Fighting an Invisible Enemy

The following post is a guest contribution and highlights a little discussed area of emergency preparedness.

Chemical and Biological Warfare: Fighting an Invisible Enemy

The news story first popped up a few days ago: a mysterious, deadly illness that doctors haven’t been able to diagnose. All of the sudden, it’s everywhere, and the mortality rate is scary. Grocery stores are empty. Families lock themselves in their homes. Schools are shuttered. Once doctors and law enforcement officers get sick, society starts crumbling. Only one thing could make the scenario more frightening: that somebody did it intentionally.

There’s something about biological warfare – and its cousin, chemical warfare – that resonates with our most primitive fears about the enemy we don’t see coming. Everyday objects and even the very air we breathe suddenly seem dangerous. Even worse, once the genie is out of the bottle, there’s no putting it back in. It’s uncontrollable and, in the case of biological warfare, often self-perpetuating.

World governing bodies like the United Nations and NATO have condemned the use of such weapons, but that doesn’t mean rogue nations and terrorists won’t use them anyway. That’s why it’s so important for both governments and individuals to know how to be prepared and what to do.

Detection and Response

The World Health Organization (WHO) formed an early warning system dedicated to monitoring and reacting to suspicious outbreaks. The Global Outbreak Alert and Response network links more than 70 worldwide sources of information on rising health issues. Trained teams are ready to deploy within 24 hours. They’re tasked with identifying the chemical or biological agent and forming an appropriate response.

The U.S. military has developed a number of detection systems, from miniature labs that travel around on Humvees to multi-sensor arrays monitored from ships. And they’re constantly working to improve their methods of containment, decontamination, and treatment. In addition, since some chemical and biological weapons can be delivered with bombs or missiles, explosive detectors play a big role in the monitoring process.

In the event of an attack, doctors, nurses, and other first responders would be instrumental in sounding the alarm. All states have a list of “immediately reportable” diseases that have to be reported to the local health department. That means that even one case of a disease like smallpox is enough to mobilize a response. And, since some engineered weapons may not be easily diagnosable, doctors are also trained to report unusual clusters of illness. If an ER is suddenly flooded with people sick with an illness doctors can’t diagnose, they would immediately get the health department involved. They’d also be responsible for isolation and containment, including requiring all medical personnel to wear protective equipment.

What You Can Do

  1. The first line of defense is preparation. You should already have an emergency kit in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster. Make sure that kit also has gloves, plenty of soap, bleach, duct tape, and surgical masks.
  2. Have enough food and water to last for several days. In case of a biological attack with a contagious agent, isolation is key. You don’t want to have to go out in public to buy supplies.
  3. Identify a safe room in your home. It should be an interior room with few windows and, if possible, located on an upper floor. (Most biological and chemical agents are heavy enough to sink to the ground, so being higher may offer some protection.)  

Here are some tips on what to do if an attack actually happens:

  • Monitor the news for official information and instructions. Computers and smart devices are great, but in a worst-case scenario, they could lose power before the crisis is over. Make sure your emergency kit contains a battery-operated radio.
  • If you’re out in public, cover your nose and mouth with a shirt or scarf. Leave the area if you can, heading upwind.
  • If you’re home, grab your emergency kit and head for your safe room. Turn off all ventilation (heating, AC, etc.) systems and close the windows. Then use duct tape to seal the windows and doors as best as you can.

You’ll probably never have to use this information. But once you need it, it’s too late to go looking for it. Educate yourself on chemical and biological warfare so that if the worst occurs, you’ll be able to react right away.

About The Author

Jeremy S. is a self-confessed tech geek of several years. An avid blogger, you can read his informative articles on technology and various other blog sites.

Bombing Anniversary Serves As Reminder

Today marks the first anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. I think that it is important to remember the victims of this tragic and cowardly attack, but I feel that it should also serve as a reminder of the importance to be prepared. There are several of the victims that were wounded when the bombs went off that had their lives saved as a result of the quick thinking of the bystanders and first responders, accompanied by the ability of the same to improvise and apply effective tourniquets made of clothing and belts.

This is not an isolated incident either. The high profile shooting spree by Jared Loughner that resulted in Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords being shot in the head is another case where tourniquets and hemostatic agents, that were in the Law Enforcement medical kits carried by officers, are credited with saving the lives of the injured.

These kits are modeled off of TCCC or TC3 (Tactical Combat Casualty Care) which is based off of combat experiences and the most likely threats to the injured. One of the single greatest lessons learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is the safe use of tourniquets and the effectiveness of pressure bandages and hemostatic agents in stopping bleeding. This has led to law enforcement agencies and emergency medical responders being issued these same tools to use in their daily duties. The tourniquet was previously considered a last resort is now recognized as the primary tool to stop arterial bleeding on an extremity. John Cohen, senior counterterrorism official at the Department of Homeland Security stated in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing last year that, “As we began to take a hard look at how to respond to these types of incidents, what became clear was that the sooner you can stop victims from bleeding, the higher likelihood you will have for reducing fatalities, and the things that make the biggest difference in stopping bleeding are tourniquets and other bandages.” Findings like this have led to other initiatives across the United States that would make tourniquets and other lifesaving equipment available in public places like shopping malls and schools, where they could be employed by trained personnel or even the public if the need were to arise.

For preparedness minded individuals, this begs the question of, shouldn’t we do the same thing? The answer is an emphatic, yes! When making medical preparations, it is important to prepare first for the most likely scenario that will occur. For most of us, the primary threat to our health is some sort of accident. Because of this probability, a medical kit with a high quality tourniquet, pressure dressings, and hemostatic agent is an absolute must.

As a prepper, not only should medical kits be present in the home, but in the car, boat, RV, ATV, and range bag to name a few potential placements. This is because no one knows exactly when things could go wrong. It could be a mass shooting, there could be an accident at the gun range, or even an accident with a chainsaw while trying to fell a tree. These are all likely incidents that could require these particular medical supplies for proper treatment of the injuries.

My recommendation for a tourniquet would be the SOF Tourniquet accompanied by the Israeli Bandage or ETD (Emergency Trauma Dressing) for a pressure dressing and QuikClot Advanced Clotting Sponge hemostatic agent for an easy to use addition to your basic medical kit.

Regardless of the chosen supplies, what counts the most is having your medical kit put together and ready to use at a moments notice.

To see just how common incidents are where tourniquets and hemostatic agents are employed, look at this list of Law Enforcement Officer of Tactical EMS/Tactical Combat Casualty Care practices in action.

The Ultimate Survival Gun!

There is an never-ending debate in the preparedness world about whether or not the ultimate survival gun exists and what it may be. Of the many theories, there seems to be a bit of a lean towards the 12 Gauge Shotgun or .22 Caliber Rifle but I think I found the ultimate survival gun!

The X-Caliber by Chiappa Firearms is a two barrel, double trigger rifle in an over/under configuration which is chambered as a smooth bore 12 Gauge shotgun on top and a rifled .22 Long Rifle on bottom. The true “magic” (if you will) comes from the set of included adapters that make it the most flexible firearm available for almost any survival scenario. The 8 adapters included allow .380, 9 mm, .357 Mag/.38 Special, .40 S&W, .44 Mag, .45 ACP, .410 Gauge/.45 Colt and 20 Gauge to be fired out of the X-Caliber in addition to the primary offering of 12 Gauge and .22 Long Rifle. With a total availability of 12 different calibers, it very well could handle just about anything.

Not only is the X-Caliber capable of firing a myriad of cartridges, it is designed to be used as a survival rifle by integrating the ability to fold down to only 18.5 inches and the weight has been reduced by replacing the normal stock material with  polypropylene foam. This makes it capable of easily being transported in a backpack as part of a Bug Out Bag, Get Home Bag or other survival kit.

In addition to these features, the X-Caliber includes:

  • A space to hold 12 Gauge, .22 LR shells and cleaning kit inside of the stock.
  • Fixed optical fiber front sight and a rear sight that is adjustable for both windage and elevation to compensate for the caliber being used.
  • Three integrated picatinny rails to facilitate the mounting of optics, lights, etc.

What if you already have a 12 Gauge shotgun? No problem! The X-Caliber adapter set is available for purchase separately for use with a smooth bore 12 Gauge shotgun. I do feel that the use of these adapters will likely impact accuracy, especially at farther distances. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the X-Caliber rifle with complete insert set is $750 while the X-Caliber insert set alone is $450. There are cheaper firearms out there but not another one that I know of that can shoot such a variety of calibers.

What would your ultimate survival gun be?

The End of the World: The Sequel

The following post is a guest submission from JR about his personal experiences living with economic difficulties in Canada similar to those that we are experiencing here in the United States. Not only is it encouraging to know that this too shall pass, it provides me motivation to continue to prioritize decisions and make preparations for any unexpected times ahead.

The End of the World: The Sequel

Almost 48 million souls are on food stamps today in Obama’s America, with around 100 million adults not working. The real unemployment rate, the U6, is around 12.6% (hello, Jimmy Carter years!) while true unemployment, as reported by Shadowstats, recently showed a real unemployment rate of 23.2% – very close to the Great Depression rates. Meanwhile, the young – many of who voted for Obama – are now saddled with $1 trillion in student debt, that they cannot get rid of, short of renouncing their citizenship and moving to Mongolia. The Obama administration has arguably done more to destroy the financial well-being (which results in destroyed careers, damaged relationships, un-started marriages, and a hundred other social ills) of this country than any other political movement, war or disaster this nation has seen or experienced throughout its almost 250 year history.

You are 25 years old. Or perhaps 35. You have no career (or real career) to speak of. You have little to no money, and an equal or perhaps lesser amount of hope for the future. You have damaged relationships because of this and marriage, a home, a fulfilling career and children are only a dream.

What Do You Do?

There is, of course, no easy answer. However, similar to Fernando Aguirre, the author of the blog Surviving Argentina, whose website details his living through the even more profound Argentinian socialist financial meltdown of 2001 – I, too, went through a similar experience in another area of the world, British Columbia of the first half of the 1980s. No, it was not Argentina of 20 years later; on the other hand, how does an official unemployment rate peaking at 17.9% (Vancouver) and 24% (Nanaimo) – both of where I lived – strike you? I can tell you it struck me – and profoundly. Perhaps you may benefit from what I experienced, and what I did to get through that time. I hope that is the case. Just as with you, I, too, went through an “end of the world as we know it” scenario, economically speaking. It took many years to emerge from it, but I did. And this was without inheritances, money being given by sympathetic relatives, some profound stroke of good luck, or the like. I was totally and utterly on my own, as many of you are. Like me, you can make it, too – but it will take courage, creativity, elbow grease, and a good dollop of humility. So… let’s get started. I will recount my own story, with the hope that you can extrapolate from what I went through, and hopefully find a way to apply it to your own current situation.

In Feb. 1981, I finished my second graduate degree at University of British Columbia. Both my degrees were in a humanities area, and I found out very quickly that neither of them would provide a salary that would much surpass that of a bus driver. In fact, quite literally, bus drivers made more than more than a few of the jobs I was looking at – and there was competition for them. What is now lost in the mists of time, but critically important for you, the reader, to know, is that during this era, interest rates pushed upwards to 20%. Housing construction collapsed, and British Columbia, which saw 50% of its provincial revenue derived from lumber, imploded financially. Unemployment skyrocketed. One year I submitted between two or three thousand resumes to jobs, using a manual typewriter. The prognosis was that western Canada would be in the financial doldrums for many, many years, and perhaps decades.

In short, if you have gotten this far, I was in the same shoes you most likely are now – with the added misfortune of a former wife who had an affair, then I nursed through a benign brain tumor, and who finally divorced me, resulting in a serious clinical depression, as well as a significant flying phobia, further curtailing my work opportunities. There’s more – much more – you get the drift, which is why you are reading this. Your details vary, of course, but no doubt are similar in many respects.

The question was, what to do? Here are some suggestions from someone who has been there:

1. Paul Tournier, a Swiss psychologist who was an adult during the Great Depression and World War II (another era that was not brimming with hope!) has a wonderful, decades old book, called The Adventure of Living (available for free here from Google Books), that might be a good place to start. Part of the book is addressed to women, many of whom wanted nothing more than a good marriage and family. Of course, after World War II, many of the men were dead. While Switzerland was unscathed, the rest of Europe, which he was writing to, was very “scathed.” These people had come through fifteen years of financial depression and the unspeakable horrors of total war. And now, for many of them, their fondest, highest dreams were gone, most likely never to be fulfilled.

Tournier’s book is a short read, but to summarize this for you, his advice was to look for the adventure God calls one to. It may well not have been what you wanted or planned. As a matter of fact, it very likely is not. But Tournier’s call was for his readers to take the unique challenges that present themselves, and take that as an opportunity – and as an adventure. To bring this to the modern day where you live now, do you have the opportunity to teach English in China? Perhaps take what you have trained for – which is unemployable here – and utilize that skill in Lithuania or Liberia. The goal is to get moving. Doors will open up much more readily if you start by putting one foot in front of the other, following what light – however little that may seem – you have. Think of driving: it is difficult to steer a car that is not moving; it is much easier to steer a car that is in motion. Of course the hardest thing is to initiate that motion – a body at rest tends to remain at rest. So engage friends or family as you strategize; make specific plans, and hold to them. In my case, I ended up in northern Canada, living in temperatures Americans, and even 90% of Canadians, have never even imagined. And you know what? I had the time of my life. I learned, I made some money, I got experience, and set the stage for the next step in my life. Yes, I was afraid – very afraid – to make the move. In fact, I was more afraid of making that move than anything else in life, except for one, single thing – and that was never having had the courage to have taken a reasonable risk. (I mean by this that you should not do stupid things; but a risk that is weighed out, and not going to result in putting life or limb in jeopardy, should be considered, in conjunction with counsel from friends, family, and both reflection and – if you are of the type – prayer).

2. Retrain. Many people are intellectually lazy, which is often in part built around physical laziness. It was the famed Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi who once said “fatigue makes coward of us all.” Get in shape, and stay there. You needn’t become a triathlete, but you must keep in physical shape and maintain your physical edge. And you must retrain. After leaving British Columbia, I also left the field I trained in. In the mid-1980s, I had never turned a computer on in my life – nor am I naturally gifted at computers. Nevertheless, within four years, I had become a network engineer and proficient enough to make a good living in the computer world. Was it easy? Absolutely not. Was it my ideal job? No. But it was acceptable enough, and it allowed me to buy a home, slowly move out of the clinical depression I was in, and I made reasonable money. Quite a move forward from just a few years earlier. And once the ball was rolling, it continued forward. But none of this would have happened if I had not weighed my options, and taken reasonable risks.

In 1986, I had made a major move across the continent to a city where I knew not a single soul, but where there was a better economy – Ottawa, Ontario. I am not an eastern boy, nor do I like the east. I either lived right on the border of, or in, Quebec – a stretch, given that I knew not a word of French at the time. Yet, I was able to progress my new career in technology further, and eventually met and married my lovely wife, with whom I have now been happily married 25 years. None of this was easy, and I was not – and still am not – a natural born technical person. Rather, I had to put in what seemed to be double or triple the work of those around me, just to keep pace. But the alternative was a slow emotional, financial and spiritual death if I had remained in place. As I often reminded myself, “the only way out was through!”

Speaking of being rooted in place, and not amenable to change and growth, I am reminded of one of the worst ferry disasters in recent history, the MS Estonia that sank in the Baltic in 1994, killing 852 passengers. One of the few survivors recounts running by one passenger, immobile on deck, cigarette between his lips, as he dashed to safety, encouraging him to move. The other person clearly did not – and his immobility killed him. Your immobility may not kill you physically, but it well might kill a career or other opportunities.

No one is saying you should take foolhardy risks. In fact, doing this is the precise equal and opposite error of staying in place and dying a slow death of attrition. Rather, there is a third way, between the twin horns of stupid gambling and craven timidity. It is your job to thread that needle between the two. While it isn’t easy, it is your only chance. The good thing, though, is that this is like baseball – you don’t have to hit one thousand. A swing and a miss is not catastrophic usually – so remind yourself that all you can do is the best you can do, and then if you have left everything on the field, then you have done what you could.

Fast forward to 1994. I am either living in Quebec, near Quebec in Ottawa, or working there. The province is an eyelash from separating from English Canada, which would lead to a financial disaster. My French is still not winning any awards, so we decided to take another calculated risk: move to the US. Another adventure, another major change. More retraining and into yet another field. And despite many similarities between the Canada and the US, they are not the same. (Just imagine moving from Selma, Alabama to NYC – then multiply that by ten). I moved into hospital automation, yet another new field I had never worked in before,  and finally end up leaving the technical world and moving into project management – which was finally utilizing some of the skills I did my graduate work in. And I am finally being paid well.

But none of this would have happened if I had not taken the risk to make the moves noted above.  But, you say you don’t have the courage? Remember: Courage is what you show when you precisely don’t feel like it. There is an old story from WWI of a new recruit to the front trenches. Just before they went over the top to charge the German lines, the recruit, full of bravado, saw his sergeant shaking. “Sergeant, I believe you are afraid,” he remonstrated him. “Yes… and if you knew half of what I know, you’d be shaking, too!” was his reply. If you don’t have the courage to take big steps, then take the largest steps you can, no matter how small. But get moving. 

Upon moving to the US (the Chicago area), I was offered a job which entailed driving to Gary, Indiana every day for two years. At that time, Gary had been voted the most dangerous city in the US nine of the previous ten years. Worse, it was 175 miles round trip per day. No one in my company wanted to take it, of course. However, I checked out the city, and the one safe area of the city was where the hospital was – there was really no danger to my safety that there wouldn’t be anywhere else in a big city, as long as I stayed within the bounds where it was safe. Even better, I made $1,000/month for mileage back and forth to the customer site. I went out and bought a very used Hyundai Excel – no power brakes, windows, nothing – for $3,000 – and the rest of the money went on my mortgage. Over two years, this amounted to $20,000 tax free dollars. All money that everyone else shunned by not looking into opportunity, but rather dismissed out of hand. Even better, the people at the hospital were some of the most pleasant people I have ever worked with, and it was a pleasure to go to work every day. Does “the adventure of living” start to become reified to you now?

3. Finally, shun debt. The problem with “eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die” is that you don’t die. Rather, you wake up with a headache, a soiled carpet from retching all night that you now have to clean, and the bill for the party. A couple examples for you: By our mid-50s, my wife and I had, between the two of us, since we got our driving licenses, spent a grand total of perhaps $55,000 dollars totalbetween the two of us, over 40 driving years. An automobile is the biggest drain on money you will have in this life. Be creative and keep costs down with what you drive. And for you guys, who want that “hot” car to get the girls, let me ask you this: Exactly what kind of long term relationship are you going to have with a woman who goes out with you for the kind of vehicle you drive?  In contrast, I knew my wife loved me, because she put up with the 15 year old car I drove at the time. I had a good girlfriend and a crummy car. Much better than a crummy girlfriend and a good car.

I am not advocating being a miser. If there are things you really and truly enjoy, do so. But don’t buy into the materialism trap. Many of those in trouble buy things they don’t need, to impress people they either don’t know, or like, and with money they don’t have. Why?  As with the old drug commercial, “Just say no.” Brown bag your lunch. Car pool or take the train. Find creative ways to vacation, such as house swapping. Be creative in saving money, particularly in areas where you don’t really have a strong predilection towards something.

To bring this to a close, the above provides you three golden threads (read George McDonald’s 1872 fairy tale, the Princess and the Goblin, if you want to learn more about golden threads) to at least start you on the path.

I, too, have been in a similar situation. Your mileage will vary, but as Canadian singer Bruce Cockburn once sang, you have to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight. I titled this article “The End of the World: The Sequel” because there are others who have gone through similar, exceedingly difficult things, as you are now. You are not alone in this experience.  But you can find that adventure that is yours. Just keep knocking and keep seeking, and the door will indeed be opened for you.

Bandages, BOB’s & Bullets

Today I had the opportunity to spend some time with Dale and his wife Lisa over at the Survivalist Prepper Podcast about some of the basics of preparedness. I had a great time visiting with them and enjoyed the opportunity to discuss my military experience, first aid, bug out bags, and some self defense options.

There are a couple of things that you should check out over at the Survivalist Prepper:

  1. I guess it might be obvious but, the interview I just did.
  2. For about another week, Dale is running a giveaway for a Bug Out Bag loaded with some great gear. Make sure to get entered to win.
  3. Finally, on the 9th of May I will be joining Dale, along with Todd from PrepperWebsite, JD from Conflicted (The Game), and Vincent from Disaster Survival Magazine for a webinar on preparedness basics. It should be a great time! You can register for the webinar using the form at the top of the Survivalist Prepper homepage.

I have to make a personal confession in the fact that Dale’s podcast has probably become my favorite survival and preparedness related podcast. I have listened to almost every episode, even the one I am featured in (just to make sure I didn’t say anything too embarrassing)! With that being said, I don’t think you will be disappointed if you take the time to listen to what Dale has to say.

A Few Questions

Earlier today I was asked a few questions that caused me to stop and think about the political climate that we are coping with here in the United States. It makes me wonder if the government is truly acting in the interests of WE the people as a whole, or doing what they can to produce the votes that will keep them in office. I thought the questions were worth posting here.

1. We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a FEW lunatics.

2. We constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money. How come we never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money? What’s interesting is the first group “worked for” their money, but the second didn’t.

3. Why are we cutting benefits for our veterans, eliminating pay raises for our military and cutting our army to a level lower than before WWII, but we are not stopping the payments to illegal aliens. This is what illegal’s receive monthly: $1500.00 per child, $500 for housing, Food Stamps, Free education including college and the right to vote.

Interesting, right? What are your thoughts?

The Perfect Basic Survival Kit?

My friends (and Prepared Ninja supporter) at Black River Outpost just let me know about a great new kit that they have put together as a minimal survival kit. This is a great start for the newbie, person looking for a bare bones kit, supplemental kit, or as a kit to put in a vehicle or desk drawer.

Here is what is in the Black River ESP (Essential Survival Pack):

  • Condor EMT Pouch (Black or Tan)
  • Aquamira Frontier Water Filter
  • Coghlan’s Magnesium Fire Starter
  • Adventure Medical First Aid Kit .5
  • Datrex 4 oz. Emergency Water Pouch (2)
  • Mayday 400 Calorie Emergency Food Bar
  • Swiss Army Style Knife
  • Emergency Blanket
  • 25 ft . Atwood 550 Paracord – Black

Total Weight = 1 lb. 15 oz. (Less than two pounds for all the essentials!)

This kit is currently on sale for only $34.95, over $22 off of normal retail!

Whether you are looking for a stand alone survival kit or an addition to an existing kit, the ESP has all of the necessities covered. Make sure to check out the ESP and other great survival and preparedness products at Black River Outpost.

5 Tools Every BOB Should Have

When it comes to survival kits, there are a number of items that could be put into a bug out bag but special consideration should be given to what is needed, practical, and capable of being comfortably carried. (As a side note – I should clarify that I use the term BOB or bug out bag, I use it universally and applies to a kit designed to get out of a situation whether it is leaving home, getting home, or even staying home.) If you find yourself running out the door and have only the items that are packed in your kit to survive with, make sure you have the right tools for the job.

Gerber Apocalypse Kit

These are the five tools that should be included in every well rounded Bug Out Bag or survival kit that is designed to foster survival in a variety of environments:

1. Fixed Blade Knife – A good fixed blade knife is essential to keep in a bug out bag. It is a tool as well as a weapon if needed. Not only can this be used as a knife, it can be:

  • Fastened to a stick to be used as a spear to hunt fish and/or animals.
  • Used to start a fire.
  • Used to build a shelter.
  • Used to split firewood.
  • And just about anything else you can think of…

2. Multi-Tool – A logical choice to include is the multi-tool. It is like having half the contents of your tool box in your pocket without nearly the weight. When looking for a multi-tool, consider what you plan or anticipate having to use it for and then look for those features in a multi-tool. I am not much of a brand snob but when it comes to multi-tools, I prefer Leatherman.

3. Folding Knife – When it comes to survival, there is a saying that goes, “two is one, and one is none.” When it comes to having a backup and backups to your backups, knives are a good place to start. Having a secondary knife that is a folder is convenient because it is easy to stick in a pocket and ensure that you always have it with you. When selecting a folding knife, look for one that features a locking mechanism to ensure that it doesn’t fold up on your hand when you are working with it.

4. Survival Chain Saw – I am not a fan of the typical “survival” saw that you tend to see. The ones that are basically a wire with some sand glued onto it. At least is seems that way. These wire saws seem to break easily and a broken saw is worse than no saw in my opinion. At least if you don’t have a saw, then you don’t have the expectation to be able to cut something where if you have a saw and it breaks, you just end up aggravated and not able to cut anything. I prefer the chainsaw style of blade that is found on other models of pocket survival saws.

5. Hand Shovel – While a hand shovel may seem like an odd choice of tool to include in a BOB, there are a number of practical applications that one can be used for. Building shelter, digging out a place to go to the bathroom, extinguishing a fire, and harvesting wild edible plants are all things that can be done with a hand shovel. In addition to the fact that a hand shovel is small, there are now high strength plastic models that are lightweight and compact.

The ability to maintain these tools is almost as important as having the tools in the first place. This is especially vital if the time comes where bugging out becomes a necessity and you might be betting your life on the ability to use these tools. Some of the items to consider including in your kit to help maintain your tools include:

1. Cleaner Lubricant Protectant (aka CLP) – CLP is an item that is commonly thought of as something that is used to clean and maintain firearms but that is not the only use for CLP. Any metal tool can be subject to getting dirty, rusting, or just plain worn out when it is used and exposed to the elements. Even when being stored, it is important to protect them. CLP is available in small quantities (perfect for keeping in your kit), it is light weight, and it is inexpensive. Find it in the firearm maintenance section of your local sporting goods store. Don’t forget to keep it in a sealable bag so that it does not leak all over your gear!

2. Knife Sharpener – Plain and simple, it is pointless to have a knife if you don’t have the means to maintain a good working edge. There are a number of ways to sharpen a knife, find the one that works best for you and pack the appropriate equipment.

3. Small File – Tools like hatchets and saws do not require a razor sharp edge. This makes a small file a great tool to maintain them. A file is also a great means to help remove nicks and gouges from metal tools.

There are a number of tools that could be included in your survival kit and each person’s kit should be a reflection of them and their needs. With that being said, the five tools mentioned above are all tools that can be used for multiple uses, in multiple scenarios and come about as close to being universally useful as food and water. The next time you inventory your survival kit or when you go to put one together, think about what tools you may need and then ensure that you have them before you find yourself needing them.

Thanks For Your Patience!

There are several of you who may have, or have not, noticed that the site has been down for the better part of a week. It also looks quite different. Please believe me when I say that I am working feverishly to get the site restored to all of it’s previous glory. Now if only I was as technically inclined as my dog is! Thanks for hanging in there!

-Tom

Finding a First Gun for the Lady in Your Life

The following is a guest post submission from Milton Zane about some of the areas that should be considered when looking for a first gun for the lady in your life. While the points are geared towards helping a spouse, girlfriend, family member, or loved one find a firearm that is a good fit for them, the same points could be considered when finding a gun for yourself, or anyone for that matter.

How to Find the Perfect First Gun for the Lady in Your Life

Americans are carrying handguns in record numbers, partly because of concern for personal safety and partly as a display of a constitutional right that is being threatened. In 2011, Gallup found that 23% of women owned guns, up from just 13% in 2005. As many as 43% of women report having access to a firearm and many more have expressed interest in learning more.

While protection is one reason for owning a firearm, it is hardly the only reason. Though gun sports have traditionally been dominated by men, more and more women are beginning to take part in recreation that involves firearms. If you are looking to purchase a firearm, for a woman in your life, then consider the following tips while shopping to ensure that you get one she will like.

Picture Credit: En.Bloguru.com

Price

Like any item you purchase, quality can make a huge difference in levels of enjoyment and satisfaction. A good handgun will cost around $500, while a shotgun or rifle may cost substantially more. Purchasing a cheap firearm ensures that it will never be used and that the person you give it to will be put off of guns for a long time to come. Buy a high quality, well-designed firearm to ensure hours of pleasant, engaging use.

Ammunition and Caliber

In a similar vein to the above point regarding the price of the firearm, consider the price of ammunition. In this case, you want ammunition to be affordable so that the gun can actually be used. So, consider things like the 9 mm over the .45 because of the difference in the price of ammunition. The equation is simple; buy an expensive, quality gun that uses affordable ammunition. In general, the smaller the caliber, the cheaper the ammunition. As an added benefit, smaller caliber firearms tend to have less recoil (kick), which makes for more appealing to use.

Try It

You may want the firearm to be a surprise, but the person who is going to use the gun really needs to hold it to make sure that it fits her hand, is easy to manipulate, and is comfortable in terms of weight. If you have to be creative, tell her that you are shopping for yourself, but get her involved by asking for her opinion. Listen carefully to the things she tells you and then buy the gun that she likes best. Once you have found the firearm, you can always purchase it online from a site like Guns America to save a little money.

Size

If this is a firearm that is going to be carried to more than just the shooting range, then you need to consider how she will tote it around. Will it be in a holster or will it be in a handbag? Where the gun is carried will help you decide how large and how heavy it can be. In general, purses can only handle smaller guns while you can get away with a larger gun if it is to be carried in a holster.

Believe

No matter how you wrangle with the tips above, don’t forget the most important point of all, which is to buy a brand you believe in. If you know that a certain manufacturer makes a top notch firearm, then don’t be afraid to violate one or two of the guidelines above to get what you know will work. This gun is something that is likely to last a long time, so make the effort to get one that is worth keeping.

Milton Zane is passionate about firearms. He enjoys writing about different types of guns, safety, and proper care.

My Interview With Poor Man Prepper

Yesterday I had the opportunity to do an interview with Lat Cozad of the Poor Man Prepper Podcast. I had a great time and enjoyed getting to speak with Lat about medical preparedness, my time in the military, and a little bit about preparedness in general. If you are interested in listening to the interview and hearing what I have to say, check out Episode 528 of the Poor Man Prepper Podcast.

Spring Preparedness at Black River Outpost

In an effort to help preppers be better prepared for Spring, Black River Outpost is currently running their Spring sale on many preparedness items. This is a great chance to stock up on common items or even to use that tax refund to get a few bigger (aka costlier) items at a reduced price! Some of these items are over 50% of the suggested retail prices and include:

  • Ammunition
  • Radios
  • Bags & Packs
  • Knives & Blades
  • Cookware
  • Survival Foods
  • Lights
  • Paracord
  • AND More!

To see all of the items that are on sale, click on the image below. Don’t wait though, the sale won’t last forever and I am sure the best items will run out of stock fast!

Paracord Bracelets: Survival Near the Palm of Your Hand

Paracord Bracelets: Survival Near the Palm of Your Hand

When it comes to survival, there’s no such thing as “too much rope.” Need a shelter built? You’d better have a rope handy. Want to secure your food against scrounging wildlife? A little bit of rope might mean the difference between having supplies to eat, and having something eat all of your supplies. Need to bind up a broken limb or build a makeshift litter in which to drag an injured companion? You guessed it; without rope, you’re going to have a pretty difficult time (trust me, duct tape doesn’t work nearly as well as some people would have you believe).

Rope is a key ingredient in a hundred different emergency survival solutions, and as such, it’s always a good idea to keep plenty of strong rope on hand as part of any emergency kit. Of course, there’s a downside as well: rope, even when it’s bunched up into coils, can still take up valuable space, and unless you want to be carrying around an entire extra pack full of rope the next time you head out into the wilderness, you’re going to want to find a better way to pack and carry it. Well, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Or rather, paracord has got you covered, and by that of course we mean that you should cover yourself in paracord.

Paracord is a light, thin nylon kernmantle rope that can generally hold up to 550 lbs without fraying or breaking. As you may have gathered from the name, It was originally designed to be used in parachuting during World War II. However, soldiers quickly learned that the rope itself was good for more than just allowing them to hang safely from canvas tarps as they descended gracefully from the sky. Once they were back on solid ground, they found that it actually came in handy in other situations as well. When a bootlace would break, paracord could easily fill in as makeshift replacement. When cargo needed to be secured on the go, paracord proved to be as durable as anything this side of steel cable. So, it’s no wonder that well over half a century after it’s initial introduction, paracord is still being used by hikers, campers, and survival enthusiasts around the world. Of course, most of them aren’t taking the paracord off of parachutes; instead, they’re finding other ways to keep paracord on their persons, in the form of belts and bracelets.

In addition to its strength, paracord is so thin that it can easily be weaved into a variety of intricate shapes and patterns, such as braids. Doing so allows the paracord to take up less space. This means that by turning a length of paracord into a belt, a necklace, or even a bracelet, a survivalist (or anyone else for that matter) could easily carry as much rope as they could ever need, without having to worry about how to pack it all. When properly woven, 50-100 feet of rope can be turned into a fashion accessory that could potentially save your life. A paracord survival bracelet can be easily unwound at a moment’s notice, and the rope itself can be be cut to varying lengths, or unraveled to produce even thinner strands that can be used for everything from floss, to fishing line, to suture thread.

Perhaps best of all, you don’t even need to be particularly crafty to create your own paracord bracelet; just buy a length of paracord and follow the instructions in the video linked to above.

Easy right? Once you’ve got your paracord bracelet, you’ll feel as though you’ve got the dangers of nature wrapped around your little finger (or around your wrist, or whatever). If only other emergency supplies were this easy to carry around. Of course, wearing a belt made from road flares would probably present its own unique issues, so maybe we should just stick with the paracord for now.

About The Author - Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Emergency Food Storage: 7 Tips for Getting Started

No matter where you live, there is potential for a disaster. If something were to happen, would you be prepared? Taking the time to store emergency food, water and first-aid supplies is essential in fully preparing your home or business for the unexpected. Starting with a basic food and water storage is a great way to make some headway. For this, you can start with a-la-carte food storage items and pick up more as you go, or purchase quick and easy kits for a solid base. Emergency kits are available in pails, backpacks and duffle bags, each designed for a specific use. These kits are great if you don’t have the time or desire to start building a food storage base on your own. They’re also inexpensive and designed to accommodate almost every emergency need.

Whether you choose to pick up food storage items as you go, or start with emergency food kits, it’s important that you store your items properly for optimal shelf-life and quality. To give you a better idea of how you can do this, we’ve provided the list of food storage tips below.

Food Guidelines for storing:

  • Keep food in a dry, unused area
  • Keep food enclosed at all times
  • Open food boxes or cans care-fully so that you can close them tightly
  • Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags and keep them in tight containers
  • Empty open packages and put into screw-top jars to protect them from pests
  • Inspect all food for signs of spoilage on a regular basis
  • Place new items in the back of the storage area and older ones in front

Starting a Storage

Now that you know where and how you should store your emergency food supply, it’s time to get started! Canned foods are the best choice as the food can be well-maintained for a very long period of time. Dried fruits, nuts, sugar, tea, and coffee can also be stored in sealed containers.  Review the tips below for a complete description of what you should start storing and when.

1)     Create Kits

First, make an emergency evacuation kit, also known as a 72-hour kit. Each member of the family should have their own emergency kit with an assortment of emergency supplies and food in a backpack or small bucket. Each kit should have enough supplies for three days. If danger strikes and you need to evacuate instantly, all you have to do is grab your backpack or bucket and escape. Don’t forget the following items: food, water, clothes, first-aid kit, hygiene needs, necessary medicines, important papers, and basic tools and utensils.

2)     Build Your Storage of Favorite Meals

Make a food storage plan based on your current diet. This would include a two or three month supply of the food your family eats regularly. In an emergency, you will want to have foods that you’re accustomed to eating as they will ease your transition into long term food storage items. Do not forget water.

3)     Stock PLENTY of Water

A top priority for getting started is an ample supply of clean water. The average person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day, and hot climates can double that amount. Water will also be needed for food preparation and hygiene. One gallon per person, per day is usually recommended. According to FEMA, you should have at least a two week supply of water per person in your family. Never ration water. You can always minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.

4)     Stock up on Food Staples

You will want to start storing long term food items. These are simple foods that store for extended periods of time and provide sufficient nutrition. These include grains, legumes, and other staples that will allow you to provide for your family in a reasonable manner for an extended period of time. You will need to incorporate these into your diet so your body can become familiar with them.

5)     Plan for Fire Needs

You also want to consider fire. It is very important to have the ability to light a fire for cooking and warmth. A fire starter is a vital item because it could be tough to locate burnable material and even tougher to ignite it.

6)     Make Sure Storage is Easily Accessible

Location is important. When an emergency is happening, you need to be able to locate your emergency kit and fast.

7)     Plan for Every Emergency

Your home isn’t the only place you should have an emergency kit. You will want to consider placing one in your boat, cabin, vehicle, etc. You never know when disaster could strike.

These are great suggestions and are compliments of the folks at Augason Farms.

The Clock Is Ticking…

Tomorrow is the last day of the month and that signals the conclusion of the offer for a free month of training from Pulse O2DA Firearms Training. As an Army combat veteran and someone who has an extensive amount of firearms experience, I sometimes fall into the mental trap of thinking I know everything I need to know about carrying and using a firearm. Obviously this is not true and it is a fact that has been driven home as I have watched the training videos and reviewed pages of materials in the Pulse O2DA Training Armory over the course of the last month.

In addition to expanding my knowledge of firearms techniques and employment, I truly appreciate the Armory for how the materials are easy to understand and are broken down into bite sized pieces. This keeps me from feeling like I am choking on massive amounts of training that I cannot fully grasp all at once. If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out the programs at Pulse O2DA Firearms Training, take the time to click here and sign-up for The Prepared Ninja Pulse O2DA Armory complimentary one month membership. If you have checked out the Armory and didn’t sign up, consider checking out a free month and get some of the best handgun, shotgun, rifle, and warfighter training available on the web.

*Once you follow the link, click register and select the Prepared Ninja option to get your free month.

The World’s Most Fearsome WMD

John Kerry: Global warming is “world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”

Yes, Mr. Kerry (“our” Secretary of State) just said that last week. That means you, dear reader, exhaling CO2, are a “terrorist.” You had better keep an eye on that Agenda 21 drone hovering outside your window! And now, presumably even the most mindless “Yes we can” chanter now knows there has been ZERO global warming since 1998 (well, I can dream, can’t I?).

Maybe Kerry should go back to traveling on his wife’s private jet, called the “Flying Squirrel” (just google “Kerry Flying Squirrel” to get your own details), sailing his 76’, $7 million dollar yacht, the Isabel, which he docked in R.I. a few years back to save $500,000 in taxes rather than by docking in his home state of Taxachussets. At least he is less of a hypocrite than fellow leftist zillionaire John Travolta who owns FIVE airplanes, and has his own private airport…. but then, what else to do you expect from Hollywierd Learjet leftist?)

Image Credit: JustLuxe.com

Or perhaps Kerry could go back to one of his mansions. A few years ago (this may have changed now, as well as valuations) his digs included:

  • Boston: A five-story, 12-room Beacon Hill townhouse that serves as Kerry’s main residence. Assessed value: $6.9 million.
  • Nantucket, Mass.: A three-story, five-bedroom waterfront retreat on Brant Point. Assessed value: $9.18 million.
  • Washington, D.C.: A 23-room townhouse in Georgetown. Proposed 2005 assessment: $4.7 million.
  • Ketchum, Idaho: A ski getaway converted from a reassembled barn near Sun Valley. Assessed value: $4.916 million. Heinz Kerry owns two adjoining lots valued at $1.5 million and $1.8 million.
  • Fox Chapel, Pa.: A nine-room colonial on nearly 90 acres in suburban Pittsburgh. The property also includes a nine-room, carriage house. Assessed value: $3.7 million.

Make sure to check out the leftist website Snopes for additional details about the properties, where they try to justify it by saying that Kerry, himself, doesn’t really own all of them, as his prenup with his fellow zillionaire leftist wife means that he doesn’t legally own them (never mind the fact that these two leftist darlings have all this for, well… just two people!).

To consume as much electrical power as do the Kerry-Heinz mansions, the two largest of the five – in Pennsylvania and Idaho – are in cold climates and presumably need to be kept above 55F (and probably much more) for at least six months out of the year. With a combined estimated 110,000 square feet under roof, this takes as much energy as is required by a small American village of approximately 200 persons – for basically TWO people. Where is the radical leftist outrage at this wanton expenditure of the earth’s non-renewable resources for two people? Before he bought the Isabel, he tooled around Nantucket Sound in a 42 ft luxury powerboat he called the Scaramouche, of which the no-frills model starts at $695,000, which he reportedly bought factory fresh, for cash. But then, he NEEDS this massive amount of fuel to get our leftist darling from event to event in a manner in which he doesn’t have to mix with us poor, unwashed masses.

And in case you were wondering about Kerry’s recent trips he made to discuss global warming, Jim Geraghty of National Review Online helpfully pointed out that flying first class from Washington to Seoul to Beijing to Jakarta to Abu Dhabi and then back to Washington runs up roughly 12.16 metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to CarbonFootprint.com, which uses data from the EPA and Department of Energy. In comparison, the average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide in a year. So in one week, just from flying from meeting to meeting, Kerry generated about two-thirds the carbon output of the average American in one year.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: I am now convinced that “WE” must be the problem. Never mind that the polar ice is doing just fine. I would like to extend a special thank you to Jim for sending this information my way.

Is A Collapse Imminent?

Just to be clear, I am not a fan of fear mongers and those who prey on the insecurities of others. When I saw this chart last night though it made me wonder if some of those who preach about an imminent collapse may have something behind their claims. The chart outlines a scary parallel between the current state of the Dow Jones Industrial Average as it currently sits in comparison to the time leading up to the stock market collapse in 1929 that triggered what we know as the Great Depression.

This chart came from an article that originally appeared on OffTheGridNews.com and offers some interesting insight into the economic situation that our country is currently in. It is worth the time to read.

As a reminder, there is a great opportunity to get amazing firearms training without even having to leave home.

There is also still time to get in on the group purchase of a high quality medical kit!

Medical Kit Purchase Opportunity

I have recently had some individuals express interest in possibly coming together as a community and putting a group buy together for a medical emergency response kit. After doing some research and sketching out a plan, this is what I have come up with:

  1. The requirement for making the purchase happen will be to determine that there is enough interest.
  2. Payment will have to be received up front. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to, I cannot afford to finance this project alone. 
  3. From what I have been able to source, here is what the kit will look like:

Trauma Response Kit – $150 + Shipping (U.S. Domestic Flat Rate is less than $20)

Airway/Breathing

  • HALO Occlusive Chest Seal (2 Per Package) – 1 Each

Bleeding/Circulation

  • SOF Tactical Tourniquet – 1 Each
  • Emergency Trauma Dressing (6”) – 2 Each
  • QuikClot (25G) – 2 Each

Splint/Disability

  • ACE Wrap (6”) – 1 Each
  • SAM Splint, Flat (4.25” x 36”) – 1 Each
  • Cravat (Triangular Bandage) – 1 Each

Wound Care

  • Slip Tip Syringe (10 cc) – 1 Each
  • Steri-Strips Adhesive Skin Closure (1/8” x 3”, 5 Per Package) – 1 Each
  • Stretch Roller Gauze, Sterile (4”) – 1 Each
  • 2 x 2 Gauze Pads, Sterile – 10 Each
  • 4 x 4 Gauze Pads, Sterile – 5 Each
  • Adhesive Bandage (3/8” x 1.5”) – 6 Each
  • Adhesive Bandage (3/4” x 3”) – 8 Each
  • Adhesive Bandage (1” x 3”) – 8 Each
  • Adhesive Bandage (2” x 4.5”) – 4 Each

Miscellaneous

  • Black Nitrile Exam Gloves, Large – 5 Pair
  • Cloth Medical Tape (1”) – 1 Roll
  • Alcohol Pads – 10 Each
  • Trauma Shears – 1 Each
  • Moleskin (3” x 5”) – 1 Sheet
  • Casualty Space Blanket – 1 Each
  • Splinter Forcep – 1 Each
  • Cyalume Light Stick – 2 Each

OTC Medications

  • Antibiotic Ointment (.9GR Foil Pack) – 5 Each
  • Extra-Strength Acetaminophen (2 Pack) – 5 Each
  • Ibuprofen (2 Pack) – 5 Each
  • Antacid (2 Pack) – 5 Each
  • Antidiarrheal – 5 Each
  • Hydrocortisone Cream (.9GR Foil Pack) – 5 Each
  • Electrolyte Tablets (2 Pack) – 5 Each
  • Cold & Cough (2 Pack) – 5 Each
Please let me know if this is an opportunity that you are interested in pursuing or if you have any additional questions by emailing me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

How Would You Deal?

It is without fail that difficult times will bring about changes in people. Some changes will be for the better as some rise to the occasion and do the best they can to care for themselves and others while some changes will be for the worst as some choose to use the situation to victimize and cause chaos. I recently stumbled across a list that was put together by user P-14 on the NortheastShooters forum that is essentially a collection of bullet points that summarize FerFal’s experience with the Argentinian collapse in 2001. This experience has been outlined in FerFal’s book, The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse
, as well as several published articles which is where P-14 formed their list. One of the most captivating things about FerFal and his experiences is the fact that it was not all that long ago that these events happened.

While the entire list highlights important information to know and prepare for, I was particularly intrigued by the Crime and Insecurity section which shares FerFal’s perspective on things in Argentina but also seemed strangely familiar to me on many points. I was taken back to my combat experience in Iraq when dealing with armed conflict and insurgency. If anything, this reinforces to me the fact that many preparations can be made that have wide ranging applications. It also seems that it is better to think about these things now as opposed to later when we may be experiencing things first hand. Here is the summary:

  • Allow no one inside your house.
  • “Letting a criminal inside your house almost guaranties that he will rape/beat/torture and abuse whoever they find inside.”
  • Always make sure you have a weapon on you.
  • Most dangerous time of the day - Leaving or entering your house…“Criminals wait until you are standing on front of the door with the keys on your hand to jump on you.”
  • Be extra alert when approaching your house. Look all around and if you see anything strange, keep walking around the block or keep on driving.
  • “No door is ever opened when there is a strange person around.”
  • “Whenever someone knocks on our door (and we don’t know him/her), they are answered from a second story window.”
  • “Criminals sometimes disguised as electric company guys or something like that, saying that they have to fix something. Say NO!”
  • “Better to be rude than dead.”
  • “No one leaves a door or window opened or unlocked. Nor do they hang out in front of the house talking to friends. A bad guy might just see you there, like a sitting duck, pull a gun on you and take you inside your house.”
  • “Criminals are not stupid, and they will spend days checking the place and especially YOUR ROUTINE.”
  • “Sometimes they just drive up to where you are working, if you are far away from the home, but most of the time they sneak up on you.”
  • “The most frequent kind of attack is attacking by surprise when you enter/leave your home.”
  • There is no “safe” hour of the day.
  • “Eyes and ears wide open when you enter/leave your home. If possible, keep a gun in your hand when doing either one.”
  • “If you approach the house with a large number of people they will leave.”
  • Types of crime will range from highly organized gangs/cartels/mafia to simple street crime.
  • Police will handle most organized crime.
  • Kidnappings: Expect 2 or 3 a day in your [suburban/urban] neighborhood.
  • Perps may be wearing police/federal body armor.

Car & Driving:

  1. Windows and doors have to be closed at all times.
  2. A weapon must be within arms reach.
  3. You never stop at a red light or stop sign unless there is traffic, especially at night.
  4. Traffic lights were turned yellow at night.
  5. Accidents at nights were frequent and brutal.
  6. Be prepared to use the car as a weapon – do not stop for anyone standing in front of your car.
  7. “Every now and then someone tries to force me to stop my car by standing in front of it, in the middle of the street. I just aim at them and accelerate at full speed. They always jump out of the way before I hit them.”
  8. “I would have bought a 4×4, even though I live in the city.
  • A 4×4 allows you to drive over the sidewalk or through wasteland, away from roadblocks or riots.
  • I’ve see those that have 4x4s simply go off road, climb over a boulevard and leave while the rest of us poor car owners have to stay.”
  • “A 4×4 truck also has more mass and power in case that someone tries to cut you off or rams you with the car. It’s less likely to stop running if you hit someone or several people (in a riot situation) since it’s prepared for cross country use and the engine is much more protected.”

Children At Play:

  1. “There are absolutely NO kids playing on the sidewalks at all, at any time of the day. Maybe a kid rides his bike a few meters on the sidewalk, but always under the supervision of an adult. A kid riding a bike on his own will get that bike stolen in no time, probably get hurt in the process, therefore no responsible parent leaves a kid alone on the street.
  2. “No parent worth a buck leaves his son or daughter in hands of a stranger.”
  • “Old people and women are especially vulnerable. After old people and women and children, come small framed people, the smaller you are, the weaker you look, the more likely you are to be chosen as a victim by a bad guy.”

This information is thought provoking at a minimum and could very well offer the insight necessary to survive a tough time or dangerous encounter.

.22LR: Truth & Myth

.22LR: Truth & Myth

It’s easy for the prepper survivalist to get lost in the endless confusion, attempting to discern between wants and needs. Is it a small knife or big blade? Do you carry a handgun or a rifle? However, it is even more important to determine the difference between what is a trend…and what will actually work in the field. In most cases, the right answer is: it depends on the situation.

The .22 Long Rifle rim-fire cartridge has had an excellent run, and built a legendary reputation, since its inception in 1887. The cartridge itself has been enveloped in tales of unfathomable deeds in the backwoods, taking everything from grizzlies (usually shot in the eye) and field mice (usually shot from the hip). Though, these are stories often repeated by old frontiersmen and armchair online forum dwellers alike. Anecdotal ‘evidence’ might suggest that the .22LR is the ‘do-all’ round, but is this actually true? Is it the perfect survivalist cartridge, providing enough kill power on small game while limiting damage to the meat, yet delivering just enough punishment in a ‘tactical situation’?

It is important to explore what the round can do, and more importantly, what it cannot do. All too often, we envision our own survival situations, handling our trusty Ruger 10/22, dispatching small game by the bundles and carrying home a sack of deceased critters as the sun begins to set, right on time for dinner. We even imagine ourselves bagging a whitetail, because we got a ‘lucky shot between the eyes’. If this is truth, then the .22LR should be the only rifle for the survivalist, but my gut tells me, this is probably not a reasonable expectation of the old cartridge – and you might want to pack other ways of procuring meat sources.

The Two-Fold Achilles Heel of the .22 Long Rifle

I’ve often heard it said, “If you poke enough holes in something, it’ll go down.” Usually, this is said by avid .22LR advocates, defending their ancient heritage or new purchase. While this statement does carry some obvious truth, many experienced outdoorsmen, and especially those who study ballistics might disagree on grounds of practicality.

One of the most crucial aspects of a round’s utility has to do with the hydrostatic shock factor.  ‘Hydrostatic shock’ is defined as…

The observation that a penetrating projectile can produce remote wounding and incapacitating effects in living targets, in addition to local effects in tissue caused by direct impact, through a hydraulic effect in liquid-filled tissues.

Referencing an article written by Dave Henderson, it takes a velocity of at least 2,000fps in order to deliver the death-dealing power necessary for an incapacitating strike on the shooter’s target. Essentially, you want the round to hit the target (four-legged critter or two-legged crazy) and make them cease whatever activity they were previously doing, whether grazing, climbing, or pointing a weapon in your direction.

The hottest of hunting .22LR loads are cruising along at 1,280fps at the muzzle. If the shooter wants to reach out to 100 yards, that velocity drops to 1,015fps, about half of what’s needed to achieve the same hydrostatic shock factor that most center-fire hunting rounds can deliver. Simply put, there’s just not enough ‘punch’ to bag that whitetail with a .22LR, likely causing either an agonizing drawn out death by hours of bleeding, or months of injury and subsequent starvation to the noble beast (hence, the legality issue in almost every state).

Also, a slower round is going to have accuracy issues. Of course, we’ve heard of Bob Munden-types lobbing a .22LR, 400 yards into a bowling pin – but let’s face it, 99% of us aren’t that good from a bench, much less in the field. Even with those 1,280fps zingers, you’ve still got a drop of 3.5” at 100 yards, and that’s without having to compensate for wind. With only 37 grains, moving at that velocity, a slight breeze would ruin the shot.

Either way, the survivalist does not harvest the deer, coyote, or raccoon, wastes a round, and in certain scenarios, risked identifying his or her position from the report of the shot.

Also, one more fatal flaw commonly associated with the .22LR has to do with it’s questionable reliability. Indeed, no backwoodsman would ever consider a Savage bolt-action or a Ruger 10/22 as an unreliable rifle. These rifles have offered astounding performance for decades; however, reliability is also heavily dependent on the quality of the rounds being fed. Unfortunately, rim-fire cartridges are disproportionately handicapped in this respect, compared to their center-fire counterparts. Primers, insufficient pressure, and quality control are usually the culprits.

If you’re shooting a rim-fire cartridge and the bad guy in your sights is shooting a center-fire cartridge, pray you didn’t get a rough batch from the factory.

Why You Still Need a .22LR

Nevertheless, while the .22LR might have its drawbacks, it’s important for us to remind ourselves that we are mistaken if we attempt to identify a ‘do-all’ round. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, especially in terms of firearms. All cartridges have their strengths and weaknesses, and the .22LR is no exception.

And, the .22LR does have strengths…lots and lots of strengths.

Talk to any .22LR owner and they will laugh at you after telling them how much you spent on ammunition for your centerfire. This is perhaps one of the most obvious strengths of the old cartridge. Being able to spend less than $20 on a 500-round ‘brick’ of ammo is what has .22LR lovers shooting, while everyone else on the firing line has shot their budget and gone home.

Of course, from the survivalist’s perspective, being able to carry 1,000 rounds of any kind of ammo is a lovely proposition. A fifth of that in .308 is still tediously heavy but in .22LR, carrying that amount of ammunition is a breeze. The .22LR is a tiny round without much brass, lead, or powder.

Do you remember how I said that the .22LR is inferior to most hunting cartridges because of it’s low velocity? The interesting part is the fact that the .22LR is superior to other hunting cartridges…because of its low velocity. Without the presence of hydrostatic shock, meat does not get obliterated upon penetration. Thus, you can take rabbit all day long, preserving the meet with a .22LR, whereas a .223 would leave nothing but a mangled attempt at acquiring a meal.

Simply put, the .22LR is the best selling ammunition on the globe for good reason. Brad Zozak, from TruthAboutGuns, calls the Ruger 10/22, “the single most popular firearm of all time.” In a SHTF scenario, you might not be able to replace the stock on your Springfield M1A – but check any abandoned farmhouse, and you’ll most likely find replacement parts for your 10/22 (and probably .22LR rounds to go with it).

The Purpose of the .22LR

Overall, the .22LR should not be expected to perform the functions of other, better-suited rifles. At the same time, one should also not expect a .30-06 to effectively take and preserve the meat off small game – arguably the type of game you’d want to harvest in the first place.

However, the survivalist that hopes to sling a Ruger 10/22, trek through the woods, and be sustained on that alone is unfortunately mistaken. It takes the ability to hunt big game to survive (both for the nutritional value and also for the other resources that can be procured from the beast), meaning that a centerfire-hunting rifle is absolutely crucial over the long haul.

If the survivalist hopes to remain true to the craft (and not kick the bucket in the backwoods), it takes more than just the possession of a .22LR rifle. It takes the ability to trap and forage for wild edibles in order to live in somewhat of a comfortable state of self-reliance. One needs to intelligently pack for survival scenarios. From carrying knives to packing a fire starter, everything needs to be picked thoughtfully. The legendary frontiersmen of the 19th and 20th centuries relied more on their survival kits than they did on their rifles, and for good reason.

The .22LR is a fantastic survival cartridge, but it shouldn’t be your only option for filling your game bag and your gut. Stay safe, keep your guns ready, knives sharp, and never forget to memorize the basics of preparedness.

About the Author – Usman is a writer, outdoor enthusiast, technology lover, and knife collector.

Camo Nets At Ready Made Resources

Prepared Ninja supporter Ready Made Resources has a rare opportunity for those who might be looking to add a difficult to locate military specification, radar scattering camouflage net system to their inventory of preps. There have been 9 new sets of camo nets that have been added to the inventory at Ready Made Resources that are available for purchase. These are priced very fairly at $349 and include free shipping. I have not seen this same quality and condition of camo netting at such a great price, with free shipping to top it off.

Here is what you get for your money:

  • 30′ by 30′ Octagonal Piece
  • 15′ by 15′ Square Piece
  • Repair Kit
  • User Manual
  • Carry Bag
  • These nets can be spray painted to vary the color pattern.

If you are interested in checking out these camouflage nets, follow this link to Ready Made Resources online store.

Making Ammunition for Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness is on a lot of people’s minds. With the state of the economy, and the days where the news makes it sound like the country is about to explode into civil unrest, it’s really no wonder.

Some people think that it’s all a lot of hoopla, with no real threat behind it, but when you consider that any sort of disruption in any of the big cities (where problems generally occur) would more than likely affect our financial system, our food chain, or our gas and oil supply. Any one of these being stopped or delayed could make life difficult very quickly, so being prepared is important.

When you’re trying to prepare your home and family for whatever comes, there is a lot that you need to consider. Having a backup water supply is one of the most important, followed by making sure you have emergency food on hand that has a long shelf life. But have you considered your ammunition stores? You probably have, but with the ammunition shortages that this country is experiencing right now there is a good chance that you aren’t satisfied with the supply that you currently have.

Picture Credit: weaponsman.com

If you are good at building things, and are willing to learn a new and relatively easy skill, then you can put yourself ahead of the crowd by making your own ammunition. Most people think that making ammunition would be far too expensive or complicated to make it worth it, but this is far from the truth.

While the cost of buying the raw materials for making ammunition has risen a bit due to the economy and the effect of supply and demand, you will still see huge savings over buying ammunition pre-made.

Making ammunition is definitely a skill, and so you need to be prepared for the learning curve that comes with it. You have to learn how to be precise. But that being said, there really aren’t many steps to the process.

First you need the casings – you can buy them new, obviously, but many people also reclaim all the casings they can from their target practice and reuse them. If you wash used casings and ensure they aren’t damaged, there is no reason why you can’t save even more money by repacking them.

After you place a new primer in the cartridge, you put in the right amount of gunpowder, and then the projectile – which is the bullet itself. Obviously the type of ammunition that you are making will have an effect on what materials you need, and how much gunpowder is used, but this is something that you will have to determine once you know what caliber you need.

One nice thing about making your own ammo is that once you have the method down, you can make it faster and faster. In the beginning you may only have a handful to show for an hour’s worth of work, but some people get to the point where they can make up to 300 in an hour. That’s a lot of ammo!

Also, keep in mind that the tools that you need for making your own ammunition are not terribly expensive. A few hundred dollars should set you up with everything you need, plus the raw materials.

If you’re so inclined, you can even make your own bullets, although this is a different skill and requires an entire new set of tools and supplies.

The bottom line is that making your own ammunition is a feasible and cost-effective way to prepare for an emergency. Knowing that you have what you need to protect your home or feed your family is invaluable, and something that cannot be taken away from you, no matter what comes to pass.

About The Author - Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Bug Out Bag Giveaway

Everyone knows there is no gear like free gear. The folks over at The Prepper Journal are giving away a bug out bag in celebration of their one year anniversary. You have the chance to win a backpack and 12 different items to help you build the perfect bug out bag, all you have to do is click on this link and enter to win!

The giveaway includes:

  • Internal Frame Backpack
  • Gerber Knife
  • Emergency Food Rations
  • Wet Fire Tinder Pack
  • Emergency Bivvy
  • Headlamp
  • First Aid Kit
  • Rain Tarp
  • Water Filter
  • Paracord
  • Edible & Poisonous of the Eastern & Western States Cards

What are you waiting for? Enter now!

Special Training Opportunity For Prepared Ninja Readers!

There are a few things that are paramount to being prepared for the difficulties that we may face. Most of the areas of focus for a prepper revolve around logistics (supplies, transportation, shelter, etc.) and knowledge (skills, training, reference material, etc.). I feel that while having the tools to perform in a survival situation is paramount, having the knowledge to deploy the tools effectively is an even greater priority. Today I am excited to introduce a training opportunity to you that is unlike any other training program I have ever seen before!
Before I get into the details though, there is a short story behind this opportunity that I need to tell you about first.
Several weeks back I was approached by the guys at Pulse O2DA Firearms Training, Inc. about collaborating on a firearms training initiative. Pulse O2DA provides combative firearms training, and they have developed a training ladder that moves a citizen through three stages of skill development; developing basic firearms skills, applying these skills to individual maneuver for the purpose of self-defense and then expanding individual maneuver to deployment in small units for the defense of a business, school or small community. They approached The Prepared Ninja because of the make-up of our membership, and the clear benefit that such a training program has for preppers and self-reliant individuals. There is also great potential among our community to develop a powerful force to help combat the tyrannical forces destroying our beloved Republic.
Pulse O2DA offers a full slate of combative firearms training courses, programs, and resources for individuals, schools, business and communities. The jewel in all of their offerings is called the Pulse O2DA Armory, a subscription-based online firearms training resource.  The Pulse O2DA Armory is a total immersion training resource providing:
  1. More than 900 pages of information, 45 videos and 400 photos, a detailed 5-day kickstart training plan, and a 12 month training and dry-practice regimen for handgun, shotgun, and rifle.
  2. Instruction on basic weapon fundamentals like stance and grip, loading and unloading, draw, malfunction clearances, etc.
  3. The strategy and tactics necessary to dominate a lethal force confrontation.
  4. The resources to defend yourself, your family, your business and your community.
  5. Deep interactive resource library on maneuver warfare and small unit tactics.

Over the past couple of weeks I have had the chance to spend some time with the guys at Pulse O2DA. Through a series of teleconference calls and a meeting, I have had the chance to review the Pulse O2DA Armory in detail. It is the most comprehensive, chronological, and clearly defined firearms training program that I have seen. I believe the Pulse O2DA Armory is an awesome resource and am recommending it because:

  • It provides a great training resource you can use to hone your own skills and pass along to others in your community.
  • It delivers a standardized curriculum that we all can draw upon.
  • It goes beyond the basic NRA/Appleseed offerings with its focus on combatives and dominating a lethal force confrontation.
  • The training ladder methodically moves a gun novice from basic 3-gun fundamentals up to being a competent defender of his family, business, and community.

So here is our special training opportunity – all Prepared Ninja readers are eligible for a free one month subscription to the Pulse O2DA Armory! After the free month you can continue with your subscription by paying $14.95 per month. One of the additional benefits of this subscription to The Prepared Ninja community is that a percentage of each subscription fee will go towards the work that I am doing here on the site and supporting the work of The Prepared Ninja community.

To give you an idea of the value that you receive by being a Pulse O2DA subscriber, the annual cost of this membership is less than only one day of firearms training at most firearms training programs. The knowledge and understanding that you gain of firearms use and theory will far exceed that of one day of training at any school.
This opportunity is available through the month of February 2014, after which the free month disappears but you can still join by paying the $14.95 up-front for the first month. To claim your free gift follow these instructions:
2. The above link will take you to the Pulse O2DA preview page. Click on the red box link that says “Click Here To Join”.
3. You will now be on the membership sign-up page. Select the Prepared Ninja membership plan.
4. Provide your name, email address, username, and password on the subscription page.
5. Provide your credit card billing information. Your card will not be charged for the first month. Remember if you decide to stay after the first month, 50% of your subscription fee goes to Oath Keepers. You can cancel before the end of the first month and not be charged anything.
6. Last step is to look in your email (look in your spam folder too) for the confirmation email and click to confirm. Then enter your Pulse O2DA Armory credentials in the membership box on the Pulse O2DA Firearms homepage (www.pulsefirearmstraining.com) and you will be admitted in.
Thanks for your support and if you have any problems getting in you can call the Pulse guys directly at 1.877.452.0951.
Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity to be more prepared to safeguard ourselves, our families, and our community!

Bug Out Bargains!

Black River Outpost is currently running some screaming deals on a handful of their best-selling products for your bug out bag and survival needs. These savings will not be available forever and these prices are hard to beat! Click on the picture below to check out the Bug Out Bargains!

A few of the deals available include:

Made in the USA Paracord (100 ft.) – $8.95 $6.45

Alps Mountaineering External Frame Pack (2050 cu. in.) – $79.95 $67.85

5 Piece Lock Pick Set – Only $4.95 $3.49!

Alpine Aire Foods 5 Day Meal Kit (17 Pouches) – $94.99 $67.79

Coghlans Flint Fire-Starter – $3.95 $3.49

Israeli Civilian Gas Mask, New (Unissued) – $49.95 $39.95

Don’t miss out on the chance to properly equip your kits at an affordable price. There is no better time to be prepared than the present!

%d bloggers like this: