Showing posts with label JM Bullion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JM Bullion. Show all posts

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Local Cache Contents Ideas

Without getting too much into my business the topic of caches has recently come up in my life. So I got to thinking about what I would want in a local cache. First I suppose we should define concept of use.

My concept of use is as follows. To provide a locally accessible store of some basic equipment if my primary residence was compromised/ lost/ needed to be evacuated in a hurry. If I need to leave but cannot go home I could hit the cache then bail. 2) To support the movement ouside of my local area if need be by resupplying basic logistics. 3) To prevent a large scale theft incident at our primary residence from wiping out my preps. I'm not saying your needs or motivations are, or should be, identical to mine but there they are.

Got to thinking about what sort of setup would suit that concept of use well. Since I'm a man of the people splitting to different economic cost ranges/ levels of preparation seems prudent. So we will do a good, better, best type thing.

Good:
Full set of seasonally apropriate spare clothes per person
1x servicable knife (whatever you have lying around or a Mora) per adult
1x water bottle per person (more in desert type enviornments)
Replacement fire kit (matches, lighter, whatever) per adult
Replacement batteries for your gear as well as some common ones (AA, AAA, D, CR123)
72 hours worth of food
72 hours worth of water
Spare ammunition for weapons as applicable and available
$100 in cash

Better:
Full set of seasonally appropriate spare clothes per person
1x serviceable knife (whatever you have lying around or a Mora) per adult
2x water bottle per person (more in desert type environments)
1x day pack per person
1x wool blanket per person
Shelter sufficient for the group. Tent, tarp with ropes, whatever.
Replacement fire kit (matches, lighter, whatever) per adult
Replacement batteries for your gear as well as some common ones (AA, AAA, D, CR123)
Replacement first aid consumables
1 week worth of food for the total group
72 worth of water for your total group
Quality water filter
Spare ammunition 1x load out (for me that would be 50 rounds of 9mm JHP, 240 rounds of 5.56 plus some .22lr and 12 gauge or whatever else you use.)
1x fill up per vehicle
A weapons cleaning kit
A spare gun, whatever you have lying around
Half a month's worth of cash
Backup paperwork, documents, insurance stuff, etc

Best:
Full bug out bag per person (above whatever kits you have at home)
60 days worth of food
1 week worth of water in an easy to use Water Storage system by Titan Ready Water
Quality water filter with extra element
Quality emergency radio
Substantial first aid kit
1x FRS type radio per adult
Full replacement set of weapons 
A weapons cleaning kit
Spare ammunition 3x load out's
A month's worth of cash
Half a month's worth of precious metals
Backup paperwork, documents, insurance stuff, etc
If you can get it a Jason Borne style clean set of ID for everyone.


We could maybe add or subtract an item or two but the above lists are generally what I am thinking. If you have significantly different items on your list please share.

Camping Survival's Wise Foods and Berkey water filter bundle sale ends on Tuesday, August 20, 2013,)


Thursday, July 18, 2013

82% Inflation and Precious Metals

FerFAL recently wrote about how Argentina had 82% of their purchasing power over 10 years. While it might not be as drastic I fear we have inflation coming. Honestly it could get really bad. Food and precious metals are good places to put your money.

Speaking of precious metals my recent dip order from JM Bullion showed up today. [It was not involved pwith our advertising relationship, I was just a normal customer.] I ended up on their site and the prices were awesome. They beat the other guy I was dealing with by a couple bucks per item. My gold and silver showed up nicely packaged. In fact it was packaged very well with individual coins in pouches, the pouches in bags, the bags wrapped in bubble wrap and the box covered in packing tape. Had to bust out a knife to get it open.

With silver rounds at $20 and change there really isn't an excuse not to put one away every month or two.Well unless you are buying food and seeds.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cache Location Ideas

Our ongoing discussion about caches largely follows my thoughts and stuff I see on youtube and whatnot. Take some clothes, simple affordable gear, a bit of emergency food, few one ounce silver rounds if you have em, a basic gun that is gathering dust and a couple boxes of bullets. If you can add a tactical manual like Contact by Max Velocity and a nice affordable Berkey Sport Water Filter then the cache is pretty well set. Many folks could do that with stuff that is lying around in piles of like gear at their house. Anyway the concept of locations has come up.

Fundamentally in terms of locations I fear people can get so focused on finding a perfect scenario. I do not have a trusted survivalist family member who lives on a farm 150 miles away from me in a very remote area. Most people do not have that perfect scenario either. The issue is that people get so focused on finding a truly perfect scenario that they do not actually take action on more realistic scenario. Inevitably realistic scenarios have downsides. That is called life. 

In his excellent article John talks extensively about picking a location for burying stuff.While a bit labor intensive the security of a well thought out buried cache is pretty awesome.

Sootch did a good video on a storage space cache



I think this idea has some merit. Also this is a very good option YOU CAN DO. There are rental storage places in the burbs and cities. There really are not any excuses here. Storage units can of course be broken into however I do not personally know anyone who has had that happen to them. I would be discrete about putting stuff into the storage unit. Long guns in a duffel bag or something. Also I would have a decent percentage of the unit filled with mundane boring stuff. If you have 4 big boxes of old books, one of which has a case that is holding a couple pistols, a crook in a hurry isn't going to find it. Toss a broken down AR into box 3 of "Christmas Stuff" and you are good to go.

Even if a friend is located in the next town 10 miles down the road a cache at their place still has value. Your home might burn down. A localized disaster like a tornado might get you but would probably miss them. Some sort of situation like a chemical spill or wildfire could force you to evacuate in a hurry but leave his place unaffected. You could offer some space to the friend in return.

Some sort of cache could also be very useful in other scenarios. Claire Wolfe touched on this also.

A relative in an area you regularly travel to might have space for a Rubbermaid container in their garage or barn.

The point I am trying to get to is that there are options. Maybe some day when we all buy that little, or maybe not so little piece of land in the hinter boonies that will be a great option. However great these possibilities down the road are we need realistic options for today. The point I am trying to get across is that there are some realistic options for caches that most people can implement in the near future should they want to.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hoss USMC Checking and Moving a Cache


An interesting video from the Hoss. I think this brings up a good point that a cache does not have to contain 3-4 grand in high tech gear and guns. Some clothes, simple affordable gear, a bit of emergency food, few one ounce silver rounds if you have em, a basic gun that is gathering dust and a couple boxes of bullets. If you can add a tactical manual like Contact by Max Velocity and a nice affordable Berkey Sport Water Filter then the cache is pretty well set. Many folks could do that with stuff that is lying around in piles of like gear at their house. DO IT!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Writers Block, Purchasing Paralysis, Food Rotation and Random Thoughts

For whatever reason I am having a heck of a time writing anything these days. Suppose we all go through bouts of writers block now and again. This one is a whopper. Suppose like all things it will pass.

Prices are great these days so I bought some gold and silver. If you have a few bucks to spare without shorting the household budget think about turning some into precious metals. My fear is that we will need them in coming years when inflation inevitably rears its ugly head.

Also I need to order the rail to finish my rifle. Have the money but for some reason I simply cannot bring myself to order the rail. Just keep second guessing what I am doing and cannot decide on anything.

At home I am working on eating up our food stores. The primary goal here is to consume some of the bulkier everyday food before our upcoming move. Secondary goals are to save some money and learn a bit about how effective our food storage plan is, or is not. So far it's been easy but as I work my way through the fridge and freezer it will probably get boring interesting in a hurry. Will probably talk more about this later.

On the downside I hurt my leg recently. Good news is that nothing is seriously injured, bad news is I have to take it easy for awhile. Can do some running but nothing crazy, no rucking though. So that is sort of lame plus it's sore half the time. Will probably start doing more alternative cardio (bike, machine, etc) type stuff just to keep up a reasonable level of cardio.

Anyway that is all I can think of right now. Might have something good for tomorrow or not.






Saturday, June 22, 2013

How Much Is Enough?

Survivalism seems to be all about accumulating meaningful skills and massive amounts of stuff. Been thinking about how much stuff we really need. Came to some conclusions.

First is the obvious reply (to "how much stuff do we need?") of "For What?" The sort of scenarios a person is worried about matter greatly here. The amount of food, water, gear, weapons, money, etc that are needed for a 3 day power outage are very different than for a month long Hurricane Katrina type disaster which is still a lot less than some sort of SHTF/ TEOTWAWKI type event. The amount of food, precious metals, knives, gear, ammo, etc needed vary hugely.

Some scenarios make different stuff important. Commander Zero who is stashing Glocks and AR's like crazy might be worried about a different scenario than another person. That other person might be more worried about an economic collapse. The other person might have a a few guns to suit their basic needs plus a couple stashed away just in case then call it good and shove money into silver and gold. A third person might live way in the middle of nowhere, have a few guns and be big into gardening. They would be stashing seeds and canning stuff.

The next question that pops into my mind is about proportion. You need some balance. Obviously all guns and no food, or no guns and all food is real dumb. You get the point. Furthermore I think we need to consider the rest of life. Having a gazillion buckets of food but no savings account is foolish. Getting all this survival stuff but not the curtains and couch the Mrs wants is probably a good way to get divorced. Spending all your money on survival gear you may never need but kicking the bucket never taking that trip to wherever you always wanted to make is real dumb. Having tens of thousands of dollars in survival gear but paying on a car loan probably is not smart. As you progress in life hopefully making more money and saving more progressing towards a lot of lines of effort makes sense.

Lastly I think there is the question of how much stuff you can realistically use. A dozen rifles and handguns in the safe at home probably is not smart. Odds are way higher you will need a gun someplace else than a whole bunch of guns at home. A cache with a few of those guns and the rest stashed at a family member or friend's house where you frequently travel to makes more sense. Having a whole bunch of stuff you can't possibly use does not make sense.

Anyway I hope that gives you all something to think about.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Random Tuesday Thoughts

-It might be time to re read the Matthew Bracken novels as they seem to be playing out in real life.

-This whole discussion about the NSA, Verizon, etc all data gathering is interesting. First that stuff called 'meta data' matters, modern computers using well designed programs combined with various other open source stuff can come up with huge amounts of information. Think pattern and link analysis that is largely automated based on huge amounts of information. Along these lines the idea that has been posed "it is legal under our law but may not be constitutional" says a lot about the current problems in our country.

-Silver is at 21.5ish right now. If you have a few dollars to spare that is definitely a buy. I cannot say why gold is down either but if you can afford it that is another fine place to park a few dollars.

-Ammo prices seem to be coming down (except .22lr which is going up) but availability is still spotty for sure.

-TEOTWAWKI Blog's post on Resupply Caches is worth checking out. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Investing These Days

Lately I have been looking at where we seem to be going and questioning some things. How we can best prepare for the realistic range of potential scenarios in a balanced way. Of course I am not a financial adviser or a broker or anything like that. If you choose to do something I am doing or follow my thinking correctly or incorrectly any consequences are entirely on you. Consult appropriately licenses professionals or do your own research then make adult choices.

Between low earnings on secure investments (that are really negative after inflation) and my concerns for the stock market I am less and less sure that stocks, funds, etc are the way to go. I want to go a little outside of the box here. So in addition to things that you can reasonably expect to make money we will talk about ways to work it from the other side by saving money, which will give you more disposable income for other things.

Some survivalist type folks say you should have X amount of food, guns/ ammo, medical stuff, etc all before investing. Of these people some have a vested financial interest in you buying all of this stuff right away; they may even conveniently sell the stuff they recommend! Other people are well meaning, in fact they likely practice what they preach, but arguably are misguided.

The Dave Ramsey type approach lets you mass efforts putting a lot of money towards one goal. This can have an advantage for some people as they can see something getting done which is encouraging as well as rewarding. So the idea is that people are more likely to keep going. If you need that kind of reinforcement then stick with a massed type approach.

Financially we do things in a pretty compartmentalized way. Of course we have normal household expenses. A goes to fun stuff, B goes to precious metals or food, C goes to savings, D goes to retirement investing, etc. The downside of this approach is nothing happens that fast. The up side is that we are working on a lot of things at the same time in a balanced way. It can get a bit confusing but overall this approach has worked really well for us.

Along the lines of compartmentalization I think most people need to be saving for the long term NOW. At least 10% of take home with 15% being even better. The reason I say this is that it is always easier to save tomorrow, until tomorrow. First you are just starting out, then you want to have kids, after that it's about time to buy a home, the point is there is never a great time to get started. It will always be easier tomorrow so you might as well just start today. 

The biggest exception to starting long term savings now that I can think of is paying off high interest debt. Putting money away that might be making a 3-4% while paying Visa 19% does not make sense. Along these lines stop charging anything you will not pay off that month (we use a CC for airline mile, it works fine because we never carry a balance) then throw all available money at whipping those nasty high interest debts.

[Begin tangent. Debt is a self perpetuating cycle. First and foremost you are fundamentally paying more money (interest) to have a hamburger today and pay for it tomorrow. The idea of paying more for something you currently cannot afford is silly if you think about it. That whole credit industry is based on people thinking more in terms of instant gratification and how much money would need to be paid monthly, not the total amount an item will cost.

Even beyond interest debt promises your future earnings. Folks get so stretched out paying for all sorts of stuff that they cannot save up to pay cash for stuff. They cannot save up for a new car because they are still paying for the car that is in the driveway now. Why people are mentally unable to save $300 a month to pay cash for a car but can pay $300 a month on a car note baffles me but that is another discussion.

The only way for people to get out of this debt trap (albeit a trap largely of their own making) is to stop borrowing and start paying things off. Since you will still need to live and inevitably things will come up that you will pay cash for, the money to pay off this debt will have to come from increased earnings or living cheaper. Since most people cannot easily earn more money living cheaper is the way forward to get out of debt. End tangent]

Education that will increase your earning power or make your income/ job more secure is always a good place to put money. First nobody can take it away from you. A bunch of digital money could decrease in value or, in an extreme case, vanish tomorrow. On the other hand that same money put into a degree or certification is not going away.

Now I am not against studying Eastern European literature from the middle ages, gay panda bears, apprenticing yourself to a buggy whip maker or whatever. By all means do that stuff. We are however going to focus more on skills/ degrees/ certifications which will increase your earning power. As an added bonus if these skills could transfer to a collapse type scenario that is even better. For whatever it is worth if I had it to do over I would have studied something medical.

Skills that will save you money. This muddles with the last idea but to me it is to a smaller degree. You are not going to spend a decade becoming a journeyman plumber so you can fix the toilets in your house. Nor do you need to. Learning a little bit about plumbing so you can fix the toilet, a bit about carpentry so you can fix the porch, etc is a good option. This may be more of a skill thing and less of an investment thing parse. Though arguably you would be investing your time helping a buddy or spending Saturday morning in one of those home depot classes, etc.

Stuff to use your skills. I'm not so much talking about buying lots of tools, gear, equipment, etc in case you might need it at your home/ homestead. Of course having stuff you use regularly makes sense. Taking the DIY have the equipment mentality extremes can not make financial sense. Example a tool that costs $300 that you might use 1 day a year. You can probably rent that tool for $25 an afternoon. Considering there are many tools you might need occasionally that would be a lot of money.

What I am talking about is more along the lines of having the stuff to either do what you do at work as a side business or to transition your business in the event of a collapse scenario. A welder or mechanic getting enough tools/ wending gear/ etc to run a little side business makes sense. I would strongly suggest doing this over time, with cash, as deals come up.

(Guys borrowing money to get side businesses going often end up in a bad spot. They have to pay the loans as well as any fees or bonds even when they are not working. They cannot transition easily to doing the side gig full time, because it is not consistent, yet the side gig's development is stalled by their day job. Not a good spot to be in. Just pay cash that way if the equipment doesn't make any money it is OK. Also the hard truth is that most small businesses fail. You can have a lot of stuff fail if the costs are your time and $500 in ads, business cards and incidentals. However you cannot have many fail if starting them involves 20k in start up money or loans.)

Some spare disposable stuff would be awful handy. Carpenters need nails, plumbers need pipes, glue, soldering stuff, fittings, etc. You get the idea

Gold- In general I like PM's as a hedge more than an investment. However these days gold under $1,400 is probably a deal with a solid upside.

Silver- Same disclaimer as gold (generally more of a hedge than an investment) but under $23 an ounce with coins/ rounds in the 24-27 range depending on make silver is an excellent deal these days. I think there is a real chance to make a profit (above inflation) in silver in the next couple years.

Land- Raw land is a fine hedge against inflation or economic shenanigans. Land that brings income via timber, rental or crops is a solid investment. For most situations the economics only make sense if you pay cash for the land. Most passive/ rental type uses of land aren't going to consistently make enough money for borrowing (which we aren't a big fan of anyway) to do it to make sense.

Real Estate- Folks who can pay cash are going to make a killing in real estate during this whole mess. There are some real deals out there. I said pay cash intentionally. The real estate rags to riches by borrowing money to get a ton of properties you rent out, each of which pays a tiny bit more than the loan and in time become rich as the property appreciates concept has shown to be utterly flawed. At best it is a real high risk/ high reward proposition. Your individual skills matter a lot but you are at the mercy of the market. Lots of people lost everything doing that.

A person who could get bargains on 2-3 modest rental properties in good neighborhoods could have their money in a safe place, earn a nice little income and be positioned to do well if/ when the market bounces back.

Homes- By this I mean the a home you live in or I guess a piece of land you live on vs something purchased for other than your dwelling. I do not really look at this an investment parse. The reason is that 1) A home as used by most of us does not bring in any money and 2) It fills our need for a place to live. If your home was suddenly worth more we would probably not sell it because we need someplace to live and other houses would probably have risen similarly in price. Also we would look at the traditional idea that homes increase in value and thus are a good investment very differently if inflation over that same time frame was considered.

I am however a big fan of getting a home as a step toward financial security. Since we need to live someplace it makes more sense to own that place than pay somebody else indefinitely for the privileged of living in their place.

Dave Ramsey talks about the "100% down" plan which is saving up till you can pay cash for a house. The issue with this plan is you need to live someplace while doing all of that saving. This plan would make sense if you are able to live very cheaply with family or in a very modest place. However if you are paying $750 rent instead of a $750 mortgage it is a bad plan. While I'm not in love with the idea of a mortgage the only thing less palatable is PAYING SOMEBODY ELSE'S MORTGAGE. Granted only a small amount of early mortgage payments really goes to principal but it's better than nothing.

The primary benefits of buying then ultimately paying off a home from my perspective are first that it locks in your biggest single expense. Rent could go up drastically (or really it would probably be the value of money going down) but a fixed rate mortgage is going to be the same. Ultimately when you pay off said mortgage your biggest single expense is gone.

Just as importantly it puts you in a very secure situation. This security is significant in my opinion. By eliminating that expense you can reassess overall family expenses. Maybe it means you can save like crazy. Maybe it means you can work a bit less and put that time into other things. Maybe you will decide to finally take the plunge to work for yourself. 

If something happens like a job loss or whatever you could live really cheap without worrying about becoming homeless. All you've got to do is come up with tax money once a year, fuel and food. If you have a home with a bit of land where you can grow some food that is even better.

Anyway there are probably some more useful things to mention. If I think of enough of them I'll do a part two. 

Going a bit Alpha Strategy and purchasing things you know you will use might not be a bad idea also.




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thoughts For Today

-Do something you do not want to do or need to do today but that should get done. Sweep a floor, cook a couple days of nutritious lunches so you aren't  eating expensive junk, clean up that stuff which has accumulated on any flat surface in the house. You could apply this to preparedness also. Get to doing things.

- Worry about stuff you can control. Sure it's good to know about inflation or whatever political stuff, like bad laws, is going on but after voicing your opinion move to productive stuff.

You can affect the amount of stored food, precious metals, etc all on inventory.

-You can pay down debt and decrease spending on unnecessary luxuries. Get to a healthy financial place then save in whatever form(s) make the most sense to you.

-You can get quality realistic training from serious professionals like John and K. For those who say they cannot afford training do the math on how much money is spent on luxuries like cable tv, fancy cell phones, eating out, tobacco, booze, mochawhackachino's, etc and for most a class in 2-6 months is very realistic. Those on the tightest budgets can at least hit an Appleseed.

-If you haven't started already at least grow something this year. Even some herbs in a window sill are a start. Learn to do this now when your life is not depending on it.

-Game of Thrones is awesome. I'm getting caught up (mid season 2 now) and it is ridiculous.

-While glad to be over the hump it's been too long of a week for today to be Wednesday. This guy needs a 4 day weekend.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Time to Buy Silver

If you are in the market for Silver now would be a good time to buy. Relative to the price of gold and our overall economic situation I would say you get a lot of metal for your dollar today. Buy in dips whenever you can.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Reader Question- Silver and Gold 101

Ryan,
Didn't know where to post but I've seen on a few different posts lately you've brought up Gold and Silver. That is something I don't know much about between prices, where to go, what to get (rounds, coins, etc.), whats a safe amount, the works. If you have any knowledge, I'd love to hear about it! Of course, IF you have time! Thanks! I appreciate it!

Jack
 Jack, I will do my best. Please do not take this as gospel and do anything extreme solely because of something written here but I will try to answer your questions based on my experiences and observations.
First let's get a foundation on my thoughts about precious metals in general. I do not like PM's AS AN INVESTMENT. Making money buying and selling commodities requires buying low and selling high. If you have those skills that is great. Personally if I knew how to do that reliably I would be doing it for a living. That makes it basically gambling which probably is not smart.

I do like PM's as a conservative piece of my overall financial situation. Sort of like insurance or an alternative savings plan. I like them for protection against high inflation, currency debasement and even an outright economic collapse. They generally move opposite to more modern instruments like stocks and such which is nice. For most people assuming they are halfway financially squared away (no huge credit card balances, etc) putting some money into PM's makes sense.

1) Prices. Gold and silver (as well as other traded metals) prices go up and down based on the market and are tracked by so called "spot price". The closest thing to compare it to for an average lay person would be gas prices in that they change regularly and sometimes wildly.

The base for gold and silver prices is the day's "spot price" and above that there are various premiums. Spot is theoretically what a dirty lump of metal is worth fresh out of the mine. This premium represents the costs of refining the metal into whatever coin/ bar/ ingot it ends up in as well as the costs and profit of the distributor who sells it to the vendor and the vendor 's costs and profit also.To make it more complicated for different products the premium varies example Gold Eagles tend to always cost a little bit more than Canadian Maple Leafs. This is one of those things where you can either try to figure it out or just know this is a bit more expensive than that. 
When comparing products it is important to consider your total end cost. Saving a buck on a coin then paying $20 for delivery is not a win. You get the idea.
2) Reputable local brick and mortar stores or reputable online dealers like our advertiser JM Bullion.  I have also done business with Montana Rarities and APMEX (neither are advertisers though I wish they were). I talked a lot more about different options in a previous post. (Edited for brevity and clarity)
To recap from that post. Fundamentally there are three options. Brick and mortar dealers, online dealers and private  individuals. I will discuss the first two at length and then briefly hit the last.

Brick and mortar dealers are often coin shops that deal numismatic stuff and have bullion as a sort of side effort. Also pawn shops and some jewelry stores deal in bullion. Brick and mortar stores have some advantages. The first advantage is that they are convenient. Hard to beat picking up a silver round or a small gold coin every payday on the way home. Also if you decide to pay cash they have the factor of discretion. Personally I just can't see Cops kicking in the doors of everybody who bought a few silver rounds or a gold coin so this is not much of a concern for me. Another advantage is that some of these folks can help you learn about PM's. The old guy hanging out in his coin shop might be willing to help you learn about different types of coins and maybe eventesting silver and gold or grading coins. Also if it is a small shop and you are a good customer they may give you a call when products you like come in. Furthermore the coin/ pawn shop guy can be a good "grey world" contact who knows how to get stuff.

This is not to say that brick and mortar shops don't have disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage of brick and mortar dealers is often price. Some of them for whatever reason charge crazy prices. I once laughed in a coin shop guys face when he wanted $10 OVER SPOT for beaten up no name 1 ounce silver rounds. It varies shop to shop based on their business model, competition and how informed their customers seem to be. Heck it may even change based on how much they think they can get away with on a given customer. The next disadvantage is often availability. Especially with the folks who have bullion as a side business like numismatic coin or collectibles dealers and pawn shops they predominantly sell what they have bought. This means they may have 90% silver one week, 1 ounce rounds the next, a couple 1/4 ounce Eagles here and some Krudgerrands there. Since brick and mortar stores are a local thing I can't make any meaningful recommendations but I have had good dealings with a few in the past.

Online dealers like JM Bullion tend to have the best prices and greatest availability which are their biggest advantages. Also comparison shopping is easy and you can do it on a Sunday morning in a bathrobe. The first downside is that you have to pay shipping. One absolutely must consider this in their "is this a good deal" calculation. It also makes frequent small purchases cost prohibitive. Paying $5 or 8 to ship something worth $35 or $40 is cost prohibitive for sure. That it is difficult to impossible to be anonymous could be a disadvantage or turn off for some folks. Also if for whatever reason you needed to turn cash into metals TODAY an online dealer would not be a wise route.

One of the biggest benefits of established dealers who make their living selling metals is that their livelihood rests on their reputation. If through bad intentions or neglect they sell some fake stuff they are totally hosed. Due to this they are as a rule honest and above board in their dealings. This doesn't mean they they will always have competitive prices just that the products will be what they are sold as.

Personal transactions vary from boringly easy to the wide open wild west. I have purchased silver from a family member. I had some cash and they had some silver and we swapped. Online type purchases of PM's from private folks have, at least IMO an uncomfortably high likelihood of fraud. I have been burned in a small way on Ebay and will not make that mistake again. Also there is just so much fake gold floating around. In the last few years some really legit looking stuff has came out of China.

3) As to what to get. Again a selected and edited repost. 
"The Moneylender" said "Buy silver before gold, buy small gold before large gold." I think that is pretty darn good advice. Silver is a good way to start for a lot of reasons. First it is affordable. Right now spot is about $27 which puts a one ounce round probably at $30-32ish. Pretty much anybody can afford to pick one up a paycheck. If you can't free up a bit over $30 a paycheck I suggest seriously looking at your overall situation. Also you can make a mistake and overpay by a bit and it won't kill you.

Silver

Silver can be purchased in two basic products, pre '64 90% silver and 99% bullion. There are other options but we are keeping it simple here.Pre '64 90% silver is dimes, quarters, 50 cent pieces and silver dollars made before 1964. Yes our change was made of silver. The stuff I am talking about has no real numismatic (collector) value and typically dates from the early 1900's to 1964. The advantage of this stuff is that it is in small pieces. A dollars worth of silver is right about .77 of a troy ounce of silver. Thus a dime is about .07, etc. I am too lazy to look up and type all the exact weights but you can look them up here. The other option is  99% silver bullion. This is rounds or bars or ingotts made of as close to pure silver as one can easily get. Some like Eagles or Canadian Maple Leafs are minted by a country and many others are made by numerous private mints.These are made in all sorts of weights but 1, 5, 10 and 100 ounce are the most common.

Both have advantages and disadvantages. 90% silver is in small denominations. At today's prices even one ounce rounds are too large to make small transactions like a few groceries. Also they are readily recognizable at least to folks who know our change used to be made of silver. The biggest disadvantage is that many dealers charge almost crazy premiums if you buy this stuff in small (under $100 face value which is 70 some odd ounces and costs about $2,300 bucks) amounts. Montana Rarities treats small 90% silver customers well.

Bullion is generally a bit cheaper per ounce [Remember for these purposes you are buying METAL, not a coin or whatever. Thus the goal is to get as much METAL as possible for your dollars.] than 90% silver. Also it is typically in convenient weights. If the going trade is an ounce of silver for 5 pounds of beef or 20 pounds of wheat (or whatever) it is a lot easier to have nice round denominations. Also some folks say that it is good for a coin/ ingot to say it's content and purity ie "One ounce of .999 pure silver". These folks thing people who are less than knowledgeable about PM's may be more inclined to accept their value.

Whatever you decide to go with silver is a great place to start. First of all it is reasonably affordable. Second of all it is in small enough denominations to sell a coint or two to a dealer and buy groceries or a tank of gas or to barter a little bit at a time to get whatever. I would recommend purchasing a pretty good amount of silver before thinking about gold. If you are into round numbers maybe $100 face (70 some odd ounces) or 100 ounces of bullion could work but it all varies based on your situation.

Silvers biggest advantage is that it's affordable. The biggest disadvantage of silver is that at some point it gets HEAVY. I know a guy who needs to use a truck to move his silver, while that is a nice problem to have he would face some hard choices if he needed to evacuate in a hurry. This brings us to gold.

Gold

Gold is a lot more expensive than silver and could be a bit overpriced right now, at least in relation to silver which is probably a better deal at this time. It is sitting somewhere around $1,560 an ounce. Gold comes in two basic varieties. Old coins and bullion. Old coins are just that, old coins from back when Gold was money. Bullion and new coins such as Eagles, Maple Leafs and Krudgerrand's pretty much fall into the same group. Sometimes you can get good deals on the old coins, particularly European coins from aprox 1890-1917. Just be sure to stick to ones folks will recognize like Swiss and French Francs, British Sovereigns and the like. New coins/ bars are convenient because they are typically in nice round (1/10th, 1/4, 1/2 and 1 ounce) sizes and have the weight and purity clearly written on the coin. I don't find one vastly superior to the other. Even weights are nice but old coins are kind of cool too. One notable advantage of old coins (not numismatic/ collectable, just old very common coins in ok condition) is that they are typically the lowest premium way to buy small gold.

As we said before buy small gold before large gold. Small gold would be gold coins that are part of an ounce, typically 1/10th and 1/4 ounce and are also called fractional coins. As to how much of this stuff to buy before going to large gold (one ounce coins/ bars) I would say at least a couple ounces, maybe a few. For large gold I would purchase one ounce coins or ingots. I don't see a reason to get anything bigger than that. For large gold I would just be sure to get something common like Eagles, Maple Leafs, Krudgerrands or Credit Swiss ingots.

As we talked about Golds biggest advantage (already considering that it is durable, recognizable, divisible and there is consistent demand for it) is that it is a very compact store of value. For the price of a one ounce gold coin you could get a nice bag of silver or a lot of other stuff. One could toss 50k in gold into a daypack and evacuate or into a ruck to GOOD but silver would be problematically heavy. Also gold has a certain allure and enough folks have been able to use it to bribe/ buy their way out of a warzone or terrible situation that it bears considerations. 
To wrap up what to buy I would purchase 90% silver and a few one ounce rounds and then some small gold in the form of 1/10th and 1/4oz coins or common old European coins of comparable size like British Sovereigns or Swiss Francs. As to which type of gold it depends on what you find the best deals on.  Maybe buy silver when it dips, then gold when it's down, you get the idea.

4) What is a safe amount? It is best to look at this in terms of total amount in relation to your liquid net worth. I would say 10-30% (of your liquid worth) is probably a good range. To provide an alternative perspective if I recall correctly FerFal says 50%.

I hope this helps. As always input, questions or thoughts are welcome.  


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cyprus Preps

Ferfal did a great post on the topic. Seeing as he has actually lived through an economic collapse it's worth listening to him. It goes something like this:
-Basic Preps: Food, medical, guns, ammo, etc
-Cash in hand
-Silver and Gold
-A safe or two
-Offshore banking. I'm not so sure on this one but if you have no debt, plenty of preps and PM's as well as a decent paid off home/ retreat and still have enough extra money to merit the hassle look into it. Here is the video if you have 20 minutes to spare.
I would add that you should take care of medical/ dental stuff that you've been putting off as well as vehicle repairs, new tires, etc all. Get stuff you know is going to have to happen done now while the cost is still sane.

As Thomas Sowell noted this is arguably happening now in the US via inflation. It took me a long time to really understand inflation. Reading The Alpha Strategy and "Economics in One Lesson" let me understand inflation for the sinister regressive tax that it truly is.

We could debate how bad things are going to get in the US or the probability of certain results. The bottom line is that something less than optimal will certainly happen and something bad is probably going to happen. Start doing something about it while you still can. 


Friday, April 5, 2013

Death Squads, What Collapse Looks Like and Things To Do Now

Well it looks like the friendly (snark) local Aryan Brotherhood offed that DA and his wife, as well as the Colorado prison department guy in Colorado and probably the ADA from Texas. As AM noted recently Assistant Attorney Jay Hileman stepped down from prosecuting an Aryan Brotherhood case. Part of me says the dude should man up and do the job Texas is paying him to but on the other hand I can see his perspective. The guy took the job to bridge into something else and now all of a sudden some crazy honkeys are killing folks in the exact situation he was in. As AM noted this is bad.

I do not know what will happen. It is worth noting this is how death squads come to be. Some group either Criminal or Revolutionary in nature (yes there could be others but lets keep it simple)  decides to start hitting back at the cops and or soldiers (for the sake of flow I will just say cops from here on). The cops decide that it sucks when they are being attacked and killed. In small to medium sized groups they decide to do something about it. Given that they are the cops who have significant discretion about which cases to pursue and where to pursue them, especially with politically marginalized people, the odds of getting caught are about zero. Cops know who the bad guys are, who their friends are and where they hang out. Maybe they go all Vick Mackey and bend some rules, slap some folks around for info or whatever; or they might go strait to 'black sight prisons, torture and summary executions and shallow graves. In the big picture it doesn't really matter because it is bad.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Actions by angry groups of armed men are typically violent. Once the pro regime death squads get going the anti regime (criminal or revolutionary) death squads are sure to follow, if they do not exist already. The tit for tat spiral goes into full effect. The end result is Iraq from 2006-2010ish, the dirty wars in South America or Mexico right now. For those who are not up on their current history that means very bad. Tons of people getting killed or just vanishing. Some are legit players in the conflict but many, of not most, are normal folks ratted out for personal reasons or just at the wrong place during the wrong time.

This is the kind of thing that happens with the mob in Italy or tribal groups in Iraq during the bad years. It leads to a paralyzed system in the short term due to turnover. Eventually folks get into these positions who are not inclined to prosecute these cases unless it's a slam dunk (like caught on live TV and the guy says his name out loud) or maybe even not at all. It would be difficult to overstate the impact this sort of thing has on rule of law.

Along other lines (well except mooching off AM for material;) we need to know that collapses do not typically happen in a day. Rome wasn't going great then all of a sudden those pesky Germanic Hordes showed up. One could make a legitimate argument that right now is what collapse looks like.

What can we do? Long term shelf stable food and dehydrated emergency food are good options. Ammo and precious metals are always good ideas.  A quality water filter is essential. All old hat.

Today I had a couple of cavities filled. Not so long ago I went to the eye doctor to get a couple extra sets of glasses. Wifey has done or is about to do these things. We make sure the kids stay current on all their stuff too. Typically these are things that get put off or delayed when money gets tight, which it is now for about everybody. Best case you still have a job but magical price increases that are clearly not  inflation are decreasing purchasing power.

I urge you to take care of this stuff ASAP. A tooth that you've been putting off getting fixed would be a real problem if things go all Argentina on us. Ditto for needing a spare set of spectacles. If your family need medicine it would be prudent to stock some. Yes it costs money, sometimes a lot of money. However I can't see medical/ dental/ optometry care getting cheaper, more available or better in the next couple years. Quite frankly I suspect the opposite is going to happen. In other words that filling or new pair of glasses you are putting off now will be even less affordable in a year. They may just plain be out of the reach of many folks who are currently in the middle class.

Along the health and fitness effort line work on getting into shape. Also slowly work to make your addictions into luxuries. In other words decrease frequency and consumption such that if you need to stop using them it is not a big deal. Do this a bit at a time and it doesn't suck that bad. I'm down to 2 cups of coffee a day and more days without beer than with so it can be done. It's not fun but sure beats needing to quit these things because you do not have and can not get them during an already stressful situation.

 That covered a lot of ground but hopefully everyone got something out of it.Get moving and do something.

Thoughts?





Sunday, March 31, 2013

PSA Easter Sale, Free Joshua Ebook and Gardening Fun

PSA is having a pretty awesome Easter Sale. They have a variety of mags in 10 packs for $11-14 a piece and some other stuff on sale too. Probably worth checking out if you are in the market for gun accessories. John Wilson wanted me to mention that his Ebook Joshua will be available free until the 3rd.

Unfortunately it seems some folks are counterfeiting 90% silver.  This is why I buy our silver and gold from trusted dealers like JM Bullion. Learning more about testing silver might not be a bad idea either.

Today I got a cherry tomato plant and put it into the upside down planter thing Wifey got for $1.50 on clearance. Didn't take a great look at the Strawberry one and it takes multiple seedlings so I'll have to pick up a few more. Think I'll try to do them in phases so we can stagger the harvest a bit.

The strawberry plants we have so far looked pretty dead at one point. However now that they are in some dirt and have gotten some water they are turning around. One is good to go and the other is probably going to make it.

Also started some seeds to sprout. Lettuce, spinach, green beans and carrots. Did the egg carton thing. I am cautiously optimistic that enough will go to be able to plant when the time is right. Since the house is empty I'm just keeping them in the sink. 

I am definitely enjoying this whole gardening thing. It is really calming for me. Hopefully next year we will be in a place where I can do something bigger and a bit more organized than my current gaggle of containers. Either in the ground or if the soil sucks a raised bed. That sort of effort would definitely make canning worthwhile. This year I will probably do it but mostly for it's own sake.

Hope you all had a good Easter. 


Friday, March 15, 2013

New Years Resolutions- Finalized a bit late



I dropped some draft goals awhile back and was recently reminded of them. It is high time I solidify them.

Physical:

Maintain a consistent weight lifting program.

Run a half marathon (I changed to this because it's March and I haven't tracked mileage which was a big fat fail)



Continue working on barefoot running towards the goal of running on a  variety of terrain up to 5k barefoot

Transition to running fully in minimalist shoes

Ruck at least 1x a week

Eat reasonably with decent consistency so I don't gain and lose the same weight 2-3 times over the year.

Skills/ Training:

Attend a defensive handgun course.

Work on developing a variety of other skills as they come up by doing as much myself as possible.

Guns and Gun Junk:

Pick up a couple holsters and assorted other stuff to get squared away for what we have. (Specifically a nice Bravo or Raven concealment kydex holster for the Glock with TLR-1, a good OWB holster for the J frame, and an ankle holster.)

Purchase a DBAL and free float the barrel on project AR.  (The DBAL is almost funded I just need to do a bit more research then pull the trigger.)


Finally complete Project 870. At least the tube extension and sling. The light angle I've got to do some thinking on.

Get more spare parts. Beef up on core stuff (AR's and Glocks) and get some basic stuff (firing pin, extractor, ejector, springs, pins, etc) for other guns.

Finally get my (already sporterized) 1903 30'06 tapped and mount a scope on it.

If things work out and decent deals come along I would like to get a single shot 12 gauge and another .22 rifle. 

Subcategory Ammo: I am only doing this if prices get back to normalish. Would take my best whack at it and if I get half done be happy.
5k .22lr
1k 9mm
1k 12 gauge (mixed about 400 buck, 100 slug and 500 mixed small game loads)
2k .223


Food:

Build up to a 1 year supply of food for 4 people.

Can something

Continue with my garden this year.

Pursue fishing/ hunting as it fits with our environment and life. 

 Energy/ Other:

Get a better solar setup. A bigger panel with a power supply and a few small lights is the answer. Goal 0 makes what I am looking for. It will cost about $400. Probably 500 once I get the lights. This would have gotten purchased late in 2012 but the whole ban madness shifted my priorities elsewhere.

Get licensed to drive a motorcycle. Maybe purchase a used enduro/ adventure touring motorcycle.

Continue putting together and refining our systems. Firm up the bug out bags and the heavy (vehicle) bug out setup.

Re look and improve our cache situation.

Financial:

Continue being debt free and saving. Along these lines continue not doing stupid things. 

If we reach our food storage goal get back to putting away some silver and gold.

Long Shots:


Start on the AR Pistol.

Buy some land (this mostly depends on some other things).

As always input is welcome. It would be fairly useful now before these resolutions are solidified. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Economic Crack Binge and Coming Effects

The best comparison to our countries economic situation and coming problems I can think of is Charlie Sheen. Our problems with massive deficits are like Charlies problem with crack cocaine and alcohol. Lets call derivatives the Charlie equivalent of prostitutes/ porn stars.

Now I cannot predict the specifics of Charlie Sheen's next breakdown/ meltdown/ fail. I can however confidently say 100% that there will be one. Maybe he will shoot his celebrity fiance, hold a knife to the wife's neck at Christmas dinner, manage to mess up staring in the top rated sitcom on tv, who knows. (These are all things Charlie has actually done;)

 Disturbingly our upcoming economic problem is like Charlies upcoming breakdown/ meltdown/ fail. Just maybe we will manage to kick the proverbial can a ways down the road. Maybe it will be 70's era stagflation. Could be the standard South American currency devaluation/ hyperinflation or an all out Argentina like economic collapse. The old adage that big powerful countries do not go broke, they go to war (a la Germany) could prove accurate again. Maybe a combination of crumbling infrastructure and weakened defense makes an attractive time for an old enemy to attack or just use an EMP to keep us distracted internally. Maybe one of the dreaded black swans pops up in the time we are able to handle it the least.

What can we do about this? Well the usual advice to buy bullets, silver , gold and emergency food is always sound. Things like water filters might become important as infrastructure crumbles or breaks and standards just plain drop. (Yes that is a lot of linkeage in a paragraph. Got to keep the bill payers happy.)

Being as healthy as possible is prudent. Get fit, take care of lingering issues you may have, go to the dentist, order a couple spare sets of glasses and stock extra medication.

Buy food. Yes it is getting more expensive but basic staple food, even the long term stable stuff, is still a great deal. Right now food is ridiculously cheap by historic percentage of income. Most people here can probably make some choices to put a few bucks into food and fill up the pantry.

Learn skills. Specifically learn skills that will let you do things yourself instead of paying somebody else to do them.

Get ready to protect yourself. Things aren't getting better. Have realistic and sustainable (if it's not comfortable you will not do it) plans to carry weapons while still going through your normal life.

Most of these things are not new. In fact they are generally the same stuff I talk about. Best get too them before they are more expensive and harder to do.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Inflation Coming and What Are You Doing About It

It has been more and more clear to me that we are in an inflationary situation. If you have been to the grocery store, gone clothes shopping or filled up the family auto you have probably seen it also. Maybe I am just really noticing it but it is here. Lots of hidden inflation in food products, smaller servings, etc but it is still apparent.

The scary thing is that our current slowly robbing you of purchasing power inflation can suddenly begin quickly robbing you of purchasing power. When the banking conglomerate market focuses on a country things can spiral out of control in a hurry. Not months but weeks if not days.

This week for whatever reason I am getting out of the problem admiration phase. Put up a close line earlier this week. Dug out the spare parts to fix Wifey's bike and will get it up and running probably tomorrow. Trying to find a deal on a bike for me.

Today I picked up some plants; herbs, yellow peppers and tomatoes. My brilliant plan is to grow them. I think the plants are going to be coming inside at night for a bit until the risk of frost is over, probably in 2-3 weeks but I have to do some more reading about it. Am going to get my stuff together, do some research, and try to grow a half dozen buckets (or pots as Wifey doesn't want our yard to look white trash fabulous) of different stuff. If I can make it work without a hassle it would be nice to do the heirloom thing and keep the seeds for next time.

With the exception of  getting the bike up and running and hopefully finding another one for cheap these are tiny steps. Growing some food would be nice, both to teach kiddo about taking care of things and have a fun activity to do with him and to save a few bucks. In fact I expect failure. I don't expect a whole ton to happen from these efforts. The reason I am doing it is to get the inevitable growing pains out of the way now when it doesn't matter. However the real point is to start building some skills. Skills we may need later. Skills that may be the difference between barely getting by on stored food and having some variety to go with it.

I also dug out FerFAL's book Surviving the Economic Collapse  and started going back through it. I briefly talked about his book years back but it turns out I never did a full review. Might have to fix that. In any case despite the relatively high cost of $25 I suggest buying and reading this book. If you are really cheap, read all his old forum posts, guest posts at Survival Blog and his blog it's probably OK to skip the book. That being said I did all that stuff, bought the book and was happy I did.

We are also putting money into food. Stuff like freeze dried emergency food and plain old canned staples like rice and beans. Depending on where your preps and finances are you might want to think about precious metals. If your financial situation is in decent shape (no credit card debt, some savings, etc), you have some gear and a few guns with ammo PM's are a good place to park a few bucks. In particular I think silver is a good buy right now with at $30ish.

I am not saying that you need to do what we are doing. Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses and working from them instead of blindly following me or anybody else makes sense. The point is that you should be doing something.

What have you been doing?


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Food and Fitness

Too many folks are doing a lot of reading and blogging and discussing but not enough DOING.

Food and fitness are the two primary areas people tend to fail in at the most basic level. For goodness sake do something to improve your situation.

Food is easy. We could go at it from a lot of angles but at the most basic level just buy a little bit more of the stuff you regularly eat on each shopping trip. I am talking about shelf stable stuff like dried pasta and sauce, beans, rice, pancake mix, Bisquick, peanut butter and jelly and various canned goods. We will touch on money later but if you can't manage to squeeze five or ten bucks of extra stuff into the budget per shopping trip I recommend looking at your life. If you have some more money and want to stash away some canned staples or emergency food then all the better. I care less how you do it so long as you are doing it. The point is simply that you need to be putting back food in case something happens that disrupts the supply chain.

Fitness is something way too many folks miss. I split off my fitness efforts into another blog because folks would rather talk about other things here. How folks think the world is going to collapse and they are going to be doing all this stuff but lack of fitness will not come into play baffles me. There are way more situations where you will need fitness than cool rifles and emergency food. Sort of like food getting started in any way is a good thing. Eat a bit better and do more exercise. Lift and run or do crossfit, man aerobics or whatever. Heck just go for walks. Doing anything will improve your situation.

In the context we are talking about finances are not that hard either. Avoid debt for obvious reasons. Do some thinking and educate yourself about what is happening and historical comparisons. The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse by FerFal is a bit pricey but has some great info. It's writer has actually lived through an economic collapse which is a lot more than most other folks can say. 
If you have some money that isn't doing anything right now you might want to think about what to do with it. Putting a portion of it into precious metals and emergency food could be a good way to go. 

It is easy to put too much money into firearms.  Most guys who are into preparedness like guns and it's easy to get canalized into stuff one likes. However if you are objectively short on .38 ammo for the nightstand revolver or buckshot for the scatter gun then do something about it. I like a lot of ammo but even the tightest budget will let you put back at least a couple hundred rounds per gun with a bit of dedication and some planning.


Get out and do something! Exercise and stash some food. Look at your money situation and if you need it some ammo. The bottom line is that unless your butt and gut are getting smaller and the pantry is getting filled you are not actually becoming more prepared. A little bit of knowledge put into action is a whole lot better than a bunch of knowledge which you do nothing with.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ruminating Thoughts On The Coming Year

The Sun will continue to rise and set. Basically I expect a slightly worse version of this year.

Taxes- Taxes will go up. Part of this will be strait forward rate increases but most of it will be increases in 'fees', eliminations of various loopholes and such. The bottom line is that more money will flow from your pocket to multiple levels of government.

The Economy- I am not sure about our economy. My initial thought is that the lost decade our current jobless, non housing inflation and cheap money fueled recovery will continue. In this regard I expect a bit worse version of 2012. Then again who knows.

The European Sovereign Debt issue could well reemerge. With China's unsustainable growth rates turning to inflation and the economy slowing the US may well be one of the better looking horses in the glue factory this coming year.

I suspect artificial manipulation of gold and silver prices to continue. Silver will probably continue to be a pretty good buy over the coming year. Once our food storage goals are met we will put away some more PM's for sure.

Inflation- Hidden inflation will continue. The current CPI calculation seems manipulated to suit political aims inaccurate on how inflation affects normal folks. Most of this inflation will be covered up by smaller packages, less food by weight and the usual tricks. Expect your income to purchase fewer goods and services than before. 

Gun Control- I think that gun control could go many ways.  Were I forced to take a guess something will probably happen next year. The Dem's will do something, potentially via executive order if needed, to get a symbolic victory. It could be as benign as mandatory reporting of certain behaviors by medical professionals and maybe import limitations on certain guns like Siaga 12 shotguns and AK's or could be worse.

Crime- It ain't gonna get better. The flat lined economy will push some marginal folks towards crime. Also as state and county agencies try to make budgets work they are going to continue or increase prisoner releases. Yes these folks will generally have been arrested for nonviolent offenses but that is just what they were caught for. Plenty of violent criminals are incarcerated for various minor offenses and some of them will inevitably be released.

Down here in the South West I think the Reconquista downward spiral of drug/ cartel violence and unchecked illegal immigration will continue.

I wish that it wasn't my opinion that the partisan nature of politics in the US will get worse. Identity politics and hate mongering to suit various agendas will continue. There is potential for short flashes of localized violence being orchestrated to suit specific purposes. Think twitter flash mobs against political opponents.

Afghanistan- It isn't going to get better. The writing is on the wall that we are leaving. Expect limited conflict to support political goals. Think 'Nam in about 1971.

Wellthose are, for whatever they are worth, my thoughts on what is coming in 2013. Hopefully they give you something to think about. Again in closing I expect it to be a lot like last year but a bit worse.  Good luck,

What are your thoughts on the coming year?

Ryan




Monday, December 31, 2012

Draft New Years Resolutions

So a few days ago Alexander Wolfe of TEOTWAWKI Blog reminded me that I usually do New Years Resolutions. Last years deployment threw off the cycle. Anyway I got moving on this a lot later than usual; so these are not as thought through as they could be. I am posting some ideas. In a week or a month these will be solidified into the New Years Resolutions I am going to run with.

Physical:

Maintain a consistent weight lifting program.

Run over 1,000 miles

Ruck at least 1x a week

Eat reasonably with decent consistency so I don't gain and lose the same weight 2-3 times over the year.

Skills/ Training:

Attend a defensive handgun course.

Attend a trauma based first aid class (I am due for retraining).

Work on developing a variety of other skills as they come up by doing as much myself as possible.

Guns and Gun Junk:

Pick up a couple holsters, pouches and assorted other stuff to get squared away for what we have. 

Buy 2 cases of .223 ammo.

Free float the barrel on project AR

Get more spare parts. Beef up on core stuff (AR's and Glocks) and get some basic stuff for other guns.

Finally get my (already sporterized) 1903 30'06 tapped and mount a scope on it. 

If this gun ban madness calms down start building an AR pistol.

Food:

Build up to a 1 year supply of food for 4 people.

Can something

Pursue gardening/ fishing/ hunting as it fits with our environment and life. 

 Energy/ Other:

Get a better solar setup. A bigger panel with a power supply and a few small lights is the answer. Goal 0 makes what I am looking for. It will cost about $400. Probably 500 once I get the lights. This would have gotten purchased late in 2012 but the whole ban madness shifted my priorities elsewhere.

Get licensed to drive a motorcycle. Purchase a used enduro/ adventure touring motorcycle.

Continue putting together and refining our systems. Firm up the bug out bags and the heavy (vehicle) bug out setup.

Re look and improve our cache situation.

Financial:

Continue being debt free and saving. Along these lines continue not doing stupid things. 

Once we are done with the food storage goal get back to putting away some silver and gold.

Long Shots:

Get a DBAL for my AR.

Buy some land (this mostly depends on some other things).

As always input is welcome. It would be fairly useful now before these resolutions are solidified. 
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