What Did You Prep This Week?

Walk With God

I seem to be slipping a bit in this area again. I missed prayer time and bible study several times this week.

Self Defense/Hunting

While I was picking up my hunting license I also I bought another 20 rounds of 7.62×39 hunting ammo. Both for our upcoming hunting trip.

Supplies

We rotated items from the emergency pantry into the regular pantry and made a list of what items we need to buy to restock the emergency pantry. Using this list we topped everything up and we’re back to our inventory goals.

Finances

I made a  deposit into saving for us as well as one for each of the grand kids.

Other

Most of this week was spent working or preparing for our hunting trip (more on that later).

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?

God Bless

What The Heck Am I Preparing For? (Part 1: The Background)

Warning: This is neither an upbeat nor positive post. Wonderful Wife says it is downright depressing.

Over the last several decades I have become ever more concerned about the state of our nation and the state of our world. Maybe it is fear related to age or maybe it is wisdom related to age but sure seems like the world has become a far more dangerous place. I grew up with the threat of nuclear annihilation as something very real and tangible. There were regular drills in school for what to do in case of fire, tornado or nuclear strike.  The riots and unrest that accompanied the Vietnam war, the forced integration of schools, race riots and Watergate were more common fare on the one TV set in our house than cartoons but as a TV junky even back then I watched it all. Still, today seems worse. Like I said maybe it is an age thing or maybe it has to do with being responsible for a family, I don’t know.

Concern over the direction things were headed (thankfully) forced a very rude financial awakening in 2007 or so. We began trying to dig ourselves out of the mountain of debt we had piled up. Debt seemed to be of little concern when you work in an industry that at any given time you could jump ship at just about any time for a 20-30% bump in pay but those days were over and it was time to live like all the other grown ups and by 2010 we had made some pretty good progress…financially.

Hurricane Katrina hit just a few hundred miles down I-10 from us. We watched the devastation and the ensuing breakdown in societal structures on the news and, to some degree, in person as we volunteered locally to help those streaming in from New Orleans. Then came Ike and, while were were spared the worst, it made it very clear that we were not properly prepared. It wasn’t until 2010 that we finally decided to do something about it and made a conscious decision to be more prepared.

At that point we began researching and studying. To be honest, we felt pretty silly and embarrassed at first. We thought we were the only ones around here thinking along these lines. We worried that we had become one of those crazy couples the media loves to ridicule. As time went by we found that we were not as far out or as alone out in left field as we thought. In fact, just this weekend we found three members of our Sunday school class were actively involved in some degree of preparedness or another. Counting us, that’s about 50%.

Our first priorities were pretty simple and basic and revolved around being prepared for another hurricane or a similar natural disaster. Food, water, supplies, and fuel for 3 days was our first goal. Later we expanded that to seven days and then fourteen. Reaching those goals were fairly easily accomplished and , with a few exceptions like a generator that took some time save for, fairly quickly achieved as well.

Over the last eight years we became increasingly worried about a different set of disasters. As the national debt soared and the economy slumped the government seemed intent on fanning the flames of division within the US. They also seemed fairly hellbent on taking away the right and the tools required to defend ourselves. Being prepared for financial and societal upheaval became almost as important as being ready for the next hurricane. Making sure we had the firearms and ammunition on hand should become unavailable was a pretty high priority especially as runs on guns and ammo have been pretty much the norm for the last eight years.

Back in November something changed. The expected election result did not happen. The Whitehouse would not be occupied by someone who seemed intent of driving the nation to civil war. Although I was fully expecting some sort of last minute trickery, the inauguration also happened. For a few weeks I have felt that things might be OK; that maybe we could change the trajectory we have been on.

Sadly, I think I was just on a brief, mental vacation.

Hurricanes will still hit the coast. Several more major cities around the nation, including the one I live closest to are heading for bankruptcy. There is no easy or short term fix for the US national debt or the Social Security shortfall. The external threats to the US are not going away anytime soon. Most concerning, the division within the nation is not getting better, if anything it is worsening. As the previous administration marginalized and angered those who hold traditional American values the current administration seems to be doing exactly the same to those who don’t. While physical infrastructure may be built, bridges between the various groups within the US will not. We’re still headed down the same path. The timeline might change a little (one direction or another) but we’re still headed towards a dark time in this country.

That is what I am preparing for.

I don’t claim to know exactly how dark that time will be; Great Depression dark, Civil War dark, Balkan wars dark, Mad Max dark (not sure if that is actually much different), or full on post apocalyptic mutant zombie biker dark.

That’s a bit of a problem when it comes to planning and preparedness.

Without the gift of prophesy, I’ll just have to make some assumptions and plan for those as best I can. Over the next few weeks I plan to spend some time thinking about those assumptions and making plans based on them. My goal is to share that process here. I want to do that for three reasons. First, to get feedback on what I might be missing or if I am way off base on anything. Second, to share what I am doing so that it might help others determine their own set of assumptions and plans.

 

The Irony That is This Day

Today is the feast of St. Valentine who was killed for his faith. He refused to worship the gods of Rome even under penalty of death. He was later made the patron saint of courtly (non-physical) love. To celebrate this day we use the symbol of Cupid (also known as Eros) who was the Roman god of physical desire/lust (the opposite of courtly love) and one of the gods St. Valentine refused to worship…

God bless.

What Did You Prep This Week?

Walk With God

My walk with God is still going pretty well. Daily prayer and Bible study has been consistent and the new Wednesday night class on the Old testament is really great. I am learning quite a bit and many of the questions I have had are being answered.

Self Defense/Hunting

file_000-28I purchased a laser rangefinder. This will mostly be used for hunting but I have used it around the neighborhood and even the house and it was an eye opening experience. I measured several distances where a self-defense shot is likely and some that are possible and I was really surprised that, for the most part, they were all a lot longer than I had thought. There are some angles and distances even within my home that sere closer to the ranges I am comfortable with a rifle than I am with a pistol. Within my neighborhood 100 yards is a lot closer than I had expected. I would have though that distance would mean all the way down the street and to the edge of my subdivision. Instead it is only a couple of house down!

For reasons that I will share later on I went ahead and purchased a die set for reloading .308 Winchester. I also purchased about 80 rounds of quality hunting ammo in this caliber…stay tuned.

 

Dies Ste for .308 Winchester
Die Set for .308 Winchester

 

The Brown Bear 7.62×39 soft-pointed ammo I use for hunting hogs cna be hard to find on occasion so I purchased 100 rounds from an online retailer that had it in stock and was offering free shipping. The ammo is loaded pretty hot and is very accurate out of my AR but I still haven’t been able to test the expansion of these rounds on anything more solid than a sheet of paper. Hopefully, that will change next weekend.

file_000-27

Supplies

Nothing…

Finances

I will be depisiting into my savings and my grand kid’s savings next week but I couldn’t get away to get it done this week.

Other

It may not be something I can document in a post but we have spent a lot of time this week thinking about and discussing our preparedness plans. We are taking a bit to reevaluate and rethink our plans and preps.

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?

God Bless

Re-Thinking The Get Home Bag

For most of the last couple of decades I had a traditional job, working in an office and for most of that time that office was a good thirty miles from my home. If something like 9/11 happened around here there was a good chance I would be facing a really long walk home.

A bigger concern around here is flooding. There have been a couple of instances where I was unable to get home for eight to ten hours after the rains stopped due to high water. Several coworkers have had to spend several days in the office as high water prevented them from leaving or getting home.

I built my Get Home Bag based on these scenarios. A change of clothes, including socks and underwear, good walking shoes, a few tools and assorted necessities along with enough supplies to keep me fed and somewhat hydrated for up to 48 hours.

Now, however, I work mostly from home with the occasional on site visit with a client. On average I leave the house about once a week for on site visits or meetings. I am also travelling a bit more. About once every two months, or so, I am generally on a plane to somewhere.

This has me re-evaluating my Get Home Bag and what goes in it.

Given the relatively little time I spend away from the house should I streamline the stuff I keep in the bag? Do I need it at all anymore?

What are your thoughts?

God Bless

The Facts And Fiction Of Gunfights

First, for those who have learned about guns and gunfights from TV and the movies a couple of things right off the bat:

People hit by bullets from firearms, especially handguns, will not be knocked off their feet and fly across the room, though walls or even windows.

Just because someone is shot in the hand, arm, shoulder or even heart does not mean that they will stop doing whatever they are trying to do (good or bad). They might, but the only way to ensure that they stop is to stop the nerve impulses from getting to the parts of the body (central nervous system) or to drop the blood pressure low enough that they pass out (major blood bearing organs such as the heart, arteries, lungs, etc.)

Gunshots to the extremities may or may not make you stop what you are doing but can still be fatal. Clip the femoral artery, for example, and the bad guy may not stop trying to hurt you but if they don’t get medical care they will be dead in a matter of minutes.

No round commonly chambered in defensive handguns has the power to reliably provide a physical “one shot stop.” In fact a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with buckshot is the closest we can get to such a magic goal.

Now, I am no expert gunfighter. I haven’t shot a human being in self-defense. I have used a firearm to make someone decide to go do harm somewhere else. I have also used other means when I could. Massad Ayoob, on the other hand is somewhat of an expert on such things. So much so that he had made careers as an expert witness, a self-defense firearms trainer and author. When I decided I might need a firearm to defend my life and the lives of others around me it was his books that set me on the right path.

So what does he say on this topic?

Glad you asked.

Just this month he posted an article on this very subject over at The Daily Caller (link) and here are some of his observations on Gun Fight Facts vs. Fiction:

  1. Myth #1: A Good Shoot Is A Good Shoot
  2. Myth #2: Aim For Center-Mass
  3. Myth #3: He Who Shoots First Wins
  4. Myth #4: If You Can’t Do It With…
  5. Myth #5: Your Choice of Gun & Ammo Doesn’t Matter

I encourage everyone to go and read them in detail. Especially, myth numbers three and four…

God Bless

What Did You Prep This Week?

Walk With God

I finally made it back to church this week after three weeks of travel and it was awesome. Even more so as my oldest grandson did something he’s been talking about for a few weeks and he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior. I am so proud of him and happy for him that words cannot express it. On a more personal level I am still doing well on my daily prayer Bible reading. On top of that we started a new Wednesday night Bible study that, at least based on our first class, is going to be incredible. Our new senior pastor who is a former professor at at least one university and two seminaries is leading it. I learned a ton in just our first hour!

Self Defense

I bought 40 rounds each of .30-30 and 7.62×39 for a trip to the range for more rifle practice and some ammunition testing.

Unfortunately, even with the new trigger, I was all over the place with the .30-30 at 100 yards. I was more accurate with the 7.62×39 but still not where I need to be. If I can’t hit a hand sized target (I have small hands) at 100 yards over 99% of the time I don’t feel I am doing well enough to hunt humanely. I am seriously considering the purchase of a bolt-action rifle in .308 Winchester. More power will provide more room for error in hunting and a dialed rifle and scope package take more variables out of the equation and allow me to focus on my shooting instead of worrying about the hardware.

I was also able to test reloaded .30-30 and 7.62×39 rounds. Even after upping the powder charge, it seemed like the 7.62×39 still consistently hit several inches lower than my hunting ammo. It seemed the .30-30 did too but with the way I was shooting that gun I can’t be 100% sure. I am going to do some more research on this. It does appear from what little I have done so far that my hunting ammo of choice is a very hot load and that the Hornady reloading manual I use is very conservative on the powder charges it recommends. I’d like to take a look at another manual for comparison.

Finances

I was a little disappointed in this area. I was hoping to be able to put some money into savings this week. Instead we had to use it to pay for the New York trip. Still not bad, a four day trip for two to New York and we didn’t have to dip into savings to pay for it!

…and no, we weren’t frugal while we were there but we didn’t go crazy either.

Other

Having learned my lesson the hard way I spent a couple of hours going through my EDC bag and the backpack I carry for work to make sure that everything that should be in should be in there is and that I have a good feel for what is in there and where it is. I found a couple things missing so it was well worth the time spent.

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?

God Bless