Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: shtf survival plans

Bug Out Box Essentials

Cooking hot dogs on a coleman stove

While my wife an I are camping at Martin Dies State Park – which is close to Jasper Texas – I thought this would be a good time to talk about our Bug Out Box. We do not call it a Bug Out Box per say, we call it our camping box. But it would serve either purpose.

If some kind of SHTF event happens and we have to bug out to the homestead, the box contains everything we need to prepare, cook and eat a good meal – pots, pans, coleman stove, propane, utensils, plates, radio,,,.

As my wife and I use the equipment in the box while we are camping, lets talk about how things are working out.

The Box – My wife and I use a Rubbermaid 36 gallon / 136.3 liter green tote, which measures 29.75 inches long, 20.25 inches wide, and 20 inches tall.

After several years of camping with friends and family I think the Bug Out Box is tuned enough for me to share my experiences.

Two burner stove – in my case I have a two burner coleman stove. But any good quality stove will work. Please do not think of this as a sales pitch for coleman, because it’s not.

How Ready Is The United States for a Complete Collapse

WASR-10 AK-47 next to pine tree

How prepared is the U.S. for a total collapse?

Our lives are like a pattern – we go to work, get a pay check, pay our bills, buy food, repeat.

People have become so domesticated, we are like a family dog. The dog goes to the food bowl and waits to be fed. People go to the grocery store, or fast food places to buy food.

How would people react if the grocery stores were empty? Would people know how to grow their own food? Would people even have the resources to grow their own food?

Learning from experience

My chicken project has taught me a lot. The coop cost around $700. My 13 chickens at at 4 1/2 months old are eating almost 50 pounds of feed every 2 weeks. A buddy of mine asked what I would do for chicken feed during a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation.

My reply was the chickens would have to forage. Chickens come from a wild jungle fowl. Even though chickens have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still retain their instincts.

Being a liability to a survival group

survivalist camp bug out locationThere are two types of people in a survival group – assets and liabilities. In your survival group, how do you determine who is a liability and who is an asset. For the sake of discussion, lets talk about liabilities.

Liabilities to a survival group usually do not:

Stockpile food – they do not take the time to prepare and kind of food stocks besides some canned goods, noodles, pasta,,, the typical stuff someone would keep in their cabinet.

Instead of having food stored in mylar bags or buying #10 cans, liabilities trust that other people will stockpile food for them. Storing food in mylar bags is not expensive, but it is time consuming. The liability usually does not want to dedicate any extra time to preparing their food stockpile.

If liabilities do have food stocked up, its going to be just enough for a few days, maybe a week or two at the longest.

When their food stocks run out, the liability will ask the other members of the survivalist group for help.

During a long term SHTF survival situation, the most in demands items are going to be food and safe drinking water. Even though food will be one of the most in demand items, its also one of the most overlooked items of the liability. Where a survivalist takes the time to study their food preps and stockpile food, the liability will usually shop at the local grocery store and only buy what their family needs within the next week or 2 weeks.

Bug Out Bag Topics

Over the years I have seen one topic that has been repeated over and over, and that is the topic of the bug out bag.

In reality, a bug out bag should contain copies of important papers, house title, car title, insurance policies, change of clothes, snack, or even 2 – 3 days worth of food, change of clothes, phone number contact list, and any prescription medicines you might be taking. The list will vary depending on the person and what they want to bring with them.

People that live close to railroad tracks or chemical plants might be asked to flee their homes due to a chemical release accident. The bug out bag is for people to grab, run, and have some basic supplies with them.

In fantasy, the bug out bag will be used to bug out to the wilderness when society collapses.

This video pokes fun at the different viewpoints on bug out bags.

Weak points in survival plans

DS-Arms SA58 FN/FAL next to a river in southeast TexasA couple of weeks ago a buddy of mine and his wife dropped by my house for a little while. As most conversations do, we turned towards the topic of survivalism, and trying to find weak points in a survival plan.

Lets say there is some kind of long term SHTF survival situation, a new disease breaks out, long term civil unrest, climate change; besides insurance (no insult intended towards my buddy), I think the weak points for just about everyone will be are medical needs, safe drinking water and food production.

Medicine – Lets take my wife for example, she developed high blood pressure, and has been on high blood pressure maintenance medicine for almost 20 years. Running out of medicine could have a negative impact on her long term health. Then there are the people on heart medicine, anti-depressants,,,,,, just a whole slough of meds.

Safe drinking water – life as we know it can not exist without safe drinking water, and that is all there is to it. Water borne infections can kill off communities with little or no advance warning. One of the number one killers in the world today is unsafe drinking water.

Now for a video about buying canned goods.

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.

Complicated survivalist plans

When talking to survivalist, it becomes clear that some of them have no idea as to what they would do if a long term disaster set in. For the sake of argument, lets say that some kind of new virus came out of the Amazon. Loggers are cutting in areas that mankind has not seen in 10,000 years. While moving the logs, a worker is exposed to some kind of virus. He goes about his daily routine for a few days, walking around town, going to the local stores, spreads the virus. And just like with the swine flu, in a matter or days its spread all over the world.

When the Swine Flu broke out in early 2009, the US government refused to close the borders – citing that companies would lose too money.

The virus moves from city to city and country to country with nothing to stop it. People become sick, die, social services breaks down, the trucks stop rolling, supplies and food shipments stop to the local grocery stores, panic buying sets in, and in a matter of days the shelves are empty.

From there, certain groups of survivalist plan on grabbing their bug out bag, and head to the nearest national forest where they and their families will live in safety and seclusion. That is, until some kind of dysentery sets in and members of the group needs medical attention.

Where Would You Go if SHTF?

sea rim state park

If you and your family had to evacuate, where would you go? Part of the answer also depends on the situation, needs of the family members and type of disaster.

Shelter in place or leave? There are many factors should help determine where there is a real need to evacuate, or whether the family unit can shelter in place.

Lets take the example of a hurricane. In September of 2008 Hurricane Ike made landfall in the Galveston, Texas area. The storm surge 100 miles to the east drove 10 feet of water 20 miles inland. The only cities there were protected from the surge were the ones that had a barrier built around them.

One of the things that saved Groves, Texas from flooding was the barrier around Port Arthur. Bridge City on the other hand received several feet of water. Out of the hundreds of houses in Bridge city, only around a dozen did not receive some kind of damage from flood waters.

Even though Hurricane Ike made landfall 100 miles to the west of the Beaumont, Bridge City, Port Arthur and Orange area, if a family lived just above sea level there was a real need to evacuate.

Sometimes an evacuation means just moving to higher ground, sometimes it means leaving to area and traveling over 100 miles. But anytime a family unit leaves their house, there is the question of where are they going to go?

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.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018