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Becoming Independent and Off the Grid

2pairfarms.com - Becoming Independent and Off the Grid

Daisy State Park and Camp Grounds Review

In September we had an opportunity to camp at Daisy State Park, Arkansas.  The park was beautiful.  For the most part we had the park to ourselves because school had already started.

Features offered at the park includes:

  • bath houses
  • a convenience store
  • propane tanks
  • boat ramp
  • kayak rental
  • reasonable prices
  • free WIFI at the park office
  • hiking trails
  • walk-in camp sites, no electric, water, nor grills
  • tent-only camping pads with water and electric and grills
  • hardwood firewood for sale

Each RV camp site had:

  • fire pits
  • rock bed tent pad
  • concrete RV pad
  • boat ramps
  • Charcoal grill
  • water hookup
  • electricity hookup

The five days we spent at this camp were some of the nicest we have spent away from home.  We used our propane cook stove instead of the charcoal grill because this trip was not about survival, it was about relaxing.  And relax we did.

We spent two days on the water with our kayaks.  The fishing wasn’t that great because of the heat and water level was down due to drought and water let out the dam.  But it was fun trying.  Certainly if we relied on fishing for our dinner we would have starved.

 

Mission Craze

When the summer starts to wain and deer season is just around the corner, I always think about going hunting.  Many of my family members were hunters.  I remember grandpa bringing home squirrel, rabbit and of course deer.  Some where in the family archive is a 1971 home video of my father, grandfather and uncles dressing out a nice buck one of them had shot.  They were butchering it and it would feed the family for quite some time.

Now, though, bow hunting will be a great challenge.  Bow hunting is more difficult on several levels.  Its a greater personal challenge to use the bow and be accurate even in an archery lane.  Bow hunting outside brings the challenges of wind, noise and your own movements.  For this reason, I have decided to accept the challenge.

After considerable research, I ordered a Mission Craze bow.  It was the first bow that felt like it belonged in my hand.  I liked everything about it from the weight to the size.  It comes in four color choices and several premium color choices.  Choosing the color was the most difficult decision.  Eventually I settled on the black and white  zebra stripe pattern.  I can’t wait until it gets here.

Lifestyle Budgeting — Or Dreaming?

How to budget for camping, fishing, and hunting supplies is a big issue for most Americans, indeed, for most people the world over.  It’s like anything else.  People spend their money on what is the most important to them.   And, just like everything else, people differ in their opinion about what is important.

For us, we think it is important to live today and plan for tomorrow.  One of the ways we plan for tomorrow is to plan our vacation money carefully.  It goes a lot further if we go camping.  We spend the money we saved by traveling more and more often.

There are campgrounds all across the country, heck, all over the world!  For us, there is no limit on where we can go.  Camping along the way offers opportunities to fish and hunt in areas most people don’t see.

When we get to destinations, we will be able to do all the same site seeing as people who stay in hotels or buy RVs, but with thousands of dollars in our pocket to buy things like that extra pair of tickets to the symphony or theater we’re pretty happy.

 

Let Your Lifestyle Prepare You for Disaster

When purchasing gear for hunting, fishing and camping, consider if it is something you can use to bug out or hunker down.  If you can pack it in on a camping trip or float it on your yak, you can probably use it as part of your emergency plan.

Our camping gear is part of our evacuation plan.  It’s not like there will be hotels and apartments just waiting for us when we get home.   We will be able to use our tent as an alternate shelter should a hurricane blow away our home.   The camp kitchen will serve us well.  Taking it with us when we have to evacuate ensures its availability when we come home.  As soon as we can get on the property, we will immediately set up camp on the spot that used to be the garage and set about the property clean up.

Being accustomed to using the outdoor gear, we won’t be fumbling around and having unexpected results when cooking on the camp stove.  We will not be looking at our property and wondering where we will sleep that night.  We won’t be crammed into some shelter with 300,000 other people.  We will have temporary shelter until something more suitable can be arranged.

In the past, whenever I thought about hurricanes I only concerned myself with the process of evacuation and being prepared.  No one ever talked about the homecoming after a hurricane.  We all just “hoped” our house would be still standing even if every other house in the neighborhood was gone.  Since we began taking our lifestyle to our emergency plan, I am no longer worried about the “after hurricane” days.  It’s amazing what having a plan, and maybe even a “plan B” will do to ease your mind.

Watercraft Safety, Not Just for People

I have never met anyone who said life jackets are a bad idea.  When you go to the marina or harbor you see them in all the boats.  When the kids were growing up, life jackets were just as important to our family as car seats.  If we were going to be any where near a body of water,  my children had to wear life jackets.  Each year we got out the life jackets and threw them in a bathtub full of water.  If they didn’t pass the float test they went in the trash.  The most recently outgrown life jacket was given away and a new one was put in its place in the water sports closet.   It wasn’t something to think about.  Keeping and using life jackets was a “given”.

Now, all these years later, our kids are grown and raising kids of their own.  They are just as vigilant about life jackets as we were.  Knowing that my grandchildren are protected gives us peace of mind.

Pets?  What does all that have to do with pets?  Our dogs are like kids to us.  We want to protect them as much as we did our children.  Only natural right?  I guess not.  A friend mentioned to me that according to a document she read people put life jackets on their pets but not on their children.    How does someone say their dog is worth more to them than their teen-aged offspring?

According to U. S. Coast Guard documents, excluding personal water crafts, only about 20% of boaters wear life jackets.  More disturbing is that figure broken down by age indicate that 10% or fewer adults wear life jackets and 70% of youth under age 17 wear life jackets.  We need to look at that data again.

Age Group% Usage
0 - 596.6
6 - 1290.7
13 - 1741.4
18 - 648.5
65+7.2

Almost everyone wants to be sure children under age five survive.  Indeed, children this age don’t have the power to refuse adult demands.  A 6% decrease suggests to me that a few adults can’t even require a six year old to wear a life jacket.  It’s simply unbelievable that a six year old can tell an adult what he will and won’t do.  Teenagers fare much worse.  Their use of life jackets drops a whopping 45% compared to children under 5 years of age.  The trend for adults is shocking.  Less than 10% of adults wear life jackets.  Is it the older you get the more you think you could never be in a boating accident?

Adults are free to do stupid stuff to themselves all they want as long as they are not endangering others, not forcing the rest of us to watch, and not costing tax payer dollars with their stupid antics.  However, children and teenagers should not be allowed to escape wearing life jackets. There simply are  no excuses to allow minors on the water without one.  Today’s life jackets are inexpensive, light weight and comfortable.   Adults who endanger the lives of children and teens simply because they are unable to be the adult in the situation deserve more than to be ticketed.