When I moved to the farm almost 3 years ago I thought this was going to be easy. Build a nice chicken yard, build a chicken house, plant some fruit trees, and things will be off and running. Then I can work on the pole barn, barn, and fence in a few acres for goats and cattle.
Lets just say things have not been going as planned.
Fruit trees have been a failure
Either from disease, drought, drowned from too much rain,,,, whatever the reason, my fruit tree project has not gone anywhere near as expected.
A plum tree my kids and I planted several years ago died. A second plum tree is not doing anything. It is not even hardly growing.
Peach trees are not growing as expected, or died. Out of the several peach trees that were planted over the past few years, only one has grown and is producing any peaches. This year that one peach tree is not doing anything.
Fig trees died from the summer drought of 2015. June, July, August and September 2015 we got very little rain fall here in southeast Texas. I did not keep my young fig trees watered like they needed, and 3 out of the 4 died.
While visiting various AR-15 forums and other firearms forums, I see a common trend that only the best is good enough. Only the best AR-15 is good enough, everything else is junk. Only the very best magazines are good enough, everything else is junk. Only the very best ammunition is good enough, everything else is junk. Only the very best optic is good enough, everything else is junk.
When prepping for a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event, do you apply that same philosophy to all aspects of your preps?
Do you have the best tiller? Do you research the parts used to make that tiller, the manufacturing process, the heat treating, the hardness of various metals, what about stress test on parts used to make the tiller?
Do you have the best garden rake or hoe? Do you research the metals and the manufacturing process used to make your garden tools?
Do you have the best axe money can buy? Do you research the metals, hardness, manufacturing process of your wood cutting tools?
Do you have the best chickens? Do you research the breeding process of the hatcheries? What about the genetics of the chickens? If you want an exact chemical analysis of your AR-15 parts,l do you demand a DNA test on your chickens?
If you demand the very best of the best of the best for your tacticool firearm, what about your other preps?
Shouldn’t feeding your family be as important as protecting them?
When I first heard this song streaming on I heart radio I instantly fell in love with it. Disturbed, a rock and roll band known for heavy metal songs such as “bodies hit the floor” made a song that touches the soul
Disturbed should make more songs like this. Maybe an album like what Metallica did with their symphony and metal (S&M) album?
There is no doubt Disturbed is a great band. I just feel their earlier works seemed like they were trying too hard to make a product people might like, rather than art.
Over the past few decades music has moved from artist to performers. Todays groups and singers are performers designed to generate revenue, rather than making art. Music is art but. Art will be remembered long after money has lost its glitter.
Awhile back someone posted a comment on one my youtube videos saying the hoe will be your best friend after SHTF. This got me to thinking about how important certain types of survival gear were over other types.
Can you use an AR-15 or AK-47 to till a garden? Plow a field? Bushhog? Operate an auger to set fence post? Clear brush? Weed a garden? Pick the crops? Can the harvest?
Who is your very best friend?
The hoe and the rake.
They have proven then test of time. Our ancestors used garden tools thousands of years before firearms were ever thought of.
Garden tools have no moving parts – no locking lugs, no bolt carrier, no firing pin, no ammunition, nothing to run out of except your physical strength.
When I made the youtube video I thought it was a good topic. Maybe something for members of the community and forum to talk about their over reliance on firearms to survive a post-SHTF world. I was rather set back by the comments and negative ratings on the youtube video.
Let’s be honest, garden tools are not cool. They do not have the “that is so awesome” like an AR-15, AK-47, AK-74, PTR-91 and FN/FAL do. there are no rails on a hoe to mount the “best tactical light money can buy”, or a suppressor, or eotech or aimpoint. There is no tacticool with hoes and rakes. Yes there are cheap garden tools and there are more expensive ones.
Who honestly pays attention to the brandname and quality of a garden tool? Do you take your hoe and rake out and show it to your friends like you would with some of your tactical gear? Do you shop online and read the reviews of your garden tools? Or do you buy whatever the local chinamart and farm supply store has in stock?
Someone on youtube even sent me a message saying they almost unsubscribed because of the video.
In the overall scheme of things which is more important in the long run, being able to feed your family, or having thousands of rounds of ammunition you can not eat.
Hunting after SHF
The typical survivalist response to questions about stockpiling ammunition, they will go hunting during a long term SHTF situation.
Let’s be honest, do you really think you will be the only person hunting post-collapse?
What do you think caused the wild turkey and whitetail deer to become extinct in east Texas during the early 1900s? Habitat destruction played a big role, but over hunting during the great depression contributed greatly to wildlife depletion. When the food dries up in the cities, where do you think those people are going? Out to the country to find food.
Do you honestly think you will be the “only” person who will be able to hunt when all the wildlife has been depleted? Chances are good number of people are on hunting leases, which is where a lot of people will go. When they reach their hunting lease they will hunt. When all the wildlife around the lease is depleted they will travel further and further to find food.
People who live in rural areas will deplete the wildlife around them. Then they will venture further and further away from home to find food.
It will be just a matter of time before all the deer, rabbit, squirrels, wild hogs,,,, everything is hunted out. Then what?
Do you plan on raiding your neighbors garden and chicken house for food? Only the animals that are protected by their owners will be the only fresh meat available in a long term post-collapse world.
Family pets will be a source of food, and then what? During the Black Death of 1348 – 1350 dogs and cats became extinct in some parts of Europe.
History has proven this time and time again. The people with a renewable and reliable food source are the ones who will survive. This means a garden, chickens, goats, fruit trees, stockpiling seeds,,, a variety of food sources.
Simply put, hunting is unreliable and unsustainable in a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation.
Practical approach to prepping
Preppers / Survivalist may wish to consider a practical approach to prepping. Which means less focus on stockpiling beans, bullets and band-aids, and more of a back to basics approach.
Let’s take $25 and spend it on prepping gear.
Would you rather have:
1 brown turkey fig tree at $22.98.
Taken care of could provide your family with decades of figs. Figs are rated as maybe the worlds healthiest food with it being a source of fiber, vitamin A, manganese and potassium.
1 Celeste fig tree at $22.98.
10 chicks, at $2.50 each.
10 laying hens with a reliable food source should be enough to produce a dozen eggs every 2 – 3 days. Breed, time of year and quality of feed all play a role in egg production.
2 Pmags at $11.95 each.
9 pounds Roma II snap bean seed at $2.75 a pound.
Plant 3 pounds of this seed and you should have enough for 3 years after SHTF. Pick before the beans for, snap the ends off, boil and eat husk and all. Or, lot beans mature, dry and save for next year. High producing plant, should be picked every few days.
9.43 pounds Contender snap bean seed at $2.65 a pound.
Same family as the Roma II snap bean. Pick before bean inside of husk matures, boil and serve. Beans are a good source of potassium, iron, protein, and fiber.
Plant one pound per year and you should have enough for three years.
10.20 pounds purple hull BVR pea seed at $2.45 a pound.
Plant one pound per year and you will have enough seed for 3 years. Peas are a source of vitamin A, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and vitamin B-6.
9.43 pounds yellow dent field corn at $2.65 a pound.
Yellow dent field corn is open pollinated / heirloom so the seeds can be saved.
60 rounds American eagle 223 Remington for $6.49 a box.
Good source of copper and lead.
Renewable or consumable
From the above list it boils down to renewable and consumable items. Should you base your and your families future on renewable or consumable items?
While working on my fighting load carrier (FLC) and thinking about an overnight kit that would fit in a fanny pack, I started thinking about a micro bug out bag. The idea for a micro-bug out bag came as I was thinking about a short range recon bag, basically a butt pack or fanny pack.
I live in a rural area. I was thinking about something I could grab and go walking in the woods with and it would contain basic items for an overnight stay. Then I started thinking, why couldn’t someone in a city use this to walk out of the city and to a suburban or rural area?
Right now my fighting load carry (FLC) has:
2 triple military surplus magazine pouches
First aid kit
If you have food for 24 hours, and someone can make it at least 24 hours without food, then we are up to 48 hours. How far could someone in a city walk in 48 hours on a deserted highway? That was one of my thoughts. Instead of having a fully loaded bag weighing 40, 50+ pounds. Reduce that down to a fanny / butt pack and make the person more mobile.
Transporting goods and services during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation has been on my mind for awhile.
In big cities people use large SUVs and trucks as a status symbol. 300+ horsepower, 4 wheel drive, gas guzzler, but has never pulled a trailer or been off the pavement.
In urban areas nearby rural areas, and in rural areas people “use” their SUVs and trucks. Yesterday evening (February 25, 2016) Jasper Texas was packed with trucks and bass boats. The weather this weekend is going to be nice so people are going to the lake.
There are thousands of people all across the nation who live just a couple of hours from rural locations. Those people venture out of the city to go hunting, fishing and enjoy nature. While doing those activities they pull a boat, or maybe a trailer with an ATV on it.
In rural areas just about everyone knows someone who owns a truck and trailer. I drive a Toyota truck and have a Tacoma I am rebuilding. My dad and brother both have 3/4 ton dodge trucks. Walmart looks like a used truck dealership just about everyday.
When it comes to stockpiling seeds we have discussed the topic in depth. Something that has been overlooked is how many seeds should you stockpile?
I have come up with a simple formula and would like to know what yall think.
How many seeds do you normally plant to obtain X amount of harvest? Lets say you plant 1 pound of snap beans or purple hull peas. With that one pound and a certain amount of fertilizer you have an idea of how much of a harvest you will get.
How many people are planning on using your place as a long term bug out location? Or, are you planning to going to a rural farm? In other words are you bugging in or bugging out?
To keep the formula simple, take the usual number of seeds you plant and double it. Lets say you plant 2 pounds of contender snap beans. Double that for a total of 4 pounds. Doubling is for the extra people you intended to feed.
Time for some random thoughts on life from a bored survivalist.
Lets start with happiness. What is happiness? Happiness is defined as a “mental or emotional state of well-being.” Whos responsibility is it for you to be happy? Is it your spouses responsibility for you to be happy? Is it your employers responsibility for you to be happy?
Your happiness is your responsibility.
Outside stimuli can affect your happiness. However, the key to happiness is controlling your thoughts; change your thoughts and you change your reality.
The most important issue with being happy is thinking happy thoughts. So what if bad things happen. We do not have to dwell on those bad memories. Life is full of bad things. We lose a job, lose a loved one, get our feelings hurt,,, but that is life.
In the past 6 – 8 months I have easily lost close to a dozen and a half chickens to a Coyote. Lets say that each chicken lays 200 eggs a year. By losing just 18 chickens the coyote has cost me around 3,600 eggs over the course of a year.
It would be easy to put out some foothold traps, but what about my dogs getting into them? I could not forgive myself if someones pet got into a foothold trap. To take care of the coyote problem and prevent the accidental trapping of pets I ordered an Extreme Dimension EDMR302 remote control call and a Mojo Outdoors Critter Decoy.
I bought both of them off Amazon, total price on December 26, 2015 was $169.80, including shipping.
There is an article on AllOutdoor.com talking about Heavy duty SHTF battle rifles. The picture used for the article shows an AR-10 next to an FN/FAL. Looking at the picture I have to ask myself, why do we need an AR-10 in a niche that is already full?
The right arm of the free world, the FN/FAL that has been in service since 1954. As of 2015 that is 61 years.
M1A, which is based off the M14, battle proven, reliable, marksmanship rifle has been in service since 1974. The M14 has been in service since 1959. As of 2015 that is 56 years.
PTR-91, based off the Heckler and Koch G3, in service since the year 2000, so only 15 years as of 2015. The Heckler and Koch G3 has been in service since 1959. So 56 years like the M1A.
We have three military grade rifles based off proven designs. Where does the AR-10 fit into that group?
If you want something along the lines of a sporting rifle, there is the Remington Model 750 Woodsmaster with a walnut stock and the Model 750 Synthetic. The 750 synthetic comes with a synthetic stock as its name suggest.
Then there are the dozens of bolt action rifles chambered in 308 Winchester. Just about every firearms manufacturer makes a rifle model chambered in 308 Winchester. It is not like the market “needs” another rifle chambered in 308 Winchester, much less another semi-automatic rifle.
Awhile back I was looking for a 308 semi-auto rifle that would be included in my long term SHTF survival plans. I considered the AR-10, but not seriously. If I am going to stockpile magazines and gun parts, why not stockpile them for a rifle that has half a century of military service behind it?
A few days ago I was walking along the creek that is the property line between my land and the timber company land. Not only does the timber company grow timber on their land, they also lease the land out to hunters. It is not unusual to see an influx of urban dwellers into rural areas starting a couple of months before hunting season. Most of the people who lease property in rural areas are good people. They just want to get out of the city, do some hunting, get a deer or hog and pass the tradition of hunting to the next generation.
With hunters there is an unspoken code of respect. You do not touch my trail cameras, stands and feeders and I do not touch yours.
Then there are the people who do not care about respect. They will knock your feeders and stands over and steal the trail cameras. These are the vandals and thieves that screw up life for everyone else. For people who visit their lease only a few times a year the vandals are not that big of an issue. All that gets screwed up is a few items such as the deer blind and feeders. For those of us who live in rural areas next to hunting leasing, the vandals can screw with us year round.
Something happened that I would never in a million years thought could come true, my beloved Kristy and I divorced.
We met in 2000 while I was working at Lake Conroe between Conroe and Montgomery. After a whirlwind romance we got married and swore our love to each other.
On July 17 2015 Kristy and I got into an argument. I asked if she wanted a divorce. She said yes and left. A few days later she filed for divorce.
The love of my life that I hoped to live the rest of my days with is no longer by my side.
I feel so empty inside as if my heart and soul were ripped out, shredded, and burned. My hopes of ever finding someone to grown old with has been destroyed.
Kristy and I built a life together and had so many plans. Plans that seemed to vanish in a split second when she drove away.
Now I have to start a new phase of life of being single at 47 years old. Just when life was getting good for Kristy and I she left and we are divorced. I finished paying child support in 2014. We both found good paying jobs with good benefits. Then all of a sudden the rug is pulled out.
Going on 3 months after she left and I am numb and still in denial. Everyday I hope she contacts me to say she is coming home. I know my hopes are in vain.
My next relationships will be filled with mistrust. How can I love someone else when the love of my life walked out? This feels like a bad dream I wish so badly to awake from.
I just want to wake up to find Kristy sleeping next to me.
One of the great topics in the survivalist / prepping community is about survival knives. Everyone has an opinion about what kind of knife would be ideal for surviving in a post-SHTF / post-TEOTWAWKI world.
Some of the discussions on knives revolve around real world situations, while a lot of the discussions revolves around unrealistic situations, such as bugging out to the wilderness.
After putting much thought into the SHTF survival knife topic, what if I told you just about everyone was right and just about everyone was wrong? There is no perfect knife for a post collapse society. That is why we should stockpile a variety of knives.
Rambo hollow handle survival knife – No article on survival knives is complete without discussing the grandfather of all survival knives. Let’s go ahead and get that out of the way. The word “survival knife” brings to mind the 1982 movie Rambo when John Rambo used his knife to survive in the wilderness. Shortly after the movie Rambo was released a survival knife craze kicked in. Survival knives were made in all shapes, forms and fashions. Some were good quality but there was a lot of junk on the market. The hollow handled Rambo survival knife was probably the most popular.
Chickens would be great farm animals for SHTF if they were not so stupid. The honest truth is they will find a way to get themselves killed.
Build them a nice cage and they will find a way to get out.
They will wander away from the flock and get killed.
They will stay out to dusk, right when coyotes start looking for an easy meal.
They will spill their water.
They will crap in their food and water.
They will crap in laying boxes.
They will roost in high places so if they fall at night they will be hurt.
They will eat stuff that makes them sick – free ranging eating weeds, rocks, pieces of glass, etc.
They will free range out in fields where hawks can see them. They chickens can have all kinds of weeds and cover to forage under. But no, they have to go out in the open away from the flock so a hawk can get them.
A few months ago my 2 year old grand daughter pulled on the factory plastic Royal Berkey spigot. Something cracked or broke because the spigot started leaking where it connected to the Royal Berkey housing.
The spigot was removed from the Berkey, gaskets were checked, everything put back together and it still leaked. Something was broke so time to find a replacement.
While looking for a replacement I decided I did not want to go back with the factory spigot. I got on amazon, looked around and came across a Stainless Steel works beverage dispenser. What caught my eye was the high rating from uses.
I took the leap and ordered two of them. One for the Royal Berkey and one for a tea dispenser.