Each year the Forest Service sells wood collecting permits. It's around $10 per cord of wood that you cut yourself. They don't want you cutting down trees, but I think you can cut dead ones. I'm not sure about that though. You can cut up all the downed branches you find. Around here the pickings are even easier. I drove down a FS road today and they had logs stacked up. All you had to do is come in with your truck and trailer and chainsaw and cut away. These just needed to be bucked up into lengths. Leave the splitting for home. There are lots of places along the roads where downed trees were even bucked up. All you have to do is put that wood into your vehicle.
I was driving around with a coworker today who was lamenting that he loved cutting up wood and no longer has a fireplace or woodstove. He said if I brought the my truck up he help cut wood. Deal. Only it's not going to be this weekend. I'll have to wait for the next. The super easy pickings will probably be gone but having someone who wants to help is much better than having Boy and Girl who don't want to help but will because I make them.
While I have what I call an unlimited supply at the Bug-out place, it's not really unlimited. There is lots of wood on my property that can be cleaned up and burned. My property is only 500 feet off the Forest Service boundary so it's easy enough to go searching from there. It's an easier drive to just go straight up into the mountains to get the almost free wood.
I've sort of broached the subject of preparing with some of my coworkers. It's a very strange bunch of folks. I really like them, in fact, I like them more than at my old job. But they live in a very different world. It's such a small town (less than 300) and they are so isolated that they don't really even know what's going on in the rest of the world. They all drive into the city each weekend to go to the movies, shopping, or to see a concert or something of that sort. They do their weekly grocery shopping. During the winter they may shop for two weeks just because they may be snowed in. The closest grocery store larger than a 7-11 is an hour away from work. The city is 1 1/2 hours away. It's very safe if you are very prepared. From what they've told me, they are not.
One of my coworkers and his wife live on 20 acres. It's mostly timber land. They have a couple of fruit trees. They don't really garden. He said that they shop once a week and at the end of the week the cabinet is pretty bare. He said that they could probably scrape by for a few days before they'd run out of food.
Another coworker lives with a sister. The sister loves to cook and has a garden for growing a few plants. She is hoping to expand her garden. They live on 40 acres. They don't have any animals or chickens. They have some apple trees that mostly provide apples for the bears. They do get some. They don't do any canning or preserving of any kind.
Two people have told me they shoot, but I haven't heard anyone
talk about hunting. One of the shooters today said he's never caught a fish
during our conversation about the wonderful fishing lakes around here and how
I'd like to take my pole and go fishing during my lunch break.
I have a lot of educating to do but in a subtle way so as to not
give away the fact that I am prepared.