New Preppers With “2020” Vision

New Preppers With “2020” Vision

Me in August ’86, as a young Survivalist. I’d been preparing for about 5 years at this point.

As many who know me understand, I have been a Survivalist since I was a kid. I received a lot of flack about that while I was growing up, and even more as an adult, but I never let it deter my focus on what was important. So now Survivalists and Preppers aren’t all that foolish, huh? Apparently those of us who have prepare for hard times are not the “Doomers” and “Nuts” that we’ve been made out to be.

To make matters worse, the “Anti Gun” and “No need for a gun” crowds are apparently is getting upset that they can’t buy a pistol or other type of “registerable” firearm, and walk out the door with it (who knew?), in States that require a waiting period for purchase. The same people who are upset about a waiting period now, were either indifferent at best, or vehemently opposed to immediate purchase and carry firearms when the “Waiting Period” regulations were being enacted.

Many of us who have prepared for a long time, understand that we all had that epiphany, concerning preparedness, at one or more points in our lives. Some realized it earlier, some later and some had to re-realize it. As much as you’d like to rub it in to those who gave you a hard time in the past, this is not a moment for that. This is a time that should be used to educate those new to the “game”.

I’ve prepared for myself, my family and select friends. My supplies are for that group only. Except for advice on the “what”, “where” and “how” of preparedness, I am not a charity organization. With that being said, I have had no problem giving advice to friends and acquaintances who made fun of my preparedness in the past, but are now asking for advice because they’ve “seen the light”. Be the bigger person and help them out.

On another note, I’ve heard from a number of people, that all the preparedness supplies have been cleaned out. Well, that’s simply not true, especially if you are going cheap. Canned goods are still available. Bulk items like rice and beans are still available. Fuel items, whether gasoline for your vehicle or generator and propane for stoves or heaters are out there if you look. Supplies of ammo or firearms are definitely in shorter supply, but still available.

Get out and practice some scenarios with your preps.

Granted, in some cases, those who need them will have to do some serious searching to find those supplies. I told a guy the other day, the supplies are out there, but to use an analogy, they are pretty spartan and somewhat like the chances for getting a nice, whitetail deer, buck in my area back in the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s.

Considering that this situation is about as light as a SHTF situation can be (and still be SHTF), at least for now, this is definitely a good time to learn, without the steep drop at the end of that “bell curve”. You still have things like electricity, water, sewer and working vehicles. For most, we are getting some form of income, whether you are still working or getting an unemployment check. Compared to many of the scenarios that have been envisioned by Survivalists and Preppers over the years, this one is a “lightweight”.

Let’s review what your needs are for a serious scenario? First, supplies for the environmental conditions. This includes your overhead shelter from weather. Heat makers like gas or wood fired stoves if the conditions warrant it. Also, appropriate clothing for the conditions are a necessity.

Clean filtered and purified water is next on the list. Water is followed by food to sustain yourself each day, and the calories needed depend on your own physiology and amount of calories you’re burning daily. Next up would depend on the threat situation. If violence is not typical in your situation, First Aid items are next. If the environment is “Non permissive”, firearms and other defensive items would be number four.

Some basic supplies for a short term SHTF event.

Many things are needed to make you a sustainable lifestyle. There are many resources out there to find out what you need, and for many, all you have is time for the research, right? If you are a Prepper or Survivalist, pat yourself on the back for sticking to your “guns”, staying prepared and practicing with your preps, when it is so much easier to “Eat, Drink and Be Merry”.

If you are new to preparedness, find one of the people you know (almost everyone has that one friend) to ask advice on “The steps” and “The Preps” required to give you some piece of mind in a “less than peaceful environment. I believe this is a lead in for something more severe, whether a “Round 2” of the pandemic, or “Gov overreach” from their “Plandemic”. We shall see, but being truly prepared is a lifestyle, not a hobby.

Keep prepping, but try to relax and enjoy the little things at the same time.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.
So You’re Gonna Bugout To Your “Retreat” Huh?

So You’re Gonna Bugout To Your “Retreat” Huh?

Most Preppers and Survivalists who have a “Vacation” property, whether it is a building or just a campsite, have it in an area they would like to be able to “Bugout” to during a bad situation. A lot of those types have stored additional supplies at that location for those bad times, and think the only issue they would have might be getting out of the city they live in, or maybe bad guys on the road.

While watching coverage of the many issues with different levels of Quarantine that have been implemented around the country and the world, I have noticed a disturbing trend that is taking hold in many locations. This is in regards to people that are not year round residents, but own property in other locations.

This trend has locals, whether Government or civilian, telling someone that actually owns property in their State or County (and pays the taxes on it) that they shouldn’t or can’t come to their property, and if they do get there, they are going to be restrictions on their movement.

While I understand some restriction on “Out of Staters”, to a point, my first question is, “Are the same restrictions being put on the locals?”. Below is a situation that happened on a an island off the coast of Maine.

Quarantine Post03

“A man residing on Cripple Creek Road in Vinalhaven, an island off the coast of Maine, called authorities around 3:35 p.m. Friday to report a group of people with guns had cut down a large tree and dragged it in front of his driveway, blocking access to the main road.

The man said he left his house to check his property when he noticed the cable went out. The unidentified man said he retreated to his home and hailed the Coast Guard for help using a VHF radio after a neighbor began yelling at him to get indoors and remain quarantined.”

Well, I guess he at least made it to his property before the locals decided to take matters into their own hands, huh? There are other examples, like in Cherokee County NC, requiring “Part-timers” to bring enough supplies for a 14 day “self quarantine”. My second question is, Does the County require this of all it’s residents who are coming back into the State?”.

Quarantine Post01

 WKRK· April 3

If you have a property elsewhere, are you even going to be able to “Bugout” to it when things get serious? What about checkpoints? They have them in a number of places for the Quarantine, one of them being Florida. Pictured below is a checkpoint on I-10 in Florida.
Quarantine Post02
What are they checking for? “Proof of Residency”? What’s the temperature of everyone in the car? Are you carrying any firearms?  See where this can go? This post isn’t about the “Right” or “Wrong” of what the Federal and State governments are doing to “Fight COVID-19”. This is about understanding some of the hurdles you might face down the road during a “Bugout” if your plans include going to a “Retreat” in another State.
Below I’ve posted some links and headlines showing what States are doing to stop “Outsiders” from coming to their State.

Quarantine Post04

Quarantine Post05https://www.npr.org/local/309/2020/03/30/824162044/michigan-and-wisconsin-tell-chicago-stay-at-your-homes-until-pandemic-ends

Quarantine Post06

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/03/24/coronavirus-second-homes/

What is the answer for the Prepper or Survivalist? There are three things that I see that helps to mitigate the problems shown above. First, it is better to be a week too early than a minute too late. If the guy on the island in Maine had gotten to his home a week or two earlier, would the issues with the locals have come up? If so, would they have been as bad? We’ll never know, but I’d say the possibilities would have been less.

The second recommendation to mitigate some of these issues would be where you buy your “Vacation” property in the first place. If you have a bunch of “Busybody” neighbors that see you arrive and that you are staying at your property, that can be a real issue. As has been shown many times over the years, many Americans can’t mind their own Damned business, and this is just an “In your face” example of it.

Here’s the third recommendation I’d give, in regards the checkpoints. Most destinations have multiple routes from point “A” to point “B”. Having those points mapped out and noted on a real map can be the difference between getting where you want to go, and being turned around or stuck in traffic. Knowing where you can unobtrusively cross a State line, on a logging road for instance, could make or break your escape from a “Hot Zone”.

My final recommendation is to be able to “Hoof It” if necessary. Have gear and supplies pre-positioned at the retreat property, and be able to leave your vehicle behind and carry some supplies on your back that will hold you over till you get to your property. Make sure you have paper maps, and use your GPS as a reference to those maps. Counting on things like cell phones and hand carried GPS is a recipe for disaster when your life is on the line.

Just some thoughts that have been bothering me over the last couple weeks that I thought I’d share. If you have some other ideas, I’d love to hear them.

JCD,

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.
Here Comes The “Fatal Funnel”….?

Here Comes The “Fatal Funnel”….?

Primary Arms Blog Post11

According to the ’94 AWB criteria, this M1A was still OK since it only had a threaded barrel and a detachable mag. 10 round AWB “acceptable” mag in gun. 20 rounder below it.

I haven’t written anything “Politics” related in a while. It’s mostly because I’m sick of feeling as if I’m beating my head against a brick wall in trying to convince those who might read what I write that certain things (like history) are important in weighing your present decisions.

Decades ago, I used to be involved with a group that was pretty squared away. We leaned towards training for offensive “Take it to the bad guy” type missions, instead of my present Survivalist defensive mindset. I realized in my late 20’s that all that “Offensive mindset” would do, as civilians, is get us killed needlessly and thus, I corrected my direction in preparedness and training. The situation described below was during my participation in the group mentioned above.

Training pic 93

A training pic circa 1993 before the ’94 AWB was implemented

Here’s the situation. The House of Reps passes the “Federal Assault Weapons Ban” in May of 1994. My friends and I thought we could read the writing on the wall, so we started preparing for what we thought was the inevitable “war”. Over the course of the Summer of 1994, I purchased about $2,000 worth of gear, weapons and ammo.

Hell, I remember making thirteen hundred dollars worth of purchases in one day from Centerfire Systems and Classic Firearms, that summer. This purchase involved two RPK type AK’s, 5 cases of ammo, and five 75 round drums. The group I was involved with at the time used the AKM type rifle as the standard, and well, you get the picture.

Some other things that impending (and what we believed was coming with it) ban brought about was a need for caches and a recon of areas to set up base camps and RON’s. We systematically went about checking and designating those areas in a 50 mile circle, and putting “under” (reports and all), excess/extra gear and needed equipment.

What were we thinking? Well, first we believed the Senate would pass the AWB (it was close like the House vote was) when it got to them (I think we were figuring the end of Summer). Second, we knew Clinton would sign it. Third, many of us were under the impression that Slick Willie would be more than happy to bring in UN troops to assist in a more draconian firearms ban that he was rumored to be floating with the help of certain Gov officials.

Training pic 1996

A training pic after the ’94 AWB taken in approximately 1996.

Were our preps in vain? I don’t believe so. The purchase of those firearms and mags at that time, paved the way for better purchases later after a few were sold for 3x the cost. Besides, that activity by the government PROPERLY motivated us to do something we should have been doing in the first place. Was the rumor (#3) correct? Who knows. It didn’t happen, but everyone knows he was definitely considering something like that. Keep in mind what Feinstein said about her gun ban opinion. She said she would ban every firearm from civilian possession if she could get 51% of the vote.

Good things that came from the AWB? The concentration on designing reliable, compact pistols like the Glock 26 and 30 because 10 round mags….. An appreciation for only having to pay $15 for a quality AR mag. Being able to easily find a large assortment of quality semi auto mil type rifles without having to drive 2 or 3 hours to that obscure, out of the way gun shop, then  payin’ $1500 for a “Pre Ban” rifle that was only $350 four years earlier.

I tell you that story from exactly 25 years ago to tell you this. Don’t panic (unless you don’t have anything gun related). Keep calm. Make a realistic purchase plan if you haven’t already, and concentrate on the basics (solid, reliable rifle with 7 mags, reliable pistol with 3 mags, and ammo for both) . I told you almost three years ago that President Trump’s election was nothing more than a brief reprieve. If President Trump does what many believe he wants to do on gun control, it was a little more brief than I believed.

Here’s the thing though. He hasn’t done it yet. He talks a lot of smack, then usually backs off the rhetoric a little. We’ve been at this point a few times in his last three years. Yes, he banned bump stocks. So what? Reagan banned the production of new machine gun receivers made after 1986. My personal belief is that bump stocks are an effeminate affectation of someone who wants to play, but isn’t serious about realistic weapon’s usage. Kinda like the “Operator” selfies by “Never Been-But Wannabees” on social media.

Regardless, I don’t believe he should have done anything to their availability or legality, useful or not. I personally think he banned them as a token on the alter of  the “Commie Gun Grabbers” so he could calm the BS after the Vegas shooting, but, who knows. He wheels and deals so it’s anyone’s guess.

The bottom line is that “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” is pretty cut and dried for those with a moderate education in the English language and some common sense. Will you go to war over a Federal “Red Flag” law passing? No, you won’t. For the three of you it will be a noisy version of suicide. Will “Red Flag” laws make a difference? NO, THEY WON’T! Why? Well because the institutions who are supposed to report things to the Feds for NICS can’t even do that or do it right. The Air Force was one of ’em, and people died in a church in Texas because the AF “employees” were criminally incompetent.

As an AP Staff member mentioned to our group the other day, “Conservatives” and the liberty minded are a lot more pissed off than they were 25 years ago. I agree. One of the reasons is that the last three years, if not the last three decades, have shown us what utter contempt, Gov elites like the Senior Executive Service members have for the working American.

They define the “This is for me and not for thee.” mentality. This is just a small issue in the “Mountain of Crap” the DC crowd is doing. Do I think those in President Trump’s Administration are trying to find, fix and eliminate the problem? I really don’t know. One step forward and two steps back seams to be the norm these days, and I haven’t seen any gas leak, let alone a gush, out of “The Swamp” that is the District of Criminals. It appears as if it’s just a big distraction from the economic “balloon”, and that “balloon” is leaking badly when you know what figures to look at.

The President has weaponized his Twitter feed, but even while the things he tweets about appear to point out a real problem, which the MSM dutifully and immediately calls “mean”, they still only end up as “fluff” and the follow on “substance” is generally, non existent.

So to the problem at hand, gun control/background checks/gun confiscation/weapons bans,….etc., etc., ad nauseam, and what to do about it. Just like 1775 at Lexington and Concord, YOU are not gonna start a war unless it is a reaction done in self defense to being attacked/fired on. As risky as letting it go that far is, you won’t start it because you/we don’t/won’t control the narrative, and most will not start a conflict with a narrative they can’t control.

On a side note, and speaking of “the narrative”. During a convo with friends and associates the other day, one of them asked why no CCW holders engaged and fired on the shooter in the Texas Walmart, with Texas being the firearms mecca that it is. The implication was that if you can carry it and have it on you, you should engage the bad guy. I mentioned that I have one prerequisite in that instance, to get those I care for, and am responsible for, to safety.

I will not draw my weapon until I see the shooter and he appears to be a DIRECT threat to me and mine. As a civilian I will not run to the sound of the shooting if I have others in my charge. If I don’t have them with me, I definitely will not run around with my weapon drawn and possibly be engaged by LEO’s or Armed Security and/or be labelled as “Shooter #2”. I don’t like it, but this is common sense in the day and age in which we live.

If they pass Fed “Red Flag” Law they pass it. If they pass another Assault Weapon Ban, they pass it. I don’t believe they will pass a total ban because they don’t have the personnel and logistics to deal with that kind of overt and deadly grief. Regardless, plan accordingly NOW! You should have read that writing on the wall three years ago, but that’s water under the bridge, isn’t it? So let’s try to be constructive.

Keep things like price in the aftermath of the ’94 AWB, and the Newtown shooting in mind. Glock 21 .45ACP 13 round mags were $80 in 1999 during the AWB, and even .22LR ammo went through the roof after the Newtown shooting as examples. Buy 20, 30 and 40 round box mags and drum mags for your weapons while they are cheap. Buy as much ammo as you can to feed those weapons while it’s relatively cheap. Buy at least one or two “Assault/Battle” rifles.  Buy a couple pistols while you can. Buy the gear needed to carry a fighting load for your weapons, and related survival equipment. Check in with John at UWGear for quality equipment that does the job well. Buy spare parts for all the weapons you have so you can maintain them after a ban. Buy and learn how to use reloading equipment, then stock up on components. Buy gear to cache your excess or back up equipment.

Gun ban post01

Things to get now if you don’t have them. 20, 30 and 40 round mags for your rifle. Drum mags if you can get them for your rifle. Standard and large capacity mags for your pistols. Gear to carry your mags, pistol and supporting equipment.

Finally, get training on not only how to use those weapons, but how to use them and survive in non permissive environments. Both Brushbeater/NC Scout and I (MDT) offer classes on small unit tactics, operating as a small team and survival. The time is coming when you will have to make a decision. Will you stand up and fight when attacked, or will you grovel at the “master’s” feet hoping for the scraps of “Rights” he gives you?

As a Nation, we’ve been at that juncture before. There is a good chance we will eventually be there again. Steel yourself to that eventuality by making your course of action decisions now. “In the moment” will be too late, and a falter on your part will only be survivable due to Divine Providence.

The bottom line is this. You don’t have a crystal ball, but you do have historical references to guide your decisions. Prudence, tempered with realistic, historical reflection creates it’s own path to sound decisions. Good luck.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"- Live Prepared.
The Art of Deer Camp

The Art of Deer Camp

A cold, wet day in Deer Camp is still better than a day at work.

Training. Preparedness. What do these words mean to you? Are they a lifestyle, or just terms you use to pigeonhole your attempt at sounding “ready” for the calamity that many believe is coming? Have you lived in the woods for more than just an overnight camping trip? Have you used ALL THE GEAR you’ve collected for your survival if that calamity occurs. What about that dutch oven you bought on sale, but have never actually used?

Some of the best “Survivalist” oriented training I’ve ever done was during my weeks in “Deer Camp”. I hear from many people who tell me they don’t have an area to train in, and that they can’t carry a firearm in their State parks unless it’s hunting season. Then they ask how they should go about getting the experience needed for bad times. If they’ve mentioned the “hunting season” comment, I tell them they’ve answered their own question to a large degree. If they haven’t mentioned it, I advise them that they should go do the “Deer Camp” thing for 4-8 days every year.

“Why Deer Camp?” you ask. It’s simple really. First, Deer season in most States is during the colder part of the year, hence, harsher living conditions. Second, You get to go out and use you wilderness living gear in conditions that usually aren’t stellar in terms of comfort or convenience. Third, You get to actually experience carrying a weapon through the woods with support gear, all while trying to maintain a low profile. The low profile is necessary if you plan on actually seeing and killing a deer.

A very wet day, but the gear did as advertised and we bagged a few.

Yeah, if you’re rifle hunting for deer, you probably have to wear blaze orange. So what? You’re not hiding from people in this instance. You’re hiding from something that is infinitely harder to pic out and hide from in certain aspects. Adding a blaze orange vest, a hat or both over your gear is not a big deal, and honestly, a vest that covers up you ammo vest from prying eyes is not a bad thing in this era of PC BS. I had to download my semi auto mag to the allowable round count, but even that wasn’t a big deal. The main thing was getting out with your gear and using it.

It used to be an annual event with a number of my preparedness Buddies that we would go to a State forest an hour away and set up “Deer Camp” for anywhere from 4-8 days. Some guys would filter in or out during that week, due to work schedules. Even that had a commo schedule and SOP to let us know they were nearby and coming in to base camp. Everybody loaded their vehicles with the gear they would bug out with. Everybody had a list of what that consisted of, and brought it along for practice, even if they knew it wasn’t gonna be used that particular week.

Sleet and snow for 2 days straight will help you figure out how well your tent and waterproof storage gear works.

Takeaways from those many years of activity showed us what worked and what didn’t. Tents were a big thing. If your tent couldn’t survive a week of cold, crappy weather in “Deer Camp”, you could not plan on it surviving weeks in the woods after the apocalypse. Heat for the tents all the way from Propane IR and ceramic heaters, up to packable “Outfitter” or Army “potbelly” tent stoves were used. Some worked great, some were a pain till we figured out the sequence needed to make them run efficiently.

Deer camp doesn’t need to be elaborate. A tarp and sleeping gear is good to practice with to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Sleeping gear was put through it’s paces. Some failed, some thrived. Cooking gear durability and techniques of use were experimented with, with plenty of success. Clothing, especially cold weather clothing was tried and shown to be “Good to go” or complete crap and not brought back the next year. Finding gear and food storage methods that were weather and water proof, especially in extremely cold weather was an eye opener.

You had better practice with that cooking gear before relying on it. or your abilities with it.

Hunting in and of itself is good training. Combining that with living in the woods for a bit just increases the training value. If you ever have to Bug Out of your home, your best bet is to act as if you are hunting, but the difference is EVERYBODY out there is the quarry that you need to see first to be successful (staying hidden from). Success in this case is surviving. Whether it’s turkey hunting, predator hunting or deer hunting, seeing your quarry first is prerequisite to being successful.

If you don’t hunt, you are missing some good training opportunities. If you do, but have never done the “Deer Camp” thing, you are also missing on some good training opportunities. I’ve been hunting for over 40 years, and I still learn things in the woods every year. Besides being able to add to the larder in my freezer, being in the woods hunting is one of the most relaxing activities I can do. Communing with nature is it’s own reward, regardless of whether I get what I’m going for that particular day.

At the end of the day, learning to enjoy the little things and those around you that make life enjoyable is what it’s all about. Training doesn’t have to be hard or miserable to be valuable.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.