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2/23/13

What have done lately to better prepare?

Been fairly good 'round here.

TEOTWAWKI wife volunteered me to give a disaster prep workshop for our church's women's group. Horrible operational security (opsec), but it was a small group of maybe 10 women - moms and so on - who are already of the same mindset and friends of the family.

That motivated me to put a few finishing touches on our bug out gear - namely stuff for the new Son #2; cloth diapers, some formula packets, etc.

So, our bug out stuff got sorted through and repacked. I'm pretty happy with where we're at with that stuff. I'll do a show-and-tell with my Eberlestock GS2 here in the next week or so. I know there are more than a few of you waiting on that one.

And, of course, to get all of our stuff to the meeting, we had a trial run of loading up the family Assault Utility Vehicle. I didn't time it, but with just me working, everything was loaded up in around the 5-minute mark that is the usual benchmark. We've got the bags, a big food bin, a cooking bin and propane stove, and then water and gas cans, which can ride on the roof rack.

At the workshop, I ended up talking for about an hour and a half--went a little long--on everything from everyday carry through to bug out bags, water filters, cooking and all kinds of things. Talked really fast and still didn't cover everything I wanted to, but it seemed to be well received by those in attendance.

One to-do that I walked away with was the need to put together a real budget sensitive kit, and from off-the-shelf stuff. I did the $40 a week series, but even that's out of reach for a lot of people. A $150 or so total investment is probably a good starting point. Will probably end up looking more like a fairly capable everyday carry bag than a typical bug out bag, which is generally where I lean for what's more practical anyways.

My new Mossberg 590A1 got a new buttstock. The factory stock has a very long 14 1/2 inch length of pull on it, which is awkward to shoot in the squared-up style that I shoot in, and even worse if you've got something like body armor on. So off it went and was replaced by a Hogue 12 inch length of pull stock. The Hogue stock is nothing to write home about, but it's substantially shorter and makes the gun handle and seat on the shoulder the way I want it to. If you've got long-stock problems with your shottie and don't want an AR-style buttstock, I'd check 'em out.

I want to throw some old-school wood on the Mossberg, but it looks like it's going to take some time to find the right wood pieces, since most of what I like is out of production at the moment.

Also got in some 12 gauge snap caps and have been practicing loading, combat loading, etc. with the shottie as well, as it is a new platform for me and significantly different from the semi-auto long guns that I'm used to. The goal is to get as fast as the competition guys are (or close), but not there yet.

Anyways, those are the highlights from around here. What's happening in your neck of the woods?

14 comments :

  1. We're in late summer/early autumn here. Yesterday I collected 5 large bags of apples and will start bottling applesauce this week. We'll be killing our 2 big pigs at the end of the week, so I'll be making alot of sausages, chorizos and salamis. I also have 6 chickens and 4 geese ready to go in the freezer so I need to do them too.

    Here in NZ we're hearing a great deal about job losses and some major companies are filing for bankruptcy. The indicators are all out there just nobody seems to see them. I've noticed the cost of food has gone up, some things by almost 20% in the past month or so.

    On my list for the next month is an inventory of our medical chest and to stock up on band aids and paracetemol which we're running low on. And I'm still obsessed with carbohydrates so will pack up some more of those for long term storage.

    I also need to get some more winter veg in and to treat my bees for varroa before the end of Feb. We're busy but it's good.

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  2. I'm so happy that you mentioned cloth diapers as part of your prep. I've talked to some women about sanitation and such and their solution is usually to load up on multiple sizes of diapers, feminine hygiene products and toilet paper. While that is nice for small life disturbances, they takes up SO MUCH valuable storage space. When I point out that those items eventually run out and they'll need reusable equivalents, most of them just say "ew" and change the subject. Sure, it isn't a pretty thing to think about, but learning how to make (and occasionally use) those things now will be a HUGE benefit when the time comes.

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    1. I use a Diva cup (I think they are Canadian). It's a silicon rubber cup and they work fantastically. I only wish I'd discovered them in my teens. They are completely reusable. The one I'm currently using is about 4 years old and it still in great shape. I simply rinse it and boil it for 10 minutes at the end of my period and then put it back in it's bag.

      I used cloth diapers for my children and home made baby wipes made from polar fleece. I've stocked up on loads of toilet paper but also 20m of thick polar fleece to cut up into squares to use in place of loo roll. If you soak them in cold water overnight all the biological waste rinses straight off them and they are soft and nice to use.

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  3. living in an apartment its hard to prep, but we do what we can. just finished making a Alice type frame for are bug out gear. we are currently working on filling out the holes in my wife's pack, my x was never in to the idea and tossed her stuff after we split. so my wife's pack was started from scratch.
    on a good note as it were i did end up using my bob in a real life ah crap moment. we were abruptly kicked out of where we were living, with no where to go, me and my wife got some non perishable food and pitched are tent in a forest near work. it worked well for living in a tent, filtered all the water we could drink, was dry in the rain and cooked over an open fire. all the tools needed to survive was in the bob. went for about 2 weeks before we got a place.

    P.S in response to Andrea post when i brought up that same topic to my wife she answered like this. "ill pack an extra pare of black socks"

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    1. Wow, the situation you encountered was bad, but what you did was awesome. Way to be resourceful! Props!

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  4. Improving short to mid-range communication capability, doing some scanner / repeater related work. Any tips on how you would communicate with family, friends, or like-minded folks?

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    1. I've never gotten into HAM b/c no one that I want to communicate with has a HAM license and radio. I understand the value that the HAM community provides, but for communicating with family and friends in a grid-down scenario, I don't think it's going to help much unless they are also a radio person.

      A satellite phone, on the other hand, gives you the ability to give someone outside a disaster zone a call or send a text message. They're expensive and plans are expensive, though, which limits the usefulness. I haven't researched these lately, but the prices may have come down.

      Recently, a few products have hit the market that allow you to send text messages over the satellite network, from anywhere in the world. Check out the DeLorme inReach Two-Way Satellite Communicator for Smartphones. Basic two-way communication is $10 a month; communications with emergency personnel is free. If you're out in the back country often, this would be extra handy.

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  5. highdesertlivinFebruary 24, 2013

    Recently sold 2 of my evil " assault" rifles,Proceeds allowed me to purchase a friendly multipurpose winchester mod 94, and a shiny happy marlin 336. Both in 30 30. Also 160 rds for those nice guns, and some pms.Preps within preps. thanks for the read

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    1. I sold my car a few years ago and bought an old truck. The spare money I freed up we used on bows and arrows and a few other things. It was a good move. The truck is old and gives me a lower profile, it can carry masses of stuff and is pre-1984 with no micro chips. It runs on diesel. Everyone we knew thought we were broke and that times must be hard for us. I didn't bother explaining it was our choice. They wouldn't have understood.

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  6. "One to-do that I walked away with was the need to put together a real budget sensitive kit, and from off-the-shelf stuff. I did the $40 a week series, but even that's out of reach for a lot of people."

    I really liked that series. Stretching the time a bit to make it $40 every other week or month should go a long way to realistically put it into peoples budgets.

    If they cannot afford/ justify that expense either they are so broke I would recommend re looking their lifestyle in some way or they really are not motivated.

    We have probably all heard the same excuses. Baring a few special cases (a disabled retiree comes to mind) they are just that, excuses. Everybody wants the pay out but is unwilling to put in the money and work.

    I would like to shoot like a 3 gun master, lift like a competitive power lifter, run like a decent marathoner and fight like a competitive MMA dude but do not want to spent the time dry firing or the money on ammo, lift hard 4x a week, run for 10+ hours a week or spend any time on the mat. Consequently I do not have these capabilities and have nobody to blame but myself.

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    1. Agree r.e. tradeoffs. But, there are a lot of people pulling in a national average income/year with multiple kids and not a lot of spare moola.

      You show them a $400-$500 kit and their eyes glaze over - with Mom, Dad, plus kiddies that might come out to $1000 to $1500 in bags. So they figure that's out of reach and forget about it.

      Something within their financial reach, more "common man" as Dave Canterbury would put it, might give 'em something more attainable/motivated to work towards.

      It's not like you need to have high dollar stuff to put together a capable kit...it can certainly help and add utility, functionality, etc. But spendy stuff is not a necessity.

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  7. I'm getting the kinks out of my reloading setup, getting serious about working on my amateur radio license and equipment, and teaching a class on how to can meat for the local preparedness community.

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  8. Upped my calorie buckets by 28k cals. Upgraded my vest inserts to Goldflex that are lighter and stronger than my old ones. Rotated mags and went to the range for some practice. Bought a dillon press to turn for a profit. I plan to purchase some 15 gallon drums for diesel fuel storage in the very near future. I have the wife signed up for a defensive pistol class next month.

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  9. Miss KittyMarch 08, 2013

    My husband, who came into the prepping mindset after I did,decided that we needed to spend one day a month(minimum) on prepping. Whether it being shopping for items we need, sorting what we have, inventorying food/water, canning, dehydrating or whatever. So far it has gone well. We still have weak areas but we are working on it. Water is a biggy. We have 3-55gal rain barrels, 14 gallons in aquatainers and a case of bottled water and that's it. We cannot dig a well in our area for drinking. We could but it wouldn't be safe to drink. We sit at about 10 ft above sea level. We know we need to do something about water purification.
    We also bought 11 acres in the mountains that has a spring on it. Our retirement home will be built there in about 8 yrs.

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