Entries Tagged ‘post shtf’

Long term survival food preps

comfort food post disasterWhen someone says “survival food preps” or “stockpiling survival food“, what do you think of?  Do you think of tons of dried rice and beans stored in mylar bags?  How about a basement full of #10 cans, does that come to mind?  Or is it a combination of several things?

When I was thinking of writing an article about survival food preps, the first thing that popped into my head was – MREs, canned goods and garden seeds.  But where does perishable goods fit into that narrow picture?  For the first week or so people are going to be eating stuff out of their freezer.  For the sake of discussion, lets move past that first week post SHTF.  Something bad has happened, the food in the grocery stores has dried up, people have gone through their immediate perishable food items,,,, now what?

A book about the Roman military I just finished reading contained a quote from an ancient historian – “nothing caused as much stress within the troops as the lack of supplies.”  Just like it says, when the supplies started to run low, the stress level went up.  2,000 years later, and nothing has changed.

When people worry about paying their house note, stress goes up.

When people worry about not having the money to pay the rent, stress goes up.

When people worry about having food to eat, stress is “really” going to go up.

People are visual animals – we like to see stuff.  There has been test that showed that just the sight of food can relieve stress.  When I open an empty cabinet, my stress level instantly goes up.  Thats why I think it would be a good idea to have food out where people can see it post SHTF.  Maybe not food that can spoil, but leave some cans of chili on the cabinet, leave a few MREs out, leave a bag of rice out,,,, stuff that bugs can not get into, but gives the members of your party something to look at.

Types of survival food preps:

MREs / Pre-Packaged Meals

Examples can include the Just in Case Meals from Prepared.pro, the good ole military Meal Ready to Eat, Eversafe Meals, Sure-Pak MREs, Mainstay meals and everything in between.

One thing that I really like about the pre-packaged meals, they can be handed out members of the group, and eaten when their ready.  Communal cooking and eating is good, but not everyone is ready to eat at the same time.  Having their own meals allows people to snack or eat their meals when their ready – on top of the communal meals.

A case of MREs contains 12 packaged meals.  Because each package contains so much food it in, each MRE might contain 1.25 – 2 servings.  Depending on the activity level of the person, they might eat more or less of the MRE.  But for the sake of discussion lets say that the average person only eats 75% of everything in the MRE – leaving the desert, beans, cracker, snack bread or peanut butter for later.  This means that a case of MREs might feed 1 person for 5 – 7 days.

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Conclusions from Black Friday

knivesI like to take situations where people interact, watch how the people interact and then I make notes. As the level of stress goes up, the worse people seem to interact. A good example is Black Friday. For those of you who do not know what Black Friday is – its the day after Thanksgiving when retailers offer some great specials. The companies offer specials to get people into the store. Hopefully the people will buy more then just whats on sale. These specials offer people a chance to snatch up some great deals. Considering the current economic times, there are a lot of people looking for whatever deals they can find.

Here at the local wal-mart, a couple of people got in a fight over some towels – 1 person was arrested and 1 person went to the hospital.

What can you “really” say about a society where people fight over towels that cost $1.33.

For the most part things went well at the local stores – some people got upset that there were not enough items for everyone. The local wal-mart had some Emachine laptops for $198. My daughter and I got in line around 11:15pm – the sale started at 5am.

People were showing up anywhere from 3am – 5am wanting to get in line for the laptops. One guy and his wife got there around 4am, saw the line was established and all of the vouchers for the laptops had been handed out.  From there the husband got rather upset, got a manager over to the line and got a little loud.  The manager said there was nothing he could do, that the people in line were there before he was.

There seemed to be 4 types of people:

Group 1 – Willing to fight over the smallest items.  This is the group that bothers me the most.  These are the people that are willing to infect physical violence to get what they want.  We are not talking about fighting over food during some kind of long term disaster, we are talking about people fighting over towels that cost $1.33.

If the people of group 1 are willing to inflict physical violence over small value items, what are the people of this group capable of during a disaster?  If their willing to fight over an item that cost $1.33, are they willing to kill over an item that cost $5?

Group 2 – Get there early, establish your place in line and wait.  I would consider this an orderly group and abides by the rules and laws of the land.

Group 3 – Get there late, and complain that people are ahead of them.  I would consider this a group of trouble makers.  The problem comes in when people from the violent group 1 and group 3 are 1 in the same.  Where the people of group 1 can show up at anytime – early or late, people of group 3 show up late.  These are the people that fail to size up the situation, fail to plan, and then get mad at others for their own failures.

Group 4 – the people that shop online and stay away from stressful situations with the public.  After some kind of disaster, these are the people who pull from their own resources and will not have to stand in line for food handouts.

To me, this provides examples of types of people that we might see in some kind of disaster. The 2 groups that I worry about are the ones that are willing to inflict physical harm for access to the smallest items. And the group of people that get there late, and are angry that they missed they failed to plan ahead.

Post your comments in this forum thread about Black Friday rushes.

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 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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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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Where would you hunt after TEOTWAWKI

over grown road hunting leaseYesterday evening while heading to the woods for a hog hunting trip, an interesting conversation came up between everyone in the truck – “where will you be hunting at this deer season?”  My son and I are on a deer lase, so we have a place to hunt.  But the other 2 people in the truck do not have a place where they can not.  They have to rely on the kindness of other people to give them permission to hunt on their land.

This got me to thinking, where would you hunt in a post long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation? If you do not have a place to hunt now, what makes you think your going to have one after the fact?

A lot of survivalist plan on “bugging out to the wilderness in a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation. So having a place to go and a place to hunt might go hand in hand.

If you do not own land, not on a deer lease (which grants you a legal right to be on the land), don’t have friends with benefits, or know where the public hunting land is, where will you hunt at?

survivalist camp bug out location

Survivalist camp bug out location

Private Property – Owing land in a rural area might the ideal situation for most survivalist, but for a lot of people, is just not realistic. The majority of the people live and work in the city. So if they own property in a rural area, they have to maintain the house they live in, and maintain a remote camp.

There are a lot of considerations for having rural private property – what kind of disasters is the area prone to, how far from your home is the location, is the land farmable, what is the source of drinking water, is the area secure, what types of wild animals are in the area, how easy is it to access the land,,,,,,, just to name a few.

Once the land is obtained, is it close enough to your home to maintain a workable farm, how much gear and supplies are going to be stored there,,,,,.

For hunting considerations, oak trees, maybe a field for crops, and some kind of water source would be nice to have.  Der do not need a “lot” of land to live.  Their related to the goat, as in deer are grazers – they just walk along and “graze” off foliage.  Deer, squirrels and wild hogs love acorns.  So having oak trees on the property is a prime consideration.

One of the benefits of having private property, permanent structures can be built and supplies can be stockpiled.  But anytime supplies are stockpiled, then comes the question of security.

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Communal cooking post disaster

cooking post shtfSome type of disaster has rolled through – lets say there has been a hurricane, the power has been knocked out and its going to be off for a week or so. How are you going to cook your food? You have some ribs, chicken or steaks in the freezer, but no way to cook it.

You walk out your front door and see your neighbor with his pull behind bar-b-q pit cooking some food. Smoke is coming out of the stack, and he looks like his is turning over some ribs, is that sausage you see and some pork chops? Then the thought runs through your head, “will my neighbor let me cook on his pit?”

The above description happened after Hurricane Rita and Ike passed through southeast Texas.

On Thursday, October 14, 2010 my wife and I made a trip to Houston to take care of some business. While we were in Houston, my wife and I went to a book store where I bought a book about life in a medieval village. One of the chapters of the book talks about how villages are laid out, and how 1 certain village had 2 communal ovens for baking bread. Instead of each villagers house having its own bread oven, the community had communal ovens setup.

After my experiences with a couple of hurricanes and letting my neighbors use my pit, combined with the information of how people used communal ovens in medieval times, it seems to me that people coming together to cook food will be a natural thing to do.

I’am pretty sure that 30,000 years ago, people sat around a camp fire, cooked their horse meat, or mastodon meat, shared stories and helped each other feel safe in a world of danger.

Cooking together, eating together, and forming a community is just what humans do. We are herd animals that enjoy each others company.

There is no reason to feel that post SHTF that anything is going to be different. Whether it was 30,000 years ago, 700 years ago, or tomorrow, people will come together to cook and share food.

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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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Barter items for post teotwawki

If SHTF tomorrow, 12 months later, what items would you have that you could use for barter?  Is bartering even in your plans, have you even thought about it?  The other day I was walking through wal-mart and was thinking about low cost, good quality trade items.  There is a difference in good quality, medium quality and poor quality barter items.

Here are some examples of barter/trade items:

Gold and silver only have value when someone values money.  Once society has broken down to where its a dog eat dog world, I’am willing to bet that food will have more value then gold and silver.

Solar panels, seeds, first aid supplies are a good quality trade items.

Clothing might have an “ok” trade value.

Hand tools might be a medium quality trade item.  If your cars and trucks are not running, what value are hand tools.

Computers and other electronics would be a poor quality item – without electricity, what good are electronics.

When you start talking about matches, seeds, flashlights, batteries,,,,,, some of those are disposable items – you use them once and then its gone. In my opinion, the best trade items are ones that continue to give a return over and over. This gives the item a certain appeal that its not a once use item, or something that breaks easily.

I dont think food has very much of a trade value – unless the other person is starving. The thing with food, you eat it once and its gone, it does does not give a return on your investment.

Matches, they burn once, and its gone.

Batteries go dead, unless you have a way to charge them.

Seeds may not sprout, or might be a hybrid so the resulting seeds can not be saved.

In my opinion, one of the best trade items is hook, line and sinker. These 3 items provide a good return for all interested parties. When you open the package, you can still trade it. Right now I’am looking at a box of 50 eagle claw #2 hooks, Water Gremlin round split shot weights 124 pieces, zebco monofilament fishing line 12 pound test 700 yards.

Instead of trading for the whole box of hooks, trade for a certain amount.
Instead of trading for all of the weights, trade for a certain amount.
Instead of trading for all 700 yards of line, trade for 50 foot lengths.

Non of these items expire, rot, mold, mildew, spoil,,,,, unless you leave them in the water.

With the hooks, its a good idea to invest into stainless – that way they dont rust if stored for a long period of time.

The appeal with fishing gear – it allows someone to provide for themselves without a lot of work. Unlike crops, fishing can give an almost instant return. Instead of taking months to grow crops, people can go fishing when they want. Unlike farming, you do not have to clear a field, your not dependent on rain fall, fertilizer, pesticide,,,,,.

The draw back to fishing, you need access to a body of water. If your in the middle of a desert, fishing supplies might be the last thing on your mind.

Post your comments in this forum thread about barter items for post shtf.

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Food sources in a post apocalyptic world

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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Cooking considerations after a disaster

After a disaster such as a earthquake or hurricane, chances are the power is going to be cut off. From previous examples set by hurricanes Katrina, Andrew, Hugo and Rita – in some cases it could take weeks or months to rebuild the power lines. Its during this time that a simple hot meal can really boost the moral of the group. Just for the sake of discussion, “Group” is defined as friends, family or neighbors.

Some people of the community are ill prepared to cook without a power source, while others may be able to cook for a few days with no power. It is the job of the survivalist to make sure that they have the means to cook for not only your family, but for the neighbors. This can be a daunting task, but with a little planning it can be done.

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