Notes for Saturday – May 23, 2015

May 23 is the birthday of George Lars Kellgren (born 1943 in Borås, Sweden), the founder and chief engineer of Kel-Tec. According to LeftistAgendaPedia: He designed many firearms earlier for Husqvarna and Swedish Interdynamics AB in Sweden. He moved to the US in 1979 and his original US designs were for Intratec and Grendel brand firearms. He founded Kel-Tec in 1991.

This is also the day on which in 1934 Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were killed by police near Gibbsland, Louisiana.

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Today, we present another entry for Round 58 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chromlined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR type rifle to have quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools, and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  4. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul pmags 30rd Magazines (a value of $300) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt. (An equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions.),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  7. A Model 120 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $340 value),
  8. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  9. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate, and
  12. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Institute is donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  6. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  7. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate, and
  8. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. *Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  6. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack (a $379 value), and
  8. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 58 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

How to Get Your Doctor to Help You in the Age of Obamacare, by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

Since I first wrote an article for SB on “How to Get Your Doctor to Help You Stockpile Medication” the situation has definitely deteriorated. With Uncle Sam peeping over your doctor’s shoulder, the challenge of medical prepping has greatly intensified. Whereas the general principles in that article remain true, your physician’s freedom to assist you is increasingly restricted.

In the past five years we’ve seen solo practitioners closing their offices to join group practices, community hospitals being gobbled up by larger conglomerates, independent pharmacies run out of business by the big box stores, and electronic health records being mandated by the most powerful player of all– the federal government.

Doctors must play by the rules, but it isn’t physicians making them. Obamacare and Medicare mandates filter down to every level of medical care, leaving fewer and fewer decisions in the hands of your doctor. Does your personal physician work for you or someone else? The shingle out front may not paint the true picture. Unfortunately, when your doctor is an employee, his or her first allegiance is to the employer, not to the patient. Whereas an individual physician may be concerned about your disaster preparedness, a larger entity will be focused on statistical measurements of care according to computerized databases rather than your personal satisfaction with assuring your health both now and in times of crisis.

So as patients become mere numbers, you must become even more proactive to protect yourself and your family against future uncertainties. Regarding medical preparedness, below are suggestions to help you rely on yourself more and your doctor less.

  1. If you have the freedom to do so, choose a middle-aged or older like-minded solo practitioner who still uses paper charting, and thus is not yet entangled in the web of electronic medical records, which are under ever-increasing government surveillance. If you see your doctor glued to his computer, you should know that his first priority is to comply with the growing burden of E.H.R. mandates and not necessarily what’s best for you personally. Older physicians with a record room full of paper charts are more likely to remain self-employed and less likely to make the transition to electronic charting. Such a physician maintains a much greater degree of independence and lack of outside interference from entities such as insurance companies, Medicare, practice managers, and hospital employers.
  2. Build a relationship with your physician. Trust remains the key to getting your doctor to help with medical prepping. This is the one area from my earlier article that I am re-iterating. Honesty, mutual respect, and understanding form the backbone of any relationship. Once your doctor gets to know you as a reasonable person (as opposed to a crazy prepper), he or she is more likely to listen to your opinions and honor your requests. It also helps if your doctor likes you; Christmas cookies are definitely appreciated. Having a trusting relationship with your doctor is the primary ingredient in having him or her comply with your request for additional refills or antibiotics. It’s not unreasonable to have at least a few months of medication on hand, just in case, though you may have to pay for it on your own.
  3. When you visit your physician, change your approach. Don’t ask how he or she can fix a problem for you. Ask your doctor’s advice on how you can remedy the situation yourself. This may take a longer office visit, costing more in the short run, but increasing your self-reliance in the longer term. If you think you’ll require a longer visit with your doctor, please let the scheduler know ahead of time. Otherwise, your doctor won’t have time to answer your questions and/or it will make him run late the rest of the day. Learn the right questions to ask, how to handle your problem under various circumstances, what alternatives exist, when to expect improvement, and what the dangers are of non-treatment and how to recognize them. Take advantage of online resources from respected institutions, such as the Mayo Clinic or the American Academy of Family Physicians. In many cases, it is possible to learn how to manage your chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes on your own. You may even want to consider ordering your own labs. Though insurance won’t cover the cost, it is possible to order your own labs online and receive the results yourself.
  4. Whenever you see your doctor for a medical problem, ask about over-the-counter alternatives to prescription medicine. A great number of conditions may be treated with OTC drugs, many of which were by prescription in recent years. Armed with appropriate knowledge, you can treat a multitude of conditions on your own, including arthritis, gout, vertigo, nausea, motion sickness, acid reflux, headaches, migraines, hives, diarrhea, constipation, back pain, yeast infections, dermatitis, fungal infections, warts, nasal and eye allergies, acne, swimmer’s ear, poison ivy, athlete’s foot, even some instances of diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. Just understand that not all doctors approve of this approach; after all, they need to see patients to stay in business, and some doctors believe medical treatment should be left to professionals. If you fear you might offend with such questions, use phrasing such as, “What should I do if this ever happens on vacation?”
  5. Tithe your medication. Many studies have shown that patients are non-compliant with medication, commonly skipping at least one tenth of their recommended doses. In decades of experience I have rarely seen missing an occasional dose to be a problem. You might ask your doctor if skipping a dose would hurt you. If you hold back 1/10 of your medicine, with time you’ll build up a supply to use in case of future crisis. Make sure to order refills on a timely basis even when you have medication remaining (which is the point, after all), and to rotate your supplies so you use the oldest medicine first. For those who use inhalers, refill these whenever a refill is due, even if you have medication remaining. You may also want to experiment to see whether one inhalation is as effective as two. This can usually be assessed with a peak flow meter, by your own symptoms, and/or whether you require any visits for emergency care, which you definitely want to prevent. For the serious asthmatic or COPD patient, you should consult your doctor about the best approach.
  6. Along the same lines, tithe your antibiotics as well. For many illnesses three to five days of antibiotics is as good as seven to ten days. Patients do this all the time anyway, stopping the medication once they’re feeling better. Usually this causes no problem. Once your immune system has geared up to fight an infection, antibiotics are not as vital in combating the illness as they are earlier in the course of disease. For a serious situation, however, you should consult your doctor before taking this advice. When your doctor prescribes an antibiotic is also a great time to ask how long you really need to take the medicine. This is a legitimate question, since many people try to limit their use of antibiotics for a variety of reasons (secondary yeast infections, bacterial resistance, cost, et cetera).
  7. Think outside the box. Medication that is by prescription in the United States may be over the counter in other countries, such as our neighbor to the south, or overseas. Ask your doctor about alternative treatments; for example, peppermint tea may help irritable bowel syndrome equally as well as Rx drugs. If you have hypothyroidism and slaughter your own cattle, learn how to make your own thyroid jerky. Now is the time to consider how you would handle a situation if no doctor were around. Whatever conditions you may have or anticipate, investigate ways to free yourself of reliance on medical professionals.

In summary, it’s up to you to protect your loved ones and yourself in times of crisis, as I teach in my Survival Medicine classes (see www.armageddonmedicine.net). This situation is unlikely to improve as our country embraces a future of socialized medicine.

About the Author: Dr. Cynthia Koelker serves as Medical Editor for SurvivalBlog, and hosts the survival medicine web site www.armageddonmedicine.net. She is the author of the book Armageddon Medicine and is the chief instructor for the Survival Medicine Workshops.

A Guide to Assembling an Off-grid Carpentry Tool Box, by B.F.

I pre-ordered JWRs book Tools for Survival last year and have read through it twice now. It is a great guide for anyone preparing for a time when self reliance becomes more of a day to day necessity than it is today.

With that in mind, I wanted to add to the body of work by reviewing and commenting on the contents of two different tool kits that I have had a fair amount of experience with. Either one or both will serve well in an off-the-grid world.

The first one is the US Army Combat Engineer Carpenter’s Squad Tool Kit. The second is the tool kit assembled by my grandfather over his lifetime.

Today is probably one of the best times in recent history to put together similar tool kits at a relatively low cost. With few exceptions, most of these tools can be picked up for as little as a dollar or two at estate sales, farm auctions, and garage sales. They are so affordable that I have recently had to limit the number of tools I buy. High quality hand saws in particular with carved wood handles seem to be everywhere for $1. I tried to control myself by only purchasing those that were still sharp, and even then had to stop buying them after I accumulated somewhere around 20 saws. I am still a sucker for a pristine rip saw, though.

US Army Combat Engineer Carpenter’s Squad Tool Kit

Let’s start with the US Army Combat Engineer kit. These are issued in a box that measures about two feet by three feet and one foot high. A few years ago, the army upgraded the boxes these are stored in from traditional metal bound plywood boxes to newer (larger) Hardigg-style plastic cases. The older boxes hit the surplus market, and I picked one up for around $20. Look around; you can still find some for sale at flea markets, surplus dealers, Craig’s list, or gun shows. The great things about these boxes is that they store each of the tools securely in their own slot, making it easy to see if anything is missing that you need to go back out to pick up before it gets dark. It does this in a box that takes up relatively little space on a storage shelf, considering all that it holds. If my memory serves me correctly, when I was a Combat Engineer officer years ago in the Army I had a dozen or so of these on my property book.

The Engineer kit is intended to provide sufficient tools for two two-person teams to carry out basic carpentry activities. This does not mean they’re for building high-end furniture; it leans more towards basic carpentry, including construction and repair of sheds and buildings and making crates and storage boxes.

The contents include:

  • Two wrecking bars,
  • 12 hacksaw blades,
  • One box of blue marking chalk,
  • One-inch and two-inch framing chisels,
  • One box of blue and one box of red marking crayons,
  • 12” double cut bastard file,
  • Two smooth cut 8” files,
  • One hacksaw frame,
  • Two blacksmith hammers,
  • Four carpenter hammers, (though I went with two straight claw and two curved claw hammers),
  • A plastic mallet,
  • One file handle,
  • A spare hammer handle,
  • Two half hatchets,
  • One line level,
  • One plumb bob,
  • One smoothing plane,
  • Two pairs of lineman’s pliers,
  • One pair of slip joint pliers,
  • One wood rasp,
  • Two folding rules,
  • Two crosscut hand saws,
  • One rip saw,
  • Three flat tip screwdrivers with 1/4, 3/16 and 5/16 blades,
  • One carpenters square,
  • One try square,
  • One tape measure (100 ft.),
  • One 12-inch adjustable wrench (though I went with a 12-inch adjustable spud wrench),
  • Four rolls of masons twine, and
  • Four nailing aprons.

I have to admit that when I bought the tool kit box, I already had almost all of these tools sitting around, so I didn’t have to buy much. I think that with patience and some careful shopping, you could put together a toolkit like this one for $150 or less. All told, this kit weighs around 80 pounds when loaded.

I also added a few additional tools, since there was room in the box. These included:

While there are a lot of tools that could be added, this is a good basic list of what you might want to consider keeping at your retreat location. I would add that the current version of the carpenter’s kit has quite a bit more in the way of tools and also weighs close to two hundred pounds. There is also a platoon level kit that is meant to augment the basic kit for larger jobs. The current version of the platoon kit includes a small generator and a whole raft of 18-volt saws, drills, bits, and blades. It weighs in at over three hundred pounds.

There is an online catalog showing these and a number of other toolkits that the supplier provides to the military. http://www.kippertool.com/media/pdf/military/EngineerSKO_sm.pdf While I like a lot of what is included in the larger tool kits the army has today, I think that the older tool kit listed above will handle most of the needs that a person will run across for quite a few years. Additionally, one person can manhandle it if need be, where the larger kits really need a squad to move them.

My Grandfather’s Tool Box

Now onto my grandfather’s box. Grandpa was born in 1889 in northern Iowa. He served in France during WWI as a locomotive engineer for the 13th Engineer Battalion. He retired after 52 years of service as an engineer on the Chicago Great Western railway, operating between North Central Iowa and Chicago. I also have his Soldiers Wife sewing kit that he used in WWI and that my father used in WWII. It still has both WWI and WWII uniform buttons in it, as well as buttons from my service.

One of his stories was of the Great Depression. On the outskirts of Chicago, families would send their boys down to the tracks to make faces at the train crews as they rolled past. The hope was that the train crews would be angry and throw coal at the boys, which they (the boys) would take home to heat their houses. The crews (knowing the game) always took the time to throw the biggest chunks of coal they could at the kids.

When not on the road, Grandpa Jim was an inveterate tinkerer. He had a cabin on a nearby lake that he built from four small farm houses he purchased that were hauled to the site with teams of horses. His tool selection was all high quality tools, with brands like Keen Kutter, Disston and Winchester dominating. With the assortment of tools he had, he could do anything from process raw timber into lumber to fine finish work. The tool box these tools fit in is a large wooden Keen Kutter box with a hinged lid. It measures 42 inches long by 12 inches wide and 14 inches tall with carrying handles on either end. The box lid is three inches deep and has storage fitted in the lid for four hand saws.

The tool box holds (in no particular order):

  • Two crosscut saws,
  • One fine tooth saw,
  • One rip saw,
  • Small back saw,
  • Saw vise and saw set to sharpen saws,
  • One jack plane,
  • Three box (or knuckle) planes, which are three-, four-, and six-inch lengths (These are incredibly useful for fitting things together, if you have never tried one.)
  • Keyhole saw,
  • Coping saw,
  • Hack saw,
  • Draw knife,
  • Three broad hatchets of varying sizes
  • One hand ax,
  • Two sharpening stones of different grits,
  • Oil can,
  • An assortment of metal files,
  • A couple of wood rasps,
  • Three file handles,
  • File cleaner,
  • ***AMAZONamazon.com/Win-Screwdriver-Set-51-Pc/dp/B0057IO2B8/ref=sr_1_8?s=power-hand-tools&ie=UTF8&qid=1432265503&sr=1-8&keywords=winchester***Brace with screwdriver bit plus an assortment of 12 drilling bits,
  • Set of six countersinks for brace,
  • Adjustable bit for brace,
  • Extension for bit brace,
  • Yankee drill with bits,
  • Stanley crank drill with bits,
  • Stanley spiral ratchet screwdriver,
  • Screwdriver set,
  • Set of wood chisels and mallet,
  • 24-inch level,
  • Chalk line,
  • Set of gimlets (for starting wood screws),
  • A couple of one-inch putty knives made from broken butcher knives, (My grandmother said Grandpa was always on the lookout for her to break a knife.)
  • Three-inch putty knife,
  • Paint scraper,
  • Fourteen-inch pipe wrench,
  • Twelve-inch monkey wrench,
  • Offset slip jaw pliers,
  • Needle nose pliers,
  • Pipe reamer bit for brace,
  • Fourteen-ounce nailing hammer,
  • Mason line,
  • Inside and outside spoke shaves,
  • Compass (the kind for drawing circles),
  • Dividers,
  • Try square,
  • Sliding T bevel,
  • Marking gauge,
  • Friction tape,
  • Set of cold chisels,
  • Ball peen hammer,
  • Tack hammer,
  • Eight pound sledge hammer on short handle,
  • A quarter-inch electric drill, which still works despite being around eighty years old,
  • Drill bits for the electric drill,
  • Nail puller,
  • Two wrecking bars,
  • A couple of small C clamps,
  • Six foot folding rule, and
  • Twenty-four-inch boxwood folding rule.

Other tools that Grandpa didn’t have (or that Grandma got rid of) that I feel would make a valuable addition to an off-the-grid kit would include an assortment of gouges and carving chisels, mortising chisels, and a few more planes, such as bull nose, plow, and molding planes.

I think the key to getting value from tools like the ones listed above is to be sure to use them now. Don’t wait until the end of the world. All of them take some degree of skill to use right, particularly the hand saws and planes.

When my kids were young, I made extra money building doll houses. I frequently used a hand saw to rip sheets of particle board into one foot wide planks. Believe me, after a half dozen or so four by eight sheets of particle board, you know how to cut straight and efficiently with a hand saw. Even today, I find it is faster and easier most of the time to reach for a hand saw when I only have a few cuts to make than to get my circular saw, find an extension cord, and plug it all in.

The other thing you will need to accumulate beyond the tools is hardware. I won’t go into that in detail here, but you can pick up tremendous bargains on miscellaneous parts and fasteners at estate sales and auctions. I always look for the small plastic sets of drawers (parts bins) at estate sales. Usually you can get these, with a lifetime of accumulated contents, for a couple of bucks. Farm sales are likewise a great place to pick up quantities of fasteners. Coffee cans full of screws and half kegs of nails are often available at bargain prices.

Letter Re: Digital Security

The writer of Digital Security Part 1 had a lot of interesting and relevant things to say on the topic. One thing I would ask him and the rest of SurvivalBlog readers to take into account is that although Firefox is a very functional browser and one of the best, their leadership espouses some rather un-Christian principles, even to the point of expelling members of their leadership who made a stand for morality. I have switched to a Firefox emulator called Pale Moon, which functions just like Firefox but without the moral equivalence. –JT

Economics and Investing:

Gold, and 3 Squirrels, 2 Vultures, and 1 Turtle

o o o

It Is Mathematically Impossible To Pay Off All Of Our Debt. – B.B.

o o o

Items from Mr. Econocobas:

4 Factors Signaling Volatility Will Return With A Vengeance

Why We’re All in Big Trouble If Gas Prices Keep Going Up

Video: David Stockman CNBC Interview: The Morning After Will Be Nasty

Audio Interview – David Stockman: Progressive Defenses of Obamanomics Are Laughable

Notes for Friday – May 22, 2015

Homestead Drying Racks is having a Memorial Day sale featuring a 15% discount and shipping at no extra charge on any of their drying racks for the weekend. The Gundersons recently purchased this business from another long time SurvivalBlog advertiser, and they are doing a stand up job. Enter the code memorial15 at checkout to get your savings.

o o o

Today, we present another entry for Round 58 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chromlined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR type rifle to have quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools, and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  4. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul pmags 30rd Magazines (a value of $300) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt. (An equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions.),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  7. A Model 120 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $340 value),
  8. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  9. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate, and
  12. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Institute is donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  6. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  7. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate, and
  8. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. *Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  6. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack (a $379 value), and
  8. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 58 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

Orange Coffee Nut Firestarters, by Missouri Maven

One of the favorite things I create over the course of spring, summer, and fall are my Orange Coffee Nut Firestarters for my wood stove. I think my recipe came about because my grandparents instilled their Great Depression mindset of “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” into me at an early age. The stories they told me, of using things up until they were used as fuel to survive winter on the prairies of South Dakota, are ones I still tell my grandchildren today.

With all their gadgets and technology, it is a little hard for children to understand how their great-great grandparents could make do without the benefits of central heat, computers, and technology, much less electricity, indoor plumbing, and cell phones. They were flabbergasted when I told them I didn’t have television in my house until the man walked on the moon in 1969.

A few of my relatives thought I was a little nutty when I first began to save all these bits and pieces. Now my grandchildren love helping me create my Orange Coffee Nut firestarters.

Even though our Missouri winters aren’t as long or as cold as those my grandparents survived, they are cold. I need to be able to start my woodstove quickly each morning to keep propane costs down and to keep my indoor plumbing from freezing if the power goes out. They work great on the hard red oak, walnut, hickory, and ash wood I use as fuel. My eleven year old grandson timed one for me recently and was really impressed that even the smaller ones lasted twenty-two minutes.

Ingredients

The ingredients and quantities of items vary from season to season, but for the most part I reuse, use up, and make do with what I have. Some of the items used include:

  • Paper grocery bags, cut in six- to eight-inch wide shapes. Squares, circles, and polygons work great. If I let my grandkids color on the bags first, they burn even better and look great in their bucket. My grandkids love to help draw the shapes and cut them out, too. My favorite bags are the grocery store ones with handles on them. I carefully tear off the handles; they make great wicks or can be used for other things.
  • Used coffee grounds and filters. I use a small 4-cup coffee maker to satisfy my daily need for a caffein fix. I save both the grounds and the filters. Each morning the coffee filters make a great transportation device to move the four tablespoons of the prior morning’s coffee grounds to my dehydrator. Once I get it over to the tray, I flatten it out and spread out the coffee grounds into a layer about ¼ inch thick.

    I have a round dehydrator that holds four days of filters/coffee grounds quite nicely on each tray, and to keep the air circulating I usually keep the lid off. With my coffee, orange, grapefruit, and lemon consumption in the winter and my garden dehydrating in the summer and fall, I am usually running my dehydrator once a week or every ten days, so they don’t get moldy or attract fruit flies. Once everything is dried out, the coffee goes back into two old 2-lb. coffee cans that I saved when two pounds was really 32 ounces. The coffee filters are crumpled up and then flattened out and put into a clear shoebox.

  • Citrus peels. As my visitors or I eat oranges or grapefruit or drink lemonade, I save the peels. Rather than throw the peels in the trash, I cut the peels with the pith attached into strips, and I place the peels onto my dehydrator racks. Some peels I use fresh for making a vinegar cleaning solution. Some peels I de-pith, dehydrate, and then powder in my blender to turn into seasonings or body scrubs.

    Some I just cut or tear into small pieces for firestarter use. Either way I don’t like to put too many of these peels in my compost pile, and one can only use so much lemon pepper, citrus oil cleaner, or make so many orange or grapefruit powder body products. Once they are dehydrated, the citrus peels are sorted by type and put in mason jars. When I add a few handfuls of citrus peels into my firestarter mixture, the citrus oils burn hot, and they smell great.

  • Cardboard egg cartons and shredded paper. When I made small firestarters, I used the egg carton cups but usually I like to make my larger ones now. They take a little longer and need more of the coffee grounds, but I find they don’t make such a mess on my hearth when I use them. I also don’t need as much wax for keeping them together. I usually tear the soft paper into little bits and pieces and toss them into my dehydrated coffee grounds can and give it a stir.
  • Natural fiber dryer lint, if you have a clothes dryer. I hang all my clothes and don’t own a dryer, but if you do be sure to save some dryer lint to stir into your mixture. Of course, you want fibers that will burn rather than just melt (like plastic/nylon melt); collecting lint from cotton towels, denim, and socks or from wool, linen, and silk items is what you want.
  • Hazel nut, almond, pecan, or walnut shells. I have a granddaughter who is allergic to nuts, so we do have to be careful where and when we crack them. I have personally never met a nut I didn’t like, and I buy them in the shell when I can. The woody nature of their shells makes them a good filler and they have residual oils in them. I save the shells for my firestarters in empty mason jars too, and when a quart jar is full I know it is past time to make a batch of firestarters.
  • Cottonballs. My eldest granddaughter is fifteen and thinks this is a hoot. I don’t paint my nails as often as I used to, but when my granddaughter comes over she knows we will save hers and the two I use daily to apply my witch hazel toner. I pull the fibers apart while the acetone or witch hazel is still wet, and then I flatten them out to dry. When they are dry I save them in the box with the used coffee filters and use them as wicks in the firestarters or toss them right into the mixture if it seems heavy on the coffee grounds. It becomes binder fuel of some sort.
  • Scraps of canning paraffin, candles, or scented wax melt scraps, bacon or sausage grease, corn syrup, or old cooking oil. These all can be used as a binder fuel. I don’t keep corn syrup in the house unless I am making divinity, and I don’t have an ethanol plant nearby but I hear that it burns well. I know it is sticky enough that it would work as a binder too. I personally don’t use my bacon or sausage grease. I really like to make biscuits and gravy on a regular basis and would hate to run short. I usually just save and use my old cooking oil, candle scraps, and used up scented wax melts.

    I have found that because I use coffee grounds, nut shells, and broken up citrus peels in my paper packets I don’t have to use as much binder. Scented wax melts lose their smell after a while, and I usually stir the quarter cup or so of the de-scented melts into the used coffee grounds can while it is still liquid. I keep candle and canning paraffin scraps in my used coffee filter box too. I keep my used cooking oil in the fridge but don’t deep fry a lot, so it never goes rancid. I probably use 1 to 1 ½ cups of binder fuel overall per batch.

  • Twine or yarn. I like to crochet and always seem to have a few small balls or bits of odd-colored wool or cotton yarn in my basket. I also save bits of string or garden twine I have left over and keep these in my used coffee filter box. I like them to be at least eight inches long.

In the dehydrator

In the dehydrator

As a single person, I find myself making a batch of these firestarters every month or month and a half or so. Sometimes my two coffee cans and jar of nut shells fill up faster than others. I will sometimes mix the nut shells and paper filler into the dehydrated coffee grounds can as I go and and give it a quick stir when I get a little extra de-scented wax. This happens more in the winter time, as I always have a dish melting on the woodstove to scent the air.

Directions

Assembly area

Assembly area

There is no hard and fast recipe, but I usually have a little more coffee grounds than other filler. Either way, when my coffee cans are getting full of my dry mixture, the nut shell jars are full, and the coffee grounds may have to start making their way onto the compost pile or to the base of the azaela or rose bushes, I start my manufacturing process.

I put the contents of one 2-lb coffee can (with its coffee grounds, nut shells, descented wax, and paper cellulose mixture) on the stove in my deep, heavy pot and turn it on low to medium-low heat. I stir it a few times with my heavy wooden spoon as it is warming up and keep an eye on it. It shouldn’t ever be smoking hot, and I never leave the kitchen when I am cooking up a batch. As an aside, I have found over the years that if my smoke detector goes off or I need to open a window in January, I really should have turned down the burner before that happened.

If I can hold my hand about two inches over the mixture and only count to ten, it is just about right to begin adding and melting the wax scraps without scorching everything else. I do dice it up and slowly add more wax scraps and melt them it into the mixture. I also add in some of my used cooking oil to moisten it up, if it seems a little dry to me after I run out of wax scraps. I wait until the wax is melted and most of the oil is soaked in until I add the dried citrus peels.

You can tell the mixture of the oil/wax and other stuff is right when it is shiny but not sloppy wet and all the wax chunks are melted. To test for doneness and consistency, I take a heaping teaspoonful, turn it upside down on a plate, and press it down firmly. When the mixture cools down a little, still it holds its shape, the nut shells and citrus peels stay in place, and not too many coffee grounds fall off when I jiggle the plate, it is ready to go into my paper cups.

My regular-sized muffin tins work great to make these. Between stirs and waiting to get the filler/binder mixture warmed up and wax chunks melted in, I put two of the used coffee filters or one of the cut paper shapes into each of the muffin tin cups.

The thinner coffee filters conform to the shape of the muffin tin cups easier than the paper bags do, but my four cup ones are shorter than the eigbt cup ones and make shorter wicks. If you wet the paper bag shapes first, crumple them up, and wring out the water, they conform to the inside of the muffin tin cups and will dry into the shape of the tin. They have to dry a little longer than the coffee filter ones but are stronger and hold together better. If you use the ones your grandkids colored on, be sure to put the colored side facing out towards the metal of the cup, so the paper can absorb the moisture, wax, and oils.

Coffee can is full, time to make firestarters

Coffee can is full, time to make firestarters

I put a spoonfuls of the heated filler mixture into each paper lined muffin tin cup and pat it down with the back of the spoon. The coffee filter ones are a little shorter so I stop short. However, on the paper ones, I usually fill them up flat with the top of the metal cup. I push a stretched out cotton ball into the mixture with a chopstick or wooden spoon handle and let an inch or two stick up from the of the pressed down mixture. I let them cool and harden up for an hour or more.

Using what is available

Using what is available

When they are cool, I twist up the tops, and using a double thickness of yarn or a multiple wrapping of twine I make little bundles. If I do the twisting while the paper is still wet and don’t fill them too full, sometimes I don’t even have to tie them off.

The paper left at the top makes a great wick. If I haven’t flattened out the top while I was stacking them, I will usually fan out the paper above the twisted tie and light the starter in a few spots. The wax/oil binder that soaked into the paper engulfs the entire starter faster and ignites the oils remaining in the citrus peels and coffee grounds. If I had to use a firestriker instead of my favorite wooden matches, some finely shredded paper, bark, wood shavings, or more cotton balls could be added to the cup formed by the top twist to help catch the sparks.

One of the finished starts (2 coffee filters)

One of the finished starts (2 coffee filters)

My 2-gallon, galvanized pail holds about two dozen fire starters, if the tops are flattened down and tucked over the starter. My minimal efforts keep that bucket by the wood stove full all year round and through the winter. We even have a few left over for bonfires, camping trips, and to share with the neighbors. The extras I make during late spring and summer are stored in clear plastic shoeboxes in the pantry.

A side benefit I have discovered after I began to use these starters is that I don’t have to split quite as much kindling each year to get the bigger pieces burning into coals. The more coals I get, the bigger pieces of wood I can burn faster and the less often I have to feed the fire. My house stays warm and cozy, and I have even more time to share the stories my grandparents told me with my grandchildren.

Letter Re: An Introduction to Gangs – Part 1, by T.N.

HJL,

In an introduction to gangs he blames gangs primarily on “lawyers, politicians, and judges who defend and promote these groups as well as the culture and media, which have helped them recruit and excused their behavior as “cultural differences”. However, the real blame should be placed squarely on the unconstitutional war on drugs. Without the war on drugs, and the black market profits it creates, these gangs would quickly wither away to almost nothing, just like the the ones based on alcohol were withering away after prohibition of alcohol was ended till we foolishly replaced one source of profit with another. – M.A.

HJL Responds: Actually, you are both right. The root cause of most of society’s ills is the same root cause that has destroyed hundreds of advanced civilizations throughout history. The destruction of the bonds that hold our society together, from the family, to the extended family (or clan) to the city or villiage (or tribe) and finally even at the national level. Once these bonds are effectively sabotaged, the civilization begins to unravel. Crime increases, hostility and resentment explode towards authority, authority becomes overbearing, and corruption abounds. The end result is usually either anarchy or dictatorship. Occasionally you get both. The bonds are destroyed by corrupt judges, lawyers and politicians, media that promotes those lifestyles as “adventerous” and “romantic”, and also by bad laws at every level of government.

Economics and Investing:

Banks fined over $5 billion for criminal activity, did you get any of it?

o o o

New University Of Texas President Rejects ‘Vulgar’ Salary Slurped Up By His Counterparts At Other Colleges. – PLC

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

For Many American States, It’s Like the Recession Never Ended

Bubble Blowing to Continue So Long as Yellen Isn’t Raising Rates

5 Bubbles that Draghi’s QE Is Already Blowing

The Gloves Come Off: Moody’s Warns Of Greek “Deposit Freeze” As Schauble “Won’t Rule Out Default”

Odds ‘n Sods:

From the desk of Mike Williamson, SurvivalBlog’s Editor At Large: You too can have a degree in Twitter. And the department head is currently on vacation with the “Fashion marketing” students in Europe. They will grow no food, build no structures, improve no productivity, but they will expect to be taken seriously when civilization collapses.

o o o

California Mandate Gives Parental Control to the State and Big Pharma. – William Lehr

o o o

Dad-of-two gunned down with sawn-off shotgun by vandals cheats death when pellets hit his iPhone. – JBG

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University approves ‘history’ class that doesn’t mention both World Wars – T.P.

“The new introductory ‘history’ course leaves out, among other things, the Progressive Era, World War I, women’s suffrage, the Great Depression, FDR, the New Deal, World War II, McCarthyism, the Cold War, the Korean War, the nuclear arms race, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the JFK assassination, Freedom Summer, the United Farm Workers Union, the Vietnam War, Stonewall, Watergate, Second Wave Feminism, the Iranian hostage crisis, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, globalization, the 9/11 attacks, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

o o o

Bird flu outbreak (mostly) spares backyard chickens – USA Today. – T.P.

Notes for Thursday – May 21, 2015

Today is the birthday of weapons designer John Douglas Pedersen, (born 1881, died 1951).

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Today, we present another entry for Round 58 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chromlined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR type rifle to have quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools, and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  4. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul pmags 30rd Magazines (a value of $300) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt. (An equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions.),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  7. A Model 120 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $340 value),
  8. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  9. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate, and
  12. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Institute is donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  6. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  7. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate, and
  8. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. *Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  6. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack (a $379 value), and
  8. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 58 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

An Introduction to Gangs – Part 3, by T.N.

WHITE SUPREMECY AND SKINHEAD GROUPS:

There are far more groups in this category than I could ever hope to name, but they are usually easy to spot. Unfortunately, they are actually very commonly found in prepper circles and in the survivalist communities. Most white supremacy groups and skinhead groups are far more concerned with their political cause and less with committing acts of violence. This being said many of them have committed isolated acts of violence at some time or another, and many times conduct regular criminal enterprises that include making/selling meth and buying or selling illegal guns.

Most violence from these groups comes from the skinhead gangs that act much like any other street gang but with a “whites only” policy. Skinheads often shave their heads, have tattoos of swastikas and lightning bolts, and the hard core will wear an outfit of suspenders, boots, and work pants. They will generally have their boot laces laced in a straight bar pattern, not crossed. The laces will usually either be white or red. (Red signifies having killed for the cause.) Other white supremacy groups have very different modes of dress, but tattoos of swastikas, lightning bolts, Vikings, and the phrase “white power” or “white pride” are very common.

In a SHTF situation, you need to be aware of these groups. For the most part, this is the moment they have been waiting for and are likely to be amongst the most prepared. So long as you don’t get tangled up in their political ambitions then, you have very little to worry about. However, if they use a SHTF situation to try to start a race war or to harm innocent people, you must judge for yourself what you will do. As for me, I will protect the innocent around me, when I can. In doing business with these groups, they are generally easy to deal with; however, it is best to avoid these groups if possible, both out of a sense of safety and moral obligation.

SURENOS AND OTHER HISPANIC GANGS:

With an estimated 50,000 members nationwide, the Surenos are arguably the largest Hispanic gang in the U.S., especially on the west coast. The Surenos started in Los Angeles in the 1940’s and for decades were isolated to Southern California by a conflict with rival gangs known as Nortenos. An artificial line was drawn at Fresno, California; however, the Surenos have won that conflict and are now being found in nearly all 50 states and in large numbers in most major cities in the western half of the United States.

Like the Crips and Bloods, Surenos are more a loose coalition of street gangs with a common culture and way of acting. In California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and many parts of the west coast, they are all loyal to and take orders from the Mexican Mafia. In places where the Mexican Mafia has not seized control, the Surenos are usually taking orders from the Mexican Drug Cartels.

Surenos can be identified easily by their mode of dress and hair styles. Most Surenos will normally wear baggy clothes and have their head shaved or the hair slicked back. They like classic cars and usually lower them forming a style called a “low rider”. This being said, these things are also fairly common throughout the Hispanic community, so the best way to identify a Sureno is the tattoos. Surenos will almost always have a tattoo of their last name, neighborhood, or set somewhere on their body. They also commonly have the words SUR, SUR13, 13, X3, XIII, or tattoos of clowns, and a tattoo of three dots above two lines. They commonly place tattoos on the back of their heads, across their shoulders, or on the front of their chest.

Nortenos are often similar to Surenos in appearance and organization; however, the two never get along and are violent rivals. They can be identified by similar tattoos, but they use the number 14 in place of 13 and will often tattoo the word NORTE or north side on them.

Mara Salvatrucha a.k.a. MS-13 is a huge international gang known for brutal violence and the use of machetes to kill their victims. This group is commonly found in all 50 states and will often ally itself with Surenos in areas where Surenos are present.

Latin Kings are a Hispanic gang found more commonly on the east coast and is usually identified by gold and black clothing.

Mexican Drug Cartels are in my opinion the greatest threat the citizens of this country face, especially for those who live near the border. The threat from this group is not isolated to the border. The cartels have smuggling routes all the way through all 50 states, and they use their hit men and soldiers to protect these routes and enforce their will all across America.

South of the border there is a major war going on, a war that has left more people dead than the Korean War and in a shorter amount of time. As the cartels fight each other and fight the Mexican military, there are mass graves with hundreds of civilians in them found on both sides of the border every month.

The cartels have total control over entire regions of Mexico to the point that the Mexican police and military can not even patrol. It is so bad that entire units of the Mexican army have defected and gone over to work for the cartels. (Loz Zetas were the Mexican equivalent of the US Army Rangers until they defected en mass to work for the cartels as hit squads and enforcers.) On our side of the border, there are Americans being murdered for simply being on their own property when the cartel enforcers bring a shipment through the area.

The cartel members can at times be hard to identify, as they tend to blend into illegal immigrant communities and can look like anyone. There are, however, a few things that can help. Many cartel soldiers will have tattoos, such as Hecho en Mexico (which means “made in Mexico”) or the name of their cartel or the Mexican state they come from. Other common identifiers are the Santo del muerte. (This is the saint of death that looks like the virgin of Guadalupe but has a skeleton instead of a woman.) They also have a hair style of a nearly shaved head except for a small tail at the back of the head. Cartel members also have the tendency to dress very nicely and have very nice cars that can stick out in a community of illegal aliens.

The threat from the cartels should not be underestimated. Many of their soldiers have military training as well as access to all varieties of weapons to include RPG’s and anti-air missiles. Their soldiers can be found throughout all 50 states but are most common in the border states and near large farm labor communities.

The cartels have arranged deals with nearly all street gangs (especially Surenos and the Mexican Mafia) to smuggle and distribute drugs throughout the country and as such their influence is unlimited.

If you believe you come into contact with a cartel-backed group, it is best to stay away. If you live in an area where the cartel operates regularly, I truly recommend you arm yourself and organize your neighbors for assistance, because the Federal government has utterly failed to protect you.

The Mexican Mafia is a very small but extremely powerful prison gang that started in the California prison system during the 1960’s. It eventually became so powerful and feared that they were able to take control of nearly all sets of Surenos in Southern California, and as such they now extend their control from prison out to the streets of several states and collect taxes from drug sales at the street level.

The Mexican Mafia a.k.a La EME technically only has thirteen full members, known as “La Mesa”, but they employ a network of hundreds of associates to enforce their will onto the mass population of Surenos in prison, who in turn carry their orders out onto the streets.

La EME has arranged massive drug distribution agreements with the cartels, pumps tons of drugs across the border, and distributes them through their vast network of Sureno street gangs. This, however, is but a glimpse of their power. They are known to have successfully bribed many judges and politicians in California and have even successfully gotten several members elected to the state legislature of California and are even rumored to have gotten a member appointed to a cabinet level position within the Bush Whitehouse. (I stress that that is not proven, even though law enforcement did find documentation confirming it; I saw it myself, as I was one of the officers who found it during a search.)

It is highly unlikely you will ever encounter a member or even an associate of La EME, unless you work or are incarcerated in a California prison, but be aware of the name and know the power they have.

IN CLOSING

If you happen to live in an area with a large gang population anywhere nearby, even if it’s a few hours away, I strongly advise you to move or bug out ASAP when SHTF. If you can not do this, then you need to include massively increased security into your preparation planning.

I do not recommend you conduct any business dealings with any of these groups after a collapse occurs, as they are all dangerous; however if you do some research you may learn enough about the habits of several of these groups to be able to safely live and operate near them. Many of these groups are found in various places and yet others travel and can appear anywhere, so it would do you some good to go online and research as much as you can about these groups and any others that may be located in your area. There are many small towns and remote areas that claim they have no gang problems, but from what I have seen that is a lie. In some way or another gangs exist everywhere in America.

This article was intended as a basic overview and a beginning point for knowledge of gangs. It is inherently an incomplete work, and you should study the subject further.