Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Training We Hate Part 3- Determination

: a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult
: the act of finding out or calculating something
: the act of officially deciding something

Determination is one of the major deciding factors in success. Yes, opportunity and intelligent decisions can create success, but without the determination to follow through with your plan can lead to disastrous failures. About now you're thinking- How do you "Train" for determination? The answer is pretty simple, you just consider the consequences of failure. Better yet, consider the consequences of never trying at all. 

You may dislike Sam Walton of Wal Mart fame, but the man was industrious, intelligent and most of all, determined to succeed. Influential people throughout history, both good and evil, have made history with determination and grit. Our founding fathers were men of incredible fortitude and determination. They created a nation founded on freedom and personal independence of choice. 

What about me, you ask? What does determination have to do past getting your house cleaned up? Well, I'm getting to that right now. 2 people of equal intelligence, strength and armament are engaged in combat. Which one wins? Let's just say that they are equally trained, of approximately the same age and stature. Which of these two will overcome the other? More than likely the one most determined to win. The one that hits the range more often, who hits the gym just a couple more times a month. Maybe it's even less than that. It can come down to the person being more determined to live than the other. 

It's not always that simple. Being mentally prepared to overcome any challenge thrown at you, from chosen challenges to a man threatening to take your life, can be the mitigating factor that allows you to succeed in your endeavors. If that endeavor is taking another breath, consider your motivation. Your kids need you, your parents may rely on you, your fellow citizen's lives may depend on your actions at a later date. If you read this Blog, I'm sure you have a mindset similar to mine. I'd prefer it if you did survive every adversity so you are here when our beloved republic goes off the rails. We will need to stick together and be determined to remain free citizens. Without patriots, despots will rule and freedom will be lost.

Choose to do something you don't think you can accomplish, and just to steel your resolve, do it. Once determination overcomes your school taught ability to compromise on everything, you can do whatever you put your mind to. Many have proven that we can overcome huge obstacles in order to  achieve their goals. Many successful people enjoy challenging hobbies such as climbing, aviation, extreme sports and combat sports. These actions embody the spirit of a determined person. 

Where did determination take you today? Pick a goal, achieve it, pick another harder one. Rinse and repeat.

Finally sourced the rifle for the Grey Man Cache.

I've been on the lookout for a takedown 10/22 for a while now. I wanted a specific model that was stainless and had a threaded barrel. For a while, there was a distributor specific model that had those attributes, but they were gobbled up fairly quickly when they arrived. A recent trip to the shop had me staring straight at a 50th anniversary model 10/22 with a camo stock, all stainless and a threaded barrel.

I was also very happy to see several thousand rounds of 22 cal standard velocity ammo sitting on the shelf. I grabbed a couple bricks of that as well. Overall, it was a very productive trip to the gun shop. The place was pretty swamped, so I assisted a few customers as well. Ended up selling 3 guns for them so I believe it was fortuitous that I was able to get there.

At my first opportunity, I was able to pull the unit out and get a better look. It came with a nice bag, one BX25 magazine and some funky locking system. I searched through my stock of mags only to find that I only have a couple BX25's for my existing 10/22 race rifle. Looks like I need to grab a few more of those in the future.

My plan is to put this rifle into the Grey man cache if it doesn't push the weight over the 28lb threshold I've set for that pack. I'd like to install some type of sling set up and a low power scope for it with quick release rings. Once it's open sights and scope are zeroed, I'd put 3 mags with it and 300 or so rounds of standard velocity ammo. I *might* happen to throw a solvent trap adapter and "solvent trap" into the bag.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Great Read!

This goes along perfectly with today's entry.

Knock Knock, Reaper's Here

That Nagging Feeling- The Extreme Cold

The last few winters here in the midwest have been brutal to say the least. The last 3 years have seen enough extreme cold weather that most of the people I know with ponds on their property have had to restock due to all the fish dying when the water was covered in ice too deep for too long. Last night was one of those nights that makes you want to curl up by the fire and not move. -17 for a low with -26 wind chill. We only have about 4 inches of snow, luckily.

Unfortunately, I was tasked with my regular scheduled class at a site 20 miles from my home. Normally this wouldn't have bothered me, but I've been remodeling a few rooms in my house and had my bags removed from my truck in order to carry fragile items inside the cab. They are still in the truck due to ice in my driveway. So there I was, 20.6 miles from home, no bags, not much cold weather gear, and the only survival gear I had were the tools in my tool box and a flex fuel stove.

On the drive home, I was fixated with my unprepared situation. It really bugged me that I wasn't ready in case of an accident or incident. The extreme cold would generally suppress civil unrest or a possible car jacking, but an EMP or car accident would have really ruined my day. My nearest Cache (Grey Man) is about 9 miles from the class location and about 5 from the current location. In -7 degree weather, nearly impossible to walk to without injury. It would also take me further from my  home. It would add 4.5/5 miles to my walk home to go there first. It's also not outfitted for this situation. It has no food or water. Quite the conundrum I had myself in had something happened.

I challenged myself to determine what I would do if an EMP had hit and disabled my truck about a mile from where I was at the time, right in the heart of a major city. Shelter would have been my biggest issue. The stretch of interstate I was on had high banks and a large fence surrounding it. I could get through it, but the residential neighborhood in that area is a crap shoot. I'm sure I could have found an abandoned house somewhere in the mix and built a fire from the structural wood with the tools I have available. One of my favorite tools is the Dead On wrecking bar. Dead-On-AN18-Annihilator This and a few hand tools (11in 1 screwdriver, channel lock pliers, side cuts) would have gotten me into a house and to obtain enough wood to heat a small room, as well as bust an opening for smoke to exit. I would have used a bathtub or sink as the fire pit. My small propane torch would have done a great job lighting the fire. A refrigerator door or any metal appliance door or panel can be used to contain the fire. I could make a sleeping system from insulation batts and the contractor trash bags from the truck. I would have been ok for the night.

The next morning, long after sunrise, I would have headed back tot he truck to grab a few more personal items and headed out to my next closest Cache location, right about 6 miles from my truck at that point. 4 miles would have been walking down the highway and the rest would be side roads. Once I was at that location, I would fuel up with some mountain house meals and coffee/water. My kit there has everything I need to melt the ice or snow for a needed drink. I'd have used small amounts of snow in my mouth to minimally hydrate. The walking/jogging would allow enough heat to do this without lowering my body temp substantially. After assessing the condition of the situation at that location, I could decide to either take those people to my house for refuge, or strike out for home alone, 6.6 miles away.

On the way home, I'd hit the grocery stores that area adjacent to the road. There are 3 of them and one is a member only store. This comfort Cache that I have access to is relatively small and only has a couple hundred dollars in it and no weapon. My good old LCP in my pocket would have to do. I'd grab any groceries I could and would roll a cart right towards home. I'd wrap the groceries in a black contractor bag to disguise them as much as possible. Once home, I'd put my plan into action and batten down the hatches for a rough ride. The bad thing about this situation is that I'm in the middle of cycling my fuel. I have 1/2 my regular fuel load for my generator. It might last 2 weeks. Unprepared because my dumb self decided it was too cold to pump gas into the containers.

The point of this exercise was to challenge myself to overcome a situation with what I had at hand. Had my regular kit been in the truck, things would have been much easier. Not all situations are ideal. I'm sure there are times when you've had to leave your kit at home to fit large items into your vehicle for transport. Maybe you take a ride with a friend who's not prepared. Life is full of choices and situations that we cannot always dictate or prepare for.

The fact that my kit wasn't in the truck unnerved me, and changed my mindset a bit. I was more cautious than normal and didn't deviate from my course until I was near my neighborhood. I then grabbed a few groceries and headed home, less than a mile away. I might have also spent a few more dollars than I normally would have.

I've also decide to keep a few extra things in my truck from now on. I'll be keeping a stainless bottle in it all the time. I'm also considering keeping a burner phone in there as well.

Challenge yourself in order to keep yourself from becoming complacent. When that little voice in the back of your head speaks, listen. Something needs to be addressed if your subconscious mind notices there is a problem. Complacency can make it hard to recognize the issues you may run into until the incident happens. I read a lot of survival fiction (about 50 books last year) and constantly put myself in the shoes of the characters to see the different choices I would make, or what different gear I would have to help me deal with the situation. Your imagination can be your biggest asset while planning for trouble.

You can even make a game of it. Write down all the places you regularly go, then write down all the possible scenarios that can cause you trouble. Be sure to include every day issues like flat tires, broken down vehicle, sickness and any other inconveniences. Write down your Caches and kits on slips of paper. Fold all the slips of paper and put the places in one pile, major issues in a second pile and regular issues in another pile. Draw one of each and consider how you would deal with them. It would be like- Aunt Mae's house/80 miles from home, Civil unrest, Engine trouble, Get home bag. Make a plan to deal with those issues. If your family can get involved, this is a great game to help them understand the mindset and get them started in doing their own thinking on the subject of preparedness.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Training We Hate Part 2

Vigilance is the second item we need to keep at the front of our discipline altar.  We all love to go out and train to shoot and scoot, quick draw, dump ammo and do suppressing fire on the square range. In all reality, if you have to resort to those actions, your tactics have failed or you have just won the suck lottery. Most of us will never have to draw and fire a weapon to save our lives. Military and Police are more likely to, but as a regular citizen, the odds are against the need unless you go looking for it.

The idea is to never have to resort to that use of force. Civilians don't have a team of lawyers on staff for free to them, nor do they work for the same person who would be prosecuting their case. In our litigious society, you have to think like each bullet you carry has a $10,000 minimum fee once discharged in public. You can lose everything you have at 1200 FPS in a suspect shooting situation. That includes your freedom, your wealth, your family and the right to ever own a firearm again. Very few wives will still be there for you if you catch a 20 year prison term. If you enjoy the thought of your wife/girlfriend with another man, go out looking for trouble.

Being aware of your environment and situation, keeping your thoughts unclouded and be keen to the disposition of the people around you and can keep things from going off the rails quickly.

The first part has the footage, the last part is instructional, I can't speak to it's validity.

These attacks were preventable. Vigilance and common sense tell us what we should do to avoid conflict and analyze our situation. Is going to the ATM at night on a busy city street a good idea? No. But you feel like you should be able to you say? Too bad. The world doesn't work that way. The world doesn't conform to your preconceived ideal lifestyle. That gun on your hip doesn't guarantee you;ll be able to stop a threat. It enabled you to stop most threats at a proper distance, but there are no guarantees in life. You must make your own luck and deviate from your perfect world at time to keep yourself out of harm's way.

Caution is the better part of Valor. A questionable environment that you must enter should be entered and left during hours of lowest crime. Mornings after 6am til 10am are generally best due to the criminal element (for the most part) being asleep during those hours. Research your intended areas of operation before you must spend time there. In my job, I'm at a new location every few months. In order to evaluate that area, I may drive by the location to find the best parking, as well as decide the most favorable time to enter the area outside of heavy traffic. Heavy traffic is your enemy, movement is restricted and your egress will be blocked. Modern traffic cam systems can save you a trip. Most modern cities have traffic cams streamed 24/7. Refrain from making last minute lane changes to reach your objective.

Fast forward to 1:00 for the result of a last minute lane change.

Jailers keep jails cold for a reason. The cooler the temperature, the less likely a person is prone to fight. Hot people get upset easier and are more willing to get into a confrontation. Ask any cop and they will tell you, extra units are needed on hot nights and during full moons. That would be another time to stay out of urban environments as well as areas where heavy drinkers are located.

Clothing can also make you a target. Rival team fans can be a danger to your personal security. I don't wear sports team attire for this reason. Anything that can draw attention to you makes you a target. A flashy watch, high dollar kicks, jewelry and high fashion clothes can be your undoing. Even that fancy phone can cause you to be accosted. Put the phone away, it's just a distraction unless you are using its reflection to watch your surroundings.

Your vehicle can be a juicy target for a car jacker. Make it hard for them, tint your windows to ensure your car is least attractive to them. If they can't see who and how many people are inside, they will generally move on. Those fancy wheels might as well be bait for criminals. Please steal me! The exception to that rule is lifted trucks. Most rural trucks that are lifted seem to have an NRA sticker on them. That same sticker might tell a thief there is a gun in the car, so don't rely on that as a deterrent. Stickers that expose your political alliances and sports affiliations can lead to stereotyping and certain traffic behaviors. Your goal is to be as vanilla as possible. Blend in and drive defensively. Be courteous to even the worst drivers. The object is to arrive at your location and get back home safely.

There are many instances where not standing out is vital to remaining safe. All you have to do is make everyone else around you an easier target than yourself. Most thieves look for the low hanging fruit, as long as you do your part and be vigilant by keeping your valuables out of view and harder to get to than most other people, you should remain safe and whole.

More Personal security tips will be forthcoming. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Training We Hate Series Part 1

So many professional trainers are quick to remind us that our conditioning is generally the weakest link in the chain. Proper fitness levels will ensure our survival and retain the capabilities required to defend yourself and provide for your family or Tribe. Your self worth and mental clarity can also be improved with proper nutrition and exercise.

For myself this rule is excruciatingly relevant. My youth was spent in high velocity sports and heavy contact exercise. Once I reached 40, my body started to break down rapidly. It took a few surgeries to get some things worked out to the point and can begin to work out and retain some body mass without damaging myself further.

 I first tried Crossfit as an option and it really did improve my capabilities quickly. The down side was when I changed instructors I found that the new instructor didn't warm up as well as the fist gal that started my class. I hurt my neck and back, which required a very long healing process to get the damaged vertebrae joints to reduce in size and not get agitated with use. When I took the Vehicle Operations course, I couldn't feel my left leg very well and fell a few times trying to double time into cover. The only saving grace was the fact that all my youth training taught me to fall well (into grass burrs).

Fast forward to December 2014 and I have surgery to release some trapped and damaged nerves in an extremity. I get released 1 1/2 months later and immediately begin trying to get back in shape. Regular exercises are very tough due to the cuts I had in very sensitive areas. Luckily Rucking is not hampered once I get everything strapped up. I'm signed up for some VERY rugged long term training in mid March and I'm expected to be capable of rucking my kit several miles as a requirement for the scenario.

It's so much easier to keep a handle on your physical condition than it is to build it back up. I'm seriously struggling to get it back into gear. 40+ year old dudes don't quite get ramped up as fast as we used to. It sucks to hit the treadmill instead of the trail, but in the winter we must choose to do the right thing.

Embrace the suck. No matter what happens, I will be in fighting shape by the time prescribed. Failure isn't an option.

Trades To Learn for The Modern Survivalist.

Many folks out there have some food, a sustainable garden plot, a water source and no clue. They refuse to consider the position they will be in if they are forced to use their resources in an environment where there is no rule of law or modern convenience. Sometimes the best laid plans can be thwarted by a seemingly innocuous incident or situation. The skills discussed will help hedge your bets and make you a more rounded and valuable person.

Medical training is my #1 skill set to have training in. Without 911 or modern surgery procedures, even a modest education in the medical field can save you a lot of heartache later. Dentistry is included in this skill. There are many resources that you can purchase to help you along and get you up to speed if we face a severe breakdown in society. You may ask yourself why you would need this skill, because ambulances didn't run to the riots in Fergadishu.

Agriculture/forestry- Learn how to spot problems and how to care for our natural bounty.

Animal husbandry- Because healthy animals are tasty.

Blacksmithing- Without modern machining techniques, parts will have to be hand made and this is the least expensive and easiest way to make parts.

Electrical/electronics/comms/solar- Information is key. Weather can be predicted by outlying broadcasters. Threats and conditions can be broadcast. Solar power is useless without the knowledge on it's use and delivery systems.

Plumbing/sanitation- Disease and poor sanitation killed more people than bullets did during the last civil war.

Mechanical skills/ light machine work/gunsmithing- Fixing your own stuff becomes more important when you can't call someone to fix it for you.

Carpentry/roofing- Keeping your home dry and being able to modify it to fit your needs will be important during a crisis.

Textiles/sewing. Clothes won't come from India or Bangladesh anymore. You'll need to make/repair what you have.

This list isn't comprehensive, but it's a start. Learned skills and education are 2 things that can never be stolen from you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cache Contents and Strategy # 3-Grey Man

One of the kits that was explicitly asked over at Total Survivalist Blog was to check out the Grey Man Cache I keep. I haven't had the time to swing by the location when I've been in the area, but I can explain the things I chose and go over the contents of the Cache.

Location: This Cache is stored at a VERY secure location due to the items that are kept in the kit. It's just outside the city I live in in an alarmed commercial property with no retail outlets near it. Business/warehouse space only. It's only accessible by someone with a key and the pass code for the alarm. An extra key is always available. The contents are insured by the business and I do some work for them from time to time as "rent". The kit is kept in a box labeled "Rags" and is at the top of a closet that you need a ladder to get to. The box above mine is labeled "Bubble Wrap" and is the owners son's kit.

Need: I would use this kit if something happened to jeopardize my freedom, or if I needed to travel in a hurry without being able to access my bank accounts or credit cards. This is also a "Safety Deposit Box" that has no government records. The contents are low key, readily available and are meant to blend in and not draw attention to the user.


Clothing: I have a standard set of clothes, jeans, tshirt, plain UA fleece sweatshirt, a skull cap and a ball cap to an auto parts store. None of the items have a local connection, such as a college or pro sports team or aggressive pass time such as racing or shooting. Those clothes are vacuum sealed in a plastic bag to keep the smell of the site out of them. 2 other sets of clothes are done the same way. One set is for hiking, with columbia zip off leg pants/shorts and hiking quality shirt and rain jacket/wind breaker. The last set of clothes is a bit more tactical, but subdued. Blackhawk TNT khaki pants and a navy polo shirt with no logo. I have an old pair of Brooks Cascadias that are about half used up in there as well. All of the items of clothing are synthetic except for the first set of clothes. I want to be able to blend wherever I need to go, be it the rural towns, metro areas or wilderness. Totals: pants-3, Shirts-3, Underwear-4, socks-4, sweatshirt-1, Wind breaker-1, shoes-1, skull cap-1, ball cap-1, gloves-1. Ancillary gear- Paracord bracelet, ESS crossbow sunglasses, cheapo fleece gloves and a non metallic black SOE trouser belt. More on the belt later.

Adding- Backup laces, Ear buds, small radio

Gear: A small Ti Alcohol stove, CKRT small folder, toaks ti cup, 2- 24oz nalgene bottles, Katadyn hiker filter, green tarp, Jungle bag and liner, green lightweight hammock, trac phone, Chinese ham radio, solar charger, AA/AAA Eneloop batteries, AAA headlamp, AAA LED flashlight, small bic lighter, Maps to my secondary locations, button compass, lock picks(hidden), walking sticks, Ammonia in a sealed container, pepper spray, Micro SD card (well hidden), flash drive, Cheapo non GPS tablet in a ziplock freezer bag with charger, older Garmin GPS with both route areas to my location programmed in (topo maps), Otis cleaning kit, Flip Flops, 6 oz container of bleach, Doc Bonners soap, Deodorant, toothbrush, flossers, synthetic microfiber wash rag, synthetic chamois towel, Maxpedition case for toiletries, instant cofee, tea bags, energy drinks, small med kit with motrin and Cipro, nail clippers, round knife sharpener, flattened Toilet paper rolls-3, playing cards, 3 backpackers pantry meals, holloween size assorted chocolate bars, pen, paper, rite in the rain pad.

Adding- lifeboat ration bars, oral IV type drink mix, gorilla tape, sewing kit, laundry detergent single packs, tire tube patch kit, small tire pump, small tool kit.

Pack: Kelty backpack, it's the 45 or 50 liter pack, can't remember the name. I have the rain liner for it and a sealiner dry bag to line it with. The sealine can also be used to stash kit when entering a non permissive area. A Blackhawk fold up backpack is in the kit for giggles. Not sure who might be with you.

Weapons: Glock 26 with 250 rounds of ammo, all HP federal tactical. Clip draw and Saf-T-Blok installed for deep cover carry. Have a second threaded barrel and a solvent trap adapter. If you don't know what that is, look it up on youtube.

Adding- Take down 10/22 with a threaded barrel and mags.

Additional Items: Cash- 1500 in 50 to 5 dollar bills. The larger bills are tucked inside the zippered stowaway SOE belt. 10 dollars face value pre 64 us coins, 20 silver 1oz rounds. A plastic low profile handcuff key is gorilla taped to the inside of my SOE belt, as well as a 1.5" ceramic blade.

Strategy: My plan is to walk away from the hot area, buy a bike at a store or pawn shop and bike to the location I wish to go. I have one close and one 250+ miles away. I can bike 50-60 miles a day no problem, even with a full load, but once I get about halfway there, I'll be lucky to get 40 a day due to terrain. I have a list of family and no tell motels on the way, as well as a few camps and state parks I can pay cash for rooms and sites. I have enough cash to purchase what I need without going to civilization to resupply and get cash. These days, you can live out of a gas station and eat decent food.

I'll update this Cache with pictures the next time I pull the Cache for updates.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Minuteman Cache Example, Cache #2

We've talked a bit about Cache locations Here and Here on the Total Survivalist Blog, as well as at the Tblog Here. Now let's talk about a minimum baseline of equipment. One should have a minimum of each necessary item to successfully survive in a hostile location. Think of what would want in a certain situation and backtrack from there. I've built a cache for several of the most dire situations. Let's look at the choices I've made and use those situations to backtrack to the kit I would need.

Natural disaster:
Basic needs like clothing, important documents, shelter, money, some food, minimum weaponry, comfort items for sensitive persons, camera, limited comms, anything you might need to sort out the situation. In my area, there are 3 major issues I might have to contend with. Tornadoes, earthquakes and flooding. Flooding is the least of these worries for me. Every house I've ever purchased has been in the highest area of the surrounding few miles. At my current location, the water would have to be 60 feet over flood stage to bother my crawl space. That would be a biblical flood. Even the 100 year flood we had in my area didn't flood anything but the entrance to my neighborhood with a foot of water. Earthquakes happen in my area, but they are generally mild and without serious damage. I keep my stores in the corner of my home away from the second story as a precaution. Tornadoes are an entirely different animal. I live at the end of Tornado alley in the central midwest. The area around me has been peppered with F1-F3 twisters for years. Being that my home is elevated, it's a prime candidate for serious damage. The tornado threat generally moves southwest to northeast and rarely deviates from that pattern. This rule makes it best for my Cache to be within hiking distance to my northwest or southeast. My current disaster kit is 4.3 miles away, due north. That area isn't known to be hit with tornadoes due to it's lower level and protection to it's due west with hills and valleys. Picture below was taken near my place of business after an F3 hit, it took me 3 hours to get home.

Governmental Oppression/Revolution- Grey man kit- To be posted this week.

Total Bugout- My first tier equipment, bugout trailer and everyone's gear. Post Next week

Hide out-Civilian camping setup- Post next week

Hide out- Bubba gear! Post in the spring.

Insurrection/Riots/Social Upheaval: Cache #2 of this type.
This kit is going to be weapons and comms heavy. You will want to either fit in with the rioters, or be able to put them down if threatened. Luckily, one of my insurrection Caches happens to be home for an update and to keep it at home until the construction is done at it's usual resting place. I keep 2 cases (A/B Menu) of MRE's there as well, but I'm not worried about those getting pinched. I also have a set of camos hanging in his closet to go with this kit. The homeowner is a sportsman, but has no decent kit as a fighting loadout. This kit is set up for many uses as well. It has the basic requirements to go fight at a moments notice. All you would have to do is load some mags and get busy. I built this kit from the equipment I started with when I first got into the survivalist lifesytle.

The container is a super heavy duty tote you can get at Lowes for 11-15 bucks. I have several and they are awesome. It's secured by wrapping a 6' cable lock through the holes in the lid and bin. These are pretty bomb proof and will take a decent hit even in cold weather without breaking. I tested them the best way possible. I bought one and donated it to the scouts I work with. They didn't break it on a -10 degree camping trip, so it's pretty darn solid.

 Everything out of the box:AR15 by bushmaster with a lightweight DPMS upper and a full mag of TAP ammo, vortex RDS, Cheapo BUIS with Trijicon front sight insert, Hogue grip with insert that has extra batteries for the RDS, Midway Sling, Quickie MH food, chest rig by condor, Beofeng radio-programmed for local tower and Em. services, Ammo boxes-federal and ZQI, Hornady critical duty 40 SW ammo.

Chest rig partially unloaded- Glock 22 with TLR-1 with condor holster, 15rnd mag(loaded), 4- 17 round mags and 2-22 rnd mags(unloaded), 7 USGI ar mags(unloaded), Micro tool and mini flashlight, The mesh pocket in back has a topo map of my AO and the AO the kit is in. I purchased this chest rig just for this kit. It's not something I would want to use for more than a limited time.
The backpack: LA police gear 3 day pack, (In depth review Here) by compartment. Top is a TAG 6 mag carrier full of empty GI mags. Lower front compartment is a food prep compartment, fuel tabs, lightweight stove, cliff bars, more mountain house and backpackers pantry meals, salt and pepper, tobasco, TP that's been vacuum sealed flat, salt and pepper, water tabs and a couple lighters. Caffiene pills and coffee and tea are in there somewhere, never leave home without it. Will be adding some chocolate and sugar to it while it's here.
Upper compartment: Snivel kit, Deodorant, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, light stick, headlamp, fishing line for perimeter traps, head net for bugs, matches, large multitool, 100% DEET spray, Frog Lube, toothpicks, Adding a cover (hat) and some trash bags and gorilla tape to it while it's here.

Lower add on butt pack: Tarp, Tactical bandana in OD, Poncho, gloves, GI belt. This has extra room for stripped MREs.

Main Compartment:Light sticks, Paper and pencils, cash, cordage, Otis cleaning kit, Camo Backpacking tent, Jungle bag and liner, Stainless container, aluminum cup, socks, washcloth, solar charger for AA, AAA and CR123 batteries, Spare Batteries. Adding more batteries, ESS eye pro, ear pro and a cash bought disposable phone.

Side pouch 1: Ammo on stripper clips. Once loaded, this pouch will be for stripped MRE's

Side Pouch 2: EDC belt and IWB holster for the Glock in case I need to fit in for a bit. Pouch doubles as MRE holder as well.
What it's missing- A good first aid kit with trauma gear. My EDC bag has that and I should have it with me. Clothes aren't included. I should have some in the kit but it's not meant for me as a primary so I didn't include any.A water bladder needs to be installed in this system. It's the only unit I have without one.

Estimated worth of this kit is right at 3000 bucks, about 1k less than what the rifle in my first line kit costs. It's a (relatively) inexpensive option to kit out a friendly or as a last ditch kit up location in case of a serious breach in your preparedness design. It's NOT enough by itself to get me to my alternate location.

More to follow soon!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Cache Locations and Strategy Family Cache #1

Over the past year and a half, I have invested heavily in training and Cache locations. Why you ask? The answer is a complicated one, but the greatest reason is due to the tracking ability of our nefarious leadership. There is little to nothing you can hide from them unless you have a very serious plan in place to combat their plans. I'm not a criminal, I have no convictions of any kind above a couple traffic tickets in my youth, and shouldn't be on the radar for most authorities. That doesn't mean that bad things cannot happen to me and my family.

A few years ago, a local thug talked his girlfriend into blowing up her house for insurance money to sustain their obvious drug habit. They filled their house with natural gas and it exploded the next time the furnace turned on. It was a fairly warm day and far more gas than intended flowed into the house before it blew. 2 neighbors lost their lives and hundreds of houses were damaged. Several had to be bulldozed. No car traffic was allowed to leave the scene and victims were taken to a school for evacuation. The ATF, FBI and local authorities closed off the neighborhood for their investigation and hundreds were homeless for weeks until the investigation was complete, as well as the local inspectors deemed the houses to be salvageable and/or liveable. People were literally thrown out of their houses in their PJ's with the clothes on their backs. A Cache of some type would have been the only way to operate should the incident be a long running one. I did a story on it at, click if you would like to read it. It was my first submission of many posted on survival websites.

In recent news, swatting has become a fad for the insane and progressive left. A man  called in a bomb threat on a person he disliked. The police did a no knock raid (Don't get me started on this practice) on the home of a prepared person. The home owner defended his house and fired on officers without knowing who they were. The police chief was hit in the exchange of fire. Until the entire issue was sorted out, I'm sure the man lost his firearms and his house became a crime scene. Once again, he only source of protection could have been a cache. Swatting Raid

These are two very public instances where even innocent people can be displaced from their homes without means unless they have a backup plan. Your personal situation will dictate the size and type of cache you will need. You should first determine the scope of your needed items as well as the logistics of placement and retrieval. My personal Caches are fairly outlandish in scope, overlapping in items and range widely in location. That's not for everyone. A simple cache at a free location, such as a family member, would be a start.

What's a "Simple" Cache in my mind? Relatively innocuous everyday items you would need if you lost your house. This Cache would get you by for a day or two until you could get into a hotel or would keep you clean and clothed for a day or two at your relative's house. Every day items would be the key to keeping some normalcy during a time of stress or strife. Clothing, toiletries of the type you normally use (toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, soap) and that your family likes, some cash, candy, duplicate credit cards, car keys, house keys, insurance information, insurance cards, important files in a flash drive, and any medication that is crucial to your survival. This Cache would be prudent to keep your family from getting overwhelmed in an emergency.

A complex Cache can be as outlandish as a travel trailer or cargo trailer on rented space at a self storage location or friends property. It can be filled with everything you would need to survive the zombie apocalypse in style. I would propose something in between the outlandish and basic.  Consider your personal budget and needs to strategically choose what you need for what events are possible for you area.

The Cache can be whatever you want it to be and wherever you want it. It's up to you. In order for it to be successful, you should practice with all the items you have Cached. Access is a key feature you need to decide is important. If it's a deep cover Cache, you may want to place it underground or hidden in a secret area of your house or property. Here are some unique ideas I've heard of, used in the past, or talked about in a group.

One of my favorites uses big brother against himself. A gentleman mailed his Cache to himself at a rent a mailbox location. It's small and legal to mail, but has some good stuff in it to keep him fed and comfy for a while. Here are some other locations to consider.

A friends house, (tribe member's house)
At a family members house or property
Vacation property
Storage unit- Be careful, these are reported to a searchable database in my state.
Buried - Be sure of adequate water intrusion protection
Hidden compartment in your home- Watch for moisture
In a hollow fencepost
Abandoned car at a friends property
In your trunk
In your gym locker

Be resourceful. Starting a company that doesn't make any income is an easy way to mask your identity and be able to Cache in locations that would normally be searchable to authorities. Same goes for vehicles. A company beater truck with Farm plates is about the ultimate Camo for where I live. A beater Minivan chock full of supplies in a storage facility may be your best bet. It may cost you a nominal fee, but how much is a piece of mind worth? I know I pay far more for insurance than a storage bay, and the storage bay gives me far more piece of mind. Consider local laws before registering a company in your state. What's legal here may not be legal there.

Post up if you have questions or know of any unique storage solutions I haven't covered.


Long Time No Post

It's been a very busy holiday season for me, but it's also been a very profitable one. My consulting services have really taken off and getting results has been easier than I expected. I have, however, been remiss in my duties as a blog host to keep my readers updated on the comings and goings of my survivalist lifestyle. I've been selling some posts to other websites with an anonymity clause so I cannot divulge where. If you are a regular reader of survivalist websites, you should have read a few. It's not big money, but if I can sit and type out a story in a few hours and sell it for 50-100 bucks, that gets me closer to my goals than posting it here and getting 15-25 cents a day in advertising space. I'm sure you understand why, and selling it gets the info out to thousands of people a day instead of a hundred or less.

Ryan at, my favorite survivalist and preparedness based one man blog has asked me to list the contents of my "Grey Man" Cache. I'll be posting it and my #2 cache in the next couple days. His blog was the inspiration for mine. Dissemination of quality information to those with the survival mindset is the goal.

Another of my favs, Alexander Wolf at is in on it as well and has some very useful insight into the idea of what a Cache should be.

These two great minds have been invaluable to the growth in my preparedness level. Everyone starts out pouring over every site they can find and trying to justify throwing money at the problem without really thinking through your options because the big name blogs/websites tell you what you HAVE to do. Once you start getting to the point that you've gotten enough gear to be marginally ready for a small emergency, you try testing it out and find some of the items lacking significantly. The reason is because you didn't get the insight into using the gear, nor did you look at the holistic value of each item in the kit. It's a rookie mistake I've made in the past.

I'm to the point now that I have been living the preparedness lifestyle for 5 years pretty heavily. My stores are significant enough to last us in a serious emergency such as a Katrina or Haiti length disaster. I've made a ton of mistakes, bought a bunch of gear that didn't work for me, and failed out in the field enough that I'm very confident in my abilities to survive in austere conditions.

I do have a few factors that increased my readiness level several factors over your average Joe. I became an assistant scoutmaster for my sons scout troop. This puts me out in the field camping and testing new gear every month. My sons likes hiking and camping enough that we go even more often than the scouts do. The additional wear and tear on camping gear that most people wouldn't get on gear 10 years old helps me to get a better gauge on what will last and what is junk.

This past fall I also became an instructor for a local firearms training and security consulting firm. The owner is a retired special forces team Sargent that worked in the field for 22 years training for counter terrorist operations, insurgency operations and indigenous personnel training. I get FREE training from the one of the guys who spent a couple decades at the sharp end of the spear. This leads to me shooting at least once a month in high level tactics, personal defense, personal security detail team classes, advanced carbine and pistol drills and a host of non lethal, combatives and mindset training. I even get paid to take those classes. Luckily I have 3 Dillon ammunition trees in my garage, Otherwise I would be broke due to ammo costs.

Lastly, I have the run of a local gun shop that specializes in tactical firearms and precision rifles. I get to play with new guns and gear as they hit the shelves, learn what issues certain guns have, and utilize the tools and facilities to modify my guns and gear without paying additional gunsmithing fees.I live close to a training facility for military and police sniper teams and the shop has a good working relationship with the sniper teams and local shooting clubs that has been an asset for learning the ins and outs of what's hot in the distance shooting scene.One of the largest military small arms testing facilities is less than an hour away as well, and some of them come in to the shop at times.

I offer my readers a chance to learn from my failures and triumphs, to get inside info on gear that works and some that doesn't. Gear reviews are the bread and butter of this blog and will continue to do so, I will be cross posting those reviews to my gear review blog as well. I have had the humbling opportunity to work with the professionals that live and breath the warrior mindset. They have insight into tactics that have been proven on the battlefield and in the back alleys of foreign nations that aren't friendly to the US. I'll pass along as much info as possible at Zero cost to you. Unfortunately, my schedule has kept me from being able to do so, but I will attempt to make a better effort.