Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: survival gear for shtf

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.

Picking a Camp Stove for a Bug Out Location

Propane Coleman Stove

Some kind of long term disaster has happened, you and your family have almost depleted the food and water reserves at your home, now it’s 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, that’s 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.

Coleman Perfectflow Stove

Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife Review

Schrade SCHF9 Survival Knife with Sheath

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.

Survival Knife Requirements

Thick spine – so the knife could be used as a wedge for splitting wood. If I wanted to make a fish trap, or fishing spear the knife needed to be thick enough to drive through a piece of wood like a wedge.

One of the drawbacks to having a thick spine, thick knives do not make good skinning or butchering knives.

Curved blade – for a good slicing edge. Regardless of what part of the blade was being used to cut, the blade would have a curve to it. An example of what I was looking for is the ULU Knife used by native Alaskans.

Best Survival Knife For Under 25 dollars

Cold Steel GI Tanto Survival Knife

You 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

Most of the corner stores around here have knifes made in third world countries. Most of the ones I see sell for less then $10. For this purchase we need something that is made from quality steel, will hold a good edge and will be easy to sharpen.

Back around 1983 I bought into the survival knife craze created by Rambo First Blood. My first survival knife had a hollow handle, made of some kind of 440 stainless steel, held an edge like butter, and took an hour to sharpen. That knife was more of a play toy then a real duty knife. The hollow handled knives are a novelty item. If you want a serious knife, steer clear of them.

Related forum thread – Best survival knife for under $50

Priorities in preparing plans

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.

Overlooked First Aid Kit Items

Overlooked First Aid Kit ItemsPlease Rate This Article 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 […]

Gun Cleaning Supplies at the Bug Out Location

DS-Arms SA58 FN/FAL next to a river in southeast Texas

This evening I was cleaning my FN/FAL, at which time I realized my gun cleaning supplies at the bug out location were going through a can opener syndrome. The “can opener syndrome” is when someone overlooks the small items. That you might be so focused on buying #10 cans, that you forget to stockpile can openers.

With gun cleaning supplies, people are probably more focused on stockpiling ammo, and shooting their firearms, that the forget about buying cleaning supplies.

Gun Cleaning Items

  • Storage Box – something to store the items in. In my case, I am using a large tackle box
  • Copper bore brushes – for scrubbing the inside of the barrel
  • Gun oil – I like the pump spray bottles
  • Hoppes #9 powder solvent
  • Bore light – I use an led light with a flex neck
  • Screw drivers
  • Cleaning rods – for pushing the bore brush through the barrel
  • Cloth patches

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.

Uses for trotline string

When people hear the word “trotline”, most may think of stringing a line across a river or a slew to catch some catfish. While its true that trotline is mainly used to catch catfish, it has lots of other uses.

Jug lines – this is where some type of float is used and the trotline is tied to the float. The float floats with the current of the river or stream, and goes where nature takes it. For most jug lines, people use 1 gallon beach bottles, noodles, or just about anything that floats and a line can be tied to it.

Braided cord – in a pinch, trotline string can be braided to make a cord. While on a camping trip back in 2008 with my kids, we brought some new hammocks with us, and the new hammocks did not have cord included to attach the hammock to a tree. Well, there we were with hammocks and no way to hang them up. So what did we do? I got a spool to trotline string out, then my kids and I took turns braiding the string into a heavier cord. we got the hammocks strung up and everything was fine.

Top survival gear items

Out of all your survival gear items, which 10 are the most important? This list is going to change on your geographical location and any special needs. So consider this food for thought.

1. Home based water filter – an example of this is the Berkey Light or the Royal Berkey. Why is a water filter the first item? Because water is used so much in our daily lives. You do not need to be brushing your teeth with water contaminated with E. Coli, shigella or cryptosporidium.

2. Peanut butter and honey – High calorie food (peanut butter) mixed with honey – which has trace minerals – makes a meal that is difficult to beat. Unlike dried foods, no water is required to cook peanut butter or the honey. After opening, neither one needs to be kept cold. Honey can be stored for years without fear of spoiling and it makes for a good topical anti-biotic.

3. First aid kit – for taking care of wounds and injuries.

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.”

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018