Quote Of The Day

From SOTI, about SHTF-prepping properly:

“Stockpiling all the preserved food and medical supplies in the world won’t help when the first person to show up with a 12-gauge pump shotgun can take them all away.”

I know I’m pretty much preaching to the choir on this website, but it’s nevertheless a warning to pass on to others you may know who haven’t taken all the proper precautions.  (I myself can’t think of any of my own acquaintances who aren’t armed to the teeth properly prepared in this regard, but that’s just me.)

Hell, I don’t even know any liberals where I might engage in a little impromptu property redistribution in a SHTF situation, but there must be a few out there, even in suburban north Texas.  I’m just not willing to try to find out, for obvious reasons.

Even if I saw a “Guns Are Murder” lawn sign, they could just be hunting over bait (which is legal in Texas).

Yeah, Pretty Much That

From a realistic perspective, this is going to happen:

Around 2030 all Americans are going to have to turn on each other and carve that missing million out of their fellow citizen… This might be millennials becoming even greater debt slaves, this might be boomers kicked out of nursing homes to beg in the streets, this might be ethnic conflict to either make the white middle-class pay 2x the income tax forever, or a violent assault on the black inner-city to destroy the millstone of welfare America once and for all and free up millions in real estate in now unsafe cities… This might take the form of a communist revolution, the confiscation of all real estate, and the forcing of Americans into work camps, this might take the form of the mass slaughter of Federal employees and IRS agents so that no federal insurance schemes can ever be paid out and no pensions because the government employees are dead… This might take the form of mass Euthanasia of cancer patients, drug addicts, and the non-working… Everyone who shows up at hospital and isn’t expected to be net profitable, axe em.

My estimate is that 2030 is an optimistic forecast.  And we’re not going to be able to spend our way out of it, either.


Hunkering Down – The Response

As I suspected, the response to last weekend’s Hunkering Down post was thoughtful, and in some cases dismissive.

Pretty much everyone dismissed the original thesis’s choice of Hinsdale County CO as unworkable, as did I.  And most regarded that choice as “confirmation bias”, i.e. getting the facts to support a preconceived conclusion, or close to thereof.

The most supportable argument came from Reader Mike S., who wrote in part:

Lived in Fairfax Co., VA, a contiguous suburban county of DC. Slowly turning into Southern Maryland.
After visiting 5 states (including Texas) and filling in spreadsheets (Wife does NOTHING w/o a spreadsheet) we settled in East Tennessee.
Her health issues preclude further movement but Southern Appalachia is well watered, (mostly) self-sufficient in food, HEAVILY armed (It’s not “Are you carrying?” but “What are you carrying?”), and compared to the DC metro area crime free*.

*Almost anywhere is going to be crime free compared to our Nation’s Capital/Capitol.

And from Comments:

“Most people will never get out of the planning phase of this, treating it as a thought exercise. The few that might, will likely undersell the effort necessary to make it happen. It’s an expensive proposition to set up a redoubt or bunker. A true survivable landing spot will not come ready-made–it needs to be lived in, the land farmed, the ponds and streams kept clean, neighbors known, that sort of thing. Fewer than 3% of the population can sustain two livable homes simultaneously, so most believe their primary choices are to flee (to what, they have no idea) or hunker down and wait for FedCo and the Military to rescue them.” — Topcat

“And while big game and hunting may play a role, here in WY if the S truly hits the F, you won’t be using any vehicles (short of a mountain bike) to get around since gasoline will at best be rationed, and at worst simply unavailable. After a couple of years whatever you have stored (regardless of treatment) will be essentially useless. If you can’t hike to your hunting area and then pack out your kill, it don’t mean nothin’.” –– Blackwing1

The general consensus seems to be that the time to “bug out” is either in the past, right now or very soon.  During or after the ‘Pocalypse isn’t going to work.  Almost everyone seems to be resigned to staying put (as am I).

In similar vein, given that the average age of my Readers is ummmm advanced, the most pressing, and pretty much insurmountable problem is that of Rx resupply, with some saying that after about 90 days they’re gonna die anyway.  I’m willing to bet that nobody has a year’s worth of critical prescription meds in the cache.  I have about two months’ worth, and I’m probably in the distinct minority even there.  (New Wife, despite my urging, has less than half that, to my great despair.  Her response to my warnings can be summed up quite simply as:  “I have no interest in living in such a world anyway.”)

Let’s face it:  nobody is going to survive for very long if our current civilization turns into the New Dark Age.  Sure, some may survive a little longer than others because they’re well-supplied or else already close to being hunter-gatherers (living in the boonies, hunting / growing their food needs etc.).  Or else they’ve prepared to be predators to get what they need, although even that is going to be transitory as things like food, medicines and other essentials slowly disappear altogether from any kind of supply chain.

But as SOTI pointed out not long ago:  human beings survived being hunter-gatherers for centuries, but the average life expectancy was about 25-35.

The optimists among you suggested that perhaps some kind of order would be restored after a few months or so — but given how our society recently responded to a simple lockdown (let alone a complete breakdown), I’m not that confident.

Me?  I’m not going anywhere except maybe to Doc Russia’s little Festung  a couple-three miles from here.  I’m reasonably well-armed (coff coff ) and have several large Wal-Mart / Sam’s Club-type outlets within walking distance, so I’ll probably just do some shopping (of the AK-47 variety)… until those giant stores are emptied of everything I need.  After that… que sera, sera.

I’ll go down fighting, if I can;  but go down I most certainly will, eventually.  We all will.

Range time?  I think so.  If I’m going to go down, I’m damn sure going to have some fun, and take a few assholes with me.

Hunkering Down

Let’s just assume that you want to escape the coming Collapse / Apocalypse ahead of time, leaving your current abode and fleeing to a place which conceivably might grant you a chance of survival.  How to go about finding such a place?

Well, one group took a stab at finding a solution, and it makes for quite interesting reading because of the factors used to qualify/disqualify various areas around the Lower 48.  Take a look  [warning:  it’s a long read, but worth it].

Read more

It’s Always Time

Over at American Thinker, Michael Devon asks the question:  “Is It Time To Start Prepping?

As the title to this post suggests, preparing for disaster is always relevant.  For many people — people with any kind of brain, that is — this would not be a time to start prepping as much as it would be a time to take stock of one’s preparations, and either add to such, refine what you need, or address any shortcomings thereof.  Devon’s list is interesting:

Water sources and water filtration.  You will need a minimum of 2 gallons of drinking water per soul per day — For how long, is the question.  I would suggest that 2-3 weeks’ supply is pretty much all the water one can store easily (unless you have substantial property like a farm), or carry in a car.  For longer than that, filtration becomes more appropriate.  How good is your filtration system?

Shelter.  This should be located 1–2 hours’ travel time outside urban and suburban metros — Forget it.  In my case, it ain’t gonna happen.  If the S genuinely does hit the F, I will either shelter in place, or drive 15 minutes to Doc Russia’s little festung (we’ve discussed it, often, and I know exactly what I’ll need to bring so as not to be a burden on him but a benefit (added security, an extra gun or two for guard duty, and shall we say “an aggressive mindset” towards protection of mine and his).

Non-perishable food.  You will need 2,000 calories per soul per day with a healthy ratio of carbs, protein, and fat. — I have about two months’ supply for me and New Wife, maybe a month longer if we ration ourselves severely.  After that, it’ll be time to go shopping with an AK.  Of course, there are all the dried food packs (e.g. Mountain and MREs), but that’s your call:  I’ve never found any of them palatable.  I’d rather just have dozens of different energy bars as the last resort.

Prescription medications.  Talk to your doctor and somehow finagle a three-year supply of all your non-perishable meds.  Perishable meds are a more difficult issue to resolve. — Only one of my meds is perishable (glaucoma drops, which I keep in the fridge).  I have about two months’ worth of my meds (New Wife has less, need to do something about that), which I can likewise extend to maybe three by skipping every third day.  With sufficient warning (a day or two) Doc can write me all the Rx I need if I think I’ll need longer.  Also worth considering:  “general purpose” antibiotics like amoxicillin and ciproflaxin.

Personal hygiene supplies.Covered.  Three months’ worth (at least) of soap, toilet paper, wipes, toothpaste, and so on.

Ten like-minded adults willing to work hard together and to defend the shelter and its souls.  — Nope, not interested in that big a group. There’d be four of us, although I’d really like it — as would Doc — if the Son&Heir could join us, suitably provisioned of course (that Eagle Scout thing, plus a deadly aim when it comes to boomsticks).

2A hardware.  Never come up empty. — I believe we have that part covered.
(I have some too, if necessary.  Also a few extra rounds of ammo.)

Comms.  Have multiple backup and power for all comm devices. — Ugh.  I need to get a couple decent Garmin walkie-talkies.  Batteries, I have about a six-month supply.

Electrical systems and chargers.  Solar-powered, and multiple redundancy is essential. — I need to check that my solar stuff is still in working condition.  Also my car’s power inverter.

Barter stuff.  Booze, tobacco products, OTC meds, instant coffee, batteries, Bic lighters.  Barter food. — Good point.  Note to self:  empty out liquor cabinet if decamping.  (The gin and single malt alone would get me whatever I want, for about six months.)  Passing thought:  I don’t smoke, nor do any of the folks in our little SHTF party.  Worth considering getting a carton or two of Marlboros as trade goods?  [/post-WWII Germany]

Metal tools.  Axes, knives, saws, etc. — Covered.  My SHTF bins have enough not only for me, but for Doc as well, if he needs any.

Home Depot stuff.  Lumber, screws, nails, tarps, rope, duct tape, glue, gloves, concrete, etc. — Concrete? LOL.  But I might need stuff like 2x4s and plywood (note:  talk to Doc).  All the other stuff I have in plenty.

Replacements:  clothes, shoes, boots, socks, undergarments, jackets, and hats. — Covered.  Included are things like serious rainwear, gloves (work and warmth), cold-weather gear and so on.

Shiny metals.Errrr whut?  I have a couple steel mirrors for signaling, but that’s about it.

Transport.  Trucks, motorcycles, fuel, and spare parts. — Just enough to get me to Doc’s, but I always keep at least a half-tank of gas in the car.  Doc has more at his place.

My additions and suggestions:

First aid:  antibacterial stuff (ointments, disinfectants), bandages and so on.  You can go nuts with preparing a list of this stuff, so I tend to go with a simple checklist of what I’ve needed to have handy over the past ten years, and adding things like coagulants and such for more serious wounds.  Rule of thumb:  whatever you think you’d need for OTC meds, double that number.

Cooking: some kind of camp stove or grill with an adequate fuel supply, plus metal pots and pans (like Lodge) that won’t break.  Also cooking oil because butter is perishable.

Extra sugar, salt/pepper and spices.  Great barter goods if nothing else.  Also rice, cornmeal, pasta, cereals and similar starches.

Canned food of stuff you like to eat.  Don’t bother with the junk like asparagus, cream corn and pumpkin which make you barf just at the thought;  go heavy on your favorites e.g. in my case, corned beef hash, chicken and tuna.  Also:  evaporated milk and condensed milk.

Biltong (not jerky).  Two lbs of biltong, if properly rationed out, can keep you alive for a month all by itself.  (You are already making it, using Kim’s Sooper-Seekrit Recipe, aren’t you?)

Feel free to add or substitute as you wish.

RFI: Jennies

No, not Aniston, Tilly or Lopez.


…because that can wait for another time.

No, I mean generators of the small, affordable and reliable kind which run on either gasoline or propane, or both.  If it’s only one or the other, that’s fine too.

I know diddly about this topic, so all the terms used in the descriptions of generators mean about as much to me as Sanskrit poetry.

Here’s my scenario.

I don’t want to get caught without power during a freezing Texas winter ever again.  (From experience, this is when this shit is most likely to happen.)

Technically speaking we’re not allowed to have one of these things running in the apartment (of course, I’d run it outside on the balcony, where we’re not even allowed to barbecue, but if the SHTF then fukkem).

First question:  What’s the effective wattage and horsepower I should look at?

My electricity needs would be relatively light:

  • phone charging
  • laptop power supply
  • wifi router power (assuming that the network itself hasn’t fallen over)
  • an electric blanket
  • a small bedside light
  • a small electric grill or hotplate, and
  • perhaps my fridge, or maybe even both (garage & kitchen).  If it’s that cold and the fridges too power-thirsty, I’d just pop the perishables into some coolers and store them out on the balcony.

I have little or no room to store the generator in the meantime, so size is very important.  Quiet would also be nice, but not essential because fukkem.

I know how to maintain gasoline for long-term storage, and of course propane is no problem.

As for my options…

Is a cheapie like this Sportsman even worth considering?  What about this Westinghouse, Pulsar or Champion, at double the price?  I really can’t afford to go over a grand — and even that would be a huge stretch — so I would put $600 as my upper limit for cost.  (Is this completely unrealistic?)

As with all such RFIs I put out, personal experience on the topic is paramount.

All assistance is gratefully accepted.