Showing posts with label preps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preps. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Ordered $10 face value in 90% silver and a 1/10th ounce gold coin
Reenforced the roof of the chicken coop
Set up a 'naked bag' to go with my level 2.5 GHB
Split the last of the firewood
Hit fitness pretty hard
Lost 2.5lbs

What did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, October 20, 2014

What Did you Do To Prepare This Week?

Wifey started a fall garden
I am working on updating my level 2.5 assault pack/ get home bag
Working on our family fishing skills
Packet up a ready to go set of hygiene stuff
Acquired a new holster for the Kahr CW9
Physical fitness has hit center stage. We are working on getting healthy and
fit by eating better and moving more.
We went camping this weekend. Along this line of effort we put together some
stuff that will likely evolve into our camping/ heavy bug out setup.

Next week my plans are to:
Fill up the BBQ propane tank
Get some more water containers
Order some more long term storage food
Get to a tentative revised plan for my level 2.5 bag
Keep hitting fitness hard

What did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, September 29, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

We got a new dog.

Picked up some extra food for said new dog

Purchased a Stihl MS250 chainsaw and cut up a bunch of firewood

Restocked some consumables

I purchased two boxes of .308 ammo

Also since the last time we had this discussion I've picked up a couple extra mags for the Kahr and got corrective eye surgery.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Huge News: PRK Eye Surgery Complete!

I have been wanting this for awhile and things finally came together. Didn't want to say anything beforehand because I could have been disqualified for one reason or the other up until the day of the surgery. Anyway my eyes are pretty sore and vision is a bit blurry. They say pain should subside over the next couple days and vision should continually improve over 3-4 months.

Anyway right now my  vision is infinitely better than my previous uncorrected (no glasses) vision so it is definitely a huge improvement.

The next couple of days posts are scheduled. I won't be around much because 'screen tie' honestly hurts my eyes.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Purchased a Kahr CW9. Should be a very nice CCW pistol.

Incidentally the shop had .22lr CCI Mini Mags so I picked up #100 rounds of those.  Haven't seen them at sane retail prices in 18-24 months. If/ when things in the .22lr market get unscrewed I am going to buy about another 15k in the stuff of which 2-3 would be CCI Mini Mag/ Velocitor.

Picked up some spare mags for said pistol.

Added to our on hand physical cash emergency fund.

Filled up a couple of empty gas cans.

Generally stocked up a bit on the type of addictive/ luxury items  that make people leave their residence even if things get ugly. It is not classy to say you like booze, smokes, coffee, energy drinks, soda but if you like it enough to be tempted to leave home in a bad scenario you best stash some.

Also I got a bunch of firewood for some sweat equity. Got some splitting to do and will likely end up buying a chainsaw (which I can use anyway) but I doubt we will buy any wood this year.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Free Firewood and 9/11 Jitters

Yesterday was interesting. Wifey saw an add for free firewood. Needless to say I called. It turned out to be some folks clearing a big downed oak limb for cash. They did not want or need the wood. I ended up pitching in with their clearing job and did about half the work. A buddy and I could have done it in an hour and a half. Dad, son, Momma and I did it in 3 and change. They were nice people but not excessively hard or motivated workers. Anyway after 3 hours I ended up with a bunch of firewood. Suspect it will be over a cord once it's all cut to length and split. Getting off work and spending another 3 hours doing hard manual labor was definitely not my plan but we got a lot of wood for free. Got my next couple weeks evening and weekend work ready to go, in a big ole pile in the yard.

Between all the worlds problems and the 13th 9/11 anniversary coming up we decided to relook our preps and up our level of readiness a bit. Pulled some cash out of the bank, topped off our vehicles today, picked up some various sundries in case we are stuck at home for a bit, etc. I wanted to get a couple more water cans, refill the BBQ propane tank and get another tank but that didn't get accomplished.

Are you doing anything different based on tomorrow being 9/11?

Monday, August 25, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

We picked up a large Coleman family sized car camping type tent

I am actively shopping for a single stack 9mm pistol

Over the last week or two I have been refocusing on physical fitness and
diet. Let a few pounds slip on and now it is time to eat less and move more
to lose them.

What did you do to prepare this week?

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?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Weeks Preps and Why Saving Aids in Preparedness

This week I received 20 AK magazines. They were a silly deal, like 6.50 a pop for decent (Korean I think) new AK mags. Not eastern euro commie surplus quality but far better than junk US makers. Once a buddy shipped em to me the total cost per mag was $7.50ish. Big shout out to that guy who I will let choose to identify himself or not.

Now I didn't NEED AK mags at all. Honestly wasn't in the market for any but at that price putting some away to set up a future rifle, make cash during a panic or equip a friend or for a rainy day was an easy decision. So I went from bring pretty solid on AK mags to quite solid; amply able to acquire another rifle and stay under ratio (20 mags per rifle) with a few left over to give away, sell or maybe cache.

Today I was at the grocery store which was selling 6 packs of canned veggies for $2 a piece, so like 30 cents a can. Roughly a third of the standard price. Bought 25 or so. They had fruit for $4 or something. Not an amazing deal but still far better than normal prices, bought 6 of those. This purchase of about $50 will be over a year's normal consumption of canned veggies and a few months worth of canned fruit (we consume less of this as we try to feed the kids fresh fruit but sometimes you don't get to the store or whatever). All purchased at a huge savings over the normal price. This is a deep enough stash we can eat out of it till the next time we see a sale, certainly for veggies and probably for fruit, thus keeping the family food cost savings ball rolling.

Both of these were short notice purchases of stuff we can use but were not in the market for at huge savings. However they cost money. If we did not have some cash available we would not have been able to jump at these deals.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, June 16, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I bought ten gallons of gas to fill up my last two empty fuel cans. Received a tactical tailor Glock 9mm/ .40 drop holster. It will give me the option of an overtly tactical holster for a Glock 9mm without a light which is something I was missing.

Also it will give me the option of switching to a lighter setup based on a duty belt that is compatible with a modern backpack which is a nice option to have. Granted it means I totally need a chest rig as part of the setup but it gives some good options. My gut says that if occasionally carrying a ruck combined with a lot of local patrolling was the order of the day I would use the battle belt and an ALICE pack. On the other hand if I needed something vehicle friendly or knew I would be rucking a whole lot it would be a lighter rig and a modern, much more comfortable ruck.

On my current lifting program it was max week. Here is where I ended up:
Military Press (standing, strict)- 135x1
Dead Lift- Did not beat my 2 month ago max of 360x1 though I am stronger now. It was a long day.
Bench Press- 265x1 honestly a whole lot better than I expected.
Squat-225x4. This is pretty wimpy though in my defense I have been focusing more on a strict 'ass to the grass' squat than weight. Still the squat has not been getting the attention it deserves and I need to do better.

(Edited to include: I did squats today (6-17) and went 245x3 to a good depth with solid form. That is probably a more realistic assessment of my current max.) 

Am at a steady state with the garden and chickens. The plants are growing like crazy and the (4) hens are averaging 3.5-4 eggs a day so that is good.

Probably did something else but I cannot remember what it was.

Next week I plan to purchase some spare parts for a rifle, hopefully get some mags, sign up for a class, plant some seedlings and PWN the gym.

What Do You Do To Prepare This Week?

Quote of the Day

"Time is short people, don’t squander it on trivial BS. You have a responsibility to take care of your family by planning ahead. Even if you only buy 2 or 3 extra cans a week at the store, in a month you have 8-12, in a year you have 96-144 (doesn’t seem like much, but it is). Are you prepared to defend them?  “But guns and ammo are so expensive!” So was that new game system or IPhone you just bought, Dumbass! You should be actively prepping and planning to defend your family and friends “when” not “if” this storm comes. If not you are an irresponsible, self centered, Slug, and you deserve what happens (unfortunately, your family doesn’t.). I don’t care if you don’t come train with me, but by God, get it somewhere! Go to Max, or Defensive Training Group , or Sierra 12 or Mosby. YOU are responsible for what you do, AND DON’T DO! Be the person that sees and carries out the responsibilities the Founding Fathers expected of Citizens. If not, no big deal, it’s just an idea past its prime…..right?"

Mason Dixon Tactical

Monday, June 2, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Got some good PT in this week including 4 lifts, 1 long run, 1 ruck and a pair of minimalist runs.

Got 6 2x4's and a few sandbags for free. The 2x4's will probably be emergency repair type stuff.

Reenforced the chicken coop. So far the girls are averaging 2 eggs a day which is pretty good.

Was at the local Walgreens to get some stuff and ended up picking up some medical stuff: couple extra boxes of band aid's as well as what I call the Patriot Nurse 3 (gauze pads, mucinex and pepto bismol). IIRC she mentioned those in a video at some point or another as 3 very good things to have that cover a lot of bases.

Got 15 gallons of gas and some oil for the EU2000. Need to hook up the hour counting thingie and put some oil in it then begin testing.

Worked to organize some stuff.

Sharpened my EDC Al Mar knife as well as my big camp knife.

Rereading World Made By Hand.

This coming week I plan to get 10 more gallons of gas, lift and run, eat healthier and really run the numbers on what I need to get started with a bolt gun (to decide if I can do it now or need to wait a bit).

What did you do to prepare this week?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

RE: Retirement Strategy

Saw this post over at Rural Revolution. It seemed like something you all would benefit from reading. In things like this I sort of use making a post as a forcing function to distill my own thoughts. So here we go.

The concept of retirement as it existed in recent years, say 1950's to now, is becoming increasingly out of the reach of many people. A few things contributed to this in my mind. First real wages for most Americans have been going down for decades. Second inflation makes it difficult for a normal person to maintain their earning power, let alone make enough in interest to maintain their principle long enough to last till they die. Third due to an insane healthcare system whose sole measure of success is keeping people alive longer, with no regard to quality of life, in order to charge them more money. The need for all of the medical care just mentioned plus health care's cost explosion beyond inflation is more than many can afford. The idea of retirement as a time to buy an RV and drive around the country or play a lot of golf is going to be out of reach for most people as time goes by.

My generation seems to generally have an idea that any retirement they might have will be solely based on their own savings, we have no illusions about social security and most are not in a job with a meaningful retirement package, let alone the kind of defined benefits pension that lets average folks actually retire. 

I am seriously concerned about the retirement planning, or lack theirof, in the Boomer's. This concerns me because their collective expectations absolutely do not match up with their collective savings. They saved less than the generation before who owned their homes outright and often had defined benefits type retirement plans. The issue is most boomers have homes they cannot afford with large mortgages to match and 401k's they occasionally contributed to. Many boomers planned (if just by default) on their last few years of work being at peak (for them) salaries and that if need be they could work a couple years longer. The issue is they are often finding that 5-10 years before that point they are downsized, with severe difficulties finding comparable replacement positions.

In fairness to the boomers many worked hard, made the right decisions and saved to have those savings lost (or one could argue stolen) to inflation and economic downturns of the late 90's and 2008. The ruthless pragmatism of business today combined with a general lack of loyalty (employer to employee or visa versa) these days meant many people were forced out of the labor force and replaced with less experienced people who would do the same jobs for half or 2/3rds the pay. While individuals ultimately have ownership for their situations some folks had the double whammy of their investments being destroyed and becoming functionally unemployable.

Many (I cannot even guesstimate a percentage but even if it is a quarter, and I suspect it is a lot higher, we're talking a whole bunch of people) boomers are going to find themselves unable to work at close to their peak potential and unable to afford to retire. People who envisioned skiing in the winter and laying on beaches in the summer might be substantially downsizing their homes and scraping by on part time work. These are some of the most reliable voters on both sides of the R/D spectrum so when they hurt politicians are going to listen. I do not know what will come of this but on an individual level there will be a lot of misery.

General retirement take away's at an individual level:
1) I fail to see how people can even consider retirement without their primary residence being owned free and clear. In almost every conceivable situation folks leaving the work force for retirement face a significant decline in income. It is true they will probably not continue saving for retirement so that takes a few bucks out of the budget but how people plan to keep paying (typically) their biggest single expense on a lot less money baffles me.

2) Instead of running the numbers based on working till you want and a catch up plan of 2-5 extra years look at what it will look like if you have to leave the workforce (or at least your peak earning) 2-5 years EARLIER than you plan. 

3) Pay yourself first.

4) There are a couple ways to free up resources to pay off your home and save for retirement. One is to cut expenses drastically. Another is to earn big money. The third, and arguably most attainable is to split the difference pursuing both earning more and spending less. 

In addition to the above mentioned general stuff here are a few more from a more preparedness oriented perspective.

5) One can make a very legitimate argument for paying off your primary residence before investing substantially for retirement. In today's market the savings on interest is probably better than you would see in a reasonably safe investment anyway. Also if something happens you could do a whole lot worse than to own, free and clear, your primary residence. Doubly so if it has some capacity to produce food. As noted in the original post with a big garden, a couple fruit trees and some chickens you can get a lot out of an acre or three.

6) Getting a home/ homestead/ retreat that is modest in relation to your overall financial situation is prudent. It will let you pay the place off faster than one you could just barely afford. This gives you more time to save money for other needs and the future.

7) Notwithstanding the cost to purchase a place consider tax liability. This relates to a place's assessed value, which coincidentally adjust up in the boom times a lot faster than they go down in the bad ones, as well as the tax rate and associated laws/ exemptions involved there. In the Great Depression a lot of people lost homes and farms for not paying taxes or had to sell part of their land at low prices to pay the taxes. Having a couple less acres or a more modest home you can almost surely hold onto is better than a super retreat on 200 beautiful acres of riverfront property which you need everything to go well in order to pay the taxes on.

7) All of that said YOU NEED TO BE SAVING!!! I am not talking about beans and band aids but money! Things happen now that require money. The world might very well keep on keeping on and when you are 80 bouncing grand kids on your knee it would be awful nice to have some money. Now I can hear someone saying "Saving is for fools, when magical SHTF time happens cash will be worthless." Many things could happen, including the world going on as normal.

I am not saying you need to have a bunch of cash sitting around or put money into the stock market. Aside from a short term cash emergency fund we could certainly have a discussion about different ways to hold wealth. To the guy who says "I invest in beans and bandaids, when magical SHTF time happens cash will be worthless and I will trade my turnips for some fools gold by weight" No you will not, that is either ignorance or envy talking. By all means you should put food back as insurance against a variety of potential problems but that is not investing for your future.

A dozen (or a hundred) gold coins in a cache or the bottom of your gun safe are great insurance and a form of savings but I have not yet figured out how to make them breed. 

You may be concerned about holding cash or having money in the market, which is understandable. The thing is to beat inflation and make any money you need investments that are working for you paying interest, dividends or income. Potential options are: rental properties, commercial farm land, shares/ stakes in oil or gas wells, relatively low hassle businesses like rental storage places or maybe timber land. I am not by any means saying that list is comprehensive and they all have down sides but the point is they are ways to take your money and realistically make more money.

So those are my thoughts on that. What do you thing?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Got the Honda EU2000i and gas cans from their respective sellers.

Cleared out an old chain link dog run that was overgrown with brush, set up a chicken coup, reenforced the sides of the run with chicken wire, built a frame to support chicken wire on the top and put up a crude shade/ roof to help keep them out of the weather.

Got 4 Rhode Island Red laying hens. Super psyched about this.

Filled up the propane tank I bought last week.

Restocked a bunch of food we ate up in a couple weeks of not really doing normal shopping.

Went through and reorganized our vehicle kit to remove unneeded redundancies (Walker does not need 5 sweatshirts, etc) and non seasonally appropriate items, like Princess's heavy winter coat. The result was a slight decrease in space used without a sacrifice in capabilities. Added a couple things to fill some holes identified in the process.

Researching and trying to figure out what to do with my gardening plans. Think I know the answer but honestly ran out of time to do anything about it.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, May 12, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I am working on a project that theoretically goes bang. Big fun there.

Picked up some 9mm ammo to shoot up practicing.

Ordered a new Machete to replace the SogFail.

Looking at options to set up a more robust shortwave antenna.

Replaced some batteries and a toothbrush that were used.

Replaced some shelf stable milk we keep around for the kids.

Picked up a few things to fill some holes in the normal pantry setup.

Looking at planting some more edibles, maybe some berries or something.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, April 28, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I got back into the gym which was good. Work has been so chaotic I haven't really been able to keep a schedule. Anyway now that things have normalized I am getting back to it.

Got my HPG Mountain Serape.

Got a Survival Solutions OPSEC Poncho.

Got a bunch of freeze dried and staple type foods. Also I organized a bunch of stuff from previous orders that had been piling up. Found space for it all which means I can order some more as finances allow.

Tried to make a deal on a single shot 12 gauge. I have been wanting one for awhile but sadly the guy flaked out.

Tested out my solar setup a bit. Almost to the point where I am ready to write about it.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

It was a really productive week here. I packed away all the 7.62x39, 5.56, 9mm and 12 gauge ammo that has been accumulated over the last few months into ammo cans and updated the inventories. Over the years I have learned to do it all at once. I put the ammo into cans, write the contents on a piece of tape on the side with a market, update my inventories, throw in some silica gel and am it's all done. Not doing it this way seems to mean some part of the process gets messed up.

This time I had a few silica gel packs from something that got shipped to us. Recharged them in the oven and they were good to go. You can buy the silica gel packs for a very reasonable price if a free source does not appear. I have also used silica gel cat litter before (though I would absolutely not do so for food or food related products). This step is arguably not necessary but it makes me more comfortable so I do it on everything that is not sealed from the factory or in a spam can.

Also reorganized my level 2.5 gear (assault pack/ get home bag) and bug out bag AKA level 3 sustainment load. Some was an adjustment to a more summer load with fewer warm clothes as it is unlikely I will wear wool gloves or a heavy sweater here in Louisianian for awhile. Another component was balancing the two setups which are in theory complimentary to each other. Big fun was had.

Relooked my vehicle setup too. Tossed out some less useful things for our current situation and added some more that fill holes. Also a way to bring preparedness into cleaning out a vehicle.

Also started the garden. It is later than is ideal but is due to circumstances beyond our control. Still good to get it moving. We are looking at getting a coop and chickens with part of our tax refund.

So what did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, April 14, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I was pretty late with this last week so not much this week. Also we had guests which was big fun but didn't lend itself to getting preparedness oriented things done. Anyway since I want to get back onto the more regular schedule you get this post again today.

Filled up some gas cans in the ever continuous struggle to ensure all our stored fuel is reasonably fresh.

Restocked some disposables.

When getting some admin stuff done I realized there was some unexpected cash in my Paypal account. Probably going to get a poncho and a Mountain Serappe like Alexander Wolfe's. Also looking at making a substantial food storage purchase. So not much happening this week but lots coming down the pipe. Also we'll have the last few posts from the Fighting Load contest to wrap it up.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week

Spent a lot of time organizing the garage. Finally got it almost where I want it. We can park a car, or barely 2 cars in there which is a nice option to have. Still need to organize and inventory some stuff but at least it is all readily visible on shelves (vs piles on the floor) so that is good. Also it's a lot easier to find stuff now.

Ordered some wool socks.

Ordered a case of 5.56 ammo.

Got a bunch of disposable plates, cups, bowls and silverware. Put it all into a plastic box with a roll of trash bags. Figure enough for at least a couple weeks. Also added a case of TP to the stash.

That's what I've been up to. What did you do to prepare this week?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What Have You Done Lately To Prepare?

In recent weeks this has fallen off so I want to play catch up. Lost some weight which was good. My fitness level has dropped due to field time but it'll come back. Goes to show as a reminder that you lose weight at the table and get fit on the track/ at the gym. I'm trying to focus on a good consistent diet to lose another 10 pounds.

Going to try to implement record keeping for running from here forward. Did 3 miles this morning. A half mile out, a 1m(ile), .75m, .5m, .25m 'sprint' workout then a half mile back.

Was supposed to take a sweet pistol class awhile back but unfortunately work crapped all over that dream. It's not like I talked to my boss 4 months out before booking or anything, oh wait a second I did. Was really depressed about it for a few days but what can ya do. On the plus side I've still got the case of 9mm ammo set aside for whenever I do make it to one. The guy was cool about the whole thing and even though it was just a week out he gave me a full refund. Since it won't work to try anything again for awhile I'll probably put the refund into a case of 62 grain M855 5.56 ammo.

Also on the plus side I ordered a new pocket knife, an Al Mar Eagle HD. My concept of use is for a light EDC blade to do basic tasks and I suppose if needed go all Singer Sewing Machine on somebody. A light, thin knife with a full 4" blade seems like it'll fit the niche well.

Picked up a couple extra stainless steel water bottles recently. Got tired of moving em around. Now I have one to carry, one in my assault pack/ bail out bag/ get home bag, and one in each of our BOB's. Kind of along these lines I have finally unified my military and personal survival level 2.5 systems into one. The full on level 3 entertainment system is a bit more complicated due to different needs and work mandated color schemes. Anyway it's a good exercise to work through.

So that is what I have been up to in terms of preparedness lately. What have you been up to?
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