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Survivalism as an Experience and Not a Theory

camping hiking backpacking

Knowledge + experience = skill

It is only through experience that we further our knowledge.

Knowledge and experience are stepping stones that build upon each other.

One problem that survivalist face, is the lack of hands on experience. You may “think” you know how to do something, but until you actually do it, you do not know if your theory works.

Some people learn the theories of survivalism, but never take the time to test those theories. How do you test your theories? With experience. How do you get experience? Buy doing something.

Through knowledge we develop a theory of how we can survive a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation. How do we know the theory is going to work? By testing the theory.

Related Article3 day camping trip on the Angelina River

Hunting after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI theory

Over the past 20 years I have heard the same story probably 1,000 or more times – “if SHTF, I am going to bug out to the wilderness and live off the land”. Then the person starts talking about hunting small game, how they have X number of 22 long rifle, and how they should be able to get X number of squirrels or rabbits with X number of rounds. After you hear the same story hundreds of times, it gets rather repetitive.

The first questions I have, how often does the person go hunting? How often do they load up their gear and head out to the wilderness for 3 or 4 days to test their plans? Has the person ever skinned a squirrel or rabbit, much less cooked and ate one?

Then there is the big question, where are you going to hunt at? Do you have access to land? Do you have access to remote land, or private property so other people will not intrude?

Fundamental Survivalist Food for SHTF

Bushel basket for laying box

When survivalist start stockpiling food, we buy #10 cans and usually store food in mylar bags. Lets say we had to focus on certain foods, what would those foods be? Lets look at food that packs a nutritional punch, renewable, easy to grow, easy to harvest and can be stored without modern technology.

How do we decide which foods we should focus on? Lets narrow our selections to how easy the food is to grow, how well it stores, and the nutrition content.

During a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation, we will being growing and storing our own food. One thing we do not want to do is dedicate a lot of time and effort into food that contains little nutrition.

In this article I hope to focus on renewable foods. Foods that we can grow in a home garden or at a Bug Out Location. During a long term survival situation, people that hope to make it through will need a renewable food source. It is not enough to stockpile food in mylar bags, or stockpile freeze dried food in #10 cans. Sooner or later those mylar bags and those cans will be empty.

What preppers do on the weekend

Wire on end of chicken coop runWhat do preppers do with their spare time? Unless you are some kind of radical survivalist, we do not live in bunkers, nor do we hide in our homes in fear of a zombie invasion. For the most part, preppers (aka survivalist) are just like everyone else. Survivalism / Prepping is a way of life. While some people collect stamps, we check our food stocks. While some people collect coins for fun and profit, we collect silver and gold as a hedge against inflation.

Friday, May 18 was a day to relax after the work week. Friday evening is when my wife and I talk about what we need to do over the weekend.

Saturday, May 19 my wife and I like to get up early and get our shopping done. Breakfast is either a fried egg sandwich with bacon or sausage on the side, or something quick in the microwave. Regardless of what is fixed for breakfast, I like to have either strawberries or a banana on the side. I feel that its important to start the day off with something like yogurt, or some kind of fruit along with my main breakfast.

To wash breakfast down, I usually have a low carb energy drink, such as a rock star or monster.

After breakfast, my wife and I head to town to take care of the shopping. We like to get to get an early start before the stores get too crowded, and before the heat of the day sets in.

Part of the shopping list was put together a week beforehand. Over the past week I took inventory. What did I need to buy, what did I not need to buy? For Saturday I decided to pick up a box of Remington Core-Lokt in 308 Winchester 150 grain. My 30-30 stocks are just about where I want them to be. As usual the local Wal-mart was sold out of American Eagle in 223. the closer we get to hunting season, the more difficult it is to find ammunition. I like to buy my hunting ammo during the summer so when hunting season arrives I am ready to go.

Survivalism as a Lifestyle

Bowfin caught on trotline

Being a survivalist means that survivalism is incorporated in every facet of my life. Whether its hunting, camping, gardening, cooking,,,, I try to relate how those activities would tie in with a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation.

On the other hand, how do I know survivalism is not just some type of obsessive compulsive disorder? If you obsess over something, is it some kind of disorder or mental illness?

Are people that obsess over making money mentally ill?

Are people that obsess over their car mentally ill?

Are people that obsess over work mentally ill?

Lets take that work example and talk about it for a minute. If being obsessed with work is a sign of mental illness, then most of the U.S. population has sick mind. Well, everyone besides the welfare parasites that is.

From the time the U.S. was founded, generation after generation has worked its fingers to the bone. Workers built the rail roads, they built the cities, they built the steel mills, they built the ships, and all with a type of self gratification that they were “working” and providing for their families.

Ever hear the term “workaholic”? These are the people that would rather spend time at work then with their families, these are the people that have committed their lives to working, these are the people how have committed their lives to something besides themselves.

Human innovation after a collapse

Kevin Felts, blogger and political commentator

If there is something about humans that has ensured the survival of the human race, it has to be our level of creativity and our level of innovation.

If a man (or woman) has an axe, they can cut trees to build a home. that axe allows them to clear land for crops or livestock which will help ensure a steady supply of food.

If a man has a pole line and hook, they will catch fish.

Give a man some seeds and he will grow a garden.

What makes today so much different then 1348

For those of you that do not know what happened in 1348, that is when the Black Death (bubonic plague) entered Europe. Possibly as many as 1/3 of the entire population of Europe died between 1348 – 1350.

Humans have harnessed science. Not that we fully understand science, but at least we have some kind of working grasp. We have vaccines, antibiotics, medical care, hospitals and trained medical professionals.

Steripen Sidewinder First Impressions

Steripen Sidewinder Water Purifier

The Steripen Sidewinder is a hand powered unit that purifies water with UV light. Being hand powered means you can use the unit when there is no electrify, and no batteries required. The SteriPen website claims the UV bulb is supposed to be good for 8,000 one liter treatments. 8,000 liters is an estimated 2,116 gallons.

Fill the included water bottle, then crank the handle for 90 seconds. If you are not cranking fast enough, there are two LEDs that will flash red. When the 90 seconds of cranking has been achieved, the LEDs will flash green.

Instead of cranking for a full 90 seconds, you can crank for 30 seconds, swirl the unit, crank for 30 seconds, swirl the unit, crank for 30 seconds, swirl the unit. the SteriPen website says not to pause between cranking for more then about 6 or 7 seconds.

Difference between water filter and water purifier:

Chickens Fishing and Cooking After SHTF

Cooking at the Bug Out Location

As a survivalist, prepping / survivalism should NOT be a hobby, it is a way of life. What good does it do if you stockpile food, stockpile survival gear, but never practice or test your preps. If you incorporate survivalism into your lifestyle, you will always be testing, planning and looking for ways to improve.

While looking across my backyard this weekend, I realized that part of my preps were not only in the backyard, but how they were part of my life. The three preps I saw were the chicken coop, boat and bar-b-que pit.

Think about that for a minute, the chicken coop and the boat are a source of food. The pit provides a way to cook and smoke meat.

Some people raise chickens for fun, some raise them to know where their eggs and meat came from. Survivalist keep chickens so our families can have a source of food and protein during a long term SHTF survival situation. That is how we look at things. Survivalism is not a hobby, its not something we do on the weekends, its a way of life.

Video about cooking some mac and cheese that had been stored in a mylar bag for 1 year.

Stockpiling 22 Long Rifle For SHTF

Stockpiling ammunition for SHTF

When stockpiling 22 long rifle for SHTF, what other ammo can you buy 500 rounds of for less then $20? Just a few years ago a brick of 550 rounds cost in the $10 – $11 price range. I wish I would have bought several cases 5 years ago, it would have saved me a lot of money.

No other type of ammunition is more practical to stockpile then the good ole 22 long rifle. One reason why the 22 long rifle is so popular today, is that during the great depression, 22 long rifle is all people could afford to buy.

  • 22 long rifle is cheap
  • It stores well
  • Low report
  • Low recoil
  • Anyone in the family can shoot it
  • Rifles do not cost a fortune
  • Works in rifles and pistols
  • Effective on small game
  • Does not cause excessive damage to the animals
  • Report does not scare livestock

What more could someone want?

How much 22 Long Rifle To Stockpile

Reviewing Your SHTF Survival Preps

Hammock camping trip

Chickens inside the chicken coopPrepping (aka survivalism) is a path with no end. Its a journey that sometimes has a beginning, but will have no end. Being a survivalist is a way of life, its not a hobby or something that we do in our “free time”.

For some survivalist, the start of their journey is when the light turns on in their head. Someone may decide that they need more food stocked up for hurricanes, or for earthquakes. Part of stockpiling our preps is doing reviews, taking inventory, modifying our plans,,, its a never ending challenge. Part of that challenge is looking at what we have done, where we have been, and where we need to go.

Back in June 2011 my wife and I decided to expand our stockpile of #10 cans of freeze dried foods. One of the issues that I ran into, there was a shortage of freeze dried foods in #10 cans, and there seemed to be a limited selection of freeze dried eggs.

After buying a #10 can of Mountain House scrambled eggs with ham, and a #10 can of Mountain House scrambled eggs with bacon, I started wondering if there was a better option. There “has” to be a better option then spending a small fortune on freeze dried foods.

Stockpiling basic building materials

Chicken coop building materials

During my recent chicken coop project I realized how poorly I had stocked my basic building materials. When the first set of 2x4s were being put together, all I had was 8 penny nails. 8 penny might be fine for use in nail guns, but when you are using a hammer, 10 penny are much better. When the first walls were stood up, the nails were too short to hold the boards together. It was rather embarrassing when the wall fell apart as my wife and I were getting ready to put them together.

When the chicken coop project kicked off I quickly realized that I did not have the screws or nails that I needed.

The skil saw blade was dull, my good tape measure was at the camp, so I had to use my wifes semi-pink tape measure, my good framing square the tri-squre were at the camp, so I had to use an old rusted steel framing square.

The skil saw and the drill are fairly new so they worked well.

Prepping the Bug Out Location

survivalistA few nights ago I had a dream that has had me thinking ever since. The dream was about the US going through a nuclear war. The infrastructure had been devastated, no news was coming out of cities like LA or New York. It was as if life had been turned 180 degrees in the blink of an eye. We had limited internet, and we had electricity, but there was no news getting out about how bad the devastation was.

Part of the electricity in southeast Texas is provided by a series of 3 hydroelectric dams – Dam B, Lake Sam Rayburn and Toledo bend. In my dream, the electricity in my area was being kept on by those 3 dams.

When the food shipments had stopped, the local grocery stores were cleaned out in a matter of hours. What led to the shipments stopping, was the main computer systems that tell the trucks when to roll and where to go had stopped working. Since the trucking companies did not know when and where to deliver the products, the workers stopped loading the trucks.

Our society has grown so dependent on computer systems, we do not know how to do anything without them. The local Sonic can not even fix an iced tea without their computers being up. A lot of radio stations broadcast syndicated content, that content travels over the internet. Without the internet, a lot of radio stations would not even have a morning show. Inventory control for massive retailers are controlled by remote offices, and you guessed it, over the internet.

Picking a Camp Stove for a Bug Out Location

Propane Coleman Stove

Some kind of long term disaster has happened, you and your family have almost depleted the food and water reserves at your home, now it’s time to make a decision, stay or go? Its time to go.

Your family loads whatever gear, food and water you have left in the truck, car or SUV, then you hit the road. You get to the Bug Out Location, unload your gear, and now what? You cook a good hot mean, that’s what.

Never underestimate the power of a good hot meal on moral. The smell and sight of cooking food does something to the human mind, it relaxes us. The effect of cooking food might have something to do when we led a hunter-gather lifestyle. The hunters would come back to camp with a leg quarter off a horse, deer or a chunk of meat off a mastodon. The meat was cooked over an open fire for everyone in the group to partake.

Ok, so what kind of stove do you store at the Bug Out Location? This needs to be at least a dual burner stove, something large enough you can cook a full meal on.

Coleman Perfectflow Stove

Access To Land and Water For Surviving SHTF

water well for SHTF survival

While watching Doomsday Preppers last week, I observed one major difference in the various plans, and that was if the plan included access to land and water.

Its one thing to stockpile 2 – 3 years of canned goods, food in mylar bags, freeze dried food, have a rainwater collection system, small backyard garden.

Its another thing to have access to several acres of land, able to have chickens, a nice sized garden for a variety of fresh veggies, various types of fruit trees, access to fresh running water and access to land to hunt on. Maybe even have access to water to fish in.

Two of the main differences I see between the various long term SHTF survival plans, is access to fresh food and access to fresh water. People may argue there are lots of other differences, but for this article I wanted to talk about two main topics – water and fresh food.
Water

The Easter Island Effect

mercury warning dam b jasper texasHas anyone seen the movie Rapa Nui with Jason Scott Lee? For those of you that have never seen it, Rapa Nui is about Easter Island, and how the people consumed all natural resources in the pursuit of their GODs.

After all natural resources were consumed, society collapsed.

A few days ago I posted a link in a thread on Survivalist Boads saying about 92% of all fresh water is used for agriculture.

Think about that for a minute, 92% of all fresh water is used in food production. That only leaves 8% for other uses. If a global weather pattern shifts so farm rich areas receive less rainfall, we are just a couple of percentage points from a food shortage.

Every gas well that is fracked uses around 5 million gallons of water. Instead of finding ways to conserve water, oil companies trade water for oil. We can not drink oil.

The forest for the trees

On the morning of Saturday, February 18, 2012, while eating breakfast I checked my facebook feed. On my feed was a youtube video a subscribed friend posted on his profile. The video in question was from Foxnews and was about the US Senate working to approve military action against Iran.

I took the video and reposted it to the Survivalist Boards Facebook page.

The youtube video had been posted by a person and not a news source. To backup the video from the authority site I did a couple of google searches for the title of the video. The only thing I found was from 2007.

The first thing that came to mind was that someone took a video from 2007 and reposted it to youtube as if it were a new video.

I went back to the Survivalist Boards Facebook page, deleted the post with the video with the intentions of reposting it when more information was available from an authority news service. One of the people taht comments often made a post that after the video of cooking squash, and then removing the youtube video, he was going to bow out.

I was setback that someone would make a comment that my video about cooking squash was not related to survival. During the video I talked about why squash and zucchini should be part of your long term survival garden.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018