7 Days of September – Summary

7 Days of September - SummarySeptember has been a crazy month! I am talking plain ole freaking crazy! And it seems that the months just keep getting crazier and crazier as each goes by. The world is an interesting place. There are some folks who would say the world is falling apart, I can’t really disagree. Some folks would say that “the end is near”, maybe. Some preppers are in a tizzy trying to get everything done, that’s fine and dandy. But those things are not us.

We are thoughtful, determined, and focused on what needs to be done to prepare for emergencies, disasters, and even grid-down. Whatever happens will happen regardless of what we do or when we do it. You and I have learned not to panic, not to go off the deep end, and not to become a crazy person. But, we know what needs to be done and we are doing it.

I started out at the beginning of September with one goal…for folks to be more prepared at the end of September than at the beginning. I hope you have joined me on this mini-trip.

Out of the seven areas of threats I hope you have done something in each category. It could have been something big such as buying your first AR-15 and 5000 rounds of ammo. Maybe it was something much smaller such as a MSR Sweetwater Filter System. Maybe it was nothing no more than adding 5 pounds of salt to your pantry. Whatever it was…thank you!

Together we are on this amazing journey of preparedness. We see the benefits to being able to take care of ourselves and our families. And to me, protecting and providing for our families is a requirement in life…it is not an option.

Thank you very much for going through the 7 Days of September with me. We will prevail, we will win!

AH

 

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7 Days of September – Part #8: Starvation

7 Days of September - StarvationWhat are we trying to accomplish when we talk about starvation in relationship to being prepared for emergencies, disasters, and grid-down? Simple, we don’t want to starve to death or become so weak from malnutrition that we can’t meet our responsibilities in those situations. Notice, we also have to be concerned about malnutrition as well as starving to death. Once again we can apply emergency Preparedness Layers - foodthe “layers” theory to this area of prepping.

Overall the concept is simple, we don’t want to lack sufficient caloric intake that we are unable to do what is required of us, or worse, die. That being said, let’s apply the “layers” theory to this area of prepping.

Normal pantry food –

This is the food that you eat on a normal everyday basis.

Being the simple man that I am I want to have 90-dyas worth of food in the house at all times. I am talking about your normal, everyday, run of the mill food that you and your family eat on a regular basis.

Yes, 90 days, you heard that correctly.  What’s the problem with that?  You are going to buy the stuff anyways, just get it done and put it in the pantry.  Think of all the gas you would save only going to the store every other week rather than every other day?  Think of all the money you would save buying quantities of food items that are ON SALE!90 days of grocery store pantry food

So, oh my gosh you need 90-days worth of food in the house right now?? No, you don’t.  Calm down, relax, it will be OK.  Read on…

Don’t make this more complicated than it is.  If you like spaghetti sauce and you eat it every couple of weeks and you use 2 cans each time you fix it, then go buy 12 cans the next time it comes on sale.  Same thing for all other can goods that you use.

If your budget is tight, no problem there either.  If you watch sales closely from all the food stores then only buy items in quantities when they are on sale.  And, if you can’t afford to buy 12 cans at one time then buy 6, or whatever you can afford.  But, buy something more towards storage each time you go to the store!  Have a plan.

A couple thoughts:

  • Buy what you use, if you don’t eat canned spinach, don’t buy it no matter what the sale price is.
  • Rotate your canned food every time you bring it home, pull the old stuff to the front, and put the new stuff in the back.
  • If the dates on the can are about to expire don’t worry about it. Those dates are “best if used by” NOT “eat it and die date.”
  • If your spouse just can’t bring themselves to eat out of date canned food then ask your neighbors or friends if they would like it.  If you don’t have friends like that, get some.  If you can’t give it away, take it to the local food pantry, soup kitchen, or homeless shelter.
MRE’s –

These are military grade Meals-Ready-To-Eat with heaters.

You do need options to provide decent meals to your family during short-term emergencies.  Granted, if you have a BBQ grill that is an option.  But ask yourself…Do you know how long will your propane tank last before it needs refilled? Will you be able to get it refilled?

Have you ever seriously considered grilling in the dead of winter? Do you have a back-up propane tank (or 4) that are kept full? Do you have a natural gas stove?  What happens if the gas is disrupted?

What if you don’t want to draw attention to yourself by lighting up the grill?  Or worse yet, do you really want some big cooking fire?  Or what if you don’t want to draw attention to yourself by the aroma of hamburgers and ribs cooking on your grill?  What if you are having to relocate and can’t take a grill?  Or you’re traveling and don’t have time to fix a cooking fire, etc.?

Sorry about all the questions, but as you can tell, I am trying to stimulate you to really question your situation and your Normalcy Bias. To solve this issue I believe in short-term emergency food storage made up of MREs.FOOD - MRE

Yup, good old fashion military grade MRE’s.  You can take them anywhere, including in a backpack.  They are 100% self-contained, including the heat source.  They are nutritionally balanced, packed with calories and sometimes include treats like M&Ms and Skittles.  Very hard to beat!

But MRE’s have distinct drawback – they tend to produce constipation when eaten for any length of time.  If you are in a combat or hunting situation, that might be a bad thing when compared to the alternative.  However, under the best of normal situations constipation is probably not high on your Christmas wish list.  I have discovered a miracle cure for that unfortunate condition – granola bars.  I pack 2 granola bars with every MRE, a soft/chewy one and a crunchy/hard one.  Eating a granola bar between your breakfast/lunch and then again in the afternoon or evening will keep your system moving along.

So, you might be thinking about now how much of this food category (MREs) should you have on hand.  And that is truly a great question with no single standard answer. For my family I am thinking about 4-days worth of MREs for each person in our house.  A case of MREs contains 12, so think a case per person.  It will cost you $50 – $100 per case depending on where you buy them. I buy them at gun shows for $40 – $45 per case.

Freeze dried meal pouches –

My next layer of food storage preparations is just a little more complex but far tastier, bordering on a fancy feast – Mountain House meals in the pouches.  Why Mountain House brand?  Those are the ones I really like the best.

These are different main dishes (i.e. lasagna, beef stew, etc.) that have been freeze dried and then packaged in commercial grade packaging. Stays fresh for 10 – 25 years.Food - Mountain House pouch

Let’s get into why freeze dried pouches are my choice:

  1. Easy to store with a long shelf life.
  2. They taste great.
  3. You can eat them right out of the pouch. A little dry to be sure but you can do it.
  4. Small, you can put them in your backpack with no problems.
  5. A cup of boiling water and you have a gourmet meal.
  6. You can eat with only a spoon or better yet…a spork.
  7. Light weight.

Again, you might be thinking about now how much freeze-dried Mountain House pouch food should you have on hand.  And again, that is truly a very valid question with no single standard answer. I am thinking about 4-days worth of freeze-dried pouches for each person in your house.  Each pouch of food will cost you between $4 – $8 depending on the meal and specific food you get. Count about $6.50 per meal on average. That $78.00 per person for the 4-days worth of food.

To make this option work the best I would suggest a way to boil your water. An Emberit or Olicamp stove is a great way to do this on a personal level.

Freeze dried food in #10 cans –

These are different main dishes (i.e. spaghetti, tortellini, etc.) that have been freeze dried and then packaged in commercial grade #10 cans. Stays nutritious and edible for 15 – 25 years.

This is a kind of a tricky area for me to lay out there for you. It would be easy to just say “I recommend X” and go on. However, this is a really important part of your food storage. It is also a very expensive part of food storage. This is the part of food storage that will stave off “food fatigue.”

food fatigueFood fatigue is where you are eating a lot of the same food day after day and it is bland and boring. Like eating oat meal everyday without anything to jazz up the taste. Rice, bean, oats, and wheat will keep you alive and healthy but it is horribly bland and you will get tired of eating it. Well, that is till you get hungry again and then it will taste great!

Long-term Food Storage to prevent food fatigue, freeze dried foodSo first, how much do I recommend of long-term everyday food items? I suggest a minimum of 45 days of #10 cans full of freeze dried food, the 20-30 year shelf life stuff.

Why 45 days?  From my experience it seems to be the outside time-frame for most emergencies and disasters.  For situations such as food chain disruptions or social problems it gives you a transition period that you can use to stabilize your specific situation. For a “grid-down” event where the food chain is permanently disrupted, 45-days isn’t near long enough. However, you can use this food to “spice-up” your long-term staple foods.

Should you store more than my 45-day minimum recommendation?  Absolutely!!  More for you to eat during TEOTWAWKI (grid-down) situations. But another cool aspect to this…eat it when you retire if the world doesn’t fall apart in the meantime.  I practice what I preach! I have more, significantly more, to make sure that my long-term food staples don’t food fatigue me to death. I also look at food storage as an “edible IRA.”

I thought through different scenarios and a really good way to deal with them – an ultimate solution if you will.  Some of the scenarios I considered:

1.    Extended winter storms with grid-down.
2.    Hurricanes without any infrastructure left.
3.    Flooding with complete grid-down.
4.    And longer-term food disruptions or societal/economic issues.

emergency Preparedness layer - freeze dried foodI was looking for a category of food that would provide:

•    Tasty meals to avoid boredom and/or gastronomical revolt.
•    Nutritional to maintain high energy levels.
•    Very easy to fix with minimal preparation.
•    Redundant ways to prepare meals (cold or hot, water or no water).
•    Easily stored, transported and concealed.

The most obvious answer to me was cases of #10 cans of freeze dried meals.  They come in astounding variety, Sweet & Sour Pork, Chicken Tetrazzini, Ham & Eggs, Granola and milk. They also have standard fruit, grains, meat, vegetables, etc.

What is needed to prepare and serve this kind of food? Best case scenario, a cup or small pot, hot water and done.  Worst case scenario, just open the pouch or can and eat it.

MSR Whisperlite International StoveYou can heat the water up any way you wish, I like the small multi-fuel MSR WhisperLite stoves <click to read more> but your electric range at home is fine too (provided there is still power). Make sure you have redundant ways to provide a heat source for the boiling water needed to prepare freeze-dried food.

There are lot of brands of freeze dried food out there that make incredibly good entrees. Some of my personal favorites are Mountain House, Thrive, Saratoga Farms, and Augason Farms.

I won’t make specific recommendations on what food to purchase. What I will do is suggest you purchase the food you like that can also be put over rice and beans. Using rice and beans as “extenders” will easily extend your good tasting food by 2 – 5 times. And that is important to fighting off food fatigue but maximizing the food storage you have on-hand.

The next thing I would like to suggest is consider are fruits, in this case freeze-dried or dehydrated fruits. Fruits will contain valuable and required vitamins to your diet. LDS church apple slices They are also great to add to oatmeal to add a little zip to an otherwise bland tasting bowl of oatmeal. Dehydrated apple slices from the LDS store are a great snack and extremely affordable. That is six #10 cans of apple slices with a 30-year shelf life for under $54.00!! (Last time I priced them.)

I think later I will go over an extensive list of foods that would be good to purchase for a great diet that has flavor and nutrition. But for now, I think you have enough of an idea to get started. Here is one suggestion on what to put in those cases:

freeze dried mountain house food in #10 cans for 45-day food supplyCase #1 –

1 can of Beef Teriyaki with Rice
2 cans of Granola with Milk & Blueberries
3 cans of White Rice

Case #2 –

2 cans of Beef Stroganoff
2 cans of Scramble Eggs with Bacon
2 cans of Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Case #3 –

2 cans of Chili Mac
2 cans of Garden Peas
2 cans of Sugar Sweet Corn

Case #4 –

1 can of Hearty Beef Stew
1 can of Noodles and Chicken
2 cans of Apple Slices
2 cans of Peach Slices

All of the food mentioned above is Mountain House brand. I think Mountain House has the best quality and flavor of all the freeze dried food brands. With four cases of food you can see that your family can eat for a pretty decent length of time…and a wide variety of food tastes.

So here is a one of those “best kept secrets” that will make your food storage life a whole lots easier…LDS Home Storage Centers. Yup, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe so much in food storage that they make is very easy and very affordable to purchase properly canned (#10 cans) long-term food storage. Their on-line store is a great way the time and money you save will be amazing.

Note: Sorry, for those of you living outside the USA neither option is available to you.

LDS store to buy food storage onlineLast time I checked here is what available on-line:

Nonfat Dry Milk
Hard Red Wheat
Hard White Wheat
Regular Oats
Quick Oats
Sugar
White Flour
Spaghetti Bites
Macaroni
White Rice
Potato Flakes
Apple Slices
Pinto Beans

To purchase these items you go to the website and order just lie you would any other on-line store. The shipping is unreal low so the price doesn’t go way up to ship the food to you. Normally it is $3.00 <click here to go to the LDS on-line store>

Now, if you are near one of the LDS Home Storage Centers that are scattered around the country it gets even better. At these locations the pre-canned food available it amazing! The order form provides you the shelf-life, and the weight per can, plus obviously the price. So you know exactly what you are getting. I have bought from them before and I am telling you that the quality of the food is outstanding! I really really like the apple slices as a snack. They rock!!

LDS Home Storage Center order form listing food you can purchase

click to enlarge

You can find an LDS Home Storage Center by visiting the website locator page: <click here> We used to do a “group order” of interested folks. We would gather orders from folks and just send a couple people in a pick-up truck the 110 mile round trip to buy the cases of food. Everyone who didn’t go would chip in gas money. Then the food would be delivered to one location, someone’s garage, where everyone would pick up their order. A BBQ of hamburgers and hotdogs would always be a nice social event to top it all off.

In my perfect & ideal world I would buy these items in this order. I would buy a single case of each first. Then once I got that done, I would start over and keep buying until I felt I had a year’s supply of food in the house for the entire family. In priority order:

•   Apple Slices
•   Onions, Dry
•   Wheat, Hard Winter
•   Rice, White
•   Carrots
•   Sugar, Granulated
•   Beans, Pinto
•   Oats, Quick
•   Macaroni
•   Milk, Nonfat Dry
•   Potato Flakes
•   Four, White
•   Beans, Refried
•   Beans, Black
•   Spaghetti

Yeah, it’s going to take some money to do this. However, in my way of thinking I would rather have all this food storage and not need it, than need even some of this stored food and not have it. Remember, you can always eat the food! Even if you wait until your retirement years, you can still eat the food! That is why I call it my “edible IRA!”

The way I look at it – this is part of my IRA, 401K, pension or whatever you want to call it. It will help reduce the food bills when my wife an I are retired, if we don’t need the food before then.

Couple comments about food from the LDS Store:

  1. The apple slices are incredibly good!!!!  I can eat them right out of the can as a snack. I also put them on my cereal. You can bake them in a “bread” like banana bread.
  2. The refried beans are some of the best I have ever tasted. They are dried, and you reconstitute them with water. And man-o-man they are good!
  3. The dried onions are very flavorful. They can add a lot of flavor to otherwise drab meals.
  4. Carrots are not real flavorful but they add some color and nutrients to otherwise drab meals.
Long-term staples –

These are the basics to sustain life; wheat, rice, oats, beans, etc. The items are packaged in commercial grade #10 cans. Stays edible for 20 – 30 years.long-term staple food storage

I have mixed emotions on long-term staple food, I really do. First, you absolutely must have it. Second, it is very cost-effective to buy. Third, you really don’t need to rotate it, it will last 20 – 30 years in good storage conditions – but not in your garage! Fourth, it will provide the basic nutritional requirements to keep you and your family alive. Fifth, you will suffer from “food fatigue” very quickly. Food fatigue sucks.

Here’s the deal, I don’t see “long-term staples” as what you are going to eat for any length of time. At least not by itself. What I am getting at is this, it will be used in conjunction with other foods. Here is what I mean…

You know I suggest that you have a wide variety of foods. But let’s Campbells Soup for emergenices and disastersjust talk about “soup” for a minute. Let’s say you have a can of soup in your pantry storage; chicken noodle or beef vegetable as examples. It is nutritious by itself but not real filling and offers little in terms of carbohydrate or protein, which your body will need during tough times. So you supplement it with your “staples.”

You cook a ½ cup of rice, a ¼ cup of pinto beans, and ¼ cup of wheat “berries.” Then you mix those ingredients together with your can of soup and BINGO! You have a great tasting meal with far more nutrition, plenty of carbs/protein, and it far more filling. Throw in some crushed red pepper flakes and you really have a very tasty dish!

This combining of staples with more palatable food will greatly improve the nutritional value of your meals and give it some Food Fatigue during emergencies and disasters food storageacceptable flavor as well. Test the idea, cook up the beans, rice, and wheat berries; mix them together in a bowl and eat. Yeah, how does that flavor work for you? Yes, it is nutritious to be sure but the lack of taste will quickly burn you out; hence, the term “food fatigue.”

Another way to leverage your long-term staples is to combine it with food you’ve hunted. In this example take a rabbit that you have snared, by itself it does provide protein and bulk. But now take the same rabbit and then cook up the same mix of rice, beans, and wheat berries. It is now far more nutritious, with way more protein and a whole lot more bulk. If you cooked the rabbit over a fire before adding it to the “mix” then it adds even more flavor as well.Stew

Throw in an onion, a leak, a carrot, beat, beans, peas, potato or anything else from the garden or from the wild and you have a very tasty stew. The key is the extra bulk, nutrition and protein coming from your stored long-term staples.

This “long-term staples” was one of the very first areas of food storage that I focused on when I started buying my food storage. Why? It’s cheap. I was able to buy large amounts of the basic staples for a much smaller amount of money than I could have for #10 cans of freeze dried meals. I could have gone with the fancy freeze dried foods but they are far more expensive than the staples I was buying.

So I bought the following in priority order…for starters:

  1. Wheat
  2. Rice
  3. Oats
  4. Pinto Beans

For my source I used The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. When I purchased the majority of mine it was all LDS store to buy food storage onlinethrough their warehouse system. Now they have an on-line store now where you can purchase a wide variety of long-term staples at prices that simply can’t be beat anywhere else. Why so cheap? They want people, all people, to have food storage for when the tough times come.

<click to go to the LDS Online Food Storage Store>

The food is canned in #10 cans and packed for 20 – 30 year shelf life. Look over the portions for each and a case can be considered roughly a month’s worth of food for one person. Yes, it is the boring “food fatigue” stuff but it is food and can sustain a person for a month.There are recipes in the boxes as well on how to use the those basic four foods. It is a really good deal at only $22.00  – $40.00 per case.

If you do as I suggested above, you could eat fairly decently with just cans of soup, your long-term staples, and then thrown in a little spice here and there and you have it made. Then add a can of tuna or chicken and you are really living. Now here is a little secret to share with you, the LDS also has things like onions and carrots on-line and much more to purchase as well. Buy a case here and there of each type of food, add it to your basics and now you are really living…it’s called stew!

Seriously, look at how much food you could purchase quickly by going through the LDS church and their website. It can be an instant shot in the arm to your existing food storage, or a great way to jump start your food storage from scratch.

So here is what I would buy from the LDS website in order:

  1.  1 case of rice
  2.  1 case of wheat
  3.  1 case of onions
  4.  1 case of dehydrated apple slices.
  5.  1 case of carrots
  6.   1 case of pinto beans
  7.   1 case of black beans
  8.   1 case of onions
  9.   1 case of dehydrated apple slices.
  10.   1 case of carrots
  11.   1 case of refried beans

At this point you now have approximately a year’s supply of food for one person when added to your food pantry stuff.

Now, go look in your food pantry and freezer, see what you have in there and imagine how you would use it to combine with the long-term food outlined above.

So there you go, adding long-term staples can drastically improve your food storage situation. You can take your food storage from a month or two to well over 6 months to a year or more fairly easily and cost-effectively.

I often get asked the question, “How much long-term food should I have stored?”

Food storage shelvesThat’s a tough answer for most people. However for me it was easy to get that answer, I just kept buying food storage until I felt inspired that I had enough. I know people who have years worth of food storage; I am talking 4 – 8 years worth of food storage! Now, granted, a lot of it is long-term staples but that is OK! Food is food and when you are hungry it will taste like a feast.

Why do they have that much food stoage? Well, again, the answers vary quite a bit for each prepper. A middle-aged couple have told me that they have large families, including extended family members, and they want to make sure that they can feed them all.

I also know a family or two that have purchased that much just because they felt inspired to do so. They feel they will be called upon to feed lots of folks; and that is OK too. And then there is a family or two that want to use their food storage as a bargaining/bartering chip. For me, I think I will be called upon to feed other people, so I bought food until I felt inspired I had enough.

Think about it – food becomes in short supply and people are getting hungry. You’ve stored a considerable amount of food, far more than your family needs. There’s a family in the neighborhood who your family enjoys having a BBQ with occasionally. You and your spouse have enjoyed a double-date or two with them over the years, and your kids go to the same school. The dad is a retired Army Ranger and his wife is a nurse. So, you think you might want to try and work out a little deal where you band together with them? And food storage could be your ticket!

How about the guy around the corner who is a Emergency Room Doctor?

The options and possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Yes, operational security is important, you don’t want them knowing that you are sitting on a pile of food. But being able to feed them can buy a lot of assistance and maybe even loyalty. Or, better yet, the start of a preparedness group.

Precious Metals for preppers - grid-down, emergencies and disasters - gold & silverAnd you know how I feel about precious metals if you read my article “Silver & Gold…Really?<click to read>.  In a true “grid-down” situation I look at food as even more valuable than precious metals.  Food can be used just like precious metals to “bribe & buy” in exactly the same way. The only difference…food will become more and more valuable as times goes on.

There are a lot of reasons to have food storage, but it like any number of prepper topics, you are either sold on it or not. You either believe in it or not. But food storage in the most practical and realistic terms is a “no-branier” in virtually every way possible.

  1. In emergencies and disasters your food storage can feed your family and a few others till the food distribution chain is back up and running.
  2. If you ever become unemployed your food storage is just like a savings account and will help you get through financially.
  3. If you never eat it for any reason you will still retire at some point. Look at your food storage as part of your retirement account.
  4. Food storage makes a great investment. Have you ever heard the price of food going down?
  5. And finally, “grid-down.” You can be the hero and save your family from starving to death. And if you have stored enough food you can be…well, you can be pretty much whoever you want to be.
Snares –

This will be a short topic. I want you you to have snares on hand. The wire small game snares, big game snares if you need/want them. Snares are 24-hour a day hunters, and the don’t use up valuable ammunition, make no sound, and are inexpensive to put into action. I personally like pre-made wire snares myself.

The game you catch can supplement your food storage or be bargained away to neighbors . And that is worth a whole lot!

NOTE –

Notice that I have not included home canned items in this list. The reason is my opinion of their stability and transportability. Since 99.9% of all canning is done in glass jars I think they are not suitable to be considered as anything other than normal pantry food, I do not consider them in any other category. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with you having 1 – 2 years’ worth of normal pantry food. As I look at all those glass jars though I see a big problem trying to transport them anywhere and have them remain intact. Also, I seem them as less than desirable for rough conditions of any kind in a “grid-down” scenario. They are “glass” and are easily broken. All that being said, I love home canned fruits/jellies and they have a place in the food storage plan…under the “normal pantry food” category.

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Escape from Tucson: Day 20 – Monday (late)

Escape fromTucson by AH TrimbleWe ate lunch and Ashley is sleeping again. She said she didn’t sleep much while she was alone. She said she would get scared at night. She talked about little ugly dogs howling. I am thinking coyotes. She also talked about big scary animals coming up to the water tank at night to drink. She even said that once two people came up to drink from the water tank. She said they didn’t have the right clothes on so she kept hidden in the old rusty pick-up truck.

Beans is back. She was sleeping right beside Ashley when I woke up. No, Beans didn’t share with me where she had been or what she had been doing. She’s back, that is the important part.

Did you remember that I am wearing my 5.11 cargo pants? Yeah, they are a light tan color. And my shirt…Columbia PFG shirt…light green. And then there is the big backpack that I bought from the Guess Ranch. At least I hope they see it as me having bought it. My clothing matches what Ashley was talking about.

After she woke up she stretched, walked over, wrapped her arms around my neck, hugged me, sat down and petted Beans. She asked me if we could have another BBQ pork patty to eat. I told here I was all out but I read the names of the MREs we had left. She was OK with the cheese tortellini if that was the best I could do. She ate all of the tortellini and she also ate the nacho cheese and wheat cracker. I didn’t say a word…who knows how much she ate and when. Besides, she is skinny enough as it is, a little food will do her good.

Before she laid back down to sleep she asked when I was taking her home. All I could think to say was we were heading there tonight. I better come up with some kind of plan…a good plan…a really good plan. I will settle for any kind of plan!

I did get lucky though…she has good clothes on and her boots appear to be really pretty decent hiking boots. I get the feeling that her family were real outdoor people if her clothes are any indication. Oh, she even has a small Gerber multi-tool on her belt. How cool is that!

I am going to study the map a bit and then try and sleep. Beans will have guard duty. I swear that dog looks like she is smiling. What the heck am I going to do now?

 

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7 Days of September – Part #7: Exposure

7 Days of September - ExposureIn the most simple of terms…we don’t want to become sick, or die, from exposure. We have to be concerned about both hypothermia (cold exposure) and hyperthermia (heat exposure) in emergency, disaster, or grid-down situations because you can die pretty dang quickly from exposure. And this is true whether it is winter or summer.

The best way to present my concept of protection from the elements is expressed in layers of protection.

emergency Preparedness Layers - shelterSo let’s get started with putting you in the middle of a bunch of concentric circles representing the expanding concentric circles of layers protecting us from the elements and all other aspects of exposure.

First up – clothing.

Yup, nothing fancy, no special piece of gear or equipment, just clothing. But, this is the single most important factor, period. Without good quality clothing appropriate for the environment you are in, no other kind of shelter will matter much. I categorize clothing into two basic groups; 1) clothing that will get you killed, 2) clothing that will save your life.

Stop laughing! Or, stop rolling your eyes at least. I am being serious and you will understand what I am talking about in just a minute.

So let’s look back at what are the biggest general threats/risks to any emergency, disaster, or grid-down. Previously I’ve listed them as:Grid Down Chaos and violence against people are threat and risk to family

  1. Violence
  2. Injury/Sickness
  3. Communication (lack of or poor)
  4. Organization (lack of or poor)
  5. Dehydration
  6. Exposure
  7. Starvation

Notice #1 on the list? Well, if bad guys can’t see or find you, how can they hurt you?

So, my first suggestion to you is pretty simple, make sure everyone in your family or group has a full set of good family in camo clothingquality camouflage clothing to wear. I wrote an extensive article on camouflage clothing that you might find very interesting. That article explains in detail why you want to wear camouflage and how it helps to hide you. < click here to read the article on camouflage clothing >

But, that being said, will you always find yourself in a situation where you need to hide from bad guys? Hey, you might find yourself in a totally benign situation where there simply are no bad guys. Fine. Or, you may find yourself in a situation where you might bring unwanted attention on yourself and your family by wearing camouflage such as in the middle of an urban environment. Fine.

Both are valid situations where camo might be inappropriate. But, prepare for the worst and enjoy anything less. So have the camo clothing ready but also have other non-camo clothing that will function just as well within this “shelter” area of preps.

Now, back to exactly what clothing as your first layer in the shelter category…

Let’s hit on the closest layer, literally. It is called the “base layer” and is worn right next to your skin. What you wear depends on the environment you will be in. If it is a cold environment then you may want to wear thermal underwear. If it is the desert where you will be then you may want to wear the lightest possible material. In either event you always want to wear clothing next to your skin that will transport moisture away from your skin. If you are going to be in hot, humid, rainy conditions maybe commando is the way to go.

I am not a fan of artificial fibers for base layers. Nature has already made great natural fibers that have worked for millions of years, no need for man to screw around with them. I don’t recommend, and I don’t endorse any man-made fiber material for a base layer.

Cold Environment –ColdOutside

For cold environments most people automatically think of cotton thermal underwear. I did as well in years gone past. But there is a huge difference in materials and what they can do for you or what they can do against you…like kill you. Cotton is the worst thermal insulating material that you could possible use in a cold environment. It will potentially kill you. If you overheat and start to sweat, cotton will hold the moisture directly against your skin and draw heat away from your body.

Wool on the other hand is an amazing natural material. It is designed to keep you warm even if it does get wet. Remember you want to be warm as you sit around and that’s for sure. But, that is what a campfire is for. However, the same layers of warm clothing that keeps you toasty sitting around camp could be far too warm for any physical exertion on your part such as hiking or splitting wood.

That being the case, you not only want to be warm sitting around a camp fire, you want your clothing to keep you warm when you are engaged in your normal physical activities.Those are two very different situations.

If you are walking with a backpack through the snow and you are over-dressed, you will sweat. And sweating is creating moisture against your skin. If that moisture stays in contact with your skin, you will cool off and you may become hypothermic.

Minus 33 Merino wool clothingMinus 33 Merino wool clothingI researched and tested a lot of different wool clothing, Minus33 Merino wool was the best all-round that I found. There are other brands, but I found Minus33 to be the best.

One more time…I am sold on one brand of cold weather underwear – Minus33. I think it is simply the very best. Wide range of men’s and women’s products in three weights; lightweight, midweight, & expedition.

Minus33 merino wool underwear for preppersTheir products are made from Merino wool. It has an amazingly soft and comfortable feel. Minus33 Merino Wool regulates the amount of moisture on your skin by absorbing any moisture or sweat on your body. Then, the absorbed moisture evaporates out of the fabric into the atmosphere.

< click here to read the article specifically on Minus 33 wool base layers and socks >

HotDesertHot Environment –

For me, I like a little moisture against my skin in hot weather to cool me down. The exception would be the crotch area. Also, a gentle cooling through moisture evaporation of a t-shirt will help keep you from over heating. But, that same moisture in your crotch area can lead to “crotch rot” and that is miserable. Regular cotton doesn’t provide that quick moisture wicking and drying in my opinion. Charged Cotton does provide that wicking effect and dries quickly.

Under Armour charged cotton t-shirt tshirtUnder Armour charged cotton boxer jocks for preppersJust as I love a single brand of underwear for cold environments, I am just as sold on a single brand for hot environments – Under Armour. I work in very, very harsh desert environments fighting wildfires, UA is simply the best in my opinion.

UnderArmour-003Their Charged Cotton is built from 100% cotton. It has the power to wick sweat and dry fast. Lightweight Charged Cotton has the comfort of cotton, but dries much faster through their Signature Moisture Transport System wicks sweat away from the body.

Note: Now, for you that are LDS, the “handbook” has exceptions for certain conditions for your base layer. Look into it if you are interested. Otherwise, go with the material that is available and best suits your needs.

Now an informative word on socks…

There is only a single material that I think is appropriate for socks – wool. Period. I use wool for both hot and cold Smart Wool Heavy Sockenvironments. It works just fine, the best actually. I like SmartWool, Minus33 and REI Socks Wool Minus33Socks Wool REIbrand wool socks (in that order). Get a heavyweight pair for when you are hiking with lots of weight or in harsh cold conditions. I use a lightweight pair for desert environments in the summer. However, that being said, I have used heavy, mid and light-weight socks in both hot and cold conditions and I have yet to be uncomfortable. It wouldn’t hurt to try different weight wool socks for your specific conditions. The weight will  make a difference on the thickness of the sock. Make sure you try your socks with the boots you expect to wear. Also, never go buy a new pair of boots without taking your thickest wool socks with you when you are trying on those new boots.

Your first protection against the elements, hot or cold, should be your base layer. Then comes your next layer, for this discussion we will call it the shirt/pant layer. This is the layer that will likely provide your greatest resistance to all aspects of your environment, so it is essential that these items be of the highest affordable quality possible.

I will break this layer into groups, camo and non-camo. Both need to be sturdy and can probably be made from the same kind/type of material.

For camo I go with:A-tacs UR Organic camo clothing

  • Pants – Propper (65/35 poly/Cotton) rip stop. They are comfortable, hold up well, and are cool in 100+ degree desert conditions.
  • Camo ACU multicam military surplusShirt, ACU – ReadyOne Industries 65/25/10 rayon/Aramid/nylon) rip stop. It is comfortable, hold up well, and are cool in 100+ degree desert conditions. I buy the military surplus stuff.
  • Shirt, Tactical Combat – 5.11 Tactical Multicam TDU Rapid Camo5.11 TDU Rapid Assault ShirtAssault Shirt. This shirt is specifically designed to be worn with body armor. It is also great when worn with a tactical vest without body armor. The sleeves are 65/35 poly/Cotton rip stop. The main shirt body is 55/37/8 cotton/poly/spandex. It is extremely comfortable, holds up well, and is cool in 100+ degree desert conditions. The quarter-zip front really makes this shirt comfortable in hot weather.

For non-camo I go with:5.11 Tactical Series Pants

  • Pants – 5.11 Tactical Series (65/35 poly/Cotton) rip-stop. They are comfortable, hold up well, and are cool in 100+ degree desert conditions. They are also warm by themselves in cold conditions. Add a base layer and they are just toasty.
  • Shirts – Colombia Bonehead PFG (100% cotton poplin). The shirt also has a mesh-lined Shirt Colombia Bonehead PFGvent at center back. This is a very comfortable shirt that performs exceptionally allowing air to circulate over your back keeping the moisture wicking away from you. The material also dries very quickly.

So do I suggest other materials or styles? No, not really. The clothing suggested here works for both warm and cold climates. If it is colder, you put on your wool base layer. If it is warmer you don’t use your base layer or go with the UA charged cotton underclothing. I’ve worn these same exact clothes in 100+ degree bright desert sunny days. I am still around to write about it. Sure, it may get hot but it wasn’t to the point of unhealthy or dangerous.

So what about it getting really cold, now what do I wear?

I already mentioned that you wear your base layer, then the shirt/pant layer. Once you have that on you assess how much warmer you have to be. Again, I’ve worn these exact same clothes and been just fine in both hot and cold conditions. However, a base layer and the shirt/pant layer may not be enough for cold(er) conditions, an outer layer may be required. But, that doesn’t mean you have a different pair of pants, a different shirt, or different base layer. Your base layer and pant/shirt layer still remains in-place. You “layer” your clothing to meet the conditions. If you warm up, you take the outer layer off. If you get cool, you add a layer on the outside called the outer layer.

Why add or remove an outer layer? To reduce the time, effort, discomfort, and vulnerability while not attempting a complete wardrobe change.

That is also why you want the lightest possible base layer; you don’t want to have to take that layer off in the middle of your day. Think about it…you are bugging out with your GOOD BOB on, your family is in tow, and now you are over-heating. You stop to remove your base layer. How much effort goes into that change? How much time does it take? And while you are doing all of that changing of clothes are you really prepared to handle threatening situations very easily?

The outer layer consists of watch cap, fleece jacket, rain poncho and ECWCS:

  • Watch Cap Blackhawk fleeceWatch Cap – Blackhawk (100% 7 oz. Blizzard Fleece). This low-profile cap is really warm and won’t interfere with any jacket hood and is comfortable under a helmet.
  • Hood – Military Surplus AF Apparel (100% Microfleece). This is a great cold fleece Hood with drawstringweather  hood! It has drawstrings to cinch down the amount of exposed face. And a lower drawstring to secure it low on your neck. Make sure you get a “long” cold weather hood to make sure it stays inside of your jacket.
  • Jacket Cabelas FleeceJacket – Cabelas Snake River (100% fleece). This is a very comfortable and warm jacket. Zippered front pockets and a drawstring at the bottom. The drawstring allow you to cinch it up to prevent cold breeze from getting underneath the jacket.

Note: If you are using a poncho and poncho liner system, or a parka and parka liner system, together then view the liner as the fleece jacket.

  • Rain Poncho – O.P.S.E.C Poncho by Survival Solutions is the only way to go! This
    white version

    white version

    amazing poncho was designed specifically to go over your

    as shelter half

    as shelter half

    backpack and fit correctly. Optionally it is also 42sqFT shelter-half. There is no better rain poncho. Note: It folds up and then can be stored in its own hood.

  •  ECWCS Jacket/Parka – Tru-Spec TRU-SPEC MultiCam (OCP) H2O-Proof Generation II ECWCS Parka. I Tru-Spec TRU-SPEC MultiCam (OCP) H2O-Proof Generation II ECWCS Parkareally like this parka. But, it is not a traditional parka that you might be thinking about. This is a military “system” against rain, snow, and cold. But, it is a system. Let’s talk about the shell first…

Parka – Parka is made from 3-layer DINTEX® nylon material that is windproof, waterproof, and breathable. The zippered underarms open for ventilation to keep you dry and comfortable. Double storm flap, interior flapped map pocket, rollable hood stows away in the collar, DINTEX® inner lining, non-freezing two way zipper and zippered underarms, 3-pocket design and adjustable sleeve cuffs, sleeve pockets, waist drawstring, and large cargo pockets. The parka comes down to upper-thigh.Tru-Spec TRU-SPEC MultiCam (OCP) H2O-Proof Generation II ECWCS Parka Liner

Parka Liner – Liner is made from microfleece, a lightweight, warm and soft fabric that is hydrophobic. Zip thru collar, zipper front placket, elastic cuffs, drawstring waist, front pockets, and sleeve attachment loops for attaching to the parka.

For non-camo clothing options I suggest you look at quality snow skiing clothing. Why don’t I go into more detail non-camo clothing? Because I don’t do non-camo outer layer clothing. Why? For what we are talking about (emergencies, disasters, & grid-down) I want the very best gear I can own. And I am not made out of money so I go with the old saying, “prepare for the worst and hope for the best.” Military gear is the best when compared with dollars spent in my opinion.

Yeah, there may be some folks right about now asking, “What about military clothing bringing attention to you and getting you arrested?”

Well, if that is a possibility then you have far, far bigger issues to deal with. This would be a martial law, occupation type scenario that is a much bigger issue with far great problems to deal with than military clothing.

Also, notice I didn’t touch on gloves or boots. I did a review on Lowa Tibet GTX boots for cold weather. < click to read Lowa boot review >  The Lowa’s are also just fine for hot desert conditions as well.  But, I also like Merrell Moab boots for warm/hot conditions. < click here to read Merrell boot review > So you can take your pick on which boots you like. As for gloves, I am preparing a review soon on those and you can read more detailed info when that article comes out.

So there is your “clothing layer” and I can guarantee you that you will be warm or cool in virtually any climate you can find yourself operating in. Alright, time to move on to more layers. We got all the way up to the ECWCS parka and rain poncho, but what is next?

Next up – Non-shelter shelters.

Eno HammockTo me the best non-shelter shelter it is a hammock. Yup, you read the words correctly, a hammock. So, why a hammock?

When it comes time to sleep you want to be off the ground. It gets you away from the critters that could harm you, gets you off the cold and/or wet ground as well. I like the Eno hammock for quality, pretty hard to beat.Eno Hammock with tarp

So you think it might rain while you are sleeping in your hammock? String up your shelter-half (OPSEC Poncho). Now you are off the ground and under cover.

You might ask the question what about if it is cold. Yeah, that could be an issue so I recommend adding a layer to the hammock…an emergency blanket. No, I am not talking about the cheap, thin Mylar emergency blanket, I am Space All Weather Blankettalking about a heavier duty, thicker, more efficient/effective version – Space All-Weather Blanket. Specs & Info:

  • Material:          Astrolar (Reinforced fabric stands up to wear. Layered polyethylene film, aluminum and Astrolar reinforcing fabric.)
  • Dimensions:    7 x 5 feetSpace All Weather emergency Blanket
  • Weight:           12 ounces
  • Effciency:        reflects 80% of radiated body heat back to you.
  • Uses:              Use for warmth under a tent, line a hammock, a bivy sack, on top of your air mattress, or line your sleeping bag. Can also be used as a makeshift poncho.
Basic Shelters –

What happens if it rains or snows? String up your poncho as a shelter half. If that is still not enough then you go to Tarp Poly Camothe “tarp” layer. A decent quality ploy tarp is an excellent choice. They are easy to carry, lightweight, have grommets to facilitate stringing them between trees with your para-cord.

Here is a great tip…string up your tarp between trees with three of the four edges of the tarp in contact with the ground. Have a single open front facing your fire. If you have a good sleeping blanket and ground tarp put those on top of a good insulating layer of leaves or boughs. Now, line the inside of your shelter-half with the space blanket mentioned above.

No ground cloth? No problem! Make your insulating layer as mentioned, then lay out out your space blanket with the silver side up. Then lay out your sleeping blanket on top of that. Get in your sleeping bag and roll up until you look like a burrito. You will stay very toasty.

More  Shelter –

So, you want something more stable, more permanent, no problem, go to the next layer…a tent. Tents come in all sizes; from a small put-tent to a nice big cabin-wall expedition tent with stove and cots. Take your pick, whatever works for you and your situation. But, go with quality!

Remember, when it comes to tents you might not always be able to transport it in a vehicle. Apply the layers theory to this situation. Before you have a big luxurious cabin tent, have a high-portable, easily carried smaller tent.

2-person SnugPack Bunker Tent

2-person SnugPack Bunker Tent

I really gotta tell you, as far as personal tents go you simply can’t do better than SnugPak…period. I use The Bunker as my personal tent and I am amazingly pleased with the quality, the layout and the over build and function. There simply isn’t a better tent. You can’t go wrong with it!

< click here to read more about The Bunker >

Cabin Wall Expedition Tent

Cabin Wall Expedition Tent

Then again…you can get all tent fancy →

Ultimate Shelter –

And finally, if you are still not feeling like you are getting the shelter you need…how about a bug-out camper or a bug-out cabin?

BugOut Camper bug-out

BugOut Cabin bug-outI could go into really incredible detail with this concept of protecting against exposure but I am not going to. There may be a time and place for me to, but that time and place is not now. But, by now you get the idea of how these exposure-protection layers build upon each other. You have your personal “shelters” close to you (clothing), then sheltering grows in size and complexity as you add on more layers all the way up to a cabin. But, you still always have your base layer…the easy to transport and the layer that is the most important.

 

Associated Articles –
Related Articles –

 

 

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Escape from Tucson: Day 20 – Monday

Escape fromTucson by AH TrimbleJust when…just when I think it won’t get any more bizarre, it does…and in a big way. “How so?” you ask…great question! How about the prettiest little 6-year old blonde-haired, blued-eyed little girl sleeping five feet from me. Oh, and a 120lb dog curled up next to her wide awake, ears up and flicking around listening for any sound at all. Yeah…too freaking bizarre. Oh, but trust me…it gets ever weirder. But I better back up to last night and explain myself.

I had a very rough day of it yesterday, it was so hot and no place for me to really stretch out and sleep. Plus I had to keep moving around to stay in the shade of my poncho. Miserable day. It finally came to an end as the sun was dipping low to the west over the Peloncillo Mountains. I was none too patient to get going. I actually headed out well before dusk, earlier than I normally do, earlier than I should, but I had to get moving.

I knew there was the last turn-off before the railroad tracks; to the right led south to the tracks/interstate, to the left led to a windmill, at least according to my map. I needed to water-up so I was going to windmill and hope for a stock tank. Figured I’ll fill-up and then backtrack to the road and head south. I didn’t really have a plan on how far I was going to walk, I just figured I would keep going along the tracks once I felt it was safe enough to do so. If it wasn’t safe…then I would come up with a different plan. I headed out.

I found the turn-off to the windmill and I no sooner stepped onto that two-track and I felt inside “For this purpose you are here.” What????? I don’t talk like that. Heck, I don’t even think words like that. Then once again, clearly…“For this purpose you are here.” I figured too much sun earlier and too little sleep. I headed to the windmill a couple hundred yards in front of me. Then Beans got weird. I almost don’t even take notice anymore, she acts weird more than she acts normal. But, maybe for her weird is normal. Who knows!

I go into defense mode, pull the Shield out, and start letting my Situational Awareness ratchet up a whole lot. Nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing, I smell nothing, I sense nothing, and Beans is staying about four feet in front of me. She was crouched low taking no more than a step or two at a time then sniffing the ground. I didn’t like it, nope, not a bit. I was about to turn around and leave quickly, and “For this purpose you are here.” I gave up and walked towards the windmill and I noticed the stock tank which is normal but this one is pretty big. OK, I am supposed to water-up or take a bath is all I could guess. And of course about that time Beans starts to growl, backs up into the front of my legs. I am thinking this is where I die.

I am looking everywhere, I didn’t see a thing, nothing. Beans has her head cocked one way then another. She is sniffing the air so hard I thought she would inhale the water tank a hundred feet away. The thought raced through my mind that I wished I was home watching the “Last Ship.” And of course that is right at the time when Beans took off running at full speed towards an old rusted-out pick-up truck not far from the stock tank. And to make it even better I lose sight of her completely. Hey, I could just turn around and walk away right then and be perfectly accepting of my decision…no remorse…Beans could be on her own.

The of course Beans starts barking like a madman. Well, technically like a mad dog. I quicken my pace towards her like an idiot to see what she is barking at. And then…a little girl’s scream. I think that is when I wet myself. OK, not really, but I thought I might. Beans comes bounding around the pick-up truck like she is playing, then charges the pick-up truck again. And another little girl’s scream. Beans is killing a little girl!! I was ready to shoot Beans.

I was running and didn’t even realize it as I came around the corner of the pick-up truck ready to shoot something or someone. It didn’t really seem to matter to me who or what I shot, I just needed to shoot something. And there’s Beans running around and jumping at this little girl like she is at the park on a Sunday. They are just playing…playing for crying out loud!

Did I mention they were playing?

It was a surreal scene. The end of the world is less than a month old and here is a huge dog and a little girl romping around like they don’t have a care in the world. Playing in the desert, in the middle of nowhere! I was jealous.

The little girl looked at me…the screaming and romping stopped. Beans looked at me like “What?” the little girl just looked at me. I was wondering how long it would be before she started screaming and/or running. Nope! Not today…reality took a vacation. She was just looking at me. That lasted less than a minute…she walks over to me and wrapped her arms around my legs and hugged me. Of course her head didn’t even come up to my waist, she is a little one. But she just hugged me. OK, truth be told, it felt good to be hugged. But, why her? Why me? Why the hug? She should be screaming and running for her life. Beans is just standing there wagging her tail wanting to play some more. Freaking bizarro world.

Maybe two minutes later she let go and started playing with Beans again, never said a word. OK, so what do I do now? Eat of course. I fixed an MRE, the BBQ pork patty to be exact. When it was ready I asked if she would like to share some. She ate the whole thing. I enjoyed the peanut butter on whole wheat cracker. That BBQ pork patty really smelled good.

She was eyeing the Skittles from the MRE and I decided it was time to test my negotiation skills. I told her she could have the Skittles if she would tell me her name and her story. Evidently I have really good negotiating skills or she is a real talker…maybe she just likes Skittles a lot. She started talking…and kept it up for an hour. So where do I begin to even try and relate everything she told me. How about…for now I will just give you the highlights, later I might fill in some of the details.

She had been on a trip with her parents, a family reunion maybe, I am not sure. They were driving at night and the car stopped, everybody’s car stopped. Her dad got really upset and told them to load up their camping gear. Her mom was crying trying to talk to her dad, they were fighting. Finally, they started walking towards some big mountains. Her dad said they would be safe there. She was scared, her mom was crying, her dad was quiet. They walked for a long time. Then the slept for a while. She woke up hearing her parents arguing again. Her mom was saying they needed to go to a rest area till someone came to rescue them. Her dad kept saying no, that it wouldn’t be safe there. They argued a long time. They started walking again. They walked all day and all night.

She said they finally came to a nice place and dad said they were going to camp there for a while. She said her mom wasn’t talking to her dad anymore. After a two days they started eating rabbits and fat little birds that had weird hats on their head. I am thinking quail. They had a place they went to for water, the water ran out of some rocks in a narrow place in the mountains. They only ate twice a day. At night they would sleep by their campfire. She liked the campfire. She would sleep between her parents and she was warm, sometimes too warm.

One night she was warm and got up to go potty. While she was over by the potty bush she saw people walk into camp. They walked over to where her parents were sleeping and “shot them a bunch” in their sleeping bags. She screamed and started to run off. One of the men ran after her and caught her. They started walking away, and walked a long time. There were women with them, mean women.

They came close to a house. The men wanted to stop at the house. The women were scared that the people in the house would hurt them. The men laughed. The women said “no!” They didn’t go to the house. They walked all night. The next morning she woke up and all the adults were sleeping. She ran off and kept running toward the sun.

During the middle of the day she was tired and thirsty and there wasn’t any water to drink and no shade. She stopped and just started to cry because she was hungry, hot, and thirsty. She said three men walked up to her. She wasn’t scared, they were old men, and one of them was a giant. Two of the men stood off to one side like they were looking for someone. The big man came up and held her hand in his, both of his hands. He explained that she needed to keep walking and pointed off in the distance to a windmill. He told her to wait there for a man who would help her and take her home.

I am really struggling to write this, there are tears in my eyes. He said she would have to wait two days but the man would come. She would know him because he would have light colored pants, a green shirt, a big backpack, and a big dog. She asked the big man why he would help her. The man told her that the man would love her and she was the reason he was here. The giant smiled at her and she said she fell over and slept for long time. When she woke up she walked to the windmill. She said she drank a lot of water but had nothing to eat. Every time she would get hungry she would drink a lot of water.

Then she said Beans ran up to her and started playing with her. When she saw me she knew I was the man who loved her and would take her home…that was the reason I was there. That’s why she hugged me. She also said she really likes the BBQ pork patty but she loves the Skittles even more.

Ooopppssss…she is stirring around. Time to fix lunch. I will write more if I can.

 

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SitRep (9/22/2016)

Situation Reports (SitReps)I have started seeing an increasing number of events taking place. And that being the case, a greater need to share some things with you. I call it “connecting the dots” since that appears to be the best way to describe what I try to accomplish.

In my last SitRep (9/14/2016) I shared some very important information. I hope you took the time to read that article.

< click here to read the 9/14 SitRep >

Here are more dots for us to connect today –

  • Internet give a way – free speech (1st Amend)Connecting The Dots - conspiracy and criminal activity
  • FBI warrants – (4th Amend)
  • Cops killing and being killed –
  • Increase in riots
  • Another Islamic terrorist attack
  • DHS 1800+ dangerous illegals given citizenship
  • Obama wants more Islamic immigrants
  • War is coming
Internet give a way –

For two years now there has been extensive reporting that the US is about to turn control over to the United Nations. Well, that is about to actually take place on October 1st. And who is responsible for this? Obama. Good ole Barry once again, without the approval of US citizens or Congress, is acting as a only a dictator would…acting on his own with no regard for anyone else.

But the real question is, “Does this matter?” Oh yeah it matters!!!!  It matters in a big way. Why? Because the UN oversight group is made up of Progressive Globalists who already monitor and censor the Internet in their own countries. Yup, people are subject to having their service disconnected, fines, or imprisonment for using the Internet inappropriately. Things like expressing an opinion against Islamic terrorism, against a national leader, or any other expression of speech that their respective countries deem illegal. And those radical Progressive Globalist extremists could apply those same standards to the Internet within the US.

Yet, another example of how Obama is the single most anti-American, anti-Constitutional president that has ever occupied the White House. He is destroying everything he can get his hands on. If he can complete the give-a-way without Congress stopping him then he has effectively laid the ground work for the entire Internet to be censored and websites expressing Constitutional ideas, emergency preparedness information, or anything the UN doesn’t like will simply disappear from the Internet.

FBI unlimited search warrant capability (Rule 41) –

On December 1st a new rule become effective, Rule 41. Rule 41 has been a pet project of the FBI for a long time. FBI surveillance is big brotherEssentially the rule would allow the FBI to ask for a single search warrant on an individual person. Once approved, the search warrant would then allow the FBI to search millions and millions of people that the search warrant was never intended for.

The FBI has always conducted illegal and anti-Constitutional searches, eavesdropping, wire-tapping, cell phone data and text collection, and email collection. Since 2001 the FBI has participated in collecting virtually every text message, email, and cell phone call made in the United States. All of which of course is undeniably unconstitutional. But, little things like that doesn’t stop the vile FBI agency.

This new ruling will just now try to put lipstick on their pig.

Cops killing and being killed –

As I predicted last year and again earlier this year, cops are being killed at an increasing rate. Deplorable!

But, how have the cops in general responded? By killing more armed and unarmed civilians. Cops have been on a killing rampage this year killing record numbers of unarmed civilians and it is not likely to stop. Why? Because cops now see themselves as victims in a state of siege…literally and figuratively. Yeah, go figure…the guys with the guns and badges somehow see themselves as victims! Unreal!

Did I say all cops are killing people? Of course not, so don’t play that game. Taken as a whole the cops continue to kill unarmed civilians at an alarming pace. Why? I think two basic reasons 1) training, 2) cowardice.

Cops are being trained that their safety is more important, far more important, than any civilian’s life. They are being trained not to “serve and protect” but to “go home at the end of their shift.” Their training is turning them against the very people that they are supposed to serve and protect.

Cowardice? Yup! I am not mincing words here, cowardice. No, not every cop…don’t play that game. But, you hear more and more that “he stuck a hand in his pocket” or “he was holding what looked like a gun” and turned out to be a cell phone. They are still killing kid with BB guns. Earlier this year a cop killed a 13-year old who had a BB gun. The kid ran from police, police were yelling at him to stop, the kid stopped and was trying to drop the BB gun from his pants…the cop shot him dead. Just like the child in Cleveland who was shot dead by a cop…a kid who had been playing…and a cop killed him without even giving the kid a chance to drop the BB gun.

In the last week we’ve heard of, and seen video, of cops just shooting people dead. Unarmed people! But the cop simply repeats what he learned in training “it looked like he had a gun”, “he wouldn’t obey commands”…and the final get-out-of-jail card…”I feared for my life”. All those slogans they are trained profusely in class to say if they are ever involved in a shooting.

So what does this have to do with cowardice? Cops would rather kill a person rather than wait to see if that person is actually a threat.

So why is this important enough to be talked about in this SitRep? Because cops are being conditioned to kill at the slightest provocation. The good cops know better and have both courage and restraint. But, most don’t.

Now, tie all of that inside of the “siege mentality” and you have a recipe for escalating violence, chaos, deaths of cops, and deaths of civilians at the hands of cops. Exactly what the Progressives want…and it plays right into their hopes/plans for the ability to instill martial law and/or delay the election.

And please…no freaking badge bias please! The guy in Tulsa that was just killed had his hands in the air and was Tulsa cops murdered unarmed man.facing his vehicle to put his hands on the top of the car and this female cop just shot him. And worse yet…these so-called public servants handcuffed the unarmed guy they just shot…and then let him bleed to death. Yup! They took ZERO first aid action…they just purposely let this guy bleed to death right in front of them. I guess they heard the saying in training, “dead men can’t testify against you.” Cold-blooded killers!

Another Islamic terrorist attack –

Yet again we see that under Obama’s presidency we have been hit again by yet another Islamic terrorist. Is that a big deal? Ah, yeah! It is another example of how Obama has refused to protect the citizens of the United States. another attack by a muslim, islam at its finestNot only that, Obama is taking steps to increase Islamic terrorism in the US. Obama has brought in almost 1,000,000 Muslims into the United States since he has been president. That is absolutely deplorable!

Every federal security agency has stated clearly that they can’t properly clear these Muslims and ensure that they aren’t terrorists. Yet, Barry just keeps bringing them into the US. You have to ask yourself why?

Not only has he been flooding the US with Islamic terrorists, he just told the UN to have member countries bring in more Muslims, including Islamic terrorists, into their respective countries. You have to ask yourself why?

Have no doubt about it, Obama knows that a significant percentage of these Muslim “immigrants” are terrorists…he knows that! You have to ask yourself why?

Here’s the answer…the Islamic terrorist create chaos through killing and injuring people. That chaos brings about a “call to action” to make us safe. With that demand that something be done, the Progressives can then further reduce our freedoms and liberties, can increase the surveillance state, and bring us much, much closer to the totalitarian state that they so desperately desire.

So, during Obama’s reign, we’ve been hit over and over and over again by Muslim terrorists. Ever ask yourself “why?” Better yet, this latest terrorist attack was committed by yet another person that the FBI knew about. So that makes how many so far? Ah, all of them!

So the next question, quite naturally, would be, “Is the FBI that utterly incompetent, or are they complicit?”

Either way, the FBI is a complete and utter failure…or working against the American people.

DHS 1800+ dangerous illegals given citizenship –

We just learned that the Department of Homeland Security gave citizenship to over 1800 dangerous, criminal illegal aliens…many of which were Muslims. The original number was just over 800, but a couple of days later DHS admitted that it was over 1800. So how many more are there that DHS isn’t telling us? We know that DHS has lied continually about the security of our southern border, how bad are their lies this time about this subject?

And, then the natural question should be, “Is DHS that utterly incompetent, or are they complicit?”

Either way, DHS is a complete and utter failure…or working against the American people.

War is coming –

A very well placed source of mine in the military told me the other day that Saudi Arabia is readying for war with Iran. Not figuratively, not haphazardly, but with purpose. I challenged him on it and his reply was an emphatic “it is true!” And I think he should know…he is going over to Saudi Arabia shortly to head up a large training initiative.

Think about the global and local ramifications if Iran and Saudi Arabia start shooting at each other in earnest. We have always backed Saudi Arabia. Who backs Iran? Oh, yeah…Russia.

Summary –

Folks, to say we are in perilous times would be insultingly simple. Yes, it would be entirely accurate, but you already know we are in perilous times, you also know -or should know- that it will get worse, much worse.

As we approach the election we will see an increase in everything bad in the world. We will see more, chaos, riots, killings, terror attacks, etc. And it all is happening for one of two reasons; 1) incompetence, 2) complicity.

If you tie all of that into the bigger picture…we have a situation in America today that would make the 1770’s Colonial America look like a welcome relief. But, our courageous Founding Fathers didn’t stand for being treated so poorly by a tyrannical British government. What does that say for us today?

At some point the pot will boil over. When that happens I pray we all have our preparedness to a sufficient level. There is no voting our way out of this, that time has come and gone. What we can do now is prepare, plan, and practice to take care of our families, our communities, and our church congregations.

Keep doing what you know is right!

plan prepare practice

 

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7 Days of September – Part #6: Dehydration

7 Days of September - DehydrationIf you are the normal average person you can die from dehydration in as little as 24-hours, you can last no more than 96-hours. You can become weak and disoriented within 12-hours without water. Drinking water contaminated with viruses and bacteria and be debilitating within 1 – 10 days. Drinking contaminated water can kill you. So, tell me again how important water is?

Fortunately dehydration can be easily cured…drink water. To keep yourself healthy and functioning…drink safe water. Fortunately the “safe” part is easily cured…purify water before you drink it. But, there is still a problem here…you gotta have water to purify and then drink. Yup, you gotta actually have water…or be able to get it.

So, you have utility water and so you are confident that your Berkly or Monolithic water filtration/purification system will keep you and your family just fine. So what happens when the utility company can no longer keep water coming out of your faucet?

“No problem!” you say…you have a well. Great! And what happens when your power goes out and the well pump no longer works? Or the pump itself goes out and replacement parts are no longer available? What now?

Fortunately this problem too can be solved…with the right plan. Here’s your right plan

PreparednessLayers-001-04So let’s get started…

Filtration/Purification –

Personal dehydration prevention should be a NDuR or similar “life straw” kind of filtration device. It can be carried in Water - NDURyour pocket so it is the second line of defense against dehydration. It is easy to use, requires no special training, it is readily available, and effective.

If you have had to “bug-out” this personal options should be on each person all the time. Yes, it is carried in a pocket so it is readily available. Why? Because if you lose all your other water filtration and purification capability then you still have this life-saving option available to you. And yes, people have lost all their prep items (i.e. 72-hour kit) before during emergencies, disasters and grid-down. By having this handy little option on you, you stand a better chance of surviving. portable aqua water purification tablets

Moving out one layer or circle would be AquaTabs or Chlor-Floc. Both can be easily transported by a person in their kit. But these chemical options do take a little longer to work than the NDuR. But they can also be used to purify water for more than just Water purifying Chlor-Floca single person. And they can be used to purify a storage container of water. So that gives them the justification of being the next layer up from NDuRs.

Both the Chlor-Floc and the AquaTabs are a chemical process and they both take time to ready water for drinking. Sometimes there just isn’t any time available. So keep that in mind with these two options. But they are MSR Sweetwater filter and purification systemboth highly portable.

Next would be something along the lines of an MSR Sweetwater system. It is light, portable, compact, easy to transport, and can provide water to an entire family if needed. But it is bulkier and heavier than the two previous layers. But, the entire unit weighs in at less than a pound. The Sweetwater unit can easily produce 1,000gals of drinking water. The water source can be as polluted (non-nuclear) as you can imagine and this filtration/purification system can make it just fine to drink.

If you are worried about the water being contaminated with nuclear material you probably have larger problems. But, you could then use the “nuclear” version of the NDuR at that point to finish off removing the contamination material as you drink it.

The next layer is getting into the more semi-stationary options of filtering/purifying water. Monolithic ceramic water filter and purification system.My personal favorite, and very economical, system is the Monolithic Ceramic filter system. It can be used with 5-gal buckets, 55-gal drums, or larger containers. It can easily provide water for an entire family or a Monolithic ceramic water filter and purification system.neighborhood if needed. However, the entire system can be bulky compared to something along the lines of the MSR Sweetwater system.

 

 

Also, I hope you noticed a trend here…portability. The more personal an option is, the more portable it is, the easier it is to transport by person or vehicle. You have to balance portability vs. capacity need. Only you can make that decision for you specific circumstance. But, ensure you have multiple options to cover various portability and capacity requirements.

Storage –

Hot water tank = water storage.

You have a hot water tank, yes? Well, most homes have a 40 gallon hot water tank. And you probably have two toilets in your house, right? Well, there is another 5 gallons(+/-) each. No, not the water in the toilette bowl, the water in the tank that sits on the back of the toilet. Yes, that is normally acceptable as drinking water. So there is your 50 gallons of water storage on hand. The trick to it is to not lose it. So if your water supply disappears do the following:

  1. Turn off the electric or gas to your hot water tank.  This prevents burning up your water tank as you draw down the water in the tank.
  2. Turn off the value to the street water supply.  This prevents water being sucked out of your house and back into the water system.
  3. Turn off the valve on top of the water heater that goes to the lines in the house.  This prevents someone from inadvertently opening a hot water faucet and draining precious water from your supply.
  4. Turn off the value under your toilet tank and duct tape the toilet seat closed. Yeah, you don’t want to waste that precious water by someone accidentally flushing the toilet.

So let’s hit on a subset of Utility Water for a minute. If you would have any amount of warning that a disaster or emergency is coming fill every possible container in the house that might be able to hold water. Yup, anything; and I mean anything. Go for “easy” & quantity first such as the bath tub and sinks. Then go for buckets, bowls, bottles, jugs, jars, glasses; literally anything including heavy duty trash bags.WaterBOB = water storage of 100gal

One of the items that we have in our home and love it to pieces is a WaterBOB. It can hold up to 100gals and easily fits in your bathtub. It seals up very nicely and comes with a pump to move the water from the container to your bucket, bottle, etc. A WaterBOB is basically a large very heavy duty food-grade plastic sealable plastic bag. It takes about 20 minutes to fill it from your bathtub’s spigot. This is a great way to store water at the last minute for an emergency. So why not use it for storage sooner? Great! All the WaterBOB needs is some kind of “form” or cage around it to hold in place. But remember, there is a whole of weight involved; 85 pounds for a full WaterBOB. Plus you have the pressure pushing out on the sides as well. Whatever you would decide to build make sure it is sturdy.

A smaller similar produce is an AquaPod. The Water storage = AquaPod = 65 gallonsonly holds about 65 gallons but is a quality product as well and as a bonus is made in the USA. AquaPod & WaterBOB are both readily available on Amazon. A WaterBOB sells for about $40 or so, shop around. An AquaPod sells for about $28 but that is for a 3-pack! So here is your decision point…If you are going to use it for a last-minute-fill-it-up container and only have one bathtub then I would use a WaterBOB because you can get more in a single container. However, if you have multiple tubs last-minute-fill-it-up containers or you can make good quality forms for them (longer-term storage), then I would go with the AquaPod. Either way, you are storing a whole lot of water.

Commercially Bottled Water Layer:Commercially bottled water

You can buy a case of water (35 ½ liter bottles) for less than $4.00.  Each case of water would then last about 5 days for the average person.  Option, buy and store 1 case of water person for each 5 days of supply you want to maintain.

Bottled water is easy to store, easy to move, avoids cross contamination among people, easy to track usage (drink 1 bottle of water every 2 waking hours).

Note: Bottled water may not be any more pure or safe to drink than tap water under normal daily circumstances. Virtually all tap water in the United States is safe to drink without additional purification.

Self-Stored Water Layer:Water storage - 5gal square container

Small size storage containers. I am torn with this option really. For storing and moving smaller amounts of water I see cases of bottled water being the right all-around option. But there is a place for small container water storage. I would highly recommend a sturdy food-grade plastic container. I am partial to square containers to save space. But they need to be sturdy enough to handle not just storage, but moving and transporting them as well. The 5gal containers are about the right size in my option.

Water storage = 30 gals of water stored decorativeMedium size storage containers. A great compromise for storing water in quantity, but not as intrusive as a large tank in your yard, is a 30 or 50 gallon food-grade plastic storage container. If you have storage space limitations consider decorating them as furniture and putting them out of the way in the yard, on patios, etc..Use bleach in water storage.

When initially storing your water add bleach to keep bacteria in check (8 drops per gallon). Regardless of the bleach I would always filter and purify water that has been stored like this prior to using it.

Note: Use only food-grade plastic containers that you know what was in them prior to you acquiring them.

Larger (30-gal containers) that we have decorated is one of my favorite ways to store water! I will do a post in the coming weeks showing a project my wife and I did with 30-gal blue barrels and how we turned them into furniture for our deck.

Large storage tanks. This option can be a real lifesaver if you have the room for it. To have a 300+ gallon storage tank full of water can be a really huge benefit. But the same information applies to this as it does to the option of storing water in plastic soda bottles or glass containers, just on a larger scale.

Moving water from large storage tanks is all but impossible unless you move the water to smaller storage containers or have it plumbed into your home directly. Storing the water outside brings additional concerns; preventing freezing, concealing its presence, etc.

Note: You know that large, really pretty above round storage tank that you have in the back yard or behind the barn, or the one you were thinking about putting in? Think how nice of a target that makes for folks doing some shooting practice, or drawing folks to you who are looking for water. Consider this storage option carefully. Think about a creative paint job that helps it blend in to the surroundings. Or you might want to ponder making this method an “in ground” possibility.Water storage tanks

For above ground options you can take a look at these tanks – Water storage tanks

For below ground storage here are a couple options –

Note of caution: For storing water in these large volume containers consider the location of the storage tank itself. If you place the tank too far away you have to be able to get your house. If bad weather or bad guys are present it might be a little tough to do. Make sure you have a reliable way to get the water to you house under less than desirable conditions.

Water stored in milk jugs a bad idea.TRAP – Storing water in milk jugs has a pretty serious downside.  I am not a big fan of storing water in milk jugs.  Reason, other than their transportability?  Have you ever left milk sitting around too long, opened it and had it smell like a basket full of dirty clothes that came from the high school football team?  Yeah, point is, if you don’t get milk jugs really really clean then you will have some milk residue left and it will get very sour and produce a tremendous amount of bacteria.  In other words, your water will stink and will be nasty to drink and contaminated when you need it most.  And milk jugs will deteriorate and breakdown over time and water leaks all over the place.  Not a good way to endear your spouse to “prepping.”#4 LDPE (low density polyethylene) #5 PP (polypropylene)

What plastic containers are safe to use to store water?

  • #4 LDPE  (low density polyethylene)
  • #5 PP  (polypropylene)

WARNING: #1 PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) normally used for water, soda, and juice bottles are not designed for reuse.  They are not suitable for storage due to the possibility of bacterial buildup. There are also different reports outlining the possibility of BPA leaching over time out of the plastic and into the bottle contents.Above ground swimming pool for water storage. Intex

Cool Thought:  A small 8′ x 30″ frameless pool from Intex costs less than $66 for about $650 gals of water.  Plus you can cool off during hot afternoons!!  a 10’x  30″ gives you 1,000 of water for under $72.

Wells –

Having your own water well is amazing for self-sufficiency and true sense of security. And that is true as long as water wellyou can get water out of your well. A well on your property is actually just a form of water storage…a very large storage container.

Most people depend on utility power to run their well pump, do you? Is that the best way to go? It is certainly the easiest way for sure. Let me explain my own situation…

Our retirement/BOL property has a well. We recently had the well services, the old pump and pipes removed. We will be replacing the pump with a unit that can run off 110vAC power. We are also replacing the 1” galvanized pipe (9 x 20’ sections) with 1-1/4” poly tubing. Why do that might you ask?

The well hadn’t been serviced for 10 years, it needed it.

Replacing the pump with a 110vAC unit gives us the ability to run the pump in two ways –

  • Our solar system that can provide 12vDC to an inverter providing 110vAC power to the pump.
  • A 110vAC generator as back-up should the solar system be unable to provide the power to run the pump.

Since the pipe is actually a single piece of poly-tubing I can pull the tubing and pump out of the well myself…literally. And then I can use my Waterboy Well Bucket to retrieve well manually eliminating any need for any power other than a little muscle.

As you can see we now have three levels of redundancy to have a supply of water available to us. The third option being the well bucket requires no technology and no external energy source. Virtually foolproof.

Summary –

If you don’t have any water storage at all go to Sam’s Club or Wal-Mart and buy ten cases of water. You will have spent less than $40 and have a decent supply of water on hand for emergencies.

If you have water storage get a personal water filtration system such as a NDuR or LifeStraw.

If you have water storage and personal water filtration system for each family member then get a portable family filtration system such as the MSR Sweetwater system.

If you have all of the above purchase the Monlithic water filter system. Yes, you can buy a Berkley is you want to…and spend way more than you need to. Or spend the same amount of money buying the Monolitic system…and have filters for 10 times the water.

Now, if you have done all of the above I have two more potential suggestions…

  1. Buy a small above ground pool. They are relatively inexpensive and can provide you with a huge amount of water storage.
  2. If you don’t want the pool…buy more of the above items starting again at the top.

 

Associated Articles –
Related Articles –

 

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