When The Food Is Gone - Living off the Land

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When The Food Is Gone Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, Oklahoma tornadoes in April 2013, the Colorado floods in September 2013; all caused shortages of food and everyday supplies. For those of us in regions where snowfalls can drop 4-12 inches at a time, we have seen how spastic people get for bread, milk and toilet paper. Can you imagine how they would react if all food deliveries, to stores, were interrupted for an extended period of time? An EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) can stop trucks, cars, aircraft and watercraft engines from running, delivery truck hijackings can occur and disasters and riots can close travel routes. If any of these happened, and people panicked (guaranteed), how long do you think it would take for stores to be void of food and the streets unsafe to travel? Have you been to a grocery store after an announcement of potential inclement weather? Estimates are 3 days for stores to be empty of food and a week for people taking to the streets to get food from other sources (including those who have prepared for the event). BUT what if your personal stockpile of food runs out before the crisis is over? What if you have to leave your stockpile of food behind for whatever reason? Or something more basic; what if you are in the wild on a planned visit but things go horribly bad?

Meat Eater or Vegetarian, by far, the road to self-sufficiency begins with hunting, gathering, raising and preparing your own food. With these skills, you will provide food sources for as long as you live. Indoor and outdoor options are available for growing fruits and vegetables, livestock and fish. If you have never participated in these activities, cultivating a friendship with someone who has, and learning from them, could be a life saving relationship. Growing vegetables and fruits that produce their own seeds (open-pollinated or heirloom) insures seeds for subsequent plantings. Ditch the stores. Feed yourself.



A Pellet Rifle is a great training tool and nearly silent and powerful enough to take down small game or severly injure, and slow down, large game for dispatching at close range. But, carefully consider "air-powered guns" as self-defense tools; not recommended.

Wilderness-Improvised Tools: Even before man discovered fire, he utilized tools in his everyday life. Most certainly in his array of tools were weapons that he used to kill game for food and to defend himself from other tribes intent on taking what was his. While most of us would not hit the trail without some kind of modern "tool" at our side, the unthinkable (lost or broken) can happen. Learn a basic knowledge of crafting a makeshift tool or weapon. Improvise; thinking of unique ways to use what is available around you will have life-saving benefits. Simple tools like a Throwing Stick or [David] Slingshot are very formidable in skillful hands. Lots of practice is recommended before actually needing them. They are quick to ready for use and easy to transport in backpack or pants belt. The Throwing Stick needs less accuracy because of the large surface area and it rotates as it flies toward the target; even marginal throws may bring down a rabbit, squirrel or bird on branch or ground. An Atlatl or modified Slingshot can be used with an arrow to bring down larger game.
How to Make 19 Primitive Tools
From Stone and Stick (video)
From Stone and Stick (article)
From Scrap Metal
Primitive Hand Tools (video)

Make Wilderness Bow and Arrows from Scratch:    [Survival Bow Video]    [Survival Bow & Arrows Video]
Oil Wooden Tools and Utensils to Preserve Them for a Lifetime:
One of the most time-honored ways to protect wood from rot and decay, over time, has always involved oil. Use animal fats, beeswax, linseed oil, mineral oil, tung oil, danish oil, even used motor oil (for outdoor wood only where oil drippings and toxins are not an issue) for this task. Wood requires a preservative that can harden to prevent water penetration. Motor oil is not the best to accomplish this. Use Food-Safe Oils for Wooden Kitchen Utensils. When the tool or utensil is first made or acquired, rub it with oil every day for a week, then once every week for a month, then once every month for a year. Allow the oil to soak into the wood for 15-20 minutes (overnight is even better). Use a second clean rag to buff the surface of the wood and remove any excess oil.
Caring for Wooden Kitchen Utensils
Using Old Motor Oil To Preserve Wood (with cautions)

Knowing what kinds of wildlife occupy your area helps to prepare for the hunting techniques specific to the animal. Two basic methods of identifying native wildlife are identifying their poop (scat) and paw prints/tracks. A careful eye, a guarded sniff and (sometimes) a careful inspection using disposable gloves can often reveal the species responsible for droppings. Additionally, some animals leave marks on the ground or trees that can help further identify them. Native animal education is not only good for hunting but safety. Obtaining easy-to-carry publications, for identification, will help.
[Resource 1]    [Resource 2]

FISHING:    [Without Gear 1]    [Without Gear 2]    [Without Gear 3]
[Wacky Fishing Tips & Tricks]
Fishing with Juglone (from Black Walnuts) to Paralyze Fish & Make Worms Crawl Up From the Ground    [Article 2]
Soda Can Fishing Reel, Hook & Lure: Tie thin cordage around the can as a reel, cut the pull-tab into a hook (with a barb) and use the drinking hole seal flap as a lure. Use a rock as a sinker and some kind of floating material as a bobber.
Bottle Cap Fish Scaler: If planning on filleting a fish and leaving the skin on, the scales (depending on the type of fish) may have to be removed. Find a strong 8" stick, about 3/4" in diameter. Gather some bottle caps and screw or nail them onto the stick. The sharp, ribbed texture of the bottom of the caps will make quick work to remove the scales from the fish. [Reference 1]    [Reference 2]

Simple Animal Traps and Snares for Outdoor Survival
Bugs/Insects: Insects are the best food source - Yeah, it may sound unappetizing but pound for pound, insects are more valuable and nutritious than any meat. They are always available and full of protein. Sometimes it pays to think small . . . especially when it comes to eating in a survival situation. Anything under 1 inch is game. Roast them to make more palatable. What bugs are edible? As a general rule, DON'T eat insects that are brightly-colored, hairy or have a potent smell (except stinkbugs). If in doubt about its edibility, cut off a tiny, cooked piece of it, swallow it, and wait a few hours. If you don't develop any symptoms, eat a larger piece and wait again. If nothing happens, it's probably fine. Knowing how to identify edible insects and stay away from the ones that could kill is a skill worth learning.
Edible Insects Publications

Surviving on Reptiles and Amphibians: When every other source of food is depleted, look to the ground; look to the things that creep. Reptiles and Amphibians, collectively called "herpetofauna," (creeping things) are extremely abundant in many areas and can provide a ready and stable food source. On the whole, aquatic environments are much more productive [to find food] than terrestrial (land) habitats so finding a body of water like ponds, wetlands or any other standing or slow moving water will produce quicker food source results. Being educated on wild [plant and animal] food sources in your area will help you survive while avoiding illness or death.
Wild Edible Plants abound all around us. But it is highly recommended to develop a knowledge of what is edible and what is not rather than by trial and error that could end in disaster.
WILDERNESS BEVERAGES: In a survival situation, "the best part of waking up" may not be coffee in your cup. Even a warm/hot cup of plain-ol-water can boost morale in a stressful situation. But it's not always necessary to do without the luxury of a warm beverage when things are a bit upside down. Steeping Pine needles, Sassafras, Dandelion or other edible plants in boiling water can add some pleasant and unique flavoring to your hot cup of plain-ol-water. So, when you're in the middle of a survival situation, look around you; there may just be something growing nearby that will make the day a bit brighter.

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Honey/Honey Sugar is the only natural sweetner not made from plants.
Many fruits, trees and plants contain natural sugar. Sugars from flowers and plants are mostly gathered by bees to make honey.
Removing the moisture (by cooking or dehydration) from the sap/juice, then crushing the dry residue, produces granulated sugar to use for sweetening.
Maple Syrup & Sugar    [Video 1]    [Video 2]    [Video 3]    [Video 4]
Box Elder Sap/Syrup
Birch Tree Sap/Syrup
Making Apple Sugar (video)

Remove the seeds from the fruit to be used. Mash and grind the fruit into a puree and strain/pick out more seeds and unwanted material. The consistancy should be so that it stays in place (not runny) when it's spread out to dry. Spread the puree onto a flat rock or cutting board about 1/8" thick. Leave it in the sun (or dehydrate) to dry (cover with a cloth to prevent bugs) for a few hours until it has a glossy look and texture like soft rubber. Store in a cool, dry place where critters can't get to it. It should have a long shelf life and can be rehydrated to make drinks or used as a fruit additive to foods.






Produce Drinking Water from the Air, Ground and Undrinkable Water
Replenishable Water and Food Sources
Camping, Emergency & Long-Term Food & Storage
Root Cellar - Food Refrigeration