SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt

Here is SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt. This weekly column features news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. We also mention companies of interest to preppers that are located in the region. The emphasis this week is on the American Redoubt’s equestrian culture and colorful rodeos. Idaho Idaho’s Rodeo Culture o o o Southwest Idaho Endurance Riding o o o Homeschooled kids here in the American Redoubt often amaze me. For example, I’ve witnessed their great ability to memorize lengthy passages of scripture and the Declaration of Independence. But Akiane Kramarik, from Sandpoint, Idaho is …




The Best Way To Keep The Family Fed On Any Budget, by Tennessee Bob

Many of us have already provided the basics for our families within a budget. These should include the basic necessities such as shelter, clothing, location, security, and most importantly a stable food supply. Family’s Nutritional Needs I’m sure many of us have already taken the necessary steps to insure our own family’s nutritional needs will be met. Stocking up on the basics, such as rice, beans, wheat, and vegetables in the form of dry goods, is an excellent first step. However, in a long-term grid down WTSHTF situation, you must anticipate disruptions in all forms especially food. Problems with Livestock …




From Piglets to Bacon- Part 5, by Animal House

I’m a grandmother who has plunged into raising pigs, and I’ve worked with them from the time they were piglets all the way until they were full grown 400 pound hogs. Then, I’ve butchered two females and processed the meat myself. In the four proceeding parts, I have described this journey– from the animal selection to providing a secure pen, food, and water as well as developing my plan for butchering and processing. There has also been a difference between the plan and reality, and I’ve explained both. Well, actually, I’m now describing my real experience with processing. So, let’s …




From Piglets to Bacon- Part 4, by Animal House

I’m a grandmother who has raised her own small livestock and grown two female piglets into full grown hogs. This is my story. In the first three parts of this series, I have told how I began raising pigs, the selection process I went through, preparing their pen and securing them, growing them, and my plan for butchering them. The process didn’t go exactly as expected, and I’m in the midst of telling you what actually ended up happening and what I learned along the way. Butchering (continued) Butchering is something I have never done so I was flying blind. …




Letter: Homesteaders with Livestock in Harsh Winter Climates

Hugh, As with so many of us who have livestock and live in regions where cold winter temperatures pose a challenge in keeping water troughs thawed. For so many of us the default has been to place a 1000 – 1500 watt heater in the stock tank which does a wonderful job. However, when you have many pens of animals and therefore many stock tank heaters, you can almost watch the electric meter spin as your electric bill increases day by day. At one time I wrapped several of our large 300 gallon galvanized tanks with a flexible foam material …




From Piglets to Bacon- Part 3, by Animal House

I am a grandmother who decided to raise her own small livestock, including pigs, and then to butcher them. This is my story. In the first two parts of this article series, I have already written about selecting and growing the pigs as well as told my plan for butchering two female hogs. Slaughtering and Butchering (continued) I laid out my plan in the last part of this article series and included the specific tools and materials required. I expected to complete the whole process of killing, cleaning, butchering, and packaging within two and half days or a max of …




From Piglets to Bacon- Part 2, by Animal House

This is my story, as a retired grandmother of raising small livestock and our experience of going from piglets to bacon. In part one, I shared about preparing the pen, selecting the piglets, and basically getting them set up and situated in their new space. But after that, it was time for them to grow. Growing the Piglets When the girls were young, we fed them twice a day. They got a varying mixture of healthy non-GMO swine pellets, soy meal, fresh eggs, and hot oats on cold days, any table scraps that the rabbits and chickens didn’t get, and …




From Piglets to Bacon- Part 1, by Animal House

This article is about growing piglets, slaughtering, and butchering hogs. It covers everything we did from start to finish concerning piglets to bacon! Why a Retired Grandmother Raises Small Livestock But first, it is important to understand why in the world a retired grandmother would want to raise small livestock. While this article is not about the bad stuff in commercial pork products, I want to list the reasons why I make the effort to raise my own small livestock. Just for starters, “…synthetic preservatives are added to 70 percent of all factory farmed meat and poultry to prevent spoilage, …




Letter: Help with Livestock Dogs Viewed as Pets by the County

Hello, We moved to the American Redoubt, prompted by Gods providence and the knowledge we learned from your organization. Our ranch and homestead is rural, and we raise cattle/sheep/hogs/etc, but our most important livestock are our livestock guardian dogs. We are surrounded on all sides by national forest and you can imagine what this means in regards to predators. Our dogs are the most integral and loved part of the ranch and what we do. They are well behaved, not aggressive and patrol our property how it comes naturally to them. Neighbors Recently we’ve ran into some issues with our …




Homestead Design from a Practical, Tactical, Agricultural Survival Perspective, by C.F

Let’s talk about practical, tactical, and agricultural survival principles and details that pertain to developing land in a way that will facilitate agricultural productivity, sustainability, and security. Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house. Prov. 24:27. Assessing the Land The Land First of all, we are likely to be constrained by property boundaries. Therefore, in selecting property, what are our priorities? Not everyone has the same priorities, and priorities change as the world around us changes. For example, a property that is perfectly usable today may become untenable if …




Letter Re: Cats Moving into the Neighborhood

Hugh, In response to the comment about cats moving into the neighborhood: be grateful. The Lyme spirochete has been around for millions of years. Lyme disease started to explode in the 1970’s and 1980’s, which is when the national spay-neuter programs got started, and the population of outdoor cats dropped like a rock. I remember as a child in the 1950’s seeing kittens running around outdoors in the summer. In the last thirty years, except for my own protected outdoor cat colony, I’ve seen only one outdoor kitten. The ticks that carry Lyme have a two year life cycle. The …




The Editors’ Preps for the Week of June 12th, 2017

To be prepared for a crisis, every prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We also welcome you to share your planned activities for increasing personal preparedness in the coming week. (Leave a Comment with your project details.) Let’s keep busy and …




The Editors’ Preps for the Week of May 29th, 2017

To be prepared for a crisis, every prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors will share their planned prep activities for the coming week, ranging from healthcare and purchases to property improvements and food storage. We also welcome you to share your planned activities for increasing personal preparedness in the coming week in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready! JWR Dear SurvivalBlog Readers, This week, the weather is expected to be warm and sunny. Finally, summer  has arrived to the northern portion of …




Letter Re: Equestrian Survival – Part 4

Hugh, The author of this submission Part 4, recommends “saddle soap” be applied to bridles and all leather tack components. Based on 30+ years of equestrian training and almost daily use of leather tack use, I can say without reservation that the absolute worst product to use on leather of any type is saddle soap! Saddle soap contains alkaloids that strip the natural oils and any other oil compounds applied to leather goods of any type during manufacture and/or in the tanning process. If you’ve ever looked at old or antique leather holsters, tack, or saddles and observed many small …




Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 4, by R.M.

You can buy a lance head and boot at Cotswoldsport to make your lance. Bamboo is a good staff to use, but other woods work. Your ability to control the lance can be influenced; it’s the weight. I don’t really know western gear. I was trained in the European tradition– German, Austrian, and English styles. So I use that kind of gear. Saddle, cinch, stirrups, bridle with snaffle and bit (eggbut/something soft on the mouth). Know your horse’s teeth. If they need to be floated, do it. All western bits look too hard on the mouth to me. You might …