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Posted: 8/28/2011 10:26:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2011 10:33:48 AM EDT by Gelgoog]
All the time we hear about people's bug out plans primarily being focused on retreating to the mountains and "living off the land", when in reality the closest these people have come to doing such a thing before is watching survival shows on TV.
So lets go into why living off the land is a bad idea.

1) it is bloody hard to do, especially by yourself (even the most skilled survivalists have a hard time).

2) it is calorie intense, usually you burn more calories than you will find to replenish.

3) Everyone else will be attempting to do the same- thus more competition on already scarce resources

4) Large game will quickly be depleted, thus you better bring alot of .22 because small game will be your primary nutrition

5) You better be very skilled in wilderness survival ( knowledge of plant life, making traps, etc), because it is not like all you have to do is go out and shoot a deer every week.

6) Slow starvation is the course that most survivalists end up at.

7) if you are going it alone, a mechanical injury (broken leg), an disease that can incapacitate (pneumonia), or something akin to food poisoning will likely mean your death.

8) Even the old time mountain men had to return to civilization at least once a year to resupply their packtrain with things they could not get in the woods (salt, gunpowder, shot, etc)


So basically you will find the woods alot more crowded for already limited resource capacity, and you are better off sticking it out close to civilization unless you pre-stocked a cabin somewhere.

edit: Just found a nice article to suppliment this.

The Living Off the Land Fallacy

The Living Off the Land Fallacy
By Jim Cobb

A recurring theme among some survivalists is the plan for living off the land ATSHTF. The idea here is they will get most or all of their sustenance from hunting, fishing, and gathering. There might be a small garden in the works, but that’s about it. In my opinion, the folks who have this sort of plan are just setting themselves up to fail. While on the surface, such a plan probably appeals to the pioneer spirit if nothing else, the reality is it just won’t work.

Now granted, in a total societal collapse hunters need no longer pay attention to all those pesky DNR rules and regulations. In fact, many of those very rules could be turned around and used as suggestions to increase your odds of success. Shining deer is currently illegal but for the survivalist putting food on the table for his family, this might be an excellent way to bag that buck. However, odds are pretty good our hero isn’t going to be the only one out there with a spotlight.

I grew up in an area where deer hunting in particular isn’t just popular, it is almost sacrilege to NOT hunt. Seriously, so many kids are pulled out of school during deer season the schools have to make other arrangements for the few students left behind. Thousands of hunters hit the north woods every year. These are people who live, eat, and breathe hunting. They know all the tricks of the trade, have all the latest and greatest in technological gadgets, and know the land like none other. Yet, in 2009 for example, only about 35% of these hunters bagged deer. That figure is based on official Wisconsin DNR information on the number of deer licenses sold versus the number of hunters who reported bagging one or more deer. So, a little more than one in every three hunters were successful.

Now, that 35% success rate was achieved during somewhat controlled conditions in that we assume the vast majority of bagged deer were killed in compliance with DNR regulations. It would seem obvious the rate would go up once “all bets were off” in terms of not having to limit hunting to specific days/times and conditions, right? Yes…and no. In a total societal collapse, the experienced hunter will have to contend with dozens, if not hundreds, of vastly inexperienced hunters hitting the game trails, shooting at anything that moves. There will also be a tendency for hunters, both new and experienced, to bag much more than they could conceivably consume or preserve for later use. Where one deer might feed a family for quite some time, if the meat is preserved properly, some hunters will kill as many as they can find, either out of greed or with a plan to barter the meat for other commodities. My prediction is the deer herds will be quickly decimated.

But, we’ll not be focusing on hunting big game. We’ll be after the squirrels, ‘coons, rabbits, and other critters we see all over the place!

Sure, that’s probably a better plan. But again, there will be hundreds of people thinking the exact same thing. Plus, there will be thousands of family pets (dogs, cats, etc.) that will have gone feral and hunting the same critters. How long will it take before there won’t be nary a squirrel to be found? Plus, let’s be honest. How many meals can one scrawny squirrel really provide?

Ok, smart guy. We’ll supplement our hunting and trapping with fishing.

Again, not an inherently bad idea. But you need to consider the throngs of weekend Babe Winkelman wannabes who are going to descend upon any body of water larger than a mud puddle. Further, how many fishing “experts” do you know who come home empty-handed, time and again? Not to mention, today sitting on a riverbank and wetting a line can be the height of relaxation. After TSHTF, one of your new competitors might take a liking to your catch of the day and decide it is quicker and easier to take it from you than find his own.

Really, that goes for all hunting and trapping endeavors. Do you really feel comfortable risking your life, and the lives of your family, over one skinny rabbit or a couple bluegills? Is that a gamble you’re willing to take?

That’s the meat end of the spectrum. What about harvesting wild plants and herbs? Being successful with that comes down to a few factors.

1) You MUST know what you’re doing. Get started NOW with learning what is edible in your area, how to identify it, collect it, and prepare it for consumption. Trying to find food while you’re suffering from farts with lumps isn’t going to be a lot of fun.

2) From where are you going to collect these tasty treats? Sure, if you’ve already accomplished the first point above, you’re a leg up on the competition but there are still going to be tons of folks out there grabbing anything green and shoving it into their pie holes.

3) It is vastly more difficult to find dandelion greens in the middle of January in much of the country. What is your plan for during the winter months?

The point is this. If your primary plan for TEOTWAWKI is to “live off the land,” you better have a backup plan. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you abandon all plans for hunting/fishing/trapping/gathering. Rather, consider those options as ways to supplement what you’ve stockpiled and grown on your own. Generally speaking, the plan would be to have enough food packed away to get you through at least one, if not two, complete growing seasons. Have plans in place for growing much of your own food from seeds you harvest yourself. Raise chickens, goats, and other potential meat sources. Learn now the best ways to preserve meat if you don’t have access to electricity, and thus freezers.

Above all, abandon the attitude of “Me hunter. Me go kill meat for family.” That way of thinking will indeed likely result in a death, but probably not of the four-legged variety.
Link Posted: 8/28/2011 1:03:22 PM EDT
Good article on something people don't often consider.A Z Day event would introduce other variables, like a reduced population to contend with,but most people fleeing the cities would head straight to the country and try to do their best Bear Grylls impersonation before dying.Also, anyone "foraging" in a garden or chicken coop in my area after a SHTF event is going to have the question of long term survival answered for them, quick.
The most realistic Z Day scenario would involve some kind of infectious disease/bio-weapon and be one to two months duration(infected won't just get better with time).Most of the complications are going to come in the aftermath, with infrastructure down and a good portion of the population being displaced.A long term Romero zombie apocalypse would most likely have hunger and starvation as everyday factors to contend with.
I personally plan on bugging in with my preps, but an E&E to the snow zone is on the table as a last option.There's no guarantee of survival but it's better than ending up as a zed.
Link Posted: 8/28/2011 1:10:38 PM EDT
The simple answer is cannibalism, lots of people to eat.
Link Posted: 8/28/2011 1:13:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By P08:
The simple answer is cannibalism, lots of people to eat.


A Modest Proposal, makes an excellent cookbook
Link Posted: 8/28/2011 1:19:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Gelgoog:
Originally Posted By P08:
The simple answer is cannibalism, lots of people to eat.


A Modest Proposal, makes an excellent cookbook


"To Serve Man."

Link Posted: 8/28/2011 1:41:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/28/2011 2:51:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2011 2:52:17 PM EDT by blt-2-drg]
My definition of living off the land would be retreat to my piece of land in northern Arizona. Its in the middle of nowhere, requires a 4x4 to access, and there isnt any structures or homes within a 10 mile radius. I dont have a home there, just a metal shed with foundation i use to store enough water, food, and supplies to get me and my family by for 3 months. This doesnt include anything we bring with us. I figure if we survive the initial outbreak and mayhem and i am able to get there we can camp and ride out the first few months til the dust settles.
Link Posted: 8/28/2011 2:57:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2011 2:58:17 PM EDT by fla556guy]
I am counting on what you say as being the truth.

I am counting on it for my survival plans, in fact.

If shit hits the fan, the best place for you to be is where you know how to survive the best.

For me, that is in the woods. I may have to go outside of my immediate area for some things, but there is a hell of a lot more I could do about survival there than I could in the city.

And I'm not talking about "hunting" being the only reason it would be a better survival option for me.
Link Posted: 9/5/2011 3:07:01 PM EDT
itll be easier for some and harder for the rest. if you live in a land of plenty, i.e. the middle of nowhere itll be easier. more big game, and more squirrels and rabbit and birds and such, might be good to own some traps. enough fishing supplies to last. if you can shoot a bow that is also helpful in not depleting your stash of ammo on tasty critters
Link Posted: 9/7/2011 8:37:11 PM EDT
So many people will screw up and go play "big game hunter" or better yet go out and grow veggies that only last a week or so. I personally am going to continue with my Root veggies (four plots that I rotate) and canning veggies and if by some chance I can score some meat that is friggen awesome....I need to learn to grow peanuts and mushrooms :P
Link Posted: 9/8/2011 12:25:05 AM EDT
A lot of people would die that first week that first month unfortunately. Then you have the ones who are on anti depressants who will off themselves. Saying our population is 300 million it would be widowed down to 100 million and decline from there. The stink of death shall be everywhere
Link Posted: 9/8/2011 4:40:46 AM EDT
The big question here is do twinkies have an experation date?
Link Posted: 9/8/2011 7:54:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By blt-2-drg:
The big question here is do twinkies have an experation date?


God I hope not.
Link Posted: 9/8/2011 2:16:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By P08:
The simple answer is cannibalism, lots of people to eat.

Will I get the shakes like those in The Book of Eli?
Link Posted: 9/8/2011 3:06:49 PM EDT
I recently had a run in with a "survivalist" here at my workplace.
We were discussing the merits of different things, and he was expounding the the virtue of his AR being a great all around rifle, how he could take deer, etc to feed his family.. and laughed when I suggested that he should, instead, put more faith in the lowly .22, since it would be used for all that, and more, that he would use his AR on. (our deer here are tiny...and many a time as a kid I took one down with a .22 in someone's back yard.)

I asked him.. "when's the last time you went hunting". .his answer.....Never.
I asked him..."if there's no deer around, what else would you eat?"... he replied with "oh.. you know.. canned food, scavenged food, etc"..
I asked him .."what happens if you leave here today and SHTF?..and he talked about packing up his stuff and heading to the hills.

We live in Central Texas.. the only "hills" that we really have around us are either the bottom end of the rockies, ie, the Davis mountains.. or the hills in other states. I pointed this out to him, and he didn't have a good answer.

A few minutes later we talked about EDC...and he asked what I had. I showed him the contents of my backpack, and he laughed. He said "how can you feed yourself for a week on a can of tuna, a can of spam, and some granola bars?". My answer..

"easy"...we're in the middle of the city. I'm not 'heading for the hills.. I'm heading for home. How many urban animals eat tuna? Cats, dogs, possums, racoons, squirrels, birds, all kinds of things....all of which are edible."... he hit the roof and couldn't understand how I could eat that stuff.

I think that's what many people overlook. A cat or dog is edible. So is possum. Squirrel. Rabbit. Raccoon. Blue Jays, Pigeons, Grackle, Snakes, Lizards.. heck.. if it walks, swims, flys or crawls, you can eat almost anything. Also, there are numerous natural growth plants and what not that we can eat as well. I've got a full garden at home, as well as chickens and rabbits, so there is more for bugging in than bugging out. And once people start deserting in droves, our suburb town will be open game for all the animals roaming around.

Add to that many people overlook some VERY logical things in their staple of stored goods....Seeds. We've got about 800 different packages of seeds for just about every type of vegetable and fruit that will grown here in Centex.. and I plan on planting and harvesting them as much as possible in a SHTF scenario.. and we have quite a few that will be used if we have to go north to survive..

Simple things.. simple things... people overlook the simple things.
Link Posted: 9/8/2011 9:40:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2011 9:42:48 PM EDT by Gelgoog]
Originally Posted By Liquidmetal:

Originally Posted By P08:
The simple answer is cannibalism, lots of people to eat.

Will I get the shakes like those in The Book of Eli?


Yes, it is called Kuru and is a disease caused by prions in the brain (so don't eat brains!....brains are bad mmmkay).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuru_%28disease%29

Think of it as the human version of mad cow disease.
Link Posted: 9/8/2011 10:08:53 PM EDT
Thank you!

I laugh at all the retards on here picking SHTF guns that they can hunt small game with. It's totally irrelevant. You can't live of the land by hunting. You will starve. You do not have the skills of a daily hunter gatherer and cannot learn them on the go. Just because you can kill a deer and run a trot line, doesn't mean you can put food in your belly night after night. If it was that easy, the pilgrims wouldn't have nearly starved to death in their first year. They had far more relevant skills than you do.

Stock food, grow food.
Link Posted: 9/8/2011 11:19:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Gelgoog:
Originally Posted By Liquidmetal:

Originally Posted By P08:
The simple answer is cannibalism, lots of people to eat.

Will I get the shakes like those in The Book of Eli?


Yes, it is called Kuru and is a disease caused by prions in the brain (so don't eat brains!....brains are bad mmmkay).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuru_%28disease%29

Think of it as the human version of mad cow disease.


You can die from cannibalism so I would advise you against it, it causes a dementia like decline. Instead of watching cartoons when i was a kid the history and other channels like that were on 24/7 when they actually had interesting stuff programmed
Link Posted: 9/9/2011 5:44:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By skinnysarge79:
Originally Posted By Gelgoog:
Originally Posted By P08:
The simple answer is cannibalism, lots of people to eat.


A Modest Proposal, makes an excellent cookbook


"To Serve Man."

On World of Warcraft Rogues can pickpocket a cook book called How To Serve Man off Orges.

Get 1 or 2 Man
Hit Man with Rock
EAT

Link Posted: 9/9/2011 6:59:30 PM EDT
farming is tough. i can't even keep a garden alive even with running water. i plan on saving a bullet or two for myself.
Link Posted: 9/10/2011 3:38:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By yumbeef:
farming is tough. i can't even keep a garden alive even with running water. i plan on saving a bullet or two for myself.


YUP.
Link Posted: 9/10/2011 4:54:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hntrman:
Originally Posted By yumbeef:
farming is tough. i can't even keep a garden alive even with running water. i plan on saving a bullet or two for myself.


YUP.


MIAD 3 bullets lol
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 8:48:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2011 8:53:54 PM EDT by Joenavy85]
Originally Posted By texas_mustang_01:
Stock food.


Close to 200 pounds of deer, and another 300+ of bear in a freezer in northern Wisconsin. and before you speak of power outages the cabin is completely off the power grid, solar and wind powered with a huge battery bank, plus back up deisel generator. 2 - 1 acre plots of corn, carrots, tomatoes and various other vegetables as well as 5 apple and 5 orange trees which grow surprisingly well up there). All the equipment I need to can all of the above, and about 5 months worth (for 4 people) already in storage in the basement of said cabin. there is no shortage of small or medium sized game in the area, and a decent amount of large game. Ammo stores are as follows

5.56 - 3600+
.22lr - 5,000+
7.62x54r - 4400+
.45 - 1500+ JHP, 1500+ FMJ
.44 Mag - 800+
.308 - ~400
30-06 - 1200

all that is just mine, not to mention all the .40 and .500 Mag ammo my F-I-L has up there along with his own stash of various ammo, some the same as mine.
I just got my .308, hence not a lot of ammo. yet.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 10:08:54 AM EDT
#3 should have been your #1.
Lets just say that its all gone to hell and your needing to kill wild game just to survive. Dont think that youll be the only one out there doing the same.
Its like people thinking that theyll just be-bop down to Wally World when Hurricane CAT5 just tore through their neighborhood.
Link Posted: 10/1/2011 5:04:56 PM EDT
This theme was VERY prevalent on the ZS Forum I frequented before I discovered Ar15.com.

There was NO dissuading those folks, so I gave up trying.

I look upon it as "thinning the herd."
Link Posted: 10/1/2011 7:13:34 PM EDT
This is one of the most interesting topics since I've been on Z central...
Link Posted: 10/1/2011 7:15:51 PM EDT
Is it weekly someone post this?
Link Posted: 10/2/2011 3:53:56 PM EDT
Still considering supply and demand as a determining factor. What % of survivors are we talking about? If 10% of the population makes it through the initial infection, that means everyone has a choice of ten houses (including food, clothing, weapons), ten vehicles, wild animals will multiply, plenty of everything to go around for initial survival until a system of some sort is reinitiated. If farmer Jim and hunter Jack start wheeling and dealing, more for everyone, if one kills the other, it's a short term raise in personal property and next year the crops and/or meat won't be coming in at the same rate.

Much as arf loves the lone survivor mentality, it's a common statistic that two individuals can accomplish three times what one can pull off. There's nothing wrong with going it alone, except no group will trust you. In dolphin pods it's referred to as a rogue male, someone who's been kicked out for dickery and probably shouldn't be trusted. Doesn't mean you're bad people, means the pods will wonder what you did wrong that you ended up alone.

As far as the daydreamers having unrealistic or flawed zombie survival plans, not everyone takes this seriously, or has common sense, military experience, or training outside of watching action flicks on repeat. Don't get too riled up about it.
Link Posted: 10/3/2011 12:21:23 AM EDT
[quoteAdd to that many people overlook some VERY logical things in their staple of stored goods....Seeds. We've got about 800 different packages of seeds for just about every type of vegetable and fruit that will grown here in Centex.. and I plan on planting and harvesting them as much as possible in a SHTF scenario.. and we have quite a few that will be used if we have to go north to survive..

Simple things.. simple things... people overlook the simple things.[/quote]


He makes a great point here. Bugging In is better than Bugging Out. Bugging out may be necessary if your in a highly populated area but if not, fortify your own turf!!! Also a great point on seeds..... seeds are the life of all things. I highly recommend this and you fellow ZRT gents better check this out. Go to www.survivalseedbank.com if you have not already done so. They sell a survival seed kit for $180.00 or so... somewhere around that price. The beauty of it is this, most seeds that are sold are hybrid or some other such thing and they come in paper packets. This means they will only grow and give you produce for that year they are planted. If you try to harvest seeds from them for the next year, the plant MAY grow, but it will be either devoid of fruit or sadly lacking in what it does grow. Also the paper pouches do not protect seeds much longer than one year. This survivalseedbank place is cool. You get a full kit with 20 varieties of veggies and fruits seeds. They are HEIRLOOM seeds meaning that when you plant them, you get the harvest, and then you save some of the seeds and you can replant the following season with a full harvest... and you can do this year after year. The kit is enough to plant a full one acre garden and the seeds come sealed in pouches that will protect the seeds for a long time. It comes with a basic manual to tell you all you need to know about this type of gardening and how to harvest and store seeds for the following season. You get the whole kit in a sealed pvc type tube that you can bury or store and pull it out to use whenever you need it. They say you can safely store it for 10 plus years. They are awesome!! I'm done. Keep your powder dry and your axes sharp.
Link Posted: 10/3/2011 2:15:22 PM EDT
the sudden drop in the human population will free up more wild edibles and bunnies for the rest of us. Living off the land might not be an ideal scenario, but for many, it will be the only one.
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