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What Can Beginner & Seasoned Preppers Do During The Coronavirus Lockdown?

Boredom has set in for many in the United States, as the lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic continues for most. As preppers, our goal should not be to watch others suffer and laugh at their misery because they failed to prepare.  Instead, we should be helping others also prepare so the mass panic of a pandemic will be minimal next time around. And during lockdown is a great time to start.

People are in tough enough situations such as losing their jobs and being forced to close their businesses. Because of the dramatic effect of the sacrifices many have been commanded to make, this situation has had the positive effect of creating more people who want to be prepared for possible catastrophes.

It’s hard to not jump on the bandwagon and tell people “I told you so,” but if you want to be secure in your preparedness, the best thing you can do is help others secure their own preps. If others have food, it’s less likely they’ll be willing to risk severe bodily harm to steal food from you.

So what can new and seasoned preppers do while locked down?

Start by doing an audit of your supplies.  This is completely free and won’t cost you a dime. If you are beginning, you may not have much to check.  If you are not new to prepping, make sure everything is in working order, and the food is still good. Make a list of things you need to add to your gear. Once you have a list of things you would like to add to your supplies, start looking if you have money to spare. If not, start researching what you’ll be paying for those items so you can save up.

Not many anticipated that people would wipe out toilet paper first filling their entire cart with so much that it would take them 5 years to use it all.  Obviously, that money could have been spent on better items, like personal hygiene and healthy foods to boost the immune system.  For those who don’t already have enough toilet paper, it has been a rough few weeks.  But there are other solutions.

Consider getting a bidet.  These are fairly inexpensive and could mean the toilet paper you have stored could be bartered in an emergency.

Please do not flush paper towels and baby wipes! A plumbing problem during a catastrophe like a pandemic could mean you are out the use of your toilet until things subside. If you have a septic tank, it’s terrible for those, and you could damage the sewage system causing more problems that could make your life hell on earth especially during a lockdown.

As you figure out what you need, the next step is to make a budget. Have a set amount that you can spend on preparedness each month.  Make sure you are prepping your finances too, because the economic toll this will take, especially those who own small businesses or who provided services, will be massive. Have an emergency fund with 3-6 months worth of expenses set aside.  Use it only for emergencies.

Lastly, start boosting up your supplies, or for those who already had what they needed before this lockdown arrived, replenish items.  If you used up your peanut butter to avoid going to the grocery store, get more. Here is a list of items currently available that I have recently purchased. Some I used up, others expired, and some are additions or upgrades:

Bulk Peanut Butter (Individual jars are fine, but this is a 9lb tub)

Laundry Detergent

Hydrogen Peroxide

Paracord

Bulk Chia Seeds

Dried Black Beans

Dried Vegetable Soup Mix

Suture Kit (a great book to use a resource is The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when medical help is NOT on the way)

An Edible Plant Book

Bulk Toilet Paper (In stock at the time of this writing)

Vaseline

Upgraded Vehicle First Aid Kit

Do your audit and figure out what you might need or want to add.  If you can envision using it, you should add it to your list to acquire. Remember, when it comes to prepping: It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it an not have it.

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Overlooked Prepping Skill: Critical Thinking

So many preppers have stockpiles of food and water, generators, and even extra ammunition.  While these preps are great, they must accompany the overlooked (and not taught in public schools) skill of critical thinking.

We’ve all heard the phrase “children are not taught how to think, but what to think” when it comes to public school education/indoctrination.  Making the mistake of not learning how to think critically outside of your personal beliefs could be a problem in a survival situation. It is vital that preppers understand the concept of critical thinking.

Critical thinking is the ability to think in an organized and rational manner in order to understand connections between ideas and/or facts. It helps you decide what to believe in. In other words, it’s “thinking about thinking”—identifying, analyzing, and then fixing flaws in the way we think. For example, instead of being told you must say the Pledge of Allegiance and immediately follow the order, you contemplate why you were given that command.

A set of morals often arises once critical thinking is applied. But that’s not the only added benefit. Knowing what to do, and how to go about it in a survival situation is another. You could have all the preps in the world, but not knowing how to use them or the reason why it’s in your stash, to begin with, could be a huge pitfall.

Thinking for yourself outside of what you’ve been told is critical in survival. But how do you teach yourself this powerful and overlooked skill? Start by questioning everything. Don’t just believe something because it’s being said by an athlete, politician, or celebrity.  These people are known to only promote things that add to their own power and wealth.  No politician will advance freedom because that would mean they’ve got to give up some power. This and other skills are vital to understand especially if we ever face a massive societal collapse.

The book titled Think for Yourself: A Critical Thinking Workbook for Beginners expertly lays out ways to improve the skill that’s vital to survival.

We all hear that old line that children are only taught what to think, not how to think. Today’s chaotic and reactionary society is a case study for why this is a tragedy. Childhood education is lacking the most fundamental building block for the development of rational adults; deliberate instruction in critical thinking. Critical thinking is one of the most important skills we can develop. It is highly prized by employers and it is how we can take proactive control of our own lives, but it isn’t taught in a cohesive fashion to young people. After searching for an unbiased/apolitical homeschool lesson plan on the subject and coming up empty-handed, the author developed her own lesson plan and is now sharing it with anyone who may find it useful. This workbook aims to expose beginners to some of the most foundational concepts underpinning this crucial skill in a few concise chapters, including: deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning, logical fallacies, first principles, and more. A basic format for critical thinking is laid out in steps, followed by practice pages and room for the reader to record research resources. Students are encouraged to use this no-frills workbook as a starting point then research the topic independently in order to foster the development of their own critical thinking skills. This title is a solid first step on a life-long journey of discovery and capability. Give yourself or your children the gift of clarity and empowerment. It is indispensable in today’s world. Intended for independent learners.

Public Schools Are Preparing America’s Children For Life In A Police State

“Governments don’t want a population capable of critical thinking, they want obedient workers, people just smart enough to run the machines and just dumb enough to passively accept their situation.” –George Carlin

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.” –H.L. Mencken

 

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Weekend Ramblings

Gamer Guns:
As I get further into shooting sports I am looking at buying some guns.

I need to get a semi automatic shotgun if I am going to even make a half attempt to be competitive (locally and with my shooting buddies, no grand delusions). Last match we had a stage that was like 30 rounds of shotgun, no Bueno with a pump gun. The obvious answer is a Stoeger M3K. Basically they are a Benelli system in a Turkish made gun at a price just under 7 bills. All it needs is a tube extension and its ready to go. I will shoot one more match this year. Probably not going to have one before that (at least broken in and ready) so I might as well wait till next year.

 A Glock 34 wouldn’t hurt either. More site radius, barrel and mass. This will probably be first since I could shoot it all winter. I might just split the middle and get a Glock 17 though.

Gear:
For 3 gun I want to shoot with the gear I would use if something bad happened or as close as is practical. The only real addition would be a shotgun shell carrier. I figure if nothing else using the same type of holster and mag pouches gets me a lot of carry over. Ideally my 3 gun setup will be my same by the bedside setup.

Do you guys shoot 3 gun? Are you using a gamer set up or trying to use what you would otherwise carry?

IDPA (also known as 90’s action shooting) I am stuck as we can’t shoot appendix. I could use the same type of holster on a belt though.

I think the answer is finding an OWB kydex holster I like and buying a pair. One can live on a sort of war belt for 3 gun and the other can slide onto a normal belt for IDPA.

Glock 43: Had one for awhile and ended up swapping it away. I am becoming convinced single stack 9’s just aren’t for me. I am not so sure a snubby .38 isn’t a better option for a 2 round deficit. Once they get the kinks worked out I might get a Sig 365.

The Economy: We are in a big bubble and its going to pop. If I could say 100% when I would be trading stocks from an awesome sailboat somewhere. Wouldn’t recommend doing anything crazy but taking some profits could be a good idea. Along those lines precious metals are pretty cheap right now.

Seasonal Bag Changes:
Probably a good time to bring out your systems and take a look. Replace batteries, etc. Also add in seasonally appropriate clothing and gear. I did mine earlier this week and had some bad batteries in there.

 

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Tab Clearing

Expedient Field Gear Repairs by JC Dodge this article is excellent. Solid stuff to have on inventory or in an appropriate cache.

My only constructive input is that in this area an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I learned this from an experienced guy (hard to find within the force in the early 00’s) before my first deployment. Replace stuff, boots in particular, that is on the downslide and deploy with newly broken in stuff. Trying to get an extra couple months (of full time use) out of a pair of boots or a piece of load bearing kit is foolish. There are times to be frugal but this is not one of them.

Concealed Carry Holsters: Separating Good from Bad this article by Tamra Keel is pure gold. It really breaks down the issue at a level I never considered but find very relevant. Two relevant thoughts:

1- The mouth of the holster should be sufficiently stiff that you can easily reholster the gun. This tends to be an issue with thin IWB holsters that collapse under the belts pressure once the gun is removed.

2- Retention is a relative thing. Holsters should have sufficient retention for the tasks you will do and plausibly might do while wearing them. For example a pocket holster for my little Ruger LCP needs significantly less retention than a holster someone plans to use as a law enforcement duty holster or during airborne operations.

 

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How airsoft and skirmishes can teach you about being prepared for survival

Many airsoft BB gun users take part in organized skirmishes – aka fake battles and survival scenarios. A lot of people don’t believe in ‘playing’ with guns or allowing youngsters to play with guns or take part in skirmish activities as they believe it’s setting a bad example. However, using airsoft BB gunsand taking part in skirmishes can teach you a lot about being prepared and surviving in any situation.
Honing your shooting skills
You may think that in real life you will never need to know how to shoot a target, but at one point or another, you may well need to be able to do so. Its one thing shooting targetsat a shooting range; it’s completely another shooting a moving target during a skirmish, which is why skirmishes are so useful when it comes to honing your shooting skills. When it comes to surviving in the wilderness, being able to shoot a moving target – ideally, at a distance away – is crucial. Proving that skirmishes are an ideal way to do this, many police forces and military forces use BB guns and skirmishes to help new recruits hone their shooting skills.  
Learning to work as part of a team
Another important lesson that skirmishes can teach you is working successfully as part of a team. If you’re someone who watches survival films or war films even, then you will know that when it comes to survival, teamwork is often crucial. Skirmishes teach you how to not only look after yourself but also your team members, as well as how to obey orders and do as you’re told. If you are put in a leading position, skirmishes also teach you how to lead a team and determine who does what role within it. When it comes to survival (and preparation), being a good delegate is important – this is a skill that leading a skirmish team will allow you to develop.
How to stay hidden
Just like in real wars, the key to surviving when under attack is being able to stay hidden. Taking part in skirmishes teaches you how to stay hidden by camouflaging yourself. It also teaches you how to pick the opportune moment to reveal yourself and how to determine when that is. Talking about careful thinking, it’s also crucial to learn to use ammunition wisely, which is another key thing that skirmishes teach you. You only have a certain amount of ammunition and have to learn to make it last, if you’re going to survive, that is.
Adapting to different environments
Last but not least, skirmishes teach you how to successfully adapt to play in different environments. Sometimes matches will be held outdoors in woodland areas other times they will be held in indoor areas like old malls. If you’re going to survive whatever is thrown at you, you need to know how to adapt to different environments and use your airsoft skills successfully in each of them. They say that practice makes perfect, so the more skirmishes in different environments you compete in, the better.
Airsoft BB guns and skirmishes can teach you a lot about being prepared and surviving anything, from a Zombie apocalypse to a terrorist takeover.

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker



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Gear Review: Camelbak Big Chill

Summer temperatures in Texas can get a little warm.  I love my Tervis in the office, but it was just not convenient for my mountain bike. I decided to put the Camelbak Big Chill to the test.
For fun, I rounded up some of my other water bottles to get them in on the action.  They were not all the same size bottles, so I used a 16 oz cup to place the same amount of ice in each bottle.  I only placed ice in the bottles and just measured how long it took for the ice to melt in each bottle.
At the end of 1.5 hours, ice was still visible in all the bottles.  The single wall stainless steel dropped first.  Then, my basic water bottle melted.  An hour later, my non insulated Nagalene and Stanley were done.  Not surprisingly, the two insulated bottles were the only ones still with ice.
The Camelbak Big Chill made 4.5 hours before the ice had all melted.  It gave out while the Tervis still had several ice cube remnants visible.  
The test started at 11:00 AM and outside temperatures reached into the mid 90’s.  The Camelbak Big Chill will not replace my Tervis around the BBQ pit, but it will definitely be my companion on my mountain bike excursions.  It might even replace my day hike water bottle.
Staying above the water line!
Riverwalker
 
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Gear Review: SOG Fasthawk Axe VS SOG Tomahawk Axe

Blade Length: 2 inches  Weight: 19 oz.  Overall Length:12.5 inches
Blade Length: 2.75 inches  Weight: 24 oz.  Overall Length:15.75 inches

Performed a quick field test on some oak firewood in the backyard.  Smaller oak limbs(4-6 inches in diameter) were cut in half easily with both SOG axes.  The largest piece(10-12 inches in diameter) the SOG Tomahawk was definitely easier, but the SOG Fasthawk did the job as well.  In addition, I pruned some small limbs(4-6 inches in diameter) off trees.  Again, I could not find a significant difference in performance between them.

I found the compact size of the SOG Fasthawk to be worth the slight sacrifice in performance over the SOG Tomahawk.  The Fasthawk will be allocated to my EDC(Every Day Carry) and the Tomahawk will find a home in my BOB(Bug Out Bag.)
Staying above the water line!
Riverwalker

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The Bug Out Bike-Nashbar Single Speed 29er Mountain Bike

The solution for the bug out bike has been delivered.  The unopened box sits waiting to be born into my gear.  The Nashbar Single-Speed 29er Mountain Bike – MEDIUM is a perfect fit for survival situations due to its simplicity, adaptability, and affordability.
The single speed is all about simplicity.  The bug out bike will take the headache out of bike gear maintenance.  Don’t let the racket of a derailleur compromise your stealth.  This single speed does not have shifters or any derailleur.
The mountain bike is also built for adaptability.  The aluminum frame provides an efficient strength to weight ratio for additional durability. The oversized 29er tires provide exceptional mobility over obstacles on and off road. 
Nashbar delivers affordability for the bug out bike.  Finding a quality single speed mountain bike is like looking for supplies after a devastating event.  Usually, all the inexpensive options are heavy and the quality options are overpriced or unavailable.  Nashbar delivers a lightweight single speed at an affordable price tag usually around $400.
Go for the gear that will have you counting down the days to a survival situation like it was Christmas.  Go for simplicity.  Go for adaptability.  Go for affordability.  Go for the Nashbar Single-Speed 29er Mountain bike.
Riding above the water line.
Riverwalker
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DIY Survival Gear Tips – Keeping Things Simple

If you find yourself in a survival situation, every person needs to be able to use what they have on hand and take full advantages of what may be limited resources to satisfy their needs.  Each of your resources will have unique advantages and disadvantages. Your main task should be to figure out how to use these items to meet your needs and increase your chances of survival. Here are some simple tips to remember when making DIY survival gear.
DIY Survival Gear Tips
1. Use only the minimum resources necessary.
Making DIY gear is a great way to train yourself to find alternative uses for items to meet these needs. It is important to keep things simple because this often makes things easier to accomplish. It will also help to reduce the amount of your available resources that will have to be used to make your goal a reality. The less hardware that you need to accomplish your project will increase your ability to achieve a successful outcome with limited resources.
2. Use your survival needs as a guide.
Need is a great motivator. Combining a need with a little imagination can usually lead to a successful project. In a survival situation, failure is not an option and simple solutions often work best.
3. Limit your use of power tools and electricity.
Hand tools work even when there is no power available. Try to design your DIY projects to minimize the use of electricity and the need for power tools. If the grid goes down, hand tools may be your only option to complete your project. You don’t want your thinking to be dependent upon grid power that may not be available.
4. Keep your projects simple and uncomplicated.
Complexity can create more problems than it solves. If you make your projects simple and uncomplicated, other family members can assist in the creation and development of any survival gear you may need. If a project is designed with simplicity in mind, you can free up your time to work on other projects. Children and senior family members can also contribute to the process of making needed survival items if you keep things simple.
5. Remember the primary goal of your project.
Your goal should be to create DIY projects that require minimal tools, no electricity, and minimum amounts of hardware or resources. This will help you be better prepared.
Got DIY survival projects?
Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker
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DIY RV Project – Exterior Utilities Hook-up Light

Many times you will find yourself trying to hook up the utilities to your RV at dark thirty. Installing an exterior light on your RV will make the task a lot simpler. It doesn’t matter if you are boondocking or hooking up to a park space. You may find yourself in the dark and fumbling around with a flashlight. An exterior light will leave your hands free to make the process of getting things hooked up a lot easier.
Using a $10 light from the local tractor supply outlet and about 8 feet of two strand 12 volt wire is all you need to accomplish this RV mod. The cover for the power cord was removed and a wire was run from the 12 volt connections inside the RV.  A small hole was then made in the side of the RV for the wire after a suitable location for the light was determined. A piece of coat hanger wire was then snaked behind the siding of the RV until it came out at the side of the electrical cord cover opening. The wire was then hooked to the 12 volt electrical wire and pulled through the hole. It was then a simple process of hooking the wires to the light and mounting the base plate to the side of the RV and installing the light cover.
The light included an on/off switch and the cover was mounted with the switch in the down position. Even though the switch was water resistant, mounting it where it was on the bottom helps avoid rain hitting it directly.
It’s a quick and simple RV mod that can be done in less than an hour.
Got RV mod?
Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker
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