Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 5, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 4. This installment concludes the article series.) OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT: Make sure you wait until the last moment to do your Christmas shopping – seriously, I never have to worry about “rescuing presents” when I procrastinate. Stupid “get-stuff-done-early”… Laundry – have enough clothes so that you don’t have to go commando next to the washer, waiting for your lone pair of choners to get clean. Trust me, not cool. Air – we worry about food, water, shelter, protection, etc., but we rarely worry about preps for air. Dust and ash are (relatively) easily removed from breathing air …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 4, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 3.) LESSONS LEARNED OR THINGS THAT WORKED OK: Priorities – again, having a to-do list for the day really helped us, even one that we just made up on the fly. I really wanted to ensure there was no firearm left in the house, and I really wanted to get the flammable materials out of the shed. We took the diesel cans with us, and we left the propane tanks in front of the house at the street (per fire department recommendations). We really wanted to clear our fridge before everything spoiled, which would have ruined it. …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 3, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 2.) OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT:  Radios – both Motorola radios AND handheld ham radios were left behind that would have helped us stay in contact between our 2 cars. Cell phones worked (thankfully), but I noticed bad connections nearly every call. NOTE: if we had a better means of communication, W. could have taken her car to the other neighborhood exit to see if traffic was flowing better and reported back to me to either follow her or stay where I was (oh well, hindsight and all that). Scanners, or even scanner apps – having access to information …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 2, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 1.) So we put this plan together on paper, that’s all that we needed to do, right? Um, no. Practicing an evacuation drill is probably at least as important as having an evacuation plan. After I had revised our plan into the checklist format, I knew that we needed to practice it to see if the timeframes were correct (i.e., could we actually do all the stuff that I’d written down on the 1-minute checklist in 1 minute?). Shortly after the Tubbs Fire (in October, 2017) we did a walk-through of the house and pointed out all …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 1, by SoCal9mm

Editor’s Introductory Note:  At nearly 10,000 words, this is one of the longest multi-part articles ever to appear in SurvivalBlog. It will be presented in five parts, concluding on Saturday. Despite its length, this is some fascinating and detailed reading. The author’s insights and “lessons learned” are quite valuable, and they go far beyond just the particular concerns of wildfire evacuation. — On the evening of December 4, 2017, the Thomas Fire started in Ventura County, California. By the time it was over, about 440 square miles had burned across Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, more than 1,000 structures were …




Kel-Tec CMR 30, by Pat Cascio

The debate seems to have no end, when it comes to rifles (and handguns) for the End Times, or a SHTF event. Everyone has an opinion on this subject, and we are all entitled to our opinions – and I don’t think there is a right or wrong opinion – it’s just that – an opinion. Not everyone wants an AR-15 type of rifle or carbine, nor does everyone want an AK-47 type of rifle. These are probably two of the most popular firearms when talk turns to defending oneself and their family, in a very bad situation, where there …




Mountain Man EDC, by S.J.

What figure looms larger in the prepper imagination that the rugged mountain man? Let’s examine the contents of their packs and saddle bags for our own purposes and to inspire all of us to get back to basics. In the romanticized image, the mountain man is the ultimate minimalist, with nothing but his rifle and tomahawk, but this isn’t entirely correct, as mountain men would have had quite a bit more in their kit, especially at the base camps they operated from. We’ll find that their kits remains relevant today, even with technological advances. The Mountain Man’s EveryDay Carry Rifle …




Property Scouting in the Redoubt, by Pickled Prepper

Like many others SurivivalBlog readers, I hope to one day move to the American Redoubt. In the summer of 2018, my wife and I took the first step: an eight-day trip to Montana and Idaho to look at properties, get a feel for the places in which we were interested, and to meet people. Our goal was not to buy a house or property this trip, but to start what may be a multi-year process that ensures that when we pull the trigger we hit our target rather than making a decision we come to regret. We also want to …




Displacement Planning – Part 3, by J.M.

(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article series.) Regardless of how you plan on loading equipment and supplies, it is critical that you document a loading plan. This should define what gets loaded in what order and where it’s loaded. How detailed this needs to be depends on your requirements – if you’re planning on walking from your location to a well-stocked bug-out compound, keeping a simple bug-out bag packed will probably meet your needs,  since you won’t need to pack much to get going. However, if any significant amount of packing or loading will be required prior to …




Displacement Planning – Part 2, by J.M.

(Continued from Part 1.) Depending on the circumstances you may be able to utilize GPS for navigation along your planned route. To do so will probably requires that you have the appropriate maps and app(s) downloaded locally on your device (don’t rely on an Internet connection being available) and that your device be charged for the duration of the displacement. If you plan on using GPS you should also include some sort of external battery pack for each person so they can recharge their device. Due to the relatively delicate nature of electronics (including GPS satellites), I strongly recommend that …




Displacement Planning – Part 1, by J.M.

(The first of the three-part series.) One of the primary tenets of the preparedness community is that we want to be prepared for any eventuality. We stockpile supplies, develop skills and make changes to our homes and lifestyles to help increase the chances that we can survive any scenario that we might encounter, be it natural or man-made. In regards to displacing in the event of a major SHTF situation, some people plan on taking the ‘forting up’ approach and fortifying their current location, while others favor the ‘bug out’ approach and plan on relocating to a more secure location. …




Budget Prepper Guns, by Pete Thorsen

Preppers can have many reasons to own and many uses for firearms. Hunting would likely be one of the top reasons to own. Security could be a valid reason, for sure. A means to dispatch livestock might be another reason. And just for fun would still be a very valid reason. There are certainly plenty of firearm options. Firearms have been made for hundreds of years with countless variations. Well cared-for firearms can last for several generations. Personally I have shot guns that were fully functional even though they were hundred and fifty years old. Many guns have been passed …




1803: The Preps of Lewis and Clark, by S.K.

Prepping is many things to a great and growing number of people. Americans have been prepping since the entire European presence was behind a wall, back there in the Jamestown Colony.  As a people, we have this written in our DNA.  The long trek west and the adversarial relationship of native and non-native is a compelling story filled with survival lessons for everyone. And none is more spellbinding than the story of the Corps of Discovery.  How did Lewis and Clark do it, and what was in their “G.O.O.D. bags”? Thomas Jefferson had been interested in exploring the American West …




Siege Stoves, by Pat Cascio

Have you ever been out camping, hunting, or hiking, and you had a desire for a nice fresh-brewed cup of coffee, but you didn’t want to make a campfire to brew it? How about a nice warm meal, and I don’t mean taking an MRE and putting it in the heater pouch to heat it up. Yeah, me too. And, most of the time, there isn’t a need for a campfire if you want to cook something or make some fresh coffee. Consider getting a Siege Stove. Those are what I’m reviewing today. I was never a Boy Scout, but …




Misadventures in Moving, by Tober

Editor’s Introductory Note:  I generally avoid posting rants, but this one about a Budget rental truck was genuinely epic and tragi-comic.  If you don’t enjoy rants, then only read the first section. – JWR I think sharing this story will help me a bit, as this was quite an adventure that was mentally and physically exhausting. This article is long, so I decided to put the tips at the beginning. If you want to read the story of why I thought these tips were important, continue below. Here are my mental health tips for you if you’re planning on making …