Can You Have Too Many Guns?

Well of course not! Guns and Preppers go together like peanut butter and chocolate, or maybe beans and rice would be more appropriate, but I digress. Guns, yes, lots of guns; and I include myself in this fold as I have accumulated quite a few over the last couple of years and each with their own purpose. The problem we run into is which caliber or calibers of ammunition do you stockpile? Note: I recently purchased a little Ruger LCP2 .380 to carry on the trails when hiking, great little gun that fits the need, but certainly not the caliber I would choose to stockpile. No, unless you have an endless supply of money to spend on ammo, you must somehow narrow your focus down to just a couple of calibers. Now, if you want to create a firestorm of opinions, just ask what gun or guns would be best for a SHTF scenario – you will likely get 100 different opinions none of which might be appropriate for you. I have recently been faced with this dilemma and I wanted to take a few moments to share how we came to our decision and why (and yes yours will probably be different). Continue reading “Can You Have Too Many Guns?”

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What is the Weakest Link in Your Prep?

First of all, preparedness in not a race or a competition, nor is it the simple act of hoarding food, ammo or equipment. I participate in several online forums on the subject and all too often I see members bashing other members for their choices of supplies, lack of knowledge or where they are in their journey. Everyone has their own pace and their own priorities and that’s OK! Balance and steady progress are really the keys to truly being prepared. If you have 3 days worth of supplies in your home you’re better off than 95% of the country! Continue reading “What is the Weakest Link in Your Prep?”

Top 10 items for any emergency

 

As storms spring storms and tornadoes rip through the South, I thought it might be a good idea to repost this basic introduction to prepping. Stay safe out there!

If you’re depending on some Government agency to come rushing to rescue, odds are you’ve found yourself here by mistake! However, if you believe it is your responsibility to take care of yourself and your family, then you’ve come to the right place. So without further delay…

Water – you can’t live without it and you can’t have too much, also consider having a Water Purifier.

Food – basic canned goods along with other longer shelf life products can literally be a life saver. Check out our big incomplete list of items to store:

Medication and basic first aide – any prescription medication that you or your family need plus Baby Aspirin, Band-Aids, gauze, antibiotic creme etc…consider a small First Aid Kit.

Light – getting around a darkened house can be dangerous; a couple of good flashlights, LED Lantern and of course batteries will brighten any situation.

Heat source – particularly in colder climates, a small indoor-safe propane heater can be the difference between life and death when the power goes out.

Propane stove/grill – obviously not all food needs to be warmed/cooked to be edible, but having a camping stove definitely opens the menu a bit.

Fuel – usually becomes scarce quickly and your nifty stove and heater are useless without it.  Also, if you need to ‘bug out’ your vehicle is a lot more effective if it has fuel!

Radio – knowing what is going on in any emergency situation is critical for planning as well as for simple peace of mind. A good AM/FM radio is fine, but I like the Red Cross Hand Crank Radio that you can use to charge your cell phone with.

Firearms and ammo – it many disaster situations looting starts almost immediately; all the supplies you’ve stashed won’t do you any good if you can’t protect them. Please be sure to not only practice using your firearm, but make sure everyone in your family does as well.

Cash – cash is still king, at least for now. I don’t recommend hiding all your money under the mattress, but a few hundred dollars in small bills may buy you out of a jam. We keep a decent stash of cash at home, some in each vehicle as well as a few bucks stashed behind the old cell phone cover.

Yes, there a dozens of other items that could be added to the list, but for now let’s keep it simple. Regardless of what you’re personally preparing for these 10 items will give you a definite advantage over those who simply go through life chasing Pokemon and watching America’s Got Talent.

Happy prepping!

Lessons From the TN Wildfires – Be Ready to Run

Bug in vs. bug out as long been the debate amongst preppers and your answer typically was based primarily on where you lived. If you were city you bugged out, country you bugged in with those in the suburbs kind of in the middle. We have always planned to bug in and ride out any disaster that might befall us, however, watching the carnage of the Tennessee wildfires of 2016 has given us a new perspective. You can read about them here.

The wild fires swept through the area at an amazing rate catching many off guard and forcing them to flee with little more than the clothes on their back. Churches and schools soon became makeshift shelters, but those arriving had absolutely nothing – they were completely unprepared for what had happened. Some hadn’t even heard the news reports and fled only when the fires became apparent – scary thought.

Here in my part of Tennessee a local gun range began organizing a relief effort (along with many others across the State), but what were the needs? Aside from food and water which the Red Cross had delivered, they needed the basics:

  • Deodorant
  • Tooth paste, tooth brushes
  • Diapers and baby wipes
  • Underwear, socks
  • Soap, shampoo

Personal care items that no one had time or forethought to gather before leaving, which brings me to my point. Aside from survival gear (here’s a link to an entire site dedicated to building a bug out bag), you should have a basic travel bag ready (mine stays in the car) in case you have to flee. Think if you were going away for a long weekend, what would you pack, and keep it light as you might actually have to carry it long distances. Being prepared is more than having a great stash of food and water or being able to function in a grid down situation; it’s being prepared for anything. How is your prepper journey progressing?

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

Rethinking Our Water Plan

When we selected our property one of the main selling points for us was access to water. The property has 2 streams on it providing access to ‘clean’ water in the event of a ‘grid down’ or other SHTF scenario. Aside from a couple of pallets of bottled water, the streams, with the aid of a couple of gravity filters were to be our primary source of water should the municipal water facility fail. Seemed like a good plan, and continues to be our primary back up, but earlier this year we did discover a flaw – a draught. In the nearly 10 years we’ve owned the property, the larger of the 2 streams had always run strong even in dry conditions – this year was different. The extreme draught conditions we experienced here in the South this past year turned these streams into little more than mud – problem. Our once ‘flawless’ plan revealed a flaw. We have often thought about drilling a well, but in this mountainous area, wells were drying up during this event. Despite the fact that this was an extremely rare occurrence, we had to develop an alternative plan in case the SHTF during a draught.

We watered our garden regularly, but what if the municipal supply failed? Rain barrels are an ideal back up for drinking as well as feeding your garden, but during this time very little water found its way into them and using stored drinking water would prove less than ideal. The draught was so severe that even our trees were dying – in a grid down situation we would be in trouble quickly.

So what to do? A giant water tank was out of reach financially and would certainly draw attention to us in a SHTF scenario. So as simple everyday preppers we’re trying a few different things. Adding a couple of additional rain barrels to store water when rain is plentiful – a friend of ours now drinks only rain water –  will help feed the garden longer during such an event. Adding a couple more 50 gallon barrels of treated drinking water in ‘The Bunker’ will extend how long we can keep ourselves and our animals hydrated, but this along with the bottled water still doesn’t give us the warm and fuzzys. So we’ve begun filling empty 2 liters with water – not the ideal solution; but a simple, cost effective way to add more water storage. Stored on their sides, you can pile up a lot of water in a fairly small area. Sources on the web say it’s fit to drink for 6-8 months, depending on who you believe, and usable for cleaning, washing up, and flushing the toilet long after that. We feel we could probably extend its usable time by running it through a gravity filter for drinking water, and of course using it to feed our thirsty vegetables. This fits easily into our routine as we just add one at a time, no real cost, no real hassle. We’ve also stored 10 2 liters in the chest freezer as an additional back up.

 water

As preppers we all learn from each other and we would love to hear from you what you are doing to protect your water supply.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

 

Solar Power: The Elusive Goal

Lowering your bills, living off the grid, being more self-reliant; all require the ability to use less energy while possibly producing some of your own. As part of our prepper journey and desire to escape the rat race we have been researching solar and wind energy – to a frustrating end. Hundreds of sources, kits of all sizes, from small stand alone systems to recharge your laptop to whole house systems costing 10’s of thousands of dollars – confusing at best.

Setting the goal; our primary goal is to reduce our bills by lowering our use while having some energy backup other than gas/propane generators and heaters. Here in the South we get plenty of sun and wind, but finding the right way to harness it without going into the poor house is a completely different story. We are looking for stand alone power, as opposed to grid tied, which lowers the cost and complexity a great deal. We would like to be able to run a PC, wireless router, and a couple of small LED lights on a regular basis, while having the option of running a small heater in a power outage. If any of you are on this journey, your input would be greatly appreciated.

This video depicts what is probably the most basic low cost system (around $150), but its benefits are very limited. Note: this system also comes without a battery or inverter.

Here is another video installing this same unit: better use, but the installation seems a little sloppy.

 

We are currently debating between a couple of starter systems based on their reviews and cost. Every system we’ve looked at has something else you will need to purchase in addition to the system and of course the batteries.

Here’s another helpful video we found:

To be perfectly honest, the more I read and watch the more confused I become.

Home Depot offers several starter kits ranging from $235 to about $1300; Amazon offers several similar systems. At this point we’re leaning towards a Grape Solar 200 watt starter kit from Home Depot for $577. Amazon offers the same system for $461, but without the inverter. Batteries will obviously increase the initial cost depending on what you buy. We will update this post when the system is up and running. We will also be exploring some wind energy options in the future so stay tuned!

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

If any of you have useful links or advice we are certainly open to suggestions.

Baby its cold outside!

The country is caught in a vicious cold snap which requires we all exercise a bit more caution when venturing out. Icy winds can freeze skin in mere minutes while icy roads could send you reeling off into the woods or worse. Getting stranded in your car during a time of freezing temperatures could lead to serious injury or death if you are not prepared to survive.

Now many of us have an EDC or Everyday Day Carry bag, but extreme weather (in my opinion) calls for some additional preparations. Note: I’m currently revamping my EDC based on a great article by The Armed Christian which I recommend you read here. The author covers pretty much everything you would need to get you out of a bind. The only thing I have changed is that I carry 2 additional magazines for my carry pistol.

That being said, I add an additional bag for days like today; snowy, icy roads and below zero wind chills.  Fortunately, there are about a half dozen hotels within a 2 mile radius of where I work, so if conditions are bad enough I will simply grab a hotel for the night. That being the case the additional bag has everything I might need for an overnight stay including clothes for work the next day or even the following. I also add extra candles, lighters, hand warmers, a real blanket, hat, gloves, scarf, extra bottled water and extra energy bars.

Finally, some good rules to follow would be to ALWAYS keep the gas tank at least half full, keep the cell phone charged and have an additional charger. Slow down, watch the other guy, and be prepared for anything; or better yet stay home if you can!

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!