Monday, February 16, 2015

Today's Suggestion: Have a Plan!!!

Greetings, friends.  It's been well over a year since I last updated this blog, and I have a few posts upcoming that I will put up in an effort to get back to some semblance of participation with it. 
Despite not having written in this blog in awhile, I am still very much interested in Prepping, Survival, and being ready for emergencies.  I still participate on multiple forums, follow multiple Youtube folks, and am constantly refining my own systems for supply, storage, protection, and so on.  Like most folks who are going to read this, I enjoy seeing others' setups, finding out what works for them, and gleaning whatever useful information I can from them.  That said, I think there's a real issue with the media on this subject, and that's something I'd like to talk a little about today.  I'd like to ask the reader to consider a few scenarios.
1.  You and your wife live a comfortable middle class existence.  You're carrying some credit debt, sure.  Who doesn't?  Your wife just bought a new car, using her Christmas bonus as a down-payment.  You had purchased a new truck last year, and figured there was no harm in your wife also being able to enjoy a new car.  Then, today at work, your supervisor calls you into the office.  Unfortunately, the home office has decided you and the team you manage are no longer needed.  The job market in your town isn't the best, so you won't be able to step right into another position.  So, what is your plan of action for this situation?  Your household just lost a large chunk of its income, because you were the primary earner, making more than your wife.  Right now, the minute you walked out your supervisor's office...what is your plan?
2.  You are sitting at the office, hard at work on this proposal that your boss needs on his desk before the end of the day.  Although the pay is good, your office is an hour commute, situated roughly 50 miles away from home.  You're hard at work, so you haven't bothered to check any local news-sites, nor do you have a radio on.  So, you don't hear about a bad storm that, as is typical for your area, comes up out of nowhere and knocks power out.  You only become aware once bad thunder and lightning sounds outside loudly enough to be heard in your closed office.  Right after you hear the storm, the power goes out in your building.  You rush to look out a window in the hall and see how bad the weather is.  As things can always be worse, your car is nearly on empty, because you figured you'd just stop at the gas station near the highway on-ramp down the street.  Unfortunately, power is out on your whole block.  To add to the urgency, you can't seem to get ahold of your wife on the phone, and the weather station says the storm is headed towards the town your home is in.  What's your first move?  What is your plan?
3.  Your home is situated in a valley.  You are home one day, when the emergency broadcast signal comes on, taking over the episode of that show you were watching, telling you that your area is about to be engulfed in a forest fire that's raging out of control.  You've got about five minutes to get your family into your car, and headed out of there before the fire traps you in your neighborhood.  What's your plan of action?  What do you grab?  Where is it?  Where will you drive to?  Do you know the best route out of town headed the right way to get out of danger?  Where are you going?  What is your plan?
A lot of preppers enjoy showing their preparations on their Youtube channels, but a lot of guys don't seem to talk about the catastrophes that can hit regular people out of the blue on any given day.  I understand that talking about zombies and arming up so you can shoot looters is much more exciting to talk about than what do in the event you or your significant other loses their job, but the fact is, the chance is astronomically greater that you might lose your job, or be stranded by a storm, or that your home might come under threat from natural disaster than it might be that you'll need to gather up your AR-15 and that bag full of loaded 30 round mags and head out to fight zombies.  That's just the fact of the matter.  I have talked before about the folks who are more interested in the idea of survival and into buying all of the cool camping/tactical/survival gear on Amazon or at their local gun-shop, than they are actually being ready to handle a more likely situation. 
So, the point of all of this is simple: before you start buying items to start shoving into Bugout Bags, or start looking at how much a steel brush-guard and roof mounted machine guns would cost for your old diesel pickup, work out actual plans for this situations that might come along.  I recognize that talking about creating a plan can be difficult because everyone's circumstances are unique. 
Planning can be difficult because folks generally try not to think of unpleasant situations.  However, if you are truly interested in being prepared, being proactive, then it's time for me to pick up my "Captain Obvious" hat and make a suggestion.  My advice for these types of situations would be: take some time to sit down and think about them.  I mean actually think about these situations (or others that might apply to you.  Visualize your employer giving you the bad news.  Imagine watching that terrible storm swirl by outside.  What would it feel like to hear the emergency broadcast signal cutting into that episode of American Horror Story?  Imagine yourself really experiencing these situations.  

Now then.  Firmly in mind?  Good.  Let's get started.  Take out a sheet of paper.  Write down, "I lost my job."  Again, try to visualize it happening tomorrow.  You're called into that office tomorrow afternoon.  Tomorrow, you're let go.  Now, (knock on wood), that won't happen.  So, keeping in mind that the purpose of this plan is to prepare you for such a possibility, write down some key items that you should probably get started with today, while everything is still going well.   Some suggestions might be:
  • Pay down any significant debt.  This might be accomplished in many ways.  Take a second job for a year.  Sell items you own that you don't have a real use for, such as collectibles or perhaps something hobby related.
  • Get your resume into shape.  You would be surprised at how many people don't keep their resume up to date.  In fact, a good Life tip in general might be: every time you have a significant achievement at work, add it to your resume.  This way, you aren't trying to rack your memory for professional accomplishments when you're super stressed because you just lost that job.
  • Store food, toilet paper, light bulbs, and other consumables.  Sure, this absolutely goes hand in hand with what Preppers are doing anyway, but the fact is, plenty of folks have survived on their preps while trying to find a new job.  Make sure you could too.
  • Make a list of new skills that might make you a more desirable employee and then make the effort to seek those credentials or skills.  The goal here is making yourself more attractive to prospective new employers.
  • Make sure to have a stash of cash on hand.  Sure, it may be difficult to pay down debt AND build up a cash supply.  Worst case scenerio, when you pay off a credit card, don't cut it up.  Store it away just in case you need to use it to buy groceries during a period of unemployment.  Credit should only be for emergencies anyway.

There might be many others.  Create a plan that works for you, and that gives you a roadmap of things to do now while you're still gainfully employed. 
Let's continue.  So, you find yourself stranded at work due to a bad storm.  Let's see, what might be some things you could beforehand to have that situation under control?
  • First thing's first, commit to never letting your car get below half empty again.
  • Print out or purchase a local map.  Does your way home from work involve a highway?  Map out multiple alternate routes which might take you through areas that aren't affected by a power outage.
  • On that map, make sure to annotate key locations such as gas stations, drug stores (if you require medication you forgot at home that day, for example), medical facilities, grocery stores, or even a hotel where you could bunk for the night until the roads are cleared.  Hint: this is why a GHB (Get Home Bag) is useful.
  • Keep some supplies in your car, such as toiletries, a change of clothes (most important: good walking shoes/hiking boots), perhaps some food and water.  Keep some items for your car such as a gas can, jumper cables, flashlight, work gloves, and so on. 
  • Keep a credit card with you at all times so in a worst case scenario, you could rent a car or hotel room.  It has been said on Survival boards many times that the most important preps you could ever have is a charged cell-phone and a credit card.  Keep that in mind.

Of the three situations I used as examples above, the last one is most in line with what many Preppers gear themselves towards, a classic Bugging Out situation.

  • First and foremost, where are you going? Do you know?  Is there a hotel in the next town over you have the information for saved on your phone, or written down on a piece of paper that's kept in your wallet?  Do you have a cabin out in the woods?  Do your parents live a state away?  Where are you going?  It never ceases to amaze me how many people respond with "Out to the woods!" when asked this question.  Have multiple locations you could choose, in case one of those locations is blocked off due to say, a natural disaster.  A cabin out in the woods isn't much use if those woods are on fire thanks to a careless camper's fire they forgot to make sure was completely cold. 
  • Borrowing from above, have a map with your planned routes, and alternate routes.  Are you planning on using your phone's map app for guidance?  Make sure you have multiple batteries.  Disasters won't wait until you have a full battery to strike. 
  • Do you keep supplies in your car?  Do you keep a bag full of necessities for every household member somewhere near the door of your home?  Have you ever done a drill to see how long it will actually take to grab everything you need to grab, get it into the car, get everyone situated, and rolling out?  I suggest multiple practice runs.  A friend had a plan that was situated around several large storage tubs being put into the back of their SUV before they headed out.  I suggested a dry run, and that's when he discovered that his bins didn't actually fit into the back of their Expedition.  Too wide.  Oops!  Glad we found that out then, instead of when he actually needed to be able to get outta Dodge with those items!
  • Have copies of all of your important papers and identification.  Driver's Licenses, marriage certs, and so on.  Soft copies and hard copies. 
  • Remember, food, water, dry clothes, are more important than a 60lb duffle bag full of extra loaded AR magazines.  Smart planning means the odds of you needing to have a shoot-out with an armed band of marauders are slim. 
  • - Have a bag with you that you can pack with essentials in case your routes of escape are all blocked by stopped traffic.  Going back to my friend, when he showed me his setup, that was one thing I noticed missing.  He, his wife, and little girl weren't going to try to carry multiple large, heavy tubs full of supplies if they found themselves stranded.

These are just the first suggestions that came to mind from my own planning and research.  Take these lists and run with them.  Remember, buying neat things like guns, ammo, knives, and Maxpedition bags to build a sweet Bug Out Bag with are awesome.  It's always the more pedestrian needs and situations that tend to trip people up.  Don't let that be you.  Keep your plans realistic.  Consider doing dry runs, so you know what works and what doesn't.  Have multiple plans, and backups to those plans.  A major element of Prepping and planning for Prepping involves managing risk.  If you already have an AR-15, a quality handgun for each adult member of your household (or for children trained in their use), but don't have several months of non-perishable food, and a few months of canned/packaged foods or a good first aid kit, consider stocking up on those things before you pull the trigger on another AR, just because a Youtuber you follow painted an exciting scenario in which you and your buddy have to fend off marauders because of a possible WROL situation.

Remember, a quality bug out (or in!) plan in action will mean that the chances you'll be in an armed conflict are slim.  Be ready for the possibility, but don't put the majority of your Prepping efforts, time, and budget into that. 
Alright, that's all for now.  Stay safe out there.
- Unnamed Prepper

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Why Is Survival Such a Big Deal?

Recently, I was having a discussion with a friend who knows I’m a prepper/survivalist, and he asked a simple question: “Why is survivalism such a big deal now?”.  At first, it caught me somewhat by surprise, but then after giving it some thought, I realized it was a valid question to ask.  Also, as it turns out, my friend was genuinely curious, because he is like millions of others who have absolutely no idea what Prepping is, or why people do it.  He didn’t understand the goal behind it, but thanks to that bullshit Doomsday Preppers show, he had come to the idea that preppers are all people who are waiting in the wings, salivating for the time when this country’s government fails, and the US dollar fails, and their local community’s authorities/police/etc. fails, so they can hunker down on a big pile of canned goods and guns, and shoot a lot of other people who (they're convinced) will come try to take their stuff.  I explained that actually, the truth is a lot more complicated than that.

I shared with him my own viewpoints, which are a productive of extensive, exhaustive research: books, YT videos, articles, blogs, forums, and so on, as well as my own experiences and observations in my life.  All of that research leads me to one major conclusion: survivalism and prepping are so huge now, because people are scared.  Multiple big events in the past ten, fifteen years have shown us that our world and our way of life is a tremendously fragile place.  Terrorism.  Bombings.  Shootings.  An economy that seems never to swing back towards full prosperity.  Gas prices the highest they’ve ever been.  People out of work everywhere, people you know, in industries you thought were immune to poor economic conditions.  A government that continues to make fiscally bad decisions.  A national currency that continues to be inferior with relation to the currencies of other First World economies.  All of this wrapped up in a Society that seems more concerned with what Miley Cyrus was wearing at the MTV Music Awards, than they are with whatever latest silly bullshit our politicians are pulling over on us, like say, this whole latest debt ceiling fight that’s (once again) threatening to shut down the government.

However, the most important point is the first one: the fragility of American society.  Now, this may just be Doom’nGloom, but honestly, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at all of the people filling up their cars at all the gas stations along your route home, or looking at all of the people who filter in and out of all of the grocery stores in your city every day, or all of the big box stores like Wal-Mart or Target with their endless, endless shelves filled with goods of every kind, to understand a few things.  One, all of these goods and services arrive at your door, and to those stores, as a result of an incredibly complex series of systems for the creation and transportation of those commodities.  One misfire at any of a thousand different points could cause the whole system to collapse.  We’ve all seen what happens when that happens, thanks to Hurricane Katrina steamrolling over New Orleans.  For that matter, Katrina also showed us how poorly run most of our government is, from the local infrastructure all the way up to FEMA’s inability to respond to a disaster of that magnitude.  It took days before the Federal government was even able to arrive on the scene.  Absurd.  Lastly, all of those goods and services that are made available to you, are the end-product of an influx of resources and raw materials into the other end of this complex system.  You would have to be pretty dense to be of the belief that those resources will just keep flowing, forever.

Americans take so many things for granted, that it’s a severe shock when those things stop working, or go wrong.  I see it every time a hurricane hits the Southeastern US, when people make runs on the stores for batteries, canned goods, and bottled water.  I've watched people get into fist-fights because a car came down a side-street and cut into a line of 20 other cars at the gas station.

And that’s the problem.  This mindset has taken a complete hold over us.  Something breaks?  Eh, I’ll just run to Target and get another.  Oh, we’re out of Zip-lock bags?  I’ll just get some more tomorrow on the way home from work.  My gas-tank is near empty?  Not a problem, I’ll just fill up at lunch tomorrow.  We don’t have any food in the house?  It’s ok, there’s a grocery store right up the street, so I’ll just run and get us some stuff for dinner.  Don’t forget to take out the trash to the curb tonight, it’s trash day tomorrow.  Honey?  Come get ready for your bath, I’ll just get the water running!  Hey, those darn neighbors making all that noise, I’m calling the police, they’ll come sort that out!  My car’s looking a little dirty, think I’ll use my hose to wash it down.  All that potable water down the drain, but who cares?  I’m picking up Donna tomorrow night and want my car to look good!     

When those things break, stop working, or become unavailable, people tend to absolutely lose their shit.  Yes, it’s great that we live in this sort of luxury, where everything is available to us pretty much 24-7, and we’re supported by an infrastructure provided by Government.  At no point in the history of the world have people ever been this pampered.  But, it’s also made millions of people completely dependent on that system.  So, as I said, when it inevitably fails due to any number of things, people tend to, you know, flip the fuck out.  Anybody who has ever gone to a store right before the news says a major hurricane is supposed to make landfall, or had their neighborhood utterly obliterated by a major tornado, or had floods sweep their town away can tell you all about that.  Lines at gas stations all the way down the block, those fist-fights when people try to cut in, empty store shelves, more fist-fights over the final flat of canned green beans, emergency services not available to help you if you need them, power in your house is out, so your electric stove isn’t working, so you can’t cook that freezer full of frozen food that’s thawing out because the power’s been off for several hours, I could go on and on.  People have no idea what to when their nice cushy amenities fail.

So, when I’m asked why Survival is such a growing trend, my answer tends to be that it’s been a growing trend since 2005, when we got a front-row seat for the terribly and tragically complete clusterfuck on all possible levels that Katrina was.  It’s why more people than ever before are becoming interested in prepping and survivalism, because it’s starting to make a lot more sense to people who were blind to it before, back when there hadn’t been many major challenges to the System.  Oh sure, there were still floods, hurricanes, power outages, and so on, but we hadn’t seen a major US city totally get bent over and violated so completely.  The government wasn’t able to save all those people, and resources dried up quickly.  Ask anyone who was stuck in the NO Superdome whether they thought they were being taken care of by the System at that point.  So, in short, when things go bad, no one is coming to save you.  So, you’re going to have to be able to do it yourself. 

I have been fortunate, in that I was raised in the Boy Scouts to be able to survive in a wilderness setting just fine.   Researching wilderness survival has always been more about keeping my skills fresh.  It is the area of urban survival that I’ve become more interested in over the last couple of years, because that’s really what my current living situation is.  So, I’ve been learning all I can about it.  Now, in closing, I’d like to say that I’m glad survivalism and prepping are becoming more mainstream subjects, because frankly, I dislike the mindset or opinion a lot of people have that just because you want to be prepared, you must be some wackjob fringe element who’s stockpiling AR-15s and ammo, waiting to be in a shoot-out with the Feds.  Or worse, you’re some wackjob fringe element who actively wants the United States of America to fail, so you can be the first one to tell everyone “I told you we shoulda gone back to 19th century-style living, and returned to good old fashioned conservative fundamentalist Christian values!”  Thankfully, people are coming to the realization that not all of us are wackjob fringe elements!  Most of us are folks who just see possible hard times ahead and want to be ready for anything, as much as we can.  If you're not already one of us, it's time to do some research, and find out what you might be missing.

Stay safe out there.

Unnamed Prepper

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Response to the Starbucks No-Guns-Please Letter:

Hello again, folks.  I know it's been months since I've updated.  As usual, life got in the way, and my online presence took the cut.  However, I am working to get back on track, and have several posts in the pipeline.  I figured that I'd get started by posting up my response, and the reasoning behind that response, to the now infamous letter from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.  That letter can be found here:

First of all, I just want to say "Thanks a lot, idiots.  This is why we can't have nice things."  Yes, that's right.  WE caused this problem, not anti-gun people, and not Starbucks.  Frankly, it's only going to get worse going forward.  See, there is a vocal minority of the firearms community who seem to feel that they'll get their message of firearms acceptance across by blatantly shoving their right to own and carry firearms in other peoples' faces.  You see this plainly in the many, many videos on Youtube where people open carry their weapons down a neighborhood or downtown street, with someone following behind so they can record the inevitable confrontation with the Police.  Huh, you mean idiots that look for attention, end up getting it?  Gee, who'd have thought that would happen.

So, let's be sure that you have a clear understanding of what happened here.  Previously, Starbucks' position was one of neutrality.  They didn't want anything to do with the fight between pro-gun and anti-gun groups.  Pro-gun folks took this to mean that Starbucks was pro-gun, and decided to show their "support", by collectively mobbing up their local Starbucks, carrying shotguns, AR-15's, and all sorts of other silly bullshit.  This, understandably, made all the other patrons nervous.  What?  Made them nervous, huh, can't imagine why that would be, what with a shooting tragedy every other week, it seems like.  So, guess what Starbucks did?  They listened to the majority of their customers, and decided to politely release a statement requesting that people stop openly carrying firearms into their shop.  The backlash was pathetically predictable:

"Well, FUCK Starbucks then, never liked their coffee ANYway!"

"Their overpriced coffeeshop just became a freefire killzone!"

"I'll never support a company who doesn't respect my rights!"

"People who get nervous at the sight of someone carrying an AR-15 or shotgun around are SHEEP, and don't deserve the protection I would provide in case of an attack!!"

"Sorry sheeple, my RIGHTS supercede your right to feel comfortable!"

These are all actual responses taken from the comments sections of Facebook pages and gun blogs I read on a regular basis, with small changes made in wording, so as to protect the dumb fucks who were spouting this garbage.  Speaking of which, if you agree with any of the above, then frankly, you're as dumb as these people are, and guess what most of all?  You aren't helping us.

Gunowners online go on and on about our "rights".  Well, I'll start with George Carlin's segment on "Rights":

Carlin's brilliance is on full display here, and he's absolutely right.  Rights can be taken away, and people can lose their freedoms they believe to be "inalienable".  The right to own firearms remains entirely due to one thing, as far as I'm concerned: the paycheck.  That's right, the paycheck.  The paychecks for Senators and Congressmen everywhere, who love getting that sweet paycheck in return for doing very little actual work.  That paycheck, those Cadillac health plans, those legions of people who do whatever they say, and alllll of the power and prestige that comes with that position. 

But right now, we retain our firearms bearing rights, because they haven't been pushed hard enough.  Make no mistake, there are more anti-gun, or gun-apathetic people out there than there are pro-gun people, and that's not going to change.  With each shooting tragedy, complete with media-fueled outrage, more people are being turned onto the idea that there's no reason you should be carrying a firearm around if you aren't a police officer, or in the Military.  Polls have been taken on various college campuses that ask questions like "Do you believe everyone should be allowed to carry firearms around?  Why or why not?" and many responses were of the  "Why do you need to have a gun?  This isn't Afghanistan!" variety.

So, what we need are calm, rational discussions on the reasons for retaining our R2BA in the national spotlight, NOT inflammatory bullshit intimidation tactics like carrying a goddamn AR-15 into a Starbucks.  That doesn't help anyone, and frankly, yes, that's exactly what it is: bullying and intimidation.  We have rights for our personal self-defense, but part of exercising those rights is the expectation that you'll use good judgement.  Carrying a long-gun into a coffee shop in an attempt to shove your rights in peoples' faces and make some political statement is not good judgement.  I mean, what do you expect to happen?  That people are going to see you standing there with your chest out, gloating look on your face, Gadsden flag tee-shirt proudly on display, AR-15 on your chest, and think to themselves "Wow....I've totally been wrong all this time, I need to stop voting anti-Second Amendment politicians into office!  I'm stopping by the gun-show on the way home, so I can get me one of those!"?  No.  They're going to think "Look at this guy, he's probably about to rob the place, I'll just go into the bathroom and dial 911.  Then, I'm never coming back, especially if this is the caliber of nutjob Starbucks allows into their establishment."  And that's really what it's about, folks.  Starbucks isn't a political entity.  It's a company.  A company is in business for one thing, to make money.  And if fewer people are coming into their stores, because jackwads are coming in with loaded AR-15s and shotguns, then Starbucks has to make decisions that protect its primary concern: its revenue source.  Period.

So, Starbucks has made a polite request, and it's one that I will honor, and easily enough, since open-carry isn't legal in my state anyway.  Oh no!!  My rights are being infringed!!  Well, I'm going to get all my gun owner friends and we're going to march on the state capital!!!  Oh wait, no I'm not.  I'll continue to conceal carry, and be glad that my state has continued to respect my Second Amendment rights.

Let me just close with this.  If we as a nation had the same rabid loyalty towards ALL of our Bill of Rights like we do the Second Amendment, this country would be completely and totally different.  You should think about that for a few minutes.

Stay safe out there.

Unnamed Prepper

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Patriots and Preppers:

After my last post, I had a question come from a friend who reads this blog.  He asked what I was talking about with my mention of some preppers thinking they're "Patriots".  I figured I would jot down my thoughts on the subject in a follow-up post.

So, I read a lot of different survival blogs, a couple of different forums, and follow multiple Youtube channels.  One subject I see discussed quite often is this idea that people who are prepared should naturally consider themselves Patriots.  These discussions usually have the same sort of theme behind them, things like "having to take a stand against the Gubmint!" or "It's time we take our country back!" or "You have to be ready to stand up and lead your community and restore order!".

I don't understand what any of those things has to do with prepping.  In fact, most of the preppers I know, or have read posts/blogs by, all talk about things like "When SHTF, I'm bugging out to my BOL and hiding out until the worst is over!" or "When the zombies come, I'm totally holing up in my fortified home!" or "My family and I are going to be covered, and screw everyone else!"  So, when you have people who prep in order to survive...well, insert your disaster scenario of choice here, what is this assumption from internet people that preppers are supposed to take up arms and fight against the Government, or defend the populace?

I've since noticed that forum posts on this subject tend to become inflammatory as the Patriot chestbeaters argue with people who are asking this same question.  It's not unusual to see responses of "Well, if you aren't ready to do what's right for AMERICA, then you're just a coward, so go run and hide like one!"  The inference here is that the self-claimed "Patriot" is going to rise up and form an army with thousands of other like-minded individuals and...I don't know, march on Washington?  Skirmish with law enforcement, National Guard, or whoever is trying to restore order after a disaster?  I don't know, but the more I hear these "Patriots" talk, I'm pretty sure that they aren't any sort of patriot as I know the term from early American history.

And really, that's what kills me about the whole idea of "fighting back".  It seems to me these days that there's this huge culture based around the ownership and use of firearms and knives (and tomahawks, mustn't forget those) in the prepper community.  There are countless videos on YT about how to fight with a knife, or how to properly conceal carry a gun, or the best mods for your AR-15 combat-rifle lookalike.  There are countless posts on the forums like "What guns do I need for SHTF???!1?" or "What Rifle is most accurate at 1,000 yards!" or "Do swords make good SHTF close combat weapons?" and on and on and on.  All these people are so concerned with weapons, and fighting, and shooting, and blowing "zombies" or "looters" away.  Some even talk about how they can't wait for someone to break into their homes.  You know, I get it, I do.  I get that the idea of being an action hero like in a movie or video game is cool, where you have to duck for cover and fight an attacking wave of bad-guys with your AR, or engage an enemy in close-up martial arts knife/sword/axe fighting.  I understand that all of those things are exciting to people who lead lives that are boring or dull otherwise.   It's neat to day-dream about being an action hero right out of a video game or summer blockbuster flick. 

But you know, I think that's what our problem is.  In today's convenience filled world of shopping malls, cell-phones, cheap computers, stores full of cheaply made imported luxury goods, video games, and a constant barrage of entertainment media, there's no real fighting, strife, or conflict anymore (at least not in most of the country, if you live in a harsh ghetto urban area, your view might be understandably different).  In 99% of this country, you don't have to fight an enemy in order to survive.  Life is more easy for Americans than it has ever been  in the entire history of this country.  Hungry at 3:00AM?  No worries, hit up a drivethrough somewhere.  Decide you want to buy a new Bluray player for that 62' TV you just bought?  Just run down to Best Buy, I'm sure they have what you need. Decide you need some beef jerky, bottled water, and some cheap Chinese-made running shoes?  There's a Wal-Mart on your way home, how nice.

And that's the problem, I think.  Yes, I'm aware that I am speaking from a "pampered middle class suburbanite" viewpoint.  But the basic premise is the same.  Even poor people don't have to knife-fight their way out of a store with a bag of potatoes so their family can eat that night.  They swipe their EBT card, and walk out, and get into their big SUV with the $12,000 whe...sorry, rant for another time.

But seriously.  Think about it.  Human Beings spent thousands of years living in caves, and not being at the top of the food chain.  There was a real fight for survival.  Hell, even a hundred years ago, survival was a struggle for many people.  But today?  There is no real fight to survive.  Most Americans grow up having enough to eat, getting a free education (such as it is) from a public school before taking out loans to go to college, after which they graduate, and work a variety of jobs, none of which involve them having to fight for their lives.  If you lose your job, there's unemployment.  At the worst, you move back in with your parents, and you look for another job.  Life goes on...but you haven't had to fight anyone, or claw your way up from the muck.  Consider this.  Our poorest person is still in the 1% of the world's wealthiest as compared to the rest of the world.  That's right.  The poorest person in this country, there are literally billions of people who are worse off than you.  It's all a matter of perspective.  A homeless person can walk up to the side of a house or building, and use the faucet there, and BAM, instant access to clean water.  All that poor guy can drink, at least until he gets chased off.  There are places in this world who would literally do anything to have access to clean water, just spilling out of the house onto the ground like that.

Anyway, it just seems like the majority of preppers and survivalists have painted this romantic, dramatic idea of being armed and "ready for the fight".  So, I think that's why so many people on survival boards talk about being a Patriot who will "fight for their country" (and yet oddly, they don't join the armed forces, huh).  It's because their real, actual, day-to-day lives are so easy, and conflict-free.  Frankly, if you even own a (lawfully obtained) firearm, then an easy assumption to make might be that your life isn't that hard.  People generally do not think about firearms costing hundreds of dollars (along with ammunition that costs nearly the same these days) when they don't even have money for rent, or food.  So, most people posting online (internet access being another luxury that people in actual dire straights wouldn't have) really crack me up with this blatant cry for attention, with their fantasies of a life full of gunfire against a backdrop of explosions and a tense summer blockbuster soundtrack.

I think a lot of people spend so much time on the Internet preparing for the wrong thing. But hey, that's just me.  In the end, make sure you are keeping both feet firmly on the ground with your prepping plans.

Stay safe out there.

Unnamed Prepper


Monday, June 3, 2013

Preppers, Please Stop with the Mall Ninja Mindset:

Hello, friends.  Hope this post finds you well.  As before, Life got in the way of regular updates, and so I haven't kept up with this blog as I thought I would when I began it.  There are a multitude of factors that have kept me from posting besides realworld concerns such as spending time with my family and friends.  One major reason is that I have found so, so many competent, worthy survival blogs out there, all written by people who claim extreme survival knowledge and experience.  That said, as I DO find topics I feel compelled to write about, I will continue to do so.  One of those topics is about to be discussed right now, in fact.

I'd like to preface this with a warning that I may offend some of you with the following, and also, pardon my language.  I'm about to get on a long-winded roll.  You were warned.  If you disagree, I do not care.  Sorry.  

Anyway, on with it.  So, me.  I love knives.  I do.  Always have.  I collect them when funds allow, and I have a pretty decent collection.  Some of them have seen years of camping use, others are shiny show pieces I keep and only take out every now and then.  Well, I had the itch, and some funds, so it was time to buy a few new pieces for the collection.  Not really knowing what all was available, I visited knife sites, I watched Youtube video reviews, I scoured Amazon and Ebay for the best prices, and so on.  So, I made some pretty neat choices, and picked them up.  That said, one additional resource I used was a large Prepper/Survivalist forum I frequent.  It was there (as well as many Youtube videos) where I was reading a lot of threads with titles like "Best Self Defense knife!" or "Best survival knife!" or "Which fighting knife is best for SHTF?".

Uh....what?  Ok.  Folks.  I need to just lay it out, just need to get it out there.  I'm not going to be polite or nonspecific, because this is no joking matter.  I really, really don't understand where this idea is coming from that in SHTF or the zombie apocalypse, or economic collapse, or whatever other end of the world scenerio of your choice, that people are suddenly going to be defending themselves in hand to hand combat.  Let me say it candidly.  Preppers.  Survivalists.  If you find yourself in a knife struggle or any other form of close-up fighting, you have FUCKED UP.  You have made a grievous tactical decision based around poor planning.  No other way to say it, period.  Period.  

If there is a chance your house is easily stormed; you should have left the minute the news started talking about lines at the gas pumps.  If you are in a place where you could encounter an attack from others, you shouldn't be there, you and your loved ones should be elsewhere.  I am really not understanding, or respecting this mindset I'm seeing on various survival pages talking about how Preppers/Survivalists are all "Patriots" and need to stand ready.  What?  NO.  A prepper prepares to survive.  A survivalist trains and plans to survive.  And surviving is not a goal that aligns with all this "Patriot" talk where people talk about armed resistance towards a Tyrannical Government, or talking about actively engaging other people in either a gunfight, or hand to hand.  A true prepper/survivalist is going to take his preps, and get the fuck out of dodge. 

Also, let's just be straight.  Buying a big scary "fighting" knife (you know, one with a non-functional "sawtooth" back of the blade or whatever) or some tacticool mall ninja bullshit like a Tanto blade knife or any other design whose description talks about how it was designed by some well-known knife-fighter is stupid.  It's stupid.  Period.  Unless, like me, you just like cool looking knives.  Hey, if that's the case, good for you.  I myself have a few tanto blades.  But I will be the first to tell you that the bullshit marketing hype about how they're "specially designed for stabbing" is just that, marketing hype, and only idiots buy into marketing hype.  Buying a knife with the expectation that you'll use it to defend yourself at some point, well, it's a bad idea.  Worse, it's a stupid idea.

Now that you're offended, let me give you some things to think about.

Firstly, ask anyone who has actual training in a knife-fighting martial art.  "What would you rather do, defend yourself from multiple determined attackers in a desperate situation, all of whom will certainly be armed, or would you rather deal with those same determined attackers from a distance armed with a firearm?"  Any martial artist (who isn't a mall ninja who has watched so many Shaw Brothers or Bruce Lee movies that they're living in a fantasy world) will tell you flatly that they prefer the latter.  I myself have extensive martial arts experience, and knives are one weapon I'm trained in.

Secondly, let me mention another fact that most of the internet keyboard Ranger Spec-ops SEAL commando badasses you see posting clearly aren't considering: knife design.  As I said, I have actually trained in knife fighting, yet you won't find a single knife in any of my go-bags that are billed as fighting knives or "combat knives".  The reason for that is that many "fighting/combat knives" are worthless in a true survival situation, in my estimation.  They aren't good woods knives, as most don't have the right blade design to clean game, chop wood, or any number of other tasks.  Most of them are made for stabbing and slashing.  The balance is wrong, the weight is usually wrong, and so on.  If you are looking for a survival knife you can depend on, leave the mall ninja bullshit (like most of the TOPS knives with their "Designed by Navy SEALs!" noise, it's a marketing gimmick) to the mall ninjas and get yourself a knife that's made to do some actual work.  Something like a bushcraft knife, a camp knife, a kuhkri, something that's made to do actual work, not something that was designed to look like knives that Rambo might carry.  Most knives made to look wicked are made to look that way at the expense of useful design features.  They are a marketing gimmick.    

Thirdly, back to the martial arts aspect.  There are literally hundreds of books out there on knife-fighting techniques, and every "I can teach you to street fight in two hours!" video tape guy will tell you that they can teach you to defend yourself against someone else with a knife, as well as teach you to be a master of the blade yourself.  Do not be fooled.  Let me tell you something.  Real world fights are not like martial arts movie fights, where the good guy has been surrounded, and yet the bad guys all attack only one at a time, so the good guy can do some fancy kick, or sweet-looking punch/elbow combo.  Reading these threads I've read, it's clear to me that people haven't actually sat down and thought things through.  They haven't taken the time to really concentrate and envision what will actually happen in a desperate situation.  And it's clear that they don't watch the news, and see some of these riots in other parts of the world.  Well, they really need to.  And so should you.  In the real world, if you are approached by multiple aggressors who see you with a knife in your hand, they're going to (if they're smart) rap a jacket or towel around their off-arm, and come at you...all at once.  Your plan of "Well, I bought this sweet TOPS fighting knife on Ebay, so I'm set" is going to go out the fucking window in a hurry, and your wife and children watching from cover will get to watch as your knife is taken from you, and used to disembowel you on the spot.  Graphic?

So are desperate, hungry, determined people.

Fourthly, most knife-using martial arts practitioners will tell you one thing almost universally.  If you engage in a knife fight with someone else, you are almost certainly getting cut.  They may also have a knife.  You may be physically overpowered, and your knife turned on you.  In any case, it's a serious factor to consider in a dangerous situation.  If a hurricane has swept through and destroyed your town, or power is out all over the city and trees are down on your street, or it's full-on SHTF and people are Rodney-King-Rioting in the streets, trust me, you do NOT have easy access to medical care.  So, wounds inflicted by a bladed weapon are something to be avoided at all costs.

Lastly, listen, there is a silver lining here, something that should put your mind somewhat at ease.  So far, I have counseled that knife-fights are going to be bad, even for those trained in knife self-defense.  I've also said that fighting knives make poor work/survival knives.  So, you're probably thinking "Listen, man.  There could be SOME point where I'm jumped out of nowhere, and so what do I do?  You didn't want me to buy a cool specwar Rambo knife, so I just went and bought this nice Benchmade assist-open folder!"  First off, great knife choice.  Secondly, look, I know there could be some slim chance that you end up needing to protect yourself with a knife.  Hell, probably better than "slim".  You're walking out of the side door at the office late one night, and someone grabs you from behind and you don't have your firearm because they aren't allowed in your workplace.  If your folder is all you got, it's all you got.  But here's something to keep in mind, most of the knives used to kill or stab people in the 19th, 20th, and into the 21st century haven't been super-duper Rambo combat Marine killer SEAL Ranger Spec-Ops designed (OMG, so cool!) for killing.  Most knife murders are committed with kitchen knives or hunting knives.  And in a desperate situation, your pocket knife, jammed into the right spot will work just fine and allow you to hopefully stop the attacker, or at least give him something to think about while you get away, preferably to your car where your firearm is locked in a car safe.  If you find yourself jumped and your camp knife is all you got, the absolute fact of the matter is, you wouldn't have been any better off with a super expensive Busse, TOPS, or Strider attack fighting combat bad-ass killer knife.  That is a fact.

So, in conclusion, if you have fantasies of defending yourself from zombies with a sweet knife after being deluded by marketing hype talking about super hard steel designed to hold up to being stabbed through a car door, or "OMG designed by famed knife fighter Joe Schmoe" or "Designed with input from SEALs and DELTA force!", slap yourself in the face, and come back to reality.  You aren't a specwarrior.  Many of those knives are designed for guys in actual combat situations, such as our military personnel currently stationed in the Middle East.  In other words: not your average suburban prepper.  They're also generally designed for those who have years of knife-fighting training experience.  If you're a prepper, or survivalist, your job is ensure that you and those you care about survive, through a combination of good planning, and making sure you are gone from the situation before it erupts into chaos.  One last thing to consider, I've seen used HiPoint pistols go for what some of these "fighting/combat" knives go for.  Yes, they're heavy and cheaply made.  But by all accounts, they're reliable!  And, between you and me, I'd much rather have the pistol than a knife in a fight.        

Stay safe out there. 

Unnamed Prepper

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Long Overdue Update:

Greetings, friends!  I realize it has been several months since I have updated, and multiple things have happened that have inspired me to make an update post for those of you who are reading this from around the world (according to my statistics!).  I generally do not cover subjects of a political or dramatic nature here if I can help it, but I feel that a few things have transpired that demand it.  I am unable to make the comments I'm about to make on my normal social media channels, so I am left with writing them here.  This is going to be a fairly negative post, and for that I apologize.  In fact, if you are not interested in negative, pragmatic talk, I'd recommend skipping this post altogether, I won't hold it against you. 

Firstly, President Obama was reelected.  I myself voted for Romney, even though I knew it was a lost cause.  I knew it was going to happen.  I'm not calling that from the position of 20/20 hindsight.  I knew it was going to happen.  In fact, any general observer of this country and its swiftly changing moral attitudes would have known that Obama was going to win.  Let me briefly cover a few key points, but as I do, remember that these are my opinions only.  You may have a different view, and that's just fine.  You know what, instead of points, I'll just point out the groups that Romney and Ryan alienated in their quest for the White House: 

- Atheists, Agnostics, and Other Religions:  Romney and Ryan made it very clear where they were on the Religion subject (which is one of the most polarizing of all subjects, next to Politics itself).  They got up on stage and spoke directly into the camera when they referred to their religion, and plainly stated that their religious beliefs did (and would) factor into their political designs made.  I knew right away that they were in trouble after doing so.  I myself am not very religious, what leanings I do have are private and thus not up for discussion.  However, in my online wanderings, it sure does seem that there are more Atheists and Agnostics running around than ever before.  The amount of bashing that they took (Romney especially for being Mormon) was insane, and it definitely did not endear them to many people.  There are millions and millions of Christians in America, but many of them are in that "I believe in what I believe, but don't go around pushing it on people, because I understand that this would alienate me to others." camp.  Too bad Romney and Ryan didn't follow that particular view. 

- Women:  This was probably the turning moment for me as to when I knew it was over.  Paul Ryan was debating Vice President Biden, and when asked about Abortion, Ryan looked right at the camera and (I'm paraphrasing), made it clear that Abortion was going to be an active target they were going to work to abolish.  As I am pro-choice, this was one of the problems I myself had with them.  I'll just say this, frankly, Abortion shouldn't have even been on the discussion sheet.  It should have been three things: the Economy, Jobs, and the National Debt.  Nothing else is remotely on the same level, sorry but it isn't.  Anyway, after getting on television and bluntly stating that they would try to overturn legislation that have allowed women the right to do what they will with their bodies, is it any wonder that women turned out in droves for Obama?  I won't even go into all the soundbites by various top-level Republicans as to their views on rape and Abortion.

- Minorities:  Romney and Ryan are wealthy Caucasian men, and in every respect, looked as though they would return the Presidency to the pinstripe suit wearing, heel-rocking, pocket-change jingling, rich White Good Ole Boy network era of Washington politics.  Romney with his slick, polished, perfectly styled silver hair, mouthful of perfectly capped teeth, and an ingratiating smile as he spoke to "the Middle Class" as though he understood what any of them go through each day.  Most minorities I spoke with all believed one thing, without deviation: Romney and Ryan would be leadership concerned with doing things for rich White people, and no one else.  Is that true?  I don't know, but Romney's campaign strategist should have been fired for allowing people to form that opinion.

- The Gay/Lesbian Community: They made their stance on same-sex marriage clear, and in effect instantly lost the vote of many LGBT community members. 

- The Poor/Out of Work: I don't need to go over Mr. Romney's famous (infamous) 47% speech, do I?  Telling people that they're worthless is never a good way to win their vote.

All that said, I voted for Romney because there were things he promised to do, which in this election were all I cared about: namely add jobs, shrink the debt, and strengthen the economy.  These are key areas that Obama is a failure at, in my educated opinion, and I won't bore you with the details at how badly he has failed at all three things.  It is also my opinion that many people who voted for Romney were like me, they disagreed with one or more of his stances as outlined above, but voted for him because he wasn't Obama.  Ah well.  In any case, I expect we'll now have four more years of failure from Mr. Obama's policies of overspending as a result of this election.  It is my sole hope that our country's economy will survive it.

The Sandy Hook Elementary Tragedy Ok.  I just want to state for the record that I am not a tin-foil-hat wearing conspiracy theorist.  I do not visit sites like or because I think a lot of what those sites post is hilarious nonsense.  Our Government is so inept, it can barely tie its own shoes, much less be involved in as many conspiracies as people like to talk about.  "9/11 was an inside job!" or "We never landed on the Moon!" or that whole aliens at Roswell thing.  But I just have to say, this tragedy at Sandy Hook is really, really fucking suspicious. 
I will explain.

It is already common knowledge that Operation: Fast and Furious failed.  If you don't know what this is, please minimize this page right now, and go Google it.  Nevermind, here's a decent Wiki explanation:

The US Government was behind that debacle, and there have been multiple pieces of information that point to Fast and Furious's true purpose: to enact new gun legislation here in the US.  This was just last year!  And now, this tragedy at Sandy Hook.  Now, here's what I find so suspicious about it.  First of all, the timing.  Right after Obama is re-elected, and right before he's to start his second term, we have this terrible mass shooting.  Secondly, the media.  That day, all of the major news outlets were running the story, and constantly updating as "new information" was fed to them.  The total and constant confusion and contradictions are glaring.  First it was two shooters.  Then just Adam Lanza.  Some news outlets report that he killed all the children with a Bushmaster "assault rifle" (italics because frankly, semi-automatic AR-15's are NOT "assault rifles).  Then it was reported that he had two handguns that he used instead, and that the Bushmaster was actually discovered in the trunk of his car and hadn't been used at all.  Still other articles claim that he had the Bushmaster and the two handguns on his person and used them (a Glock and a SIG, respectively) and had a fourth firearm in the trunk.  Lanza shot his mother.  First it was reported that he'd used an "assault rifle" that she had legally owned, then it was changed to a .22 rifle (again, reports vary).  And all the while this is going on, every outlet had articles online with giant, abnormal sized pictures of AR-15 sporting rifles with the headlines "ASSAULT RIFLE USED IN MASS CHILD SHOOTING!!!!!!11!" screaming across the page, with an article talking about how the gunman had a bunch of "high-capacity" magazines which allowed him to shoot all those people so quickly.  The hysterics were both obscene, and every single motherfucking journalist who fed it, or bought into it should be tarred, feathered, and their unobjective asses run out of town.

I digress.

What followed was a mass hysteria of panic buying both online and at gunshops nationwide, as people desperately snapped up everything they felt would be immediately banned January 1st:

- AR-15 and AK-47 style sporting rifles
- 30 round AR-15 and AK-47 magazines
- Magazines for any other rifle with what could be construed as "high-capacity" such as the Ruger BX-25 25 rounders for the Ruger 10/22 rifle
- Ammunition of ANY type, or weight in .223, 5.56, 7.62, 9mm, .45, etc. calibers
- AR-15 spare parts of any kind (lowers, uppers, BCGs, etc.)
- Glock 18 33 round magazines (as these were allegedly used by Lanza in his Glock 9mm handgun he used to commit his murders)

And so on.  We also saw a lot of companies make moves that left a lot of the shooting community feeling betrayed or angry.  Companies like Wal-Mart, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Gander Mountain pulled all AR-15 sporting rifles from their shelves immediately.  Some online companies made some really shady moves, like, where they would cancel orders that had already been placed, citing "out of stock" as the reason, and then the next day, items were mysteriously back IN stock, but at much higher prices.  They have (rightfully) been roasted on the various gun/survival forums, and have lost a lot of business permanently. I hope it was worth it, you fucking scumbags.  Auction sites like Ebay yanked all auctions for "high-capacity" (they consider anything beyond ten rounds "high-capacity") magazines, and some of the gunbroker type sites ended all firearms-for-sale postings.

On top of that, Dianne Feinstein has introduced new, highly restrictive "assault-rifle ban" legislation that would seek to place very strict regulations on gunowners everywhere in the country.  Think California-style gun regulation.  The NRA has the details of this proposed bill already on their website for your viewing pleasure.

So, back to the whole "suspicious" thing.  All of this seems to be playing right into the hands of the gungrabbers in Government.  These are the people who do not want the American people to have guns.  And that's what concerns me.  What was that saying about the Devil about his greatest trick being that he'd convinced people he didn't exist?  Well, that's what we're looking at right now.  The Government is seeking to take away Americans' Second Amendment rights, and there are millions of blind Americans out there...SHOUTING FOR THIS TO HAPPEN.  That's the insidious nature of what our "elected officials" are trying to do.  They want to disarm us, only instead of being forthright "We are going to oppress you, the American citizenry, by making it impossible for you to defend yourself against us"; they are shaking their heads sadly like "Well, if this is what you want, so that we can stop this tragedy from happening again...we're doing it for the children".  THAT'S what the concern should be.  They are riding this wave of (typical) emotions-overriding-rationality to try to push through legislation.  And look at Obama.  Think about things for a second.  He didn't dare touch any firearm legislation in his first term because he was trying to get re-elected.  Now that he's done so, this would be the perfect time to expend all his political capital pushing this through.  After all, he's just starting out his second term.  He is essentially untouchable, and his Party still controls the Senate.  This is scary stuff, folks.

Now, if you don't know why I'm concerned, and why all gun-owners are (or should be) concerned, I'd recommend reading up in the Second Amendment.  Hint: it wasn't to ensure people had the right to hunt, or plink paper targets at the range. 

I won't come right out and say "The Government perpetrated Sandy Hook", because I just don't know, and again, I'm not a tinfoil-hat guy.  But everything about this was extraordinarily convenient in timing, and it just blew up WAY too fast, and the anti-gun rumbling is highly emotionally supercharged.  And whenever you have people running hot, no common sense will come of it. 

"The Fiscal Cliff" Folks, this game is rigged.  It's either that, or else the politicians really are that stupid.  Actually, it's most likely both.  You'd think that possessing skills in basic mathematics would be part of the job description for being a Congressman or Senator.  The fact of the matter is that our current monetary system is in huge trouble.  America currently owes more money than it can possibly repay, our Economy is stumbling along in one of the slowest recoveries in history, and what do we have?  Republicans and Democrats fighting over what to do in order to avert fiscal disaster in this country two days after the deadline.  At this point, it should be clear to everyone that no one in the White House, the House, or the Senate have your best interests in mind.  None of them.  It's also clear to me that none of them have any inkling of the way the money system (rigged as it is) works.  Well, here's a hint, folks.  You simply cannot keep printing money that's not backed by anything.  Prices are constantly going up on everything, NOT because everything is becoming more expensive, but because our dollar buys less.  Keep that in mind the next time someone complains that milk and bread cost more.  They don't, your devalued dollar is buying less milk and bread, that's all.  That's what's happening. 

The real fact of the matter is that Politicians like being extremely well-paid.  They love their cushy jobs, and their armies of aids, assistant undersecretaries, and go-fers that do their every bidding, and power steak lunches and lobster dinners on the Taxpayers' dime.  They love their cadillac health plans, and being able to vote themselves lavish raises.  They love having the authority to push their personal beliefs on the American people (see Feinstein and her rabid anti-gun legislation).  So, NONE of them will work towards, or even say anything that will get them kicked out of their job.  That's why they don't want to sit down and have a real, frank discussion about this country's problems.  The vast amount of spending, the waste, the pork, the crushing debt, changes that need to be made, the belt-tightening that needs to happen.  Their main goal is to remain in power.  Period.  Understand that fact.  Make no mistake, it IS a fact.

Obama's Call for Another AWB

This of course just happened yesterday, and all I can say to that is this: I'll be very surprised if we see another AWB.  There are a ton of reasons why not, but the biggest one is this.  Remember what I just said about scumbag worthless politicians wanting to remain in power?  Same applies here.  There are already articles all over the news with quotes from DEMOCRAT representatives shaking their heads saying "Just don't think it's going to happen, not enough of us will vote for it."  Know why?  Because it'd be a career killer, and those scumbags are at least aware of it.  Another thing to consider.  Frankly, we aren't the America we were in '93/'94 when Clinton's AWB1 passed.  These days, there are millions of AR-15s and tens of millions of 30 round magazines in the hands of citizens.  What are you going to do, make millions of people criminals overnight?  Well, for one thing, you can't.  It's Unconstitutional, you see.  Oops:

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3: No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Roughly translated, it means the Government can't take something that was legal, make it illegal to own, and then consider all the citizens who own that item to be criminals in possession of illegal goods.

Do I think we'll see some sort of attempt on a magazine capacity restriction?  Possibly.  But an outright AWB?  I am keeping my fingers crossed that it won't happen.

So, I hate to end this on a doom and gloom note.  I will just say that I have purchased more ammunition, and have really stepped up my food storage and water purchases.  I am working to pay down my debts, and am working to get into better shape.  I am hoping to end 2013 in a much better place than I ended 2012, and will be working to post more consistently this year. 

So, that's about all I have right now.  I have no quote prepared at this time for a closer.  Just this advice:  I strongly urge you to keep on prepping.  Stack it back, stack it deep.  There are a lot of things leveraged against the American people right now, and it's on us to be ready to take care of ourselves.  Our Government won't do it for us, and if you are one of the "Middle Class", you are directly in the Government's sites.  The wealthy and the poor are not going to prop up this country's failed policies and obscene debt.  We are.

Take care,

Unnamed Prepper             


Monday, July 30, 2012

Quick Update: My Progress

Hello friends, hope life is treating you well.  I have been quite busy with work, and so of course my personal time and this blog have suffered.  So, today, I figured instead of talking about any specific prepping topic (I have multiple posts in various stages of completion), I figured I would give a short rundown of where I am personally in my preps right now.

As you may have been reading, I consider preps to be a bit more than just going out, buying some things, and stuffing them in a bag, or in a pantry and calling it good.  There are multiple facets, and for me, some are in what I consider "the real world", and some in the "survival world".  I do not mean that distinction as any sort of insult, or that I don't consider prepping and/or survival to be a means of living in the real world.  For me, the "real world" refers more to my everyday life.  Work, bills, time with my family, that sort of thing.  So, in my case, my biggest area of advancement in my preps has been in my physical condition.  I am well aware that I need to lose a few lbs, and after I created this blog, I actually began earnest effort to that end.  I am glad to say I've dropped about 15 lbs and I'm continuing to make the effort to get out more, and be more physically active.  A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and in any sort of survival situation, I don't want to be the weak link in the group I'm in.  I have seen entirely too many short 450lb guys on Youtube making videos of themselves crammed into a 5XL tactical vest, breathing hard as they're walking through the woods on the way to their shooting spot.  I mean, that's just you walking to the range?  Come on, now.  You know what you need to do. 

So, that's my positive advancement in one area.  Sadly, in another area, I've been getting kicked around lately.  My personal finances recently took a huge hit as my home's air conditioning unit died, and I've also gotten bad news from my dentist that I will have to have some costly dental work done.  I'm trying my best to keep a positive outlook, but I would be lying if I said that I hadn't had a couple restless nights lately thinking about my personal money situation.

Of course, before all this happened, I had been working on some of my situational preps.  I have had some good help in both the food supplies area, as well as the information/advice area from some of my close family members who are avid (and highly advanced) preppers themselves.  They are much farther along than I am, and my plans definitely take this into account.  Their home would almost certainly be an ultimate backup location in the event of a longstanding natural disaster that leveled the area I live in.  They live far enough away that their home might survive whatever that disaster is.  So, it's a good thing.  Since I have started this blog, I have been putting together a true bug-out plan, as well as some different routes we might take in the event we have to leave.  I have also bought more food to store, as well as making up a list of things our BOBs don't currently have.  In the last few months or so, I've started acquiring items as I either find them, or have the money to buy them. In no particular order:

- I finally purchased a decent oil storm lantern for the house to use in the event of a power outage, along with a few containers of the oil it uses.

- I purchased some pairs of work gloves for our BOBs, which was a tip I picked up from some video on outdoor survival I watched, where in every scene, the guy was wearing those leather palmed mechanic's gloves.  I think it's a great item to have in every BOB, especially if your plan includes hiking through the woods.  Keeping your hands safe, and undamaged will be absolutely vital.  All it would take is one bad scratch to get infected, or a bad splinter, or a couple fingers broken when you threw your hand out to catch yourself as you slipped down a short hill in the woods to really slow you down, or worse, make you a burden on the rest of your party.

- I have purchased small car first-aid kits for both household cars, as well as another larger first aid kit, along with multiple other first aid type items to go in them.

- I have gotten my hands on multiple 100ft long bunchs of 550 cord.  The things you can do with 550 cord are nearly limitless.

- I obtained two small "throwaway" grills for something like four bucks each.  These little things are fantastic!  I stumbled onto these when a local grocery store actually had the forethought to put together a "Bad Weather Survival" endcap in a prominant place.  They are these small tin pans full of charcoal that have a grate and two little fold-down arms that the thing sits on.  Sure, I keep my grill at home always stocked with propane, as well as a spare tank in the garage, but if we had to leave,  we could take these with us, and at least have a hot meal two of the nights we were on the lam.  I don't need to go into what a huge moral booster a hot meal can be in times of stress.

- Numerous different flashlights and flashlights, as these things ALWAYS come in handy, and honestly, you can never have too many.

-  I have been able to find some decent bottles of water purification tablets, as well as several packs of completely waterproof matches.  These are both must-have items in my geographical location since it's one of the more humid parts of the country.  Your matches have to be kept dry, and any water you find might not be potable.

- Two 5 gallon water jugs to serve as water storage.

That's about all that comes to mind, but of course, I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things here and there.  Right now, my current plans include getting my hands on the following:

- Sleeping bags matched to the local climate for my family and I.  This is an obvious need in the event of an on-foot leaving the area.  We have multiple possible backup locations, and might need our own sleeping accommodations in any pretty much any of them.
- A small camp stove for use inside my home in the event of a bunker-in situation where stepping out back of my home is not an ideal situation.  This might be for any number of reasons, but of course, one of the primary reasons is that the rear of my home is visible from the road.  In the event that we have a power outage, my primary concern will be in making sure I don't draw any attention to my house in any way, and the sight (and smell) of me possibly cooking a hot meal on my grill out back would be a detriment to that goal.
- Some means of shelter for our BOBs.  I am mulling over whether a small tent might work, or possibly a couple of tarps.  At present, I am considering the multiple tarp idea, that way we could both carry one, and should we somehow get separated, we'd at least both be able to shelter ourselves from rain or elements with some rope, and that single tarp we'd each be carrying.  With a tent, if my pack were somehow lost, we'd be without shelter.

There are of course many more odds and ends that I want to pick up, but right now, with those items, I'll have our most basic needs covered in the event of a short term bunkering in, as well as a short term bugging out.  I am working on my plans, I'm working on my preps.  I have not forgotten.  I will write more soon.  Until then, stay safe out there, and keep working your way forward.

- Unnamed Prepper

“Survival justifies any means.”
― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut