Six Steps to Take for Summer Hiking Preparedness

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When hiking, it is important you prepare properly to have a fun and safe trip. We’ve all been on the hellish hikes where you wore the wrong shoes or didn’t pack enough sunscreen. Don’t fall victim to these amateur mistakes. If you take all the right steps you can be prepared for anything that may come your way.

Step 1: Bring Plenty of Water
It seems obvious, but water is very important when going on a hike. Dehydration is very real when being active, regardless of the temperature. Bring enough water to drink plus a little extra, since you may need to clean a wound. Some people enjoy a snack or even an entire meal when on a hiking trip, depending on the length of your trek. Since so much energy is being used by your body, having fruit or a granola bar handy wouldn’t hurt.

Step 2: Protection from the Sun
While journeying through a beautiful environment, it’s nice to enjoy the outdoors and get exposed to a little more vitamin D. Just remember, the sun can be damaging as well as warm. Bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and some people even wear long sleeve shirts and pants for additional protection.

Step 3: Pack a Backpack
You are preparing for a fun day and you have many needs. If all your supplies won’t fit in your pocket, it’s good to have a small backpack for water, food, and maps. Prepare to pack light. Do your best to bring all the important things, but also remember you will be carrying this backpack the whole time.

Step 4: Bring a Friend or Headphones
Hiking with friends is always a great pastime. You can engage in conversation and take in the sights together. It is a great way to come together and bond on a more personal level. If you can’t find a friend to take the trip, you still want to skip the phone, music can be great when you stop for breaks. You want to be aware of your surroundings during your hike, but when eating a snack, lunch, or taking a breather, you can indulge in some sounds to match your views. Be sure you always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.

Step 5: Have First Aid Supplies
While hiking is a fun and healthy activity, remember anything can happen while out on the trail. There is the threat of dehydration, sunburn, bug bites, animal attacks, and other unknowns. Just be mindful and stay prepared. It’s best to try to avoid most issues by having the correct supplies on hand. In the end, you won’t have control over nature, so keep some band-aids and first aid supplies with you. You may also want to have your doctor’s number on hand just in case you run into a wild animal or unleashed dog.

Step 6: Have Fun!
Being outdoors is enjoyable regardless of the risks, and should be a good experience. Make sure it is by following the above tips and being prepared.

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 Ways to Set Up a Backup Electrical System in Case of Disaster

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Your house goes quiet and dark when the power goes out. The background hum of the refrigerator or the sound of a furnace or air conditioner stops. It gets quite dim in some rooms indoors even at noon. If the power stays out for a few days, your refrigerated and frozen foods spoil, and your HVAC system shuts down. There is no power to charge cell phones or lights. Here are four ways to establish backup power in case of a disaster.

Whole-House Generator

This backup power plan is not cheap, but it is very effective. You can even have one big enough to power every circuit in your house to make it like the power grid was never interrupted. Smaller units can be wired to power a limited number of circuits such as some lights and outlets along with refrigeration, heating and cooling.

Whole-house power generators can be purchased that run on liquid or gas fuels. Natural gas supplies often remain intact in hurricane, tornado and flooding disasters. If you already use propane, this can be a fuel of choice. If you live on a farm and store diesel in tanks, it would be a good fuel option.

Portable Power Generators

Portable does not necessarily mean underpowered. There are small generators on wheels you can roll outside and hook a few extension cords to them. Then there are large units that are lifted by forklifts onto trucks or flown in by helicopter. However, for household purposes, they are usually mounted to a frame that has inflated rubber tires about the size you would find on the front of a riding lawn mower.

The standard ones sold in stores are usually gasoline powered, but you can buy diesel, natural gas and propane models. They are used to run some lights, power your refrigerator and freezer and maybe power the blower on a forced-air natural gas furnace. They do not usually have enough power to run air conditioning.

Fixed Solar Panels

This can give you a complete off-grid power system for your home if your house gets enough sun year round. Solar panels installed on the roof absorb energy from the sun to create electricity that is immediately used with the surplus being stored in batteries to keep things running at night.

Power inverters are used to step up the battery power to run your lights and connected household appliances. This is another system that is fixed in place like the whole-house generator. They can be great if you can shelter in place during a disaster but are useless if you have to become mobile.

Portable Solar Power Generation

These are the same as portable power generators, but they use the sun for fuel instead of gasoline, diesel, natural gas or propane. The Lycan Powerbox by Renogy is one example. These systems are look like a wheeled suitcase and have an inverter, battery and solar panel. There are receptacles to plug devices into that run on household current, and you can get a system with a spare battery for an instant power reload.

Typical portable solar power generators can also be charged by plugging them into a wall receptacle at home. This lets you keep a full charge on your batteries before a disaster hits, and you have the solar panel to maintain a charge while the grid is down. Plus, you can take it with you if you have to become mobile, and they can be used for camping and other outdoor recreation and adventures where electricity is desired.

Failure of the power grid due to a disaster doesn’t have to leave you in the dark. Planning ahead can keep your life powered and running no matter how long the power stays out for everyone else.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

5 Solo Car Camping Tips for the Wilderness Wanderer

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Now that the days are warming up nicely and the nights are only slightly cool, you may want to consider enjoying nature a bit more. Solo car camping trips are often the way to go if you need some time by yourself to relax, unwind and get away from the stressors of work. However, because solo camping is not for the faint of heart, consider these tips before your first time roughing it.

Get Familiar with Camping

If you have never been camping before, solo car camping is most likely not for you. You need to be familiar with the basics of roughing it, such as laying a fire, keeping away from wild animals and hiking. You should also know the basics of first aid and wilderness survival to ensure that you will not make a newbie mistake on your first solo camping trip.

Pack Lightly

Since you will need to be transporting everything yourself, you should pack lightly, particularly if you plan on parking your car and hiking to a nearby location to sleep. Water and food are some of the biggest items you should carry, but make a few adjustments to lighten your load. For example, instead of carrying an entire water purifier, use space-saving purification tablets, and instead of using firewood for cooking, carry a small gas or alcohol-burning stove.

Pick the Right Car

Your car is probably your best bet for safety because you will count on it to get you back home and to keep you and your belongings safe from wildlife and weather. Visit a dealership and choose a small SUV that is good for rugged terrain, such as the GMC Acadia or the Jeep Grand Cherokee. A Subaru Forester is a great compact SUV that has plenty of space for cargo.

Stay Slightly on the Grid

Make sure that someone knows where you are going to be before you leave. While camping is not a time that you want to stay connected to your phone, you may want to have access to a phone charger while you are gone in case of emergency. Additionally, make sure that your contact person knows your license number and make and model of vehicle.

Travel with Emergency Devices

You may not have cell phone capabilities everywhere you camp. Definitely invest in a battery-powered weather radio and a whistle. You may also want to purchase or rent a personal locator beacon to help rescuers find you should you need help.

While your first solo car camping trip may be filled with worry over whether something bad will happen, if you will run out of food or if you will encounter a dangerous wild animal, you will quickly begin learning the ropes and realizing that if you practice basic safety techniques you can have a pleasurable and safe trip by yourself. Soon you will begin connecting with yourself and discovering more about what makes you who you are. Also, remember that if you are camping in state or national parks, you can reach out to park rangers who will have helpful information about the lay of the land.

About the Author:
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.

Reader Question: Bug Out Realities

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Harry Flashman said “If you have to flee, where (in general theory) would you go? I’m not asking specifically, just your thoughts. If I had to abandon my compound I’d be screwed. The only place I can think to go in the event of some major Black Swan event would be deeper into the Appalachian mountains, where I would surely starve when winter came. Remember the old guy in “The Road” played by Robert Duvall? I don’t want to end up like that.”

Ryan here: Harry, There is a disconnect between what I am thinking about and preparing for in this context and what you are thinking about. You are focused on a black swan type event sort of in line with what survivalist authors love writing about. I am focused on events which fall short of that. 

There are many reasons a person might need to leave where they live, if just for a period of time. Natural disasters such as storms, hurricanes, tornados, wildfire, etc come to mind. Social unrest is another. Various occasional events such as gas leaks, overturned rail cars with nasty chemicals, etc happen also. 

The point here is there are a bunch of actual real life (vs survivalist fantasy and or very unlikely events) reasons you might need to leave your home in a hurry. 

These problems also have the advantage of bejng much more manageable than an EMP and cannibal hordes. I am not “bugging out” to be mad max or the man and son from ‘The Road’, I’m probably going to be in a Motel 6 in the nearest unaffected city ordering take out and talking with my insurance company.

Along these lines my gear is set up accordingly. Stuff like sleepwear, deodorant, an IWB holster for the G19, clothes I could wear in normal society, etc. Sure there is good, water purification, first aid, etc. It is roughly a 50/50 mix between overnight bag and a more conventional ‘bug out bag’.

I hope that explains my thinking. 

What you could do? 

For the more likely fire scare, sudden trip to the hospital, race up to see the kids in an emergency you could put together a kit like mine. 

For the black swan/ conventional survivalist scenario. I would find a couple of places that are abandoned or very isolated and cache a bunch of gear there. Lots of effort and implied tasks but it would give it the ability to leave your place quickly and have some logistics. 

Systems and Progress

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My BOB is repacked. I still need to add a couple things but the core of it is set up. I need to add one of those recharging things as well as a phone charger. Also a couple maps specifically for the bag. My safe stuff (cash, vehicle titles, etc) is in a small backpack ready to grab in the safe.

I repacked my Go Box A to reflect my current firearm stash. So .22lr for the 10/22, .380 for the LCP, 9 for the Glock, 5.56 for the AR and 7.62. A couple mags for the core guns and one each for the nice to haves plus a mag pouch for the AR, a holster for the Glock and cleaning stuff round it out.

A pair of pants sit by the speedy cabinet with 2x each Glock and AR mags n a holster. That sits on a very comfortable pair of leather slip on shoes. By that is a PC with 2 more AR mags, a Glock mags an a med kit. With that set up I would have 3 spare Glock mags and 4 AR mags. For me that’s all I can see needing these days. Sure if things went totally to shit I might want more but that won’t happen overnight and I have another rig for that anyway.

I would like to go to the new Haley DC3 rig and eventually I will.

At the current juncture I am pretty happy with this system. Next is the heavy bug out stuff. Also I might make a full on mad max set up just for fun.

How to Prepare an Electricity-free Kitchen

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There are a number of situations in which you may find yourself without electricity and you want to be prepared all of them. Depending on the number of people in your family or group, your setup needs may vary. Here are some options to explore for making sure that you can still prepare wholesome homemade meals in the event you find yourself without power.

Small but Powerful

For something small and compact that can travel easily, consider getting a Pocket Rocket by MSR. They are a longstanding staple of backpackers all over the world and can literally be assembled with one hand and weigh mere ounces. They pack enough heat to boil a couple cups of water in a few minutes. However, their gas canisters typically do not hold more than 6 hours of burning fuel and have to be replaced frequently. If you are looking for a small but portable way to boil water in less than two minutes for your dehydrated meal, a JetBoil may be your best bet in that arena. The size of a large coffee cup, they screw into the top of a gas canister for added stability and windproofing. JetBoils also come with attachments to turn them into a French press, a frying pan and a cooking pot.

Feast or Famine

For larger groups, you are going to want a stove and cooking area that has multiple burners and a larger surface. Stoves that collapse and are easily transportable, like the classic Coleman double burner, are a great option for a family of four or small group of people. What these kinds of stoves do not offer is a cooking platform or a food preparation area. If you are going to be stationary for a while, consider getting a table with legs and a side food preparation table. Stoves, like the Camp Chef Pro Series Deluxe Three, are equipped with propane tanks that hold a large amount of gas and are refillable and the dual platforms on either side are useful for setting utensils, condiments and cutting boards.

Accessories

For the sake of longevity, invest in metal, rather than plastic, utensils. Melting or breaking a plastic spatula will render it useless. Metal utensils hold up for a long time — same goes for your plates and cups. Put together a kitchen box with long lasting supplies such as reusable towels (as opposed to one time use paper towels), waterproof matches and fire starter. It is wise to stock up on gas canisters or propane to ensure that you have enough cooking fuel in the event that you lose power and have to fire up one of your cook stove substitutes. If you don’t want to worry about fuel, consider getting a large griddle to turn any camp fire or heat source into a cookable surface as long as the area is flat.

Author Bio: W.M. Chandler is a Colorado native and works best with her head in the clouds. She is an avid researcher and enjoys writing about unfamiliar subjects. She writes passionately about nature and the outdoors, human connections and relationships, nutrition and politics. Twitter: @wmchandler1212

8 Reasons Why You Need Food Preparedness in Your Life

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As the political climate, acts of terrorism, and natural disasters threaten the peace and security of people worldwide, it’s not uncommon to feel uneasy and anxious about the future. While you don’t have control over much of what happens in life, making sure you’re adequately prepared in case of an emergency can help you regain some peace of mind. Here are the 8 reasons you need to establish food storage in your home today.

  1. Peace of Mind During a Disaster

    As mentioned above, perhaps the best reasons to have food storage in your home is for the peace of mind this preventative measure will give you during a disaster. Rather than having to worry about how and where to get food, you can rest easy that a major basic need is already taken care of.

  2. Food to Sustain During Financial Crisis

    In the event of a cut in pay or the loss of a job, you know you have a way to provide food for your family while you get back on your feet. Unemployment is a real problem these days, but you can shore up against financial windfall, providing you and your family some wiggle room in the event of a crisis.

  3. Comfort that Your Family Will Be Provided For

    A lot can be said about peace of mind and the comfort that comes with knowing you’re prepared for even the direst situation. Your family is your most important asset, and knowing they’ll always have food to sustain them is a great comfort.

  4. Ability to Help Others

    There are always people in need, whether due to homelessness, financial problems, or natural disaster. With the help of food storage, you can share what you have with others who are less fortunate. Share food with a neighbor, donate to a charity or a food pantry. There is a multitude of options, but you can’t use any of them unless you’re prepared first.

  5. Help During a Pandemic

    In the event of a pandemic, you could potentially be housebound for months. With long-term food storage built up, you can survive this time without the risk of being contaminated trying to get food or water.

  6. Peace in Social Chaos

    There is continued civil unrest around the globe, and as this social chaos inevitably increases, there may come a time your city is affected. In the event you won’t have access to food, whether from fear of leaving your home or due to the destruction of riots and looting, having food storage might be a lifesaver.

  7. Sustenance During War

    In times of war, food is more scarce; prices drive up, and rationing often limits what’s available. With food storage present in your home, neither of these scenarios need to be a worry for your family.

  8. Severe Weather or Natural Disaster

    During a flood, earthquake, tornado, fire, or any other natural disaster, you may be left trapped in your home for days or weeks on end. If you have food storage in your home, you care rest assured that your family will survive these troubled times until help and relief can reach you.

Peace in Preparedness

During times of turmoil, preparation equals confidence, and making sure you have adequate food storage is an excellent way to prepare. Stock up on canned goods, fill containers with water, and consider using mylar bags and vacuum sealers to help keep food fresh longer. Being prepared in the face of disaster gives you one less thing to worry about.

About the Author:
Rachel Libby is a content crafter. She has a passion for writing and providing people with mountains of knowledge. In addition, Rachel also works at Big Leap and enjoys all things marketing and helping businesses grow. Speaking of mountains, you can find her exploring the wild terrain of Utah in her quest for adventure and cool Instagram photo opportunities.

Notes from Carbine Class

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Pro- Driving the rifle aggressively
– Doing a good job of balancing acceptable accuracy and speed. For where my skills are now the balance is good. I’m seeming to be able to accurately judge how much time I need to make angoven shot.
– Generally getting solid hits on target.
– Transitions are going ok and more importantly becoming automatic. For a traditional Army Infantry guy getting used to transitioning to the pistol up close (vs getting the rifle back in the fight) takes some doing but it’s feeling good.
– Shooting when my weak side foot is down has done wonders for my shooting on the move.
-Maybe some other stuff but enough self  ass kissing

Gear Pro
-The set up I used today with my pistol, 2x Pistol mags in a sxs pouch and 2x rifle mags in a double stack pouch on a rigger belt is a winner. It has some kinks to work out but to me for a home defense type set up the concept is proven.
– While too early to say for sure I’m happy with the new Glock magpul mags. Flawless.
– My guns worked great

Now to the less good stuff

Cons
– Head shots and POA/POI on the AR. Under 25 meters or so the 2. whatever inch difference between the line of your sights and where the bullet goes matters. I know the concept but am not doing well performing it quickly. Putting my sights on someone’s hair to shoot them between the eyes is hard to remember when I go fast.
– The push/ pull method of seating a magazine is superior to the old army slap but I’m having a serious issue with the slap being so ingrained in me. Need to dry fire it a lot.
-I should shoot offhand at 50-75m more. That’s not a strong area for me.
– On transitions to pistol I need to push the rifle a little bit further to the side instead of trying to game it to make time.

Gear Cons
– While the concept I used today of a pair of pants with rifle and pistol mags on a normal type belt was validated some the components were not. For the pistol mags I basically had a normal TT 2 mag pouch. Reloads from it sucked. I’m looking at some other options.
– The VTAC Cobra belt should replace the random rigger belt I am using.
– As another option I really like and will eventually get is probably the Hailey Strategic DC3 cheat rig. None of the chest rigs I have can accommodate a standard strong side holster as they come too far into my side. I have holsters that work for that but in a modular set up I like a standard strong side OWB holster. Also civie Ryan probably doesn’t need 10 mags an if he does he will wear a full on belt kit.

Life-Saving Items You Need To Carry When Hunting

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As you prepare yourself for the hunting season, it is important that you emphasize on your safety by giving it the priority it deserves. Taking into consideration what survival items you need to carry whether you plan on using them or not is paramount regardless of your hunting prowess. You never know what might happen when you are out and about in the wild. There are items that you should never forget when going out on a game hunt.

This article strives to give you the most essential must have survival items you need not miss on your hunting spree.

  1. First aid kit

    A hunter’s first aid kit is very different from the ordinary kit that just contains pain relievers and a Band-Aid. An excellent hunter’s first aid kit should be built from scratch taking into consideration all tools that you may require in case of a major accident. Some of the things that need to be in your first aid kit include; Special medication for those who suffer from a special need that requires them to frequently medicate, heavy-duty bandages and gauze, water purification tablets, tourniquets among other things.

  2. Map and compass

    Since time immemorial, a compass has been used by hunters as their primary navigation tool. Regardless of the change in technology where you can easily use a wrist GPS, it is important that you tag along with your compass just in case. A compass combined with a map is the only fail proof navigation gadget you can get.

  3. Food/water

    Whether you are going hunting for days or just for a hike, easy to eat food and water is a must have for all hunters. Stainless steel utensils are also highly recommended since you can use them for cooking purposes as well.

  4. Knife

    Just like a pen is to writing so is a knife to hunting. The importance of this tool can never be over emphasized. Before leaving for hunting, ensure that your knife is sharp. A knife is a Multi-functional tool that you can use as a weapon, for cutting rope, skinning game, opening packages, or even creating a fire starter. A knife should be kept on your person as opposed to keeping it in your backpack. Also, when cutting, ensure that you do not cut towards yourself as this may cause an accident.

  5. Communication tool

    A fully charged cell phone, its power bank and a two-way radio are a must have for hunters. These tools provide a way for hunters to communicate with other people incase an emergency arises. Unfortunately, due to poor network coverage or damage to this items, they may not be in a condition to help you convey messages. In this case, a whistle or a glass mirror will come in handy. Blowing a whistle or using a glass mirror to reflect rays of light are other ways you can communicate with the outside world as well as ward off animals.

  6. Fire Starters and flashlights

    Although easy to forget, flashlights are highly essential when going out to hunt for days. A heavy duty AA flashlight is not only bright, but it can last a long time. A flashlight may help you find your way through the night or on that dark morning. A flashlight may also help you to get your bearing at night and scare off animals.

    When you are out hunting for days, a means of making fire fast is also essential. Disposable lighters will aid you in quickly lighting up a fire to cook, for warmth, to melt snow and also to find your way through the darkness in case your flashlight runs out of battery. Ensure that you carry matches as backup lighters in a waterproof container.

  7. Cordage

    Although making a rope out of plant material is possible, bringing along a strong 50-feet cord is highly essential for hunters. You can use it to build shelter, secure loads to your backpack or to navigate through steep paths and inclines. A paracord is highly recommended because it does not add too much weight.

Once you have all these items in place, ensure that you pack them in a sturdy and durable backpack. Make a checklist where you can cross out all things you put in your bag to prevent yourself from forgetting an important item. In addition, before going out on that hunting expedition, ensure that you are geared up in appropriate clothing. Depending on the season, you may opt for some light or mid weight clothing. However, hunting boots are a must wear regardless of the season.

Remember that in order to survive adverse situations, you need to be prepared at all times. Bear in mind that preparedness is an ongoing thing that involves acquiring new survival tactics and adapting to new situations.

Author Bio:

Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else, and occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. He is a founder at www.deerhuntingfield.com

Bug Out Realities

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I am in the midst of redoing some systems. It is important to do this every so often. This is important to do regularly to rotate items, make sure everything is still working and such. Also from time to time it is important to re look out concepts.

I have been trying to step back and look more realistically at things. Less red dawn/ walking dead fantasy and more everyday real life. Also as I do move I need to adapt to different environments.

What is changing these days:
– My fighting load plans in concealing the pistol and it’s spare ammo if just under a normal shirt. Also working on being able to conceal rifle ammo.
– My bug out bag is getting heavily re done. It will basically be my car ‘get home bag’ beefed up a bit.   Much heavier on low profile with a concept of use more focused on the realistic scenario where I end up crashing at someone’s place or in a motel then some live in the woods fantasy. Kind of an overnight bag with some survival stuff in it.
– This bag is going to stay in my vehicle which eliminates unneeded redundancy. The only exclusion will be the stuff that currently lives in my safe. I am going to organize that stuff into a small easy to grab pouch which will be ready to go in the safe. With this set up I could be out of the house with the absolute must grab stuff in well under 5 minutes.

More to follow later.

Are your systems tempered for your area and realistic scenarios?

How True Preppers Ready Themselves for a Natural Disaster

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Natural disasters can strike anywhere and at any time. As a prepper, it is important to know which types of natural disasters are most likely to happen in your location. Once you know the potential hazards, you can take action to prepare for them. Keep in mind these four ways of readying yourself for a natural disaster.

Becoming a Storm Spotter

Becoming a storm spotter is an important step for preppers to take. Spotters are trained to identify different types of cloud formations and other indicators that are suggestive of severe weather. As a storm spotter, you could recognize a funnel cloud, report it to local authorities and the weather service and then take cover in your shelter.

Getting Certified in First Aid

As a prepper, it is also important to know how to administer first aid to yourself or another person. Taking a class through the American Red Cross allows you to gain certification in first aid. There are classes for first aid for children and for adults. You will learn essential skills such as performing CPR, doing the Heimlich maneuver, and dressing a wound. You may also learn how to remove debris from a wound, stitch a wound closed and remove a stinger.

Transporting Supplies with Utility Trailers

Utility trailers are key to transporting supplies to your shelter. A utility trailer, like those available from Hillsboro Industries, can be connected to your vehicle to haul lumber, sheeting, and heavy bags of concrete to your property. You can also use them to haul large kegs of water and bulk containers of food to your storage.

Learning How to Use Essential Tools and Equipment

Having tools and equipment won’t help if you don’t know how to use them. Practice using food dehydrators, hand tools and portable radios before a natural disaster happens. Test your skills at hunting, fishing, rope tying and other key parts of prepping. Know how to quickly assemble and disassemble your tent. Understand how to use the water filter and build a campfire under rainy conditions.

The aftermath of a natural disaster could last for days, weeks, months or even longer. Taking the time now to prepare your shelter, practice using your equipment and test your skills will help you to be ready for any emergency situation. Be sure to keep all of your equipment in good condition and to rotate your supplies so that they do not expire before you are able to put them to use.

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

Training and Dry Fire Thoughts

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People can tend to over train in rarely used and unrealistic areas. Two examples would be speed reloads and rifle to pistol transitions. Statistically speaking in a civilian gunfight you won’t shoot a .38 snobby dry let alone a modern double stack handgun holding 15 ish rounds. I won’t say t never happens because sometimes it does but it’s very rare.

Ditto rifle to pistol transitions. For that to make sense 3 things need to happen simultaneously. First a modern rifle which usually holds 30 rounds and certainly 20 plus needs to run empty (or jam which I didn’t mention in pistols because if you use decent modern guns and aren’t a complete buffoon it’s very unlikely.). In a civilian or even law enforcement context rifle fights end really fast. The reason for this is that rifles stop people, even the much picked at 5.56, very well. Also critically rifles and shotguns are much easier to shoot well than pistols due to a longer length between songs and so many Points of contact. Second I would have to be at pistol range which we could define as 25 meters for simplicity. Third I would have to be in the open otherwise I’d just reload my rifle behind concealment/ cover. The idea of people blazing away at each other at pistol distances in the open until  I run dry won’t happen outside an action movie.

These skills are good to know how to do. They are also good to practice. It’s just a question of how much of our limited time should go to them. I would be inclined to mostly practice the stuff that will help me win the fight. The biggest single shooting skill there is getting the first hit on target. Shooting someone gets you all up in their OODA loop.

Dry fire training with a timer is essential to improvement in these skills. Unless you have a range outside your back porch and a huge ammo budget you can’t shoot every day. You can do dry fire at home for free.

Today’s notes.

Equipment. G19 and appendix holster.
Consistently hitting 1.5 from concealment. Dropped to 1.4 and ran 50/50 ish but get rushed and was making mistakes. I’ll stick at 1.4 for at least a week. My short term goal is to get dry fire from concealment to 1.3 which giving a little extra time for real shooting get me at 1.4 there. The long term goal is sub 1 second from concealment but that’s beyond a dream now.

After that I did a few rifle to pistol transitions to get ready for shooting this weekend. More on that topic later. 

Personal Survival: 4 Steps to Create and Maintain an Emergency Kit

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When there’s a natural disaster or a situation where your personal survival is in danger, you need to have the minimal tools on hand to make it through at least a few days until help arrives or the situation is over. After you gather the items that you need for the kit, you can put them in a small plastic box that has a lid so that they are securely in one place. You can get the items that are needed for the kit at most retail stores and even at discount stores so that you don’t spend a lot of money.

Hydration

The first thing that you want to have in your kit or in the area where you’re going to take shelter is water. It’s ideal to have at least one gallon a day for each person to last for three days. This would mean that you would need three gallons for each person who is planning on using the kit or who is going to stay in the shelter.

Clothing and Blankets

You want to have at least two or three additional clothing items aside from what you wear when the disaster strikes. The clothing should be comfortable and easy to get on and off. You also want to have a jacket or coat depending on the weather and even a pair of sturdy work boots in case you have to walk across areas that have limbs on the ground or that are covered in water. Companies like Bargain Center often have boots and other clothing supplies in all sizes as well as blankets so that you can stay warm.

Supplying Nutrients

When packing your kit, include enough food so that each person has at least 2,000 calories available each day. You might not eat that much, but it would be available in case someone needs more energy or you need to stay in the shelter for a longer time. Foods that don’t need to be heated are suggested along with protein bars and trail mix. Include baby formula that can be mixed with water as well.

Hygiene

You might not be able to take a shower for a few days, so you need to have supplies that can keep you clean. Dry shampoo, baby wipes and toilet paper can be packed as these will give you at least some way to keep dirt off the body. A toothbrush and toothpaste also needs to be packed along with diapers for babies or even toddlers.

When you pack a survival kit, think about the bare necessities instead of the luxury items. Try not to over-pack your kit as this will make it hard to move to your shelter. Update your kit as needed, especially if there are more people who plan to join you during the event.

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

The Cutting of the Hazelnuts

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When we moved in here we had a large front yard and large back yard and slowly over the years both yards have gotten increasingly overgrown. Some of it is just because we live in the woods and the woods grow but a lot of it has been things I have planted. Sometimes plants are cheap and you think it is a great idea and you think you will use them and you never do. And sometimes you just don’t know how big those plants will get. It never occurred to me that hazelnuts could grow this big!

 I planted them by the driveway and every year now we have to trim the driveway side back so there is room for both mine and Michelle’s cars. Even worse….sadly…we never really used the hazelnuts. They are small. Too small for any nutcrackers so you have to use a hammer and most of the time you crush the meat. Just getting them all cleaned of their shells is a ridiculously slow job and I could deal with us never using them if at least the wildlife used them but there has never been a squirrel or anything else collecting nuts from the two bushes.
So I mentioned to Phil that maybe we should cut them down and open up the yard some and he jumped right on that idea and said it would make the yard a whole lot easier to cut the grass and he would do that next.
We have two pairs of “loppers” and started cutting but I am sick today….some sort of sore throat, ache all over, dizzy, fever off and on…sickness, and I just couldn’t get my bush cut and Phil had to come finish it up.
I told Phil it would be a great place to plant my two rose bushes I bought a couple weeks ago and he just rolled his eyes at me. 😀

Nothing left but the brush to take off now.

Spring Preparation for a Pest-Free Bunker

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Securing your underground bunker from unwanted nighttime visitors and pests is a step many preppers overlook. Unwelcome strangers and people attempting to steal supplies may not be a large concern depending on how far off the grid you’ve placed your bunker. However, there is nowhere that a determined pest seeking food and shelter won’t go, and unfortunately no single way to deter them. The key is to identify weak points and take proper precautions to ward off pests from the get-go.

Identify, Prevent, Deter

There are a few types of wildlife pests that can be a serious issue for owners of underground bunkers. Every bunker needs proper ventilation and generally, houses significant amounts of food storage and water. Sure, your bunker ventilation can be concealed from passerby, but camouflage isn’t going to fool those pests with twitchy noses and empty stomachs. Spring is prime seasons for squirrels, raccoons, mice, skunks and bugs.

To prevent any unwanted pests around your bunker, keep all garbage and organic debris separate from the location. Once living in your bunker, burying your garbage isn’t going to cut it. You can bury it but do so far away from where you’re located.

The location of your bunker will play a role in the types of pests you may encounter. If the ground cover around your bunker is ideal for grubs or beetle larvae, then treat the area to prevent pests (like skunks and raccoons) that feed on these insects.

If you are near any type of farming or harvested crops, you might have mice. With this year’s high yield of crops there is likely to be an increase in mouse numbers which means all bunkers near areas of harvest should be wary of mice infestation on their food and grain storage.

The best way to deal with these pests is to proactively prepare your home and yard in advance of the spring. Consider installing tamper-resistant covers on your ventilation openings and look into an air-filtration system to safeguard you against unwanted pests entering through your ventilation. As a bonus, it will also work against environmental toxins that may become a threat. An NBA filter is a great addition for any bunker.

Maintenance is Key

Once you’ve identified the types of pests you’re up against, you can defend your weak points and make a plan to maintain these changes so pests never become an issue. Critters of all shapes and sizes can cause issues for bunker owners.

Don’t allow any of these animals a point of access into your bunker if you want to prevent contaminating your food and water supplies. If infestation gets to a point where you can’t fend off the intrusion, make the call to hire a trusted pest control service to eliminate the problem now and prevent it from becoming an issue again in the future.

With surveillance, proper storage of food and supplies, along with adequate tamper-resistant covers and shields for the various entrances to your bunker, you can prevent any pests from giving you a yearly headache or suffer the loss of any vital supplies. Plan, prepare and maintain, that’s the only way to keep those little buggers out.

About the Author: Casea Peterson is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist for businesses in the outdoor industry. She has been writing personally and professionally since 2009, but when she doesn’t have her pen in hand she can be found somewhere in the woods hiking, hunting, or exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Reader Question Burris MTAC vs Vortex 1-8

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How do you like the Burris MTAC? I’m personally between that and the new Vortex 1-8x Strike Eagle. Didn’t know what pushed to one versus the other. Any advice on low power variables? Keep your powder dry.

Ryan here: I really like the Burris MTAC. To my best memory what pushed me to the MTAC over the Vortex was that I liked the reticle better and the Burris MTAC had a good reputation. I have the 1-4X model. I sold an ACOG to get it and finance some spare parts. I wanted a ‘do everything optic’ and a 1 power (or darn close as a lot are like 1.1 to 30 feet or something) scope that could be magnified for longer range work with an illuminated reticle. I shoot better at distance with a magnified optic, honestly I think everyone does. Also the big difference between red dot (or irons) and a magnified optic is that I can see well enough to make good decisions. Yes you can hit at 300-400+ yards with a red dot but you can’t really tell if that person is a threat or a friend coming to help. My experience with shooting the MTAC has been quite positive.

Pros: It holds zero and adjustments are consistent.

The circle and dot reticle is pretty cool. The circle will work for really fast up close stuff and the dot is sufficiently precise for my needs. Its illuminated reticle is nice.

It is a rugged optic. John Mosby had one leave a vehicle onto pavement at freeway speed and all that happened is it jammed one of the adjustment knobs so you could not move it by hand. Short of an ACOG or say a Leupold HAMR I don’t think there is a more rugged optic out there and those are 3x plus the cost of the MTAC.

Cost- The Burris 1-4X MTAC is about $300 with mounting options for $60-200+. In this range the MTAC is pretty affordable and on par with an Aimpoint patrol or Eotech. All of these are within the range of a normal person given some planning.

Cons- Weight. Amazon says it weighs 1.1 points which seems about right.

Battery- They use the CR2032 which is kind of a special snowflake battery. I wish they used CR123 or AAs.

As to the Burris MTAC vs other offerings. I purchased my MTAC a few years ago,I was in Arizona so it would have been roughly 2013. At that time the moderate cost offerings from Burris, Vortex, Leupold, etc that had a 1 (or close) power bottom end topped out at 4 power. One power scopes with higher ends existed but not in my budget. The 1-6 and 1-8x offerings were in the high end Leupold, Vortex Razor and Night Force type with a cost range starting at a grand. I have been quite happy with the Burris MTAC 1-4x and think you would be too.

Fast forward to 2017.  Things have changed. One power scopes with higher top end have matriculated into the moderate budget range of optics. The 1-6 and 1-8x Vortex Strike Eagle offerings look very appealing. Additionally the ability to put a quick switch lever on the scope to make rapid transitions is pretty cool. I really like that.

The Firearms Blog did a review of the 1-6X which seemed positive.

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/04/12/vortex-strike-eagle-1-6×24-ar-scope-review/

I am happy with the Burris 1-4x MTAC on my rifle but that doesn’t mean it is the best thing out there today in that same general (say $300-500 for the optic) price range. New stuff is available and in particular the Vortex offerings look very attractive.

I would have to look at the difference (beside the $100 or whatever cost) between the 1-6 and 1-8 power but unless there is a big downside a higher top end is better. A 1-8X scope from a good manufacturer that fits in an average guy budget without too much pain is pretty neat. At this current time with what is available now should I find myself in the market for another variable 1X scope I would look hard at the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8X. I would spend the money to put it on a good mount.
For full disclosure I have no personal experience with the Vortex scopes in question so what I say is relying on a quick google search and Vortex generally having a good reputation.
Hope that helps,

Carbines, Gear and Life Update

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Hey Folks, I’ve been traveling for work and pretty busy in general. 

I like magnified variable power optics on a carbine. I think Iraq got people so focused on super close range stuff we forgot sometimes we might want to reach out aways. True this is unlikely in my house or right outside it where a fight is likely to happen. Then again if my only concern was that a $300 pump shotgun would be by my bed not a $1,500+ M4. To make good choices shooting at any distance people need magnification. Yes you can hit steel at 300m with an Aimpoint or irons but can you tell if a person is the goblin  you are trying to kill or your cousin running to help?
One guy I was shooting with has a belt and suspenders approach of a scope and a red dot both in good as mounts. He switches to the red dot for use as a house gun and the scope in case he needs it. Expensive but an interesting idea. 
I am halfway through a local carbine class. Some interesting things have come from that. The instructor is an old time Cooper purist so he wants people to use OWB strong side holsters. I actually didn’t have one for my g19 without a light. So I ordered one. I didn’t have a single chest rig that was compatible with it. So with that holster set up I can use a plate carrier with a couple mags stuck on or the costa leg rig. I like the Costa Leg rig though I need suspenders for it if I’m going to wear it all day.
I am pretty happy with the Burris MTAC. Seems about the same as a red dot up close and way better for distance.  
I could see that as something I could wear all the time and still do stuff. 
For a house setup I’m thinking I’ll have a pair of pants with a holster and handgun stuff. Good for a knock at the door. Carbine stuff will be on the PC with an IFAK. 
As to life. I’m pretty busy with work, school, running and BJJ. 
Doing a diet thing and will talk more about that later. 
What is coming up? More shooting. Maybe another class. More organization. 

Different Types of Bows And Their Benefits

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Bows are essential tools in hunting and games. They exist in different forms and shapes. Over the years, bows have evolved and are now made of components like carbon fiber and fiberglass with improved shooting mechanisms. There are different types of bows namely; compound bows, recurve bows, crossbows and traditional bows with their distinct benefits.

Compound bows

A compound bow is a modern form of a long bow. It is easy to use, highly versatile, adjustable, more compact, longer life and extremely powerful and thus preferred by many people. A pulley system is used to draw back the arms which are stiff when drawn by brute force. This bow is considered better than the other bows for its draw weight that is less than half of the original weight. They are made of aluminum alloy that does not distort or warp in the case of temperature, humidity, and moisture. Its developed stabilizers cause less vibration in the release of an arrow. These bows are mostly used in 3D archery, bow hunting and some in target archery.

Recurve bows

These are the only bows allowed by the Olympics and historically they are known to be used by the horsemen. Recurve bow is known for its standard draw weight, low maintenance and highly versatile. Its lower and upper tips curve away from the archer allowing it to store more elastic energy. Less power is needed to use the bow thus a tactical advantage to the user. Recurve bows with a bare bow recurve made of a string, bow limbs, a riser and an arrow rest are mostly used to train the beginners. Some archers also use them in 3D archery and field archery. One can also use them in bow hunting with higher poundage bows.

Crossbows

Modern crossbows resemble firearms with a short bow attached horizontally to the muzzle. For the archer to fire, the string is attached to the trigger mechanism and locked in place. Crossbows have the best bow sights and their shooting range is longer than all the other types of bows. This is a modified bow and arrow mostly use in 3D archery, target field and sometimes in bow hunting.

Traditional bows

A traditional bow is also known as long bow or self-bow. It is the oldest form of a bow with a long piece of wood that is either straight or curved having a bowstring fixed on each end. These bows are easy to make since their materials are locally available. They are easy to maintain, easy to carry and easy to use. It requires a very clear environment to fire a target. When used in bow hunting, it is usually at higher draw weights.

Conclusion

There is a total of four types of bows; compound bows, crossbows, traditional bows and recurve bows. They are useful in hunting, shooting the target, shooting on a course, and competitive shooting. The purpose of the course determines the type of the bow to use. For instance, a recurve bow is instrumental in field archery such as Olympic Games, compound bows in target archery and crossbow in 3D archery with their best bow sights and traditional bows in bow hunting.

Joseph Gleason is the founder of Captain Hunter. CaptainHunter.com is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment, and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously. Never think that you are alone in the woods again. Our goal is to share what we know with who needs it most.

4 Careers That Teach Individuals Basic Self-Defense and Endurance

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If you are looking a new, exciting, and rewarding career then you might want to focus you energy on enter a field that requires self-defense and endurance. Modern society is in constant need of professional and trained men and women that can bring safety and security to local communities around the country. As you think about this, consider the following four careers that teach individuals basic self-defense and endurance.

Law Enforcement Officer

To keep our communities safe, it is important to have law enforcement officers who are self-confident, physically fit, and able to combat the evil forces that lurk among us. A police officer is supposed to be defender of all that is right within society, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. But nonetheless, proper training still keeps good cops safe. It is important to have self-defense and endurance skills in order to stay safe on the job as well.

Correctional Officer

A correctional officer is tasked with helping protect society from criminals that have already been found guilty. It can be a dangerous environment at times, so prison guards certainly need to be able to defend themselves. It is also important to have the endurance necessary to see the job through to the end of the day.

Security Guard

With more and more businesses need round the clock security, guards play an important role. Not only to keep the premises and the surrounding area safe, they function as a hedge of protection for the individuals that visit the building during working hours. Some companies, like Trident Security, know that because of this, security guards need to be trained in self-defense in order to keep themselves safe in a variety of situation. They also need to be fit because of the demands of the job on a daily basis.

Muay Thai Instructor

Muay Thai is a traditional martial art that is growing popularity throughout the West. Muay Thai instructors must know how to defend themselves, because this is exactly what they will be teaching their students. In addition, the career itself is highly rewarding. Where else can you get paid to stay fit? This sports requires a great deal of endurance. If you have what it takes, you will have a great career opportunity at hand. These are just four of the many rewarding careers that one can enter and learn self-defense and endurance skills at the same time. These sure beat sitting at a desk all day, and all of them put you out there with members of society. This is also a great way to stay in shape and remain healthy as well.

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

Progress!

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Phil made some progress on the boat yesterday. He got some pressure treated wood and tore out the old decking and put in new. Plus a compartment for storage. We’ll have to wait until next week to look into getting new seats, battery, cover, water-proof lights for the trailer (they are broken) etc.

A New Adventure

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So Phil and I have lived here on this lake many, many…many years now and never had a boat. I’m a bit fearful of boats….well not of boats exactly but of the lovely thing (snakes…turtles…alligators) that we have swimming in the water here. I don’t want to fall in with them! But I do like the idea of having a boat to go fishing because shore fishing just isn’t very good here. However, it has never been on our agenda to actually buy a boat….having one given to you is a whole different story.
One of Phil’s bosses gave his a jon boat this week..free…with the trailer and all! It is in rough shape but IT WAS FREE! So boating has become the new adventure but first there is the “fixing up” part.

The plan is to replace the decking, and add in some storage spaces. Replace the seats and fix the lights on the trailer. I’ll have pictures as we progress.

How to Prep Your Emergency Bunker for Any Type of Disaster

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A well-stocked and maintained emergency bunker gives you peace of mind. If a natural or man-made disaster were to occur, you could evacuate to the bunker and protect yourself and your family. Keep these four steps in mind in order to prepare your emergency bunker for any type of situation.

Rotating Stockpiled Items

Some stockpiled items have expiration dates. It is important to go through the supplies in your bunker about every three months and rotate those items. As things such as canned food, medications and batteries near their expiration date, put them into the rotation of things that you use on a routine basis. For example, if the jars of peanut butter and packs of batteries are close to the use-by date, bring them inside and use them up. This will reduce what you spend on household groceries and supplies, and you can use those savings to replace the emergency supplies.

Installing New Locks

Your emergency bunker is one of the most valuable parts of your home and property. Installing new locks helps to protect your investment of money and time in preparing the bunker. Some companies, like A Carolina Locksmith, know that a strong, durable lock also protects your family in case you need to use the bunker. Be sure to have vandal-proof and weatherproof locks installed that can be used on the inside and outside of the bunker.

Checking the Condition of Equipment

Every three months, check on the condition of the equipment in your emergency bunker. Look for signs of rust on metal tools. Apply lubricant to locks and motors. Check for signs of pest infestation or water intrusion into the bunker.

Adding Supplies and Equipment As Your Budget Allows

If you want to be prepared for any type of disaster, you will need a wide range of equipment. Prioritize the types of disasters that are most likely in your geographic area. You may wish to invest in respirators for a chemical or biological emergency or a bow and arrows set if you may have to live off the land. Continue adding supplies and equipment as you can afford to. Maintaining a well-stocked emergency bunker takes time and resources, but the peace of mind is worth the investment. Prioritize the most likely disasters for your area and focus your prepping efforts on those issues. Once you are prepared for the most likely emergencies, then you can expand your prepping activities to include other types of emergencies that could develop.

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

How To Define A Safe Distance At Nuclear Explosion

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Atomic blast is one of the main adverse factors. Depending on in what environment atomic blast appears and spreads, whether it is air, water or soil, it is called wind blast, air blast and seismic explosion wave accordingly.

A wind blast is an area of an air abrupt contraction spreading around and above from the center of the explosion with hypersonic speed. Having a high level of energy, an atomic blast is capable of defeating people, destroying buildings, equipment, military hardware and other objects at significant distances from the place of explosion.

Nature of pressure changing in the space point when an air blast goes through. As soon as an atomic blast reaches a certain space point, pressure and temperature become higher shortly, air begins to spread in an atomic blast direction. With time passing by, the pressure becomes lower and becomes equal to atmospheric. Further pressure decreasing causes exhaustion. At the time, air begins moving in the direction of the explosion. Usually, the action time of an atomic blast in phase of exhaustion is not taken into consideration as long as its importance is rather secondary.

Apart from the specified parameters, an atomic blast is characterized with front propagation velocity, air speed in pressure shock front, temperature of air in pressure shock front, ram air pressure in pressure shock front.

At surface burst, an atomic blast is shaped as hemisphere with center in the spot of explosion of nuclear weapon.

At air blast, reaching out the surface of earth, bounced back off it. the shape of the front is similar to hemisphere with the center in the spot, which is a mirror reflection of the explosion spot related to the surface of earth. Damage is caused by direct and indirect effect of air blast. Affecting exposed personnel, an atomic blast is able to damage like practice shell or air bomb would do at significantly bigger distances. Character and degree of damage depend on differential pressure, a position of a person at the very moment and its protection level. Depending upon differential pressure of a trauma under the impact of the blast, the waves are subdivided into light, average and heavy.

Damage of equipment and military machines after repulsion (on impact with soil) can be more significant than from direct effect of an atomic effect. Tanks receive weak damage such as antenna, headlights and other outdoor equipment breakdown. Weak damage of the tanks happens under a pressure of 0;3—0,5 kgf/cm2 while total damage under a pressure of 10—20 kgf/cm2. Pieces of artillery get average damage under a pressure of 0,4— 0,7 kgf/cm2 and are totally destroyed under a pressure of 2— 10 kgf/cm2. The least tolerant of the atomic blast are planes, helicopters and rockets. They can go to rack and ruin under a pressure of 0,1—0,3 kgf/cm2.

At explosion of neuronal ammunition, equipment and military machines, which have electronic facilities and relay ladder logic system, go to rack and ruin as a result of transistors, diodes and other elements under the impact of radiation damage.

If to take into account that at the air blast the safe distance for unshielded man is /?, km ( 2.5), personnel assets located in fortifications will not be damaged over a distance 2/3/?. Covering trench decreases the radius of damage effect in 2 times and dug-out shelter in 3 times. Military personnel located underground at a depth of more than 10 meters is not affected even if the place underground is in the epicenter of an atomic blast.

About the author: Melisa Marzett is the one who have passion for writing. She is extremely curious by nature and working for getessayeditor.com, which is a service for students at the moment, she is eager to help bloggers to make their services more popular let alone to become better at writing through different writing challenges.

To Bunker or BOL: That is The Question

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Preppers often debate the pros and cons of the two common survivalist shelters for the SHTF. Each has its own perks and each has its own disadvantages. Every prepper and every situation is different, so in order to help you decide what will work best for you, we highlighted each of these shelters and why one might benefit you more than the other.

Why Bunker Down?

As appealing as a bunker may be, the hidden shelter does come with its own set of disadvantages. A major one being the amount of oxygen available in such a small underground space. Seeing as you’ll be confined in this location for extended periods of time, the risk of running out of oxygen is inevitable.

The best way to counteract this issue is by installing some sort of ventilation system so that you are constantly replenishing the oxygen levels in your bunker. The airflow will make the prospect of living in an underground bunker much more reasonable, although keep in mind that adding ventilation is just another exposure point increasing your risk of being found.

Add Security

The obvious allure of a bunker is that they can’t be seen by air or passerby, but that also means you will have no eyes on the ground to report what’s going on around outside of your bunker. That is, of course, unless you step out from your shelter and reveal your location. After all, once your location has been found, any intruder would simply need to wait until you have no choice but to leave the bunker or starve. So in order to avoid revealing your location while maintaining proper surveillance, you can add exterior cameras around your bunker that stream live footage or can be set off with motion detection sensors.

If your bunker has access to electricity, as most should, adding a robust surveillance system will beef up your security with minimal effort. With weatherproof cameras, live HD footage, and even night vision, you will increase your security by equipping your bunker with a high-end surveillance system.

Why BOL?

There are many reasons that preppers and survivalists decide against a bunker and instead decide on a bug out location. If you have access to a large area of land that you are comfortable living off of, then a BOL might be a better choice for you. Not everyone is as fortunate to have land access, or the ability to travel to such a discrete location easily if an attack or apocalypse were to occur. But we all know that the further away from civilization you are the better the BOL.

If you have a BOL then you’re going to need surveillance on a whole new level, not just cameras and motion detectors, but around the clock patrols and motion activated trail cameras. These types of security measures reinforce a larger area of land and prevent intruders from sneaking up unseen. A BOL isn’t generally hidden from view, whether aeiral or on foot, so you have to keep an eye on your borders at all times for maximum security and surveillance. The security efforts for a BOL can be extensive and, at times, exhausting, but it comes with the territory and it’s well worth it.

Increase Chances of Survival

Keep in mind your skill set and surroundings before heading out to build your BOL. Do you have access to fresh water like a lake or stream? Is your location in a vantage point with good visibility, or does it’s location present more weaknesses than strengths? Will you have areas with proper irrigation for planting and growing food? Is it in a region that hunting will be an option so food will be plentiful and not sparse? These are all vital questions to ask when determining the location of where you choose to bug out and the chances of survival.

If you’re already a proud bunker owner but are considering switching to a BOL, you don’t need to ditch the efforts you’ve already put in. Instead, experts recommend using your bunker as a cellar space for veggies and roots, or even as a last resort cache or weapon storage.

Casea Peterson is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist for businesses in the outdoor industry. She has been writing personally and professionally since 2009, but when she doesn’t have her pen in hand she can be found somewhere in the woods hiking, hunting, or exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Little Brown Hen

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So those of you who are on my facebook may know that I recently got a new job- a full time every day job…..and because it is right before the Master’s Golf Tournament (very big here) the State Park where I was working on weekends is going to be full the whole week of Master’s and even though I am not obligated to stay (they make us sign a paper saying so when we take the job), I could not just leave them without anyone working the weekends through the week of the Master’s so I have agreed to keep working weekend until they find someone…..
….anyway, that isn’t what this post is about. The post is about the little brown hen that is loose in my yard who stole a little nest for herself right in plain sight in my back shed by the old rabbit pens. It was under where I lean our hoes, shovels and rakes so she had a fairly safe spot…or so she thought anyway.

I had no idea how long she had the nest but she had sat on it for quite a while and I knew she must be getting close.
I went to my weekend job at the Park…and when I got home Phil had the little brown hen in a separate pen and it looked like she had been attacked and had a broken leg. Normally I would have put her down but she had that little nest and I knew they had to be close to hatching so I put her on her nest and hoped for the best. Came home the next day and she was still on the nest and she was clucking whenever the dog came to close to her. Came home the next day and she was still on the nest and I heard peeping and went to lift her gently off the nest, and found she was dead.
Her eggs, however weren’t, but they were cool and I needed to do something. When I picked them up I found several of them were pipped. I took them inside and put a damp paper towel in a bowl and put the eggs in it under the brooder light. Normally for eggs to hatch in an incubator you need humidity to keep it moist enough so the chicks don’t dry out and get stuck in their shells so I kept adding water to the paper towel from time to time, hoping I could keep it moist enough. I had to help the last two a little but they made it. One egg was never pipped and when I candled it with the light it had not developed. We ended up with four dark brown chicks and two yellow stripped chicks.

Into the Wild: Everything You Need for Your Camping Trip

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The weather is warming up, which means it is time to think about a camping trip. The trees are starting to sprout leaves, some spring flowers are in bloom, and birds are returning from their winter migrations. Spring is a good time to check out nature.

As fun as it is, camping should not be done on the spur of the moment. You need to consider what to take with you. Consider the following items.

  1. Shelter

    When preparing for your trip, you need to cover all of your physical needs: shelter, water, food, fire and hygiene. The expected conditions and weather of your campsite will determine what kind of shelter you should have. For example, tents come in two main types: four-season and three-season. Four season-tents are made of thick, sturdy material that enables the camper to weather a snow storm, while three-season tents aren’t designed for winter weather. Tents also come in varying weights, with the more lightweight tents being designed for backpackers. It’s also a good idea to get a tarp that can serve as a floor so you aren’t lying on damp ground.

  2. Containers for food and water

    Sturdy containers with lids are a must for a camping trip. Food in open containers will attract bugs and/or animals in short order. The best containers for food and water will be like those made by WaterBrick International. As a rule of thumb, a single person needs at least a gallon of drinking water per day, and they need even more if they are physically active and/or camping somewhere hot. Make sure there is enough water to cover other needs like cooking or washing.

  3. First Aid Kit

    Things can go wrong during a camping trip, and it will probably take time to reach a doctor. Give some thought to the likely hazards you might encounter and stock the kit accordingly. For example, you should have aloe vera for burns and moleskin for blisters. If you know there’s poison ivy in the area, you should bring some calamine lotion.

  4. A fire starter

    Be they matches, flint, or a fire steel, bring something to get your campfire started. Do not use lighter fluid, for it is dangerous and the resulting fire will be hard to control. It will also give anything you cook or roast in the campfire an unpleasant flavor.

While this is an admittedly partial list, it will help get you start preparing for your adventure. Other items to consider include sleeping bags, flashlights and cooking utensils. There are also portable stoves designed for camping trips.

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: @LizzieWeakleyFacebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

Top 5 Rabbit Hunting Tips with Bow

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Is rabbit bow hunting becoming a lost art these days with the obsession people have towards the latest firearms? Do not just count out rabbit bow hunting yet as it is very crucial in a survival situation. Learning to use your bow and make a kill is one of the greatest survival skills to learn. One of the tastiest meals you can have in the wild when lost is meat from a rabbit.

Using a bow to hunt a rabbit is a real challenge but also a rewarding one filled with excitements. The odds of killing a rabbit with an arrow and a bow are extremely low when you compare to the gun hunting. However, in a survival situation, a bow and arrow might be the only things available that can be made with easy. In fact, you don’t want to waste your precious ammo on a rabbit when you can use arrows that are reusable.

Let me share with you five rabbit hunting tips with a bow and arrow. Make no mistake; getting a rabbit from the field to a meal on the plate is no easy job. You need to be patient, understand their habits and have the best compound bow and hunting arrow.

Here are five rabbit hunting tips

Find the hidden food sources

If you need to hunt rabbits effectively, you must know where they feed. This means knowing the hidden food sources where rabbits are more likely to feed. Places with lots of green plants, vegetables and weeds are ideal places to start your hunt. Even if you don’t find rabbits, hung around they will come with time. Sometimes when hunting for rabbits, you have to wait for them to come to you. This requires an understanding of the feeding times and their best foods. Most rabbits will feed early in the morning when the sun has just risen. Getting to their feeding grounds early enough gives you a good hiding spot and a clear angle to make a clean shot.

Patience

Bow hunting is a waiting game that requires you to be patient at all times. In several ways, hunting rabbits is like fishing with a crankbait where you have to maintain rhythm at all times. Do not rush anything. When walking through the evergreen boughs, fence rows and brush piles, maintain a steady pace. Make 10-18 steps before stopping and surveying around for any movement and the glistering dark eyes of rabbits. If hunting with your dog, keenly observe his cues.

Practice makes perfect

Shooting with your bow is not that easy as most people think especially when in the wild. Real preppers practice out of their comfort zone. The way you shoot your best hunting arrow in the comfort of your backyard while smoking a cigar does not happen in a real survival situation. When in the wild and in need of a kill, you’re most likely going to botch the shot. Real archers know how to hit the target from a long distance, and this only happens with good practice. Practice for a real survival situation trying to hit the target with just a few seconds of setting the arrow, aiming and releasing. Learn to shoot your arrows in all manner of position. In the wild, you sometimes have to go vertical which takes us to our next tip.

Go vertical

Walking a level ground while hunting for rabbits looks pretty simple, but climbing can maximize your chances for a kill. Look for a brush pile, forgotten stack of cordwood or anything that you can climb on and observe the hunt area properly. The vibrations and noise above you can help you notice a rabbit and have a shooting opportunity.

Take care of things that indicate your presence

Rabbits are among the swiftest animals in the wild and run away with the slightest of hint that there is a human presence. You must learn to remain hidden at all times and never expose your arms or face. Try and be natural avoiding things like perfumes that alert the rabbit that there is someone around.

Try and avoid obstacles on your way like flowers and grasses that affect your aim. You can remain still and wait for the rabbit to move to a clear place instead of you changing positions. The most productive time to hunt for a wild rabbit is when the weather is cloudy, damp and cold. A foggy morning is also ideal when the air is filled with mist and woods are real quiet. This allows you to sneak close to the rabbits stealthily and get a good shot.

Final Verdict

Knowing how to hunt for rabbits in the wild using a bow and arrow can mean the difference between surviving and dying. Rabbits are a tasty meal that can provide you with proteins and get you going. You just need to learn how to stalk rabbits, stay still and motionless waiting for the rabbit to come to you.

Brandon Cox is the founder of StayHunting, who is passionate about all things of hunting and fitness. Through his hunting website, he would like to share tips & tricks, finest tech that will excite all of the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.

Today 3/20/17

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Long day. Slept till 8:00 this morning but missed a few hours between 4 and 6 because my hips were hurting. My doctor tells me I can go to another doctor and get a shot and it will help but I can’t afford other doctors besides him
. Had to go shopping. When you are eating fresh fruits and vegetables most of the time it involves a lot of shopping. Got a new bird feeder and of course, some new flowers that were marked down because wal-mart killed half their stuff during the late frost we had but a few survived to get marked down. 
Went to the thrift store and got five sets of double pointed knitting needles which was great because our Wal-mart only sells size 3 for some reason. I also got a little chair for the porch. Someone broke one of the plastic chairs  and then just left it on the porch for the unsuspecting…..
Went to visit my brother Andy and his wife Kat for a while. I do enjoy those visits. 
Came home. Cleaned out one chick brooder then cleaned out a small pen and moved the chicks in the other brooder (8 chicks) outside! Yeah! 
Put up my new bird feeder. Watched the birds for a while. They seemed to like it. Also got to see that a pair of chickadees have decided to make a nest in my feeder that hangs on the side of my yard swing. They have done this before and the cats chases them off but we’ll see how it goes this year. We have a lot less cats since getting them all spade. 
 Marinated pork loins are in the convection oven and we’ll have salad with it for supper.
Sorry no pictures today. Someone on my facebook mentioned liking my posts so I thought I would try a little more detailed post here and see how it goes. I will try to take pictures next time though.

Today Was a Good Day

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I was supposed to go to get chicken wire and a new stapler so that I could fix up some pens so that we could get the older batch of chicks outside. There are too many of them and now that they are older they just don’t fit in the brooder anymore. They need more room! But just before I left I listed my spare roosters on our local yard sale page and had a couple of different people answer it. Then someone messaged me about chicks. I arranged for them to come after I got back from town where I didn’t buy the wire and stapler because I knew if I got rid of the roosters I could move hens around and would have a spare pen.
When I got back the woman came for the chicks. She picked out ten of them to take home with her and then got two of the roosters as well. Great! I made a little money and solved part of the chick problem since she took only from the older chicks.
Later a very nice man and woman came for the other roosters and I sold them two hens too because I do have a whole lot of hens now. This totally emptied out my smaller pen and left one other pen without a rooster at all. I do have two silkie roosters though and they may end up in with those hens which will mean another small pen will be empty. (Yes, chicken musical chairs!).

In other good news… while I was at the store I happened to find haddock on sale. We have not had haddock since we left New England. I have never seen it for sale here but there it was in the seafood case. I got 4 fillets dipped them in milk and breading and baked them tonight along with some macaroni and cheese, veggies and sourdough bread. It was SO good! I hope you all had as good a day and since tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day it is sure to be another good day! 🙂

How to Learn More about Self Defense for Emergency Situations

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You never want to feel vulnerable walking down a lonely street at night or when approached by someone near your home. It may also be a priority of yours to be able to defend friends or loved ones if they are ever threatened while in your presence. What are some ways that you can learn to defend yourself or those who you care about?

Watch Training Videos Online

The internet has tutorials related to almost anything that you want to learn about. Therefore, it may be a good idea to watch a YouTube video or order training materials from a local self-defense trainer. This may give you a basic idea of what to do if you are ever threatened or attacked. It may also give you some insights into how you can keep a lower profile to prevent a possible attack before it happens.

Take a Job in the Security Field

During your training as a security guard, you will be taught self-defense techniques that you can use while on the job. Some companies, like Security Services Northwest, Inc., know that these tactics may also prove useful if you are ever attacked while out on the town or by someone who breaks into your home. In addition to your basic training, you may be given access to advanced classes as you gain more experience in your line of work.

Sign Up for Karate Lessons

Karate is a discipline that teaches you both how to defend yourself and how to use discretion when facing a possible attacker. This helps you control your emotions in a given situation, which may make it easier to resolve a conflict without having to turn to violence at all.

Talk With a Police Officer or Security Guard

If you don’t want to be a security guard, you could always talk to one if you want self-defense tips. Police officers may also be able to help you learn more about the subject. This may be helpful if you are doing a report or a project for school about the topic and don’t actually want or need to master defense tactics yourself.

Learning how to defend yourself can prevent a scenario in which you are the victim of a violent crime. Even if part of your strategy is to run, hide or call for help, the goal is to keep yourself unharmed. Ideally, you will be able to do just enough to subdue or outsmart your adversary until the police or other help can arrive.

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

Caches and Holster Thoughts

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a recent trip saw me checking up on my operational cache. I swapped out my trusty Glock 19 which had been there for awhile. After consideration I realized with one alibi none of the core members of my tribe had ever shot a Glock. My folks like many non serious gun people of their age range got revolvers in .38/.357mag. As such adults in my inner tribe can all shoot double action revolvers comfortably. There is at least one in every household. Also my outer tribe does not have a single Glock 9mm in it. So putting a wheel gun there just made sense. It of course needed accessories like a belt, holster and speed strips. More on this later.

I inspected the guns there and they were fine. I then lubricated them heavily. Like jiggly butt in a rap video heavily.

Another cache was established. I had most of the core stuff on hand for it. As to description it is probably a mix of an operational cache with some survival stuff.

Still I needed some stuff to round it out. Mag pouches and ammo and some various odds n ends. I suspected it would be about $300 total but the actual cost was closer to double that. I wasn’t super worried about it as eliminating dating and going to bars has left my checking account fairly flush. That said I probably could have done a better job estimating costs. The lesson for potentially when putting in a cache on a tighter budget would be to really look at the stuff you need to add and various costs such as shipping.

Also stuff grows faster than you would imagine. What you might envision as a day pack worth of stuff could easily be a full sized ruck. What you might have thought would be one ammo can could easily be 2. I need another ammo can.

Anyway the new cache is established so I am excited about that.

Stuff I forgot to add:
Compass
First aid stuff
Local and state maps

Stuff I wanted to add but couldn’t afford to:
Gps
$10 face silver
Small solar charger with a few sets of batteries
Full sized Glock .40 cal

Back to holsters. So between swapping stuff out for one cache and making another I ended up bringing guns to a couple places. At both places the guns were compatible with ones the people at those places have. That wasn’t an accident.

At both places this led to the inevitable dude gun show and tell. At both places somewhere in the conversation I realized the guy might not really have a holster. At the first he had no holster. So I handed mine to him. At the second he was using a cowboy style leather holster for a Glock.

At the first place I need to buy another holster. If things are bad enough I am carrying that particular gun he will want to be doing the same. Obviously two people cannot use the same holster at the same time. At the second place it wasn’t an issue as I am holster rich for that gun and the open model one size fits any 9/.40 Glock Raven Concealment Eideon just happened to be surplus in my bag.

The thing is that this got me thinking. Lots of people own handguns that live in glove boxes and safes and nighstands without holsters. If you are (as I suspect most here to be) the survivalist in your group and have the resources/ space it might not be a bad idea to fix that. Or give them as Christmas/ b day gifts.

The same could be said for ammo. To a lot of folks 2x 50 drive boxes is a lot of ammo. This reminds me I need to order 500rds of .38 special.

Anyway 

Safe and Secure: How to Maximize Your Home Defenses

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Keeping your home safe and secure gives you peace of mind. Knowing that your family and belongings are protected can help you to sleep at night. These four tips will help you to maximize your home’s existing defenses against would-be criminals seeking to burglarize or damage your home.

Video Monitoring

Video monitoring is a helpful tool to boost the safety of your home. You can have cameras mounted around your doors so that you can see who is at the door without having to go to the door. Video cameras can also capture images of someone who might try to steal a package that has been delivered in your absence. They will also capture the image of anyone trying to break into your home through the door.

Lighting

Adding proper lighting to your home’s exterior is also essential to maximizing your defenses. Motion detecting lights can be placed along the sidewalk to your home, around your garage and back door and near your front door. Spotlights or directed lights can be shined at side doors and windows. Illuminating these parts of your home will make it more difficult for anyone to gain entry without getting noticed by you or passersby.

Locks

Locks are also a critical step in keeping your home secure. All of your home’s exterior doors should be outfitted with deadbolt locks. Consider having your locksmith, like those at A Carolina Locksmith, install the strike plates with extra-long screws that are drilled into the wooden framing of your home. This helps to prevent your door from getting kicked in. If you have an attached garage, have the same type of lock installed onto the door between the house and the garage. You may also wish to install window locks, but be sure to choose a kind that is easy to open from the inside in case you need to exit through a window during an emergency.

Home Security System

Many homeowners feel more secure with a home security system in place. A home security system consists of alarms placed on the doors and windows. If the alarm is triggered, the monitoring service contacts you. You can respond if it was an accident, but otherwise the police are called to investigate a possible burglary in progress. Every person deserves to feel safe at home. You should also have confidence that your belongings are safe when you’re away from home. These four steps will help to maximize your home’s defenses against burglars and other intruders.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

Just a Little Black Cupboard

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A few weeks ago I saw a little black bathroom cupboard at the thrift store but I didn’t get it because it was spray painted black and everywhere something had touched it the paint had scratched right off. The next week, however, the little black bathroom cupboard was still in the thrift store and so it must have just been mine. Anyway, I took it home because I knew just where we needed it…in Michelle’s bathroom. Michelle’s bathroom is really cluttered and messy. Apparently it takes a million products to make her beautiful every day.

 

I wish I had taken a picture of the cupboard when it was black but I forgot all about it. I just took it out on the porch and started sanding…and sanding…and sanding…   Took me most of the day to get as much black off of the cupboard as I could. Then came the painting…coat after coat. Did I mention I am not exactly a painter? I was still doing coats the next day.

Then I decided that since her bathroom is mostly yellow that we needed some yellow stenciled on. I ended up with this.

Phil got it mounted on the wall for me tonight which turned out easier than I thought it was going to be. 

I cleaned up and organized Michelle’s bathroom again and now we have this:

Dried Cranberry Banana Bread

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So I did test out my dried cranberries and, of course, there were no recipes for bread using dried cranberries so I made one up. I used the cranberries right out of the bag and because they are so light most of them rose to the top. I might try letting them soak in water next time and the bread was a little dry so that might help with the dryness as well or I might use milk instead of water and see if that helps. The flavor however, was outstanding. Such a nice light banana taste with just a touch of cranberry. It was wonderful.

Dried Cranberry Banana Bread

Grease two loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup margarine or butter (1 stick)

Combine these ingredients in a bowl and cut in butter until pea sized.

Add:

2 eggs
2 bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cup water

Mix well.

Add 2 cups dried cranberries. Pour half of the batter into two loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour.

A Preppers Guide to Prepping for the Hunt

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After the SHTF, let’s assume you picked out a hideout spot far enough off the grid to avoid other hunters and in a region well populated with deer and other wild game. If you don’t have any experience hunting but plan to harvest game that you’ll ration throughout the year, consider these steps you to ensure a successful harvest season after season and year after year.

Location, Location, Location

Every region is different, and finding wild game can be difficult if you don’t know where to look. One of the best ways to locate top hunting spots is to break down these areas by elevation, including low, middle and high. Once you locate the mule deer based on elevation, you’ll be able to hunt across different terrain using the altitude as your reference.

Lay of the Land

Familiarize yourself with the area in which you plan to hunt. You’ll need to lay out a grid of the landscape and understand how to navigate the entire area. Memorize wind patterns and locate watering holes and well-traveled game trails, so you know where these animals might move if spooked. In other words, use the terrain to your advantage.

Additionally, stick to southern-facing slopes and areas with preferred vegetation for hunting mule deer. Plan out your hunting movea, as many mule deer will bed down on hillsides or against breaks. This activity protects them from attack above and allows them to scan for predators below. Pay attention to the weather as you get ready for your hunt. Something as simple as rain can move mule deer out of an area altogether.

Game Behavior

Familiarize yourself with the movements and behaviors of the deer you hunt. Mule deer tend to reside within a few miles of each other until it’s time to move feeding grounds. Pattern your game so you know their summer, fall and winter feeding grounds and when they make their move. Take note of the herd’s size and when they go into rut so you’ll know if more deer are in the area.

The hour before and after daylight is when deer move most, so plan your hunts at dawn and dusk. You won’t see much movement during the hottest portions of the day, so glassing hillsides or posting up by a watering hole is a great way to extend your hunt.

Your Weapon and Gear

Optics can help you spot mule deer from up to four miles away. When glassing, train your eye to look for the flick of an ear or the sun shining off the tip of an antler. Once you find your weapon of choice, learn everything about it and acknowledge your limitations. For example, you’ll want to be able to answer these questions:

  • From what distance are you most accurate?
  • Are you comfortable hunting with your weapon in all weather conditions?

Ethical Hunting Practices

The quickest way to hunt a species to extinction is to make that animal the only source of sustenance for a large population of hungry, desperate and panicked people. If you are far enough off the grid, then you won’t need to worry as much about hunting your local herd to extinction. Still, it’s important to consider the benefits of ethical hunting and where to draw the line.

Animal Harvesting

Learning how to properly harvest your animal is critical so that you waste little to no meat. If you’re hunting in hot climates, make a kill and quickly retrieve it before the meat spoils. You’ll then want to cool it down as quickly as possible. Be prepared with the right gear so you and your vehicle can navigate in even the most difficult off-road conditions. That means ensuring your vehicle has quality off-road tires, which will make your life easier if you find yourself in a difficult spot.

Casea Peterson: Creative copywriter and content marketing specialist living in the PNW.

Dehydrated Cranberries

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The cranberries were finally marked down at the store (although not as cheap as they usually are) and I bought three bags thinking I would make cranberry sauce again but then never had time for it. When you buy produced marked down here it is usually perfectly good if used soon…so I needed to use these. I decided to dehydrate them thinking they would end up like dried cranberries I had seen in the stores…kind of like raisins. That isn’t what happened when I dehydrated them however.

They did not shrivel up, most of them kept their shape but feel hollow inside and they are brittle and break up when crushed. It is very odd and not at all what I expected. 

So I have some experimenting to do with these cranberries to see what I can make with them. I am thinking of rehydrating them in water and using them in bread or muffins. I also suppose there could be the option of making cranberry powder of some kind and using that in recipes but I am thinking I likely won’t use it so I will try the first option and let you all know how it goes.

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At the Time….

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Sure it did. Let the hens keep their eggs, we’ll just sell the chicks…..And then three hens got on the huge nest together and 21 days later the chicks started to hatch…and the other two hens that were in the pen….kept laying in the nest…and a few chicks hatched one day…and then a few more the next and then a few more….
I advertised them on the local Sale facebook pages….and no one responded….no one at all…and the chicks keep coming…
And I set up a second brooder because there were just too many in the first one….
There are now 32 chicks. Some of them are getting rather big. I think I’ll make a sign and advertise on a few more sale sites…and hope.

4 Reasons Not to Rely on Social Security

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Many people are not relying on Social Security alone to satisfy their financial needs after retirement and for sound basis. Here are four major reasons why you too should consider other sources of income in addition to a Social Security check after you turn in your timesheet at work for the last time.

  1. Social Security is Not Secure

    While it is true that some creditors consider government income as stable, there are technically no guarantees as to whether or not you will get paid every month.

    Social Security benefits are solely funded by taxpayer dollars even though you paid into the program during employment years. The monies that you contributed were actually to support others who retired while you were working. Your funds now come directly from individuals presently laboring in corporate America. At anytime the government can opt to discontinue the Social Security program, and there would be no backup funds to make payroll for those presently reliant on the system for income.

    Ending Social Security altogether may seem like a far-fetched idea, but the concept may not be far away from fruition. Congress along with several presidents have expressed the need to renovate the Social Security sector of government as its policies and practices are outdated. No government official, however, has determined an appropriate course of action that does not involve doing away with the program altogether. You may find yourself in a serious financial dilemma if you rely on Social Security alone and the plan is discontinued.

  2. You Will Lose Buying Power

    The Social Security Administration tries to combat the possibility of senior citizens losing buying power by comparing Social Security benefits against the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Such index typically allows for an increase in wages due to inflation. The CPI-W scheme does not, however, meet the needs of seniors.

    Mature adults do not carry the same buying practices as young and middle-aged clerical workers. Seniors often pay through the nose to fill prescription requests due to pharmaceutical prices greatly outpacing inflation trends. The better idea would be to compare Social Security benefits against the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). Unfortunately, though, the Social Security Administration has not determined it best to change its practices concerning this matter, which leads to the need for seniors to be frugal.

  3. You Cannot Live the Lavish Life with Social Security benefits

    Social Security benefits are based on how much workers paid into the system when they were working. You can expect to receive a modest paycheck, which will most likely represent a significant decrease in lifestyle – especially if you carry debt with you into retirement. Prepare to clip coupons and forego certain luxuries if you plan to rely on Social Security benefits alone. You certainly will not be able to buy that yacht with government checks.

  4. You Can Have More Money by Saving on Your Own

    The median income in the United States is just under $55,000 annually. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans typically set aside about five percent of their paycheck’s every two weeks for the purpose of savings. In order to retire well, you should aim for closer to 15%, and invest mostly in good growth stock mutual funds. If you have a knack for real estate investing and are willing to put in some work, rental properties are also a very strong investment option. It is usually worth your while to keep your long-term investments in a Roth IRA or Roth 401k to avoid expensive taxation on your growth. With the combined power of tax-free growth, long time horizons, and aggressive saving, Americans in almost every income bracket can retire with more than $1 million in the bank.

Some senior citizens choose to depend on their government to provide payment for the years that they contributed to the workforce by funding Social Security benefits. You should count yourself among the others who count Social Security checks as one of many sources of income.

Rachael Murphey is an entrepreneur and writer on topics relating to business, personal finance, personal growth, and emergency preparedness. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her dog Charlie.

Hamish McLaren’s 5 Tips To Surviving Monster Winter Storms

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Having a safe bunker to withstand the wrath of a monster winter storm is a real benefit. Unfortunately, not everyone has this privilege but below tips can help you save yourself in times like this. Hamish McLaren shares his top five tips for surviving a monster winter storm.

  1. Stay Inside

    No matter how big or small your dwelling is, when a storm occurs, do not wander around to gauge the effect of it. Your best bet is to stay inside. When the storm is severe, a basement or closet might be the answer. It is easy to save yourself when you are in a shelter of some kind, so wait out till help arrives. In addition, don’t risk others lives by sending them out; it can be extremely dangerous and most likely to end in disaster. Seek out a cave or an overhang if you are stuck outside alone without a tent or car. A quick thinking during a storm can give you one more chance to live.

  2. Keep Yourself Warm

    If you are stuck inside a home or building, gather as many blankets as you can to keep yourself warm. Coats, tarps, bed-sheets – anything can help you escape from cold drift and prevent frostbite or hypothermia. If there are many people around under the same roof, use one another’s body heat as well. For those out in the wilderness, it is necessary to use some kind of signaling to draw other’s attention. One word of caution – people stuck inside a car should never let the engine run as any snow accumulating in the exhaust pipe can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

  3. Eat and Drink if Possible

    Food and drink, if you have access to them, is important to keep yourself warm and healthy during a severe winter storm. Stay hydrated either from your regular water supply or by melting snow. Store water for further use. If you have food and do not know when the help would arrive, ration it to make it last over many days.

  4. Plan For Your Next Move

    When the storm settles down, it is time to think about your next move. Obviously, this is to seek help by digging your way out of your house, car or whatever the shelter you are in. If you are lost and can’t get yourself out, stay still and wait till help arrives. If you are on the road on foot or in the wilderness and sure that it is safe to venture out, hike to safety in the direction of nearest civilization.

  5. Get Treatment Immediately

    Because of an explosion in the number of storms in recent years, many types of storm survival kits have arrived in today’s market. It is no longer a matter of waiting for the nurse to treat you in case of minor injuries. These kits have first aid materials that are really useful for wounds. So, take time to buy these kits and read the instructions on them. Understanding what each and every item in the kit does is absolutely necessary if you wish to stay fine.

Reader Comment- Cache Stuff

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Good to hear, you do have that stuff on hand now right!?
Like most survivalists who have been at it awhile I have put a decent amount of stuff back over the years.   I hesitate to pick an exact start point for me as a survivalist as I always had some of those tendencies but if I did it would be roughly a decade ago. 
On a tangent to newer survivalists overwhelmed with all the stuff they think they need I would say to be patient. Even on a fairly tight budget if you are consistent you will have all the stuff you need in a lot less time than you would think. 
As survivalist we have a nasty tendency to just stockpile stuff in our garages, basements and barns. Same with guns in our safes. You don’t need the stuff for a 3rd or 8th spare bug out bag at your primary residence. You need it somewhere else. Somewhere you could end up in a bad situation. 
For this cache the only stuff I have purchased is the ammo and a can to put it in. There is some fudging that because I put in stuff like underwear, some jeans and a pair of boots I will probably end up replacing. However at a minimum that will let me spread out the cost of the cache over a little but more time. 
Sort of like Meister said I am caching good stuff. For me the caveat to that is I think caches can be a great place for functional but maybe not perfect stuff. Like in this cache I’m putting an Ontario Air Force Shrvical Lnife I ordered once just cuz I was curious about them. Fine serviceable knife, just not one I see myself putting into a core system. For clothes useful outdoor stuff that may not be fashionable for everyday wear makes sense. Example, in this cache I am including a green fleece with a unit logo I got at a goodwill for like 3 bucks and an old BDU gortex jacket I must have stolen a decade ago as a dirty specialist. Fleece and great outdoor stuff, just not what I would wear for everyday stuff.

So I put together kind of a combination operational/ survival cache. Basically the stuff to go from being normal everyday Le to an active combatant and some outdoor gear too. Roughly equivalent to a level 3 sustainment set up with a ruck n some sleeping stuff.

I guess the total cost of this cache would be about 3 grand but I had the stuff on hand minus the amp which I’m having delivered there.

Sorry about the lack of links and probably some spelling stuff. I’m posting from my phone as my laptop is basically toast. 

Health Update

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The anti biotics seem to be kicking in. My ear is better. It was between 3-8 on the pain scale before. Now it’s probably 2-4. This is good. Today I was able to organize a bunch of stuff and set aside items for the cache. It was a good productive day. 

Life

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Hey Folks, Its been awhile. Figured I would say hello. Not a ton of exciting stuff going on here. I recently got back into school for a masters so that’s good. Between that, BJJ and trying to refocus on fitness I’m kinda busy. Doing dry fire also but nothing too crazy.

Kinda taking a break from dating to work on myself and just decompress. Stuff is exhausting.

On the downside I got a cold which turned into an ear infection. So that sucks.

On the up side I will be establishing a new cache soon. So that is good.

So all in all except for my ear hurting, which antibiotics should fix soon, I am doing pretty well. Hope the same can be said of you all. 

Pure Hydration: 9 Ways to Maintain Clean and Healthy Water

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Water is the most essential element for the cells in your body. Because the human body is made of water the number one thing you need in an emergency is safe drinking water. In a survival situation you might be able to last weeks without food, but without water you’d last only days. Unfortunately, not all water is safe to drink.

How can you be sure your water is safe to drink?

In a survival situation, it is always safest to assume water is carry pathogens and contaminants. Below are some contaminants that might be in your water:

  • Bacteria, like E. coli, Vibrio cholera, Salmonella typhi or Salmonella protozoa.
  • Microsporidia, like Giardia, Amoebae, Ciliates and Cryptosporidium.
  • Helminth zoonoses, like hookworms, liver flukes, nematodes or pinworms.
  • Human and animal waste, including fecal matter and carcasses.
  • Chemical pollution, from both industrial wastes and natural erosion increasing mineral concentrations.

Be prepared to filter and purify all your water before drinking. It’s also a good idea to regularly test your well water, and pay attention to water reports for municipal water sources. Clean water is important for your daily survival as well as disaster survival.

What are good sources of water in an emergency?

Dew, atmospheric distillation, water from puddles and clear tree sap all offer sources of water in survival situations. Snow, sleet and rain can be gathered in containers. Use tarps to expand your precipitation-collection area. Rivers, lakes and springs are obvious sources of water. You can also store bottled water. For a basic 72-hour survival kit, you need three gallons of drinking water and two gallons of sanitation water per person.

What can you do to make your water clean and safe?

In a survival situation, it is always safest to assume water is carry pathogens and contaminants. Below are some contaminants that might be in your water:

  • Boiling. An ancient and reliable method, boiling water keeps it above 185 degrees (the boiling point is 212 degrees) for the five minutes necessary to kill biological contaminants.
  • Chemicals. Chlorine and iodine will sterilize water, however chemicals also affect the taste.
  • Water softener. Hard water contains calcium and magnesium, but it can be softened through an ion exchange.
  • Filters. Gravity and pump filters are available in a variety options including ceramic, silver impregnated carbon and multi-stage cartridge filters.
  • Iron filter. Iron, manganese, sulfur, and pH levels vary from well to well. In-line filters work for most household systems, but a back-washing iron filter might be better for high levels of iron or iron bacteria.
  • Survival straw. Small and lightweight, these carbon filters are used like a straw. You suck the water through the filter to drink.
  • Reverse osmosis. The most effective water filters on the market use reverse osmosis. The process removes, basically, everything from water leaving it safe, pure and clean. RO filters are a great choice for your home, as they remove fluoride and hydrofluorosilicic acid.
  • UV light. UV devices disrupt the DNA of pathogens quickly, but are only effective in clear water with no particulates.
  • Distillation. If your only water is brackish or contaminated with heavy metals and radiation, distillation is your safest option. Heavy particles stay behind as the water becomes steam and then is recaptured as potable water.

Not all filtration devices are equal. Do some research to find out more about these and other options.

Knowing and maintaining several water purification methods, treatments and equipment now will prepare you for emergency situations. It’s a great idea to know how to find and purify life-giving water in any situation. Your survival could depend on it.

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.

Femme Fatale: How Your Wife and Daughters Can Keep Themselves Safe

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Recent surveys have shown that in developed countries, men feel significantly safer than women do in the same neighborhoods. In the United States, 45% of women have said that they do not feel safe walking down the street at night versus only 27% of men. While this is a sad statistic, it may not be based on subjective data alone. Although women feel that they are in more danger than men are, they also have fair reason to believe this because many women are targeted by predators on the streets, in their cars, in their homes and online. For men, it is important to take a stand for the females in their families and to find ways to protect wives and daughters from being another statistic of harassment or violence in the neighborhood.

Put House Lights on a Timer

Predators often stake out houses to learn where the bedrooms are. It can be easy for them to see this because the bedroom is typically the last room that is lit in the house. Women can fool possible predators by placing randomized timers on a variety of lamps in the house for a nightly switch-up.

Take Self-Defense Training

Women should learn how to defend themselves against attackers or rapists. Self-defense classes are usually preferable for this as compared to martial arts classes. Martial arts classes can be a huge commitment of time and typically do not teach women specifically how to get out of a variety of holds.

Carry Pepper Spray

Pepper spray can be a cheap, easily obtainable weapon. While it is not ideal for some situations where a quick response is necessary, it is a good choice for women who like to go jogging in the mornings or walking in a local park.

Carry a Concealed Weapon

An even better option is becoming licensed for a concealed carry weapon. Most states that allow this require individuals to take a class to learn how to use the weapon. Women who carry a concealed weapon should find a smart way to hide the weapon in everyday situations, such as by choosing a stylish concealed carry purse, which is nice to have and easy to make an unobtrusive statement with.

Practice Hotel Safety

Even the best hotels are excellent places for predators to lurk. Women staying in hotels should never open the door to the room to anyone unless they know exactly who the person is or have been given solid proof as to why the individual is there. Many predators pose as police officers or hotel staff to fool women. After entering their rooms, women should immediately lock and chain their doors and should check to ensure that the windows are locked.

Practice Safe Traveling at Night

Nighttime is prime time for harassment or assault of women because it is easy for predators to hide in the shadows. Women should always park close to stores and under parking lot lights. Before entering their cars in parking lots, they should check beneath the car for a predator. Women can also ask security guards to walk them to their cars at many businesses, such as malls and hospitals. Finally, women should never be talking on their phones in parking lots at night but should be highly vigilant of their surroundings.

Harassment of women can be anything from catcalls and leering to carjacking and kidnapping. Family men have been entrusted with the task of ensuring that their wives and daughters are fully protected whether they are at home or away from home. Men can use these tips to teach the women in their lives how to be safe and what items they can buy to help ensure their safety.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

Breakfast

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This is just a quick little post about what I had for breakfast yesterday. My cousin had posted a video of these baked eggs on toast and I just had to try it. It is nothing but a piece of bread you mash down in the center to make an indent large enough to hold an egg. Crack the egg into the indent. Then butter around the edge of the bread (I am not sure why it needs this but I did it anyway) and sprinkle with cheese around the edge. Then bake it for approximately 10 minutes. I used my little convection oven to bake it.

I added some green onion from an onion I have growing in my onion bin. These were pretty good and a nice change from regular poached eggs on toast which I usually have.

And speaking of green onions. I have added some onion bulbs to a large tub that hold my small rosemary plant and they are growing good already. I have never had any luck getting onions to grow large bulbs but I do like the green onions anyway. 

 And here is just a pretty pot on my porch. I am loving the little blue irises. 

How Resilient Baby Chicks Can Be

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I have seen a lot of postings on the 1000 chicks left in a field. It is not the first time it has happened and I am sure it won’t be the last. Someone on one of these postings said they were sure now that the chicks had gotten “chilled” that they would surely all die. I think that is very unlikely, though I am sure some of them will, but most of those chicks were still standing, moving and peeping and I am sure once they are warm again, they will be fine. A thousand chicks all together can make an awful lot of body heat as well.
Anyway, I wanted to tell you a story about a chick I had hatch yesterday (Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to let the hens keep any more nests….and I meant that…and it didn’t happen….. . .).  I have three very young hens sitting on a huge combined nest in one of my pens. They are having a staggered hatch and because there are still roosters in the pen with them, I am having to get to the chicks before the roosters do because they kill the chicks. Yesterday I had to go shopping and I checked the nest first thing in the morning (before the roosters left their perches) and again before I left and got one chick to put in the brooder. Well, while I as gone apparently another chick was born and the roosters did get to it and pull it out the nest and peck at it. When I came home I found its little body on the ground, all cold and not breathing but because I can never accept things like that I held it and rubbed it and breathed warm air on it and even I was completely amazed when it gave a big gasping breath. So then there was a lot more rubbing and trying to get it warm. I sat on the back steps in the sun and worked on him until he got to breathing with fairly regular breaths. Then we moved into the house and I held him in my hand under the brooder light, after maybe 20 minutes, the chick actually moved around a little and peeped. I got it a clean paper towel and put it on the towel in the brooder but then because he had a wound on his wing, I had to sit there by the brooder and keep the other chicks from pecking at it because chicks tend to peck at anything red. As I sat there the chick steadily improved. It worked on getting its legs under it and peeped whenever the others got near but it took the chick nearly a half hour before it could hold its head up.

And at least another half hour before I felt I could leave the brooder for short periods of time (to try to make dinner. Yes, it was a very long day). Eventually he got so he could move around, not really standing yet but most chicks scuttle around some before they actually learn to stand so I felt he was doing well.  
Still,  this morning I was not sure I would find him alive. This was a chick that was totally cold and not breathing when I found him. He had definitely gotten “chilled”. 
And I barely could find him. All of the chicks were up on their feet and walking around this morning and I counted them and all fourteen were there. I really had to look to find the yellow chick with a now tiny spot on his wing to know it was him. 
And that is how resilient a baby chick can be. 

Chicken Fajitas

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So I am trying to get more vegetables into our every day dinner dishes. We always have a vegetable but I want it to actually be part of the dish. A little less meat and a bit more veggies. I have saved several videos on facebook and I try them from time to time. This one just seemed appealing this week. It was made as a single serving in parchment paper on facebook but I needed an actual meal for us. I thought Michelle was going to be here too but she left with a friend instead so looks like we’ll have leftover for lunch for a few days.
Anyway, it starts with peppers and onions. I got 5 peppers marked down at the grocery store today, yellow and green. I used them all because…I don’t want any just sitting in the fridge.

 Then I cut up a nice size onion. I put some boneless, skinless chicken tenders on top,

 salted with pink salt, drizzled on oil, sprinkled on a packet of taco seasoning,

spread a 24 oz. jar of mild salsa on top, and then sprinkled with cheddar and Italian shredded cheese.

It went in the oven covered with foil,  on about 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, then removed the foil for the last 15 minutes. 

It was really good! Definitely a recipe to make again.

RE: Math for Marksmen by John Mosby

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John Mosby has been doing some good stuff at Prepared Gun Owners. Math for Marksmen is an excellent post. I do not disagree with any parts of it. In fact most of my thoughts come back to other stuff from Johns class.

– Practical shooting be it for defense, hunting, skeet, whatever always has some time pressure component. As such I think we need to think and train that way.

– I think accuracy demands have to drive speed. There is little value in shooting faster than you can make hits or at least distract them.

– How much accuracy you need is relative to the situation. With a prairie dog at 400 meters you need a lot of accuracy. On the other hand at 3 feet you can shoot minute of barn and still torso punch someone.

-Self awareness is so important here. Knowing how fast you can get away with shooting lets you end a violent scenario as quickly as possible. Giving someone less time to potentially hurt you is a good thing.

Prepping Lifestyle? 3 Unique Degrees That Fit The Survivalist Lifestyle

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If you’re the type who wants to live out in the wilderness on your own, or want to be well prepared to survive the apocalypse should it come to pass, you might be interested in degrees you can earn that would be best suited for someone who wants to live your lifestyle. Fortunately, there are plenty of different types of degrees that offer practical survival skills, but these three are by far some of the most helpful.

  1. Agriculture Sciences

    To survive on your own, knowing how to grow your own food is essential. You will need to have an extensive knowledge of different kinds of crops, how to properly care for the soil so it is not stripped of nutrients, how to properly irrigate the fields, recognize and fend off plant diseases and more. You will also need knowledge of how to sustain your food supply and stockpile food, as well as maintain healthy plant genetics, all of which an agriculture sciences degree teaches.

  2. Gunsmithing

    Very few schools around the country offer this degree, but a select few do. Being able to make your own firearms is an invaluable skill if you wish to live out in the wilderness. Currently existing programs not only teach how to manufacture guns, but also to repair them – another critical skill for survivalists. You will need guns to hunt for food, defend yourself against animal attacks, and possibly against people. Most gunsmithing programs also have knife making elements as well, which is an added bonus for an aspiring survivalist. Knives are just as important as guns when you’re on your own, and can be used to defend yourself, create tools and prepare food.

  3. Nursing

    Nursing, or any medical knowledge like an msn degree, is very useful when you must fend for yourself. If you or a loved one is injured or sick, having intimate knowledge of the human body, various conditions, and how to treat them are invaluable. As an added bonus, treating patients in combat zones will prepare you even better, as you might not have access to modern technology. Any number of accidents or conditions could befall you when you’re out in nature, relying on yourself for survival, and so getting a nursing degree is a great choice.

So if you wish to live a survivalist lifestyle, and want a formal education to supplement it, these three degrees are some of the best choices. They are not the only options – among the others include engineering degrees, animal husbandry and culinary arts. Pick the subject you think you’d benefit most from a formal education, and then learn the other skills through other sources or on your own. You’ll be prepared to live a survivalist lifestyle in no time.

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.

Skull Stomping Sacred Cows

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https://mountainguerrilla.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/skull-stomping-sacred-cows-reality-isnt-nice-its-a-2×4-to-the-teeth/

Sometimes in life the truth hurts. Maybe it’s a girl you love who makes it painfully clear she doesn’t give a fuck about you but still wants to use you. She wants stuff from you and to ‘be your friend’. Maybe it’s a drill where you perform like shit. Maybe it’s a fight (training or real) where somebody kicks your ass because they have better skills or are more physically capable or better conditioned. 
This all sucks. The thing is you can be a wimp who goes home and cries or you can learn from it. 

Fitness Training For The Smart Prepper

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When the grid fails, only the strong survive, so you’ll need to be in the best physical condition of your life. Just start early, because by the time you need this strength and endurance it may already be too late. Here’s a look at how you can develop your own boot camp using the workouts military experts use to increase flexibility and improve strength.

The Basics

While fancy weight machines and free weights might look impressive, they won’t build the flexibility and strength that come in handy in a gridless world. Some of the best fitness standards are ones you can achieve without expensive equipment. Minimum requirements for the Army PFTs are simple, from ages 17-21, men must be 42 push-ups-strong and women 19. Both should reach the 53 sit-ups requirement, and a 2-mile run should take a man no less than 15 minutes and 54 seconds, and a woman 18 minutes and 54 seconds. Keep in mind that, as age increases, minimum requirements decrease. The best part is you can keep up this regimen anywhere in the world and don’t have to worry about being bogged down by equipment.

Track Fitness

Sometimes tracking your progress isn’t easy. State-of-the-art mobile devices, like the Apple Watch and the Apple iPhone 7 can monitor your step count, heart rate and even calories burned each workout session. There’s even an app that allows you to pick a charity of your choice and, as you run, walk or cycle, a corporate sponsor donates a few cents for every mile you manage. Of course, you can do more than this with your new iPhone and Apple Watch, which are both compatible with medical-grade hardware and software. For instance, the Kardia Mobile smartphone case and the Kardia Band can capture EKG measurements, electrical measurements in your heart, and send the data directly to your doctor.

HIIT Training

HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is a technique that builds endurance, strength and recovery time. HIIT focuses on all-out, one hundred percent bursts of activities for a short time. These bursts are followed by short, and sometimes, active recovery sessions. Many people use HIIT techniques to increase their metabolism. The metabolic boost you get from a HIIT workout can raise your metabolism for 48 hours. Another reason HIIT routines are so popular is they’re quick. Giving one hundred percent of your physical effort, even for a short time, wears you out quickly — which is why most HIIT workouts are 30 minutes or less. Lastly, no equipment is needed for a HIIT workout. HIIT promotes workouts that use body weight, which promotes optimal muscle gain and fat loss.

So how do you get started with your first HIIT workout? It’s easy. Start off slow — or at least follow a routine that won’t cause you to pull a muscle or strain a tendon. For instance, your first workout might consist of a 10-minute routine, 20 seconds of exercise, 10 seconds of recovery. Start with 20 seconds of cross-punch jabs. Make sure you stay on the balls of your feet and pivot with each jab, which will turn your body and work your abs. After 20 seconds, take 10, then transition into jumping jacks for 20 seconds. Your last set will be 20 seconds of sumo squats. Once you’ve done each exercise, begin again from the start. Repeat until ten minutes is up. While this is just a sample workout, there are far more you can explore that will work other parts of your body to get you in peak physical condition when you need it most.

Slicing the Homemade Bacon

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Phil found another hunk of our homemade bacon in one of the freezers and took it out to thaw but because he was helping Michelle move furniture in her room last week, he never got around to slicing it so that was one of my jobs today.
I still use that cheap little Oster slicer that I got at the thrift store and it still works great. This hunk of bacon was a bit fatty so it must have been from that second hog who got too big. I sure could smell that plum wood we used to smoke it with from that plum tree that died in the yard. I don’t think I’ll ever look at a dead fruit tree the same way again, that wood will always be something to save for smoking. That wood from the plum tree had a much better taste than any wood smoking chips that we could get from the store.
This made several packages of bacon for us. I believe we will have breakfast for supper tonight and use some of it up.

In other news, I am still crocheting and knitting and selling what I can…and maybe a little ribbon embroidery just because I had never done it before. These are some fingerless gloves that I made.

Let’s see what else….Miss Suzie…well, she turned into Poozie..and that just stuck and no one remembers that her name was Suzie now. So Poozie has gotten big and she is definitely the most challenging of the dogs we have. She manages to get out of the fenced in backyard all the time…either by jumping higher than we thought she could or fitting through smaller spaces than we thought she could. How I wish I had known about Jack Russell behavior when I got her…though I am sure I would have still taken her. the other three dogs are fine as well, just growing older and dealing with what comes with that. 

My chicks have all grown into adults now and all are laying. There are roosters to give away and hens who are stealing nest (viciously!) again. I believe I will have chicks to sell this spring but that will be an interesting venture too, I’m sure.
Spring is coming though this winter has been so mild, it is as if we never had winter. I’m hoping we can find house to buy this year. Will keep you all informed on that as we go along.

Flying with Guns

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Weapons Man  did a post on this. As always it is good. I have some thoughts.
– Obviousky make sure whatever you are flying with is legal on both ends of the trip.
– In case of fbe off chance they cut your locks have spares. A 4 pack of normal master IDK pas locks is like $20.
– Like weapons man said plan in time. An extra half hour,  which probably puts you there 2 hours early is wise.
– Know the airlines policies. They vary. If in doubt call the airline and ask.
– Unless there is some compelling reason I wouldn’t fly with real expensive or heirloom type guns. Guns do occasionally go missing. Take a $500 Glock and a $600 rifle not your nighthawk custom 1911 and full auto FAL.
-Deensinf on the company you can have different amounts of ammo. All I’ve used let you take some and have it in the case with the guns. I’ll bring at least enough to load the gun 1-2 times. If I wanted more ammo for whatever reason at the end point I would get it shipped there. Most classes will let you send ammo to them.
– Weapons Man mentioned loaner guns. That is definitely an option if the people you are visiting have appropriate guns to spare.
-If your host does not have spare guns to loan and you go there often consider staging a cache there. The cost and moderate annoyance of checking a gun a few times justifies leaving an old revolver an a long gunnifnyiu want one along with some speed strips and a knife. This also helps with your risk management. If your house burns down an whatever is in it is gone the gun at Grannies may be handy.

House on Lockdown: How to Secure Your Home for Any Eventuality

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Protect your family and valuables by learning how to put your house on full lockdown. Whether you’re worried about the weather or intruders, you can take steps to ensure that your property can easily be secured when you need it most. Here’s what you should know about preparing for those emergency situations.

Keep the Trees and Shrubs Maintained

In storms, projectiles are one of the biggest threats. Weak and dead branches are easily torn from trees and sent flying through the air. One way to make your home safe in severe storms is by keeping the trees maintained and strong. Bushes should be trimmed so that they don’t touch the house. This will also limit hiding spaces for intruders.

Go with Security Window Tint

Window tinting is great to improve the energy efficiency levels in your home. You’ll improve the comfort levels in your home, and you’ll also make it harder for people to break in. The great benefit of security tint is that it helps hold glass shards together even if the window is broken. Thieves are thwarted, and projectiles are less likely to be hurled through the window in a storm.

Hide the Valuables

They say that if someone really wants into your home, they’ll find a way. However, they will need to get in and out quickly to avoid being caught. You can further protect your belongings by keeping them in secure places. Put them in hollowed out books hidden on a bookshelf or get a safe.

Security Cameras with Remote Access

Another option is to install security cameras with remote access. When you can log in from your phone and see what’s going on at home, you’ll have peace of mind. Some companies, like Johns Brothers Security, know that having peace of mind is incredibly important. If anything seems amiss, you can call a neighbor or police to check on the property.

The Right Door Design

The best lock on the market is still only as strong as the doorjamb that’s holding it in place. A common method of entry is to just forcibly kick a door in. This splinters the frame and bypasses the lock completely. Special metal doorjambs can be used to replace the wood support that’s in place. The jambs are screwed to the framing, and they transfer the force of a kick along the full height of the door. The result is a door that’s virtually kick-proof.

Protect your home by getting it ready for a lockdown. It’s a smart idea to protect your property from storms and intruders alike. You’ll sleep better at night, and you’ll be ready for all types of emergency situations.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

Battle Drills and Decision Making

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i spent a recent weekend in Cecil Birchs immediate action class. A full review will come.  It brought up a couple of points worth discussing. The first is the danger of being a technique collector. Setting aside that those guys are usually clowns anyway it’s a problem. As a normal, hopefully decent citizen the violence you are going to be involved with is going to be defensive and reactionary. It is cute to say your situational awareness is amazing and no one gets within 21 feet without an ocular or down and eh f cleared but it’s bullshit. You might get some clues a few seconds out or you might just get jacked in he face.

For this type of situation you do not need a dozen techniques,  you need like 1-2 you are comfortable with and can do rapidly. At the beginning of a fight you are behind the power curve and need to survive the next couple seconds before you can get your head right and start making decisions.

Think of these as individual battle drills. A pre planned response to a given event which is rapidly executed with minimal decision making.

So at the start of a fight fewer decisions is better. Have a plan and violently execute it till you get your head into the situation and go from there.

Conversely at the later part of a fight you need to be more flexible. You can’t say ‘I’ll always shoot if x’ or ‘if I get in a fight that guy is going to the ER, best case.’ Aside from being machismo ish bull there is always an exception. Life has violent situations where you actually don’t want to hurt the other person, let alone kill them. The right answer for a mugger or a bar fight is different than your confused 80 year old neighbor or drunk asshole uncle.

This is a place where jiu jitsu is so handy. You can control people without actually hurting them. This gives you options that guns and striking do not offer.

So in conclusion. Have a planned reaction that works under stress. Develop the situation and be flexible about how to end it. 

Yugo vs AKM Parts Bleg

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Hey Folks, Sorry to have my first post in awhile be a bleg but a friend asked so I’m trying to help him out. He is curious about specifically what parts are not compatible between the Yugo pattern AKs (which rock and are a heck of a deal) and the standard AKM. Does anyone know?

My laptop is still being a pile of shit. Maybe I’ll write a real post on my phone tomorrow.

Thanks in advance

Doomsday Survival Priorities that Everyone Needs to Know

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Arguably, every human being should know some necessary skills for doomsday survival, since we never know when it will happen. But, what are these priorities? Let’s face it;

  1. Finding and sterilizing drinking water

    In a survival situation, water is one of the most important resource you will need. You may go for 3 days without water but, you will easily become incapacitated in those 3 days. This may lead to serious health problems, or worse, making very obvious and stupid mistakes. In the long run, not drinking water can lead to dehydration and eventually death. Plus, if you don’t have the right skills to purify water, you could drink all nasty stuff filled with bacteria that could eventually get you sick.

  2. Learn first aid skills

    It is always a good idea to know some of the basics of first aid – in fact; it should be on the top of your priority list. Remember, injuries and accidents are unpredictable. You should take some classes to learn the basics of first aid so that you can be ready when you need to be ready.

  3. Self defense

    Learning how to counter attack with or without a weapon is important. Some of the best fighting forms for self-defense is Krav Maga. Obviously, the best way to master any kind of self defense is to go to a nearby studio where experienced defense masters teach you how to defend yourself. However, if you are not a big fan of taking classes you can easily find a DVD or an online class from which you can learn some self defense skills at home.

    You should also learn which type of weapon you should carry and the best way to use it for self-defense.

  4. Build your own survival bunker and library

    Having a survival bunker with preserved food stocked can increase your chances of survival significantly. It goes without saying that the more information and resources you have, the higher your chances of survival. You can find many valuable resources and guides that can assist you to learn about survival tactics and how to escape an emergency.

  5. Building a shelter

    A decent shelter will protect you from strong wind, rain, and bad weather. This is crucial skill for those people that did not or could not afford to build their own survival bunker. It’s also an important skill to know for general winter wilderness survival. So, you should learn how to build a proper shelter in case of an emergency.

  6. Food

    Food is important for long term survival. While you can survive for a couple of days without food, eventually without food you will starve and die. You need food to give you energy and provide those necessary calories. So, you should learn food preservation techniques to avoid running out of stock during crucial moments.

The bottom line;

At the end of the day, you must know what your survival priorities are, its important so that you can still survive when doomsday comes. With the tips highlighted in this article, I am sure you will do well.

About the Author

Tom loves spending time outdoors learning new survival techniques, when not outdoors, he shares his learned skills on his blog Thrifty Outdoors Man.

The Survivalist’s Pantry

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Lots of bottled water There is a lot that goes into prepping. We all know we need to stock up on food, but we aren’t always sure what needs to go in our emergency food supply. Every prepper should have a fully stocked pantry in case of emergency and we’ve got a few tips and tricks for you to start yours or update it a little to give maximum preparedness.

Start by getting water. Water is essential to having a successful pantry in an emergency. You will need it to cook many things and clean up messes, not to mention you can’t survive without it for longer than three days. Products like dehydrated and freeze dried foods need water to be edible. According to Utah State University, a family of four needs 270 gallons of water to have a three month supply, or 90 gallons per person. There are many things that require water so you can never have too much.

Many people go for canned foods and MREs (meals ready to eat) when stocking up their pantry, but these aren’t always the right choice. Those are good basics to have just in case you run out of everything, but start with foods you know your family will eat. You don’t want to take them totally out of their comfort zone and people are more likely to stay optimistic if there is something familiar to them. Buy items you know your family will eat in bulk when they go on sale in order to stock up. Foods you think will be easy to buy and store but your family might not like can be implemented into your diet before a disaster so when the time comes, they will be used to the food. You should also Make sure you try items to make sure they will be eaten before you buy too much.

If you learn to can or dehydrate food, you might be able to increase your stockpile faster and cheaper. Dehydrating food isn’t the fastest process, but it is a healthy and rewarding process. Your family will be able to eat all the foods they’re used to without it taking up as much space to save or effort to make. Canning isn’t for everyone, but it can be a cheaper alternative to buying canned foods and you know exactly what is going into the food you’re feeding your family. Here is a beginner’s guide to canning.

When you think of pantry, you think of food. Things like cleaning or sanitation supplies don’t really come to mind, but they are just as important as food to making a useful survival pantry. You’re going to need some disinfectants to clean up mess or pots after cooking. If the sewer system isn’t working, you’re going to need somethings to get rid of waste products, like buckets and heavy duty trash bags. Dish soap and laundry detergent should round out your cleaning supplies. You can’t wear the same thing every day and might want to wash your hands every once in awhile. Other bigger items like a washboard, broom and drying rack aren’t entirely necessary, but aren’t a horrible addition to your pantry.

Now you have all the essential foods, but how are you going to cook them? Pots, pans, bowls, and a grill are vital to have in your pantry. Cooking on an open fire might not always be a possibility and you will want to have a backup grill for those times. While everyone else is worrying about how they’re going to eat, you’ll be sitting in comfort with your meal cooked on your camping grill. Gas for your grill is something we overlook as well. And for when you are cooking on an open fire, you can take the cooking grate off your camping stove to grill your food. You’re killing two birds with one stone having that grill. Stock up on paper plates and plastic utensils so you don’t have the hassle of cleaning dishes when you’re already dealing with the hassle of the world ending.

There are many skills preppers need to learn (ACLS renewal, CPR certification, water purification, gun safety), but knowing how to create a well stocked pantry is the most important. We can survive without knowing how to shoot a gun, but we absolutely cannot survive more than a few days without food and the proper equipment to eat.

Ryan is an emergency preparedness blogger who is passionate about helping others prepare for the worst. Follow Ryan on Twitter, @ryan_thompson03, for more emergency preparedness tips.

4 Keys to Maintaining Communication in a Disaster Situation

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When faced with a disaster, either human-made or natural, it’s critical that you and your family are prepared. Have you thought out and gone over what everyone is supposed to do? Do you have an emergency supply kit that could save your lives? But perhaps the most important thing is planning to be able to communicate, with your family, loved ones, friends and relevant authorities, in a disaster situation. Here are the keys for how to do that.

  1. Have a Meeting Spot

  2. Technology can fail, so if communication is ever cut off or you can’t get a hold of anybody, have a previously-established meeting spot or place to go in case of an emergency. This should be near your home but not too close to it, as buildings can collapse due to earthquakes or fires could spread to nearby vegetation and structures. You could even have a reciprocal arrangement with a neighbor or neighboring family, making their home a designated meet-up and safe space for your children or vice versa.

  3. Have a Way to Charge Devices, or Batteries

  4. Batteries last a long time, and can easily be purchased and kept in an emergency kit for years and still be functional. Most devices come with rechargeable batteries now, so keeping a spare, fully-charged battery for important devices like your mobile phone is a very good idea. You can also charge cell phones and most other devices in your car if you have an adapter, so keeping those spare adapters and cords in your vehicle is a good idea as well.

  5. Prepaid SIM or Phone Cards

  6. You can purchase a SIM card to install in an old cell phone to be used only in case of an emergency. Old cell phones without service plans can be used to dial 911, but won’t be able to contact friends and family members, hence why a SIM (possibly a prepaid one) is a good alternative. Prepaid phone cards are also a good option that allow you to make calls only when the need arises, so you don’t have to pay monthly service fees on it like usual.

  7. Keep a Battery-Powered Radio and Two-Way Radios

  8. Keeping a battery-powered radio you can use to listen for updates on the situation, as well as battery-operated two-way radios to stay in contact with the other people with you, can help you maintain communication without having to worry about having to recharge cell phones. Also, make sure you are signed up for federal and local emergency alerts on your phone, so you can receive information and be better prepared in case of an emergency.

Being able to communicate with loved ones and authorities during an emergency situation can mean life or death, and it’s imperative that you think ahead and have some kind of preparedness and plan ahead of time. Do try and limit cell phone calls or data usage during an emergency to free up networks so emergency calls can get through for other people affected in your area. Establish the four things listed above and you and your family should be all set!

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.

Onion Soup

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For a long time, I didn’t like onions at all. As a kid we hated them but as I have grown older my tastes buds apparently have died off some and I like onions just fine now. I saw a recipe on facebook for onion soup that was very simple and had few ingredients so I thought I would try it. You took 6 large chopped onions (I had some small ones but only did seven because it seemed like an awful lot of onions to begin with), cooked them in butter for a few minutes until they softened, put them in the crock pot and added a teaspoon and a half of Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. I added two 32-oz containers of beef broth. You then just let it cook.
Now, all day this was cooking and I could only think of how disgusting I thought it smelled. It also tasted very bland.

 I read the comments on the facebook video and decided to add salt and pepper as one person on the comments mentioned…it was a bit better…still not good. I really felt that if we were going to have it for a meal….it needed meat. I scrambled up about a pound and a half of hamburger. Then shortly before Phil got home I put a few spoonfuls of hamburger in an oven safe bowl, ladled the soup on it, then put three pieces of sliced French bread on top with a shredded Italian cheese mix on top of the bread. I put it under the broiler until the cheese browned.

I just can’t tell you how incredibly wonderful this was. So GOOD! Definitely going to have to make this again.

Too Many Eggs!

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For a while I was selling some eggs and that was keeping their numbers down in my refrigerator..but egg prices have gone down again and I got tired of delivering eggs to people so they have been piling up a good bit in the fridge and today I collected these beautiful eggs along with a dozen more of the small bantam eggs and there just wasn’t anywhere to put them. Time to do something with these eggs before they go bad and just have to be thrown out. With all the animals I have to feed, there really is no excuse for throwing out eggs. But I started with the dozen or so fresh bantam eggs I had and made Phil some pickled eggs. I haven’t made any for a while so I know he is going to like these. It is just the standard recipe: 
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pickling spice 
2 cups vinegar 
2/3 cup water
Boil this for a few minutes and pour through a strainer over boiled eggs. 

So that got rid of a dozen eggs but there were at least ten dozen more in the refrigerator…..so I boiled a pan full, then another very large pan full and peeled, and peeled then cut them up a bit. I fed a plate full to the cats outside. They seemed very appreciative. Then I took two bowls out to the chickens and fed them. These chickens had never had eggs before but they seemed pretty happy and it didn’t take them long to finish them. They were all running around snatching pieces from each other.
They don’t get much variety here in the winter since I have no real good grass and weeds to pick for them. 

I then, put the rest of the eggs I collected today in the fridge and we have almost 8 dozen….looks like I may need to do this again tomorrow.

Prepping for a Winter Bug-Out

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As the climate begins to take a turn for frigid and icy conditions, make sure your doomsday prepping skills are a match for the weather. Your normal bug-out bag will just need a little tweaking and your vehicle may need to be upgraded. Here are 5 tips to how you can successfully survive a winter bug-out situation when disaster hits!

Vehicle

For a winter bug-out you will not want to be on foot or left out in the cold when your little car breaks down. You will want to invest in a proper winter vehicle that includes the following features;

  • 4-wheel or all-wheel drive
  • plenty of cargo space
  • all-terrain capability
  • reliable
  • comfortable capacity for you and your escape party

These are just the bare necessities, but ideally you would also want your vehicle to have protection against bullets and be able to run on flat tires if it ever came to that. Visit a store like Dualtone Muffler Brake & Alignment if you have any concerns.

Layer Clothing

Polyester is the best bottom layer because it won’t soak up your sweat like cotton will. You will want 2 layers of synthetic material. The middle layer will serve as insulation. Fleece and wool are a great choice. The outer layer should be waterproof and breathable. Make sure that these layers can be taken off easily so start with the shortest sleeves and work your way up.

Keep Dry

This is essential to a winter bug-out. If you happen to get wet, you need to remove the wet clothing immediately and dry them next to a fire. If you continue to wear wet clothing then you will be exposing yourself to hypothermia when if freezes.

Bug-Out Bag Essentials

You will, of course, want all the bug-out bag essentials such as a hatchet, food and a first aid kit, but there is more to be added when you consider a winter situation:

  • gloves
  • boots
  • snow goggles or glasses
  • warm headgear
  • insulated bottles
  • Mylar or “space” blankets
  • shovel
  • winter socks
  • wool clothing
  • warm portable shelter

Not much needs to change about how or where you house yourself as long as you prepared well enough for wet conditions. One thing you will want to keep in mind is even though it is freezing outside, you will want to make sure that you keep the air moving in your shelter. Another tip to your shelter is to keep someone else in there with you to cuddle up to. This may be awkward depending on who you bring along, but it could save your life.

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.

Life and Times, Operational Cache, Et All

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Hey Folks, I sort of took a break over the holidays. I went home and saw my kiddo’s, family and friends. The way things worked out I got to see a relative at the opposite end of the PNW so that was cool. Also my first time traveling long distance in the US by train. The trip there was pretty awesome. Very old school with some nice touches of class. The one back sucked as there were delays and all sorts of drama. Now I am back to work and normal life.

Over this trip I accessed my operational cache. Everything was fine. I sort of took a cue from Meister and added some good stuff to it. I tossed in my normal EDC knife and flash light as well as a more duty oriented pistol. Also a good set of long johns, a pair of multicam pants and some other odds n ends. I was going to put in a better backpack but the one I planned to use had a buckle break on the trip so I need to get it fixed.

Sort of along Meisters theme I literally cached stuff I regularly use. Motivation to spend hundreds of dollars on stuff to cache can be hard to find. So as a forcing function I put my normal stuff in there. Finding motivation to replace the thing I carry every day that is gone should be much easier to find. Of course if you genuinely can’t afford it this is a bad plan but for those who can it is a good way to get priority #10 which never gets done up to priority #2 or 3.

I wanted to go through all of the contents and toss some less than entirely needed stuff. As I put in better items the newly redundant and inferior stuff can get tossed. Space is a consideration.

 I am looking hard at setting up another cache soon. Hopefully this spring. It will be another operational cache. Good to have goals anyway.

My stupid computer has really been giving me problems. Honestly it is hindering blogging as a 10 minute post takes more like a half hour between it freezing and re starting. I am going to either fix or replace it in the immediate future. My goal is to get to blogging 2-3x  a week.

Anyway that’s what has been going on with me. Hope you all are well. Talk to you soon.

Most Common Prepper Mistakes

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Hurricane Isabel flood damage Maryland Many people think they are prepared for an emergency because they have a large stash of food and guns, but there is a lot more that goes into being prepared. I know when I started out, I fell victim to this thought. There are many common mistakes preppers make. Here are a few of the most important ones to be aware of and how to fix it if you realize you’ve been making them.

The most vital mistake preppers make is not preparing for the right situation. Many preppers think they need to prepare for the apocalypse or some other freak event and when the likely earthquakes or wildfires come they aren’t ready. Someone who is really prepared has what they need to get themselves through even these little events. Knowing your area is the easiest way to overcome this mistake. Most cities have an emergency preparedness site with tips for your specific area. It’s not impossible for catastrophic events to happen, but the smart prepper is ready for what could happen tomorrow and not in hundreds of years.

Another huge mistake that is made is not having all the skills necessary to survive. Preppers tend to think having food and gear is all they need to be prepared, but those things only last so long. Food will run out and then you are on your own. You need to know how to grow crops and hunt in order to provide for your family. Being able to defend yourself is another life or death skill most people overlook. This is more than just having guns and ammunition. You need to be able to properly use it and so should your family or others you plan to be around in an emergency.

Along with defense, treatment of injuries or disease often get overlooked. There may not be anyone within miles to help you if something goes wrong and you don’t want to get infected or just sit around weak and useless. A first aid kit would be the first place to start, but ACLS recertification, or certification if you don’t have it yet, is also a good step. For those that don’t know what that is, ACLS stands for advanced cardiac life support and teaches how to deal with cardiac arrest and other life threatening medical emergencies. Becoming certified in this and other life-saving courses, such as CPR, you should be more prepared than many others in the same situation.

When it comes to food, there are a few common mistakes among preppers. Stockpiling the wrong items is a big one. Most people like to stock up on items that last a while, like SPAM or MREs, but we aren’t usually used to eating these things. When it’s time to actually eat these, no one wants to because they never have before. Buy things you know you will eat or try to start implementing them into your diet now. If you know that you want to grow a certain crop come doomsday, start making recipes with that in it now, so when the time comes, everyone is used to it. Store what you eat, but also eat what you store. A lot of times people store the food away for an emergency and don’t look at it ever again, but you should be rotating pieces in and out. Eat things before they are going to expire and replace them with something new. Otherwise, it’s just a huge waste of money and you end up without anything edible come emergency time.

Storage is another mistake preppers make. Many people have all their food in the same place, but you shouldn’t do this. If something were to happen to the area of your house where you store everything, you would lose it all. Keep some of it inside the house, other stuff in the garage, some at a storage unit, and even some in the dog house. This way if something were to happen to one area, you won’t lose everything. It’s almost inevitable that one of your stockpiles will get ruined, so don’t be disappointed and have more to go to. There are also some elemental factors that play into storing food. You can read about them here.

A mistake that doesn’t have to do with supplies or skills people tend to make is trying to do everything on their own. Preppers get this mindset that they have to keep to themselves and prepare for everyone to turn against them. Use the community of other like-minded individuals to support you before and after an emergency. You can learn valuable information from others and form alliances. If something were to happen, you would have this group to fall back on for help with food, shelter, and defense. Find those who are also preparing for the worst by telling those you trust what you are doing or finding a support group. There are many out there who also prep, you just don’t know it yet.

There are many more common mistakes, but if you fix these areas most of us struggle with, I guarantee you’ll be a more successful prepper.

Ryan is an emergency preparedness blogger who is passionate about helping others prepare for the worst. Follow Ryan on Twitter, @ryan_thompson03, for more emergency preparedness tips.

4 Ways To Protect Your Home From Intruder Invasion

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It’s difficult to find specific statistics regarding the precise number of home invasions that occur each day in the United States. The reason for this is that quite often if intruders are caught, they are charged with a crime such as burglary, assault or various other charges rather than their crime being recorded statistically as an invasion. There are numerous steps you can take to avoid becoming a statistic of any type of intruder invasion.

Security system

Having a security system installed, especially one with a video monitoring system is one of the best ways to prevent intruder invasion. Take time to explore the many types of systems that are available and select the best system your budget allows. Preventing intruder invasion isn’t just about theft, it’s also about keeping yourself and your family safe.

Keep quiet

Keeping quiet can reduce your risk of intruder invasion, especially when theft is the intruder’s motive. Refrain from revealing travel plans or your daily schedule to others or as a status update on your social media networks. Don’t brag about new purchases you’ve made, especially when they involve electronics or other items that are enticing to burglars. Revealing travel plans on the phone in a public place or putting out boxes and old equipment that indicate you’ve made new purchases or updated electronic equipment are two ways to make your home a target for thieves.

Seek advice

Take advantage of the resources available to you to help keep your home safe from intruders. If you know or can be directed to a person who has achieved an online degree in criminology, they can provide you with invaluable information on ways to keep your home and family safe. In the course of their study, they will have acquired knowledge regarding what burglars who have been arrested say deterred them from targeting certain homes. They will also have learned tips that they can pass onto you regarding measures you can take to make your home more secure.

Get a dog

Noise scares intruders. A large dog may provide physical protect, but a small, barking dog stirs enough noise to attract attention and discourage an intruder. Small dogs can be excellent at warning you or alerting neighbors to unusual activity around the house.

Intruders aren’t always strangers. You need to be selective about the personal information you reveal to others and who you invite into your home. It’s also essential that you invest in quality locks and that you be diligent about locking windows and doors in order to keep your family, and your house, protected.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

5 Easy Steps for Emergency Preparedness at Home

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Nobody likes to think the worst, but being prepared can make you feel more secure about the future. These five strategies can help you deal with a multitude of scenarios.

Invest in a Security System

A security system not only deters burglars, but the company that monitors the home can alert the police and send you messages in regards to the status of your house. Invest in a security system that will provide you peace of mind in the event of an intrusion or other home front emergency. Alarm monitoring can also detect detect smoke and fire, whether they’re the result of an electrical issue, a cooking mishap or a spark from a heating unit.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit should contain a NOAA weather radio, flashlight, cell phone, whistle, dust masks, antibacterial wipes, manual can opener, local map, and enough food and water for at least three days. Keep in mind that you’ll need one gallon of water per day per person, and don’t forget supplies for pets, if applicable. Additionally, keep extra batteries and an emergency gas shut-off wrench with the kit.

Learn Basic Emergency Skills

If you don’t already have a fire extinguisher, get one and make sure to familiarize yourself with the instructions. Consider getting trained in basic first aid such as CPR. You can find classes by contacting Red Cross, a local community college or your library.

Learn How to Shut Off Utilities

If your home uses gas, familiarize yourself with the shutoff valve on the gas meter. The utility line closes when you turn the valve a quarter in either direction. The goal is to have it run crosswise to the pipe. Once the gas is shut off, only a professional can turn it back on.

The location of the valve for the waterline depends on your home and location. In warm climates, it’s usually located near the water meter. In colder regions, you might find it in the basement or near the pipe that leads to the water heater.

In regards to electricity, always turn off all individual circuits before switching off the main breaker.

Have a Plan for Pets

If you need to leave your home in an emergency, keep in mind that pets aren’t allowed in most designated evacuation shelters. Prepare for that scenario by making arrangements with a friend or family member beforehand. You should also microchip any pets and invest in a GPS tracker.

While you can’t prepare for everything, completing these steps beforehand will allow you to keep your focus when dealing with a potential emergency. Make sure that everyone in your family is on board with these steps, and discuss your safety plans regularly.

Rachael Murphey is an entrepreneur and writer on topics relating to business, personal finance, personal growth, and emergency preparedness. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her dog Charlie.

2016 New Years Resolutions Final Review

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Sustain
Start hunting-No
Continue fishing -No
Organize/ refine food storage. Emphasis is less on sheer bulk but more on filling holes and putting it all together. -No

Better organize caches-Some stuff is in the works here. Nothing has been finished yet.
Get another grinder (Corona?)-No
Pick up some additional rechargeable batteries to have 2 (3 is better) spare sets per new piece of commo gear -No
5gal kerosene-No
1x kero lantern w/ 4 wicks and spare globe-No
Various tools TBD maybe
1x brace and bit-No
1x buck saw or large bow saw-No
Chainsaw support gear (me thinks gloves, chaps, spare chain, file, plenty of 2 cycle oil, spark plugs, bar oil, etc)-No
Files for chainsaw and hand saws

Cordage: 1 spool of 550 cord, 5x 100 ft light rope-No

Medical
Organize a good household first aid kit-Yes
Beef up my vehicle first aid kit.-Yes

Inventory gear, spare parts and other moderately priced items
Better organize gear and such-No

Life (personal):

Fill my newfound spare time in useful ways.-No

Solidify existing relationships and put time/ energy/ money into that effort.-Wash I guess.

Build new relationships.- Well I made some new friends, sadly they don’t live near me.

Have some fun. – I met a lot of people around here and had a variety of different experiences. That was a thing that probably needed to happen in my life, if just to get it out of the way.  I had a lot of fun in Europe and a nice trip to Montana.

Watch more live music.- A resounding suuccess.

Life (functional/ goals):

Establish a zero or near zero based budget to manage my current financial situation allowing me to save, have fun and pursue preparedness goals.- I saved some cash and kinda had a budget. Call it a mixed bag.

Go back to school.-No

Figure out 1/3/5 year goals for where I want to be and backwards plan from there.- This was good but took a major change recently.

Overall my goals are to work on my life, get/ stay healthy, and figure out what my life is going to look like. In terms of preparedness I want to work hard on skills, firm up communications, get better organized, get some ammo and another AR then work on smaller stuff to round out what I already have.

I got a couple other things done. Bought an FJ Cruiser and did a decent amount of Jiu Jitsu. 
Overall this years was not a preparedness success. Maybe next year will be better. If nothing else I will work on setting better goals.

Multiple Streams of Income

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When talking with John Mosby during down time at class the group discussion hit on some other things. One of them was that our empire is deterioration. A sub set of that particular problem is the economy.

He mentioned to the group that we should be thinking about ways to diversify our incomes. One guy was high up in a big city fire department so his job was probably secure and I am in the military so my job (especially since President Trump was elected) isn’t likely going anywhere. To the rest he said they should think about ways beside their normal job to earn some money.

I have been thinking about that myself.

A couple ideas come to mind.

First we have to consider when we are looking at this stream of income working. Do we want it to work now? Or are we angling for some sort of worst case scenario type thing?

Obviously a lot of stuff that could work now would not work in some worst case scenario, like say doing tax accounting part time or selling digital books on amazon. On the other hand lets say, as I am seriously considering doing, a guy takes up leather working. I could get really good at it and still not be able to meet the quality to price ratio of a lot of mass production shops like Bianchi or Galco. When a guy can get most imaginable items in 2-4 days on Amazon for a mass produced price how can I compete without being a legitimate master? I probably can’t, especially when true professionals are a  phone call and a UPS package away. Now lets say our world got a lot smaller in a hurry. Like walking/ bicycle distance smaller. How many guys are going to be making custom holsters for whatever handgun people pull out of their closet in a 5 mile radius? Probably not many. Figure you do mag pouches and sheathes also and it could be a decent job.

The point I am getting at is to figure on when you are looking for the income then make a plan.

I pay a lot in child support but I also make good money. Not like my expectations or lifestyle are too fancy so stuff works out just fine for now. Still I don’t like single points of failure.

So I want to have a couple other streams of income. Lets say 3. How much money do I want to make? Well I would like to make 500k a year. More realistically if I made somewhere between several hundred to a couple grand a month that would give me a lot of options. Even if my normal job fell apart somehow I would have something coming in. Maybe even enough to pay the no fail bills like power, fuel and food. On the high end of those figures I could even pay rent.

So how could I do this?

My first plan is to get the blog earning again. For a few reasons I plan to do it more on a commission basis than folks paying for advertising.

Writing. I have been writing fiction again. Hope to put a book out on Amazon in the first quarter of next year.

Also to ask you all a question. If I put together a nonfiction type work that is a mix of selected blog posts and some new stuff then charged say $5 for it would you all be interested? I’m definitely still framing this out in my head but it would give you my take on a lot of stuff in one place.

Both of those are in the works. If you have constructive ideas I would love to hear them. 

How to Keep Your Students Safe in an Era of Random Violence

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An uptick in violence has taken place in the United States in recent years. With over 10 incidents of school shootings in 2016 so far and additional incidents expected before the end of the year, it’s more important than ever that school staff prepare themselves for these and other so-called “random” acts of violence.

Students and adult campus visitors acquire weapons from:

  • Family members and friends
  • 3D printer designs shared freely online
  • Merchants who don’t follow gun control laws
  • Domestic and international terrorist groups

To keep students and yourself as safe as possible when violence erupts, do the following at your school immediately.

Educate Students and Staff

Educating students and colleagues about random violence is critical to their safety. Speak with your school administrator about providing classes that deal with situational awareness and recognizing the signs of a potential sudden violent event, protocols for reporting these signs and appropriate reactions to violence. Run live drills involving different scenarios to help students and staff better understand what to expect so that they’re more likely to remember their lessons during the real thing.

Involve Parents and Guardians

A community that works together to prevent violence has a better chance of doing so. Beyond asking parents/guardians for permission to teach their children critical survival skills, ask them to become active participants in the process. If any parents/guardians or their relatives are emergency first responders, ask them to speak at the school about their jobs and their protocols for responding to different worse case scenarios of random violence. Prepare parents/guardians for the potential questions about random violence that they might receive from their children. Additionally, talk to them about their own situational awareness and the actions they should take if they observe questionable events taking place when visiting the campus.

Take Self Defense Classes

You can’t hope to protect others if you don’t know how to protect yourself. Seek out a self-defense teacher who has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Keep in mind that the degree is important as post-graduate studies often focus on individual and group security measures related to random acts of violence. Take notes so that you can pass the knowledge and guidance you receive from your own teacher to students, teachers, other staff members and parents/guardians.

You can’t always prevent violence from occurring on a school campus, but you can help reduce injuries and deaths. Be as prepared as possible by implementing these techniques into your educational routine. Preventative safety measures save lives.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

Leftovers!!

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We have leftovers from two turkey’s this year. One from our Thanksgiving dinner at home and one from our family Thanxmas dinner with the family. I didn’t really realize how much was left until I looked at it today and realized I really needed to can some of it or we were just going to waste all that good turkey.
The spare room is kind of full right now. The big fish tank/brooder is still in there and several rather large presents, bags of smaller presents, empty boxes to send presents in or sent of Etsy orders, just a lot of stuff but I managed to reach the canner and find jars enough.
Canning meat is no more difficult than canning anything else. I did the ‘hot pack’ method with the turkey where you boil the meat first. I then packed it in the jars using the same liquid, added a little salt,  and pressure canned it for 75 minutes in pint jars.

I ended up with 7 full pints with some leftover. The leftover meat was in all that good juice too and there was no reason to let all that go to waste either so I poured it in the crock pot, added some onions, salt, pepper, a little sage and a jar of canned carrots. I will add some kind of pasta- maybe egg noodles– later when it is close to time to eat so the noodles don’t overcook.

Realities of Defensive Conflicts

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I have seen a couple good things recently and addressing them both at once seemed to make the most sense. The first is a post by Larry Correia “The Legalities of Shooting People”

The second is security camera footage of a real life defensive shooting in Brazil a few days ago. I will talk about them in order. This is intentional because legal realities affect our tactical options.
Larry Correia is not a lawyer. You should not consider his excellent post to be legal advice. I am definitely not a lawyer or in any way qualified to give legal advice. If you are making life and death decisions based on random crap you read on the internet from a guy who admits he is not a specialist in the area you are an idiot. 


That disclaimer aside Larry Correia’s post is excellent. Other people such as Massad Ayoob are probably more knowledgeable but the way this post explains the issue is clear and simple. If a normal person without a legal background were to read one document to understand the criteria for use of lethal force this may not be the absolute best document but they could certainly do a lot worse.
The Reasonable Man point is key. In the event of a shooting you will need to convince somewhere between a couple and a dozen plus people that your actions were in fact those of a reasonable man in order to not go to adult time out. 


The discussion of the breakdown on Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy needs little addition. The only real point I would make is that if you are a healthy normal sized adult man (being loose with all those terms) convincing people you were in legitimate fear of your life from another normal sized man; who does not show a weapon and isn’t stomping you while your on the ground or slamming your head into something is not a situation I would want to be in. 


Hell George Zimmerman was getting the shit beat out of him and he, though ultimately (legally at least) was vindicated had a heck of a time. 


The point there is unless you are elderly (I mean real old like 70+), a woman or an actual midget there are violent situations that can occur where you will not be able to justify going to guns.
The article then starts talking about police use of force and to be honest shifted out of my area of interest. The first half or so is gold though.

In closing a point that a girl I used to date brought up after her CCW course came to mind. Taking a handgun out in a dangerous situation is a bit complicated because as we have learned from South Narc stuff and Street Robberies and You it is a lot better to get your gun out earlier instead of later. At the same time you can’t just be whippping out guns or  pointing guns at people all the time. There is some ambiguity in situations where you might draw a handgun. When it comes to situations where you would shoot someone it is a lot simpler. The situations where you should shoot another human being in self defense are usually pretty clear cut. If you are in doubt that you should be shooting another person the answer is no you should not.

Next we have a video of an off duty Brazilian cop who was the victim of an attempted robbery. I find stuff coming out of South America particularly interesting as the level of crime in some areas is high, verging on completely ridiculous. Where it is now is also where we are generally headed as our country slips down to whatever state of collapse it will end up at.


The breakdown on The Firearms Blog is very good. My thoughts.
Mindset
The scenario of 2 or 3 goblins with guns is becoming fairly common. The old (3 shots, 3 yards, 3 seconds) conventional thoughts about self-defense are becoming less and less accurate. Since we want to prepare for violent conflicts today and TOMORROW, not a decade ago we need to consider this.


Also notice the bad guy’s waited until they were right on the cop to draw their guns. This is realistic. Bad guys aren’t going to take out weapons 50 yards away, or probably 10 yards away. They are going to get right on you. Like John Mosby said they will get close to you with some pretext like “Hey can I get a dollar” or “Can I borrow your phone?” to get close then the weapons will come out.


Coming back to the first point about legality. The time you are probably going to be justified in taking out your gun is probably (lots of scenarios and different thing can apply) when the bad guy takes theirs out so that means they will have the jump on you. Also they will probably be relatively close. 


Training:
This particular fight was close to but just outside contact range. Remember within a few feet the odds of a fight having a hand to hand component are high. As Tam says ‘You don’t have a gun, y’all have a gun.’


While partly a awareness/ mindset issue the time of getting your gun into action from the training side is based on your draw stroke to first shot. Faster is better. This is why you train for a reasonably fast draw.


The TFB post mentions the drill of 6 rounds at 6 feet in 6 seconds from the holster. Solid idea. It does not mention target size in the standard. My gut says that is a bit slow, especially for that distance.


Depending how far down this particular rabbit hole you want to go the case that a little .380 pocket pistol or ambiguous .38 snubby is not sufficient for this task can be made. This is certainly a complicated thing and I would prefer you carry a small gun to no gun but at least consider for some situations a small gun may not be enough. Filling one of the 2-3 armed men with bullets then running dry could leave them quite mad and you with an empty gun.


Certainly in a realistic violent encounter such as the one shown (as well as most potential scenarios) you need to be carrying a handgun where you can get it in a hurry. Basically this means on your waist or, while few if any serious instructors recommend them unless you are spending hours in the car, a readily accessible shoulder holster. This means that carry on ankles, in backpacks/ purses, fanny packs, in those under shirt holster things, etc are all no go’s. You aren’t going to be able to get to the damn gun in time. 


Reload, carry one. This is by far most important for lower capacity guns but depending on the level of risk a good idea in general. As my buddy Commander Zero put it a G19 is a snubby with 3 reloads. There is some truth to that statement. Still putting a reload in your pocket won’t kill you. 


Anyway I think these are a couple things you should think about.

A Few Items for Your Dog’s Bug-Out Bag

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California Mountain Dog If you haven’t considered your pet for bug in and bug out situations, it’s about time you should. We’ve all seen videos of people caught in disasters who’re more concerned about finding their cat than they are about where they’re going to sleep at night. Besides, pets will be of immense value post-collapse when it comes to moral support. To them, all it matters is that you’re still together…

In today’s article I want to focus on dogs and their needs in bug out scenarios. Depending on its size and strength, a dog may or may not carry his own stuff. The rest will either go in your bug out vehicle’s trunk or inside your own BOB.

So let’s see some of these items that you should make part of your survival plan.

An Emergency Leash

If your dog is anything like mine, he’s going to be really, really scared if and when general panic sets in. You’re going to want to keep him on a leash at all times, particularly if you’re bugging out with your car. If you’re the one driving, you can’t afford Lucky to distract you, so have someone sit with him on the back seat.

Food and Water

Don’t pack too much, because they’re heavy. It all depends on the size of your dog. Store extra food and water in your car’s trunk and beware of high temperatures. Anything inside your car’s trunk that’s perishable should be rotated more often than what’s in your pantry or basement.

A Collapsible Dish

You can use it for other things, such as collecting rainwater or foraging. The more containers you have with you, the better. You never know what you’ll end up putting in them.

A Dog Crate… Also Collapsible

This is something you could add to your car bug out bag and even use it to store other supplies. Particularly useful if you’re going to camp in the woods, if you don’t want your dog to run away while you’re sleeping.

A First Aid Kit

You can opt for those pre-packed ones on the market or you can assemble one yourself. Just keep in mind that there’s a difference between a FAKs for people and those for dogs. If you do decide to assemble them yourself, I suggest you keep them separated.

Body Armor

Come again? Why would your dog need it? Because you’ll never know when a wild animal might attack him… or get hit by a bullet You don’t want him unprotected when he’s trying to protect you. Soft armor vests are lightweight and have lots of pockets where you can fit many of the items given in this article.

Two Inflatable Mini-Beach Balls

This may sound weird but consider the scenario where you all need to cross a large body of water. Even if your dog can swim, can he do it with weight on his back? If you add something inflatable on both sides of the backpack, it’ll be much easier. A couple of small inflatable 5” beach balls will do.

Glow Sticks

Glow sticks make great emergency lighting because they have a 5-year shelf life (so long as you don’t crack them open), they pose no fire risk and are powerful enough to light your way. Tie one to your dog’s collar to be able to see him in the dark.

A Few Ziploc Bags

They have numerous alternative uses so it’s always good to have a few. These should be in every survival bag (GHB, BOB, car BOB) and even as part of your edc – they are crucial for survival because they have so many uses.

Vaccination Records

If you can laminate them, even better. If your dog gets lost and someone finds him or if he bites someone, they might help.

Dog Nail Clippers…

…because SHTF hygiene is crucial.

Dog Boots

During a bug out, it’ll be easier for your pup to run and walk on uneven terrain. Boots don’t add too much extra weight on its back. The only thing to do beforehand is getting it used to wearing them.

A Small Toy

A toy might keep a scared dog busy. If you put it in your own bag, you can use it to make him come to you if he strays away.

A Muzzle

A scared dog is an aggressive dog, and you don’t want him biting someone to hinder your bug-out. A muzzle will also tell other people that your dog bites (even if he doesn’t), and some of them will be discouraged to attack you.

A Respirator Mask

…in case Yellowstone decides to erupt, but also useful in case of a nuclear meltdown to keep radiation particles out of his respiratory system, though these respirators aren’t bulletproof; they’re just better than nothing, for larger particles such as dust.

A Few Items for Your Own Use

If you have enough room, you might as well put things that are really for the benefit of everyone. For example, you can put some dryer lint, because it’s a great fire-starter as well as lightweight…

Now What?

One you start getting some of these things, you’ll need to get your dog accustomed to wearing boots and having a backpack on his back. Heck, you can even go as far as simulating a bug out situation just to see how much Lucky will slow you down and see how easy it’ll be to keep him near you when you’re in a hurry.

The writer of this article would like to follow his own advice and remain anonymous.

Clandestine Carry Pistol by John Mosby

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I have talked about Clandestine Carry Pistol a couple times. First with an overview then with a roving discussion of speed vs accuracy.  I confess that a full and proper review sort of stalled out. Well John Mosby linked to my posts and had some comments to clarify things. I made some minor errors which is the nature of writing stuff down later.

Today I am going to be writing a proper review of Clandestine Carry Pistol with John Mosby. I will talk about the general flow of the class then get into the usual good, bad and ugly. There will be some redundancy but that is ok.

Again as this post comes from my notes and memory it is almost surely flawed in some ways. As my intent is more to share my impressions of the course than to give you some training POI the differences are probably not too important. So disclaimer if it sounds weird or dumb its my fault and mine alone. 

Day 1- Link up and move to training site. BS session and then safety brief. Relaxed and informal but very professional covering all the key points.

Began with forming a proper grip and slow deliberate fire at 3 yards. The goal was to keep every thing on the index card. Various individual issues were addressed. We gradually worked backwards to 10 yards. Individual students were mentored as needed while the group took breaks.

“Even height, even light, don’t disturb the sights with trigger press.”
Next we moved to multiple shots. We did this using a rhythm method and progressively getting faster.
One thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, one thousand and four.
1 and 2 and 3 and 4
1,2,3,4 (spoken speed)
1,2,3,4 (spoken fast)

We were reminded to be aware of how fast we can shoot. If you can only accurately shoot at spoken 1,2,3,4 no point in going faster. Ditto distance.
Self awareness of your own level of capabilities was emphasized.

Next we moved into multiple targets. We used the same rhythm method. After last shot on target breaks move your eyes to the next target then the gun follows. It was emphasized to focus on the target you are on. Don’t stress the next one. Deal with the one you are on now.

In terms of prioritizing targets John said to shoot the most dangerous target first, until he isn’t the most dangerous then repeat as needed.
After that we closed with a roving conversation about gear, tactics and shooting.

Day 2
Draw. John teaches a 4 step draw stroke.

  1. Lift cover and grip gun
  2. Draw to chest retention (gun angled/ canted out)
  3. Hands together and finger on trigger
  4. Press out to shoot

This is, despite some slight individual variances, basically standard in the modern shooting community.Interestingly at CSAT with did a very similar draw stroke but not broken down into individual parts. Paul cited Army Marksmenship Unit studies that the artificial break down into parts slows things down. I can’t say one is right or wrong, thats way above my level, however it is interesting to see differences in instruction. Johns method lets you shoot from position 2 which is pretty handy. I like that and it is my preferred method of shooting from retention.

We started drawing by the numbers.
Practice- 1 free then 2-4 by the numbers.
1-2 free then 3-4 by the numbers.

Then after everyone was in a satisfactory place we moved to draw and shoot.

Live (take 1x shot)
Do 1-3 by the numbers then 4 and shoot.
Do 1-2 by the numbers then 3-4 and shoot.


We tried to keep it to the index card.

Next we shot from retention.
The way John teaches you can shoot from position 2. Obviously you need to have your other hand out of the way. For training keeping it on your chest is sound. In practice it will probably be entangled with the shootee. We practiced this.

Then we drew to position 2, fired 2 rounds, took a step back, fired 2 from position 3 and then another step back and 2 from position 4. It was explained that in reality it was more likely we would be static and the other person moving.

John explained the movement through the drawstroke as freeway to city streets. You can go as fast as you safely can from 1-4 then you have to slow down enough to get the sights right and make the shot. Think of it like a long drive. Get on the freeway and put the hammer down. Then once you get off the freeway do the last couple blocks at an appropriate speed. Its 80 then 35 not 55 the whole way.

Next we talked about creating time. This was more conceptual and I may address it in a different post.
This was followed by reloads, admin and tactical. John had us use the slide release. He explained the sling shot idea (gross vs small muscle movement) is invalid because handgun shooting is inherently a small muscle skill. Also this is much easier to train on as the mag release reload works with an empty mag so you don’t need to mess with dummy rounds.

The last instruction on day two was briefly discussed hand to hand in the context of armed self defense. The goal was to protect your gun and then create space to employ it. This was basically a technique for surviving initial attack and closing with the opponent. Building a helmet with your arms and aggressively stepping in to collide with your opponent and achieve a clench.

We then ran through an iteration of easy live drill to try this.

That ended day 2. We had dinner that night which was nice.

Day 3 started with a warm of of drawing to 4 rounds on pace.
The main point of day 3 was decision making. We shot a lot of drills that make you think before and during shooting. This is a heck of a lot harder than it sounds.

We used Frank Proctors 3rd grade math.

Next we used what I’ll call the Mosby 1-5. 5 numbered targets in mixed order. You are shown a card with 3 numbers on it. You shoot the 1st one once, the second one 2x, the last number 3 times then put 4 rounds in the second number and 5 in the first.

Targets were set up in front of each other or at angles which necessitated movement. We messed with each other pretty successfully.

It is timed and only clean runs get a time. I think there was one clean run in the class.
We then began the AAR. It paused so we could shoot dots to work on trigger control. Next we talked about how the right answers for self defense could change in time if/ when America’s slide out of being an empire continues. We also covered a variety of different points and John answered a lot of questions.

That was, based on my memory and notes, what we covered in 3 days of Clandestine Carry Pistol.

Now to the good, bad and ugly.

Good:
All of the shooting instruction. John is an excellent instructor. Also he has a pragmatic way of looking at things. Instead of chest thumping and saying “We do it this way!” he is more likely to say “There are 2 valid methods to do this. I prefer method one because it offers the following advantages. Try them both and see which you prefer.” When a student came up with an idea that was strait up stupid John would take the time to explain exactly why that idea was flawed.

We had a 5 minute demo on why SERPA holsters are a really bad idea. Hint, aside from maybe shooting yourself in the leg the catch can be jammed with mud, twigs or various junk making it so you can’t get the darn gun out.

This course was realistic in that it dealt with how we will actually employ pistols as civilians in real life. That means from concealment, around civilians/ no shoot targets and with legal constraints. Use of force was not a huge topic though it came up on several occasions. The bottom line is that you are going to need to be able to convince a series of people that your actions were reasonable based on the scenario.

So much more good.

The Bad: I was let down in the close quarters/ hand to hand portion of the class. Definitely thought that piece was going to be a bigger part of the course. The little bit we did was decent enough stuff but not much and very basic. For anyone with a modest background in BJJ or wrestling it is not new territory. That said in the class only 2 of the students had any such background. So for me it was a bit disappointing but for them it was probably a lot to take in.

In fairness to John he explained in class does not feel especially qualified to teach an in depth piece on this. There are some folks with deep martial arts background who are already teaching this stuff. John seemed to feel his efforts would not necessarily bring real value to the arena so he just leaves it alone. Any guy who leaves money on the table (and classes are money) with other peoples best interest in mind has some real values.

I will be going back to that area to take a Cecil Birch class early next year. That should help me feel a bit better about the specific skill set in question.

The Ugly: The pre class administrative side of this class was not great. I found out about it on fairly short notice which complicated things a bit by making the timeline a couple weeks not a month or more. You don’t know where the class is being conducted at or have a number to get ahold of him. Payment is by cash or USPS money order sent to a drop box. Still I did not know they had my deposit (which is basically fire and forget since its not like I can cancel a blank money order) I was good for the class until 2 days prior. People not being registered for a class till they put up money is pretty standard in training circles. That said with other guys you can call and ask if they got the check. Everything is done by email. In my case an email got lost in the web or missed, which happens. This is why we always preach to avoid single points of failure for communications. I believe people have taken the time and traveled for classes in the past but due to some sort of admin issues not been able to attend.

For an event that occupies days of time, requires travel and costs a few hundred dollars, several hundred dollars after expenses this is not very satisfactory.

John is non banked (no bank accounts) and understandably has personal security concerns. That complicates things considerably. Still though…. I really don’t want to be harsh but there simply has to be a better way to manage this, probably without much more effort on his part. Maybe he could keep a burner phone for training courses and turn it on in town a couple times a week and check for messages. Maybe a pre class webinar type thing a week out to get everyone on the same page and deal with nagging admin issues.

Overall impression. Take the class. You will get a ton out of it.

Various notes:

As John mentioned almost the entire class shot AIWB with Glocks. The group in general were in the beginning range in terms of legitimate tactical training and such. Mostly gun guys but not a lot of formal training. Over the class there were several hundred rounds fired and probably a hundred draws per student. Nobody shot their dick off. Nobody came close to shooting their dick off.

It can be easy to get fixated on training for yesterdays threats. The classic one guy, 3 yards, 3 shots, 3 seconds. Todays threats may say that two guys are more likely. This means we need to shoot faster and carry a gun with more bullets. Tomorrow we could be facing larger groups of armed men or beatings by mobs of BLM type thugs as less than an occasional thing.

Natural Disaster Prep: Essential Supplies for a Local Emergency

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A disaster caused by a severe storm, earthquake, volcano or other natural event can happen at any time. Although you should always prepare for a natural disaster based on the types of emergencies that occur in your geographic region, you should also prepare by having the following supplies in emergency kits in your home, office and vehicle:

Medical Supplies

Natural disasters often cause physical injury to people and pets. These injuries can range from small scratches and cuts to broken bones, burns, concussions and blocked airways. Set up a tote or pack with the most important common medical supplies, including bandages, antiseptic, burn cream, wraps, antihistamines, pain killers, splints, cold and heat packs, and a folded heat reflective emergency blanket. Additionally, add an emergency event common injury and treatment guide to your kit and a 30-day supply of medicines sealed in a water-proof plastic zipper-style bag.

Clothing and Blankets

Sometimes a disaster forces individuals and families to relocate at a moment’s notice. Pack at least three outfits and a week’s worth of underclothes and socks in your kit along with a tightly rolled up regular blanket secured with a belt. Although an emergency heat blanket is smaller and great for short-term use, it’s also wise to have a non-thermal regular blanket handy for more frequent use when you’re displaced from warm conditions for longer than a day. You can also use the blanket to cover the ground to create an eating area or as a privacy screen at a shelter.

Activated Charcoal Filters

Dehydration is always a possibility after a natural disaster. Although you might add bottled water to your natural disaster kit, a water purification system offers a more lightweight and long-term solution. You can easily buy activated charcoal filters to add to your emergency kit. Keep them in your kit or even a backpack to remove many types of contaminants and impurities like dirt, sand and organic and inorganic chemicals from rain barrel, stream, river, lake and other water sources.

Non-Perishable Foods

Beyond clean water, you also need to have access to nutrient-rich foods. Regularly refresh your emergency natural disaster kit with non-expired granola bars, dried fruit, vegetable chips, canned foods and other non-perishables so that you don’t have to worry about dealing with low energy, poor thinking and hunger right after a natural disaster. Don’t worry about the expense of creating your emergency kits. You will see that the upfront investment of time and money was well worth it when a disaster happens.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

Ways to Secure Your Home if You Can’t Afford a Home Security System

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Having a security system is one of the best ways you can protect your home against burglary and intrusion. However, since most of today’s surveillance systems come with expensive price tags, they aren’t always convenient to have, especially if you are on a tight budget.

If you are looking for ways to secure your home without relying on a security system, here are a few ideas you should try.

  1. Change your locks

    Traditional locks may not be enough to protect your home anymore, especially with how smart burglars are getting these days. If you can’t get a security system, you should consider changing your locks to tougher and more durable ones.

    Deadbolt locks are a great option since they are more resistant against lock picking and bumping. They extend deep into door frames which means they won’t easily get broken in case an intruder uses brute force on your door.

    Your locks, however, can only be effective if used properly. Leaving your doors unlocked most of the time only defeats the purpose of upgrading them.

  2. Get a good door

    Your door should be of the same strength as your door lock. If your lock is durable but your actual door isn’t, it can still break and give access to intruders. In finding a good door, make sure it’s sturdy and isn’t hollow.

    If you can’t get a solid door, you can reinforce its back with a metal plate. You can just paint it over to make it look more appealing. It’s a cheaper yet effective alternative to having your entire door replaced.

  3. Know who knocks on your door

    Burglars and intruders are finding more ways to access homes without getting caught or even drawing suspicion. They can wear uniforms or claim to be somebody they aren’t. If someone knocks on your doorstep, make sure to verify his identity first. It’s not enough to check his uniform and identification cards since they can easily be forged.

    In protecting yourself and your home, you’ll want to prevent an incident from happening in the first place. Before someone could hurt and attack you inside your home, you should prevent their access in the first place. Take, for example, one of the recent cases of home attack where a man was found fired, bound and beaten by a home intruder.

  4. Build a connection with your neighbors

    Your neighbors are the first people who can sense something’s wrong in your home. They are also the first people who can recognize strangers in your neighborhood.

    If your area doesn’t have an existing neighborhood watch program yet, you can try organizing one. This type of program is one of the most traditional and effective ways to secure homes. If you can’t build one, you should, at least, get to know your neighbors. You can invite them over for dinner or gift them with freshly baked cookies or your specialty dish.

  5. Secure your valuables

    Since there’s no security system to ward off burglars or notify you in case of an attack, it’s a good idea if you can keep an inventory of your valuable items. You can list them down and take pictures of them so that in the event that someone steals them, you can provide a proof that the items are yours.

    Consider getting a safe and hiding it in an area that isn’t too obvious. There are also a lot of DIY hiding spots you can make at home, such as hidden book storage, extra slot in your cabinets or little storage boxes that mimic regular wall sockets.

Author’s Bio: Rose Cabrera specializes in reviewing home security products and systems. She has covered a wide range of brands with Ezviv Mini Security Camera as one of her latest reviews.

Various Thoughts

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Hey Folks, I’m not dead.

I have been trying to refocus on fitness/ health, jiu jjitsu and dry fire. The core of my survivalist individual skills. That has been occupying a lot of my time and energy this week. I am trying hard to refocus. Also I have a class coming up in January to get ready for. It will challenge my combatives skills and fitness so I want to do my best to get ready.

For fitness I am going to be focusing on endurance for awhile. A friend wants to do some races this winter/ summer so I need to get working on that. Also it is as good a goal as any. A marathon is probably on my bucket list anyway.

I realized that maybe I need a handgun in between the Glock 19 and the Ruger LCP. I end up carrying the LCP a lot which is probably not ideal. Recently carrying a borrowed air weight J frame I noticed I could carry it appendix in most of my normal clothing. It vanishes under a normally fitting T shirt. I would get an S&W with an exposed hammer and try some different grip options to get the right balance of concealability and shootability.

Potential candidates beside a .38 would be the Glock 26 or a Walther PPK. I am going to borrow and experiment with both in coming weeks. I am open to your thoughts here. No urgency as the weather is rapidly cooling so I can just wear a sweatshirt or loose ish flannel type shirt which will hide anything. The easy days of CCW are getting to be upon us.

I am looking hard at purchasing a new (to me) vehicle. Probably a Toyota FJ Cruiser. If you have personal experience with them please share.

Recently I put together a plate carrier as part of my home defense set up. May talk more about that later.

The only up side of this post election rioting light is the darn clowns seem to have calmed down.

Sort of like Zero and I both said. I am not sad I bought the stuff I did for the election. Now I have it. I can’t see a situation where 5.56 ammo, Glock or AR mags get cheaper than they are today so it is all good.

So what is coming up in the next couple weeks on the blog.

A post or two about the Mountain Guerilla Clandestine Carry Pistol course.

A post on realistic vs fantasy worst case scenarios.

A post on multiple streams of income.

A post on my home defense gear set up.

A fighting load post.

6 Vital Emergency Kit Additions

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Emergency kits contain many items that you’ll need during a crisis, such as flashlights, flares, bandages, radios, and bottled water. These items are necessary staples, but there are plenty of useful items that aren’t usually included in your basic kit.

Water Purifier

Bottled water is a definite necessity to include in your kit, but there’s always the possibility that you will run out. Keeping a purifier on hand will allow you to purify nearby sources of water if your stock of bottled water runs out.

Vitamin Supplements

You never know when your alertness level could be the difference between life and death, so it’s important that you stay awake during a crisis. Vitamin supplements can help with fatigue by giving you bursts of energy, and can also help to boost a person’s immune system when they’re dealing with high levels of stress. The last thing you want to worry about is getting sick during a crisis. Pre-packaged vitamin blends often have daily essentials in addition to energy boosters.

Power Banks

You may not have cell phone service during a crisis, but you should still keep your phone fully charged. Your cell phone is your lifeline, so make sure you have a spare charger to put in your emergency kit. Power banks are more useful than standard chargers because they can charge your cell phone even if you don’t have electricity. Many crises leave victims without electricity, so a power bank definitely qualifies as a necessity.

Pepper Spray

Criminal activity still occurs during natural disasters, so it’s important to be prepared for it. Protecting yourself from the immediate danger should be your first priority, but that doesn’t mean you need to leave yourself defenseless to other threats. Pack one container of pepper spray for each member of your home so that no one is left defenseless.

Portable Toilet

You might not have access to a bathroom during a crisis, so it’s vital that you have a portable toilet to avoid any discomfort. Many outdoor retailers, like Blackpine Sports, offer high quality portable toilets for camping or emergencies. If you invest in a portable toilet, be sure to also get plenty of extra waste disposal and odor control bags to go with it to keep sanitary and comfortable.

Cash and Copies of Identification

If you’re forced to evacuate your area, you’ll need cash and identification down the line. Identification is especially important in the event that your home is destroyed or your property is damaged, as you may need it to present to law enforcement or your insurance company.

You can never be too prepared for a crisis. Prepare for any emergency and pack your provisions accordingly. Stocking up on necessities now is the best way to reduce your risk of danger later.

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.

Post Election Hangover

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This was an interesting election cycle. The lack of panic was oddly palatable. Paw Paw and Tam both talked about it. I think there are two main reasons for this. In general people with the money and desire have been panicking pretty hard for at least an election cycle, two if they are old enough. Also well the real economy in our country is hosed and inflation have made it so many people are worried about a kid who keeps jumping clothes sizes and grocery bills. They don’t have much spare money for anything.

I made some significant purchases in preparation for this election. Built a spare AR, bought 2 cases of 5.56 and 20 ish each AR and Glock mags. Yesterday, obviously early I personally urged two people to get some more mags for their handguns and have at least some ammo on hand.

Now it is very unlikely any sort of ban will happen. Do I regret my purchases or actions?

NO!!!

NOT AT ALL!!!

I mean I didn’t do anything crazy like do that stuff on a credit card I couldn’t pay off. I did what I could with the money I had.

I don’t regret it at all. Why? I bought stuff I can use and wanted. Probably front loaded my gun related purchases for at least a few months. The way I look at it now I have more time.

In the short to mid term since I front loaded a lot of gun stuff my next quarter or so’s purchases will likely be non gun stuff. I need to round out some other gear and want one of those new FLIR scouts.

In gun stuff I am going to build an AR pistol. Yeah I did that before but saw a couple game changers. Got to handle a sweet one that probably cost 3 grand. Mine won’t be that fancy but I am taking the core ideas from it.

In the long run I am probably going to get into the AR-10 game. I messed up when I got the FAL. If I keep it or sell it is an open question.

Politically I am neutral about this whole thing. The only real up side is President Trump does not want war with Russia. That means the odds they will drop our power grid and things will go all One Second After are substantially lower. Gives me a few more years to get my stuff together.

 

Preparing Your Kids with Gun Safety Lessons

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If society collapsed, would your children know how to handle themselves in a world where knowledge of firearms was elemental to survival? Or, in today’s society, say your child visits a friend’s house when their parents aren’t home and they find a gun in the closet. Would they know enough to be safe? These are questions that matter to every mother. 41 percent of Americans have a gun in their home, according to a 2015 Gallup poll, so your child is likely to be around guns at some point whether you own one or not. Here are some basics that every parent should teach their children about gun safety.

Set the Example

The most powerful lesson is a good example. If you’re well-versed in gun safety, you’ll able to teach your child more effectively. Even if you’re already familiar with guns and gun safety, it’s a good idea to take a refresher course and brush up on the basics so they’re fresh in your mind when you teach your child. The National Rifle Association publishes a directory of training courses taught by qualified instructors that you can browse to find a course near you. Learn with the type of firearm you intend to use or the type of firearm you intend to get your child when they’re old enough. If you’re looking to save money, try browsing a wide selection of quality used firearms from a trusted online supplier.

Follow Gun Storage Safety Rules

A big part of gun safety is storing your guns where your children can’t get them. As they get older, you can take the opportunity to teach them how to properly store guns.

Project ChildSafe recommends that guns be stored unloaded and locked in a gun vault, safe or cabinet. Ideally, your storage location should not be known by your children, especially if they haven’t been taught gun safety. Furthermore, ammunition should be kept in a separate location, as should keys.

For additional protection, you can use a gun locking device to prevent the gun from firing. Yet another option is to break a firearm down and store the parts separately to ensure that it won’t be misused.

Guns should always be unloaded and cleaned after use and before storage. Even if you think the gun is already unloaded, double check. Sometimes ammunition remains in a gun’s magazine after it has been fired.

Teach Gun Safety Rules

Learning how to handle guns safely is another part of basic firearms safety. The most fundamental rule is to always point a gun’s muzzle in a safe direction, meaning away from yourself and other people so that if the gun were to go off, it would not harm anyone. When holding a gun at your side, make sure it points to the ground and not at your feet or another part of your body.

Another basic principle is to always assume a gun is loaded. Don’t assume a gun is unloaded just because you took it out of storage or because someone told you it was empty. You never know what someone else may have done with the gun before you had it, and you should never just assume that the magazine is empty without.

A third basic principle is to never load or cock a firearm before you’re ready to actually fire it; keep guns unloaded when not in use. Also, pick guns up with your finger outside the trigger guard rather than inside.

Teach Your Children What to Do if They Find a Gun

There’s always the chance that a child will come across a gun before they’re adequately trained and old enough to safely handle it. If this happens, they need to know what to do. Make sure they know that if they find an unattended weapon they should get an adult to deal with it rather than trying to handle the gun themselves. Explain that a gun can accidentally go off and should only be handled by someone capable of handling it safely. Some toys resemble guns, so teach your children to be careful about assuming a weapon is a toy and to assume it is real unless they know otherwise. Likewise, teach them to never to point a gun at anyone and to always assume a gun is loaded.

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance writer who helps select clients write quality content to reach business and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

How Solar Panels Can Be a Boon in an Emergency Situation

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How Solar Panels Can Be a Boon in an Emergency Situation

In an emergency situation such as a power outage, natural disaster or man-made disaster, being able to generate your own electricity can help to keep you and your family safe. One of the most cost-effective and easy to use ways to generate electricity is with solar power. Solar panels can be installed onto your rooftop, requiring as little as 12 square yards of roof surface.

Operating Heating and Cooling Systems

A wintertime blizzard, ice storm or nor’easter could result in widespread wintertime power outages. Having solar panels on your home could supply enough electricity to keep your heating system on. This would allow you to stay in your home and off the unsafe roads. A summertime severe weather event such as a derecho could also cause widespread power outages. Your solar panels could deliver enough power to keep your air conditioning working.

Maintaining Essential Appliances

If you have a medical condition such as sleep apnea or COPD that requires the use of breathing machines or other appliances, having a steady supply of electricity is crucial to your health. With solar panels in place, you would have enough energy to power these life-saving systems. The solar panels can also power a refrigerator to keep baby formula safe and can even run your hot water or oven for cooking.

Do-It-Yourself Solar Kits

Do-it-yourself solar panel kits allow you to save money on the cost of installing a solar system. A typical 4kW system can cost a homeowner about $18,000 in 2016, explains the Energy Informative. About 15 percent of that cost is the installation fees. By installing your own solar panel kit, you could save about $2,500. This level of savings shortens the payoff period of your solar system.

Security Systems

Solar panels can also help to keep your home safe in an emergency situation. The panels can be linked to an inverter that stores the energy you do not use. Some professionals, like Jeff Long, know that the stored energy can be used to power your home’s security system even if the electrical grid is down. You can also use the power to charge your cellphone in order to call for help or make contact with family. Solar panels are an environmentally friendly way to generate your own electricity. The systems pay off in 18 to 22 years, but their lifespan is about 25 years. By installing a solar panel system on your home, you can be safe in any type of an emergency situation.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

Speed vs Accuracy

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This post has been floating around in my head for awhile. I am thankful I did not write it earlier as the Clandestine Carry Pistol course heavily shaped my viewpoint on the matters at hand. I want to talk about speed and accuracy as they relate to practical shooting. By practical I suppose I mean shooting in the context of self defense and maybe hunting where accuracy and speed have to be balanced. This differs from more esoteric niche sports or just plain old plinking. First let us talk about speed. There is a fairly fixed reaction time a person has. The amount of time between when their brain says shoot and their finger pulls the trigger. 

In Johns class we tested this with a shot timer. With the gun ready we timed how long it took for us to pull the trigger. Just plain make the gun go bang downrange. Mine was like .21-.22, that was somewhere in the mushy middle of the averages. Sure you could game that by getting more used to shooting on the beep and maybe improve times a little bit but that doesn’t matter. The point is that there is absolutely no way I could shoot faster than that time. That is my absolute max for speed. 

Then there is accuracy. With more time people don’t have to rush and can be deliberate. Of course they can actually shoot worse by overthinking it but lets ignore that for now. At some point relative to the given shot you intend to take (a 10m shot with a pistol takes less time than a 1k shot with a rifle) we will not be more accurate with more time. We reach our maximum ability level for that given task. If a guy had say 2 minutes to shoot 5 rounds at an index card 10 meters away he has plenty of time. He likely won’t shoot better if he has all day to do it. We can call this our absolute max for accuracy. So we have our absolute max for speed on one side and our absolute maximum for accuracy on the other. At absolute max speed my accuracy was minute of dumpster at 10 meters. At maximum accuracy I am pretty slow. Now we have one variable left to talk about. Target size/ distance. The target size/ distance matters a lot here. It matters because it dictates how precise we have to be in terms of accuracy. Thus by controlling accuracy the target size/ distance really dictates how fast we can.

Example- Our friend Paw Paw does Cowboy Fast Draw shooting. Per the CDFA website they shoot at a 24” circular target centered 50” off the ground at distances between 15-21 feet. This target is pretty forgiving in terms of accuracy so the times are crazy fast. A quick look says at a national level the top 16 men were all under .358. That is smoking fast. Part of the reason these guys can get times like that, aside from naturally good reactions and a ton of practice is they are shooting at a frickin huge target. They are shooting one handed from the hip and obviously not using sights. If the targets were changed to say a 6X13 vital zone you would see times slow down. If it were changed to a 3×5 index card you would see times slow down. Or you would see the rate of misses rise. That brings us to the next point. How much accuracy do you need? It obviously varies situation to situation. The amount of precision needed to make a hundred yard pistol shot on an A zone target at 3 meters is very different than at 30 let alone 100 meters. Lets say there is an urgency factor throughout practical shooting so we can ignore that. The two factors that come to mind for me are what we are shooting at and the consequences of missing. Smaller (or further away) targets require a higher degree of precision that bigger ones. 

I can personally get away with being relatively sloppy shooting drills at a 6X13 or an IPSC A zone which is about 6×11. I can really just use the front sight and be quick, which for me means a bit jerky, on the trigger and still get consistent hits. To shoot at a 3×5 index card I need to really use my sights and deliberately squeeze the trigger. If I am shooting the dot drill I need to be even more precise. 

The other consideration is the consequences of a miss. If you miss in a competition it hurts your score or maybe you lose. If you miss shooting at tweety bird well you miss tweety bird. These situations encourage you to take a questionable shot because there really isn’t a down side. If you miss a shot in a self defense situation you might smoke a round into some little kid on the next block. 

Aside from obviously practicing to improve your capabilities the most important thing is awareness. Knowing how much you can push speed (and sacrifice accuracy) while still making the shot is huge. No point in shooting faster than you are actually able, and missing. In a civilian self defense context this is dangerous and not acceptable. On the flip side since time matters knowing how much you can get away with to put lead to face and end the problem gives you a better chance of having the best possible outcome. 

I think that’s all that comes to mind now. If I have any further thoughts on the topic I will edit this or do a follow up as appropriate.

Disaster Ready: Best Ways to Insure Your Family Against the Worst

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Family Being the head of a family requires taking on many different responsibilities. The most important of which should always be providing security and safety for your family. To do this, you must always plan for the worst. Below are some ways you can protect your home and family from disaster.

Homeowners Insurance

First of all, you need to make sure you purchase homeowners insurance to protect your house against a disaster or act of nature. Homeowners insurance should cover acts of nature such as lightning strikes, fire, strong winds, and hail. According to Bachus & Schanker Law, good homeowner’s insurance policy should also pay for damage done by criminals such as vandalism or burglary. Check with your provider to see what might be missing from your policy and what you should think about adding.

Earthquake and Flood Insurance

Even basic homeowner’s insurance policies won’t cover everything. In certain cases, you may need to purchase extra coverage to protect against certain kinds of disasters more likely to occur in certain areas. You may need earthquake insurance if you live near a fault line and alternatively, you may need flood insurance if you live within a flood plain. Keep in mind that even if earthquakes or flooding happen rarely in an area, it is still a possibility in many parts of the country.

Health Insurance

Not all emergencies affect your property, some affect the livelihood of your family directly, as is the case with medical emergencies. Make sure everyone in your family has adequate health insurance coverage. If you don’t receive health insurance through your employer, purchase it through a state run healthcare exchange to receive a discount from the federal government. Obtaining state healthcare insurance or federal coverage such as Medicaid, Medicare, or health coverage from the Veteran’s Administration is another good option to save money.

Legal Representation

Some injuries are the result of the negligence or malicious acts of others. You or your family members may have received a significant disability due to the action or lack of action of another party. However, health insurance may not provide for everything in this situation such as loss of income or loss of quality of life. If this is the case, it may be best to contact a personal injury lawyer in Denver or your local areas to represent you or your family members in court. Civil court exists to help correct losses brought on by the negligence of others.

These of course are only a few of the things you should do to protect your family members and home against disaster. Stay vigilant and be proactive about providing physical and financial security for your family. You’ll be able to rest much easier if you do.

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.

Mountain Guerilla Clandestine Pistol: #1 Overview

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This weekend I was fortunate to be able to attend John Mosby AKA Mountain Guerillas Clandestine Carry Pistol Course.

I wanted to go back to CSAT this year but with the travel time and expense it was not very realistic. I was going to take a local course but after doing the intro I wasn’t very impressed. It was definitely old guy wannna be Jeff Cooper stuff. Not bad per se but very dated. Then I saw the Clandestine Carry Pistol offering in north east MO and jumped on it. Fortunately everything worked out OK and I was able to attend.

I am going to make a big fat disclaimer that everything said about this course is from my memory and notes. Not trying to put words in Johns mouth or say there are quotes here. If something sounds weird or stupid or wrong any fault is entirely my own.

The class goals were as follows:
1- Hit what you aim at.
2- Make rapid good decisions under stress.
3- Draw your pistol under realistic conditions.
4- Defend your pistol and fight to employ it.

 This course was different from CSAT’s Tactical Pistol Operator Course and probably most other comparable tactical type handgun courses in a couple of significant ways.

First the accuracy standard was significantly higher. The goal is head shots on demand at realistic pistol ranges (Say 10-15 meters). We shot at index cards the entire time (mostly 3×5 and occasionally [think we ran out of 3×5’s] at the end 4×6) to replicate the vital zone in the head. This was done for a three reasons. First the realistic chance that a person is either wearing an SVEST in which case punching a round into their torso is a bad idea. Second the in my opinion much more probable chance they are wearing body armor. Third is the classic aim small and miss small.

This was a significant difference from my CSAT experience where we shot predominantly at a 6×13 vital zone. Suffice to say this is a big difference. Also that I have been slacking on my training was a factor. I blew a lot of shots initially because I was relatively speaking jerking the trigger and rushing to get better times. That got slightly better over the class. Honestly I think I figured out the trigger piece shooting the dot drill at the very end of class.

Why is this different from other classes? Some of it is conceptual and some of it is about the fact that shooting at small targets is well humbling. Considering a large portion of running training classes is getting people to feel good and want to come back this is not a move calculated to be popular. John doesn’t give a crap. He says the unpopular thing because it is what he believes. This is consistent throughout Johns methodology and teaching.

My personal belief is this is valid. You need that capability. Whether you should shoot for the head or not is context dependent. Obviously an S vest or body armor dictate a head shot. For a meth head in a t shirt bullets in the sternum are probably just fine.

The other way this class is different is that we shot EVERYTHING from concealment. I think this is totally valid in the context of this course and realistically any handgun training. Excluding law enforcement who carry openly I think this is the right answer for everybody. Why, well that is how the vast majority of us carry handguns. The only real exception would be home defense and that is mostly going to start with the gun in your hand anyway as it was either on your belt or cached somewhere. So doing all draws and reloads from concealment is the right answer.

Why don’t other classes do this? Like the 3×5 card accuracy standard this is not mirrored throughout the training world. Seeing guys wearing big ole paddded ‘war belts’ and OWB duty type rigs is quite common. One class I looked at taking did not even allow IWB holsters! First it adds a layer of complexity. You need to clear the cover garment for every draw or reload. You need to clear it to reholster.Second and I think more significantly it makes peoples performance as measured by time worse. How much time it adds to your draw could certainly be debated but probably .2 of a second or so. When instructors want students to feel like they improved (so they want to come back)having them get times that make them happy is a big deal. Sammy Seal got my draw to first shot down to 1.XX makes a guy happy and want to come back. Getting a slower time is well not going to make people feel as good. The last reason I think other classes have people using LEO/ military type set ups is what John so nicely calls ‘ballistic masturbation’. People want to wear cool guy gear, shoot a lot of bullets, be told they met a standard and get a certificate. I’m not knocking anyone getting training but the ‘tactical dude ranch’ angle is definitely there. You can take classes where you will shoot from helicopters and do fake ass tactical missions. There are probably worse ways to spend your money but saying shooting a rifle from a helicopter is in any way applicable to my life as a non helicopter owning person is ridiculous. This is another way John Mosby’s course is in my opinion very realistic and practical for a normal guy who carries a gun to defend himself.

I am going to do at least two more posts on this topic. The first will be a discussion of accuracy as it relates to time and distance. The second will be an overview of the course material, what I learned, etc. After that I have at least one or two posts in my head that come more from discussions we had in down time BS sessions.

 

Organizational Fail- Where the Heck is My 9mm Ball Ammo?

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Writing about our failures is never fun. It is always more fun to talk about a cool new toy or something awesome we did. This is not one of those posts.

I needed 500 rounds of 9mm ball ammo today. The reason will be clear later,  that isn’t what this post is about. I went to the first place I thought I would find 9mm ball ammo in quantity and it wasn’t there. Went to the next place and it wasn’t there either. Went back to the first place and really looked.

I thought for a second and went to a third place where I found a can of 9mm ball. Winchester white box from probably 2008. Good solid ammo. Wish they had prices on them to show what I paid.

Anyway this was a big ole ball of fail.  The bottom line is I currently have serious organizational issues beyond the home defense set up level. Access to ammo  isn’t a realistic problem it is just a canary in the coal mine. We talked about ammo which I am not really concerned with. In my bedroom I think there are 5 loaded AR  mags between my fighting load (hd) and a sort of active shooter bag. Also at least 3 spare glock  mags. That more than meets any home defense needs I could possibly have.

My stuff both preparedness and otherwise needs to get better organized.  I really don’t have any excuse except laziness for not doing this. Currently I don’t have anything big going on for most weekends so I could easily put in 3-4 hours 2 days a week working to fix this. Just need to get off my ass and do It.

So what are my goals:
1- MOP-After this weekend which is busy I want to spend st least 6 hours a week (probably on the weekend) on sorting and organization.  The girl I’m seeing works weekends so I have the time. I plan to do this until the organization is done.
2- MOE- Within 30 days have full fighting load, bob and bug out stuff separated, organized and ready to go.
3- MOE Within 60 days have all prearedness related stuff organized.
4- MORE- Within 90 days have all of my various possessions organized. Donate a lot to good will, unneeded camping stuff to local Boy Scouts or survivalists,, sell some stuff and organize the rest. 

Glock 19 for the Win!

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Weapons Man wrote a seminal article on why SOF forces have almost universally transitioned to the Glock 19 (with one exception who may still be shooting .40S&W) as their go to war hand gun. I agree with everything he says. However I do have some potentially redundant thoughts of my own.
The Glock 19 is obviously a Glock. For the uninitiated it is on their ‘compact’ frame and chambered in 9mm. We will briefly talk about each of those characteristics.
Glock pistols:
-Reliable. They are pretty much the gold standard in reliability for handguns. They perform well under adverse conditions with minimal maintenance. You might argue a SWAT Blaster 900 is equally reliable but finding one that is more reliable is going to be difficult at this time.
-Repairable. They can be repaired by a non expert with a single punch and true drop in parts.
-Long life. These guns can put a whole lot of rounds down range without serious damage. (particularly in 9mm, .40S&W Glocks actually have some issues here.)
-Price. They are very affordable pistols.
-Ease of use. Easy guns to learn and shoot well.
-Commonality. If people make a holster they make it for Glocks, ditto sights, etc all. If a store sells gun stuff they have Glock stuff.
Compact size:
-About the largest size handgun a normal sized person can conceal with minimal hassle. I didn’t say no hassle. Personally I think people who believe they are concealing a Glock 19 under a normal sized t shirt are probably unaware or being dishonest with their selves. Maybe they can from one angle standing still but moving and doing normal life tasks not so much. To actually hide the gun a pair of pants that will allow the gun to be carried IWB and a larger shirt are going to be needed.
-Best all-around option. If you want to balance shooting (either recreationally or for defense) and concealed carry this is probably the sweet spot for most people. So if a person was going to have one handgun with them to do a couple different things this size is the way to go.
9mm:
-It works. With modern defensive ammunition the difference between any of the common defensive calibers (9mm, .40S&W, .45acp) is mental masturbation. Sorry folks, I really don’t care what Jeff Cooper said 30 or 40 years ago, it is true.
-More bullets. It will probably give you 2 more bullets than .40S&W and 3+ more than .45acp in the same sized gun. More bullets is better.
-More controllability. Better for smaller and weaker people. Also this means faster follow up shots for everyone.
-Commonality. If a place sells bullets they will have 9mm. Compared to the other 2 options it’s at least slightly more common. This is more important for international types as .40S&W and .45acp are not going to be common elsewhere.
Note: The primary difference between the Glock and the various competitors (S&W, Ruger, etc) in favor of Glock is going to be reliability and commonality. You might not be able to get mags/ parts/ accessories for a Ruger SR9 or those new FN pistols but the gun shop will have Glock mags.