Entries for March, 2011

Abandoned places and long term disasters

Abandoned places after shtfLets say that some kind of long term SHTF happens, like what happened in 1348 with the black death. Large areas are depopulated, nobody is around to maintain roads, nobody is around to keep the trees cut back, or do maintenance on buildings. What can we expect?  In an effort to what what will happen to our infrastructure, my wife went driving around to look at abandoned sawmills and abandoned sawmill towns.

The first example I looked at was a sawmill that was abandoned in the 1930s or 1940s. All that remains is a couple of walls, the foundations, and some motor mounts where the saw motors were bolted down. If it was not made of cement or steel, its long gone. But even then, the steel is starting to rust away. Nothing of wood is visible above the layers of leaves and pine straw.

While walking around the remains of the sawmill, I can not help but think about the people that worked there. Did they have the same worries that we do today, did they worry about paying the house note, did they worry about their kids, and what about the politics at the time. In the 1920, I can just imagine some of the discussions about the new income tax the government was putting into place.

The second example I looked at was a community that was built around another sawmill. This second sawmill and its supporting community disappeared around the 1950s and 1960s. from what I was told, the last family moved out of the community in the mid-1960s. Today, nothing is left of the communities. Where people once lived their lives, raised their families, and went to school, nothing exist.

Unlike the sawmill that was made of steel and cement, these homes were made of wood.  Being made of wood, they fell down faster then the concrete walls of the sawmill.

Its interesting that just 40 years after the last family left the community, nothing remains. Some of the houses may have been torn down, while other homes may have collapsed from neglect.

Post your comments in this forum thread about Looking at abandoned places for examples.

Stockpiling seeds for SHTF

SHTF Survival GardenLets say that the world goes to crap tomorrow. Some kind of long term SHTF situation has happened – plague, meteor, massive climate change,,,,, what does your SHTF seed stockpile look like this very second? If you walked to where your seeds are stored, pulled out the container, would you be happy, or disappointed?

I have decided to divide my SHTF seed stockpile between my home and my bug out location. the mindset being, lets say that my family and I have to Bug Out and we do not have time to grab the primary seed stockpile, we have a backup.  With a variety of seeds stored in each location, if we forget the main seeds, we have the backups.

Some considerations – seeds that grow quick like Radishes, plants that have protein like pinto beans, plants that do not need to be cooked like Squash and Zucchini, cold weather crops like turnip greens, plants that can be dried and stored easily like peas, beans and corn.

Examples of my SHTF survival seed stocks:

Corn:
G-90 – Hybrid sweet corn
Truckers Favorite – Open pollinated field corn
Yellow Dent – Open pollinated field corn

Peas and Beans:
Roma II – snap bean
Texas purple hull pink eye
Mississippi purple hull pink eye
Purple hull pink eye BVR – the BVR stands for virus resistant. If you see some BVR peas, pick them up.
Contender bush bean
Blue lake bush bean
Pinto beans – One thing to take into consideration is pinto beans, which are high in protein. So if there is no meat, pinto beans can be eaten.

I prefer bush beans over climbing beans – its just personal preference.

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Fitness update March 23 2011

survivalistAfter doing a few 2 hour workouts last week, I decided to slack up a little bit this week.  Instead of trying to do 2 hours every night, I think I will do what ever I feel like doing – but still pushing it a little bit.

Tonights movie was Minority Report, released in 2002 Minority Report stars Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton and Max von Sydow. Minority report is about 3 people that can see the future and when murders are going to be committed. Tom Cruise is framed for a murder he did not commit.  To clear his name, Tom seeks out the truth.

Wednesday weigh-in:  192 pounds.  Target weight, anything less then 170.  It looks like I gained 2 pounds since last week – which really pisses me off.

Workout totals:
8,191 steps
70:05 minutes
520 calories
4.131 miles
215 pushups
300 deltoids with 25 pound weight
Total workout time – about 95 minutes

Workout went like this:
Treadmill was set to 3.5 degree incline – 3 miles per hour for 10 minutes as a warm up
10 pushups
20 deltoids
5 minutes on treadmill at 3.5 mph
10 pushups
20 deltoids
5 minutes on treadmill at 3.5 mph
15 pushups
20 deltoids
3 minutes at 4.5 mph – 2 minutes at 3.5 mph
15 pushups
20 deltoids
5 minutes in treadmill at 3.5 mph
repeat
repeat

A couple of times I did 20 pushups and 25 deltoids.

After workout meal was a chicken sandwich, mayo, cheese, triscuits, garden vegetable philly cream cheese to dip the triscuits in, and low calorie G2 to wash everything down.

Faecbook needs a Do Not Recommend button

survivalistWhile reading an article about the 12 vaccines your child needs, I wished that Facebook had a “Do Not Recommend” button. The article listed Chicken Pox as a needed vaccine. Its at that time the article lost all credibility. Even though there was a Facebook Recommend button, I wished there was a “Do Not Recommend” button.

Who in their right mind list chicken pox along with Hepatitis and Polio? Does chicken pox cause life long suffering? No, its a simple virus that kids used to get on a regular basis. The chicken pox vaccine is nothing more then a convince drug. Instead of researchers spending time on HIV or Cancer, their wasting time researching a common childhood disease.

Let the kids get sick, let their bodies develop a strong immune system, and they will probably be better off later in life.

Some buttons I wished Facebook had:

The author is biased
The article is stupid
I wasted 5 minutes of my life reading this article
The article is a sales pitch
The article was paid for by some company wants to sell you something
The article was designed to make you think you have to buy something
If you want an honest opinion, go somewhere else

Fitness update March 21 2011

survivalistWhy do I feel bad after a long workout? Even through the next day I just feel like something is not right. I can not explain in “exact” detail, but something is not right.

To change up my workout, I have been putting on a movie, and doing a mix of cardio and strength training for the length of the movie. This means the workout last anywhere from 90 – 120 minutes.

For an example, 1 of my workouts last week included:

5.5 miles on treadmill
about 170 pushups
about 500 – 550 crunches,,,,,

On average I am doing 4.5 – 5.5 miles on the treadmill 3 – 4 times a week, along with everything else.

After a workout last week I waited about an hour, then ate a meal. After eating a meal after my workout I felt much better the next day. I do not know if I am sweating out too many minerals, or something else.

The goal is to be able to do a 12 mile hiking trip in around 8 – 10 hours, carrying a backpack, and in varying terrain. We have rolling hills were I go hiking, and no trails. I figure I need some kind of training that builds strength and endurance.

For tonights workout:

7,046 steps
3.425 miles
60:28 minutes on the treadmill
175 pushups
about 120 crunches

Total workout time about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

I think I will stay at this pace for the rest of the week, get my diet stabilized, and then next week kick it back up.

After tonights workout I had a chicken sandwich with mayo, cheese on whole wheat bread, and some triscuits with vegetable garden dip. For a drink I had low calorie G2.

Feel much better tonight then I did last week.

Want to win some survival gear

survivalistPrizes include:

Brand new copy of “Dare To Prepare” hot of the press from author Holly Deyo
New – Two Princeton Tec lights clip on lights
New – Coleman Snap lights two packages, (4 snap lights total each a different color)
New – 30 foot roll of 30lb test Tyger Leader (Tie-able stainless steel leader wire, MANY uses)
New – Don Hume pepper spray belt leather holster
New – kershaw Fire Starter
3 new ball caps
Custom made paracord bracelet with a whistle buckle and wrist compass
Package of 5 ‘Glow-in-the-dark’ paracord ends to help ID gear.
A collapsible 3 liter Israeli Pilot’s Survival Flask that allows you to carry and boil water
Plus 100 feet of Black Type II Paracord.

See this thread in the forum on how to enter – Survival Gear Contest

First Aid Kit, Fishing Supplies and Propane

Survival Gear - First Aid Kit, Fishing Supplies and PropaneOver the past few weeks we have been talking about spreading your survival gear purchases out over an extended period of time. Instead of dropping several hundred dollars at once, spend $20 here, $30 there, and after a few weeks you and your family will have a nice stockpile of survival gear.

In this article, lets talk about first aid kits, fishing supplies and propane.

First Aid Kits – Almost always a good investment, especially if their on sale. A couple of weeks ago a local big-box-mart had a coleman first Aid kit on sale for something like 10% or 15% off. So I thought why not, we can use a first aid kit in our camping box anyway. So this kit was bought just to take on camping trips with the family.

First aid kits are one of those things that are often overlooked and neglected until their needed.  And then its “oh crap” I forgot to put <insert needed item here> in the kit, what are we going to do now?

Personally, I like to have a camping / backpacking first aid kit, a kit in my truck, a first aid kit for home and one at the camp / bug out location.

Propane – is one of the few survival gear supplies that last forever.  As long as the bottles are not stored in a wet location where they can rust, or where the bottles can be damaged, everything should be good.  I like propane because the bottles can be stored at the camp, and when I need them they are there.   Its not like gasoline that goes bad over time, or needs some kind of special treatment to preserve the quality.

Propane also has a wide variety of uses – lanterns, propane stoves, single burner camp stoves and space heaters for a few examples.  Propane provides the small comforts of life that everyone likes – warmth, light and hot meals.

One of the problems with propane, once the cylinder is empty, there is not much you can do with it, except throw it away.  I know people who buy the refill kits to refill the small 1 pound cylinders off of a 20 pound bottle.  But sooner or later that bigger bottle is going to run out.

After Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Rita, some of my neighbors use their propane grill to cook with.  After about a week, there were several empty 20 pound bottles sitting in the yard.  After a SHTF situation, propane is going to be short lived, so enjoy it while you can.

Fishing Supplies – In my opinion, fishing supplies are some of the most underrated, over looked, and underestimated survival gear supplies that anyone can stockpile. Unless you live in a desert, the local rivers, streams, lakes and ponds can offer a supply of fish, which in turn can be used to feed your family.

The only problem with eating fish after SHTF, is the levels of mercury found in certain types of fish. Here in SouthEast Texas the local lakes and rivers have warning signs saying that people should not eat over a certain amount of bass, perch and fresh water drum every month.

One of the things about fishing supplies, they make great barter items for after SHTF.  Lets say that I need some corn seed, or some squash seed.  12 pound fishing line come sin 700 yard spools.  To re-string a reel, you do not use 100 yards.  That leaves leaves 600 yards to barter with.  Better yet, buy several spools of 10, 12 and 15 pound test, and that provides you with several miles of fishing line to barter with.  If left in their original package, Stainless steel hooks should not rust.

Between several spools of fishing line, and stainless steel hooks, you have barter items that never expire and never have to be rotated out.

Post your comments in this forum thread about Propane, first aid kits and fishing supplies.

Related Articles:

Salt, LED Flashlights, Lithium Batteries and Seeds

Weekend Survival Gear Purchases

Post Apocalyptic Survival Gear

Fitness update March 16 2011

survivalistMy back was so sore last night that I was barely able to sleep, I just could not get comfortable. Due to the lack of sleep last night, I seriously thought about not doing my workout tonight. But I know that missing one night is the first step towards failure.

Tonights movie was A Knights Tale – released in 2001, the movie stars Heath Ledger, Mark Addy, Shannyn Sossamon, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell, Paul Bettany, James Purefoy, Laura Fraser, and Roger Ashton-Griffiths. The sound track for A Knights Tale is probably one of the best sound tracks for a movie I have ever heard. Any movie that has music from Queen, Bachman–Turner Overdrive, David Bowie, Eric Clapton and AC/DC can not go wrong.

Wednesday weigh-in:  190 pounds.  Target weight, anything less then 170.

Workout totals:

100 minute on the treadmill. Once again, the stupid treadmill cut off at 100 minutes.
11,573 steps – per treadmill display
5.558 miles – per treadmill display
677 calories – per treadmill display
510 crunches with 8 pound ball
510 jumping jacks

The workout went like this:

Because I was so sore from last nights workout, I decided to keep the treadmill at 1 angle, and just change my pace as needed.

Treadmill angle 3.5 degree incline
10 minute warm up 3.5 degrees 2.5 – 3.0 miles per hour
30 crunches with 8 pound ball
30 jumping jacks
5 minutes on treadmill 3.5 miles per hour
30 crunches with 8 pound ball
30 jumping jacks
5 minutes on treadmill 3.3 miles per hour
30 crunches with 8 pound ball
30 jumping jacks
5 minutes on treadmill 4.5 miles per hour
30 crunches with 8 pound ball
30 jumping jacks
5 minutes on treadmill 3.3 miles per hour
30 crunches with 8 pound ball
30 jumping jacks
5 minutes on treadmill 3.5 miles per hour
30 crunches with 8 pound ball
30 jumping jacks
5 minutes on treadmill 3.5 miles per hour

 

90 minutes into the workout was my last set of crunches and jumping jacks.  The last 10 minutes from 90 – 100 minutes was a cool down period, where the pace on the treadmill was slowly decreased from 3.5 – 2.5 miles per hour.

For some reason I felt more thirsty then the previous nights, so I was sucking down low calorie G2 and tea with ginzing.

Fitness update March 15 2011

survivalistSince yesterdays movie was Spider-Man, I figured todays movie should be Spider-man 2. Released in 2004, Spider-man 2 introduces Doctor Octopus (Doc Ock) to the Mavrel universe. I was kinda surprised when Doc Ock sinks into the water at the end of the movie. If the producers kill off all of Spider-Mans arch enemies, who is he supposed to fight in future movies? But then again, maybe Sony was trying to kill the Spider-Man franchise so nobody else can make money off spider-man. I am so glad that Marvel has taken over control of their movies.

Workout totals:

100 minutes and 6 seconds on the treadmill – per treadmill display
773 calories – per treadmill display
11,002 steps – per treadmill display
5.079 miles – per treadmill display
170 pushups
340 military presses with a single 25 pound weight

For some reason the stupid treadmill cut off at 100 minutes. Which is ok, because I was right at the end of the movie anyway.

The workout went like this:

10 minute warmup on treadmill – 3.5 degree incline 2.5 – 3.0 miles per hour
10 pushups
20 military presses
5 minutes on the treadmill at 10.0 degree incline 3.0 miles per hour
10 pushups
20 military presses
5 minutes on the treadmill at 3.5 degree incline 3.5 miles per hour
10 pushups
20 military presses
5 minutes on treadmill at 10.0 degree incline 3.0 miles per hour

After about 35 – 45 minutes into the workout, I felt winded and my sides started to hurt. So I backed off the speed on the treadmill a little bit. Instead of 3.5 miles per hour at 3.5 degrees, I slowed that down to 3.2 – 3.3 miles per hour at 3.5 degrees. Instead of 3.0 miles per hour at 10.0 degrees, I slowed that down to 2.7 – 2.8 miles per hour at 10.0 degrees. The pain in my side went away and I was able to continue.

Wednesday is weigh-in-day, After eating like a pig on a camping trip last weekend, I am a little unsure as to how its going to look.

Fitness update March 14 2011

Monday night movie and workout:

Movie: Spider-Man – released in 2002, starring Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Cliff Robertson, Rosemary Harris and J. K. Simmons. I thought the first movie of the Spider-man series held pretty true to the comic book.

10,712 steps – per treadmill display
5.021 miles – per treadmill display
95:01 minutes – per treadmill display
715 calories – per treadmill display
480 crunches with 8 pound ball
320 tricep extensions with 25 pound weight

Springfield announces new XD line of pistols

The following part of a is a press release that I received from Springfield:

Three years ago, Springfield released its newest member of the XD® family of pistols, the XD(M)™, at the NRA Annual Meetings in Phoenix, AZ. The .40CAL and 9MM were the first to be released. Most recently the 3.8 model was introduced and it seemed the XD(M)™ family of pistols was complete . . . almost! Since then, Springfield’s customer service lines and e-mail have been flooded asking for the missing link. The XD(M)™ 45ACP, you asked for it and you got it. But we can’t stop there…

After listening to request after request to create a smaller framed XD(M)™, Springfield Armory® set off to not only give the customers what they were asking for, but to continue with the spirit of The-M-Factor™, and give them even (M)ore. In essence, what they have succeeded in doing is not only providing one of the most consumer friendly pistols for concealed carry, but they have taken the NEW Compact to another level by making it easy to transform into a Full-Size, high-capacity XD(M)™.

Springfield Armory® has taken one of the most popular concealed carry handguns in the Market (the Sub-Compact XD®), and merged it with one of the most popular full-size handguns in the market (the XD(M)™ 3.8), to create what many expect will be the most popular handgun in the firearms industry— the XD(M)™ 3.8 Compact. We started out with the XD(M)™ Compact in 9mm (13+1 Rnd flush fitting 9mm magazine and 19+1 Rnd full size 9mm megazine™ w/X-Tension™(USPAT.7191556)), we are now shipping the XD(M)™ Compact in .40 Cal. (11+1 Rnd flush fitting .40 magazine and 16+1 Rnd full size .40 megazine™ w/X-Tension™ USPAT.7191556).

The XD(M)™ Compact pistol has a frame the same size as the Sub-Compact XD®, and the same slide as the XD(M)™ 3.8. It also has the ability to become a full-size, high-capacity handgun by changing magazines to one with the XD(M) Gear™ Mag X-Tension™ USPAT.7191556.

The XD(M)™ Compact pistol has all of the great features Springfield Armory® calls, “The-M-Factors™” and so much more. These are all the upgrades that make the XD(M)™ special, such as-
• Point & Shoot Ergonomics™
• The Standards
• The M Factors™

For the rest fo the article, and to post your comments, visit one of these forum threads:

SurvivalistBoards – The new Springfield XD(M) line of pistols

PerfectUnion – The new Springfield XD(M)

Fitness update March 9 2011

survivalistFitness update for March 9, 2011

Breakfast:
Kashi chewy trail mix granola bar – 140 calories
Banana
Monster low-carb drink

Lunch:
Sonic foot long chili dog with jalapeno peppers – 830 calories and 1,980mg of sodium
Sonic medium tots – 330 calories and 720mg of sodium
large un-sweet iced tea

Calories after lunch and breakfast – 1160
Sodium intake after lunch and breakfast – 2,405mg

Holy crap, I did not realize a sonic foot long chili dog had so much sodium in it.  My personal target for sodium intake is more like 1,500mg for a whole day, not in 1 meal.

Sonic is off the menu from now on.

Wednesday workout:
Treadmill 3.5 degree incline for 10 minutes at 2.5 – 3.0 mph
8 – 50 pound curls
30 crunches with 8 pound ball
Treadmill 10.0 degree incline for 5 minutes at 2.6 mph
8 – 50 pound curls
30 crunches with 8 pound ball
Treadmill 3.5 degree incline for 5 minutes at 3.0 mph
8 – 50 pound curls
30 crunches with 8 pound ball
Treadmill 10.0 degree incline for 5 minutes at 2.7 mph
8 – 50 pound curls
30 crunches with 8 pound ball
Treadmill 3.5 degree incline for 5 minutes at 3.2 mph
8 – 50 pound curls
30 crunches with 8 pound ball
Treadmill 10.0 degree incline at 2.7 mph

Grandmother called at 36 minutes into workout, which means that the night was cut 24 minutes short of the 1 hour goal.

Post workout snack – probably going to be celery sticks with either peanut butter or pimento cheese, and maybe some sliced cheese on the side.

Wednesday weigh in: 192 pounds, target weight 165 – 170 pounds.

Survival Gear Salt Flashlights and Seeds

buying shtf survival gearA couple of weeks ago I posted a video on youtube talking about spreading your survival gear purchases out over time.  Instead of forking out $400, $500 or even $600 at a time, just spend $40, $50 or $60 at a time.   After a few trips to the store, your probably going to be surprised at the amount of gear that can be stockpiled.

A couple of weeks ago my kids and I went to the camp for 2 days.  While we were there we decided to walk around the property at night.  The following is what I like to call the “can opener” effect – its were you get so involved with the bigger things that you overlook the small stuff.

During the rush to get packed, all three of us forgot to grab a good flashlight.  After looking through the flashlights that we have stockpiled at the camp, I realized that we had several hand crank flashlights, but no good quality LED flashlights.  Hand crank lights are fine for inside the house, but when you need to secure the property, you need a good quality light.  The only good quality light my kids and I had was the Surefire 6PX Tactical on my AR-15.  My daughter and my son were able to find some cheap led lights that were barley bright enough to see the ground.  We walked around the property, looked at some stuff and then went back to the trailer.  While my kids and I were walking around in the middle of the night, I made up my mind that some good LED lights would be in my next purchase.

Purchases for March 6 2011 include:

6 – 1 pound 10 ounce containers of salt
100 rounds Winchester 9mm 115grain round nose
4 pack Energizer AAA Lithium batteries
1 – Coleman 90 lumen LED flashlight
1 pound regular pinto beans (for the garden)
1 pound yellow dent field corn (for the garden)
$1 worth giant noble spinach (for the garden)
20 pounds seed potatoes – hopefully to get planted next week

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Worried about a food crisis in 2011

snap beans potatoes survival gardenAre you Worried about a food crisis in 2011? I am.

Price of gas has gone up almost 50 cents in the last 2 weeks, and is currently sitting in the $3.47 a gallon range. A couple of years ago when gas touched $3 a gallon, fertilizer for growing food went to $22 – $23 for a 50 pound bag.

The higher cost for fertilizer and fuel pushed food prices up. As the price of fuel came down, the price of food came down.

But now, instead of the price of fuel slowly creeping up, its skyrocketed through the roof. Overnight prices go up 5 – 7 cents. The cost of fuel will sooner or later be passed down to the consumer.

Now that people are talking about shortages of Mountain House #10 cans, panic buying might kick in, and we might be looking at even more food shortages.

A couple of days ago a buddy of mine and I were talking about the current shortages in freeze dried and dehydrated foods.   My buddy has the opinion that the current shortages are caused from last years food crops being depleted.  That once the crops from 2011 are harvested, that the shortages will fade away.

Lets say for a minute that my buddy is right.  Last years crops are depleted, we have nothing in reserves, and once this years crops are harvested everything will be ok.  If this theory is correct, we are just 1 season from starvation.

My personal theory on the food shortages, panic buying has kicked, and as a result of the panic buying, our stockpiles have been depleted.  All of this civil unrest in Egypt and Libya, the high gas prices, high unemployment rates, jobs still being shipped to China, people still losing their homes,,,,,, people are worried and their stockpiling more survival food preps.

But either way – whether the food shortages are caused from natural market conditions or panic buying, one thing is certain, the future does not look very bright.

Lets just say that I’am worried enough that my family and I will be planting our largest garden we have planted in years.  In previous years we planted maybe 1/4 acre plot of land with some potatoes, snap beans, squash and a few other things.  This year we are probably going to plant around 3 – 5 acres of crops.  The potatoes will be planted pretty heavy, as will the peas, beans, corn and a few other crops.

I’m hoping on putting up some corn this year, along with some peas and snap beans.

Potatoes, I’m hoping on planting enough potatoes that my family and I will not have to buy and for a long time.

The one big issue that I see, if this year is as dry as last year, we might be facing a lot of crop failures.  Lake Sam Rayburn is probably 8 feet low – we need some serious rain to bring the area back up to normal levels.

Lets also hope that some of the worlds major food producers do not have any problems this year, like droughts, or floods.

How about a video from 2010 of harvesting some potatoes.

Post your comments in this forum thread about a 2011 food crisis.

Recall Joe Deshotel

From the local Beaumont news, it appears that Joe Deshotel supports a state income tax for Texas. Its time to stand up to tax happy politicians – when its time to reelect Joe Deshotel, say no to a state income tax and vote for whoever is running against Joe Deshotel.

The people have to draw a line in the sand, and its a line that we do not cross. Texas has money to take care of illegal immigrants, but we are supposed to be broke?

Say no to a state income tax – the power to tax is the power to destroy. The federal income is a failure. Instead of the tax base being shifted to the people that can afford it, the tax burden is placed on the shoulders on those that can not afford it – the middle class and the poor.

But for some reason, an income tax for Texas is “supposed” to be a good thing?

Stand up to tax happy politicians, and vote no to Joe Deshotel.