Survival Fishing Tips: How to Spearfish

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This is a guest article by Lisa Johnson

You are interested in becoming an expert underwater hunter and you are searching for some spearfishing tips? Everyone is interested in becoming a great spearfisher and this article of spearfishing guidelines and tips will improve you quickly and make you a great spearfisher.

We will be happy to share our best strategies on how to catch fish under the water based on the years of experience we have gathered. So read on!

What is spearfishing?

Spearfishing is the process of going underwater to hunt fish by breath-hold diving with the utilization of a polespear or spearguns. Spearfishing of today utilizes elastic controlled spearguns and slings to hunt down the fish. Specialized equipment and techniques have been developed for spearfishing.

Spearfishing may be carried out utilizing free-diving, scuba or snorkeling diving strategy. Spearfishing while at the same time utilizing scuba gear is unlawful in some nations. The utilization of mechanically fueled spearguns is likewise prohibited in some jurisdictions and countries.

Spearfishing is very specific, usually utilizes no lure and requires no by-catch. Spearfishing is a lifestyle for some people! For some people, it’s an extraordinary game, brimming with adrenaline, and likewise, for others, it’s a wonderful universe of silence and mysterious life.

The technique utilized when spearfishing is imperative for the achievement. Try not to overlook that there are numerous methods depending on the kind of fish you want to hunt. Also, not just that. Your adopted technique will assume an extremely important role when it comes to safety.

Spearfishing Guidelines

Spearfishing is a technique that requires much time to fully comprehend, but doing as such will be highly beneficial. If you try to employ the steps underneath, you are guaranteed to enjoy your next spearfishing trip.

Step one: Begin with shallow water method of spearfishing. To get settled with spearfishing, begin in shallow water and fish over the water line. This process does not need total submersion of the body.

Step two: Go free dive spearfishing technique. Free dive technique of spearfishing is an underwater strategy for that requires a breathing gear.

To accomplish awesome diving strategy, inhale profoundly, curve your back like you want to dive into a swimming pool, and after that, enter the water with your head first and with your fins up in the air enabling your weight to pull you towards the base.

After the above process, quietly move through the water to check out the sea life and find your desired fish.

Step three: Follow safety rules. Spearfishing presents a greater number of difficulties than the standard line and rod angling since you are inside the ocean as a predator chasing prey. Some of the risks include sharks, fishermen i.e. people angling with a line and rod.

It also includes those spearfishers who may confuse you for prey or coincidentally use a spear to hit you.  Do good to have an accomplice when spearfishing in order to safeguard one another, particularly if you are in a deep dive spearfishing.

Step four: Target your desired fish. When utilizing a pole spear, draw out your arm halfway in order to have sufficient space to extend your range at the last snapshot of attack.

Once you are certain that the fish is within the scope of the completely discharged spear, broaden your arm and discharge the lance in one smooth development, going for the leader of the fish.

If you are utilizing a speargun while deep dive or shallow water spearfishing, you don’t need to extend your arm to discharge a spear, just discharge the security and aim the speargun at your prey.

Step five: Hit your prey with the spear. Target the base of the skull, the point at which the spine connects since it promptly kills the fish and avoids sufferings.  After hitting, hold either the fish or the distending spear point to control the fluttering fish.

Step six: Hook the fish. After you have speared your prey, you can now hook it to the fish carrier or if you plan to keep spearfishing, you can place it in an assigned area.

Putting on gloves will keep you from hurting your hands when handling fish that has sharp spines. Keep in mind that the blood from the already speared fish may attract other sea life.

To learn more about spearfishing tips and techniques, you can check out the video below:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tYUeewfSG3k

Spearfishing Gear

For safe spearfishing, you need to pick the right gear and we have already compiled a list of some of the basic gears required for spearfishing. Below is the list of spearfishing gears:

  1. The mask
  2. The snorkel
  3. Weight belt
  4. The stringer
  5. The fins
  6. Spear
  7. Spearguns

For a successful spearfishing trip, the above-listed tools are really important. To know more about some other good spearfishing gears, you can check out the video below:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o23ty21wX-w

Conclusion

We believe you will really get a lot of intriguing information in this content, which will likewise be interesting and important for expert spearfishers.

One of the fascinating things about spearfishing is that you will never get to know everything about it! It is believed that this Spearfishing guideline will at least widen the chance to succeed early and that you will go ahead to enjoy the spearfishing activity for a long time to come.

Author Bio:

I’m Lisa. I have a strong understanding and passion for all things related to fishing. When  I am not out wetting a line, I am sharing a range of tips and tricks on Fall For Fishing  – to help others to snag their big catch!

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper

Why Should You Learn Bow Hunting for Survival?

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(This is a guest article by Brandon Cox)

Learning survival skills isn’t everyone’s plans as most people rarely plan to become survivals one day. What if the worst happens and you have to hunt for food to survive? Chances are you’re not one of those many people if you’re reading this post. As a modern-day prepper, the idea of bow hunting might not sound ideal but remembers bullets eventually do disappear. You need to learn stealth to survive.

These are the times when you realize a bow is your best option. Tracking your target with the focus on stealth hunting is one of the best skills any prepper can learn. Learning how to use a bow and arrow for hunting is an art of the highest kind that might one day be the only option you’ve got.

When stuck in the wilderness, nothing beats what a bow and arrow can do for you. There is always a reason to learn bow hunting for survival especially if you’re a fan of primitive hunting skills.

For those that think bow hunting has no place in the modern world, here are six why you should learn bow hunting for survival.

Highly Portable

Ordinary take down bows weigh just a few pounds making them extremely portable. The last thing you would wish for when in a survival situation is a weapon that weighs you down. Bows consist of only three pieces; the two limbs and a mid-grip section. You just need to twist a few lug screws, and you’re ready to aim. The portability of the bow along with the arrow arrangement means you can easily pack the bow and some arrows in your bug out bag with ease.

Bows and strings are multi-purpose

The bow is a multi-purpose weapon that can be used to achieve several other functions. You can all agree with me that it feels great to have a weapon that can be used to serve several other purposes. Pieces of the takedown bow arrow kit can be used different functions.

One of the parts you can use for example is the string. The string is usually 4-6 feet and sturdy. It can be used as a trot-line for fishing and a cordage for building shelter. The string can also be used in traps, making a snare and even starting fire via a bow drill. Go ahead and improvise anything that helps you from the string as a long as you don’t damage it.

Also, the arrows can be used as a spear for hunting small game and fish. There is just a lot you can do with your bow and arrows apart from hunting.

Observe a low sonic profile

This is probably one of the compelling reasons to start learning bow hunting for survival. A bow and an arrow make up a silent weapon. Who knows, there will come a day when you will need a deadly but silent weapon. Consider a situation where you have to maintain a low sonic profile and to bug out isn’t an option. Archery will turn out to be your only survival option.

A bow and arrow are wise ideas, especially when hunting in an area with a lot of competition. Bow hunting for survival guarantees you stealth takedown. You also get to return to your camp safely without drawing any unnecessary attention.

Bow hunting as a plan B

Any prepper can agree with me that the key long-term survival and emergency preparedness is having a plan B. While guns have taken center stage over the past few years, they can run out of ammunition. In such scenarios, your only plan B is a bow. This is further supported by the fact that a bow is quite light and can be packed together with the arrows in your bug out bag with easy. There even places around the globe where you can’t use a gun freely. Such places require you to have a bow and some arrows with you.

Regulations and legal laws regarding the use of bows and arrows are also more lenient compared to guns. There is no cumbersome paperwork required for people to own bows and arrows as with pellets and guns.

Precision long-range damage

There is no better weapon as a bow and an arrow when in a long-range situation. This simply means you don’t need to get too close to your target to kill it. With good practice, you can shoot targets from as far as 50-100 yards and hit them accurately. This is not something that you can do with spears.

Bow hunting is a fun DIY project

This is another great idea to learn bow hunting.  Most preppers will tell you they just need a few materials to make a good bow and arrows. This cannot be said of other weapons in a real survival situation. A few straight sticks can make an arrow while a hardwood can make the bow itself. Use stone chips to make the broadheads. It is fun making the bow and arrows. If you have a glass bottle with you, then you can break it and make broadheads. The string is the only challenging thing to find, but plants like vines can give you strong strings. You can even use threads from your clothes.

Final Verdict

Now you know why you need to learn bow hunting right away. With a bow and some arrows, you can not only hunt down a prey but also defend yourself. When we talk about bow hunting for survival, it is not just how you can use the bow to kill a prey; it is how you can employ a bow and an arrow in a survival situation.

Author Bio:

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

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping, Survival Weapons Tagged: Beggining preppers, Bows for survival, Survival and Prepping

Valley Food Storage Dehydrated Peanut Powder.

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For those wishing to stockpile foods for long-term storage, there are a number of options. There are many companies that specialize in dehydrated foods, and the best advice you can get is to decide what you are going to need, and sample a variety from different companies. And there are a large choice of food types and menus.

Valley Food Storage is one of the major players in the industry. I tested their white bean and lime chili and found it really good. So when I was given another choice of item to test, I decided on the peanut powder. My main interest is in lightweight and easily stored items that would be functional and nutritional either bugging in or out. Peanut butter is a popular staple with survivalists for a number of reasons which I described here where I wrote about the real deal.

Peanut powder is made by compressing peanuts to remove the oil and fats, and then grinding them into powder. This provides a lightweight substitute for the much heavier actual peanut butter. So how does it stack up against the real thing on the two issues I see as most important: Nutrition and taste.

Nutrition

The table below is the label off the Valley Food Storage package. One serving consists of two tablespoons. One serving will contain 7g of protein, 70 calories, and 4g of total fat.

This is the label off of a regular jar of Jif creamy peanut butter. It also has 7 g of protein, but has 180 calories, and 16 grams of total fat

The peanut powder has and equal amount of protein, but a lot fewer calories, fat and sodium. But you are also talking a lot less weight for the amount of protein.

Taste Test

Easy to mix, it is 1 for 1 water and powder. I mixed two tablespoons of powder with two tablespoons of water. It mixed easily and rapidly. It wasn’t as thick as regular peanut butter. It tasted good, but needs a bit of sugar for my taste. Easily done in the field with small sugar packets.  It is advertised as good to mix in things like yogurt or cereal, or juice. OK in a bug in situation, but maybe not so practical on the move.  It would make a lightweight protein additive for such things as crackers, etc. It would also lighten up the blandness of survival food.

Conclusion

Lightweight and tasty protein supplement for a survival situation, but it has the same water dependent drawback that all dehydrated food stuffs have. I have placed one bag in my food stash and will let the wife enjoy the other in her breakfast yogurt.

Available from Valley Food Storage

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Equipment Reviews, Survival and Camping, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Bug Out Bag, Prepper food, Survival and Prepping

Are You Neglecting Your Preps? Now Is Not The Time!

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DSC_0393_zpsk611tjedWe live in interesting times. And I see the Prepper Community reflecting that. Up until the early morning hours on November 9th many people increased their prepper activities at a fast pace expecting Killary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States. Myself included. That consisted of expending funds to buy items that I was concerned would be soon unavailable under a Clinton socialist regime. Across the country guns, especially AR’s were flying off dealer’s shelves (at least where I live).

On the morning of November 9th, you could hear a collective sigh of relief from across the country.  And especially in the Prepper Community. But many of us warned against that. I stated my case in Trump Won. So It’s O.K. Now, Right?

Those warnings have proven to be true. Even with a President who supports the Second Amendment, and will put decent judges on our Supreme Court, we still have a long way to go. And activist liberal judges still attack the Second amendment. This country did not get to the brink of disaster over night, and we are not going to be able to reverse directions overnight. President Trump cannot fix everything overnight with the stroke of a pen. I think he will begin to try to point us back in the right direction, but he isn’t God, and he is facing the most serious resistance of any President in my lifetime.  And the threats, man-made and natural, that we prep to survive, are pressing us even harder. Experienced preppers will tell you to constantly evaluate and modify you plan as situations change or develop. So what has changed significantly since the election of President Trump that would affect your level of preps? A LOT!

Domestic Violence

untitledThe street violence that erupted after the election will continue. These are not spontaneous protests against an unpopular election. These are well and organized riots. And the level of violence will escalate. The ANTI FAS, BLM, and other radical leftist movements are calling for armed resistance and violence. Police Officers have been increasingly murdered around the country in ambush. Many of us warned that the radical left is desperate and will not simply give up, and will resort to anything to reverse the election.  Unless the government is able to control these people, as the level of violence increase, people on the other side are going to take to the streets and meet violence with violence.  Our courts have currently ruled that we have to continue to take in thousands of “refugees”  from terrorists parts of the world.

Economic Collapse

I personally think that this is still a serious possibility. Barrack Obama ran up our national debt to about 19 TRILLION dollars. We are a serious debtor nation right now,Pylon_ds creative commons Even if the President was to get perfect cooperation (and he isn’t) this is going to be difficult to deal with and will take a long time. We have a ravaged military to rebuild, and a national infrastructure that borders on disaster. Our national electrical grid system is seriously weak and vulnerable. All of these things are not going to get fixed overnight. An EMP incident, either man -made attack, or from the sun, will shut the economy, and life as we know it, down for a seriously long time. A cyber attack on our electric grid is both possible, and evidently planned for by many of our major enemies.

Natural Disasters

Regardless of the reasons, natural disasters are continuing and actually increasing in both frequency and severity. Much of our infrastructure is outdated, out of repair, and failing. One need only look at the recent problems with Oroville Dam in California. 188,000 people had to be evacuated when it looked as if the dam would give way. I wonder how many of them had a three day bug out bag ready? Tornados, hurricanes, severe snow storms, all continue to happen with increasing severity.

Folks, regardless of the election, and in many ways because of it, we face some of the most dangerous times in our nation’s history. Now is not the time to be complacent in our emergency preparations.

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper

Survival Hax Survival Shovel

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survival_shovel_1_1024x1024One of the fun things about doing a survival blog is that manufacturers and dealers will often send you one of their items to test. I have some definite policies on this. I do not accept money for the review. I get to keep the item. And I will only write an honest evaluation. When Sara of SurvivalHax offered to send me one of their survival shovels I was glad to test it.

Before I discuss the shovel, let’s define what a survival shovel is. For my purposes, it should be lightweight and small enough to fit in a bug out bag. It should be sturdy enough to perform some basic functions. These would include digging a cat hole, digging a fire pit, digging a water run off trench around your shelter, driving tent stakes, and shoveling snow or sand from around a stuck vehicle tires. If you are planning on doing more heavy-duty digging, then you will need a larger tool. The SurvivalHax survival shovel will perform it’s intended functions very well.

This little shovel is basic military style with a folding spade and pick. This design was initiated by the Germans in WW2 and quickly copied by the United States and many other countries. The shovel has a two piece hollow handle which screws together and the end survival_shovel_6_1024x1024cap unscrews and has a ferro rod fire starter. Both handles are hollow. It also comes with a carrying case, as well as a lifetime warranty. When the shovel is unfolded it is 24 inches (2 feet) long. Its collapsible size is 8.6 x 8.2 inches. The head of the shovel is made out of manganese steel with a rigidity rating of 42-46. The handle is made out of steel as well, while the orange adjustment nut is aluminum alloy. It weighs in at about 2 pounds.

The blade is serrated on one side like many other shovels of this size. And like most of it’s counterparts, the serrated edges as well as the blade edge need to be sharpened with a file. This is not a criticism.   A few minutes with a file and the serrations and flat edge are nice and sharp. Again, most shovels of this type need to be sharpened. The three rivets that hold the blade to the mount seem solid. At 2 lbs. weight, it is solid enough to pound tent stakes in soft to moderately hard soil. I took the shovel out back and used both the pick and the blade to dig  around a bit. The soil here is gravely on top, sandy under. Both the pick and blade worked well and the locking nut stayed tight. There were no dings or bends to the blade.

survival-hax-shovel-dissassembledThe handle is a two piece hollow affair that screws together. The threads for both the handle and the end cap are cut clean and screw together with no problems. I recommend lubricating the threads lightly.   The black finish is smooth, actually slick. I solved this problem by wrapping the handle in paracord.

This not only adds no real weight, but gives a more solid grip on the handle as well as providing additional paracord for my kit. As the end cap is a ferro rod fire starter, I decided to use the hollow space to enhance  fire making capability. I took 5 Vaseline impregnated cotton balls and wrapped them in a plastic bag. I attached a piece of paracord to one end and a military p-38 can opener to the other. It works like a pull through with the p-38 being the weight that allows the sack to be pulled into or out of the tube. In addition, I have found a p-38 to be an excellent striker to use on a rod. I tested it on the rod that came with the shovel and got good sparks. I haven’t decided what to use the space in the upper handle for yet. Perhaps kindling.

The carrying case is adequate to store the two pieces nicely in a rucksack, but only has one belt loop and would probably not be too durable for long-term wear on a belt. If you wish to carry it that way, a very inexpensive military surplus e-tool holder can easily be found.survival_shovel_7_1024x1024

Summary

The SurvivalHax Survival Shovel is a well made, lightweight shovel of a proven design that is small enough to fit in a bug out bag, or under a vehicle seat and comes with a lifetime warranty. The hollow handles give you the option of storing additional items of your choice, which most other shovels of this type do not have. Mine is now in my get home bag in my jeep. Available on Amazon or SurvivalHax

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Equipment Reviews, Survival and Camping, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Bug Out Bag, Survival and Prepping, survival shovel

Trump Won So It’s OK Now. Right?

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donald_trump_by_gage_skidmore_12Not just yet folks. Not just yet. Like many preppers and patriots I fell into the trap of believing the news media polls that Donald Trump was behind, and even though a close election, Killary Clinton was going to be our next President. I went to bed early Nov. 8th, expecting to wake up to just that. And like many, I was in total shock (and joy) to find out that Donald J. Trump was going to be the 45th President of the United States. And all that it is going to mean for not only the United States but Western Culture as well.  With Trump as President we are going to have a Supreme Court that is going to slowly return us back to Constitutional values. Pro 2nd Ammendment laws and policies will be implemented. We are going to start implementing intelligent economic policies. And American social policies. Our religious freedoms will be restored. The list of benefits is endless.

But it hasn’t happened just yet!

You see, the winners of this election, you and me, weren’t the only ones in shock. Killary was supposed to have it sowed up. The news media said so, therefore it must be true. Obama would have a third term to solidify his legacy. And his real legacy, which he had always intended, was the total destruction of American society and to have it re-built in the socialist progressive mold.  They are mad as hell. They are shocked. They are desperate! All of George Soros’ money, even with the collusion of the mainstream media, couldn’t  buy this election. The American people repudiated Barack Obama and his socialist agenda. As I stated in my article This Election As a SHTF Scenario, whichever way the election went, we were subject to be living in dangerous times. And Donald Trump doesn’t get sworn in until January 20th. A lot can happen between now and then.

The radical left has spent 50 years slowly chipping away at the fabric of the American constitutional republic. And they just saw all their efforts potentially go up in smoke in one election. And they are not going to stand still for it.

You Need To Stay Even More Vigilant Now and Continue Your Preps

It is well documented now that the ongoing riots in major cities are being conducted by people being paid for it. This is not a grass roots objection to Trump’s election. This is deliberately organized violence. And it is also happening in colleges and even high school students are walking out of class and demonstrating. These things are being  planned, organized, and paid for. And I think it will continue for a while until after the inauguration.

Notice Trump’s Conciliatory Demeanor

A lot of people are wondering about that. I will tell you what I think. I think he is aware that we are all walking on a tight rope right now, and he has to play it cool until Jan. 20th. I have never been partial to conspiracy theories. I tend to be down to earth and pragmatic. But I have seen a lot improbabilities happen recently. And I think it is possible that a lot of improbable things could still happen before Jan. 20th. In my lifetime I have seen one Presidnet assasinated and one wounded in an assasination attempt.

So I advise all of you to stay alert, do not get complacent and remain vigilant until our new President actually takes the reins of government in his hands and sorts some bastards out.

Because the people who are bent on our destruction are not going to lay down and quit!

 

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Silent Running Tagged: Political commentary for preppers

An Open Letter to President Elect Donald J. Trump

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trump-top_20161109_090434Dear Mr. Trump,

Well, I went to bed last night thinking I was going to wake up to Killary being our president, and the horror show that would entail. I woke up this morning to find that the Trump Train choo-chooed accross the country. Congratulations Sir!

Now, Donald, the American people voted you into office because of the promisses you made. And we expect you to keep those promisses. Build the wall and make Mexico pay for it. Deport the illegals, Stop the Haji invasion of our country. Get rid of this abortion called Obama Care. Nominate Supreme Court Justices who have actually read the Constitution and understand what it means. Restore our Second Ammendment rights in places they are being abused.  Rebuild our economy. LOCK HER UP!!!!!!!!!

We don’t expect you to get it all done overnight. But we expect you to make serious progress right off the bat. If you do what you promissed, your name can be listed in the history books next to Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln.

But if you have lied to us, or start doing the typical politician tap dance “compromise” we will toss your butt out. You actually have the opportunity to make America great again. Don’t blow it.

Sincerly,

Johnnie L. Mock

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Silent Running Tagged: Political commentary

How To Prepare Your Homestead or Property To Protect You During SHTF Situations

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mummonmokkiSurvival is a job that modern civilization makes very easy. Do you have plans to keep on doing it when the support structure you rely on falls away? Survivalists call this the “Sh#t Hits The Fan” or SHTF scenario. It means making your household safe and self-supporting for an indefinite amount of time. Here are some important general strategies for getting your property or homestead ready for such a situation.

Always Have A Bug-Out Plan

To start with, you need to consider a fundamental question of survival strategy: Hunker down or bug out? Do you stand firm on your existing property and make it self-sufficient and secure, or do you flee to a less dangerous place? There is plenty of helpful advice for pursuing both strategies and a healthy SHTF plan may well combine the two – bugging out of your day-to-day home to settle on a prepared rural property, for example.

Bugging out Regardless of what you plan for, put emergency plans and supplies in place to make retreating an option at any time. Bug-out bags aren’t just for escaping a city that’s become too dangerous to live in. You should have one prepared at all times so that you can get mobile without placing yourself in any more danger than is absolutely necessary. Plan redundant lines of retreat. The further down the list you get, the less preparation and research you’re going to be able to do, but that’s alright. Even a plan as simple as, “grab this backpack and head north” is preferable to being stuck in a dangerous place without options.

Balance Convenience Against Visibility

 Most survivalists who are seriously considering SHTF scenarios aren’t thinking about short-term interruptions of emergency services and the rule of law. They’re planning for an indefinite time frame where every instance of human contact is likely to be a risk. This is why you need to consider how visible your occupation of your survival property is going to be. Taking steps to conceal your presence can save you a lot of trouble.

In rural survival scenarios, for instance, being close to a reliable source of water is a huge convenience. It makes gardening, cooking and cleaning much easier for you. It also makes your property much more??????????????????????????????? attractive and tempting to outsiders. Strike a balance between concealment and convenience when you pick out your property and start making survival plans.

 Practice Vital Skills In Advance

 Keeping yourself and your loved ones safe in an SHTF scenario requires good timing and fast, efficient work. These qualities are tough to achieve if all of your survival skills are based on something your read months or years ago and then forgot. Organize your day-to-day activities so that your ordinary mode of life gives you opportunities to practice survival skills.

Start a garden in your backyard or join a community garden if you live in an urban area to keep your 110701_BURKARD_50075thumbs green. Get out into the wilderness regularly to camp and be sure to camp a little rougher thanbill_stagg_turning_up_his_beans_pie_town_new_mexico__he_will_next_pile_them_for_curing_loc pulling your RV up to a campground with plumbing and wi-fi. If your SHTF plans include defending yourself with lethal force and they probably should, make sure you put in plenty of practice hours at your local gun range. All the plans in the world won’t Front Sight 5help you if you don’t have the skills to execute them.

 Detailed planning for an SHTF scenario is going to depend heavily on the type of property you have to work with, the skills your household brings to the table, and even the general climate conditions in your region. Regardless of the details, you should not lose sight of these basic principles. They will serve you in good stead in virtually any survival situation.

About the author

William Sheridan is a successful businessman and operates the site, Best Home Security which provides answers and solutions for all your home security needs. Visit today to discover on-topic and useful information that can help keep your family safe.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, Homestead prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping

Notes on Keeping Your AR Running

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m-4-soldierThe world is rapidly changing and smart preppers pay attention and try to adapt to the changes. In regards to firearms and ammunition, there is a very real possibility that we will elect a President who is an avowed enemy of the 2nd Amendment. I have discussed the ramifications of this in my article This Election as a SHTF Scenario. Many concerned citizens are continuing to purchase firearms for the hard times they feel are ahead. And many of them are selecting AR style rifles for their personal defense and as part of their preps. I discussed one I recently bought here. And a lot of these folks are not military veterans who have had the luxury of marrying the “Little Black Rifle” in the past. This article is for the new  owner of an AR, or someone with not a whole lot of experience in running or maintaining it.

First, if you are a new AR owner, you need to learn to disassembly your rifle properly. ( I use the term AR to describe the AR-15, M-16, M-4 series of rifles, both military and civilian versions). I’m not going to cover that here. There are a lot of excellent references on the AR system. If nothing else, get a copy of the military armorer’s41fdjvw3mrl__sx387_bo1204203200_ manual or any of the commercial manuals on it

Understanding the Operating System

directm16The AR uses a direct impingement gas system. This means that there is no piston, rather the gas is bled off the barrel and impinges directly on the bolt through the bolt key. This is why cleaning certain areas is critical to keep it running and has an effect on ammunition selection as well. I will discuss ammo in a future article. Here are some of the special cleaning and inspection considerations with the AR series rifles.

Cleaning and Inspecting

Barrel:  The barrel is cleaned like any other rifle from the chamber end using a bore brush,solvent and correct size patches.. But special attention must be given to the chamber due to the design of the locking lugs. A special chamber cleaning brush ischamber-brush needed to properly clean the chamber and the locking lug recesses. This is a critical area of this rifle and causes the lion’s share of malfunctions when excessively dirty! The brush will clean not only the chamber but the locking lug recesses as well. Use Q-tips and pipe cleaners to clean the recesses. There are also special patches and wipe mops designed for this that you can find online.

Bolt Carrier: There are some areas on this that you need to pay special attention to. bolt-2_2The gas key on top of the bolt carrier is particularly important. First, inspect the screws on top and ensure they are tight. Insure the stakes are good so the screws will not move. You should be able to grasp the key with one hand and the bolt carrier with the other and there should be no movement. The key needs to be solid on the carrier or you will have problems with it dragging on the gas tube which enters the mouth of the key. Clean the inside of the tube on the gas key with a pipe cleaner and solvent. A totally worn out .223 chamber brush can also be used. Insure you totally dry it so that there is no solvent or oil in the tube. This is where the gas impinges on the bolt and any solvent or oil will be turned to hard carbon immediately. Inspect the mouth of the hole in the key. See if it is pinged or split. If so, it means the key is striking on and dragging against the gas tube that enters the receiver. Take the stripped bolt carrier and replace it in the receiver and run it back and forth to see if it is dragging on the tube. If it drags, you are going to have to very carefully adjust the angle of the gas tube with a screw driver and bend it so it does not drag. I spent a year and a half rebuilding M-16s for the Army in a Depot level facility, and had to do this often. Care in cleaning the upper receiver and not bending the gas tube to begin with is important.

Bolt: The are a couple things on the bolt you need to pay close attention to. Make sure to clean all the carbon and brass particles from the bolt face, and especially ar-15-boltunder the extractor claw with a tooth brush and pipe cleaners. It isn’t necessary to take the extractor off each time, but if you do, insure you do not lose the pin and the small plastic piece that fits in the spring. Insure you clean the recesses between the locking lugs well. There are three gas rings at the rear of the bolt. Each has a space in it. Insure that these three spaces are not aligned. On the back side of the rings the bolt shaft carbons up heavily. Let it soak in solvent for awhile and scrub the carbon off with a brass brush.

Upper Receiver: The main thing here is to clean well around the gas tube but insure you do not bend it. A cleaning rag for most of it and Q-tips and pipe cleaners around the gas tube will get the job done. Do not get lubrication or solvent in the gas tube.

Lower receiver: Ease the hammer forward and clean the lower receiver with Q-tips and solvent. Lubricate the top of the hammer where the bolt carrier rides over it.

 Other things to inspect: Insure both take down pins are solid. You should be able to push them out with your fingers or a cartridge tip, but it shouldn’t be too easy. Check the flash suppressor on the muzzle and ensure it is not loose. The firing pin tip should be nicely rounded without sharp edges.

Spare Parts

Considering the political climate, having spare parts on hand would be a good idea.  Firing pin, extractor and extractor spring would be a couple of good ones. But there is one part that you absolutely need to have a couple extra of. The firing pin retaining pin

Otis Cleaning Kit

Otis Cleaning Kit

is basically a 3 cent cotter key, without which, you bolt will not function.firing-pin-retaining-pin And they are very easy to loose when cleaning your weapon in a field environment. Keep at least one spare in your field cleaning kit. For more information on cleaning kits, please see my article Weapons Cleaning Kits for the Bug Out Bag.

Lubrication

This is a seriously critical issue with AR style rifles, and is one area that AK’s are better in. You need to properly lubricate your AR to keep it running. There is an ongoing controversy about shooting steel case ammunition in AR’s which I addressed in The Truth About Steel Cased ammunition.  I have seen a pretty fair number of AR’s actually lock up using steel cased ammo and in EVERY instance they were pretty dirty71c-nbsrysl__sl1500_ and bone dry! There are a lot of really good lubes on the market, but if you are a new AR owner you can’t go wrong with Break Free CLP. You can use it as a cleaner, lubricant and preservative.

 Important Lubrication Points On The Bolt Carrier Group

Lube the entire bolt head including the gas rings. Lubricate the locking lugs, and place a couple drops of oil in the two holes in the side of the bolt carrier. Lube the rails on the bolt carrier that ride in the recesses inside the upper receiver.

bolt-1

Lubricate the cam pin and the bearing surfaces it cams on inside the bolt carrier.

bolt-2

If you are a new AR owner, keeping your AR properly cleaned and properly lubricated, will insure it  serves you well in the difficult situations you probably bought it for. As I write this, AR’s are flying off the dealer shelves.

These are just a few hints on keeping the AR running and many experienced AR shooters will probably have more to add so feel free to comment. In future articles I will discuss magazines and ammunition.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper Tagged: defensive weapon, Maintaining an M-14 or M-4, Personal defense, Survival rifles

This Election As A SHTF Scenario

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6080137063_71b986b12f_bIf your reading this blog, odds are, you are already aware of how serious this election in November is. Those of you who have been in the prepping community for some time are already taking prudent steps. I believe that the future of this nation is grim, regardless of who gets elected. I do not think Trump will really be able to slow the locomotive down that is rapidly taking us to the brink. It has been too bad for too long but at least with him, one can hope. And if Killary is elected, she will push the throttle to the wall. This nation is more seriously divided now than we have been since the Civil War. And emotions of the serious people on both sides are just as high. The vast majority of the Sheeple really haven’t a clue, although I do sense that a lot of people are starting to wake up.

If Trump wins, the radical left is not going to just lay down and disappear. You can expect to see serious increases in violence from BLM and other radical groups. You canCivil unrest expect to see an increase in radical Muslim terrorist activity. If Killary wins, do not expect the majority of the Republican gutless cowards to try to prevent her from shredding the last vestiges of the Constitution, even if they retain control of the House and Senate. They couldn’t even control Obama. But there are a number of armed Patriots who are just going to say NO! And that could get serious quickly. 2017 is going to be a seriously dangerous year, no matter who wins. And those of you who care enough to survive, are going to have to make some serious decisions based on your individual situation.

But what if you are a guy or gal new to prepping or are just waking up? January isn’t that far off.  So how do you achieve some semblance of preparedness in time?

Educate Yourself Now!

There are a lot of good prepping blogs on the net and a lot of armchair expert idiots. You have to do your own sorting. I have a series of articles that will help you get started if you are just beginning.

_WAAC_-_SILENCE_MEANS_SECURITY__-_NARA_-_515987_tifYou especially need to pay attention to your OPSEC. And learn to be the Grey ManInvisible

Regardless of what stage you are in your preps, the election may cause you to change your plan, especially in regards to equipment and supplies and your schedule of accumulation. I am specifically talking about firearms and ammunition. If Killary wins, there is going to be a mass rush of people buying all of the weapons and ammo they can get with the accompanying shortages as we have seen before. But much worse. m&P 2She is going to use the executive order to control the availability of firearms and ammunition.  She will use BATF to rule and regulate firearms dealers out of business at any cost. Expect to see the mail order sale of ammunition prohibited at the federal level.

If you feel that you have a good basic battery of defensive weapons, Hornady critical_defenseI think you should seriously consider moving ammunition up to the top of your budget bucket list while it is still available. This is just my suggestion and each person and family will have to set their own priorities. Freeze dried food and camping equipment are probably not going to be regulated, at least not any time soon.  But I honestly feel that ammunition is subject to become a scarce commodity after the first of the year, either by runs on stores by concerned citizens, or dictatorial edict by Queen Killary. Just my opinion. As always, do your research, think, and form your own opinion.

CrusaderThen survive whatever comes!

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper Tagged: Beggining preppers, Election prepping, New preppers

Keep Russia Russian!

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Thoughtfully Prepping

VLADIMIR Putin is attempting to outlaw “alien values” in Russia’s judiciary system with a raft of new rulings.
Putin’s party want all laws to reflect the country’s traditional values.
Valentina Matviyenko said: “There are non-stop attempts to force our country into adopting legal stances and approaches that often conceal some values that are alien to us.”

Wow, imagine a country where they DON’T  kowtow to the ridiculous ‘hug a rapefugee’, multicultural, multi faith, give foreigners a better chance of life and rights to work above that of the indigenous population.

The kind of laws which the West’s limp dicks whoops wrist governments encourage.

Sounds sort of like utopia to me.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper

Smith And Wesson M & P15 Sport II

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m&P 2Most of my readers know that I tend to favor the AK system over the AR system for a number of reasons. I describe them here. But for a while I have decided to add an AR platform rifle to my battery. First, in about nine months I plan on increasing my small arms classes for those who carry an AR as their primary rifle. Secondly, with the election coming up and the possibility of Killary being elected, I decided now was the time to get an AR .

As I advise my readers. I did my research. When looking for a firearm for serious social work, quality has to be your first consideration. Then price. There are a lot of high quality AR system rifles on the market. And many of them have prices that reflect it. But after careful consideration of quality, features and price, I settled on the Smith and Wesson M&P-15-II . MSRP is $739.00 from Smith and I was able to get mine for $690.00. If you shop around, you can often find them in this range. I consider it a good bargain.

Right out of the box I was impressed with fit and finish. There is very little play between the upper and lower receivers. The bolt parts are tight and well finished. This is the Second Gen version that has the standard spring-loaded ejection port cover and the forward assist. Except for barrel length and only semi-auto, this rifle is basically the military M-4. However, the trigger guard is one piece and not the military style that folds down for arctic gloves.

MP-15-II

Basic Technical Stats

  • Caliber: 5.56 mm NATO (which means the chamber will also seat .223 Remington)
  • Action: Gas Operated Semi Auto
  • Capacity: 30+1 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 16” (40.64 cm)
  • Front Sight: Adj. A2 Post
  • Rear Sight: Folding Magpul® MBUS®
  • Overall Length: 35.0” (88.90 cm) Extended, 32.0” (81.28 cm) Collapsed
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Weight: 6.45 lbs. (2,925.7 g)
  • Barrel Material: 4140 Steel
  • Upper Material: 7075 T6
  • Lower Material: Aluminum
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • Forged, Integral Trigger Guard
  • Armornite® Finish (Durable Corrosion Resistant Finish)
  • Chromed Firing Pin.
  • Rifling: 1/9, 6 groove
  • Picatinny rail forward of the rear sight for mounting accessories.

Magazines, Sights and Sling

GetImageThe rifle comes with one Magpul Gen 2 P-mag. I ordered four more from Gabe Suarez’s One Source Tactical. This magazine is a highly tested and reliable mag used by military units around the world. There is now a Gen 3 version but I have not tested it.

The front sight is the standard A-2 sight with square post, and even has the bayonet lug at the bottom. Since federal regs require a rifle barrel be at least 16″ the barrel is too long to effectively attach a bayonet. The rear sight isGetImage3 a folding Magpul® MBUS®. This is a spring-loaded flip-up sight with two apertures. The smaller aperture is for fine shooting and the larger is for CQB applications. The rear sight is windage adjustable only as elevation adjustments are done on the front sight. ( Please note that the sights that came with my rifle are black and not green as pictured. These photos are from the Magpul site and the sight comes in various colors)

WINDAGE ADJUSTMENT3

  • ~0.7 MOA (0.754″/100m) per click with a 14.5″ sight radius
  • ~0.5 MOA (0.547″/100m) per click with a 20″ sight radius

I decided to fit the rifle with a simple military black strap sling. I have never liked tactical slings. Tried a number of them in Afghanistan and always went back to a simple strap sling. To each his own.

Range and Zeroing

I took the rifle to Joe Foss Range in Buckeye Arizona where I do most of my training classes. The M&P15-II comes with a 1:9 twist barrel. This is a good compromise to allow for the stabilization of both the M-193 55gr. bullet and the M-885 62gr. bullet. I decided to zero the rife with the M-193 round to begin with. I was using Federal M-193 military production from the Lake City Arsenal. The cases had LC 2013 and the NATO stamp on the cartridge base. I set up a military zero target at 25yds and began zeroing from the bench. I started out with sights as they came from the factory. AllIMG_0321 zero groups were three shot groups using the small sight aperture . The first group was way low right. I made a sight adjust ment and was then a bit high left. I then went to the second target (pictured) first group slightly right, and the second in the center. After getting a 25yd zero, I then moved the target out to 50yds and did three shot  drills on a silhouette target. The rifle grouped nicely in the center chest area.  I then moved it out to 100yds and did three shot timed fire drills from the bench. The group was nice and tight in the throat area. I brought the front sight down a bit so I was hitting a bit high in the chest area. I wanted a good 100yd zero, as this is the maximum range I would probably use this rifle at most of the time. I then moved the target back to 50yds and did Mozambique drills ( two to the chest, one to the head) from the standing ready position using the larger CQB aperture for the remainder of the ammunition. All chest shots were centered and all head shots were also, with no flyers. This is one accurate little rifle! I fired a total of 120 rounds out of four brand new magazines with no malfunctions. My next range foray I will try it with M-885 ball and see what zero and accuracy changes might ensue.

Summation

This is an accurate, reliable, well made and reasonably priced AR rifle. I am really impressed with it. I plan on working out with it a lot more and if accuracy and reliability remain constant, it may just end up being my primary go to rifle. If you are looking to get an AR before the election, the S&W M&P Sport II would be a good choice.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Firearms, Rifles, Survival Weapons Tagged: Firearms, M&P 15-II, New preppers, professional firearms instructor

Documentation To Take If Bugging Out

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1912_Birth_Certificate_Ken_BakerOften times when we think of bugging out we consider a number of tangible things: Vehicle to use, equipment, food, water, and defensive weaponry to have readily available for a quick move out are just some of the things to consider.The bug out bag itself is the center piece of much of the conversation in regards to prepping and survival. When planning on bugging out, there are a wide range of scenarios you need to consider. Is this a short-term trip to avoid a oncoming natural hazard, and you plan to return home eventually? Or is it a total societal breakdown? Or any of the hundreds of possible scenarios in between?

Many people who prepare to evacuate their home in any number of scenarios often fail to seriously consider one of the undeniable truths about bugging out depending on the severity of the crisis. You may not ever be able to go back to your home. And if you are able to eventually return, it is probable that all of your possessions will be gone, the home possibly destroyed, or even someone else now living there. So the next issue to consider is the distinct possibility of having to start your life completely over either at your old home or elsewhere. This is going to require important documents on your part.  Lets take a look at the two ways to carry documentation, paper and digital, and the types of documents you may want to consider. Remember, you are prepping for any number of situations, not just TEOTWAWKI. You should carry copies of important documents with you even when you go on vacation. You should also have a set in a bank safe deposit box. Remember redundancy? What happens if your house burns down when you are gone?

BF-AB155_02docJ_E_20110701215220Paper

Paper documents have the primary advantage of being readily accessible should you need them. Unless you are carrying a computer and printer in your bug out kit, you should have paper copies of your most important documents. And you need to keep them in a waterproof container of some sort. Keep in mind that paper can get heavy. You should limit your paper documents to just the bare essentials. But here are some recommendations of what you will probably need hard copy of:

  • Us-passportTwo forms of I.D. for each adult in the family. Preferably picture I.D.
  • Passport will work as one of the above. If you do not have one, get one. Even if you do not plan to travel.
  • Social Security cards.
  • Birth certificates (certified) for each family member.
  • Copies of all insurance policies( auto, life, guns, etc.)
  • Marriage Certificates( certified)
  • All property deeds.
  • Immunization records, if not complete medical records for each member of the family.
  • Vehicle registration documents, and title if they are clear.
  • Any unique documents that effect your identity: DD-214, adoption papers etc.
  • Bank records with all account numbers.
  • Prescriptions, both medical and eye glass.

Digital

As well as the hard copies above, you should have digital copies of them and any other documentation you may want to re construct ( family fotos, business records., etc.). You can place them on an encryption disk. Granted, you won’t be able to use them until you have access to a computer, but they are small, light, can hold much more information than you want to carry hard copy, and be safely encrypted. You can getSandisk Cruiser_ this ScanDisk Cruiser Fit  with built-in software very inexpensively.

Kindle Paperwhite_Another digital answer is a small tablet such as the Kindle Paperwhite. The advantage of this system is that not only can you store readable versions of your documents, but you can also store a large number of digital reference books such as survival books, weapons manuals, etc.

Every individual and family has a different situation and different needs. But to determine what documentation you should take with you in an emergency evacuation, short or long-term, ask yourself this question:

“If all I have is the rucksack on my back, what documentation would I need to reconstruct my life?”

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper Tagged: Beggining preppers, Bug Out Bag, bugging out, Survival and Prepping

Deadly Force: Have You Really Thought About It?

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Violators-Will-be-Shot-K-7669My company teaches a range of defensive firearms classes including Arizona Concealed Carry. And it never ceases to amaze me how few people have ever really seriously  considered the ramifications of using deadly force against another human being, either in a current Rule of Law situation, or even TEOTWAWKI Without Rule Of Law.

Lets get the legalities out of the way. I am NOT an attorney, and nothing in this article should be considered legal advice. You should always talk to an attorney in the jurisdiction in which you live about this issue.

Many law-abiding citizens are arming themselves for personal defense currently, or to defend themselves in a survival situation. (assuming they live in a jurisdiction that allows it.  I know I have an international readership and many of you live in countries where self-defense is almost impossible. This article is primarily for US readers but the part on post TEOTWAWKI might have relevance to you).

And many of these people train with their defensive armament, but never consider when and if they might actually have to kill another human being. And under what circumstances would or could they do it. It is a subject that you had better think about long and hard before you are placed in that situation. Shooting at a target on the range is a far cry from shooting at another moving human being who is shooting at you. And especially if just six months ago he was your next door neighbor and you had frequent social gatherings together. And your wives were best friends. You prepped. He didn’t.

Beyond the physical manipulation of you weapons (skill at arms) there are two considerations you need to seriously take into account: Legalities and morality. And these two issues will apply differently depending on whether your situation happens in a Rule Of Law environment, or a Without Rule Of Law environment. Lets look at both.

Rule Of Law Environment

Although there are many differences in various jurisdictions, there are some general principles that apply. There are  basically two types of force. Physical Force and Deadly Physical Force. Either of these can be either lawful or unlawful. As a rule of thumb, the law generally only allows you to use that level of force that is being used against you.  If someone is using unlawful physical force (hitting, punching, biting, etc.) you can use the same level of force to defend yourself. Unlawful physical force is generally not Use_of_Deadly_Force_Authorized_(5730792058)necessarily considered life threatening. But if someone uses unlawful deadly force (shooting, cutting, attacking with any type of weapon, etc.) then you would usually be justified in using lawful deadly force to defend yourself.  The criteria usually are  would a reasonable person in your situation believe that they were in immanent danger of death or serious bodily injury. Again, various jurisdiction have different takes on these concepts. Most places do not require that you attempt to retreat first but some do. Some jurisdictions have Castle Doctrines and some don’t. Basically, you only have the right to use deadly force to defend your life or the life of an innocent third-party.

US_Army_CID_agents_at_crime_sceneHere is a quick scenario on the use of force continuum. A party crasher enters your home while you are entertaining guests and is drunk,  loud and boisterous. You ask him to leave and he refuses. You try to physically put him out the door and he strikes you, You strike him back and he pulls a knife and tries to cut you. You pull your gun and shoot him. The situation went from verbal to physical to deadly physical with you only using that level of force that was used against you. Simplistic, but it explains the concept.  In most places you do not have the right to use deadly force against someone running out of your house with you TV or driving off in your car.  MOST jurisdictions will place the value of human life above the value of your property. KNOW the laws where you live. Deadly force should always be the LAST resort, All the preps in the world will do you no good if you are sharing a jail cell with Bubba when SHTF.

Something that most people do not consider is how much even a righteous lawful self-defense shooting is going to cost them financially. It will run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there are self-defense insurance policies you can buy at a reasonable cost that will help you in more ways than one. I recommend you research them and buy it if you can afford to do so. The truth is, you really cannot afford not to.

Conclusion: In a Rule of Law environment, it behooves you to KNOW the laws of your jurisdiction. Invest in good self-defense insurance. It is just as valuable as the insurance on your life, house, and car. If not more so. If the law itself places you in jeopardy, consider moving if you can. That is why I now live in Arizona

Without The Rule Of Law

Now things get problematic. If you are in a SHTF situation Without Rule of Law, then to some degree you are your own law. If there are no Police or government still functioning then a Civil unrestlarge number of people are going to take advantage of that to do anything they want or feel desperate enough to do. Looting, arson, rape, murder, the list goes on. You have a moral right to defend you and yours and the things you have that keep you alive. The prohibition against taking human  life to protect property is not going to be valid if the property is the food and water you need to survive on, and without which you will die. Many preppers who plan their survival for a WROL situation often overlook one critical factor though. Total WROL will not last forever.

WROL creates a vacuum and all vacuums have to be filled. The original “authority” may eventually re-establish itself  and require people to give an accounting of themselves. An example would be the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. A new “authority” may evolve. People are going to form groups which will develop social norms or “laws” , and they may try to force or enforce those laws on anyone they come into contact with. Even on a local personal level you have to consider the effects of your actions. You may feel smug justification for shooting the kid who was stealing your carrots out of your garden, but his father, older brothers, uncles and cousins, who are all heavily armed, may not see it your way. Always keep in mind that you may very well be held accountable for your actions, even if totally justified, at some point down the road by somebody. As a practical, tactical matter, it is a good idea to avoid using deadly physical force unless you have no choice.

Conclusion:   Even in a WROL situation, you need to use good judgement before you use deadly force. The former Rule of Law may return at some point, or be replaced by a new version. And you want to avoid at all possible making serious enemies of other armed people unless you absolutely have no other choice.

When Killing Is Necessary

There are combat veterans, seasoned Police officers and even average citizens who have been forced by job or necessity to take human life. They understand what the experience can do to you. But I suspect that a tremendous number of decent people who are properly preparing have not had that experience. They soberly arm themselves and practice with their weaponry frequently. The problem is that many of them have not moved beyond the simulated paper target stage. For far too many honest people, actually using their weaponry on another live human being is still thought about in the abstract. If “They” come at me I will shoot. If “They” attempt to steal my food I will shoot “them”. “They” may be highly armed thugs that are running around looting, robbing, and raping. And having to kill these types in self defense is more than morally justified. But what if “They” are former neighbors that you know personally. Could you really pull the trigger? What if “they” are a group of feral children (and in a TEOTWAWKI situation, there will be a lot of those) can you pull the trigger on a 10 year old even if he is pointing a shotgun in your direction demanding food? Or stealing the last 5 gallons of water you have? And how are you going to deal with it afterwards? Can you?  You better know the answers to these questions before hand.

I’m not trying to be melodramatic here. But these are serious realities you may face. Nothing can totally prepare you for the moment you have to kill another human being, or even a lot of other human beings.  In the military, new units and new soldiers train extensively. But then they must go through a “Baptism of Fire”.

So how does someone who has never had this kind of experience realistically prepare themselves? Of course, skill at arms is important. Know your weapons and how to use them thoroughly. But you need to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally as much as possible. Forget the hype, macho slogans, and especially Hollywood. You need to at least understand the mental and emotional aspects of killing another human being, and the effects it can have on you. At least mentally understanding these things will help you prepare to effectively use deadly physical force if necessary. And to come to terms with it.

A tremendous amount of research has been done on the psychological and physiological effects of killing. Lt. Col. Dave Grossman is an internationally recognized scholar, author, soldier, and speaker who is one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime. He has written 41Bu29eZsZL__SX311_BO1,204,203,200_two books that I think would be highly useful reading for anyone who is anticipating having to participate in serious deadly incidents in order to survive . On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. This was his first book. Many people do not know that only 1 in 8 Army Infantrymen fired their rifles in combat in WW2, whereas almost all crew served weapons gunners did. There is a psychological reason for this and this book will explain it. You can learn a lot about the types of thinking and emotions you will experience in a deadly situation. His second book, On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace is a followup to his first. From the Amazon page, “On Combat looks at what happens to the human body under the stresses of deadly battle and the impact on the nervous system, heart, breathing, visual and auditory perception, memory – then discusses new research findings as to what measure warriors can take to prevent such debilitations, so they can stay in the fight, On Combat_survive, and win. A brief but insightful look at history shows the evolution of combat, the development of the physical and psychological leverage that enables humans to kill other humans, followed by an objective examination of domestic violence in America. The authors reveal the nature of the warrior, brave men and women who train their minds and bodies to go to that place from which others flee. “

As many of us continue to say, your mind is your best weapon. All of the best equipment in the world is no good if you are mentally unprepared to deal with serious and immediate violence, both when it happens and afterwards. Thinking about these issues in a sober manner, and then understanding what has happened to those before you will help you to at least know what to expect. And that gives you a better chance to survive.

 

 

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper

The Survival Mule. A Combination Locker/Trailer

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3d4d00626ce4649714784624e563b73eNecessity is the mother of invention. A lot of good ideas are born when someone has a need, can’t find it on the market, so developes it himself. The Survival Mule falls into this category. I hasten to point out that I have not personally tested this item, but it seems like such an interesting idea, I thought you might like to hear about it. Chris Koelzer, the developer, is a 23 year Marine veteran who wanted to solve the problem of both prepper storage, and the ability to bug out quickly if necessary. The Survival Mule was the result.

The Survival Mule is basically a strong vertical storage cabinet that can be quickly DSC_0393_zpsk611tjedconverted to a vehicle trailer. The advantage of the vertical locker is that it can store a lot of gear in a space-saving manner. The advantage of the trailer is that you can take9418ee52d0cfa022562621f3d21cceea this stuff with you quickly if you have to get out of Dodge pronto. It is like having a prepackaged large bug out bag ready to go. The locker itself is made from galvanized 1136a435c180662aaa7d22b1a74dfd8esteel and has four rollers on the bottom to aid in moving it around in the vertical position. The cabinet has four movable shelves. The concept is modular.  There are a number of accessories available including tail lights and wiring028ff6bedc5c686cd6e79158e2e9a25a harness to make it street legal if your jurisdiction requires. Chris claims that the maximum load is approximately 1600 lbs. He also claims that he has driven it from Minnesota to Montana and back, for a total test trip of 4000 miles.

I e-mailed Chris and asked him about off-road endurance and he replied saying “The rubber torsion half-axles provide independent suspension rated to 2,000 pounds gross weight.  The MULE itself is about 400 pounds, so these allow about 1,600 max pounds of cargo.  I have loaded it to almost 700 pounds internally, which is the configuration I drove it on a dirt cornfield border road behind the Suburban.   Production axles info here:  http://www.ucfamerica.com/flexhalf.html”

9b39051db0b09f2b1e174b57498eb68eThe cabinet can also be removed from the trailer frame and an appropriate size piece of plywood can make it a flatbed trailer. The wheels come on and off quickly and there is a spare tire mounted on the tongue. The Survival Mule is assembled right here in Minnesota USA of primarily American and Canadian parts. This combination storage locker/trailer seems like a pretty neat idea and you can learn a lot more at the owner’s website.

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“Us” looking Inwards.

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Another excellent article from Thoughtfully Prepping

Thoughtfully Prepping

Do you know yourself?
I mean REALLY know yourself?
Can you look into a mirror and analyse yourself?
selfexamination

I’m working with SWMBO on this article as we work as a double act each seeing different aspects of the other and everything in general. That and she is a scary judge of a person. A useful trait in survival.
pairnoarmThere are a number of theories going about regarding the best survival number or group make up.

  • The singleton (preferably with a dog).
    Able to move rapidly, responsible for themselves, no debate on decisions, no group rules or group loyalty to follow.
  • The Pairing.
    By design or necessity. Each looking after the other’s back. Still retaining mobility.
  • The unit.
    • Military foundation.
      Clear defined roles and command structure. Tends to be inflexible, often predictable, lacks spontaneity and inventiveness on the fly, and sometimes too inwardly looking.
    • Family orientated.
      Will usually follow the hierarchy…

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The Zika Virus. What It Means To You

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Anopheles_stephensiMosquito borne diseases have been the bane of mankind from the beginning.  Malaria, for example, is an ancient disease that probably originated in Africa. It has been described by the Chinese as far back as 2700BC and the Sumerians from 1700 BC

Mosquitos can carry, and transmit to humans, diseases such as : malaria, dengue, filariasis, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis[.     

Zika

Zika is a relatively new mosquito borne virus that we really don’t know a lot about. What we do know isn’t good. Zika virus is carried by the Aedes mosquito, It seems to have started in equatorial Africa and is now running rampant in South America. There are also now cases reported in the United States. It is especially harmful to pregnant women, and can cause serious birth defects in the unborn called microcephaly. The child can be born with an abnormally small head diminishing mental capacity, and in some cases it can be fatal. For adults, the resulting illness only lasts a few days. The symptoms, including a rash, joint pains, inflammation of the eyes and fever, Basically, serious flu like symptoms. However, it is important to note that evidently a large percentage of infected people seem to show no signs of having the virus. It has been reported that Zika can possibly  be sexually transmitted. It can rapidly spread when a mosquito bites an infected person, and then transmits it to another, uninfected, person.

Prevention and Treatment_Are_you_a_mosquito_breeder__-_NARA_-_513877

There is no vaccine to prevent or cure Zika. However, prevention techniques are the same as for any other mosquito borne disease. Avoid traveling to those areas where a large number of infections have been reported. The Center for Disease Control has a list of travel warnings on their website. If you have to travel to these areas, try to avoid areas with a lot of mosquitos, wear Sawyer 51sMNFe6SiLlong pants and long sleeved shirts, and use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535.. Consider using mosquito nets when sleeping, and even wearing insect repellent clothing.91ureNoVsPL__SL1500_

Right now there is serious ongoing investigation into the Zika virus. It is important to stay up to date on the findings. There is a lot that we do not know about this virus yet.

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, New preppers, Survival and Prepping, Survival disease prevention

When it all begins

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Although this is from and excellent U.K.based blog, the principles certainly apply here in the US.

Thoughtfully Prepping

When what begins? Whatever, it doesn’t matter.
During a crisis aka event, SHTF, scenario, or whatever you want to call it, loads of people will go into instant brain lock.

Some will just wander round not taking any of it in,
A few will just stand in shock and awe.
There may be a few running around in panic not knowing what to do.
(That would be TPTB).

Bottom line? You may one of only a few thinking clearly!

The initial assessment of what has happened and what you need to do to survive demands you to react quickly, concisely, and paying due regard to the Rules of Three.

Only what are you going to do if
your plans fail at the first hurdle?

Take bugging out.
You all grab your GO bags, everyone gets into the vehicle (pre-packed with everything), you open the garage door, TO THE TRAFFIC JAM…

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Oral Hygiene When SHTF

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Toothbrush-20060209Sometimes when prepping, it is the little things we forget to prepare for. And often, it is things we do daily, like brushing our teeth. Not as glamorous a subject as the fastest way to reload an AK, how to build a fire in the rain, or how to find water in the desert. But it is a subject, that if ignored, can put you down seriously. And possibly permanently.

Death from tooth abscess was a fairly common occurrence up until the 20th century, even though  methods of tooth cleaning were practiced for thousands of years.  Just like you need to prep for all forms of hygiene, you need to seriously consider oral hygiene preps. And in SHTF, you need to clean your teeth as often as possible.

Tooth Brushes

Toothbrush_x3_20050716_001Store a good quantity of spare tooth brushes. You should change your brush when the bristles start flaring out. Don’t throw them away though, they make good additions to your weapons cleaning kit.  There are some natural alternative to factory tooth brushes. For centuries people have used “chew sticks” to clean their teeth. This is simply a small twig flared on the end to simulate a tooth-brush. Find a twig about the thickness of a pencil and chew on the end until the fibers separate. Not all woods are suitable. Some that work well are Willow, Ash, Chestnut, Peach, Hazel, Apple,  and Birch.

Tooth Paste and Substitutes71Z69w3M5bL__SL1500_

Factory tooth paste is good to stock up on. Estimate a tube a month per person. There are a number of alternatives that are just as good though. Brushing with even plain 81P54GuNR1L__SL1500_water can help. 81qUyZl7G4L__SL1500_Baking soda and salt are also good substitutes. If you are planning on bugging in for extended periods, you will want to stock up on these two items anyway. You can make an effective tooth paste by combining the two.  Mix one part salt to two parts baking soda after pulverizing the salt into powder. It will remove plaque and help keep your gums healthy.

Flossing

Flossing is actually more important than tooth paste. Your tooth-brush can only reach about 2/3 of the teeth surfaces. If you run out of floss, thread from your sewing kit can be used. Flossing is an essential part of oral hygiene, especially in the field.

Rinses

31MDnnk+8xLEven just rinsing your mouth with water by forcing it between the teeth will help. An excellent mouth rinses is 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, mixed with an equal amount of water. Rinse your mouth with while forcing it through the spaces of the teeth for about 15-30 seconds before brushing. This will kill a lot of the bacteria that causes oral health issues.

 

Dental First Aid

Many preppers will go to considerable lengths to stock first aid supplies, manuals, and take first aid training courses to be prepared for SHTF scenarios. But even under ideal conditions, with a dentist available, many people will have dental issues. In a SHTF situation, without the availability of a trained dentist, this situation becomes serious.61emvBmNwYL__SX337_BO1,204,203,200_ An abcessed tooth can end up killing you as dead as a looter’s bullet. Learning to apply dental first aid is a critical skill all preppers should consider. Where There Is No Dentist is an excellent book that covers a broad spectrum on oral health, and dealing with many of the oral health problems you would find in a SHTF situation, and how to handle dental first aid in a primitive setting.  It is a first aid manual for your teeth. It should be in every prepper’s library.

 

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Dental First Aid SHTF, New preppers, Survival and Prepping

The M-1 Garand As A Plan B Rifle

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m1_garand_rifle_-_usa_-_30-06_-_armc3a9museumThe attack on “assault rifles” has begun anew. Regardless of the hoopla in the media, the odds of any significant restrictive legislation being passed at the federal level is slim until the results of the next presidential election at least. However certain local People’s Republics continue to assail the Constitutional rights of American citizens in regards to the types of firearms they can own. Primarily, they are directed against those evil, pistol griped, detachable high-capacity magazine holding, bayonet hanging black plastic THINGS. If you live in one of these occupied areas, move. If you are forced to live in, work in, or navigate through one of these regions, and need a dependable combat rifle, take heart. You have options. I described the Lever Action Rifle for Preppers. These rifles have evaded the restrictions placed on AR and AK platforms in some areas. But I think there is another viable option. The venerable M-1Infantryman_in_1942_with_M1_Garand,_Fort_Knox,_KY Garand. I am only going to discuss the suitability characteristics  of the Garand in regards to restrictive firearms areas, but for a good general history of the rifle as well as some useful links check out the Wikipedia article on it.

So what would be some of the advantages of the Garand in an “assault rifle” hostile jurisdiction? It has no pistol grip, no detachable magazine, the stock is made of wood, and if necessary the bayonet lug could be easily ground off.

GarandpartsThe M-1 is a rugged rifle. It is chambered for the cal.30 cartridge known to civilians as the .30-06. This is an extremely powerful cartridge compared to 5.56mm or 7.62×39. It is capable of long-range engagement of hostile targets out to 600 yards easily with iron sights if you do your stuff, and even longer if you are a seriously accomplished marksman. 1274In 30-06, Federal even makes a 150gr FMJ bullet specifically for the M-1. This load duplicates the ballistics of the M-2 Ball round issued with the M-1. The rifle will typically digest a large range of sporting loads, however you  to test any you plan to use, as individual rifle can be finicky with soft nosed ammo. In hunting loads, it will take down all big game inM-1 owners guide bookpng North America. Many have been rechambered for 7.62mm NATO and you can have a specialty gunsmith do that if you want, but it will add on to the overall cost of the rifle.

The rifle has an excellent adjustable peep sight that can be adjusted for both elevation and windage. There are commercial scope mounts available if you want to mount glass on it and make it your long-range rifle.  It is a bit on the heavy side and will average about 11+ lbs. fully loaded with sling and cleaning kit in the butt stock, depending on the density of the stock. But then again, I have clients with tricked out M-4s that weigh that much. Spare parts are readily available from a number of sources and there are gunsmiths that specialize in accurizing and repairing them. The M-1 Garand has one potential weakness for the M-1 clipsurvivalist/prepper though. It uses an 8rd en bloc clip that the cartridges are fed into the magazine with and which gets ejected when the last cartridge is fired. This means you have only an 8 rd. capacity. That isn’t  really all that bad. But the problem is that without these clips, the rifle is effectively a single loader. Luckily, spare clips are readily available and you should consider stocking up on these for future use. They are cheap, light, easily transported and easily loaded.

The M-1 is a rugged, dependably, battle tested rifle. I have a mint International Harvester manufactured one that is my plan B rifle.

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My Top 10 Favorite Prepper Blogs For 2015

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Picture1There are a LOT of prepper oriented blogs on the internet. A LOT! You could spend a whole day (or more) trying to do just a brief visit of many of them. As a prepper blogger myself, I spend a bit of time reviewing other blogs for some essential reasons. Partly for my own education and entertainment, and partly to see what trends preppers seem to be interested in. I then try to fill gaps with my own articles. Some sites, like my own, publish original content with the occasional guest article. Other sites re post good article and serve as sort of a “Readers Digest” for the prepper community.

The following 10 sites are simply my favorites currently. They may or may not be listed on anyone’s “Best” prepper lists, but they are the ones that I enjoyed the most this last year, and had the most influence on both my writing and personal prepping direction. Check them out. They are listed in no special order.

Thoughtfuly Prepping

This is a U.K. based site that has some really interesting content. The owner is former Brit military, and has some very interesting points of view that are often not in line with “mainstream” preppers. Much of his content revolves around U.K. politics, but he also has a large archive of practical prepping articles. “Thoughtfully” will often cause you to stop and re-evaluate pre conceived ideas you may have. Many Americans forget that there are other defenders of Western Civilization that see the issues through different eyes. Worth reading and  worth subscribing to.

Graywolf Survival

When I cam home from six years of security contracting overseas and settled in Arizona, I began re doing my preps based on the desert location I was in. This was the first blog I began actively reading because the content is written by a combat vet with much of the same experience I have, and he also resides in Arizona. His articles tend to be longer than the average “puff” prepper reads and he focuses on practical, useful information. And he does it in detail. His articles are well researched and well written and you actually get knowledge from what you read. Worth subscribing to.

Handy Granny in da Woods

Granny is a relatively new site and has a lot of good articles from the homesteading natural living point of view. She will tell you a lot of things your granny would have told you were she still around and she links to a lot of very readable articles on other sites. She wrote a good book on surviving Grid Down.

Backyard Preppers US

This site has a large amount of archived material that runs the entire gamut of prepping. Like Graywolf, their articles tend to be a bit longer and more informative that your average prepper “Puff” posts. Great for research on subjects that interest you.

The Defensive Training Group

These folks post a large amount of tactical oriented material. Their articles are well written and illustrated. Large amounts of tactical training tips and equipment reviews. I use them often for research and general knowledge. They also provide online training courses, but since I have not taken any, cannot comment of them.

Backdoor Survival

This blog has been around for some time and is currently number 2 on the Prepper Website Top Prepper List. ( I think I am somewhere around 37). Great archive of articles and I use it some for research.

US Crow

This is a seriously patriotic blog that tends towards a lot of tactical information. They have an extensive archive of articles of use to preppers. They also advertise an “elite” membership but I havn’t indulged. Their free content is very useful.

Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy are a husband/wife doctor/nurse team that has one outstanding blog that deals primarily with medical issue related to survival. They have a TREMENDOUS archive of survival medicine oriented article and I highly recommend you spend some of your prepping studies on their site!

SHTF Prepper

This is a relatively newer site that posts not only his own written material but re posts really good articles from other sites.  (He has re posted a number of mine).

Prepper Website

And finally, the grandaddy of them all. Prepper Website is a daily reader’s digest of current prepper articles. He reviews articles on a daily basis and posts links to those he thinks the prepper community will benefit some. If your article makes it to his daily page, your hits explode! This is a great place to start and he also has a tremendous archive by subject. A great place to prepper research. He also hosts the Prepper Website Top Prepper Sites list where the prepper community can vote for their favorite prepper blog once daily. I am now #37 out of 167 listed sites.

So, those were the top 10 sites I spent my time on in 2015. I am sure the list will change a bit in this coming year, but I can highly recommend all ten of the above.

 

 

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Best prepper Blogs, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping

Protective Masks For Preppers

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M50_gas_maskDepending on what you perceive to be the major threats you wish to prepare for, there is a tremendous amount of equipment and supplies to choose from. Should a protective mask be a part of your preps? How do you go about making that decision? And what kind of mask would you want?

Like most issues involving equipment selection, this one needs to be looked at with sober thought before you run out and buy. So first, lets take a look at some possible reasons you might need a protective mask.

Logo_iso_radiationNuclear, Biological, Chemical Agent (NBC): If you are concerned about nuclear attack, live near a nuclear plant and worry about leaks and  meltdowns, or are concerned about a terrorist chemical or biological attack, you might have use for a mask.

1918FluVictimsStLouisDisease Pandemic: Concerned that you may have to travel through an areas where a pandemic is taking its toll on the local population?

Exploded_tear_gas_can_on_the_flyRiot Control Agents: If you get caught up in a civil unrest situation where the authorities are using crowd dispersal agents, a mask could be useful.

Traveling Through an Area With A Lot Of Decomposing Bodies. Human or animal.  Not a pleasant thought, and unfortunately a subject that seems to be avoided in most prepper circles.

surviver nuclear book_O.K. So any of the above scenarios might indicate that having a proper protective mask might be useful. But there are some limitations to masks you have to understand. A protective mask is designed to protect your lungs. To prevent you from inhaling harmful substances into them. It will not protect your body from radiation, nor will it protect you from absorbing harmful agents through your skin. To get the full benefit of a mask, you have to also know how to protect the rest of your body from a variety of harmful agents. Masks are uncomfortable and many restrict your vision. Depending on design, they can be difficult to operate a shoulder weapon when worn. And when you need it, you need it NOW! That means you need to get used to having it pretty much on you constantly, or at least in danger areas, and you need to practice, practice, practice putting it on quickly and correctly. Just like the military. Still interested?

Types Of Masks: There are types of standards you need to be aware of. These standards determine what level the mask will filter. FFP3 Filters at least 99% of airborne particles. (European standard EN 149 ). P3 Filters at least 99.95% of airborne particles.(European standard EN 143 )  P99-P100 Filters at least 99%, 99.97% of airborne particles (NIOSH-Approved U.S. standards). Make sure the mask and filter is rated for chemical blowing and riot control agents, designated by the CBA/RCA rating, and nuclear, biological and chemical agents, carrying the NBC rating.Air_Raid_Precautions_on_the_British_Home_Front-_Anti-gas_Instruction,_c_1941_D3948

Surplus or Commercial: Be very leery of surplus military masks. There is a reason they are surplus. They may be old, worn out, or out dated. Masks are relatively an expensive investment for militaries. However, there are some good ones on the market that have been in storage since manufactured and were simply replaced by newer models. You want to insure that you have a mask that will take the standard NATO 40mm filter. Regardless of the date of your mask, you need to have relatively new filters. And a number of spares! Shelf life of filters will depend on the packaging, but if they are in vacuum sealed packets they should last a lKidsInGasMasksong time before use.

Desirable Features: The first issue is that the mask will have a good seal. I will discuss checking your mask later in the article. Some masks have drinking tubes that you can connect a canteen to and drink water while masked. You mask should be able to use NATO standard 40mm filters (LEARN the markings on the filters. Some filters are for training use only and would be useless in a real scenario. Some filters are good for riot control agents but not other threats. Buy new manufactured filters and avoid surplus filters with old dates). A voice enhancing mechanism would be desirable for communication.

What To Avoid

Old US M17 series masks with cheek filters. These are hard to replace and tedious to change. These filters are now difficult to find. Trust me on this one. I have spent hours on them in the Army. All Russian, East German surplus masks. Poor quality and dubious condition.  M9 gas masks with the 60-mm size cartridge. The filters for these masks are oddly sized and are not compatible with the NATO standard 40mm filters.

Mask availability: This is an area you really need to do your research and shop around. Since the Ebola scare, quality masks are being bought up rapidly.  A good quality mask that you can rely on may either be military or commercial but can cost you some money. Do not let price be a deciding factor. Do your research, learn the subject, shop around. AGM stocks a large number of masks, filters and accessories. They also sell a kit to enable you to test your mask to check the fit of your mask. Another company, The Survival Center, also carries masks and supplies. There are two masks I have extensive experience with. The U.S. M-17 masks I used in the Army, and the GermanM65Natogasmaskwithcasecut Draeger M-65 military mask. I still use the Draeger I bought brand new years ago. It is a good mask. They can be bought very cheaply on E-bay but make sure they are unissued (not surplus) the rubber isn’t brittle or cracked, and TEST THEM FOR PROPER FIT AND BUY NEW FILTERS before you commit to relying on them.

Testing Your Mask

You can buy a kit as mentioned above or you can perform your own test. Remove the filter(s) and cover the intake hole with your hand. Breathe in and the mask should collapse on you face and remain collapsed for at least 10 seconds. If it doesn;t make sure you are closing off the air intake completely or adjust the fit using the adjustable straps. Do the test in reverse. Exhale and the mask should not alow air to escape. Guys, understand that facial hair may and probably will interfere with the proper sealing of the mask.

Training

Like any other item of survival equipment, having a mask doesn’t mean you know how to use it. Military standard is to don, and clear your mask in 9 seconds. Are you willing to train with your mask until you can do that?

Conclusion

Having a protective mask may or may not fit into your prepping plans. But if you decide one is appropriate, do your research, know the subject, and buy the best quality mask you can afford. Then TRAIN with it.

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Gas masks for preppers

10 Items To Stockpile For A Disaster

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This is a guest article by Barbara Allen (Nom de plume)

TornadoNature is known for not giving a rat’s about humanity and what we do in relation to politics and war. If you’re someone who isn’t afraid of a future economic collapse (and therefore refuse to buy gold to prepare for it) or afraid of the amount of war going on in the world right now, that is completely fine.

There is something you do have to be very afraid of, and that is a natural disaster. This is the one thing that humanity has no defense against. When nature decides that it has had enough of a particular part of the world, the scale of the disasters that occur is so terrible and huge that it will leave your jaw on the floor.

Indeed, the aftermath of a disaster is almost as bad as the pain that is inflicted during it. For example, when a hurricane hits a city, it can easily be blocked off by stormy weather conditions and debris. This can lead to the hundreds of thousands of people in the city being trapped without food, water, emergency services and a way out.

Be prepared for anything

However, you won’t have to suffer as much if you are stranded after a disaster has happened, as long as you prepare yourself, your home and your family for the eventuality. While mankind can’t defend against the disasters, we do have early warning systems in place to warn people long before the event actually occurs. If you are prepared even before this system warns you, you are immediately going to have the tactical advantage in the field right after the disaster takes place.

For example, if the disaster that is coming in is a storm with a chance of floods, the early warning system would allow you to move all of the items you have stored for a disaster to higher ground. This will prevent your food and water as well as your medicines from being washed away. When a warning does come through, drop what you are doing immediately. If you have an evacuation plan, take it. Leave your material possessions behind – nothing is more important than your life.

10 essentials for survival

If you plan on riding the storm out in your home or a safe location, there are some items that you need to keep in storage for this situation. When it comes to it, you are definitely going to need these in order to get the best chances of survival and possible comfort.

1 – Water

Water brickStore enough water for every person to have a gallon a day. Get a water filter as well. This should be one that is portable so as to take it up to the roof if you need to. It will serve you well if flooding causes the government supply of drinking water to become polluted. If you live near the CDC, it would be best not to touch the flood water unless your need is dire. Just saying.

2 – Non-perishable foodMRE_20071124

Canned food is a good example of this. Any food items that can be kept for years without an expiry date fall into this category too. You need to make sure that you have the right items to help you get through the experience in one piece. Make sure that you also stock a can opener or two in there. The last thing you want is to be surrounded by cans of food without a way to open them up.

These are the two most important things to have. In addition to this, have a supply of:

Mini%20Mag%20Lights3 – Flashlights and extra batteries

4 – Candles, lighters and matches

5 – Clothes and blankets

6 – Cooker (stove)esbit 1_

7 – Source of heat (kerosene heaters are good)

8 – Alcohol and cigarettes

9 – First aid kitIFAK

10 – Basic tools

These are just 10 of the hundreds of items you can have to survive and barter with in a disaster situation.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Disaster Preparation, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping

Ground Insulation When Sleeping Outdoors

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Therma rest z lite_I recently did an article on selecting sleeping systems for SHTF. Having a quality sleeping bag is a necessity in most climates, but it is only part of the story. Insulating yourself from frozen ground, ground moisture and wind are also critically important.

Without trying to get into the science of thermodynamics, suffice to say that if you lay your warm body on the cold ground, the ground will win the contest. It is a mass that you will never reach equilibrium with, so it will pull heat energy from your body until you are the same temperature as it is. So you need insulation between you and the ground. Since the insulation in your sleeping bag will be compressed underneath you reducing it’s effectiveness, the sleeping pad is an essential piece of gear in your sleep system.

The R Value

Insulation is measured according to its capacity to resist heat flow. That is called an R value. The R-values are provided by the manufacturers and range from 1.0 (minimally insulated) to 9.5 (well insulated). Thicker pads generally offer higher R-values but are heavier.

Types of Sleeping Pads

Inflatable Air Mattress: Although they provide a lot of comfort compared to sleepingair mattress_ on the hard ground, I feel they have some drawbacks for SHTF survival. For one thing, with hard usage they will leak. I don’t care how well made they are. I used them in the Army (fondly refered to as the Rubber Lady), and without air, they are useless for insulation. If you are bugging out by vehicle, they may have some merit as you can easily inflate them from your vehicle accessory plug using an electric pump. But you really need to have a pad that you can carry with your sleeping bag in your bug out bag for bugging out on foot.

Therma rest z lite_Closed Foam: These are basic pads and are usually lightweight with good insulating qualities. Therma Rest is a company that make an excellent line of sleeping pads. The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Mattress is a good example. The foam construction is soft on top and dense on bottom. It has an R value of 2.2, weighs 10oz, and the dimensions are: Width: 20 inches, Length: 51 inches ,Thickness: 0.75 inches.

Self Inflating: These are foam mattressestrail pro_ that will self inflate to some degree. They offer a combination of additional comfort as well as good insulation: The Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro Mattress is an example. It has an R value of 4.0. Dimensions are 15 x 7 x 7 inches,. It weighs in at 2.7 pounds.

These are just a few examples of the types of sleeping pads you should consider for your survival sleeping system. The idea is to get insulation between you and the ground to retain body warmth in a package that you can travel with.

As always, decide what you need, do your research, and buy the best quality you can afford.

 

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping, Survival Sleeping gear

Sleeping System Selection For Preppers

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Merlin 2In a SHTF situation, sleep is going to be a critical component of your survival. Especially if you have to bug out, proper sleeping gear can be of paramount importance. So how do you go about selecting proper sleeping gear, especially a sleeping bag?

There are some basic considerations you need to think about first. The climate of the area you will be operating in (especially winter, which will determine the temperature rating your bag needs to be), the type of filling the bag will have, and the weight of the bag.

Climate: I live in the Arizona desert. Summers are brutally hot, but winters can get a bit cold as well as wet during our monsoon season. I can probably get by year round with a G.I. poncho and a G.I. poncho liner.61ZNrdxuQFL__SL1024_ (both of which are in my bug out bag), but I also carry my two season  SnugPak Softie 3 Merlin.    The poncho and liner are a good addition to a sleeping bag for use as a ground sheet and extra insulation. I also still have my Army issue Extreme Cold Weather bag that is good to -20 degrees that I brought home when I retired in reserve. This is an excellnt bag, but it is large and weighs about 7.5 pounds.. I have carried it on an Alice rucksack for long marches in Germany, but this bag has been replaced in the military by the modular system I describe below.

Bags are rated according to the temperature range they are designed for. In the United States a sleeping bag’s rating typically indicates the lowest temperature at which it will keep the average sleeper warm.

  1. Summer season – +35° and higher
  2. 3-season – +10° to +35°
  3. Winter – +10° and lower

However there is no real standardization between companies, so you need to do your research and study the test reports before making a final decision. In Europe, they have developed the  EN 13537 standard which rates sleeping bags as follows:

  • the upper limit is the highest temperature at which a ‘standard’ adult man is able to have a comfortable night’s sleep without excess sweating.
  • the comfort rating is based on a ‘standard’ adult woman having a comfortable night’s sleep.
  • the lower limit is based on the lowest temperature at which a ‘standard’ adult man is deemed to be able to have a comfortable night’s sleep.
  • the extreme rating is a survival only rating for a ‘standard’ adult man. This is an extreme survival rating only and it is not advisable to rely on this rating for general use. (Wikipedia)

The transition zone, in between the comfort and lower temperature, is usually considered as the best purchase guideline.

Filling: Goose Down is lighter, compresses easier and is warmer per equal weight.  However, if it gets wet, it is pretty much useless as for heat retention. Some of the newer insulation such as Lamilite or Polarguard 3D will still retain some warmth when wet.

Weight: If you plan on carrying your bag on your rucksack, such as when bugging out, weight is going to be an important factor. Generally, the lower the temperature you bag will keep you comfortable in, the heavier the weight of the bag.

One excellent system available on the market is the U.S. Military sleeping system.  91ay4IcH-BL__SL1500_This is the older 4 piece modular system that has been replaced by a newer 5 piece system. Includes 4 components: green mummy style Patrol Bag, black mummy style Intermediate Bag, weather resistant camouflage GorTex Bivy Cover and 6 or 9 strap Compression Stuff Sack. Rated down to -50°F. This lower rating is assuming a soldier is wearing military Extended Cold Weather clothing. In warmer climates you can use the patrol bag by itself which is rated for use at 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The Intermediate bag is designed for use in cold climates ranging from -10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Added together and you should be able to stay warm at temperature found in most of the country. The whole ensemble weighs in at about 9 pounds, and the Gortex bivy bag makes it truly waterproof. At just under $200.00, this set is field proven by the military, and to me, an excellent value considering it’s quality and flexibility.

Conclusion;

Whatever sleeping system you decide on, remember to include a waterproof ground sheet or Gortex bivy bag.  A waterproof bag to carry it in is also a good idea.

There are a number of excellent sleeping bag systems on the market. Using your weather and weight criteria, you really need to get the best bag that you can afford. This is one area that scrimping on money could be very costly in the long run.

As always, do your research and buy carefully.

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper

Body Armor. Should You Include It In Your Preps?

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untitledI get this question sometimes from students in my classes, and by e-mail from people who read this blog. So, as an average prepper (if there is such a thing) should you spend the money and effort to get body armor, and if so, what kind? For those who have not been trained in body armor use, there are a lot of misconceptions about this subject.

First of all, there is no such thing as a “bullet proof vest”. Body armor is categorized according to the level of protection that is based on the type of ammunition they will protect against. I read a lot from armchair generals who insist that you must have the highest level of body armor protection available, I.E. will stop 5.56mm and 7.62mm. armor-piercing or why waste the time. Evidently none of these heroes have ever worn this type of armor anywhere other than the dressing room of their local police supply shop. I have. I am not going to go into the large variety of body armor available. I want to discuss concepts so you can understand what you may or may not need/want.

Up to level IIIA, body armor is generally made of woven Kevlar panels. Higher levels will consist of insertable plates made of steel or ceramic.

First lets look at how body armor is rated according to levels of protection, according to the National Institute of Justice rating scheme.Craig_Ballistic_Plate

Level IIA: Will protect against most handguns (not 44 magnums and larger). It is the thinnest and lightest armor.

Level IIIA will stop all handgun rounds, even if fired out of sub machine guns .Will stop shotguns with buckshot.

Level III is when you start the ability to stop rifle bullets and are traditionally hard body armor. Level III armor will stop military 5.56, 7.62 , and 308 . Basically Level III will stop most rifle rounds that are not armor piercing.

Level IV armor will stop armor-piercing bullets.

For more detailed information, check out the National Institute of Justice website. You can download a pdf document that will tell you more about body armor than you probably want to know.

Keep in mind, when we are talking protection, we are talking penetration. Bullets will not bounce off of your armor like you were Superman. Getting a solid torso hit with a high-caliber round, even when wearing a vest rated to stop it, is going to hurt. A lot. And may cause internal damage.

So, should you consider body armor in your preps? What threats are you expecting? Are you anticipating a sustained shoot out with heavily armed opponents? Does your prep plan include the weight of this type of armor ?

While contracting in Afghanistan , the Department of State issued us level IIIA vestsanother%20day%20at%20the%20office and Level IV plate inserts. Protection up to 7.62mm armor piercing. I wore my own IIIA vest and had a local taylor reinforce the bottom seams of the carrier so I could insert the hard plates. The whole set weighed at least 25lbs. Trust me, with all of the other gear I was also carrying, I was sweating like a harlot at a Baptist convention. This level of armor is heavy. Do you really need that? And are you prepared for the limitations of speed of movement it carries? Have you thought about the amount of attention that this level of body armor would bring you? Body armor is like most things in your kit. If you don’t have it with you when you need it, you wasted your time.

If you are planning on staying in a fixed, fortified bug out location, then heavy armor might be useful if you wanted to spend the money on it. But for most preppers, this level of protection is neither needed nor feasible. A more practical approach might be a IIA or IIIA panel set that you could wear under your clothes to be inconspicuous or outside your clothing if you were not worried about people noticing.

If you decide that body armor should be part of your preps, then do your research and buy wisely.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Body armor for prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping

What Skills Can You Barter in SHTF or TEOTWAWKI?

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Preppers often think in terms of extra supplies or equipment to survive an extended SHTF situation or even TEOTWAWKI. But at some point, those supplies will run out. And even if you chose the Lone Wolf prepper mode, at some point you are going to have to interact with other people. Very few preppers have the skills and lifelong experience to totally live off the land.

At some point, groups of people will band together. Some will have prior to the event, some after. For long-term sustainability, you better have some skill(s)  that you are good at to barter with. And I don’t think stock brokerage would be a useful one. Once the initial chaos settles down, those who survive will need to be useful.  So lets look at some of the skills or experience that would be useful to others that you might trade for what you need. I will group these into broad categories.

Operation in Nahr-e SarajThe Protector: If you have serious military, police, or security experience, you might be valuable to people who need to be organized to protect themselves. Leadership experience in any of these would be a plus. Can you organize a bunch of former shopkeepers, Wallmart workers, factory workers, stock brokers,  etc. into an effective defense force? Can you teach these subjects as well as lead? Are you familiar with any martial arts? Can you teach weaponcraft?

The Healer: Doctor, Dentist, Nurse, or EMT. If you have any serious training or skills inThe_Doctor_Luke_Fildes_crop the medical professions, you are going to be extremely valuable. Start working now on learning natural healing herbs and ways to provide medical help without the luxury of a staffed emergency room. Stocking up on meds and equipment would be a good idea. You may want to enhance your skills to include veterinary capability.

lossy-page1-800px-NRCSCT07047_-_Connecticut_(716026)(NRCS_Photo_Gallery)_tifThe Farmer: Do you know how to grow food crops? Evaluate soil? Tend food-producing farm animals such as chickens, goats, pigs or cows? You could be the food producer. Can you keep bees? Know how to dig a well?

The Fixer: Having mechanical training in order to repair usable items will be essential.Kovář_při_práci_(Velikonoční_trhy_na_Václavském_náměstí)_055 Are you a car mechanic, a blacksmith, a gunsmith, a plumber?  Can you repair small appliances and small engines? Electronic repair (yes, some electronics will still work and people will figure out how to harness water power for electricity again).

The Builder: Are you a carpenter, or contractor? Do you have experience in architecture? or construction? Can you pour cement properly? Build a wood building? And have you stocked the non power tools that will still work to do it all?

The Householder: Can you make clothes, repair clothes or make soap? Can you spin wool into yarn to make clothes? Are you familiar with canning, dehydrating, sealing, smoking, and storing food? Can you tan and work leather?

Junk99The Scrounger: This is a unique individual. Every military unit tries to have one of these. This individual has a viable imagination combined with intense curiosity. His value? The scrounger can look at a pile of scrap metal and see 14 usable tools where everyone else only sees scrap metal. He has an instinctive feeling for where things may have been hidden or stored.

The above is just an overview sample of skill sets that would be valuable in an extended SHTF or even TEOTWAWKI situation. I’m sure you can think of a lot more. The point here is that if you survive the initial chaos and live to see people coming together again, you had better have some useful skills to contribute to the group, or to barter with. Because there isn’t going to be any “public assistance”.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, New preppers, Skills for TEOTWAWKI, Survival and Prepping, Survivsl skills

Peanut Butter For Prepping

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Jiff_It’s the food you slap between two pieces of bread and with a little jelly, and feed a hungry kid. (or a hungry you). It’s the midnight munchie sandwich, along with a glass of milk that allows you to go back and get a good night’s sleep. It’s also a valuable addition to your survival stores. It’s peanut butter.

Peanut butter was known to the Aztecs and Incas. It was patented in 1884 by Canadian Marcelllus Edison. So why is peanut butter a good selection for your prepper stores or bug out bag? Because it packs a lot of nutrition in a small package, and space is at a premium when stocking or carrying food.

Protein: A 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains 7 grams of protein. protein is essential to build and repair muscle tissue. Potassium: 2 tablespoons of peanut butter boosts your potassium intake by 238 milligrams. Potassium counters excess sodium in your system and helps your heart function better. One serving of peanut butter has 3 mg of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E, 49 mg of bone-building magnesium, 208 mg of muscle-friendly potassium, and 0.17 mg of immunity-boosting vitamin B6. Peanut butter is also a good source of dietary fiber. One 40oz jar of peanut butter has over 6,000 calories. Peanut butter has been a staple of military field rations since at least the second World war.

Shelf life: Various sources cite various time lines, but an unopened jar of peanut butter can be expected to last 6-9 months. Some sources will claim at least one year beyond the “use by” day on the label.

Allergy Issues: It is estimated that between 4 and 6% of the population is allergic to peanuts. make sure you know if anyone in your family or survival group has the allergy.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Peanut Butter for Prepping, Survival and Prepping

Why Christmas Matters. ( And Should Matter To Even Non-Christians)

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CrusaderDecember 25th is the day that Christians world-wide celebrate the traditional birth of Jesus Christ. The religious meaning to Christians is deeply felt. But Christmas, as well as Christians, are under relentless attack, both in Western Europe, and the United States. It parallels a similar rise in anti-Semitism that is also growing in both places. But Christmas is a symbol of something else, something of vital importance to all people, whether Christian or not. It symbolizes the Judeo-Christian value system that built Western civilization. And the United States in particular. And the concepts of liberty and freedom it was founded on.

Contrary to populist leftist propaganda, the Founding Fathers of the United States were mostly practicing Christians. The flames of freedom were fanned from pulpits in Churches and Synagogues during the American Revolution. And even though the Founders approached their belief system from differing points of view, theDeclaration_independence underlying principles of the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of The United States were based on Judeo-Christian values. These two documents established the freedoms enjoyed by all Americans and have been a beacon to freedom movements around the world, even freedom movements of Non-Christians.

The Judeo-Christian value system is predicated on the concept that every human being is a reflection of his or her creator, and has certain inalienable rights. These are rights given by God, not by the government. And as such, the one and only responsibility of government is to protect those rights.

This value system brought Europe out of the Dark Ages. It allowed for the founding of the United States of America, a beacon of freedom to the entire world. It is the value system that allows tiny israel to be an island of freedom and democracy in a sea of Muslim hatred and violence.

The Battle of Long IslandBut this value system is under relentless attack, both by Muslim extremists on the outside, and the leftist populist atheists and agnostics on the inside. Numerous politicians and judges actively attack any symbol of Christianity. Prayer has been removed from schools, Christian monuments are being removed from public places, nativity scenes are being removed from public parks, athletes and coaches are being harassed and even fired for expressing their religious beliefs in public. All in the name of “Seperation of Church and state”. Nowhere in any of our founding documents is the term “Seperation of Church and state” to be found. Nowhere. This is a concept used by the left to pervert the meaning and intent of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which simply prohibits the government from establishing an official “government” religion, and at the same time allowing for the free expression of religious beliefs.  As a matter of fact, nowhere in the Constitution does it give the Federal judiciary the right to make laws from the bench, or to even declare laws unconstitutional. It simply isn’t there.

The Judeo-Christian value system was the framework that made it possible for theGerard_van_Honthorst_001 Founding Fathers of the United States to form a bastion of freedoms and liberties for all people. believers and non-believers alike. Freedoms that even allow the leftist one worlders to attempt to destroy the very hand that has fed them.

It is the value system that motivated people from around the world to repel the barbaric invasions of nazis, communists, tyrants in various forms, and  Muslim invasions of Europe. It is the value system that will eventually triumph over the current one.

There are too many people in the Western world who claim to be Christians, when in fact, if they were charged with it, there would not be enough evidence to convict them. Too many ‘Pastors” who are more worried about their IRS status, that speaking the truth.

Christmas matters. Because,in effect, it also celebrates the foundation of a set of principles, the Judeo-Christian value system, that allowed the codification of  liberties and freedoms  unprecedented in the history of mankind. Freedoms and liberties that too many people are willing to destroy, along with Christmas.

So, to anyone reading this, believer or non-believer, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Silent Running Tagged: Beggining preppers, Christmas for Preppers, New preppers, Survival and Prepping

Survival Uses For Honey

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Runny_hunnyHoney is one of the most amazing foods you can acquire. And it has a large number of uses in a survival situation. Cave paintings in Spain indicated that humans were harvesting honey as long as 8,000 years ago. Honey is made by honey bees from flowers. There are a lot of different varieties and flavors, but it is the survival benefits we care about here.

So why do you want to consider honey in stocking your survival food, or when foraging in the wild?

Honey is both an antibiotic and an antibacterial.  The ancient Egyptians wrote of using it to treat wounds. When applied to a minor wound, it cleans and protects the wound and promotes congealing of blood. When diluted in your body fluids, it releases hydrogen peroxide, a formidable antibiotic.  When applied on an open wound, the glucose, contained by honey, is diluted and gradually releases hydrogen peroxide. It also helps to prevent bandages from sticking to wounds. Honey when mixed with vinegar can help expel parasites from the body.honey

Honey will actually store for almost ever. If it starts to crystallize, place the jar in a pot of hot water and stir it. Archeologists have found sealed jars of honey in Egyptian tombs that were still fit for human consumption.

Some additional benefits of honey in a survival situation. It is high in B vitamins along with vitamin C. honey is also a good source of magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, sulfur and zinc. Honey will boost your energy level., and boost your immune system. It is good to soothe sore throats and is a natural cough medicine.

Having a stock of honey in your stores or a small jar in your bug out bag could be very beneficial.

 

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Honey for prepping, Honey for survival, New preppers, Survival and Prepping

Solar Options For Bugging Out Part 1. Man Portable

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suntactic 2Everyone should think deeply on their options in a SHTF situation.  Even if your primary plan is to stay put and bug in, you still should have a bug out plan. A place to go, a route to it, bug out bags pre packed, and a concept on how you will operate while on the go. And a way to power small electronic devices you may be taking.

Anyone who reads my articles knows that I seriously urge folks to have basic skills before relying totally on technology. Use a GPS to navigate? Great, so do I. But you had better know how to use a map and compass in case your GPS fails. And a way to navigate without a compass in case it breaks or gets lost. I do. Alternative power options for your home when you are facing a SHTF situation, especially grid down, are numerous. Backup generators and large solar panels are just two.

6b605359-2819-4526-8a33-9828dce87940__CB325028736_But what about if you are on the move? Either by vehicle or foot? Most of the devices you may be using will be battery-powered either by its own internal battery, or by AAA/AA or D cell batteries. These items would include a cell phone, various sizes of flashlights, battery-powered lanterns, a GPS, emergency radio, two-way radios, any item that can be charged with a USB cable, and a head light to name just a few. To keep these going, you have a choice of carrying a large amount of spare batteries (and the ensuing weight) or using rechargeable batteries. But how can you recharge them on the go without access to electrical outlets? Portable solar panels are one option. A hand powered crank generator is another.

Lets break down our solar equipment possibilities into two categories: Those items light enough to be carried in your bug out bag or on you if you are on foot. And those items that could easily be transported by vehicle if you are traveling in your bug out buggy.

Man Portable Solar Equipment

There is one fundamental truth about a bug out bag: If it is too heavy for you to effectively carry in an emergency, it is useless. You either have to lighten the load in a hurry( and run the risk of ditching a vital item) or move so slow as to be easy prey for any number of threats. So you want to plan your bug out bag carefully. The following items are discussed from the point of view of possible aids to your bug out plan, and not to be considered essential or gospel. Lets look at man portable solar charging kits to begin with.

91GuqIDwCwL__SL1500_Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus. This is a man portable solar panel kit which  includes Nomad 7 solar panel and Guide 10 Plus power pack. This kit weighs in at 1.2 pounds, and the dimensions are    6.5 x 9.5 x 1.8 inches. This would easily fit in your bug out bag.  The power pack can charge AA/AAAGoalZero__V385199228_ batteries. With a D cell adapter, your AAA batteries can be used to supply any D cell item such as a flashlight. The power pack  will  charge AA or AAA batteries. Inputs: Mini USB (5V), Solar port (6.5V). USB Power Output: 3.5W. Solar Power Output: 7W. The battery pack has a built-in LED flashlight. Any AA or AAA* NiMH batteries can be used . You can charge directly from the panel, or from the battery pack. Will charge 4 AA batteries at once. This is one of the more popular portable solar kits and has overall great reviews. There are a number of combinations that can be set up with this kit. Manufacturer claims that you can directly charge a smart phone in 1 hour. You can arrange the panels on your rucksack to charge while you are moving.

The SunJack 14W Portable Solar Charger With 8000mAh Fast-Charge Battery. This issunjack_ another popular portable solar charging unit. It charges an attached battery pack that can then charge a variety of devices by USB. It Folds to compact size of 6.75″ x 9.25″ x 1.75″ – similar to an iPad, and weighs about 2 pounds . These can be had in 7, 14, and 20W power outputs. You can buy an additional battery charger that will charge AA/AA batteries using a USB cable that plugs into the battery.

Suntactics sCharger-5 Portable Solar Charger is another man portable charger. Thissuntactic 2 unit by American company Suntactics is waterproof and weighs 8 oz. You can plug your USB cable into it directly. It r up to 6 watts, outputs up to 5 watts continuous, 1.2 amps, 5 volts. You can buy a supplemental storage battery for it also.

The above three kits are examples of portable solar panels light enough to carry when bugging out and capable of charging devices through USB, and charging AA/AAA batteries which, with an adapter, can also be used in D cell devices. You can buy various adaptors to charge most small electronic devices.

There are a number of useful solar-powered items that are portable enough to go inLuci lanternjpg your BOB. The Luci Foldable Solar Lamp is an excellent example. It will fold to the size of a CD disk. It has 3 Light settings – Bright, Super Bright and Emergency Flash. It is very Light (4 oz.) – Packs Small – Inflates in seconds – Hang Handles top and bottom.

Goal Zero makes an excellent line of solar equipment. Their Torch 250 Flashlight withGoal zero flash light_ Integrated Solar Panel is not only an excellent flashlight, but it had a built-in USB cable and a hand crank. It has multiple light options that allow you to use it as a 250 total lumen output flashlight, floodlight or red emergency light. It weighs 14.4 ounces and measures 10 x 1.8 x 3.5 inches.

Conclusion and Considerations

You bug out bag should be a reflection of your overall bug out plan. Once you have carefully considered what electronic items you will carry with you, then you can evaluate whether a portable solar charger is appropriate. Portable solar panels can be useful if they are used within their limitation. To begin with, charging with them is time intensive. On a bright sunny day it can take up to an hour just to charge your cell phone. All three of the solar panel kits mentioned can be placed over your ruck sack and charge as you go along, however solar panels can also be light reflective. Something to keep in mind if you are trying to move in stealth mode. To get maximum use from them, you do indeed need bright sunlight. The less sunlight you have, the slower they are to charge. Even where I live on the edge of the Sonoran Desert, we have long periods of time where the sky is overcast. Consider the climate conditions in your operational area when planning to use solar charging. And as always, do your research to ensure you buy the proper equipment for your needs.

In Part 2 we will consider solar equipment suitable for vehicle transportation when bugging out.

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, New preppers, smokeless powder cartridge, solar power for Bug Out Bag

Bug Out Bag Cookery

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esbit 1_When you find yourself living out of a rucksack,( Bug Out Bag) either camping, or bugging out in SHTF, you carefully watch the size and weight of anything you carry. Having the ability to boil water, make a hot drink, warm up or cook the food you have with you or to cook food you find along the way can be an important consideration.

There are a number of options in selecting lightweight stoves and cooking gear. Stoves generally fall into three categories of fuel types: Those that burn bio mass fuel (sticks, straw etc.) those that burn alcohol or other liquid fuel, and those that burn chemical fuel tabs. In deciding which one, or which combination of cooking stoves and accessories you need to consider weight limitations, how long you plan on having to use it, fuel supply and weight, and the availability of replacement fuel.

Solid Fuel Tab Stoves

One of the most basic of stoves is the field expedient tin can stove like the one pictured. This is the type of stove I used exclusively in the jungle in Vietnam. Take an C-RatStoveempty can, your P-38 can opener and cut ventilation holes in it. Using solid fuel tabs you can boil water in a canteen cup, or heat up cans of food. ( when out of fuel tabs, we would use a round marble size piece of C-4 explosive. It would bring a canteen cup full of water to a boil quickly. Don’t do this at home kids!).

Another excellent lightweight stove for use with solid fuel tabs is the Esbit. This style of stove has been made by Esbit for many years. It was standard issue to German soldiers in WW2 and has been a mainstay for soldiers and campers for many years, and is stillesbit 2_ manufactured by the same company in Germany. The solid fuel tabs can be stored inside the stove when folded, and are lightweight so you can easily carry sufficient fuel tabs for a 72hr. bug out plan. I have used one for years and it rides comfortably in my bug out bag.

Esbit also makes a variety of esbit cook set_solid fuel stoves including a lightweight esbit titaniumtitanium folding solid fuel stove in addition to their traditional model. Their solid fuel stove cook set is also a popular item. Kit includes 585-milliliter pot, lid, and wind deflector/pot stand, and stores in included mesh bag. Pot includes volume indicators in both liters and ounces, and has two hinged stainless steel grips that fold flat against body of the pot. The whole kit weighs 7 ounces.

Pros of solid fuel stoves= Lightweight, both stove and fuel. Solid fuel is easy to light

Cons of solid fuel stoves= Limited capacity. You won’t cook a three coarse meal on one. At some point, you will run out of fuel tabs.

Alcohol Fuel Stoves

esbit alcohol stove_Again, Esbit makes a really good alcohol burner stove. Great little stove, but youesbit alcohol burner set._ need to have something to place your food or cup on for heating. Or you can buy it as a cook set like the solid fuel stove listed above.The pot stand and burner nest inside the pot for storage. A mesh storage bag is also included. Packed, the entire kit is only 5 Inch tall x 4.75 Inch across. With the pot on the stand, the height is 8 Inch. Weighs only 10.9 ounces (310 g).

Trangia from Sweden make a line of small alcohol stoves, some of which are used by mini trangia_NATO. The Trangia 28-T Mini Trangia is a popular little alcohol stove that weighs in at 0.78 pounds 

Pros of alcohol stoves: They are efficient cookers and will use a variety of alcohol types.

Cons of alcohol cookers= They are fuel dependent and alcohol weighs more than solid fuel tabs.

Bio Mass Fuel Stoves

There are a number of great designed back packable stoves that will burn available wood and other combustibles. Sometime refered to “Rocket stoves”

solo stove 1_The Solo Stove is an extremely popular stove. It incorporates a secondary combustion for a more efficient and cleaner burn. Boiling: 8-10 minutes to boil 34 fl oz of water; Fuel: Burns sticks, pine cones and other biomass; Packed size: Height 3.8 inches, Width 4.25 inches; Assembled size: Height 5.7 inches, Width 4.25 inches; Weight: 9 oz; Materials: Hardened 304 stainless steel, nichrome wire. It is designed to work with twigs and other small combustibles you find out doors. The company makes a number of accessories such as a wind screen and pots. This particular stove has received a lot of testing and reviews and is a popular item in the prepper community.

Kelly kettle_The Kelly Kettle is also a very popular stove for preppers. Also designed to use small twigs and other combustible, it  holds 44 fl. oz. of water (5.5 Cups). Ideal; for hot drinks and heating water for freeze-dried meals. The Kelly Kettle Aluminum Scout is 12.25 inches tall, weighs only 1.8 pounds – Comes in a handy carrying bag.

Pros of bio-mass fuel stoves= You don’t have to carry fuel with you and it uses fuel that is readily available.

Cons of bio-mass fuel stoves= You have to have a source of dry fuel. In extremely wet weather that coud be problematic.

Accessories

canteen cup_Having a good stove to cook food and boil water is essential. There are some useful accessories to go along with your stove you might want to consider. The G.I. canteen cup is probably one of the best items of equipment Uncle Sam ever threw out there. You can cook in it, make your coffee in it, shave in it, wash with it. (I have done all of those). Truly a multi task item. Make sure you get an original G.I. cup. There are a lot of cheap knock offs out there. These cups are not all the same size. Eating with you finger may make you feel macho, but it is also a good way to make yourself sick. A good Titanium spork with a carabiner that can alsospork_ open bottles may come in handy. For those who don’t like sporks,mil tec_ Mil-Tec makes a Knife Fork and Spoon set that is traditional German military.

Conclusion

The above are just a small sample of lightweight and portable cooking solutions for bugging out on foot and living out of your bug out bag. In regards to stoves, my solution is to have a small solid fuel stove such as the Esbit coupled with a bio-mass stove such as the Solo Stove. These should cover your bases regardless of the weather or conditions you are in.

As always, decide what you actually need, do your research, and then buy the best quality you can afford.

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Bug Out Cooking, Survival and Prepping, Survival cooking

Situational Awareness=Staying Alive

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Radar2Note= As I began writing this, the Muslim terrorist attack in California began. It is time to wake up and stay awake in more ways than one people. There are no more civilians in this religious war that has been fostered on us. There never really were. The world is an increasingly dangerous place. Violent crime, expanding terrorist attacks, and the increasing possibility of economic collapse are all wake up calls to anyone with two brain cells working in tandem.  There are no magic bullets to keep you safe at all times. But there are techniques you can develop to give you the best chance. And that’s what it is all about.

Situational awareness is a topic that has been studied and written about for years. As a military and security professional, I have seen countless times where people have been killed or seriously injured because they walked right into a situation that they should have seen coming, and didn’t. The practice of situational awareness would have prevented much of this.

situational awarnessSo exactly what is situational awareness? It is paying attention to what is going on around you. But it much more than that. It is also the ability to recognize when things are not normal, draw the proper conclusion about the anomaly, and make the correct decision as to how to respond, and then acting on that decision. Situational awareness can be developed by understanding one concept and employing one basic technique. The technique is staying in Condition Yellow in the Color Codes of Awareness and the concept is Boyd’s OODA Loop.

The Color Codes of Awarenesscooper-color-code-definition

I wrote a more in depth article on this subject titled Defensive Mindset. The Color Codes.  But for our purposes here, it is important to learn to stay in Condition Yellow. This is a state of mind best describes as relaxed alertness. It is not paranoia. It is the state of  mind that a good driver is in. Head up and moving, checking the mirrors for what is behind and to the sides as well as what is at a distance up ahead. You are aware of what is going on around you 360 degrees and you are prepared to react to any immediate situation. This is the mental mindset you need to cultivate and stay in.  It takes practice, and later we will go over some techniques. If you really don’t understand the various mindsets as labeled by color, I urge you to read the article I linked to above. O.K., so you learn to pay attention to what is going on around you. So what more is required?

Boyd’s OODA Loop

Col. John Boyd

Col. John Boyd

For an in-depth discussion of this, I refer you to my article Boyd’s OODA Loop. No It’s Not A Cereal. Col. John Boyd was a fighter pilot who did a serious study of why fighter pilots won or lost a dog fight. The results of his study gave him a logical system that is applicable in any endeavor in life whether a one on one gunfight, a serious financial negotiation, or avoiding being done in by Achmed trying to get his 72 virgins. Lets analyse OODA.

Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

OBSERVE= What is going on around you. Especially if it is something happening that concerns you,

ORIENT= Yourself to the situation. This may be a physical orientation, or a quick mental change based on factors such as long-term memory, training, past experiences, and your genetic heritage.

DECIDE= On a course of action based on your understanding of the situation.

ACT= On that decision.

situational awareness._You then start over as the situation developes. This mental process is a continuum of beginning at Observe and working your way through the situation, and the idea is to get inside an adversaries (or situations) loop. So how does this work in real life? A quick example= Terrorist points a gun at you (he has Observed you, Oriented on you, Decided to shoot you, and is now Acting on that decision).  He is committed to an action and you need to disrupt and get inside his loop. You do something unexpected like throw your keys at his face while attempting to escape or fight. You just got inside his loop because now he has to process what you are doing that he didn’t expect and go through the OODA process again because the situation has changed for him.. You are now ahead of him. This is a simplistic explanation but it serves to show how the process works.

Developing a Habit of Situational Awareness0e5587a45a951c15f4dcb5a8514b31c4

Learning to live in Condition Yellow . Keep your head up when walking around. Develop the habit of scanning what is going on around you. Learn to pay attention to all of your senses, including hearing and smell. When using your cell phone in public, stop and place your back against a wall and use your peripheral vision while glancing up and around frequently if texting. Look around you constantly if speaking. When approaching your car in a parking lot, is anybody near it and how do they look? Anyone in the back seat or under it? When in a public eatery, try to sit where you can observe the entrance and know where the exits are. Use windows as mirrors to keep track of whats behind you. At the ATM do you look around to see if anyone is coming up on you? Always try to keep yourself in a position of optimum observation. Once you get into the habit of doing things like this, many other techniques will come to mind.

O.K. so you are alert. What are you looking for?

Do your due diligence. Have you ever walked into a place and felt that something just was not right but you were not sure what?  Well, something wasn’t right. It may not have been dangerous. it may have been something as simple as the flowers arranged wrong. But your subconscious was telling you that something was out-of-place. Trust your instincts, but you have to develop them first.

Schizophrenia_PET_scanBefore you can identify that something is wrong, you need to know what “right” is. Start with your home. You should be so familiar with where you live that you can navigate your house in total darkness. How about your route to and from work? Do you really pay attention to what goes on with the houses and business along the way or do you just focus on following the car in front of you? At your workplace, how well do you know your co-workers? Do you know them well enough to detect if they are acting strange? The places where you shop. What is the normal situation there? Start paying attention to the small details. Really look at things around you as you go about your daily business. Make a game of it. What color eyes did the waitress at lunch have? Can you tell me right now what color the houses on either side of yours are? Can you count the number of windows in your own house from memory? Once you have programmed your subconscious to understand how things should look right, it will be easier to suddenly spot when they look wrong. And once you have Observed that something is wrong, you can quickly Orient yourself for possible action, Decide on what that course of action should be, and then Act on it.

Conclusion

Situational awareness is a combination of staying alert in condition yellow, being able to identify when something is out of order, being trained well enough to draw a proper conclusion, and quickly acting on the decision you made. Stay alert and watch six.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper Tagged: New preppers, Personal defense, Situational awareness, Survival and Prepping

Have A Very Merry Prepper Christmas!

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santa-gun-jpg_221736I posted some suggestion for Stocking Stuffers for Preppers earlier,and thought to give a look at some under the tree gifts you might consider for that special prepper in your life (or even yourself).  In these dangerous times, giving family members prepper gifts might be a cost efficient good idea.

kelly Kettle stove set_ The Kelly Kettle

It will deliver about 7 cups of hot water in just a few minutes. Kelly Kettles use natural occurring fuels such as sticks and dry grass etc.

 

Mason jar oil lampsMason Jar Oil Lamp Tops

Once your finished with drinking your White Lightening, turn that Mason Jar into a functional lamp! (or use the White Lightening as the fuel!)

Maxpedition Falcon 2Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack

Maxpedition makes a quality line of gear. The Falcon-II Backpack is an excellent choice for an EDC or Get Home Bag. Main Compartment: 18″(H) x 9.5″(W) x 4.75″(D). Secondary Compartment: 16″(H) x 8″(W) x 3″(D). Comes in a variety of colors.

solo stove_Solo Stove Wood Burning Emergency Stove w/ Aluminum Windscreen

A very popular and practical stove for the bug out bag.

 

 

Tactical%20RifleThe Tactical Rifle

Every prepper should have a rifle for SHTF. This book is a primer on the tactical use of the rifle by one of the world’s foremost authorities.

 

 

Solar showerLSolar Shower

Stay clean in SHTF and let the sun warm the water.

 

 

 

 

 

weather radioAmerican Red Cross FRX3 Hand Crank NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger

Stay on top of bad weather and charge your cell phone too.

 

sunotoSuunto M-3 D/L Compass

Suunto makes an excellent line of compasses.

 

 

Well folks, just a few suggestions. I hope each of you has a Very Merry prepper Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper Tagged: Beggining preppers, New preppers, Prepper Christmas, Survival and Prepping

Stocking Stuffers For Preppers

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wfxza4czwe5jxlzzpt5lYes, it is that time of year again! Preppers around the world are gearing up for Christmas! Major purchases on lay away, and wish lists being created. I just love the Christmas tradition of the stocking and all the little goodies to be found inside. So I made a list, checked it twice, for all those preppers who were not naughty, but nice. Inexpensive, but useful stocking stuffers for that special prepper in your life!

And what better way to start than the stocking itself! A tactical stocking with manyTactical stocking OD useful features for use after the holidays. Comes in a variety of colors! The following items will fit in it nicely!

Lifestraw Water Filter

The most popular water filter

Life Straw Personal FilterTitanium Spork

Titanium spork

 

Hip Flask With Attached Collapsable Shot Glass

Every Gentleman Prepper should have one! (aso in pink for the ladies!)

hip flask

Emergency Candle

emergency candle_

Quick   Clot

quick clotjpg

Goal Zero 41022 Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit

Great for the bug out bag

91GuqIDwCwL__SL1500_    

                                                       Cree Ultra Fire 7W300LM

These are really awsome little flashlights and dirt cheapCree ultra fire_

Luci Solar Powered Lantern

Packs to about the size of a CD case and solar charged.

Luci lanternjpg

 Esbit Cooker

This has been a mainstay of campers and soldiers for many years. Great for the Get Home or Bugout Bag

esbit stove_

Columbia River Knife and Tool’s Eat N Tool

Nifty little tool

Eat n Tool_

moda seya 11 Function Credit Card Size Survival Pocket Tool  

Credit card size and stainless steel

moda tooljpg

 

 

 

 

Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener

smiths sharpener_

UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case, 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers

Matches_

Ultimate Survival Technologies Wetfire Tinder

tinder

 

 

 

 

 

Zippo Emergency Fire Starter, Orange Plastic

 

Coleman fire starter_

Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife

swiss army

 

 

 

 

Well, there you go. Some neat suggestions for stuffing your favorite prepper’s stocking!

 

 

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, New preppers, Prepper stocking stuffers, Survival and Prepping

Should You Mount A Light On Your Handgun?

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surefire x 300 ultra_Weapon mounted lights have been around for some time now. Various people have different views in regards to them. Are they a help? A hinderance? Are they worth the financial expenditure out of your preps budget? Lets see if we can answer these questions.

Since many, if not most, violent encounters happen in darkness, being able to control illumination in the situation could be vitally critical. Consider also, that in a grid downlighted target situation, inside of buildings will be dark even during daytime. Weapon mounted lights come in a number of varieties and configuration, but for our purposes, we will discuss those you might mount on your handgun. Many lights will also incorporate a laser in green or red combined with the flashlight, as well as giving strobe capability to the flashlight. Some also incorporate Infrared capability, although laser and infrared add considerably to the price. The majority will incorporate on/off switches that you can leave the light on,  tap for a quick look, or switch to strobe.

Most modern firearms manufactures are making mounts for lights on the frames of their handguns. Mounts come in two styles, the Picatinni rail and the Weaver rail. The better light manufactures are designing their lights to work on either. For handguns that do not have a dedicated rail there are companies that have made add-on rails that connect to the trigger guard. Most lights that you can use on your handgun can also be used on a long gun or shotgun that has a rail.

Flashlight_carryBefore weapon mounted lights became popular and available, many techniques were developed to incorporate using a regular flashlight held in the off-hand while the handgun was held in the firing hand. These are illustrated to the left. These techniques are still valid, however they have been supplanted to a large degree by weapon mounted lights.

Advantages Of Mounting A Light On Your Handgun

It is attached, so this leaves your off-hand free for other things like opening or closing doors, etc. In addition, a handgun is usually more effective when used in a two hand hold. The light allows you to do a quick on/off look, or to keep it on if you are navigating a dark area where you require light to manuever. If your light has a strob feature, it may be useful to blind and temporarily confuse and adversary. If you are using a laser equipped light, the laser will pinpoint exactly where the bullet will strike.

Disadvantages Of A Light On Your Handgun

Unless you have a holster designed to accommodate a light on your handgun (many are available) it will be an on/off affair. With the light mounted directly on your weapon, it will illuminate your position dead center.  There are a number of proper techniques for properly using a weapon mounted light in a low-level light situation. Tactical advantage_One of the best training manuals that cover this issue is Gabe Suarez’s Tactical Advantage. Keep in mind for a SHTF situation that these lights are battery-powered, and although they last a long time you need to keep spares, or be able to recharge them solar.

What To Look For In A Weapon Mounted Light

Like many things in life, you get what you pay for. Quality needs to be your first consideration.  The light needs to be able to withstand the recoil of repeated firing, especially if you are considering using in on a rifle or shotgun also. The amount of light projected is measured in Lumens. A lumen range of between 100 and 400 is satisfactory.

The following are examples of some of the most popular lights that have a good reputation for reliability. They have a variety of capabilities and span a fairly broad price range.

surefire x 300 ultra_SureFire X300 Ultra LED Weapon Light

SureFire makes a wide range of quality flashlights and weapon sights. This model is one of the most popular and widely used. It can also be had with a red or green laser sight   incorporated as the X400 Ultra.   Projects an estimated 600 lumens of light. The x300 is powered by two CR123A batteries.

Streamlight 69120 TLR-2 C4 LED with Laser Sight Rail Mounted Weapon Flashlight.

Streramlight is also a major provider of weapon mounted lights, and along withStream light TLR-2_ Surefire, they garner most of the market.  The TLR 2 can be had in a variety of models from basic light to those with green or red laser or strobe. It projects 160 lumens of light and has an ambidextrous switch. It comes in various models and price ranges depending on if you want laser capability or other features.

 Nebo 6109 iProTec RM190

The Nebo 6109 is a very inexpensive light compared to many others. It has an NEBOambidextrous on/off switch that has a strobe option which is something that costs more  in other brands.  This light would be suitable as a first budget light for training, to be mounted on a .22 cal weapon, and for those who would be using it very little. It has a lumen output of 190 lumens.

There are very large number of weapon mounted light available. Decide on what your tactical use for one might be, shop around, read the reviews and buy the best quality you can afford.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Firearms accesories Tagged: Defensive handgun, Firearms, Personal defense, Weapon lights

Are You The Storm?

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i-am-the-storm 2Although I have been a “Prepper” of one sort or another all of my life,  it wasn’t untill I started this blog that I interacted to any degree with the Prepper community. Reviewing the vast number of prepper websites, I notice that there are different mental attitudes towards prepping. I wonder exactly how many preppers have actually thought about why they want to survive, especially in a TEOTWAWKI situation. So, are you prepping to withstand the storm? Or are YOU the storm?

If you are reading this, then to some degree I’m preaching to the choir. It should be obvious that many storm clouds are forming over us, both in our own country and overseas.  Political storms, social storms, financial storms, religious storms, military storms.  An astute observer of history will not need a crystal ball to see that push is coming to shove in a lot of places and in a lot of areas. Human history indicates that major changes are coming, and by storm. America is over 18 trillion dollars in debt, and most citizens go merrily on their way, many seeking more goodies from government. We are at war with a theocracy called Islam, and most citizens of Western civilization haven’t got a clue about it. The United States has a patchwork grid system just begging to be shut down. Foreign hostile militaries increase vigorously, smelling blood in the weakness of the gutless cowards running the Western nations. Storms. Lots of storms.

But you knew that didn’t you? That is why you began prepping. That is why you are probably reading this.

So Why Are You Prepping To Survive?

Obviously we prep for any serious contingency. Short term issues such as hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. have obvious answers to the above question. You prep to survive in order to go back to normal, or rebuild normal. Because a normal is possible to obtain.  But what about if it all comes crashing down and we actually experience The End Of The World As We Know It?  A number of plausible events could cause that. If it happens on any level, is your concept of survival limited to simply waking up breathing each day? Is just staying alive each day satisfactory for you?  For many people, that will be the end goal. After most of the sheeple die off, many will be content to just wake up alive each day.

I see many preppers concentrating on a defensive attitude that proposes just that.

But not for many of us. I plan to survive for a purpose. To fight to rebuild what the gutless and lazy have allowed to be destroyed. To do all I can to rebuild a society where my grandchildren might just have a chance to actually rebuild a decent civilization. Because there has to be a purpose to life beyond just breathing. Beyond just surviving. There are other storms forming. Storms of people in the United States, The United Kingdom, and Western Europe who are fed up. Who refuse to be sheeple.

In The Meantime

I am a Christian. I refuse to be denigrated for my faith and see my monuments desecrated and torn down to appease the shrill minority. I refuse to be told that I cannot express my faith because it might “offend” someone. I will speak out even though way too many “Christian ” pastors worry more about their IRS standing that speaking out the truth.

I am a soldier. Even though I no longer wear the uniform I wore for 20 years, I will keep faith with the oath I took to uphold the Constitution of The United States against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC. I refuse to accept that Sharia law might have any place in my society.

I am an American citizen and I refused to be disarmed by those who wish to manipulate the sheeple to garner votes. I refuse to accept people who come here as criminals in the night and expect me and mine to support them.

There are many clouds on the horizon, each of them whispering to me that I cannot withstand the storm.

I will continue to whisper back, I AM THE STORM!

Are you the storm?

 

 

Note: I do not know who owns the rights to the Samurai poster. If you do, please let me know and I will give credit.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, New preppers, Survival and Prepping

The Smart Phone As A Survival Tool

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i phone 6Being a bit old school, I finally decided to join the 21st century and bought an Apple i-Phone 6. I did it primarily for business communication as I am handling a lot more now and needed more than just the functionality of phone and text that my old clam phone provided. As I started using it, I saw a number of features and apps that would be useful in a SHTF situation as well as day-to-day survival.

Before I get started, I wish to point out that I am still old school in many areas regarding technology. For example, GPS is great. Untill the batteries die or you can’t get a satellite signal. Then you better have a good compass, a map of your area, and the knowledge to use them. I see technology as an enhancement of your basic skills, not a replacement for them. Keep in mind that these phones are dependent on three critical items: functioning batteries, functioning cell towers, and functioning satellites.

I have only been experimenting with this phone for a few weeks. But I can break down it’s survival uses into the following categories: Communication, Reference Storage, Information, and Navigation. These are some of the features and apps I have been looking at. Most of these either come with the phone, or are available from the Apple App store either free or for as little as .99 cents. Some cost a bit more but are all reasonable.There are a tremendous number of apps available. Some useful, some not. Experiment.

Communication

Obviously phone and text capability would allow you to communicate with either help or family in an emergency. Again, dependent on being within range of a functioning cell tower. One app that may be useful in SHTF is Facetime. This app allows you to make video calls using wi-fi. (assuming you have functional wi-fi during the issue). If you are communicating with a family member and trying to describe a situation or object you can just turn the camera towards it and they can see for themselves. This may be useful in early stages of SHTF.

Reference Storage

Unless you have been living, breathing, eating, and sleeping survival for the last 30 years, you can’t remember it all. Having a set of references handy  and downloaded on your phone could be highly useful. Here are some I like.

011SAS Survival Manual

This is probably one of the best survival manuals out there, and you can download a complete copy to your phone. It also has some interactive features such as videos and photos. One feature I like is the compass feature. This doesn’t use a GPS system. Instead, it takes you through using the phone to find cardinal directions similar to using a watch and is set up to work in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Pretty useful if you lose or break your compass. It will also talk you through sending Morse Code messages using the flashlight on your phone( the camera flash)

010Survival

There are a number of apps that are copies of the U.S. Army survival manual FM 21-76. This is one of the better ones I have found, although the photos are picture negatives. It is easy to navigate, and it has a handy button to turn on the phone flashlight. The compass feature will show you your current location in longitude and latitude and your direction in degrees. It will also show your altitude

005How To Tie Knots 

This is a nifty app that will actually guide you step by step, with interactive pictures, on how to tie a very large variety of knots. Categories include basic, climbing, rescue, surgical, bends, friction hitches, hitches, loops and others. It also allows you then option of downloading a very large number of other knots. This is probably one of the more useful apps I have found, not only for survival, but for daily use if you use rope a lot.

002American Red Cross App

This is a complete first aid manual with some additional features. There are short training courses for typical emergencies, as well as a set of tests. This would be a good app to begin learning first aid on if you are a beginner, or a quick and handy reference for those with experience. Using GPS, it will also show you where the nearest hospital is.

 

Information

Staying on top of occurring events can be critical to survival. The ability to scan emergency and police broadcasts in SHTF can be a valuable asset. There are a number of apps that you can download. The one I am testing is

screen568x568Scanner Radio Delux

This scanner app allows you to select the areas you wish to scan, and then select which departments you want to listen to. You can pre set favorites for quick access and scan for stations close to you. It also has an alert set up so that it will inform you if there is a large amount of traffic on any given channel. There are a lot of scanner apps and this one seems to work pretty well. I can listen to police and emergency traffic nation wide.

002FEMA App

Although FEMA is a dirty word in the prepper community, they do have a useful app that you can set up to get weather notifications from the National Weather Service. You can program it you any location or multiple locations. Useful for tracking ongoing bad weather.

 Navigation

The i Phone has a built-in compass function that can be set to orient on either true or magnetic north. But there are some interesting navigation apps that have potential and that I am trying out.

003Spyglass

This is a highly developed and intricate navigation program. It utilizes the phone’s GPS compass system and enhances it with a tremendous number of features. It uses military developed GPS navigation systems. You can find and track multiple locations, bearings, the Sun and the Moon and stars, in real-time. You can overlay the compass over a live camera image or maps to instantly see which way you are facing. It will enable you to find and track your location, coordinates in geo and military formats, altitude, current and maximum speed and course. Use imperial, metric, nautical and military units. You can observe your and your targets’ positions on maps rotated automatically according to the current azimuth. You can use a variety of street, satellite or hybrid maps. It has the capability to be used as an optical rangefinder similar to the way sniper scopes are used. This is a bit of a complicated program and takes time to learn, but it has a tremendous potential in general SHTF navigation and even tactical applications.

001Galileao Pro

This is a standard map GPS navigation program with one important difference. It allows you to download on your phone a tremendous number of very detailed maps worldwide. By downloading maps of your probable operational area, you can navigate even with the loss of GPS. The maps are very detailed street type maps. I downloaded maps of where I live in both Arizona and Germany, and on my German map can expand it to see the street I live on and even my exact house.

screen568x568Google Earth

For those of you familiar with this program, it is simply the i Phone version of the program you have on your computer. You can use it for route reconnaissance, and to see the terrain of every part of the world that has ever had a satellite flying over it. The value of this program is that you are seeing satellite images that will show more details than any standard map. Useful for plotting bug out routes.

Useful Accessories

If you are going to use your smart phone as a useful survival tool, you need to set up a maintenance system for it.

Protection

Otter caseOtter makes a wide variety of protective cases for all smart phones.  The one I bought has a hard rubber case with a screen shield. It comes with a carrying mount for your belt that will allow you to carry the phone either vertically or horizontally. The case can also be snapped open to provide a convenient desk mount.

Power

This is the Achilles heel of technology. No power, and you have a very expensive non functional piece of plastic to stare at. Obviously, a cell phone charger for your auto car charger_should be a normal part of your EDC kit.

There are a number of external battery power packs that you can get to extend the time your smart phone can operate. But for long-term use, you are going to need recharging capability. This means solar, especially in a long-term grid down SHTF situation. Goal Zero  makes a large variety of solar kits that are potentially useful to the prepper.

One portable kit, the Goal Zero 41022 Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit is a portable 91GuqIDwCwL__SL1500_solar power kit that will enable you to keep you cell phone charged as well as a number of other devices. It will do the following: Charge up a cell phone in 1 hour, and charge up removable AA/AAA batteries from USB or sun. At 6.5 x 9.5 x 1.8 inches  in size and 1.2 pounds in weight, it is small and light enough to be considered for your bug out bag.

Conclusion

A smart phone can be an excellent addition to your preps. You can communicate, navigate, store maps, and store reference manuals with it. It has a built-in camera and flashlight. But it is cell tower, GPS satellite, and charged battery dependent.  As long as you understand it’s limitations, and don’t substitute it for basic survival skills, it can be a highly useful survival tool.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Cell phoe for survival use, Doomsday prepping, EDC, Every Day Carry, New preppers, smart phone for survival use, Survival and Prepping, Survival communication

Custom Glock Backplates

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Dont' tread on meArmed professionals have been customizing their weaponry from the beginning of time. Warriors painted their shields with their own design, or the emblem of those they served. The firearms age continued the custom. Engraved handguns and personalized grips are just two examples. For the modern warrior who happens to carry a Glock, the backplate is a perfect place for individualization.

I found these while doing some research on other equipment. The ones illustrated below are just some of my favorites, but there is a tremendous variety that is sure to please almost any Glock owner. Click on any of them to link to the source, and for more.

III percenterPOW MIACome and take itFlag

 helmetIsaiha

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Firearms, Firearms accesories, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Defensive handgun, Firearms, Glock, handgun

Front Sight Firearms Training Institute 2 Day Defensive Handgun Class

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Front Sight 4As a professional firearms instructor, I know that you never learn it all. And it is important to take additional training from other instructors and organizations to stay on top of your game. So when a former boss gave me a Front Sight Legacy Membership which included a lot of free classes, I took the opportunity to start with their basic 2 Day Defensive Handgun class. So how did it go?

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Firearms Training, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Front Sight Firearms Training Institute, New preppers, Personal defense, professional firearms instructor, Survival and Prepping

The Bicycle In SHTF

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Montague ParatrooperTransportation could be very important in a SHTF scenario. Each person and each group has different treansportation needs and capabilities depending on a number of factors. We have discussed the aspects of selecting a Bug Out Vehicle, but would a bicycle be a practical alternative or addition?

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping, Survival Bikes

Night Vision Considerations For Survival

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Yukon Nvnt 400Night vision is a consideration many preppers avoid. Partly because the technology is foreign to them if they never used NVD’s in the military, and partly because of the perceived cost. But before you invest in that next expensive firearm, consider the possibility of a night vision device to go with one you already have. You might be glad you did.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Night vision, Survival and Prepping

How To Avoid or Survive A Carjacking

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991007-F-8032B-007Many preppers consider prepping to be activities to prepare for a SHTF “Big One”. But staying safe and sound until then is also a serious part of prepping. Carjacking is an increasingly serious crime and protecting yourself from it should be part of your preps.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, New preppers, Survival and Prepping, Surviving a carjacking

Land Navigation for Preppers Part 2. The Compass and How to Use It

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compassIn part 1 we discussed maps. Previously we have discussed navigatiion without a compass. Now lets discuss how to use a compass along with your map to get you from point A to point B.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping, Survival compass

Land Navigation for Preppers. Part 1 Maps and Map Sources

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Topographic_map_exampleIf SHTF, you may have to move, and quickly. Hopefully you have established a bug out plan with alternate routes. But you may have to go into unfamiliar territory. Thats where skill in land navigation is important. This will be a series on basic navigation skills for those who didn’t learn them in the military or other professional organizations.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, map reading, New preppers, Survival and Prepping, survival map reading

In Defense of the Venerable 1911a1 .45acp

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Colt_1911_02New innovations replace old ideas and we call it progress. The plethora of modern high capacity magazine handguns has caused many to relegate the 1911a1 to the trash heap along with the Model T Ford. Hold on cowboys, not so fast!

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Handguns, Survival and Prepping Tagged: .45acp for defense, Beggining preppers, Defensive handgun, defensive weapon, Doomsday prepping, handgun, New preppers, Survival and Prepping

Sharpen Those Blades!

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Smith's TRI-6 Arkansaw stoneA dull knife is more than just useless. It can even be dangerous to the user. There is a lot of great gear out there to help you keep your edges sharp.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping, Survival knife sharpening, Survival knives

The Ultimate Sniper (Book Review)

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Ultimate SniperIn a serious SHTF situation, you may be called on to defend yourself with your rifle. If you only have one manual for reference and training on rifle marksmanship, this one should be it.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Book and CD Reviews, Books Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, Firearms, long range shooting, New preppers, professional firearms instructor, Survival and Prepping, Survival books, survival shooting

The Gerber Suspension Multi Tool

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Suspension-Multi-Plier_fulljpg 2I have used a lot of multi tools over the years and still have a few of them. For the last few months I have been using one by Gerber called the Suspension.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Equipment Reviews, Knives and Edged Tools, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Bug Out Bag, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping, Survival knives, survival tool

Defensive Firearms Resources For Women

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Ladies CCWI am old enough to remember when the average Jane depended on the average John to protect her.  When I was a kid, a woman carrying a concealed handgun with license to boot was a real rarity. But no more. The ladies are taking their self defense reins in the teeth. You’ve come a long way baby!

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping, Women’s defense Tagged: Beggining preppers, Defensive handgun, defensive weapon, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Personal defense, Survival and Prepping, Women’s defesive items

Get Out Alive. Emergency Vehicle Escape Tools

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Car_crash_2We spend much of our lives in the vehicles we own. To and from work, vacations, shopping etc. And no matter how safe a driver you are, there is always the risk of an accident caused by the other, non safe, bozos out there.  And if you are involved in a crash, you may need to get away from the vehicle quickly.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping, Vehicle escape tools

The Gerber Downrange Tomahawk

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Gerber T hawk 2I have been a fan of Gerber products since my family sent me one of their MKII fighting knives while I served with the 101st ABN. Div. in Vietnam. And I have used a lot of their products since. So when I stared hearing about their Downrange Tomahawk, I decided to look into it.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Equipment Reviews, Knives and Edged Tools, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Bug Out Bag, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping, Survival ax

Avoiding And Dealing With Snake Bite

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RattlesnakeThere are very few places in the world where snakes do not live. And many of them are poisonous. In North America, there are a number that you need to avoid being bitten by. And if you are bitten, there are certain things you need to do. In SHTF scenarios you may be forced to deal with snakes in ways you are not normally used to. You will probably be out of touch with usual medical facilities, so if you are bitten you will have to handle it yourself.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Snake bite, Survival and Prepping

The Lever Action Rifle for Prepping and Survival

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1873--outside-spurs-etcThe subject of weapons for survival is hot and heavy in the prepper community. Magazines and blogs offer all kinds of opinions and solutions. If you follow the mainstream “Prepper press” you would be convinced that unless you own the most modern military style battle rife, then you are SOL when SHTF. Not necessarily so.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Rifles Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, Lever action rifles for prepping, Lever action rifles for survival, New preppers, Personal defense, Survival and Prepping

Fire Extinguishers For Your Preps

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41wWZX5u0nLGo to any prepper website or blog, and you will find all kinds of ways to start a fire. And some of them are pretty darned creative. But you also need to be able to put a fire out in a hurry if you, or someone else, creates one that is a danger.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, Fire Extinguishers for Prepping, New preppers, Personal defense, Survival and Prepping

Bug Out Buggy Part 2. Vehicle Survival Kit

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2005-2007_Jeep_Liberty_--_08-16-2010In Part 1 we discussed various aspects of selecting an emergency evacuation vehicle (Bug Out Buggy). Once you have selected a vehicle that will evacuate you and your family if you decide to bug out,, there are some additional considerations you need to address.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Bug out vehicle emergency kit, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping, Vehicle emergency kit

Surviving A Haboob (Sand Storm)

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Haboob2Unless you have experienced a serious dust storm such as those which occur in desert areas around the world, you have no idea how awesome, and actually dangerous they can be. ‘Haboob” is the Arabic word for these storms, and has been adopted by those living in the Southwest to describe them also. Getting caught in one can be no fun, but there are certain things you need to do to protect yourself if you are.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, Haboob, New preppers, Survival and Prepping, Surviving a dust storm

Oldie Military Firearms For Prepper Survival

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m1doesmytalking_smIf you read the modern prepper press and peruse the current prepper websites, you would be convinced that unless you have a modern tricked out M-4 or a upgraded AK with all the bells and whistles, then you are simply out of luck when it comes to surviving a SHTF situation with WROL or even TEOTWAWKI. Guess what? They are lying to you.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper Tagged: Beggining preppers, bolt action rifle, Doomsday prepping, Personal defense, prepping, Surplus Rifles for Prepping, Survival and Prepping, Survival rifles

Snake Filet!

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Crotalus_cerastes_mesquite_springs_CAOK, your a hard core prepper that had to bug out when SHTF, and you have been surviving on your MRE’s, Mountain House and other prep foods. But it is starting to look like this situation is going to drag on for a long time and you need to supplement your food intake with what’s available in the wild. In some parts of the country, notably the Southwest, you have an abundant supply of handy nutrition. It’s called Jake the Snake.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Snake mat for survival, snake meat for survival, Survival and Prepping