Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Month: June 2011

Stockpiling fishing supplies for SHTF

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catfish in angelina riverAs I have said in several forum post about stockpiling survival gear for SHTF, I think fishing supplies should be at the top of the list. That is, unless you live in a desert or hundreds of miles from a water source.  In some kind of long term SHTF survival situation, fishing could be an important food source.  The better prepared you are to utilize fish as a food source, the better your chances for success.

On the way home from work today, my wife and I stopped by Ward’s Outdoor Supply in Jasper Texas.  The store is snuggled in the corner of an Exxon gas station at the northeast corner of Hwy 96 and Hwy 190.  To be honest, when I entered the store, I was not expected much, but I was pleasantly surprised.  In fact, I was very surprised at the wide selection of fishing supplies that Ward’s had in stock.

This is what I picked up:

3 packages Eagle Claw #3 barrel swivels with safety snap. Each package contains 4 swivels.
A small lure for white perch (aka Crappie)
1 package of 12 baby brush hog green pumpkin pearl
1 package of 8 brush hog plum apple
1 package of 12 baby brush hog pumpkin spice
2 Big’n bait holder – for catfish.

The brush hogs are for bass fishing – I am going to set them up in a weedless Texas rig for fishing around lilly pads and other water obstructions.

The Big’n bait holder has a small piece of mess, with a treble hook on the end.  What your supposed to do is use something like cheese or peanut butter for bait, and the mesh holds the bait in place.  When the catfish bites into the bait, it gets a treble hook in its mouth.

big'n bait holder for catfishing

While on a camping trip to Sandy Creek Park on steinhagen reservoir back in May of 2011, a buddy of mine pulled a Big’n bait holder, put some cheese inside the mesh and threw it out into the water. A little while later my buddy reeled in a blue cat about 14 inches long. We threw the fish back, but catching the catfish showed my that such a device could be used with food scarps to catch catfish.

Trotline string, something else that I picked up a few days ago was a spool of trotline string. The spool has 580 feet of line on it, and has an estimated strength of 235 pounds. This spool of line can be used to make anything from trotlines, to jug lines, to braided line for something stronger. A few years ago while on a camping trip with my kids, we braided trotline string to make cord to hang our hammocks with.

With the above listed items we can fish for perch, catfish and bass.  With the catfishing we can make jug lines or trotlines.

For fishing line, I like to keep several spools of fishing line in stock.  Some of the spools that I have in stock right now are – 8 pound, 10 pound, 12 pound, 20 pound and 30 pound line.

Post your comments in this forum thread about stockpiling fishing gear for shtf.

Related post:
Camping on the Angelina river
Buying fishing gear
How to organize a tackle box

A slave to the government

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In a 1942 US Supreme Court ruling, it was determined that Ohio farmer Roscoe Filburn could not grow wheat on his own property. Congress, under the interstate commerce act, had the power to stop Roscoe from growing his own wheat, instead of buying it on the national market. By growing his own wheat, Roscoe Filburn affected interstate commerce, which Congress has the authority to regulate.

What kind of government allows such broad and over reaching powers, that it has the ability to tell people what kind of crops they can and can not grow. When you control the food, you control the people.

The sad thing is, the 1942 decision has been used to uphold part of Obama care.

People are no longer free, we are slaves to corporate America. Our only purpose in life is to guarantee profits and bonuses to the CEOs and board members.

For more information, see this page at wikipedia Wickard v. Filburn

The sad thing is, no mater how out of control Government gets, people still vote the 2 party system. When will people learn that if they want real change, they are going to have to vote different.

When the next election comes around, vote for change, and not the obama type of change, and vote for a party besides the democraps and the republicants.

Only when both of the 2 major parties are removed from office, only then will we see a real change in government.

Bucket for trotlines and noodles

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SHTF fishing supplies for catfish and trotlinesA few weeks ago I posted an article about fishing with juglines after SHTF.  One of the problems is organizing the noodles and trot lines so they are easy to deploy.  In an effort to keep everything together, I bought a 5 gallon bucket.  The bucket provided a way to keep the noodles and trot lines together, but it lacked compartments for holding hooks, weights, swivels and leader material,,,, and other odds and ends.  This problem was fixed on Fathers Day.

On Fathers day my Grand kids picked me out a lid for my 5 gallon bucket.  The lid is made by Plano, its 2 sided, has 6 compartments in the top tray, and the tray is removable for access to a storage compartment.  The compartments are large enough for hooks, weights, swivels,,,, anything that you might need for setting up a jugline or trot line.

Along with the trotline and jugline material for catfishing, I am going to include some supplies for perch fishing, and maybe some stuff for bass fishing.

So, your probably wondering how trotlines or juglines applies to a long term SHTF situation.

Lets say that you live close to a river, stream, lake, pond,,,, anywhere else that catfish like to hang out. Go out to the body of water, and just before dark throw out the juglines. The next morning, just as the sun is coming up, get a boat and head out on the water to collect the noodles.

In the case of a river, throw the juglines in the river just before dark, then launch something like a canoe, go down the river, collect the lines, then return home.

The goal is to let the juglines do the fishing, while your working on something else.

In a long term SHTF survival situation, its important to utilize all of your available resources.  Whether its gathering roots, harvesting fish, hunting, pulling weeds from the garden,,,,,,,,, your going to need to save time and resources when possible.

Post your comments in this forum thread about trotlines and juglines after STHF.

Buying fishing gear

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Survivalist fishing gearWhile my wife and I were doing our Sunday shopping at the local china-mart, I went to the sporting goods section to look at the fishing supplies.   Choices, choices, so many choices.  Should I get some perching supplies, or stuff for catfishing, bass fishing,,,,,.  Do I want supplies for artificial or live bait.

A lot of survivalist stockpile freeze dried foods, food in mylar bags,  canned goods, seeds for a garden and ammunition for hunting.  One thing that I do not see talked about a lot is fishing supplies.  Maybe fishing supplies is a given, that everyone should have fishing supplies stockpiled, or maybe its overlooked by a lot of people?

Fishing supplies bought today:

1.  Zoom artificial lizard, 6″ long, cotton candy color – for bass fishing

2.  Eagle claw hooks, box of 40, size 1/0 – for catfish, noodles and trot lines

3.  Water Gremlin split shot weight – for perch fishing

4.  Eagle claw Barrel swivel with interlocking snap, size 5 – for catfishing, trot lines and jug lines

The supplies bought today cover at least 3 different types of fishing – bass, perch and catfish.

The eagle Claw 1/0 hooks can be used on a rod and reel, trot line, or jug line. If your out on a camping trip, the hooks can be used to fish off the bank, or make up some trot lines or jug lines and set them out overnight.

Now its time for a couple of videos.

In this video lets look at making some noodles, which are like jug lines. After making this video, I revised the way I want to make the noodle lines, but a video about the new design has not been posted yet.

In this video a buddy of mine and I go on a 3 day camping trip on the Angelina River in December of 2010.

How to organize a tackle box

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How to organize a tackle box survival fishing supplies Last night I was going through my tackle box trying to get it a little better organized. The problem was that I had hooks and weights spread out over different section of the tackle box. The top of the box is mostly lures and a few weights and hooks. With the bottom of the box being an assortment of different hooks, weights and other supplies.

Some of the lures in the top of the tackle box include rattle traps, crank baits, beetle spins, and a couple of tiny torpedoes.

After looking through my tackle for a little while, I realized that I fish for about 3 different types of fish – perch, bass and catfish.

For perch I use split weight and small hooks.  To organize my tackle box for perch fishing gear, I bought a small double sided container.  On one side of the container goes hooks, on the other side goes split weights.

Since perch stay in shallow water, I try to keep a small stock of bobbers (corks).

For bass fishing I use artificial bait, like worms and lizards.  A bottom section of the tackle box is dedicated to artificial worms, on top of the worms is a small double sided container like what I keep the perch fishing stuff in.  In this container hooks go on one side and weights go on the other side.

Unlike the round split weights for perch fishing, the weights used for bass fishing are oblong split weights used for making a Texas rig so the bait does not get hung up in the weeds.

For catfish I use a little bit larger hooks then perch fishing and some teardrop weights.  A loop is tied in the fishing line, the end of the loop is inserted through the wire on the weight, then wrapper around the end of the weight.  This makes the weight easy to take on and off the line.

The bottom of the tackle box is where most of the supplies are stored. The lid is mostly for lures, and items that are used a lot, such as finger nail clippers for cutting monofilament line fishing line. When I am using a weedless Texas rig for bass, and its cut off the line, the hook, weight and worm are usually thrown in the lid until the individual parts can be put into their storage compartments.

Extra monofilament line, I like to keep a couple extra spools of monofilament line in the bottom of the tackle box. The spools include:

1 spool 12# test
1 spool 20# test
1 spool 30# test

The 12# is for perch and bass fishing.
The 20# is for drop lines / jug lines / noodles.
The 30# is for one of my heavy fishing poles that I use for catfish or light saltwater use.

Fillet glove – one of the items that I like to keep in a tackle box is a fillet glove. Its not really for filleting fish, but for handling fish that have teeth – like saltwater fish. And, the glove can come in handy when its time to fillet the fish.

Leader material – one of the things that I like to do is to make homemade leaders.

To make homemade leaders you will need:

Cable or monofilament line (think 20# or 30# monofilament line).
Crimp tool

All of those supplies are stored in the bottom of that tackle box.

survival fishing gear homemade leader

How to make a homemade leader:

Cut a section of cable about 16 – 18 inches long.
Slip a barrel over each end of the cable.
Insert one end of the cable through the eye of a hook.
Loop the cable back and insert the cable into the barrel.
Thread the cable through the barrel until about 1/8 in is sticking out the other end.
Use the crimping tool to crimp the barrel.
Repeat to the other end of the cable, but use a swivel.

Use a hook and swivel matching the size of fish you want to catch.

To add a weight to the leader, repeat the process, but attach a teardrop weight to the end of the cable.

Homemade fishing leader with teardrop weight

If you want to be able to change the weight or hook out, attach a snap at the end of the cable. Make sure you use the type of snap that has a curved end so that the snap can not pull up easily. I made the mistake of buying some snaps where the retaining wire does not have a curl on it. If enough pressure is applied to the snap, it will pull open. For those types of snaps, I will only be attaching weights and not hooks.

Do you have a suggestion on how to make homemade leaders?   If so, post your comments in this forum thread about homemade leaders.

Lets get back on the topic of organizing a tackle box.

A couple of things that I would like to add to the tackle box are a small multi-tool and knife.  A local auto-parts store sells a small multi-tool for about $10.  Its not going to be the same quality as say a Gerber, but at least its something.  And something is better then nothing.

Well, that is about it for organizing a tackle box.  Post your comments in this thread of the fishing forum.


What a survivalist does on a weekend

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Tentative plans, nothing set in stone right now.

Friday night my wife and I are having a couple of friends over for a movie.

Saturday morning I have a meeting for my Master Naturalist class at Martin Dies State Park

Saturday evening supposed to go to my parents farm to help my cousin build a hog pen and cut the grass around the fruit trees. With the lack of rainfall, I doubt there is going to be very much grass to cut.  My wife and I have been having to water the newly planted fruit trees just to keep them alive.

Might throw some jug lines out on the Angelina river right before dark. Last night my wife and I went to the local wal-mart where I bought some 1/0 hooks for noodles. I have about a dozen noodles ready to go, they just need to be baited and thrown in the river. The plan is the let the noodles float down the river overnight, then go get them the next morning.

Sunday morning head out on the river to pick up the jug lines and do some fishing. Fishing has not been too good, but we had some rain this past week, so maybe the fish has started biting.

Missing gear from bug out location

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survivalist camp bug out locationYou know what really sucks, is when your trying to stockpile survival gear at the bug out location, and stuff keeps coming up missing. Awhile back the liner of my parka went missing, pair of cold weather gloves, shotgun shells, and now some lithium batteries and a LED flashlight are missing.

Its not that someone is breaking into the location and stealing the stuff, I think its more along the lines of someone “borrowing” the supplies and not bringing it back or replacing it.

Over the past 15+ years, I have been making it a point to keep certain types of survival gear at the bug out location. Whether its blankets, flashlights, knives, ammo, first aid supplies, water filter, hand tools, eating utensils,,,,,, I like to keep a general stockpile of gear at the camp. I don’t know how much time and money has been invested over the past decade alone to make sure we have plenty of survival gear for some kind of SHTF situation.

This last couple of items that went missing were nothing more then an $18 led flashlight, and some energizer lithium batteries. In all, the 2 items cost about $30. Thirty dollars is nothing to really worry about, as long as “someone” is getting use out of them. Its the fact that I put the gear at the camp for a certain reason, and now the stuff is missing.

A few months ago 2 of my kids and I went to the camp and spent the night. Sometime around 9pm or so we decided to go for a walk around the property. It was at that point that I realized that I had forgotten a good flashlight. All I had was the tactical light on the front of my AR-15, and all the kids had were some hand crank flashlights. Hand crank are good for inside the house. When you need to light up a 10 acre field, hand crank lights just do not cut it.

Lesson learned, we needed some good led flashlights at the camp. So I bought one as a test with the intent of leaving it at the camp full time.

In 2010 the shed at the camp was broke into and some tools were stolen. Some of the missing items included a Stihl chainsaw, pipe wrench, and various hand tools. As financial times get tougher, petty crime, and crimes of opportunity goes up. What this means, if someone pulls into a gas station, leaves something on the front seat where its visible, the item is likely to be stolen. If you make it easy for criminals to steal stuff, its gonna get taken.

Lets go back to the missing gear at the bug out location / aka “camp”. Since several of my family members go to the camp, I might start putting stuff out of sight and out of mind. Instead of leaving the flashlights and batteries in the bar where they can be seen, I might set some shelves up in a bedroom closet and put my gear out of sight.

Now for a video about a bug out exercise on Labor Day of 2010. Labor day was used to test my families bug out plans.

Ideas for a get home bag

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Something happened to the main power feed for my town, and then the backup power feed failed. Someone said it was related to the wildfire about 15 miles north of here, but I do not have any proof of that.

First thing I realized was that we do not have a radio here at work that works off batteries. Once outside power is cut, we lose all communications with the outside world. My boss pulled out a hand crank radio, but the hand crank was locked up to the point where the handle could not be turned.

I thought about getting a $10 am/fm radio with some lithium batteries to keep at my desk. The power does not go off very often, but when it does it would be nice to get some news from the local radio station.

Second thing was that I needed a flashlight. I have a small AAA light on my key ring, but something a little larger would have been nice. My little AAA light does good for close in work, like plugging computer wires into the back of a computer, or lighting up a small room. To make sure the battery has plenty of life, I used an energizer lithium battery.

A hand crank flashlight would probably do good, but when you want to light up a road or a field, nothing beats a good 200 lumen light.

Third, I need a water bottle to carry water in case I had to walk home. Its only a few miles from where I work to my home, so it would have been an easy walk. The only real issue would be the 100 degree heat and water. There is a puny little 16.9 ounce / .5 liter bottle of water on my desk, but I would like to have something like a 32 ounce bottle of water for the walk home.

Fourth, the phone lines where overwhelmed. When I tried to call my wifes cell phone I got the classic “all circuits are busy” message.

Fifth, even though the power came on about 30 minutes before lunch, jack-in-the-box, mcdonalds and sonic were either closed of their computers had not come back on yet. Sonic could not even serve a couple of teas because their computers were down, same with jack-in-the-box, and mcdonalds was closed.

It was amazing to me how a small little power outage could disrupt peoples lives so much. A lot of places that pay their employees by the hour closed and sent their people home.

I do not have what some people call a “get home bag”. I work about 4 miles from my house, so walking would not be a big deal.

My wife and I carpool to work. She drops me off in the morning, then picks me up on the way home. If we met anywhere, she would probably drive by here to pick me up.

Get Home Bag Ideas

If I had to walk home, here are some items that I would like to have in my get home bag.

32 ounce water bottle
Rain poncho – even if its a light duty one
LED light, something like a Surefire G2X Pro
Mainstay rations
Road map
Phone number / contact list
Rope – 550 cord
Small first aid kit
Paper, pen and sharpie / felt tip magic marker
Money – at least $20

One of the first packs that comes to mind is the Maxpedition Noatak

The Maxpedition Noatak is large enough for all of my basic gear + some. The built in compartment for a water bladder is a plus, and then there is a place for a 32 ounce water bottle.

If I wanted to, the 32 ounce water bottle could be turned into a personal survival kit, and just use the water bladder to carry water.

Post your comments in this forum thread about the power outage at my work.

Wildfire in Jasper Texas

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On Saturday June 18, 2011 the residents of Jasper Texas got the dreaded news,  a wildfire has broken out in the Northern part of the county.  Over the past couple of months Jasper county has been under a burn ban.  But for some reason, people still continue to burn outdoors.

A few weeks ago a fire broke out close to Sand creek park on the south side of Dam B.  After a couple of days the fire was contained.  But this new fire was different, it was in a part of the county that was difficult to access.

jasper texas wildfire

It seems that this new fire was started when someone was shooting propane tanks.  The size of the propane tanks is unknown at the time.  But the fire must have happened pretty fast, because the people (or person) left their ice chest full of beer at the scene of where the fire started.  Police have taken the ice chest and the contents as evidence.

As of Sunday around 5pm, highway 255 remained open.  Sometime around 8:00pm central time, highway 255 and part of 1007 was closed to through traffic.

As of Saturday night, somewhere around 1,500 – 2,000 acres have been burned.

A camper trailer and a canvas tent in a deer camp in the path of the fire were consumed by the inferno.

This wildfire brings up several questions:

1 – The intelligence of some people.  Jasper county has been under a burn ban for several months.  Who in their right mind goes out to the middle of the woods and starts shooting propane tanks?  What does that say about people?  The person clearly did not understand the widespread disaster their reckless action would cause.

2 – Your remote camp / bug out location is not as safe as you think.  The reckless actions of someone miles away could destroy everything that you and your family have worked for.  This is where your going to need some kind of home owners insurance to help rebuild.

Good thing this wildfire did not happen during some kind of long term SHTF survival situation.

Post your comments in this forum thread about the wildfire in Jasper Texas.

Fishing in slews and gators

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Alligator Magnolia Ridge Park Steinhagen ReservoirShort version: This morning my daughter and I went to a local park to go fishing. After a few minutes a 6 foot gator showed up to see what was going on.

Over the course of about 15 – 20 minutes, the gator slowly worked its way to within about 8 – 10 feet of the bank.  the day was getting hot, and the gator was getting a little too close, so my daughter and I decided to pack up and go home.

Long Version:  The day started off around 10:30am when my daughter decided it was time to drag herself out of bed so we could finally go fishing.  I had already been up for a couple of hours, had gotten my shower, brushed my teeth, and even made a trip to the store to pick up a couple of low carb blue rock star energy drinks.

While I was waiting for my daughter to get ready, I went through my tackle box, sorted through some of my fishing gear, rounded up the fishing poles, loaded a small ice chest with drinking water into my truck,,,,, finally we were ready to go.

As we were driving out to the park, the wind was hitting the side of my truck pretty good.  With the wind like it was, I figured the water around Martin Dies State Park would be stirred up pretty good.   So my daughter and I changed plans, and went to Magnolia Ridge Park.

As my daughter and I stopped at the entrance of Magnolia Ridge Park to talk to the attendant, I noticed the lady was eating on a burger.  And I must say, that was a nice looking burger.  After talking for a few minutes, the attendant told me where she got her burger at.  As my daughter and I entered the park, we made a u-turn, went back out to the main rode, and drove to the local country store to get us a cheese burger.  It was lunch time anyway, so why not.

Time to eat – I do not remember the stores name, but its right across the road from a rest area that over looks Dam B.  We placed our order – 2 cheeseburgers, with everything, but cut the onions.

While we were waiting for the burgers to be cooked, my daughter and I walked across the road and looked over Dam B.  I think its rather neat how the Neches river winds its way from Jasper, all the way down to Sabine Lake.

After talking about the Dam and the lake for a few minutes, my daughter and I walked back across the road to the store, got a fountain drink to go with our burgers, then drove back to Magnolia Ridge Park.

There is a spot at the very back of the park where there are some camping areas and a nice bathroom – that is where my daughter and I went.

When we arrived at the spot, I ate my burger and walked along the waters edge looking for a place to fish.  There was a nice cypress tree that was growing on the edge of the water, there were also some open spots in the water that were not covered by moss.

Fishing Steinhagen Reservoir Woodville Texas

Here is the thing with the tree – fish like to hang out under trees, and the tree provides shade to keep the hot sun off my head. In a survival situation take shade when possible. Its not a good idea to stand out in the hot sun when its 100 degrees.

Why do fish like to hang out under trees? Maybe its the change of water temp, with the water under the tree being cooler then out in the open water. Maybe its the occasional meal when a bug falls out of the tree and lands in the water.

The first line in the water was not for perch, but for catfish.

A few days ago I went by a local sporting goods store and picked up some leader material to make homemade leaders. The leader had a swivel where the line was going to be tied, then two 30 pound cable attached to the other side of the swivel. One cable was about 10 inches along and had a weight attached. The other cable was about 16 or 18 inches long and had a #1 hook attached.

The hook was baited with a worm, then cast about 40 feet off the bank. As I cast the bait, something splashed in the water no more then about 6 feet off the bank. There are only a few things that get that close to bank, and one of them is an alligator.

When the rig was reeled in, there was so much moss in the water that it got hung up and the line broke.

Ok, enough with the catfishing, the moss is too thick, lets see how the perch are biting.

The good thing about the perch, the moss stopped maybe 8 – 10 feet away from the bank. This provided a nice place to drop the hook and worm without getting hung up.

Those perch must have been hungry. As soon as the worm hit the water, they went after it.East Texas Perch

It was at this time that I saw what had splashed in the water a few minutes earlier, and it was a gator. Gators are a common sight around Southeast Texas. When I was growing up in Bridge City, gators were a common sight in the bayous and marshes. There were lots of times when I passed a gator while hydro-sliding down Cow Bayou.

As long as you keep your distance, don’t harass them, don’t try to hand feed them, keep small pets and children away from the water, everything should be good.

Unlike cats and dogs, gators are not interested in being petted. A little scratching behind the ears is not going to win them over, so don’t even try.  With their thick skin, is a gator even going to feel you trying to scratch behind its ears to start with?

As more fish were caught and thrown back, the gator zeroed in on the commotion in the water.  Over the course of maybe 15 – 20 minutes, the gator moved from about 30 feet away, to about 8 feet off the bank.

The gator appeared to be about 6 feet long.  At that length, I do not think he posed any real danger to myself or my daughter.  As long as we did not go into the water, everything should have been fine.  But even with this knowledge, I could not help but to feel uneasy with our unwelcome guest so close at hand.  Although I have been around gators for most of my life, there is just something about being so close to a top level predator that is difficult to describe.SouthEast Texas Alligator

The weather was getting a little hot, the gator was a little too close for comfort, so my daughter and I packed up and headed home.

When my daughter and I decided to go home, it was more then “lets go home”, I felt that I needed to set an example for her to follow.  That example was to give wildlife their room.

We had intruded into the gators home.  I could have thrown a stick across the gators head and drove it away, but what kind of example would that have set for my daughter?  That we go into nature and drive the animals away?  No, we have to share our planet with nature.

Even though the gator did not pose a danger, I felt it was important to set an example for my daughter and that example was why we went home.

On top of giving wildlife its space, my daughter, my wife and I had plans on going to the movies later in the evening.  My wife and I were going to go see Green Lantern, and my daughter wanted to go see some penguin movie with Jim Carrey.  So lets go home, and get freshened up before we have to go to the movies.

While we are on the topic of gators, how about a video from July 2010 where I spot a gator on the Angelina River. Some friends and I were out in the boat, when we spot a gator tearing chunks off of a dead turtle.

Post your comments in this forum thread about fishing with my daughter.

Cooking after TEOTWAWKI

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cooking after shtfWhat is your long term cooking solution post SHTF? We are not talking 2, 3 or even 5 days after the power goes out, we are talking about cooking for the long term – 1 year, 2 years, or even 3 years.

Most of the people that visit the forum know about my long term survival cooking solution, its a pit on a trailer with a cooking surface 6 feet 9 inches long and 29 inches across.  The main pit is built out of a 250 gallon butane tank, the smoker and fire box are out of a 250 gallon tank.  When I built my pit, I wanted something that was big enough to put a whole hog or deer on.  With the smoker, maybe I can even make my own sausage.

Not everyone is going to have a pit with a built in smoker, so what are your choices.

Charcoal grill that can also use wood
Fire ring
Propane grill – but propane will run out sooner or later
Single burner propane or butane stove
Wood stove
Solar oven

Fire ring for Bug Out Location

Cooking after shtf or teotwawkiOne option that I like is a fire ring.  These provide a cooking grate, and a community meeting place for people to sit around a fire, cook and socialize.  Prices on fire rings range in the $150 range.  Or, if you have metal working tools, make one yourself.

In May of 2011, my wife and I went camping with some friends at a local park. While on the camping trip we used a propane grill to cook breakfast and had a sandwich for lunch. For dinner we put some foil on the grill of the fire ring, then put some sausage, boudain, pot of beans and boneless strips of pork on to cook. When everything was done cooking, we had a feast.

While were cooking our meal on the fire ring, I started thinking about how this would work in a long term SHTF survival situation. If someone has access to a remote camp that will be used as a bug out location, why not get a fire ring?  Fire provides more then just a way to cook, boil water, and provides warmth, fire also provides emotional support.  Having a fire relaxes people.  Maybe its something left over from our primal years when early man feared what roamed the nights, but fire has a soothing effect.

Stove for a Bug Out Location

Bug out location stoveFor a camp in a remote location, there is only real solution, and that is propane.

Propane stores well,,,, in fact, it stores forever.
When the power goes out, propane still works.
Propane is efficient – it cooks fast, and it boils water fast.

The drawback, the propane will run out sooner or later. But while its there, make good use of it.

One of the nice things about having a propane stove, it can also be used as a heater.  One winter my family and I were at the camp during deer season.  for some reason the blower of the furnace was not working.  So what did we do?  We turned on a couple of eyes of the stove.  We made sure to crack a couple of windows to let fresh air into the house.  When the alarm went off at 4:30am, the house was nice and warm.

Propane is usually stored in either 150 or 250 gallon tanks.  There are 500 gallon tanks avaible, but I dont know of too many people that use 500 gallon tanks.

Most of the time, the propane tanks are only filled to maybe 75% of the way.  So a 150 gallon tank might only hold 100 or 120 gallons of propane.

A buddy of mine recently bought a 500 gallon tank and plans on using it to power his generator.  Lets say that his 500 gallon propane tank is filled to 400 gallons.  That is “about” the same as having 400 gallons of gasoline.  Instead of having to store 400 gallon of gasoline that needs to be rotated and treated, just store propane.

Smoker for a Bug Out Location

Smoker of a bug out locationWhen I started working on my smoker, I wanted something big enough that I could put a whole hog or deer on.  If the world goes to hell in a hand basket, I wanted something to cook for a whole family on.  That if one of the people in our group got a hog or deer, cooking or smoking the meat will not be an issue.

There is nothing wrong with having a permanent smokehouse.  I just wanted something that I could pull between my house and the camp.

My main  section is made out of a 250 butane tank that was sitting in a cow field for close to 20 years.
The smoker section and firebox are made out of a 150 gallon tank.
The main grill is 6 feet 9 inches long.
The smoker has 2 – 24 inch in diameter trays.
The main grill section has a sliding tray that can hold a 10 pound bag of chicken quarters.

Now for a video about how to make sausage. Special thanks to James at Jasper Quality Meats for volunteering to make this video.

So there ya have it, we have talked about fire rings, propane stoves and smokers.

One of the topics that we have not talked about are solar ovens. Since I take all of my own pictures, and create my own content for this blog, I guess its time to play around with a solar oven.

Jug lines after SHTF

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Drop Lines for long term survival shtf situationBack at the end of November a buddy of mine and I went on a 3 day camping trip on the Angelina river close to Jasper, Texas.   While we were camping, we took the boat and explorer some of the slews in the area.  As we were heading into the slew, there were some jug lines in the water.  This got me to thinking, why couldn’t someone use jug lines for harvesting fish during a long term survival situation?

What do we need to make up some drop lines / jug lines?

Spool of trot line string
Swivels – optional
Spool of monofilament line, something like 20# test
Something that floats – 1 gallon plastic bottle, noodle from local china mart, something like that.

When I started working on this jug line project, I wanted the system to be modular. Meaning, all of the parts needed to be easily replaceable. To accomplish this, loops where used in the trot line string.

Tie a loop knot in the end of the trot line string. Make the loop maybe 1.5 – 2 inches long.

Swivels, back up maybe 18 inches from the end of the trot line string, and tie another loop knot maybe 1.5 inches long. This is where you can attach the swivel. Run the end of the end of loop through one end of the swivel, and over the opposite end. The swivel should now be attached to the drop line. For added security, pull some slack through the eye of the swivel, then run the loop through the eye and over the end again. If you have done everything right, there should be 2 loops running through the eye of the swivel.

For the hooks, cut a section of monofilament line around 18 inches long, run 1 end through the eye of the hook, and loop it back to the other end. Then tie a surgeons loop knot on the two ends.

The hook can then be threaded through the eye of the swivel, looped through itself, and your hook should be attached to the drop line.

If you want more then one swivel attached, back up 3 or 4 feet and tie in another one.

Over the past week I have leaned that these types of of rigs leave a lot to the imagination. I dont think there is a right or wrong way to setup a jug line, as long as you catch fish, and the fish does not get loose from the rig.

For example, nobody said the swivels “had” to be attached to the drop line.  Tie a section of the monofilament line to the swivel and to the hook. When your ready to attach the swivel and hook, just loop the drop line over the swivel and hook. It sounds complicated, but its not.

How does this apply to a long term survival situation?

trot line survival forum

While on the 3 day camping trip with my buddy, we had a good discussion about the uses for jug lines in a SHTF situation.

Lets say that some worldwide disaster happens, like what happened with the Black Death in 1348 – 1350 and food gets scarce.  If someone lives close to a river or lake, maybe they can set out some jug lines in the morning, go about their daily activities, then pick up the lines in the evening.  While the person is busy tending to the crops, or other duties, the drop lines / jug lines are busy catching fish.

Post your comments in this forum thread about jug lines.

Growing dusty

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Angelina river Jasper TexasMy life has grown dusty.  As I look around my office at work, and my desk at home I can see dust building up here and there.  The dust is a subtle reminder that life goes on, even when we do nothing or very little.

As I look back on my life, I used to keep my Bug Out Bag ready to go, my gear was organized, everything pretty much had its place.

But today, things are strode here and there.  Last weekend it took me close to an hour to find a topo map that I was looking for.  The thing is, the map should have been with all of the other maps, but it wasn’t.

The last time I looked at my AK-47, it had some rust built up around the butt stock.  Some of my other firearms need to be cleaned.  There is no excuse for not cleaning firearms, except for laziness.

The question is, how did I get to this point?

Back in 2000 my ex-wife (wife at the time) and I split up and divorced.  The next 3 years were emotionally draining.  Today, a couple of my kids are mad at me for decisions I had to make as an adult and father.  Maybe when my kids get older, and have families of their own they might understand why I made the decisions that I did.

Time for a totally unrelated video about SHTF Garden Seed Stockpile.

So what has happened in the past 10 years to get me to this point? I dont think its a single answer, or even a couple of answers, I think it was a combination of things.

Moving away from friends
Moving away from family
Not seeing friends and family on a regular basis
Not having enough “me” time

Back in the mid-late 1990s my buddies and I would pack up our gear and head out to the bayous and marshes around Bridge City and Orangefield Texas. It was peaceful being out on the boat, in nature, miles from any kind of civilization.

Today, I am lucky if I go camping a few times a year, or get out on the boat 1 time a month. Back in the summer of 2010 my son and I went camping on the Angelina River a few times. It was nice and peaceful, watching the sun go down on the river, fishing, listening to the birds, listening to the sound of the wind as it passed through the tops of the trees.

To recover what I lost over the years, I need to look inside myself more, and look outward less.

Back in the last part of November 2010 and into December a buddy of mine and I went on a 3 day camping trip on the Angelina river.  We had a good time, did some exploring around the slews, did some fishing, and had a good time.

The weather on the November – December camping trip was cool during the day, and a little cold at night. It reminded me of some of the camping trips I had gone on as a kid.

Maybe part of collecting dust has been a fact of getting older. As we get older, maybe we lose touch with the things that were important to us when we were younger. The things that are “really” important take the center stage – such as family and relationships with others.

Maybe things are less important then they were 10 – 15 years ago. Back in the mid – late 1990s there were rumors that the UN was going to invade the USA and enforce martial law. Since those rumors never came true, maybe its time to relax a little bit.

As a survivalist, its impossible to maintain a state of readiness 100% of the time.  Maybe I am getting a little tired of maintaining a state of readiness?  I dont know what the answer is.

What needs to be done, is to take better care of my gear, organize my survival gear better, and continue to develop relationships with my friends and family members.  The hardest part is getting over depression.  Depression that my kids are growing up, that they need me less, that I am less important to them, and that the years have passed by.

The idea of strategic default

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The idea behind a strategic default is, if you owe more money then your house is worth, then just walk away. This works well with people who can rebuild their credit, and who can afford to walk away from their investment. But for people who take pride in owning a house, pride in paying off their debts, pride in owning property, strategic default is not an option.

Who do those homeowners think they are they can just walk away from a loan because their house is worth less today then it was worth last year? Lets compare the “walk away” attitude to the rest of life.

Buying a car or truck – Just because your car value drops, does that mean that you stop paying the note? From the time I bought my Toyota truck, to the time that I paid it off, it had lost about 1/2 – 1/3 of its value. But I still paid it off. If we compare a housing strategic default to a car/truck, then I should have stopped paying on my truck long before I had it paid off.

Child support – When my wife and I went through a divorce, and I started paying child support, with the strategic default ideology, I should have signed over my rights and let the kids new step-dad adopt my kids. That way I would have gotten out of paying child support for about 14 years. But that would have also set a poor example for my kids.  If people can strategic default on their home loans, why cant dead beat dads strategic default on child support?

If we apply the strategic default ideology to the rest of life, if its costing us money, lets find a way to stop paying.

Where is personal responsibility – People who bought into bloated housing markets should have known prices were going to drop sooner or later – it was just a matter of time.

The people that got suckered into an adjustable rate mortgage and your rates went up, what did you expect?  Your going to pay on a house for 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 years, and then give the bank a financial incentive to take it away from you?  Why would the bank settle for making a small profit, when they can raise your rates to the point where you can not longer afford your notes, take the home, and then auction the property off for a huge profit?

Flexible mortgage rates give the banks a way to take your home, plain and simple.

A totally unrelated video about the Maxpedition Noatak

Stockpiling cheese, butter and canned meats

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Looking for some canned meats and canned cheeses?  Well, I have a place you should look at, and that is has a wide selection of Yoders canned meats and bacon.

Yoder’s Canned Beef
Yoder’s Canned Pork Sausage
Yoder’s Canned Hot Dogs – “Grill Delights”
Yoder’s Canned Pork Chunks
Yoder’s Canned Turkey Chunks,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

To only name a few

Something that I am interested in is the Red Feather canned cheddar cheese. Part of my food preps is storing mac & cheese in mylar bags. The problem is, I heard that the powdered cheese goes bad after a few years.

So why not leave the cheese packet out of the mylar bag, seal up the mac & cheese. When it comes time to open the pouch, make up the mac, then spread the Red Feather canned cheese over the bowl of mac?

The red feather canned cheese is supposed to have a minimum 10 – 15 year shelf life.

Breakfast burrito idea:

Store some tortilla mix in mylar bags.
Red feather canned cheese
Powered eggs
Canned bacon

And you have everything you need for a good protein rich meal that will kick start your day.

I am a firm believer in stockpiling food for breakfast. Since breakfast sets the pace for the rest of the day, this makes it the most important meal of the day.

Post your comments in this forum thread about Yoders canned meats and bacon.

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