What the heck is a ‘Waxmeister’ you say? Well, I’m glad you asked.
This happens to be a most elegant and excellent tool one can use for the lubrication process of your own ‘home grown’ cast bullets. I will give you pictures and links below. First, the basic info.
We that cast our own ammo from recycled lead sources must lubricate the bullets before they’re assembled into ammunition, otherwise the barrels of our weapons would become fouled with lead residue through the heat and pressure generated when the weapon is fired. The design of the barrel of all weapons allows tiny amounts of super hot gases and immense pressure to leak by the bullet in a controlled manner as the bullet travels down the barrel. The lubrication we apply to the bullet helps prevent this process from causing lots of deposits inside our weapons.
Bullet lube styles are generally in two forms of design. One, shown here, is of the micro groove type from Lee precision molds as indicated by its numerous small grooves. This type bullet is meant to be ‘tumble lubed’ where the entire bullet is coated with the lubricant material. Many shooters consider this to be the best way to lube bullets, because the entire thing is covered with it. The main complaint is that the bullets are ‘sticky’, especially if too much lube is applied.
The other flavor is the standard type grease groove bullet which as you can see has only a couple of very wide and deep grooves, which is where the lubricant is applied. This type must either be run through the lubrisizer machine or lubed in the pan.
Many casters use a technique called ‘pan lubing‘ which gets the job done for far less than one would have to spend to buy a combined lubricating and sizing machine. The fancy ‘lubrizier‘ machine does a mighty fine job of the process of it, but will cost several hundred dollars to obtain and will require special components for every caliber you may reload to ‘size’ and lube that particular caliber. The Midway video doesn’t get into the detail of just how messy pan lubing can be as the bullets are handled, sized and loaded into ammunition. The Waxmeister tool does the trick. As you see in the video, the clever gadget fits with precision around the bullets after the waxy lubricant has hardened. You may also notice that this is machined from aluminum rod and is set up beautifully to do it’s job. Personally, as a not half bad inventor and amateur machinist, I was impressed with the quality and the idea behind the invention. The ‘cutter’ is a recycled and properly sized once fired rifle casing of the closest diameter of your ammo and then formed to be exactly the correct size. Most common calibers are ready to go from the nice guy at Waxmeister, as of this posting he informs me that most are ready to ship in a few days after the order is placed. As the tool is pressed over the bullet, it is shaved very closely with the device, and plucked out of the lubricant and ejected with a press from your thumb. Now, you have a nicely lubricated bullet ready to be sized, if you didn’t do that already, and loaded into ammunition. Personally, I wipe off the base of all my bullets, no matter how I lube them. Just picky, I guess.
I wrote the .360 on there, because I have more than one size bullet to work with.
Here’s the link to buy your own Waxmeister tool. Be a little patient, this is a two person operation, they are dedicated to a quality product, but reality and market conditions for their supplies of once fired rifle brass they use in production can cause some delay in receiving the tool. If you haven’t noticed, the market for ALL things related to self defense, shooting and weapons is just plain crazy. From factory loaded ammunition to any and all components for loading your own are hard to find. So, be patient if there is some delay, you will be rewarded with a fine tool to add to your reloading equipment.
- Reloading Spent Bullets Can Have a Huge Impact in the Wake of Gun Laws, Says New Survival Life Article (prweb.com)
- DHS Seeks MILLIONS MORE ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION … W/IN 30-60 DAYS (secretsofthefed.com)
- Fear of purchase limits sends bullets flying — off the shelves (kansascity.com)
- Thursday ammo rush a new Casper ritual (trib.com)
OK, well it’s been a while since some ‘political discussion’ and recent events warrant some speaking up.
Despite all our benevolent politicians and the rights infringing laws they pass to ‘keep us safe’, the Patriot Act, for instance, evil men can still carry out their destruction if that is their intention. And here, at the Boston marathon event, we have a couple of typical muzlim operatives with simple items twisted by evil into dangerous devices. Their duty, as terrorists, was well accomplished with the pressure cookers they used to contain their explosive mixtures, which are apparently not that effective until contained in a pressure resisting device, like a pressure cooker. This containment amplifies the effect of their home-made explosive compound, making it into a very effective device for killing and maiming Americans. Are there 20,000 laws concerning pressure cookers, as there are for guns? Not yet. But, even if there were that many laws concerning pressure cookers, the background checks to buy them, with a size limit of 7 quarts, pressure cooker free zones all over the nation, and licenses required to cook with them, all those laws and restrictions would have done nothing, because evil zealots of a false and hateful “religion” will always, like all other evil intentioned criminals, will find a way around ‘laws’ or flat-out ignore them. This willful violation of law also equipped them with a so-called multitude of firearms, which also broke dozens of the state laws of Massachusetts, which are among the strictest at disarming law-abiding citizens in the USA. Again, as usual, the law-abiding citizen is helpless, cowering in their homes, defenseless while criminals and our over reacting government ‘do their thing’.
I’m by no means implying that we shouldn’t hunt down scum like these muzlim terrorists, but the typical over reaction by the federal and state governments is clearly displayed in the picture, as you may notice that the individual in the armored Humvee is pointing his weapon directly at the person taking this picture. They also, apparently whether the neighborhood people approved or not, barged into every house on the streets doing a room to room search for these bad guys.
Ignoring the Constitution for the convenience of the situation appears to be evolving into the ‘new normal’ that nanny state super hero Bloomberg was salivating over when he was blathering about how the Constitution must be changed to fit today’s world. Perhaps the excuse for wholesale violation of the 4th amendment was that Bostonians are essentially naked in their homes? Among their highly restrictive gun ownership directives are:
In Boston under a vague law it is unlawful to possess, display, transfer, or receive, without a license granted by the Boston Police Commissioner:
- Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder and/or a capacity exceeding six rounds.
- A semiautomatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding 10 rounds.
- Any SKS, AK47, UZI, AR-15, Steyr AUG, FN-FAL, and FN-FNC rifle. All firearms must be stored or kept secured in a locked container or equipped with a lock or other safety device. A firearm is not considered stored or kept if carried by or under the control of the owner or other lawfully authorized user. A violation of this provision is evidence of wanton or reckless conduct in any criminal or civil proceeding if a person under 18 gains access to a firearm. A violation of this provision is also criminally punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment up to 10 years.
- Any semiautomatic pistol which is a modification of a proscribed rifle or shotgun with a shorter barrel or no stock, and any magazine or belt which holds more than 10 rounds.
An “assault weapons roster board” may add additional firearms to the list of so-called “assault weapons.”
Such firearms must have been registered with the Boston Police Commissioner within 90 days of the effective date of the law (12/9/89), or they are unlawful.
An owner of a firearm added to the roster of assault weapons must obtain a license to possess it within 90 days of its addition, or it becomes unlawful.
The colonel of state police “may” issue a class A or B temporary license to a resident, a nonresident, or an alien for purposes of competition and subject to terms and conditions placed on the license. The license is valid for 1 year and the fee is $50.
Any person who inherits a rifle, shotgun or handgun is required to obtain a FID or license to carry within 180 days if he intends to retain possession of the firearm.
In my humble opinion, if Boston didn’t have these 2nd amendment infringing law, to this degree, perhaps the federal, state and local troops would not have had to bother with a door to door and room to room search, because the fugitive would know that the house he might pick to try a hostage move in would probably have an occupant with a loaded firearm to stick in his face. Yeah, I realize this is just the opinion of a gun owning Southern boy who is too independent for leftist libs to be comfortable around, but that’s life in America while freedom still works.
Finally, here’s a link to using a pressure cooker. Use this information wisely, and you too can become……….a prepper! (Shhh, this is inside info….)
Although it’s past time to hunt for wintergreen (this article seems to have gotten misplaced in my clutter for a couple months), the knowledge of finding a useful plant for your herbal ‘medicine chest‘ can be gained at any time of the year. It gives the same effect as aspirin, it’s essential chemistry being the substance aspirin is derived from. This is also the prime use for a couple other natural sources of ‘aspirin’, such as willow bark.
Here’s a link to a youtube vid of a guy who seems to know his ‘greens’ in the woods. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fxx8Kgia4Js&feature=player_embedded#!
As I have advised before in other posts concerning DIY herbal medicines, KNOW what you’re dealing with BEFORE you consume it. The guy in the video gives some very useful details to identify wintergreen in the wild, and using his information, I would have mild confidence of correctly identifying wintergreen. I would tend to print out color pictures, and make hand notes similar to his from the video to put into a reference notebook to be used when doing this kind of foraging.
This is Gaultheria procumbens, the Eastern Teaberry. It is also known under a wide variety of other common names, such as American Wintergreen and a large number of names referring to its use as tea and the animals that eat it. It’s a little evergreen plant with a distinctive wintergreen scent, and in the Southern Appalachians can often be found in spruce-fir or oak forest communities and together with other Ericaceae such as Vaccinium and Mountain Laurel.
The red fruit is edible and used as flavoring for ice cream and chewing gums. Tea is typically made from its dried leaves and stems. CAUTION: It is very easy to confuse young Mountain Laurel plants with these, and Mountain Laurel is poisonous. If even slightly in doubt as to what you’re dealing with, DON’T consume it. Get an expert herbalist to verify what you have or better yet, have them teach you their skills.
Get knowledge. Learn skills. Be independent. Be safe.
Hi again, already, folks.
Well, maybe it’s a ‘guilt trip’ for slacking off (and being nasty sick for a few days), but here I am again this weekend, posting. This idea, which I had covered in my eBook, Surviving Urban Crisis , deserves to be here as well.
This time, we tie back to my bug out map article from October last year, where I pointed out the extreme usefulness of typical free web map services to get all kinds of alternate road maps to your Bug Out Location. By dragging the route marker line to avoid the big cities and other probable obstacles, you can print every conceivable alternate and back way for your ROAD TRIP to your BOL. That single part, being on a real road, is the last chance for that method. If the roads are too dangerous, impassable, held by hostile groups (NATO troops, gangstas….whatever you personally consider ‘hostile’) or your Bug Out Vehicle has failed, run out of fuel (HOW could you have let that happen!?) been carjacked away from you (rehearse your planned security to prevent that), whatever the case let’s now assume you’re on foot. Might even have been on foot to start with. Could this now be turned to an advantage? Well, maybe so.
A good prepper has backups to their backups. And that’s the idea for today’s blog…..backup routes for your backup route. Remember that ancient old tune ‘I been workin’ on the rail road’? Well, we’re going to be ‘I been WALKING on the rail road’. YES! Railroad lines! How many times do we drive over the tracks at crossings and wonder ‘where does that track go?’ Have you even thought about that?
The bottomless pit of useful and useless information, the internet, can again help us out here, by giving us access to railroad maps for almost every state in the nation. Search ‘state rail road map’, see if your state has a decent map in PDF format or an image you can capture from the webpage. Some of these maps are wonderfully detailed such as Iowa’s map where they have turned abandoned rail lines into hiking trails. Who could guess there were that many abandoned rail lines in one state! If you’re lucky enough to live in Iowa, you can use this rail map to get all over the state while having minimal contact with roads. More than likely though, we’ll have to be using active (at least at the start of the crisis) rail lines in our bug out travels. So, as you travel along the rail bed, keep it quiet to give yourself a bit of warning that a freight train may be coming up behind you. As the crisis worsens, I would head for cover as this unknown train gets closer…perhaps it may be loaded with hostile foreign troops. When you’re on foot, it’s a good idea, imperative, even, to keep it quiet as we travel just for standard OpSec (operational security), with a scout a ways in front of the group which should also be strung out at a distance from each other, just as if you were on military patrol. You want an experienced, if you have such, person on ‘point’, or at least someone who can remain alert and cautious as the miles unwind. A daydreamer on point could have all of you wandering into bad trouble.
As your ‘scout’ approaches road crossings, bridges and the rails wander into small towns, they will have to get back to the group and then the group will have to decide if they want to get all close together into a weapon bristling knot as they continue on through the town, or string out and individually cross the rail bridge or road crossing. Be aware, there’s no such thing as a plan working every time, but the military generally keeps their boys spread out as they maneuver through hostile territory. Some of these bridges, out west and so forth, can be pretty spooky, way up high over the canyon or river that’s being crossed, with little or no effort to keep foot traffic from falling off. It’s a railroad bridge, after all, not designed for hikers to cross.
If you have people with personal problems with high places, they will need help to get across. If you should come up on something quite obvious, such as a dozen trees felled across the tracks, it’s time for ‘group think’ again, because ‘somebody’ doesn’t want foot traffic coming down the tracks here! What to do? If you’re well armed, you ‘could’ decide to have the scout forge ahead, carefully working around the downed trees, keeping very, very alert for whatever hostile or defensive position you’re wandering into that somebody has taken large trouble to put up, and once the situation has been scoped out, get back for a briefing. Or you can backtrack to another way around. The report from the scout would decide the issue.
Also, we might consider power transmission line rights of way as yet another alternative route source, also probably mappable from the ‘net. But, these routes, unlike the rail lines, can and do cross some pretty rough terrain, as they’re not worrying about a nice flat as possible route to haul freight. They follow the path of least resistance to their destinations, going over rivers, canyons, swamps, hills and mountains. And farmland and residential back yards, where you’ll have to climb over fences while you ‘trespass’ on private property. Gas pipe routes would be slightly better than electric, because they avoid canyons and such, but not farms or back yards.
So, there you have it, a few more ways to get from here to there and back again. But, unlike the hobbit tales, you’re unlikely to meet actual goblins, but you ARE likely to meet some unsavory characters!
Be safe, stay alert….survive.
- An Inside View Of One Man’s Bug-out Abode (youviewed.com)
As you may have noticed, I’ve been ‘slacking’ for a couple weeks on the weekends, when I generally have time for my blog. Well, the past couple have been used up by helping out my grown kids in their homes with projects. And have to go outta town to do so.
Getting a dab of food poisoning at the end of last weekend’s visit just made things so wonderful this week (sarcasm!). It also gave me a topic to blog about this time.
Let’s suppose we’re all crammed together in survival mode of some kind and……someone gets the runs. Depending on the bug involved, could be just an unlucky family member has to suffer through it. Maybe they had some bad squirrel on a stick for dinner. Other cases will be like the flu, before you know it everybody has it!
How’s your prepper medicine cabinet doing? Well stocked for common stuff like a little food poisoning or the flu? No? Could be bad news during a crisis, if the situation grew bad enough with a little one or an infirm senior. My run with it (to the bathroom multiple times an hour!) used up my small supply of anti-diarrhea / anti-nausea product, Imodium. So, now back on my feet, I’ve restocked that item in a couple brand names, and added some extra printed online research to my paper files concerning ‘do it yourself’ medicine and health care. Part of the common sense strategy to keep this thing from spreading to everyone crammed together is to WASH YOUR HANDS every time at every episode and dry your hands with a PAPER TOWEL and throw it away! It will be misery enough for all, even if no one else comes down with it. Basic medicine information and articles on the naturalistic way of self treatment of minor disease are good to have in your ‘home doctor kit’ along with adequate information to help you feel confident that what you’re dealing with is or is not life threatening. I have a decent library of information for you along this line in my Urban Survival Store in the First Aid, Health & DIY Medicine section, through Amazon, all in a nice group, covering a wide range of off grid health, herbs and self care. Browse through it some time.
So, go get your pencil and paper, sit down with your significant other, parent or whomever, and write down all your chronic conditions, and whatever miserable diseases, such as diarrhea and the flu, that you can think of which can be dealt with at home. Now, start a gradual build up in your survival ‘medicine cabinet’ of those items, add books and information to your survival library to get your through the worst of it. Along with the over the counter stuff to take for all these aliments should be a well stocked, family sized first aid cabinet and not one of those $9.95 Wally world 3 inch square little jokers either. Those have their place, maybe in your bug out bag, but we’re talking a ‘real’ situation kind of coping with first aid supply that can deal with pretty serious cuts and burns. Can you do stitches to a nasty, deep cut? Might be might useful if somebody in the group had that skill, even better if a couple folks did. This kit should also cover supplies for sprained ankles and wrists, sore muscles (you’ll probably be experiencing all kinds of new physical activities, like serious work!), finger splints and perhaps even arm and leg splints or at least immobilizers to make it to the hospital.
Anyway, more stuff to ponder and plan over, right? Seems it never ends, and you’re right if that’s what you’re thinking right about now. But, just take it easy, little bits at a time, a little planning, a little budgeting, before you know it, you’ll have a nice stash going.
Stay safe, keep your spirits up, keep on prepping, soon you’ll be better off than many, many others.
- 15 Items to Keep in Your Apartment Medicine Cabinet (apartmentguide.com)
- How to Increase Medicine Cabinet Space (lifehack.org)
- Your Spice Rack as a Medicine Cabinet: 5 Hidden Healers in Your Kitchen (myscienceacademy.org)
- Ways to Treat Diarrhea (everydayhealth.com)
- How to Deal with Food Poisoning While Traveling By Amy Farley (travelwiseonline.wordpress.com)
- The Most Common Causes of Food Poisoning (everydayhealth.com)
Well, some time back (in October, last year) I posted an article about the merits of reloading your own ammunition, or ‘hand loading’ in other words.
As we have all noticed, if you’ve been ammo shopping in the past few months, the supply of factory made ammo is still pretty much non-existent. I had boatloads of bullets from the Cowboy Action Shooting days that I’ve now loaded into live ammunition, but am running out of bullets for this hobby. And the last bullets I prefer for hand loading that I DID find online were up to $28 for a box of 100, PLUS shipping. Twenty eight cents per bullet is just too much. I can buy lead ingots off Ebay and cast my own, and a hand cast bullet equal to the store-bought, costs me FOUR cents. Free scrounged lead costs me only my time. All the other components, like gun powders and primers are also scarce, so they must be snatched up as soon as they appear. Don’t worry, I only take one of each, when my local store has some inventory of powder, bullets or primers. I’m not one of those greedy types that wants to buy every box of primers, live ammo or loose bullets that the store has on the shelf. NOBODY has empty brass casings any more, anywhere, so I’m using up my supply of casings pretty quickly.
At any rate, what I’m getting to here is in the hand loading game, one can go to the ultimate step and cast your own lead bullets. After the current market craziness, I’ve decided to pursue that idea. But, just like anything to do with self defense now days, finding everything you’re looking for in one place just ain’t happening. So, if you too decide to start casting your own lead bullets, just like everything else you’re trying to find that’s associated with firearms, you’re going to have to do a load of searching to find everything.
To begin with you’ll need some really basic stuff to get started. An old cast iron pot or skillet, a heavy duty single burner camp stove or similar, an ingot mold purchased from wherever you can find one or an old muffin pan. A cheap steel spoon or dipper and a steel sieve spoon will be necessary to work with the melted lead, removing the floating junk and so forth. This will get you into the ‘smelting’ business. The safety gear you’ll need includes a full face shield, WELDING gloves (the ‘mig’ gloves from Lowe’s are very nice and flexible), long sleeves, jeans and work shoes. I also wear a good respirator, because I refuse to breathe that smoke. You WILL splash lead droplets all over as you work, so protect yourself before you get a nasty burn from molten lead. Be advised that a 10 inch wide iron skillet full of molten lead is HEAVY and even mig gloves will NOT counter the heat you’ll have when you grab that iron handle! So, pouring molten lead from your skillet can be a problem, so plan ahead and figure a way to deal with it.
One last thing, NEVER allow water to enter molten lead, it will cause an instantaneous steam explosion, blowing molten lead all over the place. VERY nasty. Make sure any wheel weight or lead ingot you put into molten lead is DRY.
You can find for free or sometimes just dirt cheap lead you can ‘recycle’ into useful bullets. A few days ago, I scored a six gallon bucket full of discarded wheel weights from a local tire dealer. They seemed glad to get rid of the stuff.
You will need to sort through the junk in the pile of future bullets. Removing the steel weights and the zinc weights is not that hard. The steel weights are magnetic, so will stick to your handy magnet and are frequently labeled with ‘Fe’, meaning iron. The zinc is usually labeled with Ze and although not magnetic, is very hard if you pinch the stuff with a set of large cutting pliers. You will find many ‘stick on’ type weights in your pile. They too come in lead, steel and sometimes zinc. When you pinch these with your big cutters, you’ll see this stuff is really soft. Sort the stickies into a container separate from the other wheel weights, it’s only good for making shotgun slugs or buckshot, unless you mix linotype into your pot when you melt the stickies. The lead, the stuff you’re after here, is mildly soft to very soft, depending on the content of the lead at casting. The lead, when melted will cause all this stuff to float on the surface, the steel and zinc, so it could be done without the effort of sorting, BUT the paint, grease and crap on all that stuff will burn off, just like on the melting lead, making even more toxic smoke to have to deal with. I sort the stuff, myself, just for that reason. After the lead has melted, all the steel clips and junk will float on top, so you can spoon it out and dump it into your steel scrap bucket. Use a METAL bucket, please, dumping steel clips that are at 600 degrees or so into a plastic bucket ain’t such a good idea. If you’re careful about keeping your melted lead at less than 650 degrees or so, the zinc won’t melt into your lead batch and ruin it. So, I keep mine just barely above the ‘melted’ temperature, so cool in fact that dumping another handful of weights to be melted in the skillet causes the lead to congeal around the new stuff for a few minutes until it is also melted, so I’m quite confident I won’t be ruining my batch with melted zinc.
When you’re melting these old wheel weights down, you really want maximum ventilation, because the crap that’s burning off is really nasty and toxic.
After you’ve melted your scrap lead and cleaned off the floating junk, time to make ‘ingots’ using your old muffin pan or store bought ingot molds. The picture above shows both, next to the old skillet and camp stove I use as my ‘foundry’. Using great care, you simply spoon the molten lead into your mold or muffin pan and let the cooling process begin. You must NOT have your pan or mold on a wood surface, which will absolutely smolder and turn black from the heat of the molten lead. You can see in my picture I have a sheet of metal that the pan and mold sits on while the lead cools enough to hold together when being dumped out onto a cooling rack. If you dump it onto a concrete floor, you may find it stuck to the floor. Be aware that it will take up to an hour for a ‘muffin’ or ingot to become cool enough to handle with bare hands.
So, once we have a nice load of lead muffins and ingots,
we are at stage two of our bullet making factory. You’ll now need a melting pot with a bottom spout to melt and dispense your lead into your bullet molds. Lee Precision company makes everything one could want to deal with reloading, and the bullet casting process. This picture is of a 20 pound capacity furnace.
The little black handle on the side controls the lead flow into your bullet mold, like the six cavity .357 magnum round nose bullet mold shown here. The magnum load is my preference, but this bullet also fits the .38 special revolver as well. Shooting .38′s for practicing costs one less money in powder (or ammo, IF you can find it).
When you’re pouring molten lead into your bullet mold, there’s a ‘sprue plate’ across the top. This guides the molten lead into the little pockets that become the bullets. The leftover lead on top is cut loose by the third handle, shown here.
As I mentioned, finding this equipment all in one store is probably going to be a long shot in today’s crazy market demand for all things related to shooting, and by default, self-defense from criminals within and without the government. Many of the Lee Precision items, and similar items from the far more expensive manufacturers, have waiting list times a month or two out from when you order the item. Of the ingot mold, the melting pot, the six cavity mold, a hollow point mold, lead thermometer, the handles for the six mold, not ONE item was found without an extensive local and internet search to buy the items, and never more than a single item from a source. So, if you wish to start casting your own, you will have to just put up with the fact you’re in for an Easter egg hunt to find your equipment.
Lee brand bullet molds generally cast a bullet that is spot on for the size of weapon the bullets are intended for. They merely need to be lubricated and then they’re ready to be seated into a casing with powder and primer, and you’re ready to go shooting. Certain applications, however, the bullets will need to be run through a ‘sizer’ to make minor adjustments to the bullet diameter.
So, there you are, in the bullet making business for sure now. Just remember, this part of reloading is hazardous – - molten lead and toxic smoke are not to be trifled with so take care and wear your safety gear.
Our crazy buddy, ‘San Francisco Liberal with a Gun’ who is very fond of Lee brand products, as am I, has some very useful videos concerning all things reloading:
And his smelting and casting videos pertain to our subject of the day.
- Ammunition Casting and Reloading..Making Your Own Ammo For All Types Of Guns. (emergencyhomesteader.com)
- Ammunition Reloading: An Essential Basic Skill, by J.D.F. (survivalblog.com)
- Six Common Reloading Myths (guns.com)
- Making Cast Lead 7.62×39 Ammo (VIDEO) (guns.com)
- EDITORIAL: With Ammunition Scarce Can Reloading Supplies Be Next? (guns.com)
- Downriver Gun Shop Rationing Ammo (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- Choosing the Right Bullet for Concealed Carry (breitbart.com)
- Here, take these bullets: North Bend sheriff’s deputies dispose of aging ammo with a bang (pnwlocalnews.com)
- Guns And Ammo Production Maxed Out: “This is a Society Preparing For War” (dprogram.net)
A little different ‘survival mode’ this time. Talking about financial survival. Everybody struggles with the budget, at least all the people I know, anyway. Being financially solvent is the best way to survive an economic crash or downturn. Those precious few people who are totally debt free, house paid for too, are so envied by those of us without the discipline it takes to get there. There are two people in our company of 250 or so, who have stated they’re debt free….no car payments, no credit card balance that wasn’t paid off this month…one has just a mortgage, the other not even that. They are calm and happy people. Can you imagine the feeling of personal freedom of being in that situation? It was no overnight magic wand these folks had, but lots of discipline and planning.
An article from http://blog.credit.com/2013/01/7-ways-to-avoid-a-debt-relapse/ helps if you want to break free yourself.
Part of the survivor plan or ‘mentality’ is to be situated so that ‘any’ event will shake us the least, as best we can plan for. Part of that would be to remain in one’s house, avoiding foreclosure for lack of income to pay the typical in debt up to the eyeballs American’s bills. Imagine 0bama’s economic czars incompetence from his crew finally causes a severe backlash of lack of confidence in the world market. The hyperinflation genie is finally out of the bottle, and it seems we are headed for a Zimbabwe style economic crash. The price of 3 eggs is now one hundred BILLION Zimbucks. Ouch!
Or the problem is his own planned catastrophe, sequestration, has about 10% of the baloney they’re constantly playing on the news to actually happen, and you lose your government job. Even though you ‘might’ be able to stretch the unemployment benefits to the max of 99 weeks, you’re still WAY below your former income. So, got $15,000 in credit card bills and 2 car payments of $2oo per month, mortgage, utilities, food, etc. See how much easier it would be to NOT have all that over your head? If you had your situation down to just the mortgage, recently refinanced to a new lower interest rate, see how much less stress in that ‘crisis’ you would have? No car payments, very low or non existent card payments, a nice food stash at home. The unemployment checks would go way further in that kind of situation and the stress level far more managable.
I’m personally working at it, along with the usual ‘prepping stuff’ that one thinks of for ‘prepping’. We’ve refied the house, both vehicles paid off for a couple years now, working on the credit cards. Like most people with credit cards, I’m ‘relearning’ that lack of self control, that urge for instant gratification that cards give us in return for 18% interest on that balance. I’m ‘lusting’ for a new and rare toy for my armament collection. One of very few companies that make a pistol in .357 magnum caliber, Coonan, is back in production. Being a small manufacturer, but putting out a fantastic quality machined product, the likelihood of finding one of these in your local gun store is slim to none. There’s a local range here, the sole dealer for Coonan in the state, as far as I can determine, has SIX of these jewels in stock. http://www.coonaninc.com/index.php Instead of throwing this pricy item on my charge card, I’m doing the ‘old fashioned’ thing of putting it on layaway, and paying out cash on a weekly basis. I would save the money, in my new plan of finances, in the bank and earn that ridiculous savings account interest on the money, BUT since these are so rare and hard to find, I’m doing the layaway so that it guarantees I have mine.
New twist on an old saying “Pay it off, or do without”.
Today I’m listing a bunch of items that would be really nice to have in a power down, off grid, surviving on the move or surviving in place situation. Of course, some items will be more useful on the road, some for holding on wherever home is.
1. Water and food. Duh, right? But what kinds of food would be viable if the power goes away for weeks after some major hurricane blows through or worst case, an EMP from the sun or a nuke in the upper atmosphere kills the grid for who knows how long? Everyday canned goods like you family uses already, look for the buy one get one items on sale at the store, eat one now, stash the other. Canned beef, turkey, chicken, tuna and of course, good old Spam. Lots of veggies, soups, canned fruit. Also dry goods like cereal, oatmeal, pasta, rice with real food value like Jasmine rice and dry beans of any and all types including the dry bean soup mixes right there with the other beans. Powdered milk or the ultra pasteurized products that are in box like containers which don’t need refrigeration and have a long shelf life. If you can afford it, then add freeze dried commercial foods as well, their super long shelf life is a good thing. The thing is, start NOW to think about building up a stash of foods, not all at once, just get started doing it!
Water is probably the more crucial item, without it you expire in about 3 days. You need it to live, to cook with, to clean yourself if you have a large supply. Must have item, is a top of the line filtration system like the Berkey if you’re staying in place or a portable pump type if you’re bugging out. Planning ahead and putting rain catchment barrels on your gutter downspouts will get you 50 gallons of usable water per barrel (must be filtered) every time it rains. You can make these from new, heavy duty garbage cans. Put a screen in the top hole to keep debris and bugs out. Sitting up on blocks with a spigot at the bottom, so you can easily fill buckets or bottles. This water would have to be filtered / sanitized before drinking or cooking with it.
“Recycle” clear soda bottles and rigid clear juice bottles, clean them out well and stash regular tap water in them. Before you know it, you may have 50 gallons of water stored in free containers. You can also lay clear soda bottles full of water out in the sun for several hours and the ultraviolet light (and some heat) will do in the bacteria in the water.
2. You’ve got a nice stash of canned goods now, right? If there’s no power, your electric can opener does a better job as a doorstop than opening up cans of desperately needed food. Get yourself a plain old fashioned hand operated can opener. Keep it in the ‘junk’ drawer in your kitchen, or for your Bug Out Bag, one of the tiny G.I. can opener or your Swiss army knife / multi-tool equipped with an opener.
3. Hygiene. In a stressed, long term survival situation your hygiene will be more important than you think. At the same time you will not have much water available for bathing, so alternative ideas must be devised. Baby wipes, for instance can be used as toilet paper and clean other parts of you as well. “Dry” bathing products like no rinse body wash are very handy, along with typical hand sanitizer. There are camping style solar shower ideas that work nice IF it’s warm enough outside, or if you can rig one up inside your bathroom. If you have toilet paper stashed, that’s cool, but you’ll have to have spare water to flush with anyway, so those rain catchment barrels will be handy for that. Flush only when you can’t stand the stench anymore. Don’t forget baby diapers and feminine products. These paper items will take up a lot of space, so maybe investigate storing them in the attic, garage or basement since heat will have little effect on these items.
4. Trash bags. Suppose you had to throw as much stuff as you could into your BOV and run for the hills. Suitcases? Nah. Boxes? You have a huge stack of those handy? When you think of moving from one location to another, you might think that boxes are a
necessity. However, just like toilet paper, boxes take up a lot of space . It’s much easier to use trash bags instead. You could easily pack your clothes and necessities quickly and move out in a hurry if you need to. In addition to just regular trash bags, you can stock
up on plastic shopping bags that you get from grocery stores or from retail stores. This will give you a variety of different sized bags which are handy for disposing of trash (free bags) and helping to keep down some kinds of diseases. Heavy duty trash bags take up very little space as you can purchase them with large numbers of bags in one roll.
5. Fire starting kit. The ability to make fire in survival mode is critical to making it through the event. In the home, the Bug Out Vehicle, and every Bug Out Bag, even down to waterproof matches in the pocket of every coat, sweater and jacket, as I do, you should have some fire starting materials working all the way up to a dedicated kit with multiple methods to start a fire. There are even books available on campfire building for those who have never even been in the woods. Firesteels are one of my favorite fire making tools, they are basic and functional, don’t need fuel or waterproofing and once you learn their use, they will be your ‘go to’ choice for building your fire. Other items to pack into your fire starting kit are your favorite varieties of tinder and spark catching materials, such as the old favorite of cotton balls saturated with Vaseline or the fantastic starter materials like Insta-fire or the amazing Wetfire product which will catch a spark and light while floating in a cup of water.
6. Thermal blankets. These ultra thin reflective Mylar ‘blankets’ could be a life saver if you find yourself stranded for the night on a cold or wet night. While being pretty delicate, they will reflect your body head back to you, keeping you warm enough to avoid hypothermia. You may ‘freeze to death’ in surprisingly warm temperatures. At least these temperatures seem warm with the sun is shining, but when you’re wet and it’s dark and getting cooler, you must conserve your body heat by fire or some shelter.
7. Swiss Army knife or multi-tool. Do you remember that Tom Hanks movie,’Castaway’? If your memory is really sharp, do you recall that he had a Swiss army knife on his car keys ring that his wife took to drive the car home? That single item would have made his life on that deserted island a LOT better. I keep a Swiss in my pocket at all times, with a peanut lighter attached to it, to back up my Leatherman that lives on my belt.
8. Gloves. Work gloves and winter gloves make outdoor life more bearable for me. A good pair of work gloves in your BOB will help keep your hands from lighter injuries while doing camp chores and other rough work. In a survival type situation, you want to minimize the risk of ANY injury. Good gloves might save a nasty, devastating cut when your survival knife slips and whacks your other hand.
9. Hand cranked /multiple power radio. There are a number of emergency radios on the market now. Some are equipped with up to 5 different power supplies, from solar to the plug in the outlet. If you have a radio, assuming the grid still works, you can get valuable information to deal with the local or regional disaster situation. The government will be putting their spin on the event, but you still may get useful news from other than the ‘official’ channels and short wave broadcasts by ham operators who would be telling it like it is, no spin.
10. Firewood. Got a fireplace in your home? Great thing to have, IF it’s properly working and has been inspected for problems. Having a nice stack of seasoned firewood would sure be nice if the power was off for 2 weeks in the middle of winter. You could also cut down the firewood and cook on the grill as an option. And option for emergency winter heat would be vent free propane heaters. Out in the boonies, our power would fail several times each winter, so we kept a 20,000 btu vent free heater disguised with a book case built to cover it when not needed. It would keep the place toasty until the power finally came back.
11. Batteries. All kinds of common sized batteries, D, C, 9v, AA, AAA, AAAA and spares for your weapons optics, if you have such items. LED lights and flashlights are the far better choice if you’re in the market for new battery operated flashlights. If you want to work hands free in the dark, look for LED headlamps that use AAA or AA batteries. All LED devices give out brighter, more intense and longer lasting light and pull far less battery drain than the old fashioned bulbs.
12. Bug repellent. Spent any time in the woods with all the critters that want to have YOU for lunch? Now, imagine a week or two out there. Having some repellent in your BOB sure would be nice for reducing the misery of being lunch for hundreds of bugs.
13. An Axe. For a base camp item or around the house, a good axe is mighty nice to have. If you’re having to build shelter in the woods, or need a weapon a nice compact axe is so very useful.
14. Backpack. This is your Bug Out Bag. It’s a crucial piece of gear, so don’t cut corners and get something from WalMart for $20 unless that’s absolutely all you can afford. Something would be better than nothing. You need some quality goods here. Surplus military all the way to whatever you can afford in real gear is what you need to look at.
15. Proper hiking boots. Loafers and no socks or flip-flops ain’t gonna cut it if you have to walk any distance with your BOB on your back. You need a quality pair of hiking boots and maybe a pair of sneakers to wear around base camp. You should break them in by walking around doing errands, or mowing the yard or just strolling around. Stiff new boots will be bad news on your feet. And if your feet are your only means of transportation, you better keep them in top shape with good socks, foot powder and well broken in boots.
16. An electric generator. Typically, you have a gasoline, propane, diesel, wind or solar powered alternative electricity supply. Like so many other appliances or equipment, you can spend a little or a LOT for the range of simple camping sized units to 20,000 watt monsters that can run your whole house, including the air conditioning. All will have to have a fuel source except for the windmill type or the solar units. They will also have to be used outdoors to avoid the exhaust fumes, which has the downside of the noise attracting curious looters if the unit is very loud. Use discretion and common sense about when to briefly run the unit to power your fridge for a while.
17. Honey, syrup and sugar. I personally think honey is going to be your best option. It has a nice long shelf life and a better glycemic action than sugar. It’s a natural sweetener that’s superior to any kind of artificial junk. And did you know it can be used as an antiseptic? Put a dab on your band-aid or gauze dressing. Sugar is obviously the most common sweetener, both white and brown types. Store your sugar in 5 gallon buckets that seal very well, with moisture absorbent packed between the bags, or hard vacuum bag it in 2 pound portions using a FoodSaver vacuum packaging machine , then put the vacuum bagged sugar into the buckets. Double protection against bugs and moisture. Sugar will also make a great bartering item as well.
18. Cooking oils and coconut oil. Cooking oils should be in your stash of goods. The good stuff, like olive oil, and other top grade oils may last longer than good old peanut oil. It will be a bit of a trick to not store more than you can use before it goes rancid. Best idea, I suppose, is the next time you open a new bottle of cooking oil, write the date on the cap. When it gets empty, note how long it took to use it up. Then stock up oil to last twice or three times that much use and like all your pantry goods, rotate the older stuff up front, so the sell by date lasts as long as possible. By the way, that sell by date is a freshness thing, NOT a safety thing. We commonly consume food that has a sell by date from last year with no ill effects. Just use common sense, if the can is rusted or bulging like a football, DON’T eat or even taste anything like that. Oil in general should be in your stock of stashed items. Coconut oil could be one of the best options. You can use it for cooking, performing maintenance (lubricating some items), and even for skin care. Oils have essential vitamins and nutrients so they will be good for your health. See to it you buy expeller pressed coconut oil, because it has a longer shelf life than your average oil. Not to fond of the taste of coconut? Not to worry, you’ll be glad that it doesn’t taste like coconut with your food.
19. Portable / backpacking stove. A modern backpacking stove is very efficient for cooking when the grid is down. Several on the market use multiple liquid fuels, like Coleman fuel, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene and diesel. They aren’t cheap, but the versatility of scrounging fuel makes them pretty desirable. Then the rest of the categories include units dedicated to Coleman fuel, kerosene, propane, butane and wood. We have a Coleman Powerpak propane stove we use for backup cooking at home. Stock up propane bottles now, while they’re cheap and easy to find. They’re frequently for sale in pairs, like at Home Depot®, camping stores or even the seasonal section of your grocery.
20. Plain chlorine bleach. Not to worry about how white your tee shirts are in survival mode, PLAIN unscented bleach is good for disinfecting water. Find a couple of eyedroppers to measure it precisely, about 16 or so drops per gallon of water. Also, be aware that bleach has a very limited shelf life of only a few months, for this purpose. So perhaps small bottles instead of the gallon jugs.
21. Multivitamins. During the typical crisis, we will probably be eating whatever we can find, anything between squirrel on a stick to a carload of Twinkies, so having quality vitamins is right there with the food stash. Its a good thing they have a decent sell by date, so we can stock up without too much worry of them going stale before we use them up. As with everything else, rotate as you use them up.
22. Activated charcoal tablets. If you’re exploring the wild foods idea to supplement your food sources, having charcoal tablets handy may save a life if you munch the wrong plant which turns out to be a tad toxic. If you believe you’re poisoned or someone else may be, charcoal tabs are the trick. The stuff binds to the toxins and let’s them pass through your system
23. Binoculars. A decent pair of binoculars will be very nice to scout ahead and perhaps prevent walking right into a mess of trouble. Useful for scouting pathways, seeing crucial details of persons coming your way (armed or not?) finding out what is the source of that odd noise in that direction, would be very advantageous.
24. Duct tape. Really, this is one of the handiest inventions ever. Having GOOD duct tape around can patch up gear and clothes, double up your weapon magazines, hold worn out boots together for a while longer, secure temporary structures for shelter, even bind up a sprained ankle by wrapping it up while wearing a sock. You don’t want to put this stuff directly on you skin for any length of time. Big rolls at home and take smaller portions in your BOB by rolling around a piece of dowel or short pencil until you have a roll about 2 inches across.
25. Towels. Tied to that ‘dry foam’ idea above, for your BOB we have compacted camping towels which are crammed into small cans apparently the size of a snuff or chew’backker can. And of course, at home we generally have piles of towels. In a pinch, larger towels can be used like blankets, when dry.
OK, well this should get you started with some basic items that you may have already been stocking up, or maybe we added an idea to your plans.
- 13 Family Safety Items for a Mom’s Purse (allstate.com)
- Are You Prepared For Basic Survival? (personalliberty.com)
- Emergency Survival Packs Build Your Own (thetexasfoodnetwork.wordpress.com)