Homesteading and Survivalism

Ramblings Of A Bored Survivalist

Homestead as a Bug Out Location

By Kevin Felts On September 15, 2012
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Homestead VS Bug Out Location, which on is better and why? Instead of trying to discuss the merits of each, why not combine the two?

Instead of trying to maintain a home in an urban area, and a remote camp, why not build a homestead and make it your Bug Out Location? This way your time and money are not divided between two separate places.

For a lot of people, living in a rural area is not an option. Their job is in the city, and that is where they need to live. There are a number of people that live in rural areas, or in small towns. Lets talk about the people who are thinking about relocating to a rural area away from town.

For this article lets focus on 5 things – food, water, shelter, security, and some other small topics that we can group together.

Food

Homestead / Bug Out Location garden diagram One of the main purposes of a Homestead Bug Out Location is to be able to grow fresh food. Its one thing to have a years worth of dried beans and rice stored in mylar bags, its something totally different to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Sooner or later the #10 cans will run out, sooner or later the mylar bags will run out,,, and then what?

In my chicken coop project I learned that its going to take an estimated 6 months to get a small farm off the ground.

Its possible to work the soil, plant some radishes and have food ready to eat in a matter of 4 – 5 weeks. Radishes grow quick and the whole plant is edible. But who wants to live off radishes? Once you start talking about squash, corn, greens, potatoes and beans, you are looking at 2 – 4 months.

Australorp, Rhode Island Red and Barred RockIf you throw chickens into the mix, chicks take right at 6 months before they start laying eggs. The chicks my wife and I bought in February and March 2012 took 5 months before they laid their first egg.

The pullets (pullet is a hen that is less then 1 year old) took another month for the eggs to get larger. At 6 months the pullets are laying at a regular and steady pace. With 13 pullets, my wife and I are getting around 6 – 10 eggs a day. I think some of the pullets still are not laying. Black Jersey Giants are slow to mature and I do not think they are laying yet.

Lets say the crap hits the fan tomorrow, you and your family head to the remote camp, then you have to spend another 2 – 6 months getting your food production up and running.

That 2 – 6 months is “if” you can find the hardware and lumber to build a chicken coop, chicken yard, goat yard, tools to work the fields, barbed wire, nails, screws, hammers, saws, and find any chicks or goats you can buy or barter for. You think farmers are going to give away livestock when people are desperate?

Instead of trying to get the food production up and running after SHTF, why not have those items in place before hand? That is one of the benefits of having a Homestead as a Bug Out Location. You can be working on your farm and garden as a hobby before you and your family have to live off of the land.

Water

There is a saying I like to use, “without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.” My water plan for the Homestead goes past drinking water. I want 3 options for water – well, rain barrel and access to a stream.  My three main uses for water are for people, livestock and garden.

People and livestock need access to safe drinking water.  If there is a chance the water is contaminated with pathogens, then it goes into the garden.

Well – The plan is to drill a well using 3 inch PVC pipe and water. There are some videos out on the net showing the type of well we plan on putting in.

On top of the well I want a pitcher pump, and not a low quality one either. If the power goes out, I want the ability to go to the well and draw drinking water.

Rain Barrel – On the backside of the house I am thinking about putting something like a 250 gallon rain barrel, or maybe 2 X 55 gallon drums.  Maybe have a rainwater barrel on the chicken coop?  The chicken coop is going to be in the edge of the garden.  So why not catch the water off the coop and then use it in the garden?

Rainwater would be used for the garden. I thought about using rainwater for livestock, but why take the risk? During a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, livestock will be essential to my long term survival plans.

If nothing else, the rainwater barrels could be used to water the crops.

Stream – When all else fails, get some water out of a nearby stream and run it through a filter for drinking water.

Something I would like to experiment with on the stream, is  to setup a solar powered water pump to pump water from the stream for use in the garden.  If the solar pump works, then my family would have a long term solution during times of drought.

The solar powered trickle pump would be used to fill the rain  barrels.  From the rain barrels the water would be used to irrigate the garden.

Instead of using a solar powered pump for crop irrigation, there are some foot powered pumps on the market.  The pump looks like a stair-stepper.  One person stands on the pump, works the peddles like they are walking, and the pump pulls water from a stream to irrigate crops.

We need long term options to survive a long term SHTF situation, .  Using gas or diesel powered pumps for crop irrigation are not long term solutions.

Shelter

One of the many benefits of using a Homestead as a Bug Out Location is the shelter.  Would you rather sleep in a shed, tent or home?

To a lot of survivalist, a Bug Out Location should be nothing more then a tent or a small building.  In some cases the building would only have 3 or 4 rooms – sleeping area, kitchen / dining area, bathroom, and that is about it.

Would you rather have a home with all of its comforts, or would you rather be sleeping in a cramped shack?

Homestead / Bug Out Location recreation common areaWhen my wife and I get moved to the farm, we plan on building a 20 foot wide X  30 foot long covered area off the backside of the house.  This will be a cooking and recreational area.  About 40 feet from the edge of the covered area will be the garden.  This 40 foot area is the “common area”.  It will be a place for the kids to play, and other family events.

Instead of having everyone cooped up inside the house, the goal of the covered area is to provide the kids a safe place to play outside, and an area to cook and eat.

With the bar-b-q parked just next to the common area, I should be able to cook for dozens of people at one time.  The pit has a cooking surface of 6 feet 9 inches long and 29 inches wide.

My wife and I also have a propane grill and crawfish boiler.  But propane is not a long term solution.  A couple of times during the spring my family and I will have a crawfish boil.  Good times, good food, good memories.

Instead of having everyone inside the house, we will have an outside open area to cook and play games.

Security

One of the things about bugging out to the wilderness, how much security will you and your family have?

With the Homestead, you and your family will be on private property that nobody else has a claim to.  In other words, Homesteads have the homefield advantage.

The common area I have planned will be behind the house.  If someone drives up, the children and other people will not be in immediate danger.  The goal is to provide a safe-zone for the family to be able to relax in.

Other items worth mentioning

So you and your family Bug Out to the wilderness, and then what?  Where will you plant your crops, what about your livestock, safe drinking water, security,,,?

Besides livestock, hunting and fishing can be used to add fresh meat to the dinner table.  Does your bug Out Location have access to lakes, streams or ponds where you can fish?

Does the Homestead have access to hunting areas for small game such as squirrels, rabbits, hogs or deer?

During the great depression wildlife in parts of the United States were hunted to extinction.  Areas like East Texas had to be restocked with wild turkeys and whitetail deer because the animal populations had been devastated by deforestation and overhunting.  During a long term SHTF situation, hunting is not a long term option.  Wildlife will quickly be wiped out by excessive hunting, just as it was in the 1930s.

Sanitation

Raw sewage poses a serious risk to human health.  Want to see widespread disease in a matter of days?  Give flies and biting insects access to raw sewage.  Then there is the runoff of sewage into streams, rivers, lakes and ponds.

By having some kind of sewage solution in place, we help minimize the risk of sewage.

One example, a fly can land on raw sewage, then land to your food where diseases are carried on the feet of the insect.  This can be a vector for diseases such as Shigella.

Why did people decades ago have screen doors?  So the doors can be opened to let air in, but keep flying insects out.

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Kevin Felts

Kevin Felts was born and raised in southeast Texas, graduated from Bridge City high school Bridge City Texas, and attended Lamar College in Port Arthur Texas. Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family. In his free time you may find Kevin working around the farm clearing brush, working on a fence, building something, or tending to the livestock

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