Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Month: August 2008

Hurricane Gustav – Part 1

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As Hurricane Gustav approaches the coast of Louisiana and Texas, its time to start preparing. One of the first concerns is fuel for the generator. Gasoline is usually one of the first things to disappear, so its important to stock up while you can.

Even if your area is not directly affected by the disaster, if other people evacuate through your area, those people will clean out the gasoline supply. So if you live along a major (or minor) evacuation route, its important to stockpile fuel before the supply in your area dries up.

Instead of using 5 gallon gas cans, consider using 16 gallon drums. These are still movable by one person, but take the place of 3 – 5 gallon drums. The drums in the video held some type of syrup used for making DR. Pepper. These 16 gallon drums need to be bought in advance of any kind of disaster, washed out with soap and water to remove the syrup and allowed to dry.

Using a GPS and Compass

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When on a hiking, hunting or camping trip, it is very important not to get lost. And if the hiker or hunter does find their selves lost, how do they get found again? There are some basic tools that should be included in the wilderness survival tool kit. These include a GPS, compass and the knowledge on how to use them.

Regardless of what items are included in the kit, the most important tool is the knowledge. Only knowledge can empower the person to effectively use the gear in their survival kit.

This video discusses some basic information on how to a TOPO map, compass and GPS.

The mistake that a lot of people when they get their GPS, they do not practice. Before a GPS is taken into a wilderness area, take the GPS, read the instruction manual and get some practice in.

Fruit trees and the urban survivalist

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Fruit trees are often over looked asset to the urban survivalist. Most people live in a neighborhood where the fence line goes straight back, makes a 90 degree turn, runs across the backyard, makes another 90 degree turn and goes back to the house.

What is planted in the 90 degree turns? Maybe some ferns, or maybe some landscaping? You can not eat those ferns or palm trees. Dig that stuff up and use it for compost.


A deer hunting story

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This is based off a true story that happened on November 30th, 2007. Discussion on this deer hunting story can be found at this link.

I got out to the lease around 3:30, got the 4-wheeler unloaded and drove a little over 1/4 mile to an old logging road. I parked the 4wheeler on the logging road and walked 100+ yards to the stand. I walked because I can move quieter by walking then I can on the 4-wheeler.

On the way to the stand I saw some coyote tracks. It looks like a rabbit track was mixed in them them. I got in the stand around 4:00 pm, took some scenery pictures and read my bible for a little while.

By 5:00 pm there were 3 does under and around the feeder. A little after 5 pm a spike and 6 point came out. The 6 point was too small to shoot. All three of my last deer have been 8 points, so there is no use in going backwards.

Just after 5:15 a nice size deer walks out and starts grazing on the grass on the logging road. I looked at him through my scope and thought it was an 8 point. Later I found out it was a 9 point.


Planting a fall garden

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A fall garden should be a serious consideration for any survivalist. Spring and summer crops are one thing, but late season crops deserve special consideration.

Examples of cool weather and cold weather crops are – Cabbage, turnips, rutabagas, mustard greens and onions. Garlic should be a consideration as well.

Rutabagas: After world war 2, the rutabaga helped stop most of Germany from starving to death. Rutabagas seem to grow pretty good in cold weather. My ex-father in law grew a field of rutabagas in the middle of winter. I remember walking out into this field during the wet and cold middle of winter, and there was this green patch of Rutabaga tops. My first thought was – “wow, how can these things grow in the winter?”

When adding potting soil to your garden, avoid the cheap potting soil sold at places like wal-mart. This stuff has been know to have pieces of plastic and other trash in it. Sometimes you get what you pay for, and when you buy cheap potting soil, you get just that – cheap dirt.


The first 72 hours after a disaster

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This past July 4th weekend my family and I spent 3 days at the camp. This “3 days” is important – the gubberment says that after a disaster you can expect at least 72 hours before relief services are put into place.

While my kids were busy playing in the creek and shooting fireworks, I was thinking of the situation we were in. Even though this was an enjoyable weekend and everyone had fun, there were some serious situations that needed to be considered.


Stocking up on firewood

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For thousands of years mankind has used wood for cooking and warmth. Even today thousands of people still rely on wood for their everyday cooking needs.

Firewood is an important asset – but its only an asset if the person can utilize it. In this case a storm blew down an oak tree. Instead of the tree going to waste, it was cut up for firewood.

During a long term SHTF survival situation, after the propane runs out, after the liquid fuel runs out for the camp stoves, its either going to be cooking with solar ovens, or cooking with wood, or not cooking at all.

After hurricanes Ike and Rita made landfall, I cooked for my family for between 2 – 3 weeks with firewood. For breakfast we would used a coleman stove to cook with, and for dinner we used my bar-b-que pit on a trailer.

Camping Video Collection

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This video is a collection of different types of camping and hiking videos streamed from youtube. To scroll through the videos, click the buttons on the right and left hand side of the player.

If the video player shows an error that the video is no longer available, just click the button on the right hand side of the player to advance to the next video.

Stihl Chainsaws

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The Stihl company was was founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl. Andreas was an important innovator in early chain saw production. The Stihl company is one of the world’s largest sellers of chain saws and is the only chain saw manufacturer to make their own saw chains and guide bars.

Chainsaws should be an important consideration for any survivalist. On average, one tank of gas can cut a one truck load of wood. After a disaster, such as a hurricane, chainsaws can greatly speed up recovery time. When stock piling wood, chainsaws are the preferred way to harvest the wood. In a long term collapse of society, the chainsaws dependence on gasoline is its draw back.

For harvesting firewood, a chainsaw is the way to go.

Harvesting Home Grown Potatoes

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Growing potatoes is a pretty easy and straight forward process.

Once the tops of the potato plants start to die off.  Which is usually about 3 or 4 months after planting, just pull the top of the potato plant up and then dig the dirt up around the plant. The potatoes will be easy to damage, so dig up with care. Try not to use tools such as shovels as they can damge the potato.

Some people use cloth gardening gloves to help protect their hands from injury (from debris in the dirt) and to prevent getting dirt under their finger nails. One way to quickly harvest the potatoes is to run a plow down the middle of the row. This will roll the dirt up and bring the potatoes to the surface.

After the potatoes have been Harvested, store them in a cool dry place. Some people will put down a bed of straw, layer of potatoes, layer of straw, layer of potatoes. When they need the potatoes, dig through the straw and dig some out.

Cooking considerations after a disaster

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After a disaster such as a earthquake or hurricane, chances are the power is going to be cut off. From previous examples set by hurricanes Katrina, Andrew, Hugo and Rita – in some cases it could take weeks or months to rebuild the power lines. Its during this time that a simple hot meal can really boost the moral of the group. Just for the sake of discussion, “Group” is defined as friends, family or neighbors.

Some people of the community are ill prepared to cook without a power source, while others may be able to cook for a few days with no power. It is the job of the survivalist to make sure that they have the means to cook for not only your family, but for the neighbors. This can be a daunting task, but with a little planning it can be done.


Large ALICE Packs

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The All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (also know as “ALICE Pack“), was first introduced by United States Army in 1974. The ALICE pack was intended as a replacement to the aging M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment [LCE] and M-1967 Modernized Load-Carrying Equipment.

The ALICE pack has become popular with the players of airsoft and paintball. The popularity of the ALICE pack is due to the quality of the materials it is made out of, its easy to customize, and the packs area easy to find in most military surplus stores.

This video gives a description of the large and medium ALICE packs. After watching the video, be sure to visit the forum. More information can be found there on gear like the ALICE pack.

The ALICE pack in the video is about 12 to 13 years old, and has been on more hiking and trips then I care to count. The overall comfort of the pack is a little lacking, but its designed for military service, not the civilian market. If you are looking for a go anywhere and do anything pack, its going to be hard to beat an ALICE pack.

With the introduction of molle packs on the market, there has been a shift from the ALICE pack to the molle pack. Personally, I think the alice packs are more durable then the molle packs. The alice pack frames are aluminum and will not break like the molle pack.

The military service people that I have talked to prefer the alice packs over the molle pack, mainly due to the plastic frame of the molle breaking.

I also like the amount of pockets on the alice, as compared to the molle. The Large ALICE pack has 3 large pouches and 3 small pouches on the outside of the pack. On the inside of the pack you have the radio pouch – which is great for storing all kinds of small gear.

The molle packs lack an internal radio pouch like what the alice packs have.

With the MOLLE packs, I like the size of the sustainment pouches that can be mounted to the outside of the pack.

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