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



What have you been up to lately?

I took Friday off, ran some errands and spent some time with family and friends. And then Saturday, went out with friends and family to do some shooting. Mostly shotgun - Project 590A1 got a good workout - but with a bit of pistol and carbine thrown in. Really, there's not much better than dumping a couple mags of 5.56...Makes you feel all alive and happy. Thankfully, not $1 a round 5.56, either.

TEOTWAWKI Wife got in some trigger time, too, which I think was the first time in a while. Hard to get us both out to the range with the kiddos to wrangle.

Good weekend.

Since my last one of these updates, I've been on a bit of a knife kick, picking up a couple blades that have been on my wish list for, oh, several years. I'll talk about them at some point--have an "exotic blades" series on the back burner of my mind at the moment.

I also picked up a CMMG .22lr conversion kit for my AR a while back - local good gun shop had 'em in stock for pre-panic prices, and I could not resist. Not that .22lr is any more available than .223 locally, but hey, I've got thousands of rounds of the stuff put back.

We've been buying 12 gauge here and there to add to the stash. 12 gauge you can find without too much trouble--specific loads may be a problem, but every ammo retailer I've been in has some variety of 12 on the shelves. Looking to have a stash of around 300 buck, 100 slug and 400 bird, but some of that will probably wait 'till we're moved back...mostly the bird shot.

Tinkering with Project 590A1, too. Quite happy with how its coming along. Will probably have the next entry up on Wednesday.

Have been looking at putting together a solar set up. Think I've made up my mind on direction...hopefully. There's a broad spectrum between the DIY stuff through to the Goal Zer0 type stuff, and I will probably land somewhere in the middle. Will update with details when it's bought, tested and validated.

Otherwise, we've largely been starting the process of figuring out logistics for the six month work move, starting packing and sorting through stuff. What to bring, what to store, what to ditch, etc.

We're really not going to bring a mountain of stuff--probably only what we can fit between my pickup and the family SUV--so we'll be rolling fairly light...but hey, as they say, light is right.

I've sold off a few things that I haven't really been using and have more that will be going on the chopping block shortly. Have not yet decided where the funds will be rolled into.

One plus for buying quality gear is that, if, down the line, you decide you no longer need it, you can usually sell/trade it for close to purchase price. Sometimes more. Bargain bin stuff...not so much.

Anyways, that's what's happening 'round here. What have you folks been up to?


  1. Recently, due to a bout of the flu in my household, I realized that I need to put some serious work into my medical stores. We ran into a lot of problems such as being out of certain types of medicines, some being long past their expiration dates, and even improperly stored.
    It's rough because I neglected to check them before I recently upgraded the household firearm and ammunition stock, when clearly the money would have been better spent in other places

    1. I wouldn't worry about expiration dates on medicine. Most stuff will last you 15+ years.

  2. Mostly working on finical/job stuff right now. Extra hours at work and I've been taking a few classes at the local community college. I did get to spend a 3 day weekend a couple of weekends back doing some short hikes and some exploring the Channeled Scablands region of Washington State. It had been a couple of years since I'd been over that way and was nice to revisit some of my favorite old haunts and see a few new ones as well.


  3. Day TripperApril 08, 2013

    Good stuff. I'm really digging the Project 590A1 as I have a Maverick 88 that I've tricked out over the past couple months and am looking for good ideas. Your recent bag reviews got me thinking a bit about my EDC bag and so I went shopping and ended up with a Kelty/Amron Map 3500 which I've been very pleased with so far but haven't had a chance to test it out in the wilderness yet.

    I'm interested in your solar project and may be able to chime in some on that. If your goal is emergency backup power and you aren't too overly concerned with opsec, I would honestly suggest that you buy a small generator if you don't already have one and build your system backwards. The largest investment in any solar system is the battery bank especially considering that in a perfect set up you aren't going to discharge them more than 50-60%. This means you need to size the battery bank to be double what your estimated usage is and also account for the sunshine data in your area. If you put your money into batteries, inverter, and charge controller first instead of the panels...you will already have a great emergency backup system to use in combination with the small generator that will charge the batteries pretty quickly.

    Next time you have a power outage you simply use the batteries and only have to run the generator for short periods of time to recharge the bank instead of most people who run generators 24/7 and have to keep buying generator fuel. You can build onto this system with panels over time and eventually replace the generator...but unless you are investing some serious coin you will most likely still need a generator anyway during winter months/bad weather to recharge your batteries at some point in the future.

    1. I'm initially only looking to solar to provide power to charge cell phones and provide some emergency lighting. Maybe some radios, nothing more than that. So nothing big scale or that would require a generator. Instead, I'm looking at something smaller and easily portable, but useful for basic needs.

    2. Day TripperApril 08, 2013

      Right on. Goal Zero has some great stuff but it is expensive. I've had a 10w Insta-Park folding solar panel for some time that charges my phones and Kindle pretty well and works great with the Goal Zero battery charger too and was about half the price of the Nomad kit. I've even hooked up a small USB desk fan to it which has been great when camping on hot days to keep air flow in the tent. I've thought about getting a 30 watt one to do various tasks as the 10 watt one really only handles one task at a time though.

    3. GodfatherjsApril 09, 2013

      I have a goalzero portable unit with battery charger anf inverter. It can be hooked to a bugout bag and charge on the go. $150 for the whole system. Will charge phone, battery and another item at 1 time (battery bank connection, USB, 12V Charging options). Battery charges in 5 hours, 4aa batteries in about 2 hours, cell phone 2 hours.

  4. I am unemployed, living on my VA comp, education benefits, and my wife's income. So prepping is hard on me. My buddy called me the other day and told me he bought me an AR-15 and that I can pay him back when I can. So I've got a Mossberg 500, and the AR. We also live in an apartment but we are stocking up our bottled water, and we have access to an Artesian well where we collect as much water as we can in gallon jugs. We just started eating more along the lines of the Paleo diet so storing grain and rice is out for us. When I have the time, I will look into Paleo prepping. I am also looking into getting into archery for hunting purposes. I have quite a ways to go though. I just hope that I am not to late when the time comes. I really enjoy reading your blog, so much useful information. Thank you.

  5. finished building my AK number 5, done with guns now, got my son a new/used 9mm for graduation present. buying a 30' used motorhome. going to live in the motr home with my kids while I finish building the shelter/bunker. it's a 40' container, in a six foot deep hole, the removed earth piled on top. bunks and two small bedrooms. I am trying/hoping we can finish this summer and go off grid. using a battery array, solar charger, and two generators. wiring for 12V and 110v lights. been looking at this cool 12V chest type refrigerator, a real efficiant one, they say the propane type are poorly insulated so they work very hard and use a lot of fuel. we have completed all of our prep for food. water, ammo, weapons, even got a few nice knives and a few fun ones too. can't wait to only have a 200 dollar tax bill per year and no rent of utilities other than some fuel now and then. I am torn between a wood stove and a toyo stove, but the wood stove would leave me truly self sufficiant and the toyoy delivers better more efficient heat but needs fuel. goinbg to have a shower stall that drains into a 20 gallon conatainer, and a bilge pump to pump the drain water out to the garden area.. and as for toilets, I have a dry one, and think I may get a chemical one and see what works best.

    1. Milo MindbenderApril 14, 2013

      Wood stoves will be hunger magnets if there is a collapse. Since your shelter is earth banked heating shouldn't be that big of an issue, and either a pressurized kerosene or dual fuel coleman rig should be sufficient foe cooking. Kerosene is more expensive, but safer to store, unleaded is more easily purchased but a lot more hazardous to keep in quanity. Kerosene will provide light, and heat without drawing unwanted pests, but wood smoke screams for someone to follow it to the source. This is also a hazard of using a generator, everyone in a large radius will know you are powered, and now wealthy. This is just my unsoliceted opinion, and your mileage will vary.

  6. Milo MindbenderApril 14, 2013

    I just finished pressure canning 5 quarts, and 7 pints of Hungarian Goulash. I have now home canned 12 Qts, and 78 Pts of various meats, and 12 Pts of homade salsa. This along with rice/pasta/beans will feed my tribe for 60 plus days and ony require reheating, along with the starch side dish. 60 days isn't forever, but it will allow me to bug in rather than travel into danger. This home canned meat isn't just being saved it has become a easy source for dinner, and gets rotated on a regular basis. Taco flavored beef, fajita chicken, and pork with peppers, onions, and mushrooms with gravy added when heated are favorites.

  7. My latest task is going thru the checklist and better securing our new apartment against home invasion. Also been looking into taking archery lessons. As I write the Boston marathon bombs have gone off just an hour or so ago and it's times like this that reassure me when I start wondering if all this prep stuff I do is "crazy".