Travel Prepared- Non-Lethal and Sidearms
I always travel prepared for whatever may happen. I am older, and while still in good shape, my fight rounds are probably down to less than a minute before I get worn out (comes with age), so I travel prepared to personally defend myself and those with me in any situation. As always, situational awareness is first and foremost. On short trips, I prepare by carrying both non-lethal protection and sidearms. On long trips (my long trips average 2500 miles round trip), I carry additional long guns that are purpose minded and a reasonable amount of ammo.
I can not stress enough, should the world decide to go south and you find yourself on the interstate a thousand miles from where you would prefer to be, you simply must err on the side of that one in a million chance that you need to be better defended than the next guy or guys at least for the short term to get home. It can and will happen that fast, especially in the more populated areas like where I was traveling.
My Personal Choices In Firearms
My personal choices in firearms while traveling are as follows. You can decide for yourselves as to what, why, and what purpose when choosing firearms. I have chosen a balance that suits my abilities and situations I may encounter. I also train and know the limits of each weapon matched to my personal level of ability. Choose what works for you and become proficient with them so they become second nature in your hands. I’m a simple average shot and by no means have any superior skills, but I am very familiar with what I surround myself with. That’s all I can do.
I carry a Glock 26, a Browning High Power (Belgium 1941 manuf) and a Ruger LCP. I have three spare mags for each. Each are carried in condition one or zero. I firmly believe, through training and daily carry, that condition one or zero weapons are fully reasonable provided the weak link (the person) has this ingrained into them during all handling and storage. All are carried either concealed on person or visible in reach while driving and spare mags in plain sight in console. I’ve found that this system works for me in the states I have to cross, the local places I stop along the way, and in general with the law enforcement and inspection stations I must go through. Yes, I have been stopped, and, yes, I have survived those stops with very minor questions, usually a laugh and no tickets or problems.
You’re on your own when traveling with multiple firearms, so plan accordingly. With regard to long guns, I carry a Colt A-3, a Browning Belgium Sweet 16, and a Marlin 45/70 Guide. All are in soft side cases either in the bed of truck (covered) or in the backseat (crew cab). I do keep the long gun ammo separate from the guns and in an ammo can, so if stopped this is very clear to any law enforcement. I have separate, lockable compartments on the long gun stuff.
Two dash cams are always on and recording just for this alone. Also, for travel mishaps, it never hurts to snap a pic on your phone of how you load the guns and where they are located (before you start the trip) in case you ever need that little bit of proof for a judge or official in case an officer challenges your rights in his jurisdiction.
Again, this works for me. It may not for you. Just try and do everything reasonable to be safe and responsible, but don’t be afraid of the base meaning of the second amendment either. I suggest you carry non-lethal means, such as pepper spray or similar. It’s good to have that option and choice. It shows you are of sound mind to first process things in a non-lethal manner also, given the opportunity. The pepper spray should be immediately available to you from the driver’s seat. Also, it should be in plain sight, not displayed mind you. Plain sight is a legal term. There is a difference.
Most Valuable Item- The Club
The most valuable item I carry is The Club. Now, before you laugh at my eighties fad, The Club allows me to stop at rest areas, leave my dog in the truck running with the AC on, and provided I angle the wheels and install the club, it makes my truck virtually un-drivable as in “unstolen” during my quick pit stop. Even if I sleep for a quick rest in the back seat folded down, or in the larger trailers I haul while attached to the tow vehicle, no one is going to drive this unit off without some work, and hopefully I’ll be able to defend it way before then.
So, I suggest everyone get a club, keep an extra key attached to your belt via carabiner, and have the extra security. The dash cameras do a great deal to discourage those interested in evil. Remember, bad people are the ones who will notice the cameras and the club. That’s the point.
As I traveled into north Florida finally, a twenty hour trip one way for me, I was shocked at the mass traffic headed northbound coming out of the state. There were gridlocks three lanes wide for twenty miles long. Vehicles were stopped, sitting. Then this continued on for over a hundred and fifty miles. The exits were nonsense.
Long Lines To Get Fuel And Stations Without Fuel
The lines to get fuel in North Fl were twenty cars long for each row. My plan of filling up when I got home suddenly were no longer effective. Arriving home, I found no fuel available anywhere. I had my reserve fuel but was low in the tank, having driven the last 288 miles thinking there would be fuel when I got home. There are 19 gas stations that sell diesel within about five miles or so of my house and over a hundred within a 15 mile radius, yet there was no fuel.
Two days later, I found diesel by calling local stations on the phone. I finally found one at at 0330 that had a few thousand gallons being delivered right then. I immediately went there to fill up, and the manager said please be quick since they had no gasoline and as soon as people saw me fueling up there would be a mass of cars again. Sure enough, at 0330 mind you, I pulled up to pump number 22 out of 48 pumps at this deserted station and within minutes almost thirty cars arrived and sat at pumps thinking there was gasoline available.
It was something out of a movie. That was the last time I saw diesel for the next seven days, during which time I did not again fuel up until the first available fuel in Georgia while headed north back to the farm a whole five days after the storm.
Bring Your Own Fuel
Port Tampa is the fuel facility in my area; it’s only 20 miles away and could not hope to begin to supply the demand, regardless of storage reserves or barges from Texas. It’s a good thing I brought gas for the gen sets and the saws. None was to be had. I found ice at 0530 in the morning at a gas station off the interstate than had no gas (three days before the storm even hit Florida) and bought the last three bags.
Stores Wiped Out
Lastly, my home is in an area where there are five Super Walmart’s, nine large chain grocery stores, a Sam’s Club, Costco, two Lowes, and a Home Depot all within an eight mile radius. I’ll repeat, all of those stores are within eight miles of my home. I have 500 thousand neighbors in my county in Florida just north of Tampa. There are rural areas, and it’s not what you would envision as a overbuilt heavy city area at all. Everything related to either survival, comfort, or basic necessity was sold out days before the hurricane even hit. All coolers, cots, fans, AC units, ice, water, fuel, plywood, tarps, tape, garbage cans, plastic sheeting, pet food, canned food, snacks, juices, bread, batteries, flashlights, and on and on and on were wiped out.
Not the Big One
This was not the big one. This was simply a hurricane. I’ve lived through eight. This was not a major terrorist attack, an EMP, dollar collapse, or anything even remotely close to being what I would call an unexpected crisis. We had ten days to discuss it prior. In the end, it’s a big storm with big, big wind. There was no power for days. Clean up was brutal in the heat and humidity, but I survived okay, because I prepped. Thousand upon thousands did not fare as well and were beyond miserable, spent thousands in the rush, and didn’t get anything valuable from it. Others evacuated not knowing where they would even end up and spent days on the road, having to use the side of the road for bathroom events, locked into mile after mile of dead stopped interstate only to find exits clogged and no fuel.
Unexpected Things You Don’t Plan On
I learned that no matter how good you are at prepping, there are unexpected things you don’t plan on. You can never ever underestimate the panic buying factor of any given area. You also can’t do a thing about mother nature except sit, watch, and appreciate the little things you had at the moment. I am back to prepping with a renewed vision, a smarter outlook, and a greater satisfaction, having bugged in to the latest weather disaster.
Oh, and if you ever think you’re going to wait to leave a populated area until the last minute, you had better think again. Best wishes all my fellow preppers!
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part two of a two part entry for Round 72 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- 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.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- 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,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels 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. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- 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,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
- 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,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
- Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
- 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
Round 72 ends on September 30th, 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.