Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: long term survival plans

Light Sources After SHTF / TEOTWAWKI

Lanterns after SHTF

Some kind of SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situation has happened, society has broken down, and the power has finally gone off.

Or, some kind of natural disaster has happened, power has been cut off and my not be restored for several days to several weeks. After Hurricane Rita, my family and I spent 18 days without power. So power outages are not reserved for a long term SHTF/teotwawki situation.

My light preps are kerosene, hand crank lights, solar lights and your regular LED lights. Each light source has their own advantages and disadvantages.

Kerosene Lanterns

For over a hundred years kerosene lanterns have been used by mankind in lanterns. Kerosene stores somewhat well, depending on the type of kerosene that is being stored and what the kerosene is going to be used for. Overtime bacteria develops and feeds off the fossil fuel; when this happens the fuel will start to gel.

To get the most out of your kerosene, you may want to consider treating it with a type of diesel fuel treatment that prevents the growth of bacteria.

Kerosene lanterns pose a fire risk, especially around small children.

When my family has to use a kerosene lantern, we place the lantern in a bathroom so the light can reflect off of a mirror, and several inches away from the edge of the counter top.

When picking a lantern, be sure to take the size of the reservoir into consideration. The larger the reservoir, the longer the lantern can operate.

If kerosene is going to be included in your long term SHTF survival plan, keep in mind your kerosene is going to run out sooner-or-later.

Handcrank Lights and Lanterns

Survivalist OPSEC

bug out location cookingAs a survivalist, live part of your life by one simple saying – “loose lips sink ships”.

There is an episode of the Twilight Zone where some satellites are picked up as incoming nuclear missiles. One man and his family has taken the time to build a bomb shelter under his house, but none of the other neighbors have taken the time to prepare. As the news of the “missiles” is broadcast over the radio, people started to panic.

The family that had the shelter started moving supplies into the shelter, filling jars with water, grabbing flashlights and batteries, moving canned goods from the kitchen to the shelter,,,,. After the family closed the door to their shelter, the neighbors start beating on the steel door demanding the family let everyone else in.

As the missiles are getting closer, the neighbors start tearing down the steel door of the shelter. As the door is just about to be removed, the news reports that the missiles are really satellites, and the whole alarm was a mistake.

Picking a SHTF Survival Rifle Caliber

22 Long Rifle For SHTF

There is a thread in the forum asking whether the 7mm or 8mm would make a good caliber for a survival rifle. When you walk into a pawn shop and you see a bunch of a certain type of firearms, that is usually not a good sign. If people like a product, they tend to hang onto it.

22 Long Rifle

The 22 long rifle should not need an introduction. The ammunition can be fired in rifles and pistols, firearms are not expensive and they have a long life expectancy. With the low recoil of the 22, parts last long then a full sized rifle caliber.

The low cost of the 22 ammunition makes it attractive to survivalist who want to stockpile thousands or tens of thousands of rounds.

The 22long rifle is effective on small game and does not do a lot of damage to the meat. When you use a 12 gauge on a squirrel, you might have to pick out a bunch of BBs. If you take a squirrel with a 22 short, you have 1 bullet hole.

A couple of my favorite rifles in 22 long rifle include the Marlin Model 60 and the Ruger 10/22. My Ruger 10/22 was bought in January of 1986 and is still going strong.

223 Remington / 5.56mm

Being a liability to a survival group

survivalist camp bug out locationThere are two types of people in a survival group – assets and liabilities. In your survival group, how do you determine who is a liability and who is an asset. For the sake of discussion, lets talk about liabilities.

Liabilities to a survival group usually do not:

Stockpile food – they do not take the time to prepare and kind of food stocks besides some canned goods, noodles, pasta,,, the typical stuff someone would keep in their cabinet.

Instead of having food stored in mylar bags or buying #10 cans, liabilities trust that other people will stockpile food for them. Storing food in mylar bags is not expensive, but it is time consuming. The liability usually does not want to dedicate any extra time to preparing their food stockpile.

If liabilities do have food stocked up, its going to be just enough for a few days, maybe a week or two at the longest.

When their food stocks run out, the liability will ask the other members of the survivalist group for help.

During a long term SHTF survival situation, the most in demands items are going to be food and safe drinking water. Even though food will be one of the most in demand items, its also one of the most overlooked items of the liability. Where a survivalist takes the time to study their food preps and stockpile food, the liability will usually shop at the local grocery store and only buy what their family needs within the next week or 2 weeks.

Hunter Gatherer or Farmer Survivalist

SHTF Long Term Survival

What kind of long term survival plans do you have? Do you plan on bugging out to the wilderness and living a hunter gatherer lifestyle, or do you plan on living the lifestyle of a farmer gardener?

Hunter Gatherer

Our ancestors lived a hunter gatherer lifestyle for hundreds of thousands of years. For some people hunting, gathering roots, gathering berries and fishing the rivers might seem like an attractive lifestyle. I wonder if those types of people are influenced by their genes? Do the survival that plan on bugging out to the wilderness carry more the genetic code for the hunter gatherer lifestyle?

The problem with the hunter gatherer lifestyle, those types of people only plan a few days or weeks ahead of time. Tribes followed the herds along their yearly migration routes. There was little planning – follow the herd, kill something, gather roots, gather berries, catch some fish, follow the herd,,, repeat, as they were required to gather food almost daily. People learned that if they dried meat and fish, or salted the meat and fish it lasted longer. During the Lewis and Clark expedition, the explorers noted that the North American Indians dried their fish to store it during the winter. But man can not live on dried fish alone.

Farming and Gardening

It’s estimated that maybe 7,000 years ago people started adopting the farming and gardening lifestyle over the hunter gatherer lifestyle.

Having a Stove or Grill at the Bug Out Location

Bug out location stove

How do you plan on cooking at your bug out location? Some kind of disaster has happened, you and your family have moved to the bug out location, you open a #10 can of chili mac,,, and now what? What are your plans on cooking that the bug out location? Do you have a propane camp stove, or maybe an outdoor wood grill?

In other words, the SHTF, now what?

In this article we are going to be looking at propane stoves, wood grill and touch on solar.

Propane Stove

Propane is a short term answer to a long term problem. Propane has several advantages – it stores well, it burns clean, and propane has multiple uses.

Hastily Assembled and Ill Equipped SHTF Survival Plans

Fig tree at the survival camp

Science channel Saturday morning of July 30, 2011 had a program on about Kublai Khan, and his doomed fleet that tried to invade Japan.

During excavations of the ocean floor, scientist discovered that most of the ships in the fleet were flat bottom river boats. River boats do not have a keel like what ocean going ships have. The keel helps ocean going ships weather large waves, while flat bottom boats will capsize.

It appears that Kublai Khan was in a hurry to invade Japan, so he ill equipped his navy with the wrong type of ship. This short sight meant the fleet was lost in a storm.

How does the example of Kublai Khan apply to survivalism?

Those that do not take the time to properly prepare are doomed to fail. The key word there is “properly” prepare. Kublai Khan had his army, weapons, armor, supplies, ships,,,,,. But the ships were the wrong type of ship, they were not ship designed for oceans, they were designed for rivers.

In the survivalist community, there are a lot of people that plan on grabbing their bug out bag, bugging out to the wilderness and living off the land. There are lots of problems with that situation, such as being able to find enough food, diseases, illness, vitamin and mineral decencies,,, only to name a few.

Can opener syndrome

Survival camp water well

The can opener syndrome is when your so focused on larger things, that you forget about the smaller items.

An example of this happened a few months ago when my kids and I went to the camp for the night. Around 10pm or so we decided to go out and take a look at the fields.

Guess what, we forgot to grab our regular flashlights and bring them to the camp with us. This left us with the handcrank flashlights that I had stockpiled. Handcrank flashlights might be good for around the house, but their not good for lighting up a 10 acre field.

Over the past year or so I had been more focused on planting fruit trees, stockpiling ammo and first aid supplies,,,, other odds and ends that I had totally overlooked some simple and inexpensive LED lights for the Bug Out Location.

Carving and steak knives is another thing I had overlooked. A couple of months ago I found a knife set at an estate sale, so I bought the set and brought it to the camp. Now we have a set of carving knives, steak knives and a knife sharpener.

Weak points in survival plans

DS-Arms SA58 FN/FAL next to a river in southeast TexasA couple of weeks ago a buddy of mine and his wife dropped by my house for a little while. As most conversations do, we turned towards the topic of survivalism, and trying to find weak points in a survival plan.

Lets say there is some kind of long term SHTF survival situation, a new disease breaks out, long term civil unrest, climate change; besides insurance (no insult intended towards my buddy), I think the weak points for just about everyone will be are medical needs, safe drinking water and food production.

Medicine – Lets take my wife for example, she developed high blood pressure, and has been on high blood pressure maintenance medicine for almost 20 years. Running out of medicine could have a negative impact on her long term health. Then there are the people on heart medicine, anti-depressants,,,,,, just a whole slough of meds.

Safe drinking water – life as we know it can not exist without safe drinking water, and that is all there is to it. Water borne infections can kill off communities with little or no advance warning. One of the number one killers in the world today is unsafe drinking water.

Now for a video about buying canned goods.

Cleaning Up The Bug Out Location

survivalist camp bug out location

survivalist camp bug out locationToday started out around 8 am with a shower, breakfast bar, and a monster energy drink. From there my wife and I went to the local wal-mart, step daughters house, rented a carpet cleaner, sonic for a cheese burger, and the local feed and fertilizer store.

From the feed store, we went to the camp to meet up with my parents and some other family members. After arriving at the camp, we cleaned out a spot for my uncles RV. My uncle and my aunt got on the hunting lease with my family, so their going to be parking their RV at my parents place. We had one person on a Craftsman chainsaw, one person on a pole saw, and 3 people pulling limbs out of the way.

Some of my observations:

Climate change and long term survival plans

Pears from a survivalist gardenThere is something that is bothering me about the climate change going on all around the world, and long term survival plans. Lets take Texas for example, my home state, has been under drought conditions for the past 3+ years. some of the local lakes are 8 – 10 feet low. A couple of years ago lake Travis got to around 100 feet below normal.

National Geographic wrote and interesting article about how Greenland was on the leading edge of climate change. The majority of Greenlands income is based off of fishing. But the warming waters has caused the shrimp and certain fish populations to decline. The big question is “where” are the fishing going.

The climate change is not limited to North America – there is an interesting article on the BBC how Soils of UK and Europe drying out.

In a long term survival situation – meteor strike, outbreak of a new plague, world wide war, long term civil unrest,,,, the only long term solution for food is to grow your own. But in the face of global climate change, how can we be sure that our crops will succeed.

This past weekend I went to the camp to pick up my bar-b-q pit and bring it home for memorial day weekend. While I was at the camp, I decided to check on the fruit trees. We have a couple of pear trees, some peach trees and a couple of plum trees planted there.

Upon inspection, I discovered just about all of the fruit was about 1/2 – 1/3 the size that it should be. If we were in a long term survival situation, I would have to watering the fruit trees from a nearby stream.

Essential Survival Gear for a Bug Out Location

deer camp hunting lease

Lets take a look at some essential survival gear for the bug out location

Running water – modern civilization is built off of several things: running water, sanitation and the ability to make hot water, only to name a few. Having a raised water tower makes most of the items on that list possible. Through running water we are able to wash our hands, flush our toilets, and run water through a hot water heater (propane powered of course).

Having a raised water tower is easier then a lot of people think. Farm supply stores sell water tanks is sizes like 250 gallon, 500 gallon and 750 gallon. With the help of some power tools, stainless steel or galvanized lag bolts, rubber strips for washers, drill bits, some 8 – 10 foot round poles for legs, PVC pipes and fittings, some hard work, sweat and custom engineering, its very possible to have your very own raised water tower. With the base of the tower just 5 – 6 feet off the ground, this can create enough pressure for people to wash their hands, fill a toilet, and maybe even run the water through a small hot water heater.

To keep the water tank filled up, pump water from a nearby creek with a solar powered water pump, or have a well put down and install a hand pump on the water well.

With a “little” imagination, custom engineering, sweat and determination, just about anything is possible, and that includes running water without electricity.

Safe place to sleep

Three Day Trip to the Camp

survivalist camp bug out location

On July 30th, 2010 my family and I headed to the camp for 3 days for a little get away. One of the things that I like to do on these little “get aways” is to take notes, and figure out ways to improve – what went right, what went wrong, and what can we do differently.

One thing that I wanted to test on this trip was the Royal Berkey water filter from Directive21.com – this will be covered in another article, its just too much to go into right now.

One thing that happened, was while the guys were washing off the 4-wheelers, the water hose was left on and the well was drained. So we were without water for about 12 hours – 8pm, until a little after 8 am. By turning off the water pump, the well had time to fill back up.

The propane tank is down to about 40 percent, so it needs to be filled back up. If you wait until the winter to fill it up, your probably going to be put on a waiting list.

In all, there were 7 people staying at the camp – and everyone had a place to sleep with a little room for more.

We had a 128 quart ice chest in the kitchen that was helping keep the food cold – but we also have a refrigerator and freezer.

Weather Conditions

Survival Camp Example

survivalist camp bug out location

The worse has happened – some kind of pandemic disease is whipping out mankind, or a nuke strike has launched this nation in chaos, or something else has happened.

You now have to leave the city. So, where do you go? Some emergencies are regional – such as a hurricane or wild fires. So staying with friends or family might be an option.

For the sake of this article, lets discuss this topic as if its world wide. So now what do you do?


Squash as a Survivalist Food Source After SHTF

Yellow summer squash

Squash is one of the better choices for any garden. Its pest resistant, easy to grow, and the harvested squash can be cooked in a variety of ways. It can be fried, baked, grilled, or just eaten raw.

There are several reasons why squash should be favored by survivalist – can be eaten raw, it’s high in nutrients, can be cooked, and some types of squash can be stored for several months. The squash is in the melon family and can develop a hard outer skin. The squash should be harvested when it is in an immature stage. If the squash is left on the plant too long, the skin and the seeds will harden, making it undesirable to eat. Squash plants can grow to be about 3 feet tall and 3 – 4 feet across.

The squash is not what you might called a “high production plant”, but it does produce more then once. In this picture we can see several small “squash” starting to grow on the vine. The squash plant produces a vine, but not a long one. This “vine” may grow to be just a few feet long. The center vine of the squash plant in the picture may be about 18 inches long.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018