Hello Pack. We just finished yet another week without rain. The forecast keeps teasing us with some rain, but it never materializes. The chances of losing our upper pasture to this mini drought are getting greater and greater.
I am going to buy more hay, and just figure the pasture is lost. Worst case scenario I have too much hay. If I wait any longer, everyone else also scrounging for hay because of the lack of rain will have snagged it all up.
As you can see by the photo, the grass is really low in our upper pasture and the leaves on the trees have changed or fallen far earlier than they normally would for this time of year, thanks to all of the weeks of record temperatures and no rain.
Our preps this week are largely the same as last. We are still working on building more storage in the house, garage, and butcher shop. Bow deer season is underway, so the butcher shop is going to be a happening place.
Having a butcher shop on our survival retreat makes meat processing cross-training sessions quite handy. I am going to be tanning a cow hide, and then a deer hide with some fellow tribe members in the coming weeks.
My embroidery machine has a special needle and attachment for leather. I am hoping to make some moccasins for tribe member Christmas gifts and then do a bit of embroidery and beadwork on them.
Being able to make your own footwear, bags, coats, etc. from the meat harvested and processes on your land definitely enhances our level of self-reliance and sustainability.
Footwear is something every prepper thinks about, or should. But, I think the extent of footwear needed, along with the ability to repair and make your own, should be a really high priority. Nothing has taught me more about how quickly boots and work gloves wear out than living and working on a 56-acre survival homestead.
Just yesterday I cursed a bit when harvesting more milk thistle because I was getting pricked pretty regularly through my leather work gloves. They are not new, but I only got them out of my super secret work glove hiding place when my then current pair had worn out and I needed one of my backups.
I write my name on my work gloves in permanent black ink with a threatening message for anyone who even thinks about walking off with them – men especially. In my experience, men do all kinds of nasty work with their hands BEFORE thinking to put work gloves on, before getting down to even more nasty work or dealing with barbed wire.
I do not want nasty ick from a man’s hands inside of my work gloves, hence the threatening warning written on my gloves in bold black letters.
But, back to footwear. I used to buy a pair of good quality leather cowboy boots and hiking boots, and they would last for a decade. The cowboy books I got in junior high did not wear out until I was graduating high school, and even then still had plenty of life left in them to be back up boots for dirty jobs and muddy trails.
This same scenario of boot wear lasted until about six years ago. Now, I am lucky to get a single year out of boots before they are literally falling apart. I have muck boots for wet work, everyday boots I wear around the homestead, hiking boots, and my “go to town” boots – that are identical to my everyday boots…just clean.
How often I switch out my boots to meet the work and weather they will be subjected to just does not seem to matter – not even when I am wearing the same good quality brands that I have always bought.
My cowboy boots have always been Tony Lama, Dingo, Laredo, or Ariets. My hiking boots have always been Rocky because it is a local company owned by folks I know, and still stand the test of time better than other hikers I have seen folks pull onto their feet.
At least with the Ariets (which tend to now stand up the best) have a 12-month warranty on them. A single year out of a pair of boots is now the best we can hope for? Do a bit of math in your head, fellow preppers, and that figures out to a lot of boots that need stockpiling for a long-term disaster of epic proportion.
I haven’t owned a pair of tennis shoes since high school sports, I usually kicked off my heels from work and coached barefooted for the 15 years I had volleyball, softball, and cheerleading teams. But, I imagine the quality of that type of footwear isn’t made as solidly as it used to be either.
This Week’s Questions
- If a nuclear war or EMP attack happened tonight, the footwear you have in your closet now would be the last your would be able to get from a store for an extremely long time – perhaps forever. How many years of footwear do you think you own?
- Do you stockpile shoe laces, insoles, rubber cement, a leather awl and other stitching tools to repair your own footwear?
- If you have children or grandchildren, how are you prepping for their footwear needs in years to come? I have clearance and yard sale bargain footwear stockpiled enough to last all of the little ones until they hit adult size.
- What did you do to prep this week?