Would a rural homestead make a good bug out location? SHTF / TEOTWAWKI has happened, whether it was a financial collapse, nuclear war, widespread civil unrest,,,, something has happened to has disrupted society as we know it.
If you live on a homestead in a rural location, what might be some of the supplies you would need, and what would be some of the hardships you would face?
As I write this article I am just thinking out load. Lets brainstorm and get some ideas for discussion.
We all know the typical topics such as safe drinking water and food. In this article lets move past those topics that should be a given. What are the things that would make everyday life possible? What do we use in our everyday lives today that we would need after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI?
Breakfast After SHTF
Lets wake up, do our morning routine then eat breakfast. What are going to be eating for breakfast? Chances are its going to be oats we have stored in mylar bags and eggs.
To have eggs we have to make sure our chickens are safe from predators and the elements. Given the chance predators such as foxs, opossums, coyotes and even other people will steal your livestock.
Exposed to wind, rain, ice and snow your chickens will die.
What do we need to keep our chickens safe and comfortable? We need a chicken coop and a way to repair the coop. This means we need hand tools, staples, hardware cloth, hammers, a good saw, wire cutters, tar to fix holes in the roof of the coop,,, and so on.
Have goats? The same thing applies to their pen as does the chicken coop – a way to keep your livestock safe and protected from the weather. No goats would mean no goat butter or milk to go with your breakfast.
Over the past few months I have been putting a lot of thought into a self-sustaining garden. This is something I would want to have up and running for everyday food production, and not try to put together after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI.
In most places, if you work the soil and plant some seeds, chances are something is going to grow. The garden will productive the first year, but the second year is going to be a totally different story. Every year crops are planted, the nutrients in the soil are depleted.
My ideal setup would be three fields for crop rotation, with compost bins, chicken manure and rabbit manure as fertilizer.
Related Article – Designing a Long Term Survival Garden
One of the issues I have been debating is moving manure around to the various compost bins / raised bed gardens. Instead of moving the manure to the garden, how about moving the whole rabbit pen to the garden?
Why not build a rabbit pen that can be moved over the raised beds? Let the rabbit manure fall straight into the raised bed for a couple of weeks, then move the pen to the next raised bed.
Build a rabbit pen just a little larger then the raised bed. Mount a couple of handles on the side of the pen.
After the rabbit pen has been over the raised bed for a couple of weeks, one person get on side another person get the other side, lift, then move the rabbit pen to the next raised bed / compost bin.
Once the rabbit pen has been moved to the next raised bed, mix in some chicken manure, leaves, grass clippings, worms, water and mix well.
While crops are growing in one field, the next seasons field would be worked on.
Using a mixture of manure, leaves,,, other organic material, hopefully the plants will have fertile soil to grow in next season.
Bathing / Personal Hygiene
How do you bath, brush your teeth, shower,, with no running water? If you have a well with a pitcher pump, then you have access to water. Some large bowls and you have a way to wash your hair, face, brush your teeth,,,,.
When I was around 4, 5, 6,,, years old, my grandmother would wash my brother and I off in a washtub. My brother would go down to the creek to play. When we got back to the house we were covered in sand. Our grandmother would have us stand in a washtub then spray us down with the water hose.
There are some solar heated shower systems on the market for camping. Fill the black bag with water, let sit in direct sunlight for a few hours. The black bag heats the water, the bag has a built in hose, valve and shower head.
I would like to remind the reader this is a brainstorming article. All I am doing is thinking out-load.
Related Article – Stockpiling too many types of ammunition
Would you rather have 1 rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammunition, or 2 rifles and 500 rounds of ammunition?
Would you rather divide your resources between 3 or calibers, or 7 or 8 calibers?
Would you rather have buy parts for 6, 7 or 8 different rifles, or 3 or 4 different rifles?
What about training? How often do you go shooting? Does everyone in the family know how the Ruger 10/22, AR-15 and AK-47 operates?
Do you have ability to protect your crops and livestock from predators and looters?
Access to Resources
Access to fresh water for you, your family, your livestock and the garden?
Access to land for growing crops and raising livestock.
Fenced fields for keeping livestock.
Nearby friends and/or family?
One of the greatest resources we have are friends and family that we can rely on.
A few months ago I dropped by my cousins house to say hi. It just so happened that when I dropped by, she was storing some green beans using a coleman stove and a pressure cooker.
I thought using a coleman stove with a 1 pound bottle of propane to store snap beans was a pretty good idea. I do not remember the exact number of jars she had put up, but it was a bunch, and with a single 1 pound bottle of propane.
How many jars could be stored using a 20 pound bottle of propane? I might have to buy a pressure cooker and find out.
My aunt had planted a bunch of beans in her backyard, and that was where my cousin got her beans from.
With my aunts garden and my cousins pressure cooker we were dealing with at least 2 issues.
1, beans and peas are easy to grow.
2, storing food from season to season.
If I had to pick one crop to plant during a long term SHTF situation, it would be peas and beans.
Peas and beans produce their own nitrogen, they are easy to grow, can be stored from season to season without special tools. If need be, shell the peas, place them in the sun to dry, then store in a cool dry place. Or, run a string through the hull of the bean, and hung in a dry place like a shed.
Pinto beans are a good source of protein. when you do not have access to meat, eat pinto beans.
As stated before, this is a brain storming article. The purpose of this article is to throw out a bunch of ideas as food for thought.