Kits (1)
Discussions

Thoughts from a farmer in the Northeastern US: 1. In my experience rural schools tend to be underfunded and can struggle to attract high quality educators to their often isolated area, however farms are great places for kids to grow up freedom wise and responsibility wise (speaking as someone who was a farm-kid) and I wouldn’t trade the education I received growing up on a farm for anything. 2. Be sure to plan for how you’re going to deal with snow if you are making a great leap geography wise by moving up here to the rural north, as the snow belt region comes with its own sets of challenges for preparedness. 3. Not all rural areas are welcoming to newcomers. I’ve spoken to people trying to move into my own community who have told me they feel very isolated from the rest of the community, so it’s something to be aware of. I’d really think about how to integrate yourself into a community before you move. 4. If you are going to do anything outside of the garden you mentioned-specifically in the livestock area-please be cautious. Many backyard livestock farmers disregard or aren’t educated about livestock diseases and nutrition or lack animal husbandry training and it can create a lot of issues. If you are looking to diversify a homesteading operation, the cooperative extension system run by the land grant university in whatever state you move to could potentially be an invaluable resource as you start out. Best of luck!

Hello! Before I bought a lot of supplies for my bug out bag kit I did two things:  a lot of research on what to include (this website has a great kit builder list if you are just starting) and post-research I then made a google doc with items that were recommended or that I personally knew I wanted to include and then I did a lot of research into finding light-weight but still highly functional alternatives for the recommended items that are typically heavy (for example, my bag the Deuter Trail Pro 32, recommended in a list on this site, weighs about 3lbs instead of the typical 5lbs most bug out bags weigh when empty, and my sleeping bag from Mountain Laurel Designs weighs 1.25lbs as compared to the 4.8lb sleeping bag recommended in the kit builder on this site). I also invested in a really light weight aluminum cooking pot set and I like items that are multi-use which can potentially cut down weight as well. I keep a running total of the weight of all items in my google doc so I know where I stand weight-wise on gear and that is a factor which helps me decide whether or not to purchase something to add to my kit. I also went through things I already had before I started buying items off my list (for example I already had a reliable rechargeable light source so no need to buy another). While I agree with one of the above commenters that survival requiring a bug out bag is highly unlikely to look like ultralight wilderness camping, I prefer to buy gear designed to be ultralight for my kit because it gives me more confidence in knowing I can easily carry it whenever and wherever (even though ideally I’m bugging in and staying on my farm and not bugging out). What works for me may not work for you, but I hope this can be helpful as you delve into prepping!

Hello! I grew up on and continue to live on a diversified livestock farm and we have a community supported agriculture (known as a CSA) share that provides meat (pork, chicken, turkey and beef) and eggs to our customers every month. Most of our customers found us due to our website and our involvement with farmers markets in our area and I’d say that checking the online contact directory of farmers markets near you (if these exist) is a great place to start looking for partnering with a farm that could potentially suit your needs, and many farms have small websites so you can view their inventory. Also U.S. states have land-grant universities which support cooperative extension programs that bring research to farmers (a great place to get information for anyone who is a budding agriculturist) and those offices may be able to connect you with farmers who are looking to pivot from restaurant supply to participating in direct to consumer marketing as well. Depending on your area you may find an abundance of farms looking to redirect sales directly to the consumer or a distinct lack. The lack may be due to a huge surge in customers that for various reasons a) don’t want to go to grocery stores at this point in time or b) can’t find what they need in grocery stores and are thus turning to farms. Many smaller farms and even some large ones can’t support such a huge influx of customers looking for products without being able to scale up production and processing, and scaling up food processing isn’t feasible in many places right now unfortunately. Be mindful of food safety as you look to buy directly from farmers as well, as any meat sold commercially in the U.S. should be USDA inspected as per FMIA guidelines. Prices typically vary by the style of raising the animals (grass-fed, organic, conventional will be priced differently in most cases) as well as the type (dairy cull cow beef is most likely cheaper than certified Angus beef because the Angus Beef Association has put a lot of effort into marketing in recent years). I hope this is a useful start!

Minimizing bug out bag weight
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Thoughts from a farmer in the Northeastern US: 1. In my experience rural schools tend to be underfunded and can struggle to attract high quality educators to their often isolated area, however farms are great places for kids to grow up freedom wise and responsibility wise (speaking as someone who was a farm-kid) and I wouldn’t trade the education I received growing up on a farm for anything. 2. Be sure to plan for how you’re going to deal with snow if you are making a great leap geography wise by moving up here to the rural north, as the snow belt region comes with its own sets of challenges for preparedness. 3. Not all rural areas are welcoming to newcomers. I’ve spoken to people trying to move into my own community who have told me they feel very isolated from the rest of the community, so it’s something to be aware of. I’d really think about how to integrate yourself into a community before you move. 4. If you are going to do anything outside of the garden you mentioned-specifically in the livestock area-please be cautious. Many backyard livestock farmers disregard or aren’t educated about livestock diseases and nutrition or lack animal husbandry training and it can create a lot of issues. If you are looking to diversify a homesteading operation, the cooperative extension system run by the land grant university in whatever state you move to could potentially be an invaluable resource as you start out. Best of luck!

Hello! Before I bought a lot of supplies for my bug out bag kit I did two things:  a lot of research on what to include (this website has a great kit builder list if you are just starting) and post-research I then made a google doc with items that were recommended or that I personally knew I wanted to include and then I did a lot of research into finding light-weight but still highly functional alternatives for the recommended items that are typically heavy (for example, my bag the Deuter Trail Pro 32, recommended in a list on this site, weighs about 3lbs instead of the typical 5lbs most bug out bags weigh when empty, and my sleeping bag from Mountain Laurel Designs weighs 1.25lbs as compared to the 4.8lb sleeping bag recommended in the kit builder on this site). I also invested in a really light weight aluminum cooking pot set and I like items that are multi-use which can potentially cut down weight as well. I keep a running total of the weight of all items in my google doc so I know where I stand weight-wise on gear and that is a factor which helps me decide whether or not to purchase something to add to my kit. I also went through things I already had before I started buying items off my list (for example I already had a reliable rechargeable light source so no need to buy another). While I agree with one of the above commenters that survival requiring a bug out bag is highly unlikely to look like ultralight wilderness camping, I prefer to buy gear designed to be ultralight for my kit because it gives me more confidence in knowing I can easily carry it whenever and wherever (even though ideally I’m bugging in and staying on my farm and not bugging out). What works for me may not work for you, but I hope this can be helpful as you delve into prepping!

Hello! I grew up on and continue to live on a diversified livestock farm and we have a community supported agriculture (known as a CSA) share that provides meat (pork, chicken, turkey and beef) and eggs to our customers every month. Most of our customers found us due to our website and our involvement with farmers markets in our area and I’d say that checking the online contact directory of farmers markets near you (if these exist) is a great place to start looking for partnering with a farm that could potentially suit your needs, and many farms have small websites so you can view their inventory. Also U.S. states have land-grant universities which support cooperative extension programs that bring research to farmers (a great place to get information for anyone who is a budding agriculturist) and those offices may be able to connect you with farmers who are looking to pivot from restaurant supply to participating in direct to consumer marketing as well. Depending on your area you may find an abundance of farms looking to redirect sales directly to the consumer or a distinct lack. The lack may be due to a huge surge in customers that for various reasons a) don’t want to go to grocery stores at this point in time or b) can’t find what they need in grocery stores and are thus turning to farms. Many smaller farms and even some large ones can’t support such a huge influx of customers looking for products without being able to scale up production and processing, and scaling up food processing isn’t feasible in many places right now unfortunately. Be mindful of food safety as you look to buy directly from farmers as well, as any meat sold commercially in the U.S. should be USDA inspected as per FMIA guidelines. Prices typically vary by the style of raising the animals (grass-fed, organic, conventional will be priced differently in most cases) as well as the type (dairy cull cow beef is most likely cheaper than certified Angus beef because the Angus Beef Association has put a lot of effort into marketing in recent years). I hope this is a useful start!