> TEOTWAWKI Blog

1/28/15

$1000 Cache - My Take

So $1000 - a pretty decent amount, but not enough to really go wild. A backup vehicle loaded down with gas, water, food and guns would be nice, but...

I'd focus on socking away backup / redundancies for EDC gear - down to decent clothing. An operational cache, but geared towards equipping me with daily carry tools instead of a full battle rattle.

Basically, I could show up in my flip flops and underoos and leave fairly well set up.

Lean would be towards those things that would be difficult or impossible to get in a crap-hit-the-fan scenario.

A Glock 9mm would form the core of the cache. 17, 19, 26 - doesn't matter much, a Gen 2 is fine. A couple mags - maybe 33rders, a decent holster, spare mag holder and quality ammo. $500-$600 if you shop around, buy used, etc.

Why a handgun and not a pump action shotgun, WASR AK or something like that? As a CCW-licensed average everyday dude, a concealable handgun is more useful to me in a broader array of circumstances than a long gun. If it looks like the USA is going to turn into Syria, then that might change.

After the handgun, I'd have a low profile, EDC-friendly backpack, set up similarly to the one I carry daily. Maybe with some EdWood-style tricks up my sleeve.

Leatherman, flashlight, metal water bottle, burner cell phone, batteries, chargers, some toiletries, basic snivel kit, USB with backup info, etc.

Added to the pack would be a spare set of clothes - jacket, fleece, button up, t-shirt, cargo pants, beanie and work gloves. Broken in boots. Basic, sturdy, earth-toned. A good belt, too.


I'd throw down ~$250 for the bag, contents and clothes. So we're at $750-ish now.

Remaining funds would be spent on medical stuff (fish biotics, gauze, thing of bleach, wound cleaning), a decent sleeping bag, a couple flats of water, basic ready-to-eat foods, spare batteries and a 5 gallon can of gas w/ stabil added.

That should get close to $1k, with a cache equipped the deal with a fairly broad array of troubles. Up the budget, and I'd likely set the rest aside in cash. After a healthy pile o' cash, then I'd look to add a long gun and ancillaries.

But, if really compromised for space: I'd take the handgun stuff, a good knife, flashlight, burner cell phone, a lighter and a fat wad of cash.

1/27/15

Scenario: $1000 cache

Some recent talk of caching got me thinking along these lines, and I thought I'd throw a scenario out to the tribe for a fun thought exercise. Time to put your planning caps on. Here's the  scenario:

Whether through good fortune, a little bit of legwork or the help of a trusted friend, you have the opportunity to set up a small cache. For purposes of the scenario, assume that it is either stored with a trusted friend/family member or in a secure and relatively anonymous storage locker.

A few things to note about the cache site:
  • It's indoors and relatively climate controlled
  • You'll be able to lock up whatever you decide to cache; unauthorized access is a non-issue
  • Privacy concerns have all been addressed, and the site can be accessed as needed
  • The site is located a relatively convenient area for your and your plans
You have a total of $1000 in resources to devote to equipping the cache. Note that if you'll be caching old/used stuff, factor in the going the market rate for those items.

What do you include in your cache?

Updated to include: There's no specific disaster/crap hit the fan/zombies arising scenario in mind -- consider your current environment, concerns, and what would be of most use to you (or most interesting to plan out). Do you go full operational cache? A speedball/consumables cache to help you get where you need to go? Preposition some needed supplies or tools?

1/24/15

Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel...When a shovel is more than just a shovel


My Cold Steel Special Forces / Spetsnaz shovel, during a break in cleaning up around the homestead. Digs, chops, hacks, hammers, smashes...one of my favorite tools for working outdoors. Hacked down saplings, cleared a trailed, helped cleanup a truckload of leaves...

It's been kryloned with their brown camo, wrapped with camo form and has had the edge honed a bit with a file. I've had this thing for years now, riding in the back of my truck. It's seen a lot of hard use, still going strong.

Available on Amazon >

1/21/15

AR-(20)15 plans

As mentioned in my 2015 goals, one of my big goals is a less specific "General consolidation of stuff / updating / completing various systems (go-to AR, battle rattle, EDC, etc.)."

A commenter asked for specific plans r.e. the AR-15, so here goes.

My current go-to AR-15 is a Stag carbine-length 16" upper w/ MOE handguards and an assemble-it-yourself lower. Current config:


The upper has been 100% reliable through the variety of ammo that I've run through it and ~8 years of use, but it's also pretty outdated, and I find that the carbine-length handguards put a limitation on adopting a more modern grip.

I've had a more up-to-date AR on the back burner since literally the last election cycle (pre-Sandy Hook). I tend to have 1 or 2 major firearms related purchases in finances per year, I decided 2015 was 'bout time to get AR upper done. Prices and availability are not going to get any better, that's for sure.

Current plan, as it stands, is a BCM lightweight BFH 14.5" Mid-length with their 13" KMR rail. Likely the BCM "tactical" gunfighter comp, perma-pinned. That should bring me pretty current in terms of AR-tech, da?

To get ahead of the follow-up questions:

Why BCM? They're pretty universally well regarded as high quality, go-to level stuff. You can save a few hundred bucks going with other brands, and you can spend several hundred more going with others. I'm concerned with having something that I can put confidence in right out of the box, and BCM is one of the brands that I'd put that trust in.

They also do a lot of cool marketing, collaborations and support for the firearms industry as a whole, and I don't mind supporting that, either.

Why 14.5 inches with a pinned comp? It's the shortest you can get without either getting into an SBR or the now questionable AR pistol / SIG Brace territory. Moving indoors and in vehicles is a part of life, and having a maneuverable gun helps make that a bit easier. The downside is that it makes switching out muzzle devices harder, though a capable gunsmith can cut off a pinned on comp if a change is needed down the road.

Why mid-length? Longer gas system = lower pressure slamming through the direct impingement system, less wear and tear and softer recoil impulse.

Why the KMR rail? Ridiculously light weight for a full length rail, super strong, and direct mounting of tacticool accessories via keymod. Does look a bit like hardware store shelving, though.

Why the gunfighter comp? It's a combo flash hider and compensator, so you get goodness from both worlds.

Looking at other options as well - nothing being set in stone at this point. I might go for a 16" barrel, different rail, different comp, etc. Arranging federal reserve notes now. Will make the purchase within the next month or so.

I'm undecided about what to do with the Stag upper - it will be collecting dust in the safe after new upper arrives.

The minimalist don't have excess stuff part of me wants to sell it and roll said funds into the purchase of the new upper. I'm not the type who wants lots of average firearms...I want a few, trusted and higher quality ones. The extra cash to dump into the new project would be welcome.

Survivalist side of me has me holding onto it for a backup / hand out. I have extra lowers hanging out, so it's a complete carbine with a good track record. Not bad to have around.

And the cheap side of me says scrap the new upper, just dump a couple hundred bucks into the current upper to modernize it a bit. New hand guards/rail, maybe free float it, and a few other enhancements to bring it more up to speed.

Thoughts from the tribe?

1/16/15

ATF: "Shouldering SIG Braces is VERBOTEN!"

In a case of epic flip flopping, the ATF has now officially flip-flopped on their prior position and now says "NEIN!" to the shouldering of a pistol equipped with a SIG brace.

According to ATF logic, the act of shouldering the brace automagically redesigns said pistol into an SBR. Now, if this was the ATFs POV all along, why give the thumbs up to the SIG brace in the first place? Why the earlier letters giving the "ok" to shoulder the brace? Why let an entire sub-industry develop in support of using the SIG brace as an occasional shoulder stock?

Utter incompetence if I've ever seen it. With SHOT show kicking off, oodles of SIG brace related products on the market and our friends at the ATF in attendance, I'd expect to see further developments. Would also like to see the industry push back against this kind of garbage oversight from the ATF with some variety of litigation. A lot of people will be losing money over this decision, completely due to the ATFs unclear, flip-floppy oversight.

Link to the official open letter from the ATF

Haley Strategic Partners drops new products


 via Soldier Systems - HSP announced four new products today: The D3 Sling, D3 FlatPack, Incog Shadow and MP2 Rifle Mag Inserts. The announcement was also accompanied with a slick catalog, great photography and much fanfare.

Photos and discussion after the jump