Showing posts with label priorities of work. Show all posts
Showing posts with label priorities of work. Show all posts

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Quote of the Day: John Mosby on Defensive Priorities

"NVGs, or to use the older term with which I am far more comfortable, NODs, are a force multiplier of equal or greater value than two or three extra riflemen, when used properly. If you have six rifles of your own, but no NODs, you’re &@cking yourself and your team. Remedy the situation."
John Mosby in a repost of Tricks of the Trade a Contemporary Look

 I think John also said somewhere that if you do not have a years worth of food to put NODs and other cool guy kit on the back burner. This is something I personally did not do right for reasons that may or may not be valid. In any case I am working to remedy the situation.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Body Armor: A Tale of Two Vests

Well my rifle plates finally arrived yesterday from Spectre. From  making the order to my doorstep took a day short of 7 weeks. The plates are covered in this thick foamy stuff which isn't a bad thing.

In the meantime I kinda stumbled into a nice set of soft body armor.

I was going to write a post about body armor but realized I have already done that. We will hit some new points and rehash the older ones.

Some folks folks argue that armor slows them down. Sure there are some situations where you are best off with a rifle, camelback, 2 spare mags and an IFAK but those are few and far between. Long fast movements with a very low probability of contact like say an old school foot messenger in a pretty safe area would be a good example. To put it into perspective a PC with a set of plates weighs about 20 pounds. Assuming you are of a healthy weight and in shape it is pretty doable for most situations.  Everyone makes different choices but there are few situations where I would choose not to wear armor.

It is true that body armor will not stop everything. It is not a magical talisman that prevents being shot in the pelvis, face or extremities. That being said it is the best compromise between protection and mobility for most scenarios.

A plate carrier with rifle plates is a good option for a rather crazy scenario. They probably would have sold really well during the LA Riots or Katrina. Max Velocity said something worthwhile on the subject "Overall, I feel that anytime I am going to be carrying my battle rifle, for whatever reason, I want to be wearing at least a plate carrier with load out to carry my first line ammo scales plus IFAK and ancillaries. I could be wearing that in the low profile way I described, or openly in a tactical way."

 Anyway here is the Shellback Banshee PC with plates. To put the cost issue into perspective I am into this PC and plates for somewhere between $450 and $475. Not cheap by any means but doable with a bit of planning or by selling a gun that has been collecting dust in the back of the safe.

I think the reason body armor gets no love from a lot of the survivalist community is that it isn't sexy. Folks have no problem spending 300-500 dollars on a gun. Heck some folks do not have a problem spending that much on accessories for a gun or even on a new knife.  A blog friend of mine who no joke has well over 50 grand in guns described body armor as "ruinously expensive". He would be infinitely better off selling a couple guns and getting a PC for every family member.

As shown it is currently wearing a Condor double Kangaroo pouch because the cost was less than half the price of a set of HSGI double taco's. This is set up for home defense. (Yeah my load out is 3x rifle and 3x pistol mags. If I can't handle the job with that it's not getting done.) Not shown are a pair of pants with a holster and an IFAK stuffed in the cargo pocket. It is easy to take off that pouch and I am still kinda fiddling with whether the mags are best suited on the PC or belt.

You aren't going to conceal a PC with a bunch of pouches on it though a slick one is relatively doable. Worn under a sweatshirt or wind breaker (obviously in appropriate weather) somebody would have to be looking for body armor to see it. Keeping your mags and such in a chest rig lets you go slick PC, only mags/ kit or both which are options that suit a lot of scenarios.

The soft armor's role to me is for a variety of more mundane scenarios. Stuff like buying/ selling things or otherwise carrying around large amounts of cash. Maybe a trip to a stop and rob to get a few things when the situation is a bit iffy. There are a variety of scenarios that fall short of running around with an M4 and a full OEF style load out but aren't quite normal either. A glock, soft armor and a couple 33rd Glock mags in the cargo pocket or murse would be about as ready as you can be and still look fairly normal/ fit into normal society.

A line I wrote that Commander Zero quoted is worthwhile in terms of where body armor falls in the grand priority list. "There is a time for everything. If somebody asked me whether they should get a couple hundred rounds of buckshot and pistol ammo for guns they have less than a hundred rounds for and put the remaining bucks into a currently empty pantry or get a plate carrier I would say food and bullets. On the other hand if they were looking at getting a 4th handgun/rifle/whatever or a new optic vs body armor I would say to get the armor for sure. That 4th handgun/ rifle could certainly be useful but a plate carrier could save your life.

Finally to close I will paraphrase John Mosby aka Mountain Guerilla “If you have 6 AR’s in the safe but not body armor and night vision you’re screwing your friends and buddies."
Where does body armor fit into your defensive setup?

Are you one of those guys we talked about with a safe full of guns but no body armor? If so why?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Making Survivalism A Lifestyle Or At Least Part Of Your Lifestyle

This topic came up in an email I got today. It is as good of a topic as any because a lot has gone on today and I haven't given the blog a thought. Anyway I definitely see the benefits of making prepping a lifestyle.

According to Wikipedia a lifestyle is the way a person lives. To me it has a lot to do with what you value and how you choose to allocate limited resources like money and time. Maybe the breakover point is when something goes from being a part of your life to a significant part of your life. For example most people listen to music and periodically see a concert; however a person who considers music and seeing their favorite band(s) a part of their lifestyle is likely to put a lot more of their energy, time and money into listening to music, reading about music, talking about music and attending concerts.

I am not saying that you have to make prepping part of your lifestyle. I will however say that you aren't going to get very well prepared if it isn't at least a part of your lifestyle. Aside from (maybe) the dozen or so people who read this that are an actual part of my real life it won't affect me if you are very well prepared or not.

What I am saying is that you aren't going to get very far in preparedness unless it is important to you. Important enough to merit a decent amount of your limited time and money. You may be able to get prepared for say, a short term power outage or comparable disaster without it being a big part of your life. However beyond that the required outlay of money as well as time is probably not going to be met unless it is part of your lifestyle. Anybody can pick up an extra box of shells for their old shotgun once in awhile but getting extra hours at work to save up for good defensive weapons takes time and energy. You won't deliver pizzas to get an AK unless it is really important to you.

Even if someone is in a good enough money place that money isn't an issue time will get them. For example a well off guy may randomly end up reading One Second After and toss 50k into preps just to feel better. However it is highly unlikely that they will be willing to put the time into being able to meaningfully use. So you have a guy with very nice weapons he can't use well, food he may not be able to turn into an actual meal and all sorts of other problems.

Notice that I didn't say to make prepping/ survivalism a lifestyle. I am not saying you shouldn't do that. From  a survivalist angle if you would move to the ideal location, live in a bunker, spend all your money on preps and all your time on improving your situation that would be real good. However for just about everyone survivalism isn't the biggest thing they have going on. Maybe they enjoy their family, friends, soccer, culture and dining out, fiddling or who knows what else.

Of course the more important to you something is the more you will likely accomplish. I think it is about having your goals properly mesh with how important you make survivalism or I guess anything else. For a person who wants to lose some weight and get a bit stronger working out 4x a week doing moderate cardio and wieghts is fine. If that same person wants to have an 8 pack/ win a powerlifting competition/ run a marathon they will need to train significantly harder. It is about getting the right ratio of goals and effort.

Decide how important survivalism is to you. Not to me or some other blogger or your crazy buddy but to you. Make sure that this meshes with your goals, especially as it involves time and money. I keep coming back to time and money because they are how we generally make things happen. Getting these things to mesh will go a long way toward setting realistic goals and following through with them.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How I Deal

Every time I get totally overwhelmed there is really one thing that helps. It doesn't matter if it is money or time; tends to be one of them but could be space too I guess. The fundamentals are the same. You have a limited means and  often lots and lots of desires which exceed those means.

I write down everything I would like to do in whatever order it comes into my head. Then I PRIORITIZE. For how you should prioritize that is an individual decision. In the context of our normal discussion on preparedness I suggest you focus on items that are useful for a variety of situations and realistic scenarios then go from there. Also I consider cost ($$$ or time) vs impact.  If two items cost the same and one has more positive impact I tend to go with it. Also if the positive impact is the same and there are two options with different costs I go with the cheaper one. However it doesn't matter so much the way you choose to prioritize but that you do. I wish I could say prioritizing was a magical cure all. It will not give you more daylight hours after work or add a zero to your bank account. What it will do is let you do the best that can be done with your available time and money.

Interestingly enough when I do this I rarely have a hard time figuring out #1,2,3. I find mostly I am choosing what NOT TO DO. Lets say we are in a simplistic system where the time for each thing is the same and you have 8 things to do but time for 5; 3 of them just ain't getting done. A thousand dollars will not buy $1,500 in stuff. This is a hard one especially if your boss or your paranoia is fist pounding on the table saying to somehow make everything work. I wish I had a magical secret here but at the end of the day it is just like anything else; you do the best you can and hope it works out.

So if it is a massive stash of preps you are looking to get; or you are trying to go from the skills of a 40 hour a week office type to a late 19th century farmer (with a real penchant for doing it yourself) or you're just swamped at work I suggest you relax, prioritize and then do the best you can from top to bottom.

Maybe a significant part of this is that it forces you to be realistic. For example I would love to be able to do all sorts of things in the evenings and outside of work to learn skills and improve my situation. I can't do everything this year, and everything isn't looking to get finished next year either. However I can learn a thing or two and get halfway decent at it over the course of a year. Of course I focus on things that seem achievable and significant. Do that over the long term and it will add up. 

I find that every time I do this it really improves my clarity, focuses my effort and the situation improves (if not in a last 5 minutes of a Disney movie kind of way) from where I started. Give it a try some time.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Today was one of those days. I got off work and it was dark which is is pretty bad since it is spring. Tomorrow starts early and everything will be completely ridiculous. Oh well.

Anyway sometimes in life you just can't get everything done. I've had a few moments like this in work lately. You just have to take a cold calculated look at things and decide what to do and by default what to blow off. I must say it is a very weird thing to come to the harsh realization you can't do everything and intentionally decide which to blow off.

Case in point. I have to be at work in 7.5 hours and I posted something on here. However it was pretty short, to the point and literally the first thing that popped into my head.

Just do the best you can with what you have.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Today I was really reminded that people are just plain different. Wifey was looking at the social networking page of an acquaintance she went to school with. The gal is married and they are really happy to have just rented a huge house with other cool features. I've never met them but I am glad they are happy.

The thing that struck me is that they are real happy living within spitting distance of (or maybe past) their means. They have nice cars with loans and rent a big cool house. People are just different I guess. Some folks are not happy unless they have a new shiny car and a (relative to their income) nice big house.

When I see a new car I don't so much think it would be cool to drive that. I think it would suck to have a $600 a month payment for 5 years. When some people see my little beat up car they see a clunker.  I see a car that has been paid off for years. Some folks see a big house and think how cool it would be to live there. I see a little apartment or a fixer upper house as see myself not having to worry about being able to make the rent/ payment every month.

Personally I have some nice stuff in the gun safe, different strokes for different folks I guess.  The balance in our checking account goes up and down but we have a solid emergency fund set aside that will cover a series of pretty significant problems and emergencies. We do not have a 92 inch TV but do have a little stash of precious metals just in case something crazy happens.

I am not going to say what people do is right or wrong. We all make choices in our lives. Some of our choices work out well and others not so well. Unless someone else is hurt or imposed upon by our actions, vaya con Dios. Some people don't care if there is $40 in the checking account halfway between paychecks. They would however hate to drive a car that isn't new and cool and big/fast/whatever. I don't always know exactly what is right for us, let alone anybody else. It is just interesting to see other peoples perspectives on life and the choices they make.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Priorities, Random Thoughts.

I have been thinking a lot about prioritization lately. It is fine to say "pick up a dozen of these" or "you need that" but that is only half the picture. We have limited resources. Without even discussing what % of total household income to put towards preps we all have an amount that is going there. Some of us make more or are able/ willing to put more towards it but that is irrelevant. The issue is that we all have finite resources and lots of desires. Invariably we find ourselves choosing to purchase/ acquire/ learn/ do one thing over another.

Just because something is neat or would be useful does not mean it is the best way to spend your dollars. 

I have spoken about this before. I think proportionality is important. Having years worth of food and 100 rounds of ammo for your gun doesn't make sense. Having a ginormous safe full of guns but no money set aside for a rainy day doesn't make sense. Common sense stuff.

I also think when weighing apples and oranges (or food and shotgun shells or gold vs savings or whatever) it is important to consider what is more likely to affect your ability to survive a multitude of situations. Sometimes an apple is more important or a better value than the orange.

The thing that has helped me most in this area (still not perfect but I am getting better) is to plan in advance and be as dispassionate as possible. Planning far in advance (I planned prep purchases over $100 for the year) helps to take a big picture look at things. It is easier to be conceptual when you are not at the gun shop (this has been my over spent area and is for a lot of folks) or the radio shop or on amazon with a few bucks burning a whole in your pocket.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mortars and Money: My Day and End The Fed IPR

I have all sorts of stuff in my head but am tired, hungry, thirsty, in the middle of an awkward freezing/ thawing cycle and scatter brained. Also I made a sort of promise to myself to write every day if possible, I didn't say anything about it being organized or good.

Today I got to shoot mortars a bunch which was pretty awesome. We had 60's and 81's and rounds a plenty. First we layed the section in, registered it and all the normal adjust fire stuff but we also did hip shoot and direct lay. I particularly enjoyed shooting the 60mm mortar hand held.

One of our instructors said this is the only way they shot mortars in Iraq. It is by far the least accurate way to shoot a mortar since you are just pointing the tube at the target. The apparatus on the top of the trigger allows you to measure distance which is essential as the lobbing trajectors would be just about impossible to Kentucky windage unless all you did was handheld firing of mortars. The reason hand held is so widely used is that it is by far the lightest configuration with just the tube, a tiny base plate and rounds versus the tube, a big base plate and the bipod legs. Also maybe more importantly it is very very fast. No FO and FDC or adjustments or leveling bubbles. You put the mortar tube onto the ground, put a round with the right charge in it, point it at the target, get the right range and shoot. One could easily be driving around, take fire and be putting rounds downrange in well under a minute. The limitations are that you have to be able to see the target, the target has to be pretty close (probably under 1k) and it is not particularly accurate.

If in addition to the section sized PSD element I have on request I could get a section of mortars with an FO to be on call to fire an FPF and a couple priority targets that would be great. 

I have worked most of the way through End The Fed. I am enjoying it a lot and learning significant amounts about hard money and getting an intro to The Austrian School of Economics. The book is a tad repetitive but I am learning enough stuff and hearing various amusing Ron Paul stories that it is enjoyable. This book is much more technical and complicated than The Revolution. Partly because of this and partly because I have been busy and it is harder to free up a few hours in one shot to read a somewhat technical and such than one which is easier to digest.

If I had to sum up End The Fed in a sentence that wasn't "Ron Paul really wants to abolish the Federal Reserve." it would be that "Ron Paul believes the Federal Reserve coupled with fiat currency have caused most of not all of the financial problems the US has."
If I had to sum up the theme of this book (aside from the obvious stated above) it would be connectivity. Fiat currency is related to banking practices which are related to the FDIC which is related to moral hazard which is related to the Federal Reserve which causes Inflation which leads to other stuff which affects the previously mentioned stuff. To be honest I really don't see the connections between some of the stuff Ron Paul attempts to connect in the book but I sure see a lot of them.

I would say more but I have to save some for the final Review. 

I am going to eat a big dinner, drink a gallon of water and go to bed early.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Priorities Of Work And Random Thoughts

Drew Petersen is engaged. I don't know what this girls deal is but she is an idiot. I do not think she deserves to get killed by him but then again I don't think she should be surprised when he does in fact kill her. Short of dating OJ Simpson I can't think of many worse choices in male companionship.

I have been thinking a lot about priorities of work lately. Priorities of work are designed for patrol bases (which I don't feel like talking about today, too complex) but are IMHO useful for refitting and preparing to continue in any combat (or other patrolling) sort of operation.

I have learned them (from a very reputable source) as follows:
Security- hasty positions, sectors of fire, range cards, sector sketch, alert plan, evacuation plan, alternate patrol bases, etc. Security is first and continues to be the top priority throughout the duration of operations.

Weapons maintenance- Field strip, clean off moisture and gunk, re lubricate, put back together.

Hygiene- Change socks, treat blisters, change t shirt, use some baby wipes, etc.

Chow and water- Nuf said

Rest- Rest is quite intentionally last. Things go to shit if you don't do this right. Using these guidelines is the safest way to refit and rest in an unsafe environment but without discipline it becomes a bunch of folks flopping onto the ground and going to sleep.

Priorities of work can be executed in two ways: centralized and decentralized. Centralized priorities of work are almost always the right answer. That would mean that until security is established everyone is working on security. During weapons maintenance (other then the folks pulling security) everyone is cleaning weapons. Ditto for chow and rest.

Decentralized priorities of work (people working on different priorities at the same time) should only be used with a specific reason. A good example of a situation where decentralized priorities of work would come into play is as follows: A disciplined group of travelers in TEOTWAWKI are on a multi day trip to the big regional trading fair a couple hundred miles away. They are the best the town has to offer and have been trusted with conducting trade of goods they can't produce on their behaf. When they stop priorities of work begin but in a decentralized manner. Five of the Six wagons (each with 4 adults) are working on establishing security which the sixth wagon's men eat a quick mean and get to sleep. The reason these men are doing so is because it is their job to leave at three am and scout the first part of the next days route and then get back in time for the groups seven am start time. Decentralized priorities of work fit this situation well because one group has special needs. The rest understand the reason these folks are going to bed a couple of hours before they can. If such a situation does not exist then either morale is going to get beaten down or the whole thing will go to shit. If for no apparant reason one group is told they can just go ahead and do whatever while everyone else has to do the long slow right thing (patrol base ops are slow) everyone else is going to either get pretty pissed or start fucking off and doing what they want.

I thought a lot about making a survivalists priorities of work but the situation is just too complex to lend itself to a rather rigid system like priorities of work. I will think some more on it and more may be written later.

Guess I should talk about patrol bases tommarow since I probably should have today but am tired of writing.
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