There is so much stuff going through my head it’s difficult to stay focused. There is the new gun ban being introduced by Dianne Feinstein, ammunition shortages, magazines shortages, Iran advancing its nuclear program, tension between the US and China increasing, and then there are the ever present tensions in the middle east.
A couple of days ago AIM surplus got a some DS Arms FN/FAL magazines in stock. They were $17.95 each, and I was seriously considering ordering some. Think about this, the gate I want for my chicken yard is $79.99 from Tractor Supply. For the price of 4 FN/FAL magazines plus shipping would have paid for the gate.
Which is more important, having extra FN/FAL magazines, or having a gate for the chicken yard? My wife and I get eggs from our chickens everyday. Will I be using my FN/FAL everyday? Its highly doubtful.
Walmart here in Jasper Texas got a shipment of 9mm in. Which is more important, buying an extra box of 9mm, or buying some T-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.
As 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Barred Rock on perch inside chicken coop
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.
I did a google search for “prepping is a never ending process”, no exact results came back, so I thought I would write an article on the topic.
My entry into the survivalist / prepping communities is in part to how I was raised. My grandparents owned a small farm where they had livestock – horse, cow, chickens, turkeys, well that we got water from,,,. When I started school, I remember my 1st and 2nd grade teachers telling the class what a nuclear detonation looked like. If we saw a mushroom cloud outside, look away, cover our head with our hands and duck under our desk. During the cold war we lived in a constant state of readiness for nuclear war.
In the 1980s the USSR collapsed, and the cold war ended. For a short period of time we seemed to be at peace with the world. The new found peace did not last very long. In 1990 Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Then we had the Waco, L.A. riots and Ruby ridge incident.
In 2001 the twin towers were attacked, which thrust us into a war on terror.
As the primary threats change, so do our prepping plans.
Our prepping strategy changed from a threat of nuclear war, to the U.S. being torn apart.
Regardless of the threat, basic human needs will stay the same – food, water, shelter, security, ability to cook, need to form social groups,,,, and so on.
Unless you are off the power grid, on a totally self-sufficient farm, you are not 100% prepared for a total collapse. People that lived 4,000 years ago traded with those around them. As our lives grow more complicated, the more dependent we are on other people. We went from trading raw materials such as tin, copper, wheat,,,, to trading computer parts and smart phones.
Where does this take us? Maybe we need to simplify our prepping plans?
In the 1990s my prepping plans included stockpiling rice, beans, ammunition and plans to bug out to the camp (my grandparents farm). From there my family and I were going to live off the land.
Times change, plans change.
My plans went from stockpiling mostly rice and beans, to stockpiling canned foods, #10 cans of freeze dried foods, planting fruit trees, food stored in mylar bags, stockpiling seeds, and having a chicken coop that can be loaded on a trailer and brought to the bug out location.
Without safe drinking water life as we know it can not exist. Because of that fact my family and I plan on driving a new water well.
Plans changed from cooking over an open fire, to building a bar-b-q pit large enough to cook a whole hog on. Hopefully the pit can act as a smoker, as well as a cooker.
Plans changed from using the old well and water from a nearby creek, to driving a new well for safe drinking water.
Plans changed from hunting as our primary source of protein, to having chickens in a portable chicken coop.
Plans changed from stockpiling bulk 22 long rifle, to stockpiling subsonic and high quality hypersonic ammunition.
In the 1990s my plans covered my wife, and my 4 children. Today, my plans have to cover my wife, children, stepchildren, and grandchildren. As my family grows, my plans have to adapt to the changes.
Just as life is a never ending process, so prepping is a never ending process. As life changes, so should your prepping plans change and adapt.
Have you ever met someone that is obsessed with prepping or survivalism? They keep their Get Home Bag ready to go, their Bug Out Bag is prepped and ready to go, keep a firearm in every room of the house,,, to the point where survivalism has consumed their lives. Would that be survivalism, an obsession or paranoia?
There is a fine line between a hobby and an obsession. If that is true, is there a line between a lifestyle and an obsession? What about a hobby and a lifestyle?
If we do the same thing everyday for 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years, would that be considered an obsession? If so, is work an obsession? Sometimes yea, work can be an obsession. Other times work is something we do to live.
If someone practices survivalism for 10, 20, 30,,, years, would that be a lifestyle or an obsession?
Maybe the deciding factor is how much survivalism affects our everyday life. Are we able to have normal relationships, are we able to live our lives as normal as possible while maintaining a dedicated survivalist lifestyle?
There needs to be a balance between prepping and living life as normal as possible.
For this article, the term “Self-Centered Preppers” means people who only think of themselves while preparing for TEOTWAWKI. All they are concerned about is themselves, and “maybe” their close family. No consideration goes into planning for friends, or anyone outside their immediate family members.
A prime example of Self-Centered Preppers might be people who plan on bugging out to the wilderness. How is your family going to deal with the sudden isolation? How are you going to deal with being cut off from friends and family members? How are your friends and family members going to handle a sudden loose of contact with you and your family?
If humanity were to suffer some kind of long term SHTF situation, my family would turn to people such as my dad, and myself for guidance. It is my resp0onsiblity to make sure my family has plenty to eat, protected and that they will be provided of.
Self-Centered Prepper does not care about anyone else. What about your grand kids? What about your kids that can not afford to stockpile food at this time? What about your parents, brothers, sisters, close cousins,,,,?
Friendships are an asset
No man is an island, Rome was not built by a single person, if you want to survive a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, you will need friends, team members and family members.
Apply Synergy to your plans – the sum of the whole is greater then the parts combined.
There is nothing that you can do that a small team can not do better.
I think it boils down to “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst”.
The question that begs to be answered is “what is the the worst?”. What is the worst case situation that we should prepare for?
For some people “the worst” might be losing their job. For others it might be a wildfire, for others it might be a hurricane or flood. Then there are the people that plan for a complete collapse of society.
Does being a survivalist mean you have to prep for a complete collapse? No, it does not.
To understand survivalism, we need to understand what drives a survivalist. One of the highest levels of human thought is to think about what we think about. Why do we do the things we do, why do we think about what we do, why do we act a certain way, why do we make certain decisions.
Nobody is born a survivalist. Joining the survival community is a conscious decision we make. As with everything else in life, our decisions are influenced by the way we were raised, culture, society, events in our life,,,.
Why do people get into coin collecting? Why do people get into stamp collecting? Why do people get into the hobbies they do? Do they find the hobbies challenging, maybe a way to occupy their free time?
Survivalism is a practical hobby. Grow your own food, preserve and store your own food, just like people used to do decades ago. Maybe survivalism should be considered as a return to basics?
There was once a time when people grew their food during the spring and summer. Then preserved the food to last the family through the winter.
Today, families keep just a few days of food on hand.
While reading “The Civilization Of The Middle Ages” by Norman Cantor (which I do not recommend the book by the way), on pages 150, 151, 152, 153, 154,,, the author discusses how monasteries became a source of education in the middle ages. Monasteries were not well rounded education establishments, as they were only interested in teaching Latin and scripture. Creating literature outside of the Holy scripture was suppressed.
One thing that monasteries did do, they preserved scripture. One of the reasons why we have certain books in our modern Holy Bible, is because some scribe copied the books during the the middle ages.
Monasteries preserved scripture. The monks in the monasteries taught people how to read Latin, and thus how to read scripture.
How does this monk, monastery and scripture stuff tie in with survivalism?
As monks taught holy scripture, so should survivalist teach self-reliance.
As a survivalist, it is your duty to go forth and spread the knowledge of self-reliance.
When people hear the word “monk”, thoughts of living in silence, or roaming the country side preaching the gospel to peasants comes to mind. That is not how things were like. Monks lived in the monastery, some tried to isolate themselves from the outside world, they were educated, copied holy text (scribes), and tried to live a life separated from the outside world.
How is the life of a monk, and the life of a survivalist that much different?
Maybe this should be called “The Survivalist Monk Theory”?
For the sake of discussion, lets focus on the effect we have on those around us, and not what fills our head.
Where a monk may have spent a great deal of time in prayer, he also had a profound effect on society. As survivalist, what effect do we have on those around us? Opsec says we have to always consider security when dealing with others. Let us apply the idea of a monastery to our group.
Everyone inside the walls of the monastery are the people inside our group. These are the people that we can talk to, communicate with and share our plans with.
Everyone outside the walls of our monastery are the strangers. Those are the people we do not know, or fully trust.
While a monastery had walls of brick and mortar, survivalist have walls of trust and relationships.
Just as monks educated the people inside the monastery, so should survivalist train and educate the people inside their group.
Unlike monks that tried to isolate themselves from the outside world, survivalist stay knowledgeable on current events.
The monastery is part of society, but also separate. We live on the fringe of society, on the outskirts, ever visible, but in the distance, just a blink from sight.
There was an interesting comment posted on the survivalistboards facebook page,
You want the world to End, But subscribe to a Survival group….. I hate my VCR I wish Y2K bug was Real….
My reply was,
No, I do not want the world to end. But just in case something happens, I want to be prepared.
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
Some people take prepping a little too far. They prepare for the worst regardless of where they are at or what they are doing. I agree with having a get home bag. But on the other side of the coin there are people that keep a complete Bug Out Bag along with a small arsenal in their vehicle. Reading what some people post in forums, its like they are prepping for a zombie invasion to breakout at any second. Unlike what is portrayed on TV, the majority of preppers do not live on the fringe of society. We are everyday people living in the cities, suburbs and rural areas all across the world.
When people look at prepping, they get on the forum and get a little overwhelmed by what they see. It is easy to forget that some of the members of the forum have been prepping for decades.
Prepping is not for the lazy. Sure you can buy some rice and throw it in an airtight box, buy some canned foods and think you have a well rounded survival plan. Just because you “think” you have a well rounded plan does not make it true.