Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: prepping

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.

Random Thoughts on Prepping For SHTF

Kevin Felts, Blogger and Survivalist

Random Thoughts on Prepping For SHTFPlease Rate This Article One of the big questions in the prepping / survivalist community is when did you start prepping? My great grandparents lived on a small farm, my dad was raised on this same small farm, my mom was raised in a rural area and had chickens and […]

December 2013 Farm Update And Projects

Farm equipment for SHTF

After looking through my youtube video I realized I have not uploaded a video in a couple of months. The last video I uploaded was on September 15, 2013, which makes 3 months. In all honesty I had not realized it had been so long.

So what has been going on?

Added some lean-tos on the shed to park the tiller and lawnmower under.

Got a deer feeder setup about 100 years behind the house.

Added some pvc pipe to the deer feeder legs to prevent coons from climbing the legs. Raccoons have been climbing the legs and turning the spinner, which dumps a lot of corn on the ground. the corn is not for coons, it is for deer and hogs.

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

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.

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

Dividing Resources In Your Long Term Survival Plans

Like a lot of people my wife and I have limited resources. We are just everyday middle class people trying to get by. Just like everyone else we pay our taxes, pay the electric bill, internet, health insurance,,,,. Once everything is paid we try to decide how to save money.

The issue we are running into, my wife and I are looking at moving away from Jasper Texas to a rural area. Jasper is already rural, but we want to get further away from town.

We need to put a water well on the land, sewer system, build a chicken yard,,, and a few ether odds and ends to get our new life started.

Then came the Adam Lanza incident and renewed calls for an assault rifle ban.

I am finding myself pulled into some of the panic buying. There was a short period of time between the shooting and Dianne Feinstein calling for more gun control and prices going through the roof. During that short time period I picked up another AR-15 for less then $1,000.

A gun store has some AR-15s for $1,300 each. As I consider buying another AR while I still can, I keep thinking about what that $1,300 could pay for at the homestead. We could probably put down a septic system for between $1,500 and $2,000.

Hobbies For Survivalist

So you are sitting around the house, nothing is on TV, no new or exciting news on the internet,,,,, what do you do?

You could always play some Skyrim or Left 4 Dead 2. But Left 4 Dead 2 is getting old.

What hobbies can survivalist get into that will help improve our long term SHTF survival skills?

Coin Collecting

Most of us handle money in shape for or fashion just about everyday. Why not get into coin collecting so you can start stockpiling silver and other valuable coins?

Silver and gold have been recognized as being valuable for thousands of years. At one time the US dollar was backed by gold, but now its just backed by a promise. If that promise ever falls through it would be good to have some kind of money that has a real physical value.

Ever though they are getting very rare, from time to time I find a pre-1965 quarter in my change. When I find silver coins they go into storage.

Years ago I used to take my kids down to a pawn shop in Orange Texas to buy them silver dollars and half-dollars. I was trying to teach my children the value of real money. Times change, things change, we moved away from Bridge City and Jasper Texas. The local pawn shops around here do not sell silver coins.

Prepping Fatigue

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistSooner or later everyone in the prepping/survivalist community deals with prepping fatigue. Whether you have been prepping for a year, two years, ten years or twenty plus years, sooner or later you are going to get fatigued.

Due to the way I was raised by my parents, the way my grandparents lived on a small farm, and the atmosphere of the cold war in the 1970s, I would say my parents and grandparents conditioned me to be a prepper.

To me, survivalism is a way of life rather then a hobby.

Some people get into prepping like they do a lot of other things. Whether its getting in shape, going back to school, jogging, working out, stop smoking, stop drinking,,, most people are sincere in their actions.

Then they realize how much time and effort prepping can take. For some people its a matter of buying some canned goods and bottled water. Then there are the people who allow their lives to be consumed.

Like everything else in life, balance comes with moderation.

A few ways I deal with prepping fatigue

Doom and Gloom in the Survival Community

Kevin Felts, blogger and political commentator

For the past 20 years I have considered myself active in the survival community. Whether it was listening to talk radio, buying American survival guide magazines, going to gun shows and talking to people, there always seemed to be a level of doom and gloom.

Doom and gloom seemed to be everywhere in the 1990s, in magazines, in books, on the radio,,,. People were talking about how NAFTA was going to abolish the U.S. as a sovereign nation, how the United Nations was going to invade the U.S., how the new world order was going to use the Y2K event to usher in a new era.

There for a decade it was just one thing after another, after another, after another.

After a couple of decades of hearing the same thing over and over like a broke radio, you start to get a little numb to it.

Related ArticleDoom and Gloom in the survival community

Do we prepare in vain

Stockpiling survival gear, stockpiling food, stockpiling ammunition,,, are we prepping for something that will never happen? Has our time been squandered? Has everything we have done, been done in vain?

I consider myself to be active in the survivalist / prepping community for close to 20 years. In the late 1980s I became aware that I needed to be able to protect my family during times of civil unrest, so I started reloading and stockpiling ammunition.

In the 1990s I started stockpiling basic food groups, forming bug out plans, and started buying more firearms.

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistFrom the early 1990s – 2012, what has happened in the world to warrant living a survivalist lifestyle? Have we had an outbreak of a new plague, we had the swine flu but it fizzled out, no nuclear war,,,. Overall, besides the twin towers being brought down, and the conflict in the middle east, the world has been a pretty peaceful place.

The first part of the 21st century has been a lot more peaceful then the first part of the 20th century.

100 years ago tensions where rising in Europe. Unknown at the time there was a World War just around the corner.

Prepping is a never ending process

In the 1990s my prepping plans included stockpiling rice, beans, ammunition and plans to bug out to the camp (my grandparents farm). From there my family and I were going to live off the land.

Times change, plans change.

My plans went from stockpiling mostly rice and beans, to stockpiling canned foods, #10 cans of freeze dried foods, planting fruit trees, food stored in mylar bags, stockpiling seeds, and having a chicken coop that can be loaded on a trailer and brought to the bug out location.

Without safe drinking water life as we know it can not exist. Because of that fact my family and I plan on driving a new water well.

Plans changed from cooking over an open fire, to building a bar-b-q pit large enough to cook a whole hog on. Hopefully the pit can act as a smoker, as well as a cooker.

Unprepared Sheeple Make Disasters Worse

Just before Hurricane Rita made landfall I observed something that I probably will never forget, and that was a guy with a lowboy trail loaded with 55 gallon drums. He was at the gas station filling up the drums – and we wonder why gas stations run out of fuel so fast during a disaster?

I am as guilty as the next person about panic buying. When the word comes that a hurricane is heading our way, my wife and I will take a trip to the local china-mart to pick up a few last minute items.

There is a difference in picking up a “few” items, and trying to stockpile several weeks worth of food in one trip.

Every time a hurricane comes around, people will kick into high gear panic buying mode. They run down to the store and start buying everything in sight.

As hurricane Ike was approaching a few years ago, I heard people at china-mart talking about how the store was out of this or that. The people that were talking agreed to buy “something”. That “something” was whatever was left on the shelves.

Its that “we have nothing, so we have to buy anything” desperation that makes the whole situation worse. People walk around china-mart, their eyes have a semi-blank stare, and their mouths slightly open, kinda like a deer in the headlights.

When my wife and I go to china-mart before the landfall of a hurricane, its to pick up some bread, maybe a gallon of milk, maybe some more bottled water,,,. Its not that we are out, or need the items, we just want a couple of extra.

Stress levels go up as the hurricane approaches landfall. The unprepared sheeple make the situation worse because they are in panic buying mode.

Obsessed With Survivalism

Kevin Felts at the Angelina River

Have you ever met someone that is obsessed with prepping or survivalism? They keep their Get Home Bag ready to go, their Bug Out Bag is prepped and ready to go, keep a firearm in every room of the house,,, to the point where survivalism has consumed their lives. Would that be survivalism, an obsession or paranoia?

There is a fine line between a hobby and an obsession. If that is true, is there a line between a lifestyle and an obsession? What about a hobby and a lifestyle?

If we do the same thing everyday for 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years, would that be considered an obsession? If so, is work an obsession? Sometimes yea, work can be an obsession. Other times work is something we do to live.

If someone practices survivalism for 10, 20, 30,,, years, would that be a lifestyle or an obsession?

Maybe the deciding factor is how much survivalism affects our everyday life. Are we able to have normal relationships, are we able to live our lives as normal as possible while maintaining a dedicated survivalist lifestyle?

There needs to be a balance between prepping and living life as normal as possible.

Why Do People Get Into Prepping

Kevin Felts, survivalist and bloggerWhy do people get into prepping?

I think it boils down to “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst”.

The question that begs to be answered is “what is the the worst?”. What is the worst case situation that we should prepare for?

For some people “the worst” might be losing their job. For others it might be a wildfire, for others it might be a hurricane or flood. Then there are the people that plan for a complete collapse of society.

Does being a survivalist mean you have to prep for a complete collapse? No, it does not.

To understand survivalism, we need to understand what drives a survivalist. One of the highest levels of human thought is to think about what we think about. Why do we do the things we do, why do we think about what we do, why do we act a certain way, why do we make certain decisions.

Nobody is born a survivalist. Joining the survival community is a conscious decision we make. As with everything else in life, our decisions are influenced by the way we were raised, culture, society, events in our life,,,.

Why do people get into coin collecting? Why do people get into stamp collecting? Why do people get into the hobbies they do? Do they find the hobbies challenging, maybe a way to occupy their free time?

Survivalism is a practical hobby. Grow your own food, preserve and store your own food, just like people used to do decades ago. Maybe survivalism should be considered as a return to basics?

There was once a time when people grew their food during the spring and summer. Then preserved the food to last the family through the winter.

Today, families keep just a few days of food on hand.

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