Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Category: Urban Survival

Urban Survival

Keeping Battery Chargers Updated With Modern Technology

Battery charger using a solar panel

A question to the reader, have your battery chargers keep keeping up with modern technology?

In the mid-2000s I started using simple battery chargers for stuff like AAA, AA, C and D batteries. It was easier, cheaper in the long run, and easier on the environment to use rechargeable batteries then to buy new ones.

Just about all of my gear used wither AAA, AA or D batteries.

  • GPS – AA
  • Flashlights – AAA, AA, and D
  • Camera – AA

All that changed when I was contacted through YouTube and asked if I wanted to review some flashlights. As various companies sent me free samples which used 18650 batteries, I realized my old battery chargers were not going to work. The chargers I had would only do AAA, AA, C, D and 9 volt.

I got on Amazon and shopped around for a battery charger which would charge 18650 batteries. It was at that time I realized how badly out of date my charging devices were. I had always used a charger that plugged into a wall outlet. The new chargers were USB compatible. To use with a wall outlet, simply get a 110 volt / usb adapter.

New Battery Chargers

Most Difficult Months After SHTF / TEOTWAWKI

Chickens in snow

Here on the farm, every year there are a couple of months that are more difficult than others. The good thing, those difficult months are a learning experience. Part of those experiences are observations on how things change with the seasons. Then, how do would someone take that knowledge and apply it to prepping?

Let’s cut to the chase, January and February will be the worst months after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI.

For the sake of discussion let’s say some type of event happened. This could be a new viral plague, nuclear war, meteor strike… etc. Something happened to strip society as we know it to its very core.

At first people were somewhat ok. Rural farmers should have enough diesel in their trucks and tractors to work up garden plots. Things will be rough, the cities will be starved out, but people will make it. However, things will change when winter arrives.

The second winter after a collapse will probably be the worst.

Respiratory Diseases

Watch: Power Lines For Bugging Out

Power lines after SHTF

Name things all cities have in common – roads, buildings, maybe railroads, but one thing is for sure, power lines. Power lines cut through remote areas, which can make them ideal for bugging out by foot.

Keep in mind, this is a complete collapse of society bug out situation. Power lines will be a rough go, but they will get you off the beaten path. Unlike rail roads, the ground will not be level, or will be no bridges. Come up to a river following a power line, and you will have to swim.

In June of 2017 I hiked a section of main grid feeder lines that cut through some rural areas here in Southeast Texas. Video is after the following link.

Power Lines

Something Missing From The 2018 SHOT Show

2018 SHOT Show

While visiting the 2018 SHOT Show, I noticed something rather strange. There was something missing that should have been in clear view of all attendees. I looked, looked, and looked some more, and was never able to find it.

The missing items were – public awareness about the flu. The CDC says the flu outbreak of 2017 – 2018 is near epidemic levels. Yet, with an estimated 60,000 people attending SHOT Show in Vegas, not a single poster, no hand sanitizer… nothing about the flu.

SHOT Show, and other trade shows, are a perfect vector for disease transmission:

  1. People flying in from all over the world.
  2. Face-to-face conversations.
  3. Show lasted four days. Which was plenty of time for people to become infected and not show symptoms.
  4. Before symptoms started to show, people would be back on a plane.
  5. Tight quarters of a jetliners are a perfect vector for transmitting the flu.
  6. Layovers in airports would provide the possibility of infecting people who are traveling all over the world.

Gear Sling Pack For Get Home Bag

Red Rock gear sling pack on hiking trip.

Are gear sling packs suited for a get home bag? After a hiking trip in July of 2016, my opinion is that it you use a gear sling for a get home bag there are some things you need to look for in the pack design.

The July hiking trip was a little short at around 6 – 8 miles. Up until then I had never taken a gear sling pack on more than just a couple of miles. At round maybe the 5 – 6 mile mark, the strap started digging into my shoulder. My arm felt like it was going numb from the pain.

I took a bandanna, folded it up and put it between the strap and my shoulder for extra padding. That helped for a little bit.

The pack I was using is a Red Rock Rambler. The strap is on the left side and can not be switched to the right. I ended up taking the pack off and carrying it by hand for the last couple of miles. The pain was so intense my shoulder was sore for a couple of days.

Get Home Bag

The Gray Man Concept

Kevin Felts, blogger and political commentator

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”.

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.

Gray Man Shoes / Boots

Rather than cowboy boots I opt for Justin steel toed work boots model number WK4661, Brown/Sawdust color. The soles are rugged and are supposed to be non-slip.

Using Easter To Kick Start Chicken And Rabbit Project

Chickens in chicken house

Easter is next weekend, April 31, 2013. If you live in the burbs or in a rural area you may see people selling rabbits and chicks on the side of the road. Or you may be seeing ads in the local paper for chicks and Easter bunnies for sale.

Public Service Reminder, please think before you buy live animals for Easter.

Those bunnies and colored chicks are cute, but they will soon grow up.

The majority of live animals bought for Easter will either be abandoned, or will die before they turn a year old.

I have bought my kids bunnies for Easter before. But we also built the rabbit hutch and took care of the rabbits. It was a fun project for the whole family.

But then again, not everyone wants to invest the time, effort or money into building a rabbit hutch. Keep in mind some cities prohibit keeping rabbits and chickens. It would be a shame to buy a couple of chicks, then find out your family will not be able to keep them.

Australorp For Your Backyard Chicken Flock

Australorp in laying box

Why should you consider the Australorp for your backyard chicken flock?

From my experience with the Australorp, they are an excellent dual purpose chicken. The Australorp is an excellent egg layer, and good sized for butchering. Australorps would make a nice addition to just about any backyard chicken flock.

Tolerate heat well – they were developed in Australia in the late 1800s.

High egg production – in 1922-23 a team of six Australorp hens set a world record of 1857 eggs at an average of 309.5 eggs per hen for a 365 consecutive day trial (from wikipedia). Australorps also hold the world record for egg production. In trapnest testing, a Australorp hen laid 364 eggs in 365 days.

A trapnest is a nesting box that closes after a hen has entered the laying box. This traps the hen and allows inspection and marking of the egg to a specific hen. If a hen is eating eggs, a trapnest allows the farmer to know which hen is eating the egg, as the hen will be trapped in the laying box with the egg.

Heritage Chicken

This is something that we need to pay attention to, or at least take into consideration.

According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, the definition of a heritage chicken is as follows:

What is Normal Behavior after a Disaster

The SHTF, 3 days later people are angry, hungry and tired. What would be considered normal behavior in that kind of situation? Would it be ok to steal? Would it be ok to loot? Would it be ok to fight? How about pulling a gun on someone that objected to your behavior, would that be ok?

Fox News has an interesting article – Superstorm Sandy brings out the worst in some

There is a quote in that article that got me to thinking,

Normal today is waking up, getting a shower, eating breakfast, then going to work.

What would be normal after a SHTF situation like what happened with Hurricane Sandy?

Would it be socially acceptable to steal because your family needs something? Your kids are hungry, so would it be ok to break into a store to get food?

What Kind of Disaster Are You Prepping For

Shooting AK-47 with ERGO Grip SUREGRIP

There is an interesting thread in the forum that got me to thinking; that thread is what are you truly prepping for? What kind of disaster are you preparing for? Are you prepping for an outbreak of a new disease, long term civil unrest, nuclear war,,, or something else?

My personal opinion, as long as you and your family are prepping, at least you are going in the right direction. The difference is the degree of readiness.

I can not tell you what to prep for. All I can do is tell you how my family and I are prepping.

My long term survival plans include food production, safe drinking water and property protection.

Food Production

During the Black Death of 1348 – 1350 starvation probably killed as many people as the bubonic plague. Modern society is based on farms and modern transportation. Where would our grocery stores be without trucks, fuel and highways?

Chickens For Urban Survival

Example of a backyard chicken coop

Out of all of the problems facing urban survivalist, fresh food and fresh water are probably at the top of the list. Sure there are lots of other problems, such as looters and other pest. But without fresh food and safe drinking water, life is going to go downhill pretty quick.

Why would chickens be a good choice for urban survival? They are easy to raise, they lay eggs just about all year long, the eggs are a good source of fats and protein, and if you need to, you can eat the chicken. The protein and the fats address at least two nutritional requirements of your long term survival plans.

Here is an interesting youtube video that talks about some of the aspects in raising backyard chickens.

Chickens are flock animals. Meaning they will not do well by themselves. If you are planning on getting some backyard chickens, plan on getting at least 3 or 4 of them. If you get 2 chickens, and 1 dies, then that puts stress on the lone chicken.

Chickens are Ideal Fr Urban Survival

AK-47 Is The Ultimate teotwawki Survival Rifle

WASR-10 AK-47 next to pine tree

Why is the AK-47 is the ultimate survival rifle? Because it works.

  • Year of development: 1947
  • Caliber: 7.62×39
  • Years of service: 1947 – present
  • Nations of service: Every communist nation under the sun
  • Conflicts of service: Just about every major conflict since 1947
  • Bullet diameter: 308 – 311
  • Bullet weight: 123 grains
  • Effective range: 400 meters
  • Capacity: Standard 30 round magazine

The AK-47 is not my primary SHTF survival rifle.

That honor goes to the AR-15 and the FN/FAL.

AR-15 with its 223 Remington / 5.56mm NATO is well suited for dealing undesirable predators that come around the Bug Out Location and small game. There are a good number of people that deer and hogs with the 223 Remington, but I am not one of them. I am a firm believer of using enough gun for the job. When I go deer hunting, I use at least a 270 Winchester or a 280 Remington / 7mm Express.

The low recoil of the AR-15 makes it appealing to people like my teenage daughter.

Unprepared Sheeple Make Disasters Worse

Just before Hurricane Rita made landfall I observed something that I probably will never forget, and that was a guy with a lowboy trail loaded with 55 gallon drums. He was at the gas station filling up the drums – and we wonder why gas stations run out of fuel so fast during a disaster?

I am as guilty as the next person about panic buying. When the word comes that a hurricane is heading our way, my wife and I will take a trip to the local china-mart to pick up a few last minute items.

There is a difference in picking up a “few” items, and trying to stockpile several weeks worth of food in one trip.

Every time a hurricane comes around, people will kick into high gear panic buying mode. They run down to the store and start buying everything in sight.

As hurricane Ike was approaching a few years ago, I heard people at china-mart talking about how the store was out of this or that. The people that were talking agreed to buy “something”. That “something” was whatever was left on the shelves.

Its that “we have nothing, so we have to buy anything” desperation that makes the whole situation worse. People walk around china-mart, their eyes have a semi-blank stare, and their mouths slightly open, kinda like a deer in the headlights.

When my wife and I go to china-mart before the landfall of a hurricane, its to pick up some bread, maybe a gallon of milk, maybe some more bottled water,,,. Its not that we are out, or need the items, we just want a couple of extra.

Stress levels go up as the hurricane approaches landfall. The unprepared sheeple make the situation worse because they are in panic buying mode.

Surviving a Long Term Disaster

Wild pigs taken off a hunting lease in Southeast Texas

As Hank Williams Jr. said in the song “A Country Boy Can Survive”, I have a shotgun, a rifle, a 4 wheel drive and country boy can survive. I can plow a field, I can catch catfish from dusk to dawn, aint too many things these boys cant do, a country boy can survive.

To some people the lyrics of “A Country Boy Can Survive” are just that, lyrics. To others, its a way of life.

Awhile back I read a survey that said the average U.S. citizen is at least 2 – 3 generations removed from farm life. Some kind of long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation sets in, people are forced to return to rural life, 2 – 3 generations is a lot of relearning.

How many urban dwellers have ran a trotline?

How many urban dwellers have skinned a deer?

How many urban dwellers hunt and fish from dawn to dusk?

How many urban dwellers have access to rural land where they can setup a Bug Out Location?

The Natural State Of Mankind

Tackle box in a boat while on a fishing trip

The way people live in cities, all bunched up together like chickens in a coop is not the natural state of mankind.

For tens of thousands of years mankind lived in small nomadic groups. They had land to farm, land to roam, river and streams to fish from, land to hunt on and land to migrate on. Groups traded between each other, and were pretty much self sufficient.

Today, we live in cities that group people together like livestock.

What happens when you put too many chickens in a coop? They start pecking at each other. Let the chickens out in the yard, or free range, and they are fine.

Humans are natural born predators; we fish, we hunt and we eat. Living in cities with our artificial grocery stores suppresses those natural predator feelings.

Like chickens going to a feeder, or hogs going to a feed trough, so people go to the local grocery store or fast food place and get their food.

Easily Food Breeds Laziness and Obesity

Page 1 of 3123
Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018