Kevin Felts political commentator
Disaster Preparedness

How to Start Prepping for SHTF

Interested in how to start prepping for SHTF? This article breaks down various aspects of prepping so someone with an interest in survivalism should not feel overwhelmed.

Prepping for SHTF can be a daunting task. Some people new to prepping / survivalism may become overwhelmed with stockpiling ammunition, selecting a SHTF survival firearm, storing food in mylar bags… etc.

Believe it or not, prepping for SHTF can be an easy process, that is if someone understands what they are prepping for.

Where does someone begin prepping for SHTF? For people new to prepping they should turn to history.

Over the course of a several millennia humanity has faced various events. These events include everything from an Ice Age to outbreak of bubonic plague in the middle ages.

SHTF Historical Examples

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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, blogger
Disaster Preparedness

Prepping For SHTF In Breadth But Not Depth

A few days ago I started reading a new book, it’s called “War on the eastern front by James Lucas.” War on the eastern front is a collection of personal experiences based on diaries from German soldiers.

The majority of books I read are non-fiction. This is because I like to know what real-life experiences people faced during times of hardship. For example what were some of the issues that were faced during the Black Death?

Why did I pick a book on the eastern front? We know the German army failed to defeat the Russian army due to two things – the harsh Russian winter, and resupply issues. Those are the two main issues taught in just about every world history class.

On page 4 of “War on the eastern front”, it is noted that author A.J.P Taylor said “while his opponents were rearming for a great war in depth, Hitler rearmed Germany in breath. Everything for the front lines, but nothing for a second campaign.”

Hitler was so sure the German army could defeat Russia in a single season, there were no plans for a long drawn out battle during the Russian winter. Nor were plans made for the following year, much less a war that lasted another 4 years.

Survivalism

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Disaster Preparedness

Dividing Resources In Your Long Term Survival Plans

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. […]

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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 […]

Bushel of potatoes
Disaster Preparedness

Plans For Surviving a Long Term SHTF Survival Situation

For the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of long term SHTF situation has happened. Whether it was civil unrest, meteor strike, financial collapse, nuclear war, outbreak of new disease,,, lets talk about what you and your family are going to need to survive.

Just about everyone knows about the food, water and shelter of survival. But how many people put a lot of thought into the details? In reality, how your food, water and shelter preps look for a long term SHTF survival situation?

If you want to see society break down, disrupt the supply of water, electricity and food.

Water

Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist. Contaminated drinking water is one of the fastest way to spread disease. Once dysentery sets in, without modern day antibiotics, its just a matter of time.

To ensure my family has a source of safe drinking water, my wife and I are investing into family sized water filters. Just a few days ago I received a couple of Berkey replacement filters from Safecastle. Each filter provides an estimated 3,000 gallons of safe drinking water. Four filters should provide an estimated 12,000 gallons of safe drinking water. The plans are to buy a couple of ceramic filters to go with the black filters. I would like to have enough filters to be able to filter an estimated 20,000 gallons of water. […]

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Disaster Preparedness

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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Disaster Preparedness

Hammer for your survival tool kit

There is an old saying “every tool kit needs a Hammer.” A “hammer” is a tool that helps break something loose that is stuck. Rusted bolt, put a wrench on it, then hit the wrench with a hammer.

How can we take that saying and apply it to survivalism?

What would be an item in our survival tool kit that can help get things unstuck?

Stuck in a food production groove, what would help you increase production?

Need to clear a tree after a hurricane? Break out the chain saw.

Need to make sure looters steer clear? Break out the AK-47.

The three key issues after SHTF will be water, food and personal hygiene. There are other things such as security, cooking, livestock, bartering, hunting, fishing, foraging,,, and other odds and ends.

What items can we add to our survival tool kit to make sure our water production, food and personal hygiene keeps going?

To me, my hammer for water production is my Royal Berkey water filter. In a worse case situation I can get water from a creek, run the water through my Royal Berkey, then my family and I have safe drinking water.

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Homesteading

PEACHES PEARS CHERRIES and GRAPES

Our harsh, capricious climate north of the latitudes of Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and St. Louis—so much severer than that of corresponding latitudes in Europe—is unfavorable, or at least very trying, to all the more delicate and luscious Fruits, berries excepted. Except on our Pacific coast, of which the Winter temperature is at least ten degrees milder than that of the Atlantic, the finer Peaches and Grapes are grown with difficulty north of the fortieth degree of latitude, save in a few specially favored localities, whereof the southern shore of Lake Erie is most noted, though part of that of Lake Ontario and of the west coast of Lake Michigan are likewise well adapted to the Peach.

It is not the mere fact that the mercury in Fahrenheit’s thermometer sometimes ranges below zero, and the earth is deeply frozen, but the suddenness wherewith such rigor succeeds and is succeeded by a temperature above the freezing point, that proves so inhospitable to the most valued Tree-Fruits. And, as the dense forests which formerly clothed the Alleghenies and the Atlantic slope, are year by year swept away, the severity of our “cold snaps,” and the celerity with which they appear and disappear, are constantly aggravated. A change of 60°, or from 50° above to 10° below zero, between morning and the following midnight, soon followed by an equally rapid return to an average November temperature, often proves fatal even to hardy forest-trees. I have had the Red Cedar in my woods killed by scores during an open, capricious Winter; and my observation indicates the warmest spots in a forest as those where trees are most likely to be thus destroyed. […]

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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News and Current Events

The United States economy will never recover

From time to time people in the news like to say “The US economy is recovering”. Well, I am here to tell you the economy of the United States will never recover.

As long as we have free trade with nations like China, the US economy will continue to free fall.

The federal reserve and the government can prop the economy up for short periods of time, but these fixes are temporary.

Article on Yahoo News – Lost Middle-Class Jobs Being Replaced by Burger-Flipping and Retail Gigs: NELP Study

For the past 2 decades we have been told the United States job market is shifting from manufacturing to service orientated jobs. Unless you are a doctor, lawyer, banker,,, someone that provides a valuable service, the service job market is going to be low wage jobs. […]

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Disaster Preparedness

Moving To The Homestead Part 1

The time has come to move to a rural area, get the farm setup with a garden and livestock. My wife I currently live about 4 miles outside Jasper Texas. Its time to move ever further away from town.

With the way this nation is heading, families need to be looking at how they are going to afford to buy food and provide basic essentials for their families. One example, my wife and I buy canned refried beans to make homemade burritos with. In the past 2 years the price of the canned beans has gone up almost 20%. I bet your wages have not gone up 20% in that same amount of time. The price of ground meat has gotten terrible. Pork chops used to be cheap, and now they cost a pretty penny.

At 44 years old I am getting too old to go back to school to retrain for a new career. Instead of waiting until the last minute to make my retirement plans, I want to start 20 – 25 years ahead of time.

This morning my wife and I made a trip to the farm, took some measurements and talked about what we wanted to do. The main things we wanted to focus on were shelter, food, water and sewage. These are the basic essentials that anyone would need during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation.

Farm diagram for Bug Out Location

On the left side of the property is a wilderness area owned by a local timber company. Due to the way the terrain is laid out, nobody will ever be able to build there.
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Raising pigs for SHTF
Disaster Preparedness

Sustainable Food Sources After SHTF / TEOTWAWKI

What are your plans for a sustainable food source after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI? In other words, what are your food sources going to be during a long term disaster? Lets define long term as a disaster lasting at least 6 months. This could be a new disease, long term civil unrest, nuclear war, financial collapse,,, something that disrupts modern society.

This article will attempt to divide gathering food during a long term disaster into 3 categories: foraging, growing or raising food, and a combination of the two.

Foraging

For this article, foraging is defined as hunting, fishing, trapping, picking berries, digging roots,,,. Anything having to do with the collection of wild growing plants and animals.

Every year a buddy of mine and I spend three days camping on the Angelina River close to Jasper Texas. During those three days we go fishing, look for food, scout for wildlife,,, just try to put our Bug Out to the Wilderness skills to the test.

In a real life, most people that bug out to the wilderness will probably end up starving to death. Or, will be driven back to society in the search for food. That is if the person does not contract some kind of waterborne disease and die of dysentery.


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Homesteading

Chicken project 6 month update

When the SHTF do you have a sustainable food source already setup? Or do you plan on bugging out to the wilderness with your family and foraging for food? Given the options, I would rather stay at home and have fresh eggs and oatmeal – eggs from my chickens and oatmeal from my food stockpile.

In mid-late 2011 my wife and I talked about getting chickens. I started looking at coop design, types and breeds, drawing designs for my own coop, working up a bill of material, cost,,, just general plans.

February 25 2012, our first chicks.

August 23 2012, got 10 eggs.

First 5 chicks were 3 Black Jersey Giants and 2 brown Speckled Sussex. 1 black Jersey giant and 1 Speckled Sussex died.

Next set of chicks were 2 Barred Rocks (aka Plymouth rock), 2 silver laced wyandottes and 2 australorps.

Next set were 4 Rhode Island Reds.
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Example of a backyard chicken coop
Homesteading

Chickens For Urban Survival

Out of all of the problems facing urban survivalist, fresh food and fresh water are probably at the top of the list. Sure there are lots of other problems, such as looters and other pest. But without fresh food and safe drinking water, life is going to go downhill pretty quick.

Why would chickens be a good choice for urban survival? They are easy to raise, they lay eggs just about all year long, the eggs are a good source of fats and protein, and if you need to, you can eat the chicken. The protein and the fats address at least two nutritional requirements of your long term survival plans.

Here is an interesting youtube video that talks about some of the aspects in raising backyard chickens.

Chickens are flock animals. Meaning they will not do well by themselves. If you are planning on getting some backyard chickens, plan on getting at least 3 or 4 of them. If you get 2 chickens, and 1 dies, then that puts stress on the lone chicken.

Chickens are Ideal Fr Urban Survival

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Disaster Preparedness

New Survivalist Acronym World Without Machines

Saturday afternoon my dad and I made a trip to the camp to work on the tractor. As luck would have it, we needed a small hammer that was in a shed on the other side of the property. Dad gets in his truck to drive over and get the hammer. while dad was getting the hammer, I looked at the tractor and did some deep thinking about how dependent humans are on machines. Between the truck and the tractor, we have the foundations of modern society.

Without machines, we would not be able to plant tens of thousands of acres of land, would not be able to harvest corn or wheat, would not be able to transport livestock, would not be able to transport fertilizer to the farms, would not be able to transport crops to market, nor would we be able to drive to the market to buy the food.

Every part of our modern lifestyle is affected by machinery in one way or another.

Because machines are so vital to our modern lifestyle, I think we need to use the acronym World Without Machines (WWM) as often as we use SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, WROL (without rule or law),,, and so on. […]

Dozen fresh yard eggs
Disaster Preparedness

Chickens are starting to lay eggs

All of our hard work is finally starting to pay off, one of the hens has started to lay eggs. This means my family and I will have a source of fresh food (especially protein) during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation.

February 25, 2012 – got our first 5 chicks, 3 Black Jersey Giants and 2 Speckled Sussex. One of the Black Jersey Giants and 1 of the Speckled Sussex died.

March 3, 2012 – bought 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes and 2 Australorps.

Around March 7, 2012 – bought 4 Rhode Island Reds.

After it was all over with, my wife and I had 13 chickens.

Around March 21st or March 22nd the chicks were moved to their new coop. For the first few weeks the chicks were in a plastic box that was being kept in the bathtub. My wife and I take showers, so the bathtub is rarely used.

First chicken video posted on February 25, 2012 […]

Pullet egg
Disaster Preparedness

Six Month Window Post TEOTWAWKI

Some kind SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation has happened, how long will take you to get your food production up and running? How long do you think it will take you to plant your garden, get some livestock, build a pen to keep your livestock secure from predators… etc?

I learned something today, or rather something happened today that helped me set a 6 month timeline as the post SHTF window – my wife and I got our first egg.

We got your first chicks on February 25, 2012. the first batch was 3 Black Jersey Giants, and 2 Speckled Sussex. Within a couple of days of obtaining the chicks, 1 of the Jersey Giants died, and 1 of the Speckled Sussexs died. This left 2 Black Giants and 1 Speckled Sussex.

1 week later (March 3) my wife and I obtained 6 more chicks – 2 Barred Rocks (aka Plymouth Rocks), 2 Silver Laced Wyandotte and 2 Australorps.

Around March 7 my wife and I obtained 4 Rhode Island Reds.

All 13 of the chicks were around 2 days old when they were bought. […]

WASR-10 AK-47 next to pine tree
Disaster Preparedness

How Ready Is The United States for a Complete Collapse

How prepared is the U.S. for a total collapse?

Our lives are like a pattern – we go to work, get a pay check, pay our bills, buy food, repeat.

People have become so domesticated, we are like a family dog. The dog goes to the food bowl and waits to be fed. People go to the grocery store, or fast food places to buy food.

How would people react if the grocery stores were empty? Would people know how to grow their own food? Would people even have the resources to grow their own food?

Learning from experience

My chicken project has taught me a lot. The coop cost around $700. My 13 chickens at at 4 1/2 months old are eating almost 50 pounds of feed every 2 weeks. A buddy of mine asked what I would do for chicken feed during a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation.

My reply was the chickens would have to forage. Chickens come from a wild jungle fowl. Even though chickens have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still retain their instincts. […]

Water well diagram for the Bug Out Location
Disaster Preparedness

Bug Out Location Water Well Plans Part 1

How safe is the water source at your Bug Out Location? Currently, when we stay at the camp we have to either filter water from a nearby creek, or use water from a very old hand dug well. The old well is becoming less and less reliable, so its time to drive a new well.

There is a saying I like to use – without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist. A contaminated water source can wipe out a community in a matter of days, and that is just the way it is.

Water well diagram for the Bug Out Location

Here are the current plans

Use post hole digger to dig a hole around 3 feet deep.

Insert around an 8 inch PVC sleeve into the hole, sleeve will be around 4 feet long. This gives us around 1 foot above ground.

Take a 4 inch piece of PVC pipe, notch the end so that the pipe has “teeth”.

Build a cap with 2 water inlets.

Attach water hoses to water source and to cap.

Take a 2×4, drill some holes so that a U-bolt will fit though the board.

Back truck up to well site and drop tailgate. […]