Let Them Eat Cake

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

As Preppers we must keep up with the events that will affect our lives and one in England is the icing on the cake. The spreading of the gooey, sickeningly sweet sugar coating over a real problem has once again been applied with the strokes of a government so clueless as to punish with a broad stroke its law abiding subjects as opposed to fix the fundamental problem which they themselves cooked up.

Okay, the puns stop NOW, but such is the blind ambition of people smarter that the rest of us who are callous in their application of solutions that do more harm than good and veiled as “in the public good.” What was an empire founded by the sword, one where the sun once never set, is now a land where the second weapon of choice, and a valuable EDC staple, knives, are also illegal in most of their forms.

The Government of England has issued a new decree/law on knives and we all as Preppers  need to read and understand this law, even if we don’t live in England. The link, thankfully, is direct and to the point, as opposed to any similar policies that would/will come out of the American Government. The last line is the one that I label as the most sinister thing I have read in a while – “A court will decide if you’ve got a good reason to carry a knife or a weapon if you’re charged with carrying it illegally.” 

As a subject of the British government you can no longer order knives on-line.

This article is from a related website posted back in April of this year in response to a decree from the current Lord Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan on knives and the restriction, again, on his law abiding subjects, because his minions having lost all semblance of lawful control of the city of 8.7 million (known) people – by comparison NYC has 8.5 million (known) residents.

This same Mayor stated “…he believes the threat of terror attacks are “part and parcel of living in a big city” and encouraged Londoners to be vigilant to combat dangers..” But now they can only carry harsh words to “combat dangers” but, no wait,  they imprison people for saying hateful things, so forget harsh language: The Communications Act of 2003 defines illegal communication as “using public electronic communications network in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety”. Breaking the law carries a six-month prison term or fine of up to £5,000. The media must have an exclusion to the law. So no texts, no instant messages, no emails, no pics on Instagram, no comments on Facebook that can be deemed offensive by the thought police. Another law that has far more reaching “unintended consequences”, or were they the actual intent?

It is rumored that when Tomas de Torquemada was asked during the Spanish Inquisition what is “heresy against the church” his reply was “it is whatever I say it is.” And so, again, we see history repeating itself, lessons NOT learned.

I chose the icing spreader as it almost fits the official definition in England of an acceptable knife, it is too long actually and any mods – filling an edge to be sharper, will most certainly get you a trip to a London jail. And, of course, to take the lunacy further, using an icing spreader and spreading icing on someone trying to attack you, your family, friends, neighbors or strangers right in front of you is also a form of assault and will also get you a  ride to jail.

So NEVER use this as a weapon, even in self-defense. After all they may already have diabetes, so this would be accessory to murder, even if they die years later. Far fetched? Have I gone off the deep end more so than this policy and its application to fix a problem that is being used to further disarm the subjects of the British government? In America you are still free to decide that for yourselves.

Some British can Still Own Guns

“Members of the public may own sporting rifles and shotguns, subject to licensing, but handguns were effectively banned after the Dunblane school massacre in 1996 with the exception of Northern Ireland. Dunblane was the UK’s first and only school shooting.” A horrible act and reading the link is very hard. Finding a link that presented a factual account was much harder. On this side of the pond we are all too aware of these tragedies. We are also very aware of how they are exploited, how the facts are spun and twisted to meet the agenda as opposed to the facts simply being presented and supported by evidence.

The origins of our 2A Rights can be directly traced to the policies of authoritarian British Governments and it appears they are circling back to that form of government again, or, they are exploiting the tragedies they themselves have inflicted upon their subjects.

My real point here is that we hear about such policies on the news, in passing and we tend not to look under the covers. Juggling our own lives and needs and daily dramas is keeping us engaged, and that is the devils playground. As Preppers we should always expose information to the light of day and strive to understand the driving forces behind things. And at the end of this chain, if you follow it back to its origins, there is a root cause – the invasion of Europe by an immigrant population that will keep its facilitators in power. This isn’t news to Preppers or to most people, it is just misplaced on the devils playground and THAT is when we are blindsided.

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Accidents are Increasing on the Information Superhighway

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Preppers are planners and the basis for our planning is information. We collect it through the methods we have learned through the normal processes of education, life experience, observation, analysis, and my favorite, trial and error. And as soon as man discovered how to record information, in crude cave drawings, etched into stone, or clay there, I believe mis-information was invented as well. There is an old joke about two cavemen talking, the first says “Ugh!” and the second says “Ugh! and then the first responds “Ugh, Ugh!” and the second replies “Don’t change the subject!” I know somewhere during the stone age Gork was rejected by Petunia and he etched some insults in a cave wall about her. Funny thing is someone college professor probably used those etchings to do his or her PHD thesis.

Fast forward a few eons and now information, and its counterpart misinformation, travel at speeds approaching the speed of light. For example in the financial world if you are reading about some investment opportunity in the Wall Street Journal you have already missed the boat because it reports what already happened. Others closer to the origins of the data have already seized the opportunity, set the base price and you will be paying their dividends should you bite.

The information super highway has so changed the world that while we attempt to catch up and think we are keeping up we are like the racing greyhounds forever hoping to catch that mechanical rabbit.

And, as preppers, seeking information upon which to base real economic decisions on (do I build out that greenhouse to increase my sustainable food production? More ammo or more MRE’s?) is challenging as we now live in a world where we are bombarded with information and misinformation – “thousands WILL DIE as a result of (fill-in-the-blank)!!!!!” has lead to a new equation of skewed TRUTH:

Where E = Establishment source, a = Agenda, F = Fake, and T = Truth, and the only solution is null; one must be prepared for increasing accidents across the information superhighway as a result of skewed information. I have used this example before: a horse race between an American horse and a Russian horse. The American horse wins. Headline in America: “American Horse Wins!” Headline in Russia: “Russian Horse Finishes Second, American Horse Finishes Next to Last!” – both true statement.

So, in  a recent post on finding information when the grid is down I thought it appropriate to followup with a post  on the challenges of finding information before the grid goes down, something that has become a labyrinth. And since the Internet is becoming more the source for information I want to focus on that medium. For instance I question the following map presented by Oxford University claiming to show internet usage worldwide:

Really, the world’s second most populated country and the home of call centers and outsourcing IT services, India, is less “connected” than some Central African Republics??!! Really? (And I would feel slighted if I were Canadian though it does depict where most Canadians live.)

Okay, so where does the internet stack up against print media and television in the delivery of news.

The internet surpassed print media several years ago and it is now challenging television, and that passes my smell test. Everywhere we go we see people heads-down focused on their electronic devices. Even if only 15% of that time is watching the news it makes sense AND so many people get their news feeds through social media outlets, Facebook in particular.

This has become so prevalent that there are college degrees now in optimizing web content (SEO.) I have taken a couple of on-line courses through the University of California in the past year to learn how to increase market penetration, to place keywords and phrases strategically to get better results from searches, to mimic the searching patterns that most people use. I use it everyday, all day in adding pictures as well as key phrases that are relevant to the posts you see on TPJ.

Really, What Are They Selling?

“Every time I Google a current news story it give me the related articles from CNN, The New York Times, Vox, NBC, Express.co.uk, Salon, and the BBC”…..TPJ – all impeachable sources. All sources that even Wikipedia lists as “leftist, or left-leaning, or skewed to liberal politics.”  Why? Because Google is also left-leaning. Few secrets in this world are as guarded as the specifics of Googles search algorithms. 

The news media is a business, and like every business it sells a product or service in exchange for monies (advertising). The product is content and their business used to be information as content. But dry factual information does not sell itself or well in our faster and faster paced society. Information needs to be “embellished”, that is spun, dressed up, and packaged for the target audience. This has lead to specialization which, in some things is very good (medicine, for example) but alas in the media it brings with it agenda, spin and secondary goals.

There is an upside to this – we don’t have to sit and watch all the fluff news stories to get financial information we might be interested in, we can go to those sources directly and thus attempt to keep up with the ever increasing flow of information. We can also go directly to sources for weather information as opposed to again, sitting through the story on the truck load of live chickens that were loosed on the interstate as the result of an accident. Specialization I believe is the result of so much information being available. If one were to attempt to get a degree from a university in Physics these days, 4 years is not enough cover all the specialties. The same with medicine, the law (legislators just have no discipline) and many other technical degree programs.

But really, What Exactly Are They Selling?

The news media is selling Google Analytics, period. Bold statement, let me make my case.

Google Analytics are used to sell advertising. The higher their rating the more they can charge for ads. Google provides the web best audience analytics on the planet and is the go-to source for all media outlets when it comes to the details on their audience. And the more the “news” is skewed to their demographic, the higher their score, the more they can demand for advertising, the more they can narrow in on a demographic (female voters between the ages of…., professionals….., etc.) This circle is indeed vicious as it is self-perpetuating, it feeds upon itself and spirals inward faster and faster – in that sense it is an amazing thing to watch. By this I mean that the analytics received are the result of the SEO and the manipulation of the data presented to generate better scores in the analytics. There are rules in place to stop the obvious ways to skew the results (excessive use of key phrases, use of unrelated keywords to increase traffic, etc.) but where there is a way, there is always a way around.

TV vs The Internet

I know I don’t have to convince anyone that when Frank Loyd Right said “Television is just chewing gum for the eyes” (or did he?) some 60 years ago he was speaking to what has become a universal truth. Bruce Springsteen released a song titled “57 Channels and Nothing On” in 1992 and now cable TV services have 300+ channel of nothing on. I counted my Direct TV channels once and it was 336 at the time, with 157 being 24/7 infomercials. Dish and all the cable companies have the same business model. They sell content masked (poorly) as infomercial channels that are pure advertising.

The internet has clearly disproved the age-old theory that if you put enough monkeys at enough typewriters (keyboards) for long enough they will eventually produce – the works of Shakespeare, the Bible, or some other established literary accomplishment. Mythbusters would declare this “Busted!”

While the world of information it has opened is impressive and pervasive the information superhighway is now blurred it its reporting of news, in a fog generated by Google, FaceBook and the other social media platforms. I have seen videos on YouTube related to chemicals and weapons that are downright dangerous in the misinformation they provide, more a case of lack of knowledge as opposed to some sinister agenda in my opinion. I do not cut the news media the same slack, which is my whole point.

On social media every political statement by a celebrity, one currently working, or one from a sit-com cancelled in the 1970’s “gets the pulpit” as long as they have said something negative and political. Fox News and Breitbart promote these just as much as all the sources I mentioned above. Why? Because they draw endless comments and the more comments they get the better the Google Analytics they receive, the more that can make the case for larger audience penetration and ask for increased fees for advertising. But that is only the first layer for social media. The next layer is the fake-comments. In almost every post on any subject, be it politics, or a cat video, or a swift water rescue, there will be a comment about politics. They will state an outrages position. These are usually done by the news producer who posted the article in the first place in order to generate comments which generate higher Google Analytics which…you see the agenda. They are usually in the first three comments posted and if you look at the poster of the comments most are fake, made up, just a few pictures, no real data on the individual. Tools of the new advertising trade. THIS is how the internet news business is now run on the information superhighway. It was not taught in the courses I took but anyone looking for “a way” to increase traffic will think of it when they see the Google Analytics Case Studies.

As preppers making financial and lifestyle decisions on an almost daily basis by processing the information at hand and our understanding of it I think most of us knew already that the “news business” is first and foremost a for-profit business, and that the news presented is merely content to produce their product, increased Google Analytics . All the old cliche’s apply: follow the money, Caveat-emptor, believe 50% of what you hear and 90% of what you see.

We prepare as a result of the information we get and the information we get is highly suspect from the news media. Proceed accordingly.

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The Weapon of Next-to-Last Resort

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

As Preppers we plan for the worst while hoping for the best, like all rational human beings. And as such I am a big fan of having redundant safety systems, something driven home during the many years I spent working on space systems like the Titan II and IV heavy lift systems, as well as the Atlas and Delta space lift vehicles, and all aspects of their launch control systems.  So I always have a backup and I know, the choices for a back-up gun are endless as there are so many short barreled autos available in impressive calibers, but here is a thought:
  • This is my go-to gun if I am ever very up close and personal, and may have lost my primary weapon (empty, taken from me, jammed). This is specifically for when I can tell by the smell how long it has been since he showered, I can see how long since he brushed his teeth by the food still in his gums and I have to focus on the fact that he is now even less concerned with his personal grooming than he is with making me dead. But it is what I might not be able to see that drives my decision. He may have my head in a bear hug and I can’t see the stroller behind him or the person rushing to my aid who is just a few feet away, neither of which do I want to shoot.

So I want something that never misfires, doesn’t get jammed because I can’t clear the ejection port or slide from his body or the ground or my body, and I want to put as many rounds into him as I can to MAKE HIM STOP! Hence my choice of a small caliber wheel gun.

I know I will get the comment that the cylinder can be restricted by the bodies pressing against it. Maybe, I haven’t though of a safe way to test this theory. I also know how far a slide has to travel to eject a spent round and chamber a fresh one, again, assuming no body parts or the ground are going to foul its operation.

So I have my little Taurus DX 9-shot in 22 long rifle with a 1.5″ barrel. Clearly some people are not a fan due to rim fire vs center fire , and here is a good case for that – Say No to a 9-shot 22 lr. But not good enough for me as this is indeed my gun of last resort, and with my luck my only shot might be right at my other hand wrapped behind this guys head, grabbing his man-bun or his pony-tail or mullet if I am that far south, and I so don’t like shooting myself. I have tried to avoid doing that since I did it clearing my Daisy Red Ryder BB gun when I was 9 years old. It hurt, it was the palm of my left hand, and it hurt less than all the times I caught my fingers in the lever, but still.

  

So, in a simple test I shot 8 rounds at target panel 1 above in rapid fire from 15′, 8 rounds at target panel 6, again in rapid fire from 10′, and 8 rounds in rapid fire at target panel 5 at 5′. The double action performed well, no misfires and if you look at the picture at the start of the article of the Blazer ammo box you can clearly see that it had indeed spent too much time in my stash, near the bottom. The intended purpose of this gun is really to fire point-blank or after you have inserted the barrel into one of his orifices, any one, as this is no time to be choosy, or squeamish.

And, a side benefit of this weapon is it is a great “first” gun to teach people shooting. Small, light, easy to operate, not LOUD, doesn’t kick like a mule. A way to build some familiarity and comfort before moving onto other calibers. And 22 lr ammunition is again readily available (yet another reason to celebrate the deleting of all things Obama) and comparatively inexpensive.

Of course, ALWAYS remember to have an empty chamber under a resting hammer in any wheel gun. As for the doubters among you who scoff that a 22 LR isn’t “lethal enough” I present the case of Bella Twin who accomplished her kill with 22 longs, not long rifles.

Why yes, I do carry a knife, a Bastinelli, as the LAST weapon of resort, doesn’t everyone?

BTW, that Daisy Red Rider STILL shoots straight – you can tell by the number of pigeons and doves that end up in my recycle bin because they still don’t get the rule that defecating on my pool deck is a capital offense, even with the signs I posted. While I believe they may be recyclable I know for sure that they are biodegradable.  Be safe out there, and ready.

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Memorial Day 2018

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

A gentleman named Owen A. King from our subscriber list sent me the following two quotes recently, the first, from one of my favorite authors, one I have heard repeatedly “dismissed” by intellectual progressives (currently working college professors teaching at UCLA), as “some obscure writer from the 1950’s”….grrr:

 “(W)hen you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you. . . you may know that your society is doomed.”  Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged 

And the second from a contemporary writer I am not yet familiar with:

“There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”Ed Howdershelt (Reference Stephan Decatur Miller, circa September 1830)

On this Memorial Day I see us in the abyss, the limbo between Mr. Miller’s second and third boxes, and that makes Any Rand’s words ever more insightful. The Prepper Journal is a big fan of making “lessons learned” no longer an oxymoron, but a reality, while the elites are busily erasing all the lessons from our history, except for the ones that further their agenda, and these are usually skewed to fit their narrative.

And, as a result, I find the image above so powerful on this holiday. While taken to represent honoring those lost in the most noble of causes, it could equally be of our frustration over the limbo we find ourselves in currently between the boxes, our gathering of resolve to rise from this position with all the fury of a fallen superhero in some Hollywood blockbuster. Or it could be seen as us presenting our current state of affairs on this, their day of honor, to all those who gave their all, all the way back to our founding fathers.

The Short Lesson

This Federal Holiday in the USA was established for remembering those who died while serving in our Armed Forces. Currently celebrated on the last Monday of May, it originated in 1868 as Decoration Day after the American Civil War, when the Grand Army of the Republic established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union’s war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day was eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.  Arlington Cemetery is the centerpiece of the official ceremonies.  Did you know this was General Robert E. Lee’s home before he left Washington to take command of the Confederate Army? Was it taken as a punishment that has now become the focal point of our honor? Your call. Okay, that ends the history lesson.

This brings me back to my experience. I saw The Viet Nam War memorial on a business trip to Washington D.C. awhile ago. I knew before I went that I would find names on it that I knew as flesh and blood. Names I broke bread with, names I saw when they were drunk and when they were scared and they saw me that way too. One a bookworm from Wooster Massachusetts and another a certified red-neck from Pasadena Texas; others as well. I thought I was prepared. It was a sunny, hot day. A kind woman offered tissue. That is my story, there are many like it, it does not make me special BUT those names on that wall are special, each and every one. As they are for so many wars, so many throughout our history who stepped up. And that brings me back to point…

This is a day to remember, reflect and honor those brave men and women. And the moments of silence, the reflections would, I suspect, bring them no more joy than the laughter of our children and the friendship of family and friends at our picnics and our gatherings. I believe THAT is why they were willing to step up, to preserve the hope of a nation that they knew as family and friends and community.

God bless them every one.

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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

As mentioned last week in our Newsletter, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect today.

The Prepper Journal uses MailChimp to manage its subscriber list and here is their Press Release on the subject:

MailChimp has updated its Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, effective May 23, 2018. These changes were made primarily in preparation for the EU’s new data privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

With these updates, MailChimp reaffirms its commitment to safeguarding the personal data of our members, contacts, and anyone who visits our websites. MailChimp has three core privacy principles: accountability through awareness, empowering individuals, and protecting and safeguarding information. We embrace privacy by design, which means our teams actively design and build features with privacy considered alongside innovation and functionality.

Here are some highlights of the changes we’ve made:

  • We restructured our Privacy Policy to present three primary audience groups with the information that’s most relevant to each. These groups are members (like yourself), your contacts, and website visitors. This policy will also inform these groups on how they can exercise their rights under the GDPR and control the use of their personal information through our services.
  • If you, or your use of MailChimp, are subject to EU data protection law (including the GDPR), we’ve updated your obligations when using MailChimp to reflect the new requirements under the GDPR.
  • We’ve reaffirmed MailChimp’s commitment to the responsible collection, use, transfer, disclosure, and management of your personal information.

We encourage you to take the time to review our revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. By continuing to use MailChimp on or after May 23, 2018, you acknowledge our updated Privacy Policy and agree to our updated Terms of Use.

As our company grows and evolves, we’ll continue to focus on strengthening and improving our privacy practices and tools, for the benefit of our members, contacts, and website visitors.

Thank you for using MailChimp.

– The MailChimp Legal Team

The Prepper Journal has read the above items and is in compliance with their requirements.

If you, as an individual, are a resident of a member nation of the European Union, you need to assure that you have taken the steps required to be in compliance with the implementation of this new rule.

The Prepper Journal can not add, delete or modify it’s subscriber list. This is by design so entities can not “pad” their lists.

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Things Every Heart Patient Should Consider Before Going on a Trip

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

As the traveling season in the northern hemisphere starts to peak I though it of value that we preppers prepare should we be traveling with family and friends who might have had heart issues.

Travelling around the world is not forbidden for heart patients. Most people with heart-illnesses travel to different places, provided that their heart condition is stable and in control. If you are also a heart patient, or any of your family members have cardiovascular diseases, and you wish to go on a family vacation, just remember to consult your or their  doctor. More importantly, if you are feeling well and your reports have not been alarming, then you probably are good to go. As such, being preppers, if you are planning to go on a much-anticipated trip, then here are some practical guidelines for you and yours.

 When Planning Your Holiday, You Should Probably Think About the Following:

  1. Stay at an accommodation which is easier to reach and closer to health facilities
  2. Make sure to compare health insurance policies and choose one clubbed with an additional coverage for pre-existing medical conditions
  3. Go to destinations where a lot of walking is not required. Avoid going to hilly areas where you might need to trek a lot. Without a doubt, any strenuous activity should be evaded. You should play it safe until your doctor gives you the go-ahead to do such activities
  4. Keep a list of the medications, as well as, the doctor’s prescription handy. You should carry it with you all the time. In case of an emergency, you can always refer to it
  5. Carry enough medications with you so that you do not run out of them during your trip
  6. Carry a letter of explanation from your healthcare provider regarding your heart-condition, especially when going abroad or when travelling by airplane. This letter should mention the drugs that you are on and any allergies that you may have. If you have a pacemaker or any other medical device fitted in your body, then that should also be highlighted in this document.

It is Better Not Travel To Extremely Hot or Cold Climates

Restrict yourself from going to countries that have extreme temperatures. It’s recommended not to go to places that are either very hot or extremely cold. You should choose from places that have a moderate climate.

Avoid Travelling To High Altitudes

If you are a heart patient, and you want to travel to a place at an altitude of more than 6,500′ (2,000m) above the sea level, then you should reconsider your decision. At higher altitudes, the level (concentration), of oxygen is lower.  Less oxygen can lead to uneasiness and can even ruin your entire trip. It can also impose serious health risks, headaches, breathlessness or/ and even angina. Before planning your trip to a destination at a high altitude, see and follow the advice of your healthcare provider.

You can Avoid Stress of Commuting during Your Trip

For people with heart conditions, the commute itself can be one of the most stressful parts of the journey. To make the journey convenient throughout your trip, you should-

  • Take the planned route and manage your time to avoid rushing yourself unnecessarily
  • Carry bags and suitcases that are light in weight and are on wheels to make the transportation hassle-free

It Is OK For You to Travel by Air!

People with a heart condition, or any circulatory disease, can safely travel by airplane without risking their health. However, if you have been diagnosed with heart disease recently, have undergone open-heart surgery, or have been hospitalized due to your heart condition lately, then, it is again advisable that you check with your healthcare provider to see if you are fit to travel by a airplane. Note the advice above as to not going to places that are above 6,500 feet in elevation, well, commercial airliners, which travel typically between 18,000′ and 29,000′ are pressurized to 8,000′. Yep, talk to your doctor.

If you’re given the go-ahead by your health specialist to travel by plane and you think that you might need assistance during the flight or at the airport terminal, then you should probably inform the airport authorities or airline at the time of booking the tickets. You can get assistance with your luggage, can take wheelchair support, or you can even board the plane early.

If you have medications in your hand luggage that are in the form of gels, liquids or creams (over 100ml), then you will need to provide a letter from your heart-specialist. Based on that, you can seek approval from the airline before you travel.

If you are going to fly through times zones, the routine of medications can get disturbed. It is best to take advice from your healthcare provider to deal with it in an effective manner.

Safety Aspects against Airport Security Systems

If you have a Pacemaker or an ICD fitted in your body, it’s imperative that you carry your device identification card. Also, inform the airport staff about your heart-condition, mentioning that you have a device inserted inside your body. While passing through the security system, keep walking at a normal pace and do not linger for it might mess with the device.

Make sure that a hand-held metal detector is not used/placed directly over your device. Mostly, modern pacemakers and ICDs are properly shielded against any outside interference. At the most, the metal casing might just trigger the security alarm. But, it is always better to be cautious.

Combating the Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) On a Long-Haul Flight

Deep Vein Thrombosis is a condition in which the blood gets clotted in a deep vein, such as in the legs. Prolonged sitting when travelling on a long flight or a long-haul flight can sometimes impose the risk of developing DVT. For many people, chances of developing DVT are quite low, but if you are a heart patient and do not want to face any trouble, try to wear comfortable clothes and socks to keep your blood circulation unimpeded. You can use travel compression socks as they can help keep your blood flow normal and can curb the clotting of blood. Also, check with your health insurance provider if they cover Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) under the insurance plan. If not, then you can always get it added to your current health plan.

For Reducing The Risk Of DVT You Can:

  1. Change your position frequently to stay active. You can also walk wherever it is possible
  2. Do simple exercises like stretching your ankles and feet while sitting on the seat during the flight
  3. Seriously, restrain yourself from drinking alcohol and too much caffeine during the flight
  4. Drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated; more than normal because airline cabin humidity often competes with that of Death Valley.

Anyone who has experienced DVT recently, or has undergone surgery lately, is probably at a higher risk during a flight. Again and we can’t say this enough, before travelling anywhere, consult with your doctor. If you have been advised to wear support stockings during the flight, make sure that you are wearing the right size as per your leg and calf measurements. If you are at a higher risk, your doctor might suggest giving you heparin injection. This will prevent any blood clots for some time.

Conclusion – Having a certain health condition should not stop you from travelling around the world. By taking certain precautions and preventive measures, you can always make it happen. We hope that the above-mentioned tips prove helpful for you and your family members.

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Never Leave Home Without at Least One

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

As you know we are all fans of a good knife, one of the most versatile tools anyone can carry and for true knife aficionados, Damascus Steel is a Force to Reckon With!

Who would not love a piece of history, in the form of a humble knife? Humble as it may seem, Damascus steel is far from that! From being a champagne saber to the perfect partner for your wilderness adventures, Damascus steel is the perfect metal for all to invest in.

When you have a real Damascus steel knife, you will have nothing short of a razor-sharp deal. Damascus steel has numerous applications in various kinds of knives. You just need to find one that fits all your needs and you are set for success!

WHAT ARE THE KNIVES THAT CAN BE MADE WITH DAMASCUS STEEL?

Whether you have a job in the kitchen or out in the wilderness, Damascus steel has application in all areas. You just need to find the right knife! Look for the knife of your dreams in the collection that hundreds of knife makers have to offer you. I have found mine, but have you found yours? Let’s have a look at the different knives, to find you your knife:

1. The Champagne Sabre: This is more a sword than a knife and gives you the feel of a dramatic period in history. This kind of sword is packed in the wooden case that has a stylish presentation stand! The sabres even have a protective guard on the handle to save you from any mishaps. So, go on and try your hand at one of these mesmerizing sabres, without the risk of cutting your hand.

2. Hand-forged Damascus Steel Knife: When you have a Damascus steel knife, you have the perfect wilderness partner. Depending on the blade length and thickness, you will have a knife, which is sharp and quite durable. Damascus steel is created by folding numerous alloys in to innumerable layers. This method has given the knives an immense strength. It is a time-consuming process, but the end result is fascinating. From a Bowie to a hunting knife, you will be able to definitely find the perfect knife for your uses.

3. Chef’s Knife: Slicing and dicing veggies and meat is just the tip of the iceberg. The jobs in a kitchen can range from the usual cutting and dicing to opening cans and tins. When you have a Damascus steel knife as your kitchen partner, you will be able to cut and slice through nearly everything! Reputed knife makers forge their knives at low temperatures and hence lend the knife great sharpness and durability. The unique texture and patterns lend your knife skills a beautiful showmanship as well.

4. The Sword: The original use for Damascus steel has been for manufacturing swords. The process remains the same, but it has advanced from a technological point of view. Forging each layer by hand and adding on one layer at a time. When you purchased your Damascus steel sword from a reputed knife maker, you will have a handle that is moulded to lend your sword great grip. This is in fact the secret to a top-notch sword knife.

WHAT ARE THE PERKS OF USING THE SERVICES OF A RELIABLE & REPUTED KNIFE MAKER?

Once you have zeroed in on the type of knife, you need, you will need to find a good knife maker! The benefits of a reputed knife maker, making your knife is as follows:

1. Skill Set: Forging a Damascus steel knife of any kind is no joke or walk in the park. You need to understand that the process is complex and intricate! This means that a novice can never get you the strong and beautiful Damascus steel knife, you have been looking for. They might mess up the process and ignore intricate details of manufacturing procedure. These steps might be the important steps and missing them will cause issues with the knife’s sharpness and strength.

2. Guarantee on the Knife’s Quality: When you have a Damascus steel knife from a reliable knife maker, you have the guarantee that the knife is bound to be of top notch quality. Why? Well, they have their reputation to uphold. This ensures that they will not dupe you out of your money! You will get the perfect knife for your use.

Whoa, enough information! It is time to start your journey to find a Damascus steel knife worthy of all your resources.

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Vehicles As Weapons

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

As most of you who follow the news already know there was a vehicle attack in Toronto this past Monday. Reported a ten people killed and 15 injured in the initial report, updated on Thursday to nine killed. This is just the latest in what has become a convenient weapon of choice for the lone wolf, or so the media would have you believe, that has been employed world-wide in the past few years.

No politician and no public official is ever going to state that these are anything other than random acts of madmen, and perhaps, by some miracle, or some stretch of logic, they are, but one needs to understand the realities of these attacks to understand if we can be prepared should we face such a situation.

Molasses in Winter

The average speed some one can run: While scientists claim 40 mph may be achievable I choose to stick with the established fact that the world’s fastest runner, Usain Bolt, was clocked at “nearly” 28 mph in the 100-meter sprint. Bo Jackson once ran the 40 yard dash in 4.13 seconds, the fasted recorded to date. But drag them out to the 100 yards or a mile and the speed virtually disappears. Marathon runners can average 8.8 mph for 26.2 miles. Best information available is the average human jogs at about 8 mph, and sprints at 10.2 mph and of course distance is the great variable, as well as physical condition, terrain, age, an obstacles – like things and other people.

To get a comparison the average cycling speed is estimated at 9.6 mph and, in a race, a reasonably fit rider can ride at 25 mph on flat surface.

No match for any motorized vehicle driven by a human (RC cars don’t count.) So the reality is always that your self as a physical being is the best thing you can work on to be prepared but ones limits are pretty much defined. You are not, in spite of what you have seen in the movies, going to outrun a vehicle intent on hitting you. Dodge, weave and hide behind things, sure, but that assumes an awareness of the situation and an awareness of your surroundings, and the option to find things to weave around and hide behind and time to react.

So What Can We Do?

Avoiding crowds and crowded places – not realistic, probably not possible unless you already live on the edge of the grid.

Making mental health a tribunal-level judgement that limits ones freedoms?  By who? Who is qualified to be the judge? I have had the misfortune to have three mental health professionals as relatives in my life so far and I’ll pass on their judgement and qualifications to make even simple choices. This buys into the mentality that we “can make the world safe” if only “__________”! (Fill in the blank with you own personal choices.) Realists know that making the world a safe place in an unattainable goal generally. My goal here is not to answer your questions, I am unqualified to do that, but to make you think of questions and work out how you will respond and react presented with this new (?) threat as vehicles have been used as weapons through their existence.

Vehicle bombs can be complicated, or they can be simple. As any military vet of the more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can tell you the use of IED (improvised explosive devices) has come a long way for the days of Viet Nam – In Viet Nam the military jeeps had the gas tank under the drivers seat, you actually lifted the drivers seat up to refuel the vehicles. The Viet Cong figured this out and used it as a weapon early on. The gas tank opening would accommodate a frag grenade so if you pulled the pin but left the handle on and used plain old scotch tape to keep the handle in place, you simply dropped this into the gas tank. It would take a couple of hours before the gasoline ate away the scotch tape and bingo, wherever the jeep happened to be at that moment.

Another cute trick was using a flare round from the old style flare pistols. You could disassemble the old rounds, duck tape the magnesium package which has a self-contained oxidizer made of potassium chlorinate to a gas tank and then wrap the parachute around an axle. A few revolutions and the ignited gets set off by the pull, like the jerk of the parachute when it is in normal use. Modern rounds do not “facilitate” this any longer, but many other available igniters do.

Bank robbers along the other side of our Southern border had a favorite. They would put explosives in an old vehicle attached to a 12v battery but not close the circuit – wire it to both terminals. Normally on the floor in the front seat and then set the back seat on fire and call the fire department. First thing firemen did was douse the vehicle with water, hopefully completing the circuit by soaking the battery terminals with water and “boom” – injured firefighters, police rushing to the scene, and then they would rob a bank on the other side of town. Sound far fetched? The fail-safe is the fire would eventually achieve a similar effect.

But now, with a valid drivers license, something some states pass out like the free mints at a restaurants hostess station, and a valid credit card – for sale at every Walmart for cash, and you have rented a potential weapon. No distinguishing marks, no smoking fuse, other than the driver, no rifle barrels pointed out the window and 4,000+ pound at 6′ wide and 7′ tall, most capable of accelerating from a normal street speed to 60+ mph in seconds. From a clinical point of view, this is an excellent weapon. Inexpensive, leaves a cold/close trail,

and if you survive you just walk away, and in most gun-free zones this is a possibility if for not the off-duty police officer or the on-duty policemen, moments away. The reality is that in the case of most on-duty policeman they are moments away when seconds count. And these incidents take only seconds.

So what are your opinions? I would like to know what the community thinks as to possible courses of actions or preventative measures. If this is more organized that the media wants you to believe then constantly looking over your shoulder is certainly the result these perpetrators want as a result. The fear, the uneasiness. While this may sound extreme, is this a rational to be used for autonomous vehicles? Another kink in our rights as we give up another freedom for a possible safety? Bad trade in the authors opinion. Reasonable due diligence and situation awareness are what I have come up with, and you?

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4 Seconds Until Impact

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Subtitled “The Skyrocketing Attacks by Predators on Humans” the book is Bruce Buckshot Hemming’ latest and is already available on Amazon. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy, verified by the sprinkling of typos, and have just finished reading it.

I want to make a statement here that I am an impossible reader. I love to read and love books but it has been so long since one has even captured my attention, let alone been read before being donated to some charity. But as soon as I heard about this one I was interested. I have been to many wild places and seen almost every one of the creatures featured in this book out in the open, mano a mano. But, to be frank, I was never without a weapon – I made sure of that, even when exposing that fact would get me in a little room with angry people. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. The one creature I have not seen in its natural habitat is a wolf. I heard them while hiking the Lava Creek Trail near Yellowstone and I was told by a guide at Wonder Lake in Denali National Park that a pack had been spotted in the area just two days before we arrived, but have only seen them in zoos.

When I was traveling through Alaska I picked up a book on bear attacks in the train station in Fairbanks. It was just a collection of first and second hand stories of encounters. I was entertained.

That was not this book. While those are certainly sprinkled generously throughout for the different encounters the book has a message, a strong one on lessons learned but either forgotten or replaced. A justification for its premise and for changes in our most basic thinking when it comes to dealing with real predators in THEIR environments and ours as well. It presents the current state of things and a realistic look at the future should we continue down our current path.

Engaging, to the point, and focused. I am now a fan of this author and highly recommend every prepper read this book as it has a lot of valuable information on the reality of being off the grid and understanding how off the grid is not safe from the manipulations of the government.

All writers of non-fiction now deal in a world controlled by Google and the government. This is not a negative on the part of the authors or the book but rather the reality of looking for history and detail on events past in a world where history is either ignored, rewritten or an afterthought, the reporters and their publisher lost interest. The quality of information is excellent and the author makes every effort to complete the story and notes where the trails went cold; the book does not suffer from this reality. Worth your time and your dime.

You can contact the author through his web site www.snare-trap-survive.com.

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The post 4 Seconds Until Impact appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Just Throw Anything You Can Get Your Hands on

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Regular followers will know that I still sail on a regular basis off the California Coast, and pretty much everywhere I go where this is an option. While the Crazy Empire of California, my native state, is now one state west of me, I make the trip often to see old friends and spend time on the amazing ocean, truly one of natures eternal “wild places” even within sight of a shoreline. After all, it is still legal to have a cocktail in ones hand while you are at the helm of a “personal pleasure craft”, adding that human error to the equation.

The title of this post is old-school thinking that still applies what someone gets in trouble in the water, any body of water. Aside from spotting the person in trouble in the water and keeping them insight it is the most important “to do” in a situation where someone has gone overboard or is, again, in distress  in any body of water. The point here was that something you throw will eventually float and provide a life-line and time to get a more serious rescue accomplished. When seconds count the first point is to get the person in peril something to hang onto. Beer coolers are a GREAT idea, sans the beer and ice of course, and even casting a fishing line is acceptable. Rocks, anchors, paperback novels and beach towels on the other hand, well, do I really need to go there? Common sense is required in all things.

And understanding the actual process for someone overboard on a boat is more complicated than most people realize. These usually happen when the boat is moving, and the boat does not stop moving when someone falls off so there are procedures that need to be done to effect a rescue. First, someone has to see you fall or hear your screams. Second someone has to spot you in the water. THIS is the most important step of all and the procedure taught is that whoever does this yells “Spotted” and points, and that becomes that person’s singular job. To move anywhere on the boat and keep pointing at the person overboard and keep yelling “Spotted” no matter what the boat does.

Boats do not stop on a dime, especially sailboats. They do not turn on a dime either. One of the things that was presented in the original tours of the Queen Mary when it was placed as an exhibit at Long Beach Harbor was that it took 7 miles to stop that ship. That means that whenever she went into port they started the “stopping procedure” outside of the countries territorial waters. Modern cruise ships do better, but not much, and a fall from those decks will most likely kill you due to the height and the fact that, if you are conscious, you can not judge when you will hit the water and the surface cohesion is unbroken. Water is a harder surface to penetrate at higher speeds than most people realize, ask any high diver. Paratrooper training of military personnel teaches that water landings are more dangerous than land for a multitude of reasons. In any high diving competition you will note water being sprayed on the impact area. This is done to give the human eye textural perception of the distance to the water and to break the surface cohesion of the water molecules actually making for a softer entry.

On a boat you have the standard life preservers that work well as long as the person overboard can see them, as long as the person can reach them and as long as the person is still conscious and has the physical strength to grab and hold them securely. And the reality is even an Olympic Shot Putter or first string NFL quarterback can throw one from a moving boat 25 feet, maybe, depending on winds and the tidal/wave/wake movement of the water. A few years ago people started to really rethink this as there is so much technology that can improve this process.

One of the things that was introduced was a self-propelled life saver buoy that has a motor and a remote controller that could be operated by a trained lifeguard or trained ships crew member to motor out to the victim. A GIANT step forward. Well today there is another more affordable step forward in the OneUp, one that has practical applications for many activities and situations preppers may find themselves in. This is a compact, affordable configuration that could not only work for boaters (both sailors and stinkpots) but for swimmers, kayakers, fisherman, river rafters and for anyone caught in a fast moving current, a rip tide, rising waters or a flood.

Reusable and more manageable than a life preserver as a “first employed” item to get the person some dependable support as you take the necessary steps to turn the boat around and bring it to a stop as close to possible to the victim to get a line and preserver safely to them to bring them back on-board. Or to swim out to someone who is less likely to be in “panic” mode because they are stable and afloat and thus not putting the rescuer in more danger than needs be. True also for any river or lake or flood situation. This looks like one more tool to consider being in your preparedness supplies and EDC for when you are on or near water.

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And the Round 13 Winners Are…

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

The Polls at The Prepper Journal have closed! The results have been tabulated and yet AGAIN no Russian interference has been charged!

The three (3) prize winning articles of Amazon gift cards are (in order):

Never Be Situation Unaware

Lessons From History – Starving Spring

Introduction to Nuclear Survival

All the candidates are worthy of a review-read as 2018 unfolds before us. And now is the time to get your contributions in for a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards worth a total of $500 in the Round 14.

Congratulations are in order to:

  1. Valknut79
  2. R. Ann Parris
  3. John Hertig

The Results:

The post And the Round 13 Winners Are… appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Thirteen!

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

AGAIN Preppers you get to cast your votes for the “best articles” published in the beginning of 2018.  Money, money, money! But more importantly GREAT information!

I have chosen five (5) worthy candidates for Round Thirteen of the Preppers Writing Contest. Again, it was a hard thing to do, so many honorable mentions, so much coverage of wide-ranging subjects. Impressive. Paring the list down to five (5) remains the challenge. As always, I want to thank everyone who entered and, as always, previous winners can still win again!

I will add that the trending was interesting. Looking at the posts the list, from top down of the five (5) most viewed was:

  • Never Be Situation Unaware
  • A Second Language is a Preppers Must
  • Intro to Nuclear Survival
  • What is Your Weapon of Last Resort?
  • How to Use Vodka As a Prepper Supply

While some of these did make the list to vote on (below) I am providing them as just information as to what people are searching for on a regular basis.

The REAL contestants, in no particular order, are:

I will leave the voting open through the holiday weekend so please let me know which article you think is the best.

Cast Your Vote for Just One:

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Round 13 – The Prepper Writing Contest

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The post Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Thirteen! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Does the Family Know?

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

In my planning I am confident that I not only know where everything is but also how everything works in my home, the place I am most likely to encounter a disaster. Useful knowledge when I have to be responsible for myself and anything that might have crawled in when I wasn’t paying attention.

I had a friend who’s neighbors dog had figured out where their dog door was and where their dogs food dish was and would, on a regular basis “drop by” for a free meal since their small dog was always overfed and there was food always in its bowl. A habit I thought only in-laws developed. IAC my Homeowners Insurance Policy states “I am responsible” for all who enter legally.

Yes, like EVERYONE else on the planet I forget things and I have “brain farts” – now where was that thing? But I am better than most as no job is done UNTIL all the tools and materials used are put back where they belong. As a result I have been called “anal” often, and I take pride in this label for that reason. I swear my kids as teenagers used this against me to see how often they could “screw Dad into the ceiling” as a prank. Little time-bombs set by simply moving a tool, or placing it in the wrong drawer of the tool chest. They had it down to a science, and I admit I was wound a little tight on this subject.

So I know all the basics:

  • Water shut off valves (there are always two – at the intake from the city to the house and in that box that is on the cities easement by the curb. Though some contractors are “clever” in disguising the ones on/in the house
  • Electrical panels (locked with a padlock with several keys available)
  • Gas shut off – one at each appliance by code and one at the intake from the city system or the on-property storage tank
  • Alarm systems, motion-sensor light locations, ammo storage, food and water and medical supplies and on and on

But what if I am not there when an emergency occurs, be in somewhat minor – overflowing toilet, to major – a 6.2 earthquake and the smell of natural gas. And I will concede that if the overflowing toilet is on the second floor it changes to major rather quickly.

Well, like most preppers I write things down, take and add pictures to the document, show them to the family, try and keep their attention – “leave your cell phone in your room UNLESS you plan on taking a picture for your own use”, etc. I stress that this is important. I note a toilet has two water sources and the first, connecting it to the water line right there is the “first step” and enough unless this is where the malfunction has occurred. If it is, then the second is here and you need to go directly to it and turn off the water to the whole house. And NOT do this as a prank to your older sister when she is in the shower!

 

Children, boys and girls both, need to be shown these things, as do spouses and roommates. This is probably making most preppers smirk, and is assuredly making every farmer and rancher smirk but urban/suburban kids/people don’t really know these simple things. Live in an apartment? Do you know where to cut these things off? The “I’m not responsible because…” does not cut it in an emergency. Honest. I blame video games, and the cell/mobile phone. And looking for a video on YouTube on how to fix something while it is gushing water or showering sparks is akin to learning to drive a stick-shift while driving yourself to the hospital while you are bleeding to death.

On a visit to my sons new house recently I noted that he did not have the self-closing toilet seats on his toilets, and with two small boys post potty-trained, well, this could be life-altering. So I dragged the kids from their electronic devices, took them to the big-box store and forced them to go through the whole process. Finding the items in the store, picking ones that would work. Paying for them and making it clear that they could have bought two new games for their xBox for the price – you have to speak their language.

Then the fun started. As soon as we got back home their tendency was to head straight for their electronic additions. While it was like keeping kittens in a circle I managed to corral them and make them go through the WHOLE process. Then the shock set in. I sent the oldest, 11 years old, to their fathers tool chest in the garage to get a pair of pliers, and a slot and Phillips screwdriver. Blank stare. I might as well have been speaking Latin, I though about Klingon but they would understand that better than me. So, a diversion to the garage where we went through the tools. Of course, the small computer tools they knew and they could swap out a motherboard or video controller with ease, but had not taken the step to transfer this learning to the larger physical world in which we all exist. In any case I forced them to go through each of the installs, to deal with the “yuck” proper disposal of the replaced seats and then released them back to their virtual world. Now all of those who have read this can be witnesses in future lawsuits over the abuse.

Well, the same process needs to be done with every preppers family, etc. in that they need to know the things you know so they are prepared. Not just the utility and structure things BUT how to use all the supplies in your medical kit properly because YOU may be the one needing medical attention and you may not be conscious to give instructions. Start as simple as a band-aid. When should one be used? Sound silly? In a SHTF world even these will become a sought after commodity, so know when not to waste one. Teach the ABC’s – Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. Once they can recognize how to deal with a wound, minor to yucky to OMG, then move on to how to use a tourniquet. Nothing has been more misused in the movies and on TV that the tourniquet, with the possible exceptions of guns, hunting, and reporting actual news. Sharing the knowledge is ALWAYS the right thing to do. But one caution, know what you are talking about.

 

Stored ammo boxes. I have some. I don’t broadcast their location. They have locks on them, the keys are in my gun safe, who has that combo? At this point only me. They will be useless if family members need them when I am not around for an emergency however the combo is in trust documents that my kids have, I trust them and they do not live with me, and it is buried in the text. I know, anal, but my position is an unloaded firearm is a club that swings poorly compared to a baseball bat, so some of the guns in my safe are ready for use as they sit, all are treated as if they are ready to shoot.

Have a generator for backup power? Does everyone know how to safely use it? How about power tools? Left best to the parents to determine when to introduce these to others, some would be quite useful should you have to hunker down in place or deal with an emergency without the alpha in the picture.

What your family knows can save both them and you.

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The post Does the Family Know? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Does the Family Know?

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

In my planning I am confident that I not only know where everything is but also how everything works in my home, the place I am most likely to encounter a disaster. Useful knowledge when I have to be responsible for myself and anything that might have crawled in when I wasn’t paying attention.

I had a friend who’s neighbors dog had figured out where their dog door was and where their dogs food dish was and would, on a regular basis “drop by” for a free meal since their small dog was always overfed and there was food always in its bowl. A habit I thought only in-laws developed. IAC my Homeowners Insurance Policy states “I am responsible” for all who enter legally.

Yes, like EVERYONE else on the planet I forget things and I have “brain farts” – now where was that thing? But I am better than most as no job is done UNTIL all the tools and materials used are put back where they belong. As a result I have been called “anal” often, and I take pride in this label for that reason. I swear my kids as teenagers used this against me to see how often they could “screw Dad into the ceiling” as a prank. Little time-bombs set by simply moving a tool, or placing it in the wrong drawer of the tool chest. They had it down to a science, and I admit I was wound a little tight on this subject.

So I know all the basics:

  • Water shut off valves (there are always two – at the intake from the city to the house and in that box that is on the cities easement by the curb. Though some contractors are “clever” in disguising the ones on/in the house
  • Electrical panels (locked with a padlock with several keys available)
  • Gas shut off – one at each appliance by code and one at the intake from the city system or the on-property storage tank
  • Alarm systems, motion-sensor light locations, ammo storage, food and water and medical supplies and on and on

But what if I am not there when an emergency occurs, be in somewhat minor – overflowing toilet, to major – a 6.2 earthquake and the smell of natural gas. And I will concede that if the overflowing toilet is on the second floor it changes to major rather quickly.

Well, like most preppers I write things down, take and add pictures to the document, show them to the family, try and keep their attention – “leave your cell phone in your room UNLESS you plan on taking a picture for your own use”, etc. I stress that this is important. I note a toilet has two water sources and the first, connecting it to the water line right there is the “first step” and enough unless this is where the malfunction has occurred. If it is, then the second is here and you need to go directly to it and turn off the water to the whole house. And NOT do this as a prank to your older sister when she is in the shower!

 

Children, boys and girls both, need to be shown these things, as do spouses and roommates. This is probably making most preppers smirk, and is assuredly making every farmer and rancher smirk but urban/suburban kids/people don’t really know these simple things. Live in an apartment? Do you know where to cut these things off? The “I’m not responsible because…” does not cut it in an emergency. Honest. I blame video games, and the cell/mobile phone. And looking for a video on YouTube on how to fix something while it is gushing water or showering sparks is akin to learning to drive a stick-shift while driving yourself to the hospital while you are bleeding to death.

On a visit to my sons new house recently I noted that he did not have the self-closing toilet seats on his toilets, and with two small boys post potty-trained, well, this could be life-altering. So I dragged the kids from their electronic devices, took them to the big-box store and forced them to go through the whole process. Finding the items in the store, picking ones that would work. Paying for them and making it clear that they could have bought two new games for their xBox for the price – you have to speak their language.

Then the fun started. As soon as we got back home their tendency was to head straight for their electronic additions. While it was like keeping kittens in a circle I managed to corral them and make them go through the WHOLE process. Then the shock set in. I sent the oldest, 11 years old, to their fathers tool chest in the garage to get a pair of pliers, and a slot and Phillips screwdriver. Blank stare. I might as well have been speaking Latin, I though about Klingon but they would understand that better than me. So, a diversion to the garage where we went through the tools. Of course, the small computer tools they knew and they could swap out a motherboard or video controller with ease, but had not taken the step to transfer this learning to the larger physical world in which we all exist. In any case I forced them to go through each of the installs, to deal with the “yuck” proper disposal of the replaced seats and then released them back to their virtual world. Now all of those who have read this can be witnesses in future lawsuits over the abuse.

Well, the same process needs to be done with every preppers family, etc. in that they need to know the things you know so they are prepared. Not just the utility and structure things BUT how to use all the supplies in your medical kit properly because YOU may be the one needing medical attention and you may not be conscious to give instructions. Start as simple as a band-aid. When should one be used? Sound silly? In a SHTF world even these will become a sought after commodity, so know when not to waste one. Teach the ABC’s – Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. Once they can recognize how to deal with a wound, minor to yucky to OMG, then move on to how to use a tourniquet. Nothing has been more misused in the movies and on TV that the tourniquet, with the possible exceptions of guns, hunting, and reporting actual news. Sharing the knowledge is ALWAYS the right thing to do. But one caution, know what you are talking about.

 

Stored ammo boxes. I have some. I don’t broadcast their location. They have locks on them, the keys are in my gun safe, who has that combo? At this point only me. They will be useless if family members need them when I am not around for an emergency however the combo is in trust documents that my kids have, I trust them and they do not live with me, and it is buried in the text. I know, anal, but my position is an unloaded firearm is a club that swings poorly compared to a baseball bat, so some of the guns in my safe are ready for use as they sit, all are treated as if they are ready to shoot.

Have a generator for backup power? Does everyone know how to safely use it? How about power tools? Left best to the parents to determine when to introduce these to others, some would be quite useful should you have to hunker down in place or deal with an emergency without the alpha in the picture.

What your family knows can save both them and you.

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The post Does the Family Know? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Prepping to Deal With Our Worst Nightmare – Loss

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

As Preppers we strive to be ready for the expected and possible while preparing for the unexpected. In the latter we do what we think is best, we go from our experience, our trusted sources of knowledge and information and from our life experiences. Most of the time this at least gives us a fighting chance, an edge to get through the event and its aftermath.

But to be frank, there are somethings that one simply can’t prepare for because we underestimated the gravity of the event, its monumental impact to the very core of our being. I am talking about the loss of a loved one, a child, a parent, a member of our tight group that we depended upon every day or when the SHTF. It is a part of life in general and something we certainly will have to face throughout life, and perhaps constantly and instantly should TEOTWAWKI come to pass.

In such a scenario we already know we need to be fully engaged, at the top of our game, just to get from one day to the next. We know that any loss of focus could cost us and ours dearly. And that, unless you just came off of a 6 month tour in Afghanistan, you really don’t even know all the detail you should be staying on top of, after all, at least there you had support, intel and some situation awareness. Things which may all be gone now.

The Stages of Grief in Overdrive

The five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are the subject of many books. It is human nature to run through these and there is no real time-line for each. In fact some people never get through all the stages and languish in some for what appears to be forever. Looking from the outside in we see this; looking from the inside out we may feel we are progressing and getting back to normal when we really are spinning our wheels. In a SHTF scenario how do you get through these more quickly and get back to your game to survive and help others in your group survive? What does it take to suspend grief long enough to finish the mission you are facing right now. And again, the mission of getting through each day whole, a mission that never stops.

In a combat situation denial is immediately replaced by shock and anger. The ability to put aside the shock, control the anger, focus it and get back to a real situation awareness immediately is something I believe is only learned from experience. It is brutal, it is sickening and it is shocking but in such a situation your ability to deal with it is truly the difference between life and death, of suffering a similar fate. So it is normal to bury the healing stages of loss in such a situation and it is typical, though unhealthy, to keep them suppressed as long as possible. Frankly because it is easier. A contributing factor to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), almost certainly.

But loss won’t always come in the heat of a firefight, it will come as it does through the natural course of life and as the results of unexpected events. In a SHTF scenario the lack of professional and well stocked medical personnel and facilities, the exasperation of pre-existing medical conditions, unexpected encounters with wild animals, accidents, falls, weather, and on and on. In this scenario the reflex will not be to skip denial and go directly to anger but to force you to face denial and all its questions, while still having that background and unrelenting task of getting through the day.

The best description I have heard of grief is it is like being in a small boat on the ocean. At first the waves are enormous and almost constant and come from all directions. Just getting over the waves is surviving. As time passes the waves start to get smaller, and farther apart, but there are still those rogue waves that come and swallow you whole. As time passes you get back to a new normal, but you never get back to whole again in the same way. I have heard it stated as “moving on” and I always reply “moving on differently.”

In an off the grid world everyone has tasks, talents and chores and now you have lost some of those. The reality is this now puts an extra burden on the group and just doing those new and assumed tasks should bring you back to working through the stages of grief as you will be remembering why you are doing this new chore now.

TALK ABOUT IT

As a group, to one another, to the older members, to the children. TALK ABOUT IT when there is downtime. Beware of the anger stage, that it not become a “blame” stage. That is a roller-coaster to hell. It may have its ups but have no doubt, the destination is assured and it is destruction.

These is no way to “practice” this other than to experience it, and I know you have all been through the loss of grandparents, and others in your life. It is my hope you will remember those times not only for how the person lost enriched your life but for the emotions you experienced knowing it is something you will face again and it will make you better prepared at getting through the toughest of times.

In loving memory of all of those taken from us too soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Prepping to Deal With Our Worst Nightmare – Loss appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Something Every Prepper Should Consider

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

I went back through the TPJ archives and found a number of articles on bullet-proof body armor. Bullet PROOF armor is in the same category as bullet proof glass. It DOES NOT EXIST.

I am of the opinion that every legal citizen should investigate the ownership of personal body armor for a numbers of uses, from home defense to SHTF. Additionally they should consider the protections it in its many variants affords family members in today’s world.

In the world of ballistics many principals of physics come into play and I could go on for ever about them, really. Maybe the reason invitations to dinner parties appear to be waning. No matter since I will drone about it just a bit right here. As Preppers, when it comes to bullets, there are two principals of physics that are the most significant – Velocity and Fragmentation.

Velocity

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has established standards, Ballistic Resistance Standard 0101.06, for body armor and is the certifying authority in the United States. Be careful when you search for ANY standard from the government as Google, and all the other search engines, will give you pages and pages of data created by manufactures that look like what you are searching for but are really advertisements for their products. Even the link I provided above takes some intelligent maneuvering to get to the actual standard.

To revisit a point above there is bullet resistant glass and bullet resistant body armor, but bullet proof is not really achievable. Even the 46100 Brinell rated ballistic steel that is tested and proven to stop 50 cal rounds may fail if the velocity of the round exceeds the tested standard. This steel is what is used to make armored vehicles for the military. A sheet of this steel at 96″ by 48″ weighs 817.26 lbs. In bullets velocity is so much more a determinant of their penetrating ability that others factors like shape and hardness can almost be factored out of the equation, almost.

Level III is the NIJ standard level for rifle rounds. The current standard for Level III rated body armor is to test it with 7.62 mm FMJ, steel jacked rounds, the U.S. Military M80 Ball, at 147 grains and a velocity of 2,780 fps +/- 30 fps. Look at any box of 7.62 (308 commercially) ammunition and it will state the expected velocity out of a 16″ barrel. To increase the velocity of these rounds all you have to do is increase the barrel length. I have a 308 with a 20″ barrel and it will achieve velocities in excess of 3,200 fps using this same round, and at that velocity most Level III body armor can be penetrated. So know before you buy. Understand what threats you might face and do your homework.

Fragmentation

This is what you would expect. When an FMJ round hits a ballistic rated steel plate it either penetrates it or disintegrate. Hopefully the latter but again, dependent on the velocity. BTW ballistic steel armor is rated by its hardness, its Brinell rating, steel labeled AR500 is the standard and goes up to exceed a hardness rating of AR650.

And what happens to that “frag and spall” generated by the round hitting the steel plate? First it exerts a g-force across the entire plate, so it spreads the energy. Standard steel plate armor is 10″ x 12″ and plate carriers are designed to hold this in position over your most vital core organs. Yes, if you are hit by a rifle round and you are wearing approved body armor you are going down and you are going to know what it is like to be kicked by a very large mule, but you will survive. Companies offer soft “trauma” pads to wear behind the steel plates to further dissipate the impact across a larger area to lesson the shock and injured ribs or vertebrate.

If you hold your hand against your chest where the steel plate would be and imagine a round hitting you hand you immediately understand that the frag and spall is going to pepper the underside of your chin with fragmentation which could very well kill you. If either of your arms are extended past your chest in a defensive position or it you are extending them to fire your weapon, be it a pistol or rifle, your arms will be peppered as well. And if you are a part of a team your buds around you are likely to get sprayed which might prompt them to smoke your….well, you know.

So you always want plates that are sprayed with a spall and frag coating to contain the fragments. The current ones, in what is called “build-up coat” are actually excellent. Sprayed with specialized materials not too dissimilar than those used to spray truck bed liners, they are quite effective at capturing all the fragments. They can sustain multiple hits and not fail. The NIJ tests body armor at 51′ and six (6) rounds per plate, equal distant. I have tested at that distance and sixteen (16) rounds per plate, equally distant, and had no failures. They cost more than the base coat but there are some places where saving money is incredible foolish, body armor, should you need it, qualifies as one of them. Parachutes come to mind as well.

What is the Take Away?

Backpack Armor. That is my singular goal. While I want people to understand that “bullet proof” is not possible and the reasons why, I stated all this to support the idea that you should considering investing in body armor for your own needs, that would be smart. As a bedside rig to don when you hear breaking glass or to wear as you head out when TEOTWAWKT comes to pass. And everyone who carries a backpack, a briefcase or a large purse should invest in backpack armor.

There are specifically designed backpacks for armor but most armor manufactures design armor specifically for backpacks, packs, laptop, and book bags. They come in cuts and sizes that will fit nearly all civilian and military style backpacks on the market allowing a convenient and concealable solution to staying protected. The soft body armor, rated Level IIIA by the NIJ is rated against all standard pistol rounds, up to and including the 44 Magnum traveling at 1,460 fps (velocity again, influenced by the barrel length, and a few grains of powder.)

This is soft body armor, flexible, made from materials that harden on impact. They have no metal components, are thin and light weight, less than 2 lbs. and are not detectable by TSA. They will NOT stop rifle rounds from the more common calibers like the .556 and 7.62. However those ballistic steel ones above WITH the build-up coat will. Yes, they weigh in at about 8.1 lbs for the standard 10″ x 12″ size and most backpacks require an 11″ x 14″ plate, which weighs in at 11.5 lbs. That is weight but have you lifted your high school kids backpack lately? Will the extra weight give them back problems or confidence and a sense of security?

As preppers we plan for the worst case scenarios. As the parents of children in school we should consider giving them every edge.

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Things That Drive Preppers Crazy

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: This post might be better titled “ramblings from a mind turned to mush by our “information highway”. I had the luck to be on ARPANet before it was opened to the public in the great “explosion” of information (the “dis” being optional but applicable in the too many cases.) As people, and especially as Preppers we make decisions based on the facts we are presented and our interpretation of their accuracy, so this hits us at home every minute of every day.

I still tell a story I heard from a Civics Teacher in High School that goes like this – There was a horse race between a Russian horse and an American horse. The American horse won and the newspaper headline the following day at the New York Post read “American Horse WINS!” Pravda’s headline that same day read “Russian Horse Places Second, American Horse Finishes Next to Last!”  – both are factual, both tell the truth. (The story was told to me with the American newspaper being the New York Times but I just could not bring myself to type that. It was awhile ago, when reporting the news was their agenda and the means by which they promoted their circulation.)

I am sure you have also all read or been told the theorem that if you put enough monkeys at enough keyboards eventually they will turn out the….Bible, or The Works of Shakespeare, or some other great historical accomplishment. I contend that the “internet, information highway” has disproved that theory.

My notes on what to point out, just the notes, are about to exceed 2,000 words so I will just put a couple in here and save the others for another day.

My Top Two: The Media and History

The Media, the Fourth Estate.

“It used to be that the media was called “the Fourth Estate” to accentuate the freedom of the press, not to be confused with the term “fourth branch” which proposes that they are not free from the government. The press is called the fourth estate in the United States usually because they observe the political process.” No longer, they are the political process, I believe they own the DNC as opposed to the other way around, but that may be the mush I alluded to earlier.

I know I am speaking to a lot of like minded people on this matter and won’t bore you reaffirming things we all know about the quality, or rather, the utter lack of journalistic integrity in America from the Fourth Estate. What you may or may not know is that it singularly poisons the world. I make no secret that I have traveled the world, been to every US state but one (Iowa), have been to 6 continents (I can see penguins in zoos), dipped my toes in the five major Oceans (though they are really just one), been to 7 Muslim ruled countries and on and on AND their news sources about America, and Americans, are AP (Associated Press) and all the alphabets – CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and on and on as well a Reuters and all the others services.

Fox News and Breitbart and Drudge might as well not exist as they don’t really outside of North America and that isn’t 100% bad, I will expand on that in a little while. And yes, I know about Fox News Europe, and Breitbart Europe, but their market penetration in those markets is very low.

The media is a business and it sells content, period. It is just another channel on the TV or the internet trying to garner viewers to get improved Google Analytics to be used to sell advertising. Anyone who thinks that the Fourth Estate in America is doing it for any other reason is a candidate for, well, you fill in that sentence. Their are journalists with integrity, and a passion for what they do, I am sure, but if you want to succeed, you are an employee of the corporation and instructions come from the top like everywhere else. And there are shows hosted by people who care here and there, but it is still all show business and all about capturing advertising dollars. Am I cynical? Most likely but only from years of the droning, mock debates and the news outlets spinning news stories out of every current and over-the-hill celebrity’s tweets. Since I don’t spend a lot of time on the alphabets I will use Fox News and Breitbart as examples for this.

Any celebrity of any status in any industry is given the stage by them, their national pulpit as long as they can be quoted saying something that will infuriate their base, as determined by the Google Analytics they track and use as a determining factor in the generation of their SEO – Search Engine Optimization:

noun

COMPUTING
  1. the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
    “the key to getting more traffic lies in integrating content with search engine optimization and social media marketing”

This is taught at the college level, degrees in SEO are available from major universities across the country. In fairness I have taken college level courses in it to bolster my market penetration to reach more people. It is a normal business practice of all media outlets to have producers write incendiary comments on their posts on social media just to increase the number or responses they get as this too is a Google Analytics measure of success. When you see a post about say a successful NASA launch you can bet the comments on the post that go right to politics and attacks on politicians and have no relation to the subject matter are that producer looking to increase the number of replies to show that their content brought value to the business. It IS that crazy. It is spin in my opinion.

 

Fox News just today put out posts from members of the ensemble casts of the TV shows Grey’s Anatomy and The Big Bang Theory as “news” because they sent out tweets against the NRA and against Conservative reporters in this weekends trending analysis. THIS is what is being spun as “news” and promoted as a “fair and balanced” alternative to the lock-step mindset of the mainstream’s slighted view. Just how does one fathom this as news in the first place, and, as an American, how does one defend this as the historians of our age, because that is how our history will be recorded. And to that point, I’ll go a little deeper.

When I was an avid skier I subscribed to the big industry magazines – Skiing, Downhill, Ski and on and on and like all sports they put out their “annual review of what’s new” for the coming season. For skiing this was an August release. None of the products reviewed were ever given any criticism as the advertising for that issue of the magazine and other issues as well, was from these same manufactures. The beginnings of my skepticism (Yes, I can be a slow learner.)

I could go on and on about this as I am sure we all could. My hope is that we never take things at face value, that we do our own due diligence, that we question even when we see something that “exactly” expresses what we were thinking. The enemy of my enemy is NOT necessarily my friend. Be open, but never accepting without your own due diligence.

History: What is No Longer Taught

I asked the question of a learned friend last week “Just how does one learn from the past when they are never taught the past?” The measure of an education after all is that you acquire some idea of the extent of your ignorance. By this measure our education system is excellent.

The teaching of History at every level of the American Education System now leaves a lot to be desired. I apologize to that singular history teacher that is out there a voice in the wilderness, they do exist and we should exalt those that do and try. When my two children were in high school “history” was the assistant football coach showing PBS reenactment movies of historical events and people. I almost got arrested for my reaction to this, more correctly my reaction to the stonewalling and apathy I got when I tried to change this. I lobbied in vain through the PTA and directly to the district. At the time I was a single father with two kids in high school and did not have the financial means to put them in private school, but had the sense to know when they were being severely limited in their ability to compete for college with peers who were receiving a well rounded education. In hind sight at least there weren’t taught from the viewpoint that our founding fathers were rich white elitist slave-owning murderers, that came after.

Today I come across people almost daily who look at me like “who?” when I mention some historical figure and then they go right to their smart phones and Google the information, getting those same impeachable media sources I ranted about above. My laptop has the words “Who is John Galt?” on it’s top and whenever I bring it to a meeting I can see the strangers in the room googling John Galt.

I was a scientist, I have the periodic table app on my iPad called “The Elements” which was done by Theodore Gray. The graphics are amazing. Click on “U Uranium 92” and arrow to the description and here is the first sentence “It is impossible to discuss uranium without acknowledging that the first atomic weapon used in anger was a uranium fission bomb, built in secret lab deep in the deserts of New Mexico and detonated over the unsuspecting city of Hiroshima on the Honshu island of Japan.”  While it certainly is possible to discuss this element, in the same context as all the others are discussed as opposed to the author’s revisionist view of historical events, it is of interest that there are blatant errors in this first sentence alone – there was a warning, it was ignored by the Imperial Japanese Command, just when was the first atomic weapon NOT used in anger used, Los Alamos is on a mountain top in north west New Mexico, I have property near there. BTW it has one of the most interesting interactive museums you will ever visit in the town itself. I have skied Pajarito Ski Area while visiting, it is managed by the labs, both my late wife and I did business with the labs which are still owned by the University of California. And following the first sentence you get 7 more paragraphs so laced with opinion and incorrect “facts” that no one could really learn much from this other than mankind is evil. This is just one obscure writing in a iPad app that probably isn’t on a lot of devices. But it is published as the truth. I almost suspect I will find Bitcoin mentioned in the description on Au Gold 79.

We have all seen example of how revisionist history is being taught, I can only imagine what it must be like to have kids in school today and seeing what they are taught, what homework assignments they are bringing home. Weekly we can read about yet another classic piece of literature “being dropped because it is offensive or non-inclusive.” Again, I don’t want this to be an indictment of teachers as there are great ones out there.

In my opinion the REAL power in America is wielded by educators. Period. They create and control everything your child sees, hears and reads in school and are only aided by the Fourth Estate which controls everything else they see, hear or read. Parents have been reduced to the lone voice in the wilderness. Once they enter the education system the education system gets the majority of their waking hours. In order to compete they must conform. If they question they may be subjected to ridicule, or worse. Most major school districts have an almost 1:1 ratio of administrator to classroom teacher.

My point is again, “Just how does one learn from the past when they are never taught the past?”

Sometime my rants run away with me….I look forward to your comments.

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Mother Nature Has A Way of Bringing Us Back to Center

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Have you ever been to Cherry Creek Mall in Denver? Great shopping, great restaurants all around, lovely even in a blizzard. I know because I almost got trapped there for 3 days, alone except maybe for that someone who was probably going to lock me in or throw me out in the blizzard, in dress shoes, thin slacks and a leather jacket (which quickly assumes the ambient air temperature.) This crossed my mind as I scurried, slipped and slid out of there to catch a taxi driven by one of the greatest cab drivers to ever make a fair fare.

It was late October in 1997, a Friday night, and I was in town on business, with just the aforementioned leather jacket and business casual attire. I had a second office there in downtown Denver and was on a quick business trip from sunny Southern California.

I write this as there are actually a lot of great lessons from that weekend for Preppers. Not wearing leather and dress shoes in Denver after August 15th or before June 15th being one of them. I had been previously been a victim of a September 4th snow storm there and I could not have been less prepared for what was about to happen if I were a space cadet from Southern California, which I was.

It started snowing late Thursday night. But this was Denver, the Mile-High City, Gateway to the Rockies, the beacon along the Front Range. If they weren’t prepared for a little winter weather then who was? I wasn’t. Again, nothing but dress shoes, one pair, wool slacks – the dressy lightweight stuff from Nordstrom’s as opposed to some woolly chaps that looked like you had a sheep tied to each thigh. That short-waisted leather jacket, and some fancy gloves that looked great but would let the moisture soak through to your hands after making maybe two snowballs.

 

When it dawned upon me that I better take some action as the snow wasn’t stopping and it was getting dark and local people far smarter than I had already headed for cover I found that taxi driver and we did Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride back to the Embassy Suites downtown. After he left me I just watched as he slid sideways out of the drop off area and off, I hoped, to a warm home, a hot meal and a loving family as he had earned it for this stranger and the meager fare.

Obviously not yet a Prepper, but a world traveler who was just a few hundred miles from the warm sandy beaches of home, the fun began.

Back at the hotel it was basically lock-down. Power and heat were on, staff, as captures as the guests were doing well at wearing their smiles, though they did thin as time passed. Anyone who has worked in the service industry dealing with “guests” will understand immediately.

Out at the fairly new and “weather proof” Denver International Airport (DIA), the reality came home. 4,000 travelers stranded, flights cancelled, airport shut down. This was NOT because of the Airport, which was prepared for such weather, but for the Municipality of Denver, the Airlines Employee’s Union and Federico Fabian Pena, the former Clinton Secretary of Transportation and later Energy.

The Municipality of Denver could not keep the roads to and from the airport open, no new flight crews could come in and none who had finished their shifts could get out and Union Rules, valid safety rules for sure, grounded them all after 10 hours, no matter how they spent the time. Pena Blvd., the main road in and out, named after that Stallworth of Clinton politics was named such because it crossed land that was formerly owned by the Pena family, not that it was any consideration in the planning of the new airport location while he was the Democratic Minority Leader of the state’s legislature.

But the people of Denver were resourceful. The Bronco’s had to fly out for an away game so some bright people organized a snowmobile caravan. Gathered up all the players from their homes and got them across the snow covered foothills to their chartered flight which was the only airplane cleared and allowed to depart during the closure. Rest assured that lawyers among the waiting at the airport made note of the event and sought to profit from it.

At the airport the First Horseman of the Apocalypse came in the form of food vendors running out of everything in the first 8 hours. This was a supply chain nightmare as it focused on minimizing shelf inventory to save energy costs. And no resupply cavalry was on the way. Plus, anyone with a child still on formula was suddenly thrown into rationing or going back to a more natural method of feeding, and this certainly had an impact on the yet-to-come Fourth Horseman.

The Second Horseman of the Apocalypse came in the form of there being significantly less than 4,000 chairs/seats in the terminals. Three days on concrete floors would even make Superman cranky.

The Third Horseman of the Apocalypse came in the form of supplies of things like soap, toilet paper and other cleaning supplies which were normally delivered every other day and lock down came at the end of the last delivery cycle AND being the modern example of business practices, they were very much into the “just in time” stocking of supplies to remain cost effective (less storage space needed, smaller deliveries requiring less labor to handle.)

But the one thing that people will remember the most is the arrival of the last and Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse – the travelers with small children who ran out of disposable diapers in less than 8 hours of a 72-hour gathering from hell. This was something that NONE of the vendors at the airport carried and with Pena Blvd closed none could be brought in. The burning question of just how many diapers should the average parent carry when making a short flight with connections through a major hub prone to winter weather was finally answered – more than you could ever get through TSA. If one entrepreneur had loaded up his or her snowmobile with disposable diapers and followed the Bronco’s brigade in they could have made enough to buy season tickets, for life.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel the staff was putting in herculean effort to keep things running, the guests from killing each other and their facilities intact. We as preppers talk about the 72-hour rule and we were nowhere near 72 hours at this point yet.

Knowing that they had finite food, no expected deliveries and a kitchen staff that was working non-stop they did amazing, though Sunday nights buffet looked more like the stuff children’s nightmares are made of as opposed to a meal. All veggies, some I suspect were formerly green, maybe, and I am sure some were formerly garnish under the salad bar bowls from the night before. To quote everyone who’s ever lived mother “there are children starving in (fill in the blank) who would kill for a meal like this!” That thought started to cross everyone’s mine.

 

The saving angel? The bar and all the room mini-bars were well stocked and the hotel gave away what ever you needed from the mini-bar. I suspect this was to prevent a gathering of guests 10 deep at the lobby bar. Smart marketing on the hotel’s part.

So What Were My Take-Aways?

  • Always dress for the possible weather as opposed to the predicted weather; layers can always be removed
  • Italian shoes are only suitable for indoors, anywhere and leather, if you are not riding a motorcycle, is best left on the animal as an outfit
  • That disposable diapers are definitely valid barter after the SHTF (literally)
  • That people will come through in a pinch and those that don’t can be found later, after the snow melts and you are long gone
  • That fancy gloves are only good at preventing you from leaving fingerprints as in the point above
  • That “weather proof”, along with bullet proof, is a misnomer. Only weather resistance can be achieved, and never bet against Mother Nature
  • That being unprepared, as both I and the Municipality of Denver were, for dealing with a predictable emergency had REAL consequences for 4,000 people suddenly stranded, driven to travel light due to government and airline regulations
  • That politics really does infect every part of our lives and it’s consequences are unending.

Be kind to cab drivers in Denver, be safe out there, stay situation aware and follow The Prepper Journal on Facebook!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing like expensive Italian dress shoes in 3 feet of snow.

Buffett – all veggies the third night.

 

 

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The National Weather Service describes the storm that hit Denver on October 24 and 25, 1997

 

Several major and interstate highways were closed as travel became impossible. Red Cross shelters were set up for hundreds of travelers who became stranded when they had to abandon their vehicles. Four people died in northeastern Colorado as a result of the blizzard. None of the deaths were in metro Denver.

At Denver International Airport…4 thousand travelers were stranded when the airport was forced to shut down. At least 120 cars were abandoned along Pena Blvd….the only arterial leading into and out of DIA. The blizzard cost air carriers at least 20 million dollars. Thousands of cattle died in the storm over northeastern Colorado…resulting in losses totaling 1.5 million dollars.

Some of the more impressive snowfall totals included: 51 inches at Coal Creek Canyon; 48 inches at Silver Spruce Ranch…near Ward; 42 inches at Intercanyon…in the foothills southwest of Denver; 37 inches at Sedalia; 35 inches at Aspen Springs and Conifer in the foothills west of Denver; 31 inches at Eldorado Springs… Southeast Aurora…and Englewood; and 30 inches on Table Mesa in Boulder. Snowfall totaled 21.9 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…setting a new 24-hour snowfall record of 19.1 inches for the month. Snowfall totaled only 14 inches at Denver International Airport where north winds gusted to 39 mph on the 24th.

High temperature of only 21 degrees on the 25th equaled the record low maximum for the date first set in 1873. Low temperature of only 3 degrees on the 26th set a new record minimum for the date.

 

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Homes For Heroes Is Tackling America’s Veteran Housing Issues

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest post from Chrissy McDonald to The Prepper Journal. Published under my name because I am adding my 2 cents at the end. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today!

A note about our author in her words: “This is personal to me because my grandfather, father, two uncles, and three brothers have all served in the military with many relatives going in to law enforcement or becoming firefighters.”

Between 2016 and 2017, the number of homeless veterans increased by 1.5 percent. This means that our military men and women who put their lives on the line to protect and serve America now make up approximately nine percent of the homeless in our streets. This matched the rise in overall numbers living without a home. For the men and women that we consider our heroes, it seems like they are facing an increasingly harsh reality when they return home from serving. In June, 2017 the government announced plans to halt one of the country’s major homelessness programs aimed at veterans, and faced a major outcry from politicians and civilians alike.

In the face of increasing hardship for our heroes, there has been an organisation that has rapidly become a household name and trusted resource for our military men and women. Homes for Heroes has quickly risen to become one of the nation’s fastest growing charities, and a highly rated one as well. Launched after the 9/11 attacks, the national non-profit has expanded to 49 states across America and has shown its support for veterans in a number of ways. Here are some of the ways the organisation is helping to combat veterans homelessness.

Building Homes for Heroes

Homes for Heroes has announced its goal for 2018: to gift a home every 11 days. Its longer term goal is to house 200 veterans with homes by 2020. Judging by the past two years, it is certainly on its way to achieving that goal. For the past two years, Homes For Heroes has provided 57 homes to injured veterans and their families.

The Foundation

Through the organisation’s foundation and support of programs like the AREAA Housing Assistance Program, Homes for Heroes has granted over $400,000 to deserving veterans and their families. In December 2017, Homes for Heroes also donated $5,000 to the AREAA Education Foundation that will go towards helping veterans with housing repairs, amendments and any down payment assistance. The program has been praised by many including Illinois senator Tammy Duckworth who stated, “Your efforts and generosity, not only benefit the men and women who have served our country, but you are an example of leadership for the next generation of Americans”. The organisation also supports and promotes self sufficiency for those injured veterans readjusting to their life changing injuries and life after serving.

The collaboration with local businesses and other non profits continue to be seen with corporate organisations Chase and Madza joining forces with Building Homes for Heroes in September to assist three veterans during Military Appreciation Day. Two of the families were awarded new Mazda vehicles and allowed to choose a car of their choice. 

Hero Rewards

As of 2017, the Homes for Heroes network has grown to include over 2,200 affiliates across 49 states. Since its launch over 10, 000 heroes have been helped with reduced fees and red tapes when purchasing a home through the Hero Rewards Program. The 25 percent reduction in fees and donations from clients are funneled into the Foundation, essentially helping more heroes in need.

Homes for Heroes continues to find new ways to say ‘thank you’ to the men and women who serve the country during its time of need in Iraq and Afghanistan. The organisation is proud to have achieved its goal of one home every ten days in 2017 and 93 percent of its income goes directly to its causes.

Editor’s note: How does this help Preppers? Well, while it still doesn’t answer the open question of “just how do you REALLY make arrows off the grid” it is along a subject line that permeates our current news. And the comments following are from some research and seeking to know exactly what the business model is behind this enterprise because we, as Preppers, respect our veterans, a lot of us are veterans, and want to see them given a helping hand when needed.

Be clear, realtors view this as a for-profit business. That is an opinion that is prevalent on the web site Active Rain which is a real estate blog. I don’t buy it but leave it up to you to research. CharityNavigator states the following:

“Building Homes for Heroes has received a perfect 4-star rating from CharityNavigator, the nation’s largest charity evaluator and independent watchdog for nonprofit organizations. Building Homes for Heroes was also awarded a perfect score of 100 in the category of Accountability and Transparency.” – Wikipedia defines this group as “An American independent charity watchdog organization that evaluates charitable organizations in the United States.Wikipedia”. It is a 501(c)(3) business headquartered in Glen Rock, NJ.

 

So is it or isn’t it a charity? The affiliates are real estate agents who have signed up for the program as a promotional advertising method. They agree to provide a 25% discount on all transactions associated with the home sale to Homes for Heroes in exchange for using their branding and advertising. This is what they are in most states, from their website “Hero Rewards offers are limited and/or restricted in Alaska, Kansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.” I believe this to be more a matter of state regulations on real estates transactions, for example Texas allows agents to reassign commissions as they deem fit. 

From Active Rain: Where do they make money? They charge the “affiliates” $120 a month. Yes, that’s $120 a month, just to be called an affiliate. That gets you NOTHING! Let me also explain that Homes for Heroes will remind you over and over that they are not a lead generating company. That further means that you could be paying that $120 a month each and every month throughout the year, and never get a Hero referred to you. This is simply the reality of the business. They are straight forward about what they do and are providing a service to Veterans, but like every other prepper, I like to look under the hood and kick the tires. So just another consideration when you might be transacting real estate.

I will go one step further on the vein, I am currently trying to sell a home and was not aware of this organization. I have opted for a flat-fee realtor to represent me and it is working just fine…so far. The business model of giving away 6+% of your home value (3% on each side of the transaction) is really an amazing thing. Does the documentation change in difficulty on a real estate sale of a home priced at $122,500 vs one priced at $855,490? Maybe the extra ink to print numbers with a larger footprint, but toner and ink prices aren’t that high.

My realtor recommended not putting a restriction on “the going rate” in my listing for the buyers agent because “most agents will pass on showing your home unless they get the full commission, their brokers insist upon it.” I see it as a selling point if I am a buyer as I can tell the seller the agents fee for both ends of the transaction are $6,000, total, as opposed to 6% of say $300,000. Keeping $12,000 of what was your money in the first place is NOT a bad thing. This model is catching on so look for the large brokerages to start copying the DNC on negative information generation. I will shut up now as I wait to see if the buyer on my house, sold in one day, really thinks I am going to pay for a whole new roof for THEM to live under. I admit that I did not budget that into my pricing.

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Swimming in Snow

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

In a past life I was involved in the Avalanche Survival Classes The Sierra Club taught. This was back when their ranks were filled with outdoor enthusiasts focused on survival and conservation as opposed to politics. Then the organization understood that hunters and fishermen and mountaineers were among the most aware and responsible of people in the wilderness and left the smallest of carbon footprints. As preppers we may end up in the mountains and snow and the physics of snow are another thing to understand to give ourselves the best chance at survival.

While this was all on-piste skiing, the ski patrol was always dealing with the clown that went off-piste and got into trouble. (A note: the term is loosely used to mean within the bounds of a ski area and outside the bounds of a ski area.) Part of the certification process from the Professional Ski Instructors Association (PSIA) was to recognize avalanche potential, on or near ski resorts. As a scientist, I became very interested in this as it was a real world application of some highly technical textbook stuff – a lot of physics as to the bonding of materials, and a lot of fluid mechanics. Working in that alpine environment gave me my first real world experience on how to be “detectable” when you are off the grid. Being buried under a few feet of snow somewhere, anywhere in maybe 200 acres of avalanche slab run off is one hell of a position to end up in. Of course, there were specially trained dogs, transponders and other technical devices to assist…somewhere. Maybe drinking hot cocoa at the warming hut and seldom less than 5 minutes away. I find this interesting because unlike a SHTF scenario your goal here is “how do I QUICKLY get found when I am buried alive!”

Anyone who lives in an area where snow is something to deal with knows the differences in the construction of the snow crystals caused by temperature and humidity. Colder and dryer makes for lighter snow with limited bonding capabilities. You have all seen this in films of skiers blasting through waist or chest deep “powder” with ease, or in trying to make snowballs. On the other hand warmer and higher humidity give you what we called “Sierra Cement” though it has many names, not all of them as complimentary, especially if YOU are the one who has to shovel the porch, walk and/or driveway. The “average” ratio of snow to water is 1:10 – 1 inch of water produces 10 inches of snow. For more on this go here.

Well as you all know sometimes it snows when it is 8 degrees F with a relative humidity below 15% and sometimes it snows when it is 30 degrees F with a relative humidity of 38% or more. (Floridians will shake their heads at these humidity numbers.) What this does is produces layers in any mountain snow pack of dry non-binding snow between layers of wet heavy bonding snow. Now take this snow pack and pitch it on a mountain slope. The steeper the slope, the more likelihood of an avalanche. The reason that a lot of areas that look so tempting around ski areas are “off piste” – closed to resort users. And the exact same reason some idiot is going to chance it to “cut first/fresh/new tracks”.

Now add another variable, the thickness of each layer. Sometimes you get an inch, sometimes it comes in feet. AND when you get a few feet of wet and heavy on a foot of light and dry it compacts it and, for the first few hours does not soak in and stabilize it. This is why after fresh snow fall so many ski areas open late as the ski patrol has to check all the known avalanche-prone areas and do an analysis of the thickness and water content of the fresh layer. Their insurance companies insist upon it. No one checks this outside ski areas so if you are off the grid in this situation this is the time of highest probability of an avalanche. The permutations to this are endless.

A few more fun facts before we talk about how we might survive.

A popular winter “sport” is called “high-marking.” Played with snowmobiles it is exactly what it sounds like – who can make the highest mark on an up-slope covered in snow.

It can have many other names – Bringing Down the Mountain, I Can Die Before You Can, I Didn’t Like this Snowmobile Anyway, Anything You Can Do I Can Do Dumber.

An avalanche slab can move at up to 250 mph (highest ever measured). A large avalanche in North America might release 300,000 cubic yards of snow. That is the equivalent of 20 football fields each filled with 10 feet of snow. Avalanches are normally smaller, but so are we. The reality is if a victim can be rescued within 18 minutes, the survival rate is greater than 91%. Caught in an avalanche the survival rate drops to 34% in burials between 19 and 35 minutes. After one hour, only 1 in 3 victims buried in an avalanche is found alive, and only if they have taken some actions to preserve their lives, and after 2 hours, it changes from rescue to recovery. The theme through all of this that gives me nightmares is you may be buried alive.

So What Do I Do?

Move sideways if you can – like escaping a rip tide.

If you caused it then it may not be happening just above you – attempt to jump up slope to get off of the fractured slab. Claw and crawl if that works. If the slope is very steep, 45 degrees or more, this may only give you a moment to bust a move sideways as the snow above received some support from the slab now sliding away and it has now become unstable as well. And, to be clear, though you may have caused it, the slab above could fracture immediately upon losing the support from the slab already moving away. If the “straw” is there GRAB IT!

NEVER, ever be without a beacon/location transponder. NEVER. Skiing the bunny slope have one. Sitting in the base lodge having a hot buttered rum have one. Nordic skiing open prairie have one. They are water proof so only you will know if you have one when you shower, at home, in Miami. I won’t fault you as they also work in earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and fires. Not inexpensive but worth the investment.

Yell or blow that whistle if you can, it may help after the slab stops. Avalanches are thunderous. If you are close to a recreational area everyone will hear it and responders will be on their way, and then the noisy wheel gets the oil.

If you can grab something, other than another victim, grab it – a tree, a rock, a lift tower pole if you at a ski resort, straws…ANYTHING. There is an equal chance this will injure you as opposed to save you but given the chance, take it. These objects will create their own air pockets, a best place to be buried, if there is such a thing.

If you are caught dump the skis or snowboard and always keep swimming up towards the surface, and parallel to the flow. You want to be on top or as close to the surface as possible and as close to the edge as possible.

If you are not at the surface create an air pocket as a last measure. Cover your mouth and nose and take a deep breath and push out against the snow in from of your face. If this worked then when you exhale you will have more air to sustain you while you wait for help. If you have the presence of mind wiggle (convulsively) as much as you can when you feel the slab slowing to create more of an air pocket. Once an avalanche stops it sets like Quickrete.

If you are a skier try and hang onto one pole and keep it extended. Almost physically impossible when caught in tons of snow, but worth a try and when you comprehend where “up” is try and push it up to make an air channel as well as a marker for rescuers. When buried in snow, asphyxiation is your biggest worry.

Consider carrying an Avalung mouthpiece, avalanche balloon or avalanche ball. Again, a little pricey but if it is ever needed is does pay for itself.

If you have a pack leave it on: It provides valuable padding to your back and kidneys, it may contains needed supplies, though reaching them will be a superhuman accomplishment, and it makes you a larger object, possibly keeping you closer to the surface.

When the avalanche comes to a stop try and relax. Again snow instantly freezes up like concrete, so most completely buried victims can’t even move their fingers—there’s nothing more you can do so try to relax.

If you do get out stay in a safe place in the area as you have just become the single best source the Rescue Team and other victims have of being reached as you probably saw where at least some other people were.

Now who’s up for a game of “High-marking for Brews?”

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A Second Language is a Prepper Must

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Actually a third and fourth and fifth as basic sign language and Morse Code are just assumed to be in your basic preparedness skill set.

There is an old joke about a new Iranian spy who meets up with his controller in a Midwest restaurant and immediately launches into Farsi and the controller reaches across the table and slaps him across the face and yells “You are in America now! Blend in, speak Spanish!”

Americans have always had a well-earned reputation of being less than excellent at any language, even the British still claim we don’t even speak English. But English is taught world wide as the language of “business” and all those people learning know at least one other language as well. When I went to the University of California there was a minimum entrance requirement that you had to have had 2 years of a Foreign Language credit on your high school transcripts and ALL degrees, no matter the school within the University, required 2 years of a Foreign Language at the University, in order to graduate. Sad that this was dropped so many years ago, as the results  were easily predictable.

As an aside, if you watch films in a foreign language with English subtitles and understand the spoken language you would be amazed at how inaccurate the subtitle can be. This can be written off to dialect as, for example, Spanish spoken in Spain is different from Spanish spoke in Mexico is different from Spanish spoken in Cuba and on and on.

The richness of English, remember Professor Henry Higgan’s “…in it are captured all the greatest thoughts of man….” is something we are spoiled by, yet there is an efficiency in some languages, like Russian and Spanish, that is to envy. Russian dispensing with the endless “articles” and Spanish economizing by not having 25 different ways to say a simple thing like “danger”. Then there is Chinese with it’s endless dialects and words like “Ma” that have three very different meanings determined by the deflection of the speakers voice, a common thing in languages that were spoken long before they were written. Or Hawaiian, as Hawaii had no written language but adopted the “English” equivalents of the five vowels (Aa, Ee, Ii, Oo, Uu) and eight consonants (Hh, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Pp, Ww, ʻokina). Efficient. Throw in the cumbersome French which stubbornly insist on adopting as few new words as possible, the Scandinavian and African languages which defy logical definition and you have a world full of people, here in the “melting pot” of America, who can talk in front of you without you understanding a word.

Translate that to being in a SHTF situation and crossing the path of a few armed people with this advantage, who DO understand when you and yours speak English in front of them. There is a value in having the same ability among your family, those you will depend on most. The silence of basic sign language will be invaluable as long as you have eye-contact. I would propose you “adopt” your own variation, like baseball teams do, but with less touching of the genitalia and the elimination of the sign that says “ignore all these foolish gestures and just execute on the next one or the last one or the one I repeat twice in a row…” Unlike baseball you need efficiency.

This is not hard to do, though it can get way more complicated than one might think if you overthink it. Approach it like any business problem. Write down the basic set of signals that you need to have ready. For example:

  • fear (I fear these people) – should be your first reaction
  • food (they are after food/water/supplies) – probably always true
  • trigger (I see their fingers within their trigger guards)
  • size (how many do you count) – A number of ways to do this – subtract one from a basic show of fingers, if you see four, use three fingers – downside is it is obvious, but the upside is it is clear and sends a signal that you are taking inventory. You could also use a touch method – touch wrist for one or thigh for two, and touch up for each additional person. Yes, you may run out of “up” and again it will become clear you are giving signals – same down and up side. This is valid as any small disciplined force will have a few members melt into the background and take up sniper positions if they came across you and yours by accident, wouldn’t you? So if there were six and now there are five, or less, it is time for YOUR fingers to be in your trigger guard while you are taking cover.

You can see that the challenge is to keep it to as few as possible, and simple signs. There should be one other signal:

  • open fire – the world is your oyster as to what this should but it should have a one second delay, if you are afforded that, so you all do it at the same time and engage the closest target.

It Really Isn’t Too Late

The good news is that can learn, you can learn Spanish, for instance, even if you are not currently in school. No matter what your age or what you do, learning at least some words in a new language is something that is almost necessary in order to be prepared for the ever shrinking world, as well as any threats you may face daily or after the SHTF. I focused on Spanish as it is the worlds second most common language – though China, by sheer population size, could make a valid challenge to that claim. The point is a few simple words, in addition to the silent hand signals, will be of great value…especially if you chose a language less common than most with words simple to pronounce. Obscure as opposed to common is best, the Scandinavian and African languages may actually become of value, well a small subset anyway.

If you do decide to learn more the most important things that you can do is to practice your listening skills. Watch movies, videos, and listen to music in that language. Do not worry about understanding at first, just focus on learning the sound of the language. There are also full immersion courses where you spend a week or two in a Spanish country living with a family that will only speak Spanish. You can do this as well in France but I cringe at the thoughts of what they would feed me at meal times to “bring home” the true meaning of my American destruction of their language.

Cultural Understanding

Finally, a lesson learned from years of international travel is the benefits of learning a second language is you can’t possibly do it without learning the culture. For example, the respect and leeway given elders is inseparable from life for those in India who speak Hindi or Tamil, or again, the Spaniards who’s family structure is NOT to be violated. These help your understanding and your blending when your life may depend on it.

As preppers I suggest one start small and focused and expand based on need and comfort. And practice.

 

 

 

 

 

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And the Round 12 Winners are…

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

The Polls at The Prepper Journal have closed! The results have been tabulated and yet again no Russian interference has been charged!

The three (3) prize winning articles of Amazon gift cards are (in order):

The Fourth B

How to Store Fuel

Protect Your Neighborhood with a Powerful Base Defense

All the candidates are worthy of a review-read as 2018 unfolds before us. And now is the time to get your contributions in for a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards worth a total of $500 in the upcoming Round 13.

Congratulations are in order to:

  1. The Texan
  2. Zac Martin
  3. James Walton

The Results:

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Welcome to 2018!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

So you decided to stick it out for another year, congratulations! 2018, according to the Chinese and their 12-year zodiac cycle, is the year of the Dog, sometimes called The Earth Dog.

What does the New Year mean to us?

  • Well, individual income taxes are due soon, yet again…and they will be different which is a welcome change for most…
  • Auto licenses will need renewal, yet again….
  • We really gotta make an effort at meeting our resolutions, for a change, starting tomorrow, yep, after the football games today, yep….kale and okra smoothie for breakfast…
  • We have to really rethink what we drank last night….did I really say your mother could visit anytime? Would it be “hair of the Earth Dog” if we were in China?

Speaking of Russians everywhere and in everything, did you know that in fact, Russian New Year’s Eve is a bigger holiday for them than Christmas? Some blame it on the “godless communists” and I am okay with that but it is their biggest holiday. May Day is now more important to the American Left than to Russia. And Russians celebrates New Years twice! The same day we all do and their “old” New Years, January 14th, thanks to the Russian Orthodox influence. Having been to Moscow in the winter I completely embrace this tradition as the vodka does give the illusion of warmth, temporarily.

What’s new for The Prepper Journal? Well, we are adding “The Prepper YouTube Channel” to post related videos, and topical information, we are now on FaceBook and will share articles on a regular basis, we are also on Instagram and will see if that makes sense…..all because Social Media, like a broken clock, still has some use….and, as we have seen, in the hands of an expert, it can be an excellent hammer.

Sincere best wishes from The Prepper Journal for a safe, sane and profitable 2018!

 

 

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Mom Will Be Busy Tomorrow

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

While the Holiday is Monday, January 1, 2018, tomorrow, December 31, 2017, the day we don’t post because it is a Sunday, is the day mom wants us to remind you about.

She wants you to remember her good advice of doing all things in moderation. She wants to remind you that Uber and Lyft and even Taxi’s – the vehicles, not the 70’s sitcom – are ALWAYS available if you are still living on the grid. She wants us to drop the snide remark that the average cost of a first DUI can run up to $16,700 when you factor in all costs – insurance increases, lawyers fees, loss of license and vehicle use and on and on, and that is only if you do no harm to yourself or others.

She would beat us if we didn’t say that if you plan to party eat first. If your are short on time a Jamba Juice smoothie will hydrate you and slow the absorption rate of things to come.

She also wants you to know that becoming a 15 minute hero on TheChive, Break.com or YouTube will haunt you for life. Employers, colleges, organizations that screen members and a future candidate for a spouse can all find this information, forever. And a current spouse who wants to terminate the relationship can forward these to his or her lawyer, to present when setting alimony schedules, deciding children’s custody arrangements, and dividing up YOUR stuff. Mom’s think of everything.

She also thought about you crossing the path of people who have not heeded their mom’s advice, so she wants you to be defensive, not take risks, leave road-rage for Mario Kart.

She has a whole bunch of other stuff like getting sick THERE and NOT after you come home, but avoiding that in the first place is what will make her smile.

2017 has been a hell of a year for some in Houston and in Florida and at concerts in Las Vegas (I still only hear crickets) and under ruble in Mexico City, but everyone reading this has gotten through that and so much more. Tomorrow is NOT the time to let your guard down.

Always the Prepper she says “enjoy, have fun, see old friends, meet new ones, but your singular mission is to come home safe and to do no harm to others. Many, many good things have happened in 2017 as well and 2018 looks to be a great year to stick around for, so just do it.

We love mom.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mom Will Be Busy Tomorrow

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

While the Holiday is Monday, January 1, 2018, tomorrow, December 31, 2017, the day we don’t post because it is a Sunday, is the day mom wants us to remind you about.

She wants you to remember her good advice of doing all things in moderation. She wants to remind you that Uber and Lyft and even Taxi’s – the vehicles, not the 70’s sitcom – are ALWAYS available if you are still living on the grid. She wants us to drop the snide remark that the average cost of a first DUI can run up to $16,700 when you factor in all costs – insurance increases, lawyers fees, loss of license and vehicle use and on and on, and that is only if you do no harm to yourself or others.

She would beat us if we didn’t say that if you plan to party eat first. If your are short on time a Jamba Juice smoothie will hydrate you and slow the absorption rate of things to come.

She also wants you to know that becoming a 15 minute hero on TheChive, Break.com or YouTube will haunt you for life. Employers, colleges, organizations that screen members and a future candidate for a spouse can all find this information, forever. And a current spouse who wants to terminate the relationship can forward these to his or her lawyer, to present when setting alimony schedules, deciding children’s custody arrangements, and dividing up YOUR stuff. Mom’s think of everything.

She also thought about you crossing the path of people who have not heeded their mom’s advice, so she wants you to be defensive, not take risks, leave road-rage for Mario Kart.

She has a whole bunch of other stuff like getting sick THERE and NOT after you come home, but avoiding that in the first place is what will make her smile.

2017 has been a hell of a year for some in Houston and in Florida and at concerts in Las Vegas (I still only hear crickets) and under ruble in Mexico City, but everyone reading this has gotten through that and so much more. Tomorrow is NOT the time to let your guard down.

Always the Prepper she says “enjoy, have fun, see old friends, meet new ones, but your singular mission is to come home safe and to do no harm to others. Many, many good things have happened in 2017 as well and 2018 looks to be a great year to stick around for, so just do it.

We love mom.

 

 

 

 

 

The post Mom Will Be Busy Tomorrow appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Mom Will Be Busy Tomorrow

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

While the Holiday is Monday, January 1, 2018, tomorrow, December 31, 2017, the day we don’t post because it is a Sunday, is the day mom wants us to remind you about.

She wants you to remember her good advice of doing all things in moderation. She wants to remind you that Uber and Lyft and even Taxi’s – the vehicles, not the 70’s sitcom – are ALWAYS available if you are still living on the grid. She wants us to drop the snide remark that the average cost of a first DUI can run up to $16,700 when you factor in all costs – insurance increases, lawyers fees, loss of license and vehicle use and on and on, and that is only if you do no harm to yourself or others.

She would beat us if we didn’t say that if you plan to party eat first. If your are short on time a Jamba Juice smoothie will hydrate you and slow the absorption rate of things to come.

She also wants you to know that becoming a 15 minute hero on TheChive, Break.com or YouTube will haunt you for life. Employers, colleges, organizations that screen members and a future candidate for a spouse can all find this information, forever. And a current spouse who wants to terminate the relationship can forward these to his or her lawyer, to present when setting alimony schedules, deciding children’s custody arrangements, and dividing up YOUR stuff. Mom’s think of everything.

She also thought about you crossing the path of people who have not heeded their mom’s advice, so she wants you to be defensive, not take risks, leave road-rage for Mario Kart.

She has a whole bunch of other stuff like getting sick THERE and NOT after you come home, but avoiding that in the first place is what will make her smile.

2017 has been a hell of a year for some in Houston and in Florida and at concerts in Las Vegas (I still only hear crickets) and under ruble in Mexico City, but everyone reading this has gotten through that and so much more. Tomorrow is NOT the time to let your guard down.

Always the Prepper she says “enjoy, have fun, see old friends, meet new ones, but your singular mission is to come home safe and to do no harm to others. Many, many good things have happened in 2017 as well and 2018 looks to be a great year to stick around for, so just do it.

We love mom.

 

 

 

 

 

The post Mom Will Be Busy Tomorrow appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Is This Far Enough Off the Grid?

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

I know, but we can dream can’t we? This just might work if you want to be your own grid-square. A place with almost unlimited and unobstructed views, enough acreage to sight in your own 105 Howitzer and within driving distance of Lake Tahoe, south east of Reno Nevada, but far enough from the Golden Horde.

You have unobstructed views is all directions, a great house, even a lawn to mow, one that can be converted into a vegetable garden.

Good curb appeal, though there is no curb in the area.

On city power but plenty of space for a generator and a big Faraday cage. Places to raise chickens and rabbits and other livestock.

No restaurants close but it has its own good place to eat:

…and play…

…and keep an eye on the neighbors.

Automated lawn services.

An established vegetable garden.

And the clincher, you never know when food for a week is going to walk into range.

I believe we, each of us, at some point dream of leaving the rat-race behind, not hearing traffic, low-level airplanes, sub-woofers mounted in cars that may fall apart at any moment. Such places do exist for a price.

Click Here to View the Listing

 

 

 

 

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Round 12 to Close Out 2017

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

In a race to start the New Year “anew” Preppers please cast your votes for the “best articles” published between October 1st and December 22nd of this year.  Money, money, money! But more importantly GREAT information!

I have chosen five (5) worthy candidates for Round Twelve of the Preppers Writing Contest. Again, it was a hard thing to do, so many honorable mentions, so much coverage of wide-ranging subjects. Impressive. Paring the list down to five (5) remains the challenge. As always, I want to thank everyone who entered and, as always, previous winners can still win again!

I will leave the voting open through the upcoming holiday weekend so please let me know which article you think is the best. The five (5) articles in contention for the three (3) prizes of Amazon gift cards are (in no particular order):

The Fourth B

Five Alternative Weapons

How to Store Fuel

Protect Your Neighborhood with a Powerful Base Defense

Why Geodesic Shelters Make the Best Emergency Shelters

Cast Your Vote for Just One:

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Round 12 – Close Out 2017

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Round 12 to Close Out 2017

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

In a race to start the New Year “anew” Preppers please cast your votes for the “best articles” published between October 1st and December 22nd of this year.  Money, money, money! But more importantly GREAT information!

I have chosen five (5) worthy candidates for Round Twelve of the Preppers Writing Contest. Again, it was a hard thing to do, so many honorable mentions, so much coverage of wide-ranging subjects. Impressive. Paring the list down to five (5) remains the challenge. As always, I want to thank everyone who entered and, as always, previous winners can still win again!

I will leave the voting open through the upcoming holiday weekend so please let me know which article you think is the best. The five (5) articles in contention for the three (3) prizes of Amazon gift cards are (in no particular order):

The Fourth B

Five Alternative Weapons

How to Store Fuel

Protect Your Neighborhood with a Powerful Base Defense

Why Geodesic Shelters Make the Best Emergency Shelters

Cast Your Vote for Just One:

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Round 12 – Close Out 2017

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The post Round 12 to Close Out 2017 appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

A Very Merry Christmas to One and All

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”  – Isaiah 9:6

We at The Prepper Journal wish to extend our sincere hope that this Christmas the true meaning of the Season will touch us all, that time spent in the warmth of family and friends will last us throughout the upcoming year and that we will each reaffirm why we prep – for family and for our God given right to be independent of a tyrannical government.


 

The post A Very Merry Christmas to One and All appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Rhyme Sublime for Christmas Time

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

A Prepper’s version of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” (with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore) and to the Survival Blog…..

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the fort
Not a creature was stirring, the sentries report;
The rifles were hung by the gun ports with care,
in hopes that this evening there’d be no warfare.
The mid-watch was nestled all snug in their sacks,
dreaming the Government would get off their backs.
And Mom in her balaclava, and me in my vest,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s rest.

When out by the moat there arose such a clamor,
I took up my rifle and cocked back the hammer.
Away to the window I flew at a run,
Tore open the blast door, and threw up my gun.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave my night-vision scope a clear view of below.
When, what to my quartering eye should appear,
But a miniature MRAP towed by eight tiny reindeer,
With a small turret gunner, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than bullets his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

On Donald, On Steve, on Ben and on Paul,

Dash away, dash away, dash away all!

To the top of the glacis! To the top of the walls!
Now dash away! It’s easy! This isn’t the Mall!”

As liberals that meet ‘The Donald’ will fly,
Quickly to ‘safe-rooms’ where they will cry;
So up to the keep-top the coursers they flew,
With the light armored car – and St. Nicholas too.
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each armored hoof.
As I drew in my barrel, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in camo, from his head to his foot,
And his face was all painted with grease stick and soot;
A rucksack of packages flung on his back,
Like a terrorist bomber he opened his pack:
His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

My first inclination was to shoot for the head,
But my wife grabbed my arm so I missed him instead.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk
I near shot again, but she wouldn’t let go
So I gave her the gun and I reached for my bow.
But he moved pretty fast for a fat little fellow;
Jumping in the chimney as I searched for an arrow.
And laying his finger aside of his nose

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his rig, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight: Arrrgggg … !!!!

May your Christmas be merry, your holiday bright
And I wish you a joyfully and sweet silent night.
But come down my chimney without my okay,
You’d best be prepared for a fast getaway
because eight reindeer power will not get you free
when you try to outrun a 50-cal BMG

The post Rhyme Sublime for Christmas Time appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Buy-it and Forget-it: Six Prepper Supplies that Require no Skills!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: Another guest post from Valknut79 to The Prepper Journal. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today!

Having read hundreds if not thousands of articles on preparedness, one of the common themes that I see consistently among all authors on all platforms is the focus on skills. Certainly, the advantages are obvious; if you know how to make a fire, then you’re able to do it in the moment without having to break out your boy scout manual and fail multiple times in the moment. You can practice on your own time during a non-emergency, and learn everything there is to know about knots, cooking, preserving, growing. In the moment, you can’t ask an attacker to pause so you can quickly study up on your Tae Kwon Do, or ask the oncoming floods if they could recede for long enough for you to build an adequate barricade for your home.

That said, as a budding young prepper a few years ago, I found it completely overwhelming having to not only purchase so many supplies, but also find the time to learn how to garden, how to start fires, how to build shelters, make home repairs and fire a gun all at the same time. That said, here are some buy-it and forget-it supplies that require nothing more than a few dollars in your pocket and a place to store this potentially life-saving equipment.

  1. Weather Radio

A weather radio, particularly one that includes a hand crank and options for lighting or charging, such as solar, is an essential supply for anyone who has to deal with the wrath of nature from time to time. In case of a power outage, this can charge your phone, light your way through the night, or provide the information you need to make quick decisions for your own welfare. The Prepper Journal loves this one!

Any good weather radio should be small, and offer multiple charging options. It should be easy to program, and you should probably store it with it’s instruction booklet. Since these devices are so incredibly easy to use, there is almost nothing that you’ll have to do in order to make it work for you, although those who don’t have experience working a radio dial may find it a little difficult to use the old-fashioned technology;-)

  1. Emergency Cell Phone Batteries

An emergency cell phone battery is exactly what you’d think it is – a portable power source that you can use to charge any device in a pinch. Most of these devices come pre-charged at local stores, although you may have to charge the ones you purchase online. I have one of these at my house for every family member with a device, and we use them so often it’s become second nature for every family member to grab one on their way out the door. In fact, one of our home’s phone charging stations is entirely dedicated to recharging just these battery packs.

What makes these chargers so great is that they function so well on the go. It may look awkward at first to be holding your device with the charger attached, but it works.

It’s also possible to purchase these for your bug out bags, or to keep one in a vehicle, but keep in mind that the battery’s charge will wear off over time. This provides a good opportunity to review your bug out bag every six months or so as you remove the battery packs for charging.

If you do decide to grab some of these, I’d highly recommend getting the highest mAh capacity you can get (this is the measure of how much of a charge a battery can hold). While this will increase price, and while you may never use the full capacity to charge a device, if you’re storing these for emergency use as I described above, then you want to keep the charge for the longest possible time.

  1. Mylar Blankets

It’s an emergency blanket. Not much more needs to be said other than the fact that these make an excellent, lightweight addition to a bug out or get home bag.

  1. Lifestraw (or other portable water filter) and Water Storage tanks

Outside of unwrapping a Lifestraw, there is not much to using it. You simply find some water, and suck in on the correct end of the filter.

Other portable water filters are, admittedly, slightly more difficult, but nothing so complicated that you can’t figure it out in the moment. When taking a group of 8th grade students on a camping trip a few years ago, they were all able to use a filter to strain out some clean drinking water without spilling much, and let’s face it, if an 8th grader can do it, so can almost any adult.

Water is a top-3 item that you’ll need to consider when prepping, and having a few portable filters in your home and in your bug-out equipment will help alleviate one of the largest concerns with water. The other concern is equally easy to handle – water storage can be very easily handled by simply purchasing some water bricks or some other convenient storage solution and filling it. No skill required there.

  1. Long-Term Food Storage

When purchasing supplies for just yourself, I could see the argument behind trying all of the long-term food options before committing to purchasing a huge quantity of flavors you might not enjoy. That said, for a family, any variety pack will likely include enough variety to keep everyone happy. Like the Water Storage equipment, this is as easy as buy, store and forget.

  1. Car Jumper System

A great buy-and-stash item that you’ll use rather frequently if you drive an old clunky car like I do is a car jumper system. This is essentially a high-powered lithium battery that you can charge and store in your trunk. If you need to jump your car, pull out the instructions and follow along with getting your car started. I own three different models (one each for myself, my teenage daughter, and my wife), and each of them has the same three step approach to getting them set up. When you need it, you no longer need to rely on some good Samaritans to stop to help you jump your car.

All of these will bring you some peace of mind so you can sweat the harder stuff.

 

 

The post Buy-it and Forget-it: Six Prepper Supplies that Require no Skills! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Infamy Was A Long Time in the Making

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

There are many valuable lessons to be learned from December 7, 1941, still. In a world currently awash with “revisionist” history, scholarly “reviews” passing judgments from armchairs safe and well into the future, and a Forth Estate with no conscience, just an agenda, lessons not only have not been learned, history has been hijacked to fit the current narrative, and may be repeating before our very eyes.

In World War I, Japan entered on the side of the Allied Powers specifically to pick off Germany’s colonial empire in the Pacific Ocean. 
Twenty years before WWII Japan was planning while America was not sleeping, but not paying attention. The German Empire also had territories in the Caribbean, South America and Africa, but these were not of interest to the Japanese government, control of the Pacific was with Hawaii being the Grand Prize. The German holdings is the Western Pacific gave the Japanese bases and facilities right in the lap of American holdings in the Philippines. It also put their forces within reach of all of Britons holdings in the area as well, from Burma to Australia. They were indeed playing chess while America still thought they were playing checkers, one island at a time. As Preppers we know their is always a motive, always a reason for actions taken.  
 
On September 27, 1940, Germany, Italy, and Japan signed the Tripartite Pact, which became known as the Axis alliance. The Pact provided for mutual assistance should any of the signatories suffer attack by any nation not already involved in the war. Even before the Tripartite Pact, two of the three Axis powers had initiated conflicts that would become theaters of war in World War IIJapanese expansion in East Asia began in 1931 with the invasion of Manchuria and continued in 1937 with a brutal attack on China. Germany had crushed Poland and made fools of the French under Vichy and the British under Chamberlain and was openly at war with Briton.
Battleship USS West Virginia sunk and burning at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In background is the battleship USS Tennessee.
Pearl Harbor shines as lesson every Prepper should learn from. The entire Pacific Fleet, save for just a few had been “in harbor” on numerous occasions. The battleships were moored “for ease of supply” like ducks in a row. The single entry/exit point was ripe for being blockaded. The pattern of movement was rote. More than 2,400 Americans died in the attack, including civilians, and another 1,000 people were wounded. It was nothing more intelligent than dumb luck that had our carriers and submarines “out to sea” when the attack occurred.
On 11 December 1941, four days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States declaration of war against the Japanese Empire, Nazi Germany declared war against the United States, in response to what was claimed to be a series of provocations by the United States government. It was a given anyway under the Tripartite Pact.

 

And “The Bomb” Theory’s Still Rage
Revisionist have come with more “could have, should have” spins on why the bombs should never have been employed in the first place. They were. Move on. There were seven targets originally chosen, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kyoto, Kokura, The Emperor’s Palace in Tokyo, Yokohama and Niigata. Both missions had a primary target and two alternatives, driven by weather. Hiroshima, while chosen for the clearer weather on that day, August 6, 1945, was but one of seven original industrial targets, and it was on the list because of the Mitsubishi factory complex that built the Japanese Zeros aircraft. Three days later, August 9, 1945 Nagasaki was bombed. It was on the list as it was the supply depot supporting the Japanese Expeditionary Forces waging war in China.

Only in faculty lounges and in the media is there any contentious debate among scholars about why Japan surrendered in World War II. “Some” believe the Aug. 15, 1945 declaration was the result of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Most believe it was the only reason, though Russia had designs on The Southern Kuril Islands, which comprise of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and the Habomai Archipelago, and were first colonized by Japan in the 19th century. In fact, Japan and Russia are still in a technical state of war, since the countries have not yet signed a World War II peace treaty.  A resolution turned this into a dispute with just Russia.

The post Infamy Was A Long Time in the Making appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Fighting for Our Lives

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

The Prepper Journal is out among them! Fighting tooth and nail, claw by claw, inch, by inch, closer and closer…..to beat someone out of that last KnockOff 96″ 4K, HD LED flat screen with built-in Dolby 5.2 Channel Ultra HD AV Surround Sound! And for the one-day price of $49.99!

 

Armed with our bug-out bag, our range bag, our SHTF bag and our ammo stash we were initially stymied at the entrance trying to lash 5 carts together with Paracord to carry in all we brought with us and then to carry out our “gotta haves” from the battle! But we did not come alone, oh no, we brought some friends!

And a comfy ride home….

NOW is the time to get the Prepper in your life some little gifts and we are down with that! Time is running out. And what better way to practice for a complete EOTWAWKI, SHTF scenario than hitting the brick & mortar Black Friday Sales! After all, Cyber Monday is for comfy on-line shopping – wimps. But this day is the measure of the metal of men’s souls. Let not a sweet smile, a slight and elderly frame or a child’s wide-eyed innocent look stand between you and your mission! Spoils for the victors! Take no prisoners for today we conquer and next month we sweat the incoming credit card bills!

 Don’t worry and be happy! Have a great holiday weekend!

 

 

The post Fighting for Our Lives appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

We Are Thankful

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

On this holiday, where we as a people gave our first real thanks, shared our hard obtained bounty with others who shared with us, and saw a future that allowed us to freely prosper and honor our God, The Prepper Journal hopes you are with family and friends, in the warmth of their company, breaking bread in love and friendship as people have since the beginnings of recorded history, be it a feast or a simple meal.

  

We hope that the true and traditional meaning of this original American holiday, now shared by other countries, will remain your foundation and that you will not be fooled or manipulated by the agenda-driven revisionists who see only dark and gloom in everything they survey. Happy Thanksgiving!

The post We Are Thankful appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Yeah, But You May Have to Deal with the White Stuff!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

So, on a bright clear winter day a couple who considered themselves young and athletic, decided to go nordic (cross-country) skiing, just the two of them, a spur of the moment thing. After all, they were there on vacation to ski. They did take a trail map obtained from a local source and decided on a trail that was more advanced than intermediate. The trail was clearly marked with the “blue-square”, still not an expert trail. Their first mistake – ski trails (nordic) and ski runs (alpine) are rated in comparison to the other trails and runs within the specific ski area. There is no industry or national “standard” so if one has been venturing off the grid covered in white gold say in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, their trail ratings don’t equate equally to those of say, the Taos Ski Valley of Northern New Mexico, or Summit County, Colorado . They are a general guide, but not general enough to go out without understanding the local measuring stick.

        

Their second mistake – when they left at around lunch time they dressed fashionable for the 40 degree prevailing temperature, expecting to be back about 4 hours later.

Mistake number three: Since they had arrived at their western resort the night before, with clearing skies, they did not know that it had been snowing for two-days straight and there was now a fresh new 28″ layer of what we affectionately call “Sierra Cement” – the closer it is to the freezing point, the higher the moisture level in snow, the heavier the snow. (Dry powder needs temps below 20 degrees F.) Normally not a big deal for experienced skiers, in fact we pray for just such conditions, but, in an area where trail markers can be obscured by drifting, blowing snow, this is a concern. Generally, these markers are placed every quarter of a mile, generally. Factoring in mischief, failure due to prolonged exposure, and vague in brilliant sun-reflected light.  Miss one and you better know what you are doing.

You can see where this is going…

Mistake number four: They told no one of their plans.

Mistake number 5: They took sunscreen and a bottle of water each and their cell phones with multiple GPS apps, which failed as soon as they lost their signal.

Lost, they did survive the night because they found a small warming hut that protected them from the winds, and, with their combined body heat, the 42 degree drop in temperature overnight. They were found by the Sheriff’s Mountain Rescue Team working with the National Forest service. A lot of people taken away from their normal duties.

 

So as Preppers who may get caught off the grid in the deep of winter what should we focus on? Well, the things we know that apply no matter the weather!

First: PLANS. If it isn’t a SHTF scenario let someone know. If they were in a hotel, the hotel front desk staff. Since they were in a condo, the agency they rented it through – have you ever talked to a real person at Airbnb, Flipkey, or Hometogo? So what is your fall back? Yep, local police, fire station or Park Service rangers. These last three will teach you a very valuable lesson in responsibility if you fail to notify them of your return.

 

Second: CLOTHING. As a life-long skier I love that when you ski the “locals” favorite resorts in the West such as Alta or Brighton in the Cottonwood Canyons of the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, or A-Basin or Mary Jane, in the Rocky’s west of Denver, you see so many people dressed more in “army surplus” than you do in $3,000 Bogner ski wear they bought at Neiman Marcus. They live there, they know how to dress (and save money). If you have to be trendy get a fancy backpack and bring your uglies that keep you alive if vanity is THAT important to you. AND stuff your survival kit in there to show you have a shred of common sense. Understand fabrics.

Understand cotton – light, comfortable, flammable, useless as insulation when wet,  breaths well when dry, smolders when burned for a signal fire, loses any sprayed on “waterproofing” quickly, great for cleaning equipment.

Understand Wool – good insulation wet or dry, makes you crazy from the itching when in direct contact with your skin, shrinks, retains moisture so well that when it gets wet it gets heavy, dries out, durable.

Understand Silk – Insulates and breaths well, hollow fibers do not trap perspiration when directly on the skin, does not itch, GREAT for undergarments that wear well and insulate, expensive to buy, good layering qualities, expensive to dry clean.

Understand Polypropylene – synthetic, insulates wet or dry, breathes well, burns and melts onto you skin, dries quickly, retains body odors, durable.

Understand Gore-Tex – A branded synthetic, excellent protection from wind, takes forever to dry, very durable.

Understand Spandex – form fitting, excellent at pulling perspiration from your skin, zero protection from cold or heat, should be illegal for anyone over 35, no matter their body type.

Understand Nylon – excellent wind protection, excellent moisture protection, zero ability to breath, melts on your skin when burned.

Moving on, what should NEVER be left behind when out in the snow: Sunglasses, goggles, ear muffs, a bandanna, hat, and gaiters – nylon sleeves that snap over boots and the calf, YOUR survival kit which contains fire starter, a knife, a compass, a whistle, signaling mirror, a thermal/solar blanket, tarp, a few energy bars, flashlight, your cell phone for fun and on and on.

Extra socks are a must, a second pair of gloves – an item easily lost, a wool cap – ruins your “do” but saves your life.

What do you tell someone before you go? Who is going, when are you going, where you are going, when you plan to return. Use “Italian minutes” as opposed to “German minutes” to account for a slightly delayed start, some “stop and soak it in” time, a planned rest stop. Be realistic, not foolish.

What else do you take? A GPS transponder or Avalanche beacon – NEVER go out and play in the snow without one! One that you have tested, know how to use and that has fresh batteries (or charge) and replacement batteries. I have one on me when I am just skiing within a resorts boundaries as there are so many places where a missed turn can put you in an instant world of hurt.

A lot of articles on prepping cover the off grid but seem to focus on warm days, cool or cold nights, and endless viability. Nice but not always the reality in winter where it snows. Snow camping and survival are a whole different animal in and of themselves. The cold and the moisture CAN kill you, the zero viability can stop you dead in your tracks. Skiing once at Whistler (Blackcomb) in British Columbia I took the dip into Glacier Bowl and not 20 meters down the steep the whole world went opaque. I could see NOTHING. Blast of snow/ice from an unseen storm produced the white-out. I stopped. I had to as there are trees and great big unpleasant rocks and other skiers. It took more than 2 minutes to break, with me listening for that clown that just dropped in and now can’t see me, or anything else. Not to be confused with snow-blindness which is from the glare off snow and ice, this is a different animal.

The mountains, a tempting destination if the WAWKI goes away, but, like fabrics it brings pluses (game, forests, snow and snow melt (water)), and minuses (your A-game for conserving heat, finding shelter, difficulty in movement and concealment.) Stay frosty!

 

 

The post Yeah, But You May Have to Deal with the White Stuff! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Yeah, But You May Have to Deal with the White Stuff!

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

So, on a bright clear winter day a couple who considered themselves young and athletic, decided to go nordic (cross-country) skiing, just the two of them, a spur of the moment thing. After all, they were there on vacation to ski. They did take a trail map obtained from a local source and decided on a trail that was more advanced than intermediate. The trail was clearly marked with the “blue-square”, still not an expert trail. Their first mistake – ski trails (nordic) and ski runs (alpine) are rated in comparison to the other trails and runs within the specific ski area. There is no industry or national “standard” so if one has been venturing off the grid covered in white gold say in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, their trail ratings don’t equate equally to those of say, the Taos Ski Valley of Northern New Mexico, or Summit County, Colorado . They are a general guide, but not general enough to go out without understanding the local measuring stick.

        

Their second mistake – when they left at around lunch time they dressed fashionable for the 40 degree prevailing temperature, expecting to be back about 4 hours later.

Mistake number three: Since they had arrived at their western resort the night before, with clearing skies, they did not know that it had been snowing for two-days straight and there was now a fresh new 28″ layer of what we affectionately call “Sierra Cement” – the closer it is to the freezing point, the higher the moisture level in snow, the heavier the snow. (Dry powder needs temps below 20 degrees F.) Normally not a big deal for experienced skiers, in fact we pray for just such conditions, but, in an area where trail markers can be obscured by drifting, blowing snow, this is a concern. Generally, these markers are placed every quarter of a mile, generally. Factoring in mischief, failure due to prolonged exposure, and vague in brilliant sun-reflected light.  Miss one and you better know what you are doing.

You can see where this is going…

Mistake number four: They told no one of their plans.

Mistake number 5: They took sunscreen and a bottle of water each and their cell phones with multiple GPS apps, which failed as soon as they lost their signal.

Lost, they did survive the night because they found a small warming hut that protected them from the winds, and, with their combined body heat, the 42 degree drop in temperature overnight. They were found by the Sheriff’s Mountain Rescue Team working with the National Forest service. A lot of people taken away from their normal duties.

 

So as Preppers who may get caught off the grid in the deep of winter what should we focus on? Well, the things we know that apply no matter the weather!

First: PLANS. If it isn’t a SHTF scenario let someone know. If they were in a hotel, the hotel front desk staff. Since they were in a condo, the agency they rented it through – have you ever talked to a real person at Airbnb, Flipkey, or Hometogo? So what is your fall back? Yep, local police, fire station or Park Service rangers. These last three will teach you a very valuable lesson in responsibility if you fail to notify them of your return.

 

Second: CLOTHING. As a life-long skier I love that when you ski the “locals” favorite resorts in the West such as Alta or Brighton in the Cottonwood Canyons of the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, or A-Basin or Mary Jane, in the Rocky’s west of Denver, you see so many people dressed more in “army surplus” than you do in $3,000 Bogner ski wear they bought at Neiman Marcus. They live there, they know how to dress (and save money). If you have to be trendy get a fancy backpack and bring your uglies that keep you alive if vanity is THAT important to you. AND stuff your survival kit in there to show you have a shred of common sense. Understand fabrics.

Understand cotton – light, comfortable, flammable, useless as insulation when wet,  breaths well when dry, smolders when burned for a signal fire, loses any sprayed on “waterproofing” quickly, great for cleaning equipment.

Understand Wool – good insulation wet or dry, makes you crazy from the itching when in direct contact with your skin, shrinks, retains moisture so well that when it gets wet it gets heavy, dries out, durable.

Understand Silk – Insulates and breaths well, hollow fibers do not trap perspiration when directly on the skin, does not itch, GREAT for undergarments that wear well and insulate, expensive to buy, good layering qualities, expensive to dry clean.

Understand Polypropylene – synthetic, insulates wet or dry, breathes well, burns and melts onto you skin, dries quickly, retains body odors, durable.

Understand Gore-Tex – A branded synthetic, excellent protection from wind, takes forever to dry, very durable.

Understand Spandex – form fitting, excellent at pulling perspiration from your skin, zero protection from cold or heat, should be illegal for anyone over 35, no matter their body type.

Understand Nylon – excellent wind protection, excellent moisture protection, zero ability to breath, melts on your skin when burned.

Moving on, what should NEVER be left behind when out in the snow: Sunglasses, goggles, ear muffs, a bandanna, hat, and gaiters – nylon sleeves that snap over boots and the calf, YOUR survival kit which contains fire starter, a knife, a compass, a whistle, signaling mirror, a thermal/solar blanket, tarp, a few energy bars, flashlight, your cell phone for fun and on and on.

Extra socks are a must, a second pair of gloves – an item easily lost, a wool cap – ruins your “do” but saves your life.

What do you tell someone before you go? Who is going, when are you going, where you are going, when you plan to return. Use “Italian minutes” as opposed to “German minutes” to account for a slightly delayed start, some “stop and soak it in” time, a planned rest stop. Be realistic, not foolish.

What else do you take? A GPS transponder or Avalanche beacon – NEVER go out and play in the snow without one! One that you have tested, know how to use and that has fresh batteries (or charge) and replacement batteries. I have one on me when I am just skiing within a resorts boundaries as there are so many places where a missed turn can put you in an instant world of hurt.

A lot of articles on prepping cover the off grid but seem to focus on warm days, cool or cold nights, and endless viability. Nice but not always the reality in winter where it snows. Snow camping and survival are a whole different animal in and of themselves. The cold and the moisture CAN kill you, the zero viability can stop you dead in your tracks. Skiing once at Whistler (Blackcomb) in British Columbia I took the dip into Glacier Bowl and not 20 meters down the steep the whole world went opaque. I could see NOTHING. Blast of snow/ice from an unseen storm produced the white-out. I stopped. I had to as there are trees and great big unpleasant rocks and other skiers. It took more than 2 minutes to break, with me listening for that clown that just dropped in and now can’t see me, or anything else. Not to be confused with snow-blindness which is from the glare off snow and ice, this is a different animal.

The mountains, a tempting destination if the WAWKI goes away, but, like fabrics it brings pluses (game, forests, snow and snow melt (water)), and minuses (your A-game for conserving heat, finding shelter, difficulty in movement and concealment.) Stay frosty!

 

 

The post Yeah, But You May Have to Deal with the White Stuff! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

And the Round Eleven Winners Are….

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

The Polls have closed! The results have been tabulated and no Russian interference has been charged!

The five (5) articles in contention for the three (3) prizes of Amazon gift cards were (in no particular order):

Build Your Own Firearm – (Part 6 – Assembling and Testing the AR-15)

Practical Prepping

The Truth About Bartering – Part 1

Superfoods in Seven (7) Days

Lessons Learned: When “Prepping” Shows Up on Your Doorstep

Congratulations (in order) to:

  1. John D.
  2. Ra Denney
  3. R. D. Watson

The Results:

The post And the Round Eleven Winners Are…. appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

And the Round Eleven Winners Are….

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

The Polls have closed! The results have been tabulated and no Russian interference has been charged!

The five (5) articles in contention for the three (3) prizes of Amazon gift cards were (in no particular order):

Build Your Own Firearm – (Part 6 – Assembling and Testing the AR-15)

Practical Prepping

The Truth About Bartering – Part 1

Superfoods in Seven (7) Days

Lessons Learned: When “Prepping” Shows Up on Your Doorstep

Congratulations (in order) to:

  1. John D.
  2. Ra Denney
  3. R. D. Watson

The Results:

The post And the Round Eleven Winners Are…. appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

And the Round Eleven Winners Are….

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

The Polls have closed! The results have been tabulated and no Russian interference has been charged!

The five (5) articles in contention for the three (3) prizes of Amazon gift cards were (in no particular order):

Build Your Own Firearm – (Part 6 – Assembling and Testing the AR-15)

Practical Prepping

The Truth About Bartering – Part 1

Superfoods in Seven (7) Days

Lessons Learned: When “Prepping” Shows Up on Your Doorstep

Congratulations (in order) to:

  1. John D.
  2. Ra Denney
  3. R. D. Watson

The Results:

The post And the Round Eleven Winners Are…. appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Something Borrowed…From the Ghost of Government Past

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: This is an article originally “published” by Jeffery Tucker of Liberty.me in 2012. The Prepper Journal is republishing it with some additional materials (and some pictures for flow and effect.)  I have sought the authors permission but have had no response to any inquiries. It stands on its own merit, even thought it was posted in 2012. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award, as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

“The gas gauge broke. There was no smartphone app to tell me how much was left, so I ran out. I had to call the local gas station to give me enough to get on my way. The gruff but lovable attendant arrived in his truck and started to pour gas in my car’s tank. And pour. And pour…

“Hmmm, I just hate how slow these gas cans are these days,” he grumbled. “There’s no vent on them.” That sound of frustration in this guy’s voice was strangely familiar, the grumble that comes when something that used to work but doesn’t work anymore, for some odd reason we can’t identify

I’m pretty alert to such problems these days. Soap doesn’t work. Toilets don’t flush. Clothes washers don’t clean. Light bulbs don’t illuminate. Refrigerators break too soon. Paint discolors. Lawnmowers have to be hacked. It’s all caused by idiotic government regulations that are wrecking our lives one consumer product at a time, all in ways we hardly notice.

It’s like the barbarian invasions that wrecked Rome, taking away the gains we’ve made in bettering our lives. It’s the bureaucrats’ way of reminding market producers and consumers who is in charge.

Surely, the gas can is protected. It’s just a can, for goodness sake. Yet he was right. This one doesn’t have a vent. Who would make a can without a vent unless it was done under duress? After all, everyone knows to vent anything that pours. Otherwise, it doesn’t pour right and is likely to spill.

It took one quick search. The whole trend began in (wait for it) California. Regulations began in 2000, with the idea of preventing spillage. The notion spread and was picked up by the EPA, which is always looking for new and innovative ways to spread as much human misery as possible.

An ominous regulatory announcement from the EPA came in 2007: “Starting with containers manufactured in 2009… it is expected that the new cans will be built with a simple and inexpensive permeation barrier and new spouts that close automatically.”

The government never said “no vents.” It abolished them de facto with new standards that every state had to adopt by 2009. So for the last three years, you have not been able to buy gas cans that work properly. They are not permitted to have a separate vent. The top has to close automatically. There are other silly things now, too, but the biggest problem is that they do not do well what cans are supposed to do.

And don’t tell me about spillage. It is far more likely to spill when the gas is gurgling out in various uneven ways, when one spout has to both pour and suck in air. That’s when the lawn mower tank becomes suddenly full without warning, when you are shifting the can this way and that just to get the stuff out.

There’s also the problem of the exploding can. On hot days, the plastic models to which this regulation applies can blow up like balloons. When you release the top, gas flies everywhere, including possibly on a hot engine. Then the trouble really begins. Never heard of this rule? You will know about it if you go to the local store. Most people buy one or two of these items in the course of a lifetime, so you might otherwise have not encountered this outrage.

Yet let enough time go by. A whole generation will come to expect these things to work badly. Then some wise young entrepreneur will have the bright idea, “Hey, let’s put a hole on the other side so this can work properly.” But he will never be able to bring it into production. The government won’t allow it! 

It’s striking to me that the websites and institutions that complain about government involvement in our lives never mentioned this, at least not so far as I can tell. The only sites that seem to have discussed this are the boating forums and the lawn forums. These are the people who use these cans more than most. The level of anger and vitriol is amazing to read, and every bit of it is justified.

There is no possible rationale for these kinds of regulations. It can’t be about emissions really, since the new cans are more likely to result in spills. It’s as if some bureaucrat were sitting around thinking of ways to make life worse for everyone, and hit upon this new, cockamamie rule.

These days, government is always open to a misery-making suggestion. The notion that public policy would somehow make life better is a relic of days gone by. It’s as if government has decided to specialize in what it is best at and adopt a new principle: “Let’s leave social progress to the private sector; we in the government will concentrate on causing suffering and regress.”

You are already thinking of hacks. Why not just stab the thing with a knife and be done with it? If you have to transport the can in the car, that’s a problem. You need a way to plug the vent with something.

Some boating forums have suggested drilling a hole and putting a tire stem in there and using the screw top as the way to close the hole. Great idea. Just what I wanted to do with my Saturday afternoon, hacking the gas can to make it work exactly as well as it did three years ago, before government wrecked it.

You can also buy an old-time metal can. It turns out that special regulations pertain here, too, and it’s all about the spout, which is not easy to fill. They are also unusually expensive. I’m not sure that either of these options is ideal.

 Who knew this would be a thing of beauty someday?

It fascinates me to see how these regulations give rise to market-based workarounds. I’ve elsewhere called this the speak-easy economy. The government bans something. No one likes the ban. People are determined to get on with their lives, regardless. They step outside the narrow bounds of the law.

It wouldn’t surprise me to find, for example, a sudden proliferation of heavy-duty “water cans” in 1- and 5-gallon sizes, complete with nice spouts and vents, looking almost exactly like the gas cans you could get anywhere just a few years ago. How very interesting to discover this.

Of course, this law-abiding writer would never advocate buying one of these and using it for some purpose other than what is written on the package. Doing something like that would show profound disrespect for our betters in the bureaucracies. And if I did suggest something like that, there’s no telling the trouble that it would bring down on my head.

Ask yourself this: If they can wreck such a normal and traditional item like this, and do it largely under the radar screen, what else have they mandatorily malfunctioned? How many other things in our daily lives have been distorted? If some product annoys you in surprising ways, there’s a good chance that it is not the invisible hand at work, but rather the regulatory grip that is squeezing the life out of civilization itself.”

I have include the original authors bio, without changes, but now without this comment “plain old Tucker does not respond to emails sent to plain old tucker@liberty.me.

I’m executive editor of Laissez Faire Books and the Chief Liberty Officer of Liberty.me, an innovative private society for publishing, learning, and networking. I’m the author of four books in the field of economics and one on early music. My personal twitter account @jeffreyatucker FB is @jeffrey.albert.tucker Plain old email is tucker@liberty.me

Editors Note: Republished as food for thought . Of course his comment on “leaving social progress to the private sector” has since been disproved and certainly one can make a case against gasoline spillage and fumes, but not at the expense of degrading performance. This is the result of designing and implementing solutions in a vacuum. A lot has happened since 2012, a lot of things have changed, and there has been some reversal of “the crazies” but, then again the crazies are still in charge in so many places, protected by labor laws specifically designed to keep them from being weeded out, having to face the same review as people in the private sector. So new crazies are still producing….

Apologies for the fuzzy quality of the picture, you can look for yourself.

For not just preppers, but everyone, knowledge is always our first line of defense and keeping up with the crazies is a new career. Small, medium and large businesses have employees, or staffs of employees, that do nothing but “compliance”. As a friend told me once after driving from Northern California to Southern California with an unloaded 12 gauge shotgun in his trunk, a legally purchased gift for his father, that he was sure the number of county and city laws he violated on the drive was north of 50. BTW my recently purchased gas can has a vent installed, a small hole drilled and plugged with a shaved wine cork. A good prepper will always find a way, a good prepper will always check his stash and supplies …and will also hope the NSA misses this post.

The post Something Borrowed…From the Ghost of Government Past appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Something Borrowed…From the Ghost of Government Past

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: This is an article originally “published” by Jeffery Tucker of Liberty.me in 2012. The Prepper Journal is republishing it with some additional materials (and some pictures for flow and effect.)  I have sought the authors permission but have had no response to any inquiries. It stands on its own merit, even thought it was posted in 2012. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award, as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

“The gas gauge broke. There was no smartphone app to tell me how much was left, so I ran out. I had to call the local gas station to give me enough to get on my way. The gruff but lovable attendant arrived in his truck and started to pour gas in my car’s tank. And pour. And pour…

“Hmmm, I just hate how slow these gas cans are these days,” he grumbled. “There’s no vent on them.” That sound of frustration in this guy’s voice was strangely familiar, the grumble that comes when something that used to work but doesn’t work anymore, for some odd reason we can’t identify

I’m pretty alert to such problems these days. Soap doesn’t work. Toilets don’t flush. Clothes washers don’t clean. Light bulbs don’t illuminate. Refrigerators break too soon. Paint discolors. Lawnmowers have to be hacked. It’s all caused by idiotic government regulations that are wrecking our lives one consumer product at a time, all in ways we hardly notice.

It’s like the barbarian invasions that wrecked Rome, taking away the gains we’ve made in bettering our lives. It’s the bureaucrats’ way of reminding market producers and consumers who is in charge.

Surely, the gas can is protected. It’s just a can, for goodness sake. Yet he was right. This one doesn’t have a vent. Who would make a can without a vent unless it was done under duress? After all, everyone knows to vent anything that pours. Otherwise, it doesn’t pour right and is likely to spill.

It took one quick search. The whole trend began in (wait for it) California. Regulations began in 2000, with the idea of preventing spillage. The notion spread and was picked up by the EPA, which is always looking for new and innovative ways to spread as much human misery as possible.

An ominous regulatory announcement from the EPA came in 2007: “Starting with containers manufactured in 2009… it is expected that the new cans will be built with a simple and inexpensive permeation barrier and new spouts that close automatically.”

The government never said “no vents.” It abolished them de facto with new standards that every state had to adopt by 2009. So for the last three years, you have not been able to buy gas cans that work properly. They are not permitted to have a separate vent. The top has to close automatically. There are other silly things now, too, but the biggest problem is that they do not do well what cans are supposed to do.

And don’t tell me about spillage. It is far more likely to spill when the gas is gurgling out in various uneven ways, when one spout has to both pour and suck in air. That’s when the lawn mower tank becomes suddenly full without warning, when you are shifting the can this way and that just to get the stuff out.

There’s also the problem of the exploding can. On hot days, the plastic models to which this regulation applies can blow up like balloons. When you release the top, gas flies everywhere, including possibly on a hot engine. Then the trouble really begins. Never heard of this rule? You will know about it if you go to the local store. Most people buy one or two of these items in the course of a lifetime, so you might otherwise have not encountered this outrage.

Yet let enough time go by. A whole generation will come to expect these things to work badly. Then some wise young entrepreneur will have the bright idea, “Hey, let’s put a hole on the other side so this can work properly.” But he will never be able to bring it into production. The government won’t allow it! 

It’s striking to me that the websites and institutions that complain about government involvement in our lives never mentioned this, at least not so far as I can tell. The only sites that seem to have discussed this are the boating forums and the lawn forums. These are the people who use these cans more than most. The level of anger and vitriol is amazing to read, and every bit of it is justified.

There is no possible rationale for these kinds of regulations. It can’t be about emissions really, since the new cans are more likely to result in spills. It’s as if some bureaucrat were sitting around thinking of ways to make life worse for everyone, and hit upon this new, cockamamie rule.

These days, government is always open to a misery-making suggestion. The notion that public policy would somehow make life better is a relic of days gone by. It’s as if government has decided to specialize in what it is best at and adopt a new principle: “Let’s leave social progress to the private sector; we in the government will concentrate on causing suffering and regress.”

You are already thinking of hacks. Why not just stab the thing with a knife and be done with it? If you have to transport the can in the car, that’s a problem. You need a way to plug the vent with something.

Some boating forums have suggested drilling a hole and putting a tire stem in there and using the screw top as the way to close the hole. Great idea. Just what I wanted to do with my Saturday afternoon, hacking the gas can to make it work exactly as well as it did three years ago, before government wrecked it.

You can also buy an old-time metal can. It turns out that special regulations pertain here, too, and it’s all about the spout, which is not easy to fill. They are also unusually expensive. I’m not sure that either of these options is ideal.

 Who knew this would be a thing of beauty someday?

It fascinates me to see how these regulations give rise to market-based workarounds. I’ve elsewhere called this the speak-easy economy. The government bans something. No one likes the ban. People are determined to get on with their lives, regardless. They step outside the narrow bounds of the law.

It wouldn’t surprise me to find, for example, a sudden proliferation of heavy-duty “water cans” in 1- and 5-gallon sizes, complete with nice spouts and vents, looking almost exactly like the gas cans you could get anywhere just a few years ago. How very interesting to discover this.

Of course, this law-abiding writer would never advocate buying one of these and using it for some purpose other than what is written on the package. Doing something like that would show profound disrespect for our betters in the bureaucracies. And if I did suggest something like that, there’s no telling the trouble that it would bring down on my head.

Ask yourself this: If they can wreck such a normal and traditional item like this, and do it largely under the radar screen, what else have they mandatorily malfunctioned? How many other things in our daily lives have been distorted? If some product annoys you in surprising ways, there’s a good chance that it is not the invisible hand at work, but rather the regulatory grip that is squeezing the life out of civilization itself.”

I have include the original authors bio, without changes, but now without this comment “plain old Tucker does not respond to emails sent to plain old tucker@liberty.me.

I’m executive editor of Laissez Faire Books and the Chief Liberty Officer of Liberty.me, an innovative private society for publishing, learning, and networking. I’m the author of four books in the field of economics and one on early music. My personal twitter account @jeffreyatucker FB is @jeffrey.albert.tucker Plain old email is tucker@liberty.me

Editors Note: Republished as food for thought . Of course his comment on “leaving social progress to the private sector” has since been disproved and certainly one can make a case against gasoline spillage and fumes, but not at the expense of degrading performance. This is the result of designing and implementing solutions in a vacuum. A lot has happened since 2012, a lot of things have changed, and there has been some reversal of “the crazies” but, then again the crazies are still in charge in so many places, protected by labor laws specifically designed to keep them from being weeded out, having to face the same review as people in the private sector. So new crazies are still producing….

Apologies for the fuzzy quality of the picture, you can look for yourself.

For not just preppers, but everyone, knowledge is always our first line of defense and keeping up with the crazies is a new career. Small, medium and large businesses have employees, or staffs of employees, that do nothing but “compliance”. As a friend told me once after driving from Northern California to Southern California with an unloaded 12 gauge shotgun in his trunk, a legally purchased gift for his father, that he was sure the number of county and city laws he violated on the drive was north of 50. BTW my recently purchased gas can has a vent installed, a small hole drilled and plugged with a shaved wine cork. A good prepper will always find a way, a good prepper will always check his stash and supplies …and will also hope the NSA misses this post.

The post Something Borrowed…From the Ghost of Government Past appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Eleven!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

AGAIN Preppers you get to cast your votes for the “best articles” published between July 17th and October 1st of this year.  Money, money, money! But more importantly GREAT information!

I have chosen five (5) worthy candidates for Round Eleven of the Preppers Writing Contest. Again, it was a hard thing to do, so many honorable mentions, so much coverage of wide-ranging subjects. Impressive. Paring the list down to five (5) remains the challenge. As always, I want to thank everyone who entered and, as always, previous winners can still win again!

I will leave the voting open through the weekend so please let me know which article you think is the best. The five (5) articles in contention for the three (3) prizes of Amazon gift cards are (in no particular order):

Build Your Own Firearm – (Part 6 – Assembling and Testing the AR-15)

Practical Prepping

The Truth About Bartering – Part 1

Superfoods in Seven (7) Days

Lessons Learned: When “Prepping” Shows Up on Your Doorstep

Cast Your Vote for Just One:

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Round 11 – Which Article was Best?

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You have already voted on this poll!
Please select an option!

The post Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Eleven! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

But You are Down to Just 74 Shopping Days!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note:  If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award, as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

Since the birthday-fairy snubbed me and I didn’t get a new Galaxy Note 8 I am making an impassioned, though somewhat, maybe, early plea for what every prepper needs to find in their stocking! I, probably like many of you, have heard the same thing on every gift-giving occasion. “You are so hard to buy for! You have everything and I never know what to get you.” Wrong, really wrong, major fail “WRONG!” So here are some blatant hints you can drop, like hot coals into a bucket of gasoline.

The reality is that all things come in “electric” form now. My iPad (and pretty much any Smartphone) has a compass app and many apps that cover sailing navigation, mountaineering, and on and on. Just look at an excellent post here from last week – The Top 10 Android Apps That Might Save Your Life! They were all great, and there were many more comments on other apps that were useful and interesting as well, but electric things only work where the signal reaches them, or until they run out of juice, or when the grid fails. And you simply can’t say enough about having a back-up.

So, I know everyone knows about the big things, more ammo, more MRE’s, more medical supplies, a new tent, shelters, guns, knives, cutting tools, water purifiers and on and on but here is a list of some little goodies that will warm the heart and raise the adventurers spirit in any outdoorsman.

The Fox 40 Sharx Whistle  – Besides being an inexhaustible noise maker which, in itself, makes it worth its weight in gold, it attaches to anything and it can, for a moment, even quiet a 3 year old. As you know three shorts blasts (of a whistle, horn, firearm, rock striking rock and even your old KISS souvenir drumstick striking a metal can) are ways to call for help, get attention. This whistle will works as long as you can blow on it, where the others have limits. Every SCUBA diver has one so he can signal the dive boat if he surfaces in rough seas and is obscured by the swells. Every skier should have one in case the gaps between the trees are not as wide as he/she estimates (or they are not as narrow.) No go-bag or bug-out bag should be without one, in fact every key chain should have one as a safety item.

The UCO Survival Matches – compact, storm-proof with matches that burn for up to 12 seconds. Few things available in a waterproof container less than 1.5” tall make a better part of a gift set.

Rite in the Rain All-weather Notebook  – no one should be in the woods without one. Rain, swear and grime don’t phase it, works with all pencils, wax markers and even crayons should you have small children or a college student in your party. Great for recording compass points from a site, site coordinates from your GPS before it dies, injury details for medical personnel, observations. Or, my favorite, to list the crap I lugged to the middle of nowhere and never used, as well as the things I wished I have brought.

Collins gem SAS Survival Guide – at 3” x 4.5” x 1” this is the compact survival guide to carry. Light, compact and complete, no one should leave home without it because no one know everything, in spite of what you hear on TV or read on FaceBook.

Chemical light sticks, I like the Cyalume VisiPad Chemlights – because they are flat and small (2.5” x 4.5”), come 5 to a package, are simple to operate and offer 10 hours of light. More practical as markers than reading lights, though they can do both.

And finally, the Funtalker Multifunction Map Compass – no one should be allowed to venture into the wilderness without a compass and the understanding of how to use it. I like this one as it is durable, compact, has the 5 standard scales (1: 24,000, 1: 63,360 – 1” = 1 mile, 1: 50,000, 1: 250,000 and 1: 1,000,000) commonly used in map reading and altitude determination. The included signaling mirror, which is polished aluminum, is worth its weight in gold. When everything fails, this alone will find you if you know how to use it and that information is everywhere. On a recent trip to Spider Rock in Northeast Arizona the Navajo guide used the signaling mirror to point out the petroglyphs on the canyon walls in bright sunlight while explaining their origin (Navajo, Hopi, etc.) and their meaning. I love simple and efficient.

No one who ventures off paved roads won’t love these as a gift, and there are so many more little, useful stocking stuffers. That is if they are true preppers……

 

 

The post But You are Down to Just 74 Shopping Days! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

So Many Images

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

On yet another anniversary of 911, the 16th, the images from that day are still haunting and still heart breaking.

    

Those lost, lives forever changed, bravery on a scale that can’t be measured…

  

and yet uplifting as well….

        

Civil servants, airline employees, “average” citizens if there is such a thing, the people you pass everyday without giving a second thought stepped up. We saw then what we saw in Texas a couple of weeks ago, what we are seeing now throughout the northern Caribbean, and the Florida Peninsula.

  

People doing their jobs, people surviving, people reaching out and helping others. People picking themselves and others up and moving on. A favorite quote attributed to Winston Churchill “When You are Going Through Hell, Keep Going!

As Preppers this is what we prepare for, why we plan and why we know that we will keep going and hope we will be able to assist others when the need arises. Please take a moment and reflect on the true human spirit, not the one painted with a broad brush of hate driven by a selfish agenda.

NYC set the bar high, Texas stepped up and now we are watching Florida pick up the torch.

The Prepper Journal would like to hear from preppers in Texas and Florida as to how their plans worked, and more importantly what may not have worked as planned.

Please continue to be safe out there.

 

The post So Many Images appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

A Shout Out to Our Neighbors Along the East Coast: This IS Serious

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

This subject of hurricane preparedness is a recurring thread of The Prepper Journal and here are three good articles articles on it from our archives:

Weather prediction remains one of the most challenging of sciences. While one can drone on ad nauseam about things from the “European Model” vs the “American Model”, to spatial scales, Chaos theory and the atmospheric sciences of meteorology, climatology, atmospheric physics, and atmospheric chemistry, events in the Eastern Caribbean have already eclipsed that and Florida is clearly in its path, and the projected turn north could impact most of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The cover photo for this post is from Thursday, September 9th and things can change, but not that much. Irma is wider than the Florida peninsula. One must take Irma for what she is, a potentially catastrophic event. Eight (8) dead and twenty-five (25) hospitalized were reported this morning on St. Martin, and that was just the initial report. These numbers will grow.

  

If you have relatives or friends anywhere in Florida call them! And when you get the “I am ready” or “I’ll be fine” press them for details. How will you be fine? What supplies do you have? Do you have an escape plan because few things “move as planned” in winds over 125 mph and things that were never intended to move do. A shattered window pane creates a lot of shrapnel in high wind. Now after making landfall the winds will diminish, but will be at Tropical Storm levels (sustained winds up to 73 mph) all through Saturday and deep into Sunday and Florida, like South Texas, has a high water table and no real drainage system. Text or tweet or email them the articles referenced above.

Every prepper should monitor events closely, learn from the experiences of others, look for reliable news sources (and let me know when you find them) and from every terrible situation they see consider building a “reverse water-fall model” plan of how they should prepare for facing the same or a similar situation. While there are no hurricanes in Idaho a strong blizzard and howling Chinook winds all along the Front Range of the Rockies can be almost as dangerous.

This picture is from Florida today. The resident is limiting objects that can become missiles in a strong wind. Don’t know that I would do this in particular but I am 2,000 miles away and safe from what he and his family are facing. I can see his logic as they will be lost anyway.

I worked and lived in the Cocoa Beach Florida area for several years. While there I rented a house on the beach in Indialantic, Florida for the first 3 months while I got to know the area. It was on a spit of land that was 8′ above sea level; I had an “A1A” address. No hurricanes while I was there. When I stood on the side yard, facing the Atlantic 30 yards away, I could turn around and see the sailboats on the Banana River (Florida’s Inter-coastal Waterway) less than a quarter mile away with one causeway to the mainland 2 miles to the south and one 5 miles to the north. THAT brings home an understanding of vulnerable. I have friends in central Florida smarter than me so they will be okay, but I have a relative in the Clearwater area of Tampa Bay who is well into her 80’s. Getting voicemail yesterday was NOT reassuring. Hearing from her son-in-law just a few minutes ago that they flew her out yesterday to stay with them in California was….

Those who prep in Florida and along the Eastern Seaboard will know in a few days if it was enough, we pray it was for all.

 

The post A Shout Out to Our Neighbors Along the East Coast: This IS Serious appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

A Shout Out to Our Neighbors Along the East Coast: This IS Serious

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

This subject of hurricane preparedness is a recurring thread of The Prepper Journal and here are three good articles articles on it from our archives:

Weather prediction remains one of the most challenging of sciences. While one can drone on ad nauseam about things from the “European Model” vs the “American Model”, to spatial scales, Chaos theory and the atmospheric sciences of meteorology, climatology, atmospheric physics, and atmospheric chemistry, events in the Eastern Caribbean have already eclipsed that and Florida is clearly in its path, and the projected turn north could impact most of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The cover photo for this post is from Thursday, September 9th and things can change, but not that much. Irma is wider than the Florida peninsula. One must take Irma for what she is, a potentially catastrophic event. Eight (8) dead and twenty-five (25) hospitalized were reported this morning on St. Martin, and that was just the initial report. These numbers will grow.

  

If you have relatives or friends anywhere in Florida call them! And when you get the “I am ready” or “I’ll be fine” press them for details. How will you be fine? What supplies do you have? Do you have an escape plan because few things “move as planned” in winds over 125 mph and things that were never intended to move do. A shattered window pane creates a lot of shrapnel in high wind. Now after making landfall the winds will diminish, but will be at Tropical Storm levels (sustained winds up to 73 mph) all through Saturday and deep into Sunday and Florida, like South Texas, has a high water table and no real drainage system. Text or tweet or email them the articles referenced above.

Every prepper should monitor events closely, learn from the experiences of others, look for reliable news sources (and let me know when you find them) and from every terrible situation they see consider building a “reverse water-fall model” plan of how they should prepare for facing the same or a similar situation. While there are no hurricanes in Idaho a strong blizzard and howling Chinook winds all along the Front Range of the Rockies can be almost as dangerous.

This picture is from Florida today. The resident is limiting objects that can become missiles in a strong wind. Don’t know that I would do this in particular but I am 2,000 miles away and safe from what he and his family are facing. I can see his logic as they will be lost anyway.

I worked and lived in the Cocoa Beach Florida area for several years. While there I rented a house on the beach in Indialantic, Florida for the first 3 months while I got to know the area. It was on a spit of land that was 8′ above sea level; I had an “A1A” address. No hurricanes while I was there. When I stood on the side yard, facing the Atlantic 30 yards away, I could turn around and see the sailboats on the Banana River (Florida’s Inter-coastal Waterway) less than a quarter mile away with one causeway to the mainland 2 miles to the south and one 5 miles to the north. THAT brings home an understanding of vulnerable. I have friends in central Florida smarter than me so they will be okay, but I have a relative in the Clearwater area of Tampa Bay who is well into her 80’s. Getting voicemail yesterday was NOT reassuring. Hearing from her son-in-law just a few minutes ago that they flew her out yesterday to stay with them in California was….

Those who prep in Florida and along the Eastern Seaboard will know in a few days if it was enough, we pray it was for all.

 

The post A Shout Out to Our Neighbors Along the East Coast: This IS Serious appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

A Shout Out to Our Neighbors Along the East Coast: This IS Serious

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

This subject of hurricane preparedness is a recurring thread of The Prepper Journal and here are three good articles articles on it from our archives:

Weather prediction remains one of the most challenging of sciences. While one can drone on ad nauseam about things from the “European Model” vs the “American Model”, to spatial scales, Chaos theory and the atmospheric sciences of meteorology, climatology, atmospheric physics, and atmospheric chemistry, events in the Eastern Caribbean have already eclipsed that and Florida is clearly in its path, and the projected turn north could impact most of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The cover photo for this post is from Thursday, September 9th and things can change, but not that much. Irma is wider than the Florida peninsula. One must take Irma for what she is, a potentially catastrophic event. Eight (8) dead and twenty-five (25) hospitalized were reported this morning on St. Martin, and that was just the initial report. These numbers will grow.

  

If you have relatives or friends anywhere in Florida call them! And when you get the “I am ready” or “I’ll be fine” press them for details. How will you be fine? What supplies do you have? Do you have an escape plan because few things “move as planned” in winds over 125 mph and things that were never intended to move do. A shattered window pane creates a lot of shrapnel in high wind. Now after making landfall the winds will diminish, but will be at Tropical Storm levels (sustained winds up to 73 mph) all through Saturday and deep into Sunday and Florida, like South Texas, has a high water table and no real drainage system. Text or tweet or email them the articles referenced above.

Every prepper should monitor events closely, learn from the experiences of others, look for reliable news sources (and let me know when you find them) and from every terrible situation they see consider building a “reverse water-fall model” plan of how they should prepare for facing the same or a similar situation. While there are no hurricanes in Idaho a strong blizzard and howling Chinook winds all along the Front Range of the Rockies can be almost as dangerous.

This picture is from Florida today. The resident is limiting objects that can become missiles in a strong wind. Don’t know that I would do this in particular but I am 2,000 miles away and safe from what he and his family are facing. I can see his logic as they will be lost anyway.

I worked and lived in the Cocoa Beach Florida area for several years. While there I rented a house on the beach in Indialantic, Florida for the first 3 months while I got to know the area. It was on a spit of land that was 8′ above sea level; I had an “A1A” address. No hurricanes while I was there. When I stood on the side yard, facing the Atlantic 30 yards away, I could turn around and see the sailboats on the Banana River (Florida’s Inter-coastal Waterway) less than a quarter mile away with one causeway to the mainland 2 miles to the south and one 5 miles to the north. THAT brings home an understanding of vulnerable. I have friends in central Florida smarter than me so they will be okay, but I have a relative in the Clearwater area of Tampa Bay who is well into her 80’s. Getting voicemail yesterday was NOT reassuring. Hearing from her son-in-law just a few minutes ago that they flew her out yesterday to stay with them in California was….

Those who prep in Florida and along the Eastern Seaboard will know in a few days if it was enough, we pray it was for all.

 

The post A Shout Out to Our Neighbors Along the East Coast: This IS Serious appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

And the Round Ten Winners Are…..

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

The Polls have closed! No hanging chads, no voter fraud detected.

The five (5) articles in contention for the three (3) prizes of Amazon gift cards were (in no particular order):

Congrats (in order) to:

  1. R. Ann Parris
  2. Capt. Dennis
  3. Kirk Reynolds

The results:

The post And the Round Ten Winners Are….. appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Worst of Times, Best of People, Mostly.

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: The good and the bad in real time.

“My faith in humanity restored”…”THIS is how Americans really treat each other”….”We see heroes and victims, we don’t see colors”….the images are undeniable, they are both heart-breaking and faith-restoring.

    

This is the America we know, these are our neighbors and friends and our family members stepping up. This is happening in Texas. As someone who has been to 49 of our 50 states I know this would also happen in Alaska and Florida and Maine and California and all the places in between, and yes, even Hawaii. Stories of large furniture stores opening their doors to all who need a refuge, bakers working around the clock and giving away the food, pizza chains delivering free pizzas by kayak to flooded homes, beer companies switching production to canned water and donating it for free, are endless.

Sadly, to every silver lining there is a cloud, and in this case it is price gouging and looting. Two (2) more reasons to prep if you aren’t already. It is about being realistic as to the endless good in some people as well as the expedient dismissal of rules and laws and moral behaviors in others. And even the good can turn to the dark side when they are cold and wet and hungry and desperate.

Chain store employees and their local management NOT thinking that for every extra $40 a case they make on bottled water, they will be loosing thousands from customer who will see this and never buy from them again. Hotels, working the economics of “scarcity” with 17,000+ local households displace, and thousands of rescue workers flowing in, tripping their rates; gas stations hiking prices 10% in a single night in spite of the fact that they had no new delivery at a higher price but did it in “anticipation” of that event. In reality, while it could be a reasoned out as a rational economic move, not on this grand a scale and over a single night and people, especially people in desperate circumstances, have long memories.

The message here is clear to preppers, we know these things may come to pass and we wish to maintain as high a place on the food chain as we can for as long as we can. We look to protect ourselves and our families and that is a noble thing.

And then, at the bottom of the food chain, looting:

 

As we know in a SHTF scenario this is to be expected of people in need, and supplies left unattended, but that is not the case here. This is the ROL ending, even briefly, and this is motivated by hate more than need. Remember that the next time someone asks you why you prep. It is real and it would happen from sea to shining sea and this is something people need to prepare for, come to grips with, and have a plan.

I expect a lot of comments as this is an emotionally charged issue. Twitter is buzzing with well-wishes as well as message so hate-filled I will give them no platform. Humans are complicated in the comforts of a stable environment, unknowns when thrown into chaos.

As Howard Ruff said “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark”.

 

The post Worst of Times, Best of People, Mostly. appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Hurricane Harvey

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Hoping you are yours are safe, the storm now fades but the aftermath lingers and lingers and will last for years. The many pictures of neighbors helping neighbors trumps the media’s assault on America and Americans.

    

Following the storm from the safety of my high & dry home a thousand miles away my daughter and her husband live in the Ponderosa Forest area of Houston, west of George Bush International Airport and just south of the very affluent Woodlands area.

The area has older (1980’s) large (her’s is 3,200 sq ft.) two-story homes on large lots, most a quarter to a third of an acre, with long driveways, and lots of old growth trees and above ground utility lines. Hurricane Ike in September 2008 left them without power for two-weeks. This is when they became preppers.

Then, last year, April 18, 2016 to be exact – 16″ of rain fell in under 12 hours. “According to Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist with the Harris County Flood District, rainfall across Harris county on April 18 averaged 7.75 inches, or 240 billion gallons. He tweeted that this “Could run Niagara Falls for over 88 hrs.”

The house flooded 3″ on the lower floor and they ended up replacing the entire kitchen, appliances and cabinets, the washer & dryer, all the flooring and 4′ of the lower story interior and exterior walls throughout the house, including 16 windows. This is why I was following the storm, noting from afar that 1:00 am this past Saturday was when they would be closest to whatever remained of the eye-wall. Reports on Saturday were some rain, little wind, between bands.

When I talked to my daughter very early Sunday morning, she said the house was now an island, streets flooded and water half-way up the front yard; it is 70′ from the street to their front door. Two hours later there were 3″ of water on the ground floor, 2 hours later it was 12″ and 6 hours later it had reached the ceiling of the first floor, while they watched. Kayakers, they took their bug-out bags, their three cats (I still haven’t gotten the details on how they accomplished that) and left through a second floor window, retrieved their kayaks from an almost fully submerged garage, replete with both of their vehicles, and started paddling north west. To their luck they came across a Good Samaritan in his boat who was out looking to help people. Setting their kayaks adrift they were taken to higher ground where a friend picked them up and they are now safe and dry through the kindness of friends. My son-in-law believes the house and both vehicles, both quite new, are total losses.

This story is being repeated a thousand fold across lower-east Texas and the Louisiana coast. The pics I have included here are from Harvey and I will post some pics should my son-in-law send them. I have asked, he is a little preoccupied.

This is why we prep. They should have bailed on the house on Friday considering its history, their history there. I should have started harping on that theme this past Thursday. Should have, could have. Regrets all around for not being more proactive. They both work but both their employers are in flooded areas now only accessible by boats. The waters will recede, life will assume a new normal, we will mentally kick ourselves for the “should haves” for a long time. I hope we learned a lesson. Be safe out there and remember that there are great people all across America who “step up” when there is a need. I for one owe a guy with a boat I have never met a debt I can’t repay.

The post Hurricane Harvey appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Power to Go!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

 

Portable Energy Storage Systems 

We recently wrote of batteries for electric devices, the value of rechargeable, assuming a reliable power source, as well as home generators, something to the benefit of every survival enthusiast. Along those lines why not consider portable energy storage systems as a part of your prepper planning? Useful for a bug-out scenario or in a hunker down situation, the sizes and versatility of the systems out there offer some reasonable options for the short-term, and they can readily support some longer-term situations, should you find yourself and yours in one.

    

Here in the USA, being from a big city, I believed we are “blessed” with a steady-state of power, if we pay the bills in a timely manner. Then I spent a weekend on the Navajo Reservation in Northeastern Arizona. Two to three power losses a day. Well, there are many places where this is normal. On my half-dozen trips to India power is lost multiple times a day at the local businesses. The big “campus” call-centers have their own dedicated power stations just to keep your favorite 24/7/365 Customer Service Centers up and running. Bottom line, we are spoiled.

Other than tracking down a tripped GFI circuit, to find the tripped receptacle behind a garage cabinet, which you had bolted to the floor, not much thought is put into these “givens”, until a storm or accident put us in the dark. Switch on, lights on. And, you must admit, even after you deal with these you do let what you learned get pushed out of your head after a while because, you know, switch on, light on.

Having a reliable power energy storage system already on-line, ready to go, is never a bad thing. As small as a tablet, weighing less than a pound, to units that are only portable by crane and permanently affixed to your home, and ranging in price from a family meal out to a new family car, there is a right solution for us all.

  

Think of these systems as bigger rechargeable systems that you can use to recharge your smaller rechargeable batteries, as well as direct connect devices like tablets, and GPS receivers, and ham radios, always standing “at the ready” like good soldiers.

Knowing the underlying technologies used will assist you in making good choices. Solar – it has come a long way. A great alternative, but some days the sun just doesn’t shine – May Gray, June Gloom, the sun has exploded July, Michigan and Minnesota ALL winter long, Alaska 6 months a year. Anyone living near an ocean, or The Great Lakes knows low-pressure on-shore, high pressure off-shore produces a marine layer that can block out most if not all the suns energy. However, as long as photons are present solar cells charge, diffused light and reflective light are less efficient, but they still allow solar cells to collect power. The drawback is size, weight and time. While there are some light, portable systems, they can have a large footprint when deployed and they will tie you to a stationary location during charging. We are a fan of these but suggest you check out the footprint and charging times to make the best selection for your situation.

  

Solid State Batteries use a range of electro-chemical storage solutions, including advanced chemistry batteries and capacitors. Caution should one of these be ruptured. Flow Batteries store energy directly in an electrolyte solution (i.e., a car battery) for a longer cycle life, and quick response times, but again, caution should one rupture, and when they are done, they are truly done.

While we can’t forget the other stored energy systems, which include Flywheels, mechanical devices that harness rotational energy to deliver instantaneous electricity. These get complex, large, and expensive to obtain and to “keep on-line”. Other systems available include Compressed Air Energy Storage, Thermal and Pumped Hydro-Power (everyone has their own lake with a dam, right?) Interesting technology but perhaps not practical for “home”, or “away from home” use.

Bottom line, portable energy cells, readily available that can easily be transported, that can be used and reused repeatedly, are a great addition to any survival plan, hunker down plan, bug-out or go bag and should be a part of your disaster planning.

 

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Change Can Be a Good Thing!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: We will be “updatingThe Prepper Journal with some new features and a “new look”. We have already received positive feedback on the “upgrading” of the ads associated with the site and now it is time to step up the presentation a bit to include some cosmetic changes and some additional function that you have requested. These will be placed on the solid foundation The Prepper Journal has been built upon and will continue to support. Let us know what you think!

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Change Can Be a Good Thing!

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: We will be “updatingThe Prepper Journal with some new features and a “new look”. We have already received positive feedback on the “upgrading” of the ads associated with the site and now it is time to step up the presentation a bit to include some cosmetic changes and some additional function that you have requested. These will be placed on the solid foundation The Prepper Journal has been built upon and will continue to support. Let us know what you think!

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Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Ten!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Promise made, promise kept. Finally preppers you get to cast your votes for the “best articles” published between May 15th and July 16th of this year. And not a moment too soon as Round Eleven is just around the corner. Money, money, money! But more importantly GREAT information!

I have chosen five (5) worthy candidates for the Round Ten Preppers Writing Contest. Again, it was a hard thing to do, so many honorable mentions, so much coverage of wide-ranging subjects. Impressive. Paring the list down to five (5) remains the challenge. As always, I want to thank everyone who entered and remind you that Round Eleven is just a few weeks away.  And yes, as always, previous winners can still win again!

I will leave the voting open through the weekend so please let me know which article you think is the best. The five (5) articles in contention for the three (3) prizes of Amazon gift cards are (in no particular order):

And the Winners Are:

The post Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Ten! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

The Thunderclap Isn’t Just an Imagined Future

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: I am sharing this, with minimal poetic license, a single edit for flow. It is something that was shared with me by one of our contributors who would like to be identified as Sunlit Dusk in this post.  In exchanging emails on possible future posts she shared this and I think it is an excellent lesson for us all, so I asked for and received permission, honoring her rules.

“He was stung by a wasp. He knew anaphylaxis was heading his way like a crazed fizzy bath bomb of internally-produced mustard gas – asphyxiation precipitated by his own immune system. Eight years old.

Everyone knows that baby scorpions and baby rattlesnakes are more dangerous than their adult relatives because their defensive systems have not yet developed any self-control – they unload everything they’ve got regardless of the consequences to their own survival.

That is his immune system right now.  It responds to a venomous threat with so much force it will kill him if medical intervention is not available.

He was stung. He quickly understood that no help was coming; his babysitter froze in the classic human response of, “This can’t be happening, what am I supposed to do?” She has been conditioned to look for someone else to assume authority.

He knew that he would die if he did not take charge. Assert his own authority. This was indeed a life or death moment.

To save his own life, he had to ignore his caregiver’s own weaknesses, paralysis and observed incompetence. He understood that it was all on him. There was no help coming.  He decided that he was now in charge.  He had to be. Walked up a flight of steps. Was scared enough to be shaking but kept telling himself to try to keep his heart rate as slow as possible. Was deliberate. Never got sloppy or forgot exactly where his Epi Pen was located. Used it as rehearsed.

Lived.

Commanded that I, his mom, receive a phone call right NOW.

Use of an Epi Pen is not the end of the story. Immune systems gone wild are like college kids on spring break – it’s not over ‘till it’s over. It can be a 72-hour life threatening event even if it appears that nothing is going on. The immune system will defend as soon as it can get back on its feet just like a young scorpion or a college kid without limits; it doesn’t think, it just goes ape-crazy and does its thing.

This is a story of survival, A thunder clap. It was not TEOTWAWKI. But it would have been for me, and for him, had the story ended differently. It would have ended differently if, at eight years old, he decided that someone who was clearly incompetent, could assume authority over him.

Or if he had waited for help to come that was not coming. If he had done that, the thunderclap would not have been some sort of romantic survival scenario about how amazing we are in a worst-case scenario. Instead it would have simply been tragic. Survival isn’t a future thing. It’s right now.”

Editor’s Note: I believe she has a future John Connor there.

The post The Thunderclap Isn’t Just an Imagined Future appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

What We DON’T See in Peoples Range and Bug-Out Bags!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

 

I climb upon my soap box” and scream “ENOUGH!” We don’t see enough, but can we have “enough?”

What we do not see in Range Bags: tools, the right tools for the weapons and mechanical items contained therein (site adjustment tool, break-down kits, D.O.P.E Cards – Not that kind of Dope, Data On Personal Equipment cards!). All these tools and a cleaning kit . Planning on what people are going to the range for other than pushing rounds down range (which is fine if that is all they are planning). I see people trying to sight in weapons with no dope sheets or without the instruction on the sight; people running different grain rounds within a magazine, or even different grains in different magazines when they are scoping in a weapon. No First aid kit. My last three trips to the range and I saw no one with a first aid kit, with 50 shooting positions occupied (Saturday mornings).

   

I see this because I abhor inefficiency, so like the person who is annoyed by a barking dog because they are not a dog person, I am annoyed by inefficiency. Don’t get me wrong, I love pushing things down range just because, once the sights and all else are working. And I love dogs, not so much cats as they are natures definition of inefficiency, but that is an opinion based on my personal preferences 😉 BTW, the “just because” has a purpose because practice makes better (only in the movies does it make perfect.) Bottom line, goals are important and planning is always rewarded.

  

When do most injuries occur because of a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake? The first 24 hours after the storm. Why? Because we prepare for “the storm” more than “the aftermath” which is always longer and has many more components to it. Looters, downed power lines, animals, ruptured utility systems, broken infrastructure, uncontrolled fires, contaminated supplies, panic, no information, no situation awareness. In earthquake California, we build houses on mountainsides held up with stilts, you know, the ones you see on the news sliding down a hill side in a rain storm that would be considered “high humidity” in most other parts of the country. In New Orleans, we build houses across from dikes almost 30 feet high, making the homes 30 feet below sea level, in a hurricane zone, in what was once a swamp. Yes, I understand all the economic and political considerations compounded by population density, and on and on, but still.

Bug-Out Bags: Enough, we never see “enough” bug out gear – enough water, MEDICAL supplies, food and clothes and ammo. Since you don’t know the duration of the emergency only common sense and personal experience of your needs can be applied to solve this, your SWAG (Scientific Wild-Assed Guess.) Tools to support what you did bring; tools to help you live for the x days if the rule of law fades or disappears. PLANS, a purpose, a destination, an alternate and a way back. A portable Ham Radio, rechargeable batteries and rechargers and a solar way to recharge them, flashlights, more than one knife, a saw, a shovel, paracord, alternative shelter, foul-weather gear, water purification, a second good medical kit . I know, it is starting to sound like a fully stocked motor home may be too small to carry everything. Reality is that may be true, so we plan, project and hope.

You know mobile phones are only “cellular” to the nearest cell tower, right? While some of these may use microwave to further transmit the signal, it is good for one or two hops before the call is routed through existing land-lines. Not knowing things such as this may kill you, end your plans or just push you further down the food chain, none of which is a plus.

There are articles ad nauseum as to how many millions of rounds of ammo you MUST have, how many millions of gallons of potable water, and just about everything else. I do not dispute any of them but propose that having a staged plan helps us all with these. For a range and bug-out bag (these should be a matched-set and never far apart, like you and your dog when you are cooking in the kitchen.) I carry 3-days’ worth of supplies. I also have my 3-days “past due” plan – where I go on day three and what I stockpiled there. If I am home and home is safe still, fine. But everyone should have an alternative location planned, restock their matched-luggage set and be ready to move out again if required.

As I put the final edits on this post sabers are rattling around the world, some very big ones, so keep those bags close as the view from the soap box can be scary at times. Climbing down now.

 

The post What We DON’T See in Peoples Range and Bug-Out Bags! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Nine – Finally!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Promise made, promise kept. Finally preppers you get to cast your votes for the “best articles” published between March 9th and May 15th of this year.

I have chosen five (5) worthy candidates for the Preppers Writing Contest. It was a hard thing to do, so many honorable mentions, so much coverage of wide-ranging subjects. Impressive. Paring the list down to five (5) was the challenge. As always, I want to thank everyone who entered and remind you that Round Ten will be run as soon as we award these worthy candidates. And yes, previous winners can still win again!

I will leave the voting open for a few days so please let me know which article you think is the best. The five (5) articles in contention for the three (3) prizes of Amazon gift cards are (in no particular order):

And the Winners Are:

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Round Nine – Which Article Was Best?

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Elections AGAIN?

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

UGH! – but wait, these are good elections (now there is a statement I NEVER thought I would make!)

This is the “atonement” for not running a “Vote for Your Favorite” article in the Prepper Writing Contest on time. Looks like we are actually two in arrears! “Round Nine” was delayed as a result of the changes on the site and should have been run around May 15th of this year, and “Round Ten” is due NOW! Our bad, we apologize, we see this flaw in our planning and we will correct it like all preppers do.

A review of the site shows that in 2016 there were five (5) contests, and, to date, there have only been two (2) in 2017:

  • Round Seven launched on January 9th
  • Round Eight launched on March 8th

So Look for the delayed “Round Nine” contest to be launched on Thursday of this week – ya gotta give me some time to review all the excellent contributions and come up with my five best.

Then we will follow-up with “Round Ten” as soon as Round Nine votes are in.

Thanks for your patience.

 

 

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Things Just Got a Little Sweeter!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: As you know we are always looking for new ideas, new innovations and being better prepared for what Mother Nature or our fellow planet inhabitants may throw our way. We’d like to hear about and share things that work, and we especially would like to hear about things that did not work. 

So from today forward we are going to sweeten the pot a bit. If we post your article you will receive a $25 PayPal payment. Yes, this is addition to being entered in our Preppers Journal Writing Contest for the chance to win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, so contribute and enter today!

 

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Calling ALL Contributors!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: We are looking for new and varied entries for the Prepper Writing Contest. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

As you know guest Contributors have added significant value to the site and to our followers. Like Rick, more of you have a following than you know and our readers are anxious to hear more, hear of new things and of old things that have proven themselves over time and practice.

We would like to suggest articles on long-term food storage system successes and yes, even failures as that is how most of us learn. Articles on vehicle spare parts and supplies you NEVER go 4-wheeling without? What tools can’t you survive without and what tools can fill more than a single function thus reducing weight in your bug-out supplies?

Going back to an article titled “Am I The Only One Who Saw “TERMINATOR”, published on January 20th of this year, new articles have been published this week on significant advances in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and by very reputable scientists who have linked the next steps to make a self-sufficient robot. Change is good, change is constant and change affects us all, so what changes concern you?

If you have submitted something in the last 60 days we are going through those now and we thank you and we will get those out ASAP. So don’t be shy, we thrive on diverse opinions and good ideas. And as always, THANK YOU!

 

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Just what is Backfeeding?

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Earthquake, Southern California, sitting in my kitchen at 5:25 am I felt the roll, heard the house creek and crack and through my dining room window saw the transformer a few blocks away blow. Spectacular. It was over quickly, family was fine, house had no damage on a first look, and no electricity, or natural gas as I had a seismic shut off valve on the gas line. This wasn’t my first rodeo. “Coffee!” I needed coffee so I went to the garage, got my portable camping stove, part of my survival gear, heated some water on it on the dining room table, pulled out the French Press…coffee!

Spouse got up about 20 minutes later, slid into a chair next to me and poured herself a cup and asked “why do we have a camping stove, we don’t camp”, we were newly married. I said nothing, just looked at her as her brain cells began to come on-line and a moment later I got a wry smile and an “oh.” From humble beginnings and knowing where I lived I started this journey and I became a believer in portable things. Especially portable generators as we slide down the food chain quickly without electricity.

No family home should be without one just as no home should be without a comprehensive first aid kit. Additionally, and equally, no one should have either unless they truly understand what each can do to both aide people and harm them.

While we could do a not-so-short course in electricity, circuits, breakers, grounds and phases herein, that information is on-line from reliable sources and I suggest a few hours of going through it would be time well spent for every building owner (home, office, plant, factory, etc.) You won’t pass any certification classes but you will be able to ask much smarter questions.

If you are thinking of installing a home generator as a backup system what I want to address herein is the dangers of not doing it right, specifically “backfeeding”. If you are just running some power strips off a well-ventilated fuel-powered portable generator things will work if you have enough extension cords to reach vital assets and you should pose no threat to yourself or others. Do be aware that in a SHTF situation the generator noise will expose your location. Prudent use and investing in some power storage systems will somewhat alleviate this exposure. There is a whole other post on these on this site and we will do an in-depth review of portable generators in the very near future.

However, if you are considering installing a stationary generator, what people do who plan to hunker down, to a home circuit panel you need to do it right or better yet, have it done professionally. Leaving every breaker on energizes the entire panel and power is distributed throughout the house, on all circuits. Only the largest portable generators (the word “portable” here being a euphemism) can supply enough power for an entire home, and the cost can be in the thousands of dollars. Do you need the A/C on (I ask this while living in Phoenix, writing this in the summer)? The pool pump? The washer and dryer, garage door openers, every flat-screen TV and game system? Does every room need power? You know the answer. Yes, for food storage, some outlets to charge batteries, cell-phones and electronics that link to the outside world, and any critical care medical equipment.  The rest is just fluff.

If your solution is to introduce a back-up generator through your homes electrical system, you will need to invest in a manual transfer switch which takes power from the generator and distributes it only to the branch circuits that were selected when the switch was installed. Each circuit has its own breaker, and electrical power is automatically confined to the dwelling. Paying a licensed electrician to do this is the only approach. This prevents “backfeeding” – accidentally powering the neighborhood utility lines coming into you home and endangering any utility workers, neighbors, etc. When you apply power to a circuit (your home electric panel) electricity flows to the path of least resistance, which, with no power coming from the utility lines, means they are a path of “least resistance” as they have no load on them, such as your refrigerator does on its circuit, so electric current flows from your house, back out to the power lines. In this “off and then ‘instant on’ with no warning” scenario the chances to injury or kill a utility worker are great, and you are liable (National Electric Codes 408, 702 and 225 provide strict guidance on the requirements of such generators.) Now multiple this across every home in an electrical grid and you will know why we should respect these guys (and girls.)

While one can argue that simply turning off some breakers helps to resolve this issue, it does so without balancing the loads across the circuits, and who wants to go out and pick and chooses those in real time?  Who knows how the circuits are set up in their breaker box in the first place? Preppers are planners and having this “locked down” is just good common sense. Identify the “must haves” and get a professional to hook up the system correctly. Ask way too many questions, write everything down and store the data with your survival kit. You will forget after time. Now, knowing this, would you ever touch a downed power line?

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Just How Far off the Grid Can You Get?

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

With the furthest you can get from a paved road in the lower 48 states being 22 miles, (Northeastern Wyoming) getting “off the grid” is a lot harder for most of us than we think.

Have you ever really been “off the grid?” What most would describe as “We are really going to spend a Friday night doing this?” to “the vacation from hell” to “Seriously Dad!?!?” is actually some of the best training a prepper can do. I walked the John Muir Trail one July, from the top of Mt. Whitney to Tuolumne Meadows, 210 miles, and never went more than an hour during daylight without seeing or hearing someone. Summers on the Appalachia Trail can be the same.  And, to settle the argument here and now, the John Muir Trail is a section of the Pacific Crest Trail that runs 2,650 miles from the Mexican Border to Canada, while the Appalachian Trail runs 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine. Back on topic.

Every prepper needs to challenge themselves and their family to practice. To get off the grid. And the key to this is to start small and safe and then remove the fallbacks. One night at home, from dusk to dawn with no utilities, no electricity, no running water, no natural gas (fireplace, stove, BBQ hooked to home gas system) is a good first step. And no running water means no “bathroom” facilities unless you operate them using buckets of water carried from a water source such as a pool, or pond or lake. I assure you if you have not done this it will be eye-opening. And no cop-outs, no “we did this after that thunderstorm last year”, you know the one after dinner was cooked, consumed and the dishes were cleared and dealt with, the one where only the electricity was off. Dusk to dawn, with a meal at both ends done without electricity and running water, and no natural gas either, do it on a camp stove on camping cookware. It will be easy, it can be fun, especially if you don’t recharge phones and tablets the day of;-) Discussing and writing down “lessons learned” afterwards will be invaluable and help you comprise a survival list based in reality.

From this you can step it up at your own pace. Do it again but in the woods or out in the dessert. Whole different world. Do it for a couple of nights and bring only enough supplies for one – see if you can “ration”, if you can find things like more water, or other things to eat if you must. I know “seasoned” campers may turn their noses up at this but I have found that those with their well-stocked backpacks, packed travel trailers and latest high-tech gear are the first to panic when they run out of supplies and there is no camp supply store to fall back on. No disrespect to campers intended, they have a leg up already, but it is a big leap from spending time on the land to living off it.

And, before the Sourdoughs of the world chime in my experience in Alaska is you are “off the grid” as soon as you lose sight of a paved road. While I will get plenty of push-back on this, the last time I stayed at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage (hardly off any grid) a grizzly was tranquilized in a city park just 8 blocks away, a woman was killed by a black bear just south of Elmendorf AFB, and an Inuit child of 8 was killed by a grizzly near Iliamna Lake, all over a ten-day span. You have your “off the grid” definition, and I have mine. In any case, whatever your take on this aside, do visit Alaska if you get the chance as no artists’ palette has as many shades of green as you will find on the Kenai Peninsula in the summer. Spectacular walking in shorts on a blue-ice glacier with the brilliant green mountains everywhere. Again, back on topic.

Learning for yourself what you need physically and mentally to survive, how each member of your family will deal with things, how to keep your head, can only be done through practice under real conditions. And don’t stress about this as anyone stranded in the wilderness can be found within 72 hours of being reported missing (that is a big hint on how much supplies you should always bring) assuming two important things – someone knows and reports you missing, and you know and can plan on rationing your supplies accordingly, and, of course, you want to be found.

The lesson here is the one that applies to everything, practice makes better, maybe perfect after enough practice.

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Keeping Your Powder Dry!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Most of us have lived through the “Dark Days” – The Great Ammo Shortage of ’08 – ’13. Dark days, indeed. If you were like me, your days alternated between agonizing mental arithmetic and staking out the ammo counter at the local Walmart from across the aisle in the automotive section, waiting for the next shipment to arrive. Cabala’s used to advertise that ammo deliveries would make it to the display floor just before opening on Thursdays, there was always a line waiting for the opening Thursdays.

Many days I found myself wanting to train, wishing I had paid more attention to the proverb of the ant who “provides her meat in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest”. Deciding between saving and training will always be hard for those of us short on cash. Plain and simple. However, having the proper storage system in place can alleviate some of the burden of storing ammunition for the long-term and at least give us the sense that we have done all in our power to preserve its integrity.

The Perfect Container for Ammunition Storage

The perfect container for ammunition storage can lock out air and humidity, while providing protection against extreme heat. Surplus military ammo cans have been a prepping staple for years, however, these cans rely on an o-ring around the edge to keep out humidity and air. The downside is those seals can go bad. If you have these you should lubricate the o-rings on a regular basis. Any true mountaineer treats his/her waterproof boots with a bees-wax coating at the end of the winter to keep them from cracking over the summer and at the beginning of the winter in preparation for the coming snows. This same product is used to preserve the o-rings on swimming pool equipment and is available at any pool supply store as well as Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes. A thin coating is all that is required. WD40 also works but can break down in high heat and, yes, even the ArmorAll you use on your car can work. – an aside as this should always be used on the rubber seals of your vehicles doors, all of them, as well as your hood, and trunk, if you have one, to keep them from cracking as well.

 

In 2017 you should pass on nostalgia and macho and consider purchasing one of the newer plastic ammo cans which do look “tacticool”! These are less likely to conduct heat, and with proper care, can retain their air tight features longer. Using any of the o-ring treatments above on these storage containers o-ring can prolong the life of the seal. These plastic ammo cans are a great investment, especially when you purchase the stack-able kind. I have them and they have yet to let me down. I label them by caliber of the ammo stored in each. One note, I have one very large one, 20″ x 24″ x 9″ and it stores so much ammo that where it sits now determines where I will have to make my last stand with its contents! Smaller and more are the way to go.

If you want to take it a step further, consider some “add-ons”. The zcorr anti corrosion bags are air and water tight. They also come with a humidity test card. Or, you could purchase a BluGuard .30 cal ammo can liner. When all else fails, silica gel packs endure. Consider stocking up on these.

Remember, airtight and watertight ammunition storage is a MUST.

The Do’s and Do Not’s of Ammunition Storage

Do seek to store your ammunition in a dry, cool, location. Do not store your ammunition in hot or humid locations. If you must store ammunition in a humid environment, use a dehumidifier. Don’t rely on older surplus ammo storage cans. Do choose your ammunition storage container wisely. Don’t plan on keeping the factory ammunition box. Do research your ammunition’s components before you purchase and never buy ammunition with a box date older than 10 years.

Final Thoughts

In my many years of managing a firearms store, the most successful preppers seemed to be the ones who consistently bought extra ammo. An extra box of ammo every two weeks can add up. Spreading your purchases out also offsets the financial burden. Having ample supplies of ammunition is a prepping must, as is not neglecting to protect your investment. Keeping your powder dry is a valuable lesson learned.

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Things that ALWAYS Fail!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

What is a flashlight? It is a storage container for dead batteries as are all other battery-operated devices. We all know this, after all who hasn’t gone to “the dark side” when chasing down that one 9-v that has failed in a smoke detector in the middle of the night?

The question we want to answer here is are rechargeable batteries a better option? In our opinion they are the only option. NiMH (nickel Metal Hydride) batteries can be recharged upwards of 500-1000 times (http://batterysavers.com/rechargeable-battery-life-questions-and-answers/). This, of course, assumes a “source” of power to recharge them – a vehicle battery, working wall plug or a generator. In our opinion they are the only option as Alkaline, non-rechargeable batteries (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkaline_battery) become dead weight quickly, sometimes right out of the package and rechargeable Alkaline batteries do not have the (http://www.greenbatteries.com/battery-myths-vs-battery-facts-1/) storage capacity, efficiency or longevity of the NiMH rechargeable batteries.

Another consideration when buying batteries, or any other “powered or fueled” piece of gear is “diversity”. In this case, less diversity is a good thing (try posting that sentence on Facebook!) You will of course have your cell phone (so the government can track you) so one “unique” battery in 2017 and beyond is a given.

However, having to carry chargers for AA, AAA, C, D and 9-v batteries is not smart. Factoring in the chargers you need along with the rechargeable batteries themselves can become a source of weight and confusion, but, like doing your taxes, you must do it! It is worth the investment in time and brainpower. Resign yourself to the fact that you will, most likely, not be able to get away with just one. Make it simple, do your homework, select your cadre of battery operated devices and then compromise on what you can to make sure you have the fewest number of chargers and rechargeable batteries to carry. Reduced weight and increased efficiency are what every prepper should consider in the selection of every component, especially if you plan involves moving from base, or the situation forces you to change plans and abandon a base.

Another consideration is a portable energy storage system which is a science of its own (and the subject of an upcoming post.) These offer some interesting options that will support your rechargeable battery selection and they can be found reasonably priced.

BTW, when a smoke detector does go full-on PSYCHO replace the batteries in them all because they are like lemmings! R.I.P.

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Paracord – NEVER leave home Without it!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

NEVER! If there is one “miracle” survival product it is paracord. It can handle so many jobs, it can be packed efficiently, it can be used, reused, re-purposed, reconfigured, and depended upon in almost any situation, it is the friend-zone of materials – always there, always ready, expects (and gets) nothing in return.

No matter how many ways one lists to use paracord they will be as far short of all its uses as a politician is of getting something, anything done.

If you see a bug-out bag without paracord in it walk away, disown or unfriend the bags owner, and put some distance between you and them. At some point, they will be the comic-relief in the horror movie who surly gets eaten and you do not want to be in their “collateral damage” zone. You could try and correct their ways but this might take hundreds of years and cost millions of dollars, though, seeing that light bulb light up in their brain, realizing you may have, perhaps for the first time, made two of their contiguous brain cells work together, could be rewarding. Your call.

Cinching together lean-to or shelter materials, securing a Mylar blanket to a shelter to reflect back campfire heat and light and not depending on dumb luck and no wind to not bring things crashing down. And don’t get me started on “making stuff” – a belt, a bullwhip, a lanyard, a rifle sling, a monkey fist (ouch!), snowshoes, hammock, trap ring/snare (varmints roasting on an open fire), bow sling, bottle harness, knife handle, dog collar, survival donut (we LOVE efficiency), grab handles (for a vehicle, for bags, for water jugs, for panicking people), the list is endless.

Learn how to cut and cap it off properly with a lighter. As a sailor I like to also duct tape (aka combat tape, safety tape, field-medical tape, keep-grandma-in camp tape, and all its other names) the end but it really isn’t necessary for paracord, while it is for larger nylon ropes. If you do “duct tape” go for dull as opposed to shiny, though with the variety of colors available in both paracord and duct tape, one could get creative.

Is color important? Bright orange can easily be seen. A plus when taking down a camp, a negative if you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. Black, or any of its variant, great for camouflage, not so great for taking down tree branches and such lashed together and used for a shelter, in the rain, in the dark, at midnight.

For the purist, I always recommend the Mil-Spec (C-5040H) for the tough jobs as you usually don’t need a lot, the price difference isn’t that big, and you know what you are getting, if you read the spec. Also, the 4 simple visual tests to verify Mil-Spec are easy to perform. Cut off an end, and push back the sheath and count 7, 8, or 9 inner strands. Good. Less than 7, not Mil-Spec. On the inner strands unravel one, if it is NOT 3 strands wound together it is not Mil-Spec. If the inner strand is NOT even twisted strands then again, not Mil-Spec. Finally, if one of the inner strands is not colored, it is not Mil-Spec. These colored ID strands, called “Manufacturer’s ID Strand” are required and a registered marker of compliance.

Just one more point, I said I was a purist, but I am also rational to a fault, so, to be clear, 550 Type III Commercial Nylon Paracord, not Mil-Spec, is an excellent product. It is excellent for building all the things mentioned above, and readily available from multiple sources and it will meet all your needs. This is rated with a tensile strength of 550 pounds, so unless you are trying to air-lift Michael Moore out of Krispy Kreme, you are good!

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Medical Things Expire!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

The importance of an on-going, always under review survival plan, can’t be over-stressed. Every plan needs constant, consistent and through review. While plans may change at a moment’s notice, some things, the things we can control, we should strive to control.

Medical supplies expire. Any good medical kit, IFAK (Individual first-aid kit) or MFAK (Multiple-injury first-aid kit) will have a variety of components with expiration dates that always vary across the kit. So, you must check each component and make a schedule to be followed to keep the kit ready. This is relatively easy as not only are all the components available individually, there are also refill kits available. Additionally, unless an item is compromised physically – damaged, seal broken on sterile supplies – it should be placed in a secondary/fallback kit as the ‘expiration date” is not always absolute, but a result of testing by the manufacturer. Whether these were set under more adverse conditions generally than your supplies may endure, or the result of legal review, they are estimates and we recommend following them. Of course, if you leave the bag in a vehicle in Arizona for the summer all bets are off! The point here is no EMT is ever going to complain that they have too many chest seals, too much gauze, or too many hemostatic agents unless they have to carry them all themselves!

 

 

 

A physical review every three month is recommended since this involves rechecking expiration dates as well as the integrity of the packaging. Do this and you will not only be up-to-date and ready but you will know where every component is should an emergency present itself.

One more VERY important thing to do on medical kits – get trained on the use of the components! These classes, usually a day in duration, available everywhere, are just as valuable as the components, because improper use can do more harm than good. As you know everyone knows how to use a band aide and has seen a tourniquet used incorrectly on TV or in the movies. You need to be able to recognize this. Do you know the difference in application between a Sof-T, a SWAT-T, a CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet), or a TK-4L? How about a combat dressing like an OLAES Modular Bandage or Israeli bandage? Do you understand why chest seals ALWAYS come two (2) to a pack and that you better be sure if you don’t use them both (one for the entrance wound and one for the exit wound)? In the real world, this is what you need to know in order to “do no harm” while providing first aid. You don’t need to know each one, though that would not be useless information, but you do need to know the one or ones you chose to carry. The adage of “what you don’t know can kill you” or yours applies here.

Prescriptions, if you or a family member are on a prescription that requires a dosage regimen, daily, weekly, when a condition arises, this is something you must prepare for as most insurance/prescription plans limit your access to a 30-day supply. You need to know what your plan allows, if your doctor will work with your insurer to get authorization for higher quantities, and the proper storage and expiration of these medication. If you are limited by these controls talk to your doctor about alternatives to the prescribed medications such as supplements, or other homeopathic alternatives. For over the counter medications – allergies, headaches, etc. you should just keep track of your consumption over a period of time (a year would be good) and break that down (more allergy meds during spring, more cold meds during winter, etc.) and stockpile accordingly. Remember to factor in your possible changed environment as you may not be spending nights in your bed, air-conditioner or heater on, protected by a structure and remember these medicines have expiration dates as well and should be reviewed on your schedule.

 

This is indeed the “devil is in the details” work BUT what could be more important? Prepared is always a good thing and the status and use of medical supplies is something the entire family should be a part of because, as the head of household, you may be the one that needs to be administered to because of events.  Leaving as little to chance as you possibly can is just smart planning. Think of it as “re-purposing” those brain cells currently being used to remember when you last updated your Facebook profile.

 

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How to NOT have to Rub Sticks Together to Start a Fire!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

A google of “how to start a fire with sticks” produced 26,800,000 results a few days ago. Don’t know that I believe the stats, 26,800,001 might have convinced me, but I do believe if you are at the point of rubbing two sticks together to start a fire in 2017 you are not very high on the food chain. In fact, I would suggest this activity is better suited as an alternative to when you can’t find a sitter so you can go to the gym as opposed to a position to put yourself in when the lack of heat may kill you.

 

The ability to start a fire in the wild is one of the most important skills one can learn. Not just for warmth, but for light, and cooking, and signaling your location and, in some cases, keeping the creatures of the night at bay. Every emergency kit or bug-out bag should have at least five (5) fire-starting methods, because you may face a variety of different conditions from weather and terrain and available fuels.

Instead of sticks and endless upper body strength, as a prepper, you need redundancy. News Flash: Sometimes some things fail, eventually all things fail. Backups and alternatives are a good thing, and, other than a fully functioning flame thrower (which will eventually fail), fire starters do not take up much room and do not add much weight. The right approach to having redundancy is to make a kit that goes from easy to more challenging. And easy can be a disposable lighter, more than one, matches, safety “and risky” as well if you can find them, down through survival specific gear (Spark Force, SE FS374 All Weather 2-in-1). I suggest you have butane stick lighters, road flares, steel wool and a 9-v battery, more matches, magnesium fire starters, calcium carbide and a welder’s striker, and magnesium ribbon, to name just a few.

 

And, although there are a lot of commercially available kindling substitutes, they can be expensive and can be cumbersome, and there packaging is usually not designed to last years. One such product I tested here in mid-sentence that stated “stays lit in fierce weather” I lit it with an open flame (Bic lighter) but I could blow it out from a distance of 2 feet. I may use the leftovers in my fire pit just to dispose of them.

I really like things you can make and prove for yourself that they work and you can test them under the conditions you may face. I have found that properly stored dryer-lint mixed with dry sawdust never fails. It isn’t pretty and it needs help to stay put in a wind but over time you can have a bag big enough to use as a pillow and it only takes a spark to get it going, and you only need a small amount each time. There are a lot of other alternatives for the more cautious and conscious, like mixing rifle powder with Acetone. I have used this one often, but I have a lot of chemistry in my background and I know “black powder” is not “rifle powder” as black power is fast burning and therefore more explosive than rifle powder which is slower burning due to the shape and composition of the granules – just one of the differences between making a useful fire-starter verses obtaining a bad reputation at your local emergency room.

I do this is a plastic bowl, OUTSIDE, with the Acetone slowly added to the bowl of rifle powder and stirred with a wooden stick – a popsicle stick or a paint stir, depending on the quantity you want. Wood on plastic as opposed to any metal for spark suppression during the mixing process. A sticky paste is the consistency I want and it should be stored in an airtight container. Decades ago the old 35mm film canisters were great for this, now I would recommend a trip to the Dollar Store and a search in the kitchen section for small inexpensive plastic spice containers. Old prescription bottles work well as do over the counter pain pill bottles if you can deal with the child-proof aspect of each. Be creative, LABEL correctly!

To ignite this compound just rub some of the paste on one end of some steel wool and touch the other end of the steel wool with a charged 9-v battery. Yes, the downside is this requires a lot of moving parts as opposed to the lighters we have become accustomed to, the upside is it works and does not depend on the quality of an item perhaps produced overseas (which I have in my bag as backups).  It produces an intense flame that will get your kindling going and can burn for up to three minutes, and that is important. If it hardens, it will over time, it will burn faster, but it will not explode.

Another good homemade fire-starter is sawdust soaked in a fuel, kerosene over gasoline please, again slower burning which is what one wants to start a fire. Simply soak sawdust, fine chips work but the rough chips from a chainsaw cutting wood work better. Store as above, in a sealed container. This can be lit with a match. Don’t spread the compound as the flame from the small mound of material will produce a longer burning concentrated flame. FYI, sawdust is a component in some road flares.

Returning from the dark arts, dry storage is the key with any fire-starter equipment and materials and the food storage bags you can buy at the grocery store are poor, at best, for keeping moisture out. The right solution is Mylar resealable bags. Caution should be exercised when opening these bags in areas with high humidity, or during a cloudburst, and you should close them immediately and you should always double bag them “to be sure”. The bags will perform almost forever and after just a few days “out there” it may seem like forever. AND, if steel wool and the 9-v battery are a part of your redundancy kit, PLEASE store the 9-v battery separate from EVERYTHING else. Please store any batteries separately.

Finally, a little aside on “matches”. Many years ago, OSHA “regulated” the old matches almost out of existence. Strike anywhere matches were deemed too “unstable” even though they first appeared in 577AD in China, and were first made in America in 1825. The government made them disappear in America twenty some years ago, BUT they are making a comeback. The Diamond Strike Anywhere Matches, in Eco-friendly green tip, are available at a campground store or camping supply retailer and most grocery stores and they can be purchased from Amazon as well. “Survival matches” like the UCO Survival Matches come with “2 strikers” as opposed to claiming they are strike anywhere wind & waterproof matches. And they state “up to a 12 second burn” which is good for a match and the reason why I make my own fire-starter in the first place.

Starting a fire is something that the whole family should practice. Understanding the challenges of wet tinder, winds, and materials, and the structure of going from small to big gradually are things better understood when practiced. It will also teach them respect for the process, the results of the process, the dangers and benefits of those results and the things that made it happen. Rubbing two sticks together should be used as a punishment in 2017.

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Is Your Home Your Castle?

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Why leave a perfectly good home, one with an emergency generator , water and food stored, ammo, hidden gun safes, and an understanding of all the points of approach and egress? What could drive you from such a place, other than a Preschool opening next door?

A walk-through of my home with the goal of answering the above questions, was scary, period. Under the premise that my home was “intact” after a natural disaster, or not at ground zero when the SHTF, how does it really stack up for the short-term as a place to hunker down?

The “NOT GOOD” list: My electrical panel and water shut off are outside the fence, which is a gated 7’ cinder block wall, nicely painted 😉 so they are exposed to the street and anyone walking by or wanting to “drop in”. I have to leave the house to get to them. The electrical panel can be locked with a padlock or combination lock (yeah, right, who in their right mind puts a combination lock on a box they may need to open in the middle of the night, in a blizzard?) But mine, probably like yours, is made of metal barely stronger that aluminum foil soaked in spray starch. And locking down the water shut off valve? Kids, toilets, toys placed in toilets, magic lever pulled, you get the picture. Plus, there is an additional exposed water shut of valve at the connection of the house plumbing to the city water supply, the one the city will “lock down” if you don’t pay the bills and the one that would surly on a fine if you even look at it.

 

Next issue, my fenced property, again, is a cinder-block wall, but only 7’ high and even I can still scale a 7’ wall, plus pistol rounds from a 9mm, 40 mm, or a .45 ACP will penetrate it, it may take two to three to get through both sides, but the wall can be taken down with a pistol. And the house is stucco over a wood frame, dry wall, lots of windows, and on a corner lot. The only thing this stops is the screams from inside getting out.

It gets better, all the windows are ground level, easy to approach, and the landscaping has some softball sized rocks readily available. It is a single story with blinds and shades that are very nice but print the inside lights even at dusk or dawn.

Okay, what else? Having a fuel-powered portable generator means it must be ventilated, read “outside”, the now mostly-mostly-closed dwelling as I have to run the extension cords into the refrigerators location as well as power cords to recharge other electrical devices; I have an electric stove, so do I plan to cook outside on the BBQ, again, outside!

Of course, noise from the generator will give away the fact that you and yours are there, fuel for the generator must be safely stored and rationed. And then, it gets ugly.

 

Disposal of waste – human and otherwise. If city water is lost, then disposing of human waste becomes a real issue. Dig a latrine in the side yard? I do have one bright spot here, I have a 12,000-gallon swimming pool. But what I do not know is just how many buckets of pool water it will take to get solid human waste through the house plumbing to the now not-operating city sewage system? Common sense tells me that this will work temporarily. At least it is a good use for the chlorinated pool water, other than putting out flaming arrows in case of an attack.

So, what is my plan? First thing is to see if I have enough disc space to write a plan, a big plan. Then to figure out what I missed in my assessment. I was caught in the first of three blizzards that shut down Denver International Airport, in 2003. (Others occurred in 2006 and 2016.) What was the item people ran out of first? Disposable diapers. No stores at the airport stocked them and parents traveled with small supplies. It was bad, we were locked down for three days! Point is what you don’t think of can kill you, or in this case, make you many new enemies.

And yes, there is a GOOD list: Guns, ammo, food and water are in abundant supply, just not stored in the best location. I suggest doing a similar walk through of your “castle”, the resulting depressing is only temporary.

The post Is Your Home Your Castle? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

We are so Fragile!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Heat, a rather mundane topic. If you are cold, add heat, if you are hot, offload heat (adding cold can get complicated, bear with me. Our bodies are fragile, at all ages, when it comes to temperature. A few too many degrees up and heat exhaustion can cause death, a few too many down, hypothermia can produce the same result. Hypothermia can occur when your core temperature drops below 95 degrees, just 3.6 degrees from “normal” – yikes, my cocktail loses that many degrees in the short walk from my back door to the pool. Yikes! Fever, the same in the opposite direction – a little too much tobacco in my Bloody Mary and I feel “the fever”!

 

Writing this, in Phoenix, with the outside temperatures currently hoovering north of 118 degrees, for the third day in a row, makes “heat” the elephant in the room. Knowing I could have left a frozen turkey on the passenger seat of my vehicle when I got here this morning, that I could safely eat on my drive home makes one think of these things.

Heat is something we need to plan to manage to survival. There are three things we need to do with heat – generate it, dissipate it or preserve it, no matter where we find ourselves. Planning for the generation and/or offloading of heat will go a long way in keeping us alive and as comfortable as can be expected when we need to execute our survival plans. We will focus on heat loss in this article. Heat is lost in four ways – convection, radiation, conduction, evaporation.

 

 

This subject can get very complex very fast, so I am going to try and just address some of the basics here, and build on the tangents in a later posting.

I am going to assume you know all about fires, how to make them (without having to rub two sticks together), maintain them, control them, extinguish them, and you have a basic understanding of how to find shade, water, and all the other things that will cool you, as much as possible. If not look in our archives.

Let’s walk through this – convection is when you lose heat through contact. The ground, the air around you, wind. Radiation is when you lose heat through your skin and clothing. It is closely tied to convection as we radiate heat (generate heat higher than the temperature around us) and the body naturally does this to maintain “normal.” Conduction is when we transfer heat by contact with physical objects, like snow, or again the ground. Again, the difference between this and convection is subtle. Then we have the easy one, evaporation, where we cool by excreting moisture (swear) that evaporates depending on the dew-point, which is a factor of air temperature, movement and moisture content. As anyone who has been to Florida in July can tell you, evaporation doesn’t work there. Heat is a very complex science, taught at the graduate level in college Physics. The simplest answer is heated molecules move faster that cooled ones and the transfer of energy when the two come in contact causes heat loss (they slow down). While it is molecular physics, we feel each of these so we understand them at a sufficient level.

So, what’s our move to manage this? Two very basic thing that can’t be repeated too often. Clothing/cover and hydration. While there is nothing like a raging camp fire (smoke, light that can be seen for 10 miles, s’more if you are lucky), having a shelter and a dry layer between us and the ground is just as important. Clothing that breathes you already know, as well as layering. Dressing for the conditions. How many times have you been hiking and seen people wearing the wrong clothing, shorts and a tank top, when the temperature is dropping. My favorite, a hoodie and shorts during a snow storm. This is only eclipsed by statements like “I am from Minnesota and this is like summer to us”. Good, but you are losing heat and burning stored calories to do so. If it is a trip to the store to get more cough syrup (Monster, Rockstar, 5-hour caffeine jolt, etc.) fine. And please don’t get me started on flip flops unless we are chilling at a warm beach. When we plan, we should consider all the things we can do to “manage heat”. To again, generate it, dissipate it or to store it.

And this includes hydration as the body regulates its internal temperature through a complex process called thermoregulation. The more hydrated a body, the less effort to move blood through the artery system to manage perspiration rates, higher when hot, reduced when cold, which in turn lowers heart rates, which in turn conserves energy, which in turn conserves calories. All things interconnected.

The post We are so Fragile! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Panic in the Year Zero

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Everyone visualizes their “end of the world” scenario. For some it is the Wi-Fi being down for more than an hour, for others it is more serious, the stuff of biblical writings, history, stories, legends and movies ad nauseam, the article title here is from an ancient sci-fi movie.

So, what is your move in this situation: Rule of law is gone, you are hunkered down somewhere, with family and friends. Your turn to scout and during your patrol you are overtaken by several seriously armed and hungry men who want to take your stuff, shoot you and move on. What do you have left to bargain with? They already have what you were carrying. You have the promise of more food and supplies because these will become scarce quickly. How do you do this and minimize the danger to your group?

 

You do it by setting up small caches of food and water at increasing distances from your camp. Making the promise that there is more as well as clothing and equipment in other sites. You should have no more than three of these as even today’s college students will eventually catch on.

These are small quantities you all know about that you can “give up” as you bring them closer to your camp, and your sentry with the FN SCAR® 17S with the Trijicon TA11E ACOG 3.5×35 Scope. Betting your life that he (or she – I have been to an Israeli Kibbutz) is alert and sighting in. You have noticed in zombie movies and TV shows that the uninfected are just as dangerous as the infected, right? And you do know that there will be no real zombies, other than maybe the occasional former government officials roaming around in circles looking for handouts. As a pepper, you better have absorbed these fact, and purged the myth of the old Western movies that when strangers approach your camp fire they are simply seeking some of that coffee you made using an old gym sock, or worse, as a filter. Of course, the world is full of good people with pure intentions! Your ability to determine this in a split second becomes a life and death choice in a world gone dark.

Making a zone around your site, with clear views of the easy approach routes, and putting in the small stashes is just good planning. Think this is “out there”? Coyotes (Coyotaje) do it all along the Southwest border for the reverse reasons, and they include weapons in case they lose theirs along the way.

 

A final thought. You will have a turn as sentry. Could you pull the trigger? I don’t need to know that answer but you and your family and friends do.

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