Know Your Gear/Run What You Train

In one of the most famous stories from the Bible a young shepherd, David, decides to stand up to a monster of a man who was defaming Israel, Israel’s king and (more importantly) the one true God. No one else in the army of Israel was willing to take this man on. David wasn’t even in the army. He was there to bring supplies to his brothers who were.

Young David is confident in his skills and even more confident in the power of God. His brothers, the leaders of the army and the king are not so sure but nevertheless Saul, the king, takes the boy into his tent and equips him with the finest armor and weapons, his own.

Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.
David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

-1 Samuel 17:38-39

As we see, David gave the new (better) gear a quick shakedown but instead of wearing the top line gear the King has he decides to run his shabby gear that he is used to:

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.
Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

-1 Samuel 17:39-40

See, David had trained in his gear. Not against an up-armored giant but against lions and bears that had threatened his father’s sheep. Because he had trained in it he trusted it and he trusted his capabilities while running it.

There are two key lessons here:

    1. Trust in God, despite the odds.
    2. The gear you have and train in is the best gear there is.

Just because some YouTubing, former whatever tells you that if you don’t have the latest and greatest plates made of angels breath and unobtainium your “gonna die in the streets.” Or, that if you don’t have the latest geewhiz gadgets on your rifle you won’t be able to stop the bad guys from taking your goodies from you.

Buy the best you can and spend the money saved to train, train and train some more.

Don’t get me wrong, anytime things get so bad you need to kit up and go to work you have a good chance of getting dead or having your goodies stolen. That’s where is is critical to get right with God and loved ones now…like right now. But, you’ll stand a better chance in decent gear that you’ve trained in until it is like and extension of your own body than the super deluxe stuff that leaves you too broke to train or you can never get around to affording.

Pray up, Stock up, Train up, Team up!

God bless and God save the Republic.

 

Preparing For The Resistance – April 2022

In my post Prepare For The Resistance I outlined how I think patriots should be preparing for the dark days ahead. To reinforce those recommendations I am formatting these posts to match up with them.

Toughen Up

Spiritually:

As a Christian, studying The Word helps strengthen my faith. This month I continued my study of the Gospel of John.

Prayer is another way to strengthen ourselves spiritually. This month I continued my regular, daily prayers and continued to pray for my 50 closest neighbors.

Fellowship with other believers and fellowship with God is a critical component to maintaining spiritual strength. This month I continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Mentally:

The tactical training I do toughens me up in several ways. First, to keep pushing and focusing when exhausted develops a mental toughness. The scenarios we train, whether force on force, hand to hand or small unit tactics such as ambush, helps to create a mental readiness for when/if we encounter such situations in real life.

Physically:

I’ve done a pretty good job with working out and exercising this month. I am almost back to the level of fitness I had pre-COVID/injuries. Hopefully, I can stay healthy and continue to improve.

Be Smarter

I took a one day self-defense class. I spend a lot of time working with firearms and have even had some knife training but I know that hand to hand is an area of weakness. This class helped me improve in this area, a little. I was a somewhat limited on some of the techniques and had to be careful of my hip.

Be More Resilient

Supplies:

I purchased another case of MREs. I primarily use these when I am out in the field training and are not really a part of my long term food storage plan. Still, it is nice to have a few extra on hand, just in case.

Topped off the pantry from the emergency pantry, inventoried it and placed an order to top off what we have used and fill in a few gaps. At this point for most items we are in a good place and can afford to wait for sales and take advantage of them to continue stocking up. However, we are continuing to stock up on long term foods adding more mashed potatoes, rice, beans, flour, sugar and salt.

We are also stocking up on non-food items like cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items. This month we stocked up on deodorant and soap.

I have met my goals for ammo supplies but concern over future availability has me continuing to add to our stocks:
5.56/.223 (80 rounds)

Gear:

Wonderful Wife asked me about coms for the family in an an emergency and I explained that I told them what radios to buy but they had not bought them yet. We bought two more UV-5r radios and two extended life batteries. Once I get them programmed I will show the family how to use them and pass them out.

Purchased two heavy-duty tarps on the preparedness tax-free weekend. I also bought new smoke detectors for the house since they were tax-free as well and ours have all begun to fail.

Finances:

We continued to add money into our retirement accounts and precious metals. I also moved some money out of savings and into precious metals before they topped out and invested a stock dividend into precious metals.

Energy:

I ran the generator for 15-20 minutes to help prevent carburetor issues and make sure it will be good to go if it is ever needed. This is a recurring monthly task.

We took advantage of the tax-free preparedness weekend Texas has and added to our supply of batteries.

***

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

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

 

Struggle Versus Ease…

In our abundance and ease we struggle to find joy, yet they [the apostles] found it in their poverty and affliction.

-Exalting Jesus in John

If our eyes are fixed on Him, our goals are His and we have a relationship with Him then we can’t help but find joy regardless of our circumstances. No matter how scary or difficult our lives become we need to keep focused on what truly matters.

Dear Lord, if it is your will take this cup from us. If not, then give us strength to stand for what is right and just, to stand in Your Holy light and against the darkness.

Amen…

 

 

Preparing For The Resistance – March 2022

In my post Prepare For The Resistance I outlined how I think patriots should be preparing for the dark days ahead. To reinforce those recommendations I am formatting these posts to match up with them. We’ll run that way for a few months and see how it goes.

Toughen Up

I attended a weekend-long Warrior Skills Training class this month and that helped toughen me up in every way; spiritually, mentally and physically. Forty eight hours of drills, training, simulated operations, and education combined with living on only what you can carry was truly a challenge. Add the lack of sleep due to long training days and nights sleeping on the cold ground and this was an experience that toughened me up in every way.

Spiritually:

As a Christian, studying The Word helps strengthen my faith. This month I continued my study of the Gospel of John.

Prayer is another way to strengthen ourselves spiritually. This month I continued my regular, daily prayers and continued to pray for my 50 closest neighbors.

Fellowship with other believers and fellowship with God is a critical component to maintaining spiritual strength. This month I continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Mentally:

See comments above on the Warrior Skills Training but one more addition here. We were using blanks during many of the operations. Which meant that we were aiming our rifles at other human beings, pulling the trigger and producing the same (similar) response as the rifle would make in a real fight (gun goes bang). The same goes for stabbing the torso of a human-like training dummy. All the classroom discussions from all the self-defense classes I have taken over the years about mindset and being “in the fight” took on a whole new level of reality. I hope and pray I never have to use any of this training but the reality check from this weekend will, hopefully, reduce any hesitation I might have when the time comes and help ensure that I have the right mindset at the time.

Physically:

See comments on the Warrior Skills Training I have also been doing OK when it comes to gym time. There is still room for improvement there. My hip seems to be healing and I have more mobility and flexibility than I have in weeks.

Be Smarter

Attended a small unit tactical training class on patrolling, breaking and reacting to contact as well a carbine class focused on weapons manipulation drills.

To top it all off the I was able to attend a weekend long warrior skills training class. We humped all our gear and made camp in the woods. We used that for a base of operations to train for the next 48 hours. Topics trained included night movements and operations, patrols, ambushes, CQB practice sessions, weapons manipulation, camouflage, communications, tripwires for early warning as well as base security operations.

Be More Resilient

Supplies:

Made a bulk purchase of the needles I use to administer one of my medications. I am now set on these for the next several years.

I have met my goals for ammo supplies but concern over future availability has me continuing to add to our stocks:
5.56/.223 (400 rounds)

We have slowed a bit over the last month on adding to our food supply inventory. We have continued stocking up, just at a slower pace. I think it is time to kick that back into high gear.

Purchased a bottle of Permethrin. I plan to use it to treat my outdoor gear to repel critters as the weather warms up.

Gear:

In preparation for the weekend training I purchased several pieces of gear including a headlamp with a red light, a red light penlight, a single person tent, and a large backpack/rucksack.

I am still trying to find a radio headset that works for me in tactical situations. I have tried several in ear head sets but I haven’t found one that is durable and stays in place. A buddy runs a set of Peltor headphones and seems to like the setup so I looked at picking up a set…yeah, not gonna happen anytime soon. I did find a (relatively) cheap set of Chinese knockoffs and purchased them. They probably won’t last but I will be able to see if I can stand wearing a full headset in the south Texas heat and humidity. If so, I can start watching for deals on the good ones.

I picked up 5 additional AR magazines. To complete the load out I plan on carrying I needed a couple more. I could have pulled them from stock but there was a sale on them when buying five or more. So…

I purchased a new phone. With the ongoing supply chain issues and ever increasing prices I decided to go ahead and get one now while they are available rather than wait for my current phone to need replacement and potentially not be able to get one or have to pay a much higher price.

Finances:

We continued to add money into our retirement accounts and precious metals. I also moved some money out of savings and into precious metals just before before they topped out.

Energy:

I ran the generator for 15-20 minutes to help prevent carburetor issues and make sure it will be good to go if it is ever needed. This is a recurring monthly task.

Purchased two additional 5 gallon gas cans, filled them and added stabilizer. I also topped off the generator after running it and now I have another small can to fill.

***

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

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

 

Preparing For The Resistance – February 2022

I am changing up the format of this series just a little bit. In my post Prepare For The Resistance I outlined how I think patriots should be preparing for the dark days ahead. To reinforce those recommendations I am formatting these posts to match up with them. We’ll run that way for a few months and see how it goes.

Toughen Up

Spiritually:

As a Christian, studying The Word helps strengthen my faith. This month I continued my study of the Gospel of John.

Prayer is another way to strengthen ourselves spiritually. This month I continued my regular, daily prayers and continued to pray for my 50 closest neighbors.

Fellowship with other believers and fellowship with God is a critical component to maintaining spiritual strength. This month I continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Mentally:

Still looking for ways to toughen up mentally.

Physically:

Total failure in this area. I am doing physical therapy for my shoulder and that’s about it due to work and travel schedules.

Be Smarter

Started checking out MMA/self-defense gyms and sat in on a class. I won’t make a decision or join until my travel schedule slows down.

Did some live fire and move to contact drills.

Be More Resilient

Supplies:

We finally completed the reorganization of our emergency pantry to accommodate the increased storage capacity. Based on that we placed orders to begin filling the space. Stocking up on as much food as practical. As part of this we vacuum sealed a number of containers of pasta and put into bins for easier storage over a longer period of time.

We stocked up on some medical supplies including rolled gauze, generic Dramamine and two more CAT Gen 7 tourniquets.

Of course, we stocked up on ammo as well:
5.56/.223 (40 rounds)
9mm (200 rounds)
.22 Long Rifle (300 Rounds)

Gear:

I purchased a tough, low tech watch. I normally wear an Apple watch but there may be times, especially in a collapse, where I may not want to wear (trackable) smart technology on my person. In some cases when hiking or doing other things I would like a tougher watch on my wrist instead of the (far more) expensive and breakable apple offering. This little Timex is pretty tough and was pretty inexpensive.

We bought a hand operated pump (safe for fuel use) and a drill operated pump (not safe for fuel use). We also started topping up gear and supplies for our emergency kits (sill-cock keys, water filters, collapsible water containers, storm proof matches, etc).

Finances:

We continued to add money into our retirement and investment accounts. We have decided to stop purchasing Crypto at this time. Instead, we will put the money (plus a little more) into precious metals instead. Overall, this slightly reduces the amount we are putting into our investment accounts and increases the percentage in precious metals. A good return from the investments is critical if we want to retire and live in the manner we would like. Precious metals is for wealth preservation and does not provide that return however it should be the safer choice and will preserve wealth even if inflation continues to be a problem and it is a hedge against a market collapse.

I took the dividends from one of our stock accounts and invested that into precious metals as well.

Energy:

Nothing this month.

***

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

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

 

First Hundred Things That Go In A Collapse (Part 10)

I have referenced this list before, the first hundred things that disappear in a collapse. It was originally created based on the feedback from survivors of the Bosnian war with special attention from the experiences of those who lived through the siege of Sarajevo. The list has been updated (to some degree) to reflect the slightly different world we live in these days and a slightly different culture/economy.

I few weeks ago Wonderful Wife and I reviewed the list together. We did our best to determine what items did, or did not, apply to us. For the items that did apply we tried to determine how well we had that item covered. For the items where we determined there was a gap we put together at least a rough plan for filling the gap.

I thought it might be useful to some of you to share our thoughts on the items, our gaps and our plans. I also thought it might be useful to share these things because many of you might have better ideas than we did. So, feedback is not only encouraged but would be much appreciated.

Here are the next ten items on the list:

91. Teas
I buy tea on a regular basis and vacuum seal it for longer storage life. We have quite a bit stocked away mostly larger tea bags for iced tea. I think I may start stocking up on smaller tea bags for hot tea as well.

92. Coffee
We are not coffee drinkers although I do keep some coffee on hand for guests. With that said, I think stocking some for bad times is a good idea. When times get tough a cup of coffee might be a needed pick me up. It would also be a good barter item. Whole beans would store better but a coffee grinder would be an extra expense so we’ll go with ground coffee in vacuum sealed containers.

93. Cigarettes
No one in the family smokes anymore so we don’t need them. Many recommend them for barter but (in my opinion) they don’t last long enough to stock them for that purpose.

94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc.)
I don’t know if wine would be a great choice for this. Wine can be stored, under optimal conditions, for a really long time. Should we need it for bartering I doubt it would optimal conditions. We would focus on hard liquors like whiskey and particularly vodka or even things like Everclear. Clear, high-alcohol, unflavored distilled spirits are better for use as medicinals, to sterilize things and still can be used for barter or consumption.

95. Paraffin wax
Someone help me out on this one. We don’t stock or use paraffin wax and I am not sure what we would use use it for.

96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
Yep, this is a good idea. We have quite a collection already but need to stock up on more.

97. Chewing gum/candies
I think hard candies are a good idea. Many types of candies are damaged by high or low temperatures or go bad easily. Hard candies last a really long time and are more stable in storage. Trust me, I have eaten any number of mints from the bottom of my grandmother’s purse when growing up. Peppermint candies also have the benefit of helping to settle an upset stomach.

98. Air guns and bb’s/pellets/CO2 cartridges
We have a few airguns for training purposes and some CO2 cartridges and BBs for them. Outside of training purposes I don’t see any real value for in them in a collapse. On the other hand I also have an air rifle that packs a pretty hefty punch. It could be used for hunting small game. While I would not rely on if for self defense, I would definitely not want to be on the receiving end of this rifle.

99. Hats and cotton neckerchiefs
Hahaha! Like flashlights, I seem to collect hats and caps to a ridiculous degree. I also use bandanas regularly as a head wrap (bald and sweaty) and handkerchief so I have a stack of them as well. I ordered several more in camo for use when attending tactical training classes.

100. Goats/chickens
My homeowner’s association would definitely not be OK with either one of them. With that said I would love to be able to move somewhere that I could keep one or the other or even both.

Well that’s the list please make suggestions and provide your thoughts on these items.

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

Sunday Scripture: Mark 9:35

Three crosses on a hill

Verse:

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

-Mark 9:35

Personal Meaning:

We are called to love and serve one another. This is what Jesus taught, what He lived and why He died. He lived to share the Good news and to bring people to God. He suffered and died as a willing and perfect sacrifice for our sins. He paid the price we should have paid for sinning against God so we could be reconciled to Him. We are to love and serve those around us  just as He loved and served us. We are called to follow in His footsteps. Although most are not, some are even called to be martyrs. This is how the world is to know Christ’s followers, by their love for and service to others.

Prayer:

Lord, help me to see the world with Your eyes and have Your heart for those around me. Help me to love and serve others as You did. Amen

Today I am Thankful For:

That we are healing and recovering from COVID.

***

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

Welcome to the Resistance.

 

Preparing For The Resistance – January 2022

Reminder: I have changed up the format of this series just a little bit. In my post Prepare For The Resistance I outlined how I think patriots should be preparing for the dark days ahead. To reinforce those recommendations I am formatting these posts to match up with them. We’ll run that way for a few months and see how it goes.

Toughen Up

Spiritually:

As a Christian, studying The Word helps strengthen my faith. This month I continued my study of the Gospel of John.

Prayer is another way to strengthen ourselves spiritually. This month I continued my regular, daily prayers and continued to pray for my 50 closest neighbors.

Fellowship with other believers and fellowship with God is a critical component to maintaining spiritual strength. This month I continued teaching Sunday School and attending church.

Mentally:

Still looking to you guys for some suggestions here.

Physically:

For a variety of reasons I have not been as attentive to this area of preparation as I should have been. I really need to get back in the swing of things.

Be Smarter

I received my GMRS license and have been working with the radio to learn more about communications.

I missed one tactical training class this month but I did attend a class on Searching and Clearing. I took this particular class previously but this type of training is rarely a “one and done” kind of thing. The more times you take the class and the more practice you get the better you get.

Be More Resilient

Supplies:

We continued stocking up on food. We are planning to stack food “to the rafters” over the few months. In order to extend our canned food storage capacity I purchased another shelving unit and cleared a space for it and I am in the process of redistributing and organizing it all.

I purchased the components and put together another trauma kit. I realized that I didn’t have one for my range bag. Now I do.

We stocked up on additional batteries. Every January I replace the batteries in my smoke detectors as well as in the optics and lights mounted on self-defense firearms so we purchased those and swapped them. We also added another 100 count of AA and AAA batteries to our supply.

Other things we stocked up on this month include: water purification tabs (100), razor blades (100), OTC medicines (sinus, anti-diarrhea and heartburn), Duck Tape, Vacuum sealer bags, soap, yeast, can openers, lighters, clothes pins and sewing kits. Many of these items are based on the “First hundred things to disappear in a collapse” posts.

Of course, we stocked up on ammo as well:

9mm (200 rounds)

5.56 (1080 Rounds)

.22 Long Rifle (200 Rounds)

I also did an inventory of the ammo on hand to make sure we were at our targeted stock levels.

Gear:

We purchased another, larger Sawyer water filter setup. Wonderful Wife and I decided that multiple, smaller filtration solutions were preferable to a single, larger solution. It will be more work to filter larger quantities of water, if need be, but we won’t be reliant on a single system and point of failure.

I completed the AR pistol build and added needed accessories (light and backup iron sights. I reused an optic and a single point sling I purchased previously. I also purchased an M&P 15-22 for a lower cost training option.

Added three 35 round Magpul magazines for the CZ Scorpion and five more training magazines for the AR.

Finances:

We continued to add money into our retirement and investment accounts including stocks and cryptocurrency. We also added a few more ounces of silver to our reserves. Reinvested a dividend from out investment account back into the same fund.

Energy:

Nothing to add here.

***

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

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

 

Sunday Scripture: Philippians 2:14-16

Three crosses on a hill

Verse:

Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, by holding firm to the word of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing.

-Philippians 2:14-16

Personal Meaning:

It took a long time for me to understand the concept of wanting to do something out of love versus doing it out of obligation. I finally got it and it was love for Christ that taught it to me. We do not get to heaven or earn “God points” redeemable for heavenly prizes for doing God’s will. We do God’s will because we are redeemed and going to heaven. We do it because we love Him and try to do what he says out of that love. We even have a helper in the Holy Spirit who dwells within us and is working to help us see what we should be doing and want to do those things. We are being transformed from the inside out to be willing and joyful in following Christ instead of grumbling and arguing.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, please continue to work within me to transform me, to help me live a Christlike life, not out of obligation but out of love. Help me to see the world through Your eyes and love it with Your heart. Amen

Today I am Thankful For:

A am very thankful for the changes to my spirit and soul that allow be to serve You and others joyfully and willingly instead of grudgingly and out of obligation.

***

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

Welcome to the Resistance.