Showing posts with label ammo storage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ammo storage. Show all posts

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Combat Loads, Mags n Ammo Stashes

For a pretty long time I used the following as my standards:
Fighting rifle- 3k
Fighting pistol- 1 k

Rifle- 20
Pistol- 10

A recent post at American Partisan got me to thinking about this topic.

In terms of magazines the numbers I gave above are kinda high by many peoples standards.

Basically they are 3x combat loads albeit rounded to even numbers. I figure one to be using, one to replace them and one for charity/ barter. So 3 combat loads of 3 magazines is 9 which I will round to 10 because its easy. 3 combat loads of 7 magazines is 21 which I round to 20. I round these type of things to get to an easy to remember number and maybe because I am a bit OCD.

Magazines are the weak link in the firearm chain in a couple ways. First that they wear out fairly often and honestly most failures in semi automatic weapons come from magazine issues followed shortly by lack of lubrication (particularly in the AR platform which needs to be lubricated heavier than most guns). Second magazines can and have been targeted successfully by anti gun types. I grew up as a gun owner during a magazine ban that made standard magazines very expensive. I remember  a buddy had ONE standard capacity factory Glock mag which he paid like $150 for (in 2002 dollars). Thankfully that ban passed. Once President Obama was elected I was concerned about gun bans and swore to myself I would do my best to avoid getting caught short. So I went long on magazines.

I figure 10 pistol mags is a good number. For rifle mags I stock, or try to stock, 20 per rifle.

If a person who is a bit less cautious about these things or shorter on resources said they were going to go with 2 combat loads instead of 3, so 6 pistol mags and 14 rifle mags, I wouldn't really have any issue with that.

Other guns: I would probably cut these numbers in half for non core weapons. The plinker .22, your hunting rifle, the baby .380 CCW gun, etc. 5 or so mags is probably plenty for these guns. Though I have gone considerably longer for my 10/22

In terms of ammo I have done some thinking over recent years. One issue about my previous planning I failed to consider was training ammo. Ammo to keep skills up, test fire guns, zero new optics, etc all. So I got to rethinking my ammo numbers. Here is what I am thinking now.

Emergency Ammo- Lives in a box with a glass door that says "Open in case of Emergency".

10 combat loads per gun albeit rounded to even numbers to make things easy. So that means 500 rounds of pistol ammo and 2,000 rounds of rifle ammo. PER GUN.

If a person said they were going to cut those numbers in half they would be fine in all but the darkest situations.

Other guns: I don't necessarily have a strong opinion here. I like lot of .22 ammo on hand. A couple hundred rounds of good defensive ammo is a decent situation for a shotgun but 500 is better. Several boxes of ammo for a hunting rifle (that you don't immediately rely on for defense IE you have an AR/AK and a hunting rifle) is decent but a 1-2 dozen boxes would be better.

Training ammo:
My goal is to have a years training ammo on hand. So if there was a shortage now I could train normally and replace it in 3/4/6/8 months when things go back to normal. Sandy Hook and that gun/ ammo crisis showed us it might take awhile for things to get back to normal.

In the last year I have probably shot 2,000 rounds of 9mm and 1,000 rounds of 5.56.

So what would this look like. Lets go through a hypothetical setup for one guy:
Pistols- 2
Emergency ammo-1,000 rounds (JHP)
Training ammo- 1,000 rounds (plinker FMJ)

Rifles- 2
Emergency ammo- 4,000 rounds
Training ammo- 1,000 rounds
Mags- 40

Various thoughts:
As I think about this my personal stockage goals have gone down a little bit per gun but I separated training ammo into a dedicated separate stash. So the total amount of ammo I would want to keep on hand really hasn't changed much.

For a person like me who stocks magazines fairly deep we need to consider not only the cost of a gun but the cost of magazines. The price difference between a Glock 19 and say a HK VP9 or Sig 320 might be negligible but their mags could easily be 2-3x as expensive. Ditto say an oddball rifle like a Galil or Valumet vs an AR/ AK.

Mag pouches, slings/ holsters, cleaning kits, etc are also important. Spare parts are also important. All of this would be a good post for another day as I am working through this topic.

Ammo that is not loaded into mags currently should be stored in airtight ammo cans. I'm a big fan of surplus military ammo cans.

I would really recommend people get a gun fully squared away before they get another one. Also if you happen to exceed or even double the ammo counts that would be just fine. Consider using caches for excess.

So that's what I am feeling on that topic today. You might disagree with me but I think you could use similar intentional thinking to get to numbers that suit your needs.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ammo Is Back; Stock Up If You Need It!!!

It seems ammo (except .22lr) is back to a pretty good level of availability. Certainly well stocked stores and online dealers have plenty of the stuff. I am seeing .223 in the .42 to .44 cent range for cases. 9mm ball seems to be in the .37 ish range though is case of reloads for $300/1k is a great deal. 7.62x39 is under a quarter a round in any quantity which is nice.

I hope everyone remembers the dark days of firearmagedon and what we wanted to buy when things got back to normal.  I sort of reconsidered priorities then added some more 7.62x39 and small game type shotgun loads to the list. Also I'm still waiting for .223 and 9mm to drop a little bit more in price. Personally I think .223 will settle back around 40 cents with a spread between .38 and .42 or so depending on specifics. Nine Mil might drop to the .30 cent range. Beyond that who knows. Hunting rifle and shotgun ammo wasn't affected so it's largely stayed the same anyway. As to the lowly .22lr who knows when it will be back at any sane prices.

However the prices now, if you shop intelligently, are good enough that if I wasn't already sitting in an OK place I would be buying. If we only had a few hundred rounds per caliber/ gun the difference of 10% that ammo may drop would pale in comparison to the slim-moderate chance something will happen that hurts availability again. Getting caught short because you wanted to save $20 would be foolish.

The point I am working towards is that ammo is back at decent, if not great, prices. Now is the time to stock up on what you need.

I disagree with the video that you should get a box of this or that every payday. That was my technique for a few years when I was a young gun owner. Every payday I would get a box per gun/ caliber (at that time the same thing). That meant a trip to the local sporting goods store for a box of 12 gauge buckshot, a box of .38 special, .40 S&W, some .22lr, a box of .223 and another of 30'06.

The issue is that I was an uninformed consumer. Small boxes of ammunition are often marked up quite steeply at brick and mortar stores. Paying 20-30+% more than you would purchasing a case of ammo is quite common. What this translates into is 20-30% less ammo for your dollar. So instead of buying a box here and another there save for 3 paydays then get 250 rounds of Federal LE Buckshot, in a few more months a case of ammo for your pistola, you get the idea. The only exception in my mind to this is oddballs like Grandpa's .32S&W revolver that you only want a couple boxes for anyway.

Save money every payday/ week/ month/ whatever, buy ammo in bulk at good deals, repeat until you are happy. Of course you do need some balance, so do not spend all of your money on ammo. Some needs to go to food, some to saving, etc all.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Moving Guns 'N Ammo

Ryan, once your move is complete, I'd appreciate your thoughts on moving firearms & ammo to a new location: logistics, OPSEC, etc.


 Ryan here: I'll try to do my best. Looking back I flew with guns and shipped ammo which is one way to deal with a fairly small amount of stuff. Since then we've done another trip with a gun without incident. Granted all airports involved were in solidly free states but there haven't been any issues. Flying is easy and shipping ammo is fairly simple though expensive to the point it might be better to sell on one end then replace it on the other.

We will primarily focus on long distance ground travel with firearms and ammo. Specifically we are going to focus on ground travel with several guns and a fair bit of ammo. The reason for this is that a single pistol and 3 boxes of ammo can just be tossed in your bag. A single rifle will go in it's case in your stuff. That is just too simple. When you get to several guns and a few *cough many cough* cases of ammo it gets interesting. The distance issue is because moving your stuff across town is pretty easy.

How I have personally moved guns via ground:
-Just toss em in the vehicle and go. Did this on the way down to Georgia. This was fine as we had 3 handguns and a shotgun. Also we didn't bring much ammo which was a mistake.
-Securing the guns in a locked steel cabinet inside a trailer. Put the guns in the cabinet in the front of the trailer, lock the cabinet, put the rest of the stuff in, lock the trailer.

I will to hit the high points of my experiences in bullet format:
-Legality. Check the laws in the states you will be traveling through. If at all practical I recommend planning a route where all your weapons, magazines and ammo are legal throughout the trip. That incidentally overlays pretty well with free states anyway. Can't speak for you but if a state hates gun owners like me I would rather buy gas, eat, stay in hotels and otherwise put money into the private and public coffers elsewhere.

Granted if I needed to drive through California or New Jersey or whatever I would just bury the stuff. If a hypothetical AK-47 and dozen 30 round mags were in a locked case, buried under the rest of my stuff in a locked trailer/ truck canopy/ etc the odds of it being discovered are about NIL. Honestly if the cops get a warrant to dig through my locked up belongings AND locked up containers in that stuff I've done something so bad I'm screwed anyway. Still better to avoid that situation if possible though. Why risk a problem you can avoid entirely.

Bottom line if you can be legal do so.

-Physically moving guns. Guns are not especially large or heavy so they are easy in this regard unless you have truly huge quantities of them.

-Protecting Guns En route. If you care about a guns finish then it would be prudent to take measures to protect it. I have successfully used rifle cases and those big long sock type covers for long guns. For pistols I have used factory hard cases, soft aftermarket cases and just plain old wrapping them up. On this most recent trip one pistol was wrapped up in a t shirt which was secured in place by masking tape.

For about half of my guns I honestly did nothing to protect them on either of the two long trips. Don't really care if a Glock, AK or AR gets a scratch in the finish. I did move Project AR in a hard case to protect the scopes zero. Additionally a spare basic 3x9 Leupold scope was shoved in a tube sock held closed by masking tape.

Honestly you should expect some minor cosmetic damage to a gun or two during moves. It's just going to happen. Protect your most precious (finish wise) ones the best you can and hope the dings and scratches go to a plane Jane working gun.

-Physically securing guns. I tend to just toss the majority of them in a metal gun cabinet then lock it up and fill the rest of the space with mundane normal life stuff then lock that up. The guns I want accessible during the trip will be with me or more accessible in the vehicle.

-Physically moving ammo. Ammo is heavy!!! Be sure to pay attention to weight when it comes to ammo as you can very easily overload a vehicle or trailer due to the high weigh to bulk ratios involved with bulk ammo. Also to save your back a dolly might not be a bad idea here.

Somebody may mention that ammo is sort of dangerous or whatever. Honestly I have never really worried about it. The stuff isn't Nitro Glicerine or anything. You can drop a fully loaded ammo can onto concrete and the only risk is potentially denting the can. Sure if we had a bunch of ammo then drove off a cliff doing 80 and landed 500 feet below in a forest fire all the cases of 5.56, 7.62x39, 9mm.38 special and 12 gauge ammo I've squirreled away over the years would be an issue but we're already royally screwed at that point.

-OPSEC loading. I try to do this as discretely as possible. Move the vehicle/ trailer I'm putting the stuff into close to our residence. Do it at a time of day where few people are out and about. That type of stuff. If you have a gun or two putting them in a bag or using a guitar case will work but carrying 20 visibly heavy guitar cases to the trailer when nobody has ever heard guitar music coming from your place is not going to fool anybody. I've never worried too much about this but we don't usually live in high crime areas. If this point worries you A) be armed while loading. B) Manage your time so you will load up the guns then physically leave the immediate area. Pack up your guns then stay there and somebody might see then break in. Odds they will follow you 150 miles to try at the Holiday Inn, low.

-OPSEC en route. Store your guns and ammo where people cannot see them. Put boring stuff on top if/ in front of it. Keep your mouth shut.

Security en route. As we mentioned guns should probably be locked up and the container/ vehicle they are in should be locked also. Don't stay at really dumpy motels. Park in well lit frequently trafficed lots not empty dark areas. If you can see the car from your room even better.

-OPSEC unloading. I try to do this as discretely as possible. Move the vehicle/ trailer I'm putting the stuff into close to our residence. Do it at a time of day where few people are out and about (night time isn't a terrible idea). That type of stuff. The big point is not to dawdle. Don't pull out a gun, inspect it for damage, functions check, then fiddle with it, lean it against the side of the car/ trailer, grab another gun, repeat x however many guns you have. Grab some guns then haul them inside. Repeat until all guns are inside. Fiddle with and organize them in your house.

Ammo cans are hard to make look like anything else. They are heavy enough that putting them into boxes or something could be problematic. My approach has been to just get it done quickly.

Anyway I hope that helps. It sums up what I have done and what I have learned along the way. If anybody has constructive input it is more than welcome.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Not So Cool Dry Place For Storing Food and Ammo

As we get settled in I'm trying to figure out how everything will work. We have lots of storage space in the garage. The downside is that it seems to regularly reach temperatures of eleven million degrees. Moving significant amounts of stuff into the house, which lacks a dedicated space for it would cause family WWIII.

The stuff I am concerned about storing is ammo in ammo cans and long term type food.

My initial observation is that I need to get the high garage temps figured out. Think I am going to insulate (with the foam panel stuff) the garage door. It seems to be a huge heat sink. Beyond that cooling the garage down gets expensive fast.

From my initial research I can't see much of an impact of temps outside of normal household 70ish or basement 65 being a big issue for ammo. I'm open to any input on that.

As to food I think that is another matter. Simply put that hotter temps drastically reduce shelf life.

Has anyone else faced this problem? What were your conclusions? What action did you take?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ammo How Much Is Enough? How Much For Training?

Alexander Wolfe asked about Minimum Ammo Levels and I replied there but it seems worth discussing today. Also I'm in a bad mood today so am going to do what I feel like even though it is not gun porn Friday.

I talked about ammo levels some years back:
defensive rifle- 3k
defensive pistol- 1k with no formal breakdown mine is half hollow points and half FMJ due to economics
shotgun- 1k split between target shot, game shot, buckshot and slugs
rimfire- 5k
hunting rifle- 1k

Looking at those levels now I have softened a bit on the last 3. For shotgun and rimfire it is mostly that I feel OK slipping below these levels if you are going to accumulate more than 2 guns in a category. Since these guns are affordable it is easy to accumulate them. 1k between 2 shotguns or 2k in various shotgun shells spread between 3 or 4 shotguns would probably be fine. Ditto 10 or 15k in .22 ammo between a few guns. As to hunting rifles I sort of re looked the economics of the issue. Putting a grand into ammo for a $300 30-30 seems like a bit much. This is especially true if you have a defensive rifle like 5.56 AR or an AK in 7.62x39 with ammo stacked deep to fill that fighting role. Used only for hunting or once in a blue moon precision use 500 rounds would probably last a couple decades. For the sake of full disclosure I am there on a couple things and between 65-75% on the rest.

As to training ammo. This was my biggest take away from Firearmagedon. I didn't really have a dedicated stash of training ammo. Either shot some from the stash and put money away to replace it in the next bulk buy or just went to the store and grabbed what I wanted. When ammo stopped being available/ got really expensive this was an issue. My take away was that I needed to keep a dedicated stash of ammo for training that was distinctly seperate from my operational stash.

My training stash (separate from and in addition to the op stuff) goal is as follows:
12 gauge-500 rounds mostly target shot with say 100 each buck and slugs.
.22- 2k.
.38 spec-250.
Hunting/ precision-100 rounds per caliber. Just 30-30 now though I would like to add a .308  next year.

The last two are low because I do not shoot them very much.  (This is total rounds, not per gun.) I figure that will get me through several months of normal operations if there is another dry spell and let me take a short course if desired. 

How much ammo do you think is enough? How much do you keep stashed for training?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

.22lr Ammo Availability

An interesting take on the ammo situation.

I think .22lr deserves some discussion. Do not think any of the reasons for that suprising shortage are wrong necessarily but do have my own thoughts.
1) The sheer amount of guns in .22lr is very high. It's used for pistols as well as rifles and has been for a very long time.

1.5) Sort of continuing from 1 almost every gun owner has some sort of .22. 

2) Many firearm owners do not keep much ammunition around. They probably have a box or two up to a couple hundred rounds. All of a sudden firearmagedon happened and many of these people wanted more ammunition. The problem is they were all looking for .22lr. 

This is a big part of the problem. I have been looking primarily for 9mm to feed my Glock and .223/5.56 to feed the AR. Another guy might have been looking for .40 and .243 and another guy for .45acp and .308. However all these guys were looking for .22.

3) Substitution is a fancy economic principle where people replace one item with another due to increased prices or scarsity. This is nothing new. Every housewife does this intuitively; when they have lots of money it's Ribbeye and nice roasts and when times are rough it's hamburger. You get the idea.

Ammo at normal prices vanished pretty fast and prices skyrocketed accordingly. People either did not react fast enough. Also many of them just plain could not afford to buy a lot of centerfire ammo. However coming back to #2 they probably have a .22. These people purchased a brick or two of .22lr to feel better when nothing else was available in their price range.

4) Good old fashioned hysteria. Once it wasn't available people wanted the stuff even more. That got folks like me who were fairly comfortable to get some when they could find it at sane prices.

5) People shoot .22 ammo. Unlike rifle and pistol ammo which I think many people purchased recently to build a little ballistic wampum a lot of .22lr ammo is shot during normal times.

Combine these all together and you get the current lack of .22lr ammunition. Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

On an unrelated note Lucky Gunner has 12 gauge Seller and Bellot Buckshot @ $139 for 250 rounds. That is a heck of a deal I recommend you jump on if defensive shotgun ammo is on the list.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How Are Your Ammo Cans Organized?

This week I had the occasion to pick up a couple more ammo cans. Got to thinking about how I organize them, the reasoning behind that organization and overall how it's working.

Most of our ammo cans are standard 50cal cans or the comparably sized M249 SAW cans. These are a good size while still being light enough to move around. We have a few of the smaller 30cal cans these are great for commercial boxes of rifle ammo like 30-30 or 30'06. If I recall they neatly fit some bricks of .22 ammo also. We have a few big 120mm cans. Don't like them as they get stupidly heavy plus of course the stuff you need will be at the bottom.

Previously our ammo cans were just filled as stuff came in so it was a big mess. Recently I went through inventorying and reorganizing our ammo cans.  Between different sized objects, especially sealed cases and part cases of ammo, quantities of different stuff and available can sizes there is an inevitable game of Tetras. As many cases as can be homogenous are. Cans are marked on the outside with the caliber, round count and when applicable bullet type. This is how approximately 80% of our cans are set up.

Two ammo cans are set up as "Go Cans". They are set up to feed our Survival Guns and are identical except for different (backup) accessories inside. The only change I've made since writing that article is swapping the '06 out for 30-30 since there is no longer an '06 on inventory. Also nothing says 'Merica like a 30-30.

Anyway last week we picked up 2 more ammo cans.  Both had an intentional purpose.

One is for range ammo. My biggest fail of this current gun/ mag/ ammo hysteria is that I did not plan for continued practice, zeroing guns, etc all. I had what I considered (of course more is nice but we have to balance a lot of things) OK amount of ammo but there wasn't a budget for training, etc. That meant if I needed 100 rounds to test fire and zero a rifle it came out of the amount of ammo I considered sufficient for an emergency. That is obviously a problem. On the other hand if I was smart like Tam who keeps disaster/ operational ammo and range/ practice ammo separate I could practice through an ammo shortage without worrying that it's coming out of operational ammo. 

Range ammo typically doesn't stay around long enough for storage in cans to be strictly necessary but a can is a good way to keep things organized or grab it all in a hurry. This way there aren't random boxes of ammo here, there and everywhere which lets me look in one place to know what is in the range stash. On top of it is a piece of tape that says Range Meat. I made an intentional decision not to bother keeping written inventories on range ammo as it is going to fluctuate. When things get better I would like to keep 500 rounds of .223, 500 of 9mm, a couple hundred .38, 2k in .22, a hundred rounds of 12 gauge and a couple boxes of 30-30 to be able to shoot whatever, whenever, without dipping into our core ammo stash. [Once buying in bulk is practical again I'll rotate the ammo. EX buy 500 rounds of 9mm ball, pull 500 rounds out of the stash and replace it with the new stuff, shoot the old stuff, repeat. It's just not worth it to dig out a 50 round box of 9mm here and 40 rounds of .223 there.] At that point the .22 will get a small can and the rest will likely split a large can.

The other can is what I call an 'Orphan Can'. It is the transitional place where I keep various ammo that has been purchased until there is enough of something to put into it's own can. This is largely a function of our current environment with high prices plus spotty availability. Honestly I'm just buying enough to replace what I'm shooting these days or building stocks of what we are especially short on [Example, I have a .22 that only seems to feed a certain type of ammo so I buy it whenever it's available. That gun is handy but picky so I will buy that particular ammo (CCI Mini Mag or Velocitor) till I've got 2k or so stashed.] Unless you are really short it is IMO not a good time to stock up. Prices are getting back to normal so if you have a bit stashed for a rainy SHTF day I would wait a little while to probably save a lot of money. In any case the orphan can takes the random boxes of ammo I buy until there is enough of something to put in it's own can or the thing gets full at which point I'll figure it out.

So basically I have a bunch of relatively homogenous (1 type of ammo) cans, 2 go cans, a range can and an orphan can. I plan to keep this setup more or less. The only change I can see making is if/ when new caches are established. They would obviously have ammo cans associated with them which would be set up for their purpose but probably look a lot like our go cans.

How are your ammo cans organized?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Is Your Ammo Stored Properly?

I saw A Hard Lesson; Survivor Ammunition Storage awhile back and for whatever reason didn't discuss it. Definitely a hard lesson and I am glad the fellow had the humility to share it. Letting people know when you are a bad ass is easy but telling them when you step all over it takes guts. Anyway the point of storing ammunition in ammo cans is made abundantly clear in the lesson.

I look at ammo cans the same way I do other cases, as a form of insurance. Spending less than twenty bucks on an ammo can to protect a few hundred bucks in ammo is a simple decision for me. Check the seal, put the ammo in the can, toss in some silica gel and it will be there waiting for you in a year or a decade.

We use mostly 50 caliber ammo cans but have a few of the big 120mm mortar cans too. The 50 is a good size because they hold a lot but yet small enough to easily move and fit into nooks and crannies. The big 120mm mortar ones hold a ton of ammo but loaded weigh a lot. Probably a couple hundred pounds when fully loaded. Really a hassle but they have the advantage of a really low cost per round/case stored. Odds are I will reallocate things at some point and use them for something a bit lighter.

Now comes the question of how to load your cans. I would recommend having some sort of logical system before you get started. It is a lot easier to maintain a system (and inventory) then it is to impose one retroactively. We will discuss what I have going on and what is probably optimal.

I have one can loaded with the stuff I regularly use when home on leave. It has mags for the Glock 19 and AK as well as ammo to fill them and some more to keep handy. Also a holster for the Glock and a Cold Steel folder. The purpose of this can is to avoid digging around to find the things I need and keep things easy. I did this the trip home before last and it seems to be working pretty well.

The rest of my cans, I am ashameed to say are a complete mess. Some are all one caliber, others are a mix, there really is no rhym or reason. If I need something it is guess the ammo can time. Really the only good thing I can say about the system (or lack theirof) I am using is that a) my ammo is stored in ammo cans and b) they have sillica gel inside.

The optimal system, as far as I can see, is as follows:
-Special purpose cans. I have the home carry can. Another guy might have a hunting can or whatever else suits your specific purposes.

-Combat loaded cans. Combat loading in this context is a way of loading your supplies so things are spread around. The goal is to have a logical mix of whatever you need in multiple locations. So if hypothetically you can only move a few cans of ammo to a new location in a hurry you wouldn't accidentally end up with just pistol and shotgun ammo but no rifle and rimfire or whatever. I don't think you need to get too crazy about this. For example you probably don't need a box of .220 Swift for the old varmiter Grampa left you or .32 S&W for the antique safe queen you picked up years ago in every can. I would focus mostly on the core guns you use and rely on like your defensive rifle and pistol, a hunting rifle, rimfire and shotgun.

Having a portion of your ammunition combat loaded makes sense. How much I can't say exactly. I would say at least as much as you plan to have make the first cut if you have to leave town for whatever reason in a hurry.  [Yes I would like to say that I would take all my ammo but that may not be realistic. Lets say we define (this is off the cuff) the first cut as in and on top of the vehicle, the second as a trailer and the third as a potential second trip, etc. What is loaded in our BOB's and chest rigs plus 2-3 cans would probably be all that could make the first cut when you consider extra food, camping gear, photo albums, etc. The rest of the cans would have to go in a trailer or whatever. Obviously bringing 30k rounds of ammo or whatever would be more of a concern during a Mad Max scenario than if we are leaving because of a more mundane event like hurricane or other natural disaster. ] So maybe 2-4 50 cal cans worth would probably make sense for most folks.

-The remainder of ammo would be loaded into cans by caliber and if applicable type of cartridge.

All cans would be labeled with at least caliber and quantity and if practical/ applicable type, it could be as simple as "7.62x39 2,200 rounds". I would probably do it using permenant black marker on duct tape so it is easy to remove/ change. Depending on your scenario you may want to have it be discrete for opsec. However folks probably won't think you are storing chocolate bars in ammo cans anyway so I would just think about where I store them and who I let go there.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Ramblings: Food "Best By Dates", Premium Ammo in Storage and Other Great Stuff

After further consideration (See my last post in on this topic here.) I am really starting to think that "best by" dates on shelf stable food are about meaningless. The ketsup we have been using was purchased in January 2010 and had a "best by" date of July 2010, it seems to have suffered no deterioration. Today I had a can of chili for lunch. I purchased it in December 2009 and had a best by date of March 2011. A bit of oil had separated and risen to the top and the thick content had sort of separated from the thin but it smelled fine so I heated it up and ate it. The texture had changed slightly but not enough that I would notice if I hadn't been looking for it. Lunch was 8 hours ago and I haven't had any ill effects. If I start dumping my guts out I will tell you all but I suspect it will be fine.

It bears repeating that I am just some yahoo sitting at home eating expired food and writing about it on the internet. Just because something worked once for me does not mean it is necessarily so for all people under all circumstances. Do your own research, consult experts if necessary and use common sense before eating any food that is beyond the best by date or has been preserved/ stored questionably.

Commander Zero wrote an interesting post today on FMJ vs Premium JHP ammo as part of your Ballistic Wampum. As Zero notes premium defensive ammunition costs somewhere from about .75 cents to a buck or more a bullet. This stuff is seriously cost prohibitive. Like most folks I load my carry pistols with premium stuff like Federal Hydroshocks, Speer Gold Dot or Corbon JHP's. Typically I have a few boxes per gun of this really good stuff.
I tend not to worry about it with rifles because centerfire rifles produce so much energy that all BS aside they do the job if you do yours. Though as Gabe Suarez noted if you have to shoot a goblin near a family member do you really want to be using ammo made in Russia 50 years ago? Probably not. It might be worthwhile to pick up a couple mags worth of something good that shoots comparably to whatever bulk ammo you use. For shotguns as long as shot is the right size for your task (birdshot for birds, whatever is appropriate for game and something that starts with "buck" for 2 legged predators) and patterns OK it is G2G. The idea of premium buckshot kind of escapes me.

So the premium stuff is great but cost prohibitive, on that we can all probably agree. Personally as a sort of stop gap between premium defensive ammo and FMJ I store more affordable JHP ammo in quantity.

I didn't worry about the bullet type of my stored pistol ammo much when I mostly shot .40 and .45. Both are big, heavy bullets that do fine with FMJ's. Since I shifted to 9mm this has been a bit more of a concern. The 9mm with modern JHP ammo is quite effective but ball ammo isn't great. Thus I care more about having JHP ammo on hand than I used to. Initially I got some of the 100 round JHP packs from Wally World which calmed my immediate paranoia. Down the road I ordered a case of Federal Classic 115 grain JHP from the good folks at Lucky Gunner for a very reasonable price. With this purchase made I feel pretty secure about our 9mm defensive ammo situation. Somewhere between 30-50% of my 9mm ammunition is JHP.

When available at reasonable prices I have picked up JHP ammo in .38/.357mag, .223 and 7.62x39.

I have really been enjoying homemade bread. Wifey makes wheat bread that is soft, hearty and filling. Unlike some junk from the store where I can eat 3 sandwiches and still be hungry a sandwich with this stuff goes a long way. Add in a can of soup or some fruit and whatever is lying around and you have a solid lunch. Two sandwiches is a good dinner. Pretty regularly I have toast with strawberry jam for breakfast these days. Suprisingly this happens just after baking day.

Anyway that is about all that comes to mind. I think rambling posts may be a weekend feature here. That will leave short discrete topics for the week when I am busier.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Federal .45 ACP Recall

Just in case you didn't hear about this Federal and there subsidiary American Eagle are recalling some .45acp. Check out the full details at Luck Gunner. Lots were made between Sep 2010 and mid January.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

The early part of the week I was busy with work. Did some good training which I may talk about later. Also I read most of a book on investing. Got home late Friday. Saturday I decided to inventory a bunch of stuff including our cash and precious metals. I had a pretty good idea what we had but now I know exactly.

Put another 20 Euro's into our foreign currency reserves. Also I counted and divide up all of our Euro change. Going to change in E30 at my next trip to the bank and put it into the reserves also. It is amazing how change can add up, especially since there are one and two Euro coins as well as 50 cent pieces.

Ordered a 1,000rd case of 9mm Federal 115 gr JHP from Lucky Gunner for $350. The price is usually $380 which is very competitive already but it is on sale for the awesome price of $350 until the 16th. The holidays are definitely an expensive time of year but if you are a bit light on defensive 9mm ammo and have the cash to spare this is a great deal. Also I was pleased to see that they don't stick it to you for shipping. It looks like they just pass on the actual cost of shipping and forgo the punitive 'handling' charges.

Personally I store 3 tiers of ammo for defensive rifles and handguns. The first is real premium stuff (Federal Hydroshok's, Corbon, etc), ya know the kind that costs around a buck a bullet or more. Stocking up is really cost prohibitive so I just keep a few boxes of this stuff. Next is the more generic type of JHP or soft points. This stuff probably isn't quite as good as the real high dollar ammo but it is at a price where I can actually afford to stock up on it. Certainly I would be better off loading this stuff than ball and it doesn't usually cost that much more. This is the Walmart white box hollow points and the like. Lastly is cheap ball ammo which I store mostly for practice.

I also purchased a nice two point adjustable sling. Did some looking and ended up purchasing a Vickers Padded Sling. For most folks a generic sling works fine but I have recently found them to be wanting. As I spend a lot of time carrying a rifle the added utility and comfort should be well worth the $52.

Ended up reordering a Biachi 100 professional holster for my Glock 19. Thought I had got one already (sometimes unfamiliar websites are finicky AKA I am just stupid) but when I went to check on the order it said I didn't exist. Reordered from another site and actually saved $16 which was an added bonus. Hopefully it will get home soon enough to use it at home.

We are headed home for the holidays which I am looking forward to. Haven't been home in awhile so it will be good to be able to see everybody. It looks like I am going to be able to spend some time with my co author's Ryan and Chad which I am excited about. Unfortunately it doesn't look like it will be the three of us. However between getting a bit spread out geographically, varying travel/ work schedules and grown up type life commitments we have to take what we can get.

The manager of the warehouse which receives and stores stuff for me said I am going to have my own early Christmas just opening everything. I will have to pick up some ammo cans and properly store the ammo in them. Also I need to organize spare parts in some meaningful way. I am definitely looking forward to shooting.

Considering it was a short week in terms of prep time I am pretty happy how it turned out.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thinking About Ammunition

Do you have ammunition for your core weapons? At least a  couple hundred rounds per gun? This is one of those topics I haven't talked about in forever. Mostly because after taking care of my own needs it just doesn't come into my thoughts. However it is disturbingly common to hear someone talking and it comes up that they have 35 rounds for the family shotgun, one 50 round box of ammo for their pistol or two or three 20 round boxes (or a couple mags) of ammo for their rifle.

From a certain perspective I can see why average folks might not worry about ammo. They can just go to the store and get more whenever they want. However from survivalists/ preppers this is just difficult to understand. Relatively speaking to historical standards ammunition is inexpensive and readily available. Anybody can pick up a box or two per payday until they are at this very low threshold. It isn't where you want to be if the trilateral commission's UN mercenaries invade but it's sure a good start for any other situation.

If you only have a few bucks now and then the best coarse of action is probably to just hit up a local sporting goods store or Walmart. That is especially true if you are going to be picking up a box of this and a box of that. Usually in that case you aren't buying enough of any one thing to get the good bulk type discounts. Also shipping and handling will often kick your butt. However if you say, need 250 rounds of buckshot and of course a few slugs for the family shotgun or a partial case of ammo for your 9mm I would encourage you to check out the folks at Lucky Gunner.

Also when it comes to bulk ammo ordering here is something I've done successfully in the past. Talk to your gunnie/ survivalist friends and see if they need ammo. That works well when you don't quite plan to purchase enough to get the good (usually half case and then case) prices or meet the breaking point where shipping is economical. So if you don't need or can't afford 250 rounds of buckshot but can sure use 100 or 150 just find a buddy who can use some.

How much ammo is enough? Well I would pose the follow on question, enough for what? A guy worried about a hurricane needs less than someone else worried about an EMP or a full on Mad Max scenario. For the hurricane guy I would say that 500 rounds or so per gun is probably plenty. Plenty that you can fire a warning shot if need be. Plenty that if a single box of ammo gets lost in the closet you aren't non mission capable. Plenty to be comfortable enough to give 20 rounds of buckshot to a poorly prepared but otherwise cool neighbor.

For someone worried about a much longer term nastier scenario I don't think you can have too much ammo. However you can proportionately overspend on ammo. Having a couple pallets stacked to the ceiling with ammo cans would be great but probably doesn't make sense unless the rest of the basement is full of food, medicine, clothing, fuel and tools.

Personally here are the numbers that give me a warm and fuzzy feeling:
defensive rifle- 3k
defensive pistol- 1k
shotgun- 1k
rimfire- 5k
hunting rifle- 1k

Those are numbers PER GUN for core type weapons. I wouldn't worry about that .300 Savage you got from Uncle Earl which just sits in the safe. So if I own for example 3 AR/AK/HK-91's I would want 9k rounds, 4 pistols would have 4k rounds, etc. It probably gets a bit less important as your numbers of weapons gets higher. If you own 10 pistols and only have 8k rounds there is probably not a need to freak out.

Do I live up to this standard? Sometimes. I would say that it is a continual work in progress. Sort of two steps forward and one step back. Usually about the time I get real close another gun comes into the inventory and the ratio takes a step backward. I don't worry about it too much. My warm and fuzzy numbers are conservative enough that if I am close it is OK.

I know some folks warm and fuzzy numbers are a lot higher. I think that is just spiffy. However I would ask if their financial houses are in order, they have other preps (food, medicine, clothing, etc) at commensurate levels as well as cleaning supplies, spare parts, magazines, etc. If so then good for them. If not I would probably talk about balance and allocation of resources.

Do you have ammunition for your core weapons? At least a  couple hundred rounds per gun? Go consult your ammo cans or cabinet and find out. If you don't like what you find do something about it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Why Ammo Cans? By Brian

Since you're reading TSLR, you're likely like me in that you're worried about the direction our country is headed and you'd like to protect yourself in the event that things go south - quickly.  Ammo cans are absolutely the best storage option for this sort of thing.  Simply put, you want one of these cans holding your valuables in a time of crisis.  Think of them like a portable safety deposit box.  The ones made after WWII are built to be air-tight and water-tight.  That means you can store just about anything you'd like in them for long periods of time, whether that's ammo, food, shotshells, a gun, a radio, or  medical supplies. Just drop in a pack of silica gel to absorb excess moisture and you'll be ahead of 99% of the populace when it comes to storing emergency supplies.

-Brian is with, a sponsor of TSLR.  Currently, has a special price of $9 being offered on ammo cans, specifically their highly-rated 50 caliber surplus ammo cans from Lake City:  If you buy 10 cans or more, the price is only $7 per can through October 7th.

TOR here: First of all I want to thank Brian and Lucky Gunner for supporting us. Believe me when I say our advertisers really do make this place a lot more active and interesting then it otherwise would be. Anyway onto ammo cans. 

Ammo cans are definitely one of those things you can't have too many of. Just writing this makes me want to order some more ammo cans. They are so darn useful. Personally I use them primarily for their intended purpose to store ammunition. Buy yourself some ammo, put it into an ammo can, toss some silica gel in and you can forget about it. One word of advice though. Inventory and label the  cans before putting them away. Otherwise when you come back in 6 months or a year to grab a box of JHP's for your pistol or target loads for the shotgun you will have to search through a bunch of cans. Not saying I've done that, just that I imagine it could happen. You could easily use a label maker or write with a marker on a piece of tape so one look on the outside could show what the contents are. If you are want to be more discrete or the contents are complicated (versus say 1,500 9mm FMJ) then label them with a number and keep an inventory elsewhere. 

The more I think about it the more uses for ammo cans there are. They are tough, cheap and waterproof. If you want to use them to store fragile stuff then just get some foam or whatever. I know a fellow who keeps his silver in ammo cans. They would also be a good place for all those mags you bought for redundancy or as tangible investments.

I'm sure the ammo cans from Lucky Gunner are totally fine. However as general advice if you buy ammo cans elsewhere just make sure the lid fits properly and that the seals on the top of the lid is intact and soft. Sometimes you will come across ammo cans that are a little bit rusty. That isn't a big deal. Just get some sand paper, or use a metal bristly attachment for a hand grinder and remove said rust. Get a can of spray paint and touch up the spots with exposed metal. I've gotten some real good deals on ammo cans at surplus stores that just needed a half hour of effort to be serviceable.

At a minimum I suggest having enough cans to store all your ammo.

Got ammo cans?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Managing Stuff

Between food storage, water, kit, arms and their ancillary equipment as well as all the other stuff you need for survivalism there is a lot of stuff. Managing that stuff is essential to your mission if just because said mission can't be completed if your wife snaps and shoots you because of all the junk everywhere.

Containers and shelving help a lot. In particular I find the rubbermade type containers that you can stack onto each other if they are empty to be good. Action packer type heavy containers are great also. Shelves are a must for stuff you want to access regularly. Beware of weight when purchasing shelves. Ammo gets heavy fast and water is incredibly heavy. Shelves that would work to store camping gear and kit would not be heavy duty enough for 50 cases of ammo.

Also organization helps. Simply managing your stuff and keeping it organized instead of just letting it go all over the place is a great start. Keep your stuff organized so you know what you've got, where it is and have peace with the Mrs.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ammo Availability

For awhile there was a serious problem with ammo availability. In the immediate run up to President Obama's election and for a few months afterwords there was a pretty good hysteria and the supply dried up. Also prices climbed as people at many levels saw this as a great time to raise the price as folks would pay it because they were scared. My observation from spending some time recently checking out ammo online is that it is readily available in any amount you can pay for. Some less common products are hard to find or expensive but if you want ammo to feed any even remotely common caliber it is widely available.

Some ammo might be hard to find locally but that has a couple things behind it. First they practice JIT like almost every other retail store? They could have 50 cases of each caliber but that would tie up a lot of money. Instead they get a case or just a few boxes and when those sell they order new ones. Second one might be able to argue that some hysteria comes from ammo shelves being empty. If the shop has 50 cases of something sitting out and then jacks the price up you might wonder why and maybe even go elsewhere. If the place only has three boxes you are happy there is any and buy without looking at the price. Lastly remember that common caliber stuff I keep talking about? If you are the only guy in town with a gun in that caliber it shouldn't come as a surprise that the gun shop doesn't order and stock ammo for your specific need.

All but the most niche needs can be well suited by common calibers so just stick with them. I don't have a common caliber index fund or anything so this is just my impartial advice. The same way that the most common car on the road is probably a pretty good car applies to guns. Common caliber firearms of a popular model from a major manufacturer will rarely disappoint; an odd ball caliber weapon made for a short period of time by somebody you have never heard of probably will. Honestly I have learned this one the hard way and it has cost me time, money and frustration.

Ammo prices on a larger scale are complex and I can not make much of them except that they are generally speaking going up.

My point is that ammo in any semi common caliber is widely available. You would be well advised to get whatever amount gives you a warm and fuzzy as soon as it is practical. After that it might not be a bad idea to pick up some more just to be extra comfortable. Relatively speaking ammo is pretty compact (less so than gold or silver but far more than wheat or toilet paper) and an ammo can or two in the back of a closet will not take up much space.

Personally I like knowing that if things were bad I could give a friend a box or two of ammo to protect their home or put food on the table without depleting my stash below warm and fuzzy levels.  It could be debated to whom and when one would want to trade or give away ammo but I sure want the option. Giving a friend a box of buckshot for his shotgun would probably make him pretty appreciative and gain some allegiance. Also if your friend kills a couple of burglars those are two burglars who will not kick in your door at 3AM the next night.

Maybe you will never need it. I pray that neither you or I never fire a round in anger defending our homes. We might never need to hunt in order to not starve. We might just do the normal monthly trips to the range where we pick up ammo on the way out and maybe hunting season. Ammo in a military ammo can with a good seal will last until you we are all shooting Phased Plasma Rifles (40 Watt Range) so look at it as an insurance policy.

Seriously it is available right now so if you do not have enough then go get yourself some darn ammo.

Monday, February 1, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Since much of my progress is made on the weekend this seems to be turning into a Monday feature. In any case not a lot got done this week. After next Friday my schedule is going to go back to normal which will be nice. My quality of life will improve and I will have more time to do stuff.

Picked up some medical supplies which is a good thing. That area of our preps can use some attention. Got to check out the first aid stuff we have to make sure it is all current and pick up a few new trauma specific items but that is for another day.

We got a few things of the kind of cake mix (rainbow chip) Wifey likes along with its corresponding frosting. Never bad to have some comfort food lying around. Also the stuff isn't always available here.

Did some reading which is always fun. Got a review coming up in a couple days.

Also started the ammo fund at least in a modest way. A case of Nato manufactured SS109 isn't cheap but it is what I want. Realized recently that I am slightly past the point where I just need lead to sling, at least in some calibers. I want specific types of bullets to fill certain roles and some of them are not cheap. That is OK though. I would rather pay a bit more and get what I want.

Also thanks to Sgt Jarhead I downloaded My Bullion Tracker. It is a pretty neat tool that can help you keep track of if your PM's have gone up or down in value as (assuming you can remember what you paid for em) as well as their spot value. I have often wondered about what my gold and silver reserves are worth on a given day and now I can find out. Anyway this is a pretty cool gadget.

In terms of life I have been really busy at work. Got my W2 from work. If the calculator thing was right we should get about a grand back. I am sending that to FIL who is a CPA. Taxes aren't complicated (at least for our current situation) but last year he roughly doubled our return (legally) and every dollar helps.

Also I have finally started using my Ipod Touch (a birthday gift). Loaded it up with some CD's and a few aps also. Inside of a plastic bag in my chest pocket it is pretty darn safe though I can use a small pelican case to hold it and a camera or whatnot. Being able to play chess and listen to music really helps me with the excess of sitting around I have been dealing with recently. Technology is cool.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tangibles, Investments and Priorities.

I read an interesting post over at Bonifaces Treatise today. My comment there got long enough to be a post here...... 
If I was getting into rifles right now and wanted to go the AK direction I might well go AK74 as the ammo is dirt cheap though they fail the common caliber test, which might change in a decade but who knows. However since I am not getting into rifles right now my desire to add another caliber which is comparable to one I already have is nil. Some day a nice probably Arsenal made AK would be cool but unless they substantially drop in price (insert laughter here) a cheap surplus type AK rifle isn't a desire I have.

As for gold I bought what is for me a good amount last month. Think the additional increase in price has gotten gold very close to if not above my personal threshold. Might get some more silver though. Still sort of thinking about it all. Then again ammo is important and I could use a few more cases of the stuff. A couple cases of rifle and a couple cases of pistol would go a long way toward finishing off my ammo buying which would be really nice. Maybe shifting a bit towards ammo for a few months will allow me to take care of that need and in the mean time just maybe the PM price bubble will burst.

This sort of parralels another discussion at Commander Zero's blog. Taking steps to fill your immediate and future firearms needs is probably prudent. Personally I seek to pick up some mags for weapons I have and intend to have. This is a place where having depth in firearms really helps. For example mags I will purchase for a future Glock 9mm will work in Glock 9mm's I own now.Worst case mags you don't have a gun for now could be good as an investment or a barter item.

For purchasing tangibles in the short/mid term I don't have a solid plan but here are some thoughts:
-I will purchase mags for some guns I intend to get at some point. I really don't want to get caught by some sort of anti gun legislation in an uncomfortable place.
-Ammo will be addressed. I am not in a bad place but a bit of this and some of that would sure be nice. The stuff lasts basically forever and is just plain good to have around.
-PM's will likely be decreased in priority at a minimum. Gold has gotten around what I consider a stupid price though silver isn't at totally insane prices. A few more one ounce silver rounds or some 90% dimes never hurt anyone. Of course buying at dips is good but sitting out of the market or having a smaller presence there for 6 months might not be a horrible idea. Maybe shifting a bit towards ammo for a few months will allow me to take care of that need and in the mean time just maybe the PM price bubble will burst.

I also have plenty of other plans which are more preparedness/ survivalism and less preparedness/ tangibles which will run parallel to all this.  Will speak about them as they develop.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Write It Down

I sort of got to thinking about this because of a situation which is going on with some people I know. Anyway here it goes.

In preparedness it is easy to see how people could get into some unorthodox situations when it comes to property, storing stuff and use of property. Looking at my long term plans in the area all of these things will probably be present to some degree.

I think regardless of if you are purchasing something together or storing stuff at someones place or letting someone do X on your land it is essential to write it down.

I am not necessarily going to a lawyer and drawing up a contract though for big transactions or joint land purchases (which I wouldn't do unless it was to immediately sub divide into individual agreed upon parcels with individual deeds) but just smaller more regular stuff.

Case in point-doing it wrong. Girl A has a house and kind of wanted/ needed some help with the mortgage (there is a big fat lesson there but it isn't the point) and Girl B needed a place to live. Girl B moved in and started paying rent which is fine and good. Somewhere along the line they got pretty confused and Girl A believed Girl B had made a year long commitment and Girl B thought it was month to month. That doesn't really matter until Girl B decided to move out. Now Girl A is considering legal action and at best even if cooler minds prevail their friendship is ruined.

Case in point- doing it right. My family friend the Doctor has some land which pretty much lies unused. A friend of his son was super into FFA and agriculture and farming but his folks weren't in a place where he could do that. The Doc and his Wife are really good people and let the friend have a couple cows in their pasture and store feed in the barn. I think he also feed their perpetual cow which I will call hamburger. They sat down with him before kicking this thing off and clearly wrote the roles and responsabilities of both parties in simple language. Everybody knows what they can expect.

My point isn't so much about having a legally binding document though if two people write an agreement in simple language and then sign it that is almost surely legally binding. [I am not a lawyer or anything at all close to it so don't take my ramblings as legal advice unless you are a complete idiot at which point you deserve whatever happens to you.] My point is that if you take the time to think out the issue at hand and write down an agreement and sign it things are clear. In case in point- doing it wrong if the girls had written out a simple agreement (or googled rental agreement) they would have surely covered if it is month to month or a year long lease.

When something is written down it is a lot easier for people involved to go back later after memories have faded and read exactly what they agreed to instead of arguing about what exactly was agreed to.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Man's Got To Know His Limitations

On a non preparadness orriented note Wifey and I are degenerate movie renters. We habitually return movies several days or even a week and a half late. Or course we pay the fees but still it is pretty lame. At our last place the movie rental store would have been in easy rifle range if the line of sight was clear but we still could not seem to consistently get them back on time. We have decided that renting movies in the conventional way just is not for us. We are probably going to get Netflix in the near future. It is only about $16 a month for 3 movies and since we are rather short on chill evening entertainment here it will be money well spent.

The most common limitations in our area are probably money, space, mobility, health and time in no real order.

Though they aren't really in order money is number one simply because without having some to spend you can't get anything done. I write a bit on this topic and some of my bestie blogger friends Mayberry, Dakin and Creekmore write regularly on this matter. For me currently money is currently not a particular issue. Of course we have a budget and I can't pick up an M1A this month and a couple Krugerrands next month but between what we can put toward this and the adsense revenues it is going fine.

You've got to be realistic here. If you make 20k a year a productive 100 acre farm with a big brick house, several outbuildings, a spring and a nice wood lot just isn't going to happen. However if you are able to move and really search 5 acres with a little fixer upper or a mobile home could be doable. 

Space is a somewhat common issue, especially for those who live in alternate housing like a travel trailer or an RV. Commander Zero wrote recently on this topic; their plan of mans land and no mans land is pretty hilarious and the part about border skirmishes made me laugh my ass off. For awhile I lived in a single 12x10ish bedroom and had enough arms to start a civil war, 3 weeks worth of water for two people and a couple months of food in there. It can be done if you make it a priority.

Mobility is an issue if you are attached economically, socially or culturaly to an area that is not ideal from a preparadness perspective. If your skills allow you to make a good living in a larger area but you would be working minimum wage out in the sticks then you're not going to move to the sticks. On this specific issue I would encourage people to avoid an all or nothing perspective. Just because you aren't going to move to a rural farm in the inland mountain west or a cabin in the woods in Maine doesn't mean you can't improve your situation. Maybe there is a little town 45 minutes away from work where you could move to. Worst case if communing isn't practical getting a little camping site and building a "hunting cabin" on it is an option. If your position isn't to your liking look to better it.

In the area of mobility I find myself traveling all over the place to areas where I would otherwise not choose to live. The military certainly has its challenges in this area. Don't have any amazing answers here and much more would be its own post.

Health is a truly limiting factor. For those with real physical limitations and or specialized medical needs it is going to limit what you are able to do and where you are able to live. Of course if you are just a discusting fat body and or have medical issues stemming from said fat bodyness that can be fixed but otherwise this just has to be accepted.

Time is the limiting factor that I have been having the biggest issue with. My normal work week (no ranges and no field time) seems to be right about 60 hours a week. I haven't been getting the stuff I wanted to get done completed over the past couple weeks. Getting everything done on the weekend isn't a long term plan as I want to relax and stuff plus also sometimes we will travel. Then again I get home from the gym at almost 6 and go to bed around 9 so not a ton of stuff happens then either. I know that I am going to trim back my daily reading some. Going from more like 12 to more like 7 will help. Also I will think about taking some of the stuff which comes into my head and throwing it into posts for other days and taking that time to get stuff done. Still not sure how it will play out and maybe I need to temper my expectations to my schedule a bit better.

Anyway I think it is just unrealistic to ignore your limitations. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ode To The Basement

Yeah I have been a dirtbag blogger and haven't commented on any comments for my last two posts. The first on investments had some interesting ones and the second sure had a flurry of them. In any case today I left home at 5:20 and got back home for the evening at 8. When I had to decide to choose between replying to comments or posting tonight I chose posting.

Anyway I am going to talk about how awesome basements are. In our current residence we have a nice chunk of basement. It is the most amazing frickin thing ever. All of the miscilaneous preparadness stuff and all my kit go down there. Our residence doesn't look like someone barfed ACU all over the place. We can store an insane amount of water and food and all my random crap down there without having our place look like it is a damn bomb shelter.

I can honestly say that a basement is in the top two characteristics I will look for in a house. Obviously location and price and all of that are important but within the area we might look in and our price range I care about a house that makes my wife happy and has a basement and a wood stove. Unless by some circumstance I buy a home in a place with such a low water table that basements won't work a basement and a wood stove are non negotiable.
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