Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: shtf survival gear

Survival Gear Salt Flashlights and Seeds

buying shtf survival gearA couple of weeks ago I posted a video on youtube talking about spreading your survival gear purchases out over time. Instead of forking out $400, $500 or even $600 at a time, just spend $40, $50 or $60 at a time. After a few trips to the store, your probably going to be surprised at the amount of gear that can be stockpiled.

A couple of weeks ago my kids and I went to the camp for 2 days. While we were there we decided to walk around the property at night. The following is what I like to call the “can opener” effect – its were you get so involved with the bigger things that you overlook the small stuff.

During the rush to get packed, all three of us forgot to grab a good flashlight. After looking through the flashlights that we have stockpiled at the camp, I realized that we had several hand crank flashlights, but no good quality LED flashlights. Hand crank lights are fine for inside the house, but when you need to secure the property, you need a good quality light. The only good quality light my kids and I had was the Surefire 6PX Tactical on my Ar-15. My daughter and my son were able to find some cheap led lights that were barley bright enough to see the ground. We walked around the property, looked at some stuff and then went back to the trailer. While my kids and I were walking around in the middle of the night, I made up my mind that some good LED lights would be in my next purchase.

Purchases for March 6 2011 include:

6 – 1 pound 10 ounce containers of salt
100 rounds Winchester 9mm 115grain round nose
4 pack energizer AAA Lithium batteries
1 – Coleman 90 lumen LED flashlight
1 pound regular pinto beans (for the garden)
1 pound yellow dent field corn (for the garden)
$1 worth giant noble spinach (for the garden)
20 pounds seed potatoes – hopefully to get planted next week

On the topic of handcrank flashlights

Lets talk about handcrank flashlights for a little bit. This topic might have been discussed a lot, but its good to have a refresher.

Over the past few years I have been trying to stock up on those hand crank flashlights and lanterns. But instead of having a bunch of them at my home (which I do), I have been bringing some of them to “the camp”.

When my family and I go to the camp, sometimes its after dark when we get there. After we arrive, I will grab a flashlight to go turn on the propane. I do not want to have to worry about dead batteries in the flashlight.

There have been a few time that thunder storms have knocked out power at the camp. I do not like looking around for extra batteries in the dark – especially when we have mouse traps set out.

Its very convent to grab a flashlight, shake or give it a couple of twist, and you have instant light.

Here is one of the issues, it might be 2 – 4 months between trips to the camp. That gives the batteries in the flashlights a long time to go dead.

Also, if you leave those cheap batteries in your flashlights -the ones that leak acid – your gear can be ruined before you know it. Just the other day I found an AM/FM radio that the batteries had leaked in and ruined the device. The radio was a cheap one, so its not a lot of money lost, but it is a piece of equipment that will need to be replaced.

I have heard of long term storage batteries, ones that you can keep stored for decades,,,, but why? I see no real reason to invest in stuff like that. They are going to go dead after you put them in the flashlight anyway.

The crank flashlights make good hand outs to the kids. If the light gets set down and the batteries go dead, just give it a few shakes or twist. This past weekend while on a camping trip with my daughter, I gave her a twist flashlight to keep in her tent with her. I told her to twist the end to charge it up, and she was like “ok, no problem.”

No Bug Out Bag for Me, Thank You

From what I see, most of the people that talk about “bug out bags” have never faced a “real” disaster. But lets not group everyone together – I’am sure some of them have.

Personally, I do not subscribe to the “Bug Out Bag” train of thought. I have had to bug out / evacuate in the face of too many hurricanes, and like to think I know the difference between reality and myth.

Panic Buying Before a Disaster

Panic buying before a disaster

When the public has and kind of advanced warning of a disaster – such as a hurricane or pandemic disease – people go into a panic buying mode. Keep this one thing in mind – if you do not have it before the panic buying kicks in, you will not be able to get it.

These images were taken as Hurricane Ike was approaching the Texas coast in September of 2008.

The list of items that disappears off the shelf first is rather short, but still long. It includes canned foods, bottled water, camp stoves and camp stove fuel, bread, flashlights, and other odd and end items.

The image to the left shows the camp stove selection at a local store right before Hurricane Ike made landfall in 2008. There were only a couple of stoves and just a little fuel left on the shelves. When this picture was taken, the hurricane was still 2 – 3 days from landfall. People were buying just about any kind of camp stove, lantern and fuel they could get their hands on.

It’s important to mention that people had buggies loaded down with charcoal for their outdoor grill. It it cooked, or could be used to cook, people were buying it up.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018