Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Category: Survival Gear

Survival Gear Reviews

Introduction to reloading

AK-47 AR-15 Survival RiflesLets talk about reloading. My first press was a Lyman 4 stage turret press I bought used. I don’t think lyman even makes them anymore. I bought that press sometime around 1988 or 1989, along with some other stuff from a guy I used to work with. Fast forward from 1998 to 2003, I found out the guy I bought the press from died, so I gave the press to his best friend. The last time I saw that old press, it was sitting on a file cabinet in the friends office. I can not even start to count how many thousands of rounds I ran through that turret press.

My next press was an RCBS rockchucker, and finally a piggyback. The RCBS is a solid press that is good for reloading just about anything from 9mm, all the way to 300 winchester magnum and above.

If you want to get into reloading, I highly suggest buying a starter kit. Just about all reloading companies sell some kind of starter kit that includes just about everything you need to get started reloading:

Survivalist OPSEC

bug out location cookingAs a survivalist, live part of your life by one simple saying – “loose lips sink ships”.

There is an episode of the Twilight Zone where some satellites are picked up as incoming nuclear missiles. One man and his family has taken the time to build a bomb shelter under his house, but none of the other neighbors have taken the time to prepare. As the news of the “missiles” is broadcast over the radio, people started to panic.

The family that had the shelter started moving supplies into the shelter, filling jars with water, grabbing flashlights and batteries, moving canned goods from the kitchen to the shelter,,,,. After the family closed the door to their shelter, the neighbors start beating on the steel door demanding the family let everyone else in.

As the missiles are getting closer, the neighbors start tearing down the steel door of the shelter. As the door is just about to be removed, the news reports that the missiles are really satellites, and the whole alarm was a mistake.

Two Rifle Calibers for SHTF survival

22 Long Rifle For SHTF

This evening my wife and I went to the camp (aka Bug Out Location) to check on things. While I was looking through the ammunition stocks, it was like someone turned on a light. I realized the ammo that I was looking at was divided into 2 categories – small rifle (22 long rifle) and medium/large rifle (30-30, 308 and 30-06).

The 223 and 7.62×39 are stored separately from the main hunting calibers. When my family goes to the camp during deer season, they do not need to dig through 500+ rounds of 223 to find a box of 30-06 or 308.

While I was looking at the 22 long rifle and the 30-30, 308 and 30-06 I realized that most people would only need 2 calibers for a shtf survival situation.

1 rifle caliber for small game hunting.

1 rifle caliber for everything else.

22 Long Rifle for SHTF

Storing Survival Gear for SHTF

Stockpiling food and ammunition for long term SHTF situation

Its time for a change. My survival gear is spread out all over a spare bedroom, couple of storage boxes and 2 closets. Its time to round everything up and get things organized.

My wife and I have a spare bedroom that my son uses when he comes to visit. Since the room is only used a few times a month, we decided to install some shelves and organize our survival gear stocks.

The shelving unit was bought from a local china-mart. The unit is 6 feet tall, each shelf is 36 inches long, 17 inches wide and there is 15.75 inches between each shelf.

To prevent the shelving unit from being pulled over by the grand kids, the support poles of the unit were zip-tied to a set of bunk beds, and the shelves were screwed to the wall with 2 1/2 inch long screws. With small children around, you have to plan on them climbing on everything.

The plan is to have two shelving units side by side, with each unit holding a certain type of survival gear.

Fishing Gear For SHTF

Picking a SHTF Survival Rifle Caliber

22 Long Rifle For SHTF

There is a thread in the forum asking whether the 7mm or 8mm would make a good caliber for a survival rifle. When you walk into a pawn shop and you see a bunch of a certain type of firearms, that is usually not a good sign. If people like a product, they tend to hang onto it.

22 Long Rifle

The 22 long rifle should not need an introduction. The ammunition can be fired in rifles and pistols, firearms are not expensive and they have a long life expectancy. With the low recoil of the 22, parts last long then a full sized rifle caliber.

The low cost of the 22 ammunition makes it attractive to survivalist who want to stockpile thousands or tens of thousands of rounds.

The 22long rifle is effective on small game and does not do a lot of damage to the meat. When you use a 12 gauge on a squirrel, you might have to pick out a bunch of BBs. If you take a squirrel with a 22 short, you have 1 bullet hole.

A couple of my favorite rifles in 22 long rifle include the Marlin Model 60 and the Ruger 10/22. My Ruger 10/22 was bought in January of 1986 and is still going strong.

223 Remington / 5.56mm

Long Term Survival Food Preps For SHTF

Long term food storage

When someone says “survival food preps” or “stockpiling survival food”, what do you think of? Do you think of tons of dried rice and beans stored in mylar bags? How about a basement full of #10 cans, does that come to mind? Or is it a combination of several things?

When I was thinking of writing an article about survival food preps, the first thing that popped into my head was – MREs, canned goods and garden seeds. But where does perishable goods fit into that narrow picture?

For the first week or so people are going to be eating stuff out of their freezer. For the sake of discussion, lets move past that first week post SHTF. Something bad has happened, the food in the grocery stores has dried up, people have gone through their immediate perishable food items,,,, now what?

A book about the Roman military I just finished reading contained a quote from an ancient historian – “nothing caused as much stress within the troops as the lack of supplies.” Just like it says, when the supplies started to run low, the stress level went up. 2,000 years later, and nothing has changed.

Coleman PerfectFlow Grill review

Coleman perfectflow stoveThis article is a review of the Coleman PerfectFlow Insta Start Grill Stove. The unit has 2 names – “grill stove”, because there are 2 burners, 1 with a stove top and the other burner has a griddle.

Last christmas I added a Coleman instant start grill to my wishlist, and sure enough someone got it for me.

The reason why I picked the grill was because of the built in griddle. That way I did not have to worry about cleaning any pots and pans, just wipe the griddle down and the stove was cleaned up.

I liked the idea of using the griddle to cook more food then can fit in a typical skillet. With a cooking surface of 12 inches by 10 3/4 inches, a lot of bacon and/or sausage can fit on there. The plan was to use the stove top with a small skillet to cook eggs or make toast, and use the griddle to cook bacon, boudain or sausage.

Purpose:

The whole purpose of buying the stove was to have a propane stove that my family can bring on camping trip to the local parks. For camping on the river I have a small single burner stove, but the Coleman Perfectflow stove could also be brought out to the river on camping trips.

My wife and I keep a large plastic tote box filled with camping supplies. Instead of packing liquid fuel that can spill, we decided to get a propane stove.

But that is not the way things worked out.

Calm before the panic buying

Calm before the SHTF panic stormThere is enough fear mongering these days without my help. With that in mind, please remember that this article is just my personal opinion and it not meant to interpreted as fact.

I feel that we are in a calm before the storm. Not necessarily a SHTF storm, but a panic buying storm.

From August until the first part of 2012:

August and September: Kids are starting back to school in the next few days, parents are having to buy back to school supplies, clothes, meet the teachers and get their kids shots caught up. Right “now” parents have a lot to think about and worry about besides prepping.

Labor day: is right around the corner.

October: Halloween in October.

October and November: Hunting season starts.

November – thanksgiving.

December – Christmas and then New Years.

People have stuff to keep their minds occupied until the first part of 2012. After the turn of the year, I look for people attention to turn towards world events and the direction this nation is going.

After new years I think is when the panic buying mode is going to kick in – and especially after people start getting their income taxes back.

Bug Out Bag Topics

Over the years I have seen one topic that has been repeated over and over, and that is the topic of the bug out bag.

In reality, a bug out bag should contain copies of important papers, house title, car title, insurance policies, change of clothes, snack, or even 2 – 3 days worth of food, change of clothes, phone number contact list, and any prescription medicines you might be taking. The list will vary depending on the person and what they want to bring with them.

People that live close to railroad tracks or chemical plants might be asked to flee their homes due to a chemical release accident. The bug out bag is for people to grab, run, and have some basic supplies with them.

In fantasy, the bug out bag will be used to bug out to the wilderness when society collapses.

This video pokes fun at the different viewpoints on bug out bags.

Storing Food in Mylar Bags for SHTF

Storing food in mylar bags for SHTF survival

My SHTF food preps include mylar bags, #10 cans, MREs and canned goods. In this article and video ware going to discuss making up 20 mylar bags of rice, beans, oatmeal,,,,, and various other items.

Awhile back I made up some homemade superpails of oats, rice and beans. I found the 5 gallon mylar bags difficult to work with and a little difficult to seal. After that experience I decided that the largest bag I was going to mess with was probably going to be around the 2 1/2 gallon size.

For my current project I decided to make up some 1/2 gallon and some 1 gallon mylar bags. Inside of the bags I am going to store oats, rice, beans, instant mashed potatoes,,, and a few other things.

Items To Be Stored In Mylar Bags

  • 2 – great value whole grain old fashioned oats, 42 ounce containers
  • 4 – great value whole grain quick oats, 42 ounce containers
  • 3 – great value elbows enriched macaroni product, 3 pound boxes
  • 1 – hungry jack mashed potatoes, 26.7 ounce box
  • 2 – great value mashed potatoes, 2 pound box
  • 1 – 20 pound bag of rice
  • Several – 1 pound bags of pinto beans
  • 20 – mylar bags with ziplock seal

Gun Cleaning Supplies at the Bug Out Location

DS-Arms SA58 FN/FAL next to a river in southeast Texas

This evening I was cleaning my FN/FAL, at which time I realized my gun cleaning supplies at the bug out location were going through a can opener syndrome. The “can opener syndrome” is when someone overlooks the small items. That you might be so focused on buying #10 cans, that you forget to stockpile can openers.

With gun cleaning supplies, people are probably more focused on stockpiling ammo, and shooting their firearms, that the forget about buying cleaning supplies.

Gun Cleaning Items

  • Storage Box – something to store the items in. In my case, I am using a large tackle box
  • Copper bore brushes – for scrubbing the inside of the barrel
  • Gun oil – I like the pump spray bottles
  • Hoppes #9 powder solvent
  • Bore light – I use an led light with a flex neck
  • Screw drivers
  • Cleaning rods – for pushing the bore brush through the barrel
  • Cloth patches

Stockpiling SHTF Food Ammo and Fishing Supplies

SHTF survival gear food and ammo

Lets talk about stockpiling food, ammo and fishing supplies for SHTF. These are the supplies that will be used to feed and protect your family if, or when, the SHTF. There is no perfect survival plan, and only the fool says otherwise. Its because of this admission that my plans have changed over the years.

My food stockpile has gone from simple stockpiling beans and rice plans, to something a little more complex.

In the ammunition category, my plans have gone from having various rounds stockpiled, to taking inventory, and trying to standardize my SHTF ammo stockpile.

The fishing category is where I am currently having the most fun. I have gone from just stockpiling fishing supplies to running trotlines and testing my fishing plans.

Stockpiling Food

10 – 15 years ago I was stockpiling beans, rice, MREs, canned goods and some garden seed. My plans were to head to the bug out location, plant a garden, and hunt for fresh meat. It was a simple plan that had a lot of holes.

Stockpiling SHTF Fishing Gear For Fishing After Collapse of Society

Stockpiling SHTF fishing gear for fishing after collapse of society

One of the things about keeping a stockpile of SHTF survival gear, is having a well rounded stockpile. This includes having SHTF fishing gear on hand. A lot of survivalist focus on various items, and often overlook at age old resource of fishing.

Some fishing gear on the market is cheap, so there is no excuse for not stockpiling at least the basics.

With tackle box and catfish bucket in hand, its time to take inventory of my fishing supplies.

Lets take a look at the tackle box first. I have owned this tackle box for close to 16 years. Its been just about everywhere fishing with me, everywhere from 30 and 45 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico to lake Sam Rayburn.

My gear is divided into a couple of different boxes, with more gear stored in the gear room.

Stockpiling SHTF Fishing Gear

Ok, lets get started:

Can opener syndrome

Survival camp water well

The can opener syndrome is when your so focused on larger things, that you forget about the smaller items.

An example of this happened a few months ago when my kids and I went to the camp for the night. Around 10pm or so we decided to go out and take a look at the fields.

Guess what, we forgot to grab our regular flashlights and bring them to the camp with us. This left us with the handcrank flashlights that I had stockpiled. Handcrank flashlights might be good for around the house, but their not good for lighting up a 10 acre field.

Over the past year or so I had been more focused on planting fruit trees, stockpiling ammo and first aid supplies,,,, other odds and ends that I had totally overlooked some simple and inexpensive LED lights for the Bug Out Location.

Carving and steak knives is another thing I had overlooked. A couple of months ago I found a knife set at an estate sale, so I bought the set and brought it to the camp. Now we have a set of carving knives, steak knives and a knife sharpener.

Buying and Stockpiling More Survival Gear

Stockpiling fishing and hunting survival gear for SHTF

Let’s take a few minutes and talk about stockpiling more survival gear for fishing and hunting after SHTF.

This past weekend my wife and I made a trip to Bridge City Texas to visit with my parents. While we were in Bridge City, my wife and I spent the night at La Quinta Inn & Suites, which is where the old Sparkle Paradise used to be.

The hotel is in a perfect location. Not only does it back up to a pond for your fishing enjoyment, but the twin bridges are viewable from the hotel for a picturesque nighttime scene.

My wife and I arrived at La Quinta, at which time I realized that I did not think about bringing anything to fish with. So off to wal-mart we went. I have been wanting to pick up an open face reel, so I bought a Shakespeare E-Z Cast Low Profile Baitcast Reel with 6 foot rod and a couple of lures. As luck would have it, I did not catch anything but a bunch of mosquito bites.

Shopping For Survival Gear

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