Suomi, Chaco’s

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

Fella walked in to the shop today with one of these:

Its in 9mm, takes sticks or drums, breaks down into a smaller package….hmmm….could it be? Could it be?


Took it to the range and shot it. Outrageously fun gun to shoot. Sticks were a bit finicky but the drums worked flawlessly. Problem is, this is a 10.5# 9mm carbine. It weighs about as much as a Garand. I’ve handled a lot of 9mm carbines…Uzi, HK, Sten, Sterling, Colt, etc….this was the heaviest 9mm carbine I have ever held. Oh sure, its built like a tank, but for that kinda weight I would think theyd chamber it in something a little zippier. Still, it was interesting. Although the drum is a nice selling point the harsh reality is that it is heavy, use uncommon mags and parts, has virtually no accessory support, and has an unknown reputation as a semi-auto build. Fun range gun, but I’ll pass.


Picked up a pair of Chaco sandals last week. I have rather wide (EEEEE) feet andam very hard on shoes. A pair of shoes will last me for maybe 8-12 months before I blow out the sides from my wide feet. When I do find a pair that I like in my size I tend to wear them until they are practically falling off my feet. I hate buying shoes. The missus has a pair of these things and said I should try them. Upon close examination of them it appears that someone took the Viet Cong tire sandal, upgraded it with a bit of tech, and manages to get a hundred bucks for it. But…are they worth it?

Well, theyre fully adjustable on every strap so if youve got weird fett you can make em fit just right. I figure the more I wear them the less wear it puts on my other shoes. Since the sandals dont really have any sides for me to blow out I should get some rather lengthy service from them. I went kayaking last week with them and was sloshing around the river and found them to be ideal for water. Sure, they make me look like some hippy granola type but from a preparedness standpoint theyve got some use. Theyre maintenance free, take a soaking with no detriment, are adjustable so you can give yourself room if you wanna wear socks with them (which pegs the Dork-o-Meter), and can be made to fit freakish feet like mine. They can also be resoled or rewebbed by the comapny if they ever do wear out. Im going to try wearing them into the winter and see how it goes.

Thus far, Im really enjoying not having my feet constrained like they usually are. Its also nice to not have to worry about things like getting my shoes wet or having to dry them out when they do.  So far, me likey. They are definitely the ticket for fishing and anythign else that involves standing around in the rivers.

Katrina revisited

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

This being the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the media is full of images and stories about the incident. Theres the usual “When we first met Mr. So-And-So when he was at the Superdome after being rescued from his roof…..” stories that show survivors in their new locales and new lives. It’s disturbing how many people are still living in FEMA trailers. If you cant get your life together in five years you have bigger problems than the weather.

More than anything else Katrina was invaluable at showing what does and does not happen when the wheels fly off civilization in a big way. Did the federal goveernment drop the ball? You bet. But everyone seems quick to give a free pass to Mayor “Chocolate City” Nagin and to the governor of Louisiana who were probably more responsible for New Orleans’ well-being than the fedgov. But, it was the era of Bush-hating so those two get a free pass.

Lessons learned? Don’t expect .gov, local or federal, to be anything but a possible threat. The New Orleans PD had a worst-case scenario on their hands and while some of their number stayed and did their jobs, many did not and some became part of the problem. It appears that the only real help or assistance either came from the survivors and victims themselves or from private charities. In short, it was probably best not to have much to do with any ‘official’ rescue agents.

Do you think these people learned anything? Some of them did, Im sure. Many of them moved away which was probably the best thing considering that New Orleans is below sea level and thus just going to get flooded again eventually. Really, it was a dumb place to put a city and no amount of cheerleading and public relations will change the fact that water flows downhill and New Orleans is at the bottom of that hill. Hopefully those that decided to stay on will have learned to be a bit better prepared.

Overall, I think the absolute biggest lesson of Katrina, which should be obvious to most folks, is that when every source of news tells you that an apocalyptic hurricane will be on your doorstep in 48 hours you should get in the car, hop on the bus, get on your bike and……leave.  Dont be there. Go visit Cousin Dave in Ohio for a week. If you decide that youre going to stay, dont be half-assed about it. Food, water, fuel, ammo, commo…the whole nine yards. But, in the long run, its probably cheaper to just get a room at the Super 8 in Nashville for a week.

It’s interesting to watch the images and videos from Katrina but its also frustrating…Katrina had the potential to be the catalyst for a new era of domestic preparedness, the way Sputnik kickstarted American space technology. In the end, though, it doesnt seem like much has changed on a national level. In a few years another hurricane will blow in, some southern coastal region will get wiped out and it’ll be the same story all over again.

Would I live in New Orleans today? Sure. But I’d do so knowing full well that its on a bullseye and that if I were to live there I’d have to either a) be uber-prepared or b)be ready to leave for a week or two on a moments notice. Of course, both would be the safe way to play it………

Link – Upcoming series “Walking Dead”

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

Man, I loves me some zombie movies. Zombie movies are almost the perfect post-apocalyptic genre – you have the post-crash situation of living on canned dog food and huddling under rubble, but you can indiscriminately shoot bad guys because, since theyre undead, youre not really hurting anyone.

Here’s a link to an upcoming series on AMC called “The Walking Dead”. Notice any familiar faces in the preview? Its our buddy Lennie James from ‘Jericho’ who has apparently gone from post-nuke survivor to post-zombie survivor. Rough life, but at least he’s familiar with the scenery.

Preview trailer looks interesting and Im sure Im going to be tuning in for this one.

Turns out flammable and inflammable MEAN THE SAME THING!

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

Ordered my new Kifaru pack last week. It will, I am given, be here sometime around the end of September. Thats cool since hunting season doesnt open until around November. Last year I used the PTR-91 to bag my Bambi. This year I’m toying with taking out the .44 Contender pistol. We’ll see, I need to go to the range and play with it a bit.


The missus has been slowly but steadily putting together some gear to start her off in her newly developed interest in backpacking and kayaking. One of the things she wanted was some emergency firestarter. Personally, I use matches. After that I have handheld lifeboat flares. However, I do carry one of these and can recommend them highly. But, as I discovered, while I find it simple to use, the missus has a little coordination problem using it….her natural tendency is to pull away to the sides rather than at the parallel angle of the striker. The result was that she had alarming difficulty using the firestarter. Obviously when your hands are cold and youre in a bit of an excited state is no time to be fiddling with something as important as getting a fire started. So, the next step was a BlastMatch. Designed for one-hand operation, I figured it would be easier for her to use. After playing with it, I gotta say, its a clever idea although I am not entirely convinced as to its durability. However, she seems to be able to work it and thats whats important.

When I taught hunter safety we would always tell the kids to carry some firestarting equipment. Invariably there would be some kids who’d show up with flint and steel. While it does work, matches work alot easier.  Sure, if the matches dont work then you have the flint and steel but why make things harder for yourself than they have to be? Start with the matches, then go to the exotic stuff. I find these steel-n-rod firestarters to be the last resort for getting a fire started in an emergency. If the situation is dire, Im soaking wet and the wind has picked up you can bet I’ll use whatever Ive got that will cause an instant fire. Way I figure it, if things are bad enough I need a fire, things are bad enough that Ive probably only got a minute or two until my hands are shaking and useless…so I want fire and I want it now. Matches, cigarette lighter, steel wool and a battery, thermite grenade, whatever….burn, baby, burn.

I tend to go a little overboard in this department…during hunting season I carry matches in my pocket, matches in my pack, a flare or two, firesteel, fuel cubes, and some tinder. Why the overkill? Well, theres one thing that works in almost every survival situation in the woods and thats to build a fire. Make  a nice campfire, gather wood, get comfy and sit your wandering butt down and wait for someone to find you. Fire keeps you warm (and hypothermia will kill far more people in the outdoors than anything else), keeps you rooted to an area, and makes you visible. Fire good. Also, interestingly, sitting at the fire for a while calms you down and lets you get a clear head so you can think and possibly ’self rescue’ if you’ve just gotta do it on your own.

As I said, when Im out in the boonies theres matches in my pocket and in my pack. Why? Because you never know when youre going to lose your gear or otherwise be left with just whatever is in your pockets.  This doesnt just go for matches either…I keep compass, matches and a knife on my person at all times while hunting AND in the pack as well. Cheap insurance.

Article – Minneapolis will pay $165,000 to zombies

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

Yup. Zombies.

The Minneapolis city attorney’s office has decided to pay seven zombies and their attorney $165,000.

The payout, approved by the City Council on Friday, settles a federal lawsuit the seven filed after they were arrested and jailed for two days for dressing up like zombies in downtown Minneapolis on July 22, 2006, to protest “mindless” consumerism.

The jokes almost right themselves, don’t they?

I love zombie movies. I especially love the notion of ‘Zombie Squad‘. Zombies are a backdoor for getting into preparedness discreetly.

“Dude, whats with the 50 rolls of toilet paper?”

“I wanna be ready when the zombie apocalypse happens>”

Other person shakes head and walks away.

Link – Video tour of bunker for sale

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

I am always fascinated by these private-business-built bunkers that sometimes come up for sale. Here’s a link to a guy giving a guided tour of one he has for sale. I looked at one years ago and while it was awesome on so many levels it’s big drawback was that as an unmanned facility no provision had been made for water. The one in this video has the well inside the bunker. How awesome is that?

PTR links

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

A pair of articles from the same source about the PTR-91/JLD rifles:

Article 1 and 2

I’m telling ya, if youre on a budget but want a top of the line .308 rifle you won’t do any better than a PTR-91. With spare parts and accessories dirt cheap and magazines at under $1 each you can put together a hellacious end-of-the-world rifle package for what you might otherwise pay for just a rifle alone.

DIY Subway

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

I never know how much stock to put into these types of articles, but nonetheless it seems worth linking to:

Once we had a story about some personal railway, no another Russian hero Leonid Murlyanchik has been building his metro alone since 1984. All materials are bought for his retired fee. Construction is not over yet.

By the way Leonid has all necessary documents and permits for this metro.

A guy building his own personal subway system.  Of course, the methods and techniques are easily applicable to building your own  network of tunnels and bunkers. I post this mostly just to show that, if this article can be believed, one guy with some determination can dig himself a hellacious redoubt if he tries.

And, yes, Im aware of the fellas that have dug under their houses, for better or worse, including the recent cases of folks getting their houses condemned by local engineering officials.


Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

Any day that starts off with getting the chance to fondle an M14 cant be too bad. (Knock on wood.)

I know what youre going to say…”Am M1a or an M14?”. Same question I asked when I said “Hey, whats in the rifle case.” Nope, genuine M14 with a happy switch. “When you take that to the range, you’ll lemme know, right? Right?”