Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: life after shtf

Life After SHTF: Moving Food From Farm To Market

Bowl of okra and peppers grown as part of a survival garden

For this article we are going to take an exert from the book “Life in a Medieval City” by Frances and Joseph Gies. We are looking at chapter 3, a Medieval Housewife, pages 47 and 48. Last paragraph of page 47 talks about how the housewife shops for food on a daily basis. She would go to the market, divided into different groups, then shop for a variety of food.

There are several lessons to learn from this example.

Since there was no way to preserve food for a period of time, gathering food was done on a daily basis, and was seasonal. Food was grown locally, harvested, then brought to the market almost daily. How else do we think the housewife shopped for food daily?

Someone had to organize transportation for the food to go from the farm to the market. Today we call those people “middlemen.” The middleman organizes and communicates between the merchants and the farmers.

After a SHTF event we could probably expect this same type of organization to become reestablished. Chances are people who have horses and wagons will divide up rural farms into routes, very much like what the United States Post Office does. Rather than numerous middlemen going to the same farm, middlemen would divide up the farms and have established routes. This would allow the middlemen to develop relationships with the farmers.

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

Physical Health After Disruption In The System

Kevin Felts on a hiking trip

Couple of days ago I was watching naked and afraid, this guys body pretty much shut down and he had to be medivaced to a hospital. They were only 4 or 5 days into the show? The doctor said the problems with his health were from a lack of vitamins and minerals. The guy said he ate something like 5,000 calories a day. I kind of figured he was going to have problems going from 5,000 calories a day to almost nothing.

The guy on the show came across as a great person. He was friendly and had a wonderful attitude. However, it seemed like his body did not react well to be taken out of a certain setting.

The vast majority of the public are use to eating certain foods. Then that all stops in one day. People are spoiled to getting food right when they want it, and then that all stops. There are all kinds of videos on youtube of people getting in fights because McDonalds was out of a certain food.

Race Against Time

Life In a Medieval Castle By Joseph and Frances Gies

If you have ever wondered what life in a medieval castle was like, this is the book for you. Joseph and Frances Gies describes in great detail everything from how, why and when castles were first built, their evolution and finally their decline.

While reading life in a medieval castle I sometimes forgot this was a book about castles. The authors offer such a wide spectrum of history that surrounds castles that it is easy to lose oneself in the book.

Chapters include:

The castle comes to england
The lord
The castle as a house
The lady
The household
A day in the castle – which I found very interesting
Hunting as a way of life
The villagers
The making of a knight
The castle at war – another chapter I found interesting
The castle year
The decline of the castle

Shotgun: Best All Around SHTF Survival Weapon

Large molle pack with mossberg 590

When it comes to an all around SHTF survival firearm, there is no better choice than the pump shotgun. No other firearm is as versatile as the shotgun. No other firearm can go from snake protection, to hunting deer or hogs, to hunting squirrels like the shotgun.

We live in an era of firearms where tacticool is the name of the game. Fanboy clubs have popped up where only the best of the best is good enough. Then it is a pissing match to see who can have the coolest toys on their firearms. This translates to who can have the best optic, the best trigger, the best light,,, etc. In other words, firearm ownership has turned into a competition to see who can invest the most money into their toys.

Then there is the classic pump shotgun. Nothing fancy, no light, no optic, maybe not even a sling. There is something about the shotgun, how simplistic it is, how timeless it is.

Tactical vs Hunting Shotgun

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.

Thoughts On Mass Transportation After SHTF

Truck transportation

Mass transportation of goods and services during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation has been on my mind for awhile.

In big cities people use large SUVs and trucks as a status symbol. 300+ horsepower, 4 wheel drive, gas guzzler, but has never pulled a trailer or been off the pavement.

In urban areas nearby rural areas, and in rural areas people “use” their SUVs and trucks. Yesterday evening (February 25, 2016) Jasper Texas was packed with trucks and bass boats. The weather this weekend is going to be nice so people are going to the lake.

There are thousands of people all across the nation who live just a couple of hours from rural locations. Those people venture out of the city to go hunting, fishing and enjoy nature. While doing those activities they pull a boat, or maybe a trailer with an ATV on it.

5 Essential SHTF TEOTWAWKI Survival Skills

Barred Rock Chicken

For the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event has happened. What essential survival skills may you and your family need to know in order to ensure their long term survival?

Survivalist should know the basics, such as beans, bullets, band-aids, shooting skills, water purification,,, etc. Lets think outside the box. During a long term complete collapse of society what skills will people need to know?

Lets assume that you and your family have a source of safe drinking water. This should be some kind of water well with a pitcher pump, or maybe a solar powered water well. For this article lets say that water is a given. Saying we need safe drinking water is like reminding people to breath, access to safe drinking water should be that important.

Now that water is out of the way lets move forward.

Prepping For SHTF In Breadth But Not Depth

Kevin Felts, blogger

A few days ago I started reading a new book, it’s called “War on the eastern front by James Lucas.” War on the eastern front is a collection of personal experiences based on diaries from German soldiers.

The majority of books I read are non-fiction. This is because I like to know what real-life experiences people faced during times of hardship. For example what were some of the issues that were faced during the Black Death?

Why did I pick a book on the eastern front? We know the German army failed to defeat the Russian army due to two things – the harsh Russian winter, and resupply issues. Those are the two main issues taught in just about every world history class.

On page 4 of “War on the eastern front”, it is noted that author A.J.P Taylor said “while his opponents were rearming for a great war in depth, Hitler rearmed Germany in breath. Everything for the front lines, but nothing for a second campaign.”

Hitler was so sure the German army could defeat Russia in a single season, there were no plans for a long drawn out battle during the Russian winter. Nor were plans made for the following year, much less a war that lasted another 4 years.

Survivalism

Hunting Wild Pigs After SHTF

Wild pigs taken off a hunting lease in Southeast Texas

Need a good source of renewable food after SHTF, look no further then the wild hog. Wild hogs have invaded all of the lower 48 states, Texas alone has an estimated 1.5 million feral hogs.

The problem is, the hogs are mean, can be difficult to trap, can injure or kill hunting dogs, and can be difficult to transport.
Trapping Wild Hogs

Hog traps are only limited by your imagination. They can include anything from a box trap to a pen trap.

The usual hog trap is made out of welded angle iron, and is 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. The door is spring loaded so that when a hog enters the trap, the door closes behind them. Some traps are rigged so that the door opens while the hog is rooting around the edge. The hog pushes the door open, the hog goes into the trap, and the door closes behind the hog.

Keeping a Wild Boar Hog in a Pen after SHTF

Wild boar hog in pen

It’s life after SHTF, you and your family need something to eat, so the yall head out to a local river. The dogs are let loose, a few minutes later the dogs corner up a 200 pound boar hog.

The boar hog is loaded in the boat and brought back home.

A pen is hastily assembled out of whatever materials you can find.

The boar hog is put in the hen, and the leg ties taken off. Since the pen is made out of fence, the boar hog rams the fence, breaks the wire loose, then the hog runs off.

Sounds unlikely? Well, that is what happened when my son-in-law bought a boar hog home.

In this case the dogs were waiting outside the pen in case the hog got out.

Keep in mind this is not a friendly domesticated hog, this is a wild boar hog that will use its tusk to tear flesh off the bone.

Plans For Surviving a Long Term SHTF Survival Situation

Bushel of potatoes

For the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of long term SHTF situation has happened. Whether it was civil unrest, meteor strike, financial collapse, nuclear war, outbreak of new disease,,, lets talk about what you and your family are going to need to survive.

Just about everyone knows about the food, water and shelter of survival. But how many people put a lot of thought into the details? In reality, how your food, water and shelter preps look for a long term SHTF survival situation?

If you want to see society break down, disrupt the supply of water, electricity and food.

Water

Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist. Contaminated drinking water is one of the fastest way to spread disease. Once dysentery sets in, without modern day antibiotics, its just a matter of time.

To ensure my family has a source of safe drinking water, my wife and I are investing into family sized water filters. Just a few days ago I received a couple of Berkey replacement filters from Safecastle. Each filter provides an estimated 3,000 gallons of safe drinking water. Four filters should provide an estimated 12,000 gallons of safe drinking water. The plans are to buy a couple of ceramic filters to go with the black filters. I would like to have enough filters to be able to filter an estimated 20,000 gallons of water.

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?

Hammer for your survival tool kit

There is an old saying “every tool kit needs a Hammer.” A “hammer” is a tool that helps break something loose that is stuck. Rusted bolt, put a wrench on it, then hit the wrench with a hammer.

How can we take that saying and apply it to survivalism?

What would be an item in our survival tool kit that can help get things unstuck?

Stuck in a food production groove, what would help you increase production?

Need to clear a tree after a hurricane? Break out the chain saw.

Need to make sure looters steer clear? Break out the AK-47.

The three key issues after SHTF will be water, food and personal hygiene. There are other things such as security, cooking, livestock, bartering, hunting, fishing, foraging,,, and other odds and ends.

What items can we add to our survival tool kit to make sure our water production, food and personal hygiene keeps going?

To me, my hammer for water production is my Royal Berkey water filter. In a worse case situation I can get water from a creek, run the water through my Royal Berkey, then my family and I have safe drinking water.

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