Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: being a survivalist

Do we prepare in vain

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Stockpiling survival gear, stockpiling food, stockpiling ammunition,,, are we prepping for something that will never happen? Has our time been squandered? Has everything we have done, been done in vain?

I consider myself to be active in the survivalist / prepping community for close to 20 years. In the late 1980s I became aware that I needed to be able to protect my family during times of civil unrest, so I started reloading and stockpiling ammunition.

In the 1990s I started stockpiling basic food groups, forming bug out plans, and started buying more firearms.

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistFrom the early 1990s – 2012, what has happened in the world to warrant living a survivalist lifestyle? Have we had an outbreak of a new plague, we had the swine flu but it fizzled out, no nuclear war,,,. Overall, besides the twin towers being brought down, and the conflict in the middle east, the world has been a pretty peaceful place.

The first part of the 21st century has been a lot more peaceful then the first part of the 20th century.

100 years ago tensions where rising in Europe. Unknown at the time there was a World War just around the corner.

One thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that governments will never live in peace with each other. The people may live in peace, but the governments never will.

I feel the U.S. government is trying to pick a fight with Russia or China. But only time will tell if anything ever happens.

Is prepping worth the hundreds of hours invested? If either my wife or I lose our job, we have plenty of food stockpiled.

Besides the occasional hurricane, I rarely get to use my preps. My Berkey water filter sits at the Bug Out Location, unused for around 3 years. The last time I shot my rifle I had to wipe dust off the scope lens – that is a fact I am not very proud of.

Where do we draw the line? Survivalist spend so much time, effort and money building their stockpiles, and for what? For the fishing gear to go unused, or the rifles and shotguns to collect dust, for the ammunition to stay stored in the ammo cans,,,.

One of the questions that gets thrown around the forums quit a bit is “when is S going to HTF?”. I have been waiting for over 20 years. The only things that have happened are a few hurricanes have made landfall.

How many times can the fear mongers cry wolf before people start to lose interest?

Back in the early 1990s there were stories going around about the U.N. was getting ready to invade the U.S. 20 years later its the same story over and over and over and over. Holy crap, how many times are we going to hear the same fear mongering before we start to get bored?

I have tried to live a survivalist lifestyle that is sustainable – meaning that I am doing my best not to get burnt out. After 20+ years of the same thing, it starts to get old after awhile.

Maybe I need to go fishing? Maybe I need to do something to get away from the computer? Maybe I need to take a break for a little while, not from blogging, but from survivalism. Yea, I think my wife and I need to go fishing, maybe go to the camp, maybe go to the movies.

If there is one thing that keeps me going, it has to be my children. What kind of world are we leaving to our kids? A nation riddled with debt, a shrinking middle class, a government that spends more then it takes in, nuclear tensions rising between nations.

I worry about that the world will be like in 20 years. I am 44 years old. What are things going to be like in 20 or 30 more years? What kind of world can me children and my grandchildren look forward to?

Obsessed With Survivalism

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Have you ever met someone that is obsessed with prepping or survivalism?  They keep their Get Home Bag ready to go, their Bug Out Bag is prepped and ready to go, keep a firearm in every room of the house,,, to the point where survivalism has consumed their lives.  Would that be survivalism, an obsession or paranoia?

There is a fine line between a hobby and an obsession.  If that is true, is there a line between a lifestyle and an obsession?  What about a hobby and a lifestyle?

If we do the same thing everyday for 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years, would that be considered an obsession?  If so, is work an obsession?  Sometimes yea, work can be an obsession.  Other times work is something we do to live.

[Related Forum Thread – Radical Survivalist]

If someone practices survivalism for 10, 20, 30,,, years, would that be a lifestyle or an obsession?

Maybe the deciding factor is how much survivalism affects our everyday life.  Are we able to have normal relationships, are we able to live our lives as normal as possible while maintaining a dedicated survivalist lifestyle?

There needs to be a balance between prepping and living life as normal as possible.


Survivalism as a Lifestyle

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SurvivalismBeing 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.


Doom and gloom in the survival community

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AK-47 AR-15 Survival RiflesWhy are so many people in the survivalist community obsessed with doom and gloom?

Awhile back I posted a question to the SurvivalistBoards facebook page about the occupy wall street movement, some of the first replies were about violence.

The question was not about survivalist having to use any kind of lethal force to defend their families and homes.  All that was asked was if people were ready for some kind of civil unrest.  From there the topic instantly turned to violence.

I have never understood “why” a lot of people in the survivalist community dwell on lethal force and the use of violence?  Maybe they think life is like an action movie, and they are missing out on their starring roll.  Maybe they want to be some kind of hero?

Life during a disaster is nothing like what you see in the movies.  From my experience, the good comes out in the majority of the people.  There are those that will try to steal and take advantage of others, but its not like what happens in the movies.

When Hurricane Ike was passing through, I filmed footage with a couple of cameras.  The footage was later combined into a video.


The Handcuffed United States of America

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Welcome to the Handcuffed United States of America, where law enforcement is held hostage by illegal immigrants, and the US government can kill its citizens without due process.

The Washington Times is reporting that a U.S. border agent has been jailed for improper arrest of a suspected drug smuggler.

What the hell is wrong with this country where a US Border agent can be put in prison for doing his job?  Its not like the border Agent shot and killed the accused drug smuggler.

Then there is PETA that has tried to get equal rights for whales.  There are lots of crazy people in the world, but claiming animals deserve the same rights as humans, you have got to be kidding me.  I have seen some crazy people in my time, like the whackos that walk around and talk to the birds, but this PETA crap has to take the prize.

On top of everything else, we have an out of control president that can off people at will.  To get yourself murdered without a trial, all the government needs to do is have you declared a terrorist, and your head is on the chopping block.

When our president obama has been asked why US citizens were murdered, he hid his face in the sand and refused to hand over the evidence.

Its gotten to the point where people can not even protest without being thrown in jail.  The people are tired of our jobs being sent to china, we protest, and we are beat down by jack-booted-thugs.

I am pretty sure the people working the gas chambers of nazi germany were just following orders, just like the police officers that beat down the protestors.

The US is going downhill, and fast. Our jobs have been shipped to china, our government is corrupt, and there is civil unrest in the streets. How much more before something breaks?

The US has been called the melting pot of the world. The problem is, when you melt a lot of metals together, the metal is weak or brittle. The US has become divided with different groups pushing certain social agendas. The social agendas will divide and eventually break this once great nation.

Greed is the great destroyer, it divides families, and it breaks nations. Our financial institutions have become so greedy that their greed has consumed everything in its path.

Our housing markets are in ruins, our factories have bee closed and moved to china, investors are putting their money in gold, unemployment is up,,, and the people sit on their hands and vote for the same 2 parties over and over.

The people need to open their eyes, and if they want real change, then vote like it. If you are voting for the same 2 parties, then you are not voting for real change. If you want to bring about “real” change, and not the obama type of change, vote third party.

The two major parties have failed this nation. They have allowed china to take our factories and our jobs, and at the same people the people kept voting the same way they have for the past 100 years.

Keep in mind, the two parties you voted for have given us:

Income tax – both state and federal
Free Trade – so our jobs can go overseas
Insecure borders
Have not regulated BPA
Have not regulated coal emissions

If you are wondering what coal emissions do, here is a pic.

mercury warning dam b jasper texas

We can not even eat the fish out of our rivers and lakes without some kind of mercury warning. And the two parties you elected has allowed this to happen.

Teaching someone to fish

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There is an old saying “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you will feed him for life.” I think that applies to more then just fishing.

If you give someone a pay check and a grocery store, you will feed hm for a few days.

If you give a man some land, and some seeds, you may feed him for a few weeks or even months.

The difference in the 2 above comparisons, most people pick their lifestyles. Given the choice between feeding themselves, or having someone provide their food for them, most people will pick the easy way out and have someone provide their food. This makes us variable and weak. This makes us sub-servant to others.

For a true survivalist, the idea of being sub-servant (or dependent) is repugnant. We want to stand on our own feet, we want to be independent from grocery stores, we want to know where our next meal is coming from.

When you say to yourself “I need some cucumbers for that salad” – do you think about going to the store and buying your cucumbers, or do you think about growing your own cucumbers?

There is nothing wrong with buying your food. But always keep in the back of your head, that you can stand on your own feet and grow your own food.

Lets say that a disaster happens – whether its some kind of disease outbreak, nuclear war, meteor impact,,, and there were no grocery stores, what would you and your family do for food? I like to call that situation “The Dog Bowl Theory.” This is where people line up at the grocery store, looking at the empty shelves, and wondering how they are going to eat.

People along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic seaboard have seen examples of this kind of situation. When a hurricane is expected to make landfall, wherever the strike zone is located at, people will make a run on the stores – cleaning out the shelves. And its not just in the impact zone, people traveling along the evacuation routes will clean stores out.

Lets take the town that I live in for example – we have 2 grocery stores, a super Wal-mart and a Brookshire Brothers. With a population of 8,000+ people, it would not take long to clean those 2 stores out if the public went into panic buying mode.

Once the food is gone, what then? How many people will be looking for a hand out? How many people will be calling their friends and family asking for food? And how many people will go fishing?

Do you cut your own grass

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Over the past week or so, this part of East Texas has been having almost daily thunderstorms. Well, today we did not get any showers, so my wife and I decided to cut the grass. As I was pulling out the lawnmower, thoughts went through my head about a blog post I should make. The question is, do you cut your own grass? From a survivalist point of view, this is why I think you should cut your own grass, instead of paying someone else do it.

Save money

People waste money in too many ways. Whether its interest on credit cards, a large soft drink you dont finish, a cheese burger you only eat half of, a music CD that half the songs suck,,,,,, people throw away too much money.

One of the ways that we can save money is by cutting our own grass – instead of paying someone else to do it. If you can do something for yourself, and save money, then do it. If your capable of cutting your grass – dont have a health condition – then why not?

Get some exercise

One of the problems working at an office job – a lot of people do not get enough physical activity. Just a few years ago the majority of the population worked in factories, ship yards, welding shops, building roads,,,, but today, it seems that most people sit at a desk for 8+ hours a day.

By cutting your grass every 3 or 4 days, your outside getting some sunshine and getting some physical exercise. Dont try to get off easy and get a self propelled or riding lawn mower – get one that makes you work those legs, back and arms.

Good chance to meet the neighbors

While your outside pushing that lawnmower around, try to do it at the same time as your neighbor. Maybe stop at the fence and strike up a conversation. Ask a few questions to figure out whether neighbor is one of the sheeple, prepper, or fellow survivalist. You might be surprised at how many closet survivalist are out there.

Before you meet the neighbor, do some observing to see what they drink – coke, dr.pepper, tea, pepsi,,,,.  When you stop to meet the neighbor, make sure you just “happen” to have an ice chest with some cold drink sin it. This could help to break the ice.

Survivalist – man, it sure is hot out here.
sheeple – it sure is.
survivalist – you want something to drink
sheeple – sure
survivalist – what do you drink, I have an ice chest right here.
sheeple – do you have a coke
survivalist – having seen his neighbor drinking coke, the survivalist just “happens” to have some ice cold cokes ready to go – here ya go, ice cold
sheeple – that hit the spot
survivalist – so what do you think about this oil spill in the gulf of mexico?
sheeple – oil spill in the gulf of what????
survivalist – from here, be careful of how much you say, you do not want to seem overly educated on current events – the news has been talking about some kind of oil spill off the coast of Louisiana, I thought you might have heard something about it.

Throw out some bait and see if the neighbor bites. I like to play dumb for a little bit so the other person can act big and talk about how much they know.

The goal is to keep the other person talking, and you take in the information for later analyzes.  Just keep your mouth shut and let the neighbor ramble on and on and on,,,,,.  This also makes the other person feel important that someone is actually listening to him/her.

Rotating your gas stocks

The lawn mower is a good place to rotate out your fuel stocks. Instead of buying fresh gasoline, pull some from your gas stocks, and burn it in the lawnmower. The replace the gas in your stocks with fresh stuff.

Being a survivalist in the 1990s

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Survivalism, like everything else changes with time.  During the Cold War – the 1950s and 1960s – people were worried about nuclear war with Russia.  In the 1990s theories were a dime a dozen about how the United Nations was going to invade the USA.  In the 2000s we were worried about terrorist attacks, and now in 2010 we are worried about financial collapse.

As I think about the past few decades, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s,,, to me, the 1990s was the best decade for survivalism.  While Bill Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001, he probably he did more to promote survivalism / conspiracy theories then anyone else that I can think of, besides maybe Janet Reno and the Waco situation.

1991 we had the Persian Gulf conflict – Desert Shield and Desert Storm. We got to see how well the Russian made tanks held up against the M1 Abrams. We got to see the stealth fighter and bomber. The world saw that the USA can kick some butt and take names later – if there was enough left to even name.

In 1992 there was Ruby Ridge and Randy Weaver
In February to April of 1993 we had the siege in Waco.
In 1994 we had the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement – NAFTA – even though Bill Clinton said during his campaign that he would not sign NAFTA, after getting elected, he crawfished on the subject and quickly signed the treaty.


The Survivalist Lifestyle

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Flooding from Hurricane Ike Recently I was asked “how long I have been prepping?” That set off a whirlwind of thoughts about my life. Everything from my grandparents farm, to my dad taking my brother and I hunting, to my 1st and 2nd grade teachers going over duck and cover drills and what a nuclear explosion looked like, to watching our jobs and factories move to China, to camping next to the marsh in Bridge City, Texas, to hurricane Andrew, to watching what happened with Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ike,,, the list might be a mile long.

To answer the question, Survivalism is a lifestyle, not a fad. Go ask a marathon runner what kind of quick diet he/she in on, they might give you a snicker and an evil look in return. To get into shape one has to make lifestyle changes. Training for a marathon is not something your going to do in a week, or even a month.

The same goes with being a Survivalist and Survivalism. Prepping is not going to the local local big box mart and buying a few cases of bottled water or a few cases of dried foods or canned foods, its a lifestyle change.

Its impossible to stay in a constant state of readiness. So after awhile survivalist noobs get burned out. They keep asking “when is the shtf?” After a little while they lose interest and pick up another hobby or move to the next fad.

People think they can lose a few pounds and keep it off be eating certain foods for a few weeks. But they get burned out eating only those foods. Sooner or later they go back to their normal eating patterns and the extra weight comes back. To lose weight you have to make a lifestyle change and permanently change what you are eating.

Being a true survivalist requires a lifestyle change. We do not go around waiting for SHTF, but when it does happen we are ready. We do not go down to the local big box mart, buy 20 pounds of rice – and then brag to our friends that we are “prepping”. we’re prepping, we are having so much fun being a survivalist,,,. Yea, right, ok, go blow smoke somewhere else.

If you are serious about getting ready for a disaster and adopting the survivalist lifestyle – this decision should not be taken lightly. Its a long road full of twist, and wrong turns. Its easy to get side tracked, I know, I have been there and done that.

To get started, sign up at the survivalist forum and post your questions there.

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