Personal and Family Preparedness.
Personally I don’t see one thing as being more important than another. There is no point in prioritising shelter if you are unable to protect & defend. But for the purpose of this article, I will start with my home & work my way through other priorities.
We have two dwellings, a main house & an old cottage. Both are situated in a forest that we own. We do have fire breaks, but this winter we will be widening those breaks because of the new threat posed by global warming. On the main house we have two 5000 gallon cement water tanks, plus another 1000 gallons in a polly tank for the garden. We have two fire pumps, one on the lower cement tank, & one down at Cattail Pond. The Cattail Pond pump can pump water up to the main house & the cottage for gardens & fire fighting. The gardens supply us with all our vegetable needs for the house & the chooks, but we also keep on hand a good supply of dried, bottled & canned foods. The chooks are kept mainly for eggs.
The main house & the cottage are both off grid & self-sustainable with grey water systems & composting toilets. The cottage has two 1000 gallon water tanks but we will be adding another larger tank soon. Heating of both houses & hot water is provided by wood burning stoves, plus a wood heater in the main house & a large open fire in the cottage. Cooking of course is also done on the wood burning stoves & the forest supplies all our firewood. 240 volt Electricity is supplied by solar panels & batteries.
We have four 4WDs, The Lada is only used on the property, but the Hilux & Triton diesels are registered for the road, as is the X-Trail SUV. If we ever have to leave here, the whole family can just fit in the Hilux & the two Tritons with all our equipment. Every family member that is able to carry has their own pack & arms. I am a primitive skills instructor & I have passed my skills on to my three sons. Arms are a mixture of modern breech-loaders, muzzle-loaders & traditional bows. Our equipment is all 18thcentury except for medical supplies & some of the water containers. We do not expect to have to leave our forest home as we have plenty of people & arms to protect what we have, but we are prepared to leave if we consider it necessary.
Individual equipment is much the same for everyone with a few exceptions including arms, types of packs, clothing. & personal items.
.62 cal/20 gauge flintlock fusil. 42 inch barrel.
.70 caliber smoothbore flintlock pistol.
Gun tools and spare lock parts.
Shot pouch and contents.
Leather drawstring pouch of .60 caliber ball (in knapsack).
Ball mould and swan shot mould.
5 Gunpowder wallets
Fishing tackle in brass container.
Two brass snares.
Roll of brass snare wire.
Water filter bags (cotton & linen bags).
Piece of soap and a broken ivory comb.
Dried foods in bags.
Small metal file.
One blanket (Monmouth cap, spare wool waistcoat and wool shirt rolled inside blanket).
Two glass saddle flasks.
Length of hemp rope.
Bottle of rum.
Basic list of what I carry. This list is made up from items that we know were carried, from items that my research has shown were available, & from items that have been found, such as the brass snare wire. I am not saying every woodsrunner carried all these items, but I am saying that some woodsrunners may have carried all these items. From experimental archaeology results in historical trekking, I think the items I have chosen are a reasonable choice for any woodsrunner that is going to live in the wilderness for a year or more.
Skills: All adult male family members have these skills. The only reason the women don’t have these skills is because they have not shown any interest. Two of the women can use a gun & one of the girls has her own bow. One of our family is a trained nurse & others have skills such as cooking, clothing manufacture, weaving & gardening.
Fire-bow Flint & steel fire lighting
Wet weather fire lighting
Flintlock fire lighting
Flintlock use, service & repair
Marksmanship with either gun or bow.
Field dressing & butchering game
Primitive shelter construction
How to stay warm in winter with only one blanket
Moccasin construction and repair
Axe and tomahawk helve making
Primitive trap construction & trapping
Open fire cooking
Drying meat & other foods
Knowledge of plant tinders & preparation
Knowledge of native foods & preparation
Knowledge of native plants in the area and their uses for other than tinder and food.
Basic first aid.
Finding and treating water.
General leather work.