Prepping for survival can be a lot of fun, & I think it should be enjoyed. But treating survival solely as a recreational activity is not really preparing for survival. It can be fun to join a survival forum as a social activity, but if this is all it is, then you are not going to survive a major event.
If you are someone who thinks that a fuel stove is a good addition to your survival gear, then you are not really serious about surviving if or when the SHTF. If you are someone who defends their poor choices of survival gear by saying "when I run out of fuel for my stove I will throw the stove away", then you are not serious about survival.
Long term wilderness survival, whether at your bush homestead or simply living in the bush, requires a "sustainable" outlook. Anything that has not got a reasonable chance of lasting the distance is a waste of space in your pack & extra weight that you do not need.
If you think that a radio, a battery operated torch & a solar battery charger are more important than food & water, then you are not serious about survival. We will always need more water, more food & more ammunition. There will always have to be a compromise between minimum weight & maximum self-reliance. Think about that, minimum weight & maximum self-reliance. Everything you put into your back pack should be chosen with these two important factors in mind.
If you are someone who ignores the above advice, then you are NOT serious about survival. Unfortunately there are many people who think this way on survival forums, & for those of us who are serious about our survival, this is very frustrating. We all love to share & learn, but if we are not learning anything useful, & we are not being taken seriously in our posts, then what is the point in us being on that forum?
A quick note about modern firearms. A modern gun is by far the best tool for defence, but in terms of sustainability it rates pretty low. A .22 is probably a good choice, because the ammo weighs less than most other modern ammo choices. But if you are going to use this arm for hunting & defence, then you will use up a lot of ammunition. If you carry a bow as well as the gun & set up a trap line at you final destination, then this will help conserve your firearm ammunition for defence only.
My choice as most know is the muzzle-loading gun, & I will post a list of reasons why I choose this tool above a modern gun at the end of this writing. But I will not be alone, I will have others to carry modern firearms for defence, our group also includes some archers, including myself, so we are well covered. My theory on long term wilderness living is also known to many, I believe that anyone starting out with the main bulk of equipment being modern gear will eventually be reduced to living a stone age lifestyle as items start to malfunction & wear out. Where as someone who starts off with mostly 18th century gear will never drop below that level of comfort & security.
Remember, though certain survival situations may require a military style outlook (militia), there will be NO supply drops! You are on your own. If you gear breaks down it is gone. If you run out of something that can not be replaced from nature, it is gone!
Good luck & stay in touch.
Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-loader.
1) Ammo is less expensive than a modern equivalent caliber firearm.
2) The smoothbore is very versatile, being able to digest round ball, bird shot, & buckshot, or any combination of two of these (can also use minies).
3) The fusil is lighter to carry than a modern equivalent sized gun.
4) You can vary the load if needs be.
5) The smoothbore will digest other projectiles besides lead.
6) Lead can be retrieved from downed game & remoulded with a simple mould & lead ladle. This means that you can carry less lead, & more of the lighter gunpowder.
7) You can make your own gunpowder.
8) You can use the lock to make fire without the need for gunpowder.
9) You can use gunpowder for gunpowder tinder fire lighting if needs be.
10) IF the lock should malfunction (these are very robust & it is not likely) you can easily repair it if you are carrying a few spare springs & a few simple tools.
11) If you do not have any spare parts & the lock malfunctions, you can easily convert it to a tinderlock or matchlock & continue using it.
12) You do not need a reloader, brass shells, caps, or primers. The latter have been known to break down in damp conditions or if they are stored for too long.
13) Wadding for ball or shot is available from natural plant materials or homemade leather or rawhide.
14) Less chance of being affected by future ammunition control legislation.
15) Gunpowder is easily obtainable providing you have a muzzle-loader registered in your name regardless of caliber (only NSW is looking at this legislation at present).
16) A .32 caliber flintlock rifle is more powerful than a .22 rimfire, less expensive to feed, more accurate over a greater distance, able to take small & medium sized game, & other than not being able to use shot (unless it is smoothbore), it has all the attributes of the other flintlocks.
17) Damage from a .62 caliber-.75 caliber pistol or long arm is in the extreme. Wounded prey is unlikely to escape.
18) By using buck & ball you are unlikely to miss your target. This load is capable of taking out more than one target.
19) There is less kick-back to a muzzle-loading gun.
20) Antique Flintlock muzzle-loading guns do not require a license, registration, or a permit to purchase in NSW Australia.
This is a list of equipment that I carry:
· .62 cal/20 gauge flintlock fusil. 42 inch barrel.
· .70 caliber smoothbore flintlock pistol.
· Shot pouch and contents.
· Leather drawstring pouch of .60 caliber ball (in knapsack).
· Powder horn.
· Butcher/Hunting knife.
· Legging knife.
· Clasp knife.
· Fire bag.
· Belt pouch.
· Fishing tackle in brass container.
· Two brass snares.
· Roll of brass snare wire.
· 3 Gunpowder wallets
· Ball mould and swan shot mould.
· Lead ladle.
· Tin Cup.
· Water filter bags (cotton & linen bags).
· Medical pouch.
· Piece of soap and a broken ivory comb.
· Dried foods in bags.
· Wooden spoon.
· Gun tools and spare springs.
· Whet stone.
· 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.
New England Colonial Living History Group 1680-1760.
This is a list of basic skills in which we expect an 18th century woodsman or woods-woman to have some experience with in our group. There is no time limit set, learn in your own time & if we can help just ask.
· Flint & steel fire lighting
· Wet weather fire lighting
· Fire-bow fire lighting
· Flintlock fire lighting
· Flintlock use, service & repair
· Marksmanship with either gun or bow.
· Field dressing & butchering game
· Blade sharpening
· Tomahawk throwing
· Making rawhide
· Brain tanning
· Primitive shelter construction
· How to stay warm in winter with only one blanket
· Cordage manufacture
· Moccasin construction and repair
· Axe and tomahawk helve making
· Reading sign
· Woods lore
· Primitive trap construction & trapping
· Open fire cooking
· Fireplace construction
· Clothing manufacture
· 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.