Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Well as I was looking back over my blog and noticed that I haven't really done much about my big prep item: my tornado shelter/root cellar/storage/bugout living area.

Over the next few weeks. I will do a couple of posts about the process that I have taken to turn my tornado shelter from a big cold concrete room into something that is a bit more livable and comfortable if worse comes to worse.

Stay tuned...

Another product position and review

I don't get paid for anyone for doing my blog (because they certainly wouldn't get their money's worth, that's for sure!!)

But occasionally I get a product that I get excited about when I think of the possibilities.  Here is one such product.

Its fairly basic and innocuous, but when a bit of ingenuity is used, it can be a very wise and important prep item, especially for the short-term.

It dawned on me that I might could use a handy, readily available power source when I saw all of the issues that the folks that were hit by Sandy were facing. 

If need be, I could put this in my shelter, hook a few low voltage LED lights to it to provide more suitable illumination than candles as well as be able to run a radio, charge a cell phone etc.

I jerry-rigged a 12 volt florescent bulb to it to test how long it could run.  I ran it for almost 48 solid hours before it got low enough for the last battery charge indicator to start dimming.

So basically if it runs a 12 volt florescent for that long, it should easily run 4 times that long on good LED's with room to spare. 

This would be a good backup to have as an emergency.  Plus it can still help start your car in an emergency, pump up your tires etc.

This would not be able to replace a generator (which you should have regardless) and would be a good addition to any wind or solar power that you may have.

Just my .02 cents worth.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

No shock

Since people figured out that they can get on the government dole and they can vote in someone who will take what belongs to one person and give it to them, I guess we get what we deserve as a country.

Keep prepping!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Keep your friends close and your food closer - #4

Ok, so I have talked about grapes and cherries and squash and quail and peppers and tomatoes and chickens and eggs and okra and etc etc etc.

Now let's get a bit more personal.  All the quail and chicken in the world ain't gonna help you if you don't know how to properly (AND HUMANELY) process them. 

I don't want to sound all weird and stuff because I am a pretty down to earth guy actually, BUT, I am always a bit in awe when I harvest and process an animal because this animal is giving its life for me and my family, friends and acquaintances to eat and gain nourishment from them.  Treat animals with the respect that they deserve and always strive to harvest and process them in the most humane way possible.

Ok, enough of the touchy/feely crap.  Onward.

The saying goes that a pictures is worth a thousand words, so a video is probably like a whole library.  So here ya go. 

I took this video last night on a request from a fellow blogger who wanted to know more about how to process a farm raised quail. 

By the way, wrap these in bacon, pan fry (or grill them) and they are delicious!

How to properly process a farm raised quail

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I recently read a great article that said "So the S has H T F.  How do you know really know though?  Is it a local, regional, national or worldwide event?"  What happens if you experience a Carrington Event.  How do you know that its not just a local thing and that by tomorrow you will be sitting on your front porch sipping mint juleps? In the same way, how do you know that it is not a life changing, true SHTF end of the world scenario that has jumped out of the pages of fiction and landed right on your head?

That really got me thinking.  Right now we are so used to easy, cheap and verifiable information.  In less than a minute, I can find out who a girl that I dated out of college is married to, how many kids they have and where they live.  I can find out what the lead drummer for Led Zepplin likes to eat and how he likes it prepared.  I can find out what our current national debt is and verify it through several sources.

However, in a true TEOTWAWKI event, we will not have this type of information.  We will be going off of word of mouth, hearsay, rumors etc.  Information will not be quick, it will not be easy, it probably will be a mix of some truth and some fiction and it will not be easily verified, if able to be verified at all.


If you came here for answers, you are SOL, but over the next few weeks/months, I will be digging up some way to help combat this type of information vacuum and come to some good solid information.

Of course I always welcome comments, so if you have some information to help other folks out, please feel free to share.

Well guess its been too long

Been quite busy over the last few weeks just getting stuff prepped if you know what I mean.  Working on the shelter and getting it ready for storage has been taking up a bit of my time, but along with work, family, other small remodeling projects just haven't posted here for a while, but here we go.

Here are a few older pics of my shelter.  It looks a bit different now, but I will be taking some pics of what it looks like now one of these days and post them up here.

Nothing really fancy, but has got plenty of room for a substantial amount of temperature stable storage.  There won't be much room to move around down here, but that is not really the point of this.  Over the next few months I will finish stocking it (or at least get to a comfortable spot) and will be running electricity to it for lighting and better ventilation and de-humidification if that becomes necessary.

The boys think that its awesome, but the dogs are not impressed at all by the giant hole in the ground and will not venture near it. 

Well, that is all for now, will be posting again soon to cover some other item. 

Take care and keep prepping.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Well, the shelter is in and is awesome!  Very pleased with the construction of the shelter and feel very confident in its ability to ride out just about any storm nature could throw at it.

It is a 10' x 7' x 6'3" tall (thought it was actually a bit shorter initially) flat top unit that weigh's a whopping 13 tons, so even it I had just left it on top of the ground, I doubt if much would affect it anyway.

Buried with about 5 inches sticking out of the dirt, the temperature should remain pretty stable year round.  I will be running electricity from the house to the unit so as long as power is available, we will have it in there too.

Over the next few months I will be busy installing shelving and stocking it with my stuff.

It is reassuring to look out the back window and see it.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Getting a shelter

After a few (too many) years without an adequate storm shelter and seeing how wild the weather is getting in and around my AO, my wife and I have decided to purchase one.  The local storm shelter guy said that he would recommend a 4'x6' shelter for me, my wife and 2 boys.  4X6?  IS HE NUTS? 

Of course a shelter is typically used about 30 minutes at a time, a few times a year maximum, so a small cramped shelter might do for that use.

But I plan on using it for a lot more than that!

The shelter that we are getting ready to have installed is a 7' wide x10' long and 6'1" tall shelter designed to accommodate about 18 (skinny) people for a storm.  Perfect for what I have in mind.  Even though I am a 6'3" tall person and my wife is 6'2", we will make due with the cramped headroom without too much of an issue.

The shelter is a flat top unit designed to be almost completely buried underground.  This will certainly serve the need for a good shelter, but it will also serve to maintain a much more consistent temperature without any electricity than my storage inside our house.  It will also help serve to keep it hidden from view if that need should arise.

My plan is to have 1 ft deep shelves lining the entire length of 1 wall as well as the width of the other wall.  this will give me approximately 420 square feet of storage for, you know, whatever I might want to store.

I will be installing a set of 6" bunk beds in it that my boys will be easily able to use (at least for the next few years) and that my wife and I would be able to use in an emergency.  There will also be storage room under the bottom bed.

Even with all of these things in there, I will be permanently installing a couple of extra fold down seats as well.

This project should be complete by mid to end of August, so I will make sure to keep things posted here as the project progresses. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Trijicon ACOG TA11E review

I am going to do something a bit different today.  I usually leave all firearm related posts and stuff to other websites just because that seems to be the most "exciting" thing to post about, but it gets overdone I feel.

Don't get me wrong, I think that firearms are an important prep item and should not be overlooked, but they are no more important than food storage, water purification, gardening tools, etc.  You can't eat bullets anymore than you can shoot a deer with a can of beans.

Over the past few months, I was looking for a tough, durable do-it-all scope for my 308 AR.  The 308 cartridge is one of my favorites because it is effective, has pretty good reach, is easy to find, and is easy to reload.

I looked around at quite a few different options, but kept coming back to the Trijicon ACOG.  It's not a cheap date to say the least and cost almost as much as the firearm that it sits on, however it is legendary for it's durability; it doesn't require batteries (a huge plus) and performs it niche function very well.  The red strand on the top of it is actually a fiber optic strand that will light up the chevron in almost all lighting conditions.  For darker environments, it has tritium, so even in pitch black, you can at least see the reticle.  It addition to that, it also comes with a Bible reference on it from the manufacturer, so I think that is pretty neat as well.  Mine has Matt 5:16 which says "Let your light so shine before men...".  Pretty fitting actually.

The ACOG isn't a high magnification scope.  It is a medium range optic, but performs its function flawlessly in that area.  I purchased the red chevron version (example of reticle and ranging options below) because the chevron can act like a dot at close range, you can use the chevron to effectively range targets at unknown distances, and the tip of the chevron can be used for precision.

As you can see below, each line on the BDC (bullet drop compensator) is approximately 19 inches wide at the distance on the reticle.  So for example, if you are viewing a target at 800 meters (which is just a few yards shy of 1/2 mile) and it is as wide as the very bottom cross-hair, then it is 19 inches wide.  This is the equivalent of the average shoulder width of a human.  While I certainly am never planning on using it in this manner, knowing the width of the cross-hair helps range targets a bit better than just cross-hairs alone.

Overall I feel that for the price paid, the anticipated use and the expected lifetime of the scope, it was actually a bargain.

On a recent trip to the range, I bought some crappy steel cased ammo to blow through at the range.  The AR 308 and ACOG combination allowed me to shoot offhand and place an entire magazine (20 rounds) inside a 12 inch target at 100 yards.  Off a decent rest with some better ammo, I am certain that I could cut that group in half without a second thought.

Overall, I am very pleased with this setup and feel that it fits well into my anticipated use. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Still alive and kicking

Things are a bit crazy right now with summer here.  Keeping the garden weeded, mowing grass, raising chickens and quail and still trying to find time to fit my job into all of this!

We are eating fresh vegetables out of our garden already and it will just keep accelerating through the year.  Tomatoes, squash, peppers, okra...yum!

Our sunflowers are growing like crazy and are already over 4 feet tall.  We had a windstorm come through and blew them over, but their stalk just makes a curve in it and keeps growing up.

Our quail are giving us more eggs than we know what to do with.  Right now that is a challenge, but in the near future, it could be a huge advantage.

The last batch of quail that were hatched are about 2 weeks away from the dinner plate.  11 weeks to eggs to dinner plate is not a bad turnaround time at all.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


How serious are you?

Stop for a second and think.  What would happen if right now BAM a "One Second After" type of event happened.  Take just a bit of time and really try to immerse yourself in that scenario.

What would be the first thing that you would do?  What would your course of action be?  What do you imagine your first hour, 12 hour, day, week would be like?

Do you seriously have a plan or do you just have a plan for a plan?

Are you playing prepper or do you have a firm, actionable plan AND the hardware/resources to carry out that plan?

Where are you right now?  How do you get to where you need to be?  What do you have with you to help you carry out that goal?  

What if that plan falls through?  What if that "little hidey hole back in a national forest that nobody else knows about but me" turns out to be the destination for half of your county's population?  Do you have an alternate Bug Out Land?  

What would you do for water?  Seriously.  Remember, the Shit just Hit the Fan.  What do you do today?  This is no longer hypothetical or a post on a forum, this is real and this is happening!

Rain water with a water filter?  Just this morning in my area, the weatherman said that the past two months have been the driest on record since the late 1800's.

How does that rain water sound now?  Have access to a river or pond?  Awesome!  How are you going to access it?  Do you have the necessary water prep/filter?  Is it in your possession or just "in your plan?"

What about food?  Do you have what you need for today?  I am sure that you do.  What about this week?  If you have found this page, you probably have that covered.  This month?  Hmmm, are things going to get a bit tight?

Human Nature.  I have been in a few places that have shown human nature is capable of stooping to any level to ensure survival.  This won't happen after a few months, this type of nature will begin to exhibit itself within hours.  How will you deal with it?

I am sure that most preppers have firearms pretty squared away.  What about ammo?  Is it in your possession or just "in your plan"?  I personally know preppers that have several high quality firearms but not enough ammo to even carry them through a decent day at the range without stopping by walmart to stock back up.

Do you have a plan to help people out?  Do you have the means and capability to carry out that plan?  Do you plan to help to try to build a community or will you be in "EMFH" (Every Man For Himself) mode?

What skills do you have to help build a community?  Database programmer?  Car Salesperson?  Lawyer?  Window Washer?  Probably not a big call for these fields in the PAW (Post Apocalyptic World).  Know how to raise livestock and manage a flock/herd?  Nice.  Know how to save seeds and raise a garden?  Awesome!

Putting ourselves in this mindset and getting out of the "planning to plan" stage just might, one day, save our lives!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Well, about 3 weeks ago I fired up the old incubator that I put away last year and put a bunch of my eggs from my 6 mature Coturnix Quail.

The incubator did it's job well and I now have 8 little bundles of energy bouncing around inside the incubator.  (I will be posting pics as soon as my crappy camera/phone cooperates with me).

Because of all of the selective breeding that has occurred throughout the years to get this kind of bird, the Coturnix Quail has lost all instinct to brood.  Hence the incubator. 

A person could use a very small banty hen to sit on the eggs (which I have one and she VERY MUCH has the instinct to brood, sometimes it's hard to get any eggs because wants to sit on all of them.

If worse comes to worse, I will do that, but for now I will use the incubator.  It increases the hatch rate and reduces work.

Anyway, my plan is to basically keep the incubator full of eggs and every 3 weeks put in another batch.  By the beginning of fall I should have enough of a cycle to allow me to butcher 4 - 5 each week to add to my VERY locally sourced food.  1 quail is not much meat, but every little bit helps.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Close Food: This time its personal!

Well finally got my plants in the ground and not a moment too soon since we just had a great rain storm that should help my stuff just leap out of the ground.

Here are a few random, crappy cell phone pictures of my WIP (Work In Progress).

This is my garden plot.  Much smaller than the previous three years, but will still keep us in fried okra, fried green tomatoes, fried squash, (do you detect a pattern here?).  Ok, I do eat raw stuff too, but fried stuff is just so freaking tasty!

I went to the dark side and got a few hybrid tomatoes.  Don't worry though because most of the plants are heirloom.

Here is my patch of garlic from the previous years.  (it doesn't really grow sideways, its just the camera angle LOL)

As you can see in this picture, my wife will have no excuse not to keep me well stocked with cherry cobbler!

Here is a small glimpse of part of how I keep my garden watered during the dry spells.  Its a rain water catch off of my well house.  Old DirecTV dishes make for a plethora of great hobby uses.  Here it is being repurposed as a funnel.  Inside the water drum I have a pump that I use to pump the water out through a hose.  It doesn't have great pressure, but does an acceptable job of watering the garden when needed.  It doesn't take long to capture 55 gallons (a few rains) and I can water the garden about 3 times out of this before its empty.

Our grapes are coming along nicely.  I am going to try some new recipes this year that call for grape leaves.  I have never eaten anything with grape leaves in it, but since my motto is "waste not want not", I am going to try a few.  Have plenty of grape leaves to experiment with.

During my "down time", I can usually be found behind my workshop starring at this.  Its my makeshift target range for my pistols.  Its only about 20 yards, but long enough for some decent pistol work. 

I truly love spring, summer and fall and enjoy every minute of being outside on my place.  Some folks like to take vacation to go places.  I like to stay home.  I feel that if everyone had as wonderful place as I do, there would be a lot more "stay-cations" in the world!

Addendum - 5-10-12:
Just walked around my garden last evening and the squash and cucumbers are already breaking through the ground.  Got some blooms on my tomatoes.  

Monday, April 30, 2012

Close food part Duex

Well, here it is almost May and my crops are still not in the ground.  It turned off a bit cool, but also had a few rainy days here that prevented me from re-plowing my garden to get it ready to plant.  I finally got it done over this past weekend, but didn't have enough time to plant.  I will be planting this week in the evenings, so I will post a few things about that when I do.

On a completely different note, I finished my new quail cage, so when the 20 eggs get out of the incubator, they will have a new home to move into.  I started raising couternix quail last year, but wanted to keep my brood small until I decided if I wanted to move forward with them or stick with chickens.

I have decided to increase production on the quail due to the lighter requirements (foodwise, they eat less than the chickens) plus the much faster turnaround time (after hatching, they are either ready to lay eggs or butcher in about 8 weeks).

My plan is the increase production to the point where I can harvest about 4 - 6 quail per week to supplement my families diet.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Keep your friends close and your food closer!

Something is reassuring about being able to walk out of my back door and see food.  Whether it is my chickens, quail, eggs, cherries, grapes, or food that is growing in my garden.  The closer that you are to your food source, the better off you are.

Here are a few pics of some of the food that I have been working on.  Some of it doesn't take much because I have already put in the work to get it started such as my grape vineyard, cherry tree's, blackberry patch, or my grove of wild plums.

You may not be able to make out the tiny green cherries in the crappy picture above, but my cherry tree's are loaded.  

Above is a picture of some of my grapes.  Should yield plentiful abundance to make a ton of grape juice and raisins.

However my garden is my main local food source and something that takes time and energy to get it to yield.

In the past 3 years I have had about 3500 square feet of garden space, but I cut that down to about half this year because my job really cuts into my day and I plan on doing a few more projects this year that will eat more of my time.  I will highlight those additional projects in the coming months. 

Above is a picture of my garden space this year.  I have plowed it once, but want to go through a few more times before I plant, but rain has kept me from doing that yet.

Because of the reduction of space, I have to cut down on what I will be planting, so here is the list: 

Yellow Squash
Zucchini Squash
Acorn Squash (after the Yellow and Zucchini are done)
Peppers (Bell, Banana, Jalapeno)
Sunflowers (my kids love the huge flowers, plus they are great to keep the birds away from the other things and to keep the bee's coming in)

Due to the much warmer than normal weather, this time next week I should have my garden planted which is about a full month earlier than normal.

I will keep things posted.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Normalcy Bias or "It can't happen to me"

I survived a catastrophic hard drive failure of my computer.  It went to the point where I had to replace the hard drive and start over.  Even though I backed up my data, it had been a while since I had, so I lost some of my data.

As I looked back at it, I had developed a normalcy bias.  This is a fancy term for the wrong-minded thinking that because something has never happened, it will never happen, or to put it more succinctly, "it can't happen to me!"

Now the data that I lost is easy to replace; I had some ballistic charts that I had found and copied from the internet.  I had some downloaded PDF manuals and books etc.  But in the grand scheme of things, I didn't suffer any long term loss.

However, I think that it was more beneficial than harmful because it really caused me to step back and look at the way that I had been thinking and frankly, it startled and scared me a bit.  If it was so easy for me to ignore this simple thing, what else might I be overlooking?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My favorite time of the year is here!

I am not talking about Spring (which is amazing and makes me feel like a kid again every time it rolls around).  I am referring to my local gun show.  It is here this coming weekend and I love it.

My friends and I have a tradition where we meet at Bob Evans for breakfast, hang out and shoot the breeze.  Then we go to the gun show and hang out with all the other freedom loving Americans.  I usually don't buy much, sometimes a scope or a grip or something, but mainly I just like being there.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Busy February and tapping Maple Tree's

Whew, February has been quite busy.  It has been so warm in my AO that I have actually started my March and April "To Do list" already.

One task that I had to do in early March was to tap my maple tree's, but with the very warm weather, I figured that if I didn't do it now, I might not get a chance to do it before it got too warm.

I have never done this before, but after reading pretty extensively and it doesn't seem to be much to it.  Drill a hole, get the spile, tap the tree, get the liquidy goodness.

I only have 2 tap-able tree's, so I won't get a ton of usable sap, but I mainly just want enough to know that I can do it and develop the tools and the skills needed to consistently repeat it.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

DoomsDay Preppers

Overall, I was basically, Meh.

The first episode set the stage for those expecting it the show to be about whack-o's and weirdo's.  I sat through it mainly for its entertainment factor.

The second episode (aired right after the first) made me sit up and pay attention.  I really liked the "gourmet prepper" folks.  They seemed like they were living well, prepping well, and overall had a pretty level head on their shoulders.  They weren't giving up living to secure their life.  They had some serious food prep items, but the best part to me was the fact that she knew how to use it.  It wasn't all about beans and rice (I feel ashamed) but about real actual good food.  Plus I will certainly be implementing the process that she showed on how to long term store fresh eggs.  When I saw this, my chickens took on a whole new aspect to me.

To me, the jury is still out on whether this show is worth spending time on, but for now, I will continue watching.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New show coming on, could be pretty good.

Just wanted to post a quick message about a new NatGeo show that is coming on called "Doomsday Preppers".  Will probably show a good portion of the nuts out there (wonder when they will give me a call?), but might actually show some good stuff too.  Might be worth watching.  Here is a link.

Doomsday Preppers

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Do it yourself

I firmly believe and am convinced that a prepper is essentially a do-it-yourselfer.  We don't like people telling us what to do, we don't like rules that say "you can't..." or "you have to...".  And we certainly do NOT like people doing things for us.

One movie quote that springs to mind is from the movie "The Edge" Starring Anthony Hopkins and Bart the Bear.  When Anthony Hopkins character is trying to convince his doubtful companion that they could kill a bear, he repeated to himself and made his companion repeat, "What one man can do, another can do!".

I really like that quote (and also the movie), but so many people today are just not willing or feel that they are able to do things themselves.  I have heard folks say, "Well, that person is a specialist.", or "My time is too valuable to do X.", or the amazingly self-deprecating "I just can't do that."

Well, what one man can do, another can do.  I firmly believe that.  In the immortal words of Robert A. Heinlein, "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

I really like this quote and I feel that is essentially the creed of any self-respecting prepper.

After all, if things happen like we all feel that they will, there will be no more specialization.  We will all be "Jack of all Trades". 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Random musings about my solar oven

This is a post about my solar oven that my son and I made last summer.  I haven't made a post about it yet, so I figured that I would do so now since it has been pretty nice in my AO and getting my juices ready for Spring and Summer.

Its pretty basic as a solar oven goes.  It is pretty heavy as I built it with dual 1/2 inch plywood walls and insulated inside to attract and maintain as much heat as possible.  I put a wheel on it and push it around like a wheelbarrow until I get it where I want it.  Here are a few pics.

Its pretty basic with just an insulated box, an old window for a top, and 4 old cabinet doors (I don't throw anything away, much to the chagrin of my wife) with aluminum foil glued to them.

I didn't know what to expect, so I didn't have my expectations very high, but even if I had, I would not have been disappointed.  It heated up quickly to between 190 and 210 F and remained there for most of the day.  We put some potatoes in there as a trial to see how it did and we were very excited about the possibilities when the potatoes came out perfectly done and quite delicious.

We started thinking up other uses for this and we ended up cooking a roast (YUM) and even purified some water with it.

One thing that you have to come to terms with if you are going to cook in a solar oven, is that you cannot be in a hurry.  Things will just not cook as fast as they will if you throw them on your grill, put them in your oven, or cook over a fire.  To cook our roast, we had to cook it all day long (7 hours +/-).  The very great upside is that you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you just cooked your meal using your own ingenuity and with energy that was just going to be basically wasted if you didn't use it.

Now before you start thinking that this is just a warm weather experience, let me state now that this solar oven will easily reach cooking temperatures (not electric oven cooking temperatures) of 180 - 200 F even on some cold days.  The secret is that you MUST have full and uninterrupted sunshine.  If it is a cloudy day or even a day with some clouds that briefly cover the Sun, the oven will not get up to the temperatures that it needs to be effective.

So go out there this Spring, get some junk and build your own solar oven.  You will be glad you did.  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Simple Preps that could SAVE THE WORLD! Part III

Lights, Camera, Action!

Do you have lights and camera with you everyday?  No?  Why not?  A good prepper never asks "Why?", but "What if...?".

Quick story.  A few years ago I was at work in my office.  It's a old warehouse converted into fairly comfortable offices.  One of the downsides though, is no windows anywhere.  It was wintertime and we were getting hammered by freezing rain/sleet/wet snow.  One thing led to another and BANG, we heard the transformer just outside of our office blow sky high.  Instantly our office was plunged into darkness.  First thing that most folks grabbed was their cell phones.  Cell phones are a great all around prep item and work well for lighting, but unless you are just interested in what is happening in the 6 inches around your face, they aren't much good for lighting.

Me, being the good prepper that I am, reached for my Zebralight pocket rocket.


Instantly, I was the most popular guy in the office.  Escorting people outside the office to their cars, helping folks find their paperwork, making sure that all of the computers were unplugged so any surge wouldn't destroy them etc.  I had carried this light everyday since I owned it and had really only used it for personal use, but just like the rest of our preps, you never know when you may need something.

This light is the smallest (that I have found) cr123 flashlight that still actually has a reflector.  Sure you can get smaller flashlights, but most of them are just little LED's sticking out of the battery holder.  This little guy is a real, actual flashlight.

After that even, it has reaffirmed my choice to carry a personal light and I never go anywhere with out it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Simple Preps that could SAVE THE WORLD! Part II

I am sure that everyone can remember the famous movie line when Crocodile Dundee pulls out his huge Bowie knife and declares, "That's not a knife, THIS is a knife!"

While I certainly love a big knife as much as the next fella, most of them are just not practical to carry around everyday in polite society. 

Sure, once the balloon goes up, or the dead start walking around trying to eat what little brain that I have, it will be easy to explain away the Kabar Kukri strapped to my side; "Why yes, this is a knife and I am still happy to see you!"

However, until then, you should never be without a good sharp blade, but what to do?

In steps the CRKT Minimalist.  It comes in several iterations; from the modified Tanto (pictured below), the odd looking Wharncliff, to the very familiar Bowie; all of which I possess and carry depending on what mood I am in when I get dressed.

I have always been fascinated with small, sharp knives, however the main drawback to me has always been that fact that when a manufacturer made a small knife, it usually came with a small handle.  Just because I want a small knife doesn't mean that my hands suddenly shrink to be able to grip a lilliputian handle.

So when I saw the CRKT Minimalist series, I fell in love.  Here is a great blade, made by a reputable company that realizes that just because the blade is small doesn't mean that the handle has to be.

The micarta handled full tang knifes are a joy to use.  The handles are large enough for my largish hands and allows me full control of the small blade.  At no time do I feel that I have to sacrifice my grip to accomplish a task.

I wear one of the Minimalists around my neck at all times.  It cannot accomplish all tasks, but for what it is designed, it excels in its role.

I am in no way, shape, form or fashion associated with CRKT, with the exception of being a very happy customer. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Simple Preps that could SAVE THE WORLD!

Ok, now that I have you attention (do I have your attention?)  I will get a bit more serious.  A few weeks ago my 10 year old son and I were sitting outside on our woodpile after doing some work outside.  I pulled out my handkerchief and wiped my face with it.  He looked at me and said that he needed one of those.  I threw mine over to him so he could wipe his sweat too.

I told him that a kerchief was a very important prep and EDC item.  He asked what else could it be used for, so we sat there feeling the unseasonably warm breeze on our face and proceeded to come up with scenarios and uses for our handkerchief.  Here are some of what we came up with.

- use it to blow your nose (novel concept for certain)
- wet down and tie around your neck to help cool you down
- carry acorns, berries, dry tinder for a fire etc
- use it for tinder for a fire in an emergency
- use it to bind up a wound
- use it to rough-filter water to prepare for final filtering/purifying/boiling
- wet it and use it to breath through in case of smoky surroundings
- tie it around your head like a doo-rag to help keep from losing heat
- tie it around your head to use to trap sweat to keep from getting in your eyes
- cut into strips to use for string or other binding material
- use as a flag or signaling device (camouflage probably wouldn't be the best choice for this)

That is about all that I can remember that we came up with off the top of my head.

Can you think of any others?

Over the next few days, I will be writing about EDC and some of the uses/instances/reasons that I carry what I do.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 is here!

Well, it's here.  2012.  What the Mayans (and other ancient cultures) have been warning us about. Will anything come from all of those predictions?  I am assuming not. 

Now with that said, I think that that over the last 30 - 50 years, we have created our own "2012" here in the US of A.  Kicking the can down the road, saying that we are cutting expenses with "future savings".  That's like me telling my wife that I cut $100,000 out of our expenses for this year because I won't buy a Maserati that I wasn't planning on buying anyway.

Oh well, something inside me feels that this will be the year.  I hope and pray not.  I want all the protests to go away, I wish that all of the regulations and such that are keeping folks from good paying jobs would be removed and I wish that this time next year we can all look back and laugh.