Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Nope, not talking "prepping".

Preparedness is a state of mind and readiness that works in many aspects of your daily life.  In the early days of Ron Hood's Hoodlums Forum there was much discussion about "what's in your pockets", and "the Altoid Tin Survival Kit".  Idea was that if you had a swiss army knife (preferably a Victorinox), a lighter (maybe a Bic or Zippo) you had a tool and compact fire kit.  Now, I'm not gonna discuss the vagaries of the Altoid kit, but the candy is good and the aluminum (?) maybe watertight case is almost worth the price alone.  I've also noticed RWS Pellet cans are similarly compact and tight.  Put whatever seems essential in there for your purposes.  But the idea is with some basic tools, if you've remembered to put them in your pocket, they're lightweight, inconspicuous and compact enough to be on you when you need them;  that's preparedness...

Keeping your vehicle maintained and road-worthy is preparedness; at least if you are not living currently at your Bug-Out Location.  Your BOL is that place you'd really rather be than in your current locale.  Your BOL should be about 20mi away from any major US Highway or Interstate and off the beaten path so that you are Out Of The Line Of Fire.  Fire takes many shapes and forms.  If your BOL is in deep forest, well... you want your home clear of flammable surroundings and landscaped so fire can't likely burn you out even if a maelstrom like the Texas Summer Fires or Santa Anna Winds come your way. 

Preparedness, anticipation and readiness.  Like carrying a self-defense firearm.  Starting to look like that is a Good Idea on a daily basis.  Things are pretty strange out there and if you live in a metro area, probably want some form of weapon upon your person when out & about.  More states no longer require a carry license.  Live in Wyoming or New Hampshire which are now right to carry unlicensed states?  (Check your state to be sure, maybe the effective date has not yet arrived!)  If you live in a state that recognizes the full extent and intent of the 2nd Amendment, I encourage you to carry and become accustomed to the responsibility and capability you have right to wield.

Got plenty water stored and a means to cook and prepare meals if/when the utilities go down?  Know where your gear is and is it clean and usable right now or will it be when you need it?  Got Strike Anywhere Matches?  You'll need those.  In fact, you definitely need a Fire Kit.  Lots of ways to make a fire, be sure you have several and some helpers that will get a fire going in rain or snow.

Preparedness means knowing how to use all the gear and tools you now own, knowing where they are and that they are in good working order and being confident when you employ them.

Food prices seem to be escalating weekly.  No one has enough food on hand; trust me on that one.  Another main concern is firearms and ammunition.  Similarly, prices have recently incresed about 10%.  Box of Nosler 168gr match bullets I failed to buy for $68 was $75 a week later.  Clerk was marking new prices right when I shopped on other items...  Brings back memories of the 70s.  Inflation was a weekly thing in the mid-70s to early 80s.  This time it will be worse.  If you are watching your money, try Thrifting and Pawnbrokers for tools, clothes, kitchen gear, fishing, hunting, camping stuff and used guns and even deals on ammunition.  Pawnshops have tons of deals and you should offer 40% under the ask price if you have cash to pay with then & there.  Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul, and other church ministries and private resales are the place to buy stuff that isn't critical.  Spend a few hours a week making the rounds and you will be amazed what you can come home with for only a few bucks...

Food and weapons though are a must have and now is the time to buy.  Handloading eqpt will be very valuable to you and enables you to make quality ammunition for about 1/3 the cost of store bought.  If you can follow a few easy steps and use easy to understand tools, you can load your own ammunition.  If you have money and never enough time, can recommend Dillon, Hornady, or Lee progressive loading machines which start at about $140 and go to over $1000 for fully automated ammunition making machines.  I have Dillon and like the quality and speed I achieve.  www.tjconevera.com is a great source for quality once-fired brass and hornady or sierra bullets at excellent prices.  They also sell new cases but once-fired is just fine for quality loads and saving your money.

Handguns and semi-auto rifles are very much in demand and you should get yours NOW if you intend to buy.  Buy some ammunition when you purchase your guns, maybe not at same shop but you definitely want some loaded rounds even if intend to handload the bulk of your ammunition.

Get organized and take inventory of all you have that can aid your family to stay Warm, Dry, Fed, Hydrated, and Capable of Self-Defense.  Prioritize your needs and plan to meet your needs.  When you make your plan, work it and be ready to seize other opportunities that may present themselves.  Can't be too rigid if you see a great opportunity to buy a set of loading tools in excellent condition and the savings is at least 50% of what you might pay and contains mostly stuff you can use; buy it.

Stuff you can't use and you see as superfluous will likely bring money to you on Craigslist or Ebay.  There are lots of outdoor forums for buying/selling gun gear and even tractor parts.  Just saying that if you have stuff you aren't using now and don't plan to use: sell it and use the funds for gear you need...

Pretty hard to go wrong buying whole grains, canned beans, fruit, vegetables, hard candy, cooking oils, seasonings, herbs, canned or powdered milk.  Plenty of stuff like Bic lighters, cheap toothbrushes, combs, soap, shampoo, disposable razors, sewing notions like thread, needles, buttons and over counter medicines and vitamins will serve you/your family or be something you can barter with.

Really think it is foolish to stockpile liquor or cigarettes in anticipation of cleaning up on barter deals.  Do you want addicted persons coming around your home bringing any kind of junk, hoping to talk you out of a few smokes or bottle of booze? For the money these things cost, you may as well buy stuff you or others can use and be a resource for others rather than a pariah.

Preparedness is making an analysis of your situation, your needs, your surroundings, noting the weaknesses and exposures and formulating a plan to make the most with everything you have access to.

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