Living Off the Land: Harder Than You Think

Started by cockpitbob, October 08, 2013, 09:11:12 PM

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QuotePo'Boy chow that is WORTH your time to come to dinner!

Much appreciated Ray; I'd probably stay there after such a meal ;)

About Florida, the only advantages would be the weather and the sea. Too many people here for comfort, and no way out of the state but through two highways, one near each coast. Not the best state for survival. There is some farming and a long growing season, but the earth probably couldn't feed everyone. Of course, most of the population being very old, that could change quickly. There is however very little game, except for wild pigs and alligators. Fishing would be possible, but only after the population dwindles down, and there wouldn't be many fishes left by then. So again, it would be a matter of surviving the initial shock and famine. I'm talking all out TEOTWAWKI. A boat sailboat owner could do well...

The increase in physical activities in an emergency situation would mean more carb and protein intake. As Ray pointed out, meat would be a necessity. However when thirty people are shooting at the same pig, you have a problem.. I wouldn't want to have to hunt for food in the first few months of a major long term catastrophe. Too many people with guns running around shooting at anything that moves.. Surviving would be very difficult. I don't even personally feel prepared for such a situation. Better than most maybe, but far not enough.

As mentioned, a sailboat would probably be best. I plan on living on one soon or later, and started taking small steps in that direction. There would be no other quick way to evacuate the state if needed, other than getting an airplane (I have my pilot's license). But a plane costs as much as a sailboat and you can't live in it or carry much food. Easy choice. No need for a motor, though it's always a plus; solar panels, fishing gear, storage capacity and a tall mast for an antenna, what's not to like? Living off the sea might be easier than living off the land, though you would still need land produced foods to survive.. I think it is a good plan.. When I get too old for sailing, then maybe I'll be a snowbird and move between Idaho and Florida with the seasons..



Since you're talking about a total EOTWAWKI, just steal a boat or plane and come join us up north.  There's nothing simpler than hotwiring a C-172.  Fuel for the trip would be the only issue.
BTW, bring Doxycycline.  We'll have run out and the Lyme disease will be ravaging the New England population.

medic photog

When you think about the diversity and capability of an area to sustain you we in PA have a good thing going.  We're not far from Jersey, Delaware, the coast, New York is next door and we have a lot of deer and streams loaded with fish.  Farms are everywhere and hunting camps set back in the woods are a dime a dozen.  There are huge tracts of state game lands you can get lost in with little problem.  We don't have as big a problem with wild or feral pigs as down south or New York be we have plenty so there is diversity to the meat larder that can also include squirrel and rabbit.  Ground hog isn't too bad if you're not picky and it's cooked right.  Not many people know it but there are still stands of corn from the Delaware Indians on some of the islands in the middle of the river, it comes up every year and was planted back in the 17 or 18 hundreds..

Jim Boswell

Good Topic, considering during the 1930's all the deer were hunted out from many counties in Texas. Since I live out in the country my plans are to stay put. I plan to bury some food stocks and ammo too. Figure to use beans and rice for long term food stocks.
There is not one answer to this question, there are many issues that will come into play depending on local and conditions. Yes, a lot of Rambo's will exit the cities and think they can live out in the country, they will be in for some major suprises. After 40+ years of camping I still learn something every time I head out into the bush.    Interesting how people think they will be able to use scanners and shortwave radios to find info. I think many hams will revert back to CW for critical communication due to power conserns and portability of equipment.


I was warned that this thread is a bit dated however, I believe this is a timeless discussion and deserves an update periodically.

First, so that this is all in context, we plan to hold down the fort. Joining the refugees in a mass exodus to nowhere just doesn't seem anymore promising than a good bug in plan.

Here are a few things I have discovered in the last 8 or 10 years of pondering the atrocious possibilities of an EOTW scenario;

1, Put some distance between you and your advisory, meaning, 308 or 30:06 battle rifle and learn to use it. All the mall ninjas have fallen into the cool accessory trap of AR-15 variant and do not realize its effective range is only 2-250 yards and the meager 223 will break up in the brush. I much prefer the ability to go through trees! Also, you will not be fighting from your home. A parameter must be set and friends/neighbors included in the defense strategy or you will loose.

2. Water. Here, we are on a well and will not rely on solar and generators for the long term. I'm sure the panels will attract attention and turn the hole domicile into a target. We got a hand pump with 300ft of lift tube that can be dropped into any well around here and I'm sure I will be-able to trade 8hrs of pumping for a sandwich.

3. You need protein. Plant nut trees now! Especially Hazelnuts, they are a favorite of deer, squirrels and other eaters that will be looking for the same thing you are. Plant way more than you need, you will use them.

4. Focus on Cole vegetable family  in the garden. We have found that a mere 2 collard plants will just about feed the neighborhood. Basically, the Cole provides the best production and nutrition for the given area. Collard and kale in particular do not seem to attract the worms that cabbage and broccoli does. As a bonus, they will grow right through the snow with little protection and grow in poor soils. You can also plant them outside of the garden proper as a stealthy eatable shrub. Next would be root veggies, potatoes, turnips, beets etc.

4. As mentioned earlier, There was no way to smoke all that meat! This is where salt comes in. You will need lots of it! Right now it is super cheap in a couple hundred pounds is not too much to have around. Get yourself some hersch pickling pots. These are what the old world used to preserve most of their food. Practice now, make yourself some yummy sauerkraut. From what I remember, in the series Jericho, a war was started over salt!

I know this is in no way a complete list but it just may bring some life to this thread and encourage everyone to add a few tidbits to something that should be an ongoing conversation.



SALT!  I hadn't given it any thought, but you're right that it will be critical.  In Roman times it was so critical soldiers were paid in salt (their salary).


Since I got such a rapid response, I'll add a few more.

Hydrogen Peroxide. Not the garbage at the store, order the good stuff online. Food grade 35% and make sure you get additional droppers as it tends to eat the rubber squeeze thing. Many uses, especially tooth aches.

Iodine. We beat cancer with this stuff. Look up Lugos solution and start adding it to your diet now. Also get a bunch of the povidone solution as an antiseptic.

Of course we would never do anything illegal,  but you can still go to to the store and get a jar of "Spics Islands" poppy seeds. It says right on the label that they are the finest Turkish seeds in the world.  Remember, before FDR, they sold the goo from this flower by the pound at the local store. Might come in handy, just saying.


For off the land today aint gonna happen...........I have been to military survival holds barred........if you can catch it or kill it its yours hunting living critter was up for grabs.....we didn't catch or kill anything..........just went hungry nibbling on cool shit like conclusion.......want to eat in the future store some food today........mother natures supermarket is run by a mean mama.:)


Quote from: NavySEAL on May 10, 2015, 06:46:53 PM
For off the land today aint gonna happen...........I have been to military survival holds barred........if you can catch it or kill it its yours hunting living critter was up for grabs.....we didn't catch or kill anything..........just went hungry nibbling on cool shit like conclusion.......want to eat in the future store some food today........mother natures supermarket is run by a mean mama.:)

This is true except that I doubt that any of us could fathom the idea of going down in despair.  I have often thought it might be better to go out in the initial blast but my luck never results in the best option.  So.... I must, at least, try.


Let me tell you my experience. I have a farm and we do a lot of farming and self-reliant living.

Throughout the last couple of years, I managed to buy basic farming equipment (we started farming about 6 years ago when I left Germany). Honestly, if you start from scratch it is very, very difficult and a real financial challenge to start serious farming. And for living of the land, you even have to make your own flour for the bread. Planting wheat or corn, dung it, harvest it, grind it.
To shorten the story... Living 100% off the land is managable but why would you do it? Given the fact that some goods can't be grown you have to produce more to do exchanges of good (find someone who will give you goods for your goods) ergo you have to sell it at the market to get money to buy diesel and all the stuff that you can't grow. Although a lot people do it already, it is very difficult. BUT its doable.
We had a project ongoing one season to see how much we can produce at the max, and its more than enough for my family. We even made some profit by selling goods. And that was in our free time after work. So... The only thing you need is machinery, time and land.

I wrote two articles about homesteading on my blog: