever

For example, the website may have articles along the lines of “5 best emergency radios.” All the author does is go to Amazon, look through the selection of radios, pick out the top rated, write an article and include links to the radios. When someone clicks a link to Amazon and purchases an item the website gets a commission.

Some of the readers may ask, “What’s wrong with that?”

Chances are the author has zero hands on experience with the items listed in the article. In other words, the sole purpose of the article is to make a sale. The only information the article provides is taken from Amazon reviews, which anyone can read.

No Unique Pictures

Thorfire TK01 AAA Battery Flashlight Review

Thorfire TK01 keychain flashlight

The Thorfire TK01 is a keychain sized flashlight that uses a single AAA battery. Unlike a lot of other keychain flashlights, the Thorfire TK01 is a single output of 85 lumens.

Upon opening the box first impressions were good. The flashlight came with a small keychain ring which slips through a hole in the tailcap, and a couple of extra o-rings. The o-rings are for the tailcap which unscrews, while the bezel does not.

When the Thorfire TK01 housing was opened to insert the AAA battery, the spring typically found in the tailcap had came loose and fell into the battery compartment. It took a little bit, but the spring was finally snapped back into place in the tailcap.

Turning the Thorfire TK01 on and off is as simple as twisting the head. The problem is, the head is very easy to twist. Also, when the head reaches a certain point on the twist, pushing on the head will turn the flashlight on. While carrying the Thorfire TK01 flashlight in my pocket I noticed it turned on several times.

Fake Prepping Websites Diminishing The Community

Kevin Felts at the Angelina River

Was scrolling through my Facebook feed when an ad came up for a prepping facebook page. The ad was something along the lines of “Best prepping website on the Internet.”

We all know SurvivalistBoards and my blog survivalboards.com are the best prepping / survivalist sites on the internet. Besides that, I thought, sure, I will check it out, why not.

So went to the Facebook page for the site, clicked a link and looked through several of their articles. Every article I saw was maybe 200 words, and then a link to another site.

I visited the other site, and guess what, it was the same short articles with no original content. Articles were along the lines of “Stockpile these 10 items now”…. the typical click bait article titles.

There was no way to comment on the articles. If there had been a way to leave a comment, I would have called them out for being nothing but a spam site.

Tomatoes, Peppers, and Okra Spring Garden Update

Jalapeno peppers

The garden got off to a late start this year. In March we received so much rain the seeds rotted in the ground. It seemed like every couple of days we were getting a cold front.

All of this means the 2018 spring garden is running a month behind. Instead of the peppers producing in May, they are producing in June. Which is no big deal because once the peppers start producing, they will continue until the first frost.

Instead of the okra being planted at the first of May, it was planted at the end of May. I was hoping to get some rain to help the okra germinate, but we did not get rain for a month.

Eventually, I decided to plant the okra and water the seeds with a sump pump that sits in a creek. Everything worked out and the seeds germinated. Once the okra started to come up, it is making solid progress.

Tomatoes and Tomato Cages

JETBeam KO-01 1080 Lumens Flashight Review

Jetbeam KO-01 Flashlight

This is a review of the JETBeam KO-01 flashlight. First impressions is a hefty feeling light that uses a single 18650 battery. It does not feel cheaply made at all.

Double click the on/off switch and it will activate the strobe. While in strobe, click the on/off and it will go to high. Then hold down the on/off to turn the JETBeam KO-01 flashlight off.

Tailcap is flat so it can be stood upright. Turn it on, stand it upright, and it will help light up a room.

Something I found to be unique, the tailcap accepts quick connect swivels. For the video I took a quick connect off one of my AR-15 rifles, and put it on the light. This means the light can be securely hung anywhere.

External USB port for charging. When charging, there is a blue led under the on/off switch that will glow blue. When finished charging, the led will turn off.

No carry case or belt click are included. To me, the belt clip and carry case are subjective. Some people may use them, while others may not.

Lanyard holes are rather small. However, with the quick connect swivel, do you need lanyard holes?

JETBeam KO-01 Specifications

June 2018 Fishing Trip on the Angelina River – A Short Story

Southeast Texas alligator

The day started a little earlier than others when the alarm went off at 5:00 am. As soon as the alarm went off a war of attrition began in my head. One voice was talking about how comfortable the bed was and to forget about the fishing trip. The other voice was telling me to get up and go because in a few weeks the full brunt of the Texas heat will be here.

Realizing in another three or four weeks the July heat wave will be upon us, I decided to crawl (though reluctantly) out of bed and head to the shower. There is something refreshing about getting a morning shower.

Attire for the day was Levis jeans, green Carhart shirt, and Justin leather work boots. Typically, I wear shorts and sneakers on fishing trips, but this trip was different. Part of this trip was for pictures and videos. Rather than walking through a swampy area with sneakers, to decided to wear boots.

All of the gear had been loaded in either the Toyota T100 truck, or in the Weldbilt aluminum boat the night before. All that needed to be done was take a shower, get dressed, grab my everyday carry gear, and head out the door. I had wanted to leave the house around 5:30, but was able to leave around 5:20 or so.

Driving to the Angelina River

Local Wildlife Ate All The Wild Plums

Texas Wild Plums

The wild plums here are on the farm were almost ready. So the other day I grabbed a bucket, walked over to the plum patch, and the trees were empty. They had gone from hundreds of wild plums to one in just a couple of days. Chances are the local wildlife feasted on the plums.

How do I know it was the local wildlife? There were no plums on the ground. When the plums ripen they fall off the tree. Since there were no plums on the ground, this means something ate them.

There is a wild plum crop here on the farm that has been left to grow for the past decade. Some of the trees are close to eight feet tall and are nice sized.

Wild plum production can be hit and miss. Some years the trees do very well, while other years they produce almost nothing. The plum production may have something to do with the time spent below freezing, but I am not sure. The winter of 2017 – 2018 was very harsh here in Southeast Texas, and the plum corp in 2018 was wonderful.

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