PROS AND CONS OF ĎLiving Off The Landí
FIRST, WHY A FRUGAL LITTLE FARM Wonít Work In A Crisis
As the prepper movement has grown, Iíve heard more and more people talk
about bugging out (this author means 'getting away, not going crazy'. More
people talking about living off the land. On one hand, I can understand
that. Preppers tend to identify with the pioneering spirit that settled this
land and fueled the westward expansion. Thereís a lot of similarity between
the character of the modern prepper and the people who settled this country;
both are the rugged individualists who donít depend upon society.
With that in mind, itís natural to think of living off the land. Thereís a
certain romance in the idea of reliving the lives that those early Americans
lived. We tend to forget that they lived very hard lives, with a lot of hard
work and that many succumbed to sickness, Indian attacks and the dangers of
living in a wild country.
While I am susceptible to the same dreams, I have to season them with
reality. As much as Iíd like to ride off into the sunset as a hero in a
Louis LíAmour novel, I have a family to consider. My responsibility to them
trumps my desire to climb on a horse and see whatís over the next mountain.
Any survival plans I make must take them into consideration ó including
their needs, their faults and their weaknesses.
Iíll have to say, those pioneers that we so desire to emulate were much
tougher people than you and me. The luxuries of our modern society have made
us soft. There are few today who could plow a field with a horse drawn plow
from sunup to sunset. Donít bother bragging about how tough you are and how
much time you spend in the gym; those pioneers could still put you and I to
Living in the wild is hard; thereís no two ways about it. While I enjoy
getting out in nature and even camping, Iím enough of a realist to see that
I probably couldnít survive if I had to stay out there, pulling my
sustenance out of the land around me. I have enough trouble just growing a
Thatís why I always recommend staying at home and bugging in, rather than
bugging out. Oh, I have my bug-out bag, just like everyone else does. My
backpack is filled with all sorts of fancy camping and survival equipment
and five days worth of food (three isnít enough). But that doesnít mean that
Iím planning on living out there in the wild. Iíve got that stuff so that I
can survive traveling though the wild to get to my final bug-out location.
We must learn reliant prepper tips, tricks and secrets for a healthier, safer,
lower cost, more self-reliant life and start now!
Unless you have a prepared bug-out location, which is fully stocked and
ready to go, bugging out and living in the wild may be the end of you. I say
living off the land is almost impossible because I have looked at the facts.
Although I am no longer an avid hunter or fisherman, I grew up doing both.
Should I need to, I am sure that those skills are still there, buried in the
back of my mind. The bigger problem would be getting my wife to eat the deer
that I just brought home and butchered. Unless she was really hungry, she
wouldnít even touch it. And do we have a generator for a freezer? Or do we
build a high up box in a tree (given that we have a reliable freeze?)
What We Can Learn From US History
When the eastern seaboard of what is now the United States was first
settled, wild game was plentiful. American Indians and settlers alike were
able to get all the meat they needed by hunting. You donít see ranching as
part of the early colonization of New England, even though they started
farming to raise crops right away. Even in the early 1800s, cattle were
worth more for their hides and tallow, than they were for the meat.
It wasnít until after the Civil War that the cattle industry really took
off, with the expansion of the railroad and the beginning of the great Texas
cattle drives. At that time (the 1860s), the countryís population was 31
million people and had reached the point where not enough cattle could be
raised in the east to meet peopleís needs.
Even in the 1880s, when buffalo hunting on the Great Plains was in full
swing, the purpose of those hunts was to get hides, not to get meat. The
meat from all those bison was usually left to rot, once the hide had been
Okay, so what does the cattle business have to do with wild game? The cattle
business was slow to take off because before people ate wild game meat. It
wasnít until the population reached a point where the wild game population
couldnít feed the country that the cattle business really took off.
Is There Enough Wild Game Today?
So, the cattle industry took off when the population of the country was less
than a tenth of what it is today. Up until that time, there was enough wild
game to feed people; at least, to provide them with meat. While I can find
no accurate records to use to compare wild game populations in the 1860s to
today, I am sure of one thing; thereís less wildlife today then there was
If a major crisis were to hit the United States, disrupting our food
supplies, there would be a lot of people out there hunting, licensed or not.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 13.7 million hunters and 33.1
million anglers took to the fields in 2011. I think we can fairly say that
these are the experienced hunters and fisherman who will be out looking for
a meal after the crisis. This number would be far surpassed by the number of
inexperienced people who will be out there. There isnít enough game out
there for all those people to kill.
The real danger isnít that there wonít be enough game for everyone to hunt
and fish, but the number of people who will be out there trying to do so.
The experienced hunters wonít be able to find any game, because of the
inexperienced hunters that will scare it all off. Theyíre only chance will
to be go way into the backwoods, where the newbies wonít try. Hunters will
get frustrated. Tempers will flare. Anger and guns are a poor mix.
I can easily see where this will go. Those hunters who manage to kill game
will be faced by a bigger challenge ó that of getting their game home with
their own hide intact. Desperate people do desperate things, and some of
those desperate people may just decide that itís easier to hunt the hunters,
than to try and hunt the game.
No matter how it turns out, it seems to me that expecting to live off the
land, while a nice dream, is only thatÖ a dream. Maybe tilling a vegetable
garden and raising chickens isnít as exciting or romantic, but itís a lot
safer and youíre a lot more sure of having something to eat for dinner
^~^~^~^~^ THE PROS OF COUNTRY LIVING^~^~^~^~^~^~
That fellow (above,) was a WIMP and he is WRONG! An ACRE in the wild would work if you were as smart as the ordinary 15th century English farmer. Read a book called LOST COUNTRY LIFE. By Dorothy Hartley. Though any of her dozens of books would be a treasure. But having read 3, that one is the only useful one. The rest are more like vague history lessons with way too many illustrations.
LOST COUNTRY LIFE book is one I can re-read and always find something new and edifying. It's like taking a complex agricultural training in a rusty old time machine and dozens of renaissance farmers stand before you telling you their tricks. Detailed secrets of sharp English farmers. How they did things before mechanation. Centuries ago. ABE BOOKS lets you choose country to search for title. It is a service for l0,000 book vendors, USA definitely has a lot of her titles. One enters in ADVANCED FINDING and chooses USA. Or one can go to British vendors. see HOW TO USE ABEBOOKS: http://home.earthlink.net/~anitaastrologer/howtoorder.htm
British dealers have many other of her titles a buck a book!
These are the finest keeper books ever. Anyone who gardens
or keeps poultry would go nuts for ONE as a gift. And I
note they're a buck each in UK! So have your English pals
buy you a stack, then get a round trip ticket out of season
and a 7 day cheap tour. And go pick up your books!
Here are some pieces about Hartley:
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