Homesteading and Survivalism

Ramblings Of A Bored Survivalist

Prepping In Breadth But Not Depth

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 24, 2013 2 Comments

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?Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalist

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.

How does this relate to survivalism

If you have adopted survivalism as a way of life, a lot of what you see, read, hear and do is somehow related to survivalism.




Dividing Resources In Your Long Term Survival Plans

Posted by Kevin Felts On December 24, 2012 1 Comment

Like a lot of people my wife and I have limited resources. We are just everyday middle class people trying to get by. Just like everyone else we pay our taxes, pay the electric bill, internet, health insurance,,,,. Once everything is paid we try to decide how to save money.

The issue we are running into, my wife and I are looking at moving away from Jasper Texas to a rural area. Jasper is already rural, but we want to get further away from town.

We need to put a water well on the land, sewer system, build a chicken yard,,, and a few ether odds and ends to get our new life started.

Then came the Adam Lanza incident and renewed calls for an assault rifle ban.

I am finding myself pulled into some of the panic buying. There was a short period of time between the shooting and Dianne Feinstein calling for more gun control and prices going through the roof. During that short time period I picked up another AR-15 for less then $1,000.

A gun store has some AR-15s for $1,300 each. As I consider buying another AR while I still can, I keep thinking about what that $1,300 could pay for at the homestead. We could probably put down a septic system for between $1,500 and $2,000.




BGS the key to long term survival

Posted by Kevin Felts On December 22, 2012 0 Comments

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistBeans, Guns and Seeds – the three things that are key to surviving a long term SHTF situation. Water should be a given, there there is no real need in discussing that. If someone needs to be reminded that they need safe drinking water, then natural selection needs to take effect.

Why do I put Beans, Guns and Seeds in that order? Why not have it GSB, or BSG,,, or some other combination?

Beans – your food stockpile

Guns – security

Seeds – renewable and sustainable food sources

A few weeks ago a buddy of mine and I were talking about food during a long term SHTF event. Most survivalist have some kind of food stockpile. But once those food stores run out, what then?

Group 1 – Bug out to the wilderness to live off the land.

Group 2 – Have some kind of homestead setup with a garden, livestock, fruit trees,,, renewable and sustainable food sources.

Chances are group 1 is going to develop dysentery, and either starve to death, or die from some kind of infection.

Group 2 will have shelter, fresh food, safe drinking water, security, private property,,,.

Ask yourself, if society as we know it right now, where would you rather be, camping in the wilderness, or safe at home in your bed.

Some examples of my BGS theory:




Bug Out Location For Future Generations

Posted by Kevin Felts On December 13, 2012 0 Comments

A few months ago I was over at my aunts house. As we were talking, she told me how my grandfather would take her on these camping / hunting trips on some property my grandfather owned on the Trinity River here in Texas.

The land was a couple of acres, right on the river that bordered national forest. They would camp on the property, then hunt in the national forest. It was a remote area that was only accessible by boat. So it was doubtful that they would run into strangers.

While my aunt was telling about their various hunting trips, and how cold and miserable she would be, I was thinking about how a piece of land like that could be used as a last resort Bug Out Location. Instead of bugging out to wilderness that will probably be on public land, having private property would be ideal.

On my dads side of the family there is some land that has been passed through three generations, its where my wife and I hope to build our homestead at in 2013. Knowing that you have land that you can go to at anytime provides a sense of comfort, a sense of security and a sense of stability.

Related Links:

Moving to the homestead part 1

Moving to the homestead part 2




Surviving SHTF

Posted by Kevin Felts On November 8, 2012 0 Comments

Chickens in the chicken coopFor 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.

In addition to a Berkey water filter, I also have a SteriPEN Sidewinder.

The Sidewinder uses UV light to kill any pathogens that may slip through the water filter.




Prepping Fatigue

Posted by Kevin Felts On November 4, 2012 4 Comments

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistSooner or later everyone in the prepping/survivalist community deals with prepping fatigue. Whether you have been prepping for a year, two years, ten years or twenty plus years, sooner or later you are going to get fatigued.

Due to the way I was raised by my parents, the way my grandparents lived on a small farm, and the atmosphere of the cold war in the 1970s, I would say my parents and grandparents conditioned me to be a prepper.

To me, survivalism is a way of life rather then a hobby.

Some people get into prepping like they do a lot of other things. Whether its getting in shape, going back to school, jogging, working out, stop smoking, stop drinking,,, most people are sincere in their actions.

Then they realize how much time and effort prepping can take. For some people its a matter of buying some canned goods and bottled water. Then there are the people who allow their lives to be consumed.

Like everything else in life, balance comes with moderation.

A few ways I deal with prepping fatigue




Hammer for your survival tool kit

Posted by Kevin Felts On October 28, 2012 0 Comments

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.




PEACHES PEARS CHERRIES and GRAPES

Posted by Kevin Felts On October 7, 2012 0 Comments

Our harsh, capricious climate north of the latitudes of Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and St. Louis—so much severer than that of corresponding latitudes in Europe—is unfavorable, or at least very trying, to all the more delicate and luscious Fruits, berries excepted. Except on our Pacific coast, of which the Winter temperature is at least ten degrees milder than that of the Atlantic, the finer Peaches and Grapes are grown with difficulty north of the fortieth degree of latitude, save in a few specially favored localities, whereof the southern shore of Lake Erie is most noted, though part of that of Lake Ontario and of the west coast of Lake Michigan are likewise well adapted to the Peach.

It is not the mere fact that the mercury in Fahrenheit’s thermometer sometimes ranges below zero, and the earth is deeply frozen, but the suddenness wherewith such rigor succeeds and is succeeded by a temperature above the freezing point, that proves so inhospitable to the most valued Tree-Fruits. And, as the dense forests which formerly clothed the Alleghenies and the Atlantic slope, are year by year swept away, the severity of our “cold snaps,” and the celerity with which they appear and disappear, are constantly aggravated. A change of 60°, or from 50° above to 10° below zero, between morning and the following midnight, soon followed by an equally rapid return to an average November temperature, often proves fatal even to hardy forest-trees. I have had the Red Cedar in my woods killed by scores during an open, capricious Winter; and my observation indicates the warmest spots in a forest as those where trees are most likely to be thus destroyed.




Using manure as fertilizer

Posted by Kevin Felts On October 7, 2012 2 Comments

BARN OR STABLE MANURE

Barn or stable manure consists of the solid and liquid excrement of any of the farm animals mixed with the straw or other materials used as bedding for the comfort of the animals and to absorb the liquid parts.

The liquid parts should be saved, as they contain more than half of the nitrogen and potash in the manure.

The value of barn manure for improving the soil conditions necessary for root growth depends in a measure upon the plant food in it, but chiefly upon the very large proportion of organic matter which it contains when it is applied to the soil.

These factors are influenced somewhat: by the kind of animal that produces the manure; by the kind of food the animal receives; by the kind and amount of litter or bedding used; but they depend particularly on the way the manure is cared for after it is produced.




Crop Rotation

Posted by Kevin Felts On October 7, 2012 0 Comments

Rotation of crops economizes the natural plant food of the soil and also that which is applied in the form of manure and fertilizer. This is because:

Crops take food from the soil in different amounts and different proportions.

Crops differ in their feeding powers.

Crops differ in the extent and depth to which they send their roots into the soil in search of food and water.

Crops differ in the time of year at which they make their best growths.

Rotation helps to maintain or improve the texture of the soil because the amount of humus in the soil is maintained or increased by turning under green manure and cover crops which should occur in every well-planned rotation.




Designing a long term survival garden

Posted by Kevin Felts On October 5, 2012 8 Comments

Lets say SHTF tomorrow, you break out your seed stockpile, till up some soil, and then what? You plant your seeds and hopefully grow something.

The first year everything goes ok because you have some commercial fertilizer and get plenty of rainfall. The second year does not go so well because you have depleted your fertilizer stockpile and there is a drought.

At this point yall are probably saying, “I will just do some composting and everything will be fine.”

This is the difference in survivalism as a theory and survivalism as an experience.

Where is that compost going to come from? Do you have livestock so you have access to manure? What kind of livestock do you have? Do you have rabbits, chickens, goats, cow, horse,,, something else? Or were you planning on obtaining livestock after SHTF? Do you have a garden plot planned out, or were you going to bug out to the wilderness and plant your garden there?

Fenced Garden Section

Long term survival garden diagramThe goal is to be able to use one of the 25 feet x 100 feet sections for 1 complete year. But to do this my wife and I will need access to material for composting and manure.

There is a practice called square foot gardening, its where you build a box 2 feet wide, and X number of feet long. Each plant takes up 1 square foot inside the box.

My plan, based on the square foot garden concept is to build a box 3 feet wide and X number of feet long. Each box would be 2-2x14s stacked on top of each other. This would give the box a height of about 26 1/2 inches. During the off season each box would be used as a compost bin.




Homestead as a Bug Out Location

Posted by Kevin Felts On September 15, 2012 0 Comments

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?

Homestead / Bug Out Location garden diagram

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.




What kind of disaster are you prepping for

Posted by Kevin Felts On September 9, 2012 0 Comments

There is an interesting thread in the forum that got me to thinking; that thread is what are you truly prepping for? What kind of disaster are you preparing for? Are you prepping for an outbreak of a new disease, long term civil unrest, nuclear war,,, or something else?

My personal opinion, as long as you and your family are prepping, at least you are going in the right direction. The difference is the degree of readiness.

I can not tell you what to prep for. All I can do is tell you how my family and I are prepping.

My long term survival plans include food production, safe drinking water and property protection.

Food Production

Raising chickens for a long term survival situationDuring the Black Death of 1348 – 1350 starvation probably killed as many people as the bubonic plague. Modern society is based on farms and modern transportation. Where would our grocery stores be without trucks, fuel and highways?

Just like the city dwellers of the middle ages, city dwellers of today depend on farmers, roads, transportation and merchants to maintain a steady supply of food to the cities. If just one or two items in the supply line break down, people will go hungry. When people get hungry, society breaks down.

Lets say you went to the grocery store tomorrow and the shelves were empty, what would you do? What is your long term food solution?




The United States economy will never recover

Posted by Kevin Felts On September 6, 2012 0 Comments

From time to time people in the news like to say “The US economy is recovering”. Well, I am here to tell you the economy of the United States will never recover.

As long as we have free trade with nations like China, the US economy will continue to free fall.

The federal reserve and the government can prop the economy up for short periods of time, but these fixes are temporary.

Article on Yahoo News – Lost Middle-Class Jobs Being Replaced by Burger-Flipping and Retail Gigs: NELP Study

For the past 2 decades we have been told the United States job market is shifting from manufacturing to service orientated jobs. Unless you are a doctor, lawyer, banker,,, someone that provides a valuable service, the service job market is going to be low wage jobs.




From wikipedia – The Chicken of Tomorrow is a 1948 documentary short film about advances in chicken and egg farming. This mini-documentary was narrated by Lowell Thomas and is in the public domain.

The film was mocked in a seventh-season episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The Chicken of Tomorrow deals with poultry farming and egg farming in the mid 1940s. Filmed to educate the public about how poultry and eggs are farmed, it also deals with how advances in genetic engineering and technology produces a larger chicken. Eggs are farmed and kept in industrial incubators, and an equal number of chickens are used for meat and other products. Altogether, this produces more food for less money, and allows people to support local poultry farms without breaking the bank. This is relatively similar to today’s poultry farming despite there now being technological differences.

The chicken of tomorrow should provide some food for thought for survivalist who are raising chickens. Do you want a flock of skinny chicken for your family? Or do you want types of chickens that have plump full breast and will lay plenty of eggs?

Do you want chickens that are slow growers and susceptible to disease? Or do you want chickens that mature quickly, lay good quality eggs, have a nice thick breast and resistant to disease?