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?
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.
Over the past couple of months my chickens were fed different types of feed along with their laying mash. During this observation the hens were between 7 – 8 months old.
Breeds include Barred rock, Rhode island red, Jersey giant, Silver laced wyandotte, Australorp and Speckled sussex.
Time of year during this observation was August – early October. Daytime temps ranged between the mid 80s – mid to upper 90s.
Oats, hen scratch and laying crumbles
For close to a month the chickens were given a 4 – 5 ounce scoop of feed oats, 4 – 5 ounces of hen scratch, a 3 – 4 ounce scoop of crushed oyster shell for calcium. Free access to Arrow Feeds poultry laying crumbles was provided at all times.
The Hens were let out of the coop early in the morning right around sunrise. The mixture of feed oats, hen scratch and ground oyster shell were spread over the ground for the chickens to pick up.
Egg production slowly dropped until the hens were laying around 5 – 6 eggs a day.
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.
One of the main purposes of a Homestead Bug Out Location is to be able to grow fresh food. Its one thing to have a years worth of dried beans and rice stored in mylar bags, its something totally different to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Sooner or later the #10 cans will run out, sooner or later the mylar bags will run out,,, and then what?
In my chicken coop project I learned that its going to take an estimated 6 months to get a small farm off the ground.
Its possible to work the soil, plant some radishes and have food ready to eat in a matter of 4 – 5 weeks. Radishes grow quick and the whole plant is edible. But who wants to live off radishes? Once you start talking about squash, corn, greens, potatoes and beans, you are looking at 2 – 4 months.
What are your plans for a sustainable food source after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI? In other words, what are your food sources going to be during a long term disaster? Lets define long term as a disaster lasting at least 6 months. This could be a new disease, long term civil unrest, nuclear war, financial collapse,,, something that disrupts modern society.
This article will attempt to divide gathering food during a long term disaster into 3 categories: foraging, growing or raising food, and a combination of the two.
For this article, foraging is defined as hunting, fishing, trapping, picking berries, digging roots,,,. Anything having to do with the collection of wild growing plants and animals.
Every year a buddy of mine and I spend three days camping on the Angelina River close to Jasper Texas. During those three days we go fishing, look for food, scout for wildlife,,, just try to put our Bug Out to the Wilderness skills to the test.
In a real life, most people that bug out to the wilderness will probably end up starving to death. Or, will be driven back to society in the search for food. That is if the person does not contract some kind of waterborne disease and die of dysentery.
For those of you that do not know what happened in 1348, that is when the Black Death (bubonic plague) entered Europe. Possibly as many as 1/3 of the entire population of Europe died between 1348 – 1350.
Humans have harnessed science. Not that we fully understand science, but at least we have some kind of working grasp. We have vaccines, antibiotics, medical care, hospitals and trained medical professionals.
One thing that has not changed, is human greed. When the Swine Flu was first reported in Mexico, the president of the U.S. refused to close the borders. Closing the borders would cost companies too much money. When a new disease develops, we can expect the government and big business to put profits ahead of public safety. Human greed knows no limits.
Hunting and fishing is one thing that has drastically changed over the past 600+ years. Today, fishing poles, fishing line, hooks, bait, rifles, shotguns, ammunition,,,, is common place in most society.
If worse came to worse, most people have a fishing pole they can do down to a local lake or river and go fishing. Items used for outdoor sports can be used as survival gear during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation. In the 1340s people did not have access to such sporting gear.
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.
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.