Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Month: March 2009

Butchering station example

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This is an example of what a butchering station at a deer camp looks like.

There should be a way to get the animal off the ground, butcher it, and if possible a way to cook the meat right then. Most deer camps have some kind of wood burning bar-b-q pit. Which means there is an almost unlimited supply of fuel for cooking.

The quality of the video is not that great – sorry about that.

Libertarian Party

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Now that the nation is slipping into an even deeper depression, the voters might be wondering if they made a mistake.  If you voted for the Republicans or Democrats, you made a mistake.

If you want real change.  And not the Obama type of change, then its time to cast your vote for the Libertarian Party.

Keep in mind, it took both parties to pass the income tax.  And decades later citizens are asking their congress person to do something about this tax on the poor and middle class.  And to no surprise, nothing is done.

It took both parties to pass the bailouts of the big banks.  Where a lot of the money went to bonuses.

It is taking both parties to make sure that the banks keep control of the money of this nation.

It has taken both parties to keep free trade going between china and the USA.

If you want real change, vote for someone besides the two major bloated parties.

Ray Mears cooks a fish stew

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Pretty interesting video about fishing and cooking with wild plants. One thing I really like about Ray Mears is his voice and the way he talks. While speaking, he stays at a steady pace, does not get in a hurry, and keeps his tone about the same.

The second part of the video talks about bears in the Rocky Mountains.

Political party games

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The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is sending out emails entitled “End the Pelosi Recession.” The first sentence of the email goes like this:

Dear NRCC supporter,

House Republicans have pledged to stop to the “Pelosi Recession” caused by a bloated Democratic budget that spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.

First thing right off the bat, I am NOT a supporter of the Republican party, I vote straight line Libertarian Party.

What the letter does not mention, is that it takes both parties to pass a bill.  When the Republican has control of congress, there is usually a Democrat President. This is supposed to cause a balance in government. But does not.

The fact is, the Republican and Democratic parties are exactly the same. Even though one party says one thing, and the other party says something else – the end results are the same.

It past time for the American people to wake up, and take responsibility for what they have caused. By blindly following a party the voters have allowed corrupt lawmakers to stay in office.

Place the blame where it is supposed to go. On the shoulders of the voters. If you want “real” change, and not the Obama type of change, then its time to vote for a party besides the republicans or democrats.

Where would you go

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In the 1300s, and all the way through to the 1600s, when a community would have an outbreak of the Black Death (Bubonic Plague), the people in that community would flee. Unknowing to them, they helped spread the plague to other towns and communities.

It must be human nature to flee a disaster, such as a hurricane, plague, war,,,, and everything else. But in the case of a disease, that disaster is portable. Wherever people can go, the plague can go as well.

From the time of infection, it could be days before the victim shows any signs that they are sick. It is during that time period – infection to showing signs – that a lot of people will flee to where they think they will be safe. Usually this will be a family members house outside of the affected area. Unknowing to everyone, the infection has arrived safe and sound at its new home. Where it can spread to the other members of the family.

Its important to understand how certain diseases are spread. And take care not to help the pathogen find its next victim.

The question is, do you have a place to go? Its just food for thought. Do you have a family member that grows a garden, or maybe owns a farm? Somewhere you can go, have food, water, shelter and secluded from the rest of the world.

During outbreaks of the plague, its important for units of survivalist to stay secluded. This would help eliminate the risk of bringing the infection back to the group. But to be secluded, the group will have to be self supportive. This means have a way to produce food, safe drinking water and shelter.

Solar powered sidewalk lights instead of candles

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Most people do not realize that they have a renewable light source right at their feet. And that is those solar powered lights along the walkway. If you do not have any solar powered sidewalk lights, take a look at a local hardware store, or big box mart – such as wal-mart, lowes and k-mart. They are usually in the garden section.

When shopping for a solar powered light, do not get the cheapest ones on the shelf. But then again, dont go overboard on the price either. There are usually 2 different colored lights – clear and amber. Do not get the amber colored lens, they do not put out as much light as the ones with the clear lens. Be sure to get the lights that use an LED and not a regular bulb.

The way those lights work, during the day the solar cell recharges 2 AA batteries. As the sun starts to go down, a light sensor tells the unit when to turn on. Depending on how much sun light the solar cell got, that defines how much light the unit can provide. The more sun light the cell is exposed to during the day, the longer the burn time at night.


Water Filter for a Bug Out Bag

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There is an interesting thread over on the forum asking about a water filter for a bug out bag.

Some of the suggestions include:
Katadyn Hiker (and Hiker Pro)
Sawyer filters and purifiers
MSR Miniworks
Sawyer Inline Water Filter
Katadyn vario

In this video we talk about the Katadyn vario from

Katadyn vario specs from the website:

*The Vario combines ceramic and pleated technology, and is adjustable for different field conditions
* Dual Piston technology means it offers the most efficient, fastest flow available
* The replaceable Carbon Core keeps water tasting fresh
* The Multi-Water Adaptor Base allows for the the easiest to fill water container/ bladder out there Specs
* Microfiltration Method: The cleanable ceramic disc lengthens the life of the primary pleated microfilter.
* The 0.3 micron high surface area pleated glassfiber microfilter removes waterborne bacteria and cysts. * The replaceable carbon core reduces chemicals, pesticides, and bad taste in water.
* Output: Up to 2 quarts (2 liters) per minute. * Cartridge Capacity: Up to 500 gallons (1875 liters), depending on water quality.
* Weight: 15 oz.
* Height: 6.5″
* Hose Length: 36″


Types of Survivalist

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After watching the types of people that join the Survivalist Forum, there seems to be at least 4 different groups:

Hoarders – the people that stock up on everything – food, water, canned goods, beans, rice, MREs,,,.  These are the people that have hundreds  or even thousands of canned or dried food products.

Some of the plans that hoarders have may include storing several years worth of food.  Some of those plans seem to go like this – vacuum seal food products, such as flour, rice, beans, wheat,,,, and then put the packages into 5 gallon buckets, or into air tight containers.

Gardeners – the people that have gardens.  People in this type of group usually stock up on seeds, garden tools, books on gardening and fertilizer.

This group includes the organic gardener and the person who uses commercial fertilizer.

Combination of the two – People that stock up on prepared foods, but also have garden.

On a personal note, I consider a combination of the hoarder and gardener to be the best prepared.  They have enough food stocks to respond to an immediate need.  And then they have access to a renewable food source – their garden and extra seeds.

Some people find comfort knowing that they have a zillion cans of spam. Others find comfort knowing they have enough seeds for at least 3 years of gardens.  And some people find comfort somewhere been the two.

And lastly, there is the militant survivalist. Their comfort is that they have an AR15 or AK47 and several cases of ammo.  This is probably the least prepared group.

Most (not all) of these people envision hordes of looters swarming the streets after society breaks down.  People  in this group may even subscribe to the “Backpack” or “Bug Out Bag” type of mind set.  If there is an outbreak of some kind of plague, some of the people in this group plan on grabbing their family, “heading to the hills” and living a primitive life style.

Survivalist retreat example

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A survivalist retreat should start off with the most basic of necessities – food, water and shelter. Besides those items, location is very important. Access to running water, wild game animals, land for gardening, and away from the public view should also be important considerations.


FEMA camp myths

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It seems that ever since Hurricane Katrina there has been a of misinformation going around as to what FEMA really does.

Lets just set the record straight right now – FEMA is here to help people, not throw them in some type of FEMA prison camp.

The law makers in congress have setup a government agency that tries to help people in areas affected by a disaster.  Most of the time, the relief efforts are composed of – food, water, and temporary shelter. After Hurricane Rita hit the Southeast Texas area I got to see “some” of what FEMA does.  There was an immediate response of MRES, donated canned foods, ice and bottled water brought into the affected areas.

After Hurricane Ike, it became very clear as to what FEMA is designed to do. Bridge City Texas was flooded by the storm surge of Hurricane Ike.

The families there lucky (or blessed) – only  got about 4, 5 or even 9 feed of saltwater, mixed with marsh mud in their houses.

The families that were not so lucky – their houses were destroyed by a combination of storm surge and wind damage.

Thousands of families in Bridge City had nowhere to go.  People were living in tents, or in RVs and some families left Bridge City to go live with relatives.  Out of several thousand homes, only about 12 had not been flooded.  FEMA has been working for months to fix that problem.

Hurricane Ike destroyed home

Hurricane Ike destroyed home

After Hurricane Ike made landfall in September of 2008, FEMA has brought in hundreds of temporary homes.  A lot of These mobile homes were setup in front of peoples houses. Open fields were turned into so called “FEMA camps”.

Here are some pictures of FEMA trailers in Bridge City, Texas.

fema camp trailers

FEMA trailer park in Bridge City, Texas


Urban survival tips for men

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Just a few tips to help the average male survive in the urban jungle.

When the garbage gets full, take it out. This does not mean stomp on the top of the trash, to try to get another beer can in.

Since the topic of beer was brought up, lay off a little bit so your beer belly will go down.

Help take care of the yard.

Take your dirty clothes to the wash room.

Rinse your plate off and put it into the dish washer.

If your wife mentions having her nails painted, offer to do it for her. Whether if you really want to or not, its the thought that counts. And if you mess up, there is always fingernail polish remover.

Buy your wife something at least once a month. And do not try to get off cheap.

Help with the dishes.

Help with the kids.

Spend time with the family.

A little patience goes a long way.

Listen to your wife / girlfriend and pay attention when she speaks.

A lesson from the Black Death

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A few months ago as I was reading a non-fiction book on the Black Death.  There was an interesting story of a family that was out of food and staving.  The family members decided they had a choice to make – either try to get some food from town, or stay at home and starve to death.

The family gathered all of the money that they had, the father and son then headed off on their journey.

On the way to town, the father decided to stop by his cousins house.  Upon arrival, the cousin was sick with the plague, her husband was dead, but the cousins baby was well.  The cousin – knowing that she was dying – begged her cousin (the father) to take her baby with him – which he did.

The father and son decided to turn around and go back home, instead of going on to town.  Right before the trio got home, the father and son killed the baby, skinned it and cut it up into small pieces.  The father then presented the butchered baby to his unsuspecting wife, along with the story of how his cousin had butchered a hog and gave them part of the meat.

The wife cooked the baby and served it to the family.

About 10 days later all of the family were dead from the plague, except the son.  Who went to town and confessed to the sheriff as to what he and his father had done to the baby.

Now ask yourself, how bad would things have to get before “you” resorted to such measures to survive?

Are you and your family prepared for self sufficiency over long periods of time? In other words, if there were no grocery stores, how long until you and your family starve?

Eversafe Meals

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Eversafe meals are kinda like a Meal Ready to Eat (MRE), but are a little different. The meals are packaged in a see through package, so the contents are visible. This is unlike a standard military issue MRE, where the package is not see through.


The meals are packed inside of a study cardboard box. The straps that help hold the box closed can also be used as grab handles.

On the top of the box it says – “Two meals, per person per day.”



Food supply chains

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During outbreaks of the plague in Europe, there was one major problem that faced the rich and poor alike – and that was the availability of food.

The more moving parts a machine has, the more likely it is to break. The supply lines that feed the world are fragile. Before the crops are ever planted, there is fertilizer that has to be made, seeds harvested from the previous year and both of those sent to the farmers. The farmers then spread the fertilizer, plant the seeds, apply water and hope for the best.

In some parts of the world, crops are only grown because modern technology allows them to. Examples of this are water pipelines and irrigation systems that span hundreds of miles. It is only with water that crops can be grown.

Before the first sprout ever breaks through the soil, there are already several “moving parts” or factors. Some of these factors include:

Seed supplies

Manufacturing of fertilizer – either organic or commercial.

Transportation of seeds and fertilizer to the farmer.

Water – either through rain or irrigation.

Pesticides and / or herbicides

Harvesting the crops.

Transporting the crops to either market or to a commercial processing plant.

Processing of food into canned goods.

Transportation from manufacturing to warehouses.

Transportation from warehouses to stores or other outlets.


Urban Survival Tips

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When the term “Urban Survival” is discussed, thoughts of MREs stacked to the ceiling, closets filled with cases of bottled water, tons of dried beans and rice piled up in every corner of the house – those kinds of thoughts come to mind. The fact is, there is more to urban survival then just stockpiling food and water. There are several factors that should be considered, such as food production, water, money, disease and infection control.

A small home garden can produce a lot of food. When people get into gardening, they often have so much food they are having to give it away. Home gardens can supply a typical family with a food source if a disaster were to strike.

Most urbanites depend on city water as their only source of fresh water. This is also a weakness in the plans of a survivalist. Alternative water sources should be found and plans should be in place on how to use those sources of water. Examples of this include – lakes, streams, ponds, swimming pools, rain collection, rain water run off, ditches, canals,,,, only to name a few. If water from these sources is to be used, there most be a plan in place on how to purify the water to make it safe for human consumption. It does no good to drink the water, only for it to be full of bacteria and viruses.


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