Greetings, fellow homesteaders and adventurers! Recently, a group of us from the Backroads Homesteading community embarked on what was planned as an exciting meetup and camping trip in Tenkiller, Oklahoma. Known for its beautiful landscapes and challenging weather, this area sits right in the heart of Tornado Alley—a perfect setting for a group of intrepid YouTube creators and outdoor enthusiasts to test their mettle against nature. Our adventure was filled with camaraderie, unexpected challenges, and valuable lessons, all of which I’m eager to share with you in this detailed account.

Preparing for the Journey

Our journey began with the usual excitement and a buzz of activity as we packed up our camping gear, making sure to include all essentials for both comfort and safety. Knowing the reputation of Tornado Alley, we monitored the weather forecasts closely, which predicted potential severe weather including high winds and hail. With this in mind, we made sure our gear was up to the challenge, reinforcing our packing with extra straps and weatherproofing equipment.

Radios we use: BTECH GMRS-PRO IP67 Submersible Radio with Texting & Location Sharing, GPS, Bluetooth Audio, Compass, NOAA Weather Alerts, Dual Band (VHF/UHF) Scanner, Long Range Two-Way GMRS Walkie Talkie (Affiliate Links Support Our Homestead At No Cost To You). Water heater mentioned – Hike Crew Portable Propane Water Heater & Shower Pump – Compact Outdoor Cleaning Showering System w/LCD Auto Safety Shutoff for Instant Hot While Camping, Hiking Carry Case Included.

The Meetup Begins

The drive to Tenkiller was filled with anticipation. As we convoyed through the changing landscapes, the skies began to hint at the brewing storm, casting a dramatic backdrop to our discussions about life, retirement, and the joys of outdoor escapades. Upon arriving, we were greeted by fellow YouTubers and friends—Jason, Eric, Tara, and others—who had all gathered in the spirit of community and shared passion for homesteading and survival skills.

The Storm Hits

The real adventure began as the weather took a sudden turn for the worse. The peaceful morning gave way to ominous clouds and wind alerts. Our first challenge was to secure our campsite against the impending storm. This involved anchoring down tents, safeguarding electronic equipment, and preparing our emergency supplies. The winds picked up rapidly, reaching up to 70 mph with penny-sized hail that rattled against our temporary shelters.

Amidst the chaos, our group’s spirit never waned. We rallied together, checking on each other’s tents, sharing weather updates, and ensuring everyone was accounted for and safe. The camaraderie and teamwork were palpable, turning what could have been a panic-filled situation into a masterclass in crisis management and mutual support.

Adapting and Overcoming

As homesteaders, adaptability is one of our core strengths, and this situation demanded all of it. With some of our tents damaged by the storm, we had to think quickly, setting up emergency covers and, in some cases, moving to more secure locations temporarily. Throughout these trials, we shared knowledge and tools, and our previous investments in quality gear paid dividends.

One key takeaway was the importance of being prepared for all scenarios. Our discussions often turned to tips for weatherproofing, the best gear for stormy conditions, and how to stay informed about weather changes. These exchanges will undoubtedly enhance our future camping trips and homesteading ventures.

Reflections and Moving Forward

After the storm passed, we took time to reflect on our experiences. Despite the challenges, or perhaps because of them, we felt a stronger bond had been formed among the group. We had not only survived but thrived in the face of adversity, using our skills and community strength to overcome the challenges thrown our way.

This meetup at Tenkiller was more than just a gathering; it was a profound learning experience that tested our readiness for the unpredictable elements of nature. It reminded us of the power of community and the importance of preparation, which are integral to the homesteading lifestyle.


As we packed up our slightly weather-worn gear and said our goodbyes, there was a unanimous feeling of accomplishment and anticipation for our next adventure. We returned home with stories to tell and new strategies for dealing with whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

For those of you inspired by our story, remember that homesteading and adventure aren’t just about peaceful sunsets and harvests. They’re also about facing challenges head-on, learning from them, and growing stronger. Whether you’re a seasoned homesteader or just starting out, remember that every challenge is an opportunity to learn and to forge bonds with those who share your passions.

Until next time, stay safe, stay prepared, and keep homesteading!