The folks you meet

There’s always that question of ‘how do I meet other like-minded individuals to network with?’. I’m of the opinion that putting an ad in the back of American Survival Guide or on a forum is a last resort sort of thing. There’s too much risk of winding up auditioning a revolving door of whackos and nutjobs, all the while compromising PerSec.

I am firmly of the opinion that if you really want to meet folks, the best way is to observe and casually work up to broaching the subject with the new person. Today was a fairly good example….

My regular letter carrier (or as we used to call them, “mailman”) is on vacation. The little truck pulls up in front of the shop and a guy gets out. We make some small talk as he checks for my mail. I comment about how it sucks that he has this open-air cab and all he has to cool off is a fan. As I look in the vehicle two things jump out at me….the radio he has on the dashboard and a backapck on the floorboards. The backpack is a coyote, MOLLE-covered bag. “I like your bag”, says I. “Yeah, I got it from online from Botach. Its been a great bag, I can’t kill it.” Hmmm. We shop at some of the same places. I also notice the Sangean radio sitting on the dashboard isn’t one of the cheap models…this one has a few bells and whistles that would be of interest to folks like you and I.

So….shops at the same tactical gear places and appreciates the quality gear. So far, this sounds like it’s possible he’s on the same wavelength as me on a few things. Maybe next time I see him I’ll ask if he’s done any shooting lately…really? With what guns?….Ah, I have one of those too….etc, etc. Then after a while we do some more small talk about interests and soon you’re pretty confident about whether he’s on the same page as you. And that’s the point you decide if you want to pursue this further and bring them into your little circle of friends or not.

It takes a little time, yes. It’s not as fast as walking up to a strange and saying “Hey, you got an AR, some MRE’s, a stash of gold and a water purifier? How about that last election…who’d ya vote for? Wanna see my bunker?”, but it’s also far less risky in terms of what information you put out there and, more importantly, what kind of impression you give other people. You tip your cards to the wrong person and they go and tell everyone back at work about the ‘crazy survivalist’ guy that is on their route….nobody needs that kinda headache.

Of course, this is just my opinion…maybe you’ve had a different and better experience doing it a different way. If so, I’d find it interesting to hear about it.

Article – Texas family of 10 rescued in West Pioneers

BUTTE – Search-and-rescue teams rescued a family of 10 from Lefors, Texas, after they got lost during a hike in the rugged mountains of southwestern Montana.

Beaverhead County Sheriff Franklin Kluesner said two boys, ages 13 and 14, hiked several miles for help June 19, two days after the family got lost in the mountains near Wisdom. The family was out of food and water by the 18th and resorted to drinking stream water.

The boys and a 41-year-old man caught frogs, cooked and ate them on morning of the 19th, and then headed for help. The man collapsed along the way, but the boys continued on.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around a family of ten….let alone the hiking part. Ten people isnt a hike…it’s a patrol. Who wrangles eight kids along a trail?? At least the Irish twins were old enough to go out and bushwhack their way to help.

Anyway…I’ve been down that way and, like much of backcountry Montana, its awfully pretty but, as Blaine famously said, “You lose it here, you’re in a world of hurt.”

Note the detail about everyone being sick from the water. You’ve got no idea whats upstream….dead animals, various fecal adventures, a Bronx zoo of bacteria and pathogens, etc, etc. Twenty bucks gets you a LifeStraw that will let you drink from a Calcutta sewer. I keep one in all my outdoor packs. Bad enough getting lost in the woods, who needs to compound that problem with a bad case of the runs?

Also, note that not only were the trusting GPS, they were trusting phone GPS, which is even more sketchy. Map and compass, man. Even if they’d just found a couple baselines (like a river or road) to establish they probably coulda saved themselves some grief.

As we taught the kids in hunter safety, you gotta have some respect for mom nature ’cause she sure doesn’t respect you.

Link- Signals Handbook

This is an absolutely fascinating post about small-unit communications. It’s quite informative and worth reading. I’m not qualified to say whether it’s good information or not but it appears quite useful and, if nothing else, is food for thought on the subject. Go check it out.

Article – Texas is creating a gold depository to rival Fort Knox and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Texas does a lot of things that I think are just for posturing and maintaining their image, but I rather like this:

On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation that will create a state-run gold depository in the Lone Star State – one that will attempt to rival those operated by the U.S. government inside Fort Knox and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s vault in lower Manhattan.

“The Texas Bullion Depository,” Abbott said in a statement, “will become the first state-level facility of its kind in the nation, increasing the security and stability of our gold reserves and keeping taxpayer funds from leaving Texas to pay for fees to store gold in facilities outside our state.”

There’s the story that when a couple nations approached the US about repatriating their gold from the US depository there was some…concern…that the gold was ‘unavailable’. I’d be very interested to know if Texas gets to take their gold back or if some excuse will pop up about how they have to get it back over a lengthy period of time (if at all).

This is why I don’t believe in any of this we-hold-your-metals-for-you scams, or any paper representations of precious metals. If you have a certificate that says you own 100 oz. of gold in a repository in California, you don’t own anything except a piece of paper. If you’re going to go down the road of owning precious metals, then own precious metals…not a piece of paper saying you own gold or silver. Promissory notes with questionable redeemability is the whole reason we buy gold and silver to begin with.

I (usually) get my PM’s from the Metals Pimp. You may have your own ‘guy’, but if you don’t you might wanna give the Pimp a holler.

H/T to Ryan at TSLRF (which apparently is just TS these days).

Unwanted linkage

Every so often I head over to Google Analytics to see where my website traffic is coming from. Apparently, I received a fair bit of traffic from Reddit under the keyword ‘racewarpreppers’.


The link they posted to was this one about panic buying. It appears that they linked to it, not because of racial content, but as an adjunct to discussions about preparing for some future Great Race War or whatever it is they expect.

Frankly, I’m a little annoyed. I’m *alot* of things….I’m sexist, somewhat of a jingoistic nationalist (America first and all that jazz), capitalistic, fiscally-conservative-with-a-little-libertarian-bent (really, kind of a Goldwater Republican), etc, etc….but I’m quite certain that I’m not cross-burningly racist. As someone once said “Racism is silly. If you take the time to really get to know someone and understand them you can find a much better reason to dislike them.”

Being a survivalist means you get painted with a pretty broad brush. You’re automatically anti-government, racist, uneducated, and homophobic. I hate that. I don’t mind getting in trouble for things that I actually am or things I actually do….it’s when I get accused of things that simply aren’t the case that I get annoyed.

Interestingly, though…if you checked my browser history (and for everyone’s peace of mind, it’s probably a good thing if we don’t) you’d find that I visit quite a few…questionable…forums. (And, really, I should visit them through a proxy, but….lazy.) Stormfront, Democratic Underground, New Black Panthers, VPC, etc, etc, etc. Why? Mostly curiosity to see how different groups see events that are occurring. Same reason I check foreign news services…for a different opinion or a different view of things. Reading some of the stuff that gets posted on those places reinforced my belief that while I may be a jerk I am not, to quote Star Lord,”100 percent dick’. Those people….well, they’ve got some serious issues.

Clearly the linkage wasn’t because of racial content or context in t his blog. It was simply because a post about buying guns and ammo happened to be on-topic for this group of people…but it still annoys me because I don’t like being associated with that sorta thing.


This is why we can’t have nice things

Man, every time I think that things might be quieting down in the land of panic buying and going long on magazines, something new happens.

Given the pre-convention jockeying and positioning of potential presidential contenders, I have no doubt that this will all play into future campaigning. Promises to eliminate ‘easy access’ to fire arms, eliminate ‘assault weapons’, ban ‘high capacity’ magazines, etc.

If I had the money, I’d be on the phone right now to CDNN and ordering Glock, 10/22, and AR mags. And even if this most recent event doesn’t wind up being responsible for any changes, the upcoming political season is still a good reason all on its own.

For those keeping track, the last time a racist shot up a large captive audience we wound up with an assault weapons ban nine months later.


Interesting Craigslist find

40 foot Container , Cargo / Shipping Container, has walls, Beds Built in, Toilet and sink are plummed, fiber glass shower , Kitchen sink plummed, Electric Panel, Lights and electrical, 2 Beams down middle, so it can be burried, or above ground, sealer coating on Roof ,sides and ,back. Great Survival shelter , almost finished , Great Price at 6,000 you move

Looks like someone’s project stalled. I like the idea of repurposing a cargo container but I’d never bury it..I’d go the other direction and berm it or seal it up in concrete.

This particular Craigslist listing tells a story if you know what to look for. Only a certain kinda guy does a project like this.

Annnnnnnnd….new tag: Craigslist

Bandoleer stuff

Unsurprisingly, I had a bunch of loose .223 ammo sitting aound that really needed to be organized better. A cardboard box full of 1000 loose rounds of ammo is no way to show up for the apocalypse.

When I go to the range, and I’m shooting .223 (or 5.56 [and, yeah, I know they’re different]) I usually pack them in a plastic 50-round ammo box. Other than keeping things neat and tidy, it also keeps me from turning too much money into noise.

But…for packing ammo away for that rainy day, I rather prefer to store .223 in bandoleers.


Classic four-pocket bandoleer set

If you’re not familiar with them, a proper bandoleer contains a cloth bandoleer, ammo on stripper clips, cardboard inserts for the bandoleer pockets, a stripper clip guide (‘spoon’), and a safety pin to hold the spoon to the bandoleer. This is pretty much how they’ve been packing the stuff since Vietnam.


New-style four-pocket set

The idea is not, as some geniuses would have you think, to carry this stuff around and then load magazines from stripper clips in the heat of battle. The idea is that it’s a convenient way to stage and transport a basic loadout of ammo. Original bandoleers were seven pockets holding 20 rounds each, for a total of 140 rounds. Of course, that was back when 20-round magazines were the norm. Nowadays there are bandoleers out there that are four pockets holding 30 rounds each. I’m a bit of a worst-case-scenario kinda guy, so I go with the seven-pocket bandoleer but put three clips in each pocket.

The bandoleers, spoons, and stripper clips are quite reusuable and its the rare survivalist that doesnt have some of them floating around in the garage or in his junk bin. But those damn cardboard inserts….they tend to get lost, destroyed, and they’re kind of a pain in the ass to source out. Now, I’ve got a shopping bag full of stripper clips, a cardboard box full of bandollers, and no 3-clip cardboard inserts. What to do, what to do…….

Naturally enough, a quick trip to Amazon showed that, yes, you could get the 3-clip cardboards there. Gotta love that instant gratification enabling that is Amazon. Ordered ’em up and a few days later -voila-:

20150607_201414So what do you do with them once they’re loaded up? Well, I dunno what you do with ’em, but I pack ’em away in some .30 cal. ammo cans until the day when I need them. Then I can grab a rifle, a couple mag pouches of magazines, throw one or two of these bandoleers over my shoulder, and head for the hills.

Is this superior to storing your ammo loose in an ammo can? I think so. For one thing, it makes an easy and quantifiable amount…one bandoleer is 210 rounds. (As opposed to a couple fistfuls of .223 which may or may not be enough to fill all your mags.) The stripper clips keep things nice and tidy, and load mags a heck of a lot faster than by onesies.

For range trips, I still use the plastic ammo boxes..but they don’t fit into BDU pockets very well, are noisy, and still require you to load your mags one cartridge at a time…all things that arent really a big deal at the range. I suppose some might question the utility and practicality of the bandoleers but I find them to be a convenient way of grabbing a ‘pre-measured’ amount of ammo, and also a convenient way to carry it.

Back into the breach with MH

Much like the slapped-around trailerpark housewife who goes back to her drunk, abusive husband I have renewed my dealer account with Mountain House.

Years ago I got dealer status with them to punch up my food storage. The plan was simple – sell enough of their product that it would finance my own acquisition of that product. It actually worked pretty well. But then…MH came home drunk one night and things got dark.

More specifically, there was a period a few years back where MH stopped selling to small-time dealers. The thing that was especiialy hard to find were the #10 cans. There were all sorts of rumours swirling about trying to come up with a reason for MH freezing out its small-time dealers. The most popular rumour was that MH had gotten some big .gov contract and was purposing as much of their production as possible towards filling those contracts….thereby leaving the little guys out in the cold.

MH denied the .gov contract angle, but then again wouldn’t the terms of any .gov contract require them to keep hush-hush about it anyway? So for a year or so MH was in high demand in the preparedness community and in low supply. Eventually, MH started shipping again and things resumed an even keel….except with me. I was kinda annoyed with MH for their actions.

A year or so goes by and, lo and behold, I discovered this.  (Here’s the complete post.) By that point I had a pretty good amount of MH on the shelf and was branching out in the much broader variety of Augason Farms.  I figured my needs with MH had been met, so I didn’t take any steps to keep my dealer account active with them. Then, the other day, I was up at REI and I was perusing the camping food section (because….why not?) and I saw some new things. Specifically, these. The Italian Pepper Steak, especialy, caught my attention.

So I called the guys (gals, actually) at MH and asked if my account with them was still valid and could be brought up-to-date. (See, MH really tightened up their dealer policy a while back and getting dealer status with them nowadays is a bit trickier.) They said they could do that and, by the way, we’ll send you some samples of those new products.

And then FedEx came by today.


Yay for free samples! Maybe..maybe he’s really sorry this time! Maybe I’m being to hard on him…maybe….

We shall see. In the meantime, I’ll be getting together with my local cadre of like-minded individuals and see if we can’t all pool our resources and needs to put in one big group buy.

Hows that CrossFit thing going?

Here’s a CrossFit joke for you:

An atheist, a vegan, and a CrossFitter walk into a bar…..and I know this beacuse they told everyone there within the first two minutes.

The humour(?) comes from the perception that people who are into CrossFit just will. not. shut. up. about how awesome their lifestyle is, etc, etc.

I bring this up because someone asked me, in comments a few weeks back, how CrossFit was going. I didn’t want to turn it into some sort of rabid kool-aid-drinker CrossFit post, but I figured I’d answer the question.

It goes. I hate going, I hate being there, I hate having it hang over my head during the day. But there’s no arguing that Im in better shape for it. Most of the metrics are right where they were when I was doing it more intensely four years ago, and some are not. My deadlift isn’t up to where it was, byt my numbers for snatches, presses, and cleans is a bit better. My squats have stayed the same. I can do more pullups now and I’m able to do more stretches of intense exercise with less breaks and timeouts.

Injuries? Sure. Had a few weeks with a shoulder issue, am currently going through some pain with my elbow, but over time that all clears up.

The upshot is that at 48 years old I’m in better shape than most guys my age. I could stand to lose a few pounds but Im kind of a squat, stocky, ‘fire hydrant’ shaped guy to begin with…being a lanky, wiry, runner-type was never in the cards for me. BUT…..when you’re pinned under heavy debris, dude, Im your man!