Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Month: August 2011

Posting stuff on the internet

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When you’re talking to someone in real life, words are like dust in the wind. But when you post stuff on the internet, its like etching your words in stone. The difference is, people can go back and read what you posted. Once your words are spread to the wind, they can not be retrieved, unless there was a recording.

A few days ago I started a thread about Hurricane Irene, the title of the thread was “Hurricane in the northeast, do you feel for them?”

I feel that I need to issue a public apology for that thread and my comments.

Disasters, lose of property and lose of life and nothing to take lightheartedly. These are serious issues, and my comments were out of line.

I apologize for my comments.

I have been though 2 hurricanes, and several tropical storms, so I know how it feels. After hurricane Ike passed through southeast Texas, my parents and the home I grew up in received 9 feet of storm surge. For over a year later I fought with depression and sadness. Its been almost 3 years, and I still get sad when I go to Bridge City.

The people in the Northeast have a rough road ahead of them. Recovery will take years – in both physical and physiological recovery. Roads can be rebuilt, trees can be removed, but feelings and memories take years to deal with. Some of the people that were affected by Irene may never recover, and that is one of the sadder facts.

After Hurricane Ike flooded Bridge City, an older couple that I know had to take their entire life savings and retirement to build a new house – because they did not have flood insurance.

Something I have learned over the years, when your wrong, your wrong, admit it and move forward.

What has happened over the past few days is a life lesson. Hopefully, I will not make the same mistake again, but I probably will.

Post your comments in this forum thread about my public apology.

Bug out location stove and grill

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Bug out location stoveSome kind of disaster has happened, you and your family have moved to the bug out location, you open a #10 can of chili mac,,, and now what? What are your plans on cooking that the bug out location?

In other words, the SHTF, and now what?  How do you plan on cooking at your bug out location?

In this article we are going to be looking at propane stoves, wood stoves, and wood grills.


Propane is a short term answer to a long term problem. Propane has several advantages – it stores well, it burns clean, and propane has multiple uses.

Two of the main reasons why I like propane – it stores well, and it has a multiple of uses. I can buy the 2 pack of 1 pound propane bottles, store them at the camp, and the fuel never expires. Then there are the wide range of attachments for the bottles – lanterns, stoves and space heaters.

When the weather gets cold, my brother takes a small space heater to his deer stand. Go back a year later and the stove still works.

When we need some light outside, get a propane lantern.

Need to warm up a meal, get the propane stove out and cook something up.

At the camp we have a 250 gallon propane tank which is used to fuel the furnace and the stove.  When the power goes out, we can light a couple of the burners on the stove, and we are able to heat just about the whole house with just a couple of burners going.

A buddy of mine has a 500 gallon propane tank that he plans on using for his generator.

Besides 1 pound propane bottles, 250 gallon and 500 gallon propane tanks, there are the 20 pound propane bottles.

Instead of using the 1 pound propane bottles, people can stockpile the 20 pound bottles, then get an adapter to power lanterns, stoves and other devices.


Hurricane survival tips

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Hurricane SurvivalHaving been through Hurricanes Ike and Rita, evacuated for Hurricane Andrew, and having worked an evacuee shelter for Hurricane Katrina, I think I can offer some tips on Hurricanes.

* Have at least 1 week of food and water for every person in your group. The government says at least 3 days, but shoot for at least 5 – 7 days. Depending on how much debris is on the roads, it could take 3 days for the road crews to get the roads open.

Evacuate low lying areas. Storm surge is no myth, get away from low lying areas and areas prone to flooding.

LED flashlights are better then old style bulbed flashlights. LED flashlights are more reliable then lights with old style bulbs, and LEDs have longer battery life.

Buy lithium batteries. Lithiums last longer then alkaline batteries.

Buy LED flashlights with long battery life and low lumens for inside the house. This is not a tactical situation, anything over 50 lumens can mess up your night vision. As you walk around the inside of the house, you do not want to blind other people.

Have a way to cook, such as a camp stove, or propane grill. Nothing boost morale like a good hot meal.

Video about cooking with a Coleman Perfectflow stove.

Candles and kids do not mix. Keep anything with a flame away from children.

Secure important papers. Put your insurance papers, car title, house title,,,, into a waterproof bag.

Secure anything outside that can blow away. This includes small grills, lawn chairs, yard furniture,,, anything that can move should be secured.

Write down phone numbers and other contact information of friends and family.

Communicate your plans to your friends, family and neighbors.

Have a common contact outside the affected zone – someone that you can call and leave messages with. Then other family members can call that person and ask about the status of others.

Do not forget about pets – stockpile some food and water just for your pet.

Have prescription medicines refilled. Stores can be closed for weeks after a major storm makes landfall.

Lanterns put out a lot of heat, keep them out of the reach of children.

Do not underestimate the storm surge.  Hurricane Ike pushed a 9 foot storm surge surge 20 miles inland in southeast Texas.

Fill up the gas tanks of your car/truck or SUV early.  If you wait too long, the gas stations will run out of fuel.

Have road maps on hand.  Just in case roads are closed you can find alternative routes.

Have a battery powered radio.  Try to get a radio that uses the same size batteries as your flashlights.  As a backup, have a handcrank radio.

If you will be receiving people that are evacuating, buy some air mattresses and have some extra pillows and blankets.  The backs of your friends will thank you the next day.

First aid kit.

Cash, credit cards and check book. Try to have as much cash on hand as you can. When the power goes out, or phone lines go down, a lot of places do not take checks or credit cards.

Post your questions and comments in this forum thread about Hurricane Survival.

Coleman PerfectFlow Grill review

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Coleman perfectflow stoveThis article is a review of the Coleman PerfectFlow Insta Start Grill Stove. The unit has 2 names – “grill stove”, because there are 2 burners, 1 with a stove top and the other burner has a griddle.

Last christmas I added a Coleman instant start grill to my wishlist, and sure enough someone got it for me.

The reason why I picked the grill was because of the built in griddle. That way I did not have to worry about cleaning any pots and pans, just wipe the griddle down and the stove was cleaned up.

I liked the idea of using the griddle to cook more food then can fit in a typical skillet.  With a cooking surface of 12 inches by 10 3/4 inches, a lot of bacon and/or sausage can fit on there.  The plan was to use the stove top with a small skillet to cook eggs or make toast, and use the griddle to cook bacon, boudain or sausage.


The whole purpose of buying the stove was to have a propane stove that my family can bring on camping trip to the local parks.  For camping on the river I have a small single burner stove, but the Coleman Perfectflow stove could also be brought out to the river on camping trips.

My wife and I keep a large plastic tote box filled with camping supplies.  Instead of packing liquid fuel that can spill, we decided to get a propane stove.

But that is not the way things worked out.


*Grill stove with two 10,000 BTU burners and PerfectFlow pressure control system
*1 nickel-chrome stove grate and 1 removable die-cast aluminum grill grate
*Regulates pressure of propane to provide consistent cooking performance
*Windblock side panels double as side trays when folded down
*Matchless InstaStart technology
*Grease management system with removable tray
*5-year warranty
*Dimensions: 23.5 x 15 x 6 inches

Using the Stove:

The stove has 2 burners and runs off of a 1 pound bottle of propane. On the propane adapter there is no on or off valve, and no adjustment, just connect the bottle of propane and you’re ready to go.

The Coleman instant start gill has a wind shield on each side of the burners that hold out and snap into place.

To light the stove, slightly turn on the burners and then press the light button located in the front of the stove. It took 1 – 2 presses of the light button to ignite the grills.

Standing at the stove, the griddle is to the right and the stove top is to the left. The stove is far enough from the wind shield to fit a small pan on the burner.

The griddle measures about 12 inches by 10 3/4 inches, which means you can cook a lot of hot dogs on it.

As the meat cooks, the grease drains into a grease trap located under the stove. The bad thing, the grease trap is rather small. Cooking a few pieces of sausage on the griddle almost filled up the grease trap.

After cooking on the griddle I noticed that amounts of grease had become trapped on the risers of the griddle.

Coleman PerfectFlow Insta Start Grill Stove Final thoughts:

In my opinion, I think a hot plate would have been better then a griddle, mainly due to the clean up.

Cooking on the grill was a breeze. Some of these types of gas grills have 2 adjustments – wide open or off. While cooking eggs and making toast, the grill was turned down so that it did not burn what was being cooked.

I will start looking for a hotplate to go on my Coleman instant start gill, because I do not like how the griddle is working out. If I can not find a hot plate to fit the griddle, I will probably use a skittle to cook with.

If I were going to buy this stove again, I would probably just buy a unit with 2 burners, instead of a burner and a griddle.

Post your comments in this forum thread about the Coleman instant start grill.

Stockpiling beans and bullets

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Cooking after SHTFLets say SHTF tomorrow, what would your survival gear stockpile look like?  For a lot of survivalist it would be mostly beans and bullets – meaning not very much thought has been put into the plans.

When the SurvivalistBoards youtube channel was opened, I wanted to publish a wide range of videos. The plans were to post videos about everything from gardening to wilderness survival. There are certain topics that do better then others. It seems that fishing videos probably do the worst in view counts, and firearm videos do the best.

But to have a balanced channel and blog, I think one should cover a wide range of topics. It seems that example videos and articles work best. Instead of saying what people should do, I show people what I am doing, and end it with that. Then let the viewer make up their own mind.

How does all of this relate to stockpiling survival gear? When dealing with survivalism, I do not think its enough to just stockpile bullets and beans. A well rounded, long term SHTF survival plan, should cover as much information and resources as possible.  It is not enough to buy a case of 7.62×39, store some rice and beans in mylar bags, and then proclaim you have a well rounded survival plan. Ammo, rice and beans are not a well rounded plan.

Lets look at a well rounded SHTF food plan:

SHTF Day 1

Cook the meat in the fridge and freezer
Plant a garden
Canned goods
Food in mylar bags – rice, beans, oats, other stuff
Harvest food from garden
#10 cans
Gathering wild edible plants

SHTF 6 months later – I plan on still being able to eat good.

If there is a failure in the plan, there should be a backup plan, and then a backup to the backup plan. I like having plans hat are at least 2 and sometimes 3 levels deep.

Video about stockpiling food, ammo and fishing supplies.


On the topic of fishing

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Bass fishing southeast TexasIf you are looking for peace and quiet, few things can compare to fishing.  Casting a lure or bait out into the water, and letting it sit, is about as close to nature that one can get.

Last weekend my wife and I went to Dam B to do some fishing.  As I was casting off the bank, and bass followed my lure up to the bank and grabbed it just before it was supposed to go out of the water.  It was so peaceful and natural, as the bass swam up to the lure and grabbed it.  I wonder how many times that has been replayed over the past thousands of years.

The bass was pulled up, the hook was removed and the bass was released no worse for the wear.  Maybe it will be a little wiser from its experience, but then again, maybe not.

If there is one thing that I like about fishing (besides catching something), it has to be being close to nature.  When the boat is launched, and I head out on the water, there is a certain peace and clam that is over the water.

The water is pure, it knows no violence, it knows no anger, greed, envy, jealously, or hatred.  The water is a friend to everyone, as it treats everyone the same.

From as far back as I can remember, fishing and being close to water has been a part of my life.  My parents would take my brother and I fishing.  When my brother and I would spend the night at our great grand parents house, my great grand father would take us out on the river and run trotlines.

Fishing is more then just “fishing” its a tradition that is handed down from father to son and daughter.

If there is one thing that I have tried to do with my kids, it has to be to take them fishing.

Some wise man once said – Give a man a fish, and you feed him/her for a day.  Teach a man how to fish, and you feed them for life.

Whether my kids took the hint or not, I have tried to teach them how to fish since they were small.  Just as my great grand father used to take my brother and I to run trotlines, so I have tried to teach my kids how to fish.

Holy crap its hot

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Lake Sam Rayburn 2001 Texas DroughtAnd not only is it hot, its dry.  Its not that “oh, we did not get any rain in the past week” kinda dry, its like “we are in a SERIOUS kind of drought” type of dry.

Where is the rain?

Our lakes dry up, and no rain falls.

Our creeks dry up, and no rain falls.

Our crops wither away, and no rain falls.

Our tree sheds their leaves and start to die, and still no rain falls.

Back in February 2011 my kids and I went to the Bug Out Location and planted some trees.  the trees included some oak trees, a plum tree and a peach tree.  One of the oak trees had been grown from an oak that fell from the tree in my front yard.  When the oak tree was planted, it might have been maybe 5 years old.

Over the past 6 months my family and I have been making trips to the camp to make sure the trees have been getting plenty of water.  Well, over the past few weeks it looked like we had been getting some rain at the camp, so I did not bother checking on the trees.  The problem is, the rain was a little of nothing.

August 20, 2011 my wife and I go to check on the trees, and they were in bad shape.  Most of the leaves had turned brown and fallen off.  There were a few green leaves, but not many.  My wife and I  put 2 gallons of water on the tree, waited about 30 – 45 minutes, and then put 2 more gallons on the tree.

Video about climate change and long term survival plans.

When the trees were planted, the root ball sits about 2 inches before the surface of the soil, with the dirt from the hole used to make a ring.  That way, the ring holds whatever rain we get and puts it at the base of the tree.

As my wife and I were leaving the camp, I noticed a large sweet gum tree that was turning brown and shedding its leaves.

From the camp my wife and I went to Mill Creek Park on Lake Sam Rayburn.  I had heard that the boat launch at Mill creek Park had dried up, but I was not prepared for what I was about to see.  Not only was the boat launch dried up, but Mill Creek was nothing more then a trickle.

The lady at the ranger station told my wife and I that the lake was around 11 feet low.  The record was somewhere around 13 feet low, which was set in 1996.

Sam Rayburn has been so low for so long, that weeds are 3 feet tall on the mud flats.

In December of 2010 my brother, my nephew and I launched a boat at Mill Creek and went out on Rayburn for a few hours.   When we launched, lake Sam Rayburn was so dry that we hit bottom a few times leaving from the boat launch.

My brother wanted to go look for a place to go duck hunting.  One of the places we went was Bear Creek, which is on the north end of the lake from Mill Creek Park.  while we were around Bear creek we hit ground several times.  More then once we had to get the paddle and use it as a push pole.

What has me worried, is that we (the human race), is in the start of a global climate change. Whether the climate change is man made or naturally occurring, I do not know.

Survivalist can prep for all kinds of stuff – hurricanes, floods, riots, disease outbreak, but how do you prep for climate change?  With crops withering in the fields, long term survival plans are out the window.  If growing crops is not an option, then mankind would have to revert back to a hunter-gather lifestyle.

Calm before the panic buying

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Calm before the SHTF panic stormThere is enough fear mongering these days without my help.  With that in mind, please remember that this article is just my personal opinion and it not meant to interpreted as fact.

I feel that we are in a calm before the storm. Not necessarily a SHTF storm, but a panic buying storm.

From August 2011 until the first part of 2012:

August and September:  Kids are starting back to school in the next few days, parents are having to buy back to school supplies, clothes, meet the teachers and get their kids shots caught up. Right “now” parents have a lot to think about and worry about besides prepping.

Labor day: is right around the corner.

October:  Halloween in October.

October and November: Hunting season starts.

November – thanksgiving.

December – Christmas and then New Years.

People have stuff to keep their minds occupied until the first part of 2012. After the turn of the year, I look for people attention to turn towards world events and the direction this nation is going.

After new years I think is when the panic buying mode is going to kick in – and especially after people start getting their income taxes back.

2012 – As 2012 progresses and the election season turns hostile, there is going to be a lot of propaganda on TV and the internet about the various people running for office. I look for this propaganda to have a side effect on the voters, and that is spreading fear through the general public.

I look for the debt talks to resume again, and I look for tension between the USA and the rest of the world (especially China) to increase.

Around April and May 2012 – is when I look for the panic buying to pick up, especially with the poor and low middle classes.  This is when people will start getting their income tax returns.  Instead of buying TVs, and other toys, people might turn to buying firearms, ammo and food.

Over the next few months (August – December 2011) people are going to be forking out money on school supplies, clothes, labor day, holidays, Christmas, new years,,,,,,,.   This is why I look for the “real” panic buying to kick in after people start getting their income taxes back in early – mid 2012.  Having to buy school supplies and getting ready for the holidays does not leave a lot of money for prepping.

My personal plan, and I am not suggesting that people do this, but buy whatever long term food supplies you can afford. If you have been thinking about buying #10 cans of freeze dried foods, please do so.

One of the issues with buying SHTF survival gear, it leaves less money for other stuff. Do not overspend on preps. Whenever possible, put money into a rainy day fund. If the federal government shuts the banks down, you want enough cash on hand for food and fuel.

When people start getting their income tax returns back, and have some extra money, that is when people might start buying in bulk.

Over the past few months I have been stockpiling fishing supplies like crazy. Everytime my wife and I went to the local sporting goods store I would grab some hooks, trotline string, artificial worms, extra monofilament line, new fishing pole and reel,,,,,.

On top of the fishing supplies I have been stocking up on food in mylar bags, canned goods and #10 cans.

Do I expect some kind of civil unrest, no,, or rather I hope not. With the extreme drought in Texas, crops are dying in the fields, and people are having to sell off their livestock, what kind of impact on food prices can we expect due to the failed crops, I do not know.

I want to be as honest as possible, and say right up front, I do not know what the future holds. I suspect food prices will go up, but only time will tell.

Over the next few months my preps will focus on food – and that means everything from mylar bags, to canned goods, to #10 cans of freeze dried foods.

In Short:
Save as money as possible
Buy as much food as your family can afford
Get caught up on your bills
Do not have any outstanding credit card bills
Do not have any high interest loans
Secure your possessions and your property
Communicate with your family about your plans

Post your comments in this forum thread about the calm before the storm.

Hunting season check list

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Deer hunting DS Arms SA58 FN/FALRifle season here in Southeast Texas starts in about 2 1/2 months. As opening day inches ever closer, its time to start thinking about getting ready for the big day.

Check out the deer camp and make sure no vandals have tore anything up during the off season. Sometimes people will go to the camp and mess with stuff. One year a couple of sets of antlers were stolen, another year a shed was broke into and a chainsaw was stolen.

Scout the area where you want to hunt. With the drought this year, any place there is a waterhole will probably be a good location.  There is a creek on the lease that almost always has water in it.  I am thinking about setting up a ground blind on a hill that overlooks part of that creek.  With the drought in its current state, I suspect anything that lives in the woods will be gathering around creeks that have water.

Oak trees – I am wondering how the drought is going to affect this years acorn crop.  The oak tree in my front yard is loaded with small acorns, but they are dropping before they are mature.  Its like the oak tree is stressed under the current drought.

Sight the rifle in. I need to get a scope mounted and fire off a few rounds pretty soon.  The scope I am looking at is the Redfield 3-9X40.  My longest shots are usually less then 125 yards, but in low light conditions.  Those whitetail deer usually wait until the fading twilight to come out.

Get a new fishing and hunting license after August 31st.

Check the deer stands and make sure all of the wasp are gone.

Spend sometime on the treadmill so that I can walk the hills during the winter.

Get my cold weather clothing out and look it over.

Dig the skinning knife out and make sure its nice and sharp.

Check the existing deer stands for any damage.  Sometimes the wind will blow the doors open and damage the hinges.  Sometimes the stands will be blown over, and need to be stood back up.

At the end of October I need to pull my pit to the deer camp so we can cook on the opening weekend. Some of the guys will bring a roast, brisket, ribs, or even get a wild hog and cook up a huge meal on the first weekend of rifle season.

I am really looking forward to the 2011 – 2012 hunting season.  Not only do I get out in nature, but hopefully we will get a break from this heat.  The Texas summer this year has been really bad.  Parts of Dallas spent close to 100 straight days above 100 degrees.  Jasper and Newton counties have spent 3 or 4 months under a burn ban due to the lack of rainfall.

With the onset of winter, hopefully we will start receiving some rainfall.  If these drought conditions persist into the summer of 2012, I do  not know what we are going to do.  Crops are failing, people are having to sell their livestock off, and we have had 3 or 4 forest fires in the Jasper Texas area.

Post your comments in this forum thread about my hunting season checklist.

Now for a random video about going out on the boat.

Bug Out Bag Topics

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Over the years I have seen one topic that has been repeated over and over, and that is the topic of the bug out bag.

In reality, a bug out bag should contain copies of important papers, house title, car title, insurance policies, change of clothes, snack, or even 2 – 3 days worth of food, phone number contact list, and any prescription medicines you might be taking. The list will vary depending on the person and what they want to bring with them.

People that live close to railroad tracks or chemical plants might be asked to flee their homes due to a chemical release accident. The bug out bag is for people to grab, run, and have some basic supplies with them.

In fantasy, the bug out bag will be used to bug out to the wilderness when society collapses.

This video pokes fun at the different viewpoints on bug out bags.

Even though the bug out bag is one of the most discussed topics on a survival forum, I also think its the least understood.  I see a lot of so called survivalist thinking they are going to grab their bag, and bug out to the wilderness.

Most of the people I see talking about bugging out to the wilderness usually have very little or no wilderness survival skills.  They say that if a caveman could live in the wilderness 100,000 years ago, survival can not be “that” difficult.  If the person needs any help, they can just refer to their US Army FM21-76 wilderness survival manual.

If you plan on bugging out to the wilderness during a SHTF survival situation, post your comments in this forum thread about bug out bags.

My personal opinion, its better to have a bug out location, or have plans to stay with a friend or relative until the disaster passes.  At least with a BOL you can stockpile supplies, food, water, shelter, first aid supplies, farm, garden, hunt, stockpile ammo,,,,,, and on your own private property.

Four of the biggest issues that I see with bugging out to the wilderness – exposure, food, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and waterborne infections.

While on a 3 day camping trip with a buddy of mine back in December 2010, I did not see a single whitetail deer or hog.  I heard some deer come close to the camp site during the night, but nothing during the day.  There were some squirrels during the day, but there were not enough to feed a group of people for an extended period of time.

During that 3 day camping trip, the only reliable food source we found was through fishing.  And like everything else, that was hit and miss.

One of the things with being a real survivalist, is testing your plans. It does not do any good to make plans, if those plans are never tested. Once the plan is tested, then you know where the weak spots are, and then you can make improvements.

If your planning on grabbing your bug out bag and bugging out to the wilderness, test those plans. Take a weeks vacation from work, grab your bag, head out, and lets see how long you last.  Test your survival plans “before” you have to use the plan.

Storing food in mylar bags for SHTF

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Storing food in mylar bags for SHTF survivalMy SHTF food preps include mylar bags, #10 cans, MREs and canned goods. In this article and video ware going to discuss making up 20 mylar bags of rice, beans, oatmeal,,,,, and various other items.

Awhile back I made up some homemade superpails of oats, rice and beans.  I found the 5 gallon mylar bags difficult to work with and a little difficult to seal.  After that experience I decided that the largest bag I was going to mess with was probably going to be around the 2 1/2 gallon size.

For my current project I decided to make up some 1/2 gallon and some 1 gallon mylar bags.  Inside of the bags I am going to store oats, rice, beans, instant mashed potatoes,,, and a few other things.

Items to be stored in mylar bags:

2 – great value whole grain old fashioned oats, 42 ounce containers
4 – great value whole grain quick oats, 42 ounce containers
3 – great value elbows enriched macaroni product, 3 pound boxs
1 – hungry jack mashed potatoes, 26.7 ounce box
2 – great value mashed potatoes, 2 pound box
1 – 20 pound bag of rice
several – 1 pound bags of pinto beans
20 – mylar bags with ziplock seal

Oxygen Absorbers:

To extend the life of the food items stored in mylar bags, a 1,000cc oxygen absorber will be inserted into each bag.  The 1,000cc units are a little large for 1/2 gallon bags.  Instead of buying 2 different size 02 absorbers, 1 size for the 1/2 mylar bags and 1 size for the 1 gallon, I bought 1 size 02 absorber.

Old fashioned oats – I wanted a heavy oat that could be used to cook with, as well as make oatmeal or oatmeal cookies.

Quick oats – this was my wifes idea. She wanted something that we could pour hot water over and it be ready to eat. My incoming shipment of #10 cans is breakfast stuff, such as freeze dried scrambled eggs with bacon, freeze dried scrambled eggs with ham, granola, powered milk, powered orange drink and freeze dried strawberry slices. Quick oats would make a nice side dish to some scrambled eggs with bacon chunks.

Elbows – pasta is a flexible food item. It can be boiled, then hot sauce poured over the top, or add some cheese, or mix it with other food products.

Mashed potatoes – are being stocked as a side dish. Some of my #10 cans include stuff like chili mac and cheese, and beef stew. The mashed potatoes are filler material to go along with the 310 cans.

Warning about storing mashed potatoes in mylar bags:  Some over-the-counter mashed potatoes contain animal fats, such as milk byproducts or butter.  These animal byproducts can spoil over time and go rancid.  When buying mashed potatoes to store in mylar bags, read the list of ingredients and pick the ones with no animal byproducts.

Rice – is a good food product to store in mylar bags.  And like the mashed potatoes and elbows the rice is going to be used as a side dish for the #10 can main entrees.

For people that are stockpiling rice for SHTF, they need to be aware that eating a lot of white rice may raise their risk of diabetes.  I know a lot of survivalist are stockpiling mainly rice, beans, elbows, pasta,,,, for their main food source after SHTF/TEOTWAWKI. White rice should not be a main meal, it should only be a side dish.

The plan for white rice on my SHTF food preps is to open a #10 can main entree, open a bag of white rice, and have the rice as a side dish to the main meal.

Pinto beans – are an excellent food source for storing in mylar bags.  Pinto beans are an excellent source of fiber and protein and can be eaten as a main entree or as a side dish.  When stored in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber, pinto beans can be stored for 20+ years in ideal conditions.

When filling the mylar bags with oats, 2 of the 42 ounce containers equaled 3 – 1/2 gallon mylar bags.  Instead of filling the 1/2 gallon mylar bags full, they were filled to within about 3 inches from the top.  This left some slack for the ziplock top to be closed and sealed.

All of the bags were filled at one time, oxygen absorbers inserted at one time, the ziplock was sealed, and then an iron was used to seal the extra material above the ziplock seal.  Between the ziplock and the end of the mylar bag, there is about 5/8 – 3/4 inch material that can be sealed with an iron.

When the project was complete, I had 20 mylar bags filled with a variety of food products.  All of the mylar bags were double sealed – once with the ziplock, and again with an iron.

Special considerations

One of the issues facing my family, during tough financial times, family members are finding it difficult to prep, and pay their everyday bills.  I feel that my family is becoming more and more dependent on help from others.  As basic living expenses get more expensive, people are finding it difficult to even afford basic items for living day-to-day.

Its not that my family members are not trying, its that general living expenses have outpaced wages over the past few years.  The cost of food has been going up, the cost of fuel has been going up, the cost of just about everything has been going up, expect wages.  This makes it difficult for everyday people to stockpile SHTF survival gear.

In these rough times its important for family members to work together in order to achieve a unified goal.

Post your comments in this forum thread about Storing rice beans and oats in mylar bags for shtf.

Field trip with nature class

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Wilderness hikingContrary to popular belief, nature classes do not take their clothes off and run around naked in the woods. In fact its just the opposite. We keep our clothes on and drive to where we want to go.

Saturday morning the nature class that I am a member of did a field trip. The purpose of the field trip was to see some of the native and rare plants, and to see some of the unique geological formations around the Jasper Texas area.

At 8:00am we met in the parking lot of the Stump restaurant on hwy 255, which is just north of Jasper Texas. The places where we were going to go were old logging roads. The people that drove cars parked their vehicles at a nearby hotel, then we carpooled in the 4 wheel drive trucks and SUVs.

The first place we stopped at was on top of a pipeline. We parked our trucks on top of the hill, then walked around the rim of the hill top looking at different types of trees and plants.

After we got finished looking at the plants, we went back to the trucks, over the hill and down to a creek bottom. The cool thing about the creek bottom, it was filled with petrified wood. There were small pieces, large pieces and medium sized pieces. One of the men in the group was an amateur geologist. He talked to the class about the different types of trees that grew in southeast Texas during the last ice age – white oak, pine (conifer trees) and palm trees.

One piece of petrified wood we found must have weighed close to 300 pounds and was about 3 feet long. On the outside of the piece was petrified resin, like the resin that comes out of a pine tree. Some of the amateur geologist estimated the piece could be up to 200 million years old.

Some of the petrified wood sticking out of the ground in the creek bottom seemed to be in layers – layer of petrified wood, layer of dirt, layer of petrified wood, layer of dirt. I wondered how any tens of thousands, or even millions of years had to pass for the petrified wood to be laid down in the manner that it was. Some of the pieces were rather large in diameter, maybe 2 feet across, and that was only about 1/2 of the diameter of the original tree. It was like the original tree broke in half, and only half of the tree became petrified.

After looking around the hill top for maybe an hour, loaded up in the trucks and drove through some of the logging roads. As we were driving along, the guides would stop and show everyone some of the unique plants in the area – like the Arkansas oak tree, wild plums, chickpea tree,,, and a few other plants that I can not remember the names of.

Maxpedition NoatakFor the trip I bought along my Maxpedition Noatak, 32 ounce Maxpedition water bottle, peanut butter and honey sandwich, bag of chips, breakfast bar (for a snack), GPS, compass, rain poncho, camera,,,, and a few other things.

With temps in the upper 90s by noon, I was sucking down the water right and left.  I felt like I was sweating faster then my body could digest the water I was drinking.

In 5 hours, from 8:00am from when we started, until 1pm, I drank close to 50 ounces of water – a 32 ounce water bottle, a 16.9 ounce water bottle, and some water out of a cooler.  The thing was, the group was not walking “that” much, and we were in the shade a lot of the time.

Being out in the 100 degree heat made everyone sweat more then we could drink.  When the group arrived at a waterfall, one of the ladies got under the water to cool off.  A couple of other people took their shoes off and waded through the water to cool off.  A couple of other people used cloth rags soaked in water to cool their heads off.

Around 12 noon we stopped at a waterfall, ate lunch, and took a break from moving around.  The waterfall in the background made for a beautiful backdrop for our lunch break.

Feeling refreshed from our lunch break the group loaded up and headed to the next location, which was a waterfall.

As the group was standing around the waterfalls, I could not help but wonder how primitive man used those locations.  Were the waterfalls a place to wash clothes, meet and socialize with other people from the tribe?  Just as we ate lunch at the waterfall, did people a thousand years go do the same thing?

We ended our field trip around 1:00pm.  Overall everyone seemed to have a good time, except for the heat.  We will probably take another field trip sometime in the spring, when the weather is a little cooler.

Post your comments in this forum thread about my nature class field trip.

Gun cleaning supplies at the bug out location

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DS-Arms SA58 FN/FAL next to a river in southeast TexasThis evening I was cleaning my FN/FAL, at which time I realized my gun cleaning supplies at the bug out location were going through a can opener syndrome. The “can opener syndrome” is when someone overlooks the small items. That you might be so focused on buying #10 cans, that you forget to stockpile can openers.

With gun cleaning supplies, people are probably more focused on stockpiling ammo, and shooting their firearms, that the forget about buying cleaning supplies.

Lets list some simple gun cleaning items:

Storage Box – something to store the items in. In my case, I am using a large tackle box
Copper bore brushes – for scrubbing the inside of the barrel
Gun oil – I like the pump spray bottles
Hoppes #9 powder solvent
Bore light – I use an led light with a flex neck
Screw drivers
Cleaning rods – for pushing the bore brush through the barrel
Cloth patches

When my wife and I go to the local china-mart, sometimes I will go by the sporting goods section and pickup some various cleaning supplies. One day I might pick up a 308 bore brush, the next day I might pick up a 9mm bore brush, the next day I might pick up a bottle of gun oil, the next day a bottle of powder solvent,,,,,, and so on.

The problem is, I keep a lot of the gun cleaning supplies at my home and very few of them are brought to the bug out location.  Just like with lithium batteries,  led flashlights, water filters, blankets, cooking supplies,,,,, I will have to start stockpiling a small amount of cleaning supplies at the camp.  When my family is at the camp we normally do not spend a lot of time cleaning our firearms.  But then again, we only spend a few days there at a time.  If we were there full time, like after some kind of SHTF situation, we will need a way to keep the firearms clean and functioning properly.

Maybe I can put together some kind of small tackle box with some patches, bore brushes, gun oil, screw drivers, punch pin,,,, bring it to the camp and leave it there.  That way if or when we need the supplies they will be there.

Currently we have a small otters gun cleaning kit, but its only for a couple of calibers, and does not have any cloth patches and only a little bit of gun oil.

Spare parts:

Besides the cleaning supplies, something else that I thought about storing at the remote camp is spare parts, mainly spare firing pins, various springs and extractors.

A lot of the ammunition that is being stockpiled for the AR-15 and AK-47 is steel casing.  Steel casing ammo has a reputation of being hard on extractors.  To keep the firearms in working order I thought about ordering a couple of repair kits for the AK and AR.  For the FN/FAL, all I am buying is Remington core-lokt 150 grain brass case ammo.

Stockpiling brass or steel cased ammunition:

Last weekend I was at a buddies house, and we were talking about stockpiling 223, 7.62×39, 308,,,,, various types of ammunition.

I told my buddy that I was stockpiling Monarch 223 and Monarch 7.62×39 from academy sports and outdoors. Its steel cased ammo, but it only cost $4.89 for a box of 20.

My buddy replied that he did not like to shoot steel case ammo through his rifle. So he was buying the little more expensive American Tactical brass ammo.

In fact, my buddy offered to give me a 30mm ammo can full of wolf to bring to the bug out location. I declined his offer, but I might take him up on it later on.

In my FN/FAL I only shoot remington core-lokt 150 grain – at this time. I am thinking of getting some American Tactical brass ammo or some American Eagle for target shooting.

For rifles like the 30-30, 30-06,,,, and the other hunting rifles are we are stockpiling is brass case ammo like remington, winchester and federal.

The question is, what kind of ammo are you stockpiling? Are you buying the cheap steel case stuff, or are you paying a little more for brass casing?

Post your comments in this forum thread about Stockpiling steel or brass cased ammo.

Stockpiling SHTF food ammo and fishing supplies

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SHTF survival gear food and ammoLets talk about stockpiling food, ammo and fishing supplies for SHTF. These are the supplies that will be used to feed and protect your family if, or when, the SHTF.  There is no perfect survival plan, and only the fool says otherwise.  Its because of this admission that my plans have changed over the years.

My food stockpile  has gone from simple stockpiling beans and rice plans, to something a little more complex.

In the ammunition category, my plans have gone from having various rounds stockpiled, to taking inventory, and trying to standardize my SHTF ammo stockpile.

The fishing category is where I am currently having the most fun.  I have gone from just stockpiling fishing supplies to running trotlines and testing my fishing plans.

Stockpiling Food:

10 – 15 years ago I was stockpiling beans, rice, MREs, canned goods and some garden seed.  My plans were to head to the bug out location, plant a garden, and hunt for fresh meat.  It was a simple plan that had a lot of holes.

About 6 or 7 years ago I decided to focus more on gardening, and less on hunting.  My family and I started planting fruit trees (peach, pear, apple, plum,,,) and I started stockpiling more garden seed.  Then came along the drought of 2010 and 2011.  In the past 2 years this part of Texas is at least 3 feet low on rainfall.  Lake Sam Rayburn is about 9 feet low as of when this article was written.  The long solution to a long term survival plan is having a self-sustaining farm and garden.  In the face of global climate change getting a farm and garden up and running from scratch is going to be a little difficult.

About a year ago I decided to change my plans again and add mylar bags, and some homemade superpails to my SHTF food stockpile. So now we have mylar bags, MREs, canned goods, fruit trees and garden seeds.  In the mylar bags I stored beans, rice, oats, pancake mix, pasta,,,, and a few other things.

In the face of climate change, my plans have changed yet again.

Instead of relying entirely on hunting for meat, and beans for protein, I decided its time to bite the bullet and start stockpiling #10 cans of freeze dried meats, fruit and certain vegetables.

Recent #10 can purchase includes:

2 – Diced Broccoli
1 – Beef Stew
1 – Spaghetti with meat and sauce
1 – Chili mac with beef

My current plans include #10 cans of freeze dried meats, fruit, veggies; mylar bags of rice, beans, oats, pasta,,,, MREs, Eversafe meals, canned goods, garden seeds, fruit trees, and places to hunt at the bug out location.

The food in mylar bags is for side dishes, where the food in #10 cans is going to be for the main dish, and a second side dish.  Lets say that we open a can of chili mac.  For a side dish we could open a bag of rice and a #10 can of broccoli.  This would provide a meal of chili mac, rice and broccoli.

Stockpiling Ammunition:

My ammo preps have stayed pretty much to same over the past 15+ years.  There are 2 categories – defensive ammunition and hunting ammunition.

Defensive ammunition:  This is your typical low cost ball ammo.  With this stuff you want to make sure its reliable, accurate, and low cost.

Hunting ammo – this is your pointed softpoint, remington core-lokt,,,,,, stuff designed for hunting.

Here lately I have been switching between buying 30-30 and 308 Remington core-lokt ammunition.  One week I buy a box of 30-30, the next week I buy a box of 308.  Add some random 223 and 7.62×39 into the mix, and you have a combination of hunting and defensive ammo.

Recent ammunition purchases:

7 boxes Monarch 223 Remington 55 grain full metal jacket
5 boxes Monarch 7.62×39 123 grain full metal jacket
1 box 30-30 Remington core-Lokt 150 grain soft point
1 box Monarch 308 Winchester 145 grain full metal jacket

Stockpiling fishing supplies:

Fishing is what I am currently playing around with, and to be honest, fishing is fun.  Whether its throwing a lure into the water, setting a trotline or throwing out some noodles, you never know what you’re going to pull up.

Recent fishing supply purchases include:

1 box – Berkley Trilene XL 12 pound test
1 spool – Ande monofilament 50 pound test
1 box – Mustard 11/0 circle hooks (25 hooks)

In the fishing gear category, I have been stockpiling trotline string, hooks, leader material, weights, lures, snaps, swivels,,,, and just about everything else I can get my hands on.

 In Review:

By stockpiling #10 cans of freeze dried foods, food stored in mylar bags, ammunition and fishing supplies, we have the ability to feed our family, hunt, provide security and fish.

In this article we mentioned stockpiling seeds and having a garden, but did not cover those topics depth.   The topics of seeds and gardening are covered in depth in other articles.  Its not that one option is the complete solution, but its a combination of options that makes for a well rounded solution.

By having so many sources of food, we have multiple failure points.  If a drought sets in and we have to irrigate the fields, we have food stored in mylar bags, hunting, fishing and #10 cans.  If the hunting party comes back empty handed we can open some canned goods, maybe a #10 can, mylar bag of rice and have a great meal.

Post your comments in this forum thread about Stockpiling food, ammo and fishing supplies for SHTF.

Thinking about the 2011 – 2012 hunting season

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east texas whitetail deerWe are on the final 3 month countdown to the start of hunting season here in Texas.  Bow season starts in October, and rifle season starts the first weekend in November.  How is the season going to turn out?  I have no idea.

My new rifle, a DS Arms SA58 FN/FAL needs a scope.  Even though the shots are only about 75 – 100 yards, in the late evening light the sights seem to just fade away.  I thought about getting some tritium sights, but for the price of the tritium sights I could get a scope.  If the price between the new sights and a scope is “about” the same, why not get a scope.  Before I could mount a scope on my FN/FAL, first I had to install a new scope mount, which worked out well.

Hunting season is my favorite time of year, the weather turns off cool, we get a break from the Texas heat, bugs go away, leaves on the trees turn colors and fall to the ground.

There is just something about winter time that can not be described, the quiet and peacefulness of the woods and the wind blowing through the trees. Summer is nice, but I think winter has a certain beauty about it that summer can not touch.

If there is one thing that has me concerned about the 2011-2012 hunting season, it has to be the Texas drought we have been experiencing for at least the past 2 years. The drought is so bad, I was wondering if the oak trees were even going to have acorns this year.

Yesterday my wife pointed out that the water oak in front of my house has baby acorns on it – much to my surprise. This is a good sign, the water oak in front of my house has sprouted thousands of small acorns.

But, this is an older tree, maybe close to 60 or 75 years old. I do not know how the younger trees are doing.  In 2010 a willow tree in the back yard died because of last years drought.  So I am sure that the trees are still stressed.

In the past 2 weeks we have gotten more rain then in the last 6 months.  Maybe the recent rain helped the oak trees start their acorn production?  If that is the case, will we get enough rain for the acorns to mature.  Only time will tell.  I was wondering if the oak trees were going to sprout acorns at all this year due to the drought.  We have acorns, now if they will just make something.

For those of you that do not know what this means, Texas has been under a very bad drought for the past 2 years. We are probably 3 or 4 feet below normal rainfall in the pact 2 years.

Its so bad, Lake Sam Rayburn is about 9 feet below normal.

But then again, if the acorns do not make very well this year, maybe the deer will bunch up around other food sources.

Corn prices

The local wal-mart go their deer corn in last week, its almost $9 a bag.  I wonder if this is just early season price gouging, or if the price of corn has “really”  gone up due to the widespread drought?

At $9 a bag there is no way I am going to be able to afford to have a feeder going.  If prices stay like that, I will just have to set a ground blind up next to a creek bottom and play the waiting game.

Hunting gear

This deer season, I am thinking about adding a 5 gallon bucket and a boat cushion to my gear list.  I can store some snacks and water in the bucket, go into the woods, pick me out a spot overlooking a creek and have a seat.  There is one spot that I have in mind between 2 hills that overlooks a nice stream.  With oak trees all around there is plenty of food for the deer and hogs.

Last year when I went down into that same creek bottom, I saw all kinds of hog tracks.  Maybe I should go back there this year and see what I can get.

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