In this weeks edition of Survival Sunday: Gang Violence, What Food Storage Is Best, Conquering Self-Doubt, Surviving The Drought, Hand & Surface Hygiene, Forgotten Storage Foods, Setting Up A Prepper Cell, Making A DIY Wire Toaster, and 5 More.
It’s August already! I do not know where the time has gone. I do know this, we have only five months left in the year and I have a quite a few unfinished goals for the year. I need to get busy!
As far as what I did this week, mostly medical appointments and work as always which included the opportunity to attend countless meetings that failed to accomplish anything. That may not be completely fair but that is how I feel. I am sure that there are many of you who can relate. I did some volunteer work this weekend but mostly stayed close to home because I was on call for work.
I did add 20 gallons of water to our preparations this week and ordered the WaterBOB to allow us to store another 100 gallons of water in a quick manner if we need to.
Other than that, nothing to report (unless you want to hear about the repeated strokes I think I have suffered by accidentally seeing the news from time to time). It scares me that my children have to grow up with everything that is happening in modern society.
Mac may have said it best when he points out that,
In California, where strict firearms restrictions make it nearly impossible for most to carry a personal defense weapon, residents are left with two options. They either need to stay home and away from the public. Or, if confronted or shot, they can call the police who will arrive several minutes after the fact.
I would say that there is a third option as well, don’t live in California and carry a gun with you everywhere you go. I like #3.
Which Type Of Food Storage Is Best? – A common question in preparedness, this is a comprehensive look at the pros and cons of: Commercially Canned Foods, Home Canned Foods, Commercially Dehydrated Foods, Home Dehydrated Foods, Frozen Foods, & Freeze Dried Foods.
Hand & Surface Hygiene When There’s No Water To Spare – Hygiene and sanitation is vital to survival, especially following a disaster. A majority of the deaths that tend to occur after large scale disasters across the world can be attributed not following appropriate hygiene and sanitation practices which leads to disease and ultimately death.
14 Foods You Might Have Forgotten To Store – This is a great reminder that despite your best efforts, it is easy to overlook items. It is also good to reiterate that storing comfort items is a good idea as well.
Setting Up A Prepper Cell – The military has proven itself ten times over and this article takes a look at using the military’s basic cell framework to set up a prepper group. It is a great starting point if you are looking to form a preparedness group.
Make A DIY Wire Toaster – Whether it is for camping, your bug out bag, or in the back yard after a disaster, this DIY toaster is a simple project that would even be great for kids to make.
Cecil The Lion – Ok, I get it; the dude killed a lion which evidently he thought was legal to do. I could be wrong, but would he really pay $55K if he knew it was illegal? What doesn’t pass the common sense test is the number of people who think that killing Dr. Palmer is going to help. Cecil the lion was also projected onto the Empire State building. It is just crazy to think that thousands of unborn children are aborted EVERY DAY in America and yet the only thing we have a problem with is a lion being killed.
Never mind the fact that in the course of an average day it is estimated that 22 military veterans commit suicide. Who cares though because a lion got killed, right? As long as the lions are ok, my fellow veterans can just keep offing themselves.
The Clinton’s Love Expensive Haircuts – You may or may not recall that in 1993 President Bill Clinton tied up half of LAX’s runways while Air Force One idled its engines for almost an hour while the president got what, “may have been the most expensive haircut in history” at a cost of $200.
Now we find ourselves 12 years into the future and Hillary Clinton, running for president herself, was the recipient of a $600 haircut that the Washington Times was happy to point out is more than the average American makes in a week. She wants to be president and thinks that American need a higher “living wage” but she lives a lifestyle that doesn’t seem to match up.
Speaking of the Clinton’s, Hillary “Stop Climate Change” Clinton was spotted recently at the airport in Des Moines, Iowa boarding a gas guzzling private jet that if her theory about climate change is correct, is killing the environment in a slow and painful manner. However, referencing the paragraph above, it looks like the idling of Air Force One by #42 was a contributor to the problems that Mrs. Clinton thinks we are facing, even though she doesn’t give a rodent’s behind about it.
That’s a wrap for me this week. As always, I hope that you all have had a great week and keep getting ready for tough times. It seems like we get closer every day to something unfortunate coming along.
If you found something that you would like to share with the group or have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com.
Come back next week for another edition of Survival Sunday.
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This week I have the pleasure of sharing some perspective on survival from Todd at Survival Sherpa. Thank you to Todd for sharing his views on preparedness and some of the challenges that would face us in the event of a disaster.
1. If I were limited to only one firearm for survival, I would own a: Depends on the survival scenario. In wilderness survival, I’d have to choose my Ruger 10/22 with my homemade paracord sling. Paracord is the duct tape of wilderness survival and has many handy uses. Plus, .22 ammo is cheap, compact, and doesn’t make a big boom. With proper aim and shot placement, I’ve heard of many big game kills with this humble little gun. That’s the rumor.
In an urban/suburban SHTF event, I’d upgrade to an AR platform in 5.56 or 7.62 or both.
2. The single most overlooked prep item is: Whole civilizations were built around containers. I’m a container hoarder – to Dirt Road Girl’s chagrin. Coffee cans, altoid tins, washtubs, glass jars, mason jars (with lids, of course), barrels, and different sized buckets.
3. The first thing to disappear following a disaster will be: Food and water on Wally World’s shelves. The unprepared panic like a hungry swarm of locust. It happens down south where we live with a light dusting of snow.
4. If I could have a retreat anywhere in the world, it would be: My parents place where I grew up – minus the gnats. There’s plenty of natural resources, water, animals (domesticated and wild), woodlots, farm land, family, and neighbors with the same self-sufficient mindset. Now if I could magically move all that to a sparsely populated state/area, I’d do so in a minute. It’s a bit too close to large population centers for my liking.
In the mean time, I keep doing the stuff here. Bloom where we’re planted. Unless I hear from God to uproot and leave family, I’m staying put.
5. In my opinion, the best commercially produced survival food on the market today is: The advice of our prepper world is to store what you eat and eat what you store. Hum, since I don’t eat wheat based products or processed foods, I don’t have a “best” commercially produced survival food to recommend. After converting to a Primal/Paleo style of eating over three years ago, I don’t purchase conventional survival foods. We aim for a 6 month to one year supply of nutrient dense whole foods. I wrote about my Primal Pantry if anyone is interested. We do have a few freeze dried camping meals in our go bags in case of an emergency. As a Primal Prepper, I’m always on the look out for new, creative ways to store what we eat – a caveman’s diet of sorts.
6. The items that I have on me at all times include: A flashlight (Streamlight ProTac 2L), phone, reading glasses, Alice that goes boom boom, swiss army folding knife, wallet, duct tape wrapped in around an old card in my wallet, chap stick, small Bic lighter, and toothpicks (I’ve been addicted to chewing them since I was kid). On exercise outings in the woods or around town I carry my Camel-bak pack with all these goodies – plus water. I never use ear buds to listen to music or podcasts when I’m running or exercising in public. When running barefoot, I’m able to sneak up on people when they aren’t distracted by music. With ear buds blaring, I could roll up behind them on a Harley unnoticed.
7. The last book that I read was: Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan. It’s not light reading, but very applicable to prepping and life in general. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it.
8. One thing that I would miss the most if an EMP shifted my lifestyle back to the 1800’s would be: Technology/communicaitons. I’m writing this now on modern technology. You’re reading it through the same medium. Even though I adhere as much as possible to the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Sherpa Simple) method of living, I would miss the access to technology and being able to communicate electronically… for a time.
9. Stuck on an island and forced to choose one person to survive with, I would pick: Chuck Norris. Seriously, Dirt Road Girl, my beautiful wife and partner. We’re doing the stuff, together. She’s proven her survival skills many times. The latest was beating stage 4 cancer.
10. If I could own any vehicle, it would be: Now I drive a Toyota Forerunner and my neighbor’s truck. I sold my truck to help with cancer bills. DRG drives a Nissan Xterra. I’d love to own a 1969 Ford Branco one day. Something I can work on without computers. For two wheels I’d go with a Kawasaki KLR650 dual sport since I sold my Harley.
A big thank you to J. Vanne for writing this post.
Selfishness and Preparedness
by J. Vanne
Recently, a small firestorm was ignited by Valerie Lucus-McEwen, a government Emergency Management employee, who had the temerity to accuse preparedness types of “selfishness.” While your immediate reaction may be – as mine certainly was – “Are people really and truly this thoughtless?” – this question does deserve a proper answer, particularly as those who are easily influenced by the leftist media, or who believe the state really and actually is the omniscient, omnipotent savior of our personal and corporate lives, are actually asking this question. So, let’s examine the issue:
First, many preparedness types have, as part of their goal, the intent of helping neighbors and family who were unable – or unwilling – to prepare. In my own case, part of what I have in mind is assisting a large group of mentally retarded and Down’s syndrome children that my church has taken under its wing. (A group the state would do no more than “warehouse” if it were under their direction!). Not all preppers feel this way, but I would bet my bottom can of stored tuna fish there is an exceedingly large percentage of preparedness types who feel similarly.
One significant point of observation – that has significant ramifications relative to preparedness – is that, in my experience, the non-prepper type is generally of a socialist orientation. Of course, as most of you know, this approach was tried – and found wanting – all the way back in the Pilgrim era. Many of you are aware that when the Pilgrims first arrived, they worked out of a communal system. The result was starvation and death. As this approach did not work, they then “privatized” their system – and of course flourished. You can easily research this history yourself, but if one has any experience with human nature, it is immediately apparent why this didn’t – and has never in history – worked. The issue is that human nature is imperfect and selfish, just as Adam Smith wrote about in the Wealth of Nations. A simple recognition of this basic aspect of human nature – and finding a way to work with this reality, rather than against it, provides the most good for the largest number of people – exactly as Smith wrote, and exactly as history has shown for anyone who has eyes to see. To do otherwise impoverishes people, and in times of crisis, will lead to otherwise avoidable deaths. Working with this reality of human nature, rather than against it, has brought the greatest good for people overall in both good periods of history, as well as difficult. And for those of you with Judeo-Christian worldviews, this issue is why Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn called Communism “a Christian heresy” – viz., the Communist assumptions about human nature were completely off-base. Long story short, the question is: Is man perfectible (particularly with the best and brightest, such as Hilary, George Soros, Al Gore and Obama telling – nay, forcing – us what to do!), or are all men fallible, and the dictum of Lord Acton correct that absolute power corrupts absolutely correct. There is an unbridgeable divide between these two assumptions, and this divide makes itself manifest in the Hamlet-like “to prep or not to prep” debate.
The Fleet Street Letter put this matter perspicaciously a number of years ago, and is worth quoting at length:
There are two major traditions in Western political thought. The first is Aristotelian, logical, rational, centrist, mechanistic. You concentrate power and truth in the centre and apply it outward, shaping the world according to plan. This was the guiding principle of the Roman Empire. It evolved into the Holy Roman Empire and the Church of Rome. Except for Switzerland, it has dominated politics on the continent ever since. Most recently, it has morphed into the European Union. The principle is simple – smart people can figure out how to run things, and should be allowed to do so. This was the idea behind Hillary Clinton’s health care task force (and now ObamaCare), as well as Japan, Inc. and even Adolph Hitler’s National Socialist Germany. It has animated nearly every politician (each one of whom, as Garrison Keilor notes about Lake Woebegone children, are above average) in this century. But there is another tradition that is much less well understood. It is the tradition of the Roman Republic… of English common law… of Adam Smith and Emmanuel Kant… of Austrian School economists such as Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek and of pre-Rooseveltian American. It is organic, rather than mechanistic – the tradition of tradition, based on the recognition that people, no matter how smart, cannot replace thousands of years of accumulated experience.Experience is embodied in the evolved systems of values, customs, rules and traditions that people use to order and give meaning to their lives. A free market and a free society allow people to express these preferences, as well as allowing the process of social and civil evolution to continue. This tradition, in other words, is neither liberal nor conservative in the modern sense, but anti-political. Indeed, it is often seen as “anti-intellectual” because it denies the authority of intellectuals to tell the rest of us what to do (through the political process).
Perhaps you, like I do, remember the “best and the brightest” who led the Vietnam war? How did that one work out? Or, if that news is too stale, perhaps you care to visit present day Detroit – which was the first city to adopt the socialist “Model Cities Program” in under Mayor Coleman Young a number of decades ago. Similarly, Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” was a quasi- socialist endeavour, which was intended to end poverty. You can judge for yourself what all those $9 trillion dollars spent on this “war” resulted in (hint: we now have just under 48 million on food stamps, up from 32 million when Obama took office, and with more poverty than ever).
The basic misunderstanding is, as Frederic Bastiat wrote in The Law,
Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
There is yet another misunderstanding to clear up for those of Christian persuasion, as exemplified in the Book of Acts, 2:24, in the New Testament, which states about the early believers “And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common.” Dr. Jay Richards addresses this superbly in his book Money, Greed andf God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem by simply noting that the early Christians held things in common privately, voluntarily and without compulsion. This is light years away from the state forcing sharing, and under compulsion.
And one more important observation, that is applicable to the prepping community: When I donate my own money at present, I watch like a hawk where it is going, and what it is doing. When my money goes for taxes to “help” others – for the few dollars that actually make it past the money sucking gauntlet of bureaucrats – how much actually reaches its destination? Some research shows as little as 10% or so. As the saying goes, it is much better to teach someone to fish, rather than just gives them a fish for a day. And I can do a thousand times more, with a million times more love, for 1% of the money, that the government could ever dream of doing, if I were left with my own money to donate as I wish. Similarly, preparedness is most optimally left to the individual, not the state. I am clearly not saying there is no place at all for the state to assist. However, it should be ancillary and very secondary in function. To do otherwise is to set expectations that can only be dashed – exactly as was seen during hurricanes Katrina or Sandy.
So, how does this relate to preparedness with potential future catastrophic disasters? In a collapse – whether it be Argentinian/Greek/Zimbabwe style, or EMP, or a global war, compassion must be personal and voluntary. Not only is it more effective, it is more ethical. And it is more ethical because it is more caring, more direct, and more efficient In a collapse, there should be a voluntary exchange, and for those that are not prepared, there should be some type of assistance rendered by the one who has not prepared (it could be cooking, gardening; perhaps doing guard duty or carpentry). Where this is not possible, simple humanity and compassion should – and undoubtedly will be – the hallmark of many preppers.
In a serious collapse, there may well be a need to choose whom one would help, or not, but that is a decision that will be very personal. For myself – in contrast to the government representatives who so condescendingly accuse preppers such myself of being self-centred, I will indeed (as noted above) look to help the weak and helpless. You may object by saying “A lot of good that will do – we should, as per people like Dr. Peter Singer, just let the weak die.” To which I reply “A society that only values those of utility is not a society worth keeping – and in fact, is precisely the type of society – with its abortions, euthanasia, etc. – that got us into this mess in the first place.”
Another point: I would be remiss not to mention in the context of this article is the very self-apparent fact that for every person who is prepared, that is one less mouth to feed in a real crisis. This needn’t be addressed further, as it is patently obvious, but is yet another reality that the debunkers always seem, somehow, to neglect to address, though it is staring them right in the face. The regular silence by these debunkers is a stark testimony to what is either a lack of critical thinking, or a purposeful lack of honesty is examining the relative merits of preparedness.
God – or for the non-believer, nature herself – has written self-preservation into our very DNA. Certainly, from a Judeo Christian perspective, each individual person has the right to self-preservation. The Bible is replete with laws allowing for self-defense in the Old Testament, and even in the New Testament – while unequivocally admonishing believers to be irenic and forgiving, also quotes Christ telling the disciples, for example in Luke 22:36, in preparation for when He is gone, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” There are historically several approaches to defense in the Bible – complete pacifism, the use of “police” force, and just war, but that is beyond the scope of this paper. Suffice to say, self-defense is well within the historical understanding of options for Christians in a violent world, although admittedly this can be a difficult issue to navigate, and there is a range of conclusions which sensible people can come to within the pale of faith. Similarly, I extend this self-defense conception into that of realm of preparedness. I think the extension is fair and reasonable, about which reasonable people can disagree in some areas.
Also, relative to preparedness and faith, clearly Proverbs 27:12 explicitly states – and which passage many preparedness types are familiar with – “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” In a world where well-regarded individuals like Dr. Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University state the total amount of unfunded liabilities – federal, state, municipal and corporate – are now a staggering $222 trillion, where the amount of derivatives (which Warren Buffet famously once called “financial weapons of mass destruction”) world-wide makes that amount look like a molehill, in a nation where people like Jon Corzine can “lose” $1.6 billion and simply walk away without a day in jail, where lives are lost during Fast and Furious and people just shrug their shoulders, or a in nation about which Billy Graham’s wife Ruth once said “If God doesn’t’ judge America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah,” is preparedness unwise? Leftists may object, and that is their prerogative. However, if they wish not to prepare, then perhaps they ought to take to their own hearts and written commentary the one thing they forcefully invoke for everyone else in every other situation – tolerance. What business of theirs is it?
With all due respect to them, why is it our non-prepper friends, as exemplified by the written commentary of Ms. Lucus-McEwen noted above, why cannot they practice what they presumably preach about tolerance? Why must people like this actively vilify those with whom they disagree? (But of course, the answer is obvious – just as in the days of Imperial Rome, everyone but everyone must bow to the all-encompassing supremacy of the state. To do otherwise means crucifixion – 2,000 years ago, this was in the arena; today, it is the high tech lynching of a Clarence Thomas, the fashion execution of a Sarah Palin, or the just the “mere” thuggery against those of us who beg to disagree with big government by modern day Kristalnacht Alinsky ruffians.
The whole area of faith and preparedness admittedly needs much further and deeper exegesis – but hopefully this scratches the surface of the subject, and opens up additional conversation.
But even for the non-believer, one’s body is wired for self-preservation. And if nature is all that exists, logically one has no basis to “backtalk against one’s DNA,” which has written self-preservation into the body. From either a biblical or non-biblical perspective, self-preservation is an intrinsic “good.” Why should preppers then be castigated?
One final – and extremely telling – point about “selfish preppers.” The woman who wrote this disparagingly of preppers was a government worker. This means she makes a good living off of private sector people such as myself. As a matter of fact, I cannot currently make adequate preparations for my family and I because I have to provide a “princessly” salary and retirement package for her (the average government worker may make a third more in salary than a private sector worker, and retires much, much earlier). But here is the kicker: If there is a disaster – it will mostly likely brought about by yet another miscalculation by the self-proclaimed “best and brightest,” (think Vietnam, the internet bubble, Long Term Capital Management, Jon Corzine, the housing bust, etc.). Do you know where these “important” people will go? To continuity of government shelters! In other words, if there is a miscalculation, and a nuclear war starts, or an EMP or biological attack starts, they are all set to retreat to specially built giant, lavishly equipped caverns – while you and I fend for ourselves, due to a mess of their creation! Any word from our “preppers are selfish” commentariat on that? Why not?. If nothing else in this article sinks home to you, this should make crystal clear the hypocrisy behind the prepper criticism. The truth is, just as we see with today’s cronyism in high places, as George Orwell so aptly noted, “In the socialist workers’ paradise, we’ll all be equal… only some of us (usually them!) will be ‘more equal’ than the others.” Just ask Nancy Pelosi why her Congress exempted themselves, their cronies and their districts from ObamaCare if you don’t believe that.
In sum, I prepare the same reason my all my forebears did each fall: I don’t know what the winter (of this this case, the future) will bring. While for believers, God has promised to be with us and sustain us, as the old saying goes, we can’t ask God to direct our steps if we are unwilling to move our feet. I trust, and my feet move.
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