Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Month: February 2011

Out on the Angelina River sunday

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Angelina river Jasper TexasWhat happened to the clear skies we were supposed to have Saturday and Sunday? For the past 2 or 3 days the local weather people have been saying the clouds were going to push out by Friday, and we were going to have clear skies Saturday and Sunday,,, what happened?. Instead of being clear and sunny, we had overcast skys, chilly temps and winds gusting out of the south up to 35 miles per hour.

We were “supposed” to head out on the river Saturday, but postponed things until Sunday morning. Sunday morning my mom, dad and my wife headed out to the Angelina River here in East Texas for a boat ride, picnic and do some fishing.

We launched the 2 boats at Bevil Port, headed north for a little bit, then turned south. After maybe 15 minutes of heading south on the Angelina River, we saw a nice sized gator on a log catching some rays. The first signs of summer were out in force. The trees were starting to bloom, the wind was out of the south, and the gators were starting to stir.

We stopped at Angelina 1 primitive camping site, had lunch, did some fishing, took some picture, then loaded up our gear and headed down to the forks of the rivers – where the Angelina and the Neches rivers meet. We tried to do some fishing, but the gusting wind was pushing the boats around too bad.

After a little while of “trying” to fish, we headed back to the boat ramp, loaded up the boats and went home.

It wont be long and spring will be in full bloom.  Hopefully the fish will start biting, and the weather will settle down a little bit.

The dry summer of 2010 is still playing havoc with the water levels of Lake Sam Rayburn.  Before we decided to go out on the river, mom, dad, my wife and I made a trip up to Mill Creek park to take a look at the lake – it was probably 10 feet low.  We need some rain bad, or else the lake level will continue to drop.

My 5 favorite SHTF movies

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On a lazy rainy day, what to do then to watch some movies about SHTF situations.  My personal favorites movies are kept separate from the rest of the families movies – this make them easier to find and keep track of.

In no particular order or preference:

Book of Eli – starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson and Jennifer Beals. Released in 2010, Book of Eli is about a man sent by GOD to deliver a Bible. The film touches on important issues, such as scarcity of resources, safe drinking water, gang violence, religion and rebuilding post-SHTF.

My favorite parts of the Book of Eli:

When Denzel Washington gives the mouse a piece of meat and says something like “go ahead, its cat.”
When the old woman played by Frances de la Tour brings out some tea, and her husband puts on some music.
When the bad guys outside the house are firing their weapons, and out rolls the gatling gun.
The printing press is cranking out pages of the Bible.

Shaun of the Dead – starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis and Dylan Moran. Released in 2004, Shaun of the Dead is about some young adults that suddenly find themselves in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. When I need to good zombie SHTF humor, Shaun of the Dead is the movie I usually turn to.

My favorite parts of Shaun of the Dead:

The introduction cut scenes and music.
When Shaun and Ed plan on killing Shauns’ step dad because the step dad has been bitten.
When the Shauns group meets another group of survivors, both groups look quit similar.


Weekend survival gear purchases

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Don’t have the money to buy $1,000 for survival gear at one time? Then spread it out and get a little bit at a time.

One thing that strikes me as odd, is when people start talking about stockpiling a few simple survival supplies, the conversation will sometimes turn towards money, and how much to cost to prepare. I have had people say “I don’t have $1,000 to drop on a food stockpile“, or something along those lines. The thing is, you don’t have to have $1,000 to get started, purchases can be made in small sections.

Purchases included:

Canned cheese
2 – 4 packs of ravioli
Several cans of soup

The soups are low sodium – my wife is on high blood pressure medicine. If some kind of disaster happens, we do not want foods with a lot of sodium driving up her blood pressure.

Some of that will probably go up to the camp, while some will stay at my house.

In another couple of weeks I’ll pick up some more food stocks, maybe some more dried rice or beans, maybe some more canned goods, or noodles.

In a few more weeks I’ll get some first aid supplies, seeds for my garden, and maybe even plant a couple of fruit trees. has some canned cheese that I’am interested in, that might just be included in some of my next purchases.

Post your comments in this forum thread about stockpiling a little bit at a time.

Best 30 caliber SHTF survival rifle

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.30 caliber survival rifleIf you were going to pick a .30 caliber rifle for a SHTF survival rifle, which one would it be?  The contestants are:  7.62×39, 30-30, 308 and the 30-06.  Lets take a look at each of those calibers, and what rifles their currently available in.

For the sake of discussion, the 30-06 is the largest caliber that will listed in this article.

7.62X39 – made famous by the AK-47 and SKS, developed in 1943, has seen service in major conflicts all over the world, available in civilian rifles such as the Ruger Mini-30 and various bolt action rifles.

Bullet weight:  110 – 155 grain
Muzzle velocity: 1,900 – 2,100 fps, depending on load
Effective range: around 350 meters
Availability: Plenty

There are at least 3 things that makes the 7.62X39 a good choice as a survival rifle – 1.  Availability of ammunition, 2.  Availability of rifles, 3.  Low recoil.

With post-soviet block countries strapped for cash, many of them have decided to sell off their surplus semi-automatic rifles, and surplus ammunition.  In the 1990s, $200 would get you an SKS and a case of 7.62X39 hollow point ammo.  Over time the price of AK-47s, SKSs, and 7.62X39 ammunition has crept up, but its still reasonably priced.

Firing a 123 grain full metal jacket or soft point, the 7.62X39 is well rounded for deer and wild hog sized game.

Since most of the rifles that fire the 7.62X39 are semi-automatic, this makes it a good choice for recoil sensitive people, or people who do not like the full sized rifle cartridges.


Stockpiling a variety of food

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Last weekend my kids and I went to the camp for 2 days; for our trip we packed a variety of food – some chips, several canned goods and some beef jerky. I’ll tell you what, after eating the same type of canned food for even 2 days, it was getting old and quick. This is where the thought of stockpiling beans and rice comes into mind. I have heard of survivalist stockpiling hudnreds of pounds of dried beans and dried rice for some kind of SHTF situation. The problem is, nobody wants to eat the same food day in and day out for weeks and months on end. After the first few days,,, maybe the first couple of weeks people are going to get sick of eating the same thing over and over. That is why its important to stockpile a variety of food for SHTF.

Not only does a variety of food make things easier to eat, varieties also cover a wider range of nutrients.

If you went to your cabinet right now, how many types of food do you have stockpiled? 2 or 3 different types of fruits? 2 or 3 different types of beans, canned meats, chili, peanut butter,,,,,. Past stockpiling food, have you taken into account variety?

Maybe spice things up a little bit by buying beans with peppers in it, or different types of fruits, as compared to only 1 or 2 types.

What about the canned meats, how many different types do you have stockpiled in your survival food preps.

If your planning for some kind of SHTF situation, its not enough to have food stockpiled, if nobody wants to eat it.  Do not stockpile stuff that will expire and have to be thrown out, stockpile what you and your family normally eat.  As the family eats the food, its rotated on a normal basis.

Just food for thought.

FN-FAL magazine prices

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DS Arms SA58 FN-FAL, surefire G2X Pro and Maxpedition Noatak

The FN/FAL has been used by militaries all over the world, so why are the magazines so expensive on the consumer market? Take the AK-47 magazines for example, their usually dirt cheap. Years ago I remember AK mags being around $3 – $5 each. Just about every newsletter I subscribe to, every gun parts magazine, and every gun show I go to has AK magazines from all over the world.

Maybe the abundance of AK magazines is because their coming from money strapped communist countries that are phasing out the AK-47 in favor of more modern rifles? While the countries that used the FN/FAL are in a stable financial situation?

Another point of few – maybe the communist countries are selling off their surplus firearms accessories to keep them out of the hands of their own people?  If you do not want the peasants revolting, make sure their unarmed.  To ensure that the peasants do not have access to firearms, sell the rifles, magazines,,,,, and everything else other countries like the USA.  I have never heard of Canada selling off their excess firearms parts, like what Romania, China and Yugoslavia has done.

If communist countries selling off their spare parts was the answer, then why are the H&K91 / PTR-91 magazines so cheap?  Several months ago a buddy of mine found some PTR-91 magazines for around $1 each.  Even if PTR-91 magazine prices go up to $10 each, that is still about half of what the standard FN/FAL magazine cost.

Post your comments in this forum thread asking why are FN/FAL magazines so expensive?

Escape and Evasion Online Broadcast

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The Social Chaos Survival Guide website is offering a free “Escape & Evasion” Online Broadcast! Share your best tip & win a $500 bugout bag! This is a time limited spot, so Reserve Your Spot NOW!!!!!

The online event wil be held on Thursday, Feb 24th (2011) @ 8pm EST.

And Share YOUR Very Best Escape,Evasion & Survival Tips On The Show! Plus: 2 Attendees Will Win A FREE S.C.R.A.M. Bag!

Good rifle for teenage girl

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white tail deer and atv

Whitetail deer taken with Marlin 336 30-30

My daughter is about ready for her first deer rifle, but I’am not quite sure which direction I should go. All of my other kids have a Marlin 336 in 30-30. For here in East Texas most of our shots are no more then 100 yards, and she will not want anything with recoil. With these east Texas deer, we are talking maybe 125 – 150 pounds.

I would like to stay away from calibers like the 270, 280 and the 30-06, they have too much recoil.  On the flip side the coin, I don’t care for shooting deer with the 6mm or 243 either.  The smallest diameter caliber I would go with would maybe the 257 Roberts.

A few of my first options:

Ruger Mini-30 in 7.62X39 – semi-auto, 30 caliber bullet and effective out to our average range of 100 yards.  The semi-automatic action will help cut down on recoil, but I’am not real sure of the accuracy.  The 7.62X39 does not kick to start with, and the action of the Ruger Mini-30 will just help reduce it that much more.

Marlin 336 in 30-30 – since we have several 30-30s in the family already, ammo will not be a problem. In the past 100 plus years the 30-30 has proven time and time gain to be effective on deer sized game. Mossberg recently came out with a lever action rifle, but I like the idea of having all of the rifles made by the same company. Its nothing against Mossberg, but I have already invested a lot of money into Marlin.

Remington model 7 in 308 Winchester – bolt action accuracy with the effective stopping power of the 308. I first saw the Remington model 7 last hunting season, my nephew used his model 7 to take a couple of East Texas whitetail deer. That 308 and Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt was very effective, to say the least.

Post your comments in this forum thread – good rifle for teenage daughter.

Survival Rifle Ammunition

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survivalist riflesIt was the last weekend of regular deer season, saturday night. A long time member of the deer lease drives up to the camp, and backs his truck up to the scales. That is usually a sure sign that there is a deer in the back of the truck. They get the doe weighed and are stringing it up to skin when I walk out there.

As the skinning of the deer proceeds, there are a few of us standing around helping and watching. The topic turns to the cost of ammunition and bullet performance.

Like a lot of hunters, I tend to buy the cheapest ammo on the shelf – and that is usually Remington Core-Lokt. Over the past 14,,,, 15+ years Core-Lokt is about all that I have bought and shot deer with. During that time I have had no complaints. There is usually a hole going in and a larger hole going out.

The guy who shot the doe goes on to talk about Remington Core-Lokt and how he has since switched to Winchester softpoints. The rifle the guy used was a 270,,,, I do not remember the exact make or model. After talking for a little while, the person who shot the whitetail deer said that he has not been happy with the performance of the Remington Core-Lokt lately and that he felt it may not be expanding like it should. So he switched to the Winchester softpoints.

survival hunting whitetail deer

Whitetail deer taken with 270 remington

I can say one thing about the doe that was being skinned, there was a massive amount of bruising, bleeding and tissue damage. It was like the whole area where the bullet went through had residual damage to the surrendering tissue.

Doing a mental comparison of the deer that was shot with a 270 and Winchester softpoints, and the deer that my son took a couple of years ago with a Marlin 30-30 and Remington Core-Lokt – the 270 caused more tissue damage – both rifles were shooting 150 grain bullet. The 270 travels at a higher velocity then the 30-30, but the 30-30 is a larger in diameter bullet.


Texas February 2011 Ice Storm

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Texas Ice StormTo the northern states this might not be a big deal, but here in Southeast Texas, we are not used to dealing with this kind of stuff.  Ice is collecting on the roads, bridges, overpasses, on the cars, water lines are freezing and bursting, local government offices are closing, people are being told to stay off the roads.

The overpasses around the Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange areas are frozen over. Some of our bridges are closed – like the Veterans memorial bridge and the Rainbow Bridge.  The local news station showed a live feed from Interstate 10 through Beaumont this morning, and what was normally a busy highway, there were only a handfull of cars and 18-wheelers on the road.

The tarp that covers my boat has a thin lay of ice on it, and were rain water has collected, its frozen.

The windshields of my truck and my wifes SUV have a layer of frozen water on them.

The majority of the local court houses and schools are closed.  But for some reason Jasper ISD did not close their schools and are putting kids on the icy roads. Maybe its time to elect a new school board.

Ice cycles off the roof of the storage building are maybe 1 – 1.5 inches long and growing.

Its not expected to get above freezing until tomorrow.

Post your comments about the recent ice storm in this thread of the forum – East Texas is Frozen.

Texas rolling blackouts

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Around February 1st a major cold front pushed through much of the US. Estimates put about 1/3 of the total population has been affected in one way or another – including Texas.

Parts of North Texas may receive cold weather from time to time. But for the most part, our winters might be in the 20 – 40 range. Due to our mild winters, some of the Power Generation plants were not prepared for the cold weather. I don’t know the exact details as to “why” this has happened, but rolling blacks are happening in Central Texas – like around the Austin area. From the reports I have heard, the rolling blackouts are lasting anywhere from 15 minutes – 1 hour.

Here is the problem – if our infrastructure is so weak that a cold front causes power plants to shut down, what would a bomb from a terrorist do? Or worse yet, what would happen if we went to war and some nation boomed a couple of our power plants? North Korea is supposed to be working on an intercontinental ballistic missile. It seems that a couple of well placed strikes could cripple this nations electrical grid.

Without electricity, the world as we know it stops to exist.

Post your comments in this forum thread about Texas rolling blackouts due to cold front.

Random thoughts on gun control

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AK-47 AR-15 Survival RiflesGun control is always linked to socialism, communism, monarchy, or some other kind of oppressive government.

How many people were killed in car accidents last year?
How many people were killed by firearms last year?

But we are not going to outlaw cars and car shows?

Lets just all panic because someone shot an elected official in Arizona. But when little Suzy fell into a pool and drowned, I bet the local news barely mentioned it, much less the world news.

Talk of gun control after an event is nothing more then reactionism.

If someone commits a crime with a firearm – punish that person. But do not burden law abiding gun owners with more restrictions. To quote a scene from Red Dawn – “if a fox steals a chicken, you do not punish the pig.”

The world is full of bad things, whether its mercury in the tuna, lead in the drinking water,,,,,,, the world is never going to be a perfect place.

We already have plenty of gun laws on the books, enforce the ones we have first.

With self governor comes self responsibility. Those that can not use their rights without harming others, should have their rights taken away (prison), but do not punish the majority for the actions of the few.

Look at the people that get convicted of assault or even murder. Chances are they have a record a mile long, and chances are the state had a “3 strikes and your out law” somewhere on the books. So why are they on the streets to start with?

With prisons already overloaded, where is society supposed to put repeat offenders? That is, until they commit the most violent of crimes – and then its too late.

A few weeks ago there were some murders in Beaumont Texas. Come to find out the suspect had a record so long, they must have installed a revolving door on the jail just for him. Between early release, and reduced prison terms, this guy was in and out of prison like it was a candy store. The question I have to ask was “why”? Why did it take the guy murdering someone before he was sent to prison for life? Maybe because prison is not a warehouse? Prison is not for people who “might” harm society. We have to wait until the deed is done, and then we do something.

I firmly believe that people have the right to protect themselves, their family and their property.

I also believe the people have the right for armed rebellion – but only as a last resort. If it was good enough for the militia and George Washington in 1776, its good enough for us.

The protest in Egypt, and the calls for the government to step down going on right now. How much different would it be if the people were armed? I think things would be a lot different.

Timinin square 1989, things might have turned out a little different if the citizens had been armed.

What makes Egypt and Timinin square so much different then the American Revolution? The Americans were armed.

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