Tag Archives: travelling

Food Storage: Prepper Style

Storing food for hard times, even the collapse of society as we know it, should be on everyone’s mind. There are more people living today than at any other 1 point in time, and there are more people now than all the people that have past, ever! With droughts, famines, severe weather, and cost of goods increasing, food will be hard to come by in the future.  How much should you store? How would you replenish your storage?

I like to watch different shows and videos talking about prepping for “doomsday,” extreme weather, collapse of society, civil unrest, and many other topics. Some of you reading the posts have experienced hard times and some have not. Those who have are more prepared to survive because of experience. Food is one of the necessary preps for other than ideal times to boost morale. But we have all seen the “preppers” that have gone overboard and ended up at the bottom of the ocean. Some individuals have stored food for 5-10 years or longer. Why? Are they using and rotating their storage so the food does not go bad or decrease in quality? I have been in houses where they owners bought so much food that they did not know what they had. Eventually, the jars of pickles turned white. Why? They bought too much, too often, and usually food they don’t even eat.

Many people say to have 3-6 months of food storage. This is fine depending on the situation. If it’s a hurricane, and you live in the coastal region that floods, then you are wasting your time and money. If you are in the midwest where tornadoes are prevalent and storing your food above ground, you are wasting your time and money. I laugh at the ideas that people have. If you are preparing for civil unrest and you live in an suburban or urban area and you are preparing to bunker in, then you better be well fortified. They riots in recent years have shown that the masses do not care if it is your property.

At any given time, we have  2-3 weeks of food. Our area is known for having wildfires and we will have to get out ASAP for that. On the other hand, the last tornado in our area has been more than 30 years.  Where we live is between a major Texas river and a ridgeline. It is rare for a tornado to hit such  spot based on geographical formations. I am not saying it will never happen, but it statistically low percentage.  Civil unrest would be the worst case for us outside a natural disaster. We do live in a neighborhood that houses are less than 150 feet apart. Also, we only have 2 ways in, not including heading out on the train tracks and crossing the train bridge. A river on the south and west sides, dense wooded area with steep terrain to our east, and a massive drainage ditch to our north,  it would not be hard to lockdown our neighborhood.  To stock up more than we could pack in our SUV and truck would be foolish.

When we leave during the initial stages, we would pick up supplies from various places that most would not think about. I do not share these ideas, nor have heard others ever mentioning these places on blogs or videos. Other preps for food we are doing is learning gardening. We are in our second year of gardening and doing quite well. We are making notes on how to improve on growing our crops, increasing the yield, and planting different vegetables that we will eat. You have to learn now to be able to have a chance later. Fishing and hunting are also ways we will be able to feed our family. I recently purchased a book, Wild Edible Plants of Texas. I will be using this book, finding the plants around us that we can pick to eat. I know this doesn’t seem that satisfying, but if it adds nutrition, then I will do it. I need to get out this summer and start looking for these plants and to try them. Remember, anything you gather, you definitely need to wash, just in case.

Now, if you are one of those that do have years of food stashed away, remember to rotate your stock so that you are not throwing money done the drain. Be aware of the possibility where you have to leave and you cannot carry all of your food storage with you. That goes for any preps.

If you have any thoughts on this, please reply to the blog to start a conversation.

Go, live life, and enjoy your freedom.

If you enjoy my posts, please follow me at https://welcometofreedomblog.wordpress.com . You do not need an account, just simply input your email to the follow field. I do not use your email for any other purpose besides for followers.

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War: Bombing in Syria

President Trump ordered strikes in Syria. Russia is backing Syria.  Will they respond? Will this start a global war, WW3?

I am not here to talk about political aspects, but are you ready for a potential outcome? Do you have your plans in place to protect, feed, and shelter your family?

I know we have 2-3 weeks of food storage but not much more than that. I have tackle for fishing and other means to get protein. Living close to a major river helps, but we live in a suburban area. I believe most people here will think of the same if something that changes day to day life.  We have 1/2 of an acre, which will not sustain us for long. We do have a garden that is growing, but not even close to being harvested. Our 1100 square feet garden will only supplement our nutrition, and not satisfy it.

We may be ok to shelter in place, but we live way too close to a metropolitan area to be able to stay for long. Have you mapped your escape? Do you know alternate routes? In my travel throughout our region for work, I know many back roads through the area to get to my bug out location in north central Texas. Knowing alternate routes will help your stress level. If you only know of one way to get to your destination, I would suggest you map at least 2 alternate routes. Rule of 3 is a good rule to follow.  I look at the triangle, simplest geometric figure with the most stability, and apply the concept to other places.  I also have a paper road map in case cell service ceases to exists.

What do you take if you bug out? How long do you plan to be gone? Do you plan to come back?

To leave home, you need to take multiple items. Food, shelter, and protection. Food, load up any non-perishables. I know we have a couple of coolers, and we will load up any cold items that are essential for the trip and for the 2-3 days after we get there. Milk, for example, would be hard to take because it is bulky and have a chances to spoil. Now, frozen meats would be good items to take since they are packed with protein. Being frozen, they will keep longer. The more frozen food you can pack, the better. Fruits and vegetables can be added to a meal to stretch the protein. Things like pasta, rice, beans, and sauces are a food multiplier since it stretches  a small amount a protein out and to allow the individuals to get other calories in the meal.

Clothes and blankets are other things to take. You really don’t know how long you will be gone, so pack heavy and different seasonal items like jackets, long and short pants, and long and short sleeves. Shoes are a must. I am not talking about nice dress shoes but boots, tennis shoes, and sandals. Sandals? Why? Sometimes the only way you can bathe is in a river, and you want to protect your feet. Old shoes could work but you need to air out your feet. Sandals are good while you are at base camp and needing to let your feet breathe.

Weapons. Weapons are a necessity when leaving under a bug out situation. Protection is needed because if civil law is gone, band of marauders will try to take your things. Know how to use them and clean them. It wont be worth it if you do not know how to fire your weapon. There have been times where someone has all these weapons, but they hurt themselves because they do not know how to use the weapon. I remember watching an episode of Doomsday Preppers, and the father injured his thumb because he did not know how to use the weapon or help his son to use the weapon.

Toys and Games. Why? I have 2yr old and 4yr old boys and they will need things to do, as well as the adults. You need to have something that allows you to have some fun. One cannot sustain stressful situations for a long time. It will be a stress reliever. Most of y’all have been around kids when there is nothing for them to do. They  will drive you nuts.

Tools. It would be wise to take tools with you. For example, a hatchet is nice, but a nice axe will make the work easier. I have changed a water pump on an old Toyota Celica with pliers and a screwdriver, but the work would have been easier if I had sockets and wrenches. You never know when you need them. In my truck, I keep sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers as well as other tools to help me in the event of a breakdown or an emergency where you need them.

Now, everything is listed here for my family if we are able to take our vehicle/vehicles. Yes, I would take multiple vehicles. First, if one vehicle breaks down, you are not stranded. Second, you can carry more supplies or pick up supplies on the way. I have good ideas where I can pick up supplies since I pass through towns and countryside daily for work. I pay close attention to my surroundings as I am driving for supplies if I have to scavenge during my bug out scenario. You would have to strip down the amount if you are only on foot. If that’s the issue, then you would need to rethink what is necessary. I have already come up with a list for what we would take if vehicles are inoperable and a hand held vehicle for additional supplies and for the boys to ride on.

Our ultimate bug out would be to buy a property that we can have a good size garden that will provide most of our vegetables for the year. Also have an orchard that had variety of fruit trees, and enough land that can be hunted on for our own meat source. We would naturally supplement it with packaged goods of items that would be too time consuming for us. This property would also need a root cellar to store the harvest in, canning jars, and stock items. This will allow us to provide fresh foods throughout the year. I would also have a green house to keep a harvest going throughout the winter.

If we bug out, we plan as if we are not coming back. The reason we would not come back is if society does not restore order. Even in that case, our home would probably be in ruins because of people breaking in and taking everything. I would come back to check things out to see if it is worth salvaging. It would sadden us to see what we worked so hard for to fall to ruin due to people not respecting property. This would be the worst case scenario.

Always be ready! 5.11 Tactical  slogan. I take to heart because you don’t get a second chance.

Go, live life, and enjoy your freedom.

If you enjoy my posts, please follow me on https://welcometofreedomblog.wordpress.com . You do not need an account, just simply input your email to the follow field. I do not use your email for any other purpose besides for followers.

Survival Multiplier

What does survival multiplier mean? Survival multiplier is a skill or characteristic that one possesses that gives him or her an advantage in a situation. In a physical fight, if one of the fighters had extensive hand to hand combat training, then that would be their survival multiplier.

How do we gain a survival multiplier? People enroll in many different courses to gain an advantage over an obstacle or an opponent. I wish I thought of this when I was in college, I would have signed up for some of the recreation and combat classes Texas Tech offered. I did not. Others sign up for courses in building and construction trade, cooking, botany, survival schools, and many other courses that allow them to learn a skill or a trade that one day will help them survive. Some people read books and watch educational videos.

What happens when you do not have time or money to enroll in all these different courses? What do you do?  If you are like me, I eat, sleep, and work. I don’t have much time outside the normal work day to do anything extra (until summer break). So, I take the time at lunch and my break to watch videos (mainly YouTube) to learn different things. You have to be wary of which videos you do watch. For instance, I recently watched videos on canning, so I made sure it was filmed or sponsored by a canning company like Balls or Kerr Jar Co. Many people out there have techniques and practices, but some of them don’t know their elbow from their earhole.

I believe many people forget one of the characteristics they need in order to survive, and that would be they need to be physically fit. You may not need to have 10% body fat, be able to run a marathon, or bench press 350 lbs but I do believe you need to be able to manipulate your body enough to get in and out of tight spots. For about a year now, I have been running. I am also starting Insanity Max. I am embarrassed that I have not done it much lately because I came down with the flu and tournament season in softball (I teach/coach high school students) got me off track. Spring Break starts this evening. I will try to get back on track with my fitness this coming week.

Other skills I believe are considered my survival multipliers are able to build and fix most things, cook, sew, fire starting from various methods, not afraid to scavenge for materials, and the ability to problem solve. My wife is one of my best survival multipliers because she comes up with ideas for me to try, usually from Pinterest. I play ‘podcasts’ while I am travelling to learn about things, or at least have a chance to spark ideas on how to improve items I already have.

Growing up, I had many different adults in my life, and I learned a great deal of skills from them. If you consider yourself a homesteader, a prepper, a survivor, or just an average person, there is one thing all of them need, and that is a teacher. I am not talking about a school teacher, but some do teach more than their content, but someone who you can listen to, imitate, and look up to in order to gain knowledge. Knowledge is the ultimate survival multiplier. Papa was a great teacher. Sometimes my brother and I would go fishing with him and learned different fishing skills, how to tie a knot on a hook, make our own fishing bait, or just watch our poles. He helped us one year roof our house and showed us how shingles were supposed be laid down. I wish I was able to spend a little more time with him, but he passed few years ago. I inherited some of his woodworking tools because he thought I would use them. I try to honor him by keeping his tradition of building gifts instead of buying them. I may have replaced some of the tools but it isn’t the tool, it’s the tradition.

I don’t think anyone is ever prepared for every situation, but I think with the proper training and learning, you can problem solve your way out of most situations. I tell the students in my classes, sometimes it is not the content we are learning, the teachers are trying to teach you problem solving skills through our content. I teach geometry, which I believe is a very relevant subject to know. Many industries and jobs require some level of geometric knowledge in order for the worker to be successful.

(Picture of a sword and shield I made for my sons.)

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What Direction To Go?

You hear about people getting lost in the woods, desert, or just went missing for other reasons. Why does this happen? Some of these missing people are never heard of again or their remains are found years later. Are we so different than the animals in the wild?

Birds, fish, and other migratory animals have an instinct on where they need to go, even if the countryside has changed. Do humans have this ability? I believe some individuals have a better sense of direction than others. When we travel somewhere that we have been years before, I usually remember the route. My wife makes light of it, and I usually say “Don’t you remember?” Can we learn a sense of direction or are we a society evolving to be directionally challenged?

Historically, humans have been able to get from point A to point B. Indigenous tribes travel, sometimes great distances, to hunt food, follow the migration of animals, or because natural disasters. During the 1800’s, Americans migrated westward during the Westward Expansion. Direction was key. If you went too far north, the wagon train froze. If you went too far south, you may have ran into tribes of American Indians. If you went at the wrong time, you had catastrophes like the Donner Party.

What do we do when migration in developed societies cease to exist? Do we have an inherited sense of direction? Is it learned? Some people go to survival schools in order to learn survival skills. One session that should be taught is mapping. The time spent teaching map skills does not make you an expert, but it is a start. The instructors, hopefully are trained extensively, took years to learn their skills. To practice is to learn, to teach is to master. We are starting our boys at an early age.  My 2 sons (2 and 4 years old) are always pointing out stores, restaurants, and other landmarks when we are driving. My wife and I usually quiz them on where are we going? What is over there? We want them to explore their surrounding. I think If we let the 4 year old out somewhere near his school, he could make it to school on his own. We would not do that, of course, because it’s a pretty busy road with train tracks running through, construction of an overpass, and the fact of he’s 4 years old.

With being a high school coach, we travel throughout our region for games. I have worked for 3 different schools in 3 totally different areas, so I am becoming more aware of my state. I know back roads, side roads, and ways to get to my destination when there are no roads. Sometimes I think I am turning into my dad. He worked for years as a truck driver, picking up and delivering loads between Houston, TX and Kansas. He seemed to have everything mapped out in his head. This happens because of the countless trips and hundreds of thousands of miles that he drove to provide for the family.

Are we evolving to be without direction? Look at society. Cell phones, GPS, and other electronic gadgets guiding us are the norm. Bluetooth linking your electronic map to your vehicle speakers are making travelling easier, but dumbing down the navigation part of the trip. “In 200 yards, turn right.” Even the cars nowadays dumb down the driving experience with lane departure, emergency vehicle braking, self parking, and numerous other features.

As technology increase, the ability of us to think for ourselves decreases. We can’t add, subtract, multiply or divide. As those basic traits decrease, so will skills for survival. We can travel the same road that everyone else is stuck on, or we can pave our own road. “Roads… Where we are going, we don’t need roads.” Doc Brown from Back to the Future said it exactly. I think it was more of a metaphor for living than the literal aspect of the flying Delorean (which would be cool though).  Have a philosophy to live by, know the direction you are going, and pave a new path for you and yours.

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Thank you,

Richard