Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life



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A deer hunting story

This is based off a true story that happened on November 30th, 2007. Discussion on this deer hunting story can be found at this link.

I got out to the lease around 3:30, got the 4-wheeler unloaded and drove a little over 1/4 mile to an old logging road. I parked the 4wheeler on the logging road and walked 100+ yards to the stand. I walked because I can move quieter by walking then I can on the 4-wheeler.

On the way to the stand I saw some coyote tracks. It looks like a rabbit track was mixed in them them. I got in the stand around 4:00 pm, took some scenery pictures and read my bible for a little while.

By 5:00 pm there were 3 does under and around the feeder. A little after 5 pm a spike and 6 point came out. The 6 point was too small to shoot. All three of my last deer have been 8 points, so there is no use in going backwards.

Just after 5:15 a nice size deer walks out and starts grazing on the grass on the logging road. I looked at him through my scope and thought it was an 8 point. Later I found out it was a 9 point.

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Planting a fall garden

A fall garden should be a serious consideration for any survivalist. Spring and summer crops are one thing, but late season crops deserve special consideration.

Examples of cool weather and cold weather crops are – Cabbage, turnips, rutabagas, mustard greens and onions. Garlic should be a consideration as well.

Rutabagas: After world war 2, the rutabaga helped stop most of Germany from starving to death. Rutabagas seem to grow pretty good in cold weather. My ex-father in law grew a field of rutabagas in the middle of winter. I remember walking out into this field during the wet and cold middle of winter, and there was this green patch of Rutabaga tops. My first thought was – “wow, how can these things grow in the winter?”

When adding potting soil to your garden, avoid the cheap potting soil sold at places like wal-mart. This stuff has been know to have pieces of plastic and other trash in it. Sometimes you get what you pay for, and when you buy cheap potting soil, you get just that – cheap dirt.

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The first 72 hours after a disaster

This past July 4th weekend my family and I spent 3 days at the camp. This “3 days” is important – the gubberment says that after a disaster you can expect at least 72 hours before relief services are put into place.

While my kids were busy playing in the creek and shooting fireworks, I was thinking of the situation we were in. Even though this was an enjoyable weekend and everyone had fun, there were some serious situations that needed to be considered.

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Stocking up on firewood

For thousands of years mankind has used wood for cooking and warmth. Even today thousands of people still rely on wood for their everyday cooking needs.

Firewood is an important asset – but its only an asset if the person can utilize it. In this case a storm blew down an oak tree. Instead of the tree going to waste, it was cut up for firewood.

During a long term SHTF survival situation, after the propane runs out, after the liquid fuel runs out for the camp stoves, its either going to be cooking with solar ovens, or cooking with wood, or not cooking at all.

After hurricanes Ike and Rita made landfall, I cooked for my family for between 2 – 3 weeks with firewood. For breakfast we would used a coleman stove to cook with, and for dinner we used my bar-b-que pit on a trailer.

Camping Video Collection

This video is a collection of different types of camping and hiking videos streamed from youtube. To scroll through the videos, click the buttons on the right and left hand side of the player.

If the video player shows an error that the video is no longer available, just click the button on the right hand side of the player to advance to the next video.

Stihl Chainsaws

The Stihl company was was founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl. Andreas was an important innovator in early chain saw production. The Stihl company is one of the world’s largest sellers of chain saws and is the only chain saw manufacturer to make their own saw chains and guide bars.

Chainsaws should be an important consideration for any survivalist. On average, one tank of gas can cut a one truck load of wood. After a disaster, such as a hurricane, chainsaws can greatly speed up recovery time. When stock piling wood, chainsaws are the preferred way to harvest the wood. In a long term collapse of society, the chainsaws dependence on gasoline is its draw back.

For harvesting firewood, a chainsaw is the way to go.

Harvesting Home Grown Potatoes

Growing potatoes is a pretty easy and straight forward process.

Once the tops of the potato plants start to die off.  Which is usually about 3 or 4 months after planting, just pull the top of the potato plant up and then dig the dirt up around the plant. The potatoes will be easy to damage, so dig up with care. Try not to use tools such as shovels as they can damge the potato.

Some people use cloth gardening gloves to help protect their hands from injury (from debris in the dirt) and to prevent getting dirt under their finger nails. One way to quickly harvest the potatoes is to run a plow down the middle of the row. This will roll the dirt up and bring the potatoes to the surface.

After the potatoes have been Harvested, store them in a cool dry place. Some people will put down a bed of straw, layer of potatoes, layer of straw, layer of potatoes. When they need the potatoes, dig through the straw and dig some out.

Cooking considerations after a disaster

After a disaster such as a earthquake or hurricane, chances are the power is going to be cut off. From previous examples set by hurricanes Katrina, Andrew, Hugo and Rita – in some cases it could take weeks or months to rebuild the power lines. Its during this time that a simple hot meal can really boost the moral of the group. Just for the sake of discussion, “Group” is defined as friends, family or neighbors.

Some people of the community are ill prepared to cook without a power source, while others may be able to cook for a few days with no power. It is the job of the survivalist to make sure that they have the means to cook for not only your family, but for the neighbors. This can be a daunting task, but with a little planning it can be done.

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Large ALICE Packs

The All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (also know as “ALICE Pack“), was first introduced by United States Army in 1974. The ALICE pack was intended as a replacement to the aging M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment [LCE] and M-1967 Modernized Load-Carrying Equipment.

The ALICE pack has become popular with the players of airsoft and paintball. The popularity of the ALICE pack is due to the quality of the materials it is made out of, its easy to customize, and the packs area easy to find in most military surplus stores.

This video gives a description of the large and medium ALICE packs. After watching the video, be sure to visit the forum. More information can be found there on gear like the ALICE pack.


The ALICE pack in the video is about 12 to 13 years old, and has been on more hiking and trips then I care to count. The overall comfort of the pack is a little lacking, but its designed for military service, not the civilian market. If you are looking for a go anywhere and do anything pack, its going to be hard to beat an ALICE pack.

With the introduction of molle packs on the market, there has been a shift from the ALICE pack to the molle pack. Personally, I think the alice packs are more durable then the molle packs. The alice pack frames are aluminum and will not break like the molle pack.

The military service people that I have talked to prefer the alice packs over the molle pack, mainly due to the plastic frame of the molle breaking.

I also like the amount of pockets on the alice, as compared to the molle. The Large ALICE pack has 3 large pouches and 3 small pouches on the outside of the pack. On the inside of the pack you have the radio pouch – which is great for storing all kinds of small gear.

The molle packs lack an internal radio pouch like what the alice packs have.

With the MOLLE packs, I like the size of the sustainment pouches that can be mounted to the outside of the pack.

The survivalist and their Bug Out Bag

One of the popular “survival” plans is the “Bug Out Bag” (aka BOB). Members of the survival community that use the Bug out bag, and a “head to the hills” philosophy are sometimes called backpack survivalist.

The “backpack survivalist” is a person who plans on leaving their home either ahead of a disaster or during the disaster, depending on the situation. The Survivalist, with their Bug Out Bag and family in tow, will head to some parcel of wilderness. Usually the plans include using national forest land as the retreat, areas close to large lakes where camp grounds already exist or maybe even public hunting land. When discussing these plans in detail with other survivalist, usually, exact details have not been thought out.

Example of a bug out plan: A few years ago one survivalist was talking about his plans, which included driving about 14 – 18 hours (normal drive time), across two states in order to reach a large US national park. Exact details such as refueling stops, rest areas and actual camping grounds had not been planned out. The story sounded more like a mix between the Boy Scouts and a Rambo movie.

The survivalist plans for a bug out usually goes something like this:

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Identify this fruit tree

One of the purposes of this site is to not only inform, but to provoke thought.  One of the ways this is done is to ask a question.  In the question, there lies the information.  Now then, let us begin.

This shrub or tree grows to be about 20 feet tall, but rarely gets over 10 feet tall.  To keep the tree at a reasonable height, it can be trimmed.  The cuttings from the trimmings can be transplanted to sprout new trees.

This tree produces a fruit that is edible, and can be used to make jelly, jam and preserves.  Just a few of these trees can produce a large amount of food.  This might be the reason why these trees were popular with early settlers in the USA.

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How to grow Zucchini

Zucchini is a small summer squash and a member of the melon / gourd family. It has an outer skin that can harden if left on the plant for too long – kinda like a watermelon or pumpkin. The immature fruit are best when picked at about 6 inches in length. Zucchini can be yellow, green or light green. It can be compared to a cucumber is shape, with the Zucchini being a little slimmer then an average cucumber when ready to harvest.

When getting ready to plant the seeds, soak the seeds between two wet towels about about 3 – 5 days. The seeds that sprout should be planted, the seeds that have not sprouted can be discarded.

While the seeds are soaking, the ground should be worked and prepared for the seeds.

Fertilizer – Zucchini requires a balanced fertilizer such as 13-13-13. Try not to use straight nitrogen such as 21-0-0, as you might get a large plant that produces little food. For prolonged production, add some organic fertilizer to the mix, such as mulch, pot ash, compost or manure. A quick release fertilizer might be good to get the plant growing, but those types of fertilizer will do little for future production. Zucchini can be a high production plant, but it must have the fertilizer to grow.

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What to expect from the Red Cross

After Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, a summer camp in east texas took in about 400 evacuees.  The camp in question was used during the summer by several of the local churches for religious and non-religious based events.  When hurricane Katrina struck, the camp was closed for the winter – no church or religious services were planned for at least 8 – 9 months, or when the local schools were closed for summer vacation.  The camp was set up very well to take in evacuees, there was a full kitchen with a dinning area that could feed several hundred people at one time, dormitories with bunk beds, activity areas, full bathroom facilities and even a first aid station.

Because this summer camp was religious based, one red cross worker kept throwing fits. It seems that some of the buildings that were being used as check in points, food distribution and to house these people has Christian symbols in them – such as the cross.  Even though the summer camp was closed to the public and for the winter and there were no religious events planned, this red cross guy kept throwing religion up. The people that owned the camp finally asked that (more…)

The Survivalist Garden and Cucumbers

cucumber survivalist gardenWhile planning a survival garden that will be used during a prolonged disaster, cucumbers should be an important consideration.

During outbreaks of the Bubonic Plague (The Black Death) during the middle 1300’s, starvation might have killed as many people as the disease. As farmers and merchants died off from The Black Death, those that were still alive were left to a slow death of starvation. It was recorded in the journals of the witnesses to The Black Death – the starving masses even turned to cannibalism.

To prevent this type of situation from befalling family members and loved ones, every survivalist should have a stock of seeds for a home garden.

The cucumber belongs to the same plant family as watermelon, zucchini and pumpkin. Sometimes this is called the “Gourd” or “melon” family. This is because the plants can grow a hard outer shell. The benefit of this hard outer shell, most insects can not penetrate it to eat the softer inner flesh. This makes the cucumber somewhat pest resistant, as compared to other garden plants – such as the tomato.

Modern man has grown the cucumber for at least 3,000 years in Western Asia. Estimates are that the cucumber was introduced to parts of Europe by the Romans. The exact year of European introduction in unknown. Written records dating back to the Roman empire exist noting how much the cucumber was eaten in ancient times. As an example, the Roman Emperor Tiberius (November 16, 42 BC – March 16, AD 37) ate cucumbers on an almost daily basis. To ensure that cucumbers were on the dinner plate during the winter months, the plants were grown in carts. The carts were wheeled into the sunlight during the day, and brought inside during the night.

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Spinach for a survival garden

survivalist garden spinachHistory: The origin of Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is in some debate. Some researchers put the origin of Spinach around current day Iraq. While other researchers claim that Nepal is where the plant was first domesticated.

Planting: Spinach has to be replanted every year. This is also known as an annual plant. Even though Spinach may need to be replanted every year, it might survive over winter in temperate regions. Spinach germinates best if the seeds are soaked in water, or between wet rags for at least 24 hours before planting. Best results for germination may occur if the seeds are soaked for 3 – 5 days, or until the seed starts to sprout.

Soaking the seeds: 1. Place the seeds into a bowl and fill the bowl with water until the seeds are covered. The next day remove any seeds that might be floating. Seeds that are floating are less likely to sprout. Drain the water from the bowl. It helps if a strainer is used to separate the water and the seeds. Once the spinach seeds have been removed from the water, take them outside and plant them. 2. Use a cookie sheet, or a pizza sheet – place a small cloth towel in the bottom of the sheet then spread the Spinach seeds on the top of the towel. Space the seeds at least 1/4 – 1/2 inch apart. Pour enough water over the towel to make it wet. Cover the seeds with a second towel. Then pour enough water over the second towel to make it wet. Over the next few days keep the towels moist.

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