Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: prepping for shtf

Trespassers at the Bug Out Location

Kevin Felts on a hiking trip

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.

Economic Indicators for Preppers

Kevin Felts political commentator

What are your economic indicators? In other words, how do you determine if the general public is worried about uncertain times?

Besides all the information the government publishes, I use three indicators.

The local feed and fertilizer / farm supply store

On Friday, May 22nd I was at Circle three feed in Jasper Texas to buy some chicks and chicken feed. While I was there I took a few minutes to talk to the nice lady behind the counter.

Usually, the chicks are sold between February, March and April.

This year, the farm supply store was not able to get chicks until April. The nice lady told me the store was not able to get chicks because the suppliers were sold out. In 15+ years, this is the first time the store had not been able to get chicks in February.

Farm Update October 19 2014

Tractor with auger working on chicken goat yard

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.

The good news, things are on the upswing.

Chicken House / Chicken Yard

Remember the videos and articles about building a new chicken house and chicken yard? We are almost finished with the yard. I have a 10 foot gate temporary attached to close the chicken yard entrance with a section of cattle panel and some 2x4s. A section of field fence still needs a top strand of barbless wire ran.

Planning a New Chicken Yard

Chicken House on legs

Before my wife and I moved to the farm, with the help of friends and family we got a 75 feet long by 35 feet wide new chicken yard. With 2,625 square feet 100 chickens could fit in the yard and each chicken would have 26 square feet. It is recommended that each chicken have at least 10 square feet in the yard. That is double the minimum needed square feet, but there is little to no room for fig trees, blueberry trees,,,, or anything else.

It is time to build a new chicken yard.

The old yard is 75 feet X 25 feet.

The new yard will be 200 feet long, 100 feet wide on the back end and around 175 feet wide on the end where the chicken house is going to be.

The original chicken house is 6 feet wide X 8 feet long.

The new chicken house is going to be 18 feet wide and 20 feet long.

Planting Fig Trees in the Chicken Yard

Prepping Plans For Late 2013 and Early 2014

Gardening shed on a rural farm

Part of my SHTF prepping plans include looking several months ahead. Rather than waiting until spring of 2014 to make plans, I like to think about what I should do 4 and 5 months ahead of time.

I see no reason to wait until you are at the farm supply store to think about what crops you want to plant. Lets go ahead and think/talk about what you want to buy, what crops you want to plant, how you are going to store those crops several months ahead of time.

Planning ahead allows me to work out the fine details, such as type of fertilizer I want to buy, what kind of AR-15 magazines I want to get, what kind of new AR-15 I want to get,,, and so on.

As the end of 2013 draws close I would like to take a few minutes to talk about my prepping plans for the next 4 months or so.

Firearms, Parts and AR-15 Magazines

Survival Gear Purchases September 2013

Stockpiling magazines

Every month I try to take a look at my preps, take inventory, look at the hot politics at the time, and then make a couple of purchases. Usually my purchases are #10 cans of freeze dried foods, maybe building a chicken house, building a chicken yard,,,, and so on.

Prepping should be a way of life. The only way to keep your preps current is to do an inventory, test your plans, then make changes to your plans based on the results of the test.

Wildlife Feeder

My wife wants a wildlife feeder setup in the back of the field to attract wildlife. While providing a relaxing scene of watching deer, hogs, squirrels and other wildlife, this also provides an excellent opportunity to harvest meat during a SHTF situation.

Rather than hunting after SHTF, why not have the wildlife coming into your back yard. Well, it’s not really my backyard, its more like the back of a field that is connected to my backyard.

To get the wildlife feeder going I ordered the motor housing with timer, and leg brackets that mount to the feeder.

Storm In The Distance

Chickens foraging

As I sit here in my office I can hear rolling thunder in the distance. The dark clouds are not too far away, hopefully bringing much needed rain to the area. Southeast Texas, where I live has been in a drought for several months.

There is another storm brewing in the distance. This storm is over ideology and resources.

Ask yourself, why has the United States only gone into conflicts that involved oil producing nations? It is not that we are lacking resources, the conflicts are to seize control of those resources.

The thunder I hear in the distance are the drums of war.

5 Essential SHTF TEOTWAWKI Survival Skills

Barred Rock Chicken

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.

Ammunition Shortage First Half 2013

Kevin Felts political commentator

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.

Prepping For SHTF In Breadth But Not Depth

Kevin Felts, blogger

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.

Survivalism

Planning A Cleanup Day At The Homestead

Pulling trees with a Toyota T-100

In the next few weeks my family and some of our friends are going to the homestead for a cleanup day. There is an area where some trees need to be cut, and that same area has been used as a semi-trash dump for close to 40 years.

Here is the plan, form three groups – the cutters, the pullers and the haulers.

The cutters – Hopefully we have 2 chainsaws running. The loggers left some small trees right in the way that need to be cut up and hauled to the burning pile.

Then there are some trees that need to be thinned out. A couple of oak trees are right next to each other, some are 3 – 4 feet apart. The largest trees will be saved and the smaller trees cut. The trees that I am referring to are only about 3 – 6 inches in diameter and maybe 8 – 10 feet tall.

Building a Homestead for Surviving SHTF

Buff Orpington chicken

How viable are your long term SHTF survival plans? That is a question I kept asking myself while a buddy of mine and I were talking. The discussion was about water, livestock, food storage,,, just your basic stuff. In reality, how viable are those plans for a complete collapse of society?

There is an old saying, “plan for the worst and hope for the best.” My TEOTWAWKI survival plans are based off of a complete collapse scenario – no water, food, electricity or fuel from the outside world.

One way I am looking at arranging my farm is like a medieval farm, that is the only way I know how to describe it. The goal is to supply our own water and food, but in a primitive format. Today it would be called organic gardening.

Water At The Homestead

The first issue we have to address is water. Without safe drinking water life as we know it can not exist.

The plain is to have a well drilled, and to have an electric water pump put on the well.

Hammer for your survival tool kit

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.

Farming Gardening and Hunting After SHTF

Barred Rock chicken

Let’s say some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation happens tomorrow, what would your long term farming, gardening and hunting plans be?

Do you plan on hunting for most of your food from livestock, gardening, hunting or a combination of food sources?

Long term survival plans after SHTF

One of the common theories in the various survivalist communities is that a family will grab their bug out bags, head to the hills where they will live off the land.

In theory this may sound fine and dandy.

In reality, chances are the family is going to starve to death.

If various humanoids have gone extinct over the past 100,000 years, what makes a family think they can survive with very few primitive survival skills?

The long term survivability of humans is directly related to much much food we can produce, and not how much food we can hunt or gather. There is a physical limitation to how many miles a person can walk in a day. There is a physical limitation to how much weight a person can carry.

If You Had Seven Days Notice Before SHTF

Ruger 10/22 and Marlin model 60 side by side

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?

What does your water stockpile look like?
What does your ammunition stockpile look like?
What does your fuel stockpile look like?
What about seeds for your long term survival garden, communications, livestock, livestock feed, firearms, propane,,, and other preps.

Firearms For SHTF

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