Beginning Prepper Series

If you are new to the concept of emergency preparation ,”Prepping”, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Some people run out and begin buying tons of food, guns, survival supplies ect, and some just throw their hands up in the air and try to ignore the situation. Both approaches are wrong. The series or articles below is designed to get beginners started. I recommend you read them in order. They will get you started on preparing yourself for everything from a couple of days power outage to TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it.) Notice I said started.

 

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Basic Prepper 1: Prepare for What?

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Basic Prepper 2: Where to begin

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Basic Prepper 3: Every Day Carry

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Basic Prepper 4: Prepping Considerations, Terminology, and The Bug Out Bag

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Basic Prepper 5: Putting a Bug Out Bag Together

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Basic Prepper 6: Buying a Bug Out Bag

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Basic Prepper 7: OPSEC: How Much Do You Need?

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Basic Prepper 8: OPSEC: How Much Do You Need? PT.2

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Basic Prepper 9: Building a Survival Battery for Beginning Preppers

Bugging out

Basic Prepper 10:To Bug In or Bug Out?

Home

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should I take your word for anything you post?

Answer: You shouldn’t. And no one else’s either. Your and your family’s survival is your responsibility. The internet has a tremendous amount of information available to those wanting to prepare for emergencies. Some of it is excellent, and some of it isn’t. Some of it is posted by people who know what they are talking about. And some of it is posted by well-meaning people who have a lot of theories, but little real world experience. And there is a LOT of it posted by people whose only interest is selling products or getting you to join their on-line “Survival Club”. (for a monthly payment off your credit card of course) You need to do your research and figure out what works and what doesn’t for your situation. The people who have the ability to make serious decisions based on logical thinking are those who will survive. My posts are based on 40 years of experience. ( See my “About Us’ page). Others with just as much or more experience may disagree with me, and often do. Just like a Doctor’s report, get a second opinion. And a third, fourth, fifth…………………

2. What makes your blog any different than any of the other prep blogs out there?

Answer: Besides being brand new? I started this blog as an adjunct to my defensive firearms training business and because I decided to expand into survival and preparation training based on the increasing interest that many of my students expressed. I have always been a “Prepper” or “Survivalist” or whatever you want to call being logically prepared for life’s emergencies. I started looking at other survival blogs and found many, many good ones. But I noticed that many of them seem to have a confusing array of articles that it would be difficult for someone who just “saw the light” to really know where to begin. So this blog is geared towards those just starting out and I am trying to keep it in a simple, easy to follow format for the Beginning Prepper. Once you get your feet on the ground, you will understand how to utilize the tremendous amount of good information out there, and hopefully filter out the BS.

 

Advertising and Product Reviews

Advertising

If you would like to advertise with us, send us an e-mail at awsl@mindspring.com.

 Unlike many sites, we don’t just reblog other site’s material. We are currently number 41 on the Top Prepper Websites out of 100. Our readers are interested in your type of products. I will only advertise products or books that relate to defensive firearms or are prepper oriented.

Ads will be placed on the right hand column, with a limit of 10 ads. Ads will be rotated from top to bottom weekly, giving each advertiser equal exposure.

Ad Rates: Current rates are $50.00 per month, 3 months in advance. Monthly thereafter.

You supply the ad icon, up to 125×125 in size, and the link you want the icon to go to.

Product Reviews

If you would like us to do a review of your product, all it will cost you is an example of the product itself. You send it to us postage paid and I will test it. I will write an honest review on it and post it on the blog. I keep the product. You get a free review with my readers. This includes book reviews also. I only review products that are related to defensive firearms or prepping.

E-mail us at  awsl@mindspring.com and we will arrange advertising or product testing with you.

Or you can send items you want reviewed, postage paid to:

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Web Links

Here are some resources on the web that I know and think would be useful to you. check them out. The list will continue to grow.

In the Arizona Area

The Wilderness Tactical Products :Locally produced nylon tactical gear, and really nice folks to boot. www.thewildernes.com

Camelback Uniforms: A great local source for 5.11 Tactical Series Clothing, and another great group of folks. www.camelbackuniform.com

AZ Firearms :A great gun store in Avondale. Go check out their bolt action 20mm rifle! HIGHLY knowledgeable staff and super friendly: http://azfirearms.com

Joe Foss Shooting Range :This is an excellent place to shoot and the only really good public range on the West Side of the Valley of the Sun. I hold most of my classes here. Air conditioned classrooms and covered firing points. Run by volunteers of the Buckeye Sportsman’s Club. www.joefossrange.com

On the Web

The Well Armed Woman: Carrie Lightfoot has a tremendous website dedicated to providing information and products for women concerned with self defense. She has some highly informative videos also. Check her website at http://www.thewellarmedwoman.com/

Graywolf Survival: An excellent Prepper Blog. One of the best actually: http://graywolfsurvival.com/

Last One Alive: An interesting, well laid out blog. I recommend you read his article on knives here: http://lastonealive.com/best-survival-knife/ 

Survival Hax 10 in 1 EDC Keychain

EDC (Every Day Carry) are those items you want on you (or within immediate reach) at all times. Each person’s EDC kit will be different and will be based to a large degree on personal preference, and to some degree on your usual location.

When SurvivalHax.com sent me their 10 in 1 EDC keychain for review, I was pretty interested.  This is basically a mini-fishing kit with fire starter stored in a waterproof aluminum case attached to 4 feet of braided Para cord with a whistle attached to a small carabiner.

 The aluminum container holds :

3 Fishing lines 2 x Hooks 2 x Weights 2 x Floaters 2 x Sinkers 2 x Swivels 1 Knife 1 Tinder cotton 1 Ferrocerium rod 2 Safety Pins and  1 cable saw
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The first thing I tested was the whistle. Although not police quality, it got the immediate attention of both the wife and the cat, each vying to give me the meanest scowl. It is certainly loud enough for signaling purposes. The carabiner is of lightweight metal but seems to be of good quality. Although I did not unbraid the paracord, it also looks to be well made.

The small finger knife has a sharp edge and a saw edge. The sharp edge wasn’t that sharp, but a few swipes on a sharpener solved that, and it will now cut the fishing line if needed, and I am confident I could gut a fish with it. The main use of the knife is as a striker for the Ferrocerium rod. Holding it by the ring end and striking it like a match down the rod produces a goodly ammount of sparks, certainly enough to start a fire with proper tinder. I didn’t try the small cotton tinder roll, as I am soaking it in Vaseline and placing it in a small plastic pill bag.

Living in the Sonoran Desert I am not real close to a handy stream to try the fishing gear, but it is certainly adequately made. The hooks, floats and weight seem to be of good quality.The small wire saw is sufficient to cut a small pole for a fishing rod, but I doubt it would hold up to hard continuous use. But then again, it wasn’t designed to. This is an EDC kit to get you home to your main gear.

The aluminum case is indeed waterproof with a thin rubber gasket between the two parts.  I tend to adapt my gear. I recently did an article on the SurvivalHax.com nifty little Survival Shovel Both handels are hollow, and I filled one with cotton balls wrapped in a plastic bag to use with the fire starter. I am going to take the fishing components on the 10 in 1, wrap them in a plastic bag, and place them in the second hollow handle. The shovel is attached to my get home bag I keep in the back of my Jeep.  As I require certain medication, I am going to fill the waterproof metal case with one weeks worth of medication and attach it also to the get home bag.

Conclusion

All in all, this is a pretty nifty little set up for the price. The items are well made. You can use it as intended as an EDC keychain, or divvy up the components as I did. Available from SurvivalHax.com  or on Amazon.

 

Survival Fishing Tips: How to Spearfish

This is a guest article by Lisa Johnson

You are interested in becoming an expert underwater hunter and you are searching for some spearfishing tips? Everyone is interested in becoming a great spearfisher and this article of spearfishing guidelines and tips will improve you quickly and make you a great spearfisher.

We will be happy to share our best strategies on how to catch fish under the water based on the years of experience we have gathered. So read on!

What is spearfishing?

Spearfishing is the process of going underwater to hunt fish by breath-hold diving with the utilization of a polespear or spearguns. Spearfishing of today utilizes elastic controlled spearguns and slings to hunt down the fish. Specialized equipment and techniques have been developed for spearfishing.

Spearfishing may be carried out utilizing free-diving, scuba or snorkeling diving strategy. Spearfishing while at the same time utilizing scuba gear is unlawful in some nations. The utilization of mechanically fueled spearguns is likewise prohibited in some jurisdictions and countries.

Spearfishing is very specific, usually utilizes no lure and requires no by-catch. Spearfishing is a lifestyle for some people! For some people, it’s an extraordinary game, brimming with adrenaline, and likewise, for others, it’s a wonderful universe of silence and mysterious life.

The technique utilized when spearfishing is imperative for the achievement. Try not to overlook that there are numerous methods depending on the kind of fish you want to hunt. Also, not just that. Your adopted technique will assume an extremely important role when it comes to safety.

Spearfishing Guidelines

Spearfishing is a technique that requires much time to fully comprehend, but doing as such will be highly beneficial. If you try to employ the steps underneath, you are guaranteed to enjoy your next spearfishing trip.

Step one: Begin with shallow water method of spearfishing. To get settled with spearfishing, begin in shallow water and fish over the water line. This process does not need total submersion of the body.

Step two: Go free dive spearfishing technique. Free dive technique of spearfishing is an underwater strategy for that requires a breathing gear.

To accomplish awesome diving strategy, inhale profoundly, curve your back like you want to dive into a swimming pool, and after that, enter the water with your head first and with your fins up in the air enabling your weight to pull you towards the base.

After the above process, quietly move through the water to check out the sea life and find your desired fish.

Step three: Follow safety rules. Spearfishing presents a greater number of difficulties than the standard line and rod angling since you are inside the ocean as a predator chasing prey. Some of the risks include sharks, fishermen i.e. people angling with a line and rod.

It also includes those spearfishers who may confuse you for prey or coincidentally use a spear to hit you.  Do good to have an accomplice when spearfishing in order to safeguard one another, particularly if you are in a deep dive spearfishing.

Step four: Target your desired fish. When utilizing a pole spear, draw out your arm halfway in order to have sufficient space to extend your range at the last snapshot of attack.

Once you are certain that the fish is within the scope of the completely discharged spear, broaden your arm and discharge the lance in one smooth development, going for the leader of the fish.

If you are utilizing a speargun while deep dive or shallow water spearfishing, you don’t need to extend your arm to discharge a spear, just discharge the security and aim the speargun at your prey.

Step five: Hit your prey with the spear. Target the base of the skull, the point at which the spine connects since it promptly kills the fish and avoids sufferings.  After hitting, hold either the fish or the distending spear point to control the fluttering fish.

Step six: Hook the fish. After you have speared your prey, you can now hook it to the fish carrier or if you plan to keep spearfishing, you can place it in an assigned area.

Putting on gloves will keep you from hurting your hands when handling fish that has sharp spines. Keep in mind that the blood from the already speared fish may attract other sea life.

To learn more about spearfishing tips and techniques, you can check out the video below:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tYUeewfSG3k

Spearfishing Gear

For safe spearfishing, you need to pick the right gear and we have already compiled a list of some of the basic gears required for spearfishing. Below is the list of spearfishing gears:

  1. The mask
  2. The snorkel
  3. Weight belt
  4. The stringer
  5. The fins
  6. Spear
  7. Spearguns

For a successful spearfishing trip, the above-listed tools are really important. To know more about some other good spearfishing gears, you can check out the video below:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o23ty21wX-w

Conclusion

We believe you will really get a lot of intriguing information in this content, which will likewise be interesting and important for expert spearfishers.

One of the fascinating things about spearfishing is that you will never get to know everything about it! It is believed that this Spearfishing guideline will at least widen the chance to succeed early and that you will go ahead to enjoy the spearfishing activity for a long time to come.

Author Bio:

I’m Lisa. I have a strong understanding and passion for all things related to fishing. When  I am not out wetting a line, I am sharing a range of tips and tricks on Fall For Fishing  – to help others to snag their big catch!

Why Should You Learn Bow Hunting for Survival?

(This is a guest article by Brandon Cox)

Learning survival skills isn’t everyone’s plans as most people rarely plan to become survivals one day. What if the worst happens and you have to hunt for food to survive? Chances are you’re not one of those many people if you’re reading this post. As a modern-day prepper, the idea of bow hunting might not sound ideal but remembers bullets eventually do disappear. You need to learn stealth to survive.

These are the times when you realize a bow is your best option. Tracking your target with the focus on stealth hunting is one of the best skills any prepper can learn. Learning how to use a bow and arrow for hunting is an art of the highest kind that might one day be the only option you’ve got.

When stuck in the wilderness, nothing beats what a bow and arrow can do for you. There is always a reason to learn bow hunting for survival especially if you’re a fan of primitive hunting skills.

For those that think bow hunting has no place in the modern world, here are six why you should learn bow hunting for survival.

Highly Portable

Ordinary take down bows weigh just a few pounds making them extremely portable. The last thing you would wish for when in a survival situation is a weapon that weighs you down. Bows consist of only three pieces; the two limbs and a mid-grip section. You just need to twist a few lug screws, and you’re ready to aim. The portability of the bow along with the arrow arrangement means you can easily pack the bow and some arrows in your bug out bag with ease.

Bows and strings are multi-purpose

The bow is a multi-purpose weapon that can be used to achieve several other functions. You can all agree with me that it feels great to have a weapon that can be used to serve several other purposes. Pieces of the takedown bow arrow kit can be used different functions.

One of the parts you can use for example is the string. The string is usually 4-6 feet and sturdy. It can be used as a trot-line for fishing and a cordage for building shelter. The string can also be used in traps, making a snare and even starting fire via a bow drill. Go ahead and improvise anything that helps you from the string as a long as you don’t damage it.

Also, the arrows can be used as a spear for hunting small game and fish. There is just a lot you can do with your bow and arrows apart from hunting.

Observe a low sonic profile

This is probably one of the compelling reasons to start learning bow hunting for survival. A bow and an arrow make up a silent weapon. Who knows, there will come a day when you will need a deadly but silent weapon. Consider a situation where you have to maintain a low sonic profile and to bug out isn’t an option. Archery will turn out to be your only survival option.

A bow and arrow are wise ideas, especially when hunting in an area with a lot of competition. Bow hunting for survival guarantees you stealth takedown. You also get to return to your camp safely without drawing any unnecessary attention.

Bow hunting as a plan B

Any prepper can agree with me that the key long-term survival and emergency preparedness is having a plan B. While guns have taken center stage over the past few years, they can run out of ammunition. In such scenarios, your only plan B is a bow. This is further supported by the fact that a bow is quite light and can be packed together with the arrows in your bug out bag with easy. There even places around the globe where you can’t use a gun freely. Such places require you to have a bow and some arrows with you.

Regulations and legal laws regarding the use of bows and arrows are also more lenient compared to guns. There is no cumbersome paperwork required for people to own bows and arrows as with pellets and guns.

Precision long-range damage

There is no better weapon as a bow and an arrow when in a long-range situation. This simply means you don’t need to get too close to your target to kill it. With good practice, you can shoot targets from as far as 50-100 yards and hit them accurately. This is not something that you can do with spears.

Bow hunting is a fun DIY project

This is another great idea to learn bow hunting.  Most preppers will tell you they just need a few materials to make a good bow and arrows. This cannot be said of other weapons in a real survival situation. A few straight sticks can make an arrow while a hardwood can make the bow itself. Use stone chips to make the broadheads. It is fun making the bow and arrows. If you have a glass bottle with you, then you can break it and make broadheads. The string is the only challenging thing to find, but plants like vines can give you strong strings. You can even use threads from your clothes.

Final Verdict

Now you know why you need to learn bow hunting right away. With a bow and some arrows, you can not only hunt down a prey but also defend yourself. When we talk about bow hunting for survival, it is not just how you can use the bow to kill a prey; it is how you can employ a bow and an arrow in a survival situation.

Author Bio:

Brandon Cox is the founder of StayHunting, who is passionate about all things of hunting and fitness. Through his hunting website, he would like to share tips & tricks, finest tech that will excite all of the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.

 

Valley Food Storage Dehydrated Peanut Powder.

For those wishing to stockpile foods for long-term storage, there are a number of options. There are many companies that specialize in dehydrated foods, and the best advice you can get is to decide what you are going to need, and sample a variety from different companies. And there are a large choice of food types and menus.

Valley Food Storage is one of the major players in the industry. I tested their white bean and lime chili and found it really good. So when I was given another choice of item to test, I decided on the peanut powder. My main interest is in lightweight and easily stored items that would be functional and nutritional either bugging in or out. Peanut butter is a popular staple with survivalists for a number of reasons which I described here where I wrote about the real deal.

Peanut powder is made by compressing peanuts to remove the oil and fats, and then grinding them into powder. This provides a lightweight substitute for the much heavier actual peanut butter. So how does it stack up against the real thing on the two issues I see as most important: Nutrition and taste.

Nutrition

The table below is the label off the Valley Food Storage package. One serving consists of two tablespoons. One serving will contain 7g of protein, 70 calories, and 4g of total fat.

This is the label off of a regular jar of Jif creamy peanut butter. It also has 7 g of protein, but has 180 calories, and 16 grams of total fat

The peanut powder has and equal amount of protein, but a lot fewer calories, fat and sodium. But you are also talking a lot less weight for the amount of protein.

Taste Test

Easy to mix, it is 1 for 1 water and powder. I mixed two tablespoons of powder with two tablespoons of water. It mixed easily and rapidly. It wasn’t as thick as regular peanut butter. It tasted good, but needs a bit of sugar for my taste. Easily done in the field with small sugar packets.  It is advertised as good to mix in things like yogurt or cereal, or juice. OK in a bug in situation, but maybe not so practical on the move.  It would make a lightweight protein additive for such things as crackers, etc. It would also lighten up the blandness of survival food.

Conclusion

Lightweight and tasty protein supplement for a survival situation, but it has the same water dependent drawback that all dehydrated food stuffs have. I have placed one bag in my food stash and will let the wife enjoy the other in her breakfast yogurt.

Available from Valley Food Storage

Are You Neglecting Your Preps? Now Is Not The Time!

DSC_0393_zpsk611tjedWe live in interesting times. And I see the Prepper Community reflecting that. Up until the early morning hours on November 9th many people increased their prepper activities at a fast pace expecting Killary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States. Myself included. That consisted of expending funds to buy items that I was concerned would be soon unavailable under a Clinton socialist regime. Across the country guns, especially AR’s were flying off dealer’s shelves (at least where I live).

On the morning of November 9th, you could hear a collective sigh of relief from across the country.  And especially in the Prepper Community. But many of us warned against that. I stated my case in Trump Won. So It’s O.K. Now, Right?

Those warnings have proven to be true. Even with a President who supports the Second Amendment, and will put decent judges on our Supreme Court, we still have a long way to go. And activist liberal judges still attack the Second amendment. This country did not get to the brink of disaster over night, and we are not going to be able to reverse directions overnight. President Trump cannot fix everything overnight with the stroke of a pen. I think he will begin to try to point us back in the right direction, but he isn’t God, and he is facing the most serious resistance of any President in my lifetime.  And the threats, man-made and natural, that we prep to survive, are pressing us even harder. Experienced preppers will tell you to constantly evaluate and modify you plan as situations change or develop. So what has changed significantly since the election of President Trump that would affect your level of preps? A LOT!

Domestic Violence

untitledThe street violence that erupted after the election will continue. These are not spontaneous protests against an unpopular election. These are well and organized riots. And the level of violence will escalate. The ANTI FAS, BLM, and other radical leftist movements are calling for armed resistance and violence. Police Officers have been increasingly murdered around the country in ambush. Many of us warned that the radical left is desperate and will not simply give up, and will resort to anything to reverse the election.  Unless the government is able to control these people, as the level of violence increase, people on the other side are going to take to the streets and meet violence with violence.  Our courts have currently ruled that we have to continue to take in thousands of “refugees”  from terrorists parts of the world.

Economic Collapse

I personally think that this is still a serious possibility. Barrack Obama ran up our national debt to about 19 TRILLION dollars. We are a serious debtor nation right now,Pylon_ds creative commons Even if the President was to get perfect cooperation (and he isn’t) this is going to be difficult to deal with and will take a long time. We have a ravaged military to rebuild, and a national infrastructure that borders on disaster. Our national electrical grid system is seriously weak and vulnerable. All of these things are not going to get fixed overnight. An EMP incident, either man -made attack, or from the sun, will shut the economy, and life as we know it, down for a seriously long time. A cyber attack on our electric grid is both possible, and evidently planned for by many of our major enemies.

Natural Disasters

Regardless of the reasons, natural disasters are continuing and actually increasing in both frequency and severity. Much of our infrastructure is outdated, out of repair, and failing. One need only look at the recent problems with Oroville Dam in California. 188,000 people had to be evacuated when it looked as if the dam would give way. I wonder how many of them had a three day bug out bag ready? Tornados, hurricanes, severe snow storms, all continue to happen with increasing severity.

Folks, regardless of the election, and in many ways because of it, we face some of the most dangerous times in our nation’s history. Now is not the time to be complacent in our emergency preparations.

 

Survival Hax Survival Shovel

survival_shovel_1_1024x1024One of the fun things about doing a survival blog is that manufacturers and dealers will often send you one of their items to test. I have some definite policies on this. I do not accept money for the review. I get to keep the item. And I will only write an honest evaluation. When Sara of SurvivalHax offered to send me one of their survival shovels I was glad to test it.

Before I discuss the shovel, let’s define what a survival shovel is. For my purposes, it should be lightweight and small enough to fit in a bug out bag. It should be sturdy enough to perform some basic functions. These would include digging a cat hole, digging a fire pit, digging a water run off trench around your shelter, driving tent stakes, and shoveling snow or sand from around a stuck vehicle tires. If you are planning on doing more heavy-duty digging, then you will need a larger tool. The SurvivalHax survival shovel will perform it’s intended functions very well.

This little shovel is basic military style with a folding spade and pick. This design was initiated by the Germans in WW2 and quickly copied by the United States and many other countries. The shovel has a two piece hollow handle which screws together and the end survival_shovel_6_1024x1024cap unscrews and has a ferro rod fire starter. Both handles are hollow. It also comes with a carrying case, as well as a lifetime warranty. When the shovel is unfolded it is 24 inches (2 feet) long. Its collapsible size is 8.6 x 8.2 inches. The head of the shovel is made out of manganese steel with a rigidity rating of 42-46. The handle is made out of steel as well, while the orange adjustment nut is aluminum alloy. It weighs in at about 2 pounds.

The blade is serrated on one side like many other shovels of this size. And like most of it’s counterparts, the serrated edges as well as the blade edge need to be sharpened with a file. This is not a criticism.   A few minutes with a file and the serrations and flat edge are nice and sharp. Again, most shovels of this type need to be sharpened. The three rivets that hold the blade to the mount seem solid. At 2 lbs. weight, it is solid enough to pound tent stakes in soft to moderately hard soil. I took the shovel out back and used both the pick and the blade to dig  around a bit. The soil here is gravely on top, sandy under. Both the pick and blade worked well and the locking nut stayed tight. There were no dings or bends to the blade.

survival-hax-shovel-dissassembledThe handle is a two piece hollow affair that screws together. The threads for both the handle and the end cap are cut clean and screw together with no problems. I recommend lubricating the threads lightly.   The black finish is smooth, actually slick. I solved this problem by wrapping the handle in paracord.

This not only adds no real weight, but gives a more solid grip on the handle as well as providing additional paracord for my kit. As the end cap is a ferro rod fire starter, I decided to use the hollow space to enhance  fire making capability. I took 5 Vaseline impregnated cotton balls and wrapped them in a plastic bag. I attached a piece of paracord to one end and a military p-38 can opener to the other. It works like a pull through with the p-38 being the weight that allows the sack to be pulled into or out of the tube. In addition, I have found a p-38 to be an excellent striker to use on a rod. I tested it on the rod that came with the shovel and got good sparks. I haven’t decided what to use the space in the upper handle for yet. Perhaps kindling.

The carrying case is adequate to store the two pieces nicely in a rucksack, but only has one belt loop and would probably not be too durable for long-term wear on a belt. If you wish to carry it that way, a very inexpensive military surplus e-tool holder can easily be found.survival_shovel_7_1024x1024

Summary

The SurvivalHax Survival Shovel is a well made, lightweight shovel of a proven design that is small enough to fit in a bug out bag, or under a vehicle seat and comes with a lifetime warranty. The hollow handles give you the option of storing additional items of your choice, which most other shovels of this type do not have. Mine is now in my get home bag in my jeep. Available on Amazon or SurvivalHax

Trump Won So It’s OK Now. Right?

donald_trump_by_gage_skidmore_12Not just yet folks. Not just yet. Like many preppers and patriots I fell into the trap of believing the news media polls that Donald Trump was behind, and even though a close election, Killary Clinton was going to be our next President. I went to bed early Nov. 8th, expecting to wake up to just that. And like many, I was in total shock (and joy) to find out that Donald J. Trump was going to be the 45th President of the United States. And all that it is going to mean for not only the United States but Western Culture as well.  With Trump as President we are going to have a Supreme Court that is going to slowly return us back to Constitutional values. Pro 2nd Ammendment laws and policies will be implemented. We are going to start implementing intelligent economic policies. And American social policies. Our religious freedoms will be restored. The list of benefits is endless.

But it hasn’t happened just yet!

You see, the winners of this election, you and me, weren’t the only ones in shock. Killary was supposed to have it sowed up. The news media said so, therefore it must be true. Obama would have a third term to solidify his legacy. And his real legacy, which he had always intended, was the total destruction of American society and to have it re-built in the socialist progressive mold.  They are mad as hell. They are shocked. They are desperate! All of George Soros’ money, even with the collusion of the mainstream media, couldn’t  buy this election. The American people repudiated Barack Obama and his socialist agenda. As I stated in my article This Election As a SHTF Scenario, whichever way the election went, we were subject to be living in dangerous times. And Donald Trump doesn’t get sworn in until January 20th. A lot can happen between now and then.

The radical left has spent 50 years slowly chipping away at the fabric of the American constitutional republic. And they just saw all their efforts potentially go up in smoke in one election. And they are not going to stand still for it.

You Need To Stay Even More Vigilant Now and Continue Your Preps

It is well documented now that the ongoing riots in major cities are being conducted by people being paid for it. This is not a grass roots objection to Trump’s election. This is deliberately organized violence. And it is also happening in colleges and even high school students are walking out of class and demonstrating. These things are being  planned, organized, and paid for. And I think it will continue for a while until after the inauguration.

Notice Trump’s Conciliatory Demeanor

A lot of people are wondering about that. I will tell you what I think. I think he is aware that we are all walking on a tight rope right now, and he has to play it cool until Jan. 20th. I have never been partial to conspiracy theories. I tend to be down to earth and pragmatic. But I have seen a lot improbabilities happen recently. And I think it is possible that a lot of improbable things could still happen before Jan. 20th. In my lifetime I have seen one Presidnet assasinated and one wounded in an assasination attempt.

So I advise all of you to stay alert, do not get complacent and remain vigilant until our new President actually takes the reins of government in his hands and sorts some bastards out.

Because the people who are bent on our destruction are not going to lay down and quit!

 

 

An Open Letter to President Elect Donald J. Trump

trump-top_20161109_090434Dear Mr. Trump,

Well, I went to bed last night thinking I was going to wake up to Killary being our president, and the horror show that would entail. I woke up this morning to find that the Trump Train choo-chooed accross the country. Congratulations Sir!

Now, Donald, the American people voted you into office because of the promisses you made. And we expect you to keep those promisses. Build the wall and make Mexico pay for it. Deport the illegals, Stop the Haji invasion of our country. Get rid of this abortion called Obama Care. Nominate Supreme Court Justices who have actually read the Constitution and understand what it means. Restore our Second Ammendment rights in places they are being abused.  Rebuild our economy. LOCK HER UP!!!!!!!!!

We don’t expect you to get it all done overnight. But we expect you to make serious progress right off the bat. If you do what you promissed, your name can be listed in the history books next to Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln.

But if you have lied to us, or start doing the typical politician tap dance “compromise” we will toss your butt out. You actually have the opportunity to make America great again. Don’t blow it.

Sincerly,

Johnnie L. Mock

How To Prepare Your Homestead or Property To Protect You During SHTF Situations

mummonmokkiSurvival is a job that modern civilization makes very easy. Do you have plans to keep on doing it when the support structure you rely on falls away? Survivalists call this the “Sh#t Hits The Fan” or SHTF scenario. It means making your household safe and self-supporting for an indefinite amount of time. Here are some important general strategies for getting your property or homestead ready for such a situation.

Always Have A Bug-Out Plan

To start with, you need to consider a fundamental question of survival strategy: Hunker down or bug out? Do you stand firm on your existing property and make it self-sufficient and secure, or do you flee to a less dangerous place? There is plenty of helpful advice for pursuing both strategies and a healthy SHTF plan may well combine the two – bugging out of your day-to-day home to settle on a prepared rural property, for example.

Bugging out Regardless of what you plan for, put emergency plans and supplies in place to make retreating an option at any time. Bug-out bags aren’t just for escaping a city that’s become too dangerous to live in. You should have one prepared at all times so that you can get mobile without placing yourself in any more danger than is absolutely necessary. Plan redundant lines of retreat. The further down the list you get, the less preparation and research you’re going to be able to do, but that’s alright. Even a plan as simple as, “grab this backpack and head north” is preferable to being stuck in a dangerous place without options.

Balance Convenience Against Visibility

 Most survivalists who are seriously considering SHTF scenarios aren’t thinking about short-term interruptions of emergency services and the rule of law. They’re planning for an indefinite time frame where every instance of human contact is likely to be a risk. This is why you need to consider how visible your occupation of your survival property is going to be. Taking steps to conceal your presence can save you a lot of trouble.

In rural survival scenarios, for instance, being close to a reliable source of water is a huge convenience. It makes gardening, cooking and cleaning much easier for you. It also makes your property much more??????????????????????????????? attractive and tempting to outsiders. Strike a balance between concealment and convenience when you pick out your property and start making survival plans.

 Practice Vital Skills In Advance

 Keeping yourself and your loved ones safe in an SHTF scenario requires good timing and fast, efficient work. These qualities are tough to achieve if all of your survival skills are based on something your read months or years ago and then forgot. Organize your day-to-day activities so that your ordinary mode of life gives you opportunities to practice survival skills.

Start a garden in your backyard or join a community garden if you live in an urban area to keep your 110701_BURKARD_50075thumbs green. Get out into the wilderness regularly to camp and be sure to camp a little rougher thanbill_stagg_turning_up_his_beans_pie_town_new_mexico__he_will_next_pile_them_for_curing_loc pulling your RV up to a campground with plumbing and wi-fi. If your SHTF plans include defending yourself with lethal force and they probably should, make sure you put in plenty of practice hours at your local gun range. All the plans in the world won’t Front Sight 5help you if you don’t have the skills to execute them.

 Detailed planning for an SHTF scenario is going to depend heavily on the type of property you have to work with, the skills your household brings to the table, and even the general climate conditions in your region. Regardless of the details, you should not lose sight of these basic principles. They will serve you in good stead in virtually any survival situation.

About the author

William Sheridan is a successful businessman and operates the site, Best Home Security which provides answers and solutions for all your home security needs. Visit today to discover on-topic and useful information that can help keep your family safe.

Notes on Keeping Your AR Running

m-4-soldierThe world is rapidly changing and smart preppers pay attention and try to adapt to the changes. In regards to firearms and ammunition, there is a very real possibility that we will elect a President who is an avowed enemy of the 2nd Amendment. I have discussed the ramifications of this in my article This Election as a SHTF Scenario. Many concerned citizens are continuing to purchase firearms for the hard times they feel are ahead. And many of them are selecting AR style rifles for their personal defense and as part of their preps. I discussed one I recently bought here. And a lot of these folks are not military veterans who have had the luxury of marrying the “Little Black Rifle” in the past. This article is for the new  owner of an AR, or someone with not a whole lot of experience in running or maintaining it.

First, if you are a new AR owner, you need to learn to disassembly your rifle properly. ( I use the term AR to describe the AR-15, M-16, M-4 series of rifles, both military and civilian versions). I’m not going to cover that here. There are a lot of excellent references on the AR system. If nothing else, get a copy of the military armorer’s41fdjvw3mrl__sx387_bo1204203200_ manual or any of the commercial manuals on it

Understanding the Operating System

directm16The AR uses a direct impingement gas system. This means that there is no piston, rather the gas is bled off the barrel and impinges directly on the bolt through the bolt key. This is why cleaning certain areas is critical to keep it running and has an effect on ammunition selection as well. I will discuss ammo in a future article. Here are some of the special cleaning and inspection considerations with the AR series rifles.

Cleaning and Inspecting

Barrel:  The barrel is cleaned like any other rifle from the chamber end using a bore brush,solvent and correct size patches.. But special attention must be given to the chamber due to the design of the locking lugs. A special chamber cleaning brush ischamber-brush needed to properly clean the chamber and the locking lug recesses. This is a critical area of this rifle and causes the lion’s share of malfunctions when excessively dirty! The brush will clean not only the chamber but the locking lug recesses as well. Use Q-tips and pipe cleaners to clean the recesses. There are also special patches and wipe mops designed for this that you can find online.

Bolt Carrier: There are some areas on this that you need to pay special attention to. bolt-2_2The gas key on top of the bolt carrier is particularly important. First, inspect the screws on top and ensure they are tight. Insure the stakes are good so the screws will not move. You should be able to grasp the key with one hand and the bolt carrier with the other and there should be no movement. The key needs to be solid on the carrier or you will have problems with it dragging on the gas tube which enters the mouth of the key. Clean the inside of the tube on the gas key with a pipe cleaner and solvent. A totally worn out .223 chamber brush can also be used. Insure you totally dry it so that there is no solvent or oil in the tube. This is where the gas impinges on the bolt and any solvent or oil will be turned to hard carbon immediately. Inspect the mouth of the hole in the key. See if it is pinged or split. If so, it means the key is striking on and dragging against the gas tube that enters the receiver. Take the stripped bolt carrier and replace it in the receiver and run it back and forth to see if it is dragging on the tube. If it drags, you are going to have to very carefully adjust the angle of the gas tube with a screw driver and bend it so it does not drag. I spent a year and a half rebuilding M-16s for the Army in a Depot level facility, and had to do this often. Care in cleaning the upper receiver and not bending the gas tube to begin with is important.

Bolt: The are a couple things on the bolt you need to pay close attention to. Make sure to clean all the carbon and brass particles from the bolt face, and especially ar-15-boltunder the extractor claw with a tooth brush and pipe cleaners. It isn’t necessary to take the extractor off each time, but if you do, insure you do not lose the pin and the small plastic piece that fits in the spring. Insure you clean the recesses between the locking lugs well. There are three gas rings at the rear of the bolt. Each has a space in it. Insure that these three spaces are not aligned. On the back side of the rings the bolt shaft carbons up heavily. Let it soak in solvent for awhile and scrub the carbon off with a brass brush.

Upper Receiver: The main thing here is to clean well around the gas tube but insure you do not bend it. A cleaning rag for most of it and Q-tips and pipe cleaners around the gas tube will get the job done. Do not get lubrication or solvent in the gas tube.

Lower receiver: Ease the hammer forward and clean the lower receiver with Q-tips and solvent. Lubricate the top of the hammer where the bolt carrier rides over it.

 Other things to inspect: Insure both take down pins are solid. You should be able to push them out with your fingers or a cartridge tip, but it shouldn’t be too easy. Check the flash suppressor on the muzzle and ensure it is not loose. The firing pin tip should be nicely rounded without sharp edges.

Spare Parts

Considering the political climate, having spare parts on hand would be a good idea.  Firing pin, extractor and extractor spring would be a couple of good ones. But there is one part that you absolutely need to have a couple extra of. The firing pin retaining pin

Otis Cleaning Kit

Otis Cleaning Kit

is basically a 3 cent cotter key, without which, you bolt will not function.firing-pin-retaining-pin And they are very easy to loose when cleaning your weapon in a field environment. Keep at least one spare in your field cleaning kit. For more information on cleaning kits, please see my article Weapons Cleaning Kits for the Bug Out Bag.

Lubrication

This is a seriously critical issue with AR style rifles, and is one area that AK’s are better in. You need to properly lubricate your AR to keep it running. There is an ongoing controversy about shooting steel case ammunition in AR’s which I addressed in The Truth About Steel Cased ammunition.  I have seen a pretty fair number of AR’s actually lock up using steel cased ammo and in EVERY instance they were pretty dirty71c-nbsrysl__sl1500_ and bone dry! There are a lot of really good lubes on the market, but if you are a new AR owner you can’t go wrong with Break Free CLP. You can use it as a cleaner, lubricant and preservative.

 Important Lubrication Points On The Bolt Carrier Group

Lube the entire bolt head including the gas rings. Lubricate the locking lugs, and place a couple drops of oil in the two holes in the side of the bolt carrier. Lube the rails on the bolt carrier that ride in the recesses inside the upper receiver.

bolt-1

Lubricate the cam pin and the bearing surfaces it cams on inside the bolt carrier.

bolt-2

If you are a new AR owner, keeping your AR properly cleaned and properly lubricated, will insure it  serves you well in the difficult situations you probably bought it for. As I write this, AR’s are flying off the dealer shelves.

These are just a few hints on keeping the AR running and many experienced AR shooters will probably have more to add so feel free to comment. In future articles I will discuss magazines and ammunition.

This Election As A SHTF Scenario

6080137063_71b986b12f_bIf your reading this blog, odds are, you are already aware of how serious this election in November is. Those of you who have been in the prepping community for some time are already taking prudent steps. I believe that the future of this nation is grim, regardless of who gets elected. I do not think Trump will really be able to slow the locomotive down that is rapidly taking us to the brink. It has been too bad for too long but at least with him, one can hope. And if Killary is elected, she will push the throttle to the wall. This nation is more seriously divided now than we have been since the Civil War. And emotions of the serious people on both sides are just as high. The vast majority of the Sheeple really haven’t a clue, although I do sense that a lot of people are starting to wake up.

If Trump wins, the radical left is not going to just lay down and disappear. You can expect to see serious increases in violence from BLM and other radical groups. You canCivil unrest expect to see an increase in radical Muslim terrorist activity. If Killary wins, do not expect the majority of the Republican gutless cowards to try to prevent her from shredding the last vestiges of the Constitution, even if they retain control of the House and Senate. They couldn’t even control Obama. But there are a number of armed Patriots who are just going to say NO! And that could get serious quickly. 2017 is going to be a seriously dangerous year, no matter who wins. And those of you who care enough to survive, are going to have to make some serious decisions based on your individual situation.

But what if you are a guy or gal new to prepping or are just waking up? January isn’t that far off.  So how do you achieve some semblance of preparedness in time?

Educate Yourself Now!

There are a lot of good prepping blogs on the net and a lot of armchair expert idiots. You have to do your own sorting. I have a series of articles that will help you get started if you are just beginning.

_WAAC_-_SILENCE_MEANS_SECURITY__-_NARA_-_515987_tifYou especially need to pay attention to your OPSEC. And learn to be the Grey ManInvisible

Regardless of what stage you are in your preps, the election may cause you to change your plan, especially in regards to equipment and supplies and your schedule of accumulation. I am specifically talking about firearms and ammunition. If Killary wins, there is going to be a mass rush of people buying all of the weapons and ammo they can get with the accompanying shortages as we have seen before. But much worse. m&P 2She is going to use the executive order to control the availability of firearms and ammunition.  She will use BATF to rule and regulate firearms dealers out of business at any cost. Expect to see the mail order sale of ammunition prohibited at the federal level.

If you feel that you have a good basic battery of defensive weapons, Hornady critical_defenseI think you should seriously consider moving ammunition up to the top of your budget bucket list while it is still available. This is just my suggestion and each person and family will have to set their own priorities. Freeze dried food and camping equipment are probably not going to be regulated, at least not any time soon.  But I honestly feel that ammunition is subject to become a scarce commodity after the first of the year, either by runs on stores by concerned citizens, or dictatorial edict by Queen Killary. Just my opinion. As always, do your research, think, and form your own opinion.

CrusaderThen survive whatever comes!

 

Smith And Wesson M & P15 Sport II

m&P 2Most of my readers know that I tend to favor the AK system over the AR system for a number of reasons. I describe them here. But for a while I have decided to add an AR platform rifle to my battery. First, in about nine months I plan on increasing my small arms classes for those who carry an AR as their primary rifle. Secondly, with the election coming up and the possibility of Killary being elected, I decided now was the time to get an AR .

As I advise my readers. I did my research. When looking for a firearm for serious social work, quality has to be your first consideration. Then price. There are a lot of high quality AR system rifles on the market. And many of them have prices that reflect it. But after careful consideration of quality, features and price, I settled on the Smith and Wesson M&P-15-II . MSRP is $739.00 from Smith and I was able to get mine for $690.00. If you shop around, you can often find them in this range. I consider it a good bargain.

Right out of the box I was impressed with fit and finish. There is very little play between the upper and lower receivers. The bolt parts are tight and well finished. This is the Second Gen version that has the standard spring-loaded ejection port cover and the forward assist. Except for barrel length and only semi-auto, this rifle is basically the military M-4. However, the trigger guard is one piece and not the military style that folds down for arctic gloves.

MP-15-II

Basic Technical Stats

  • Caliber: 5.56 mm NATO (which means the chamber will also seat .223 Remington)
  • Action: Gas Operated Semi Auto
  • Capacity: 30+1 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 16” (40.64 cm)
  • Front Sight: Adj. A2 Post
  • Rear Sight: Folding Magpul® MBUS®
  • Overall Length: 35.0” (88.90 cm) Extended, 32.0” (81.28 cm) Collapsed
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Weight: 6.45 lbs. (2,925.7 g)
  • Barrel Material: 4140 Steel
  • Upper Material: 7075 T6
  • Lower Material: Aluminum
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • Forged, Integral Trigger Guard
  • Armornite® Finish (Durable Corrosion Resistant Finish)
  • Chromed Firing Pin.
  • Rifling: 1/9, 6 groove
  • Picatinny rail forward of the rear sight for mounting accessories.

Magazines, Sights and Sling

GetImageThe rifle comes with one Magpul Gen 2 P-mag. I ordered four more from Gabe Suarez’s One Source Tactical. This magazine is a highly tested and reliable mag used by military units around the world. There is now a Gen 3 version but I have not tested it.

The front sight is the standard A-2 sight with square post, and even has the bayonet lug at the bottom. Since federal regs require a rifle barrel be at least 16″ the barrel is too long to effectively attach a bayonet. The rear sight isGetImage3 a folding Magpul® MBUS®. This is a spring-loaded flip-up sight with two apertures. The smaller aperture is for fine shooting and the larger is for CQB applications. The rear sight is windage adjustable only as elevation adjustments are done on the front sight. ( Please note that the sights that came with my rifle are black and not green as pictured. These photos are from the Magpul site and the sight comes in various colors)

WINDAGE ADJUSTMENT3

  • ~0.7 MOA (0.754″/100m) per click with a 14.5″ sight radius
  • ~0.5 MOA (0.547″/100m) per click with a 20″ sight radius

I decided to fit the rifle with a simple military black strap sling. I have never liked tactical slings. Tried a number of them in Afghanistan and always went back to a simple strap sling. To each his own.

Range and Zeroing

I took the rifle to Joe Foss Range in Buckeye Arizona where I do most of my training classes. The M&P15-II comes with a 1:9 twist barrel. This is a good compromise to allow for the stabilization of both the M-193 55gr. bullet and the M-885 62gr. bullet. I decided to zero the rife with the M-193 round to begin with. I was using Federal M-193 military production from the Lake City Arsenal. The cases had LC 2013 and the NATO stamp on the cartridge base. I set up a military zero target at 25yds and began zeroing from the bench. I started out with sights as they came from the factory. AllIMG_0321 zero groups were three shot groups using the small sight aperture . The first group was way low right. I made a sight adjust ment and was then a bit high left. I then went to the second target (pictured) first group slightly right, and the second in the center. After getting a 25yd zero, I then moved the target out to 50yds and did three shot  drills on a silhouette target. The rifle grouped nicely in the center chest area.  I then moved it out to 100yds and did three shot timed fire drills from the bench. The group was nice and tight in the throat area. I brought the front sight down a bit so I was hitting a bit high in the chest area. I wanted a good 100yd zero, as this is the maximum range I would probably use this rifle at most of the time. I then moved the target back to 50yds and did Mozambique drills ( two to the chest, one to the head) from the standing ready position using the larger CQB aperture for the remainder of the ammunition. All chest shots were centered and all head shots were also, with no flyers. This is one accurate little rifle! I fired a total of 120 rounds out of four brand new magazines with no malfunctions. My next range foray I will try it with M-885 ball and see what zero and accuracy changes might ensue.

Summation

This is an accurate, reliable, well made and reasonably priced AR rifle. I am really impressed with it. I plan on working out with it a lot more and if accuracy and reliability remain constant, it may just end up being my primary go to rifle. If you are looking to get an AR before the election, the S&W M&P Sport II would be a good choice.

Documentation To Take If Bugging Out

1912_Birth_Certificate_Ken_BakerOften times when we think of bugging out we consider a number of tangible things: Vehicle to use, equipment, food, water, and defensive weaponry to have readily available for a quick move out are just some of the things to consider.The bug out bag itself is the center piece of much of the conversation in regards to prepping and survival. When planning on bugging out, there are a wide range of scenarios you need to consider. Is this a short-term trip to avoid a oncoming natural hazard, and you plan to return home eventually? Or is it a total societal breakdown? Or any of the hundreds of possible scenarios in between?

Many people who prepare to evacuate their home in any number of scenarios often fail to seriously consider one of the undeniable truths about bugging out depending on the severity of the crisis. You may not ever be able to go back to your home. And if you are able to eventually return, it is probable that all of your possessions will be gone, the home possibly destroyed, or even someone else now living there. So the next issue to consider is the distinct possibility of having to start your life completely over either at your old home or elsewhere. This is going to require important documents on your part.  Lets take a look at the two ways to carry documentation, paper and digital, and the types of documents you may want to consider. Remember, you are prepping for any number of situations, not just TEOTWAWKI. You should carry copies of important documents with you even when you go on vacation. You should also have a set in a bank safe deposit box. Remember redundancy? What happens if your house burns down when you are gone?

BF-AB155_02docJ_E_20110701215220Paper

Paper documents have the primary advantage of being readily accessible should you need them. Unless you are carrying a computer and printer in your bug out kit, you should have paper copies of your most important documents. And you need to keep them in a waterproof container of some sort. Keep in mind that paper can get heavy. You should limit your paper documents to just the bare essentials. But here are some recommendations of what you will probably need hard copy of:

  • Us-passportTwo forms of I.D. for each adult in the family. Preferably picture I.D.
  • Passport will work as one of the above. If you do not have one, get one. Even if you do not plan to travel.
  • Social Security cards.
  • Birth certificates (certified) for each family member.
  • Copies of all insurance policies( auto, life, guns, etc.)
  • Marriage Certificates( certified)
  • All property deeds.
  • Immunization records, if not complete medical records for each member of the family.
  • Vehicle registration documents, and title if they are clear.
  • Any unique documents that effect your identity: DD-214, adoption papers etc.
  • Bank records with all account numbers.
  • Prescriptions, both medical and eye glass.

Digital

As well as the hard copies above, you should have digital copies of them and any other documentation you may want to re construct ( family fotos, business records., etc.). You can place them on an encryption disk. Granted, you won’t be able to use them until you have access to a computer, but they are small, light, can hold much more information than you want to carry hard copy, and be safely encrypted. You can getSandisk Cruiser_ this ScanDisk Cruiser Fit  with built-in software very inexpensively.

Kindle Paperwhite_Another digital answer is a small tablet such as the Kindle Paperwhite. The advantage of this system is that not only can you store readable versions of your documents, but you can also store a large number of digital reference books such as survival books, weapons manuals, etc.

Every individual and family has a different situation and different needs. But to determine what documentation you should take with you in an emergency evacuation, short or long-term, ask yourself this question:

“If all I have is the rucksack on my back, what documentation would I need to reconstruct my life?”

 

Deadly Force: Have You Really Thought About It?

Violators-Will-be-Shot-K-7669My company teaches a range of defensive firearms classes including Arizona Concealed Carry. And it never ceases to amaze me how few people have ever really seriously  considered the ramifications of using deadly force against another human being, either in a current Rule of Law situation, or even TEOTWAWKI Without Rule Of Law.

Lets get the legalities out of the way. I am NOT an attorney, and nothing in this article should be considered legal advice. You should always talk to an attorney in the jurisdiction in which you live about this issue.

Many law-abiding citizens are arming themselves for personal defense currently, or to defend themselves in a survival situation. (assuming they live in a jurisdiction that allows it.  I know I have an international readership and many of you live in countries where self-defense is almost impossible. This article is primarily for US readers but the part on post TEOTWAWKI might have relevance to you).

And many of these people train with their defensive armament, but never consider when and if they might actually have to kill another human being. And under what circumstances would or could they do it. It is a subject that you had better think about long and hard before you are placed in that situation. Shooting at a target on the range is a far cry from shooting at another moving human being who is shooting at you. And especially if just six months ago he was your next door neighbor and you had frequent social gatherings together. And your wives were best friends. You prepped. He didn’t.

Beyond the physical manipulation of you weapons (skill at arms) there are two considerations you need to seriously take into account: Legalities and morality. And these two issues will apply differently depending on whether your situation happens in a Rule Of Law environment, or a Without Rule Of Law environment. Lets look at both.

Rule Of Law Environment

Although there are many differences in various jurisdictions, there are some general principles that apply. There are  basically two types of force. Physical Force and Deadly Physical Force. Either of these can be either lawful or unlawful. As a rule of thumb, the law generally only allows you to use that level of force that is being used against you.  If someone is using unlawful physical force (hitting, punching, biting, etc.) you can use the same level of force to defend yourself. Unlawful physical force is generally not Use_of_Deadly_Force_Authorized_(5730792058)necessarily considered life threatening. But if someone uses unlawful deadly force (shooting, cutting, attacking with any type of weapon, etc.) then you would usually be justified in using lawful deadly force to defend yourself.  The criteria usually are  would a reasonable person in your situation believe that they were in immanent danger of death or serious bodily injury. Again, various jurisdiction have different takes on these concepts. Most places do not require that you attempt to retreat first but some do. Some jurisdictions have Castle Doctrines and some don’t. Basically, you only have the right to use deadly force to defend your life or the life of an innocent third-party.

US_Army_CID_agents_at_crime_sceneHere is a quick scenario on the use of force continuum. A party crasher enters your home while you are entertaining guests and is drunk,  loud and boisterous. You ask him to leave and he refuses. You try to physically put him out the door and he strikes you, You strike him back and he pulls a knife and tries to cut you. You pull your gun and shoot him. The situation went from verbal to physical to deadly physical with you only using that level of force that was used against you. Simplistic, but it explains the concept.  In most places you do not have the right to use deadly force against someone running out of your house with you TV or driving off in your car.  MOST jurisdictions will place the value of human life above the value of your property. KNOW the laws where you live. Deadly force should always be the LAST resort, All the preps in the world will do you no good if you are sharing a jail cell with Bubba when SHTF.

Something that most people do not consider is how much even a righteous lawful self-defense shooting is going to cost them financially. It will run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there are self-defense insurance policies you can buy at a reasonable cost that will help you in more ways than one. I recommend you research them and buy it if you can afford to do so. The truth is, you really cannot afford not to.

Conclusion: In a Rule of Law environment, it behooves you to KNOW the laws of your jurisdiction. Invest in good self-defense insurance. It is just as valuable as the insurance on your life, house, and car. If not more so. If the law itself places you in jeopardy, consider moving if you can. That is why I now live in Arizona

Without The Rule Of Law

Now things get problematic. If you are in a SHTF situation Without Rule of Law, then to some degree you are your own law. If there are no Police or government still functioning then a Civil unrestlarge number of people are going to take advantage of that to do anything they want or feel desperate enough to do. Looting, arson, rape, murder, the list goes on. You have a moral right to defend you and yours and the things you have that keep you alive. The prohibition against taking human  life to protect property is not going to be valid if the property is the food and water you need to survive on, and without which you will die. Many preppers who plan their survival for a WROL situation often overlook one critical factor though. Total WROL will not last forever.

WROL creates a vacuum and all vacuums have to be filled. The original “authority” may eventually re-establish itself  and require people to give an accounting of themselves. An example would be the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. A new “authority” may evolve. People are going to form groups which will develop social norms or “laws” , and they may try to force or enforce those laws on anyone they come into contact with. Even on a local personal level you have to consider the effects of your actions. You may feel smug justification for shooting the kid who was stealing your carrots out of your garden, but his father, older brothers, uncles and cousins, who are all heavily armed, may not see it your way. Always keep in mind that you may very well be held accountable for your actions, even if totally justified, at some point down the road by somebody. As a practical, tactical matter, it is a good idea to avoid using deadly physical force unless you have no choice.

Conclusion:   Even in a WROL situation, you need to use good judgement before you use deadly force. The former Rule of Law may return at some point, or be replaced by a new version. And you want to avoid at all possible making serious enemies of other armed people unless you absolutely have no other choice.

When Killing Is Necessary

There are combat veterans, seasoned Police officers and even average citizens who have been forced by job or necessity to take human life. They understand what the experience can do to you. But I suspect that a tremendous number of decent people who are properly preparing have not had that experience. They soberly arm themselves and practice with their weaponry frequently. The problem is that many of them have not moved beyond the simulated paper target stage. For far too many honest people, actually using their weaponry on another live human being is still thought about in the abstract. If “They” come at me I will shoot. If “They” attempt to steal my food I will shoot “them”. “They” may be highly armed thugs that are running around looting, robbing, and raping. And having to kill these types in self defense is more than morally justified. But what if “They” are former neighbors that you know personally. Could you really pull the trigger? What if “they” are a group of feral children (and in a TEOTWAWKI situation, there will be a lot of those) can you pull the trigger on a 10 year old even if he is pointing a shotgun in your direction demanding food? Or stealing the last 5 gallons of water you have? And how are you going to deal with it afterwards? Can you?  You better know the answers to these questions before hand.

I’m not trying to be melodramatic here. But these are serious realities you may face. Nothing can totally prepare you for the moment you have to kill another human being, or even a lot of other human beings.  In the military, new units and new soldiers train extensively. But then they must go through a “Baptism of Fire”.

So how does someone who has never had this kind of experience realistically prepare themselves? Of course, skill at arms is important. Know your weapons and how to use them thoroughly. But you need to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally as much as possible. Forget the hype, macho slogans, and especially Hollywood. You need to at least understand the mental and emotional aspects of killing another human being, and the effects it can have on you. At least mentally understanding these things will help you prepare to effectively use deadly physical force if necessary. And to come to terms with it.

A tremendous amount of research has been done on the psychological and physiological effects of killing. Lt. Col. Dave Grossman is an internationally recognized scholar, author, soldier, and speaker who is one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime. He has written 41Bu29eZsZL__SX311_BO1,204,203,200_two books that I think would be highly useful reading for anyone who is anticipating having to participate in serious deadly incidents in order to survive . On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. This was his first book. Many people do not know that only 1 in 8 Army Infantrymen fired their rifles in combat in WW2, whereas almost all crew served weapons gunners did. There is a psychological reason for this and this book will explain it. You can learn a lot about the types of thinking and emotions you will experience in a deadly situation. His second book, On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace is a followup to his first. From the Amazon page, “On Combat looks at what happens to the human body under the stresses of deadly battle and the impact on the nervous system, heart, breathing, visual and auditory perception, memory – then discusses new research findings as to what measure warriors can take to prevent such debilitations, so they can stay in the fight, On Combat_survive, and win. A brief but insightful look at history shows the evolution of combat, the development of the physical and psychological leverage that enables humans to kill other humans, followed by an objective examination of domestic violence in America. The authors reveal the nature of the warrior, brave men and women who train their minds and bodies to go to that place from which others flee. “

As many of us continue to say, your mind is your best weapon. All of the best equipment in the world is no good if you are mentally unprepared to deal with serious and immediate violence, both when it happens and afterwards. Thinking about these issues in a sober manner, and then understanding what has happened to those before you will help you to at least know what to expect. And that gives you a better chance to survive.

 

 

 

The Survival Mule. A Combination Locker/Trailer

3d4d00626ce4649714784624e563b73eNecessity is the mother of invention. A lot of good ideas are born when someone has a need, can’t find it on the market, so developes it himself. The Survival Mule falls into this category. I hasten to point out that I have not personally tested this item, but it seems like such an interesting idea, I thought you might like to hear about it. Chris Koelzer, the developer, is a 23 year Marine veteran who wanted to solve the problem of both prepper storage, and the ability to bug out quickly if necessary. The Survival Mule was the result.

The Survival Mule is basically a strong vertical storage cabinet that can be quickly DSC_0393_zpsk611tjedconverted to a vehicle trailer. The advantage of the vertical locker is that it can store a lot of gear in a space-saving manner. The advantage of the trailer is that you can take9418ee52d0cfa022562621f3d21cceea this stuff with you quickly if you have to get out of Dodge pronto. It is like having a prepackaged large bug out bag ready to go. The locker itself is made from galvanized 1136a435c180662aaa7d22b1a74dfd8esteel and has four rollers on the bottom to aid in moving it around in the vertical position. The cabinet has four movable shelves. The concept is modular.  There are a number of accessories available including tail lights and wiring028ff6bedc5c686cd6e79158e2e9a25a harness to make it street legal if your jurisdiction requires. Chris claims that the maximum load is approximately 1600 lbs. He also claims that he has driven it from Minnesota to Montana and back, for a total test trip of 4000 miles.

I e-mailed Chris and asked him about off-road endurance and he replied saying “The rubber torsion half-axles provide independent suspension rated to 2,000 pounds gross weight.  The MULE itself is about 400 pounds, so these allow about 1,600 max pounds of cargo.  I have loaded it to almost 700 pounds internally, which is the configuration I drove it on a dirt cornfield border road behind the Suburban.   Production axles info here:  http://www.ucfamerica.com/flexhalf.html”

9b39051db0b09f2b1e174b57498eb68eThe cabinet can also be removed from the trailer frame and an appropriate size piece of plywood can make it a flatbed trailer. The wheels come on and off quickly and there is a spare tire mounted on the tongue. The Survival Mule is assembled right here in Minnesota USA of primarily American and Canadian parts. This combination storage locker/trailer seems like a pretty neat idea and you can learn a lot more at the owner’s website.

The Zika Virus. What It Means To You

Anopheles_stephensiMosquito borne diseases have been the bane of mankind from the beginning.  Malaria, for example, is an ancient disease that probably originated in Africa. It has been described by the Chinese as far back as 2700BC and the Sumerians from 1700 BC

Mosquitos can carry, and transmit to humans, diseases such as : malaria, dengue, filariasis, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis[.     

Zika

Zika is a relatively new mosquito borne virus that we really don’t know a lot about. What we do know isn’t good. Zika virus is carried by the Aedes mosquito, It seems to have started in equatorial Africa and is now running rampant in South America. There are also now cases reported in the United States. It is especially harmful to pregnant women, and can cause serious birth defects in the unborn called microcephaly. The child can be born with an abnormally small head diminishing mental capacity, and in some cases it can be fatal. For adults, the resulting illness only lasts a few days. The symptoms, including a rash, joint pains, inflammation of the eyes and fever, Basically, serious flu like symptoms. However, it is important to note that evidently a large percentage of infected people seem to show no signs of having the virus. It has been reported that Zika can possibly  be sexually transmitted. It can rapidly spread when a mosquito bites an infected person, and then transmits it to another, uninfected, person.

Prevention and Treatment_Are_you_a_mosquito_breeder__-_NARA_-_513877

There is no vaccine to prevent or cure Zika. However, prevention techniques are the same as for any other mosquito borne disease. Avoid traveling to those areas where a large number of infections have been reported. The Center for Disease Control has a list of travel warnings on their website. If you have to travel to these areas, try to avoid areas with a lot of mosquitos, wear Sawyer 51sMNFe6SiLlong pants and long sleeved shirts, and use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535.. Consider using mosquito nets when sleeping, and even wearing insect repellent clothing.91ureNoVsPL__SL1500_

Right now there is serious ongoing investigation into the Zika virus. It is important to stay up to date on the findings. There is a lot that we do not know about this virus yet.

 

Oral Hygiene When SHTF

Toothbrush-20060209Sometimes when prepping, it is the little things we forget to prepare for. And often, it is things we do daily, like brushing our teeth. Not as glamorous a subject as the fastest way to reload an AK, how to build a fire in the rain, or how to find water in the desert. But it is a subject, that if ignored, can put you down seriously. And possibly permanently.

Death from tooth abscess was a fairly common occurrence up until the 20th century, even though  methods of tooth cleaning were practiced for thousands of years.  Just like you need to prep for all forms of hygiene, you need to seriously consider oral hygiene preps. And in SHTF, you need to clean your teeth as often as possible.

Tooth Brushes

Toothbrush_x3_20050716_001Store a good quantity of spare tooth brushes. You should change your brush when the bristles start flaring out. Don’t throw them away though, they make good additions to your weapons cleaning kit.  There are some natural alternative to factory tooth brushes. For centuries people have used “chew sticks” to clean their teeth. This is simply a small twig flared on the end to simulate a tooth-brush. Find a twig about the thickness of a pencil and chew on the end until the fibers separate. Not all woods are suitable. Some that work well are Willow, Ash, Chestnut, Peach, Hazel, Apple,  and Birch.

Tooth Paste and Substitutes71Z69w3M5bL__SL1500_

Factory tooth paste is good to stock up on. Estimate a tube a month per person. There are a number of alternatives that are just as good though. Brushing with even plain 81P54GuNR1L__SL1500_water can help. 81qUyZl7G4L__SL1500_Baking soda and salt are also good substitutes. If you are planning on bugging in for extended periods, you will want to stock up on these two items anyway. You can make an effective tooth paste by combining the two.  Mix one part salt to two parts baking soda after pulverizing the salt into powder. It will remove plaque and help keep your gums healthy.

Flossing

Flossing is actually more important than tooth paste. Your tooth-brush can only reach about 2/3 of the teeth surfaces. If you run out of floss, thread from your sewing kit can be used. Flossing is an essential part of oral hygiene, especially in the field.

Rinses

31MDnnk+8xLEven just rinsing your mouth with water by forcing it between the teeth will help. An excellent mouth rinses is 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, mixed with an equal amount of water. Rinse your mouth with while forcing it through the spaces of the teeth for about 15-30 seconds before brushing. This will kill a lot of the bacteria that causes oral health issues.

 

Dental First Aid

Many preppers will go to considerable lengths to stock first aid supplies, manuals, and take first aid training courses to be prepared for SHTF scenarios. But even under ideal conditions, with a dentist available, many people will have dental issues. In a SHTF situation, without the availability of a trained dentist, this situation becomes serious.61emvBmNwYL__SX337_BO1,204,203,200_ An abcessed tooth can end up killing you as dead as a looter’s bullet. Learning to apply dental first aid is a critical skill all preppers should consider. Where There Is No Dentist is an excellent book that covers a broad spectrum on oral health, and dealing with many of the oral health problems you would find in a SHTF situation, and how to handle dental first aid in a primitive setting.  It is a first aid manual for your teeth. It should be in every prepper’s library.