Take good care of your leather boots…this is how.

Note: This article snuck out before I could get it edited so it is pretty amateurish. I will get it edited, add some pictures and get it posted again fairly soon. AH

This article is for all-leather boots only. Any other boot is not covered by this article. Yes, that is my disclaimer.

 

I have done a review on two different vastly different styles of boots so far. What they do have most in common is two things; 1) they are all leather, 2) they are expensive. And they fact they are expensive means you better take care of the leather. Failure to do so will result is a total waste of your money.

 

Now the good thing about high-quality expensive boots is the fact they will last a very long time if properly taken care of. And the most vital part of that is cleaning and conditioning them. And the most important part of that process it actually doing it. Yes, I am serious, you can’t procrastinate taking care of your boots.

 

So how do you do this properly?

 

Well, first, other that actually doing it, you have to use the right products. And I will give you that information as well. But before I get into that I want to help you avoid the #1 killer of quality leather boots – artificially drying them. By that I mean drying them with a heat source such as a hair dryer, boot drier or sitting right next to the campfire or fireplace. Don’t do it!
You just let your boots dry out naturally just sitting out in the open whether inside our outside. Using any heat source will prematurely dry out the leather and the stitching. But one of the best ways to avoid the problem is taking proper care of your boots to begin with which, in turn, reduces the chances that your boots will get soaking wet to begin with.

 

Let’s start with cleaning them. Take out the laces, wash them in warm water with a little bit of soap. Rinse them when clean, let them hang dry naturally.

 

While your laces are drying remove any mud and loose dirt with a soft natural bristle brush. Don’t scrub too hard! First of all, you shouldn’t need to. Second, if you do scrub too hard you will be damaging the leather and breaking down its natural protective surface. It is better to wipe the dirt and mud off with a soft cotton rag if it will come off.

 

Make sure your boot leather is completely dry before proceeding. If your boot leather is not dry then stop! Give your boots time to dry naturally. Don’t use heat to dry them. You will damage the leather.

 

Once your boots are dry and free from loose dirt and mud, take your Fiebing’s Liquid Glycerine Saddle Soap and spray a small amount on your natural wool fleece pad. Yes, I said natural wool fleece pad. See the picture for more detail but this pad is sheep’s fleece still attached to the hide.

 

Once you have that small amount on the pad begin to rub it into the leather’s surface. You want to use the “wax-on, wax-off” motion. If you have never watched Karate Kid then you have no idea what I am talking about and you are probably a loser. Go watch the movie and then come back to cleaning your boots. You will then know what I am talking about and be a far “cooler” person as well.

 

OK, so you are doing small circular motions with the wool pad that has a small amount of Fiebings on it. Be content to just do small areas at a time, with not too much Fiebings on the pad each time. In the picture to the right notice the difference in color of the two areas of the leather. It is a before and after picture of what it should look like. Don’t get rowdy with the Fiebings, take your time, be patient, don’t put too much on at any one time.

 

Do the entire boot this way. Don’t get any on anything but the leather. If there is a cloth “neck” or something similar, don’t get the Fiebings on it.

 

For tighter areas that the pad can’t get to, use a soft natural bristle brush to apply the Fiebings and gently bush it in. Wipe down the boot with a soft cotton cloth before the Fiebings has completely dried.

 

Allow the boots to completely dry before continuing to the next step.

 

Once your boots have dried from the cleaning with the Fiebings you can proceed to the conditioning. If your boots still appear dirty, then clean them again with Fiebings. Do this until you feel your boot leather is clean. I would suggest you allow the leather to dry between cleanings.

 

OK, now that your boots are clean and dry you are ready to proceed with the conditioning. The purpose of this step is to improve the ability of the leather to resist water. When you cleaned your boots with Fiebings, that actually replenished the boot’s leather natural conditioning for the most part. This step is mostly for the water resistance and a little more conditioning.

 

Take your “SNOW-PROOF” leather conditioner and rub your fingers in the can until you have a decent coating on your fingers. Now rub that into the boot leather in circular motions. Think “wax-on, wax-off” once again. Yes, watch the movie Karate Kid if you need to. But whatever you do…don’t do a wiper blade motion or side-to-side motion or up and down motion. That is not good enough for your high-quality leather. You have to work the SNOW-PROOF oils into the leather for each direction.

 

Why use your fingers?

 

The 90 or so degree heat of your fingers is the right temperature for the oils in the SNOW-PROOF to work into the leather. And no, the SNOW-PROOF won’t hurt your skin. Actually, it will make your finger tip skin soft and smooth.

 

Use small amounts of the SNOW-PROOF and only run it into small areas. Don’t get over ambitious. Be patient. Continue to do the entire boot like that.

 

For those areas where you fingers can’t reach (i.e. around the lace eyelets and tongue area) use a clean soft natural bristle with a small amount of SNOW-PROOF to work into those areas.

 

Don’t over apply the SNOW-PROOF. Allow it to dry completely.

 

If your boot leather was extremely dry and soaked up the SNOW-PROOF, then apply another coat to your boots. Allow that to dry completely.

 

Re-lace your boots, admire the condition of your boots and head back out to the mountains and enjoy them knowing you have properly taken care of toosl protecting your feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For crying out loud!!!

frustrated crazy todayOK, I am really frustrated today…I mean really frustrated. On another website a person asked, “Which is better for overall protection–AR-15 in .223 or AR-10 in .308?” It was game on! There was a flood of replies, most of which was personal opinion or flat-out wrong information. And every single reply missed the most vital point of all.

What point is that?

Come on, you should know by now if you have been visiting this website for any length of time. The answer is “mission”…plain and simple.

I could tell right away from the wording of his original post, request for information, that he really has no experience with today’s modern rifles. The very first reply was recommending a shotgun as the weapon of choice for overall protection. Strange…the guy was asking for help choosing between an AR-15 & an AR-10 (5.56 vs. 7.62). That tells me right away the people are going to be sharing opinion vs. informed factual recommendations.

The next person replied that an AR-15 isn’t intended to kill, just wound someone. Besides, they said the 5.56 round was designed to go “clean through a person”. But, then they backed it up with the idea that an AR-10 was a “kill gun”, a “sniper rifle.” Come on people!!  For crying out loud how can people be saying stupid crap like that!?

Then another shortly replied that you should never bet your life on an AR-10 because there are so many issues. Really!?  Couldn’t be more false in the case of my current AR-10! The other replies weren’t much better. Two replies came close to really working with the person to answer his questions. Then it dawned on me…stop being so frustrated with someone like that…and the others that are replying to him.

Why?  Because most people don’t have real life experience with a weapon, never did any testing, or simply don’t know how to figure out what the best equipment or gear is. Once I realized that I settled down and now will address the subject of an AR-15 vs. AR-10.

I wrote an extensive article in July of 2015 in regards to choosing the right rifle/carbine. I will dust that article off and update it with my most current info and opinion and post it in the next few days. But, for now let’s review how to identify this guy’s need…or the mission for the weapon.

His original question was “Which is better for overall protection…?”

This indicates that he has not thought through the “need” to any great degree. He does make it clear that he wants a weapon for defensive purposes but he fails to clarify what that specific need/purpose is. And that makes a huge difference. So let’s walk through that right now…

  1. What is the environment that you wish to protect? Home, cabin, land, commercial property, wherever you are standing, etc.?
  2. Will you be working alone or in coordination with others that will be, or could be, similarly armed? Part of a fire team, prepper group, family only, trained operators, etc.?
  3. Will you be operating in an urban environment vs. rural environment?
  4. Do you want to protect your home from someone inside the home (i.e. home invasion) or from someone approaching your home at a distance?
  5. Do you expect to place yourself vs. a large group of hostiles or against individuals one at a time?
  6. Do you expect you will do long-range patrols (i.e. 10+ miles at a time) with this weapon?
  7. Do you expect to utilize this weapon from a fixed and stationary position?
  8. Do you expect, or want the capability, to use the weapon against vehicles?
Home Invasion –

For “home defense” against a home invasion, intruder, etc. neither an AR-15 or an AR-10 is the appropriate weapon. During training I was able to completely neutralize a highly trained/skill operator from using his M4 against me. Granted, he did “kill” me multiple times with his training knife but that is a different story.

A long gun, any long gun, (i.e. M4, AR-15, AR-10, shotgun, etc.) is easily neutralized in close quarters by an empty hand aggressor. The preferred weapon of choice isn’t even an SBR (short barreled rifle) for professionals. The weapon of choice is a pistol. And then there is the caliber debate. Don’t go there! A 9mm semi-auto pistol is the pistol of choice, loaded of course with a large capacity double-stack magazine. I personally use a Sig P-226 with an 18-round Mec-Gar magazine.

Now my operator /trainer buddy really likes the pistol in combination with holding a knife with your off-hand while stabilizing the pistol. Gives you access to two close-quarters weapons immediately. A great combination to be sure, but you need training to handle the combo.

In an earlier article I wrote that I really like a double-barrel shotgun for home invasion. I still do…and it is an awesome weapon for defending a home. But, it isn’t the best weapon -not even close- for clearing a house of bad guys.

I mentioned a SBR for home defense. Yes, I like it and it is very effective. But, the primary reason I like, as do professional operators, it is based on its dual-purpose…it can be used to clear a house of bad guys and then taken outside and engage targets at moderate distances just as effectively.

So which is the best weapon?

Under everyday conditions, non-SHTF, I have a pistol on my nightstand and a double barrel shotgun beside the bed. I will choose the right weapon when the time comes based on the threat level/situation.

Under SHTF conditions it would be the pistol and an AR-15 beside the bed to defend against home invasion. Now, understand that my AR-15 has the shortest possible legal barrel length so it looks much shorter than the average AR-15 carbine and that makes it a better option for room clearing than the average AR-15 or M-16.

Home Defense –

To me there is a difference between home “defense” and home “invasion”. Home invasion is non-SHTF terminology where one or more scumbags (i.e. bad guys) have entered, or nearly entered, my home. Home defense in a SHTF

Sig Saur P226 9mm

Sig Saur P226 9mm

term and that means I am on war-footing, I am geared-up, full battle rattle ready to defend my home from zombies.

That means, ready to go:

  1. AR-15, 30-round Magpul mags loaded with 62gr M855 (28 rounds), Aimpoint Micro-T1.
  2. Sig 226, 18 round Mec-Gar mags loaded with 147gr Hornady XTP, Blackhawk drop-leg holster system.
  3. Fighting knife on my LBE vest.
  4. Spyderco Paramilitary II knife in my pocket.
  5. Proper mentality and Situational Awareness.

That means, close at hand:

Shotgun Benelli Supernova

Benelli Supernova

  1. Benelli Super Nova 12ga shotgun with extended tube magazine, sights, side-saddle shell holder.
  2. Combination of 00-buck and slugs loaded, and Hornady SST sabot rounds available.

That means, ready to put into action:

  1. POF AR-10 (P308), 20-round mags loaded with 147gr NATO standard rounds.
  2. Trigicon 4x optics.

    POF P308 16.5"

    POF P308 16.5″

  3. Multiple 20-rounds mags loaded with recycled WWII rounds.

That means, ready to put into action:

  1. Siaga semi-auto, 12ga shotgun.
  2. Multiple high capacity magazines.

Why all the weapons? Now that is the right question.

Right Weapon, Right Mission –

I already talked about pistols and AR-15’s so I won’t repeat myself. The Benelli is a fantastic weapon to stop someone dead in their tracks…or even stopping a vehicle. It is a great close to medium range weapon with tremendous knockdown power. But, due to its length, not the best room clearing weapon.

Siaga 12ga Semi-Auto

Siaga 12ga Semi-Auto

 

The Siaga is simply amazing…a street sweeper. You place a 25-round drum magazine in it loaded with 7-pellet 00-buck and start pulling the trigger. You will clear out a crowd/mob in a real hurry. It is a unreal point and shoot weapon when dealing with a close-in group of people. Again, due to its length, not the best room clearing weapon.

The AR-10 is my weapon of choice…if I was a bit younger. My POF AR-10 is seriously heavier than my AR-15. And I can only carry a fraction of 7.62 ammo compared to 5.56 ammo. But, that POF AR-10 can really reach out and touch someone. It can disable a vehicle motor easily, shoot through most any cover, defeat almost any body armor out there, and sends a clear message to the bad guys.

One of the stupidest comments I heard on this other website was this dillweed saying the AR-10’s have a lot of problems and can’t be trusted. What a bunch of BS!!  Now, I will tell you where he is coming from…cheap, crappy gun manufacturers like DPMS. I would never, ever, never bet my life on a DPMS rifle…ever! I know of three DPMS AR-10 rifles that were complete junk…total pieces of crap! And still junk after the factory gunsmiths and the best of the local gunsmiths worked on all of them multiple times. DPMS = Junk!

That is why I bought a POF AR-10 (P308). It has never FTF, never FTE, never failed at all period! I even tested it with crappy and dirty ammo…ate every single round and spit the lead downrange. I did a stress test on it…shot through six 20-round mags and then immediately pulled the bolt carrier group out. I could handle it with bare hands and it was clean. The POF is a piston system and is NP3 coated. I think the best AR-10 on the market today.

What About Ballistics for Home Defense/Invasion –
9mm Pistol ammunition ammo - 147gr Hornady XTP

Hornady 147gr XTP

Stop! Just please stop. For defending against a home invasion ballistics doesn’t mean a darn thing. It is no different than any other bad guy engagement. I always use 147gr Hornady XTP rounds in my 9mm. That is simply the most deadly anti-personnel round out there…period. For my AR-15 I don’t have any special rounds for home defense. I use a 62gr M855 round. Yes, that is the steel core round. Yes, that means it will pretty much go right through someone, especially at close range. But…who freaking cares!? A round to the chest stops someone by blowing up their heart and/or lungs, a round to the head blows up their head.

There is an awesome report out there that was done by the FBI. The report clearly and conclusively shows that the average bad guy stops his attack 98% of the time when he is shot with a single bullet…regardless of the caliber. Just shoot the dang bad guy…and then shoot him again, again, again. If you have taken any kind of weapons training at all, you have been trained, or should have been trained, in a “double tap”, “double tap plus one”, or “shoot them in the head” methods. If you haven’t gotten that training forget the bullet choice…get the training before you get the bullets or even talk about ballistics or caliber!!

OK, for the shotgun I always carry the same loadout as well. In my pump shot-guns I use 00-buck, slugs, and

Hornady 300gr 12ga SST shotgun ammunitionHornady SST sabot rounds. For the double-barrel I have both tubes loaded with 00-buck. No reloading, I am using the pistol next…or first. I am not planning to reload the shotgun. I do have a bag of shotgun ammo in our home’s “Alamo” but that is a whole different scenario.

Distance Based Weapon –

One of the intelligent replies was choosing the weapon based on distance of shot needed. But, there is a problem with that also. If you are a highly trained sniper or Designated Marksman then a .50cal weapon gives you the ability to reach out 3k – 4k yards…yeah, multiple miles for the best of the best. But, are you one of those? Can you become one of those? Can you afford the $3 – $5 per round cost to become that good? And are you fit enough to carry a 20lb rifle not counting the ammo? Oh, and can you afford the $3k – $7k price tag just to buy the basic rifle? Probably not.

So why not a bolt action .338, etc.? Yup, you gonna be a sniper? Can you handle the pounding your body is going to receive? Can you afford the expensive rifle, ammo, optics? Can you take the time to learn how to shoot it effectively at distances of 1k yards or more…and keep those skills honed? Probably not.

So what about long distance shooting to kill bad guys? Realistically most people are never going to learn to shoot more than 300 – 400 yards tops…absolute tops. A 7.62 round can easily be shot 800 yards, even 1000 yards, with the right training, optics, ammo, etc. making an AR-10 just fine for 98% of the people who want to shoot long distance.

But, will you really shoot long distance at all? Well, only you can answer that question. Walk outside your home right now…how far can you realistically see with a clear field of view? Most folks…maybe 50 – 100 yards, most probably less, because they live in a suburban neighborhood. Even from my cabin in Arizona I can only realistically see less than 500 yards in 90% of my field of view. Less than 50 yards for about 40% of the view. For about 10% of my field of view I can see well over a mile across that valley…could I take a shot that far even if I had the rifle to do it? Could you? Would you even know someone is out there that needs shot?

But, I would rather take a long shot, 400 yards or more, with my AR-10 vs. my AR-15. But, my AR-15 is far more suitable for just about everything else. So why do I have an AR-10 at all?

Why an AR-10 –

As I already mentioned an AR-10 with the right optics can easily shoot 800 yards. I took a buddy of mine out to shoot my AR-10 and he was shooting 400 yards with his first shot, 600 yards by his fourth shot. So an AR-10 is a long distance gun…AND easy to shoot and learn.

And I already talked about an AR-10 has no problem disabling a vehicle. A normal 147gr NATO round will blow up plenty of a car motor to stop it dead in its tracks. If a person would load up some old WWII .30cal AP rounds they would be able to knock out any civilian vehicle and some military or para-military vehicles as well.

The other thing that an AR-10 is good for is “turning cover into concealment” as the saying goes. A person could hide behind cover that could stop a 5.56 round, an AR-10 wouldn’t be so easily stopped. I have shot up 6” of solid reinforced concrete, penetrating through on the fourth round.

So you can see an AR-10 is a great weapon that can accomplish a lot of good for you in the right situation. The downside is; weight, slightly harder to handle, usually smaller ammo loadout, as well as more expensive ammo.

Multi-Member Team –

I hoped you asked the question, “Why have different weapons at all?” Well, first off there are different missions.  But, the best way to look at different weapons is in a multi-member team environment. Take a team of say five people:

  • Three with AR-15’s
  • One with an AR-10
  • One with a good shotgun

That gives you great high rate of fire engagement capability, long distance capability, cover defeating capability, vehicle disabling capability, door busting capability, etc.

So looking at , “Which is better for overall protection–AR-15 in .223 or AR-10 in .308?” is not difficult to decide…it is all mission driven.

Summary –

Take a look again at the previous topic, last line, right above this section. See his reference to .223 and .308? That is the first problem, he is thinking civilian ammo. A person has to be thinking 5.56 and 7.62 ammo. Why? Because when push comes to shove, or especially SHTF, you need to use only military grade ammo. Why? Because military grade is designed to be standard and be the most lethal overall.

So what is the bottom line, the real answer to his question?

If he is looking for simple overall best protection I would suggest a high-quality AR-15 with the shortest barrel he is comfortable with such as BCM, LaRue, or Daniel Defense. Add a high-grade military optic such as Aimpoint or Trigicon. Then plenty of high-quality high-capacity magazines such as the Magpul Pmag series (any “gen”). Lots of ammo…I am talking thousands of rounds…all of it standard NATO 62gr M855. But, all of that is worthless if he doesn’t get top-quality tactical carbine training. And then keep up his shooting skills regularly…no punching paper!!!  Real-life engagement shooting practice is the only true practice.

Choosing a gun is no different that choosing boots, camp stove, or head lamp…define the mission and then buy the best quality piece of equipment to fulfill that mission.

 

 

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Best freaking belt! – Wilderness Instructor Belt

Wilderness Instructor BeltThis is one of those articles I write because I have a special affinity for the item itself. Yes, I like writing, sometimes it is because I feel that I need to test, evaluate, report on a piece of gear. This article is not one of those…I am writing this out of pure appreciation for the piece of gear. On with it already…

It wasn’t until I started the whole conceal carry thing about seven years ago that I really paid attention to belts. Before then a belt was a belt was a belt. I wore one because I was supposed to, and it kept my pants in place to a point. But, that isn’t entirely true.

In 2001 I really started doing the wildfire part of my job in a big way. I was totally into it and loved it immensely. The protective clothing and gear we wore fore wildland firefighting was completely different than the gear we wore for structure firefighting. One aspect of wildland gear was the Nomex pants. Amazing technology that is almost the stuff of fantasy novels. Nomex cloth provides an unreal amount of protection from fire and heat. Just a thin piece of Nomex has saved my bacon a number of times. So, you really, really want to keep that clothing in place (shirt included).

I don’t have to learn everything by experience, sometimes I learn from others. Don’t get too carried away, the #1 learning tool for me is a 2×4 board about 8’ long strategically placed on my cranium…sometimes repeatedly. Not the case with the belt. In 2001 I noticed that these experienced wildland firefighters had on a completely different style of belt that I had never seen before. Actually a couple different styles. Naturally, alright, maybe not so naturally, I started asking folks about their belts. Felt a little creepy after awhile.

The belt that kept getting my attention the most became evident. It was also theWilderness Instructor Belt belt that kept getting the best compliments from users…Wilderness Instructor Belt.

So of course I had to buy one to try it out. Simply put…the best belt I’ve ever owned!  Period!

I purchased the 1.5” 5-Stitch model. When I got it I was immediately concerned about the metal buckle. The buckle is solid steel and weighs more than I expected. But, more on that later.

I tried the belt on and the first thing I noticed was the ability to fit it exactly to my waist size and comfortable fit. No, I won’t go into details about waist size…TMI.

There is 2-stage securing to the belt. First, the belt passes through the through the buckle and around the “floating lock bar.” Then the “end flap” of the belt is secure via Velcro to the belt itself. The lock bar buckle takes the majority of the tension to prevent the belt from coming undone. The Velcro secures the end of the belt, keeps it in-place- and adds an additional measure of security that the belt won’t fail and slip through the buckle.

Wilderness Instructor BeltAnd why is that so important?

The belt is primary designed for weapons carry, but, it also has the capability to aid in an evacuation. The buckle Wilderness Instructor Belt with carabineer has an integrated “v-ring” that a carabineer can be attached to aiding in the evacuation process using a rope as an assist. In order for the Wilderness Instructor Belt  carabineerbelt to be used in this manner the buckle has to be failsafe. The lock bar and Velcro systems work together to ensure that the belt won’t slip through the buckle if it is properly secured.

But, at the time I bought the belt I was not thinking about weapons carry, I was thinking about firefighting in the middle of nowhere. And the reason that this belt was the preferred belt was the “v-ring.” In an emergency, if you had to be hauled out via a helicopter in a big hurry, you could hook a helicopter rescue line, or standard hoist line, to the belt via the “v-ring” and be hauled out.

Would it be the safest way to go? Nope. Would it be without safety concerns? Nope. Would you be without any potential of injury? Nope. But, you wouldn’t burn to death in a raging wildfire either.

Now, back to me and my primary mission…to hold my pants up…and do so securely. Yup, that was my primary mission. The belt does an amazing job in two ways; 1) it will adjust exactly to the fit you need it to, 2) it does a really good job of staying in-place and keeping your pants up. Yeah, not a very sexy or amazing recommendation for a belt, eh?

Then about seven years ago I started to conceal carry. My leather belts are good enough, but I find myself “hitching-up” my pants pretty regularly. Part of it is due to merging my waist and hips into a cylinder appearing body shape. But, some of it due to the leather belts just not being designed for weapons carrying. Especially true if I have my double-mag pouch on as well.

( click to enlarge )

( click to enlarge )

Enter the Wilderness Instructor Belt…and I simply love this belt!!

When I wear that belt I do not, let me repeat myself –I do not– have a problem. It adjusts to the rights size, holds my weapon securely, and doesn’t slide down my heretofore mentioned cylinder body.

When the belt really shined even more so was when I tested it with my Blackhawk drop-leg pistol platform. It is simply amazing!

Summary –

Unless you are just born on the light side of a 60 IQ, you have figured out by now that I highly recommend the Wilderness Instructor Belt. It will serve you well…and keep your pants where they belong. And if you think the belt is only for men…WRONG!  I bought my wife one for Christmas a couple of years ago and she loves it also.

Buy the belt !     Buy It !

< click here to buy the belt direct from the manufacturer >

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Finally, my thoughts on the election outcome…

no

election2016-06Yeah, pretty egotistical of me to think you have been sitting around wondering what I thought about the election of Trump as President. But, no one ever accused me of being overly humble, I am sure you’ve been waiting on the edge of your seat😉

I do want to share my thoughts about the election…you might find it helpful, you might not, but it will be food for thought. And right up front I want to apologize for talking about the election, you thought it was finally over. Not so much. And it has taken me a week to really formulate what I think is going on. I just spent six days working on our cabin in Arizona. It was wonderful…hard, back-breaking work. Even better not watching TV and listening to all the talking heads. I hope you find this article informative and potentially motivational.

Violence –

Remember, since last year I said there would be violence after the election. There was and still is. But, interestingly all the violence after the election and during the campaigning was virtually all from the Democrats, liberals, and election2016-07Progressives with a few anarchists thrown in for good measure. The left in this country is very violent and destructive, they’ve repeatedly proven that beyond any shadow of a doubt. That is an important fact, I will come back to later. But, why is violence even an issue in relation to the election? Hey, the threat of violence is always the #1 risk in any emergency, disaster, or grid-down.

Who Won –

Technically Trump won the election due to the Electoral College delegate count. However, and that is a big “however”, Hillary won the popular vote by about 1,000,000 votes. Is that important? Yes! It further divides the nation. Now, don’t go getting all weirded out about the Electoral College. The Electoral College exists to ensure we don’t become a democracy (i.e. mobocracy), we are a Constitutional Republic NOT a democracy. The Electoral College balances the states’ power. If the popular vote reigned supreme then we would be ruled by the largest mob, minorities would be trampled on, and the large states -population wise- would always decide who would election2016-07become President. That would be a bad thing!

OK, all that being said America is still lost! Why? Because we are now more divided than we were before the election, the riots prove that to be true. True, Trump has been elected President, so a case could be made that he won. But, I think that would be a gross misstatement.

Votes Count –

Now I will breakdown the voting, and the votes matter. Did people vote for Trump, the man, to be president? Did people vote against Hillary? I think there were many in the latter group to be sure and plenty in the first group as well.

But, I think the largest voting block consisted of a coalition. And that alliance consisted of: 1) people who are sick of the government and their seizing of power, elimination of rights, and reduction of freedoms, 2) people who are sick of politicians and their constant and insatiable quest for money and power, 3) people who are sick of the media and their left-wing extremist agenda, and 4) people who were/are just sick and tired of where this country is headed and who is driving it in that direction.

Personally, I crossed over all four groups.

While Trump may have won the election, I believe more people voted for reasons other than Trump the man.

What the Real Election Results Mean –

The country, at least enough of the country, is sick and tired of the status quo, disgusted with politicians, angry, and upset about the destruction of rights, liberties, and freedoms. A large percentage of the citizenry are at the end of election2016-09their patience for special interest groups pushing their agendas on everyone else. I am speaking specifically of the LGBTQ, pro-abortion, illegal immigration advocates, and socialist/communist  creeps. Now, let people be people…let freedom ring and all of that. But, the LGBTQ community isn’t special, they don’t merit laws, regulations, special holidays or celebrations based on their chosen lifestyle. The pro-abortion folks just need to understand that they are killing babies and following the example of one of the most wicked women who ever lived…Margret Sanger. And the “ists” need to get the hell out of the country or smarten up and change their ways.

Yeah, I could go on, but the point is…the average American Joe is fed up with being trampled on, ignored, abused, maligned, and paying the tab for nearly 50% of this country who aren’t worth a plugged nickel when it comes to paying their fair share. That same Joe is tired of the elites gaining special advantage from the politicians who they line their pockets with campaign contributions. Statistics clearly show that for decades the middle-class has been shrinking, household income has been falling, workforce participation has been declining, and the standard of living has been going down. And all the while the politicians become rich, and the rich get richer. And both the rich folks and politicians clearly enjoy rights and treatment that are not available to the average person.

So who else were all those disappointed and disgusted people going to vote for? Trump wins mainly due to people being fed up.

What Happens Now –

We can already see where this is all headed:

  1. The demonstrations, riots, violence, and property destruction by the Democrats, liberals, and Progressives continue.
  2. Whole institutions (i.e. educational) are clearly showing that they will not accept a non-Progressive president.
  3. The media is in melt-down over Trump’s election. Don’t expect them to change their evil ways, they still think they are right and everyone else are just a bunch of country bumbkins.
  4. And don’t expect Trump to a savior, or even a Reagan.
Where Trump Stands Now –

Trump appointing Reince Priebus as his Chief of Staff clearly shows Trump is playing to the mainstream election2016-10Republican establishment power base. Reince Priebus is the perfect example of everything that makes the Republicans as bad as the Democrats…only interested in money and power…and forwarding a Progressive agenda. Trump’s election2016-11choice of Steve Bannon shows a close connection to the “alt-right” movement. Bannon, who has a long violent criminal history has already identified himself as an alt-right leader. And the alt-right…well, I’ve written about that movement earlier. It is not a group to brag about or who any sane, normal, decent person wants to be associated with. Even considering Rudy Giuliani (neo-con, big government, police state, progressive) for any position is a clear demonstration that Trump would be working to further the establishment of a totalitarian state.

So where am I headed with all of this? Simple, we are screwed.

What to Expect Next –

What will occur next will be somewhat of a honeymoon. Well, a honeymoon for Republicans and all those who voted for Trump, and a few Democrats willing to give Trump a chance. Half the country has no intention of giving election2016-12Trump anything other than a hard time. And I am dead serious about that!

Every Democrat in politics will be waiting to pounce on Trump for the slightest mis-step and crucify him for it. They will ardently work against him in both houses of Congress, in the Governors’ mansions, and even at the city level. Many neo-con Republicans and insider Republicans will feign support, maybe even give it outwardly in some instances. But, let Trump get in the least bit of shark-infested waters and those establishment Republicans will join the feeding frenzy.

And then there is the media. I am telling you they are freaking piranha. They have already started the swarming and nibbling away at Trump. Trump might be a big tough pitbull…but thousands of left-wing media piranha each taking a bite when they can will take its toll.

And finally, there are all of the sewer dwellers that are beginning to strike, and who will strike harder as the days pass. I am talking about people who have and will file lawsuits against Trump ad nauseam. George Soros, and others like him, will fund anyone who is willing to sue Trump for the slightest of reasons. And I am telling you…they will line-up to do so. And that too will take its toll.

Is There More at Play Here –

Plain and simple…yes! Remember all those disaffected voters I was talking about? Well, for every one of them, there are 5 – 10 more people who didn’t vote. They know how bad of condition the country is in and they have given up. Actually, most of the elite/rich also know how bad of shape the country is in. We are in horrifically bad shape economically right now. Technically, the whole world is.election2016-13

Our country, the USA, is $20,000,000,000,000 (twenty trillion dollars) in debt right now. There is no conceivable plan to eliminate that debt that has a good ending. The country has another $200trillion in unfunded liabilities. There is absolutely ZERO ability of the country to meet that obligation. The financial obligations are 100 times the size of the debt…and the debt is 100% unmanageable and unfixable. There is no expert anywhere that actually has a plan, or even an idea, on how to get out of this situation…none, nobody!

Want to make it more personally understandable? There is no public worker retirement pension plan that is solvent. Yup, not a single public service pension plan has enough funds to pay their current and future retirees. Chicago alone would have to charge each family living in Chicago over $50,000 just to get current with the pension obligations for city workers. So who picks up the bill when those pension funds can no longer pay their retirees? What do the retirees do when the checks stop showing up?

Derivatives were a major factor in the 2008-2009 financial collapse. We have more derivatives now floating around out there than before. The housing market…worse than it was in 2008-2009 in terms of pending foreclosures, delinquencies, and “upside-down” homeowners.  Total student debt and student debt delinquencies…WAY up, far greater than in 2008. The national debt is nearly 250% more than it was before the collapse in 2008!

So does it all crash? Absolutely, there is no other realistic option. It will crash. And the government only has a couple of tools left to try and fix it when it happens; 1) massive money creation – inflation, 2) replacement of the currency, 3) replacement of the economic system. And all of those options will fail and lead to horrific outcomes for the vast majority of citizens. There is no workable solution that makes this workout, it crashes…period. There is no fairy-tale ending to this. There is no person, no expert, that has a clue how to fix this…not one.

So What Happens –

We had all these “buttercups”, spoiled brats, and sore losers riot, destroy, and seek “safe places” at school because they didn’t get their way. Yeah, I am talking about Trump winning. What do you think they will do when the system falls apart, they get hungry, and there is no government help to feed them?

All those folks who didn’t vote for Trump the man, but voted against Hillary and all the other previously mentioned national ills…what do you think happens to them when they see everything falling apart?

Will Trump save the day? Nope, no way, it simply isn’t possible. There is NO plan he can implement that fixes the financial doomsday that is coming. He isn’t God, or even Superman…he can’t fix it…it is beyond fixing. Sure, he might create some jobs, reduce some taxes, bring back a company or two…but how does he fix $20trillion in debt? He can’t! What about pulling together a plan to meet $200trillion obligation? He can’t! And if you think that somehow he magically can handle either of those problems…well, you are kidding yourself. He will no more than place a Band-Aid on an economic amputation…at best.

What can you do to prepare for it? I’ve been sharing that with people via this website for nearly two years, since 2009 on other websites. But, specifically, what can you do right now…or something major/different…to prepare?

All I can do is tell you what I’ve already been telling you. Prepare to meet and beat the following threats:

  • Violence
  • Injury/Sickness
  • Poor, or no, Communications
  • Poor, or no, Organization
  • Dehydration
  • Exposure
  • Starvation

There are several specific things that I feel will potentially mitigate a collapse on a personal level. The very things that I am doing right now. They are:

  1. Find and align yourself with a moral, stable, respectable, and skill diverse community.
  2. Have the ultimate investment…land that can produce food.
  3. Make sure you have the best possible Situational Awareness that you can.

Let me talk about the value of money when the crash comes. Money, mutual funds, IRAs, 401Ks, pensions, CDs, savings accounts, checking accounts will all be worthless…and I mean totally worthless. The single best investment that will be worth everything is land, land that will produce food (crops and/or animals). And if you don’t have a minimum of five acres, preferably more, where is your food going to come from and at what price? I am serious! I really am!

Let’s say you have three years of food storage and seeds for a five acre garden stored away…and you own the average home building lot. Tell me in what universe does that work out? In what possible reality does that feed your family beyond three years, probably much less?

I was talking to someone a couple of years ago who spoke to me about their plan was their community taking over a local golf course and turning it into a big garden. Really? And how exactly does that work out? Where do the seeds come from? Who works the garden? How about security to protect it?

But, let’s go at the “golf course” solution another way. How many acres to feed a family of four? Under ideal, perfect conditions without any mistakes or failures…four acres for a family of four are what most experts agree on. The average golf course is 120 – 150 acres. Let’s be generous and say 150 acres. That means you can feed 600 people off a single golf course under perfect conditions. How many people live within say…three miles of the average golf course? How about 10 miles? Yeah, the math seems to have a little problem, right? So tell me again how the golf course thing is going to work out.

Let’s talk precious metals (gold & silver). Let’s say I have a decent sized warehouse of food. Your family is hungry because your food ran out. You come to me with an ounce of gold or 20 ounces silver. You ask to buy some of my food. What is my response? Exactly! Why do I want your gold or silver when I have food? And yes, if I have a warehouse of food I have plenty of tough, well-armed security to protect it. And now what position is your family in compared to my tough-guy security folks? Gold and silver is only good for the first couple of days, maybe weeks, after a SHTF scenario.

OK, enough of the SHTF speculation. I am telling you that if there is any way possible…buy some land that can produce food. I took money out of my 401K, my wife took money out of her IRA to buy our land. It isn’t the best land in the world but it can produce food, it has water, it is located in a wonderful tight-knit, like-minded community. If we can do it…why not you?

Is There Any Other Option –

Sure! Find someone with land that can produce food and try and make an alliance with them. Figure out if your two families (maybe more) can work together to mutually support each other when the crash comes. I know I will be glad to do that. I will need help growing food, tending animals, mending fence, taking care of each other, and guarding all of it. So there are more folks like me…go find one.

Finally, yes, there will be vacant land post-SHTF. You might be able to use that land. But remember, it belongs to someone…when they come around, how is that going to work out for you…your kids?

Was I Right –

Before I answer that I want you to remember that I am not some sugar-coat it, unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky, fairy tale, con-man. I will tell you exactly what I think is happening, why, and what is to come and why. So, with that being said…Yup, I was right about the election…100% right…America lost, we are more divided than ever, and there was/is violence. It will get worse, much worse. The system will crash and if you are not prepared you will get rolled over.

But, I am also right that you and your family, even your community, can survive…maybe even thrive. But to do so you have to prepare, you have to do those things that will ensure your survival. And you can do it!! It is not impossible. But, like anything else that has value, it comes at a price. A man once said, “Pay me now, or pay me later.”

Prepare!!!  It is coming!

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TIPS : Socks

Socks Smart Wool socks for preppers#1 – For serious preppers…only go with wool socks. And the only real brand I use to recommend was SmartWool. They are simply the best wool socks out there that I have personally worn over the last 20 years of hard wilderness and back-country use. They stay cool in the desert, and warm in the snow. When wet they won’t tear your feet up. However, I have Socks Wool REIbeen trying a couple other brands in the 2 – 3 years or so. I am liking Minus33 and REI brand wool socks just as much. They rate right up there with SmartWool.

Socks Wool Minus33

#2 – If the seams of your wool socks are bothering you then turn your socks inside out. The seam will not bother your feet because you will have the smooth side of the sock against your skin.

#3 – Wash your wool socks inside out and they won’t get those little “balls.” I also always use the “air” setting on the dryer, never any heat setting. And I am perfectly accepting of laying my wool socks over the back of a dining room table chair. Yeah, my wife loves that option🙂

Ground Caching – Part #1

Ground Caching - hiding supplies in a MonoVaultTime to hide some stuff. Yup, the time has finally come. But, rather than calling it “hiding stuff” let’s refer to it as caching supplies, that sounds a whole lot better…and far more accurate. Here’s the trick…how you hide it predicts how useful your gear will be when it comes time to actually use it again.

We bought our retirement property that can also serve as a very suitable BOL (BugOut Location). A problem exists in that the property is a five-hour drive away from our current home. If the time ever comes that we need to actually bugout to it will we be able to have the right supplies there. And following my Seven Survival Priorities you want the right supplies to help mitigate those top seven risks. Let me review what those risks are for just a minute –

  1. Threat of violence
  2. Threat of injury or sickness
  3. Lack of or poor communications
  4. Lack of or poor organization
  5. Dehydration
  6. Hyper/Hypothermia
  7. Starvation

If you haven’t read my “Proper Preparedness Principles” article it would be worth your time and help you better understand this article.

< click here to read Proper Preparedness Principles >

OK, so we have our priorities in proper perspective and proper order. Doing so can give us a clear, practical, and logical way to decide what to store. But, knowing how to store it is the thrust of this article. Well, that may not be entirely true, I will go into detail on what I stored which is very useful and helpful as well. Now remember, my situation is different than yours, you may want to vary the list to meet your specific needs. But the Seven Survival Priorities remain constant, how you meet those threats is up to you. I will share how I am doing it, I hope it gives you some ideas.

Top Priority –

The #1 threat or risk in any emergency, disaster, or grid-down is the threat of violence. It can strike anyone, anytime, and without warning. You or your family could end up badly injured or dead as a result. So we must mitigate this risk first or the other preparations might be for naught.

How did I do this? A 5.56 carbine for my wife and I. No silly, not a shared carbine, we will each have one. And that brings me to the next point, let’s get started. However, before that I want to lay out the worst case scenario…complete grid-down and virtual martial law. What I am getting at is the possibility that we can minimally move around (i.e. travel) but with almost no supplies to speak of and absolutely no weapons. Meaning, if you are found with a weapon you get incarcerated on the spot, so we have to leave weapons behind.

Not Shared –

Since I am assuming that both my wife and I would be arriving at the property, the items that get cached at the property are “times two”, one for her, the other for me. That means two storage containers. And since it is never wise to “put all your eggs in one basket” not only are there two storage containers, there are two separate locations for these containers. That is redundancy…and redundancy is a good thing. Bad guys might find one location, maybe by pure chance, but you don’t want to lose all your cached items by having them all in the same location. Think Pearl Harbor during WWII…all the ships were docked together and they were easy pickings by the Japs.

Before I get into the list of items that are being cached let’s talk about the storage container itself. I did a lot of MonVault - ground cahcing storing hidingresearch a few years back and found one specialized storage container that met all my requirements. Actually, it exceeded my requirements and truly shined as the right option for this need. It is called a MonoVault.

The MonoVault is essentially a long sturdy plastic tube with a screw-on lid that with a gasket. Then there is a cover that goes over the lid that overlaps about 4” of the tube itself. The thickness of the plastic is plenty sufficient, probably thicker than it needs to be, so it will hold up well. The gasket ensures that water will not enter the tube. Actually, from my testing I believe the tube to be airtight as well. The cap cover the top of the tube, including over the lid, helps ensure that any water migrating down will move over and past the lid…a shedding affect, kinda like a tight fitting umbrella.

For the two that I used, the MonoVault’s exterior measurements are 30.5” tall. MonVault - ground cahcing storing hidingThe interior measurements are 28.5” tall by 8.75” diameter. I wasn’t real sure that this was going to be large enough for the mission…I was wrong. This thing is plenty large enough for everything I wanted to store in it and then some. So, here is what I wanted to store in the MonoVault –

All of that went into the MonVault with ease. But, I did prep some of the gear first and I want, actually need, to share that with you because it is so important. Yes, the MonoVault is billed as waterproof. But, I never take anything for granted. And yes, our place is in Arizona known for being very dry compared to other some areas of the country. But…there is still that residual moisture that might migrate into the storage vault and I don’t want that to ruin my day…or either of my weapons in each vault.

Weapons Preparation –

Preparing each weapon was not complicated nor difficult but should be done…in my opinion. First thing I did was strip the carbine down, pulled the bolt carrier group out, etc. I used a bore snake and soaked it very liberally with EWL2000. < click here to read more about EWL2000 > I ran that snake a couple of times making sure the barrel was spotless and well coated with EWL2000. I made that all the other internals of the weapon were spotless and well coated with EWL2000. Notice I have said “coated” not saturated, not dripping, just coated.

I reassembled the carbine but left the upper and lower detached. I placed both in a ProTecht gun storage bag, sealed the bag with masking tape, then placed the bag in the MonoVault. I did the same with the pistol.

As far as the ammo is concerned I placed them in separate Ziploc bags, double bagged actually. In each bag with the ammo I placed a silica absorbent for any stray moisture that might enter the double bag.  Prior to putting the ammo in the bag I rubbed the ammo with a silicone cloth…no oil on the cloth. That placed a micro-thin coat of silicone on each round of ammo. Doing so will inhibit corrosion but absolutely not interfere with feeding in your weapon.

For the Gerber Strong Arm and Spyderco knives I essentially did the same process as I did for the ammo. I wiped the knives down with the silicone cloth, bagged the knife, dropped in silica moisture absorbent, and then bagged it again.

I put in all the “hardware” first. Then came the tactical vest. < read more about tactical vest here > Then I topped off the MonoVault with the IFAK. < read more about IFAKs here >

When it came to sealing the unit I did not add anything to the gasket, threads, or apply anything after-the-fact. The instructions didn’t say too and I was trusting the manufacturer to be accurate. The manufacturer wouldn’t last a year if this product didn’t work. So I figured I would do as they instructed.

I had fully prepared both MonoVault’s contents, placed them in the MonoVault, and then it was time to bury the whole thing for safe keeping. Boy, now it got interesting. But, that is for the next article in this series.

 

 

 

 

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