Apartment Prepping: Not Optimal BUT Possible

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I recently helped someone set up their apartment,  someone who understood the value of preparedness but was just not at a point in their life where a home away from things on some land was possible.  Let’s face it, some might not even want that in their lives or other circumstances could force them to live in an apartment.  Personally I had to live in an apartment just outside of Washington, D.C. for a year, it was not optimal but I made it work the best I could.  I had several systems in place in my apartment, routes identified locally for egress and a storage unit within walking distance which had quite a few necessary supplies contained within.  Making due with what I was given, it’s what we do right?

Let’s take a look at some of the problems apartment living poses to the prepper.

Security

Literally surrounded by people, living above / below / next to you.  Parking usually open to the public and at any given time who knows what type of guests (invited or univited) might be in or around the facility.  Some complexes strictly regulate what you can and cannot do, cameras or even a simple security system could be disallowed.  Other folks (read: maintenance) have the keys to your door, not exactly a castle on a hilltop if you know what I mean.

Population Density

This is what I always cringe at and it bleeds over into the security and privacy aspect, the fact that apartment complexes are literally a place where the most people are crammed into the smallest areas in order to maximize revenue for the management group.  Depending on the type and caliber of complex you could have multiple families living in one unit, usually foreign nationals.  When I lived in D.C. I bet there were 1000 people within one square block, here in the mountains there might be 20 people within 1 square mile but I highly doubt it.

Privacy

This is the biggest issue,  at any given time a notice could go out for whatever reason and there will be folks coming into the apartment to repair something, check something, whatever….and there is nothing you can do about it.  “Make sure dogs (if allowed) are secured, maintenance will be in the change filters and genereally snoop around between 9-5.”  I hated it but there was nothing that could be done, think about any preps or even firearms that might be secured or otherwise.  Not an optimal situation.

So What Can Be Done?

I have made the best of a bad situation and have helped others to do so as well.  Sometimes living in an apartment is a necessary evil, here are a few tips that I have passed along.

Security System:  If possible and allowed try something easy to install like Simplisafe or others.  Many of these systems have duress signals which can be enabled and panic buttons, great for notifying the authorities.  Also use those door bars that go under the knob, truly prevent unwanted entry and are around $20 at Home Depot.

Dedicated Parking:  If possible pay extra for the garage or carport.  Having to drive around looking for a space, especially at night which might include a long walk is not optimal.

Dog:  Get a dog and put a beware of dog sign up.  Dogs are wonderful companions but also great deterrants for the average crackhead.  Nobody, myself included wants to get bitten by a dog.

Off Site Storage:  A small storage unit will typically run less than $100 a month and can be very useful in the event of a natural disaster or simply a backup plan.  Extra clothing, food and water, your imagination is the limit.  Piece of mind is what the storage unit is all about and if things went sideways and the apartment burned to the ground what would you need in the storage unit that was absolutely essential?  Take it from there.

Detectors:  This is the easy stuff and by that I mean don’t trust your neighbors.  In this other apartment I set up I installed CO2 detectors, additional Smoke Alarms and added things like fire extinguishers.  When you live around 50 other people in one building you never know what could spark off especially in the middle of the night so additional detectors are a must.

Firearms:  Use your best judgement, obviously one of those things that someone must be comfortable with.  Personally I prefer 00 Buckshot over trying to beat an intruder with a wooden spoon.

Egress:  Know how to get out and more than one way to do so.  Know were to go (read: rally point) if it’s the middle of the night and you are clad in boxer briefs and sandals.

The Bottom Line.

I have to believe that given the option there is no prepper out there who would willingly live in a crowded apartment complex versus a home out on some land.  However life happens and there are instances where apartment living is necessary and unavoidable.  Given that we have to make due with what we have, doing the best that we can.  Take some of the tips listed above and add your own, it will only make the experience more manageable.

 

The Daily Prep: Winter Preparedness Tasks

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I’ve been traveling but am home now, a few tasks to accomplish as the weather has definiely changed from mild to extremely cold.  The only snow that we have gotten has been sporadic but in this area we are one front away from getting dumped on by the feet.  A few key tasks that I have on my agenda today are:

  • Drain all gas cans, refill at pump.
  • Run generators, make sure that I turn them off by cutting the fuel source instead of just hitting the off button.
  • Charge devices in vehicles, the jump start / extra power packs.

I typically try to rotate through my gasoline, at any given time I’ll have 25 to 30 gallons on site in containers but this time I got lazy and all of them need cycled through at once.  The annoying thing about it is actually holding the can up while it slowly dumps into my truck’s tank, although I have started migrated towards safety cans which have a better flow rate.  These cans are much more robust but that comes with an extra cost obviously.

The generators are definitely something that I need to conduct regular maintenance on, they are my short term / power out SHTF solution.   Being that I have a wood burning stove I wouldn’t really need them to heat the house but keeping all of the meat that I have in my freezers cold as well as running the lights (via a transfer switch) is definitely a must have.  In my mind I could probably run the generator for the house around 4 hours during the day in an outage and then shut it down for the evening.  Hopefully we won’t have to test that theory but having options is a good thing.

With respect to the powered devices in the vehicles, we all have variations of a jump start pack in addition to the standard jumper cables.  These devices will drain over time if not used and especially in the cold so I try to dig them out every few months and plug them in until back to green status.  Quite honestly I’ve never seen anything jump a vehicle as well as another vehicle and standard cables but once again it’s nice to have options just in case.

With that the sun is just beginning to expose itself over the mountains, time to get started on the chores and finish another cup of coffee.  Better to do the extra work now and not have need for the efforts in the future than to unexpectidley get in a tight spot without recourse.

 

The Daily Prep: Firewood, water, tires.

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Woke up this morning to some ominious looking clouds over the mountain horizon, snow inbound.  The wind was such last night that it (once again) wreaked havoc with my tarps covering the wood pile, among other things.  I’ve learned quite a bit since moving to the mountains about managing wood for the stove, it turned out to be a little more complex than I thought.

  • 2 cord would be plenty for the cooler weather I thought, I was wrong.
  • Stacking the wood nice and neat satisfied by OCD, but not that practical.  If you don’t pull from the pile evenly it starts to get a nice lean to it, resulting in frustration.
  • Original tarps with bungee cords was great, but as the pile shrank constant adjustments and moving of anchor points was also a pain.
  • New approach was to build a big box to hold 1 cord (this will make a total of 3), just cover that box with a tarp and toss the wood in there any old way.  We’ll see how that goes.

With the wind last night and weather moving in I knew I had to adjust my tarps and also cover the new wood box.  Some old sandbags came in handy to keep things secure along with some well placed deck screws and bungee cords, this between constant requests to throw a log down the hill from my dog.

With respect to water I’m refilling (via well) the large basin / stone pool that is near the house, I’d say it easily holds more than a medium hottub but every few weeks need to add more water as it gets lost to evaporation and animals drinking out of it.  I have a pump that keeps it constantly moving so that’s a good thing.  The reality is I have a well and plenty of storage on site but it’s always nice to have this as a backup to the backup plan because…you never know.

I inspected my tires on my truck and am due for a new set of 2, I’ve staggered purchasing and rotate on a consistent basis but these are not going to get me through the winter.  Something like having good tires on a vehicle is essential to preparedness, can’t tell you how many folks I see on the side of the road when the big snow comes because they neglected to shod their vehicle with the appropriate tires.

That’s pretty much it for now, maybe I’ll include a daily prep segment once a week or so as it’s always good to get folks thinking and keep focused.

 

91 Gallon Gasoline Storage Project for Emergencies

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Preparedness is always about improving your foxhole, going from where you are to the next level bit by bit based on prioritization and available resources.  I currently have multiple 5 gallon containers on site which I cycle fuel storage through, but with three vehicles with a total tank capacity over 70 gallons plus two generators I need more improve my position.  We all store food, water, medical supplies and more but tend to neglect fuel which is a life source for many in times of need.  Granted unless one has a thousands of gallons on site it’s not a long term solution but for immediate needs when faced with natural disasters having a fuel source beyond that of the standard 5 gallon can be an enabler.  Here are a few factors that I considered when building my fuel storage plan.

  • Affordable (Less than $1k total).
  • Mobile, not buried in the ground.
  • Relatively easy to build, instead of buying a more expensive all inclusive option.
  • Minimum of 50 gallon storage capacity which does not require cycling through every few months.

My plan involves taking my existing 5×8 trailer which I bought from Lowes a number of years ago and adding a tank and pump to it.  This 91 gallon tank will weigh around 675 lbs full and that’s easily accomodated with the 1600lb trailer capacity, it will be a unit I can keep on the property or take with me if I need to go mobile.

The Trailer

 

The Fuel Tank

Concept

I plan on mounting this fuel storage container to my trailer, but only after laying wood down on the trailer to create a more sturdy surface.  This container will be able to provide a reasonable amount of fuel storage on site and will also be portable in case we have to bug out with multiple or even one vehicle.  In instances were gas stations are out of fuel or lines are long this would be a a huge advantage, along with having more storage on the trailer for other items.

Bottom Line

Self reliance is a massive advantage when it comes to preparedness, whether it be generating one’s own food or having a fuel source on hand.  While not the best solution possible this project will provide my family with some piece of mind knowing that we do not have to rely on local sources (in the short term) in times of need, and should the power go out for a few weeks at a time we will be able to run our generators with no problem.  Anyone else have a fuel storage plan or project?  Let me know!

 

Hurricane Irma: This is why we PREPARE.

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I’m preaching to the choir but it had to be stated.  If you take a look at what is going on right now in Florida it is a classic case of why preparedness should be a critical part of one’s life.  Folks are lined up around the block for bottled water that they will never get a chance to buy because the shelves are already empty, the next opportinuty to collect supplies probably coming when the National Guard sets up a distro point.

Long lines form at Costco in Florida as residents brace for Hurricane Irma. Image @ KITV Channel 4

Think about these components of preparedness and how they could apply in this situation.

Bugging In:  Having the necessisary supplies (food, water, even gasoline) on hand to stay in place for weeks even without power and without having to rely on outside sources.  Even if the water supply became unusuable for a period of time it would not be a major factor.

Bugging Out:  Having all of the necessary supplies to quickly displace, be self sufficient while on the move knowing that critical items were along for the ride.  Ability to move without having to stop to refuel until out of the danger area, secondary location already identified and ready / willing to accept visitors.

Security:  Understanding that in long term power down scenarios there will be no shortage of folks looking to take advantage of thin law enforcement coverage.  Having a security plan in place in order to address this.

First Aid: Folks could get hurt, not only having the equipment on hand (not just a first aid kit, but things like IFAKs, IV kits etc) but the training in order to employ these properly.

Communication:  Cell phone coverage most likely will go down, having a secondary and tertiary plan (HAM radio).

I could go on and on but the main point is this:  taking initiative and remaining proactive while times are good so that when the tough times come, the only difference is this is now a time for execution and not rehearsals.  I’ve stated this many times, if one is primarily prepping for EMP strikes and WW3 / Martial Law, priorities are misplaced!  The greatest threat all of us face come in the form of localized or even wide spread natural disasters.  Hurricanes, flooding, tornados, wildfires, earthquakes etc.  It’s too late for the folks who are just now lining up hoping to catch a case of bottled water at the grocery store but hopefully many will learn from this experience….sadly most will not.

 

Your Bugout / Survival Vehicle Achilles’ Heel

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I have a large truck, it’s capabilities are extensive.  I can haul people and gear with the full size cab and large bed, I can tow or even winch my way out (or others) of trouble.  The powerful V8, 6 inch lift and large tires have gotten me through all sorts of mud, deep snow and even difficult off road trails where airing the tires down was a necessity.  Large steel bumpers with beefy mounts on the front and rear not only improve the look of the truck but are much more sturdy than the standard plastic / thin aluminum near worthless bumpers that come standard on most trucks.  Yet with all of this, my truck has a major vulnerability that has showcased itself 3 times in the past year: flat tires.

Yes, I have a full size spare and the equipment to change it out but that takes time.  Also if you are on a slope or any sort of area that is not flat pavement it can be a huge challenge to jack up a lifted truck with all that weight.  The point being that all of our vehicles, to include those with run flats (yes, I’ve owned a car with run flats that actually caught a flat) have this similar vulnerability.  In a bugout or survuval situation, all the prep and planning can be stopped short by a simple roofer’s nail.  What if there is a fire, flooding or some other natural disaster and you have to make a quick exit and whoops…tire sensor comes on and now you are on the side of the road at a stop where every minute is precious.  You need to be able to recify this quickly in order to get moving, here are a few items that I have in my vehicle which can help with this.  You will notice some redundancy built in here, that’s intentional.

Slime Flat Tire Repair Kit:  All the basics to repair / seal flats with a small compressor to assist in airing up the tire.  Relatively cheap and good for most vehicles, easy to use.

ARB Tire Repair Kit:  I found that I needed a much more robust tire plug kit when I snapped the handle off of my cheap plastic kit trying to plug a tire.  Trying to ream and subsequently plug a 10 ply tire required the use of a rubber mallet and some force, better to have this kit on hand when the chips are down vs something of lesser quality which could (and probably would) fail.

Smittybilt  5.56 CFM Air Compressor:  This is my primary compressor and it is very powerful, easy to use and quite handy.  My wife messaged me via her satellite communicator that she had a flat tire (no cell service) a while back.  I hopped in the truck and went to her location, an obvious hole directly in the sidewall of her tire which was not repairable.  I looked at my watch and knew the tire shop was 15 minutes away and would be closing in about 25 minutes.  I had 10 minutes or less to make something happen, as we live in the moutains it is not like our options are that of those who live in the city or suburbs.  I quickly plugged the hole and pulled out the compressor, it aired the tire back up in seconds…we were on the road very quickly headed to the shop.

The Bottom Line

This isn’t a new topic and almost borders captain obvious territory, but I know everyone who has been driving for a while has caught a flat and there is never a convenient time for this to happen.  I would also guarantee that a few choice words accompanied the realization that a tire was flat, because it always sucks.  Folks in Houston had to evacuate under duress, I was discussing the possibility of having to evacuate our location if fire ever threatened.  In times like these calling for AAA, waiting for a tow or even taking the time to jack the car up and swap to a spare (that might be buried in the trunk under lots of gear or supplies) isn’t optimal.  Time is of the essence and having the right kit to deal with a flat quickly can make all the difference.  I’ll leave you with this with respect to a spare tire, should you need it…when was the last time you checked the psi on that bad boy?

 

Water Storage Tips and Techniques

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I typically store my water off of the ground, whether it be in the basement or garage.  The main reason I do so (no matter the type of actual storage device) is primarly to avert the leaching process: concrete to plastic to water.  If you search the internet there is no shortage of folks who believe in mitigating the leaching process and others who say it’s not true, in any event it doesn’t take much to elevate storage containers off of the ground like so.

Method 1: Wood.

I like to cut 2×4’s for my large 55 gallon drum containers, usually 4 per container.  The wood is obviously very sturdy and helps to distribute the weight of the drum which can come in around 380 lbs (each).

Method 2:  Foam Boards.

Local big box improvement stores have foam project boards which can be purchased for cheap, I use these primarily for water bottles, jugs and water bricks.  Truth be told there could be chemicals leaching from the foam boards into the chemicals from the plastic into the water, I try to mitigate all of this by simply cycling through my water storage supply.

I recently had an experience which made me very thankful that my items were up off of the ground.  We had a clog in our septic system which resulted in a backup and rather disgusting overflow in our garage.  While it flowed out of the garage and into the rocks outside it passed right under my water storage.  All of the items which held the water bottles / jugs etc became rather soaked with the nasty liquid but the bottles remained unscathed.  I was able to toss out all of the nasty stuff, clean the floor up with bleach and put the storage items back in place.

If I had to wager a guess I probably have around 600 gallons of water stored on site, while I do have a well if the power goes out and the generator runs out of fuel we’re screwed.  I cycle through my water and also protect it by keeping it up off of the ground using two methods.  Think about this when you address your own storage needs.

For more tips on food and water storage for emergencies check out the FEMA website here.

 

4 Storage Food Mistakes You Might Be Making

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This past weekend my wife and I organized our storage / preparendess area.  We did this together so that we would both know where items of note where, instead of me just taking on the task and her having to dig for something in my absence.  We have various storage items sorted by category on heavy wooden shelving (or on the floor, example 55 gallon drums of water) and other items on commercial grade restaurant stainless steel shelving.  Mostly these are canned food items which are within easy reach, useful when making spaghetti and one is out of Ragu.

While organizing the stash we discussed where our current needs were, mostly this revolved around items we constantly use and did not have enough of. Various spices, cans of vegetables or even things like Nutella or bottled Mayo.  I think folks need to have these conversations and evaluate what their food storage situation is like, not just for some major SHTF event but a 2 week power down scenario.  The worst thing one can do is get online, drop a few grand and toss some food storage boxes in the corner just in case.  What follows are a few other potential mistakes folks might be making with respect to food storage.

Buying in Bulk

Don’t get me wrong, I too buy in bulk so let me narrow this down a bit.  For everyday items like the aforementioned can of corn, it’s nice to be able to go down and grab a can for the evening meal.  Yet if all you have are the giant bulk cans of corn, the type that would feed a family of 10 or would have to be tossed in the fridge for leftovers (for days) it might not be the best idea.  It is a bit more expensive to buy the smaller cans but that will ensure that you actually cycle through the food instead of looking at a giant can of yams and thinking, I’ll never eat all that (and moving along).

Not Layering Your Storage (Diversify)

I’ve preached this from the beginning, having various types of layered food storage.  You need items which are ready to eat with no prep at all, think MRE’s or even some canned food items.  These can also be easily transportable if the need arises for a quick bugout.  Next in line would be meals that must be prepped but are still easy to utilize, think Mountain House meal packs or similar, boil some water and you are in there.  A final option would be the large #10 cans where actually going through a decent amount of meal prep would be required.  Layering food storage allows for optimum flexibilty and that is a good thing.

Not Buying What You’ll Eat

There you are walking through the dollar store and cans of potted meat are on sale for 50 cents each, you buy $100 worth with the thought that if times ever get tough you won’t mind eating potted meat.  10 years later all those disgusting cans of potted meat are still sitting on a shelf with zero chance of being cycled through.  When it comes to our canned food storage we typicallly buy items that we can cycle through and eat on a regular basis, while I believe that canned food expiration dates are suggestions I’d like to keep things moving on a first in first out basis if at all possible.

Not Cycling Through Food

I sort of touched on this in the previous bullet point but for many of the items which are considered perishable, it’s important to cycle through them.  This evening we made some tuna salad with cans of tuna that expired 2 years ago, I feel perfectly confident that they will be fine but I might have been a bit overzealous in my tuna purchases originally.  The point is if you buy things you will not eat willingly you’ll end up wasting food as it essentially sits on a shelf and rots.  Cycle through it replacing with never items to keep things as fresh as possible.

The Bottom Line

Wait until the next big storm in your area and then go to the grocery store, watch the folks scramble to fill their carts and baskets with items that will probably only last their family another 3-5 days at best.  Having a good storage food cache on site at your location is a key component of prepardness, while building that stash try to avoid many of the mistakes listed above.

 

Building a Preparedness Community from Scratch

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I am in the preliminary stages of building a preparedness community, assembling a contingent of like minded individuals / families which can trust each other when times get tough, be it a localized disaster or something greater.  The reality of the situation is that no matter how much training or preps you have, a community will be more of an asset than trying to go it alone.  The time to find out if your neighbors can or cannot be trusted or might have skills which are valuable isn’t after a major event has occured.

My journey to start this process began a few weeks ago with a handful of people around a table sipping on coffee and discussing likely vs unlikely events and how we could address them.  I hope you will follow along as I continue to document the progress we make and setbacks we face.  What follows below is a brief synopsis of how I got the whole thing off the ground to begin with.

Putting out Feelers

I rather dislike social media but also understand that it can be a good tool for open source communcation, I also understand that big bro also knows most everything about me anyways so whatever.  I put out a feeler on a local community FB page asking if folks would like to meet to discuss preparedness with the caveat that this wasn’t some doomsday / anti government type of thing, but rather a practical exercise with hopes of meeting some folks who would like to chat about some of our threats and what we can do to address them.  I had an overwhelming response to this post and it was mostly positive, we set a time and date and went from there.

Meet and Greet

We decided to meet for coffee at a local shop, turns out there were about 10 of us that showed up.  Not bad for strangers all unsure of who else might attend or the actual intentions of the person who set the whole thing up (me).  There was a feeling out period where we shared information about ourselves, backgrounds, why we thought preparedness was important and what some of the largest threats were that we faced.  While there was some mention of low probability, high impact events (WW3, Supervolcano) we mostly agreed that things like fire and localized power outages were top of the list.  From there we took a look at wasy to mitigate those risks (brainstorming).

Path Forward

In the hour or two that we sat at that table we weren’t going to solve the world’s problems but we could prioritize a list of what we could address on the local level immediately.  One thing we decided was that we needed to have consistent meetings, we also needed a better way to communicate other than social media.  Another longer term goal for all of us was getting set up on HAM so that we could have consistent communicaiton and situation awareness (SA) with our surrounding community and even outlying areas.  We agreed to work on many of these things and exchanged contact information and called it a successful meeting.

The Bottom Line

I have no idea if I can trust any of these people quite yet, nor do I know if any of them actually truly want to put in the work to do what it takes to build a solid community.  What I can tell you is that by establishing gates with solid action items it will weed out those who are actually about doing something, and those who are in it for the free coffee.  What I know to be true is that there are folks like me with other skills who can be an asset to my family and together we can be an asset to the community as a whole.  This time will be filled with trial and error but if say, 6 to 12 months from now we have just 3-5 families who have started to work together toward a common goal it will be more than we started with.  I hope to keep everyone updated on the progess as we move along.

 

A Comprehensive Bugout Strategy

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I’ve written about bugging out in the past, it’s a popular concept with many relevant ties to everyday life and unfortunately it’s also a concept rooted in many prepper fantasies.  Realistic bugouts happen quite frequently due to localized natural disasters, folks have to leave their home with very little notice hoping that it will be there when they are allowed to return.  Forest fires, flooding or even chemical spills come to mind when considering the need to get out and quickly.  Many folks prepare for these scenarios and many do not, those who do not are usually the ones on television telling the news how all they could salvage was what they could grab in a few minutes.

I should dedicate at least one paragraph to the prepper bugout fantasy, the one where martial law is declared and the suburbanites pack up the pickup trucks and head to the woods to establish a community.  Crops are gown, shelters are built and the resistance war is waged in a glorious effort, something something et al.  It’s a good fantasy but not one grounded in reality, I’ll just leave it at that.

My Bugout Necessity

I’ve you’ve been following along recently you’ll know I’ve relocated to a pretty remote area of the country, one where fire is certainly the biggest threat to our existence.  Fire can happen quickly and when it’s dry, as it is now, it is a huge consideration which must be taken very seriously.  Evacuation (read: bugout) plans are standard in this part of the country and one must be ready to execute at a moment’s notice.

Time Sensitive Plans

In speaking with my wife we have determined that we should have layered plans in place which are all predicated on the amount of time available.  Certainly if we have a day to leave there are actions we would take and also items we would pack which would far exceed those determined necessary if we only had 5 minutes to leave.  The point is that we have gone through the home and identified those items and also the load plan (single or multiple vehicles) associated with taking various items.  Generally we lean towards irreplaceable things (photo albums, heirlooms) and vital documents as top priority and work our way down from there.  In a zero time available scenario its ourselves and the dogs, everything else can meet the fate of the flames.

Multiple Courses of Action

Our first choice would obviously be vehicle transport out of our location.  However there is truly only one way in and one way out, so if that is blocked moving on foot has to be an option.  We have scouted this possibiliy and included it in our plan and a second course of action should the road be blocked and impassable.  It is important to consider the highly unlikely and plan for it, never assume that because something has always been….that it always will be.

Off Site Storage Redundancy

I suggest this for everyone reading this post.  Have multiple sites away from your primary residence were you can store goods and supplies or vital docments.  We have a backup storage facility as well as a safe deposit box where we keep vital documents, never keep all of your eggs in one basket so to speak.  If we were away from the home and it all went up in flames we would have redundacy off site.  This is a crucial capability which ties in to continutity of operations.

General Preps

It should go without saying but there are some generalities that go with being prepared to bugout which transcend location.  A list of these follows, this is off the top of my head so it is not complete.

– Vehicles never parked without a minimum of 1/2 tank of fuel

– All family members briefed on bugout strategy

– Rehersals of bugout strategy

– Predetermined linkup or destination points

– Items identified and staged for quick loading

– Load plan (how you will pack) rehearsed and understood

– Multiple Egress points identified and understood

– Communication plan understood and rehearsed

The Bottom Line

The necessity for bugouts is a very real one and should not be overlooked.  Have a comprehensive bugout strategy which ties in more than one way to get it done.  Speak with your loved ones about it and conduct rehearsals, it could save your life one day.

 

SHTF Gear Box Unvieled: $154 worth of stuff for $89

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Two bladed instruments which were in the box

I finally got around to opening the gear box from SHTFClub.com and was pleasantly surprised at the contents contained within.  Remember, this is a subscription program and there are three tiers:

  • Basic Plan: $19.99/mo
  • Pro Plan: $49.99
  • Elite Plan: $89.99

Originally I was a bit skeptical because after all, why would I pay to receive a box of unknown items when I could simply go to the store and do it myself.  The reason I believe is threefold.

1- Convenience.  Every month you’ll have a box arrive on your doorstep of items which adds to your stash, many of these items you probably would not get for yourself in the first place.  Additionally since you can cancel at any time, let’s say you don’t want to continue after 3 months it’s no problem.

2- It’s like Christmas, every time.  I’ll admit there was a part of me that enjoyed opening the box and then being surprised at what was contained within,  the crossbow pistol had the little boy inside of me ready to plink at trees all around the house.

3- You get more than you pay for.  I added up the individual retail cost for all items contained in the Elite ($89) box and came up with $154.  That’s a pretty decent savings if you ask me.

Full Contents of SHTFClub Box

Pictured above are all the contents of the box, what follows is a list of each and the retail price which I found online.

Cobra Crossbow: $32
S&W Field Watch: $22
M48 Sling Bag: $29
Survivor Knife: $14
Tomahawk Axe: $17
Splint: $10
UV Glostick: $6
Keychain: $5
FM 5-31: $13
Kale Seeds: $2
Wise Foods: $5

Total: $154

Some general thoughts about the contents of the kit are that while not  the most highspeed ever, almost all of it could be useful.  I’ll admit the crossbow is sort of a novelty item but the watch would make a great backup and the Sling Bag is already in my wife’s car as a replacement trauma kit bag.  Both blades are backup and not primary tools but the UV Glostick is something that I have used successfully in the past on backpacking trips, I’ll definitely strap it to the outside of my wife’s pack.

Over the shoulder bag

The real question is, do I think there is value in this program and would i continue to participate in it going forward?  The answer is yes, but I would have to see what the second and third box contained before deciding to move forward with the subscription, or maybe scale back to the Pro ($49) program.  If you are on a tight budget this might not be for you, but if you have a little bit to spend knowing that you will get more than you pay for I’d say give in a shot for a month or two.  I was pleasantly surprised at the contents of the box and I think you would be too.

 

SHTF Mystery Gear Box: Worth It? Maybe.

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If you are like me you’ve spent countless cumulative hours in various big box stores, outdoor stores, dollar stores and even at swap meets looking for useful or even just cool preparedness items.  It can get to a point where you are once again standing in front of that vending machine in the break room, you know everything that is in the machine but you stand there anyway pondering your next move.  Boring.

Why not let someone else make that choice for you with respect to your next move?  Granted I wouldn’t roll the dice and let a stranger mail me my next firearm (even if they could) , but for smaller less “big decision purchase” items why not give it a go.  There is something to be said for anticipation and the unknown and at the price points offered by SHTF Club one really can afford to take a leap of faith…besides you can cancel at any time per their website.  Here are the plans they offer as well as some additional information.

A new mystery box every month. (Usually ships around the 15th.)

Three tiers – Basic: $19.99, Pro: $49.99 and Elite: $89.99.

The $19.99 box is guaranteed to be worth more than what you pay.

The $49.99 box is guaranteed to be worth more than $80.

The $89.99 box is guaranteed to be worth more than $120.

Cancel or renew at any time.

So your next question is probably going to be, what’s in the box?  According to their website it’s some variation of (but not limited to): knives, fire starters, emergency prep (SOS), hydration, survival gear, hard use tools, paracord and other accessories.   You are probably thinking, well that’s cool but how good is this stuff?  I’m glad you asked because I should be receiving a box from them in the next few days and will be reviewing the contents inside.  Some of my thoughts are:

Are the contents worth the price of admission?

What about the quality of the contents?  Good knife or $5 OTC at Ace Hardware type knife?

Relevant to preparedness?

Presentation:  How packaged, as in neatly with applicable instructions for those who may need them or dumped in a box?

I am fairly confidence that I will be pleasantly surprised with this product, after all they have good reviews out there and seem to be serious about advancing the preparedness message.  I will follow up shortly with a review but in the meantime, check out their website for yourselves and see if anything strikes your fancy.

 

The Complacent Phase vs Prepping When Times Are Good

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On the surface things seem to be moving along rather swimmingly.  The story line goes something like: improving economy / Dow trends / more jobs / less National Debt / and just a general feeling that things are going better, whatever that means.  I for one can appreciate that gasoline is not $4/gallon but that doesn’t make me any sort of expert.  A quick browse of the standard prepper-ish websites reveals mostly the same headlines that were there in 5-7 years ago, not so much on TV about prepping anymore because life is good.  It’s so easy to get complacent in times like these after all, Trump is Prez and he will make America great again….right?

Complacent:

adjective
1. pleased, especially with oneself or one’s merits, advantages, situation,etc., often without awareness of some potential danger or defect; self-satisfied:

It’s tough to prioritize prepping when there really doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency.  Back in 2010 folks were snapping up a years worth of food for storage and plotting potential bugout locations if and when T-SHTF.  Now a new car in the drive might not necessarily be a bad thing, along with that trip to the Bahamas.  Previously prioritized preps (maybe a solar addition and gardening) are on the back burner and the discussions among friends about potential courses of action with respect to threats have all but subsided.  The planning and execution phase has been replaced by the complacent phase.

I believe there is a huge opportunity now to advance prep priorities while maintaining a good life balance and still enjoying the fruits of one’s labor (read: nothing wrong with vacation).  Here are a few reasons why.

  • The pressure isn’t there.  A few years back when people believed the sky was falling folks were scrambling to play catch up, tossing credit cards at preps and making poor decisions.
  • Demand is relatively low for whatever products / materials you might need or what to stock up on.  Ammunition, storage food, water storage devices, medical kits.
  • It’s ok to experiment.  Start that garden now and see just how difficult it can be to grow your own food, try planting various seeds to see if store bought perform better than those stored prepper seeds you have on a shelf in the basement.
  • Save Money.  Pretty self explanatory but needed to be mentioned.  If the job is paying more try to save more when times are good.

The above listed are just a few reasons why I believe that now is the time to take advantage of this lull in the action, calm before the storm if you will.  I’ve often quoted Mark Steyn when he stated (reference the economy): “Something that cannot go on forever, will stop.”  Any number of things could happen to disrupt this current state of relative calm which we are in and it might be next week, 2 years, 5 years and so on.  If you look at some of the major prep blogs out there folks in the comments section have been calling for a collapse based on evidence every year for the past 10 years….”surely 2010/11/12/13/14 is the year” they said.  Here we are in 2017 coasting along on what I believe to be ice that is thicker than others would imagine.  If it all comes crashing down at that point we’ll all have what we have and it will be the mad scramble once again.  Use this time wisely for surely, at some unknown point in the future things will not be so great.  The expanse and impact of whatever it is that will occur, maybe the economy contracting or even collapsing, is anyone’s best guess.

 

 

SHTF: High probability low impact vs Low probability high impact

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What are you preparing for and how do you prioritize accordingly?  There are some very real threats out but all of us are limited on time and resources.  Even the independently wealthy prepper with all the time and money in the world could not prepare for and mitigate risk for every potential disaster which exists in the world today.  With that in mind there must be a calculated balance, prepping for threats in a common sense way which does not over extend our resources or take up too much time (read: getting bogged down).

I see this two ways: High Probability / Low Impact vs Low Probability / High Impact.  Where you are in the world and you current state of readiness determines how you break the threats out and prepare for them.  A few examples follow.

High Probability / Low Impact

  • Bugout necessary because: forest fire, flooding, train wrecks and spills chemicals etc.
  • Storm causes power outage for a few days or even a couple weeks
  • Job loss
  • Stuck on the side of the highway broken down in winter storm
  • Droughts cause water shortages

Low Probability / High Impact

  • Supervolcano in Yellowstone erupts
  • Total financial collapse globally
  • Asteroid strike on earth
  • WW3 with nukes
  • EMP Strike destroys the grid

From the list above (and there are many more) you can see that “impact” to us is relative, you might think a job loss is tough but indeed it is relatively low impact compared to the Supervolcano erupting (especially if you are in the fallout zone).

I’m sure at some point most of us used to watch the OPSEC fail show Doomsday Preppers, where people would state which disaster they were preparing for.  Countless time and efforts were being poured into prepping for that one thing but what if that one thing never came to fruition?  What if all that time and money toward an underground bunker could have been redirected toward something(s) which would have a better impact to mitigate more plausible scenarios?  Granted there is some definite crossover with respect to preps but all of those hand crafted Faraday cages probably won’t come in handy as supplemental income if a job loss happens.

There are no guarantees with respect to preparedness.  You could be that guy with seemingly everything going right: community, preps, land, crops, animals, et al and that flood / fire comes through and wipes it all out.  With that in mind I think it is important to strive for excellence but also have the mental agility to be flexible, to adjust and prioritize as necessary in order to remain effective.  All of the items I listed above could happen so I’m not discounting any of them, yet as stated time and resources are limited so use them wisely.  Make your own high prob / low impact vs low prob / high impact list and plan accordingly.

 

Next Level Prepping: A Life Changing Event

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I sit and type this with a cool mountain breeze coming through the open door.  Only the sound of the keys clicking and birds chirping, along with the wind pushing the trees around ever so gently.  If I take a moment to glance up from the keyboard, as far as the eye can see and from left to right is National Forest.  No other houses in view, only God’s creation and the sun beaming down rather intensely.  I’m not sure if this is the perfect prepper paradise but for my wife and I it’s very close.

Let’s recap shall we.

I’ve always been one of those self reliant types but could never break the mold society had for the family.  Our last home was great but it was the typical suburban, strip mall a few miles away, totally reliant on the grid and surrounded by neighbors establishment.  I’ve always said that our (then) circumstances reflected the majority of preppers out there, you play the hand you were dealt and do the best with what you had. I believe that’s why this blog continued to be so popular, even when my own posts started to get few and far between.

The Present

If you’ve been reading along over the last year or so you’ll know that my wife and I made a cross country move.  It was a big leap of faith as we had been at our previous location over 12 years and had established roots.  Yet the desire to do something more and to finally do what we’d always discussed, to take the risk and let come what may.  Now we are here and it’s a very different life, one filled with challenges which we continue to learn from (and which I want to share with you all).  With respect to prepping in general I feel that this new life sets us up for success in ways we could not have imagined before, yet it’s also about a desire to generally break the mold which modern society has set for people.  Since moving here we’ve given away one TV and rarely turn on the other, my cell phone doesn’t ring because there is no signal.  The nearest store is a gas station and that’s 5 miles away, most of it being dirt roads winding down the side of a mountain.  We can’t order food, we can’t grab an Uber ride to go out, we can’t order PPV movies or stream Netflix because the Sat Internet is too slow, we can’t do many of the things that were available to us before but it’s been amazing stepping away from all that.

There are benefits that we are quickly discovering with this new life as well.  Our home is position in such a way that it is very secluded.  We do have a couple neighbors on our “street” (more like a trail with drop offs and various wildlife within view) but they are spread out and all very self sufficient.  Anyone that comes down toward the house either lives here or they had better be delivering a package.  My wife once said as we were looking at the place, “well if T-SHTF not too many folks will be coming up here.”  Absolutely.

There have been some lesson’s learned thus far and I’d like to share them with everyone, some might be able to relate or even provide tips as well.

Help is a long way away

  • Where we used to live there was State Patrol, Township Police, Sheriff, City Cops.  Now there is the local Sheriff and Deputies and a few remote fire stations, the nearest level 1 trauma center is over an hour away.  What does that mean:  be extra careful when doing things like splitting wood, cutting with miter or table saw, handling firearms, et al.  A call to 911 means someone could be here in…20-30 minutes?

You have what you have

  • This is a common phrase with respect to prepping in general, if the balloon goes up you’ll have what you have and make due with it.  Living out here in a relatively remote situation it has become evident in everyday life.  There is no running to the store to pick up that thing which was forgotten, a stockpile of most used items (toilet paper to coffee creamer and everything in between) is a reality now more than ever.

Community is key

  • I have met my two neighbors, which I’ll refer to them as even though they aren’t exactly close.  They are very handy and used to this life which is a great thing.  I was briefed on the importance of being ready to bugout in case of fires, it’s for real up here.  I should point out that I have always advocated that localized natural disasters are a more relevant reason to prep than wondering if an EMP strike will take out the grid (although that is still a possibility).

Wildlife is a very real consideration

  • I carry a gun every time I’m outside the home and it isn’t for people.  Maybe I’m a little paranoid but I have been warned that mountain lions have been spotted in the area, by that I mean next to my home.  I think awareness is key obviously but running around with the dog(s) you can never be too careful.  I’ve also been told that if the garage is left open, bears will be inside poking around.  Fantastic.

Communication plans are very important

  • This one is huge with respect to my wife and I and how we travel.  We have layers of communication which I’ll probably write about later, whether around the home (2 way radios) or going to and from (sat commo).  Cell phones just aren’t reliable and if one of us gets in a pinch we need to be able to reach out.

Nice to have is now essential to have

  • Backup generators come to mind immediately.  Getting snowed in with no power for a week or so is a very real possibility.  A winch on the truck is another item, I’ve already used it twice to recover stuck vehicles.  A third item would be a deep freezer full of various meat (in addition to all the other supplies) and the list goes on and on (trauma kits, air compressor, a cord of wood outside for the wood burning stove…)

New ways of doing things

  • Getting used to the wood burning stove has been a fun experience.  It will heat most of the house if done correctly using a fan.  Before anyone mentions it we have had it inspected and cleaned out, safety first!

Fitness

  • We live at almost 9000 ft elevation.  Simple things like splitting wood can become a challenge up here, even walking the dog over uneven terrain takes much more effort than it did at sea level.  While there is a “get used to it” component fitness is huge.

I’ll wrap it up and change gears for a bit.  Across our country for many life seems to be good right now.  People have become complacent once again and long forgotten the very real economic issues we faced less than 10 years ago.  Threats to our society are greater than ever and I would be lying if that did not factor into the decision to make the move we did.  If nothing happens and we simply enjoy the mountain life and learn to be more self reliant that’s fine with me.  Yet if any number of the threats that exist do materialize I’d like to believe we are better positioned to face them than where we were before.  It’s always about improving your “fighting position” and we continue to do so, I hope you will too.  More to follow as we continue on this journey.

 

4 Things Wrong With Your BugOut / Survival Bag

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I recently spent a few days out in the backcountry wilderness living out of my bag, miles away from the nearest town and long out of cell phone range.  It was myself and my dog hiking a few miles a day at over 10,000 feet in elevation, getting in touch with nature and evaluating some gear. When out in that sort of environment one figures out really quickly what is essential and what is fluff with respect to gear, what works and what doesn’t.  Since the bugout / survival bag is what we rely on to hold all of our essential equipment it stands to reason that this piece of kit should be near the top of the list with respect to how well it is taken care of.  Unfortunately that isn’t the case in many instances, so here are 4 things that might be wrong with your bugout / survival bag.

1- It hasn’t been unpacked in 6 months

Cooler temps are approaching so does the gear in your bag reflect that?  How long has it been since you completely emptied your bag, took and inventory and re-packed it?  Far too often gear is packed and then allowed to sit which means folks forget what is where and items often expire.

2- It doesn’t have hydration bladder pockets

Water is everything out in the wilderness and you must have a good way to not only carry it but access it while on the move.  Many good packs have built in hydration bladder pockets on the sides allowing for a 2 or 3 liter hydration bladder to be stuffed down in them.  Run the hose down over the shoulder and drink while on the move, hook up a mini sawyer in line water filter for drinking river/lake water.  The days of strapping canteens to a belt or the back of the pack are long gone for most, as there are much improved methods for carrying water.

3- The gear inside it has been chosen based on theory, not practical application.

Folks tend to buy gear based on other people’s opinions and there is nothing wrong with that, but has that gear been tested out in the field?  Has the tent actually been set up, fire starting material tested, stove been used to cook food?  Maybe there is a hatchet or other cool looking tool in there that is completely unnecessary, only way to find out is to get out there and test the gear.

4- It was purchased wholesale for $25 online.

It’s true, you get what you pay for.  To build a quality pack you need quality materials and folks who know what they are doing.  Time for design, R&D, manufacturing and advertising.  All of these things are built into the cost of the product (a good bag in this case) so that the company can remain profitable.  I know this seems like basic information but it stands to reason that a bag that runs $25 on the rack cannot possibly hold a candle to a pack that runs $350 or more.  The type of materials in the more expensive pack will be more durable, the zippers and fasteners will be better, the internal frame and shoulder straps will be much more comfortable and on it goes.  There are some good compromises out there which folks on a budget can look into but one must be careful when choosing a good bag.  Go cheap and by the time mile 5 arrives you’ll be sorry you did.

 

Split Operations: Separated from your home base.

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Home is where the heart is and for most of us where our preparedness stash is.  Should some localized or regional disaster (or worse) take place I’d like to think we would feel better about addressing that situation surrounded by what is familiar to us (read: having loads of preps and self sustaining infrastructure in place).  While this does not guarantee our safety or survival it truly is a best case scenario, the opposite end of that spectrum being 1000 miles away from your home with a paperclip and pack of bubble gum if T-SHTF.

There is a sobering reality to all of this and that is the fact that being in and around home base constantly is not practical for many.  Travel dictates that we need to be away from home and in some instances for months (or more) at a time.  That is what I will address in this post, running split operations with the reality that you just might not be able to get back to your home and family if something bad happens.

Here’s the Setup: Split Operations

I’ve lived apart from my home, preps, family for months at a time.  Usually work related, it means that we could be hours or even days away when it comes to drive time.  While I’d like to believe that if something bad were to take place I’d be able to drop what I was doing and rush to my wife’s side in a flash that is simply not the reality of the situation.  When living apart necessary steps must be put in place to ensure sustainability for the short and potentially long term.  What does that mean?  It’s like this, if the power goes out for two days because of storms have I set my wife up for success with our backup power situation?  What if a snow storm cuts power and access to basic necessities for 2 weeks, will she be able to get through it with minimal stress and discomfort because of preparedness steps previously put in place and rehearsed?  These are highly probable and relatively low impact events.  Yet what about a truly worst case scenario which would mean us hoping to reunite at some point but being forced to make it on our own in the near term?  Who truly knows how things would play out as there are so many variables but I have to be confident in the fact that I’ve done everything in my power to set both of us up for success.

Tips for Split Operations

Essentially this boils down to common sense and understanding that one cannot guarantee success for any given scenario, but putting measures (and backups) in place certainly increases one’s chances.  Below are some tips that I’ve come up with over time for running split operations.

90/10:  When I roll out I usually take the equivalent of 10% of my preps with me, leaving the majority back home with my wife.  Those preps that I have are usually what I’d need when mobile and once I get to my destination I can supplement by purchasing new.  This usually means snagging enough supplies to sit out a localized disaster for a few days or even weeks (at most).  Again the majority stays back home with my wife as she would need it, it’s not practical for me to haul around and should I be able to make it back to my place I’d want all my supplies waiting on site for me.

Rehearsals:  It’s one thing when I’m home and am able to do most of the heavy lifting but what about when I’m not?  This is not to say that my wife isn’t perfectly capable of doing some hard labor but let’s face it, I’ve spent more time doing it and she doesn’t mind that.  A perfect example would be when I was almost 1000 miles away and a storm hit knocking power out.  We had rehearsed the procedure for moving the generator out, hooking it up, starting it using the choke and fuel shutoff valve and operating the transfer switch.  When the time came she was able to accomplish this task and all was good.  Had we not rehearsed it the task would have been exceedingly more difficult I’m sure.

Worst Case:  In a worst case scenario it’s understood that we’ll simply have to make due in our own set of circumstances.  That is a reality that many fail to acknowledge and as such they never prepare for it.

The Bottom Line

There are folks out there who haven’t spent so much as a weekend away from their spouse or kids, I am not one of them.  If you are like me and travel for work or have to live away from your family for months at a time because of other circumstances put some thought in to your split operations plan.  Set yourself and those left behind up for success with the understanding that you might not always be there for them.

 

Smart Prepper’s Guide to choosing the Best Tactical Boots

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By: JM @ Sole Labz

Smart prepper’s guide to choosing the best tactical boots

Navy Seals have a saying: “There are two ways of doing things, the right way, and again”. Smart preppers know, however, that SHTF scenarios leave no room for do-overs.

Your top sidekick in all-hell-broke-loose scenarios is a good pair of tactical boots. Call me crazy, but you’re only as strong as your feet in a bug out situation. Better make those two soles and a bit of leather count since all of your agility, speed and overall performance will depend on them.

War, hiking, army and people concept - close up of soldier's foot in army boot

War, hiking, army and people concept – close up of soldier’s foot in army boot

Being on your toes equals being ready, like a racer itching for that gun to go off. It means you’ll have a proper response no matter what happens, and that’s what prepping is all about for me.

Your feet are a crucial bug-out tool

Benjamin Franklin said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

As I see it, a large part of prepping IS preventing. Not to mention there is no “cure” when bad times catch you with your pants down.

Bottom line – no matter how good of your bug out plan is and how safe your potential refuge is if your feet can’t take you there. So, let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

What to look for

Good tactical boots should keep all feet maladies at bay (blisters, plantar fasciitis, sore spots…); protect you from the elements, the surrounding terrain and possible toxic spills. They should feel like second a skin whether you’re darting through a concrete city labyrinth or taking a slow rural hike to your shelter for bugging out.

Most importantly, they must be a good fit to your scenarios, so what we’ll do in this guide is go through the types of tactical boot and analyze the potential scenarios and surroundings it’s right for.

Human foot pain with the anatomy of a skeleton foot

Human foot pain with the anatomy of a skeleton foot

With those criteria in place, we can tackle tactical boot types and situations they “live for”.

Let your tactical boots “rise to the occasion”

Military or tactical boots have gone a long way from combat hotspots around the globe to civilian feet.

Well known for their rugged build, they offer superb protection without sacrificing the functionality. They were made to fit the needs of soldiers/marines in terms of war and that speaks volumes about why they should be one of the paramount of your bug out plans.

Let’s go over basic types…

Standard issue tactical boots

This combat boot is manufactured from waterproof, hardened leather. It’s designed for extra ankle and foot stability on the nasty terrain, encountered often during training or combat. They also offer good foot protection and grip.

Image3_standard_issue_boot

The first known combat boot comes from foot soldiers of Ancient Rome. Their hobnail boots were named caligae.

In the USA, infantry regiments of the war of 1812 wore calf-high combat boots. Until American Civil War, ankle-high boots made of lasts were issued. There was no left or right boot, rather, they molded to the feet of the wearer over time. Needless to say, they were a pain to wear. Jeff Davis boots were introduced in 1858, and that’s where our story really begins.

These would be your jack-of-all-trades among tac boots. They’ll do just fine if your main concern is dreadful terrain standing between you and safety.

Jump boots

Standard gear for airborne forces and paratroopers, they were first introduced during WW2.

The US Original M1942 “Parachute Jumper” featured reinforced, rigid toe caps and extended lacing. This was aimed at providing better support for toes and ankles during rough landings. They’re often laced in cobweb or ladder style for even more ankle support.

Image4_jump_boot

They were developed simultaneously in numerous countries, but as far as the USA goes, it all starts with William P. Yarborough. He designed them for 501st Parachute Test Battalion in 1941.

As far as prepping goes, these will offer excellent protection from rugged, uneven terrains that’ll cause you to jump constantly from one area to the next. They’ll be lifesavers if your bug out includes a parachute jump and terrible if you take off on a longer march. They are heavier and less flexible than standard issue, especially if they’re cold or still breaking in.

Tanker boots

They saw mass production back when George S. Patton was still a captain.

Their main thing is using straps instead of laces. That made sure nothing will get caught into the moving parts of the machinery. It also comes handy when you’re sprawling through dense bushes or area filled with tree roots and branches.

Image5_tanker_boot

They’re almost fireproof, so if high temperatures are a part of the scenario… The material is leather, so toxic chemicals won’t reach your feet in case of a spill.

They feature gusseted tongue, so no debris will get inside. Steel toe guards are also there for extra protection paired with steel or plastic guards for shank and heel. Metal inserts are in the sole ensuring perfect pierce resistance.

Tactical boots for extreme weather

War is always about location, reaction time and preparedness. Here are some combat boots that’ll give you an upper hand when temperatures go sky-high or sub-zero.

Jungle Boots – Made before WW2 in Panama. They weigh aprox. 3lbs and were designed for optimal drainage while keeping insects, sand and mud out. They don’t keep the water out but drain it through the eyelets and dry up really fast afterward.

They saw the battlegrounds of WW2, Vietnam, 1st Indochina war, Operations Iraqi Freedom, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom…

Image6_jungle_boots

So, if you’re running for your life through jungle-like areas, these are your ticket out. They’ll also do nicely in cold weather since you’ll be insulated from the ground by breathable insoles.

Desert boots – An improvement on Saudi Arabia recipe made by Norman Schwarzkopf.

They are made of rough suede and feature nylon siding and laces. The thread pattern is Panama-styled. There are no steel plates or drainage vents, which prevents heat retaining and sand from getting in.

Image7_desert_boots

Iraq and Afghanistan come to mind as perfect examples where US forces used these.

They’ll keep you running in high temperatures without much maintenance. Bottom line, if desert or some tropical areas are your bug out chess board, these are the way to go.

Military boots for extreme cold- There’s not a single positive way cold weather affects our feet. Plenty of negative ones, though.

This is where we want proper insulation provided by GoreTex. It’s a waterproof Teflon-coated membrane with microscopic pores for breathability.

They can also feature insulating layers made of wool, rubber or felt, depending on the model and purpose.

Let’s wrap up this run down of tactical boots

I learned a long time ago that ill-preparedness always gives birth to despair once the disaster strikes; it doesn’t care whether you’re counting on it or not or whether you’re ready or not. It just happens.

I’ll leave you with one of the great truths of life: “Unspectacular preparation is always followed by spectacular achievements”.

Stay safe

 

2016 Predictions

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted but thought to come back strong with some 2016 predictions.  Let me know what you think!

1- There will be no economic collapse.  The stock market will not crash, at least not in 2016.

2- Hillary will be president.  Read that again.  Hillary will be president and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.  She has been anointed by TPTB and quite frankly I believe that none of our votes matter, the whole thing is an exercise in futility (read: sham, rigged, smoke and mirrors).  She will advance the agenda, not of the people but of those who are truly in charge.  I should note it is my personal belief that all of the other candidates are assholes and would do no better.  If I am wrong and Trump / Cruz et al gets “elected” we are equally as screwed.  Trump is an elitist D bag of the highest order and if you think he gives a damn about you…

3- Gun Control will move forward slightly and then gain even more traction.  The current President will do what he can with Exec action which probably won’t amount to much, but after bullet point # 2 happens….

4- A run on all things guns and ammo, believe it.  If you don’t have it stock up now, you have been warned.  Once she is elected guns and ammo will fly off the shelves like nothing any of us have ever seen before.

5- Terror attacks.  I hate to say it and I don’t want to believe it but the reality is we as a nation are vulnerable.  Look for more terror attacks by assholes screaming about their god in 2016.

6- People like you and I will take the above into consideration but continue to prep wisely and in moderation.

Any thought to add, leave them in the comment section below.

 

Preppers Learn From Terrorism

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By Richard Bogath You don’t need me to tell you how tragic the recent terrorist events have been. By now, respectfully, you’re probably even sick of hearing about it. As most of the huddled masses clench their fists in anger, swearing acts of vengeance and pounding their chests in defiance of terrorism—most are also pretty […]

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3 Tips To Improve Home Security

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Home Security Whether we’re talking about normal urban living or post-apocalypse survival, home defense is broken down into two categories. Perimeter defense is essential. As long as potential attackers are kept outside your home, you have a major tactical advantage. Once an entrance has been breached, interior defense kicks in. The situation becomes much more […]

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Food Storage Part 2 – Persevering

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By Richard Bogath Food Storage – Are you sure you wanna eat that? If you missed my previous discussion about cooking with uncertainty please take a moment to step back and read our last post here. Cooking With Uncertainty Cooking with uncertainty means that the food has not turned funky shades of green and grey, […]

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