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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 05-20-2018, 11:01 PM
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Default How does one learn how many people are needed/optimal?

Lifted from the 'pick up ammo' thread ...

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Originally Posted by chsk9 View Post
A factor to consider is that if you are in a position to need a rifle slung while working then you will realistically need people performing security over the working party. This is what I was addressing earlier about needing far more people to survive than most people recognize.

This does promote the position that a sidearm has a place in your kit, especially if you are the one tasked with farming/wrenching/etc.
So, first thought here was how did the Israelis manage to protect their farms (kibbutzim or other), but I can't seem to find anything on how that was done.

And, for myself, not having any infantry background, I'm not getting a lot out of FM 3-90 (seems too high-level) or things like FM 3-21.8 and Defense of a FOB

So, how does one estimate needed defensive personnel for a farming community? Depends on anticipated threat, I'm sure, but how much space can how many people patrol or observe?

I think the ancients solved a lot of that with walled cities, and medievals with castles and other fortified places, basically abandoning area defense - but I don't expect that would be a first strategy these days.
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Old 05-21-2018, 6:47 AM
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I don't believe there is a standard answer or formula. Every place has unique features that enhance and complicate security, so until you have a place selected, the factor of features is an unknown. Next, what is your threat, is it individuals and small groups seeking to pilfer, or is your threat a large organized force. Again, until your factor is known, your requirement is also unknown. In evaluating a threat remember the acronym SALUTE; size, activity, location, unit, time and equipment.
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Old 05-21-2018, 9:35 AM
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Here's a WAG.
Minimum 3. 1/guards when 1/sleeps and 1/hunts or gathers food du jour.

Allow me to opine...,
I think it depends on land. Location, location, location.
Easy access to a river. Water means fish and farming are possible along the river.
Forested area near by for building materials.
Motte and Bailey style fort overlooking the area at large. It may look like a civil war breastwork at first. The more people that come seeking food/security the bigger it can be.
You put up a big sign "you don't work you don't eat" Riff Raff filter.

As food/safety is increased, so will the population. If you build it they will come.

Sit back and relax in your fiefdom while enjoying the last diet Coke.


I don't see any correct answer here.
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Old 05-21-2018, 9:56 AM
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Default Terrain always dictates

This is what was taught in the Infantry when I came through. They'd spend some considerable time teaching some piece of doctrine, then they'd say, "Of course, terrain always dictates" at the end, kinda like a disclaimer.

Basically, though... to secure a perimeter you always want intersecting fields of fire at each defensive position, thus a simple fraction of the median range at which your shooters are proficient beneath the linear perimeter you're trying to secure, then doubled will produce your ballpark minimal security force number.

But, the truth is that it's pretty easy to overrun a perimeter unless it has been well-developed and defensive responses have been practiced and there is excellent coordination.

Better to delay the advance while elements not in contact evacuate to positions that can cover your own withdrawal... a smart attacker pressing a dedicated assault with reasonable numbers is not going to be stopped by most practical perimeter defense measures. You'll keep out the riffraff, though.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:00 AM
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With me it is a matter of family math. We might be scattered in the wind to a certain degree but we will all come together.

Then it becomes how to feed, shelter, clothe, and arm them to care for them.

Depending how bad things get will dictate how we will respond. The big fire 3 years ago showed us that we were ready for a major disaster and we didn't need the whole family to be there to help. We also found that no matter how many roads they closed we knew the ones that were not closed and how to access them.

We have tentative plans to block or destroy small bridges so that people cannot have vehicle access to us if things get ugly.

Weapons and ammo are not a issue. 3 of my children have served in the military in combat roles and one as a corpsmen.

How many people do you need ?. As many as you can take care of. Lets pray to God that we never have to find out.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:05 AM
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A dog would help a lot in this situation.
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Old 05-21-2018, 7:44 PM
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Let me try musing 'aloud'.

Suppose for discussion that agricultural labor is now animal or human musclepower - the fuel is not available for machines.

Suppose, then, that one chooses to use one or more horses for power.

How much food does a horse need for a year? How much acreage is needed to grow that much food?

(Similar questions might be asked for other animals - cattle, sheep, goats, etc.)

What part of a horse's available labor would be consumed in the growing of its own food?

Some of that labor available after its own subsistence needs might be applied to 'people food'.

How much of various grains (etc) is needed to to support 1 person for 1 year? How much acreage is needed for that amount of crops? How much labor is required to plant/care for/harvest those crops? How many people need to be working to produce food for animals and people?

Once that kind of info is available, the land expanse and physical labor for survival is estimable, and then the protective staffing might be estimable.

And, as already noted, location and terrain have a lot of influence on productivity, so production numbers will be affected, and things like terrain requiring multiple locations would influence the needed protective staff (which feeds back into food requirements, etc etc).

ETA - nothing new here; agricultural villages have been doing similar estimates for thousands of years.
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Last edited by Librarian; 05-21-2018 at 8:03 PM..
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Old 05-21-2018, 8:34 PM
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Having everyone well read into the plan and then all being proactively cross training and building skills is quite a force multiplier.

If ones neighbors are not at least sympathetic to the cause they will become a liability. Having powers of persuasion and getting the entire local community on the same page is huge.

Having a known position of superior tactical disposition that all can fall back to when needed and jointly contributing to improvement of said position comes in handy. A secure base of operations - even if you don't immediately need it - is a big psychological boost.
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Old 05-21-2018, 9:00 PM
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Lots of questions. Lets go down the list.

Hard working mules require half the food of a horse and will thrive on feed that will starve a horse. 100 acres per mule. They don't need a bunch of grain.

Pasture should be self sustaining, a little irrigation would be nice.

How much grain do you need for each person, you need a total of 2000 calories minimum per person per day. Total of said foods.

So, 35 people X 2000 X 365 = 25,550,000 calories. That is 70,000 calories a day.

1 pound of ground beef = 1500 calories

1 pound of beans = 1050 calories

1 pound of rice = 600 calories

1 pound of pork = 1100 calories

It is a daunting task to keep people fed.

I have said here many times that fuel will be a real problem.

I don't know how to run a plow behind a mule, but I guess I could learn.


I own 4 horses and 4 mules, I would kill and eat the horses long before the mules. I swear my goats are born pregnant. They thrive where my beef will starve to death. Hogs and sheep are real hardy also.

Keeping them all safe will be a issue, family and livestock, isolation is your friend.
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
Lifted from the 'pick up ammo' thread ...



So, first thought here was how did the Israelis manage to protect their farms (kibbutzim or other), but I can't seem to find anything on how that was done.

And, for myself, not having any infantry background, I'm not getting a lot out of FM 3-90 (seems too high-level) or things like FM 3-21.8 and Defense of a FOB

So, how does one estimate needed defensive personnel for a farming community? Depends on anticipated threat, I'm sure, but how much space can how many people patrol or observe?

I think the ancients solved a lot of that with walled cities, and medievals with castles and other fortified places, basically abandoning area defense - but I don't expect that would be a first strategy these days.
Although definitely not legal for a civilian to deploy during rule of law, the Israelis have used Sentry Guns for quite a while: https://www.wired.com/2008/12/israeli-auto-ki/




If someone on a civilian budget wanted to get creative with places a glock could be mounted, there are things that could probably be adapted off the shelf to make it happen... https://www.tomtop.com/p-d5270us.html


http://www.newark.com/defender-secur...ium/dp/40P1465
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Old 05-22-2018, 5:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinB View Post
Lots of questions. Lets go down the list.

Hard working mules require half the food of a horse and will thrive on feed that will starve a horse. 100 acres per mule. They don't need a bunch of grain.

Pasture should be self sustaining, a little irrigation would be nice.

How much grain do you need for each person, you need a total of 2000 calories minimum per person per day. Total of said foods.

So, 35 people X 2000 X 365 = 25,550,000 calories. That is 70,000 calories a day.

1 pound of ground beef = 1500 calories

1 pound of beans = 1050 calories

1 pound of rice = 600 calories

1 pound of pork = 1100 calories

It is a daunting task to keep people fed.

I have said here many times that fuel will be a real problem.

I don't know how to run a plow behind a mule, but I guess I could learn.


I own 4 horses and 4 mules, I would kill and eat the horses long before the mules. I swear my goats are born pregnant. They thrive where my beef will starve to death. Hogs and sheep are real hardy also.

Keeping them all safe will be a issue, family and livestock, isolation is your friend.
Thank you for that! You have no idea how it makes me feel to find someone who actually gets it. I have contact with people who actually believe that they can survive by foraging for just plants. Nut fruits, and berries if you will. No amount of talking by me can convince them of otherwise.

Sorry for the hijack.
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Old 05-22-2018, 6:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormilan2 View Post
Thank you for that! You have no idea how it makes me feel to find someone who actually gets it. I have contact with people who actually believe that they can survive by foraging for just plants. Nut fruits, and berries if you will. No amount of talking by me can convince them of otherwise.

Sorry for the hijack.
Look at http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...ostcount=41069 it tells it like it really is
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Old 05-22-2018, 7:20 AM
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Use the Caltrans formula. 1 person working while 20 stand around looking.



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Old 05-22-2018, 9:15 AM
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Here is a good food needs calculator. My family has has found it to be pretty close. The amount of tillable land needed per person according to most primitive farming experts is 2 acres per person with available water. Water being the issue in a large part if this state.

https://providentliving.com/prepared...rage/foodcalc/

The water listed is just for food prep.


The ability to defend the farm is directly related to how isolated you are. Large groups will have a easier time defending themselves as it is very difficult to transport large groups, feed them and arm them. Remember that even a small wound that takes a guy out of the fight will be fatal because of infection. Taking care of wounded people will be impossible. Remember that transportation is the key and we have stated that fuel will not be available. 25 miles down a dirt road is a long way. A really long way carrying the stuff you need to attack someone, water, cover and food.

Lack of fuel, food, and ammo have stopped the best equipped armies in their tracks. It not like they are going to be able to call up reinforcements and supplies.


Staying away from threat's for about a year will decrease risk a bunch. High density urban areas will see carnage of biblical proportions.

I pray to God that we never see it.

Last edited by KevinB; 05-22-2018 at 9:20 AM..
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:36 AM
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I don't think there's a specific formula as there are just too many factors to make it sufficient. Read the FMs and take away the big point meanings from them (others have mentioned interlocking fields of fire, etc., things like that). I'd say more important than numbers is having disciplined people to have your back- people who can be counted on to be in the right place, stay in the right place, stay alert, and stay awake. That's probably the biggest lesson that the military experience can lend to that scenario.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:08 AM
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This brings to my mind our militia members during the war for independence.
Working around the farm with your firearms close at hand. You have trouble at the farm you ring your warning bell for others to come running. The fort rings it's big bell, you grab your gear and come running to the fort. Simple.

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Old 05-22-2018, 11:33 AM
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Figure 30-45 people to have an efficient community. Figure you’re going to have children and old people to take care of. Plus, there will always be someone sick, injured or pregnant.

Even with that many people you will only have about a dozen for security and maybe only one or two guys who have any clue on what they are doing.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
I think the ancients solved a lot of that with walled cities, and medievals with castles and other fortified places, basically abandoning area defense - but I don't expect that would be a first strategy these days.
I'm not sure, the ancients did a pretty good job of surviving...if not, we wouldn't be here.

You can't realistically defend farmland, it is by nature too vast and too open. Thus, the ancients did not defend it. Fall back behind the walls, as you mentioned, burning your crops as you retreat so the invaders get nothing, watch your stores dwindle while they starve outside the walls.

See who wins the war of attrition.

There is no way around this if we're assuming a typical land-oriented TEOTWAWKI scenario. Sure some special places have amazing bottlenecks, but we're talking about the general case.

Horses are inefficient, so are cows. Only somewhat stable societies can expect to have a reasonable ROI from those forms of livestock. If you only have some small co-op group with risks from marauders / invaders / etc, you don't have the scale to afford them, although I admit I don't know where that scale would start, or how to find the answer. I suspect all the literature on livestock is geared around maximizing modern agribusiness ROI.

You'd want animals that can generate calories simply by foraging for themselves. OK, so the list includes animals like pigs, goats, chickens, and fish.

Goats and pigs can be rough on the terrain when allowed to forage, so they need to be penned, and we're back to defending farmland, even if abbreviated farmland. Chickens require much smaller coops, much smaller foraging space, plus egg production is potentially sustainable even at a modest scale, probably a better choice here.

But fish are the clear winner. Fish are by their nature already kept away from invaders. Fish cannot be burned or scared away / killed by invaders shooting guns. Fish ponds (small divisions within existing ponds, lakes, bays, etc, usually just walls of rocks) admit baby fish which swim between the cracks in the rocks into the ponds for safety. As those babies grow, they then cannot escape the fish pond. 24/7 acquisition with zero calories burned. When you want food, you just get a net and scoop up some dinner -- near zero calorie output. Several ponds can be maintained easily. The ancient Hawaiians did this, as did other Polynesian cultures as well as native tribes throughout Asia.

If you live in a frozen place, ponds lose their cyclical efficiency in the winter, but are like an ATM -- you make withdrawals periodically, as you would with any livestock.

If you're on the ocean, you have the additional advantage of diversity -- fish ponds can hold many types of fish, but also crustaceans, mollusks, etc.

Interestingly, chickens and fish make a great symbiotic environment. Fresh water fish, such as tilapia, live in a pond, the pond water grows certain plants which attract insects the chickens eat, giving them some of the nutrients they need to lay eggs. Chickens fertilize the water with their droppings, making plenty of food for the tilapia. Humans harvest fish, eggs and chicken with extreme ease and efficiency. Probably the optimal setup -- with no more real estate than a typical suburban home you can generate enough protein for several adults.

So if you're on land, build a wall around as much land as you can, making sure you encompass a freshwater spring. Somewhere downstream from the spring you set up a few chicken-tilapia farms. Outside the walls you grow crops, which are stored inside the walls.

When the attack comes, you burn and retreat, wait it out. The ancients didn't have chicken-tilapia farms. Defend the walls, win the war of attrition, grow, prosper, and eventually get big enough to build another walled village nearby, close enough so the two can support each other.

Eventually a ring of such walled villages encompasses some farmland in the center, and then the encircled villages are joined by walls from village to village, and thus you have something approximating the earliest ancient "cities", with the farmland in the center converted to buildings for tradesmen and other necessities. Now you're in another league entirely, and a nation is born. Remember to write a strong 2A...
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Old 05-22-2018, 1:25 PM
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Quote:
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.... You can't realistically defend farmland, it is by nature too vast and too open. Thus, the ancients did not defend it. Fall back behind the walls, as you mentioned, burning your crops as you retreat so the invaders get nothing, watch your stores dwindle while they starve outside the walls....
I disagree on this. The ancients methodology and our own is vastly different. We have weaponry, equipment, and tactics that they could not dream of. Hell, up to the civil war we engaged in formation volley fire battle! I believe what would amount to 40-60 men could adequately provide a security force that could provide a level of security for to raise crops and animals needed. 24/7 security in fixed position OP and roving patrols can effectively control a good chunk of ground.

Don't overlook rabbits. They provide about half the calories of ground beef, but they can eat native grasses and each doe can throw 20-40 young a year. Fish will not work in Pacific Northwest where their growing season in ponds in very short due to the cooler winters. Fish are also a static endeavor. You can theoretically grab chickens/goats/rabbits and move them- fish, not so much.

Last edited by chsk9; 05-22-2018 at 1:28 PM..
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Old 05-22-2018, 2:05 PM
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I disagree on this. The ancients methodology and our own is vastly different. We have weaponry, equipment, and tactics that they could not dream of. Hell, up to the civil war we engaged in formation volley fire battle! I believe what would amount to 40-60 men could adequately provide a security force that could provide a level of security for to raise crops and animals needed. 24/7 security in fixed position OP and roving patrols can effectively control a good chunk of ground.

Don't overlook rabbits. They provide about half the calories of ground beef, but they can eat native grasses and each doe can throw 20-40 young a year. Fish will not work in Pacific Northwest where their growing season in ponds in very short due to the cooler winters. Fish are also a static endeavor. You can theoretically grab chickens/goats/rabbits and move them- fish, not so much.
I disagree on rabbits. They are pretty fragile and need to have food brought to them. No such thing as a free roam rabbit or a herded rabbit. Every critter eats rabbits and seem to get to them even when they are caged.
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Old 05-22-2018, 2:51 PM
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lots of small critters can be raised for food, there's just higher rates of attrition. Doves used to be effectively farmed for both eggs and meat. There' a reason horses used to be a symbol of wealth, they are expensive compared to other livestock, in care, effort, feed, and return on investment. But at the same time, feed for most animals is easier to raise/prepare than food for people. Threshing wheat and grinding into flour is a lot more work that just hacking down oat plants and tossing them whole to an animal. And to answer the first questions, people did not successfully defend farms that well. Before security started to establish on the scale of nations, human population did not grow very fast. Whole villages were regularly wiped out by invaders. Most of them had nothing to defend themselves with besides farm tools, so modern rifles would even the field quite a bit. Just as securing your home today, deterrence can go a long way. Put up barbed wire, walls, things to make it clear you are not an easy target, and most attackers will look elsewhere.
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Old 05-22-2018, 3:33 PM
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I disagree on rabbits. They are pretty fragile and need to have food brought to them. No such thing as a free roam rabbit or a herded rabbit. Every critter eats rabbits and seem to get to them even when they are caged.
Sorry if I was not clear. Caged rabbits will eat native grasses. They are ready to butcher in 8-12 weeks as opposed to 18 months (min) for a steer. The feed conversion is about 4lbs feed to 1lb meat. Steer are 6:1 ratio. I'd rather eat steak, but will be using rabbits and dual purpose chickens for meals when I'm lucky enough to have meat
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Old 05-22-2018, 5:44 PM
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The ancients methodology and our own is vastly different. We have weaponry, equipment, and tactics that they could not dream of.
And I respectfully disagree, equipment has evolved but so has our enemy's. Tactics have remained nearly unchanged and virtually every war and battle ever won or lost can be explained by Sun Tsu in The Art of War.
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Old 05-23-2018, 6:12 AM
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And I respectfully disagree, equipment has evolved but so has our enemy's. Tactics have remained nearly unchanged and virtually every war and battle ever won or lost can be explained by Sun Tsu in The Art of War.
Being able to explain something through a philosophical treaties does not invalidate my premise. You will need a small community 40-60 fit men with decent skill sets to run operations and security that will be a 24/7 endeavor. The book "Lights Out" by Crawford gives a good overview.
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Old 05-23-2018, 9:41 AM
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Like I mentioned before. I don't think there is a right answer to such a multi faceted problem.

Is it life boat ethics we're discussing? How many can the boat support? Who's in charge? X number of supplies and no ability to replenish stores. If you're running out of food/water do you start kicking the weak ones over the side? Do you make the fat ones starve or feed them the same as the skinny ones? Can you run the boat as a democracy or a dictatorship? Will they rebel and throw the leader overboard? Or eat'em.

So many Q's and no clear answers.

There are practical, moral, political, logistical, medical, psychological,security aspects and more I haven't begun to cover yet. Lots of coordination needed for success.
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:24 PM
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I think we're getting out in the weeds. The OP was asking how many people do you need to effectively provide security for a farm type survival scenario. Who is in charge, etc. will play itself out, although logic might dictate that the land owner will have a significant role in decision making. I agree it is complex and coordination will be critical.
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Old 05-23-2018, 1:20 PM
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I figure a farm with X amount of tillable soil can only support X amount of people/animals. Farming is a full time effort all year around especially if animals are raised. So if a force of 40-60 is indeed needed for security one would need at least that many or more to support them. Which leads back to how many people/animals can a bit of land or prep supplies support.
Have either too many mouths and not enough food or a surplus of food with not enough security to protect it.
Maybe a ratio of 2 farm hands to every gun hand would work? I've no idea.

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Old 05-23-2018, 2:18 PM
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Originally Posted by FeuerFrei View Post
I figure a farm with X amount of tillable soil can only support X amount of people/animals. Farming is a full time effort all year around especially if animals are raised. So if a force of 40-60 is indeed needed for security one would need at least that many or more to support them. Which leads back to how many people/animals can a bit of land or prep supplies support.
Have either too many mouths and not enough food or a surplus of food with not enough security to protect it.
Maybe a ratio of 2 farm hands to every gun hand would work? I've no idea.

Sent using a long string and 2 Dixie cups
Yes, that's more like what I was wondering.

Just as farming is a full time job, protecting things against natural competitors (disease, bugs, animals), so too is the job of protecting the sources of production and the labor that exploits them.

Soldiers are a luxury (or, perhaps, 'mostly overhead'); they mostly can't contribute to food behaviors and also be soldiers. Non-soldiers can usually drop their other duties and do soldier-things, for a time. And I expect most people in the 'survival village' might do many kinds of tasks, but serially rather than simultaneously when considering farm/fight categories.

That's why wars like the 30-years-war left such a mess - a lot of folks who would be farmers got pressed into being cannon-fodder.

OTOH, several legions of Romans built Hadrian's Wall; I'm not sure about their supply situation nor about local labor purchased or demanded.
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Old 05-23-2018, 2:54 PM
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I think most would have to wear more than one hat. While you may be pulling a rotating guard duty part of the day, you would also be needed for other efforts, especially during planting and harvests. Having 40-60 capable people with at least 1/3 able to immediately respond to a threat would pose a formidable defense to most events.
Bottom line is those who think they can go it alone will be overwhelmed or caught off guard in short order by any group of determined invaders. I guess it really does take a village!
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Old 05-23-2018, 2:58 PM
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We'll start with one acre:

10 million calories/acre (assuming corn) http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Cal...various_foods/
(taking a margin here for maybe a few chickens so you have more than just corn to eat)

You will produce 5000 people/days @ 2000 cals/day (you can feed fifteen or so people for a year)

Now work it and guard it:

At 2.4 hectares/acre, this chart suggests that without mechanization you will need 10 people to work 1 acre http://www.nationmaster.com/country-...rs-per-hectare

Your 1-acre plot is approximately 200 feet on each side, so 8 people for security makes 2 persons at each corner and good coverage; but need 24-hr security so 16 people for a total of 26

This leaves you with more people than you can feed, so you'll need to grow the plot; each acre adds an absolute 10 more laborers but say only ~4 more guards because it adjoins existing security; this means that you have a net gain of 1 person's sustenance for each acre added, and you're starting from an 11-person deficit; thus you need 12 acres, which is a plot about 750 feet on each side and you will post two shifts of 56 guards and an all-day labor force of 120.

You'll have 2-man teams at every 120 feet around your 3000 linear-foot perimeter, which is dense enough to stay pretty secure, and you'll be able to feed everyone.

The only problems you have now are ammo and water. This is CA, so good luck with both of them
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Old 05-23-2018, 3:18 PM
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I disagree on this. The ancients methodology and our own is vastly different. We have weaponry, equipment, and tactics that they could not dream of. Hell, up to the civil war we engaged in formation volley fire battle! .

This is something of a close minded ideal. The reason our tactics have evolved is due to technological advancement. Presumably, in a TEOTWAWKI situation it won’t take very long for all that equipment and technology and weaponry to unavoidably disappear as the ability to maintain, feed, and produce them is eliminated or lost. All of a sudden those tactics embraced by your forefathers become once again an indispensable and necessary thing. Our ancestors fought in formation because that is the most efficient safest way to fight in hand to hand combat. Keep the enemy from getting behind you and guard your flanks.

To think that our ancestors were less intelligent than you or I, is a logical fallicy. You merely have the advantage to have learned from that evolution. The generals in the days of yore were brilliant tacticians and commanded armies without the benefit of the technology we currently possess. War has always been a science, one honed and practiced.

Simply put, in a TEOTWAWKI situation the best thing you could do is learn from them because they had a hell of a lot more experience surviving it than you or I.




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  #32  
Old 05-23-2018, 3:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
Yes, that's more like what I was wondering.



Just as farming is a full time job, protecting things against natural competitors (disease, bugs, animals), so too is the job of protecting the sources of production and the labor that exploits them.



Soldiers are a luxury (or, perhaps, 'mostly overhead'); they mostly can't contribute to food behaviors and also be soldiers. Non-soldiers can usually drop their other duties and do soldier-things, for a time. And I expect most people in the 'survival village' might do many kinds of tasks, but serially rather than simultaneously when considering farm/fight categories.



That's why wars like the 30-years-war left such a mess - a lot of folks who would be farmers got pressed into being cannon-fodder.



OTOH, several legions of Romans built Hadrian's Wall; I'm not sure about their supply situation nor about local labor purchased or demanded.


As I recall, each legion of romans was responsible to erect, maintain and man a specified length of wall. Just as a sidebar.


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Old 05-23-2018, 3:25 PM
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Being able to explain something through a philosophical treaties does not invalidate my premise. You will need a small community 40-60 fit men with decent skill sets to run operations and security that will be a 24/7 endeavor. The book "Lights Out" by Crawford gives a good overview.
Thank you for the suggestion, I'll order it.

My point is kind of along the lines of making your defense look stronger than it is, and making your holdings appear to be less desirable or at least not worth the effort. Sun Tsu put great emphasis on deception and if you can make 50 men look like 100, you still only have to feed 50. The best battle is the one you don't have to fight.

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Old 05-23-2018, 5:17 PM
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FYI, hard labor, like farming is 3,000+ calories/day and does not include winter conditions. Potatoes are 350 calories/pound.
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Old 05-23-2018, 5:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jwkincal View Post
We'll start with one acre:

10 million calories/acre (assuming corn) http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Cal...various_foods/
(taking a margin here for maybe a few chickens so you have more than just corn to eat)

You will produce 5000 people/days @ 2000 cals/day (you can feed fifteen or so people for a year)

Now work it and guard it:

At 2.4 hectares/acre, this chart suggests that without mechanization you will need 10 people to work 1 acre http://www.nationmaster.com/country-...rs-per-hectare

Your 1-acre plot is approximately 200 feet on each side, so 8 people for security makes 2 persons at each corner and good coverage; but need 24-hr security so 16 people for a total of 26

This leaves you with more people than you can feed, so you'll need to grow the plot; each acre adds an absolute 10 more laborers but say only ~4 more guards because it adjoins existing security; this means that you have a net gain of 1 person's sustenance for each acre added, and you're starting from an 11-person deficit; thus you need 12 acres, which is a plot about 750 feet on each side and you will post two shifts of 56 guards and an all-day labor force of 120.

You'll have 2-man teams at every 120 feet around your 3000 linear-foot perimeter, which is dense enough to stay pretty secure, and you'll be able to feed everyone.

The only problems you have now are ammo and water. This is CA, so good luck with both of them
Aha! Nicely done. Good foundation.

Need also to retain some to reseed for next season; in the case of corn, that's 10-15 lb/acre, or ~30% of 1 bushel, with a harvest around 200 bushels per acre.

Modifications by season and by climate - not a lot of farm labor growing stuff where it snows all winter. More intense or more labor during harvest.

Small labor modifications by crop; other mods for calorie density by crop.

Guard number modifications by terrain and how much growing areas can be contiguous.

Herders, animals and pasturage are a different problem.

Seems like a mule could work a 20 acre, 1-family farm, so the tradeoff might be a lot fewer laborers but 100 acres of grazing (if I understand KevinB correctly) per mule. Here's some expected accomplishments for horses.

Horse and Human Labor Estimates for Amish Farms looks interesting.
Quote:
A typical Amish farm rotation of 15 acres of small grains, 20 acres of alfalfa hay, and 15 acres of corn has an estimated total labor requirement of only 920 hours/year, or 23 40-hour work weeks, and the labor requirement is spread throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons. In most cases, this labor requirement can easily be met within the Amish family.
Amish family? Parents + 6-8 children. http://amishamerica.com/how-many-chi...do-amish-have/

ETA Texas A&M has a doc on forage/acreage requirements for various animals, Livestock for
Small Acreage Landowners
(No mules, though)
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  #36  
Old 05-24-2018, 5:55 AM
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A thing to remember when looking at the Amish and primitive farming is they are cooperative community work together as group in everything they do.

During harvest you will see many family's working together with equipment and livestock to get things done.

Getting started in farming is not easy. How many here have the first year seeds just to get started. Basic tools and know how to raise a crop to store. How many know how to plow and plant.

Its not like if you have crop failure you could go into town and pick up what you need.

Its the same problem that people that think they can head to the hills and live off the land, they die.

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Old 05-24-2018, 10:16 AM
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Old 05-24-2018, 2:45 PM
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I disagree on this. The ancients methodology and our own is vastly different. We have weaponry, equipment, and tactics that they could not dream of. Hell, up to the civil war we engaged in formation volley fire battle! I believe what would amount to 40-60 men could adequately provide a security force that could provide a level of security for to raise crops and animals needed. 24/7 security in fixed position OP and roving patrols can effectively control a good chunk of ground.

Don't overlook rabbits. They provide about half the calories of ground beef, but they can eat native grasses and each doe can throw 20-40 young a year. Fish will not work in Pacific Northwest where their growing season in ponds in very short due to the cooler winters. Fish are also a static endeavor. You can theoretically grab chickens/goats/rabbits and move them- fish, not so much.
I think the advanced weapons angle is somewhat disingenuous -- in the general case, there won't be access to RPGs or air support or tanks. Also, the inferiority of ancient war tactics makes no sense -- we must assume our opponent will know what we know, so even given that advanced tactics now exist, theirs will be deployed against ours. So it's a wash, not an issue of significance.

The mobility of the livestock is of no consequence -- the scenario is defense of a static position -- the farm. So if we're running for our lives, we've already lost. And if you think you're going to pull off a fighting retreat while carrying an armful of goats, we'll agree to disagree.

PacNW is a great location for fish in ponds. The winters mean nothing -- the waters off the coast of Antarctica teem with native fish, and they dream of being as warm as the coldest PacNW winter. Agreed that the rate of growth is important, but that's no different than any animal, fish, rabbit, cow -- the rate of harvest must be managed. If it's slow, compensation probably includes scaling up the number of animals.
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Old 05-24-2018, 3:29 PM
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Old 05-24-2018, 3:52 PM
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I think the advanced weapons angle is somewhat disingenuous -- in the general case, there won't be access to RPGs or air support or tanks. Also, the inferiority of ancient war tactics makes no sense -- we must assume our opponent will know what we know, so even given that advanced tactics now exist, theirs will be deployed against ours. So it's a wash, not an issue of significance.

The mobility of the livestock is of no consequence -- the scenario is defense of a static position -- the farm. So if we're running for our lives, we've already lost. And if you think you're going to pull off a fighting retreat while carrying an armful of goats, we'll agree to disagree.

PacNW is a great location for fish in ponds. The winters mean nothing -- the waters off the coast of Antarctica teem with native fish, and they dream of being as warm as the coldest PacNW winter. Agreed that the rate of growth is important, but that's no different than any animal, fish, rabbit, cow -- the rate of harvest must be managed. If it's slow, compensation probably includes scaling up the number of animals.
I live in the Pacific Northwest and I have ponds with fish, cattle, poultry, etc; but what do I know...

Any position or retreat can be overrun and will have to be re-taken. I was suggesting that chickens and rabbits might be more portable than pond fish.

If you think that there will not be people out there with crew served machine guns, technicals, whatever is on hand in the local armory, etc. then you may be in for a surprise. Brother, I hope we all never find out.
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