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Tag: prepping for shtf

Reviewing Your SHTF Survival Preps

Hammock camping trip

Chickens inside the chicken coopPrepping (aka survivalism) is a path with no end. Its a journey that sometimes has a beginning, but will have no end. Being a survivalist is a way of life, its not a hobby or something that we do in our “free time”.

For some survivalist, the start of their journey is when the light turns on in their head. Someone may decide that they need more food stocked up for hurricanes, or for earthquakes. Part of stockpiling our preps is doing reviews, taking inventory, modifying our plans,,, its a never ending challenge. Part of that challenge is looking at what we have done, where we have been, and where we need to go.

Back in June 2011 my wife and I decided to expand our stockpile of #10 cans of freeze dried foods. One of the issues that I ran into, there was a shortage of freeze dried foods in #10 cans, and there seemed to be a limited selection of freeze dried eggs.

After buying a #10 can of Mountain House scrambled eggs with ham, and a #10 can of Mountain House scrambled eggs with bacon, I started wondering if there was a better option. There “has” to be a better option then spending a small fortune on freeze dried foods.

More chicken coop ideas

Raising chickens for SHTFIn the previous article we built the first 1/2 – 1/3 of the chicken coop. Now its time to look at building the rest of the coop.

During the final stages of the coop construction, there are 3 things I want to focus on:

Security
Lights
Exhaust fan for the coop – this is a “maybe”

Lets see if we can break this down:

1 solar panel for the hotwire
1 solar panel for the 12 volt battery for lights and exhaust fan

My orginal plans were to run the light, fan and hotwire off one solar unit and a single 12 volt battery. But since the hotwire system has a 6 volt battery,I am going to have to go with 2 solar units. 1 solar for the 6 volt battery and hot wire, 1 solar unit with 12 volt battery for lights and fan.

Priorities in preparing plans

Drinking water after SHTFThere are 3 basic priorities in prepping plans – food, water and shelter. Some people like to throw in fire, or the ability to make fire. But if you throw in fire, you need to crawl out from under your rock from time to time.

Some things should be a given, such as packing medicines, fire, or considerations for special needs people. Its impossible for someone to list all of the considerations people might face. Whether its medicines, flood insurance, homeowners insurance, preps for people with special medical needs,,,,, only the reader is going to be familiar with special plans they need to make.

Items such as first aid kits, flashlights, copies of important papers are a given. Do you really need to be reminded of things you should already know about? Do adults have to be reminded to brush their teeth or take a shower before they go to work? We know we should be doing certain things, so I see no reason to go over the same list everytime the discussion comes up.

Now that the special needs and the given items are behind us, lets talk about priorities in a prepping list.

Identify your personal priority.

Take steps to minimize the priority during a disaster.

Stockpiling Ammo at the Bug Out Location

Stockpiling ammunition for SHTF

Stockpiling ammo at the Bug Out LocationThis past weekend I decided it was time to organize the ammunition at the Bug Out Location. We had ammo stored in 3,,, 4 different locations, which made taking inventory a pain in the rear end.

My wife cleared off a wire shelf so I could bring it to the camp and organize the ammo stockpile. The idea was to get all of the ammo together, see what we have and go from there.

Ammunition at the Bug Out Location is your “oh crap, the S has seriously HTF.” If you have to rely on the ammunition stockpile that you BOL, something really bad has happened – you and your family have had to leave your home, friends and family are probably knocking on your door asking for help,,, things have gone from bad to worse.

Because I look at BOL ammo as a last resort, I only stockpile what I normally shoot in my rifles. This is ammunition that has been tried, tested and proven to work in my rifle and on the game animals in my area. Why use a certain type of ammunition during hunting season, and stockpile a different type of ammo at the Bug Out Location? While this applies to hunting ammo, I look at defensive ammo in a different light.

As for defensive ammo, I stockpile one type, and its something that preforms well in my rifles. The goal of defensive ammo is to poke holes in the target.

TEOTWAWKI / SHTF Survival Gear Storage

Stockpiling canned foods for SHTF / TEOTWAWKI

A few weeks ago an article was posted about Storing SHTF Survival Gear, this is a follow up to that article.

The concept revolves around grouping similar items together. Such as the canned goods being grouped together, the fishing gear on the same shelf, or close to each other, cold weather items stored in a box, which is close to other clothing or ALICE gear.

To keep the grandkids safe, glass jars are stored in the closet. We do not want small children picking up jars of pickles and then dropping the jars on the floor. Not only would we be wasting food, but the broken glass poses a risk to the grandkids.

The shelves have been secured to the wall with 2 1/2 inch long wood screws. A 1/8 pilot hole was drilled into the stud in the wall, and then a screw was ran into the pilot hole.

Mountain house #10 cans and 7 year pouches are stored in a location close to each other.

Fishing Gear

Stockpiling Beans and Bullets For Surviving SHTF

Bugging out to the wilderness

Lets say SHTF tomorrow, what would your survival gear stockpile look like? For a lot of survivalist it would be mostly beans and bullets – meaning not very much thought has been put into the plans.

When the SurvivalistBoards youtube channel was opened, I wanted to publish a wide range of videos. The plans were to post videos about everything from gardening to wilderness survival. There are certain topics that do better then others. It seems that fishing videos probably do the worst in view counts, and firearm videos do the best.

But to have a balanced channel and blog, I think one should cover a wide range of topics. It seems that example videos and articles work best. Instead of saying what people should do, I show people what I am doing, and end it with that. Then let the viewer make up their own mind.

How does all of this relate to stockpiling survival gear? When dealing with survivalism, I do not think its enough to just stockpile bullets and beans. A well rounded, long term SHTF survival plan, should cover as much information and resources as possible. It is not enough to buy a case of 7.62×39, store some rice and beans in mylar bags, and then proclaim you have a well rounded survival plan. Ammo, rice and beans are not a well rounded plan.

Gun Cleaning Supplies at the Bug Out Location

DS-Arms SA58 FN/FAL next to a river in southeast Texas

This evening I was cleaning my FN/FAL, at which time I realized my gun cleaning supplies at the bug out location were going through a can opener syndrome. The “can opener syndrome” is when someone overlooks the small items. That you might be so focused on buying #10 cans, that you forget to stockpile can openers.

With gun cleaning supplies, people are probably more focused on stockpiling ammo, and shooting their firearms, that the forget about buying cleaning supplies.

Gun Cleaning Items

  • Storage Box – something to store the items in. In my case, I am using a large tackle box
  • Copper bore brushes – for scrubbing the inside of the barrel
  • Gun oil – I like the pump spray bottles
  • Hoppes #9 powder solvent
  • Bore light – I use an led light with a flex neck
  • Screw drivers
  • Cleaning rods – for pushing the bore brush through the barrel
  • Cloth patches

Hastily Assembled and Ill Equipped SHTF Survival Plans

Fig tree at the survival camp

Science channel Saturday morning of July 30, 2011 had a program on about Kublai Khan, and his doomed fleet that tried to invade Japan.

During excavations of the ocean floor, scientist discovered that most of the ships in the fleet were flat bottom river boats. River boats do not have a keel like what ocean going ships have. The keel helps ocean going ships weather large waves, while flat bottom boats will capsize.

It appears that Kublai Khan was in a hurry to invade Japan, so he ill equipped his navy with the wrong type of ship. This short sight meant the fleet was lost in a storm.

How does the example of Kublai Khan apply to survivalism?

Those that do not take the time to properly prepare are doomed to fail. The key word there is “properly” prepare. Kublai Khan had his army, weapons, armor, supplies, ships,,,,,. But the ships were the wrong type of ship, they were not ship designed for oceans, they were designed for rivers.

In the survivalist community, there are a lot of people that plan on grabbing their bug out bag, bugging out to the wilderness and living off the land. There are lots of problems with that situation, such as being able to find enough food, diseases, illness, vitamin and mineral decencies,,, only to name a few.

Food Bag for a Bug Out Bag

Bug out bag food

Do you have a food bag in your bug out bag? For years, and I mean for years I have kept a food bag in my bug out / camping bag. For the most part the food bag contains a single burner stove for a bug out bag, pot for cooking, eating utensils, lighter and matches for the stove and for building a camp fire, hand sanitizer,,,, and other odds and ends.

The purpose of a Bug Out Bag is if you and your family have to leave home in an emergency, the bag provides a few days of supplies for each person. Lets say there is a chemical leak near your house and your family has to evacuate. Everyone grabs their bag, and heads to a shelter or friends house.

My main bug out bag use to be a large ALICE pack. But a year ago I bought a large MOLLE pack with internal sleep system, which is currently my main bag. To add a little more room to the pack, 2 sustainment pouches were added.

Lets talk about this food bag in a little more detail.

Main Food Bag

Ideas for a Get Home Bag

Maxpedition Noatak

Something happened to the main power feed for my town, and then the backup power feed failed. Someone said it was related to the wildfire about 15 miles north of here, but I do not have any proof of that.

First thing I realized was that we do not have a radio here at work that works off batteries. Once outside power is cut, we lose all communications with the outside world. My boss pulled out a hand crank radio, but the hand crank was locked up to the point where the handle could not be turned.

I thought about getting a $10 am/fm radio with some lithium batteries to keep at my desk. The power does not go off very often, but when it does it would be nice to get some news from the local radio station.

Second thing was that I needed a flashlight. I have a small AAA light on my key ring, but something a little larger would have been nice. My little AAA light does good for close in work, like plugging computer wires into the back of a computer, or lighting up a small room. To make sure the battery has plenty of life, I used an energizer lithium battery.

Well Rounded SHTF Doomsday Survival Plans

Overlooking the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas

In the survivalist community there is a tendency to focus more on stockpiling SHTF survival preps, and less on being self-sufficient. Who “really” wants to check on the rabbits, goats, chickens and pigs after working 8 – 10 hours? In today’s urban sprawl, finding land to have a small farm is rather difficult as well.

For a survivalist to be self-sufficient, their not only going to need fruits and vegetables, their also going to need meats, protein, eggs and fat. The problem is, for most people living in the city, having farm animals is not an option. So its a win-lose situation – people move to the city to get a job, but have to leave their farm life behind.

Here in Texas, its estimated that the average people has been removed from farm life for at least 2 – 3 generations. If some kind of long term SHTF situation happens, people will have a lot of learning to do. Those already living on a farm might adjust well, but those used to urban life and instant satisfaction might be a little disappointed.

In the rural areas where I live, its not uncommon to see rows of pecan trees from the first settlers. But now, we are more worried about planting pine trees to sell for timber, then planting fruit trees.

Its not enough to just buy preps, without developing a well rounded long term survival plan. Stockpiling rice, beans, pasta, powered milk and pancake mix in mylar bags is not a long term survival plan, its a temporary survival plan. Buying superpails, making homemade superpails, stockpiling MREs, storing food in mylar bags just prolongs the inevitable, and that is running out of food.

Bugging out to the wilderness plans

wilderness bug outIt was probably around 1997 or 1998, some of my buddies were over at my house and we were talking about possible situations that would cause a wilderness bug out. We were talking about an outbreak of the plague, nuclear strikes, nuclear targets, radiation fallout, wind currents,,,,,,; it was one of those brain storming sessions we used to have.

Eventually the topic of firearms came up, choice of calibers, being able to carry plenty of ammo,,, and so on.

It was at this time I pulled out a large ALICE pack, a Mossberg 500 with 18.5 inch barrel and an H&K SP-89 pistol. As I look back on the situation, and what we were discussing, neither of those weapons would be good for survival.

The Mossberg 500 with 18.5 inch barrel and pistol grip would be a terrible choice for hunting. The pistol grip makes the weapon difficult to aim, and the short barrel means a poor pattern. If this shotgun would have had a stock on it and a longer barrel, then it would be a different story.

The H&K SP-89 is a great pistol for close quarters combat, but it would be a poor choice for hunting deer or wild hogs. The lack of a shoulder stock makes the pistol undesirable for certain situations.

After my buddies and I completed our brain storming session, I decided it was time to review some of my survival weapon choices. I had other weapons, so “why” did I pick those 2 for discussion? Why not talk about the SKS as a survival rifle, or maybe the AK-47, or what about the Remington model 700?

After talking about the advantages and disadvantages of a short shotgun and pistol combo, I decided to remove those 2 weapons from my choices.

If your going to pick a weapon (pistol, rifle or shotgun) for survival, why not pick on that you can aim, and effectively take wild game with?

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.

Genocide during a long term disaster

Kevin Felts at the Angelina River

Its about 800AD, in what will later become Sacred Ridge, which is just south of Durango Colorado. There is some kind of dispute between 2 or more cultures and 1 culture is wiped out.

Men, women, children,,,,,, everyone is rounded up, tortured, and killed. There is evidence that suggest that hands were removed from the bodies as trophies, and the huts the people lived in were burned after the slaughter. This is not the act of a single person, or a small group of people, this was the actions of a whole community.

Fiction you say? Read this article on Discovery.com about how Genocide Wiped Out Native American Population.

What could have made one group of people turn on another group? Was there a disease that was blamed one something like witchcraft? Did 1 group of people think the other 1 had put a curse on them, or maybe poisoned them?

Lets fast forward to the Black Death of 1348 – 1350, in which killed millions of Europeans. As the usual scapegoat, Jews were rounded up, blamed for outbreaks of the plague, and were put to death. Some Jews met with grizzly, unspeakable deaths, such as being burned to death.

Testing SHTF Disaster Plans

Cooking at the bug out location

It’s one thing to have long term disaster plans, its another thing to test those plans several times a year. So when is a good time to test your plans?

Personally, I like to observe how things go during holidays and events. Even during birthdays parties, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter,,,,, anytime people gather at my house I like to observe everyone and see how things go. Do we have enough hand soap, were we able to cook for everyone, were we crowded in the house, were the bathrooms accessible,,,,,.

The most recent test was Labor Day, 2010 – during labor day weekend my family and I headed to the camp (also know as the Bug Out Location) for 2 days. Early saturday morning my wife got up and went to the local wal-mart to get some last minute stuff. From her report the store was fully stocked on just about everything besides meat – steaks, briskets, sausage,,,, stuff like that. I figured that people coming into the area would have cleaned wal-mart out.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018