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.

 

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.

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.

 

First Hundred Things That Go In A Collapse (Part 9)

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:

81. Plastic sheeting for insulating windows and shelter creation
Plastic sheeting is good for more than insulating windows and creating a shelter. I keep a good bit around because we live in (or at least on the edge of) Hurricane Alley. Hurricanes and tornadoes have a tendency to drop trees into unwelcome places including houses. They also tend to blowout windows. Plastic sheeting is particularly useful for protecting the homes when damaged by winds or debris.

82. Food storage products such as freeze dried food/buckets/pouches
We are pretty good here and looking to increase it even more.

83. Walkie-Talkies/ham radios/CB radio
We have a pretty good supply of walkies (one per person), a few ham radios, and a GMRS radio. No CB radio (yet). I am constantly encouraging my kids to pick up their own radios but so far that has been largely ineffective.

84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
We have stocked up recently on all of these and we keep pretty well well stock in general.

85. Lumber (all types)
I wish we had the space and money to stock up a bunch of lumber. I have a tiny but around the garage but that’s it. Thoughts on what should be a priority?

86. Wagons and carts (for transport to and from open Flea markets)
We have a couple of collapsible wagons and a wheelbarrow. The only think I can think of that would be better is a small cart that can be pulled behind a bicycle.

87. Cots and Inflatable Mattresses (for extra guests)
Yup, we have extended family stay with us regularly so we have such things on hand.

88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
HAHAHA! I was inventorying our supplies this week. We have a tub full of these kinds of gloves. I guess I over-purchased after the flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

89. Solar panel kits – small for charging batteries and devices
I have added this to the shopping list. I have been thinking about such as solution for a while now.

90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws, nuts, and bolts
We don’t have screen patches but we have a pretty good supply of the other items and will be adding to it.

 

We will continue to work through the remainder of the list in future posts but as I mentioned above 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.

First Hundred Things That Go In A Collapse (Part 8)

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:

71. Baby Wipes, oils, waterless and Anti-bacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
We discussed baby wipes when talking about toilet paper. I keep a supply of both. The baby wipes take up far less space and are a good supplement to toilet paper. Basically, all the soap we buy is anti-bacterial and we have a decent supply on hand.Water-less soap I haven’t seen unless the mean hand sanitizer in which case we are pretty well stocked as well. We may have some baby oil around but we really don’t use it. What’s it for in relation to survival and preparedness? Ideas?

72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, emergency rain poncho’s, etc.
For boots and emergency poncho’s we are in good shape. Good rain gear is a gap though. I have workable rain gear but it is not as durable as I would like and need something really sturdy. I have been looking but I am not sure what to get so I would welcome suggestions.

73. Shaving supplies (razors and creams, talc, after shave)
All good and stocked up

74. Hand pumps and siphons (for water and for fuels)
Definitely a gap for us. Add this to the checklist.

75. Soy sauce, vinegar, bouillons/gravy/soup base
We are doing well here as well. These will go a long way, along with spices, to help provide some flavor and variety to our diet.

76. Reading glasses
I have one pair. Should stock up and add a few extras to the shopping list.

77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
I have been meaning to add Tang to our supply. Right now it is heavy on powdered Gatorade since replacing electrolytes will be important during the nine months of summer down here. A lot of folks warn to avoid the sugar and salt in things like this. I don’t agree. In a collapse calories will be a good thing and in the heat of the south replacing salt lost in perspiration will be too.

78. Rain barrel kits(valve assembly)
This is a big gap for us although we do have a large water source in the backyard and one I am looking to fix. Soon.

79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
I am looking to add some wool “emergency” blankets to our supplies. Scarves are also a good idea but cold weather is not quite the issue it is for us than for other parts of the country. Today (mid-January) it’s pretty chilly for us…about 50 degrees.

80. US Army Survival Manual FM 21-76
I have a number of survival and preparedness manuals in electronic and physical formats. I do not have this one or the newer one (FM 3-05.70) but I just ordered both and will add them to the reading list.

 

We will continue to work through the remainder of the list in future posts but as I mentioned above 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.

First Hundred Things That Go In A Collapse (Part 7)

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:

61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
A few things to keep in mind about bleach…
Liquid bleach has a fairly short shelf-life and begins to lose potency in as little as six months and can lose up to 20% of it’s usefulness as a sanitizer per year afterwards. Powdered leach is much more concentrated and has an almost infinite shelf life. It’s also much cheaper (per use) than liquid bleach.
Bleach is extremely destructive should it leak. We had a pinhole leak in a gallon jug of bleach that ruined a stainless steel shelving unit, the wall, and several cases of paper towels. Had we not replaced the wooden floors in that area of the house with ceramic tile it would have ruined that was well. Be careful how and where you store it and inspect for leaks and damage regularly. Powdered bleach is much stronger than liquid and even the fumes can damage items in the vicinity.
Here are a couple good links on the use and storage of bleach:
5 Things To Know About Bleach Storage
DIY Bleach That’s Safe To Use At Home
Bleach is also very dangerous when combined with other household chemicals such as ammonia, acidic cleaners or alcohol which results in the creation chloramine gas, chlorine gas and chloroform which can all result all of which can be deadly (link).
With that said we are well stocked on bleach.

62. Canning supplies (Jars/lids/wax)
Definitely useful, as long as you know how to use them and have everything else you need to make use of them including foods to be canned. Something we have on our skills list for 2022 but do not currently have.

63. Knives and Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
While I am horrible at sharpening knives I do have plenty of knives and sharpening solutions. Practice makes perfect and I need a lot more practice on that particular skill.

64. Bicycles…Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc.
We have bicycles. It is not a bad idea to grab some extra tires, tubes, etc. Going on the list.

65. Sleeping bags and blankets/pillows/mats
We have a few and as we find them on sale or have additional need we may add to our stores.

66. Saline solution for contacts
We don’t wear contacts but it’s a good thought.

67. Board Games Cards, Dice, cards
We keep a stash in the “Hurricane Box” for those quiet times after the storm when the power is out plus we have what we use for family game nights.

68. d-Con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
Yup, have it covered. We have a steady supply of unwanted guests coming out of the woods during cold weather…

69. Mousetraps, Ant traps and cockroach magnets
See above, we’re covered here although a few extra mousetraps may not be a bad idea. They might even be useful to discourage raccoons from raiding the trash.

70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks…)
We use them and stock them. Who wants to wash dishes when the power is out, when a hurricane is threatening or when the flood waters are rising/falling.

We will continue to work through the remainder of the list in future posts but as I mentioned above 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.

Questioning Crypto As An Investment

Our primary investment vehicle has remained a diversified set of stocks and various funds. I recognize and understand the inherent risks of ‘the market” but to be honest we will never reach our retirement goals without the level of return we have been getting from these  investments. Precious metals has been our secondary investment vehicle as a way to hedge against a possible (probable) market collapse. We also keep a reserve of cash available for emergencies although we are starting to shrink that down due to the current inflation rate and low interest rates.

Last year in April I posted that we were starting to test the waters of investing in cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin (link). Since then we have continued to make (small) investments and built a tracking spreadsheet to help me to track and understand the performance of that investment. Two things happened this week that have me second guessing our crypto investments.

First moves, really rumored moves, by the US government cast a bit of a shadow on this as an investment option but then the chaos in Kazakhstan popped up. Immediately, the government there shut down Internet and cell services for much of the country. This did affect some operation and mining activities but, drove the price down 30% and more importantly, it worried me about what would happen if we lost access to our accounts and were unable to use them.

Sure, such activities in the US would affect access to my stock and bank accounts but not to the same degree as they would crypto. With any other accounts even if the Internet is down I can still manage or withdraw our  my money using the (landline) phone or even physically going into the office. Not so much with crypto, anything there would be essentially gone for the duration. Sure I can keep it in a local wallet BUT it would still be useless without the ability to transfer funds to other people in exchange for what we need or to “cash out.”

None of these concerns are new. They are the same concerns that kept me out of the crypto game for a long time but these two events did make me more hesitant. I think that this experiment is about to end for us.

I will keep what we have there and, to be honest, I even dropped another $100 into bitcoin this week since the prices were so low.

None of this is or should be taken as financial advice. I am no wizard with money or I would be retired to a nice compound somewhere living off the grid with my family and loved ones with me. I am just sharing my thoughts and concerns. Anyone with other/better ideas please feel free to share in the comments below.

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

 

First Hundred Things That Go In A Collapse (Part 6)

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:

51. Fishing supplies/tools
This is a great suggestion, if you live near a body of water with enough fish to make it worthwhile. Which I do.
However…
Fishing to survive and feed your family is very different from recreational fishing (at least in the US). In a collapse, towing your $50,000 bass boat to the lake and blasting across the lake to your favorite honey hole to pull in a couple of fish (even good sized fish) is not a very efficient use of resources. You are burning a lot of fuel towing the boat and running it around the lake. You are probably going to attract a lot of unwanted attention. Casting around a lake or even dunking minnows or worms is not a very efficient way to catch dinner. Instead think about nets. Cast nets or gill nets which may not be legal pre-collapse are far more efficient ways to add fish to the menu in sufficient quantities. You will have to have them, know how to use them and how to repair them. Jug fishing or “trot” lines are also much more efficient ways of catching your food supply. Again, legalities may vary pre-collapse. Instead of a high profile motorboat, think about a canoe or kayak instead. Operational security is a key here. If someone finds your gear, lines or boat you may not have them for very long.

52. Mosquito repellent
Living along the Gulf Coast, I think I think I have an entire bin of various anti-mosquito defenses but don’t limit yourself to what you can buy. Look at what you can grow on your own as well. There are a number of plants that help repel those nasty little bloodsuckers including citronella. Some are herbs that would be nice to have on hand for other reasons as well (link). In addition to repellents, practice good mosquito control practices including getting rid of standing water near your property (link).
Keep in mind that pre-collapse mosquitos can be an annoyance but post-collapse they become a serious health risk. I have been told that mosquito-born illness kills more people in some parts of the world than anything else.

53. Duct tape
Can you ever really have enough of “duck” tape? It is probably the most versatile item in your toolkit. I have used it for everything from temporary car repairs to wrapping presents and making wallets. In one case, I even used it as part of a makeshift bandage, along with a stack of unused fast food napkins, on a knife wound. Get a bunch. I just ordered several extra rolls.

54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
Living in Hurricane Alley (at at least right next to it) blue tarps are a mandatory item to keep on hand. I will grab a few extra before hurricane season start and grab some of the other items listed here as well. I have some but would like more.

55. Candles
We have a selection of these on hand, mostly of the scented or decorative varieties. But we need to add more. To combine this with #52 a bunch will be citronella candles.

56. Laundry detergent (Liquid)
Since COVID we have kept a pretty good supply on hand and will continue to stock up.

57. Backpacks and Duffle bags
Oh Lord, if Wonderful Wife sees me buy another backpack or bag I may have to live out of it. I buy way too many of these and have over a dozen on hand.

58. Garden tools and supplies – manual
This is another area where just having the tools on hand is not enough. You need seeds. You need properly prepared soil. You need to be able to provide water to the plants should it be needed. You need to know what grows well in your environment and when to plant each crop you want to grow. Once you plant your garden it will take several months or week to yield food. The bottom line is that you should gardening now in order to be ready.

59. Scissors, fabrics and sewing supplies
This is an area that falls more in line with Wonderful Wife’s are of expertise and she has quite a bit for sewing and knitting but I think it would be good to add a few small sewing kits to the inventory to have just in case.

60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
This is part of our routine food preps. We make sure we have plenty of what we normally eat on hand. I will say I am probably a little light on the fruit side of things so we will start building those supplies up a little.

 

We will continue to work through the remainder of the list in future posts but as I mentioned above 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.