Seriously, Why Are We Still Having Runs On Water Prior To Hurricanes?

Hurricane Irma Water Shortage, Image Credit

Recently, due to the onslaught of Hurricane Irma I read an article titled Is Hurricane Irma causing too much panic over water, and other preparedness supplies?

Of course, it’s not just water that people rush out to buy at the last minute, people buy batteries, gasoline, and apparently pop tarts to name a few items that “fly” off the shelves whenever news of an impending disaster looms large. And it’s not like this is new behavior, people have done this since forever and apparently will continue to do so because we just won’t learn from the past.

Anyway, I thought to myself: why on earth are we still having runs on water prior to hurricanes or major storms? Can people NOT make even the slightest effort to prepare in advance and have at least a little bit put away for needs like this? Can people NOT see what happened to folks in Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Sandy?

I mean, how damn hard is it to keep a few cases of bottled water shoved in the back of a closet or under a bed or wherever works? Sure, the water won’t stay perfect forever in disposable plastic bottles, but it will certainly last for years and you’d surely be happy to have it when the water stops flowing or you can’t buy any at the store because they’re out.

The same can be said for other items like batteries and flashlights as both of them will stay good for many years without worry… heck, lithium batteries will last for a decade or longer with minimal loss of capacity.

Gasoline may be a slightly different story but even untreated gasoline doesn’t go bad in a week or even a month. In all honesty it will probably still be good in storage for up to a year without much concern and if you add preservatives such as PRI-G (which you should be) then the gasoline will surely be viable for at least a year or longer. How hard is it to do THAT? I can assure you it’s not very hard as I’ve done it for many years now myself.

None of these actions take but a few minutes of planning and forethought and maybe a few minutes to actually accomplish.

Regardless of how easy any of this stuff is, there’s now worry about people buying up more cases of bottled water than they actually need thereby not leaving enough water for everyone else who didn’t bother to prepare beforehand. Worse, there’s concern that these very people are either (1) going to sell this very water at an exorbitant markup or (2) hoard it. Gasp! None of this is newfound suggestion or behavior either.

I say hoard it… hoard it all if you were at least smart enough to beat everyone else to the punch, if you will. This isn’t socialist China after all… well, maybe… never mind.

Really, if you’re still living life by failing to have even the minimal of necessary supplies to keep yourself alive then shame on you. Don’t blame the folks who beat you to it. And don’t blame the government for not forcing them to do what you failed to do, though, I am a bit surprised officials haven’t at least set limits on what you can purchase.

If, however, you were smart enough to prepare ahead and, better yet, get out of harm’s way then kudos to you, count yourself as one of the 1%… the 1% smart enough to prepare before disaster strikes.

Live Near Water But Not Sure Where To Evacuate To? Try This…

How To Evacuate Near Water

The recent flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey got me to thinking about flooding where I live because, after all, we live very near the water’s edge along the Puget Sound. And, while we’re likely high enough that any minor flooding wouldn’t be a problem… what if something BIG happened? Where would we go?

Well, as planning would have it, I do have evacuation routes to get us well away from the area but I’ve come to realize that some of those involve driving (or maybe walking) very near likely flood-prone areas which obviously wouldn’t work out too well if the flooding occurred in relatively short order.

The other major problem I had with planning a quick evacuation due to flooding is that we’re surrounded by tall trees which makes it a bit more difficult to merely step out of my front door, take a gander, and decide which way is uphill. Where we used to live in Missouri it was no problem to look for miles on end in any direction… here that just isn’t possible.

So, I did what any good under-the-age-of-80 person would do: I turned to Google Maps. And, as it turns out, they have a handy little terrain feature which shows contour lines and elevation.

Just go to Google Maps, click the “Menu” button on the top left corner of the screen, and select “Terrain.” The map will transform into something resembling a topographical map with a bit shading denoting elevation and a few contour lines. Yes, there’s plenty still to be desired but it’s better than nothing.

What I don’t like about the Terrain feature of Google Maps is that if you either zoom too far in or too far out the contour lines and elevation markers disappear which makes it a tad difficult to use but still easy enough that I can look at where I live and figure out fairly quickly where I can go to get to higher ground in a few minutes drive… and I actually wouldn’t have thought about the particular spot I have in mind.

Anyway, I tried a few other interactive maps such as elevationmap.net which might actually be a better tool because it seems to include the same information as Google Maps but with the added benefit that you can click on a specific point on the map and click “Get informations” (yes, I spelled that correctly according to the tool) and you’ll see an altitude shown whereas Google Maps doesn’t seem to do so.

Last, if you’d like to see a more traditional interactive topographic map then try US Topo Map tool. Click on “Download Maps” on the left sidebar then you can search for your address, for example, and you’ll get a good map to make use of with contour lines, elevation, and more. The best part is that it’s all overlaid with streets so you can plan a route easily.

Hope this helps you figure out where best to evacuate to if flooding is a concern for you. Stay safe out there. 🙂

Best Air Rifles And Pellet Guns For Survival (+ 5 Reasons Why)

If you are seriously into your guns and take your prepping seriously, you may have overlooked the humble air rifle. If you are anything like me, it’s likely you haven’t shot one since you were a kid, and don’t really regard them as a serious weapon, especially in a survival situation.

This is a shame, because I’ve recently realized that no bug-out bag is complete without a decent air rifle (or three). I’ve got plenty of friends, serious preppers themselves, who swear by their air rifles.

I know what you’re thinking. Air rifles are for kids, right? Well, no.

It’s true, of course, that no air rifle is ever going to deliver the power of a “proper” hunting rifle. In a survival situation, you are never going to be able to take down a deer, a moose, or a bear with a .22, and trying to do so is likely to get you killed. But I’d like to point out that in a survival situation you are not going to be shooting at large game very often, or at least you shouldn’t be.

In reality, the majority of the food for you and your family is going to come from much smaller game – squirrels, rabbits, etc. If you manage to hit a small animal with your AK (no mean feat given the recoil) you are not going to have much animal left to eat. Hitting small game with an air rifle is easier, and means you don’t end up with squirrel mush.

Hunting With Air Rifle, Image Credit

Beyond this, there are several other reasons why you should get an air rifle for survival situations. Today, I’ll take you through some of them, outline a few options you have when choosing an air rifle for survival, and then take you through what I would recommend.

Why An Air Rifle?

#1: More Effective

Why should you get an air rifle for a survival situation? Well, let me quickly say again what I said above – that for hunting small game, they are simply more effective. You can hit a squirrel more easily with an air rifle than with a full hunting rifle.

#2: Relatively Powerful

And don’t think that just because you used one when you were a kid, that air rifles are not powerful. Nowadays, the best air rifles deliver huge power. Though they usually shoot a .177 or a .22 pellet, modern air rifles achieve fairly high muzzle velocities and can kill most small game stone dead.

#3: Size and Weight

Air rifles have a number of other big advantages in survival situations. First and foremost, they are much lighter than a full-sized rifle. This is true not just for the rifle itself, but also in terms of the ammunition you need to carry. Going out hunting with even a dozen rounds of full-sized rifle ammunition makes you slow, and limits the number of shots you are going to get. In comparison, a coffee tin full of .22 pellets is lightweight, easy to carry, costs less than $50, and will last for years as long as you are careful with it.

#4: Usable by Anyone

Lastly, one factor that is often overlooked when thinking about guns for survival is that your kids (and perhaps your wife) are not going to be able to handle a full-sized hunting rifle. I would recommend getting your son or daughter an air rifle in any case because I had so much fun with mine when I was a kid, and this is a great way of getting them into firearms young.

#5: Teaches Shooting Skills (and adds another hunter)

Teaching your kids how to shoot an air rifle is not only a great bonding activity, but will also have huge advantages when the SHTF. Think about it as adding another hunter to your group – with a bit of practice, your son or daughter will easily be able to go out an bag a few rabbits and this could make all the difference.

Types Of Air Rifles

If you haven’t used one since you were a kid, it’s worth reminding yourself that air rifles come in a variety of different designs.

Caliber

The first factor to consider is the caliber. Air rifles generally come in two calibers – .177 and the larger .22 pellets. In my opinion, if you are buying an air rifle for a survival situation, only the larger caliber is a real option. .177 pellets can be used for killing small game, and are great for teaching your kids the basics of shooting, but in truth they are a little under-powered for survival situations. The .22 pellets deliver their energy to your target much more effectively, and will improve your hunting performance.

That said, caliber is not the only factor that affects the power of an air rifle. As you will see below, one of my choices for today is actually a .177, but one that has a huge muzzle velocity. The most powerful, and unfortunately most expensive, .177s produce a good deal of stopping power, but I think that for most people the .22 is best.

Design

Then we come to the design of air rifles. A lot of the most popular air rifles available today are CO2 -powered guns, a relatively recent invention. I think these are the most popular because they essentially take out all the work from using an air rifle – using a compressed gas for power, you simply load the rifle and pull the trigger. That’s great right now, but this type of rifle will have a huge disadvantage in a survival situation: getting those CO2 canisters. They are likely to run out pretty quick when the SHTF. In addition, carrying around a load of bulky canisters essentially eliminates one of the other advantages of air rifles in a survival situation – their light weight.

For this reason, my advice would be to stay old-school when getting an air rifle or pellet rifle for a survival situation. The best air rifles, in my opinion, are the ones that use a ‘pump-action’ design. The simplest form of this–and the air rifles you are likely familiar with from your youth–are those that use a spring mechanism. By pumping the stock on these rifles, the spring inside is compressed, and when you pull the trigger the spring is released, shooting the pellet. As the simplest design of air rifle, this type is easily maintained in the field, and is really reliable.

That said, one disadvantage of spring-based air rifles is that the spring has a tendency to wear out after a while. It will being to lose power and may eventually fail. There are two solutions to this. One is to make sure you have a few spare springs and make sure you know how to fix your rifle. The second is to take advantage of an advance in the design of these rifles, and get a ‘gas-ram’ gun.

This type of rifle works on the same pump-action principle but instead of compressing a spring it uses a canister of gas, most often nitrogen. Unlike CO2 powered air rifles, because the gas stays inside the canister, it does not get consumed, so the only consumable is still your pellets.

Our Choices

There are a huge number of great air rifles available, but the most important features in an air rifle for survival is reliability, specifically a rifle that has built up a great reputation in the field.

For a truly old-school air rifle that has built up a great reputation for both accuracy and reliability, look no further than the Diana RWS 34. This is one of the simplest designs of air rifle you can get, and in a survival situation the ability to maintain your weapon easily is going to make all the difference.

If you’re looking for an air rifle that almost anyone can use, take a look at the Gamo Varmint Air Rifle. This is a .177, and whilst I said above that this caliber is not powerful enough for most survival situations, the muzzle velocity produced by this rifle more than makes up for the smaller pellets. It will produce 1250 fps, and because it uses a smaller pellet the recoil is lighter on this rifle than some others.

If you’ve got a but more cash to spend, consider having a look at gas-piston air rifles. Though they cost a little more, they are more reliable. A good choice here would be the Gamo Whisper Silent Cat, which offers huge power in a compact design. The skeleton stock on this rifle make it even more portable than your average pellet gun, and when out hunting it feels like a full-sized rifle. In addition, the incorporated scope makes it an even more accurate hunting weapon for small game. Another good option is the Crosman CFRNP17SX Nitro, which develops a serious amount of power and is a great choice for hunting small game.

Lastly, I want to mention the Black Ops Tactical Sniper air rifle. This is one of the most powerful air rifles around at the moment, and has been designed to replicate military-style sniper rifles. While the heavy pump-action and larger frame means it takes some getting used to, if you’re looking for an air rifle with huge stopping power, this is the one.

Author Bio

“Sam Bocetta is a retired engineer and writer at Gun News Daily. He’s is an avid hunter with over 30 years experience.”

Image Credit

49 Sq Ft Bug Out Retreat?

What do you think about a tiny little house like this as a bug out retreat? This sure takes the idea of only needing a “roof over your head” to a new level, lol. Plus it seems like he hasn’t quite thought this out completely, though I do like the eventual idea of the add-on rooms, use of glass, and maybe a rocket stove heater too…

No More Bicycle Flats (video)

This idea has been around for some time, it seems, but if you’re looking to NOT have to deal with bicycle flat tires consider a Bell Solid Tube Inner Tube (for 26″ tires).

They’re certainly more expensive than a traditional inner tube and obviously you’ll need to purchase the correct size for your bicycle but knowing that you won’t be stranded on the side of the road with a flat makes for a winner in my book. Plus, they’ll be like gold during SHTF situations. 🙂

99 Places To Learn Survival – Ultimate Prepper Schools List (link)

Bushcraft Survival Skills Course List, Image Credit

Following is an exhaustive list of prepper and survival schools… a good 99 schools by my count, in fact. Many school are local so be sure to look for a course near you… there are even courses listed if you live outside the continental U.S.

They cover a wide range of survival skills, though most are bushcraft and wilderness related which are great if you’re looking to add new skills or as as refresher. A few, however, are online and allow you to learn from the comfort of your couch…. my personal favorite approach these days. 🙂

“I believe the more you know the more likely you are able to handle unexpected situations. I think the ambitious prepper should be learning new skills continually. It doesn’t matter how old or how experienced you are, you can always learn something new. We have compiled a huge list of Prepper Schools from around the world. Each will have a location indicated and if it is an online course or a local one that you attend in person. Here is the list of various Prepper School facilities and online courses:”

Read the full article here

The Firewaall: Vertical Fire Curtain (link)

Image Credit

I’m not sure how useful this firewaall (and, no, I didn’t spell that wrong) is for survival purposes but it does have some potential applications as a nice camp out conversation piece, lol…

“OK, in all seriousness, the old-fashioned campfire is just fine in most situations. But a Canadian company just launched a new contraption called a Firewaall. It’s pretty neat.

The made-in-Canada apparatus simply holds wood in a wall-like form. Start the fire with tinder in the bottom, add some larger sticks, and enjoy a vertical blaze.

What’s the point? Good question. First, the Firewaall contains fire in a way that looks pretty efficient. The vertical nature of the wall helps it radiate heat outward. It elevates fire too, which would be nice on a frozen lake…”

Read the full article here

Solar Lantern Charges Your Phone (link)

Image Credit

Solar powered lights are all the rage these days, aren’t they? I know I have a few myself and even one made by the folks who created this new inflatable solar lantern that charges your cell phone too.

I know the post talks about this being a prototype and that you can back it as a kickstarter here, but it sure looks to me like you can purchase one on Amazon (link removed because I was wrong) and for a reasonable price too…

“A few deep breaths inflate LuminAID‘s latest lantern. Hang it up and illuminate your entire tent. When the sun rises, the lantern packs down small and recharges with solar energy.

LuminAID has been making portable inflatable lanterns since 2011. The company’s Kickstarter campaign launched February 7 for its PackLite Max Phone Charger. This lantern boasts the same power output as the PackLite Max but now has the ability to also charge your phone…”

Read the full article here