The latest posts from Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest
behaviors described in this post as they are fairly unhealthy for a person
in good health and could potentially be disastrous if you have some issue,
even one that has yet to be identified. DO NOT DO THIS!!!
What I did is a 2 day fast. So no food for 48 hours, actually slightly over
that. On the first day I drank all the water I wanted and since I wasn't
unhappy enough I decided to cut out water for the second day just to see
Day 1- No food and normal water consumption. All in all day 1 was not too
bad. Slight desire to eat but it was more of a mental thing than a physical
one. No notice in change of concentration or physical capability.
Day 2- No food and no water. This sucked. Woke up and was hungry. The only
positive thing about not drinking water is that it made me not even think
about food. Endurance was significantly down, I just didn't have any energy.
Towards the end of the day my concentration and ability to think through all
but the most basic stuff was iffy. Became progressively more thirsty and my
mouth was quite dry. At the end of the day I could do real low energy stuff
like walking but if I had to lift heavy things or really run it would not
have gone so well. By the end of the day I was not making sound decisions and really just wanted to sit, while drinking water.
Day 3- Very glad the experiment was over. Drank 2 gatoraide's first thing then ate some breakfast. Didn't pee till about noon.
What does this tell me? For short term scenarios I can probably accept a bit
more risk by lightening some of my food loads. Should probably look at adding more water also. As a fun bonus it showed that I have the will power to do this sort of stupid thing. Occasionally I think there is value in making your body do something just to prove who is really in charge.
The basic highlights of the question:
I'm stuck with an unemployed partner and teenage kids who can't earn their own living. We haven't been able to afford reserve supplies for an emergency, yet it's clear that even harder times are on the way. I want to build up reserves for my family to help cope with them, so I'm selling a bunch of our stuff at garage sales and through Craigslist. By mid-November I hope to have $2,000 to spend. What's the best way for me to use that money?
(Peter's notes) A bit of background: she lives with her husband and two kids, a boy of 15 and a girl of 17, in a small suburban home in a Missouri city. The local crime situation wasn't bad until recently, but it's getting worse as economic hard times bite deeper. The family owns one older car free and clear - they sold a second, newer vehicle when they couldn't afford the monthly payments. The mortgage on their home runs about $650 per month, which isn't too bad if both of them are earning, but for the past year her husband hasn't been able to find work. Her income isn't enough to cover all the bills.
Peter added his thoughts in a subsequent post. It is worth reading both of these posts before continuing.
We need to look at the issue of the family income and housing situation separately from the question of how they could potentially prepare.
Due to a limited amount of information I have to make some assumptions which will be based on general trends and may or may not be accurate for this particular person.
One particular assumption based on the tone of the whole conversation is that we are talking about a fairly small ($$$) wise gap between their current situation and making it. This assumption is largely because folks tend to buy homes slightly proportionately and we aren't talking about a $2,500 mortgage here, we are talking $650. Of course any income gap over basic expenses is an issue but this problem is more manageable than a much larger one.
The income/ budget/ housing situation can be broken into 4 main areas: income, income stimulus via selling stuff, overall budget and housing.
Income: First and foremost this family has an income problem. Dude (dad or male partner/ whatever) needs a job time now. Unless there is some information I'm not tracking, like he is paralyzed, has terminal cancer, etc, Dude needs to be a man and start providing for his family right blankety blanking now. End of story.
Since he has been unemployed for a year I assume things are not going well finding a job in his previous field in their area. Maybe Dude needs to seek lower prestige/ compensation work in his chosen field. A legitimate mechanic becoming the oil change guy at Quicky Lube or a journeyman carpenter fixing decks and building sheds won't feel great or pay as well but we aren't trying to get rich, we are trying to keep a roof over the families heads and food on the table. The advantage of this COA is that if he gets a foot in the door and proves to be a decent worker when a better job (that he is qualified for) opens up he should be a lock. A potential additional option for Dude exists if his skill sets lend themselves to odd job type work and he has the gear to do it on his own.
Another option is to get a very low skill anyone can do it type job. Dude could be a temp worker at UPS and sort packages, mow lawns, dig ditches, sweep whatever. This is not the forever plan. The goal is to keep things going till he can get back into a better job.
Honestly Dude needs to get the first job he can find. I really don't care if it is swing shift mop boy at Show World. He needs a check time now. I'm not 100% sure he is in a funk but it would fit with the long term unemployment. Once he gets back to doing something, anything, hopefully he can get back into something better.
One could say you can put effort into job searching and be picky in relation to your options. If the family was making it on Momma's income then he has time to be picky and look for a job at his leisure. If they had a 50k safety net that would replace his income for a year I'd say he can be picky and have some lazy mornings or whatever. In this families situation I would say job searching is his job right now so he should do it from 8-4 every day. Given the inability to wait he has to take any job he can do.
Ditto for Dude potentially going to a different location from the family for awhile. Maybe dude needs to work someplace else for awhile to make the family budget work. Depending on his skill set(s) some parts of the country, specifically south Texas, the Gulf Coast and North Dakota are booming. Many of these jobs have employees work long days for a stretch then have more time off. Several weeks on and a couple off is not uncommon. This would work well for him to be able to stay busy (and not bored/ lonely) wherever employment is then spend some time at home.
Again I do not know the whole scenario and maybe there is a valid reason for this long term unemployment and not getting any sort of job but were I the spouse (of either gender) when the family is in this situation a serious conversation would have happened awhile back. This person needs a self esteem boost and a loving but firm push out of apathy in the right direction.
As to the kids. Personally as a father (of little ones) I am disinclined to tell school aged teens they have to get jobs to help the rents fill an income gap, doubly so when a parent is not working. However letting them know that we will meet their needs for shelter, clothing and good it might not be exactly as well as we (and they) would like.
(Slipping into the budget part because it makes sense to finish this small part here. I wouldn't ask them to put their part time earnings toward my mortgage problem. However they would be nicely informed, in as soon as possible, that their basic needs would still be met by us but any desire for fashionable clothes, cell phones, spare cash to go to the malt shop, etc all were regrettably going to be unfunded by the family budget. If they want these things in the near future they would need to earn the money to pay for them.)
Income stimulus via selling stuff: In his response Peter hit on this a fair amount. Admittedly part of the original question mentioned her selling some stuff to free up cash for preps so that is a big factor I imagine.
I do not find selling stuff to help with the economic situation to be a meaningful option unless they have some big ticket items like a 10k Harley in the garage, gun/ stamp/ coin collection sitting around it's not going to do much to close this gap.
As to selling stuff for preps. Selling unused items to buy preps is a fine idea.
Overall Budget: This has probably been done already but it is worth relooking the budget. Things that used to fit might need to be cut out for awhile. The short term prioritization of food, energy, mortgage, insurance, bills is probably a good way to look at it.
Wifey brought up an excellent point. Since Dude isn't working he could look at it as his job to save as much money as possible. Cutting coupons, making bread from scratch, making lunches for people to take to work/ school instead of eating there, etc.
Housing: Peters comment about relocation are valid. If they want to stay in the area and want to try and make it work that is one thing but it doesn't seem like they really do. Additionally the potential implications of being come after for the balance of the loan are worth looking at though if the family is in effect judgement proof (no significant assets, big retirement accounts, etc) it is less of a concern than if they had 100k in an IRA and another property.
The amount of equity in the home is a big consideration here. If they have 50k in equity in the house I'd say fight like hell to hold onto it at least long enough to sell and get that money out. On the other hand if they are underwater or have a few grand in equity that would be eaten by various home selling costs it's probably not worth the emotional struggle to prolong the matter.
The cost of other housing in the area (if they choose to stay there) is a consideration too. While home ownership has costs if the complete mortgage including taxes, etc is $650 and an apartment is $650 moving to one won't really save money.
Overall (again I do not know their income level, etc) it does not seem these folks bought an unreasonable home. It's not like they have a $1,400 a month mortgage and a $2,400 take home or something. These folks do not seem to have a house problem, they have an income problem.
Onto the prep discussion:
Really conflicted about this as I am pretty into preparedness and all that stuff. That being said I honestly do not think this family needs to be worried about making preparations for some SHTF or economic collapse scenario. It is my belief that they are currently in a pretty nasty situation that if handled wrong could potentially leave them 'outdoors' and that this gal, and by extension her spouse, need to focus their energy( emotional as well as physical), time and resources towards figuring out the situation they are currently in. All the way from the short term of next months bills, the mid term goal of them getting the income up enough to stay current on essential bills including the mortgage and the long term goal of replacing some or most of their income so they can get some breathing room, have some financial stability and get this stress out of their lives.
Also if they are intense and fix this problem in 3-6 months and are back to normal in a year think of the energy, intensity and resources they would be able to throw at preparedness,
Put it like this: Lets say there is a bear out in the woods near your home being a jerk and eating people but there is an angry wolf in the kitchen. Yes the bear is bigger and more dangerous but THE WOLF IS IN YOUR KITCHEN. The bear *might* be a threat someday but THE WOLF IS A THREAT RIGHT NOW!!! Also if the wolf kills them today it doesn't matter what great plans they have for the bear whenever it maybe shows up.
I cannot in good conscience recommend putting any meaningful amounts of money (if a few batteries, cans of food or a box of ammo for the family gun makes you feel better than by all means) into preparedness until the family is:
A) Current on basic bills. I do not care about a visa card but do care about the mortgage, water, sewer, electric, insurance and the like.
B) Making enough money to stay current with basic bills and life needs, even if at a new lower standard and.
C) They have $1,000 saved for Dave Ramsey's baby step 1
However since it is part of the discussion. 2k rough breakdown:
Food- $600 to start. Split between easy to eat stuff like canned goods, PB&J, etc and rice n beans.
Water filter- $150. Basic Berkey setup like a Go Berkey Kit. Or if handy you can do the bucket and black filter element route. Total $750.
Alternate cooking source- $80. I would go with a basic 2 burner Coleman camping stove and several gallons of fuel. Purchased used these can often be had under $50. That leaves thirty bucks for fuel. Total $830.
Lighting- $90. A couple good candle lanterns and a bunch of candles. Say that runs $60. Spend $30 on batteries for whatever flashlights are already in the house. Total $820.
Medical- $80. We could square this a lot of says. Lets say they spend about $30 on some sort of decent basic first aid kit (or find a knowledgeable friend to help them assemble one) and the rest on OTC drugs and various disposables: band aids, Tylenol, benadryl, 3x5 gauze, etc. Total $1,000.
Defense- $600. There are a lot of ways to go here. I laid some out in my Basic Guns series. Peters recommendation for a good basic pump shotgun like a Maverick 88 or Mossberg 500 is sound. Personally I would try to get a handgun. That is a whole nother ball of wax. I like revolvers but if you don't care about common calibers a Makarov or whatever commie nation clone in 9x18 can be had for under $200 USD and ammo is dirt cheap. If you want to stick to wheel guns and are willing to shop a serviceable (I would ask to test fire) Taurus or Rossi .38 can be had in the same price range. Toss in some ammo in 9x18 or .38 special [Incidentally Lucky Gunner has a case of CCI Blaser .38 special ammo for $329/1k] and call it $250.
Used pump shotgun such as a Maverick 88 or Mossberg 500 in 12 or 20 gauge. Factor in about $200 for the gun, $70ish for a case of bird shot to get everyone familiarized, some buckshot at least 100 rounds though 250 rounds of buckshot would be even better, a few slugs and that closes out defense.
Additional Fuel- $225. Fill up whatever gas cans they have, ditto the BBQ grill. Maybe get an extra 5 gallon gas can and fill it up or extra fuel for the Coleman stove. If there are decorative storm lanterns in the house get some fuel for those. Whatever is left after that goes to batteries for flashlights, the ambiguous AM/FM boom box, etc. Total 1,825.
Hardware This and That- $100. A roll of clear plastic to temporarily replace a broken window, a tarp, some duct tape, a but of rope, etc. Logically fill some shortages in existing tools and stuff. Total $1925.
Comfort Items- $75 (Remaining Balance). During hard times it is nice to have some comfort items. Mom likes tea or coffee so get some. Dude likes salted pretzels so get a few bags. Kid #1 likes gum so get some. Kit #2 likes chocolate so get a couple big bags of M&M's.
Total 2k. (Edited to include: Think I messed up the math on this by a C note. It's too late and I'm too tired to go back through it. If that is the case pinch a few bucks from each category to get it back to 2k.
So those are my thoughts on that. What do you think?
Offer valid only while supplies last. October 26, 2014 - November 1st, 2014
John Mosby, who now writes more regularly at FO Magazine did an excellent piece titled: The Four Pillars of Individual Proficiency. Excellent stuff.
The day pack/ assault pack arena really muddles the waters. Personally I bend convention and call them level 2.5 because they do not cleanly fit in either category. Depending on the use they may be an extension of a fighting load to carry stuff that does not fit in a LBE/ Chest Rig/ whatever or special equipment. This might be machine gun ammo or a spotting scope or whatever. On the other hand this might be a light sustainment setup with a few snacks and a jacket, some extra water and a poncho/ poncho liner to roll up in. Often the load in these bags is some combination of the two or a
murky in the middle item. Anyway right or wrong I call this assault pack range level 2.5.
In recent discussions I have talked about overall tiered gear and specifically my level 2.5 bag a couple of notable comments came up. Specifically I recall comments by River Rider and Alexander Wolfe of TEOTWAWKI Blog.
The main point of their comments was that both ended up going with smaller lighter sustainment setups more akin to my level 2.5 'assault pack' than a larger more traditional rucksack. River Rider mentioned weight as an issue and that he was not as young as he used to be. Alexander Wolfe mentioned the speed of lighter systems and leveraging modern technology to get similar capabilities
(to larger/ heavier items) in smaller and lighter packages. Note I do not mean to disparage either of these fine individuals or their ideas even though we might not agree on everything. It is more that I want to talk about the pro's and con's of lighter vs heavier sustainment loads in no small part because the idea has been stuck in my head for two days.
Personally I went through this struggle myself about 2 years back. I was trying to come up with a 'be all end all' system that covered the capabilities I needed yet was still relatively light and easy to carry. I ended up with more or less the worst of both worlds in a pack that weighted close to 30 pounds but did not really fill all of my goals. To complicate matters I tried to do it in a frame less 'assault pack'. It just didn't work.
The end result is that I personally moved to two different sustainment systems in the form of the level 2.5 assault pack/ get home bag and a true level 3 Rucksack. Furthermore for my concept of use these bags need to be more independent than purely tiered. So instead of items existing in my BOB
and flexing to the assault pack as needed, the pure tiered approach, there is a decent amount of redundancy between the two systems. The reason for this is the lighter level 2.5 bag is compact enough that it often comes with me and is not a hassle to haul around. If I were to start using them together I would likely need to do a marriage style combining of stuff then leave behind/ trade off/ etc the left over redundant items. [I suppose another option would be to treat the level 2.5 bag as an offset of the ruck and get a simple little backpack to roll up and stick in my level 3 bag as it's companion assault pack. Not a bad idea really. Might just do that next time I see a cheap but decent earth tone day pack. Think Chris mentioned something like that] Basically in realizing a system could not meet the top end of capabilities and stay within a weight range that was conducive to moving as fast as I might want to in some situations.
This brings up an interesting point. Weight gives you (at least the ability to have) more capabilities but it also slows you down. If this push pull relationship is not handled carefully you can get to a feedback loop where you are slower so the trip will take longer and since the trip is longer you
need more stuff.
It can be said that you want to pack a certain system/ bag with a specific scenario in mind. In the survivalist speak you could say a bug out bag needs to be designed specifically for the scenario in terms of range, climate, etc it is to be used in. Obviously a long distance trucker driving across the
northern Midwest needs very different gear than a person who lives in Florida and works 4 blocks from home. An individual scenario needs to be taken into account. However I have some concerns that 'if it fits your scenario' can be taken in silly directions and becomes the system equivalent of 'shooters preference' run amok or the tactical equivalent of "everyone gets a trophy" no matter how uninformed or even stupid their setup is. Generally speaking right answers from different smart people look a whole lot alike which sort of goes against the "whatever fits your scenario" argument.
For a specific discrete event it would make sense to look at your kit to add or remove items as needed, obviously within reason. However I find that, especially for kits/bags/systems regularly carried for contingencies, this could rapidly become onerous. I am not going to dump my level 2 bag every day based on the days plans. "Well, I will need to add 2 granola bars for today because I am going an extra 5 miles from home, it is warm outside so I do not need a jacket, yadda, yadda, yadda." That is just not realistic. Honestly if I replace stuff that gets used, make sure nothing goes bad and do the seasonal gear shift I'm doing well. I find that coming up with a solid plan that fills my general perceived needs and just sticking with it is probably the best option for normal every day stuff.
To the discussion of your more assault type bags vs a full sized ruck/ hiking backpack:
In general it is important to prepare not only for the conditions you plan to face but those you could reasonably face. This means more food, clothing, tools and equipment than you know you will need.
Case in point: The winter before last I was hiking up in the Huachuca Mountains kind of a scenic work out as I was carrying my BOB. At the time I was alone in the house and it was a Saturday afternoon. It started to rain then snow. As I was jumping rock to rock across a tributary I casually wondered "what will happen if I break my ankle right now?" There was no way I could get out on one leg. The answer was that in two or three days I would have be found. They would have found me with a nice shelter set up laying in my sleeping bag by a fire, probably sipping a hot beverage and playing solitaire. With a 20 pound assault pack I would have been alive but cold, hungry and pretty unhappy.
Bigger heavier systems are going to have more capabilities than smaller ones assuming you make semi reasonable choices for stuff. It is true leveraging newer lighter items and dual use stuff helps.
However without ridiculously gaming the scenario those gains are not that enormous. The gaps I find most problematic in smaller systems in order are lack of cold weather clothing/ shelter, lack of provisions and lack of tools. Along this line you can get away with a lot lighter systems in warmer
areas. Valid points can be made about the need for some of this stuff. However there is danger of going down the 'capabilities' slippery slope where folks say 'well I have a cutting tool' and somehow convince their self a razor blade has the same capabilities as a full tang 8" survival knife and an ax or that a little tin foil emergency blanket 'shelter' the equivalent to a Swack Shack and a military sleep system.
The consideration of speed/ ease of movement certainly favors lighter systems. I agree with this if it makes sense for the scenario (vs a bigger system with more capabilities). To me in this context making sense would be that the lighter bag meets your perceived needs with a reasonable margin for
I guess my biggest reservations about the smaller sustainment load are a) it is not a replacement for a heavier sustainment load for a variety of realistic situations, especially in cold weather and b) that it could be chosen not because it is the right fit but because it is easier to carry around.
We should not discount the idea of using a larger bag and leaving it in camp, an ORP or caching it for the times we need to move faster. This might let you use a smaller bag in more of a traditional assault pack role filling it up with the items you will need for that day or maybe overnight scout.
Inevitably the 'but a ruck is heavy!" whine comes out. The answer is physical fitness in general and with a particular focus on moving over ground in general and carrying a load. Also while it is not nice to say if you lose 20 pounds of excess butt and or belly that 20 pounds of food/ clothes/ gear you could carry for the same amount of effort. Unfortunately less fit people do not somehow magically require less food/ clothes/ gear than fit people do. Bear this in mind when considering your body weight and physical fitness level.
Like I mentioned earlier I ended up with sustainment type systems in both of these loose categories. To which one I pick for a specific situation there is sort of a loose decision making/ risk assessment, most of the time I choose the smaller of the two. The bigger bag tends to come out when I am
going way out into the hinter boonies or in winter.
There may well be a second more free form thoughts and lessons post on the book down the road.
I am working on updating my level 2.5 assault pack/ get home bag
Working on our family fishing skills
Packet up a ready to go set of hygiene stuff
Acquired a new holster for the Kahr CW9
Physical fitness has hit center stage. We are working on getting healthy and
fit by eating better and moving more.
We went camping this weekend. Along this line of effort we put together some
stuff that will likely evolve into our camping/ heavy bug out setup.
Next week my plans are to:
Fill up the BBQ propane tank
Get some more water containers
Order some more long term storage food
Get to a tentative revised plan for my level 2.5 bag
Keep hitting fitness hard
What did you do to prepare this week?
The way around this is to use your understanding of the dynamics of personal violence and crime to act appropriately. This is, within reason, probably more important than sheer draw (or whatever other movement) speed. Let me explain with a hypothetical scenario as fought through by two people.
Scenario: Walking out of a grocery store at 10pm on a week night. In the dark parking lot two individuals approach you and go for the classic talk to close distance 'can I bum a light/ get a jump, etc all'. They intend to rob you and are armed.
[I made them both LEO's not because it really matters but to even out the potential argument that a cop will act more aggressively since they are dripping qualified immunity. Just makes for an easier scenario to explain Old Guy's situational awareness without the immunity argument.]
Timmy Tactical is a young LEO in his mid to late 20's and a competitive shooter. He is in good shape and works out regularly. He is part of the small departments part time SWAT team and goes to a variety of different shooting/ tactical type classes for work and on his own time. Timmy carries a Glock 23 off duty and can draw it from concealment (Kydex IWB holster with open cover garment) in 1.7 seconds.
Bob is an older LEO. He started in patrol, spent a few years doing drug stuff then went to robbery. Bob is now in the last couple years of his career training young officers in the finer points of filling out various administrative documents. It is a simple job and he likes it that way. Bob has never been a big shooter. He goes to the range bi monthly at work and once or twice a year with his now young adult children. Bob has a bad back and knee from various injuries which are compounded by being 50 pounds overweight. Bob carries a Model 60 stainless steel S&W J Frame .357 in a pocket holster. During the summer that holster goes in his Levi's pocket and in the fall/ winter in the pocket of his jacket. His draws are in the 4 second range.
Let us run Timmy Tactical through this scenario. Timmy might or might not see what is happening and the bad guys might or might not peg him for having a piece or being a cop. However since Timmy is thinking more about the girl he met the other night and his new copy of "Sh&t to Bolt on a Piccany Rail Magazine" than the parking lot lets say the robbery goes down. Around cigarette time Timmy draws. It was touch and go but the guys ran instead of getting into a fight.
Bob has all the usual thoughts but is pretty decent at shutting the off during more dangerous times like moving from a store to his truck in a dark parking lot at night. When he sees the two guys 50 feet away Bobs hand went into his jacket. He didn't know these guys but knew enough like them to have a fair guess what might be happening. Thirty feet away Bobs hand came out of his pocket with the .357. Suddenly our two bad guys had something else to do.
The point I am trying to make is that despite Timmy being able to draw a full 1.3 seconds faster than Bob, that Bob drew 5 seconds earlier meant he was in a much better place and avoided a fight all together. One could argue a weekend worth of South Narc combined with a little bit of research on criminal behavior in your AO and paying attention are more important than pure gun handling.
To speak tacticool if you PWN Observe, Orient and Decide you have a lot of space to develop the Act part. Conversely all the Act in the world will not make up for waiting too long to get going.
So I do agree that situational awareness is, within reason, more important than the specific gun you are carrying or the holster it is in.
Now to the discussion of not chambering a round in your handgun. Here are some of AMERC's thoughts, and here are some more.
Without arguing we can look at two facts of empty chamber carry that are both negative:
-Your time to draw and prepare to fire the weapon WILL BE SLOWER. Simply put you are adding an additional movement at some point between grasping the firearm and being ready to fire. Adding the additional movement of racking the slide to the draw means it will take more time than simply drawing the firearm.
-Second and more concerning to me you need two hands to rack the slide of a firearm. Carrying a handgun loaded and ready to go you could in theory have one hand occupied but still draw and employ your firearm. Carrying a semi loaded firearm you need two hands to get it into play. Sure one can try to snag the sight on a belt or something and rack it one handed but A) that is a fairly advanced maneuver designed as a last ditch option and B) it is still another motion. [Additionally there is the subjective C) that the population carrying a handgun without a round in the chamber are probably not the kind who will get special higher metal sights put on their handgun and practice the ole snag the slide to rack the slide thing a lot.]
On the subjective side I will humbly submit that if there is a well recognized legitimate defensive firearm instructor of the .mil/ LEO or serious (vs mandatory CCW class type stuff) defensive instructor who recommends carrying your handgun with an empty chamber I have not heard of them.
My opinion is that as a general rule if you are not comfortable carrying a pistol with a round in the chamber you either need to get a different gun, a different holster or some training (or maybe all 3). Some folks psychologically need a physically accessible safety to be comfortable actually carrying their gun loaded. If that is what folks like then I say rock on.
To combat the finger F then the gun goes boom problem I would get a holster with positive retention (thumb strap most likely, you can get them on IWB holsters) then keep the gun in it. Take the gun off, in its holster then put it away. Take it out, put it on and repeat as needed.
The exception I can see to this is some sort of carry where the trigger is arguably exposed, either to being obstructed or unintentionally touched. The odd time you end up slipping a handgun into a back pocket or off body carry like a backpack is what I am thinking about. With anything short of a DA revolver, which ain't gonna fire by accident, I would keep the chamber empty for these odd events.
Additionally the defensive weapons I store ready to go do not have their chambers loaded. My G19 sits on a shelf in the Home Defender. Since it wouldn't work to keep it in the holster I have chosen there I keep the chamber empty. When I take it out I rack the slide and either go check on whatever or put it in the holster. Honestly of I need that extra quarter second in the bedroom I'm probably hosed anyway.
So that is what I think of that. Thoughts?
Edited to include:
I was going to write a couple of lengthy replies so it made sense to bring them up to the main page. Comments will be in italics and my replies will be bold.
- Commander_Zero said... (note Zero replied to my thoughts so my original words are normal, his are in Italics and my reply to his reply is Bold.
- "Purchase USGI WW bag." - Whats a WW bag? Wet weather bag.
Get mag pouch to hold 2 extended glock mags. - I use the Maxpedition MP5 mag pouches, or the Blackhawk 3x MP5 pouch. Noted, Though the 2x melee mags might be a casualty in the new revision.
Replace plastic spork and metal spoon with 1x metal spork. - I went with the Titanium spork. Practical yet tacticool. I have a Light My Fire Titanium Spork in the BOB. Reviewed them awhile back. Actually I think there are a couple floating around our various kits. The downside of multiple fairly redundant systems is that I end up needing a few of the same thing. Another will get tagged onto an order in the near future.
I am toying with putting a hydration bladder into this system. It would boost the water capacity a lot and be handier on the go. I have a minimalist camelback and a couple spare bladders so it will not cost me anything to try. - Im playing with the military ones from Source and am so far pleased, esp. with their little 1-liter that will fit in a GI canteen pouch and lets me refill without taking the bladder out of the pouch.
Tossed a CamelBak Hydrobak 50oz Black that was already on inventory into the rig. That way I could take it with and have the option to put it into/ on the bag or use it independently. Will fiddle with this system more to see how well it works.Those Source ones are nice. I had one at some point but think it got thieved by an Army buddy.October 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM
- TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf said...
- Ryan -
Thanks for the kind words about T-Blog. Looking forward to seeing where you're taking your bag.October 14, 2014 at 4:55 PM
Alexander, The general trend will be adapting it to have some more urban type capabilities. A full set of clothes in a naked bag, burner cell phone, maybe some little E&E gadgets and potentially a multi tool.
- Anonymous said...
- Good article!
We have been working on our get-home bags, recently.
There is always room for improvement. I am still adjusting the food element/clothing element of our bags. It is an ongoing process.
I find our systems are rarely static.October 14, 2014 at 9:26 PM
- tweell said...
- I've added a bit more hygiene for mine - a hotel soap and a couple wet alcohol wipes, along with a comb. The comb is handy for combing cactus off - here in the SW that can be a problem.
There's just hard candy in my bag for food. Empty calories, but non-perishable and doesn't require extra water. 3L water, because this is a desert. A multi-tool, since I can't carry one at work.
Tweell, I often rock wet wipes exclusively for hygiene though a tooth brush would be a good idea. The multi tool I am really on the fence about. In the woods not that awesome but in town a pair of pliers and some screwdrivers can be darn handy. May include one if I can find a place to trim some weight off.October 14, 2014 at 10:50 PM
- riverrider said...
- nice setup. this is pretty much what i was talking about using with my enhanced lbe setup. been looking for a knife sheath that drops a couple inches to clear the pistol belt and/or ruck belt. i liked it better when there wasn't any choice of gear. it was alice, suck it up. now there's too much out there to choose from i suffer from decision paralysis.October 15, 2014 at 9:25 AM
RR, Great minds think alike. For your knife problem it is hard to give a good answer without knowing all the variables (knife, sheath, what it is attaching to, etc). Generally speaking SPEC OPS makes a pretty decent looking Spec-Ops Brand Combat Master Knife Sheath 6-Inch Blade (Coyote Brown, Short)or for Ka Bar length knives the Spec-Ops Brand Combat Master Knife Sheath 8-Inch Blade (Coyote Brown, Long). Of course they are one size fits most but if it's along fairly general utility/ fighting knife lines it'll probably fit. Another option is a dangler to go on your existing sheath. A third option depending on your budget to gear snob ratio is to rig up something with either 550 cord or zip ties. Hope that helps.
Hat Tip to Claire Wolfe for pointing out: Breaking 43 Years of Silence, the Last FBI Burglar Tells the Story of Her Years in the Underground.
Her story is certainly interesting. While the woman's politics are pretty far from mine and I suspect most of yours there is certainly something to be said for people who have strong beliefs and follow through on them. She only receives partial credit for staying under the radar since nobody was looking for her but some things she did in terms of getting away with something as well as staying 'underground' were solid and deserve mention. In no particular order those are:
1) Keep your mouth shut.
2) Continue to keep your mouth shut.
3) Stay off the grid. This means living in a place that is not in your name, working under the table, Today this also means no electronic communication or social media.
4) Stay away from co conspirators and people from your old life. This is probably the biggest single thing people do wrong.Lumped in with #3 no social media, email, etc.
Things she (and to some degree that group) could have done better.
1) While the woman in question did leave her immediate social circle she stayed within the same general community. Some kept right on with the same causes in the same place. For the gal in the story she moved in similar groups out west under an assumed name. Cops might look for a liberal (communist/ whatever) activist in a lesbian farm compound but are unlikely to look for one say, cleaning stables at a ranch. This could extend to all manner of interests and hobbies, especially obscure ones. like say benchrest shooting, falconry, etc.
Casual individual hobbies, especially common ones for a person's age/ gender/ social group/ area would likely not be an issue. Think about how many white men between 18 and 60, especially in the south go fishing. On the other hand if you used to be a competitive fishermen who did tournaments all over going back to one, even as a spectator would be full of danger.
2) They talked. In this particular case the statute of limitations was long past and the political winds were such that no consequences came from it. However if a person had died or national security interests were evoked they could have been punished. Furthermore something vague like "Denying constitutional rights" or some sort of conspiracy charge there are always work around methods for the government if the will is there.
3) Building a new ID and just moving on was relatively simple in that time. The old 'paper trail' method was definitely an option at that point in time (and probably was until the late 90's-2000ish when computers really started to be common. 9/11 certainly compounded that problem) so instead of living as a nomad working under the table she could have built an ID and had a whole lot more options.
4) After a decade or so the gal went back to just living under her own name. There were not warrants or anything. Heck after a year or two she could have just gone home and had a normal life. Depending on the situation a year or 5 can clear up a lot of problems. That being said if an organization/ group has any sort of memory it is not that hard to find people living semi normal lives these days with a computer. A group with a list of enemies might just have some well constructed search queries they run on a regular bi monthly schedule just to see if anything pops up.
5) The operation could have been compartmentalized. Specifically setting it up so the crew doing the job did not know each other's names would have been prudent. That would have meant one individua getting caught did not automatically mean the whole group would.
Along these general lines our old post Disappearing For a Bit is worth reviewing.
This is why people record conversations with the police. Or better yet, do not talk to them.
I recently stumbled in the the Raconteur Report via back links. Cool blog I will have to check out more often.
Pretty cool little video. That being said I have two reservations. First you will note that while the shooter was moving the targets were stationary. When BOTH THE SHOOTER AND THE TARGET are moving the difficulty level is significantly compounded.
Second saying 'Well Jerry Miculek can make that shot" is kind of like saying "Well Alton Brown could salvage this meal" or "Kate Upton can pull off that outfit". The kind of things these top tier professionals do are not able to be consistently replicated by normal practicing enthusiasts, let alone laymen.
That being said we can certainly just enjoy the cool video.
The problem bolt gun was brought back out of the safe. Shortly after the last time I shot it that gun got a good cleaning and I double checked that the bolts on the scope mount and rings were all tight. Also tightened the action screws and gave it a solid once over.
Why that gun did not shoot well with Remington Premier Match King 168 grain BTHP ammo I do not know. Maybe it was a bad day, I do not know. Maybe a bolt someplace was loose. Maybe it was hot or maybe it was the humidity. Who knows.
Also to whichever folks recommended trying 150 grain soft point ammunition I am quite grateful. Took a couple different loads to the range.
First up was .308 Remington Core-Lokt SP ammo of the 150 grain variety. This stuff was pretty good. It shot solidly decent groups.
I need to come back with more time and back off to 100m to confirm but this gun is shooting well. The gun is accurate and has potential to continue an existence in my battery as a viable general purpose sporting rifle.
Next up was some Winchester 150 grain SP ammo, whatever that particular line is called. That stuff was great. Real consistent and grouped great in my rifle. Multiple groups where two where right on top of each other and it was obviously me who pulled the third. The last three groups were two horizontally even three shot strings where the rounds struck on top of each other and the third was more of a triangle. I'm not super into groups or whatever but if the bullet holes are touching that setup is probably a keeper. I plan to get some more of this ammunition. A couple hundred rounds would be an excellent start.
From a budgetary angle I would like to get a box or two of Prvi Partisan 150 grain SP ammo, Fiochi 150 grain SP ammo and some 150 grain American Eagle ball just to see how they shoot. The goal would be a slightly more economic load that is acceptably accurate to have set away for some sort of contingency SHTF scenario. The kind of thing you stash 500 rounds of just in case.
Put a couple rounds through Project AR and it was way off. I'm talking 4" low and 4" left at 25 yards. Obviously that needed to be adjusted. A couple groups later my AR was back on. Decided to put the rest of the mag into the target to see how many would stay in the little orange circle, did 10/12 with the other two straddling the line. I like that rifle a lot. Goodness gracious I should considering what it cost but still it is a darn nice rifle.
Onto the Kahr CW 9. I opened up with some Wolf 115gr 9mm. My pistol shot a few inches below point of aim. WTF. Wondered if it was the ammo. Wolf is not precision ammo but I've found it solid for training, plinking, etc. Maybe the sights were set up for a higher velocity ammo?
Next up was Winchester 9mm 115 FMJ AKA White Box. Pretty much your most unambiguous plinking/ training round out there. It was not quite as low but was still low. WTF. I KNOW THIS AMMO IS GOOD.
What I came to realize is that I was shooting the gun all wrong. It's DAO trigger really needs to be treated like a double action revolver. The vast majority of my semi auto centerfire handgun experience is with Glocks, 1911's and the Beretta M9. I have shot a variety of other guns but not enough to really build muscle memory. What I was doing is that I was subconsciously squeezing a bit harder at the point where Glocks 'stack' which was somehow throwing my shots low. A slower and more consistent (vs the stacking Glock and other striker fired pistol triggers) pull brought my shots back to where they should be. Acknowledging the Kahr CW9 is not a target pistol I think it is plenty accurate for reasonable defensive work. The more I shoot it the more I like it.
Put another mag of 9mm Federal Classic Personal Defense 115 grain JHP through it. They shot well. I really need to rotate most of my loaded mags in the not so distant future. Some of those rounds have been sitting in mags for awhile. I'll have to get a box or two of the stuff now or wait till maybe they have another sale and pick up a whole case. Another case of defense rounds would be really nice.
75 rounds in and no failures.
It was a great day at the range.
The MOLLE fun and comfort of these has taken off in recent years. Some folks run a battle belt like a big foamy pistol belt with just a couple mags on it. Others like Max Velocity use them as a new school LBE. Mine, which I am too lazy to find a good picture of is sort of in the middle.
Carrying your equipment around the waistline held up mostly by the shoulders is probably the most comfortable overall option. However it comes with couple real limiting factors. This option is, in all but the lightest pistol belt like configurations, is unanimously voted to be a an uncomfortable, and in some cases even physically impossible option for vehicle based operations. It is difficult to get in and out of a vehicle, buckle up, move inside, etc with a huge ole tire of gear around your waist. Not something you would want to do then spend hours in a vehicle day in, day out. Less frequently mentioned is the disadvantage in urban operations. Try climbing through a window with a big ole LBE/ battle belt around your waistline. Additionally the added width makes you more likely to get snagged/ caught up on stuff moving through buildings.
Another issue with the battle belt is that, for most people, it limits your options in terms of backpacks that can be carried. For level 2.5 day pack/ assault packs pretty much any option works fine. However for level 3 sustainment loads the only real widely available option is the ALICE. Note that I said for most people here; obviously individual load out's and body types matter here.
So while I really like the battle belt, or as I prefer to call it war belt, for dismounted patrolling and with a level 2.5 load it sucks for being in and around vehicles and is at a disadvantage if you are truly living out of a ruck. The more I think about it the more I am less and less certain this should be my primary fighting load. Honestly it sort of feels like it could be more of a nitche piece of gear.
We talked about this awhile back. In the meantime I built a battle belt. What has made me rethink previous potions?
Honestly I am really tired of trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. To be more clear I am tired of trying to jerry rig and work around the inherent limitations of the ALICE pack. Not saying they are exactly a bad pack, lack of comfortable aside, just that they are what 1960's technology? Lots of things have come a long way since then in terms of materials, fasteners and ergonomics
So what does that leave me for options. I can't claim credit for this concept as I stole it from John Mosby.
-Something along the way of a pistol belt with a couple reloads and a knife. This is really the wild card. I have a cobbled together setup now. If I were to have a system show up at my door tomorrow it would be an Endom MM belt, a Costa Leg Rig (reviewed by TEOTWAWKI Blog), a Safariland drop holster or at least for awhile the Safariland 6125 I already own and a pair of very light/ thin suspenders. Somehow or another I will slap a knife on there. The concept is to have what I would call an enhanced level 1 load in a package that can work with a real decent backpack. I don't think the suspenders would be needed for weight but to let me drop the belt an inch or so and to hypothetically prevent the darn thing from maybe falling around my ankles if I moved a certain way or whatever.
-Chest rig, probably the Blackhawk one I already have.
-Stripped plate carrier
-Some sort of a new, yet to be purchased, backpack to haul my sustainment gear.
The end result would be a scalable, vehicle compatible setup that allows the use of a quality modern pack. Or that is the goal anyway. It is good to have goals.
So that is where I sit with all of this stuff today. Likely in the near future I will put some money where my mouth is. Thankfully I own many of the components listed so this setup could be elevated from pieced together to fairly intentional for $150ish.
Pulled out the generator, fired it up and let it run for a few minutes with a small load
Did some maintenance on the wood cutting tools
Ordered a holster
Started paying better attention to my diet
Did some testing on a battle belt rig for a guy
What did you do to prepare this week?
"People who "stock up" on ammo because they see it in a store are the cause for the shortage. It's like the toilet paper shortage long ago, people make the problem and it's an endless circle."
Fundamentally this comment is seriously flawed. People who stock up on an item, even to quantities some would consider excessive, during normal times do not cause shortages. These are, minus .22lr totally normal times in terms of gun and ammo availability. Let us try a little exercise.....
Say I purchased all 47 cases of of Tula 124 gr 7.62x39 JHP Lucky Gunner currently has in stock at the excellent price of $219/1k. What impact would me purchasing all that Tula 124 gr JHP ammo have? They would be out of that type of ammo for a little while. Say for the sake of this discussion they did not have cases of Tula FMJ, Wolf and Red Star in abundance all under a quarter a round.
Impact? For a couple days or a week people looking to purchase 7.62x39 ammo by the case would have to hold off or go through one of many other online vendors. In short while the other guys do not offer live inventories (so you KNOW they have it in stock) and fast shipping there would be no real impact. This type of stocking up does not cause or contribute in a meaningful way to any shortages.
The panic purchases during a shortage can certainly on a large level in fact cause shortages. It is a self perpetuating cycle. People think an item is rare so when they see it they buy a bunch, even if they do not need any. This leads to more empty shelves and more folks feeling desperate and buying all they see of the item. It is a vicious cycle.
However a guy who bought ammo BEFORE THE SHORTAGE does not cause it and arguably makes it a tiny bit better by not being part of the herd of folks looking for a rare high demand item.
The Wife was quite embarrassed by her husband. She asked if we liked egg rolls. Wifey said of course we do. She offered to bring some the next time she made them.
Fast forward to today. I answered an unusual knock at the door around noon. An older Asian women was at the door and she asked if we were going to be around at 5. I said we would be. She said something about egg rolls. Honestly the conversation was pretty broken between us. Had I not known this was coming at some vague point I would have been quite confused.
We were not quite sure what to have for dinner that goes with egg rolls. Well around 5 there was a knock at the door. I answered, as always, and it was the lady. She handed me a plate covered in tin foil. Wifey came to the door and they talked for a minute. After she left we uncovered the plate.
It was a whole bunch of hot, fresh egg rolls and some sauce. Turns out we didn't have to worry about what to eat with egg rolls because egg rolls were what was for dinner. We figured they would be good. At the risk of being offensive if a person who is of a generally non everyday white American culture offers in broken English to make their particular flavor of ethnic food it will be good. They were amazing. Hands down the best egg rolls either of us ever had. The sauce was amazing too.
I guess we are repaid for the nice things we do sometimes in life.
-Generic Uncle Mikes holster- small. Functionally identical to the Blackhawk holster line. Tam mocks them mercilessly. These are decently servicable though not exactly the worlds greatest holsters. If $10 holsters were perfect there would not be an industry of folks making $30-several hundred dollar holsters. A better holster is in the works but right now one from the spare holster drawer is working pretty decently. That is one of benefits of these 'one size fits most' holsters. They will work for most guns in a given size range and are cheap enough to have lying around here or there or as spares to give to people who suddenly in an emergency want to carry a pistol that's been pulling nightstand or glove box duty.
-Kahr CW9 loaded with 9mm 115 grain Federal Classic Personal Defense. With the flush mag the CW9 holds 7+1. It would not be my first choice in carry pistols for Peshawar, or for that matter Houston but I am quite comfortable using it for CCW in my sleepy little part of Central Louisiana.
-Al Mar Knives 5HDBT Eagle Heavy Duty Lockback Knife with Textured Black G-10 Handles.
-Edited to fix oversight. My flashlight is a Streamlight 66318 MicroStream C4 LED Pen Flashlight, I believe a Micro stream. It runs on a single AAA battery. It works reliably and is quite durable. Walker hasn't broken it yet and it's been through the washer/ drier numerous times. Might not tactically bedazzle someones OODA loop and make them defecate but it is bright enough to clearly see at 20 meters which is plenty for me.
-Wallet with the usual stuff and cash.
-Spare mag for the CW9. It is the 8 round one with the extended floor plate.
-Keys not shown since you can now copy keys with a photo.
So that is what I carry most of the time these days. If I am going to Houston I bump the gun up to a Glock and if I am going to be doing outdoors stuff I might bring a fixed blade knife.
I purchased this knife for a couple reasons. My original concept of use was "My concept of use is for a light EDC blade to do basic tasks and I suppose if needed go all Singer Sewing Machine on somebody. A light, thin knife with a full 4" blade seems like it'll fit the niche well."
I snagged an image that has the basic stats on the knife.
As you can see it is a long slim blade and very light. Now that we have the basic details out of the way onto the usual format.
Light to carry. You could pack this thing around in gym shorts or sweats no problem. The thin handle vanishes in your pocket yet is well designed so it gives up little to thicker knives, at least for normal EDC levels of use.
Beautiful fit and finish. Better than any Benchmade product I own or the Emersons I have handed.
A true 4" blade which is a rarity among tactical type folders. Most come in between 3.3 and 3.75. In normal life it is handy for cutting sandwiches or as I did today slicing up a jumbo hotdog for your daughter at fair and if things got ugly it gets deeper into a person than another knife.
Additionally the blade is very close to aligned to center which is generally considered optimal for stabbing and thus a defensive blade.
Great clip. Tight grip with ZERO sliding up and down movement. In six months the clip moved ever so slightly ONCE and a slight tightening fixed the problem. I am really picky about folding knife clips and this one rocks.
The thumb stud is super grippy. We will revisit this on the bad.
Some folks are super into this steel or that steel. I will say it holds an edge better than I expect for a knife. In terms of sharpening it is not a carbon steel Mora but it definitely isn't a Buck knife either. Granted my EDC knife does not exactly get a ton of tasks. It opens some envelopes and cord then an occasional box or bag of animal food.I find that a leisurely 20 minute sharpening monthly keeps it wicked sharp, the same every other month keeps it quite sharp and every third keeps it sufficiently sharp. The combination of it staying sharp and the effort needed to sharpen makes this a very maintainable blade.
The G-10 slabs are grippy without being abrasive or catching on clothing.
The full steel liner means this knife is pretty strong. It isn't a Buck 110 but this knife has met every task I asked of it. I suspect if the goal (should anybody want to send me a $140 knife to destroy I am totally game) was to test it's capabilities with unrealistic and downright abusive tasks it would do pretty well. Considering it is a very light EDC type knife that is as much or maybe more than is reasonable to ask.
Street price is almost $140. That is a lot of coin, especially when there are some really good EDC type knives in the $30-50 range. At the time of purchase I really wanted something cool and sort of high end. Was looking at pistols, specifically a CZ 75 Stainless, and came to the realization that right now it would complicate my logistics for a negligible gain. For me right now knives are at a price point where I can purchase different things and indulge myself without breaking the bank or messing up my log train.
The bolts that hold on the clip and blade have huge heads that stick out a lot. They increase the max width of the knife substantially and from my anecdotal experience with other knives could be made much slimmer.
While the knife is thin it is rather wide (think folded top of blade to bottom of handle). The handle is not wide itself, it is just the angle it is set at in relation to the blade. This means it takes up more pocket space. I would make that closer to strait and have an easier to carry knife.
The very strait blade does not have a 'belly' that draws the material being cut in and does the work for you. Think a stabbing/ chopping sword like a rapier or a broadsword not a saber designed to slash through stuff.
With repetitive tasks this knife can become less than entirely comfortable. No biggie for normal EDC tasks but I would not want to use it all day long.
Again price is a shade under $140. Aside from light weight and superb fit and finish it would be very hard to justify this knife over a variety of alternatives.
The thumb stud is catchy for the thumb which is a plus but multiple times drawing it out the stud has caught, partially opening the blade in my pocket. This has caused the blade to catch which would delay deployment, though in an urgent scenario I would pull through and cut my pants, and could potentially cause an injury. I sort of adapted my draw to have my thumb on the stud when it is drawn to prevent this from happening.
Conclusion: I like this knife a lot. For a very light knife it brings a lot to the table. To paraphrase a co worker "It just screams stabbing someone". It is very light and easy to carry which means it can fit in a lot of clothing situations or scenarios. If you wanted to slip a folding knife someplace for defensive purposes this would be a great candidate. If you can stomach the cost this knife brings some real capabilities to a collection.
I asked where the question came from or something. It turned out that another wife asked her.
My reply, as best I can remember it, was:
"If you've got ammo to feed it."
Wifey said "What if you don't"
"Then no I wouldn't recommend it. You can't reliably get .22lr ammo at all, let alone at sane prices."
I understand very basic economics and a little bit about the gun industry but the .22lr situation is throwing me for a loop because it just keeps going on. Every time I am at a place that sells ammo, which includes Wally World where we buy groceries and thus go a lot, I look and if prices are reasonable at say 6 cents a round for basic stuff I buy. Obviously premium stuff like CCI .22 hunting ammo or match grade .22lr goes for more than that which is OK. To the best of my recollection in the past year I have purchased approximately 1,000 rounds of various standard .22lr and 1x 100 round box of CCI Mini Mags. That does not make for a lot of shooting and there were dry spells for months.
Honestly the availability issue is probably larger than price for most users. The lack of predictability would make it hard to plan a range trip for Saturday since they can't pick up bullets Friday after work, which is how most people shoot. Price matters too though maybe more for people who are used to paying lower prices.
Generally I would prefer to shoot centerfire ammo and choose rim fire largely for economics, more rounds downrange for my dollar. Still even if I payed 12-14 cents, which I consider quite expensive, it is a bit over half the price of Red Army 7.62x39 and a third the price of PMC brass cased 5.56.
Suppose to some degree the price is a matter of principle. Also coming back to the availability issue these days I'll shoot centerfire ammo over .22lr because it can be replaced.
Unless a person has a enough of a stash to go shooting once in awhile when they can't find ammo, say at least a couple 500rd bricks though a real high round shooter would need more I will not suggest a .22. Additionally I suppose if a persons finances and stomach allow them to pay $50 for a brick of ammo that is fine too. So if either of those situations fit a .22lr is a fine option. However if they do not I would recommend finding an alternative choice.
|Under the contemporary rule that you can only poke fun at groups you are at least to some degree part of I can take a shot at our penchant for drinking and eating potatoes.|
|Our dogs, old dog is the black one and new dog is the tan one. For reference old dog weights about 85 pounds. Unsure exactly how much new dog weights but she is pretty solid.|
|This is absolutely true.|
Note I know what ALICE packs are and probably have more miles under them than most folks so please don't bother suggesting to carry one. Aside from not being comfortable they do not offer the pocket setup I desire. Yes you can modify them but that turns into spending Ferrari money on a Fiat in a hurry.
Additionally I am disinclined to go with a MILSURP MOLLE ruck due to A) being in blatantly military colors and B) while better than the ALICE not being on par with quality civilian models for comfort and ability to easily carry weight.
Concept of use is a big heavy duty pack with a decent amount of pockets as well as some comparability (MOLLE/ PALS webbing would be a plus) with a modern suspension system IE decent hip belt, shoulder straps, overall fairly comfortable and in an earth tone but not blatantly military (ie ACU/ Multicam/ etc) pattern.
Cost is not a driving factor but the budget of roughly $330 does not currently allow for uuber high end brands like Eberlestock, Mystery Ranch, Kirafu, etc. Also the idea of dropping $400+ on a pack then payout out the behind a la carte to get some basic side pouches bothers me a lot. I COULD save for another month or two and be in that price range but it would take a compelling argument to justify the additional cost.
The pack I am looking hard at is the Kelty 7850 formerly known as the 128. It is a big, actually huge, pack from a quality modern company that is not completely overtly militaristic. There is a legitimate argument that people should get their stuff together and then get a bag that fits it to avoid the inevitable good idea fairy bag filling. That being said I have been carrying and living out of rucks for a long time so I understand the weight math. Additionally my life situation (specifically kids) is such that I want the ability to flex to add some stuff above my baseline setup.
The new Marine FILBE pack in FDE AKA brown seems to be nice but I haven't seen them available for sale complete with frame yet without the assault pack and hydration system (both of which are fine kit, that I do not need). Also if prices are close I would take Kelty over .Mil any day.
Am interested if any of you have experiences with these packs or similar alternatives.
Picked up some extra food for said new dog
Purchased a Stihl MS250 chainsaw and cut up a bunch of firewood
Restocked some consumables
I purchased two boxes of .308 ammo
Also since the last time we had this discussion I've picked up a couple extra mags for the Kahr and got corrective eye surgery.
What did you do to prepare this week?
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