Cold weather, recession, hunting, gun show

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

Put the Cold Weather Module back into my bag today. Its been rainy and cold the last day or so, and it’s the beginning of October, so it’s probably about time to go ahead and start getting the cold weather gear out.

I’ve posted it before, but since Im too lazy to go link it, here’s whats in the CWM: OD wool scarf, OD polypro neck gaiter, triple-thick forest green knit cap, pair of gloves, pair of military overmitts, pair of military wool mittens, hand warmers. Then, just for giggles, I usually throw in an extra pair of mittens or an extra cap…for the sake of redundancy and in case whomever Im with needs them. The whole thing goes into a zippered cordura pouch that sits in the bottom of my bag. Have I ever needed it? Sure. Times when Ive gone to the range and it got a lot colder than expected, when I was bike riding and the weather changed, that sort of thing. What I really need to do is vacuum seal the individual components to reduce space and protect them. Maybe I’ll do that later today.

I also take one of the fabulous flectar parka/liner combos and roll it into a ball, stuff it into its own hood, and tuck it behind the seat of the truck. Cheap insurance against getting caught in something. Come to think of it, theres also an old down comforter stuffed into a pillowcase back there as well. Its not paranoia, and it isn’t overkill…its just simple fact: you get stuck in your car in the winter, you die.
So we’ve been in this recession now for, what?, a year..two? How have we been faring? Well, all things considered, not bad. I believe the missus’ retirement investments may have taken a hit but otherwise we’re doing okay. We wouldn’t be doing okay if she lost her job, but hers is a pretty secure career. More importantly, though, we aren’t carrying a huge mortgage (we do have a mortgage but its pretty small), no car loan (truck is paid for), no credit card debt (we don’t use ‘em), no student loan debt, and although we do have a few luxuries (WarCraft accounts, cell phones) that’s pretty much the extent of our decadence. We don’t buy a new vehicle every four years, we don’t but ATV’s or jet skis, we don’t spend huge amounts on entertainment, we just generally live within our means. Is there anything wrong with buying a new car every four years, buying a jet ski, or eating out three nights a week? Absolutely not…if you can afford it.

So, from our point of view, we’re doing okay. We’re pretty secure in being able to keep a roof over our heads, we’ve plenty of food, we have breathing room with very few bills to worry about, we have some money in the bank and, most importantly, we have the attitude that the way we live right now is the right way for us…with careful spending, thoughtful planning, and never feeling that we’re living a life of denial and deprivation. We may not emerge from the recession (or depression) better than when we went in, but we will almost certainly not come out very much worse.

The moral here, I suppose, is that preparedness isnt just about zombie apocalypses and hurricanes…its also about being prepared for the unsexy and undramatic stuff…like recessions and high unemployment. If we didn’t have the preparedness mindset we might be in the same situation as many other folks…overstretched, overextended and over a barrel. But we think about the future and the ‘what ifs’ and as a result, we’re doing okay.
Big game gun season opens here in a few weeks. I’m thinking I’ll use the Win 70 6.5×55 this year. Its relatively light, the cartridge is good for deer, and its got a decent piece of glass on it. I’m hoping that the last six months of CrossFit will have a positive effect on my ability to carry a pack and rifle up and down the hills. I came into the Model 70 Featherweight in 6.5×55 from a buddy who passed away. It was one of very few guns out of his collection that I actually found useful. I’ve thought about swapping it out for something in .308 (which would make my logistics easier) but I’ve plenty of ammo and components for the 6.5 and I really only plan on using it during hunting season so I suppose it won’t hurt to keep it around. Plus, the missus shot her first deer with it and I think that’s given her a sense of ownership of it. Fair enough, I’m always in support of her owning more guns.
There was a gun show at the fairgrounds this weekend. Most mag prices are down and availability seems good. Ammo and component pricing and availability, however, are still out in uncharted country. While some components were available, many more were not and what was available was pretty pricey. Cheapest primers I saw were $25/k which is down from $40/k a few months back.

Didn’t really see anything I wanted (except for a lovely old 8mmMauser with set-triggers, claw mount scope and rings, German post scope, and express sights for $400…a damn tempting rifle except I’d prefer it in 7×57, not 8.)

I did finally pick up some military extreme cold weather boots…referred to as ‘bunny boots’ or ‘Mickey Mouse’ boots, these boots are about as insulative as you can get when it comes to footwear. Wouldn’t wanna have to walk far in them, but if I had to stand around in the wet and ice these babies will help me keep all my toes attached. The guy had to go home to get them, but he did indeed have a pair in 10W and 10R. I tried the R and while it was comfy, I got the W becayse, dammit, I have wide feet and you add a couple layers of socks and youre gonna need that W.