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Friday, December 31, 2010

Rabbit Snares - I finally bought some

I finally got off my duff and purchased a set of 12 rabbit snares.  I know they are illegal to use in CA...bla...bla...bla; that's why I'm moving to TX.  Anyway, I figured that the economy is going to break anytime now and since I like to practice what I preach; I got some snares.  The snares will be used as a primary source of food and all of our built up stores of canned goods will be used in times when I can't find and catch fresh meat.


The set didn't cost me too much; about $16.00 with shipping (ebay).


I will be ordering more, but have decided to look online and shop directly from the manufacturers.  I will also be searching online as to how to make my own snares.  But until that happens, I have a set I can use until I perfect my skills.

What have YOU been doing to prepare your family for when the SHTF?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Police State Expansion - mobil guard towers; coming to a WalMart and Mall near you

Being a subcontractor working in Ass-Crack-Istan, I see these all over the place.  But, to see them in the US and seeing this ad....I became instantly nausiated.  Since when was military operations against Americans patriotic?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My brother asked me how he should beging prepping with his family

My brother asked me how he should beging prepping with his family.  The first thing I said was to begin reading my blog, then discussed, food, water, shelter, and firearms.  He already has most of that covered but then I really started to think about my response if someone else asked me the same question.  To determine what you need to do to prep, you have to ask yourself some basic questions first. Following is by no means a comprehensive list of survival questions. This is simply a bare bones list of questions to get you thinking about survival and your own situation.

1. How much potable (drinkable) water do I have stored and how long would it last if all sources of water were cut off? Ideally, you should have 2 gallons per person per day. (3 gallons per person per day if your stored food is freeze dried or dehydrated.)  If you have a pool, have you figured out to purify that pool water enough to drink it?

2. How much food do I have stored and how long would it last if all sources of food were cut off and all electric power were cut? (Hint: this means all your frozen food and foods requiring refrigeration are gone.)

3. How much essential medication for myself and my other family members do I have on hand and how long would they last if there was no way to get refills or if there was a medical emergency? What about glasses, frames and lenses (if you wear them).

4. How much emergency medical supplies do I have? Do I have enough for every family member?

5. Do I have a firearm for each adult family member? Do I have enough ammunition for each firearm (The minimum should be at least 1,000 rounds of ammunition per firearm)?

6. Are the firearms I have in good working order? (This means old guns that have not been shot in 50 years should be considered unreliable until proven otherwise. Also, guns like a .22 caliber pistol probably won’t help much in defending your home from a group of intruders). Ideally, all shotguns should be either 10, 12, or 20 gauge. When choosing rifles, reliability should be the # 1 consideration in survival situations. The AK-47 and its many variants are best in this area, but they are not as accurate as other military type rifles such as the AR-15, FN-FAL, and SKS carbine. Most deer rifles are excellent in this area as well.

NOTE: HAVING ANY FIREARM EVEN IF IT IS LESS THAN IDEAL IS BETTER THAN HAVING NO FIREARM.

7. If I live in a cold weather climate, do I have proper clothing to survive assuming all energy sources were cut off? In simple terms this means its cold and you have no heat. (Space blankets and space bags, which are made of metal foil which reflects body heat, are a low priced way to give yourself protection in this area).

8. How much CASH money do I have stockpiled for emergencies? In survival situations, you should work off the assumption that checks and credit cards will not be honored. You should have at least $200 stockpiled in case of emergencies.

NOTE: HAVING ANY AMOUNT OF CASH STOCKPILED EVEN IF IT IS LESS THAN $200 IS BETTER THAN HAVING NO CASH STOCKPILED.

9. Do I have any books on survival in my personal library? If the answer is no, get some. Delta Press and Paladin Press are two of the best sources for books on survival. I recommend that you read every book you can get your hands on by Duncan Long and Ragnar Benson. These two gentlemen are, in my opinion, the best writers on survival topics on this planet.

10. Do I really know what’s going on in the world? If you don’t know what’s going on, you cannot plan for emergencies effectively. (Hint: If you get all your news from the mainstream media, you DO NOT know what is going on. That’s a fact.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Why my wife has two shotguns...and they are for more than looking Kick-Ass cool at the range

Yes, my wife has two shotguns and I, uhhhhh, don't have any....actually, she has more weapons (guns) than I do...but that is a different story. Yes...I do tell her to aim low.  No, I don't argue with her often.  She has one for hunting game...and one for defense.

There is ample reason why military forces continue to include shotguns in their active arsenals and sport hunters use them for particular game. While a rifle or a pistol has an advantage in regards to accuracy, in terms of self defense, there may not be sufficient time, lighting or other factors that would allow for a quick, accurate aim. In this respect, shotguns offer their own unique advantages. Multiple projectiles from one shot will have awesome stopping power. In the hands of a trained user, a shotgun may indeed be an appropriate weapon. Because there are so many options available in shotgun selection, we will discuss how to decide the right weapon for self defense.


Among the first considerations is the selection of the proper gauge. To better understand this option, shotguns are classified by size or gauge—the lower the gauge, the wider the barrel. Most popular (and rightly so for this purpose) would be a 12 gauge. Because of its popularity, the 12 gauge offers a wider variety of shell options.

To control the pattern size of your shotgun, an accessory called a choke comes into play. Chokes create differing amounts of constriction on the outlet of the barrel which controls the size of the pattern of the shot. To tighten the pattern of shot you must have a smaller choke on the barrel. An improved-cylinder or modified choke is quite effective and can be used in applications other than home defense (such as hunting). Such a choke will give you a 15 to 20 inch spread pattern at 10 yards.

The stopping power of shotgun ammunition comes from the pellets, known as shot or buckshot. Buckshot sizes range from #4 up to 000. Common birdshot comes in sizes #4 (this is an entirely different shell than #4 buckshot) up to around #9. There’s a #12 but it’s mostly a specialty order and not significant for home defense purposes. It’s at this point in the conversation that differing opinions occur about which shell to use. The utmost concern should be the safety of other occupants of the house and any neighbors nearby in determining which shell to use.



Some people advocate the 00 (double-ought) buckshot shell. The pellets in this size are about .33 caliber and there will be about 8 -12 of these pellets in a shell depending on the length of the shell and ounces of powder used. This is like releasing 8 – 12 .30 caliber rifle bullets at one time and is extremely dangerous. This shell will seriously over-penetrate walls, plumbing, electrical systems, heating and cooling systems, people and can even wind up in your neighbor’s living room, killing him. The shot in this shell is traveling fast enough and has enough mass that it will pass through anything.

A good middle of the road shell is a #4 birdshot (not to be confused with the #4 buckshot). The difference in the two shells is this: #4 buckshot contains approximately 21 .24 caliber pellets in 1 ounce of shot. #4 birdshot contains 135 .13 caliber pellets in 1 ounce of shot. Each is traveling at around 1200 feet per second. The difference is the buckshot will pass through the intruder while the smaller mass of the birdshot pellets will be stopped within the intruder’s body. This is the stopping power of the shell—the intruder is absorbing all the energy of the smaller pellets because they’re not passing through him. This is true knock-down power. Also, since your spread is dependent on the choke of your weapon and not the shell, you’d rather have 135 pellets in a 15” spread (with a modified choke) than 8 to 12 of them. With a #4 birdshot shell, you’re reducing the risk of over-penetration and the lives of other members of the family and neighbors, as well as the risk of serious damage to your house.

Another often overlooked factor to consider is the length and type of barrel. Hunters typically use longer barreled guns, but shorter barrels are easier to handle, especially in tight spaces. Although shorter is better, legality is an issue. Current laws require that barrels be at least 18 inches long on a weapon that is at least 26 inches in total length. The best advice I can give you on barrel length is to check with local authorities to determine size requirements where you live.

These are the essential elements to an effective defensive shotgun, but a visit to any gun store may offer additional options and accessories. Guns come in many shapes, sizes, colors and textures, and with some experience you’ll be able to choose options best suited to your needs.

Additional ammunition capacity can be added with available accessories, but these are not really necessary if your sole use is for home defense. Additional options such as laser sights and slings are also considered by many to be unnecessary in home defense applications. Laser sights and flashlight-style attachments are marketed as a way to give the user a visible field of vision in the dark, but they can also pinpoint your location, making you as much of a target as your intruder.

Pistol-grip stocks may make a gun look menacing, but in reality they are much less effective than the typical butt stock. They make the gun extremely hard to handle because of recoil. In addition, if you find yourself in a close–up encounter with an intruder, a shorter stock gun can enable your attacker to turn the weapon on you without it ever leaving your hands. A longer stock and barrel is unwieldy in close encounters, but is an advantage for you if the intruder gets his hands on your gun.

Shotguns also come in double-barrel, pump or auto configurations. Regardless of personal desire, the gun must be quick and reliable. The double-barreled shotgun is a tried and true design that doesn’t incorporate complicated loading or repeating mechanics. Double-barreled shotguns are not as easily mass produced though so they do tend to cost a little more.

Auto shotguns provide an advantage of an almost instant discharge of up to six rounds, but the complex mechanisms increase cost and can present a potential for failure.

For the best combination of price and performance, the simple pump shotgun may be the most reasonable solution for home defense. These guns are reliable and easy to use and because they are easily reproduced, there is not a premium included in the price. In addition, the shack-a-lack of a round being chambered in the pump shotgun is a universal language that informs the intruder you have a gun and will use it without ever speaking a word. 9 times out of 10 this will be enough of a deterrent, convincing him it would be better to leave than wind up dead.


In conclusion, shotguns are generally considered to be the most effective tool for home defense, but the most important component is your familiarity and training with the weapon that may one day stand between your loved ones and criminals bent on depriving you of your property or your life.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Saving Seeds

Almost every survivalist site I go to they mention saving your own seeds, but they never tell you exactly how to do it....well, you wont find that problem here.



This is how you can begin saving your own seeds:

Tomatoes, peppers, beans and peas are good choices for seed saving. These plants have flowers that are self-pollinating, and seeds that require little or no special treatment before storage. Seeds from biennial crops such as carrots or beets are harder to save, since the plants need two growing seasons to set seed.


Plants with separate male and female flowers, like corn and vine crops, may cross-pollinate, so it is difficult to keep the seed strain pure. A stand of sweet corn can be pollinated by popcorn from a nearby garden on a windy day. The flavor of the current sweet corn crop will be affected, and a crop grown from these seeds will be neither good sweet corn nor good popcorn.

Cucumbers, melons, squash, pumpkins, and gourds can all be cross-pollinated by insects. Although the quality of the current crop will not be affected, seeds from such a cross will grow into vines with fruit unlike that of the parent plant--often inferior in flavor and other characteristics.

When saving seed, chose open-pollinated varieties rather than hybrids. If open-pollinated varieties self-pollinate or are cross-pollinated by other plants of the same variety, they set seed which grows into plants that are still very similar to the parent plant, bearing similar fruit and setting seeds that will produce more similar plants. Open-pollinated varieties may be “heirlooms,” varieties that have been passed down from one generation of gardeners to the next, or they may be more recent selections.

Hybrid vegetable plants are products of crosses between two different varieties, combining traits of the parent plants. Sometimes a combination is particularly good, producing plants with outstanding vigor, disease resistance, and productivity. Hybrid seeds are generally more expensive as they cost more to produce.

Hybrid plants, such as ‘Big Boy’, ‘Beefmaster’ and ‘Early Girl’ tomatoes will produce viable seed. Plants grown from that seed, however, will not be just like the hybrid parents; instead, they will be a completely new combination of the good and bad traits of the plants that were initially crossed. It’s impossible to predict just how the seedling plant will perform or what qualities the fruit will have.

Some tomato varieties are not hybrids; instead they are open-pollinated types such as ‘Big Rainbow’, ‘San Marzano’ and ‘Brandywine’. Seed produced by these varieties will grow into plants very similar to the parent plants, with nearly identical fruit. Likewise, ‘Habanero’, ‘California Wonder’ and ‘Corno di Toro’ peppers; ‘Lincoln’, ‘Little Marvel’ and ‘Perfection’ peas; and ‘Kentucky Wonder’, ‘Blue Lake’ and ‘Tendercrop’ beans are all open-pollinated varieties that will come true from seed.

Once you have planted an open-pollinated crop, select the plants from which you want to save seed. Choose only the most vigorous plants with the best-tasting fruit as parents for the next year’s crop. Do not save seed from weak or off-type plants.

Harvesting Seed

Saving tomato seeds is easy. Allow fruits to ripen fully and scoop out the seeds, along with the gel surrounding them, before you eat or cook the tomatoes. Put the seeds and gel in a glass jar with some water. Stir or swirl the mixture twice a day. The mixture will ferment and the seeds should sink to the bottom within five days. Pour off the liquid, rinse the seeds and spread them out to dry on paper towels.

Saving pepper seeds is even easier. Allow some fruits to stay on the plants until they become fully ripe and start to wrinkle. Remove the seeds from the peppers and spread them out to dry.

Save pea and bean seeds by allowing the pods to ripen on the plants until they’re dry and starting to turn brown, with the seeds rattling inside. This may be as long as a month after you would normally harvest the peas or beans to eat. Strip the pods from the plants and spread them out to dry indoors. They should dry at least two weeks before shelling, or you can leave the seeds in the pods until planting time.

Storage

Store seeds in tightly-sealed glass containers. You can store different kinds of seeds, each in individual paper packets, together in a large container. Keep seeds dry and cool. A temperature between 32° and 41°F is ideal, so your refrigerator can be a good place to store seeds.

A small amount of silica-gel desiccant added to each container will absorb moisture from the air and help keep the seeds dry. Silica gel is sold in bulk for drying flowers at craft supply stores. Powdered milk can also be used as a desiccant. Use one to two tablespoons of milk powder from a freshly opened package. Wrap the powder in a piece of cheesecloth or a facial tissue and place it in the container with the seeds. Powdered milk will absorb excess moisture from the air for about six months.

Be sure to label your saved seeds with their name, variety, and the date you collected them. It’s too easy to forget the details by the following spring.

Carrots, radishes, and other biennials will not produce seed until the second year of growth. These can be left in the garden over winter under a heavy mulch, or they can be dug and stored in damp sand in the root cellar for spring replanting. If they will be in the way of future tilling or succession planting, consider a separate area for seed production. When the seed head is almost ripe, tie a paper bag over it to collect those seeds that will otherwise fall to the ground.

Onions are also biannual, but producing bulbs or sets requires yet another year. Sow seed thickly - about a quarter of an ounce in four square feet - so they will not get too big. When the tops fall over pull them and store them in net bags for planting the following year.

Run your own search on how to save seeds or you can download a PDF booklet here:  Saving Your Own Vegetable Seeds.pdf.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My First Silver Bar

I try to prove that I practice what I preach when it comes to preparing for the worst. To further illustrate my point, I want to show everyone my first Silver Bar to hedge against the falling dollar. Many Survival and Preppers sites talk about buying gold and silver to hedge their retirement accounts and so that they have physical assets to use in case the Dollars completely looses it face value.


I have chosen to invest in silver bars because I know NOTHING about coins, rounds, proofs, silver content of coins, and everything else which is involved in coinage. I know that silver bars are minted by mints and state the .999 silver content somewhere on the bar. I have also stayed away from the "mills" .999 silver...which is nothing more than a piece of alloy covered in a LAYER of silver.

Anyway, the Silver / Gold ratio is falling which means that silver is getting more expensive. I was going to buy in when it was $4.00, $10.00, and $14.00 an ounce, but never really got my motor in gear to actually do it. Now, I have.



I check the SPOT price of silver everyday, got to EBay (and other sites), do some comparative shopping, and then place my order. The key words I use are "1 Troy Ounce Silver", "Silver Bars", ".999 Silver" and others. Do your own research and begin preparing for the inevitable collapse of the Dollar.


I stay away from these

Anthing that says Mills:

"Beautiful Troy Ounce silver Maple Leaf Art Bar, plated with 100 mills of .999 silver".

You will see many of these on EBay; Maple Leaf, Pot Leaf, Pistols, Bear, Stars...As far as I know all of them are identical and come from a mint in Canada.  I have no idea what the core material is, but more than likely it's copper or brass.


GRAMS:

These bars are TINY.  There are 28.3492 grams to an Ounce.  These things are smaller than your finger nail...be careful and READ CAREFULLY the item descriptions.