Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: prepping

Prepping For The Everyday Person

AR-15 SHTF Survival Rifle

Some people take prepping a little too far. They prepare for the worst regardless of where they are at or what they are doing. I agree with having a get home bag, but on the other side of the coin there are people that keep a complete Bug Out Bag along with a small arsenal in their vehicle.

Reading what some people post in forums, its like they are prepping for a zombie invasion to breakout at any second. Unlike what is portrayed on TV, the majority of preppers do not live on the fringe of society. We are everyday people living in the cities, suburbs and rural areas all across the world.

When people look at prepping, they get on the forum and get a little overwhelmed by what they see. It is easy to forget that some of the members of the forum have been prepping for decades.

Prepping is not for the lazy. Sure you can buy some rice and throw it in an airtight box, buy some canned foods and think you have a well rounded survival plan.

Zombies Are Real

Overlooking the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas

Yep, you read that right, zombies are real. Not real as in wanting to eat your brains, but real as in mindless people with no sense of reason and incapable of higher thought.

To live a survivalist lifestyle, one should be open minded, open to new ideas, flexible, open to suggestions and open to change. To be closed minded, to be inflexible and not open to change sets a limit on how well we can adjust to change.

What caused the Neanderthal to go extinct?

What caused Cro-Magnon Man to go extinct?

What caused Homo-Erectus to go extinct?

Was it their inability to adjust to climate change? Was it their inability to adjust to changing food sources? Were they open to new ideas?

Sheeple zombies

Sheeple are the people that say “we have done it this way 100 years, there is no reason to change now”. These are the people who resist any kind of change. When sheeple are forced to change, they get angry and develop feels of resentment. These are the people that are on a dead end road of life.

I wonder if some Neanderthal refused to change his hunting patterns with the changes in herd migration?

What preppers do on the weekend

Wire on end of chicken coop runWhat do preppers do with their spare time? Unless you are some kind of radical survivalist, we do not live in bunkers, nor do we hide in our homes in fear of a zombie invasion. For the most part, preppers (aka survivalist) are just like everyone else. Survivalism / Prepping is a way of life. While some people collect stamps, we check our food stocks. While some people collect coins for fun and profit, we collect silver and gold as a hedge against inflation.

Friday, May 18 was a day to relax after the work week. Friday evening is when my wife and I talk about what we need to do over the weekend.

Saturday, May 19 my wife and I like to get up early and get our shopping done. Breakfast is either a fried egg sandwich with bacon or sausage on the side, or something quick in the microwave. Regardless of what is fixed for breakfast, I like to have either strawberries or a banana on the side. I feel that its important to start the day off with something like yogurt, or some kind of fruit along with my main breakfast.

To wash breakfast down, I usually have a low carb energy drink, such as a rock star or monster.

After breakfast, my wife and I head to town to take care of the shopping. We like to get to get an early start before the stores get too crowded, and before the heat of the day sets in.

Part of the shopping list was put together a week beforehand. Over the past week I took inventory. What did I need to buy, what did I not need to buy? For Saturday I decided to pick up a box of Remington Core-Lokt in 308 Winchester 150 grain. My 30-30 stocks are just about where I want them to be. As usual the local Wal-mart was sold out of American Eagle in 223. the closer we get to hunting season, the more difficult it is to find ammunition. I like to buy my hunting ammo during the summer so when hunting season arrives I am ready to go.

Survivalism as a Lifestyle

Bowfin caught on trotline

Being a survivalist means that survivalism is incorporated in every facet of my life. Whether its hunting, camping, gardening, cooking,,,, I try to relate how those activities would tie in with a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation.

On the other hand, how do I know survivalism is not just some type of obsessive compulsive disorder? If you obsess over something, is it some kind of disorder or mental illness?

Are people that obsess over making money mentally ill?

Are people that obsess over their car mentally ill?

Are people that obsess over work mentally ill?

Lets take that work example and talk about it for a minute. If being obsessed with work is a sign of mental illness, then most of the U.S. population has sick mind. Well, everyone besides the welfare parasites that is.

From the time the U.S. was founded, generation after generation has worked its fingers to the bone. Workers built the rail roads, they built the cities, they built the steel mills, they built the ships, and all with a type of self gratification that they were “working” and providing for their families.

Ever hear the term “workaholic”? These are the people that would rather spend time at work then with their families, these are the people that have committed their lives to working, these are the people how have committed their lives to something besides themselves.

2012 Prepping Plans

Stockpiling food for shtf

With a title of “2012 prepping plans”, you might think this article is about what might happen in December of 2012. Well, that is not what this article is about. If you are worried about 2012, and you consider yourself a prepper or a survivalist, then you are doing it wrong. We should not bother ourselves with dates and predictions of doom and gloom. Our duty to our family and those close to us is to maintain a constant state of readiness. It is impossible to maintain a 100% constant state of readiness. To do so would require us to walk around with a gas mask and bio-suit. What we can do, is have a stockpile of food, water and the ability to protect our family and property.

The goal of this article is to look back on 2011, reflect, and then look forward to 2012. Where do you need to improve your preps, what areas have you neglected and what changes can you make in the coming year.

As 2012 approaches, some of us might be thinking about news years resolutions. Along with the typical lose weight and stop smoking resolutions, I would like everyone to post suggestions related to how prepared you and your family are. Where do you need to make improvements. On top of your own preps, what do you family members need to do to improve?

The concept of stockpiling survival gear

Angelina river Jasper TexasWith organizations like FEMA, and the preparedness divisions of the separate states telling people to stay prepared for a disaster, there is no reason not to listen. All families should have at least 7 days worth of food in their house, and a small stockpile of bottled water. Some people stockpile MREs, while others may stockpile canned goods, beans and rice, or even freeze dried foods.

By previous examples, the government is either inept, unable, or unwilling to protect its citizens during a disaster.

Lets take the outbreak of the swine flu for example. When the swine flu was first reported in mexico, President obama refused to close to borders with mexico, citing companies would lose too much money of the borders were closed. By that example, when it comes down to profit or protecting the citizens, the government will protect the profits of big business over the safety and welfare of the citizens.

With the government willing to sacrifice safety in the name of profits for big business, is their 3 – 5 days worth of food and water sound advice? I do not think so.

In some kind of disaster, the less prepared people are, the more dependent they will be on the government. This is where the concept of stockpiling survival gear comes from. Lets say that some kind of long lasting disaster happens – civil unrest (LA riots for example), hurricane, natural disasters, another world war,,,, I do not want my family standing in a food line to get something to eat. I would rather have a garden, and stockpiled food to help us get through what ever happens.

How about a random video about stockpiling survival gear.

Abandoned Places and Long Term Disasters

Abandoned places after shtf

Let’s say that some kind of long term SHTF happens, like what happened in 1348 with the Black Death. Large areas are depopulated, nobody is around to maintain roads, nobody is around to keep the trees cut back, or do maintenance on buildings. What can we expect? In an effort to what what will happen to our infrastructure, my wife went driving around to look at abandoned sawmills and abandoned sawmill towns.

Sawmills

A local sawmill burned down in 1925, was not rebuilt and the land was abandoned in the 1930s or 1940s. All that remains is a couple of walls, the foundations, and some motor mounts where the saw motors were bolted down. If it was not made of cement or steel, its long gone. But even then, the steel is starting to rust away. Nothing of wood is visible above the layers of leaves and pine straw.

While walking around the remains of the sawmill, I can not help but think about the people that worked there. Did they have the same worries that we do today, did they worry about paying the house note; did they worry about their kids, and what about the politics at the time.

If SHTF Would You Have a Future

Overlooking the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas

There was a line in 28 Days Later that got me to thinking. Its after the group leaves the city and finds their way to the house controlled by the soldiers. The commanding officer takes Jim (played by Cillian Murphy) into a courtyard where an infected soldier is chained up.

The commanding officer tells the Jim that the infected soldier provides a lot of information. Jim says something along the lines of “what does he tell you?” The commanding officer explains that the infected solider will never raise crops, he will never raise livestock, he will never bake bread, he has no future. And eventually, he will tell me how long the infected take to starve to death.”

This brings up the question, post SHTF, how many people will “have no future”?

  • How many people will be unable to raise crops,
  • How many people will be unable to raise livestock,
  • How many people will be unable to hunt,
  • How many people will be unable to bake bread,
  • How many people will be able to adapt to a new lifestyle,

I call it “the dog bowl theory” – its when a dog looses its instinct to hunt. Its when a dog walks over to the food bowl, there is no food, so the dog just looks up at the dogs owner and whines. Its like the dog is saying “what am I supposed to do now? There is no food in the bowl.”

Barter Items For After SHTF / TEOTWAWKI

If SHTF tomorrow, 12 months later, what items would you have that you could use for barter? Is bartering even in your plans, have you even thought about it? The other day I was walking through wal-mart and was thinking about low cost, good quality trade items. There is a difference in good quality, medium quality and poor quality barter items.

Here are some examples of barter/trade items:

Gold and silver only have value when someone values money. Once society has broken down to where its a dog eat dog world, I’am willing to bet that food will have more value then gold and silver.

Solar panels, seeds, first aid supplies are a good quality trade items.

Clothing might have an “ok” trade value.

Hand tools might be a medium quality trade item. If your cars and trucks are not running, what value are hand tools.

Being a survivalist in the 1990s

Survivalism, like everything else changes with time. During the Cold War – the 1950s and 1960s – people were worried about nuclear war with Russia. In the 1990s theories were a dime a dozen about how the United Nations was going to invade the USA. In the 2000s we were worried about terrorist attacks, and now in 2010 we are worried about financial collapse.

As I think about the past few decades, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s,,, to me, the 1990s was the best decade for survivalism. While Bill Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001, he probably he did more to promote survivalism / conspiracy theories then anyone else that I can think of, besides maybe Janet Reno and the Waco situation.

1991 we had the Persian Gulf conflict – Desert Shield and Desert Storm. We got to see how well the Russian made tanks held up against the M1 Abrams. We got to see the stealth fighter and bomber. The world saw that the USA can kick some butt and take names later – if there was enough left to even name.

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.”

What it means to be a survivalist

Lets see, how would be the best way to describe this – prepping/survivalism is a way of life. Its not anything that I put any extra thought into, it just happens. Its like putting on your shoes, or tying your shoes, walking to the kitchen to get something to eat,,,,, its like a way of life.

Over the weekend, when my wife and I are at the grocery store. I picked up a couple of jars of creamy peanut butter and a couple of jars of honey. The 2 things that do not require special storage. They can be opened and left on the kitchen counter for months, honey will stay good forever.

So while we are shopping, I’am standing there thinking about how to eat the peanut butter and honey with no bread, or maybe just crackers, or straight out of the jar. The honey contains trace minerals, its good for cleaning wounds, and its its supposed to be good for your allergies. It does not have to be kept cold, or frozen and it does not have to be cooked.

Rotating Your Survival Garden Seed Stockpile

Stockpiling Garden Seeds

One of the questions that is asked a lot on the forums, is how long will seeds stay good? One example to the answer of that question is the Doomsday Seed Vault. This seed vault is designed to keep seeds frozen for centuries. Some types of seeds will stay good for decades. While other types of seeds can stay good for hundreds of years – if kept frozen.

Even though seeds can stay viable for a long time if frozen, I still take the time to rotate out my seed stock.

A lot of the seeds in my stocks are cucumbers, peas, snap beans, corn, squash, radishes, and zucchini – especially squash and zucchini. That is because they are easy to grow and somewhat disease resistant. Snap beans, cucumbers and zucchini can by high producing plants.

In the spring of 2008 my wife and I planted a couple of rows of snap beans. These rows were maybe 10 – 15 feet long. We got around a 5 gallon bucket out of just short row. Keep in mind that the 10 foot row produced food for over a month and had to be picked every couple of days.

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.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018