Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Month: October 2011

The breaking point

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There is unrest in the streets, the people have had enough, our government is corrupt, our factories are closing, our jobs are shipped to china, price of food is going through the roof,,, how much more can we take?

I think if we continue on the current path, the number of people drawing social benefits, and the number of people out of work will drive this nation to a breaking point.

Local governments will not be able to raise enough tax dollars to support themselves, but the people will continue to demand schools, social programs,,,, until something has to break.

I think there are 2 factors working against the US, free trade and too many social benefit programs.

Free trade – as more and more factories are closed and shipped to china, there are 2 profound effects.

1 – the tax base is shifted to the people. Instead of a factory paying property and school taxes, that tax burden is shifted to the people.

2 – lower wages. As the factories are moved to china, people will have to either be retrained, or take a lower paying job.

The people go through a cycle of lower wages -> higher taxes -> lower wages -> higher taxes. Until finally the government can not meet its financial obligations. If you want an example, take a look at Texas and California. California would rather take care of its illegal immigrants, then to kick people off the system.

Social benefits – my personal opinion, the US government has fostered a sub-culture of people who think they are entitled to food, free health care and a place to live.

My wife and I have a friend works for as a teacher for a local school. When the teacher asked the students what they wanted to do with their life, one student raised his hand. The student said he wanted to be like his grandfather and his dad, and get his monthly check in the mail.  In other words, this child was looking forward to living on welfare, just like his dad and grandfather have done.

What kind of society are we when we allow generations of people to receive social benefits?

Instead of sending people on welfare to college and getting them off the system, our government fosters a culture of people who suck the tit of the government for as long as they can.

The tipping point

The US will be facing a turning point in the near future because of the baby boomers retiring.  The baby boomer generation worked their whole lives, paid into social security, and now deserve to reap the benefits from their labor.

Opposite of the baby boomers are the people who never worked a day in their life, and expect the same benefits as the people who paid into the system for decades.

We can not have it both ways.  We can not have people working their entire lives, and people who never worked drawing the same government benefits.

When both groups (the workers and the non-workers) try to draw benefits, something will have to give.  Either the government will have to revamp the US social benefits programs, or taxes will have to be raised, or the federal reserve will have to print more money.

More then likely, the federal reserve will fire up the printing press and print more money that is not backed with anything.

I look for election 2012 to be the year that serious issues are brought the the forefront of the debate.  Hopefully this will be the year that the US faces the problems that have been ignored for decades.  But like an infection, you can only ignore it for so long.

When I was in school, we were taught about the great depression, what I was not taught was that people rioted in the streets. Much like what we are seeing today, the same thing happened in the 1930s. People are angry, and have had enough.

Stockpiling food for SHTF and teotwawki

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Stockpiling food for SHTF / teotwawki While browsing the forum this morning, I came across a thread about stockpiling food. After looking through the thread, and after installing some new can rotation systems, I started thinking about some off the issues with keeping our food stocks rotated.

My opinion, one of the biggest issues facing preppers and survivalist are keeping our food stocks rotated. When my wife and I went through our canned goods and started sorting them, we realized that we had over bought certain foods, and did not buy enough of other foods.

There are 3 things we do not need to buy anymore of – corn, tomato soup, tomatoes for chili and spaghetti, pickles,,,.

Related article – teotwawki survival gear storage

Take honey for example, we have 4 or 5 jars of honey, but 12 – 13 jars of peanut butter.

There are lots of can good rotation systems on the market, such as the Cansolidator storage unit, or use something like a can rotation system designed for 12 ounce soda cans.

My wife and I had been storing a lot of our can goods in the pantry with no real rotation system. Well, a couple of months ago I decided it was time to get with the program and get our can foods organized.

While walking through the local china-mart, my wife and I found some wire racks that are designed for keeping 12 ounce soda cans in the fridge. the racks are designed to hold a 12 pack of 12 ounce cans. Besides soda cans, the wire racks hold all types of soups, pasta, and peanut butter just fine.


The Handcuffed United States of America

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Welcome to the Handcuffed United States of America, where law enforcement is held hostage by illegal immigrants, and the US government can kill its citizens without due process.

The Washington Times is reporting that a U.S. border agent has been jailed for improper arrest of a suspected drug smuggler.

What the hell is wrong with this country where a US Border agent can be put in prison for doing his job?  Its not like the border Agent shot and killed the accused drug smuggler.

Then there is PETA that has tried to get equal rights for whales.  There are lots of crazy people in the world, but claiming animals deserve the same rights as humans, you have got to be kidding me.  I have seen some crazy people in my time, like the whackos that walk around and talk to the birds, but this PETA crap has to take the prize.

On top of everything else, we have an out of control president that can off people at will.  To get yourself murdered without a trial, all the government needs to do is have you declared a terrorist, and your head is on the chopping block.

When our president obama has been asked why US citizens were murdered, he hid his face in the sand and refused to hand over the evidence.

Its gotten to the point where people can not even protest without being thrown in jail.  The people are tired of our jobs being sent to china, we protest, and we are beat down by jack-booted-thugs.

I am pretty sure the people working the gas chambers of nazi germany were just following orders, just like the police officers that beat down the protestors.

The US is going downhill, and fast. Our jobs have been shipped to china, our government is corrupt, and there is civil unrest in the streets. How much more before something breaks?

The US has been called the melting pot of the world. The problem is, when you melt a lot of metals together, the metal is weak or brittle. The US has become divided with different groups pushing certain social agendas. The social agendas will divide and eventually break this once great nation.

Greed is the great destroyer, it divides families, and it breaks nations. Our financial institutions have become so greedy that their greed has consumed everything in its path.

Our housing markets are in ruins, our factories have bee closed and moved to china, investors are putting their money in gold, unemployment is up,,, and the people sit on their hands and vote for the same 2 parties over and over.

The people need to open their eyes, and if they want real change, then vote like it. If you are voting for the same 2 parties, then you are not voting for real change. If you want to bring about “real” change, and not the obama type of change, vote third party.

The two major parties have failed this nation. They have allowed china to take our factories and our jobs, and at the same people the people kept voting the same way they have for the past 100 years.

Keep in mind, the two parties you voted for have given us:

Income tax – both state and federal
Free Trade – so our jobs can go overseas
Insecure borders
Have not regulated BPA
Have not regulated coal emissions

If you are wondering what coal emissions do, here is a pic.

mercury warning dam b jasper texas

We can not even eat the fish out of our rivers and lakes without some kind of mercury warning. And the two parties you elected has allowed this to happen.

Is free enterprise a good thing

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Is free enterprise a good thing, or does it cultivate greed and excess?

When the banks collapsed a few years ago, and president bush rushed to the rescue, we were told that the banks had to stay in business. But “why”? If we truly lived in a free enterprise society, businesses should be allowed to rise and fall as the markets determine.

There has been a recent report that the middle class has been racing towards poverty since around the year 2000. Yet the government is not rushing to bail out the middle class. Our jobs are being shipped over seas and outsourced, and the government does nothing.

For a free enterprise to work, people and businesses should be treated the same. If the government makes sure company John Doe stays afloat, then the government should make sure “nobody” goes bankrupt.

The truth is, we live in a lop-sided system, where the government favors big business over the hard working tax paying citizens. The people that work to make this nation great have found themselves indebted to the banks and to the government.

In a “true” free enterprise system, things might be good and the people will prosper.  But in a lopsided system, one side or the other will become a servant, and that is what has happened with the US.  The people are no longer free, we have been enslaved:

Income tax – you have to file a tax return every year.
Property tax – you have to pay your property tax or the government will place a lean on your property.
Obama health care – people have to buy health insurance.
Car insurance – people have been mandated to buy car insurance.
Child support – 25% for the first child and 5% for every child after that.
Factories close and move to china under free trade laws.

But who is there to bail out the working people? Nobody is there, we are left to be thrown to the lions.

Free enterprise can be a good thing, when the people are not mandated by the government, and when human greed does not get in the way. But we know those two things are not going to happen.

Free enterprise, like socialism and communism falls victim to human greed.

The Left 4 Dead 2 Boycotters Were Right

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As we approach the 2 year anniversary of l4d2, in retrospect, I think the boycotters were right.   The presales L4D2 hype failed to live up to a lot of things.

Dynamic paths – removed
Dynamic weather – removed
Dynamic night and day – removed
Some of the best versus maps ruined due to glitches, bugs and a buffet bar of health kits and pills.
Why has it taken Valve almost 2 years to fix the tank glitch in Dead Center 1?
Why doesn’t the tank spawn in No Mercy 1?
Why doesn’t the tank spawn in No Mercy hospital map?
Why does the charger move around survivors instead of hitting them?
Why is the walking witch so difficult to set off?
Why hasn’t the one melee kill of the jockey been fixed?
How can some survivors see when they are boomed?

The list goes on and on.

Just as Valve dropped left 4 dead after the release of l4d2, so has l4d2 fallen to the wayside in favor of tf2 updates.

I just want the product valve told us l4d2 would be like. When you buy a product, you expect it to be like what was advertised, right?

Would you buy a car under the same conditions? If you were told your new car could drive 70mph, but later you found out it only drove 70mph on interstate highways, on state highways it only went 55 mph, would you be happy with that bait and switch.

I bought a product that was not the same as it was advertised to be. If a company representative says a product is going to have certain features, then the product should have those features.

Some people say that Valve is being slow because they are working on good quality fixes. How much slower can Valve be? Are we supposed to be led to believe it takes 2 years to add a ladder to the elevator of Dead Center 1?

Maybe Valve updates should be Duke Nukem Forever slow, and take 10 years to fix something?

Or maybe Black Mesa slow, where Valve talks about the patches, shows videos of the patches, but nothing is released for years, if ever?

Valve pulled a last second bait-and-switch with l4d2. We were told one thing, and got something else.


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If there is one thing in this world that pisses me off, it has to be thieves. It seems to me that thieves fall into a couple of categories.

Irresponsible – thieves get low on money, need a little extra spending cash, they just go steal something and sell it.

The problem is the thief is too irresponsible to manage their money.

Lazy – this goes back to being irresponsible, instead of working a steady job, thieves would rather steal.

Arrogant – thieves think they deserve nice stuff, even though they do not want to work for it. Why should other people have those nice TVs and nice cars? Maybe because they work for those things. The thief thinks they are entitled to nice stuff just like everyone else.

Is it not enough that thieves are too lazy to work for the better things in life, but they have to steal from those that put forth the time and effort to improve their lives.

Awhile back the shed at the Bug Out Location was broke into and some tools were stolen. One of the tools included an $600 Sthil chainsaw.  If someone is too lazy to work and buy their own saw, they are going to be too lazy to use the saw. It was probably sold for drug money.

One evening I was sitting at the computer desk when I hear what sounded like a door slam outside.  I guess it might have been around 8 or 9p, I went outside, looked around, locked the vehicles up and went back inside.  The next morning I noticed that someone had stole the radar detector and my sun glasses out of my vehicle.

One morning my wife went out to her SUV to go to work, only to find out someone had gone through the glovebox, and taken all of the coins in the door.

Back around 1974 or 1975, someone cleaned my Great grandmother and Great grandfathers house.  They came home and the majority of their furniture had been stolen.

Sometime around 1980 someone stole a boat from my parents house.

Sometime around 1979 or 1980 someone stole my and my brothers pellet rifles.

Sometime around 1985 someone stole the door off my jeep CJ-5.

When I was working at a welding shop around 1989 someone stole a $10 calculator from my tool chest.

Why cant people leave stuff alone?  If its not yours, do not touch it.

Misconceptions in deer hunting

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One of the comments posted to my video about setting up a deer blind kinda struck me.  The comment went something like setting up a deer blind was along the lines of deer camping and that I might as well be shooting deer on a deer farm.

I am going to guess that the person posting the comments has never had the opportunity to watch deer in its natural state?

It seems to me that people think deer hunting is easy, that you can sneak up on a deer, and you will have meat on the table. That is about as far from the truth as you can get.

If deer can stay away from natural predators, how does a city slicker think they can walk into the woods and find a deer?


Ground blind for deer hunting

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Ground blind for deer huntingA few weeks ago I bought a bone collector dog house blind from the local china-mart. This past saturday 2 of my sons and I went out to the lease, did some scouting and setup the blind.  Rifle season here in Texas starts in 2 weeks.  I am getting a late start on the season, but oh well, you do what you have to do.

We followed a creek until we found an oak tree that had a bunch of acorns on the ground and some rubs in the area.

From the oak tree we moved to the north maybe 35 yards and setup the blind on the edge of some underbrush. There is a thicket with a lot of underbrush that opens up to the creek bottom and a pine tree clearing. The blind is setup on the edge.

Related forum section – Hunting Forum

The spot for the blind was picked for 3 reasons:

Water – Texas has been under a terrible drought, probably the worst drought in 50 years. Due to the drought a lot of creeks have dried up, that is why I paid special attention to water.

Food – Due to the drought, a lot of oak trees are stressed and seem to be dropping immature acorns.  I was looking for an oak tree close to the creek that was dropping mature acorns.  The acorns should attract squirrels, hogs and deer.

Deer sign – with several rubs in the area, I know there is a buck moving around. I did not find any scraps, so rubs will have to do.



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Why do some people live their lives filled with hate and anger?  These are the people that explode in a fit of rage at the slightest thing, like a time bomb waiting to go off at the slightest bump in the road.

Why do some people gloat in the misery of others?

Why do some people try to keep others down?  By “down”, I mean down in every, shape, form and fashion.  Whether its emotionally or financially some people seem to get a thrill out of providing misery in the lives of others.

Why do people hold onto feeling of anger for years, even decades after the fact?  Its as if their lives revolves around hanging onto those bitter feelings.

Why cant people treat others with respect and dignity?

Treat others as you want to be treated, but I think haters want to be treated bad.  Its like they feed on the anger and bickering.

Why do some people find fault with others?  Its like they look for fault part of the time, they find fault all the time in everything others do.

With no much anger in the world, why cant we live in peace and harmony?  Why cant people be left alone to live their lives as they wish, why cant people live their lives without worry of criticism and conflict.

Why do some people feel they have to push their opinions and beliefs on others?

There is a certain person I know who believes her religion is the only religion, and because of her religious beliefs she is rude to everyone else.  What gives that person the right to look down on others because of their beliefs?

Despotism is when certain groups of people do not get respect due to certain factors, such as race and religion. In nazi germany jews did not have the same rights as other people. Whether we want to admit it or not, the nazi beliefs are alive and well, just in a different form. Instead of a government sponsored program, people practice what the nazis taught in their everyday lives.

Haters are the people who say “I am going to teach that person a lesson”, when the other person has done nothing wrong.

Haters are the ones who plot and plan how to make the lives of others miserable.

Haters are the ones who gloat in the misery of others.

Haters are the people who are filled with anger, and for no reason.

Now for some relaxing music from one of my favorite bands.

Safe drinking water

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Drinking water after SHTFFor most of the developed world, safe drinking water is something we take for granted. We turn on the faucet and nice clean water comes out. We have fresh water to brush out teeth, to take a shower, to wash our hair,,, and our other everyday needs.

Then along comes SHTF / TEOTWAWKI, and guess what, no more nice clean water.

Over the years I have read a lot of articles taking about the most important survival gear items. the list usually ranges from antibiotics to water filters. To me, and my personal opinion, the most important thing during a survival situation is safe drinking water.

Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.

Lets talk about 3, 4 or even 5 days after the city water gets turned off, people will be drinking out of rivers, creeks, ditches, streams, ponds, lakes,,,,, anywhere they can find water.

Most the most part, people will try to purify the water by boiling it, or using a water filter, or running the water through a shirt or cloth to remove the heavy particles,,,. I guess a major problem lies in urban dwellers who have limited access to fuel for fires to boil water.

Lets move forward 2 – 3 weeks, people start getting sick, people start dying from waterborne infections. Dysentery kicks in, and people start dying from dehydration.

Forget raiders, forget looters,,, once people start drinking untreated water, the whole game changes.

Boiling water – that topic should be common knowledge. So lets talk about stuff that is not discussed very much.

I am thinking of getting a SteriPEN and leaving it at the bug out location, along with some 32 ounce water bottles.

Run the creek water through the Royal Berkey, fill up a 32 ounce water bottle (or canteen), after the water is in the bottle or canteen purify the water with a SteriPEN. I might even buy 2 or 3 SteriPEN, one or two for home and one or two for the Bug Out Location.

On the SteriPEN website, the company has a long list of certifications from laboratories.  The rating is something like 48 seconds of exposure for 16 ounces of water, and 90 seconds for 32 ounces of water.

The reason why I suggested 32 ounce water bottles – each water bottle would take 90 seconds of exposure, and 32 ounce water bottles are common. You can go to just about any sporting goods store and buy 32 ounce bottles.

16 ounces of water is not very much in the summer time. While out on the boat fishing or hiking, I can down 16 ounces of water at one time.

I have been stocking up on 32 ounce water bottles and canteens from academy sports and outdoors, the bottles and canteens are cheap and they are BPA free.

To help filter something like river water, use a shirt, sock (make sure its clean), piece of denim, bandanna,,,, some kind of cloth to remove heavy partials.

If you wanted to take things a step further, build a slow sand filter out of a 5 gallon bucket.  Use the sand to filter out the heavy stuff and use the SteriPEN to further purify the water.

Post your comments in this forum thread about safe drinking water after SHTF.

Safe drinking water after teotwawki

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Lets talk about safe drinking water during a long term SHTF / teotwawki situation.  When it comes to water, there is a saying I like to use, “without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.”

During a long term SHTF / teotwawki situation, people will be taking water from creeks, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes,, whatever they can find and trying to make it safe to drink. Its important to know the most common types of infections, and how to remove / kill the organisms.

In this article we will be looking at the most common waterborne infections, their cause, and how to prevent becoming infected.

Common waterborne infections

Campylobacter / Campylobacteriosis
Cryptosporidium / Cryptosporidiosis
Giardia / Giardiasis
Hepatitis A
Legionella / Legionellosis
Salmonella / Salmonellosis
Typhoid Fever

Some cause short term discomfort, some cause death, some cause life long illnesses.

Related forum threadUsing a Berkey Water filter at the Bug Out Location


US society not prepared

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Stockpiling food for SHTFA couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to Sams Club in Beaumont Texas.  One of the main things I wanted to pick up was some freeze dried foods in #10 cans.  The food is listed on the Sams Club website, so I thought the store would have some in stock.  Guess what, the store did not have any freeze dried food in #10 cans.   After walking up-and-down the isles, I finally decided to stop and ask an employee.  I was told that the store had not got any emergency type food in a couple of years.

For those of you that do not know, Beaumont sits just a few miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.  In the past few years Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike have made landfall close to Beaumont.  Why wouldn’t a major outlet store sell some kind of emergency food in a Hurricane prone area?  I think its a lack of forward thinking, and maybe even a lack of demand.

A couple of nights ago my wife and I went to Lowes in Jasper Texas, we were looking for some kind of can rotation system.  Wal-mart in Jasper sells a wire rack for rotating soda cans, but a regular sized chili or soup can will fit in the rack.  So my wife and I have been buying the wire-racks and setting up a can rotation system on a set of shelves.

What really surprised me was the Lowes store in Jasper does not carry any type of can rotation system.  Why wouldn’t a hardware store that sells cabinets sell some kind of system to keep can goods organized?


Light after teotwawki

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Some kind of SHTF/teotwawki situation has happened, society has broken down, and the power has finally gone off.

Or, some kind of natural disaster has happened, power has been cut off and my not be restored for several days to several weeks. After Hurricane Rita, my family and I spent 18 days without power. So power outages are not reserved for a long term SHTF/teotwawki situation.

My light preps are kerosene, hand crank lights, solar lights and your regular LED lights. Each light source has their own advantages and disadvantages.


Lanterns after SHTFFor over a hundred years kerosene has been used by mankind in lanterns. Kerosene stores somewhat well, depending on the type of kerosene that is being stored and what the kerosene is going to be used for. Overtime bacteria develops and feeds off the fossil fuel; when this happens the fuel will start to gel.

To get the most out of your kerosene, you may want to consider treating it with a type of diesel fuel treatment that prevents the growth of bacteria.

Kerosene lanterns pose a fire risk, especially around small children.

When my family has to use a kerosene lantern, we place the lantern in a bathroom so the light can reflect off of a mirror, and several inches away from the edge of the counter top.

When picking a lantern, be sure to take the size of the reservoir into consideration. The larger the reservoir, the longer the lantern can operate.

If kerosene is going to be included in your long term SHTF survival plan, keep in mind your kerosene is going to run out sooner-or-later.


Food shortages high prices and riots

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DS-Arms SA58 FN/FAL next to a river in southeast TexasRemember hearing something about a drought across parts of the US this year? If you buy anything with peanuts, you’re about to see the effects of a low harvest caused by the drought. Get ready for some high food prices, they are on their way.

Normally I do not subscribe to the doom-and-gloom predictions, but I am seeing it first hand.


Farmers here in Texas are losing crops, and having to sell their cattle because grass is not growing. Texas and Louisiana agreed to allow wide loads of hay to be transported between the 2 states.  Here in Jasper County Texas, I see trailers loaded down with rolls of hay going through the city on a regular basis. Importing hay from Louisiana is one of the few options cattlemen have right now.

Because of farmers selling off their cattle herds, the price of beef might be artificially low right now.  If the sale of cattle starts to slow down, we might see the price of beef jump.

Young and old trees are turning brown and dying. Back in February of 2011 my kids and I planted some oak trees at the Bug Out Location. Due to the lack of rain fall, and not being able to make regular trips to the camp to water the trees, the leaves have turned brown and the baby trees might die.


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