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

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  #1  
Old 02-08-2018, 7:25 AM
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cudakidd cudakidd is offline
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Default Living in dream retreat post winter observations

Well after moving to our dream home on a shared 800 acre ranch we have experienced our first winter.

Some observations.

4x4 doesn't Trump black ice and a steep driveway. Wife skidded off into the mountain side, but knew to steer into the skid so no damage but we were snowed in as a result for three days. So now she has tire cables and knows have to install them and slip on ice cleats in her Jeep. Large bag of kitty litter in the garage. Next snowfall she went through the snow with no issues.

Lighting our heatalator fireplace insert was not as simple as we thought. My wife had the patience to properly lay the kindling and prep to get it going. My approach of piling in all sorts of burnables and swearing a lot just didn't work! And you can't have enough matches and lighters.

We already figured out to buy in bulk with durable goods. Our walk in pantry is fully stocked. Everything not in a can or jar is in sealed tubs due to the ever present mice.
Mice, everywhere and our cat is useless. Victor snap traps with peanut butter over sticky traps.

Learn to like solitude. Absolute quiet IS wonderful. The radio becomes your companion and having Dogs also makes a difference.

Communication. We took easy connections to cell and WiFi for granted. We ended up having to install a outdoor 75 mile digital broadcast antenna and a Wifi satillite dish service. Our monitored security service had to send a tech out to change out the AT&T phone module to Verizon AND install a piggyback booster on our WiFi router. And we had to reactivate the phone land line to compensate for our spotty cell service.

Utilities went down and gas costs went up. We found our propane power to be remarkable in efficiency. The Cedar log cabin is very warm. This of course meant less heating requirements. This was offset by the increased commuting distance leading to of course more gas usage.

Wildlife is everywhere. Bull Elk, deer, bobcats, quail, dove, coyotes, etc. Plan to put in quail feeders and salt blocks.

So far a positive move and my health required getting off the valley floor with it's horrible air...
__________________
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2018, 9:04 AM
WOODY2 WOODY2 is offline
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Wonderful isn't it. Sure there is a period of adjustment but after that nirvana
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2018, 9:09 AM
Californio Californio is offline
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May I recommend Rat Zappers, they work well on the ranch and are dog safe.

The Blue ones work well on mice and the AA's last 6 months. The Grey ones use D's and last a year.

Contract for propane in the summer, when the cost comes down and have a tank that lasts 1 year.

http://www.victorpest.com/store/rat-...%20-%20General





Quote:
Originally Posted by cudakidd View Post
Well after moving to our dream home on a shared 800 acre ranch we have experienced our first winter.

Some observations.

4x4 doesn't Trump black ice and a steep driveway. Wife skidded off into the mountain side, but knew to steer into the skid so no damage but we were snowed in as a result for three days. So now she has tire cables and knows have to install them and slip on ice cleats in her Jeep. Large bag of kitty litter in the garage. Next snowfall she went through the snow with no issues.

Lighting our heatalator fireplace insert was not as simple as we thought. My wife had the patience to properly lay the kindling and prep to get it going. My approach of piling in all sorts of burnables and swearing a lot just didn't work! And you can't have enough matches and lighters.

We already figured out to buy in bulk with durable goods. Our walk in pantry is fully stocked. Everything not in a can or jar is in sealed tubs due to the ever present mice.
Mice, everywhere and our cat is useless. Victor snap traps with peanut butter over sticky traps.

Learn to like solitude. Absolute quiet IS wonderful. The radio becomes your companion and having Dogs also makes a difference.

Communication. We took easy connections to cell and WiFi for granted. We ended up having to install a outdoor 75 mile digital broadcast antenna and a Wifi satillite dish service. Our monitored security service had to send a tech out to change out the AT&T phone module to Verizon AND install a piggyback booster on our WiFi router. And we had to reactivate the phone land line to compensate for our spotty cell service.

Utilities went down and gas costs went up. We found our propane power to be remarkable in efficiency. The Cedar log cabin is very warm. This of course meant less heating requirements. This was offset by the increased commuting distance leading to of course more gas usage.

Wildlife is everywhere. Bull Elk, deer, bobcats, quail, dove, coyotes, etc. Plan to put in quail feeders and salt blocks.

So far a positive move and my health required getting off the valley floor with it's horrible air...
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Last edited by Californio; 02-08-2018 at 9:12 AM..
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  #4  
Old 02-08-2018, 9:18 AM
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Wonderful to hear from you Kid.
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  #5  
Old 02-08-2018, 9:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canucky View Post
Wonderful to hear from you Kid.
Thanks!
__________________
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2018, 9:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WOODY2 View Post
Wonderful isn't it. Sure there is a period of adjustment but after that nirvana
Traffic jams are even different, last night it was 4 Bull Elk on the Road!
__________________
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939
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  #7  
Old 02-08-2018, 9:37 AM
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Thanks for the report. I always wanted to learn more about what people are doing for cell and broadband access. Sounds like it’s still a challenge in remote areas.

For fires I use a small propane torch to accelerate the kindling. It does take some patience to get a fire properly going. A tall flue can help create more draw.

Hate mice/rats. I’ve found truly feral cats (that depend on catching mice to eat) can help, along with owl boxes to up the predator ratio. As mentioned the electronic traps are nice, less mess. If the population is real bad, you might want to try getting a night vision scope on a pellet gun. Setup some feed in front of soft backdrops and go to town at night. The high pressure gas types are crazy quite and you can pick them off one by one.
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2018, 10:40 AM
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2nd the propane torch for lighting. We got lucky as our wood burning fireplace is set up with a gas starter. It’s so nice not to have to mess with kindling.
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2018, 11:21 AM
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Sounds really nice!
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2018, 7:37 PM
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Will give the new fangled rat traps a try. Can't use Poison due to the dogs. Will use it in the Workshop next door.

You know you are in a dream place when my neighbors/other shareholders requested I shoot the squirrels around the wellhead...from my balcony! Spotting scope and Caldwell rifle rest set up...
__________________
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939
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  #11  
Old 02-08-2018, 8:58 PM
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Have you tried a weed burner on the drive way to get rid of built up ice?
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  #12  
Old 02-08-2018, 11:34 PM
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train your dogs to hunt the rats
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  #13  
Old 02-08-2018, 11:47 PM
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Maybe you haven't encountered this yet but if you're using plastic tubs to store your food the mice and rats will eventually chew right through.
you've got to go with metal like those old milk barrels or metal trash cans, etc. (they make some fancy ones to hold rice that I used to see in Hawaii).

There's lots of ways for YOU to catch and kill mice but a nice way to have someone else do it is putting up our boxes owl boxes / nest, as someone has already suggested.
If the owls nest there, they'll stay in that area as long as there's a food source.

Having lived that life for a while (and hoping someday to return) I know how amazing it is
but I also know it's a lot of hard work, maintenance, and constant upkeep in the battle with nature trying to break things that you need.


That all said ...

Congratulations!
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  #14  
Old 02-09-2018, 4:37 AM
Henry Shooter Henry Shooter is online now
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Don’t feed the cat.

He’ll get the hint.

Last edited by Henry Shooter; 02-09-2018 at 4:39 AM.. Reason: Not needed
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  #15  
Old 02-09-2018, 7:44 AM
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Going to town is a learning curve. We always have a list and tasks to do while we are in town. You always forget something if you don't write it down.

The kids always call and ask if we need anything if they are coming out.

If you are out of something, you are out. No such thing as a quick trip to pick something up.

Owl boxes work for vermin control. We have a pair of Horned owls that live in a huge box I put in a old oak in the back of the property. Two smaller boxes have breeding pairs of barn owls. Its amazing to see how much and what they haul into that box to feed the young with. Flying garbage trucks.

They do a great job keeping gophers out of the vineyard.

We don't have elk but we do have bears.
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Old 02-09-2018, 8:51 AM
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Rural living is great. Get a cat for the mice.
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I said I either wanted to chase younger women or shoot.

Here I am.
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  #17  
Old 02-09-2018, 9:11 AM
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A good friend of mine moved to Keene last year. He loves it too
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  #18  
Old 02-09-2018, 8:44 PM
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Congratulations Mr. Cudakidd. My wife and I are just a few weeks away from moving into our rural home presently under construction. We'll be in a similar situation and look forward to moving day. We already live semi rural but will be moving to "very" rural with the completion of our home. I'm glad you were able to make this lifestyle change. Keep us posted on progress.
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  #19  
Old 02-10-2018, 5:33 PM
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Will look into owl boxes. Also need a quality pair of insulated overalls (carharts?) Buying a Kawasaki mule two seater from my neighbor/dealer. Will stash plenty gas for vehicles and propane for two back up generators. Will finish out stubs for kitchenette in apartment in workshop...the list is long and the just doesn't end!
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  #20  
Old 02-10-2018, 8:59 PM
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The crappy air from the valley doesn't get to Keene?
Glad to hear it.
Best of luck to you in your new digs.
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  #21  
Old 02-22-2018, 2:43 PM
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Kawasaki mule delivered today. Bring on the snow!
__________________
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939
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Old 02-22-2018, 2:55 PM
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That's a great UTV. I'm sure you're going to get a lot of use out of it. Neighbor has one with a dump bed. We use a Grizzly with winch and dump trailer - all get heavy use.
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Old 02-22-2018, 8:24 PM
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So leave the car at the front gate and the mule for the ride to the house?
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  #24  
Old 02-23-2018, 5:50 AM
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Snowed in right now. Mule is up here, Wife's Jeep renegade is down the hill in the Barn. But road is out all the way down to 1200 ft.

Yup this one has the dump bed. I have a cargo trailer to haul things with. It is a hoot to drive. Paid cash (sold firearms to pay for it, sigh)
__________________
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939
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Old 02-23-2018, 8:56 AM
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Glad to hear it's working out for you two -- keep up the posts, and maybe toss in some pix; I'd love to see the wildlife
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Old 02-23-2018, 4:37 PM
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Will do!
__________________
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939
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  #27  
Old 02-23-2018, 5:12 PM
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Any off road motorcycle action?
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  #28  
Old 02-24-2018, 6:54 AM
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Not really set up for that but there are trails and roads to ride on...
__________________
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939
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  #29  
Old 02-24-2018, 6:32 PM
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Sounds awesome. Nothing quite like hearing the elk bugle.

Forget cars for vermin control unless they are 100% outdoors or feral. Electronic traps are OK but I still get more kills with old fashioned snap traps.

Also watch for them critters getting under the vehicles and chewing wiring harnesses - liberal use of mothballs can prevent probkems. Same for appliances the live outside - we have several freezers (for elk, etc) and fridges in the open garage so they also get mothballs.

Another vote for more pics!
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  #30  
Old 02-24-2018, 7:14 PM
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About that Kawasaki Mule, do you have the gas or diesel version? I've been thinking about this issue and am leaning toward gas. My neighbor has a diesel Kubota side-by-side rig but the motor is so loud, you can't really carry on a conversation while riding down the road in the thing without yelling back and forth.

For that reason, I am thinking of the quieter gasoline engine on one of the Kawasaki machines. I want to be able to have a pleasant conversation while taking visitors for a ride around the property, not shouting over the noise of a diesel engine. Any advice or thoughts?
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  #31  
Old 02-25-2018, 6:52 AM
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My neighbor has the diesel Kubota, loud as heck but can climb anything....he was right about the cabin wrap ordered aftermarket one for 25% of the factory one. My other neighbors are the local Kawasaki and Kubota dealers so I had my choice....

My Kawasaki is quieter and gets better milage, cheaper to buy, $10k out the door.

I'm on a tablet and am trying to figure out how to post
pics to here....maybe a video on YouTube and post link here?
__________________
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939
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  #32  
Old 02-25-2018, 1:47 PM
twinfin twinfin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cudakidd View Post
...

My Kawasaki is quieter and gets better milage, cheaper to buy, $10k out the door...
Sounds like you have the gas version? Thanks.
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