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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mid term storage – these are the foods that can be stored for several months before they have to be eaten. This list includes pecans, certain types of squash, potatoes, onions.
Certain fruits can be and dehydrated and stored long period of time. If you have some wire trays available, place the fruit on the tray, and put the tray into something hot – like a car or truck with the windows slightly cracked. During the summer time, the inside of a truck or car can reach 40 degrees higher then the outside temperature. So if its 80 degrees outside, the inside of a car can reach the 120s. With outside temps in the 90 to lower 100s, temps inside a car or truck can reach around 140 degrees. In other words, the inside of a truck or car can act as a dehydrator for drying stuff like apple slices and plums to make prunes.
Long term storage – these are the foods that can be grown in the summer time, dried and stored through the winter. This includes pecans, wheat, barley, peas, beans and corn.
Last 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.
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, society and 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.
One 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.
During 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.
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.
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 o Eli (Gary Oldman) restricts the flow of water to maintain a control over the people.
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 them.
Running 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.
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”?
Its 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:
Family / Unit 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.
One of those “life after mankind” shows talked about dogs, and the role that rabies will play. They said that rabies was going to run rampant if some kind of SHTF situation happened. They were saying that rabies was going to take its toll on domesticated dogs shortly after the event. But 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. But that does not mean it can not make a comeback.
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.