Entries Tagged ‘shtf survival gear’

Survival Gear Salt Flashlights and Seeds

buying shtf survival gearA couple of weeks ago I posted a video on youtube talking about spreading your survival gear purchases out over time.  Instead of forking out $400, $500 or even $600 at a time, just spend $40, $50 or $60 at a time.   After a few trips to the store, your probably going to be surprised at the amount of gear that can be stockpiled.

A couple of weeks ago my kids and I went to the camp for 2 days.  While we were there we decided to walk around the property at night.  The following is what I like to call the “can opener” effect – its were you get so involved with the bigger things that you overlook the small stuff.

During the rush to get packed, all three of us forgot to grab a good flashlight.  After looking through the flashlights that we have stockpiled at the camp, I realized that we had several hand crank flashlights, but no good quality LED flashlights.  Hand crank lights are fine for inside the house, but when you need to secure the property, you need a good quality light.  The only good quality light my kids and I had was the Surefire 6PX Tactical on my AR-15.  My daughter and my son were able to find some cheap led lights that were barley bright enough to see the ground.  We walked around the property, looked at some stuff and then went back to the trailer.  While my kids and I were walking around in the middle of the night, I made up my mind that some good LED lights would be in my next purchase.

Purchases for March 6 2011 include:

6 – 1 pound 10 ounce containers of salt
100 rounds Winchester 9mm 115grain round nose
4 pack Energizer AAA Lithium batteries
1 – Coleman 90 lumen LED flashlight
1 pound regular pinto beans (for the garden)
1 pound yellow dent field corn (for the garden)
$1 worth giant noble spinach (for the garden)
20 pounds seed potatoes – hopefully to get planted next week

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Weekend survival gear purchases

Don’t have the money to buy $1,000 for survival gear at one time? Then spread it out and get a little bit at a time.

One thing that strikes me as odd, is when people start talking about stockpiling a few simple survival supplies, the conversation will sometimes turn towards money, and how much to cost to prepare. I have had people say “I don’t have $1,000 to drop on a food stockpile“, or something along those lines. The thing is, you don’t have to have $1,000 to get started, purchases can be made in small sections.

Purchases included:

Canned cheese
2 – 4 packs of ravioli
Several cans of soup

The soups are low sodium – my wife is on high blood pressure medicine. If some kind of disaster happens, we do not want foods with a lot of sodium driving up her blood pressure.

Some of that will probably go up to the camp, while some will stay at my house.

In another couple of weeks I’ll pick up some more food stocks, maybe some more dried rice or beans, maybe some more canned goods, or noodles.

In a few more weeks I’ll get some first aid supplies, seeds for my garden, and maybe even plant a couple of fruit trees.

Prepared.pro has some canned cheese that I’am interested in, that might just be included in some of my next purchases.

Post your comments in this forum thread about stockpiling a little bit at a time.

Best 30 caliber SHTF survival rifle

.30 caliber survival rifleIf you were going to pick a .30 caliber rifle for a SHTF survival rifle, which one would it be?  The contestants are:  7.62×39, 30-30, 308 and the 30-06.  Lets take a look at each of those calibers, and what rifles their currently available in.

For the sake of discussion, the 30-06 is the largest caliber that will listed in this article.

7.62X39 – made famous by the AK-47 and SKS, developed in 1943, has seen service in major conflicts all over the world, available in civilian rifles such as the Ruger Mini-30 and various bolt action rifles.

Bullet weight:  110 – 155 grain
Muzzle velocity: 1,900 – 2,100 fps, depending on load
Effective range: around 350 meters
Availability: Plenty

There are at least 3 things that makes the 7.62X39 a good choice as a survival rifle – 1.  Availability of ammunition, 2.  Availability of rifles, 3.  Low recoil.

With post-soviet block countries strapped for cash, many of them have decided to sell off their surplus semi-automatic rifles, and surplus ammunition.  In the 1990s, $200 would get you an SKS and a case of 7.62X39 hollow point ammo.  Over time the price of AK-47s, SKSs, and 7.62X39 ammunition has crept up, but its still reasonably priced.

Firing a 123 grain full metal jacket or soft point, the 7.62X39 is well rounded for deer and wild hog sized game.

Since most of the rifles that fire the 7.62X39 are semi-automatic, this makes it a good choice for recoil sensitive people, or people who do not like the full sized rifle cartridges.

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Stockpiling ammo for a long term survival situation

survivalist riflesLast week my buddy and I were talking about stockpiling ammo for a survival situation – this is when something happens to cause society to break down.  Examples are civil unrest, some new disease, climate change,,,,,, something that causes the fabric of mankind to unravel.  In general we talked about stockpiling 308, 223, 7.62×39, 22 long rifle and shotgun shells.

My buddy stockpiles 2 different types of  ammo for his 308 rifle – ball and hunting ammo.

Ball ammo – is your target round and urban defense round.  When my buddy goes to the shooting range, he will shoot ball and most of his magazines are loaded with ball ammo.  The plus side of ball ammo, its cheap when compared to the more expensive hunting ammo.

Hunting ammo – this is the ammo your going to be using to hunt deer, moose, elk, wild hogs,,,,, whatever goes in your neck of the woods.  Currently my buddy stocks some kind of expensive Hornady ammo that cost something like $35 – $40 for a box of 20.

Instead of stockpiling 2 different types of ammo for my DS Arms FAL, I’am thinking of stockpiling 1 type.  This would be something good for hunting, but does not cost a small fortune.  My current deer hunting round is a Remington Core-Lokt in either 30-30 or 7mm express / 280 Remington.  Over the years I dont know how many deer I have taken with the Remington Core-Lokt.  On thin skinned game like the whitetail deer, its very effective.

east texas whitetail 8 point buckThis deer season my son took a nice East Texas Whitetail 8 point that weighed in at 156 pounds.

Last year my dad took a nice 6 pound that weighed around 125 – 130 pounds.

2 years ago my son harvested a doe.  She dropped where she stood when that 15 grain 30-30 Remington Core-Lokt hit her.

3 years ago my son harvested a 6 point.  He ran about 20 feet after that Remington Core-Lokt hit him.

4 and 5 years ago I harvested 2 – 8 points.

3 years ago I got a nice 9 point East Texas Whitetail.

The list goes on and on.

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Top 5 survival rifles

22 long rifle 223 7.62X39 30-30 30-06One of the most asked questions I see on the forum – “what is the best survival rifle?” A well balanced answer is, there is no perfect rifle. If you live in Alaska, your rifle needs are going to be a lot different then someone that lives in the Southern states. Its doubtful someone living in southern Florida is going to be running in Grizzly bears, like someone in someone in the Northern States might. If you live in Colorado, or Washington state you might be hunting elk or moose, while people in Louisiana, Alabama or Mississippi might be hunting whitetail deer or wild hogs.

1) Ruger 10/22 – semi-automatic, magazine fed, 22 caliber rifle. Its not one thing that sets the Ruger 10/22 apart, its the huge list – the reliability, the vast selection of accessories – magazines, scopes, barrels, stocks,,,,,, just all kinds of stuff. My personal Ruger 10/22 was bought in January of 1986, and is still going strong.

My first experience with a Ruger 10/22 was sometime in 1984 or 1985 when 3 of my buddies and I were on a 3 day camping trip. We loaded up an aluminum boat and headed out to one of the bayous close to Bridge City, Texas – this was sometime around 1984 or 1985. After eating lunch, Allen and I took the dishes to the bayou to wash them. While we were washing the dishes, we saw a nutria rat on the other side of the bayou. 1 shot with the Ruger 10/22 took care of the animal. Allen and I got in the aluminum boat we had used to reach the camping spot, and paddled across the bayou to retrieve the animal. We skinned the nutria rat and brought it back to the camping spot where it was roasted over a camp fire and eaten. Even though we had just eaten dinner, it was just canned chili and we were still hungry. The meat from that nutria rat really hit the spot.

After I handled the Ruger 10/22 on that 3 day camping trip, I knew I had to have one. From that day forward, the Ruger 10/22 has been one of my favorite survival rifles.

The 22 long rifle cartridge only compliments the 10/22. The 22 long rifle is cheap, easy to stockpile, does not have a loud report, easy to carry and has plenty of power to take small game – like the nutria rat. With prices ranging from $12 – $20 for a brick of 550 rounds, for people on a budget, the 22 long rifle is going to be a tough round to beat.

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Top survival gear items

Out of all your survival gear items, which 10 are the most important? This list is going to change on your geographical location and any special needs. So consider this food for thought.

1. Home based water filter – an example of this is the Berkey Light or the Royal Berkey. Why is a water filter the first item? Because water is used so much in our daily lives. You do not need to be brushing your teeth with water contaminated with E. Coli, shigella or cryptosporidium.

2. Peanut butter and honey – High calorie food (peanut butter) mixed with honey – which has trace minerals – makes a meal that is difficult to beat. Unlike dried foods, no water is required to cook peanut butter or the honey. After opening, neither one needs to be kept cold. Honey can be stored for years without fear of spoiling and it makes for a good topical anti-biotic.

3. First aid kit – for taking care of wounds and injuries.

4. Way to cook without electricity – Propane is a good option, but its going to run out sooner or later. Solar ovens are a good choice, if you live an area that gets plenty of sun light. Wood burning pits are a good option. Firewood might go into short supply as people run out of ways to cook, but its always going to be around.

5. Water bottles – some way to transport water from a nearby stream to your water filter.

6. Good quality bicycle – after gasoline runs out, you have an way to get around.

7. Good quality boots – if your feet hurt, your not going anywhere.

8. Solar charger – whether its for charging a cell phone or a flashlight, the sun offers unlimited energy, you just have to have a way harness that power.

9. Fishing supplies – give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish and you feed him for life. If you live close to a lake, stream, pond or river, fishing gear must not be overlooked.

10. Physical and Mental conditioning – Stay sharp and stay fit.

11.  Seed stockpile – a stockpile of seeds to be able to grow a long term survival garden.

12.  Flashlights – stockpile some LED flashlights along with some hand crank flashlights and lanterns.

Post your comments in this forum thread about must have survival gear items.

On the topic of handcrank flashlights

Lets talk about handcrank flashlights for a little bit. This topic might have been discussed a lot, but its good to have a refresher.

Over the past few years I have been trying to stock up on those hand crank flashlights and lanterns. But instead of having a bunch of them at my home (which I do), I have been bringing some of them to “the camp”.

When my family and I go to the camp, sometimes its after dark when we get there. After we arrive, I will grab a flashlight to go turn on the propane. I do not want to have to worry about dead batteries in the flashlight.

There have been a few time that thunder storms have knocked out power at the camp. I do not like looking around for extra batteries in the dark – especially when we have mouse traps set out.

Its very convent to grab a flashlight, shake or give it a couple of twist, and you have instant light.

Here is one of the issues, it might be 2 – 4 months between trips to the camp. That gives the batteries in the flashlights a long time to go dead.

Also, if you leave those cheap batteries in your flashlights -the ones that leak acid – your gear can be ruined before you know it. Just the other day I found an AM/FM radio that the batteries had leaked in and ruined the device. The radio was a cheap one, so its not a lot of money lost, but it is a piece of equipment that will need to be replaced.

I have heard of long term storage batteries, ones that you can keep stored for decades,,,, but why? I see no real reason to invest in stuff like that. They are going to go dead after you put them in the flashlight anyway.

The crank flashlights make good hand outs to the kids. If the light gets set down and the batteries go dead, just give it a few shakes or twist. This past weekend while on a camping trip with my daughter, I gave her a twist flashlight to keep in her tent with her. I told her to twist the end to charge it up, and she was like “ok, no problem.”

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No bug out bag for me thank you

From what I see, most of the people that talk about “bug out bags” have never faced a “real” disaster. But lets not group everyone together – I’am sure some of them have.

Personally, I do not subscribe to the “Bug Out Bag” train of thought. I have had to bug out / evacuate in the face of too many hurricanes, and like to think I know the difference between reality and myth.

Keep in mind, I keep my camping backpack ready to go. It usually has 2 – 3 days worth of food in it, and most of my camping stuff in it.

If anyone has ever evacuated in the face of a real disaster, then you know what its like. You just dont load up a “bag” – you load up the whole truck. I take my computer, my guns, family pictures that can never be replaced, clothes, pets, back up drives for the computer, important papers, titles, insurance papers,,,,,,,,,,. By the time I’am done, the extended part of my cab is full. Then off to the shelter my wife and I go.

Why did I leave my house? Because we had massive hurricanes heading towards us at the time. My house has 2 large – 100 feet tall oak trees right next to it. Inside the house is not where you want to be if one of those trees decides to uproot in 100+ mile per hour winds.

If you live next to a chemical plant or next to a nuclear power plant, then yes, you might want to keep a bug out bag handy. But even then, authorities will probably tell you to shelter in place. Depending on what was leaking from the chemical plant, the direction of the wind and how fast the traffic was moving, hundreds or even thousands of people could die in their cars trying to leave.

What was interesting to see, was when Houston, Texas evacuated for Hurricane Rita. People were sitting in their cars for hours, and only moving a couple of miles. People were running out of gas on the side of the road, sleeping in their cars, running up credit cards to stay in a hotel,,,,,. When my parents left Bridge City, Texas in the face of Rita, what normally took them 1.25 hours to drive, took 9 hours. But at least they had somewhere to go.

My opinion, survivalist are divided into 2 groups – those that have a realistic point of view and plan. And those that have an unrealistic point of view and plan.

Realistic point of view and plan – built on real life experiences, military training

Unrealistic point of view and plan – watched too many movies and tv shows

Post your comments in this forum thread about Bug Out Bags.

Berkey Light Water Filter Overview

Over the past few months I have been putting a lot of thought into the “safe drinking water after a disaster” topic. My personal solution is divided into 3 stages:

Short Term – this is your bottled water. Regardless if its 1 pint plastic bottles, or 55 gallon drums, this is your short term solution.

Mid Term – This is something like a berkey water filter system – where you can take water from a river, lake, pond, or steam, filter it and make it safe to drink.

Long Term – private well. You have your own private water supply of safe drinking water.

For this article we will be discussing the Berkey Light Water Filter, which was supplied by Red Barn Workshop.

Over the past few months I have been seeing people talk about the Berkey line of filters, now I understand what the hype is about. Overall, I am impressed with the unit, how simple it works and how simple the design is.  The filters use gravity to pull the water through them.  This means that no external pressure has to be applied – which is great for a survival situation.  With any pressure system – something is required to supply the pressure, such as a pump, every pressure system has to have some kind of seal to hold the pressure in,,,, this all means there is more stuff to fail and break.  One of the good things about the Berkey water filter system – the only moving part is the faucet.

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Hybrid Shake Flashlight Review

One thing about a shake flashlight – you do not have to worry about the batteries going out.  A few days ago I was watching one of those TV shows about survival.  The guy in the show was talking about urban survival in a post apocalyptic world.

While scavenging through a building, the star of the show was talking about his flashlight, which was a maglight that used D sized batteries.   There was a mention of looking out for batteries for the flashlight.  My thought was – why not use a shake flashlight?  That way your not dependent on batteries.

Instead of having to rely on disposable batteries, look into getting a few hand crank – shake flashlights.  That way you do not have to worry about scavenging batteries.

One of the benefits of having shake flashlights at the bug out location, you do not have to worry about the batteries going dead.  While lithium batteries have anywhere from a 10 – 15 year shelf life, you do not have to worry about the batteries in a shake light going dead.

One of the drawbacks to a shake light, you are not going to light up a 10 acre field with it.

Lets say that some kind of long term shtf situation happens, you have a field planted with squash, corn, cucumbers, or spinach, you are not going to be able to use a shake light to look for raiders.  For security uses, something like the Surefire G2x Pro would be a better choice over a shake light.

The shake light would be best suited for using around the house when the power is out, or going to the shed or barn.  The light is not bright enough to blind someone like a tactical light, but is just bright enough so see around the house.  Need to open a #10 can of beef stew, a shake light will provide enough light to get the job done.

Post your comments in the Hybrid Shake Flashlight Review thread of the forums.  Special thanks goes to ReadyPro.org for supplying the flashlight for this review.

Panic buying before a disaster

When the public has and kind of advanced warning of a disaster – such as a hurricane or pandemic disease – people go into a panic buying mode.  Keep this one thing in mind – if you do not have it before the panic buying kicks in, you will not be able to get it.

These images were taken as Hurricane Ike was approaching the Texas coast in September of  2008.

Panic Buying

The list of items that disappears off the shelf first is rather short, but still long.  It includes canned foods, bottled water, camp stoves and camp stove fuel, bread, flashlights, and other odd and end items.

The image to the left shows the camp stove selection at a local store right before Hurricane Ike made landfall in 2008.  There were only a couple of stoves and just a little fuel left on the shelves.  When this picture was taken, the hurricane was still 2 – 3 days from landfall.  People were buying just about any kind of camp stove, lantern and fuel they could get their hands on.

Its important to mention that people had buggies loaded down with charcoal for their outdoor grill.  It it cooked, or could be used to cook, people were buying it up.

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Hand crank flashlights

Three weeks after the power has gone out, and all of the batteries are dead, survivalist will be glad that they invested into some kind of hand crack flashlight – also called a dynamo powered flashlight. Whether its a type of lantern, or flashlight, it does not matter, these things are good to have around.

Hand crack flashlights

Hand crank lantern

The basic principle of a hand crank lantern is that it does not need batteries. Even though these devices say they do not “require batteries”, they have a couple of AA rechargeable batteries to store the charge. A few cranks of the handle is enough to charge the batteries for for several minutes of light.

Some of these flashlights / lanterns have a built in radio. However, with the radio on, the batteries can go dead rather quickly. Most of these types of combo units (lanterns with built in radios) have very limited range and may not be able to pick up even near by radio stations. So do not consider these as a primary radio.

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