Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pelican Rifle Case Score!!

Today I was at a military surplus store looking for a claymore pouch, the one with the the handy carrying strap and small useful compartments. (Tangent if you have one to spare drop em a note in the comments or at theotherryan@yahoo.com). Anyway I was about to leave when a soldier walked in with a Pelican rifle case. He asked how much the guy would pay for it. The guy took a look and gave a speach about how it was in pretty bad shape, yadda, yadda, yadda and the best he could do was $25. The soldier took it and walked out.

I took a look at the case while it sat on the counter. It was definitely used and banged up. A couple of the pins that hold the latches were half hanging out. Still all the latches were good, the seals were fine and as far as usefulness this ugly duckling was solid.

"So bearing in mind you bought this for $25 ten seconds ago how much do you want for it?"

Speech about how he had to make money on the good items that come in, the exorbitant price of his rent, etc. 

"$40"

"How about $35?"

"Best I can do is $40"

I handed him two twenties and walked out with the case. Would have liked to get it for $35 but he needs to make a living too and I like that shop. It came out fair for both of us. I was happy with the deal and he made a 75% return on his money in a minute which is hard to beat. Also if he'd demanded to get $100 I might (probably not as it was not a planned purchase) have paid it but wouldn't go back there, or recommend for others to. He made money and I'm happy about the deal and his shop so it's a win/ win.

There is no doubt in my mind if I hadn't seen him buy it the price would have started well above $100.

After further inspection it could use a good wipe down but otherwise is solid. The layer of foam you would cut to fit your items is missing but the other layers are there. The handles and latches are good and so are the wheels. It's totally functional.

By dimensions it is a Pelican 1720 or something that same size.

Anyway it is just long enough to fit my bolt gun horizontally (vs diagonally from the top of one side to the bottom of the other) with a bit of room for a little bit of foam on each end. It is wide enough to hold the bolt gun and my scoped AR. Bet I could find room in there to stash a pistol too if I really wanted to.

I'm super psyched. Have wanted one for years but have been too cheap to do it. Today one fell in my lap for 20% of retail. Score!!!

Oasis Water Tanks Kickstarter Campaign

A kickstarter campaign called Oasis Water Tanks has an interesting water tank designed to fit in small (narrow) spaces. These could fill a valid niche for folks with limited space. Participate if you so desire. Would like to see them go into production so I can get one.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Repost: How To Not Get Killed In a Riot

 In light of the rioting in Ferguson MO after the grand jury failed to indite the officer in the shooting of Michael Brown it seems like a good time to recycle this post. So here we go......

I have posted a bunch of videos of the LA Riots and talked a bit about how to be safe in a vehicle. Here are some thoughts on how to survive a riot. Check out this article and this for background. To be blunt riots tend to occur in urban areas with high percentages of lower income people. Riots happen in or near the Ghetto. Think I am being judgmental? When there is a riot in Beverly Hills I will formally apologize to everyone. Of course someone will invariably mention that there are no riots in Wyoming or something like that. While that is true lots of folks are in places with higher then desired riot potential because of work, family, a home they can't sell, etc. I am mainly speaking about dealing with a riot in the area where you live.

The biggest thing is to be aware of what is going on. Watch the local news or listen to local radio shows that have some news, reading a local paper is another alternative. We don't get networks ( dish network) so I listen to local radio show in the morning on my way to and from work. If nothing else just having the radio on a local station is a good idea. If things go completely nuts most stations will give out warning and such. Reginald Denny definitely would not have taken that route if he knew what was going on. Hindsight being 20/20 taking a sick day (even without pay) would have been a good idea. [Updated 1/25/14 to include: for a sick day go with something embarrassing and gross. Explosive diarrhea is a good one.]

Another cautionary tale. A guy I know was driving across the country from Oregon to Ft. Benning during the LA riots. His car didn't have a radio so he listened to The Clash on a boombox the whole time. He pulled into Atlanta to sleep for the night. Luckily nothing happened but he was completely clueless to the rioting in Atlanta. The 1911 under his seat would probably have been sufficient but had he been informed discretion would have been the better part of valor and he would have been wise to take an alternate route.

Now that we have spoken about staying informed the simple and logical reaction to a riot in your area is to leave. If you watch the news for powderkeg situations (cops using arguably excessive force on a minority seems to be the biggest one here) there should be some warning. Throw everything irreplaceable and high value compact items into the car and go somewhere else for a few days. Unless your livelihood and life savings is in a store I would get the heck out. This is not quite as much of a BS non answer as telling you to live in Wyoming. For whatever reason lets say that things happen so fast leaving isn't an option.

Here is what to do to be prepared for a riot in the Ghetto where you live. This is what you need to get ready now. Most of this stuff is pretty basic for anyone who spends much time on this site or others like it.

1. Have enough food and water to stay in your residence for at least a week, two is better. Most riots don't last that long but lets play it safe. Having a plan for cooking and sanitation if the power goes out is also a good idea. A radio which works when the electric is off would be a good idea. Options are numerous but picking up a couple extra sets of batteries for the cheap boom box that seems to live in every home would be a simple solution. At least one fire extinguisher is essential, two is better.

The great thing about this is that you now have the basis for dealing with natural disasters, blackouts, winter storms, or whatever else comes along. Some stuff is different for every scenario but regardless of what is happening you will need to drink water, eat food, go to the bathroom and stay informed as much as possible. Our basic life needs stay the same no matter what is going on.

2. Have a plan for getting yourself (and all loved ones) home that keeps you off public transportation and main roads. Have plans to stay away from choke points and such. Obviously children under a certain age will need to be picked up from child care or school. Depending on the circumstances kids 16 and over might be able to get themselves home. Route planning and maybe some sort of a GHB would be a good idea. At absolute minimum for a short trip home comfortable clothes, walking shoes and a bottle of water are a good idea. If work requires you to wear something else just stash some stuff in your car or at work. I could write a whole lot more about this subject also.

Getting home and the plan to do so is probably the piece of this whole thing that will change the most for different scenarios. In any case having comfortable seasonally appropriate clothes, walking shoes/ boots, some water and a snack is a pretty darn good start.

3. Have a reasonable stash of defensive firearms and ammunition. This is not the place for me to write 1,000 words about guns so I will sum it up. Have at least a centerfire pistol and a repeating shotgun with a couple hundred rounds of ammo for each. A basic four (shotgun, centerfire rifle, centerfire pistol, .22) would be better. Every competent adult having a pistol and a long gun would be the best scenario. Unless your kids are old enough to handle firearms in a crisis (far different than plinking with the .22) this would just mean picking up a spare pistol [to make logistics and compatibility easier stick with one caliber of wheelguns (example .38/.357, etc) or one model of auto's(1911, Glock 19, etc all)].

Having some defensive firearms is essential for hurricanes, riots and such is essential. Even for a blackout having some guns is comforting as the peaceable fabric of society gets stretched a little bit. Get some guns and a reasonable stash of ammo is just good advice for life.

Now that you've got chow, a plan to get home from work and weapons to defend yourselves once you get there, that is a great start. Here is what to do a day or so after some cops beat or kill a guy and people get all mad then proceed to hurt, rob, burn and rape the heck out of their own neighborhood which you happen to live in or around. Things are going nuts in your immediate area and it is too late to leave.

1. If you are at home with your loved ones stay there. Call in to work and say whatever you need to; the bottom line is that you aren't coming in until things cool down. If you and all your loved ones are not home then do the following:

A) Tell the boss you need to get home. Help batten down the hatches at work but get out of there pretty quickly. If your boss is such an a hole that he wants to keep the store/ office open when you can hear gunshots and see fire then flip him the bird and walk out.

B) If you have kids beat feet (or whatever else the plan is) to them and then strait home.

IF YOU HAVEN'T PICKED UP ON THE MESSAGE THE GOAL IS TO GET OFF THE STREET AND INTO YOUR HOME!

Now you are home so more then half the battle is won. Here is where there are two options depending on your scenario.

2. If teaming up with some neighbors (Korean merchants and the You loot we shoot guys come to mind) for localized (think very small scale on this one) security is possible that would be a good course of action. You and a couple neighbors are not going to be able to win a fight with every looting a hole. However if they see guys with rifles and shotguns on the roofs on the western side of the street and no one with guns on the eastern side of the street where do you think they will go?

2B.Your neighbors are hiding in their closets in the fetal position or are out burning down liquor stores. In any case you are on your own. Broadly speaking you are in a house/ duplex or an apartment.

If you are in a house/ duplex either sit on the porch with a shotgun in your lap or stay inside with the blinds down. If people are mainly just looting being on the porch with a glass of ice tea and a pump shotgun will dissuade them from coming in your yard. That being said if the crowd is intent on committing violence to whatever race you happen to be (usually this is white people or whatever the minority in the neighborhood is, Koreans were also targeted in the LA Riots) then stay inside. Maybe keep a sign like this in the garage to put out front.

If you are in an apartment and the neighbors are not capable or willing to help then stay the heck inside. There are too many ways someone could easily get up close to you and too many people (neighbors) have the right to be walking around for you to stand around and try to defend the place. Hopefully you do not live on the first floor. Looking out the window through a lifted mini blind while playing spades with your significant other is probably the best thing you can do. Having something to bar the door that can be readily moved should you need to would be a good idea.

3. Now that you are home and more or less safe STAY THERE. You have food, water and life's other essentials so don't frickin leave. It is boring and mundane but you are safer then anywhere in the immediate area. STAY PUT. If you smoke keep a carton in the house. If you drink (drinking to any excess would be a very poor idea in this situation) then keep some around. Whatever stuff you would leave home in search of have a few spares at home.

To the best of my knowledge most people who have got into problems in riots were out and about. IMHO aside from being at a family members house or a motel 300 miles away watching the neighborhood burn on TV the safest place you can be is your residence. The only reason I would leave my residence in a riot is if it was on fire. If someone was moving toward my residence with the clear intent to set it on fire (ie Molotov cocktail, etc) they would die of acute lead poisoning.

Thoughts?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

New Years Resolution 2014 Review

Figured it is as good of a time as any to review my 2014 New Years Resolutions which I really use yearly more as annual goals than anything else. Completed resolutions will be lined through and notes will be in italics. Note I am piggy backing off the last review done in May and July.

Note: The stuff in light grey are long shots. By long shots I mean they are not realistically funded based on projected levels of spending. Admittedly this is pretty unscientific since I do not have an exact projected preps budget that is divided amongst different areas. It's probably more of a gut feeling based on the last few years of what I will realistically be able to do than anything else.

Shoot

Skills:
Attend a quality defensive pistol course. Work messed up a scheduled CSAT course. Undetermined on when/ where I plan to reengage this goal.
Try to attend an Appleseed if I can.
Following said defensive pistol course begin a dry fire regimen.
Shoot more often. Ideally at least monthly but certainly not more than bi monthly. Doing better.

Stuff:
Finish the 870 P project. Refinish, light, sling, ammo cards, ammo holding system to match.
 Get a .30 cal precision rifle almost surely a .308. 
 I have been semi casually looking for a single shot 12 gauge shotgun to go all Dave Canterbury. If I find one I will buy it.
Set up the big wheel gun the way I want it. Grips, holster, belt, speed loaders, etc all
Put nice grips on the 642 like Alexander Wolfe's.
 Maybe start on an AR pistol

Consumables and minor stuff:
250 rounds buckshot
250 rounds #4 shot
250 slugs
Get a quality kydex outside waistband Glock holster with mag pouches to match
4 Ruger 10/22 BXP mags
A case of 5.56 ammo
A stripped AR-15 lower receiver
Long shot a case of 9mm FMJ  purchased the 9mm ammo for a class and am keeping it set aside for such unless things get all wonky then it would of course be useful and a second case of 5.56 ammo
10 each PMAGs
 6x Glock 17 mags
I can always use another 10/22 or a Glock 19 but those are big time long shots.

Move
Fitness:
Run more, keeping better track of it. Maybe do a marathon or something. Been running and rucking more since the weather is cooling down.
Keep up a decent weight lifting regimen with hard circuit based body weight type stuff. I'm back at this with a vengeance. Setting a lot of near term (vs back in the day) maxes and some all time ones. Getting my swole on.
 Generally keep on doing good things

Stuff:
Break in all extra boots that are currently accessible.
Not sure exactly where this fits but I want to firm up our heavy (vehicle) bug out packing list then have that stuff ready to go. Also continue developing all of our systems. This has been working. I won't say it is 100% but things are definitely better organized and more together than before.
Purchase a small enclosed trailer.  This isn't going anywhere and is likely being pushed a couple years down the road.

Communicate:
Skills: Get a ham radio license. Kinda bumping this to the winter when other stuff is not happening.
Get better with HTLM and web coding stuff (any advice would be great)

Stuff:
Get a ham radio, probably one of the little Baeofeng (spelling) setups to start.
 Get a set of 2 (4 would be better) good FRS radios with head sets. I have a pair in storage that might work but I've got to test them.
Get a scanner 

Sustain:
Keep building our food supply to the interim goal of having a year's worth for 4 people. We've put back a lot of food this year.
Get chickens. The golden girls are giving us 3-4 eggs a day. Enough to totally meet our egg needs. Right now I'm alone so I am swamped in eggs.
Start growing some herbs n stuff. Maybe sprouts too. Gardening has not been successful but I tried and learned some stuff.

Survive:
Continue to improve our cache situation. Set up the Operational Cache. Did some other things. This is ongoing but we are better off now then at the beginning of the year.
Work to develop primitive skills. Nothing has really happened on this.
Pick up another full tang medium sized survival/ general purpose knife or maybe two plus stuff to round out some of the redundant parts of my various kits. Picked up a Benchmade Bushcrafter. Looking to add a slightly larger knife to the inventory this summer. Ordered a British MOD survival  knife.  
Get 3-4 more wool blankets. It is hard to recall exactly when I bought minor item like blankets. I am up one or two since them.

Alternative Energy:
Skills: Use the stuff we have more to figure out how to make it work for our needs. This includes a good plan for charging Wifey's smart phone on the go.

Stuff : Wifey mentioned wanting to get a generator before hurricane season. We are far enough North in Louisiana so as to avoid utter destruction but can definitely lose power. A buddy up here lost power for a week during Rita. This worried Wifey. So we might just get a generator. Probably an EU 2000 like Zero has.

Stashing a half dozen or so military gas cans would be nice. Enough gas to completely fill up both our vehicles twice and run a genny enough to keep the freezer cold, charge batteries and watch a bit of news for at least 2 weeks (a month would be better) would be great. Got to do some math on that one.

Discussion:
The year was weird in terms of scheduling and plans due to some work stuff. That really threw a wrench in a lot of different plans. Anyway the year is not done but with just over a month left, spanning the busy Christmas/ holiday season, a whole lot more is not likely to get done.

An AR pistol didn't happen because I prioritized other guns that had more valid uses in a  CCW handgun and a 'precision rifle'. I really want an S&W Shield. Note I purchased a Kahr CW9 which fills this niche. 

Food is a continual process for all but the most well established survivalists.

I put some money into commo with the Baofengs. This is honestly long overdue. 

Looked at getting a scanner but the Police/ etc freq's in Louisiana are on LWIN which is a digital trunking system. I do not understand thee technical side but it means normal $80-150ish models would not pick up what I want to listen to. A digital trunking scanner is required. The most affordable and simplest one (also recommended by Spark 31) is the Uniden Public Safety Receiver (HOMEPATROL) but they cost just under $400. That will roll to next years goals.

Need to work on a more cohesive overall fitness plan. I know what to do (and if I didn't John Mosby wrote a good article on it at FO) and just have to do it. Most of the right things (running, body weight, lifting, some rucking) are happening now but not necessarily in a thought out way.

Need to make a final push to get some small game shotgun ammo like #4 shot and just maybe some buckshot. Overall we have a decent amount of shotgun ammo but am way below my desired ratios. One of the things I am working on this year is to get some of the goals that have been rotating from one years list to the next.

How are you doing on your years goals?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

Camping Survival Weekend

Most of us take more time to plan our vacation than to plan for the survival of our family or friends during an emergency. We wait too long or for Black Friday or Cyber Monday hoping to get the best deal. This year we are presenting

Camping Survival Weekend! 

Starting Today - Friday November 21st
You now have the chance to get ahead of the madness and chaos. The fact that we promote preparedness, this weekend we are going to be having our SALES before Black Friday. Now you don't have to wait for some other retailer to tell you when you can save and instead have this entire weekend to stock up. Best of all you will be prepare before any unforeseen disaster that comes calling and enjoy the time you have with your family throughout this holiday season.


Best Regards,
Camping Survival

On a personal and entirely unrelated note:
To MM1, Dude I just saw your comment(s). Would definitely like to get my hands on that Kelty for T&E. Please drop me a line at theotherryan@yahoo.com.

-Ryan

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

AR 500 Body Armor Concept of Use

Mentioned recently that I got an AR500 body armor package from JRH Supply. I have watched the body armor industry in recent years with some interest. Prices have radically dropped on ceramic plates and the steel plate industry has really matured. Bottom line is that body armor is dipping solidly into or very near the common man price range.

Anyway I pretty much had a post formed in my head when I saw this youtube video from Southernprepper1. It hits all the points I consider valid in an enjoyable format.
This is our second set of hard plates, the first one being ceramic. Ceramic plates are a lot lighter and one might argue offer better protection due to the potential for spalling. However they are really a one time use item; ceramic plates are very hard but brittle think concrete. If some strange circumstances led to me taking one in the chicken plate next week I'd order a new plate. Obviously that is a problem for a Patriots world where resupply is nonexistent. Enter the steel plate. They take a hit and are just as good as before. A set put back as a 'just in case' item could be awful handy. So I went out and got one. In due time I would like to get one for every family member. Steel plates also are handy because they are as cheap as you can get in terms of hard class III body armor. These offer a couple of real advantages for survivalists.

Got body armor?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chicken Update

This hadn't got a ton of explicit discussion so I can see how Harry might have missed it. This spring we got chickens. Have them set up in a chain link dog run with chicken wire reinforcement. We started with four of them. All summer they popped out 3-4 eggs a day. In mid September one was eaten. We got 3 not yet laying hens to replace her.

I won't say the whole thing has been an economic gain but we are eating more, higher quality eggs than before. Also it has been a learning experience and it was something I really wanted to do for awhile. Sometimes a thing can at least in part be it's own reward.

Anyway so yeah we have chickens.

Monday, November 17, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Cleaned out the garage and organized a bunch of stuff. Working on eating better.

Bought those Baogeng radios and a water barrel. Also 180 pounds or so each of white rice and beans plus a big thing of sugar.

Also got a set of the very affordable AR500 body armor and a plate carrier from JRH Enterprises and 100 pounds of chicken food.

It was a particularly good week here. What did you get done?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Interesting Discussion on Assault Pack Sized Systems and Rucks at TEOTWAWKI Blog

TEOTWAWKI Blog has been discussing different types of sustainment type systems of the smaller 'assault pack' type as well as the larger more traditional ruck sack type ones. I discussed this general topic not too long ago in

Assault Packs, Rucks and Sustainment Loads Revisited 

and before that with

Field Gear, Fighting Loads, Assault Packs and Bringing It All Together

so you can see my thoughts. Now for the T Blog posts; Bug out Bags and Vehicles which led to Bug Out Bag discussion continued. The second post went a long way to clarify the thoughts of the original post.

The T blog definition of "bug out bag" falls into my level 2.5 umbrella.  These bags are certainly handy. They are small/ light enough to be handy and come everywhere with you. They can reasonably (minus water) sustain a person for a couple days under most conditions. Even if the consumables are expended the tools and gear can be useful even if your tummy is grumbling.

These bags really fall short when they run out of consumables. Not an issue for a fairly limited scenario, like say making the 30 mile trek home if you cannot drive, but if the scenario is more open ended it is obviously problematic. Also these bags are entirely inadequate for cold weather as they do not contain sufficient cold weather gear or a genuine cold weather sleeping bag. I hesitate to give an exact temp but certainly 32 degrees and probably upwards to 40ish though the environment and what people are used to matters a lot.


A full sized hiking/ backpacking type backpack or as many many military types would call it a ruck is larger than any of the level 2.5 assault pack type systems though not necessarily that much so. These type bags have been used by many different groups from the military, hunters and of late recreational outdoorsmen for a long time. In the last 50 years or so generally have some manner of a frame and more robust padding to help support the weight of the bag.

These bags offer the capacity to hold more stuff than smaller bags. This means larger and more robust tools as well as more consumables and better clothing/ shelter options. These bags will let you survive much more comfortably and for a longer period than smaller systems.  My BOB list can be seen here.

It is worth noting the two types of systems we have described are points along a spectrum. A 20 pound assault pack is going to be different than a 40 pound ruck which would be different from a 75 pound ruck. Generally speaking along the ruck lines I find a pretty sweet spot in the 37-47 pound range where you have most of the capabilities of a real sustainment load without being too heavy/ bulky/ cumbersome.

On the discussion of using the two together. Currently my two bags are set up to use separately. One is in my vehicle and the other is with our survival stuff. If I were to transition to using them both together I would need to do a marriage style combination of stuff and then put the newly redundant stuff towards another purpose. Or I could just make it easy and get a basic earth tone type backpack to toss into my ruck empty (note I have a bag that work work for this). The right answer is that my ruck should include a dedicated smaller bag with a modest amount of well thought out stuff in it to use for short day trips if I leave the ruck in a base camp or temporarily cache it.

Anyway I hope this discussion has given you something to think about.










Saturday, November 15, 2014

Productive Saturday

This morning I took the rug rats out shopping and doing errands. Wifey was able to get a bunch of cleaning done while we were gone. Got back and cleaned the garage. It was a big mess and I have been putting off dealing with it. Well today was the day. Put some nails up to hang folding chairs and strollers on. Organized a bunch of stuff. Threw junk away. Reorganized my ancillary gun gear. Also split my general mag storage from one huge container to two large containers. This will make them easier to move around (a 30 gallon tote full of mags and spare parts is pretty heavy) and if/ when I work out the details to store them separately. The garage is now a well organized useful space.

Wifey did some much needed landscaping.

Fired up the chainsaw just because. Going to do the same with the generator tomorrow.

The way things have worked out right now the prep fund is flush with cash. Sadly not FLIR kind of money but I guess I could buy a rifle, if that's what I needed. However since I am preparing not just buying guns I'll probably get some #4 shot in case I need to hunt little stuff, some buckshot for two legged predators and those Baofeng radios if just to finally get them off my list. Of course I plan to order a month or two worth of food also. Also toying with a knife purchase.

Put a couple items up for sale. 

Given that we usually get nothing done on Saturday this was an excellent and productive day.

Additionally I found a source of some more wood so tomorrow I'll probably do that. Also got to rig the tarp over the chicken coop up better. Water is pooling in low points and putting stress on the structure. Given the roof is a redneck setup I made from free components stress on it is sub optimal. Definitely something I need to fix before winter really sets in.

Anyway lots of stuff got done today. Did a little shrimp boil for a late dinner now I'm sitting by the fire. Going to read for a little bit then go to bed.

Hope you all had a great day.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pleased to Announce Our Newest Advertiser JRH Enterprises

JRH Enterprises is an awesome company I am thrilled to welcome to the Total Survivalist team. They are probably best known for higher end products like PVS 14 3rd Gen Night Vision and DBAL I2 IR Lasers (both of which I own. Got my NOD from them and reviewed it here. Also my thoughts on the combo.) and the FLIR Scout I have a serious case of gear lust over.

However they do offer a wide variety of products that appeal to a variety of needs and budgets. Their AR500 body armor combo is a heck of a deal. More to follow on that particular piece of kit. Anyway I am happy to be working with this excellent company. You should check out their site and consider them when making a purchase.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Open Lines Friday 7 NOV PT 2: Preparedness Challenges in the Military

Open Lines Friday is sure making for some interesting blog fodder. Think it is a feature worth trying out with an eye towards becoming a regular thing. I'll play with frequency over time to see how many questions you are all interested in hearing my opinion on. A higher the numbers of questions/ comments/ links will push for it to be be more common, maybe even weekly, while less interest will make me lean towards less often. So if you like this feature chime in with questions next time it comes up and throw links to the posts up on your blogs/ sites/ forums.

Today's question is:

"Hi Ryan...been a regular follower of your blog for the past few years now. Great work, love your opinion/perspective. I'm glad you posed this topic. I'm a military officer of about 6 years now, and the issue I face with preparedness is PCS-ing every 3-4 years. I haven't been able to find a good blog or posting about the difficulties of a mandatory military move every couple of years. I would love to see a post or series about the constraints of having to relocate vice being permanently located at your retreat. What has your experience been with this as a member of the military?"

"Pineslayer replied: Jamison Vincent, think storage lockers, off base, if stateside. A bike that can set up quickly to haul 'stuff' shouldn't gather much attention. Maybe donate food stores when relocating. Any vehicle gives you an edge. Good luck and thank you. "

Ryan here: 
 I haven't specifically hit on this topic though some posts sort of danced around it. Some time ago Commander Zero asked about Preparedness and the Military but it does not specifically apply here.  Some time back I did a post on moving with guns and ammo which does cover part of the question so is worth touching on.I also did a post on Military Families when SHTF that one might want to read.

It is worth noting that while on average I do believe military members move more often, and further, than most other folks the issue of moving is not specifically a military problem. For example in recent years Alexander Wolfe of TEOTWAWKI Blog has moved almost as often as I do.

Specific problems are going to be capitalized. After talking the problems I will touch on potential strategies for mitigation.

PHYSICALLY MOVING: Survivalism inherently leads to the accumulation of gear, tools, and guns as well as bulk/ heavy items like bulk ammo and food.  It doesn't take many cases of 62 grain M855 5.56 ammo (on sale for $359/1k at Lucky Gunner) to get heavy in a hurry. However at least ammo is fairly compact. Using the rough Pastor Joe Fox formula of a 5 gallon bucket full of food being enough for 1 person for 1 month even a 1 year supply for 2 people is a significant weight and bulk consideration. Moving all your stuff sucks and there is no way around it. However in my experience this is overall the least problematic of the issues we are going to discuss. This is because while it is a significant hassle it is over after you get to the other end and unpacked.

On the plus side you mentioned being an Officer so at least your weight allowance should be pretty decent. Get smart on what movers are required to transport so they don't bamboozle you. They have to move commercially packed food which is significant for a survivalist. On the other hand for ammo, fuel, etc you've got to haul it on your own. While you do not control how often or when you move from post to post you do control how often you move within a specific area so get there and figure out a good place to live then stay there. Movers will hold your stuff for (IIRC) up to 90 days then deliver it. That should give you time to learn the area a bit so you don't want to move ten minutes away in a few months.

INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS/ COST AMORTIZATION: Folks who stay in one place can build a nice garden with raised beds and call it good. Every few years they might need some more soil but their setup is there and ready to go. Ditto fences, chicken coops, rainwater catchment, etc all. Additionally since they do not need to redo these costs over time those areas cost per output (cents per egg, dollar a bushel of produce, etc) go down. If you move frequently a lot of efforts will need to be duplicated and there are costs associated with that.

I really don't have many answers for this. Honestly I'm struggling with the problems myself.

SYSTEM REINVENTION. It is not too hard to have four different awesome routes all planned out for each of your three potential bug out locations for a person who is settled in one area with a solid network of friends and family (we'll hit that next). However redoing all of that work every couple years (say 1ish for a PCS school and 3-4 for a duty station) would be downright difficult. Around the time you put up the last alternate cache in your last location it would be time to move. That is to say nothing of the expense involved in redoing these efforts every couple years. This could also be said about gardening, bartering, getting into the gun crowd, etc at your new location. Basically you have to hit reset on a bunch of stuff every couple years.

Putting effort into systems that can be moved easily is the best idea I have to offer. No huge answers here. In many ways our efforts are far less developed than they would be if we hadn't moved several times in the last few years. My system of caches and potential locations would be far better developed if I was able to put money and effort in knowing it would solve problems over the long term instead of just for a couple years. Honestly the best way forward I can see is setting up a fixed location near home and shifting some efforts to that location.

SOCIAL NETWORKS: Since I do not live near home I am not working on relationships or contingency/ MAG stuff there. Also contacts I develop in a location are potentially nice to have for the future but only really good for that location. It is a potential advantage that I am developing contacts, albeit shallow ones, in different places.

The best mitigation here is that I am currently part of the biggest baddest gang in the world, the US Army.

Anyway this post is a bit shy on solutions and for that I am sorry.  My intent is not just to admire the problem. Hopefully I have at least partially helped frame out the problem and offered some solutions to think about.

I'm open to other peoples thoughts, especially if they have struggled with survivalism while living the military life.

Thoughts?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Open Lines Friday 7 NOV Answers PT 1

Note my answers are bold and in italics

wildbillb said...sure, lots of questions.

plans for long-term food production and storage. no store food for 2-4 months.


As to production we have 6 chickens and do our best at gardening. Not going to make a huge dent in caloric needs but we are producing something and learning. The goal is sort of a gradual increase in production each year towards the end of production being a decent percentage of consumption.

As to storage. We TRY to keep a good bit of normal shelf stable stuff we eat around. Peanut butter and jelly, canned stuff, rice, flour, mac n cheese, cereal, oatmeal, oil, etc all.  For the longer term we have a decent bit of long term food stashed in mylar sacks in buckets. Given my lack of real dedicated focus on the details of X jars of this and Y cans of that I'm sure we would have some gaping holes but we would definitely still be eating at the 4 month mark.


short-term: what if property tax goes up to 10x or even just 5x.


This is an interesting point. Generally speaking I do not see property taxes exploding. However I do see them rapidly adjusting up when values rise and failing to drop when they go down. If suddenly your place goes from being valued at 150k to 250k taxes almost double. Add in the economy going to hell and maybe losing your job and that is a real problem.

In the great depression a lot of people lost very valuable land because they couldn't pay the taxes on it. They sold good productive land for nothing to pay the taxes on the plot with the house. I would submit on general principle this means it is worthwhile to consider not only the cost of a home/ ranch/ retreat but the taxes. It is better to buy a smaller place you know you can pay the taxes on no matter what then a bigger place where the taxes would be a stretch.

I would rather have a normal house on 20 acres I could pay the tax on by working part time as a greeter at Wally World than a 250 acre ranch with a huge house and 2 guest houses that had taxes equivalent to an average salary in the county. The reason is I could figure a lot of ways to come up with say 3k a year in property taxes but 30k would be a lot even if things go OK.


short-term: what if banks freeze savings, or charge interest? cash storage options.

I generally suggest keeping a month's worth of cash expenses (food, fuel, medicine, etc) in mixed bills at home. A month's INCOME is even better. If your situation is high risk for a banking freeze, running, etc more money makes sense. If you have a lot of cash just siting around by all means keep some more. Keeping cash covers you for a power outage or a hurricane or a banking holiday.

As to storage options. Commander Zero made a great point awhile back that your biggest enemy in storing cash is generally yourself raiding it for pizza or to buy a new shiny gun, etc. Your scenario matters a lot as does the amount of money we are talking about. If you live alone in a safe place putting $500 in an envelope in your desk drawer is just fine. If you want to keep several thousand dollars at home and have a lifestyle where a variety of people are often in your home it would be smart to get a decent safe and bolt it down. Various cache options are also worth considering. It is worth considering complication here. Say you stash the first $500 in mixed bills in the desk then a couple grand in the gun safe. Go beyond that and you stash the balance in 2 ziplock bags inside a coffee can buried someplace.

short-term: level of crime increases, how to ensure wife/kids are safe during errands, in the home, etc. concealed carry vs escort.

This covers a lot of ground so I will do my best.

You can do some analysis within the general area you live in about crime. With all the databases and information available these days it is not too hard to do a pattern analysis and threat wheel on crime in your AO.

Pattern analysis simply looks at given activities and locations. For the sake of this conversation say we look at vehicle theft, home break in's (no occupants), armed robbery, assault, home invasion, kidnapping and murder. We would then plot the occurrence of these events within the area we are looking at, say maybe a city and greater suburban area or a couple counties.   In the most simple way red pins on the map would be vehicle theft, brown assault, black murder, etc. Obviously more pins in an area is bad.

After that we would take those same occurences and look at time. First would be the day with a 24 hour clock. Next we would look at the week and month. After that we could focus in on other potential variables such as pay checks (1st and 15th for many people), welfare payments, lunar cycles, sporting events, etc.

When you put the two of these together it becomes apparent that while anything can happen anywhere a very high percentage of crime happens in certain areas during fairly predictable time periods.Obviously you do not want to go to those areas much at all, especially at those times.

 In terms of crime where you live matters a lot. If you live in a dangerous place then it is prudent to make financial choices that allow you to move to a safer one. This is especially true in a slow slide scenario where every neighborhood takes a step down the ladder of safety. Live in a slightly less posh place in a safe neighborhood instead of a nicer place where bad stuff happens.

As to keeping the fam safe above what I already said.

 When it comes to homes like anything real estate, location, location, location. Also avoiding displays of compact wealth is prudent.

Even way back when she was my GF I strongly recommended Wifey didn't go to certain places alone, based on an informal threat assessment. If she needed to go there or just wanted to I would tag along.

Also I tend to handle riskier business such as moving around decent amounts of cash or buying and selling stuff.

Wifey has a valid CCW and owns a revolver though she does not carry it regularly. At least she has the LEGAL option and a piece so if she wants to it is doable. Obviously if we had just one reasonable CCW pistol and were going different places that would be an issue.

This last section lacked focus and got to rambling but I hope it gave you some things to think about. Please leave any and all comments for me to respond to.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts