Entries Tagged ‘life post shtf’

Wildfire in Jasper Texas

On Saturday June 18, 2011 the residents of Jasper Texas got the dreaded news,  a wildfire has broken out in the Northern part of the county.  Over the past couple of months Jasper county has been under a burn ban.  But for some reason, people still continue to burn outdoors.

A few weeks ago a fire broke out close to Sand creek park on the south side of Dam B.  After a couple of days the fire was contained.  But this new fire was different, it was in a part of the county that was difficult to access.

jasper texas wildfire

It seems that this new fire was started when someone was shooting propane tanks.  The size of the propane tanks is unknown at the time.  But the fire must have happened pretty fast, because the people (or person) left their ice chest full of beer at the scene of where the fire started.  Police have taken the ice chest and the contents as evidence.

As of Sunday around 5pm, highway 255 remained open.  Sometime around 8:00pm central time, highway 255 and part of 1007 was closed to through traffic.

As of Saturday night, somewhere around 1,500 – 2,000 acres have been burned.

A camper trailer and a canvas tent in a deer camp in the path of the fire were consumed by the inferno.

This wildfire brings up several questions:

1 – The intelligence of some people.  Jasper county has been under a burn ban for several months.  Who in their right mind goes out to the middle of the woods and starts shooting propane tanks?  What does that say about people?  The person clearly did not understand the widespread disaster their reckless action would cause.

2 – Your remote camp / bug out location is not as safe as you think.  The reckless actions of someone miles away could destroy everything that you and your family have worked for.  This is where your going to need some kind of home owners insurance to help rebuild.

Good thing this wildfire did not happen during some kind of long term SHTF survival situation.

Post your comments in this forum thread about the wildfire in Jasper Texas.

Hygiene after shtf

While on a recent camping trip with some friends, I started taking mental notes about the possible issues we could have after SHTF.  I like to go on camping trips, or trips away from home, and then take notes about the issues that we faced.

Safe drinking water – life as we know it can not exist without safe drinking water.  Any water that goes in your eyes, on your face, in your mouth (even to brush your teeth) must be filtered or purified.  So one of the big issues is finding safe drinking water.

Related ArticleWater filter at the bug out location

I wear contacts, so one of the big issues that I will be facing is safe water to wash my contacts in.  Or just say screw the contacts and wear my glasses.  After some kind of SHTF situation, my contacts will probably be put up, and my glasses will be worn.

Awhile back I posted a video on youtube about personal hygiene kits, here is that video.

Brushing teeth – once again, this is dependent on safe drinking water.

Food Safety – one of the biggest issues is probably going to be food safety, keeping food cold so that it does not spoil, and keeping insects off of food.  The majority of  todays homes are not equipped with screen doors, only screened windows.  As the power goes off, people will be opening doors and windows to let the air circulate.  If the doors are opened, flys and other insects will enter the home.

Dried foods in resealable containers should not be an issue, unless the containers are left open for a period of time.

Shigella – is a food borne disease that is transmitted when incests land on infected objects (like waste water), and then land on food for human consumption.  Because of Shigella and other related diseases, dealing with waste water (feces), and food safety are related.  Making sure waste water is not exposed to where incests can land on it, making sure that doors and windows have screens, and making sure that cooked is covered will help ensure food safety.

After the food is cooked, the pots, pans and dishes should be washed to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Hand washing – the number 1 way to prevent the spread of disease is through hand washing.

Hot water shower – pick up a solar shower, their usually sold that local sporting goods store, or on camping websites. Set up a privacy shelter, fill up the solar shower and set it out in the sun for a couple of hours. The hot in the solar shower can get as hot as 100 degrees.

A good shower also acts as a moral booster, getting to wash the filth out of your hair, wash your face, wash your butt,,,,, helps with a persons overall moral and helps to keep people clean.

Pick up 3, 4 or even 5 solar showers, and issue them to people in your group. Each person can be responsible for your own shower.

Vaccinations – there are vaccines available for diseases like rotavirus and Hepatitis A. If your in the “at risk” group, consider getting your vaccinations.

Post your comments in this forum thread about Personal Hygiene and Food Safety after SHTF.

Stockpiling a variety of food

Last weekend my kids and I went to the camp for 2 days; for our trip we packed a variety of food – some chips, several canned goods and some beef jerky. I’ll tell you what, after eating the same type of canned food for even 2 days, it was getting old and quick. This is where the thought of stockpiling beans and rice comes into mind. I have heard of survivalist stockpiling hudnreds of pounds of dried beans and dried rice for some kind of SHTF situation. The problem is, nobody wants to eat the same food day in and day out for weeks and months on end. After the first few days,,, maybe the first couple of weeks people are going to get sick of eating the same thing over and over. That is why its important to stockpile a variety of food for SHTF.

Not only does a variety of food make things easier to eat, varieties also cover a wider range of nutrients.

If you went to your cabinet right now, how many types of food do you have stockpiled? 2 or 3 different types of fruits? 2 or 3 different types of beans, canned meats, chili, peanut butter,,,,,. Past stockpiling food, have you taken into account variety?

Maybe spice things up a little bit by buying beans with peppers in it, or different types of fruits, as compared to only 1 or 2 types.

What about the canned meats, how many different types do you have stockpiled in your survival food preps.

If your planning for some kind of SHTF situation, its not enough to have food stockpiled, if nobody wants to eat it.  Do not stockpile stuff that will expire and have to be thrown out, stockpile what you and your family normally eat.  As the family eats the food, its rotated on a normal basis.

Just food for thought.

3 types of seeds to stockpile for shtf

radishes

Home grown radishes

Lets talk about food production during some kind of long term SHTF situation.  Whether its nuclear war, some kind of new disease, climate change,,,,, combination of several things, there might come a point in time when you have to grow your own food.  So what kind of seeds should you stockpile for some kind of long term SHTF situation?  Lets break it down to 3 categories – short term storage, mid term storage, long term storage.

Short term storage foods – these are the foods that need to be eaten within a few days to a couple of weeks of being harvested.  This is going to include most of your leafy greens, radishes, cucumbers, broccoli, spinach, summer squash and zucchini.

Beans and peas are a good example of short term and long term foods.  We will get into storing peas and beans later in the article.  For snap beans, they can be picked, boiled and eaten right after their harvested.

One of the benefits of beans – they do not require extra nitrogen to be added to the spoil.  Throw some manure and pot ash down, and the beans will supply their own nitrogen.

Leafy greens do not make good warm – hot weather crops, bugs love them.  I have seen bugs wipe out several rows of greens in a matter of 1 or 2 days.

Turnips and radishes are easy to grow, but will need to be eaten within a few days of being harvested.

Cucumbers can stay good for several days, to maybe a week or so after being harvested.  Cucumbers have certain “issues” that may not make them good for a long term post SHTF situation – they like lots of water and they require lots of nitrogen.  So unless you have some kind of organic high nitrogen fertilizer available, and lots of water, cucumbers may not be a good choice.

Okra is a good quality high producing plant, but you have to cook or boil the okra pods before their edible.  One of the problems with okra, their a hot weather plant that likes lots of water.  If you live in a cool region, okra may not be a good plant for you.

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Stockpiling ammo for a long term survival situation

survivalist riflesLast week my buddy and I were talking about stockpiling ammo for a survival situation – this is when something happens to cause society to break down.  Examples are civil unrest, some new disease, climate change,,,,,, something that causes the fabric of mankind to unravel.  In general we talked about stockpiling 308, 223, 7.62×39, 22 long rifle and shotgun shells.

My buddy stockpiles 2 different types of  ammo for his 308 rifle – ball and hunting ammo.

Ball ammo – is your target round and urban defense round.  When my buddy goes to the shooting range, he will shoot ball and most of his magazines are loaded with ball ammo.  The plus side of ball ammo, its cheap when compared to the more expensive hunting ammo.

Hunting ammo – this is the ammo your going to be using to hunt deer, moose, elk, wild hogs,,,,, whatever goes in your neck of the woods.  Currently my buddy stocks some kind of expensive Hornady ammo that cost something like $35 – $40 for a box of 20.

Instead of stockpiling 2 different types of ammo for my DS Arms FAL, I’am thinking of stockpiling 1 type.  This would be something good for hunting, but does not cost a small fortune.  My current deer hunting round is a Remington Core-Lokt in either 30-30 or 7mm express / 280 Remington.  Over the years I dont know how many deer I have taken with the Remington Core-Lokt.  On thin skinned game like the whitetail deer, its very effective.

east texas whitetail 8 point buckThis deer season my son took a nice East Texas Whitetail 8 point that weighed in at 156 pounds.

Last year my dad took a nice 6 pound that weighed around 125 – 130 pounds.

2 years ago my son harvested a doe.  She dropped where she stood when that 15 grain 30-30 Remington Core-Lokt hit her.

3 years ago my son harvested a 6 point.  He ran about 20 feet after that Remington Core-Lokt hit him.

4 and 5 years ago I harvested 2 – 8 points.

3 years ago I got a nice 9 point East Texas Whitetail.

The list goes on and on.

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Post Apocalyptic Survival Gear

List of survival gear that I think would be useful in a post apocalyptic world.

1. Knowledge – This starts with having an understanding of how the human species acts during a long term survival situation. Find some history books on amazon about the black death of 1348 – 1350. Read those books and get a grasp on how people acted and what they resorted to. Some of the stories look like they came straight out of a Hollywood movie – like starving people digging up dead bodies to cannibalize the remains.

Part of your survival library should include resource material on gardening, raising livestock and farming.

First aid manuals with information on diseases and wound treatment.

2. Water filter – Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist. Diseases like Cholera, Typhoid, E. Coli, Cryptosporidiosis, Giardiasis, Shigella and Salmonella can wipe out entire communities in a matter of days.

There are water filters, and then there are “water filters.”  If you have a family with 4, 5 6,,, 12 people, then adjust your water filter size to fits your needs.

Then there is the problem of drinking water in an urban survival situation. Most people that live in cities do not have access to a water well or a creek or stream. Once the water gets cut off, thats it.

Related Article:  Survivalist Water Filter Options

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Thoughts on stockpiling food for SHTF

eversafe meal mre survivalist foodOne of the survivalist mindsets that has been around for a long time, is that you need 1 years worth of food stockpiled; that you should have 1 years worth of food for every member in the house. If someone has the time and money to manage such a project, then good for you. But personally, I do not have the room, money, or time to put towards maintaining a 1 year food stockpile. Its no easy project to maintain all of that food without letting it expire or spoil. Expiration dates need to be kept along with a running inventory. If you eat out of your food stocks to keep everything rotated, then list will need to be kept as to what was eaten and what needs to be replaced.

I never have been one that subscribed to the “massive stockpiling of food” mindset. Stockpile food – yes. But not to the point where rotating your food and keeping track of inventory consumes a lot of your time. Over the years I have seen people that have dedicated a massive amount of time to their food stockpile – everything from calorie counting, to spreadsheets that list every single little item.

My plans are more like stockpile what you eat, and have normal food rotation. Instead of having 1 or 2 jars of pickles, have 3 jars. Instead of having 2 or 3 cans of ravioli, have 4 or 5. Instead of having 10 pounds of rice, have 30 pounds, instead of having 1 jar of honey, keep 2 or 3 in stock.

On top of that, I keep a nice stockpile of seeds for gardening.

I look at survivalist food preps as layers:

1st layer – the frozen food in your freezer. If kept cold, this might be able to supply most families with 3 – 5 days worth of food. The thing is, stand up freezers do not stay cold without electricity. Once an upright unit is opened a few times, all the cold air is gone. Chest freezers stay colder longer, and have some good quality ice chest on hand, like a 5 or 7 day coleman extreme.

2nd layer – MREs or eversafe meals. 1 case of MREs should be enough food for 1 person for about 6 days. Each case has 12 meals in it – eating 2 MREs daily should give 6 days worth of food.

3rd layer – is your canned and dried foods.

4th layer – is your long term survival food supply – your livestock and or garden.

I would rather have 4 – 6 months of food stockpiled, and enough seeds for 2 or 3 years worth of gardens, and that stockpile requires little rotation. Then to stockpile 12 months of food, and have to dedicate a lot of time and effort into keeping that food rotated.

The 13 hens my wife and I have are laying between 6 – 10 eggs everyday. Eggs will be a good source of protein and fat during a long term SHTF situation.

The only real solution to long term survival is having livestock and a garden. So why not make the garden and livestock part of your plans to start with? To me, stockpiling food is a short term solution to a long term problem. Having several months of food stockpiled is a great idea, but it only addresses part of the problem. To address the “whole” problem, and to have a well rounded solution, then there must be a start and finish point.

Starting point – to have stockpiled food for an instant solution.

Ending point – to have a self-sustaining farm with livestock and garden.

Post your comments in this forum thread about stockpiling food.

Thoughts on hunting post SHTF

whitetail deer hunting post shtfDuring the great depression of the 1930s, whitetail deer and wild turkey were almost hunted to extinction in certain areas around the USA.  From what I understand, the East Texas wild turkey was hunted to extinction levels, and birds had to be imported from other parts of the nation to restore the population.  The same thing happened to the whitetail deer population in East Texas.  The one animal that does not seem to be affected from hunting is the wild hog.  Even though the majority of the 50 states has an open season on wild hogs, their population is still thriving.

One of the big differences between wild turkeys, whitetail deer and wild hogs – is the amount of off spring that can be produced.  Deer and turkeys reproduce once a year.  Wild hogs are like rats, they reproduce all the time.

Wild Turkeys – If you harvest 3 wild turkeys out of a flock, they will not be replaced until the following year.  Female wild turkeys can lay about 12 eggs at a time.  Survival rate of the turkey poults (chicks) is determined by a lot of factors – such as, if there are fire ants close to the nest, and the raccoon population. Fire ants will attack, kill and eat the turkey chicks. Studies have shown that the higher the raccoon the population in a given area, the lower the survival rate of egg laying animals. Whether its ducks or turkeys, raccoons will raid the nest and steal the eggs.

Whitetail Deer – Whitetail deer reproduce once a year, and the doe may only drop 2 fawns at a time. Out of those 2 fawns, only 1 may survive into adulthood. Several factors help determine yawn survival rate – fire ants (yet again), wild hog population, coyote population, wolf population, bears,,,,,,. If a wild hog finds a newborn fawn, they may kill and eat the fawn. Hogs are omnivores, meaning they eat just about anything and that includes yawns. Does will not start reproducing until they are 1.5 – 2.5 years of age

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Book of Eli

It was on January 16, 2010 when my son and I went to go see the Book of Eli. If I remember right, it was cool night, not too cold through. To say that the movie is a “survival movie” might be a little misleading. Through the course of events the hero of the movie, Denzel Washington runs into several situations that might be considered “survival” in nature – such as personal hygiene post SHTF, finding food and water and dealing with thugs.

Lets just fast forward to the end – the Book of Eli probably has one of the best endings that a movie could ever have. Denzel Washington recites the Bible to Malcolm McDowell, who in turn takes notes and has the Bible published.

Power struggle – Whats interesting in the movie, is the power struggle. Water is rationed as a hold over the peoples head, when in fact there are underground streams with enough water for everyone to have plenty. The antagonist of the Book of Eli (Gary Oldman) restricts the flow of water to maintain a control over the people. Since the people do not know how to access the streams except by a water pump, they become submissive.

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Bug out location essentials

This past weekend was opening deer season for rifle hunters. While I was at the deer camp, I noticed a few things that would make life a little easier at a Bug Out Location. Lets take a look at some of the items on the list and talk about the essentials and some considerations.

bug out location water towerRunning water – modern civilization is built off of several things: running water, sanitation and the ability to make hot water, only to name a few. Having a raised water tower makes most of the items on that list possible. Through running water we are able to wash our hands, flush our toilets, and run water through a hot water heater (propane powered of course).

Having a raised water tower is easier then a lot of people think.  Farm supply stores sell water tanks is sizes like 250 gallon, 500 gallon and 750 gallon.  With the help of some power tools, stainless steel or galvanized lag bolts, rubber strips for washers, drill bits,  some 8 – 10 foot round poles for legs, PVC pipes and fittings, some hard work, sweat and custom engineering, its very possible to have your very own raised water tower.  With the base of the tower just 5 – 6 feet off the ground, this can create enough pressure for people to wash their hands, fill a toilet, and maybe even run the water through a small hot water heater.

To keep the water tank filled up, pump water from a nearby creek with a solar powered water pump, or have a well put down and install a hand pump on the well.

With a “little” imagination, custom engineering, sweat and determination,  just about anything is possible, and that includes running water without electricity.

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If SHTF would you have a future

radish survival garden

Home Grown Radishes

There was a line in 28 Days Later that got me to thinking.  Its after the group leaves the city and finds their way to the house controlled by the soldiers.  The commanding officer takes Jim (played by Cillian Murphy)  into a courtyard where an infected soldier is chained up.

The commanding officer tells the Jim that the infected soldier provides a lot of information. Jim says something along the lines of “what does he tell you?” The commanding officer explains that the infected solider will never raise crops, he will never raise livestock, he will never bake bread, he has no future. And eventually, he will tell me how long the infected take to starve to death.”

This brings up the question, post SHTF, how many people will “have no future”?

How many people will be unable to raise crops,
How many people will be unable to raise livestock,
How many people will be unable to hunt,
How many people will be unable to bake bread,
How many people will be able to adapt to a new lifestyle,

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Bug out location cooking solutions

bug out location cookingIts one thing to have a remote camp that you and your family visits on the weekends, its another thing to have this camp prepped and ready to go for a disaster.  Having the camp prepped means the difference between having a bug out location, or having a weekend get away.  One of the comforts of modern life we take for granted is the ability to cook.  We walk into the kitchen, and turn on the oven, stove, microwave, crock pot, or toaster without ever giving it a single thought – until the power goes off that is.

What are your plans for cooking with no electricity?  Some people might have a grill on the back porch, some people might have a wood burning stove, with others may have no cooking options at all.  Some people might have natural gas – but natural gas requires pumps to be working between your house and the natural gas supplier.  When those pumps stop working, the natural gas stops flowing.

Lets divide cooking into three layers:

Personal cooking
Family / Unit cooking
Communal cooking

Personal cooking – this is a small camp fire, or maybe a single burner stove, something just big enough to cook for 1 or 2 people. Examples could include a Vargo stove, camp fire, Coleman 533 dual fuel stove, single burner propane stove,,, something just big enough to cook for 1 or 2 people.

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Rabies post shtf

bug out wildernessThe other day I saw one of those “life after mankind” shows, in which they were talking about dogs, and the role that rabies will play. The show said that rabies was going to run rampant if some kind of SHTF situation happened.  There was talk that rabies was going to take its toll on domesticated dogs shortly after the event.  I think its going to take a few years for rabies to make a rebound.  The reason being, rabies is not near as widespread as it used to be.  That does not mean it can not make a comeback.  Rabies is still out there, there is no doubt about that.  But its like anything else, the infection is going to have to slowly spread back into the community.

Lets take Texas as an example:

DSHS does rabies vaccine air drops in parts of Texas where rabies has been reported. A rabies vaccine pill is wrapped in meat, and then dropped across a given area. Source – Texas DSHS rabies air drop

Most responsible pet owners have their dogs vaccinated against rabies.

The Texas DSHS recommends:

Quote:

Impoundment and elimination of all stray dogs: This program requires suitable impoundment quarters, and facilities for the humane destruction of unwanted animals. Trained animal control personnel are also necessary.

Source – Texas DSHS Rabies Facts

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