Link – The Ten Best Ways To Maintain Your Car In The Apocalypse

In the apocalypse, it’s likely that resources will be scarce, mechanics will be long gone, and your car will be on its last legs. Stay prepared with these 10 steps!

It’s a bit misleading, because some of these steps have nothing to do with maintaining a car. But…it is a worthy subject to think about. My experience has been that anything mechanical cannot be trusted. If it’s got more than a couple moving parts to it, something can and will go wrong.

Best way to maintain your car in the apocalypse? Maintain your car before the apocalypse, and have the materials and information to continue that maintenance.

H/T: Thanks to the person who emailed me about this.

Movie – “The Martian”

Went and saw this movie over the weekend. I’m not really a Matt Damon fan, but I am a fan of Ridley Scott’s work, so I ifgured I’d go see it.

The premise, which is pretty obvious from the trailers so there is no spoilage here, is that an astronaut on a manned Mars mission is presumed dead after an accident and his crew leave him behind. He then has to survive on Mars until a rescue mission can be launched…which is well over a year away.

Really, it’s a survival movie of pretty high caliber. Sure the movie gives plenty of technobabble, special effects, and alien landscape…but the real heart of the movie is the attitude of one man, in a hopeless situation, not giving up, and thinking his way through a series of problems. As Damon’s character says in his video log after listing the huge hopeless tasks in front of him, “I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.”

As Rand said, mans mind is his primary tool of survival and this movie greatly supports that statement. The main character has to McGyver all sorts of systems, come up with ideas for communication, making water, growing food, etc, etc, and do it all while not giving in to the crushing loneliness, hopelessness, and despair. And..they did a pretty good job portraying that. gun play, no zombies, no cannibalism….but still, I would categorize this movie as a first-rate survival film. If you get the chance, I recommend seeing it.

Gas can fillup

Im trying to fill the few empty gas cans I have before the ‘winter blend’ of gasoline hits the streets. There’s a couple gas stations around town that will, in winter, have blends that are free of the MTBE and other nonsense, but that gas is labelled as snowmobile gas or some such. Personally, I have no problem with buying untaxed gas since it’s mostly for use in my generator or other gas appliances anyway…but, you never know when that 5-gallon can is going to have to go into the truck rather than the snowblower.

Speaking of gas cans, I should probably suck it up and order another package of them from Lexington supply. Fifty bucks a throw isn’t cheap, but when you absolutely need fuel for your generator to get you and your family moved to safety in your truck…well, fifty bucks is gonna seem like a bargain.I hate the plastic gas cans, and the Chinese knock-offs (I’m looking at you, Sportsmans Guide!) are bad news. If youre going to drop a grand on a quality generator, even more money on the critical equipment to be powered by that generator, and the trouble and expense of storing all that…..why would you cheap out on gas cans when the difference is about $25~ per can? Do it right the first time, man.

I skip using the nozzles altogether on these things. For me, they just never seem to work right. I buy a handful of these funnels by Blitz, and para cord one to every other gas can. Works awesome. Dose the can with some PRI-G, fill with gas (in that the gas mixes with the PRI-G), attach a weatherproof tag with the date of fillup, and you’re good to go. The stuff will be good for the next year or two. (I generally try to rotate every year.)

What about the Scepter cans? What about ’em? I don’t trust plastic cans for stuff that can explode. I have faith in the metal ‘euro-style’ cans.

When you show me a plastic can that can handle that sort of action, then I’ll consider it. until then..I’ll pay the money for the peace of mind.

How much gas to store? Depends on what you plan on doing with it. First and foremost, to me, gas=distance. If I think that its, say, 300 miles to a rally point, safe house, friends homestead, or other safe location, then I want 600 miles worth of gas. (Yes, I want that big a margin of error.) Assuming 15 mpg, thats 40 gallons or 8 fuel cans. In a perfect world, I’d get to my safe zone with just four cans used. But the world aint perfect, it’s doubly unperfect in a disaster…which is why I want a huge margin of error for detours, idling in traffic, turnarounds, switchbacks, and out-and-out getting lost)

Same story for the generator…calculate runtime per gallon, figure what your average need will be, and then factor in a whopping margin of safety.

Anyway…today was the day to get the empty cans filled before he changeover to that enviro-friendly crap. If you live someplace where they do a similar switchover, you may want to think about getting your stuff topped off.

Autumnal tasks

Today is, as I understand it, the first day of fall/autumn. This means, of course, that winter is on its way. Don’t kid yourself, though…fall can get pretty damn cold and nasty long before the ‘official’ start of winter occurs.

So what’s getting done around here now that we are officially in fall? Run the generator to make sure it works. Ditto for the snowblower. Get the winter emergency gear put in the vehicle. Drag the winter clothing and gear out of storage. Make sure the kerosene heaters are ready to go, etc, etc.

I don’t mind the house getting cold in the winter….I prefer it that way, actually. What I don’t want is frozen pipes. So…kerosene heaters. If the power goes out I can put one in the basement to keep the pipes from freezing and keep another one upstairs to keep the rest of the house from freezing. If your’re going to go that route, though, you absolutely must, must, must have a carbon monoxide detector. Preferably more than one. And make sure you have fresh batteries in them. You just can not take chances with that sort of thing. I prefer detectors that have a numeric display so I can actually see if things are getting worse or better in terms of air quality. In addition to that sort of thing, I also keep a huge CO2 fire extinguisher handy for the fueling process. (And these precautions are also in place for the generator as well).

Which reminds me, I need to go fill a couple jerry cans and treat some gas. The winter blend of craptacular MTBE/oxygenated/’envirofriendly’ is going to be all thats available soon and that crap is not friendly to the small engines. (And, by the by, if you’re going to store fuel, I highly recommend the PRI-G product.)

Happy Paratus!

Yes indeed, today is Paratus!

If you’re going to have a holiday, why not a holiday you can actually enjoy and support? Today is Paratus – the holiday of the prepared!

Go read the FAQ and see what’s expected and what its all about. ut, succinctly, it’s a day to get cool new gear, watch end of the world movies, and hang out with fellow Like-Minded Individuals. Religious overtones? Nope. Awkward family get together? Not required. Getting to do cool stuff you actually want to do? Absolutely!

So, my friends, today is your day of absolution…today is the day you can head to Cabela’s, CostCo, Big Five, Sam’s Club, or Bass Pro, and buy the case of ammo, buy the mega-pack of toilet paper, buy six dozen pairs of boot socks, buy the army surplus folding cots, and not feel an ounce of self-consciousness or guilt. Why? Because it’s a damn holiday!

Go! Get out there and flex your purchasing power, watch some zombie movies, and take a trip to the range with some friends. Pick up a little something for your like-minded buddies and wish them a Happy Paratus. (See the FAQ on proper gifting etiquette.)

But, most of all, take some time today to reflect on preparedness…why you do it, what you get out of it, and what you have left to do. Thats the most important part.

Well…that and sending me Paratus gifts.

Article – ‘This is the month it will all happen’: Some Mormons are cleaning out Utah stores in preparation for a September Doomsday

Fasten your seatbelts, if some Mormons are right, it’s going to be a bumpy September.

A perfect storm of Bible prophecies, the Hebrew calendar, the stock market jitters, a blood moon, and an author who claims to have had a near-death experience are all convincing plenty of Utah Mormons that the end is near, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.

A store in American Fork, Utah that sells freeze-dried goods says that business has skyrocketed in the past couple of months.

Dude, any month could be the month the world comes to an end. Doesn’t matter whether its the bible, chicken bones, a magic 8-ball, or Miss Cleo….unless you’re the guy with your finger on the Big Red Button no one can really predict the end of the world. Oh, you can predict some lesser problems…hurricanes, floods, blizzards, and even some wars and famines….but Ragnarok? Nope.

And this is why it’s just good sense to be as prepared as possible. The end of the world wasn’t yesterday, and it’s probably not today, but it is certainly sometime tomorrow or later.

CostCo canned pulled pork

I’ve mentioned the Costco/Kirkland canned roast beef before. It’s really good stuff and although food preferences are subjective, I recommend the stuff highly. Last time i went to buy some at CostCo they no longer had it and I was told it was only available through the website. Bummer. But, apparently, it’s back on the shelf at my particular CostCo. As I was picking some up, I noticed that they also had cans of pulled pork. The thing that really caught my eye was that the pulled pork was quite a bit cheaper than the beef. Well, for my end-of-the-world planning, protein is protein. So lets pick up a roll of four 12 oz. cans for $6.99 which comes out to…uhm.. lets see….$2.33/#, which is actually pretty good.

20150906_130743I figured I’d try one of the recipes on the can and see how it turns out. In this particular case, a form of chili. Now, lets get this part out of the way – I’m from the school of thought that says chili doesn’t have beans. I’m not going to argue it with you, I’m just puttin’ it out there. Moving on, now.

  • 1 can of pulled pork
  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 small can of chiles
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes

And we’ll toss that in the cast iron, cover it, and simmer it for an hour to give everything time to mix.

Turns out, it was actually pretty good. The pork isn’t really ‘pulled’ as we recognize it from, say, a good BBQ joint. It’s more ‘flaked’, like tuna fish. But, even though like all meats it smelled like cat food when the can was opened, it was good.  For the price, this is an excellent product to have on the shelf…cheaper than the roast beef and quite useful in a variety of dishes.


Hey! Paratus is this coming Friday! Tell your friends!

Link – Rental Range endurance of ARs

Forget about any military endurance testing of the AR/M16 platform, a rental range in Las Vegas has some extremely interesting findings when it comes to large round counts, sometimes in excess of 200,000 rounds through commercially available and full auto ARs. Granted, none of the grueling testing procedures in place from a military standpoint are there, but for sheer round count alone, it really tells a lot about what some companies can take and what others can’t when it comes to their rifles and products in general.

I love articles like these. Real-world numbers and experiences. It is interesting to note that the article does not look favorably at the piston ARs. I guess it makes a bit of sense that the direct impingement versions, which are going to have no reciprocating parts on the barrel (and less parts overall) are going to be a bit more durable than a piston version. On the other other hand, I’d be very curious to see the failure numbers on a designed-from-the-ground-up piston .223 like the Min-14 or AR-180.

In a similar vein, they had a similar article about the AK family as well.

Article – Selling Survival

Broker Theresa Mondale and her client stand in a clearing on the patch of mountain forest he wants to sell, making small talk about whether society is going to collapse. The topic, weighty in any context, might be anathema to other agents, whose business trades on the promise of better days. In real estate, amenities always mingle with aspiration: The house has space to grow into, the yard is big enough for a dog or the patio will entice neighbors to come by for barbecue.

But Mondale’s big, cheerful voice doesn’t waver. This is her bread and butter. She has been following the latest buzz online predicting a “global reset” in September and wants to know if the client is worried.

“If something like that were coming I would feel it, because I’m a pretty intuitive person,” says Seth Pogue, a bald man with weathered skin, strong arms and an intense manner that seems to contradict his tie-dye shirt.

The local lefty fishwrapper has an article about a local real estate seler who is quietly specializing in properties that would appeal to those of us who share our rarefied interest. I’d heard some of the commercials, and seen some of the print ads, that were put out for this gal and I recall thinking that she might be on the same page as me.

The article, which isn’t too terrible for a lefty publication, goes on to mention Friend Of The Blog ,Rawles  and his coining of the ‘redoubt’ moniker as an appelation for the region.

In my years here I’ve seen more than a few properties that had odd little quirks and features that could not be explained away as anything other than ‘survivalist’-themed. But out here, those features are not necessarily considered to be odd or strange.

If I had the money, I’d be getting myself a nice acreage out in the middle of nowhere to build my quiet little concrete home and ride out what’s left of my life in quiet and security.

Anyway…interesting article and worth the read. I’d be curious to know if her business takes off or suffers because of the spotlight being shined on her particular niche.