Max Velocity wrote about his SAS Smock which inspired me to talk about my favorite pieces of kit. I am big into waterproof shell jackets. They are just great. For the uninitiated the correct way to dress for bad weather is in layers. Instead of one mondo coat you might wear a light shell jacket, long underwear (synthetic or light wool) and a wool sweater. That way if it heats up you can ditch the sweater. If it stops raining you could take off the shell. If you start doing physical labor, even in the cold you might strip down to the long underwear top. The point is to be able to adjust to your conditions to avoid being cold OR just as dangerously overheating. Sweating too much due to excessive clothing leads to your body heat going up, your body losing water and that water soaking into your clothes. When you eventually slow down and cool down that means you are in S(*T state. Seriously an absurd percentage of heat injuries happen that way. Smart folks start off cold knowing they will be good when their body heats up. I have done road marches in the snow wearing BDU's with a t shirt underneath and gloves. It was cold for a few minutes but then I was good to go. Anyway getting off that soap box.
The good ole shell jacket takes a lot of forms. Way old school would be some sort of oil skin. Recently the creation of goretex as well as numerous comparable but more affordable jackets have come into creation. The good old coated nylon is also a valid option. The point is to have a comfortable piece of clothing that blocks wind and is strongly water resistant or water proof.
Unlike Max's Smock none of the coats I have are equipped with several huge pockets. Also the smock is bigger if I recall which is nice for wearing with gear or different types of clothing. I really like that idea though I'm not able/ willing to spend a couple hundred bucks on an unknown coat, especially since I'm pretty shell jacket rich.
For the civilian side I like a good gore tex or associated knock off jackets by any major manufacturer. Mine come from an outlet mall we go to once in awhile. Wifey likes to shop and I go there to see if there are any deals. Think I paid $40 or so for a new brand name jacket a year or so ago. Still got the one I purchased a decade before which is servicable but is dated for everyday wear. I usually keep one in our vehicle. It comes in very handy in warmer places when it rains. Perfect for down here in Louisiana.
On the military side the old answer was a Gore-Tex jacket. Lately the new ECWS Gen III level 5 "Soft Shell" jacket is a great entry to the arena. It is a lot lighter and folds up smaller than the Gore-Tex which is nice. Admittedly it is water resistant vs a truly water proof gore tex but I've used them in some nasty weather without issue. This is my preferred jacket for duty type wear. Toss a poly pro top under it and you are good to go for most weather. If it gets really bad slip a fleece in there too.
So in conclusions there are a lot of ways to go but at the end of the day you would be well advised to purchase a quality water proof/ resistant jacket.
Today was pretty darn good in general and from a free stuff angle.
We stumbled into a big box of little girl clothes from a friend of a friend who has a girl Walkers age. She was just waiting for somebody who could use them and we lucked out. Wifey took a look and most of them were tiny baby stuff. This means right away we do not need to buy any clothes for when she comes which is great. This means we can shift focus on getting the next size or two filled out.
We are getting a whole bunch of free camping gear. The in laws are downsizing and thus getting rid of a lot of stuff. FIL and the boys were really involved in scouting for years and acquired enough stuff for a squad minus to go camping either from a car or via backpack. Seriously too much good stuff to list, that will probably be another post. It was like a crazy survivalist Christmas for me.
Today dinner was particularly awesome. We had stuffed pork chops, basically a big 2 inch thick chop,slit down the middle and filled with stuffing. The result was wonderful. We had them with mashed potatoes and veggies. They went well with a bottle of Moose Drool.
I started reading the new Jim Rawles new book Founders today and am about halfway into it. A review will follow in due course but so far it has been a nice part of a pretty nice day. Huge thanks to Jim Rawles and Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy to review.
On yeah and I have run 4 more miles so far this week which puts me at 28.5. Not ideal and far from 50 but considering I am on leave; where my track record of doing any PT is terrible I am happy with it.
Anyway that is what has been going on here today. It has been a real nice day here and I hope things are going equally well for you.
I sort of touched on this topic before but it seems to be worth revisiting. We shipped off our household goods recently so the place is empty. Right now we are living out of 4 big duffels/ suitcases, 2 carry on sized suitcases and 2 backpacks. It will be this way for a couple months. We put some thought into the stuff we kept and to be honest we don't really need anything else. Of course kitchen stuff, furniture and preps are not part of the equation here. I am mostly talking about normal day to day living. It is truly astounding the amount of stuff we have in relation to what we actually use, let alone need. We have clothes for a week in summer or fall weather, entertainment via computers, kindles, books and toys for kiddo.
During the prelim to shipping our stuff we dropped off 3 big garbage bags of clothes at the thrift store. We also threw away 2 big bags of stuff that was in fairly bad shape.
Wifey and I got to talking and if all of our stuff was gone (like the boat it is on goes down or something) we would probably replace half or a third of it. Our goal is to cut out even more stuff on the other end when we move in and get settled. Maybe we are becoming minimalists or at least slowing down our pack rat tendencies.
As to how this relates to survivalism. At the risk of rehashing the last post. It isn't so much that I am against stocking stuff deep. Just that I am for stocking the right stuff deep AND getting rid of unnecessary stuff in our life. Case in point. I donated 2 sweaters and a quilted long sleeved t shirt thing. I hadn't worn 1 in forever or the other two that were gifts well, ever. I kept both of my wool sweaters even though I haven't worn them in years because well wool sweaters are a good thing to have around.
This got me to thinking about how this all relates to guns. The first question would be how many guns does a person really need. I guess the logical reply would be "to do what?" A guy who hunts big game, varmit and birds, shoots high power, 3 gun, skeet, trap, IDPA and Cowboy action that also wants to equip his family of 8 for Red Dawn style warfare would have to own a whole bunch of guns.
However most people's goals are a lot simpler. I laid out a strategy for (re) building a basic battery awhile back. Basically I would get a pistol, shotgun or rifle, then a rifle if I went shotty first, a bolt gun then another pistol and rifle. Somewhere in the middle I would get a .22 pistol and a .22 rifle or conversion kit for an AR. That would leave me with 2 Glocks, 2 AK/AR's (I said AK in the older
post but it is 6 of 1 and a half dozen of the other), a shotgun and a bolt gun. I can't see any gaping holes though a toy size subcompact pistol would be nice. Honestly if I woke up tomorrow and this was my setup I would be fine with that. Honestly I could do just about everything I really want to. Sure 4 more of each weapon listed and a few more random guns would be nice but that would really just be icing on the cake. When the kid's get close to old enough I will get another rifle and pistol each. Which brings us to the other end of the gun spectrum.
After discussing how many guns is enough to be getting by you wonder how many is too many, if there is such a thing. It might come as a shock to you but I don't think you can have too many guns, at least not exactly. You can however spend too much money on guns at the expense of other things. If you have 8 AR's and do not have night vision, body armor, a serious food storage plan and a decent emergency fund then I would argue you are in fact doing yourself a disservice. It is mostly about being proportionate in all areas.
Anyway I have got to wrap this up. Remember, freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.
This week I stumbled into 4 brand new pair of multicam uniforms and a couple combat shirts. Also when at the local PX I swung through the outdoor section just to check things out. Products sort of rotate sporatically so it is good to see what they have got. I was pleased to see they had the Buck 110 with a black leather sheath in stock. I have been trying to order one through amazon but nobody would ship to me which is one of the joys of living over here. Anyway I picked one up. I also picked up one of those magnesium and flint firestarter jobbers.
I did a nice 5 mile trail run and had some good times at the weight pile which was nice. I feel like things are getting back onto track. Also I was able to get a lot of sleep this weekend and am on the upswing from the cold. Had some good times with the wife and kid too. All in all it was a week that I am pretty happy with.
Today was kind of a busy day for us. This afternoon I went and picked up a bunch of used 2T clothes for Walker for $25 that Wifey found on the interwebz. He will still need some more pajama's but the bulk of the shopping is done. The lady tossed in some 3T stuff also. We washed and folded it so everything is ready for when the stuff is needed in a couple months.
Walker is currently wearing 18 month clothes and we have already got his 24 month stuff. We have bought almost all of it used for great deals. Buying stuff used often takes time, especially when you want something specific and are cheap. It is sort of like that saying about construction "you can have fast, right or cheap but only get to pick two." We could get him a bunch of clothes that he needs tomorrow but we would be paying a lot more. On the other hand if we anticipate our needs a few months in advance we can wait for the right deal to come along.
I found a bunch of toys in a bag by a dumpster. Needless to say I grabbed it up. Wifey went through it all and decided what to keep. We got a ton of new stuff for Walker. Also I found a toddler bed that somebody had thrown away. We will have to put it together and check it out but it appears servicable. We cleaned and sterilized everything (though it seemed clean but you never know) and it is ready for Walker. He really likes the fire truck and having another ball to carry around.
Dumpster diving is one of my favorite things to do. I just love finding free stuff.
Later Wifey decided to figure out how to make some snacks. First she made wheat crackers. The recipe came from Frugal and Simple and they resemble wheat thins. The first picture is before. The dough is rolled out then cut with a pizza cutter before baking.
The second picture is from after baking. The white stuff is a bit of flour that helps minimize stickiness. It is the only white flour used in the recipe.
After that she made dehydrated yogurt bites in the dehydrator. Walker loves these things but they are like $3 for a tiny package! He gets them when we travel and we keep some around for various reasons but they are too expensive to feed to him all the time.
If it wasn't obvious almost all of this stuff except the dumpster diving was Wifey. She does all sorts of things like haunting used stuff boards and cooking snacks to stretch my earnings as far as possible. Also feeding the kid healthy stuff is important to her. It is also worth noting that she can do these things because she has time. If Wifey was working at a full time job she would not be able to do these things.
It seems Afghanistan has a very hot summer (110+ is common) and a cold winter (averages below freezing) with about 4-6 weeks of nice pleasant weather in between where fall and spring should be.
Today winter seems to have come to my current little piece of this miserable country. That means it was time to pull out cold weather gear from my pile of junk and get them ready to conveniently grab. I am going to tell you what I dug out and briefly discuss a few items. The list is as follows:
-Fleece (This is the piece of outer clothing that gets the most use in the cold, dry or snowy winters I have been in recently. I keep a pair of light gloves and a fleece cap in the pockets so I always have them.)
-Fleece watchcap (Get two, one of mine is always in the laundry or MIA. They are cheap anyway.)
-Insulated puffy jacket (I didn’t use this at all last winter but just pulled it out because I was digging and saw it. These are however a good thing to have if it gets real cold, or if you will be outside and sedentary.)
-Lightweight shell jacket (This doesn’t get a lot of use in the cold dry or snowy winters I’ve been in recently. However in a drizzly and 50 PNW sort of winter these are great.)
-Heavy gloves (my light gloves were already out)
-Silk weight long underwear (These are just so great. I wear them almost every day in the winter. Light enough that you will not roast inside but warm enough to be comfortable outside. Also great for when you will be moderately active in chilly weather or active in cold weather. Since these get worn a lot and are right on your skin getting at least 2 pair so you can have one in the laundry and another to wear or a change if you get wet is prudent.)
-Heavy long underwear. (I use the top semi regularly and rarely use the bottoms unless it is real cold and I will be sedentary. They are WARM.)
-Goretex boots (If you are going to use boots often then getting a boot drier or a second pair is important so you can have dry boots in the morning. Boots are expensive but a second set is probably not a bad thing anyway.)
Note- I did not look for or mention but regularly use a neck gator. They are great for keeping your face and neck warm and can be pulled over your head also if need be. These are good because if you warm up you can just pull it down to your neck and let it hang out.
All of this stuff is issued to us however I listed it as brand/ model nonspecific intentionally. My goal was to let you know the types of gear I use regularly in cold weather instead of getting bogged down in specifics. With a combination of the above clothing I can mix and match to stay as comfortable as possible during a variety of winter weather and activity levels.
As a civilian at home I always keep a full change of real clothes, including boots, a heavy coat, gloves and a hat as well as a sleeping bag in my vehicle during the winter. I do this because occasionally I hop into the car in slippers and pajama pants to run to the store for something Wifey needs for a recipe or whatnot.
The hard part about decent winter clothing is that it is not cheap; particularly good boots which can get pricey in a hurry. If you are regularly outside in the winter, particularly far from shelter and clean, dry clothes for long periods (vs say a construction worker who can go change clothes at lunch and dry everything out after work daily) or overnight it is pretty darn important that you have the right gear. Winter is an unforgiving beast. I do not recommend that you go into debt or put yourself in a state of financial hardship to get winter gear. If you plan in advance and shop around some relatively good deals can be had in the off season. If you ‘can’t afford’ serviceable winter clothes and footwear even at those discounts I would take a holistic look at your spending patterns. Maybe you can shave some fat, at least temporarily, from another place in your budget. For those who are disabled, in school or just barely scraping by and genuinely can’t afford to properly outfit their selves I recommend not intentionally getting into any situation your current gear can’t handle. If you go messing around in the snow in summer boots, cotton and low quality junk gloves you might lose some appendages or worse.
Welcome back home. Looks like we will be having a white Christmas....
Re the article.
During WW2, while most things in the UK were going down the tube, second hand stores were doing a booming, and unrationed, business. I think the same thing will happen in the US when TSHTF. There are so many people with excess clothing, both cheap and well-made types, that I don't really foresee needing to do a lot of sewing "from scratch."
Patching, general repairs and alterations, otoh, will be very important. These are entirely different skills, and in many ways, much easier to do. I recently found some excellent beginner sewing books for sale at our library book sale. Paid 50 cents each and bought all they had. For fancy hand-sewing (decorative knots and stitching, get books on needle-point, embroidery, petit-point, cross-stitch, etc. There are many magazines and blogs available, too.)
For those folks who are sewing shy, just learning how to hem, put in a fold at a waistband, or put on buttons and snaps, are very good places to start. Actually, just learning how to thread a needle is a good first step. In fact, realizing that you need to stockpile sewing supplies (called notions) and putting together a sewing kit might be an "adjustment reaction" that a lot of people need to go thru.
Suggested items for a hand-sewing kit:
Needles in a variety of sizes, including self-threading ones if you can find them.
Cotton or cotton/polyester thread in different colors, but esp. black, white, brown(s), blue(s), red and green. Pure cotton thread sometimes shrinks in hot water when you wash clothing, so I try to go with a combination-type.
Very fine fishing line (use for hemming or repairing heavy duty clothing)
Waxed dental floss (excellent for sewing on buttons)
Straight fabric shears and pinking shears (these are the ones that have the sawtoothed edge and are used for cutting cloth so that it doesn't unravel)
Pin cushion (I use a bar of soap which helps to keep the pins and needles slick)
Straight pins (the larger the head the better) and safety pins, several sizes, including diaper pins
Ruler (12 and 36 inches)
Measuring tape (not metal ones like those used for carpentry. Sewing tapes are made out of soft cloth or other bendable material so you can measure around waists, etc.)
Wooden darning egg (I was taught to darn using an old lightbulb. Cheaper, but a bit more difficult to handle)
Marking chalk or transfer paper (to transfer pattern lines onto cloth. We used to use true carbon paper, but there are probably other products available now)
Marking roller (a pizza cutter with a light hand will do in a pinch. You have to be careful not to cut through the pattern OR the material.)
Sewing hoop (used primarily for fine hand work like cross-stitch, appliques, needle point, etc., but also very useful for small repairs where it helps to stretch out or stabilize the material)
You can also add various standard patterns, extra zippers, extra buttons. I keep a button jar and cut all the buttons off any shirts that I am recycling into rags or other projects.
If you will be using a sewing machine:
You will need much more thread and BOBBINS, which are parts of the machine that enable simultaneous stitching on both sides of the fabric. Usually, you fill the bobbin with the same thread you use for the top stitch, but you don't have to. Some projects intentionally use two colors for contrast.
If you are really concerned about having to live off-grid, you might want to start looking for a "treadle" sewing machine, which uses foot-power, not electricity. They are still available, and though might require some repairs, are often comparatively inexpensive.
When the SHTF it's unlikely that the big box store from which you buy your pants and shirts is going to be open for business. I strongly feel that in order to be a well-rounded prepper you need to learn the the basics of sewing. This is the story about how I got on the road to learning the absolute basics.
I started off buy making patch work quilts by hand. Patch work quilts are easy because they only involve straight lines. You can use just about anything to make a patch work quilt - old work shirts, old bed sheets, clothes the kids have outgrown, etc. Start small so you don't get overwhelmed or frustrated. Make a patch work quilt that would fit a twin size bed. If that sounds like too much work think about making a lap quilt. Curtains are also a great project for beginners because they usually need only simple stitches and straight lines. Curtains can be made in an afternoon.
The next thing I did was buy an old Singer sewing machine and I made patch work quilts on the machine. I bought a sewing machine that only had the easy and basic stitches. There are a lot of sewing machines on the market ranging from a $125 (for a used one) up to several thousand dollars. I suggest putting off a purchase of an expensive sewing machine until you feel comfortable on a basic model.
My next step was to buy sewing "projects" that came in boxes. For example, I made two teddy bears from a sewing kit that I bought at the fabric store. The kit was inexpensive and the instructions told me exactly what to do. The kit allowed me to understand the importance of patterns. It also helped me to understand how sewn objects are put together. As silly as it sounds that teddy bear kit was a real confidence booster for me.
Another great way to understand how clothes (or other sewn items) are put together is to take them apart piece by piece. Learn how they are constructed by deconstructing them.
A few days ago I bought another sewing kit with instructions and material for an apron inside. My confidence waxed and waned as I worked through the project. The lady at the fabric store told me that it only took her an hour to complete the project. It has taken me a day and I'm still not done, but I must admit that the apron looks pretty good. By using this kit I was able to learn even more about patterns and sewing techniques such as how to sew on a ruffle. My confidence is slowly rising even further.
My next (and last) step will probably be to buy a simple pattern to make a shirt or maybe a skirt. I'm excited because it's taken me a while to get to this skill level.
I began sewing about 3 years ago. Sewing is part art, part science, part skill, and part luck. It is not something you can learn overnight!!! Start small, stay within your skill range, don't give up, go slow, and only work on projects that look fun so you will stay interested.
If TSHTF and the big box store and the local seamstress is AWOL it's important that you be able to know how to make basic clothing. Food and firearms are important but clothing to brave the elements is essential also.
by Sam In The Trailer Park
TOR HERE: I just want to thank Sam for the post. On another note I am pleased to announce that her trailer park still hasn't been wiped out by a tornado.
In the PNW and Germany winter seems to finally be upon us. This is a good time to dig out your coat, boots and gloves. We don't really travel outside of our immediate area so we don't worry much about a winter survival kit. If you do then adding a sleeping bag, etc to your car kit is probably a good call. In any case tossing an old coat, a hat, gloves and boots into your vehicle is too easy not to do. I find in your winter coat it is a good practice to put a pair of gloves and a warm hat into the pockets. They go unnoticed until you need them and then you've got them.
Personally I wear a lot of fleece. A fleece hat, gloves and jacket are standard during this season. If you are hard up for cash then surplus wool is a darn good way to go. Its only real drawback (aside from aesthetics) is that it is bulky and HEAVY. Not however an issue for most people unless they are doing something really active outside or trying to live out of a bag.
I like winter or definitely appreciate parts of it. One thing I like is that it is perfect for all those warm feel good staple meals. Lets fact it people don't really want stew or chili or chicken and dumplings in August when it is 100 degrees outside. Also I like quiet winter evenings. Instead of feeling lazy when I am doing nothing at 1900 on a weekday I am happy that I am warm and inside. Sometimes having a warm drink and just looking at the horrible weather outside is a pretty good passtime.
I think when PM's drop a little bit I am going to buy some silver. Almost bought on the last dip below $25 and likely will the next time it goes there. I kinda wanted to see if it would dip into the low $24 range but maybe I just need to get adjusted to the new reality.
As a final though after spending so much time freezing out in horrible winter weather my favorite winter passtime is probably looking at the horrible weather outside from my warm residence. A nice drink and slippers help.
Idaho Preps offers a variety of different gear from firearms accessories and tactical gear to backpacks and outdoor gear. The diversity of their products is pretty impressive in and of itself. $7 flat rate shipping that they offer is a big plus. They are also serious about customer service. Knowing they will take care of me (thinking about the range bag and the T Shirts are nice also:) and you all is very important.
Anyway please take a couple minutes and check out their site. If you like something there by all means purchase it and say that I sent you!
Has anyone else noticed this phenomena called 'skinny jeans'? They are worn by guys and girls, apparently in some circles it is cool to be sorta androgynous again. Anyway I have seen a couple girls wearing these who just should not have been and it got me thinking.
It definitely takes a certain type of body to wear these things. Seen a couple girls in them who were not fat or anything but they just didn't work at all. Ass and hips don't go well in them and an otherwise nice looking girl ends up looking really stupid. Wifey observed that teens say "this is cool so I am going to wear it" regardless of if it works for them and it takes till the 20's to figure out that even if something is 'cool' if you look stupid in it you don't get the 'cool points' but do look stupid.
I wasn't going to write about this because it doesn't really have anything to do with anything. Today I tied it to something meaningful.....
It doesn't matter what is cool or good or whatever. It matters what is cool or good or whatever FOR YOU!
If some expert says that a 1911/ G17/XLY 83 is the best pistol ever that is fine but if it isn't right for you then get something else. What is right for you is what matters. [On this specific matter I strongly suggest sticking with a popular pistol from a major manufacturer in a common caliber. There are plenty of options to fit any need but popular pistols from major manufacturers are such for a very good reason. Ditto for common (or at least pretty common) calibers are such for a reason.]
If the coolest expert says living this way in that place is best that is fine. Sure they have some great points but you need to live in the way and place that is best for you and your situation. Maybe a house with a basement on an oversized lot with a big garden in a small town is better for you than a compound out in the hinderboonies.
The bottom line is that no matter what anyone else says if it doesn't work for your situation then things are going to be dysfunctional and awkward. Major choices have far greater consequences than some girl looking dumb at the mall.
Today was kind of a busy day. Woke up at about the normal time. The absence of a super dry mouth and a pounding headache was real nice. We ran all sorts of errands which was good. At the store there was a guy bagging groceries who offered to take them out for us. Being able bodied I said I've got it. On the way out Wifey noticed a sign saying bag guys only get paid tips. I walked back in and gave him a buck. Figure as someone who makes decent scratch these days I can circulate a bit more but want to do it how I want and to whom I want.
Apparently North Korea decided to test a long distance missile. I am glad they are making offensive weapons instead of putting money into things like feeding their starving population (1,2,3). The UN is going to have a meeting about it. I feel totally confident that the community of nations will be able to take care of this enormous threat to the world in a quick and peaceful manner.
The amazing Wifey is making BBQ chicken pizza with bacon. It smells amazing. I do not have any big plans for tonight. My stuff is all packed for tomorrow. I will probably eat dinner, watch some TV, stretch a bit and then read until I get tired enough to go to bed.
The weather is going to be pretty crappy this week. I brought more changes of t shirts and socks then normal and made extra sure everything is packed to stay dry. Clothes and Sleeping bag in wet weather bags, all the little stuff in my other pouches in plastic bags. My ruck should live in a dry place but it pays to be careful. I've got an interesting sounding book on Afghanistan and my little radio so if we have down time (we always seem to) I've got something to do. Packed bagels, peanut butter, crackers and easy cheese to break up the MRE monotony a little bit.
A big part of prepping is accumulating lots of stuff. It is not everything but it is a pretty major part of what we do. I am going to talk about some simple strategies to accumulate needed stuff.
First lets break this whole thing down a little. To simplify things a lot there are two kinds of stuff, single use and durable goods. A rifle cartridge is single use while the rifle is durable. Significantly different strategies can be used for these types of stuff.
The main way I stock up on durable stuff is by holding onto the older stuff I have. A pair of pants that are a bit worn is far better then no pants. Wrong color, odd fashion from a couple years ago, whatever. Still a lot better then being neikid. An older beat up pan that have been replaced becomes the camping pan. I have bunches of blankets because I never throw them out. Some are odd sizes or colors but they would keep me warm.
Single use stuff can not be accumulated in the same manner because once it is used it is done. Can't eat a snickers bar twice. This stuff must be purchased in quantity prior to needing it. Pick up 6 spare chap sticks so when I need one it is in the medicine cabinet. Keep extra cold medicine lying around because you never know when someone will get sick. A few bucks worth of OTC stuff makes getting sick a lot less crappy. What I like to do is just get two when I need one. Sometimes getting more then that makes sense.
Durable stuff can be purchased in advance if you desire to do so. There is some wisdom in this plan. I particularly like the holding onto older stuff plan because it is free. You will not care if an older pan has some scratches when the other one has a hole in it. Some combination of purchasing stuff in advance and holding onto older stuff is probably the best way to go.
The big thing is to KEEP EXTRAS OF STUFF YOU USE. You do not need twelve of everything in Cheaperthandirt, or Sportsmen's Guide. Picking up a spare jacket at a good price though it isn't something you would normally wear isn't a bad thing but you probably don't need to have fifty of them. Ditto for 1940's era Swiss mess kits, it is great that you get a discount for purchasing 12 or more but that doesn't mean you need twelve. Aside from a few spare sets of unfashionable work clothes, footwear and some tactical gear (spare holster, some sort of load bearing gear, etc) if you do not currently use it then there very well might not be a reason to own it. Do however keep in mind how your needs would change if modern utilities were nonfunctional. Can't just flip on the light if the power is out so you might want some flashlights and a lantern or two.
So hold onto your old stuff and pick up extras of disposables.
This is a pretty major event for the blog. To be honest it has grown explosively and exceeded my wildest expectations. To everyone who has helped out in some way or another thank you very much. Rarely does a day go by where I do not learn something from readers. This blog takes a lot of work but it is worth it. I am pretty ambivalent about additional growth at this stage. Hopefully the whole thing stays fun and we have some more good times on our way to 2,000.
In the next couple of weeks there will be enough funds to purchase the Glock 19. Waiting on Wifey's last check from her old work to show up and then headed to a gun shop. Definitely looking forward to that.
Commander Zero wrote a great post today. He was talking about guns, mags and spare parts for the most part but also a bit about alternative power. The part on guns, mags and such got me to thinking. Particularly when he spoke about ratios. That got me to proportionality whichgot me headed down another path. Basically I think it is a good idea to have good proportionality in all of your preps, namely from one category of stuff to the others.
The gun collection is out of proportion to some other stuff. At some point I will definitely purchase some more guns but other stuff needs to take priority. We have a reasonable stash of chow but can use a bit more. Got as much water as can be readily stored in our humble abode, a water filter to purify more water. Plenty of clothes and assorted warm stuff. A bit of cash in the bank and some on hand. A few precious coins.
The main area we need to improve is emergency lighting and power. We have plenty of flashlights (also two self powered ones) and some spare batteries but that is about it.This will probably start pretty small with a couple of LED lanterns and a solar battery charger. A grinder will also likely be in this purchase. Bulk grains will likely soon become a part of our food storage plan. We will of course need to get some rechargeable batteries. Eventually a fancier lantern might not be a bad idea. More traditional kerosene lanterns will round out the lighting situation at some point.
That puts us onto power. A solar battery charger is the simple and cheap start. Batteries are more expensive but we can get a pack a week or something like that. The next step will be something like this. Being a single unit has some real advantages for a newbie to this whole alternative power thing. I think getting to this stage will take 3-4 months. Eventually some solar panel's, an inverter and a few batteries will be the solution but that is a long way off.
For the next two or three months we will be purchasing ammo instead of precious metals. After that we will resume precious metals purchases. Once the power and lighting situation is taken care of this stuff spare parts for the guns we have will probably be the order of the day. Spare parts and some mountain house will probably share our resources for awhile.
It looks like I just mentally allocated a reasonable amount of money I haven't earned yet. Fun times, fun times.