What do you think of when you think survivalist? I used to think of some weirdo in camo, matted hair, and a long beard. You know the guy that thinks the government is after him and everyone’s out to get him. Well,while the term survivalist does conjure up an image similar to Bill Murray in Caddy Shack, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Now days, most survivalist prefer the term prepper as a way to separate themselves from that stigma. I am a prepper; I believe people should take measure to be able to weather the storms of our political environment, storm seasons, and other natural disasters.
You’ll remember in previous articles, we discussed everyday carry items and bug-out bags, or when to bug in or bug out. In this article we will cover several basics to prepping from food production to home defense; the difference between urban survival and rural survival. The primary focus here is how the urban survival and rural survival differ in detail.
Food production in an urban survival setting
In an urban setting, food production may seem out of reach, but it’s not as difficult as you may think. As I mentioned in a previous article, it takes some creativity. So, lets get started with your food production on a relatively small budget. Plastics pots, grow lights or southern exposure, and some seeds. That’s it. That’s what it takes to get started. Grow lights can be as simple as regular light bulbs or professional lamps used in greenhouses, although those would be pretty expensive. You may not be able to grow a lot, but you can offset your grocery bill and there are no growing seasons to deal with.
If you’re in a home with a yard, then simply plant a garden. You can grow indoors during the colder months if you like. You may also decide to have small animals for protein. Rabbits, chickens, doves, and quail all make great small livestock to feed your family.
Prepping to bug-in for urban settings
You know as well as I do that it takes time to grow food. In the mean time, you need to have food saved up. Having a food store sounds expensive, too, I know. However, no one said you have to buy your whole food store all at once. While there are great companies that will sell you the food at pretty decent prices, it’s still expensive and there is no reason to buy it when it’s priced to a point that it will hurt your finances. If you can afford it, look at Mountain House. If not, just buy extra canned vegetables, fruits, and meats.
When you go to the store and do your grocery shopping, buy a little extra. If you buy green beans, for example, buy and extra can or two. The simple rule here is to rotate your stock so that you have nothing expiring and going bad. Eat what you store and store what you eat. You don’t want to go changing your diet in the event that you have to eat your stored food. Besides, if you have kids, keeping their diet the same will save you a lot of headaches. In a situation such as this, the more headaches you can avoid, the better.
Next, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of water. You’ll need 2 quarts per day per person to drink. That doesn’t include washing, cleaning, or any other uses for water. So, have a couple gallons per person per day for as long as you’re prepared to be holed up. Gallon jugs of water are not expensive, but they take up space. Therefore another method would be a water bob. This is a similar to a waterbed mattress that fits into your bathtub and you fill it with water. That way you have potable water available. They’re only about $25 before shipping and would take up less space than storing gallons of water.
Next on the list is home defense. There are multiple methods of home defense; firearms, alarms, hedges in front of windows, lighting, etc. Do not depend on just one of those methods, if possible, to defend your home. Let’s break down each of the methods from most passive to aggressive.
Lighting: Having adequate lighting around your home is a great passive deterrent to criminal activity. Flood lights work best, but your neighbors may not like you too much if you go that route. Regardless of what kind of lights you put in, having a well let area around your home is the first step to deterring criminals.
Hedges: Prickly hedges like holly are great deterrents. While they won’t stop someone from getting in, they do make it more difficult. Criminals tend to go for easy targets first. Make getting in inconvenient and they’ll pass you up for the next house. Some other plants you can use are:
- Argentine Mesquite
- Honey Locust
- Black Locust
- Climbing roses
- Blackberry vines
- Catclaw creeper
- Pyracantha or fire thorn bush
- Catsclaw acacia
- Rugosa roses
- Oregon grape holly
- Washington hawthorn tree
Next on the list is the alarm system, preferably monitored. There are a number of different companies out there that monitor alarm systems and you can find some that are very good for a lower cost. You also have the choice between wired or wireless communications to the monitoring station. While wired is generally lower cost, there is a phone line required to work. If that phone is disconnected, your system is no longer being monitored.
The most aggressive form of home defense is the firearm. Now don’t go all Rambo and spend tons of money of the top of the line pistol. First, you need to learn how to shoot. There are other factors to consider before making a purchase.
First of all, experience is a huge factor. So is age, gender, and skill. Yes, I said gender. Women tend to have weaker wrists than men. Elderly people tend to have the same issue. Therefore, a revolver would be better than an automatic. However, the best thing you can get would be a pump shotgun in 12 or 20 gauge; I prefer 12 gauge. Using a shotgun give you more of a point-and-shoot capability rather than having to aim. This helps when having to defend your family in the the dark.
Rural food production is the same as urban food production if you have a yard, except there is generally more room to plant more food. On top of that, depending on the amount of land you have, livestock may be an option. Hunting and fishing may be more available to you, as well. Primarily, the biggest difference between rural and urban survival is the amount of room you have to do your preps in.
Defense measures are the same with a few exceptions; you generally don’t have to worry about neighbors so flood lights are great. Another defensive tactic depends on how may trees are near your home. If you have lots of trees near your house, cut some down. Push the tree line away from your home. The more open space a person has to cross to get to your house, the less likely they are to attempt breaking in.
Those are the basics of prepping. Remember, prep for the most common disasters first, such as a job loss. It’s much more likely to happen than something major like an economic collapse. Once you have the basics in place, work your way into preps for more major, but unlikely events.
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