Letter Re: Surviving Custer

Hugh, I always keep a hide-a-key attached to my car for situations just like Custer’s. It has saved my bacon more than once when far from home. If you have an older car, it is relatively simple to get spare keys made and tucked away in a magnetic hide-a-key box under the vehicle. However, with today’s anti-theft keys, there are some challenges you must overcome. First, if you live where the temperature drops below freezing, the battery in the electronic key fob can become frozen and not operate. When this happens just tuck it under your clothing to thaw out; mine takes about 20 minutes. Also, the new keys are darn expensive. Usually you can get an affordable copy of just the metal portion of the key. Then if it gets lost or wet under your car you are not out $150-$240 for a replacement. My newest car has a so-called “smart” key that works by proximity alone. However, I found that if I wrap my spare smart key in aluminum foil I can leave it safely in the car and still use the other smart key to lock the doors. Both of my smart keys come with a small … Continue reading

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Letter Re: RS’s Story

Hugh, I read RS’s story with interest in the March 18th entry. It seems like it’s one of those situations that slowly snowballs out of control but thankfully had a happy ending. Personally, I would have called either the police or a tow service from the lodge to get into the “locked” car (although it turned out to be unnecessary), but I am mostly writing to suggest that RS invest in a couple of those FRS radios from the big box store or Amazon. While they don’t get nearly the range advertised, it may have allowed for communication during the separate hikes the two groups took, particularly after his son was injured. I keep a couple in our cars and in the pre-cell phone days. My family and I used them quite often to communicate when we split up at large events or at malls. Even now, although we mostly use our cell phones for such things, I keep them in the car in the event we’re in an area with no service or for those occasions when we’re driving separate cars on a trip together. Particularly when driving I’ve found them to be extremely helpful; it’s much easier to … Continue reading

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Surviving Custer, by R.S.

Let’s be honest, how many of you ever expect to find yourself in a survival situation? You’ve probably day dreamed about it, wondering how you’d fare. The fact is, we don’t walk out the door in the morning expecting to find ourselves in a predicament. I certainly never expected to find myself in such a “survival” situation on a summer day in South Dakota’s Custer State Park. Yet, there I was facing such a situation just last summer. We had finally taken our long-awaited family vacation “out West”. We live in the suburbs outside a large Midwestern city. So the lure of loading up the RV and heading west on an adventure had been alive and well with us for some time. As any good tourist would, we planned the route that would take us through the Badlands and eventually to Mt. Rushmore. What could be more American, right? Having grown up in Boy Scouts, being prepared is practically part of my DNA. In the last few years, I’ve ramped things up a bit and have been more diligent about keeping a go-bag in my car along with a variety of other things that would be useful in a pinch. … Continue reading

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Preparing Out of Necessity, by B.H.

Many articles regarding prepping and “how-to” leave me to wonder how people survive in this world. I’m not judging, as only GOD can; rather, I am perplexed at how they can afford it. You see, many of the skills being taught are just what I had to figure out in order to get by. I learned how to fix machinery myself because if I did not these things would no longer be of use to me. I learned how to buy second hand because I simply cannot afford new. I learned to garden in order in eat; the why in this case is evident. Gardening know-how is best left to those more skilled in that area. Repairing/purchasing mechanical items is what I would like to discuss. There are many things that I have learned in my life that were taught to me. However, today I will explain what I had to learn on my own and I believe you can learn as well. I learned by trying, failing, and reading. If I can help you do some of the same, maybe you can save money. At some point you may not be able to pay or find someone to repair … Continue reading

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Enjoying (and Surviving) Solar Eclipse 2017

On August 21, 2017, residents of a narrow swath through the United States will have a rare treat: The chance to observe a total eclipse of the sun. The path of totality will transit several major cities, including Greenville, South Carolina and parts of St. Louis, Kansas City, and Nashville. In the west, most of the viewing will be in smaller towns, since major cities, like Denver and Portland, are well outside of the path of totality. Because this eclipse is occurring in mid-summer (with a lower chance of cloud cover), there should be good opportunities for viewing, if you are positioned inland of coastal fog. I have heard that many hotels and motels that are in or near the path of totality have been fully booked for the eclipse travel period since late 2016. And I heard that the hotels and motels in or near Jackson Hole, Wyoming were booked two years in advance. A State Parks official in Oregon told me that their reservation system was overwhelmed in the first 10 minutes after midnight on January 1st, 2017, with folks seeking campground site anywhere near the path of totality. At this late stage, your best bet would probably … Continue reading

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Everyday Carry and the Musings of an Old Guy, for a Post-Apocalyptic World, by OldRonin

A big part of the prepper culture revolves around guns and gear. I must confess, I’m gun and gear poor! I can just about outfit an infantry squad as I write this! My bonafides are as follows: In my youth, I was an Army Airborne Ranger (Ranger class 9/78, assigned to the second Ranger Battalion, 2/75th). Currently, I am a more than 29 year serving police officer and soon to be retired. I’ve done patrol, investigations, FTO, supervision, and I was a SWAT guy at one time. I have also been a “use of force” instructor and have taught rifle, pistol, and shotgun along with police defensive tactics. ‘ I have been in some hairy situations over the years, to include two standup gunfights. I am a widower with five children, all of them by the same woman, God rest her soul. Three are grown and two teenage boys are still at home. I have prepped for over 20 years, and, yes, I am old. I have given a lot of thought to what our world will look like if the thin veneer of civilization peels away. This article includes my own conclusions and opinions about some popular gear and … Continue reading

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The New Dawn Approaches, by W.G

We have all seen the shows and read the countless articles on survival, prepping, et cetera. They all offer very valuable information one should retain. This day and age, we can turn on the news and view ethnic cleansing and genocide happening as we watch. Towns, families, cultures are under attack and being annihilated. It is safe to say we not only need to prepare for natural disasters but government-funded ones as well. We can stockpile weapons, ammo, food, water, et cetera, but all that is pointless unless you have the proper mindset. What is the proper mindset? Total contempt for death. We must embrace the fact that we all die. No amount of ammo, water, or meds will change that. By having contempt for death, you are one step closer to absolute freedom. Face the enemy head on. Let them know you don’t fear death; you only fear not being able to take all of them with you. One must also have a high regard for life, and realize what they offer us is not life. They offer us their version of life, and we have been playing by their rules for far too long. We have been enslaved … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Sad and Silent

Dear Sad and Silent: I have learned to speak in terms of resilience and not prep. I regularly engage in DIY projects because of the mental stimulation. I seek to know about all things, saying that I am a very curious fellow. Every fifth person laughs. When I buy, I grab a little extra of nails, screws, oil, filters, et cetera. Commonly, I do household projects out of inventory, in terms of screws and nails, making sure to replace them. That does not mean it did not take three trips to the hardware store to finally get the stove installation parts right. Why is 15/16ths smaller than a ¾ fitting? My problem is that it seldom spontaneously occurs to me that I am wrong, scrounging electronic parts and tools in conjunction with what my Ham radio license teaches me. Scrounging tools, dealing with metal cutting, and welding will eventually teach me. I’m yet to produce the first electronic gizmo or welded object, but I will. Gardening in GA clay is tough. Tree services have to pay to dump wood chips. Arrange a spot for one to dump on your property for free when convenient. Turn that with lime and/or gypsum … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Sad, Silent Prepper

Dear Sad, Silent Prepper, I feel for you, bud. I was on the same road for years, trying to convince the wife that there were several scenarios that we needed to be concerned about and maybe even a few for which we needed to be prepared. My personal journey took years, but in the end it obtained moderate success. And by moderate I mean not perfect or complete, but it was good enough for me. Total covert? No. More open minded and sympathetic? Probably. I have tried to be consistent, not too over reactive, and as subtle as possible. “Gee, Hon, did you hear about the <insert incident here> that happened today? It was horrible/scary! I wonder what we would do if that happened here/to us/to our family/to our country?” Or, “That winter storm/hurricane/tornado could put us in an uncomfortable situation if our power went out for a few days. Should we have a little more food on hand/in the pantry?”, et cetera. On the personal, internal side, the watershed moment for my wife was when she started volunteering to help battered and sex trafficked women. The stories that she was told about the lives and helplessness of these women … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Sad Silent Prepper

HJL, I too am dealing with a family that does not grasp the dire situation we are in, in this country. My wife is of the opinion that it has never happened here and thus never will. My children (all grown and out of the house) think I am looney and will actually get up and leave the room if the conversation even starts to go in that direction. I am prepping as best I can and don’t care what they think. I pay all the bills at my house, so if I decide to spend money and on what I will spend it, it is totally my decision. My wife works outside the home, and she spends her money as she will. She pays none of the bills. I recently have closed on a small tract of land in Georgia and hope to establish a “hobby farm” there, one that is well supplied!!! Much ridicule and derision on my buying a farm!!?? To Sad Silent Prepper, I say, “Prep on!!” – Also within an hour of Hotlanta.

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A Mother’s Perspective, by B.H.

Prior to 2000, my husband and I had already begun to prepare for the Y2K that, well, never happened. Although this event never took place, we learned valuable lessons on what we were missing, and we were not parents at that time. First aid was not at the top of my priority list. We were planning on bugging in, and we naively thought we would be good with staying put in our sleepy town of 1200 people. I remember that we spent $10,000 on preparing for that event. We had more disposable income (again, we had no kids yet), so we got a grain grinder, Berkey water filter, and grains in 5-gallon buckets. The 50-gallon water drum started to make our UPS man a little suspicious. In a small town, we were being watched with what was delivered to our house. It got comical after a while. Then we moved on from the tragedy of 9/11 and again thought, “Could this be it?” We were so unprepared. We had no food stored, and again the first aid was lacking. We did not have kids at that point, so we began to prepare on a conservative level. Looking back, I would … Continue reading

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Prepping with a Terminal Illness, by D.P.

About a month ago I was diagnosed with a very aggressive type of brain cancer– glioblastoma. There’s no cure, and the chances of long-term survival are pretty slim. It’s referred to as “terminal” cancer. However, there are some long-term survivors, and I’m hoping to add to that number. If not, without a shred of doubt I have been one of the luckiest and blessed people I know. I’ve been blessed with a beautiful and caring wife, two young boys I love beyond measure, wonderful family and friends, and not least importantly from long ago an appreciation for the wonder of this beautiful world that God has provided for us. Now, what does this have to do with prepping? For me, a lot. It’s about preparing those you love for when or if you are no longer around to protect and feed them, and that could be a scenario in any TEOTWAWKI storyline. This topic isn’t only for those with a terminal disease, but it’s really for anyone dependent on medical technology or medicine for their survival. You can’t really sugar coat this, but if or when there is a SHTF event and these things are no longer available to us, … Continue reading

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