Notes for Thursday – March 30, 2017

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On March 30, 1981, President Reagan was shot and seriously injured outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by John W. Hinckley Jr. Also wounded were White House news secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent, and a District of Columbia police officer. Known for his quips and unaware of the injury to others at the scene, President Reagan walked into the hospital, despite his wound, and was heard telling his wife, “Honey, I forgot to duck.”

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Today, we present another entry for Round 69 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $15,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical 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,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a 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),
  5. An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
  6. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul PMAG 30-rd 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),
  7. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  8. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  9. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Tactical Self-Contained 2-Series Solar Power Generator system from Always Empowered. This compact starter power system is packaged in a wheeled O.D. green EMP-shielded Pelican hard case (a $2,400 value),
  2. 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,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  8. A selection of canned meats containing a 10 pack of 28oz cans of Premium Beef and a 5 pack of 28oz cans of Premium Pork from Wertz’s Farm Market (a $300 value),
  9. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  10. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  4. 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,
  5. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  6. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  7. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  8. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
  9. 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), and
  10. Fifteen LifeStraws from SafeCastle (a $300 value).
  11. A $250 gift certificate to Tober’s Traditions, makers of all natural (organic if possible) personal care products, such as soap, tooth powder, deodorant, sunscreen, lotion, and more.

Round 69 ends on March 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.

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Every Day Carry for Today’s World- Part 3, by N.M.

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Options If You Get Caught In A Protest (continued)

I mentioned eye protection above, but one of the most vulnerable areas is your head. Bike helmets will provide a level of protection against impacts and won’t look too out of place. Have you noticed the way police are using bike officers in civil unrest? They use a helmet to protect the head, safety eyewear to protect from wind while riding (wink-wink), and a bike that forms a barrier wider that two or three officers, and they’re not as conspicuous as a riot shield and baton. Protect your hands as well. Mechanic type gloves will help with grip, but make sure you can still handle weapons and other items. Make sure you practice with your weapons et cetera with your gloves on.

A walking stick makes a great defensive weapon. Get a good wood one, not an aluminum one. While aluminum walking sticks usually collapse and could be stored in a pack, they are not going to stand up to blocking a baseball bat. Get in the habit now of using it all the time so it doesn’t look out of place. Learn how to use it to block blows and disable attackers; even the largest attacker will go down when their knee is struck hard and at the right angle.

A young person might look out of place with a walking stick. Smaller defensive weapons, such as kubotans, are very effective and come in a variety of types, and there are plenty of videos on how to use them on Youtube. However, depending on where you work, you may not be able to carry one, as they are easily recognized, even the ones “disguised” as key chains. Alternatives are small flashlights, like the 5.11 ATAC A1, which takes a AA battery, or the ATAC L2, which is slightly longer, uses two CR123A lithium batteries, is brighter, and has a switch to prevent it being turned on accidentally. Both of these flashlights fit into a closed hand and have ends that have notches that increase pain upon impact as well as grab some DNA from an attacker. They both also have low intensity and high intensity as well as a strobe effect, which is great for disorienting an attacker. I also carry a Streamlight ProTac HL, which is brighter and a wider beam, also with the three settings and a knurled end; however, it is larger and not easy to put in a pocket. You can wear it in the pouch on a belt. I carry mine on the outside of my backpack, as I have the ATAC L2 in my pocket all the time. If it is night, you could also carry a larger flashlight made of metal. I prefer the “C”cell battery size, as it is just the right size to use as a kubotan, and it’s easy to carry on a belt with the belt ring. I’ve never been through any security screening where my flashlights have been questioned.

Another easily concealed and non-obvious “weapon” is a pen. There are a number of “tactical pens” usually made from aircraft grade aluminum or steel and are thus stronger than your average pen. Their designs vary, but they usually have an “impact point” designed to break glass but will easily create a very nasty and disabling puncture wound, especially in the chest. Some have a notched end to grab DNA, and some also have a flash light. These are used just like a kubotan, but you can also write with them and they will pass through security checkpoints. You can, of course, improvise a similar weapon from rolling up a magazine.

A stun gun might also be an option, depending on your local laws. These I would put into the category of a defensive weapon as you would deploy when in close contact to disable an attacker and give yourself time to get away. Deploying a police type taser is not an option; you only get one or two shots without ejecting and deploying another taser cartridge. If you carry one, make sure you have a rotation to keep it charged. Stun guns come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors; some are a flashlight/stun gun. I would suggest a dark color, so it is not so obvious. This is something that you will not be able to carry past most security checkpoints.

Most of the items I’ve mentioned are close quarters weapons; they do not keep your attackers at a distance from you, and in nearly all these “demonstrations” there will be more than one going after you. A length of paracord attached to a carabiner can be swung and might deter some. It can also be used to climb down a short distance or help people up a steep slope, et cetera. An expanding baton, or ASP, may be on option. They come in a variety of lengths and can be used to block blows. (It really hurts an attacker when their arm impacts a metal object.) These can deal out some serious pain to an attacker. Again this is something that you will not be able to carry past security checkpoints.

While I carry a folding knife, I would not consider it a defensive weapon. If you deploy any kind of knife, you are going to be viewed as the attacker. Especially keep in mind that there will be people videoing everything, and it will be edited to suit their agenda. In some places certain folding and/or fixed blade knives are illegal; again know your laws. Obviously you will not be able to take most knives past a security checkpoints.

Talking about cameras, do not get your cell phone out to video any of the activities. If you are watching your cell phone, you are not paying attention to everything that is going on around you. You also risk the bad guys getting your phone and thus knowing everything about you, all your contacts, and possibly access to your social media accounts. If you have a GoPro or similar type camera you could use this with the chest harness to record events. This might be useful if you have to defend your actions or are called as a witness against your attackers. Always carry a power pack or external battery and the appropriate cables so you can keep your phone charged. I have a small one that is in my backpack, but I also have a larger one, about 5”x3”x1” that is designed to jump start a battery that also has two USB ports and a light. Also, get a Bluetooth headset of some kind for your cell phone. That way you can be on the phone without exposing your phone. You should only be on the phone if absolutely essential;, again, if you are talking on the phone, you are not paying 100% attention to what is going on around you.

A lit road flare will keep people at arm’s length; no one wants to be burnt, but beware you might be thought of as one of the bad guys by police. Smoke “grenades”, such as a marine distress signal smoke, may provide enough of a distraction to gain you time to escape.

Pepper spray, bear spray, mace, or something similar is going to have the desired effect on anyone you spray. However, get the large cans, like bear spray, which are designed to spray a distance out. A small hand spray will not do this and will not give you more than a couple of sprays. Use with caution; if the wind is blowing in your face, you may not want to deploy the spray. Some types are a thicker foam, and these are less susceptible to wind. In most cases, mace or similar will not be allowed through a security checkpoint. If you are in your vehicle, you should have a fire extinguisher, which will usually be the dry chemical type. It can be used in the same manner as mace. If you have to abandon your vehicle, try and take it with you. If you don’t yet have a fire extinguisher in your car, spend the extra money and get one in a metal cylinder; they can be refilled and also make a great “impact” weapon. Most people keep an extinguisher in the trunk of their car. Keep one inside your car. If you can, a good place is on the floor in front of the passenger seat. This way you can reach down and get it; it’s especially useful if a crowd surrounds your car. You can crack the window just enough to stick the nozzle out. Do not place an extinguisher in front of any air bag. I see some fixed to the ‘B’ post just behind the driver or passenger; be careful that they are not in a position that someone could hit their head on. If you are caught in your office in an active shooter situation and you get to the fight part of “Run, Hide, Fight”, use it. If you have never discharged a dry chemical extinguisher, spend the money and “test fire” one so you are familiar with how they operate and how far they will be effective, both in disabling attackers and creating a “smoke screen” to help you escape.

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Letter Re: Camo Patterns

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Hello HJL and JWR,

Regarding spray painting cloth, this article shows that spray painting cloth with [ultra-flat] camouflage Krylon paint actually reduces its near infrared reflectivity.

Can your readers comment? I have spray painted surplus UCP camo with a light, even coat of brown camo paint, making it look very dirty, similar to an ATACS pattern. This would seem to be a cheap option for those of us on a budget. – EP

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Economics and Investing:

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How Will Gold Prices React To Strong Consumer Confidence?

HJL’s Comment: Despite the narrative of a strengthening economy, consumers do not have a high confidence. Traditionally, gold doesn’t do so well in a strong economy, but it is currently holding its own, indicating that the economy may not be what you are being told.

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Mike Tyson vs. The Grilled Cheese Truck – Excerpt: “We have little experience gambling, but we’re pretty sure that you can’t prosper by betting on every number at the roulette table.”

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Huge 300,000 Bpd Fracklog Could Derail Oil Price Recovery. The surge in drilled but uncompleted wells is posing a clear threat to the fragile oil price revival of the last few days.

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Largest gold deposit in history discovered in China – RBS

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

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I just noticed that Redoubt Surplus & Tactical (in northern Idaho) has added West German surplus Snow Camouflage ponchos to their inventory at their new online store. They even offer free shipping on these ponchos! – JWR

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The folks at DX Engineering made a great set of do-it-yourself Ham antenna plans available: A Practical NVIS Antenna for Emergency or Temporary Communications

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Received an e-mail alert that KeepShooting.com (one of our ling-time advertisers) just received a big batch of Austrian, German, and British military surplus gear. Part of that was batch of British Multi-Terrain Pattern (MTP) camouflage parkas. If you aren’t familiar with MTP, that is the UK’s equivalent of Multicam, and it replaced DPM for the British Army. Great stuff. Be sure to check out these parkas. At under $50 each, I suspect that they will sell out quickly. – JWR

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SurvivalBlog reader DSV noticed that Judge Napolitano was back on Fox News, but neither side has backed down yet.

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Sister-in-Law of Shooter in San Bernardino Attack Pleads Guilty to Federal Conspiracy Charge in Immigration Fraud Case – P.M.

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Kelly Hart has built all kinds of alternative housing including earthbag. This little shelter was built to test the temperature fluctuations in the New Mexico desert and to see if with such a small structure the usual strands of barbed wire were necessary between the layers of earthbags. This is an impressive structure with all kinds of applications, yet simple to make. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the inside has potential. – T.J.

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Notes for Wednesday – March 29, 2017

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This is the birthday of the gifted electronic and orchestral musician Vangelis. (Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou)

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Today, we present another entry for Round 69 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $15,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical 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,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a 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),
  5. An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
  6. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul PMAG 30-rd 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),
  7. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  8. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  9. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Tactical Self-Contained 2-Series Solar Power Generator system from Always Empowered. This compact starter power system is packaged in a wheeled O.D. green EMP-shielded Pelican hard case (a $2,400 value),
  2. 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,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  8. A selection of canned meats containing a 10 pack of 28oz cans of Premium Beef and a 5 pack of 28oz cans of Premium Pork from Wertz’s Farm Market (a $300 value),
  9. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  10. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  4. 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,
  5. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  6. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  7. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  8. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
  9. 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), and
  10. Fifteen LifeStraws from SafeCastle (a $300 value).
  11. A $250 gift certificate to Tober’s Traditions, makers of all natural (organic if possible) personal care products, such as soap, tooth powder, deodorant, sunscreen, lotion, and more.

Round 69 ends on March 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.

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Every Day Carry for Today’s World- Part 2, by N.M.

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Do Your Intelligence Work (continued)

In addition to knowing who is out there, there are other things you can do. Listen to local law enforcement with a scanner. I would not rely on the various scanner apps and feeds on certain sites that also list frequencies for a lot of agencies and organizations, such as radioreference.com. The feeds you hear are provided by someone in the area with a scanner that is feeding into the Internet. The problem is, you are reliant on what they are feeding, which is usually their primary dispatch channels. If you have your own scanner, such as the Home Patrol 2, which comes highly recommended as the easiest to use for a non-technical geek, you control what you listen to. Sometimes there is more information on some of the other channels, such as gang or drug unit channels. Sometimes these are encypted, so that the gangs can’t get the same intel you are trying to get. Having a hand-held scanner with you provides you information while you are out and about. There is a hand-held Home Patrol series and Whistler also makes some good scanners. You want to make sure it will “hear” the radio systems in your community; many are, or will soon be, P25 Phase 2. Any with this capability should be backwards compatible to any existing older systems. When things go bad, listen to FRS, GMRS, MURS, and other frequencies that are readily available in off the shelf radios; the bad guys might be using them to coordinate their activities. Of course, they also might be using any number of scanner apps, which are much more difficult to intercept but tend to eat up battery life.

Sign up for news alerts from your local news agencies. They are usually faster at reporting events in your area than national news outlets. Include traffic alerts too, because if demonstrators block roads or roads are blocked off for protests, hopefully you will get this information before you run into it. Know different routes to get out of an area; having a GPS navigation device can help, but personal knowledge is even better. Make sure you know different ways out of your work building and any other building you go into. This is especially important for active shooter scenarios but also if demonstrators block entrances. You don’t want to try and get through a crowd and find yourself getting sprayed in the face with mace, being struck or having urine or other substances thrown at you. At the very least, you will have your picture taken by the agitators. (Look how many of them are taking pictures; you don’t think it’s just for a memento do you?) You can also subscribe to Sam Culper’s weekly intelligence brief’s at https://readfomag.com/subscribe/. They provide information on conflicts between the U.S., China, and Russia, but they are also focusing on domestic instability, including mapping the social networks of violent extremist groups, on both sides of the political spectrum. If you get the chance to take one of his courses, I also highly recommend them.

“Ultimate victory is in avoiding the fight,” Sun Tzu.

Be the Gray Man

Don’t wear anything that identifies who you support, not only the obvious red Trump baseball hat but NRA, III%, Oath Keepers, or other Pro 2A groups. Don’t wear insignia of who you work for or anything else, especially if that organization supports the POTUS. If it is part of your work uniform, then have a change of clothes before you travel home. I am surprised every day by the number of security and TSA personnel I see traveling on public transport to and from their jobs. It is now believed the recent shooting of a transit security officer in Denver was because he was mistaken for a police officer6. When I was in law enforcement (many years ago), we were taught not to do this for a number of reasons but mostly for the safety of ourselves and our families. Always play the “what if…”, and constantly mentally map ways out. Avoid getting in a crowd, stay on the outer edges of any group so you have several options in which way to go. Don’t run, as you will attract attention; instead, walk with purpose.

Social media is a new issue we have to deal with. While it can be a source of a lot of intel, that works both ways. If you want to maintain a social presence, create a fake profile. This takes time, as anyone should be suspicious of a profile that has been created recently, with few pictures and friends. Even if you don’t have listed where you live, et cetera, it is easy to start looking at your friends and see where they live to narrow down where you live. Turn off geotracking in your smart phone, and don’t post where you are having dinner or events you are at or are planning to go to.

Have a “gray” vehicle. What I mean is don’t have stickers or window decals that can provide bad guys with intel, such as the groups you belong to and thus your political persuasion. I always laugh at the “family” decals, as that tells me how many are in your family, possibly if you have a dog, then of course add “my daughter is an honor student at…”, and now I know where your kids go to school. If you have a Ham license, don’t put ham tags on your vehicle; you might as well put your address in big letters on the bumper. Also, get a PO Box for most of your mail. At least you’ve added a layer of obscurity. If you can park in a garage, that’s even better, because then it is less obvious if you are home or not. Develop counter-surveillance skills. Learn to tell if someone is following you, take different routes home. (I love roundabouts; I go around them a couple of times, as these are the easiest way to see if someone if following.) Vary your times you go into or leave work, and vary the times and routes you take your dog for walks. Make it difficult for them. Any time you are out in public, you should always be in at least awareness condition yellow7. When there are protests anywhere in your area, you had better be in condition orange and ready to move to condition red. There are a number of books listed in the references at the end that talk to surveillance and counter-surveillance techniques.

“Being prepared for all circumstances is what ensures certain victory.” Sun Tzu.

Options If You Get Caught In A Protest

If you have done all the above but suddenly find yourself caught in a protest that starts to get ugly, then there are options that you need to consider. Many of those options may depend on what you are carrying. In the winter I keep a bag in my car with extreme cold weather clothing in addition to an extreme cold weather sleeping bag system and other supplies. Being prepared for civil disturbances is no different; keep a bag of supplies handy.

If you are in your vehicle, you will no doubt have a fairly large quantity of resources to defend yourself. First and foremost, try to get out of the area. This is where navigation devices can come in handy. However if you find yourself surrounded by protestors, make sure your doors are locked, but if you feel that your life or those with you is in danger you may be able to drive through any human road block. Having been a paramedic for over 25 years, I’ve seen many accidents. Steel always wins over “bags of mostly water”. If you carry, I suggest that you do not show your firearm unless there is no way out. If you are forced to abandon your vehicle, such as a city being at complete gridlock, a hand held GPS, such as the Garmin 64ST with street view will be useful. I know people who “load heavy”, meaning their vehicle is ready for any “zombie” outbreak and abandoning it is the last thing they want to do. At the least, it’s going to get vandalized or burnt, and even worse you could be giving the protestors firearms, ammunition, body armor, et cetera.

Eye protection is a must! I have sunglasses, clear glasses as well as a mirrored/in-between glasses for cloudy days that are all safety glasses made by Nemises. Not only do they protect you from the sun, but also dust, wind, and will prevent pepper spray or other fluids getting directly into your eyes. You may still experience some of the effects of pepper spray, but you will give yourself some vital time before your vision is impacted. I never go outside without protecting my eyes. Blind fold yourself one time, and try and navigate around your house quickly. After you’ve smashed your toes a few times, you will understand how important your vision is. An N95 mask will reduce pepper spray, and again other liquids, from directly entering your mouth, again buying you vital seconds. A bandana can be used and is less obvious, but beware then you could look very much like the protestors. This could be good for blending in but be bad because police could think you are one. Carrying water will help wash the spray or liquid out of your eyes and off your skin. Milk is best for pepper spray, but a it’s a little more difficult to carry 24/7. Liquid antacid (such as Maalox) is also said to work; carrying some diluted antacid is easier. Drink it if sprayed in the mouth, and wash your face and eyes with it. Clothing that covers most of your body is highly recommended; keep pants, long sleeve shirt, walking boots, et cetera in your “protest bag”. The less mace you get on your skin, the better you will be.

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Letter Re: Camo Pattern Clothing

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Gentlemen:

An inexpensive and non-standard substitute can be made from off-the-shelf khaki and light gray trousers and oversize long sleeve shirts and some clothing dye.

I’d suggest one size larger than one normally wears, to hide body outline, permit freedom of movement, and allow for an insulating layer. Thrift stores are good sources, and faded colors are a plus.

If one is a purist, it’s advisable to take along a UV light source when shopping; once clothing is washed in detergent with brighteners, it’s UV reflective pretty much for the life of the garment. (Editor’s Addition: Ditto if they have ever been starched.) There’s debate about animals’ ability to see UV, but none about the ability of modern night vision equipment to see it; a small UV source will make one glow in the dark to anyone equipped with NV goggles.

If one is fortunate enough to locate clothing that hasn’t been washed with brighteners– a difficult task– always wash it separately with detergent that does not contain brighteners, and it’s best to first “flush” the washing machine with a plain hot water cycle to ensure all brightener-enhanced detergent has been flushed.

Lay the clothing out on a clean flat surface that’s protected from dye penetration (brown kraft paper on top of plastic sheeting works), mix the clothing dye a little thinner than the directions call for, and brush on lightly in random patterns, slightly overlapping the colors (medium brown, forest green, and charcoal gray are good for khaki, tan is achieved by allowing some of the khaki to remain untinted; for medium gray clothing, substitute a medium tan dye for the charcoal gray and allow some of the gray material to remain untinted). If the thinned dye doesn’t produce the desired result, it’s easier to add a second application than remove what’s been applied.

The goal is a non-sharp edged completely random pattern of light-to-medium density colors. When done, there should be no part of the clothing that stands out from any other part. (BTW, ironing is verboten; creases stand out, while small wrinkles create shadows and help with blending in.)

Needless to say, such camouflaged clothing is usually incompatible with urban environments. For those areas, gently faded grays and medium browns with a few slightly darker random areas works better, and a mix of faded colors is best (gray pants and shirt together, or the same combination in any shade of brown, even if “home camouflaged” will resemble a uniform, and that’s best avoided); the goal here is to present as non-descript and random an image as possible. – N.K.

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Economics and Investing:

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We are now experiencing net withdrawals from the 401K market. This is bad news: WARNING: U.S. Ponzi Retirement Market In Big Trouble, Protect With Precious Metals

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Oil Majors Lower Risk: Favor Shale Over Offshore. Big oil has changed its strategy radically, investing much more in short cycle projects with high short-term yield.

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$540,701,000,000: U.S. Property Taxes Hit Record in 2016

JWR’s Comment: Here is a puzzler: When is private property not private? When you have to pay a yearly rent to your government. Do you think that you really “own” your land, even when there is no mortgage? Just stop paying your property taxes and find out who is in possession of it, three years later. High property taxes are particularly troubling to those of us who home school our children—since the “key service” funded by property taxes are public schools.

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The pundits claim: The US Dollar is Forecast to Rise Again

JWR’s Comment: Back in November as the U.S. Dollar (USD) was reaching a 10-year high, I advised SurvivalBlog readers to hedge into Swiss Francs. (CHF is the acronym for “Confederatio Helvetica” Franc.) More recently, the USD has lost ground to the CHF, confirming my expectations. I now expect a rebound in the USD for the next few months, and then a continuation of that slide, when the Dollar enters Summer Doldrums. If you haven’t done so already, it is wise to take a small hedge position in CHF. If you have a Paypal account with a positive balance, that is as simple as adding the Swiss Franc to your list of currencies, and making a balance transfer. Watch the Forex market closely and make the switch on an “up” day for the USD.

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

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JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

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Books:

The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects: 76 Useful Things You Can Build to Create Customized Working Spaces and Storage Facilities, Equip the … Animals, and Make Practical Outdoor Furniture

The Complete Guide to Sharpening

@WAR: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex, by Shane Harris

Movies:

The Road (starring Viggo Mortensen. It is a favorite with both preppers and survivalists.)

Captain Fantastic (also starring Viggo Mortensen). This movie is marred by copious foul language, brief nudity, and absurd politics. But it makes a compelling case for home schooling and self-sufficiency. It is rated R, and is definitely NOT for kids! (It is now available through Amazon Prime)

BTW, here is a sad addendum: Viggo’s father, V. Peter Mortensen, passed way in early March. Our condolences to the family.

Instructional Videos:

From “Russian Daycare”: AMAZING CAMPING HACKS #2

Max Velocity Tactical: Anatomy of a Peel (JWR’s Comment: Max’s training is very highly regarded and recommended. It appears that for quite rational live fire safety reasons they set this up as a 90-degree offset engagement and withdrawal. Normally, in a meeting engagement with a superior force, a “withdraw by fire” takes a 180-degree exit route.

Box Van Stealth Tiny House Tour & Interview

Element Van Life: One Year Living in a Van What I’ve Learned

Also see this from the same young man: Tour of Honda Element Camper

JWR adds these safety notes: DO NOT depend on spring–loaded battery terminal clamps! Any arcing can spark fires. Use proper bolt-on terminals. It is also important to vent the battery compartment of any un-sealed batteries!

Online Sermon Videos:

ReformedSermons.org

Pastor Bob Boone (Mt. Hall Community Church, Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho)

Pastor Don Bergstrom (Grace Baptist Church, Columbia Falls, Montana)

Podcasts:

The Shrugging Out Podcast

Stuff You Should Know Podcast

Blogs:

Zero Hedge

The Appalachian Messenger

Gear:

A must for every well-prepared home: Knife Block Set

Philips 60 Watt Equivalent Soft White A19 LED Light Bulb, 16-Pack

AA Performance Alkaline Batteries (48-Pack)

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Odds ‘n Sods:

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Paul Joseph Watson: The Truth About Sweden (Video)

JWR’s Comment: It is noteworthy that YouTube has attempted to censor Watson, simply for reporting the truth—when that truth exposed the lies of leftist apologists for radical Islam.

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My friend Commander Zero just posted a very useful link: Glock Pistols- What Breaks and How to Fix It – JWR

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Thousands Of Americans Are Fleeing The Big Cities. Why are so many people suddenly moving away from major U.S. cities?

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Health Ranger awarded U.S. patent for breakthrough anti-radiation formula that eliminates Cesium-137 from your body

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SurvivalBlog reader J.S. sent in this link showing how the CIA uses standard commercial products to indicate tampering with their USPS mail. If you still use the USPS, this is definitely worth knowing.

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