Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: prepping for shtf

Three Day Trip to the Camp

survivalist camp bug out location

On 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 Directive21.com – 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.

Weather Conditions

Bugging Out to The Wilderness

Bugging out to the wilderness

There is a theory that has been going around the survival community for decades, and at one time I subscribed to it, but not any more.

The theory goes like this – if there is some kind of wide spread disaster, I am just going to grab my bug out bag, and bug out to the wilderness. From there, my family and I will live in peace as society falls apart. When everything has passed, my family and I will return and help re-build.

Here are some of the reasons why I no longer subscribe to the bug out to the wilderness theory:

Ehrlichiosis
Lyme Disease
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Tularemia
E. Coli
Cryptosporidium
Dysentery
Vitamin Deficiencies
Culture Shock – that may not be the correct term, but its going to be used anyway
Frost Bite
Heat Stroke
Heat Exhaustion
Only to name a few,,,,,,,,,.

Armchair Survivalist At It Again

Kevin Felts, blogger and political commentator

It seems that those armchair survivalist are at it again, this time they are posting stuff on my YouTube gardening videos.

If your wondering what an armchair survivalist is, they are the people that sit at their computer chairs, post comments on videos, post on forums, might even have a blog, and never actually “do” anything. They are the people that know everything there is to know about survivalism, their masters of everything, but not of them have never actually done anything. They tell you how your doing everything wrong, but offer no proof that they have actually done it themselves.

A few days ago I posted a video on YouTube about storing MREs. One guy posted a comment – “You should never store MREs in your house. The temperature does not stay cold enough and they will spoil faster.”

Three Day Bug Out Test

Smoker on wheels

Back in July of 2008, (July 4th weekend to be exact), my family and I went up to the deer camp for three days. While the kids were having fun playing in the creek, I was taking notes. To my family it was just a relaxing weekend. To me, it was time to test some stuff and take notes.

The observations play a role in my pepping plans.

Infant Formula / Baby Food

While we were at the camp my step daughter ran out of powdered formula. Its no big deal, we just drove the 15 – 20 miles back to town. On the flip side, what if we could not make the trip? What if there was no store with baby food stocks?

After hurricanes and other natural disasters food shipments are disrupted, this includes baby food.

Joe is at the age were he can eat real food from our table. If we were not able to get formula, he would have had to eat from his mothers plate.

Cooking

This was no big deal. I pulled the pit to the camp and smoked 2 briskets over night, for about 12 hours. Then the next morning I put 2 racks of ribs on. Along with some beans, and corn on the cob. You talk about GOOD!!!! My stepsons truck in the background. We also cooked a package of chicken legs.

What Groups Would Survive SHTF

Kevin Felts political commentator

Through out history its been shown that certain social groups are more likely to survive then other groups

The rich – the rich have been able to move outside the affected areas, or have been able to buy the resources that they needed. During the black death of 1348 – 1350, the rich secluded themselves to their estates, or went to one of their estates outside the affected areas.

From the protection of their land and homes, the rich would be able to hire servants to buy food and other items. There was no need for the rich to go to town, they could just pay other people to do it for them. Thus reducing their exposure to the infected public.

Land owners could have herds of cows, horses, goats and other farm animals. The people with money may also own private property to hunt on, thus providing them with a source of wild game – deer, hogs, turkeys and other wild meat.

Options For Survivalist Water Filters

Drinking water after SHTF

Why should Survivalist worry about water filters? Because when the city water supply stops, the water in the local lakes and streams may not be safe to drink. Most survivalist have stockpiled water, and that is fine – there is nothing wrong with stockpiling water. But you need some kind of solution for after your stockpiles of water run out. A lot of people might say “I’ll just dig a well if I need water” – ok, lets get back to reality. Most of people are not going to dig a well overnight.

Here is short list of waterborne diseases and parasites:

  • Cryptosporidium
  • Cholera
  • E. Coli
  • Dysentery
  • Salmonellosis
  • Polio
  • Legionnaires’ disease

The first filter for us to look at is the Royal Berkey. The Royal Berkey water filter is made out of 304 stainless steel, has a capacity of approximately 3.25 Gallons, and has 2 filters (with each filter being able to filter an estimated 3,000 gallons of water).

Royal Berkey Water Filter

A Survivalist Guide to Stockpiling Food For SHTF and TEOTWAWKI

snap beans

There is an interesting thread in the Survivalist Forum about Food Preps. Some of the topics being discussed are stockpiling food such as canned goods, stockpiling dried or vacuum sealed foods, buying MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), canning your own food, stockpiling family sized or #10 cans of food, or something else.

Regardless of how much food you stockpile, its impossible to stockpile enough food for a lifetime.

Here is what my food preps look like:

  • Canned goods bought from local grocery store
  • Dried foods – dried beans, dried rice, and the such stored in mylar bags
  • MREs and Eversafe meals
  • Stockpiling as much seed as possible – beans, peas, corn, squash, okra, radishes,,, only to name a few.
  • Food stored in #10 cans
  • Freeze dried food in pouches with a 30 year life span
  • Fruit trees
  • Chickens
  • Garden
  • Farming tools

Canned goods and dried foods are not a self sustaining food supply – once you eat them, they are gone. You are not going to be able to plant an empty bean can, and expect it to sprout a bean plant; which will grow more canned beans – that is not the way it happens.

Stocking up on canned goods, dried foods, vacuum sealed foods, is a dead end. Regardless of how long your food supply will last – 3 months, 6 months, 8 months, 12 months, its going to come to an end sooner or later.

Written Disaster Plans

Hurricane Ike flooding

While planning for a disaster, an important consideration should be to write your plans down, make copies and then send those copies to your friends and family members. The plans should include destination during the evacuations, contact phone number, routes you plan on taking during the evacuation and backup phone numbers – plus your usual stuff.

Destinations: This is your predefined “bug out location”. If you have to evacuate, where are you going? This should be planned out ahead of time, driven, and this information shared with your friends and family members.

Contact phone numbers: Pick a family member or friend that is several hundred miles from your location. Contact them and see if they will agree to be the messenger service. Before, during and after a disaster there is a good chance that phone lines will be overloaded. Use someone outside the area to relay messages between the affected parties.

Urban Survival Disaster Preparedness Plans

Putting together a disaster preparedness plan can be a daunting task. To begin, let us start with some basic questions. What kind of disaster should be planned for? What kind of disaster gear should be included in the kit? How many people will the plans have to support? How long will the disaster last?

Location is very important. This is one of the first questions anyone developing a disaster plan should take into consideration.

Everyone that lives within 200 miles of the Southeastern coast of the USA or the Gulf of Mexico coast should plan for hurricanes and/or strong thunder storms.

Anyone that lives in the northern regions should plan on cold weather with lots of snow and ice.

Mountain / arid regions should plan for wild fires in the summer and snow along with ice in the winter.

Tornadoes should be considered, regardless of location.

Earthquake prone regions should plan for just that, earthquakes.

By those examples, each disaster plan and urban survival kit will be a little different. However, each kit should contain some of the same basic items.

Food & Water – most organizations tell people to have at least 3 days or 72 hours worth of food and water on hand. This is an unrealistic number. After a disaster, such as a hurricane, most relief organizations plan on having services in place within 72 hours. What if the family has 3 days worth of food and water, and the relief services are NOT in place during that time frame?

For the sake of discussion, lets say the Jones family has 14 days worth of food and water on hand. The Smith family has 3 days – just like the government advices. On the 5th day after some kind of disaster strikes, the Smith family is asking the Jones Family if they have any food they can spare.

Whatever the government says you need, double or triple that number.

Hurricane Season and Disaster Preparedness Plans

Hand crank powered flashlight at the bug out location

June 1 starts off the 2009 Hurricane season. For those of you that live in areas that might be affected by a hurricane, now is the time to make sure your plans and supplies are in place. Lets just review some basic disaster preparedness plans.

Have a primary and a backup evacuation route. This includes everything from interstate highways to country back roads. Drive these roads every once in awhile – check on construction zones and slow areas. If the traffic is slow during rush hour, its going to be at a dead stop (or barely moving) during an evacuation.

Have enough food and water for double to triple the number of people in your house right now, for at least 1 week (7 days). If you live 100+ miles inland, you might have to receive friends or family members that are evacuating from the coastal area. Do not depend on evacuees to bring their own food – most do – some don’t.

Survivalist Retreat Bug Out Location Example

Bug out cabin

A survivalist retreat should start off with the most basic of necessities – food, water and shelter. Besides those items, location is very important. Access to running water, wild game animals, land for gardening, and away from the public view should also be important considerations.

The video shows an example of what some people might call a retreat, or a fall back position. The building is miles away from a paved road, is located in an area populated with lots of wildlife and offers enough room for a few people to sleep. The covered front area offers protection from the elements.

The water drum can be brought to a local creek and filled – this makes it good for hand washing, or washing dishes. Keep a few gallons of bleach at the shack – this can be used to cleaning and water purification.

For drinking water, a slow sand water filter could be built. Water could be ported from the creek, poured out into the slow sand filter and made safe to drink.

Prepping Plans for 2009

Overlooking the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas

As I look back 0n 2008, I also look forward to 2009.

Over the past few months I have not been my usual self. Korey (my son) got a deer this hunting season, and so far that is all we have gotten is that one deer. Tomorrow is the last day of regular deer season, in 2 weeks there is a youth weekend. Hopefully between tomorrow and the youth weekend Korey or I will be able to get another deer. This will fill our freezer for the coming year.

January – my wife and I planted a bed of onions. I bought the onion sprouts 2 weeks ago but have not felt like planting them. The onions were a mix of 10-15Y and some smaller green onions for salads and baked potatoes.

10-15Y are a large onion developed by Texas A&M. When the bulb is ready to be harvested, it will be about the size of a baseball. These onions have a sweet taste and are good for putting on hamburgers.

February – Potatoes go in the ground around February 14th. My wife and I already have to seed potatoes in the shed.

This is also one of the months that I like to go camping.

Plant a couple of apple and peach trees.

Tips on How to Bury a Cache Tube

Sometime around 1998, some of my buddies built a cache tube, and filled it with various items. Some of the items in the cache tubes were magazines, ammunition and a Ruger mini-30.

Green PVC is better then white. The green stuff has a life expectancy of around 800 years, buried and full of sewage. Yep, that last part is correct, the green stuff is sewage pipe. So be sure to get it new and not used.

One end cap does not need to be glued on. To make that seal, use heavy duty water proof wheel bearing grease for boat trailers. Boat trailer wheel bearing grease is designed to be submerged in water. Spread it around the outside of the pipe on the end that the cap will not be glued on. Spread it on thick, as the cap goes on it will push the extra in front of the cap, building up a bead of grease.

The end cap that is not glued on, you will have to have some kind of vent hole, or the caps will not stay on, the compressed air will push the caps back off. Use something like a 3/32 drill bit to drill the vent hole, then plug with water proof, heavy duty wheel bearing grease.

The First 72 Hours After a Disaster

Cooking at the bug out location

This past July 4th weekend my family and I spent 3 days at the camp. This “3 days” is important – the gubberment says that after a disaster you can expect at least 72 hours before relief services are put into place.

While my kids were busy playing in the creek and shooting fireworks, I was thinking of the situation we were in. Even though this was an enjoyable weekend and everyone had fun, there were some serious situations that needed to be considered.

Infant Formula / baby food

My step daughter got pregnant 4 months ago while she was breastfeeding her first child – Joe. Joe is a fine young man who is 9 months old. After Kandi got pregnant with her second child, her breast milk dried up, forcing Joe to eat to artificial food.

While we were at the camp Kandi ran out of powdered formula. Its no big deal, we just drove the 15 – 20 miles back to town. On the flip side, what if we could not make the trip? What if there was no store with baby food stocks?

Stocking Firewood at the Bug Out Location

Cut and split firewood

For thousands of years mankind has used firewood for cooking and warmth. Even today thousands of people still rely on wood for their everyday cooking needs. When prepping for a SHTF event firewood could be a reliable and long term cooking solution.

Firewood is an important asset – but its only an asset if the person can utilize it. In this case a storm blew down an oak tree. Instead of the tree going to waste, it was cut up for firewood.

During a long term SHTF survival situation, after the propane runs out, after the liquid fuel runs out for the camp stoves, its either going to be cooking with solar ovens, or cooking with wood, or not cooking at all.

After hurricanes Ike and Rita made landfall, I cooked for my family for between 2 – 3 weeks with firewood. For breakfast we would used a coleman stove to cook with, and for dinner we used my barbeque pit on a trailer.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018