Entries Tagged ‘Survivalism’

Best friend after SHTF

Awhile back someone posted a comment on one my youtube videos saying the hoe will be your best friend after SHTF. This got me to thinking about how important certain types of survival gear were over other types.

Can you use an AR-15 or AK-47 to till a garden? Plow a field? Bushhog? Operate an auger to set fence post? Clear brush? Weed a garden? Pick the crops? Can the harvest?

Who is your very best friend?

The hoe and the rake.

They have proven then test of time. Our ancestors used garden tools thousands of years before firearms were ever thought of.

Garden tools have no moving parts – no locking lugs, no bolt carrier, no firing pin, no ammunition, nothing to run out of except your physical strength.

When I made the youtube video I thought it was a good topic. Maybe something for members of the community and forum to talk about their over reliance on firearms to survive a post-SHTF world. I was rather set back by the comments and negative ratings on the youtube video.

Let’s be honest, garden tools are not cool.  They do not have the “that is so awesome” like an AR-15, AK-47, AK-74, PTR-91 and FN/FAL do.  there are no rails on a hoe to mount the “best tactical light money can buy”, or a suppressor, or eotech or aimpoint.  There is no tacticool with hoes and rakes.  Yes there are cheap garden tools and there are more expensive ones.

Who honestly pays attention to the brandname and quality of a garden tool?  Do you take your hoe and rake out and show it to your friends like you would with some of your tactical gear?  Do you shop online and read the reviews of your garden tools?  Or do you buy whatever the local chinamart and farm supply store has in stock?

Someone on youtube even sent me a message saying they almost unsubscribed because of the video.

A well rounded survival plan does not rely solely upon stockpiling freeze dried foods, superpails, guns and ammunition.

Example of a superpail.

In the overall scheme of things which is more important in the long run, being able to feed your family, or having thousands of rounds of ammunition you can not eat.

Hunting after SHF 

The typical survivalist response to questions about stockpiling ammunition, they will go hunting during a long term SHTF situation.

Let’s be honest, do you really think you will be the only person hunting post-collapse?

What do you think caused the wild turkey and whitetail deer to become extinct in east Texas during the early 1900s?  Habitat destruction played a big role, but over hunting during the great depression contributed greatly to wildlife depletion.  When the food dries up in the cities, where do you think those people are going?  Out to the country to find food.

Do you honestly think you will be the “only” person who will be able to hunt when all the wildlife has been depleted?  Chances are good number of people are on hunting leases, which is where a lot of people will go.  When they reach their hunting lease they will hunt. When all the wildlife around the lease is depleted they will travel further and further to find food.

People who live in rural areas will deplete the wildlife around them.  Then they will venture further and further away from home to find food.

It will be just a matter of time before all the deer, rabbit, squirrels, wild hogs,,,, everything is hunted out.  Then what?

Do you plan on raiding your neighbors garden and chicken house for food?  Only the animals that are protected by their owners will be the only fresh meat available in a long term post-collapse world.

Family pets will be a source of food, and then what?  During the Black Death of 1348 – 1350 dogs and cats became extinct in some parts of Europe.

History has proven this time and time again.  The people with a renewable and reliable food source are the ones who will survive.  This means a garden, chickens, goats, fruit trees, stockpiling seeds,,, a variety of food sources.

Simply put, hunting is unreliable and unsustainable in a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation.

Practical approach to prepping

Preppers / Survivalist may wish to consider a practical approach to prepping. Which means less focus on stockpiling beans, bullets and band-aids, and more of a back to basics approach.

Let’s take $25 and spend it on prepping gear.

Would you rather have:

1 brown turkey fig tree at $22.98.

Taken care of could provide your family with decades of figs. Figs are rated as maybe the worlds healthiest food with it being a source of fiber, vitamin A, manganese and potassium.

or

1 Celeste fig tree at $22.98.

or

10 chicks, at $2.50 each.

10 laying hens with a reliable food source should be enough to produce a dozen eggs every 2 – 3 days. Breed, time of year and quality of feed all play a role in egg production.

or

2 Pmags at $11.95 each.

or

9 pounds Roma II snap bean seed at $2.75 a pound.

Plant 3 pounds of this seed and you should have enough for 3 years after SHTF. Pick before the beans for, snap the ends off, boil and eat husk and all. Or, lot beans mature, dry and save for next year. High producing plant, should be picked every few days.

or

9.43 pounds Contender snap bean seed at $2.65 a pound.

Same family as the Roma II snap bean. Pick before bean inside of husk matures, boil and serve. Beans are a good source of potassium, iron, protein, and fiber.

Plant one pound per year and you should have enough for three years.

or

10.20 pounds purple hull BVR pea seed at $2.45 a pound.

Plant one pound per year and you will have enough seed for 3 years. Peas are a source of vitamin A, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and vitamin B-6.

or

9.43 pounds yellow dent field corn at $2.65 a pound.

Yellow dent field corn is open pollinated / heirloom so the seeds can be saved.

or

60 rounds American eagle 223 Remington for $6.49 a box.

Good source of copper and lead.

Renewable or consumable

From the above list it boils down to renewable and consumable items.  Should you base your and your families future on renewable or consumable items?

Mundane task while prepping

For those of you who keep up with my youtube channel may have realized that I have not posted a video in several months.

The main reason for my lapse is I have been taking care of mundane task.

Should I make a video about working on a perch in the chicken house? What about working on a wire box for hens sitting on eggs? What about hanging a feeder in the chicken house?

In the next month or so I am going to wire the chicken house for 12 volt lights, build a lean-to, and install solar panels. I can see doing a video about that kind of important stuff, but who wants to see moving the ladder on the chicken perch?

What are some of the mundane task you work on? This is boring stuff that usually does not get mentioned or talked about.

If you are a member of the forum share your comments in this thread – Mundane task in prepping / survivalism.

Prepping plans for 2015

What are your prepping plans for 2015?

Here are mine.

Install solar panels on the chicken house.

Wire chicken house for 12 volt lights.

Plant some more apple trees.

Clear some sweet gum trees that are shading the apple trees.

Plant some more blueberry bushes.  Some of the blueberry bushes will be in the chicken yard.

Plant a pear tree in the chicken yard.  This will be for chicken feed and for my family to eat.

Plant another peach tree.

Clear out around some already planted pear trees.  In the past few years some Cherry Laural trees have grown up around the pear trees, so there is a crowding issue.  The Cherry Laural trees have to come down this spring.

Build a pole barn.  I am looking at a 36 wide X 40 long barn or maybe a 40 X 40 barn.

Fence off some land for cattle, sheep and or goats.

Expand chicken flock to around 40 hens.

Buy some Pearl Guineas.  French guineas are already being sold, but I want Pearl Guineas which are supposed to be available in May.

Drill a shallow well for the livestock.  The well will be located somewhere near the pole barn.

Get the Toyota Tacoma on the road.

Build some more raised bed gardens for my wife.  She likes the raised bed type of gardening.

Relocate a deer feeder and deer stand.

Build a hog pen somewhere around the pole barn.  I would really like to get a couple of pigs.

 

Random thoughts on prepping for shtf

One of the big questions in the prepping / survivalist community is when did you start prepping? My great grandparents lived on a small farm, my dad was raised on this same small farm, my mom was raised in a rural area and had chickens and a garden.

I was exposed to gardening, farming and raising your own food from the time I was born.

Prepping covers such a wide range of topics. Ask ten people what is means to be a prepper or survivalist, and you will probably get ten different answers. Ask a hundred people the same question, and you will probably get a hundred different answers.

Some preppers stockpile canned food, some stockpile #10 cans of freeze dried food, some stockpile superpails of dried food.

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December 2013 update from the farm

After looking through my youtube video I realized I have not uploaded a video in a couple of months.  The last video I uploaded was on September 15, 2013, which makes 3 months.  In all honesty I had not realized it had been so long.

So what has been going on?

Added some lean-tos on the shed to park the tiller and lawnmower under.

Got a deer feeder setup about 100 years behind the house.

Added some pvc pipe to the deer feeder legs to prevent coons from climbing the legs.  Raccoons have been climbing the legs and turning the spinner, which dumps a lot of corn on the ground.  the corn is not for coons, it is for deer and hogs.

After watching the video I was embarrassed at how much weight I have put on over the past few years.

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5 Essential SHTF TEOTWAWKI Survival Skills

For the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event has happened.  What essential survival skills may you and your family need to know in order to ensure their long term survival?

Survivalist should know the basics, such as beans, bullets, band-aids, shooting skills, water purification,,, etc.  Lets think outside the box.  During a long term complete collapse of society what skills will people need to know?Barred Rock Chicken

Lets assume that you and your family have a source of safe drinking water.  This should be some kind of water well with a pitcher pump, or maybe a solar powered water well.  For this article lets say that water is a given.  Saying we need safe drinking water is like reminding people to breath, access to safe drinking water should be that important.

Now that water is out of the way lets move forward.

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From Bullets To Fence Post

Just as times change, so must survivalist adapt and change.  There comes a point when one project is finished, and its time to start another one.  My life has reached such a point.

If you have been following my youtube channel and this blog, we have covered fishing, gardening, running trotlines, juglines, camping,,, just all kids of stuff.  Now its time to move to the biggest project of my life.  That project is getting back to basics.

It is time to stop buying bullets, and to start putting down fence post.

For the price of 100 rounds Federal 223 Remington, that would almost pay for the chicken yard gate.

Which one would better serve my family, another 100 rounds of 223, or a larger chicken yard?  I have plenty of 223, but my chickens need more room.

Would it be better to buy ammunition, or put down a septic system at the homestead?

It would be nice to have unlimited funds.  But as with most working people I have to decide which project needs attention.

Post your comments, suggestions and questions below.

What Did We Learn In 2012

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistAs 2012 is drawing to a close, lets take a few minutes to reflect. What did we learn and where do we need to go from here?

What did you learn in the past year?

I learned a lot about chickens – difference in the various breeds, how much room they need, chicken coop design, chicken yard size and nutrition requirements,, only to name a few.

What I learned in the past year is only a drop in the bucket. After my wife and I get moved to the homestead we plan on almost doubling the size of our chicken flock. Currently my wife and I have 13 hens and no roosters. After we get moved we will probably increase the size of the flock to around 24 or 25 hens, and one rooster.

The next step in my chicken project will be to develop a self-sustaining chicken flock.

Once the flock size is increased, the chicken coop will probably be too small. One of the next steps after getting moved will be to build a larger coop. But we are getting way ahead of ourselves.

Learned some general information on goats – my wife and I are not ready to get goats as of yet.

A couple of months ago I talked with a man who teaches agriculture at a local high school.  He told me about the Nigerian dwarf goat, which I am considering.

How fast things can go downhill – the Newtown shootings and the venom filled words of the gun haters drove panic buying. What surprised me was how fast physical stores and internet stores sold out.

AR-15 and AK-47 prices – doubled and tripled in a just a few days. Colt 6920 that sold at walmart for $1,100 was selling on auction sites for $3,000. Sig Sauer M400 that walmart had on black friday for less then $900 is selling for $1,900. WASR-10 that used to sell for $400 is now selling for $700 – $900.

Magazine prices – 30 round aluminum AR-15 magazines went from $10 each to $100 each.  Pmags went from $16 to $150 each.

Ammunition availability – not only were people buying guns, bolt carriers and upper receivers, they were also buying all the ammunition they could get their hands on.  For the first time in my life I have seen ammunition supplies stripped.  And its not just 223 Remington and 7.62X39 that people were buying, they were buying hand calibers and 22 long rifle.

The simply fact is, if you did not have it, you were not going to get it.

Never underestimate human greed, and underestimate large numbers of people panic buying.

Its a good thing were panic buying buns and ammunition, and not food.  If food had been stripped like ammunition, there would be a lot of hungry people.

Forum ThreadAs 2012 draws to a close, what did we learn in the past year?

Dividing Resources In Your Long Term Survival Plans

Maybe “dividing resources in your long term survival plans” is a good title for this article. But its all I could think of at the time.

Like a lot of people my wife and I have limited resources. We are just everyday middle class people trying to get by. Just like everyone else we pay our taxes, pay the electric bill, internet, health insurance,,,,. Once everything is paid we try to decide how to save money.

The issue we are running into, my wife and I are looking at moving away from Jasper Texas to a rural area. Jasper is already rural, but we want to get further away from town.

We need to put a water well on the land, sewer system, build a chicken yard,,, and a few ether odds and ends to get our new life started.

Then came the Adam Lanza incident and renewed calls for an assault rifle ban.

I am finding myself pulled into some of the panic buying. There was a short period of time between the shooting and Dianne Feinstein calling for more gun control and prices going through the roof. During that short time period I picked up another AR-15 for less then $1,000.

A gun store has some AR-15s for $1,300 each. As I consider buying another AR while I still can, I keep thinking about what that $1,300 could pay for at the homestead. We could probably put down a septic system for between $1,500 and $2,000.

But then again, we are not looking at a ban on septic systems.

When you have X amount of resources, and two projects that need funding, how do you decide which is the best long term investment.

I see the AR-15s as an investment into security for my family and my property.

But then again, if all I wanted is a firearm, I already have those bases covered.

Will a new assault rifle ban really ban military type weapons?

For those of you old enough to remember the 1994 – 2004 ban, all the assault rifle ban did was affect the appearance of the rifle. Companies were still making AR-15s, just without a bayonet lug and flash hider. I currently own a Bushmaster XM-15 that was made in the assault rifle ban. The only difference between my old AR and the new AR, is the flash hider and a bayonet lug.

I might buy the other AR, then after the first of the year focus on getting moved.

What do I “really” want in life? To live in peace and quiet.

I want my chickens to be able to scratch through the leaves, roam around looking for food, to live as chickens are supposed to live.

I want to be able to sit on the back deck and listen to the win blowing through the trees.

Buying another AR-15 does not help me obtain that goal. All that rifle will do is help me protect what is mine.

Forum Thread – Dividing Resources

Survivalism And How To Stay Focused

As I was looking through my facebook feed this morning, I realized that a lot of the people on my feed are posting links to conspiracy theory sites.  Those sites were talking about vaccines, how the drug companies are lying to us about cancer, how the government was trying to control our lives,,, just your typical BS.

One article talked about how fresh food was getting so expensive people could not afford to buy it.  If you want fresh food, grow it, problem solved.  Food comes from the ground, not the grocery store.

Some of the links went to so called survival sites that were nothing more then links to news sites.

With all of this garbage flowing in, its easy to get side-tracked.

Conspiracy Theories Of The 1990s

It seems so long ago, but then again, it seems just a few days ago. In the mid-1990s while I was working at a welding shop close to Beaumont Texas, I would listen to talk radio on the way home. This was back when the Waco Siege, Ruby Ridge, NAFTA and GATT were hot topics of the day.

Instead of focusing on my preps, I became distracted about the United Nations invasion, the martial law, house to house gun confiscations,,, stuff that 20 years later has yet to happen.

Related ArticleBeing a Survivalist in the 1990s

Instead of stockpiling food, and reloading ammunition, I was driving by the port of Beaumont Texas, port of Orange Texas and the port of Port Arthur Texas looking for ships carrying United Nations troops.

My prepping plan had been sidetracked by the worry that the US Government would cease to exist.

The truth is, it was all a hoax.

All of the worry about the US dollar being replaced, the Chinese helping the United Nations disarm the American public,,,, was a lie.  The lie promoted the delusions of a few upon the many.

One rotten apple had spoiled the barrel.  Instead of focusing on what was important, I started focusing on this trash information.  Some people call it propaganda.

I took a step back, looked around and realized there was more important stuff that I needed to be focusing on.  Driving around looking for ships at the ports was a waste of time and money.  That money could have been better served as gear for the Bug Out Location, planting fruit trees,,,, or other long term survival resources.

What Should We Focus On

My first suggestion is to treat survivalism as a lifestyle.  Treat survivalism no differently then getting up in the morning, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, going to work,,,.

A lot of people get prepping and conspiracy theories confused with each other.  The more time you spend on conspiracy theories, the less time you have to spend on prepping.

News that North Korea tested a new missile is important news, news that fluoride is in your drinking water is not important.

There is no use in paying attention to what political party is in power, as both the major parties are the same.

Chemtrails and the conspiracy theories about them are out of your control.

In other words, if its within your control, make the best of it.

If its not in your control, do not worry about it.

Hobbies For Survivalist

So you are sitting around the house, nothing is on TV, no new or exciting news on the internet,,,,, what do you do?

You could always play some Skyrim or Left 4 Dead 2. But Left 4 Dead 2 is getting old.

What hobbies can survivalist get into that will help improve our long term SHTF survival skills?

Coin Collecting

Most of us handle money in shape for or fashion just about everyday. Why not get into coin collecting so you can start stockpiling silver and other valuable coins?

Silver and gold have been recognized as being valuable for thousands of years. At one time the US dollar was backed by gold, but now its just backed by a promise. If that promise ever falls through it would be good to have some kind of money that has a real physical value.

Ever though they are getting very rare, from time to time I find a pre-1965 quarter in my change. When I find silver coins they go into storage.

Years ago I used to take my kids down to a pawn shop in Orange Texas to buy them silver dollars and half-dollars.  I was trying to teach my children the value of real money.  Times change, things change, we moved away from Bridge City and Jasper Texas.  The local pawn shops around here do not sell silver coins.

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Prepping Fatigue

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistSooner or later everyone in the prepping/survivalist community deals with prepping fatigue. Whether you have been prepping for a year, two years, ten years or twenty plus years, sooner or later you are going to get fatigued.

Due to the way I was raised by my parents, the way my grandparents lived on a small farm, and the atmosphere of the cold war in the 1970s, I would say my parents and grandparents conditioned me to be a prepper.

To me, survivalism is a way of life rather then a hobby.

Some people get into prepping like they do a lot of other things.  Whether its getting in shape, going back to school, jogging, working out, stop smoking, stop drinking,,, most people are sincere in their actions.

Then they realize how much time and effort prepping can take.  For some people its a matter of buying some canned goods and bottled water.  Then there are the people who allow their lives to be consumed.

Like everything else in life, balance comes with moderation.

A few ways I deal with prepping fatigue

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Why Prepare

Pastor Dowell posted another good video, this time its about prepping.

Be sure to watch the video all the way through.

Pastor Dowell brings up a good point, if you do not prepare then there is something wrong with you. Are people that blind that they think the government will be there to help them all the time?

With hurricane Sandy laying waste to the Northeast, it could be days, maybe weeks before relief efforts reach some ares.

Over 10 million people are without power in the Northeast, roads are blocked or flooded, who can the people depend on? Themselves.

If the government can not reach you, how are they supposed to help you?

Are people so blind that they think nothing bad ever happens? There are no earthquakes, no hurricanes, no wildfires,,,, life is perfect. Do people actually think that?

How many people who had advance warning bought supplies? How many people have only a couple of days of food, and no safe drinking water.

Post your comments below.

Why I Blog

Why did I open this blog?  Because I wanted to.  This blog is an extension of my thoughts and opinions.

For a good part of my life I have been opinionated and outspoken.  This blog allows me to express my opinions to a wide range of people.

As for survivalism, I see survivalism as an extension of my everyday life.  To me, my survival gear stockpile is no different then a coin collection.  Just as coin collectors are always looking for that rare or unique coin that will round out the collection, I am always looking for some new skill, knowledge or survival gear addition that will round out my collection.

In 2012 my wife and I built the chicken coop and got some hens.  I like sharing those experiences with people who visit my blog.

What is life?  Would it be safe to say life is a sharing of experiences?

What would life be if nobody ever shared their opinions and thoughts?  How lonely would that life be?

One of the things I hoped to do with this blog is to stir emotion.

If I have to post something offensive to stir emotion, then so be it.

If I have to post something controversial to stir emotion, then so be it.

One of the topics that seems to have gotten me some negative feedback is my opinion on how workers are treated in welding shops around southeast Texas.  Why should blue collar workers be treated like second class citizens?  That is another reason why I blog.

Troubling Trend in Survival Websites

Over the past year or so I have noticed a troubling trend with various based survival websites.

Those trends are sites that offer little unique content, no unique pictures, no unique videos,,, nothing but a site that tries to sell you something.

There are two types of bloggers out there

1 – someone who has first hand information on a given topic. These are the people who enjoy what they are doing, know something about the topic and can offer advice based on their first hand experience.

2 – someone who knows almost nothing on a topic, but hopes to open a website to make money.

What I am going to do is offer some tips on how you can tell a real SHTF survival site from a spam / junk site.

Are the topics diversified

Is the site focused on a couple of narrow topics?  These are called niche sites.

SurvivalBoards and SurvivalistBoards are niche sites, but we discuss various topics, such as political opinions, hunting, camping, firearms, gardening,,, and so on.

When you look at a survival website, how diversified are the articles? Does the author harp on the same topics over and over, or is there a mixture of topics?

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