Showing posts with label cache. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cache. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Cache Types, Escape and Evasion and Ancillary Thoughts Theiron

In a recent post about m Operational Cache there was a comment which I just wasn't sure what to do with.

Matt LBS said "If you can do so without giving away too much OPSEC, I'd love to hear about how your current cache is set up as far as location, access, etc. I can't remember if you've discussed that previously. Might help out with the one I am planning for myself currently. I am struggling with location and accessibility on mine. Not that I live my life generally outside the law or anything like that, but I also am debating over whether or not to place at a location that someone looking for me when I might need to disappear might expect me to go for such a thing. Think storing at a "peripheral" friends house, rather than your best friends house. Using a cousin, rather than mom and dad. That sort of thing. The "closer" to you a person is generally the easier the access, but it's also the most obvious choice that may hamper your ability to go off the grid in a pinch. Hopefully I'd never need to disappear, but I don't want to just forfeit that ability either. Of course if you are burying a cache somewhere random, then you don't have that problem, but might lose on the accessibility factor. So many things to consider for an operational cache."

So I thought about it for awhile. Also I couldn't really do a good post on it with my phone so I was halfway stalled out (the other half still thinking). Last night and this morning I pretty much figured out my response.

First I got to thinking about the fundamental goal of a cache. In my mind the fundamental goal of pre placing potentially needed items in a location where you will need them (caching) is to go from the logistical situation you anticipate arriving at to the one you want to be at; with budget, item shelf live/ storage, available space and the security/ integrity of the cache as  our biggest constraints.

Taking another step back I got to thinking about specific types of caches, a categorization if you will. From John Mosby's seminal post on the topic we get 3 types of caches:
Types of Caches
For an underground resistance, I envision three basic types of cache functions.
  1. The first is the guerrilla re-supply cache we’ve been discussing. These would be widely dispersed over an organization’s entire projected area of operations, to facilitate re-supply on the move in the future. These may also, in the future, be short-term emplacements made by members of the subversive underground or the auxiliary, to facilitate operations by the subversive underground or the paramilitary guerrilla force, based on specific operational requirements.
  1. The second is the “storage” cache. This is a method of dispersing your normal preparedness supplies stockpiles. Instead of having everything in your basement or “doomsday bunker-retreat” where it is easy and convenient for regime security forces, foreign peacekeepers, or roving bands of criminal looters to locate and steal it, this would allow you to maintain control or possession of various critical elements of your preparedness items, even if you had to “bug out” into evasion mode.
  1. The third, and final cache function, as I see it, is the individual evasion cache. These would be small, one-man re-supplies, along planned evasion corridors (primary, secondary, and tertiary, at a minimum). Caches should be placed within one or two days’ walking distance of each other, to act as en route waypoints for re-supply as the evader moves. This would allow him to minimize the load he carried in his “go-bag” evasion kit, facilitating faster travel during the evasion.

Personally I see two additional types:
 4. Operational Cache. Hoss USMC called this a 'Minuteman Cache'. To me the goal of this cache is to equip an individual to conduct defensive and offensive combative as a rifleman. So we are going to have a rifle, probably a pistol, ammo, ancillary gun stuff (mags, cleaning junk, etc), field clothes, sleeping gear, some food, basic survival stuff, some food, etc. One could argue this is part of Johns #1 and I might even see it that way myself. [I am putting this together on the fly since I have computer access and idle moments while the kids nap. Will thing and update as applicable later.]

5. Survival Cache. Say my plan E was to go to the Big Ridge Wilderness Area and live out in the woods. This cache, or more realistically series of caches would be set up to help support that plan. Since I have worked through the P, A and C plans things are not going well so I do not expect to drive out there with the family hauler and a loaded trailer. Lets say I expect to arrive there via LPC with individual weapons, the gear in a ruck and not much else.

Say I do up a big cache in 2 barrels 200 meters apart. They each have 2 tarps, an axe, a saw, a hatchet, rope, a gun with some ammo, a pair of hunting knives, a poncho, wool blanket and full set of clothes/ boots per person, a cast iron frying pan, a couple pots, some metal bowls and silverware, 60 pounds of dried staples, some spices, some OTC meds, a gun with some ammo, some fishing stuff, an emergency radio, some candles, rope and other doo dads.

Say throughout the larger area I have a dozen smaller caches with matches, a knife, some ammo, some water purification tabs, etc and as much food as I can shove in that are in 5 gallon buckets.

Anyway getting back to the original comment reply. Matt LBS said "If you can do so without giving away too much OPSEC, I'd love to hear about how your current cache is set up as far as location, access, etc. I can't remember if you've discussed that previously. Might help out with the one I am planning for myself currently. I am struggling with location and accessibility on mine. Not that I live my life generally outside the law or anything like that, but I also am debating over whether or not to place at a location that someone looking for me when I might need to disappear might expect me to go for such a thing. Think storing at a "peripheral" friends house, rather than your best friends house. Using a cousin, rather than mom and dad. That sort of thing. The "closer" to you a person is generally the easier the access, but it's also the most obvious choice that may hamper your ability to go off the grid in a pinch. Hopefully I'd never need to disappear, but I don't want to just forfeit that ability either. Of course if you are burying a cache somewhere random, then you don't have that problem, but might lose on the accessibility factor. So many things to consider for an operational cache."

I think what you are describing is more of an Escape and Evasion cache than an operational cache. Though in fairness we could break down E&E caches to urban/ grid up and rural/ grid down/ red dawn. One would be used if you need to get the heck out of there because Tony Soprano, The Trilateral Commission/ Illuminati or the cops are after you and you need to get out of dodge. The other would be handy if you are running from the UN/ Chinese invaders who want to send you to a labor camp or I guess if you want to pull an Eric Rudolph.

The gear needed for these caches is going to be fundamentally different. An urban/ grid up E&E cache is going to be something like 'change of clothes. handgun with spare mags, a few burner cell phones, lots of cash, the best fake ID you can put together'. This is going to be a small kit like day pack to small duffel bag sized. Think more Jason Borne safe deposit box
and less Terminator 2.

A/ grid down/ red dawn E&E set up might contain a lot of the stuff for an operational cache albeit with the goal of staying light and on the move. So maybe a change of clothes including boots and outerwear, a rifle or sub gun, a pistol and a day pack with a bunch of granola bars, some survival stuff and a poncho with woobie.

As to locations to store these types of caches.

I would not want to be running to a family member/ friend if the Tony Soprano/ the FBI or the UN/ Chinese invaders were after me. Many criminals get caught when they are stupid and go to Momma's house, or call her. Sure a second cousin is less likely to be watched but it is still well within the realm of possibility someone could be watching so that is a bad risk.

For a rural cache I would put it between where I anticipated being and where I planned to go. If doing multiples I might put one near my start point and one part way.

For an urban one on a more permanent basis you can get storage lockers anonymously if you are stashing that much stuff. For smaller stashes in a discrete way I am less sure about good options.

I should also note that one may be discrete from the other. Maybe you have a urban E&E cache near home/ work in case something bad happens and a couple AK's or AR's buried on Uncle Jebs Farm or in the nearby National Forest in case it turns out you need them.

Anyway I am out of thoughts on this subject for now. If I have enough new thoughts maybe I will do another post.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Cache Discussion and Operational Cache Notes

Recently I have accessed my operational cache. It has led me to some thoughts on the matter. In no particular order here we go.

-Do you plan on accessing the cache semi regularly or just once in case of an emergency need? This bears heavily on packaging and how you might choose to conceal it. The old access vs security thing. If you only plan to grab it in an emergency then busting the drywall on a hidden compartment, digging up a hurried cache or whatnot is not a bad deal. On the other hand if you are going to access it even semi regularly a more accessible setup is needed.

- Personally my cache is sort of split between the two. When I am in the area I carry the revolver and Kershaw knife. Those I need to access semi regularly. Now the Rifle and such are really just for a contingency. As such I am toying with splitting that into two caches, one for edc and another that could be stashed deep for shtf. Something to think about anyway.

- You need a plan that supports getting at it yourself.  Waiting to get guns out of Uncle Bobs safe when he might be stuck elsewhere and Aunt Suzie can't remember the combination or they are stuck at their vacation ace is a bad scenario.

-Personally for my cache I need to swap out the ccw holster for a better one. I have one on inventory but forgot to bring it. Also I need to add 3-4 speed strips. I prefer them to speed loaders and they are nice and flat for carry. Lastly when I 'check out' the revolver I need a plan to secure it independently of the cache to keep it away from curious little hands when not on my body.

- I have been looking hard at putting a larger handgun in the cache. First that would give me a mid range option in the continuum between a rather diminutive little carry piece and a rifle. Second it would be another gun that could arm someone. I would be able to arm another person while still having a backup myself or have one person with a rifle and two with pistols.  Options are a good thing.

*The last couple pieces are more notes for myself than anything else.

-Remember kids get out of the problem aspiration phase of caching. A decent plan executed today is better than a perfect plan you are just sort of wishing will come together down the road. Run with the good plan now and if the perfect fantasy plan comes together then run with that one also.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What Have You Been Up To In Preparedness Lately?

I revamped my get home bag.

Have an 80% solution on a resupply cache.

Selling stuff to buy more useful stuff.

Rotated some stored fuel. Will rotate more over the next 2-3 weeks till it is all fresh and properly preserved non ethanol gas.

Bought 350 pounds of dog food. That gives us about a 2 month supply.

Bought 20 pounds of just add water pancake mix and 2 big things of syrup.

We are looking at cargo trailers.

What have you been up to in preparedness lately?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bucket Cache Discussion Continued

From my post on the planned Bucket Cache I got some good comments. From others it seems apparent I did not explain my concept of use clearly. I will reply to the comments below. Comments will be in bold and my replies will be in italics.
Unknown said...
I've done this and think it's a great idea. I have several buckets and a couple bags at various friends houses. Cheap kit that's theirs if they need it. All I really added that you don't have is a change of clothes (several weights of socks) and a rain jacket of some sort. I also tossed in a couple of those draw string style backpack/gym bags that I obtained free from various places. That way I can carry the gear if I'm without my regular kit, or a second person can divide the load with me.


 Ryan here: A bag to carry the stuff is a good idea. Depending on space in the bucket after I add the planned stuff a set of clothes is a decent idea. 
Jamison said...
Don't go with the Tampons or anything of that ilk for a medical kit. Just as cost effective and actually works are ABD pads, 7.09$ prime shipping from Amazon. There are quite a few studies out there that advise people not to use feminine hygiene products for trauma. Tampons and Pads are used to soak up the blood and clot it internally where as an ABD pad and gauze are made to speed clotting.

Kerlix or Rolled Gauze, ABD pads and Gorilla tape are all low cost and effective first aid supplies. They might cost you a little more than a box of tampons but it works so much better. Throw in some triangular bandages with safety pins, a couple of pairs of gloves and you have a good low cost medical kit that you can make work for a lot of trauma situations.

These three items are what a little over 30$ from amazon and you can make six kits out of it, Two kerlix rolls, two Triangular bandages and say 4 abd pads, wrap some duct tape around a Bic pen (Cut pen to length) or a hotel key card, add a key ring or small carabiner to use with the triangular bandage as a windlass for an impromptu tourniquet. Seal in a zip-lock or vacuum bag, say 10$ top per kit for a good basic trauma setup. 

Ryan here:  1) My planned medical budget is like $3. I have an IFAK in my primary gear so the traumatic injury piece of the medical kit is an after thought. All joking aside I will look at budget options before going completely white trash IFAC.

tweell said...
Some oatmeal, rice, lentils, split peas and/or beans - cheap food.
A small pot from a garage sale or dollar store.
Basic spices.

Ryan here: I fear I didn't explain my plans correctly. I am not looking to hang out for any period of time. My goal is to have enough consumables to eat a good meal, maybe lie up for a few hours and then walk for another day.

In terms of food I am looking at calorie dense stuff that is ready to go but better if you heat it up. Something like a couple each of canned food, top ramen, oatmeal and tuna. Also probably a dozen granola bars for go food. I will not have the time or energy to boil up a pot of beans.

Anonymous said...
5 pounds flour, pint powdered milk, salt, baking powder - make bannock, gravy. Gill net - sure way to get fish. A few rounds of ammo for each of your weapons. Fire starter kit. Knife. Oil for weapons. Small tools. 

Ryan here: See the last post. I like where you are going for a survival cache but this is much more of a resupply of consumables to go a few more miles. As to the food I'm not going to cut a nice stick, start a fire and make some bannock. Heating up some ramen or chili is about the max amount of effort I would consider. As to the gill net I am not looking to sustain over the long term. Do not need tools to gather food, I need enough water and calories to get a few more miles down the road. 
Anonymous said...
I'm thinking a good multi-tool over a tool kit, though a small pair of ignition pliers is a very versatile lightweight addition. The string pack idea likewise is good - you want something that appears 'sheeple friendly'.

Maybe a couple of 5 hour energy shots ? I don't know their shelf life though. A water filter straw would also be a wise choice as well.

Good ideas above - thank you for the post! 

Ryan here: I'm not too worried about tools past a knife as my concept of use is on foot. Agree an option to carry the stuff is a good idea. A couple 5 hours or some caffeine pills is a good idea I will use. 
TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf said...
A lot depends on your route/plans. Traveling over land through forest/swamp would be different from traveling through urban or suburban turf, etc.

Distance / time needed to sustain you would be important.

Most of the time, you'd have your vehicle with you - at least to start out. Make sure at least your vehicle kit is squared away before worrying about caching stuff. Your vehicle = a cache on wheels.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bucket Cache

I am planning on putting together another cache. In looking at lightening up my get home bag and larger get home plan it became apparent to me that consumables could be an issue if the absolute worst case happened and I had to walk the entire way or even walk in a less direct route. With weight of consumables one can get to a catch 22 place where carrying enough consumables means you will move slower and use/ need more consumables.

The concept of use is a pre positioned resupply of water and some food en route. Sort of a logistical speedball that is sitting ready to go. Water is darn heavy and you genuinely need it to survive.

I plan to put a gallon or a gallon and a half of water in the cache.

Also mostly because I'm putting something together anyway I want to include some food, medical stuff and other basic survival doo dads. Since weight/ bulk is not at a premium the food will probably be a few MRE's as well as a couple cans and some granola bars or something. The medical will likely be some ghetto trauma stuff (think tampon and duct tape) as well as a few each of pepto, benadryl and Tylenol and some baby wipes. The survival stuff will probably be a couple contractor bags, a hundred feet of 550 cord, a Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, Black, 4.1-Inch , a lighter and a couple ranger bands.

My intent is to put this mostly together from stuff I already have. I'll have to purchase a thing or two but the total cost should be under $25 most of which is the knife.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

How Many Survival Bags/ Kits Do You Need?

This video brought the question up and I got to thinking

Personally I have two. I have a level 2.5 assault pack/ get home bag (old bag shown as the new one is pending a post) and a bug out bag. We also have some stuff in the family hauler and there is a BOB for Wifey. I don't really plan on adding any more kits unless they are for caches. A cache like Meisters 'Minute Man Cache with a rifle, pistol and BOB would be awesome.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

On Gear Consolidation: Stocking Deep n Caching vs Churning

T Blog wrote a post On Gear Consolidation that I have been thinking about.

Also a few years back I sold off a few guns to fund Project AR. They were either oddballs or outliers from the rest of my collection. I do not miss any of them. Selling stuff you no longer have a use for makes sense.

Now selling something useful I have a bit harder time with.

If you can afford it there is a lot to be said for keeping the servicable rigger belt with the clip you don't love as a back up belt, especially if it will fetch a negligible price.

Ditto for that $400 AK you bought a decade ago when such things were available.

It is worth considering if these items have a purpose. Do they fit into some part of your plans or is it just more junk?

It is also worth considering what the cash is going to purchase. Is it fundamentally making our situation better, neutral or arguably worse. If you want to sell odds n ends to buy super pails of food then rock on. On the other hand if you are selling that AK to spend on $400 tactical urban operations Crye Precision pants so you can look like some 'operator' on youtube that is stupid.

Something to consider is what sort of loss you take by selling that item. Some items like guns hold their value pretty well, especially if purchased used. Other items, with any degree of use, have values fall my a third or even half. These items I would have a hard time selling if they had any use because what you'll get out of them might not be worth it. Especially if you are a person always chasing the coolest new thing selling kit for a 30% write off to buy new stuff all the time will add up in price.

Alexander mentioned the false economics of holding onto stuff because it means you cannot cash out that value to acquire new stuff. I would agree but at the same time the economic power of already purchased gear cuts both ways. I could not have afforded to go out and set up my operational cache in one shot. That being said while it did theoretically represent value it was all stuff purchased years before sitting in closets and storage bins. I just about put that together from stuff on hand. Now I have a pretty good setup that really didn't cost me anything. In the next couple years I plan to set up another cache or two the same way. These are in my mind a great way to use serviceable stuff that is lying around, especially if you would take a decent write off by selling it.

While I do lean more towards the backup and cache side of the house I am planning (if I ever get off my butt) to sell some stuff I either no longer use or have in excess of my (redundant and paranoid) needs. This is mostly about clearing up some space and leveling out my stuff than anything else.

What do you all think?

Friday, February 6, 2015

RE: Minuteman Cache Example Part 1 by Meister

Meister was nice enough to do a nice breakdown of one of his caches in a post. This is a pretty darn nice, well thought out set up. That bin plus 2 cases of MRE's and a pair of cami's is an awesome setup that doesn't take up too much space. I would say this setup could work very well as an 'Operational Cache'.

Inevitably after the round of back patting for a job well done comes some hopefully constructive criticism. I didn't see a knife listed in there. Maybe a knife was in there and I missed it but with a cache of this size I think some basic survival implements such as a knife, lighter, water container, compass and such. Some sort of a knife should be present. We could debate a folder or fixed blade or both but IMO this setup should have a knife. At lease you could include a cheap but decent knife like a $15 Mora Companion.

Depending on how kinetic of a situation you anticipate I might throw a touch more 5.56; though I'm not entirely sure how much 5.56 is in there. Another of those 150 round Federal 5.56 boxes would be awful handy, after all if you have to shoot a rifle past a mag you probably have to shoot a lot.

Minor criticism's aside this is an awesome setup I would like to emulate. May have to look at setting one of these up myself.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Caches Discussion Continued

T Blog did a follow up on their 1k cache discussion. It sort of explains his original thinking behind the little series. Interesting stuff.

Meister did a post on Cache Locations and Strategy. There are a couple of interesting things here. In terms of locations we have to consider a couple things. In terms of sheer geography you need to be able to reach your cache from the area(s) you will be in when you need them. A cache that is a thousand miles away won't help in most situations. Heck if you are on foot a cache 50 miles away might as well be a thousand. This is counter balanced because at the most basic level if you need a cache something is wrong and your primary location is damaged, lost or not accessible to you. Gear and food in an out building might help if your home burns down but if there is a forest fire it will almost surely be lost also. So a cache has to be close enough to get to but far enough away to not be affected by whatever happened at home or between you to your home.  The sweet spot would be outside the range of the disaster in question but close enough that you can still reasonably access it. Of course no vehicle movement would seriously limit your range as would some sort of violent unrest.

This is about site location as well as geography, above simply a coordinate on a map.

It is worth noting that some concerns are not strictly geographically aligned. If you are in a group and worried about being arrested having a plan based on resupplying/ hiding at the home of another group member is flawed. That guy could be 50 miles away but he will likely be on the same naughty list. On the other hand a former co worker you are on good terms with a few miles away who is not involved in that group would be a much better choice.

Look at it like this. Keeping your hurricane supplies at Aunt Suzie beach house wouldn't make much sense and neither would keeping your weapons stash in the Gun Club President's basement. On the other hand while she might not have a stake in a civil unrest/ war or even care Aunt Suzie might let her favorite niece/ nephew put a couple of things up in the attic. Also the Gun Club President lives a few miles inland on a bit of a hill so your supplies would likely be safe. I know that scenario is a little bit gamed; the point I am trying to make is that different scenarios have different unique considerations.

Lastly in addition to being far enough away to not be affected by the disaster in question yet still accessible a cache needs to be in a place where you can use those supplies. Maybe you need an operational cache somewhere near work and a good stash of food at a location you might end up going to. No point in going to the effort to put 500 pounds of food with that operational cache when it is not needed and you cannot easily transport it. On the other hand the two days of easy grab and go food (which should be in the op cache) are a drop in the bucket when they sit on top of a dozen 5 gallon buckets of food.

A buddy is going to write something I'm pretty interested in reading so that might inspire some more discussion. Maybe I will talk more about this later.


Friday, January 30, 2015

1k Cache: Some Options That Make Sense To Me

Urban Escape and Evasion
Glock 9mm or .40 if that is your thing($400)
Mags n ammo $100 (500) I'd like to have 3 mags and 100 rounds of ammo.
Burner cell phone $30 (530)
Knife, folding. A basic CRKT or Kershaw. Anything decent at that price $25 (555)
Backpack day/ kid school bag sized either cheap new one or better used one $25 (580)
Boots, surplus $20 (600)
Flashlight, small $20 (620)
Belt and holster $40 (660)
Good will clothes and hat $40 (700)
Cash in small bills $300 (1k)

Rural Escape and Evasion/ Minute Man back up
Military pattern rifle $500. Whichever AK or AR you can find first at this price point. Something like a Mini-14 would suffice. 
Mags and ammo $150 (650). I'd like to have at least 5 or so mags and enough ammo to load them at least once.
Carry system for mags n such$30 (680). Probably ALICE though maybe you could piece together something with a FLIC MOLLE vest.
Basic gun cleaning stuff $20 (700). Probably a toothbrush, a rag and some lube.
Gently used boots, probably USGI issue. $20 (720)
Decent set of used clothes from the good will. Ideally good durable stuff in earth tones. Includes a hat and belt.$40 (760)
Poncho in earth tone. $30 (790)
Fleece, jacket and hat used or Wally World. In earth tone. $20 (810)
Grab and go food. Granola bars, a couple tuna pouches or whatever. $20 (830)
Cheap binoculars. $20 (850)
2x water bottles and 2 bottles of water purification stuff. $30 (880)
Backpack to put all this stuff in. $30 (910)
Medical kit. Very ghetto IFAK and a few feel good items like ibuprophen, bandaids, etc$20 (950)
Mora kniv $15 (965)
Remaining $35 can pad the gun and ammo budgets a bit.

Friday, January 16, 2015

From Around The Web

Mike Pannone: Making an M4 run like a Gazelle

Hoss USMC went and set himself up an Operational Cache. Good stuff. I did this awhile back and it is a comforting thing to have done.Hoss also stashed the same chest rig I did. Like that thing a lot and might end up getting another one down the road.

Hoss stashed some pretty nice gear and was able to put away a Glock, which I couldn't at the time. Hopefully when I'm in my cache area next I'll be able to stash one there. Do not get discouraged and fail to cache because you do not have a surplus of cool new gear, put away the stuff you do have. Take a couple guns that are collecting dust and put em away. Get some ammo for them and ancillary stuff. Throw in some way to carry ammo and whatever spare field gear you've got and put it someplace outside of your home/ 'retreat'. Just do it.

In sad news for the gun community:
New ATF fiat declaration ruling on the Sig Arm Brace. Apparently that the second order effect of this 'brace' being a decent stock and many people using it as such has caught the eye of the ATF. Shoulder at your own risk.

In positive news for the gun community Magpul announced some new products:
AK accessories/ furniture
60rd AR drums that should be reasonably priced ($100ish) and actually work and best of all
Magpul Glock Mags!!! MSRP is just under $16 so street price SHOULD be in the $13ish range, which is what half of factory Glock mags cost. When they come out I'll definitely buy some.

From our friends at Lucky Gunner
250 rounds of Seller and Bellot #4 Buck for $119
Tula 9mm for $205/1k
Federal 5.56 XM193 $173/500

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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

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

Today's question is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How Many Guns Do You Really Need?

I was chatting with a co worker about carry handguns and my upcoming purchase of well, something or another, and this topic came up. He asked myself and another guy (both gun owners, the question guy has a pretty good collection of a couple ar's, a few pistols, a shotgun or two, a .308 bolt gun and some other stuff. The second guy has a Glock 17, a .45 and a Sig 556.) how many guns we feel like we really need to have all the realistic bases covered.

They both laid out what they thought. I can't recall exactly what each said but both said some sort of defensive rifle, a hunting rifle, a pistol and a shotgun. Each had other stuff on their list but I can't exactly remember.

Of course this does not consider redundancy or caches. I will realistically keep buying guns as long as the process does not become too much of a hassle and I can afford it. I would like to have a room like the one in The Matrix in my house, a few Sara Conner Terminator style caches and numerous operational caches well, everywhere I can find to put one. Maybe it is better to call this a discussion on how many types of guns I think you really need but anyway. Do note that I am not going to get bogged down into models of guns or even caliber unless it specifically applies and then I'll give more of a general range.

My list in the order they popped into my head (so not by priority):
-Rifle, scoped hunting type. Something fairly flat shooting with a decent punch for big game.
-Rifle, defensive. Something military pattern and mag fed; AK, AR, etc.
-Handgun, service. Good old house gun. Caliber 9mm/ .38 special or larger. My preference would be for a modern double stack semi auto.
-Handgun, concealed carry. Options vary wildly based on environment, body size and such. Caliber 9mm/ .38 special or larger though a .380 isn't terrible I guess.
-Shotgun, pump in 12 gauge due to commonality. If restricted to 1 barrel it would be a 20-21 in and accept chokes. Otherwise I would have 1x 18.5in riot barrel and a longer hunting barrel that took chokes.
-.22 rifle. Something that is rugged and is accurate enough to train and pot squirrels if needed.

That's it for the 'need' list and really it has some luxury with two rifles as well as a dedicated CCW pistol.

Now for the 'nice to have' list:
-Handgun, .22lr. For training and pest erradication.
-Handgun, tiny. I'm talking Beretta .22/.25, NAA .22 revolver, etc. Arguably the difference between the CCW pistol and the tiny one can be split. I know a couple guys who have full sized handguns and little .380's they carry around most of the time and all things considered that's not a bad setup.

So my 'must have' list is 3 rifles, 2 handguns and a shotgun. The 'nice to have' list adds two more handguns.

What is your 'must have' list? What is your 'nice to have' list.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Dreams, Caches and Cabins

Maybe dreams are messages for us or something from our deeply hidden unconscious or maybe they are just some random stuff that pops into our heads. I do not know or particularly care. Anyway I had a rather odd one last night and wanted to remember it.

Was in the woods. It was the sort of dense low pine forest on flat terrain that we have here in CENLA but really could have been any woods down here from east Texas to the eastern Seaboard

I say we because I was with two people from work who we will call B and L. They are co workers and good people. I wouldn't necessarily call us friends but work friends is appropriate. The type of people you BS with in slow times, go to lunch with, hang out with at mandatory social events, etc.

We were on foot. We were not running away like folks with dogs were in pursuit or something but were moving deliberately in a situation that was not good.

We came into a small clearing, like the kind where there is still a bit of a canopy but the under growth is largely absent. It was clear this was where we were going, though it seemed to be a temporary stop to resupply.

The (I presume MY) cache was in a CONEX. It was not buried like the one in terminator though it was sort of obscured/ concealed so it was not readily visible.  We all went inside. At least part of the inside were shelves and racks full of various stuff.

We arrived partially equipped. It seemed like a larger group or camp got caught by surprise and folks scattered to the winds with whatever they could grab in a few seconds. Somehow I had a rifle and a FLIC or something holding ammo, another guy had a rifle but no gear and a third had only body armor. B who was short a FLIC quickly claimed and much admired my war belt. I recall thinking we would have to sort of who got which of MY fighting loads later but that it was not a concern for right now. L felt a lot better when I handed him a rifle.

We seemed to be getting ready to go do something or another. If we were going back to wherever we left or elsewhere was not clear. In any case when we were mostly equipped the dream faded out.

Discussion: I have put some energy and resources into caches in the last couple years. Am not quite where I want to be but am closer than ever before which is something. Would like to set up a couple more small caches and a big one.

- For the small ones I would need to purchase the more expensive items which would go in them so there is a cost factor of a few to several hundred dollars. One would likely be more rural patrolling/ E&E based and the other more urban based. Very realistically I could do one of these per year for the next two years and have that knocked out.

-The big one would be on a piece of land I own ideally with some sort of structure. In this situation I would seriously look at doing a Sarah Conner Baja style cache. Thanks to Alexander Wolfe for having the pic ready to find when I typed Sarah Conner cache into google.

Though more realistically 2-3 smaller ones in 3-4ft pieces of culvert or water tanks would probably make more sense. Smaller caches would keep all off my 'eggs' from being in one basket and also be easier to put in discretely and incrementally as finances allow.

We looked at a place not too far back but it didn't turn out to be such a good option after a deeper look. Money is definitely a consideration here. If the perfect place came up we could swing it now but that would not be smart. We are going to need to do some saving to make it work in a reasonable and responsible way. I would like to say this is a realistic 5 year goal but baring a significant cash influx or finding the perfect place and just saying 'lets do it' I suspect closer to 10 is likely.

So anyway I had a dream and have been thinking about caches and cabins. Hopefully this rambling monologue was interesting or informative for some of you. Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Put a scope on my Ruger 10/22 and zeroed it.

Shot the .308. It is definitely on paper but the spread is about 3MOA. Not what I would call zeroed especially for that type of rifle.

Put a bunch of stuff in a cache. Clothes, sleeping bags, blankets, a weeks worth of just add water type food for 4 people and some other various stuff. A trip I had been meaning to make for awhile.

Rotated some fuel.

So that is what I did this week. What did you do to prepare this week?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Free Men Can Own Modern Weapons

Guard your rights. Prepare for circumstances where people may try to impinge upon them. Caches are your friend.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

RE: "You Win, Andy, I Registered my AR"

Captains Journal brought this to my attention. A radio personality named Bob Lonsberry who is a syndicated to be honest I've never heard of ultimately decided to register his AR-15 in the closing days of the NY "SAFE Act" registration period. He wrote a blog post about it. The main themes were upholding the constitution which he believes this law clearly violates and his belief that a citizen should obey all laws and work to change or remove the bad ones. He also mentioned a fear that since he is a fairly public person who has mentioned owning an AR-15 on multiple occasions over the years and is not well liked by some in local politics/ law enforcement the odds he would get SWAT'd a day after the registration period closes then prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law are high (my words not his) . Mr Lonsberry he did go over some of the obvious available options to sell, move or alter his rifle. None of them were particularly appealing so he ended up just registering said rifle.

Now to my thoughts:

I feel for gun owners in these situations and am hesitant to criticize the personal decisions they make in regards to complying with various blatantly unconstitutional laws including the 'SAFE Act'.

The two options that were not covered are moving and hiding your newly banned guns, in the attic or a cache or whatever. Moving is a pretty hard sell for this one. Honestly the writing has been on the wall about New York for a long time. I'm not saying there aren't pro freedom folks there; just that legal adults willing to move to achieve more freedom probably did so awhile back.

As to just hiding the gun(s). That option has validity in some situations. If a guy bought an AK/ AR decades ago that he has little desire to shoot regularly and few people, none of whom are problematic, know he owns it's simple. Take the gun out of a safe, grease it up and put it into a cache along with some mags and ammo. You can't get at it daily or take it to the public range but you would have the rifle in case of some sort of SHTF type need. On the other hand for a person who is known to own said gun(s), especially if he is not in favor with local law enforcement that is probably not the best plan. These laws are ignored for well known liberals, vigorously enforced on well known conservatives and more or less universally if lethargically enforced on the common man. Also if you rely on a gun as part of your current (vs magical SHTF time) defensive setup having it greased up in a PVC pipe 3 feet under the ground in the woods 400m from your house is not a good plan.

An option for an individual who might have multiples of the same type of gun (specific such as 2x AK/AR or general such as an AR and a Mini 14) might be to register one and stash another. If some of the purchases were discrete private party transactions that would make this option a lot easier. This way there is a legal weapon in your home that can be used to train, enjoy and defend yourself and another stashed in case your state gets grabby. Something to think about anyway.

As to one thing Mr Lonsbury said I have to disagree.
"The fear is that registration leads to confiscation. We shouldn’t fear the consequences of that, Andy, you should. Because when you come for the guns it won’t be the Capitol in the dark of the night, it will be Lexington green in the full light of day. We won’t think of Abraham Lincoln, we’ll think of Charlton Heston.

So we’re clear, Andy, the next step is cold, dead hands."

That sounds really nice. Also I genuinely hope this terrible law is repealed in it's entirety. Hoping for New York to swing back to the conservative side is probably unrealistic, akin to hoping for Kentucky or Texas to go blue. 

It is not an absolute that registration always leads to confiscation. Then again I am not aware of any exceptions. It would probably be reasonable to say that most widespread registration schemes have led to at least some firearms being sold/ transferred/ confiscated/ destroyed.

In New York the question of what could happen is pretty clear. We can look at what happened to our friend Commander Zero, a New York native, way back in the 90's. They sent him a piece of paper and since he'd moved to Montana he scrawled Molon Labe on it then sent it back. Ya know what they did, sent cops to his old address in NY. The bottom line is that it's not going to be a field full of militiamen (unless you know a bunch of them willing to violently resist confiscation, unlikely in NY) awaiting the British; it is going to be a couple of cops showing up at your door. Instead of people you probably don't know and have never trained with at your side it will be the while the Mrs and your kids are sitting in the living room in the line of fire.

I have my own personal beliefs about gun confiscation in America. This is one of those places where states are seeing and I believe will continue to see increasingly divergent out comes. As a matter of fact New York has actually sent armed men to normal peoples homes to forcibly take their private property (in the form of newly verboten weapons). I think California has done the same thing. This is something I cannot see happening in Oregon, Idaho, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, etc all. In many of these places I am unsure how much government and law enforcement would participate. I suspect such confiscation would be widely ignored in these sorts of places and in some cases maybe actively opposed.

Unlike some who talk a big game on the internet then do whatever the cops say if something actually happens I have never really been in this situation so I'm not a hundred percent on what I would do. Also if I did know and had plans to potentially violate a law it would be foolish to say so. One could look at my posts on private party firearms though the form 4473 isn't that huge of an issue really and caches, such as an operational cache and draw their own conclusions. The choice on what to do in a situation like this certainly has a lot of factors. At the end of the day it comes down to a choice everyone has to make for themselves.


Edited to include: On the topic of gun confiscation in the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia. I am not entirely sure of the status as to whether that has really happened. Sort of hinted at that with the 'I think' in the first post but as Aesop noted for the sake of intellectual honesty that is sort of a question mark. As to a full on ' you are on the list' a la NYC thing baring compelling evidence from a legitimate source I've got to say I cannot confirm that sort of thing happened. That being said I have heard enough whisperings here or there to say there could be some truth to the matter. The shades of grey as to how much confiscation has been clouded in 'mental instability' or 'anonymous tips' or whatever I cannot say; there could be enough wiggle room there to pick the answer that fits your mood and purpose. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Low Cost High Value Guns

He doesn't talk the used market which was central to my Basic Guns series (Part 1, Part 1.5, Part 1.75, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 4.5) but given all the dynamics of that market it is understandable and probably easier to talk new prices.

For rifles going with a Mosin Nagant or a 30-30 lever gun are both great options. The Mosin wins for economics and if you want to scope it while the 30-30 wins for class and well 'Merica. Also some new rifles like the Savage Axis and Ruger American (neither of which I have experience with) really push the value envelope.

For pistols I would probably still take an old S&W .38 or Ruger .38/.357 but upon reflection for this discussion their price point is a bit aggressive for this nitche. Also when you can get an S&W Shield (if you can find one), an S&W Sigma or any manner of Ruger P series pistols in the $400 range it is a hard sell to shop around and pay a bit more for a wheel gun.

For shotguns I would lean hard towards the Maverick 88. It is Mossberg's off brand so the finish is a bit rougher than the already not perfect Mossberg BUT IT IS A FUNCTIONAL PROVEN GUN. Second would be the H&R Pardner. I have heard good things from smart people about them.

My .22 would either be a Marlin model 60 or some sort of basic bolt gun, maybe an older common but potentially no longer made used one.

Figuring $300-350 for the rifle if you go lever/ bolt or $200 for a Mosin, $400 for a handgun, $200 for a shotgun and a bit more than a hundred bucks for a .22 for slightly more than a grand you could get 4 good guns that will serve you well. Figuring under a grand used is very realistic, if you want a lever gun or new budget bolt gun (Axis, etc) it will be a little bit more. That is a lot of money for some folks but spread out over a year or two (you will also need ammo, etc) it is pretty realistic.

Sure you could cobble together a combination of guns that would be cheaper but I want this to be good solidly decent guns you won't be rushing out to replace in a couple years. These guns are good for any manner of self defense stuff. For gunnies who may already own their working guns these would offer a lot of value for back up's and caches.

(Note I used my best guesses on prices to put this together. Lets not get too bogged down in exact prices. Sure deals do pop up occasionally but the days of $150 used S&W police trade in revolvers, $80 Mosin's, $125 SKS's and $350 AK's are long gone so save me your outdated and misleading price estimations.)


Friday, January 17, 2014

Walking Dead Midseason Trailer

The second half of the season should be good Zombie slaying fun for sure. I wish these folks would figure out the concept of caches and rally points but what can ya do. That would make the almost inevitable time when a position becomes untenable a whole lot less painful.
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