Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: post shtf plans

Hammer for your survival tool kit

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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?

Safe drinking water

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.

Food production

My hammer for food production is either my seed stockpile or my chickens.

For the past few years I have been stockpiling all kinds of heirloom / open pollinated seeds.  Some of my seed stockpile includes corn, squash, spinach, peas, beans, onions, zucchini,,, just all kinds of stuff.

Chickens have a production lifespan.  After a few years hen slow down on their egg production and roosters have a prime of their life for breeding.  My hammer would be a rooster that would produce chicks.  The problem is, I do not have a rooster.

After my wife and I get moved to the homestead we will get at least one rooster.  This would help provide a couple of generations of chickens.

I have a cousin that lives a few hundred yards from where my wife and I want to move to.  Maybe my cousin and I can exchange roosters and hens?  Exchanging roosters would help keep fresh DNA in the gene pool.

Personal hygiene after SHTF

One of the big issues after SHTF will be disease prevention and personal hygiene.  How do you build a tool kit for disease prevention during a long term SHTF survival situation?

We can stockpile hand sanitizer and hand soap for the short term, but what about the long term?

The key to personal hygiene after SHTF is having access to safe drinking water.

Three day trip to the camp

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survivalist campOn July 30th, 2010 my family and I headed to the camp for 3 days for a little get away. One of the things that I like to do on these little “get aways” is to take notes, and figure out ways to improve – what went right, what went wrong, and what can we do differently.

One thing that I wanted to test on this trip was the Royal Berkey water filter from – this will be covered in another article, its just too much to go into right now.

One thing that happened, was while the guys were washing off the 4-wheelers, the water hose was left on and the well was drained. So we were without water for about 12 hours – 8pm, until a little after 8 am. By turning off the water pump, the well had time to fill back up.

The propane tank is down to about 40 percent, so it needs to be filled back up. If you wait until the winter to fill it up, your probably going to be put on a waiting list.

In all, there were 7 people staying at the camp – and everyone had a place to sleep with a little room for more.

We had a 128 quart ice chest in the kitchen that was helping keep the food cold – but we also have a refrigerator and freezer.

Dealing with weather conditions – One of the big issues was the heat – the day time high temps were in the high 90s and low 100s. Any time of physical activity in the direct sun light resulted in instant sweat and fatigue. After only a couple of hours of working in the sun, it felt like I had been working for 8 – 10 hours.

One of the projects was to work on the shed – water had been getting around the door jam for several years and the boards had rotted away. It just so happened and the door of the shed faces east – straight into the rising sun. Even though work was started around 8 – 9 am, it felt like I was working in an oven.

This brings up an interesting topic, lets say that some kind of long term SHTF situation occurs, a lot of people are not going to be up to the physical labor needed to start a working farm. Lets say that a family has access to a 2 acre field that they can plant crops on. First the land has to be cleared – which can take days, if not weeks. And what about the physical demands that its going to take to work the land? Can most people of this current generation work a field with hand tools – in the hot sun – for 8, 10, 12 or 14 hours a day?

Some of the common problems with using hand tools includes injuries to the hands and feet. Why the feet? Because people that do not know how to use hoes and rakes my hit their feet by accident. People who do not take foot safety seriously, may learn their lesson the hard way.

So here I am, on the lawn mower, cutting grass that is almost 2 feet deep, wondering “how” this would be going if this was a SHTF situation and not a relaxing trip to the camp. Would it be better to burn the grass, and put the fuel towards a tiller, or save it for the truck in case I needed to go somewhere.

Food for thought – Lets say that you have 2 – 3 weeks worth of food at the camp – SHTF – its going to take a few days to get the crops planted, and several weeks before anything starts to grow. So what do you do between the time your food preps run out, and your crops come in?

July and August are the worst months for the Texas heat.  You step out of the door, and it feels like your stepping into an oven.  The physiological and physical effects that can have one someone can be very profound.  When you working outside, it feels like a weight has been attached to your body, and the heat feels like its sucking the life out of your body.  Even with shade and plenty of water, expect very little relief.

Some of the big issues that I see:

Fresh food – within a few days people are going to be living out of cans.  With eating a lot of canned goods also increases your sodium intake.

Keeping food good – even though you might have a freezer full of food, its going to do little good if the power is off and the food spoils.

Physical demands – most people today are not used to physical labor for 6, 8 or even 10 hours a day.

Transportation – your camp might only be 100 miles from your location, but its not doing you any good if you dont have fuel for your car or truck.

This video was posted to youtube on February 22, 2009. I think its related to the subject of this article.

Post your comments in this forum thread about survival retreats.

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Food sources in a post apocalyptic world

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Lets discuss food sources in a post apocalyptic world after SHTF.  Survivalist have a wide range of ideas on how to get food in a post apocalyptic world.  Some of these ideas cover everything from living a hunter-gather lifestyle, to living off of food stocks until society recovers, to farming and gardening.   Lets take a look at some of these ideas and make some comparisons.

The plans that each Survivalist has will vary widely depending on actual experience and training.  The plans range from the very well thought out and tested plans, to spur of the moment ideas.

Lets set the tone for this article – a new virus has developed that has a 90% fatality rate.  This is like what the Black Death was in 1348 – 1350, where 1/3 of Europe died.   Society has broken down to the point where no food or fuel supplies are being shipped.  People will not leave their homes except to find food – which gets more difficult to find.  Finally, people have to do “something” so they do not starve to death.

One survivalist approach is to Bug Out to the wilderness and live off the land – this is also called the “Bug Out Bag” theory.  In the event of a world wide disaster, the survivalist is going to grab their Bug Out Bag, then take their family out to the wilderness to live off the land.

This is reminiscent of prehistoric man living a hunter-gather subsistence lifestyle. There are several problems with this situation:

  • There is no support chain – if you need help, your own your own.
  • Very few people have the skills to live a hunter-gather lifestyle.
  • People have difficulty adjusting to sudden changes in their lifestyle.
  • Deforestation has destroyed a lot of native edible plants.
  • A lot of wild edible plants are seasonal.
  • Unsafe drinking water – people that adhere to the Bug Out Bag theory, underestimate the effects of water borne pathogens, as their primary source of water will be from streams, lakes or rivers.
  • At the mercy of the weather – rain or shine, hot or cold, your just gonna have to tough it out.

To a lot of people, these points do not matter. If Homo Erectus, Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon and early Homo Sapiens could survive for tens of thousands of years with simple stone tools, then so can they.

Bug out bag theorist forget – once agriculture was developed, the hunter-gather lifestyle was abandoned. Why expend so much energy hunting and gathering food, when it can be grown?


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