Homesteading and Survivalism

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Category: Preparedness Articles

Preparedness Articles

Losing Chickens To Predators

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Over the past couple of weeks have taken a huge toll on my chickens.  Several of them have gone missing, with just a few feathers in the chicken yard.  From the trail of feathers, something drug the chicken from the chicken house.

It is not a chicken hawk, because there is no body.  Chicken hawks do not eat the bones.

A trail camera in the chicken yard showed a couple of raccoons and an opossum.

Opossums will not drag a chicken off.  It will eat the chicken in the chicken house.

 

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Handguns For Bug Out Location

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Handgun for bug out location

Part of my overall prepping plans is to have enough firearms for friends and family members who bug out to my location.  I live in a rural area with privately owned that borders national forest and timber company land.

Hunting firearms is not a problem, the issue is handguns.

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So Called Preppers Are Going To Starve

So Called Preppers Are Going To Starve
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If there is ever a real SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event, a large number of so called preppers are going to starve or die from dysentery.

Proof to back up that statement?  Just look at the popular prepping related videos on youtube, or look at what forum sections get the most traffic.

The most popular type of video on youtube is gun and tactical videos.  It is not gardening, it is not chickens or other livestock.  the most popular types of videos are running and gunning videos.

You can not eat bullets, plate carriers, chest rigs, knives, or anything else that fuels the fantasy of a tacti-cool SHTF event.

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Millenials Lack Survival Skills

Millenials Lack Survival Skills
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There is a thread in the survival forum about how Millenials Lack Survival Skills. The opening post links to a page on Foxnews, which links to another page and so on. None of the linked pages outside the forum offer very much information, so I thought I would write my own thoughts on the topic.

Removed From The Farm

G.I. Generation, people born around the 1920s, lived in rural America. They lived in a time when people had a garden, canned the food they grew, had chicken, guineas, cows, horses… etc. The men from the G.I. Generation served in World War II or Korea. They came back from war, then used their GI Bill to go to college. A lot of them moved away from rural America in search of work. They grew up in a time before vaccines. Small pox, polio, pneumonia, are killers. Antibiotics are not going to widespread until the 1940s.

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Mountain house extends life of pouches

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Mountain House recently extended the life of their pouches to 30 years, instead of 7 years.   This is supposed to be retroactive to existing pouches produced before the date change.

How I found about about the date change, I posted a video on youtube called Stockpiling mountain house #10 cans and pouches. Someone posted a comment saying “Your way out of date regarding the life of the pouches.” So I started a thread on the forum – When did mountain house pouches go to 30 years.

Someone from Mountain House replied with the following quote.

Hi Kev,

We’ve been using O2 absorbers in all of our non-novelty products for over a decade, including our Pro-Paks. It was before the early naughties that the pouches were just vacuum packed.

The new 30 Year Taste Guarantee applies to all MH products with intact packaging, whether O2 absorber, vacuum packed, or both (with the exception of novelties: ice cream sandwich, neapolitan ice cream, and cheesecake bites, all of which have a 2 year Taste Guarantee…)

Hope that helps!

–MH

Mountain House then went on to clarify some questions about nutrients.


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Stockpiling antibacterial soap

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Are you stockpiling antibacterial soap? If you answered yes, stop buying antibacterial soap and buy regular soap instead . Seems antibacterial has not been proven to be more effective than regular soap at preventing the spread of germs.

In 2013 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested antibacterial soap manufacturers prove soap marketed as “antibacterial” was more effective than regular soap.  As of 2016 nothing has been proven.

Full FDA write up – Antibacterial Soap? You Can Skip It.

From the FDA website:

“Following simple handwashing practices is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness at home, at school and elsewhere,” says Theresa M. Michele, MD, of the FDA’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products. “We can’t advise this enough. It’s simple, and it works.”


Stockpiling liquid soap for SHTF

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The Gray Man Concept

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The concept of the gray man is to blend in.  This person can disappear into the crowd and never be noticed.

For all points and purposes, shouldn’t preppers / survivalist be practicing gray man on an everyday basis?  As stated in another post, tacticool has no place in prepping. At all times we should blend in. Sometimes we need to be reminded on some of the simple things.

Some of the ways I practice “gray man”.

Pants.  In rural areas such as where I live  pants are levis, wranglers or some kind of blue jean. Cities and suburbs maybe khakis or slacks.

I stay away from “tactical” looking cargo pants. Keep it simple and basic.  I do not own a pair of slacks.  Rarely, and I mean “rarely” will I wear khakis.

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Abandoned hunting camps

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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