Getting started, economy, buckets, Ballistics By The Inch

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

Someone asked in comments if I had a list or other worksheet that they could use to start their own program of being prepared. Unfortunately, I never really kept any kind of list until many years later and even then it was mostly a list of things to pick up as time and money permitted.

My ‘method’, if you want to call it that, for deciding whats needed is to use my imagination and some fairly simple logic. I usually start off with “Its dark, Im cold, naked, unarmed, broke, slightly injured, hungry and thirsty” and then start extrapolating from there. Logic plays a big part. A chain of reasoning might go like this: We want to be able to eat so we need food. We have food, now we need a way to store it. We have stored food, now we need a way to cook it. We have a way to cook it, now we need fuel for that cookstove. We have cooked food from storage, we need something to eat off of. You get the idea. Following that sort of logic through several generations can fill up one side of a legal pad pretty quick.

Two books I’ve found on the subject (and I’ve read a lot of them, believe me) are:

Making The Best of Basics by Stevens

Crisis Preparedness Handbook by Spigarelli

Both books are good places to start, provide suggestions on what to stock and why, and give plenty of food for thought. No one resource is going to have a list of everything you’ll need…everyone’s needs, and everyone’s idea of what the enod of the world will look like, are different. What you might think is necessary may not be what someone else thinks is necessary.

I’m of the ‘economic disaster’ school of the apocalypse. Some folks feel strongly that the biggest threat will be a nuclear war. Some think that ‘Peak Oil’ will be the downfall of civilization. Whatever you think it is, think about how it would affect you and then do whatever you think is necessary to reduce or eliminate those risks.

I think the economy is going to get worse before it gets better. I think unemployment will go up, banks will go down, people will find themselves in the uncomfortable position of actually having to worry about what their food costs, and some goods and services may become unavailable….thus, my preparations tend to be centered around those sorts of things.

No matter what youre preparing against, some things remain the same – you need shelter, food, water, heat, light, sanitation, protection and fuel. Get those avenues covered and youre pretty much good-to-go against 90% of anything that comes your way.


Speaking of the economy, I am at a loss to believe that theres anything the .gov is doing right now that makes sense. I readily admit that my grasp of economics and finance aren’t anything beyond ‘average’ but I cant see how the amount of money being thrown around at the moment can’t become something that’s going to haunt this country in a major way further down the road.

It looks like .gov is pulling out all the last gasp desperation tricks it can…the ‘extreme measures’. The consequences of using those tricks will be severe, but at least we’ll be around for the consequences. That’s the plan, anyway. What remains afterwards, though, will, I think, be a far different economic landscape than what we’ve grown used to in our lives.

Naturally, this is all bigger than you and I. Theres nothing we can do to stop it, and certainly nothing we can do to undo it. All we can do is try to forsee the resultant effects and prepare ourselves accordingly.


I am having an annoying experience finding suitable five-gallon buckets lately. I’d decided it was time to stock up on more 5-gallon buckets for my various stored items. Trouble is, the buckets I normally picked up at the paint department at Lowe’s and Home Depot seem a little flimsy as of late. Turns out that theyre marked on the bottom as .060 mil thick. The ones I want are at least 075 mil thick but I cant find any plain white ones. I can find some 090 mil ones at the local beerbrewing place for an outrageous $15@. Home Depot’s buckets are .075mil and priced affordably but theyre the annoying Home Depot orange color. What I want is a simple, plain, white bucket that’s at least 075 mil and less than $10. Now, before you get your Google-fu on, yes I can order them online. Problem is once you do that your cost, with shipping, gets a bit prohibitive. So I need to travel around town a bit more and hit the paint stores and see what shakes loose.


Sweet Link O’ The Day:

Ballistics By The Inch – Three guys, two chronographs and 7000 rounds of ammo

A fascinating experiment on barrel length and its effect on velocity. Succinctly, chrono ammo through a barrel, cut off 1″, repeat. Highly recommended.

10 thoughts on “Getting started, economy, buckets, Ballistics By The Inch

  1. Hit up food service establishments, specifically bakeries and ethnic eateries/pizza shops, for the buckets. In a lot of bakeries that do cakes and such, icing and fondant come in pretty big buckets. Chances are they’ve got a few laying around that you’d be able to pick up on the cheap, if not totally free. The same with ethnic restaurants/pizza shops – when I used to work at the pizza shop down the road, we got our feta cheese, kalamata olives, and pickled peppers in five-gallon buckets.

  2. You just said exactly what I was going to.

    I get my buckets (food grade) at a place here that stores yogurt in them. Why anyone would want 5 gallons of yogurt is beyond me – but they only charge me about $1.50 a bucket and they are usually nice enough to wash them out first.

    Ask around at the mormon cannery – someone might know of a good source. We grew up with all of our sugar, flour and oats being stored in white buckets.

  3. I take it you’ve never used the “pickel buckets” from the fast food places.

    I got turned onto these years ago when I was in the SCA. We’d cut ’em up and use the plastic for cheap armor. They always faintly smelled of pickels though, which is why we were “House Flying Pickle.”

    I don’t know if they are actually five gallon buckets or are a bit smaller. You’d have to grab one and check. Basically just hit your local fast food burger joints, McD’s, BK, etc, and ask the manager if you can have the pickle buckets when they empty them. They’ll usually give them to you for free. I’ve heard that with enough bleach you can eventually get the smell out.

    They do come with lids, but we were 50/50 on getting the lids with the buckets, even when we asked. Still, their free, so if need to get twice as many buckets as you need to get lids, just toss the extras.

  4. Well, technically it doesnt, I just prefer a certain amount of uniformity in things. Even though I might know better, I’d probably still think “Heres sixteen white buckets and one arange one. The orange one must have something special in it.” Its preference really….

  5. Im not concerned about lids since I put a GammaSeal lid on all the buckets. I prefer new buckets for their lack of smell and uniformity. Last thing I want is the bunker smelling like a jar of pickle brine…make it hard to detect any other smells that shouldnt be there.

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