The Freeze Dried Pantry: Part 1 (Why)

Several months back I was listening to a prepping podcast on the way home from a meeting with a customer and the person being interviewed mentioned Thrive Life  freeze dried foods and how good they were. The whole topic was done in a few seconds and they went on to the main topic of the show which had nothing to do with food storage. I actually don’t remember the main topic but her quick “elevator pitch” stuck with me and I eventually looked up the information for her web site and started doing some research.

Note: There are several food programs and supplement makers out there using Thrive in their name and marketing. It can cause a lot of confusion.

Now when I think of freeze dried foods I think of the brands like Mountain House or Wise, pre-made meals that you re-hydrate with hot water. I have tried them and, to be honest, I am not that fond of a few of them and downright detest most of them. Nevertheless they are light and easy to pack in a bug out bag or get home bag. They last a long time and are easy to prepare, filling and fairly nutritious in an emergency or when hiking. They would not be anywhere near the top of the list of things I prefer to eat.

Thrive is a bit different. Although they do offer some pre-made meals, most of what they sell are ingredients that can be purchased and used just like regular items from the grocery store; diced carrots, sliced onions, mushrooms, chopped chicken, etc. You can use these ingredients in place of fresh or canned in whatever recipes you and your family enjoy and they last a long, long time.

Thrive Carrots

The Thrive web site suggests using Thrive products because they are Convenient, Healthy, Cost Efficient, Tasty, Long Lasting, High Quality and Versatile. This messaging really resonated with Wonderful Wife and I. It’s just the two of us and Wonderful Wife works late…a lot. Because we never know when she will be working late or home on time it is hard to plan for dinner. We end up wasting a lot of food that does not getting cooked. It also meant we would frequently default to fast food  since it was cheap and easy to grab whenever she came home and didn’t require planning ahead. I, on the other hand, work from home and the idea of quick, easy lunches that were tasty and nutritious was appealing. It seemed like it would be much easier than the pre-planning, cooking and freezing of meals for my lunch.

Many of the food products they offer have shelf-lives of 25 years. Even once opened most will last 6-12 months. So this looked like a good supplement for the canned goods we stock in our “emergency pantry.”

With all the additives and crazy stuff in most of the mainstream foods we buy and eat the idea of natural, preservative free, non-GMO, organic foods was also a factor in deciding to try this stuff out. I mean seriously, corn that produces it’s own herbicide to kill weeds doesn’t really sound like such a great idea to me, maybe I’m wrong. With that said, I have seen first hand the effects the hormones pumped into chickens and cows have had on pre-teen girls. No telling what they do to young boys!

Anyway, that’s why we decided to give this stuff a try. In the next post I will talk about how it tastes and how well it works in various recipes.

God bless.

Smith & Wesson Releases The New Model 360

The firearms blogs like TFB, American Rifleman and Guns.com are all announcing that Smith & Wesson has released the “new” model 360 today. I don’t know about the new part, I can recall other model 360s in the lineup for sometime (I even own one in .38 Special, see link) so maybe it would be more accurate to say that Smith & Wesson has released a new variation of the 360.

Anyway, here is the “new” Model 360:

Smith & Wesson Model 360

It is a scandium alloy framed J-Frame chambered in .357 Magnum (basically the same frame as the 340 PD). The cylinder is stainless steel but not fluted. The extra material in the cylinder combined with the larger “combat” grips means the 360 weighs in about 1.1 ounces heavier than the 340. Not a huge difference and it is still about three ounces lighter than the Ruger LCR when chambered in .357 Magnum.

Besides the baby poop FDE combat grips the 360 also features a red ramp front sight that (like the 340) is pinned so it can be replaced and upgraded.

The MSRP is $770 which is around $100 more than the Ruger LCR.

God Bless

What Did You Prep This Week?

This was a rough week. Work is crazy, busy (we’re a man short) and we had a few family issues that we needed to focus on this week so even though we didn’t accomplish as much as I would have liked, I am happy with what we were able to accomplish.

Walk With God

We finally made it back to Sunday school this week and we went to church. Prayer time and Bibles study was not as consistent as I would have like this week but it was at least as good as last week and better than weeks past.

Self Defense/Hunting

I purchased a new revolver along with quite a bit of ammo and two holsters. The holsters and ammo is all usable with the other snub-nosed revolvers I own.

Supplies/Gear

Nothing this week.

Finances

We put money into savings, and we are within a month or two of reaching our savings goals as long as we can maintain this pace.

The precious metals I purchased with credit cards points arrived and I put it into safe storage.


Fitness/Health

Didn’t do very well on diet or exercise this week.

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

God Bless

.38 or .357 Out Of A Snub Nosed Revolver?

So there is a lot of “info” floating around out there about the effectiveness of .357 Magnum rounds out of a snub-nosed revolver. Conventional wisdom (at least what I have heard) is that, due to the short barrel length, there is no advantage of .357 Magnum over .38 Special out of a snubbie. This guy puts that to the test in his video and the results surprised me:

As you can see there is a good bit of difference in performance and the hollow points he tested did, in fact expand. Now as to the extra recoil and muzzle blast, I’ll have to get my new Hand Cannon out to the range and check that out for myself.

God bless.

Hand Cannon

Yes Honey, I know we are trying to save money.

Yes Honey, I know I have a lot of revolvers already.

But Honey…But…

To be honest that was how the conversation went in my head. The actual conversation was more like, “Hey babe, I know we are trying to save some money but I saw a great deal on a revolver. I think it would be a good investment since I could flip it pretty quickly for a couple of hundred buck profit but if we hang on to it for a while it will probably be worth even more.”

You see, I am truly a blessed man and my greatest blessing is Wonderful Wife. I don’t know if I would qualify this purchase as a blessing but I did get something I have been wanting for quite a while, for a good price.

Weighing in at less than 14 ounces but chambered in .357 Magnum the Smith & Wesson M&P 340 is could easily be classified as a hand cannon. I can only imagine the recoil of full bore .357 Magnum loads out of such a lightweight gun. When I asked the young man who sold it to me if he had launched .357 loads out of this little beast he said “twice, not two times, twice.”

I can’t wait to give it a try.

I have been wanting a .357 J-Frame for several months but they are not particularly easy to find and when they can be found are usually pretty pricey. Nevertheless I kept an eye on some of the gun forums and my patience has finally been rewarded.

So, what all did I get?

A pelican case…

Filled with ammo (250 rounds of Speer Gold Dot and 100 rounds of practice ammo), two holsters…

And one very lightly used revolver equipped with a Trijicon front sight and Crimson Trace laser grips. All in my favorite finish for a modern handgun, basic black. Purchased new this would have probably cost me at least $1200 while I paid about half that.

This is a pretty busy week for me work-wise but I am hoping to strip it down and give it a thorough cleaning and inspection and make it to the range within the next week or so. Expect a range report as soon as I can make that happen.

Take care and God Bless!

What Did You Prep This Week?

Walk With God

I did a little better in my walk with God this week. We made it back to church for the first time in several weeks. The funeral and some weekends out of town kept is from attending. It felt good and seemed to get the week started on the right foot. Unfortunately Wonderful Wife wasn’t able to go. An emergency happened at her work and she had to go in and deal with it.

Starting Tuesday I was finally able to get back into my routine of spending an hour each morning praying and studying the Bible. It feels good to be back on the right path.

Self Defense/Hunting

Instead of buying ammunition this week I purchased reloading supplies. I bought the dies for reloading .308 Winchester when I purchased the Ruger American Predator but I didn’t have powder or bullets so I picked some up last weekend. I also bought another 100 CCI large rifle primers to make sure I have plenty of those on hand once I start working up a test load. I also picked up a shell holder for .308 so I have one dedicated to that caliber.

I picked up some “snap caps” for .38 Special and 9mm. I already had a pack for .38 Special that I use when doing any dry-fire practice with the revolvers. The extra pack will allow me to practice reloads as well. I don’t dry-fire with my semi-autos as often as I should but having some inert rounds to practice with will help motivate me…

After much searching I also purchased a new optic for my home defense AR. After looking at the Vortex Strike Eagle and an older generation of the Primary Arms 1×6 I finally purchased a third generation version of that optic. I have the 7.62×39 version of this optic and I have been very pleased with it. I will do a full review in the future. I really like the Aero Precision ultra-light mounts and I picked one up to use with this optic as well.

Supplies/Gear

I filled up our extra gas cans so we would have fuel on hand for an emergency.

Finances

We use credit cards regularly (although we are sure to pay them in full every month) and one of the benefits is that we get around 10% cash back. Each quarter I try and go in a pull the money and add it to our savings. This quarter’s cash back was invested into precious metals instead. It’s not much but every little bit adds up. We also put a little money in savings from Wonderful Wife’s paycheck.

Fitness/Health

This is another area where things are looking up (finally). I was able to stretch four days this week which has really helped my back and neck. I also managed to exercise three days this week. which helps keep the pain in my shoulder and elbow under control.

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

God Bless