Southeast Texas Muscadine grapes
Disaster Preparedness

Cultivating Muscadine Grapes At The Bug Out Location

Looking for an easy to grow grape for the bug out location? Look not further than the Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia), aka possum grape. However, the Muscadine is not native to the northern portion of the United States, or the western states, such as California.

While there are a number of varieties available from big box outlets stores, we want native wild species at the bug out location. This means finding wild growing Muscadine grapes, harvesting the seeds, and then planting the seeds.

Typically, wild Muscadine grapes will grow along creeks, streams, or highlands with well drained sandy soil. Seeds are spread by wildlife eating the grapes, then pooping the seeds out.

Look for wild growing Muscadine grapes under the base of trees, along the edge of bodies of water, such as rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. In other words, anywhere birds may roost. […]

Trash dumped in a rural area
Random Ramblings

Dumping Trash at a Rural Bug Out Location

One of the issues with having a remote bug out location, such as a cabin, is people dumping trash. Typically the trash is dumped on the side of the road so county clean up crews will pick up the trash. However, rarely will someone dump trash on someones property. This is especially true if someone has a bug out location on a remote rural road.

When people dump trash on the dirt roads near the farm, I dig through the trash and look for anything with a name or address. If there is a name, or some kind of identifying information, then the sheriff can be called. I have called the sheriff several times on people who dumped trash near the bug out location.

Typically, a sheriff deputy will drive out, I will give him (or her) something with a name or address, then the deputy will go to their home, and tell them to clean the trash up. People can be stupid. They dump trash on the side of the road, and they leave a bill, or pill bottle in with the trash.

Having an envelope with their name and address on it makes calling the sheriff much easier. The deputy drives up, hand them the envelope, and the deputy takes care of it from there.
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Bug Out Location For SHTF
Disaster Preparedness

Essential Bug Out Location Supplies For Surviving SHTF

Stockpiling supplies at the bug out location? Let’s take a few minutes and talk about what are some essential supplies to have at the bug out location.

The goal of stockpiling essential supplies at the bug out location is to help the family after a SHTF/ Doomsday event. We want to make the family members feel safe, secure, and have the bug out location feel like a home away from home.

One way to achieve the “home away from home” feeling is by making trial runs to the bug out location. For example, use holidays and long weekends at a remote cabin or hunting camp to practice bugging out. Once at the bug out location, observe what items will the family use most. Take books for example, what types of books will various family members read?

At the hunting camp my family uses, we have a wide assortment of hunting and fishing magazines. Those types of books are mostly read by the guys. While on the other hand my daughter likes puzzle books, such as crossword puzzles.

Bug Out Location Supplies

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No Picture
Random Ramblings

Random Thoughts May 21 2017

There is so much going on I do not know where to start.

Cabin

On the back side of the property there a cabin I am thinking about making it into an off the grid bug out location for friends and family. The cabin was built in the mid-1970s and would have to be totally gutted and re-wired. the good thing, it has a metal roof and metal siding. It has five rooms – living room, kitchen, spare, bedroom and bathroom. The spare room is just a room that can have a table, or bunkbeds.

Paneling in the bedroom would have to be torn out and replaced. Might go with some 3/8 inch plywood.

The cabin has a suspended ceiling and almost no insulation. All of the ceiling tiles would have to be torn out and probably replaced with 3/8 plywood as well.

A shed would need to built for storage and for the water well to go in. The well right now is in a 3 feet X 4 feet covered area. The shed would be 12 feet X 16 feet. That is an easy three sheets of plywood wide and two sheets long.

I am thinking of solar cells on the shed along with the batteries.

All of this takes money though.
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Wildlife Habitat At Bug Out Location
Disaster Preparedness

Wildlife Habitat At Bug Out Location

There were a couple of locations that had perfect squirrel habitat, but there were no signs of squirrels being in the area. There were no pine cones that had been tore apart, no half eaten acorns nor did I see any squirrels.

As I followed a creek that runs along the back of the property, the timber transitioned from pine and oak to mostly oak and iron wood. Iron wood is a tree that grows in the shade of larger trees. It does not produce any kind of nut for squirrels or deer. It is mostly used for its hard wood to make walking sticks and bows.

Several years ago a lot of the older pine trees were cut off the property. Pine trees are a renewable resource when managed properly. Several large pine trees were left on the property to so they could reseed the area. Their seedlings float in the wind and can travel several hundred feet, depending on how the wind is blowing. I expected to see oaks and ironwood, but I also expected to see pine tree saplings coming up. I was rather surprised when I did not see hardly any pine saplings.

Planting Pine Trees

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Preparing for the end of the world as we know it
Disaster Preparedness

Stockpiling Antibacterial Soap At The Bug Out Location

Are you stockpiling antibacterial soap? If you answered yes, stop buying antibacterial soap and buy regular soap instead . Seems antibacterial has not been proven to be more effective than regular soap at preventing the spread of germs.

In 2013 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested antibacterial soap manufacturers prove soap marketed as “antibacterial” was more effective than regular soap. As of 2016 nothing has been proven.

Full FDA write up – Antibacterial Soap? You Can Skip It.

Stockpiling Antibacterial Soap for SHTF

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Bug Out Location in a rural area
Random Ramblings

Scouting Around the Bug Out Location

Let’s say the reader has a bug out location for you and your family in the event of a complete collapse of society. This might be a secluded place on a river, somewhere deep in the national forest, or maybe a friends farm who lives in a rural area.

You have taken the time to look around the area, maybe walk around your buddies farm, help with running fence, helped plant fruit trees,,,, just your typical stuff. But what is the lay of the land like around the bug out location? How often would you go scouting around the bug out location?

What does the land around the bug out location look like? Where are the water sources? Where does wild game move? Are there any good camping areas? If you not able to make it back to home one evening, where could you spend the night and feel safe? Are there any old logging roads, railroad tracks, pipelines, or power lines that run through the area?

Do you know where roads, railroads, utility right of ways, power lines, creeks, streams, ponds and lakes are near the bug out location?

Roads At The Bug Out Location

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Kevin Felts on a hiking trip
Disaster Preparedness

Trespassers at the Bug Out Location

A few days ago I was walking along the creek that is the property line between my land and the timber company land. Not only does the timber company grow timber on their land, they also lease the land out to hunters. It is not unusual to see an influx of urban dwellers into rural areas starting a couple of months before hunting season. Most of the people who lease property in rural areas are good people. They just want to get out of the city, do some hunting, get a deer or hog and pass the tradition of hunting to the next generation.

With hunters there is an unspoken code of respect. You do not touch my trail cameras, stands and feeders and I do not touch yours.

Then there are the people who do not care about respect. They will knock your feeders and stands over and steal the trail cameras. These are the vandals and thieves that screw up life for everyone else. For people who visit their lease only a few times a year the vandals are not that big of an issue. All that gets screwed up is a few items such as the deer blind and feeders. For those of us who live in rural areas next to hunting leasing, the vandals can screw with us year round. […]

Bug out cabin
Disaster Preparedness

Buying Land For a Bug Out Location

In the forum there is a thread about what makes a good bug out location.

For the sake of discussion let’s say you want to buy a piece of land for a small farm that could double as a bug out location.

This would be a weekend getaway for you and your family. A place off the beaten path where you and your family can go to relax. And also a place where you and your family can stockpile survival gear for a long term SHTF situation.

If you were going to buy such a place what qualities would you look for? In this article I hope to talk about some of the stuff someone interested in buying a bug out location may look for. Keep in mind these are suggestions and food for thought, and not necessarily requirements.

Location

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Old metal bathtub to be hauled off
Homesteading

Tools For Homestead Cleanup Day

In the next few weeks some of my family members and some of my friends are meeting at the homestead for a cleanup day. The area we are cleaning up has not been used in close to 30 years. During that time various family members dropped off unwanted trash, such as a hot water heater, large box fan, tin, fence wire,,, and other odds and ends.

Pine trees, sweet gum and oak trees have been growing in this same area.

We have three things to take care of – clean the brush out, cut some small trees down and pull the metal trash out so it can be hauled to the recycler.

Stihl chainsaw with 18 inch bar

Chainsaw fuel and bar oil

Axe

Splitting maul

8 pound sledge hammer

Machete

Chains for pulling logs with the truck

Files – for sharpening axe and chainsaw

There is an oak tree down in the back of the field. The plan is to cut a 2 feet section of the trunk for a chopping block.

As we cut down some of the small pine trees, they will be cut into sections that can be split and thrown on the fire. Split wood burns better then non-split wood. […]

Pulling trees with a Toyota T-100
Homesteading

Planning A Cleanup Day At The Homestead

In the next few weeks my family and some of our friends are going to the homestead for a cleanup day. There is an area where some trees need to be cut, and that same area has been used as a semi-trash dump for close to 40 years.

Here is the plan, form three groups – the cutters, the pullers and the haulers.

The cutters – Hopefully we have 2 chainsaws running. The loggers left some small trees right in the way that need to be cut up and hauled to the burning pile.

Then there are some trees that need to be thinned out. A couple of oak trees are right next to each other, some are 3 – 4 feet apart. The largest trees will be saved and the smaller trees cut. The trees that I am referring to are only about 3 – 6 inches in diameter and maybe 8 – 10 feet tall. […]

Buff Orpington chicken
Disaster Preparedness

Building a Homestead for Surviving SHTF

How viable are your long term SHTF survival plans? That is a question I kept asking myself while a buddy of mine and I were talking. The discussion was about water, livestock, food storage,,, just your basic stuff. In reality, how viable are those plans for a complete collapse of society?

There is an old saying, “plan for the worst and hope for the best.” My TEOTWAWKI survival plans are based off of a complete collapse scenario – no water, food, electricity or fuel from the outside world.

One way I am looking at arranging my farm is like a medieval farm, that is the only way I know how to describe it. The goal is to supply our own water and food, but in a primitive format. Today it would be called organic gardening.

Water At The Homestead

The first issue we have to address is water. Without safe drinking water life as we know it can not exist.

The plain is to have a well drilled, and to have an electric water pump put on the well. […]

No Picture
Homesteading

Moving To The Homestead Part 3

My wife and I made a trip to the homestead this morning (December 15, 2012) to look at the land after some of the timber has been cut. Now that some of the brush, pine trees and sweet gums have been cleared out, we can get a better idea of how everything is going to work out.

If you have not read the first part of this homesteading series, please take the time to do so.

Moving To The Homestead Part 1
Moving To The Homestead Part 2
Designing a long term survival garden

Chicken Yard

The first design of the garden and chicken yard called for the chicken yard to be divided in half, and placed directly behind the house. The chickens would be switched between the two yards, with one year in each section. While the chickens were using one area, I would be using the other as a garden.

After thinking about the water requirements of the garden and the chickens, wind direction, and the amount of time and effort to build the fence,,, I decided to scrap the plan and start over.

The back of the house faces north. This means during the winter time the smell of the chicken yard will be blowing towards the covered deck. The smell of chicken crap while my wife and I are trying to throw a party does not sound appealing.

In a previous article we talked about how many chickens are needed for SHTF / TEOTWAWKI. We came up with a base number of around 30 – 40 chickens.
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No Picture
Disaster Preparedness

Bug Out Location For Future Generations

A few months ago I was over at my aunts house. As we were talking, she told me how my grandfather would take her on these camping / hunting trips on some property my grandfather owned on the Trinity River here in Texas.

The land was a couple of acres, right on the river that bordered national forest. They would camp on the property, then hunt in the national forest. It was a remote area that was only accessible by boat. So it was doubtful that they would run into strangers.

While my aunt was telling about their various hunting trips, and how cold and miserable she would be, I was thinking about how a piece of land like that could be used as a last resort Bug Out Location. Instead of bugging out to wilderness that will probably be on public land, having private property would be ideal.

On my dads side of the family there is some land that has been passed through three generations, its where my wife and I hope to build our homestead at in 2013. Knowing that you have land that you can go to at anytime provides a sense of comfort, a sense of security and a sense of stability.

Related Links:

Moving to the homestead part 1

Moving to the homestead part 2 […]

No Picture
Homesteading

Moving To The Homestead Part 2

Where do you want to be in 10 years, how about 20 years? That question is not about financial stability, or your career, where do you want to be physically in 10 years, what do you want your life to be like?

I want peace and quiet in my life. I want a back porch where I can grill some steaks, listen to the wind blowing through the trees, hear the chickens,,, and that is all I want to hear, except maybe some music.

I want a small garden that my wife and I can get fresh food from.

I want my chickens to be able to free range as much as they want, because happy chickens lay plenty of eggs.

Where do I want to be next year (2013)? I want to be living in peace and quiet. But first, my wife and I have to get there.

One of the things that has to be taken care of before we are able to put a house on the land, is some of the timber has to be cleared. As much as I despise cutting trees, we have to make room for a home. Not only room for a home, but the fence rows need to be cut.

Nobody has lived at the Homestead full time since the late 1970s, which was when my grandmother passed away. Mom and dad moved from the Jasper Texas area in the late 1970s and have lived in Bridge City for the past 35 years.
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Remote camping site on the Angelina River
Fishing and Boating

Drawback to Remote Primitive Camping Sites

One of the major drawbacks to remote primitive camping sites, you never know what idiot you are going to end up next to.

November 24, 2012 a buddy of mine and I headed out to the Angelina river close to Jasper Texas to do some camping. These are primitive camping sites that are only available by boat.

We arrived at the camping site, set the tents up, then headed out to the river to do some fishing. Just before the juglines were set out, I got a call on my phone saying my son-in-law and his hunting buddies caught a hog in the river bottom. The dogs had chased the hog a long way from the boat, and they needed some help. But that is another story.

After helping my son-in-law and his hunting party pack the hog back to the boat, my buddy and I headed back to our camping site.

By the time we got back to the camping site we only had about one hour of light left. We broke out the camp stoves, cooked a quick meal of Mountain House freeze dried foods, then started the camp fire.

Shooting Into The Night

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Pair of fresh eggs
Disaster Preparedness

Rural Homestead After SHTF / TEOTWAWKI

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. […]

Shooting AK-47 with ERGO Grip SUREGRIP
Disaster Preparedness

Firearm for Rural SHTF Bug Out Location

What is your ideal firearm for a rural small farm (Bug Out Location)? Purpose is to protect property and livestock. For this article, lets say the setting can be during normal everyday life, and during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event.

During a SHTF setting, livestock are going to be very difficult to replace.

Its 10 pm, your chickens start making a fuss, what firearm do you grab? Do you use a shotgun, small caliber rifle, medium caliber rifle, or something else?

One of my ideal setups would be for a rifle and a pistol setup to share the same caliber. There are several manufacturers that make carbines in various pistol calibers, such as the 17 HMR, 22 long rifle, 9mm, 357 magnum and 45 acp.

This article will be divided into 3 phases, discussion on shotguns, small calibers for everyday life, larger calibers for post-SHTF / a world without law. Since followup shots may be needed rather quickly, single shot firearms will not be discussed.

Shotgun For Bug Out Location

While a shotgun may be ideal for nighttime, there is a high risk of collateral damage. We want to protect the livestock, and not take the livestock out along with the predator.

Even though the Mossberg 590 is one of my favorite SHTF shotguns, I do not think it is appropriate for livestock protection. The 590 does not have a choke that can be used to change the pattern of the shot. The short barrel of the Mossberg 590 will have a negative effect on the shot pattern as well. […]

Australorp, Rhode Island Red and Barred Rock
Disaster Preparedness

Homestead as a Bug Out Location

Homestead VS Bug Out Location, which on is better and why? Instead of trying to discuss the merits of each, why not combine the two?

Instead of trying to maintain a home in an urban area, and a remote camp, why not build a homestead and make it your Bug Out Location? This way your time and money are not divided between two separate places.

For a lot of people, living in a rural area is not an option. Their job is in the city, and that is where they need to live. There are a number of people that live in rural areas, or in small towns. Lets talk about the people who are thinking about relocating to a rural area away from town.

For this article lets focus on 5 things – food, water, shelter, security, and some other small topics that we can group together.

Food

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