Saturday, May 26, 2012

Guest Article: Emergency Water Storage

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

I would like to thank Riverwalker, from Stealth Survival, for writing a quest article. Riverwalker has a great blog with lots of information and insight into prepping. I read him often.

So, on with the guest article.

Emergency Water Storage - How Much Do You Really Need?

You need to be aware of how much water you consume to fully understand how much you need to store for an emergency or a crisis. There are also some situations which will require additional amounts of water that you may not have accounted for in your planning. The average person uses approximately 50 to 80 gallons of water each and every day under normal circumstances. That’s a lot of water. Considering that most recommendations state that you should keep at least one gallon per person per day, this small amount may leave you with a critical water shortage. This could place you in a very vulnerable position during a crisis or a disaster.

With minimal activity, the average person can stay fairly well hydrated on two quarts of drinking water a day. With warmer temperatures or strenuous activities, the needed amount of water can easily double under these circumstances. If the power is out there isn’t going to be an air conditioner to keep you cool. This won’t leave you any water for other uses during a crisis. Even a simple sponge bath will require at least a quart of water person and a couple of simple meals can easily use another two quarts of water.

If you plan to go without bathing for a few days (note: this may help keep the zombies away) and are going to eat everything straight out of a can, you might have to struggle a bit but you still might manage to get by on that one gallon of water per day. The problem is that there are some other things you might want to consider also.

Kids are the first thing you need to factor into your planning for emergency water storage. There is no such thing as “minimal activity” when it comes to kids. They will probably need even more water than you will. They also have a tendency to get dirtier. Kids can be natural “dirt magnets” at times. Being able to keep the kids clean will also help them to stay healthier.

The second thing you need to factor into your emergency water storage is enough to cover minor medical emergencies. Water may be needed to clean minor cuts and scrapes or to help fight off more serious ailments. If someone develops nausea and vomiting, they are going to require more fluids than normal. The same can be said for other medical conditions like diarrhea where severe dehydration can be a very real problem.

So how much do you really need? My personal recommendation is a minimum of three gallons per day per person . This will give you one gallon for drinking, one gallon for cooking and another gallon for hygiene and medical needs. This may sound like a lot of water but it’s only about 4 % of the average person’s daily use. That’s a pretty drastic reduction in water use from normal times. It’s always better to plan on having a little extra water than to come up short in a crisis.

Got enough water stored for an emergency?

Staying above the water line!


City of Seattle - Storing Emergency Water

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Firearms for Preppers, M16/AR15 series Rifle, Part Two

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

This should really be "Part One." Oh, well.

M16A1 Rifle with 30-round Magazine

The M16 rifle is a lightweight rifle that most people, including children, could easily shoot. It is used by about 70 countries worldwide.


You will probably never see one in your local firearms store because a M16 series rifle is a Class III weapon. These types of weapons require a $200 tax stamp and some federal paper work to purchase.

Now, the firearm you will see at your local firearms dealer is an AR-15, or some variation since AR-15 is a registered trademark of Colt Firearms. Either way, if you ask to see an AR-15, the clerk will hand you something in black and 5.56 mm.

5.56 mm (.223 caliber) is the diameter of the round (see Week Five - Guns) the rifle uses. The military round will work in a civilian rifle. Heck, civilian rifles have the same identical parts as the military rifle, almost.

My Family's Situation
Just like the SKS rifle, we live in suburbia, like most preppers. Since houses are close and ranges are short, the AR-15 series rifle is also a good rifle for the urban and suburban prepper.

Plus, there is a plentiful supply of spare parts and magazines.

Spare Parts
Just like the SKS rifle, you and your family are going to need to stock spare parts for a long-term disaster, if that's what you're preparing for. If not; don't.

Now, I was an armourer in these United States Army, so I have some experience. First, you need an extractor, an extractor spring with an extractor spring insert, and an extractor pin. After that, you'll need a firing pin retaining pin and a firing pin. Add a front sight for 'just in case,' and that should be it.

For those worried about very long-term stuff, you'll need to add an ejector, ejector spring, and ejector roll pin, action spring/buffer spring, and all of the lower receiver springs and pins. Plus, you will need a rear sight assembly, just in case.

Michael J. Sherman

I wouldn't get an extra bolt carrier or a bolt because I never saw one fail, ever!


It's up to you and your family; what you buy.

Modifications to the AR-15 series Rifle
As you saw from the first part of the M-16 series rifle article, there are many modifications that can be done to this rifle.

The only modification I would recommend would be to install a quality collapsible stock. The mod will allow everyone in your family to comfortably shoot the rifle, until you get one for them.

Tools and Other Necessities
You are going to need magazines, magazines, and more (Are They Crazy??? $53) magazines. I would feel ok with ten (10) magazines per rifle, but, I would be looking to obtain more, just in case, that's how important magazines are. At about 20 to 25 magazines, per rifle, I would feel all warm and fuzzy.

Next, a cleaning kit is required (an example).

After that, you going to need some kind of kit to carry at least three magazines.

Lastly, a front sight tool and a sling to carry the rifle would top-off my preps for this rifle. On the sling, I wouldn't buy anything fancy. I would stay low-speed and buy a new or used U.S. military silent sling (an example). Unless, you and your family have been to an Appleseed class then you might purchase a M-16 DMP Sling (an example) a M-16/A2 sling (an example), or a M-14 sling (an example).

Wikipedia - M16 Rifle

Wikipedia - AR15 Rifle

Wikipedia - 5.56 × 45 mm NATO×45mm_NATO

Noveske Rifle Works - TM 9-1005-319-10 - TM 9-1005-319-23&P

Firearms for Preppers, M16/AR15 series Rifle

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

The last couple of years, my nephew "Forest" has been working for these United States' ...., and one of his responsibilities is to carry a rifle and pistol for work.

Ha, you thought I was going to tell you? ; - )

His Rifle

Forest's Patrol Rifle

The M16/AR-15 series rifle has a flat-top upper receiver, Magpul ACS stock, ACOG sight, a Tango Down pistol grip, and a Magpul handguard with a broomstick vertical foregrip and a flashlight mounted.

The ACOG TA31F sight has an illuminated ranging reticule. Forest also has Magpul MBUS (Magpul Back Up Sights) as backup sights just in case the ACOG fails for some reason.

The flashlight is a (I forgot) with the pressure tape (turns the flashlight on/off) mounted to the broomstick vertical foregrip.

Now, I'm an old school soldier (I had a XM-177E1 style-rifle when I was younger) so I had a few questions about his reasoning behind his rifle.

The Collapsable Stock
Forest likes the Magpul ACS collapsible stock for many reasons. First, the stock locks in two places this keeps it from unexpectedly collapsing. Second, the stock allow him to adjust it to what he is wearing. Body armour - make it shorter; Summer uniform - make it longer; Winter uniform with bulky coat - make it shorter. Plus, a collapsible stock allows for a 'quicker' draw from his vehicle.

I like the ACS stock because it's a lot more comfortable then the old school XM-177E1 collapsible stock.

Forest and I grew up with standard handguards that you would find on the M-16A2 rifle. Since he has become a ..., he has had a chance to use handguards with rails.

Forest likes them because he can mount a flashlight and the broomstick vertical foregrip on his rifle. For his line of work, the vertical foregrip allows him better control of his rifle, and the light ... well, it illuminates the dark.

He also like these handguard because they are more "grippy" then others that he has tried.

I tried the foregrip. As a former Infantryman, I think it would be a pain in the *ss shooting from the prone, but shooting standing, kneeling, or squatting. The broomstick vertical foregrip is kind'a comfortable.

Lastly, he cautioned me about selecting handguards made of aluminum or some other metal. He said they can get hot, if you fire a bunch of rounds.

The Scope and Backup Sights
At about $1.000, the ACOG sight with an illuminated ranging reticule is probably out of range for most preppers, but Forest sees the scope as a necessary cost for work.

So, I am not going to dwell on this too much, but I am going to tell you some of his thoughts.

* The lower priced ACOG scopes are OK.

* A red reticule is better at night, and a green reticule most folks will concentrate on


* When choosing what reticule to purchase, go with what you know. Forest likes crosshairs because he grew up using crosshairs.

Lastly, you have to practice with your scope. Shooting at the ranges; your scope can handle.

We were talking about magazines. He really likes the H&K 416 magazines. They are steel and very rugged, but at $40+ a piece, they are too expensive. He has tried and really likes Magpul Pmags, especially at $15 or less a magazine.

The Pmag is what he carries for work.

We also talked about US military M16 magazines. We decided they are the best for most preppers, inexpensive and plentiful.

M-4 with a C-MAG 100-round magazine
 Staff Sgt. Leopold Medina, Jr. 
Lastly, we got to talking about Beta Mag's 100 round magazines. Forest has used them. Forest said, if sand gets in the Beta Mag, it's finished. He also said, you have to use the special graphite lube that comes with the magazine, or it's finished.

Almost lastly, at $150 to $300 a piece, you and your family could buy 15 to 30 USGI 30-round magazine this would give you 450 to 900 rounds loaded, ready to shoot, compared to 100 rounds in the Beta Mag.

Lastly, he also said if the Beta Mag 100-round magazine jambs after the first three or four rounds, you are going to dump (through a magazine change) over 90 rounds of ammo. Ouch

Forest made a couple of good points while we were talking and one of those points stuck with me.

"You need to be great with your basic rifle before you add all these accessories to your rifle. Because all this stuff are just cheaters, they won't make you a better shooter."

Link: Kit-Up - AFG, Vertical Grip or No Grip

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Firearms for Preppers, AK-47 series Rifle, Part Two

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

A few months ago, I posted an article about the AK-47 series rifle for preppers that focus on the very basics. This article is going to cover some of the stuff and pictures I left out.

Blackhawk Chest Pouches AK-47
Magazine and Stripper Clips
First, you need to have something to carry your magazines. Blackhawk has an inexpensive ($75ish with shipping) chest rig that holds four 30-round magazines that's 150 rounds, ready to go. (120 rounds in the chest rig and 30 rounds in the magazine in the weapon)

For most preppers that 150 rounds is going to be just right. Remember, preppers/survivalists aren't soldiers. As Dr. Who (Matt Smith) says "Run"

Yes, as preppers, you and your family should run away from danger as quickly as possible. Remember, it's about surviving 'til the next day.

Blackhawk Chest Pouch
Pouches 'Open'
Next, to the right, here is a picture showing the chest pouches 'open.' You can also see the two pistol magazine, on each side of the rig. You can also notice the velcro closures for the pouches, if you expand the picture.

Now, this rig is a very basic chest rig. The shoulder straps are unpadded, but the straps are wide enough to distribute the weight of the loaded magazines.

One of the downsides, it only comes in coyote brown

I wrote this article in early July 2012. but I thought a good idea to post it just after the original article.

Note Two:
I have more to say but I have to go to bed.

Firearms for Preppers, AK-47 series Rifle

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

First, I would like for you to read the article and comments at Says Uncle (Prepping Stuff) about Firearms for Preppers, SKS Rifle. His readers have some good things to add.

OK, you're back, so let's begin.

You will probably never see a 'real' AK-47 in your local firearms store because an AK-47 rifle is a Class III weapon. These types of weapons require a $200 tax stamp and some federal paper work to purchase, but you will find many semi-auto versions of the AK-47 series rifle. Like the SKS, the AK-47 series rifle was and is made by many countries, including Venezuela.

The Situation
Needless to say, the typical prepper lives in the city or suburbs, so they will need a rifle that can effectively engage villains, say, out to 300 yards (275 meters). The AK-47 series rifle can do this.

My Rifle

My AK-47 series rifle is a Romanian ???. I bought it a few years ago for about $450, including taxes. The rifle has a fixed stock because I have shot an Polish AKM with an under-folder wire stock, a real one, in the military. It was difficult to get a comfortable cheek weld.

The rifle came with one magazine : - (

The Recommendation
Now, some folks disagree with me about the SKS rifle. They feel an AK-47 series rifle is better since you can purchase one for the same price as an SKS.

Let's take a look.

First, the rifle is about $400, maybe $450. Next, you'll need ten (10) magazines, at least. That's $100 to $150 for ten. Next, you'll need something to effectively carry the magazines. Blackhawk has a simple chest rig, another $75.

Total $575 to $675, just for the rifle and a little bit of kit. Definitely not $400.

But, but, but!!!

You're right. I bought one, and I'm planning to buy another one.


Remember that spiral of purchases. I mentioned many months ago.

My family and I are ready to "Buy-Up" on our protection preps. Since we started with SKS rifles, the 'best' choice for our next purchase is to buy two AK-47 series rifles, one for me and one for my partner. The kids will keep their SKS rifles until they move out or go to college.

Modification of the AK-47 series Rifle
I would leave the rifle just the way it is. No collapsible stock, rail system, telescopic sight, or recoil buffer. The only modification I would make is installing Tech-sights, for the AK rifle, on the firearm.

Spare Parts
Many decades ago, some survival writers suggested getting a second rifle to use as a source for spare parts. Not very smart. : - (

Now a days, you can shop on-line at SARCO Inc. or Numrich Gun Parts Corp. for spare parts for your rifle. I mean any rifle; just not the AK-47 series rifle.

But what spare parts to get?

First, do you really need spare parts? If you're planning for a short disaster, like a hurricane, you don't need spare parts. If you're planning for a long-term disaster, you'll want to store some common spare parts for y'alls' rifles.

AK-47 Exploded View

Firing Pin (23)
Firing pin retainer (24)

Ejector (25)
Ejector spring (26)
Ejector Retaining Pin (27)

Recoil spring, Complete assembly (29-32)

Front sight (9 and 11) and rear sight (12, 14, 15-17)

Tools and Other Necessities
First, after ammunition, I would suggest magazines, magazines, and more magazines. Detachable magazines are the weak point in most semi-auto firearms designs, except the SKS.

P.S. Buy the magazines from AIM.

Next, I recommend a way of carrying the magazines.

Next, I would suggest a cleaning kit because your rifle needs to be cleaned. The one that comes with the rifle will do, but a U.S. military .30 caliber cleaning kit (an example) is a higher quality. Either way, you will want to add a clean tooth brush, an old t-shirt, some .30 caliber rifle cleaning patches (an example), and a small bottle of oil.

Oh, don't forget a ruptured case/broken shell extractor.

Stripper Clips and Stripper Clip Guides
Next, you'll want some stripper clips and a stripper clip guide. The guide fits over the top of the magazine, making it easier to speed-load the magazine.

Almost lastly, you and your family will want a sight adjustment tool; there are two types. First is the tool that only adjusts for elevation, up and down (an example). Second is the tool that adjusts for elevation and windage, left and right (an example).

Finally, you'll probably want a sling; unless, the rifle came with one.

Isn't it great. You and your family probably already have all this stuff because you built-up your protection preps with the SKS rifle before you spiraled to an AK-47 series rifle purchase. Cool, huh.

Wikipedia - AK-47

Wired.Com - How the AK-47 Rewrote the Rules of Modern Warfare

Wikibooks - Marksmanship

You will have to come back for the pictures. I'm taking my girlfriend out for a movie, so no pictures, yet.