Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: bug out location

Moving To The Homestead Part 2

Where do you want to be in 10 years, how about 20 years? That question is not about financial stability, or your career, where do you want to be physically in 10 years, what do you want your life to be like?

I want peace and quiet in my life. I want a back porch where I can grill some steaks, listen to the wind blowing through the trees, hear the chickens,,, and that is all I want to hear, except maybe some music.

I want a small garden that my wife and I can get fresh food from.

I want my chickens to be able to free range as much as they want, because happy chickens lay plenty of eggs.

Where do I want to be next year (2013)? I want to be living in peace and quiet. But first, my wife and I have to get there.

One of the things that has to be taken care of before we are able to put a house on the land, is some of the timber has to be cleared. As much as I despise cutting trees, we have to make room for a home. Not only room for a home, but the fence rows need to be cut.

Nobody has lived at the Homestead full time since the late 1970s, which was when my grandmother passed away. Mom and dad moved from the Jasper Texas area in the late 1970s and have lived in Bridge City for the past 35 years.

Drawback to Remote Primitive Camping Sites

Remote camping site on the Angelina River

One of the major drawbacks to remote primitive camping sites, you never know what idiot you are going to end up next to.

November 24, 2012 a buddy of mine and I headed out to the Angelina river close to Jasper Texas to do some camping. These are primitive camping sites that are only available by boat.

We arrived at the camping site, set the tents up, then headed out to the river to do some fishing. Just before the juglines were set out, I got a call on my phone saying my son-in-law and his hunting buddies caught a hog in the river bottom. The dogs had chased the hog a long way from the boat, and they needed some help. But that is another story.

After helping my son-in-law and his hunting party pack the hog back to the boat, my buddy and I headed back to our camping site.

By the time we got back to the camping site we only had about one hour of light left. We broke out the camp stoves, cooked a quick meal of Mountain House freeze dried foods, then started the camp fire.

Shooting Into The Night

Rural Homestead After SHTF / TEOTWAWKI

Pair of fresh eggs

Would a rural homestead make a good bug out location? SHTF / TEOTWAWKI has happened, whether it was a financial collapse, nuclear war, widespread civil unrest,,,, something has happened to has disrupted society as we know it.

If you live on a homestead in a rural location, what might be some of the supplies you would need, and what would be some of the hardships you would face?

As I write this article I am just thinking out load. Lets brainstorm and get some ideas for discussion.

We all know the typical topics such as safe drinking water and food. In this article lets move past those topics that should be a given. What are the things that would make everyday life possible? What do we use in our everyday lives today that we would need after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI?

Breakfast After SHTF

Lets wake up, do our morning routine then eat breakfast. What are going to be eating for breakfast? Chances are its going to be oats we have stored in mylar bags and eggs.

To have eggs we have to make sure our chickens are safe from predators and the elements. Given the chance predators such as foxs, opossums, coyotes and even other people will steal your livestock.

Exposed to wind, rain, ice and snow your chickens will die.

What do we need to keep our chickens safe and comfortable? We need a chicken coop and a way to repair the coop. This means we need hand tools, staples, hardware cloth, hammers, a good saw, wire cutters, tar to fix holes in the roof of the coop,,, and so on.

Firearm for Rural SHTF Bug Out Location

Shooting AK-47 with ERGO Grip SUREGRIP

What is your ideal firearm for a rural small farm (Bug Out Location)? Purpose is to protect property and livestock. For this article, lets say the setting can be during normal everyday life, and during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event.

During a SHTF setting, livestock are going to be very difficult to replace.

Its 10 pm, your chickens start making a fuss, what firearm do you grab? Do you use a shotgun, small caliber rifle, medium caliber rifle, or something else?

One of my ideal setups would be for a rifle and a pistol setup to share the same caliber. There are several manufacturers that make carbines in various pistol calibers, such as the 17 HMR, 22 long rifle, 9mm, 357 magnum and 45 acp.

This article will be divided into 3 phases, discussion on shotguns, small calibers for everyday life, larger calibers for post-SHTF / a world without law. Since followup shots may be needed rather quickly, single shot firearms will not be discussed.

Shotgun For Bug Out Location

While a shotgun may be ideal for nighttime, there is a high risk of collateral damage. We want to protect the livestock, and not take the livestock out along with the predator.

Even though the Mossberg 590 is one of my favorite SHTF shotguns, I do not think it is appropriate for livestock protection. The 590 does not have a choke that can be used to change the pattern of the shot. The short barrel of the Mossberg 590 will have a negative effect on the shot pattern as well.

Homestead as a Bug Out Location

Australorp, Rhode Island Red and Barred Rock

Homestead VS Bug Out Location, which on is better and why? Instead of trying to discuss the merits of each, why not combine the two?

Instead of trying to maintain a home in an urban area, and a remote camp, why not build a homestead and make it your Bug Out Location? This way your time and money are not divided between two separate places.

For a lot of people, living in a rural area is not an option. Their job is in the city, and that is where they need to live. There are a number of people that live in rural areas, or in small towns. Lets talk about the people who are thinking about relocating to a rural area away from town.

For this article lets focus on 5 things – food, water, shelter, security, and some other small topics that we can group together.

Food

Moving To The Homestead Part 1

The time has come to move to a rural area, get the farm setup with a garden and livestock. My wife I currently live about 4 miles outside Jasper Texas. Its time to move ever further away from town.

With the way this nation is heading, families need to be looking at how they are going to afford to buy food and provide basic essentials for their families. One example, my wife and I buy canned refried beans to make homemade burritos with. In the past 2 years the price of the canned beans has gone up almost 20%. I bet your wages have not gone up 20% in that same amount of time. The price of ground meat has gotten terrible. Pork chops used to be cheap, and now they cost a pretty penny.

At 44 years old I am getting too old to go back to school to retrain for a new career. Instead of waiting until the last minute to make my retirement plans, I want to start 20 – 25 years ahead of time.

This morning my wife and I made a trip to the farm, took some measurements and talked about what we wanted to do. The main things we wanted to focus on were shelter, food, water and sewage. These are the basic essentials that anyone would need during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation.

Farm diagram for Bug Out Location

On the left side of the property is a wilderness area owned by a local timber company. Due to the way the terrain is laid out, nobody will ever be able to build there.

Bug Out Location Water Well Plans Part 1

Water well diagram for the Bug Out Location

How safe is the water source at your Bug Out Location? Currently, when we stay at the camp we have to either filter water from a nearby creek, or use water from a very old hand dug well. The old well is becoming less and less reliable, so its time to drive a new well.

There is a saying I like to use – without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist. A contaminated water source can wipe out a community in a matter of days, and that is just the way it is.

Water well diagram for the Bug Out Location

Here are the current plans

Use post hole digger to dig a hole around 3 feet deep.

Insert around an 8 inch PVC sleeve into the hole, sleeve will be around 4 feet long. This gives us around 1 foot above ground.

Take a 4 inch piece of PVC pipe, notch the end so that the pipe has “teeth”.

Build a cap with 2 water inlets.

Attach water hoses to water source and to cap.

Take a 2×4, drill some holes so that a U-bolt will fit though the board.

Back truck up to well site and drop tailgate.

Firearms for the Bug Out Location

sks survival rifle

Some kind of worse case situation has happened, you and your family have to bug out to the Bug Out Location, and how what?

Keep in mind, this is a worse case situation, meaning you did not have time to grab any gear from your home. The only gear you have, is the gear you have stored at the Bug Out Location.

In such as situation, what 4 firearms would you want?

The firearms need to be reliable, somewhat service free, do not cost a small fortune and in case your Bug Out Location was broke into the firearms will be easy to replace.

The first thing people will probably say, “I want an M1A, FN/FAL, Remington Model 700 or a PTR91”. For the sake of discussion lets rule out all firearms that cost anywhere close to $1,000. In fact, lets rule out all firearms that cost over $500. This pretty much rules out all ARs and the majority of AKs. Lets go ahead and rule out all AKs just for fun.

Marlin Model 60 – the first thing people are probably going to say is, “oh come on, the Ruger 10/22 should be first”. I can respect that opinion about the Ruger 10/22, its a great rifle.

Prepping is a never ending process

In the 1990s my prepping plans included stockpiling rice, beans, ammunition and plans to bug out to the camp (my grandparents farm). From there my family and I were going to live off the land.

Times change, plans change.

My plans went from stockpiling mostly rice and beans, to stockpiling canned foods, #10 cans of freeze dried foods, planting fruit trees, food stored in mylar bags, stockpiling seeds, and having a chicken coop that can be loaded on a trailer and brought to the bug out location.

Without safe drinking water life as we know it can not exist. Because of that fact my family and I plan on driving a new water well.

Plans changed from cooking over an open fire, to building a bar-b-q pit large enough to cook a whole hog on. Hopefully the pit can act as a smoker, as well as a cooker.

Stockpiling Survival Gear at the Bug Out Location

Survival camp water well

A few weeks ago my wife and I, and some of our friends, made a trip to the Bug Out Location for the weekend. Spending time at the BOL gives us a chance to test our survival plans, see what works, what does not work and what we need to change.

Every few months I make up a bucket of gear to bring to the Bug Out Location. Sometimes I bring tools, sometimes its flashlights, sometimes its first aid gear, chains for pulling logs,,, and so on.

I want to share with yall what I am putting together for the next load.

Trotline string – cost $4.97 for 580 feet, 235 pound tensile strength. I guess I could order some 550 cord, but that stuff cost around $8 for 100 feet. 550 cord might get added to another shipment.

We need some simple cord for tying stuff up. On the last trip to the camp, the chain that works the flap of the toilet broke. We needed some simple cord to make the flap of the toilet work. My buddy used the cord off my ear plugs to rig the toilet flap where it would work.

Trip to the Bug Out Location June 2012

Cleaning up at the Bug Out Location

Man oh man, what a weekend. In a previous article we talked about survivalism as an experience and not a theory. Part of my prepping for SHTF / TEOTWAWKI includes going to the Bug Out Location for a couple of days, taking notes, figuring out what needs to be changed, and going from there.

Its one thing to say, “if the crap hits the fan, this is what I am going to do,,,,”.

Its another thing to put those plans to the test on a regular, or at the very least a semi-regular basis.

In this article we are going to be discussing my observations from the June 30 – July 1 trip. Feel free to share your questions and/or comments.

On Saturday, June 30, 2012 my wife and I loaded up the Tahoe with basic gear, and headed to the Bug Out Location. Some of the stuff we packed included change of clothes, food, ammunition, firearms,, drinks, laptop, cell phone,,, just your basic stuff.

A few hours after arriving at the camp, my wife and I were joined my a buddy of mine, his wife, and their daughter.

Safe Drinking Water

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?

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?

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:

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.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018