> TEOTWAWKI Blog: What have you been up to lately?

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2/7/13

What have you been up to lately?

Apologies that the content has been a little bit lighter this past week - real life and my primary computer in the repair shop are partially to blame, but I've also been working on survival/blog related stuff behind the scenes, too.

For one thing, expect to see a slew of product reviews for some solid gear in the coming weeks. Pulled the trigger on some things I've been eyeballing for a long time and have been happy with the results so far.

One the recent purchase was an upgraded bug out bag. Since I bought and sold a Kifaru Longhunter and HPG pack bag/Highlander set up, the pack upgrade has been on the back burner, mostly while I tried to figure out which Eberlestock pack to purchase. For a variety of reasons, I ended up going with the Gunslinger II, which I will go into detail on here in the near future. I've been tinkering with the GS2's load out and, initially, am really quite pleased with it. It's a bit smaller than I was initially looking, but I decided to step down a size--most maneuverability, less weight and the Eberlestock's have plenty of straps and attachment points for things like sleeping bags. The GS2's rifle sleeve works perfectly, and the rest of the pack has enough space for essentials, good organization, great access to the contents and pretty much everything else I look for. The only thing that is a bit lacking is the frame/suspension system - it only has a plastic frame sheet versus pack stays, so it is not the best at carrying really heavy loads. I pack light though, and my ~40lb total load is not a back breaker at all. Like I said, full review incoming.

Also filling in holes in the rest of the family's packs - stuff for Son #2, getting TEOTWAWKI Wife's pack better organized and some additional stuff for Son #1 now that he's older and could actually carry a small pack if push came to shove. Have a short list of stuff that needs to be polished off.


Planning on picking up a firearm or two in the coming weeks - will update you accordingly. Shotgun, another Glock and a .357 revolver are all on the shopping list, but we'll see.

Finally, looking at potentially selling off a couple extra items floating around to free up some additional cash for above purchases. Or maybe do some trading. We'll see what happens on that front.

How about you guys? What have you been up to?

24 comments :

  1. Not much really, just getting the last things together so I can begin my learning of the Blacksmith trade and leatherworking.

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    1. Ive purchased a generator. Nothing like comfort. Now I've got to build some sort of enclosure and soundproof. I may not want to share my "comfort" with the world in the case of TEOTWAWKI.
      I also added to the arsenal with a Saiga 308. Its a bit overkill, but my next closest thing to a true battle rifle is an SKS. I didnt realize it till after the fact, but ammo for the 308 is almost as expensive as my 30.06. I guess I'll use next month's "prep" money on some military surplus ball ammo.

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  2. Very interested in the GSII review. Almost bought one when I was visiting my folks in Idaho. I had already spent too much on the trip what with fireworks for the kids and all so .... also was concerned about the smallish size (being larger than the average bear my winter gear is proportionally larger and wouldn't fit ... so it would be a summer overnight pack at best for me).

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    1. It's not big enough for gear + a full spare change of clothes. But, how important is a full spare change of clothes if you're living out of a bug out bag?

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    2. I suppose that depends a lot on what sort of clothes you start out in. If this is a go home and put on 5.11 pants with boots sort of thing it's probably not a huge issue. If like me you often toss that same bag into the family SUV for long drives then a set of more serviceable clothes might be important.

      Suppose it is a question of what role the bag is going to have and all that. Not a wrong answer parse.

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    3. Ryan -

      I should probably clarify. The gs2 is probably not big enough for a full set of winter clothes plus gear. A set of work pants and a shirt would be no problemo depending on your load. Spare layers add up quick, though.

      Hugo was probably referring to his sleep system, though. The gs2 and all of Eberlestocks packs have great lashing points and compression straps for securing excess stuff.

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  3. Finishing mag and ammo purchases (buying Glock 17 mags ahead of getting the actual handgun), taking my CCDW class this weekend and getting last items for the PFAK based off of the USNERDOC's AMP3 model. Looking forward to your review as my BOB is next, though I thought I would get the contents before the bag since I hadn't found anything I really like yet.

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  4. Just manning the trenches in Firearmageddon. Can't wait to see your review on the GS2, I'm assuming you bought the military not hunting version. We sell the GS2 where I work and it's tough as nails if my friends Skycrane is any indication. But I'm curious to see what your reasons for choosing a pack with an integrated scabbard are.

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  5. trying to buy lots of magazines for my pistols and rifles. not worrying about ammo, because some folks are charging crazy prices for cheap ammo. i want a few more firearms, but i don't think a ruger 22/45 and a good bolt gun with good glass are going to be put on any ban lists, so i'm not in a hurry on those. i traded into an xd45 5" tactical and i love it! looking for magazines for it and have 4 on backorder from springfield-armory.com, which is the only place to get xd stuff, but you have to wait. took me 3 weeks to get xd40 mags and they were ordered in between christmas and new years. now i'm waiting on ruger bx-25 mags and xd45 mags.

    keep putting food back guys. guns are getting lots of attention, but plains states are having another dry winter for winter wheat. i'm gonna be buying more and more from the local lds cannery; it's proximity is sooo lucky for me. i love the refried beans and the potato pearls are good shorter term storage too. also got to concentrate on putting back spices and some sauces to eat with all those beans and rice. otherwise, i'm hitting the end point of long-term food storage with about 9 months for my family of 4.

    getting itchy for gardening to start. gonna bury a giant elm trunk and do a hugelkultur bed for the first time. also going to concentrate on spaghetti squash, which has been so awesome in eating more paleo meals. still exploring the art of dumbluck gardening and open pollinated seeds.

    don't get too focused on guns and ammo.

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  6. Totally agree on those potato pearls. Good stuff. Food and fuel are musts.

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  7. Interesting, Got to fiddle with one of their bags for a bit. Very nice stuff. We stumbled into a few pretty nice commercial backpacking type bags awhile back so the idea of getting another, even for a specific purpose, is a hard sell for me. Got to fiddle with it but would probably stick a rifle in a camping chair case and stick it on someplace if that came up.

    What kind of .357 are you looking at? A 3" Ruger SP 101 is probably going to enter our battery at some point. Seems like it would be small enough to conceal but big enough to do what I need in the woods.

    Looking forward to the reviews.

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    1. The scabbard sure isn't the only way to do it - camping chair bag is one of the best. If you're not using the scabbard for a rifle, it's handy for things like axes, poles, etc. that are otherwise too long for most packs. I've been looking for a good pack for a while, and this is it, I think.

      I'm probably looking at a full size .357 Magnum with a 3" or 4" barrel - a 686 or GP-100 are at the top of the list. It's a lower priority - they're not getting banned any time soon - but timing may be right. We'll see.

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    2. A scabbard would be nice for sure. However it is hard to justify buying a new expensive pack just for that feature. Still on the want list but pretty far down.

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  8. Just got my first Ham radio. Now working on studying for the test.

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    1. Sean,

      Way to go! I am doing the same thing. Studying for my Tech test but waiting to buy the radio as a reward for my hard work. I just started into HAM but have found it to be one of the greatest unrecognized assets for a prepper. I am really surprised that HAM is not discussed and encouraged more by preppers.

      HAMs are really just a bunch of Communication Preppers. They build, maintain and back up their gear, antennas and arrays. They prepare for emergencies and have plans in place to provide a redundant infrastructure in case of disruptions in our communications grid. They are the prepper’s geeky cousins who are just as dedicated to SHTF scenarios as we are. With the exception that they probably have more spare radio and antenna parts then they do spare gun parts.

      Good luck with your Tech test. I hope you pass it the first time. The questions do not seem that hard and you are going to be a far better prepared person for it. Hope to speak with you on the 10 meter in the future.

      Best, DB

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    2. I've started studying for my HAM license a half dozen times or so...need to put in the homework and get it done.

      Neat fact - you do not need a HAM license to LISTEN, only to broadcast. And in an emergency, you can broadcast if you need to.

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  9. I am just getting into all this survival stuff, purchased a Remington 870, now looking for a .22LR either handgun or rifle, would like to get a tactical 22, but they are hard to find right now. Really pissed about this whole panic going on cause I was ready to pull the trigger on an AR build (pun intended) but that is on the back burner. Currently I am working on building up one epic first aid kit.

    So, what are you plans as far as bug out go with a family of four? Do you have a rugged baby back pack or an off road stroller? Just curious because I am in the same boat as you, with a family of four.

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    1. Bugging out would be a last resort for us, and the family 4x4 would be the primary means of evac. If we had to go it on foot, we have an assortment of baby carriers, but would probably find a safe place to hunker down instead of trying to travel very far at all.

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    2. i hiked my two boys up to 35 pounds in a kelty pack. i'd start there. very, very comfortable.

      a good jogging stroller would be great, too for a lot of hauling.

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    3. Jimmy, can't go wrong with a ruger 10/22.there are so many out there for a reason. If your having trouble finding a tactical 22 you can also change the the stock on the ruger. Then you get the look and functionality of a black gun.

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  10. If you have to "carry" the babies, how would you also carry the bug out bags? A good rugged stroller could also serve as a transport for extra supplies if necessary. Any suggestions?

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  11. I have a 3 day camping trip with 5 other preppers I have met through a good friend. One of the men has 1400 acres of woods that we plan to hike into and with only our bug out bags. The exercise is to test our bags and get ideas on what to pack and what to ditch. We will test out a communications plan and coded matrix, use coded messages to locate buried caches, and divide up into two teams on the second night. One team will be dropped off some distance from base camp and will try to get back into the camp undetected while the other team is tasked with trying to find the other team before they get into the camp. We had a meeting earlier this week to discuss what we hoped to test and accomplish while out for the weekend. I am looking forward to it.

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  12. Gave a face lift to an old "Western Field 550" 12 gauge I picked up over 20 years age. It went from a bubba sawed down barrrel, and cruiser grip to a breaching barrel, and "Tacticool" ATI shoulder stock. Almost as much fun as buying a new shottie.
    Found out the weekend police shift is new to my section of the county as well. Two cruisers showed up on my block, about 10 minutes after we finished shooting, neither realized we are in unincorporated Fulton County, and legal to shoot on the property, but their LT corrrected them on that point. I knew why they were there, and admitted to them it was us, they were grateful to find the source of gunfire, and left.

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