Posts Tagged ‘survival’

My thoughts on Treyvon Martin

Posted: March 28, 2012 by Sarge in Weapons and Tools
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I will not touch on who I think is right or wrong.  I wear hoodies all the time.  I also carry concealed all the time.  We have a justice system, and I trust it to sort out what happened and who should be held accountable.

I won’t touch on the racism portion of this either.  Either Zimmerman was in the right, and defended himself, or he was in the wrong, and murdered an innocent young man.  Does it matter if he did or did not hate the individual due to his race?  Does it make Martin any less dead?  Was it wrong to kill him, if it was self defense, because Martin was black?  I fail to see how a “hate crime” is any different than any other crime.  I fail to see race as an issue here.  Two people interacted, with serious consequences.  What if Martin hated Zimmerman because of HIS race?  Then it would be a hate crime the other way, right?

Yeah, I know, I went into race.  The point I was after from the beginning is this.  I am baffled by how few people realize that we have a right, and some would say obligation, to carry concealed firearms.  facebook friends of mine, some of whom are actual friends of mine, have responded to this situation with comments on how they are shocked Zimmerman was even allowed to carry a handgun.  Do they not realize that a decent portion of the population walks past them, shops next to them, works with them, all while carrying guns around “like a bunch of wild west cowboys”?  I’m not letting them know, because I would just assume none of them know I have iron on my hip whenever I leave me property, and most of the time I am on my property.  Can you imagine how they would react if they found out I was a gun toting “right wing nut job”?

 

Sarge

Learning Survival Skills

Posted: February 25, 2012 by Sarge in Bug-out Bag, Survival Skills
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As I think about what I’m going to load in my bug out bag(s), I tend to panic a little realizing that I am in no way a survivalist. I will never have a survival tv show, and I wont disappear into the woods for weeks on end to live off the land. I thought about buying tons of survival skills books and trying to learn everything I could.
Then I thought, “Fuck all that noise”. I have neither the time nor the patience for that. Once I decided I wasn’t going that route, I started trying to find another way to learn myself some useful stuff. I came up with a game plan.
There are probably a lot of people out there that are like me. You don’t have a ton of free time, and you couldn’t survive all that long on what you already know. So here is my proposal. Learn what you can, when you can, from whoever offers you any kind of knowledge. Stuff that will be vital, like basic lifesaving, you should memorize. We should all probably be able to make a fire using basic tools, as well. However, what about all that other stuff, like making shelters and creating traps to catch small animals? Try buying old military how-to books. The military put out all sorts of literature on survival, first aid, weapons maintenance and use, and anything else you can think of. These are typically paperback, and short and concise. There is no fluff. Pictures are simple and easy to follow.
I plan to buy them (they are typically cheap, and available at gun shows/surplus stores, and through mail order), and stash the small, useful ones in my BOB. I’ll read through ’em, or at least skim ’em first, so that I know whats there. My thought is that I will then have the information at hand, without having to memorize a ton of stuff.

http://www.armynavyshop.com/07-books-army-navy.html

These guys have some, but there are a lot more available.  I bought one for my SKS that covers maintenance and use.

Sarge

So, last night the doorbell rang, the dog was losing his flipping mind, and I realized I should totally install a peephole in the front door.  Sometimes I’m curious about who’s on the other side, but not enough to risk opening the door to find out.  I get tired of the vacuum salesmen who offer me a four-pack of Charmin’ if I’ll just let them do their presentation.

Yes, I could totally use more shit tape to add to my cache, but I can get 24 rolls for like eight bucks, which means you’re offering me $1.33 to not only listen to an annoying presentation about a vacuum I don’t want, but to LET A STRANGE MAN INTO MY HOUSE.

Seriously, WTF are these people thinking?  Does anyone actually take the bait?

Also?  If it’s after dark and you haven’t called ahead of time, I’m not opening the door.  There are too many crazies out there, and I don’t want to have to answer my door with a loaded handgun every time, so that door is staying closed.

Anyway.  Back to the peephole.  If I want to see who’s at my door without actually opening it, I currently have to peek through the front window blinds like a crackhead.  So I was thinking, what if shit hits the fan and like a police officer comes to the door to tell me I need to evacuate and I don’t get the message because I think it’s the Jehova’s Witnesses and I don’t want to answer?

I was all set to go to Lowe’s and buy a peephole and a big ass drill bit when I started to think about it I realized that using a peephole after TEOTWAWKI is a surefire way to get yourself killed.  I mean, think about it like this.  You’re all bugged in, feeding on your stash of Cheetos and Twinkies and basically living it up.  And then one day, someone knocks on your front door.  You’re pretty sure it’s nobody you care to speak to, but curiosity gets the better of you.  Suddenly, just as you press your piggy little eye up to the peephole, BANG!  BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG!

You’re shot right through your own front door.  And then the shooter busts a window, climbs through, and suddenly *he’s* feasting on your Cheeto supply.

I’m serious, folks.  It could happen.

So now, I’ve started thinking about other ways to keep tight surveillance on my front porch.  I toyed with the idea of a camera system, but the minute the power goes out, you’re screwed. And then, I had an idea that borders upon genius. I need a fuckin’ parascope.

When I was a kid, we had this plastic periscope toy, and that thing was awesome.  You could totally sneak up on someone to spy on them, and provided they were deaf enough not to hear the giggling, it would totally work.  We used to sneak out of bed at night and use it to try to watch whatever my parents were watching on TV.

So I was thinking, if I could build a parascope and mount it into the front wall of the house, I could use that bitch to see who was at my door, without standing in front of the target zone myself.  I Googled “How To Make a Periscope out of PVC Pipe” and discovered I’m not the only jackass who has thought of this!  Literally, the third link that came up was about building a Periscope for your Bug Out Location. Damn, did I feel validated.  Make fun of me now, assholes.

As an added bonus, any leftover PVC could be used to build a potato cannon which could be a good nonlethal weapon for home defense (the downside?  launching your food supply 200 yards into the neighborhood).

Plus, I needed an excuse to huff PVC cement.

Board Games

Posted: February 20, 2012 by boyscout556 in Preparation
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Yes, board games.  These will be some of the items I will pack in my bomb shelter when I finally have the time, money, and place to build one.  Lets face it, you can have all the food in the world, along with all the necessities for survival, but being stuck in a room the size of a hotel room will drive you crazy.  That is unless you’re like the guy from the movie rocketman.  Otherwise, you should think about packing some things to keep you busy: board games.  A deck of cards or three might be a good idea also, anything that will occupy you when you have no where to go and nothing else to do.   Although this all only works if you have friends, and lets face it if you actually have friends you wouldn’t spend all your money on a bomb shelter.  So, I guess, rethinking this maybe books would be better.   Either way, think about the down time you’ll have after the SHTF and figure out how you’re going to spend it without going insane.   I realize these wont be necessary in a BoB or BoV as surviving will be taking most of your time, and the rest should probably be spent resting.  But keep in mind that if you’re stuck somewhere, having something to do will make the time go a lot faster.  Surviving TEOTWAWKI is more than just having the supplies, it’s a mental marathon.

How am I supposed to decide if I need to bug out, or stay put and settle in?  I had no idea how to answer the question, so I did what I do at work all day anyway.  I made Excel spreadsheets.  Why the hell not.  First, I built a spreadsheet that calculates a value for bugging out versus a value for staying put.  My idea was that the higher value would be the right choice.  I used things that I thought might affect the decision, dealing with preparation, availability of resources, etc.  I then averaged them for two groups, the stay and the bug out.  I then divided them by another factor, based on relative closeness to a major population center, and number of people in that population center.  Lets be honest, cities are going to be absolute mayhem when SHTF (Think post Katrina New Orleans).  I filled out the spreadsheet for my values, and this is what I came up with.

Then, just toying around, I built a table, creating a score for distance vs. population, where a higher score is achieved the further you are from a city, and the smaller that city is.  I then created two graphs to compare the effects of changing either distance or population changes.  Check it out.

There is no science invovled in either of these.  I don’t give a shit.  If you want a copy of either to toy around with, or if you have suggestions on how I could improve either, shoot me an email at survivorsarge@gmail.com.

 

Sarge

I recently returned from a weekend ski trip with a few friends which reminded me of something.  It can get really freaking cold sometimes.  The conditions were lovely and it was a great time, but getting back to my point, by the end of the day, the wind was picking up and the temperature at least felt like it plummeted.  This made me think about my BoB and the clothes I have packed.  I realized that I’ve packed for the spring and fall relatively well, but if I had to take off now I would probably freeze to death the first night if I couldn’t keep a good hot fire going.  If I had to bug out in the middle of the summer, I would be carrying way more clothes than I would need and not nearly enough water.  With this in mind I think I will start checking the inventory list that Sarge suggested I make, and updating whats in my BoB based on the current season.  I suppose that this would be a relatively simple concept (as I just compelted a google search and came up with multiple posts about seasonal BoBs: http://www.todayssurvival.com/forum/index.php?topic=143.0http://www.survival-homestead.com/bug-out-bag-checklist.html (this one also gives a very good checklist for a BoB)) but I didn’t think about it until this last weekend.  Good thing the nothing hit the fan.  I would suggest checking your BoB for the correct  supplies about every two to three months, or when a drastic change to your local weather occurs.  Ensure in the summer you have extra water, lightweight clothes, and sun protection of some kind or another.  In winter extra warm clothes and blankets (I suggest those space blankets that fold down to the size of a thin wallet, yet somehow can keep you really warm) and definitely some form of fire starter.  Spring and fall you need clothes that are cool enough when you’re moving about during the day, yet warm enough to keep you comfortable at night.  Again going back to my Boy Scout days, wear layers.  They can be easily shed as you warm up, and then replaced as it cools down.  It’s also a lot easier packing many thin layers of clothing rather than a few bulky layers.  They can also be removed and replaced from the BoB as necessary for season changes.  Another thing I remember from Boy Scouts is that cotton kills.  The reason they said this was that cotton can absorb an absurd amount of water, and then it takes an enormous amount of energy to remove said water.  If you are wearing this soaking or even damp cotton, guess where that energy to dry it comes from?  That’s right, you.  Wearing fabrics like wool and polypropylene will wick the moisture away from you skin, keeping your energy loss to a minimum.  They also dry more quickly as they cannot hold as much water.  So with all that in mind I suggest you go check your BoB to ensure you’re prepared for the current weather and not the weather you would prefer.

So Many Choices

Posted: February 11, 2012 by boyscout556 in Weapons and Tools
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This post is dedicated to how i chose the current weapons in my arsenal: (By no means am i an expert in weapons, i just figured i’d share what i had with you)

I currently own a Smith and Wesson SW9VE (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_764980_-1_757911_757910_757787_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y).

Now a lot of people have issues with this handgun because it has a heavy trigger however that is how the trigger was designed as this gun does not have a safety.   I have put over 1000 rounds through it without so much as a hiccup.  I originally purchased this handgun over something else because the price.  When i bought it i got a 50 dollar mail in rebate so it only cost about 250.  It also uses the most common handgun ammo in the world.  Plus it just felt right.  I’m starting to look into a more concealable handgun, but havent found one i like yet.

On to the Shotgun i mentioned in my last post.  I purchased a 12 gauge Mossberg 500 Field/Security Combo set (http://www.mossberg.com/products/default.asp?id=3&section=products).  

This comes with both a 28″ field barrel and an 18.5″ home defense barrel.  The field barrel comes with Mossberg’s accu-choke system and three chokes.  This allows the field barrel to be used for a multitude of applications.  The home defense barrel is short, which allows for more maneuverability indoors.  The combo also comes with the pistol grip to replace the stock for home defense.  The price was right for 330, for what comes close to two firearms (at least in terms of uses).  I went with the Mossberg 500 over the Remington 870 ofter reading this post: http://jth8260.tripod.com/870.html.  Justin outlines why he recommends the 500 over the 870.  He also wrote a good post about using shotguns for home defense weapons which i also recommend: http://jth8260.tripod.com/shotgun.html.

Finally I own a Sig Sauer SIG556 Classic SWAT (http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductDetails/sig556-classic-swat.aspx).

This is a rifle, chambered in 5.56mm/.223.  It has a full quad rail system down its entire barrel, allowing it to be fully customized.  It also has a collapsible folding stock.  It accepts all standard AR-15/M-16 magazines.  I bought mine broken in (slightly used) and it came with a forward ergonomic grip (http://www.parallaxtactical.com/store/magpul-afg2-angled-foregrip-black-1089.html) and a red dot site.  This gun has been extremely reliable for me and I love it.  I’ve put almost 2000 rounds through it with one issue but its because i was cheap and bought cheap ammo which gummed up the chamber causing a casing to get lodged in the chamber.  After i rammed it out, cleaned the rifle, and stopped using exclusively wolf ammo (i usually shoot 20-30 rounds of wolf followed by 5-10 rounds of brass and it keeps the chamber from gumming up, at lest until i run out of Wold) i havent add an issue.  Truthfully the reason i bought is rifle rather than an AR is just that.  Its not an AR.  I like to be different.

So that’s my arsenal so far.  I’m by no means saying these are the best weapons for TEOTWAWKI.  They have been good, reliable, fun to shoot guns so far and that’s the only claim i make.

What makes up your collection and why?

Now for some pics of things that broke and I disposed of the fun way:

 

An Ipod I put a 12 gauge shotgun round through

A hard drive that I put multiple .223 rounds from the Sig followed by a 12 gauge shotgun slug through.

How Prepared am I?

Posted: February 8, 2012 by boyscout556 in Preparation
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Today I started to evaluate how prepared I am for TEOTWAWKI.  I realized I’m fucked. Although I already have a rifle and will be adding a shotgun to that in the next few days, that’s about as far as my preparedness goes.  I currently don’t have room to stockpile supplies (I rent a room from a friend and he already thinks I’m nuts because I just bought a shotgun).  I also realized I have an issue knowing when something is required, and when i just want it really badly.  Let me demonstrate:  My computer died on me over the weekend.  No big deal since I still have my netbook (hence this post).  I still felt the need to replace the computer right now rather than waiting a few weeks, to make sure I really need it.  Sitting at work today pondering my new computer purchase I realized that I have large impulsive tendencies that I have trouble controlling ( hence the reason I am now getting a new shotgun and new computer).  Now its not like I cant afford both purchases, its just that I really didnt need to make both purchases in the same week, or probably even month.  I guess this whole situation is a good thing because it shows me a glaring issue in my preparedness, which I can now address, and start being more prepared for whatever happens to come next.  The point of this whole story is to show, just because you have started to hoard supplies and have a great BoB and BoV, doesnt mean you’re really ready for TEOTWAWKI.   It just means you have more stuff.  Your mindset has to be such that you can actually survive after the SHTF.  I need to work on this big time.  You might want to attempt a self evaluation.

Think you don’t have the cash to prep? Quit making excuses and come back tomorrow for Ten Ways to Prep for Free

Evacuation: The next step

Posted: February 5, 2012 by boyscout556 in Evacuation
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OK, so you made it out alive and in good shape.  The BOV is running like a champ, loaded with a few months’ worth of food, the family, fido, some extra fuel, and enough guns and ammo to take on Belgium.  You even managed to get out of the immediate area of the SHTF.  Now what?

Just because you have all the equipment and were even able to get away with it doesnt mean you’re home free.  Now you need somewhere to go.  This is where it gets hard.  Do you head to great aunt Mimi’s house in Pokipsy, or out into the forest?  Some of you may be better preppers/survivalists than I, and already have a cabin in some remote location in  woods, with your bunker, and a few years worth of food, and all the other equipment.  If which case, good for fuckin you, why arent you writing this and letting me learn?  But you better hope your Opsec was air tight or you might find someone that was just a little faster and is ready to defend what used to be your homestead to the last man.  In which case, you better have a back up plan.  For the rest of us that dont have a Bug-out Location (BOL), whether prepped by us or someone else, we need to have a plan.   Any plan is better than nothing, so you might as well start thinking about it now.  And truthfully I dont have a fucking clue as to where to go currently.  But I just thought of a way to remedy that.

I suppose the things to look for in a BOL are seclusion, easy access to resources, like water, food (whether it be hunted, gathered, of cultivated), defendablility, etc.  Well what better way to find someplace like this then start camping with the family.  Rather than taking your lard ass to someplace like the beach where you’ll put on a bathing suit that really shows off your back hair, and makes everyone else dry heave until they pass out, pack up some of you survival gear, go out in the woods, and practice your skills.  You can start to get a taste of surviving off the grid.  Better yet start backpacking with only your BOB.  It will allow you to test out how well you’ve packed it, get you used to carrying it, maybe show you why the gym might not be a bad idea.  Plus it will give you the chance to start scouting for a good BOL.  I would suggest a large forest, where you might find some wildlife and more of that nature shit.  And after you find your location, for the love of God, don’t go posting on Facebook how you just found the best BOL and these are its latitude and longitude.  Keep it to yourself, or maybe let your family in on it but make sure they wont go blabbing about it.  Better yet find a few different locations that can all be used, and rank them on their best attributes.  This way you have some options when the SHTF.  So for all of you that thought “Oh, I have everything i need to survive and a way to get out of dodge to boot” always remember, just because you can leave doesnt mean you have somewhere to go.

Water Storage: Living the high life

Posted: February 2, 2012 by boyscout556 in Stockpiling Food
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What is the thing you probably take for granted most that will be one of the first things gone when SHTF.  Clean water.  Well probably electricity, but lets say water because I needed a good way to start this.  If you’re on city water then more than likely after the apocalypse you’re shit out of luck.  Storing water in your house can be hard.  Water is heavy, and it needs some kind of container and well, its water.  I’ve been thinking about the best place to store water in your house.  I mean sure, fill barrels and put them in the basement, but then where does your food go?  Dig a pond, but then you have to purify it plus all the neighbors will just help themselves.  How about building a water tank in your attic.  Its perfect.  There is all that empty space up there.  Your rain collector on the roof can drain into it, plus it can be attached directly to your current plumbing system.  This means while all the other survivors are lugging bottles of water around, all you have to do is open your tap, and let gravity do its thing.  This will work especially well if you’re on a septic system.  Your house’s plumbing will run like normal!  Using a gravity feed system in your house means you’ll still have running water.  You can laugh at your friends as they dig out there shitholes (literally) while you take a crap on your porcelain throne.  You could even take a shower with the addition of a wood fired water heater or you know man up and take it cold, this is after TEOTWAWKI.  Maybe this post apocalypse thing will be easier than I thought…