Pratice what I preach

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    Ok Ok, so the whole idea to prepping is to be prepared, where as some people I know who claim to be prepared really are not. I decided that for now on our family will have pratice runs at things. My wife and I have 4 children, 2 girls (12 and 4 years ols) and 2 boys (10 and 8 years old). We live in a suburb but we are on some land and it is a little rual in our imideate neighborhood scattered by housing developments and so on. Our house was built around Heritage Oak Trees, we have about 10 of them on our property. If you have never lived under an oak tree and think it would be nice too, think again. There is a law in California that prevents you from cutting down any heritage and some blue oaks unless you get approval and the tree has a disease or is dying. During the begenning of winter all of the oaks still had pretty goo amounts of wet leaves on them still and this year for whatever reason they dropped 3 times as many acorns than we have ever seen, our neighbors also commented on how many there were this year. We had some very good winds and of course a lot of broken branches that are rather large that get stuck higher up and can be dangerous if the winds picked back up. We have an over population of squirells right now. We used to have a few hawks that nested in one of the oaks and limited the population but they arent back yet for the spring time. I decided that this weekedn we would put ourselves to work with the kids and pratice what we tell them.

    We gave the boys wood gathering jobs, they really loved it, they brought back giant branches, the girls would then hack them up and make them smalled by taking the smaller limbs off of them, then us boys would use an ax and we cut bigger pieces into good sized logs for a fire later. Our 4 year old helped us too by using her barbie quad and a wagon attached to it, she would drive it and get water for us and then haul it back on her quad. So we praticed pitching the tent, wood skills, and next we decided to pratice some cooking skills and then onto trapping some of those rodents that throw acrons down on us. After the tent was pitched and the fire was going we had the kids taste an mre, they hated it of course, so then we let them grill some weenies on the fire , i took the boys and taught them how to make several snare traps and how to bait it and set up a funnel type shute for the rodents to go into, a little while later the trap went off, we put a small bell on the end of the snare so we would hear it moving if it was set off and we had trapped something. When we got over there, sure enough was our squirel, but he was still alive, so the boys had their air rifles with them and about 10 pumps later and a shot to the head, we had a squirel. I wouldnt normally do this as they are young but there is no time better at the age they are at. We cleaned it skinned it and actually made a small rotiser out of it, it didnt taste that bad but they all got to experince what it would be like. to survive. Later we let them do some smores which is always the favorite. We will continue to pratice and get more advanced with them as time goes on, but i feel it is important to start them out younger rather than later, heck later that night when my wife and i were sitting around the fire with our lab , he started to go crazy in the wood pile we had made and snuffed out a rat and killed it, guess he wanted to be in on the action as well. It is fun to camp pout in your own backyard if you can, and it also makes you really take inventory atround your land and you start getting more ideas in your head. Our neighbor next to us has a racoon problem, he has a 1/4 acre garden that they wont stay out of, he said he is going to try to snare some of them as well. He was chased by 3 of them the other night in fact, but he said he wants to trap them and take them to the river (3 miles from us) and then set them free. I told him if he snares them they will most likely die before he can take it ot the river not to mention how is he going to get the damn thing in his car.

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