Entries for the ‘Preparedness Articles’ Category

Abandoned hunting camps

All across the nation, tucked away in the wilderness are hunting camps.  Often referred to as deer camps, these are usually simple wood framed buildings, may have a propane stove and propane refrigerator, a wood stove, a room with beds, or in the case below a single room with a couple of bed frames.  The beds are for people who do not want to sleep in a tent, do not want to get a hotel room in a nearby town or do not have an RV.

Electricity for the deer camp is usually by way of a generator.  Water is usually pumped from a nearby stream or creek and stored in a raised tank.  The camp might have a septic system and the toilet uses the water from the raised tower to flush.

The purpose of the deer camp is a place for hunters to stay, a central place where hunters check can check in their deer, show off wild hogs trapped or shot, tell stories and socialize.  This is where memories are made and the American hunting heritage is passed from one generation to another.

For one reason or another the camp might be abandoned and/or relocated.  The main building unable to be moved is left for nature to take back.

While hiking through the rolling hills of southeast Texas I happened upon an abandoned hunting camp.  I came across a barely visible road that looked more like an overgrown 4-wheeler trail, than a fulled sized road vehicles could take.

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Developing self-sustainable farm more difficult than expected

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.

One of the blueberry bushes died.

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Tacticool has no place in prepping

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?

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Thoughts on a micro-bug out bag

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
Bandage
Knife
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.

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Thoughts on mass transportation after shtf

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.

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Trespassers at the bug out location

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.

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Chickens are their own worst enemy

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.

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Economic indicators for preppers

What are your economic indicators? In other words, how do you determine if the general public is worried about uncertain times?

Besides all the information the government publishes, I use three indicators.

The local feed and fertilizer / farm supply store

On Friday, May 22nd I was at Circle three feed in Jasper Texas to buy some chicks and chicken feed. While I was there I took a few minutes to talk to the nice lady behind the counter.

Usually, the chicks are sold between February, March and April.

This year, the farm supply store was not able to get chicks until April. The nice lady told me the store was not able to get chicks because the suppliers were sold out. In 15+ years, this is the first time the store had not been able to get chicks in February.

While at the farm supply store I bought:

10 Australorp chicks
7 Barred Rock chicks
100 pounds laying pellets
100 pounds hen scratch
25 pounds medicated chick starter

This is to go with the 12 chicks and 12 guineas my wife and I have coming in June.

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Mundane task while prepping

For those of you who keep up with my youtube channel may have realized that I have not posted a video in several months.

The main reason for my lapse is I have been taking care of mundane task.

Should I make a video about working on a perch in the chicken house? What about working on a wire box for hens sitting on eggs? What about hanging a feeder in the chicken house?

In the next month or so I am going to wire the chicken house for 12 volt lights, build a lean-to, and install solar panels. I can see doing a video about that kind of important stuff, but who wants to see moving the ladder on the chicken perch?

What are some of the mundane task you work on? This is boring stuff that usually does not get mentioned or talked about.

If you are a member of the forum share your comments in this thread – Mundane task in prepping / survivalism.

Prepping plans for 2015

What are your prepping plans for 2015?

Here are mine.

Install solar panels on the chicken house.

Wire chicken house for 12 volt lights.

Plant some more apple trees.

Clear some sweet gum trees that are shading the apple trees.

Plant some more blueberry bushes.  Some of the blueberry bushes will be in the chicken yard.

Plant a pear tree in the chicken yard.  This will be for chicken feed and for my family to eat.

Plant another peach tree.

Clear out around some already planted pear trees.  In the past few years some Cherry Laural trees have grown up around the pear trees, so there is a crowding issue.  The Cherry Laural trees have to come down this spring.

Build a pole barn.  I am looking at a 36 wide X 40 long barn or maybe a 40 X 40 barn.

Fence off some land for cattle, sheep and or goats.

Expand chicken flock to around 40 hens.

Buy some Pearl Guineas.  French guineas are already being sold, but I want Pearl Guineas which are supposed to be available in May.

Drill a shallow well for the livestock.  The well will be located somewhere near the pole barn.

Get the Toyota Tacoma on the road.

Build some more raised bed gardens for my wife.  She likes the raised bed type of gardening.

Relocate a deer feeder and deer stand.

Build a hog pen somewhere around the pole barn.  I would really like to get a couple of pigs.

 

Thoughts on ebola

As Bane said in Dark Knight Rises, “Now is not the time for fear, that comes later.”

There have been two cases in Texas and as of this posting there have been reports of possible cases at LAX and Boston. Unless you have face-to-face contact with someone with ebola, chances are you have nothing to worry about.

The problem is we as a nation have forgot what it is like to have an infectious agent in our mist. Small pox, measles, mumps and polio are a thing of the past. For the most part diseases like ebola a problem for the rest of the world, but not anymore. Ebola is here and now, and we have to deal with it.

Time will tell if ebola can get a foothold in the United States. Due to our healthcare protocols the cards are stacked against ebola. The United States with localized health departments and the CDC are an uphill battle for the disease. South and central America is another story. Worse case situation, ebola gets a foothold in Central America, mutates, becomes airborne and moves across the border into one of the border states.

We need to pay attention to the current situation, but let’s not panic. I see no reason to buy 10,000 n-95 facemask or 1,000 gallons of bleach.

If ebola does get a foothold there will be plenty of time to panic, but now is not the time.

Monkey Meat and the Ebola Outbreak

On June 26, 2014 Vice posted a video on youtube about the Ebola outbreak in Africa. Little did we know the outbreak was going to get much worse. It is kinda scary that in just six or so weeks the Ebola outbreak went from barley making the news to getting worldwide attention.

There are a several important points in this video:

1. As the population of Africa expands into jungle, the indigenous people will be exposed to viral infections never seen before.

2. We share around 99% of our DNA with primates. When humans keep primates as pets and eat meat from primates, there is an increased risk of exposure.

3. With modern transportation Ebola and other diseases are just a plane ride away from the rest of the world.

Random thoughts on prepping for shtf

One of the big questions in the prepping / survivalist community is when did you start prepping? My great grandparents lived on a small farm, my dad was raised on this same small farm, my mom was raised in a rural area and had chickens and a garden.

I was exposed to gardening, farming and raising your own food from the time I was born.

Prepping covers such a wide range of topics. Ask ten people what is means to be a prepper or survivalist, and you will probably get ten different answers. Ask a hundred people the same question, and you will probably get a hundred different answers.

Some preppers stockpile canned food, some stockpile #10 cans of freeze dried food, some stockpile superpails of dried food.

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December 2013 update from the farm

After looking through my youtube video I realized I have not uploaded a video in a couple of months.  The last video I uploaded was on September 15, 2013, which makes 3 months.  In all honesty I had not realized it had been so long.

So what has been going on?

Added some lean-tos on the shed to park the tiller and lawnmower under.

Got a deer feeder setup about 100 years behind the house.

Added some pvc pipe to the deer feeder legs to prevent coons from climbing the legs.  Raccoons have been climbing the legs and turning the spinner, which dumps a lot of corn on the ground.  the corn is not for coons, it is for deer and hogs.

After watching the video I was embarrassed at how much weight I have put on over the past few years.

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Buying land for a bug out location

In the forum there is a thread about what makes a good bug out location.

For the sake of discussion let’s say you want to buy a piece of land for a small farm that could double as a bug out location.

This would be a weekend getaway for you and your family.  A place off the beaten path where you and your family can go to relax.  And also a place where you and your family can stockpile survival gear for a long term SHTF situation.

If you were going to buy such a place what qualities would you look for?  In this article I hope to talk about some of the stuff someone interested in buying a bug out location may look for.  Keep in mind these are suggestions and food for thought, and not necessarily requirements.

Bug Out Location

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