Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I keep thinking...a lot of prepping is perception. In my last post, one person commented on stockpiling versus preparation. Well, what does it look like when we stockpile cases and cases of MREs? It looks like stockpiling to the average person. We know it's not because hey, the government isn't coming to save us. You would think that Katrina's response would have shown them that they are monstrously incompetent, but here we are. Maybe it's the perception that nothing bad can ever happen to them that makes it worse. Why prepare if it won't happen, and even if it does, the government will save us?

I remember at school, it was the worst. I actually confronted a teacher about whether he walked the walk and prepared, and he turned it around on me. I said yeah, I have my month or two or supplies, water, and plans if something happens goes sideways. He said his plan was to visit me, and I didn't take kindly to that. I suggested that I had plans for that, a whole case of them. I bluffed, sure, but it really got to me. The attitude in the class, the indoctrination is 'if someone has something you need, take it. We call it seconding'. So hey, if I have the food you need because you, as a professional in the emergency management field didn't prepare, you will try to take it by force?

I think that's when I got much more serious about preparing.

Trying to get people past the perception is like pulling nails. Some can't legitimately afford it. I mean, they live hand to mouth. Alright, cool, do your best even if it's a can of spam or some ramen noodles in the closet. But the rest? I mean, even Costco sells a bucket of food-like substances you can jam into a closet. And I know there are other priorities, like car payments and bills, but still. It's not hard to budget a little here or there.

Now, why is that important?

I believe that in a WROL situation, most people will be driven by hunger, entitlement, or malice. If you can get most people to not be hungry, then that's one less element on the street. And, come to think of it, one of the more dangerous. What would you do to feed your kids during an extended period of WROL if you didn't prepare or stockpile?

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Random Thoughts on Preppers, Part One

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and as such this is sort of a train of thought experiment than something well-constructed.

Firstly, why are some people preparing, and others not?

I'm going to make a broad statement here: We are almost all A+ personalities. We are independent minded people who when presented with a problem, they confront it. When there may be a problem, we try to prevent it. I have yet to hear a prepper say 'it won't/can't happen to me'. That, I think, is our greatest strength. We are stubborn, we have foresight, and we act. That's the important one, we act. We don't just let things happen.

This also a list of our greatest weaknesses. We're independent and stubborn, which means we don't exactly get along too often. We think we can go it alone, and we tend not to listen to others unless provoked. This is really prevalent in the less desirable elements of survivalism and prepping. The odds of a Red Dawn survival situation are limited, and even then, what would retreating to the mountains do? Why stockpile firearms and not food?

The more I think about it, the more I tend to reject retreat-based ideology. Having a retreat won't make things better if the economy collapses. In fact, that is the number one thing we should be preparing for. A global economic collapse will definitely mean riots and shortages, but more so, a period of scarcity. Your everyday problems will involve feeding your family and friends, keeping them out of trouble, not Soviets in the street. Preppers need to go back to their roots and figure out what they should be worried about all over. For me, I'm worried about economic collapse and flu pandemics, and the problems stemming from that.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

EDC and Man Purse

Alright, let me preface this by saying I'm in a Canadian suburb. There's two glaring omissions from my kit- a lighter, and a knife. The lighter is easy in my AO: if I need fire for a reason other than light or making sure some hot girl can have a smoke, what I actually need is a full assault rig and a flak. I'm in the burbs. I travel to more densely urban areas. When I head towards the woods, I bring it, sure. But there's no reason to start fires in an urban area.

The second is a knife. Quite frankly, the Canadian laws regarding carrying a knife are so vaguely, poorly written that it's largely up to the officer who catches you with one as to whether your folding knife is a weapon or a tool. I don't feel comfortable carrying one, and the public reaction is almost the same as brandishing a handgun.

I've broken my EDC down to two levels: All day, every day, and daytrip. And I'm going to skip the picture of my wallet and cell, and just show the interesting stuff:

Sorry for the poor quality, it was taken using my cell. Anyways, that is one nightmarish keychain. It has a pen, a flathead and Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener, the original key fob from a Corvair, and all of my keys. Beside it, there's a stainless steel Embassy Pen. In addition to being an absolutely excellent and elegant writing tool that makes me look more stylish, it definitely has some weight. Getting wonked in the head with it would certainly be unpleasant, and it can be used ot load a punch. In either case, it's a non-obvious self defense tool with other uses, so it rides where my knife used to.

As it stands, when I know I'm going to be out for the day, I'm trying to get back in the habit of bringing the Man Purse. People snicker and laugh periodically, but they stop considering it has all of this in it with room to spare:

So, let's start with tools. It has my multitool, duct tape, paracord, battered notebook, fine point screwdriver, medical shears, two flashlights (the little orange LED fob and the 6P LED), and a sharpie. Everything you need to fix most problems are breakdowns you encounter day to day.

There's the emergency stuff: a set of nitrile gloves, a CPR mask, a SOF-TQ, and an Oales bandage. Basically, everything you need in an OH SHIT scenario to save a life, yours or another's.

There's the boo boo kit: Bandaids, Asprin, Pepto, Reactine, alcohol swabs and a warrior wipe.

Finally, there's my Android tablet. It mostly fits in pant pockets, but sometimes it prints real bad. Anyways, it fits in there like a dream.

Finally, what it needs is a Cliff bar or something, and one of those Gatorade Accel Gels. Something to make your body work. So basically, everything you'd need during an average day. That was the aim here, a really nondescript bag to get you through most inconveniences and some pretty serious situations. Where does it need improvement? I'm not sure. It works pretty well most days, and I have a lot of bases covered from heart attack to serious injury. I mean, in an active shooter scenario, I'll have to make do, but concealed carry is illegal here (functionally, at any rate). Here's what it looks like all packed up:

Anyways, opinions?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

From the Ashes...

Had a long downtime. I'm sorry, folks. One part, I've become embittered with the survivalist movement, even the preppers. It's largely a part of the whole A+ personality aspect. There's no co-operation. Or, rather, between sane ones, there isn't much. And I'm not talking insane like By The Sword, he's just odd. I'm talking the guys who if you ever got pneumonia and laid up in camp, they found it and you, they'd stand over you fixing bayonets and asking "Y'all love Jesus, don'tcha?"

I've slacked. I went from bearing the Man Purse of Utility to just what's on my keychain, not so much as a multitool and lighter. I've gotten fat and lazy, and I've been stupid. So be it. Well, I'm starting over, re-approaching things. Thinking about disasters again beyond the large-scale. Back to basics. What do I need every time I walk out the door? What do I need if I'm out all day? What do I need for an overnight, three nights at the woman's?

I bought my first gun.

That should be big news. It's an 870 Tactical in ATACs, all tarted up with a sidesaddle, red dot, single point sling, flashlight. Got some buck for it. It's a start, I suppose. I've been re-examining the idea of prepping as a whole, but the idea of this post is I'm back. Like Volrath said...I stepped out. I did not step down.