Friday, June 6, 2008

Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts - 2013

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

National Archives and Records Administration

Just so You Know:
The picture shows "20 rows of pallets visible, each row is 15 pallets wide, pallets are stacked two high (at least). Each pallet contains 45 boxes of punched cards. Standard card boxes contained 2000 cards. Each card held up to 80 characters, for a total of about 4.3 billion characters of data" that is about the same amount of information an 4GB flash drive.

January 4, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

I would like to thank Lady Hawthorne for suggesting this article, from the comment she made about this article

And, ...

Lady Hawthorne was right I was bothered, still am, by my mother-in-law coming to stay because, it sure does seem, she expects to be waited on.

With that said, ...

During and after a disaster, you and your family will not be able to take 'care' of people. They will have to be, to the largest extent possible, self sufficient. By self sufficient, I mean, making their bed, picking up after themselves, being to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, on-time, and all the multitude of minutiae that makes a good guest; plus, they will need to help with the added chores.

So, ...

You and your family may have to teach them, so your guest can do the chores properly.

Needless to say, ...

There is a lot more about my mom-in-law's situation that I don't plan to share and a lot more about developing healthy relationships with your family and friends that I haven't written about.

But, here's what I got for you.

Five Love Languages
Some of y'all are thinking, modern mumbo jumbo, I don't need this stuff. Well, you're wrong because the folks that show up at your home are going to want to help, most of them.

And, ...

They are going to help in the way that gives them the most satisfaction. Plus, they are going to need and to show 'Love.'

Admit it folks, our 'survival' group is made of half-crazed aunts, reluctant uncles, spouses that support us because they love us, young children that don't know better, older children that are in it for the 'coolness' factor, and ...

No, Special Forces in my family group. Heck, one person doesn't like the idea of preparing for defensive operations because she/he can't bare the thought of how bad it would be for her/his children.

We got her/him covered anyway because she/he is a survivor. Trust me.

Five Love Languages - Home

Myers Briggs
Once again, some folks are going to say this is all mumbo jumbo, but I'm telling you. We are controlled by how we see the world.

And, ...

Folks are going to need down time {Extraverted (E) or Introverted (I)} to recharge their 'batteries'.

They are going to try and understand what's happening to them and around them {Sensing (S) or Intuitive (N)}

Folks are going to make choices based on Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)

Lastly, they (that includes you) are going to act by Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

And, ...

If we know this in advance, we will be able to support each other as we deal with the disaster as a family.

The Myers-Briggs Personality types are not hard-wired into us. We use both characteristics in our daily lives and decisions. Plus, I know from personal experience we can adapt to primarily using the other characteristic, over time.

Let me explain:

If you met me, in person; you would swear I was an Extrovert, (I can talk to a group of people in a heart beat; chat up a stranger about almost any subject, and generally have a great time with a crowd) but I'm not.

Just so you know, I use to do this professionally, as a ... (Ha, Ha, Ha. Remember, OPSEC)

I am an Introvert. I recharge my batteries by reading a book, listening to quit music, hand-washing dishes, or other individual activity. Talking to people, especially large groups drains me, so I have to have quiet-time to stay energized. Depending on how stressful the week; depends on how much quiet time I need.

The link is to a very short four-question quiz. It will do for most prepper, but the 'Quiz' has its limitations.

Personality - Myers Briggs Test: What is your Myers-Briggs Personality Type?

Personality - ... introduction to the 16 Myers Briggs Personality Types: Part 1

By the way ...


Family Meetings
Now, you and your family may need to lead. You and your partner can decide to be tyrants, one extreme, or the other extreme, laissez-faire. (It's French for "let [them] do"). I personally think somewhere in the middle, with varying degrees of democracy, is the proper choice.

So to make this happen, meetings need to be conducted.

Of course, anyone in business will promptly point out meeting are wasted time. That's true

But, ...

Read me out. Ha ha ha, hear me out. ;  - )

First, have an agenda.

The agenda should have a predominate place, so anyone can add an issue to the list.

Next, have a date and time for the meeting. At first, you might have meetings everyday then transition to every couple of days, to every week.

Either way, If you're not there, you don't get to complain about a decision.

Next, set-up some ground rules, such as:

* All speakers will be respected

* Attentive listening while others are speaking

* Discussions will be respectful and calm (The 'idea' is attacked not the person)

* No put-downs

* Notes will be kept for each meeting

Next, rotate leadership and other responsibilities for the meetings. Yes, this includes your sulking partner.

Next, have the meeting.

Needless to say, the meeting will start off with affirmations for everyone there. If you have a small group, everybody says something nice about everybody else. For a larger group, the leader will have to designate who speaks well of who.

Then, you and your family wade through the agenda.

At the end of the meeting, the family does a pleasant activity that everyone has agreed to.

Finally, the folks that come to visit. You and your family will probably have to train them on having a family meeting.

Ehow - How to Have a Successful Family Meeting Parenting  - How to Hold a Family Meeting

These two links, combined, are pretty good, so make sure you read them both. Separate, they are both missing important information, according to me.

There is a lot more to say on this subject, but I am going to have to stop.

If you have a specific question, please feel free to ask in the comments.

January 11th, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Lost Article
For some reason or another, I lost an article.

So, ...

Please except my apologizes for my blunder.

January 11, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Common Disasters and Black Swans
With proper preparations, we can prevent some common disasters from happening to our family. Take a house fire, by installing smoke detectors, buying one or two fire extinguishers, and practicing fire prevention techniques, we can prevent this common disaster.

Other common emergencies, usually natural disasters, we can't prevent, but we can reduce the effect on our family. Take storms, we can store water and food to feed our family during a short term disruption, buy plywood to cover the windows and doors, and purchase insurance to replace our possessions, if they are destroyed.

Some disasters are uncommon, depending on where you live such as government worker strikes in these United States or hurricanes in Europe. They just don't happen, so there is little to no need to prepare for them.

There are other disasters that are also uncommon, but they can happen like unemployment. Needless to say, your career will depend on whether or not you and your family will decide to prepare for this disaster. You and your partner's career will also determine how you prepare for this potential disaster.

O.K. unemployment is more common, now a days, but you get my point, I hope.

Lastly, there are disasters that are very uncommon and are unlikely to happen within you or your family's lifetime. These disasters, supervolcano, thermonuclear war, biological warfare/pandemic, world-wide economic collapse, and ... these are called 'Black Swans.' Now, Black Swan events are very low probability with a very high consequences for you and your family. Of course, these are the disasters many preppers focus on trying to survive, me and my family included.

 So, ...

What does this mean to you and your family.

First, y'all need to do a risk analysis. A risk analysis is basically writing down all the bad stuff that could happen to you and your family and prioritizing from most likely to happen to least likely to happen.

Next, you start prepping your family for those common disasters/emergencies.

xkcd - Countdown

Alpha Rubicon - What Should I Preparing For?

At the top of the blog, there is a "16 Weeks" link; it has all the links for my original effort to inform family and friends on getting prepared.

January 19, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Mrs. S. Matsunaga, a Jerome War Relocation Center resident,
takes up her flower garden for transplanting
at her new home at the Rohwer War Relocation Center
Charles E. Mace

Moving On
Folks, three to four years ago, I started this blog because most writers/bloggers were talking about race wars, night vision devices, multi-million dollar retreats, and other (to me) crazy stuff. My purpose, at that time, was to inform y'all that you and your family didn't need to spend a lot of money on getting prepared for disasters. Y'all just needed to focus on proper shelter, water, food, medical, protection, and ... In other words, the basics.

Of course, the blog expanded. I started a weekly doom and gloom article, on most Mondays, just so folks would see the variety of potential disasters. Next, I added another weekly post on blogs or webpages that had information for y'all.

Lastly, I try (not very successful, right now) to add to the practical knowledge base for survivalists and preppers.

So, what does this mean for y'all?


Once you and your family have the basics or have gotten all the information you need from this blog, you need to move on.

But, ...

Always remember, you and your family need to keep prepping because the disasters will keep on happening.

At the top of the blog, there is a "16 Weeks" link, next to "My Suppliers"; it has the links to my original effort to inform family and friends on getting started in emergency preparedness.

January 25, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Remember last week, how I told you that I was trying (not very successfully) to add to the practical knowledge base for preppers and survivalists.

Well, here's an article on ...

Converting a Plastic Bucket Top

Have y'all seen those gamma seal lids. Expensive aren't they.

Heavy-Duty 5-gallon Bucket Lid
Guess what, you can make a similar lid. O.K. not similar, but a five-gallon bucket lid that is a lot easier to open.

First, you need a heavy-duty five-gallon bucket lid. Not one of those cheap ones.

As you can tell from the color, I bought this lid from Home Depot, for under $4.00.

Yeah, yeah, I know. The Home Depot bucket may not be food-grade plastic, but I didn't want to mess up one of my good lids. That's why I'm using a Home Depot lid.

Side of Bucket Lid,
Notice the Two Notches
To tell if the lid is one you can convert, you need to look at its side.

In the picture to the right, you will notice notches (one notch is just to the right of the camera's flash glare. another notch is on the left-hand side of the picture) These notches are cut to open the bucket, if you don't have a bucket opener or lid remover.

So, ...

You have a lid you can convert.

Inside of Bucket Lid,
You can see barely see the black gasket
First, take a sharpie and draw a line around the edge of the bucket lid, this line should be just below (or above, depending on how you're holding the lid) the gasket. This lid has a black gasket.

In the picture to the left, if you look real close, you will notice the rim that holds the lid to the bucket. You want your line to be between the 'rim' and the black gasket.

Needless to say, if you don't want to draw a line, you don't have to draw the line. Just remember, you are going to cut between the rim and the gasket.

The Bucket Lid's Gasket
Next, you are going to remove the gasket. I tried pulling in out with my fingers; I tried my car keys. I finally removed it with a pair of needle nose pliers.

Once you have the gasket removed (to protect the gasket from being cut). You're going to cut the bucket lid along the line.

I can't say it enough. Safety, safety, safety while you are cutting the lid along the line. Make sure you are cutting away from you, and you are using a sharp knife to do the cutting. It's easy and safer.

Lid with Tabs Removed,
You can see one of the remaining tabs
Now, depending on how easy you want the lid to come off will depend on how many tabs you are going to cut off.

I wanted this lid to be very easy to remove, so I cut off all the tabs except for two. Those two tabs are directly opposite of each other.

I'm glad I didn't use one of my food-grade bucket lids for this article because I screwed up.

I Screwed Up
In the picture to the right, you can see my mistake. If you make the picture bigger, you will notice, I cut the lid too deep. Notice the black gasket, showing in the front. You shouldn't be able to see it, if I had done the cutting correctly.

"Oh, well" as Eeyore would say. The lid will still work.

Needless to say, you can use the modified lid with or without the gasket to seal the bucket.

Of course, the modified lid should only be used on a bucket that you are using and opening, often.

That's it except for some picture that didn't fit the narative.

The first picture shows the finished lid with the tools I need to complete the project. If you don't mind possibly cutting the gasket, and you take your time and be careful, you really only need the razor knife to cut the lid.

Oops, I'm mistaken. There's only one picture, that I felt was important, that didn't fit the narrative.

U.S. Plastic - Bucket Opener

U.S. Plastic - Lid Remover

Needless to say, if you can't purchase new or used food-grade buckets, locally; you can find them at U.S. Plastic.

February 1, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

One of the disasters my family is getting prepared for is a general collapse, so we are identifying products that take high technology to create, cheaply.

One of these products are matches.

Storing Matches
It is easy to store matches. You buy some then throw 'em in the 'junk' drawer and forget 'em.

Until, ...

One day, your partner opens the junk drawer, throws something in, closes it, and a couple minutes later; smoke is pouring out of the drawer.

Yeah, unbelievable, but it happened to us. 

Remember, Fire is probably the #1 Threat for Peppers and Survivalist

So, a couple of days later, I bought a small U.S. military ammo can (.30 caliber) that we store all of our matches in.

< 1,750 Matches (because we use these)
Needless to say, as preppers and survivalists, we have more matches than the 'ordinary' family. In this photo, you see five boxes of strike-on-the-box matches, and a packet of 25 book paper matches wrapped in a zip-lock bag taped-up to form a rectangular packet.

So, in this ammo can, we have 1,250 wooden matches (strike on the box) and 500 paper matches, for a grand total of 1,750 matches.

O.K., ...

It's not all our matches.

5.000 Paper Matches
We also have four small ammunition cans (.30 caliber) that we store 5.000 paper matches, in books. These matches are wrapped in zip-lock bags, 500 matches per package then two packs, of 500, are wrapped again in another zip-lock bag to make a bundle of 1,000 matches.

As you can see, we get five of those bundles in an ammo can.

Oh, I almost forgot. Most of these 20,000 matches are special; they came from U.S. military MREs (meal ready to eat) condiment packs. Supposedly, they are humidity resistant.

Thank you brothers.

Of course, that isn't all of our matches.

2250 Strike Anywhere Matches
You also have two small ammo cans full of strike anywhere matches.

Needless to say, I have been looking off and on for strike anywhere matches for years. We finally got a Rural King near us that sells both strike on the box and strike anywhere matches.

Just so you know, both are great matches, but the strike anywhere matches can be lit off a pair of tight jeans. Just ask Katniss  ; - )

 So, ...

20,000 paper, 4,500 strike anywhere, and < 1,750 different types of matches (because we use these) that gives us over 25,000 matches in the space of about a 10-ream paper box.

But, ...

That's not all of our matches.

I also bought a 40mm ammunition can to hold more strike anywhere matches. The medium-sized ammo can holds over 8,000 matches.

Of course, by the time you see this article, the strike anywhere matches will be sealed in mylar bags to prevent being damaged by moisture.

And, ...

Here is a picture of the matches in mylar bags. Each small mylar bag holds three boxes of matches (750 matches) per packet.

The packets are sealed the same way as long-term food storage bags.

Oooh, oooh, oooh; I almost forgot.The reason for storing the matches in an ammunition can. If the matches ignite, they will use all the oxygen in the can and extinguish themselves. Secondly, the ammo can protects the matches from the elements and the dang mice!

Some folks in these United States will be unable to do a local purchase of strike anywhere matches because of fire regulations prohibiting selling them, in town, so to buy them locally, you will have to leave city-limits to purchase them.

Just so you know, the cost of these matches has risen and the number of matches, in each box, has decreased. Inflation, again.

February 2, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Food, Food, and More Food
I was reading a couple of articles ("Eat that Blade of Grass" and "Sell Signal") over at James M.Dakin, written by Mr. Dakin, of course.

Now, I haven't linked to Mr. Dakin in a couple of months, and there is a reason for that. His writing can be totally twisted, but informative. Sometimes, he seems to take ten words to say one word, and sometimes, he says nothing in his post. Plus, he can be harsh towards some folk's scared cows, so he's not widely read, it seems.

However, ...

He has a certain viewpoint that should be analyzed by preppers and survivalists. Take these two articles.

In these two articles, really one; he advocates getting rid of your AR-15 series, AK-47series, FN-Fal, HK-91, M1A, and .... Not because he is anti-freedom (pro gun-control), but because he realizes most families don't have enough food and, he believes, a bolt-action rifle like the Lee-Enfield, Mosin-Nagant, Mauser M-1898, and ... are 'good enough' for most preppers.

I agree with him, if, ...

You are getting ready for a long-term disaster, and you have more guns then family members and less days of food then the local grocery store. (Which is about three days)

Needless to say, I also disagree with Mr. Dakin.

I think a SKS rifle is the good enough weapon for most preppers. Add a .357 magnum revolver with a 4 to 5 inch barrel, and most preppers would be adequately armed for most disasters.

So, ...

Think about what he has written, update your Threat Analysis (if you feel the need), and, either way, buy more food for your family.

Below are the five most popular links at Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness. Needless to say, prices have been trending upward!

Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness - Firearms for Preppers: Bolt-action Rifles

Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness - Firearms for Preppers:Semi-auto Rifles

Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness - Firearms for Preppers: AK-47

Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness - Firearms for Preppers: M-16

Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness - Firearms for Preppers: SKS

February 8, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

The Telegraph
I have been re-posting "16 Weeks" over at Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead hosted by The Telegraph.

So, ...

I have an excuse for being late with today's article.

And, ...

Read further for the updated article, ........ Please!

Pretty, Please!!

O.K. Just Start Reading!!!

I was re-posting "Week Two - Shelter" over at Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead, and I received a comment from Joechinslade.

He said something like ...

Basically, Too Much Information (TMI) and Where Do I Get Started (WDIGS)!!!

And, he's right; I do have a lot of information in the "16 Weeks" section of GSIEP.

So, ...

This article is for Joechinslade and everyone else like her/him.

First, take a sheet of paper and draw a 9 or 12- place grid, like the one to the left.

Then, ...

Label the grid with the priorities, first, emergency evacuation, next, shelter, next, water, next, food, next, medical, and so on.

Just like the one to the left.

Two needless to says.

First, needless to say, you can use the "16 Weeks" chapter names to label your grid.

Second, needless to say, I scanned a sheet of paper into a photo, so the scan is bigger than a 'normal' sheet of paper. That's the reason for the blank spaces at the bottom.

Next, do a quick inventory of all your possessions because most people already have a lot of the stuff needed for preparing for disasters.

Third, start filling in the grid. Only put one or two things in each grid; Don't overwhelm yourself.

The items should be stuff that you need or need to do, such as "Put extra clothes in car trunk" or "Buy canned food from grocery store."

Needless to say, the grid to the right is a beginning list of suggestions for you and your family to accomplish.

As always, you and your partner need to tailor any preparations to your family's needs, as you can see in the finished list below.

Remember, this is not a shopping list. It is a kind'a 'To Do List' tailored to my family's needs.

Notice, under "Medical," my partner and I are going to watch the Patriot Nurses videos, first, so we can screen them for family appropiate content. (I don't want to watch a video on anti-freedom measures [Gun-Control] if we are trying to learn about first-aid)

Almost lastly, use this list to focus your preparations and start getting things off your list.

Lastly, update your list.

In most families, only one of the spouses is in charge of getting prepared, but the other spouse needs to help, like on this project.

Or, ...

Reading "16 Weeks" to help you.

The "Rawles Gets You Ready Preparedness Course," in my opinion is crap.

Here's what I said about it back in ...

Ooops, I found it but it sucked then at under $80 and it still sucks at under $20

Other folks agree with me, kind'a

The Survivalist Blog - Review: Rawles Gets You Ready Preparedness Course

This Blue Marble - Rawles Gets You Ready?

February 15, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Military Camoflauge
The Sportsmans' Guide has British Gortex jackets and pants for sale. Needless to say, this gear is in the British desert camoflauge pattern.

So, ...

For those folks living in the western United States; it would be a great addition to your kit.

And, ...

For those folks looking to acquire rugged gortex rain gear, for the whole family; it would be a good buy. Needless to say, this clothing will last a long time, so your family will want to purchase the jacket and pants a couple sizes larger.

UK/European Army Size Chart
European Army Surplus
With that said, here is a size conversion chart that I found over at European Army Surplus.

Sportsmans' Guide, to me and some others, is notorious for getting their sizes incorrect, so you will have to check the actual jacket (don't forget the pants) against the size chart or try it on.

With that said, you will want to make sure to get the jacket, and maybe the pants, one or two sizes larger, so you can wear insulating layers under the gortex gear.

Lighting the Load (Getting Rid of Stuff)
I was visiting my 65-year old uncle, the other day. He was nice enough to explain to me some of his awards on his "Love Me" wall.

He has some neat stuff.

OK, that's not working out, let me try again.

Since I was terminated, I have had time to go through my 'stuff' that I have been lugging around for the last twenty years.

It has been interesting opening cardboard boxes; I feel like an archaeologist.

Well, as most of you know, our interests may change over time, so those things I have been keeping, for thirty years, are no longer of interest to me.

So, ...

I have been getting rid of them.

Needless to say, I thought about selling some of it on eBay. Guess what?

It's worthless, so I have been giving it away to friends, family, and charitable organizations.

And, those folks have been very happy.

Plus, ...

Now, I have more shelf space to store prepping supplies.

A "Love Me" wall is miltary-speak for a wall that displays a person's certificates, awards and college/university degrees

Depending to who you talk to; calling someone's award display a "Love Me" wall can be considered derogatory, so tread lightly.

For my family, it's an inside joke. We all have "Love Me" walls.

February 22, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Bright Colors
Last week, I mentioned British gotex jackets and pants. For some preppers, that camoflauge pattern will be perfect, or close to perfect.

However, ...

For most prepper, you and your family are buying it for the rugged military gortex jacket and pants.

Because, ...

Most preppers don't; I'll say it again; don't need camoflauge. They will need to be seen, so their family can be rescued, after an emergency

That's right folks.

24 to 32 ounce Water Bottles
Suitable for Your
Emergency Evacuation Kit

Those bright orange, pink, or purple water bottles, your partner's blaze green jacket (that you dislike), and your son's or daughter's bright red Spider-man backpack are going to be better than the muted colors of military gear.

Needless to say, this all depends on your threat analysis, and there is a lot of "Ifs," too.

* If you and your family are looking for rugged gear, buy former military (surplus) gear

* If you and your family's threat analysis indicates armed conflict, buy the color pattern that will work in your area.

* If you and your family have limited cash, military surplus gear can be a bargain, maybe.

But, ....

Remember, military (heck any camoflauge) pattern gear and clothing will make you stick out during 'normal' times.

So, ...

Try to hide your preps (OPSEC) by having an excuse to purchase this gear, like camping and bushcraft.

Casting Calls
Commander Zero says he receives 'casting calls' all the time from folks looking to interview preppers.

Folks, don't respond to these trolls; they will only make you look like an idiot and destroy your OPSEC on national tv.

Don't believe me? Watch Doomsday Preppers from National Geographic.

I updated the article on storing matches with a picture of the matches in mylar bags.

March 1, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

OMGosh, They're Right!!!
I saw this comment over at io9, the other week.

"If people keep predicting the end of the world, given enough time one of them will eventually be right." Pistol Pete

Pistol Pete is sooo right.

Think about it.

According to Micheal Greer's (The Archdruid Report) book, "Apocalypse Not: Everything You Know About 2012, Nostradamus and the Rapture is Wrong folks have been predicting the end of the world for millennia (thousands of year), and they have still gotten it wrong.

But, ...

Sooner than later, someone is going to get it right. ; - )

io9 - Pope’s Resignation Brings Doomsday Prophecy

Viva Editions - Apocalypse Not: Everything You Know About 2012, Nostradamus and the Rapture is Wrong

Another Money Making Opportunity
Needless to say, folks will be trying to sell the 'end of the world' just like they did in late 1999 and again in 2012.

So, ...

Keep on prepping because more likely than not, the world won't be ending because the Pope retired, early.

March 8, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

A Book
I have been writing a book on getting prepared for short and long term emergencies, and I have had my first reading. It sucked.

So, ...

I need your help into what it should cover.

Should it be, ...

Theory - the reader makes most of the desicions

Do This! - with "If you don't do this you and your family will die" mentality

Mix of both - theory in the chapter with How-To in the appendix

What do you think?

If you say theory, ....

Which ones like "two is one one is none," PACE, groupthink, and ...?

If you say Do This, ...

What do you think you need to know to survive, do I make lists, or something else?

Needless to say, if you say a mix, ...

What's the mix and you have to answer the two questions, above.

Lastly, the book is based on GSIEP; it is sixteen chapters, each chapter has an appendix about avoiding common mistakes, with additional appendix to cover certain skill.

I would like to keep it under 250 pages, but will go to 300, if needed.

Lastly, my plan is to sell it for $12.95 from kindle. if a hard copy is needed LULU will do the printing.

So, help me out, please.

You can leave your thoughts in the comments or email me at " gsiep (dot) blogspot (at) gmail (dot) com " of course all spaces and the (dot) is a "." and the (at) is an "@"


I apologize for being late, but I was agonizing over wether to ask you for help or not.

March 15, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Silver and Gold
My brothers; Jumper, Scout, and Spartan, and I were seating around talking about silver and gold for preppers, the other day. I promptly chimed in with 'It is a terrible idea for beginning preppers because they don't have the needed stuff to survive, yet.' My brothers immediately agreed because they have heard my argument against, new preppers, owning silver and gold, many times.

So, ...

We talked about other things

Could'a, Should'a, and Would'a
Needless to say, we kicked ourselves in the arse for not buying a bunch of silver at $5 and gold at $350 an ounce. We have been beating ourselves up over that for a few years. A prime example of normalcy bias. Live and Learn.

We have also been questioning whether to buy some at these prices since silver and gold have come down off their highs from last year.

What is the 'value' of a silver dollar?
One of our concerns is how do we tell the value of a silver coin. Not the coin itself, but what is it worth? in labor? in food? in fuel? in gold?

We did some research and found a website that shows the average salary from about 1900 to 1950. The average was from 25¢ to $1 an hour. According to Spartan, that was 'physical' labor since very few people had office jobs.

For food, we did some research and found that food availability varied, especially during the volatile times, WW I, the Great Depression, and WW II. Another site had a reference to the cost of food as a percentage of wages. According to this site, in the 1900s 45% of wages want to food, and in the 30s food was 15% of wages. Supposedly, we were paying 9% of our wages for food, in 2008.

We also talked about the greater need for having food storage because these three periods (WW I, the Great Depression, and WW II) saw rationing, price controls, shortages, and loss of income.

Lastly, Jumper chimed in with one of the coinage acts saying that 15 ounces of silver equals 1 ounce of silver. We looked it up. It's the Coinage Act of 1792, and it really says 15 units of silver equals 1 unit of gold.

Our Thoughts on the Value of a Silver Dollar
Just so you know, each of my brothers has different opinions from me. If you asked them their thoughts about owning gold and silver, they might disagree with me about new preppers. Either way, they (like me) believe it's you and your family's choice. Y'all make a choice, just like we did, and y'all will have to live with it or die with it.

So, what are our thoughts?

First, gold is at $1586 and silver is at $28.75. If you multiply the cost of silver by 15, you get $431, one-third the price of an ounce of gold. To us, gold could be either over-priced or silver is under-valued compared to gold. Our thoughts? We think silver is very under valued compared to gold.

Second, we had a hard time with food because food's prices and the availability were controlled and rationed during the two wars. So, we had contradictory thoughts about food. Plus, the way we as a nation eat our meals has changed from a made-at-home to a quick-fix or takeout for our food.

So, we think food is undervalued compared to silver. If you look at whole grains, dried beans, and other long-term food storage items, during a time of war and other nation-wide disasters, food is undervalued, by us. Plus, if you look up the percentage of our income spent on food, if has dropped, too.

Lastly, if you look at labor, an average hourly wage is around $20 an hour, and we have a lot of folks sitting down for that kind of money. So, for us, silver is slightly undervalued when compared to labor.

Our Questions
First, supposedly China, India, and Russia are purchasing a lot of gold. This could be a normal reaction, like most traders, of buying high and selling low. This is one of our fears of purchasing silver and gold at these prices. We keep asking ourselves "Is this the top of the market?"

Or, ...

Is this a plan to eliminate the U.S. dollar as a global currency by implementing a gold-backed currency, by China and other countries?

Or, ...

Are these countries hedging their bets on holding so many U.S. Treasury notes?

Next, Germany and other countries that are known for being frugal are asking for their country's gold to be return. These countries are taking physical possession. Is this an indicator of fraud in the markets or have the country's leaders stopped believing the paper promises, of the big international banks?

Almost lastly, the big guys are getting in and out of paper gold; "Are they just trading, or are they trying to manipulating prices for some reason?"

Lastly, Spartan (he doesn't like the socialist in chief, very much) asks "Is the current administration trying to hold on for a little while longer, for his legacy?" and I added 'Just think, being considered a Herbert Hoover or a Franklin D. Roosevelt, just by a matter of months.'

Our Predictions
First, we think, as a family, we're screwed because the Federal Reserve has printed and continues to print a lot of money, so we see inflation maybe even hyper-inflation in our future. How long? For hyper-inflation, it could be this year, after the 2016 election, or never. Remember, hyper-inflation is a feeling. When folks start thinking their money is worthless, they start seeking a store of value for their money, be it stocks, paintings, cars, land, gold, silver, or what ever.

For regular inflation, we are predicting that it has already started, except we don't see it in the financial markets, yet. As any family would know, food and fuel have been increasing and we need that stuff to survive. Plus, wages have been stagnant for the last few years because many folks are looking for work, an employers' market. Plus, reported inflation is low, and some folks wages are connected to the inflation rate.

Our Plans
First, we are beefing up our food reserves, just in case; they will be helpful in a depression and hyper-inflation situation. We are also looking at increasing our food production capabilities this has been a long-term goal for us, anyway.

Next, we are implementing plans (we have had for a long time) to start a family side business, more like a corporation. The corporation will insulate the family from many of the negative effects of borrowing money and lawsuits, hopefully.

Third, we are still talking about purchasing some silver, not gold because we believe the gold and silver ration will go from a ratio of 55 to 1 back to a historical 20 to 1. That would make silver $80 an ounce if gold stayed at $1586 an ounce.

Additionally, if we purchase any silver, we will take physical possession and store the silver in our safes.

My family and I are not financial professionals. Our thoughts, writing, and babbling should never be taken as financial advice. If you choose to follow us, you may die destitute and broke, just like us.

Plus, ...

What do I know, I'm unemployed.

March 16, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Buying Silver and Gold
Like any prep, you and your family want to pay as little as possible for that item, especially silver and gold.


Silver and gold, to me, are unnecessary for survival. You can't drink it; you can't eat; and you can't shoot it! (My bad! You can form silver and gold into bullets, but ...) Plus, if you don't have water, food, protection, medical supplies, blankets, and ... Why should I sell you and your family the means to survive. I could just wait for you to die then I have your silver and gold. : - O

Needless to say, if your family has the supplies and knowledge to survive for a few years, you might want to think about buying silver and gold.

But, ...

Where do you purchase silver and gold.

There are many auctions for 'junk' silver, on e-bay. Junk silver is old United States' 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1 coins minted in 1964 and before. They are 90% silver. They are called junk silver because these coins are well worn or very, very, very common, and almost all coin collectors do not collect these types of coins.

There are also auctions, on e-bay, for modern silver coins from these United States and other countries.

But, there is a problem.

Fakes have been showing up on e-bay. Yes, fake Morgans and fake Silver Eagles

The local pawn shops and coin dealers are a source for silver coins. These two places may have junk silver to sell. Coin dealers also may have modern silver coins, for you.

But, the "may" is truly a maybe. People have been flocking to silver, so the local sources have been sold out for ages.

Yes, I know e-bay is on-line, but I'm talking about the on-line dealers or sellers. There are many of them. Some of these professional dealers have been in business before the internet was created, by mail. Others have only started their business since they found out they could rip you off.

Needless to say, any link I make to a dealer or seller is fraught with danger. Plus, I could be making money off your deal. Plus, you need to read the "Disclaimer" at the bottom of this page. Plus, I'm not a financial professional, so none of my advice or writings should be taken as financial advice!

So, you and your family need to do your due diligence before you purchase any silver and gold.

Avoiding getting Ripped Off or Paying Too Much
First, you need to look around. My brothers and I were looking and found some folks charging $10 more then their competitors, usually in the magazine ads for silver eagles. Remember, you are trying to get the most silver and gold for the least amount of money.

So, you need to know the "Spot Price" of silver and gold before you buy or sell.

I keep track of it by doing a search for "Spot Silver" and clicking on the Kitco link. For gold, I just look to the left side of the page (Live Charts) and click on gold

Next, I start searching. The on-line dealers will usually have the most accurate price for their products. Some even update the price as you purchase the silver. That's really cool if the price is going down, Not so cool, if the price of silver is increasing.

You want to get as close as possible to spot price as possible.

Rip-Off #1
The first rip-off is buying a graded silver eagle. The dealer will emphasize how much the price of a graded silver eagle has increased, like the 1995-W silver eagle for $4,200.

You could buy over 125 ungraded silver eagles for that same $4,200. Or, 125 cases of food from the Latter-day Saints.

Rip-Off #2
The next rip-off is buying a 'fake' coin. Folks, e-bay has people selling fake Morgan and Silver Eagle dollar coins this is also kind'a true for the local coin dealers.

Now, don't get me wrong.

The local coin dealer is probably very knowledgeable, but they make mistakes. So, you need to make sure you know what their return policy is 'if' a coin turns out to be fake.

Not so Much a Rip-Off #3
This one isn't so much of a rip-off.

But, ...

If you pay too much for silver or gold, or pay too many 'fees', you have been rip-off, kind'a. Let me explain.

Your local dealer and everyone else is in the business to make a living, so they make their profit two ways. First, they sell it with a markup. Spot silver is at $28; they sell it for $30. Next, they buy it for less then the silver is worth. Spot is at $30; they buy it back at $29.

That's the reality.

But, it continues.

The on-line seller is going to require you to pay for shipping and insurance, additionally; you need to figure this in to your cost, too. Let me give you an example.

You and your family buy one ounce of silver at $30. it cost $5 to ship it and insure it. Your price is now $35 for that ounce of silver. If you buy one hundred ounces, the shipping and insurance will run, to make it easy, $50. (Remember, 100 ounces of silver is about six pound, and it's worth about $3000) Your price is now $30.50 an ounce.

Now, here comes the almost a rip-off. Some companies are going to require you to do a 'wire transfer' of the funds. Yep, no credit cards. allowed. This wire transfer will cost you another $20 to $50, ouch.

Now, your price has increased to $30.70 - $31 an ounce.

As you see, you need to do your due diligence to find out your actual cost of the silver and gold.

What to Buy?
Here in these United States, I would recommend staying with junk silver, the 10¢, 25¢, and 50¢ coins. They are currently the cheapest and not worth counterfeiting, like the Morgans. If you live in another country, you and your family need to do the research and find the most common, recognizable and cheapest form of silver.

Next, I would recommend Silver Eagles and the Silver Maple Leaf coins. They are legal tender, so the Canadian and these United States' government has a responsibility to investigate counterfeit coins. If you live in another country, once again find the legal tender silver coin, such as the Chinese Panda, Australian Kookaburra, or ...

What to Avoid
Needless to say, I don't know everything, but I would avoid private mint rounds, bars and expensive  coins, such as ancient coins.

Yes, the private mints are reputable and their products are bought and sold worldwide. I have even bought some of the products in the past and had no problem selling it, either, (And, I would recommend them) especially the Engelhard one ounce silver bars and one ounce Silver Prospector rounds.

Sorry, about that tangent. Back to what I was saying.

I say this for two reasons. First, most people have no idea what the value of silver is much less silver coinage, so you will have to educate them. Instead of trying to educate them about the value of silver then the value of a silver bar, if you use a common silver coin, all you have to do is educate them about the value of the common silver coin.

Next, how can you tell if the one ounce, ten ounce, or one hundred ounce silver bar is real? Plus, you might have to pay to have it assayed. Look it up.

Lastly, commemorative, ancient, collector, and other expensive coins are considered coin collecting. You and your family are trying to amass a hoard of silver and gold to protect your family during tough times, after the water filters, long-term food, SKS rifle with 500 rounds of ammo, wool blankets, and all the other stuff you need to survive a disaster.

Needless to say, these are my opinions.

And, as you can see, I even contradict myself when it comes to the Engelhard products. I would recommend them. They are a great product, just not for me and my family, for now.

Note 1:
It seems calling something a 'coin' that isn't a coin from a recognized government is considered counterfeiting.

Note 2:
While I was looking for the proper spelling of Engelhard, I found a place selling a 10-ounce bar for $550. That is $55 an ounce!!! ouch.

Storing Silver and Gold
Not in a safety deposit box

Not in a custodian account

Especially, Not as a piece of paper from some ETF

But, ...

In your home or place of business, hidden or in a safe bolted to the floor.

You may have noticed, I focused on silver. There are a couple of reasons for that.

First, it seems like the LIBOR interest rate scandal, the price of gold may have been manipulated by the big banks.

Next, gold is a compact form of wealth storage. It will be difficult to divide a gold coin for smaller purchases. With that said, it's a lot easier smuggling an one ounce gold coin in your arse, then 55 silver coins. ; - ) or carrying it to the store, in your pocket. There is a reason these United States issued a silver certificate; they're a lot easier to carry.

Third, all the things I wrote about silver can be considered the same for gold, almost.

Lastly, as I said yesterday, I believe gold is overvalued compared to silver, so silver is a better buy, for now.

Coinflaion - Home Page

Note: Scroll down about 3/4 of the page for the junk silver coin values.

Wikipedia - Morgan Dollar

Wikipedia - American Silver Eagle

Kitco - Live Silver

Kitco - Live Gold

Urban Archaeology - Guide To Foreign Silver Coins

Wikipedia - LIBOR Interest Rate Scandal

Wikipedia - Silver Certificate

If you see this message, I'm almost finished.

March 22, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Today is going to be a quick, short post.

First, review your threat analysis before reading this article. With that said let's begin.

Multi-compartment Plastic Boxes
After you and your family have purchased your firearms, ammunition, holsters, slings, kit, and attended safety training. You need to think about spare parts for your firearms.

These spare parts will vary, depending on the firearms your family will be using during a disaster..

But, ...

 More likely than not, you will need spare ...

* firing pins
* ejectors
* ejector springs
* extractor
* extractor springs
* operating spring

Needless to say, y'all will need to do some research for the specific parts, to store.

Well, I can tell you from experience these spare parts are small, so you need a place to organize by firearm and have the spare parts all in one space.

That's where small multi-compartment plastic boxes come in handy. You can purchase these boxes in a variety of sizes at your local hardware store, sporting good (look in the fishing section), or big-box equivalents.

I have used these plastic boxes for years to organize my parts, just not for firearms. For longer items, you can carefully cut one or two of the plastic dividers with a very sharp knife or razor blade. I would suggest warming the plastic with a hair dryer, furnace vent, or other 'cool' heat (definitely not in the microwave or cooking oven, too hot) because the cold plastic can be brittle, causing unwanted breakage of the dividers.

As you can see, I have one compartment for each type of part, in the above photo.

Now, you might want to make a chart naming the part because you might not be doing the repair.

To keep the spare parts from rusting, I place a small sheet of VCI (vapor, corrosion, inhibitors) paper over the compartments before shutting the box.

Like I said, a quick, short post.

March 29, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalits,

Like most articles, I will be starting with the oldest military method and go to the newest method of keeping warm while you sleep, kind'a

Wool Blankets

U.S. Military Wool Blanket
According to one source, during WW II, these United States' Army would issue up to five wool blankets, depending on the climate. While I was in the military, we were issued two 100% wool blankets for our beds. The weather, and how cold it was in the barracks, would determine how many blankets we slept under.

For most preppers, these wool blankets would be perfect for disasters, if you and your family stayed in your home. Plus, they are running about $30 a blanket from most dealers.

Poncho with Poncho Liner

 Jump forward half a century and to an undeclared war, these United States' military is issuing thin nylon polyester filled 'blankets' to the soldiers in Vietnam. Combined with a poncho, these poncho liners were perfect for the climate of Vietnam.

Now a days, for most soldiers, their poncho liner is a versatile 'woobie' suitable for warmth during travel, warm to cool weather sleeping bag (when combined with a poncho), ground sheet, and ...

For me, I sweat in an issue sleeping bag, if it is zipped up all the way. So, I'll use a poncho liner as a top cover and leave the sleeping bag unzipped so I'm warm enough but don't sweat.

Needless to say, there are a couple of companies that have done modifications to the poncho liner. Some of these companies have replaced the polyester fill with a better insulating layer, giving the liner a lower comfort range. Other companies have modified the poncho liner by adding ties and zippers, so the liner can be worn under the poncho, tied as a coat, or turned into a sleeping bag.

Mountain Sleeping Bag

 According to my memory, these United States identified a need for a sleeping bag for the 'elite' mountain troops during WW II that is how this sleeping bag got its name. According to one source, they were still manufactured into the '60s.

These sleeping bags have a set of snaps and eyelets that allow the soldier to attach a water resistant cover to protect the sleeping bag from getting dirty and very light rain.

Arctic Sleeping Bag

I have never seen an arctic sleeping bag, but I knew someone that used one, a long, long time ago. The arctic sleeping bag is basically, an insulated bag that goes over the mountain sleeping bag.

Intermediate Cold Weather Sleeping Bag

 The intermediate cold weather sleeping bag is the replacement for the mountain bag. It does not have snaps and eyelets to attach the sleeping bag cover, however; the sleeping bag cover can be used on the intermediate cold weather sleeping bag.

Extreme Cold Weather Sleeping Bag

Extreme Cold Weather Sleeping bag
Water-Resistant Canvas Cover

The extreme cold weather sleeping bag is similar to the intermediate bag, but it is designed for colder temperatures. Like the intermediate sleeping bag, the water resistant sleeping bag cover can be used on the sleeping bag.

In the picture to the right, the water-resistant canvas cover is on the left, and the extreme cold weather sleeping bag is on the right.

Modular Sleep System (MSS)

The MSS was developed and issued starting in the early '00s. It is the current military sleeping bag, having replaced the intermediate cold weather and extreme cold weather sleeping bags.

Military Sleep System with Camoflauge Bivy Bag
The MSS consists of four bags, two of them are sleeping bags. The third is a water-proof bivy bag; the other is the system's stuff sack.

Going from left to right, the first bag is the stuff sack. It helps to compress the sleeping bags for transportation and storage.

The solid green bag is the patrol bag. It is good down to 30°F (-1ºC) while wearing proper clothing, such as polypro long johns and socks.

The black bag is the intermediate sleeping bag. It is good down to -10°F (-23ºC), once again, while wearing proper clothing, such as polypro long johns and sock.

The camoflauge bag is the bivy bag. It is a gortex over-bag that protects the sleeping bags from snow and rain. The bivy bag can be used alone with a poncho liner during even warmer temperatures, like the poncho and poncho liner combination, used in Vietnam.

Needless to say, as you can see in the above picture, the bivy bag is the former camoflauge pattern used by these United States' Army. There is a new pattern, being replaced, called something like the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) pattern. All of the ACU pattern sleeping bags and bivy bag are different colors, but they have the same capabilities.

As always, there is more to this subject.


Wool Blanket

Survival Monkey - 100% Wool Blankets (Master Listing)

YouTube: Danish Bush Crafter - Sleeping in a wool blanket

YouTube: IHatchetJack - Minimalist Camping: Wool Blanket Pack

Poncho Liner

Survival Outdoor - Travel (too) Light; Freeze at Night

Bushcraft USA: Forum - Poncho Liner Mod: Hammock Underquilt

YouTube: dcordry - USGI Poncho Liner mods

Mountain Sleeping Bag - U.S. Military Sleeping Bags

Modular Sleep System

Wikipedia - Modular Sleep System

YouTube: Quadmachine0 - Modular Sleep System MSS Review, Part One

YouTube: Quadmachine0 - Modular Sleep System MSS Review, Part Two

March 30, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

So, ...

First Things, First

First, you and your family need to ask yourselves 'Does we really need sleeping bags?' If you do, then you need to ask yourselves 'Do we really need military sleeping bags?' Because there are many great civilian sleeping bags out there.

So, ...

Ask those questions and come back if the answers are 'Yes.'

You're back. So, ...

Which one to purchase?

Weight and Compactness
For me, no matter which one you and your family decide to purchase, they will all be about the same weight and compactness, generally. There are exceptions ...

If you live in the south, you will probably only need one or two wool blankets. One wool blanket weights less than an extreme cold weather sleeping bag with a water-resistant canvas cover, but one wool blanket is only good in late spring or early fall. In other words, if you plan to survive a winter blizzard up north, outside, you will need an extreme cold weather sleeping bag, not one wool blanket.

All of the military sleeping bags, to me, are equally durable. They were designed for the military and were used by the military for many years. Needles to say, if you abuse the sleeping bag, like sleeping with your boots on, they will not last as long.

So, it comes down to price.

For about $30, you and your family can buy one new U.S. military wool blanket these blankets will be 80% wool. Of the various military-surplus and new military-issued wool blankets, the U.S. military wool blanket is the easiest to find and purchase.

For $50 to $70, your family can purchase an used mountain sleeping bag. The mountain bags are becoming 'collectable' that's the reason for the range in prices. For $60, you can buy an used intermediate cold weather sleeping bag. For $100, you can buy an used extreme cold weather sleeping bag. A new condition sleeping bag will be $100 for the intermediate bag and $150 for a new extreme cold weather sleeping bag. Needless to say, your family will probably want the canvas water-resistant cover, if you're planning to use the older bags outdoors. The canvas cover are $9 used and $15 new.

Lastly, for as low as $70, you and your family can purchase a complete modular sleep system this includes the stuff sack, patrol bag, intermediate, and bivy bag. Of course, this is a used sleep system. The bags may have broken snaps on the sleeping bags and bivy bag, very small holes in the sleeping bag material, and buckles broken on the stuff sack.

Of course, you and your family can purchase just the components you need. For about $20, you can purchase a patrol bag or an intermediate bag. A gortex bivy bag will set you back about $35.


Army - Military Modular Sleep System, V.G. Condition

Army - Patrol Bag or Intermediate Sleeping Bag

Army - Gortex Bivy Bag

April 5, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Narcissus radiiflorus

Spring is Here!

And, the renewal that it brings.

Plus, all the work, too.

Water Production
Many years ago, one of the defunct 'survival' magazines had an advertisement about a new product, called dehydrated water. It was awesome; all you needed to do was to add water to the contents of this special mylar bag. Sadly, the product was taken out of production because of cost issues.

However, thanks to the internet and the willingness of folks to part the unprepared from their money, a new company is offering a new and improved product, dehydrated water in capsules. For only $2.95, plus shipping, you and your family can stock up on water without the hassle of filling those containers, until you need them. Plus, you don't need a special mylar bag because the dehydrated water capsule can be re-hydrated in any container.

Man, that was a blast from the past but back to my point, I wasn't making.

Because of last year's very dry summer, we will be installing a water catchment system. Needless to say, I will be taking pictures and describing our efforts.

Note #1:
I apologize for being four days late with this blurb.

Note #2:
I did not mean to imply or say the company I linked to is one of those rip-off companies because they clearly state "Great novelty or gag gift item that others will talk about for years to come"

Food Production
Last year, we had some ornamental trees start to die. At first, we thought the trees had some kind of disease; they don't. The trees have just grown old and are dying.

Who knew trees had a life span? So, ...

We are replacing the ornamental trees with fruit trees. If you remember, we put in three apple trees and two pear trees, two or three years ago.

This year, we will put in three to six cherry trees. Right now, I am just going to purchase them from one of the big box home centers, unless I can find a local source for late-blooming cherry trees.

Power Production
We have an all electric home, so we heat our home with grid-power. We also have 'emergency' heat from a wood stove and a fireplace. The fireplace is in our great room, and the wood stove is on our lanai'. (Lanai' is Hawaiian for a decorated porch that can be enclosed or open to the outside)

Our lanai' is enclosed, so it is awesome on snowy winter days with a fire burning in the wood stove. Plus, we can heat the whole house with the fireplace and the wood stove. Because, like most people, we have lost power once or twice and had to heat the house.

Well, wood will last longer, if it is protected from the elements.

So, I am investing in a wood shed (I'll be building it) to store about one cord of wood, more than enough to get us through one or two weeks of no grid power.

Plus, I am going to research a small solar power system. I don't know anything about solar, but it seems interesting. We will see.

Lastly, 'Gray' Swans
There are a couple of possible events taking place that could cause unexpected disruption to our lives, a 'Gray' Swan.

First, I heard on one of the financial shows that South Korea produces many high tech essential components, like computer chips. If they are attacked or invaded by North Korea, we may see some disruption in high tech chips. How will this disrupt our preps?

Same goes for our food supply. How will we feed the South and North Korean refugees?

And our financial difficulties?

And those pesky anti-freedom (gun control) measures?

P.S. #1
You heard it here, first! I started a new survivalist/prepper word "Gray Swans" : - )

P.S. #2
Sadly, I didn't invent it.

The New Yorker - Nassim Taleb on Risk and Robustness

P.S. #3
An interesting article

Bloomberg: Views - Alice Schroeder: Many Black Swans make the Metaphor Meaningless

April 12, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Over 250,000
Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness has surpassed 250 thousand page views.

Thanks for the support.

Come back tomorrow.

April 13, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Before I began, in this article, we aren't talking about the run of the mill disasters, like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes. We are talking about the extreme emergencies such as wide-scale ethnic and religious violence, wholesale death numbering in the millions, and the other very low probability events, like Zombies!!! (Not really, but you get the point. I hope.)

Group of Zombies
Joel Friesen

Stealing and Looting
My brothers and I were talking the other day about acquiring stuff before, during, and after a disaster; and the subject of "stealing" and "looting" came up. Needless to say, like most people, we all agreed that "stealing" and "looting" before, during, and after a disaster is illegal and immoral.

Just to be clear, for us, stealing is taking anything, even temporarily, without permission from its owner. Yes, even if you give it back.

And, ...

It is something we believe; you and your family should avoid before, during, and after a disaster.

Because, ...

First, it's immoral; second, it's illegal; and lastly, it would suck being in prison, leaving your family unprotected, during a wide-scale disaster because you committed grand larceny two months, too early.

But, ...

Like us, y'all would probably steal to survive, especially to feed your family.

Well, there seems to be an out. It's called ...

Scrounging or Scavenging
It would seem that during and after a disaster, the Law allows people to "steal" to survive. Yep, you read that right. You are 'allowed' to take the needed supplies during and after a disaster to survive.

But, ...

Only those items that would allow you to survive, like shelter, water, and food. Plus, there is no guarantee you won't be prosecuted, either

Also remember, ...

If you take other people's food and supplies during and after a disaster, you just might end up dead. Remember, preppers carry firearms to protect ourselves, our families, and our essential supplies during a disaster, for this reason.

So, ...

What does this have to do with you and your family?

First, realize that prepared and unprepared people might try and kill you and your family for your family's essential supplies, such as shelter, water, food, medical supplies, and firearms and ammo.

Yep, that's right. Another prepper may try and take your family's supplies because they are running out of water, food, ammunition, or other consumable.

Second, you, your partner, and older children need to sit down and talk about this issue of stealing to survive. Possibly running through some scenarios, such as ...

* During a snowstorm, your family loses electricity. The local sheriff's deputy comes by the house and tells you the power will be out for one week. Do you 'steal' the neighbor's woodpile (They're in Florida for the winter) or go to the emergency shelter?

* During country-wide ethnic or religious violence, you're on the border between the two sides. Do you 'steal' the next door neighbor's home (because they are the wrong religion) to put your brother's family up because they were kick out of their home deep in 'enemy' territory with only the clothes on their back or do you evacuate to another country, if you can?

* During a mega-quake, that kills millions and destroys homes, do you 'steal' gravel from the county gravel pile to provide a suitable floor for an open bottom tent because of the mud? How about a backhoe to dig slit trenches for latrines or graves for the dead?

Next, if you have a group, y'all need to talk about this same issue, early on. Some people, as they talk about it, will have no problem killing an older, severely injured, handicapped, or other 'non-essential' person because those people are "stealing" water and food from the healthy people.

Or, ...

Commit some other atrocity.

Plus, their opinions may or may not align with your views on helping injured family and friends so they may have to go away.

Fourth, don't expect to raid China-Mart for your last minute supplies. Another stronger group probably already has plans to do that. Getting into a brief firefight, maybe with the police or national guard, is the last thing you and your family want to do, during and after a disaster.

So, ...

You need to expect that all major, and probably minor, local retailers will be mobbed by the villains and unprepared people. Don't be there.

If your group plans to conduct a raid on the local China-Mart to stock-up, you are probably going to end up killing someone.


Other desperate people will be rushing to the stores too. They may or may not fight you for the loot. If you fire a warning shot, all the unarmed mob needs to do is rush you, so you will have to retreat or shoot them.

Lastly, please understand. I don't have all the answers. You and your family are going to have to talk about this (Some would say pray and read your religious texts for some insight, too) to plan what you would do.

Wikipedia - Theft (Stealing)

Wikipedia - Looting

Wikipedia - Waste Picker

April 19, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

How Much Time?
I was reading a couple of different 'prepper' blogs this week and kind'a received a few strange vibes. The first was that some folks think we have a decade or two before the 'collapse.' The next vibe was that we only have a few weeks before 'it' happens.

Folks, unless these people can see into the future, I think, they haven't a clue on how much time we have left before the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI)

So, ...

You and your family, in my opinion, should be stocking up on the basics such as water, food, guns, and medical supplies for any immediate near-term event. These preps will cover you for most short-term emergencies because we might just have a few weeks before 'It" happens.

And, ...

You should be researching, planning, saving for, purchasing, and implementing those longer-term solutions that will make your family's survival easier like water collection (water catchment systems, i.e. rain barrels, water storage tanks, and water filtering), food production (fruit and nut trees, food gardening, and storing more long-term food storage), power production (active and passive solar systems, methane digesters, or a diesel generator), and anything else that will take years to implement because I have been prepping for a couple of years now, and 'It' still hasn't happened, yet.

YouTube: EMI Music - R.E.M.: It's The End Of The World

April 26, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

I've been busy, so ...

I was listening to National Prepper Radio (NPR) and they were interviewing the outgoing director of the Rapid Acquisition Program (RAP). During the interview, the Colonel said that the team had built a combat outpost then the RAP staffed the outpost with 24 soldiers for two-weeks.

After two weeks a marketing research company interviewed the participants. The results indicated needed changes.

Cool, huh.

Well, ...

This story has some implications for preppers. First, we (you and your family) need to get out and practice with your family's gear and practice those skills, too. After that's done, you and your family need to talk (Yes, talk) about what was good, doesn't need to be changed and the bad, what needs to be changed then make those changes, if possible.

Second, it takes (according to these U.S. military) 24 people to staff a combat outpost and run patrols.

Third, ...

Lastly, if it's in your threat analysis, you might want to do some research on combat outposts. Needless to say, there are some links for you to check out.

American Public Media: Marketplace - Today's Army marches on its batteries while searching for alternatives

U.S. Marines - Logistics Marines embrace expeditionary energy, improve reliability of communications

Combat Outpost Afghanstan

CNN - Inside a Combat Outpost

Daily Life for US Soldiers on the Afghan/Pakistan Border

"How We Sleep" -- Marines in Marjah, Afghanistan

Laundry in a combat zone? Marines show you how

April 26, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

If, If, If, ...

You and your family are planning for a violent collapse of civilization, you need to listen to this guy.

YouTube: Maine Prepper - Preppers will die in WROL

WROL = Without Rule of Law

May 3, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Please, Bear with Me ; - )

Coola, Eight Years Old on Grouse Mountain
Vern Hall

As I try and work out my thoughts on the next two or three ideas. Thanks.

Home Box Office (HBO) has a documentary called "Manhunt: The Search for Bin Laden." I have seen about thirty minutes of the show; it will be on again at 1:45pm CST on May 4th. I suggest you watch it.

A. V. Club - Manhunt,97187/

Be careful if you do an internet search for "Manhunt" and "Television," it returns some gay porn results.

Digital Identity
Next, io9 had an article about a video about a new book titled "The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations, and Business" by Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen.

io9 - How virtual reality will reshape your life

I want You to Remember
First, ordinary people, just like you, can and will justify hunting you down and killing you or capturing you then torturing you. Yes, even in these United States.

Next, technology is going to, if it hasn't already, allow people to analysis your every library book checkout, internet and credit card purchase, website visited, financial transaction, book downloads, charity donations, and ... In other words, your every move, if they think you and your family are a possible threat.

That's not going where I want it to go, so let me try again.

A Synergy of Two Ideas
According to the two sources, there will be (is) the ability to view and analysis our digital and analog life. The viewing and analyzing will be done by private and public entities for many reasons, such as employment, medical, insurance, housing, security, and many other areas. Many will be trying to make money, legal and illegal.

And, ...

That will have ramifications for our families.

First, and this has to do with the recent bombings in Boston, Massachusetts. Security cameras were used to help identify the bombers. In (formerly) Great Britain, especially London, there are over 10,000 security cameras watching its citizens and visitors.

And, ...

Don't forget citizens taking pictures of their family and friends, with you and your family in the background. These same pictures uploaded to the internet will allow people to put you in a certain place and a certain time. Plus, these pictures may allow other information to be gleaned from them.

Second, our purchases (including the local cash purchases) will be able to be used to identify our lifestyles, and just not our prepper lifestyle, either. Think about it.

Do you have food storage delivered, that you bought with a debit/credit card, delivered to your home? How about ammo and standard 30-round magazines? Heck that was too easy.

How about, do you use a store reward card when you buy food? Or, extra canned food for food storage? That was a little harder, but governments and companies can still use this information.

Third, moving to some 'community' will not work. This large congregation of like minded folks will just allow authorities and commercial interests to more easily monitor folks including 'radicals.'

Lastly, ...

Two things.

Some folks have probably already thought about this stuff. To me it seems, there is really no solution to these situations because even if we make it illegal, companies and governments will subvert the laws for their own purposes.

Next, this seems, even to me, to be very "Tin-Foil Hat" kind'a stuff.

So, ...

Take it for what it's worth and keep prepping!

Fringe Focus - Analog is Not the Opposite of Digital

An interesting article about "analog"

London Evening Standard - Tens of Thousands of CCTV Cameras, yet 80% of crime Unsolved

May 10, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

A cache is basically hiding supplies for later. It can be as simple as a plastic tote in your sister's basement, or as complex as a 500-gallon septic tank filled with a year's worth of supplies buried at your retreat.

Needless to say, your threat analysis will determine what and how much you are storing for an emergency.

For my family, we have the possibility of a massive earthquake on our threat analysis.This earthquake could disrupt regional services.

So, ...

We are stating to build a cache, if our home is destroyed.

I apologize folks; I have to go.

YouTube: Southern Prepper 1 - A 500 gallon septic tank for a cache or small underground shelter.

May 17, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Please Accept My Apologies
My posting may become a little erratic because I have been accepted into college for the summer. I will be taking two classes in physics and another self-study class in ... OPSEC! The physics classes will be taken at the same time (PHY 101 and PHY 102); they usually are supposed to be one after the other, not the same time. The self-study course usually takes up to six months to complete; I will try to complete it in the next two weeks.

Aftermath of the December 26th tsunami
which destroyed Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements, U.S. Navy

The Impossible
My partner and I recently rented "The Impossible." It's a movie starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as the parents of three children caught in the Indian Ocean tsunami, seven years ago.

If you have a chance, you and your family need to watch the movie. As you watch the movie; according to my research, it's a reliable recreation of the events for the family; I want you to think about the priorities of "Air, Shelter, Water, Food, Medical, ...."

Internet Movie Database -The Impossible

The Other 90%
When I was younger, I would go clothes shopping with my mother. If she found something nice but impractical, she would say something like 'That's a fun shirt.'

Well, ...

Have you read Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse. It's a fun book.

Needless to say, I just slammed  "Patriots" because the book is impractical for 90% of survivalists and almost all preppers.

But, ...

You still need to read the book (The first one, not the second one. The second really sucked, totally useless) because it will give you a chance to see another person's opinion on the importance supplies and equipment for survival.

Of course, don't buy the book; borrow it from the local library.

Prepping is going so mainstream. No one will notice if you checkout the book.

But, ...

If you're worried about OPSEC. Read the book at the library.

May 24, 2103

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Conventional Wisdom
I read a couple of those 'lifestyle' magazines such as Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, Desert Magazine, and many others, at the local library, for free of course.

In one of these magazines' articles, the writer suggested de-cluttering my family's linen closet. Good idea because clutter makes it difficult to find stuff, even during 'normal' times.

As I read the article, the author made one after another suggestion, such as:

* Only own two sets of bed linen (one in the close; the other on the bed)

* Only own two blankets for each bed (one heavy, one light)

* Only own enough towels to last a week

and so on.

Empty Closet
with improvised ironing board hanger
So, I took everything out of the closet, including the contact-paper covered wooden shelves, repainted and installed new contemporary wire shelving.

It looks sweet! (I wish, I had a before picture)

After I did that, I sorted through all of our stuff into three piles, Keep, Give, or Trash.

Before I continue, let me explain 'Keep, Give, or Trash" and give you an example

Keep = What items are you going to keep for your family. Either in its current closet, moved to a different closet, or placed into storage.

We kept all of our family's sheets and blankets then moved the children's extra sheets and blankets to their closets.

Give = give to family, friends, or charity. Needless to say, these items should be in usable condition. If you want to go through the hassle, you can sell these items, instead.

We gave all of our mismatched sheets, pillow cases, and odd-sized comforter sets to a local charity

Trash =  the items that are unusable are thrown away.

We trashed any old, worn sheets.

Of course, some folks will say 'You should have kept the worn sheets to use as material for clothing repairs or other projects.' That's true.

But, ...

My family and I have decided to be mindful about what we store, so we can avoid hoarding. (You know that show on A&E. Nope, TLC. Nope, it's ... I hate 'reality' t.v.)

Then, ...

'Organized' Closet
I started putting the "keep" pile, minus the stuff we moved to other closets or storage, back into the hall closet.

Of course, everyone in the family will use this closet, so I made sure to place items at the appropriate level.

Two Things, ...

First, my wife has been after me for years to store some supplies upstairs like toothpaste, dental floss, shampoo, hair conditioner, body wash, and other frequently used consumables. I finally compromised this year by purchasing a few small plastic boxes and loading with some of those items.

Second, that totally rad ironing board holder.

Improvised Over-the-Door Ironing Board Holder
I improvised it out of two inexpensive, on sale for $1, over-the-door wreath holders.

The ironing board rattles, a little bit, but it only does it when the door is being opened. For $2, I'm happy.

Needless to say, there is a more expensive hanger ...

Oh, I apologize; I almost forgot, the reason for this article.

The author of the original article assumed (normalcy bias?) that the magazine's readers will be able to always replace thier towels and other linens, cheaply, in the future.

Think about it. How much have prices increased these last few years? Plus, what happens if the electricity fails? Will you be able to keep your family warm with only one heavy and one light blanket?

Additionally, ...

I can tell you from experience; flannel sheets (and thick wool blankets) are wonderful during late fall to early spring. But once we hit mid-spring into summer, the blankets and flannel sheets come off the bed and smooth, light percale sheets are on the beds until just after early fall.

Of course, because of our threat analysis, we have and will purchase one or two extra sheet sets with pillow cases and blankets when they go on sale at our local and national retailers. We store these extra (wool and synthetic) blankets and sheets in the basement.

Just like food storage, when we need a new set of sheets, we will get the item out of storage then buy a new item, to replace it, that new item goes into storage. Of course, with the current financial conditions, buying a suitable and similar replacement will probably be more expensive.

As a side note, Scout, my brother, was stationed in Korea up on the DMZ. While he was there, he sent everyone in the family a 'mink' blanket. These mink blankets are thick, warm synthetic blankets made out of (I think) polyester. Since he was in Korea, he got them cheap, at about $5.00 each. He still complains; he could have gotten them cheaper, but Team Spirit, Foal Eagle, or some other big military exercise was going on.

In these United States, you can purchase these synthetic blankets in different weights at China-Mart for $10 to $20, on sale. We have bought one light-weight and one heavy-weight blanket for each bed in our home. Plus, we have some military wool blankets for emergencies.

Closet Organization Tips - How to Declutter and Clean Out Your Closet

May 25, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

By now, you have heard of the attack on a British serviceman, on Wednesday, in London.

The attack was committed with a car and large knives or meat cleavers, very low tech.

And, ...

As one source commented "... the simplicity of the attack made prevention difficult;" " ... this was relatively straightforward to carry out," and "... that is frankly pretty challenging." to prevent.

What is particularly worrisome is the possibility, the attack was a 'lone wolf' terrorism event.

CNN - British soldier's gory slaying yields more arrests, searches and questions

Reuters - British police ponder conspiracy after soldier murder

Wikipedia - Lone Wolf (Terrorism)

God Protects the ...
What Ingrid Loyau-Kennett did was courageous, confronting the killers.

But, ...

It was stupid because the killers could have very easily turned on her.

Remember, as a prepper, if your family isn't involved, you and your family leave the area, quickly.

If you can't, neutralize the threat then treat the causalities.

Needless to Say ...
You, your partner, and your older children need to carry your firearms with you, at all times.

Some folks will be offended.

But, ...

I have to say it.

Three Types of Machetes

If your government disarms you, machetes make good weapons.

And, ...

If anyone asks, you need it to cut brush.

May 31, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Financial Preparedness
The prepper intraweb is suggesting everyone get out of paper money and into silver, gold, and other tangibles because our country (Britain, India, Canada, Germany, Russia, Sweden, China, France, Italy, and ... just not these United States) is supposedly headed for a financial collapse. O.K.

But, ...

What if 'It' doesn't happen or almost happens? Let me explain.

As most of you know, I was terminated a few months ago, so keep that in mind as you read this blurb.

I bought 100 ounces of silver at $31.76, a few years ago. If I sold it now, I would receive about $22.00 an ounce, from a dealer. I could probably get $28 to $30 an ounce from an E-bay auction. (If I was unscrupulous, I could probably get $50 an ounce)

Either way, I lose money except for the unscrupulous way..

So, ...

Right now, an emergency fund, with six months worth of expenses covered, would be a lot better. An emergency fund with 12 months worth of expenses covered would even be a lot betterer ; - )

That $31.76 an ounce was after all the fees, shipping, and other costs were added to my purchase. Remember, you must add your costs to the purchase price to get your 'real' cost for each ounce.

Note 2:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know! I have repeatedly suggested y'all buy water storage containers, food storage (long and short-term) SKS rifles with 500 rounds of ammunition, first-aid supplies, rugged clothing, and other supplies, and I go out and buy 100 ounces of silver.

Remember, your family and my family may be in a different stage of getting prepared for emergencies, so you and your family have to decide what y'all are going to do.

But, ...

As always, for the family just starting out, I recommend you and your family purchase and store (and learn how to use it) water storage containers, food storage (short and long-term), first-aid supplies, firearms with ammunition, and many other supplies and skills before you buy any precious metals such as silver and gold.

And, ...

As the recent tornado taught us; having proper shelter is a good idea too.

A Man and Two Children
Exit a Storm Shelter
Thanks to Commander Zero over at Notes from the Bunker for the link to the picture, over at the Daily Mail's article about the tornado.

June 7, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Ramon Making Bread
Zack Clark

Ancient, Primitive, and Antique Technology
Spartan, one of my brothers, and I were talking about earthen ovens the other day, and I got to thinking about ancient, primitive, and antique technology.

My first thought was how, way back in the '80s, folks would talk about using nuclear weapons to bomb some country, usually the soviet union, back to the stone-age.

Guess what? That would be almost impossible because there is a great amount of primitive or antique technology that is still used, such as earthen oven. Just look at the Amish.

How to Build an Earthen Oven - Jas Townsend and Son Cooking Series

Baking Bread in the Earthen Oven Part 2 - Cooking Series Jas. Townsend and Son, inc.

June 14, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

British Royal Navy Trainees
at the Eastern Warfare School
February 1945
Lt. D.C. Oulds, Royal Navy Photographer

Warm Weather Gear
It's getting warm, again. Just like last year.

No, I don't mean global warming; I mean summer's coming, again, in the Northern hemisphere. Just like last year.

So, ...

We need to be wearing long sleeve shirts, long pants, and wide-brimmed hats to protect our skin from the sun. Oh, and shoes to protect our feet.

Now, some people would say that's overkill, but I want you to think about something.

How many bottles of sunscreen do you have in your stockpile of supplies?

And, ...

How long would it last if you and your family used it everyday? Because during an event, you might be outside every day working to clean up.

Getting a sunburn, like I did a couple of weeks ago, could impair your abilities.

My Story
A couple of weeks ago, I mowed the lawn wearing just a pair of shorts and shoes. My upper back and thighs were sunburned after a three hour job. Yes, it was cool and cloudy, but I still received too much sun.

It sucked.

I was in moderate pain for a few days. Wearing a shirt was painful because my neck would become irritated from the shirt collar. Plus, I couldn't get a good night's sleep; my back hurt so much.

Usually, I wear a long sleeve shirt with a collar, long pants, a pair of boots, and a wide brim hat when I mow the grass, but I blew it off.

A big mistake, ...

Especially during a disaster.

When to Purchase
Now a days, there are 'special' clothes that will protect you and your family from painful sunburns from companies like L.L. Bean and Lands' End, but they're expensive.

A cheaper method is to purchase long sleeve shirts from the local thrift store that goes for pants, too. You can also get bargain prices at the end of the summer season.

As for hats, I purchase two wide-brimmed straw hats every year from our local 'farm and home' store at the beginning of spring. They are usually on sale, at that time.

S. Kanda, poultry caretaker, formerly from Olympia Washington,
tends baby chicks at a poultry farm
Francis Stewart,
War Relocation Authority Photographer

Katniss has some friends that are elementary school teachers, and every year, her friends hatch eggs in their kindergarten classes. Well, at the end of the lesson, they have baby chicks.

This year, we took twelve of the chicks. One was a rooster and eleven are hens.

What does this have to do with prepping?

First, free hens. We saved about $25 taking those 'free' chicks.

Second, in about 3 months, those chicks will be egg laying hens producing about eight eggs, a day. At $3 to $4 a dozen that will be between $700 to $975 before expenses.

Plus, we get some practice raising hens for eggs.

Next, we will take that money and roll it into buying equipment for the chickens, like waters and feeders.

So, ...

We end up with chickens and all of their equipment, for free! (and a lot of work) Plus, some experience raising  barnyard livestock. ; - )

Hens will produce eggs for about five years. After the first three years, the number of eggs produced will decrease.

Hens don't need roosters to produce eggs. They need roosters to produce more chicks.

Roosters will crow at any time, just not at sunrise.

Lastly, you and your family can't expect to to acquire chickens and all their stuff during an event because other people will be thinking the same things.

So, ...

If you and your family plan to have chickens during the coming collapse, you need to be acquiring the supplies, now. Not later. That goes for the chickens, too.

June 21, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

For Sale

Safely Selling Your Home
According to one local source, home sells are surging.

So, ...

More and more people will be trying to sell their home, including preppers.

Well, ...

As you already know, you and your family have some stuff that would be inconvenient for others to know about, such as the year supply of long-term food storage, two 55-gallon water barrels, numerous firearms with ammunition, and ... You get my point.

Plus, the ordinary every day stuff that you try to protect like the LCD t.v., computers, and other stuff.

So, how do you protect yourself.

First, move your sensitive items to off-site storage. Your water and food storage could go to a local storage facility. Your firearms and ammunition could be moved to a trusted relative's home for safe keeping, and your precious metals could be stored in a safety deposit box. (On second thought, I think you should cache your family's gold and silver in a safer place because of the possibility of safety deposit boxes being confiscated in the near future)

Next, depersonalize your home. Yeah, that sounds weird but home buyers want to see themselves in your home, not your stuff.

So, ...

Paint your home's walls a nice bright white or other neutral color, de-clutter, and remove family pictures, especially of your children. Don't forget the personal documents, too, like checkbooks, bank statements, credit card bills because identity theft is a possibility, too.

Third, Don't let anyone in your home without an appointment, especially if you're home. Needless to say, you will need to tell your children, too because villains will use that big "For Sale" sign in your front yard to gain access to your home, a la' a home invasion scam.

Lastly, read the link for other ideas.

Yahoo: Voices - Safety and Privacy when Selling Your Home

Ten Years
I was listening to a recent episode of The Survival Podcast and Mr Spirko postulated that we have about ten years before an economic collapse.

Think about that for a moment, ten years.

How old are you, right now? Now add ten years.

How old will you be, then? 30, 35, 40, 50, 75 years old?

How about your children? Will they have families, too? How old will your grandchildren be?

Enough question because you get my point.

Now, I want you to think about the improvements you and your family could make to your home to increase your family's chance to survive during this event.

Could you remove an ornamental tree, or two, and replace it with a fruit tree, like pear, apple, or peach trees? How about building some raised-bed garden with those cement landscaping blocks? Building a chicken coop?

How about upgrading your home's attic insulation? Upgrading your outside door locks with deadbolts? Replacing round door knobs with door handles?

O.K. More later, in another post because I'm sleepy.

Survival Podcast - Episode 1147: Portrait of a Financial Collapse

If you read the comments, they kind'a get into a pissing match about civil war/war of secession. It doesn't matter.

Because, ...

From 1861 to 1865 saw the bloodiest war these United States ever participated in, with over 620.000 dead or wounded. Oops, it seems it's 750.000, now.

Either estimate, ...

That doesn't include civilians.

Shotgun's Home of the American Civil War - The Price in Blood: Casulties in the Civil War

The New Your Times: Science - New Estimate Raises Civil War Death Toll

June 28, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

USS Lyman K. Swenson firing at targets
in Vietnam (1965)
The concussion from the firing, shook loose rust
everywhere on the ship
Lt. (JG) Ron Gerber, USN

Fires needs three things to start and spread; heat, fuel, and oxygen. Remove one of these and a fire will never happen that's why an empty concrete building will never burn. There is no fuel.

Same goes for your home. If you remove fuels, such as stacks of old newspapers, wood piled against the house, cans of gasoline in the garage and oily rags in the kitchen. A house fire can be prevented.

Auburn University - The Combustion Process

Rust is similar to fire; it needs moisture, iron, and oxygen. Remove any one of these and the item will not rust. That's why we (you and your family) store long-term food storage, packed in metal cans, in a cool, dry place.

WiseGeek - What is Rust?

Potential Rip-Off
I was over at some prepper blog, and the author was promoting a product from called "emergency food boxes." For $66.45, or less when purchased in bulk, you get some cardboard boxes, plastic bags, desiccant, and other stuff to protect twenty-four #10 cans from rusting (four cases of #10 cans)


But, ...

For $9.95, a prepper can purchase from China-Mart a box of 'Stack-On Safe 'n Dry Desiccant, 10-Pack,' some plastic trash bags, and a few zip-ties, reuse the current cardboard boxes, and protect 60 cans (ten cases of #10 cans)

Needless to say, you might be able to do this cheaper if you use a product such as Drierite, some coffee filters, and some very small zip-ties (and all the other stuff, too) for even more long-term food storage cans.

Of course, if you're really frugal, you can improvise desiccant from cat litter.


As you can tell, I think the's emergency food boxes are flawed.

Because, ...

Plastic bags, no matter their thickness, will allow water vapor to enter the bag, so there is the possibility the system will fail to protect the long-term food storage metal cans for twenty-five years.

That's why we use mylar bags for packing our bulk long-term food storage.

Link: Archived Thread - Home Made Desiccant

GSIEP - It's Not That Easy (Food Storage) 

It's Unf*nking Believable

PLoS One’s
Fifth Birthday Cake
Stacy Konkiel

Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness
Five Years Old!

Yes, I know. The baker spelled the name wrong, but ...

I got the cake, cheap ; - )

July 5, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

I have a several buddies that are deeply religious; They believe, their version, their way. Anything else and they get very upset. (By the way, they don't believe the same thing)

I have another buddy; who is very laid back. He believes Jesus is the way to salvation, and if you want to listen to religious heavy metal, read scripture, wear jeans to church, or just about anything else, he's cool with it. Just don't tell him what to believe.

Lastly, Katniss, my wife, is a graduate of a local seminary. (I think; she has a BA in Divinity)

So, what does this have to do with prepping.

Well, ...

I was thinking about the story where Jesus says everyone should eat fish on Fridays.

Guess what?

Jesus didn't say that.

It seems, a group of folks got together, a couple centuries later, and decided to help out the local fishermen.

Normally, I would put this in the "Weekly Dose of Doom and Gloom" but I wanted to talk about the event in a little more depth.

First, ...

This conflict could escalate to cause disruptions world-wide because 'moderate'  Muslims are behind the so-called Second Revolution. (Remember, the Muslim Brotherhood is a powerful organization with ties to regions around the world) and they probably won't take this setback laying down

Second, ...

It seems, moderate Muslims are starting to understand that groups like the Muslim Brotherhood are about power. Like any other dictator, they want control for the sake of control.

And, ...

That's good news. If we can help the people of Egypt without screwing it up.

Third, ...

We still have a long way to go before this world has "Peace' in the middle east and elsewhere.

That means, ...

We will see more wars; more likely, in places we haven't heard about; that these United States will need to be involved in; again

Home Improvement
Folks, a disaster is going to happen when the disaster happens, not a moment sooner.

So, ...

You and your family need to be getting prepared, sooner than later.

With that said, ...

Y'all need to be having a life beyond getting prepared for an event.

By this, I mean you and your family need to be bicycling, sightseeing, bowling, or doing some other family friendly sport.

Or, ...

You could be doing some home improvement projects.

Like, ...

Making a rain chain with a decorative pot and gravel to divert rainwater away from the house.

Or, ...

Making a small garden wall to hold a pot for your partner's flowers

Yeah, I still need to level it

Or, ...

Spef'en up the front entrance to your home, to increase it's resale value

Another 20 feet and I'll be to the street
Yeah, I'm showing off my handiwork.

But, ...

You and your family can't be all doom and gloom, all the time. Y'all (I'll say it again) need to be out doing stuff, that your family enjoys.

Latter-day Saints
Lastly, ...

In that last picture, you can see (in the doorway) my family's recent long-term food storage order from the Latter-day Saints distribution center, two cases of white rice (60 pounds) and 200 oxygen absorbers.

Needless to say, at about $90, you and your family can (no pun intended) do better self-packing white rice from COSTCO, Sam's, Albertson's, or your local grocery store. That's the reason for the 200 oxygen absorbers ; - )

GSIEP - It's Not That Easy (Food Storage)

GSIEP - It's Not That Easy (Food Storage), Part Two

July 12, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

On a Short, Quick Vacation

So, ...

You may or may not get any blog from me.

So, ...

Here's a quick link to someone else's opinion about getting prepared for the up coming financial collapse.

The Economic Collapse Blog - 25 Things That You Should Do To Get Prepared For The Coming Economic Collapse

One on Preparing for an Energy Crisis
Here's another on preparing for a severe energy crisis (Peak Oil)

Resilience - Preparing for a Crash: Nuts and Bolts

July 19, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Bridge Destroyed by a Car Bomb

Blowing Up Bridges
A few years ago, I was talking to some folks about prepping.

And, ...

Someone suggested the need to blow up a bridge leading into 'their' city or county to prevent the golden horde overwhelming the local resources, such as shelter, water, food, and ...

Before you get all shocked and outraged, I want you to know this idea has been in circulation around prepping and survivalism for many decades. Heck, you see it every once in a while in Zombie movies, so it's a mainstream idea.

Well, guess what?

It's a poor idea, a very poor idea!


First, do you (and I mean you personally) and the folks in that city or county have the resources and knowledge to rebuild that bridge, if you blow it up?

Next, what about relief supplies? How are those supplies going to be delivered to you and your neighbors?

By helicopter?

Folks, trucks, especially tractor trailers, can carry a lot more water, food, and other essentials then a helicopters.

And, ...

After a major disaster, you and your family; heck, the whole area; are going to need a lot of water, food, and blankets to survive something a little bigger than a local event. Something helicopters can only substain for for a short time.

Third, do y'all know how to blow up a bridge? Safely? A lot of people talk like it's very easy to blow up a bridge. It isn't.

If you know what you're doing, it takes about 150 pounds (69 Kilograms) of explosive to destroy a medium size bridge.

Remember, 'if you know what you're doing.' If you don't, it will take a lot more explosives.

As I mentioned (and almost forgot) Do you know the safety rules for explosives and blasting caps?

Lastly, do you have access to explosives (I'm talking C-4, Ammonium Nitrate, Dynamite, and ...; not, black powder, Tannerite, or homemade stuff), electric or non-electric blasting caps (You know the difference, right?), and detonation cord, time fuse, or very long lengths of electrical wire?

July 26, 2013

Dear Peppers and Survivalists,

Under the Weather
Monday night, I felt a little queasy. By Tuesday morning, I had stomach cramps and a runny stool.

Needless to say, I ended up at the local urgent care suffering from the complications of dehydration.

So, ...

A lot of stuff has been put on hold, like the blog, yard work, and other stuff.

Listen to Your Partner
First off, I have learned something from this medical emergency. You and I need to listen to our partners because they care about us. That means getting our preventative medicals tests, updating our immunizations, and seeing the dentist.

Of course, some folks are going to scough at these suggestions because they are on a limited budget. I have many friends in this situation.

My suggestion, ...

Access those free or reduced services provided by the various charitable and governmental organizations. You may need to swallow your pride seeking 'assistance' but Do It even if it involves your workplace.

Stock a Medicine Cabinet
I have been sceptical about stocking over the counter medicines. In the past, I felt it was a waste of money because these drugs would expire before being used by most peppers.

I have changed my mind.

So, ...

I will be doing g some research for y'all on this subject.

Upcoming Stuff
I have been hitting shelter, water, food, and the basics for a couple months.

So, ...

I have become a little bored, as you can probably tell.

So, ...

I will be writing some articles (to increase readership, of course) on other more 'controversial' subjects.

Needless to say, y'all will have to come back, next week ; - )

August 2, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

There is a Problem
Some folks have to have a barely visible scapegoat to explain the problems of the world, such as "Jews," "Bankers," or the "Illuminati."

And, ...

That's the problem with this video.

The video's producers have to have some backroom conspiracy to explain the financial problems facing our nation (Remember, the financial difficulties aren't limited to just your nation, it is worldwide)

I Lost the Video during Transfer : - (

So, ...

They blame the bankers, and that's where they mess up the video.

O.K. that was really weird.

So, ...

I'm going to try again.

This is an informative video about the 'Why?" of our current financial problems.

Wikipedia - Illuminati

I was watching a movie called "Gunless;" it was hilarious. I highly suggest the movie for its subtle comedy and social commentary.

And, ...

The gun fight ; - )

That was an inside joke from the movie

With that said, ...

With the availability of inexpensive heavy equipment like skid steers, excavators, bulldozers, and other heavy equipment, explosives have become obsolete.

In a time of expensive energy (Peak Oil) heavy equipment may become unavailable, so the prepper will need to know the basics of explosives.

Now, some preppers are going to object because explosives have become vilified (to a certain extent) by security services because explosives have been used by terrorists. That is a mistake because explosives can be a work saver in many situations.

IMDB - Gunless

August 3, 2013

Dear Peppers and Survivalists,

A Ginger Cat Looking Very Cute

Safety, Safety, and More Safety
The next couple of Fridays, really Saturdays, I am going to be writing about explosives. Yes, explosives.

Hey, I want my reader statistics to skyrocket ; - )

So, ...

Explosives are dangerous, very dangerous. You can kill yourself with explosives.

I could care less if you killed yourself doing something stupid.

But, ...

I worry that you will kill someone else with your stupidity, like your children, your partner, or your cat.

So, ...

Make sure you do your due diligence before attempting any of these things, I will describe or link to.

The System
Before I begin, you need some knowledge about, what I call, "The System"

Picture of simple system

The Ignition Source
Usually, a heat source or electrical charge will start the process. A match will light the time fuse; and an electrical charge will be sent down the wire to the blasting cap. Once the fuse is all used up; or the electrical charge hits the blasting cap; the blasting cap (which is in the explosives) will cause the explosives to explode.

Time Fuse or Electrical Wire
Depending on the type of blasting cap, you have, will determine if you need time fuse or electrical wire. Time fuse is for non-electrical blasting caps, and electrical blasting caps require (wait for it) electrical wire.

Blasting Caps
Blasting caps come in two varieties, non-electric and electric. I was told, and I'm trying to find a source to confirm, that blasting caps have different sensitivities.

This different sensitivity requires the 'more sensitive' blasting caps to be handled very, very, carefully (in a Bugs Bunny voice)

Now that you have some basic knowledge, let us talk about safety.

Needless to say, you and your family will need to keep fire and electrical charges away from all of the components of the system.

Yes, even a 9-volt battery and smaller. I'm talking as much voltage as contained in a radio transmission or static electricity.

Because, ...

That small of an electrical charge will cause a blasting cap to go off, in your hand, as you get up to leave after you have primed the explosives, or some other inopportune time.

Regarding fire. Fire will burn the insulation off the electrical wire. It will completely destroy time fuse, and fire will burn up the explosives, without them exploding.

Another hazard is shock. Yes, some blasting caps will go off, if you drop the blasting cap.

Explosives are poisonous. You shouldn't eat explosives or cook with them (no matter what some veterans tell you)

So, ...

Be prepared to wash your hands, after you handle explosives. Yes, keep your hands away from your nose, mouth, and eyes while you are working with explosives.

And, ...

You will probably want to wash your clothes, too.

That's it for now.

August 9, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Got a Question
Do you know how to turn off the gas to your home? How about your partner? If you do, do you know the phone number to call to get it turned back on?

Do your children know this stuff, too?

Survival Bible, Not
I have written about the "Survival Bible," in the past. It is a centralized location for all of the important information you and your family may need during an emergency. These binders contain the location of water and how to purify it for drinking, building a shelter from scrap wood, cooking with food storage using a fire, repairing your family's SKS rifles, and a lot more information our family may need during an event, from your 'Threat Analysis.'

Well, ...

Family Information Binder
This binder is different. This binder contains important family information, such as a current photo, fingerprints, social security cards, birth certificates, credit union (you have moved your money from the 'big' banks, right?) account information with passwords, insurance agent contact information, retirement account information, and all that other stuff.

As you can see, the 'Family Information' binder is all the family paperwork that would need to be grabbed if you and your family had to leave your home.

Needless to say, if you store personal information in a binder or other easily carried item, like a small fire safe, you will need to protect the binder from being stolen.

Emergency Operation Binder
Now, the next binder has to deal with how to operate your home during an emergency. It contains information on how to turn off (and turn on) the various utilities, such as gas, electric, and water. It includes important phone numbers for contacting you and your partner at work (because personal cellphones might not work, during an event), your childrens' school contact information, location of the firearms safe and its combination, and ...

One Mom's Thoughts - Emergency Information and Emergency Binders

Pintrest: Lynda Jensen - Family Emergency Binder

Food Storage Made Easy - How to Create an Emergency Binder

August 10, 2013

Dear Peppers and Survivalists,

Safety Review
As we, you and your family, learned last week, safety is the most important aspect of explosives.

So, ...

Make sure you complete a safety review with everyone, including yourself, before working with explosives.

Ignition Source
There are a few methods for starting the time fuse burning or energizing (making the electrical blasting cap go off.

Time Fuse
Time fuse is the classic method (cowboy movies) used in a system. You can use a fuse igniter, matches, or something like a fireworks punk.

fuse igniter
The M-60 fuse igniter is these United States' military standard fuse igniter. It is a pull-type igniter. Various safeties are removed and the pull ring pulled.

That's the basics; let us look at the details.

Attaching the fuse igniter to the time fuse. First, a prepped unscrews, a few turns, the fuse holder cap then the shipping plug is removed. Next, the properly cut time fuse is inserted into the fuse igniter. Lastly, the fuze holder cap is tightened to firmly hold the time fuse in place.

Using the fuse igniter. As I said, the safety has to be removed when you want to ignite the fuse igniter. I might be able to tell you the sequence after research.

What you see in the movies will probably not work with modern time fuse. To properly use matches, a prepper will need to make a small cut in the time fuse, insert the match, and then strike the match.

fireworks punk, cigar, or other stuff like the first two
Needless to say, this method is the least preferred because it takes too long and it's unreliable, opposite of what you see in the movies.

Safety Alert:
Don't, Do Not, Never attach your fuse igniter, matches, or fireworks punk to the time fuse, until you are ready to ignite the explosives.

O.K, ...

That's a little extreme, but you understand.

Really, you can attach the fuse igniter with the safeties still in place, but not the match or the fireworks punk.

Electrical Blasting Caps
Electric blasting caps use electricity to make the blasting cap go off. To energized the system, a prepped needs an electrical source, like a blasting machine, a battery, or standard electrical service (120 volt)

blasting machines
Blasting machine come in two versions, military and industrial. They are relatively the same, relatively.

Current military blasting machines come in two flavors, 10-cap and 50-cap. Just like it sounds, a 10-cap will energize up to ten blasting caps, and a 50-cap machine will energize fifty blasting caps. Of course, their basic operation is the same, but in detail, they are different.

The 10-cap machine requires you to attach the electrical wire to the two terminals WHAT EVER THE SEQUENCE IS AFTER RESEARCH

The 50-cap blasting machine is slightly different. You attach the electrical wire two the two terminal, but the prepped WHAT EVER THE SEQUENCE IS AFTER RESEARCH.

All I have to say about industrial blasting machine is ...

Make sure, you get the operators manual!

Safety Alert:
Don't, Do Not, Never attach the electrical wires to the blasting machine until after you have completed emplacing the explosives. Really, really, really the electrical wires are 'shorted out' until the prepped is ready to exploded the explosives.

Batteries can be used to energize an electric blasting cap. I have experience using a 9 volt battery to energize an electrical blasting cap.

So, ...

I don't know about this.


standard electrical service
Needless to say, if a prepped has has access to regular electrical service, they can use that to energize a blasting cap. During one of my previous lifetimes, I saw a young soldier use a standard 120-volt, 15-amp service outlet to  energize an electrical blasting cap.

Of course, it's a little bit more complicated. The electrical blasting cap and the electrical wires can be overloaded, burning them out this will cause the explosives not to explode : - (

O.K. As you can see this article still needs more work but you're getting the idea, hopefully.

August 16, 2013

Welcome Prepper and Survivalists,

I was watching "Doomsday Preppers," the opener for season two, on the television a couple of nights ago. Did you know there is a 15-year old prepper living in Plato, Missouri? He has access to firearms, his mother is worried about him, but supportive of his efforts, and he has a team made up of himself and two friends?

Oh, yeah. He has a couple weeks worth of food stored in a metal cabinet, in his mother's home.

Lastly, the show's experts suggested he buy a few radios, so he can communicate with the team, but they, him and his mom, have no water filter.

Folks, stay away from these shows. Yeah, I know, you justify it by telling yourself that:

*I want to help others prepare

*I want to be objectively evaluated on my preparations

*I want to rub it in those sheeples face that they are going to die during an event. (not really, maybe ; - )

Don't do it because, as you can see, these show's participants violate OPSEC

Helping Others Prepare
Since I'm not working, at a regular job, people don't get to know me. So, I don't have the same problem (15 years at the same place) as Spartan, one of my brothers, who seems to pull potential preppers out of the woodwork. He has people coming up to him at work all the time asking prepper-type questions. It's down right weird and unsafe.

Well, in the four to five years this has been happening, not one of these families (usually it's the husband) has implemented any meaningful preps, no water storage, no long-term food storage, no first-aid supplies, no bulk ammo purchase, nothing.

One guy told Spartan, 'I can bring twenty head of cattle to your place.' That's cool, but what does he plan to feed these animals when the grass is dead, over the winter?

Another guy, being told about our family's firearm standard (SKS rifles and .357 revolvers) told Spartan, he'll bring his HK-91 and 100 rounds of ammo, but he doesn't have any long-term food storage for the family. Yeah, I wrote that right, 100 rounds of 7.62 NATO. (Just so you know, SKS rifles use 7.62 X 39 ammunition not 7.62 NATO) and no food storage.

Another guy has some food storage, about a month, and a travel trailer. Spartan asked him if he had any money for laying down some gravel or pouring a cement pad out at his place for the trailer. Dude said no. Next, Spartan asked if he planned to buy a rifle or a revolver. The guy said 'No" again. He reason. His wife doesn't like guns.

O.K. One last guy.

This one guy seems to be trying to get an invite to come out to my brothers place 'cause he's asking all the time about the location of Spartan's retreat. He even asked for the address, one time.

So, ...

If you want to help people, give them the link to "16 Weeks" then let them ask question.

BUT, ...

Do Not, Don't, Never tell them about your family's preparations, where they're at, what you have, how much you have, or ... Don't even lie about your preps.

If you think "16 Weeks" sucks, find another resource (maybe the Red Cross' Food and Water in an Emergency or FEMA's to give them.

Evaluation of Your Preps
I don't mean to be hard on the young man from Plato, MO, but ...

When "Doomsday Preppers" did their evaluation of his efforts they gave him a score of 4-months.

Needless to say, I thought that was misleading because he didn't have enough food storage for 4 months, especially if he includes his two teammates.

So, ...

Let me ask you a few questions to help you evaluate your preps.

First, how many people do you expect to prepare for? Unexpected folks?

Next, how much water do you have stored? If you have a water filter, what is its listed capacity, in gallons?

Third, food storage. How many days, weeks, or months of food storage do you have? Be honest!

Next, do you have a first-aid kit? How about a more advance medical kit with over the counter medicine? Prescription medicine with instructions for use, like the Physician Desk Reference?

Fifth, do you have a handgun with 250 rounds of ammunition, a rifle with 500 rounds, and cleaning supplies for your weapons? If you have a rifle that uses magazines, how many magazines do you have? How about weapons for each family member?

Now that we have some basic information, let us do the evaluation.

First, take the gallons of water you have on hand and divide by the number of people you're going to provide for.

An example: You have eight people and 100 gallons of water. 100 gallons divided by 8 people equals 12.5 days of stored water. Remember, at least, one gallon of water per day for survival.

Next, do you have a water filter, bleach, and know the location of quality water sources in your area.

If you have all of those things, take the capacity of the water filter and divide by the number of people, again.

An example: Your water filter has a 200 gallon capacity and you have 8 people. 200 gallons / 8 people equals 25 more days of water.

After you have calculated your stored water and the amount of water that you can filter, add the two together. In this example, you get 37.5 days. If you don't have a filter, you only get 12.5 days of survival capability.

Let's do food.

Food is easy. All you have to do is honestly calculate how much food storage you have.

An example, once again for eight people. You have a month supply of food some canned, some boxed, and some long-term food storage, such as white rice and dried beans. Remember, if you plan to count any frozen, you have to have a method of supplying electricity for your family's freezer.

So, a month supply equals 30 days of survival capability.

Next, medical supplies.

Let us say you have a first-aid kit with a couple of maxi-pads for expedient compresses and some over the counter medicine.

Lastly, firearms.

For this example, this eight person group has at least one handgun and a rifle with 250 rounds of ammunition for each weapon.

Now, here's the tricky part. Let us determine how long you and your folks can survive.

It would be 12.5 days not weeks, not months. Just, ...

Twelve and a half days

August 16, 2013, Part Two

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,



The Rule of 3 to 5
You will survive only …

3 to 5 seconds without Thinking

3 to 5 minutes without Air

3 to 5 hours without Shelter

3 to 5 days without Water

3 to 5 weeks without Food

 3 to 5 months without ... 

Since this fictional eight person group only has 100 gallons of water, the group can survive 12.5 days. If they have a water filter, they could survive a little longer.

So, ...

After, proper thinking, air, and adequate shelter; water is the most important item to store or have the ability to acquire.

Of Course
Needless to say, Doomsday Preppers gives a false sense of preparedness to its participants.

So, ...

The show is for entertainment only, not to be taken seriously.

Katniss, my wife, says Doomsday Peppers is just another reality show.

August 17, 2013

Dear Peppers and Survivalists,

Most folks don't know this but using explosives require some mathematics skill.

And, you thought this was going to be easy : - )

Before we begin, I would like to tell you a story about the first formula

P = Plenty (It really means pounds of explosives, but work with me, O.K)

There was this gentleman, who was blasting out a large stump for a local farmer. He did all the calculations, checked them twice, then added a little bit more. He was still a little unsure of his calculations, so he added a little more.

Well, ...

He lit the fuse and quickly moved the needed safe distance. The explosives went off, ...

Did I tell you this was a very large stump

And the stump flew into the air and landed perfectly on the cab of the guy's truck.

Needless to say, the farmer was impressed that the guy was so accurate in his calculations that the stump almost landed in the bed of the pickup, 250 feet away. Ha ha

Needless to say 'P = Plenty" is a very poor formula when working with explosives because the blaster (the person using the explosives) could accidentally kill or injure a bystander or themselves

Math Review Alert!!!
To find diameter from circumference, you measure around the tree, pole, post, or piling; take that measurement and multiple by 0.3183.

Or, ...

Divide by 3.1416 (which is Pi)

An Example:
We, you and your family, have a tree 100 inches around, and ...

 100 inches times 0.3183 = 31.83 inches in diameter

Or, ...

100 inches divided by 3.1416 = 31.83 inches in diameter

Formula, continuied

P = D 2 / 40 (replace with handwritten formula)

The next formula deals with falling trees, cutting posts, beams, and piling. It is the diameter of the tree squared divided by 40 equals the number of pounds of explosives, needed.

Needless to say, you measure the distance around the tree where you're going to place the charge then determine the diameter using the 'math review'. Next, multiply the diameter by itself then divide by 40. Forty, in this calculation, is a constant; it never changes.

An Example:

We, you and your family, have a bunch of trees that need to come down. First, we select one of the trees, measure around the tree, then do the calculation.

Let us say the diameter of the tree was 45 inches.

So, ...

45 X 45 = 2025

2025 divided by 40 = 50.625 pounds of TNT

We would take 51 pounds (Hey, you round up) of TNT; stack, tie, or affix it to the tree where you measured the tree, put the blasting cap in with the fuse, light it and quickly walk away, far away.

The explosives go off, then you go back and evaluate what happened to the tree. If the explosion cut the tree as planned, you continue using that formula. If it didn't, you have some decisions to make.

If the tree is still standing, you are going to have to increase the amount of explosives by decreasing the constant, to say 35 (after you cut down that tree, you just tried to blow up)

So, ...

You find another tree, measure around it, do the conversion converting circumference to diameter (say 42 inches in diameter), and do the calculation.

42 X 42 = 1764

1764 divided by 35 = 50.40 pounds of TNT

Rig this tree for cutting with explosives, ignite the explosives, then evaluate the results.

Tamping and Using Internal Charges
By now, you're probably going 'We don't have 100 pounds of TNT to cut down two trees. Is there a less wasteful way of falling trees with explosives?'

Yes, there is. It's called 'tamping' the explosives and using internal charges.

Tamping is basically piling dirt, clay, or other solid stuff around the explosives to contain the explosive blast.

Harry Fain Tamping the Powder Charge,
Wheelwright, Kentucky
Department of the Interior,
Solid Fuels Administration for War

An internal charge is just like it sounds. A hole is drilled in the tree and the explosives, usually TNT, are placed in the hole and tamped. (It is really called "stemming") filling the hole with clay, wet sand, or other nonflammable filler.

Do Not, Don't, Never use flammable or loose filler because the filling will ignite or get blown out of the hole wasting your effort to provide a better explosion.

For falling a tree with an internal charge, the formula is ...

D 2 / 250 (replace with handwritten formula)

Needless to say, you measure the distance around the tree where you're going to place the charge then determine the diameter. Times it by itself then divide by 250. Two Hundred and Fifty, in this calculation, is a constant; it never changes.

An Example:

Even though we have fell one tree 45 inches in diameter, you and your family have another tree that needs to come down that is 45 inches in diameter. First, we measure around the tree, then do the calculation.

So, ...

45 X 45 = 2025

2025 divided by 250 = 8.1 pounds of TNT

Next, ...

We bore or drill a hole in the tree to hold the explosives, carefully pack the explosives into the hole, tamp the hole with clay or some other dense nonflammable packing, and do everything like last time.

Needless to say, you may have to bore two holes, if the charge is too big to fit in one hole. For flat timber, like beams, you drill the holes side by side. For round timber, like trees or poles, you drill the holes in a cross. Don't let the holes go through each other because you won't be able to push the explosives into one hole.

(Picture of two bore hole in a tree, crossed)

External vs. Internal Charges
As you can see, internal charges are less wasteful of explosives, but preparing internal charges is time consuming.

So, ...

You have to determine which method may be best for you.

All of the examples are, what I consider, huge trees. A tree 45 inches in diameter is 141 inches around, that is almost twelve feet in circumference! That is two adults holding their arms out, forming a circle, fingertip to fingertip.

Updated 18 Aug 2013 at around 5:00 am PDT

This part of the series is almost finished. It just needs some tweaking

August 23, 2013

Dear Peppers and Survivalists,

Al Capone,
Alcatraz Prison
Federal Bureau of Prisons

Committing Crimes
I was watching "Doomsday Prepper," again, and I fell out of my seat laughing. Those people are crazy.

Take the Florida group.

They built a gallows, practiced hanging a manikin, and on national (heck, international) tv told everyone how they plan to hang criminals. Folks that is possibly 'conspiracy to commit murder' even if they never do it.

Same for any group planning to steal food and other supplies from the china-marts as an event unfolds.

Agent Provocateurs
These folks work for the security services. Their goal is to get a group arrested, tried, and convicted.

Yeah, you and your family.

So, ...

* Avoid folks that advocate any illegal activity, especially activities that will leave evidence or witnesses.

* ???

* ???

Needless to say, family members, including you, could be convinced to provide information on your preparations to the security services, so make sure you're not doing anything illegal.

Some folks would discount the need to worry about provocateurs, and I agree.

But, ...

Some families are going to join groups that are made up of co-workers, close friends, and possibly strangers.

And, ...

Your preps could be considered, by the 'government', as anti-government activities.

eHow - What Is a Provocateur?

Off the Grid News - How to Identify an Agent Provocateur

Kasama Project - How to Identify an Agent Provocateur

The Insurgent - Beware of the Agent Provocateur

Make sure to read the comments.

August 24, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Safety, Safety, and More Safety
Before we begin, I want you to review the first article in this series, about safety.

Quarries and Mining
The majority of explosives are used in mines and at quarrying operations, around the world because they reduce the amount of men, equipment, and time required to dig a mine by hand.

So, ...

If you plan to quarry or mine, after an event, you need to learn how to use explosives for these tasks.

But Not From Me
Since I have never blasted rock, I am going to have to bow out of this subject.

But, you will use similar techniques (priming the explosives, rigging the charges, and tamping) as you did for poles, pilings, and posts.

Public Intelligence - FM 3-34.214 (FM 5-250) Explosives and Demolitions July 2007

U.S. Navy - Seabee Quarry Blasting Operations and Safety Manual: NAVFAC P-l095

National Park Service - National Park Service Handbook for the Storage, Transportation, Training for Explosives Use, and Handling of Explosives

First, download these manuals, even if you don't plan to ever use explosives. Next, if you would like, send a donation to Public Lastly, visit and support your national park system, if your country has one.

Lastly, as you read these manuals, you will notice I took the (limited amount of) information I provided from these manuals.

August 30, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

A Mortar Team from
27th Battalion, Australian Army (Dec ’44)
Australian War Memorial

From the Military
Jumper, my brother, was in the 82nd Airborne. As a paratrooper, he would carry sand-filled 81mm mortar shipping cardboard tubes in his rucksack. His company; heck, the whole brigade, would practice delivering and picking up these training rounds from the mortar teams, during field training exercises.

Why, ...

It was expected during combat, everybody (including the company commander) would carry 81mm mortar rounds, so the mortar teams would have enough ammo to support the infantry platoons

So, ...

The commanders realized they needed a plan to get these rounds to the mortar teams.

Why do I bring this up?

Because, ...

'An amateur studies tactics, and a professional studies logistic'

Without Rule of the Law (WROL)
As you get further into prepping, especially watching YouTube videos, your family will start seeing the acronym WROL meaning 'Without Rule of Law.' WROL is a situation where violence, thievery and other crimes are rampant.

Depending on who you watch or listen to will depend on how widespread is this event. Some folks think WROL will be local, contained to low-income areas. Others think it will be regional while others think WROL could be worldwide.

Locally, the break down of law enforcement should be expected, during an event. We can see this historically in examples such as hurricane Katrine, the 1992 L.A. Riots, and some of the New York blackouts.

Regional WROL events are usually limited during group on group warfare such as the Kansas/Missouri border conflict during the late 1850s, Bosnia in the '90s, Iraq in the '00s, and Syria today.

Nationally, preppers can expect without rule of law during extreme events such as the French Revolution (1.000.000 + dead), ascension of the Khmer Rouge (1.5 million + dead), the Democratic Republic of Congo (5.000.000 + dead) and the soviet union under Stalin (10.000.000 + dead, not including WWII)

By now, you probably can guess how I feel about WROL during an event or as an event.

WROL is a possibility that we, you and your family need to prepare for.

So, ...

How to prepare?

First, have a passport. Yep, a passport because the first sign of trouble, like the wide-scale attacks on Christians in Egypt, you and your family leave the country for safer climes. It would be really nice, if you could get foreign passports for everybody. These foreign passports would be used to circumnavigate any travel restrictions imposed by the national government. Plus, they would identify you and your family as 'foreigners' that would be allowed to leave the country, maybe.

After a passport, you and your family need to have an offshore bank account with a little bit of cash. The account would allow you and your family to immediately leave without worrying if y'all will have money for expenses when you escape your home country during a national event.

For a regional event, (Remember, don't forget the passport.) you need to have many friends in different places. These family friends would take you and your family into their homes, if you need to evacuate. Of course, it would be nice, if they lived outside the conflict zone and you cached supplies with your relatives and friends.

Needless to say, if you plan to stay, you and some friends could organize a 'defensive' force, such as the Deacons for Defense and Justice, to provide security for your community during a regional or local event.

Like I said above, you could organize a 'defensive' force during a local event, but you will need firearms and ammunition before the event. A pistol for personal defense, and a rifle for, well, personal defense ; - )

Lastly, for a local, regional, or national event, you and your family need access to information, like a radio or the internet, so you will be informed about local events.

August 31, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Alfred Bernhard Nobel
Gösta Florman

Improvised Explosives
Needless to say, getting your hands on some RDX, C4, or TNT is going to be very unlikely to impossible, (Not really, but that's another article) so some preppers are going to start exploring the internet for improvised explosives recipes.

Folks, ...

In my opinion, that is a poor idea because you don't know if those formulas are accurate and safe.

Remember, explosive factories explode even during 'good' times.

Plus, beside the safety issue, there is the legal issues.

So, ...

What is a prepper to do?

Another method, preppers might entertain is substituting other things for explosives, like gasoline.

Remember, a cup of gasoline is equal to about two sticks of dynamite.

Again, ...

I think it is a poor idea because manufactured explosives have a quality and uniformity to them, where the improvised explosives are non-uniform and lack a consistent quality making the improvised explosive greatly more dangerous than manufactured explosives.

Another method some preppers might be looking at is theft.

Folks, ...

Another poor idea because security forces will come looking for the explosives, except for an extreme event, then they'll wait until the event is over then coming looking for their stuff.

Black Powder
Lastly, ...

Historically, as far as I know, black powder was the only explosive before the modern explosives such as nitroglycerin, C4, or TNT.

Needless to say, black powder has its safety concerns (sparks), but these safety concerns have been addressed by many firearms hobbyists, over the years.

Of course, black powder is a poor choice, not because of safety, but because of effectiveness. That's one of the reasons Alfred Bernhard Nobel became a multimillionaire; nitroglycerin is a very effective explosive.

Taking a Tangent:
The manufacture of nitroglycerin would be a great 'collapse' career for some enterprising engineer, chemist, or other university-trained individual or group to build after an extreme event.

Remember, Alfred Nobel lived from 1833 to 1896.

Science Encyclopedia - Explosives: History

Wikipedia - Explosive Material

Some folks 'might' accuse me of being overly cautious, being a government stooge, or ...

Dah, ...

* Explosives are dangerous.

* If you fail to have the proper permits, you could go to prison

* Did I mention, using explosives is dangerous, even for professionals.

* Manufacturing explosives in your detached storage building (you weren't planning to make them in your kitchen, were you?) would probably be very dangerous, if not deadly.

September 6, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Safecastle, Ready Made Resources, and Others
Folks, Mountain House is reducing their prices. I don't know why, but it's happening.

If, ...

You and your family were thinking about purchasing some freeze-dried food for your long-term food storage; you might want to purchase that food this month, 'cause that's when the sale is on.

The sale will end September 30th, 2013.

Just so You Know
I almost always purchase our family's long-term food storage when it's on sale.

Well, ...

I haven't seen prices this low in years.

So, ...

Stock up if your family can afford it.

It's Expensive
Needless to say, you can purchase basic long-term food storage from the Latter-day Saints; hard red winter wheat, white rice, and dried beans; a lot cheaper then Mountain House freeze-dried food storage.

And, ...

If you self-pack long-term food storage; hard red winter wheat, white rice, and dried beans; using mylar bags and oxygen absorbers, your family can do it a heck of a lot cheaper than Mountain House freeze-dried food.

Don't forget the multivitamins, too

So, ...
If you're still interested, I would only buy the vegetables, garden green peas, whole kernel corn, green beans, and nothing else!


Because the vegetables are added to white rice to make dirty rice, added to potatoes to make stew, and added to noodles to make a casserole, and they can be eaten alone as a side dish. Plus, we are kind'a vegetarians. (Some day, I might tell you about it.)

Safecastle has some deals for you and your family.

September 7, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Police Raid of Vince Siemer's Home,
New Zealand (c. 2008)

Nope, nada, definitely not. You and your relatives (you weren't planning to commit multiple felonies with strangers, were you?) should not steal explosives, blasting caps, shock cord, or time fuse (you have been reading the manuals; I linked to in this post; haven't you?) from quarry sites, police explosive ranges, or military training sites.

Needless to say, the section is going to be very short of details because I have never bought explosives : - (

But, ...

There is a legal method of purchasing explosives with a little research.

So, ...

I'll have to get back with you, on that.

During Times of Trouble
Of course, as preppers and survivalists, you and your family may face troubling times where explosives are going to be available, such as during an insurgency, civil war, or war.

Well, ...

Explosives, in the form of mortars, landmines, and military explosives (C-4, TNT, or ???), may be available from the black market, soldiers trying to make some money, or from one of the 'governments' involved with the conflict.

These sources will be dangerous because of the possibility of being ripped off by the smuggler, defrauded by the soldier, arrested during the conflict by the 'other' side, or executed after the conflict by the government that gave you the explosives. (Hey, the winning side in a revolution has to consolidate its power that might include getting rid of folks that might be dangerous to 'their' side)

O.K, back to my thoughts.

Landmines, artillery shells, mortar rounds, and bombs have explosives in them. As we saw during the Vietnam conflict; it wasn't a war; (we can talk about that later) the insurgents salvaged explosives from these munitions.

That is still possible.

However, ...

There is some good, bad, and dangerous about salvaging explosives from munitions

United States M117 Bomb
United States Navy

First, some bombs now use a liquid explosive that is poured into the bomb, just before use, so the traditional method of cutting the bomb open with a hacksaw would be messy.

But, ...

For these bombs, all you would need to do is find the fill cap, open and pour the liquid explosive out of the bomb into a clean container.

Of course, these bombs would need their detonators removed or they could go booooooom!!!, ruining your day.

Of course, again, military forces know this, so there is the possibility of bombs being booby trapped to exploded when the filler cap is removed, a second detonator installed, with a time delay, or some other booby trap.

I don't know if the liquid explosives harden after installation.

So, ...

If the explosives have hardened, the bomb may need to be heated, using the Viet Cong method, over a heat source before the explosives could be poured out of the bomb.

Johan Fredriksson

As far as I know, landmines still have solid explosives, since most landmines are made out of plastic or thin sheet metal. These outer coverings would be easy to open, maybe even with an ordinary can opener ; - )

Once, you and your family have salvaged the explosives; they can be used for felling trees, quarrying stone, or other uses.

Of course, landmine, artillery shells, and other munitions can be used directly; it's limited and just not as accurate as using manufactured explosives.

A Stack of Munitions
Wired with C-4,
ready to be destroyed
Corporal Jan M. Bender,
United States Marines
As you can see, artillery rounds are stacked then (C-4) explosives are placed on top. When the C-4 is detonated the artillery rounds will go off. This method could be used to do course work such as enlarging a shaft or blowing a hole in the ground for a pond.

Needless to say, you have to be very careful. Remember, Safety, Safety, and More Safety when using explosives.

That's it for now. I have to go find a place to live. (More about that later)

September 13, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

 Factory Worker
stacking crates of hand grenades (ca. 1942)
John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Work and Family
I have a job! Paying better money then I was making, before! The 'work' is easier, too!

But, ...

The work will have irregular hours, so I will only 'see' Katniss and our children every few days : - (

Oh, well

Financial Preparedness
Needless to say, having some money saved allowed me to wait for the 'right' job to open up, so I wouldn't get stuck in a position that I would leave in a few months or hated. Plus, it allowed my family and I to practice some of those skills that would be needed during a job loss.

Some of the things we did where, ...

Reduced food cost by eating from our food storage. Normally, my family and I use our bulk food storage once or twice a month. We increased that to once or twice a week. Since Katniss and I had identified seven meals the whole family would eat (and practiced preparing those meals), the meals were introduced seamlessly, reducing our food costs.

Diverting funds from non-essentials. We also stopped attending first-run movies and rented Redbox movies and borrowed some from the local library. I started mowing our own grass and doing other tasks; we had previously hired out. I (gasp!) also quit purchasing supplies for our emergency preparations.

Yes, I did that, since I felt comfortable with our preps.

Reduced gasoline consummation. Since I wasn't working, we automatically reduced fuel cost. I also started walking more to do shopping and other tasks.

As I write this, it seems kind'a clinical; it wasn't. There were a lot of moments of doubt, uncertainty, and plain old fear.

Mountain House Freeze-Dried Food
Just to remind you, Safecastle, Ready Made Resources, and many others are having an unprecedented sale on Mountain House Freeze-dried.

As I stated a couple of days ago, I would concentrate on purchasing the freeze-dried vegetables above anything else, especially the pilot crackers and the rice.


You and your family can make crackers from your hard red winter wheat.

And, ...

The rice?

Do you really need freeze-dried white rice that lasts 30 years when you can purchase white rice from the Latter-day Saints, for close to a $1.00 a pound, that lasts ...

30 years.

Needless to say, I may or may not have an article on explosives for you and your family. You will have to come back, on Saturday, to find out.

September 14, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

As You Can See
I don't have anything for you, today.

September 20, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Slight Change
Just so you know, and in case you didn't notice, I removed the 'Friends and Family' thingy from the right sidebar.


I am going to sign up for some of those sponsors, that everybody else seems to have, to try and pay for some of my preps.

So, ...

On with the "Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff"

Portrait of Joseph Stalin (1936)

Pavel Filonov

So, you may have noticed that the President seems to be screwing up the situation in Syria.

Well, ...

It seems that folks, in these United States and elsewhere, are starting to talk like we need a 'strong' leader, next election.

Well, ...

That could be a very bad idea.

Just think about it.

In the 20s, Joesph Stalin took control of the soviet union, and we know where that lead, 10,000,000 dead before WW II.

In one story that I heard, Joesph Stalin had a man sent to the gulag for being the first to stop clapping after a speech by Stalin. When the man was arrested, Stalin had the man brought before him. The man asked 'Why am I being arrested?' Stalin replied 'Because you were the first to quit clapping.'

Now, think about this.

The Department of Homeland Security, the National Security Agency, and other government agencies have consolidated some power. Enough power and information that "If" these United States' President (any future president, just not Obama) decided to implement a dictatorship, it would be very bad for us, preppers and survivalists.

Because, ...

Preppers and survivalists have all the stuff, and lots of it, to resist any drastic change.

So, ...

Make sure you vote, this November.

Just So You Know:
Adolf Hitler was a compromise candidate between the major German parties, in the '30s.

Failure of OPSEC
As I write this, I have been on the job for six days, just six days, and I already know who one of the preppers are at work.


Another worker told me!

September 21, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

So, ...
I have talked about the uses for explosives in mining and agriculture. Now, I am going to talk about using them against other humans.

Needless to say, ...

Doing this may be illegal, in your country.

And, ...

Face (a) left hand (b) of a 19 year old male
after handling a self-made pipe bomb that exploded unexpectedly
Ekkehard M Kasper, Markus M Luedi, Pascal O Zinn, Peter A.D Rubin, Clark Chen

Just to let it sink in.

This dumb f*ck was lucky.

Pipe Bomb with a Time Fuse
Israeli Defence Force
Pipe Bombs
One of the classic improvised weapons is the pipe bomb. They are easy to make and the parts are available from any local hardware store. Plus, the plans are all over the internet.

So, ...

Preppers and their families may face these devices during a violent event, such a Ireland in the '90s.

Needless to say, pipe bombs can be made more lethal by adding a layer of nails, screws, or other small metal items around the pipe. Some villains may glue or tape these items to the pipe.

Easy and deadly.

Of course, there have been technological advances to pipe bombs. Some folks will use an electric match, powered by a 9 volt battery, to set off the improvised device. Others may add a simple timer.

Wikipedia - Pipe Bombs

 Lance Corporal Timothy Litera
sets up a field expedient directional Anti-personnel Mine
Improvised Claymore
The M18A1 Claymore mine is awesome. When detonated, it sprays a gazillion round pellets towards your target. Well, you might see an improvised directional mine during violent times

They are easy to make, all you need is a stout box, with one end open, a little plastic explosives, and a gazillion screws, nails, or similar objects.

HigherIntellect - Mines and Booby Traps

You will need to scroll down 1/3 of the page to read an explanation on constructing an improvised directional mine. There are bigger ones, a lot bigger.

A Fougasse Demonstration (ca. 1940)
Ministry of Information
Flame Weapons
The first flame weapon is the classic Molotov Cocktail. It is a glass container filled with gasoline or some other flammable liquid with a wick sticking out of the bottle. Some times the fuel will be thickened, so the fuel will 'stick' to the object or person.

You light the wick and throw.

Yes, you can use mason jars. You'll need to poke or drill a hole in the jar's metal lid.

The next flame weapon, I will discuss, is called, wait for it, Flame Fougasse. It is basically a 55-gallon drum filled with gelled-fuel, buried under some dirt, tilted at an angle. The bottom of the barrel, on the outside, is a small explosive 'kicker' charge.

Needless to say, you will have to be observant to detect a fougasse weapon. The weapon will probably be camoflauged and off the road since it can project a flame, over 50 feet.

Wikipedia - Flame Fougasse

Wikipedia - Molotov Cocktail

Improvised Landmines

Scrib - Improvised Landmines

Improvised Explosive Device
Of course, most preppers and survivalists have been following the events, this past decade, in the Middle East with our soldiers being injured and killed by improvised explosive devices. What most folks forget is that civilians have also been targeted with these devices.

Wikipedia - Improvised Explosive Device

I am using the local library's computers.

So, ...

You might have to come back in a few days for more information.

September 27, 2103

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Great Seal of
These United States
June 20, 1782
Montgomery's The Beginner's American History

Government Shutdown
Did you know, the Federal government may be shutting down sometime in early October?

I didn't.

I have been without regular internet access for these last few weeks, so I haven't been keeping up with the news.

So, ...

What are you doing to prepare?

First, we need to look at shelter, in other words, your home. If you receive a government paycheck, you and your family need to be prepared for not receiving a paycheck. Yes, even state and local government employees because you don't know how much federal money is given to your state and local government organizations.

So, ...

I want you and your partner to find out how to notify the mortgage company or your landlord, if you don't get a paycheck, so you can explain the situation. I also want you to plan, if you get furlowed (laid off), not to get paid for the time that you're off.

Just so you know, last time there was a government shutdown, government workers received back pay for the time that the federal government was shut down. Well, I heard on National Prepper Radio (NPR) that federal employees may not get that back pay, this time around.

So, ...

There is the possibility, federal workers may not get a paycheck, for the month of October

And, ...

That leads to my next point, about water.

Since most preppers have city water, the bill is going to need to be paid. If it isn't paid, depending on your water provider, your water might get shut off the first missed bill. Ouch

So, ...

You need to call the city or water company to find out how to ask for an extension or assistance on your family's water bill. Yeah, it seems weird a highly paid government worker asking for assistants to pay a basic bill, but most of us still live paycheck to paycheck. Another ouch.

Fire (Heat and Cooling)
After you do that, you or your partner need to look into the same information about the electricity, and if you use natural gas or propane do that, too.

So far, we have shelter, water, fire (heating), next up is ...

Food of course.

Hopefully, at least, you and your family have been stocking up on food storage, so that won't be an issue. If you haven't you're going to have to hunt down the food pantries in your area and start filling out the forms for assistance.


You thought you could stroll right in and get some food. Doesn't work that way. The food pantries, at least the 'good' ones make sure they only feed the truly needy.

But, ...

Get this! Food pantries receive money from the federal government, so they may not have enough food for their regular customers then your family.

Feeling desperate about now. You should because being laid off is one of those events families need to plan for.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, I need for you to "Take a Couple of Deep Breaths"  Close your eyes, breath in, hold it, breath out. Now clear your mind. Breath in, hold, breath out. Clear your mind, again. Breath in, hold it, breath out.

Feeling better? If not do it again.

No, don't grab a smoke or a drink, that doesn't help. Breath in, hold it, breath out. Nice and easy.

Displacing the Myth
Notice, there are no gun battles in this disaster, just some simple improvisations. You and your partner working together (hopefully) trying to solve the problems facing your family.

Needless to say having a little bit of extra cash would be helpful in this situation.

Next, I need for you to look at getting rid of the extras, like cable, internet, cigarette, booze, and all the other stuff that is unneeded for your family's survival.

Selling stuff may not work because 'government' towns, like Washington, D.C. will see a lot of folks out of work this month.

Next, check on the procedure for borrowing from your 401K or other retirement accounts.

Yeah, this is a little extreme for some folks, but others are going to need this advice.

The Future
Lastly, I don't know the future.

But, ...

I predict we are going to see a lot more of this political gamesmanship in the future because it gives both sides an opportunity to push their agenda.

This is a great opportunity to game plan what you would do if your government supported position did go away, forever.

October 4, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

No Gun Sign

Defending Your Family
Firearms are probably the best method of defending your family, after fleeing the disaster area, living in a 'safe' place, and avoiding the situation, all together.

Well, ...

For most readers of GSIEP, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is going to be a bad thing.


The treaty calls for national governments to regulate international trade by setting up national registries for firearms. Not a big deal, until you put that little requirement into a despots' hands.

Since, I live in these United States, I can only write from these United States prospective.

So, ...

Other nations readers will need to think about this treaty in their situation.

Think about it.

Right now, you and your family (meeting certain restrictions) can purchase a firearm from a private party, No paperwork, no registration, and no other government notice.

Well, ...

Any firearm can be exported.

So, ...

If the treaty is strictly interpreted, every firearm must be registered.

Well, ...

Once firearms are registered, it's a matter of time before folks are losing their firearms to confiscation for mental health reasons, expired identify cards, exercising her rights, and plain old changing the rules.

So, ...

Once again, you and your family need to get politically involved by notifying your federal elected representatives (Senators and Representatives), your state Governors, Lt. Governors, Senators and Representatives, and the local political folks, elected and unelected.

United Nations: Office for Disarmament Affairs- Arms Trade Treaty

My Opinion
Just so you understand, I believe everyone has the right to bear arms (own, carry, use, and every other legalese term, including ammunition and magazines, receive effective training, and again, every other legalese term, too) even convicted felons, the mentally disturbed, children, criminals, and ...

Yep, everyone. No exception.

Even child molesters

Because the moment, we decide to limit someone else's freedoms; someone else can limit our freedoms.

Probably Won't Happen
Needless to say, the gun writers think the ATT is a nonstarter, here in these United States

October 11, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Blood and Fire
Mike Quinn

Charity Stores
Most folks know about the Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other charity stores.

If you don't, you need to find them in your town. Even small towns may have a church-run store that benefits local charity cases.

Needless to say, these stores will have many bargains for your prepping needs.

In our local store, I recently saw a gently used 5-gallon Rubbermaid ice jug for $3.00. I didn't buy it because we already have three ice jugs.

During a trip last year, I bought four quality polypro fleece jackets for $12.00. Yep, $3.00 a piece!

Recently, I started outfitting a kitchen for under $20.00

Not for Everyone
If you must have a complete set of dishes, flatware, or glasses, these charity stores aren't for you.

But, ...

If you can handle one or two missing forks, no matching bowls, or a few scratches, they are for you and your family.

By the way, these stores have clothes out the wahzoo.

October 18, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

 Essen für bedürftige Kinder,
Berlin ca. 1924

Allgemeiner Deutscher Nachrichtendienst - Zentralbild

Waiting for the 'Collapse'
Have you heard?

The Oath Keepers are forming Community Preservation teams. Their plan is to form 12 person teams to assist communities in a number of ways.

It's going to happen, Soon!

20, 30, 40 and 50 Years Later
For many decades, folks have been predicting the collapse of these United States, The World, or some other organization.

Hasn't happened, yet.

Keep Prepping
Needless to say, the 'Big' events are rare.

But, ...

They do happen, along with the many small events

So, ...

Remember the priorities:


Air (fire prevention)




Medical Supplies

Protection (Guns and Ammo)


the other stuff

What About Now!
You say, 'It's different this time!'

It could be.

So, ...

Let us look at the possible threat.

* These United States could start to default on the bonds; they have issued to retirement funds, foreign countries, and many others.

* These United States could start operating on a cash basis (Must pay 'cash' for each purchase)

and, ...

* Much more 'bad' stuff.

Like, ...

First, your retirement (IRA or 401K) takes a hit, say loses 50% to 75% of its value because the bond market and stock market crashes. You may have to work longer and never retire, move in with family when you get older, or some other formerly common event before Social Security.

This isn't a bad thing; is it?

Many other countries have been taking care of their parents, living in three generational households. You and your partner will have to give up some of your independence. You may be living with your parents, or your parents may be living with you.

Next, the federal government may have to reduce the federal workforce and payments to the states.

So, ...

You have to take a long, hard look at your job. Can your federal job be easily eliminated, like a middle manager position in some small agency, such as the Consumer Protection Agency? If you work in a state supported; through grants, direct payments to parents, or other subsidies from the federal government; position such as a daycare provider, fire department emergency management coordinator, special education school teacher, or other position how would it be effected 'if' the federal government doesn't pay part of your salary? Lastly, do you work in a job that can be privatized, like plumber, electrician, or other skilled labor at a national park, military base, or other government building?

If your job can be easily eliminated, you need to start your own company, a single person operation, now. This side job may or may not be expanded to include positions for family members. Plus, you and your family can also think, plan, and start a family run business.

Third, borrowing money will get expensive and almost impossible to do, just like the past. I'm old enough to remember dressing up to go see the banker and usually not getting the loan, unless you could prove you really didn't need the loan. Now a days, you fill out an on-line credit application, and usually get the loan, credit card, auto loan, or a mortgage.

Again, is it so bad having to scrim and save to make a big purchase.

One last one, ...

A wide ranging war could be started to eliminate the financial situation, just like WWII. After the war, there was a time of rebuilding, and these United States lead the world. What's wrong with that?

O.K. I have to go.

But, ...

These United States running out of money is not a 'bad' thing; it's just a situation we will have to deal with, sooner or later.

And, ...

It is a matter of sooner or later.

So, ...

If 'they' solve this problem, it isn't solved. It's just been pushed down the road a little.

Because, ...

These United States still owes $17,000,000,000,000

Just so you know:
Members on both sides of the family lost fortunes in the '30s and the '80s, and we survived.

Southern Poverty Law Center - Oath Keepers to Form 'Civialization Preservation' Teams in Anticipation of Societal Collapse

Oath Keepers - Oath Keepers is Going "Operational" by Forming "Civialization Preservation" Teams

If you have the time, please read the two links, above. One is from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the other is the Oath Keeper blog post.

And, ...

Ol' Remus has a couple of words for ya, at the start of last week's article, Woodpile Report 341 8 October, Revision One

October 25, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

I'm one of those people that need seven to eight hours of sleep, almost, every night, or I feel like sh*t.

Well, ...

During an event, you and your family are going to need to get a good nights sleep.

Recent Experience
I have moved. I left my family and hometown for a 'new' job. Since my partner and the children stayed back home, I have been trying to make this move as cheap as possible.

One of the cheap things, I am doing, is sleeping on the floor.

At first, I laid down a couple of blankets on the bedroom's carpeted floor. It worked, for a little while, until I started noticing my hips, shoulder blades, and back were starting to hurt. My hips and shoulder blades were getting red from pressure points. My back from having little support, at least I think so.

I needed something better.

After I received my first paycheck, I headed down to a local China-Mart and purchased a mattress pad. I slept on that for a couple days. No help, either. It was too thin.

Lucky me, I headed back home for a quick visit and brought back three couch cushions. (Don't ask, my partner is still 'upset' with me)

Here's my current set-up.

As you can see, it looks pretty comfy, and it is.

So, how did I do it.

First, I 'stole' three sofa cushions from our basement furniture, laid 'em down as close together as possible.

So, ...

The cushions wouldn't separate making a hollow.

Next, I folded a military wool blanket, in half longways. At the time, I thought this set up would also prevent the cushions from slipping apart and creating a hollow. It has helped to support my back.

Next, I wrapped the mattress pad, I bought after my first paycheck, in a queen-sized cotton-blend sheet. I did this to prevent body oils from soiling the pad. It also helps prevent my skin from touching the poly-foam, this isn't a big deal. I just know from experience, laying on an unprotected foam pad, the pad gets funky.

Next, I laid down the bottom sheet to cover everything, just like a regular bed. I took the excess material and tucked it under the three cushions. As you can see the mattress pad bends down a little.

Next, I laid a top sheet down, tucked the bottom of the sheet under the cushions, just like a regular bed. Laid a fluffy polyester blanket on top of the top sheet, and laid a quilt-type blanket from a China-mart on top of everything else.

So far, I have slept about three weeks on this set-up. It has worked well. Katniss is visiting in a couple of weeks, so I will be purchasing a mattress, from a local bedroom shop.

About those institutional green sheets. I found them for a couple of pennies each from a local laundry service. They sold me a few dozen, with pillow cases. If I remember correctly, a queen sheet cost 20¢, a full sheet cost 10¢, and a twin sheet cost 5¢. Needless to say, pillow cases where 5¢, a piece. I spent about $40.

I still have a lot of sheets, but as you will see, in one of the links, these sheets are just more then sheets. They are firearm's cleaning patches, hammocks, and many other things, limited by our imagination.

Previous Experience
In the past, when I was a lot younger, I would pile blankets one atop another to form a soft place to sleep. It worked for almost a year. My brother Scout was (and still is) a lot smarter than me; he bought a folding hassock that turned into a bed.

After I was married, I visited Scout and his wife in their new two bedroom home. Since we didn't want to kick their new baby out of his bed, Katniss and I slept in Scout's office on an inflatable queen size bed. (I told you he is smart)

The inflatable bed took a little getting use to it. It wasn't rigid like our 'normal' bed. Plus, Katniss and I thought it should have a mattress pad to present a more comfortable feeling. Of course, I got a good night's sleep.

For you folks thinking about roughing it, you could sleep on the ground or a hammock.

Taking a Nap

As you can probably tell, the person in the above picture is doing it wrong, even for a nap.

First, you want to be comfortable as possible. You can easily do this by hollowing out dips or depressions for your butt and shoulder blades, in soft ground.

Next, if the ground is cold, you will need insulation to prevent the ground from sucking heat out of your body. The insulation can be made from natural or human-made material, such as piles of leaves, pine boughs, or cardboard.

But, ...

What about if it's raining?

You can build an improvised shelter and sleep in a hammock.

Chinchorro en Casa de Playa
Raven 712

Hammocks can be made from many different material. Some are made from natural or human-made cordage, such as cotton, nylon, or ... Some hammocks are made from sheet material, such as cotton or nylon. Of course, there are a few ways to improvise a hammock.

You and your family could use a bed sheet, a la Nuclear War Survival Skills in .html and in .pdf.

Or, ...

You could take two lengths of rope, a blanket, and two anchor points to create a blanket hammock. The two ropes are tied to the two trees (anchor points) then the blanket is inserted between the ropes. Once that's done the blanket is folded in such a way that the blanket forms a hammock. (Yeah, I know the description sucked, but I provided a link to a better explanation ; - )

But, ...

There are two problems with a hammock, as a buddy of mine from Panama recounted, one issue:

'We were running a training patrol in the jungle. As it was getting dark, we decided to take it easy and put up hammocks. To our dismay, the Lt. said no way because we are on a 'combat' patrol, so we all sacked out on the ground.

At around O dark thirty, there were three shotgun blasts, and all above us, leaves and branches dropped from bushes and trees. Needless to say, not a person was hurt because we had been sleeping on the ground.'

The other issue, hammocks are 'cold' in the winter because your body crushes any insulation under you. Just like sleeping on the ground, you and your family should place some kind of insulating material (cardboard, salvaged foam padding, leaves, or any other insulating material) under you in the cold.

But, ...

That doesn't solve the insulation getting crushed from your body weight.

But, ...

A hammock underquilt will.

Practical Primitive - Skill of the Month: The Bed Sheet Hammock

eHow: eHow Contributor - How to Improvise a Hammock

Mother Earth News - How to Make a Rope Hammock

LOL - Improvised Hammock

YouTube: Jim Cyr - Improvised UnderQuilt/Insulation for Hammock Camping

Just Jeff's Hiking Page - How Do I Hang My Hammock?

Just Jeff's Hiking Page has a lot more information, so does YouTube, on using hammocks in the wilderness.

November 1, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

A Programmer's Work Station

Storing Food for Work
I have an unique job, just over 100.000 people in these United States have a similar job

With that said, ...

I have a locker at work, a big locker. Plus, I may get stuck at work during extreme weather events.

So, ...

I will be storing some food, enough for three days, at work.

So, how did  I do it?

Two 'Big' and One 'Small' Meals for Three Days
First, I planned the meals. I mainly wanted canned soups and stews, so I could have three warm meals, each day. I added canned fruits because I like fruit with my meals and as a snack. The canned fruit also has a longer shelf life than fresh fruit. I also added a box of quick barley to extend the menu, adding to the 'filling power' of the soups and stews. Lastly, I bought six packages of ramen noodles because ...

What is a winter storm or any other disaster without ramen noodles ; - )

My Emergency Food Box
Next, I found a box, a sturdy box. As you can see from the picture, it is an old Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) box. I forgot where I found this box, probably at a gun show, but you can use any box. Heck, you could use a couple of smaller boxes or even plastic bags; you just need something to keep all the food in one place.

A Stuff Box Full of Water and Food
Third, I packed the box, with the food, and added 9 liters of water. Just in case, work loses water pressure. Unlikely, but I am a survivalist.

Of course, carrying a box full of food into work, especially an MRE box, screams 'Prepper!'

So, ...

I brought the box into work while no one was around and slowly added the food and water to the box. I did this by starting a habit of bring my lunch in a plastic grocery sack and putting my lunch in my locker. At break or just before getting off work, while no one was around, I would place two or three cans in the box, in my locker. Remember, OPSEC.

Later on, next paycheck, I will add a small propane stove, a 'fat' bottle of propane, and a canteen cup to my stash, so I will have an emergency method of heating my food, just in case work loses power, too.

Needless to say, this method will work for work and home, even your retreat, for building up a short-term food stockpile.

As always, there are some pictures that didn't fit the narrative.

So, ...

A Small Pot and Can Opener from the Local Charity Store
I want to the local charity store to buy a microwave safe dish and a spoon for 'normal' times, so I can prepare a hot meal by using work's microwave.

Well, ...

I found a small, one-quart (one-liter) sauce pan and an inexpensive can opener, so I won't buy a canteen cup to heat the emergency food. I bought the can opener, just in case, so I won't have to worry about buying lift-off lid cans.

November 2, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Steacie Science and Engineering Library
York University
Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine

Nothing Better to Do?
I have finally reached 1000 posts, again.

So, ...

I spent yesterday combining a bunch of posts from 2008, 2009, and some posts from 2010 onto a few pages. If you're interested, and have some time, they make for some interesting reading.

GSIEP - Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts, 2008

GSIEP - Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts, 2009

GSIEP - Fridays: A Collction of Previous Posts, 2010

November 8, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Geldspeicher, Locatie Wijster (Nederlands)

I was recently visiting my favorite uncle, Crazy, for a quick visit. While I was visiting, he burned all of his family's paper and cardboard trash in a fire pit.

Being a curious person, I asked him why.

Over the course of a few of beers, Crazy explained his reasoning for burning his family's paper and cardboard trash.

First, they live way out in the country. Trash service is expensive, very expensive. It's so expensive, he could drive to the city, dispose of the trash in someone else's dumpster, drive home and still save money.

Second, he is practicing 'extreme' OPSEC. My uncle Crazy feels that villains could and would steal his family's identity using all of those credit card applications, catalogs, and other junk mail. They receive in the mail, daily.

Lastly, he is concerned with the environment.

Remember, his name is Crazy, so I didn't ask ; - )

So, ...

What does this have to do with prepping.

First, how are you and your family going to deal with trash during an event?

One method is filling up your family's regular trash can. After a short-term event, say a two-day power outage, the trash company picks up the trash. No big deal.

But, ...

What happens for a longer event? Say, two-weeks.

Once again, your regular trash service comes to the rescue. You and your family fill regular plastic trash bags with your trash, store the filled trash bags in a secure location, to keep animals and other humans out of the bags, and wait for regular trash service to begin.

Crews Collect Debris after Hurricane Ike (ca 2008)
Robert Kaufmann 
During an event that causes major damage to homes and the local area, such as flooding, a strong hurricane, or violent earthquake, you and your family will need to rely on the local, state and federal governments, insurance companies, or volunteer organizations.

These agencies will coordinate the clean-up efforts because, as you see in the picture, there is a lot of trash and debris to remove.

But, ...

What about a long term event?

I can tell you from personal experience, for a long-term event, everything that can possibly reused is saved. Nothing is thrown out, but sooner or later 'stuff' will need to be disposed of.

One answer, for burnable items is the burn barrel.

Burn Barrel
Just as the name says, the burn barrel is used to burn your family's trash.

Old Burn Barrels and Trash
Burn barrels are used to dispose of 'burnable' trash. This trash can be paper, cardboard, scrap wood, clothing, and even plastic. Needless to say, plastic will give off harmful fumes when burning, so you and your family need to stay away from the burn barrel when burning plastic.

To make a burn barrel, you will need a metal barrel. The barrel can be any size, but traditionally, they are 55-gallon drums. These barrel can be found at salvage yards and farm and home supply stores. They run about $10 to $20, a piece. Of course, you want to purchase a metal barrel before the crisis because they will go up in price or become unavailable.

For those families worried about inflation, barrels have increased in price. I use to be able to buy '2 for $10' a couple of years ago.

These store bought burn barrels will probably already have their top removed, so you won't have to do anything else to make the barrel into a burn barrel, except add a non-flammable screen. The screen will keep sparks and embers inside the barrel. If you don't trap the embers, you and your family could start a fire : - (

To make a spark and ember screen, take some heavy gauge window screen, cut to the proper size, and place over the burn barrel. Caution! this screen will get hot!

*** Picture of drilled holes***

If you want, and I suggest, you need to drill a few holes in the bottom and sides of the barrel. The holes will allow air to enter and increase air flow, allowing the trash to burn more effectively. I used an electric drill and a drill bit rated for soft metal, from my local big-box home improvement store to put hole in this burn barrel.

If you don't have a drill, you can shoot through the barrel with a handgun or rifle (makes jagged edges that can cut you), a hatchet to cut slashes in the barrel (dulls the hatch edge), or improvise another method of getting holes in the bottom and sides of the barrel.

Next, you want to lift the barrel off the ground, for three reasons. First, it allows you to cut the grass around and under the burn barrel, reducing the fire risk. Lifting the barrel also allows air to circulate around the barrel, giving you a more effective burn, if you put holes in the bottom. Lastly, it helps prevent the barrel from prematurely rusting out.

Another modification; I haven't tried, yet; is adding metal rods like rebar (reinforcing bar) through the bottom of the burn barrel creating a grid. I think, this metal grid will keep my family's trash from settling to the bottom of the barrel, preventing a good burn.

There is a kind'a art to using a burn barrel. You can't just shove plastic bags full of trash in the barrel and light it. You have to make sure the trash is separated, so the trash will catch fire, not smolder. Some folks will suggest to slowly 'feed' the fire, that works too.

Bury Pits
Bury pits are used to dispose of non-burnable trash such as metal cans, glass bottles, ???, and even automobiles.

If you plan to use a bury pit, you will need to follow some rules. First, don't bury stuff close to your water source. Next, don't place it too close to your home, you might need to plant a garden on that spot.

Next, you need to mark the bury pit because you and your family, maybe even the great-grandchildren, will need to excavate the bury pit to remove harmful material.

Or, ...

An archaeologist might want to conduct a 'dig' to collect your family's history ; - ) Hey, it could happen.

Lastly, there is more to this.

But, ...

Since I don't know it all, I will have to do some more research, later.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
During an event, you and your family may need to reuse what some people would consider trash.

Check out this picture, below.

Ein Schrotthaufen in Berlin, Germany
S. Muller

That is a pile of bent and rusty corrugated metal roofing. Just think of the possibilities for providing shelter for you and your family, livestock, unprepared friends, family, and ...

What ever else you can improvise?

November 15, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Needed Supplies
2 * 2 X 12 X 98 inches
2 * 2 X 10 X 98 inches
2 * Sheet of Plywood 5/8 inch thick.
1 * Box of 3 inch long deck screws, one pound

Safety Supplies
Hearing Protection (Earplugs)
Eye Protection (Safety Glasses) Thank You Work!!!
My Brain (Hey, you have to think to be safe)

Needed Equipment
Wood Saw (Circular Saw Preferred)
Tape Measure
Drill with Phillips screw bit (Electric Drill Preferred)
Sawhorses, one set

Building a Bed
Needless to say, you can handle a lot of discomfort, like I have, but your partner or your children may not want to deal with it like you do.

Or, ...

Expected guests have reached a level of preparedness that allows them to address sleeping issues.

Or, ...

You're just plain crazy ; - )

Hauling the Supplies
I went down to the local big-box home improvement store and purchased my supplies. They had everything; I needed for this project.

Since I left the truck at home with my family, I had to haul the wood on top of the car. I have done this many times. I usually lay down an old fluffy blanket, purchased at a garage sale, to protect the car's roof. Next, I lay the plywood down then the 2X12s, 2X10s, and 2X4s (more about the 2X4s, later). I use a set of tie down straps (Yes, I had to purchase a set because the car didn't have any tie down straps. They are all in the truck ; - ) rated for about 600 pounds and 15 feet long.

Since the weather was nice, I rolled down the back windows and run two tie down straps through the opened back windows. Hooked them on top and tighten them down, kind'a tight. Next, I opened the driver side door, run another strap through the passenger side window (did I mention, I rolled the passenger side window down, first) then through the open driver side door. I tightened the strap, just a little bit tight, then hooked the strap on top. Lastly, I hopped in the car, closed the door, and drove to the apartment.

Needless to say, I have some experience doing this. I have over-tightened the strap before (the driver-side door is kind'a hard to close. Just get out and loosen the strap) and I have under-tightened the strap (the material on top will flap around, a little bit. Once again, just get out and tightened the strap)

Once I got back to the apartment, I placed the 2X12s on the sawhorses, placing them on either side of the sawhorses, just like in the picture

Next, laid one sheet of plywood on top of the 2X12s, so it would be easier to cut that huge piece of plywood.

Warning: measure twice, cut once.

Since I am making a queen-size bed, I needed a 60 inches wide by 80 inches long platform for the mattress.

So, ...

I cut down a regular sized piece of plywood (48 inches X 96 inches) to 30"X80"

Note: the " symbol means inches

Once I had cut down the two sheets of plywood, I started on the 2X12s.

Now, the 2X12s are going to lift the bed off the ground, so they should go on the longest axis. That means, they will be 80" long.

As you can see in the picture, the carpenter's pencil indicates my cut line.

Just like I did for the plywood, I measure the desired distance, make a mark, move the tape measure over (just a little bit) make another mark, and so on until I get to the edge of the material.

Since I don't have a carpenter's square; I'm borrowing the landlord's tools; I used the 2X10 as my straight edge to connect the marks. Once I connect the marks, a straight line is formed to guide my cut.

Needless to say, having the circular saw blade projecting too far down, through the material, can cause splintering in your wood.

So, ...

You should adjust the blade's depth before cutting each type of material.

I do this by unplugging the circular saw, sitting the saw on the edge of the material, carefully raising the guard, then adjusting the blade up or down, until the saw projects about one tooth below the material.

This saw was kind'a pain in the *ss. The adjuster was a wing nut instead of a lever, like my circular saw at home.

Oh, well.

There is a problem with poorly designed platform beds, they will flip up when you sit on the edge of the bed.

I didn't want that to happen, so I made the supports as long as possible.

But, ...

I also didn't want to kick the support either when I walk around the bed.

So, ...

I cut a wedge out of the support. To do this, I measured down 3" from the top then I measured in, from the bottom, 7". Drew a line to connect the two marks and cut, both ends of the 2X12.

Of course, I did this with a hope and a pray because I have never build at platform bed before.

Most platform beds have a box for the base of the bed. I didn't want a box to insure I didn't screw up and make the box too small, allowing the bed to flip up when someone sits on the edge of the bed.

So, ...

I want with the design in the picture.

I used a 2X10 to connect the two side pieces. The 2X10 allows air to flow under the bed and to act as a nailing point for the plywood.

The 2X10 was cut to allow the plywood a 6" overhang on both sides. For a queen size bed that means the distance between the 2X12s would be 45".

To calculate it: I took 6" + 6" for each side then added another 3" for the thickness of the 2X12s.

After I cut the 2X10 to length, I screwed it to the 2X12s. I made sure that the top of the 2X10 was level with the 2X12s so I had a level surface for securing the plywood to the base, with deck screws.

Since the 2X10 is smaller than the 2X12, I had to come up with a way to rise the other end so everything came out level, before I screwed it together.

To do this, I used the wedges, I cut from the 2X12s, to act as holders. I would bring the 'pointy' ends in and out, as needed, to rise and lower the other end of the 2X10.

Once everything is secured, you can screw down the two sheets of plywood to complete the platform bed.

You and your family may use smaller pieces of lumber, to save some cash, such as using 2X8s instead of 2X12 for the sides and 2X6 for the middle pieces. Of course that will cause your bed to be lower.

You can also use thinner plywood, but I wouldn't go thinner than 1/2 inch thick plywood for the platform, because the sides may sag when you sit on the edge of the bed.

November 16, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Needed Supplies
1 * 2 X 4 X 98 inches
1 * Box of 3 inch long deck screws, one pound
and the leftovers from
2 * Sheet of Plywood 5/8 inch thick.

Safety Supplies
Hearing Protection (Earplugs)
Eye Protection (Safety Glasses) Thank You Work!!!
My Brain (Hey, you have to think to be safe)

Needed Equipment
Wood Saw (Circular Saw Preferred)
Tape Measure
Drill with Phillips screw bit (Electric Drill Preferred)
Sawhorses, one set

Making a Secret Compartment
I wanted a 'secret' compartment to hold some emergency cash and to hide my get-out-of-town firearm, a couple of magazines, and some ammo. Since that gun isn't an immediate need (I have a pistol for that) I didn't need a lot of space.

So, ...

I used scrap plywood and a 2X4 to make a secret compartment.

First, I cut a 2X4 in half, 48"

Oops, ...

Back to the distance between the two 2X10s. I added 48" (for the length of the 2X4s) plus 3" (for the thickness of the 2X10s) and subtracted that from 80" and got 51". Next, I divided by 2 and got 25 and 1/2". That 25 and 1/2 inches represents how far I needed to measure from the ends of the 2X12s to screw in the 2X10s.

After I did all that, I screwed the 2X4s to the 2X10s.

Since the scrap plywood, from making the platform, was 28" wide, I calculated how far apart the 2X4s needed to be. Remember, the 2X10s are 45" long.

So, ...

45" minus 28" (the width of the scrap plywood) equals 17" plus 3" (thickness of 2X4s) equals 14" divided by two equals 7"

This 7" represents the distance from the sides of the 2X12s to screw in the 2X4s.

Once all that calculating was done, I screwed the 2X4s into the 2X10s then I screwed the scrap piece of plywood into the bottom of the 2X4s.

And, ...

I got this. The picture to the left.

Next, I took one piece of plywood that I had cut down from yesterday's article and secured it to the 2X material. I used the 3" deck screws and screwed the plywood into the 2X12s and the 2X10s.

For something like this. Each screw was about 8" apart.

Some of y'all might wonder why I used 3" screws to secure the plywood.

I didn't want to have to buy two lengths of screw and store any excess. Remember, I'm renting.

Next, I figured how big of an opening I needed to cut in the other section of plywood for the access door for the secret compartment.

So, ...

The access door would be supported on all sides by the 2X4s and the 2X10s

Needless to say, ...

I screwed up.

I measured from the wrong edge.

So, ...

As you can see, I cut the access door opening too big ; - (

So, ...

Back to the big-box home improvement store to purchase another 2X4.

This 2X4, I cut in half, like the first one.

Next, I secured the second piece of plywood, flipped the bed over, and screwed the two pieces of 2X4 to the 2X10s. The first piece, I made sure would support the access door. The other piece, I screwed it in the general location it would go on the other side of the secret compartment.

As you can see in the above picture.

Of course, I could have gone back to the store and instead of bought another sheet of plywood, go through the process of cutting it to the proper size, ...

But, ...

Have spent $17 for the plywood, instead of $3 for the 2X4.

As luck would have it. It worked out to be a good thing.

Katniss would have said 'As God would have it.'

 Now, I have access to a non-secret place to store 'stuff'

** Non-secret because the bed could be lifted to expose the gear stored under the bed while the 'secret' compartment goes unnoticed. **

Design Flaws
There are some design flaws in this platform bed with a secret compartment.

First, the opening of the compartment weakens the top and bottom edge of the platform.

You can notice the top edge bending down, just a little.

At first, I thought this would effect the mattress. It doesn't. The mattress is easily supported.

However, this might be a problem, if you use a thinner thickness of plywood, like 1/4" or 3/8" plywood.

A kind'a complicated fix would be to use the scrap 2X12. The scrap would be cut to size and shape to mimic the 2X12 supports ends. You know, with the wedge cut out and cut to the proper size, so it doesn't stick out passed the ends of the plywood then screw the piece to the plywood and 2X10s.

Next, the corners of the platform stick out too far. Katniss caught her shin on one corner, getting an owie.

It's an easy fix, though. I'll take the landlords jig saw and round all four corners.

Lastly, the access door is too tight and flush to the plywood. I will need to add a piece of material or drill a finger hole through the access door to allow easier removal of the access door.

November 17, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

How Did 'It' Turn Out?
After I built the platform, I went to a local mattress store and purchased a firm mattress with medium padding. Of course, they couldn't deliver the mattress that day, so I had them deliver it the next day, after work.

That night, I built my couch cushion bed on the platform and slept pretty good.

Except for the new wood smell that clogged my nose up and had me stuffy the next couple of days.

A few days later, Katniss arrives for a visit, and we head to one of the local China-Marts and bought flannel sheets, a thick polypro blanket, and a comforter set that had a bed skirt, comforter, and three decorative pillows.

The polypro blanket and flannel sheets are awesome, however; the comforter set sucked. We immediately took it back and went to J.C. Penny's for a better quality set, for the same price.

On sale, of course.

How Much Did I Save?
That's a good question. The answer is: It depends

First, I didn't purchase a box springs for the mattress, say $100 to $250

Second, I didn't purchase a manufactured platform bed, say another $250 to $450

So, ...

For a total of $350 to $700

But, ...

I spent about $120 on material with about another $20 on fuel.

And, ...

I spent about six hours buying, hauling, and building the platform bed.

So, ...

I would have to say, for me and my family, I saved a lot. Plus, I have a bed with a 'secret' compartment ; - )

Oh, ...

I almost forgot.

I had some plywood left over to make a haybox cooker box and two storage boxes for underneath the platform bed.

Update: 17 November 2013 at 11:30 am

I Had to Do It
Remember this kind'a mistake from a couple of days ago?

Well, I had to fix it because the plan had been to have a 3 1/2 inch deep 'secret' compartment not a 10 to 12 inch deep compartment and another 3 1/2 inch compartment.

Katniss says it's my OCD kicking in ; - )

So, ...

I pulled out the electric drill inserted a screw bit and removed some pieces, mainly the bottom piece of plywood for the 'secret' compartment and one of the 2X4s (the one in the middle of the opening)

Next. I took the 2X4 that I removed, lined it up on the left side then screwed it in with two 3" deck screws. After I did that, I remounted the plywood to the bottom and got this.

What I wanted in the beginning!

Notice the 2X4s are positioned to support the piece of plywood for the secret compartment.

Needless to say, since I had the bedsheets and mattress off the platform, I was going to do some modifications to the bed.

 First, I removed the sharp corners on the ... corners ; - ) by taking a can of spray paint (you could probably use any can to do this) and drawing a radius.

Next, I took a jig saw and cut the line, ...

... getting this.

As you can see, in the picture to the left, folks won't be catching their shins in the corner, anymore.

Katniss is happy ; - )

So, are the kids!!!

My next modification, because I was tired of having to peel the trap door open with my finger nails,was to add a piece of string to the secret compartment's door.

It was pretty simple.

I swapped out the screw bit of a drill bit (any size will do if your string will pass through the holes), screwed two holes through the trap door, threaded the string through the holes, and tied it off on the underside of the door.

Of course, I could have done this a bunch of different ways. I could have used a spade bit and drilled a finger size hole through the plywood.

Or, ...

I could have stapled a piece of cloth to the back side and fold the cloth over, so I would grab and lift the secret door off the compartment.

O.K. ...

How big is the compartment?

It is 48 inches long, 3 1/2 inches deep, and about 16 inches wide.

In other words, ...

It's big enough to hold a SKS rifle, a couple of stripper clips of ammo, and some cash.

About that Pistol
It is a Springfield Armory 1911A1 pistol that I picked up at a local gun store a couple of years ago.

It has some stuff, I didn't add, like a beaver tail grip, different trigger, and a skeleton hammer.

I did add "Bright & Tough" night sights from Trijicon because the original sights were black on black. Plus, I wanted a 'noise in the night' pistol for the night stand.

Dang! I made a mistake.

The sights are Novak tritium night sights.

November 22, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

During an event, fuel may become unavailable for various reasons, so you and your family will have to conserve precious fuel. One of these methods is using a hay box cooker.

The Basics
A hay box cooker is basically an insulated vessel that holds a cooking pot that has food in it. The cooking pot and food are brought to a boil then placed in the insulated 'cooker.' The insulation holds in heat from the heated pot and food allowing the food to continue to cook, slowly.

There are dangers to using a hay box cooker. Food can cool to less than 140°F (60°C) creating an ideal environment for dangerous microorganisms to grow in the cooling food, like botulism.

Of course, an easy fix is to reheat the food to boiling before eating.

Building a Hay Box Cooker
Fire-less cookers, hay box cookers, or ... can be improvised from many different materials, such as piles of cotton and wool blankets, piles of jackets, shirts, and pants, or ... even hay ; - ) Just make sure, you use a material that won't melt when touching a +212°F (+100°C) pot.

Remember, the food and pot should be boiling hot when you place it in the box.

If you are using piles of loose material, such as packing peanuts, hay, or cotton fluff, you will want a box to contain the loose material. A large cardboard box, wicker basket, or other ridged container would work in this situation.

For you folk that are thinking ahead and will want to make a dedicated hay box cooker, here is a hay box cooker project, I recently started using scrap material from the platform bed project.

Before I begin, my objective in making this hay box cooker is to make one using 'modern' materials that will last many, many decades.

So, ...

I am using some pretty thick material for the box.

Secondly, the leftover material dictated how large the box would be when finished. As you can see from some of the illustrations in the Wikipedia article, fire-less cookers can be quite large, holding multiple pots.

Needless to say, this hay box cooker is designed to hold one pot.

The Plan
First, I made a plan. I knew from designing the platform bed project; I would have two strips of plywood, 48 inches long and about 18 inches wide.

Since I needed a top, bottom, and four sides, I decided the hay box cooker would be a 16 inch cube, every side would 16" X 16", except the top. It's 16" X 17".

Second, I cut some wood, plywood that is.

Now, ...

You can make a simple box by nailing the sides and bottom to each other that would make a very good temporary box.

But, ...

As I said: I want a better box.

Side Panel "A"
 So, ...

I notched each of the boards; these notches are (might be) called 'rabbits' (really, they are rabbets)

Each of the boards have a specific configuration.

The one to the right is all notches with no notch at the top. (Side Panel A)

Side Panel "B"
The next board is all 'tabs.' (Side Panel B) It also has no tab at the top, so the top will be flat for the hay box cooker's top.

More about that later.

Next, I cut the bottom with tabs and notches.

Bottom Panel
Notice the notches are across from each other, as are the tabs.

I was going to get all fancy until I started trying to figure out how the pieces of plywood would be notched and tabbed then matched to the bottom.

As you can see, I settled on this simple design.

Of course, each piece will fit together 'If' I cut the sides and bottom correctly.

So, ...

Let us see how the test fit worked out.

Side Panel "A" and Side Panel "B"
This picture, to the right, shows side panel "A" notches and side panel "B" tabs inserted. If you notice, you will also see the two side panels attached to the bottom panel.

Of course, for the very first test fit, some of the notches and tabs would not fit together.

To remedy that situation, I carefully cut the notch if the tab did not fit.

But, ...

Which side to cut?

I would line up the top of the two panels to see which side I needed to cut. In some cases, I cut the top and bottom of the notch, so the tab would fit properly.

As you can see, in the picture to the left, I drew lines along the side to determine how deep the notch needed to be. To do that, I took a small piece of scrap plywood, laid it on its side, lined it up then drew a line.

Next, I decided how wide the notch and tab needed to be.

I decided the tad would be 8 inches wide, so the notch is ...

8 inches

I wish, I had taken pictures of this next part, but I didn't.

Oh, well, ...

You'll just have to pay attention.

After determining the notch would be 8 inches, I measured down from the top 4 inches (16 - 8 = 8 divided by 2) to mark where the first cut would be for the notch. Next, I measured from the top again and made a second mark at 12 inches (4 + 8 = 12) for the second cut of the notch.

After I did that, I cut each of the notches. I used a jig saw because it has a thin saw blade that allows the saw to move as you're sawing.

Yeah, I know that explanation sucked, but you have to be here for me to show you, maybe YouTube, some day ; - )

Next, I cut each of the tabs. Cutting a tab is easy. You take the saw and cut from the side until you reach you're ...

Sorry, I forgot to tell you how to make the plywood for the tab.

First, measure from the top 4 inches, make a mark. Next measure from the top 12 inches, and also make a mark. Needless to say, you also mark how long the tab should be by using the piece of scrap plywood, lay it on its side by the edge of the wood, and mark the wood using a pencil.

Next, you put all the sides together and the bottom, and you have a box, without a top

To secure the pieces of wood together, I use box nails and wood glue. First, I glue the inside edge of the tad then I nail three to four nails in each tab.

Needless to say, when I say tabs, I mean all of the 'tabs' including the short 4 inch ones next to the notch.

The next part of the process is to make a top. Some folk would figure, since the box is 16 inches by 16 inches, the top should be 16X16. They would be right until they tried to lift the top off.

My top 16" X 17" so there is a one inch lip. The lip allows the hay box cooker to be easily opened for loading the pot. Of course you will want to secure the top to the box.

The top can be secured with straps of cloth, to act a hinges. Hinges made of metal that are attached on the outside.

Or, ...

As I will be doing, using a piano hinge. (I think)

So, ...

That's it until I head to the store to figure out which type of hinge, I'll be using.

And, ...

Purchasing the insulation

And, ...

Cutting it to fit the pot

Wikipedia - Haybox

Instructables - Hay Box Cooker - Fireless Cooker

You'll want to check out these links, suggested by, for the pictures

National Park Service: George Washing Carver Museum - Fireless Cooker

Cornell: Search Results- Household Economics and Management

See: DD-HEM-18 through DD-HEM-22

Wikipedia - Botulism

Pan African Conservation Project - Make a Fireless Cooker

If you are investigating how folks living in other parts of the world do things, you might be interested in some information from the Pan African Conservation Project

Pan African Conservation Project - Home

Pan African Conservation Project - Topics

November 29, 2013

Dear Prepprs and Survivalists,

Sgt. Gabriel Akonom, 249th Prime Power Battalion,
shows an Afghan technician
how to maneuver the work platform
on one of the two “bucket trucks”
donated to the utility by the United States.
Dave Melancon

A buddy of mine has been getting 'hassled' at work. It seems, he has been getting written up for stupid stuff, so he's looking for another job.

Well, ...

There's a position making more money, better benefits, and less responsibility.

But, ...

He'll have to drive further, each day.

With that said, ...

I'm working some overtime, so this is all you get, for today.

Wednesday: 4 December 2013, Part Four

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

Harmony Weekend 2007 Craft Show
Moody Grove at en.wikipedia

Have you and your family ever been to a craft show or a local art fair?

Pretty cool wasn't it?

Well, ...

You and your family can do some crafts to be better prepared for an event.

Survivopedia - DIY Projects You Can Start Now to Survive Later

Here's Another
Link that you might fine interesting!

Survival Sherpa - 33 Awesome DIY Projects for Preppers

And, ...

Gray Wolf Survival - How to be a Prepper: DIY Projects

And, ...

Pinterest: Denise Morrison - Prepper, DIY Self-Sufficiency

And, ...
I have to stop

December 6, 2013

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

Cpl. Will D. Hoover, ammunition technician, supervises a TRAM forklift
removing a pallet of howitzer artillery rounds to a staging area (ca 2010)
Sgt. Alex C. Sauceda, USMC

Not Enough Ammunition
I was driving home the other day, and got to thinking about some stuff I had seen on the internet.

First, there was this guy on 'Doomsday Preppers' bragging about how he was going to come and take other people's stuff, by force.

My first thought was this guy and his family are going to die a quick, painful death.

Then, ...

I thought some more about how a lot of folks might be thinking the same thing.

So, ...

You might want to increase the amount of ammo y'all store.

Not Enough Magazines
Of course, there are going to be folks that purchase a rifle that has detachable magazines, like the popular AR-15 series rifle.

Well, ...

Magazines are consumables that means they will be used, worn out, thrown away, or lost.

So, ...

You need to be buying more magazine, especially since they have come down in price.

Not Enough Spare Parts
Needless to say, if you're buying a bunch of ammo and magazines, you're going to need spare parts for your firearms. At a minimum, each handgun and rifle are going to need:

* action springs (recoil spring, 1911A1; buffer spring, AR-15; operating spring, SKS)

* firing pin (if it has a spring, you'll need a spare, maybe two or three)

* extractor (if it has a spring, you'll need a spare, maybe two or three)

* ejector (if it has a spring, you'll need a spare, maybe two or three)

 For the truly paranoid prepared, you might want to purchase:

* a complete set of springs (two or three sets, maybe)

* a complete set of pins (two or three sets, maybe)

* set of front and rear sights

* firing pin (yes, another one)

Not Enough Firearms
Some folks are gearing up for a war, but they have forgotten about their family and their friends*

So, ...

After purchasing more ammunition, magazines, spare parts, you need to acquire more firearms. First for your family then for your friends* (Depending on your friends*, you might want to get firearms for them, first)

This is why I like the SKS rifle and the inexpensive .357 revolver. They are relatively inexpensive, ammo is cheap, no magazines, and spare parts plentiful.

Not Enough Practice
Lastly, if you and your family are expecting to get out their during an event, y'all need to be out there running around in the woods and neighborhoods, practicing your tactical skills

The Prepper Journal - Are Marauders a Credible Threat to Preppers?

There are friends and then there are friends*

A friend will help you when you need a hand. They'll help you cut down a tree, lend you tools, move something heavy (maybe even up three flights of stairs), and other stuff.

A friend* is different. They will help you do all that stuff, but a friend* will help you kill someone (maybe even a lot of someones), dig the hole, drag the body into the hole, and cover them up.

Then, ...

They'll lie to the authorities when they come to investigate.

Lastly, ...

If you have nightmares or decide you can't handle the stress, your friends* will convince you not to do such a stupid thing, as turn yourself in ; - )

So, ...

Choose your friends* wisely.

December 14, 2013

Dear Prepprs and Survivalists,

New Polaroid 185 Land Camera (Made in Japan)
Zebrio from Tokyo, Japan

Do y'all remember when Katniss, my wife, and I were buying a comforter set for my bed, at home away from home. We went to a china-mart, purchased a set of flannel sheets, comforter set, and some other items then almost immediately returned the comforter set.

Well, ...

Thanks to Say Uncle, we're reminded there seems to be a lot of that

So, ...

If you're dissatisfied with the quality of a purchase, you need to take it back. I do and so should you and your family.

With that said, some folks are going to suggest, in their writings and opinions, for you and your family to spend a lot of money on one or two items, such as guns and knives.

Well, ...

You don't need to.

Let me explain.

As we have been seeing, the world isn't ending, any time soon. Heck, I have been prepping for over OPSEC years ; - ) and it's still around.

Oops, that's not working out. Let me try again.

Most of your preps can be inexpensive (Not Cheap) and common because 80% of the stuff you own can and will be used during an event. Plus, when everyone dies that blew their money on expensive guns (Remember, you and your family need firearms, too) and knives but no food, your family will be able to 'pick them up' for free.

Sorry, that still didn't turn out, the way I wanted it to : - (

The Black Sunday Society - Beware of Waltons bearing gift sets

Say Uncle has a link to an article talking about the same issue.

But, ...

With a different opinion, at least on guns.

Say Uncle - Cost in Perspective

1000, Again
I have reached 1000 posts, again.

So, ...

I have consalidated almost all of 2010's articles into one place.

Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness - Wednesdays and Other Stuff, 2010

December 20, 2013

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

New Year’s Day Postcard (ca 1910)
John Winsch

Out with the Old; In with the New
In a couple of weeks, a new year will begin!

Awe the possibilities.

Reallocation of Assets
As the new year looms, some folks are suggesting preppers get out of their dollar (or other currencies) denominated assets. In other words, sell, Sell, SELL all your stocks, bonds, and other financial assets, including closing your savings accounts!

And, ...

buy, Buy, BUY gold and silver because the 'collapse' is going to happen, this year!

O.K. that's why my family and I are stocking up on water, food, and other stuff

But, ...

These folks and other like them have been saying the same thing for months, years, and even decades. A 'collapse' hasn't happened yet. What's different about this year? (Buy the way, as of the 18th of December, silver is down $10 an ounce)

Sounds pretty stupid, doesn't it?

But, ...

My family and I are still filling our water containers; buying and storing long-term whole foods, like hard red winter wheat, dried beans, white rice, and other food; buying ammunition and magazines for our handguns, rifles, and shotguns; and many other preps.

Because, ...

Prepping is something we do all the time because the ice storm, lay off, or other more probable event may happen, this year.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am concerned about the long-term financial health of our citizens and their government. You might even say, 'I'm worried!' about all the financial difficulties reported by many sources, from all over the world.

It doesn't look good. Not at all.

So, ...

What are we doing, financially?

First, we are refinancing our mortgage. We were unable to do that earlier because I had been fired, late last year. With the refi, we will save a couple of dollars every month. This money will go towards other financial difficulties.

What? You thought we lived in a paid-off multimillion dollar retreat. Heck, I live in a dirt-cheap rental a few hundred miles from the family, so the children and Katniss can continue with their lives, in a subdivision.

Next, I would suggest, you look at your retirement funds and make sure you are allocated in the percentages that meet your retirement goals. Yes, that means you need to be in the stock market and the bond market, and have a retirement savings account. Needless to say, the specific percentages will be determined by your age, risk adversity, and retirement goals.

Me? I'm currently in a low-fee S&P 500 mutual fund and a low-fee short-term, under five-years, bond fund, at 70% and 30%. (There's a little more, but you get the point)

Now, some of y'all are freaking out; asking 'but, But, BUT ... You know the financial collapse of the world is right around the corner'

Yeah, that's why I have hedged my stock and bond investments with some physical gold and silver coins.

Oooops. I need to back up.

There are a couple of guys at work that pulled all their money out of the stock market a couple of years ago, just after that big loss in 2007 or 2008. Their money has been in long-term government bonds these last few years.

Guess what?

They did it because they were worried; they would lose even more money. (Folks, it's called investing for a reason)

Guess what, again?

They're taking their money out of bonds (decreased in value) and putting it into stocks that have increased in value. (Fools, but you know what they say about fools and their money)

Now, ...

If they had been smart, these guys would have looked at their retirement goals and done a reallocation at the end of every year. (And, ... Have been closer to their retirement goals)

Just so you know, to do a reallocation, you look at your funds' percentages and sell your winners and buy your losers. Let me explain.

Say, I have $10,000 in my retirement funds, 70% in stocks and 30% in bonds at the beginning of the year. By the end of the year, I have $12,000 (I wish) 75% in stocks and 25% in bonds. I would sell 5% of the stock fund and buy 5% of the bond fund.

That's a reallocation.

Now, some people do a reallocation every six-months. I'm think about doing that but I haven't decided, yet.

Needless to say, there are some folks still 'but, But, BUT ... the end of the world is happening, this year!!!'

Yes, that's why I follow a little different investment strategy. Let me explain.

Over these past decades, about 7 decades, historically, stocks and bonds move in opposite directions. Stocks go up; bonds go down. OR Stocks go down; bonds go up. Plus, usually, stocks increase in value more often than bonds.

So, ...

Like I said, "I'm currently in a low-fee S&P 500 mutual fund and a low fee short-term, under five-years, bond fund, at 70% and 30%."

But, ...

There's a little more.

I have invested in physical silver and gold. By physical, I mean in actual coins that I can hold in my hand. Let me explain why.

I took all these United States dollars and all the gold divide the two and came up with one-ounce of gold being worth $60,000.

And, ...

Since an ounce of silver is 'normally' worth one-twentieth (1/20) an ounce of gold, silver would be $3,000 an ounce.

So, ...

For every $60,000 of my investments I have purchased either an ounce of gold or 20 ounces of silver.

This is called a hedge. Just in case these United States dollar ever collapses, I would still have investments that are worth 'something'

But, ...

There's a problem with this strategy. Silver and gold are worthless. No matter what people tell you, silver and gold are not money. They are a substitution that everyone (use to) accept as money.

If the world is starving, no one will except gold for food, no one unless they're a fool.

Because, ...

Silver and Gold will not quench your family's thirst

only the water that you have stored or can clean with a water filter.

Silver and Gold will not quiet your family's hunger pains

only the food you and your partner have stored will feed your family.

Silver and Gold will not protect your family from the murders, rapists, or thieves

only the firearms and ammunition that your family has stored and practiced with will protect your family.

Plus, ...

Why should I trade you water, food and the other needed supplies to survive

when all I have to do is wait for you to die and take your silver and gold from your family's dead hands.


This has taken me in a direction I didn't mean to go.

So, ...

Remember, I am not a financial expert or a financial professional

So, ...

Don't follow my advice because you could die poor and destitute.

At $1200ish an ounce for gold, I would purchase some long-term food such as white rice and dried beans, have the friends and family save one and two-liter soda bottles (and their caps) for water storage, buy a .357 magnum revolver (and some .38 special +P ammunition), take a Red Cross first-aid and CPR class, and ...

Before purchasing any silver or gold.

Plus, ...

In a couple or years or maybe even decades, silver and gold will go done to around $5 and $300 and ounce, respectfully.

That's called (I think) Cyclical Investing not Prepping

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