Real World Emergency Considerations

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1- Quite a few of the times you might need that emergency cash you won’t be able to go to the bank. Physical cash on hand is king.

2- Along these lines depending on the scenario it might not work to go home and grab your emergency money (and stuff). Having a plan that adjusts for your risk level in terms of what gear is where, the kind of BOB and weapons that are in your vehicle and what is cached could change depending on the situation.

3- Caches are just so important.

4- Emergencies by definition are unplanned. Your ability to make preparations during them will be limited and you will be stressed.

4- This is obvious but if someone wants to do things you don’t want (like say arrest or hurt you) then don’t be someplace they can easily find you. 

Real World Emergency Considerations

1- Quite a few of the times you might need that emergency cash you won’t be able to go to the bank. Physical cash on hand is king.

2- Along these lines depending on the scenario it might not work to go home and grab your emergency money (and stuff). Having a plan that adjusts for your risk level in terms of what gear is where, the kind of BOB and weapons that are in your vehicle and what is cached could change depending on the situation.

3- Caches are just so important.

4- Emergencies by definition are unplanned. Your ability to make preparations during them will be limited and you will be stressed.

4- This is obvious but if someone wants to do things you don’t want (like say arrest or hurt you) then don’t be someplace they can easily find you. 

Top 5 Survival Items for Air Travel

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1- Decent footwear. It doesn’t have to be some kind of military or hiking boots but wear something you can run/ jump and walk a few miles in.
2- Cash. A wad of cash can solve a whole lot of travel related problems. Even in a grid down type disaster cash is how you buy the things you need. Depending on the trip, obviously Syria is more dangerous than Saratoga, and your financial situation the right amount varies. Several hundred dollars  buys some options and several thousand buys a lot of them.
3- First Aid gear. You can carry a very complete first aid kit onto a plane. The only items I would otherwise include would be a needle for chest decompression and a pair of scissors.
4- A credit card with a high limit. One could argue this is an extension of number two. I look at it differently because it has different pros and cons. Credit cards are a bit harder it use with say a random guy you want to give you a ride (though 4 square, Venmo, etc are changing that) but the risk of loss via theft is less. Also you don’t have to have the money. For a fairly normal middle class person having a credit card that would buy a used car to drive out of an area is very realistic.
5- Passport. We take this for granted in America but a passport gives you options. Maybe it is difficult to get out of an airport in Seattle or San Diego but if you hop across the border there is an airport you can easily travel out of. Maybe for whatever reason you have to make a change in plans.

I have traveled commercially for work. Often we can travel on orders or with an official passport. It is  not inconceivable that something could happpen where I needed to make alternate arraignments and using my blue civilian passport is a good idea.

Anyway there 5 items will solve the vast majority of your preparedness problems while traveling. 

2018 Preparedness Plans

Trying to plan this years goals. Physical I have got and also financial. Preparedness stuff has been the hard one. 

Learning from past years I decided to start with a budget. Would like to say that I figured out a great amount based on my perfect zero balanced budget. In reality I took a SWAG at what should work and was conservative enough that it should be doable with a healthy margin for error and other financial goals. 


Check out the Top 10 Survival Kits of 2018. Plenty of good stuff for those in the market to get a ready to go survival kit. Worth looking at. 

I decided that for me $400-500 a month seemed realistic. Since there are 8 months left of the year I based my plans on those goals. Since I tried to put it into monthly goals not all are totally cohesive. In no particular order. 

– Scanner

– Primary weapons spare parts kits both backpack and heavy bug out. 

– Flir Scout

– Antibiotics and trauma stuff (generic medical beef up)

– Satelite phone 

– Ham radio (if I get my shit together and get the license)

– 1k 5.56, 500 rounds 9mm

– Freeze dried food and a couple propane cans.

Thoughts on the list? Thoughts on the order the stuff should be acquired in?


2018 Preparedness Plans

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Trying to plan this years goals. Physical I have got and also financial. Preparedness stuff has been the hard one. 

Learning from past years I decided to start with a budget. Would like to say that I figured out a great amount based on my perfect zero balanced budget. In reality I took a SWAG at what should work and was conservative enough that it should be doable with a healthy margin for error and other financial goals. 


Check out the Top 10 Survival Kits of 2018. Plenty of good stuff for those in the market to get a ready to go survival kit. Worth looking at. 

I decided that for me $400-500 a month seemed realistic. Since there are 8 months left of the year I based my plans on those goals. Since I tried to put it into monthly goals not all are totally cohesive. In no particular order. 

– Scanner

– Primary weapons spare parts kits both backpack and heavy bug out. 

– Flir Scout

– Antibiotics and trauma stuff (generic medical beef up)

– Satelite phone 

– Ham radio (if I get my shit together and get the license)

– 1k 5.56, 500 rounds 9mm

– Freeze dried food and a couple propane cans.

Thoughts on the list? Thoughts on the order the stuff should be acquired in?


The Old Stuff- Pending Anthology

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I am toying with doing something with the older stuff on here. Probably moving it off the blogs viewable portion. Does anyone ever look at that stuff with any regularity? I am also toying with doing  some sort of best of or anthology type thing. Details would have to be figured out but cost would be modest, like a few bucks if it was digital or a few bucks plus the cost of the media if say it was on a thumb drive. Trying to get a sense of if they interests folks. Would you buy something like that? If so what would be he preferred format?

Upkeep

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So I guess the mobile blogger app doesn’t say anything if there are comments that need to be approved. I only approve older comments half to make sure I see them and half to avoid excess spam.

So I had like a hundred and fifty something comments to approve. Most were spam.

Now that I know I will try to keep up on it better.  

Preparedness By Avoidance

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I had really awesome plans for today after work. Things had lined up wonderfully and I was going to get to do two things I enjoy very much. The downside is these plans were about 40 miles away and this morning we had about an inch and a half of ice come down. During the day it sort of melted and froze into a solid mass. So I cancelled my plans. That sucked a lot. It was the smart move though.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Sure I can drive in bad weather and have survival gear in my vehicle. I can do first aid and have a serious kit in the vehicle. Yet if I keep my happy ass at home till this all melts I won’t have to do any of that stuff.

We would all benefit from thinking a bit less like Sammy Seal  and a bit more like Grandma. Sammy has big tires on his truck and went to an extreme off roading class. He had a high lift jack and a winch.   Granny has an old Buick. The thing is Granny stays home when the weather is bad. Sammy might need that winch but Grannies Buick is staying in the garage.

To quote our friend Tamra  who was talking about the topic of self defense though it equally applies here “I actively don’t go there so I don’t have to do that.”

Star Cluster

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Hey Folks, It’s been awhile. Life has been pretty busy. Between jobs, school, PT and various self improvement I am a fairly busy guy. Won’t apologize for that. A lot of the meaningful self improvement we do isn’t necessarily good blog fodder. This spring when school wraps up I may take up writing more frequently, if I want to, unless I don’t.

The financial markets are getting downright sporty. While huge moves to time the market are generally foolhardy a bit of rebalancing is probably a good idea. Taking a few profits out of equities isn’t a bad idea. Today on CNBC someone called the current market “picking up dollars in front of a steam roller.”

The topic of inflation is reading its head.

Money is under mentioned in preparedness. Part of this is the inherent oddly American trait to not talk about it and all call ourselves middle class. In our systems aside from some basic stuff like a pocket knife, a flashlight, comfortable footwear and a first aid kit money is probably the most important part of our systems for realistic emergencies followed closely by a concealed handgun. A roll of 20’s can solve a whole lot of problems. A comparable roll of 50’s can solve even more. A credit card with a high limit can get you a room to stay in, plane tickets or even buy a car to drive away if needed!

For a real world get home I am pretty comfortable with a day pack that has some basic stuff and a wad of cash. I am unlikely to be using a survival fishing kit but cash to buy lunch would be nice. Even in a realistic bug out situation I will have my pre packed bag, some guns and such but what I really need is a Visa card to get a motel room and a pizza!

Money also buys gear and bigger items like buy out vehicles and fancy survivalist retreates!

While not a sexy part of survivalism the answer to work more and scrimp to pay for stuff is really important. It applies at different relative levels for most everyone.

In a very transitional American view get out and earn that cool new thing you want!

One of the cool things about survivalism is that t is so broad. When life throws you a curve in one area focus on others. PT and dry fire are free. Organizing your stuff into cohesive systems is free. Rotating stores food and relaxing it as part of your diet is cost neutral if not free. The point I am trying to make is that there is a lot of stuff you can do even when money is tight.

Get out and do something this weekend!

2017 Review

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Good: Started doing IDPA, did a local rifle class, got into grad school, got a couple guns, bought some ammo.

Bad: Haven’t been as consistent at Jiu Jitsu or dry fire as I would have liked.

Ugly: PT and health have not been improved and in fact have degraded. 

Life and Travel

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Work and school are done for a bit. Time to go full bore into family stuff.

For me part of that is traveling. Yes the TSA is ridiculous but sometimes for work or family stuff flying is the only option. If I had to guess I’ll fly 8-10 times this year All said and done. So I kinda know the drill. Being aware of the rules and following them is simple enough even if they sometimes defy common sense. Just know the rules and follow them.

In terms of preparedness. For the trip:
-Wear comfortable clothes and decent footwear. It doesn’t have to be hiking boots and multi cam, just some kind of clothes you can move in and shoes you would be comfortable walking a few miles in.

– Cash money. People get all stirred up about not having a gun on the plane but a far more likely situation is getting stuck somewhere. How much cash depends on your finances and the risk of the trip. A domestic flight from the Midwest to the PNW has a pretty low risk level. A flight from Somalia to Afghanistan has a high risk level. For the first I’m comfortable with a couple hundred bucks in cash. Enough to buy some food and get a room for the night or a bus/ train ticket if needed. For the other I would bring a few thousand dollars, more if I was in a place where I could risk losing more.

-A credit card. A card with enough room on it to stay in a motel and eat for a few days then get another flight or bus/ train ticket covers a lot of ground. Since I am a grown up who generat uses a credit card responsably I have asked them over time to raise the limit. If need be I’ll buy a darn car to get out of somewhere!

– Passport/ alternate ID. Keep it in a bag or not in your purse/ wallet. That way if your wallet/ purse gets stolen you still have a form of ID. I usually keep a card and some checks with it also.

-Medical stuff. I put together a combination first aid kit/ ifak light to keep in my carry on backpack. The items omitted from the IfAK piece are the sharp stuff so scissors and a 12 gauge needle. Pastor Joe Fox of Viking preparedness did a video on travel first aid kits which I used as a guide. Google it.

– The only other preparedness item I put in was a pair of leather gloves. Good for moving in and around sharp stuff.

– As to guns and sharp stuff. Traveling with guns isn’t really a huge deal. If you go somewhere regularly set up a cache so you don’t have to mess with it. 

Peanut Butter and Sinus Infection

The tail end of this term has been kicking my butt ar school. I’m pretty burned out and ready to be done. This week especially sucks as a sinus infection is kicking my ass. The meds are working just a lot slower than I would like.

When sick I fall back to old comfort foods. Today for brunch I wanted eggo waffles with peanut butter and jelly. I don’t eat much peanut butter but knew I had some around. It is a good source of protein plus cheap, ready to eat, shelf stable, calorically dense. A pretty good survival food.

The jar I found happened to have a Best Buy date in 2012. Some oil had separated and the remaining peanut butter was a bit thicker. Poured most of the oil out. The smell was fine and the taste was fine also. The only difference in texture was a mix of the thicker parts and the thinner oilier parts from when I mixed it back together.

I will let you know if I get sick. Presuming no illness I will do a pic post in a few days.

Otherwise the next thing on my agenda is putting winter gear into my vehicle. Commander Zero did a great series of posts on that topic.

Peanut Butter and Sinus Infection

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The tail end of this term has been kicking my butt ar school. I’m pretty burned out and ready to be done. This week especially sucks as a sinus infection is kicking my ass. The meds are working just a lot slower than I would like.

When sick I fall back to old comfort foods. Today for brunch I wanted eggo waffles with peanut butter and jelly. I don’t eat much peanut butter but knew I had some around. It is a good source of protein plus cheap, ready to eat, shelf stable, calorically dense. A pretty good survival food.

The jar I found happened to have a Best Buy date in 2012. Some oil had separated and the remaining peanut butter was a bit thicker. Poured most of the oil out. The smell was fine and the taste was fine also. The only difference in texture was a mix of the thicker parts and the thinner oilier parts from when I mixed it back together.

I will let you know if I get sick. Presuming no illness I will do a pic post in a few days.

Otherwise the next thing on my agenda is putting winter gear into my vehicle. Commander Zero did a great series of posts on that topic.

Sportsmens Guide Free Trial and Shipping

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Hey Folks, Sportsmens guide is offering free shipping on (at least some) ammunition and a free trial of their membership. That means you can get ammo at the members price and have it shipped to you for free. With a large purchase the savings involved could be significant.

I used this deal to maximize my funds and get 4 cases of ammo. Among other things they have Wolf 7.62×39 at $200  a case! That is about best price I’ve seen in awhile even without free shipping!

I don’t get anything from mentioning this. It’s just a very good deal I wanted you all to know about. 

Sportsmens Guide Free Trial and Shipping

Hey Folks, Sportsmens guide is offering free shipping on (at least some) ammunition and a free trial of their membership. That means you can get ammo at the members price and have it shipped to you for free. With a large purchase the savings involved could be significant.

I used this deal to maximize my funds and get 4 cases of ammo. Among other things they have Wolf 7.62×39 at $200  a case! That is about best price I’ve seen in awhile even without free shipping!

I don’t get anything from mentioning this. It’s just a very good deal I wanted you all to know about. 

Sportsmens Guide Free Trial and Shipping

Hey Folks, Sportsmens guide is offering free shipping on (at least some) ammunition and a free trial of their membership. That means you can get ammo at the members price and have it shipped to you for free. With a large purchase the savings involved could be significant.

I used this deal to maximize my funds and get 4 cases of ammo. Among other things they have Wolf 7.62×39 at $200  a case! That is about best price I’ve seen in awhile even without free shipping!

I don’t get anything from mentioning this. It’s just a very good deal I wanted you all to know about. 

Quote of The Day

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“What kind of preacher goes around carrying a pistol and shoots like that?”-reporter

“A well prepared one”- Preacher

After the preacher took out his revolver and engaged a drive by shooting on the church wounding one. On the rather interesting USA series Damnation.

Posted for my buddy Bayou Renaissance Man

FN-FAL Sold

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Today I sold the FAL. It’s a great rifle. I didn’t really use it and it was expensive. With the cash I just freed up I am going to buy a bunch of ammo and put some money towards spare parts.

RE: Using vs Collecting

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http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2017/11/using-vs-collecting.html?m=1

Admittedly while there is some overlap between her huge blog and my tiny one (I’m not sure if she knows I exist) we have different angles. Hers is a little more guns and such and mine is more preparedness.

In general I find her reasoning sound. From what I have seen in the survivalist world I have two concerns though.

First people who try to press collectible guns into a working gun role. The guy whose go guns are a P1 Walter and an M1 Garand. He is making a very stupid decision. Without going deep into this gun vs that guns collectibles should be enjoyed and modern designs from post WWII should be used for work.

Second is similar putting money that should go to a working gun towards a collectible one. Don’t get me wrong, collect whatever you want. The thing is if you need a defensive handgun buy a Glock 19 or similar gun. Use your non preparedness fun cash to buy that S&W pre model 10 you really want. 

Lube and Spare Guns

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My recent post got a couple comments worth addressing.

-Different forms of firearm lubrication. I should give the disclaimer that some guns have specific needs for specific reasons. You should always do what the manufacturer recommends. That said…..

It is my somewhat experienced opinion that any/ all commonly available lubricants perform Very similarly if not the same. Typically I will just use motor oil. The people making claims about this special lubricant or that one almost invariably have a vested financial interest in selling said product.

– Using spare parts to build more guns. Don’t get me wrong if you have all the parts to make a gun make a gun. That said you still want spare parts, now for your two guns. Look at it like this. Most of us own a car. That car has a spare tire. If it goes through a certain fuse/ bulb you probably keep a couple around. You don’t need he added expense of a whole other car just to get the tire and bulb!

On the bright side most of the parts that typically would need to be repaired are pretty cheap. Pins, springs, etc. Buying a whole second $800 rifle to get $200 in spare parts doesn’t make sense. Plus when you take the first $5 part now that while gun is deadlined! Buy a second (or 5tg!) rifle if you need/ want one but don’t ignore spare parts. 

RE: Brushbeater: Running Spares Keep Your Weapon Going

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https://brushbeater.wordpress.com/2017/04/02/running-spares-keeping-your-weapon-going/

An excellent post that frames the problem in a balanced way considering parts can/ do break with the reality that’s we all have competing financial demands.

I would add the following:

Even if they don’t break small springs and pins are the items most likely to be lost in cleaning/ disassembly. Related to this in field/ emergency conditions just field strip weapons for cleaning. For the AR I would not even disassemble the complete BCG. Clean it off and re oil it. Now if there is an issue you don’t have a choice but as a matter of normal course keep all the small parts together where they should be.

Consider having a spare set of ancillary stuff. Pouches/ etc. it doesn’t have to be expensive Gucci cool guy stuff. A cheap surplus LBE with mag pouches and a canteen works. Just a decent intentional way to carry your gun stuff in case your primary stuff is lost or fails.

For rifles commonality dictates standard 5.56 DI AR’s and AKMs in 7.62×39. The other viable choices lack a sufficient base. For pistols it’s a much more spread out mix. Standard Glocks in 9mm and .40S&W probably have a slight edge but a dozen or so various pistols follow closely.

If your this worried stack cleaning stuff Deep also.

FN-FAL for sale

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My DSA Voyager 21″ with a full embell spare parts kit, 20×20 red mags and 6x 30rd mags.

It’s a great set up. I am selling it because an opportunity to buy a truck came up at a time I can’t really cash flow it.

I have over 2k into it all and would ideally like to get 1,700 out of it. I would Ben willing to separate the spare parts it to sell separately if someone wants that.

I would be open to a partial trade for a nice AK or a Glock 9mm.

Serious inquiries only please. I want to see and am willing to play some let’s make a deal but it’s not like I’m desperate to sell today. Leave a comment or drop me an email if you are interested.

State of the .22 LR

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Today I found myself at Cabellas. It was a convenient central point to meet a guy to sell an item

I don’t need anymore. I took the opportunity to restock my 9mm ball range ammo. I looked around. Lots of everything but I don’t need everything. I decided to grab some .22lr. They had Blazer bulk pack at 500/$27 but most were $36/500. I just grabbed a couple of the 100 round CCI Mini Mag plastic boxes. At this point I don’t shoot much .22lr so it’s just for the stash. Back when there was a big difference in price between the cheap stuff and the good stuff, which CCI Mini Mags are was 2x it made some sense to get the cheap stuff. These days it’s negligible so I might as well have the good stuff put back. 
I think the 8-9 cent range is the new normal for .22 ammo. It’s probably never getting much cheaper. It used to be cheaper and thankfully I got a reasonable amount but I know some folks didn’t. It is currently widely available. Stock up or be sorry later. $10 a week would be a box of 100 CCI Mini Mags and over a year you would put back over 5k. Remember, lots of friends and family have .22’s and maybe a partial box of ammo. Also they are the perfect survivalist small change. 
Got .22lr?

Upcoming Plans

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One of the cool things about survivalism/ preparedness is that it has so many facets. You can pursue a lot of things within it. That may be part of the reason it has kept my interest an this blog has stayed alive as long as it has. 

Things that I am going to be working on and likely talking about. 
-Physical fitness. I need to get back to my roots here. Reestablish good patterns and stay consistent. 
– Handgun shooting. Specifically shooting, ideally at least one IDPA match a month. 
– Combatives. Keep pushing to improve. 
– Finances. The essential topic almost every survivalist ignores. 
– Organization/ systems. I really want to firm up my heavy bug out and bug in stuff. That will give me a better idea why I really need and an opportunity to get rid of the rest. 
– Caches. I can improve my situation and know most of you could stand to do the same. 
Honesty I’m not going to promise anything in terms of regularity of writing. Honesty the blogs healthy priority is somewhere below practicing guitar and above watching tv so it naturally comes way after relationships, work, school, fitness, jiu jitsu and other work. That’s part of the reason I demonetizes the blog, so I don’t feel like I have to write. Things go in cycles aandnright now it’s a busy life/ slo blog time. 
If this hurts readership honesty I don’t care. I hope core people stick around. Maybe setting up email alerts for posts is a good idea. Anyway be well folks. 

Not Dead, Just Busy

Hey Folks! I’m not dead. Between a heavier class load, both of which were real math heavy (which immbad at), a new part time job, a budding relationship an the normandemands of work/ pt/ etc I’ve been a busy guy.

Lots of good things happening in meatspace though!

In terms of preps I have been filling some little holes. Got a kydex double mag pouch for the G19 and another Swiss Army knife. Also the local Walmart knocked the 150 gr SP ammo my bolt gun likes down to $15 an change from the usual shade under 20 so I got 4 boxes.

Reorganized my vehicle kit down to about half its previous size. Basically it’s a book bag sized backpack, a change of clothes with boots and the usual jumper cables/ flares/ etc. I think it is at a good balance between functionality and space/ bulk.

It looks to me like the current Bull market is reaching the point of irrational exuberance. A big correction is coming soon. At 23-24k I see a psychological barrier coming in and of itself and there is a lot of crazy floating around. Yes I am calling it publicly. I shifted to investment grade bonds to ride out what I see coming. I’ll buy back in progressively after the dip. You might want to consider your own preservation of capital moves. Obviously having a tangible safety net of physical precious metals, ammo, etc is prudent but you really do need growth for the long term. Make your own assessments and decisions.

Anyway I hope you all have a good weekend.

Not Dead, Just Busy

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Hey Folks! I’m not dead. Between a heavier class load, both of which were real math heavy (which immbad at), a new part time job, a budding relationship an the normandemands of work/ pt/ etc I’ve been a busy guy.

Lots of good things happening in meatspace though!

In terms of preps I have been filling some little holes. Got a kydex double mag pouch for the G19 and another Swiss Army knife. Also the local Walmart knocked the 150 gr SP ammo my bolt gun likes down to $15 an change from the usual shade under 20 so I got 4 boxes.

Reorganized my vehicle kit down to about half its previous size. Basically it’s a book bag sized backpack, a change of clothes with boots and the usual jumper cables/ flares/ etc. I think it is at a good balance between functionality and space/ bulk.

It looks to me like the current Bull market is reaching the point of irrational exuberance. A big correction is coming soon. At 23-24k I see a psychological barrier coming in and of itself and there is a lot of crazy floating around. Yes I am calling it publicly. I shifted to investment grade bonds to ride out what I see coming. I’ll buy back in progressively after the dip. You might want to consider your own preservation of capital moves. Obviously having a tangible safety net of physical precious metals, ammo, etc is prudent but you really do need growth for the long term. Make your own assessments and decisions.

Anyway I hope you all have a good weekend.

Re: Quote of the Day, Be Real Edition

This Fact Bomb over at Tams Place. 

You need to be able to defend yourself bare handed and fight your way to the  employ a handgun. Rifles/ carbines are great and the ideal answer for home defense. Still if you were being realistic that training would be shooting the rifle at 0-10, maybe 20 yards wearing your choice in sleepwear. Also it would be mostly done in the dark. 
The one valid dissenting opinion I could see is based on what you think the next few years will be like. The rate of home invasions may well increase. Still you aren’t going to be headed to work or the grocery store (which you will be doing) with a PC, rifle and a dozen mags. Reality is that most fights are going to be hands/ knives/ pistols. Rifles are less likely and, at least in the context of CQB, easier to use effectively. By virtue of multiple points of contact, long sight radius, increases lethality and inherent shootability there is a reason that (non military) rifle/ shotgun fights don’t last long! 
I think it is important to differentiate between useful training you need and fun, which may be semi useful. Take the cool guy class where you shoot from a helicopter and do precision rifle stuff at 800 meters. Just do that with your fun time and money. 

Re: Quote of the Day, Be Real Edition

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This Fact Bomb over at Tams Place. 

You need to be able to defend yourself bare handed and fight your way to the  employ a handgun. Rifles/ carbines are great and the ideal answer for home defense. Still if you were being realistic that training would be shooting the rifle at 0-10, maybe 20 yards wearing your choice in sleepwear. Also it would be mostly done in the dark. 
The one valid dissenting opinion I could see is based on what you think the next few years will be like. The rate of home invasions may well increase. Still you aren’t going to be headed to work or the grocery store (which you will be doing) with a PC, rifle and a dozen mags. Reality is that most fights are going to be hands/ knives/ pistols. Rifles are less likely and, at least in the context of CQB, easier to use effectively. By virtue of multiple points of contact, long sight radius, increases lethality and inherent shootability there is a reason that (non military) rifle/ shotgun fights don’t last long! 
I think it is important to differentiate between useful training you need and fun, which may be semi useful. Take the cool guy class where you shoot from a helicopter and do precision rifle stuff at 800 meters. Just do that with your fun time and money. 

Happy Paratus!

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Today is Paratus! Our buddy commander zero was kind enough to give me something so of course I had to reply albeit last minute. 

If you don’t exchange gifts with survivalist friends maybe try to help someone. A small pre made kit or a book like Patriots or One Second After is a good option. 

Preparing For The Apocalypse By Living Off-Grid

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Living “off the grid” to most people sounds like something only someone with a secret to hide might do — but the truth is, when it comes to the end of the world, it’s going to be the safest place. Not only are you likely already well out of any nuclear and zombie-attack range brought about by big cities, but if you’ve been doing it for a few years and are settled into a regular day-by-day operation, you’re going to survive a lot longer than anyone in the city who thinks it’ll be easy.

Maybe they know about water filtration and how to start a fire, but what about after the portable camping generator dies? What about after the gasoline runs out? Or the RV, tent, or supposed-to-only-be-temporary tarp shelter is torn to shreds by a wild animal? There are only so many defensive bullets and safe spaces available to those who flee into the woods, thinking they can survive with no problems.

Today, I’m here to shed some light on a few of the things overlooked in the common escape plan. After all, the world hasn’t ended just yet, so we’re all still on the same team.

  1. Electricity

    If earlier it sounded like I was ragging on generators, don’t get me wrong: they’ll still incredibly handy for quick electrical pick-me-ups, especially as technology continues to advance and they don’t need as much outside power to keep chugging along.

    But the fact is, most portables generators sold on the market today still require some sort of charging through an outlet or a fuel source. While that might be feasible for a time, chances are even if you’re able to support one, it’s not going to be enough for everything you’re hoping to accomplish, energy-wise. So, unless you plan on packing 20 generators up into the hills, you’re going to have to think of something else.

    The solution is already pretty mainstream: Solar energy, in the form of panels. No longer are they reserved only for the rich man, and are becoming increasingly more popular amongst regular joe-schmoes living in suburban neighborhoods (assuming their HOAs allow them). By 2015, more than a million homes in the USA used solar power.

    What’s better, by utilizing solar energy, you’re not tied down by monthly bills to companies that know and store your personal information — hence that ever-so-desireable off the grid aspect. With the power company no longer able to find you, that one employee who’s sentient even as a zombie won’t be able to use Google Maps to find where you live.

  2. Irrigation

    Along the lines of cutting ties with any big-city company that knows where you live, the water company is next on the list. But without running water, how can you expect to do things like bathe, clean, or raise a sustainable garden in the backyard?

    Off The Grid News gives a thorough guide to creating your own self-sufficient irrigation system, in reference to something that sounds more like a category in competitive sports than anything off the grid: Survival Gardening.

    According to this guide, you’ll likely be getting your water from one of many sources: a spigot (if you still remain on municipal water), a well or reservoir, a natural source like a river or stream, or rainwater. They each have their own pros and cons, but all need a few things: filters ranging from screens to cartridges, water pumps if you’ll pulling from a natural source, and the correct tubing/drip system and layout of your garden.

    Luckily the end of the world will be happening in the future, and there’s nothing wrong with hoarding a bunch of high-tech modern tools to help with this part of the plan — especially since you already have everything hooked up to solar energy and seeking out things to power. There’s nothing in the “Off The Grid Rulebook” that says you have to live like an ancient human, with only rocks and planks of wood at your disposal.

  3. Supplies

    This step is pretty self-explanatory: stock up on non-perishables. This Doomsday Moose article on Prepping Your Homestead for a Natural Disaster specifically lists food, water, and batteries, but I’m going to take it one step further: toiletries, sewing/mending supplies, weapons, books, tools, clothing, shoes, and even some sentimental items.

    In one of my previous articles, I list a few more things like tires, waste treatment systems, and metal detectors, too. Not everything has to be rugged, dirty, and “manly” — creature comforts like a shaved face, deodorant, wet wipes, etc., are going to be just as important once a week turns into a month.

    To touch on weapons, especially — everyone brags about their firearms, everyone dreams about shooting a zombie in the face with a shotgun, but those are: 1. Only favorable to those who actually know how to use and maintain them, and 2. Will eventually run out of ammo.

    Instead, focus on things like baseball bats, knives, swords/blades, and compound bows, whose arrows can be retrieved and reused. Basically, reusable ammo and objects for bludgeoning are best. Also, mace for bears and stuff.

  4. Shelter

    Hopefully by the time the world crumbles, you’ll already be nice and comfy in your mountain cabin, warm by a crackling fire and eating corn on the cob straight from your garden. In that case, good on you, props.

    But, if you aren’t, here are some suggestions: While a fancy, vacation cabin site might be appealing, in the event the world ends, it’s likely going to be less secure, sturdy, and formidable, especially if someone or something comes knocking wanting to remove you from it. Whether that be bears, zombies, or suburban Joe who left his morality back home, giant front-facing windows and low-hanging eaves aren’t going to do much to keep them out.

    I’m not suggesting setting up metal traps, spikes, or trip-wires — unless that’s what you want, in which case, it’s your land and you’re welcome to do that. Moreso, I’m suggesting a few key features to keep your eyes out for:

    1. Secure, heavy doors and entrances, to keep out any unwelcome guests
    2. An underground cellar, in case of unsavory (hurricane level) weather
    3. Thick walls, in case of a nuclear blast — but can also be used to thwart zombies biting through the walls
    4. Just for the fun of it, weapons hidden throughout — over the doors, under the floor rugs, in the mouth of the taxidermy moose hanging over the fireplace

Conclusion

When the end of the world really comes, you’re likely going to be in one of three positions:

  1. Surprised and unprepared.
  2. Surprised, but prepared.
  3. Already living it up with everything in place and no one to fight for supplies at the nearest grocery store.

Which would you prefer?

Not to mention, all of the perks that come with living off the grid anyway, even if the end never comes in your lifetime — disconnecting from municipal government entities like water and power providers, being completely self-sufficient without having to give your money and time away to giant corporate entities, and the overall thrill of living in and of nature, as a non-detrimental entity.

That means no environmental footprint, no destruction of trees or natural springs, living off the land and even contributing fairly to the ecosystem there. Even if the world was destined to keep spinning unchanged for the rest of eternity, doesn’t that still sound like an ideal way to live?

About the Author:
Brooke Faulkner
‘s mission in life is to be prepared for anything life throws at her. As a mother of two, more often than not that includes legos and snotty viruses. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found zipping around the wilderness on her ATV.

Rained Out: 3 Ways To Prepare For Inclement Weather During Outdoor Activities

If you love to spend your free time outdoors hunting, fishing, camping and more, you may be well-aware of how quickly weather conditions can change. A single cold front can blow through the area, dropping temperatures by 15 or 20 degrees or more within a very short period of time. Strong winds, heavy rain, hail or snow can also move into the area quickly. If you are caught off-guard for rapidly changing weather conditions, your outdoor adventure may be ruined, and you may find yourself quickly heading back home. These tips can help you to more easily manage any weather conditions that you may face while outdoors.

Invest in the Right Gear and Equipment

From boots and jackets to sunglasses, flashlights, waterproof tents and more, you must have access to the right gear in order to stay safe and remain comfortable while outdoors. It is wise to review your current equipment and gear to determine which items are no longer in good condition. Then, review the options available online from retailers like Kidron Sports Center or in local stores well before your next trip. Make plans to upgrade any items that are in poor condition so that you can enjoy reliable functionality on your trip.

Dress for the Forecasted Weather Conditions

When you are caught outdoors during strong storms or during times of rapidly changing temperatures, you need to be able to protect and cover yourself as well as moderate your temperature. You must have the right combination of clothes and shoes available with you, and this includes everything from a hat and sunglasses to a jacket, multiple changes of dry clothes and more.

Know When to Reschedule Your Plans

With some changing weather conditions, you can quickly adapt to the new environmental factors by altering your clothes or using some of the equipment that you have brought along. However, there are times when it may be best to simply reschedule your outdoor adventure for another day. Consider how long the conditions may persist and how extreme the conditions may be. Pay close attention to the amount of precipitation that may fall as well as to the strength of the winds.

In some cases, preparing for inclement weather can make your time outdoors more comfortable. In other cases, it is best to simply stay home and plan a trip on a day when the weather conditions are improved. As you prepare for your next trip, focus on the weather conditions, and use these tips to stay safe and comfortable.

About the Author:
Brooke Chaplan
is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

F You Money, or Maybe Just I Quit Money

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I am going to curse in this post. If that offends you I am sorry.

Our buddy Commander Zero brought this phrase into my vocabulary. Today I got bored and googled it. Basically Fuck You money is an amount of cash where you would never have to work again. Not do anything you want forever but live at a certain income level without needing to work.

Obviously what constitutes fuck you money is based on a multiplication of your desired annual income so it depends on the lifestyle a person wants to keep.  Fuck you money for a guy who lives in a trailer in the desert on 20k a year would be a lot less than for me in a fairly average middle class income. What would be F U money for me would be a kind of bad weekend at the tables for Dan Blizerian.

We could calculate this a couple of ways. One would be strait years X dollars but realistically unless you are pretty old we are talking about living off of interest. So you need a chunk of cash sufficient to pay interest at the level you would be planning to live at. We could debate this realistic interest number on a balanced portfolio (I have seen 8% a lot) but lets say .05 so some rolls over for inflation protection. Say you want to make 50K a year and figure your money can make .05% so  you would need an even million dollars. A smart person would realize inflation exists so to keep the same relative lifestyle it will obviously cost more in the future. So say you keep some interest rolling into the principle.Or if we want it to be 100k annual income we are talking like 2 mil.

Now 1-2 million dollars is a lot of money. It is not like crazy Warren Buffet/ Bill Gates money though. Not unrealistic if you have an OK income and a good savings plan or the ability to get a couple of big, but not insane, pay days.

That got me to thinking.

In Dave Chapelles recent comedy special on netflix, which you should check out if you like that kind of thing, Dave describes Kevin Hart as having “Shut the Fuck Up Money.” Like he could tell a partner to STFU an they would deal with it because he is ridiculously rich. Dave then says that “he has please be quiet money at best.”

So in this spirit I got to thinking about what would be a short term goal on the way to FU money? I realized I already knew the answer.

I quit money. Not a place where you can burn every bridge an never work again but one where you can decide you do not want to take the transfer to Los Angeles or that you are tired of putting up with a terrible boss and want to just find another job. Or maybe there is a major life event going on and you are going to take a month off, whether the boss likes it or not.

Then I realized this is simply a good emergency fund. The smart money people say 3-6 months expenses is a good emergency fund. Some in this market where people, especially upper middle class older people say 50+ can be unemployed for a long time, say 6-9 months. Obviously your individual situation matters. How vulnerable you think your situation is, how much back up you have (does the Mrs have a great job or is she a stay at home mom) an how easy it is to replace a job where you are all matter.

I think a fully funded emergency fund in cash (bank or safe) or items that can be immediately converted to cash like silver and gold gives you a lot of options. Also it is a reasonably attainable goal for most people with some savings and maybe increased earnings.

Preparedness and normal life event benefits aside being able to politely tell your boss you quit or not take that new client/ contract an know you have some wiggle room to find something else sounds pretty darn nice. Also this seems like a good motivator to save and earn to stash that cash.

 Got emergency fund?

How to Escape 3 Scary Movie Scenarios in Real Life

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Every scary movie enthusiast has pictured him or herself in the shoes of the protagonist — and allowed his or her imagination to run wild as he or she considered what he or she would do in a similar situation. Most scary movies are filled with monsters, fantasy creatures, and unrealistic scenarios. But, every once in awhile you’ll watch a thriller that closely represents a real life situation. Those are the scary movies that hit home. Here are three scary movie scenarios that could happen in real life and what you should do to escape … alive:

Home Invasion

The best way to escape a home invasion is to be prepared. This means installing security measures such as cameras and alarms to deter invaders. Your household should have a plan in the case of burglars, identifying where you would go, how you would protect yourselves if the person is armed, who would contact law enforcement, etc. Having a back door, safe room, escape ladder, or some other conspicuous exit route will allow you to quietly sneak out of your own home while you contact the police. If possible, have an escape vehicle available to flee the premises and be sure to know who you need to buddy-up with if you don’t have your driver’s license or only have a learner’s permit. If you want to protect yourself, take self defense courses or purchase a gun and learn how to use it. If you plan to use a gun, be a responsible owner and purchase a gun safe and be aware of your local gun laws to avoid any issues. 

Open Water and Predators

Whether you actually suffer from Thalassophobia, or movies like “Jaws,” “Deep Blue Sea,” and “Open Water” just happen to haunt you in your sleep, fear of the ocean and creatures within is not irrational. If you’re a scuba diver who gets lost, if you fall off a boat while out at sea, or find yourself in a rescue boat, being stranded in open water is a frightening experience. Surviving opens water requires you to stay calm, preserve as much of your energy as possible, and use whatever tools you may have wisely. Use the mnemonic device STOP to stop, think, observe, and plan. 

When stranded in water, your No. 1 priority is to stay afloat, find shelter if possible, and find a source of water and food. If the water is calm, float on your back with your head up to the sky and if the water is choppy, float face down, only looking up when you need air. If you’re moving to find shelter, move with the current and don’t waste your energy fighting it. Don’t bother paddling or swimming against a current unless you can visibly see shore, in which case you should take your time and understand your physical limitations. When you’re ready to look for water, collect rain water at any given opportunity and take advantage of fish liquids, extracting fluid from their vertebrate or eyes.

Zombie Apocalypse 

Whether you’re dealing with a viral outbreak or real life zombies, being clever and maintaining your will to live are key factors to survival. If you haven’t watched the AMC thriller sitcom, “The Walking Dead,” start now. The show presents realistic zombie encounters, and studying how characters in the show survive is a great way for you to prepare. First, consider your escape vehicle. You don’t want a gas guzzling SUV or mini-van since you don’t know at what point you will be able to re-fuel. Since zombies can’t drive, you’re better off fleeing on a bicycle or skateboard — something that’s man powered and doesn’t require fuel. Choose your weapon wisely and make sure to practice using it. Zombie experts recommend a machete or bolt action rifle; both do the job quickly and accurately. Lastly, remember that zombies aren’t your only enemy and as resources become slim, your friends could turn against each other. 

About the Author: Natalie Posdaljian is a naturalist and environmental advocate who prefers to be outdoors whenever possible. When she’s not soaking up Vitamin D, you’ll find her planning her next adventure, reading or on her yoga mat.

I Can Haz Podcast?

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Hey, Do you guys and gals listen to podcasts? If so where do you download/ stream them from?

Would you be interested in listening to a podcast if I were to produce one?

If so any thoughts/ ideas/ suggestions would be appreciated. If any of you are involved in a podcast please drop me an email so we can discuss some of that stuff.

No major decisions made yet but it seems like a newer format with more room for growth would be a good thing.

Thanks in advance.

Prepper Perfect: 4 Essentials Every Serious Survivor Needs

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Anyone serious about survival in dire straits needs a plan. More importantly, they need the resources that help support that plan, covering everything from staying fed to staying mobile and well-protected. Listed here are some of the bare-bones essentials that should be any prepper’s supply list.

Firearms and Ammunition

A Gun Digest survey emerged recently and provided results about what readers felt more important in a long-term survival situation: hunting guns or food stores. The ubiquitous answer was in favor of the firearms, for a few reasons. Firstly, food stores that can’t be protected from hungry animals or people won’t last long. Second, guns will help you secure a long-term source of nourishment through hunting. Lastly, guns are valuable, and can always be traded should they outlive their usefulness to you. A steady supply of bullets means a steady supply of food. For those without extensive shooting experience, plenty of ammunition is a must. You’ll need enough to get over the learning curve at the expense of many rounds, so be sure to have many more afterwards.

Long Term Shelter

Holding yourself and loved ones down in an area familiar to you provides a serious advantage for survival. Combat veteran David Kobler suggests putting less emphasis on bomb-proof bunkers and ramping up security around your premises more generally, as fortifying too small an area eliminates mobility. Kobler adds that sustainability is key, urging preppers to think about heating, water collection, and generating power for extended time periods.

Means of Evacuation

Sometimes the best way to ensure survival is to get out of an affected area and get to a better place. Guaranteeing that you can move quickly and efficiently affords assorted options when an area becomes compromised.

Marine Options

All-terrain vehicles take the cake on land, but shouldn’t be your only option. If you’re near water, consider building a boat dock for private use and equip it with a raft and fishing gear. Some companies, such as Abbotts’ Construction Services Inc., know helpful this can be in an emergency situation. Water also provides anonymity and a consistent food supply.

Having a variety of mobile, pre-packaged supplies all in one place is an invaluable way to supplement the bigger things on the list. Think about immediate necessity, starting with water bottles, iodine, and two filters. Layer in a first-aid kit and know how to use it. Take a small, collapsible shelter, and ESS Recon 3 sleeping bag (or something rated for similarly cold temperatures). Top it all off with calorie-dense freeze-dried rations and a folding knife.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

Prepper Perfect: 4 Essentials Every Serious Survivor Needs

Anyone serious about survival in dire straits needs a plan. More importantly, they need the resources that help support that plan, covering everything from staying fed to staying mobile and well-protected. Listed here are some of the bare-bones essentials that should be any prepper’s supply list.

Firearms and Ammunition

A Gun Digest survey emerged recently and provided results about what readers felt more important in a long-term survival situation: hunting guns or food stores. The ubiquitous answer was in favor of the firearms, for a few reasons. Firstly, food stores that can’t be protected from hungry animals or people won’t last long. Second, guns will help you secure a long-term source of nourishment through hunting. Lastly, guns are valuable, and can always be traded should they outlive their usefulness to you. A steady supply of bullets means a steady supply of food. For those without extensive shooting experience, plenty of ammunition is a must. You’ll need enough to get over the learning curve at the expense of many rounds, so be sure to have many more afterwards.

Long Term Shelter

Holding yourself and loved ones down in an area familiar to you provides a serious advantage for survival. Combat veteran David Kobler suggests putting less emphasis on bomb-proof bunkers and ramping up security around your premises more generally, as fortifying too small an area eliminates mobility. Kobler adds that sustainability is key, urging preppers to think about heating, water collection, and generating power for extended time periods.

Means of Evacuation

Sometimes the best way to ensure survival is to get out of an affected area and get to a better place. Guaranteeing that you can move quickly and efficiently affords assorted options when an area becomes compromised.

Marine Options

All-terrain vehicles take the cake on land, but shouldn’t be your only option. If you’re near water, consider building a boat dock for private use and equip it with a raft and fishing gear. Some companies, such as Abbotts’ Construction Services Inc., know helpful this can be in an emergency situation. Water also provides anonymity and a consistent food supply.

Having a variety of mobile, pre-packaged supplies all in one place is an invaluable way to supplement the bigger things on the list. Think about immediate necessity, starting with water bottles, iodine, and two filters. Layer in a first-aid kit and know how to use it. Take a small, collapsible shelter, and ESS Recon 3 sleeping bag (or something rated for similarly cold temperatures). Top it all off with calorie-dense freeze-dried rations and a folding knife.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

Prepper Perfect: 4 Essentials Every Serious Survivor Needs

Anyone serious about survival in dire straits needs a plan. More importantly, they need the resources that help support that plan, covering everything from staying fed to staying mobile and well-protected. Listed here are some of the bare-bones essentials that should be any prepper’s supply list.

Firearms and Ammunition

A Gun Digest survey emerged recently and provided results about what readers felt more important in a long-term survival situation: hunting guns or food stores. The ubiquitous answer was in favor of the firearms, for a few reasons. Firstly, food stores that can’t be protected from hungry animals or people won’t last long. Second, guns will help you secure a long-term source of nourishment through hunting. Lastly, guns are valuable, and can always be traded should they outlive their usefulness to you. A steady supply of bullets means a steady supply of food. For those without extensive shooting experience, plenty of ammunition is a must. You’ll need enough to get over the learning curve at the expense of many rounds, so be sure to have many more afterwards.

Long Term Shelter

Holding yourself and loved ones down in an area familiar to you provides a serious advantage for survival. Combat veteran David Kobler suggests putting less emphasis on bomb-proof bunkers and ramping up security around your premises more generally, as fortifying too small an area eliminates mobility. Kobler adds that sustainability is key, urging preppers to think about heating, water collection, and generating power for extended time periods.

Means of Evacuation

Sometimes the best way to ensure survival is to get out of an affected area and get to a better place. Guaranteeing that you can move quickly and efficiently affords assorted options when an area becomes compromised.

Marine Options

All-terrain vehicles take the cake on land, but shouldn’t be your only option. If you’re near water, consider building a boat dock for private use and equip it with a raft and fishing gear. Some companies, such as Abbotts’ Construction Services Inc., know helpful this can be in an emergency situation. Water also provides anonymity and a consistent food supply.

Having a variety of mobile, pre-packaged supplies all in one place is an invaluable way to supplement the bigger things on the list. Think about immediate necessity, starting with water bottles, iodine, and two filters. Layer in a first-aid kit and know how to use it. Take a small, collapsible shelter, and ESS Recon 3 sleeping bag (or something rated for similarly cold temperatures). Top it all off with calorie-dense freeze-dried rations and a folding knife.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

Real World Bug Outs Continued

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Yesterdays Real World Bug Outs post got a lengthy comment from Aesop that I wanted to discuss. I will post it and my comments will be in italics.

My bug-out prep would be for 5 minutes and 30 minutes, but with kids, I could see a 15 minute instead of 5 becoming necessary.

It always takes more time to parade the troops.

Anything not important enough to grab and load in 30 minutes isn’t vital anyways.
BTW, That’s 10 3-minute round trips.

I think we could talk in circles about what the right time amounts are. As I look at my list the initial 15 minute time hack is way longer than I would need to do what is on the list. 5 might be a bit optimistic (where are my darn keys right now, etc all) but I could certainly call it 10. It would be 15 at least with kids. 

For the long time I need to think about it a bit more.
So besides figuring what you’re carrying, break down those ten (or whatever, your house may be shorter trips than mine) trips into what you grab with each one, based again on triaging priorities. That way, if things get worse, you still got the most important stuff first.

I like the list broken down by trip idea. That is neat. 
 
i.e. Notional trip List

1) Important stuff – briefcase and B.O.B.
2) comms, backups, maps, compass, GPS, etc.
3) Weapons & ammo
4) Water and filters
5) shelter – tent, sleeping bags, etc.
6) medical
7) tools, traps, & gear
8) food
9) more clothes, boots, etc.
10) more food, water, addl. supplies

(And don’t forget the carrier(s) for Fido and Fluffy, their food, bowls, leashes, waste management supplies, etc.!)

This is where the real world part comes in. We aren’t fleeing the zombie apocalypse to go camp in the woods or something. Thus a need for a tent and traps and a bunch of bulk food isn’t present. I’ll be living on a couch or in a cheap motel eating pizza or microwave food from the grocery store. So I do not need to waste time and space on that stuff. Having some capability, like a BOB makes sense but that time and vehicle space would be much more useful for Great Grandmas rocking chair or something. I suppose the specific event and your plan will ultimately dictate. I can see myself ending up with 2 lists, one for an event during normal times and another or the dreaded zombie apocalypse.

More trips?
Make a longer list, as appropriate.

Then print it out.
Then put a house plan map, with trip number items color-coded, circled, and pre-packed into appropriate bags/bundles, on the back side.
Then make several two-sided color copies.
Then laminate them, and put them in appropriate places.

You kind of lost me with the talk of color coding and circling. Pre packing stuff makes sense though. I am pretty much there. Concur about the list. My plan is to firm it up an then do just that.

Anything not hot/cold/time sensitive, as much as possible, should be pre-staged in the vehicle(s), which saves you needless trips.

Pre staging stuff in a risky situation (there is a fire nearby, not quite close enough to evacuate yet, etc) certainly makes sense. Having your normal vehicle loaded to bug out at all times sounds kind of problematic. A full set up ready to go in a dedicated vehicle would be cool if you have one and a relatively secure place to store it.

(cont.)

Aesopsaid…

(cont.)
(Oh, and it should go without saying, your vehicle(s) should already have a list of items always in them 24/7/365 – tools, spares, flares, fluids, fire ext., first aid kit, etc., and a schematic of where they’re stored, and what needs to be checked/replaced, at least twice a year. Just like the .Mil has done with jeeps, trucks, HMMWVs, MRAPs, APCs, and tanks since we stopped using horses. Doing this on the changes back/forth from Daylight Savings Time, which is always a Sunday, gives you winter/summer changeovers, along with swapping out stored batteries, rotating stored food, and changing active batteries in your smoke and CO2 detectors, and checking your household fire extinguisher(s). All of which people have, right? RIGHT?)

I concur with this and have more or less the same set up in my vehicle.

Kids bags being “too hard” is a cop out.

I am inclined to agree with you. The difference is you and I are fairly committed to all of this stuff. Normal folks aren’t. So what is an acceptable level of hassle to you is not to them.

If they grow that fast, just put one full set of clothes into the bag once a week with laundry, and swap ’em out. You’re gonna wash them and fold ’em anyways, so it ain’t that tough. Or even once a month.

So obviously what’s really kickin’ somebody’s butt there is self-discipline.

Excuses are just wallpaper for a pile of crap.

The briefcase idea is always right, going back to the second Bond movie.

Having your passport/IDs, important stuff, emergency cash, and some handy weapons and gadgets in a Get Out Of Dodge case or carryall is Survival 101, going as far back as the WWI precursors to the OSS 100 years ago.

I use a small backpack so I can stuff it into my BOB if needed.

Go over each item on a monthly basis, i.e. one item per month.

E.g., on that list, in February, you’d put fresh road maps, topos, state gazeteers, etc. in your map case, put in fresh stored (NOT kept inside the devices) spare batts for your GPS and handhelds, make sure your personal CEOI (local freqs, buddies’ freqs, cellphone, e-mail, and snail mail addys for family, friends, neighbors, important contacts – banks, utilities, credit card companies, insurance agents and companies, emergency resources – Poison control, doctors, hospitals, red cross, state and federal FEMA, and anything else you want/need/think is cool etc. is all up to date and current, laminated, duplicated, etc.

And everything should be in both paper copies, AND a bombproof/waterproof/disasterproof encrypted thumb drive or three. You should have some of those stored/buried/cached offsite in redundantly redundant places, with all your important records archived.

This is on my to do list.

You can also fit more photos than anyone should own on the newer high-cap drives, and save yourself toting cartons of albums of otherwise irreplaceable family pics.

Scanning photos is a great idea. I will add it to my to do list.

For one example, you can put one or more such drives in one of the cute anodized, o-ring sealed aluminum “pill carrier” tubes, go to a close relative’s house outside your region, unscrew the center latch of an interior door like a closet, get a paddle bit, and put a suitable hole into the jamb. Deposit the tube, put the latch back in place, screw it down on most of the screws, and epoxy in a broken-off dummy screw head for the remaining hole(s), and unless their house burns down or washes away too, it’ll be there until you need it, or get old enough to go senile and forget you put it there.

I would probably just ask them to hold onto said thumb drive for me.

If you have masonry bits and some camo skillz plus a glue gun, you can do this with a brick in a pile, a rock, a tree trunk or stump, a plug/switch box in conduit, or about 1000 other places. The places where you can stash stuff you might want, but don’t want to carry are mainly only limited by your imagination.

This kind of thing definitely has some cool possibilities. I am certainly a fan of caches.

And the fatter aluminum tubes about 3″ long hold 30+ quarter-sized coins. Imagine pre-65 silver, or 1/4 oz. gold Canadian Maple leaf coins, and each one is a stash of $90-9000 US dollars of actual money. Just saying.

Top 7 Deer Hunting Bullet Types – An Optimum Guide to Get the Success

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You are probably finding the best bullets to hunt the deer species in the best way possible. But the most common problem is to opt the hunting bullets out of the piles of countless types.

So, here is a good news for you:

I have researched upon the various kinds of hunting bullets that can give a 100% of success ratio to the deer hunters. I am going to share all those top bullets with you right now.

There are a few qualities that must be present in the deer hunting bullets for more accuracy:

  • Deer hunting bullets should provide a proper expansion.
  • They should give deeper penetration.
  • They should provide the proper destructive power to knock down the game.
  • They should provide the maximum accuracy and speedy flight.

So, all these above mentioned qualities, if present in your bullets, can give you the optimum outcomes undoubtedly.

Not only this, but also there are many other ideal features that must be provided by the deer hunting bullets to achieve the perfect results.

For this purpose, you must have to check out the Hunting Mark infographic. It contains all that necessary information that a hunter should require to get the 100% outcomes. You will have a better understanding of the subject after checking it out.

Conclusion:To sum up, a deer hunter can achieve the best outcomes by using the above mentioned 7 types of bullets. All these bullet types are chosen after a massive research and they are pretty much suitable for the deer hunting. So, the successful hunting experience is waiting for you. Just grab the right bullets and get the success guaranteed!

My name is Jessica Kelley and doing the hunting from my childhood. I spent lots of time in the hunting fields with my dad from childhood. I also have my blog named as Hunting Mark where I often write about hunting & survival.

Real World Bug Outs

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My friends house almost burned down. There was a fire in the immediate area. It happened during the day when B was at work. Maggy was home with the kids. She realized it was time to get out of there. She had the kids (they are young) pack bags while she put some other stuff together. Thankfully the issue was localized so a friend was able to come over and help with the kids which gave her a lot more freedom of movement.

She mentioned that it was a good thing that it wasn’t a real emergency because between their kids bags was “3 pair of underwear, 4 shorts, 8 shirts, and 28 pair of socks.”

This got us talking about preparing. I mentioned maybe having some bags ready to go. She, somewhat correctly, said for little kids whose sizes change constantly that would be sort of a constant mess. After some consideration I got back to her and told her what I actually do.

For my kids I keep a kid sized backpack in the car with a full set of clothes, 2x underwear, shoes, a coat and a few small books/ toys. This is basically their bug out stuff. It sits in the vehicle because kids are messy and crazy. Also it keeps this stuff relevant because it fits a normal life role and is getting used somewhat often. 

Other things that came up from this conversation are lists and drills.

Having a list of what you should take helps in stressful situations. Do the thinking when your mind is clear. Also this may well lead you to having things more organized. For example having your important papers in a folder or briefcase with your passports, documents, cash, spare keys, etc together in the safe makes it much easier than doing a scavenger hunt.

I broke my list into 15 minutes and 1 hour. To me much less than 15 is grab your wallet, BOB and run so no point in that. The other time of 1 hour seemed realistic for needing to leave soon but having more time.

Maybe you could do 4 hours and 24 but for me they seem to be getting less likely. Unless you have a bunch of guys to help and several large trailers you will see that the 1 hour plan has your vehicles pretty much packed up.

I am going to firm up my list a little and will publish it, or maybe a sanitized version of it, later.

Drills are important. Even relatively small kids can do stuff. Also if the kids are busy it lets parents be much more productive. Even something as simple as “Get dressed, pack a bag of toys, go to the bathroom and get into the car.” would be a huge help. The kid drills are something I am kind of light on. I will have to take a look at Joe Foxs Book.

Anyway what are your thoughts on real world bug out’s?

Mechanical Tips Every Survivalist Should Know

Regardless of what particular survival situation you might find yourself in one day, mechanical and repair skills are important to have — and not just for your car. You should be able to repair and maintain power tools, diagnose vehicle problems and fix them, and patch things up around your house and yard. Here are some mechanical tips every survivalist should know — take notes!

Generate Electricity with a Running Vehicle

If you have a vehicle, you have a source of electricity. However, you’ll need an inverter to convert your vehicle’s output into a usable form called alternating current. Simply start the vehicle, let it run, and attach the inverter to your battery. Be careful not to do so without starting it, as your battery will quickly die.

Be Able to Signal for Help

Whether you’re lost on a hiking adventure or in an end-of-world situation, it’s important to have experience in building a fire for attracting others’ attention. You’re a survivalist, so you should already keep matches or flint and hatching around for starting fires. Build three separate, equidistant fires in the shape of a triangle. If you don’t have fire-starting materials, make sure to preserve a fire if you can start it. However, if you’re able to spark flames at will, add green plants, tree moss, rubber, plastic, or oil to the three piles. This will cause thick smoke, alerting anybody who sees it. Wait… what if I can’t start a fire?

Start a Fire from Battery and Gum Wrapper

Batteries are solid sources of energy, although most people think of them as fuel for television remotes and radios. Survivalists with nothing more than a battery and a wrapped stick of gum can start a fire. Cut a long, narrow strip of gum wrapper. Or, tear one if you’re without scissors. Place each end of the cut wrapper onto the positive and negative ends of the battery. Within seconds, you’ll find yourself with sparks.

Barricading a Home

Every survivalist should know how to keep out unwanted visitors whether that’s zombies or a tornado. Barricade windows with boards diagonally across the interior of windows. Fasten hooks to the side of doors for you to place sturdy boards in, keeping intruders out of doorways. Use tarps to cover glass windows and entrances where the elements might get in more easily.

Easy Auto Repairs

Every survivalist should know how to complete a few simple car and auto repairs. This can keep your car on the road, even when you’re in the backroads. It can also keep you mobile should you need to travel through any event. Keep an air compressor on hand and a tire plug kit in the back of your trunk. This can keep your tires filled even when they are starting to go flat. Keep a gas tank patch handy as well. These can be purchased as most stores and will be invaluable should a gas tank start leaking. This can help with ATV, motorcycle gas tanks, and other vehicles as well as a car.

Modern society has businesses, government agencies, and individuals that provide virtually every service imaginable to people in need. However, in a survival situation, the benefits of society go out the window. Learning, practicing, and mastering these tips will help you survive troubling situations.

About the Author:
Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

Mechanical Tips Every Survivalist Should Know

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Regardless of what particular survival situation you might find yourself in one day, mechanical and repair skills are important to have — and not just for your car. You should be able to repair and maintain power tools, diagnose vehicle problems and fix them, and patch things up around your house and yard. Here are some mechanical tips every survivalist should know — take notes!

Generate Electricity with a Running Vehicle

If you have a vehicle, you have a source of electricity. However, you’ll need an inverter to convert your vehicle’s output into a usable form called alternating current. Simply start the vehicle, let it run, and attach the inverter to your battery. Be careful not to do so without starting it, as your battery will quickly die.

Be Able to Signal for Help

Whether you’re lost on a hiking adventure or in an end-of-world situation, it’s important to have experience in building a fire for attracting others’ attention. You’re a survivalist, so you should already keep matches or flint and hatching around for starting fires. Build three separate, equidistant fires in the shape of a triangle. If you don’t have fire-starting materials, make sure to preserve a fire if you can start it. However, if you’re able to spark flames at will, add green plants, tree moss, rubber, plastic, or oil to the three piles. This will cause thick smoke, alerting anybody who sees it. Wait… what if I can’t start a fire?

Start a Fire from Battery and Gum Wrapper

Batteries are solid sources of energy, although most people think of them as fuel for television remotes and radios. Survivalists with nothing more than a battery and a wrapped stick of gum can start a fire. Cut a long, narrow strip of gum wrapper. Or, tear one if you’re without scissors. Place each end of the cut wrapper onto the positive and negative ends of the battery. Within seconds, you’ll find yourself with sparks.

Barricading a Home

Every survivalist should know how to keep out unwanted visitors whether that’s zombies or a tornado. Barricade windows with boards diagonally across the interior of windows. Fasten hooks to the side of doors for you to place sturdy boards in, keeping intruders out of doorways. Use tarps to cover glass windows and entrances where the elements might get in more easily.

Easy Auto Repairs

Every survivalist should know how to complete a few simple car and auto repairs. This can keep your car on the road, even when you’re in the backroads. It can also keep you mobile should you need to travel through any event. Keep an air compressor on hand and a tire plug kit in the back of your trunk. This can keep your tires filled even when they are starting to go flat. Keep a gas tank patch handy as well. These can be purchased as most stores and will be invaluable should a gas tank start leaking. This can help with ATV, motorcycle gas tanks, and other vehicles as well as a car.

Modern society has businesses, government agencies, and individuals that provide virtually every service imaginable to people in need. However, in a survival situation, the benefits of society go out the window. Learning, practicing, and mastering these tips will help you survive troubling situations.

About the Author:
Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

4 Simple Staples to Take with You on Your Next Camping Trip

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Camping is an outdoor delight but requires a lot of hard to work to make it a fun experience. In this article, we will be discussing the four basic staples you should be taking on your next camping trip to make it a great experience and an eye opening adventure in the outdoors.

Tent

Unless you enjoy sleeping on a pile of rocks and dirt, you’ll need to pack a tent for you and your companions. There are a variety of tents you can choose from, but if it’s just you, you should choose a two-man tent to have enough room for you and your gear. Plus, you should also make sure it is waterproof or water resistant in case you run into inclement weather. Not to mention, you can easily pick up a tent at your local Target, Walmart, as well as a number of online retailers as well. Keep in mind that tents range from $100-$500, so choose your budget wisely.

Long Sleeve T-Shirt

A long sleeve t-shirt is a must have no matter if you are going on a small hike or a full-fledged camping trip. Even if the weather is extremely warm, a hike to a summit can get surprisingly cold and you’ll be thanking yourself that you packed a warm long sleeve t-shirt, like those available from Over Under Clothing, to toss on. Plus, hiking with layers is extremely important due to the amount of sweat you shed throughout your trip. You should look for a wicking t-shirt or a shirt that is partially made from spandex to absorb your sweat.

Fire Starter

Is there anything better than cooking marshmallows over an open flame? In order to start that fire, however, you need a working fire starter. This could be a lighter, matches, solar fire starter, or flint and steel starter. Most people prefer standard lighters as they are the easiest to use, though matches are a useful backup to bring. No matter which one you prefer, you will need to have a working fire starter so you can build your outdoors campfire.

First Aid Kit

Many people overlook the importance of bringing a first aid kit. However, it is crucial to be prepared for the worst case scenarios. You never know when you may trip and hurt yourself. Your first aid kit should contain Band-Aids, bacitracin, gauze, duct tape, ibuprofen, and moleskin. You may also want to include aloe vera gel in your first aid kit if you are prone to getting sunburns. Camping is an incredibly fun activity that people of all ages can enjoy. With these four essentials, you will be able to survive your weekend in the woods and even have a little bit of fun while you’re at it.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

4 Simple Staples to Take with You on Your Next Camping Trip

Camping is an outdoor delight but requires a lot of hard to work to make it a fun experience. In this article, we will be discussing the four basic staples you should be taking on your next camping trip to make it a great experience and an eye opening adventure in the outdoors.

Tent

Unless you enjoy sleeping on a pile of rocks and dirt, you’ll need to pack a tent for you and your companions. There are a variety of tents you can choose from, but if it’s just you, you should choose a two-man tent to have enough room for you and your gear. Plus, you should also make sure it is waterproof or water resistant in case you run into inclement weather. Not to mention, you can easily pick up a tent at your local Target, Walmart, as well as a number of online retailers as well. Keep in mind that tents range from $100-$500, so choose your budget wisely.

Long Sleeve T-Shirt

A long sleeve t-shirt is a must have no matter if you are going on a small hike or a full-fledged camping trip. Even if the weather is extremely warm, a hike to a summit can get surprisingly cold and you’ll be thanking yourself that you packed a warm long sleeve t-shirt, like those available from Over Under Clothing, to toss on. Plus, hiking with layers is extremely important due to the amount of sweat you shed throughout your trip. You should look for a wicking t-shirt or a shirt that is partially made from spandex to absorb your sweat.

Fire Starter

Is there anything better than cooking marshmallows over an open flame? In order to start that fire, however, you need a working fire starter. This could be a lighter, matches, solar fire starter, or flint and steel starter. Most people prefer standard lighters as they are the easiest to use, though matches are a useful backup to bring. No matter which one you prefer, you will need to have a working fire starter so you can build your outdoors campfire.

First Aid Kit

Many people overlook the importance of bringing a first aid kit. However, it is crucial to be prepared for the worst case scenarios. You never know when you may trip and hurt yourself. Your first aid kit should contain Band-Aids, bacitracin, gauze, duct tape, ibuprofen, and moleskin. You may also want to include aloe vera gel in your first aid kit if you are prone to getting sunburns. Camping is an incredibly fun activity that people of all ages can enjoy. With these four essentials, you will be able to survive your weekend in the woods and even have a little bit of fun while you’re at it.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

Going Hunting? 7 Ways to Best Prepare for Your Hunting Trip

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You have a hunting trip coming up in the very near future and want to be sure that you are well prepared for your excursion. Following these suggestions and tips will have you up and ready with a minimum of fuss and stress. They include the following:

Clean and Check Weapons

Make a point to clean and oil all of your weapons before heading out on your trip. Take them to a safe area and shoot them off a few times to ensure that they are safe and fully operational. Put them in a secure location until it is time to depart.

Stock Up on Bullets and Other Supplies

Check all of your supplies before departure. The last thing you want to do is end up in a great hunting zone and run out of ammunition. Be sure to also stock plenty of safety supplies, clothing, food, and water for the duration of your trip.

Purchase Proper Clothing

Hunting can be a rough sport so be sure to dress accordingly. Sturdy, waterproof boots, heavy camouflage pants, heavy jacket, and gloves if necessary. Dress for the weather – layering clothes from companies like Over Under Clothing can be quite effective in keeping hunters warm and cozy in very cold weather.

Apply for Hunting License

Double-check all of your hunting permits and licenses. Make sure they have not expired and that they are the correct ones for the areas you will be visiting. Keep them in a safe, waterproof place in case the game warden needs to review them.

Research Hunting Destination

If you know exactly where you are going, be sure to research the location you are heading to. This way you will know exactly where to go when you get there. Research the quality of the hunting in that spot as well as the weather expected during the time you are there. If you don’t know exactly where you are headed, research various routes and plan out exactly how to get there in advance so you don’t get lost and lose valuable hunting time.

Get in Shape

Hunting may not seem to be a strenuous sport, but it actually is. You have to be in fairly good physical condition to move across rugged terrain and treacherous water. If you have any serious health conditions, be sure to get clearance from your physician.

Practice Your Aim

Be sure to practice your aim before embarking on your hunting trip. It may have been awhile since you have had any practice, and you do want to be successful in hunting your specific game. Take extra care in selecting a target practice area that is safe and where the bullets will be effectively contained.

As you can see, preparing for a hunting trip can be quite an ordeal. Remembering all the little things that need to be done and purchasing necessities are all part of the process of ensuring a successful hunting outcome.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakley Facebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

Survival Skillset: How to Build an Emergency Tarp Shelter

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In a survival scenario, your first and most important need is a place to shelter. A well-made shelter will keep you both warm and dry when it is built right. Since you need all the energy you can muster to survive, making an emergency tarp shelter is a much better alternative than finding materials and building your own. With that being said, this article will show you how to build an emergency tarp shelter of your own.

  1. Find a Good Anchor Point

    The first thing you must do when making a tarp shelter is to find an effective anchor point. Usually, two closely placed trees will make excellent anchor points but another area you may build a tarp shelter is in a large rock crevice. Consider choosing surroundings that will block out the wind and keep you warmer. Also, try to choose an area that is visible to rescue crews.

  2. Tie a Rope to Both Anchor Points

    After you have found two suitable points to have your tarp shelter between, now you must tie a rope to both areas. Secure the rope tightly so your tarp does not blow away in the wind or adverse weather. Another alternative to a rope is a very long and strong stick that can be wedged between the forks of two trees. When you don’t have a rope, you can also prop the tarp up by putting sturdy sticks into the ground and putting the end of them through the metal rings on the tarp. In this case, you should consider choosing a spot that has one to three sides completely wind-blocked so you have less to secure.

  3. Drape the Tarp over the Rope or Sticks

    Try to secure the tarp shelter over the rope so that it equally blocks the wind on both sides. Pull the ends so they reach the ground on both sides equally. If your tarp shelter is being propped up by sticks, you will have to secure the tarp to the sticks so that it is leaning downward at the entrance of your shelter to deflect rain.

  4. Stake the Tarp Down Tight

    Now it’s time to tie your tarp down tight to trap out the wind completely. When using a rope, simply place large sticks in the holes of the tarp nearest to the ground so that the bottom of the tarp is tightly touching the ground. Make sure that the sticks you are using have some type of knot or fork in them so they hold the tarp securely and don’t slip. Fill in any open areas with as many leaves or foliage as you can find to tightly insulate your shelter. Lean branches over your doorway that you can also have foliage placed over.

Conclusion That’s all there is to it to make an effective tarp shelter. If you ever do need to use one in an emergency then we hope that this article will help you out and that a rescue team is sent to you quickly.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Air Travel an Preparedness

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I travel for work sometimes. I also travel to see my kids. Both are at least in the short term unavoidable. Also traveling for fun is nice.

Traveling by vehicle is easy for preparedness. Assuming you have some space in the vehicle you can just bring whatever. Also your ability to control your own travel means you can choose to leave right now. You can go a hundred miles the wrong way to avoid a big problem.

Air travel is more difficult. Still I think you can be reasonably prepared for most even semi likely events if not the end of the world.

The most restrictive set of stuff for air travel is if you are only using a carry on. It is also what you can have on your person on the plane. What can you have? Listed in rough order:
-Good footwear. You don’t need hiking boots but shouldn’t be wearing flip flops or heals either. A decent set of close toed shoes you can walk a few miles in can fit with most styles and are very prudent.
-Decent all around clothes. Not combat or hunting gear but some kind of reasonable clothes in case you need to do something or get stuck in them for awhile. Also reasonable outer wear for your area.
-CASH. Probably the biggest single problem solver in real world survival situations. 
-Credit Cards. Having a card with a big balance gives you options. Need a last minute ticket, OK. Heck if you need to buy a used car to drive out of a problem it is an option.
-Medications. Having a week or even better a month of medicines you need is very wise.
-OTC meds. Stuff for standard travel sickness like diarrhea, Tylenol, Benedryl, etc.
-First aid gear. Minus the needle I can’t see why you wouldn’t be able to have a full IFAK in a carry on bag.
-A water bottle.
-Compass.
-Maps. This is wonky as planes cover huge distances but even a state road map is better than nothing. Doubly so if you are not familiar with the area at all.

Now lets say you check a bag. For the sake of this a bag to anywhere. What can you add.
 -A good knife.
-A multi tool.

Checking guns. Obviously on a flight to most foreign countries this is not an option. However when it comes to traveling in most of the US it is not a big deal to fly with guns. I have done it a few times and the only one where it got any scrutiny was in Louisiana at a local airport where the guy just wanted to see what I had. Really flying with a gun isn’t anywhere near as big a deal as people make it out to be.

That said if you travel to the same place often and can afford to do so it isn’t a bad idea to consider an operational cache.

How serious about all of this should you be? I suppose it depends. Primarily in my mind it depends on the risk level of where you are going. If I was flying into Northern Iraq or Pakistan or Indonesia would have things locked down. Thousands in cash a full on BOB, an as many weapons as you can get in and carry would be prudent. On the other hand if you were flying to a few hundred miles from home and it isn’t to a place with a high threat then some cash, decent clothes, a compass and a map an your not doing bad at all. Toss in a good folding knife and a gun or two and its a good set up for a relaxed area.

Thoughts?

3 Overlooked Doomsday Prep Essentials

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Preparing for life after disaster requires superhuman organization. Hell, most of us have trouble keeping track of everything we have to remember in our current, convenience-filled reality, let alone keep track of survival essentials like food storage rotation. You’ve likely made a number of difficult decisions already — living after disaster will require a much leaner lifestyle, and that means preparing to give up much of what we take for granted. Maybe you’ve done that already, to make the transition easier.

There are some modern conveniences, however, which will be conspicuous in their absence. Preparing for the need, and stockpiling difficult-to-produce items now — well, you do that already anyway. Here are just a few priorities that often get overlooked, and that you might want to add to your stockpile list today:

  1. Tires

  2. There’s a lot of talk about the best vehicles for doomsday situations. No matter how advanced a vehicle is, none of them are designed to function in less-than-ideal conditions indefinitely, so the more preventative maintenance you can do, the better. A big part of that preventative maintenance is going to be picking a role for each vehicle and making sure you have a few sets of tires stockpiled away for that purpose.

    Mud & road tires

    Tire tread technology is improving all the time, and while it may not necessarily be a bad idea to run a vehicle with mud tires on asphalt, there are better ways to organize your fleet of survival vehicles. There is a lot of argument about whether mud tires are or aren’t safer, noisier, or less fuel efficient on asphalt; it seems to depend a lot on the brand you buy. In rural areas, if you’re expecting blocked roads, it might even be a better idea to just run muds all the time and have a few replacements on hand. But there is one reason to consider taking those muds off your road vehicle: fuel efficiency. When gas becomes a rare commodity, every little you can do to conserve will help. Low-rolling-resistance, fuel-efficient tires could be a good purchase for supply runs close to home or local patrols, to save your resources.

    Snow tires

    Your muds will work great in rain and light snowfall, but you’re going to want snow tires, plus replacement sets if your area gets battered by heavy winters. Unlike mud tires, these guys are absolutely not meant to be used on dry asphalt. The rubber is softer than other tires and will wear out quickly, especially in the heat. Store these away and break them out when the snow falls.

  3. Waste Treatment Systems

    Have you thought about where you’ll be dumping your garbage and refuse? Even if you pick a site that is away from the water sources you use, it will only be a matter of time before waste begins to seep into the groundwater, which could have disastrous effects for miles. Once that happens, it may well be beyond your ability to fix.

  4. There have been advancements recently in stand-alone, self-contained waste treatment systems that recycle gray and even black water. Some are complex, using solar energy to treat waste, and others are much simpler, making use of worms to create compost while cleaning the water.

    Even if you have plans for plumbing and waste disposal, don’t rely completely on infrastructure. Sanitary disposables are other examples of difficult-to-produce items that will make life a whole lot more bearable when the worst strikes.

  5. Metal Detectors

    This one might not be as immediately obvious, but I promise you won’t regret keeping one of these tools around.

  6. These days, metal detectors are generally used by hobbyists and amatuer fortune hunters, but other uses are emerging that could have significant value to the well-prepared family. A number of people have started using metal detectors for geocaching. I immediately thought of prep applications. If you have a fallback shelter location or a carefully charted escape route, it could be worth your while to leave dead drops for yourself along the route. Memorize the locations, bury supplies in metal containers, and keep a metal detector in your bug-out vehicle. Not needing to physically mark the exact dig location makes the drop a lot more secure.

    If you ever have to drop everything and leave supplies behind, or you’re caught out away from home, you’ll know that you can get right on the road and pick up your supplies along the way, rather than having to improvise.

I hope this has given you a few more things to think about in your disaster preparation process. Good luck out there.

About the Author: Brooke Faulkner’s mission in life is to be prepared for anything life throws at her. As a mother of two, more often than not that includes legos and snotty viruses. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found zipping around the wilderness on her ATV.

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week? Ammo Cans and BOB Reorganization

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It was a pretty good week here in preparedness. Jiu Jitsu, PT and dry fire were good.

I got a deal on a bunch of ammo cans I have been sorely needing. Had a couple cases of 5.56 and some various other ammo that needed to get properly stored in cans. I had to dig around to find it all. Still fairly certain there is a case or two floating around somewhere that needs to go into cans but oh well.

Today I reorganized my bug out bag and assault pack. I worked on this recently. The resulting bag was good but the overall plan somewhat lacking. For most of my local situations I do not need a full up BOB. Having a full up 40 LB ish BOB to get me a few miles home is unnecessary and even counter productive. I need some of that stuff though.

Often survivalists end up with 2 totally separate systems. A get home bag and a bug out bag. I wasn’t in love with this idea. Basically it leaves you with 2 really redundant systems. Also the BOB really needs an assault pack anyway.

The idea I had was to shift items between the BOB and Assault Bag to make it so each is useful on its own. We want redundancy in essential items anyway right? So putting one item in one bag and another in the other leaves you with 2 relatively useful kits.

I rebalanced my BOB to 2 bags. Both come in around 20 pounds so 40 total. I will likely add a few things to the BOB since it has space now but the whole thing staying well under 50 total is very realistic.

There is some playing to do between them still and I can use a few more things. Specifically I can use another sawyer water filter, a flashlight and another poncho (my last one went into a cache). Also I wish I could find my darn Ontario Rat 3 knife an the pouch it is on.

Generally I am happy with this set up. Once I get it fully sorted out maybe I’ll take pictures and do an inventory. Fundamentally though I think the plan is a winner.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Stuck in the Woods: How to Truly Prep Your Homestead for a Natural Disaster

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A natural disaster happens in any corner of the world with some or little warning. These situations are frightening, especially when you live in a rural region. When it comes to your homestead, you need to be prepared for almost any situation. Consider these top tips that truly prep your home in the event of a disaster.

Stock up on Supplies

Canned food, water and batteries should be prioritized as your homestead stock. Disasters often cut off food and water supplies almost immediately. Be sure to have enough water for both drinking, cooking and cleaning. Nearby municipal supplies might be out of commission for several days, depending on the disaster’s extent. Always rotate your canned-food stock too. You don’t want to experience a disaster, and the food has expired several years ago.

Inspect the Building Envelope

Before a disaster occurs, make it a habit to inspect your home. Look at the roof, walls, and foundation. Collectively, these components are referred to as the building envelope. Deal with any minor issues that you observe, such as cracks or broken materials. If these items are ignored, a disaster can quickly worsen them. In fact, it’s possible for the homestead to have severe problems as the disaster weakens any cracks or compromised areas.

Invest in a Generator

Don’t rely on nearby electricity because it can go out for days or weeks at a time during a disaster. Ideally, purchase a portable power generator. Some companies, such as Renogy, know that these kinds of devices uses oil, gas, or a battery to generate electricity. You’ll have limited power with the generator, but it’s enough to keep you going through a disaster. Without power, boiling water and heating your house can be nearly impossible.

Prune Away Hazards

When your homestead is in the wilderness, you’re surrounded by nature’s beauty. Be aware of the hazards that are all around you, however. Dangling tree branches and brush on the ground can quickly become hazards. Branches might fall on the home, or the brush goes up in flames. Prune away these items so that they’re a safe distance from the home. You can still have nature to enjoy, but just at a distance where the home is safe from immediate harm.

Practice disaster scenarios with your loved ones. Create drills that everyone participates in so that you’re ready for almost any disaster. Although it’s impossible to be completely ready for the unexpected, these drills will simplify your response as you keep everyone safe from harm.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakley Facebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

Summer Complacency

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Summer Complacency

Gone Fishin: How to Deck Out Your Boat for a Successful Fishing Trip

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There are lots of ways to have an enjoyable fishing experience. Sitting by the side of the lake with your basic rod and reel and some worms can make for a great day. However, there’s really nothing quite like the feel of being out on the water for an afternoon of smooth sailing on your pontoon boat. You can relax with friends or family, get some sun, have a picnic lunch and, of course, do some angling. Having the latest and greatest boating accessories and equipment can make things even better. Read the tips below to learn how to deck out your boat for a successful fishing trip.

Choose Your Vessel

First and foremost, you and your companions need a quality boat to carry you along the lake. You may already have a pontoon boat you’re proud of and happy with. Even so, dedicated fishing aficionados tend to upgrade their vessel every six years or so. If you’re in the market for a new boat, be sure to research your options for getting the best deal on a quality boat. Investing some extra time now will ensure the best experience on the water later.

Equip Yourselves

Next, you and your fishing comrades will need to have the best rod and reel to suit your needs. In this case, “the best” doesn’t always mean the most expensive. Consider the type of fish you’re angling for, the age of each angler, your overall budget and the reviews of other consumers. This is an area in which satisfaction depends upon personal preference, but you can at get a general idea of what brands and types of equipment are well-loved on the market these days.

Ensure Safety

Safety is essential to having a wonderful fishing trip. This encompasses many aspects. Read up on the latest boating regulations in your area. Make sure to have the proper life vests and other safety equipment aboard your boat so you’re prepared in case of accident or malfunction. Also, don’t forget the safety of your actual boat. Deck equipment like ladders, navigation lights and corner caps ensure measures are taken to prevent accidents before they can occur. When buying boating accessories, always choose reputable companies like Pontoon Stuff for your purchases. Don’t risk receiving inferior products when it comes to safety measures.

There are so many other ways you can enhance your fishing trip. Adding fum tech gadgets like fish finders and the like is fun, but decking out your boat with the essentials in fishing equipment, safety measures and a good quality boat itself will have you on your way to a successful day on the lake.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakley Facebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

I’m Baaccck

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Hey Folks, I think my technological issues are fixed. I nuked my laptop deleting everything and just starting over. It seems to be working normally now. Expect more regular posting (say 3 posts a week) to commence forth with.

Call Of The Wild: 4 Strategies To Prep For The Best Hunting Season

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When the hunting season’s either coming or underway, it pays to be prepared before striking out. How you decide to embark depends on how, where, and what you’re hunting, but good precautions and planning can make a good trip great. Hunting is no mere walk in the park, so consider the four hunting tips below to get a head start. Once everything’s in order, take to the woods!

Prep Weapons

Having your weapon in working condition will be key to a good start, so fine tune your rifle or bow before the season starts. It’s also a smart idea to practice beforehand, whether it’s out in the field or in a self-made shooting “range.” Try different angles and different distances if you’re feeling rusty. If you need to replace whatever weapon you use, professionals at outlets like Kidron Sports Center will help you find the right one.

Research the Area

You can end up more successful with a little added effort to understand the land on which you’re hunting. Talk to people familiar with it, like farmers and landowners, for inside tips and recommendations, as well as to form friendly relationships. Also get to setting up trail cameras and markers to know how your game is moving and behaving. You’ll be well-versed in how to proceed by the time the season begins.

Prepare the Land

When you have adequate permission, you can get your hunting grounds in shape to lure the best marks. Establish food plots, or make certain the landowners have done so before the season starts. Start clearing paths to your chosen perching and shooting spots. Keep an eye on any trails your game might leave and use it to establish hunting plans.

Be Healthy

It goes without saying that you’re at risk if you go in sick or otherwise indisposed. Be sure you’re fit enough and follow proper safety procedures. Account for where you’re hunting, including the terrain and any dangerous wildlife that could interfere with your hunt. If you know someone willing, bring a hunting partner along.

A watchful eye is important to successful hunts, but so are steps taken with care. Preparing yourself and your equipment could be the difference between a catch and nothing, so take heed this hunting season. Your game won’t wait, so take the right approach to get them before they escape. These four tips should have you on your way to big catches ahead of time.

About the Author: Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

Into the Wild: 4 Useful Skills You Should Have for Camping Trips

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Globalization has created a new breed of eclectic traveler. The Popular website Airbnb reports that trips to Havana Cuba have increased by 940% since 2016. A recent article on the Fox News Travel site shows that the number of Americans who go camping is also on an uptick. Those with experience trekking through national parks and forests of the great U.S. wilderness, know the art of pitching tents and boating wild rivers without skipping a beat. Those interested in joining in on what appears to be a rising national trend, however, should probably first get the hang of the following skills.

Cooking

A camp side dinner’s the perfect way to culminate a day of touring the great outdoors with your entourage of fellow adventurers. While there’s all kinds of high-tech cooking equipment you can consider using, nothing beats pan searing fresh trout in a cast iron skillet over a bonfire of dazzling flames. Pick a clearing where there aren’t dangling branches or surrounding brush that’s combustible. Gather stones and arrange them in a u-shaped pattern with a large rock at the center. Try to replicate a hearth. Pile it with layers of kindling on which you’ll cook. There’s an art to it that’s less about obsessing over the latest electric induction stove, and more about living off the fat of the land.

Fishing

Of course, you’ll have energy bars and bags of granola. You won’t forget to bring cans of your favorite beer, but camping’s not camping without going fishing. How lucky you get will have to do with where you cast your hook as much as your technique. There’s a way to finesse and direct a rod once you put bait on it. Reeling your catch out of the water calls for the right timing. You’ll also need to bone up on the best bait to bring. It won’t hurt to arrive with trustworthy fishing equipment and gear such as portable refrigeration to store your catch in.

Handling a Firearm

Bears populate the forests of Alaska, Montana, Ohio, and Wyoming. They’re in Upper Michigan and the woods of New York. Recent statistics have shown that their populations are surging due to wildlife laws that protect them, which is a good thing. Many believe it’s also good to carry a loaded firearm in bear country, however. While most avoid people, some can be aggressive and threatening. Knowing how to accurately load and aim a firearm with a MadKC bolt head will give you the confidence that you’re ready for the worst. Mastering trigger squeeze and aim doesn’t come easy, but there’s nowhere better to hone these skills than out in the outdoors.

Purifying Water

The assumption is that you’ll bring everything you need and won’t run out of basic staples. Still, surprises abound out in nature. Humans can live without eating for a number of days. Having water on hand is always essential. Boil snow or stream water to sterilize it. Add iodine or chlorine in measured amounts. Lakes and ponds are known to contain lots of bacteria. Learn how to select the safest water sources.

Spending recreational time in the great outdoors has been a part of American culture since the 1800’s. It wouldn’t be such an historically popular family pastime if fatal animal attacks or other catastrophes were a regular occurrence. Planning for the unexpected before you begin your trip into the wilderness doesn’t mean you’re embarking on something risky. Your time spent outdoors is more likely to be a rare chance for you and your loved ones to marvel at beautiful sunsets, rare bird calls and go skinny dipping.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakley Facebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

Book Review: The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun

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The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun by Matthew Bracken
Today I will be reviewing this book by Matthew Bracken. I will try to keep big spoilers to a minimum as it relates to this book but inevitably a review gives away some stuff. I will also compare and contrast with Matt Brackens other books so there may be some spoilers there. Also for the sake of full disclosure I paid full price for this book and do not have any relationship with Matthew Bracken. To the best of my recollection I have never interacted with the guy. That said I do like his stuff and have all his books. Getting started.
Brief Overview: “Dan Kilmer is a former Marine sniper in his late thirties. Fifteen years earlier, he returned home from military service in the Middle East and gave college a try, but his combat experiences prevented him from fitting into campus life. In a South Florida boatyard, his uncle was attempting to refurbish an old cargo schooner, and Dan left college to help him finish the flagging project. After two years of work but before the sixty-foot boat was relaunched, his uncle fell from a scaffold and died. While still in his mid-twenties, Dan inherited the schooner Rebel Yell, but not the means to maintain it or to afford the cruising lifestyle. Soon after, he left the United States to embark on a series of voyages, mostly in pursuit of beautiful women and good times. The action in this new novel takes place a few years after his adventures in Castigo Cay, the first Dan Kilmer novel. In The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun, Dan’s trading schooner is located in southwest Ireland, where he is attempting to sell 96 drums of diesel fuel salvaged from an abandoned NATO base in Greenland. The global financial system has collapsed, and both paper and digital currency have no value, but diesel fuel and gold still do. While waiting to sell his remaining thirty barrels, Dan is approached by a retired SAS colonel and asked to transport a dozen former special operations commandos 1,400 miles south to the Canary Islands, where they will be transported by a landing craft to Morocco in order to conduct a rescue operation. Two months earlier, nearly seventy Irish and English girls had been kidnapped by pirates from their elite Irish boarding academy and taken to Port Zerhoun, which is under the control of a cartel of modern corsairs. The young schoolgirls will be sold at auction as sex slaves, unless a ragtag team of former commandos can liberate them in time.”
The Good:
-This books collapse scenario is plausible. Particularly the scenario Matt lays out of a violent, economically depressed world is vivid and realistic. Things in many areas have fallen apart but more in a “there is very little fuel and the electricity doesn’t work much” than a cataclysmic typical survivalist scenario where civilization as we know it falls apart and the world descends into murdering rapist cannibal gangs. Manufacture of most complicated modern goods is seriously limited and the supply of them as well as fossil fuels are highly prized/ rare/ expensive. This is probably the most realistic portrayal I have seen.
-The geo politics in the book are current and valid. They didn’t dust off the same scrolling paragraph at the beginning of red dawn kind of start scenario. Too many books in this realm start with “the stock market crashed or the lights went out” then go into their plot. This book takes a real quality look both at current situations (portrayed as past since the book is in the near future) and realistic future ones based on the current trajectory.
-Along these lines technology available to our happy go lucky group of adventurers and mercenaries reflected the overall scenario of the book and is downright plausible. A decade into a collapse scenario most of the wiz bang electronics people have now will have stopped working.
This was a sharp contrast with the first Dan Kilmer book where he had all kinds of cool toys: night vision, lasers, a small UAV, etc. In this book they were navigating by sextant and rocking iron sights on their rifles. This brings up an excellent point. Gear fails and the most vulnerable/ fragile gear is by far electronics. Having a plan/ gear set up that uses modern gear but can easily fall back to older durable gear is prudent. So relying solely on a red dot sight is a bad plan.
-The book portrays people and social situations in realistic ways. Characters had faults and a person who is great in one way may be a jerk in another. How they are motivated in different ways (economics, morality, etc) or combinations of ways is so good. How sex is portrayed is realistic for normal society and straddles a fine line between ignoring the matter entirely like some books written by very socially conservative Christian types or randomly being fairly dirty like Unintended Consequences. Ditto various realistic but very unpleasant events like rape and slavery.
-Things went wrong. Missions fail. Small missions relying on single points of failure can come apart if a vehicle doesn’t work or a rope breaks or whatever. In a collapse scenario where gear is decades old and questionably maintained things will go wrong even more often.
-Piracy. While the resurgence of Islamic raiding of Europe to steal slaves is a “what if” the relationship between lack of global stability and piracy is quite solid. We are seeing it now in Somalia. Piracy based out of the the Med and NW Africa if Europes stability starts to crack is absolutely realistic.
-Dan finally got his shit together and bought a Glock 19.
The Bad:
-Depending on their stance on Islam, the Arab world and North Africans someone could be really offended by this book. Someone could also say that Matthew Bracken is speaking the politically incorrect truth. I will let you judge that one for yourself.
-There was one moment where a main character made a total mental 180 on a huge decision in a way that was pretty ‘the writer had a deadline and couldn’t figure out a good way to do it facing a tight deadline’ ish. Just didn’t seem plausible at all.
-Like many books there were times the good guys got really, really lucky.
The Ugly:
-Matt Bracken takes a long time between books. I wish he could get one out every year or so.
General Thoughts:
-The items characters in this books really valued (aside from the obvious boats, gold, etc) were durable, common and readily fixable. Think Glock 9mm pistols, Toyota trucks, strait razors, etc. Looking at Glocks and Toyotas they tend to just work for a really long time. They also are so widely available odds are high you can find a broken one to snag parts out of. You can’t say that about a CZ PO7 Duty or a Land rover.
-There was a shift from Matts other books such as Castigo Cay (and doubly his first 2 Enemies books) where the economy is seriously damaged and there are localized problems but mostly we have the same landscape as today. Less electronic stuff and the ability to replace things easily decreases.
Overall Impression: An excellent book. Buy and read it.

4 Ways to Keep Your Home and Property Safe and Secure

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Home security is a huge topic in the media today and even among friends and neighbors. Burglaries and vandalism are real threats, and nobody wants to own the house on the block that is targeted. In fact, four burglaries are committed every minute in the United States. Thankfully, homeowners can beef up their security without spending wads of money and even without hiring professional services.

Sturdy Windows and Doors

Choose solid core wooden doors for outer doors, or pick steel or fiberglass options, which are difficult to break. Windows should have secure locks, and individuals living in crime-prone neighborhoods may want to invest in break-proof glass. Casement windows are often seen as the most secure options. Be sure to protect valuables inside from peering eyes by installing window blinds or shades, particularly on lower level and basement windows.

Smart Shrubs

While shrubs should not grow so tall around doors and windows that they help burglars hide, they can actually protect homes when trimmed to the correct height. Shrubs near doors and windows should grow no higher than three feet tall. A smart choice is a thorny bush beside a door or window, which will reward any unwelcome visitor with pain.

Security Cameras

Security cameras can easily be placed at key points around the property by oneself. The best places to install them would be by doors leading outside, including patio doors, as well as by the garage door and the sidewalk or driveway entrance to the street. Some companies, like Infrared Cameras Inc., know that these are the most strategic places to place cameras. Homeowners should invest in infrared cameras, which provide excellent night vision, as well as in a large hard drive to store hundreds of hours of footage.

Plenty of Lights

Well-lit pathways, porches and driveways deter burglars and vandals from staying on the property. Motion sensors can turn on lights when tripped and can help guests see their way to the doors. Even solar lights along pathways and around landscaping by the home can deter anyone from lurking on the property. While professional security services can be useful in some instances, most homeowners will benefit significantly from do-it-yourself tips and tricks that can be set up in a few hours or less. Many of these security devices can be seen from the outside of the house and may deter burglars or vandals from coming close to the doors or windows. Plus, they can add exponentially to the feeling of calm and security that families have as they relax behind their locked doors and windows.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

The Best Air Rifles and Pellet Guns For Survival

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Air rifles and pellet guns are becoming increasingly popular among preppers and survivalists, and with good reason. Whilst in the past some people have been a bit skeptical about the usefulness of these weapons in a survival situation, there are many reasons why a good air rifle or two should be in your bug-out kit. Today, I’ll explain why you should have an air rifle for survival situations, take a look at the different types available, and then give you our recommendations of the best air rifles and pellet guns to choose.

Why An Air Rifle?

A lot of people point out that an air rifle can never have the power of a full-sized rifle. This is certainly true, but in reality you are not going to need an AR-15 all the time. A reasonably powerful air rifle will be able to take down most types of small game – think rabbits and small birds – with no problem at all. In a survival situation, being able to collect game like this will make all the difference. In addition, air rifle ammunition is cheap, easy to carry and store, and much, much lighter than traditional rifle rounds. A coffee tin full of pellets is going to cost you less than $50, and will last for years with conservative shooting.

Types Of Air Rifle

There are several types of air rifle available, and not all of them are good for survival situations. First, stick with larger caliber air rifles: whilst it’s certainly possible to hunt with a .177, a .22 is much more effective.

Second, stay away from CO2-powered rifles. While these rifles generate a huge amount of power, the canisters that they require to function are going to get pretty hard to find in a survival situation. In addition, these canisters are pretty bulky, and essentially eliminate one of the air rifle’s biggest advantages, its lightweight, compact design.

To my mind, the only serious contenders for a survival situation are spring and pneumatic air rifles. Both of these types of air rifle make use of a simple design that is reliable, but also generate a good amount of power. In addition, a good pneumatic (i.e. ‘pump-action’) air rifle gives you the ability to vary the power generated by the rifle, so your pellets don’t over-penetrate small game.

Our Choices

There are a huge number of high quality air rifles available, but to our mind the most important features in an air rifle for survival is reliability. What you’re looking for is a rifle that has built up a great reputation in the field.

For that reason, one of our favorites is the Diana RWS 34. This is a relatively inexpensive air rifle that has a great reputation for both accuracy and reliability. If you’ve got a bit more to spend, it might be worth considering a ‘gas-ram’ rifle, which generates even more power than the traditional spring mechanism. Our choice here would be the Gamo Whisper Silent Cat, which offers huge power in a compact design.

Written by Sam Bocetta

Successful Self-Sufficiency: 4 Tips for Growing Your Own Food

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You can start living a more self-sufficient lifestyle by having your own supply of home-grown food. Growing your own food can be done easily even if you don’t have any previous experience cultivating crops. Here are four great tips for growing your own food.

Know the Right Growing Seasons

Different crops grow better during certain time of the year, so it’s important that you know the right growing seasons in your particular area. In general, spring is the best time of year for growing asparagus, pea greens and sweet onions. Cranberries, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower often do best in the fall. Crops that you can grow throughout the entire year include carrots, collard greens and mushrooms.

Have a Reliable Irrigation System

It’s important that you always have a working irrigation system that works efficiently enough to keep all your produce watered. The best irrigation systems come with multiple sprinkler heads that disperse plenty of water and are easy to program. Some systems can even be programmed to automatically turn on and shut off at specific times so that you won’t have to remember to manually perform these functions yourself. Work with a professional like Hydrotech Irrigation Co or someone similar to get something set up that will work for you in the long term.

It’s also a very good idea to have a back-up source of water on your property, such as a well, in case you ever experience issues with the water supplied by the city.

Use Growing Containers

Not all fruits and vegetables need to be grown in the ground, and you can use containers to grow food in many areas around your property. These containers are particularly handy if you don’t have your own field or large yard and would like to grow much of your food indoors. Herbs, peppers and blueberries are just some of the foods that you can grow in these containers. Just be sure that your containers are placed in areas where there is adequate sunlight or artificial light.

Beware of Pests

Whether you choose to grow most of your food indoors or outside, you’ll want to find ways to protect your crops from pests. You can spray commercial pesticides to kill off many of the bugs that may try to invade your fruits and vegetables. If you don’t want to use pesticides that might contain harmful chemicals, you can try one of several natural remedies. Some of these natural concoctions use items like garlic, red pepper and baby shampoo. Typically if you want to protect your whole property you would

Growing your own food can unlock the door to a freer, more self-sufficient life. By learning the proper growing methods and taking the right precautions to ensure healthy crop growth, you can start cultivating your own food in no time.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

Sting Salves: 5 Ways to Treat Different Types of Bug Bites

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Some bug bites are a mere irritation, while others can be painful or even dangerous. Fortunately, first aid strategies can help mitigate the issues associated with common types of bug bites. Here’s what you need to know.

Mosquito Bites

Perhaps the most common type of bite to be afflicted with, mosquito bites are characterized by a red, itchy bump. This occurs when the insect inserts a proboscis into your skin to feed on blood; in response, the body releases a histamine response that causes the itchy inflammation. For that reason, an over-the-counter antihistamine cream provides the fastest relief. You can also try soaking a green tea bag and placing it over the affected area, or taking an oatmeal bath.

Bee and Wasp Stings

If you’ve been stung by a bee or wasp, the first step is to look for the stinger. This can be easily removed by scraping the skin with a credit card in the affected area. Then, treat symptoms like inflammation and burning by first cleaning the skin with mild soap and water, then taking an NSAID like Advil. Seek immediate medical attention for signs of an allergic reaction, such as trouble breathing or swelling of the throat or tongue. Before summer rolls around, consider consulting a company like Allstate Pest Control to check your property for bee or wasp nests.

Fire Ant Bites

As its name suggests, this insect’s bites cause painful burning, followed by itching and blistering. Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can usually soothe these symptoms. Be aware of signs of infection, such as a fever or increased pain in the area of the bites.

Spider Bite

Depending on the type of spider, symptoms can vary from small, pimple-like bumps to chest pain, nausea, and vomiting, according to Real Simple. When you have a spider bite, apply ice every 20 minutes for 72 hours to slow the spread of venom throughout the body. Over-the-counter pain medications can help with discomfort. Seek medical attention if you have severe pain, nausea, or any other unusual symptoms.

Tick Bite

If you’ve been bitten by a tick, you may notice redness, itching, or burning as well as the tick still present on your skin. In some cases, the insect can be as small as 1 millimeter. Remove the tick with tweezers as carefully as possible to avoid crushing the insect, which can make illness more likely to spread. A bulls-eye shaped rash or flu-like symptoms can be a sign of a serious disease, such as Lyme or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, so seek immediate medical attention.

When spending time in a wooded area this summer, protect yourself from bug bites by using a repellent spray and avoiding scented lotions and skin products.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Sting Salves: 5 Ways to Treat Different Types of Bug Bites

Some bug bites are a mere irritation, while others can be painful or even dangerous. Fortunately, first aid strategies can help mitigate the issues associated with common types of bug bites. Here’s what you need to know.

Mosquito Bites

Perhaps the most common type of bite to be afflicted with, mosquito bites are characterized by a red, itchy bump. This occurs when the insect inserts a proboscis into your skin to feed on blood; in response, the body releases a histamine response that causes the itchy inflammation. For that reason, an over-the-counter antihistamine cream provides the fastest relief. You can also try soaking a green tea bag and placing it over the affected area, or taking an oatmeal bath.

Bee and Wasp Stings

If you’ve been stung by a bee or wasp, the first step is to look for the stinger. This can be easily removed by scraping the skin with a credit card in the affected area. Then, treat symptoms like inflammation and burning by first cleaning the skin with mild soap and water, then taking an NSAID like Advil. Seek immediate medical attention for signs of an allergic reaction, such as trouble breathing or swelling of the throat or tongue. Before summer rolls around, consider consulting a company like Allstate Pest Control to check your property for bee or wasp nests.

Fire Ant Bites

As its name suggests, this insect’s bites cause painful burning, followed by itching and blistering. Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can usually soothe these symptoms. Be aware of signs of infection, such as a fever or increased pain in the area of the bites.

Spider Bite

Depending on the type of spider, symptoms can vary from small, pimple-like bumps to chest pain, nausea, and vomiting, according to Real Simple. When you have a spider bite, apply ice every 20 minutes for 72 hours to slow the spread of venom throughout the body. Over-the-counter pain medications can help with discomfort. Seek medical attention if you have severe pain, nausea, or any other unusual symptoms.

Tick Bite

If you’ve been bitten by a tick, you may notice redness, itching, or burning as well as the tick still present on your skin. In some cases, the insect can be as small as 1 millimeter. Remove the tick with tweezers as carefully as possible to avoid crushing the insect, which can make illness more likely to spread. A bulls-eye shaped rash or flu-like symptoms can be a sign of a serious disease, such as Lyme or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, so seek immediate medical attention.

When spending time in a wooded area this summer, protect yourself from bug bites by using a repellent spray and avoiding scented lotions and skin products.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Tips to Pack Up a Motorcycle for a Long Trip

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There is nothing that compares to the feeling of feeling the wind on your face and the freedom that comes with riding on the bike of a bike. Traveling by motorcycle is a popular choice for solo travelers. You get to experience the freedom of a road trip in a unique way. Going on a long journey can be difficult if you don’t know how to pack everything on the back of your bike. Luckily, there are several tips you can use to pack up your motorcycle.

Roll Your Clothes

By rolling up your personal clothing, you will be able to fit in a lot more of your clothes than you would have if you had folded them. Make sure you pack up synthetic clothing instead of cotton that will dry a lot faster than other materials. This is important when the clothes are washed or rained on. Go for lightweight, non-wrinkle options and fold by outfit so you have ready to wear gear right on hand.

Choose Weather-Appropriate

Make sure you pack all your weather appropriate gear. This depends on the time of year and area where you plan to take your road trip. During the summer months when there will be sun and heat, you are going to need to pack a cool neck wrap, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Leather gear for riding can be found with breathable options for a cooler ride. If you are going to be riding in the winter months, you will need to pack some gloves, heated vest liner, waterproof outerwear, and long underwear. It might also be a good idea to pack both types of seasonal clothes.

Pack Practical

Pack all the tools and supplies you will need for maintenance while on a long road trip. Some of these supplies will include a tool kit, bike cover, jumper cables, motor oil, and the tire inflation kit. It might also be a good idea to pack some spare parts like spark plugs, clutch cable, and replacement fuses. A good long-distance bike will probably have room and places to store these items built on. Don’t forget to pack some personal comforts. This might include ear plugs, toiletries, lip balm, and some of the other things that make you comfortable while on a long trip.

Store Secure

Make sure your luggage is secured safely. Avoid the hanging saddlebags around the exhaust pipes and drive chains. You should also avoid strapping any items to the front fender where you might block the airflow to the engine. It is probably a good idea to use extra straps in order to keep the bags safe and secure. The last tip is to arrange the items based on when you are going to need them. Items that you need while riding should be on the right, while other things can be stored on the left side of the motorcycle for better safety and driving.

Getting on the back of a bike and riding off to your favorite destination is a dream of many motorcyclists. Use these packing tips to stay safe, comfortable, and prepared on your next trip.

About the Author:
Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

4 Essential Pieces of Equipment Every Survivalist Needs in Their Shed

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As a survivalist, there are many helpful tools and pieces of equipment that will facilitate your safety in an emergency. While you cannot keep one of everything in your supply shed, these multi-functional pieces of gear could make the difference between life and death in an emergency. Be sure to have these four pieces of equipment in your cache of supplies.

Weather Radio

Weather radios are an essential piece of equipment that alert you to weather emergencies and other natural disasters. A hand-cranked weather radio requires no electricity, which makes it ideal for your survivalist supplies. Weather radios could inform you of an impending severe storm or alert you to the potential for a flood. Weather radios also provide information about where and when to evacuate when a natural disaster is in progress or has just occurred.

Tarps

Tarps are useful in a variety of situations. If you have a pile of wood that needs to be kept dry so that you can use it for a fire, a tarp will keep moisture away from the tinder. Some companies, like Nans Tarps, know that tarps are also key to protecting your sleeping bag, food, and other fragile or perishable items. If you need to sleep on the ground, a tarp could provide a clean and dry surface for your sleeping bag.

Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware is made to last. These helpful pieces of cookware can be placed directly over or even in a campfire. With cast iron cookware, you can cook without electricity while camping or practicing for a life without modern conveniences. Consider a couple of pieces of cookware to keep with your survivalist supplies, including a pot with a lid and a frying pan.

Hacksaw

In addition to other basic tools, your survivalist gear should include a hacksaw. These tools make it possible to cut through a variety of materials. If you needed to cut your way out of an enclosure or cut pieces of metal or plastic pipes, hacksaws make quick work of the project. Be sure to regularly maintain the hacksaw. Its blade could get corroded or dull while in storage or after a few uses. A blade sharpener keeps the hacksaw in good condition.

These four pieces of essential equipment are affordable. In addition to using them for survivalist activities, you will also find many other uses for them. Purchase the best quality of survivalist equipment you can afford and maintain it in order to make the most of your investment.

About the Author:
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Realistic Emergencies- Money not Guns and Gear and Buckets O Food

Recently I had an emergency. I didn’t need my pocket rocket .380 or my trusty AR. Did not need buckets of rice and beans or body armor or night vision. Know what I needed, MONEY!

Our friend commander zero talked about this recently, well more or less. 
From losing jobs to surprise car repairs or medical problems or legal issues that require a lawyer the common denominator is these problems cost money. The way to solve them is with cash. Yes a bunch of food stashed is a good thing and can displace some expenses but good luck sending your landlord or bank 200 pounds of rice as payment!
One of the blind failures in survivalism and its hipper more politically correct brother preparedness is focusing too much on unlikely or outright fantasy (the classic grid down collapse apocalypse porn stuff) at the expense of failing to adequately prepare for much more likely real life events. 
Got Emergency Fund?

Realistic Emergencies- Money not Guns and Gear and Buckets O Food

Click here to view the original post.
Recently I had an emergency. I didn’t need my pocket rocket .380 or my trusty AR. Did not need buckets of rice and beans or body armor or night vision. Know what I needed, MONEY!

Our friend commander zero talked about this recently, well more or less. 
From losing jobs to surprise car repairs or medical problems or legal issues that require a lawyer the common denominator is these problems cost money. The way to solve them is with cash. Yes a bunch of food stashed is a good thing and can displace some expenses but good luck sending your landlord or bank 200 pounds of rice as payment!
One of the blind failures in survivalism and its hipper more politically correct brother preparedness is focusing too much on unlikely or outright fantasy (the classic grid down collapse apocalypse porn stuff) at the expense of failing to adequately prepare for much more likely real life events. 
Got Emergency Fund?

Everything You Should Know About Bowhunting

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Bowhunting is enjoyable and can be an addictive sport if you have the right equipment. Experienced bow hunters know the where to start because they have the required information. If you what to start bow hunting do not worry. You can learn a few things that will get you started. Experienced bow hunters also require additional tips that will enhance their expertise. Once you have the right bow and right bow stabilizer you can get started. The preparation and position are important while hunting.

How to Start Bow Hunting

First, ensure you have a draw weight of about 50 pounds. Your arrow should be about 900 grains. Before you get in the action, it is good to know the hunting policies in your state and the right season for hunting. Beginners should start practicing before engaging in real bow hunting. You can practice at your backyard before proceeding other the fields or woods. The idea is to ensure you have some knowledge of bow hunting to avoid frustrations when you go for the real action.

It’s advisable to have a good preparation if you want to be a good bow hunter. While you practice archery, consider wearing clothes similar to the outfit that you will be wearing while hunting. This tip might sound ridiculous, but it really comes in handy when you go for the real hunting. Wearing your hunting gear will orient you to the real action.

When hunting, there are different kinds of bows that you can use. Some of the best options are a cross bow, composite bow, and compound bow. You can use any of these bows, and you can also consider having the right bow stabilizer. Even if you are a skilled bow hunter, you might have to practice when you get a new bow. Beginners can start with the compound bow, but the choice will depend on your preferences. When practicing, try to shoot from different positions and angles. Remember the more comfortable you are with the specific bow, the better chances you have at successfully shooting your prey. You will also want to know how far you can shoot. Your prey might not pass close to you. Continuous practice will improve your shooting distance. If your best distance is only 40 feet, you will be unsuccessful if you target a prey at 60 feet.

Now you have practiced enough and can start bow hunting. Positioning is very fundamental in bow hunting. In case you are upwind, the prey might not come your way because they will have smelled you. So the best position is downwind. At this position, you will likely see many animals, although you will have to stalk them. At times, the positioning is a challenge. If you don’t know how to determine the best position, you will likely miss all animals. In fact, most hunters just let the prey to come their way because they choose to remain quiet. If you alarm the animal, you might not be able to shoot, and you will miss a chance.

You will have to measure draw length for the best results. Your physical size and the mechanical setting of the bow need to match. For example, if your physical size requires a draw length setting of about 29 inches, then your draw length is 29 inches. The shooter and the bow should have a draw length that matches up. To get a draw length that will be best for you, measure yourself and then search for a bow which will adjust to fit your size. Alternatively, you can just select a bow with average draw length, and it will adjust to your specific size.

In Conclusion

This bow hunting guide offers a few things that will make your hunting simple and predictable. However, there is no any guarantee you will be successful when hunting. Your success will be determined by your bow, skills, and position. Practice will, however, increase your chances of shooting an animal. Depending on the time of the day or season, the weather conditions might impact your shot. The animal might not even cooperate with you. They might keep running away. These hunting tips will give you an edge in bow hunting. Remember to prepare sufficiently before you go hunting to increase your chances of shooting a prey.

Author Bio: Mitchell is the founder of MusketHunting. At Musket Hunting, He provides guides on how to hunt effectively, answer reader’s questions, and review on the latest hunting gears. Hunting will give you the experience that nothing else in this world can provide

Still Kicking

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Hey Folks, Wanted to let you know that I’m still alive. It has been a crazy month. Unfortunately more bad than good. Hopefully everything turns out ok and the down sides are minimal. Should have a full post coming at you soon and a general return to normalish blogging. 

My Little Harvest

A couple days ago I picked these off of my one pepper plant and two tomato plants. Not much I know but I am pretty happy to have them. I guess I feel like as long as I am growing something it will be alright until we get in a place where we can really have a decent garden.

I got rid of most of the little pullets from all those chicks I hatched….I gave them away….I hadn’t intended to…and I didn’t give them all away but a neighbor had her dog get into her pen that had mysteriously gotten open one day (possibly from an neighborhood kid) and her dogs killed all her chickens except 3 roosters. I didn’t actually know her she lives on the dirt road next to ours but I had met her on facebook and told her to come get some of my “extras”. I gave her 6 pullets. And then another really good friend asked if I had a couple of hens she could get and I said yes so she came and got two pullets. I do still have 6 of the young hens to add to my flock and, of course, lots of roosters.
__________________________________________________________________

Well, this post got delayed. Several things going on right now and I am just trying to keep up. I have gotten three more tomatoes but no more peppers. The pepper plant seems to be dying, maybe better soil next year.
I did get a whole bunch of nice big pots sitting beside the dumpster at our little convenience store. I think they will make good potato pots for next year!

My Little Harvest

Click here to view the original post.

A couple days ago I picked these off of my one pepper plant and two tomato plants. Not much I know but I am pretty happy to have them. I guess I feel like as long as I am growing something it will be alright until we get in a place where we can really have a decent garden.

I got rid of most of the little pullets from all those chicks I hatched….I gave them away….I hadn’t intended to…and I didn’t give them all away but a neighbor had her dog get into her pen that had mysteriously gotten open one day (possibly from an neighborhood kid) and her dogs killed all her chickens except 3 roosters. I didn’t actually know her she lives on the dirt road next to ours but I had met her on facebook and told her to come get some of my “extras”. I gave her 6 pullets. And then another really good friend asked if I had a couple of hens she could get and I said yes so she came and got two pullets. I do still have 6 of the young hens to add to my flock and, of course, lots of roosters.
__________________________________________________________________

Well, this post got delayed. Several things going on right now and I am just trying to keep up. I have gotten three more tomatoes but no more peppers. The pepper plant seems to be dying, maybe better soil next year.
I did get a whole bunch of nice big pots sitting beside the dumpster at our little convenience store. I think they will make good potato pots for next year!

5 Apps Every Survivalist Needs

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When disaster strikes, there won’t be any time left to prepare. There’s no telling what situation you’ll be left to deal with, so prepping as much as possible as soon as possible is the wisest choice. Aside from books and in-person classes, apps can help you learn new skills efficiently, and since to use them all you need is a smartphone, you can prepare wherever and whenever, without having to use too many of your resources.

If you get into the habit of using these apps now, you’ll expand your knowledge base, allowing some of this information to become second nature. So when order and civility go down the drain and people are scrambling to find an internet connection to learn which plants they can eat or how to build a shelter, you will already be well-equipped with these skills and in a superior position to survive.

If electricity is still available when the apocalypse hits, there are some apps that will remain useful no matter how much you’ve learned. Either way, though, a solar powered phone charger will likely come in handy. Here are five apps every survivalist needs.

  1. Emergency

    The “Emergency” app by the American Red Cross provides severe weather alerts, as well as the opportunity to verify the safety of your loved ones during a natural disaster. It can also assist you in creating a family emergency plan and contains pre-loaded content you’ll be able to access without internet or mobile connectivity. A flashlight, audible alarm and strobe light are included within the app, too, making it a useful all-around resource for nearly every survival situation.

  2. Cures A-Z

    Developed by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., “Cures A-Z” is a mobile medical guide that can help you treat hundreds of health conditions. Both natural and prescription therapies are listed in this guide, so even if you don’t have access to a doctor or pharmacy, it’s a great resource. Information on herbs and nutrition is also included, as well as general advice for a variety of ailments.

  3. Wild Edibles

    Foraging for your next meal is going to be essential at some point, and “Wild Edibles” will help you prepare for doing so. It provides information on over 200 plants, and with several high-resolution images available for each plant, it’ll become your go-to app for identification. Descriptions to further help you with identification, as well as explanations about how to use each plant, are also listed.

  4. ExpressVPN

    If the internet is still available when the apocalypse hits, it’s likely it’ll be controlled by the elite, at least to some extent. Our government has already been trying to regulate the internet for some time now, so you should get into the habit of protecting yourself online now so that you can’t be tracked, spied on or hacked. In a survival situation it may be necessary to hide out or keep a solid distance between you and other people. A Virtual Private Network app, such as ExpressVPN, is the best way to prevent your phone and personal data from being used against you.

  5. SAS Survival Guide

    A mobile version of the book “SAS Survival Handbook,” by John Wiseman, “SAS Survival Guide” will assure you’re prepared to survive no matter where you end up. Jam-packed with tutorials, videos, photo galleries, checklists and even quizzes to test your knowledge, it’s one of the best survivalist apps available. This app also doubles as a Morse code signaling device, as well as a sun compass, so it ultimately provides what other survivalist apps are lacking.

The above is only a short list of apps that will come in handy. Have you found any others that have been useful? If so, please share them with us by posting a comment below.

About the Author: Sandra is a blogger and prepper who enjoys writing about alternative news when she’s not busy blogging about survivalism. In her spare time, she likes to go camping with her family.

Outdoor Optimism: 4 Ways To Minimize Your Impact In Nature This Summer

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As soon as temperatures begin to rise, your family’s carbon footprint might grow as well. Everything from road trips to outdoor hiking adventures can have a major impact on the environment. Unfortunately, even a small family can do quite a bit of damage in a short period of time. Here are four simple ways you and your loved ones can protect the environment while you are out enjoying nature.

Carefully Follow All Posted Rules

Almost every campground and trail will have its own unique rules depending on the nearby wildlife and safety hazards. One campground might allow you to have a fire pit while others will give you expensive tickets for any open flames. If you can’t find the area’s rules online, then you should contact the closest wildlife station to ask them for a list of rules.

Pack Out What You Pack In

One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect nearby flora and fauna while you are out in nature is to always leave the area cleaner than you found it. Very few people realize just how much of an impact they can have on the environment when they leave a few scraps of food or an old bottle of sun lotion in a campground. Those items can end up killing animals and spreading unusual diseases.

Invest In An Eco-Friendly Ride

Purchasing an eco-friendly vehicle from a local auto dealership, like Young Automotive Group, is going to reduce your environmental impact and potentially cut back on your expenses. Older cars that haven’t been maintained often leak dangerous fluids and use an incredible amount of fuel. Taking your next road trip in a certified used vehicle is going to give you peace of mind knowing that you will be impacting the local environment as little as possible.

Protect Water Sources

Most experts agree that campsites should be at least 200 feet from freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds. Those who camp too close to bodies of water run the risk of contaminating them. You should also avoid using local water sources for any hygiene practices such as bathing or brushing your teeth. Even relatively safe hygiene products can kill off species and damage habitats.

As a general rule, you always want to leave the area as untouched as possible whenever you are out enjoying nature. Seemingly innocuous actions such as lighting a cigarette or feeding a wild animal could end up causing a tremendous amount of damage.

About the Author: Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

Bug Out Bag Repacking

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For the sake of simplicity I try to have a minimal amount of systems. EDC, my fighting load which is layered and somewhat modular and my bug out bag. The heavy bug out set up is not really formed into a system per se. That is on my to do list.

My bug out bag lives in the back of my jeep. That does a few things for me. First it removes the need for an additional ‘get home bag’ which would be yet another system to fill with redundant gear and keep track of. Second and maybe more importantly it gets my BOB out of the house so I have some redundancy there. Third if I had to haul butt what I would do is jump in the jeep and go anyway so why have another thing to load. 
I should probably further define my goals from this bag. My goal is to be able to sustain and move through an urban or small town environment in order to get home or out of danger. What it is not: some kind of wilderness survival bag or military ruck sack aka sustainment load. Why? Well I’m not going to run off into the woods to try to make a cabin an eat squirrels n stuff. I’m either going to be trying to get home, hold up till I can get home or get safely out of some sort of danger. If getting out of danger I’ll most likely end up in a Motel 6 a town or a couple hundred miles away depending on the event. Also my bag isn’t especially like an infantrymens sustainment load (though there are commonalities) because in my civilian capacity being realistic I am unlikely to do anything like that.

It weights in at 32 pounds with 1 quart of water so 30 dry. Has a full change of clothes, sleep stuff (one module is my impromptu overnight kit aka hoe bag), couple days of food, medical, water filtration, etc.

A downside of it living in my car is I won’t keep really high value stuff like cash, pms, my NOD, etc in it. That stuff is packed in a small book bag in the safe. Unless I get a much more secure way of storing stuff in my car like a truck vault which at $1,500 isn’t happening soon, or the risk on a oven day goes up it will stay in the safe. Not perfect but such is life.

Notes for myself.

Need to add but couldn’t readily find in my place:
-10 meter roll of 550 cord/ duct tape

Need to buy, realistically doable:
– Poncho (I’m on the fence about this)
– Kansas and Missouri state maps
– Burner phone x 2
– Phone charger cord
– Encrypted thumb drive
– Water purification tablets

Wish list aka too expensive, or illegal:
– Lots and lots of cash
– Several fake ids with drivers license, passport, etc.
– 9mm silencer
– NOD dedicated to BOB
– FLIR
– Small battery charger for above
– Fake mustaches

What’s in your BOB? What creative ideas have you used to solve problems with finances and legal limitations?

4 Pieces of Marine Equipment Any Prepper on the Coast Needs

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When you are a prepper, your emergency supplies and equipment should extend to your boat. Living on the coast allows you to evacuate land by boat and reach another safe destination. If you are on the water during a disaster, the equipment could help you to reach rescuers or find safety. Consider these four pieces of marine equipment every prepper should have.

Flares and Emergency Signals

Flares and emergency signals are key to getting noticed by other boats and search planes if your vessel becomes disabled on the water. Preppers on the coast should have their boats fully stocked with these emergency beacons in case of a power outage. Other boats will be able to find a vessel in trouble even if the radio goes out.

Boat Lifts

When you need to move your boat between two different elevations of water, a boat lift is a wise choice. As an alternative to a canal lock, companies like Abbotts’ Construction Services Inc., know that a boat lift helps to get your boat to where it needs to be without having to wait for outside assistance. Using a boat lift facilitates getting into a port or harbor, especially in the case of severe weather, power outages or another type of natural disaster.

Radios

Communications radios are also helpful pieces of marine equipment. Radios allow a boat captain to issue a mayday in case of a dangerous situation. They can also be used to call for coast guard assistance. If a captain needs the aid of another boat, using the radio is a simple way to find help as quickly as possible.

GPS Tracking Units

GPS tracking units are an important piece of marine equipment that every boat owner should have. These units pinpoint the boat’s location. In case a severe weather event were to take place, you could use the unit to find the nearest place to come into shore and dock your boat. Consider a GPS unit that has a battery backup in case your boat loses power. If you had to come inland, you could remove the GPS unit from your boat and use it to get to safety.

Each of these pieces of marine equipment should be considered an investment in your safety. Many of these pieces of equipment can also be used on land if needed. By purchasing and installing these pieces of equipment as you can afford to, you will be able to prepare for a wide variety of emergency situations that could occur.

About the Author:
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

3 Hiking Preparedness Tips To Consider Before Hitting The Trails

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Hiking is great fun and an excellent form of exercise. An adventure through the woods can be dangerous for the ill prepared, however. Before you set off on your next hiking adventure, make sure you perform these three preparations first.

Research The Trail

Before hitting the trail, know what you’ll find when you get there. There are many maps and trail books available at your local bookstore and online. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact local hiking clubs or plan your hike in a nearby park or nature reserve. Doing so allows you to contact the park ranger for trail information and conditions. Compare the trail information you receive with the skill and fitness level of your group. Know your limits and only hike trails within them.

Pack A Bag

While you don’t want to weigh yourself down unnecessarily, there are a few basic supplies you should always carry with you on the trail. Always bring along the following:

  • Fresh water
  • Healthy snacks
  • A flashlight or head lamp
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • A whistle
  • A first aid kit

Stock your first aid kit with the usual supplies and any medications you take routinely, just in case you’re out longer than planned. Be conscious of stinging insect allergies, as well, and carry your EpiPen or other life-saving medications prescribed by your allergy doctor. If you’re unsure if you have allergies or not, consider getting tested, like the services offered at Oak Brook Allergists.

Dress Properly

Your favorite jeans and a worn cotton tee may be perfect attire for a lazy Sunday, but they’re terrible for hiking. Cotton dries very slowly, is worthless when wet and causes chafing. Instead, wear modern moisture wicking fabrics that will keep you cool and dry. Some of these fabrics even include built-in insect repellents and UV protection. These garments are a worthwhile investment, as are the right hiking boots. Buy the lightest, most comfortable boots you can find without sacrificing ankle support. Never compromise on boot comfort. If you don’t find boots comfortable on a level floor, you’ll be downright miserable on rough terrain.

Hiking is a terrific hobby and there is a trail that can accommodate almost every age and fitness level. The key to a safe and enjoyable hike is matching the trail to your physical abilities, wearing the right clothes and bringing along the right supplies. Doing so ensures you’ll have a fun trip and be prepared to handle whatever crosses your path.

About the Author: Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.