Archive for January, 2012

You Might Be Batshit Crazy If…

Posted: January 31, 2012 by Barbie in Uncategorized
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I can’t claim any of these are mine, they call come from a thread over at Survivalist Boards entitled “You Might Be a Survivalist/Prepper If…”

However, they’re so fuckin’ funny, I had to share them.

“The kids still think the cat I ‘rescued’ is a pet and not a potential food source.”   The Saint

“The letters S, H, T & F are worn off of your computer keyboard.”  SgtBooker44

“Walmart calls to let me know the 5 gal. buckets are in stock again.”  electrdave

“Your BOV has a dirtbike mounted to it that has a mountain bike mounted to it”  cyclopath

“Hoppe’s #9 is [your] aftershave”  ScottyGunn

“Your shopping lists have numbers, like .22, .308, or .357” naturegirlmia

“You have a tactical piercing” Crutch

“You dream about a bugout submarine” davissp2

“You have at least 20 other funny comments, but can’t break OPSEC to share them.” Sylens
I hope that gave you a good laugh – follow the link for the full thread – it’s up to 47 pages and counting!

Evacuation: Whats your Plan?

Posted: January 30, 2012 by boyscout556 in Evacuation
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A nuclear bomb explodes in the city next to you.  The zombie Apocalypse starts in downtown Manhattan.   A hurricane is barreling towards your house.  What do you do?

Chances are that whatever the emergency, when it happens it wont happen all around you, and if it does you’re pretty much fucked to begin with.  Either you will know its coming (like a hurricane) or you’ll know where it started and therefore where its coming from and about how long you have until it hits you so you should have at least a few hours to organize and head out.  So, where do you go?  hop on the interstate like every other unprepared dolt?  People cant even get to work without running out of gas or crashing into each other so you think during a panic it will be better?  That thinking means all the other preps you’ve done are worthless, but at least you can share with all the other assholes stuck on the road.  Chances are everyone will be headed in the same direction, taking mostly the same roads, jamming them up like Newman’s arteries.  A little planning might allow you and your family to get out while everyone else is sitting in a parking lot that used to be called route 66.  Think of every disaster movie you have ever seen.  There is always that scene with the cars all on the highway at a standstill, and then some asshole in the front thinks he can run faster than drive and everybody abandons their cars.  Sure that means there is plenty of gas to gather later but getting to safety should probably come first, just saying.

With that in mind I think I’m going to check out the maps of the local roads (google maps pretty much kicks ass for this) and plan an escape route in each of the major directions, and then take a weekend and go explore them.   Sure the speed limits on back roads are slower, but who’s gonna stop you, the cops? I think they’ll have enough on their plates attempting to shoot zombies in the face.  If you explore your local area now, finding smaller side roads that most people will overlook, you will be able to pick your route based on what all the other lemmings are doing, and keep off the jammed up roads and on the smaller back roads that will allow you to get out alive at least for now.  You might also want to pack a few maps in your Bug-out Bag because if you think you are going to be able to rely on your Garmin or Tom Tom, you apparently haven’t used yours very much.  Those things are great when you have a long trip on interstates but get them on back roads or downtown in a city and you might as well have a hundred dollar brick.  Plus who knows how long those things will still be reliable after the SHTF.

So along with food hoarding, bug-out bags, and which guns to bring, you might want to plan a few routes so when its time to get out of dodge, you actually can, leaving all the other bastards to be the zombies’ first course.   Mmmmmm brains.

Long Term Storage

Posted: January 29, 2012 by Sarge in Stockpiling Food
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So, as you walk down the road toward hoarder status, there are some things to consider. Having a bunch of stuff saved up is all well and good, but it needs to be useful. What I mean is, if you have six months worth of food saved, awesome. However, if all the canned peas are in the very back, and all the tomato soup is in the very front, it will be difficult to make enticing meals. Furthermore, if that shit is in a heap in the corner of the basement, you’re gonna turn an ankle when you climb mount survival in search of the elusive box of townhouse crackers.

The solution is to set up a storage system. If you have a basement, that would be a great place to set up the warehouse. Otherwise, it could be spread throughout closets, the garage, or even a shed.

Now, anyone who’s worked a grocery story knows you use the oldest stuff first. So when you buy new stuff to add to your collection, put it in the back, and move everything forward.  That way, you’ll get a rotation going. Whether you buy shelving, build shelving, or stack up some bins or cardboard boxes, I would set up so that you can get to the back side of the shelf, etc. This way, you have more access to stuff, and you don’t bury stuff somewhere you can’t find it. Keep food items in one area, equipment in another, first aid closest to your living area so that you can get to it (you never need that stuff until SHTF, and then you need it yesterday).

Now you have all this stuff, and its all stored and ready, and then the nuclear powerplant 50 miles from your house melts down and you gotta go. You can’t carry the shelves out to the car, so what’s your plan? Try packing up some of each type of item in prepared boxes or bins. That way, if you’re leaving by vehicle, you can easily and quickly load them up and take off. You could have a bin of food, a first aid kit, and maybe some spare clothing. 3 bins and you’re off.

As an option for the bins, perhaps building some portable storage containers could work for you. If you build some boxes with hinged lids out of pine, they will be relatively lightweight, and also sturdy. If you are capable of building them, you are also capable of building them to fit specific locations in your vehicle. You could have two that drop behind the two front seats. Or maybe one that fills that space at the back of the trunk. If you end up needing to sustain yourself for longer than you had initially planned, you can always take them apart and build something else you might need, or even burn them to cook up that tasty woodchuck you hit with the Chevy on the way out of Dodge.

If you fail to plan, plan on failing…

Sarge

So, I mentioned the other day that I’m currently working on exhausting my food supply.  Tonight, as I was making dinner (Fettucine topped with store brand spaghetti sauce kicked up a notch with some about-to-shrivel green pepper and a freezer burned italian sausage from who-knows-when) I ran into the first of what I’m sure will be increasingly severe problems.

I was seriously craving some sweets (my default state, honestly) and nothing was readily available.  But I realized I had some old cake mixes in the baking closet, so I grabbed a box of spice cake and was about to bust that puppy open when… damn.  I realized the instructions called for three eggs.  I opened the fridge and found that I had exactly three eggs.  I knew it!  The spice cake and I were meant to be!

Oh shit.  It occurs to me that eventually, I’m going to run out of protein.  Do I really want to hasten this process by throwing away my last three eggs on a spice cake?

Hell yes I do!

But wait.  Is that wise?  What if I run out of food?

Oh, seriously.  It’s three friggin’ eggs.  Are you honestly gonna freak out because you might starve to death one meal earlier?

Do you really want to run the risk?

Fuck yes!  I might die, but I’ll die with cake in my belly!  What better way to go!?

In the end, I managed to get my shit together and realize that those three sorry eggs would make a pretty good egg salad sandwich.  And since two nights a week I have to eat supper in the car, a non-messy egg salad sandwich wrap would make a pretty good supper.  So I made the right decision and put the cake mix away.

And you better believe I boiled those eggs right there and then, to save myself the temptation.

Bug-out Bag: the Basics

Posted: January 27, 2012 by boyscout556 in Bug-out Bag
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Be Prepared, the Boy Scout motto and really the whole reason behind this site.   Having spent 7 years in Boy Scouts, and having attained the rank of Eagle Scout, a few things were drilled into my head by fathers that wanted to relive their younger years vicariously through there sons.  I mean really, go to any Boy Scout troop and I’ll bet 75% of the boys don’t even want to be there, but their dads are making them, mostly so the dads can go on the trips.  Either way, even being forced to be there, I still learned some useful skills, a few of which I might still remember.  First aid (trust me Scout Masters are obsessed with it), pioneering (knot tying, lashing etc. for those of you who were never forced to learn it.  I can lash a 30 foot tower together, not that it will ever help me), orienteering (map reading, using a compass, etc.  I don’t know what’s wrong with Land Nav but hey); all useful skills when you’re trying to survive in the woods.  One of the biggest things they repeated, other than first aid, was what should be in your backpack every time you go on a hike; The Ten Essentials.  This was a list that the Boy Scouts of America (and many other outdoors organizations) thought was so important that every Boy Scout (at least in my Troop) was required to carry them on every hike.  I mean let’s face it, that guy that lasted 72 hours and cut off his arm, (he cut off his own fucking arm) could do that because he had a knife with him.  If he didn’t have a knife he’d still have both arms, then again he might also be dead.  Now, thinking back, I realize that these ten items are really the basis of any bug out bag minus the guns and ammo.  And yes guns and ammo really are a necessity for a proper bug-out bag.

The Ten Essentials were:

  1. a pocket knife/multi tool
  2. first aid kit
  3. water bottle
  4. fire starter
  5. trail food
  6. extra clothing
  7. rain gear
  8. map and compass
  9. a flashlight
  10. sun protection

The first thing you notice is this list is meant more for a day on the trail rather than a few days of survival, I understand that.  I’m not saying “put this shit in a bag and you’ll be Bear Grylls”.  But it does provide a great basis.  If Bear actually packed this stuff he wouldn’t be drinking his own urine or giving himself an brackish water enema (seriously, here’s the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtIG4TuVnvg).  Upgrade the trail food to a few days’ worth of MREs or the like, add some extra bottles of water (or go with the enema, your call), a second larger knife (easier to cut off your own arm, you know, get you out in 60 hours instead of 72), etc. and you have the bare necessities of a bug-out bag.  Obviously a true bug-out bag will need a few more items (like ammo and a radio for starters), but if you just don’t know where to start I think this is the place, ten things packed easily into a backpack, that can be ready to go anytime.

And for those of you who ask “why do I need a gun, these ten items seem like enough, and guns scare me” just remember that there are assholes like me that will say, “what no gun?”  and take your shit, cause let’s be honest, when the SHTF it’s a dog eat dog world out there.

Snug backwords is Guns

Posted: January 26, 2012 by Sarge in Weapons and Tools
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Okay, I’ve said before, I like guns.  That being said, I’ve had many lengthy conversations at work that revolve around guns.  These usually involve some normal people, and some people who are beyond batshit crazy.  Everyone has an opinion, and some of them almost seem valid.  We typically discuss the topic of necessary guns in the case of some crazy shit happening.  That being said, I would recommend that you tread lightly when approaching this topic with the guy two cubicles over.  This is the type of shit that gets you fired, or brings the Feds to your front door when the lady in the pink blouse who can’t mind her own damn business calls her senator becasue you said “gun” at work.

Back to the firepower.  Part one of this discussion always revolves around the types of guns you should have.  Yes, guns.  You can buy one gun, and it will do one, or maybe two, things well.  You need to be able to do many things with guns.  This is about survival, after all.  I have decided on what I consider the must-have abilities when it comes to shooting shit.

1) A rifle capable of hitting, and killing, a decent sized animal at 300 to 1000 yards.  This is for the deer in the distance, or elk, or errant cow, or whatever.  The key here is that, although a decent varmit rifle may hit something this far away, it is not likely to take it down.

2) An assault weapon capable of being used in tight spaces as a defensive weapon.  It needs to be able to kill in the 10 to 300 yard range.  This is a great place for the Communist bloc weapons, such as the SKS or the AK-47.  The  idea here is defending you and your shit from others who are not friendly to you.

3) A shotgun that can be used primarily to hunt.  Shotguns are great because there are lots of choices for ammo, and they can be used to kill everything from small birds to deer without problem.  Also a great defensive tool.

4) A handgun, for last ditch save-your-own-ass (SYOA) shots.

5) I know, I said four, but it has been brough to my attention that a rifle which chambers .22 Long Rifle ammo would be very handy.  It is ideal for killing rabits, squirrels, and the like, uses the most common ammo in the world, and both it and its ammo are relatively light and small.  Younger memebers of your survival team will also be able to use such a rifle with relative ease.

Now, thats 5 guns, and 5 different types of ammo.  What the hell?

First off, if you have a wife, or husband, or kids, or friends, you can pass ammo and guns about, so that everyone helps shoulder the load.

Secondly, there are ways to cut this down some.  After much discussion, it has been generally agreed upon that the first two can be combined.  Before explaining how, let me give you a pointer.  Buying guns that use common ammo means you should have less trouble scrounging extra once the SHTF.  My plan is to buy guns that use NATO ammo.  NATO has decided that all participating countries will issue their militaries firearms that shoot common ammo, so that they can share when the Commies (I know I know) come pouring into Europe from the east.  This is good for all of us, because this ammo is much easier to get.  The chamberings in question include 5.56 mm (these guns will also shoot .223), 7.62 X 51 mm (these also shoot .308), and 9 mm for pistols.  As shotguns are concerned, 12 gauge is extremely common, as every redneck who fancies himself a hunter probably has at least 100 rounds kicking around his house.

Okay, sorry, back to combining two of them.  If you research either the Springfield M1A, or the Armalite AR-10, you will notice a number of things.  Both are based on combat firearms.  Both chamber the 7.62 X 51/.308 round.  Either of these rifles will easily kill something anywhere between 10 yards (watch Full Metal Jacket.  Pyle proves this point) and 1000 yards, as long as you have a scope to allow you to see that far.  Both can be set up with high capacity magazines, making them good for defending yourself.  Additionally, because both are combat style arms, they are easy to disassemble and clean with few or no tools.  That takes care of both 1 and 2 with a sinlge firearm.

Shotguns are awesome because they are both readily available and cheap.  The Remington 870 line and the Mossberg 500 line are both very affordable pump shotguns, with many options availabe from the factory, and tons of aftermarket support.  Pump shotguns are simple and reliable, and pack a mighty punch.  If you shop some, you can get one with an 8 round magazine, which is really nice.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of 9mm handguns on the market.  I like the Beretta 92 line of guns, because, again, they are based on military guns.  This means they are simple, rugged, and reliable.  Additionally, you can get 15 round magazines for them.  Thats a lot of pistol ammo.  They are accurate, to top it all off.

Now, for the .22.  I would look to the Ruger 10-22 first and foremost.  They are affordable, durable, accurate guns.  They are simple to own and operate.

Obviously, every asshole who ever breathed has an opinion on this topic.  Most of them are probably wrong.  The rest might be right.  Either way, this is my loadout plan for my guns.  It will take me a while to get them all together, but I have the shotgun out of the way already (yeah, I know, thats the cheapest one).

So, the Financial Times has reported that world governments are stockpiling food to hedge against… what?  There’s plenty of speculation (soaring food prices, zombie apocalypse, nuclear terrorism), and I sure as hell don’t know what they see coming. All I know is, if you can’t beat ’em join ’em.

I’m actually right in the middle of an anti-stockpiling experiment at the moment – I’m eating all the food in my pantry and seeing how long I can go without buying groceries (the only exceptions are coffee and half-and-half, both dire necessities).  This serves a couple of purposes:

1.  I’m seeing how long I can really survive on a pantry’s worth of food

2.  I’m learning how to creatively make tasty meals out of unlikely combinations

3.  I’m finding stuff in the pantry that I bought who-knows-how-long ago and making a note that I clearly don’t eat it, so I probably shouldn’t buy it again

4.  I’m saving a shitload of money.  Which is good because I just paid tuition which is like being mugged but without the compelling story to tell at work the next day.

Anyway, I’m starting to run out of food, and it’s getting interesting.  I’d guess that what I’ve got on hand will last me about two more weeks but I’ll keep you updated.

Once I lift the self-imposed ban on grocery shopping, I plan to start stockpiling food like an MFer.  One, in case I’m stuck in my house for months during the next pandemic, and two because I know from experience that a good-size stockpile can see you through a lengthy unemployment.  Not that I’m staring a layoff in the face right now, but you just never know.  Some people are blindsided by these things and pack up a paper box with their desk knickknacks and go home to cry, not knowing what else to do.  Me?  I’d go right home and start cooking beans in the crockpot.

Right.

The point is, I know myself too well and if I just start stockpiling without a decent plan in place I’ll end up with a 200 jar stockpile of kalamata olives, chickpeas, and apple pie filling and not a damn thing to eat when the martians land and I’m hiding in my crawlspace for weeks.

I’ll need other things, like canned Hershey’s syrup, maraschino cherries, and bourbon.

I need a plan.  Something that ensures I spend my alien-induced exile eating balanced, nutricious, and delicious meals.  I realize this is all pointless, because while I can buy shelf stable half-and-half, as soon as my Extra Dark Italian Roast starts to degrade, I’ll probably slit my wrists with my Leatherman, but still.  I’m banking on the hope that someone will have developed a long-shelf-life coffee that is actually potable by then, and just in case I’d like to have a 3-month food supply on hand.  I’d also like to have some extra food, because when the shit hits the fan and I’ve run out of mascara, I may need to make a trade.  Plus, it might get lonely being in quarantine so I may want to have a neighbor come and ride it out with me.  And I’ll probably have to bribe them with Jello Pudding Cups  to put up with me.  You see my point?

Over the next few days, I’m going to do some research to determine just how much of each of the food groups I’ll need to amass, and also if Trader Joe’s has a way to freeze-dry and reconstitute those little apple pastries they sell in the freezer department.  Because those?  Are delicious.

 

 

Bob

Posted: January 25, 2012 by Sarge in Bug-out Bag
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Today, I want to introduce you to my friend Bob. Bob is an ALICE pack, who saw prior military service. Perhaps Bob should be named Alice, but whatever. Bob is the sad start to my BOB. As of now, he is in pieces. He contains nothing.

The point of a BOB is to have your shit ready to roll when SHTF. So, Bob is useless to me at this point. In my mind, I regularly think through the stuff that should be in there. I never write it down, and its always changing. What I do know, is that it will contain the WAC. WAC is Water, Ammo, Chow. It is in that order, because I think thats the order of import of the items.

My problem is that I like guns. I own four. Each uses different ammo. My fear is that Bob will become an ammo chest, with no room for anything else of use. With that in mind, I’m trying to decide which guns go, and which ones stay, and which ones I can convince my loving wife to carry.

If anyone has suggestions, or a list of what they have, or whatever, for their BOB, lets get some ideas flowing. I need to do something, or TEOTWAWKI will arrive, and I’ll have a big, empty BOB.

P.S. what kind of pack are you using for a BOB, and why?

Get this: So I’m drinking a beer, making a list of shit I’ll need to survive and I have this moment of genius delusional paranoia in which I create this Decision Flow Chart:

I’m telling you, this MBA is PAYING FOR ITSELF!!!

Anyway.

So the basic idea here (as if you can’t read a friggin’ flow chart) is that you want to be ready for any shit that could possibly go down. The way I see it, there’s three different scenarios you could have on your hands:

Long term shelter in place: This is your stockpile. What would you need if you had to fend for yourself in your home for months or years? Food, water, ammunition, heating fuel… Basically you want to turn your house into a cold war style shelter, complete with cans of stale Saltines.

Evacuation on foot. This is where you’ll want a bug out bag (or go bag).This is a backpack loaded with supplies that you can carry with you. You should have one for each member of the family – even a three year old can carry a change of clothes or a blanket.

Evacuation in a vehicle. You’ll want prepacked boxes (or suitcases) of provisions in case it takes you a long time to get to your destination. Think Oregon Trail.

A note on vehicular evacuation:You’ll always want to supplement this with your bug out bags in case you’re forced to abandon your vehicle and hoof it.

You’ve also gotta consider the exacerbating circumstances you could encounter. Does your survival stockpile account for the fact that you may not have power for cooking? Are you equipped to defend your family from looters during an evacuation?  Do you have the supplies and training you would need to administer first aid?
Sam Adams may have helped me write this post, but I maintain that the advice is valid.

Mad Max and the tornado chasers

Posted: January 24, 2012 by Sarge in Uncategorized
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Ever watch those storm chaser shows where science nerds chase storms to try to take readings?  They suck.  I used to watch, but lets be honest with ourselves, these people are terrible at what they do.  We could go into the fact that they never get their probes into the storm, but the important part is WHY they never seem to be successful.  They drive pieces of SHIT.  Some of them are just clapped out old trucks, and some of them are special, custom built, “Storm Chasing Tanks”.  Chasing is accurate, because they never catch any storms, because their equipment breaks down, or gets stuck in the grass on the side of the road, or whatever.

There is a point here.  Gonna set up the ultimate Mad Max bug out vehicle, with gun mounts on the roof and push bars and huge tires and 850 horsepower?  I’ll wave on the way past.  First off, have you ever tried to shoot something?  How about something thats moving?  How about when you’re also moving?  How about when its moving, and you’re moving, in the back of a vehicle, driven by your husband, or wife, or 12 year old daughter, who is in a panic, because the world is ending, and you’re trying to shoot someone, or something?  Skip the gun mounts Rambo.  Want huge power, and huge tires?  With big power comes big failures.  I’m not talking about needing a tuneup, I’m talking about grenading your rear end and rolling to a stop on the side of the road.  Zombies love to eat these people, by the way.

So what kind of vehicle to build?  Who knows.  Does it start when you turn the key?  Good start.  Does it get you down the road without sweating all the shit thats about to fail?  I’d say you’re well on your way.  4 wheel drive is nice, but a good set of tires with decent tread is more important.  Some storage space is good too, but so is being able to drive more than 18 miles before you hit the gas station.  We all love power, but lets be honest, you’re gonna be pouring whatever “fuel” you could siphon out of other peoples broken shit, so lets not commit to something that needs 93 octane just to idle correctly.

Maybe I’ll introduce you to my escape machine sometime down the road, if we’re all still here…