Entries Tagged ‘Survivalism’

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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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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If you had seven days notice before SHTF

Lets say the public was given a 1 week notice before the start of a major global conflict. Rarely does that kind of advance knowledge leak out to the public. For the sake of discussion lets say for once the public knows what is going to happen a week ahead of time.

One of the incidents I am referring to is the leak that Israel may attack Iran during Yum Kippor.

I have been hearing various rumors for over 2 decades, so I take them with a grain of salt and keep living life.

The word has leaked out, you do a review of your survival gear stockpile, now what?

What does your water stockpile look like?
What does your ammunition stockpile look like?
What does your fuel stockpile look like?
What about seeds for your long term survival garden, communications, livestock, livestock feed, firearms, propane,,, and other preps.

Firearms

Ruger 10/22 and Marlin model 60 side by side

If you do not have your firearm and ammunition stockpile ready before SHTF, do not count on accumulating supplies after SHTF.

Lets say you had a 1 week notice, what would you buy? Would you buy ammunition, and sacrifice resources to buy food, water, livestock feed, fuel,,,?

Even if you have money to buy ammunition, what makes you think there is going to be anything on the shelves?

Would you rather buy ammunition, food, water, food for the livestock?

My 13 chickens (hens, no roosters) go through a 50 pound bag of laying mash every two weeks. For the price of 200 pounds of laying mash (4 – 50 pound bags), which would last around 2 months, I could buy 100 rounds of Federal 223 Remington.

Would you rather have 2 months of eggs, or would you rather have 100 rounds of 223 Remington?

Then there is the waiting period and permits that some sates have setup. Even if you wanted to buy a firearm, would you have enough time to go through the waiting period, background check, and permit application period?

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Fake People

While I was working in one of the various welding shops in southeast Texas, one of my coworkers told me about his theory of fake people.  I would like to share that theory with all of you.

A fake person is someone who has no identity of their own.  They have no hobbies that set them apart from anyone else.  When the fake person is around other people, they adopt the attitude of the people the fake person is around.

I am going to use a certain individual that I know.  He is in his late 20s, married and has three children.  He also adopts the lifestyle of whoever he is around.

When he was living with a girlfriend a few years ago, his apartment was always spotless.  He kept his truck clean,,, just an overall clean person.

That relationship ended, and he started dating a certain woman, who I only know to describe as whitetrash.  She comes from a welfare family, house is nasty looking, trash in the yard,,, just stuff like that.

Instead of keeping a clean house, the guy adopted to living like whitetrash.  The yard is full of trash, the floors of the house are nasty, dogs chained in the front yard, just your typical whitetrash family.

How does this relate to survivalism

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What Defines a Survivalist

Earlier today (August 7, 2012) someone started posting rude comments on the Survivalist Boards facebook page.  The comments were along the lines if someone lives off the grid, or eats processed food,,,, general stuff like that.  I removed the comments and blocked the person.  Keep in mind, I rarely, and I mean rarely ever remove comments, much less block anyone.

There seems to be a mindset that survivalist should live in a bunker, or off in a remote mountain range somewhere.

Lets say someone lives in a bunker with complete solar power, grows all of their food, or lives in a cave off in the mountains somewhere, how is that person supposed to function in modern society?

I can not imagine having a birthday party in a bomb shelter.  All of the parents having to climb into the shelter, all the kids singing happy birthday,,, much less the OPSEC of inviting a group of people into the shelter.

Sure there was once a time when people lived on small farms. But even on small family farms, people still had to buy or trade for resources. How are people supposed to find salt, flour, sugar, leather, raw metal, plows, anvils, hammers, nails,,, on a family farm?

What is it like to be a survivalist?  I can not speak for everyone; all I can do is offer my opinion.

I consider myself a survivalist.  I do not live in a bunker, I do not live off the grid, I do not live in a cave in the woods or mountains.  What I try to accomplish is to live a normal life and prepare for a short term and long term disasters.

When I was in high school, a buddy of mine had a dad like that I considered to be a radical survivalist.

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Doom and gloom in the survival community

For the past 20 years I have considered myself active in the survival community.  Whether it was listening to talk radio, buying American survival guide magazines, going to gun shows and talking to people, there always seemed to be a level of doom and gloom.

Doom and gloom seemed to be everywhere in the 1990s, in magazines, in books, on the radio,,,.  People were talking about how NAFTA was going to abolish the U.S. as a sovereign nation, how the United Nations was going to invade the U.S., how the new world order was going to use the Y2K event to usher in a new era.

There for a decade it was just one thing after another, after another, after another.

After a couple of decades of hearing the same thing over and over like a broke radio, you start to get a little numb to it.

Related ArticleDoom and Gloom in the survival community part 1

How many times will the doom and gloomers talk about the U.N. talking our guns away?  Or how the IRS is going to tax a person on how many guns they own.

Would you like to know where the real enemy resides?  The real enemy is in the voter.  The people who vote for the same two parties year after year are the real enemies of the nation.

We should not be worrying the United Nations.  What we should be worried about are the career criminals the voters keep returning to office.

What I am hearing today with the conspiracy theory people is the same thing I heard 20 years ago.  Nothing has changed, what so ever.  And the voters keep returning the same idiots to office over and over.  What good does it do to worry if the same people are in power year after year, decade after decade?

Related ArticleSurvivalism as a way of life

Burn Out

Hearing the same conspiracy theory over and over for years and decades on end causes burn-out.  It is impossible for someone to stay in a constant state of readiness.  If someone starts prepping for SHTF / TEOTWAWKI, and SHTF / TEOTWAWKI does not happen within the next 3, 4 or 5 years, the person gets burned out and leaves the survivalist / prepping communities.

Lets focus on what is important.  Worrying about the same people getting into office year after year is beyond your control.  Vote every chance you get, and do not worry about the rest.

After wall street was bailed out, my Representative Kevin Brady came up for reelection.  What did the people of southeast Texas do?  They voted Brady right back into office?  If people were so mad about the bailout, why did they reelect Kevin Brady?  I was almost yelling at the election results.  If people are so mad at the government, why in the hell do they keep voting the same people into office over and over?

Watching the election results causes a type of political burnout.  Its the same crooks and robbers elected into office over and over.

Nothing is going to change. So the best thing to do is not worry about it.

Get a hobby related to survivalism

What kind of hobbies do you have that are related to survivalism? Fishing, hiking, camping, gardening, hunting,,, or something else?

I go fishing, hunting, garden from time to time and have chickens.  During a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, I suspect all of those skills will come in handy.

What kind of hobbies will tie in well with your long term survival plans?