Homesteading and Survivalism

Ramblings Of A Bored Survivalist

Surviving SHTF

Posted by Kevin Felts On November 8, 2012 0 Comments

Chickens in the chicken coopFor the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of long term SHTF situation has happened. Whether it was civil unrest, meteor strike, financial collapse, nuclear war, outbreak of new disease,,, lets talk about what you and your family are going to need to survive.

Just about everyone knows about the food, water and shelter of survival. But how many people put a lot of thought into the details? In reality, how your food, water and shelter preps look for a long term SHTF survival situation?

If you want to see society break down, disrupt the supply of water, electricity and food.

Water

Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist. Contaminated drinking water is one of the fastest way to spread disease. Once dysentery sets in, without modern day antibiotics, its just a matter of time.

To ensure my family has a source of safe drinking water, my wife and I are investing into family sized water filters. Just a few days ago I received a couple of Berkey replacement filters from Safecastle. Each filter provides an estimated 3,000 gallons of safe drinking water. Four filters should provide an estimated 12,000 gallons of safe drinking water. The plans are to buy a couple of ceramic filters to go with the black filters. I would like to have enough filters to be able to filter an estimated 20,000 gallons of water.

In addition to a Berkey water filter, I also have a SteriPEN Sidewinder.

The Sidewinder uses UV light to kill any pathogens that may slip through the water filter.




Survival Gear Preps Second Quarter 2012

Posted by Kevin Felts On June 24, 2012 0 Comments

Stockpiling SHTF Survival GearWhile stockpiling survival gear for a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, I think it is important to pause, review, and then move forward. It does no good to stockpile the same thing over and over, while overlooking other essential preps. The changing of the seasons, a new year, or every 3 – 4 months are good times to do reviews.

January, February and March of 2012 were dedicated to buying a Remington 1911 R1, stockpiling 45acp, collecting some some books on chickens, buying some chicks and building my chicken coop. The 1911 is for personal / property defense, and the chickens are for a sustainable food source.

Related Forum ThreadMy Chicken Coop Project

April, May and June of 2012 were dedicated to expanding my ability to purify water, some new cooking gear, expanding my stockpile of brass cased 223, buying some 308 Winchester, diversifying my stockpile of 22 long rifle and expanding my first aid supplies.

Purifying Water

If water purification is not at the top of your long term survival plans, it should be. Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.

My recent additions were two Berkey black filters and a SteriPen Sidewinder.

The Royal Berkey I keep at the Bug Out Location has 2 black filters. Each filter has a life expectancy of around 3,000 gallons – depending on water quality. With the addition of 2 more filters, I can now filter an estimated 12,000 gallons of water.




Five Fathers Day Gift Ideas

Posted by Kevin Felts On June 10, 2012 0 Comments

Got a preppers or a survivalist for a dad? If you do, here are some gift ideas for Fathers Day.

Steripen sidewinder with water bottleSteripen Sidewinder from Safe Castle

The Steripen Sidewinder is a hand powered unit that purifies water with UV light. Being hand powered means you can use the unit when there is no electrify, and no batteries required. The SteriPen website claims the UV bulb is supposed to be good for 8,000 one liter treatments. 8,000 liters is an estimated 2,116 gallons.

Fill the included water bottle, then crank the handle for 90 seconds. If you are not cranking fast enough, there are two LEDs that will flash red. When the 90 seconds of cranking has been achieved, the LEDs will flash green.

Instead of cranking for a full 90 seconds, you can crank for 30 seconds, swirl the unit, crank for 30 seconds, swirl the unit, crank for 30 seconds, swirl the unit. the SteriPen website says not to pause between cranking for more then about 6 or 7 seconds.

maxpedition vulture-iiMaxpedition Vulture II

From the Maxpedition website:
* Main Compartment: 20.5″(H) x 16″(W) x 7.5″(D)
* Front Pouch: 15.5″(H) x 12″(W) x 2.75″(D)
* Slip Pocket: 15.5″(H) x 12″(W)
* Capacity: 2810 cu. in. / 46 liters
* Weight: 3 lbs , 8 oz
* Hydration: Up to 100+ oz Bladder
* Support: 1″ Sternum Strap, 2″ Integrated Belt (min 19″ strap alone / max 52″ strap alone; min 34″ loop / max 67″ loop)
* Optional accessories: Hook & Loop Modular Accessories and Grimloc Carabiner, Hydration reservoir
*1000-Denier water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon fabric
* Teflon® fabric protector for grime resistance and easy maintenance
* High strength YKK zippers and zipper tracks
* Triple polyurethane coated for water resistance
* High tensile strength nylon webbing
* High tensile strength composite nylon thread (stronger than ordinary industry standard nylon thread)
*AS-100 high grade closed-cell foam padding material for superior shock protection
* Internal seams taped and finished
* Paracord zipper pulls
* Stress points double stitched, Bartacked or “Box-and-X” stitched for added strength

Visit the Maxpedition Website




What preppers do on the weekend

Posted by Kevin Felts On May 20, 2012 6 Comments

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.




Prepping the Bug Out Location

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 25, 2012 16 Comments

survivalistA few nights ago I had a dream that has had me thinking ever since. The dream was about the US going through a nuclear war. The infrastructure had been devastated, no news was coming out of cities like LA or New York. It was as if life had been turned 180 degrees in the blink of an eye. We had limited internet, and we had electricity, but there was no news getting out about how bad the devastation was.

Part of the electricity in southeast Texas is provided by a series of 3 hydroelectric dams – Dam B, Lake Sam Rayburn and Toledo bend. In my dream, the electricity in my area was being kept on by those 3 dams.

When the food shipments had stopped, the local grocery stores were cleaned out in a matter of hours. What led to the shipments stopping, was the main computer systems that tell the trucks when to roll and where to go had stopped working. Since the trucking companies did not know when and where to deliver the products, the workers stopped loading the trucks.

Our society has grown so dependent on computer systems, we do not know how to do anything without them. The local Sonic can not even fix an iced tea without their computers being up. A lot of radio stations broadcast syndicated content, that content travels over the internet. Without the internet, a lot of radio stations would not even have a morning show. Inventory control for massive retailers are controlled by remote offices, and you guessed it, over the internet.




Picking a camp stove for a bug out location

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 20, 2012 2 Comments

Propane Coleman StoveSome kind of long term disaster has happened, you and your family have almost depleted the food and water reserves at your home, now its time to make a decision, stay or go? Its time to go.

Your family loads whatever gear, food and water you have left in the truck, car or SUV, then you hit the road. You get to the Bug Out Location, unload your gear, and now what? You cook a good hot mean, thats what.

Never underestimate the power of a good hot meal on moral. The smell and sight of cooking food does something to the human mind, it relaxes us. The effect of cooking food might have something to do when we led a hunter-gather lifestyle. The hunters would come back to camp with a leg quarter off a horse, deer or a chunk of meat off a mastodon. The meat was cooked over an open fire for everyone in the group to partake.

Ok, so what kind of stove do you store at the Bug Out Location? This needs to be at least a dual burner stove, something large enough you can cook a full meal on. I am partial to the coleman stoves. Over the past 20 years I have owned two liquid fuel stoves and 2 propane stoves.

One stove I own is the Coleman PerfectFlow insta-Start grill stove, the one with the built on griddle. After cooking some sausage on the griddle, the grease drain pan almost filled up, and the griddle was difficult to clean. The grease dried in the corners of the griddle and was difficult to get out.




Springtime survival gear preps

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 10, 2012 0 Comments

teotwawki survival gearSpring is here, that means its time to stock up on seasonal preps. The local feed and fertilizer stores are getting their seed shipments in, as well as baby chickens, fertilizer,,, and so on.

Some stores carry farm supplies all year long, some places carry them on a seasonal basis. If at all possible, find a place in your area that carries farm and livestock supplies all year long. Here in Jasper Texas we have 3 feed and fertilizer stores that carry farm supplies all year long.

Pickle’s
Circle Three Feed
Farmers Feed

Pickle’s carries a wide assortment of seed, pesticide and fertilizer. If you want to buy corn seed, this is the place to go.

Circle Three Feed carries a lot of farm and livestock supplies. If you want to buy chickens, feed, deer corn, this is a good place to go.

Farmers Feed carries a lot of everything. I have bought deer corn, chicks, seeds, 16 gallon drums,,, all kinds of stuff from Farmers Feed.

Even if the stores carry supplies all year long, there are still items that are seasonal, such as seeds and chicks. If you want chicks and if you want seed, get down to a local feed store and stockup before the seasonal stuff is sold out.




Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife Review

Posted by Kevin Felts On January 20, 2012 0 Comments

Schrade Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival Knife A couple of years ago I started looking for a heavy duty camping / backpacking wilderness survival knife.

Purpose

The purpose of the knife is to have a knife that can be strapped to the outside of a MOLLE or ALICE pack. The knife has to be sturdy enough to clear small brush, chop small limbs, cut tent stakes, clean fish, butcher wild game, or even use the spine of the knife as a hammer.

My current “go to” knife is a Cold Steel Recon Scout. The new knife is not intended to be a replace the Recon Scout, but more along the lines of an alternative. The Recon Scout has a belt loop, but no MOLLE or ALICE attachments. I want a knife that can quickly and easily attach to any of my packs.




Best survival knife for under 25 dollars

Posted by Kevin Felts On January 20, 2012 0 Comments

survivalistYou have $25 to spend, you want to buy a good quality knife, so which one do you buy?

What is the purpose of a $25 survival knife? In my opinion, knives in that price range are disposable. They are the knives that if lost or stolen are not going to be expensive to replace.

From a survivalist point of view, spend $100 on 3 or 4 knives, store them at your Bug Out Location, keep one in a tackle box or use them for hand out knives to friends and family. Someone breaks into your Bug Out Location, steals your knives, you are not out several hundred dollars.

Considerations:

Sheath Belt loop or ALICE / MOLLE attachments
Made from quality steel
Full tang
Fixed blade




Priorities in preparing plans

Posted by Kevin Felts On January 2, 2012 Comments Off

Drinking water after SHTFThere are 3 basic priorities in prepping plans – food, water and shelter. Some people like to throw in fire, or the ability to make fire. But if you throw in fire, you need to crawl out from under your rock from time to time.

Some things should be a given, such as packing medicines, fire, or considerations for special needs people. Its impossible for someone to list all of the considerations people might face. Whether its medicines, flood insurance, homeowners insurance, preps for people with special medical needs,,,,, only the reader is going to be familiar with special plans they need to make.

Items such as first aid kits, flashlights, copies of important papers are a given. Do you really need to be reminded of things you should already know about? Do adults have to be reminded to brush their teeth or take a shower before they go to work? We know we should be doing certain things, so I see no reason to go over the same list everytime the discussion comes up.

Now that the special needs and the given items are behind us, lets talk about priorities in a prepping list.

Identify your personal priority.

Take steps to minimize the priority during a disaster.




Teotwawki fishing gear

Posted by Kevin Felts On December 14, 2011 Comments Off

Texas channel catfishThe past 2 days have been spent working on my truck, and working on some jug lines for an upcoming camping trip. When I started thinking about how much time and effort I put into getting the juglines ready, I was a little set back.

After talking to my wife, I probably put 6 – 8 hours into redoing, and working on the juglines. The lines had not been used since June 2011. I changed the lines out, added some PVC pipe to the noodles and replaced the J-hooks with circle hooks. When I started cutting the PVC pipe, I was using a hacksaw. After cutting a few pipe, I dug the skilsaw out and started using the saw instead of the hacksaw.

For the sake of discussion lets say this happened after a SHTF / teotwawki event. I would have had to use a hacksaw to cut the PVC pipe. But then again, its doubtful I would have had any PVC laying around. To make the noodles for this weekend I used some 3/4 inch PVC I had in the shed.

Without PVC pipe I would have threaded the line through the middle of the noodle.

Related forum thread – Fishing With Juglines




Organizing preparedness plans

Posted by Kevin Felts On December 12, 2011 Comments Off

Stockpiling food for SHTFYour SHTF survival plans can be organized in a couple of ways. The plans can be written down on pieces of paper, tossed into a hat and drawn at random. The plans could be ideas jotted down in a notebook or a blog. Or the plans could be well organized. Once the plans are organized, then what? Do you just look over the plans and say “yep, that looks good to me”? Personally, I do not think that is good enough.

Lets take stockpiling ammunition for SHTF for example. I do not think its enough to buy ammunition at random. You buy a box here, buy a box there, after awhile you know you have ammo, but how much “exactly” do you have? The same thing can be said about soap, soap dispensers, first aid supplies, spare blankets,,,, and so on.

When you are looking at your food shelves, and the racks are in plain view, it should be easy to tell what can goods you are short on and which ones you need to buy. When I look at my shelving units, I can tell right off the bat when a can of ravioli has been taken, or when my wife and I need to buy some more beans or corn.

The problem lies in things that are rarely seen, such as ammo kept in an ammo cans – out of sight, out of mind.

For the stuff that stays out of sight, its important to pull the stuff out and take a look every once in awhile. A couple of months ago I pulled out my ammo cans and took inventory:

223, check
7.62×39, check
30-30, check
308, check
#4 shot 12 gauge for small game, well I needed some more of it so I picked up a couple of boxes a few days later.
22 long rifle, well crap, why do I have so little 22 long rifle?

For non-survivalist, having a couple of boxes of 22 long rifle might be ok. But for people that are planning for a long term SHTF survival situation, the more the merrier.




Camping trip load out

Posted by Kevin Felts On November 26, 2011 Comments Off

Water bottle, Vargo stove and MSR potTo get ready for an upcoming camping trip I decided to do a load out list. List like this help you see what your pack contains, and hopefully spot missing items in the list.

For those of you looking at this list and wondering how I am going to pack off of this gear, the easy answer is “I am not going to pack it”. The camping trip is going to be on the banks of the Angelina River. This means the boat is going to be carrying the gear for me; all I have to do is load the boat up and go.

Pack – Large MOLLE pack with internal sleep system, 2 sustainment pouches on the MOLLE pack. I was going to take my large ALICE pack, but my sleeping bag, food, fleece liner and poncho liner filled up the pack. This means I am having to store a lot of my gear in the sustainment pouches on the MOLLE.

Tent – Wenzel Lone Tree Hiker Tent, this item is hit and miss and might be difficult to find

Tarp – 6×8 foot for tent ground cloth

Sleeping bag – Coleman Exponent Tasman X 32-Degree Hybrid Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bag liner – GI poncho liner and fleece sleeping bag

Sleeping pad – Coleman Max




Overlooked First Aid Kit Items

Posted by Kevin Felts On November 2, 2011 Comments Off

A few days ago I asked the SurvivalistBoards Facebook group a question, “Name one thing a first aid kit is not complete without.” Some of the answers were helpful, and some were not what I expected. I would like to thank all of the subscribers for helping out with this list. Anti-bacterial soap. With nothing  [ Read More ]




Safe drinking water

Posted by Kevin Felts On October 18, 2011 Comments Off

Drinking water after SHTFFor most of the developed world, safe drinking water is something we take for granted. We turn on the faucet and nice clean water comes out. We have fresh water to brush out teeth, to take a shower, to wash our hair,,, and our other everyday needs.

Then along comes SHTF / TEOTWAWKI, and guess what, no more nice clean water.

Over the years I have read a lot of articles taking about the most important survival gear items. the list usually ranges from antibiotics to water filters. To me, and my personal opinion, the most important thing during a survival situation is safe drinking water.

Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.

Lets talk about 3, 4 or even 5 days after the city water gets turned off, people will be drinking out of rivers, creeks, ditches, streams, ponds, lakes,,,,, anywhere they can find water.

Most the most part, people will try to purify the water by boiling it, or using a water filter, or running the water through a shirt or cloth to remove the heavy particles,,,. I guess a major problem lies in urban dwellers who have limited access to fuel for fires to boil water.