5 Key Foods for Long Term Food Storages

There are 5 key foods that should be part of every long-term food storage plan.

  1. Wheat — Properly stored, wheat has the best long-term storage potential for common foods.  Hard Red Wheat berries have a 30+ storage life.  Be store to store the pre-ground wheat, which are called wheat berries.  Once ground into flour, it last only about one year.  Soft red wheat berries stores up to 20 years.   The white soft and hard wheat berries stores for 10 or less years.  For your critical long-term preps, stick with hard red wheat.   Be sure to have a wheat grind on hand, so that may flour from the stored wheat berries.  If you allergic to wheat, consider oats or quinoa instead.
  2. Salt — This is not so much a food, but rather an essential mineral needed by your body.  If kept dry and sealed, salt has an endless storage life.   I store two types of salt.  Pure salt, or often called canning salt, has no iodine.  I reserve the canning salt for food preservation.  Before refrigeration, meat, fish and cheese were storable due to salt preservation.   And I store several pounds of salt with iodine added for cooking and table usage.  Salt is an item that is often overlooked in food storage.  Yet is has so many usage and is vital to good health.  Both too much and too little salt is bad for your health.
  3. Sugar (or honey) — Pure white sugar and honey, if properly stored, never expires.  Keep sugar in a sealed container, and it never goes bad.   For more preps, I store Domino’s sugar that is already pre-sealed in 4 pound plastic canisters.    Honey is best stored in glass jars in a cool, dark place.  If honey crystallizes over time, just warm it a bit to become fluid again.  Honey has a lot of micro-nutrients, and is my preferred way to store sugar for the long-term.  Occasionally, my local drug store, CVS, has the Dominos 4 pound canisters on sale or I might buy with CVS extra-bucks.
  4. Rice — White rice, if sealed in cans with oxygen absorbers, can have a 20 year storage life.  Brown rice has a storage life of around 5 years.  White rice is simply brown rice with the husk removed.  Brown rice has more flavor and more nutrition.  But white rice stores longer, since the husk of brown rice has small amounts of oil within that go bad much quicker.  What I like about storing rice is the amount of dense calories it provides.   Rice is easier to prepare versus grinding wheat berries.  A cups of white rice plus of vegetables from your garden makes a filling meal.  Many people don’t realize the rice has some protein.  Rice combined with beans provides all the protein your body needs.
  5. Powdered milk — If you have children, this is a key food to store.  Regular powdered milk has a shelf life of 2 years.  If packed in meal cans by a reliable vendor, powdered milk can be stored for 5 or more years.   Fat free powdered milk stores a bit long.  Most baking recipes call for milk, of which powdered milk is an adequate substitute.  My favorite powdered milk for long-term storage is Future Essentials Canned Powdered Homestyle Creamery Milk Substitute and Honeyville’s powdered milk. 

These are the 5 basic long-term foods that should be the beginning of your long-term food storage plan.

A couple honorable mentions are dried beans, TVP (textured vegetable protein typically made from soy beans), dried pasta, freeze-dried meats, dehydrated vegetables, dehydrated fruits.

The truly best long-term food plan is your own garden.

With Summer harvests coming in, now is the time to start home canning.  The canning season is upon us.  I’m a big gruff city boy who learned how to do home canning.  My blueberry jam is fabulous.  If I can learn, anyone can learn to do home canning.

In good times and bad, many your family always have enough to eat.

Posted in Sustenance (Food and Water) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Personal SHTF Series: Major Illness or Death in Your Family – A Realistic Survival Event

Nothing is more stressful than a major illness or death in your immediate family.  This is the ultimate SHTF situation.  Whether its your spouse (or partner), a child, a sibling, a parent, or even yourself, nothing can be more gut wrenching.  And yet, we all must face this type of event several times during our lifetimes.  If we live long enough, we will bury parents, siblings, friends, and more.  A severe illness or death of a close family member cannot only take consume you with grief, but could also consume your financial and spiritual health.  While we should all morn, grieve, and feel sorrow for the loss, life goes on and you mustn’t let the situation destroy you.  It is the duty of the living to keep on living.  Your loved one would want you to continue with a happy and fulfilling life.   Preparing for the inevitable is wise.   If others reply upon your hard work to provide for home and hearth, then you have a duty to protect your family from the possibility of your early demise.

How do you prepare for this?  Here are some ideas and recommendations.

  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.   For goodness sake, your body is a temple.  I grieve everyday when I see people carrying around 50 lbs too much weight.  Or use tobacco products. Or addicted to drugs.   Or abuse your body in any way.  Life is too short already, why knowingly shorten it further? Why steal precious time from your family?  Smoking cigarettes may result in missing your grandchildren’s weddings. First rule of survival peppers is simply to live!  So then the recommendation is straight forward and well-known already.  Eat quality foods.  Avoid sugar and salt in your diet.  Moderate exercise. Moderate alcohol.  No tobacco. Build happy relationships with family and friends. Hard work is essential for men’s longevity.  Many studies have demonstrated that the longer a man works, the longer his body will sustain.   My personal belief, of which you should form your own opinion, is a man’s duty is to produce and defend his family.  And as a grandfather, this does not end, as your duty shifts to being a good role model and teacher.
  2. Always have health insurance.  Work a 2nd job is you must, but never be without health insurance. Many, too many bankruptcies are caused by financial burden of a major illness.
  3. Until you children are finished with college, until you fully fund your retirement, and until all your debts are paid, you should carry life insurance.  It is your duty to your spouse and children.  And if you can afford it, consider acquiring long-term disability insurance.  No one plans for their time of death. But you can plan to protect that lifestyle of your family.  Life insurance should be obtained for both parents, including a homemaker.  The value that a homemaker provides to their family, apart from their immeasurable love, is financially valuable.   Just try to put a price on all the roles and duties that a homemaker provides, day and night.   Term life insurance can be cheap. Go get some now!
  4. Have a will.  If you are married or have children, then you have a duty to your family to have a legal will.   If you are divorced, remarried, have physical assets such as real estate, retirement fund, valuable collectibles, and other valuable assets, then you will need to designate who will be they recipient.  Not having a will places all your assets into probate court, which will be expensive for your family.   If you life situation is simple, then a service like legalzone.com is a quick and easy way to produce a will.  If you have a complicated family situation, such as divorce, 2nd marriage, or stepchildren, then better to utilize the services of an experience lawyer, who will help you navigate the complexities of probate law.  Each state has varying laws as it pertains to inheritance.  In most states, the surviving spouse receives the departed’s asset — but it is not a given.  A will provides the needed clarity as to what your wish are and what instructions are to be conducted with assets.
  5. If you have more than $2 million in assets (include life insurance proceeds), then consider setting up a trust to protect your assets and insure your family uses your assets as you desire.  The $2 million threshold is just a guideline.  IRS rules about inheritance taxes can move any year.  And each state has varying laws about inheritance taxes.  Trusts are a way to protect children from themselves.  It is not wise to drop a million $ on an 18-year-old, who’s clarity and judgment hasn’t finalized growing.  Trust can specify when and under what conditions that children receive their inheritance.  A good friend of mine has set up trusts for his children with a brilliant idea.  His children will receive funds from the trust that matches what income the children produce, until age 30.  This way, he incentivized his children to work, in order to receive their inheritance.  If the children don’t work, become bums or drug addicts, then they don’t receive their inheritance.  Just brilliant.
  6. Make learning a lifelong endeavor.  Learning keeps you mind exercised, alert, and making new synaptic connections.  Plus learning is just fun.  What ever your hobby or personal interests, become the expert.  And then teach and share your passions with others.  Not only will you enjoy life more, but your brain will be healthier and sharper into later years.
  7. From a prepper’s preparations, you will need to consider death from a pre- and post-SHTF.  Pre-SHTF (before), death will invariably involve doctors, police, or some type of public official. And a death certificate will be issued, mortuaries will handle the body, and nearly everything about the body is handled by someone else.  Post-SHTF (after), when their is no rule of law, there are some preparations to be made.  First, take accurate records and notes of the situation and take photographs if possible.  Gather and protect the dead person’s valuables and memories, so that they may be passed along to the closest family member.   For public health and sanitary reasons, it is best to bury the body quickly.   Wrap the body in plastic if possible.  The old movie saying of 6 feet deep is founded in truth.  For sanitary reason, a dead body should be buried very deep and far from drinking water sources.  All bedding and clothing associated with the dead person needs to be thoroughly sanitized — hot water and beach are the best.   I pray you are never put in this situation.  Gives my chills just to think about the possibility.

This is a tough subject.  But being an adult requires dealing with serious matters sometimes.  Much of being a prepper is fun to me – guns, gear, planning, and practice.  This subject is all about being prepared grown-up.

Wish you a long, healthy, and prosperous life.

Posted in General, Safety (Medical, Sanitation, Security, Weapons) | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Personal SHTF Series: Unemployment – A Realistic Survival Event

This is the first in a series of personal SHTF articles.   SHTF is Shit Hit The Fan.  SHTF is a disaster event that impacts you or your family.  A realistic, common and likely possible SHTF event is losing your job, losing your income.  This is a situation that most of us will face during our career lives.   This article talks about how to prepare, react, and recover from looking your employment.

If you go through life never being fired from a job, never being laid off from a job, well then, you are truly blessed.   The modern product and innovation cycles are accelerating.   New products come to market faster.  And products become obsolete faster.  As a result new companies form quickly.  And companies dissolve more quickly as well.   I have a good friend who started a home theater business.  He was after the high-end segment of wealth people building their own home theaters.   It was all the rage 5 years ago.  That was before LCD TVs became bigger, better and much cheaper.   Where my friend might have charged $100k for a macdaddy, super home theater 5 years ago, today you can have better quality home theater for under $10k, and you can do it yourself.   So my friend’s market opportunity when poof-away very quickly.  And he had to find a new career suddenly.   Industries fail.  Markets get disrupted.  The march of progress changes what companies and products are in favor or falling out of favor.

It is very easy to quickly find that your company no longer has the hot product.   Or your company was just bought, merged, or went bankruptcy.  Or your company could have financial problems and announce a downsizing, layoff.   Layoffs come suddenly and without warning.   All of us could lose our jobs tomorrow.  Yes, even government workers can lose their jobs.  During the 2008/2009 financial crisis, state and local governments shed jobs quickly as tax revenues dried up.  Suddenly big cities where laying off police and fire-persons.   In this day and age, it is wise and prudent to be ready anytime for  a sudden and forced job loss.

Also to consider, you can suddenly become ill or become injured.   Many men how are injured on the job in their 50′s fall off the career track, never to return.   Everyday, people are crippled and maimed in automobile accidents.    Disability is a common cause of losing your job.

How do you prepare for a job loss?  How do you prepare for short or long-term disability.  Here is some sound advice.

How to prepare for loss of a job:

  1. Stay out of debt.  Debt is modern slavery.  Carrying a lot of debt, you are a slave to interest payments.  If you are carrying debt when you lose a job, your entire financial situations collapses.  Very quickly, you can lose your car, your job, and all your possessions.   Best way to stay out of debt is life a frugal life.  Try to live off of 50% of your income.   And save the remainder.  Buy with cash.  There is are only 3 things that I recommend carrying debt for, including:
    1. First mortgage on your primary residence.  And no mortgage on a vacation or 2nd home.
    2. Your primary commuter car for going to/from work.  But buy used cars to be frugal.
    3. Student loans for a 4 year university degree.  But only if you can not work while going to college.   If you must borrow money for college, go to your local state university to save money.  Or start your first 2 years at a community college.  I was fortunate that I could work part-time to pay for the first two years of my college degree.  And only needed to borrow money for the last 2 years of college.
  2. Build an emergency fund.  Everyone of us will face an emergency.  The water heater will break.  You might have a car accident.   You might have an injury.   The roof might need to be replaced.   Or you can lose your job.   For a single (unmarried person) without children, you should have a goal of having 6 months of expenses banked away for emergency usage only.  For families or single parents, the goals is 12 months of expenses stored in an emergency fund.   During the 2008/2009 financial crisis, it often took 12 to 18 months for people to find a comparable job.  And many settle for less paying jobs.   Your emergency fund is your bridge to a new job.  Without an emergency fund, losing a job immediately becomes a crisis.
  3. Have a food reserve.   From any survival and disaster prevention reasons, I recommend that you have stored food.  For a single person, again the recommendation is 6 months of stored food, primarily in canned food.   For a family, the recommendation is again at least 12 months of stored food, which is composed of canned food and long-term dehydrated and freeze-dried foods.   If you lose your job, and you have a food storage plan, then you need not worry about eating.  Your remaining cash can be spent on utilities, mortgage/rent, and job search expenses.
  4. Build your career network.  The best time to look for a job is when you don’t need a new job.  In this day and age, I recommend that you continually keeping one eye on the job market.   Opportunities for a new job or career advancement comes at unpredictable times, often when you are happy and content with your current job.   Continually keep in touch with headhunters, peers in your industry, and even your competitors.   And build your personal network of business contacts and colleagues every day.    At every opportunity, meet people in your work, impress them with your skill and knowledge, and connect with people of influence.  Most good jobs are obtained through network and personal contacts, not help wanted ads.
  5. Continually reinvent yourself.  Increase our skills and knowledge continually.  During the course of your working life, expect to need to reinvent yourself 3 or 4 times.   With the shrinking of the product and technology innovation cycle, expect that your skills will become obsolete every 15 year, with the last 5 years of those 15 years in serious decline.  Therefore, expect to reinvent yourself every 10 years.   That means, you need to find a career every 10 years.  Since new careers just are not achievable overnight, I recommend that you get into a dual 5 year cycle with your career.  Just college or the first 5 years of 15 year career cycle to gain new skill and reach expertise level with that new skill.   Then the next 5 years reaping the fruits of your new skills.  And then using the last 5 years of the 15 year cycle to build new skills and arrive into your next career.   No taking this approach, you may find yourself at age 50 with obsolete skills and now way to stretch into retirement years.
  6. Use any opportunity to get extra training.  While you are working, take every single available training class your employer offers.   Not only will training keep your skills up to date, but your employer will more likely see you as a valuable employee, and as a result, you are less likely to be laid-off during tough times.   Training classes are great opportunities to build your career network and gain new business contacts.  In fact if you are able, offer to provide training classes at your employer.  This will show that your are a more valuable employee.  And one of the best ways to learn is to teach.  If your employer pays for training, especially college course, for goodness sake, take advantage of employer paid training.   Not taking advantage of employer training is just leaving money on the table.  And strikes me as being a bit lazy and myopic.  Laziness does not lead to career longevity.
  7. Balance the careers of families.  If you are married, it is wise in this day and age for both partners to work.  While I’d prefer that one family member stays home to keep the home and raise the children, the majority of families cannot do this.  If one spouse losses their job, at least you can keep food on the table with the other spouse still working.   It is recommended that spouse/partners do not work for the same company.  And preferable don’t work in the same industry.   When the real estate market collapsed in 2008, if both spouses were in the real estate industry in 2008, then quite often both spouses lost their jobs.  That exact situation hurt a lot of families.    A very good situation is one spouse have a very secure, low throttle job, such as teaching or government work.  And then the other spouse have more aggressive job with higher pay.   This is a nice balance.  This is a type of family career allocation that can reduce overall unemployment risk.
  8. Have a home based business.  Another way to reduce unemployment risk is to have a part-time, home based business that you run on nights and weekends.   Hopefully you can leverage your primary skills or a hobby to build a part-time home business.   For example, if you repair automobiles as your primary job, then do some under-the-table repairs from your home garage on the weekends.  So then if you lose you primary job, you’ll be immediately able to ramp up the time spent on your home based business.
  9. Never be unemployed, rather you “transitioned to consulting”.   One way to never be out of work is to immediate start a consulting business, if you lose your primary job.   This is a good tactic for white-collar, professional workers.   Employers don’t like to see gaps of non-working time on a resume.  If you are laid-off, fired, or separated from a job, then immediately pronounce yourself as a consultant, and offer your skills on a part-time or consulting basis.   Through this approach, you’ll leave no gaps on your resume.   I’ve had to do this a couple of times, and it was very successful for me.  And then I used my time as a consultant to find a full-time job with an established company.
  10. Keep your insurances up to date.   Have enough life insurance to get your children through college and fund your spouse’s expenses into retirement.   If you have a job with any physical risks, I strongly recommend that you obtain disability insurance.  Pay for disability insurance with after-tax money, so that you might not be taxed on disability compensation.  Too many men working jobs like construction or manufacturing become injured before age 60, and not have disability insurance, and then are in a dire situation.  Relying only on social security disability insurance is guarantees you will live in poverty.   I greatly dislike Obamacare for political reasons.  But if I lost my job, I would take advantage of Obamacare to obtain low-cost health insurance.   Never, ever, be without health insurance.  Many bankruptcies are caused by medical bills from not having sufficient health insurance.   And have adequate levels of vehicle insurance.  Carrying only the minimums for auto insurance, and then having a major accident with injuries, then you are immediately entering dire poverty.
  11. Start a garden.   Having your own garden.  Or garden boxes.  Or hot boxes to grow some food allows you to devote your few available monies for rent, utilities, and job search expenses.   And learn how to do home canning, which is a huge cost saver for food consumption.
  12. Save aggressively for retirement.  Your retirement might arrive before you plan for it.  After you pay off debt, attempt to maximize your retirement account contributions.  Due to job loss, injury, or illness, you might be forced to take retirement early.  Many folks fall off the career track at age 55 or 60, well before full retirement years.  If you did not save aggressively for retirement in your early years, it is very painful to attempt to catch up in your later years.  The one bit of advice I give all recent graduates of high school or college is immediately start your retirement savings.   Take advantage of the concept of compounding interesting.   You can easily become a millionaire by your retirement years, if you started early.   Also in the event that you lose your job and exhaust all your emergency savings, then as a last resort to pay your bills, then you can tap your retirement accounts.  Many folks were saved from bankruptcy and homelessness during the 2008/2009 financial crisis by tapping their retirement accounts as a last resort.   But only as a last resort.   Also it is more important to save for retirement that fund your children’s college expenses.  You can always borrow to pay for college, but can’t borrow to pay for retirement.
  13. Build equity in your home.  And don’t use your home as a piggy bank.  Don’t use a home equity line of credit for anything other than as an emergency source of funds.  Attempt to pay down your mortgage, when you have spare money.   With equity in your home, you’ll have better options to take a home equity line of credit, or be better able to sell your house to relocate to another part of the country for a new job opportunity.  Too many people were trapped in homes they could not sell after a job loss, because they had outstanding HELOC balances or were under-water (negative equity) in their homes.   And with owning your home outright, you’ll never be homeless.   Try hard not to enter retirement with a mortgage balance, as all your retirement funds should be devoted to current living expenses, not paying for any type of debt.

Hope this helps.   Becoming unemployed is a huge and real risk that most of us have.  It is what scares me more than anything else.  I feel that I can overcome most challenges, if I keep a job.   Preparing well ahead of time to lose a job will greatly lessen the impact.

May you always be busy and always able to pay your bills. – suburbanprep

Posted in General, Safety (Medical, Sanitation, Security, Weapons), Shelter (Home, Heating, Cooling), Skills (Mental, Physical, Spiritual) | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mosin-Nagant Rifles on sale for under $100

Perfect timing after my recent post.

Mosin-Nagant rifles are on sale this weekend at Classic Firearms.  Link: Original Molot Russia M 91/30 Mosin Nagant Rifles – Grade B rifles

Classic Firearms is one of my favorite firearms — very good folks.

Best money you’ll ever spend.

I don’t receive advertising money from anyone.

Cheers!

Posted in General, Safety (Medical, Sanitation, Security, Weapons) | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Best Prepper Summer Vacation – Family Camping

I am a strong advocate of family camping.  There is so much that is learned, gained, and experienced when families go camping.   Each Summer, my family allocates a week of vacation time to camping.  Another separate week is dedicated to a week at the beach, which my wife favors.

Camping is not a given in my family.   I’m a former Boy Scout, so I have a lot of experience in setting up and running a camp.   But my wife is a Northeast suburban girl, and very accustomed to the comforts of hotels, spas and resorts for vacations.

From a prepper perspective, camping is an invaluable experience for families.   Families grow in knowledge, personal resilience, and strength of character.   What a great way to train and prepare for a potential bug-out event.   If you can prepare and execute on a week of camping, then your family is prepared to bug-out in a dire emergency.

I have a full camping kit for my family.  This includes a tent that has been conditioned with water-proofing spray. (Reference: Amazon query for waterproofing tents  Each family member has an outdoor-quality sleeping bag rated to 10 degrees F.   Have a Coleman portable propane heater for the winter and Coleman cooling fan for inside the tent during the summer.   I love Coleman camping products!  (Reference: Coleman’s clearance website).   Have portal propane stove and LED lanterns.   Have a portable aluminum folding camping table.  Have tarps and collapsible chairs.   Have camping cookware, dishware, and ability to wash dishes.  Have camping ax, shovels, saws, and lots of outdoor knives.   Have too many coolers to hold food.  Have 5 ways to start a fire.   Have various games stored with my camping gear.   I even have a portable camping toilet.  All my camping gear is stored in large plastic binds of a gray color in the garage.  The camping plastic bins are a distinct color from my other plastic bins.  I’ve written the contents of each bin on the outside with a black sharpie.  All my camping gear as been accumulated from many years of single adds.  One year, bought a portable stove.  The next year, bought the portable table, and so on.  It adds up over time.  One of the reasons I stick with Coleman equipment is I know the stuff will last for many years and has designed specifically for outdoor camping.

In the event of a bug-out emergency at home, the camping plastic bins can be loaded on our vehicles within 5 minutes.   With the emergency supplies that I natively store in each vehicle, plus our always-ready camping kit, and plus our always-ready bug-out kit, our family is ready to leave quickly in the event of a severe natural or man-made emergency.   Also to mention, our family bug-out kit includes a large plastic bin dedicated to portable, non-perishable food.   The bug-out food bin has enough food to feed my family for 2 weeks.   Thus, my camping kit is an integrated package that is synchronized with my bug-out kit and vehicle emergency kits.

As the camping kit is always ready to go, I feel very confident that our bug-out supplies and tools are ready.  What needs to be refreshed each year for our comfort-seeking suburban family is the skills, attitude and mental toughness to perseverance, survival, and prosper during a major bug-out event.  Thus, our annual camping trip is vital to our prepper capabilities.

We go camping for a week’s time.  The first day of our camping is very exciting for the whole family with all the travel and setup.  Roasting marshmallows over an open fire is a lot of fun.  Being with nature gives me a sense of peace and tranquility during my hectic, busy life.  On the 2nd and 3rd day of camping, that is when the complaining peeks.  The bugs, the outhouse smells, that dirt, the uncomfort of sleeping in the tent, the summer heat or rain, the lack of privacy, the hard work of maintaining a camp, the unwashed hair, the worries of wild animals — these complaints all come out on the 2nd and 3rd day.   The key to these days is to have a lot of activities.  We go hiking and explore.  Or if we stay at a public campground, where there are often activities for kids and families.   To moderate the uncomfort of hardcore camping, we’ll often camp at Yogi Bear Camp Resorts.  Yes I know, it’s not roughing it.  It’s not pure camping.   But when you are married to lifelong suburban girl, compromises are essential  These resorts often have swimming pools, arcades, planned activities, a sundries store, and most importantly for my girls, a heated shower.   By the 4th and 5th day, our family is in a good living rhythm and sleeping well.   By the 6th or 7th day, my kids don’t want to leave.   And when we return home from our camping trip, I have confidence that my family would survive outdoors in a worst-case bug-out situation.   We have the gear, supplies, and knowledge to carry us through many weeks of living rough.

For those people who are attempting to convince their family members to adopt a prepper lifestyle, camping is a fantastic way to introduce skills, tools, and supplies that provide a start into the prepper lifestyle.  The essence of camping is self-reliance.  Self-reliance should be the motto for being a prepper.

I recommend that all families have a full camping kit and go camping at least once each year.   By being ready and practiced for camping, your family is ready anytime for a bug-out situation.  Being in close quarters, camping brings families closer together.  Families grow in their personal bonds, in their skills, and in individual strength of character, when camping together.  Having fun, enjoying each other’s company, and growing in capabilities — that is the sweet spot for preppers.

Hope you have a blessed and fun Summer 2014.  Hope you have the opportunity to enjoy pure nature.  And be safe and healthy.  And grow together as a family.

Posted in General, Shelter (Home, Heating, Cooling), Skills (Mental, Physical, Spiritual) | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Buy Ammunition Now – A Rare Window of Availability is Near

One of my considerations offered to all preppers is about ammunition storage.  During a SHTF, WROL, or TEOTWAWKI event, ammo is a high priority.   For pepper supplies, only food, water, medicines, and shelter are more important than ammo.   During an emergency event, the first thing that disappears from availability is ammo.

Here are several current dynamics that are currently in place.

  • The severe shortage of ammunition after the awful Sandy Hook event is starting to abate.   While purchase quantities are still be limited by many retail sellers of ammunition, you can now find .22 LR, 9mm, and .223 Win ammunition.
  • Obama is looking for any opportunity to shut down importation of ammunition.  Just this Spring 2014,BATFE has banned the importation of AK-74 ammunition (5.45x39mm).  I am predicting that Obama will ban before he leaves office the importation of 7.62x39mm for AK-47 and 7.62x54R forMosinNagant.
  • As the pent-up demand has been met for retail ammunition purchases, I am predicting that ammunition manufacturers will lessen production capacity by the end of the year.
  • The price of ammunition only knows one direction.  Had you bought ammunition 5 years ago, the value increase of that ammo was better than investing in the stock market.
  • If then next US President is a Democrat, expect that there will be increase challenges to decrease access to firearms and ammunition.   I’m expecting that state will place high taxes on ammunition.  If I had money to spare, I’d buy a 50 BMG rifle and 500 rounds of 50 caliber ammo, as I’m expecting this caliber to be outlawed in the next 5 years.

The next 6 months will be a rare window where ammunition will become widely available again and price increases will moderate.   Thus, if you don’t already have your lifetime amount of ammunition set aside, I’d recommend that you buy and store ammunition before the end of the year.   After the terrible Sandy Hook event, when immediately thereafter ammunition because widely unavailable, I did not need to buy any ammunition, since I had plenty of ammo already stored.  In fact, I sold some un-needed ammo to those desperate to purchase.

Remember to store ammunition in a cool, dry place, which is inaccessible to children and adults alike.   All my ammunition exists in thick plastic tool boxes, such as the Stanley tool boxes, each with a pad lock.   The toolbox protect against water and heat.

Also, do not store all your ammunition in one location.  If you lose your home to a natural or man-made disaster, don’t also lose all your stored supplies.   Store some of your food, firearms, and ammo with friends, family and/or in a rental storage unit.

How much ammo do I have in storage?  It is a simple methodology for my ammo storage.  For each primary firearm, I have 1000 rounds of ammunition stored for the long-term, which will only be used in an emergency situation.  Add to that, 1000 rounds of ammunition for each primary weapon set aside for training purposes.  For my hunting rifles, have an additional 500 rounds in long-term storage.  Any ammunition that I use for plinking, training, or hunting is immediately replaced.   Thus for each primary weapons, have at least 2000 rounds set aside for the future, which is never to be touched unless an dire emergency occurs.   For my 22LR rifle, I have at least 5000 rounds set aside to never been touched.

What is a primary firearm, versus a non-primary firearm?  I consider the following to be my primary firearms:

  • My night-time semi-auto pistol on my night stand.
  • My concealed carry semi-auto pistol
  • My .308 Win semi-auto rifle, which is primarily oriented towards hunting, but can be repurposed in a WROL environment
  • My intermediate range carbine rifle in .223 caliber, which has the purpose of defending my home
  • My wife’s self-defense carbine in 9mm caliber
  • My 12 gauge shotgun for hunting and self defense
  • My 20 gauge shotgun, which is a trunk gun for self defense
  • My Mosin-Nagant rifle, which is a back-up long-range rifle
  • My 22LR rifle for small game hunting, pest control, and target practice

In my perspective, firearms are tools with an intended purpose.  I’m a peace-love, law-abiding, good citizen.   I’m a good family man, good neighbor, and good friend to all in my community.   My firearms are tools, not weapons, because I am peace loving.  My firearms are tools to hunt, control rodents, ensure security, and preserve peace.  Preventing violence and preventing crime is the purpose of my firearms.  Only when criminal elements challenge my town, neighborhood or home, only then do my firearms become reclassified as self-defense weapons.

What are considered as non-primary firearms?  Any nice-to-have, non-essential, or odd caliber weapon.  Any extra firearms not on the list above.  I might have a few hundred rounds for each of “give away” firearm, but I don’t worry about how much is stored for non-primary firearms.

Take advantage of this time period.   In the next mass shooting by another uncared mentally ill person, that will result another challenge to ammunition availability.  Or if Russia does more stupid stuff in Ukraine, and thus importation of Russian ammunition is inhibited, then ammo for Russian rifles (AK-47, AK-74, and Mosin Nagant) will become unavailable.   Or another Democratic President will write further Executive Orders regarding ammunition.  Or a big tax increase will be placed on ammo purchases.  Or has been seen in some states, there might be new state laws requiring purchase permits for ammo or new state laws limited the amount of ammo purchases.   A good way to avoid all these risks is to have a lifetime amount of ammo already purchased and stored.

If properly stored, you’ll be able to keep ammunition for 50+ years.  Hopefully, you’ll live in peace and pass along all your stored ammo into your children in the form of inheritance.  I’m expecting nearly all of my long-term stored ammunition will pass to my children and grandchildren.  And I pray above all else for the peace and safety of my children and future grandchildren.  I pray that my children and grandchildren will never know tyranny, violence, civil disorder, war, or an economic depression.  I pray that my children never need to buy ammunition, because they inherited all their ammunition from me, and because I never had the need to break into my stored ammunition.

References:

Disclaimer: This post, and all my posts, are targeted towards law-abiding and good citizens.  Understand how federal, state, and local laws pertaining firearms and ammunition may impact your decisions.   Conduct your own research.  Make good decisions which are relevant to your unique situation.   This posting is offered for educational and discussion purposes, and not as a personal recommendation.

Posted in General, Safety (Medical, Sanitation, Security, Weapons) | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Good Time to Add to Your Long-term Food Storage

In May 2014, before the heat of summer comes down upon the United States, this is the perfect time to stock-up and add to your long-term food storage.    It is not wise to buy and have shipped long-term foods during the summer.  Shipping of canned food during the summer risks having the food overheated in non-refrigerated shipping trucks.  When I ordered long-term food last summer, the cans arrived hot to the touch, and thus likely reduced the self-life of what I bought.   Winter is the best time to purchase long-term stored food.   But here in the Spring, many folks are not thinking about purchasing long-term food.   Many in the prepper community are starting and focused on their gardens.

My favorite vendors of long-term stored food are:

I have purchased from all four of these vendors, and greatly impressed with the quality of their products.  And all four have excellent, responsive service.

I take no advertising money, as my blog is a hobby.   These vendors are personal endorsements.

I recommend that each single person have 6 months of stored food.  And each family should have a least one year of stored food for each family member.   Three months of your stored food should be represented has regular canned foods from you local grocery store, which you each as your everyday foods.   And then the remain portion of your food storage should be represented as long-term stored food, which is dehydrated or freeze-dried.

The next time a flood, winter storm, ice storm, power outage, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, land-slide, forest fire, or other natural event impacts your local town, you’ll not be hungry, and not be standing in line waiting for government hand-outs.   Or if you lose your job, you need not worry about eating.

This past winter, a huge snow and ice storm hit my town.  For nearly a week, our local town was shutdown – nothing was moving on the streets.  No one was driving, because the road were ice-covered.   During this storm, my family live contentedly and was very well feed.  Some people went hungry after a few days, since they only stored a couple of days of food.

In this day and age, food is cheap in the United States and Canada.  Yes, inflation has made the price of food go up dramatically in the past 3 years.  But still, you can easily obtain and store long-term food.   A can of pinto beans are you local grocery store can be found for under $1, and stores for nearly 5 years.

Long-term food storage is a form of insurance -> offsetting the risk of interrupted food supply chain.   It is insurance in the event of natural disaster, personal illness, or job lose.  Stored food is more valuable than money in the bank.  You will always need to eat, and there are situations where money can’t buy food.

If you are just getting started, here is simply approach.  In each weekly grocery trip, add $20 in canned foods to your purchases.   Buy canned meats, tuna, beans, vegetables, and potatoes.   After one year, you’ll have a robust pantry.  Rotate the canned food –> oldest cans are eaten first.   In the event of a power outage, most canned food can be eaten without heating.   Nearly all canned food has been cooked during the canning process.  Buy want you eat, eat what you store.   Once you have a robust pantry of canned foods, then start purchasing long-term stored food from the vendors listed above, of which their food can store for 20 to 30 years.

Many you and your family never be hungry.

Posted in General, Sustenance (Food and Water) | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Every Prepper Should Own a Mosin-Nagant Rifle

I own a couple Mosin-Nagant rifles, in addition to other firearms.   The Mosin-Nagant is not my primary self-defense rifle.   I consider it as a back-up to my other rifles.   One of my Mosin-Nagant has been a project gun, where I upgraded the stock and attached a medium-quality scope on top.   The upgraded (sporterized) Mosin-Nagant now serves as my long-range hunting rifle.    My 2nd Mosin-Nagant rifle will likely be give to a brother or brother-in-law that shows up at my home after a SHTF, WROL, or TEOTWAWKI event.

I’m of the opinion that every survival prepper should own a Mosin-Nagant rifle.  Or own several.  Here is my rational:

  1. It’s a proven battle rifle from World War 2 -> very reliable and tough
  2. For $150 out-of-pocket, you have a long-range rifle with comparable power to .308 Win or .30-06 ammo.
  3. Military surplus ammunition is still dirt cheap, although increasing in price the past 2 years.  For $170, you can purchase 880 rounds (a case of two tins) of military surplus ammunition.   Two years ago , two tins could be had for $140.   As with all ammo, prices only know one direction — up.
  4. As a bolt-action rifle, there is no need to stock up on magazines.   But do buy plenty of stripper-clips to hold the rounds.  Stripper clips allow for faster reloading of the rifle.
  5. The Mosin-Nagant will drop any big-game in North America, and serves well as a big-game hunting rifle.   I’d want a bigger rifle for grizzly or brown bear, but I don’t highly have that requirement in my suburban neighborhood.
  6. As a bolt-action rifle, it will be among the last firearms to be confiscated by the government. (If you look back at my historical posts, I warned of confiscation.  Can’t happen you say?  Well, it is going on right now in New York State and Connecticut.  With a stroke of a pen, 10′s of thousands of law-abiding citizens in these states became criminals for possession previously legal to own firearms.   The government representatives of these states fear their law-abiding, gun-owning neighbors, rather than confront law-breaking criminals or caring for the mentally ill in their communities.  Which for me, is the proper definition of a coward.  All freedom loving people should relocate out of these states, taking your families, money, and businesses with you.  These also happen to be high tax states.  You’ll save money by leaving.  When I moved from New Jersey to current location, property taxes and various insurances both decreased by 67%.)
  7. The Mosin-Nagant is a perfect cache gun to store in a camper, at a hunting lease, at a rural cabin, in a vacation home, in a rental storage unit, or buried in a PVC tube.  It’s a bit long to be a trunk gun.  For $200, you can cache this rifle as a SHTF, TEOTWAWKI firearm.   If it is lost or stolen, hey, it’s only $200 — who cares!
  8. If we’ll cared and properly maintained, you’ll be able to pass down this rifle to your children and grandchildren.  Warning: Military surplus ammo is typically corrosive, so you need to clean (double clean) after each shooting event.
  9. This is an inexpensive way to quickly arm a survival group.   AR-15 or AK-47 are much, much better as standard rifles for a survival group.   You’ll need to allocation $1000 per AR-15 and $750 for each AK-47.   Add on top of that the cost of 8 magazines (minimum) for each semi-auto rifle.  For the price of one AR-15, you are able to arm 6 people with Mosin-Nagant’s.
  10. Mosin-Nagant rifles are typically sold with a bayonet.  The bayonet on the Mosin-Nagant makes it look totally bad ass.   With the bayonet on, it would be a excellent gun for manning a road block or check-point in a SHTF, WROL situation.   With the bayonet on, Mosin-Nagant could serve as a medieval pike weapon — it is that long.
  11. This is a perfect rifle to loan to neighbor or brother-in-law during a SHTF event or local WROL event.
  12. They are interesting rifles with lots of history associated.
  13. They are just fun, fun firearms to take to the range.

Just how capable are Mosin-Nagant’s?   Take a look at this video.

Incredible 1000 Yard Shot with Iron Sights! 

I take the trusty ole Mosin Nagant 91/30 out to 1000 yards shooting at a torso target with iron sights. With all the snow out that day it was tough to see the target, but somehow I managed to hit it. Ammo used was Brown Bear 174gr FMJ. Mods I did to the rifle include trigger work to get it down to 2lbs and no creep, Bedded the receiver and part of the barrel, installed a custom tapered front sight

Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=36a_1399234151#q3hhzAQv5sO6hf8B.99

Incredible 1000 Yard Shot with Iron Sights
Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=36a_1399234151#q3hhzAQv5sO6hf8B.99

Incredible 1000 Yard Shot with Iron Sights! 

If you do buy a Mosin-Nagant rifle, I recommend that you buy and store at least 3 tins (1320 rounds) of ammunition.  I believe the USA government will at some point ban the importation of this military surplus ammo, as recently occurred for the AK-74 rifle.  Fortunately, the 7.62x54R round for the Mosin-Nagant is manufactured in the United States, but at a much more expensive price than imported military surplus.

The time to buy and practice with a firearm is one year before you need it, so that you have time to train, practice, and feel your rifle as an extension of your body.   The quality of the American citizen solider throughout 300 years of history is marksmanship.

An excellent resource to learn more about the Mosin Nagant rifle is: http://7.62x54r.net/ and Wiki Mosin–Nagant.

May you live in peace for all of your days.  And never have need to fire a shot in self-defense.

Incredible 1000 Yard Shot with Iron Sights!
Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=36a_1399234151#q3hhzAQv5sO6hf8B.99
Incredible 1000 Yard Shot with Iron Sights
Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=36a_1399234151#q3hhzAQv5sO6hf8B.99
Posted in General, Safety (Medical, Sanitation, Security, Weapons) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Have Return to Posting

I’ve been away from posting for a while.  It was a combination of events – health problems, family vacation, job change, and just weary from being too busy.   But I’m back to posting now.  Hope all my readers are well, prospering, and living an independent life.  – suburbanprep

Posted in General | Tagged | Leave a comment

My Macdaddy Vehicle Survival Kit

I travel a lot.   Too much for my wife’s preference.  But that is what pays my bills.  My job has me flying and driving around the country, which makes me vulnerable to travel delays and potential disasters.   With any business trip within 200 miles, I prefer to drive.  Any extended business trip (4 days or longer on site) within 300 miles will result in driving as well.  When you add up the time it takes to drive to the airport, park at the airport, navigate the airport, go through security, waiting at the gate, on boarding the plane, waiting for takeoff, flying, deplaning, getting your bags, getting a rental car or taxi, and then finally making a local trip to my destination, it is prudent to measure the costs of time and money in order to justify flying.   Flight was fun many years ago.  Today, flying is just a bus in the air.  Due to typical distances of my trips, I fly more often than drive by a ratio of 5 flights to 1 drive.   Flying results in a greater degree of vulnerability, since fly inherently limits what can be transported on a plane.   But I prefer to drive, whenever I can.  Driving is much more comfortable and pleasant.   I can play my favorite tunes, listen to YouTube, listen to audio books, and talk on the phone while driving.

I prefer to drive to my business destinations because I am in control of my situation.  Statistically, flying is safer than driving, due mainly due to careless idiots and drunks on the road.  Even in this day and age of severe drunk driving laws, nearly every night when I drive from the airport to home, I see cars weaving back and forth across the divider lines.  Driving drunk goes against my survival prepper principals.  But I’m a very safe and cautious driver.  And I am very confident in my driving skill.  The main reason for wanting to drive to my business destinations is my Macdaddy car survival kit.   My car is a typical 4 door family sedan, so that I can haul my kids and my survival kit around town.  My wife drives the mini-bus for primary child troop delivery duties.  Both our vehicles are fully kitted with mac’ed out, fully capable survival kits.

Recently, we have needed our vehicle survival kits.  The severe snow storms the past 3 weeks have tested the capacity of our vehicle kits.  Fortunately for our family, the impact of the severe snow storms were limited, primarily by NOT DRIVING during bad weather.   But I got stranded during one of my recent business tips.   A massive snow storm was a disaster situation for many people, but merely a minor inconvenience for me.  That’s because I was prepared.

Selecting and Preparing Your Vehicle

First place to start with a vehicle survival kit is choosing the right vehicle.  If you live in an area of the country that expects snow or ice during the winter, choose a vehicle with 4-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, and electronic vehicle stability control.   A rear-wheel drive Mustang in Northern Climates can only be a Summer fun car.   I drive in both Northern and Southern climates, so I have a 4 wheel drive Sedan with all season tires.   As other folks were slipping and sliding in the snow and ice the last three weeks, I was carefully but effectively driving through the winter mess.   If I lived in more rural part of the country, I’d likely be driving a 4-wheel pickup truck.  If I foolishly lived in the midst of a large city, then I’d probably have small 4 door sedan, sized of narrow parking spots.

To have a vehicle survival kit, you need a place to store your vehicle kit.  A small sports car is a non-starter for disaster preparedness.  You need a trunk or an enclosed truck box to contain your survival kit.  Behind the 3rd row is a storage area for my wife’s minivan, where her car survival kit is stored.  My survival kit is in the trunk of my sedan.   And the trunk is filled.

With any vehicle, the first aspect of survival preparations is good and regular maintenance.  Any slack in maintenance is going to show up in during an emergency event.   If vehicle battery is older that 3 years, it is more likely to fail during the next cold weather event.   Haven’t flushed and filled the radiator in the past 2 years, the next heat wave may sideline may result in overheating.  During severe rain or ice storm, bald tires may result in totaling your car.   The best and most important element of disaster preparation while driving is having a well maintained vehicle.  So follow the recommended maintenance schedules as dictated by the vehicle manufacturer.

A place commonly neglected is tires.   When ice storms come through the Southeast US, those vehicle involved in accidents commonly have old, nearly bald tires.   Another component of vehicles that get neglected is belts.  Failure of engine belts is a common cause of being stranded and calling for a tow truck.   Change all the various fluids in your vehicle as the manufacturer recommends.  In maintaining your vehicle, you will have confidence that it will be available during an emergency situation.  With good maintenance practices, not only will you more likely glide through an emergency event, your vehicle will likely last longer also.  Being a sold prepper is about being frugal as well.   Playing for regular maintenance is cheaper than a new car payment.

Communications

If you become stranded or in an accident, the first option for survival is calling for help.  There are several layers of redundancy that I have for travel communications, including:

  • Have a charger in your vehicle for your mobile phones.  While you drive, keep your phone on the charger.  Thus in the event of a break down or being stranded, your mobile phone is fully charged.
  • I carry a spare battery or portable recharger battery when I travel.  My portable battery can recharge my mobile phone twice.   If you are unable to connect your phone to its network provider, turn off the phone for the periods between trying call.  When a phone is unable to connect to the network, it will quickly drain its battery.   When in an emergency situation, call for help first.  Then call your family or friends.  Be brief.  No long chatty talks.  You need to save the precious charge level on your battery.   Quickly say, “Hello.  It is .  I am stranded by the roadside.  My location is xxxx.   Help is on the way .   I’m okay .   I’ll call you again as the situation changes.  I need to save my phone battery.  Good bye.”
  • As a back up, there is a CB radio in the trunk of my vehicle.  Every year, it gets tested.  Keep a lingo card taped to the CB radio box.   Reference: CB Radio Slang and Trucker Slang and How to Talk on a CB Radio and CB Radio Codes
  • Also in the trunk of my vehicle, carry a portable crank AM/FM radio with Weather Band and World Bands.  With a crank radio, you may create your own power source and not rely on disposable batteries.  Even if I can not communicate, at least I can receive news and weather alerts via the radio.  This radio gets tested every year to ensure it is working.  Any crank radio has a rechargeable battery within.  And with time, all rechargeable batteries go bad.  Thus is must be tested every year.
  • Have a red triangle or red bandana to attach to your vehicle as notification that you have an emergency event.
  • A set of walkie-talkie’s in case you need to walk away from your vehicle and a family members is planning to remain with the vehicle (more often than not, my wife and I take the walkie-talkies into amusement parks or festivals for when we are separated)
  • Several Flashlights of various sized for signaling.  You can’t beat the new LED flashlights, which draw less power and last much longer than traditional light bulb flashlights.
  • Spare batteries for all flashlights and radios (replace the batteries every year)
  • I don’t have a handheld ham radio or marine radio, but I’m on the lookout for an inexpensive used portable ham radio (if you live near the coast, I do recommend keeping a VHF Marine handheld radio in your vehicle).
  • Keep paper roadmaps in the vehicle.  A detailed map for my local county.  And state maps for the entire region.  If power goes out, GPS is down, batteries are dead — always have a paper backup.
  • Each of our vehicle has a build in GPS system, which is invaluable with lost or took a wrong turn.
  • In my vehicle, I have a portable GPS device.  If I need to rent al car after flying, I’ll take this portable GPS rather than renting a device.  If I need to walk away from the vehicle, the portable GPS can provide me with directions.
  • For last-ditch location finding, have a small compass stored in the kits.

Food and Water

Always have food and water with your vehicle.  You never know when you’ll be delayed from a meal.  My children seem to be hungry whenever they are 5 minutes into any vehicle trip. Something about being in a vehicle that triggers munchies in my children.  For me, it is movies that gives me munching.

  • My family has a sizable snack pack in the form of a large zip lock bag in each vehicle.  It holds crackers, nuts, chips, fruit bars, cereal bars, hard candies, pretzels, and other munchies.  We can make two whole meals for each family member just from the snack bag.
  • In both vehicles, several MRE’s are stored in the survival kit.  These are last resort foods, if stranded.  These are trashed and replaced at the end of each Summer, as the Summer heat kills the shelf life of MREs.
  • Two gallons of water are stored in the trunk.  This water is primarily to fill a radiator or windshield washer fluids.  But it is also available for drinking, if stranded.
  • Have a portable water filter.  My portable water filter is the Berkey Sports Bottles.  This portable water filter will create 50 gallons of drinkable water from open water sources.
  • In the passenger area of both vehicles, there are two quart-sized water bottles for each family member – 8 bottles total.  If drank during a trip, these are replaced immediately upon returning home.  During the height of summer, often we’ll take an additional cooler with juice or cold water.
  • My every-day-carry kit (a sizable fanny pack), there are some additional hard candies and cracker packages.  This kit goes everywhere I go, including family drives.
  • There are camping forks, spoons, and knives for each family member in the kit.
  • There are garbage bags in the kit to collect garbage and protect items from moisture.
  • Essentially, there is enough food in the car for 3 or 4 full days.
  • In each vehicle, there is a small portable fishing kit.
  • If the trips is expected to go three hours or longer, such as a day trip of hiking or to an amusement park, then we’ll also pack a cooler with sandwiches, fruit, cheeses, chips, juice, and more.   Any day trip should be accompanied by a cooler of food.

Tools

Every vehicle should have a tool kit.   The tool kit is not just to help me, if stranded.  But more often, I’m helping other stranded people.

  • Tire changing iron
  • Tire jack
  • Various screw drivers
  • Several hand wrenches
  • Battery jumper cables
  • 50 feet of nylon rope
  • Superglue
  • Duct tape for fast, temporary hose repairs
  • Fix-a-flat cans for fast, temporary tire repairs
  • Tire pressure measuring device
  • A manual tire pump to inflate a low tire
  • Regular hammer and rubber mallet (rubber mallet is to pound out dent that my press against a tire after an accident)
  • Crowbar – I carry a crowbar in my vehicle to pry open jammed doors or trunks after an accident.
  • Tape measure – countless reasons to measure something while traveling.  Usually my wife wants to measure furniture dimensions.
  • Spare fuses – for quick replacements
  • Metal wire – used to temporarily tie up loose parts, such as a dropped exhaust system or damage muffler
  • Quart of oil – whatever specific grade is relevant to the vehicle, in case of an oil leak
  • Gallon of premixed radiator fluid – in case the radiator over heats.
  • An empty 1 gallon fuel can.  This can be walked to a gas station.  NEVER carry a filled fuel can.  In the event of a car accident, the fuel can is likely to rupture and cause a horrific fire.
  • More stuff which escapes me a the moment

Self-defense and safety

Always have a means to defend yourself from attackers or robbers.

  • Keep a can of bear pepper spray on the little shelf on the driver’s door.  This large can of pepper spray can chase away several attackers.  And is useful for wild animals or stray feral dogs.
  • A small container of pepper spray (1/4 ounce) on each key chain.
  • Concealed carry pistol – depending on my situation, I’m always carrying either a .380 ACP pocket gun or a 9mm carry pistol.  And always have two spare magazines with me.  For long trips, I’ll take a complete pistol kit, which contains cleaning tools and fluids, extra magazines, and several hundred rounds of spare ammo.  The kit is locked with a pad lock to prevent children, hotel maids, and bad people for quick access.
  • For extended trips, I’ll also carry a shotgun in the trunk.  I have a 20 gauge Mossberg shotgun as a trunk gun.  The smaller 20 gauge is manageable by my petite wife.  A 12 gauge is too much gun for my wife.  With my shotgun, also carry several boxes of shotgun ammo, including slugs, bird shot, and buckshot.  Usually two boxes of each.  The shotgun itself is carried loaded the first shell of birdshot, and then 4 shells of buckshot.  The first round of birdshot is primarily to chasing away wild animals.  There are coyotes and rapid foxes running around my area.   Birdshot is a good warning to bad people and causes a bad day at short-range.  The buckshot is for those unable to heed the warning.
  • If I was travel after a SHTF, WROL or TEOTWAWKI event, I’d also be carrying a full carbine kit – either an AK-47 or AR-15 with as many spare magazines that I had at hand.  Plus, I’d be traveling with vest carrier and plates.  I pray to god that this is never needed.  But I’m ready to defend my family in this ultimate extreme situation.
  • My wife’s SHTF weapon is a Hi Point carbine in 9mm.   It is an easy to shoot, low recoil pistol cartridge rifle.  My petite wife cannot handle an AR-15.   The Hi-Point is very effect, very accurate out to 75 years.  I’m able to produce 2 inch groups at 50 years.     The 9mm round out of the Hi Point rifle gains 100 FPS and is very capable for self-defense at short-range.   The added benefit is sharing ammunition between my primary carry pistol and with this Hi Point Rifle.  This rifle also doubles for hunting small game, as some might use a .22 LR rifle.  In a WROL situation, this rifle will be used to take down squirrels, ducks, and other small game.
  • On my person while driving, have a sizable pocket knife.  The blade is 4 inches long and kept very sharp.  This blade also serves as a rescue knife, if I need to cut myself or someone else out of a vehicle safety belt.  And serves for close range self-defense.
  • On our vehicle key chains, there are a small 1/2 ounce vial of pepper spray.
  • In my vehicle’s trunk, there is an 18 inch machete.  This is used primarily for survival purposes, in case I need to set up a camp site.  It also doubles as a defense weapon in a worst case scenario.
  • Have a fire extinguisher rated at B/C for fuel and electrical files.  Often I come upon vehicle fires, so my fire extinguishers is more likely to be used to help rescue others.
  • The crowbar and tire irons may double as defensive weapons.
  • Have a very robust first aid kit for each vehicle, including blood stopper bandages, Israeli bandages, and just about every type of over the counter medicine.

Shelter and Comfort

Be always ready to set up a temporary shelter.   And always be ready to shelter within the vehicle, in case you are ever stranded.   The follow are several items that are carried in either mine or my wife’s vehicle.

  • A wool blanket for each family member – Provides ground cover and bedding in the summer.  Provides heat retention in the winter.   The wool blankets are stored in very large zip lock bag to protect against dirty and moisture.   The blankets are washed twice of year, when not being used.  If used on a trip, they are washed on a weekly basis.
  • Two large tarps.  Have two 12 foot by 12 foot thick plastic tarps.  With these tarps, can improvise a rain shelter with ground cover.  Often the tarps come out during picnics or sporting events to provide ground cover.  Have 50 feet of paracord and 50 feet of nylon rope to hang up the tarp.   And have cheap tent stakes to affix the tarp to the ground.  My children’s soccer team can be found sitting on one of the tarps during Saturday games.
  • If we are taking a long journey, often we take a sleeping bag for every family member.  We have sleeping bags rated to 20 degrees for all family members.  These are outdoor quality, not the kiddy sleepover bags that are cheaply sold for children play dates.
  • In my vehicle, carry a small (2 person) four season tent.  And have a sleeping bag rated to 10 degrees.  This is to be used if stranding during a long business trip.
  • Have a box of portable disposable hand warmers.  These packets, once opened and exposed to the air, provide about 5 to 8 hours of warm.  Tuck one or two of these in your sleeping bag, and you will sleep nice and toasty warm, even outside in freeze temperatures (provided you have a well rated outdoor quality sleeping bags).
  • A small portable toddler toilet with various bags that attach underneath. Provides for a more comfortable was to go to the bathroom.
  • Have 4 packs of toddler wipes for cleaning after bathroom event.  And 4 packs of baby wipes for cleaning other body parts.   As my children are making messes in their travels and activities, the baby wipes are keeping us all clean.   I’m a messy eater, so I’m using the baby wipes as well.
  • Have several ways to build a fire.  Have matches and lighters of various sorts. Have a magnesium wand for creating sparks.  Have a can of sterno in each vehicle for starting fires and cooking.  Have several candles.  Lots of miscellaneous paper in the vehicle for starting fires.
  • Two folding camp chairs in shoulder carry bags.  These camp chairs are commonly used at sporting and other outdoors events.
  • If we are stranded, we would be able to set up a camp sit, pitch a tent, start a fire, and live in relative comfort for several days.

For all those folks that were stranded and had to walk away from their vehicles during the recent snow storms, they would have had a more comfortable and less stressful situation, had they a vehicle survival kit.  My kit is just an example.   You would do well to customize your vehicle kit to your local conditions.   Welcome your comments and suggestions.

May all your travels be fun and safe.

Posted in General, Safety (Medical, Sanitation, Security, Weapons), Shelter (Home, Heating, Cooling), Skills (Mental, Physical, Spiritual), Stuff (Gear and Tools), Sustenance (Food and Water) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment