Start With a .22 Rifle– Part 1, by behind-the-counter

10/22 Takedown Are all of your defensive preps squared away? Do you have a full battery of firearms complete with magazines, spare parts, optics, and web gear? If yes, skip the following contribution and what may seem like heresy. Are you taking a close look at the “Personal Defense” part of your preps and wondering where to begin? Have you figured out a budget and started your firearms purchases but are still a little short on practical experience? Are you at the stage where you are putting more focus on this area of your preps, but your action plan has some holes? Or, do you have a clear concept of what you want but are experiencing real resistance from a spouse or partner? If any of those descriptions describe your circumstance, this article may be for you. As a gun store manager and a concealed carry instructor, I am frequently asked about the right gun to buy. Sometimes, the question is very broad but starts with a money emphasis. I may hear “I’ve been thinking about buying a gun for personal defense (or defending my family or home); how much will it cost?” Occasionally, the customer tries to show a … Continue reading

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Key Elements for Self-Sufficient Gardening – Part 2, by B. C.

Heating the Greenhouse (continued) We’ve got a small solar system on one of our chicken tractors that can be switched over to control the thermostat on the heater and the exhaust fan if we lose electricity long-term in the greenhouse. If we need to, we can move the woodstove back in, but for now this system works well. No matter what kind of heating system you choose, having a backup plan makes you sleep easier at night. At minimum have a kerosene heater and a few cans of fuel on hand that you can move into the greenhouse for a night or two if your main heat or electricity goes out. It will save a greenhouse full of plants and a season’s worth of food. Temporary Greenhouses and Tunnels Instead of a permanent wooden or metal-framed greenhouse, you can use a less expensive, temporary greenhouse design made from PVC. However, I wouldn’t recommend it, because they will only last a year or two and have no snow load capacity. The PVC will get brittle in the sun, and a good wind or a small snow will break them down. This will most likely happen when they are full of plants … Continue reading

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Key Elements for Self-Sufficient Gardening – Part 1, by B. C.

I was blessed to grow up on a farm and later was fortunate to be able to receive an advanced degree in Agriculture. For the last 15 years my wife and I have been running a small diversified farm where we produce vegetables, fruit, and animal products for local markets and a C.S.A. (Community Supported Agriculture). During this time we’ve spent several years in several countries doing agricultural mission work, seeing how the rest of the world feeds itself, and doing our part to assist them with that. Over time we’ve worked hard to turn our own 30-acre farm into a self-sufficient property. My goal has been to see our farm as one that could feed my family and other families far into the future if “the front gate gets shut and locked.” As SurvivalBlog readers are well aware, this seems to be more of a possibility with every passing day. The discussion on growing your own food often arises, and a recurring theme is the advice that you aren’t just going to open a pack of survival seeds and feed your family. I couldn’t agree more, but I often feel like readers get brow-beaten with that advice and can … Continue reading

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Cache and Carry, by Highlander

Like many of you, I consider having buried caches a critical part of being prepared. However, I don’t have the land or finances necessary to bury multiple 55-gallon drums full of food, guns, and ammo miles from my house, and in a time-sensitive situation spending an hour or two digging up a huge cache may not be possible. I’m not saying that larger caches are a bad idea (I have a few spread around), but like all of my other preparations, having a multi-layered approach makes the most sense for me. I live in a rural-suburban area, with 1-2 acre lots, and lots of woods and lakes within a few miles of my house. I plan on bugging-in and have taken steps to enhance the security of my house and land in a disaster scenario, but I also want to be prepared in case I’m forced out of my house post-SHTF by fire, natural disasters, overwhelming attackers, et cetera and need to evac the immediate area quickly. I even acquired and installed the components to set up a zip line from a second story window out to the woods behind my house so we can evacuate quickly and quietly if … Continue reading

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The Human-Powered Veggie Garden- Part 1, by J.A.

A small amount of land, in some cases as little as half an acre if managed correctly, could supply a bountiful vegetable garden even without the luxuries of fossil fuel-driven technology or animal power. The key to the survival of an individual or a family who is either under-prepared or through the course of events is somehow unable to use any fossil fuel-driven technology or animal power is being able to quickly produce edible crops on the ground that they have using nothing but hand tools. The methods necessary to do this are inexpensive to implement, physically rewarding, and beneficial to the long-term health of your garden. Implementing them on a small-scale now will be immediately beneficial to your health via increased nutritional quality and physical activity. You will also gain the confidence of knowing that if gardening should ever be forced upon you as a full-time job, you would be able to put food on the table for the people who are relying upon you for protection and guidance. I will detail my own experience, gathered over the course of the last four years, which was inspired by the book, Gardening When It Counts by Steve Solomon. It is … Continue reading

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My Family Preparedness Plan- Part 2, by R.S.

Grid Down (continued) Given the specific differences in this scenario, the steps would vary post-event. This event will be different in its onset. With an EMP event, panic will set in much more quickly. When everything ceases functioning simultaneously, even if people don’t know what’s happened, they are going to know something has happened, and mobs don’t usually react with calm reasoning. If the power goes out, even a widespread outage, it isn’t a huge cause for alarm initially because people are used to power outages. Thus, you’ll have a bit more time to get things in order. What to do: Get fuel. This is of first importance, because the shortages will likely set in quickly. The challenge will be whether or not the pumps will still work, but give this a shot first. You might get lucky. This is also a good reason to keep fuel on hand in your storage cache. Get supplies. (See EMP scenario.) Get home and contact your group. While the grid may be down, land line phones should still operate. Ham radios and CB radios should also continue working. The longer the event lasts, the worse it will get. If communications are down for … Continue reading

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My Family Preparedness Plan- Part 1, by R.S.

We live in an uncertain world. Riots have popped up in cities across the United States under the guise of righteous protests of elections or officer-involved shootings. Terrorists have taken to the streets in attacks both large and small. Hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes have wiped out entire cities. Our economy is under siege from within and without. Ebola, Zika, West Nile, and H1N1 have dominated headlines, though admittedly done little damage. The ability and precedent for grid failure are ever present. And finally, and maybe most nefariously, our very own government waits in the wings for any one of these events to transpire with devious plans already devised for containment of the populace through martial law. Each of these scenarios presents unique challenges. While much is made of what to do in advance of any of these events (and rightly so), ultimate survival could depend on what you do in the minutes, hours, and days immediately following an event. I originally wrote this guide for my family and close personal friends. Many of them have little understanding of the scenarios discussed. My hope was to bring some awareness to the issues in hope that, should an event transpire, they would … Continue reading

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Austere Dentistry and Temporary Fillings, by J.D., DMD

I am a general dentist, who has been at it for 26 years working part-time in private practice in a small, working class town and part-time on the dental staff in a state prison. I am also the dental director of a small non-profit organization that provides dental and medical care to the rural poor patients in Honduras. One of my main professional interests is low tech, austere dentistry. The purpose of this article is two fold. First, I want to give the reader some insider, professional advice on how to get their dental needs squared away and met while we still have a functioning economy, and secondly i hope to educate the reader on dental procedures that a lay person could have a good chance of performing in a time or place when the health care system is severely degraded or non–existent. This information is in no way a substitute for professional dental care, and the views presented are my own and not the views of any of the alphabet dental associations. I am not your dentist, and there is no doctor-patient relationship. If you remember nothing else after reading this piece, remember this before attempting any DIY dental … Continue reading

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Every Day Carry for Today’s World- Part 4, by N.M.

If civil unrest escalates to the use of edged weapons, cross bows, or firearms, then body armor may be an option. Concealed armor is usually level 3A and would protect from most handgun rounds and some knives, particularly with slashing motions; it is also easy to wear without being detected. However, it will not protect from sharp projectiles but might reduce their impact. If you are hit with a baseball bat, soft armor does diffuse the impact and may give you a chance. (I’ve been hit across the back with pool cues and hardly felt it, much to the surprise of the person swinging it.) Plates and carriers protect from much more; however, they are not easy to conceal, especially in the summer, when wearing a large coat is not an option. Of course, you have to also consider the extra weight you would be carrying. While cell phones were previously mentioned, you should have another communication plan. Develop a communications plan8 and get radios for every member of your family. Plan that the cell phone system will go down, be overloaded, or be deliberately blocked. Have a portable/hand-held radio. Have a plan with your family and other members of … Continue reading

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

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 … Continue reading

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

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 … Continue reading

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Every Day Carry for Today’s World- Part 1, by N.M.

Let me premise this article with a few points you need to consider: First, you must research local laws for yourself as some items or actions discussed may be illegal in your location. Additionally, while carrying some items may be generally legal, there may be places that prohibit these items from their building, et cetera, such as airports or government buildings. Again, know your local laws. Discussion of specific items does not constitute an endorsement; I may mention them because I have them, may have used them, or may know people who have. Again, do your own research before buying or carrying anything. We Have Increasing Organized Unrest and Violent Protests If you have been paying attention, you can’t have failed to notice that there is increasing unrest, protests are becoming more violent and more frequent, and it will continue. Read the article ”Operation HYPO After Action Report: Infiltrating Violent Protest Organizations”, and you will understand some of the thoughts and planning of these groups. People are calling for the assassination of POTUS or hostile overthrow, including some who are high profile. Assassination of LEO’s and attacks on anyone who appears to support POTUS are commonplace. If you search out … Continue reading

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