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Tales of a Scorched Earth
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Hello,

So I am fairly new to this board, as well as the whole idea. I don't think I am typical of the ones that come here (I might be making a generalization). I do not really have many 'skills' that would be useful in the Post-SHTF world. I am hard worker though and willing to learn, but I make my living, working in a Office building.

We have recently moved to a House, in what I would call semi-rural surburbia. Each house has about a acre of mixed vegetation and/or trees.

My Wife is kind of on-board with my thoughts and ideas (about prep, etc). She doesn't join in with me in doing the prep stuff (such as food storage etc), but she is excited about building a garden and possibly having pigs and/or goats?

We have a Australian Cattle Dog, who is pretty intelligent.

We have about 2-3 months of food in the pantry/garage, but not really sure we have the right things. I think we have around 5 5 gallon water jugs, and I know we need more.

I downloaded a bunch of ebooks and things about different survival topics, I am involved with my neighbors in a local neighborhood emergency teams, I am also studying to become a Ham radio operator, to help out in emergencies/contacting etc. I am scheduled to take a first aid/cpr and diaster response training with the American Red Cross. Other skills that I should try to learn?

I've never hunted, and I have never owned a gun, but I have gone to the gun range and fired weapons. Where should I start? I know I have seen many mentions of Mossburg 500's for shotguns and 10/22 rugers for rifles. Would a 10/22 ruger be good for a first time hunter? Also good for home defense?


I guess I am just looking for someone to point me in the right direction lol, I have been lurking alot and reading many great articles, but sometimes it gets overwhelming.

I also have a couple of books, one by James Rawles (a what to do book when SHTF), and The SAS survival guide. Any other *must* have books?

Thanks for everyone that takes the time to help me out a little!
 

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You are off to a better start than you think. You will get ideas from others here and and will be ready for almost anything in little time.

As far as firearms go I think you are on the right track for starters a Shotgun and a .22 will serve for both hunting needs and home defense. The shotgun is good for wing shooting ducks, geese, dove and quail with buckshot and slugs it is good for home defense and deer hunting the .22 is great for small game and learning rifle proficiency. After a while you may find yourself wanting a pistol for personal defense, a .30 caliber rifle for hunting bigger game at longer distances and perhaps even a semiautomatic rifle with a high capacity magazine for defensive purposes (not a necessity but many think if the world winds up in conflict it is good to have.

I would reccomend books by Jeff Cooper such as the Art of the Rifle.
 

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You're already ahead of probably 90% of the population with what you've done.

The fictional novel One Second After might be good reading for you. It's not a prepping manual, but it will give you an idea of all of the things that can go wrong and thus what to prepare for.

Keep stocking food and water and get those firearms. You're on the right track.

If you keep reading, I'm sure you'll come to the realization that the longer you prep for- even a year or two-or even more, the better off you are.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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You're ahead of most of the rest of the country. Prepping takes time, commitment and a lot of studying. Rome wasn't built overnight. Keep adding to your stores as you can, especially that water! If you look through craiglist and the classifieds in your area, sooner or later, you'll be able to find used irrigation tanks or liquid transport cubes cheap. Those are a great way to add several hundred gallons, if you have a place to put it.

As far as survival skills, you're heading the right direction. One thing I've learned is not to study "survival" so much as "homesteading" because essentially that's what you'll be doing to survive long term. Learn some basic medical, general repair and maintanance of what you have, water purification, food storing (canning, curing, smoking and dehydrating), cooking, gardening, etc.

Since you have trees in your area, you might look into a wood stove for cooking and heat. If you're not in a cold climate, you can probably get by with one of the small, inexpensive units. I'm using a folding camp stove. I cut a piece of plywood the size of one of my windows and ran the exhaust pipe through it. I can remove the window, install the panel, and within about 10 minutes, have my woodstove up and running. I don't need heat in winter here though.

As far as guns go, your terrain will be the best guide as to what to buy. If your home defense shots would be in the 200 yard and under range, something like an inexpensive SKS would be fine. It's also a great little deer rifle. A .22 for small game is another good choice if you have small game in your area. Doesn't need to be a semi-auto for hunting.

You mentioned trees. Trees usually means lots of birds. You might consider adding a good air rifle to your list. They aren't too pricey and the ammo is the cheapest of all. When I was a kid, I used to hide myself below the trees and shoot birds with an air rifle. You can harvest several pounds of meat a day, quietly and cheaply. It ain't always the best tasting, but you can grind it and make chili and stew and never be the wiser.

As for shotguns, they're the jack of all trades, ace of none. The ammo is expensive and bulky and the gun doesn't have much capacity. Unless you would be able to hunt ducks or geese with it, or need it for bear defense, I don't see it as very important. If those ducks and geese land nearby you can take them with a .22 just as easy. While it's the king of self defense weapons, it's only good for shorter ranges. A rifle would probably be better for home defense. If I didn't already own them, I wouldn't have bought one specifically for survival.
 

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First off, SuperD, you need to inventory your transferable skills. I bet you have a lot more 'survival' skills than you know.

Here's an example:

Communication: the skillful expression, transmission and interpretation of knowledge and ideas.

* Speaking effectively
* Writing concisely
* Listening attentively
* Expressing ideas
* Facilitating group discussion
* Providing appropriate feedback
* Negotiating
* Perceiving nonverbal messages
* Persuading
* Reporting information
* Describing feelings
* Interviewing
* Editing

Ok, so communicating pshtf might not require 'describing your feelings'...but do you understand the concept? Just because you don't see a specific skill doesn't mean you're not good at communicating. Same thing goes for decision making, or leading...it's the basic skills involved that matter, not what you do for a living.

Here's a site to help with the HAM study. I took a lot of those tests before I took my Technician class test and passed fine.

One book I like [and have in my library] is 'Organize for Disaster' by Judith Kohlberg. Amazon carries it; it doesn't cover all the bells and whistles, but it is a pretty good overview. Another one is 'When All Hell Breaks Loose' [which I also have, which includes such gritty topics as what to do with dead bodies [animal, whatever] and what to do when the TP runs out.

As an easy beginning step, you might want to inventory what you have put by so you can fill in where necessary with the right stuff if you've forgotten something of consequence. There are several spreadsheets and programs on the Internet; my fave is just sitting down with Excel and making a list because it's sortable, expandable, and if you don't have MS Office, Open Office has a similar program for free. Everybody's list will be different, so you'll have to use what you find as a stepping stone and modify to suit.
 

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Guy Who Does That Thing
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I do suggest you also set up the basement (if you have one) to store your supplies. Everything is much safer when stored in the basement rather than a garage. I have just helped a friend of mine build a bunker/fallout shelter in his basement. It cost him under $200. We scavanged studs, plywood & doors from the "junk" piles of construction sites & he made a water storage tank using a waterbed for the bladder. We filled all the walls with sandbags (walls are 4' thick). Fun project. Toughest part was the sand. As for a gun, get a shotgun, .22 rifle & a high caliber bolt action. That would cover all possible defense & hunting needs for under $600 ( $1k with ammo).
 

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Guy Who Does That Thing
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Also, efoodsdirect.com has over 20k seeds in a can for $50 with shipping. They keep for 5+ years. Good investment for if SHTF. .
 

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This is the book that I recommend:


This book is easy to read, has many diagrams and a ton of information on everything.

Best money spent for a book -ever- in my opinion. :thumb:
 

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We have about 2-3 months of food in the pantry/garage, but not really sure we have the right things. I think we have around 5 5 gallon water jugs, and I know we need more.
..

Would a 10/22 ruger be good for a first time hunter? Also good for home defense?

Sounds like the first thing you need to do is set up a rainwater catchment system..

Ruger 10/22 would be good for the first time hunter. Remember, contrary to popular belief, you can only use 1 (maybe 2) guns at a time. Your probably better off to pick a gun and master it ;)

Being in the US if it was me I would pick an AR-15 and accurize it, put a 4x scope on it and learn to master that.

.22 ammo is dirt cheap (compared to anything else anyway), so a 10/22 is a good gun for rabbits etc etc. While not the best for home defense, if you pop a few rounds into someone even with a .22lr they are still going to feel it.

A 3rd gun would be a shotgun, 4th gun a handgun, 5th gun a high powered rifle (scoped).

Once you have those 5 guns your pretty much covered IMO.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Also, efoodsdirect.com has over 20k seeds in a can for $50 with shipping. They keep for 5+ years. Good investment for if SHTF. .
Those prepacked seed assortments are never a good investment. You don't know if they'll do well in your climate and you don't get to pick the varieties that you prefer. Not to mention they're usually overpriced for what you get.

Hit any reliable seed dealer such as Burpee, Parks, Johnny's, etc. and look into what'll grow in your area. Then you can pick foods you like and fit the nutritional profile that you need. This also gives you the chance to start growing them now, when you need to. Rather than opening a can full of some untested seeds, when you need them the most.
 

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RESET CONGRESS!!
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Welcome aboard, Super!

I'd just be repeating what the others have suggested so far. You're on the right track!
 

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Guy Who Does That Thing
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Those prepacked seed assortments are never a good investment. You don't know if they'll do well in your climate and you don't get to pick the varieties that you prefer. Not to mention they're usually overpriced for what you get.

Hit any reliable seed dealer such as Burpee, Parks, Johnny's, etc. and look into what'll grow in your area. Then you can pick foods you like and fit the nutritional profile that you need. This also gives you the chance to start growing them now, when you need to. Rather than opening a can full of some untested seeds, when you need them the most.
Yes, for my climate they work fine. I do my research & have experience farming. As for the price it's the best canned seed price around.
 

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I've always been known to stock up on groceries, first aid supplies, other household items necessary in case of emergency. I always try to keep at least a three month supply of food in the house. Hopefully that would last me until SOME form of help/rescue arrived. It's just me and my kid, so we don't have a lot of options here.
 
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