Showing posts with label tests. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tests. Show all posts

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Power Outage Fun

At about 8:30 this evening the power went out. First thing I did was grab the Glock that was sitting on the table by me as cutting power is often a precursor to break in's. After 60 seconds of looking and listening i figured that wasn't going to happen. So I walked to the bedroom to grab the unambiguous bedside maglight. Poked my head outside to see the whole neighborhood was dark. Grabbed a battery powered lantern. Swapped the maglight for a headlamp, they are the way to go when doing stuff. Went into the closet to grab the ole Grundig. Didn't need it's capability parse, however since we do not have the boom box of old it was the first option I thought of.

The batteries in it were dead which isn't a surprise, haven't used the thing in over 2 years. Even a trickle of a draw will kill the batteries in that time. Replaced said batteries. Tuned it to an FM station in town. While I did not have power they did which is a pretty good indicator the world did not end.

Waited 20 minutes to see if the power would just pop back on which it did not. Opened up the fridge, pulled out the meat and dairy as well as the beer then closed it. Put it into the chest freezer and then tossed a huge bag of ice in there (minus what went into the bucket with the beer;) to keep everything as cold as possible.

After that I tried using the power source from my new solar setup to power a light. For reasons I am not clear on that did not work. Didn't NEED it. We have a gaggle of battery powered lanterns with an OK stash of batteries (going to fix that tomorrow), plus Coleman lanterns but it was annoying all the same. Not like I spent a bunch of money to have that capability or something.

Decided to fiddle around on the short wave. That was fun. Listened to English Radio Havana for a bit then some stuff out of New Zealand and Lebanon. Obviously all in english otherwise I would not have stuck around. Didn't bother to find my antenna or figure out a ground. Probably could have gotten a lot more stations with that.

Since I knew the world wasn't ending I listened to the radio drinking beer in a slightly dark and warm house for a few hours. It was sort of a nice change of pace. I am going to get back into the short wave, it is pretty fun.

Lessons learned:
-I did not have a light on me. Granted there are plenty in our house and finding one took 30 seconds or so but a light in my pocket wouldn't have hurt.
-Food preservation during the power outage went OK I thought. Didn't really have a plan so much as I generally put the stuff that went bad, plus the ice in the place that would stay the coldest.
-The battery inventory has gotten a bit low through normal use. Maybe I need to inventory it monthly or something. 
-Not sure what the deal was with the power source and light parse. Honestly the only reason I grabbed it was to test it. Well that was a big fat fail. Got to put some more energy into figuring that system out it seems.
-A bucket of beer by my chair is kind of nice.
-Need to keep the radio antenna and ground with the radio.
That is about all I can think of.

Well this was a good little test, I am off to bed now.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

5 Systemic Mistakes in Survivalism

These mistakes are not universal but I think are widespread and should be addressed.

1) Lack of Physical Fitness. This should not come as a surprise. Some seriously prepared individuals with awesome skills and massive logistics are in pathetic shape. Some famous folks in survivalism would almost surely die if anything actually happened because they cannot do anything physical. I can't say what will take them out but something sure will. It might be walking to the neighbors and coming home with a bag of potatoes, or trying to do farm chores without a truck, tractor, chainsaw, wood splitter, power tools, etc all or maybe not being able to move their body and equipment during a fight or for some other reason. However to think they can fight or live an independent 19th century lifestyle is laughable.

For the sake of this article I don't care what type of exercise plan you have. Be able to move your body and some stuff quickly or for a long time and be able to lift stuff. Get to a reasonably healthy body weight. Enough beating that dead horse.

2) Overindulging in hobbies. Some folks like to sew, others like to garden, many like to shoot guns. The problem comes when we put too much of our preparedness money into our (even useful) hobbies. The woman with 12 sewing machines and a room full of stuff that doesn't have enough food or a gun is one example. On the other end is Mr Joe Survivalist with thousands of dollars in guns,  2 cases of MRE's and a little hotel sewing kit. I recall a guy who had multiple "shtf" motorcycles. You do not need a $600 fly fishing rod to be prepared, a decent alternative could be had at 1/10th of the price. I'm not saying you should not have hobbies or spend money on them. Just don't confuse a hobby (even a useful one) with preparations. Spend hobby money on hobbies and preparedness money on preparedness.

3) Worrying too much about narrow unlikely scenarios. Lots of things MAY happen but putting some energy and resources into ones that are a lot more likely to happen. Cough savings cough medical insurance cough.

4) Overconfidence and lack of training. Few people happen to come into survivalism with every useful skill yet for some reason people think they can fill those gaps  with Bubba at the range, youtube or blogs. That we are willing to spend lots of money on stuff but as a group have little interest in spending money to learn to use that stuff puzzles me.

Maybe it's that cool gadgets are tangible as well as cool. It could be admitting they need to improve or learn a skill does not sit well with many self styled rugged individualists. Everyone has unique skill sets and thus different gaps in the proverbial wire. Someone might need to improve a tactical skill set or learn wilderness survival or medical training or whatever. Over time and in proportion to other efforts ones skill set should be improved.

5) Not using the stuff they have. Gear should be trained with to get used to it and figure out how to make it work. Equipment should be tested. Little accessories and such will be identified during the course of this. Stuff needs to be tested as even good companies make a lemon now and then. Better to figure out your knife/ gun/ radio/ generator/ water filter/ whatever doesn't work on a lazy Sunday when you are testing it than when you need it to save your life.

Well there it is. If these apply to you do something about it. Otherwise feel free to disregard. Thoughts?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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