Archive | August, 2013

100 Must Have Items For Preppers

27 Aug

This is a brainstorming checklist of items preppers should own. It’s not an exhaustive list of necessary supplies, but a list of commonly useful items. I didn’t list anything too specialized or expensive. Because of this, items like “generator” or “engine hoist” didn’t make my list. I did include a locator beacon because of its value if you’re lost in a really remote area. How many of the items do you own?

1. Duck tape
2. Bailing wire or equivalent
3. N95 masks
4. Roll of clear plastic sheeting
5. Large crowbar
6. Vise Grips
7. Safety Glasses
8. Tight fitting mechanics/work gloves
9. Chlorine bleach
10. Tarps
11. Rip hammer
12. First Aid Kit
13. Hiking boots or rugged shoes
14. Military style poncho
15. Metal match
16. Compass
17. Sheath knife
18. Hudson’s Bay Axe or equivalent
19. Small bow saw or folding saw
20. Shovel
21. Paracord or equivalent
22. Outdoor grate/grill
23. Dutch Oven
24. Outdoor usable cook set
25. Canteens
26. Defensive Pistol
27. Sleeping bag(s) appropriate for your location
28. Backpack(s)
29. Rugged small flashlights (2 or more)
30. LED camp lamps or equivalent
31. Sharpening stone and files
32. Quality survival water filter
33. Disinfecting Handy wipes
34. Financial savings equal to at least one months income
35. Insect Repellant
36. Rat poison
37. Food rations for at least two weeks
38. Stored drinking water for at least two weeks
39. Defensive shotgun
40. Smoke Detectors
41. CO detectors
42. Fire extinguishers
43. Battery operated or hand-cranked radio for getting news
44. Emergency whistle
45. Emergency signal mirror
46. Hard drive or other back up of your important documents
47. Rugged Jeans/BDUs/workpants
48. Quality jacket appropriate for your climate
49. Appropriate wrench to turn off your supply of natural gas
50. Box matches/emergency storm matches
51. Dishcloths, dishtowels, and manual dish-drying rack
52. Small stash of toilet paper
53. Small stash of dental care products: Dental floss, toothbrushes, toothpaste, Listerine
54. Small stash or personal medications (if at all possible)
55. Small stash of personal hygiene products: Bar soap, shampoo, etc.
56. Paper Plates (alternative to washing dishes if water is out)
57. Extra fuel can for vehicle
58. Extra full size tire/wheel-assembly for vehicle
59. Small stash of extra ammo for your firearms in a 50 cal military ammo can(s) or equivalent
60. Outdoor charcoal barbecue grill or Coleman stove and fuel
61. Machete (not the movie)
62. Small stash of batteries for flashlights, radio, etc.
63. Jug of full strength coolant for your vehicle, extra radiator hoses, clamps
64. Chainsaw (if appropriate for your situation)
65. Small stash of garbage bags
66. EPIRB emergency locator beacon (only if you travel in the most remote parts)
67. USMC Seal Line Drybag or equivalent for your sleeping bag(s)
68. Goretex sleeping bag cover or small tent
69. Leatherman multitool and/or assorted pliers.
70. Sewing repair items: Needles, threads, patch fabric, etc.
71. US GI Arctic Canteen(s) (if appropriate for your situation)
72. Portable car battery jumpstarter
73. Small stash of wool socks
74. Sunglasses (Prescription if needed)
75. Wide-brimmed sun hat
76. Big game hunting rifle (if appropriate for your situation)
77. Anti-bacterial hand soap
78. Inexpensive hazmat suits/tyvec coveralls
79. Small stash of rubber cleaning gloves
80. Powerful flashlight for searching/security use (TK 60 or equivalent)
81. Claymore landmines for zombie defense (just kidding)
82. Emergency radio capable of transmitting (Yaesu VX-7R, etc., optional)
83. Porta Potty or alternative (more garbage bags as toilet liners, etc.)
84. Extra Pet Supplies: Pet food, pet first aid supplies, etc. (if appropriate)
85. Small lumber stash: 2x4s, 4x4s for emergency repair. Plywood sheets to cover windows for storms (if appropriate for area), extra roof singles. Nails.
86. Snow shovels, Ice Melt, Snowblower (if appropriate for area)
87. Hearing protection (ear muffs)
88. Rain barrels
89. Heavy duty rope
90. Heavy duty ratcheting straps (useful for pulling stuff away from other stuff)
91. Powerful bottle jack (useful for lifting heavy stuff up: replacing a support column, etc.)
92. Small collection of plumbing caps, plugs, etc., and the tools to make emergency plumbing repairs (tools vary with types of piping you have)
93. Small collection of gardening tools and seeds (only for long-term survival)
94. Extra front and rear house door (in case your door is ever breached and needs repair).
95. Pool Shock (Calcium hypochlorite, no additives) for long-term water treatment, bleach alternative
96. Extra house/car keys (kept with spouse). Some like keeping an extra car key in their wallet
97. Small stash of miscellaneous epoxies, goops, JB Weld, Gorilla Glue, roofing cement, caulks, and other sticky products for making various repairs
98. Small set of mechanics tools kept in vehicle
99. Hard hat, knee pads.
100. Small collection of prepper/survival books. Books on backpacking, wilderness survival, homesteading topics, first aid, edible wild plants, etc., can add to your knowledge.

If you have a positive mental attitude and have acquired most of the items on this list, you’ll be prepared to take on many challenges.

Charlie Palmer -author, The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning (link to book on Amazon)

The Case For the 6.8 SPC And Other Rare Rounds

19 Aug

As preppers, a mantra we chant is to choose our weapons in popular calibers. This way when civilization falls and we’re scrounging the countryside for ammo, we’ll find some. I’m beginning to question this.

How likely is it really we’ll run out of ammo and need to forage for it or trade for it? Only in the most dire long-term situations could this be likely. If a riot happens and you have 400 rounds for your rifle, if and when you run out, is it likely you’ll find a source of resupply? Or will your rifle just sit empty regardless of caliber?

With most guns, there’s no reason not to go with a popular caliber. The 308 Winchester is a great hunting round. The 9x19mm is adequate for defense. The 22LR is, well, the 22LR. But when it comes to a defensive rifle, you’re forced to choose between the 7.62 x 39 in the AK, the 5.56 mm, or the 7.62 NATO.

Many shooters don’t like the AKs. That leaves us with the 5.56 mm or the 7.62 NATO. Neither is perfect. The 5.56 mm is a bit small. The 7.62 a bit big. A great solution for the AR rifles would be the 6.8 SPC. In terms of power, the 6.8 SPC is often compared to the 30-30. It fires a bullet about double the weight of the 5.56 mm. Many hunters feel the 6.8 SPC is an adequate deer round. Almost none would recommend a 5.56 mm for deer hunting.

The downside to the 6.8 is that it’s rare and expensive. If you shoot many thousands of rounds a year through your AR, you’ll want to keep it as a 5.56. If you can afford it, the 6.8 SPC is ballistically superior to the 5.56 mm in every way.

Because I have so much 5.56 mm and 223 Remington ammo and shoot so little today, I’ll never make the transition to the 6.8. I couldn’t justify the cost. If you want improved stopping power in the AR-15, give the 6.8 SPC a look.


The Colorado river is suffering because of drought. According to the article, its flow over the last 14 years is the lowest in 1,200 years. In the next fifty years there are estimates the demand for water in the Southwestern states will exceed supply.

Here’s a great short video about how to climb a rope.

I was a bit shocked and disappointed to see a video blogger I watch from time to time is no longer making youtube videos. From what I could make of it, it was because of death threats or actual attacks on his family. It’s so bad, he said he’s moving.

This article talks about dealing with online threats. I strongly agree with the main point of the article. If you feel your life is threatened, get the police involved. They have many capabilities the average person lacks and can work across jurisdictions to arrest and prosecute somebody threatening your family.

Miscellaneous (Sort Of) Deep Thoughts: NSA, Bug Out Bags, Pullups, Metal Prices

7 Aug

Our elected officials and head of the NSA told the American people they don’t collect data on American citizens. Enter Edward Snowden. Turns out they do collect data on us. OK. The jig is up.

Update. Our elected officials tell us they’re only collecting Meta-Data, not what’s said in our conversations. Don’t worry, your conversations are still private. Snowden says he could read anybody’s e-mail. Elected officials say that’s a lie.

Snowden releases training materials for the X-KEYSCORE program showing indeed, “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet” is collected. So much data is being collected it’s overwritten every three days. They just don’t have the data storage capacity to keep it. That’s way beyond meta-data.

Your data will only be kept if you searched for “suspicious stuff.” Yes, fellow preppers. That probably includes you. Preppers, by nature, are interested in “suspicious stuff.”

And, no. You can’t protect your privacy with a service like TOR. The NSA has hacked that too.

But, I guess it’s all OK. After all, we’re told we’re in danger of a major terrorist attack or attacks. Be afraid. Be very afraid. The only thing saving us is our outstanding national electronic surveillance program. Thank you, NSA.
Yes. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

This is a good editorial about why the government lying to its citizens is bad.

I see an upside to the NSA program. We can solve the entire national debt problem. Just sell this real-time data about what we’re thinking to marketers. I bet they’d pay for it.

Jerry (on phone): Hi, Bob. Want to shoot some hoops?

Bob: Wish I could. I need to get out and buy some oil and change my car’s oil.

Jerry: Talk to you later. Bye.

Ring. Hello. This is Autozone. We’re just calling to let you know we have a great savings on oil this week….

When you assemble a bug out bag, it helps to think in terms of kits. You can have a signaling kit, a fire starting kit, etc.

A typical fire starting kit might include matches, metal match, steel wool, and some tinder. All kept in a ziplock bag. You could add to it as much as you thought necessary: A small magnifying glass to catch the sun’s rays. A lighter or two for convenience. Maybe a small strong string to make a fire bow and drill. By thinking in terms of “kit” you open up your thinking to other useful items. You see other possibilities.

One kit to consider is a hunter-forager kit. It can be really small. A few fishhooks, line, a few sinkers and small bobbers would let you fish. A couple of arrowheads, nocks, a bow string and some fletching and epoxy would give you a head start in building your own bow. A rubber slingshot band would let you make a slingshot. A few feet of snare wire.


If you’re getting into shape, a handy thing to have is a pull up bar. There are some good tutorials about ideas to build your own on Youtube:

What’s an impressive number of pullups? It depends on the person. The Marines list 20 as being perfect. The old “bar-barians requirement” is 20—40 parallel bars dips, 20 pull-ups, 50 push-ups and 5 muscle-ups in six minutes. Exceptionally fit guys can achieve 30 or even 40 with perfect form. If you can do 50 in one minute, you’re close to world record level.
Most of us will settle for 10 to 15. 20 to 25 is an impressive feat.

If pullups get too easy (don’t ask me how!), you can add weight. Here’s a guy who got into this and convinced Guinness World Records to add a category for weighted pullups. How cool is that? Not only setting a world record, but creating it. He can do a pull up with added weight about equal to his bodyweight.

What makes this interesting to me is that he started from an impressive, but not super-human, number and just kept improving. That’s a great life lesson: Just keep trying to make small, steady improvements, and you can eventually achieve impressive things. It works in reverse too. Put on a pound or two of body fat a year and in a few years, you’ll be shocked at how far you’ve fallen.

Here’s another heavier Youtube fellow with some exceptionally impressive pullups.

Here’s an interesting article about how the banks are artificially driving up Aluminum prices. Thanks, banks.

Some Youtube commentary about the 22 LR ammo shortage.