Book Review: 52 Prepper Projects By David Nash

19 Apr

If you watch David Nash on Youtube, you know he’s a smart man with a ton of prepping experience. His new book 52 Prepper Projects: A Project a Week to Help You Prepare for the Unpredictable has a great assortment of do-it-yourself projects to learn self sufficiency. The book has great photos to demonstrate each project. Each project is clearly explained.

Think of the book as a smorgasbord. Pick and choose the projects you want. As David says at the end of the book, it’s not about the specific projects, it’s about learning to become self sufficient. It’s about the journey.

Over the years, I’ve done some of these projects in various forms with varying degrees of success and can say those work. I’m familiar with the concept behind others. Even with over 30 years of prepping experience, there are many projects that are new to me.

A few of the projects I’ve done, but didn’t really like. Pemmican, icky, yucky, poo. I know it was the staple of the American Indian and Frontiersman, and I’d certainly make and eat it to survive in the wild if need be, as it’s a crucial way to preserve fat. Might I recommend his project of making Sourdough Bread instead? If you want to go all Bradford Angier, you can bake bread on a stick.

Quite frankly, some of the projects scare the crap out of me. I don’t feel qualified to make and use Sugardine Antiseptic Solution. What the sugar would be up to would worry me. Cheese has always scared me too. Given this, I must quote David, “Traditionally cheese making was a way to store milk. It is much simpler than I expected, and was the project that broke the confidence barrier. Once I made my own cheese and said, “I can do this,” I was much more willing to try more complex projects.”

The projects are all something a suburban prepper can do. Most projects can be done by an urban prepper. I’ve wondered about Bees myself in the city. Would that be a no-go? What if they stung a neighbor?

To give you a flavor of the projects:

- Making A Ceramic Drip Water Filter
- Making A Movable Chicken Coop
- Food Dehydration
- Storing Food with Mylar Bags
- Making Dakin’s Antiseptic Solution (Sounds less scary than Sugar!)
- Wheat Grinding (by hand)
- Making a Raised Bed Garden
- Wheat Berry Blender Pancakes
- Sprouting Wheat and Beans
- Making A Top Bar Beehive
- Pool Shock For Water Purification
- Bean Flour
- Homemade Jerky
- Making Sourdough Bread
- Making a Knife from an Old File

One of the projects isn’t super prepper practical, making a high pressure steam to weedeater engine conversion system, but it’s way cool and a neat learning experience. David warns us not to blow ourselves up. I’ll need to confront the cheese before tackling that one.

52 Prepper Projects: A Project a Week to Help You Prepare for the Unpredictable gets my highest recommendation. Buy it. Add it to your prepper library.

Charlie Palmer -author The Prepper Next Door

Stripped Thread Repair & Great Links: Ammo Care, Intruder Home Defense

16 Apr

Just sharing some great information I found on other prepper websites.

David Nash (TNGun.com) talks about the best home defense plan. This is really important: the best thing is to arm yourself and stay positioned to protect your family. Call the police from a safe and protected position. Don’t go searching room to room for an intruder chasing them around the house. If you ask anyone with extensive police/military experience, they’ll tell you Nash is right. If you’re pumped up with adrenaline, it’s difficult to stay put, but it’s the right move.

In the video, there is a hall. This is the best situation. If all bedrooms are together and a hall channels an intruder, you’re very safe. No burglar is going to run down a hall with a homeowner with a shotgun waiting on the other end! Stairwells are another defensive impediment. Reminds me of the end of the movie Rolling Thunder. Good film, I recommend it.

Back in Medieval times, when a man’s home really was his castle, after entering the castle, there was often a long and narrow corridor. Not like today’s homes when you open the door and have full access to the living area. This was for defense. A larger force would be constricted. A small number of defenders could hold off a much larger force.

I searched online to find a picture of this inner castle corridor, but all I found was some castle defense game and yet another prepper TV reality show “Doomsday Castle.”

Here is a neat presentation about castles thou.

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On TNgun there’s a short post about repairing a stripped screw hole in wood. The old toothpick trick. Another option is to drill out a hole and hammer in a tight-fitting dowel pin. You can purchase dowel rod at a hardware store. Use glue, if you want. Predrill the new screw hole.

If you need to reuse a wooden screw hole, give threaded inserts a look. They come in different sizes and allow using a machine screw.

I mention this gizmo in the book for securing portable air conditioners to windows for those who remove ACs after summer.

As summer approaches, if you use a portable air conditioner, don’t forget to adequately secure it to the window frame and window. To many people just set the AC in the window frame. A burglar just pushes it into the house and crawls in the opening.

Metal bolt holes strip out too. If you do metal work or car repair, invest in a good tap and die set. For some holes, you can drill and tap to a larger bolt size. Another option is to use a HeliCoil threaded insert.

I didn’t have time to search and find a good video demonstrating its use, but here is a list from youtube of HeliCoil videos:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=helicoil

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Some really good information about the care of ammunition on ThoughtfullyPrepping. Cartridges on a leather gun belt look romantic, but it’s not the best way to keep your ammo protected from the elements.

If you shoot spring piston air rifles, you should know about the unique recoil of spring piston air rifles.

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Knowing When To Hold Your Fire

15 Apr

I don’t write much about small unit tactics. It’s not something you can learn reading a book or blog. There’s a question whether most preppers could coordinate with family, friends, or other preppers to defend themselves unless they held fixed barricaded positions.

What breaks down in the motto “Shoot, move, communicate” for preppers? Most preppers can shoot reasonably well. Movement is a bugger. Once people start moving about, you don’t know where the heck they are. A part of communication is letting the people who are on your side know where you’re moving and what you’re up to. You don’t want them to shoot you. Part is letting your team know where the enemy is positioned. You want them to shoot the enemy.

The capture of the Boston marathon terrorists is a case in point. Police are well trained. They have good communication. They wear uniforms. They should be able to recognize each other. They seldom practice coordinated drills with other departments.

After the two punk Boston terrorists murdered a police officer, they engaged in a gun battle with police. From what the news reports, they had one handgun and fired a dozen shots total. What ensued was a long battle with a whole lot of shooting. Reports now say most of the shooting was friendly fire. An officer saw somebody was shooting and felt it was a good idea to shoot back. The officer under fire shot back.

One terrorist ran and was shot. The other fled by vehicle, running over his brother. He escaped the gunfight. That he could escape with so much fire trained on him shows a lack of coordination.

The best solution to avoid friendly fire is to positively identify your target before shooting. If you can’t ID your target, don’t shoot. This is one reason to have good optics on defensive rifles.

It’s good to know what’s in front of and behind what you want to shoot. If you’re working with others and fire comes from one direction, that doesn’t mean you’ll be positioned to return fire. This is easier said than done if you panic.

Short of full combat, knowing when to hold your fire is important to defending your home. Too many homeowners panic and shoot at targets that haven’t been positively identified.

If there ever is a zombie apocalypse, for every zombie killed, one citizen will likely be done in by friendly fire.

What Wrenches Should You Carry In Your Vehicle?

13 Apr

If you purchased the Craftsman tools and tool sets I recommended in my book back in 2012, you made out like a bandit. Many of those sets are no longer made in the USA. The Chinese wrenches are called “lobster claws” by reviewers. They don’t have the elegance of the older USA made Craftsman tools.

Purchasing the recommended tools may have cost you $300-$400. The same USA sets on eBay indicate a total price now of $1,000 to $1,200 plus. At those prices, look into getting SK branded tools if you want USA. If China is OK, go for Gearwrench. The older Gearwench were Taiwan and better. You can search eBay for the USA Armstrong brand. Those are very much like the older Craftsman.

A few of the tools that are gone include the full polish deep offset wrench set. Deep offset wrenches can save your bacon in many situations. To install shock absorbers, for many vehicles, you need to reach a nut sitting in a well while at the same time holding the shock spindle above it. Sockets don’t work. You can purchase special tools to do the job. A pass-through socket set would work. OR you could rely on the handy deep offset wrench.

What kind of specialty wrenches are handy? The deep offset wrenches are invaluable. Stubby wrenches can reach in where longer wrenches can’t fit. Line wrenches or flare nut wrenches prevent rounding off soft line fittings. The USA line wrench sets from Sears are gone.

What wrenches should you carry in your vehicle? The answer: The wrenches you need! If you’re stuck today paying high prices and insist on USA tools, you can save money by purchasing only the wrenches you need. This is bad value if you work on a lot of different vehicles, but is something to consider if you only drive one brand of vehicle.

All makers use a few key sizes. Most GM vehicles use 8mm, 10mm, 13 mm, and 15 mm for most of the bolts you’re likely to encounter. Why carry a full wrench set in your vehicle when you only need a few sizes?

Carrying the sizes you really need gives you the option of adding more wrenches in the useful sizes. Learn what wrench sizes you need for your vehicle and carry those. The same is true of sockets. Carry fewer sizes. Add swivel sockets in the key sizes.

Carrying a lot of stuff isn’t the answer to anything. Carrying the right stuff is.

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Is horsemanship a needed survival skill like swimming? Do you agree with the comment “True prepping is homesteading knowledge” ?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUdvvyt4iIw

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A sad story. A kid cut in front of a vehicle and was accidentally hit. The driver stopped to help and was attacked by a mob of hooligans.

http://dexter.patch.com/groups/giving/p/online-donations-pour-in-as-man-beaten-by-mob-clings-to-life-how-to-help

http://www.freep.com/article/20140403/NEWS01/304030131/mob-stole-motorist-money-and-credit-card-after-beating-him-unconscious

A great article about false economy on Apartment Prepper
http://apartmentprepper.com/7-cost-cutting-moves-that-can-backfire-in-a-disaster/

Is a 38 Snubby adequate today? What’s the key to using one?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYbfVGK-vRs

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A few other things to add to your vehicle:

- Extra Radiator hoses
- Jug of coolant
- Pliers
- Flat and Philips Screwdrivers
-Vice Grips
-Duct tape and bailing wire
- Mechanics gloves
- Clean rags

 

Spiderman Construction Worker Escaping Fire Impresses Me

27 Mar

The latest viral youtube video shows a construction worker trapped on a balcony while the building burns. He hangs from one balcony and swings to another. That’s no easy feat. You can’t just jump straight down or you’d fall to your death.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg9PWSHL4Vg

Survival Lessons From The Video:

1. Are you physically fit? Even those of us in pretty good shape could have trouble with a jump like that! I pride myself on being in better shape than most, but I’m not sure I could have done that hang, swing, jump. The more physically fit you are, the better your chances of survival. No doubt this guy’s adrenaline was through the roof.

2. Can you hold your own body weight with your fingers? From a ledge and not just a bar? How’s your grip strength?

3. If you work up high or live above the second floor, do you have an emergency escape ladder or rope? Have you thought about how you’d escape a fire? Do you have an emergency fire escape hood?

4. Be careful when you weld. Don’t start a fire. The news say welding may have been the cause of the fire.

5. Is your workshop clean? Sawdust and today’s construction materials are very flammable. Get a Shop Vac. Don’t store extra foam insulation. I need to clear out some of that stuff myself. Fireblock, sheetrock, take steps to make your home less flammable.

6. Can you think under pressure? This guy clearly took his time to think through his options and decided he must act to get off the balcony.

7. Do you have the courage to make a risky move when you feel you absolutely must? How many people on the side of a mountain get to a safe place and are afraid to move from it. They hope help comes, even when they know it won’t. They freeze there. The courage to act under stress and risk is what separates great survivors, like this construction worker, from most of us.

I don’t know if he made the right decision or not. Would the ladder have reached him if he didn’t jump? Was it too big a risk? In retrospect, we never know. All we can do is take a survival situation as it comes and make our best decisions as we go or rely on previous training.

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