Showing posts with label flying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flying. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Air Travel an Preparedness

I travel for work sometimes. I also travel to see my kids. Both are at least in the short term unavoidable. Also traveling for fun is nice.

Traveling by vehicle is easy for preparedness. Assuming you have some space in the vehicle you can just bring whatever. Also your ability to control your own travel means you can choose to leave right now. You can go a hundred miles the wrong way to avoid a big problem.

Air travel is more difficult. Still I think you can be reasonably prepared for most even semi likely events if not the end of the world.

The most restrictive set of stuff for air travel is if you are only using a carry on. It is also what you can have on your person on the plane. What can you have? Listed in rough order:
-Good footwear. You don't need hiking boots but shouldn't be wearing flip flops or heals either. A decent set of close toed shoes you can walk a few miles in can fit with most styles and are very prudent.
-Decent all around clothes. Not combat or hunting gear but some kind of reasonable clothes in case you need to do something or get stuck in them for awhile. Also reasonable outer wear for your area.
-CASH. Probably the biggest single problem solver in real world survival situations. 
-Credit Cards. Having a card with a big balance gives you options. Need a last minute ticket, OK. Heck if you need to buy a used car to drive out of a problem it is an option.
-Medications. Having a week or even better a month of medicines you need is very wise.
-OTC meds. Stuff for standard travel sickness like diarrhea, Tylenol, Benedryl, etc.
-First aid gear. Minus the needle I can't see why you wouldn't be able to have a full IFAK in a carry on bag.
-A water bottle.
-Compass.
-Maps. This is wonky as planes cover huge distances but even a state road map is better than nothing. Doubly so if you are not familiar with the area at all.

Now lets say you check a bag. For the sake of this a bag to anywhere. What can you add.
 -A good knife.
-A multi tool.

Checking guns. Obviously on a flight to most foreign countries this is not an option. However when it comes to traveling in most of the US it is not a big deal to fly with guns. I have done it a few times and the only one where it got any scrutiny was in Louisiana at a local airport where the guy just wanted to see what I had. Really flying with a gun isn't anywhere near as big a deal as people make it out to be.

That said if you travel to the same place often and can afford to do so it isn't a bad idea to consider an operational cache.

How serious about all of this should you be? I suppose it depends. Primarily in my mind it depends on the risk level of where you are going. If I was flying into Northern Iraq or Pakistan or Indonesia would have things locked down. Thousands in cash a full on BOB, an as many weapons as you can get in and carry would be prudent. On the other hand if you were flying to a few hundred miles from home and it isn't to a place with a high threat then some cash, decent clothes, a compass and a map an your not doing bad at all. Toss in a good folding knife and a gun or two and its a good set up for a relaxed area.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Flying Armed: 2013 Edition

This holiday season the operational cache is getting set up I needed to transport the weapons involved. So I found myself getting ready to fly from a small regional airport, through Houston to the PNW.

The guns went into a Pelican Case. I was shopping the longer rifle cases but found a short squat Pelican 1600 case just sitting in the garage. With the buttstock folded and the slant muzzle device off the AK fit, just barely diagonally in the case. I got some foam from the Wally World to fill the gap in the case then cut it to fit the rifle. The little revolver went in next followed by 3 (empty) mags for the rifle, a box of .38 ammo for the revolver then 3 little boxes of 7.62x39 Wolf HP to load up 2 of the mags if need be. Last went in a pair of holsters, one pocket and a basic IWB holster for the revolver, all the speedloaders I could find (can order more for home later) and my Kershaw Blur. I locked it up with a pair of keyed alike padlocks.

It was a quiet regional airport. I got up to the counter and told the gal I needed to declare firearms. She got another employee who knew the procedure. I opened the case so he could look inside. He said "Is that an AK" to which I replied "Yes". He asked me to show that the revolver was empty so I took it out of the foam insert, flipped the chamber open then tapped the ejector rod. When I went to do the same with the rifle he said it was fine. He then asked if the mags were loaded and I said they were not. The guy handed me the standard declaration form which I signed then tossed into the box. I closed the box then put the locks back on. From "I have a firearm to declare" to done it was maybe 2 minutes.

Travel with kids was well, travel with kids. They were really good but it's still a hassle. Anyway on the other end we got the rest of our baggage then walked to the oversized luggage area and got the pelican case. We went on our way. Everything was fine. As a family we have flown with firearms three times. All went fine without any issues.

Broadly speaking issues I have heard of can be broken down into getting messed with checking in/ collecting the guns and them being lost/ stolen.

As to getting messed with checking them in. We have only flown from free state to free state with our guns that were legal on both ends and packed properly in legitimate hard locking cases. I have heard all sorts of horror stories from NYC, Mass and the like. If you are there I would be extra sure to cross your t's and dot your I's. Just read the TSA/ airline policies and comply with them and you should be just fine. I think having a legit case vs some jerry rigged lunch box is advisable and prevents a lot of hassle. Pelican cases are expensive but awesome.

Loss/ theft is an interesting topic. The airlines have a complicated job getting a lot of bags to different places in a timely manner and inevitably a certain percentage of bags are misrouted, misplaced or even lost. However some folks have noted bags with firearms or other good stuff tend to get stolen lost more often.

It is my personal opinion that small locking cases inside normal luggage probably lead themselves more to theft than a big, hard to open case. A small lock box could get stashed and slipped into a lunch box to be opened by the thief at home. On the other hand it is harder to discretely carry a fairly secure box the size of a microwave out discretely after work. I've heard of people locking their small case with a wire to the suitcase. If limited to a single bag I'd probably go with a big locked pelican type case to hold my spare clothes and such that also would protect my gun.

It is true there is risk in flying with guns. Heck there is risk to everything. I'd be awful careful and get special insurance to fly with an expensive class III weapon or something but for a couple normal guns it's probably not worth the hassle. 

In conclusion with a bit of preparation I do not think flying with firearms is a big deal. Pay a bit of attention, follow the rules and you will probably be fine. If you want to bring a gun on a trip or whatever I would be comfortable doing so.

What have your experiences flying with firearms been?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Winter Weather

Lots of folks have been writing about the cold weather. It is freezing in the South and Europe, in particular Central Europe have been a mess for awhile now. Rio calls it the Al Gore winter which I find amusing. Suppose this is my obligatory cold weather post.

Folks have already talked about putting extra clothes, food, water and sleeping gear in the car. Other folks have talked about winter driving. I see no need to rehash that stuff. I do however have a few other observations.

Cold weather is hard on skin and lips in particular. Keeping a decent stash of whatever your preferred lip chap stuff is prudent. Yeah chapped lips won't kill you but if a tiny bit of planning and a few bucks will let you be comfortable it is foolish not to go that route.

My other thought is that in the winter you need to be more flexible about travel, running errands and the like. More than once we have had a plan to go here or there and adjusted it based on looking outside at the roads or the weather report. Even when we are talking about relatively short 30-45 minute trips it is just smart to use common sense. For example, earlier this week we had planned to go do a bit of window shopping and have dinner at a restaurant we have been wanting to check out. The weather turned nasty yesterday (and my wife is a bit sick) so we are pushing that plan to the right. We will either cook something here, order in or go someplace down town. This might seem overly cautious but I would rather err on that side than get in an avoidable wreck or get stuck somewhere.

On that note I think it is prudent to be willing to change your plans if the conditions merit, even if you are out. This might mean sleeping on the couch or floor at somebodies house or even staying in a hotel/ motel for the night. Having a sleeping bag per person in your vehicle is good but if a clean, safe room at the Holiday Inn is available to me it is an easy decision. For a hundred bucks or so to get a room for the night and some dinner you could avoid a serious wreck or even worse. My deductible is $500 so doing that 4 times to potentially avoid a wreck makes economic sense even if you do not factor in the huge hassle of an accident or getting stuck.

I recall once when winter weather socked a whole bunch of travelers in the sleepy NW town I was living in. Some of those folks got stuck for 3-4 days. This is where that savings account portion of the emergency fund comes into play. Last Christmas we got stuck in Philadelphia for a few days. Traveling long distances on a shoestring budget is never particularly advisable but in winter it is a downright bad idea. It is fine to plan to travel cheaply but having the resources to sustain yourself if something happens is the smart thing to do.  

In short be prepared to be inconvenienced in terms of time, travel plans and a bit of money.

Aside from that I find the winter weather best experienced by looking out the window from my warm living room with a glass of something warm to drink.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sorta Weapons Cache

I am planning to make a sort of weapons cache. My family and my Wife's family all live in the same area. It is an area I am far from and will likely not near again in the foreseeable future. At most I will probably live 400 miles away or so.

In any case I think I will take a pistol and a rifle in a locking case and leave them in a safe place. Also an ammo can holding a couple hundred rounds for each and a cleaning kit. The two guns I have in mind are completely functional but redundant or at least not first tier in terms of the overall arsenal. They are however very functional and reliable guns with which I could defend myself and others.

I come home a fairly regularly and don't get much choice in where I live. When flying home it would be nice to be able to skip checking a piece (though it isn't difficult) but know there is a good pistol I can carry and a rifle sitting around if need be. Maybe a shotgun would be a good addition to the sorta cache?

Good idea? Decent idea but I should do it differently? Bad idea?

Have you stashed some weapons for potential use or considered doing so?

Edited to include: Maybe my less than perfect use of vocabulary made this confusing. I do not at this current juncture have any plans to bury guns in the ground in PVC pipes or whatever, good idea but for a later date. I am thinking that it would be prudent to leave 2-3 guns in a locked case (they and I have keys) stored safely with a family member. That way I would be able to have a couple guns for my use to carry or for SHTF when in the area.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Traveling Fun

The day we flew wasn't too bad. We checked our bags and the cats then sat around for awhile. Had some food then got onto the plane. FWIW Lufthansa is a pretty darn nice airline. They have tv's in the headrests which have all sorts of stuff like tv and pretty new movies to watch. Also they keep giving you good German beers and the meals are not bad at all.

Things really worked suprisingly smooth in getting here.

The way it all worked out I had a lot of cash and precious metals with me when we flew which I don't really think was the best idea. Having 2 months salary liquid in my backpack is probably not the best thing to do. I should have deposited almost all the cash (cept a few hundred bucks) in the bank a couple days before we flew and taken it out once we arrived safely. Travelers checks would have worked fine also.

Thankfully MIL gave us some Euro's so we didn't need to worry about changing money right away. Will probably need to do so by the middle of next week.

In town some places take cards and others do not. It will be easy enough to just make small local purchases with cash anyway.

We got an adapter so the computer can be plugged in and found some wireless to mooch for the immediate future.

Germany is very clean, pretty and green.

Don't have any huge plans for the 4 day weekend. Tomorrow we have some stuff to do in the morning and will probably just walk around town and see some new stuff. Saturday we are going to get on a bus and go somewhere for the day, probably just walk around for awhile then get lunch and come back. Don't really know how the transportation system works but trial and error (and error;) is a good way to find out. It will be awhile until my car arrives and public transportation is probably going to be our travel bread and butter anyway.

Apparently here we have a 4 day every month which is pretty amazing. We are going somewhere next month for sure.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Random Thought

Some planes now have a little tv in the back of every seat so you can watch tv or whatever. I like this because it helps to pass the time. Got 3 books for the trip but am almost done reading one of them. Got a weakness for Spencer novels. Hard to fault a good enjoyable book you can pick up again but also is predictable and easy to put down if need be. I did get a non fiction book which looks interesting. Imagine you will hear about it later.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Shipping Guns and Ammo

Shipping ammo is easy enough. Go to UPS with some ORMD stickers that say "Cartridges, Small Arms" on them and they ship boxes of non huge weight (read 66lbs is the point for HazMat stuff) no problem. The bad part is that it cost right around a buck a pound. Some asshole bought about 200lbs of ammo and stashed it at my house!

For shipping guns I did a lot of reading on the matter. From what I read it is legal to ship guns to yourself by 'common carrier' (read Fed Ex and UPS). However their policies as I saw were both that they refuse to deal with shipping guns (except to manufacturers) without an FFL. Also read somewhere that violating their policies was a federal offense. Considered shipping them FFL to FFL but the guys I called on this end wanted $50 a gun to fill out paperwork for guns I already own! Ended up taking them with us on the plane. Read a lot on that and basically you just need to have them empty and in a hard sided locking case. Delta would let you check a case with 4 rifles/ shotguns or 5 pistols without any extra charges. You can have 11 pounds of ammo for either. Got a locking rifle case and put the pistols into a pelical case I had for an old computer. Checking them was a total non issue. They wrote a thing I had to sign saying they were unloaded and took them to the TSA people to put them into the plane. We got there way early in case there was some sort of FUBAR event but it took maybe 5 minutes total. In my experience flying with guns was easy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Disturbing Potential Law

Block gun sales to those on the no fly list? Don't even get me started on the no fly list. People end up on it for weird vague reasons which include some .gov employee transposing a number or missing a key. It is also just about impossible to get off of this list once on it, even if you are a 5th grade teacher from St Paul MN who has never even had a traffic ticket of left the Midwest.

I think using this questionably legal and totally screwed up list as a starting point to steal peoples Constitutional rights is a fucking great idea.
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