Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Month: July 2011

The concept of stockpiling survival gear

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Angelina river Jasper TexasWith organizations like FEMA, and the preparedness divisions of the separate states telling people to stay prepared for a disaster, there is no reason not to listen. All families should have at least 7 days worth of food in their house, and a small stockpile of bottled water.  Some people stockpile MREs, while others may stockpile canned goods, beans and rice, or even freeze dried foods.

By previous examples, the government is either inept, unable, or unwilling to protect its citizens during a disaster.

Lets take the outbreak of the swine flu for example. When the swine flu was first reported in mexico, President obama refused to close to borders with mexico, citing companies would lose too much money of the borders were closed. By that example, when it comes down to profit or protecting the citizens, the government will protect the profits of big business over the safety and welfare of the citizens.

With the government willing to sacrifice safety in the name of profits for big business, is their 3 – 5 days worth of food and water sound advice? I do not think so.

In some kind of disaster, the less prepared people are, the more dependent they will be on the government.  This is where the concept of stockpiling survival gear comes from.  Lets say that some kind of long lasting disaster happens – civil unrest (LA riots for example), hurricane, natural disasters, another world war,,,, I do not want my family standing in a food line to get something to eat.  I would rather have a garden, and stockpiled food to help us get through what ever happens.

How about a random video about stockpiling survival gear.

In my opinion, there are about 4 levels of prepping:

Short term preppers – these are the people that buy enough food for a couple of weeks. they may keep a months worth of canned goods, rice and beans on hand.  These are the people that go into panic buying mode when there is news of a disaster.  When the news says there is a hurricane on the way, these are the people that run down to the store and buy as many supplies as they can afford.  I do not consider people who keep only about 1 – 2 weeks worth of food stockpiled “true” survivalist.

Medium term preppers / survivalist – these are the people that might keep 4 – 6 months of food stockpiled. They may be stockpiling mountain house foods, storing rice, beans and oatmeal in mylar bags.

Long term survivalist – these are the people that store food in every closet, basement, closet and corner of their house. Long term survivalist try to keep around 1 year of food and water stockpiled.

Top tier survivalist – these are the ones that have planned food production past one year, have access to a farm, have prepared a secure Bug Out Location, have land to garden and places to hunt and fish. A top tier survivalist would rely on stockpiled food in the short term, or until they can get their livestock and garden production up to sustainable levels.

The name “top tier survivalist” may not be correct, but its the only name I could really thing of at the time.

Besides dividing survivalist into groups defined by how much they stockpile, there are another series of groups – the hobby prepper/survivalist, your lifestyle survivalist and the radical survivalist.

Hobby survivalist: Are the ones that jump on and off the prepping bandwagon, depending on current events or who they are influenced by.  The hobby survivalist probably does not keep a good inventory of their survival stocks, probably does not keep more then a few weeks of supplies on hand.

Lifestyle survivalist:  These are the people that make survivalism part of their lifestyle.  Everything they do in some way revolves around prepping.  Whether its fishing, hiking, hunting,,,, lifestyle survivalist associate the activity to survivalism.

The radical survivalist:  These are the people that stockpile weapons and ammo in the fear that the US government is going to enforce marshal law, round up everyone that opposes the government and send those people to FEMA death camps.  Radical survivalist are nothing more then fear mongers.

When I was in high school, the father of one of my buddies was what I consider a radical survivalist.  He had a firearm hidden in every room of the house, to the point of knocking holes in the walls, hiding a firearm inside the wall, and then putting a pictures over the wall.  His reasons for having firearms in every room was so that when the FBI or BATF raided his house, he would have a firearm within reach.

Fast forward 25 years, and the guys house was never raided.  I never understood “why” the FBI or BATF would want to raid the guys house anyway.  He was a law-abiding citizen, so I did not understand where the paranoia came from.

Post your comments in this forum thread about the different types of survivalist.

Hastily assembled and ill equipped survival plans

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SHTF Survival ForumScience channel Saturday morning of July 30, 2011 had a program on about Kublai Khan, and his doomed fleet that tried to invade Japan.

During excavations of the ocean floor, scientist discovered that most of the ships in the fleet were flat bottom river boats. River boats do not have a keel like what ocean going ships have. The keel helps ocean going ships weather large waves, while flat bottom boats will capsize.

It appears that Kublai Khan was in a hurry to invade Japan, so he ill equipped his navy with the wrong type of ship.  This short sight meant the fleet was lost in a storm.

How does the example of Kublai Khan apply to survivalism?

Those that do not take the time to properly prepare are doomed to fail.  The key word there is “properly” prepare.  Kublai Khan had his army, weapons, armor, supplies, ships,,,,,.  But the ships were the wrong type of ship, they were not ship designed for oceans, they were designed for rivers.

In the survivalist community, there are a lot of people that plan on grabbing their bug out bag, bugging out to the wilderness and living off the land.  There are lots of problems with that situation, such as being able to find enough food, diseases, illness, vitamin and mineral decencies,,, only to name a few.

Back in November and December of 2010, a buddy of mine and I spent 3 days on the Angelina river camping and trying to live off the land.  During those 3 days I did not see a single wild hog or whitetail deer.  Some deer came close to the camp site at night, but I did not see anything during the day.  We caught a few catfish, but not enough to feed a group of people with.  In order to catch enough fish to live off of, we would have had to have people fishing all day long.

One of the biggest issues are the people who fail to prepare at all for a disaster. These are the people that keep very little food at home, no bottled water, no fuel for camp stoves, little first aid supplies,,,,,. If there is some kind of disaster (like a hurricane), people rush to the nearest store and buy as many supplies as they can afford.

There are lots of issues with panic buying:

  • There is only X amount of food that people buy at one time. Usually its a partial shopping basket, or they can only spend X amount of money
  • Little thought is given to nutrition
  • When the shelves are empty, people may buy what they do not normally eat
  • Important items are often overlooked

If things start to get too bad (riots, natural disasters), stores will close and barricade the doors.  When a hurricane makes landfall, stores will stack bails of cardboard in front of the doors to protect the store from looters.

This video was taken right before Hurricane Ike made landfall.

Lets say that some kind of long term SHTF survival situation happens, whether its long lasting civil unrest, outbreak of some kind of new disease,,,, panic buying is a short term solution to a long term problem. People go into the store thinking they need enough food for 3 or 4 days, and by the time they run out of food everything should have returned to normal.

In my opinion, there are about 4 levels of Survivalist:

Short term survivalist – these are the people that buy enough food for a couple of weeks. they may keep a months worth of canned goods, rice and beans on hand.

Medium term survivalist – these are the people that might keep 4 – 6 months of food stockpiled. They may be stockpiling mountain house foods, storing rice, beans and oatmeal in mylar bags.

Long term survivalist – these are the people that store food in every closet, basement, closet and corner of their house.  Long term survivalist try to keep around 1 year of food and water stockpiled.

Top tier survivalist – these are the ones that have planned food production past one year, have access to a farm, have prepared a secure Bug Out Location, have land to garden and places to hunt and fish.  A top tier survivalist would rely on stockpiled food in the short term, or until they can get their livestock and garden production up to sustainable levels.

Can a panic buyer also be a top tier survivalist?  Sure they can, why not?

Lets say that John and Jane Doe live in an apartment, they have no room or money to stockpile several months of food.  But, John has a good friend or relative that owns a small farm in a rural area.  Lets call the owner of the farm Jack Doe.  John and Jack work out a plan that if some kind of long term SHTF situation happens, John and Jane can stay at the farm and help work the land.  Whether its providing security, cooking, cleaning, pulling weeds out of the garden, keeping animals like deer and rabbits out of the garden,,,, there should be plenty of work to go around.

The thing is, all of these plans need to be worked out ahead of time.  When your family runs out of food, don’t plan on just showing up at the door of your friends house asking for a handout.  It does not work that way.

It is impossible to plan for every SHTF situation.  Somethings are beyond our control, such as nuclear war, natural disasters and climate change for example.

Lets move past the food debate and talk about firearms. In the survivalist community there is a group of people who plan on using a 22 rifle for just about everything. Those people justify their decisions because 22 long rifle ammo is cheap, and it has a low report. With the low report, survivalist can keep a low profile while hunting, you do not want raiders and looters knowing your location.

The problem is, 22 long rifle is not adequate for anything larger then rabbit and squirrel sized game. Those people that are planning on using 22 long rifle for deer and hog sized game are doomed for failure. There are a lot of people that will argue that the 22 long rifle is the perfect survival rifle, but its not perfect for all size animals.  When hunting, as with everything else in life, use the right tool for the job.

Take the time to assemble your survival gear and make solid plans.  Just like in the case of Kublai Khan and his navy to invade Japan, hastily assembled and ill equipped survival plans are a plan for failure.

Stockpiling SHTF fishing gear

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Fishing after shtfOne of the things about keeping a stockpile of survival gear, is knowing what you have. After you know what you have, then you can make changes. You do not want to stockpile too much of one thing and not enough of another.

With tackle box and catfish bucket in hand, its time to take inventory of my fishing supplies.

Lets take a look at the tackle box first.  I have owned this tackle box for close to 16 years.  Its been just about everywhere fishing with me, everywhere from 30 and 45 miles offshore  in the Gulf of Mexico to lake Sam Rayburn.

Ok, lets get started:

1 tackle box
2 spools 300 feet 330 pound tensile strength trotline string
1 spool 580 feet 235 pound tensile strength trotline string
1 package (8 qty) eagle claw lazer sharp 4/0 all purpose hooks
1 box (25 qty) mustard circle hooks 11/0
1 spool 30 feet nylon coated wire 60 pound test
1 package (15 qty) zoom tiny brush hog watermelon red
1 package (12 qty) eagle claw 3/0 safety snaps with barrel swivel
1 package (12 qty) zoom baby brush hog green pumpkin pearl
1 package (8 qty) zoom brush hog plum-apple
1 package (5 qty) vicious 4 inch jerky shad
2 packages (20 qty) zoom u-tale pumpkin chartreuse
1 package (8 qty) zoom brush hog watermelon red
1 package (10 qty zoom 5 inch lizard june bug
1 package (9 qty) zoom monster 10 1/2 bullfrog
1 package (9 qty) zoom 6 inch lizard cotton candy chart.
1 package (12 qty) zoom baby brush hog pumpkin spice
1 package (qty unknown) culprit classic worm
3 bags various artificial worms
1 bag (13 qty) bobbers aka corks
1 tape measure – for measuring fish length
3 spinner baits
1 stringer
1 spool zebco 8 pound monofilament line
1 spool zebco 10 pound monofilament line
1 spool zebco 12 pound monofilament line
1 spool zebco 20 pound monofilament line
1 spool zebco 30 pound monofilament line
3 tiny torpedoes
1 rattletrap
3 beetle spins
Various lures from Daves Great Outdoors
4 crankbaits
1 pair fingernail clippers – for cutting the monofilament line

Storage boxes – In the bottom of the main tackle box are three small plastic boxes. Each box is setup for a different type of fishing – bass, perch and catfish.

Are you stockpiling fishing gear?

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Can opener syndrome

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survivalist camp bug out locationThe can opener syndrome is when your so focused on larger things, that you forget about the smaller items.

An example of this happened a few months ago when my kids and I went to the camp for the night. Around 10pm or so we decided to go out and take a look at the fields. Guess what, we forgot to grab our regular flashlights and bring them to the camp with us. This left us with the handcrank flashlights that I had stockpiled. Handcrank flashlights might be good for around the house, but their not good for lighting up a 10 acre field.

Over the past year or so I had been more focused on planting fruit trees, stockpiling ammo and first aid supplies,,,, other odds and ends that I had totally overlooked some simple and inexpensive LED lights for the Bug Out Location.

Carving and steak knives is another thing I had overlooked.  A couple of months ago I found a knife set at an estate sale, so I bought the set and brought it to the camp.  Now we have a set of carving knives, steak knives and a knife sharpener.

Solar showers is another thing that I need to get a few of and keep stored at my house and at the Bug Out Location.  For privacy when taking a shower, I might need to get a couple of 6 foot X 8 foot tarps and some trotline string to hang the tarps up with.  I already have the trotline string, its just the tarps and the solar showers I need to get.  I was thinking of getting at least 4 showers per location – 4 for the Bug Out Location and 4 to keep at my house.  The showers can come in handy on camping trips and not just emergencies.

Some of the small things that might get overlooked:

First aid supplies – bandages, pain killers, wound cleaners
Can opener
Cookware – pots, pans, serving spoons
Pens, pencils and writing paper
Lightweight blankets – like fleece blankets
Extra sheets for the beds
Solar shower
LED lights
Toothpaste and toothbrushes

Even though my family keeps a good stockpile of supplies at the Bug Out Location, a lot of stuff we bring up there for the weekend and then bring home. Lets take hand tools for example. We keep a set of hand tools at the camp, but nothing compared to what I keep at my home. If I know I will be working on something at the camp, I will bring my home tool set.

Its the smallest of the small that is often overlooked, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste. A few months ago when my kids and I spent the night at the camp, I realized that we only had a couple o extra toothbrushes and almost no extra toothpaste.

Bar soap – we have 2 liquid soap dispensers at each sink and a couple of gallons of liquid soap, but almost no extra bar soap. Liquid soap is good for washing your hands or face, but bar soap is good when your taking a shower.

When I get a some solar showers for the bug out location, I will probably pick up a few extra bars of soap just to bring up to the camp.

Lets take something small, cheap and useful as an example – a hair comb.  Not only do you use a comb to groom your hair, but in cases of hair lice, a good small comb can be used to help find the nits.  Combs cost almost nothing, but they are great to have around.

To help organize the gear, I would like to get some shelves, and some clear storage boxes and put a lot of the stuff together.  Items like combs do not expire, so I thought about storing a bunch of items together in clear plastic boxes.  That way we can see what is inside the box without having to open it.

We keep the first aid supplies in a cabinet out of reach of children.  Since the first aid supplies are out of sight, they also stay out of mind, out-of-sight-out-of-mind.  I probably need to get some bandages, and some antibiotic ointment.

There is my list of items that I often overlooked at my families Bug Out Location.

Texas DSHS Urges Precautions to Avoid Rabies

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The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging precautions to reduce the risk of contracting rabies. There has been a higher than usual number of animal rabies cases in Texas this year, particularly in Central Texas and the North Texas region. Protect yourself by avoiding wild animals and animals acting strangely, and by vaccinating your family pets.

The Central Texas region is seeing a marked increase in animal rabies cases, particularly in skunks. For the first six months of this year there were 268 rabies cases compared to 109 during the same time frame last year (January to June 30, 2010). Similarly, the North Texas region is seeing an increase, with 151 cases in the first half of 2011 compared with 81 cases in the first half of last year.

The state is seeing an overall increase in animal rabies cases as well. For the first six months of this year there were 591 animal rabies cases compared to 387 cases for the first six months of 2010.

Bats and skunks are the most common animals found to have rabies in Texas. People can be exposed to rabies by an animal bite or scratch that breaks the skin or if an open wound comes in direct contact with an infected animal’s saliva. People also can be exposed if the saliva from a rabid animal gets in a person’s eyes, nose, or mouth.

The most effective ways to prevent exposure to rabies are:

– Avoid feeding, touching or adopting wild animals, such as bats, skunks, raccoons and foxes
– Report suspicious animals to local animal control.
– Vaccinate your family pets or livestock against rabies.
– If you are bitten or if saliva from a suspected rabid animal comes in contact with your eyes, nose, mouth or a wound, wash the exposure site and seek medical attention immediately.

Rabies is almost always fatal in humans once symptoms occur. However, a series of post-exposure shots can prevent rabies if given in time.

For more information on rabies statistics, visit

Buying some more survival gear

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Fishing and hunting survival gear for SHTFThis past weekend my wife and I made a trip to Bridge City Texas to visit with my parents.  While we were in Bridge City, my wife and I spent the night at La Quinta Inn & Suites, which is where the old Sparkle Paradise used to be. The hotel is in a perfect location. Not only does it back up to a pond for your fishing enjoyment, but the twin bridges are viewable from the hotel for a picturesque nighttime scene.

My wife and I arrived at La Quinta, at which time I realized that I did not think about bringing anything to fish with. So off to wal-mart we went. I have been wanting to pick up an open face reel, so I bought a Shakespeare E-Z Cast Low Profile Baitcast Reel with 6 foot rod and a couple of lures. As luck would have it, I did not catch anything but a bunch of mosquito bites.

Saturday morning my wife and I got up, went by mom and dads house for a little bit, said out hellos and then went to Academy Sports and Outdoors in Port Arthur. At Academy I bought some circle hooks, some 60 pound nylon coated wire for making homemade leaders, some #4 circle hooks, 6 boxes 223 monarch ammo, 2 boxes 7.62×39 monarch ammo and a box of Remington 150 grain 308 for deer hunting.

After making a stop to buy some survival gear, my wife and I went to Tinsel Town in Beaumont for the 12:15 showing of Captain America. I thought the movie was pretty good. Maybe not an A+ movie, but not a C rating either. We sat through the credits to get a peak at the Avengers, all I have to say is “wow”.

Besides last weekend, lets do a recap of what has been bought in the past couple of weeks:

2 spools of 330 pound trotline string
Shakespeare E-Z Cast Low Profile Baitcast Reel with 6 foot rod
Crank bait, shallow diver
3 pack of holographic lures – they look like minnows
120 rounds 223
60 rounds 7.62×39
20 rounds 308 Winchester 150 grain Remington Core-Lokt
1 box (25) Mustard brand circle hooks
1 package (8) Eagle Claw 4/0 all purpose hook
1 spool (30 feet) Berkley 60 pound nylon coated wire
1 pack (4) energizer advanced lithium AAA batteries – 10 year shelf life
1 pack zoom tiny brush hogs
1 pack artificial worms for bass fishing
2 small carabiners (non-climbing) for attaching gear to a pack
1 package Eagle Claw 3/0 safety snaps with barrel swivel

With these survival gear additions we should be able to fish, setup a trotline, hunt medium sized game, and provide security.

The 223 is for a security weapon that is to be used around the Bug Out Location, the 7.62×39 would either be used for security or for hog sized game, and the 308 is for anything from wild hogs to deer sized game.

Hunting whitetail deer after shtfDuring the 2010 – 2011 hunting season my nephew took a couple of whitetail deer with his Remington bolt action rifle chambered in 308 Winchester.  Both deer ran about 20 feet from where they were shot.

The open face reel, lures and new rod are for bass fishing, perch and for small catfish.

The trotline material is for running trotlines – what else do you do with trotline stuff.

The Berkley nylon coated wire is for making homemade leaders for catfishing and saltwater fishing.  Even though I do not do a lot of saltwater fishing, I still want to be able to make my leaders when they are needed.

The AAA lithium batteries will either stay here at my home, or they will get moved to the Bug Out Location.  Back in June of 2011 some survival gear came up missing from the Bug Out Location.  Some AAA lithium batteries and an LED flashlight just disappeared.  The LED light was found a month later next to the propane tank, but the batteries have yet to be found.  Someone took the light out to the tank to turn on the propane, and forgot to bring it back inside.  While mowing the grass, my mom spotted the light laying on the ground.  Since we have some batteries that are missing in action, they need to be replaced.  After taking inventory, I will decide to bring the batteries to the Bug Out Location or add them to my stocks here at the house.

Most of the items bought over the past couple of weeks are for security and gathering food, such as hunting and fishing.  Hopefully, in the next few weeks I will be able to order some Mountain House foods.  Over the past few months I have been focused on stockpiling everything from batteries to seeds.  Something that has been overlooked is long term storage food preps.  But that should be fixed in the next few months.

During some kind of long term SHTF survival situation, I am hoping to divide my food production into maybe 4 or  categories – hunting, fishing, seasonal gardening, fruit trees and livestock.  My cousin and I have been combining our resources to raise some hogs.  Maybe after we get them moved into a larger pen I can make a video and post an article the hogs.

Post your comments in this forum thread about recent survival gear additions.

Copyright 2011 Kevin Felts, all rights reserved.

Lets talk about multitools

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Survival Forum Dam B Southeast TexasMultitools are one of my favorite tools to keep around the house, bug out bag, gun cleaning kit and tackle box.  The thing about multitools, they have a great service to weight ratio.  They weigh almost nothing, but are cram-packed full of useful tools – knife, file, scissors, saw, screwdrivers,,,,, just all kinds of useful stuff.  Another thing that I like about multitools, is that they come in a wide range of sizes and prices.

The wide range of prices, sizes and features is what makes multitools so cool.  If you want to buy a cheap multitool for your gun cleaning kit, there is probably one out there for you, if you want a small multitool for your tackle box, there is one out that will probably fit your needs.

While I was looking through my multitool setup, I realized that I had them arranged in 3 levels – primary, secondary, and tertiary.

My primary multitool is a Gerber –  I do not even remember what model it is, its about 10 years old, has a knife, file, saw, scissors, and has a good pair of pliers built in.  This this the tool that I bring on my hiking, camping and backpacking trips.  When I need a multitool, this is the one that I usually go to.

Secondary multitool is one that I keep around, somewhere close at hand.  Lets say that my Gerber is in a backpack, this is the tool that I go to.  Its some generic no real brand name multitool and probably cost less the $20.  Regardless of the low cost, it still has some tools that can be handy when in a pinch.

Third multitool is one that one that I keep stored somewhere, like in a tackle box or gun cleaning kit, where I need a tool from time to time.  These are usually small and inexpensive tools that do not get a lot of stress applied to them.  My third level of multitools are ones that are bought and stored until needed.

Another example of a third level multitool would be one that would be kept in a boat survival kit.  This would need to be a good quality tool, and would be stored in a water tight box on the boat for months on end, until needed.  Since this tool would probably be used for working on the boat motor, this tool might need a small socket set included.  There are some tools on the market that have a built in nut driver, and a small assortment of sockets ranging from about 3/16 to about 7/16.

I keep a third level multitool in my gun cleaning kit, trotline bucket, and tackle box.  The multitool is only about 2.75 inches when folded up.

During Christmas in 2010, my family did a white elephant game. Long story short my brother ended up with a mutitool. The tool was not very expensive, but he was glad to have it. While my brother was looking at the tool, he commented that he needed something like that a couple of weeks earlier. Come to find out, while on a duck hunting trip the boat motor had messed up. In order to fix the motor, the guys needed a pair of pliers. Well guess what, nobody had a pair or pliers or a multitool. They either had to be towed back to shore, or fired up the trolling motor and headed back to the boat launch.

For field operations, multitools can be used to assemble molle packs, disassemble and reassemble firearms, and other odds and ends.

Now for a random video about how to assemble a MOLLE pack.  When I was putting this MOLLE pack together, I used a small multitool to grab some of the metal clips on the straps and pull them through the frame.

when I am camping with my medium ALICE pack, I like to store my Gerber multitool in the radio pouch inside the pack.

When I am out in the field with my large ALICE pack, I like to store my Gerber multitool in one of the small 3 pouches on the outside of the pack.

With my large MOLLE pack, I installed a Maxpedition pouch on the outside of the pack and keep the multitool there.

With any of my various daypacks, I will keep a multitool in an outside pouch so its close at hand.

Copyright 2011 Kevin Felts. No part of this article may be reprinted or republished without written permission.

Only 3 months until hunting season

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Only 3 more months until rifle season starts – August, September and October. Rifle season in my part of Texas starts at sunrise on the first Saturday of November.

Hunting season is my favorite time of year. Not because I get to go out to the woods and shoot something, but because I get to be in nature without burning up with this Texas heat. The weather turns off cool, the deer start moving, the bugs slack up on their blood sucking. Being outside in December is much more enjoyable then being outside in July or August.

Another thing that I enjoy about hunting season is being outside with my kids. When we are walking to the deer stand, or even sitting in the stand, the wind will start blowing, the birds are flying around looking for something to eat. The sun starts to set, the sky turns beautiful colors, the leaves on the trees are a golden color and as the setting sun streaks through the clouds, its a beauty beyond description.

Some of my favorite members with my kids are of when we were hunting.

One year my son and I were sitting in a stand when a doe walks out. I took the shot and thought I had missed because the deer ran into the woods. My son thought the deer was a little further back from where I thought she was. After looking around for the blood trail we found the trail, and were able to find the deer.

Or the time my youngest son got his first deer. I had put my sons rifle on lay-away at a gun store and made payments over the course of 2 months. The day we got the rifle off layaway, we went to the camp sighted it in, then went to the deer stand. Maybe 5 minutes after getting in the deer stand a nice 6 point comes walking out. My son fired off a round, the deer ran maybe 30 feet and hit the ground.

Or the time my daughter and I were sitting in a stand, when the sun was just starting to set a group of coyotes let out a howl. My daughter looked up me with eyes as big as silver dollars and said something like “whats that?”.

Last year on opening weekend, my dad and I met at the deer lease around 5:45am, stood under the stars for a little while and just talked before we headed to the stands.

Hunting is more then about killing something, its about enjoying nature, building memories and enjoying life as life was meant to be enjoyed.

July 20 2011 workout

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For the first time in a couple of months I did a workout.  To be honest, I am ashamed that I have let myself get so out of shape.  When I was in my late teens and all the way through my 20s, physical fitness was important to me.  I never was bulked up, but my weight was under control.  Now, I feel that I keep putting on the pounds and getting out of shape.

Last night

10 minute warm up on the treadmill for 10 minutes at 2.5 miles per hour
20 crunches on an exercise ball with 8 pound ball
20 presses on an exercise ball with 8 pound ball
3 minutes on the treadmill at around 2.8 mph
20 crunches on an exercise ball with 8 pound ball
20 presses on an exercise ball with 8 pound ball
3 minutes on the treadmill at around 2.8 mph
20 crunches on an exercise ball with 8 pound ball
20 presses on an exercise ball with 8 pound ball

Repeat for around 40 minutes or until 1.5 miles on the treadmill

Tonight I will probably do the treadmill, maybe some push-ups, or crunches.

Next week I will increase the time to about an hour, or 2 miles on the treadmill. Its only 3 full months until hunting season is here, and I need to get into shape to be able to walk to the deer stand, or pull the deer out of the woods.

On the topic of fishing

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While playing around in youtube, I decided to put together a few playlist. One of the playlist is about fishing, and here it is.

To advance to the next video in the play list, click the next button in the bottom left hand corner.

Fishing is something that I was raised around as far back as I can remember. when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, I remember my mom and dad taking my brother and I fishing around the local ponds. When we moved to Bridge City, my dad bought a boat to take us out on Sabine Lake between Bridge City and Port Arthur.

Now that I am grown and have kids of my own, I have tried to keep that family tradition going by taking my kids fishing.

Fishing is not just about catching something, its also about being in nature, and enjoying the simple things in life. As I am out on the water, there is a certain calm, a certain peace that I feel being out in nature.

When I go into the sloughs of the Angelina River, its like going back in time 1,000 years, or more.  There is just something about being out in nature that can not be described.

Phases of life

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camping angelina river jasper texasWhen I was in school, the teachers talked about the phases of life – such as birth, growth, decline and death. I only wish it were that simple. Over the past few years I have come to realize that there are lots of phases in life, and a lot of them revolve around family.

The roughest part of a teenagers life is having to deal with the raging hormones, and the uncertainty of life. Where will I work, where will I live, what kind of job will I have, who will I marry, what will my kids be like,,,,. All leaves so many unanswered questions. I think its part of that uncertainty of life that helps cause issues in relationships with parents and friends. So the first phase of life might be separation of the parent child bond. As the child grows and matures into a grown person, they start making decisions for themselves.

Maybe the growth phase should be replaced with a maturity phase. This is when the person gets to figure out what life is all about. When your out on your own and you have bills to pay, either pay your bills or your water and electricity is cut off.

After the growth phase might come the realization or maturity phase. This is when the young adult realizes that life is not a bed of roses. That maybe, just maybe, mom and dad might have been right.

Then comes the reconnection phase. This is when the person reconnects with their parents and maybe their long last school friends. The person has faced some tough trials in life, and through those trials the person has been shaped into something that they never thought would be.

Next may come the nurturing or grandparent phase. We will have to wait and see what life has in store during that phase.

Obama shows how much he cares about freedom

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If you really want to know how much president obama cares about freedom, just take a look at how the Dalai Lama has been treated by obama.

Obama did not meet with the Dalai Lama until “after” obama made a trip to China.

Obama did not meet with the Dalai Lama in the oval office.

When oabam and the Dalai Lama were together, no cameras were allowed in the room. We would not want any pictures of the president of the USA and the Dalai Lama floating around to piss off the chinese government, now would we. When most famous people meet with the president of the USA, there is a photo opportunity for the press, but not this time.

As the Dalai Lama was leaving the white house, he had to go through a side entrance of the white house and walk around bags of garbage.

Its not what the sock puppet obama says thats important, its what he does that speaks columns about his character. The Dalai Lama does not deserve this kind of treatment. To be honest, I am ashamed at the way our puppet president treated the Dalai Lama.

With the way sock puppet obama treated the Dalai Lama, you have to ask yourself “who really runs this country”? The people, or the chinese.

Weak points in survival plans

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DS-Arms SA58 FN/FAL next to a river in southeast TexasA couple of weeks ago a buddy of mine and his wife dropped by my house for a little while.  As most conversations do, we turned towards the topic of survivalism, and trying to find weak points in a survival plan.

Lets say there is some kind of long term SHTF survival situation, a new disease breaks out, long term civil unrest, climate change;  besides insurance (no insult intended towards my buddy), I think the weak points for just about everyone will be are medical needs, safe drinking water, communications and food production.

Medicine – Lets take my wife for example, she developed high blood pressure, and has been on high blood pressure maintenance medicine for almost 20 years.  Running out of medicine could have a negative impact on her long term health.  Then there are the people on heart medicine, anti-depressants,,,,,, just a whole slough of meds.

Safe drinking water – life as we know it can not exist without safe drinking water, and that is all there is to it.  Water borne infections can kill off communities with little or no advance warning.  One of the number one killers in the world today is unsafe drinking water.

For someone to have a long term survival plan, they are going to have to have a way to access safe drinking water.  Whether its through an underground well, water filters, boiling, slow sand filter,,,,, people are going to have to make sure their water is safe to drink.

Food production / food procurement – the majority of people do not have access to farm land to grow crops, or even a place to hunt.  As the starving hordes leave the city, they will most probably be like locust looking for something to eat.

Long term survival plans need to include a way to gather food – farming, gardening, hunting, trapping or even fishing.  Living in a city of a million people, and having the attitude that your going to go to the nearest national forest and kill a deer or hog is not going to cut it.  There are going to be untold numbers of people with the same exact plan as you.

To grow crops your going to need a place that is secure, private, secluded, and meets the weather conditions needed to grow food.

Some of the crops I would focus on are:

Snap beans
Turnip greens

Communications – being able to communicate with friends and family members and how their current situation is going.  Do family members and friends need assistance, that would be one of my big concerns.  My sons live about 30 – 45 miles from my house.  Getting a message to them without a phone would be a real problem.

Long term survival plans – some of my long term survival plans include planting fruit trees at a remote farm, planting a quick growing type of oak tree in the back of a field that is overlooked by a deer stand, stockpiling garden seeds, storing my seeds at the camp at at my home, having a Berkey Water Filter at the bug out location, having a 55 gallon drum so water can be transported from a nearby stream to the fields for irrigation, storing rice, beans, oats,,, and other foods in mylar bags.

If the SHTF tomorrow, one of my biggest concerns would be communications, and getting in touch with my family.  After getting in touch with my family, its getting my garden going.

Now for a video about buying canned goods.

Food bag for a bug out bag

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Bug out bag foodFor years, and I mean for years I have kept a food bag in my bug out / camping bag. For the most part the food bag contains a single burner stove for a bug out bag, pot for cooking, eating utensils, lighter and matches for the stove and for building a camp fire, hand sanitizer,,,, and other odds and ends.

The purpose of a Bug Out Bag is if you and your family have to leave home in an emergency, the bag provides a few days of supplies for each person.  Lets say there is a chemical leak near your house and your family has to evacuate.  Everyone grabs their bag, and heads to a shelter or friends house.

My main bug out bag use to be a large ALICE pack.  But a year ago I bought a large MOLLE pack with internal sleep system, which is currently my main bag.  To add a little more room to the pack, 2 sustainment pouches were added.

Lets talk about this food bag in a little more detail.

The main bag is made of a brown cloth, has a drawstring at the top, when empty laying flat on a table, the bag measures 18 inches tall, 15 inches wide and has a 7X9 rectangle bottom. In a bag this size, someone should easily be able to carry at least 3 days worth of dehydrated food.


For about 13, maybe 15 years I kept a single burner propane stove in my bug out bag. I finally got tired of packing that large propane bottle around, so I bought a single burner Coleman Max stove that uses a blended fuel of butane and propane.

The 1 pound bottle of propane took up an outside pouch of a large or medium ALICE pack.  In comparison, the bottle of mixed fuel is stored in an extra serving bowl with a lid.  The bowl is not air tight, its just a snap o – snap off lid.  The bowl serves a dual purpose of being able to hold a serving of food, and a storage container for the bottle of stove fuel.  The plastic bowl helps protect the bottle of fuel from bumps and from having the threads damaged.

Back “in the day” when I was using a single burner propane stove, the stove was stored in the radio pouch of my ALICE pack.  The hull of a shotgun shell was cut down to about an inch long, and wrapped in electrical tape so that it fit into the threads of the stove.  This was to help prevent damage to the nipple that sticks out of the bottom of the propane stove.

Stove for bug out bag

Another nice thing about the mixed fuel stove, the support arms move around to make the stove very compact for storage. I store my stove inside of a MSR Alpine Stowaway 775 ml stainless steel pot. The pot is not only used to cook with, but its also used to store and protect the stove. Inside the pot with the stove is lighter and a couple of paper towels. The paper towels are used to cushion the stove from the inside of the metal pot.


Ok, lets talk about food for the bug out bag.  My ideal loading is 3 days of eating good, and 5 days of eating spartan.

2 Meals Ready to Eat MREs

3 Mountain house Pro-paks from a Just in Case Kit. This should probably be increased to 4 meals, 2 breakfast and 2 main meals.  The Pro-paks are heat and eat meals.  Just add water to the pouch, wait about 10 minutes and the meal is ready to eat.  My first exposure to these Mountain House Pro-Paks were on a 3 day camping trip on the Angelina River back in November – December 2010.

4 pack Ramen noodles

1 box tuna and crackers.  Another one of these could be added to the pack

2 breakfast / snack bars

Accessories pouch, this contains a couple of spoons, hand sanitizer, various packs a tea for mixing into a canteen or water bottle, matches,,,, just various stuff like that.  A spork really needs to be added to accessory pouch.

Canned foods

As a general rule, I try to carry as few canned goods as possible.  After getting the food out he can, the can has to disposed of properly.  Some people might bury their trash, some might pack it back to the trailhead.  But either way cans can be an issued that needs to be dealt with.

When my buddies and I used to go camping along the bayous and marsh around Bridge City and Orangefield, Texas, canned goods just got in the way.  We would bring along our food, but we would have to either bury of pack the empty cans out.  On camping trips in hot weather, you o not want to be carrying rotting food in the cans.  The food attracts flies and other undesirables.

Post your comments in this forum thread about your Bug Out Bag Food List.

Stockpiling trotline supplies

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Weldbilt boat on the Angelina RiverYesterday evening I started working on some trotlines to be put out Friday evening.  The first thing that I realized was how much supplies its going to take to deploy 2 trotlines about 150 long.

The line being used for the main beam comes in spools 300 feet long, and has a tensile strength rating of 330 pounds.  When you start running a line across a slew, 100 – 150 feet can go pretty quick.  One trotline I saw awhile back must have been close to 200 feet long.

Lets talk about running the main beam line of a trotline.  With the spools having 300 of line, your probably going to need 3, 4, 5 or even 6 spools of line for a SHTF stockpile.  This of course depends on how many trotlines your going to be running.  Some of the slews that I fish in are probably 75 – 100 feet wide.  With 300 feet per spool, I would only be able to run 2 or 3 lines across a slew.  If I was running a trotline across the main river, 300 feet would probably only get me 1 trip across the river.

About every 6 – 8 feet on the main beam I tied a loop knot.  In the loop knot I put a barrel swivel.  The first 8 – 10 feet of line is for tying around a tree.  From the first loop knot to the end of the line, I probably put about a dozen swivels on the trot line.  To put this into perspective, for each 300 foot spool of main line, your going to need about 2 dozen heavy duty swivels.

For the drop lines going from the swivel to the hook, I cut a section of line about 28 – 30 inches long, doubled it over, tied a loop knot at the end of the string, another loop knot about 2 inches down from the first knot.  About 2 – 3 inches up from the hook, I tied another loop knot.

Insert a section of line through the eye of the swivel, run the hook through the loop inserted through the eye and pull tight.

If you did everything right, you should have a drop line going from the main beam about 12 – 14 inches long.

For the drop lines, you use a smaller weight trotline string then what was used for the main  beam.  The line I am using is #36, which has a rating of 235 pounds and has 580 feet per spool.

Since the spools used for the drop lines have 580 feet on them, your only going to need a couple of spools.  The line used for the drop lines can also be used on jug lines.

Supplies I am looking at stockpiling:
3 or 4 spools of 330 pound line for the main beam
2 or 3 spools of 235 pound line for drop lines and jug lines
Several dozen heavy duty barrel swivels
Several dozen hooks

Now that we have talked about buying fishing and trotline supplies, lets go out on the river and do some fishing. In this video we head out friday evening, put out a trotline and 8 juglines. For the full story about fishing on the river, follow this link – running trotlines and juglines.

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