What is the goal of your prepping plan? If you were to write an essay on prepping, what would your closing paragraph be about? It should describe your ideal goal in prepping.
Preppers can not be classified into one category. we have different groups who subscribe to different prepping plans. These go way beyond what organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross suggest. We all know the government will not be able to help everyone. There are also situations that may result in the collapse of the federal and state governments, such as nuclear war or some kind of new disease.
The concept of the gray man is to blend in. This person can disappear into the crowd and never be noticed.
For all points and purposes, shouldn’t preppers / survivalist be practicing gray man on an everyday basis? As stated in another post, tacticool has no place in prepping. At all times we should blend in. Sometimes we need to be reminded on some of the simple things.
Some of the ways I practice “gray man”.
Pants. In rural areas such as where I live pants are levis, wranglers or some kind of blue jean. Cities and suburbs maybe khakis or slacks.
I stay away from “tactical” looking cargo pants. Keep it simple and basic. I do not own a pair of slacks. Rarely, and I mean “rarely” will I wear khakis.
You have a bug out location for you and your family in the event of a complete collapse of society. This might be a secluded place on a river, somewhere deep in the national forest, or maybe a friends farm who lives in a rural area. You have taken the time to look around the area, maybe walk around your buddies farm, help with running fence, helped plant fruit trees,,,, just your typical stuff. But what is the lay of the land like around the bug out location?
What does the land around the bug out location look like? Where are the water sources? Where does wild game move? Are there any good camping areas? If you not able to make it back to home one evening, where could you spend the night and feel safe? Are there any old logging roads, railroad tracks, pipelines, or power lines that run through the area?
Do you know where roads, railroads, utility right of ways, power lines, creeks, streams, ponds and lakes are near the bug out location?
When I moved to the farm almost 3 years ago I thought this was going to be easy. Build a nice chicken yard, build a chicken house, plant some fruit trees, and things will be off and running. Then I can work on the pole barn, barn, and fence in a few acres for goats and cattle.
Lets just say things have not been going as planned.
Fruit trees have been a failure
Either from disease, drought, drowned from too much rain,,,, whatever the reason, my fruit tree project has not gone anywhere near as expected.
A plum tree my kids and I planted several years ago died. A second plum tree is not doing anything. It is not even hardly growing.
Peach trees are not growing as expected, or died. Out of the several peach trees that were planted over the past few years, only one has grown and is producing any peaches. This year that one peach tree is not doing anything.
Fig trees died from the summer drought of 2015. June, July, August and September 2015 we got very little rain fall here in southeast Texas. I did not keep my young fig trees watered like they needed, and 3 out of the 4 died.
Awhile back someone posted a comment on one my youtube videos saying the hoe will be your best friend after SHTF. This got me to thinking about how important certain types of survival gear were over other types.
Can you use an AR-15 or AK-47 to till a garden? Plow a field? Bushhog? Operate an auger to set fence post? Clear brush? Weed a garden? Pick the crops? Can the harvest?
Who is your very best friend?
The hoe and the rake.
They have proven then test of time. Our ancestors used garden tools thousands of years before firearms were ever thought of.
Garden tools have no moving parts – no locking lugs, no bolt carrier, no firing pin, no ammunition, nothing to run out of except your physical strength.
When I made the youtube video I thought it was a good topic. Maybe something for members of the community and forum to talk about their over reliance on firearms to survive a post-SHTF world. I was rather set back by the comments and negative ratings on the youtube video.
Let’s be honest, garden tools are not cool. They do not have the “that is so awesome” like an AR-15, AK-47, AK-74, PTR-91 and FN/FAL do. there are no rails on a hoe to mount the “best tactical light money can buy”, or a suppressor, or eotech or aimpoint. There is no tacticool with hoes and rakes. Yes there are cheap garden tools and there are more expensive ones.
Who honestly pays attention to the brandname and quality of a garden tool? Do you take your hoe and rake out and show it to your friends like you would with some of your tactical gear? Do you shop online and read the reviews of your garden tools? Or do you buy whatever the local chinamart and farm supply store has in stock?
Someone on youtube even sent me a message saying they almost unsubscribed because of the video.
In the overall scheme of things which is more important in the long run, being able to feed your family, or having thousands of rounds of ammunition you can not eat.
Hunting after SHF
The typical survivalist response to questions about stockpiling ammunition, they will go hunting during a long term SHTF situation.
Let’s be honest, do you really think you will be the only person hunting post-collapse?
What do you think caused the wild turkey and whitetail deer to become extinct in east Texas during the early 1900s? Habitat destruction played a big role, but over hunting during the great depression contributed greatly to wildlife depletion. When the food dries up in the cities, where do you think those people are going? Out to the country to find food.
Do you honestly think you will be the “only” person who will be able to hunt when all the wildlife has been depleted? Chances are good number of people are on hunting leases, which is where a lot of people will go. When they reach their hunting lease they will hunt. When all the wildlife around the lease is depleted they will travel further and further to find food.
People who live in rural areas will deplete the wildlife around them. Then they will venture further and further away from home to find food.
It will be just a matter of time before all the deer, rabbit, squirrels, wild hogs,,,, everything is hunted out. Then what?
Do you plan on raiding your neighbors garden and chicken house for food? Only the animals that are protected by their owners will be the only fresh meat available in a long term post-collapse world.
Family pets will be a source of food, and then what? During the Black Death of 1348 – 1350 dogs and cats became extinct in some parts of Europe.
History has proven this time and time again. The people with a renewable and reliable food source are the ones who will survive. This means a garden, chickens, goats, fruit trees, stockpiling seeds,,, a variety of food sources.
Simply put, hunting is unreliable and unsustainable in a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation.
Practical approach to prepping
Preppers / Survivalist may wish to consider a practical approach to prepping. Which means less focus on stockpiling beans, bullets and band-aids, and more of a back to basics approach.
Let’s take $25 and spend it on prepping gear.
Would you rather have:
1 brown turkey fig tree at $22.98.
Taken care of could provide your family with decades of figs. Figs are rated as maybe the worlds healthiest food with it being a source of fiber, vitamin A, manganese and potassium.
1 Celeste fig tree at $22.98.
10 chicks, at $2.50 each.
10 laying hens with a reliable food source should be enough to produce a dozen eggs every 2 – 3 days. Breed, time of year and quality of feed all play a role in egg production.
2 Pmags at $11.95 each.
9 pounds Roma II snap bean seed at $2.75 a pound.
Plant 3 pounds of this seed and you should have enough for 3 years after SHTF. Pick before the beans for, snap the ends off, boil and eat husk and all. Or, lot beans mature, dry and save for next year. High producing plant, should be picked every few days.
9.43 pounds Contender snap bean seed at $2.65 a pound.
Same family as the Roma II snap bean. Pick before bean inside of husk matures, boil and serve. Beans are a good source of potassium, iron, protein, and fiber.
Plant one pound per year and you should have enough for three years.
10.20 pounds purple hull BVR pea seed at $2.45 a pound.
Plant one pound per year and you will have enough seed for 3 years. Peas are a source of vitamin A, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and vitamin B-6.
9.43 pounds yellow dent field corn at $2.65 a pound.
Yellow dent field corn is open pollinated / heirloom so the seeds can be saved.
60 rounds American eagle 223 Remington for $6.49 a box.
Good source of copper and lead.
Renewable or consumable
From the above list it boils down to renewable and consumable items. Should you base your and your families future on renewable or consumable items?
A few days ago I was walking along the creek that is the property line between my land and the timber company land. Not only does the timber company grow timber on their land, they also lease the land out to hunters. It is not unusual to see an influx of urban dwellers into rural areas starting a couple of months before hunting season. Most of the people who lease property in rural areas are good people. They just want to get out of the city, do some hunting, get a deer or hog and pass the tradition of hunting to the next generation.
With hunters there is an unspoken code of respect. You do not touch my trail cameras, stands and feeders and I do not touch yours.
Then there are the people who do not care about respect. They will knock your feeders and stands over and steal the trail cameras. These are the vandals and thieves that screw up life for everyone else. For people who visit their lease only a few times a year the vandals are not that big of an issue. All that gets screwed up is a few items such as the deer blind and feeders. For those of us who live in rural areas next to hunting leasing, the vandals can screw with us year round.
Buying guineas was a little more difficult than I had expected.
With chickens you just down to the local feed and fertilizer in the early spring and buy the chicks you want, or place an order with various websites that sell chicks online.
With guineas you get on a waiting list at the local feed store, or get on a waiting list with a company that sells guineas online. My wife and I were on a waiting list at Ideal Poultry for between 2 – 3 months before we received our order of a dozen pearl guineas.
Clear some sweet gum trees that are shading the apple trees.
Plant some more blueberry bushes. Some of the blueberry bushes will be in the chicken yard.
Plant a pear tree in the chicken yard. This will be for chicken feed and for my family to eat.
Plant another peach tree.
Clear out around some already planted pear trees. In the past few years some Cherry Laural trees have grown up around the pear trees, so there is a crowding issue. The Cherry Laural trees have to come down this spring.
Build a pole barn. I am looking at a 36 wide X 40 long barn or maybe a 40 X 40 barn.
Fence off some land for cattle, sheep and or goats.
Expand chicken flock to around 40 hens.
Buy some Pearl Guineas. French guineas are already being sold, but I want Pearl Guineas which are supposed to be available in May.
Drill a shallow well for the livestock. The well will be located somewhere near the pole barn.
Get the Toyota Tacoma on the road.
Build some more raised bed gardens for my wife. She likes the raised bed type of gardening.
Relocate a deer feeder and deer stand.
Build a hog pen somewhere around the pole barn. I would really like to get a couple of pigs.
Things are moving along nicely, but there is always some kind of setback.
When my wife and I moved to the farm I seriously underestimated the time and effort needed to get things up and running. When we moved here in August of 2013 my main goal was to get the small chicken yard built, get the septic system put down, get the water working, then get ready for winter. Winter of 2013 – 2014 here in southeast Texas was rather harsh, by our standards anyway.
Spring 2014 started out with around 18 – 20 new chicks. Things were looking up, then then it went to hell. My wife and I moved to the farm with 13 hens. We lost all of the new chicks to various predators. When the new chickens were moved to the new chicken yard, a couple of Rhode Island Reds kept jumping the fence. My dogs ended up killing those two Rhode Island Reds.
For the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event has happened. What essential survival skills may you and your family need to know in order to ensure their long term survival?
Survivalist should know the basics, such as beans, bullets, band-aids, shooting skills, water purification,,, etc. Lets think outside the box. During a long term complete collapse of society what skills will people need to know?
Lets assume that you and your family have a source of safe drinking water. This should be some kind of water well with a pitcher pump, or maybe a solar powered water well. For this article lets say that water is a given. Saying we need safe drinking water is like reminding people to breath, access to safe drinking water should be that important.
Now that water is out of the way lets move forward.
Here we are approaching the half-way mark of the year (we are not there yet), and the ammunition shortage is showing no signs of letting up.
22 Long Rifle – I have not seen 22 long rifle in about 6 or 7 months. The last time I can remember seeing 22 long rifle in stock was back around November,,, maybe even October 2012.
Even before Sandy Hook 22 long rifle was difficult to find.
223 Remington – Is hit sand miss. Places like Palmetto State Armory have been getting bulk 223 Remington in stock, but my local wal-mart has not.
I have not seen American Eagle or Federal at my local wal-mart in months. The local wal-mart here in Jasper Texas has been getting Tula in every few weeks, so that is what I have been buying. In this type of situation you buy what you can find.
Online stores that are lucky enough to 223/5.56mm in stock are sold out in a matter of minutes.
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?
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.
Lets say the public was given a 1 week notice before the start of a major global conflict. Rarely does that kind of advance knowledge leak out to the public. For the sake of discussion lets say for once the public knows what is going to happen a week ahead of time.
One of the incidents I am referring to is the leak that Israel may attack Iran during Yum Kippor.
I have been hearing various rumors for over 2 decades, so I take them with a grain of salt and keep living life.
The word has leaked out, you do a review of your survival gear stockpile, now what?
If you do not have your firearm and ammunition stockpile ready before SHTF, do not count on accumulating supplies after SHTF.
Lets say you had a 1 week notice, what would you buy? Would you buy ammunition, and sacrifice resources to buy food, water, livestock feed, fuel,,,?
Even if you have money to buy ammunition, what makes you think there is going to be anything on the shelves?
Would you rather buy ammunition, food, water, food for the livestock?
My 13 chickens (hens, no roosters) go through a 50 pound bag of laying mash every two weeks. For the price of 200 pounds of laying mash (4 – 50 pound bags), which would last around 2 months, I could buy 100 rounds of Federal 223 Remington.
Would you rather have 2 months of eggs, or would you rather have 100 rounds of 223 Remington?
Then there is the waiting period and permits that some sates have setup. Even if you wanted to buy a firearm, would you have enough time to go through the waiting period, background check, and permit application period?
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.
During 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?
A lot of survivalist plan on bugging out to the wilderness. I do not subscribe to that long term survival theory.
If you want to bug out somewhere, why not bug out to a rural location where you can plant crops and raise livestock? Would you rather be scavenging acorns to make acorn flour, or picking peaches and plums off fruit trees? Would you rather be scavenging for berries, or picking peas and snap beans? Would you rather be digging roots, or digging potatoes?
Earlier today (August 7, 2012) someone started posting rude comments on the Survivalist Boards facebook page. The comments were along the lines if someone lives off the grid, or eats processed food,,,, general stuff like that. I removed the comments and blocked the person. Keep in mind, I rarely, and I mean rarely ever remove comments, much less block anyone.
There seems to be a mindset that survivalist should live in a bunker, or off in a remote mountain range somewhere.
Lets say someone lives in a bunker with complete solar power, grows all of their food, or lives in a cave off in the mountains somewhere, how is that person supposed to function in modern society?
I can not imagine having a birthday party in a bomb shelter. All of the parents having to climb into the shelter, all the kids singing happy birthday,,, much less the OPSEC of inviting a group of people into the shelter.
Sure there was once a time when people lived on small farms. But even on small family farms, people still had to buy or trade for resources. How are people supposed to find salt, flour, sugar, leather, raw metal, plows, anvils, hammers, nails,,, on a family farm?
Barred Rock on perch inside chicken coop
What is it like to be a survivalist? I can not speak for everyone; all I can do is offer my opinion.
I consider myself a survivalist. I do not live in a bunker, I do not live off the grid, I do not live in a cave in the woods or mountains. What I try to accomplish is to live a normal life and prepare for a short term and long term disasters.
When I was in high school, a buddy of mine had a dad like that I considered to be a radical survivalist.