Friday, June 6, 2008

Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts - 2016

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Agon S. Buchholz

As always, it is the beginning of the new year, so I am consolidating the Friday's posts from 2016.

1 January, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Words of Wisdom)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Jake Chappelle

I'm looking for a new job, so "Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness" might be effected. We'll see.

I will also be getting rid of some older stuff, doing some consolidation, and other stuff, as time permit

With that said, ... Here's some words of wisdom from other people.

Turn Around; Don't Drown
It's rough dying. Especially when you do something stupid and it makes national news.

Like, ... Eighteen dead from flooding. Seventeen of those deaths could have been prevented by ...

Turn Around: Don't Drown - National Weather Service

You will need to search the links for all of the information provided at the National Weather Service site.

Hug a Tree
This is a good idea ... For Adults, too

Mono County Sheriff: Search and Rescue - What Should Adults Know Before Bringing Children Into The Outdoors

National Association for Search and Rescue

8 January, 2016

Friday's Thought's and Other Stuff (Rural Safety)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

National Archives and Records Administration
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library

One of the options that we, you and your family, have is to relocate. Want to work, but can't find a job? Relocate. Live in a dangerous city? Relocate. Want to have a different lifestyle? Relocate. Your country embattled in a civil war? Relocate.

There are dangers to relocating.

In Australia, there are deadly spiders that children growing up there never consider because they have been taught to deal with them almost unconsciously, while 'newcomers' to Australia have to actively think about preventing these deadly spider bites.

It's not limited to Australia. What about alligators in Florida?

These dangers aren't limited to wildlife either. Dangers also appear in ...

The Country
Some families are thinking about moving to the country during an event. They plan to commute from farm to work in the city.

Well, ... For folks that haven't grown up there; there are dangers.

First, farm equipment. I'm not talking about the stuff you will be using. I'm talking about the farm equipment that you will be encountering on the road.  Farm equipment is large and heavy. It is difficult to accelerate, slow down, and stop. These vehicles also have huge blind spots, making it difficult to see people, other vehicles, and other obstacles.Plus, sometimes these vehicles don't have turn signals, brake lights, or other warning indicators.

Most folks, involved in accidents with farm equipment, hit the farm equipment from the rear; while attempting to pass, as the farm equipment makes a left hand turn; passing in the same direction; and when the farm equipment is turning onto a public road from a field or driveway.

To prevent these crashes, you and your family need to pass with caution. The driver must be able to clearly see around the farm equipment and down the road before passing. If there are hills, curves, or other obstacles blocking the view of oncoming traffic, you need to wait until the road ahead can be clearly seen.

Next, you and your family need to be patient. The family driver needs to realize that the road's shoulders maybe soft, not wide enough, too steep, or wet, so the farm equipment is unable to move over. This brings up the next reminder.

When a farmer moves over to the right side of the road, they may be turning left instead of letting you pass them. Some farm equipment is huge, or it's pulling a trailer. These types of farm equipment and others have a wide turning radius so be prepared to stop and let them make a wide left turn.

Lastly, always practice these driving safety tips.

* Pay Attention to the Road

* Never Text and Drive

* Always Wear Seatbelts

* Use Properly Fitted and Installed Children Car Seats and Restraints

* Never Drink and Drive

As folks left the farm, to work in the 'big' cities, machines were manufacture to replace them.

Here are twelve machines that you just might encounter on the road.

Link: - 12 Machines That Show Modern Farming Isn't the Bucolic Life You Imagine

15 January, 2016

Friday's Thought and Other Stuff (OPSEC)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
PO3 Diana Honings

The Military
Our countries' military practices Operational Security (OPSEC) to protect our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, Guardians, and Sailors.

OPSEC is defined as methods of denying an adversary access to our critical information. In other words, it protects all the little bits of information that an adversary could use to to harm our countries' military.

Five Steps
To use the process of operational security, you and your partner want to ...

... Identify critical information.

What information must be protected?

Why does this information need to protection?

... Analysis Threats

Who is the adversary?

What are the adversary's intentions?

What are the adversary's capabilities to do something?

... Analysis Vulnerabilities

What weaknesses can the adversary exploit?

... Assess risks

How does it effect us?

What is its overall impact?

... Apply OPSEC countermeasures

What will be done to protect critical information?

You and your partner decided to purchase twenty Silver Eagles for your preps. Needless to say, you don't want it stolen.

First, what is the critical information?

I would say, you own silver coins, you think an economic collapse is going to happen, you think or believe investing in physical (stored in the house) silver and gold is a good idea, your family has a safe for storing valuables, and ...

Protecting this information is important because you don't want your silver coins stolen ; - )

Next, analysis threats

I would say, my 'dirtbag' brother, local criminals, tax collectors, and ... Of course, the threats' intention is to steal your stuff.

Now, I can eliminate one of these threats, my 'dirtbag' brother. I don't talk to him, and he is never allowed to visit our home, ever!

So, ... He has zero capabilities to do anything.

Next, analysis the vulnerabilities.

Since I live in a 'nice' neighborhood, have a safe, and an alarm system, that is never turned on (because the cat trips the alarm when we're away) the threat can exploit our weakness with the alarm.

Next, assess the risks.

If we get robbed, my family would lose, say, $400 of hard earned money that could have paid for our taxes, during very tough times. Of course, the impact would be financially harmful but not fatal.

Lastly, apply OPSEC countermeasures.

These countermeasures could be to have the delivery service hold the package for pickup at their office, deliver it to your work, or coordinate a delivery date; don't talk about preparing for a financial collapse at work, in the community, or with extended family; do a better job of hiding the safe, bolting it to the floor, or buying a better safe; and ... get rid of the cat then set the alarm ; - )

I had a big ol' plan about the next section, but I forgot about it.

So, ...

1) Indicators - words, phrases, or actions that draw attention to unusual activity or critical information

Critical information is made up of  indicators. It is little bits and pieces of information that 'indicate' something is going on.

An example might be that every time you or your partner stay home, a small, heavy package (requiring a signature) is delivered to your home.

Another indicator, deals with your trash. You know what I'm talking about. Those big cardboard television boxes that you saw in everyone's trash can after Christmas. Yeah, that's an indicator that the home has a new television.

2) who is an adversary - any person or group whose intentions and capabilities are contrary to yours

These adversaries could range from the security services, school teachers, government officials (elected and un-elected), reporters, and ... even your partner.

3) vulnerabilities exist when adversaries can exploit weakness or take action

This is interesting. A person must have the ability to exploit the weakness or take action. If you don't talk about owning silver coins, bolt the safe to the floor, lock the safe, and set the alarm, the adversary can't take action.

So, ... no vulnerability exists, until you come home.

4) must act responsible - say or do, consequences of your actions, How can adversary benefit from indicators? What's the effect of the mission? What's the cost of avoiding the risk?

I would like to point out the last question in this set, first: What's the cost of avoiding the risk?

Do you really need to store silver and gold coins in your home. Could you store them in a better safe, at work? Do you purchase a $2,000 safe to store $500 of silver coins?

5) minimize predictable patterns (sudden changes to established patterns), conceal indicators that may point to critical information or vulnerabilities (pair critical with meaningless), make indicators 'unimportant', protect critical information

Almost Lastly,

Need-to-know - Only tell folks what they need to know. That means no sharing about your preps to family or friends.

Public places - Never talk about prepping in public, no bragging, no surfing prepper blogs at work, and ... all the other mistakes you have made before reading this article

Avoid Internet - no the facebook, the singing bird, instatelegram, and ... no giving your real name when you post a comment, here.

Shred - if you haven't a shredder, purchase one. A nice crosscut one that makes all your important paper into confetti, not the strips. Yes, it's a pain to shred all those credit card offers, shipping receipts, and ...

Lastly, OPSEC is is a process, not a set of rules

Wikipedia - Operational Security

22 January, 2016

Friday's Thought and Other Stuff (Finances)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

You ever see that commercial where the person is doing something that requires years and years of education then the person is asked 'Are you a ... Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, or Financial Planner?' and the person replies 'No, ... But I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, last night.'

Well, I didn't spend last night anywhere and I haven't taken a finance class since high school.

So, ... Anytime money is involved, you have to read the warnings, again

And, ... Remember.

If you follow my suggestions, we may both end up poor and destitute.

Just so you know:
The class was 'Consumer Math' instead of Geometry after I bombed Algebra, ... for the second time ; - )

Sell! Sell!! Sell!!!
By now, trusted family, friends, and others are suggesting that you and your family get out of the market, stocks and bonds. They are pointing to the 1,500 loss over the last few weeks suggesting the market will crash in a few short days.

Big Boy or Big Girl Pants
If you believe the market is going to collapse, you need to do something about it; like pulling your money out of your company's 401K, sooner than later; selling your stock funds and buying bond funds, in your 401K; sell everything and go to all cash, under your mattress; sell all your stocks and bonds then turn it into silver and gold coins; or ... any other of the million other financial possibilities.

Either way, you will have to live with the consequences of that decision whether the market goes up, goes down, or stays the same.

So, ... Make your decision and act on it.

Another Option
There is the possibility that the world financial markets are going to crash, in the next few days; even though, they probably won't.

So, ... There are other options.

The Mix
First, we're going to do some math. Take 100 and minus your age. I'm 30, so I get 70.

That should be the percentage that you have in stocks. The other 30% is in bonds.

If you're 50, the method goes, you should have 50% in stocks and 50% in bonds.

Now, some folks think you should be more aggressive in your investing. These folks suggest using 110 as the base line. With this method, a 30 year old would have 80% in stocks and 20% in bonds while a 50 year old has 60% in stocks.

There are some folks even more aggressive. They think, a 50 year old should have 65% to 75% in stocks and possibly 85% for the 50 years olds that can handle the ups and down of the market.

That first part was pretty easy, only two things to consider.

Well, ... Some folks don't think that is diversified enough. Just so you know, diversification is having several investments that are different. Some go up while others go down. (The video has a better explanation.)

These folks think you should buy international stocks. This means a 30 year old with 70% in stocks should have 50% in United States based companies and 20% in international companies. The other 30% in investments are, once again, in bonds. These bonds are held in U.S., State, and local government bonds and in companies. (Sorry, I didn't get a mix for these)

Now, this would allow you, supposedly, to make money when the United States stock market is falling because the bonds would be increasing in price.

Another diversification suggestion, that I found, is to shave 5% off of each broad category. This extra 10% would be used to purchase Real Estate Investment Trusts (R.E.I.T.). REITs are basically property. They go up and down, sometimes, differently then stocks and bonds.

So, ... A 30 year using this mix would have 65% in stocks (47.5% U.S. and 17.5% international), 15% in bonds, and 10% in R.E.I.T.s

Supposedly, this method provides enough diversification to weather any financial storm, ... almost.

Of course, all of these folks that I have read suggest you hold all these financial instruments in No-Load, Low-Fee, Passively Managed Index Funds. Why?

The fees.

These No-Load, Low-Fee, Passively Managed Index Mutual Funds (Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX), Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund - Investor Class (FUSEX), and many, many others) save you money over the long run since you're not paying people to invest your money.

In other words, those folks that are paying for actively managed mutual funds are getting ripped off, legally, because the stock pickers have to earn a living too.

The next thing to consider is which ones to purchase.

According to my research, the broad-based market mutual funds are the ones that consistently preform like the market. This means when the S&P 500 goes up, the index fund goes up too.

However, when the S&P 500 goes down, these index funds, based on the S&P 500 go down too.

Now, why do you want the value of your investments to go down?

In my understanding, it has to do with predicting the future. It seems, no one including stock brokers, stock analysts, my brothers, or any other person can tell which stock is going to be worth more at the end of the year. So, ... you invest in all of them. Plus, trading into and out of stocks generates fees. Fees you have to pay and that cuts into your profits.

Needless to say, you're going to have to do a lot of research to determine which No-Load, Low-Fee, Passively Managed Index Mutual Funds you are going to invest in.

One of the best places is Morningstar. They have a 'free' basic membership. It contains all of the basic mutual fund information; you and your family will need to start.

Another source is Barron's. If you know the symbol, like VFINX, Barron's will tell you the basics about the mutual fund, for free.

Of course, there are many more sources of information about mutual funds. Heck, you can even go to the fund company's website, and they'll tell you everything you need to know.

Holdings, Part Two
O.K. Once again, If you follow my suggestions, you may lose money, even die broke and destitute.

So, ... Do your research! Don't trust anyone, including me! Make your own decisions!

With that said,

For a 30 year old, able to handle the ups and downs of the stock market.

50% in a S&P 500 index fund

20% in a Overseas index fund, like the Schwab International Index Fund (SWISX)

30% in various bond funds, like Fidelity Total Bond (FTBFX)

Yes, the bond funds are no-load, low-fee, passively managed mutual funds

For a 50 year old, it's a similar but slightly different mix

40% in a Russell 2000 index fund, like Vanguard's Russell 2000 Index fund (VRTIX)

10% in an International (Overseas) Fund

50% in various bond funds

Can You Handle It?
Needless to say, if you're thinking of selling all your stocks and bonds, you have to consider how you're going to feel about your holdings.

If you can handle some ups and downs, you might want to invest more in stocks and less in bonds. If you can't handle the ups and downs, you might want to invest more in bonds.

And this leads to my next, ...

Mix, Part Two
Now a days, there are these investment funds called 'Life Cycle' Funds. You tell them what year you want to retire, and they do all the work, except for that part about getting the money to invest ; - )

Most company 401Ks have these as a choice.

Once again, what you invest in is up to you.

But, But, But
Yes, I know. You're a prepper. You're getting prepared for the financial collapse of the world even though people might be laughing at you.

So, ... What do you do?

First, my suggestions, stay involved in the market. Yes, I know it's a Ponzi scheme, but you're going to have to retire and this is the best way to take a small amount of money every month and make more money, so you can retire. (My English 101 professor would shoot me, if she reads this)

Next, get squared away. This means shelter, water, food, medical supplies, protection, and all the other stuff.

Next, buy silver and gold ... when it's cheap. 'Cause there is no guarantee the silver and gold will be worth anything. Remember:

Silver and Gold will not quench your thirst, only stored water will do that

Silver and Gold will not save your family from starvation, only stored food and a productive garden will do that

Silver and Gold will not protect you from rapists, murders, and thieves, only a firearm with enough ammunition will do that. (and proper training)

Silver and Gold will not protect you family from the wind and cold, only adequate shelter will do that.

Lastly, why should I trade you shelter, water, food, and protection for your silver and gold when all I have to do is wait for you to die then take the silver and gold?

Next, develop a second source of income, a small part-time business like ... not blogging, trust me ; - )

Next, buy property. Yes, become a landlord by buying local commercial and family housing. Just make sure to pay it off as soon as possible, so you can reduce the rent, during tough times, to keep paying tenants in the house or office. Ooh, make sure you can easily drive by it, everyday. Tenants have a habit of not caring about your place, as much as you do.

Lastly, ...

The Future
I have to stop. It's getting late, and I'm getting hungry.

But, ... Before I go, I want to leave you with one last thought.

You and I, we can't tell the future. I can't predict what tomorrow will bring, and neither can you or you wouldn't be reading this blog. You would be a gazillionaire ; - )

So, ... We need to hedge our bets, by buying insurance, having an emergency fund, storing enough water and food to feed our families, purchasing a handgun and learning how to effectively use it to defend ourselves and our family, and many other things.

But, ... Don't get so wrapped up in prepping that you forget, we are doing this for our families, so we can spend time with them.

Long Winded
I apologize for writing such a long blurb (many preppers like the quick, easy to read articles ala the facebook), but getting financially prepared is an easy but complicated subject.

So, ... You need to do some more reading, research, and thinking about what your objectives are in these tough and uncertain times.

One Last Time
I linked to various mutual funds, made many suggestions, and other stuff. At no time should you take this article or any other article as a recommendation to purchase these financial instruments, pursue or not pursue any investment, conduct or not conduct any business, or ...

'Cause, you and I may both windup poor and destitute.

29 January, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

You have probably heard me say this in the past, but we are moving!

And, ... That has caused some troubles.

First, I have too much stuff, so I have been giving the 'junk' away.

One of the things I have been giving away is my collection of books, books on dinosaurs, books on educational theory, books on military subjects, books on the physical sciences (geology, physics, meteorology, chemistry, biology, and ...) to the local library.

Second, I still have a pile of stuff to go through.

The day after kind'a moving (more about that, later); I went for a dentist appointment.

Of course, as the dental hygienist is working on my teeth, I'm thinking of an article for y'all.

First, you and your family need to brush your teeth, at least two times a day. After breakfast and before going to bed, maybe!

Next, you need to floss your teeth, at least once a day, before going to bed.

Third, your family genetics will determine 'if' you need to brush and floss more often.

Next, you need to see the dentist for a cleaning and checkup, at least once a year. More often 'if' you have bad family genetics.

Lastly, did I tell you about the microorganisms in your mouth also determine how often you need to brush, floss, and visit the dentist for a cleaning and a checkup?

Moving, Part Two
We didn't move completely. We hired a group to move the 'big' stuff, refrigerator, chest freezer (empty), exercise equipment, and two sofas out of the basement and into the garage (to be sold later)

All the food, water barrels, ammunition, firearms, and other 'prepper' gear is going to be moved slowly but stealthily over the next few weeks.

Having strangers in your home is difficult, as a prepper. You have to keep stacks of food buckets and water barrels out of view, so they never find out that your family are preppers.

I did this by prepositioning stuff. I moved the couches close to the stairs, so there was no reason to walk by our food storage. I also stacked some boxes over other boxes to hide their labels, like freeze-dried veggies. I also scattered stuff stuff about, so it looked disorganized.

The House
I have finally finished the first layer of R-30 insulation in the attic. All the old insulation has been trashed or is in trash bags waiting for trash day; again, and again, and ... again.

I so much wanted to rent another dumpster, but at just under $300, I couldn't justify the expense and the time limit, seven days, was too short for me working and then working on the house.

I will be adding a second layer of R-30 to achieve a total of R-60 in the attic. This is the upper limit for my family's area of these United States.

But, ... I want to have some electrical work done before finishing the insulation. This will reduce the cost for the electrician because he won't have to take so much time (at double my hourly wage) rooting around to pull wire to the boxes for the ceiling lights and on and off switches.

House, Part Two
Rehabilitating a 100 year old farm house can be a pain. One of the pains in the arse has been fixing old work. Check out this picture.

Yeap, that's a two foot square hole in the ceiling. It used to be closed with a piece of plywood.

Luckily, I have some of the original bead board ceiling to close it up and match the original work : - )

Here's another one.

For some reason, the Father-in-Law installed a can light then the Mother-in-Law removed it. Again, luckily, I found the straight piece, so all I need to do is seal the circle.

O.K., here's one more picture

The light that replaced one of the can lights was too small, so the installer pushed insulation around the light to seal it.

Luckily, I found enough original bead board, if I'm careful, to fix all of the old work.

OPSEC, Part Two
Did you notice one or two indicators (from the OPSEC article), in this blurb?

R-60 insulation is suggested for zones ... 2 through 8

We are moving to a ... 100 year old farm house

I will be stealthily moving ... firearms and ammunition, buckets of food, and barrels for water

Silver and Gold
I think it was last week; I wrote about finances. I briefly mentioned purchasing silver and gold.

I forgot one thing.

You never, ever sell your silver and gold.

You pass this stuff down to your heirs because you're buying this stuff for an extreme event, not as an investment.


Needless to say, you will have to educate your children about the importance of holding silver and gold, so they can educate their children about the importance of holding silver and gold, so they can educate your great-grandchildren about the importance of holding silver and gold, so they can ...

5 February, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
David Castor
Church of Sweden, Minister

You're Screwed
There are, according to one source, just over 4,000,000 preppers/survivalists. In these United States, that means you and your family are outnumbered about 100 to 1 (91.25 to 1, for the mathematical folks). For you folks living in other countries, it's probably worse.

To be truthful, in most families, you're probably the only 'real' prepper, so you're even outnumbered at home.

Now, most folks would fixate on these odds. Me, I want to point out that over 360,000,000 people are unprepared and would probably die, depriving you of their skills like auto mechanics, electricians, doctors, pharmacists, soldiers, emergency services dispatchers, bank tellers, loan officers, farmers, farm equipment mechanics, bakers, auto workers, and many other important skills, during an extreme event.

And, ... there is nothing you can do about it.

Not Enough Food
Some of y'all might point out that you have enough food to feed your family for one or two years.

What happens when your cousin (a nurse) shows up with their partner (a doctor) and two kids with badly needed medical supplies. How long would your food last, now?

Two years - four more mouths to feed = one year. If you have only one year of food, it works out to six months.

Six months of food, much less one year of food, isn't enough to get your food production squared away. You'll be short food before harvest time comes around or the next harvest.

Three Months
Some of y'all are going to say, "Me and my family are only preparing for a two-week to three-month event."

O.K. ... The same problem is there. You're deadbeat children, parents, coworkers, or some other group is going to show up at your door (Heck, you may have previously invited them to show up, during an event), and they'll have guns. Don't believe me; look at your preps. Your first purchase was probably a firearm.

Trust me, there will be blood, sooner or later. It might not happen to you and your family, but someone you know (not me) will be kidnapped, assaulted, or raped.

Then, ...

You and your neighbors will organize and go hunting for these villains. Yeah, you're going to get to play 'army,' 'militia,' or 'police,' just like the movies.

Trust me, it won't be like the movies. You'll have lots of boredom and no adventure, just pain, suffering, and ...

Whether accidental or intentional people will die. They will succumb to a deadly disease, illness, or injury; be murdered; and, maybe, even complete suicide. Heck, some people plan on dying during a nuclear event. (They will probably survive, research Hiroshima and Nagasaki)

Give Up
By now, some folks would be asking "If" it's worth the trouble, trying to prep, to survive a long-term event.

Needless to say, it's up to you, but citizens of these United States are survivors. Our predecessors have survived famine, war, oppression, plague, slavery, genocide, revolution, and ...

What's a little financial collapse, but another adventure for you and your family to live through ; - )

6 February, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff, on a Saturday

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

Exterminate, Exterminate, Exterminate
I will be cleaning up, around here, so some blurbs will be removed, forever

Such as. ...

GSIEP - Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts: 2008

GSIEP - Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts: 2009

GSIEP - Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts: 2010

GSIEP - Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts: 2011

I'll also be deleting ...

GSIEP - Wednesdays and Other Stuff: 2010

GSIEP -Wednesdays and Other Stuff: 2011

Also going are ...

GSIEP - Label: Volume One

I might go further, depending on how I feel. I also might rewrite some articles, too. Plus, I'll be consolidating the 'Fridays' and 'Wednesday' for '2014 and 2015

A Treat

YouTube: Georg Mackowiak - Coolest scene ever!

12 February, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

National Archives and Records Administration

Cotton Kills, ... Kind'a
If you and your family have been prepping for any amount of time, you have probably heard the adage "Cotton Kills." Like all adages, it expresses a general truth.

But, ... It isn't always true. Let me give you an example.

Katniss and I were out a few days ago, burning. We have been piling brush, construction debris, and other burnable stuff like wicker baskets in an open field.

Well, ... We finally lit the pile on fire. It was huge!!!

Now, the weather was mild, in the mid 20's (24°F or -5°C) with a slight breeze (5 to 10 mph or 8 to 16 kph). That works out to about a 15 to 19°F ( -7 to -9°C) windchill.

Not a big deal because Katniss was wearing polypropylene long johns (top and bottoms), cotton socks with Merell gortex lined shoes, cotton jeans, cotton shirt, cotton hoodie (bright orange, of course), and cotton gloves.


I was wearing wool socks with Air Force surplus 'Temperate Weather' boots, cotton jeans, cotton mock turtle neck shirt, cotton Swedish military coat with a cotton hoodie liner, a polypropylene fleece neck gaiter/hoodie, and cotton gloves. 

Did I tell you it was snowing? We got about one inch, by the time we were finished (five hours later)

Now, we were busting our a**es, pulling previously downed scrub trees, wood flooring, and piling other stuff on the fire. I don't know about Katniss, but I was sweating. At one time, I noticed my shirt was wet with sweat.

A few times, we even took a break sitting about 20 feet away from the fire to 'chill out;' we were working so hard.

Did we die? Nope!

Did we get frost bite? Nope, we kept all exposed skin covered!

Did we go inside, stand close to the fire, and continually work? Yes!!!

And, ... This is the point that I would like to make. You and your family need to understand the 'rules' and how to safely break them.

So, ... 'If' you and your family have access to warm shelter, a fire, or dry clothing, you can use cotton clothing during an event, just be careful.

The 'Best' Firearm
Two days ago, Anonymous left a comment about .22 LR firearms.

Go over and read the comment, I'll wait.

You back. O.K.

Now, like I said, Anonymous makes a good point. The .22 LR is a light recoil firearm that is inexpensive, almost everyone in the family can use it. It makes a good hunting, as well as defensive, firearm.

Now, some people would laugh at the statement, especially the defensive use.

But, ... 5 to 10 quick shots to the face, abdomen, or buttocks would cause anyone to rethink their strategy. (much less, 10 shoots in line with the spine is a 'well known' assassination techniques)

Plus, shooting a squirrel with a .30-06 is overkill while killing a deer with a .22 LR is possible, with a head shot.

Another point, you and your family can pick up a used Marlin Model 60 for ...  $100 to $150. A price that many families can easily afford. Getting ammo for it is another story, inexpensive ammo that is ; - )

But, ... I have already said that in my reply.

What I would like to add.

You and your family's circumstances are going to be unique. You and your partner may be a these United States' Army veterans with Military Police experience. Both of you have training using the M-16 series rifle and the M-9 pistol, so choosing to use a FN-FAL and a single action revolver would be ... stupid unwise unless you don't have the money for an AR-15 and a Beretta pistol.

And, ... That brings up another point.

The so-called 'cheap' guns work! They may not look or sound sexy, but a Hi-Point C9 will work. Same goes for the double barreled shotguns.

And, ... That brings up another point.

The 'threats' that you and your family are getting prepared for may be different than your relatives or friends, down the road. Someone (not me) that plans on shooting small game for survival needs a .22 LR rifle and probably a .22 LR pistol or single shot handgun while someone else carrying large amounts of cash needs a couple of buddies with a few rifles, pistols, and a healthy sense to keep their mouth shut to survive.

So, ... Look at your family's situation; not what some other person suggests for your family, including me.

SKS Rifle and .357 Magnum Revolver
I suggest these two firearms for a reason.

The double action .357 magnum revolver can easily handle .38 special cartridges, so the handgun has a 'light' recoil. The revolver is relatively inexpensive and available in most local area gun stores. Plus, the needed accessories are limited, a sturdy belt, a holster, cleaning kit, and maybe one or two speed loaders or speed strips.

Needless to say, some people say it's easier to use. I don't believe that because you should train on all of your family's weapons, anyway.

About the SKS rifle, it is inexpensive and needs few accessories, just a sling, cleaning kit, and that's about it.

Like the .357 maganum revolver, it will need ammunition that is readily available, on-line and locally.

If you purchase the .357 magnum revolver, first, you will have an easily concealable handgun for protection. It can been carried in a pocket, in a pinch.

The SKS rifle has a decent range and can put a bullet through car doors, house walls, and other 'light' cover.

Thanks, Again
I enjoy comments. They give you and me an opportunity to think about our beliefs and thinking when it comes to our preps.

So, .... Thanks again, Anonymous.

19 February, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Cordage)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Florian Morel
créateur du magazine Bushcraft Attitude

A Book
If I remember correctly, I haven't recommended one book for you and your family to keep, in any "What I'm Reading" blurbs. I'm going to change that today.

I suggest you obtain a copy of "The 10 Bushcraft Books' by Richard Graves" because it is a wealth of information that can be used by you and your family during an event.

Now some people will say that you and your family don't need to know these skills. They will point out civilization isn't going to 'disappear.' In other words, you will always have your credit card.

I disagree, in one word Haiti.

The earthquake in 2010 suddenly displaced hundreds of thousands of people; women, children, the elderly, and many others requiring basic needs. Basic needs that could be met by using bushcraft skills.

O.K. That was a little bit of hyperbole, but you get my point, learning to improvise will open your mind to different solutions to your problems during an event.

Sadly, the book is out of print, but you can find it on Amazon, for under $15 a copy. (Be warned, some folks are trying to sell a copy for about $27 on ebay)

"One of the first needs in Bushcraft is the ability to join poles or sticks. The only method available is by the use of lashings.

To use lashings however, it is necessary to have, find or make materials for this purpose.

The ability to spin or plait fibres into ropes or cords is one of the oldest of man's primitive skills. The method is simple and follows precisely the same stages that are made use of by today's complicated machines.

The material from which to spin or plait ropes or cords is in abundance everywhere. Any fibrous material which has reasonable length, moderate strength and is flexible or pliable can be used. These are the three things to look for and they can be found in many vines, grasses, barks, palms and even in the hair of animals.

The breaking strains of handmade ropes and cords varies greatly with different materials. Consequently it is essential that the rope or cord be tested for the purpose for which it will be used before being actually put to use."

This was written over 60 years ago, and it is still true today, with one exception. We have an abundance of human made material to make cordage. One of these materials is ...

(Did you like how I gave you another electronic source for the book ; - )

Plastic Bags
These bags are used everywhere. They come in numerous sizes, but the size and type you're most likely to see are the typical grocery store 'T-Shirt' plastic bag.

Now, you can treat these bags in two methods. If you have lots of time, you and your family can cut the bags into strips and weave them together, similar to what  Mr. Richard Graves suggests in Bushcraft: A Serious Guide to Survival and Camping for the natural fibers.

Needless to say, this method would be time consuming, but you would be able to make a very thin cordage for certain needs, if needed

Another method is to tie the bags together. Now, you can do this two ways.

First, you can loop the handles together. To do this, ...

You thread the end of one bag through the handle of another bag then ...

Do the same for the other end. Next, you pull the ends, and you get ...


But, ... There are limitations to using this method. The cordage can only be as long as two bags. Plus, it isn't as strong as tying the bags together because the handles aren't as thick as the bag's bottom.

As you have probably guested, the second way of combining the bags together to make cordage is to tie the bags together. Needless to say, make sure you listen to my brother Scout and always use a square knot to secure the bags together.

He would tell you to also add a half hitch, just to make sure the square knot doesn't slip.


I wouldn't worry about it because you're not putting a lot of stress on the knot. Plus, you may have a limited amount of bags, so you can't afford the loss in length adding half hitches to the square knot. 

Now, here's where the warnings come in.

First, to me, rope is thick and strong. It is something; I am going to use to lift heavy loads or people.

While cordage is something that is used for light to medium loads, like securing two shelter poles together, tying down stuff in a pickup truck, or for an animal trap.

So, ... Use your noggin when using improvised rope and cordage! 

Since grasses, leaves, and other materials have been used for millennia (heck, it was used in building the pyramids, sailing around the world, and ...), I don't consider it an 'improvised' method of making rope and cordage.

However, ...

I consider using electrical, computer, and other cord-like items as cordage as improvised cordage ; - ) 

Doesn't fit the Narrative
As always, there are one or two pictures (sometimes more!) that don't fit the article.

First, ...

The easiest method of using a plastic shopping bag is to twist the bag to make cordage. This method will allow you to have cordage for various lashing needs, like shelter, securing something to your improvised pack, or ...

Another source for improvised cordage is satchel straps, camera bags, or ... bed sheets.

Or, ... You can purchase 50 feet of cordage from one of the big box home improvement stores for under $5.

In a bunch of different colors to fit almost any fashion sense ; - )

26 February, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Caches)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

Cache is just a fancy word to say "a hiding place, especially one in the ground, for ammunition, food, treasures, etc."

Needless to say, it's a little bit more nuanced for preppers because sometimes the equipment and supplies may not be hidden, such as a box of clothes for your family in your brother's basement.

Take my food cache at Home Away From Home (HAFH). It's in an orange box, sitting in my closet.

Next to it is a crate holding 12 liters of water in one liter bottles.

Now, these items are my emergency three day water and food supplies (Remember: Water is more important than food in prepping)

Well, ... It has been one years since I loaded the box with food, so it's time to do a ...

Cache Resupply
Depending on the items in your cache, they may need to be rotated on a monthly, yearly, or decade schedule. For my HAFH food cache, it's every year.

So, ...

I went to the store and bought my supplies.

6 - soup
6 - vegetables
6 - fruits

It's all canned food that will give me two hearty meals a day with a snack.

Now, I had some items in the previous cache that haven't reached their so-called shelf-life, so I added them to the water and food cache.

These items were 12 ounce canned hams that expire around 2019.

Of course, I removed the old items from the box and added the new items.

Then I closed up the box and put it back.

Now, I also have a three day supply of water and food at work. It's in a box covered by my work clothes.

This cache is kind'a hidden, so I will have to do a reconnaissance before I drag the box out of my locker, unload the old food, load it up with the new food, and put it back.

Needless to say, canned foods shelf-life is usually longer then what's printed on the can, so your resupply of canned food could be every two or thee years, instead of every year.

Headed to Work
I have to go to work, so that's it for now ; - )

I just realized; I screwed up.

I forgot to add a can opener in the box because I have some cans that don't have pulltops : - (

4 March, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Military Manuals)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

One of the things, you and your family may have to do, is to build a barrier to stop bullets, before an attack. Most people think of sandbags, filled with soil. (Don't use sand, it spills out of the bag after the bag has been shot). Others think of wooden boxes, filled with dirt.

Well, ... How about barrels, filled with soil?

To use this method, someone removes the top (cut it off) then fill the barrel with soil.

But, ... There is a problem. See the gaps?

Yes, those pesky little gaps will allow bullets to penetrate the barrier, so you will need to stagger the barrels. Like this.

This will give you over 22 inches of cover.

Just a Reminder

"Cover can be concealment, but concealment can't be cover."

So, ... Cover protects you from direct fire (You know, people shooting at you) while concealment only protects you from being seen by the people that might be shooting at you.

But, ... How much cover do you need?

There a Military Manual for That
The manual is called ...

Link: - FM 5-103 Survivability

Of course, whenever I find a link that provides some good information, I see if I can find more.

And, ... I did; I did.

Medical - FM 21-10 Field Hygiene and Sanitation (2000) -  FM 21-10 Field Hygiene and Sanitation (1970) - FM 4-25.12 Unit Field Sanitation Team (2002) - FM 21-10 Military Sanitation (1957) -  FM 4-25.11 First Aid (2002) - Aidmans Medical Guide FM 8-36 - MCRP 4-11.1C Treatment of Biological Warfare Agent Casualties - Force Health Protection Nutrition and Exercise Manual - FM 8-51 Combat Stress Control in a Theater of Operations -  ATP 4-25.13 Casualty Evacuation

Professional Knowledge - FMFRP 12-42 Professional Knowledge Gained From Operational Experience In Vietnam, 1968 - FMFRP 12-41 Professional Knowledge Gained from Operational Experience in Vietnam, 1967 - MCRP 3-37.2C Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Aspects of Concequence Management -  FMFM1A 4th Generation Warfare - Historical Study - Night Combat - FM 27-10 The Law of Land Warfare -  FM 31-15 Operations Against Irregular Forces - FM 5-104 General Engineering - FM 72-20 Jungle Operations - FM 7-93 Appendix J: LSRU Night Movements -  FM 5-15 Field Fortifications (1959) - Combat Leaders Guide (Leader Handbook 1997) - MCWP 3-37 MAGTF, Nuclear, Chemical, Biological Defense Operations -  FM 21-150 Combatives - MCWP 5-4 Small Wars - FM 22-100 Command and Leadership for the Small Unit Leader - FM 3-6 Field Behavior of NBC Agents - FM 22-6 Guard Duty 1971 - FM 23-12 Technique of Fire of the Rifle Squad and Tactical Applications - Seabee Combat Handbook, Volume 1 - Seabee Combat Handbook, Volume 2 - ST 2-50.4 Combat Commanders Handbook on Intelligence - MCWP 3-1 Ground Combat Operations -  FM 31-71 Northern Operations (1971) -  TC 21-3 - Soldier's Handbook for Individual Operations and Survival in Cold-Weather Areas -  FM 21-150 Combatives (1992) -  MCRP 3-33A Counterguerilla Operations

Survival - FM 31-16 Counterguerrilla Operations -  FM 31-16 Counterguerrilla Operations, Change 2 (1970) -   FM 6-22.5 Combat Stress (2000) - FM 20-60 Battlefield Illumination 1970 -  FM 3-25.26 Map Reading And Land Navigation (2001) - FM 22-100 Military Leadership (1961) -  FM 90-8 Counterguerilla Operations (1986) -  FM 31-70 Basic Cold Weather Manual (1968) - TC 5-31 (Viet Nam version) -  MCWP 2-26 Geographic Intelligence -   MCDP 1-3 Tactics - MCWP 3-42.1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operations -  FM 34-2-1 (Reconnisance Surveillance Intelligence) -  FM 3-07-22 (CounterInsurgency Operations) -  FM 3-19.15 Civil Disturbance Operations - MCRP 3-11.2A Marine Troop Leaders Guide - MCDP 1 Warfighting -  FM 3-5: NBC Decontamination - TM-31-201-1 -  Convoy Leader Training Handbook -  FM 90-10 Military Operations On Urban Terrain (MOUT) - FM 21-75 Scouting, Patrolling, and Sniping 1944 - MCRP 3-02E Understanding and Surviving Terrorism - TM 9-270 Common Wood And Metal Repair - MCRP 3-02H Survival Evasion and Recovery - FM 2-0 (Intelligence) - TC 90-1 Training for Military Ops on Urban Terrain - MCWP 3-33.5 Counterinsurgency Operations -  MCWP 3-11.2 Marine Rifle Squad - FM 90-5 Jungle Operations -  FM 3-97.6 Mountain Operations - MCRP 3-02C Marine Combat Water Survival -  TC 90-1 Training for Urban Operations - Small Unit Night Fighter Manual - FM 3-06 Urban Operations -  FM 21-60 Visual Signals -  US Navy SEAL Patrol Leaders Handbook -  FMFRP 12-25 The Guerilla and How to Fight Him - MCWP 3-11.3 Scouting and Patrolling -  TM 8-230 Handbook Of Basic Nursing -  Silencers - Principles and Evaluations -  FM 34-60 Counterintelligence -  FM 5-20 Camouflage 1968 - FM 3-25.150 Combatives -  TC 31-29 Special Forces - Caching Techniques - TRADOC Pamphlet 600-4 Soldier's Handbook (Basic Initial Entry Training) - MCRP 3-02B Close Combat - FM 5-15 Field Fortifications - FM 3-55.93 Long Range Unit Surveillance Operations - FM 21-150 Hand to Hand Combat 1971 (Deal the First Deadly Blow) - FM 5-426 Carpentry - Counter Sniper Guide -  MCWP 3-3.1.2 Mine Warfare - FM 7-8 Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad -  FM 21-150 Hand to Hand Combat 1954 - FM 20-32 (Mine Countermine Operations) -  US Marine Corps - MWTC Summer Survival Course Handbook - FM 31-21 Guerilla Warfare and Special Forces Operations -  FM 31-20-5 Special Reconnaissance Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures For Special Forces - MCRP 3-02F FM 21-76 Survival -  STP 21-24-SMCT Skill Level 2, 3, 4 - FM 21-75 Combat Skills of the Soldier - FM 55-506-1 Basic Electricity - US Navy SEAL Physical Fitness Guide - FM 31-70 Basic Cold Weather Survival Manual -  FMFM 1-3B Sniping (U.S. Marine Corps) - FMFRP 12-80 Kill or Get Killed - FM 22-100 Army Leadership - Be, Know, Do -ST 31-91B- US Army Special Forces Medical Handbook - FM 3-25.26 Map Reading and Land Navigation

Weapons - FM 3-22.31 40mm Grenade Launcher M203 February 2003 - TM 3-1040-204-14 Flamethrower, Portable, M2A1-7 - FMFM 6-19 Tactical Employment of Mortars (FM 7-90) - TM 9-1005-211-12 Pistol, Caliber .45, Automatic, M1911A1 -  FM 23-35 Combat Training with Pistols, M9 and M11 -  FM 23-8 U.S. Rifle 7.62-MM, M14 (1965) - FMFRP 12-43: Mines and Boobytraps -  TM-9-1340-214-10 (M72 LAW Operators Manual) -  TM 32-201-1 Incendiaries (Unconventional Warfare Devices & Techniques) -  FM 23-65 Browning Machine Gun, caliber.50 HB, M2 (2002) - FM 3-23-25 Light Anti-Armor Weapons - MCRP 3-01A Rifle Marksmanship - MCRP 3-01B Pistol Marksmanship -  FM 3-23.35 Combat Training with Pistols, M9 and M11 -  FM 3-22.31 40mm Grenade Launcher M203 February 2003 - version 2 - FM 23-23 Antipersonnel Mine M18A1 and M18 (Claymore) - PAM 381-12 Recognition Guide of Ammunition Available To, or in Use By, the Viet Cong -  FM 3-23.30 Grenades and Pyrotechnic Signals - FSTC-381-4012 (Typical Foreign Unconventional Weapons) -  TM 9-1005-223-20 Rifles, 7.62mm, M14 M14A1, Bipod, Rifle, M2 - FM 23-35 Pistols and Revolvers -  FM 23-9 Rifle Marksmanship: M16A1, M16A2/3, M16A4 and M4 Carbine 2006 -  TC 5-31 - VC Boobytraps - FM 5-25 Explosives and Demolitions 1967 -  TC 9-21-01 Soldiers IED Awareness Guide Iraq & Afghan -  P 381-11 Viet Cong Boobytraps -  TM 9-1005-249-10 - Operator's Manual For M16, M16A1 -  FM 23-71 Rifle Marksmanship - TM 9-1005-213-10 Operator's Manual: Machine Gun, Caliber .50, Browning, M2... -  FM 5-250 Explosives and Demolitions 1992 -  TM 9-1005-317-10 - Operator's Manual M9, 9mm Handgun -  FM 3-22.68 Crew Served Machine Guns, 5.56-mm and 7.62-mm - Rifle Marksmanship -  TM 31-200-1 Unconventional Warfare Devices and Techniques - References -  TM 9-1005-319-23 M16A2 Maintenance & Repair Manual - FM 5-31 Booby Traps -  MCWP 3-15.1 Machine Guns and Machine Gunnery - FM 23-10 Sniper Training

It's a lot of stuff.

Some of good, some of it old.

But, ... Most of it useful, kind'a ; - )

11 March, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Shipping Containers)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Photograph by
Sgt. 1st Class Peter Ferrell

Did you watch the video, about the guy building an underground wine cellar ; - )

If you didn't, go watch it and come back

So, We can ...

Watch the Video, Again
First, at the 1:13 time mark, notice the contractor cutting the bank

Next, at the 1:23 time mark, notice where the steel I-beams are attached to the shelter

Third, at the 1:32 time mark, see where the other framework is attached?

Next, at the 1:42 time mark, notice how the heavy corrugated metal is long enough to span from the trench's sides

Fifth, at the 2:15 time mark, see how they brace the top, before pouring the concrete?

Next, at the 2:27 time mark, check out the 12 inch air vents

Seventh, at 3:13,  see the suggestion for planting trees on top of the cellar?

Almost lastly, at the 3:46 time mark, notice that they didn't backfill the hole and the utilities penetrate the roof of the shelter?

And, ...

Lastly, at the 4:05 time mark, see the cost of this project?

Let's Talk
First, burying a shipping container is a poor idea. If it's done wrong, the ceiling and walls will bow in from the soil pressing on the walls and ceiling.

Like this ...

photograph by
Sergeant Paul Mancuso

Next, the reason the steel I-beams are attached to the edge of the container isn't because the builders are being cheap. That's where the container is strongest, on its corners and along the edges.

Because the sides and ceiling aren't even strong enough to stop bullets ...

photograph by
Staff Sgt. J. Aaron Breeden

Third, 12 inch diameter air vents aren't large enough, unless you have powered ventilation. They have to be bigger, lots bigger, for unpowered air movement.

Now, most people will say 'So what?'

Well, ... A poorly ventilated shelter will heat up. The people, trying to survive in the shelter, will give off a lot of heat. In the summer, this could be deadly. Plus, there is that whole issue about dying from lack of oxygen.

That's why I suggest you get a copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills ($19.50), (Free)

Next, don't plant trees on top of your shelter. The roots will slow grow into any opening, even a well sealed opening, eventually expanding the opening allowing water to enter your shelter.

And, ... When the tree gets older and the wind starts to blow, it will look like this ...

photograph by

Fifth, the shelters roof should be solid, no penetrations. Any utilities should go through the wall because water flows down, through the ground, and will 'pool' on the roof.

In other words, the roof leaks.

Lastly, for $12,500, burying a steel shipping container will be the most expensive rust bucket you'll ever purchase ; - )

Oooh, that brings up one last point. You'll need to figure out how to keep the shelter from rusting since shipping containers are supposed to be ... above ground.

12 March, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff, on a Saturday (Compounds)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Photograph by
Martin SoulStealer

Walking Dead
I watched a couple of episodes when it first started. It was soooo stupid; I quit watching it.

Well, ... It has a few lessons for us.

Use Existing Facilities
During an event, you will be able to use your home 'If' it meets your needs.

You know, protects you and your family from the elements, provides heat, protects you from villains, and much more ... depending on the situation

Well, ... You may have to move, to survive certain events.

Yeah, I know. Most people want to get out of prison, not go to one.

But, ... They will have facilities for a large group. Prison will also have cooking, washing, bathing, and pooping facilities.

photograph by
Gerald Praschl

Now, there is a downside to prisons.

First, they still may contain prisoners.

Second, prisons are designed to keep people in, not out.

Historical Forts
There are many old military forts around the world. Unlike prisons, they are designed to keep people out.

But, ... They will lack modern facilities such as showers for bathing, laundries for washing clothes; however, they will probably have restrooms.

The Danish National Museum of Military History

Depending on your local, naturally occurring or human-made caves will be available for you and your family to use for shelter.

photograph by
F rahmanian

Needless to say, depending on the 'cave,' they will be dark, dank, and .. have no facilities for your family to use. This means you will have to improvise all of the needed facilities.

What I Really Wanted to Say
I was helping Katniss, my partner, move into her new office when I noticed a water detention basin.

This water retention basin would make a good place for a security stop, for a group moving to another location. It is kind'a circular, and the basin has berms around the whole perimeter, making it about five feet deep.

So, ... Everyone would have cover should any shooting start, for some reason or another.

Plus, it has an ...

Escape Route ; - )

That leads to a wooded area

Bad News
However, there are some bad features about the water retention basin.

First, it has a building blocking part of the basin. People on security wouldn't be able to see around the building, allowing a potential attacker to sneak up on your group.

Next, there is a slight rise about 200 feet from the basin. This would allow an attacker to shoot down into the water retention basin, negating the berms. Ouch

Of course, if your group is big enough, you could overcome these negative features by posting an LP/OP on the rise and on the other side of the building.

Deal Breaker?
Now, are these two negatives too bad to pass by the water retention basin.

It depends.

Are people actively hunting you? Then yes.

Is there a better place close by? If not, then no

Do you have enough people to have two LP/OPs or put one person next to the building, laying down and someone to actively watch the close by rise? If yes, then no

Lastly, how long are you there for. A short stay? Then you could use it as a rally point 'If' your group has parked in the parking lot.

18 March, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuf (Zeros)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

San Diego Air and Space Museum

Zero Time
There is a concept in survivalism, called zero timing. It deals with fixing up older vehicles.

The idea is to buy a used, older vehicle like an early model Ford Bronco or International Harvester Scout then fix it up to like-new condition.


Needless to say, it's a pipe dream for most preppers. We don't have the money, and we don't have the time. Plus, there is that whole issue about finding the proper parts to do the work.

But, ...

There is an alternative; it's called a Rat Rig.

Now, a rat rig is an older vehicle, usually a truck, that has newer assemblies.

Let me explain.

A supervisor at work bought his deceased uncle's 1950ish pick up, at the estate sale. The Chevy truck, from the factory (brand new) tracked to the right, so he wanted to fix that. My supervisor removed the old front axle, suspension, and steering assembly then he added a Ford Mustang 2 front end.

Next, he dropped the complete rear end out of the truck and added a Ford S10 four-wheel drive rear end. He did this because the old rear end sucked for highway driving and a S10 two-wheel drive rear end was too small

Needless to say, the only original items on the truck will be the bench seat, the rust, and ... I think that's it ; - )

Zero Day
The concept has been around for a little while. The idea is that adversaries to these United States have or will plant computer 'bugs' throughout our nation's infrastructure. The bugs will go off on the day the war starts, just like Pearl Harbor. Of course, these faulty computer chips, viruses, and other malware will, supposedly, destroy our countries ability to retaliate and protect ourselves.

Global Guerrillas - The Zero Day War

Free Bacon - China, Russia Planning Space Attacks on U.S. Satellites

Zero Time, Again
One of the things, I am looking at is building a computer to hold all my electronic files, just in case. You know, the ones dealing with how to do all those prepper tasks, you haven't practiced or bought books for like ...

Well, ...

My brother, Jumper, say that's a bad idea. He adds, it sounds good, but it's still a bad idea.


First, do you remember floppy disks? No, not the 3.5 inch hard plastic covered disk, but the ones that actually flopped around when you moved them. Me niether! That's his point though; it's no longer used.

Second, ever hear of Windows/386? It was released in 1988. That makes it over 28 years old, and Jumper's second point.

Lastly, ... the 'big' one. Will we have electricity for the computer?

Zero Stuff
Lastly, ....

After an event, you and your family may have nothing, and I mean nothing. No food, no protection, no water, no shelter, ... nothing.

But, ... The knowledge in your heads and the ability to work together to survive.

25 March, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Reflection)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Easter Procession (ca 1893)
painting by
Illarion Pryanishnikov

Easter is a special time for Christians. It is a time to look to our future, but it is also a time to reflect about the past.

Depending on when you and your family started prepping, you have been frantically gathering supplies and researching methods to survive the coming tough times this past year or your family has entered their sixth decade living with the collapse as your family rotates through their supplies and add to your family's capabilities.

Hopefully, you and your family have retired the mortgage on your family's 'estate,' added food producing capabilities, identified a family that you will be able to 'double up' with during an event, or practiced building primitive shelters and starting a fire.

Either way, ...

It is the most important short-term prep for your family, after adequate shelter, so you will need to have some properly stored and a means to obtain more. Don't forget, you will need to treat the water, to be able to drink it.

There are various methods have treating the water. The easiest is boiling. All you will need is a fire and an appropriate container.

Some people think this is the most important prep for their family. It is, for a long-term event.

Using easily available canned foods from the local grocery store, you and your family (with a little organization) will be able to easily store three months or more of food for your family. Just don't forget the pets and livestock.

Medical Supplies
For the new prepper, medical supplies can seem a daunting endevour, to acquire and use.

However, ... Topical antibiotics, bandages, and a little knowledge will go a long way (with a little common knowledge about safety) to prepare your family for common medical problems.

Hopefully, you see the political uncertainty and have purchased firearms for at least the adults in your family. First a handgun (pistol or revolver) and 250 rounds of ammunition for you and your partner, even if your partner is 'anti-gun' because they will change their mind when times get tough.

You will need to add cleaning supplies, holster, and a good belt to comfortably carry your 'protection.'

But, ... you also need a healthy attitude of avoiding confrontations.

Yeap, as much as you would like, you have to keep the job, build an emergency fund, invest for retirement, purchase insurance, and conduct all those other financial responsibilities before you purchase some silver and gold.

On and On
Needless to say, there is a lot more to do to get prepared for the current and coming tough times facing you and your family (That's why you're here)

But, ...

You have to have a balance in your preps that's 'why' we reflect about our preps, to make sure our family has enough water to survive a two-week event before having to find more water, enough canned food with cooking supplies, an emergency fund, and, ...

Before purchasing another Glock 19 for your two or three year old daughter and son ; - )

As you have probably noticed, I have been missing deadlines and posts, so I have had to reflect on whether to quit writing, post less, change format, or ... a multitude of other ideas.

That's why this post was written, in the first place.

As always, we will see.

1 April, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,


Plans, Plans, Plans
I was planning to show y'all some pictures of my latest endeavor, but we had semi-unexpected guests in town.

So, ...

You have to come back, in a few days.

8 April, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Magazine Math)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Cornell University Collection of Political Americana,
Cornell University Library

Buying Your First Pistol
You and your family have decided to take the plunge and purchase your first pistol. Like a revolver, you are going to need to buy somethings, usually a good belt, a quality holster, a cleaning kit, some cleaning and lubricating supplies, and ... I think that's it.

However, ...

Unlike a revolver, you're going to need to purchase some magazines.

Glock 19 Pistol
with 3 magazines

How Many?
Most new pistols will come with two or three magazines, in the box with the firearm. These three magazines, one in the handgun and two on your belt (in a magazine carrier), will give you more than enough cartridges (bullets) for most situations.

But, ... What happens "if" one of the magazines break?

You will need spares.

Glock 19 Pistol
with 5 magazines

Two More
Usually, magazine carriers hold one or two magazines, so I suggest, you purchase enough to refill the magazine carrier. This will give you spares; just in case, you lose a magazine or one of them breaks.

Plus, with an extra magazines or two, you have time to order a replacement from one of the on-line or local firearm accessories stores without going below the original two or three magazines for your pistol.

Glock 19 Pistol
with 10 magazines

Five More
Needless to say, we (you and your family) have been watching and listening to the various political candidates talk about the need for anti-freedom measures 'sensible' gun control laws. Some of these measures include reducing magazine capacity to seven cartridges or less, restricting normal capacity magazines sales to law enforcement only, and other measures that would affect your ability to replace lost or broken magazines.

So, ... I suggest buying five more magazines.

These ten magazines; three from the original purchase, two bought 'just in case' to refill a magazine carrier, and these five; would give you more than enough magazines for your lifetime and probably the life of the pistol.

Now, these 'extra' five magazines would be kept in a safe place, a locked gun safe comes to mind, as a reserve for tough times. They would only be taken out of your safe for inspections (rust, damage) and a test fire ever three to five years then returned to the safe.

The Answer to the Original Question
You need, at least, ten magazines for each pistol that you plan to use during an event.

Now, some people are going to want more magazines. That's o.k., but at $20 to $30 a piece, purchasing more than ten magazines will get expensive quickly, especially if you have more than one pistol.

So, ... Like any other prep for an event, you and your family have to make a choice then implement that choice.

Bushmaster AR-15A3 rifle
with 7 magazines

Rifle Magazines
The math for rifle magazines is going to be slightly different because ... rifles are different ; - )

In other words, rifles are used to fight wars, not defend yourself, like a pistol.

So, ... These United States military issues seven magazine for each rifle, one in the rifle and six carried in magazine pouches (magazine carriers).

Bushmaster AR-15A3 rifle
with 13 magazines

Six More
Using the same logic, as the pistol, if you have six magazines in magazines carriers, you need six replacement magazines for any possible lost or broken magazines.

Bushmaster AR-15A3 rifle
with 20 magazines

Seven More
Needless to say, the reason you purchased your rifle was to defend The Constitution your family from various villains, so you're going to want more, especially with all the running around, rolling on the ground, crawling on your belly (where rifle magazines are usually carried) that will inadvertently lead to damaged magazines.

Plus, twenty rifle magazines are easy to think about for your preps, as compared to say 21 magazines ; - )

Since it's the Presidential election season, we have to talk about firearms' politics. As we (you and your family) have seen in the past, an election can change the course of a nation. Even rumours can do that to.

Just think, ... Mrs. Hillary Rodham-Clinton is elected President of these United States. Firearm's prices would rapidly increase and ammunition availability would quickly decrease the closer this country gets to Inauguration day.

Don't even think about saying that you would shoot Ms. Rodham-Clinton before she took office because I would shoot your a** first. 'Cause, that's not how we settle our differences in this country. At least not recently ; - )

So, ...

Make sure you and your partner are registered to vote, then get out and politic for your choices, then vote in November.

Next, you need to do an inventory of your firearms and ammunition then fill any critical shortages in your preps, Now!, while firearms and ammunition are still easily available.

Lastly, as always, make sure your preps are squared away. You know, the usual ...

* Two weeks of water

* Three months of food

* Stocked first-aid kit and a supply of required medications

* Weather Alert Radio and a battery-powered radio

And, ... All of the other stuff that I talk about in 16 Weeks

For you folks with a little bit of money, I wrote an e-book titled Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead.

 It can be found at many retailers, such as Smashwords, Barnes and Nobles, and ...

Part Two
Here's the link to some sources for magazines

Needless to say, it doesn't work until ... Saturday.

9 April, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff, on a Saturday (Magazine Math, Part Two)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Don Strimbu

Needless to say, most things in life aren't free ; - )

So, ...

Glock 19 Pistol
with 3 magazines

In this picture, you're going to spend about $550 for the lot. Of course, you might be able to purchase a different pistol for less money. Such as the Canik TP9v2, Tam from View From the Porch tested in late March.

But, that pistol only comes with two magazines. Plus, you will need to find a source for more magazines.

Glock 19 Pistol
with 5 magazines

The above picture will cost another $50 to $60 for the two additional magazines.

Brownell's has them on sale for $18.99. They are regularly $24.99

Glock 19 Pistol
with 10 magazines

And, ... The additional seven magazines (3 with the pistol and seven others) will add another $150 to $200, depending on where your purchase the magazines.

Sources for Magazines
I've bought magazines from a few places. One time, I bought a magazine from the gun range, ouch.

Hey, ... they have to make a profit to pay for the really nice range, staff, and other stuff.

Another source, from my supplier page, is They have great service and competitive prices. I have been happy with them.

But, ... I almost always shop around.

Another source is CDNN. They also have great prices and wonderful service.

I have only had one problem with them. They sent me a used Glock 21 magazine by mistake. The return shipping set me back $5.95 (USPS Flat Rate Postage), so it cut into my savings.

The other two 'Big' sources for magazines are Brownell's and Midway USA. I have purchased other stuff from both of these companies and found them to have great service and good prices.

But, ... Like I said; I usually shop around for the best price.

Lastly, you can also purchase magazines from the firearm manufacturer, usually the most expensive option : - (

The same goes for rifle magazines.

Gun Shows
Now, you may notice; I didn't mention gun shows. I have a problem purchasing a critical item from someone that I'll never see again.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know some folks will say they have had good luck at gun shows and that is exactly it. They have had good luck.

For a beginning prepper, stick with quality, factory magazines, purchased from a quality supplier.

Like magazines, ammunition is sold all over the internet.

My favorite source is Hey, ... they're on my supplier page. They have great service and competitive prices with 'free' shipping.

Another source is Luckygunner. A lot of folks from the internet like them for their associate program. is another possible source for your ammunition needs, too.

Lastly, I'll mention one more source, oops three, the local gunshop, shooting range, and ... Walmart

Ibid, Kind'a
I usually purchase ammo from Ammoman. Like I said, great prices and wonderful service. I have also bought cartridges from Luckygunner. They were great too.

However, ... I haven't purchased ammo from Bulkammo, the local gunshop, or shooting range.

Lastly, the last time I purchased ammunition from Walmart; it was 22LR ammo at 92¢ for 50 rounds.

Some folks are going to disagree with my suggestions about the number of magazines for a rifle and pistol since they are critical components.

Hey, ... It's your money. You spend it on what you want. You want fifty magazines for your AR-15 rifle; buy fifty magazines. Just don't forget the food ; - )

All My Family Needs
Lastly, a word of warning.

There are some folks out there planning to take what they need, so they are only stocking guns and ammunition.

In the beginning, it might work, but later on, it's going to get ugly. 'Cause folks are going to start to hunt down villains. It's what always happens.

Remember, the 'good' guys out number the 'bad' guys!

14 April, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Earlier this week, I was packing up some of our food storage to donate, the grocery store canned foods. We don't have the room for the three month supply, yet.

So, ... Off it goes to the local food pantry.

Another 'problem' solved

Another problem has been winding up some prepper projects. One of these is building up supplies and equipment for unplanned 'quests.'

For this project, I have, over the years, purchased foreign military surplus pants, sleeping shirts, knit hats, and other clothing, usually very cheap. I have also purchased our military's wool blankets, leather gloves with wool liners, and other stuff. I have also bought other 'surplus' items, like cotton sheets. All of these items get placed in steel fifty-five gallon drums then stored in the basement.

Well, ... We don't have the room, so I will be storing these items, in the steel drums, outside. Now, all I have to do is figure out how to effectively camoflauge the barrels.

Needless to say, I have been having trouble determining what to ditch and what to keep becasue I have invested time and money into these projects.

And, ... a little bit of myself.

Have to go
I have a job interview.

22 April, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

As we are seeing, the younger generations don't want stuff. They are instead spending money on having experiences.

In other words, all that stuff you have accumulated is junk to them, so you need to get rid of it.

Ha, ha, ha, ... I'm kidding, kind'a

The Three Tools
The first tools that you really need are an axe, a knife, and a firesteel. These three tools will provide you with some of the means to survive, almost any disaster.

Using an axe, you can build a shelter, and a firesteel and knife will allow you to start a fire. Both will allow you and your family to survive a few days.

Add Knowledge
Using a little knowledge, to find water, you can use the fire to boil water for drinking, surviving a few weeks. Add even more knowledge, to build snares and identify edible plants, your family could survive months.

Add Stuff
For most families surviving an event with just an axe, a knife and a firesteeel is going to be too extreme, so you want to add more kit.

Depending on your particular needs and financial resources, the additional kit can be sleeping bags or wool blankets; an inexpensive nylon tarp or a tent; a new backpack or a modified bookbag; an old kitchen knife or a custom bushcraft knife; and many others items.

Add Skills
Needless to say, knowledge and stuff will be able to help you survive an event, but you also need skills that you and your family have been able to practise. Bushcraft will give you the opportunity to learn these skills.

Add Fitness
Some people, mainly Biologists, will think I'm talking about Charles Darwin's 'Survival of the Fittest.'

Nope, I'm talking about Fitness, your physical well-being.

You need to control your blood pressure, control your weight, quit your vices (smoking, alcohol, facebook, twitter, and ...), regularly exercise, and all the other thinks ... to be healthy.

Add Spirituality
Believe it or not, being a believer increases a persons chances of survival.

What the study doesn't say is a believer in what. God? Allah? Yahweh? Ahura Mazda? Or in the belief that you can survive an event through perseverance, determination, or ... just plain luck.

Either way, you have to decide what you will add to your kit.

Now, ... About that Stuff

Paul Kirtley Blog - A Bushcraft Camping Outfit: Equipment for Living in the Woods

Bushcraft NZ - Notes: Kit

This link has more information at the 'Blogs,' 'Multimedia: Videos' and other drop down menus such as ...

Bushcraft NZ - Budget Bushcraft

Previous Articles at GSiEP:
The Woodsman's Backpack

Combat Vests and Survival Vests

23 April, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff, on a Saturday

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Sir George Scott

It's easy to minimize your firearms. All you need to do is pick a common set of firearms and only purchase them then sell the excess ones, hopefully, for a profit.

This way, you only need to stock one type of handgun magazines, one type of rifle magazines, one handgun ammunition caliber, one rifle ammunition caliber, common cleaning supplies, common holsters, common rifle slings, and other items that are used by the handgun and rifle.

The same can be said for food. First, you and your family stock 360 pounds of rice, wheat, or other carbohydrate that when mixed with 180 pounds of dried beans (black, red, navy, pinto, or ...) provides all of the essential amino acids required by your body for good health. Add enough daily multi-vitamins to last a year, you have enough food for one person for one year or four people for three months.

This way, you and your family only need to stock two types of foods, beans and rice with a multi-vitamin.

I'm not sure on the rice/wheat to bean ratio. I think it is 1 to .5 (one pound to half a pound) but it might be 1 to 1 (one pound to one pound). More research needed, of course : - (

Of course, a big house with a complex roof line requires more energy to heat and cool, during 'good times and 'bad' times. A big house also requires more maintenance.

If you purchase a smaller house, you won't need to fill it up with, truly, unneeded items, fix leaks in a complex roof, and ... save money on the mortgage.

During an event, your family is going to need one gallon of water, per person, for drinking and cooking. You can decide to purchase expensive plastic water carriers, or ...

You can store your drinking water in plastic 2-liter soda bottles.

This way, all of your children except the very young can carry water from its storage area.

Now, some families have hobbies like power boats, downhill skiing, and others. Reducing the hobbies to practical skills like camping, vegetable gardening, hunting/trapping, allows your hobbies to be part of your preps.

Of course, there are consequences to taking the minimalist approach to prepping.

First, you save money on your preps.

Second, you save storage space on your preps.

Third, you can't showoff all of your 'cool' preps because you don't have any ; - )

U.S. National Library of Medicine - Protein in diet

National Center for Biotechnology Information - Molecular Biology of the Cell: The Shape and Structure of Proteins

29 April, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

Three Guns
The crew at work has a new person. He and his family enjoy the outdoors. Of course we got to talking about hunting and guns.

First, he suggests a bolt-action rifle in 30.06. He says it has taken every game animal in these United States, including Elk. He recommends, at least, a 150 grain bullet for dear. He says a 180 grain bullet would be better.

He recommends one of the newer, controlled expansion bullets from Sierra because they are softer.

Next, he recommends a shotgun with a 20 inch barrel and a 28 inch barrel. The 20 inch barrel is for turkey and deer. The 28 inch barrel is for the flying animals such as duck and geese.

Lastly, he suggests something in .22LR; however, he says .22LR has gotten so expensive it might not be worth the trouble. The .22LR is for practise and small game like squirrel and rabbit.

Next, we talked about optics for the rifle. Like many others, he says to spend about the same amount for a scope as the rifle, with some caveats.

First, you and your family can purchase a used Savage, Remington, Winchester for $500 from a local dealer. These rifles will have some finish wear, but will still be very serviceable.

So, these guns would get a $250 Redfield or Leupold. He said to buy new scopes because the older Redfield scopes, made in Japan, were crap. Plus, Leupold bought the name, and they are making the scopes across the street from each other.

Second, he remarked, something like, 'Why buy an $80 scope when you can buy a better scope for $150, instead.' He said this in response to a question about buying a BSA scope from Sportsman's Guide.

But, ... he also said his friend swears by his BSA scope.

Third, he told me that no one has the need to shoot at an animal more than 300 yards away, unless they practice, a lot, but I still need a scope for the rifle.

Back to Guns
The 'New Guy' said that for about $500, a family can purchase an adequate rifle and scope combo from any of the gunstores, brand new.

So, for about $500, you family would have a hunting rifle and scope. He says these new guns and scopes from Savage, Remington, and Winchester are very good.

For the shotgun, he said either 20 gauge or 12 gauge will work. His son and daughter share a 20 gauge Mossberg 500 shotgun for hunting turkey.

You will notice, we didn't talk about handguns for your three guns. These guns are for hunting.

But, ... We did talk about pistols later in the day.

He suggests three names, Glock, Smith & Wesson, and Beretta all in 9mm.

6 April, 20167

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Conrad Poirier

Moving Day, Part Five
We started early, loadng the pickup with stuff for the local charity store. Dropped it off and went to breakfast. Of course, we got behind schedule.

Next, I loaded the weapons with a little ammo in the back of the pickup.

To load it, I would pause, in the garage, looking around, watching for the neighbors as I worked. Katniss loaded our car with other stuff.

Once we had everything loaded, for this trip, we headed out. About an hour and a half later, we got to the 'country house' and unloaded as we let the animals run around.

I hopped on the mower and ran it for about two hours then the rain began. It rained, and rained, and rained some more.

We were lucky; it stopped raining for the next part.

We drove back home and had dinner then at 9:30 pm, Katniss and I moved the 21 city chickens out to their 'new' home with the 9 country chickens.

We used three animal cages to transport them on the back of our pickup truck, the 60 miles. Lucky for us, it wasn't raining.

Knife Fighting
Fighting someone armed with a knife is dangerous. A knife can cut tendons and muscles making it impossible to move your arm, leg, hand, or can be used to stab you cutting or puncturing internal organs.

Nicking, a small cut, a person's liver is a death sentence. The person will very quickly bleed to death, and not even know it.

The way to fight a knike wielding villain is to ... run.

If you can't run, you decide which arm to sacrifice, wrap it in a coat, towel, or other protective garment. Next, you arm yourself with a stick, stool, chair, or other item then ... attack.

Or better yet, have a handgun ; - )

Moving, Part Six
The slow motion moving; part one, clean out the new home; part two, fix up new home, just enough to move  in; part three, move some stuff to storage; part four, kind'a decide what to keep and what to give away;  and so on has been a major hassle.

Next, we are adding get the 'old' home ready for selling. Great Fun

Working Vacation
At the same time, my  brother Jumper bought a 'new' truck (2009 Toyota Tundra) and we are buying his old ?????? OPSEC. Needless to say, Katniss and I flew to his home and will drive the 'new' vehicle back to ???? OPSEC

We plan to sell two of our older vehicles to  pay for the trip and the 'new' vehicle.

Of course, the objective is to trade up to newer and more reliable cars.

13 April, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Guns for Anonymous)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

Yesterday, Anonymous asked about firearms.

The Four Rules
Before or slightly after getting your first firearm, you need to learn the four rules. Needless to say, depending on who you read will determine the rules.

So, ....

The Gun Zone - The Rules

National Rifle Association - Gun Safety Rules

The 'First' Firearm
I suggest a revolver in .357 magnum. It can shoot .357 magnum and .38 Special cartridge. It is easy to learn how to shoot and requires minimal equipment to carry and use, a holster, a cleaning kit, and some speed strips (Brownells or Midway)

You can buy new for about $700, Ruger (SP101), Smith & Wesson (Model 686), or others. Of course, some folks suggest to stay away from Taurus. It seems, they have spotty quality control.

Next, you can buy used at Gun Broker, Guns America, or the local gunstore.

You're looking for a revolver with a four inch barrel or less, for concealment because it's shaping up to be an economic collapse and your family may need protection.

Another Option
Now, some folks would recommend a pistol, a semiautomatic handgun. I suggest a Glock 19 or Smith & Wesson M&P 9, and many others. Ruger's SR-9 and Canik's TP9-V2 are low price alternatives, in 9mm

But, ... Pistols require magazines, so you will need about five magazines. At $20 to $30 a piece, it adds to the price of a handgun. Plus, you still need a holster and a cleaning kit.

Practice, Practice, and More Practice
Either choice is going to require you and your family to practice using the handgun, immediate action drills, loading, unloading, and other skills.

Lastly, ...
It's early morning, and I have to go to bed.

But, ... I leave with two last thoughts, for now.

Some readers may not be strong enough to load and unload a semiautomatic handgun in 9mm, so they may need to purchase a pistol in .22LR or .380

And, ...

I like AmmoMan for purchasing ammunition, but shop around.

Anonymous, feel free to ask questions 'cause the only stupid question is the one unasked ;  - )

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

.22LR Rifle (ca 2015)
photograph by
Faceless Enemy

.22LR Rifles
Here in these United States, there are basically two semiautomatic .22 rifles for preppers, the Ruger 10/22 and the Marlin Model 60.

Both have been manufactured in the millions (or close enough) that they can be found in almost any gun store, new or used. Spare parts are easy to find from the manufacturer and many others, such as Brownell's, Midway, Sarco, and Numrich.

Needless to say, there are many recently manufacturer bolt-action rifles; made by Ruger, Savage, Marlin, CZ, Keystone, Mossberg, Browning, Henry, and many others; that you can purchase from the 'big bog' retailers such as Gander Mountain and Cabela's. You can also find used .22LR bolt-action rifles in the local gun stores or pawn shop.

To find spare parts for the new rifles, you can contact the rifle's manufacturer or Brownell's and Midway. The used rifles (depending on how old they are) will require you and your family to contact Sarco and Numrich for spare parts.

Spare Parts
For most events (hurricane, earthquake, car crash, and many others), you're not going to need spare parts for your rifle. These event will be local and short-term, so you will be able to order spare parts and quickly receive the replacement parts from an internet or local retailer.

However, ... Some, very rare, events will require you to have a minimum of spare parts, such as a replacement firing pin, front and rear sight, any action springs, extractor, ejector, and many spare magazines.

In the case of the Marlin Model 60 or other tubular magazine fed rifles, you will need a few springs and followers instead of box magazines.

If your firearms use magazines, you need a minimum of five (5) magazines for each rifle and pistol, at least. More would be better!


If you don't have a magazine for a semiautomatic rifle or pistol, you have a very difficult to load single shot firearm. Negating the reason for using a magazine fed semiautomatic rifle or pistol in the first place

Remember, ... Magazines are a critical item for semiautomatic rifles and pistols.

Of course, .22LR ammunition has seen a dramatic price increase in the last few years (decade?), so you won't be able to stock as much ammo as before the current reality.

To purchase, you can buy .22LR ammunition from the only China-Mart that still sells firearms, the local gun store, farm and home stores (such as Rural King), and the internet retailers, like, Lucky Gunner, and others.

Be warned, I almost passed out from sticker shock.

For preppers, the .22LR rifle is the third or fourth firearm purchased by your family. (The first should be a defensive revolver, in .357 magnum, and the second should be a defensive rifle, like the SKS) because the highest priority is protecting yourself and your family from villains.

Yes, ... I know, you can use the .22LR as a defensive cartridge, but . 38 Special, .357 magnum, 9mm, .40 caliber, or .45 ACP for handguns and .223 caliber/5.56 mm, .308 caliber/7.62 NATO, or 7.62X39 for rifles are sooo much better for defensive purposes.

I also know, you and your family are stocking food such as white rice and dried beans, or wheat and dried beans (Right?), so you won't need to hunt during an event. Plus, telling your partner that your family is going to be foraging for wild edibles and shooting rabbits, squirrel, and other small game for food during an event isn't going to be pretty ; - )

Lastly, with the 'recent' price increase of .22LR, it makes a certain economic sense to purchase, learn, and use a pellet rifle for hunting or to purchase, learn, and use traps for trapping small game to provide protein during an event.

Ruger: Products - 10/22 Rifle

Marlin: Firearms - Model 60

Brownell's - Home

Midway, USA - Home

Sarco, Inc - Home

Numrich Gun Parts, Corp - Home

Gander Mountain: New Guns - New Rimfire Rifles: Bolt Action

Cabela's: Bolt Action - Rimfire Rifles - .22LR

Lucky Gunner: Rimfire - .22LR

27 April, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (.22LR Revolver for Anonymous)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
James Case

I Apologize
I had the wrong date set for this blurb, so here you go.

.22LR Revolver
For the folks that don't read the comments, a reader recently experienced a burglary. The villains stole various items, "food, silverware, dishes, and appliances"

And, ... Their sense of security

Because of this experience, the reader, Anonymous, is thinking about purchasing a .22 LR caliber revolver.

Now, Anonymous says they (He or She) are looking at purchasing a new 10 round .22LR revolver from Smith & Wesson. They didn't say which model so I used a little 'google fu' (Thanks to Say Uncle for teaching me that term ; - ) to search for 'Ten Round .22LR Revolver from Smith&Wesson' which returned ...

S&W Model 617 and a review from Tanner's Gun Reviews with a YouTube Video from 1957Shep

At a suggested retail price of $829, it's an expensive revolver and the only one I found from Smith & Wesson.

So, ... I went looking for other ten round .22LR revolvers and found ...

Ruger Single Ten and a review from American Rifleman with a YouTube video from Haus of Guns

And, .. That's it. All the other .22LR revolvers are eight or six rounds, and some of them are more expensive then the S&W Model 617.

But, ... Like me, Anonymous has a budget. I don't know what it is, but (for me) less expensive is better when the quality is similar.

So, ... Here are some other .22LR revolvers that hold six and eight cartridges from ...

S&W Model 317 and a review from All Outdoors with a YouTube video from Harry Ruger-Six

S&W Model 43 C and a kind'a review at Smith & Wesson forum without a YouTube video

Ruger LCR Model 5410 and a kind'a review from Major Pandemic with two YouTube videos from Gun and Hickok45

I have to stop for now, so make sure you watch the Hickok45 video. Like all the other articles and videos, Hickok45 has a lot of great things to say about using a .22LR revolver for defensive purposes.

.22LR Revolver for Defense
With all that I have written about the choices for .22LR revolvers, there is still more to say.

First, I suggest a revolver that the cylinder swings out because it's easier to reload instead of one with a loading gate.

Next, I suggest a double action (DA) or a single action/double action (SA/DA). A double action only (DAO) is preferred because you will only train with it in double action.

Remember: You don't arise to the occasion. You fall to your level of training. So, ... If your training sucks, you will suck

Next, shoot a hollow point (HP) cartridge over a full metal jacket (FMJ) or lead round nose (LRN) cartridge. With that said, FMJ and LRN cartridges will hurt or kill someone, too

Next, shot placement is very important, especially using a .22LR revolver.

So, ... picture a "T" with a "O" just above the "T." The "O" is someone's head, the cross bar of the "T" is someone's shoulders and the tail of the "T" is the person's spinal column. You want to shoot the villain from the navel, in a straight line up (the tail of the "T") to the head (the "O" on top of the "T") with multiple shots.

Or, ... You just shoot into the persons head, but that is difficult from a distance, even 10 feet, under stress.

Lastly, you need to try and use a larger cartridge such as a .38 Special, 9mm, or even the .357 magnum revolver.

22LR Revolver, Part Two
By now, some of y'all have gone 'Ouch!' on the prices for revolvers from Colt, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, and others.

Well, ... You can always go 'previously owned' or better known as a used revolver. You will need to search you local firearms dealers, pawn shops, talk to friends, and visit the on-line dealers such as Guns America, Gun Broker, Guns International, and others.

Just So You Know:
According to WeaponsMan, Gun Broker caved to protests when they tried to sell George Zimmerman's Kel-Tec PF-9 pistol

Another option is purchasing a new .22LR revolver from another manufacturer, such as Taurus, Astra, Harrington & Richardson, or some of the other low cost companies.

Just a Little More
Sorry to tell you this, but ... As you get older, you get weaker.

This means your current defensive pistol, that you're currently able to rack the slide to chamber a round, may become difficult or impossible to shoot. The double action only (DAO) revolver, (with a heavy trigger) that you can shoot, may become impossible to effortlessly squeeze the trigger. This also means the large caliber pistol's or revolver's recoil may become impossible to handle.

So, you (in your 'old' age) may have to switch to a .22LR semiautomatic like the PPK, a .32 caliber Seecamp LWS pistol, or a ... (since we're talking about revolvers ; - )

American Rifleman - Rock Island M206 .38 Special Revolver - Armscor M200 Series Revolver Review

YouTube: FreakinPeanuts - Rock Island M206 .38 Special Review

3 June, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Brushing Your Teeth)

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
SuSanA Secretariat

Brushing Your Teeth
I was reading an article, over at io9, about decorative gingivitis. It seems 'poor' folks would decorate their teeth to make it look like they had teeth decay.

Of course, the article got me to thinking about dental care during an event.

Basic Supplies
First, you and your family will need to store toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss, as a minimum. Depending on your dental health, you and your dentist may determine you need to stock a mouthwash and other teeth cleaning supplies.

How Much
As always, how much to to stock is up to you and your family and how long the threat you're planning for is going to last.

As an example, say, you're preparing for a one year event. You will need four toothbrushes for each person (replaced every three months), so many tubes of toothpaste (you will need to calculate that), and several dental floss dispensers.

The Dentist
Notice, I mentioned seeing a dentist. You need to see one on a regular basis, be it once a year or more often, for those checkups and teeth cleaning.

You're Kidding, Right?
No, I'm not. Your teeth are needed to chew food. Without teeth, you will have to grind your food and eat a mush or porridge, for the rest of your life.

So, ... Dental health is important. Plus, have you ever had a toothache, and had to wait to see the dentist?

With that said, if you have dentures, you will need to store the needed supplies to keep your mouth happy.

Preventative Medicine
Lastly, exercising, brushing your teeth, digging a slit trench, and properly washing your hands aren't sexy, but you need to know these skills to protect your health.

io9 - The 7 Deadliest Fashion Trends Of All Time

YouTube: Howdini - Teeth Brushing Tips: How to Brush Your Teeth Properly

YouTube: Dr. Carlos Meulener - The One Minute Flossing Technique

10 June, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Silver and Gold)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Eddito Vulgata

Some Thoughts Before I Begin
First, have y'all been following the news articles about gold. In one, they say gold prices are going to decrease while others are saying gold prices will increase

In fact, no one knows what the price of silver or gold will be tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and ... definitely not ten years from now.

With that said, ...

The Ratio
In 1792, The Coinage Act set the value of one dollar ($1) as 24.1 grams of pure silver or standard silver which is 1485 parts pure silver to 179 parts copper alloy. In other words, about 90% silver and 10% copper.

Around the same time, Alexander Hamilton (boo, hiss) suggested these United States adopt a silver to gold ratio of 15:1.

In 1900, the Gold Standard Act set the value of a dollar at 1.505 grams of gold. In other words, $20.67 for an ounce of gold, a ratio of 20 to 1.

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt changed that ratio to 35/1, after enacting Executive Order 6102 (more about that later)

Between that time and 1971, when Nixon took these United States off the gold standard, the ratio changed, ending at a little over 42 to 1, in 1971.

Currently, the ratio ($16.24 for an ounce of silver and $1223 for an ounce of gold) is at 75:1

Lastly, according to some, ... If we took all these United States' currency and divided it by all the gold in the world, we would get a ratio of $55,000 to one ounce of gold.

Ya, ya, ya. I know, I used Wikipedia as my source. Ya, ya, ya. I know, I rounded up and sometimes rounded down. Ya, ya, ya. You're wondering, what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

I'll tell you.

Using the Ratio
Depending on who you ask, some folks will say 'Traditionally, the ratio for silver to gold is 20 to 1' while others say it's a little less or a little more. Either way, you can use it, may be, as a way to increase your silver and gold stacks. When silver to gold has a high ratio, you sell your gold and buy silver. When silver to gold has a low ratio, you sell your silver and buy gold.

Let's look at an example. To Start:

As of this writing, silver is at $16.24 for an ounce of silver while gold is at $1223 for an ounce of gold, a ratio of 75:1. Plus, for this example, you have one ounce of gold and 100 ounces of silver for a total investment of $2, 847.

Say, in the next few years, gold goes to $2,000 an ounce and silver is at $20 an ounce; the ratio is 100 to 1. Now, you have a total of $4,000 invested, so far.

So, using the ratio, you trade your one ounce gold coin for 100 ounces of silver. You still have $4,000 invested, but 200 ounces of silver and no gold.

A few years later, when gold goes down to $1,000 an ounce silver decreases to $15 an ounce; the ratio is 67 to 1.

Again, using the ratio, you trade 67 ounces of silver for one ounce of gold. Now you have one ounce of gold and 133 ounces of silver.

Ya, ya, ya. I know, the prices of silver and gold have never been like my examples, but ... It's an example to illustrate the concept. Ya, ya, ya, I also know you have 'lost' money because your total investment is $2,995, but .. That's not the point. You now have one ounce of gold and 133 ounces of silver ... without spending anymore money! Lastly, I also now, you have to watch your expenses (shipping, handling, and dealers never trade straight across) because they cut into your profit.

Using the Ratio, Again
You can also use the ratio to determine what to purchase, silver or gold?

If the silver to gold ratio is high, you buy silver. 'Cause your money purchases more silver.

If the silver to gold ratio is low, you buy gold. 'Cause ... (That's right) your money purchases more gold.

Let's look at an example. To Start:

You have $1,000 to invest, way back in June 1995

With gold at $388.50 an ounce and silver at $5.35 an ounce; the ratio is 72:1. You would purchase silver.

Jump forward a decade to June 2005 and another $1,000 to invest.

Gold is at $430 an ounce and silver at 7.25 an ounce; the ratio is 59 to 1. You would purchase gold.

Jump another decade, to June 2015, and the gold is at $1181 an ounce, and silver is at $15.90. The ratio is 74/1; you would purchase ... Silver, of course.

First, thanks to Kitco for providing the Spot Silver and Spot Gold prices for this article and also the historical data for Gold and Silver.

Secondly, ...

Ya, ya, ya. I know the historical prices I quoted aren't completely accurate. I had to questimate because I was looking at a graph, not a spreadsheet for the data. Ya, ya, ya. I also know, I was lucky finding two decades where the silver to gold ratio did change enough to justify using the ratio. Lastly, a word of warning, it may take decades to use the ratio to increase your holdings, without spending more money.

Using the Ratio, a Third Time
The last method, that I will mention, that you can use the ratio is to determine 'How Much?' to purchase.

The first way, 'How much of each?'

Now, before I begin, this is all about diversification. You never put all of your investments in one category, so you need to have a mix in your investments. Got it.

With that said, using the traditional ratio of 20 to 1, you would purchase 20 ounces of silver for every ounce of gold you own, or vis-a-versa (one ounce of gold for every 20 ounces of silver you own)

An example:

You have 200 ounces of silver; using the traditional ratio, you would purchase 10 ounces of gold.

Using current prices, you would need to spend $15,478 ($3,248 for the silver and $12,230 for the gold)

"That's a lot of money, ...honey!" you partner would probably say, especially using such a low silver to gold ratio.

So, ... For now, you might want to use a higher ratio for your initial purchases, such as 75 to 1.

That would work out to be only 2.75 ounces of gold, for $3,364

Ya, ya, ya. I made a mistake that I didn't correct. Glad you noticed ; - )

If you missed it, you already own the silver, so your purchase would only be $12,230, not $15,478.

Ya, ya, ya. I also know, it really works out to 2.67 ounces of gold but I rounded up to the next higher quarter ounce. 'Cause the markup on 1/10 ounce gold coins can be expensive compared to the markup on 1/4 ounce gold coins.

Using the Ratio, a Third Time, ... Continued
Now, there is a second way of using the silver to gold ratio for your investments and ... by preppers.

You can use the silver to gold ratio to determine 'How much do you need as a hedge against financial collapse?'

Let me explain. Way back at the beginning, I mentioned that someone had calculated that there where about $55,000 for every ounce of gold in the world. This means, if we go back to the original way of thinking, when these United States were founded, a dollar (one ounce of silver) is really worth $2,750 and an ounce of gold is really worth $55,000 (20 dollars equals an ounce of gold)

Think about it, and ... Take a deep breath

'Cause right about now, you're probably predicting that I'm going to tell you to sell your 401K, sell your investment, and buy, Buy, BUY GOLD and silver.

I'm not. Let me explain.

Banks use hedges to limit their losses. It's like insurance.

The bank lends a company a billion dollars. If the bank didn't get paid back, they would go out of business. Something the bank doesn't want to do, so they buy insurance.

To do this, the bank would go to a company, like AIG (Remember, the bailout) and buy a billion dollar insurance policy for $1,000,000. If the company survives and pays the money back with interest, the bank is only out a million dollars. But, if the company fails or goes out of business, the bank will get their billion dollars returned, thanks to the insurance. A win-win because the bank always receives the $1,000,000,000!

Ya, ya, ya. I know, it's a little more complicated, but ... It's an example.

Doing the Same Thing
If you didn't know this, every time you deposit money in a financial account, you are for all intents and purposes loaning the financial institution the money.

Outrageous but it's true. You see, the financial institution either loans the money to other people, businesses, or invests it. The same goes for your 401K. The investment company takes your money and purchases stock, bonds, T-bills, and other stuff.

So, ... Like a bank that loans money, you need a hedge against the financial institutions, that you use, going out of business. You can do this by purchasing certain things. The easiest is silver and gold.

How to do This
By now, you probably know what I'm going to say, Use the Ratio!

Let me give you an example.

If you have $500,000 in your 401K, you would purchase about 9 ounces of gold.


If the world's economy collapsed, all these United States money would become worth $55,000 for an ounce of gold. In other words, your 401K would become worth 9 ounces of gold.

So, ... As a hedge, an inexpensive form of insurance, you would spend $11,007 to purchase an insurance policy against the possibility your 401k would become worthless.

But, But, But
You're probably asking yourself, 'Can't I buy an insurance policy from someone like AIG?'

You can (I think), but what keeps AIG from going out of business, like they did in 2008?

That's right. Nothing.

You're probably also asking 'Can't I purchase another asset class to reduce my risk, like I do, when I diversify in my 401K?'

You can. They're called Precious Metal or Gold Mutual Funds or Exchange Traded Funds, such as VGPMX, FKRCX, FSAGX, and many, many others. Your employer may even allow you to invest in these funds. Mine doesn't.

But, ... Just like you're 401K, you are giving people money, to invest in the metals. You're not actually receiving the gold and silver coins.

Much, Much, More
I have written about silver and gold over the years, as I have learned from people such as Len Penzo, Trent Hamm, Michael J. Panzner, and many more

The last two don't blog anymore. They both sold out; hopefully, for a whole lot of money. Ha, ha, ha.

Almost Lastly,
I may spend a few hours looking for other stuff that I have written about financial matters and provide some links.

So, ... If you see this message, I'm still working on it but here's some other thoughts for you and your family.

GSIEP - Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

GSIEP - Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Almost, Almost Lastly,
Remember, ...

Silver and Gold will not protect you family from the wind and cold, only adequate shelter will do that.

Silver and Gold will not quench your thirst, only stored water will do that

Silver and Gold will not save your family from starvation, only stored food and a productive garden will do that

Silver and Gold will not protect you from rapists, murders, and thieves, only a firearm with enough ammunition will do that. (and proper training)

Lastly, why should I trade you shelter, water, food, and protection for your silver and gold when all I have to do is wait for you to die then take the silver and gold?

I am the author of Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead an e-book about preparing for the financial collapse of the world's financial markets and many other events.

17 June, 2016

Friday's Thought and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

illustration by

I recently received three e-mails for three different folks. The first one ...

A Pilot Episode
This is a funny, short movie about an inept survival instructor and one of his students.

There is a lot of good in this video.

The importance of being able to build a fire, during an event.

The importance of positively recognizing wild foods, .. before you put them in your mouth.

The importance of knowing your target, before shooting

And, ... Some others.

Lastly, I told Mr. Kushnir; there is potential in using this concept to teach people survival skills in a funny, humorous way.

We'll see if he runs with it.

Vimeo: Andy Kushnir - Rivers: Pilot Presentation

The next e-mail dealt with ...

Need I say more.

With that said, ... The link is a good starting off point for beginning preppers. Plus, it has some stuff that I didn't know, such as ...

Twitter is a survival app ; - )

MobiWoz  - How to Survive The Zombie Apocaplyse

Three Skills
I'm waiting on a reply, on this one : - (

24 June, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Prepperds and Survivalists,

photograph by
brian gillman

Late, Again
Folks, if you see this message, I have been working very, very hard, getting stuff organized for the tough times ahead.

This Week
* Relocated Seventy 5-gallon buckets of food, from old home to new home

* Relocated Eight 55-gallon plastic barrels for water storage, from old home to new home (Nope, not filled, yet)

* Relocated Five 55-gallon metal drums for burn barrels, from ... you know

* Relocated Three 55-gallon metal drums full of 'emergency' clothing, ...

Of course, almost all of these items (except the burn barrels) came out of the basement, up a flight of stairs, loaded into a truck or car, drove 100 some odd miles, and went down a flight of stairs. On a very warm week.

So, ...
I have nothing for you, yet.

No comments: