Sometimes, ya just gotta eat.
While food is fairly far down on the list for emergency essentials necessary for life – adults can survive without food for 3 weeks or so – (air, shelter and water all beat it out), it’s nice to have regular meals.
Many Baby Boomers like to hit the outdoors – either camping or RVing around the country. They may have an interest in having a taste of the local wild cuisine.
Homesteaders may be in the early stages of developing a new property, and may not have yet developed a readily available food supply. The goats and chickens may be immature, the garden has yet to be planted, and the fruit trees are out of season.
And still others may find themselves in a bad situation – stuck somewhere due to some sort of emergency situation – and find they under-prepared for their food needs in their Bug Out plans.
You want to eat, and you want to eat now! If you happen to be in one of those bad emergency situations, the very last thing you want to do is forgo your independence and line up at a FEMA camp or Red Cross soup kitchen. Not gonna happen.
Food from nature is available. If you know what you’re doing.
A key component to filling your belly is to start early. As soon as your shelter and water needs are addressed, start on the food issue. While all of these techniques can bring in lots of food in very short periods of time, you still never know what can happen.
Someone else – or something else – may steal your bounty. And it is always entirely possible that what you’re trying to get is in short supply
Also as important is to give yourself multiple chance to win. Don’t build one trap… build many of them so you have many chances for food. This is especially important when multiple mouths need to be fed.
A quick warning: All or some of these techniques may not be legal in your area. Obviously, in an emergency situation, that is irrelevant. Outside of that, know your local laws.
Let’s start with a plant that is edible year around, and is found in most parts of the country. Cattails. Fruits, nuts and berries have their seasons, but cattails have edible parts whenever you need them.
After you watch this excellent video on identification and preparation, go back to his YouTube page and learn about all of the “weeds” in your area. It’s amazing what is edible and all around you –
Feel like some meat? Squirrels are found across the United States. They’re everywhere. This type of snare is very easy to make, and can be incredibly productive.
Warning: Dead squirrels – yeah, the technique works well.
Got your fill of squirrel? How about some nice fish?
This is a technique to pay attention to, as it requires no gear other than some sticks. I have seen the same type of fish trap work with mounded rocks as well. Just be sure to make the “M” shaped trap, and you’re in for supper!
By the way, his little trick with the stick and the grasshopper bait is genius. So simple, and so effective.
Got a fish fry coming up – or just lots of mouths to feed? Trotlines are a great way to – as Ron Popeil used to say – “set it and forget it“!
Pay close attention to the spacing of the hooks, and the length of the individual lines. Tangle-up can happen if you don’t do this correctly.
Modified Trotline – Trolley line
What if you want to do a trotline, but don’t have a boat or canoe run the line? Or perhaps you’re by yourself. Or maybe you want to check the line every hour or two, and hauling out the whole line will be a royal pain in the butt!
Consider this modified trotline. Using any kind of a clamp (he uses a carabiner in his rig) and a second weight gives you the ability to reel in your line to check your hooks and bait.
So how are YOU going to fill your frying pan, freezer and smoker?
As with most things, your success rate increases if you’ve practiced first. Knowing how to do something before you’re FORCED to do it usually has a more successful ending.
Get out there and prep, homestead and practice! Maintain that personal independence you’ve worked so hard to achieve.